APW Happy Hour


Mulled Wine, Naps, and Sparkles, pleaz!

APW Happy Hour | A Practical Wedding

Hey APW,

I’m back! We spent Thanksgiving week taking the baby to London for his first birthday, and it was magic. Next week I’ll have a report, though you’ll have to imagine the photos of the kid looking angry and judgmental in sub-freezing temperatures at Stonehenge. We’re getting ready for his first birthday party this weekend, recovering from jet lag, and generally being grateful for December. The relaunch is done, the holidays are here, things are slowing down, and we finally have a bit of time to really appreciate our family, our friends, our jobs, and just… everything. It’s been a long, long year, and we’re happy we made it.

While we were gone, I read Dave Eggers’ dystopian novel about internet privacy: The CircleAPW Happy Hour | A Practical Wedding. It’s compelling and thought provoking, and I want everyone to read it. If you already have, and wanna talk, meet me in the comments.

Everyone else: it’s your Friday open thread. Let’s party!

XO,
MEG

Highlights of APW This Week

We’re celebrating the end of 2013 with a month-long party.

This San Francisco restaurant wedding makes you want to have a dinner-party-style wedding reception, and ditch all the nonsense.

Elizabeth showed you how to throw a party without losing your mind.

We published our first and second gift guides of the season, which is good, since I’m basically spending the next two weeks present shopping. (Fuck yeah, December.)

Speaking of buying all the things, sequin holiday dresses? Yes please.

Elisabeth’s new spouse K returned to contemplate the wedding, and whether it’s changed their relationship. (She says no, Elisabeth says yes.)

We had possibly the best real-talk discussion ever (this week) about parenthood. While my desire to run a parenting blog hovers near zero, our every-few-weeks parenting discussions are my favorite things.

Link Roundup

From Maddie, an eerily romantic photo series of couples’ x-ray portraits.

The story I’ve been obsessed with this week: Planet Money’s T-Shirt. They commissioned a T-shirt, and followed it all over the world as it was being made. This is the definition of compelling journalism, and it was funded by Kickstarter.

As the selfie debate rages on around the internet, our own Emily T’s Selfie Pinterest board is simply the best.

David Sedaris on BBC Radio! Try not to laugh too loudly at your desk.

This Christmas medley featuring Maddie’s favorite Orange Is the New Black actress, is also just the thing you need to listen to today. (Side note: we need to discuss everyone’s favorite OISTNB character. We’re pretty sure it tells you everything you need to know. Meet in the comments!)

Unraveling the history of the “video games are for boys” stereotype.

Speaking of, “Why do all the girls have to buy princesses?” says the four-year-old, slapping her forehead.

But restoring your faith in humanity, in the midst of a war zone, there is an Afghani skateboarding school for girls. RAD.

This amazing Twitter talk on #FastTailedGirls.

Relevant to our discussion of (not having) kids this week, choosing a life built just for two.

Shadow puppets just went fine art, and it’s awesome.

A fascinating story on DNA tests.

And finally, from our awesome design team, a holiday album made with love.

Thumbnail image by Gabriel Harber (APW Sponsor)

read the comment policy before you post

  • Ali

    Can I just say, those present guides are amazing. I’ve already bought the Mean Girls pencils and have my eye on several other potential gifts.

    I always get excited at the prospect of them in magazines and then get disappointed that everything’s too expensive or just weird. Not only are APW’s brilliant, but they feature items I’ve never found anywhere else! I guess I shouldn’t be surprised…APW is just taking over the internet, one brilliant step at a time…

    • scw

      Agreed! I’m hoping to buy the Mean Girls pencils as a gift, too!

    • Jacky Speck

      I love the gift guides too and can’t wait to see more. I really want to buy a few of the items but can’t, because there’s just too much risk of deciding to keep them for myself.

    • Kayjayoh

      I have my eye on the Mean Girls pencils for my sister’s b-day present this spring.

    • Meigh McPants

      Agreed! My suggestion for the next list is unscented gifts for moms. Is it just me that feels like every website tells you to buy you mom lotion or candles or perfume?

      • Meg Keene

        WE DID IT FOR YOU MEIGH. Actually. It’s a In Law gift guide, but close enough.

        I’m stealing your title for next year.

        • Meigh McPants

          Y’all are the best. I should have known you’d have it covered. ;)

    • Meg Keene

      Oh good, thank you guys, it really means a lot. They’re a ton of work and we’ve been throwing them out into the air, really unsure if they were helping people at all. You’re giving us motivation to finish the FIVE MORE that are all in production today. Onwards, shopping!

      • Ali

        FIVE MORE?! I can hardly wait! Seriously, I can’t say enough good things about them.

    • Gina

      Agreed! I’m really eyeing that AeroGarden for my mom, but it has pretty mixed reviews on Amazon. Does anyone have one and have a recommendation?

      • Becky

        I had one and loved it. The only issue I had was that the light would stay on late into the night, but if that wouldn’t be a problem, I’d highly recommend it. We had success with herbs, lettuces, and the “salsa garden.”

  • Jacquelyn

    Happy Friday and happy holidays! First time back to Happy Hour after our November wedding/honeymoon!! A huge thank you and group hug to everyone at APW for all your support and kind words :)

  • http://www.smittenchickens.com/ Sarah Hoppes

    This is sacrilege I’m sure, but I’ve never seen Orange Is the New Black. I’m sure I’d love it, but I’m thrifty and don’t want to spend money on netflix when we already have Amazon Prime. Where else can I see it?

    • M.

      Netflix usually has a free trial period – it may even be a full month! Plenty of time to binge. (Psst — see you next Saturday!)

    • http://www.meanestlook.com/ Sara Downey Robinson

      I haven’t seen it either. I just don’t have time right now. Soon enough, I suppose.

    • http://heartsvsbrains.tumblr.com/ HeartvsBrain

      I honestly couldn’t even get through the pilot.

    • Kayjayoh

      I also haven’t seen it. I am not 100% if/when I will. I am super selective with my TV, since I just don’t have time.

      (That being said, Sleepy Hollow has been really entertaining me lately.)

      • http://www.thehousealwayswinsblog.com/ Rachel Wilkerson

        I am also super selective with my TV (honestly, if it weren’t for Eric, I wouldn’t even own one because I just don’t have the patience for it) and…I feel strongly this one is worth making time for.

        • Kayjayoh

          I will put it on my list, then. Matt is a big Netflix fan anyway. From what I hear, one of its strengths is also one of the things I love Sleepy Hollow for: the cast. The Sleepy Hollow casting is brilliant. Every show should be like that.

    • Meg Keene

      YOU GUYS. It’s one of the best things this year. I don’t think I know anyone who didn’t end up guiltily binge watching the whole thing. We watched it in two weeks, and that’s WITH a baby.

      Other than stealing someone’s netflix, I don’t think there is a workaround till it comes out on DVD. That’s the brilliance of the netflix model, I guess ;)

      • a single sarah

        I hadn’t realized it was coming out on DVD. Once my library gets it, then I’ll binge :)

        • Meg Keene

          I’m just assuming. Netflix likes the $$$$. Plus, they do rent DVDs, so it seems like an obvious choice.

          • a single sarah

            I googled. Release date TBD. The summer articles seemed to expect it to happen eventually.

          • Kim

            I’m not in the US, so no Netflix, but the internet has ways. Google project free TV…I watched OITNB in several weekends and LOVED it

      • Marisa-Andrea

        Binge-watching is what I do. It started with 24 (which took over my life, no really, it did). Now I’m going back and forth b/w Luther and Breaking Bad.

        • Meg Keene

          LUTHER. I can’t say that without fanning myself a little. So. Hot.

          • Alix

            Unffff Idris Elba is enjoyable in every single way.

        • http://www.smittenchickens.com/ Sarah Hoppes

          We’re currently binge watching Buffy and Angel. So our tv habbits aren’t exactly current.

    • KM

      OITNB is entertaining, but best watched with a critical eye, as anything. I work in prisoners’ rights litigation and am really conflicted about the good and bad of the show. Its time for a real happy hour for me, so I’ll just leave another’s well written critique: http://thefeministwire.com/2013/08/a-critical-analysis-of-orange-is-the-new-black-the-appropriation-of-women-of-color/

      • http://www.smittenchickens.com/ Sarah Hoppes

        My mother in law in a criminology professor,and she is very upset and critical of the show, so I’ve also kind of avoided it because I don’t want to be grilled about it. (His whole family is very analytical (2 professor parents, lawyer sister) and loves debate. When debates erupt, I like to go read a book.)

      • Meg Keene

        It’s funny. I live with a defense attorney/ ex theatre professional who loves it. Which means that for him, in this case, the artistic merits outweigh the issues. The fact that it’s a comedy, and trying to do a good job on issues helps a lot for me.

    • Jennie

      Also haven’t seen it but the book from which the series originated is definitely worth a read!

  • Marcela

    You guys, I have a job interview in an hour and a half and and freaking out. I was just laid off from my last job a week ago and am suffering some serious self-esteem issues. Give me some advice!

    • Marcela

      Oh and did I mention I’m sick? I’m terrified I’m going to reach out to shake the interviewer’s hand and sneeze all over her.

      • Laura C

        I have had a couple interviews in my life where I was sick, including my college interview at my top choice where I sneezed in epic and disgusting fashion, and I tell myself that handling it with grace and dignity just reflects well on me.

    • emilyg25

      Assuming you’ve already looked over your work history for the big projects you’d like to highlight, and researched the company, try to pretend that you don’t need this job. Try not to be nervous. Hahaha, easier said than done, right? But the interviews I’ve done best at were the ones I didn’t care so much about. Good luck!!!!!!

      • Marcela

        When did pretending get to be so hard?!

    • jashshea

      Hope I’m not too late for advice.

      Be confident! Other people applied for this job and they extended an interview to you which means that you probably have the skills they want. Highlight your best features. Speak honestly about what you need to improve upon.

      Ask QUESTIONS. ALL THE QUESTIONS. What would I be doing day to day? What will my peers do? What does the current job holder say is the best/worst part of the job? Etc.

      Break a leg!

      • Marcela

        Thank you! I never thought to ask about my peers’ job responsibilities!

        • jashshea

          I always assume peers use the new person as a dumping ground for the sh!t they don’t like, so I always ask :)

      • Kayjayoh

        (totally taking notes)

    • Catherine McK

      Deep breaths! You’re fabulous. They’d be lucky to have you. Remember, you’re interviewing them too; is this a place you can see yourself, what opportunities for growth would you have, etc etc. You’ve got this. (Also I always like to get a manicure before, but perhaps no time for that.) Good luck!!

      • Marcela

        Oh how I wish I had time for a manicure. I was working on a christmas present when they called and will have to settle for getting all the paint and wood glue off my hands!

    • Kayjayoh

      Focus on your breathing before the interview. Deep, even yoga breaths will help keep you calm and focused.

      • Marcela

        Good call. I’m already having some trouble with that since I’m sick, but I took some decongestants and my breathing has already improved.

    • a single sarah

      I think you’re interviewing right now. Sending positive thoughts your way!

  • Abby May

    Ah! The romantic XRAYs! Love those! I work in Radiology at my local hospital so this is my fave!
    So glad it’s Friday! It’s been a whirlwind of a week. I’ve applied for my dream job within my organization and since then I’ve begun telling fellow employees that I put in for this position. The crazy thing is that I’ve gotten an overwhelming amount of support. My supervisor/Regional manager even sat down with me and coached me through the interviewing process at our hospitals and I feel so encouraged! I’m excited for things to come!

    • Meg

      doesn’t the first one kind of look like uh…they are in “the act”? If you look at the black shape in the women’s groin area hahaha

  • KristenForever

    For any Northeast Ohio APW fans we’re having our NEO APW Meet Up Group Happy Hour today. Check us out on Face Book if you’re interested! https://www.facebook.com/groups/APWNEO/

  • http://www.thehousealwayswinsblog.com/ Rachel Wilkerson

    It’s SO hard to choose a favorite OITNB character! I think my favorite is Sophia (her story was probably my favorite episode) followed closely by Taystee and Poussey (they are just better as a duo).

    • emilyg25

      Excellent choices. I think my favorites are Red and Miss Claudette. And Morello. And Pennsyltucky. And the ones you named. It’s hard to choose! Except it’s super easy for me to say that my least favorites are Larry and Piper! I’m excited that next season is going to be less Piper, more ensemble.

    • Shiri

      I have no idea how to pick, either. Taystee and Poussey are definitely two favorites. I also loved Janae’s episode and Sophia’s. I guess it depends on whether I’m thinking about whose episode I like best, or who I’m most interested in watching onscreen. Because if it is the latter, then Taystee and Pousesey win.

      Which reminds me, OITNB characters out of their makeup: http://www.vulture.com/2013/08/photos-orange-is-the-new-black-actors-out-of-costume-in-real-life.html

    • http://poppiesandicecream.blogspot.com/ Amanda – Poppies and Ice Cream

      This is difficult. I really really like Janae. Then comes Morello, and Pensyltucky, because she is just so crazy. Sophia is great, I also loved to see her story. And let’s not forget Poussey.

    • Meg Keene

      Mine is, rather obviously, Nicky. That pretty much tells you what you need to know about me, I guess. It’s funny that no one else has named her.

    • AnnieP

      Nicky is my fave! So many great ones, including Red. But overall I loved NIcky. Can’t wait for the next season!

    • Caroline

      I’m not finished with all the available episodes, but so far, probably Sophia, Alex, or Red.

    • Marisa-Andrea

      I like them all except for Piper. I just find everyone else’s story and background so interesting and Piper is just. So. Annoying. I’m very interesting to find what happened to the woman who used to run track.

    • tashamoes

      Poussey (and Taystee) are tops for me. Sophia, Nicky, and Big Boo would follow. I also was fascinated with Alex for the longest time – the dynamic between Alex and Piper (who is otherwise boring as hell and so selfish, no?) was actually super interesting and eye opening for me. Alex has a lot of power, but at least she’s honest about what she wants and who she is. Better than Piper, I think.

  • http://www.meanestlook.com/ Sara Downey Robinson

    I’ve missed happy hour for weeks now! Darned busy day. And nights. And weekends. And, well, you all know how it goes. I just wanted to do a general “Wishing Love!” to everyone. Happiest of Fridays.

  • emilyg25

    After lots of discussions about prioritizing a life lived well instead of possessions, my husband and I decided to postpone saving for a house for a few months so we can go to Rome in May! Woo hoo!!! So lemme have it, lovely ladies: What are your favorite things to do and eat and drink in Rome? Best neighborhoods? Off the beaten path secrets?

    • twofishgirl14

      How wonderful! I was in Rome for one day 8 years ago, so unfortunately I don’t have any good tips (other than to say that Rome is super cool), I just love that you made this choice and made it thoughtfully. Bravo!

    • vegankitchendiaries

      Catacombs tour = must

    • Meigh McPants

      Rome is wooooonderful. I love the Galleria Borghese, mostly b/c I’m a Bernini worshipper. (His Ecstasy of St. Theresa is also worth seeing in person, although I can’t recall the name of the church it’s in.) The best thing to do in Rome is wander, b/c a lot of the landmarks are right in the city, so you’re on this little charming street and then suddenly it opens up into a plaza and oh, you’re at the Trevi Fountain, good for you! Eat gelato. All the gelato. See as much art as you can. Climb the St. Peter’s dome, even though it’s mildly terrifying. Talk to people. Italians are generally really cool, and even if you don’t share a language you can still have a conversation. Unfortunately I’ve only been there long enough to do kind of touristy stuff, so I can’t help you with secret awesomeness, but there’s enough obvious awesomeness for you to have a good time.

    • Dom

      The keyhole view of the Vatican! It is hard to take pictures of, but it is in a really nice part of Rome which is quieter – plus, walk a little further along and you end up in an old Church courtyard overlooking the city. Very beautiful views.

    • Karen

      SO GREAT! Hopefully you’ll have good weather (before the totally oppressive summer heat sets in). I’ve been to Rome three or four times, so here are my tips: 1) get restaurant recommendations and go to those places, as opposed to getting lured in by the waiters looking for tourists (food/experience wasn’t as good when we had to wing it). We had a great lunch at Cul-de-Sac (Piazza Pasquino) and I have an entire word document of restaurant recs from my former Latin teachers (who have all obviously been multiple times – can email if you’d like me to). 2) If you can, take the train to Ostia for a day – it was the ancient port city of Rome, easily accessible by public transport, and will get out out of the city for a little while! Cool ancient stuff to see (in addition to the Colloseum and the Forum and all that jazz). 3) Don’t be overly paranoid, but do be mindful of pickpockets and gypsies, particularly in train/bus stations. Lastly, eat gelato. Multiple times a day. Doesn’t matter where you get it – it’s always good!

      • Anon

        The colosseum is awesome. My favorite thing about Rome was that it was the only place I’ve ever been where the “ruins” are right next to the modern. Like oh hey there is the Colosseum, right near the McDonalds. But seriously the tour of the colosseum was one of my favorite things. Also the Trevi fountain is touristy, but cool. I can’t remember the name, but my BFF and I got the worlds best snacks in a little Alley right near there. Also yes, Gelato all the time at least twice a day.

    • http://www.marbleryephotography.com/ Melissa

      So exciting!! A guy from Rome is subletting one of the rooms in my house this month – I will ask him for suggestions.

    • http://abasketcase.blogspot.com/ Basketcase

      Oh we LOVED Rome, even though I was sick.
      Buy a Roma pass – you’ll skip the line at the Colosseum, which means you can rock up at 10am and be in by 10:15, rather than turning up at 8 and getting in at 10:30 (happened to friends).
      Also, the gelato shop just off the Piazza Pantheon. Delish. 100+ flavours.

    • Charise

      Two restaurants we loved enough to eat at twice (this was 4 years ago, though), both in the Campo d’Fiori area: Antico Forno for Roman-style pizza for a quick lunch, and Grappolo d’Oro for dinner (get the carbonara!)

    • SamanthaNichole

      Sorry this is late but . . .

      Forno Campo de’ Fiori for pizza – so delicious! The zucchini was my favorite!

      Another one – I don’t remember the name – in that same piazza. It’s right next to sloppy sam’s but not that one… it’s on the right, I believe if you are looking at the restaurants and it is on the side perpendicular to Forno. Great pizza margarita.

      Il Dolce Sorriso – Via Arenula 25 00186 Roma – best gelato I had there. Soooooo delicous! Get dark chocolate and coconut and go to Heaven please, do it! – and eat gelato everyday. EVERYDAY.

      Go to the Colosseum, the Roman Forum and Palentine Hill. Give yourself a whole day if you can, it is amazing. Get tickets ahead of time and you will jump the line – worth it. (We found it wasn’t worth it to get a Rome pass but just to buy a few tickets to things ahead of time online. Be careful of things like Select Italy, which sell tickets to every attraction – I found it was less expensive to buy directly from the attraction.)

      Drink Prosecco by the bottle everyday.

      There is a wonderful street artist (painter) that works on the corner by a liquor store within a few blocks from the Trevi fountain. I know that is very vague but if you are wandering. We got a beautiful painting to mark our journey.

      Go to the Piazza Navona at dusk. It is full of artists and vendors and then night comes and it is absolutely GORGEOUS! There was a harpist playing while we were there and the fountain is lovely. It’s just a ridiculously romantic place. You can drink outside so get a few small bottles of bubbly and enjoy the ambiance. Seriously.

      Wander all the time and you will see amazing things. Have soooo much fun! Now I really want to go back . . .

  • M.

    Reaching out to any translators in the group — I know there was lots of talk about it in the careers open thread awhile back. Tips/advice for getting started? Resources? (Have BA, MA, teaching cert, time abroad in German(y)). My career – or lack of – is weighing heavily and I miss my German.

  • Kathleen

    Any suggestions for exercise during pregnancy? Most resources I’ve
    checked, as well as my midwives, have suggested that you should keep up
    what you were doing before pregnancy, but not start anything new unless
    it’s specifically designated as being for pregnant women (e.g. prenatal
    yoga). I continued biking through the first trimester, and then, well,
    it got cold out, and I stopped. Which basically leaves prenatal yoga,
    and meh, I’ve just never really been into yoga. What did women do before
    the current yoga trend? Before prenatal yoga was a thing? What have you
    done, besides prenatal yoga? Everyone, from coworkers to my midwife,
    has suggested prenatal yoga, but I think that’s just because it’s a
    low-hanging fruit that everyone knows exists. Other ideas?

    • Kathleen

      oops, sorry, composed my comment in an e-mail earlier today when I had a few minutes so I could post when the Happy Hour thread went up, and apparently that messed with the formatting. My mistake!

    • http://poppiesandicecream.blogspot.com/ Amanda – Poppies and Ice Cream

      I am also not that much into yoga, and I have never been the sporty kind. I have been mostly taking walks outside and doing exercise in the living room: squats, hip thrusts, side leg raises, and some exercise for the lower back. Also kegels are recommended… I am also kind of clueless here.

    • malkavian

      Maybe bike indoors on an exercise bike at the gym or go for walks (that doesn’t help with the cold though).

    • The Chronically Ill Bride

      Do you have any interest in prenatal Pilates? That’ll hit your kegel need, for sure, and it’s great for strengthening.

    • Meg Keene

      Swim. Swim and yoga, sadly there is not a whole lot that you CAN do once you’re big. Or, at least me, I was pretty huge to the point that even going for walks wasn’t super realistic. But I swam the whole time (slowly). Getting in the water and having all the pressure off is amazing.

      • http://abasketcase.blogspot.com/ Basketcase

        Yeah, by 7 months I could barely move, let alone walk. And I couldn’t fit any footwear. But I could swim. Even if some sessions were just me in the deep end of the pool, resting my arms on the sides to hold me in place while I tried not to fall asleep.

    • C

      I read Exercising Through Your Pregnancy, and decided to continue my weight lifting routine. I also picked up swimming during my second trimester (as in, I had no idea how to swim before, and now I do). Obviously defer to your own judgement (and that of your care providers), but I am not as wary of new or vigorous exercise as most sources suggest I be. Maybe consider gently trying a new activity like lifting and see how you feel?

      • Chris

        Seconded! I’m 7 months right now, and I’m still doing almost everything I was pre-pregnancy, just at a lot lower intensity. I basically do whatever feels good, which right now means I still bike commute, I still walk a lot, and I still rock climb and do some weight training. I dropped out of my yoga-for-18-year-old dance majors class, because keeping up with them didn’t feel good any more. All the other activities are individual and self paced, and that’s been the key for me.

    • http://www.thehousealwayswinsblog.com/ Rachel Wilkerson

      Before I got into yoga, I was really into Core Fusion (and still am actually). It’s kind of a blend of Pilates/yoga/barre and it feels more like a traditional workout than yoga does (i.e. it’s good for people who get bored doing yoga). I love the DVDs and you can also stream actual classes from YogaVibes.com, which I love. It’s an awesome total-body workout and just makes me feel really strong and flexible! You may have to make some modifications as you progress in your pregnancy, but it’s similar enough to pilates/yoga that I think it would probably work!

    • TeaforTwo

      How do you feel about belly dance? I remember being at a belly dance workshop for work (back when I had a WAY more fun job) and the instructor told us that it was a traditional way to strengthen the muscles required for childbirth. I have ZERO idea whether that is true, but it’s not a contact sport, it’s a good workout, and it might be goofy good fun AND a way to enjoy your changing body.

    • AliC

      There are a ton of pregnant ladies in the barre classes I take. Many of them are *very* pregnant. It’s super low impact and easily modified.

    • http://abasketcase.blogspot.com/ Basketcase

      I did a lot of walking – outside and on the treadmill. Also stationary bikes. Swimming was fantastic as well – although I switched to aqua jogging when my bump got in the way. The weightlessness means you can be as low impact as you want.

  • Ang

    I’ve been waiting for this open thread all day! Goodbye productivity!

    I need some wedding party advice/ideas from the wonderful APW crowd. We are in the early stages of wedding planning and one point of conflict as already presented itself. We both agree we want a small (read: immediate family only) wedding. I’m not a fan of the concept of a “Maid of Honor”, especially since I have two sisters. However, I know I want my sisters to be in my wedding. I will be making them infinity dresses and asking them to be there for me. No fuss, just stand by my side in this dress I made for you.

    The wrench comes in…my SO is not close with his family. He’s working hard to build up a new image from his ‘wild child’ days where his family never took him seriously. He wants them there, but he doesn’t want them to have major roles (he wasn’t in any of his sibling’s weddings). He also doesn’t think he has any friends that he could select out as the few who are allowed to attend the ceremony itself without causing riots in the street among the rest of them.

    I know we can make this thing whatever we want. But I’m just not visualizing it in my head. Any ideas about how to accomplish my sisters being involved without having a traditional ‘wedding party’. (already as I typed this I’m getting some new ideas, but I’m really curious for the fabulous ideas you may have!)

    And on a slightly related note – any venue suggestions for a simple, quasi-religious wedding in a warm location (not necessarily beach, also within the U.S. so we don’t have to worry about passports)?

    • Kayjayoh

      How about having your sisters as your honor attendants (and one could be the witness on the marriage certificate) but just have them walk up the aisle before you and not have them stand up next to you during the whole thing?

      I’ve got the opposite kind of thing going on. My sister is going to be my honor attendant (my other close girlfriends will be part of the larger bridal brigade: officiant, stage manager, etc). Fiance, on the other hand, has so, so many people he wants to ask to stand with him, and he can’t bear to pick a “best” man. I’m mostly letting him work through it without directing, but I’m encouraging him to think in terms of “brigade” as well, and assuring him that they “sides” don’t need to be even. (He does think he needs to figure out a best man, however, because that guy tends to take on particular responsibilities and he isn’t sure how that would shake out if different people were involved.)

      • Ang

        Truthfully, this situation has evolved from both of us having a passel of people who would be logical choices to stand up, and us just not wanting to worry about where to cut it off and how to keep it even, etc.

        Half my battle has been convincing him that we can do it however the heck we want. Like your guy worrying about the sides being even :)

        • Kayjayoh

          Weird thing I have discovered: I need to limit how much I quote APW at fiance about things like this, because it feels like someone is telling him what to do. (Even though it is the opposite.) So I’ve moved in the direction of mentioning alternative ideas and possibilities, and then dropping the topic to let them brew in his brain. Seems to work better than a concentrated discussion.

      • emmers

        This may not work with your guy and his particular set of friends, but I heard of (can’t remember if it’s an internetty hearing of, or if I have a coworker tell me about this) someone doing a “groomsmen games” day with things like flip cup, a scavenger hunt, and various other challenges, and the winner getting to be the best man. Another suggestion for you to pretend you didn’t get from APW :)

    • Em

      If you’re worried about things not being balanced, you could have your sistas process in, but then maybe take a seat at the front.
      Or you could have one be on your fiance’s side, and one on yours.
      Or you could just have them both on your side.
      I think there were also some awesome posts earlier about ways to involve family members.

      • Ang

        I have most certainly read through those other posts for ideas! They are quite awesome. I guess at this point I’m more concerned about it being ‘my family show’ and him having nothing. In the not-practical: ‘what will his family think of me because they’re not included in my wedding’ kind of way.

    • http://readingandthensome.blogspot.com/ Martha Smith

      Could you ask your sisters to do readings (if you’re going with a semi-religious ceremony)? Even if they’re not “in your wedding” in a traditional sense, they’re your sisters and will most certainly be there with you all day, getting ready and what not. If it’s as small a ceremony as it sounds, they might be cool with a non-bridesmaidy role because there are so few people present to begin with.

      • Ang

        This is exactly what I’m hoping for. I’m just worried that it will seem like I don’t want his family involved. When that’s really a decision that’s all up to him. Granted, it might be easier than I’m thinking since his siblings are older and will have kids to worry about anyway.

        • http://www.thehousealwayswinsblog.com/ Rachel Wilkerson

          I feel like the root of the issue is that he doesn’t want his family involved and you’re worried on how that is going to reflect on you. Which…is kind of unfair, no? My thought is that there is no logical reason that including his family would be your responsibility, so if anyone is offended, I think he has to own that and make it clear to them it was HIS choice, not yours. And maybe you could even tell him, “Look, I support you in this decision but just know that if you do that, your family might shit-talk me so I’m going to need your word that you’ll shut that down if it happens because that’s not fair to me. Cool? Cool.” And then I think you can proceed with having your sisters as readers or something.

          • Ang

            I think you’re right that is mostly the root of the issue. That and I know he wants to repair things with the family into the future. And I’m worried that starting ‘our future’ with them being excluded isn’t a good foot to start on.

            However, as I typed that I realized I was projecting the attitude of one of my sister’s onto his entire family. gah. Why does my brain have to go and complicate things?

            Thanks for your insight!

  • Kayjayoh
  • Kayjayoh

    I am in love with how many links and stories I read during the week and I then also see on APW on Friday. Y’all are my people.

    #fasttailedgirls is heartbreaking

    • butwhatdoiknow

      truly. this tweet sort of summed up what i think i thought about the whole miley cyrus thing (i was mightily confused by a lot of that, though, TBH) “Another way myth of #FastTailedGirls hurts Black girls is by White girls appropriating Black culture as a “slumming” event “coming of age.””

  • twofishgirl14

    I’m going to sign the contract for my reception venue tomorrow! I am very excited to see this wedding become a reality but not excited to see my first wedding expense hit my bank account. Oh well. Once the wedding is over I’m sure mint.com will love me again.

    • emilyg25

      “Uncategorized” is your friend. I have this weird anxiety about any of my Mint categories being red.

    • macrain

      Wahoo! I can’t tell you how relieved I felt when we finally decided on a venue! It was like all this space in my brain that was reserved for worrying about how we were going to pull this off was suddenly freed up to feel excited and happy about having a wedding once we signed a contract. Sending good vibes your way!

  • Kathleen

    I missed the Gift Guide post this week, but am intrigued to notice the iPhone lens kit on there. I’ve been thinking about getting lenses for my husband for Christmas, but have hesitated because there seem to be so many options – Amazon has lenses for $10 and lenses for $70. There’s got to be a quality difference there, right? The one my sister’s boyfriend recommended was on the high end of that scale. The kit in the gift guide has all sorts of other accessories for $50, which seems reasonable, but does that mean the lenses (which are what I’m most interested in) are of the $10 variety? Can someone with experience with these offer any suggestions? (His is an iPhone 4S, if that matters.)

  • Amanda

    I’m defending my PhD next Friday! And I’m not ready! And I have a 6 month old at home! And when I’ve graduated, I get to spend 6 MONTHS at home with him! MONTHS! Not weeks! But I don’t feel prepared to defend. I thought I would have one more quarter to prep, but my boss left the institution, and defense is being thrust upon me. Oh, all the feels. Advice? Support? Fist bumps?

    • malkavian

      Don’t worry too much, you’ll be awesome. Plus, if your university lets you defend without actually thinking you’re ready for it, then they suck anyway.

      • Laura C

        Just what I was going to say — if you’re defending, it should be a sign that they believe you’re ready. If you fail a defense, unless you, like, insisted against multiple people’s advice that you were going to defend at that time, it’s on them, not you.

        • a single sarah

          Yah. My advisor suggested it was near malpractice to fail a defense. (As it’s structured in the US. Apparently elsewhere traditions are different, etc.)

          But also what Kayjayoh says. You KNOW this. Inside and out. Now you get to tell other people about what you’ve been doing.

    • Kayjayoh

      You’re ready. You can do it. Having written your dissertation, you *know* you know this inside and out. You’ve got this. :)

    • Meigh McPants

      You can do it! You are smarter and more prepared than you think you are. Rock on with your PhD-getting self.

    • Amanda

      Thanks folks :) This community is so awesome. Thanks for the support. I think you are correct — I’ve got this! Nerves, be gone!

    • Kristin

      Honestly? This is the worst part – the lead-up to the big day. You’ve worked really hard to get to this point, and you are going to KILL IT! Congratulations! =)

  • Kayjayoh

    You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have…

    Good: Last night my fiance and I started a 3-week waltz class. He is a much better dancer than I, but wasn’t looking forward to this, due to perfectionism and anxiety. However, aside from some flat feet pain, he did quite well and I managed not to trip over my own feet more than a quarter of the time.

    Moar good: We also got a Christmas card from his parents last night, which contained two really substatial checks, one for each of us. Christmas present with a “for the wedding” understanding. This will be a big help for me, since I had a couple of unexpected hits to my savings this year. Now to write a heart-felt thank you card and make sure my Christmas present to them is lovely. (It will be small, but meaningful.)

    The bad: on a whim, I went to the website for the northern WI cottage we are looking to rent for the week after our wedding. I was thinking I should make my reservation (for June) sometime this month. I was then devastated to discover that someone already has that week reserved on the cottage we wanted. It is the *only* week that summer that has been booked. Checked our second choice cottage and it is also booked for that week only. I almost wanted to cry. My heart literally hurt. But I’m taking it in stride. Our options are to pick one of the other (not as nice) cottages, go a week later, or do something else.

    The possibly ok: I did check with the proprietor, and she said there is a chance the other people might be willing to shift their date. I’m not going to set my heart on that, but it would be awesome if it happened.

    I know it isn’t the end of the world, but man, that felt like the emotional equivalent of dropping your favorite glass ornament on the floor and shattering it. You know it isn’t a big deal but it still stings.

    • InTheBurbs

      If you are looking for other options – we used these folks: http://www.upnorthvacationlodging.com/ to rent a cabin north of Phillips this fall – it provided us the seclusion and amenities we were looking for.

      • Kayjayoh

        Thanks. These are cabins with specific, meaningful associations for me. If we do something else entirely it might involve Door County, the Apostle Islands, or Mackinac.

  • Magical Unicorn Lady

    You guys, I am so nerrrrvous. We start doing srs bizness this cycle (attempt #6), meaning I start Clomid and have an HSG test (where they run radioactive dye up through everything to make sure there aren’t any blockages) before insemination right before Christmas. (Merry Christmas and an alcohol free New Year! Yay.)

    I’m scared there’s something seekretly wrong with me and if there is, I wasted money on a hormone prescription that I won’t use. I’m scared that the hormones will make me crazy pants on top of holiday stresses. I’m scared of giving myself the trigger shot. I’m scared I’ll somehow get knocked up with quadruplets and we’ll have to consider selectively aborting so, you know, I don’t die. I’m scared I won’t get knocked up at all and will just have to keep doing this forever.

    I am so tired of waiting for this to happen.

    At least I still get two more weeks of running and weight lifting until the craziness continues and I’m stuck sitting around worrying and then yelling at myself for worrying.

    • Meg Keene

      Hugs.

    • The Chronically Ill Bride

      Oh, Unicorn, I feel you. I feel like I’m scared of something different in this every minute. I know this is different, but when I was going through crazy scary test after test for illness stuff, I always really truly felt the silver lining of “at least I’ll know what’s wrong, and then we can try to fix it”. Many hugs.

    • Kayjayoh

      White light coming at you.

  • Kayjayoh

    Boston-area ladies: What can you tell me about the rental market (particularly the rent cycle) in and around Boston? The only place I have ever rented is Madison, which is kind of quirky and I don’t think applies elsewhere.

    In Madison, a huge bulk of the rentals turn over in August, either the 1st or the 15th, due to the campus and student population. You are often going to look for these apartments in the spring. It isn’t uncommon to sign an August lease when there is still snow on the ground.

    • Meg

      What are you looking at renting, an apartment? They do tend to be on the September cycle in the city, but with things opening up across the year. Look on CL or with a realtor. I remember signing a lease for sept in February but that was only because it was right near a college campus so the demand was much higher.

      • Kayjayoh

        Oh yes, an apartment. (I will edit my question for clarity.)

        The when to look for when is the biggest thing, since we will need to either travel out there to look *or* rent something sight unseen. Nerve wracking!

        • Laura C

          Thanks for asking this question. We will be moving to Boston in spring/summer and we don’t have much choice of when, but worth thinking about. Easier for us though as we are just a bus ride away and A’s mother lives there so we have a place to stay whenever.

        • Sheila

          I left Boston a couple years ago but I also moved there from Madison! My biggest surprise was that I pretty much had to go through a realtor, which meant paying a fee of 1 month’s rent – on TOP of a deposit of 1st & last month rent. Ouch. I was looking in Watertown and had no trouble finding a July start ate when I was looking in May.

    • jashshea

      Not Boston-located anymore, but lived there during school and for many years after. If you’re near a university (Good luck not being near one?), you’ll want to avoid the august/sept rental cycle. When we were in school, you booked September apartments in the fall of the previous year and moving on 9/1 was a massive PITA.

      Are you looking suburbs or city? Where are you planning to work? Nearby suburbs that are still on the “T” line are cheaper than city proper and are a quick commute. Good luck!

    • megep

      I moved from Wisconsin to Boston about 18 months ago. It’s certainly possible to find places that aren’t on a September 1 lease cycle, but options are more limited. You might be pressured into signing a lease for 16 months (like we were) in order for the landlord to put the property back on that Sept 1 cycle. Be prepared for the price differences.

      I also used to live in Madison for a time, and some of the same rules apply because of the shocking number of students in Boston: check the neighborhood out on a Friday/Saturday night if possible to gauge noise or party levels, be aware that anything close to a school is going to have a large chunk of poorly maintained housing stock, and rent a U-Haul or book movers EARLY if you’re planning to do a Sept 1 lease.

      Good luck! If you’d like to get in touch with a fellow Wisconsinite once you’re out here, let me know!

  • anon today

    We just about cancelled the whole thing and eloped this week when some family members and close friends either reneged on a previous offer to help or announced that they just didn’t ever want to help in the first place for our day-of festivities (though they are happy to come eat the food and drink the wine). It hurt because we’re holding the wedding at a somewhat remote location that is a family property, so we were counting on all hands on deck (because they had said “whatever we can do to help…”). I think they’re picturing it as this fancy event where we entertain and feed them lavishly, when all along it’s really been a totally DIT, scrape-it-together, thank-god-for-this-”free”-venue type of thing. Actually I don’t know what they think, I just know my fiance is hurt by this and I told him, fuck all of ‘em, we can just go to the courthouse and eat a fabulous steak dinner after, I will be OK with that. But we talked ourselves down and figured out how to do it without the non-helpers’ help. But holy crap, drama…it sucks.

    • MEM

      so sorry that your people didn’t come through for you! that sucks but it shows what a great team you and you fiance are that you have been able to pull it together anyway!

    • M.

      Aw hugs. We had that same moment, considering the courthouse after a family blowup. It passed, and I’m glad we’re going to make our vision work and be better than the drama. Best of luck to you.

    • macrain

      Sending big hugs to you. If they never wanted to help they shouldn’t have said yes! Sending good vibes your way that you’ll figure out an alternative and not let it burst your bubble. XO!

  • Meg

    That 23 and you article is absolutely fascinating. Thank you for posting it. I really hope no one in my family took that test before they were shut down.

  • LNR

    First time ever commenting! Even though I’ve been reading religiously (including all comments) since before my wedding in May 2012. So what finally pushed me into not being a fly on the wall is that we just moved to Minneapolis from the east coast and I know absolutely no one here. Making friends is hard! I think I remember there being some talk of a Minneapolis/Minnesota APW meet-up group, so this is me trying to make friends. Let me know if there are any other APWers in the area!

    • http://readingandthensome.blogspot.com/ Martha Smith

      Oh I feel you! I moved from the east coast to Missouri and it was an adjustment. I relied on blogs and comment sections heavily to keep my social spirit up!

      Making friends might be hard at first, but it will come! Read MWF Seeking BFF by Rachel Bertsche http://www.amazon.com/MWF-Seeking-BFF-Yearlong-Search/dp/0345524942

      And the midwest turned out to be pretty great! Now that I’ve been here over 3 years I like the slower pace compared to the east coast. Much more relaxed out here :-)

      • Sarah E

        Seconded on the book suggestion. Marty recommended it to me, too, and when I finally got around to reading it, I devoured it. Such a compelling and relatable story.

    • Claire

      Welcome to Minneapolis! There’s at least a dozen local women who read APW that I know of. I’ve organized a few meet ups in the twin cities and would be happy to add you to the list. Email me at clairehaskell at gmail dot com. Hope to meet you soon.

  • SamiSidewinder

    Speaking of Selfies, this is AMAZING

    http://www.webburgr.com/before-after-lsd/

  • swarmofbees

    Happy Friday! This has been a really great week for me as we got a few really good pieces of news about my Father. His cancer is responding to treatment, Yay!, he can walk again, Yay!, and he should be well enough to attend my wedding next summer, YAY!!!!!!. We are all so happy and hopeful now. I had posted before about how to bring up the wedding date discussion, and now I think it will be a lot easier. Date shouldn’t be too much of an issue. The bigger question will be whether to risk having it in NYC, or go safe and have it back home where my parents live. The doctor said he will be find to travel by then, but there is always a what if. Either way, I am just so happy that NYC is even an option again and that I am not worried about having to rush home to get married on short notice.

    • Ariel

      wooooo!!!!

    • Jess

      YAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!!

    • Crayfish Kate

      Wonderful news! So happy for you and your fam! Thanks for sharing :-)

  • http://www.foreveryoungadult.com/ likepenguins

    Man, now it’s a Disqus site (oh, hai, APW, I’ve been off honeymooning and generally decompressing for the last few weeks) now! Now all my blogs are tied together!

    We adopted a kitty this week! Well, technically last week. A lady found a tiny kitten shivering in the Texas cold, and could not keep her, so we took her in! Her name is Hedwig and she is adorable. Also, hey! I got married (again) AND on Wednesday, the US Government officially determined that my husband and I are bona fide as a couple!! So, you know. It’s been a pretty big week.

    • Meg Keene

      Oh good! Someone who likes Disqus. Everyone hated it at first, but now the staff is kind of liking it. YOU CAN IMBED IMAGES AND VIDEOS Y’ALL.

      • TeaforTwo

        Oh! I never said this when the relaunch happened, but I LOVE it. I love that you can choose which conversations you can choose to follow and choose to hide. The email notifications are better…I just think it’s great.

        • Meg Keene

          Hang on, you can choose to hide conversations? How?

          • TeaforTwo

            Hide is probably not the right word, now that I think about it, but I meant the “collapse” button to the left of the report flag. I find it really convenient during happy hour to be able to collapse threads about local recommendations that aren’t local to me, etc. And being able to sort by what’s newest, etc…it’s just so many miles ahead of the old system if you want to revisit a discussion a few hours later.

      • lady brett

        for y’all’s info, as someone who expressed doubt/concerns, i am warming to it slowly (which is the only way i warm to things). i can easily see myself even liking as i become accustomed. so, there’s hope ;)

        • Meg Keene

          The fact that I warmed to it is saying something. I hate change.

          The sort of… transparency, for lack of a better word, bothered me at first. But then I noticed it was making me more thoughtful with my words, and the comment section just felt… calmer. And that’s a big deal to me. I still have complicated feelings about it, but I’m leaning towards liking it.

        • http://cafeaubride.blogspot.com/ Catherine

          I actually kind of love it. I feel like it makes it easier for our personal community to build and get to know people and recognize them. I like how at the top of the comments there’s a notifications thing so your comments don’t get lost in a black hole. Overall, I just like getting to know people better :)

          • Meg Keene

            This makes me happy. One of the big early concerns was that you couldn’t know people as well, so I’m glad that’s shaking out differently. I think it’s cool to see “Oh, this person also left THESE comments.” That was something we could always do from the back end, but it’s awesome that we can all do it (easily).

            And also, it means it’s easy to spot trolls, which is what the staff has always been able to do, but it’s nice to know as a community member. If someone says something that hurts your feelings and you look and the last seven comments of theirs have been total dick moves, you realize your feelings shouldn’t be hurt, they’re just jerks. (And you can let us know, since we have a no jerk policy.)

      • http://www.foreveryoungadult.com/ likepenguins

        I love Disqus! You can upvote and downvote comments! Judging people’s comments is my favorite thing to do!!!!!

        Also, you can’t talk shit about your other blogs, because, like, people can see that shizz.

  • Ariel

    I set a date for my thesis defense (in a week and a half)! I feel like I want to happy dance around my home while I vomit.

    • malkavian

      Congrats!

      • Ariel

        Thanks!

    • Crayfish Kate

      Awesome! As someone who just finished thesising and defensing, it really isn’t as hellacious as it sounds. Just try to remember 1. Your committee is not out to get you – they are there b/c they want to see you succeed and graduate, not hold you back (although it can fee like it sometimes). 2. They have confidence in you! If you’re defending, they believe you’re ready! You know your stuff and are ready to stand up in front of them and talk about all you’ve learned. Try not to panic – you’re almost done, and you’ll do awesome :-D

      • Ariel

        THANK YOU!

  • http://www.marbleryephotography.com/ Melissa

    I will return later to read all of the fascinating-seeming linked articles and meander through the contents but…
    favorite OITNB character = patty mayonnaise, yoga goddess, obvs.

    • Guest

      She really is so much more than you see in the first few episodes, no? My favourite is Poussey.

      For the longest time I felt so enamoured with Alex Vause – I think it was because it seemed like she was Piper’s One Familiar Thing. Alex was someone safe (after the initial shock and distrust).

      You know that feeling when you’re somewhere unfamiliar and you find something that feels safe like home a bit? Its that feeling. I lived alone in Uganda when I was 19 and felt weepy every time I saw (and ate, so many) a Twix bar – it was safe and familiar when everything else wasn’t. That’s how I saw Alex in the first season.

  • Samantha

    I had my bridal shower last Saturday. It was about 13 people. I was so nervous before hand that I had a stomachache all morning and burst into tears on the way. It was at my best friends house and only had my closest people there. I had no idea I would be that nervous. This has me freaking out about the wedding. I wanted a tiny wedding and the guest list has crept up to 62!! One thing we are considering is having the groom and I process together. Originally we were planning to have my parents walk me down the aisle, but I think the only way I’ll be able to make it without spazzing out is if he is by my side. Also I like the symbolism of us as partners.

    • KC

      For me at least, the shower was really not at all like the wedding; the social expectations are different, the environment is different, etc. And, while I was Freaked Out By All The People Paying Attention To Me by the showers, the wedding ended up in a weird happy bubble. (and it was… not a small wedding)

      So, maybe, if you can figure out why you were so nervous with the shower, and see if those things apply to the wedding (and see if there are ways around them!), then it might be less scary? Possibly?

      (but also: walking down the aisle together can be a good plan – do be clear with your parents, though, in case of expectations)

    • emilyg25

      We walked down the aisle together and it was one of my favorite parts of the wedding. Those moments when we were hidden alone, waiting to go down the aisle and walk into the rest of our lives together, were magical. And we also really liked the symbolism of entering our marriage on equal ground, together as partners.

  • MC

    Wedding things are HAPPENING! Last week we met with our wedding officiant and our (hopefully) photographer, and this week we got an awesome recommendation for pre-marital counseling. And I think I am going to buy a dress! I’m kind of excited, kind of relieved that a bunch of big decisions are out of the way.

    Also, it is my birthday month! So I’m kind of perpetually excited about that.

  • Kelly

    APW, I’m curious! Do you know anything about your readership? Like, age/race/income/region/sexual orientation/etc? I recommend you to everyone, so I hope there is a nice little surge in Wisconsin :)

  • lady brett

    snow day (!!!!!!) god i love not going to work. and living somewhere where ice means not going to work, no question.

    to show my addiction i thought i should share: i looked up 10 minutes ago from playing blocks and thought “oh! crap. i missed happy hour!” the downside of being home, where there are better things to do than wait for the internet to update ;)

  • Kristie

    Hooray happy hour!!
    Today is exactly 6 months until my wedding, and I’m still feeling (mostly) sane–thanks in part to all of you lovely people here at APW! On a daily basis you all remind me that it’s ok to have crazy family members, be in the “meh” baby camp, and not want to spend a fortune on the wedding simply because the WIC demands it! Thank you to all of you wonderful and wonderfully sane people!

    • YetAntherMegan

      Your comment just made me realize I’ve got six months and a day to go. How the hell did that happen? We’ve been engaged for just over a year and have worked on things in spurts so now thinking of it getting into the realm of soonish is making me feel all holy crap this thing is actually going to happen.

  • http://cafeaubride.blogspot.com/ Catherine

    I’m starting the wedding dress shopping next week! I mean, I guess I should have saved this comment for next week’s happy hour but I just couldn’t. One of my best friends and bridesmaids is flying out here from NC on Monday and she hasn’t seen our new place yet and I’m so excited to show her everything and look at dresses together. And eat really good food and show off my fiance’s drink making skills!

    And it’s so odd that this dress trying on thing is actually something in the “have” to do box. It seems too self centered or fun to be real. Like I’m taking up someone’s time or that it could’t possibly really be MY time, you know? Bizarre and surreal. is this really happening in my life??? !

  • http://weddingdaysparklers.com/ Wedding Sparklers

    Love all the great ideas and guides you post. Thanks a million for all your hard work!

  • emma

    For months I’ve read happy hour comments (and years across APW articles) saying – “I got my dream job! I did x and am getting life together!” Friends, I am so PROUD that I worked hard and life/luck/timing worked out. I got my dream job, a 47% raise, a soon-ex-boss who pleaded with me to stay, a soon-to-be-old-job and environment I’m GLADLY leaving in 2 weeks, and to top it off a successful first sex therapy session this week. This community’s life successes big and small have motivated me to take the little steps which have put me on the path I want and worked for. OWNING my life right now! Thank you!

    • Anon

      Do mind sharing how you found your sex therapist?

  • Rose in SA

    Today/Friday was such a strange day. I woke up to find out that Nelson Mandela had died in the night. I felt a little sad but quite philosophical until I drove to work. The tributes on the radio made me quite weepy, then the flags outside the office were at half mast. Lots of emotional people at work. Everyone seemed a little dazed all day. We knew this was coming but still…I’m surprised by how emotional it is

  • MEM

    I’m working on hiring a friend to stage manage my belated reception. I want to pay her for this because it’s a lot of work and she’s a struggling theatre person, but neither of us are sure what a fair price would be- what have you all paid your stage managers?

    • Guest1

      I recently stage-managed a wedding, and was given a $250 gift card. We had not discussed her paying me beforehand, but it was SO MUCH work (which I was prepared for, given that it wasn’t the first wedding I’d coordinated), so that was a nice surprise. At the same time, the going rate for day-of coordinators in our area is ~$1-2k.

  • Alaina Bos

    Happy Hour is always my favorite place to get up to date on the internet! I just love it. On Holiday shopping, I really need to get on it so I’m stoked to read the guides.

    And congrats to Emma!! You’re rocking it :)

  • macrain

    Hey guys! I was wondering if anyone has a pre-marital counselor in the New York City area that they really like. My fiance and I are getting married in October and this has been on my to-do list for a while! Also, anyone want to share any experiences with pre-marital counseling? Did it help? Was it a big waste of time and money? Did your partner buy into it?

    • MEM

      we sort of did our own pre-marital counseling. we worked through the book “lifelong love” together. It was incredibly helpful but only because we both put 100% into it and believed in the value of it. We also went through an adult sexuality class together which helped us learn how to talk about everything related to sex and sexuality. Mostly all of that taught us how to say things and talk about awkward stuff before it becomes big stuff.

  • http://abasketcase.blogspot.com/ Basketcase

    First birthday in London? How epically awesome! Hope you had a wonderful time, the jetlag is easy to recover from and the first birthday party is fantastic.

    • Meg Keene

      Thanks :) It was pretty epically good, all in.

      • http://abasketcase.blogspot.com/ Basketcase

        :) I’m totally going to show this post to DH – I want to go to Rarotonga for LJ’s first birthday. Or at least Melbourne or Sydney or something, and DH is all keen to not travel overseas at all next year (making 2 years in a row no travel!). Rarotonga is nothing compared with the US to London for a birthday celebration.
        And dang, with PND, I’ve earnt that holiday. Might just go without him instead at this rate.

  • http://dressesandyarn.tumblr.com/ Natalie

    Hi folks! I started my new job and soon I’ll be saying “fuck you” to soul crushing poverty. The clients are great, my coworkers see clients as people just like themselves (a delightful departure from my previous experiences in social work), and I found out my boss’s boss is a friend of my partner. And now that my schedule is set and I even have enough time to get a part time job to make some extra money so we never find ourselves in this situation again. My mom is here and it’s so comforting to get to see her. I’m making dress appointments this week so I can start getting a feel for how things look on me. Still, I found something nice and cheap and IN MY SIZE on ASOS and I may just get that.

  • Meaghan

    did I totally miss any opportunity for discussing The Circle? Because I read it yesterday and it was awesome… although all the SUPER OBVIOUS literary symbolism made me feel a bit like I was reading a high school english class book instead of David Eggers… but oh well.