Weekend Open Thread

sequin skirt 2017Something on your mind? Chat about it here.

Sequin pencil skirts are having a moment right now, and I think they’re a great option — particularly where you have to change quickly after work for a Friday party or whatnot.  This pretty silver one from Halogen (also in black) is $89 at Nordstrom. Sequin Pencil Skirt

If $89 is too rich for your blood, here are two more affordable versions getting good reviews — and here’s a lovely green plus-size sequin skirt.

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  1. holiday cards :

    Does anyone get sad when receiving card after card of what is basically a family photo shoot with no personal note? Don’t get me wrong, I love seeing everyone’s cute kids, but when people don’t write a note and there’s barely any mention of the holidays, it seems like it’s just an excuse to send me a family pic. There is no personal connection, no sense of who the people are behind the photos. Also, I’m noticing more and more that the cards are not cards at all but just one-sheeters, like postcards. Maybe because it’s cheaper? It also eliminates the need to write anything.

    I wonder if this is just a trend or the way cards will be moving forward.

    • wildkitten :

      Nope! Doesn’t bother me. I am taping all the christmas cards up in my entry-way this year, and so lots of pics of people I love is great, and the one-sheeter makes it easier to tape up.

      • holiday cards :

        Oh, that’s a cute idea. Maybe I’ll do that! I used to always put them on my mantel, but framing the doorway is probably better now that they’re one-sheeters, mostly.

        • wildkitten :

          Yes! I don’t have a mantle, but I am taping them up with holiday colored washi tape. I’ve also seen people tape them up in the shape of a christmas tree which is cute too.

          • pugsnbourbon :

            My family would always tape them around our big dining-room buffet. Love it!

      • I agree with Wild Kitten. In my case,I do NOT have to read it and respond to it. and i can throw it out that much faster! The manageing partner had us to a firm shot for our holiday card, and Frank’s hand was on my tuchus! I feel that he took advantage of me by squeezeing my tuchus right as we were told to say CHEEZE! FOOEY!

    • Anonymous :

      It’s definitely the trend. And I’ll be honest, I prefer it to impersonal cards from hallmark with just the family’s name scrawled in the bottom. And I definitely (!!!) prefer it to type-written pages-long self-congratulatory family updates. Yes, if everyone could hand-write a short note in a thoughtful card, that would be ideal, but if not, I like the photo cards that give me a snapshot into people’s current world and lives.

    • cat socks :

      It doesn’t make me sad, but I like seeing a short note. I send personalized photo card and write a small blurb on the back.

    • Doesn’t bother me at all. Photo cards have been the norm for 10 years now and the only people I know who still send out regular cards are 60+. I send photo cards every year and love giving and receiving them. I and most people in my circle type up a little paragraph about how the year’s been on the back of the card where the printers give you space to. It’s great to know that Katie’s enjoying soccer, etc.

      As far as “barely any mention of the holidays,” do these cards not say Merry Christmas or what have you?

      • holiday cards :

        A lot of them just say something like, “Warm wishes from the X family.”

        I like that you include a paragraph about the year!

        • This is generally to not offend anyone who does not celebrate a specific holiday.

        • Anonymous :

          Yeah, “warm wishes” is a generic holiday greeting. And if you write something more specific, you’re liable to offend people who don’t celebrate the holiday like the Jewish anon below. I understand why you’d be weirded out if someone sent a photo of their family with no message, but “warm wishes” IS a holiday greeting.

    • I balk a little bit at cards that contain no handwriting whatsoever (not even a signature) but as long as the card is signed, I think it’s fine. I love receiving a longer update, but I don’t think there’s anything tacky about a signed photo card.

      The thing that annoys me the most is receiving cards with a Christmas-specific message from people who know we’re Jewish and attended our Jewish wedding. It’s fine if the printed text says Christmas since that’s what most people celebrate (although Happy Holidays is more inclusive), but I would appreciate at least a handwritten message on the back acknowledging that our holiday is different. I would never send Christian friends cards that say “Happy Hanukkah” so not sure why so many people seem to think it’s ok to do it in reverse.

      • I find this interesting since so many of my Jewish friends send (very Christian) me Happy Hanukkah cards. (Although at least one of them always buys my kid a “Christmas” present while I send her son a “Hanukkah” present. I usually send out two sets of cards: religious themed ones to the people I know are observant Christians (mostly Church friends and family) and a more generic “Happy Holidays and Best Wishes for the New Year” one for others.

    • Anonymous :

      Nope. I think ‘go mom friend! you got your $hit together and managed to send holiday cards.’

      So much work to get a decent photo of a family (whether professional or a snapshot), locate all the addresses, stamp and mail everything and for people to receive them before February? #winning

      • Never too many shoes... :

        So much this.

      • Yup. Also I’ve never sent cards so I’m grateful that anyone is willing to send me one.

      • This. We hang them on our fridge (where I normally don’t allow anything to be hung) and love looking at our friends and their beautiful families for a month.

      • legalmisssunshine :

        Seriously. +1000

        I’ve sent out cards for the past 6 years- since I got engaged to my now hubs. As I have gotten older, the time I have to commit has decreased. Just last night I was lamenting to my husband about sending cards out each year and his response was, “just don’t do it.” But after years the expectation is there… to hear those that ALSO insist on something handwritten makes me want to scream. Would you rather get nothing? Pick a side.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Generally, I don’t mind but there are a handful of people where it seems really off to not have a little handwritten note. I have a former bff that I only catch up with yearly or so. We are geographically distant now, not on social media, and it’s just odd to get a random picture without some context written on the back. Even a 1 liner “miss you, hope to see you next year!” would be great.

      • Anonymous :

        If you want to stay in touch, get on social media.

        • If all you want to do is share pictures of yourself with a widespread audience, don’t send these Christmas cards. That’s what social media is for.

        • So much this.

          I stopped sending Christmas cards (which I hated, hated, hated doing anyway) when I realized that we had a number of people that we only interacted with by sending Christmas cards. I had no idea what was going on in their lives, other than what I saw on the Christmas card once a year. What is the point of relationships like that? I have other friends who I know a lot about, and they know a lot about me, because we’re in touch on social media or we take time to call/text each other to keep up on each other’s lives. As I’ve gotten older, one thing I can say definitively about myself is: I don’t do shallow friendships. If all we’re going to do in our relationship is send each other a generic Christmas card with some pictures on it once a year, let’s maybe just not bother. Because another thing I’ve learned is that people come into your life and they leave it, and that’s just life. Not all relationships are meant to last a lifetime. If there’s nothing substantial or meaningful happening in an interaction with someone, why continue the interaction? I’d rather expend energy making new connections that could result in meaningful relationships, than dribble out energy keeping near-dead connections alive on life support.

      • Agree – with certain friends, it feels super-cold just to get the card although with most of them, I’m unfazed.

    • Anonymous :

      No? I like the pictures and seeing the differences year to year is more interesting to me than the fact that Jack and Ella are doing karate now and John just started a new job and had surgery. I either see them (in person/social media) and know that stuff already, or we don’t see each other enough for it to matter and take up memory space.

      • +1 With social media I already know everything I want to about people that there would be nothing new to put in a holiday card.

    • Cornellian. :

      Hah, this keys perfectly in to yesterday’s discussion on the mom’s board about unpaid emotional labor and HOW MUCH WORK Christmas cards are.

      FWIW, if I get around to cards, it will be handwritten/non-photo ones.

    • Nope. Doesn’t bother me at all. OP I think you need to get over yourself.

    • I find cards to be redundant in the age of social media, but I’m slowly learning that everyone doesn’t think like me. Cards are part of some people’s love language while others (like me) couldn’t care less.

      I took pictures of my kids, created the cards, and mailed them out to everyone in my personal contact list for the first time EVER. (I’m the poster who noticed the typo on the [email protected] things.) I did it because I was at a church mom’s dinner, and all the ladies were talking about how much they love getting the photo cards and displaying them. Several keep them in a box and pull them out to compare from year to year. Another said they pull the cards out at dinner during the Christmas season, pass the pictures around, and they pray for that family. All very cool things, and way different than my ritual of opening, nodding, then tossing the in trash because I hate clutter.

      I never mailed out cards because it felt either generic (the standard box of Christmas card greetings) or it felt like bragging (here’s my magazine worthy family and home!!! JEALOUS MUCH?!?!) but it took that dinner before I realized that the people in my contacts *genuinely love and care about me* and would like to hear from me. That a simple card could light up their day and be cherished by them, because I sent it.

      So while it’s not my thing, I sent them anyway because it could be THEIR thing. That’s Christmas Presents 101, right? And I covered up my typo with a sticky mailing label and hand-wrote little notes like, “Hope to see you soon!” or “Health and happiness to you in 2018!” or, to my closest friends, “There’s a typo under here! HAHAHAHA”

      • Elegant Giraffe :

        Oh, so glad to hear you went ahead and mailed them out! Good solution with the sticker.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        I’m like your friends and really like to get them! I never get it together to send any myself though, so I don’t seem to get a ton anymore.

      • Senior Attorney :

        This is such a great post! Thanks! :)

      • Thank you for explaining this. I am an immigrant to the US with very casual family ties all across the globe and only became familiar with the concept of Christmas cards when I saw some on the fridge of the parents of my American then-boyfriend (now husband). I was so perplexed that families seemed to purposefully stage these photo shoots and then explain in the back what’s been happening in their lives. Like, if you want people to know – wouldn’t you call them and tell them? And if they’re not in the “calling” kind of relationship why in the world would you send them a staged photo. But, I understand now that my family kind of sucks for only keeping in touch once every few years with many of our relatives, and I can think of several families who I would genuinely enjoy receiving updates from that I haven’t seen or spoken with in many years and who are not on Facebook because that’s not what they use.

    • No, I’m just pleased to get happy mail. I don’t understand why you’d be upset by something that someone has no obligation to do at all for you. Enjoy being included.

    • Yeah, I think they’re pretty lame. I’ve gotten some that aren’t even signed! Like, why bother if you’re not going to sign it. I write personal notes on all the cards I send out.

      • By “signed,” do you mean there’s no name on them? Or that they’re not signed with a pen? Because I don’t sign mine, but our names are printed on there. And most of the time with the glossy coating, I don’t know that they could be signed…

        • Yeah, I mean with a pen. Like, if you just shove a card in an envelope why bother? It’s so impersonal.

          • lawsuited :

            They go to the bother of ordering a card for you, shoving it in an envelope, digging up your address, addressing your envelope, buying a stamp and putting your card in the mail in time *to wish you a happy Christmas*. Why, WHY, be dismissive about that? Why is *writing on the card in pen* the only thing that could possibly make the effort worthwhile? This whole thread is insane.

          • Anonymous :

            I stopped sending Christmas cards the year my marriage started to fall apart because while I used to write a holiday letter, carefully and lovingly written, and put in a picture and hand-make a card for 100+ people, I was so deep in grief that I could not make it happen. We didn’t divorce for a couple more years but I’ve never resumed sending cards. I could send photo cards of the kids but it’s just not high on my list these days.

            My mother stopped sending me a Christmas card because I wasn’t sending them any more. I think she was trying to motivate me? If so, parenting fail.

            So, whatever. Hate the cards, love the cards, overlook the cards, but honestly, if people in your life are together enough to send you a bit of cheery mail, count your blessings.

        • Anonymous :

          I’ve never seen a card that couldn’t be signed with a pen. If you can’t even bother to sign your name to the cards, I’m not sure why you’re sending them out. Addressing the envelope takes more time than signing your name…

    • Anonymous :

      Yeah, I actually really hate these. I mean, it’s 100% possible to order the card online, input the addresses, and have the whole thing mailed off without the sender actually touching the card. It’s like an email blast masquerading as a thoughtful gesture. The bare minimum, I think, is signing “the Smith-Jones Family” on the card yourself.

      And, let’s be real, I really am not super interested in looking at a picture of my step-cousin’s kids on the family trip to the Bahamas. It’s just… I dunno egotistical to me, assuming that I want to look at you without any larger context.

      That being said, I do believe that people sending these largely mean to be friendly and festive and what not. It just bugs me.

      • I’m with you–I don’t want to see the Bahamas vacation, Disney trip, etc. for the same reason. I like family pictures (hard and annoying to do each year) or recent, cold-weather snaps of the kids or pets.

        The best pictures are the funny-on-purpose. Family wearing ugly sweaters or recreating a Christmas movie scene? KEEPER.

        • I don’t think anyone sends a card with a photo that’s just a beach in the Bahamas. It’s a photo of the family in the Bahamas. Why is that worse than a professional photo of the family in a park near home? I suppose the vacation snap could come across as braggy (like “See, we have the money to go to the Bahamas”), but honestly professional photographers are not cheap (the good ones in my area are in the neighborhood of $500 for a family session with digital image release) so that professional shot represents a pretty hefty cost too and all my friends and family know we love to travel and do so regularly so I don’t see what’s so offensive about sharing an (amateur) family photo that was taken on vacation. Part of why we can afford to travel is because we don’t do things like professional family photos!

          • We send cards with a picture of us on a trip partially because we don’t have kids. Not much else for us to use, really.

    • What about a short pre-printed note that says “Daughter loves Girl Scouts and son is building castles out of Magnatiles” or something like that? I love getting that kind of info, but it’s so hard to write it without sounding banal. Thoughts?

      • We did a short thing like “What a year! H got a new job, J started kindergarten, and we had a fabulous time in Spain! Can’t wait to see what next year brings. Much Love, the Jones-Smiths” It’s really for all my aunts and uncles that I don’t talk to on social media, so it’s supposed to sound a little banal.

    • Y’all grinches need to get over yourselves. If you don’t like the card, thrown it away. But taking the mental time to note who personally signs the card and who includes a personal note vs who doesn’t and considering it some sort of message to you or sad commentary on society is the epitome of making it all about you. Chill a little.

      • pugsnbourbon :

        Agreed – and be careful what you wish for! My family has been on the receiving end of painfully detailed newsletters from my dad’s relatives for decades. Mountains of one-upmanship, which is entertaining in its own way.

      • Haha, I think you’re the one who needs to chill.

      • I think the difference is that for people who are “personal note people,” getting a card that has no personalization at all feels like the sender is making it all about the sender.

        • Yes, because I have the time to carefully consider everyone’s love language, and cater my cards/presents accordingly. Get over yourselves – a scribbled happy new year and signature isn’t “personal.”

      • Agreed, 100%! I love all cards: old fashioned ones, kids’ one, photos, you name it. I appreciate it all and all the effort required. I couldn’t care less if there is a hand held pen touching the actual card. It is totally irrelevant. The best thing to see is a photo showing how much bigger the kids are this year. So, if anything, that is the element that I like the most. I certainly wouldn’t judge or be sad if it wasn’t included. I do cards and I know how much work it is!

    • I agree with OP. I’m sure the senders are well intentioned but it feels like the cards are just showing off how great their family is or how wonderful their vacation was. Holiday cards should be about staying in touch with family and friends and showing those people that you care about them and your relationship with them. Sending a card with a few pictures of yourself on it and no personal note doesn’t accomplish this. It feels like the card is more about the sender than the recipient. Even just a written “Merry Christmas, Sally!” or “Happy New Year, Chris!” would make the cards feel much more meaningful.

      • biglawanon :

        Yeah, this. I end usually just looking at them and tossing them. Except skip the pictures altogether. It just creates yet another unpleasant thing parents (usually moms) are pressured to do and spend money on. I can think of ways my family would rather spend our weekend than getting my four boys (and my husband and me) in coordinated outfits, going to a studio/having a photographer come to the house, and getting everyone posed for photo. But hey I didn’t have a photographer on my wedding day.

        I got holiday cards for a whopping 7 people this year. I like picking out a card that I think they will like, and writing a personalized message.

    • Anonymous :

      I wonder how this relates to social media use. DH and I have Facebook pages but have chosen to keep our children completely offline, so the only time our friends and family (besides our parents and siblings who get email updates) see a family photo is at the holidays. Several of my friends do the same and I love to receive their cards and see their growing families. Of course a handwritten note is very nice, but I love just seeing the photos. On the other hand, when I get a holiday card from someone who uploads 20 photos of her kid per week to Facebook and it’s just a card with no personal greeting I sort of roll my eyes because this is different than her Facebook page how? So I think social media has really changed this.

      • This. Only chance for some far away friends to see pics of my child growing up, which I think they like to receive. I’m thrilled when I get theirs.

    • Seventh Sister :

      Nope, but I’m the meanest about holiday traditions. I feel like so.many.holiday.things (like cards) are yet another thing that somehow women are supposed to do in their copious free time while men sit around all wistful about the good old days.

      If anyone on my card list is sad or upset about anything involving my holiday cards, I’d love it if they let me know so I can take them off the list (assuming they don’t want to come over to my house in mid-December and ghostwrite heartfelt missives).

      • lawsuited :

        +1 If anyone feels this way about the card they got from me this year, I’d love to know about it so I can save myself the trouble next year.

      • Ekaterin Nike :

        No kidding. Tell me, because I’d love to reduce my order from 75 to 50.

        I love getting any kind of card. We tape them all to our landing. I wish parents would include themselves because I can’t always recognize their kids, but I appreciate anything. But if someone’s disappointed with my photo card with the generic update on the back and a Sharpie signature from me and my husband…I don’t care.

    • Ah perfection. What a lofty goal. Do we feel so pressured to achieve it because other women are so judgmental?

    • I don’t like it when long-distance friends send nothing but a photo of their kid(s) as a Christmas card. If I was an aunt or a grandmother, getting a nephew/grandson photo would make sense. But getting a card that’s only of a child I barely know feels really weird.

  2. Styling help :

    Re-posting from post this morning for more responses:

    I picked these shoes online as my birthday present and while DH didn’t like them , I told him to zip it. Now the shoes are in and while they are insanely comfortable, they look kind of dowdy. I need help figuring out how to style them.
    They are super low/under the ankle FWIW


    • Styling help :

      p.s. returning not an option because I’ve already worn them and they are super comfortable

    • They are basically an oxford, so maybe search for styling a woman’s oxford?

    • cat socks :

      My first thought is to try them with skinny jeans.

    • Tights and a cute sweater dress, skinny jeans and an oversized sweater, ankle pants and a boyfriend blazer

    • Never too many shoes... :

      A wide legged pant that hides them? Sorry, but I am with your husband.

      • Styling help :

        I may have to (very very reluctantly) agree but I am going to try all the options above first

        • Never too many shoes... :

          In the alternative, you could just accept that they are super comfortable but do not add style to an outfit and wear them for commuting. Just bring cuter shoes with you to change into.

          • Styling help :

            I saw a lady in the elevator today who told me she had the same shoes and bought two pairs because of how comfortable they were lol

    • Styling help :

      Baconpancakes suggested looking up brogue outfits and I think i’m going to make them my personal style challenge.
      More realistically- maybe they will eventually end up in my “gently used donations” pile and make someone else extra happy in a few months

    • I expected something much uglier from all that buildup. I’d wear these with ankle pants and a bit of skin showing between the hem of the pants and the top of the shoe. They are a current style – fully 1/3 of the women in my office are wearing shoes shaped like this.

      If they’re comfortable as sin and you can wear them to work I see no logic in trying to return them.

      • Styling help :

        I liked them online but after inspecting them all dayI think my issue is that the foot opening is too big and without laces/designs it makes it looks like i am wearing a boat on my feet.

        I’d rather have something more like this:

        I’m torn as to what I should do after reading everyones comments. Maybe I will try to return as suggested by Elegant Giraffe and buy something I really want instead….like a cast iron skillet lol

    • Sleek cigarette pants and no socks, very structured/fitted blouse. Think yachting style meets Audrey Hepburn.

  3. Question: What kind of hair service do I need? I’d like to get some highlights/lowlights in my dark brown hair like I usually do, but now I also have some bright silver hairs. There are only maybe 10 that you can see around my part, but they shine against my dark hair. I want those (and any others that lurk when I part my hair slightly left or slightly right) dyed to my dark hair color.

    Normally I book a partial highlight online. But does this change the type of service? Is it now full highlights? Is it now all-over color?

    (Also hooray to noticeable graying at 35!)

    • Just call the stylist, tell them what you want and they’ll book the appropriate service(s).

      If they only allow online booking, you’re going to need a an all over color or grey root touch up prior to any highlights. This may require two appointments a couple weeks apart.

      • Thanks. This sounds dumb, but they only allow online booking so I didn’t think to call the salon and just ask how to do it. Btw, they recommended just going with full highlights and that should be enough to cover the grays, and if not they’ll discuss it with me when I get there.

        • Word of warning: full highlights may be lighter than you want to go. Partial highlights are usually focused around the crown and hairline, so if your greys are on top, they’re in the range for the partial. You may be fine doing what you’ve been doing, and working with the stylist on strategic placement. How light are your highlights now?

    • I always say ‘cut and partial’ because that’ what a stylist called it forever ago. No idea if that’s what I actually get now (more grays = more work, probably more than the initial partial I one got), but it works!

      • Also, the initial “partial” referenced just my getting highlights. Now I get high lights, low lights and some spot single process stuff (I think that’s what it’s called??) for a Stacy London-type stripe that I’m not ready to show.

  4. Gift for new boyfriend :

    Help me, hive, with ideas for a Christmas gift for my new boyfriend. Background as follows. We met in September and clicked pretty immediately. Have seen each other in person 2-3 times per week, and text and talk by phone every day. Cautiously starting to envision a future together. He generally seems to have stuff he needs/wants, and he makes a lot more money that I do, so I’m not trying for anything grand. On the other hand, this will be our first Christmas as a couple, and I feel like I should get him something to help demonstrate how much he means to me. We’ll be spending Christmas apart but going away together for a few days right after Christmas (our first trip together). Ideas so far:

    1. Ornament, perhaps engraved. Sentimental if we end up staying together or he can chuck it easily if we don’t, ha ha. Any ideas for what to engrave and source?
    2. Amazon Echo/Alexa switches. He has an Echo he likes but I don’t think he has it hooked up to anything except music now. Cool/fun or too impersonal?
    3. Ugg slippers. I’ve stayed over at his place but haven’t seen any slippers there. Does that mean he’s anti-slipper? Or might this be an appreciated comfort/luxury item?

    We haven’t discussed Christmas gifts, but I am fairly certain he will get me something. In a previous conversation, I learned he typically gets his college-age daughter something from Tiffany’s.

    Any feedback about the ideas above or other ideas? Thanks so much.

    • How about talking with him about it… maybe asking his thoughts on the holiday and say you were thinking you could get him an experience-type gift if there was something he was wanting? You could decide to go halves on something expensive together or you could get him something to do with a friend or his daughter or whatnot. Then, it’s a memory if this lasts (along with ticket stub and photos, etc.) and it’s a cool thing to have gotten to experience if it doesn’t last, so it’s a win win for you both!

    • Anonymous :

      Ornament is good. Don’t think I would do engraved. Maybe something with 2017 on it that has a connection to your first date or a shared interest.

      Does he have any consumables that he’s into? Chocolate/whiskey/wine etc? Or a fun experience together related to his interest? A local chocolate store does a fun chocolate making workshop – I’ve used that as a gift previously to great success.

      I wouldn’t do slippers if he has literally none right now. Some people aren’t into slippers. High end gloves are another option – cashmere lined leather gloves or similar?

    • Anonymous :

      Get tickets for an event to attend together or a nice bottle of his favorite liquor (if he doesn’t have one, a bottle of wine from a year that’s important to him – maybe his birth year, maybe his daughter’s birth year). Don’t try to guess at what he might want (slippers/amazon echo/alexa/etc.) and don’t try to get something sentimental (will likely come off as desperate or more invested than you two actually are).

    • cat socks :

      What are his interests/hobbies outside of work? Does he drink? If so, maybe a nice bottle of alcohol or some nice glasses for drinking.

      Out of your list, I would suggest #2. I would stay away from the engraved ornament until you are more serious.

      Cap Hill Style, Putting Me Together and Wardrobe Oxygen recently posted gift guides for guys if you need some other ideas.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I don’t think I know any single dudes who actually put up a Christmas tree, so I’d say no on the ornament. And I feel like people who wear slippers already have slippers. I vote Echo switches. I just got a couple and LOVE them! And PSA if you have a Costco near you, I found a two-pack there for pretty cheap and they were easy to get going.

      • BabyAssociate :

        Totally agree. Also consider Hue lightbulbs if he doesn’t already have any!

        I am personally very pro slipper, but some people just aren’t slipper people.

      • Senior Attorney :

        And by “switches” I mean “electrical plugs” that you plug into the wall and then plug your lights, whatever, into.

      • Never too many shoes... :

        Yes on the slipper thing. I have hated slippers since I was a child, so I have never owned them. Apart from a pair my mom bought me two years ago because “all mothers have slippers” (barf).

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        I got my parents an Echo last year and they love it. Now I know what to get them this year! The switches would be perfect.

    • Anonymous :

      I bought my now-husband LL Bean wicked good slippers – he wasnt a slipper person before, but he is now. I found they hold up better than my ugg boots did

    • Elegant Giraffe :

      Maybe an ornament with a picture of both of you and the year? Like you said, easy to chuck if things don’t work out. If things do work out, then you’ve started a fun tradition that will fill up your tree for years to come! I wouldn’t engrave it. That seems more formal? (This is what I did with my then-boyfriend, now-husband. I use either snapfish or shutterfly…can’t remember.)

    • Gift for new boyfriend :

      Many thanks for these responses! I appreciate them.

  5. skirt lengths :

    I never know the right length to go for as I’m short and hourglass shaped. Not only does there seem to be little room between “looks great” and either “whoa, you’re not 19, that’s too short” and “whoa, you’re not 90, that’s too matronly” but what works in the front often gets too short in the back due to the curves. I DO kinda want a velvet or sequined blazer but I have zero desire when/where I’d ever wear it so I probably shouldn’t spend my paltry splurge budget on such.

    • cat socks :

      I’m 5’0″ and hourglass. I find the right skirt length for me hits at right above the knee.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m 5’2″, hourglass, and mid-30s. I think we can get away with a shorter length, socially anyway not for work, because the proportions don’t look off like they do on taller women. I’ll wear anything between mid-thigh and the knee. If it’s below the knee it has to be very tight – and very va va voom – or it looks too matronly. I can’t do midi length at all. Pencil skirts have to have some stretch or they rise up in the back. A-line skirts work better even if they’re not stretchy but I prefer a little stretch anyway.

      Re the blazer – RTR? A colleague rented a sequined blazer for an industry event and looked amazing.

    • 5’1″ hourglass here. It’s going to depend on your personal proportions, including whether you are long or short waisted and whether your legs are more or less curvy, but the range for us is narrow. Figure one inch above the knee to top of the knee and then bottom of the knee to one inch below and never on the knee.

      Experiment. Take a long pencil skirt, stand in front of the mirror, and move it around to figure out what works for you inch by inch; remember to factor in shoes. Two inches above the knee with tights and flats may be fine for work if everything is one color and you have a longer jacket, but the same length without a jacket or hosiery and with 3 inch heels – not so much. Two inches below the knee with flats probably is matronly, especially with a fuller skirt, but with a well-tailored sheath and coordinating jacket and narrow-heeled work pumps it may look pulled together. Mid-calf is doable, but only with a black boot skirt and tall boots. And avoid most “booties”; go for either taller boots or shoeties to avoid the double cut at the hem and the ankle.

      A good tailor should be able to help you with the proportion issue. Mine is gold.

      On the blazer, I sprung for a velvet smoking jacket this year. I plan to wear it for several years either with a sequined tank and jeans or with a velvet bustier or halter or a lace shell and either skinny tuxedo pants or wide crape pants. And always with fierce shoes. I think I will get a lot of wear out of it.

    • I think it depends on the width of the skirt and how Our knees look. Hitting right at the knee with a tapered hem is most flattering to most women

  6. PSA from a Freelancer :

    If you have a freelancer in your life, please keep in mind that a good chunk of the work is the unpaid time spent chasing leads and advertising one’s self, that there is no benefits package, and that there are struggles in this type of work. Bringing up how you wish you had it so easy or could just lounge in PJs all day is really offensive.

    Also, if the freelancer in your life does something you could benefit from, please do not assume they will work for you for free, even “just this once.” It’s tough to tell friends that you need to be paid or that paying clients are a priority over your unpaid work. Please don’t make us say this. Always offer to pay and then we can decline if we so choose. Even then, consider finding a way to “pay” whether it’s with a nice meal or even trying to refer others to the freelancer.

    The holidays are often full of overworked folks who are quick to comment on freelancers and the easy living situation they clearly have, yet most work as many (or more) hours as any traditional profession but have to be strong enough to also keep grinding to keep the business coming in.

    Please Don’t Assume I Watch TV and Do Laundry and Eat Bonbons All Day

    • Assuming you’re “lounging” is rude, but I don’t think telling someone who works at home “I’m jealous you can stay in PJs” all day is that horrible. Of course there are perks to working in an office too, but as an introvert who loves cozy clothing, working from home in PJs is my dream. I know my job has perks yours doesn’t, but that doesn’t mean I’m not allow to comment on your job perks.

    • This happens to anyone who works from home, not just freelancers. I work from a home office, with a VOIP phone, special VPN connection to my company’s network, two monitors, three laptops, and conference calls all day yet a coworker once asked me if I worked from my couch…

      • That’s not an insult . . .

        • It is when implying I don’t actually work hard when I billed more hours this year than anyone else in the company. There was an unsaid “…while waiting TV/goofing off” tone to it.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Ha, I recently started my own business and was writing about this in a blog post. It came up for me when I got married. My friend is an excellent wedding photographer and I would have LOVED to have her photograph our wedding. But knowing how annoying it is when people ask me for “just a quick legal question” I approached her asking if she wanted to come as a guest or if we could hire her at her usual rate.

      • Anonymous :

        What kind of business? Anything the ladies here can support?

      • Anonymous :

        Nice to “see” you again Sydney! Hope you’re doing well and would love to hear more about the business.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        Hi all! Thanks! The idea of family bingo came up here so many times and an opportunity presented itself for me to make a wedding version, so I went for it. Right now I have Wedding Bingo, which is designed to be played at wedding receptions. Bridal shower, bachelorette party, and baby shower versions are in the works. I’m just getting it off the ground. My shop is at littlehammergames (dot) com and I’d love any support! It’s also available on Etsy under my shop name LittlehammerGames.

        And now I’m officially outed to anyone who knows me :-)

      • Sydney Bristow :

        Hi! My reply was eaten, but someday when it comes out of mod, I’d love the support! It was actually partially inspired by the people here… (stay tuned)

    • You know, I think you may be too sensitive here.

      I sincerely doubt anyone thinks you aren’t hustling for your business.

      But when we ask someone socially what they do for a living, the conditioned response is, “that sounds nice/interesting etc.” It sound like you want people to say, “that sounds awful,” which no one is ever going to say (even if they think it) because it would be incredibly rude.

      I sincerely doubt more than one person has told you directly that they wished they had it so easy, unless it is a person who doesn’t like you to begin with.

      I suspect you’re reading too much into people’s niceties.

  7. Oahu ideas? :

    Reposting from morning thread for some more recos! Thanks to those who already replied!

    I have seen lots of discussion on Maui and Big Island here but had a hard time finding anything on Oahu. I am spending 4 days there in January. My 1st trip to Hawaii! Please give me recommendations for best things to do! I can’t surf unfortunately, and have never snorkeled before (scared of swimming in the ocean).

    • I saw your post and the recs other commenters provided were all great. For only four days, I’d spend most of my time at the beach, drinking cheap mai tais. Diamond head is great if you want something a little more active. We also had a lot of fun stand-up paddleboarding at the beach. The water is super clear and the waves at the beach we went to were pretty calm so hopefully it won’t be too scary for you.

      I know Pearl Harbor is a big attraction, but I didn’t go when I was in Waikiki for five days because my SO and I aren’t super jazzed about history. As far as restaurants, there were some really tasty asian places and we loved Hula Grill for breakfast. Sorry I can’t give more specific recs!

    • Anonymous :

      Grew up on Oahu and there is so much to do depending on what you like. Here are some personal faves: Hawaiian food/snacks/shave ice is a must (Uncle Clay’s are among the new fancier shave ice places). For activities, Lanikai Pillbox hike, Makapu’u, Ka’ena Point. Haleiwa and Shark’s Cove on the North Shore. Pearl Harbor you want to get there early for tickets and can spend a lot of time there if you want to see everything, or a few hours if it’s just the USS Arizona. Bishop Museum, Iolani Palace, National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. Tons of amazing beaches, so you should rent a car and drive all over. Waikiki is touristy but would be worth a stroll!

      • Plumerias :

        I also grew up in Honolulu and can provide specific Recs if you let us know where you’re staying.

        Hither and thither did a good north shore travelogue in the last year or two.

        If you’re in Waikiki, definitely try to rent a car at some point to go to other parts of the island (north shore to see the winter swells (not usually safe for swimming), Kailua beach/lanikai beach because they’re both gorgeous.

        If you like short hikes, diamond head and mania falls as others mentioned are great.

        Best shave ice is waiolas but may be further away from Waikiki than you’d like if you’re not renting a car.

        Oahu is unloved by tourists who just want to veg in a tropical getaway because Honolulu is actually a large city, along with the other cities/towns on Oahu. But I think it’s a great place to go because direct flights to Honolulu, easy access in Waikiki, but also culture and other activities are also available.

    • Anonymous :

      I hiked Manoa Falls and loved the Jurassic Park feel!

    • biglawanon :

      I liked Pokai Beach. Very quiet and no one was there, basically empty. Beautiful. By a military base.

    • I loved Oahu. It has a good mix of traditional breach activities and historical stuff. My favorite was the Polynesian Cultural Center. I also really enjoyed the USS Arizona (which can be very moving) and the Dole plantation.

  8. Reporting back on those $40 Cynthia Vincent sweaters from Kat’s Tuesday post. I ordered two in the crewneck, not the turtleneck. While it’s not the softest cashmere I’ve ever felt, I’m very pleased with them. For $40 they’re a bargain. (Free and fast shipping was a bonus.) I sized up like they suggest and it was the right move. I’m always an S but the M fits perfectly. Colors are rich and lovely. If anyone was on the fence, go for it.

  9. Super superficial question: do any of you have Hunter boots? Do you like them? And if you do, hunter green or black? (I want to go matte I think…) I can’t decide!

    Background: I live somewhere warm so won’t really need liners…

    • BabyAssociate :

      I have some! I’ve had them for 6 years and I have the liners, they’ve held up well. As for color, I have yellow.

    • I like mine, but specifically only as rain boots–I find them too heavy to wear in the way some of the bloggers do as sort of everyday winter outside boots. Not sure if it applies to you, but I am short (around 5’1) and wear a size 5 women’s shoe. The kid’s 2.5 fit me better than the adult 5 in terms of calf height, so look into that if it’s a concern.

      • Anonymous :

        the way women wear them as just a cute gloomy day shoe cracks me up.

        They’re a solid rain boot – like when it is actively raining, not a little sprinkle, because they are heavy and hot boots on ya feet.
        Also I tend to use mine in a british (?) outdoor fashion in the yard, in my garden, doing yard work in the muck.

    • Anonymous :

      It’s a fashion blog, you don’t have to preface a fashion-related question with “Super superficial”

    • Not super relevant to you since you live in a warm climate, but if anyone else from a cold place is looking to buy Hunters – mine wound up cracking, I think because of the cold. I got Hunter to give me a refund, but it was still annoying and I now buy Target rainboots, which honestly seem to hold up better.

      • Anon in NYC :

        this happened to be on my first pair. I bought a second, and they’ve held up fine. All that said, I find them swelteringly hot – I can’t wear them in the summer at all. If/when these eventually go, I most likely won’t buy another pair.

      • Cornellian. :

        How cold of a place do you live in? I’m in NYC and wear them through the winter to work (although if I’m going out for a long walk in snow I put on proper boots), and haven’t had those issues.

        • I’m in Chicago – I was wearing them several times per week and they were also the collapsable ones, which are thinner than the regular ones, I think. They were still pretty expensive to break on me after 18 months of use, though.

      • I’m in Chicago – I was wearing them several times per week and they were the collapsable ones, which I think are thinner than the regular ones. They died after 18 months of use, though, which was upsetting given how expensive they were.

      • Anonymous :

        Yes, this happened to my pair. They froze and cracked in the snow and were ruined.

    • I’ve had the green for 8+ years. I think they started out shiny but now they look matte. If I could do it again I’d go with black because once the excitement wore off (look! I have RAIN boots) I wish they blended into my outfit more.

    • Puddlejumper :

      I honestly just passed mine on to my sister because I don’t use them. I do wear short ankle rain boots when its raining but find walking in tall hunters annoying.

    • Elegant Giraffe :

      Hunters hit in a weird place on the back of my calf/behind my knee. I prefer Chookas – good quality and a bit cheaper than Hunters, IIRC. I’m sure I bought mine on Zappos.

    • I had some but I ended up giving them away. I live in a hot and wet climate and they were not practical for anthing other than mucking around in the yard. They are hot and heavy, and too wide on my calves so they rubbed when I walked. I don’t really know of an alternative though – I just wear my old hiking boots when it’s wet.

    • I have a pair (black, glossy finish) that I’ve had for almost 5 years and they have held up great. I live in Chicago and have not found the cold to be a problem. I wear them on days when it’s really raining hard, or with the liners on snowy-ish days when there’s a lot of slush on the ground. I have found that the salt can be damaging so I wipe it off at the end of the day and have found this to work well.

      For real snow I have a pair of thick, insulated boots with a grippier bottom since I find that the Hunters don’t have a lot of traction on ice. Hunter boots are definitely too hot/uncomfortable to wear as your all-day shoe on those days but I find they are perfect for commuting in certain types of weather.

  10. Vicarious shopping threadjack: It’s that time of year where I comiserate about having nothing appropriate to wear to the upcoming holiday parties. Can you all help me find a new cocktail dress to wear this season? I’m a slightly busty pear, size 6-8 on top, 10-14 on bottom and in my late twenties. I am looking for something moderately trendy with sleeves in a blue or green hue (I can be convinced to get something black, but I don’t find it particularly flattering with my fair, red hair, blue-eyed coloring). By budget is $300, but under $200 would be even better. Thanks in advance!

    • Anonymous :

      check out lulu’s! i got a hunter green velvet one shoulder dress which is surprisingly good quality and perfect for holiday parties. warning though it runs kinda small – i am about the same size as you 8 on top, 12 on bottom and needed an xl.

    • FridayAfternoon :

      First option: the sensible choice which is under budget and you can wear to a variety of occasions.
      Second option: the crazy choice. Get ready to show some leg and pay slightly more than $200

      • Oh man, that second dress is calling out to me. Unfortunately, I think it’s a little too statement-y for me.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      How much sleeve do you need? Like elbow length ok, or do you need to your wrist?

      • Rainbow Hair :

        What about a super fun skirt like this, and an ivory top?

      • Sorry for the late response! I really just am looking for something with any kind of sleeve, so short-sleeve, three-quarter or long-sleeve will work.

        I like that skirt a lot though! Thanks!

        • Rainbow Hair :

          I have to get to at least mid-upper-arm territory for tattoo reasons, so I wanted to ask. I also love to wear real bras (I mean, I don’t, but I love it better than any other option) so I was thinking it might be about just general shoulder coverage…

          I’m gonna play shop more!

    • Anon-omenon :


      Maybe not quite cocktail, though it could be dressed up with shoes and jewelry. I bought it in green for holiday parties and absolutely love it.

  11. Anonymous :

    I really just want to know if I’m getting a promotion. I’m 26 and in my first job where a promotion is even a possibility, and according to my manager it’s on the table. But I won’t know until after January. I just wish I knew now.

    • Oh how I hear you. And commiserate. First job, 28 (BigLaw), and could be in line for an early bump to managing associate. Really wanna KNOW.

  12. Anyone else just stop commenting due to being in mod so often? I really wish the commenting policy were more clear. It really discourages participation in the comments.

    • It’s really difficult for me to understand sometimes what puts a comment into moderation as the text seems pretty innocuous. Also how does 3LLeN and the blog ad posts get through at all?

    • Ha! I just posted a long reply and POOF! Gone in mod, I guess.

      I absolutely agree with you.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I haven’t been around in awhile and one of my replies above went into mod. I forgot to avoid something. Out of practice!

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Yeah, it’s even worse on the Moms site. I’ll post ONE comment there and get “whoops, you’re posting too fast, I ate your comment.” and it’s fruuuustrating.

  13. best gift FROM manager? :

    What is the best gift you have gotten from a manager? I’ve got six direct reports and I’d like to do something under $20 for each person. The firm already gives a holiday bonus to all staff.

    • anona mouse :

      A surprise afternoon off.

    • Anonymous :

      Nobody wants another useless candle or whatever. Give a $20 Visa gift card each.

    • Anonymous :

      Free lunch (with enough notice that I don’t pack a lunch, and waste it).

      • Elegant Giraffe :

        yes – cater lunch in one day

      • Anonymous :

        +1. We do lunches for people’s birthdays (team of 6 people, so this is a roughly every-other-month thing) and the boss always treats the birthday person, which I think is super nice.

    • Gift card to a drink place you know they use regularly, like Starbucks or the company cafe. (But ONLY if you’ve seen them carrying a cup from that place.)

      Barring that, a gift card to Amazon or Target.

      And I know most people groan at this, but if you’re absolutely against money or gift cards, some kind of nice desk calendar or clock or business card holder or name plate. In the corporate world, most of the higher-up people have some awards sprinkled with doodads from a former boss or project lead or former service-year-awards. Almost no one buys their own stuff, it’s all collected over the years. If you need to give something physical, you could add to that.

    • Flats Only :

      A gift card to a restaurant that I got to all the time, that I knew he had to stop by the restaurant to get it. Plus it was enough for two dinners there!

    • As a manager, I gave Contigo water bottles last year. Many of my team are still using them at work now.

      • Minnie Pearl :

        Ooh I like this option. Even though I already have one, I would appreciate a second so I can swap them out more regularly, or use one at home

    • I don’t know if these are “best” gifts but my office has a no cash/cash equivalent gifts policy so I can’t do money or gift cards. I also have to get presents for a group of people (incidentally all women) in the same price range. Here are some of the things I’ve done over the years:

      – Wine from an animal shelter (they all have rescued pets and the proceeds supported the shelter)
      – hat/scarf/glove combo
      – tote bag w/ monogram from LL Bean or Lands End
      – Candle
      – Olive oil and balsamic vinegar set
      – fancy salt set
      – blanket
      – set of fancy hand creams in a variety of scents

      Wow. I can’t believe I’ve been there that long.

      • Oh, my boss got them all fancy umbrellas one year too. That was a hit. I think they were Vera Bradley but I’m not sure.

  14. anon a mouse :

    If you wanted to send someone an edible gift basket, what would you order? Assume that the recipient doesn’t have any dietary restrictions but would prefer it to not be 100% junk food (e.g., not just sweets). Edible arrangements is normally my go-to for fruit but they don’t serve the recipient’s area.

    • Fruit from Harry and Davids

      • +1 the pears I was given from there were phenomenal. I ate them with gusto. In contrast the junk food baskets I normally put in my work kitchen for other people to eat.

      • KateMiddletown :

        AS cliche as this sounds, I love getting a juicy pear or apple from the baskets that pile up in our conference room vs another cookie or chocolate from a sampler. Such a breath of fresh during the sweets filled holidays!

    • Something from Zingermans.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I like the Harry and David Tower of Treats that has both fruit and junkier stuff. (Mmmm… Moose Munch!!)

  15. Anonymous :

    Anyone else see the news that the flu is supposed to be an especially virulent strain this year and the vaccine is only 10 percent effective? I’m just at the start of my third trimester and am kind of freaked about being pregnant during such a bad flu season. I’ve already had two bad colds while pregnant and they were miserable but at least I knew that unlike the flu they wouldn’t escalate into more serious complications for me or baby. I know I can’t do anything about except get the shot (which I’ve done) and practice good hygiene, but just wondering if anyone else is pregnant and anxious about it I guess…

    • Anonattorney :

      Just saw this – I got the flu this year and am in my second trimester. I immediately went on tamiflu and it was gone within 24 hours. Tamiflu is perfectly safe, you just need to get a prescription within 48 hours of having flu symptoms. Don’t stress!

  16. Zika - Risk it? :

    We usually go on a cheap Caribbean vacation in the winter, but are TTC. Until recently all of the islands were off limits due to Zika, but the CDC recently declared Guadalupe safe, as there hasn’t been transmission there in several months. But it looks like the British gov still recommends pregnant women avoid. Would you risk it? The flights are so cheap and it looks gorgeous.

    We had decided to go to Chile instead, but have been wavering due to the price tag (nearly 2 grand in flights alone). It’s one of the few SA countries (again Uruguay) w/o Zika. Anyone want to cheer on for Chile instead and shade experiences there? Husband doesn’t drink, but we’d love to hike, go to Patagonia, see wildlife, the beach. TIA!

    • Elegant Giraffe :

      No I would not risk it. Santiago is a very easy city to travel and enjoy!

    • Anonymous :

      Pregnant, yes I would avoid it (currently pregnant and my OB told me to avoid optional travel to South Florida even though there’s been no transmission there in many months). Pregnancy is (relatively speaking) such a short amount of time and I wouldn’t want to take any kind of risk when I could just as easily vacation elsewhere. But TTC can take months or years, and I tend to subscribe to the philosophy that you can’t put your life on hold just because you’re trying to get pregnant. If the CDC said it was ok, I probably wouldn’t worry too much unless I was actually pregnant.

      That said, Zika-aside, I think you should absolutely go to Patagonia now. You can have a lovely vacation at a resort in the Caribbean with a baby or toddler. You cannot go trekking around Patagonia with a child until the kid is…8, maybe? Possibly older? If you succeed in becoming pregnant soon, Patagonia will probably not be realistic for you for a decade or more, so I would go now if it’s in the budget.

    • Anonymous :

      Lived in Chile for 10 months, and I loved it. All the things you listed are amazing and unique. Maybe it would be helpful to reframe this as a pre-baby splurge, and you’ll get back to your regularly budgeting ways later?

    • How would you feel if you went, and got Zika and found out you were pregnant? DH and I struggled with this too. We live in the US and skipped a wedding in Florida, even though Zika had been absence for a bit just to be totally safe. My thought was that there are many things about my exposure to certain things, baby’s exposure, etc. that I cannot control, but where I go on vacation I can control.

    • Anonymous :

      I’ve been wondering how others were handling the places where the CDC lifted the advisory for pregnant women not to go. I’m going to Key West at the end of next month for a conference and while my SO and I aren’t actively TTC, we also aren’t actively preventing it. I did a ton of research and I honestly couldn’t find any concrete reason not to go. I’m interested to see what others think. To me, it seemed like the risk of being in a car accident or something else while traveling seems much higher and yet that doesn’t deter me from going somewhere. In my case, I didn’t pick the destination though and I don’t want to be left out of this opportunity either (it’s not normally something I would get to go to).

      • Anonymous :

        “while my SO and I aren’t actively TTC, we also aren’t actively preventing it”

        It is so mind-boggling to me when adults say things like this. If you are not consistently using at least one form of birth control, you are trying to get pregnant. Unless you are a teenager, you have no excuse for not knowing this.

        • Senior Attorney :

          I get it. When I hear people say this, I interpret it as “we are trying to get pregnant but not getting all worked up about it by doing anything other than having unprotected sex.” Pretty sure she knows where babies come from.

          • Anonymous :

            I get that there can be a difference between charting and stressing about ovulation on the one hand versus just having unprotected sex and letting nature take its course on the other hand. But this is a discussion about traveling to areas with Zika while TTC and her post implies it’s more ok to go to a Zika area if you’re not actively tying. Nope. If you’re not preventing, you’re trying, and you shouldn’t use the fact that you’re not “actively trying” as justification for travel to a Zika area. Zika doesn’t care how you got pregnant.
            Got pregnant ASAP without any tracking or charting

        • Anonymous :

          Yeah it’s insane. You having s3x with a dude? Not using birth control? You are trying to get pregnant.

        • Nope. What this means is “we’re ready to be pregnant if it happens, we’re also not timing s3x to my ovulation cycle, stressing out when I get my per!od each month, or feeling sad if months go by without being pregnant.”

          Actively trying involves feelings connected to each month someone isn’t pregnant, whereas this simply means that they are open to it and have decided to “pull the goalie” and let whatever happens happen, being totally happy with yes or no.

        • The hostility of people on this board sometimes – wow. Yeah I definitely know where babies come from thanks. SA is right – it means yeah if I get pregnant great, but I’m not to the point where I’m testing to see when I ovulate, make sure I have sex when I need to, etc. Also, to those that posted about going to an “active Zika” area, which both my post and the OP clearly say we are considering going to places where it’s no longer an “active Zika” area. The CDC lifted their advisories for these places. Thanks for all the really unhelpful and rude comments.

        • Actively TTC means taking actions to increase the chance of pregnancy. So, yes, chances of getting pregnant while actively TTC are higher than when just not using birth control. And this is inherently relevant to a discussion of risk.

    • I’ve been TTC for almost 2 years and I can’t put my life on hold indefinitely. I am taking some calculated risks. I’m not skipping visiting grandma in Florida anymore. She might die before I get pregnant. I also took a vacation to a place that hasn’t had local transmission in several months. CDC still says don’t go there. That country’s govt is taking really strong prevention methods and being very transparent about where the cases are. The ones they had when they did have active cases weren’t even close to where we went. The chance of getting Zika in one of those countries low risk countries (particularly Florida) is so incredibly low and people there are still procreating.

      That said, if you need interventions, you might need to lie (go ahead, flame away) to get them depending on how your doctor asks the questions. One friend was asked about any international travel and then asked to rattle it off. Another one was asked about any travel to South America or Caribbean so the fact that she had been to Southeast Asia didn’t even come up. A third was asked whether she had been to a country with Zika. If I was asked that last question, I feel like I could honestly say no since they didn’t have Zika when I was there. If you get pregnant yourself, no problem. If you need interventions, there are reports of docs refusing until after you have used protection for 6 months. Most people are unwilling to do that or wait that long if they have been trying for 2 years.

      If you have no known fertility issues, it’s also easier to wait.

      • Anonymous :

        The Zika in SE Asia is different and doesn’t cause the same issues with unborn babies, just FYI. So the doctor had good reason for not asking about it.

  17. Has anyone given (or been given) a Bread of the Month club? Sounds wonderful to me, a bit pricier than I expected though.

    Which one did you try?


  18. legalmisssunshine :

    Seriously. +1000

    I’ve sent out cards for the past 6 years- since I got engaged to my now hubs. As I have gotten older, the time I have to commit has decreased. Just last night I was lamenting to my husband about sending cards out each year and his response was, “just don’t do it.” But after years the expectation is there… to hear those that ALSO insist on something handwritten makes me want to scream. Would you rather get nothing? Pick a side.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I’d rather get one! But if it is stressing you out, I totally understand skipping it. I always skip it myself.

    • Ok, I pick nothing. Also I think you’re fooling yourself if you think people have some expectation that they’re going to get a card from you. I don’t remember who I got cards from last year; there’s no way I’d notice if somebody didn’t do it one year. And I certainly wouldn’t care.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Definitely rather get one!

      But I think it’s perfectly okay to skip it one year, as long as you understand some people will cross you off their list if you do.

    • If I knew who those picky b1tches were on my card list I’d cross them off and just send my cards to people who like them. My hand is ready to fall off after addressing 80+ cards (we have a big extended family) and if I knew someone was going to sniff, “no personal greeting” I’d LOVE to take her off my list.

      But I don’t know who those people are so they get cards. If a photo of my kids in our back yard is OMG SO OFFENSIVE then I guess I’m happy to offend them.

      For me, I would love to receive your card. I love seeing how everyone looks this year, particularly the kids who have often changed quite a bit. I love seeing the vacation photos, the graduation photos, the wedding photos – all of it.

      The cards get taped to a ledge in my entryway and make me happy every time I walk in the door.

      Send the cards. I’m guessing the sentiments run at least 3:1 in favor.

      • Minnie Pearl :

        Exactly. And if I’m writing 50+ handwritten messages, the majority are going to be generic ‘thinking of you, hope to see you soon’ type messages anyway.

      • Baconpancakes :

        Eh, I’m just not a photos person. I don’t even put up photos of my family in my house. I feel like they’re staring at me all the time. But I do put up pictures or tiles or wall hangings people have given me, and I think fondly of the gift givers when I see them. So if I don’t even have photos of my own family up, I dont really want photos of your family on display. A nice winter scene though? A lovely drawing of a snowman? Sure, I’ll display that, and it’ll make me feel cheery.

        I don’t think anyone is offended by photo cards. They just have preferences that are different from yours.

        • See, I would gladly display a nice photo of my friends but a silly card with a drawing of a snowman would go straight into the trash. The art in my home is either personal (made by or depicting friends and family) or much higher quality than Shutterfly’s stock graphics.

    • Send them if you like receiving them. I love getting holiday cards and prefer pictures to greeting cards. I put them up for the month and enjoy seeing everyone and their kids. It doesn’t bother me if there’s no handwriting on the card. If I’m close to the sender, I talk to him or her anyway and if I’m not, why would they send a personal message?

      I think it’s pretty Grinchy to complain about no personalized greeting on a holiday card. We’re all busy and it takes time to get a card together, address the envelope, and mail it. The sender took time to mail the card to you. If you don’t like it, then feel free to toss the card.

    • I am not sentimental and I do not care who sent which card – they all go straight to paper recycling bin. I am aware someone took the effort to write and send it, but people who know me – truly know me – know better. Take a well deserved rest, enjoy your holiday and do not worry about sending cards.

  19. Paging Chicagorettes :

    My MIL had eye surgery a couple days ago and has to keep her head down for an entire week. She’s complaining of neck and shoulder pain and i’d like to have a masseuse sent over to help ease some of the pain/discomfort. Do you have recommendations for anyone who makes house calls? Any ideas of where I can search for a reliable masseuse?


    • Anonymous :

      I would look online in the area around where she lives, find one close to her, and just call them to see if they do HouseCalls. Check Yelp reviews. Explain the situation, and some places that don’t have HouseCalls as a service sometimes have masseurs that do it on their spare time.

      I have found that the private small massages companies do this more than the chains.

      • Anonymous :

        If she had surgery just 2 days ago, getting a professional neck massage may not be the best idea right now. From the positioning, I am assuming she must have had retina surgery. It is not just that she should keep her face down, most of the time it is also important to avoid movements of head. Typically what is recommended is to be in face down position for 55 out of every 60 minutes. And that positioning is extremely important in the first 7-10 days immediately after surgery and would determine the success of surgery. You do not want to have a masseuse move her neck/head around during that time.

  20. Extra $200 :

    You have been gifted a $200 gift card – generic visa – and you want to use it to splurge on yourself (Single – no kids – 37) What do you spend it on?

    • Sweetknee :

      An upgraded versions n of something I use everyday.. nice underwear, cashmere lined gloves, etc.

    • Anonymous :

      Massage at a fancy spa where they have nice robes and steam rooms.

    • A Barefoot Dreams cardigan. I’ve heard great things but can’t justify the price if I’m paying out of my own pocket.

    • I’d keep it in my purse until I stumble upon something I want in a store. I’ll get the urge to say “you don’t need this now, save the money” and then I will remember I have the gift card in my pocketbook and buy it!

    • The Athleta Studio Wrap is my JAM. I have one at home and one in the office. They aren’t cheap and I’d look into this…

  21. Grandma Gift :

    Hi, ladies. Does anyone know of a reasonably-priced (under $50) very lightweight crossbody bag that only has magnetic closures (i.e. no zippers)? My elderly grandmother started recently attending a day center and I want to get her a bag to take with her.

    • This is really thoughtful of you. Here are a few purses I found:





      • Grandma Gift :

        Thanks, Leatty! I think she would love the croc french connection one! I found a few others, but none quite as perfect as this.

  22. Anonymous :

    My kid has her heart set on a Moana actress person for her birthday. I can’t find anyone from the appropriate background to portray Moana though there’s no shortage of companies with white or other ethnicity actresses willing to do it- is it acceptable to hire one? And can someone suggest somewhere I could make a donation or something to offset my guilt?

    • Anonymous :

      Is it heresy to suggest that just because a kid wants something doesn’t mean you have to do it? Surely you can do a Moana theme with having a “Moana” present.

      • Anonymous :

        As a follow up-

        I put some effort today into trying to find anything written by Polynesian women on the subject or really anyone and came up short. While my initial reaction is ick I will say I’m surprised that no one seeems to have written about this before. Would be some solid click bait.

    • Oh gosh, no no… please don’t do this! It makes you uncomfortable for a very good reason. Make the party Moana themed in other ways.

    • Another vote for just don’t

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