Frugal Friday’s Workwear Report: Ponte I Line 3/4 Sleeve Dress

Our daily workwear reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

where CAN you find good work dresses under $50?Here’s a question for you: can a good dress for work be found for under $50? This long-sleeved ponte dress at Uniqlo, for example, is totally uninspiring on the model, but in the store I would easily pick this up to try it on — but if the fit is right (or can be right, with tailoring) then it’d be great because the dress is only $39.90. It’s available in sizes S-XL in green, black, and gray. Ponte I Line 3/4 Sleeve Dress

Old Navy has a very similar option in regular (up to XXL), tall, and petite sizes.

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Comments

  1. Anonymous :

    I am tempted to try this dress even though I am normally opposed to ponte. Can anyone advise as to how Uniqlo tends to fit in the shoulders and bust? The size chart looks odd–the bust measurements seem large in comparison with the waist.

    • Kat, I recommend Uniqlo, very much! I have visited the Uniquo store on 5th Avenue in Rockefeler Center many times and often buy clotheing there b/c it is VERY inexpensive!!!!

      My law firm is NOW looking to bring in another female partner for the 2018 year, and I am NOW wondering why they are doeing so at this time b/c they just UPPED my required billings by 10% this year. FOOEY! Does anyone in the HIVE had a probelem when their firm specifically looked for another FEMALE partner? Is it some kind of a refleaction on ME? I sureley hope NOT, b/c I have ALWAY’S met my billeables. I hope it does NOT have to do with me getting older b/c I think that would NOT be legal. If anyone in the HIVE can way in on this, I would be MOST gratful. Thank’s in Advance!

    • Baconpancakes :

      I really like it in the grey, but a) January shopping fast, and b) it doesn’t come in my size. (no XL, Kat!)

      • I like the grey too but I like the length of the Old Navy one better (at least when looking at the two on the models). But the Old Navy one only comes in black and green. There is a grey short-sleeve version at Old Navy though.

        http://oldnavy.gap.com/browse/product.do?pid=133830002&rrec=true&mlink=5050,12413545,onproduct1_rr_2&clink=12413545

    • I think uniqlo either fits you or it doesn’t. I’m short (5′ 2″), very flat chested, with a very athletic physique – uniqlo XS tops and dresses fit me well basically all the time. My luck is much more hit and miss in other brands, where the shoulders might be too small, the bust area too large, the waist too small, etc.

      Although I don’t have this exact dress, they made a sleeveless fit and flare with princess seams out of the same ponte material that looks AMAZING on me. I get compliments on it every time I wear it (and now have it in 3 colours…) I think I must have been the only one it looked good on though, because it ended up being marked down en masse from $30 to $10.

    • I tend size up in Uniqlo, so if you are between sizes go with the bigger one. I usually wear a small in most brands but in tops I’m always a medium at Uniqlo.

    • Anonymous :

      I have three ponte dresses of theirs. It’s a thinner ponte but I have no problems. They are great and I have no complaints. I sized up. And then was so happy that I got the one I originally ordered in all of the colors it came in.

    • anon a mouse :

      It runs small. I am a curvy 12-14 and the XL of this dress was skin tight on me. I was so sad because it’s cute and would be a great spring dress.

  2. Ponte + tights…. how do ppl make this work without having the ponte cling and ride up? If you wear slips any rec brands ( mine all seem to be not quite the right length or the slip creeps down and peeks out). Super sleek textured tights? Other solutions? TIA fir tips and advice!

    • Have you tried static guard spray or rubbing the tights with a dryer sheet? A full slip as opposed to a half slip may stop the creep downwards. Department stores should have some options.

    • I have a stretchy full slip that I layer which helps. I don’t know the brand but I have it in black and wear it a lot in the winter. Sometimes the slip will stick but my dress or skirt won’t.

    • My slips are by Jockey and I’ve had no issues with it (them) falling down. they come in 2 lengths, which I appreciate.

  3. pugsnbourbon :

    BIG thank-you to the person who suggested the Forest app a while back. It took a couple of days, but I’m pretty motivated now by seeing my little daily forest grow.

  4. To answer Kat’s question re $50 dresses, I’d rather have a $50 dress from Talbots or Boden on sale than a dress from say, Old Navy for $40. The ponte fabric quality and thickness is totally different. Part of looking polished is not having tons of lumps and bumps, and having nicely lined dresses. I just picked up several great dresses at Talbots in their Red Hanger sale (one of which is a gorgeous tweed that looks expensive). Shop carefully and it’s certainly possible to have $50 (or less) wins.

    • Triangle Pose :

      This is so true! I have a work dresses I scored from Boden when they go on deep discount for $50-79. They are made of wool or Boden’s ottoman fabric (IMO way better than ponte) and lined and I’d rather wait or buy off season discount from higher quality retailers than bad mall brands or questionable department store brands. I will say J. Crew had a ponte dress from about 2 years ago that was actually high quality ponte but it’s really hard to gauge without trying it on. Good ponte should not be riding up on tights per the poster above or pilling. Unfortunately I lot of retailers are selling the lower quality kind. I haven’t pulled the trigger on Talbots yet because everything in-store looks so matronly and a bit frump (I know, I know, the online-only selection skews more modern but I hesitate to order when I haven’t seen anything in-store that is appealing).

      MJ- what dresses do you like from Talbots?

      • A lot of the cute dresses are gone (they just did a 60% off sale, flash sale two nights ago). I liked the Champagne tweed dress. Mostly what I like from Talbots is stuff that’s pretty classic, not fit-and-flare, and not too twee (they’ve been adding all the ruffles and flared-cuff sleeves–NOPE!) and that has a tiny twist that makes it fun. They have a really nice crepe dress with a scalloped neckline. I bought it in light pink, it arrived and the pink was too cool, and now they only have it in black (and I am on a black dress ban right now). I basically just sale-stalk everything there.

        I am a tall cusp size and so I can occasionally wear 14X there, or a 16 in regular, if the dress is long enough.

        I also buy a ton of stuff from Boden on sale, and from their sample sales which come to Boston a few times a year. At the sample sale, all dresses are $40. It’s worth the Saturday morning. I too love their Ottoman and as soon as it goes on sale, am going to pull the trigger on a pink ottoman dress in the new collection.

        • Triangle Pose :

          Thanks! Boden sample sales hit our city about 2x a year. I’ll definitely have to make it to the next one, scheduling didn’t work for the last two. I’m a 4P in dresses so I was always worried it’d be a wasted trip but sounds worth it even if I pick up some sweaters, blouses or outerwear.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      YUP. Basically all of my dresses are decent brands — not high end but not bad — bought on clearance. Like Tahari ASL, Ellen Tracy, etc. I use camel camel camel and stalk sales. Works for me.

    • My solution to this is to buy J Crew dresses on Poshmark as discounted as possible (Maybe $30 or $40), then get them tailored. It winds up being between $50-100 total, but looks super expensive. I’m done buying cheapo unlined dresses.

    • I’m pretty pleased with the Old Navy pieces in my wardrobe, but I don’t have any ponte from there.

  5. Can anyone suggest a moisturizing night cream for dry skin? I’m also wondering if anyone knows how well some of the organic brands ( at whole foods, for example) work? I have tried a variety of creams from clarins, to loreal, and have not yet found one that seems to work. I cleanse my face with an oil cleanser every night, use a sunscreen every day, and use serum and a basic cream, but I am hoping to find something moisturizing for dry mid forties skin that is super sensitive to retinols. TIA!

    • I’ve been very happy with origins. I have the night a mins cream, which I find sufficient for my dry winter, sensitive skin, but they have other, even more moisturizing creams, too. Never had an issue with irritation with any of their products.

      • SuziStockbroker :

        I use Origins as well, especially the Drink Up Overnight Masque.

        I’ve also used a facial oil at bedtime, and then layer Nivea Creme over it once it has absorbed.

    • Try aquaphor on top of your regular night cream.

      • I use Aquaphor only, and this is after trying a lot of nicer stuff. I have dry skin, eczema, and live in a dry climate with a long winter. I’ve never had problems with it causing breakouts.

    • Not Legal Counsel :

      I have been really happy with the hydrating day and night cream from Tula. I’m not sure if it is an organic brand, but the cream keeps my skin balanced throughout the year – dry winters and humid summers.

    • I like the Clinique moisture surge overnight mask. My skin is very sensitive, and can get painfully dry in the winter. This leaves my skin dewy and calm in the morning.

    • Anonymous :

      Kiehl’s hydrating balm is what I use when my skin in dire in the winter.

    • Forest fan :

      The Lala Retro cream from Drunk Elephant is great for heavy moisture.

      • +1 got it for Christmas, works really well.

      • +2, from someone in her early 40s with sensitive skin that is at once dry and acne-prone. It does not smell icky the way some of DE’s other products do.

    • Thank you for all the suggestions. I plan to buy and try some of these in the next two days!

    • Dermalogica Intensive Moisture Balance. Expensive but a tube lasts 6 months or more.

    • When it comes to creams with moisturizing & nourishing effect, I prefer Shiseido (Benefiance Intensive Nourishing Cream – better for dry skin or Bio Performance – better for combination skin). I am now testing Sensai Celullar Performance cream and it seems that this is a great moisturizing as well as nourishing option.
      From cheaper brands, I like Isis Sensylia and Bioderma.
      I do not like Clinique Moisture Surge, however, I know too many people who love it.
      If you can get your hands on Physiogel (living in or travelling to Germany or Hong Kong helps), try their basic moisturizing cream. According to my coworker from Medical department, that is the holy grail for dry skin. I use it whenever I am lucky to find it online.

    • Dry skin also :

      Dr. Jart Cicapair Tiger Grass Cream, and m’lis tissue repair cream

    • S in Chicago :

      Elta MD intense moisturizer–gentle enough to use after a skin peel and super, super moisturizing (I use at night because otherwise would look like you’ve got grease on your face). Stuff does miracles.

      Are you using a humidifier in your home? That alone does wonders for the skin.

      • I have not been using a humidifier. I should purchase one. It rains quite a lot where I live, so I always thought the humidity was higher, but I know it needs to be closer to your face!

    • KateMiddletown :

      If you’re not looking for anything anti-aging, Cerave is my HG moisture drink for skin. Plus it’s a huge tub and you can use it on other parts of your body (and kids if that’s relevant.)

  6. Black Mirror :

    I just finished watching the latest season of Black Mirror. I’ve loved the show and was so excited for the new season to be out. This is sort of spoilers for the Arkangel episode.

    I’m incredibly frustrated that an ostensibly progressive show represented emergency contraception as an abortion. There was no need for the show to add in that “You’re not pregnant ANYMORE” jab. Or if the whole point was that the pregnancy was terminated, then call it the abortion pill not EC. The whole thing seemed aimed at turning off viewers. Here’s yet another show I won’t be able to watch because of the patriarchy.

    Relatedly, recommendations for a female-only commune on the east coast? I’m pretty ready to check out of this nonsense. Oh wait not even that would help me because the episode was directed by a woman….

    • Triangle Pose :

      Agree. Charlie Brooker does not understand reproduction or the EC pill. THE BOX EVEN SAIS EC right on it! That is not the “abortion pill!”

    • oh my gosh. THANK YOU! I literally could not get over this and kept muttering to my BF for the rest of the episode. it is NOT an abortion. ugh.

      • I agree. There IS a difference. If I were still dateing my Alan, I would tell him very clearly his sloppiness in my public area is NOT the same as a life threatening emergency. We all have certain choices, and I made the choice to get rid of Sheketovits b/c he was not good for me, and this shortcomeing was only in one of his area’s. FOOEY!

    • Triangle Pose :

      Curious on one other point from this season [This is sort of spoilers for the first episode of this season.]

      What did you think of virtual Nanette blackmailing real Nanette with photos? I couldn’t quite figure out my position on that. Reminded me of Shut Up and Dance from last season – vigilante justice = BAD, but then I couldn’t tell if virtual Nanette/real Nanette changed it for me.

      • Not sure if you’ve finished the season yet, but cynical ruthlessness and vigilante justice are a frequent feature. Reviews at The Atlantic magazine explore this as a shortcoming of the show.

        What I thought was interesting about Nanette’s case is that in order to get herself out of an objectifying, dehumanizing situation as a woman, she had to objectify/dehumanize herself as a woman (by threatening the blackmail).

        • Triangle Pose :

          Yes I’ve finished and I know it’s a frequent feature. I actually don’t think it’s a shortcoming the way the Atlantic describes. I really meant whether I view the act of blackmailing differently because the blackmailer is an instance of her own consciousness.

          • Not your original topic, but I think I have mixed feelings on the morality of the show. On one hand, there are definitely those who had it coming, e.g. in Black Museum. On the other hand, the I expected more nuance in some cases from a show that is usually so reflective.

    • I only watch Black Mirror episodes that get critical acclaim because I find it so emotionally taxing that I want to make sure the payoff will be worth it. And I find that some of the less nihilistic episodes also tend to be the ones with the critical acclaim: Nosedive, San Junipero, USS Callister.

    • KateMiddletown :

      I think I am too sensitive to watch Black Mirror. I only watched the Bryce Dallas Howard episode and it made me so uncomfortable and still bothers me. I’m not really interested in looking into a black mirror of myself for entertainment… give me housewives and HGTV.

      • Triangle Pose :

        That’s funny, I find the narcissim and squabbling of housewives and HGTV to be hard to watch. I’d rather watch a fictional narrative of some dark dystopian universe than real people pecking at each other over floor tiles.m There’s something for all of us in the world of TV

    • Interestingly it was Jodie Foster who directed that episode. But I was confused. Was it even in the time frame of EC?

    • turtletorney :

      OMG i had this same reaction!! That episode was odd though. and I’m a huuuge BM fan.

  7. Audible recs? :

    I have a bunch of audible credits (like a whole year’s worth) that I need to start using. I generally like rom coms, epic romance and high fantasy, escapism sort of stuff. Bonus if the reading voice is good. I’ve listened to a few with a very grating voice that killed the book. Old recs are okay too because I haven’t been reading at all (you can tell from my accumulation of credits). TIA!

    • Forest fan :

      I really enjoyed listening to Nora Ephron’s Heartburn on audio book. I’ll warn you, there’s some race/ethnicity comments in there that haven’t aged well, but it was otherwise enjoyable.

    • Anony Mouse :

      Check out the Temeraire series by Naomi Novik–think Napoleonic Era with dragons– narrated by Simon Vance. Simon Vance, who reads all kinds of books, is an excellent narrator.

    • I am picky about what I want to own on Audible because there is so much I can get from the Cloud Library and RB digital apps. However, things in my Audible Library that I have listed to 2x or more and wouldn’t want to be without:

      – Name of the Wind and The Wise Man’s Fear (The narrator is excellent. Warning: you’ll get addicted to this and the 3rd book isn’t out yet, but don’t deprive yourself in the meantime)
      – Outlander and the entire Outlander series (Davina Porter’s accent is fantastic and she really makes the books come to life. Romance, historical fiction, fantasy time-travel, it doesn’t get any more epic than this series!)
      – Game of Thrones (If you haven’t listened to this series on audio, it’s a game changer!)
      – A Discovery of Witches and the rest of the trilogy – Shadow of Night and The Book of Life (I found the second book got a little sloggy but the payoff was worth for the 3rd book/ending)

      I also clearly tend to go for books that are longer, so I really feel like I’m getting my credit’s worth.

      Falling solidly in the rom-com/ghost mystery category, the Charleston charming ‘The House on Tradd Street’ series is addictive and has 5 books, and the narrator frankly nails it. It took me a little bit to get used to her drawl, but I did and I’ve re-listened to this series more than once when my brain needed a break.

      • C2, those are my favorite books/series! I think we are book twins :)

        • Yes!! I always thought it would be cool to have a twin ;)

          Any other series you like? I need a new epic binge-listen series, and if you like it, I bet I would, too! Ha.

          • +1 on outlander and GOT.

            C2, I am going to take your recs and listen to the others listed.

          • Audio gal :

            Since I’m also a fan of these series here are the others I’ve loved in audio

            Vorkosigan saga by Lois McMaster bujold as read by Grover Gardner

            Amelia Peabody historical mystery series by Elizabeth Peters read by Barbara rosenblat

          • I’ve just started reading Neil Gaiman’s, “the Ocean at the End of the Lane,” and I like it so far. It’s the first book of his I’ve read – he is prolific, so lots more where this came from!

            Not fantasy/magical, but I liked Ken Follett’s Pillars of the Earth series when I read them years ago.

            Also not fantasy – I loved the three Robert Galbraith (actually J.K Rowling) audiobooks about an English private detective.

    • Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.

    • KateMiddletown :

      How do you accumulate audible credits? I haven’t bit the bullet yet since I love using my library and I’m cheap, but if there’s some incentive I could get into it.

      • BabyAssociate :

        You buy them, one a month is the typical plan.

        • Although now they are offering every other month, which is perfect for me. 1 a month was too much.

      • Basically you get charged $14.95/month and 1 credit, which is good for any one book on the audible site, so OP has just been letting those accumulate for a year – paying monthly but not “purchasing” a book with her credit. There are some good incentives for joining – reduced rates for the first few months, 30 days and 1 credit free, and sometimes they’re better if you’re a prime member or call in and ask for the best deal you qualify for (yes, I’ve done this). Sometimes credits go on sale and you can buy multiple credits for a certain price – like 3 for $30. Other times, a selection of books will go on 2-for-1 credit sale or 3-for-1.

        One member benefit is access to a curated selection of “streaming” books, where you have can stream a full book but not to keep it – I stream books from their Audible Collections sections that I’m not uber committed to but maybe aren’t available from my library. If you quit Audible at any point, you still have access to the books you’ve paid for.

        tl;dr: if you’re totally happy with what you get from the library, Audible is a convenience (my library has Outlander on audio, for example, but sometimes there are holds). But it’s not a bad deal overall, and there are some deals to be had.

        • KateMiddletown :

          Thanks! I love my library but sometimes immediacy and convenience are necessary to actually read more (or listen more as the case may be.) Resolution #15 is to read 24 books this year.

        • Yes, I have a one year subscription that just sent me an email today saying my subscription is recently renewed… which is how I got reminded that I have way too many credits that I haven’t used. Thanks all for the recs! Off to download them now

    • BabyAssociate :

      Modern Romance is read by Aziz Ansari, really interesting book and he’s a great reader.

      I almost hesitate to recommend this…but Al Franken’s most recent book, Giant of the Senate, was good.

    • Really good reading that kind of hits the rom com angle: Aziz Ansari’s Modern Love.

      • BabyAssociate :

        My reply got stock in mod for some reason, but Modern Romance was my recommendation too!

      • Elegant Giraffe :

        Yes! He tended to go off-script and share a bunch of extra stuff :)

      • Anonymous :

        Agree this is a great Audible. But it really bugged me that every time he impersonated a vapid or unintelligent female, he used a Southern accent. He called himself out on it, audibly, and then continued to do it every time.

    • Mary Ann Singleton :

      Not really in your genre, but I was absolutely captivated by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah on audiobook for a long drive. I’ve also really enjoyed The Girl with All the Gifts (dystopian fiction – so riveting, again for a long drive), Bossypants and Amy Poehler’s Yes Please.

    • I thought The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck was a good audio book if you’re ever in the mood for some self help kind of stuff.

    • Elegant Giraffe :

      I like the Liane Moriarty audio books. They’re read by the same woman with a lovely Australian accent – but since it’s the same narrator voice, I have to space her books out so that I don’t get characters between books mixed up!

    • Thank you all! Writing these titles down and off to dl them

  8. Recently (I’m blaming the cold/dry air) my skin has been super dry in the mornings at the corners of my eyes. My normal eye cream (First Aid Beauty) hasn’t helped. Any suggestions?

    • Anonymous :

      Humidifier in your bedroom.

      Warm face cloth to your eyes a couple times a day. Aquafor around eyes at night.

      If needed … Over the counter disposable eye cloths for blepharitis in the AM. Ocu…something.

    • Jacket Hunt :

      +1 to humidifier, it’s a lifesaver this winter.

      Recently started using Khiel’s avocado eye cream and love it. Very rich.

      This winter I’ve also been putting rose hip seed oil on at night after my normal heavy night cream (Cerave skin renewing night cream). I like The Ordinary’s rose hip seed oil.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      +2 to humidifier. I dragged mine out last night after I googled what the recommended humidity was and realized my house was way below it (my Nest tells me the humidity). No wonder my skin has been so unhappy.

    • Marshmallow :

      This happens to me. I really like Drunk Elephant’s eye cream. It’s very oily and rich– maybe too much for oily skin or warm weather, but perfect for this cold dry weather.

    • Aquaphor for everyone and everything!

  9. Humidifiers :

    Any recommendations for good humidifiers? Never used one before so not willing to invest a ton just yet but I think my dry, itchy, red skin and chronically stuffed nose needs it.

    • We made the decision last night to add a full house inline humidifier to our heating/cooling system. My humidity was at 16% (Thanks Nest). The are pretty affordable ~$180. I had an in room last winter and although I cleaned it regularly it grew mold. I would look for reviews on one that does not have this issue.

      • KateMiddletown :

        This is a goal for me. We have purchased new humidifiers every few years and easily spent more than that. I’m not doing the filtered ones anymore because I have to keep replacing them anyway.
        I have one small one in my office and bought one for a coworker for <$20 on amazon. I'll post links below.

        • KateMiddletown :

          https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07427J9H2/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

          https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B073F6DKLF/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s02?ie=UTF8&psc=1

          Watch the pricing – I paid less than current price for each of these when purchased w/i the last few months.

      • Mary Ann Singleton :

        I have never heard of the full house ones but I’m intrigued – how do you prevent those from growing mold? Can you clean them?

    • I will anti-recommend the Honeywell coolmist… they’re expensive and unless it’s on the highest (and loudest) setting, it does absolutely nothing. Dealing with the filter is a pain too.

      I have a Honeywell steam humidifier that doesn’t work great (about 5 percentage points difference in my albeit large bedroom), but it’s less expensive and less of a hassle.

    • Anonymous :

      Questions like these always lead me to suggest The Wirecutter’s reviews. They’ve been spot-on for everything I’ve tried, from cat litter to bed sheets to portable heaters.

      • Silly Valley :

        Was going to say the same – I looked at the Wirecutter rec for humidifiers but ended up going down one model in capacity for my bedroom, but same line. I like it so far.

  10. Jacket Hunt :

    We’re spontaneously going to Morocco in a few weeks!! Flying into Fes, out of Marrakesh, there for 12 days. Any tips or suggestions you have would be greatly appreciated as our itinerary is a blank slate!

    It’s winter there and looks like it will be in the 50s-60s. I’m looking for a lightweight jacket to live in while there. I’ll likely be wearing midi/maxi skirts and dresses the whole time, and those can look awkward sticking out under jackets. Any suggestions? My style is playful/youthful, like Anthro and ModCloth. Preferably under $150. Any other packing must-haves?

    • I LOVED Morocco. The most memorable part of the trip was riding camels into the desert, camping in a tent overnight, and riding camels back. I think the town near the desert that we went to was Ouarzazate. You’ll need to find a tour guide/group to facilitate this but it is absolutely worth the trip. Truly amazing. The huge market in Marrakesh is also a lot of fun but you will have to bargain hard if you plan to buy anything there. Have fun!

      • SF in House :

        I did this and loved it too. We were there on New Year’s Eve and just a warning, those tents are COLD (like wear all of your clothing to bed cold).

    • Moto-Jacket? :

      A short Moto-style jacket comes to mind. I’ve worn a jacket similar to the below through mid 40’s with a sweater, so it might work well.

      https://www.evereve.com/p/marni-moto-jacket-37385

      Also, I find the brand name for this circumstance entertaining- marakech

    • Rainbow Hair :

      AAAH you are going to have so much fun!!!

      Yes, cropped moto jacket is likely to work well! I’m in love with my waxed denim moto, though that’s very specific. But generally I think that something a bit shorter makes more sense over dresses. I would recommend buying yourself a scarf (or 10) in the souks so you can layer/cover up as necessary.

      A thing that I often try to do is leave room in my luggage to pick up a few tops when I get where I’m going. I figure the people who live there know how to dress for there. I got a lovely kind of loose-ish long sleeve tunic-y top with a nice neckline detail last time I was in morocco and it was perfect to wear there.

      My general advice is – if it’s in your budget – to try to hire drivers to take you where you’re going. It was not that expensive, and it bought us more time in our destinations, AND we got to make friends with our driver. Like the poster above, we did a night in the desert with a stop at Ouarzazate and it was awesome. Our driver, Feta, was so cool, and he took us to the middle-of-nowhere diner he likes to stop at between Marrakech and Ouarzazate — one of our best meals in Morocco. And he shared a bag of almonds with us — they were the only almonds I’ve ever had that tasted like almonds. Not every driver was an amazing experience (the hotel-keeper’s brother in law who was blasting what must’ve been the Muslim equivalent to Christian rock, and whose car’s door handles were just bent hangers?) but it was all still worth doing. We hired drivers through our hotel, figuring that there was some incentive for the hotel to pick someone good for us, since we’re already doing business with them. It worked!

      Sorry I’m going on-and-on. Itinerary-wise, may I suggest a stop in Meknes? It’s really different from Marrakech and Fes, but if you’re going to Fes anyway it’s not out of the way. And when you’re in Meknes you can take a 1/2 day trip to Volubilis and Moulay Idriss. I also just really liked the wandering in Meknes. And I had some life-changing olives in the market there. We stayed at Riad Maison da Cote and it was lovely.

      In Fes we stayed at Riad Laaroussa and it was freakin’ amazing. Make an appointment in their hammam. If you’re worried about getting lost, have the hotel arrange someone to pick you up in Meknes, or to meet you at the train station.

      I am so jealous!

    • MoroccoTips :

      Morocco is amazing! Highly HIGHLY recommend doing a street food tour in Marrakech: http://marrakechfoodtours.com/ – it is a little pricey but totally worth it to try out street foods you may not otherwise try – tours are in English and the food is SO YUMMY. It was our favorite part of our trip. Nomad is a delicious restaurant in Marrakech – the lamb burger is really good. If you are nervous about bargaining in the market, check out the government run shops – set prices (on the high side) but no haggling. Or you can do what we did which is go there to see what the prices are so we knew price ranges so we would not get ripped off. And definitely go to the hammam – super relaxing. We stayed at the Maison Arabe and it was lovely – beautiful hammam and delicious food.

    • Lyra Silvertongue :

      I’m running into a long afternoon meeting but I will come back later today to leave a more detailed reply. We went there for my honeymoon last year and it was quite the experience!

    • I was there at the end of December 2016 and wore a Barbour jacket (with a thin puffer vest under for warmth everywhere other than in Marrakech). For what it is worth, I also always wore pants – it was colder than anticipated. And if you are spending any time in the desert, be warned that it can be extremely cold at night!!

      Have a wonderful trip! Morocco is great!

    • Try to do your shopping NOT in Marrakech. All of the regions/cities have their own specialties and those things get marked up in Marrakech, which is major trade city. Bargain bargain bargain.

    • Puddlejumper :

      See if they have any openings with Open Doors Morocco. It cost us 500 dollars per person for a week that included: a private driver, all our meals, all our lodging and all our activities. All the money goes back to Local Moroccans. It was amazing. If you go this route let me know and I can give you tips on which guide to ask for etc.

      I second the food tour above!!!

    • Lyra Silvertongue :

      Sorry for the delay in response, hope you still see this!

      We went to Morocco for our honeymoon last year in March, and with the weather consistently in the 60s or low 70s for daytime temps, I wore primarily maxi dresses with a cardigan on top, or without if the dress had substantial enough sleeves.

      The women dress colorfully and modestly in the daytime. Nighttime is still colorful though much less modest depending on the area. There is an odd predilection towards also wearing fuzzy bathrobes out as clothing, though this mostly seems to occur in the older generation and in less cosmopolitan areas (I saw it most frequently in Meknes).

      Carry a scarf with you everywhere. They are terrible useful- added warmth, covering your neckline a bit more if you feel it’s exposed, covering your head if you feel like you are attracting too much attention/harassment.

      Some of my dresses I had my tailor put a little hook or clip at the neckline so that it couldn’t gape open (I’m looking at you, wrap maxis).

      Don’t wear really nice shoes. Flat, comfortable sandals were my friend. The streets had a lot of debris etc on them and you wouldn’t want to ruin anything.

      I would NOT recommend jumpsuits due to the high prevalence of squat toilets. Maxi dresses or skirts are soooo much easier to deal with. Also, bring your own toilet paper, or at least a bunch of those individual packets of tissues to carry with you, as most toilets do not provide toilet paper (and do expect to pay to use the facilities as in Europe, so keep change on you).

      Flowier skirts rather than slim cuts are easier to sit down in, which may happen if you take tea in the souks or in a private home.

      The level of modesty required varies by area. The more modern/cosmopolitan and touristy, the less conservative the dress in general, and the less attention you’ll attract as well.

      Buy some clothes over there if you like. Tunic tops translate nicely once back home, and you can wear them over there if you pack a pair of leggings to wear under them. They make lovely flowing caftans as well, or takchitas if you’re looking for a dressy option (though opportunities to wear this stateside are more limited). Quality will vary depending on where you buy the item- tourist traps will have lots of clothes that say “made in Indonesia” or such on them.

      I REALLY overthought what to take to the desert and wear on the camel. In the end, I wore a tunic with leggings one way, and then on the way out I wore workout leggings with a Patagonia fleece. DO have sunglasses and a long scar to let the camel guides wrap around your head- that blowing sand is no joke! I did find it got chilly at night in the dessert, but in early March I was comfortable in bed in a jersey pj set.

      As for jackets, what about a Barbour one or something similar? The utility or field style looks nice over maxi dresses and the outlets are having 70% off oddments and 50% off everything else right now, making most jackets $100-200. You’d definitely have an “English Patient” vibe too which I love (just the fashion, not the colonialism).

      Here’s a J.Crew one:
      https://www.jcrew.com/p/womens_category/outerwear/trenchesandanoraks/the-downtown-field-jacket/19034?color_name=mossy-brown

      Orvis option:
      http://www.orvis.com/p/moonlight-pines-jacket/2kb1

      LL Bean in lots of colors:
      https://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/118011?feat=610-GN1&page=classic-utility-jacket&csp=f

      I’m sure all of these links will send me to moderation, and I have no idea what your body shape/size is, but here are some dress options that I found for you that would work in Morocco:

      https://www.anthropologie.com/shop/farm-rio-rosario-maxi-dress?category=sale-dresses&color=038

      https://www.anthropologie.com/shop/farm-rio-ruffled-peasant-dress?category=sale-dresses&color=038

      https://www.anthropologie.com/shop/shenia-embroidered-maxi-dress?category=dresses-maxi-midi&color=029 (with a cardigan or jacket)

      https://www.lulus.com/products/so-sweetly-black-floral-print-midi-dress/535042.html

      https://www.lulus.com/products/i-madeline-garden-splendor-navy-blue-floral-print-dress/290352.html

      https://www.lulus.com/products/heart-of-marigold-yellow-floral-print-wrap-maxi-dress/443672.html (also with a cardigan/jacket or wrap around your shoulders)

      https://www.lulus.com/categories/page2-60/13_2402/vacation-dresses.html?sort=new

      https://www.lulus.com/products/mandala-daydream-blue-print-maxi-dress/284142.html

      https://www.unique-vintage.com/clothing/dresses/maxi/vintage-style-navy-multi-floral-short-sleeve-tea-dress.html

      https://www.unique-vintage.com/clothing/dresses/maxi/retro-style-navy-floral-short-sleeved-stretch-midi-swing-dress.html

      https://www.unique-vintage.com/clothing/dresses/maxi/1920s-black-floral-sleeveless-knit-flapper-day-dress.html (with a jacket)

      https://www.unique-vintage.com/clothing/dresses/maxi/unique-vintage-1960s-style-black-red-floral-long-sleeve-farrah-maxi-dress.html

      https://www.nordstromrack.com/shop/product/2281754/hale-bob-amity-tied-midi-dress?color=NAVY

      http://www.asos.com/asos/asos-embroidered-maxi-dress/prd/8842350?clr=black&SearchQuery=&cid=8799&gridcolumn=1&gridrow=10&gridsize=4&pge=1&pgesize=72&totalstyles=152

      http://www.asos.com/vero-moda/vero-moda-embroidered-maxi-dress/prd/7908626?clr=black&SearchQuery=&cid=8799&gridcolumn=3&gridrow=1&gridsize=4&pge=3&pgesize=72&totalstyles=152

      Itinerary tips:

      -Hammam. This is a must! Amazing experience for very little money compared to Western spas.
      -Fes, give it more than one day. The ceramics guild and the tannery are both fascinating to tour. So much history here, with the world’s oldest university (started by a woman!) and much more. I preferred shopping here to either Marrakesh or more isolated shops in rural locations. Fes is the handicraft capital of Morocco.
      -Avoid Meknes, it was completely uninspiring.
      -Casablanca- definitely worth it if the only thing you do is tour the Hassan II mosque.
      – Rabat was nice enough but a bit dull comparatively.
      -Tangier is worth a visit if you have time. Very cool mix of cultures, lots of sights, and a happening night life.
      – Overnight in the desert, with a camel trip. As others mentioned, there’s nothing quite like it and it’s the quintessential Moroccan experience.
      -Thought not my favorite, Marrakesh is a must, and finding your way through the souks will imbue you with confidence.
      -Assilah on the coast was beautiful and relaxing, makes for a laid-back day trip from the Tangier area.
      – Souvenirs to buy: textiles (we reupholstered some old chairs with several yards of fantastic fabric), pastries (not a long term souvenir but seriously, eat all of them- chebakia is my favorite), beauty products (my skin loooves the argan oil, rose water, and various creams I bought). We also bought a really neat brass lantern that we wired up with American lighting in our dining room. Very neat if you have space in your luggage!

      More general tips:
      -Camels don’t have stirrups! They move differently than other 4 legged animals (both left feet, then both right feet, like a swaying ship) and you just hold on with your thighs. Don’t worry about it, but I wanted you to know in case you wondered where the stirrups were.
      -I don’t believe you mentioned who you are traveling with, but be aware that you may be harassed, regardless of how modestly you’re dressed or who you’re with. My husband was offered 2,000 camels for a taste of my “lovely jubblies.”
      -Not everyone speaks English, even in touristy areas, no matter what guidebooks say. Having French is very useful, but also learning some basic Arabic (with Moroccan pronunciation) is a good idea. I found Arabic fairly easy to pick up from a speaking perspective (I’m sure writing would have been MUCH harder).
      -Watch out for Moroccan diarrhea. This is usually transmitted through bacterias on uncooked vegetables (which are hard to avoid with “Moroccan salad” served before every meal, though in upstanding places this normally won’t be a problem).
      -While out driving, you may be stopped by police, even having done nothing wrong. We were with a tour group, our guide was Moroccan, and we were stopped by police at least twice a day, who then required bribes in order to let us go without a falsified ticket. A few times the police also made sexually suggestive gestures at the females in the car, which was unnerving.
      -Be prepared for some light interrogation at customs/immigration. We flew into Rabat and I was held for a bit because that particular immigration official questioned me being a married attorney…

      Overall, it was a beautiful and fascinating country with an amazing history and we had quite the adventure. Hope you have an amazing time. Be safe!

  11. This might be a long shot, but are there any environmental lawyers on here? Would you be willing to share a little about what you do and your career path?

    • Yep! I’m in-house environmental at an energy company now. Previously worked at a big law firm doing environmental work. Interned with DOJ ENRD, ELI, and the Nature Conservancy during law school, and did my school’s environmental clinic. If you post an email, I’m happy to talk more offline.

    • environmental compliance :

      I’m not a lawyer but I’m an environmental consultant who works pretty closely with environmental lawyers on real estate transactions, land use development, state/federal regulatory issues like brownfields redevelopment or superfund sites, etc in the DC/Baltimore area. Anything in particular that you’re interested in learning about?

    • Frozen Peach :

      My job now includes very little environmental law, but I practiced it for years with a BigLaw and then a midlaw firm. I worked on my school’s environmental law journal and took a lot of environmental classes. What do you want to know?

      • I’m practicing environmental law at a biglaw firm now and am trying to figure out what my other options are. What made you decide to leave your biglaw firm? Were things (hours, people, etc.) different/better at your midlaw firm? Thanks for responding!

        • anon associate :

          I went to law school to do enviro law and practiced in a biglaw firm for a few years before changing fields. My original goal was to do public interest environmental law (like so many of us) either in the government or at a non-profit. My dream at the time would have been to join EPA or similar or one of the non-profits that that does impact litigation like NRDC. I graduated in the crash so those jobs were extremely difficult to come by–really, they’re always difficult to land– that’s why I wound up in private practice. Biglaw was awful for me because of the people. My biglaw firm fed a lot of associates to non-profits or government. In my experience, that’s where a lot of former biglaw enviro attorneys go- either because they get pushed out (it can be difficult to make partner as an enviro lawyer in biglaw because it’s usually an ancillary practice group where you’re just supporting the partners who service that major corporate clients), or because they never really wanted to work for The Man and want non-profit or government work. Those alternatives usually come with better hours, more relaxed environment, and the Warm Fuzzies that most enviro attorneys want. Similarly, some go in house. Obviously, those jobs are rare and challenging to get.

          This field is at once so broad and so narrow- you can be an environmental attorney doing exclusively clean water act compliance work, CERCLA/RCRA work, property development/brownfields work, supporting an M&A practice, or you could do solar work, energy/utility related work, permitting, etc…. Different environments give you opportunities to focus on different areas. You can do litigation, regulatory compliance, corporate, and/or deal with permitting or enforcement. Obviously, some skills are transferable, but you have to consider whether you are a person who feels like you’d die if you had to litigate or whether deal work kill you because of the deadlines/turn around time. Also, what “side” do you want to be on, or do you care? Do you want to work for a company that is highly motivated to lobby/challenge environmental regulations, or would that conflict with your values? Or do you want to help companies comply? Or do you want to work for the “Good guys?” (I know it’s not black and white, of course.)

          What specifically are you interested in? What motivated you to practice in this area? I’m happy to provide more specific info.

          • This is a very late response so you might not see it, but your comment is very helpful. I sound like you – wanted to advocate for the environment but ended up in private practice because that’s where the jobs were. Can I ask what you’re doing now and how you got that position?

    • Yes. I work for my local state government. Started here direct out of law school and moved around a bit as a junior lawyer with in the department but I have been lucky enough to do environmental law for the last 5 years. Don’t overlook smaller government. Often I am working with top policy administrators to shape options being presented to government for decision. Environmental enforcement is also very rewarding.

      • Not the original OP but is there anything you would recommend to get into this? I am very interested in Environmental policy and interned at the [State] pollution control board during law school. I am currently a junior attorney at a private law firm in a niche area of environmental law.

        • Anonymous :

          Could you add some CLE or other courses in public administration or public policy development? I also have an MA in International Affairs but I focused on implementation of international agreements at the state level. Another lawyer here with a similar practice has an MA in Public Affairs. Attend any environmental CLE’s in your area that you can.

          Given your internship, I would reach out to those who you worked with and network a bit both on the issues of what background to develop, what opportunities may exist at state level, and whether they have any colleagues they can recommend you do. If you have a great idea for a journal publication, that can be a good way to make a connection. I’d jump at the chance to contribute to a halfway written or even well developed outline of a journal article. I’m mid level and I never have as much time as I would like for publications.

  12. Feeling a bit sad this morning. Last night my husband (of 1.5 years, together for 5) and I were having a talk about our goals for the year and we both agreed that our gardening life has suffered over the last year to the point where 1x (or less) a week is the norm instead of the exception. We always seem to be too busy, on the way to something, or just not in the mood/the right time. We visited my parents for 10 days over Christmas and had our own room (in a separate apartment) and only managed to do it 1x while we were there because we always felt like we had to go attend an activity or else it was late at night and we were jetlagged. He feels that he does all or most of the initiating, which may be true – I feel like my drive has been low lately, although he does not initiate all that often. This makes him feel like I don’t find him as sexy as I used to, which leads to him initiating less (I’ve been feeling the same way about him, despite the fact we frequently compliment each other and tell each other we’re sexy, it hasn’t translated into more gardening). We also agreed that we didn’t want to fall into the trap of being too comfortable – in the beginning, when one of us walked in the door after a weekend trip away, we would immediately go garden – now it’s “let me make you a drink and let’s catch up about your weekend.” (Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but I feel we’re missing some of the passion). It feels early in our marriage for this to be happening and the insecure side of me feels like eventually he may look elsewhere for pleasure (or we’ll be one of those couples that divorces because we became “best friends” rather than lovers). I love him dearly and I am attracted to him and don’t want that to happen. The conversation was open and honest and not a fight, but it just made me feel discouraged. Any words of advice for trying to reset and kickstart this aspect of our relationship? We both ended up just being like “we’ll try harder” but that doesn’t seem very concrete.

    • Honestly, I think both of your expectations might be a bit out of whack. One time a week, for a married couple, is really not terrible. You’ve been together for five years and life happens, you know? By all means, up your frequency if you both desire it, but your post is full of catastrophic language that doesn’t seem to match with reality. You don’t have a s3xless marriage. Far from it. You’re both attracted to each other, and I think you’re borrowing trouble by jumping to the conclusion that you’re headed toward a passionless marriage.

      From an old married lady (14 years and counting, together for 17), our gardening lives go through big swings. Sometimes we can’t keep our paws off each other; other times, we might go 2-3 weeks without when life gets really crazy and hectic. That seems to be the norm for a lot of long-term couples.

      • +1. Once/week is pretty normal for couples who have been together more than 2-3 years (I think the big factor here is how long you’ve been a monogamous couple, not whether/how long you’ve been married). By all means make an effort to do it more if you’d both like that, but you are a looooong way from getting divorced because you’ve become roommates.

      • Completely agree.

      • +1.
        Together 16 years, married just over 7. This has been my experience too. There was even a period in there where my bcp basically killed any and all drive I had…and hooboy do I mean killed…and it was maybe 7-8 times a year, if that. Yeah. 1X a week ain’t bad!

        BUT, if you both want more, literally do it more! Try adding in other fun…gardening techniques (you don’t have to plant something every night, just, uh, hoe and tend to keep things green!)

      • KateMiddletown :

        I would agree with you except my OBGYN insinuated 2-3 times a week is more normal. (In the context of, don’t worry about trying to get pregnant yet, as long as you’re having sex 2-3 times a week it will happen within a few months.) I feel like my eyes bugged out when she said that and now I’m thinking we also are not active enough.

        • That sounds like – do it 2-3 times a week if you want to get pregnant really soon. So, do a lot of the pregnancy-making activity if you want to get pregnant. This doesn’t sound like an endorsement of what non-pregnancy goal levels are on average.

        • TTC s*x is totally different than normal s*x. It’s possible she thinks all married couples do it this much, but I would interpret her statement as implying that 1) most people try having s*x 2-3 times per week for a few months before worrying about their fertility and 2) that method will work for most healthy couples. Both of those statements are probably true.

        • That’s not about what is “normal” for recreational purposes. That’s about trying to conceive–totally different benchmark.

          • KateMiddletown :

            I agree with you that recreational and TTC are sort of different but my point is that my OBGYN and many in the medical community don’t recognize the difficulty of making TTC-sex enjoyable (or even do-able), and tend so assume that we’re all just crazy who do it like rabbits all the time because we’re crazy about each other.

    • This is totally normal! And really not bad. You are both into each other. You want to garden more. That’s great! Now you need to actually prioritize it. Make Saturday night a given. Make Wednesday a tv free night where you have time to find other ways to amuse yourselves. Say no to too many commitments.

    • This is not romantic, but if you want to make it a priority, schedule it.

      I’ve been with my husband for 14 years, married for 10. Sometimes there are dry spells, and sometimes you’re just plain tired. That’s a normal part of a long relationship. When my husband and I are having a problem with frequency, we pick a day of the week where we definitely do it. If you want to be doing it twice a week, then pick two days and make it happen. Y’all are on the same page about this– it’s not like one of you wants to do it and the other doesn’t. Agree with anon above that you’re really freaking out needlessly.

      • Lana Del Raygun :

        Yes! Scheduling is for priorities–it doesn’t mean there’s no passion. And I totally agree that you two being on the same page is huge :)

        To make it more romantic, block out the entire evening for a Date. Even if the “date” is just a somewhat nicer than usual dinner at home, the point is that you are saying “No, I can’t do ___ that night because I’m going to be having quality time with my husband.” (You can also use this strategy for if you feel like you never get to talk anymore.)

      • +1 We’re scheduling this year. We are committing to kids going to bed earlier on Friday nights and then making Friday night+Saturday morning a routine. We’re going to track it and hold each other accountable.

    • Maybe don’t make gardening the goal every time? The pressure to have that be the end result, and then failing to have that result can be a detrimental cycle.

      Also read Come As You Are, by Emily Nagoski to help reset some expectations about whether drive is low or life-stress is just getting in the way.

      • Baconpancakes :

        One of the things that helps me (mentally) is for us to initiate a lot, and be 100% fine if one or both of us don’t finish. We’re still being affectionate and active, making me feel like we’re connected, but if it gets too late, or one of us gets distracted, we say we “need a break” and the break might be a few minutes, until morning, or even until the next night. This obviously requires your partner to be on board with it, but my SO has very firmly internalized “anyone can stop at any time,” and one time a week with both partners extremely enthusiastic is way better than three times a week when one partner isn’t really into it.

        • I admire the high-level functioning you are able to use in the moment. I think I get my feelings hurt if there’s distraction, or if I feel like my needs aren’t being met but my partner is easily meeting his own needs. It’s so difficult to be rational during the time when you’re supposed to let “passion” rule.

          • Anon for this :

            Every relationship is different, so don’t approach it by comparing your relationship to others. FWIW, it sounds like you are gardening significantly more than the women I’m friends with. Personally, I’ve been with my husband for 11 years, married for 6, and we probably only garden once every few weeks. We also have a toddler, and we’re tired all the time, but even before we had kids we were averaging less than once a week.

            I think the bigger issue is your comment about getting your feelings hurt. I had some of the same insecurities earlier on in my relationship. I felt like our intimate life needed to follow some sort of script, and that if it didn’t, something was wrong. I think this is what you should talk to your husband about. The goal should be that both of you are happy and content with whatever pattern you have settled on.

            Also, last thing – don’t get too caught up in passion = active s3x life. I have so so so much passion for my husband, but it is based on a tapestry of different things, including how he takes care of me emotionally; how he parents our son; AND s3xual intimacy.

      • +1 to Come As You Are, was going to recommend this!
        Also, have you recently started or changed hormonal birth control? That can be an overlooked factor too.

    • Anon For This :

      Why do you want to garden more? Because you really want to, or because you think that’s what strong healthy couples SHOULD be doing?

      I can’t tell you how many perfectly happy, normal years I quietly nitpicked because we SHOULD be doing life better/differently/more passionately and now I kind of regret it. Stop looking for problems. He mentioned he’d like you to initiate more, so the next time you feel like it, reach for him. No overthinking. No comparisons.

      • +1. Don’t do it because you feel like you “should” or because it “seems early in your marriage for this to happen.” Early compared to whom? You’re already in a good place; just schedule a few protected date nights to jump back into things and make note of which days/times work best for you. I had to talk to my husband because he would basically only initiate RIGHT as I was ready to fall asleep. Shutting down all electronics and moving to the bedroom an hour earlier than usual took care of that problem and it wasn’t hard to implement. Sounds like you might be able to benefit from something similar.

        For what it’s worth, we’ve been married for 3 years, together for 10, and we garden about once a week (or less if we’re traveling/swamped with something).

    • Frozen Peach :

      All the above is excellent advice.

      Planning really helps. I frequently tell my husband I’m interested in gardening later when any remote thought occurs to me. I’ve also figured out that I hate gardening after eating.

      So now when we have date nights (also planned ahead, we have kids) we actually plan gardening before we go out or earlier in the day when kiddo is napping. Dan Savage recommends this and it’s SO GREAT. We’re always too tired or full after a fancy meal or night out. (I frequently put makeup on, then just the first “layer” of gardening attire, then take it off, then put it on again before I actually get dressed in what I’m wearing for the evening). The alternative is passing out with a date for the next morning before you get out of bed. :)

    • IMO, gardening is not just about the actual doing of it, but about nurturing the headspace that facilitates it. Do you talk about gardening? Is your taste and appetite for gardening an important part of your identities, as individuals and as a couple? Have you explored all your kinks and how they tie into your personalities and personal histories?
      The more energy, physical and mental, you pour into that area of your identity and coupledom, the more natural it will be to actual do it. I also agree with scheduling and making a commitment to take turns initiating, but the mental/identity aspect of it is something to people often overlook.

    • Yes to scheduling, but don’t wait for bedtime. If you can, do it right after work, or even in the a.m. We are too tired for all that at bedtime in my house.

    • Missing the passion in your marriage does not mean having gardening 1x a week isn’t enough. The passion has more to do with how that 1x a week session goes. I’d rather have 1 mind blowing session than 3 obligatory sessions where one or both partners aren’t into it.

      I’ve been married for 19 years and we have weeks where it’s 1x and weeks where it’s 3x (or more, on vacation.) It depends on what else is going on. We went to a few parties over the holidays and that really helped because we got some date time, and a chance to appreciate each other all dressed up and looking nice.

      I find I can’t get into the proper headspace when I’m annoyed at my husband, and if I’m having a stressful week at work or with my family, I can feel annoyed with him all the time. It helps me mentally to put that aside intentionally and just look at my husband and be grateful. Even if I’m annoyed, he’s still the right partner for me, and I’m grateful I met him, I’m grateful he cares the way he does. I’m also grateful he’s good looking!

      Practicing gratitude helps me with stress anyway, and it definitely makes me feel more into the gardening aspect of our relationship.

      • Original poster here – all this is really good advice, and has also made me feel a lot more positive about the whole thing. I am a bit of an anxious person with a tendency to catastrophize, so the reality checks are really helpful. :)

    • Senior Attorney :

      I’m chuckling because I feel like a good steady 1x a week is pretty good, which makes me think of this classic scene from Annie Hall: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O7nPkpdFAic

  13. Ladies, could use a gut check on something.

    I work in a specialized area of law. We have been approached by a prospective client in another country regarding help with a matter. Prospective client’s main contact is the only English speaker, and her English skills are poor (by her own admission). We have an associate in my general practice group that is a native of that country and is fluent in that language, but this associate does not have specialized expertise in my area.

    I have taken the position that it’s not appropriate to ask this associate to act as an interpreter or translator, both because those are skills that are different that just fluently speaking the relevant language, and because it reduces this associate’s value to just the ability to speak this language. I have only expressed the first concern aloud; I’m not sure my partners will understand the second concern, but this associate is very, very good and fairly senior and my instinct is that I would be frustrated if I were asked to come in on a matter solely for my language skills and given no substantive responsibilities.

    My view is that we should hire an interpreter/translator as appropriate, and ask this associate to assist with respect to areas where he could actually make a substantive contribution (for example, there’s some work related to general corporate issues where he has relevant expertise and he could work directly with the client). That would mean that our client would have the comfort of knowing that if there is an issue that she just can’t manage to convey in English, we do have someone on our team who speaks her language, but that our good, experienced associate wouldn’t be shoved into an inappropriate role.

    Am I thinking about this the right way? This associate was long undervalued in our group because English was his second language and he had some communication challenges when he first started with us; people are now realizing that he’s a rockstar and I want to make sure that his skills are featured to their best advantage internally as he’s going to be up for partner soon.

    • I think your take on this is incredibly thoughtful and FWIW, the right approach. The only thing I would add is to have a conversation with the associate and tell him that you want him involved in a substantive role and do not want him shoe-horned into “glorified translator,” but that his fluency in the language is an undeniable asset, as well. The more open you are with him and each other about it, the less chance it would go awry.

    • pugsnbourbon :

      IANAL, but I would want to hire an interpreter, too – it’s specialized, tricky work. I can’t imagine wanting anything less than a professional interpreter for legal work.

      Have you had a chance to talk to the associate about how they feel they can contribute?

    • FreezinginChicago :

      I’m with you – the associate should be valued for more than his language skills. I suspect the interpreter would be less/ hour than the associate. Could you explain it to your partners that way?

      As a side note, I’m a woman in a very male-heavy field (we’re ~10%). Whenever a new woman makes contact with my company she is immediately referred to me. No man has ever been referred to me. It does make me think less of my boss because he obviously can’t see past my sex.

    • I agree with you 100%, both for the reasons you stated and because it comes off as unprofessional to have anyone other than an actual interpreter, preferably a certified court interpreter, serving as an interpreter.

      • Yes but there’s a difference between interpreting and communicating with a client.

      • For a deposition or something like that, of course you need a professional interpreter. But an associate with the relevant language skills can still be added to the team and make the client feel comfortable by communicating with them in their native language.

    • Hi CBackson!

      First, can I say that you are just such a kind and thoughtful partner, and it would be a dream to work for such a bada$$ partner? I think your instincts are spot-on re not “using” this associate incorrectly. However, if this associate is from an Asian country (China or Japan), it is relatively common for _junior_ associates to act as translators on deals. But I do not think it is appropriate as a role for a senior associate, esp. if his time is better focused on matters that will better position him for partnership. This would be a time I might reach out to a very specialized legal recruiting/staffing firm, like Axiom, and say, we need a midlevel who speaks Korean to be seconded for a four month assignment. Translation firms are not very adept at deal work…it would be better to find a X-language speaking attorney or paralegal. I have also found for certain Asian-language deals that an associate who is a native can help you understand some of the cultural differences–like in certain countries/cultures it is exceedingly rude to give a hard no on something, so you will end up having a lot of circular and unproductive conf calls because you are hearing “Maybe or perhaps” while counterparts are really saying “No” in their culture’s way, if that makes sense.

      In order to get/keep this business, you might want to bring on sr. associate as a temp measure but make all efforts to find another solution asap. It can be really time-sucking to translate, even if it is a huge value-add on a deal. GL!

      • Thanks, this is really helpful. It is an Asian country, and the associate is a senior associate. I think the world of him.

    • I think you’re being cray. Put the associate on the case! It’s a real skill he brings to his job and you’re his employer. Value him for it. Teach him your area. Use his language skills to land more clients and give him credit for them.

      • anon associate :

        Lol, you must not be a lawyer.

        • No no I totally am.

          • anon associate :

            Yeah okay cool if someone told me to just “teach” someone my area of highly specialized area of law– I’d laugh in their face. Clients LOVE paying for senior associates who don’t know the type of law to learn it from the ground up. Love it.

      • +1

        Honestly, I would be a little stunned if I was the associate and was not invited ….. especially if learning this niche area of law would be to my benefit.

        Your associate is a lawyer. Obviously this will enhance their ability to communicate with the client with regard to legal concerns.

        The client would be much more at ease communicating with a lawyer directly than an interpreter. They would also appreciate the convenience and cost savings, so you don’t charge them high fees for having an interpreter on call.

      • Yes, I see this as an opportunity for the associate to get killer client contact and build a relationship that would serve him well if he is on a partnership path. By all means, talk to him about it, but I see it as an opportunity, not a chore.

      • I left out these details, but he is at a point in his career where learning my niche area of law is not beneficial to him – he is up for partnership consideration shortly and what I do is not what he does. The best analogy I can think of is that it’s like he’s a securities litigation associate and I’m a partner in trusts and estates litigation or something like that (we’re not litigators – so if it turns out those are highly overlapping areas, sorry!). So he has general corporate skills that overlap but the bulk of the work is in an area that is highly technical, not his area, and not something that he’s going to pick up at this point in his career.

    • anon associate :

      I agree with your thought process. Also, it seems like it would be cheaper for the client to pay for a translator rather than a senior associate at what, IIRC, would be biglaw rates. I like the idea of using him for substantive issues/presenting him as a back up to comfort the client. Giving him opportunities to shine in a client facing role using his legal skills will hopefully help in partnership discussions.

      • Professional translators and especially interpreters are as expensive as Big Law lawyers. We hired some interpreters for depositions once, and the client had to pay over $1000/hour for them – significantly more than Big Law senior associate rates. Translators probably make less than interpreters but it’s still not cheap.

        • +1

          Yes, this would be more expensive. You have to pay a lot to have high level of expertise with travel to site etc… And what are you going to do about random phone calls and emails?

    • cbackson, you are correct. I also am a lawyer and am fluent in a language, and when I’ve been asked to interpret it has been frustrating for all involved because I am not an interpreter and don’t have those skills. I would have exactly the same concerns and approach that you do.

      • Mary Ann Singleton :

        Yes, I’m a native speaker of another language and occasionally I help someone out by looking at a contract in that language, but it’s almost never in my practice group and just a distraction (more like a quick favor I do other lawyers). I’m also not a lawyer in that country so I always have to tell them that I can just look at it and let them know what the content is, but I can’t advise on the law.

      • Yes this happens to me ALL THE TIME and it’s incredibly frustrating. Plus as other commentators have noticed, clients don’t want to pay a senior associate to learn a new area – or to pay them their billable rate in order to translate (i.e. my billables get written off). I’m always happy to help out on occasion, but if you need a translator, then pay for one. It’s also a different skill set, and just because I know the language doesn’t mean I’m actually going to be any good at translating.

    • BabyAssociate :

      I used to be a translator and am now a lawyer. If someone in my practice area had a client who speaks my language, I would love the opportunity to be involved and might find it odd if I were left out. Given that this associate does not practice in the same area and learning your area of work isn’t going to be helpful to him, I think your thinking is spot on.

      I might think differently if this was a one off-concern in a different practice area, such as translating an audit letter, but it sounds like you’re going to have an ongoing relationship with this client, I would use a professional. Additionally, even if this is his native language, if it’s not an area of law he’s familiar with he might not know the terminology. You should be able to find a professional translator and interpreter (it could be the same person, but not necessarily, those are two very different skill sets) with legal backgrounds; they will be more expensive, but it will be worth it.

    • I have a different perspective than other folks here. I think you are being *too* thoughtful. You should just ask this man if he’s interested and go with whatever he says, rather than spending all of this mental energy worrying about it. It’s really not your job to twist yourself into such a pretzel over things like this. A man certainly wouldn’t.

    • I have a different perspective than other folks here. I think you are being *too* thoughtful. You should just ask this man if he’s interested and go with whatever he says, rather than spending all of this mental energy worrying about it. It’s really not your job to twist yourself into such a pretzel over things like this. A man certainly wouldn’t bother.

    • blueberries :

      Cbackson, your approach sounds great. Maybe also let the associate know you might need help in emergencies/fire drills. When I had a really international practice, it was useful to also have a colleague down the hall for when local language skills were necessary and we couldn’t get outside help on the timeline the client required.

  14. PSA- GARNET HILL SALE ON SALE :

    Hi– Garnet Hill just released their Sale on Sale. They have $4 kids lunch boxes, great sheets and towels, a lot of cute Eileen Fisher dresses and a ton of nice cashmere and really sleek sweaters. Get over there! I’m excited to buy some next-year gifts that I know will be just right.

    • Thank you so much for this PSA! Had just received an order of sale items from after Christmas shopping and with today’s sale got almost another $50 off my favorite coat

      https://www.garnethill.com/asymmetrical-boiled-wool-coat/263949

      Oh, and seven other things but who’s counting?? ;)

  15. Gold Huggies :

    I’m looking for a pair of real (yellow) gold huggie earrings. I’m willing to pay a few hundred $$ but I’m having trouble finding them. I’m open to 14k or 18k gold (and welcome any recommendations). Any thoughts on where I could find a nice pair?

  16. I understand but don’t agree with this approach. If you can have a conversation with him where he’ll be honest about his perspective, I would ask him what he thinks. He may be interested in getting more exposure to another area or being the contact for a client. While not completely analogous, I often see one partner be the contact because partner has chemistry with the client but honestly partner is in some ways just a glorified interpreter because another attorney is doing the real work and partner has no experience in the area but has that rapport. There’s all sorts of soft skills that add value to a representation, and I agree you shouldn’t reduce him just to his ability to speak it but you shouldn’t discount it either.

    • in response to cbackson above

    • Yup. You’re cutting off the one unique asset he brings to the table in the guise of doing him a kindness. It isn’t.

      • Frozen Peach :

        + 100. If I had a specialized language skill and wasn’t given the opportunity to work on a case that required it as much as I could, I’d be crushed. Maybe see how he feels? I think having an interpreter makes a lot of sense for your specialized work, but having him involved to identify gaps in translation and help grow the client relationship seems obvious and like something that will really help him advance in the firm.

    • +1. I worked at a firm with a fair number of Asian clients and Asian-American associates with Asian language skills. A professional translator was hired to review any legal documents before they were filed/sent to the other side, but an associate with the appropriate language skills was often brought into be part of the team even if s/he didn’t have the relevant legal skills, to make the client feel more comfortable. I don’t think it’s all that unusual.

  17. I’ve realized that I’m having trouble being friends with an ex. We’ve always cared about each other and wanted to stay in communication. It’s been a while since we broke up, and I’ve just accepted that I’m struggling with being friends. Any suggestions beyond no communication?

    • Uhhh don’t be friends then? I don’t get the issue. This isn’t good for you, so stop doing it.

      • This. Not ‘friends’ with my exes. I have plenty of other friends and don’t need to navigate that stressful territory.

    • BeenThatGuy :

      I have been in that situation. Zero contact is the only way. The ONLY way. The first month with be brutally hard. Then it gets much easier. Good luck!

    • For the ex’s that I’m still friends with, there was a good long break after the end of the relationship where we did not contact each other. I think it helped with mentally dealing with an official end of the relationship as it used to be. After 6 months or a year, one of us reached out and the friendship started from there. But I think you need a clean break to move from boyfriend to friend.

      • Ditto this.

      • Agree – I’m in the midst of this long break of communication right now. I initiated some brief contact twice but otherwise I’ve been radio silent. We were at the same event over the weekend, but I didn’t stay long and we didn’t talk. I have a calendar reminder to reevaluate how I feel at what will be 6 months since we broke up to see if I want to initiate any conversation.

      • Cosign. The only time I’ve seen exs become genuine friends after breaking up is after a clean break (typically 6-12 months at least) and/or there was no minimal drama during the breakup. Cut your losses girl

    • Linda from HR :

      I’ve found there are some exes I can be friends with, and some I can’t. For both, it was because we were friends before and just didn’t work out as a couple, and I’m not still mad at them about the breakup. We also had at least a few months of just not talking at all.

      But there are some dudes I just can’t stand, even as friends, so we’re not friends. Sometimes a post-breakup friendship isn’t possible ever.

      • +1 to the first sentence. If you’re having trouble with it, that’s an ex you cannot be friends with no matter how much you care about them. Caring about someone does not mean you have to keep them in your life and not keeping them in your life doesn’t mean you don’t continue to care about them.

  18. Affordable cashmere for tall people? I have the Lark & Ro Cashmere Turtleneck and it’s great, but I would like some other color options. Any feedback on Uniqlo, Everlane or other? I’m 5’9″, size 10-12, long waisted.

    • Lands End carries Tall sizes. The only issue is that I still sometimes find their Tall sweaters are a little short for me in the waist.

      • Honestly, I feel like Lands End Tall sizes are like BR Regular sizes. LE runs so short in their normal sizes that the Talls aren’t as tall as other stores.

        Which is to say, that I default to LE Tall for anything I order there – I of the long arms and short waist.

    • I am 5’6″ and very long-waisted (seated, I am the same height as friends who are 5’10”) and find Aqua Cashmere from Bloomingdales to be both affordable and sufficiently long.

    • Fun fact–you can “stretch” cashmere when it’s wet. So if everything but the sleeves is long enough, buy cashmere on sale and take a flyer on this method. This is how I (monkey-armed person) am able to wear plenty of regular-sized cashmere. I am short-waisted, so have never tried this on the body! GL!

    • JCrew on sale (not great quality even then). Boden’s cashmere is oddly long-sleeved and long-waisted most of the time. Sale-stalk it!

    • I’m your size, and Imfind everlane hit and miss – their v-neck dress is great and a good length but some of their sweaters are too short. The quality is nice so it’s worth a try and I have a number of sweaters I like from there. I’ve had surprisingly good success with Lands End crew neck sweaters, but it’s been a few years.

    • I have Everlane cashmere sweater from last year and the sleeves are long enough for me. There was some weird seam around the cuff I think designed for short people to fold along to make the sleeve shorter, but I wear it uncuffed.

    • givemyregards :

      I just bought a neiman marcus house brand cashmere sweater that isn’t listed as long but it is hip length on me (5’10) and on sale it was pretty reasonable. http://www.neimanmarcus.com/Neiman-Marcus-Cashmere-Collection-Classic-Cashmere-Crewneck-Sweater/prod200550044/p.prod?ecid=NMCS__GooglePLA&utm_medium=CSE&utm_source=NMCS__GooglePLA&utm_campaign=NeimanMarcusCashmereCollection

    • Silly Valley :

      Not Uniqlo – it runs short/small.

  19. Found out last night that an awful partner in my biglaw firm’s satellite office is going to be fired soon for sexual harassment. First, it’s about time. Second, this man has not sexually harassed me, but he has yelled and thrown things, done weird things pulling his shirt up and showing his belly while standing in my doorway and talking about transactions, been extremely bipolar, and made our longtime paralegal cry multiple times. Not to mention that he gave my assistant a book of erotic fiction for Christmas in 2016.

    He also did weird domestic violence like things–he would treat you awful, yell, scream, throw stuff, punch walls, blame you for unreasonable deadlines that you were never informed of…and then he’d buy you gifts (like a book or a scarf or something) and want to go out to lunch with you. You never knew if you were going to get nice Partner X or Crazed Partner X. It was very disconcerting.

    I feel like he did this to himself (the incident that broke the camel’s back was egregious.) I don’t feel sorry for him. I am glad no one else will have to deal with him in a firm setting. I am so glad my firm is finally taking action, but I am sorry that so many people had to go through so much hell for so many years before anyone cared. Frustrating.

    • Good riddance!

      Be careful about using the word bipolar in this context though. You aren’t his psychiatrist (although it sounds like he needs one!). Totally get what you were going for. But those of us with family members with this diagnosis don’t appreciate all the causal misuses of this word.

      • Cornellian. :

        or those of us WITH that diagnosis.

        But the partner sounds awful. It is horrific that people like that come in to (and keep) power.

      • Yes, bipolar doesn’t mean nasty one day and sweet the next.

      • This. You’ll have more power in your position if you can objectively describe what you observed–saw with your own eyes, heard with your own ears, observed with your own senses–than you will by characterizing or applying labels to things to be more succinct or make it easier for your audience to relate to the observation.

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      Dear lore, he absolutely did this to himself–and to others. I’m really sorry he treated you like that! Good riddance, and good for your firm!

    • YES!!!

      I recently found out that an abusive general counsel I worked for FINALLY got himself in trouble (despite all of us reporting his bad behavior for years) because he sexually harassed someone, she left, and she told them why and what he did. Sadly, they let him “retire” early, but he did get banned from the property and is being stripped of his direct reports in the agency systems. I can’t be more delighted that he finally was reprimanded, but I am sorely disappointed that they are letting him go quietly. I so want to leak it to the local paper, but I would never do that could possibly cause the young woman any further harm.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      OOF GOOD RIDDANCE TO HIM.

      (Until somewhat recently I thought bipolar meant what it sounds like literally — one day at one polar end of the spectrum, one day at the other! But now I know that it doesn’t mean that! We are all learning.)

    • Anonymous :

      Good Riddance indeed. Your part about him being pissed off and then buying you a gift —- this is what an old partner I worked for did to me. I got out as soon as I could and now work for an incredible firm with incredible people. I remember thinking in the moment “I now think I have some very, very baseline understanding of why people stay in relationships where there’s this kind of mind games abuse.”

      I remember a few weeks ago someone posted here that they wished there was some way to create a public list of the people in biglaw who are s3xually harassing others in the workplace. I would love if that existed, and an incident like the one you describe only makes me wish this existed.

  20. Can any DC posters recommend an OB/GYN in Alexandria? I actually live in National Harbor, so Arlington and DC are a bit too far.

  21. PSA: For the those of you kicking off 2018 with Whole30, I just saw an ad that Blue Apron is offering Whole30 dishes as part of their delivery service. This may be a an easy way to diversify the meal situation for those of you going that route.

    • Yeah but only like one or two a week, so not actually good enough.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Yeah it’s just two recipes per week, which doesn’t help at all.

        PSA: Sun Basket has a whole bunch of Whole30 compliant recipes. The one we had last night (Chipotle Turkey Chili with Cucumber-Sumac Salad) was delish! So we’ve switched to Sun Basket for the duration even though generally we prefer Blue Apron and feel like it’s a better value.

        • I can’t get Blue Apron where I live, but can’t you pick and choose how many days you want? Couldn’t you just get these ones? Seems pretty darn helpful to me, but I don’t know, maybe we should bash the person trying to post a suggestion instead.

          • Senior Attorney :

            Sorry not trying to bash the person posting at all. Didn’t mean it to come off that way.

            And you’re right — I didn’t realize there’s a two-meal-per-week option. So yeah, that would be pretty darned helpful! Thanks for pointing that out!

          • Thanks, Anon. I myself have no interest in Whole30, but noticed it came up a few times the last couple of days, so my intention was to try to be helpful. I thought with any type of new diet, it is hard to be finding compliant food/cooking new things, so this might give people a break a couple of times per week. I wasn’t suggesting this could get anyone through every meal of Whole30 for a month.

  22. Mexico City :

    Anyone have recs for Mexico City that they want to share? Going a Thursday through Monday, staying in Polanco, but otherwise have nothing planned.

    • Go to Teotihuacan! It’s an incredible archeological site. It’s about 25 miles away from Mexico city but there should be plenty of tour buses going. Your hotel may have a recommendation.

    • Broken record on this, but if you like food, check out the Eater guide and take their advice, and definitely consider taking a food tour – we did Club Tengo Hambre and it was fantastic (even if you are not a tour-group kind of person!).

      • Second Club Tengo Hombre. We also really enjoyed the taco omakase at Pujol, although I’d space those out. Wouldn’t recommend the restaurant that starts with “Dulce” that you see come up.

    • You’re going to love it!

      The anthropology museum is amazing. Be sure to spend some time wandering around Condesa and Roma, especially the areas surrounding Parque Espana and Parque Mexico. Gorgeous.

      Restaurants I enjoyed:

      El Cardenal in Centro for huevos rancheros
      Ojo de Agua for bougie breakfast/juices in Roma/Condesa.
      Pujol if you’re into high-end dining.
      Contramar for seafood was on my list but we never made it there. I’ve heard wonderful things.
      Churros El Moro for churros y chocolate!

      LOVED the Eat Mexico street food tour. One of my favorite experiences of the trip! You get to taste so many treats, and you get a nice tour of the downtown area as well.

      Shop at Ciudadela Market for beautiful handcrafted goods and ceramics.

      Catch a show at Palacio Bellas Artes.

      Explore the Zocalo and check out the enormous Mexican flag at the center. There’s such great energy in the plaza.

      Wander around Chapultepec Park to get some green space in.

      Definitely go to the Frida Kahlo museum, and if you can, try to also visit Diego Rivera’s studio. We booked a private tour for a day that included both of these. The neighborhood where Frida’s house/museum is located, Coyoacan, is lively and friendly, perfect for an afternoon stroll.

    • Go to Dulce Patria. You need a reservation made several days in advance but it’s amazing (and English menus are available if needed).

      The anthropology museum is world class (if you’re short on time, consider only doing the first floor).

      If you need a break, pop into a cafebria Pendulo (one of the best book stores in the world, imo).

      Use Uber to get around rather than taxis if possible (other than at the airport – the ones with stands inside the airport are fine to use).

    • Oh also go to one of the churreria El Moro locations. Amazing and cheap churros and chocolate. If you like Spanish-style drinking chocolate, El Moro’s is pretty decent.

      You might also want to go to the food hall on top of the Palacio de Hierro of Polanco, since it’ll be close to you – great options here (including an El Moro).

    • Mr. B’s Bistro for the BBQ shrimp! It is epic. We enjoyed the Natchez steamboat tour also!

      Also – if you like book shopping, Faulkner House in Pirates Alley is amazing.

  23. My husband and I are going to New Orleans next week for a long weekend! Neither of us had been before. Any advice on restaurants or things to do?

    • In what part of the city are you staying?

      • We’ll be a few blocks from the French Quarter

        • Daytime activities: Walk around and look at antiques in the French Quarter. Visit the open market and get oysters (baked or raw). Visit New Orleans Cake Cafe & Bakery for breakfast (skip Cafe Du Monde – overcrowded and touristy), walk around the square. I love Muriel’s for dinner.
          Walk around Magazine street and do some shopping/look at houses, Coulis is good for breakfast in that area (you’ll need to drive from the French Quarter to Magazine), pop into any bar and get a drink to go.
          Take the ferry to Algiers Point (if it’s running) and get breakfast at Toute de Suite or a beer at any of the pubs.

          Nighttime: Visit Bourbon street if you must; I prefer to do this in the daytime if at all. Frenchman street is pretty popular, but still has good music. The Irish Channel and Bywater have fun, friendly bars that you can pop in and out of – Magazine has good restaurants and slightly fancier fare.

          Our MO is basically to walk around and find fun hole in the wall places. I’ve yet to have a bad experience with this. Enjoy!

    • Pen and Pencil :

      100% go on a ghost tour in the French Quarter at night! The stories are super interesting, the guides are hilarious, and you get a nice bit of local history in the mix. Most meet at a bar, to start with and then stop at a bar midway so there is definitely an expectation that you will be a little tipsy the whole time, but I was alone and didn’t drink so if you aren’t a drinker it isn’t a huge deal IMO.

    • lunch at commander’s palace (perhaps either after or before a walking tour of the garden district), muffelatta at Central Grocery, beignets at Cafe Du Monde, go to the Roosevelt Hotel in the Central Business District and have a drink, Pim’s cup at Napoleon House, Domenica is good, there is also this amazing israeli restaurant there called Shaya, emeril also has restaurants there

      • We were just in New Orleans. Domenica at the Roosevelt Hotel was fantastic. Meril was also delicious. Brunch at Willa Jean was generally good, but the huevos rancheros were dry. Shaya, Peche, and Cochon are really popular restaurants all run by the same group; I’ve eaten at Cochon and was nonplussed. We found Brennan’s overpriced and fussy.

        Beignets at Cafe Du Monde, lunch at Mother’s, and jazz at Preservation Hall are fun touristy things to do. We enjoyed the WWII museum but were not at all impressed by the aquarium. Walking tours of the French Quarter and the Garden District are great, even the self-guided ones you find on the web. The Faulkner bookstore is a neat little shop tucked into a building in the French Quarter where Faulkner lived and wrote.

    • I love The Gumbo Shop on St. Peter. I go every time I’m there.

      Get a Pimm’s Cup at the Napoleon House on Chartres. Delicious.

      For an inexpensive diner breakfast (nothing fancy or New Orleans about it, it’s just a diner), go to Mena’s Palace on Chartres. Pancakes, bacon, eggs, etc. Sometimes you need a break from all the indulgent (and expensive!) local foods.

      And this is kind of random, but there is an AMAZING cheap walk-in massage place on Chartres as well. Happy Hands? Good Hands? They stand outside if the weather’s nice and welcome you in and you can get just a 20 minute chair massage if you want, but they do longer as well. Again, not fancy, but seriously one of the best massages I’ve ever had.

    • When DH & I went to NOLA in 2016, our favorite event was following a second line through non-tourist neighborhoods. The radio station WWOZ has a schedule of second lines on their webs1te, as well as other live music listings.

      We stayed at the Ace Hotel, and loved the oyster bar Seaworthy on the ground floor. Great spot to eat at the bar and chat with the bartenders.

      Go see live music on Frenchmen Street.

      Eat at Mother’s for casual deliciousness. Eat at Coquette for upscale perfection.

      Avoid Bourbon Street.

      • Bourbon St is actually under construction right now. More of a reason to avoid it if possible, but it’s really actually not easy to navigate at all at the moment.

    • Cafe Fleur de Lis for brunch. If they have the fried green tomatoes eggs bene (it was a special when I was there) you must get it.

    • In-House in Houston :

      Mid City Rock n’ Bowl. It’s so much fun. Live music, drinks, some okay food, bowling, and great people watching. We go there every time we’re in NO and always have fun. I think it may be more of a locals hangout, but I think that’s what makes it fun. www.rocknbowl.com

    • Green Goddess has plenty of vegetarian fare and southern cooking. We went there when I NEEDED vegetables at the end of the week eating heavy food. Definitely get a mufaletta Jazz at the clubs on Frenchman street (we walked there from french quarter). The Pharmacy Museum – It’s only $5, super quirky and interesting, and only takes 30 mins to get through but we loved it. Do a walking tour around the garden district. I looked one up on my phone and followed the directions around the neighborhood and then read out loud about the houses to DH. I think Cafe du Monde is totally worth it, and the line goes quickly. We would go there at 4pm for cafe au lait and beignets and then get dinner around 7-8 (which is late for us). We actually enjoyed bourbon street and thought it was a hoot. Lastly our favorite thing we did was outside the city – we rented a car, drove out a ways, and did a swamp tour and then walked the boardwalk trail at Jeane LaFitte National Park (4 miles roudtrip).

    • Senior Attorney :

      This is completely dorky, but we did a Segway tour of the French Quarter and it was a blast. Also the carriage tours to the cemetery was amazing and so not at all what I expected.

    • NOLA local here. If the weather is nice, go to City Park. There is so much to do, including a beautiful free sculpture garden among the oaks and a nice walking path around a lagoon. Near City Park is a little cafe called Pagoda, which has wonderful coffee and sandwiches/salads, and even better breakfast. That’s pretty much our weekend routine. Parkway Poboys is also near City Park and they make a great poboy.

      WWOZ LiveWire will have all the weekend music listings. Check that out to decide what you want to see. There is a weekend arts market off Frenchmen Street (near a lot of the music clubs) that’s worth ducking in to.

      In the French Quarter itself, I like the bloody mary at Old Absinthe House. Ask for it extra spicy if you like that. I love French Truck coffee (local roaster) and they just opened a shop in the French Quarter. Croissant D’Or usually has really good croissants. Forever New Orleans has lots of local artists stuff (and some regular touristy stuff to buy too).

      Finally, related to one of the comments above – I don’t think Cafe Du Monde is overrated FWIW – the beignets there are really good!!! But they are also good at Morning Call in City Park if you’re already there.

      • Anonymous :

        Spitfire Coffee in the French Quarter is amazing. I had the best latte of my life there.

    • Thank you all so much!! I’ve been swamped at work (there’s no such thing as the holidays in BigLaw!), and your advice is incredibly helpful! -OP

    • ALX emily :

      If you like wine, we had a great time at Patrick’s Bar Vin on our last trip there – it’s just half a block off Bourbon St but was a really quiet, chill oasis with a great patio for people-watching. And then some locals convinced us to get hot dogs from the street meat cart at the corner and it was a great night!

    • Confederacy of Cruisers does bike tours through New Orleans, +/- food or cocktails. We did the cocktail tour. You ride those nice easy fat-tired bikes through the city, which is easy because it’s so flat, and stop at several bars for a drink. My boyfriend and I were the only ones on our tour and we really liked it. Got to see a lot of the city and the guide would tell us local lore and historical stuff at each stop. It was super-fun and I’d totally do a bike tour with them again.

      • We did this too and I loved it, highly recommend. We did the neighbourhood tour that goes through Treme and St Roch because I wasn’t sure I could stay upright on a bike with that many drink stops! Having seen how undemanding the bike riding actually is, I’d definitely do the cocktail or food tour next time.

    • Confederacy of Cruisers does bike tours through New Orleans, +/- food or (c word) “drinks”. We did the “drinks” tour. You ride those nice easy fat-tired bikes through the city, which is easy because it’s so flat, and stop at several bars for a drink. My boyfriend and I were the only ones on our tour and we really liked it. Got to see a lot of the city and the guide would tell us local lore and historical stuff at each stop. It was super-fun and I’d totally do a bike tour with them again.

  24. Anyone used Aeroflow to get their brea$t pump? It seems really convenient and has good reviews online, but I’m always hesitant to hand over data about myself to a new company I’m not familiar with.

  25. Baconpancakes :

    Anyone have success stories with stretching leather boots over the instep? I bought Chaco Embers for weekend tromping, and I love the way they look, but they’re pressing in on the top of my right instep. I’m already in an 11, so I can’t size up any more.

    • Pen and Pencil :

      I have! I took a pair of western boots to a shoe repair shop and had them professionally stretched. 1000% difference. I had worn them probably 40 times and they would not stretch out more with just wearing them around. Cost about $30 to have them stretched and cleaned up, and now they are super comfortable.

    • I only have stories of non-success.

    • Sort of. I took a pair to a cobbler that was tight on my left foot and they weren’t able to do much. So I got ruthless and cut the fabric lining out in that part of the boot, exposing just the leather. Then the leather was able to stretch to fit my foot and they are perfect now.

    • I think you know you need to return them. They may or may not stretch in the instep, but while they’re tight there, they’re actually damaging your foot by applying all that pressure to your arch.

      They just don’t fit you. It’s not your foot’s fault. It’s the boots.

  26. One goal this new year is to better understand fiances and preparing for retirement. Any recommended blogs to follow that would help with this?

    • madfientist.com
      It’s geared towards the FI/RE crowd, but his explanation and analysis of the various common retirement savings vehicles is top-notch, IMO.

    • Check out Rockstar finance. They have a directory of every personal finance blog and feature 3 articles every week day.

    • This may be too late for anyone to see, but my favorite site for understanding finance/preparing for retirement is Bogleheads. There are threads on any topic you can imagine, and you can ask questions and get very knowledgeable answers.

      And I read anything on Morningstar.com by Christine Benz, their personal finance director.

      I also like The Financial Buff and Oblivious Investor blogs. And the White Coat Investor is aimed at doctors, but has a lot of posts that are relevant/helpful for anyone.

  27. The fabulous app that improves your life, one tiny habit at a time is available on IOS.

    I have been using it for a few months and have seen quite a difference in my life. It’s based on research by Duke’s Behavioral Economics Lab and gives you insight into the reasoning for the recommended actions instead of requesting you blindly follow the prompts.

    I’ve been like a broken record about it since I discovered it

  28. Banish dark circles :

    I need all the grandma’s wisdom, creams, moisturizers, concealers, makeup recommendations and tips to get rid of or at least hide my dark circles/hollow under-eye problems.

    I am 27 FWIW and it’s become a concern over the past year or so. It may have something to do with sleep but I’m looking to attack it on all ends

    TIA!

    • I thought I’d never get rid of my hereditary under eye circles but I tried Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer and omg it’s life changing. Best concealer ever (and I’ve tried them all).

    • Becca Undereye Brightening Corrector followed by a concealer – you don’t need to use much of the Becca and it looks a bit alarming when you first apply it, but it blends really well and seems to counteract most of my dark circles. You don’t have to use a concealer over the top if you don’t want to, but I do because without it, it’s a bit TOO brightening.

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