Weekend Open Thread

Something on your mind? Chat about it here. 

This cute dress with cutouts is from LNA, which I normally think of as leading the trend of the destroyed look. It looks like the perfect little dress for wearing with sneakers for a day of brunch, meeting friends, shopping, etc., and maybe a really casual date. It’s at Zappos for $128 and at Bloomingdale’s for the same price, in sizes XS-L. At Amazon it’s available in both black and a gray/black stripe, also for $128. LNA Mini Esso Dress

Here are a couple of similar dresses in plus sizes from Eloquii; Universal Standard also has a very similar t-shirt.

This post contains affiliate links and Corporette® may earn commissions for purchases made through links in this post. For more details see here. Thank you so much for your support!


  1. So happy to see Friday. :)

    Work has been stressful. I work in education and will have about five weeks off this summer, unpaid time. My question: If you had five weeks to do anything, what would you do? I could travel, but have no clue where to go. I could do a spa/resort, a beach, hiking, anything. I’m single and no kids, so very flexible. Thank you for any ideas.

    • Anonymous :

      What’s the budget? I think it would be really fun to rent a house for a month in France or Italy and just spend my days relaxing and eating, maybe taking some cooking or language classes and writing that novel I’ve always dreamed about, but obviously that’s not a cheap proposition. As someone who loves travel, I think one big advantage of being somewhere for four-five weeks is that you can really experience it the same way the locals do, which is very hard to do in a week or two.

      • cake batter :

        I’d look into volunteer programs where they pair you up with an olive farm or something in Italy or somewhere equally fabulous and “work” in exchange for room and board. I know someone who did that for summer in Italy and had a fabulous time.

        • Anonymous :

          Someone was talking about Willing Workers on Organic Farms in relation to another post a few day/weeks ago and I think one poster mentioned that her parents had a farm that does this?

          I second the recommendations to rent a house for a month in Europe – you could use it as a base to travel to other spots on the weekends. Maybe even meet up with friends/family.

          • I did this years ago in Italy. It’s definitely hard manual labor but a great way to travel/learn about other cultures for cheap!

    • I’d pick one city, probably in Europe, but possibly Central or South America, and rent an apartment for a month. I would love the opportunity to get to know one neighborhood or one small town over the course of a month (or longer) instead of just hitting the highlights like you do on a week-long vacation.

      • I thought about Central or South America, but I don’t even know where to start. In Europe I have been comfortable in hostels and with public transportation. Any recommended cities in Central or South America?

        • But for the weather that time of year, Buenos Aires or Lima would be ideal. If you don’t love hot summers, though, both would be good options. A number of friends have spent extended periods in Antigua, Guatemala working on their Spanish skills and soaking up the local culture and enjoying the geography.

        • I have traveled around Argentina and stayed in a few hostels. They were nice and some I would even rate as great. Check Tripadvisor reviews.
          I can only recommend travelling around Argentina – you can do awesome hikes in Torres del Paine and Glaciares parks, enjoy food and atmosphere in Buenos Aires, and then go to wine region.
          Just check what is the average weather in summer there.
          Summer will be packed in Europe, but I can recommend Italy (esp. northern part, which offers a great combination of lakes and mountains, picturesque villages, excellent food), Austria (Vienna, Salzburg, the Alps) – not usually overcrowded with tourists during summer. I highly recommend to visit Eastern Europe as well – before they are flooded by mass tourism (although Prague / Krakow / Budapest will be crowded in summer).
          Or you could travel Vietnam – from North to South – in 5 weeks. Amazing country, excellent food, just lightly touched by tourism (compared to e. g. Thailand or Europe).

    • Anonymous :

      Travel in southeast Asia or South America. Your money goes farther, if that’s a concern, and you get to see some pretty cool parts of the world.

      • Anon in NYC :

        Same. I would absolutely do this.

      • Anonymous :

        Make sure you know you’ll be happy staying in a developing country that long before you do this though. I love to travel (40+ countries visited) and I have enjoyed my travel in the developing world, but a month in SE Asia would be too long for me. Two weeks is about my max for a place that is lacking so many of the comforts I’ve becoming accustomed to at home. A month in Europe would be much more my speed.

        • I was nervous about SE Asia for this reason. After 40 countries, I’m curious your favorites?

          • Anonymous :

            Ahhh, that’s such a hard question. I love most places I’ve visited. It would be easier to list the ones I didn’t love but then people would just get mad at me :P

            A few highlights:
            -for romance, French Polynesia, Greece (although I’m biased because I honeymooned in one and went to other to celebrate a milestone anniversary)
            -for natural scenery, Norway, Iceland, New Zealand, Australia and US (esp. Alaska/Hawaii)
            -for food, France, Italy, Japan (although again biased to my own tastes)
            Paris, Budapest and Chicago are probably my favorite cities but I’m not a huge city person.

            40 countries sounds like a lot but they’re mostly in Europe. I haven’t been to Africa or South America outside of Chile, so there’s a lot of the world I haven’t explored.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        I would definitely want to do this! But I do have a pretty high tolerance for lacking some amenities when I travel.

      • I did over 2 months in Africa and 1 month in SE Asia after the bar, and it was great. I wish I could do a month or longer in South America, or go back to SE Asia or Africa for that long. I would figure out my budget, and then determine which of the locations on my Wish List work with that budget.

    • Shopaholic :

      If you’re good with hiking, what about a trip where you do a big hike (like machu pichu or Kilimanjaro)? The hiking part takes about a week or so and then you can spend a few weeks traveling around?

    • Coach Laura :

      An aquaintance did a month w workaway dot com. Gives free lodging and meals in exchange for volunteer work. Hostels in South America, farms in Europe, tutoring. Lots of great stuff.

    • Anonymous :

      I would do it over land trip of Africa.

      • Yup. I would love to explore a lot of southern Africa but haven’t had the extended time off to do it. Angola, Namibia, Botswana and Mozambique would figure pretty high on my list.

        Alternatively, a month in New Zealand. Stunningly beautiful and a lot of different types of experiences (hking/camping, adrenaline junky, foodie/wine, biking) for such a small country. That said, I’d rather go over in spring or fall.

    • I would either volunteer or develop a hobby like hiking. Pick a big state park and hike every trail in it. It’s surprisingly enlightening

    • Lorelai Gilmore :

      I’d go to a surf camp in Costa Rica. Learn Spanish, learn how to surf, maybe do a little hiking and exploring.

    • Definitely a beach. I would hit the coast of Florida and visit clearwater, St. Pete, treasure island, siesta key…

    • Rio de Janeiro :

      I had the same situation as a new university adjunct, but for 3 months of summer. I spent it in Rio de Janeiro. In the middle of summer, PUC Rio de Janeiro has a month long Portuguese for foreigners class. They also arrange for homestays. The latter takes the stress off of you for finding accommodations, but can range widely. I had my own room and got breakfast daily. Another woman lived in her host’s walk in pantry (which had been cleared out and furnished with a bed). But they can set you up with housing for before and after the course, just as long as you are registered.

      Rio in June, July, August is their winter, but it still hits 80.

      I had an amazing experience literally just hanging out and doing the Portuguese classes in the middle of the summer. I was also hyper vigilant about safety and had no problems with crime. Rio has a lot of free art installations in downtown banks and corporate buildings (they open up the lobbies to the public as art galleries), many free or inexpensive cultural opportunities, beautiful beaches, and great food. The fresh fruit and juice stands are excellent.

  2. Shampoo for oily / normal hair? :

    Any recommendations for everyday shampoo for oily-to-normal hair? I currently use a “normalizing” shampoo 1 or 2x per week, but I’m looking for something more gentle I can use everyday. I’ve noticed that most shampoos are marketed for normal-to-dry hair and sometimes these weigh me down too much and make my hair look oiler.

    • The body shop ginger shampoo is awesome. It’s very gentle and soothing, but doesn’t weight hair down at all.

    • Anonymous :

      Matrix Oil Wonders in Volume Rose

    • I like Earth Science Citress shampoo. I get it at local, non-chain health food store and have seen it at other natural food stores. It’s also available on Amazon:


    • I started using Kirkland brand shampoo and conditioner after it was recommended in the comments. It’s gentle enough for daily use and is moisturizing without weighing down my fine and wavy hair.

      I was using John Freida oily scalp shampoo and think it made things worse. Now I do Kirkland daily (in the summer, every other day in the winter) with a clarifying shampoo or an apple cider vinegar rinse on the weekend and my hair and scalp are healthy and not greasy or flakey.

    • Try sulphate- and paraben-free shampoos. They do not foam much, but will definitely get your scalp and hair clean without irritating sensitive skin or stripping your hair and scalp of all the oil. Parabens are usually weighing your hair. Upon learning I am allergic to sulphates, I switched to sulphate-free shampoo and the quality of hair as well as oil balance has improved. I use Wella Professional Eimi shampoo but you can find different other options by googling.

  3. Anonymous :

    I make a decent salary and live within my means. I just feel like I should be saving more. I find it easy to spend an extra few dollars at the grocery store, on a meal out, or for a clothing item. And I justify it by saying that I can afford it (because I can) and that those few dollars won’t make a huge difference in the long term (although I realize it adds up over time).

    I haven’t had a rigid budget before, as in, I haven’t set aside $x per week for groceries. I don’t splurge on designer items, so any “non-necessities” are smaller purchases. I’m just not sure where to draw the line. I’m thinking a budget may be worth a try but don’t know how to determine maximums.

    • Anonymous :

      I think this depends on how much you’re saving and what you’re saving for. If you’re fully funding retirement and socking away a healthy portion of your take home pay in addition, then maybe don’t worry about sticking to a strict budget? Some people are naturally frugal and if you’re one of them then there’s no need to try to cut out the indulgences you may have. But if you’re not funding retirement well or you have something specific in mind that you want to save for (e.g., a down payment) and aren’t happy with the rate at which you’re saving for that, then it makes sense to try to make a budget and stick to it.

    • I’d start by tracking what you DO spend in the categories you are interested in. Just to get a sense of where you money is going.

      YNAB (You Need A Budget) is a place to start, if you haven’t done anything like that before. They’re helpful in that they’ve got online classes to get you set up and teach you how to use the interface. But an Excel spreadsheet will do the same thing.

      • I agree with starting with tracking your spending — I’ve used Mint for this for several years. You can start passively watching how much you *are* spending, and from then decide whether you’re happy with those numbers. There will likely be some surprises!

        I also agree with the poster above that, if you’re funding retirement and moving towards your goals, there may not be a necessity to move towards a strict budget. But knowing where the money is going is the first step in that process.

    • Yay! OPEN THREADS! I love open Thread’s and this distressed look dress! I will go to BLOOMIES on 59th this weekend to have a look. I will take the bus down b/c the 6 is not reliable on weekends for me. FOOEY!

      For now, OP, I think you are doing fine. I have Dad manage ALL of my finances so I do not have to budget myself, and he makes sure that I save for my OWN retirement. He is convinced that I will never find a guy who will be willing to MARRY me and take over management of my finances, so he has effectively shut me out from my own accounts by makeing me sign over everything to him through a DURABEL POWER OF ATTORNEY that his lawyer drew up. Dad says that he will remain the POWER OF ATTORNEY until he is no longer able to do so at which time the POWER OF ATTORNEY will go to the TRUST COMPANY that will also manage his accounts.

      I agreed b/c I am way to busy to worry about this stuff, and recommend that others in the HIVE find profesionals to handel this stuff for them also. Yes, it does cost something, but dad convinced me that it is worth it b/c I know nothing about finances and realy do NOT care that much, as long as there is enough money being managed for me that I can get what I need when I need it. That realy makes sense to me and it should to other professionals in the HIVE who have better thing’s to do then manage their own moneys. YAY!!!!

    • anon a mouse :

      You know how they say that a president’s budget reflects his priorities? Same is true for your household budget. What’s important to you? Does your spending reflect that?

      So, let’s say that you feel like you should be saving $X a month. Start there – and then budget out what the rest of your dollars need to pay for. You might find that you actually can save $X plus 10 percent, or maybe you need to adjust elsewhere in order to save X.

      Personally I find YNAB really great for this — you budget according to categories. And it sounds like you have some flexibility in your spending — you don’t have to monitor every single dollar to make sure bills get paid — same as me. That means that when I start to get low on a category, I look at the balances and think, what am I willing to sacrifice to get this thing that I want? (Which is how my I ate lentil soup every night for a week so that I could pay for an impromptu vacation.)

      Tracking is the key, but don’t think of it like a diet where you can’t have certain things. Just make sure that your spending is intentional and that your spending and savings align with your values and goals.

      • I’ve never used YNAB, but it sounds a lot like Every Dollar, which is a free app with customizable categories. I adore it.

    • I use the GoodBudget app, and it’s really helpful. It’s a virtual envelope system where you enter in the total amount that you want to spend in each category per month and then enter in each time you spend.

      As for figuring out the maximums, it did take a little trial and error to get right. I would start by figuring out what you bring home each month and then just start tracking for April – you can make up a budget so you get an idea of how it will work, but don’t worry about the amounts or being bound by it, just track. That should tell you what you need/want for each category, so that you can start an actual budget that you stick to for May.

    • Anon in Academia :

      I would say that DH and I are fairly naturally frugal, but we’ve found that sticking to a budget is helping us to aggressively save for early retirement. We keep the budget categories very broad. We have a joint budget which includes groceries, bills, transportation, and general household goods, and we each have a “fun fund” which includes meals out, entertainment, clothes, etc.

      I manually enter our expenses into a budget spreadsheet because I find that a helpful way to review everything and keep us accountable. Things like travel, Christmas, and other significant expenses generally come out of our savings when we don’t feel we can cover them out of our monthly budgets.

      We have always been savers, but the budget keeps us aware of what we’re spending and helps us meet our goals. We still spend plenty on fun things, but without the budget I think we’d be more likely to spend money on coffee, lunches out, and shopping that aren’t really our priorities.

    • Anonymous :

      You need a goal or goals to make this work; otherwise, it’s too nebulous. There is nothing wrong with not saving anything if you don’t have anything you need to save for.

    • When I was single (and my budget was simple), I found that giving myself an “allowance” to spend on frivolous stuff helped keep my spending in check. I would withdraw $100 cash from the ATM every Friday, and that was my “fun money” until the next Friday. This covered all eating out/lunches/happy hours and any shopping that wasn’t groceries. If I blew through it all, time to stop spending. If I wanted something and didn’t have the cash left to buy it, I had to wait until the following week (by when I usually found that I didn’t really want it anyway). It was a good way to keep myself out of credit card debt for impulse buys or “retail therapy” type purchases.

  4. Anonymous :

    Won’t rehash the story but have posted here a few times re not making a promotion and being really down about a gov’t job I landed in. Got some good feedback and some criticism and calls for therapy. It’s been 1+ yr now and I’m finally feeling the faintest signs of – maybe this doesn’t have to be forever, maybe I might be able to move on in my tight industry. Got together w a mentor and to hear her say – you’re smart, you ended up in a bad situation, I’d like to still see you end up running the show – started building on that faint glimmer of confidence. Fingers crossed it lasts. For all of you who are mentors/friends w unhappy ppl – don’t discount how much of a boost your words can provide.

    • Glad to hear things are looking up!!

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Ah, I am happy to hear this update! I hope good things start coming your way!

    • I really like you sharing your last sentence about mentors. I am more in the role of mentor these days and you remind me of how worth it being a mentor can be, even if I can’t directly change the circumstances of a mentee’s role.

    • Hooray for progress, go you, as your greatness awakens.

      My theme song for 2015 was the Mountain Goats “I’m going to make it through this year if it kills me” aaaand it’s taken a while to come back to myself.

      I will heed your call to be that still, calm encouragement for myself and others. Thank you.

    • Thanks for the update! I hope things continue to improve for you.

  5. JuniorMinion :

    Poster from the other day (unemployed husband) – thanks for the help. Husband and I talked – I truly hadn’t been aware of how far and wide he had been casting his net. We set up a framework of how best to proceed and set up some contingencies.

    While a lot of people suggested him getting any sort of job – he offered this but it really doesn’t make sense when I look at the additional tasks I would have to take on at home / hire out. I get that for some people this might be the right choice but for us given the financial picture its just not.

    • I’m glad you’ve worked it out. I will just say there are benefits other than financial to him getting out of the house. One, you’re more employable when employed. Two, it would probably be better for his mental health and yours. It’s better not to let that working muscle atrophy.

      When my husband was in the same situation, he ended up teaching part time at community college for about a year and a half before landing a full time job back in his field (IT). He taught basic business courses to mainly older adults who had not finished high school and had recently gotten their GED.

      We have kids, so the expense of babysitting pretty much offset his income – community colleges pay horribly – but he met people, got out of the house, and felt like a worthwhile contributor during that period.

      Your decision, obviously. Just things to think about.

      • Oh and I forgot to mention, he contributed to a 401K during that period, which didn’t seem like a lot at the time, but it’s always better to keep contributing at every age.

        • JuniorMinion :

          Thanks! and this is a good idea. Husband is a bit of a personal finance whiz – I will tell him to maybe look in to teaching this or something like it somewhere.

          Basically where we left things is that if he gets to a year since his last offer fell through he will start the gears turning to go back to school / work in a different field. We sort of mapped out the trajectory and it calmed me a bit.

      • Anonymous :

        I think that is sound advice, honestly. Keeping him at least loosely connected to the profession can never hurt. I know someone who got fired in a pretty spectacular way, took maybe a year plus off and then went and taught as an adjunct at a low-ranked school for a year or two. He is now back in a decent, well-compensated full-time job in his field in part because of great recs from the school.

    • Anonymous :

      Didn’t see the original post but agree with point on getting out of the house being helpful.

      Are there volunteer organizations where he could use his professional skills and network as well? Getting out to local industry chapter meetups, etc… Hopefully those types of activities would be flexible enough to not require additional help, but could move the job search along in different ways (if he’s not already doing this).

      • JuniorMinion :

        He has tried and continues to do this but given he (and I) work in a certain Texas based industry, there are so many people in his boat that a lot of those types of organizations are flooded / overwhelmed.

        You make a really good point though and I will encourage him to keep attending networking / industry events.

        • Anonymous :

          Wait, he’s looking for oil and gas work? He needed to move on 2 years ago. It’s just not realistic.

        • Nylon girl :

          Not true, I’ve seen articles in the Houston Chronicle about oil & gas companies hiring again. It’s still tough & Spectra announced a layoff today, but things are looking up. Also, what about substitute teaching. Hang in there, better days will come.

          • Anonymous :

            Yeah, this guy is not going out of his way to work, let alone sub-ing.

  6. Anonymous :

    Underweight for my height. Would like to gain weight and become stronger. How do I do that w recurrent reflux issues so I can’t eat tons, fatty foods etc even w reflux meds. Have seen a dr and she has told me to gain yet she’s not the type I can chat w about this. Thoughts? (I’d eventually like to gain a bit of muscle but not sure that I have the energy or desire to work out right now)

    • Can your Dr. recommend a nutritionist? Preferably one with experience with your reflux issues.

      I’d also start a food journal to track your calories, macros, and reflux issues to notice patterns. And calculate you TDEE. I cycle through times where I need to gain weight, and generally I add 100-200 calories to my TDEE to gain weight until I hit my goal, then I recalculate my TDEE and eat at that level.

    • Anonymous :

      I would do smoothies. Keep them in an insulated travel mug and you can sip through the day which should help with reflux. Make a smoothies with protein powder, bananas and full fat milk. Alternate the fruits for variety (like strawberry banana, blueberry banana, mango pineapple).

      Add calories by doing things like avocado on toast, or a spoonful of peanut butter while cooking dinner. Drink full fat milk, use olive oil when cooking. Chicken bone in and skin on vs. skinless/boneless.

      Make high calorie mini- muffins. Use a recipe with full fat yoghurt (you can get yoghurts with 10% fat), bananas, oatmeal, cranberries, add a scoop of protein powder). Mini size should work well for snacking. Try to get in the habit of eating something every 2-3 hours even if only one mini-muffin.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      Like 2:24 anon said, add calories. Whole milk, ice cream smoothies/milkshakes, full-fat yogurt, butter and olive oil, nuts and nut butter, avocado. Snack often- carry snacks with you.

      And yes, nutritionist!

    • OP here – keep the comments coming if you have them. These are helpful. I think I do need to get better at snacking – I just don’t; and I think it could help with the reflux as well. Recently started eating nuts – didn’t realize they were so calorie dense. As I’ve gotten older, milk/ice cream can be kind of hit or miss stomach wise – when I was young and needed to gain, I could just eat an additional ice cream cone daily for a week or 2. I do eat yogurt – will look at the full fat ones.

      • Anonymous :

        For yoghurt I highly recommed Liberte meditaranee if you can find it – it’s like 10% and the coconut one is so yummy.

        An easy high calorie breakfast or snack is yoghurt mixed with a high protein granola and sprinkle in a few nuts.

    • Full fat yogurt and cheese. Meat and fish if you can stomach it. And look into protein powder. Optimum Nutrition makes a lot of great flavors and you can mix with almond milk or water, or into a big smoothie. If I just need more calories or protein at the end of the day and don’t want to eat something, I go for protein powder in water. They’re considered “supplements” for that reason, to supplement what you can’t or don’t get through your food.

      Try fiber heavy food as well. It’s annoying to pay attention to or look for at first, but does become more intuitive.

      • Why fiber heavy foods? Have never heard that before. The rest makes a lot of sense – will look at the protein powders.

        • Sorry, didn’t make the connection clearly :) a bit TMI but when upping protein intake it’s recommended to help with digestion, as increasing protein a lot can throw things off in that regard. You mentioned stomach trouble in general, so this will help from adding to any of that! It also has a ton of other random unrelated health benefits like decreasing risk of stroke, and most people simply don’t eat enough of it daily

    • I have an underweight child, and we see a registered dietian on a a regular basis. I cannot recommend this enough! She has been amazing at helping us to increase the calorie count in the similar volume of food while bearing in mind our particular dietary challenges (no gluten, limited diary). My biggest suggestion is to add butter to otherwise nutrient dense foods. Add butter to your veggies. Peanut butter on apples or toast, avocados and nuts are great nutrient dense, calorie rich foods. Add sauces and dips as well. Make sure that you are not filling up on milk or juice, which will tell your mind that you are satiated but not give you the calories that you need. We structure meals and snacks and prevent continuous snacking because that will actually decrease the overall amount of calories that you take in. Larabars are a great on-the-go snack.

  7. Beauty and the Beast :

    I know that there is some controversy now about the movie version of this. I saw it (as a play) with my children and was just horrified. I guess I didn’t pay a lot of attention it as a child (and the take-away for me then was that we should pay attention to the person and not to things like looks).

    Watching it, I was horrified. The beast kidnaps Belle so that she will eventually come to love him. That is not how love works! It is how creepy weird crime is on the Investigation/Discovery channel.

    And the controvery isn’t on how twisted the story is. It is that a character is gay. It’s still pitched as a kids movie and a love story. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

    • Anonymous :

      This is why my kids aren’t interested in watching a lot of Disney movies. My mom was trying to explain Cinderella to my daughter to entice her to watch it and daughter was literally like “What are rags, why did her mom die, how come her shoe didn’t change back when she did?”

      The stories are all full of dead moms. Morbid.

      • PrettyPrimadonna :

        In all these years, I never once thought of the shoe changing back when Cinderella did. Ha!

        • Neither did I but that is a good point!

          When I was little I always wondered when/where the characters in the movies went to the bathroom. Like Dorothy. She spent days wandering through the woods (or at least it seemed so) – where did she go potty?

          • I believe in the original those shoes were not magic- they were her mothers.

      • To play devil’s advocate: That is actually the point of a lot of the Disney movies. They are intended as a means to teach children how to deal with the absolute worst, and if the worst does happen, there is joy to be found after the horrible event. Walt Disney’s mother did actually die while he was a child.

        • Even worse… I think he was a young adult, bought his parents a house since they had always been low-income, and she died in a house fire! (Or something like that).

      • If it makes you feel better about the dead moms — the stepmothers were mostly an addition in one of the later editions of the Grimm fairy tales. Hansel and Gretel’s step mom who wanted to leave them alone in the woods to die so she and her husband wouldn’t starve to death? Originally mom. Wicked Queen who sends the Huntsman after her daughter and then feeds her a poison apple? Originally mom.

        So dead mom or abusive mom?

        • Anonymous :

          I was just explaining to my partner how that set of themes (mom threatened by the rising adulthood/beauty of daughter) is prevalent in fairy tales. (I realized recently my 16yo looks better in my clothes when she borrows them than I do, because she’s not a middle-aged mother of two…)

          He’d literally never noticed that. Boggle.

          I won’t poison my kid with an apple to get my new jacket back, but I did recently take up running again.

    • Most fairy tales are pretty horrifying. And a lot of kids’ movies are awfully scary and not great for young children. My then-5 year old was horrified that the frog Ratatouille was separated from his family. I get what you’re saying but a lot of this goes over kids’ heads and the adults who watch enjoy it. I don’t really like this kind of kids’ film but this genre sure does make Disney a lot of money.

      • Anon german :

        As a German raised on a steady diet of Grimm’s fairy tales, Disney movies are lighthearted and entertaining.

        • Anonymous :

          This is so true. My DH is German and an Auntie gave a classic book that was so disturbing I couldn’t even finish it. Illustrations of the witch in Hansel and Gretel actually cooking kids? No thanks.

        • Lazy lawyer :

          So true. We have a copy of Grimm’s Three Billy Goats Gruff, and my 3 yr old thought it was hilarious and appropriate to shout in public: “I’m going to crush you to bits, body and bones!” That book “accidentally” got left at her grandparents’ house.

        • True. Then again, original fairy tales were stories that adults created to be shared with other adults when they gathered in the evening around fire. I reread original Slovak fairytales as an adult and let me tell you – they leave Grimm stories in the rearview mirror. I loved both as a kid though.

      • Anonymous :

        Yeah – fairy tales are basically horror stories/cautionary tales in their original versions. Beauty and the Beast could be seen as the results of trespassing and taking things that don’t belong to you, as well as the business about whatever made the Beast get cursed in the first place.

        Disney versions of fairy tales are really really different.

    • I thought Belle’s father was imprisoned by the Beast for trespassing (on his hunting grounds?), and Belle volunteers to serve his sentence. Overtime, he softens from his arrogant ways as Belle treats him with humanity that he hasn’t experienced due to his isolation (imprisoned himself bc of a spell). They fall in love over the course of her imprisonment, and the spell is broken.

      • Anonymous :

        Yes, this is how it happens. Not saying Disney movies are paragons of virtue, but the storyline happens like this.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 – or at least this is the Disney version of it. Pretty sure that’s not the original way the story goes.

        Also, I thought the movie controversy was about the addition of some gay moment involving LaFou.

        • Anonymous :

          LaFou being a minor, secondary character. I doubt it has a lot of impact on the story as a whole.

      • Marshmallow :

        Even as a BATB lover, the story is totally twisted and weird. Belle is a progressive heroine, especially for 1991 when the first movie came out, but the whole Stockholm Syndrome thing is f ed up. Then again… he’s a buffalo… and her best friends are a clock, a candlestick, and a teakettle. It’s not exactly a realistic movie.

        I thought Dan Stevens had a great response to this problem when asked about it in an interview. The moment it really becomes a love story is when he sets her free. This movie treats that moment a little more explicitly than the 1991 movie did and I think it’s the better for it.

        But yeah… still weird. You have to just go with the flow.

      • Yea, this is what I remember. The reason I loved the movie as a kid was that Belle was so independent. I liked that she chose to take her dad’s place as prisoner, which is such a brave thing to do. I really liked that she rejected Gaston unapologetically. I loved that she was really into books and wanted a life outside her town (and this is how most of us Belle fans really identify with her). I honestly never really focused on the “love story” portion of the movie, but wasn’t terribly disturbed by it either. I’m trying to decide as an adult whether to see it more as a Stockholm Syndrome cautionary tale, or more as a lesson about how treating others with empathy even when they do you wrong.

    • Anonymous :

      Well yeah, it’s a fairy tale. Though I guess at least she can was able to talk to the Beast and get to know him before they got married, which is more than you can say for Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Ariel, etc. Kids can be pretty ruthless, though, and the more horrifying it is the more some kids like something.

    • nasty woman :

      Two things: First, many fairy tales are actually terrifying. It’s actually kind of interesting. For example, in the Grimms’ fairy tale version of Cinderella (one of the originals), the stepsisters cut off their feet to fit into the shoes and wind up with their eyes pecked out by birds. Why that has never been animated is beyond me. Disney dumbs them down, of course. Lots of fairy tails that concern women coming of age involve the sudden absence of a male protector-figure that triggers the plot/resulting evolution to womenhood (which usually involves her transfer to the ownership of another man). Product of their times? Mayhaps. That’s part of the reason why stories like Frozen are resonating so much with today’s Empowered ™ moms and little girls. (On the other hand, the female characters are sometimes more powerful and complex than they appear in Disney incarnations.)

      Second: many of the older Disney stories promote horribly s*xist tropes as romance (not that Disney is unique in this regard). B&TB does this. Even worse in my estimation is the gdang Little Mermaid. Chick gives up her VOICE (metaphor anyone?) which is also her greatest talent (singing) so she can get a dude? SRSLY NOW.

      • The Disney Little Mermaid is worlds better than the original, in which *spoiler alert* the prince never realizes the mermaid saves him and she dies (essentially as a consequence of wanting more than her natural lot in life).

      • Rainbow Hair :

        If you like thinking about this stuff, I love the book “The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales” by Bruno Bettelheim — I think Freud(ian theory) is kind of nuts, but I still loved reading the book.

      • Seriously on Little Mermaid. HATE that aspect of it. The songs are catchy, though, which is all my 10 year old self cared about. Well that and the mermaid tail. But now I’m horrified.

        The “Empowered Girls” concept is so obvious, but I like that it’s at least providing options out there. I loved that Moana didn’t end up falling in love with Maui. It was truly a Girl Going on an Adventure, which is the same kind of story boys have had for years. Super Hero Girls are focused on studying and saving the world, not flirting with Super Hero Boys and/or being killed as a plot device. At least my son and daughter have examples where women actually contribute to the world on their own merits.

    • My kids are older now but it used to just piss me off that none of the princess had mothers, all of the adult women in their lives were evil, and they were raised by saintly fathers.

      And then they were saved by princes.

      I do like Mereda from Brave. That’s about it.

      • Just saw Moana. She’s pretty cool, actually.

        Interesting twist on the villain at the end also.

        • OK you all convinced me to see Moana. My daughter has already seen it with friends but maybe I’ll con her into going again. But then I will want to go to Hawaii….sigh

          • We just watched Moana this morning for the 15th time (maybe I’ve lost count) and I’m not even mad. It is a fantastic story. We bought it on Amazon and it came with 3 hours of bonus features that explain the time the crew spent onsite with Oceanic people and how much those individuals contributed to the story and visuals. The animation technology is incredible and I appreciate it so much more now that I know the background on how it was created. And don’t get me started on the music written by Lin Manuel Miranda and squad. Girl power, no love interest, cultural education, bravery, caring for others, respecting our environment and the people that came before us, beautiful scenery, ok I’ll stop. Just watch it!

      • Delta Dawn :

        Interestingly, Merida is the first and only Disney Princess who does not have a love interest. (Thus at least part of the basis of her appeal, in my opinion).

      • Anonymama :

        The fairy godmothers were not evil! But yeah.

        • Well, that’s true, but they were kind of stupid and not actually human or whatever…. My point is, no strong, loving mothers exist, apparently.

    • marketingchic :

      There is an interesting episode of NPR’s Culture Gabfest podcast about this very movie this week. I had been considering taking my kids – not anymore!

    • Yep. Fairy tales are a way for kids to start to process scary stuff.

  8. Has anyone tried Samantha Sung dresses? If so, how does the sizing compare to a mall store like Ann Taylor?

  9. promotion q :

    Could use some input on an upcoming promotion at my non-profit.

    Because the budget gets hammered out on a fiscal year basis, my salary increase won’t take effect for another few months, and the new person hired under me (whose arrival will significantly change my day-to-day) won’t start until the new fiscal year. My boss has asked me if I’d like my new title to take effect now or wait until the other elements kick in. I know normally it’s prudent to wait and take the title bump with the increased salary, lest there be an expectation of more work without commensurate pay, but the budget is set and the work can’t change until the new person arrives. I’m leaning towards taking the title in the interim, just for the ego boost. Thoughts?

    • promotion q :

      Should have added: not looking to leave any time soon, but figuring it can’t hurt to have a more prestigious title for longer.

    • Take it now! Hopefully it won’t be the case, but what if something changes in the next few months and either the change doesn’t come through or you find yourself job searching? Congratulations!

    • Anonymous :

      Assuming your fiscal year starts in July, in the long run it probably won’t matter either way – no one is going to look at your​ resume and care that you were promoted 3 months sooner. But it certainly can’t hurt. I don’t see any reason to wait.

  10. Hard sided luggage or soft? :

    In the market for new luggage. I’ve never had hard-sided luggage because I like the extra pockets.

    What is your preference and why? Thanks!

    • Anonymous :

      I prefer hard side luggage because of the look but when we were filling out damage forms after a piece had been damaged, the airline guy said he had seen a real increase in luggage damage since most people switched to hardside, because it has no flex/give if it gets stuck. I still use hardside though because I wasn’t able to get all new suitcases. Some styles are a combo so that might be an option.

    • BabyAssociate :

      I’m a strong proponent of hard. You can put whatever you want in there and don’t have to worry about anything breaking and they’re durable. I have a checked bag size Samsonite hardshell that I got 13 years ago and is still in great shape. I also a have a carry-on size hardshell Heys. I’m a light packer so that’s what I use for most of my travel. Both have built-in TSA locks.

      I’ve never even thought about wanting pockets. The only downside for me is that they’re a little heavier, particularly the Samsonite.

    • Anonymous :

      The new polycarbonate hard luggage is very durable, has some flex, and is much lighter. I feel like I can fit so much more in it. They don’t have external pockets, but most should have some sort of organization inside.

    • The TUMI Tegra-lite roller is a flexible hard sider has a single external pocket that lays flat. I have shoved my business papers in there or even my slim laptop on my way home from conference/office travel. This allows me to lighten up my tote bag, which I really appreciate after a long trip.

      I’ve seen too many soft sided roller bags with their exterior pockets stuffed so full they can no longer fit into the overhead. I’m a hard sider all the way. Plus, they’re lighter weight and look nice.

    • I have a combo type, Kirkland brand from costco. One side is hard (protection and lightweight) and the other side is soft, with the pockets and give. It was relatively inexpensive for the carryon size. I feel like it’s the best of both worlds. I’ll try to find

    • Delsey Chatelet. SO obsessed. And you can get it on Amazon for cheaper https://shop.delsey.com/search?query=chatelet

      • BeenThatGuy :

        +1 to any hard sided Delsey piece.

        FWIW, I have an irrational fear of bed bugs. “They say” hard sided is better if you were to encounter the pests.

    • I just moved from a super soft Tumi Voyageur to an Away bag, because I’m a sucker for startup internet companies. I’m obsessed with it- this is my first hard sided bag and I love that it’s very clear whether its going to fit in an overhead bin or not- there is no tugging and pushing (and potentially tearing the fabric). I also like the integrated lock, low-profile color scheme (mine is dark green) and four wheels. I havent missed the external pockets at all. The polycarbonite is slightly flexible, so I’ve overstuffed it a few times, and it’s been fine. My fiance has the aluminum rimowa and you absolutely cannot overstuff that one.

  11. Scraping by on $500k a year :

    What do you guys think about this article:


    It was really eye opening to see how people with objectively high salaries (even after taxes) spend their money. Personally it seems like these people arent doing it the most wisely but they still have an extra 7k a year which isnt horrible but still seems…low? Thoughts?

    • Anonymous :

      They drive a Land Cruiser and a BMW and go on three vacations a year and have a well funded retirement. How on earth is that ‘scrapping by’? Such a strange article. Like even one vacation a year and a paid off Toyota is still a comfortable life. They can still take three weeks off, one week at a time but they don’t have to spend $6000 each time. Just drive to the beach and rent a house. Or have a staycation.

    • I don’t know about “scraping by.” In this scenario, they are maxing 401Ks, will someday own a $1.5M home, are well-insured, give the “best” to their children (piano lessons, etc), have high-end cars and clothes, give generously to charity, and STILL have $7300 leftover. Really, that’s extremely comfortable, and I think every single “pushback” item is valid.

      • On a closer read, I think the real insight is that there’s a tendency to feel like you’re “average” or even struggling compared to so-and-so. It’s hard to see “necessities” like insurance and good childcare and reliable cars as things that many, many people cannot afford.

        • It’s an issue of cash sometimes. Of course they’re doing millions of times better than most – fully maxed out 401ks and college funds etc. But bc you feel “compelled” to do those things to preserve/create wealth going forward, you feel like you don’t have the kind of cash to throw around that a couple with a HHI of 500k should. (Or so I assume – I’m not in that income range.)

          • Good point. (Also not in that income range, but my parents and in-laws are. My FIL often talks about “cash” issues while assuring us that overall, he’s fine financially.)

        • This. “Scraping by” is a matter of which of Maslov’s Hierarchy you’re forgoing. The average income in the US is $55K, you’re worried about affording your healthcare co-pays on that salary (or the half below that), not whether you have enough cash flow after funding your two luxury cars and three week vacations.

    • A Land Cruiser and a BMW in MANHATTAN?? I can’t feel all that bad for them – clearly they’ve made decisions that are not prudent – where are you even driving those cars? Sure some families do keep a car for trips out of the city – 1 car is typically enough and cuts way down on insurance and parking fees. I couldn’t even read it closely – I’m sure there’s lots of other built in costs that they have that they don’t need.

    • Oh good, everyone’s favorite hobby, Judging Other People.

    • JuniorMinion :

      The “Millionaire Next Door” deals with this topic – how you can have high salaries but low net worth and the decisions / ramifications around that. I think this ties in to the whole hedonic treadmill concept. I find it fascinating. My concern, if I were them, would be how difficult it would be to maintain my lifestyle if something happened to someone’s career.

    • PrettyPrimadonna :

      Just from reading the title, I’m thinking, “GTFOH.”

    • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

      I don’t care how other people live their lives, so not judging per se. But you just can’t have ALL these expensive things, two kids, and a 1.5M home on 500k a year in a HCOL area and expect to save much. I think a lot of people feel pressure to have all this stuff in their jobs due to the social status you are supposed to exude when you have these sorts of jobs.

      I think you gotta prioritize what is most important for you IF you want to have substantial savings. For example, for me the nice family vacations are really, really important. I’ll spend money on that in exchange for driving a 15 year old car. And living in a smaller place than you think you need saves a ton on mortgage payments/insurance/etc. But everyone’s priorities are different. But what is clear is you can’t have everything.

  12. What’s a good cheaper version of “spanx” available via Amazon Prime? Smoothing needed from stomach to thigh. TIA!

    • spanx replacement :


      I like this but can you get it for $5-15 on eBay. Don’t spend $28.

      • Thanks!

      • Rainbow Hair :

        Does it roll up on the thighs? How does sizing run?

        I like the maybelline flexees (sp? it’s def. spelled some dumb way) but i haven’t been able to find them lately. They’re not super shaping, just kind of like a slip, making clothes fall a little nicer. (And then my skivvies don’t show when I bend down to pick up my kiddo.)

  13. credit card debt :

    I saw a post a couple of weeks ago that I meant to follow up on. Someone posted here about having renegotiated or settled significant credit card debt. I am in over my head and it’s time for me to take next steps. I am wary of “settlement companies” that tell you to stop paying for months on end and redirect the money to them instead. But I don’t know what’s in-between and what’s reputable. Does anyone know where to start for this sort of thing?

    • Anonymous :

      Call the credit card companies and work something out directly with them, if possible.

    • I used to do credit card collections for a large bank. It is definitely a good idea to call your companies and set up direct payments with them. Not sure if they still do, but when I did it (about 10 years ago) you could set up plans that would close the account and bring your interest rate way down in order to set up a monthly payment that would pay the account off in several years. Avoid settlement companies for sure, there is no benefit whatsoever to using them. I believe when I worked in collections we referred people with multiple lenders to CCCS, who would set up debt management plans for all your accounts. Unlike the settlement companies they don’t charge huge fees and destroy your credit.

      I have also personally gotten out of credit card debt by using balance transfer offers to get 0% interest rates and pay the balance off over a few years. Even when I had higher debt, I had great credit so I had no problem qualifying, which might be more difficult if your credit is poor. Regardless, you really need to figure out how you ended up in debt and what changes you need to make in order to ensure you don’t get back into debt.

      • So I have debt (credit car/student loan/car loan) but never missed a payment or any other negative things on my credit report and my score is still terrible!! I’d LOVE to get a 0% loan to consolidate my cards but my score isn’t high enough. But like I said, never missed a payment or had anything negative. Just debt. What was your secret?

        • There are several factors that go into a credit score besides missed payments. They include average length of credit accounts, credit inquiries, and credit utilization (both account-specific and overall). Unfortunately, it takes some time and strategic thinking to increase your credit score significantly. For example, opening a new credit card might improve your score because you can decrease your utilization by having more credit and spreading purchases out among several cards, but it would also hurt your score with a hard inquiry and decreasing the average length of account.

        • Anonymous :

          It’s not a 0% loan. It’s an introductory offer on a new credit card, that offers 0% for 12-24 months on balance transfers within the first 6 months of opening the card. It’s fairly common. If you miss a payment at any point, you are charged 20%++ interest on the whole thing.

          • Exactly – credit card companies make good money on those offers because most people don’t actually pay off the balance and end up paying lots of interest in the long run. As long as you’re disciplined about paying them off in time they can be a great tool. They are usually pretty easy to find. Google balance transfer offers with your credit score and I’m sure something will come up. A poor score without missed payments makes me guess that your utilization rate is probably high. If you really work on paying down balances you’ll be amazed at how quickly a lower utilization rate helps your score. You could also request credit line increases on your existing cards in combination with paying them down to help decrease your utilization rate even faster.

    • Anonymous :

      I know very little, but I believe the wrong kind of settlement can ding your credit. Make sure you know how they are coding your account for credit reporting purposes to the credit bureaus. As in Paid in full vs. charged off vs. I think some other options. And then google what all of it means. The banks won’t necessarily warn you about the negative consequences, as I understand it.

      • Anonymous :

        the other one I was trying to remember (there are probably more) is “paying under a settlement agreement.” I think even then they will be reporting you as delinquent.

    • I hired a lawyer friend to do it. But her instructions were stop paying them (once we determined I was a desirable candidate) for 6 months and make them come to you. I ended up settling for about half what I owed including tax consequences. My credit has increased since because while I have a couple negative marks that will fall off in 5 years, it’s out of 11 student loans I pay on time each month, my car is paid off, and I rent. So I also had no big purchases coming up.

      I used to do the balance transfer thing but when I bought a car, the credit cards started lowering my available credit like crazy and I had a really high revolving debt to available credit ratio.

      I recommend Clark Howard and Credit Karma dot com for more information on this.

      • This was 2 years ago I stopped paying them. Most settled a year from stopping paying. Everyone told me that this card would be difficult and this one wouldn’t and no one was right, including my lawyer who specialized in that area. I am still $200K+ in debt for student loans but it’s nice not to use every extra dime on credit cards including bonuses.

    • credit karma is a website that gives you info about why your credit score is what it is and you can see how to get it up too!

    • Wildkitten :

      I’ve been paying off my cards and my favorite thing is to consolidate my cards into a loan with my credit union. That way every month I make a payment and the amount I owe goes down, instead of with a credit card where they take what I pay and then it goes up again with interest. My CC interest rates are really low, so the loan interest rate isn’t necessarily lower, but the psychology of seeing the number always goes down and knowing that I am making progress every month and will be done in X months makes me feel like I’m doing a lot more, psychologically.

    • I have just emerged from the same position. I ended up working with a non-profit I found online. They negotiated the lower rates and account closings for me; it was very surprising to see how much I would have paid if left to my own devices (paying the minimum each month while the accounts continued to rack up interest). I am currently on a five-year plan. Their website has a little progress bar, and I’m already 2% debt-free!

  14. Anonymous :

    My husband just emailed me to say that his article was accepted by a journal he’d really had his heart set on. He worked really hard on this paper and it’s taken up a lot of his time, energy, and emotional reserves over the last several months. I want to do something for him to celebrate, but I’m not sure what. We have small children and I can’t arrange a babysitter on such short notice. He’s not a gifts guy and honestly I can’t think of one gift I’ve ever bought him that he actually liked. In “Five Love Languages” terms, he’s a quality time person. The extra wrinkle is that my dad is visiting this weekend and arriving today (no, he can’t babysit — he doesn’t feel comfortable being responsible solo for small kids) so I can’t even plan a special evening in tonight. Any suggestions?

    • How about a bottle of champagne with your normal dinner, hugs from the kids, and a nice card with heartfelt sentiments from you? Maybe a couple of balloons?

    • Anonymous :

      take out and champage for tonight. Would your Dad feel comfortable with the kids after you put them to bed? Like don’t even mention to the kids that you’re going out and then grab drinks at a neighborhood bar? He could call you to come home if a kid woke up and was unhappy.

    • Get him to a massage! buy his fave bottle of wine/beer. Cook him his fave meal.

    • Why can’t you celebrate a bit with your dad there? How about whatever his favorite takeout dinner is? Or wine/champagne/favorite dessert with your already planned dinner? A few congrats balloons/maybe a congrats banner or something to liven up the room?

    • Anonymous :

      That’s great. :) This is probably totally cheesy but could you make him a coupon for a date night to celebrate? Maybe it could be a check template (because it’s a raincheck!) and in the memo line you could write a small note.

  15. Run out before he/the kids get up tomorrow morning for some gourmet coffee and breakfast to celebrate?

  16. Can y’all talk to me about sheet masks as compared to other facial interventions?

    I’m 29, Caucasian, and have always had “good” skin–no acne issues–but recently I think my complexion has gone downhill. I am used to having rosy cheeks, but my nose and the space between my eyebrows are now often reddish, too. I also feel as though my skin is less smooth, especially around my nose and mouth.

    I do all kinds of good stuff–SPF every day, vitamin C serum, gentle chemical exfoliation, lots of water, no smoking or alcohol–but I am wondering what else I can do to bring back my more even tone and smoother texture. I do have an appointment with my dermatologist, but that’s my regular annual check-in and it’s still a few months away.

    So in the interim: facials? sheet masks? something else?

    • Sheet masks are good for hydration I’ve found, and that’s definitely worth a shot because I don’t see a mention of anything particularly hydrating in your post. Adding a hyaluronic acid serum could also help.

      Your face can get used to one singular chemical exfoliant, so you could also introduce another and see if that helps. One of my favorite skincare bloggers calls acid (chemical) exfoliation “taking your face to the gym” and I love that description. You can try something stronger, or simply a different type of acid.

    • Marshmallow :

      Sheet masks are great for hydration. I really like the LaNeige sheet masks from Target, and the Manefit Green Tea Pore Care sheet masks from Soko Glam. Apparently the Manefit “brightening” ones are good too, but I haven’t tried those.

      Re tone and evenness generally, do you use a retinol at night? I’m your age with a similar skin care routine, and found that adding a retinol serum and eye cream at night really helped with dullness and tone on my forehead and chin, and it will prevent wrinkles too. I use The Ordinary’s 2% Advanced Retinoid under my normal night cream, and Shiseido Benefiance retinol eye cream.

    • It's probably rosacea :

      You have rosacea, I can almost guarantee it. Rosacea is associated not only with redness but with a bumpy skin texture. Please see a doctor. They can provide you with prescriptions that will actually treat the problem. A lot of over the counter “interventions” will likely aggravate your condition more.

      • I’m not OP but I also have rosacea, mostly on my nose but the apples of my cheeks get irritated if I’m not careful. My derm gave me metro gel to use as needed and I use really gentle cleansers, but right now my nose is red with a few weepy tiny pimple type things. Did your derm give you anything stronger than metro gel? I know that if I go to my derm with this (and it will take 2 months to get in) she will say oh well. She doesn’t feel strongly about cosmetic concerns.

        • Ask for Oracea (if you’re in the States) or Aprillon (in Canada). It’s a low dose oral antobiotic that is safe for long-term use. It does not have an anti microbial effect, but acts as an anti-inflammatory. It’s completely solved my bumpies and together with Metro cream I am hardly red. I get compliments on my skin all the time now. I think cerave cleanser has helped too. Good luck!

      • Anonymous :

        I have very fair skin and when I eat certain foods, I get flushed, bumpy, red, etc. I have no doubt this is rosacea, but it only happens when I eat gluten, sugar, and dairy…and when I eat them in combination — yikes.

        • that’s a dietary allergy, you should go to a nutritionist and an allergist and get that checked out

      • Yeah you have rosacea :

        Find a derm that cares about “cosmetic” issues. First, it’s just a fact that appearance affects the way we feel about ourselves and that affects self-confidence. Second, untreated rosacea can gradually get worse, flare up, leave you with permanent facial bumps and swelling (WC Field’s “drinkers nose” is rosacea), and when mine flared unexpectedly a couple of months ago, it gave me serious dry eyes so much so that my tear film evaporated to the point that I was having mild vision problems. Also, for the first time ever the redness and the flushing was quite painful — like feeling I had a bad sunburn.

        I was using Finacea instead of metrogel, and Oracea as a low dose antibiotic which controlled it really well until lately, when my derm switched me to solodyn as the antibiotic and topical Soolantra. Laser treatment was really helpful to address the redness.

        Seriously, rosacea is a disease. Find a dermatologist that cares about treating it. My derm is primarily a cancer doc because I’m at high risk of skin cancer, but she also really cares about making my skin as clear as possible.

      • +1 to please see a doctor. I have terrible rosacea and it took me and my very dedicated doc almost 10 years to find a solution. There are so many causes of rosacea that it’s hard to pinpoint just one, especially on your own. Mine was primarily caused by demodex mites and a nasty dust mite allergy. With medication and good skincare, my skin looks a million times better.

        I would find some all natural, gentle products for cleansing and moisturizing (and spf) and work with your doc to start trying medications/treatments out. For the record, I did metrogel, finacea, antibiotics, IPL, v-beam, hydrafacials, elimination of all sulfites from products, and probably other stuff before I found a combo that works for me (Soolantra and Mirvaso).

        I did not find that anti-redness products or green/yellow based products worked as well to manage redness as switching products and being very gentle with my skin. I also recommend a food/flare up diary to see if you can pinpoint something that is bringing on redness. Mine are heat (not sun, but heat), dust, and stress.

        Good luck!

  17. Sloan Sabbith :

    Keep on resisting, team! No AHCA vote!

    And a reporter was live-tweeting his phone call with 45.


    • Anonymous :

      Honestly, I think it would have been much worse for the Republican party if it had passed. People would have had a really rude awakening when they lost their insurance and would have gotten off the Trump/GOP train.

      • Cynical me says this was the plan. Do you know why red staters hate Obamacare? Because it’s called Obamacare. Everything else they pretty much like. If the name ACA had really stuck, this would never have been a campaigning point.

        • Anonymous :

          CNN had a great article today that explained why Obamacare support is surging now:

          “If you want to know why support for Obamacare is at an all-time high, here’s one explanation:

          A change in complexion leads to a change in perception…

          More Americans now realize Obamacare helps millions of working class whites and that it’s not — as once portrayed by conservatives — a form of welfare pushed by the first black president to help people of color, historians and scholars say. The media landscape is filled with images of the furrowed brows of anxious white residents at congressional town halls who fear they will suffer if they lose Obamacare, says Judy Lubin, a sociologist and adjunct professor at Howard University in Washington.”


          This country is so f-cking racist I can’t stand it.

          • >This country is so f-cking racist I can’t stand it.

            Hive five. Right there with you. It’s because it’s called “obamacare” and not ACA (I posted below)

          • This kills me. The biggest issue so many people have with it is that it was attached the first black president.

        • PrettyPrimadonna :

          I agree. And part of the reason some people insisted on terming it “Obamacare” in the first place. Sad!

        • Anonymous :

          I mean, there have been surveys out there where people responded that the liked ACA, but hated Obamacare. Without realizing it was the same thing.

      • Anonymous :

        It might have been worse for Republicans had it passed, but millions of people would have lost insurance, and many people with disabilities would have had life-saving access to Medicaid cut off. So hey, even if the Republicans didn’t totally take it in the shorts on this one, I’m just as glad not to have people with disabilities dying because of lack of access to care. Just saying.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Everything online is in video format on the major news sites right now. I don’t have my headphones with me today. Someone explain what’s going on!!!

      • Marshmallow :

        Seconding this! I am trying to follow along on NYT but their headline keeps changing.

      • Anonymous :

        GOP decided to pull the bill before a vote. Trump says it was Ryan’s idea, Ryan says it was Trump’s idea (to pull it). CNN says Ryan told Congress he wants to move on and not address healthcare for the rest of this term.

        • Blonde Lawyer :


        • Trump said it was somehow the fault of the Democrats. Okay …

          Can’t wait to hear what Kelly Ann has to say about this! Hoping for some kind of alternative fact / microwave paranoia themed response.

          • I bought a fancy new microwave this year. It was expensive but now poor people get to keep their healthcare, so thank you expensive microwave.

          • Marshmallow :

            Those darn Democrats, passing a better law than the Republicans could come up with in seven years. They ruin everything. Sad!

          • Anonymous :

            I mean, I hate Trump but I think blaming Democrats is pretty much the best response he can give at this point. Who is he supposed to blame? It would be mutiny within the party if he blamed Paul Ryan or Congress. I don’t think the blame will stick though, people tend to always blame whoever is in power, and that’s the GOP.

          • We’ll see if 45 follows through on this threat to campaign against “freedom caucus” republicans.

      • follow twitter for real time updates and links

  18. Questioner :

    A year ago I got a great job at a non-profit. I’m really happy with the position and with my team many of whom are located at different sites. About a month ago, my boss told me that I will be picking up another department to manage. This department interacts with mine, but is not terribly related. There has been no talk of any salary adjustment with this new set of responsibilities.
    I’m feeling like I got the bait and switch here. This is not the job I interviewed for and accepted. Shouldn’t I have been asked about this new department and compensated for the additional responsibilities? What do I do now?
    Thanks for your ideas.

    • JuniorMinion :

      I would have a discussion about this with your boss and frame it around “career planning / mentoring.” I would frame it as something like “Boss, I wanted to touch base with you about my future here and career development. I’ve really enjoyed working with the chocolate teapots and would love to develop my spout shaping skills – do you think this is feasible for me / where do you see my trajectory here going?”

      I have worked in places where tons of responsibilities were added to my plate and that didnt come with any sort of a salary bump – other people’s mileage may vary.

    • Anonymous :

      Will this addition help you long-term? i.e. could you be doing extra work now but gaining better experience/visibility/seniority in the organization that could lead you to make a bigger leap on a faster timeline? And it would probably help if you knew why they made the decision (JunionMinion phrased that question well).

    • Anonymous :

      Personally, I would see this as a great opportunity and a new challenge. It gives you a chance to develop skills of your team through delegation that will likely be needed as you assume new responsibilities.

      It’s likely that your boss does not see it as a major enough change to trigger a change in compensation.

      Re-orgs happen a lot, and you have to adapt.

      I would sleep on it to process, and think about how you can embrace the opportunity.

    • I think it happens a lot that you get increased responsibilities and then later get the title/raise that goes along with it.

      The good news is that they apparently think highly of you.

      The bad news is that in my experience they tend to dump more on women without promoting them, or even thinking that might be logical.

      You’ll have to advocate for yourself here. Your read of the station is obviously more relevant than anything we can tell you but there are three paths 1) refuse to take the additional work because you like what you’re doing now (not great for your career) 2) agree to take the additional work but not without a promotion and raise up front, or 3) take the additional work, do an awesome job at it, and then make the case for your promotion.

      My sister is a very senior exec in the tech world and she ended up trying 2), doing 3) when they wouldn’t listen to 2), and then waiting way too long for the promotion to come through. She was literally the only person doing SVP level work without the SVP title, for like a year. And she was also the only woman. Coincidence? Anyway, they made her wait way too long for the SVP title and options, and when they finally gave them to her, she’d had it and left the company as soon as most of her options were vested. She works for their direct competitor now. UGH it makes me so irritated thinking about it.

      Maybe too much of a tangent and this is probably not your situation. But reorgs do happen at most companies with great regularity, and as someone said above, it does behoove you professionally to roll with those. But just keep your eyes open and advocate for yourself.

      • Questioner :

        Thanks so much for all your good advice. I’m definitely rolling with the reorg and actiting like a woman (you know – smart, strong, capable) but I wonder if they would have handled the situation differently if I was a man.

  19. Travel recommendations please! I’ll be traveling to Nashville for a conference in a couple of weeks, without my husband and toddler. I’ll be staying at the Gaylord Opryland for the conference, and I’ll have Wednesday and Thursday evenings and Friday afternoon free. What are your recommendations on places to eat and things to do? I haven’t rented a car, but I could if necessary.

    • It’s been a few years, but I remember the spa there was pretty good.

    • Delta Dawn :

      You can Uber everywhere in Nashville, so I might not rent a car based on having evenings free– but having Friday afternoon, you may want to rent a car for more flexibility with that much free time. Or just pay for multiple Ubers. Frothy Monkey is a cute coffee spot, Husk is amazing farm-to-table, and Margot Café is cozy and French.

    • I was in Nashville just a couple weekends ago and stayed at the Gaylord! Recommendations for eating/drinking: Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack, Rolf and Daughters, Husk, Patterson House, Pinewood Social. I got a massage at the Gaylord spa, which was pretty good. Spent an afternoon wandering around on Broadway (Robert’s Western World, etc.), and did some shopping in the 12South area (very unimpressed with Reese Witherspoon’s Draper James boutique, although I love my new Imogene and Willie jeans).

    • Nashvillian here. Do not rent a car. The Opryland Hotel charges a ton to park, so you’d be better off Ubering — it would be cheaper to do that than to rent a car and pay to park at the Gaylord and again downtown. If you like country music at all, head downtown to lower Broad and visit the honky tonks. There’s lots to see, eat, etc. I also recommend you hit the Gulch, and particularly try to catch a show at the Station Inn, which doesn’t look like much from the outside but has truly amazing bluegrass. You can get to the Gulch from downtown by catching one of the free circulator buses (either the green one or the blue one, can’t recall which), which runs from about 11 a.m. to late at night. For good food, I recommend Southern or Etch downtown, Martin’s if you like BBQ; in the Gulch, Fin and Pearl is nice but fairly high-end. Pinewood Social is a great place to eat, drink coffee, drink beer, or bowl; it has a neat vibe and you can bring your computer and catch up on e-mail while you’re there. It’s a walk or very quick Uber from downtown (can easily be walked). The neighborhood with Reese Witherspoon’s store, Draper James, is called 12 South. It has some good restaurants (Josephine and Burger Up) and bars, and some decent shops, but no live entertainment. It’s quick Uber ride from the Gulch. Rolf and Daughters is in Germantown, which is an Uber ride away from downtown and not really near anything, but the food is amazing. Hope you have a great time in my fair and now quite crowded city!

  20. Universal Standard :

    I never heard of the brand before Kat’s link above. That looks like an awesome t. Has anyone shopped here before? I wear a US12/14, looks like I could wear an xs or s in this brand?

    • I ordered a jacket and returned it because the fit was off for my particular shape but the quality in this brand is high and it has a devoted following. I’d really like them to succeed because there are so few options for larger sizes that are truly stylish.

  21. Please explain :

    Can someone please explain something to me? Why is it that men whine about wearing a c*nd*m and then they finish in 2 minutes even when they use one? What exactly is the nature of your complaint, sir? You obviously don’t require additional sensitivity to enjoy yourself. I really don’t get it and I’m pretty annoyed by the whole situation. Am I being petty or is this a reasonable dealbreaker?

    • Uh YEAH this is a deal breaker! 2 minutes? Doesn’t care about your health? Doesn’t think he has a role in preventing pregnancy?

      And 2 minutes???


      • Fwiw he was very generous with, erm, oral gardening? Idk how to carry out our LGP euphemism with that one. So it’s not like it was 2 minutes that’s it folks show’s over nothing to see here.

      • EW! I simply will NOT beg or do any convincing about condoms. Wear them or hit the road. Anyone who tries to make me is immediately excused. The 2 minute thing makes it much worse.

    • Anonymous :

      LOL lucky I didn’t have a drink in my mouth. Greatest question ever.

    • Preach, girl.

    • Anon in NYC :


    • Anonymous :

      2 mins would not be a dealbreaker for me if he’s happy to do other activities (and if it’s early in the relationship nerves may be a factor) but the whining about wearing one would be a definite dealbreaker.

      • Yeah I mean whatever 2 mins happens to the best of them. But to complain “but it’s not going to feel as good I just want to feel you” and then you last 2 minutes? Uh no. You don’t need less material there. You need like an extra thick scuba suit type thing.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      The timing can be worked out, the whining about something so basic and so important would be a red flag for me.

    • Oh hell no :

      Whining about wearing one, especially in a new relationship, is deal breaker for me. If he even thinks about getting in there uncovered, I think less of him.

    • Anonymous :

      I think its about the sensation… i guess not wearing one makes it more pleasurable…

      At least thats how my husband explained it to me few yrs ago.

  22. Absolute dealbreaker. My husband used to say that sometimes he liked wearing one because it prolonged things for me. Now that’s thoughtful.

  23. On the hunt :

    Need some shopping help ladies! I need some nice short sleeve shirts to go under suit jackets. That said, I don’t wear jackets unless I’m in meetings so it needs to be wearable in the office on its own, too. I have broad shoulders so most of the options I find are too loose elsewhere and look unprofessional. Help!

  24. Paging Rainbow Hair :

    Hi! You’re so good with all of the design/decor discussions lately and I am getting ready to move. I was wondering whether you’d help me with the design stuff, I don’t have a big budget but would love to hear what you’d charge for such! If you’re interested, please let me know how to reach out to you. :)

    • Rainbow Hair :

      I would be happy to chat design/decor stuff with you!

      I just made a burner account — which it now occurs to me will almost definitely be sent to moderation? — well, let’s try: RainbowHairette at the ol’ gmail.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Drat. My new burner email address DID get me sent to moderation.

      Let’s try being clever! Email me at Rainbow Hair E T T E at gmail?

      I’d be happy to chat about design and decor! Sounds fun!

    • All my posts are stuck in moderation :-(

      The answer is “yes let’s chat!” I’ll try to get my info through again.

  25. Thanks to the ladies who commented this morning. I was looking for a more comfortable bra to wear on weekends/casual times. I’m a 40F and have been fitted, and wear a very supportive but expensive and not 100% comfortable $135 Prima Donna bra most of the time.

    I searched on the wacoal and freya and olga styles you recommended and found a similar one I like the looks of by Glamorise. It was available on Amazon for around the same price as Bare Necessities, but with free return shipping (BN charges $6.95). It’s a wire free style that looks kind of like a sports bra. I may also order the Olga and Wacoal. The freya band stops at 38 and I want to go looser, not tighter.

    I’m still accepting any and all recommendations! I’ll report back on the Glamorise.

    • Anonymous :

      Have you tried Chantelle? Some of their styles are very comfortable, some not so much.

      • I went to a brick and mortar nordstrom and the lady had me try on a Chantelle, but it must have been one of the not so much styles because that thing felt like it was made out of prickles and barbed wire. When I said no, that’s not at all what I’m looking for, she was kind of like “oh well, bye.” I suspect it was the only bra they sold even close to my size.

        That’s why I’m asking people here!

    • I have heard good things about the panache sports bra, and some of the panache styles. I have smaller frame and larger chest, so I find the panache wires go too high on the gore for me ( though I love my panache bikini top that has a lower plunge top).

      If you are taller, Panache may work well, as it fits similar to the primadonna as well. I have heard good things about the elomi, but have not tried it in person ( Canadian shipping & brokerage rates are outrageous, so I will have to try this on in store. I order online, only from a brand I know fits. By the way, there are some really good sights that review bras…not sure of the exact names, but I think one is called a perfect pair, and hourglassy has some good info…there are even some youtube bra fitting reviews where you can see how the bra fits, if you want to go down that route. Good luck with your search…finding the right bra is not always about the perfect fit, but the perfect feel…if that makes sense.

    • Elomi is owned by Eveden, the same company that owns Freya, and it goes past a 38 band. Worth trying!

    • anon a mouse :

      I don’t have any specific recs, but the gals at reddit r/abrathatfits are very knowledgable and can probably make recommendations.

  26. Just a rant:

    When someone apologizes, I really believe that the word “if” should never be included. “I’m sorry if I…” NO! I have told you that you did the thing that was not okay, you are apologizing for it, why are you dismissing my feelings/credibility/instructions by using “if” like the situation is up for interpretation or maybe you didn’t do the thing you did?

    I’m sorry if I didn’t do it right = not sure I didn’t do it right but you say so and I don’t want to argue =/= I screwed up, I’m sorry.

    I’m sorry if you feel like I was undermining your authority = I’m sorry you misinterpreted what I was actually doing =/= I’m sorry I undermined you OR I’m sorry my actions came across differently than I intended, my actual intention was _____.

    I’m sorry if I hurt your feelings = not sure what I did wrong but I’m apologizing to shut you up =/= I feel badly for hurting you.

    I hatehatehate the way this happens, it’s such a demeaning experience for the receiver and it’s such a way for the giver not to take responsibility for their actions. ARG!

    • “When a person tells you that you hurt them, you don’t get to decide that you didn’t.” Louis C.K.

      YUP. My ex used to do this ALL THE TIME.

      “I’m sorry if you felt like I was being dismissive, but (excuse).” Nah, bro. You WERE being dismissive, I told you you were, and you don’t get to decide you weren’t.

      “I’m sorry if you feel hurt.” I do feel hurt, there’s no ifs about it.

  27. Has anyone lived or worked in New Zealand? I am on the list of skilled workers that there are a shortage of so I could get an expedited visa. My partner and I are considering a move in a few years. Pros/cons of NZ?

    • I’ve been to Australia twice and loved it. I imagine NZ to be similar with a high cost of living, one con. The pro would be that I’m sure it is beautiful like Australia. :)

    • Where in NZ are you thinking?

      Nz is gorgeous and laid back. It’s also crazy expensive, low wage, lacking in certain cuisines (eg legit Mexican, Vietnamese), and the standard of housing quality is shocking.

      I love it and can’t see myself living anywhere but Auckland having travelled around the world but I have my eyes wide open about it.

      • Oh, and I wrote this post awhile ago for all my international readers who were curious about the reality of life in NZ – http://nzmuse.com/2012/04/living-in-nz-the-ultimate-post/

        • Oh my gosh this is so wonderful and helpful! Thank you! We have no idea on where we would live, this is still a fledgling idea. I did notice the low wages when I looked up salaries for my health care profession. But for a short term life experience (maybe 5 years?) it might be worth the cons.

  28. I wrote this post awhile ago for all my international readers who were curious about the reality of life in NZ – http://nzmuse.com/2012/04/living-in-nz-the-ultimate-post/

  29. Thanks to a de-accessioning spree at my husband’s work (where they go through hardware they don’t need any more and sell it to employees at a steep discount), I now own an iPad. It’s a few years old (he thinks from maybe 2013) but I’m excited. What are your favorite apps for iPad – games, productivity, etc.?

  30. where do you buy great clothes other than the usual big brands? I really need a refresh….

    • Work clothes or casual? What kind of style do you like? Where do you live? Budget?

      (Personally, for casual/weekend stuff, I am either cute t shirt/tops and jeans or short dresses, so I buy from a lot of local boutiques, occasional Intermix shopping, and various Brooklyn/Queens shops that pop up in my favorite sites. But my “carefree black girl with big hair” is not the default style for this site, so YMMV.)

  31. How long should Botox/Dysport (forehead) last?

    I had it done for the first time in late Jan and while the effects were fantastic, I noticed about two weeks ago that the result has faded and now I’m back to the same amount of movement I had before. It is really disappointing that it only lasted maybe 4 weeks after settling in. I was expecting 3-4 months. Is this in any way normal? Did the dermatologist maybe screw me over in some way? I’m hesitant to go back to the same dr as she tried to upsell me on creams etc and tried to make me feel bad for not spending more money on top of the $400 this cost me, but tbh I am pretty furious about the situation right now.

    • Talk to your doctor about your disappointment. They may make you a deal on the next treatment. For what it’s worth j found the treatments lasted longer once I had it done a few times. It’s like the muscles are deader if you keep up with it.

      I’ve given it up altogether and my 11s are back. I’m kind of regretting that now.

    • Everyone does metabolize it at a different rate. So while it lasts 3-4 months for some, it will only last 2.5 months for me and I’ve done it for years, with a variety of reputable doctors. That being said, it does last longer the more you do it (the muscles you are paralyzing atrophy) , and I find a heavier dose lasts longer as well. I also do far better with Botox than Dysport.

      That being said, even in a very HCOL area $400 should have gotten you a pretty hefty dose that should have lasted far more than a month. I would price shop to compare what you paid per unit to other derms in your area (in my LCOL area, would be no more than $13/unit). I would also definitely talk to your doctor now, so that they can see how quickly it has worn off and they should work with you.

    • Canadian_MBA :

      Mine lasted about 3.5 months (first and only time so far) and it was around $225 Canadian. I should probably keep it up now that I notice lines continuing to worsen!

    • In my experience, Botox should have lasted you 3-4 months. (The more I use it, the longer it lasts as the muscles are now weaker than when I first started.) I use it for my 11’s, horizontal forehead wrinkle, and to lift my eyebrows slightly (a total of 25 units per treatment). I’m in the midwest (so LCOL) and getting Botox for $10/unit is pretty standard here. (I think Dysport is closer to $3-4/unit, but requires more units per treatment.) I have no idea how long Dysport lasts, as it’s not the preferred product where I’m at, so fewer places offer it and none of my friends are using it. I’d definitely go back to the Dr. who treated you. In the future, try to find a plastic surgeon that specializes in faces. They’ll likely have nurse-injectors in their office that are experts at Botox.

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