Coffee Break: Vegan Leather Tote Bag

reversible vegan tote bagWe’ve featured reversible tote bags before, as well as vegan tote bags, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a reversible vegan tote bag. Urban Outfitters has them in black/ivory (pictured) and black/honey and they look great, especially for the price: it’s only $59. Huh — looking around UO it seems like they have a lot of “vegan” tote bags; good to know.  Is there anything else (as an adult) that you like to buy at UO, ladies? I always think of them as “Anthropologie’s little sister,” and it looks like they have a ton of cute home goods (this mirror in particular looks awesome). Reversible Vegan Leather Tote Bag

Psst: looking for more info on dressing professionally while vegan? Check out our recent roundup of six stores for the stylish vegan professional.

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  1. Anonymous :

    Where should we eat and what should we do in Santa Fe in a couple of weeks? We already have a massage booked at 10,000 Waves. CANNOTWAIT.

    • Wildkitten :

      See: The Cross of the Martyrs
      Eat: Atrisco Cafe & Bar

    • What do you like to do? Are you outdoorsy? If so, there are lots of great hiking trails around Santa Fe or accessible from Santa Fe.

      The Santa Fe Plaza is a “must see” but don’t be too tempted to buy jewelry there as it tends to be overpriced for what it is (says me, wearing the ring I bought on the Santa Fe Plaza).

      Good places to eat: Casa Sena, Cafe Pasqual’s, Maria’s New Mexican Kitchen are my go-tos. Geronimo is fantastic but spendy. There’s a great local upscale salad chain called Vinaigrette where the owner grows the organic vegetables for the salads at her farm. The Compound and The Shed usually get rave reviews from visitors but I haven’t been to either in awhile.

      If you like museums, Museum Hill has several all together – Museum of Folk Art, Museum of Art, Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian. The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum is another worthwhile stop.

      Mostly what people do in Santa Fe is wander around looking at galleries (there are tons on Canyon Road) and enjoying great food.

      • Anonymous :

        So where should I buy jewelry? I want some great turquoise earrings! Also, I would generally like a good hike but I’m pregnant so nothing too strenuous.

        • I haven’t bought jewelry there in over a decade so can’t help with that. There should be some travel blogs and online travel guides with recommendations.

          The City of Santa Fe’s website used to have some pretty good resources on hiking trails in the city. I would also check the Santa Fe Convention and Visitors Bureau website.

      • Native New Mexican weighing in:

        The jewelry for sale on the plaza in front of the Palace of the Governors is expensive, but worth it. All vendors are local Native Americans, and the jewelry is handcrafted. Anywhere else on the plaza, and it might be ground turquoise suspended in plastic manufactured in China.

        If you’re into museums:
        – Palace of the Governors NM history museum
        – Georgia O’Keeffe museum
        – Museum of Folk Art
        – Meow Wolf

        Other things to do:
        – Road trip to Taos & Chimayo – see Taos pueblo, eat at Rancho de Chimayo, visit Ortega’s Weaving shop, check out shops & galleries around the Taos plaza
        – Bandelier National Monument (good short trails for hiking and fascinating Anasazi history)

        Eat & drink:
        – For New Mexican food, I love Maria’s, the Shed, and Tomasita’s
        – Fun bars to spend an evening include El Farol on Canyon Road with live local music and Cowgirl
        – Awesome breakfast at Tecolote Cafe
        – Totally local fast food – Lotaburger. Get it with green chile and cheese, hold the onions

        Super jealous!

        • In-House in Houston :

          Ditto eating at Tomasita’s if you’re looking for authentic New Mexican food. The hubby and I ate there for dinner and then went back the next day for lunch. It’s that good. We were disappointed in Taos. Long drive for not a lot to see and it was much pricier than Santa Fe. If you’re into art, they have fantastic galleries that don’t only cater to southwestern art. Our favorite was Manitou Galleries. We even bought a few pieces that we just love.

        • I forgot about Meow Wolf!

          It is absolutely a must-see now in Santa Fe. It’s an immersive art experience – Google it for a better explanation/description. They just did some additions to the experience and supposedly it’s even better now. However, be prepared for crowds. I would go EARLY (as soon as they open) on a weekday if possible. If you’ll only be in Santa Fe over the weekend, go early but be prepared to wait as they can only let so many people in at one time. Budget at least two hours to go through. It is truly worth seeking out. The pictures online will explain why better than I can.

          Also, you might check to see what shows or events are at The Lensic and Jean Cocteau theaters, they sometimes have very interesting stuff happening.

      • Second the recommendation for Cafe Pasqual’s. It’s not to miss!

    • Anonymous :

      My favorite restaurants in Santa Fe are Tia Sophia’s, the Shed, and Sazon. I like to just walk around the Plaza and that is the best place to buy turquoise jewelry. The Native American vendors will be seated along the outside of the buildings. I love the New Mexico History Museum, but that is because I am New Mexican. I don’t know if it would be all that interesting to others, haha. If you are up for some hiking, Tent Rocks is a little south of Santa Fe and is amazing.

    • So, we are flying into Arizona with plans to go to the south rim in April for six days. Is it realistic to drive to Santa fe for part of that week? I really want to go to New Mexico, too!

      • Short answer– no, not realistic. It’s a 7-8 hour drive from the south rim to Santa Fe. If you’re only in the south west for a week and have already booked your tickets, I wouldn’t do it. Maybe if you flew in to arizona and then had your home-bound flight from Albuquerque, but it will seriously limit your time at the Grand Canyon.

  2. Spain recs :

    I’m looking for recommendations for a hotel in Madrid for two nights in May. Preferably something near Atocha train station/easy access to the airport. Budget it between $150-$200/night. TIA! Also, this is the end of a trip to Madrid (3 days), a day trip to Toledo, Barcelona (3 days), and Seville (2 days). Any hidden gems that I must seek out while in those cities? I’m planning on hitting all the big touristy things as I’ve never been to any of these places.

    • Guilty as charged :

      Check Petit Palace Alcalá. Next to metro Sevilla.

      • Guilty as charged :

        And make sure they give you a non-smoking room that has never before been a smoking room (the whole hotel smoke free now)

    • Following for the same reason!

    • I know my comment is late but please do yourself a favor and go to-
      Maciera in Madrid. We went for lunch. Look at yelp to get a feel for the place, but it was our favorite meal in Spain- the octopus stew was amazing.
      Honestly, skip Toledo. We went, and wish we had just spent an extra day elsewhere. Like Barcelona or Sevilla. Toledo was super touristy, and there was no good food.
      In Sevilla, we loved Coloniales. Such a fun, local atmosphere.

      • Toledo is one of my favorite cities in the world, so I disagree with this rec if you’re into history and culture. If you’re going for food, though, Toledo’s not a highlight.

      • Alanna of Trebond :

        I LOVED Toledo! Don’t skip Toledo. I didn’t go there for the food.

  3. anonymous :

    As an FYI (based on so many comments), most women do not become tied to partners with narcissism, they’re slowly groomed to lose their sense of self. When someone asks for help or support in this situation, sometimes the best thing you can do is help them to remember why they’re great and what is best about them, and not judge them through their process. Leaving is scary at best and dangerous at worst. Speaking to them as if they’re stupid or as if they should have known the person was a jerk from the beginning or cutting them out if they don’t leave in the immediate manner you want hurts them, it doesn’t help them.

    • Anonymouse :

      Agreed. It rubs the wrong way a bit when someone posts on here about that and people go ‘well leave his a**, duh!” “why tf are you with him???” That approach is fine why the guy is a slight jerk/simply not a good fit. But when there is narcissism, manipulation, etc going on, it is much more complicated than that and you need to tread lightly and not further victimize the poster.

      • ‘well leave his a**, duh!’ is the standard response to just about any relationship problem posted here. There seems to be handful of frequent commenters who think relationships are never work, and any partner worth having needs to be 100% perfect (hope you’re perfect too!)

    • Wildkitten :

      Eh. My Dad is an N and if someone I am friends with starts dating an N I am absolutely cutting them out of my life. Put your oxygen mask on before you help others.

      • Wildkitten :

        My comment is about real life where it is emotionally exhausting to support someone making self-destructive choices. On here it isn’t as emotionally tolling to me, but it might be to other people.

      • Anonymous :

        LOL. So you are a narcissist too! Funny how nature and nurture work….

        • Wildkitten :

          Thanks but nope. Just someone who has learned my limits of supporting enablers after 30 years of trying to save everyone.

          • Wildkitten :

            Kids of Narcissists aren’t taught to have normal boundaries because we’re expected to be perfect and everything and parent our parents. So, we’re different in that we have to learn how to make boundaries as adults. Having boundaries is not the same as having a personality disorder.

          • Wildkitten :

            I can also spot N’s from a mile away, so when my friends start to date abusive partners I see it immediately, long before they do. It’s horrifying but I’m not spending my Saturday nights watching my friends fall deeper and deeper into abusive relationships so I can wait and be there when they finally figure it out. Good on you if you do. I don’t have the capacity to do that.

        • Speaking of the t-word . . .

          • Wildkitten :

            Thanks. That comment really rubbed me the wrong way because it’s the opposite of what I’m trying to do. Being everything for everyone just isn’t something I can do.

    • New Tampanian :

      Narcissism lends itself to emotionally abusive behavior. Just like someone in a physically abusive relationship, it is not as simple as “leave him” for most people. Often there is also a financial dependency upon the abuser. Let’s be gentle with each other on this sh*t. It is MUCH more complicated than those who have never been in such situations can imagine.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I don’t disagree with this.

      I also think that encouraging the person to leave is a good thing. I wish I’d had somebody in my life urging me to leave, or at least bringing up the option on a regular basis.

  4. anonymous :

    I keep thinking about the anonymous secret on Friday who said they get called a tr0ll for asking questions. Why do we do that here? We didn’t used to. We used to assume the best in someone and offer education or guidance rather than name calling or attacking. Do you think we’ll ever get back to that? We’ve lost so many great members of the group due to the hostility here, I guess I just wish the drama and the cattiness would stop and the sisterhood would increase.

    • I think there are honest questions, and I think there are troll questions.

      Honest question: I support Trump. Where do I find like-minded women?

      Troll question: Don’t you agree that women are b i tches and bad managers and that women can’t get along with each other at work?

      • Marshmallow :

        This. See also, “Why are you wasting your time mentoring a young woman from an abusive background? We all know how those kids turn out.”

        • Sydney Bristow :

          Those are the clearest examples though. I’ve seen numerous troll accusations based on innocuous questions. Posters seem quicker to jump to that than they used to be.

        • Oh god I remember that comment. UGH!

      • There are a lot of troll questions that get asked here, like the ones mentioned above. Why shouldn’t they get called out? I’m here to waste my time, but not on trolls.

    • Wildkitten :

      I think the problem is now that we have 15 e*len copycats it’s hard to keep track of who is a troll. Also a lot of people have been posting pretty f-ing trolly political commentary that is clearly not intended to cause a constructive conversation. So maybe it’s not us. Maybe there are more trolls.

      • Anonymous :

        I don’t know, I’ve seen some pretty innocuous questioners be called trolls.

      • Anonymous :

        This. We used to just have Ellen and now there are a few, usually politically themed trolls. Since people have stopped taking the bait on the political stuff, they seem to be commenting more on other types of posts.

        Also, I read this blog for a while before commenting so I had a sense of how the community engaged before I started posting. Posts that are vague and play on certain tropes (woman boss has only got job because she’s a woman, mean secretary, boyfriend that doesn’t want to commit) are more likely to be called trolls (even if incorrectly) vs. actually provide a level of detail that makes it clear that the post is a real person.

        • Not everyone who posts has a perfect job/SO/family/etc, so they seek out the advice of others here. That is why we are here — to help them if we can, not to point fingers at them and call them names like trolls. Growing up, the word “troll” represented a hideous little freak which no one wanted to be likened to. The Internet has repurposed that term to mean anyone whose opinion/behaviour/political outlook differs from ours. It is easy to sit back on a website and attack such other people as “trolls” when all they are is espousing a different viewpoint from you. That is not the right way to be. Joel Osteen says that we must rise above the trivialities and think of what is really important in life. Living well and helping others to see the right way. That is why I sometimes get sad when I see people abusing these so-called “trolls” just because they can, while sitting in the comfort of their homes. Put yourself in the shoes of one of these women looking out for our help and succor before labeling them and dismissing them. They are human beings too. Try and remember this and you will be a better person for doing so.

    • +1

    • I got modded for I think the t word that is the subject of your post.

      I think we have well meaning people who word questions awkwardly. I also think we have genuine t-words.

      There seems to be one or more anonymous commenters who get in a mood and post snarky responses to everyone’s questions. I would call that a t-word.

      We have original comments that are so anti-woman that I am pretty sure it’s either a dude from reddit trp or the same snarky anon just trying to stir up crap.

      They say don’t feed the t-word, and if someone calls out a t-word, it’s in service of that goal and I have no issue with it.

    • I’ve been reading this blog for seven years. I don’t comment a lot generally, although I’ve been more active lately. Couple observations: there have always been complaints about “drama,” but I actually feel like I see less of it now than I used to. And regarding the person who posted about being called a troll: if it’s who I think it is, she has been called a troll unfairly, but I think she’s also posted questions that were questionably worded, tone-deaf or could have been thought through better. And I think that does test some people’s patience. This has never,in the time I’ve been reading the blog (again – since 2010) been a place where people got rah-rah cheers and pats on the back whenever they posted anything, no matter how ill-advised an idea it was. People who post here looking for “the sisterhood” to co-sign their ideas without investigation, questioning or criticism are going to be disappointed. And that’s part of what I love about this blog and the people here: I know if I post a genuine question (that is really a question, not a “hey, here’s my idea, please reinforce for me that I am a genius”) I will get genuine answers. They may not be what I want to hear, but they will be genuine. That has kept me out of a considerable amount of trouble over the years.

    • I think that not responding to the obvious trolls would help. See Marshmallow’s example above.

    • I asked a financial question and Nutella called me a troll.

      • Anonymous :

        Are you the poster who asked a few days back to back about if everyone was excited that the market was doing well post-Trump? If so, that’s definitely T-like given the clear leanings of most posters. Most of us don’t enjoy money over misery of others.

        • Anonymous :

          Money vs. misery of others is a false dichotomy. Just because someone doesn’t agree with you doesn’t mean they’re a troll.

        • This is exactly the problem. “Most of us don’t enjoy money over the misery of others.” You can’t accept that some people can be glad the market is doing well. What you’re saying is that anyone who doesn’t agree with you politically is a troll. Some posters here are quick to call a conservative poster a troll. It’s easier to yell “troll” than to accept that an educated, otherwise like-minded woman might be a republican. Some posters here simply can’t stand it.

        • Uh, NOPE. I asked a question about debt. But thanks for again implying I am a troll.

      • Hi Anne, as I recall this was a couple of months ago and it is still bothering you. I explained below why I thought it was a tr0ll comment (now that I recall, it was repeatedly writing Dodd-Frank incorrectly, too). I have been reading here for a long time and it seemed to be in line with a well known pot-stirrer (Ell3n) and right after a slew of others with similar names. I apologize if you were hurt by that because you have brought up that “Nutella called me a troll” many times.

        I would encourage you to enjoy the benefit of this community rather than dwelling on my comment, which was not meant as malicious. The web is full of people that can do a lot more terrible things than me thinking (incorrectly) that you were a tr0ll.

      • Trying again as I am stuck!

        Hi, you’ve brought up many times that “Nutella called me a tr0ll” in the last couple of months so clearly you are hurt. I am sorry. I explained below why I wrote that (now that I recall, in addition to the names, it also repeatedly mis-wrote Dodd-Frank despite being corrected by others). I think that was a few months ago. I would encourage you to enjoy the benefit of this community instead of dwelling on that. (And no, I am not the person who wrote faze/phase earlier or corrects grammar or spelling. I write under my name.)

        • No, I wrote Barney Dodd, by mistake, one time. And, by the way, if you google trailer and Dodd-Frank, there are articles about how the law unintentionally harmed people who wanted to take out loans to purchase mobile homes to go on land they did not earn. Every time someone brings up trolling, I will point out the Nutella called me a troll because I forgot the name of an act of Congress. Also, before you decide that I am a troll because no one on Corporette could be planning on buying a trailer, we inherited the trailer and land but there is still money owed on the land. We wanted to refinance the mortgage in our name but could not because of Dodd-Frank. You called me a troll because you think you are superior.

          • … Welp. I tried.

            I was not aware you could read my thoughts, but I would recommend asking a financial advisor or your mortgage lender about your specific question.

          • Anne, honey, I don’t think you are a t roll but I think you’re too sensitive for the Internet. You need to get over it.

          • Nutella, for real, you tried. Props to you for that. In situations like this I always remember that part in SATC where Miranda tells Charlotte, “this has nothing to do with me, this is your stuff.” Anne obviously has some “stuff” that she needs to work out or get over that has nothing to do with you or what you said. Anne should be thankful this isn’t Reddit, or someplace like it, where her b u t t hurt comments would be greeted with six thousand links to offensive memes. I agree with Anon at 7:13, some people need to go grow a thicker skin, and come back to the Internet when they won’t take everything quite so seriously.

    • Old Monday :

      No fan of the hostility and name-calling either, but I have to disagree that it was ever any different. Some of the ugliest memories I have from this site are from 2010-11, and I’ve read consistently since then. I just think it’s the reality of anonymous commenting + moderators who don’t usually intervene.

      The only lively, large comment forum I have seen that never gets awful is on Ask A Manager, and even that is basically because she seems to read the comments all day and take action in real time whenever something out of line is posted.

      • +1. I have been reading since ’10, and I actually find this site to be a much friendlier place than it was 2-3 years ago.

        • 2-3 years ago was rough. There are a lot more anons now and more obvious actual trolling, but a few years ago stuff regularly got personal in a way that could be pretty terrible.

          I am Internet Old Person (raised by the usenet, basically) and all forums go through cycles; the only way to really avoid some periods of unpleasantness is for there to be clear rules established, and for someone to firmly police them. That can ensure a strong culture of politeness and helpfulness, but also will mean that some tougher discussions don’t happen and some types of views don’t get expressed. I’ve been a part of heavily moderated communities (anybody remember VP on livejournal?), and there are downsides there as well – including that the process of preemptively establishing those community norms will mean that you decide that some perspectives are not entitled to be aired.

          • Sydney Bristow :

            I’ve been reading here since 2008 and we definitely go through cycles. 2-3 years ago, 2010-2011ish, etc were all rough. We’ve lost some commenters along the way who I really miss because of it. I’m so glad this place is still here though because even with the cycles of drama there is a lot of really helpful information and many supportive people here.

          • Meg March :


        • Also Anon :

          Agreed. It ebbs and flows. I read a lot at the beginning. There were some fights then and some dramatic flouncing off into the sunset by some regulars. Then the si te really took off. There was one point where every post was getting 300-400 comments and there was so much drama and meanness that the number of comments dropped off sharply. I stopped reading for a good while during that time. I slowly got back into it over the last couple of years.

          I have been mocked in a “wow you’re such a loser!” way for posting a couple of innocuous non political questions lately under an anon handle. It’s rude and mean but I think it’s just part of where we are right now. Everyone seems hostile and on edge and much more concerned with being right than being kind. Even some of the political questions I could comprehend as ignorant rather than “trolling” but no one seems willing to give anyone the benefit of the doubt or to respond kindly.

      • I’m a former regular commenter who stopped for a long time and just came back. I also used to have a regular screen name but moved to anon because it seems wiser in many ways.

        I stopped reading around mid-2012 when things got too politically correct (and I’m a liberal.) Maybe PC isnt he right description. It was more looking for offense.

        People were jumping down each other’s throats for innocent comments like “I can’t wear shoes that high – they hobble me” and at least two people would say “nice ableism. check your privilege”.

        I didn’t flounce. I just kind of faded. My thinking was along the lines of ain’t nobody got time for that.

    • Guilty as charged :

      I myself accused someone of being a troll… someone who posted something along the lines of «how do you protest the deportation of mexican immigrants if they are flooding us and maybe a mexican will commit a horrendous crime in 3 months».

      If the OP is reading this: sorry if you were not a troll.

      Anyway, I stand by my original answer. If the US stopped doing drugs, there would be peace and stability in Mexico that would (imo) lead to prosperity and greatly reduce the flux immigrants. Stopping weapon exports to Mexico would help too.

    • There is one poster that has named me a couple of times as someone who hurt her feelings by calling her a troll. I am not someone who throws names around and I think I said something like “I’m pretty sure you are a troll, but here’s what I would do…” but I remember the reason that I thought so is that it was after a spate of pot-stirring comments all from 4 or 5 different commenters with traditional-sounding women’s names, like Florence and Gladys or something. Her handle was similar and her question was vaguely pot-stirring, too, with some of Ell3n’s spelling error hallmarks.

      Reader, if your comment was genuine then I am sorry you were hurt by my suspicion, as you have brought it up many times since. I would be remiss, though, if I did not suggest to you that you may want to grow a thicker skin if you are going to comment on the internet as there are far nastier people out there.

      Anyway, I have been reading here for a long time, too, and don’t think the environment is that bad – obviously or I wouldn’t continue to visit! I find the conversation stimulating and I learn a lot and enjoy the various perspectives of women here.

      • Anonymous :

        Your responses to Florence/Gladys etc were fine. Your posts are almost always very thoughtful and beneficial. That was some actual t-rolling going on there with Florence/Gladys. In addition to awkwardly worded posts accidentally getting called out as t-rolls, there were a few posts by the Florence/Gladys person that I’m pretty sure were intentionally borderline to start a distracting debate on whether or not it was a real t-roll.

    • New Tampanian :

      I appear to have been thrown in moderation, so let’s try again:

      This may not be a popular opinion but why not just ignore these so-called trolls? This way you aren’t engaging/giving the troll the attention they want and you’re not offending anyone by mislabeling them.

      Just a thought.

    • I’ve been called a troll and a horrible human being and believe me, I will never ever post under anything other than ANON again, if ever.

  5. I posted this on the weekend thread and didn’t get any responses so I thought I’d try again.

    Winter is my favorite season for professional clothing. I love wool, I love tights, I love coats, I love boots. I look best and feel best in dark colors (I have winter coloring.)

    Here in the Bay Area it’s starting to look like spring. This brings my dread of trying to look presentable in warm weather. I don’t work in the city. I work in a suburb that gets seasonal weather, so it is hot in the summer. Plus, even though we like to say Nor Cal is a seasonless climate, it’s not really true. I’d look and feel out of place in cashmere and black tights in July, even if it were an unusually chilly day.

    How do you find spring/summer clothing that isn’t resort-y and easter-y? I like and appreciate linen, but to me, it just doesn’t look as professional as wool.

    For the record, though I support the right to bear arms, I do not bare my arms at the office. No sleeveless unless I’m wearing a third piece that I don’t take off.

    • Wildkitten :

      I wear the same clothes in the summer and winter because it is cold inside offices.

      • Yeah, that doesn’t work for me if I want to go outside. Also, I travel to hot and muggy climates in the summer and if you’re traveling, you’re outside. I have found that some of the older buildings really do get warm in the summer.

        • Wildkitten :

          I switch from tights to bare legs. I switch from boots to commute to sandals to commute. I’ll actually wear pants more and skirts less. But the base items (suit, skirts, pants, top) stay the same.

    • How do you feel about relatively thin blouses with a camisole under them? I’m thinking of those Portofino shirts so many folks like at Express. A thin shirt like that with a silk camisole would be a good arm-covering compromise.

      I would also focus on A-line and other non-pencil skirts in light-weight wools. I have some I’ve collected over the years from Ann Taylor and J Crew. I quite like this one from Banana:

    • Maybe it’s because I’m from NYC so this isn’t a problem – we wear black all day everyday. I think the key here is fabric blends. Silk/cotton/wool blends. As a giant lizard monster, I have to rely on fabric content to assist me with regulating temperature. While polyester works for me in the winter, not okay during summer.

      • Absolutely. Black is always in season, giant lizard or not.

      • Anonymous :

        Yeah, as a NY-er I don’t get the “spring color” issue. In the warmer months my wardrobe is pencil skirt plus blouse plus cardigan or blazer. Skirts are black, navy, or coral (okay that is summery) and something I’m forgetting. Blouses are the same ones I wear in the winter – solids (black, olive green, white, blue, pale pink), Boden Ravello tops (jade green, black with owls, navy/red/orange floral). The short sleeved ones get more wear in the summer, but all are thin enough I can handle them on moderately hot days. Blazers/cardigans are the same ones i wear in the winter mostly, with a bit more cotton in the mix – same colors though.

      • Good point. I do not have lizard skin to protect. But I do wear mostly black. I’ve actually been trying to break out of it and wear some color. I’ve found lovely dark green, deep Violet and muted plum pieces this winter. I just don’t see those nice dark colors in spring/summer weight clothing very often.

    • I work in a business casual office (my company is on the business-y end of the spectrum but my client is on the casual end), so YMMV.
      Typically the difference is that I add a lot more color. I tend to avoid pastels (as you say too “Easter-y”). But summer is the time I break out the colored or patterned ankle pants and my non-black skirts and dresses in lighter weight materials (unfortunately this means putting away my super comfy sweater dresses, but what can you do?).
      I do tend to wear the same lightweight merino wool sweaters all year round though because my office is always around the same slightly-too-cold temperature. I have the merino cardigans from L&T and find that they are acceptable at the office any time of year.

    • Shopaholic :

      I really do wear probably about 80% of my wardrobe all year round. I don’t wear the heavy wool pieces in the spring/summer but most of my pencil skirts and silk blouses are all year round. I don’t wear tights. I usually transition to pantyhose in late March/April and by May/June, I’m usually bare legged. So in the winter, I’ll wear a pencil skirt, silk blouse, tights and maybe a heavier sweater or blazer, in the spring/summer, I’d wear a pencil skirt, silk blouse, lighter/normal weight blazer or cardigan.

      I’ll often wear sleeveless or short sleeve blouses so when I’m outside in the summer, I can take off my top layer and not roast but I generally keep a layer on at the office unless our building has gone crazy and it’s really warm inside.

    • Layers! So when you do have to go outside, you can take a bunch off. I don’t think you should be basing your work wardrobe on the temperature outside, unless you’re truly spending the majority of your day outdoors.

    • For me this is all about fabrics. Lighter, natural fabrics and bright colors and you’ll be seasonally appropriate. Sandals for ventilation. Looser cut pants for the same.

    • Huh, I live in SF but am regularly in other parts of the Bay Area & I just wear the same thing all year. If it’s cold in July, I’m in black tights. Maybe being in the city itself makes that more normal (I know I’m not the only one dressed that way). I do know what you mean about there being subtle changes in season. For me that just means that I have some lighter-weight coats, some open toed shoes for warmer days, no tights when it warms up unless it’s one of the aforementioned chilly July days, and there might be some days I don’t wear a scarf as part of my layered up look. I struggle when I have to go someone legitimately warm for work.

      • Anonymous :

        I work in the Valley, and have had this frustration too. It can be hard to find tailored garments in summer weight fabrics in professional colors. I end up doing a major online search every year and snap up at full price whatever I can find. Some years it’s not much. Hey Kat, can you help?

  6. early 2000s tv :

    Thinking about Joey Potter (Dawson’s Creek) and Rory Gilmore (Gilmore Girls) and wondering if anyone here actually grew up that way… in a small town where everyone adored her and she could do no wrong, where there were always amazingly kind yet also gorgeous guys who doted on her.

    Is this really a thing or is this some weird tv concept that no one ever actually has? (Also, we don’t know what happened to Joey, but Rory ended up squandering everything, so maybe that upbringing isn’t the best thing for a woman?)

    • Anonymous :

      Of course not. Those stories are fiction.

    • Anonymous :

      I was that girl. Even though I was tall, good in math, flat-chested, awkward, had an overbite, had bad skin, had braces, had really oily hair/skin, was in a minority religion, and am in no way conventionally pretty. My parents don’t live in That Town anymore. I went back after being gone 15 years and ran into a girl from my 4th grade class in a pizzeria. It was like Brigadoon and was totally awesome. I fantasize about moving back, but the NYC exurbs have crept in and it’s not wild and overgrown anymore and the traffic would make me cry. But I am still That Town’s biggest cheerleader and grew up in the best town ever.

    • I was kind of a Joey Potter. I grew up in a very small town in Mass, similar to where Dawson’s Creek was supposed to take place. I had a close knit group of guy friends that would do anything for me. Now that I’m older, I realize they probably like me more than just as friends and were hoping I would see them that way too. One of the guys in the group became my boyfriend. His close friend and I still felt a lot of attraction between us but I couldn’t date them both. We spent tons of time together wishing we could be together though and I agonized over whether to break up with BF for him. We even had one drunken kiss just like the TV shows. In college, HS BF and I broke up and crush and I made out a few times but he no longer wanted anything serious and I wasn’t looking to just mess around. I had one really close girl friend and maybe 4 – 8 girls that were in my friend group but not BFFs. I wasn’t part of the cool kid crowd. I was an athlete so I knew a lot of the cool kids but I didn’t get invited to their parties. I was more of a choir/drama/band girl. I’m conventionally attractive but also dressed more gender neutral back then. Lots of baggy jeans and plaid shirts.

      I LOVED Dawson’s Creek and really felt a connections to Joey’s life. I most definitely had a group of guys doting on me but I never intentionally took advantage of it.

    • Anonymous :

      I was kind of a Rory. My town was not as small as Stars Hollow, so it wasn’t like every single person in the town knew and adored me, but all my teachers and neighbors did, and I was definitely the book-ish good girl like Rory. I went to H/Y/P for college, which was a huge deal in my town, and people kind of made a big deal about it the way they did on Gilmore Girls.
      I think I turned out fine but not amazing. I have a good job, pay my own bills and am in a happy relationship, but I haven’t had a huge amount of career success compared to my college classmates. But I also have never committed grand theft boat :)
      One big difference is that there were no guys in love with me in HS (even though I think I’m conventionally pretty) because the “cool” guys didn’t want to date the nerdy girl and the nerdy guys were too shy to ask girls out. So I never related to that aspect of Gilmore Girls.

    • I don’t have too much to add to this discussion, but I just finished the GG reboot, and holy cow, Rory was terrible! I got to thinking that the whole thing was a hidden Focus on the Family message to show us the dangers of single parenting/being friends with your kid.

      ( I had gotten pretty annoyed with her by the end of the original run, too – ’round the time of the whole boat-stealing ordeal. But at least then I could assume that it was just an extreme case of youthful hijinks.)

      • Anonymous :

        Yeah, she was beyond horrible in the revival. It’s one thing to be self-absorbed and unable to handle any kind of rejection at 21-22, but at 32 it’s a whole different matter. Also hated her actions with respect to men in the revival. I know she slept with a married Dean in the original series, but at least she had the excuse of being 19 and him being her first love, and Lorelai told her it was bad behavior. In the revival, she’s cheating on a long-term BF with an engaged guy and no one cares? UGH. I was so mad at both Rory and Lorelai for how cavalier they were about that.
        Honestly the revival was so awful (except for the bits with Emily) that it basically ruined the original series for me.

        • Anonymous :

          Agree. I hated it when she slept with Dean, but because it seemed out of character for her I could see it as a youthful mistake that she would learn from. Nope. That’s just who ASP thinks she is. Also ruined it for me.

        • Sydney Bristow :

          There is talk of them doing another one in a few years. I really hope it doesn’t happen because I don’t want them to mess it up for me any more than they already have. Emily’s storyline was perfect, Lorelai’s was ok, and I hated Rory’s.

          • Anonymous :

            “Emily’s storyline was perfect, Lorelai’s was ok, and I hated Rory’s.”
            That’s exactly how I feel about it. Widowhood provided a lot of fresh territory for them to explore with Emily and I loved what they did with that, and with Emily and Lorelai’s relationship. The Luke & Lorelai stuff was predictable but fine. And Rory – awful, just awful.

        • I agree that the Emily story was great, and the rest, lacking.

          Instead of a reboot, they should have done a spin-off about Lane and Zac and the twins still trying to live their ridiculous rock and roll lives (with Sebastian Bach!), where also, for some reason, Emily and Mamma Kim become roommates.

          • Sydney Bristow :

            My husband wants there to be a Paris spinoff, starting with all the scenes she was in for the original and following her through world domination via the surrogacy business.

        • Gail the Goldfish :

          I am curious as to how much of the revival had originally been planned to be part of the last season before Amy Sherman-Palladino got the boot-because agree, would have been much more tolerable in 22/23 year old as opposed to 32 year old.

          • Anonymous :

            I think a lot. Definitely the storyline involving the last four words was originally intended for ASP’s Season 7.

    • Those towns exist :

      I grew in a small town just like that in Massachusetts – even when friends hear stories or visit, they always compare it to Stars Hollow. Very safe; really fantastic school system where the “cool” crowd meant smart + athletic, not druggies or partiers or cheerleaders or dumb jocks (but really fairly inclusive generally such that there weren’t really kids who were in vs. out). Everyone knew everybody else, and definitely looked out for others in the town and knew exactly what everyone else was up to. Like a poster above, I also went to HYP for college, but that wasn’t totally atypical so while word of my acceptance spread quickly and there was a lot of excitement, it wasn’t quite at Rory level. A lot of our parents had grown up together in neighboring towns as well so there was an added connection that way. It was a great place to grow up, except that it was a wealthy town and with that came a lot of homogeneity and lack of general world perspective.

      There were definitely girls in my class who had all the boys’ attention, but I didn’t consider myself one of them. I didn’t date in high school, but when I look back, I probably was the recipient of more romantic attention than I realized at the time.

  7. Small Law :

    A big thank you to all who recommended 1) starting a skin care routine and 2) Paula’s Choice cosmetics. A week in and my skin has never looked better.

  8. no no no to UO :

    They are a company known for being horrible, they have sold bloody looking Kent St. hoodies, nazi looking clothes, etc. etc. it’s horrible. No chance would I buy from them!

  9. Anonymous :

    Can anyone recommend a spring break destination for families with kids ranging from 13 yrs to 18 months in age? We’d like to avoid hoards of bikini-clad high school/college students. We’re either flying or driving from Denver.

    • Anonymous :

      San Diego? Great zoo, good weather, not sure if it’s popular with spring breakers but I don’t ever remember it being discussed as an option when I was in college. Texas/Florida/Mexico etc but not San Diego.

    • We go to Santa Barbara for spring break pretty often and don’t find the ft lauderdale/Cancun element you’re worried about. And the weather has almost always been spectacular.

    • Lorelai Gilmore :

      We often do San Diego around spring break and it’s great for families, with not much of a college spring break presence. It does not have reliably swimmable temperatures, but there’s lots of fun stuff to do with kids that age.

    • Camping World 500 NASCAR Weekend, March 17-19 at Phoenix International Raceway.

    • OfCounsel :

      It might be too late for you to see this, but I live in San Diego and it is a great spring break destination. The weather is usually pretty good, it is one of the few times of the year when everything is green and beautiful, and there is a lot to do for people of all ages. I would only caution that even if the outside temperature is warm, the ocean water will be very cold!

  10. apartment living :

    Which rental amenities are must haves and which do you consider optional? How do you decide what’s worth paying for and how much something is worth when you consider where to live?

    • Two Cents :

      Must: dishwasher. We run it twice daily. But we also cook a lot and have small kids who use lots of dishes.

      Amenity which I thought was a must but turned out not to be — in unit laundry. I thought that was an absolute non-negotiable but our current apt is so great that we chose to rent there even though it doesn’t have an in unit laundry. Turns out it isn’t a big deal at all and I actually like doing several loads at once and being done with it for the entire week.

    • Anonymous :

      I love having an in-unit washer/dryer (i’m in a condo). Seriously – it is part of what keeps me in my current place, and what I would look for when renting next time. Which significantly narrows the pool of candidates.

      • I am so with you on this. I will never go back to basement laundry. I thought it was fine until I had my own unit…although I did live in one place where the laundry was in this super dark and dank basement where you had to walk through multiple empty “rooms” get to it…something out of a horror movie!

    • Anonymous :

      Laundry access. I don’t care whether it’s in unit or in the basement (prefer in unit of course!) but that’s basically a dealbreaker for me. Elevator is a close second but that’s pretty much it. I can’t afford to be too picky in my price range!

    • BabyAssociate :

      Mine would be the opposite of Two Cents.

      Dishes is the one household chore I don’t really mind, so no dishwasher isn’t a dealbreaker for me. In unit laundry is preferable, but I’d consider a place with laundry in the basement or something. Having to access to laundry somewhere in the building is a dealbreaker.

    • Shenandoah :

      In-unit washer/dryer is a must. A deep sink is a strong preference if there is a dishwasher but becomes a must-have if there is no dishwasher. Amenities like a fitness center and pool may be nice on a budget if they replace the costs otherwise spent on a gym/pool/country club membership, but I don’t find them that useful because I still maintain those memberships for the social benefits.

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        YES on deep sink. I commented on this when I was looking at my current apartment and SO and leasing office guy thought it was an odd thing to put emphasis on. Then SO lived in an apartment with a regular sink during a temporary stint in another town and came around to my viewpoint that a deep sink is important.

      • In NYC and both partner and I work biglaw hours and are willing to pay for certain conveniences, so our list probably looks crazy to some :)

        -Within 5 minute walk of public transit lines that will get each of us to work without having to switch lines (and no more than 30 minute commute for both of us)*
        -Gym in building (this actually helped us to narrow down buildings in the endless supply of NYC rental units)
        -A secure way to have packages delivered (this usually means doorman in NYC, but a secure entry space where USPS has the key could also work)
        -Laundry either in building or in unit
        -Availability of 24 hour convenience store within 5 minute walk
        -Pet friendly

        Nice to have but not required
        -Really good coffee shop nearby
        -Cool neighborhood
        -Outdoor space
        -Open floor plan
        -Renovated kitchen

        *This was a requirement when we first found our place a few years ago. We both ended up switching jobs to where our commutes are more like 45 minutes, but we’ve stayed put so I guess it was a looser “requirement.”

        • Sydney Bristow :

          Our transportation requirement is similar. My commute is 30 minutes on a single line and my husband went from 45 minutes with a transfer to a 45-60 minute trip without a transfer. Having to switch lines makes it so much worse.

    • Must: in unit washer and space to air dry clothing.
      Unnecessary; dryer and dishwasher

    • Marshmallow :

      Proximity to public transportation, safe neighborhood, dishwasher. In-unit w/d would be a must for my husband (so I guess it’s a must for me, too!) although I personally don’t mind going to a laundry room in the building. I would not want to be reliant on a laundromat, though.

    • Must: hardwood floors (b/c allergies), a/c (b/c I work from home), in-unit laundry (b/c ugh otherwise), pet friendly (b/c large dog and cat), outdoor space (b/c large dog and it’s awesome), no more than 10 minutes walk from public transit, and easy parking.

      We live in the Boston metro area and this came at a premium, but we found it :)

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I’m in NYC so my list might be different than others.

      Must: Convenient to the subway, particularly a line that will get me to work with minimal issues

      Must: Convenient laundry, although to me that means laundry in the building or a laundromat with drop off service and reasonable hours. In-unit laundry is my NYC apartment unicorn.

      Must: Separate bedroom and living room with adequate space for furniture in each. I lived in a place that sort of had a living room but there wasn’t actually space for furniture other than a fold out chair and a tv up against a wall. My husband and I need separate spaces to relax.

      New Must: Adequate kitchen space. When I moved in with my husband we had a kitchen so tiny that it almost wasn’t functional. Since we weren’t wanting to move, I put up with it. Now it is a requirement for any apartment going forward (and we have a very large kitchen in our current place).

      Love to have but I can live without: Dishwasher. I’m in my first apartment in 7 years that has a dishwasher. I LOVE it but haven’t had one in NYC previously or in the place I lived throughout law school so I know I can get along ok without one.

      Love to have: rent stabilization (we currently have it and it would make choosing to move a more difficult decision if we couldn’t get it somewhere else)

      • Anonymous :

        I’m in NYC, and it’s funny that I didn’t even think of the subway as an amenity – I think it’s because if it’s not on a line convenient to my work, I wouldn’t even be looking at it. It could be practically free but if it’s a transfer to get there I’m not going to bother.

    • A/C, preferably central but I’ll deal with reasonably up-to-date window units THAT DON’T LEAK if the place is otherwise perfect. Permission to install ceiling fans if the unit doesn’t come with them. Dishwasher, in-unit W/D, full-sized fridge and oven. Preferably gas range, definitely no coils. Preferably no dogs but definitely no big dogs. I also prefer to be on the top floor in apartment buildings because I can’t stand hearing people/animals running around above my ceiling. Definitely no ground floor or basement units. Designated parking is a must, preferably covered and attached. Unit cannot be near or downwind of the trash.

      Annnnd this is why I bought my place. My laundry list of must-haves kept growing the longer I lived in apartments. May you have better luck than I did.

    • a millenial :

      in SF:

      non-optional if i can help it: in unit laundry, dishwasher, hardwood floors

      optional: gas stove, gas heat, garbage disposal, garage

    • Calibrachoa :

      Must have: convenient to work and public transit and no car required, pet friendly, kitchen and bathroom that are large enough to accommodate me without banged elbows, lots of storage, laundry access, a grocery store within reasonable walking distance. Also, hot water and indoor plumbing (… I grew up super rural so I try to remind myself that no, it is not a given that there’s hot water you don’t have to boil and a toilet you don’t have to trudge through snow in the dark to get to)

      Nice to have:: Large windows with big window sills, dishwasher, a bath tub, a sauna; an elevator in the building.

      These are, of course, my own preferences when I am living alone. In my current roommate situation, a dishwasher was non-negotiable, otherwise it came out to be about the same. i got my big windowsills and a tub

    • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

      Dishwasher, in-unit laundry (preferably in a separate room), two car garage parking (tandem OK, but preferably side by side), AC and heat (preferably radiant heat and central air), double sinks in master bath, walk-in shower in master bath, at least one walk-in closet, dining room and living room. (and preferably a breakfast nook as well).

      I’m in LA, so finding this is really easy. I realize this would be an insane list in other cities (i.e., SF/NY).

    • Must have:
      – windows (stayed for a few months in a tiny studio that had 2 windows facing an alley way … I had no idea what time of day it was after I got home or woke up on weekends!)
      – dishwasher
      – hardwood floors (strangers’ foot skin… *shudder*)

    • All in order of what I care about the most.

      Must have: Central location with good commute for both me and my husband; windows (I hate basement apts); open kitchen; no carpet in the main living space; laundry access in the building; secure package delivery (don’t need a doorman, but packages have to at least be delivered inside); A/C

      Optional: Carpet in the bedroom (I could live with this but would prefer not to); in-unit laundry; dishwasher; elevator

      I thought having a gas stove was a must have, until I found my current condo with everything else I wanted. The electric stove hasn’t been bad after all.

  11. Sydney Bristow :

    Going on vacation next month and the place we are staying has an Aveda spa on the premises. They also offer massages in the guest room. I’ve never had a real massage before and I’m a little overwhelmed by the choices.

    I’m very tense in my upper back and shoulders and have several knots. I also have really bad knots in my calves that frequently result in charlie horses. My goal is to reach that level of bliss and relaxation where you just don’t want to move because you feel so wonderful.

    The massages that are offered in the rooms are Swedish, deep tissue, reflexology, lava shell, or head/neck/shoulder. Most have 50-minute and 80-minute options. I think I’m torn between Swedish and deep tissue.

    They also have an 80-minute “Stress Fix” massage that is a combo of Swedish, deep tissue, foot reflexology, and acupressure but that is only available at the spa itself. My thought was that I’d be most comfortable in my room, but if something like this combination is extra amazing, I’d consider booking that instead.

    What would you pick?

    • 1) I don’t think you can count on one massage to relieve all your knots
      2) deep tissue (and even some swedish) massages are more therapeutic than pleasurable. expect it to hurt when they work those knots
      3) they expect you to be naked when you have a massage. this may be obvious to everyone here, but the first time I had a professional massage I left my undies on and when the masseuse got to that point, he was like, um, take those off. which was even more awkward than if I’d just taken them off before he got into the room.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 Deep tissue is what you need to address long-standing knots, but it will take multiple sessions to really re-set. It can also hurt – but you can let the therapist know that in the moment too, or breathe through it. They don’t actually want to make it hurt – sometimes its unavoidable, but sometimes there are other approaches they can take. Pain is usually counterproductive, because you tense up other places.

        Naked vs not – I think this depends on your therapist. Mine always gives me an option – the key is for you to be comfortable. I wouldn’t think very high of a therapist that couldn’t work around underwear (no bra). So, this a good thing to clarify ahead of time if they don’t bring it up.

        I would definitely go for the 80-min, since they can spend more time on the full body (back and legs) – and would recommend point both areas out to them.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        You don’t have to take your undies off. If you leave them on, that just means don’t massage my bum. Perfectly fine.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        Yipes! I sometimes leave my undies on and I would not appreciate being told to take them off. My fav therapist says “undress to the level you feel comfortable and then lie under this sheet.” But also she is perfect.

        • +1

          I’ve never been told to take my under wear off; always to undress to whatever level I feel comfortable.

          • AnonymousFriend :

            This. Late poster here but you should know — you can tell the masseuse that it is your first massage and that you feel comfortable or uncomfortable at any point.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        Thanks! I think I’m prepared for the pain to deal with the knots. That should be fine. My husband works on them for me sometimes, or I try foam rolling/tennis balls so I’m familiar with the pain.

        Good to know about the multiple sessions. I’ll just have to make them a more regular occurrence once we get back!

    • I’d do Swedish or the combo you mentioned- I like the buffet approach to spa services! Does the spa have other amenities like steam bath, relaxation room, tea/infused water, etc? All of those are part of the pampering experience for me so I prefer to go to the actual spa facility. I also think that warming your muscles prior to the massage, whether by sauna or steam bath, enhances the massage.
      The therapist will drape you with sheets both for modesty and warmth so the only exposed part will be the area that they are working on. Don’t be shy about asking for more/less pressure, more/less conversation, or temperature adjustments.

    • Deep tissue!

    • Anonymous :

      I would do the stress fix massage that is only offered in the spa, with deep tissue and some acupressure. I assume acupressure is like trigger point therapy, which can help release some knots. I think you also might feel more comfortable in the spa than alone in your room – it’ll be more clinical and you won’t feel like you have to clean up before they get there. They’ll have everything in stock if you want to change products and probably more bells and whistles (like the heated thing you lay on, music, etc). The spa might also have other fun amenities like a steam room or lounge that you might enjoy making use of.

      • +1 to going to the spa itself. The whole spa experience is part of the package – getting the robe; sitting in the lounge stocked with infused waters, trail mix etc; having the massage; then after spending time in the sauna/steam room/plunge pool whatever floats your boat. The last time I brought my book and stayed for an extra hour after my massage just to enjoy all of the amenities.

    • If you really want to work out those knots and have a high pain tolerance, I would do deep tissue. Definitely not Swedish. In my experience, Swedish is the “let me slide my hands over you for a bit of stress relief”. If you want to get the knots out, you want someone who can really get in there and work on them. Deep tissue means a lot of things, but if you’re up for it, I would pick that and tell the masseuse you want them to work on your 2 problem areas only and to go for it. Warning that it might hurt though, and it won’t be “relaxing” but you will feel better afterwards!

      • I agree, with a minor counterpoint. To me, deep tissue depends more on the skill of the therapist. I’ve had “deep tissue” massages that were horrible experiences in combined tickling/pain, with someone driving their elbows into unfortunate spots. It can get so bad that it’s almost funny. But, when it’s done well, it’s amazing for working out the knots.

    • I find a really good foot massage releases tension in my entire body. I’d go for that. If you’ve never had one I find that shoulder massages are sometimes not that relaxing when I’m really tense and knotted, and one than one massage would be required to get the tension out. Foot massages, though, relax things I didn’t know I was tensing.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      The spa likely has steam/sauna/whirpool, so I would absolutely go there for whatever service. Also if there is anything with a Vichy shower, absolutely get that service.

    • Anonymous :

      I’d pick the Stress Fix. I actually really enjoy going to a spa. You’ll be in a private room, not massaged in front of other people. Deep tissue may be a bit intense for a first experience. I’d be inclined to try deep tissue in your home city where you can get a recommendation for a specific masseuse. You don’t want to end up sore on vacation because they overdid the pressure.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Interesting points on picking a service in the spa itself! I always thought that service in the room was the height of luxury but that might be because I’ve been hung up on the idea of getting on the subway to go home after a relaxing time at the spa in NYC.

      Now I’m leaning toward the Stress Fix because of the combination of treatments. If I do that, maybe I’ll add a facial too.

      I’m really looking forward to this! It is a reward for getting through a tough family event and as much as I need a massage like today, I’ll be in pretty desperate need then.

      • Yes, take advantage of the spa services. The steambath after a massage is awesome! Many years ago I would request they did not massage my scalp or face but now I get those too and shower off all the oil from top to toe afterwards in the steam shower.

        They will tell you this right after, but it’s really true – drink LOTS of water after your massage and the next day. Your muscles will thank you for it. Extra points if you drink a lot the day before, too, so that your muscles are more pliable. Also don’t do what my friend did and have a huge lunch beforehand while paying someone to push your muscles hard with you laying on your tummy for an hour. He was extremely uncomfortable :) I usually have a light meal or go early in the morning before I get hungry to prevent this.

    • I would go for the Stress Fix. I like the spa atmosphere. It can be very relaxing and they play soothing music. I think you would find it more relaxing than being in your room. Then afterwards you can use use the other facilities if you want.

    • Lorelai Gilmore :

      I might suggest picking whatever allows you to get two massages on two consecutive days. I just got back from a trip and had a deep tissue massage on Thursday. It was wonderful and it felt like it really released a bunch of those nasty shoulder/neck knots. Two days later, I turned and my right shoulder kinked right up all over again. I have this theory that if you have bad knots, the massage releases them, but you’re still susceptible to renewed knotting. Kind of like how if you unfold a piece of paper, it will easily fold back into the original folded shape. Bottom line: I’m a big believer in post-massage massages!

      • Sydney Bristow :

        My husband recommended 2 as well! We’ll only be there 2 full days and then flying back across the country again. I’ll look into booking a post-massage massage when we get home though.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Ok booking the Stress Fix for the first full day we are there and a facial for the last full day. Probably adding a hot oil scalp massage too. Booking it tomorrow morning and trying to figure out how to make time move faster so I can get there now! Thanks for all the thoughts and advice!

  12. Anyone have recommendations for things to do / eat in Houston? My SO and I will be visiting for the first time from Thursday to Monday, coming from a northeast city. We like urban things (walking around/exploring neighborhoods, trying new restaurants, visiting museums, attending concerts/shows) and also the outdoors (any hiking/pretty nature nearby?). Particularly interested in BBQ and Tex-Mex recommendations. Are there any day-trips or half-day trips nearby that are worth checking out? We will have a car and are staying “downtown.”

    • Anonymous :

      I would recommend some time around the museum district and Hermann Park, perhaps with lunch at Bistro Menil. I would also recommend Rothko Chapel. Also spend some time walking the Bayou near downtown. The bar scene downtown has really picked up; I would recommend Pastry Wars.

      Brazos Bend State Park is supposed to be a fun and wild trip, although I haven’t been (been meaning to!). There are apparently gators on the paths. Another half-day trip is NASA.

      Gatlin’s is the best BBQ in town, in my opinion. Goode Co. is more famous and a fun experience. For Tex Mex, either Ninfa’s on Navigation (the original Ninfa’s still owned by the family that started it; they sold the rest; this one is so good and so legit) or El Tiempo (a bunch of locations). Walk around the Montrose neighborhood on the weekend. Get a reservation at Underbelly and Mala Sichuan, Himalaya, lots of good choices.

      • Anonymous :

        Common Bond in Montrose

      • Anonymous :

        Hugo’s (multiple time James Beard winner), Uchi (although it came from Austin, so it isn’t truly local, but it is amazing sushi)

        This is a list put together by a local chef whom I love:

    • JuniorMinion :

      1) Museum district is cool – Houston Museum of Fine Arts has some pretty good exhibits (Not quite the Met but then nothing else compares)
      2) If you are truly “downtown” there isn’t much there and gets a bit dodgy after dark as most people who work downtown don’t live there – but there are some up and coming spots. Check out Captain Foxheart’s Bad News Bar (speakeasy style drinks with no signs so look up the address!) and El Big Bad (tacos + excellent margaritas, they infuse their own tequilas in house
      3) For walking, check out Buffalo Bayou park – you can walk from Downtown up into an area called Montrose but Houston is basically the flatest place I’ve ever lived so haven’t found much real “outdoors” stuff
      4) Tex Mex: Best is Teotihuacan on airline drive for fajitas – if this is too “authentic” for you (or you prefer not to eat while looking at Mayan sacrifice on the walls), try the original Ninfa’s on navigation or El Tiempo – both are good
      5) BBQ: So the best bbq is actually up near Austin / Hill country. The best BBQ I have found in Houston is actually a bit suburban – its a place called Killen’s BBQ in Pearland. Get in line early but as bonus they serve free beer in line! Gatlin’s is another one that gets widely panned but I haven’t been yet.
      6) Other good restaurants: Hugo Ortega does great high end Mexican food – Hugo’s in Montrose is excellent and Caracol in the galleria area (Mexican coastal seafood) are both excellent. Also a big fan of the Pass / Provisions (one side is formal tasting / one is more casual), Coltivare (Northern Italian, amazing Cacio e Pepe!), Revival Market for brunch,
      7) Houston actually has fabulous Middle Eastern / Indian food of all bents: Kasra (Persian, Westchase area) is excellent, as is Al Aseel (Palestinian fried chicken!) and Himalaya (Indian / Afghani) although the latter two leave something to be desired with dining experience
      8) Some good breweries – especially like Buffalo Bayou (only open 12-3 on Sat), Karbach and 8th Wonder
      9) When are you headed to Houston? If its the next couple weeks Houston rodeo is going on currently.
      10) I hear great things about the Natural History museum and the Houston air and space museum but haven’t been yet.

      Let me know if there are specifics you are looking for! I know this post got really long but happy to answer specific stuff. In terms of “day trips” the closest cool stuff to Houston is probably hill country / Fredericksburg / Austin and that’s still ~2-2.5 hours from Houston.

      • Houston OP :

        Thanks so much! I lol-ed at ‘if this is too “authentic” for you’ – for us, the more authentic the better! We’ve actually been to Austin/Hill Country/Lockhart, so we’ll skip that for this trip. Really appreciate all of these recommendations… I’m ready for a few days of serious eating.

    • JuniorMinion :

      I made a longer reply that seems to have gotten eaten! Check out the below for restaurant ideas though:

    • I was just in Houston for a museum-focused trip, and I have to say that the Museum of Fine Arts is outstanding, as is the Menil Collection. In particular, the Cycladic sculpture collection at the Menil is perhaps the best in the world and if you’re into classical art, the Berthouville trove that is currently at the MFA is unparalleled globally.

    • I visited Houston for trial a few years ago and was unreasonably pleased with myself for finding a restaurant named Hearsay. It was cute inside and the food was excellent.

    • Just got back from Houston :

      The NASA museum is cool. A little pricey, especially with a family, but they have quite a few original rockets and space shuttles on display (as far as I understand, for most if it wasn’t the rocket/shuttle that went up into space, it was a back up NASA built, not a replica made years latter).

    • Rodeo. Even if you don’t get tickets it is worth making it down there for the sight of it. The concerts are sold out right now from the rodeo website, but there are still tons on stub hub.

  13. Meg March :

    Ideas in the middle of the country for a end of July getaway?

    Friends from college (guys + girls) want to do a weekend trip at the end of July. People coming from NYC and SF. We were considering Asheville, but it’s $$$ for the SF’ers. Looking for cute town to explore, some outside activities, etc.

    • Shenandoah :

      Nashville might fit the bill. Should be easy/relatively inexpensive to get flights from NYC and SF.

      • Nashvillian :

        Just FYI – Nashville is miserable hot at the end of July. Especially the last couple of years. There’s fun stuff to do, including outside stuff, but please don’t expect it to be a relief from heat/humidity like Asheville might be. It is super easy to get here though.

    • anon a mouse :

      Nashville! Great restaurants, fun sightseeing.

      Alternate suggestion: Green Bay/Door County.

      • Door County is awesome and adorable but a bit difficult to get to. If you are interested, look now as that is high season for them and places will book up quickly!

        • Door County is super cute!

          Ironic bonus: it is probably equally a hassle to get there from either coast.

    • Colorado definitely sounds up your alley! I’d check out Ridgeway. Just the right amount of kitsch to be charming and a ton of outdoorsy things to see and do nearby.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Chicago? It’ll be hot but you can swim in the lake, and rent boats and those stand up paddle board thingies. And then hit up patios to drink beer in the evening! (OK I will acknowledge it’s not a “cute town” but it is an awesome city.)

    • Denver (or Boulder)

      Milwaukee/Lake Michigan (the Door County/Green Bay rec is a good one, but kind of hard to get to IMO)

      Toronto / Niagara Falls

      Palm Springs (if the NYCers don’t mind a longer flight)

      Vegas (tons of outdoor options & you could avoid the Strip entirely and focus on downtown LV for the weekend if the Strip isn’t your thing)

    • Lorelai Gilmore :

      How about Montreal or Victoria, B.C.? Direct flights, fun cities/towns, easy access. Palm Springs and Vegas would be so, so hot in July.

  14. Anonymous :

    Has anyone read this yet? It’s really lovely and so sad.

  15. Rebecca in Dallas :

    I have a beautiful reversible vegan tote from Free People. They make it in several colors and have other vegan styles as well.

  16. JuniorMinion :

    Work advice needed: I started a new job about 3 months ago and so far have not done much / gotten much in the way of assignments. I’m unfortunately not in a position to come up with my own tasks / ways to add value and I do check in with my boss ~1x per day just to make sure I am top of mind and can’t be helpful with anything (he’s in the office next to mine). Anyone have any suggestions? My entire team at my previous job ended up getting laid off about a month after I left so I don’t think I made a mistake per se, just wondering if anyone has any helpful words!

    • What’s your position? How to go about getting work varies enormously. Personally, at my company most of my work doesn’t come from my boss (the GC). I had to get to know the other department heads and now get a good amount of my work from them directly. My boss is just not a very effective department leader, and it took me a good while to figure out that if I waited for her to give me work (by doing as you’re doing and reminding her that I was available several times a week) I’d never get any.

      • JuniorMinion :

        I’m in corporate development / M&A in a ~5 years experience individual contributor role. My boss oversees our team and reports to the head of M&A and all work flows through him.

        • I would pay attention to what projects are being discussed around the office and specifically tell your boss you’d like to work on X project if there’s anything that needs to be done. I’d also offer to help coworkers if they need it.

          M&A at my company ebbs and flows a lot. We’re either working on no deals or closing 3 in a week. A three month lull wouldn’t surprise me.

          • JuniorMinion :

            Thanks! These are good suggestions – next time a new project comes up I will specifically mention that. I’ve already been offering to help with stuff with coworkers but will keep doing that

  17. Has anyone used a Clarisonic? Did you like it, and did it work?

    • Anonymous :

      It worked great but did not last. I have been through two of the Mia ones, and they both died just over a year after purchase.

    • Marshmallow :

      I liked it at first but I got tired of buying replacement heads and I felt like it was a little abrasive. I now have a Foreo Luna Mini 2 and I like it much better.

      • Wildkitten :

        I use my Clarisonic cuz I paid for it, but if I was doing it over I’d go with a Foreo.

      • Delta Dawn :

        +1, I used clarisonic for years until I realized they all died about a month after their warranty expired. I also hated throwing money away on brush heads. I have switched to Foreo and love it. Much more convenient, very rarely requires a charge (as in, I have had it for a year and don’t remember ever charging it after the initial charge), no parts to change, all silicone/plastic so easy to clean, etc.

        My initial experiments with clarisonic always made me break out for a few weeks, which I don’t consider acceptable, although some people work through it. The google tells me this is a common problem. It might also happen with Foreo, but my skin had calmed by the age I switched to Foreo, so I can’t speak to that.

    • Yup — mine died entirely too early as well. Will never buy another one — it think it made maybe a marginal difference in my skin’s feel and none in the way it looked, so the money wasn’t worth it.

    • I’m replying really late but I’m surprised at all the broken clarisonics. I’ve had my mia for longer than I can remember (maybe 10 years?) and have kept it in the shower, using it anywhere from daily to three times a week. It hasn’t ever had any problems me still keeps a charge pretty well.

    • I have an original and it’s still going after about seven years, but I rarely use it anymore. As I got older, my skin got more sensitive to the brushes to the point that even the sensitive brush left my face feeling raw afterward. I will periodically use it for a few days if I have a chin breakout, but I don’t use it daily any more. I think a good, consistent skin-care routine that uses good-quality products (and I prefer all-natural/organic, but YMMV) did more for my skin than the Clarisonic.

  18. Any advice on how to get rid of hormonal acne? I went off of the BCP back in October, and over the last few months, I’ve developed a small but stubborn patch of acne on my chin (the rest of my face is strangely, yet miraculously, perfectly clear). I’m hesitant to use really strong acne products, because we’re TTC and most of those are not pregnany-safe (though if I do, I use them only in the first half of my cycle). I never had acne as a teenager, so I’m at a loss. Help?

    • Been there :

      This was my exact situation 3-4 years ago. I went to an acupuncturist help clear my hormonal acne and help “prep” my body for when we started TTC. I went twice a week in beginning, tapered to once a week after a month or two. My chin break outs went away and we were successful the second month we started trying. Of course there is no way of knowing if or how much acupuncture helped with the whole baby making thing, but it’s worth a shot.

    • Anonymous :

      A low-gi diet will help hormonal acne.

    • S in Chicago :

      No advice but a tip to heal the acne ridiculously fast. Try 3M Nexcare’s acne absorbing patches. These things are AMAZING. Like gone overnight and like it was never even there. Seriously better than a cortisone shot from a derm. That ridiculously good. Man, I wish the teenage version of myself had these….

    • Any chance you are resting your chin on your hands when you sit at your desk? That’s what I do and it definitely causes me to break out there.

  19. Does anyone else come away from perfectly ordinary, conflict-free weekends spent entirely with family (in this case, mother, brother, and sister-in-law) in a funk? I don’t have a particularly good relationship with my mother, and find my beloved brother and my perfectly-fine-and-likeable sister-in-law rather boring. Spent the whole weekend with them and just feel very blah today. I find I feel this way after weekends with my family a lot. Am I alone here?

    Late in the day but maybe someone is still reading …

    • Lorelai Gilmore :

      I understand how you feel. Even when you have an amazing relationship with your family, there’s something about being with them that puts you back in the same place you were when you were a teen. For me, the “funk” is less about my family and more about confronting myself as a teenager. I swear I regress to age 13 every time I walk back into my childhood home.

      My other theory is that when you’re a child, if you’re lucky, family is a place of unconditional love and affirmation. When you’re an adult, family is less about being loved and more about loving others. Even if you adore your family, that transition comes with a sense of loss.

      My experience with these emotions has gotten better over the years, but it was particularly acute when I was in my late twenties/early thirties. Be gentle to yourself. I think this is a normal part of growing up (and we’re all still growing up, no matter how old we are!).

    • It it possible that because you didn’t spend your weekend recharging your batteries, you’re feeling lethargic because you need a weekend?

    • Yes I am like this every time I come back from a trip home to where I grew up.
      However in my case I mostly know what bugs me. I think the problem is my expectations vs reality.

      I always think I’m going to have a great time and we are all going to get along and bond and that it will be relaxing and will feel warm and homey. But that never happens. I’m reminded of my mom’s health problems (sadly, self inflicted through smoking and drinking), that my sister’s teen to adult kids are a mess, and that the house is filthy. My family was mostly functional when I was growing up and is basically dysfunctional now.

      Mainly, I’m hoping for what home was like when I was 12 and happy. But what I get is what it’s like now. And I realize it’s no longer my home. Home is where I live now. Can be a downer, but everyone has to go through it.

    • Amberwitch :

      I generally avoid weekends with my family, or figure in an emotional ‘cost’ afterwards. I speculate that it is because it reminds me of losing my mother/home when I was a teenager. Having family over for dinner doesn’t trigger it, but visiting with family for a weekend does.

    • Thanks for the thoughtful responses y’all. You framed it in ways I hadn’t considered. Basically I think it’s some combination of all of the above that makes me not love spending an entire weekend with them.

  20. Anon for This :

    A good friend of mine who is having a tough time just texted me that she tried to cut herself. She says she just needed to tell someone. I honestly have no idea how to deal with this, other than offering to talk/help her in any way. She’s a mom of 3 under 5, with no family in the country, and on not-great terms with her husband.

    Does anyone have suggestions on what I should do? I’m so worried and feel helpless.

    • Suicide hotline stat. She reached out a hand, make sure there are lots of hangs grabbing it back. I’m sorry.

    • call the suicide hotline. self harm isn’t the same as suicidal actions, though it seems that way, but they have experts who can help you. also, make sure to check in regularly (hourly if you need to) with this friend for a while, let her know she won’t lose you or didn’t scare you away with her confession. <3

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Are you in the same city as her? I was a cutter and although only my best friend and parents knew that, most people knew about my severe depression. Some of the most helpful things for me was to just have someone around. As in, sitting on the couch next to me watching tv and making it clear that we could talk if I needed to but having no expectation that I would or pressuring me to do so.

      If she told you, she’s likely more open to talking about it right now than she otherwise would be so offer that to her but don’t push. You don’t need to try and fix it, just listen to her.

      For me, cutting had nothing to do with suicide. It was more a way to find a tangible way to feel pain in a way that seemed real. Either I couldn’t really feel my emotions or I couldn’t trust them and needed a way to feel bad in a justifiable way even though I’d literally inflicted it upon myself. That’s not explaining it very well, but my intent was not to kill myself. Everyone is different though, so what was true for me may not be for her. Listening to her and paying attention to her other actions is important.

      I’m sorry for your friend. She’s lucky to have someone to reach out to who really cares.

    • Tell her about NAMI and suicide hotlines and any other crisis centers available locally. Tell her she’s really, really important to you and to her kids.
      Offer to help her find a therapist, or child care/babysitter.
      Ask her if she wants your company. Or just go over there and tell her you came over because you really, really care about her.
      Go visit and help her with dinner / laundry / wrangling kids at bedtime.
      Get to know her kids so that they are comfortable spending time with you alone (so you can give her a break). Bring her takeout. Send her a housecleaner once a month or just once in a while.

      Adjust all this advice as per your shared circumstances (are you both in the same city? do you have your own family responsibilities that have to be considered before you start going to visit your friend, whether that’s a trip across the street, the city, the state, or the country….?) but reach out, let her know you care, and help her to find more help.

      You’re her friend, not her therapist. You may have to absorb some of her emotional energy in the short term (like, several days in the next week) but you can’t take on this burden for the indefinite future.

      Good luck to both of you.

    • I went through a high-stress phase a few years ago where I cut myself, lightly on the wrist and inner forearm. There were some times that it felt like the only way I could keep from melting into a screaming maniac who couldn’t stop screaming. It was like the last-resort pressure-relief valve after everything else (exercise, alcohol, meditation, anxiety meds, etc. etc.) didn’t work. I did not want to kill myself; I didn’t even really want to leave marks on myself. I just needed to do something to feel something other than extreme stress, and the constant fear that my entire life was unraveling. I really can’t explain either the sheer terror and anxiety I felt – worse than a panic attack – or the relief that came from the cutting. I really struggle to explain why on earth I would feel like cutting my own arm with a knife was a reasonable response to stress – it seems absolutely insane when I think about it – but it’s what I did.

      I agree that your friend needs help because it is literally one wrong move, and she could seriously hurt or kill herself. Cutters can also get things like staph infections and lose limbs as a result. But just be prepared to hear “I am not suicidal” because cutting is not necessarily about wanting to cause yourself serious harm. She has three kids under 5 and a bad relationship. I am sure she has plenty of stress and anxiety. She needs to talk to someone, right away but then also over time, so that she can develop some coping skills to help her with her stress. I started doing some Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and it really helped me. You can try to help her and I am sure your help will be appreciated, but she has to fix her own life and figure out what’s pushing her to the point of cutting, and then figure out how to resolve the situations and feelings she has. It won’t be an easy road. You are a good friend for wanting to help. Hope everything works out okay for your friend; tell her she has a perfect stranger from the Internet sending her good thoughts and energy.

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