Weekend Open Thread

Something on your mind? Chat about it here.

This style of denim (these are from Paige) is one of the highest rated, most loved styles in general — and it’s great to see that it’s in the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale so that you can save big. (Here’s our post on the most-loved denim at Nordstrom, with updated links to other jeans included in the NAS.) The cropped, skinny gray jean is a great look for fall, and this pair is $131 but will be $199 after the sale ends — the remaining sizes are 24–32 (00–12). Verdugo Raw Hem Ankle Skinny Jeans

Two plus-size options are here (they’re part of the sale too) and here.

Psst: Here are our picks from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale — and make sure to check out the crazy discounts in Reiss’ sale as well!

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. All the skincare talk on here lately has me thinking. I’m in my mid-twenties and don’t have an expensive skincare routine at all. In the morning, I wash my face with Simple moisturizing wash and use Olay moisturizer with spf 30 (my foundation that follows, if I wear it, is spf 50). At night, I wash my face with Olay Regenerist cleanser and use the original Olay active hydrating cream. I have been doing this for years. I’m happy with my skin and get compliments on it all the time (other than my dark circles which are heredity and I’m not sure how to get rid of short of using concealer every day). But should I be doing something more preventative? Anti-aging? Will I wish I had done more sooner?

    • I don’t think good skincare has to be expensive at all! I have been following the SCA (skincare addition) forum on Reddit and have started to incorporate (along with my usual cleanser and moisturizer) BHA (I use the red stridex pads) in the PM and Vitamin C serum in the AM. I’ve been doing this for about 6 months and my skin is less acne-prone, is softer, and is more even in tone (the post-breakout hyper pigmentation I have accumulated through the years is fading.) I am hoping to get to the point where I feel comfortable not wearing foundation. Oh and the stridex is like $6 for a two month supply and the Vit C serum is $15 or so for a month+ supply!

    • I don’t think you need to change anything. Sunscreen is the most effective anti-aging treatment out there and you’re using that.

      • +1 I have never had an expensive or dramatic skin care routine, but I have always used sunscreen and taken my makeup off every night. They may be blowing smoke up my a$$, but almost everyone who finds out my age says I look about 10 years younger. Obviously, genetics play a role as well, but I have no wrinkles around my eyes or mouth and no sun damage.

    • No! You’re wearing sunscreen! Your skin looks great! You’re doing everything right. Don’t add a bunch of products that you don’t need. The #1 anti aging cream is a good sunscreen. The rest is largely marketing.

      I will just say make sure you’re sun screening your décolletage area – something I wish someone had told me to do in my twenties. I’m 50 now and that area looks older than my face.

      • +1 I do this too.

        My mother (now mid-60’s) was always diligent about facial sunscreen but not so much about neck and upper chest, and there is a notable contrast in skin damage now.

      • That is some good advice and something I haven’t thought about, thank you!

      • Agree – please, choose a high-protection sunscreen and apply every day (even in winter) to your face, neck and decollete. And I would consider even arms in spring/summer (to prevent discolourations and age spots). NB: I read a new research which proves that certain chemical sunblocks may cause (negative) changes in skin’s DNA. Since then, I only use physical sunblocks (with zinc or titanium oxide).
        And if you would like to do something extra for your skin, my vote goes to 1) regular face and scalp massage to boost circulation and 2) a light chemical peel (glycolic acid cream or pads) to help shed dead skin cells.

    • Mid-twenties here too; I had a quick skin consultation at a counter. The woman was very honest in what she thought I needed, but didn’t badger me into buying them. With her advice, I can make a better decision at the drugstore as for what I really need. The only expensive products I have are an eye cream and spf. I will say, I have hereditary dark circles as well, and I use the Kiehl’s avocado eye cream. I’m still not sure if it really helps the dark circles, but my under eyes definitely look brighter and moisturized.

    • Anonymous :

      At your age you’re doing great. Your wearing sunscreen which is the most important thing. When I was in my later twenties I started using AHA/BHA for prevention.

    • +1 to everyone telling you skincare doesn’t have to be expensive. SPF is the primary thing you can do for great skin (and yes, I wish I’d paid more attention to my neck/décolletage, but better late than never) and anything you like and use regularly will work. Make sure it’s broad spectrum to get full protection.

      I use ROC for wrinkles and it’s very inexpensive but I’m happy with it. If I need more moisture, I use Neutrogena water gel. For serum, I use Olay Regenerist (it’s a red glass bottle, I can’t remember the full name). I also use a vitamin C serum, lactic acid, BHA exfoliator, and masks as needed. Altogether my skincare costs a little over $100 for all the products I use and most of them are unnecessary.

    • fake coffee snob :

      You’re doing great and everyone is right about sunscreen; that said, a lot of US sunscreen is not great for UVB protection (because FDA standards lag behind) and a lot of people choose to use foreign (particularly japanese PA+++) sunscreen instead. It’s not expensive – I like the Biore Watery Essence stuff you can buy for ten bucks on amazon – but it’s definitely a little harder to buy.

      • +1. I use the Biore Watery Essence, and I love it. Bonus that it’s not greasy like some US sunscreens, even those that are meant for faces.

    • Oil of olay, twice a day. Was good enough for my grandmother who had the best skin ever.

    • legalcancuck :

      I use Avon Anew all the time and always had (it is fairly cheap) Their daycream has moisturizer and sunscreen (which are very important).
      I make sure to wash my face at night and my skin is fab. I think it is more to do with genetics and lifestyle than the creams we put on our face.

    • I’m also late-20s, looking at my skincare routine, so thanks for posting this. One thing I’ve heard that other people didn’t mention here (sorry for weighing in so late) is wearing sunglasses as often as you can. I’ve heard that sunglasses help prevent eye bags and wrinkles.

  2. Plus shopping challenge :

    I am out of sources for this and skirts are seemingly harder to find….

    I’m looking for a plus sized pencil skirt in medium gray (not pale gray and not charcoal) that is at least 24″ in length. I have exhausted my usual sources.

    Has anyone seen a skirt I should check out?

    I’m also open to a sheath dress in medium gray but the length equation is more difficult in dresses – I’m 5’11” and above the knee is not a good look on me/my shape.

    • Country Biscuits :

      I’m seeing a Talbots Shadow Herringbone Pencil Skirt? Or are you not wanting the subtle pattern? Or they always have the Seasonless Wool Pencil Skirt.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      The Talbots seasonless wool pencil skirt is 24″ and looks to be a medium grey colour.

      There is a sheath (40″ long) in the same material with a ruffle shoulder detail –

    • Thanks both! I ordered the seasonless wool skirt. My usual haunts are department store websites (Nordstrom, Saks , neiman Marcus) and Talbots had slipped my mind.

  3. Are we spending our money well? :

    I just did a calc… my husband and I will break $300K in gross HHI this year, a new all time high for us (assuming nothing unanticipated happens, of course). I feel that we should take advantage of our good fortune by making sure we are spending well.. for the years that won’t be as flush. But I’m also struggling at what’s worth the effort vs not – how to make changes sustainable vs feeling like I’m constantly come nickeling and diming myself.

    Right now we max out 401(k) at $36K and we save $80K in cash a year for a house down payment. I also contribute the max to my HSA. We live and want to buy along the Peninsula of SF Bay so even a tiny 2 bedroom will be $1.1M. The areas we spend a lot are food – usually $700-$1000 a month – we’ve stopped pretending we are going to bring lunch to work, travel – $10K-$15K a year, and just general conveniences like Uber/Lyft, expensive boutique fitness $6K a year, and health ~$5K a year. We live in a cheap-for-our-area apartment and drive Toyotas, paid off, and have no debt. And I spend around $800 a month shopping (mostly clothes and household).

    I know there are areas I can cut, but I’m also wondering if this is the best we can do without too much more effort, and if I should just make peace with that instead of trying to squeeze another $10k to save for the house fund.

    Also, I’m way messier than my husband, but we’ve both resisted the idea of a housecleaning because that seems like lifestyle inflation (even though our lifestyles have definitely inflated).

    • Anonymous :

      I would say the housecleaner is a totally reasonable expense, unless you have some unicorn job where you work 40 hours a week and earn $150k+. And even then, it’s fine to get one if you want it because you can obviously afford it. Monthly could be a good compromise if you want professional help but don’t want to blow your budget. I’m sure some people will call me gross, but we have a monthly cleaner and I do only light cleaning (a quick kitchen cleanup after dinner every day and sometimes but not always a little vacuuming) in between visits.
      You’re right that there are areas you can cut (fitness and travel come to mind), but you’re saving a LOT already in one of the most expensive parts of the US and I say just keep on keepin’ on. You are living way below your means in a lot of areas and I think that justifies splurging in other areas. Lifestyle inflation generally happens when you start splurging across the board.
      Make sure you’re investing the house fund at least in CDs and it’s not just sitting in the bank earning essentially nothing.

      • [deleted]

        • I agree. If you are lucky enough to have a HUSBAND, do NOT do anything that could cause him to stray. You say you are way messier then your husband. That is NOT something that he will find endeering. If you bring a woman in who is cute and orderly, that could be dangerous. I suggest that if you MUST bring in a woman (confession: I do), make sure she is old and dumpy. If Maria Shriver lost her husband b/c of a housekeeper who was NOT a beauty, then it could happen to any one of us. I do NOT have a boyfriend, but if I did, I would NOT want to introduce any other pretty woman into the mix. Neither should you. I recomend that you neaten up, keep your wardrobe up, and do whatever is necessary to keep your husband wanting you. I also think that you need to remain close to your husband by doeing things that HE wants to do (that you will want to do). That way, you keep the marrage fresh. You do NOT want him to get bored with you once you work and have money in the bank. Good luck to you. I wish I could be in your shoes, but at this point, I will settel for any man that will remain true to me, and NOT just expect me to have s-x with him all the time just b/c I am his girlfreind. FOOEY!

    • On the one hand, you save a lot, which is great! But on the other you spend a lot and could save more.

      If you want to make some changes that have a bigger impact without necessarily changing the life you like: You could take a big international trip at 10-15k every other year and do a cheaper US-based vacation on alternate years for half that. You could find cheaper fitness options. You could shop less–would you be significantly more or less happy on a budget of $400/month? You could bike where possible instead of Uber/Lyft.

    • My advice would depend a little bit on how stable your jobs are and how likely you are stay at this income or higher. If you’re as confident as you reasonably can be that this is a long term situation, you can probably get away without working a lot harder to save. But if you think it’s likely to change, I might work harder to minimize lifestyle inflation and add to savings. Sharing your good fortune and increasing donations to your favorite causes is never a bad idea either!

      • Also, how badly do you want to buy a house? If this is important to you, it would probably be worth saving more to be able to afford the house sooner rather than later. If you’re happy in your apartment, you’re almost certainly saving a lot of money just by living in a smaller space with less maintenance, so you could probably justify spending a bit more on other things.

      • Are we spending our money well? :

        We are in tech.. so the next bust can happen any time, and I expect we’ll get “aged out” of corporate America at some point, maybe 20-25 years, 30 if we are really lucky. (We are in our early 30s). And nothing says we’ll keep making this income, but I’m hoping we still have more years of income growth ahead of us.

    • Anonymous :

      I mean, you make 300+k a year. You’re the 1%. You don’t need to start brown bagging your lunch. Maybe you could spend a bit less on travel? Take a few years to do some local/less expensive traveling, instead of big international trips, and throw that extra money towards a house.

      • Anonymous :

        On the other hand, if kids are in your five year plan, I say don’t cut back on travel. Travel with kids is doable, but it’s very very different (and significantly more expensive). If you had major debt or weren’t saving enough for retirement, then yes of course you should cut travel. But you can easily afford it and it’s a luxury that’s worth it, especially if you plan to cut back in a few years when kids come along. A lot of people say they’ll travel in retirement and find themselves not in good enough health to really enjoy it at that point. You have the resources so I say go now.

      • Are we spending our money well? :

        Not to be pedantic – I know we are fortunate – but I was curious about your statement because there’s just so much money in this area. So I did some quick searching – in the Bay Area you need $1M+ to $3M HHI to get into the 1% (depending on the survey methodology – one article explained it as ” census data are not appropriate for extrapolating incomes at the very top”). I think nationally it’s $450K.

      • +1

        I read Mr Money Stach forums last night and found a similar question from a wealthy man asking the forum to take a look at his family budget and see what could be tweaked. One rabid fan wrote, “$200 per month for haircuts?!? Buy yourself a hair cutting kit. Spouses can cut each other’s hair.”

        LOL – really?!? The guy made $400,000 plus bonus and your advice is that they need to cut their own hair? They don’t need to “do” anything other than move to a LCOL area and roll on their beds of money.

        • GotTheTShirt :

          Plus, if you have a $400k+bonus job it probably involves some client-facing element – meaning a spouse-done haircut isn’t going to cut it.

          • Yep, when my DH was like, my ex (long hair) & I (buzz cut) had no barber expenses, I gave a “glad that worked then” – I don’t need one more thing to learn/stress about as I’m cresting the 6-figure mark.

            I found an inexpensive stylist and have stayed with her for over 10 years after she was great with my oldest’s hair and made the jump from Hair Cuttery.

        • Anonymous :

          LOL I would let my boyfriend cut my hair over my dead body.

        • Aunt Jamesina :

          I like the philosophy behind some of MMM’s ideas, and I read his blog and the forums from time to time, but he and his followers almost… fetishize being frugal. I always wonder what some of them are like IRL, and how things shake out in reality.

          • fake coffee snob :

            Have you ever read his comments about how he’s actually just trying to encourage rich (in the scheme of the world, not necessarily “feel rich”) folks to be more environmentally conscious through reduced consumption and talk of frugality of frugality is just in service of that? It’s actually pretty interesting when you dig – he’s also big on stoicism which influences a lot.

            I’m interested in the guy, but I agree that his followers are a little…ack. I prefer the Frugalwoods sort of message.

          • The biking push kills me. I’d love to see the dual-income suburban parents that can run the kids to school/daycare and get themselves to work on bikes. Single person near work? Sure! Family? Nope.

          • Anonymama :

            I do see parents do that, both in the suburbs we live in and the nearby city. I think it can work if you’re already biking to work and drop off is on the way, but it’s definitely not a solution for everyone, and I doubt it would replace a car.

          • Oh they for sure do that. It’s very off putting to me, but obviously there are people who eat that up. I’m just not ever going to be that frugal.

          • Aunt Jamesina :

            God. Biking! People all smug about biking uphill both ways through a snowstorm, NBD. I also was rubbed the wrong way by his post about how little housework “they” do in his house. It was something insane like 12 hours a year. I would LOVE to see Mrs. MM’s views on that…

            Frugalwoods is pretty great, though. The tone is just so much more palatable.

          • This is why I don’t read his forums much.

            I read his blog and I have adjusted a lot of my mindset based on it, but I don’t go to the extremes he does. I like the way he frames a lot of aspects of frugality as being environmentally friendly, and I tend to agree. Biking more and driving less and not buying fast fashion are better for both the environment and my wallet.

            But some things are just too much. For example he posted recently about how one attorney in Houston bikes to work every! single! day! But if you read the article the guy accomplishes that by leaving for work at 7 AM. I don’t want to do that. So instead I bike to work when the weather is nice and only when it’s nice and otherwise I drive my car and I refuse to feel guilty about it.

          • Aunt Jamesina :

            Found his post about cleaning, “Even in a 2600 square foot house with an energetic 7-year-old in residence, this adds to perhaps *one workday of cleaning per year*”. Eight hours of cleaning a year? How are dishes and laundry getting done? Does he realize how crazy that sounds?

            Sorry to harp. Some things just drive me bonkers.

          • @ Aunt Jamesina: wow, I had not read this post before. He … doesn’t clean the bathrooms… unless someone is coming over? And maybe not even then?



          • Aunt Jamesina :

            Yup. And all the people who say they only shower every few days and supposedly bike?

          • Those people are probably not getting anyone to go down on them. I know I wouldn’t, and nor would I expect anyone to want to put their face down there. What an awful thought.

          • Read a “what you learned you can do without” thread. A surprising amount of people responded with shampoo, conditioner and hygiene products. Whaaaa….?

            One guy said the only household cleanser he needed was vinegar and reusable rags. I gagged a bit.

            All this adds up to, what? A $100 Target run? Get a grip people.

          • Anonymous :

            I’ve posted here before about how MMM helped DH and I totally rethink our attitudes towards our lifestyle. He, himself, has great things to say (most of the time). The people on the forums are crazypants, in my opinion. While early retirement would (hopefully will) be great, I’m not going to forego things like reasonably-priced haircuts and basic health insurance to get there.

        • Anonymous :

          So, here’s my take on MMM and his followers: I think they’re kind of nuts, but they provide a nice counterpoint to the ostentatious spending and ridiculous overconsumption that is what normally floods our inboxes. I don’t plan to become like MMM any more than I plan to spend $5M on a wedding or $500k on an engagement ring, but it’s a nice counterbalance to all the celebrity and pop culture messages thrown at us on a daily basis that scream (literally or by implication) that we should be spending more.

          • Aunt Jamesina :

            Oh, absolutely, that’s why I keep reading. I just think the tone gets old and am no fan of his fanbase needing to tear down others to make their point.

          • Me three. I read it because it helps remind me what I really don’t need and that my life is actually pretty great without an expensive clothing shopping budget, in the face of lots of advertising trying to convince me otherwise.

          • Blonde Lawyer :

            +1 It got me on the right track and it keeps me there. I like it way better than Dave Ramsey.

    • I’d take a look at the clothing/household shopping category. Where are you spending this money? Mindless trips to Target or random home decor? Can you avoid your trigger stores for a period of time? On the clothing front, try the wear everything challenge, do an inventory and figure out where you have actual clothing needs. Unsubscribe from store emails, make yourself wait a day or week or however long before you pull the trigger on actual purchases. Make sure the purchase is filling one of the post-inventory items on your list.

    • I’d approach this from the perspective of what your goals are, and when do you want to achieve them? It seems like you’re doing well, but you know you could exercise for less, travel for less, or shop less if you really wanted to.

      Your savings rate seems great, but is it high enough for you to retire with the lifestyle you want and the timeline you want? That depends in part on how old you are, when you started, and when you want to retire.

      You’re saving to buy a house. Do you want to buy it sooner than $80K/year allows? Are you trying to save a certain percentage to get a better mortgage, or to pay cash? Are you looking to buy a tiny, 2-bedroom for $1.1M, or something larger?

      Are there any other major things you want to save for? Do you anticipate any major financial obligations like children or aging parents?

      Really, it sounds like you’re doing well and have avoided lifestyle “creep” by having a cheap-for-the-area apartment and two modest, paid-off cars. Objectively, you can afford the lifestyle you have. The only thing that will motivate you to save more (or not) is to decide whether other goals are more important.

    • I am in the Bay Area and I think you are doing great! After tax, you are probably bringing in, what, just under 200k per year? You are saving $120k per year. So, living off $80k/yr for 2 people in this area. That’s great!

      With your income, you have stressful jobs so the food budget isn’t too out of line. The gym budget could be cheaper but I wouldn’t skimp on anything that helps maintain your good health (priceless!) so long as the gym is working for you. The trip budget is normal at 10k, higher but not crazy at 15k. If housecleaning is causing stress in your marriage, I’d spring for the house cleaner–divorces at a lot more expensive than $200/month.

      I think you can probably cut a few hundred dollars here and there and not feel deprived. Maybe bring your savings up to 90k/yr. Housing is expensive out here and I do advocate that people who are here long-term buy a place for the tax savings and to lock in their housing costs.

      I have bought and sold my home twice in this area: an SFR and a condo. SFRs are expensive, need constant maintenance, and are only really an upgrade if you have a private yard. Schools are only important once you have a 5 year old. Honestly, I loved my condo after having an SFR. I had my condo for 2 years and I made a profit in the very high 5 figures.

      My advice would be to buy a 2-bed condo for $700k-$900k with the idea that you will sell it in a few years to buy the SFR that you really want for $1.8M. If you’ve been saving $80k/yr for 2 years, you already have the down payment. RE transaction costs are paid by the seller. When you sell, my agent is at 4.75% and was at 4% when he did a dual agency. It’s a chunk of money but with values going up so quickly, it’s a drop in the bucket.

      • Are we spending our money well? :

        We have about $250K down payment that we can put towards a place right now… but I’ve been warned against condos because those are still $900K-1Mplus in Mountain View (we are willing to drive more if we can get in a house but not if we can’t), and then there’s the $300-$500 HOA fees a year that will surely grow…

        • This one is listed for under $700k, will probably go for $800k. Near downtown, could use some updating (more profit for you when you do sell). https://www.redfin.com/CA/San-Mateo/128-N-El-Camino-Real-94401/unit-109/home/1093254

          This one is listed at 810, will probably go for around 900. Updated, near Hillsdale. https://www.redfin.com/CA/San-Mateo/35-28th-Ave-94403/unit-209/home/2025476

          HOA fees are scary but, really, a deal. My HOA dues were $430 per month, including 1GB Internet. The only utilities I paid were electricity and TV/cable/landline. When I had the house, I was easily paying $250/month on garbage, sewer, water, gas, gardener, Internet, and whatever else came along. I tell myself that the other $180/month is for savings on major (and minor) projects–I spent way more than that when I had a house. Your mortgage company will require that the HOA have sufficient reserves so there should be few surprises. Ask the other condo owners about the HOA.

      • Counterpoint. I think condos are a nightmare. You often face crazy HOAs, you can’t independently make a decision about anything, they have high fees you don’t get back if you sell, often have construction defect issues/litigation, etc. I happily sold my condo in favor of a single family home a few years ago and it was the best decision ever. Also in SF and in general you get a lot more house here w a single family than a condo (bonus rooms, storage, parking)

    • Anonymous :

      What do you want your life to look like in a few years? Do you want to own a house and have two kids? If so, calculate the monthly cost of your mortgage, home maintenance (do not underestimate this), child care, other child-related expenses, reductions in income if one of you plans to cut back on work, and any outsourcing you plan to add when you have kids. Total all these expenses, then subtract your current rent. This is the difference between the cost of your future lifestyle and the cost of your current lifestyle. You should be saving at least this much each month if you don’t want to have to cut back in the future, and more if you also want to continue saving.

      FWIW, your food and shopping expenses don’t look terribly unreasonable to me. The USDA “liberal plan” budget is $767.20 per month for a couple under age 50 eating all meals at home. Boutique fitness and travel seem like low-hanging fruit if you really want to cut back. Saving money on food is time-consuming and a lot of work, and the savings don’t add up nearly as quickly as trading a $500 gym membership for a $100 YMCA membership.

      • Are we spending our money well? :

        We want to own a house, but we are leaning towards not having kids and a big part of that is we don’t want the financial stress (along with other, incalculable stresses – but those are presumably overweighed by incalculable joys) that come with kids.

        • Just chiming in here to say that if you think you can’t afford kids at your income and savings, then I’m completely screwed for having two kids on our measly:

          $90K per year
          $57K in 401Ks
          $2,500 emergency savings
          $98K balance on mortgage for $130K house

          Don’t let financial fears stop you from having children. (If you want them.)

          • Anonymous :

            Hi! I’m just chiming in to say how much I appreciate your comment. Thanks for sharing, and it looks to me like you are doing great by your family!

          • Anonymous :

            But you have a $130K house. You may make 1/3rd what OP makes and not have a ton in retirement but a decent single family home in the Bay Area costs a *minimum* of 10 times what your house costs (and a house that would be comfortable for a family and in a decent school district probably costs close to 15-20 times what your house costs), so when you look at salary:housing costs ratio you suddenly seem much better off.

            Obviously there are plenty of people in the Bay who earn less than $300k and choose to have children, but it doesn’t mean that OP is wrong to consider finances in her family planning. If she said she was heartbroken about the fact that she couldn’t afford to have kids, then I would absolutely agree with your advice that she can literally afford children and should have them if she wants them. But it sounds like finances are just one of many factors weighing on the side of not having them, and that’s totally valid (and frankly, I think our country as a whole would be a lot better off if more people took a hard look at their finances before pulling the goalie).

          • I see your point, but the OP doesn’t have to live in the Bay Area forever. The plan may be to buy a $2 million house, pay it off in 20-30 years and live there until death, but not many people do that anymore. People move every 5-7 years. Few people buy planning to pay it off. They know they’ll either move up, move on to another area, or finally downsize for retirement. People buy thinking it’s a good investment and instead of throwing rent money away, they can move on with a nice equity check.

            Some financial advisors argue that people shouldn’t buy a house unless they plan to stay in it for 10 years, because it takes that long to get closing costs/front loaded interest/maintenance and improvement project money back out of it. I happen to be a weirdo who just hit 10 years in my “starter” house, and if I sold it today I wouldn’t break even:

            Purchase (2007) -$120,000/30 year/5.5 % rate
            Reasonable sale projection (2017) – $135,000
            Mortgage balance – $98,000 (see? Amortization sucks.)
            Realtor fees (7%) – $9,450
            10 years PMI fees of $50 per month – $6,000
            New roof (2016) – $6,500
            DIY powder room remodel when wax ring ruined subfloor – $1,000 plus 1 week vacation in labor
            Hot water tank explosion – $500 (insurance covered flood, but not new tank)
            New upstairs windows (2013) – $2,000
            DIY refinish upstairs hardwood floors (2015) – $800
            Paint and supplies for every single damn room in this house – $500 – $1,000

            If I sold today, I would walk away from the table thinking I had $37,000 of equity to roll into my next house, but really, subtracting out all the fees and maintenance I invested, I only have $10,000.

            Factor in how little of my payments went to principal instead of interest and taxes, and I really have nothing. (I could be underestimating the power of homeowner tax breaks, so maybe “nothing” is too harsh.) I’m not going to do that math, because frankly, I’m now depressed. Have I mentioned how much blood, sweat and tears I’ve poured into this house in DIY projects? With toddlers underfoot?

            No matter how you look at it, OP with her $300,000 salary, maxed out 401k contributions, and $80K per year savings will ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS beat me. Housing may be expensive, but she has the safety net option to move (with her hefty savings) to a more affordable area at any time. (At least, she has that option now as a renter. She’ll lose that as soon as she locks herself into a $2 million loan.)

            Since the OP has said she’s aware that her job may not always pay this much, and that her tech experience may not be valuable in 20-30 more years, I’d be really hesitant to buy a house there. I bought my house *right* as the bubble was breaking in 2007 and the effects were starting to ripple over here in Pennsylvania. The house was significantly reduced and had sat empty for a year, and we thought we got a steal. It’s 10 years later, and we made nice improvements, and I couldn’t list it for what they originally listed in 2006. The market would just laugh at me. If it came down to investing money on a house in a bubble housing market, or choosing a different path that lead to less money with children, I would absolutely go with the kids.

          • anon above :

            Jax, the math for homeownership is completely different in the Bay Area.

            You were able to buy a house for less than the down payment on my condo.

            In the Bay Area, buying a place is a boon if you can afford it:
            1. Taxes: if you make more than what is considered poverty wages in the Bay Area, you are paying enough state income tax to itemize your federal return. So the mortgage interest deduction is valuable tax savings. Plus, because of Prop 13, property taxes are frozen (2%/year increase) at the price you paid for your house.

            2. Housing is expensive but rent is worse. Some years, my landlord raised rent by 20%. One year was from $1700/month to $2200/month for a 1 bed. 2 bed/2baths are going for well over $3k (if not $4k) per month. And rents are still increasing 5-10% per year. Rent increases make prop 13 and the mortgage interest tax deduction look like a sweet, sweet deal.

            3. House values are increasing faster than rent. After 10 years, you have a $5k increase in your home value. Out here, prices surpassed the 2007 peak 5 years ago. After 4.5 years and $35k in remodeling, my SFR sold for more than $300k than I paid for it which was $100k more than the peak in 2007. This is considered an above average return but not abnormally so.

  4. Sick Of This :

    Looking for some support from my internet friends. Finally cutting ties after 15 years with two younger male siblings who among other things are drug users, have had several runs in with the law and one of which had an unwanted child at a young age with someone who is equally toxic. I spent years trying to fix their problems, issues, spent so much time, money and tears trying to help them but was still cursed out, called names and hung up on several times as well as having been lied about and gossiped about. This is all due, I believe to their jealousy that after our parents divorce, instead of spiraling downward, I stayed out of trouble, put my self through undergrad and two masters programs, and doing well for myself in a good and stable career. No kids or addictions. I know they are also angry b/c both parents have always been proud of me and they constantly state they feel its a competition. I finally realized no matter how much you try to show people you don’t see yourself as better than them and you try to help them when they ask, they will still attack you and lash out. I am finally cutting it off. the last few days have been distressing and painful. I don’t want to live in the chaos and toxicity any more. Any commiseration or support that would be nice. No one else in my life ever cuts ties with negative behavior so they think I am being too extreme. I feel like people expect you to just take it or allow the person to continue their behavior but don’t expect it’s reasonable for you to protect your sanity, mental health and happiness by not wanting them in your life any longer. Especially when they have been a source of pain all of your childhood and most of your adult life.

    • This internet stranger gives you permission (not that you need it) to cut these people out of your life. They are indeed toxic and I don’t believe that you have to put up with anything that you don’t want to or that is bad for your life, physical or mental health, or monetary stability if you don’t want to. You can do this and you will come out on the other side feeling so much better when your life is clear of these people. They don’t appreciate you, they don’t respect you, and they certainly don’t add anything positive to your life.

      If they were a boyfriend/husband, you’d have been gone a long time ago. There is nothing about being blood related that means you have to put up with this from a sibling either.

      • Sick Of This :

        Thank you. I’m literally in tears because no one seems to understand this. Parents are both unsupportive of cutting contact because they are enablers. But I feel it affecting my mental health and I know this is what I have to do to preserve it. Thank you so much.

        • You’re very welcome. Remember, you are an adult and while it may seem like it sometimes, you DO NOT need your parents’ permission to live your life in the way that is best for you.

          Sending you lots of good vibes.

          • Sick Of This :

            As someone who has tried to be a Type A, perfect child – probably due to being the oldest; I am finally realizing I need to stop making decisions based on what others will think or feel. I have to start living for myself. For many years I tried to be perfect so that it would make my parents – especially my mother feel accomplished or like a successful parent. I realized I have been co-parenting with her for all these years. Due to feeling guilt over her being a single mother and never re-marrying.

            I do not need permission to live my life in the way that is best for me. I have to remember this.

        • I support you, and here is an unsolicited piece of advice: give parents information on a need-to-know basis only. For example, rather than telling them, “I am cutting ties with my siblings” and giving them the space to tell you all the reasons why you shouldn’t, just cut the ties and don’t mention it to them. That was a great piece of advice someone once gave me, and it changed my life.

          • Anonymous :


            This is great advice that applies to all areas of life! I love my parents and I’m close to them, but I am VERY need-to-know with them. My friends complain about their parents butting into their lives, but it’s only because they tell their parents too much stuff!

          • Sick Of This :

            Thank you so much for the support! You are so right, when I told my parents, they just kept bombarding me with reasons as to why I shouldn’t “give up on them”. Which just made me feel resentful that they want me to continue to suffer through the attacks without protecting myself by distancing.

          • It’s like chess or war: don’t tell your opponent what you are going to do before you do it! Hope things get better for you, and I really hope one day you are able reconcile with your siblings even if you must cut ties now. May you experience peace as you pass through this time in your life. :)

      • I agree. DTMFA (s) (plural in your case). The fact they are “blood” does NOT mean you have to be a marter. I say FOOEY to anyone (blood or not) that does not respect you and your good intentions. It is true you would NEVER put up with this if it were your boyfreind, or even your husband. So what is the difference. DTMFA(s) immediately and MOVE on with your life! YAY!!!!

    • Yes I support you. They are not improving your life. They are blaming you for their problems. You don’t need this.

      I wish my husband would cut his younger brother out of his life for the same reasons. He has paid for rehab and therapy for younger brother, and has housed him intermittently, has given him sums of money I don’t even want to think about, and younger brother still has the unmitigated gall to unload on my husband anytime something doesn’t go right in his life – he feels it’s my husband’s fault. It is completely ridiculous.

      Lest you think these patterns heal themselves over time, husband and brother are in their 50s and the pattern continues.

      Break the cycle now.

      • Sick Of This :

        Thank you, thank you! With drug addicted siblings I feel like its even worse because they become so belligerent and cruel in their behavior. Its hard to come back from.

        • How can you tell an addict is lying? Their lips are moving.

          This is a well known joke for a reason.

    • Anonymous :

      I am in a very similar situation. I cut out my drug addicted, alcoholic, gambling addict male sibling after he brought me nothing but a lifetime of misery. It was the best thing I’ve ever done. I basically gave myself permission not to care anymore. It sounds harsh, but it’s true. I don’t care about him anymore. I don’t think about him or talk about him. If my parents try to go into it, I change the subject. It has done wonders for my mental health.

      Much happiness and healing to you.

      • Anonymous :

        This, except it was a parent a few years ago. Occasionally guilt over no longer having a relationship gets the best of me, but my life has been much happier without the toxic cloud of that person hanging over my life.

        Good luck. It’s hard, but if you feel it’s the right decision for your happiness, it is 100% what you need to do.

        • Sick Of This :

          Thank you so much, I think the guilt gets me sometimes too. But when I find myself ruminating and slipping into a depressive state thinking about the harmful family dynamics, I know its the right thing to do to cut the contact.

      • Sick Of This :

        Thank you for your support. Seriously, you ladies are building me up so much. I am of the same thinking. I cannot afford to care about them anymore. I went to the doctor today and he said he could feel the stress in my body. That was even more of a wakeup call as to the toll its taken on me. My brothers have only brought me pain, heartache and embarrassment. i,e. fighting with people publicially, beligerance to strangers. Its all been too much. I hate to seem cruel but I honestly can’t care about a grown adult man anymore that is almost 30. He has to make his own choices and live with them. Last month he was arrested on possession… with his toddler child in the car. He still found a way to blame this on everyone else and on me for “getting all the attention”.

    • This internet stranger supports you, also. It sounds as though you have made excellent decisions for yourself in your life, despite external situations that have made that difficult, and this sounds like yet another very wise decision that you have made thoughtfully. You have given this situation and your siblings a chance and you don’t owe anyone anything else.

    • I’m stuck in moderation for some reason, but this internet stranger supports you and the great decisions you seem to have made in your life thus far, and the one you are making right now.

      • Sick Of This :

        Thank you so much. Its been a while since someone has commended me for my progress. It means alot, even if its from a stranger <3

    • Triangle Pose :

      I support you. I cut ties with my toxic father and have never looked back. Don’t listen to naysayers or enablers (he also had a ton of those who tried to convince me that I am an ungrateful daughter). I’ve never been happier. Do it and don’t look back! Cheers to you.

      • Sick Of This :

        Same here. I cut ties with my father until very recently and told him that if he would not respect my boundaries and only periodically text or email to check in, then I would cut contact again. I grew up watching him beat my mother till she was bloody and unconscious, all while courting his business partner. He also went on to marry his mistress and they have children of their own which after deserting our family almost two decades ago, he ceased financial support. I saw my mother, who had no career, no credit and a foreign education that did not translate become destitute. She remained so for almost two decades. I only recently realized this is due to her also not taking appropriate steps to overcome and better herself. My whole family deemed me as evil for not wanting contact with my father and minimizing contact with my mother. I forgave, but do not want contact/little contact. Several years of therapy later, I am just now at a point that the mention of his name doesn’t send me into panic or nausea.

    • Go ahead with creating those boundaries, after this much dysfunction, your need for safer space is something you should quietly go forward with. People will sense some boundaries, and if they are not respected, frankly, you can set things up so if others bring drama, you can excuse yourself and head on to Plan B.

      After you catch your breath, take in a few Al-Anon meetings and listen up for practices on detaching with love from others who have been there. Separations, even in dysfunctional families create grief. There are some pretty typical roles: Hero/achiever (hal0) and scapegoat (black sheep). Even heroes need to make sense of their past to move on. This suggestion is NOT about staying in contact with unhealthy people, it’s about learning about behavioral patterns, and behaviors you are drawn to, to keep what works and leave the rest.

      You can do this. It’s a looong process, but by reaching for health, maybe others will take the hint and find their own path.

      • +1 to Al Anon. A lot of folks in there who have cut ties with family members and will support you.

    • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

      I support you too! Family…can’t pick em.

    • I support you 110%. You aren’t doing anyone any favors by keeping toxic people in your life just because you’re related. You’ve thought this through and come to the best conclusion for your life.

    • Anonymous :

      We could be sisters with the same dysfunctional family. Enabling parents and an addict brother – eight years of jail and court and treatment and emergency rooms. Except I have kids. It’s okay to have boundaries. It’s okay to take care of you – put the oxygen mask on yourself first. It’s okay to love your family from a distance. It’s okay to be mad that you don’t have a normal family or a family support system. It’s okay to feel like your brother is not fixable. You are not the only one. Find other people to support you. Internet hugs

      • Sick Of This :

        Thank you so much. This is the first time someone has said to me its OK to be mad to not have a normal family. Its NOT okay and I feel like youre right, its perfectly fine for me to have those moments where I wonder “why me”.

    • This is like an airplane crash – first, you need to put your own oxygen mask and only then take care of ohers.
      From what you shared, it is clear that your mask is not on. As someone who had drug addict in wider family, I tell you that this is a battle you cannot win. You have done your best. Your siblings are adults, responsible for their own choices. You have offered a generous helping hand. Several times. Unless they go in therapy, they will not understand that you are not competing with them and that they need to accept responsibility for their actions.
      You need to focus on your own life now. You only have one life and I would like you to have great memories and fulfiling life to remember when you are 80y, rather than no nice memories bc you were constantly worrying for your siblings.
      If somebody will talk badly about you bc you choose not to engage with toxic family member, explain your reason once and if they do not get it, cut them out.
      You deserve a happy life.

  5. I’m at my wits end. I have had TMJ since I was 13. I’m 33 now. For a variety of reasons/laziness/excuses, I avoided getting a custom made mouth guard for years, but got one a few months ago. I thought it was going to magically solve all my problems. Well, it has certainly helped, but I still wake up with a headache every morning. My neck hurts. My jaw hurts. I used to take at least 2 advil per day, but now it’s usually just one.

    Is there something that will really help me, or do I just have to live with this pain for the rest of my life? I’m so over it and kind of feeling melodramatic at the moment, in case you couldn’t tell. I feel like there has to be an underlying reason for this and the mouth guard is just treating the symptom rather than the problem.

    • Anonymous :

      Well, it was a problem 20 years in the making. It might take more than a few months to resolve.

      Would things like massage or Botox help retrain the affected muscles and pull them out of old habits? What does your dentist/doctor have to say about additional options?

      • Agree. Look into Botox. See a specialist dentist if yours is making you feel like you’re being dramatic. Quality of life is worth a lot. Tell yourself this. You deserve quality of life.

    • Anonymous :

      1. what other medications are you taking? I had this issue years ago when I was on Paxil.

      2. do you have stress coping mechanisms? Any time I’ve had flare ups there was a clear connection to a lack of self care around stress/anxiety.

      3. Have you tried physio?

    • I was in the same place as you until I found my massage therapist. You need to find one that knows how to do massage inside your mouth so they can get to all the muscles around your jaw. I believe there might also be some chiropractors who do this. I see mine every 2 weeks and very rarely get flare ups anymore. It’s also taught me ways to spot treat issues between visits.

      From your description, it sounds like you might also benefit even from just a regular masseuse to loosen up your neck and shoulders. Just make sure you find a proper therapist and not one that does “relaxation” massages. This will hurt.

      • Anon in NYC :

        I agree – try massage, chiropractor and maybe acupuncture.

        • And physio! I got a referral to a physiotherapist who deals with TMJ issues when i accidentally saw a different doctor at my family doc’s clinic and it’s made a huge difference.

    • Anonymous :

      My TMJ flares up from stress, anxiety and depression. If you think those could be underlying causes, you need to treat them.

      • +1. I had TMJ and actually broke my custom-made mouth guard. I had the same symptoms–headache every morning and jaw and neck and back pain. I changed jobs to one that’s much less stressful, and last time I went to the dentist, I had completely stopped clenching.

    • Me too!

      Yoga, massage, meditation. I had a masseuse work my ears over when I told her I was a jaw clencher. I had my eyes closed and I though someone had turned the lights on – she hit some nerve that literally made my brain light up. I felt great afterward.

    • Anonymous :

      I was strongly recommended to pursue chiropractic treatment in conjunction with my special mouth guard. I haven’t, because the idea (and the cost) scares me.

      Does your dentist specialize in TMJ issues? My husband sees a regular dentist for his TMJ. My dentist (different practice) referred me to a TMJ specialist who had a mch more extensive plan of care. In any case, I think you need to check in with your provider as it seems that something may not be fitting right. In which case, you could be making the problem worse. Good luck.

    • I Just got this creepy acupuncture mat from Amazon (cult following). It arrived today, and it’s supposed to help with headaches and neckaches.

    • S in Chicago :

      My dentist referred me to a TMJ specialist who then referred me to a physical therapist. The PT visits are really strange. She places her hands on different pressure points on your head and positions your neck and holds. Some raising your arms while you recline. Very little is actually around my mouth–more like top of head and front of ear. I honestly thought it was hokum at first. But I’ve had about six visits now spaced over 3 months and l feel more relief than I’ve had in years. The only flares I’ve had have been the day after wearing a retainer. Make sure your mouth guard isn’t triggering. She’s in the northern Chicago suburbs. Happy to recommend if you’re nearby.

      • Yes, a lot of TMJ issues can actually stem from the neck and upper back. I agree on finding a PT who specializes in this.

    • I had consistent TMJ (though less intense than yours) for years. I started taking lexapro for what I thought was unrelated anxiety, and within two weeks of taking the baby dose of lexapro that they had me start with, the TMJ was noticeably better. If you feel like there’s any chance it might be stress/anxiety related, I would speak to your GP and see if they think an anti-anxiety med might help even at a very low dose.

    • Craniosacral therapy helped mine a lot! About 8 years ago my jaw clicked every time I opened it, and at one point my jaw got locked and I couldn’t open more than one inch for a few days. The oral surgeon who I saw said there was nothing to be done about the clicking. An acupuncturist recommended craniosacral therapy; a series of appointments throughout a summer (maybe 4-8; I don’t remember exactly) eliminated the clicking and I didn’t have problems for years. I definitely need to go back because I know I carry stress in my jaw, but the clicking has never come back.

      • legalcancuck :

        I am going through this and my massage therapist diagnosed me, not the dentist. So I have a guard. It is not working great but they said it will take a few months to start to retrain my jaw.

  6. And we wonder why there's an obesity epidemic! :

    I just finished the article Kat posted in the weekly round-up about fake food: http://nypost.com/2016/07/10/the-truth-behind-how-were-scammed-into-eating-phony-food/

    This makes me so. angry. I. could. punch. a. wall.

    I’m going to school for nursing so I’m taking psychology, nutrition, physiology, patho-physiology, and pharmacology (among others). In all these classes, the obesity epidemic is stressed as being a major danger to public health. Type 2 diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, hell, even hip replacements are tied to obesity.

    My textbooks stress that prevention of obesity is key and the basic advice of losing weight through gradual lifestyle changes. All well and good. Well-intended, at least.

    But only some of my classes address the elephant in the room: the food supply! People aren’t getting fat because they want to be fat. They are getting fat because our food supply is full of empty calories, unsatisfying flavors, and addictive levels of sugar, salt, etc. People can eat a 1200 calorie meal and still be hungry enough to eat another meal in a few hours. Our bodies are designed to signal satiety when we have enough but our foods have been mutated to bypass these signals. There is wood pulp in our cheese for crying out loud!

    I don’t think I’m crazy here. I think it’s crazy that we expect the public to avoid obesity when 90% of food available to them is corrupted.

    • Anonymous :

      Thanks for the article. Yes, and it’s a shame that you need $$$ to eat … not even “well”, just authentic.

    • This is also a function of corporate food. Michael Pollan did a good job sorting out how we got here (and we are at a level as a nation and a world that corporate food is a necessity).

      We got really good at growing corn. Corn is in everything. Big Agriculture feeds it to cows instead of grass. Big Agriculture feeds it to, or at least tried, farm-raised salmon. Yes, you’re thinking of ethanol in your fuel tank. Cheap gas. Hard on your engine.

      We need to get corporations back into responsible citizenship. And that includes repairing the damage that Citizen’s United has caused, and getting corporations back in service of its people. This is very different from just rendering profit to investors. Over-focusing on profit is what got our food supply into this mess. It scales to other corporations.

      Seth Godin has a positive, business-oriented take on how-do-we-change-this-without-burning-society-to-the-ground.

    • I dunno. The people I know who are obese are obese because they eat (or at least ate at one point in time) way too much junk food. My father used to eat a quart of ice cream per day. You don’t need to investigate the food supply in great detail to know that’s extremely unhealthy. I don’t know anyone who has always eaten junk food in moderation who is obese under the medical definition (certainly there is a variation in body types and I realize that two people can eat the same number of calories, exercise the same amount and look quite different – but medical obesity is far beyond just curvy or heavy). I agree with anon above that it is very troubling that junk food is cheap and healthy food is expensive, but that’s a different issue than wood chips in the parmesan cheese.

      Most of the things mentioned in that article have nothing to do with health or obesity. Red Lobster serves langostino instead of Maine lobster? That’s a common restaurant trick and I’m always suspicious of “lobster” on a menu unless it’s specifically identified as “Maine lobster” or “North American” lobster, because it could be langostino or slipper lobster or Caribbean lobster, all of which are cheaper alternatives to Maine lobster that don’t taste the same. But there’s no evidence these alternatives are less healthy, they’re just cheaper and not as good. Same with the Kobe beef. And most people who care about food (which I imagine is most people who are ordering Kobe beef, since even the knock-offs aren’t cheap) are well aware of these tricks and either don’t care or know to ask. You can certainly argue these practices are deceitful and should be outlawed, but they’re not making us fat.

  7. I want to cheat on my husband.

    37, married 14 years, 2 kids. I’m so worn out and bored. 14 years of full time stressful jobs, money worries, kid schedules (and kid dramas) have left us….cordial roommates? Slightly indifferent friends? It’s to the point that if one of us launches into whatever is bothering us, the other just kind of shrugs their shoulders. Kids annoying? Yeah–I feel you. Work sucks? Yep–it’s tough everywhere. There’s no bantering of solutions, or even that hopeful optimism that “it’s not always going to be like this!” We’re middle aged and feeling very stuck.

    It’s also been 7 years of 1 x per month gardening parties. I want more…but not with him, you know? I really don’t want more of him lying back, half asleep, one hand half-heartedly running up my back until I finally take over and climb on top. Dude–can your back leave the mattress?? EVER? We’ve discussed this. I even drug him to couples’ therapy over this. It hasn’t changed and I’m not even sure at this point that I care? (Obviously I do, but like I said, I don’t want more of what I’m getting.)

    Cost of admission: Two elementary aged kids, he’s a great dad, he’s a good friend, he’s actually a really decent guy. I don’t want to rip the family apart. I don’t want to leave because “I love you but I need to garden and be chased and feel 21 and desirable again.” What a stupid reason to divorce!!!

    Went out to a work party this weekend and got drunk. My single co-worker invited a date along, and while she wasn’t clicking with him, my stupid drunk self WAS. I was really interested in this guy, and it felt incredible to know that he was feeling me, too. I know when I drink I get clingy with guys (always have) so I texted my husband, “Get here now. Drunk and clingy and making a fool out of myself with guy. Please help.” HE DID–because he’s a great guy–and stood guard with me all night. Let me be silly with my friends but not in danger. Took me home and I passed out.

    Then…nothing. No mention of it the next day. No attempt to fool around with me, or ask what that was about, just right back into our normal routine. Kids, chores, video games (him) and flipping aimlessly through social media (me). When I tried to talk about the night and apologize, he just smiled and said, “Don’t worry about it. You were just being drunk and silly. It was fun.”

    Meanwhile, I’m sitting here thinking about that guy. I would have totally cheated that night, and that’s NOT me. This is dangerous! Is it just because I’m 37 and this is mid-life crisis stupidity? I just feel like if the right kind of sleazy guy came around, I’d fall into that pit in a heartbeat. Yuck.

    • Anonymous :

      I think you have to tell him you’re at this point. It’s very hurtful, but much less hurtful than cheating on him. Hopefully that will give him the kick in the pants he needs to address this, whether it’s through counseling or time away with you without the kids or whatever. If it doesn’t – and he’s not ok with you going outside the marriage for this need – then you have to decide whether the good outweighs the bad and is worth staying in the marriage.

      And whatever you do, stay away from co-workers. That is a recipe for complete disaster. Pick up a random guy at a bar if you have to but don’t get involved with colleagues!

    • We are all human but it’s important to recognize that the coworker is attractive bc the other parts of your life are not around when he is. I know it’s tough but can you and your husband spend time alone regularly?

      Our teenager is at camp for the second week and I’ve felt a sweetness in my marriage that I have not experienced in years. Funny how that works.

      • We used to only garden when the kids were out of the house (usually overnights at grandma’s). I really think that’s were the 1 x per month pattern started.

        These past 6 months, overnights at grandma’s haven’t lead to gardening. I figured we’re both tired or weren’t prepared (overnight offers spring up suddenly, and we have to be like, oh, okay, switch to that gear) but we just had a whole week of kids at grandmas, followed by a week of family vacation, and nothing happened.

        For a while, I held on to the hope that it was just the kids messing up our connection, but this last stretch debunked that myth. No gardening attempts in two weeks of no kids/no work? Yeah, that’s not okay.

    • Green Hat :

      Do not cheat; seek consent for doing what you want to do. Your husband’s reaction makes me think that he might be ok with opening up the relationship. Why don’t you have a frank talk with him saying you haven’t cheated, but you’re bored with your sex life, and that incident last weekend with the guy made you realize how much you miss feeling wanted and sexy. Ask if he feels the same, and whether you would be happier either doing something to spice up your life together (swinging?) or apart (open relationship).

      • I agree. Do NOT cheat — you said he was a good guy, and what he needs is motivation. I read a book last week called “BECOMING CLITERATE” which spells it out for both you and him. You are about my age (a little older), and have NEEDS. You MUST communicate those NEEDS to him, and show him how you can be s-xueally satisfied. It is not just by you getting on top of him and riding him like a pony. You need CLITORAL stimulation according to the book, as we ladies well know. But he does NOT so TEACH HIM! Put his hand where you want it to be and tell him to get with it, b/c P in V s-x does NOT cut it for you (or me), if you want to have a good Orgeasm.

        The LAST thing you need is to have some other schlep huffeing and puffeing on top of you. At our age, we can easily get Pregenant with their sperm and that would be terrible for your marrage. And the guy who let loose in you would NOT even marry you b/c you already were MARRIED, and you would NOT want that schlub as your husband anyway.

        So stick with your husband, and get him to understand you still have s-xueal needs that you want HIM to satisfy, not some skeezy guy you find at the corner bar. FOOEY! Until that is settled with your husband, do us all a big favor, and keep your knees together, or at least use manual electronic means like I do to satisfy your needs. YAY!!!!!!!

    • I feel you. I have been there. I cheated. I’m divorced and remarried now, to someone with whom I’m much more compatible in bed. (He was not the cheat-with guy, for what it’s worth.) I understand wanting to feel desired. I understand wanting to be a sexual person while you’re still young. However, I don’t really think cheating is the way to go.

      I think you need to talk more to your husband about this. Tell him what you told us. You appreciate him for all he is but you need a sex partner. Maybe you can have an open marriage. Maybe he would be ok with a don’t ask don’t tell policy.

      I’m afraid you’re not going to be able to change him. People don’t really fundamentally change. If he’s not a sexual person he’s not going to start being one now. And you don’t want pity sex anyway. You want someone to want you. That is nothing to be ashamed of. You’re human.

      In my personal situation, the relationship outside my marriage made me realize that lack of interest in sex within my marriage wasn’t the only marital problem. I was not in love with my husband. I’m not proud of going outside my marriage to figure this out (I was 31, he was the first man I’d ever slept with. I try to forgive myself because I was just so clueless about what I wanted and needed.) And getting divorced was messy and painful. But it led me to where I am today, which is happily married, kids with current husband, and all is well in the bedroom. This is possible.

    • Counseling. Go alone. Find a therapist that you click with.

      Once you’re no longer halfway out of your marriage, you can work on the marriage.

    • Anon for this :

      If you want to take an active role in trying to fix the issue (I understand that you feel it is his to fix) I highly recommend initiating sex outside of the bedroom. Somewhere that laying back and doing nothing is impossible. This might be hard with kids but get creative. Do you have a laundry room with a door that shuts? Does he ever go in there to do laundry when the kids are in bed? Follow him in and shut the door! Does he play his games in the basement? Initiate there? It’s easy to get in the habit of having sex because you feel an obligation. I am very attracted to my DH but by the time I lay down in bed, I’m exhausted and default to lazy sex. Bend me over the kitchen island while I’m doing dishes and it’s a whole new ball game!

      • This is actually a really good idea. It would be very difficult with the kids around, but not impossible. Thank you!

        • Anon for this :

          You’re welcome. There can be excitement in stealth too! Wear a dress for the outside of the bedroom escapade so if the kids were suddenly calling to you, you could still walk out of the room clothed. We noticed that we tended to get more frisky when parents were in town. We realized part of that was having to sneak around.

    • Anonymous :

      Do you want to cheat on your husband or do you want a different s*x life? It sounds like it’s the latter, I don’t think cheating is the way to get there long-term. I _absolutely_ sympathize with the way you’re feeling. I have a very high s*x drive and have generally wanted it more often than most of my partners, including my current partner. It can be _deeply frustrating_.

      In my current relationship, we tend to get into a routine of just, not, when we’re at home. We have thing to do; we’re tired; we have to get up early in the morning, whatever. On a vacation though, even a brief weekend get-away, those excuses are gone and it’s more likely to happen. Might work for you too?

      • This. I agree it sounds like the latter. Talk to hubby. He may have some things to get off his chest too. And then you can go through this together. My therapist gave me some advice that I think might apply here- whatever you want right now, you need to give it too. If you want a juicy s-x life, give DH a juicy s-x life.

    • Don't do this :

      Keep reminding yourself that lust and love are 2 different things. You chose your husband for a reason. This time will not last forever. Relationships have ups and downs. Keep at it as long as you can.

      Agree about gardening outside of the bedroom, or at least not at bedtime. At bedtime, I’m tired and I want to go to sleep.

    • First of all, hugs and sympathy. This is not easy.

      I recommend listening to (and reading) some Dan Savage about this. Sounds like you and your husband is basically in what he calls a companionate marriage at this point. Perhaps you need to open up your relationship? Even if that’s not the route you want to take, Dan Savage deals with a lot of listeners calling in with similar questions to yours, and you may find some guidance/comfort there.

    • Betterandbetter :

      I don’t have a ton to add in terms of next steps for you other than *hugs* its hard but I did want to say that I was majorly impressed by both your response (texting to get “rescued “) and your husband’s response to getting drunk and clingy at a party. I don’t take it for granted that every relationship need be monogamous but if you are trying to preserve monogamy in the face of temptation I think you both handled that REALLY WELL in the moment (maybe husband’s response the next day leaves something to be desired). Really. Bravo to both of you.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        Yeah, this made the husband sound like a really sweet guy, and it also seems to show how much you trust him.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Here’s a question — does he turn you on? I wonder if he’s feeling similar to the way you’re describing — like he wants to be wanted too?

      My s*x life moves between “eh, it’s fine” and “yeah, pretty darn good” depending on a bunch of things, but it’s always at the front of my mind that I think my husband is sexyAF. Partially I think that’s just because aesthetically, I like what he’s got going on, but partially it’s because I nurture that appreciation. There are particular things he does (like, around the house, not in bed) that make me feel all googly-eyed toward him. And I notice that feeling and tell myself, “Yeap, you love your husband and want to jump his bones. That’s great.” Because sometimes I *am* just tired and lazy and ugh I have to be at work early tomorrow and I want to make excuses or half-ass it… but it helps me feel more enthused to remember all the stuff that made me want him earlier in the day, when doing anything about it was impossible. And I compliment him too, dumb little things like a butt grab or raised eyebrows or ‘hubba hubba.’ I guess my suggestion is to consider whether there are ways you could nurture your lust for your husband, and make lust and flirtation more a part of your daily relationship.

      Maybe this advice is terrible? I don’t know! I feel like I sound like a religious blogger and that’s not really my deal so… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    • Anonymous :

      I was you, three years ago. So bored with my life. Husband and I were like roommates. Totally preoccupied with kids, house, career, etc. The gardening parties we had were not turning my crank. Etc. Met a client who I was attracted to and he was attracted to me. Came within a hair’s breadth of having an affair (I’ve posted about this here before). Pulled away at the last minute. And thank God, because I would have ruined my life.

      Here’s the deal. You have the affair. Life gets exciting again. Yay, an exciting clandestine new relationship! Which will eventually turn into another thing you have to deal with and manage in your life. Even if it’s just a one-time hookup with someone, those can come with complications. And what if doing it once doesn’t make you feel better? What do you do then?

      If you get found out, life will get REALLY exciting and also probably mess up not just your life, but your childrens’ lives as well. Going through a nasty divorce, setting up a new household without an awesome, supportive coparent and negotiating child custody will definitely not be boring. That’s for sure.

      Or, maybe you don’t get caught. The affair will have to come to an end sometime. And then what? More affairs? Eventually that will blow up in your face. One way or another.

      Therapy helped me a lot. I realized I had a lot of fear over life passing me by and what I was missing out on. As my therapist said, only I can make myself miss out on things. If I want to go to the movies and my husband doesn’t want to go, I can go without him. I can have hobbies, spend time with my friends, and do all kinds of things without him or his permission. It’s worth examining the totality of your life and seeing what else you can change, before having an affair.

      I’m no one to tell anyone what to do with their lives. And honestly, I’ve known some people for whom random hookups allowed them to stay in their marriage. But for me, an affair would have been a mistake, and I’m really glad I didn’t do it. Please think hard before doing anything drastic.

  8. Financial Goal :

    Posted in this morning’s thread about my excitement at reaching $100K in my 401(k) after being much more aggressive about saving in the past few years. I’ve boosted my investments and emergency fund over that time as well; a couple people commented to ask about how I went about it. Figured I’d put my response on this thread…

    By far the biggest factor in being able to save a lot more was getting a new job but committing to sticking to my budget from the old job. I got a new, much better job when I was in my late 20s, which prompted me give some serious thought to my financial situation. As I mentioned in the morning thread, at that point I had no real retirement savings and a savings account/emergency fund that wasn’t very well funded. When I got a job that paid ~$20K more than my previous job, I realized I should basically put that entire raise towards maxing out my 401(k) every year. So, I set up the automatic withdrawal to make sure I maxed out every year. That, plus my employer’s match, got me to $100K in a little over 4 years. So, that’s not super exciting but definitely makes me a believer in the idea that often the best way to save more is not to spend less, but to earn more.

    To get money into non-retirement investment accounts, I used any windfalls that weren’t part of my standard budget, like tax refunds and bonuses. I resisted any urge to have a “splurge” item when I got my bonus and basically just pretended the whole thing didn’t exist, other than to get it invested. So that got me up to ~$20,000, again over about 4 years.

    Building up the emergency fund was the hardest because I did have to change my spending patterns. The Mr. Money Mustache blog helped me a lot, not necessarily because I followed all the suggestions (it’s way too extreme for me) but because it just helped with my mindset a lot. It was a good reminder just how many things we spend money on are optional. So, I took a break from international travel for a few years (I did a LOT of travel in my 20s), I traded in my car and bought a much cheaper used car, I cut back on shopping/clothes, etc. I went out a lot less and relied on things I was already paying for (Netflix, the public library, gym membership, etc) as my entertainment. Food remained my splurge item, but I tried to focus more on buying and cooking fancy gourmet food at home (I love to cook) rather than going out to nice restaurants.

    Overall, I have been able to convince myself to be more frugal by thinking of what I mentally refer to as my “austerity measures” as temporary. I’m looking forward, at some point in the not-too-distant future, to traveling again, getting a new car, etc., and my savings rate will decrease. But I’m glad I have put in the effort over the past few years to build a solid financial foundation. Also, my frugality over this time has helped me advance professionally because my boring life outside of work helped me focus.

    • Financial Goal :

      Should have mentioned – my “emergency fund” currently has ~$40,000 and is also mentally becoming my down-payment savings as well, so I guess I should just call it “savings” rather than “emergency fund”.

    • Thanks for posting. I want to gently push back – $100k in 4 years IS a big deal! My hubs is a financial advisor and he NEVER sees this: it seems like even single people who make a lot of money spend it all. Lifestyle creep is real! I am so proud of you for fighting it. I’m trying hard to do the same and you’re an inspiration.

      • Anonymous :

        He never sees what? 32 yr olds with 100k in a 401k? I would think it happens. I’m not saying it’s common (AT ALL) and it IS an achievement, but with the number of investment banking associates and biglaw associates out there — how can they not be hitting 100k by age 32 (even if they had loans — the salaries/bonuses are high enough that you can pay those down AND put in 18k/yr AND live really really well). Is it just the clientele he works with?

        • I meant: He never sees 50-60 year olds with $100K in a 401(k). Granted, his client base isn’t huge, but the staggeringly small number of people who have ANYTHING saved for retirement has been shocking to me. I will say, I think the dot com bubble and housing market crash made his client base very suspicious of investing, so most of them have been out of the market since the housing crash and their retirement savings (what little they didn’t lose) never recovered. I’m pleased to see that this s1te’s readership is much better informed and seems to be overall pretty responsible with money and focused on saving for retirement or other planned expenses later in life.

          TL;DR people are much worse with money than I thought.

          • Anonymous :

            Interesting, though I guess not surprising. The average 401k balance across all Americans of all ages is 92k. The average in the 50-65 yr old set is something like 120-150k depending on which source you’re looking at; of course that 150k figure is skewed upward a LOT by people who have $1 million/2 million etc. — i.e. the type of people posting here with 100-200k in their mid 30s.

        • I’m 32 and as far as I know none of my friends have this kind of savings. Topic of lunch discussions: buy a Porsche SUV or the new Tesla, go to Budapest for the weekend? I’m inspired by OP. Lifestyle creep is incredibly real. A friend who is a partner at a big law firm recently had a major health issue. He was making $500k plus a year. We were surprised to learn he and his family were getting by on his wife’s $80k income when he had to take time off from the health issue. They barely had any savings. Not trying to judge, but just share my experi mcd that most people I know, myself included do not have as much in savings as they should.

          • For some reason I think Big Law has a culture of spending, not saving. I knew Big Law partners who were flat broke with $0 in savings and were still taking out loans to buy fancy cars and stuff like that. The people I know in other professions are much better at saving, even if they have similar incomes (I’m thinking finance, doctors, Silicon Valley tech people, etc.)

    • Anonymous :

      Your post this morning caused me to look into how long it took me to reach my first 100k in retirement. Took 6.5 yrs which felt like an eternity — no match during that entire time bc the employer didn’t offer it; and 2008 happened during that 6.5 yrs so there was a 30% market hit. Fortunately the next 200k only took 3.5 yrs — despite a period of job loss in there — in huge part due to a 7% match from the next employer (as well as growth on what I already had put into retirement in the first 6.5 yrs). I’m hoping it gets easier as time goes on.

  9. Another skin care question—is Chanel skin care worth it? I got a few samples of their Hydro Beauty line (serum, eye serum, crème) and I love it and how it makes my skin feel. I tried my aunt’s “Le Weekend” and also thought it was great. But it is expensive. I am 35 and haven’t been pleased with my skin after two kids. Until I tried this stuff I haven’t been too excited about any skin care products.

    • If you like it, then give it a go. And after you have finished the full product (1-2 months), reevaluate.
      I think you will find great skincare for a much better price, but this will help you understand what qualities/features/benefits you are looking for and will be able to make an informed choice.
      Or copy the ingredients list and go to your trusted skincare store and discuss with a knowlegable assistant. She may be able to help you find products with similar ingredients and texture.
      Looking at the ingredients list, it is basically an emollient-rich cream with some herbal extracts (plus hyaluronic acid in the serum). It is nothing really special or unheard of, so the assistant should be able to help you find a respectable twin ;)

  10. Amsterdam in October :

    Thanks to everyone who replied to my post with advice earlier this week! London Leisure Year, I will get a burner email address and post for your Amsterdam doc in a couple days. Happy Friday!

  11. Wild Subleaser :

    Mini rant/need of advice:

    When I moved in with my S/O, I promised my roommate I would find her a suitable subleaser. She laid down the law–only female roommates, and she would have to meet them first. I found a polite, young college girl. We both liked her when we first met her, and she was the ideal candidate (responsible, quiet, didn’t drink, etc.). I ended up giving her a more than generous offer on rent. When she moved in, her parents warned me that she had never lived on her own, which should’ve been the first warning.

    Fast forward a few months. My roommate texts me daily how disgruntled she is. My subleaser apparently isn’t as nice as she came off to be. Without getting too into dirty details, she’s thoroughly enjoying a summer alone in the city. I don’t care who she’s dating whatsoever, but apparently it’s getting to the point where my roommate cannot even go into the kitchen without seeing something she doesn’t want to see, and she feels uncomfortable with the amount of strangers flowing in and out of our place. There’s a definite lack of boundaries. It’s that on top of horrible, wildly inappropriate renter behavior that has my roommate going crazy. She has tried confronting this girl, which just ends in classic college girl passive aggression.

    My roommate is the easiest person to live with, so this amount of conflict is surprising. I feel bad that I stuck her with a lemon. My subleaser has about two more weeks of living in the space and I’ve already collected her last payment; should I tell her to get it together or just ignore it? I don’t want to let her get away with this behavior, but they really do only have two more weeks of living with one another.

    In summary: screen your subleasers heavily.

    • Shopaholic :

      Sounds like your subleaser is having fun! (And this is why I’m so glad I live alone… no one to tell the world about my adventures when I’m going through a fun phase!)

      I would just leave it – two weeks will go by quickly.

      • Shopaholic :

        I didn’t mean that to be a criticism or snark, I swear!

      • Wild Subleaser :

        oh, my roommate is the raunchiest person I know. We’re both fully in support of having some summer flings, just not where food is cooked…

    • I don’t know that you saying anything would make any difference, especially with only 2 weeks to go.

    • Anonymous :

      You couldn’t have screened for this (nor could your roommate) so it isn’t anyone’s fault. It’s also possible that the young college girl thing was NOT an act. It IS possible that she moved out on her own, met new friends at college/in the city/wherever and decided to enjoy herself since she is no longer living with parents or even with old friends who’d judge; she doesn’t care what your roommate thinks bc it’s a stranger. That being said why hasn’t your roommate laid down the law? It’s her apartment and this is a temporary room renter — I realize you can’t tell an grown up – no guests; you CAN tell them she/her guests MUST stay in HER room unless they want to use the living room for TV or Bible study.

      • Wild Subleaser :

        My roommate is trying the “mentor/big sister” method of communication. I think she has good intentions, but it’s not enough to get our subleaser to stop doing what she’s doing. She tried talking “girlfriend to girlfriend” which did not end well.

      • Linda from HR :

        That’s what I’m thinking too. I get that at this point they have two weeks to go so it may not be worth the energy to fix this, but it’s not unreasonable to ask someone to keep the intimate activity in their bedroom, maybe the bathroom since it’s private, as long as they don’t hog it or anything, but definitely not the kitchen or living room. It could also be reasonable to limit how often a person has guests over, especially overnight guests, to something like 3 times a week.

    • Anonymous :

      Maybe this makes me a prude, but I think bringing home strangers, especially strange men, is unsafe. The subleaser can choose to put her own safety at risk but it’s not fair for her to put others’ safety at risk. I actually left a living situation early because of this. I would guess you don’t have any recourse but I would definitely try having a talk with her to see if you can convince her to enjoy her summer elsewhere. And I totally understand why your former roommate is upset. I don’t judge the activities of consenting adults, but I think it’s perfectly reasonable to not want to wake up to a strange man inside your home, particularly since most bedroom doors don’t have locks or have very flimsy locks.

  12. Are my jeans too tight? :

    So… are the jeans posted here too tight?

    Frequently it is mentioned that when pants “whisker” they are likely too tight for your rear/hips and you should size up. But all the time I see jeans that do this, and in fact, expensive jeans actually stain/paint on whiskering!

    So what’s the deal?

    To me, the jeans are tight but…. passable? But they are a little short for my taste.

    I have a big rear and struggle with pants.

    • Too tight for work? I think so. Too tight for your personal life? I am of camp wear whatever you want that makes you feel good, so they make you feel good, they are not too tight!

      These seem like your run of the mill skinny jeans in terms of tightness.

      • Are my jeans too tight? :

        So you ignore whiskering on skinny jeans, yes?

        • Whiskering when it’s applied by the designer is meant to be a decoration that simulates years of wear from sitting.

          Whiskering when the fabric is actually pulling when standing means your jeans are too tight.

          Two different kinds of whiskering.

        • I think these are too tight. Often skinny jeans have faux whiskering – real whiskering is unattractive IMHO.

  13. Can any of you point me to a decent working woman’s cleaning routine? I’ve debated getting a housekeeper for months now, but I really enjoy cleaning. I just don’t want to sacrifice my weekend free time to do it. Is this a pipe dream or is there a formula for this? I have a five month old, a husband, and a dog (listed in order of messiness), if that helps.

    • Personally, I prefer having the entire house clean at one time, so doing one room or type of cleaning per day wouldn’t satisfy me. But friends have had success doing one thing per day – if you want to keep weekends free, you’ll need to be creative with laundry (I prefer waking up and immediately starting one load so that (a) the hot water use doesn’t overlap with my shower, and (b) I can then toss it in the dryer or hang to dry before leaving for work). Maybe wake up 20 minutes early each day and use that time to either clean the bathroom or kitchen, vacuum, whatever.

    • Sooo…I actually enjoy cleaning, too, but I still find my housekeeper to be a lifesaver. (Single woman, 8-6 job, dog and cat.) My housekeeper does the big clean every week, which leaves me to do other cleaning, like dusting behind the entertainment center and taking cobwebs off light fixtures. I get to do the cleaning that’s worth my time, if that makes sense – the stuff where it really comes down to me knowing my house.

    • Anonymous :

      Oh, man. If your husband’s messier than the dog I think I’d have a serious face-to-face about that. You got shit to do, and you do need a man adding to that list.

      We have a housekeeper who comes monthly for a deep clean, but we (i.e., my husband and I) break down chores basically like this:
      -Monday: we clean our own sinks/bathroom counters with 7th gen wipes.
      -Tuesday: swab out the toilet and hit the outside with a wipe
      -Wednesday: no chores. Chores are terrible. Let’s drink wine.
      -Thursday: pick up all the crap around the house. I vacuum, and he uses one of those swiffer things to dust.
      -Friday: again. No chores. Chores are terrible. Lets go out and drink still more wine.
      -Saturday: laundry
      -Sunday: pick up around the house; meal prep; good scrub of the kitchen after meal prep.

      When we cook dinner, we both cleanup the kitchen. If we don’t cook dinner, we just load things in the dishwasher as needed, toast crumbs and coffee rings be damned. My husband usually unloads the dishwasher in the morning while I do my makeup. I do all the hand washing (both delicates and dishes) so I think it comes out about even.

      We do not keep what my drunk auntie called a “nasty nice” house, but it’s a manageable workload with this breakdown and we avoid living in squalor.

      • Ha! You and your hubs sound super fun and I want to hang out maybe on Wed and Friday nights. So, maybe I messed up the order: hubs is messy but he does dishes and laundry. Dog just sleeps all the time but somehow still manages to shed a ridiculous amount. Anyway, this seems like a good divide-and-conquer routine. I’ll talk it over with Hubs. To be perfectly fair, he chips in any time he sees something that needs to be done. He just doesn’t always see it.

      • Anonymous :

        My husband is definitely messier than the dog. It really depends on the person and the dog. My dog doesn’t shed much and otherwise doesn’t really create any mess. She actually keeps the floors clean by immediately eating any food that gets dropped.

        • This! LOL. Some dogs earn their keep as substitute roombas. My son and our dog have a symbiotic relationship. At least one family member is eating his vegetables!
          Messy husbands are tricky subject to tackle. I’ve tried having the “serious talk” and the most incredible thing is he has no idea how messy he is. None. I even did a tour of the house showing him the cupboards that were open, socks and clothes on the floor, spaghetti sauce splattered on the cupboard and he was like who did this??? LOLOL I have to remind him every week that it’s trash day… the day never changes dude! Anyways, he is an awesome dad, built me a nice patio last week, and never complains about my shortcomings, so I can handle some reminding and cleaning.

    • I enjoy a clean house, but not necessarily the cleaning part; I am not in a position to have a housekeeper.

      My solution: my husband does all of the non-kitchen house cleaning, and by golly, he’s quite good at it.

      • Can you send him to teach my husband?

        • He’ll be over soon! Bucket in hand! He does a great toilet bowl!

          My MIL was–is!–a terrible housekeeper and a hoarder, and so my DH is, I think, trying so hard to stave off anything remotely like what he grew up in. Her house is truly…awful, for lack of a more polite phrase, and the feelings that come with that are hard. But I cringe when I am grateful that those circumstances turned my DH into a neatnik!

          • Pompom, your husband sounds great. He should teach a lifeskills class to other husbands!

          • Haha don’t get too far ahead of yourself: he still has no idea where the towels are stored, whether or not we have band aids in the house (we do), or how to put the seat down. But he’s generally a keeper ;-)

    • PrettyPrimadonna :

      I think the only thing that will help is having a schedule of things you do each night so that you don’t find yourself spending 4-5 hours cleaning every weekend in one big chunk.

    • Having a 5-month-old is hard. You’re doing a lot of work just keeping a little one alive. It’s reasonable to lower your standards for now.

      Here’s my formula for a 2-br, 1000-sq-ft house. I have a husband, toddler, and cat, in that order of messiness.
      (1) Throw 1 load of laundry in the wash first thing in the morning, transfer it to the drier before I leave, fluff and fold it in the evening.
      (2) Unload dishwasher and tidy kitchen while Kiddo eats breakfast in the morning; load dishwasher after dinner.
      (3) Cut down on the number of meals that actually have to be prepared or cooked during the week — make enough for leftovers the next night or for a portion to stick in the freezer, or prep ahead on the weekends, and do big prep-and-freeze sessions once a month or get takeout.
      (4) Spend 15-20 minutes on one room or one set of tasks each night. As an example (but highly dependent on your actual house and habits), Sunday is hang up/steam clothes, put away shoes, gather dry cleaning, etc. Monday is the kitchen–stove top, wipe refrigerator, sweep and mop, microwave. Tuesday is the bathroom. Wednesday is declutter and dust. Thursday is vacuum rugs and upholstery (I like to get the vacuum out just once because ours is a PITA). Weekend is clean out and inventory the refrigerator, meal plan, grocery shop, and maybe some prep.
      (5) Go through and throw away mail as soon as you walk in the door.

      Occasionally, we have to undertake a major cleaning task outside of the “schedule”–dusting fans and baseboards, scrubbing the hood above the oven, vacuuming curtains, etc. We usually get around to these things when we’re having guests over.

      • Aww thanks; you’re sweet. My cleaning routine with a new baby was basically “OMG I Cannot” so I’m trying to readjust. These are good tips! Maybe I’ll focus on one room per night and see how that goes. There does seem to be a “dinner prep” theme to reducing time spent cleaning so I’ll try to figure that out too.

        • To clarify my post above, I do not do all the cleaning or household tasks by myself, by a long shot. DH and I rotate most chores and childcare based on energy levels and general moods. Except I always get the mail.

    • I’m sorry – what? A “working woman’s cleaning routine”?

      Is this 1960?

      Is your husband going to clean too, or is he just another one of your responsibilities?

      This is really weird. Yuck.

      • I was trying to distinguish from the popular “Here’s how to spend all your free time cleaning since you’re a SAHM” cleaning lists that seem to be popular on blogs lately. Also, I’m not allowed to refer to myself as a woman OR a girl on this s!te? Please enlighten me to the ONE true way in which I must refer to myself in the future. By the way Hubs does cooking, laundry, dishes, baby feedings, transport to/from day care, and lots of gardening activities but I just thought requesting “a man and woman’s equal 50/50 share chore list” might be a tad too specific. Happy Friday!!

        • I’m sincerely glad he does pull his weight around the house. Maybe a working family cleaning plan or something.

    • I don’t have any tips or tricks to offer. I’m in a similar boat, except order of messiness is hubby, 2 yo, dog. I’ve tried different routines, and even consulted an organizational coach. We have a cleaning lady that comes once a week, but I’m seriously impressed at how a day later the house again looks like it was hit by a Cat 5 hurricane! I’ve only now come to terms with the fact that this is the new normal. We don’t have a cleaning routine, it’s pitch in when you can for now, with priority on dishes and laundry. There’s a video on Facebook called “priorities” with a mom soaking in a tub with a glass of wine saying she could have done more cleaning, “but… priorities”. This is the approach I’ve taken. Mom sanity over taming the cleaning routine hydra, as inevitably each cleaning issue led to some other mom life adjustment that I haven’t fully made yet… like a need to declutter, getting a meal routine in place, etc. I just take things day by day and slowly but surely things are improving. I wish I could find the video for you. Cheers and good luck! Enjoy your little one.

  14. My family LOVED my first husband. He was (and is!) a genuinely nice guy…but we got married when I was 23 and were more friends than lovers, and amicably got divorced after a number of years. He and I text now and then about our (formerly shared) pets.

    I’m in my mid-30s now and am engaged to an incredible man who’s the perfect partner for me. My family really liked H1 and can’t seem to make room in their minds for H2. They still ask about H1 on every phone call and rarely ask about H2, and even when they mean to ask about H2, they call him by H1’s name.

    H2 is an incredible man. I am happier than I ever was with H1. I’m hurt and frustrated because it seems like my family doesn’t care enough about me and my happiness to make room for H2 in their hearts and they’re being disrespectful to H2 by hardly even bothering to call him by the right name, much less ask about him. I’m sure others of you have been in the same position. Advice?

    • Aunt Jamesina :

      That really sucks. I think you should tell your family exactly what you wrote in your last paragraph. I’d also stop sharing info with them about H1 so they stop asking.

      • Anonymous :

        Same. What are they asking about H1? If they’re asking how is he; did he end up buying that new house, getting that promotion he was up for etc — why isn’t your answer — I don’t know? Even if you do know — why are you telling them that you are still in touch and sharing details about him, thus increasing the number of questions and continuous thoughts of him. Why isn’t the answer – no idea, haven’t talked to him in 6 months since H2 and I have been so busy with x, y, z.

      • +1

    • Agreeing with the above. Let them maintain their own relationship with H1, and more importantly, let them do the emotional labor, and maintain their own social media (or other) connections. Note where the boundaries are – emphasize the PET and H2’s comments about it, and mention there are other ways, besides you, for them to connect with H1. Ask if they are having trouble with their computer or smartphone connections – be concerned about Your Family Member, recommend they contact customer service. Or pretend that they asked about H2. They will get the hint. H1 now has the status of a great neighbor where you all used to live. Everyone has moved. There is no more intimacy of day-to-day life. It’s up to each adult to connect or drift and let go of old expectations.

    • It took a while but my family loves H2 better than they loved H1. And they did love H1. (My sister even said “it seems unfair that I lose my brother in law and you are the only one who gets to make that decision. Eyeroll)

      Part of the problem was that I hadn’t shared with my family all of the problems in my marriage to H1. Part of it is that my mom is/was incredibly sexist and just thought I drove H1 away by being too modern and independent. (though she is equally critical of “clingy” women and assumes this is the problem with all of my single friends)

      Some of how I altered my family’s stance was by opening up a little more about how miserable my first marriage was for both of us. And they do love me, so hearing I was truly unhappy did move them a little.

      But mostly it was H2. He’s just a genuinely good guy, like your H2, and they couldn’t deny it forever.

      Just give it time and feel free to establish your own boundaries, like don’t talk about H1 in front of H2 – or in my case, telling my mom she needed to take down my wedding photos from H1, which was harder to convince her to do than it should have been.

  15. Reposting from this morning’s post as a reminder for MJ (and anyone else, all recs welcome!):

    Napa Girls Weekend recommendations?

    Wineries, restaurants, spa package, anything is game. Planning two days in Napa/St. Helena/etc and one day on the Sonoma side. Willing to splurge some but looking for the best affordable hidden gems, off the beaten path a plus.

    • Only been to Napa once so I’m no expert, but a half day spent in St. Helena was my favorite part of the trip. Brunch at Archetype is fantastic and the cave your is Rombauer vineyards is such a cool experience.

    • Late to post, but I recommend Del Dotto for winery visits for both wine aficionados and novices. Note:the place is often referred to as Del Blotto because of the amount at their tasting, so Lyft or get a driver.

      If someone is staying OK to drive, I like Pride Vinyards up on Pritchard Hill. If you can get an appointment in advance (because they may not have anyone there otherwise) Smith Madrone is a favorite stop on the way up the hill. Those guys are the funniest and crustiest old coots!

      David Arthur also is a favorite. Stop at Dean and Deluxe on the way and bring snacks to share and they might let you barrel taste.

      On the Sonoma side, I suggest Chateau Montelana. Nice people, nice wine.

      Have a great time.

      • Also highly recommend Chateau Montelena — but note it’s in Calistoga, so Napa side. Near there, the Schramsburg cave tour and tasting (sparkling) is fantastic. Indian Springs for mud baths and thermal pool.

        On Sonoma side, I like Healdsburg and surrounds . . . Seghesio is close in town. Hotel Healdsburg is lovely, as is the Honor Mansion. The Shed and Model Bakery and Flying Goat Coffee for breakfast.

  16. Grocery delivery tips? :

    How much do you tip on grocery delivery? Particularly NYC area / using Instacart?

    I’m excited I placed my first online fairway order via Instacart! At checkout they prompted me for a service fee (a little confused why this is optional and not built into their prices) and a tip. I elected to decide my tip later (via cash). What’s etiquette here? I’m not sure if the person delivering my food also picked it up at the store (Instacart mentioned personal shoppers).

    • I instacart a lot–previously in DC (hcol) now in NC (m to lcol) and I actually waive the service fee and tip the runner instead. You can always edit your tip after delivery, so if it was excellent or meh, you can adjust.

      My mentality is based on something I read that the service fee goes to Instacart HQ, and they use it as part of the underlying salary, whereas the tip goes directly to the runner. I’d rather ensure my runner is getting her due.

    • response in mod, but I tip and waive fee. you can ed i t the tip later

      • oh, and who is actually picking your items from the shelves versus running them depends on your market, and the market you shop. In DC, some Whole Foods locations did their own picking, and an ic runner delivered it, whereas in other instances it was the same person (like sending someone to the store with your list). Now, I’ve only encountered the shopper and delivery person being the same person regardless of which of the 3 or 4 stores I shop.

    • Thank you! Follow up – what percent tip is appropriate?

      • I usually do 10-15 for fine service. 20 if they were really responsive about product replacements or some other extenuating factor.

        I do like 60% of my grocery shopping by Instacart. And I actually love grocery shopping but the fee to have someone else do it while I laze about in my pj’s, drinking coffee? Worth. It.

        • thank you Pompom! I feel you. I love grocery shopping but this was glorious. My one complaint though is they packaged the raw chicken in with all of my produce. Granted, they put it in one of those chicken plastic bags but I still feel a little ick about it since some of my peppers fell out of their container :/

  17. Anonymous :

    I live in a small college town and work at, you know, the college. I’m not an academic, so making my actual friends at work is really foreign to me. Historically my working relationships have been what I’d describe as warm professional. If it’s your birthday, I might organize a lunch out. I will not expect to be invited to your birthday pub crawl with your college room, sister, and best friend. But apparently everyone here is legit friends with one another. I would like to have friends, but I also want to live in a world in which I have never (as my coworker literally just did) offered to lend my boss a strapless bra. You know? Any tips on navigating the weird work/life balance in a community with just one major employer?

    • Anonymous :

      Just keep your strapless bra to yourself! lol I don’t have any advice here, but I agree that it must be a weird world and kinda funny to be in. Maybe it’s one of those when in Rome situations it… embrace it?

  18. Belly fat :

    Do any of you guys have advice for getting rid of very stubborn belly fat? A year and a half after my last pregnancy I look 5 months pregnant – and by the end of the day, sometimes 7-8 months. I’ve been eating well and exercising and the weight comes off everywhere but there- which is exactly what I don’t want, as losing weight elsewhere just makes me look gaunt and drawn. I was getting worried enough that I had a pelvic ultrasound and everything came back fine. But no matter what I do, the weight remains there and comes off elsewhere- sometimes the better I eat the huger my stomach gets.
    I’m really frustrated. If you guys can share advice or commiserate I’d be grateful.

    • I don’t have personal experience with this, but could it be a bloating/digestive issue? You mention that the better you eat, the bigger your stomach gets — the fiber in fruits and veggies can cause bloating if your system isn’t use to it. Any other symptoms along those lines? I also have no personal experience with the Whole30, but I’ve heard people have a lot of success using it to determine if certain food groups negatively impact their digestion/overall health. It may be worth a try?

      • Belly fat :

        Thank you so much for these responses! I hadn’t considered either option, nor talking to my OB. Will do it.

    • Anonymous :

      Are you sure you don’t have diastasis recti?

      • Anonymous :

        +1 – go to your OB and get an rx to see a physical therapist. They’ll help you sort it out.

  19. anon for this :

    TTC question (especially hoping to hear from AMA ladies who were older when they started TTC) – My fiancé and I started trying two months ago. I’m 39 and he’s 37. Our biggest hurdle is that we live two hours apart, but last month I was able to work remotely for a week and I think we hit the timing right (i’m using OPKs and temping). I plan to do the same for my next cycle. My concern is about how much time to wait before I go to the doctor. I know it could happen naturally for me but I also know the odds are not on my side. We’re prepared to go through multiple rounds of IVF if necessary, and if it comes to it I have 19 frozen eggs from when I was 36. Fiance wants to wait at least two more months before we go in but I’m so stressed about it that I’d rather just start ART now (even though it will be outrageously $$$). He is also having an SA next month to rule out any issues on his end. Any advice/suggestions? thanks in advance.

    • I’m not an expert but I thought you need to be trying for at least 1 year to be considered by a doctor to have problems.

      In any event, would it be possible for you to call your doctor’s office next week to tell them you are TTC and to ask them what their procedure is, in case there are issues? This way, if there is a set of steps the doctor wants or needs to take, you and him/her are on the same page from the get go and if the steps involve doing something now (ie: go see the doctor for insurance purposes), you can start it now.

      I also recommend reading “Taking Charge of Your Fertility” by Toni Weschler. It really opened my eyes regarding menstruation and fertility. I found out that sometimes it can take 3 months to a year for some women’s bodies to adjust off of birth control. And because of the book, I began taking my temperature every day. And in doing so, I found that my luteal phase was 11 days (you need a min of 10 days otherwise you may not stay pregnant) and I was also able to tell when I was approaching ovulation. I knew if we had to go to a doctor, I had a solid idea of where to begin. (There are drugs that lengthen the luteal phase.)

      • Anonymous :

        Nope. The general rule is 6 months if you’re 35+ and honestly I’d raise it with your doctor before then. Many will be willing to refer you to a specialist even sooner.

        • anon for this :

          yes, that’s what i’m thinking. And when I say “doctor” i mean a reproductive endocrinologist, not an OB. I’d likely just go back to the same doctor who froze my eggs.

          • I would definitely call and ask. The worst they can do is say “Call us back in four months if it still hasn’t happened.”

          • Anonymous :

            My RE said he took anyone over age 38 who had been trying for any length of time, because the window to do something that works is short with anyone close to or over 40.

            For the OP, I would go ahead and call. My RE had a three-month wait for new appointments, and they would give people appointments if, by the time the appointment happened, they would have been trying for six or 12 months. All they can do is tell you to wait. I know a couple of people who have conceived naturally at 39 or older, but bottom line is, it does get harder as you get older and it would probably be great to get some help sooner rather than later. It’s great that you have frozen eggs! It will probably make your journey a lot easier in the long run.

      • I second calling your doctor, and also second the TCOYF book. I am *shocked* by how little the medical community (even reproductive endos!) seem to know or care about a woman’s individual cycle, and base interventions of established means and norms. I would 100% try to figure out everything you can about your body and cycle first (or at least concurrently).

    • 6 months of trying.

  20. I am so sad. Today I told my supervisor (know your office situation: it was absolutely the right call and not a concern AT ALL to discuss with him) that I likely would be leaving my employer at the end of a term-limited position next fall, even though it’s likely they’d hire me on as permanent staff. I thought this was going to be my dream job and I hate it. I feel so much shame that I don’t love it (at a nonprofit, with the view that you’re lucky to be able to do this work, etc).

    I love my colleagues, but I hate the work and management has made it clear that certain parts of me (think something that can’t be changed- sexuality, disability, age, etc) are not valued or protected. But it hurts so bad. I adore my supervisor- he’s also my closest friend at work (again: it’s a weird situation, but that’s not something I or anyone I know has concerns about), my colleagues rock, and I love the subject area I work in (population-specific work). My boss was supportive and understanding and said I can talk with him about it anytime, get a reference, etc. He knew, I think. He asked me if I was thinking about staying. I had hesitated to tell him, but I could tell he knew what I was going to say and again, we’re close.

    Three questions:
    1. I’ve never searched for a real job before. This position was something I applied for early and found out I got prior to really needing to job search. I’m an attorney and would like to move into policy, funding, or government work in a JD-preferred position. How do I set myself up for that? When do I start searching? I can’t start until early September 2018. I’ve got a good network, but I have no idea how to “job search,” per se.
    2. How do I stop feeling so much misery and shame? In therapy already, which helps, but it’s just this constant, low-level feeling of failure and shame.
    3. How do I get through this next year? I’ve kind of known I wanted to leave for about six months, but I do need some tips about how to lean out because this job is…..killing me. I’ve been struggling with depression on and off since I started about a year ago, despite therapy and meds. Not wanting to hurt myself, but….really struggling. (Yes, I have a call into my doctor to figure out the med situation because these aren’t working anymore). How do you lean out?

    • Anonymous :

      1. Work your network. Most of the best jobs with the best fit come from your network rather than a random application. Many will not be advertised as wanting or needing a JD for what you’re looking for. Keep your eyes peeled for a good opportunity that feels right and doesn’t just look good on paper.
      2. You are going through a grieving process. It’s a serious loss you’ve experinced, like a major breakup or a miscarriage. And there is absolutely no shame in taking this seriously, and allowing yourself to go through the stages of grief.
      3. For leaning out, context is everything. Recognize why exactly you’re staying in the job, and what it’s not doing for you and acknowledging those things. I was frustrated with my work for a long time because I thought it was supposed to “fulfill me”. Once I fully comprehended it was to support my family and provide learning opportunities, I sought fulfillment elsewhere and was able to lean out.

      • OMG. Leaving a disappointing job voluntarily is not like a miscarriage. I completely understand why OP is sad about this decision and anxious about what her next steps will be, but this is a CHOICE she has made and it is not remotely comparable to losing a wanted baby because of factors entirely out of your control.

      • OP here. I really appreciate your advice, Anonymous 1, but a miscarriage isn’t comparable.

  21. Anonymous :

    Once you allow your employees to work from home, is there any going back? I have considered the occasional work at home request from my team and absent an event or meeting going on, approved the request based on their personal circumstances (both my employees have children, and moms with health issues) and the belief that they are actually working when at home. Lately, the requests have gotten out of hand. Also one of them I no longer believe is really doing much work at home- I see her online maybe half the time she’s supposed to be there? It’s basically one request from each every week. Morale is low due to a layoff in our department. I wonder if that’s the issue and I just need to wait it out, or am I allowing a slippery slope to occur? How do I dial things back?

    • Myrna Minkoff :

      Are they getting their work done?

    • Anonymous :

      I think it’s fair to say they need to be online from 9-5 (or whatever their regular hours are) unless they obtain advance permission to work different hours. If you can really tell they’re offline and not working during regular business hours, I would definitely have a talk with them. I’m very pro-WFH but you can’t abuse the privilege.

      • How’s it abusive if they’re getting their work done? She hasn’t at all suggested they’re not — she more seems put out by the very asking of it in the first place. There seems to be this default assumption that people will “abuse the privilege” if they’re not monitored. Here’s an idea — maybe look at output?

        • Both this “I’m very pro-work from home” and the OP’s attitude betrays this attitude that you’re somehow being magnanimous in deigning to allow for it. You’re not. Be grateful for performing employees and if there’s a real problem, then deal with it– don’t go weirdly scrounging around for evidence that they’re gaming the system and not worthy of the trust that you’ve given them.

          • Anonymous :

            I’m an employee, not a manager, so I don’t make any decisions about whether anyone can work from home. But it is a privilege and not one every company gives. I have worked places where it was absolutely not allowed so, no, I don’t take it for granted and I don’t believe employees can “work from home” and then not be working most of the day. Output is important, yes, but there’s more to work than output. I could probably produce the same results in 10-20 hours of very intense work that I do in 40 hours of typical work, but that doesn’t mean I can just declare that I’m only coming to work on Mondays and Tuesdays. Even if I were getting my work done that’s just not ok. It’s reasonable for a manager for expect employees to be working during certain hours.

    • Have them give weekly (or depending on the job even daily) updates. It sounds like your more worried about lack of transparency. This will tell you right away who is productive and who isn’t. And if someone isn’t, it may give the kick needed to get them engaged again.

      • Wanderlust :

        Daily reports sound kind of micro-managey for everyday, non-time-sensitive work, and may lead to resentment from the team.

  22. Emotional work :

    What would you do? I take care of the bday cards and Christmas gifts for my 3 nieces/nephews on my side, which is totally fine. Now SO’s brother’s GF is pregnant, and I expect to take over remembering bday and gifts for the new child as well, which might be OK, but the GF also has another child from a different man. I feel like once we start gifting the new child, we need to start gifting the older one as well. SO is really good about helping with Christmas, but he’s hopeless at remembering bdays (I help with his parents’) – he just doesn’t think they’re important. I’m really not looking forward to adding another two people to my list of bdays to remember, especially when I only see this part of the family about 2 times per year and the older child is completely unrelated to us. Do I tell SO either he remembers or they get nothing? Or do I just suck it up and add them to the list?

    • You tell SO he remembers. He can set a google calendar alert to buy a card and to mail it. If its not that important to him and he doesn’t do it, he doesn’t do it.

    • Anonymous :

      Honestly, I’d send a baby gift and a big sibling gift, and then do Christmas but not birthdays (or if you do cards, perhaps your SO can choose the cards and write and address them in advance and you can pop them in the mail at the right time.)

      • +1 Just because you do birthday gifts for your nieces/nephews doesn’t mean you have to do them for his. If it is important to him, let him do it. My DH has 11 nieces/nephews and we send Christmas gifts (though usually a family gift, like movie gift cards or games) and no birthday gifts, unless we are invited to a party. I am expecting my first niece on my side, and will probably send her birthday gifts. This is because: I am very close with my sister and expect our kids to be close, and also because I am around for the baby’s birth and can start this tradition from the get-go (vs inheriting nieces and nephews through marriage as a young adult, when my husband had not been sending bday gifts and we had no money).

        Fair isn’t always equal, and all that.

    • I’d just do it but I’ve accepted that I do all the emotional labor (and DH does more than half the housework). If you feel the overall division of labor is unfair, talk to DH but if you’re fine doing the emotional labor in exchange for him doing other things I’d just let it go.

    • Red board shorts. :

      My first reaction is “F that!” But then I realize this doesn’t stand alone: there are many other responsibilities in a relationship. I think it matters that recognizes that the emotional labor side of it (not just the card-buying part) also matters. Even if you both decide that he’s just going to be like me and buy people presents when he feels like it, you might both want to consider the possible negative repercussions of not doing anything. I say this because of a recent experience

      My dad’s memory is shot. My mom never liked my cousins on his side. She was keeper of the calendar and did more of the emotional stuff than is healthy, so gave him a reminder of their birthdays, but then it was up to him My nephew just got married and had 250+ people at the reception. My cousins are crushed that they weren’t told ahead of time. They asked me about it, which was awkward, to say the least.

    • Everything about this is so petty and grudge-y. The “especially the older child who isn’t related to us” is pretty telling.
      I do all this stuff for my family and actually enjoy it. I wouldn’t want a present or card or call if it was based on this kind of resentment. Would you?

      • I should add, “my family” includes my husband’s family.

        • It took a long time for my family to accept that they aren’t getting Hallmark (or Gibson or Shoebox) cards from me. I think some of them still are not comfortable with it. Is it petty? Maybe. One way to avoid that would be to get them the dang card because you have to, for exactly the reasons you say you dislike. I know it would make them happier.

          With the presents, they are slowly coming around, partially because I’m as almost likely to give “birthday” things early as late. Presents from me are really just “I thought you’d like this” rather than “it’s occasion x, so here you go”. I do save them all up for Christmas, and am known in my family for picking good presents (uh, because I ignore requirements for love to well up on schedule.

    • Ekaterin Nike :

      I handle Christmas and birthdays for my side of the family. My husband handles them for his side. This means his nieces and nephews don’t get cards or gifts.

      • I’ve never done any management of gifts or recognition for my husband’s side of the family. They’re his relatives, and to me, if it’s important to him for them to be remembered, he’ll take care of remembering them. He’s great at remembering our anniversary and birthdays for me and our son. So, I feel like if he doesn’t remember his relatives’ birthdays, that’s a choice. I also feel that way about making our son write thank-you cards for gifts he receives – I make him do it when he gets something from my side of the family; my husband needs to do that for his side of the family. DH is an adult and he manages many intricate details and initiatives in his professional life and career; I think he can manage the details of his personal life as well. (That goes for him making his own medical and dental appointments, also.) I’m not going to take over management of his personal life; I have too many other things to do. Also, I’m not his mother.

    • Ekaterin Nile :

      I handle Christmas and birthdays for my side of the family. My husband handles them for his side. This means his nieces and nephews don’t get cards or gifts.

  23. Shopping help? Red board shorts. :

    It’s three weeks from my birthday/eclipse rafting trip. I’m closing in on a fitness goal of a 28″ waist and want to wear a new top with red board shorts with a white stripe. Any suggestions appreciated!

  24. DateAttire :

    What do you wear to a third date at night at a “fancy” adults-only bowling alley with other games like bocce, shuffleboard, etc? Jeans and a nice-ish top? Specific links to Jean and top suggestions greatly appreciated!

    • SwissMiss :

      I would wear white skinny jeans and any off the shoulder top.

      • SwissMiss :

        Link: https://m.shopbop.com/chloe-top-cooper-ella/vp/v=1/1525297854.htm?folderID=45675&fm=other-shopbysize&os=false&colorId=11686

      • I might be wary of off-the-shoulder tops if they slide up when you move your arms around… speaking from experience it is super annoying and not all that attractive to keep adjusting the sleeves all night long.

  25. Anonymous :

    My SO and I are talking about getting married and I’ve always said I’m indifferent about having a wedding…well I just realized the truth is I DO want a wedding, I’m just embarrassed by my lack of female (or male, for that matter) friends. Anyone else??

    • Anonymous :

      Have a small wedding! It’s cheaper anyway. Not having a bridal party is trendy now so don’t feel like you have to do that if you don’t have close friends you want to ask.

    • All you need is a husband. Be glad you’ve roped one in. Keep him happy by being smart in the relationship and a lioness in the bedroom.

    • This is a late reply, but don’t be embarrassed about having a small social circle. We had less than 30 people at our wedding, and it was a blast! No bridal party, but the full shebang with Saturday night wedding, DJ/Dancing, open bar, etc. It was great b/c we got to talk with everyone and all our guests were on the dance floor the entire night. I was really worried that having a smaller wedding would be a problem, but it was wonderful. To top it off, we had it as a more luxe venue with a higher cost per person than we could have otherwise. It’s also okay to do something smaller and less traditional. The important thing is to put your money and time in the things you think are important during the wedding. Remember that there are very few “shoulds” (with, IMHO, not making your guests pay for anything – i.e. no cash bar), so have the wedding you want even if the guest list is smaller.

  26. If you ask me I can wear only summer dresses in entire season but this one is a really nice and functional piece. I like Nordstorm designs usually and it’s one of my favourite shopping sites.

    Here some dress ideas:

  27. Great post! Can any of you point me to a decent working woman’s cleaning routine? I have debated getting a housekeeper for months now, but I really enjoy cleaning. I just don’t want to sacrifice my weekend free time to do it. Thank you,

  28. I love these jeans!

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