Weekend Open Thread

Something on your mind? Chat about it here.

This bootie from Born has a ton of good reviews — 47 of them, with 4.9 stars out of 5.0 overall. It comes in a shiny black leather, gray suede, and gray leather, as well as the burgundy we’re featuring here. I like the cutouts on the side and the zipper in the back, and Born is known for making very comfortable shoes. For the price it’s hard to go wrong: $109–$119 at Nordstrom (also available at Zappos and Amazon.) It’s available in sizes 6–11. ‘Kerri’ Bootie 

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  1. Light grey cardigan Recommendations? No charcoal/patterns. My clothes are all black, white, grey, and some navy.

    Looking to replace my cotton v-neck with something nicer I can wear with work, and “goes with everything”.

    Pear shaped, petite on top, and I wear only pants. Prefer v-neck or more flow-y. But not too casual/boyfriend style.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      I really, really like the Uniqlo merino wool short sleeve sweater I got earlier this year (and it washes and hang dries!), and it looks like they might have one you’d like. It’s the Uniqlo Extra Fine Merino Wool V-Neck Cardigan and it’s under $30.

    • The Kirkland merino wool ones at Costco are 19.99 and come in a light gray. They are great!

      • +1 I’m consistently impressed with the quality of Costco’s sweaters, especially for the price and like the look of the merino wool cardigan. I wore it to work (business casual) this week and thought it looked nice and was very comfortable.

    • Anonymous :

      Anthropologie has a bunch, although they are a little spendy:
      Angie Sweater Coat
      Bell-Sleeve Waterfall Cardigan
      Michael Stars Reversible Buttoned Cardigan (I have this one and like it)
      Textured Drop-Sleeve Cardigan
      Swing Cable Cardigan

      • Anonymous :







    • Really appreciate these recs. Thanks!

    • KateMiddletown :

      I’m wearing a cashmere one from Lands End a few seasons back.

      • KateMiddletown :


    • https://www.loft.com/seamed-belted-cardigan/444523?prodId=444523&defaultColor=6242&colorExplode=false&skuId=23842328

  2. layered bob :

    Cross posted from moms site because I am truly lost here. My mom is staying with us to watch the kiddos and I am going on an all-day date with my husband for the first time in two years. I have NO clothes for this. I have work clothes for a formal office (navy suits/pantyhose), yoga pants, and law school sweatshirts.

    We are going to have brunch, go to a museum, walk around, have drinks at a very fancy bar, and then late dinner at a more casual restaurant. Weather in the high 60s. I have time today to pop out to a Rent the Runway store or a Nordstrom or a Target. What do I buy?

    Willing to spend some $$ since we don’t have to pay a babysitter (thanks Mom!) and I would like my husband to remember that I am an actual human woman rather than a lawyer/mother automaton.

    • I would go to Nordstrom and buy a simple wrap dress (works for all your venues) and statement earrings. Enjoy your date!!!

    • Flats Only :

      I would wear skinny jeans, comfy booties, a top of some sort (Breton stripe? Vintage band T-shirt? Bow Blouse?) and a blazer borrowed from my work wardrobe. I think Nordstrom could easily set you up with Jeans, booties and top, and Target probably could too. Target would leave more money left over for drinks at the fancy bar!

    • I’d do Nordstrom, for sure. Rent the Runway is a cool idea, but don’t you want to actually own something for the occasional date night? Why don’t you get a DVF wrap dress or something similar? Classic, multifunctional.

    • I would wear black tights, comfortable black booties, a miniskirt, and a cute sweater. Another option: sub skinny black pants. You could also wear a dress (sweatshirt dress, plaid dress, dropwaist dress) tights, and booties. fun earrings or a fun scarf will make you feel date-y.

    • TO Lawyer :

      What are your thoughts on leather leggings and a longer sweater – maybe with cut-outs in the back? Both are easy to repurpose. I would add booties and either a long necklace or dangly earrings.

      • Anonymous :

        Oh I love this idea!

      • layered bob :

        I also love this idea. Left Nordstrom with leather leggings AND a wrap dress. Can I wear black leather leggings and black leather ankle boots? If not then I am shoe-stumped and will wear the wrap dress.

      • Yes you can wear the booties. It sounds like a very badass combo. I’d wear something soft on top to balance the look.

    • Anonymous :

      Sorry for the threadjack, but your post got me thinking – is this really how being a working parent is? You haven’t gone on a date with your husband in two years? We are starting to talk about TTC, and this freaks me out! Are you generally averse to getting a babysitter, or are your jobs just too demanding, or what?

      • Anonymous :

        Eh, for some people it is. But often it’s not. My H and I both work (both mid-law lawyers), but we also tend to get a night out together about once a month at least. First night out post-second kid was at 3 weeks. (It also is easier after your second – you’re way less worried about them breaking with someone other than you.) That said, your priorities do change. I love a good date night out, but I am also happy to stay home the vast majority of the time.

      • This is how it is for us. I know we need to prioritize date nights more often, but we have a hard time doing it. There are so many demands on our time and I feel guilty being away from the kids so they have never spent the night away. We occasionally go out to dinner, but that is rare. We do try to have a long lunch together once a week and so that is what is working best for us right now.

      • It doesn’t have to be like that. My husband and I regularly go out together and leave the kids with a sitter. It’s pretty tough the first year of your first baby, because you’re still adjusting to parenthood/nursing/etc and also it takes some work and time to find a good sitter (unless you have family nearby). But after that, if going out together is a priority for you, you can absolutely make it work. We generally choose to have our dates late, so the sitter will come ~8 PM which is the kids’ bedtime, so we don’t feel like we’re missing out on too much time with them. And we often combine our “date” with some other function in our life – a charity dinner, or work party, or seeing friends from out-of-town. But that’s because we enjoy those things and it still feels like a date to us, especially if we stop for a cocktail on the way home. The price to pay is babysitter fees (ouch, but worth it), and sometime being tired or a touch hungover for kid activities the next day. But such is life, everything good has some cost attached to it. And a strong relationship with my husband, outside of our relationship with the kids, is frankly the foundation for our entire lives. Because we support each other, we can support our entire family life and weather what storms may come.

        • “And a strong relationship with my husband, outside of our relationship with the kids, is frankly the foundation for our entire lives. Because we support each other, we can support our entire family life and weather what storms may come.”

          THIS, a thousand times this. Write it on the refrigerator, get it tattooed, whatever. This concept is essential.

      • Boston Legal Eagle :

        It helps a lot if you have family nearby to help. We took a solo week-long trip when our son was 11 months and have gone on many dates (maybe twice a month or so, sometimes just Costco runs too), and left son with my parents. We’ve found that time for just the two of us is so helpful when we get into a rut of work, childcare, sleep, chores, repeat.

      • Anon in NYC :

        We try to go on dates as often as we can, but for us it’s a cost/space question. It’s expensive to hire sitters! We can often get grandparents to watch our kid, but then we feel guilty about staying out late (too late, and we feel like they should stay over, but they have to sleep on the couch or an aerobed. Hotels by us are expensive). For a while it felt like we needed to go out at night to have it be a “date” but sometimes we try to get away in the middle of the day (although I enjoy that less because I’d like to spend time with my kid during her waking hours).

      • Never too many shoes... :

        It is not always like that. Although the “big nights out” are less frequent for us, my mother takes our son almost every Sunday afternoon for a few hours and we go out for dinner, sometimes with friends but mostly alone.

      • layered bob :

        We’ve gone on dates! But usually just lunch during the work day/dinner after work (so I wear work clothes, not date clothes). And one night a week or so we spend time together at home after the kids are in bed, either watching a movie or reading aloud (= yoga pants and law school sweatshirt). I haven’t spent a night away from my kids in two+ years though (since before the youngest was born). Probably “should” but seems like more effort than it’s worth. I like my own bed, and I like taking the kids if I travel.

      • Honestly, once you have kids, going out and doing what you used to do isn’t as fun or appealing anymore. Yes, we want some date nights, but going to Target with the family can be really fun, too.

        • This is how we feel. We were married for seven years before our son was born; every night was “date night,” basically. Once we had our son – after two years of trying and fertility treatment – we just weren’t that interested in going out by ourselves. My mom forced us to go on a couple of dates during our son’s first year; we’d just go eat dinner and come back (partially because we were tired, though). Our feelings were – we had plenty of time before he came along to go out together (and we did) and we will have plenty of time when he’s a teenager and doesn’t want to hang out with us any more. For his baby/childhood, we preferred to do things all together.

          As he’s gotten older, we are having more-frequent date nights than we used to when my son will go to sleepovers or overnight school trips, but I don’t think lack of going out has hurt our marriage. Most “date nights” for us involve takeout sushi and a movie on Amazon Prime and we’re fine with it. I will say – OP’s date day sounds fun :-) and I’m glad she found a cute outfit for it.

          • This is how my husband and I feel. We were married six years pre-daughter and we know that before long she’ll be doing things like sleepovers and sleep away camp, so we don’t see a lot of point in springing for lots of babysitters during the toddler years. We do have lunch together at least once a week (we work very close to each other) and we plan to take a couples only vacation to coincide with our 10 year anniversary (when she’ll be 4). But we don’t really do the “get dressed up on Saturday night and go to a fancy dinner without the kid” thing and neither of us really wants to.

    • Anonymous :

      Decent jeans and a cute top.

  3. Love these – ordering now!

    Anyone have recommendations for:

    1) Cute slip on sneakers with arch support
    2) Legal recruiters in Los Angeles


    • Anonymous :

      1) Skechers Go Walks. The most comfortable shoes I have ever worn.

      • Anonymous :

        Seconding. These are the only shoes that my mother, who has really difficult foot problems, has ever referred to as “comfortable.” Also they’re really cute.

      • I like Skechers GoWalk fine but they don’t have arch support. I like Propet and Clark’s for slip on shoes with arch support

      • Baconpancakes :

        Hard disagree. I have PT and the Sketcher GoWalks have basically zero arch support. Way too squishy. My solution has been Orthaheel Vionic Active Insoles in regular sneakers – they work great, and my local serious runners store approves.

    • 2) Villasenor & Associates.

    • s in chicago :

      Vionic. I have the gray and am thinking about going with this burgundy velvet now. SO COMFORTABLE. https://www.zappos.com/p/vionic-midi-merlot-velvet/product/8708211/color/714021

    • I have very high arches and even some of Vionics shoes don’t get the job done (plus while some are cute some a really frumpy). I order Pemag arch supports from Amazon that I can move from one shoe to another, and they help a lot.

  4. I have two days in Nice (part of a larger trip that is otherwise planned). What should I do?

    • Matisse or Chagall museum, walk around the old town, Promenade des Anglais, flower market. Eat some socca, do some people watching at a café, have ice cream at Fenocchio’s. If you feel like a day trip, Eze is lovely and accessible by bus or taxi- have lunch or diner at la Chèvre d’or if you feel like splurging (warning: it’s not cheap. but the view is breathtaking-reservations strongly recommended), and the Fragonard store is worth a visit. I personally don’t like Monaco, but some people enjoy it.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 to all the Nice reccs and will add that you should hike to the top of Castle Hill. tjere is an elevator but the scenery during the walk is incredible.

      • +1 to all of this. Nice is a perfect place not to over-plan. You can spend a very delightful day walking along the promenade, wandering around the old town, and maybe a walk in the Mont Boron park if you want to get a bit out of town and enjoy the views. The museums are great as well, and be sure to get some rose and eat some socca.

    • I loved Nice. I was there a few years ago during the hot summer. Id it’s too cold for the water, just walking around the little shops is perfect. The food was also yummy. :)

  5. coffee bean :

    I have a skirt rec to share! I just ordered this patterned full skirt from amazon for $18, and it’s actually incredibly nice quality. It’s not lined, but the material is really thick and lays nicely. We’re only halfway through the day, and I’ve gotten like 6 compliments already.

    Won’t use the link to avoid you know what, but search this term:

    GRACE KARIN Women Pleated Vintage Skirts Floral Print CL6294

    • Nice! Which print did you order?

      • coffee bean :

        The F-11, black background with pink, orange, and yellow flowers. It’s a little (well, a lot!) bolder than my normal pattern choices, but it’s really fun! I’m wearing it right now with a chambray shirt tucked in and sleeves rolled up, and cognac wedges.

        I’m eyeballing that solid burgundy, too. Could be fun for fall.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      How’s the sizing?

      • coffee bean :

        I’m a 5’4″ 180# hourglass, normally size 12/14, and the XL fits nicely. The fabric has no stretch, so as long as you get the waist measurement correct, you’ll be good.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      Oooh, thank you! I had one in my cart I was going back and forth on, but I like the patterns in these more- the pattern I was eyeing was a bit twee.

    • Thanks for the recommendation! That’s cute!

    • I’m considering the burgundy or the black, but can you tell if the fabric might attract lint? (I’m thinking of pet hair and wondering if a print would be wiser!)

  6. Anonymous :

    Does anyone have stories about breaking up with a partner who you thought would be the one – house, marriage, kids, etc., and NOT finding a new partner? I feel like everyone tells stories about how six months after that relationship ends, they found a guy who was SO MUCH BETTER and I find them depressing. I want to know that a relationship that you thought was for life could end, you could end up alone and still be ok and know it was the right decision.

    • No stories, but a fist-bump of solidarity. I’m 3 months removed from a breakup of that very sort. I know it was the right decision and it’s still fresh enough that I can’t even envision myself partnered again in the near future.

      • Same. It’s been 4 months for me and it’s so hard to imagine getting to that place with a new person again. Or even finding a person again.

      • Same boat here. One month out from break up. The more I think about how crazy and controlling he was, and how I was mostly blind and accepting to so much of his bullsh*t makes me hesitant to date someone new. I was letting way too many deal-breakers slide. So I am taking some time before the next and frankly, being alone is all I want right now.

    • I think you have to think about why you broke up. I had a partner I thought was the one, then after the breakup I realized we never saw eye to eye about ‘reach for your dreams, live the life you imagine!’ goals. Next break up, I thought my partner was the one, then after the breakup I realized he wasn’t emotionally available to me (or, really, to himself). There’s a reason you broke up that will define what kind of new partner you may want/need, and how you are growing as a person. The relationship you left wasn’t good enough for some reason – that’s what makes it the right decision.

    • I know that trope and I’m tired of it too. I’m also a little bit suspicious of it, honestly. Usually when people rush into new relationships and feel the need to gush about how they’re so much better, they’re just doing more of the same.

      My husband left me a little over a year ago, and since then I have not even considered dating. (Since I married him, I suppose it goes without saying that I thought it was for life.) It broke my heart, but when someone doesn’t want to be with you, it’s by definition for the best to part ways. I know there’s an additional burden/doubt that comes from being the person who ended it, which it sounds like you were, but even then: so often, women stay in awful relationships because the unacknowledged alternative–being single–is too scary, humiliating, whatever. I think that’s why the narrative is always “and you’ll meet someone SO MUCH BETTER!”–because nobody dares to say that you’ll still be better off even if you don’t. But I believe you will be. I am.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m in a not great, sometimes okay marriage. In the bad moments, I know that being alone is so much better than being with someone and unhappy. You can live your best life without having to think about how it impacts someone. If that leads you to another relationship, great but if not so what? You will still have a happy fulfilling life.

      Maybe I’m all philosophical post Gord Downie passing but ‘No dress rehearsal, this is our life’ rings so true for me lately. Whether or not you meet someone again, it’s not worth staying with someone who isn’t right for you.

    • My mom swore off relationships forever after she and my dad broke up. She said she’d realized she only ever ended up with men who were wrong for her (previous marriage + my dad), and she’d rather put her energy into other places in her life: raising me, her career, friends and family. She’s very happy and at peace with her decision, and in fact gets asked out on a regular basis because she’s gorgeous, and always turns them all down. She just has no interest.

      • My ex-boss was like this. She was married and had two kids, and then her husband left her for another woman. She never remarried and never really even was interested in dating anyone; she said that she felt like she had “been there, done that” with marriage and it was enough to work full-time in a high-level job, raise two kids, and be involved in the community. That kept her busy enough.

        I also have a client who had gotten married in her 20s and gotten divorced in her early 30s and then did not do anything – even go on dates – for years and years. When I met her, she was 60 and she had just met someone she felt like she was interested in. They ended up moving in together after dating for a year, but are not getting married because she doesn’t feel it’s necessary. She had an amazing life as a single person – she went around the world teaching yoga and meditation and met all kinds of interesting people and had great experiences. Honestly, if I could trade lives with anyone – it would be this woman.

    • TO Lawyer :

      Well I have broken up with a few partners for that reason and even though I’ve met (and dated) other people, I’m still single. And I can tell you being single is way better than what my life would have been with all of these people.

    • I think it’s easy to think “and she met her perfect person immediately after ending the bad relationship” into those stories. For me, the loneliest place was in a bad relationship, and I didn’t think it was worth it to stay because of that alone & regardless of whether I met someone else. Luckily, I did, but it still took years after ending a bad relationship & many many terrible dates and sputtering/not quite relationships but more than a few dates type of interactions before I met my husband. Many times I thought I’d be single forever, and I was fine with that (mostly, not fine enough to stop dating). My theory is that if you settle for the bad, you can’t be open to something better or even amazing if you’re really lucky.

    • Dandelion :

      After I broke up with my ex I went 2 years without dating. It helped that after we broke up I moved away and started a 2 year grad program, but it was still hard. I remember meeting people and actually forgetting that I was single, he had been part of my life for so long. Eventually, I found that very freeing. I could be my own person, do what I wanted, and people’s perceptions of me would be just about ME, not about me + bf.

    • Wildkitten :

      When I dumped Mr. Kitten I decided I’d rather rent a small apartment, and go through the immense difficulty of adoption and single parenthood, than try to build a life with him. Plan A remains to find a Mr. Kitten 2.0, but that’s not something I can control, so I focus on how to create the life I want based on choices I can make myself.

    • New Tampanian :

      I’m about 5 years from the break up. Haven’t found anyone and I AM SO HAPPY WITH MY LIFE. Seriously. I have shifted focus to career and side projects and working on me. It took a long time to get to this place. But I’m not kidding when I say that you can do this and you’ll be fine.

      • Anonymous :

        +1, except only four years for me. Breaking up with that guy was one of the best things I’ve ever done.

    • Senior Attorneys :

      I adore my new husband but I am here to tell you I was SO MUCH HAPPIER every single day when I was on my own and away from my horrible former. I bought and decorated a house, I had great friends, and I loved my life and would have been more than happy to live that life indefinitely.

  7. Fieldwork in the cold :

    Looking for tips on dressing for outdoor fieldwork in Saskatchewan next week. It’s cold and some of the places we will walk through are muddy and most likely wet. So I need to dress for this while bearing in mind a moderate level of activity. I will likely get a jacket to wear outdoors this weekend and not sure about the level of warmth I need. Advice? I’ve done this type of thing before just not at this time of year.

    What else should I carry, right now i’m just thinking of layering with t-shirts, sweatshirt with hood, warm socks, boots (have some Timberland workboots). Anything else I should pack? Thanks!

    • Anonymous :

      My ears get cold first, so I’d be packing an earband.

    • Layers are a good plan. I hate having cold feet, so make sure you have good waterproof/resistant shoes. I’d maybe bring a light down vest which can make a huge difference if its freezing or give you some middle ground if it winds up being unexpectedly warm. Gloves.

      • If there’s a chance it will be wet, DON’T WEAR DOWN! As soon as it loses its loft, it loses its insulating power.
        Go for polar fleece or poly-fill.

    • I am not outdoorsy but my kids are and I swear by those fleece/shell combos. When you wear the fleece and windbreaker together, it’s like a winter coat, but you can wear either one of them solo for warmth or wind/rain protection. Both Columbia and north face sell systems like this.

    • Anonymous :

      Knowing Saskatchewan, it could snow next week.

      Make sure your outer layer is waterproof and that you have the ability to add or remove layers depending on temp.

    • Anonymous :

      Fleece Cuddle duds, and a hat. I live in similar climate and I wear my l*ve my mel*n hats 24-7 in cold weather (In work from home and keep my house cool).

    • I’ve had to do similar things for work, and my go-to outfit is: timberlands or similar, smartwool socks, jeans (w long underwear underneath if necessary), boyfriend-style oversized button down shirt over long sleeve long underwear (uniqlo heattech is great for this), a warm vest, jacket (with good pockets for easy access to pens, etc, while you move around), hat, and fingerless gloves.

      And, important: pick up some Hot Hands instant hand warmers in case it is really bad! Sticking a pair of them in your jacket pocket makes all the difference.

  8. Style-Less :

    I’m challenged in the style department/don’t have patience to stalk blogs or try to diy new outfits so I fall into a style rut & repeat the same outfits over & over. I thought Pinterest would be the easiest solution so I can save ideas and just look in one place but everything I’m finding is very mom working from home OR too sexy. I’m in a business casual office, in a small-ish midwestern city, and mid-20s. I have a nice range of basics, but need help adding to & mixing them.

    I’ve tried Stitchfix & Trunk Club and haven’t had the best experience there, but I love the idea of it- any recommendations for another stylist in a box ?

    • Style-Less :

      Also wanted to add: any ideas of how to find better office-appropriate ideas on Pinterest/accounts I should follow that aren’t from 2012?

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      Don’t know about the accounts, but if you email me at my username plus e t t e at the mail of g00gle, I can send you my “work” board that is not work from home-y or inappropriate. I get ideas a lot. I also will do things like search “orange blouse work outfit” and sometimes that helps narrow it down.

    • Can I give you kind of a formula? Unless I am wearing a dress I wear three pieces. Skirt, top, blazer. Pants, top, cardigan. Like that. My rule is to match two of the three pieces and do contrast for the third. So, for instance, navy skirt with navy top and a tweed jacket. Or gray pants with gray cardigan and a pink print top.

      This is obviously not the only way to do it but it makes it easier for me. And it guides my shopping. I have that taupe colored skirt but not a matching top. I need to look for that.

      It’s also a good way to put together capsule wardrobes for travel that mix and match.

    • Might not be exactly what you are looking for, but I recently started using the Cladwell app and really like it. It took a little time to populate my closet and pick out items on the app that looked like things in my closet, but once I did it has helped me put together outfit combinations from my own clothes that I might not have thought of myself. It definitely keeps me out of the rut of wearing the same outfits all the time. You can also create capsules within the app and use them for picking outfits from what you pack on vacation. I have created capsules for vacations but also use it to separate out more formal work clothes so that the app does not recommend more casual outfits when I need to wear business attire or vice versa.

      It also has a “shopping guide” and recommends pieces that you can add to your closet to add x number of new outfits.

    • I have been away b/c of Grandma Trudy’s nurse, who passed away last month. She is now a little better, but she misses her alot. I spent most of my time with Mom and at Rosa’s with the kid’s who are old enough to understand what this means for Grandma Trudy, who needs a new cartaker. We all need to live together, not apart, so that is why I am goieng to find a guy to MARRY me, even if it mean’s cutting my hours. The manageing partner’s brother offered, but he is way to old for me. I would be a widow in 25 year’s with no kid’s. FOOEY on that. I wish all the best to the HIVE in these dark days.

  9. What kind of socks and pants would you wear with these booties? I.e., how would you style them?

    • I would wear low no-show socks and cuffed skinny jeans, maybe in gray. I think they are pretty casual, so probably wouldn’t look right with dress pants.

  10. I’m considering a solo vacation to Arizona in November/December. After a crazy year I just need a few days to unwind, lay by a pool and relax. I don’t think the Caribbean is a good idea right now. Any suggestions on where to stay? I’ll be flying in from NYC and only plan on staying 4 days. I would love to relax and maybe go on a hike in the desert.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      This is not Arizona, but Palm Springs is beautiful for by-the-pool lounging, and you’ll be able to hike there too. The ACE Hotel is fun.

      • Yes, I love the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs! It’s full of tattooed hipsters, which are My People.

        • Rainbow Hair :

          Have you been to the full moon party?! I ended up there unintentionally and it made a HUGE impact. Also you can get a rum float on the daiquiri, which I’m not mad about at all.

    • Come to Scottsdale, AZ! (Tucson is also nice, but PHX has the larger airport for flights…)

    • coffee bean :

      Scottsdale Four Seasons if you can swing it. So luxurious.

    • Anonymous :

      Second Scottsdale! Sedona is very nice as well (2 hr drive if you fly into Phoenix, but the restaurant scene is not as good, gets boring fast). Tons of things to do in Scottsdale, great resorts, great weather, etc. Winter is high season, so book soon.

      • Scottsdale – splurged on a night at the Boulders Resort and am trying to figure out how to get down there this winter too so I can spend another weekend by the pool or curled up next to the fire with a book.

    • I’ve spent a lot of time in Arizona as one of my best friends lives in Scottsdale. Personally, for a vacation, I’d head to Miraval (closer to Tuscan), or the Enchantment or the Auberge in Sedona. Those are all more classic, rest/relax/replace a beach vacation kind of places. Miraval is really easy to go alone – it attracts a lot of women and it’s easy to meet other solo travelers (I’m still in touch with a woman I met there while on a trip with my AZ friend), and they are really activity focused. The Enchantment is right in the red rock part of Sedona and lovely – all the spa things and activities but less all women. I’ve only eaten at the Auberge, but it’s really pretty – the landscape is on a stream so it’s not dry like AZ usually looks, more foresty, and they have little cabins where you get a room. Not sure if they have spa/activities. Sedona the town is a little touristy, but fun if you’re just looking for something to do for an afternoon outside of the resort. Personally I find Scottsdale too much of visiting a city (and not one that I like much – sorry Phoenix!), it’s a lot of big hotels (great if you have a biz trip there), big versions of high end stores and mid-priced mall stores in malls (convenient if you live there, I wouldn’t travel to shop in a mall), big restaurants that are really pretty but food isn’t great and you have to drive everywhere.

  11. Has anyone had success working with a personal stylist as a non-famous/super-fancy person? I am considering springing for a professional to help me with a significant wardrobe makeover in light of recent changes to my professional and personal lives. I have used the Nordstrom personal styling service, style boxes, and MMLaFleur several times with mixed results. I totally understand that free stylists don’t have a lot of incentive to actually respond to feedback about style and sizing, and so I’m considering trying a paid service, because I don’t have the time, interest, or “eye” to get the results I want on my own. Looking to hear about others’ experiences with personal stylists, or tips on how to make the free services work better for you!

    • I am 8 months pregnant and just had my first appointment with a stylist. I had posted previously a question here a few weeks ago about how to prepare. I’m a mom to a 15 month old, am transitioning from a work setting where I can wear scrubs and north face vests to one where I need to up my game.

      It has been a wonderful experience. First, she is helping me find clothes that work now and postpartum. Secondly, she’s helping me develop and refine a sense of style. She was able to go through all my clothes and pick out “winners” and “losers” and could explain why something did or didn’t work for me.

      She sent me to have a hair consultation with her hair stylist after a recent bad cut. I use Bobbi Brown makeup for the most part, but she was able to also help me pare down my routine a little (without selling me stuff).

      Finally, I have fat, wide feet that are used to being in Danskos all day. They’re even bigger and more swollen with the pregnancy. She has been able to help me find shoes that I can walk around in the hospital in without wanting to die.

      In short, I pretty much feel like I’m on an episode of What Not to Wear, except I can continue the relationship with her. It is an investment – I paid $225 for the initial consult, she gets a cut of whatever I buy – but it’s totally, totally worth it!

      I felt so frumpy and insecure before. I feel pretty great now!

      • This is amazing! I’m tempted to look into getting a personal stylist now as well. Thank you for sharing!

        • I am not the type that would normally go for something like this… I shop a lot at Old Navy and Target, I tend to wear the same stuff over and over, etc. I also tried a box service (Stylit? I think was the name) and it hasn’t been the same experience as having someone really take the time to get to know you, take measurements, etc. It really has done a lot for my self esteem. I probably would have made a face at or teased a girlfriend for doing something like this in the past (thinking it was too uppity or frivolous), but I think it’s worth it. Treat yourself! :)

  12. I’d like to thank Me Too from this morning for sharing her story. I had posted #metoo on social media but I hadn’t told my personal story. I did, anonymously, this morning (about Carl) and it was cathartic and upsetting at the same time. I’m glad though. One step closer to closure.

    • Anonymous :

      Thanks for sharing yourself. For those of us not ready to share our own stories, even anonymously, you make us feel less alone. Even sharing anonymously is an act of bravery that matters and helps.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Hugs to you. I am glad there is some catharsis there for you.

      Unsolicited advice-ish thought, please feel free to ignore or tell me to stuff it. I did EMDR (in addition to traditional talk therapy) to get some ‘closure’ on this type of trauma, and it has really helped. I am not sure I put a ton of stock in it literally, like “when you do this with your eyes, your brain does this” but going back to the bad thing in my mind, while keeping a foot in the present, in a room with someone kind who I trusted… it helped me process.

    • Another Me Too :

      None of these are “that bad” compared to others but still upsetting.

      (1) My best friend’s brother was a couple years older. He was always inappropriately interested in me. He took every opportunity he could get to touch me, including repeatedly groping my breasts. When he got his license he would drive us around and if I was the passenger, he’d let me take the wheel to “practice driving” while he’d use his free hands to grab my breasts and laugh. I think his best friend might have been inappropriate with my best friend too, but I don’t know for sure. I tried to complain to her once and she blew it off saying his friend did that to her too and it was just a guy thing.

      One time she invited me over and when my mom dropped me off, no one was home but him. I have no idea where she was and why she wasn’t there. I don’t know if he put her up to it. He told me that she was in her room so I went up there. He followed me and shut the door. We “wrestled” with me laughing at first and then me telling him seriously to stop. He got me pinned down on her floor and grabbed my breasts. He told me he could rape me if he wanted to. Then he let me up. I ran and grabbed a phone and locked myself in the bathroom.

      I didn’t call the police because I didn’t want to deal with the fall out in my friend’s family. I wanted to run outside and run home but I knew I’d be in trouble because I wasn’t allowed to walk on the main road alone. I called my mom and hid in the bathroom until she picked me up. I didn’t tell her what happened.

      I had a long term high school boyfriend and told him not to beat him up. Best friend’s brother would ask me all kinds of gross sexual questions, sometimes in front of his parents. I remember him asking if I let my boyfriend t!tty f*ck me. His parents would yell at him and say he was being inappropriate. They didn’t seem to know what to do with him.

      One time my friend and I ended up hanging out in the basement with him and his friend. They wanted to play some game like spin the bottle but much worse. I don’t remember the details but my friend wanted me to see her brother’s friend’s large you know what. Somehow this led to me being told to give her brother a hand job. I did but only briefly. I remember him saying that he wished he hadn’t j3rk3d off that day or he would have cum already. I realize how messed up this was with his sister in the room.

      My boyfriend had been my outlet for the stuff I was dealing with with this guy but now I felt like I couldn’t tell him anymore because I didn’t say no to the s3x game thing and “cheated” on him. Years later I told my husband in great detail why I hate this guy and he was very sympathetic. I later let slip the weird [email protected] job story and he had notably less sympathy for me after that since while gross, there were ways out of it. I did get out of it by stopping. The reason I didn’t say no at first was because where was I going to go? Tell his parents? I don’t know why but I was terrified of doing that. Call my super religious parents? Same problem. I just felt like I had to deal with it. My best friend didn’t think it was weird.

      YEARS later, I’m now in my 30’s and not really in touch with that best friend for the last 7 years or so. I get invited to her wedding. The brother was watching me all night. When my husband ran to the ATM he came over to talk to me. It was the creepiest thing. He had just been waiting for his opportunity. I can’t remember what creepy thing he said but after that he left the venue and didn’t come back! I think he was afraid of my husband.

      He’s now married with two kids of his own. One is named my fairly unique name. The other is named my brother’s name. He babysat my brother too. I wonder if he ever did anything inappropriate with him.

      Oh, and he got kicked out of undergrad in the late 90’s for sexually harassing women. I wonder what he really did there. It takes a lot to get kicked out, especially back then.

      (2) Very minor but still a reminder of when we don’t have power. I dated a guy for a very long time in high school that was much bigger than me. We had a consensual s3xual relationship. One day he decided we should sneak into the school basement and have s3x under the basement stairs. After a few minutes of this, I realized how dirty and gross it was and got freaked out about getting caught. I told him to stop and that I didn’t want to anymore. He kept going (probably for less than a minute) and finished. He swore up and down he didn’t hear me say stop. He swore he would have. I think he was just close and figured he could finish really fast. His lying messed me up way more than him continuing. I think if he had just been honest about it I would have moved on fast. I still dated him another 2 years. Years after we broke up, I heard that he had tried to force himself on a friend of a friend who had said no. Since I never really told him no, except that one time, I don’t know how he would react.

      3.) Working as a social worker in the community right out of college. Delivering turkeys to my juvenile client’s homes on Christmas Eve. Leaving one of my client’s houses, his uncle full palm slaps my @ss. Reported it to my supervisor who left it up to me whether to report to the police. My kids had enough to deal with so I declined.

      • I’m so sorry all of this happened to you. This best friend’s brother sounds like a sociopath. In no way is any of this ok.

        • +1 and I am so sorry your husband put some of the blame on you. That’s not at all okay.

        • At least you were able to get past this awful incident and meet a man who married you. Thanks for sharing. Personally, no man has ever attempted any of that. I am very lucky.

      • Anonymous :

        So sorry you had to deal with this, thanks for sharing. That friend’s creepy older brother sounds so familiar. I didn’t deal with one quite that extreme but I can definitely relate to the concept…

    • Also me too :

      Mine started when I was really young. Some boys I was in 1st or 2nd grade with would hold me down on the playground and rub their crotches on me pretty regularly. I don’t know how much these boys actually understood what they were doing, but I was scared and just remember fighting so hard and scratching them to get them off of me. This was the early 90s, so no one did anything. I don’t remember if I told anyone, but I’m not sure I even had the language to describe what was happening. The first time a grown man touched me, I was about 10 or 11. I was in a crowd at a crafts fair and I felt a hand brushing the underside of my bottom. I get cold chills when I think about that. When I was in high school, my alcoholic dad grabbed my ass too. To be “funny”. I turned around in complete shock and he was standing there holding a knife. He said, “it was either that, or this.” and laughed. I didn’t laugh. He didn’t touch me any other time that I’m aware of (but it freaks me out, because what if he did and I can’t remember it?), but I was always kind of vaguely creeped out.

      In college, I somehow found my wonderful husband, who never ever forced me to do anything I didn’t want to. Sometimes with the perspective of age I think back to college and feel a little regretful about what a prude I was. But then I think about the crap that happened to me as a kid and think I was just really scared by se xu ality and couldn’t have done things differently because I didn’t feel safe enough.

  13. This won’t mean anything to non-horse people, but I am so excited for a barn mate of mine! She got a new horse earlier this year and qualified for the 3’3″ A/Os at Penn National after six horse shows. She had a REALLY good day yesterday, winning an O/F class and earning two more good ribbons. She was tied with the top amateur in the division nationwide going into the second day. I just found out she ended up champion!! I am so happy for her. She deserves it.

  14. Sloan Sabbith :

    Does anyone have any Amazon-available recommendations for ponte pants? I ordered Rekucci “barely bootcut” and “bootcut” pants a moment ago to try both on, and I’d like to stay at or below $30. I know ponte pants have been discussed so many times recently, but I’m specifically looking for low-cost pants on Amazon. Thank you!

  15. I’m realizing that one of my coworkers on my team doesn’t seem to have the skills or aptitudes to be successful. I think she’s trying her best, and I know my boss has talked to her about performance (small team, no one told me but it’s obvious it’s happened) but her best just doesn’t seem to be good enough. We’re in government so I don’t think it’s likely she’ll be let go. I like my job a lot but the thought of staying here long-term with her performance problems just makes me…tired. We’re a small team so I’ll be the one picking up her slack.

    Just wanted to vent for a second. I know I have no control over any of this, especially in a public organization. Aside from the work issues we have a collegial relationship and I don’t wish her any harm. I just want her to go find another job.

    Who else wants to vent about petty but unfixable problems on a Friday afternoon?

    • My boss gave me a huge project with a tight deadline for Wednesday afternoon. Then yesterday at 3:00, he told me that he actually needs it by Monday afternoon. So I worked late last night, canceled lunch with a friend, and am planning to work a bunch this weekend. FWIW, this is not typically necessary in my job, and the deadline got moved up for reasons outside my boss’s control.

    • Anonshmanon :

      You never know how it turns out. I had a colleague at a former company, who would just make so many little mistakes and deliver work produkt full of errors, no matter how hard she focused. She also wasn’t particularly fast turning around high volumes of workload. The ironic thing is, she went for a promotion (successfully) and I believe this might actually be the right thing for her, because she has good big-picture ideas and now somebody else can carry them out for her.

  16. Off the cuff tax guidance (I’lll get professional guidance if responses here suggest worthwhile to look into):

    I’m a w-2 employee who works 100% remotely. I’m also a w-2 employee of my “side hustle” at a small nonprofit (100% from home). i also have some small 1099 income for some consulting(100% from home)–just me, no entity. Not a huge amount of $$ (probably $120K HHI combined).

    I really want to renovate home office, both to make it more aesthetic and more functional. Is any of this something I could write off? (no employer reimbursement).

    • Yes and I think you can amortize some of your mortgage or rent for this. You should definitely talk to a CPA.

    • Anon in NYC :

      I think it depends on the renovations – the guidelines for tax deductions for home office space are pretty strict so you should look into it further.

    • Technically you can, but the benefits will be very minimal tax wise. You’ll definitely need to work with a CPA.

  17. I am feeling so whiny and overwhelmed right now. My beloved kitty died suddenly after surgery last week and I miss her horribly. I decided, based on really good advice that I trusted, on the surgery, which was her only hope, and paid a lot for it, so now I am broke and don’t have my furbaby. In the midst of all of that, I failed to plan ahead to go visit my family for Christmas. We have a very small window of opportunity between my nephews getting home from college and when I have to be back home to sing. I can’t find reasonable flights that make sense. I will see my brother and SIL at another family event in early December, but not my nephews or my stepmother. I hate to not see my nephews but I’m tired and grieving and feel like I am completely unable to commit to anything.

    • I’m so sorry NOLA. Thinking of you on the west coast.

    • coffee bean :

      I’m so sorry for your loss.

    • Anon in NYC :

      I’m sorry – hugs.

    • cat socks :

      I’m so sorry to hear about your kitty.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Oh gosh that’s awful. I’m so sorry about your kitty. <3 <3 <3

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      Oh, love. I am so sorry, what an awful week. If you email me your address I’ll send a surprise. :) My username plus e t t e at the mail of g00gle.

    • Thanks all. It’s been a rough couple of weeks. We truly thought the surgery would give her a chance at a few more good years, but two days after surgery, when her numbers were improving, she died of a pulmonary embolism. It was a shock and my house is really empty.

    • New Tampanian :

      LOTS OF HUGS!!!!!!!!!

    • Ekaterin Nike :

      Oh, NOLA, that all sounds horrible. I’m so sorry about your kitty. *hugs*

    • I’m sorry to hear that! Just a suggestion but could you skip singing and visit your nephews instead? I seem to recall that singing is one of your hobbies, but if it’s an obligation and not something that will bring you more joy than seeing your family at the holidays, I’d bow out. Life is just too short to please others all the time. Not sure where your this or that lines up, but thought I’d suggest it as it can be hard to think of things like that when you’re grieving.

      • Actually, singing is a paid gig for me. So it’s not really an option. I already don’t sing in the Christmas concerts for my semi-pro choir because it’s too much for me at that time of year. My brother and his family are also leaving the day after Christmas to go up north. In many ways, I have built family here because I’m so far away from my family. My brother and I don’t get along all that well. He keeps telling me not to come. But I’m very close to his sons.

        • s in chicago :

          I’m so sorry. It seems so wrong to have to be dealing with holiday stress already and it’s only October! Since brother isn’t a factor in wanting to go, any chance in setting up a different visit with the nephews? Maybe a long weekend that’s not around the holidays to their area and you can plan day activities with just you and the kiddos? That gets you a cheaper time of year (more time to get savings back up, too) and more one-on-one time with them. And will be more exciting for them, too, since it’s a break in the norm.

  18. anonymous :

    Does anyone know if Land’s End ever stocks the ponte dress from yesterday in a v-neck in straight sizes? I’m trying to buy more v-necks, but am very, very conservative with necklines at work. I love this plus-size option from LE, but I’m not plus size.


    In the same vein, any suggestions for conservative v-neck tops/sweaters/dresses you like?

  19. The Limited :

    Apparently the Limited is back? Except they don’t make talls (or petites) anymore. And the new collection doesn’t look anything like the old style that I actually liked. Also this:


    I am sad, I was so excited for the return of one of the few tall-friendly retailers that made inexpensive but classic women’s work clothing.

    • Anonymous :

      Yeah.. I said in the earlier thread that I don’t think it’s the same store at all. It’s a new store with the same name. I don’t like the new style or the fact that they won’t have tall sizes.

      • My guess was that this is the same shell of a company, but they are coming out of the gate with a very limited run of limited items in limited sizes, so that if they go bust again, they aren’t stuck trying to liquidate a whole bunch of cold shoulder ruffle jumpsuits…again.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      I am prepared for the mockery, but I actually think that blazer over a fitted black dress would look pretty good. I simply do not have the hate for ruffles and lace that many others here do – an otherwise serious outfit with one embellishment is more than fine for office wear *for me*.

      • +1. I bought a black (small) bell-sleeve blazer from Nordstrom the other day and I love it. Totally appropriate in my business-casual office.

      • +1 – personally I love the ruffles and sleeves. I’m very fine with what’s out right now.

      • Anonymous :

        I agree. I’ve seen a lot worse. This doesn’t even make my eye twitch.

  20. Anonymous :

    Thoughts on this besides – move to Philly?

    I know there are a fair number of readers here who are from NYC but settled in DC or who are from elsewhere but have had job opportunities in NYC. How did you make the NYC vs. DC decision? Left NYC about 2 yrs ago and I was so over it – the lifestyle, COL etc. Now 2 yrs later though, I am really iffy about DC and wondering if I should make a move back to NYC. What factors led you to stay or go? Esp. interested if kids/schools weren’t an issue for you bc you’re child free or your kids are really young or over 18.

    • Anonymous :

      What did you have in NYC that you’re not getting in DC — or, to ask another way, what’s making you iffy on DC?

    • Not sure if I can help because I really disliked NYC and really like DC. Among my friends who’ve done both, everyone seems to have a strong preference for one or the other. If you like living in NYC, can get a job there, and can afford it, go back — you won’t be the only one.

      • Anonymous :

        Confirmed. NYC-er here. Spent time in DC during law school, and it wasn’t for me. Am really happy to be back in NYC. Of course I have my moments where I hate the congestion and the cost, but on balance it’s great.

      • +1 to Tetra – I have a pretty strong preference for DC over NYC myself, but I knew some NYC-ers in DC who felt the opposite. If NYC is your one true love, you might just have to go back.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 grew up in DC and now in NYC and I’d go back in a heartbeat.

  21. Weirded out :

    When I was in high school I dated someone for close to three years. We had a good relationship at first and he was a good guy, then he started using drugs, cheated, and was overall very terrible to me. The relationship ended badly and it affected my self esteem tremendously. I finally got over it and had a healthy relationship with someone else and then met my now husband who I’ve been married to 3 years. I’ve seen my ex hs boyfriend 1 time in the last 10 years and have had no contact with him. The problem (?) is that I have dreams about him regularly (5ish times a month). In the dreams I know he is my husband but I can’t find him or he is treating me badly and I’m upset. It’s really starting to weird me out and I feel disturbed by it the next day. Otherwise I don’t think about this person at all and am completely happy with my life and my relationship. Has anyone dealt with something similar? How do I make it stop?

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      Oh golly, that sounds terrible. Poor you! My only advice is that I don’t remember my dreams when I wake up abruptly, so try setting a loud alarm half an hour earlier than normal?

    • Anonymous :

      Are you dealing with stress in another area of your life? I often get super weird dreams when I am stressed. They are generally unrelated to the source of the stress.

      An eye mask when sleeping has often helped me get to a deep sleep with less disturbed dreaming.

      • I’ve definitely had stress dreams featuring a long ago ex when I was stressed out about something else in my life. It sucks!

      • Anonymous :

        My indecision dream involves getting married on short-notice, with little planning to a guy that I don’t really know that well. Once I make a decision about the thing, the dream goes away.

    • I also dated someone in high school for a few years who became increasingly paranoid, started doing drugs and treated me terribly. After I ended it, he continued writing to me for years and otherwise made me feel stalked. To put it in context – I’m currently not registered to vote in my state because I don’t want him to know where I live (I’ve always received physical mail from him few months after moving to a new location). Although it was more than 10 years since we broke up and several years without any communication from him, I had recurring terrifying dreams about this person chasing me or that I am married to him with no way out. These dreams left me shaken for the day each time it happened. It bothered me enough that I learned about lucid dreaming techniques. First, I tied offing him in my dreams but it did not help (in my dreams, I’ve thrown him off cliffs, pushed under the train – cartoon stuff). Then, I broke up with him in my dream and walked away and made him let me. I have never had these dreams again. I highly recommend trying lucid dreaming.

    • Anonymous :

      I don’t have any advice except I posted about a similar phenomenon (frequently dreaming about an ex despite being in a happy relationship) and was assured by other posters that it’s 100% normal. After I came to terms with that, it didn’t stop completely but it happens less frequently and I care a lot less about the dreams. They don’t mean anything.

  22. How do I wear these shoes? :

    I bought these booties from Target that have rave reviews:

    I’m unsure how to wear them though. Since there’s no zipper, you squeeze your foot in and once in, there is a significant gap at my ankle area. Does that mean I always have to wear footed tights with them? I am also not sure if the gap looks weird, but then I’ve only ever worn full boots before not booties. I assume if there was a zipper it would fit more tightly around the ankle.

    • Former Retail :

      I own a version of those from another brand, and wear them with no socks (or no show sock) and skinny ankle pants or skinny jeans.

    • Skinny pants or jeans!

    • Do you mean that the top of the bootie isn’t “fitted” to you ankle and is larger in diameter? If so, that’s totally normal with this type of shoe. You can wear them with tights, leggings (either tucked in or left out), cuffed skinny jeans, or ankle pants. If you wear bootcut or straight jeans, you can wear them over the bootie as long as they’re the right length, meaning the bottom of your jeans hem is about 1/4″-1/2″ above the ground.

      As for what to wear on your foot, barefoot or no-show socks are both good options. I bought these liner socks on Amazon recently and found they stay in place very well: https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B01MQRFPBU/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

  23. I came into a large inheritance recently (about $100K) and am thinking of how to invest it. I already hold a bunch of equities in tax-advantaged retirement accounts and am looking to diversity – thinking a rental property in Denver/Austin/Chicago would be a fun project (I manage a condo rental in the Bay Area but don’t want to put another egg in the Bay Area basket). Anyone done this before? Thoughts on other diversification options? (bitcoin?)

    • Chicagoan :

      I’d think twice before getting a rental property in Chicago right now. The finances of the city, county and state are pretty precarious and it’s hard to recommend buying a property right now. I love my city but the politics are crazy.

      • Another Chicagoan here (and I have a rental property here too).

        How does that really affect whether or not she should buy a property? In many neighborhoods there will still be a lot of demand for rentals regardless of politics–if she can find a place that has low carrying costs relative to the rental income she will get, it should be fine. Property taxes may rise but political pressure will keep it somewhat in check–so as long as she is conservative with the purchase price the math can still work out. It’s just a matter of doing enough research and running the numbers.

        Chicago has a lot going for it despite the national news you may hear that only emphasizes the bad!

    • Anonshmanon :

      Bitcoin is gambling, just be aware of that. The fluctations are enormous, so maybe put a little bit of money there if you enjoy the thrill, but you should feel allright about not seeing that money again.

    • Anon for this :

      Look at doing a vacation rental in the wine country (Russian River area is still affordable) or Lake Tahoe – that what I do & it’s a great way to both invest in real estate, get some income & a place you might want to use too.

    • I would invest in REITS before trying to buy and manage an apartment out of state.

      For me, I’d just put it all in Berkshire Hathaway and call it a day.

      100k is not that much $ and certainly not enough to invest in an apartment in Chicago.

  24. Waiting No More!! :

    THey’re flying me in for in-persons!!!! I. AM. SO. EXCITED. Y’all… This is a position that I REALLY REALLY want because it’s such a good fit. Going sometime next week, waiting on details. OMG. OMG. PLEASE SEND ALL THE GOOD VIBES!

  25. Bipolar 2 :

    I’ve been struggling with med dosing for awhile now and my psychiatrist thinks it may be bipolar 2 based on how I responded to a recent med change. Does anyone have it? My “manic” episodes are, she said, possibly indicative of bipolar 2 because they’re really just episodes of extreme anxiety and hopelessness rather than the typical manic episodes (which I have never had.) I’ve told five people so far because of the stigma, but I don’t feel much about it. If we get me on the right meds I could not care less about the label for the condition. But a few people I’ve told have been really concerned that it will negatively affect me to have that label- not professionally or socially, but personally. I’m just tired of being miserable.

    • Anonymous :

      I know it’s late to answer, but yes, I’ve been in a very similar situation.

      My depression was compounded by early trauma, and I’d worked with several counselors, but only in my late 20s did I take an active role in finding the right kind of treatment, including meds from a psychiatrist instead of a GP. The world of trying different things till I found a real improvement was…enlightening. I highly recommend you keep advocating for yourself, and keep following through with the treatments.

      But anyway, bipolar 2 was an idea that I brought up to my counselor (LCSW) because my negative thoughts move fast. She thought it might not be the most useful avenue for talk therapy at the time, but loaned me some reading material. The psychiatric was very skeptical, but SSRIs weren’t working. Instead of bumping me into the next class of antidepressants, she was willing to try a drug labeled for bipolar.

      Turns out it works incredibly well for me (for me, mind you, I’m not advocating a particular pill for anyone). I honestly have no idea whether it was prescribed off-label for depression, or if either of them wrote me down as officially bipolar. Didn’t matter at all, like you said, I was just happy to feel better than I had in a long time.

      AFAIK, the best scientific understanding of the distinctions between these disorders is still worlds away from truly intersecting with the knowledge about how exactly the treatments work. So neuroscience is an awesome field of research or an endless rabbit hole of hobby-reading, but from a patient’s, or even a good clinician’s, point of view, it’s worth f-all compared to results.

      If you were struggling with an unwanted label, I would write a different novel, because I’ve gone through that too (when I was younger, mostly). But it sounds like you have a very solid, healthy perspective here, so I would encourage you to ignore those who don’t see it the same way. It’s really none of their business.

      Also, insider tip: if you end up in the position I’m in, where you take bipolar drugs but depression is the label that fits, when you do need to quickly explain, the catchall phrase “mood disorders” works well.

    • My Dad has bipolar 2. Honestly, I just think of it on the spectrum of mood disorders. It is actually useful if your doc figured it out because it really makes a big difference choosing meds.

      Initially we thought my Dad just had depression alone. But when the doctor increased his antidepressant (cymbalta), it threw him into a terrifying bout of anxiety/hypo mania/agitation where He was so unstable I was fearful for our safety….and his. Once he was put on a tiny dose of a mood stabilizer (Latuda), and a lower dose of the anti-depressant, the improvement was miraculous. No side effects.

      Other things that have really helped are exercise and a happy light in the winter and a very regular sleep schedule. These improve his depression so he needs less anti-depressant medication, and the exercise is great for anxiety.

      I’m sorry you have to struggle with this. Honestly, bipolar 2 is a lot easier to deal with once you figure it. You are going to be ok. It’s just a mood disorder. We all have a disorder of something….

      • Curious…. Why are you telling all of these folks about your diagnosis? None of their business. Not great friends/family if that is their response. My Dad has never told anyone except his doctors. Why would he?

        In fact, his psychiatrist actually calls it a mood disorder or bipolar depression. Not bipolar 2. That’s for the psychiatry notes/diagnosis codes.

    • I’m really late, and I’m sorry for your struggles. I don’t have personal experiences, but my cousin has bipolar 2 and has been able to live a stable life as long as she keeps up with her meds and therapy. If I didn’t know about her diagnosis, I don’t think I would ever guess she had the diagnosis, although I know it took her awhile to find the right combo of meds. I say you should share your diagnosis as much as you feel comfortable in your personal life, although as someone who’s been hospitalized for mental health issues, I know the stigma it carries and how freaked out some people can get. I’ve chosen to be fairly open with my history in my personal life, and let the chips fall where they may.

      On a related note, I would also recommend reading the graphic novel “Marbles” about the author’s journey with her bipolar diagnosis. It’s really beautifully done. It might also be a good read for those close to you to get some perspective about personal experiences with it.

      Best wishes to you!

      • Thank you. :) Its still very new and not certain yet so I’m feeling my way through how I feel about it and keeping it close until I feel more confident about discussing it.

        • My mom has bp2 and I vividly remember her chasing me around the house with a knife once. My aunt spilled that beans about her diagnosis, apparently I wasn’t supposed to know. I hate her less for the terrible things she did to me as a child.

          • I’m…really sorry to hear that. I don’t chase people around with knives.

          • Um not a very helpful comment…you don’t have to say everything that pops into your head.

          • I mainly said that as a precaution to make sure if or when you have kids to make sure you’re well balanced.

          • Right, I’m sure she never would have thought of that on her own.

    • Curious…. Why are you telling all of these folks about your diagnosis? None of their business. Not great friends/family if that is their response. My Dad has never told anyone except his doctors. Why would he?

      In fact, his psychiatrist actually calls it a mood disorder or bipolar depression. Not bipolar 2. That’s for the psychiatry notes/diagnosis codes.

      • Thank you for your experience above. I’m hopeful once we get the meds figured out I’ll have a much easier time. I exercise 3-5 times a week and average 15K steps a day, so that is good. I’ve got an amazing therapist and support system.
        The people I’ve told are my therapist, two very close friends and my parents. I don’t consider any of the responses to be anything but caring of how I’m doing- and all of their responses were, essentially “How you doing with that? Just want to make sure you have the support you need as you navigate what could be a tough diagnosis or cause some big feelings.” Nothing judgmental. Just more concerned than I feel about it. I’m very open about the number of chronic illnesses I have to normalize disability and chronic illness. This feels different because bipolar has SUCH a stigma, while my other diagnoses don’t.

  26. I live in a state with no family near by. Anytime I visit family out of state, I do nothing but cry on the last day, like ugly cry. It’s just easier not to visit family, so I can avoid the embarrassment. Anybody else? I feel like something is wrong with me.

    • Nothing is wrong with you. Sounds like you miss your family! Go see them even more if you can.

    • Are the tears reflective of real feelings of sadness? I can’t quite tell from your wording; but, if so, is there any hope of moving closer to family?

  27. I have 2 weeks off during Christmas break. Caribbean is out due to recent hurricanes. I would prefer a warm place, but am open to any ideas. Any thought on places to visit?

    • A lot of the Caribbean was not affected by the recent hurricanes, I wouldn’t rule it all out…

      • Yea like 4/30 islands were hit. There are plenty of places with unharmed resorts. Personally my rec is Jamaica. I’ve probably been to that island 10 times. I like climbing up the waterfall, red stripe tour, where the salt water and fresh water meet, snorkeling, and then just relaxing. The island has (in my opinion) the tastiest food, a great selection of attractions, all while being absolutely beautiful (they have mountains!!!) .

  28. Ski pants? :

    My old ski pants are 15 (maybe 20?) years old and need to be replaced. Nope, I don’t ski much, but we’re taking the kids about once a year for a week or so for the last two years. For a beg/intermediate skier who doesn’t want to look too Previous Century on the slopes, what do I look for and what should it cost? (For the record…I HATE being cold. Would much rather be hot and unzip a jacket.)

    • The Arcteryx sentinel pants are the best of the best- I wear hot chilis or lululemon wunderunders under mine and I’m perfectly warm. However, I ski a lot, and frequently off-piste, and these might be overkill for what you need.

      For a more beginner/intermediate skier, I’d recommend the North Face Freedom LBRC insulated pants- theyre warm, stylish enough, and the colors are frequently repeated year over year, which means you are likely to find a classic color that you can wear for a few years with a variety of jackets. Check places like Backcountry and Moosejaw for sales and free shipping.

  29. Horseback riders- I got thrown for the first time at a lesson last week. I’ve only been riding for a few months and we were cantering along in a field no issues when the horse decided to put his head down and buck and I just couldn’t stay on. I’ve already spoken with my instructor about what I could do next time to stay on, and I got back on and did another canter to finish up the lesson.

    I had a concussion but no other injuries. However, its been a week and I’m still SO sore- bruises all over and my neck muscles ache every time I turn my head. And it did give me a little scare and made me think about how much worse it could have gone.

    Can you give me some encouragement to keep on with my lessons and not let this one fall scare me? I really want to cancel my next lesson especially since I’m still sore, but I feel like if I let myself act out of fear I might not go back… and I was really loving it up until the fall.

    • This probably isn’t what you want to hear but I’ll share my experience. I grew up in an affluent neighborhood where my peers owned and rode horses, myself included. One of my childhood best friends who owned two horses and at this point had ten years of riding experience under her belt, easily an expert, had a horse fall and crush her femur. She no longer rides. I don’t either, partly because safety and partly because ethics.

    • I’ve been riding for ~30 years and I have fallen off many, many times. Now, it’s much easier to “bounce” when you are younger, but with animals – even the most well behaved ones – things can happen. My rock star safest horse ever tripped in the field once and I came off. For me, I look at it relative to many of the other things I do on a daily basis . . . I would imagine that I am far more likely to get injured in a car accident than off of a horse because of how much time I spend in a car. I used to fall down regularly when I started trail running and there was one run where I spooked myself really badly and ended up walking the last four miles. But, I trail running (and riding) is important to my life so the risks outweigh the rewards. Same with riding my bike. I laid it down in the bike lane next to traffic, and was spooked for a few, but I got right back on and went slow and finished my ride.

      That’s what I would suggest you do. Talk to your trainer, tell her you are a little spooked but you want to keep riding. I firmly believe you should go to your lesson next week, but perhaps you can stay in the ring next week? Or just take it easy and do some low key stuff? You’ve got this. You already got right back on and you talked about how to stay up next time it happens. You have all the tools to help yourself! Yes, it might be scary, but you can do it! Do you want to give up something you really enjoy?

      Not sure if this will make you feel better, but I have one jump in the ring that is my nemesis. It’s a long downhill approach to a large cutout wall. I hate that thing. I never see a distance and have put my horse to it badly so many times, I lost count. It’s scary to me, but I keep doing it because I know I have to master it. I hate it, like I DREAD it, but I can’t let a stationary object made of wood get the better of me, you know!?

      And, I am sure you know this, but please buy a new helmet! Once it hits the ground, it needs to be replaced.

      Please report back next week and let us know how it goes!

      • Equestrian lawyer :

        I have taken a number of falls, including a few moderately serious ones – I agree that it’s easier when you’re young, but I have also fallen as an adult, including a fairly recent fall (2 years ago) that caused me to break my arm. It shakes you up, for sure!

        But I agree with CountC – there are so many risks that are part of life. I don`t think you can ever be a good rider without taking a few falls.It’s good that you kept riding right after the fall! Cut yourself some slack and make sure you get back into it slowly.

        I changed stables after the arm breaking situation because I felt there was something wrong with the way the stable was handled that had caused the fall to be so bad (there were wayyy to many people in our lesson and ALL of the horses were acting up in a small arena, basically causing mayhem), although this isn’t necessarily the case – I have taken plenty of falls that were nobody’s fault, just a quirky spook or unexpected shift in balance. I do fell much safer at my new stable and have no serious incidents to report despite riding a rather frisky horse. But there are lot of ways to make you feel safe, even if nothing is ever 100% risk-free. Ask for a gentle horse, skip the fences or cantering in fields for a while (even gentle horses can get a little exited by cantering in wide, open spaces). Feel free to tell your instructor if you need to take it slow for a bit – much better than quitting outright as far as I’m concerned (been riding for 24 years and counting – it’s my happy place). I think one of the best things about horseriding is overcoming your fear, but it works in phases and it’s totally OK to “regress” for a while – I have, plenty of times.

    • Thank you all very much for your encouragement. I really appreciate your kind words. And I didn’t realize I need a new helmet so I especially appreciate that tip. I will follow the excellent advice and ask my trainer if we can stay in the ring at my next lesson and take it a little easy until I feel a bit more secure. You ladies are wonderful!

    • A concussion is a pretty big deal. I’m not surprised you’re still sore and bruised after a week.

  30. chicago pixie? :

    Just a silly update. Got a job, started last month. Got my pixie cut this morning. It’s gorgeous out in Chicago today and I feel so happy with the wind and sun ruffling my hair. And, inspired in part by a comment here, I’m working aggressively on building my resume so I can feel more confident that my skills will speak for me next time I’m job searching. Thanks so much to all of you for sharing your thoughts.

  31. The Weekend Open Thread ‘Born’ shoes are the type of shoe designer I like to champion. I analyzed the ‘BIMA’ slide mule for what makes it so comfortable. Slide mules generally can be very problematic if they have a bad design. The BIMA appears to be well designed leading to very good reviews including one customer who noted that her foot doesn’t slip out -slipping out and instability at the heel end is usually the number one complaint for mules – plus of course the common problem in all heels of pressure on the ball of the foot. The pros of the BIMA mule are: leather outer (molds to the foot), leather lining (helps to grip the foot to slow down or prevent forward slide), rubber outsole (helps to keep footing stable), a block heel (adds stability with more square inches to land on) and a 3.25″ heel. A heel height about 3″ is the max height that will be comfortable with either the shoes own cushioning or with added foam inserts to custom stabilize and cushion the shoe. Heels that are over about 3″ (for average size 7-10 shoes) will nearly always cause ankle pain and problems in the body stemming from the extreme ankle bend and extension that will only be partially alleviated with cushioning to add stability so that the ankle does not wobble as much. Great care has to be taken to wear any heels over 3″ for limited periods of time – wear your ‘sky high heels’ like celebrities do, just go from your limo into the restaurant!

  32. Anonymous :

    Recently-barred attorney in the midst of interviewing with big and small law firms in a large legal market. I am in the unfortunate cycle of not having the funds to buy a fancy suit in order to get the job I need to be able to afford a fancy suit. I do have separate pieces that I can put together to sort of fake it, but my jacket has 3/4 sleeves. Is this at all appropriate? The question is kind of moot because I truly do not have any money to go buy another jacket, so perhaps a better question is how badly am I shooting myself in the foot by wearing said jacket to interviews? As info, the other pieces are a turquoise blouse, a black pencil skirt, nude panythose and short-heeled black pumps – it all looks professional except the sleeve thing.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      Question- do you have a goodwill in a fancy neighborhood? Last time I was at my local goodwill in a very wealthy neighborhood and there were multiple suits from BR, JCrew, Ann Taylor, etc. Maybe an option?

      • +1 I always find amazing things at thrift stores in fancy neighbourhoods. If you can spare $15-20 you should be able to get a whole new designer outfit.

      • Yes yes yes. Also consignment stores; also check ThredUp. They do not sell suits as suits, but they will list pieces individually that match. If you find a suiting jacket, in the listing you can “See seller’s other items” and the matching pieces will be there (because usually the seller has sent pieces in as suits – I’ve done that). I have seen three-piece sets get listed – jacket, skirt, pants. You can find an inexpensive blouse and shoes there as well, if you’re looking to upgrade (and I agree with the poster below that you need a white or other neutral-color blouse – the turquoise might be too much for some offices as interview attire).

        But – if this is a more-immediate need (because searching ThredUp for the right thing can take a lot of time) I would hit thrift stores or consignment shops in the nicer neighborhoods in your town. I know the consignment store I sell to periodically will take suits to sell as separates, and will also sometimes display them as suits. Because not a lot of people have to wear suits to work any more, a lot of times the consignment store will end up marking them down, and you can get a nice suit for under $50.

    • Anon Lawyer :

      Honestly, so long as it’s clean, wrinkle free, and you otherwise present yourself well, I know that at my firm (BigLaw) 3 people would notice, and only one would care.

      I suggest you look in the goodwill or a junior league warehouse in a fancy neighborhood as well.

    • I wouldn’t worry about the sleeve length. I would opt for a white blouse though if possible.

    • Also, if you post your size, one of us may have a suit we could send you. Personally, I’m in the middle of a closet clean-out and have suits in excellent condition in several sizes that I’d be willing to pass along to you.

  33. Reading on my phone and just got redirected to a s1te with a popup saying I had won a prize. Anyone else see this?

    • Yes. It’s been happening to me for a couple of weeks.


    • That’s happened to me, I did some research and it typically comes from Facebook apps you might not even realize are there. Went away once I got rid of those and cleared my cookies.

      • Just happened to me again. I don’t have any facebook apps installed but I’ll try clearing cookies. Doesn’t happen with any other s1te…

  34. Eye cream recs :

    What is the best eye cream for wrinkles, darkness and bags?

  35. Navigating NYC in Dec with kids :

    We are headed to NYC from California for the first week of December with our 4 year old and 1 year old. We will be staying at a friend’s apartment in Manhattan.

    First, advice on type of stroller, or if, to bring one? We’re hoping to mostly carry the baby in a Bjorn. Am thinking it would be best to bring an umbrella stroller that reclines for naps?

    Also, best to rent a travel crib while there or ship ours out?

    And, finally best things to do in NYC that time of year with small ones? I have found tips online, but wondering if any wise ladies in the hive have things to add.

  36. Minnie Beebe :

    Has anyone here tried the Hanacure mask? It seems kind of fun, but also feel like it could be a ton of manufactured hype. It’s not THAT expensive ($100/4 masks) so I might just try it, but was wondering if anyone here had first-hand experience. TIA!

  37. I’m currently a contract employee for a government entity and I have an interview tomorrow for an internal position. I’ve already met all the people I will be interviewing with and have been working in proximity to them (but not directly with them) for close to a year, so they’ve seen me a lot. Our workplace is fairly casual but people do dress up for interviews, but our workplace is not “formal” by any stretch of the imagination. If you see a man wearing a full-sleeved dress shirt and tie, he is “dressed up.” Ditto with a woman wearing a tailored dress.

    I have two full suits – one black, one camel, both wool – and a number of blazers/jackets I can wear with black pants or black sheath dresses. My question is:

    – Should I wear a full suit, and if so, which one – the camel or the black? Would it be better to go with a blazer and pants or a dress, to be less formal?
    – If I wear the camel suit, should I go with a white or a black top underneath? I also have a chocolate brown silk shell that looks pretty good with it.
    – If I wear the black suit, I don’t want to wear a white shirt underneath and look like an FBI agent. I have the following tops I was considering: ivory silk blouse; purple Calvin Klein pleat-neck shell; French blue button-down; and an emerald-green Calvin Klein pleat-neck shell.

    What would you wear?

    • Black suit and any of the tops you describe. They are all appropriate for an interview, even when you know the interviewers, so it comes down to what makes you feel the most comfortable. I tend to stay away from black/very rich colors (purple or green), but you know the outfits and how they read.

      Good luck!

    • +1 black suit and whichever of the tops looks and feels best. It’s an interview, might as well go all in!

  38. Anonymous :

    Thank you SO MUCH for posting this, it’s exactly what I needed to read. I amicably broke up with my partner of 6 years in the spring and immediately accepted a job on the other side of the country, closer to family and in a lower COL area where I could afford to buy with just my salary after a few years of saving. In casually dating during the summer before moving (dubious decision making, to be sure), I met and hit it off with someone new. I think I hoped that he would fulfill this trope, of the new person immediately sweeping in and being the antidote to the ills of my previous relationship. Rather than do long distance, we decided to call it off and be friends. I’m in therapy, starting a new job, and trying to figure out this new single identity. I believe pretty strongly that I’ll be much happier in the long run taking time to be on my own outside of my previous relationship, and that my future relationships (whatever they may be) will benefit too.

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