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APW Happy Hour


The post-Alt, pre #selfie month edition!

by Maddie Eisenhart, Digital Director & Style Editor

APW Happy Hour | A Practical Wedding

Hey apw,

I was jealous that Lucy got to host last week’s Happy Hour, so I asked Meg if I could pop in and say hello to everyone today. (Hello APW, I miss you!) After last week’s whirlwind trip to Alt Summit, this week has been spent catching up on snuggles with my dog, going out to “sorry I’ve been so busy this month” dinners with Michael, finally succumbing and binge-watching two-and-a-half seasons of Girls, and making the most of what we learned last week while it’s still fresh in my brain. Which reminds me, if daily posts don’t give you enough of your APW fix, you can follow us on Facebook or on our newly launched Instagram platform (our handle is @APWTeam). There have been some really interesting conversations happening on both accounts, but particularly on Instagram where we’ve launched an #APWEntrepreneurship series of discussions about women, work, and the state of the internet. And if you’re lucky, there’s even some behind-the-scenes action from us staffers.

Now it’s back to work for me, but for you it’s Happy Hour! So hop on it.

Cheers,
Maddie

Highlights of APW This Week

This post on marrying down is just so good. Go read it if you missed it. (And the subsequent discussion about how society approaches ambition differently in men and women is damn good.)

Do the Google results for “Fruit Centerpieces” make your eyes bleed? Here is our take.

It’s Elisabeth’s last post as an intern (sniffle.) But she goes out with a bang on brilliant post about body politics and weddings.

Need help on what to look for in a venue?

This wedding and this one.

You guys, I found a way to put the “Shoes” song on APW. Would it be gauche if I clapped for myself? Anyway, we thought you might want some help shopping for wedding flats (because you don’t need heels in a floor length gown, you just don’t). But the comments win for best suggestions this week.

And the tearjerker comment of the week goes to…

Link Roundup

Let’s start with the APW team’s manifesto for 2014: The Complete Guide To Not Giving A Fuck. “Those who don’t give a fuck change the world. The rest do not.” Must read.

The revolution will not be printed on a thong. (I feel sort of dubious about all the shade being thrown at efforts toward progress, no matter how small the steps may be. But apparently I’m the only one.)

In shameless self-promotion: our own Emily’s T’s roundup of ten amazing podcasts done by women.

NFL cheerleading is a scam. Like, an actual scam.

I have watched Vin Diesel’s dance moves no fewer than five times this week. I have. No words.

Then when I was done with that, I watched this Full House reunion on repeat (I am not embarrassed to admit that this was my childhood.)

Are blogs dead? Design Sponge’s “State of the Blog” is a smart, insightful commentary on the constantly shifting sands of online media.

Want your head to explode? Read this. And the best response to it.

A signal boost for Sophia Banks, whose stunning photography business is under attack by transphobic feminists.

Toddlers love selfies too! Damn right they do! And, signs that selfie prohibition may be upon us. Poor toddlers.

Turning the online bullying of women into art.

Thumbnail image by Sweet Monday Photography

APW’s 2014 Happy Hour’s are sponsored by Monogamy Wine. Thank you Monogamy for helping make the APW mission possible! if you want to learn more about monogamy (and possibly win birthday treats), head over here and sign up for their newsletter.

Maddie Eisenhart

Maddie is the Managing Editor of A Practical Wedding. She’s been writing stories about boys and crushes since she was old enough to form shapes into words, but received her formal training (and a BS) in the art of talking from NYU in 2008. In her spare time, she takes pictures of people in love. Maddie lives on a pony farm in the Bay Area with her husband Michael, her Mastiff named Juno, and her roommate named Joe.

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  • Karlee

    Happy Friday! I’ve been a lurker for almost one full year now!

    I’m here looking for some travel advice, and I hope you ladies have some input! My boyfriend is traveling out to the west coast (we’re from NY) for a month-long car/ski adventure starting late February. I am going to fly out and visit him on our first official mini-vacation! I fly into Medford, OR late Wednesday night, then fly out of Sacramento, CA on Monday night (yay, red-eye flights!). We have 1.5 days of driving down the coast/US-1, 1.5 days in San Francisco, 1 day in the Lake Tahoe area, and 1 day of skiing at Squaw Valley. Any recommendation for fun things to do/great places to eat? We’re really looking forward to driving down the coast and finding cool places to explore. Cities aren’t really our thing, but we figured since we’re going to be going right through San Francisco, we have to check it out! And we want to find some cool trails in the Lake Tahoe area to hike and picnic. We know it’s sort of a short trip with everything crammed in, but I can’t afford to miss too much work. And I had a free flight. So why not visit my boyfriend while he is on a 45-day personal leave of absence from work and living his childhood dream of driving across the country, crashing on couches, and skiing?! So any recommendations for things to do on any part of our mini-vacation are welcome J

    • http://rationalcreature.com/ Amy

      I have nothing to contribute, but I just want to say: dang, that sounds awesome!

    • ElisabethJoanne

      Bay Area native here! Assuming you don’t go south of San Francisco –

      Any hike in the redwoods will be amazing! Look online for “Humboldt Redwoods.” Also, any hike along the beach/dunes/cliffs between Medford and San Francisco will take your breath away.

      In San Francisco – Mexican in the Mission District is a must. Basically any place. To get away from the uber-urban environment, head to Golden Gate Park. There’s an AIDS Memorial (redwood) Grove, Rose Garden, world-class and expensive art and science museums. The art museum is the deYoung, and you can go to the top of the tower for views of the city and Golden Gate. Also great views, as well as beach cliff walks, in Lincoln Park around the Legion of Honor art museum and heading towards Lands End and Ocean Beach. Heading in the other direction, my husband and I really like snacking at the Ferry Building.

      We’re going to Sacramento for Valentine’s. I’m looking forward to seeing the cathedral and the art museum.

    • NicoleT

      Check out the restaurants from Food Network’s The Best Thing I Ever Ate. There’s a map of all of them somewhere on the internet so you can decide via location (you may also be able to sort via price as well, but I’m not positive on that).
      Also, the Winchester House is really awesome and close-ish to San Fran. I’ve always wanted to go and I’ve heard it’s awesome! Have fun!

    • p.

      A few ideas North of SF

      North Coast brewery in Ft. Bragg for a beer

      Point Reyes – 45 minutes (?) north of San Francisco has good food (oyster shacks along Highway 1 or Osteria Stellina in town), farms, lovely beaches (Limatour is one of my favorites) and great hiking (you can hike part of the coastal trail from Limatour beach or head out on a variety of hikes from the visitors center).

      Tahoe is gorgeous and well worth a trip if you have the time (South short is considered a little, uh, less classy than the North and West shores) but I can’t imagine hiking in the snow/cold!

      In Sacramento, Magpie Cafe has good food. My sister, who now lives there, likes Mulvaney’s.

      In SF (where I live)
      I second the suggestion to go to Golden Gate Park (I like to take people to see the bison) and the view from the DeYoung Museum in the park is terrific. Baker beach or Crissy Field are lovely places to walk with great views of the Golden Gate Bridge.

      I also love doing neighborhood walks in SF — you get a feel for what makes each neighborhood unique, plus so many SF neighborhoods have great little stairway walks. (Bernal Hill and Seward Street both have slides!).

      A few things I think SF does well (or things that you may not be able to get in other areas)
      Coffee (I’m partial to Blue Bottle)
      Mexican food (Nopalito or Primavera at the Ferry Building farmers market on Saturday)
      Ice cream (BiRite or Humphry Slocombe)
      Beer (look for local breweries like Anchor Steam, Lagunitas, Bear Republic, Almanac)

  • M.

    The response to that xoJane “article” is everything.

    We’re sending out our Glovites tonight!!! I am so excited to see people start to RSVP. I have no nerves, no stress, just want to get married and party!

    We also made two “decision-fatigue” decisions this week: added brownies and cookies to our catering order instead of getting an outside wedding cake we’d have to pick up, and chose a couple flowers to order from Blooms by the Box to make my bouquet, instead of making trip to the store the day before. Stress is mellltting away. Happy weekend all!

    • Jessica

      The top comment on the xoJane article is perfection.

      I don’t think I’ve ever eye rolled harder at an Overly Concerned White Person article before. “Tastefully tacky sports bra.” Holy crap.

      Woo! Have fun with getting responses!

      • M.

        My eyes still hurt.

      • Shiri

        I keep going to “exactly”/up vote this and realizing I’ve already done it. The tacky sports bra. Good god.

      • BreckW

        That line was truly gag-inducing.

    • Kayjayoh

      I hadn’t read the article until now and… o.O

      • M.

        Right?!

        • Kayjayoh

          I’m pretty sure the author of the original article will be invited to have a seat.

    • NicoleT

      Check out the comments on the response to the xoJane article! Some completely dense person didn’t realize it was satire and went off on the author, resulting in everyone just taking her down (minus one other clueless soul). It’s great!

      • Class of 1980

        Actually, I just saw the original article and asked in the comments if IT was satire. ;)

        • NicoleT

          Haha, too bad it wasn’t!

          • Class of 1980

            A commenter wrote back saying they thought they had stumbled onto The Onion.

    • KC

      So, yes, the xoJane article is… over the top.

      But what exactly *does* a person do with realizing that they’re part of the “majority” who is unintentionally making someone feel like they’re in the wrong place – despite that someone being actually welcome? (for instance, where the someone is the one person at the party whose definition of “casual dress” is totally different from what everyone else is wearing but the didn’t realize that until they showed up; race; gender; “size”; ability).

      I remember being incredibly embarrassed to show up to an drop-in dance class wearing the “wrong” thing, despite being the “right” height and shape and all that. I can’t imagine being the only person at a yoga class who doesn’t have prior experience and who isn’t wearing the “uniform” and who’s a different and usually negatively-judged race and size to boot – that sounds like a potentially potently miserable experience. And one I’d prefer to avoid inducing in others! Or that I’d at least like to ameliorate in any way possible.

      • Amy

        Well, the problem with that article was the assumption that the African American woman was so incredibly uncomfortable anyway. Maybe she was stressed about something else. Maybe she was thinking, “Damn, turns out I hate yoga after all.” The writer looked at her and assumed that because she was chubby and not white that she couldn’t possibly be comfortable in the class. Maybe the woman didn’t need any kind of rescuing in the first place. But to answer you question, I think the proper response is a smile and hello and then just to let the person get back to her workout. Spare the pity.

        • KC

          Indeed, as I read the article, I was briefly wondering whether any visual discomfort was because she’d, say, realized this really wasn’t going to work with her slipped disc, but couldn’t easily get out of the room due to other peoples’ mat positions (or felt it would be impolite to leave before the class was over).

          But the author’s realization that the diversity in her “totally welcoming” environment really doesn’t at all match the expected diversity levels indicates there might be something at least slightly askew somewhere in the “totally welcoming” environment? (although it could be as simple as the classes representing “neighborhood” diversity levels instead of “city-wide” diversity levels)

          And yeah, I remember having a shock of discomfort due to suddenly realizing I was the only female in the room for a (not small) class, but that settled pretty quickly over the sessions of the class with the guys in that class not making a big thing out of it and not particularly excluding me, so the hello-and-smile inclusion routine sounds reasonable. (some other only-female-in-the-room situations, though, were not so pleasant, even with nice guys – it can be challenging to be the odd one out even if they’re not being deliberate jerks about it in more substantively social situations)

    • Improvised Bride

      The xoJane piece took my breath away. xoJane in general gives me rage issues, but that drivel took it to an entirely new level. I think my favorite response is this one on HuffPo, framed as a response and beautifully done: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/maya-rupert/an-open-letter-to-the-whi_b_4692049.html

      (I know the author, but she didn’t ask me to share it and I don’t get anything from it; if you hate HuffPo’s click-bait ways [they’re super annoying], be warned)

      • Class of 1980

        That piece was excellent … said everything I was thinking was wrong with the original article. And it was kind also.

  • http://rationalcreature.com/ Amy
  • Lindsey d.

    It’s Friday after the shortest work week ever! My offices were shut down Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday due to all the crazy, icy weather down south. I’m in Louisiana and I have to say I’m glad we were more prepared than Atlanta and Birmingham. Woah, the horror stories…

    In wedding news — My fiance brought the invites to the post office today! And I have a hair run through tomorrow. I hope my long, straight hair can get all Veronica-Lake-fancy in just an hour! If not, I’ll have to come up with a backup plan.

    • Emily Ardoin

      I live in Louisiana too! Where are y’all getting married? I’ve been looking at venues, but nothing has really jumped at me yet.

      • Lindsey d.

        We’re getting married in St. Francisville at Temple Sinai, a tiny little former Jewish synagogue (my fiance is Jewish) in downtown there. Reception locations were limited, but we are going with the Cottage at the Bluffs. Where are you?

        • Emily Ardoin

          I’m in Lafayette but my fiancee-to-be is in New Orleans. I’d love to do something in that area, but everything is just SO expensive.

          • Lindsey d.

            One of the coolest venues I’ve been to in LA is the Victorian in Broussard. I could see St. Francisville being a good option for y’all, since it’s sort of in the middle. This is our ceremony venue – http://psverbois.zenfolio.com/p1010993062/h5561AB9A#h5561ab9a – which is now just a de-consecrated community venue. I don’t know much about New Orleans, though…

          • Emily Ardoin

            The Victorian is actually on the top of our list! (Well.. J likes the Louisiana castle, but I’m thinking thats a BIT too grand for my taste haha!) Our families are from around here so it would be easy for everyone. BTW, I love the look of that temple. It’s so cozy.. I can see it making for a really meaningful ceremony.

          • Lindsey d.

            I am exceedingly excited about our ceremony. Our reception will be fun, but probably a little bland, which is fine, since I think our ceremony will be amazing.

            The Victorian is super cool. They have a great dance floor and a awesome custom tent that perfectly fits the house (like, fills the nooks and crannies). The inside is pretty and well laid out and I loved the little nook on the porch my boyfriend (now fiance) found to cozy up and take a break from the fun for awhile.

            HOW have I never heard of the Louisiana Castle before? I just googled it. That is insane! If you are interested in something in that direction, a friend had her reception (10 years ago) at the Abita Quail Farm and it was really neat.

          • Emily Ardoin

            Ohhh that looks beautiful!

          • Lindsey d.

            Good luck with your search! keep posting here; I’d love to follow your progress. When are y’all aiming for? (I know that without a venue it’s impossible to nail down a specific date).

          • Emily Ardoin

            We don’t have a date nailed down yet.. more of a hypothetical time. My brother is getting married in August 2015, so we are shooting for 2016. Plenty of time to look, for sure, but I just can’t help myself haha!

          • Lindsey d.

            HOW have I not seen the Louisiana Castle? That’s insane… If you are looking in that direction, a friend got married at the Abita Quail Farm ten years ago and it was lovely.

            Our ceremony will hopefully be amazing, which is great, since I know our reception will be a little bland (no barn, mason jars, personalized place settings, amazing view, etc). But a good party, I hope.

  • June

    Happy Friday! The post on choosing a vendor was immensely helpful, and I LOVED Elizabeth’s post about body politics. Elizabeth, your post really struck a chord with me, so thank you.

    I just booked an appointment to try on dresses at JCrew in a few weeks, and the salesperson told me on the phone that their samples sizes are all “8”s. Eek! I wear a 12 normally. I thought sample sizes were supposed to be big enough for all kinds of people to try on??? I’m probably not going to be able to get anything over my hips! Le sigh.

    So…can anyone recommend any reasonably-priced wedding dress shops in the DC/Northern Virginia area? We’re also going to Nordstroms.

    • Meg Keene

      Go back to this post for lots of information on dress shopping/ sizing/ and why their samples are probably an 8, and how to roll with it: http://apracticalwedding.com/2014/01/plus-sized-wedding-dress-shopping/ You totally don’t have to be plus sized for that post to be helpful. Also, this one is a must read pre-shopping: http://apracticalwedding.com/2013/10/apw-guide-to-wedding-dress-shopping/

      • June

        Awesome!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    • Becky

      June — I got my dress at Rosalin’s Bridal in Falls Church. I am also a street size 12, and I found that the samples there all fit me fairly well (better than other shops), or at least well enough to see how they would look – I think that we actually ordered my dress in the same size as the sample. I also thought the gowns were more reasonably priced than at many of the other shops in this area. It’s a little more of a hole in the wall, but I thought service there was great.

      • June

        Thanks, Becky! I will look into Rosalin’s Bridal!

    • AnotherK

      I got my dress at TLC Bridal in Frederick, MD, and it was hands-down the best shopping experience I’ve ever had. The salespeople are both awesome and low-pressure, and they carry a variety of sizes and prices. I can’t say enough good things about them!

    • Christina McPants

      It’s not in DC/NoVA, but I Do, I Do in Fredericksburg is a great consignment / outlet bridal store.

    • Superfantastic

      I tried on the 8s at J Crew in Georgetown and none of them would zip (I was probably between a 10 and 12 at the time) but they were close enough to give me an idea of how they would look. I did sort of get stuck trying to get into one that had to go over my head, but my friend came in and helped. I loved how low pressure they were. The saleswoman started to write down the information about the dress I liked for me so I could call back if I wanted to order it, but I just ordered it on the spot and then we went to lunch at Serendipity.

      • June

        This is so reassuring. I immediately had visions of getting wedged into a dress and being stuck in it forever, so thanks! Also, I love the idea of going to Serendipity afterwards :)

  • KEA1

    I am struggling (constantly) with a writing project that is probably better than I give myself credit for, but is terrifying/paralyzing me over the prospect of not being good enough. And I’m beating myself up even more for not being able to shut down those internal perfectionist voices. And man. That is some effed up shizz.

    On the plus side, date night tonight. It’s not helping me write, but that’s okay. ;)

    • Meg Keene

      The Complete Guide To Not Giving A Fuck is clearly your #1 piece of required reading for the day.

      • KEA1

        hahahahahahaha–how did you know that that was the *first* link I clicked when I opened the Happy Hour post? :) And it was every bit as brilliant as I’d hoped it would be.

  • Ali M.

    I haven’t been around for happy hour in ages! Happy friday, everyone! I have two advice-based questions to crowd source today. Getting married in just under 4 months – aaahhh!
    So. 1. Spanx-like undergarments. Any recommendations? I’m pretty small, just would feel better with everything tucked & smoothed. Never worn them before, so probably have a low tolerance for uncomfortable-ness.
    2. I’ve read probably every post about this, but would love to hear some real-time experiences/advice. Starting to freak out in the area of “i’m 24 what the hell am I doing getting married, I am a child.” I know it’s just cold feet, but would love to hear some reassuringness.

    • Lindsey d.

      As long as you buy the appropriate size, your Spanx or similar shouldn’t be uncomfortable. Problems start when you buy them too small. Also, the split crotch type is intimidating, but really quite useful.

    • MC

      I am also 24 and can definitely sympathize with the “what the hell am I doing” feelings even though I love my partner and am really excited to marry him. Our wedding is 6 months earlier than we had initially talked about, and when we were deciding to move it up one of the things I said to a friend was, “I can’t get married before I turn 25! That just seems crazy!” She pointed out to me that 6 months in my age won’t make a difference, and it’s not like once I turn 25, or 30, that I will be magically zapped with extra maturity. I try to focus less on the age and more on how lucky I feel that we are already together and in love, I don’t have to date anymore (thank God), we get a tax break, etc.

    • KC

      On 1, go somewhere and try things on; get the one that is not falling off you but that does allow you to breathe. Then try wearing it some regular day before the wedding under your normal clothes and see how it goes.
      On 2, in what way do you feel like a child? People used to get married as teenagers, straight out of their parents’ houses (or into their parents’ houses, in some cases, until a new house was built on a farm extension, etc.).
      If you’ve done several of the following (not necessarily all):
      1. finished college
      2. made a reasonably major purchasing decision of some kind (what apartment to rent; what car to buy, even what vacuum cleaner, etc.)
      3. filed your own taxes
      4. acquired a job
      5. worked a full-time or full-time-ish job
      6. managed to handle scheduling your own medical appointments or oil changes or handle your laundry or nutrition to some degree of competence

      Anyway, if you’ve managed at least a few of those, then it’s hard to argue you’re totally a child. :-) (I admit, I still don’t feel like a grownup, and we’ve been married *mumble* years and I’m *gasp* over 30. So I get the feeling.) Adults are allowed to get excited about snow/sprinkles/pink-boots and do not have to have read the full canon of Grownup Literature.

      If there’s something specific you can pin down about feeling like a child that has something remotely to do with marriage (i.e. you don’t feel like you’re willing to argue without, say, biting the other person or calling them names), then sort that out. And if, in the process of figuring that out, you find something else that *is* a definite reason why you should not get married right now (or should not get married to this person right now), then sure. But otherwise… yeah. You learn stuff after marriage, too. Pretty much up until you die, from what I’ve heard. So if you wait until you’re “done” growing up, that’s not really going to work out so well. :-)

      • M.

        “Adults are allowed to get excited about snow/sprinkles/pink-boots and do not have to have read the full canon of Grownup Literature.” You win. Love it.

        • Caroline

          That’s one thing I love about my partner, he reminds me that grownups can still be like kids inside. So when we were walking in our neighborhood today in our nice clothes (button down shirt for him, silk skirt and pearls for me), you bet we raced to climb to the top of the giant (like 20 foot?) granite rock in a park we found. (I won, and therefore was Queen of the Rock). We have a soap dispenser shaped like a whale from the kids section at target because I knew he would love it. (and so do I). And I sleep with more stuffed animals in the bed as a grownup than I did as a kid (my partner absolutely adores stuffed animals).

          • M.

            :D I love this. We are the same way and it’s one of the great joys of my relationship, that as a 28-year-old woman I get to play and let the kid in me come out <3 (We have stuffed animals too!)

      • Caitlin_DD

        Thank you for sharing this. I’d love to meet an adult who actually feels like they have arrived at being a grown-up…has yet to happen. I think we all need to hear this at some point in our lives.

    • YOQ

      No advice on 1, but on 2, I think the key thing to remember is that it takes a while to mentally “grow into” big role changes. I taught elementary school for a couple years after undergrad, and I Could. Not. Believe. that parents would leave their children with me all day, every day, with nobody looking over my shoulder to make sure I was doing it right. The first time I gave a lecture in a college course, I was flabbergasted to realize people were actually TAKING NOTES on what I said. And so on, really, through every major change. I was perfectly qualified to be teaching kids, and lecturing, and everything–my self-image just hadn’t quite caught up.

    • Laura

      I’m having the same “too young” thoughts at 30, so don’t let age get in the way. I think freaking out (for whatever reason) is normal and expected and totally valid. It’s completely valid to ask and discuss the “am I too young” or “is this the right time” question. It’s best to ask the question when you’re not emotionally frazzled though. One of the ways I check myself is an old tried-and-true addiction counselor trick:

      When you start to freak out HALT and make sure you aren’t too
      Hungry
      Angry
      Lonely
      Tired

      Any of these can seriously impair your rational judgement, so if you ARE asking that question, ask it when you are feeling like your best self (for example, I am my best self when I first wake up on a morning I don’t have to work, after I’ve had coffee and some breakfast. I am NOT my best self after a long day of work before I’ve had supper).

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

      OMG here are some fluffy socks for your feet! I am 23, got engaged on my 23rd birthday, and am getting married June 7 (just about four months too!) and will be 24 years and one month when we get married. I’m feeling it too :) 24 just sounded so much better than 23 to me, ha. My partner is 37, so we’ve got a big gap…

      It’s a huge transition no matter what age, but especially at ours, so its totally okay to have those feelings. Thank you for bringing this up! I have loved reading the “getting married young” posts on APW.

    • Caroline

      1. Buy a big enough size. They should smooth you without having to buy a size that is too small, and if you buy a size too small, it’s not good for your health. That is, if they aren’t smoothing as much as you want, go up to something that is stronger, rather than down a size. No real recs, I just went to target, tried on everything in my size and budget and bought the cheapest option that felt comfy (ish, they do squeeze you some), and was in my budget.
      2. I can so relate sometimes. I’m 23, and will be 24 when I get married. Most of the time, I’m really secure and certain about marrying my partner. I was having some doubts for a little while, but talking with my rabbi was really helpful and help settled those. But sometimes, I just feel too young to be getting married, even though I’m sure I want to marry him. When my sister called my partner her brother-in-law to-be, I was like “What the what??” Clearly we are too young to be having brothers in law, and then I realized she will. (note, I’ve been calling my partner’s sister my sister-in-law for 6 years). The first time I tried on wedding dresses, I just felt way too young. But I know that I want to marry him, and frankly, I feel frequently too young to have a wedding, but not too young to be married to my beloved partner in life.

  • Grace

    Well, I’m subscribing to ten new podcasts now. Well, nine, actually – I’m already in love with Throwing Shade. I’m probably going to need to drive around way more or actually start working out.
    Two more women-run podcasts that I love are Oh No Ross and Carrie (skeptic friends Ross and Carrie join religious groups, undergo alternative medical treatments and therapies, visit psychics, etc.) and Pop Culture Happy Hour (NPS’s Linda Holmes and all her NPR buddies discuss…pop culture). Probably my two favorite podcasts. Everyone listen to them and be happy.

    • Ali

      Pop Culture Happy Hour is the best. They literally end each show by talking about What’s Making Them Happy This Week. So much to love!

    • NicoleT

      I’ll have to give those a shot! Do you listen to Welcome to Nightvale?

  • Jane Patterson-McGuire

    Wow, Sophia Banks work is awesome, and I hope she is able to succesfully sue the vindictive TERFs trying to hurt her. (She is hardly their first victim, as well.)

    The fact that APW staff has her back is part of why I am so happy to be here.

  • Anonymous

    Hey all, I was wondering today if anyone in the NYC area has recommendations for good marriage or couples counselors? I’m interested in learning how to argue more constructively – my husband and I have really opposite styles and I think it causes extra conflict. I get really angry easily and he’s of the passive aggressive style. I think it might be a good idea for me or us to talk to someone (or read something? Other suggestions are helpful) but I don’t know where to start. I figured the wise ladies of APW would have some helpful ideas. I just want more tools to deal with stuff before our lives get *really* stressful (i.e. we have a kid).

    • macrain

      I need the exact same thing. I asked a while back and got some helpful book suggestions, but no names of actual marriage counselors. I’m also in NYC.

      • anonymous

        Do you mind sharing the book suggestions?

    • JSwen

      If you have health insurance, I’d recommend looking through your provider. I’ve seen some “couples counselors” get so niche that they don’t even carry a license anymore. We’re going to seek one out for pre-wedding counseling.

  • Kristie

    Hooray! Happy Friday! I’m looking for some advice from you lovely ladies about shapewear! I’m looking for some good shapewear to go under my fit and flare dress, and a good quality bra that will work under a dress with both a low cut V neck and a relatively low back (extra points for strapless!). I’ve seen the one from Victoria’s Secret that criss-crosses around the body, but I’m worried about the quality since I’ve gotten some convertable bras from them before and they were poor quality. I appreciate any help you guys have to offer!!

    • Shiri

      Do you have a good/real/not VS lingerie shop you can go to to try bras on? That made a huge difference for me, under my dress. If not, Bare Necessities has a huge selection and a great return policy. I think fit and all that will really depend on size/body shape.

    • Lizzy

      I found a local corset/lingerie shop and got a longline bra. Such places like this can even customize them to your exact specifications. The one I ended up getting had a really low back and a moderate sweetheart. It may even help with your shapewear, if it goes far enough down your body. The shop I went to let me bring in my dress to make sure everything fit correctly and was hidden correctly and everything. Good luck!

    • http://cuvikingadventures.blogspot.ca/ Jenny/Adventures Along the Way

      I have ordered a few bras off of Bare Necessities and had a good experience.

  • Kayjayoh

    I’m kind of excited. Last night I commissioned a piece of jewelry from Elise Matthesen, one of my favorite jewelry artists, someone who doesn’t usually take commissions. She liked my proposal and will make the piece when she’s in town for WisCon. (It’s a companion piece to something else she made.) Yay! It will be a pendant made to accompany a pair of earrings I got from her a couple of years ago, and I will get to wear them to my wedding.

    Also, my fiance and I are going to have discussions on where we will have our rehearsal dinner, what specifically are Boston-area apartment parameters are going to be, and pick out his wedding ring. …Then we go to roller-derby.

    For those who remember my dilemma, I did also ask him if it would be ok to use one of his family rings to make into something a little more me. I think it may be ok. :)

    • Crayfish Kate

      Yay! Glad to hear he’s coming around to a ring that’s more you!

  • K.

    I reached out to a DJ with a pricing inquiry (because I have no idea what the running rate for DJs would be and wanted to budget — spoiler: more than you think. I was up front with them about that)

    I’m up to my damn eyeballs in frustration because they have texted me literally EVERY OTHER DAY urging me to book for my June 2015 (!) wedding or I’d lose them. Even if I were interested in booking now, they definitely lost my interest with their insanely hounding marketing techniques, blech.

    Otherwise, we got our venues and photographer all squared away. Meeting with (high demand) florists in March and then I think we’re smooth sailing for a good 6 months. I love planning ahead of time, ahhh.

    • macrain

      That is so frustrating. Why is it that vendors are either crazy obsessed with you or NEVER call you back or return emails? Worst!

    • Lindsey d.

      Ugh, I’m having this problem with movers right now. When I say I have all the information I need and I will call if I want to hire you, it means DON’T CALL ME! Also, dude at work today trying to sell me on media monitoring, if I say I’m really slammed and can’t talk, it means say goodbye! I’m not hating on salespeople. I love salespeople who know their stuff, but if I clearly tell you that I don’t want the hard sale, you’re just killing your chances by continuing to bug me!

    • JSwen

      Yes, I’ve learned to end every discussion with a possible vendor by saying, “thank you for the information. we aren’t going to make a decision for several more weeks and I will contact you when we do.” I have been getting an e-contract notification daily from one DJ. Overboard.

    • NicoleT

      I had a caterer do that to me (along with telling me that I wasn’t taking my wedding seriously enough…some part of me still wants to put the smack down on him). My thoughts on situations like this are just telling them to bugger off. If they’re annoying you now when you’re (relatively) not stressed out, just think about what they have the potential to do to your mental state when you get closer to the wedding. I believe that even if you don’t particularly like the personalities of your vendors, they should be good at their jobs and not make your life difficult. Someone bugging me constantly about stuff when I’ve told them to leave off qualifies as making my life difficult.

    • Laura

      I had that same experience with a DJ. I finally said, (in nicer terms) “buzz off. I have your contact info. I’ll tel you when we’re ready. If I lose you it’s my own damn fault.”

  • macrain

    I asked this last week but I think I missed the happy hour boat: Has anyone had their mom walk them down the aisle? My reason: my dad is our officiant and it just seems silly to have someone else stand in for him while he walks me down the aisle. Has anyone done this? Thoughts? The more I think about it, the more I get REALLY excited about the idea!
    Also- I don’t know if anyone else is feeling like this, but I’ve decided after my fiance and I register this weekend I’m taking a much needed wedding BREAK. I keep worrying if I step away from the wedding something bad will happen and I’ve burnt myself out. I need a break. If you need a break too, please take it! Breaks are good!

    • granola

      I think having your mom walk you down the aisle with your dad as officiant would be RAD.

    • Sara P

      Your mom walking you down the aisle would be awesome!!

    • M.

      My dad is my officiant too, and my mom is walking me down the aisle :) It’s perfect for us because they divorced when I was young and I grew up just me and her at home. She raised me. Even if that’s not your case, of COURSE it’s okay and amazing and exciting! Go for it. She’ll love it.

      • macrain

        I love it! I just love the idea as a way to honor my mom- she deserves it.
        Thanks for sharing!

    • MC

      I’ve definitely heard of people doing this – lots of people walk down the aisle with both parents, brothers, mothers, whoever feels natural. If you’re really excited about it, I say do it!

      Funny you mention taking wedding breaks – my fiance ordered me to take a week off after we send out our save-the-dates tomorrow. I am VERY much looking forward to it :)

    • Lindsey d.

      I think it sounds great. Have your dad give you a big hug when you and your mom reach him.

    • Jacquelyn

      My mom walked me down the aisle and my dads (bio/step) walked down separately just before the flower girls. It worked super well and was personal. Go for it!

    • Rachael

      Sounds like a great idea! I had both parents walk me down the aisle. My mom was thrilled to be included.

    • Shiri

      Sounds so great to me! Both my parents walked me down the aisle (it’s Jewish tradition) and the non-Jews at our ceremony didn’t bat an eye! I love the hug idea, above, too.

    • Kristie

      I think it sounds awesome! And so sweet! Remember, it’s your wedding, so do what feels right for you!
      And yes yes yes take a break! The wedding planning will still be there when you come back.

    • ART

      We’ve had to have a couple wedding-free weekends when things got too…much. breaks are good.

    • Laura

      Wedding planning breaks are great!

      As far as mom walking you down the aisle, I’ve had a few friends do it and it worked out great! I also had a friend who wanted mom to walk down the isle but mom didn’t want to because she wanted to be at the front watching daughter come down. So I say, ask your mom!

  • ElisabethJoanne

    My husband is awake! Apparently his surgery went well and the staff was nice to him. Of course they were, after Dr. Mom bugged them after they told him the wrong time to show up. As I’ve mentioned in the past, I hate to think how all this would have gone down if my family weren’t so well-informed and well-connected. (My mother is a surgeon who frequently works at the surgery center.)

    And, it looks like Obamacare covered the whole thing, less a $600 premium payment. (He went on a platinum plan just for the surgery.) And, our health insurance with my now job is all lined up to start tomorrow. We even have our cards already – which is very good, ’cause I need more birth control pills this weekend.

    Except…at least in California, as far as I can tell, no erectile dysfunction medications are a standard benefit with Obamacare (and consequently most non-Obamacare plans). They’re a “specialty drug” requiring pre-authorization hoops. Without insurance coverage, we were quoted $1,200 for 30 Cialis pills at the pharmacy yesterday.

    • jashshea

      Glad to “hear” he’s made it through. Sending positive thoughts your way.

    • Emmers

      So glad that it looks like most of the surgery will be covered!

  • BreckW

    Personal finance lovelies… I paid of my credit card today!! Huge weight off of my shoulders!

    In other news, I love The Complete Guide to Not Giving a Fuck, I’m making this deliciousness for dinner, and we booked tickets to go to London this summer! Any early recs on what to do/see/eat/drink there?

    • M.

      GO YOU!!! YESSSS!!!! Proud of you lady! Eff credit card debt!

      • BreckW

        Thank you, M!! It’s a weird feeling–I didn’t even realize the stress associated with it that I was dragging around… Now just student loans and my car (BARF).

        • M.

          Barf, indeed. But we are getting there!

    • Emily Ardoin

      CONGRATS! That’s a huge accomplishment!

      • BreckW

        Thank you! It was not a small amount when I got my financial head on straight, so I’m super excited to have it taken care of :D!

    • Lindsey d.

      Congrats! And I want to hear the London recommendations. We are considering that for our honeymoon.

    • jashshea

      Went there for the one year anni last fall. Not recommended? Spraining your ankle on your anniversary.

      I *just* typed something up to send to a friend who’s going in a few weeks, so here you go (apologies for the editorial comments and weird formatting):

      For food:

      For breakfast pretty much every day, we just stopped
      at Tesco Express (mini grocery store) and grabbed sandwiches.

      · The Harp near Covent Garden – Good beer list,only serve sausages

      · BiBamBap
      – Soho (http://bibimbapsoho.co.uk/) Korean. Loved this place.

      · The Blackfriar – Traditional pub food, part of a large chain of “british pubs”. Food was solid.

      · George Inn – Southbank/Southwark. Go here if you catch some nice evening weather – Super old pub, tons of outside seating.

      · Tapas Brindisa – Southbank, near Borough Market. This was excellent. We sat outside so we could people watch.

      · Pho – Soho http://www.phocafe.co.uk/locations/soho This was really good, but if you’re craving Asian in this neighborhood, I’d go with BiBamBap.

      · The Chandos – Covent Garden. Good traditional british food.

      · Best thing we ate was meat pies @Borough Market, Southbank near the Shard and the
      actual London Bridge: http://www.pieminister.co.uk/eat-at/markets/

      Stuff to do:

      · London Eye (Champagne Experience was worth the extra $$) Good pictures on a clear day

      · Buckingham Palace & Changing of the guard if you’ve never seen it, but it’s only on certain days and we couldn’t make it work

      · Museums/Galleries are cheap/free and quite good (I’m not an art museum person, much as I’d like to be, one or two over five days is good enough for me)

      o Tate Modern is very out there artistically but the location and the building itself are worth the hike

      o National Gallery is a typical art museum

      · Tower of London

      · St Paul’s Cathedral – Go to the top of the spire

      · River tour (we went all the way to Greenwich, but you can stop anywhere)

      · Westminster Abbey

      · Spitalfields Market for shopping/drinks/food; nearby Brick Lane has a high concentration of Indian/SE Asian food options)

      · If you have any Jack the Ripper enthusiasts –the JTR tour in Whitechapel is fun

      · Churchill war rooms were awesome

      · Imperial War Museum was also awesome

      · If you catch a REALLY nice day, skip all the inside stuff and get a picnic together and go to a park

      · Stonehenge is a day trip (for history nerds)

      · Canterbury is a day trip (for literary nerds)

      · Windsor Castle/Eton are a day trip (for royalty nerds)

      • BreckW

        Thank you for this! We’re taking a longish trip since that’s how the tickets shook out, so I’m hoping we can spend a few days doing those excursions out to Stonehenge and Windsor Castle. We’re also planning on seeing Arcade Fire while we’re there, so this is basically shaping up to be the best trip everrr (3 R’s = very necessary).

        • jashshea

          Enjoy! We only had 5 days this time, but I’d been before several times, so I’d done many of the big tourist items. My husband and I are MOSTLY the same kind of nerdy, so I knew what we could skip this go-round (changing of the guards would bore him to tears) and what we had to hit (everything to do with Churchill).

          • BreckW

            The last (and only) time I’ve gone I was 12, so I’m excited to do the touristy things again but with fresh eyes and a stomach full of beer :).

      • Lindsey d.

        I second the thanks! Now I really want to go!

      • Winny the Elephant

        Can I ask where you stayed? My fiancé and I want to go there so badly but all of the hotels seem SUPER expensive compared to everywhere else I’ve been or they are really run down. In Paris, we could get a nice hotel room for a reasonable price, how do we do that in London?

        • samantha

          My fiancee and I got engaged in London! We stayed at a flat we found on Air BNB. It cost us about $500 for the entire week. It was absolutely fantastic, I would highly highly recommend looking into renting a flat. Not only do you have more space, but you save a ton of money!

        • jashshea

          Long story: Our latest trip cropped up last minute and I didn’t have time to do my usual “burn the internet to the ground finding a high star hotel for next to nothing.” I was looking at vrbo.com and homeaway.com to find something a little way out of the city area and having okay luck finding cheaper places.

          I started looking through emails and found something with a decent rate for the Pestana Group of hotels. I’d stayed at the Pestana Porto in 2010 and It. Was. Amazing. The email was a decent rate (for London) for the Pestana Chelsea Bridge for an average rate of $220/night (USD)**. Hotel was really nice, but you have to walk or bus to the nearest tube station which wasn’t a problem for us as the <1 mile walk takes you over the Thamas, then through gorgeous Chelsea, but it's not SUPER convenient to the touristy areas (especially with the aforementioned sprained ankle). Just checked their site and the average rate is still right around that if you book in advance and are staying for a few nights.

          **I know that's not actually cheap. But it's decently cheap for London and within striking distance of core activities was good enough. I ended up converting credit card reward points to cover the cost of the hotel

          Short story: I found a deal on email, then used credit card reward points for it.

          Additional info: I've taken various business/pleasure trips in London, so I knew roughly where was okay and where I didn't think I'd be comfortable.

        • Caitlin_DD

          For cheap hotels I always go to Kayak or Agoda. They seem to consistently be lower priced. Full disclosure, though, I’m always booking in Asia, so YMMV for Europe.

    • snowysoul

      Congrats! We’re about a month away from having ours payed off, looking forward to not stressing about it anymore :)

      • M.

        You can do it! Yay! It’s a great feeling.

    • Lian

      If you love food, I would recommend going to one of Ottolenghi’s restaurants/delis. I’ve never been there but I have one of his cookbooks and it is a-ma-zing. And I’ve seen him cook on tv and was literally drooling. Just today I was lamenting the fact that I will not be in London anytime soon to go there!

    • http://cuvikingadventures.blogspot.ca/ Jenny/Adventures Along the Way

      Congrats!!!

      • BreckW

        Thanks, Jenny! Haven’t seen many posts from you lately… Hope all is well!

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

    With two weekends until our wedding, we’re gearing up for a big weekend of DIY and getting shit done. (We’re hoping to get everything done this weekend so next weekend isn’t awful.) The doorbell has been ringing a LOT this week as more items (favor packaging, decor, etc) get delivered, which is exciting. And our house is covered in gold glitter thanks to gold glitter-covered vases and my very own APW-taught banner!

    • Kayjayoh

      Oh, V-day wedding? :) I don’t think I’d realized that yet. So excited for you guys.

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

        Close — it’s on the 15th!

        • Kayjayoh

          Close enough *and* you won’t have to compete for tables as much when you go out for anniversaries.

          • NicoleT

            Yeah, my parents’ anniversary is on V-day and they end up never going out to celebrate because it gets too insane.

          • Kayjayoh

            It was supposed to have been my due date. I am eternally grateful that I came into the world a week earlier.

        • K

          Ours too! We’re getting down to the wire here – congrats!

    • Lindsey d.

      Question — did you ever decide what alcohol to do for your favors?

    • http://www.pinterest.com/katerees711 kater711

      Rachel!!!! yay!

  • Guest

    Hello friends. I could use some advice.
    My closest friend from high school and I are both getting married this fall. Hooray! We are both standing up in each other’s weddings. The thing is…. we haven’t really been besties in a long time. In fact…. she drives me crazy. Like seriously crazy. We just aren’t compatible best friends like we were in 4th grade. After our phone calls, my sense of “isn’t it nice to have such an old friend” gets overshadowed by “oh my gosh how can I politely break up with you??” I know that the right thing to do is suck it up and be a pal, but I just feel SO negative and I’m worried

    • Shiri

      Is there a way to limit your involvement in her wedding, or hers in yours, or are these calls for “normal” bridesmaid type stuff? I know there’s kind of a difference between being one of the group of bridesmaids and beings the bride’s person for this stuff. And if she’s making you nuts, that difference could be a big one.

      Also, is she making you crazy about your wedding, or is the way she’s talking about hers?

      • anon

        Sorry, my post got cut off and since I’m not logged in, I can’t delete it! The full post is below.

        I actually love our wedding conversations, because I’m loving wedding planning and enjoying hearing about hers. It is more the life conversations— we just have very different personalities now that we’ve grown into ourselves.

  • Anon

    Hello friends. I could use some advice.
    My closest friend from high school and I are both getting married this fall. Hooray! We are both standing up in each other’s weddings. The thing is…. we haven’t really been besties in a long time. In fact…. she drives me crazy. Like seriously crazy. We just aren’t compatible best friends like we were in 4th grade. After our phone calls, my sense of “isn’t it nice to have such an old friend” gets overshadowed by “oh my gosh how can I politely break up with you??” I know that the right thing to do is suck it up and be a pal, but I just feel SO negative and I’m worried that I will be this grumpy, unfair person throughout both of our weddings/showers/bachelorette parties. I love her and am genuinely excited for her wedding, but I’m struggling to put on the OMG BFF mask that she is looking for.

    My dear fiance reminds me all the time that she is a caring friend (true) and wonderful person (true) even if she is so very annoying (…also true). Maybe I just need APW to kick me in the butt to do the right thing. Help??

    • Kayjayoh

      That does sound tricky. Maybe try approaching her as you and your relationship are now. Don’t put the BFF mask on. You are genuinely excited for her wedding, which is good. How would you treat her if she were your sweet but imcompatible, drives-you-crazy sister whose wedding you were going to be in? You can be there for people in different ways, without having to give them all of yourself.

    • carolynprobably

      I realized a handful of years ago that my best friend (of 25 years!) is now more like a sister- not in a frills and ruffles kind of way, but in a we know how to push each other’s buttons and say shit that wouldn’t normally fly with friends kind of way. And while she annoys the shit out of me (like my real sister!) in a weird way I like knowing that there’s someone with whom I have that deep of a relationship with. So I’d say, embrace it if you can. Do bridesmaids things together and just be real- yelling, inside jokes, everything. And laugh it off with your fiance (who probably also thinks she is crazy).

    • JSwen

      Oh to echo Kay below, think of her as a sister. You don’t have to like everything she does, she’s not your BFF, and you still love her. I’ve done it with a couple friends. One ended in a “break up” and the other has morphed and changed into a comfortable, respectful friendship where we know our boundaries. Good luck!

  • Alexa

    Hi all! I bought the Jcrew rosebud tea length dress a few months ago, and am now freaking out. I looked at pictures of “real life” brides who wore it, and in almost all of the pictures, the dress appears to be two toned with ivory and white. Are there any APWers who wore it and can give me advice? Did it look OK in the pictures?

    • macrain

      Any chance you could talk it over with your photographer and make sure they remedy that issue before handing over your photos? I’m assuming you like what the dress looks like in person, so that’s not the issue.
      I’m not a photographer but it can’t hurt to ask!

      • Alexa

        That is the enxt step on my to do list after the mini panic attack I had this morning… thanks!

        • macrain

          You’ll look beautiful, I promise. Big big hugs.
          XOXO

  • swarmofbees

    After months of agonizing over wedding location and date, we have finally sent out save the dates! My Dad is getting better by the day and we scheduled out wedding so that he should be recovered from his stem cell transplant, so I think I might even have a happy health Dad at my wedding!!! I love my reception venue and we are getting married on the one year anniversary of our engagement. Life has been good this week :)

    • Kayakgirl73

      My dad is going to have to have a stem cell transplant soon. I’m glad to hear your dad has done well with it. My dad has MDS.

      • Sara P

        Good thoughts out for both of you – my dad had a stem cell transplant 3 years ago. I hope your dads’ go well!!

  • Guestless Hostess

    I want to throw a party but have a….lack of guests.

    Background: I moved to a new city across the country about a year and a half ago. It’s taken me a while to start to feel comfortable here and I’m still learning my way around and trying to settle in. I found a great job that I like and overall, am happy here with my boyfriend of five years – we moved for his career. But friends and social life are still practically nonexistent.

    Back in my old city (Chicago- woot!) throwing an Academy Awards viewing party every year was My Thing. I love movies and the Academy Awards, and my favorite thing is to get fancy, bake a cake, and lay out a delicious spread for all my favorite people, judge fashion choices with my girls and throw a great party!
    The Awards are coming up and I really missed throwing my annual party last year – we still just didn’t know anybody and it seemed depressing to have it without my people. But I’m trying to be a little more proactive this year about getting to know people here and trying to find friends, and people to be social with. So I’m considering having the party to try and make some new acquaintances.

    How should I do this? There are a few people at work that I am friendly with that I have thought I could invite and then encourage to bring a few friends – but I’m a little apprehensive about having people I don’t know at all over to my home and I don’t want it to get too crazy (also it’s a Sunday). I met an APW group a few months ago, but we haven’t been able to put anything together since – I could invite them. I also would feel more comfortable with no one showing up than just a couple people that would then just feel awkward (and probably sorry for me…more awkward).

    Mostly I’m just feeling sad that I can’t fly in all my friends to hang out with me for one evening and I really like to throw parties! Which is hard without guests.

    Sorry for the novel, but any advice would be appreciated!

    • Eenie

      Can you ask someone to cohost with you? They might have a more solid group of friends that would come and be introduced to. Takes some pressure off you too.

    • MC

      The book MWF Seeking BFF is really good if you haven’t read it – about a woman who moves to Chicago, actually, and really deliberately tries to meet and make friends. Has some good advice on friend-making strategies and also made me feel less weird about my lack of friends after moving to a new place post-college.

      • Kathleen

        I don’t know why I feel compelled to share this, but I just went to request that book from my library, after thinking I should every time I hear it mentioned. I logged in and found the book (3 copies, all available) complete with this description:

        “The most comprehensive study
        of John Cleveland Osgood to date, From Redstone to Ludlow covers events
        from 1892, when Osgood and his associates organized the Colorado Fuel
        and Iron Company, to 1917, when Osgood signed a contract with the United
        Mine Workers of America, marking the end of his long history of
        battling the union. Called the Fuel King of the West, Osgood was the
        leading coal baron in the western mountain region and the most prominent
        spokesperson for the coal industry for over three decades. During this
        time, his anti-union policies made him the UMWA’s most formidable foe in
        its effort to organize the Colorado coalfields. From Redstone to Ludlow
        depicts the bipolarity of his approach to the threat of unionism. The
        “Redstone experiment,” a model industrial village designed to improve
        the lives of workers through social programs, showed Osgood’s efforts to
        attain his anti-union goals through compassion. Conversely, the Ludlow
        tent colony and the events that transpired there, marked by armed gunmen
        and machine guns paid for by Osgood, illustrate his willingness to
        resort to violence and intimidation for the same purpose. A leading
        participant in the transformation of the West, Osgood helped to shape
        the character of the Gilded Age. Today, the beautiful village of
        Redstone and a granite memorial at Ludlow are reminders of Osgood’s
        complex role in the clash between labor and management during the most
        violent industrial struggle in American history.”

        Should I find this as amusing as I do?

        • KC

          Yes, you should totally find this as amusing as you do. :-)

          (…. okay, and possibly also contact the library so they can revise it…)

          • MC

            HA! Yes.

        • MC

          The other thing I meant to say is that my take-away message from the book is that most people are so happy & relieved when another person initiates a friendship with them – so I’d say go for the party!

    • Kayjayoh

      I’d say invite your friendlies and your APW people, encourage them to bring friends, and see how it goes. The great thing about a party around something like the Oscars is that you all have a thing that everyone can focus on and talk about. Even if people don’t know each other very well, no one has to search for small talk topics. There is a built-in topic right there.

      Plus, it can be a great bonding experience, bringing you closer to the folks you sort of know now and introducing you to their friends.

      • YOQ

        This. I had a housewarming party when I moved a few years ago. I knew almost nobody, but I asked the 5-6 people I did know, and asked them to bring a dish to share and a cool friend or two or ten. I met a lot of interesting people, and everyone had a great time!

    • Laura

      Why is it so hard to make friends in the post-college world? I have been living in my town for 6 years and just this past year started feeling like I have one or two good friends around.

      One of my good (out of town) friends has met people on meet-up-groups online. I’m not exactly sure of the logistics, and I know she had to go through several before finding some she and her husband “clicked” with, but if you’re interested I could ask her more about it.

  • Eenie

    I just signed my job offer for after graduation! (dream job!)The one bummer is my internship for this semester evaporated because they need someone to stay the summer (which is a whole different story). I had a week of panic where I didn’t know how I’d pay my bills this semester, but now I’m working an almost minimum wage job, borrowing money from the rents, and letting my SO cover the entire rent payment until I can pay him back. So grateful to have so many people willing and able to support me, but feeling super bummed that I’m five months away from being completely independent and feeling helpless unstable financially. Any advice to those in similar situations? I feel like I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but would rather not have to go through the WHOLE tunnel :(

    • Kayjayoh

      Congrats on the dream job. My advice is focus on that light at the end of the tunnel, and remind those around you how grateful you are for their support.

      • Eenie

        Thank you! Really trying to focus on the positive. Working out, cooking good food, volunteering, etc.

    • MC

      Congrats on the dream job!! I know exactly how you feel – lots of money stress this week, and between my in-laws and my fiance helping us pay for various things and finding out that I owe more money than expected for taxes, I have been feeling bummed. What my fiance told me last night was that he is so happy to be able to support us financially because it’s an investment in our relationship, which is his top priority. And I’d imagine your SO and parents would say the same. And getting a post-grad job lined up early is a HUGE accomplishment, especially in this economy, especially one that you like! So don’t be too hard on yourself.

      • Eenie

        Thanks! Being in school the entirety of us dating and him having a steady good paying job I just can’t wait to pick up the bill at a restaurant on a day besides his birthday. I just can’t wait to feel like I’m finally contributing something financially. Which is silly, but I feel proud to have been able to support myself through college. I’m so close to the end and it just feels kind of like I failed with the finish line in sight. I just need a mental attitude change.
        And that sucks about the taxes. Happened to my SO last year because he messed up his taxes living in three different states.

    • ElisabethJoanne

      Things were really tight for us the first year we were married. It helped me to debunk a lot of the personal finance advice out there. “Buy, don’t rent, build equity.” The mortgage on a condo on our block would have been 3 or 4 times our rent payment. “Save 15% of your income.” For a rainy day – which would be now. Etc.

      I also really treasured the things we had that we couldn’t afford – the French cookware, vintage clothing, and other gifts.

      And I made plans for the future – how I’d give back as soon as we could afford it, what our deferred spending priorities were. It really helped to know/hope the situation was only temporary, and it was still good to dream.

      But personal finance feelings really vary by personality. YMMV

      • Eenie

        That is so true. I’m glad my parents are helping me keep my gym membership since I’m happier when I work out. I already plan to give a small but manageable donation to the animal shelter we rescued our cat from as soon as I get my finances under control. I’ll just try to focus on those goals in the meantime.

    • M

      I spent a couple of years doing Americorps after graduation to get nonprofit experience, so I had to rely on my parents longer than I would like. I think what helped me come to terms with it the most is remembering that when my parents and mentors were younger, they had to rely on people too. One coworker from an Americorps position always bought my drinks when we went out. People had done the same for her when she was young and broke, and she only asked that I repay the favor someday for someone else. Money is still really tight, but having had to rely on others makes it feel that much better to know that we can pay our own bills.

    • Caitlin_DD

      I feel you on this one. Having to rely on other people (especially a SO) for money…goes against everything I’d like to be. On the other hand, the people supporting you know you aren’t in this situation by choice. I had a lot of guilt about being the non-contributing one in my relationship for awhile, but as my fiancé always reminds me, there *will* be times when I will be the one supporting him. And that’s okay. Rather than viewing it as “I must pay you back to the dime, sorry I am broke” I view temporary financial support as an expression of love by my family and SO, that I would (and will) gladly extend to others experiencing the same thing.

  • http://www.etsy.com/shop/DIYIDo Laura

    The NYMag Thong post actually really bothered me. I just feel like it is just Way. Too. Negative. I think the Aerie campaign is awesome. Is it revolutionary and life-changing? No, probably not. But I do think it’s a step in the right direction. Is it a marketing move by Aerie? Well yes, obviously. They’re a business, it’s an Advertising Campaign.

    I think we need to lay off a little bit on blaming businesses for their effect on women’s body image. They’re marketing goals are to show us what we want to see so that we will buy their product. They are motivated by our money, which they need to remain a business. I think instead we should look at marketing/advertisements as a reflection of our society’s views. They test their ads before they run them. If we didn’t like their ads, they wouldn’t run them.

    Coming back around to Aerie and some of the other examples from the post… I think it’s great that a change is happening. They are small steps, but it IS an improvement. Choosing to bash these steps forward for not being “good enough” isn’t doing anyone any good at all. So yes, go ahead and point out ways that the media needs to improve, but be happy about the progress that has been made at the same time. You’ve gotta learn to walk before you can run.

    • MC
      • http://www.etsy.com/shop/DIYIDo Laura

        OMG, yes. I think that hits the nail on the head.

        “The ever-increasing flood of this more positive advertising has me
        wondering if shame-and-guilt based advertising is starting to lose its
        effectiveness. […] They are changing their tactics because WE have changed. We are more skeptical. We expect more. We demand more.”

      • Meg Keene

        It’s an interesting piece, and I think I ultimately agree with most of the conclusions. I’m just not sure it’s fair to call (all) ad campaigns “faux-empowering.” (I mean, Lean Cuisine, yeah.) Media literacy and skepticism is important, I’m not saying that. But as someone who now works partially in advertising, the teams that work on these campaigns REALLY care about the positive messages and really are aiming for them to be empowering for real. Yes, they have a product to sell. They are ALWAYS going to have a product to sell, because that’s their job. But if they’re selling it by trying to empower women instead of tell us that we’re lacking, then fist bump to that. And most of us have gotta buy soap, so I will for sure go for the soap backed by the empowering ad campaign.

        And then, of course, there is the deeper conversation of advertising and what it supports. It might not be our favorite, but it’s what allows us to consume media for free. Without advertising, there would be no APW, that’s for sure. This ship isn’t cheap to sail…

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

          “I mean, Lean Cuisine, yeah. ” YES.

    • Shiri

      I’m of two minds about this. On the one hand, it makes me a little crazy that there’s no way to sell underwear (especially for a younger demographic) that isn’t sexualized. On the other, good for Aerie (and Dove, and others) for recognizing that in their marketing, they can make strong positive statements about women and their bodies. Yes, their base could be broader and they could – and should be – more representational and inclusive, but it is a small step.

      I still take issue with using “sexy” and “beautiful” any way you look, though, because it still reduces women’s bodies to their appearance, and specifically implies their appearance to men. That said, clothing and beauty companies are about exactly that, so I don’t know that we can accept better.

    • Meg Keene

      Maddie felt the same way. And I don’t think she’s wrong…

      I get grumpy when we ask for change, get it, and our ONLY reaction is complaints. The problem with that is that it makes the people who pushed to make the change (because someone pushed hard at Aerie) just feel like, “Well then fuck you too.” And stop working on it. (I know this, as someone with a public job.) I think it’s way better to acknowledge progress and celebrate it, and then keep pushing for more.

      • http://www.etsy.com/shop/DIYIDo Laura

        Yes exactly. And I think writing these kinds of pieces make us (women/feminists) look bad. Like we’re just a bunch of whiners that will never be happy anyway, so why bother trying to please us.

  • Kayjayoh

    My current mental project: balancing my desire to not have anyone in the wedding party match with my fiance’s desire to buy nifty vests for all his groomsmen. I think I have been doing well with it so far. Last night he was asking me about my opinion on various vests. I told him honestly that I liked the one he was looking at for himself, that my personal preference was that they would all just wear their own clothes and definitely that they not match, but that my personal preferences were not the only preferences that matter. I told him that I was ok with whatever he decided to do with his part of the wedding party (I certainly didn’t give him a vote on my side of things) but that I wouldn’t be able to give him any really constructive opinions on what vest he should get for his guys.

    I think I managed to be honest about my thoughts without pressuring him to do it my way. I hope I did. And this is what married life will be, I think. That balancing act.

    • Kayjayoh

      Alternately, this is what married life is like: http://iamarg.com/2014/01/29/comfortable/

      I shared it with M and the two of us giggled like fools.

      • M.

        !!!!!!!!!!! Like, actually really true. :D

    • Stacie

      I am ALSO trying not to give a fuck: about my soon to be sister-in-law having a breakdown when we went bridesmaid dress shopping over Xmas. I want everyone to pick their own dress, and am open to her and my fiance’s (and future SIL’s) oldest female friend wearing a different color of they so choose. You would have thought I suggested they wear thongs. “But, no one will MATCH! If we get dresses from different lines, the FABRICS WILL BE DIFFERENT!!” I… could care less about this. So the two of them have been dragging their feet. And now I hear they won’t be able to order anything for A FEW WEEKS because of money… um, the wedding is May 3rd. There ain’t time for that. So I get stressed, and then I remind myself that I do not care if they are wearing the same dress from the same bridesmaid’s line, or if they end up buying something at Macy’s. I. Do. Not. Care. I just care that the experience of going dress shopping with my future SIL was marred by a breakdown that will end up being pointless in the long run when she doesn’t get what she wants.

    • carolynprobably

      Oh I don’t envy you at all ;) Now that I’m happily on the other side of the wedding, I can point out two things I experienced. Me wanting the bridesmaids to be effortlessly eclectically mismatched ROYALLY backfired and made me into the overbearing demanding bride I didn’t want to be (they ended up ordering together from the same company different styles but same fabric and no one died from matching dresses.)

      Secondly (and I hope I can say this without treading too far into gender politics of wedding planning) I think it’s awesome if your fiance wants to choose the groomsmen’s outfits and vests sound really cool. And unless it’s cost prohibitive or crazy ugly then I think he should! Similarly, no offense, but I think he should have a vote on the bridesmaids too, if he has an opinion (he may not). Like you said, it’s a balancing act.

      • Kayjayoh

        Yup. If I had my druthers, everyone (except the two of us) would just go into their closets and pull out the thing they wanted to wear *or* go out and buy a new thing that they wanted to wear, but otherwise not do anything different than they would if they were coming to the wedding simply as guests, and not as wedding party.

        But he wants a different thing. And that is also fine.

    • Laura

      I have been in the mental balancing act on so many parts of wedding planning process, so will probably continue in the marriage. One thing I couldn’t balance on was the photos. I just couldn’t do it. It makes me laugh how different we are. The fact that he’s in the same balancing act, and thus we are in it together is a comfort.

  • Sabrina

    SQUEE! I ordered our wedding bands yesterday! Man-type-person has no idea that I already got them, I am pumped! They are whitetaile deer antler rings with the number 42 burnt into the insides! I was so excited that I was prancing around the house with the dogs as soon as I sent in the order.

    • Sarah E

      White-tail deer antler rings?! Exponential awesome. Please carry on with your fabulous life.

      • Sabrina

        They are amazing! And the 42s make my soul happy!

        • http://www.pinterest.com/katerees711 kater711

          oooh. So pretty. So handsome. I like them very much!

        • Em

          Wow, beautiful. Congratulations! We are about to order our rings and I am just about beside myself with excitement.

      • Laura

        “please carry on with your fabulous life” New APW catchphrase? I think yes.

    • Kelly

      oh my goodness. where did you order those?? I also know a man-type-person who would LOVE THIS

      • Sabrina

        I got them on etsy from KHwoodworkings. When you see the price your head will EXPLODE!

        • MC

          I looked them up, expecting my head to explode from them being crazy expensive. So exciting to see that they are SO AFFORDABLE!

        • River

          Oh my gosh, these rings are so handsome. Sabrina, thank you for posting this!! I was despairing over ever finding an affordable engagement ring for my fiancé (not mention one that he will like and wear), and we found it on that etsy shop. I thought I was okay with not getting him a ring, but now that we found one, I can’t wait to put a ring on it too!

          • Sabrina

            That is FANTASTIC! I am so glad that I was able to help in my roundabout way. Congrats on finding his ring, I am squeeing for you!

    • Rebekah

      I’m also in the excited-dance-party-about-wedding-bands camp, but ours are the Brent and Jess fingerprint rings. I’m (incredibly) psyched, and I kind of got choked up when I paid for them just because it was all super real and serious and wonderful.

  • KM

    4 Days Until I’m In New Orleans! Paid for (mostly) by work! With extra vacation time for fun with my wife! I remember lots of APW-loving posts about Amtrak-ing to Nola but would love any particular recommendations for musicdrinksandfood -where should we go? xo

    • Lindsey d.

      New Orleans? Go anywhere, basically…
      Specific places I love are Stanley and Muriel’s in the French Quarter (both are right by Jackson Square), Sucre and Mahoney’s PoBoys on Magazine Street. If it’s a work thing and you are in the CBD, I like Capedeville and Luke is amazing. If you are the Convention Center, I recommend Cochon Butcher for lunch, Cochon for dinner and Root.

      Also, you must eat as much king cake as you can fit in your mouth. It’s Carnival season, doll…

      • Laura C

        We went to New Orleans for a wedding two weeks ago and ate Saturday lunch at Cochon and it was soooo good.

    • Meg Keene

      I hate the quarter. There. I said it. I love Frenchman street. I venture into the quarter only to go to Preservation Hall (WHERE YOU MUST GO). Also a big fan of Magazine street. Jacques Imo is out of the way, but good. Getting a drink at The Columns hotel also won’t do you wrong. Classic classy NOLA, right there. Get a sazerac, obviously.

      • Lindsey d.

        All of Oak Street (where Jacques Imo is) is getting better and better. I second the Columns. Can’t believe I forgot about it; one of my favorite places. I know nothing of music and am bad at staying up that late, but I do know that you are right about Frenchman Street being where it’s at for music.

      • Amanda

        Seconding Preservation Hall!

    • Katherine

      I was in New Orleans last winter, and our B & B recommended Dick & Jenny’s for dinner. It’s in a non-touristy area I think. One of the best dinners we’ve ever had.

  • Alyssa M

    Woohoo! I just bought 10 beautiful orange tablecloths including shipping for less than the base cost of renting boring brown ones. Savvy shopping win! Also, if anybody is wanting a free pretty tablecloth for next Thanksgiving I’ll be handing them out! lol

    • http://www.pinterest.com/katerees711 kater711

      I do love orange and tablecloths! ;)

    • Laura

      Are you able to share this amazing resource or, depending on the date of your wedding, size of the tablecloths, hand them out to me? :-)

      • Alyssa M

        Absolutely! Cost plus world market. They were originally thanksgiving table linens, now on sale 50% off for 7.50 each (best rentals I could find were 9.50 each). They come in Orange, green, and red!

        • Laura

          Thanks!

  • May

    I’m posting this from the airline lounge in Dubai where my husband and I are en route to London to kick off our round the world extended honeymoon!! Back story; last year my husband randomly says “why don’t we take six months off to travel next year?” to which I replied “yeah sure”, not taking it seriously for a moment because we are both workaholics. Two weeks later, he calls me and says that the firm has approved our leave and we’re going. Whaaaaaaaaat?? So now, we’re on our way to ticking off a bunch of stuff on our bucket lists. Next week we’re off to Finland to see the northern lights, then we’re going to backpack around Sth America for two months, working our way up to Central and North America then back to Europe, followed by the Middle East, African safari and then home sweet home (Australia). It all happened so fast that I still can’t believe we’re doing it. I might started up a little wordpress travel blog if anyone is interested :) (warning: I take terribly wobbly photographs, don’t expect any of that nat geo crap from me)

    • jashshea

      Amazing. Enjoy every second!

      And I would love to read about your adventure.

      • Laura

        too! write about it! share the link!

    • BreckW

      Dude, I am so insanely jealous of you and this awesome trip!! If you stop in Caracas before April, let me know and I’d love to take you guys to lunch or something!

      • May

        Oh thank you! Hey, maybe you can give us a heads-up; Venezuela was on our list but there are a bunch of travel warnings for the country and I heard it’s not safe. Can you shed light?

        • BreckW

          Yeah, I think unless you’re familiar with the neighborhoods and the language and you do a bunch of pre-planning, it’s not a very safe place to be. It’s not the kind of city you can just grab a map and explore, which is a huge bummer since it has so much to offer. If you still want to see Caracas, I’d be happy to send some logistical (and things to do) suggestions your way.

    • Kelly Benvenuto

      Woah – amaazing! And congrats on checking off items on the bucket list. Not sure if you’re looking for travel recs, but of all the places I’ve visited in the Middle East, Marrakesh and Istanbul were may favorites. And Petra in Jordan is still on my life list.

      • May

        Yes Petra is on the list for sure! Coming from Australia, anything older than 300 years is super-old, so ancient ruins basically blow my mind.

    • Em

      Oh WOW. That sounds amazing. Bon voyage!

      Also if you go to Guatemala make sure to visit and volunteer at Finca La Florida. It’s an AMAZING cooperative coffee/cacao/honey farm that is owned by the workers (still a huge anomaly in Guatemala). The people are incredible, and they do not charge much at all to stay with them if you volunteer. Nice way to hunker down, form relationships, and enjoy beautiful Guatemalan countryside.

    • Nicole Cherae

      That’s amazing. Have fun!

    • Caitlin_DD

      Fantastic! I hope you have a wonderful time.

    • Mea

      Terribly late to this (yay time difference!) but had to chime in and say welcome to Finland! I’m guessing you’re headed to Lapland? I’m sure it’ll be amazing (and shouldn’t be too cold next week either). If there’s anything I can help you with please let me know :) I’m located in Helsinki.

  • Amanda

    Yay Friday!! Tonight we are heading to my office’s winter social. Hooray dressing up and unlimited food and drinks! On the wedding planning front- currently stressing about transportation for the bridal party. Getting the groups to the church separately, then all together to the reception, then do I need to get them all home? Everyone has significant others, family or friends who will be there.

    • Lindsey d.

      Ooh, I love the idea of doing an office party in January. No December stress and something to look forward to in the bleak winter… Have fun!

      As for transport — how many people are we talking? The last wedding I was in we all arrived and left separately. The other, we arrived at the reception site separately, they rented a van to get us to the ceremony and then back to the reception site. Both worked with no fuss.

      • Amanda

        Thanks! We each have 5 people, so with us its 12.

        • Lindsey d.

          The van transport we had a total of 10, with bride and groom. The other, with eight attendants on each side, it was easier to let everyone arrive on their own.

          I guess the biggest question to ask is about knowing your guests. Will you NEED to make sure they get home safely (e.g., will they drink themselves silly?) or will they ensure their own DD or simply be okay to drive?

          • Amanda

            Honestly, I think they could all have a DD or just be fine to drive. I, have never been a bridesmaid so I really had nothing to go on of possible options. To me, only getting the limo for around 4 hours and saving that nice chunk of change was appealing. Paying for the limo to essentially sit outside and wait for 5 hours during the reception just seemed like a big waste. Thanks for your help!

    • ElisabethJoanne

      Will the significant others, etc., have their cars at the reception? If so, they’ll probably want to ride with their significant others, rather than in any vehicle you provide.

      • Amanda

        Yeah, the significant others, family, etc will be at the reception with their cars since they’ll have driven there from the church. I was thinking the same that they’d prefer to just leave that way too instead of being on whatever schedule the limo/I am at the end of the night.

  • ART

    Welp. Today I learned that there is (purportedly) such a thing as “transphobic feminists.” And that they have super creepy websites. Mind = blown.

    • BreckW

      Man, those days/realizations are awful. It’s crazy to think that people actually exist who have those kinds of horrible beliefs. Blows my mind every time.

      • ART

        I mean, I’m not out of touch enough to be surprised that there are transphobic horrible cruel *people* out there. It’s the attachment of the word “feminist” to that that is making me go “WAIT, WHAT?!” like, that it would be specifically couched in terms of advocating for women. that seems like an extra, super depraved level of cruelty to me. i’m feeling boggled (and privileged) that i did not know that was a thing before today.

    • Laura

      It makes you lose faith in humanity a little, doesn’t it?

  • http://kara-tanoue.blogspot.com/ Kara T

    My current project is learning to cook proper Japanese food, for two reasons: (1) It’s my partner’s culture and I want to make sure to preserve some of the family recipes and cultural cooking techniques for future generations, and (2) my partner has Crohn’s disease and Japanese food is something that he can eat without fear of sparking a flare-up. (Since we changed diets, he’s been able to go off his medication and he’s been flare-up free for almost 3 months!).

    It’s been a super tasty experiment so far, and I’m planning to make this deliciousness has a special treat this weekend!

    • Laura

      How cool! One of my post-wedding goals is to learn some Vietnamese dishes for my partner. Hopefully I can learn from his mother even though she only speaks about 5 words of english and i speak about 3 words of vietnamese.

  • Winny the Elephant

    Soo…this week, my soon to be mother-in-law texted me this:
    “Hey hope u are doing ok. Getting excited for you guys. Hope you guys are sure about getting married. Hope no one is pressuring you. I’m sure you guys are going to pre-marital counseling”

    This woman has met me one time in the 5 years I have been dating my fiancé (3 years of which we’ve been living together).

    • NicoleT

      …huh. That’s a very interesting text. I don’t want to assume anything about your situation, so I will just send you internet hugs and support (if you need/want them).

      • Winny the Elephant

        Thank you! My fiancé has warned me for years that she was “crazy” but I thought he was exaggerating….probably shouldn’t have given her my phone number

        • NicoleT

          Yeesh. Yeah, that text message alone just reads like a bag full of bees.

    • JSwen

      Ooooh… there should be an open thread called “Sh*t My MIL Says.” You might win that thread.

      Joking aside, I feel for you!

    • Amanda

      Wow. The things people say and think they mean well. Internet hugs to you!

    • KC

      That is not a good way to suggest that someone go to premarital counseling.

      However, I tell literally *every friend* who is getting married to get premarital counseling (because 1. our experience was awesome, 2. it killed a lot of things that would have been points of major conflict or misunderstanding *before they even came up in our relationship*, 3. premarital counseling is more socially acceptable than marital counseling [in terms of people not necessarily assuming you’re on the brink of a divorce or whatever], so it’s easier-entry and an introduction to couples’ therapy that may be useful later, and 4. cheap, well-structured, and getting to learn a lot about yourself and your partner and your relationship).

      So there’s a chance that part may not be judgy and may just be her trying to figure out how to recommend it without sounding judgy (and, um, failing). There is also an oddball chance that someone made a comment to her about how you’re “finally” getting married, jeez, it’s been long enough, she must have been really frustrated it’s taken this long… and she may have kind of freaked out that you might have thought that she was on the “get married asap” train.

      That said. Yes. Text message is not the format to discuss those things, and wow that is a mess.

    • Laura

      Oh my. Gives whole new meaning to the term “crazy in-laws.” I’d say once every 5-or-so years is a good ratio in this case.

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

      Oh my god. SOunds like my mother. I am….sorry. geez.

  • snowysoul

    I’m really struggling with a bunch of things at the moment that I could use some advice
    for I graduated in April 2013 with a BSc in environmental science, and got married to my wonderful hubby in May 2013 (yay!). We both had
    been struggling to find work out East, and decided that we needed to move
    somewhere for better work opportunities, with the agreement that whoever got a
    fulltime job first is where we would go. Fast forward to August, and my hubby
    finally got a teaching job after looking over 18 months. We then moved 4500km
    west across the country to a tiny town in BC, and I’ve been here since October

    For whatever reason, I really don’t like it here. There’s aspects I enjoy like the outdoors, but am struggling to fit in here and am desperately missing my best friends (chosen family), and my Mom to the point where it physically aches. It’s been so hard this year, with graduating and moving and first year of marriage and trying to find a job in my field and feel like my mental health is shot. I’m in therapy right now and have been slowly making progress with my anxiety (I have generalized anxiety disorder).

    I’ve been applying for work over the past year, and have been really struggling to find employment in my field. I’ve been lucky enough to have over 16 interviews, but no luck with actually securing a position so
    far. I’ve been second to the top candidate over half a dozen times, and always get positive feedback on my cover letter, resume, when I’ve asked for some from most interviews. I seem to be either overqualified (for some) or lacking experience in X that made them go with another candidate. I’ve done 4 years
    worth of internships, summer jobs, freelancing and work study and people are continually surprised that I’m having such a hard time.

    Since October I’ve been trying to find something close by in the environmental field locally or but have found nothing and am realizing that there seems to be no work here for me that I can findso far. After being rejected from yet another job this morning, I’m at my wits end. I HATE my current job cleaning up after disasters (i.e house fire), its mind numbing, physically exhausting, and repetitive. As an example, I spent the week washing 400 countertops after a fire. I know I’m lucky to have a job, but dread going to work everyday and wish I didn’t have to work there anymore.

    Its getting to the point where all the job rejections, my current job, and this place are negatively impacting my mental health. I’m trying to stay ontop of things, but am getting so tired of struggling all the time.

    I may have an opportunity to move to Calgary for a contract job (~6 months), but am facing down may be facing down a 1) a long distance marriage and/or 2) my partner moving for me to find a job to get going in my careers. Even if the job doesn’t work out, I may have to move to find work. My hubby loves his job, and I promised him that we would stay here for two years for him to get the teaching experience he needs. He has said he would move for me and give up his job rather than stay past the end of this school year without me, but I feel like it’s too much to ask from him to give up a contract fulltime job he loves for me to start pursuing my career. The school he’s working for has a $75 000 deficit this year, and while they are not currently thinking about layoffs, his job security is not as great as we originally thought.

    I’m at the end of my rope and have no idea where to go from here. Anyone been in a similar situation or have words of wisdom? Thanks guys.

    • JSwen

      I’ll be there in about six months, once I’m done with my thesis. Where we live, there are very few jobs that are the right “next step” for me in my career. That said, Fiance loves his job and there is a lot of security there. I’m going to have to broaden my scope for work. Maybe you can think of jobs that will get you applicable experience but are in a different discipline? Or do some environmental education at a nonprofit? One of the hardest parts about choosing to have a partner is that now we can’t up and move across the country for work (like I used to). Good luck. I think there are a lot of people out there in your position.

    • LM

      No words of wisdom but sending good thoughts to you. What a tough sounding situation. It can take a long time to settle into a new place and dealing with job searching and a job you don’t like can’t make it any easier. It sounds like you’re doing all the *right* things in terms of taking care of yourself and that’s nice that your husband is so supportive. Feel free to ignore if this isn’t helpful, but sometimes giving yourself a little break from all the running around and trying to *fix* everything can be positive. Having a chance to breath can sometimes make things seem more manageable. Best of luck!

    • macrain

      I’m so sorry, this sounds incredibly hard.
      In my experience, transitioning to a new place takes a long time. It’s not going to feel like home at first, I’d say give it at least a year before you decide it’s not for you. Less than that-I don’t think you’ve given it a fair shake. Transitions are tough, there is no getting around it.
      With the job stuff- any chance you can quit your craptastic job and temp for a while until you get something more permanent? If doing something mindless that means nothing to you is better than hating life every day, I think it could be good for you.
      In regards to your husband moving for you- again, I wouldn’t jump ship just yet. Give it a chance. Who knows, even though you hate it now you might end up liking it there. I would wait it out and then, if you are still miserable and pretty convinced this place is not for you, at least you will know that you gave it a fair shot.
      I would also recommend the help of a therapist to get some coping strategies and help you sort through your feelings.
      Big big hugs.
      XOXO

  • http://www.pinterest.com/katerees711 kater711

    We booked our honeymoon flights last weekend!!! We’re heading to California seven months post wedding but definitely still considering it a honeymoon! (Married in October, CA in May) I haven’t yet combed through your suggestions on my last post but if you have any must do’s hit me with them!

    We’re in for a low key, snowy, homebound weekend which are my faves. Pizza tonight, starting Angel on Netflix, tastiest smitten kitchen meatballs on Sunday! Shoveling and organization too.

    • Winny the Elephant

      I’m a HUGE buffy fan and have tried getting into Angel a few times but keep losing interest. Let me know if it’s good further on!

      • MC

        Ditto – Fiance and I looooove Buffy and we made it through the first season of Angel, but it just didn’t hold our interest. Not sure if we’ll keep going, although I have seen a few episodes from later seasons when shit gets CRAZY. But still, it’s just not Buffy.

    • Laura

      go see the BIG TREES. Just google “big trees california” and then go there. Whether you like nature or not, that’s a must see.

      • http://www.pinterest.com/katerees711 kater711

        Laura, I don’t know if this was your intention, but this made me laugh so hard! Thanks for the suggestion too. :)

        • Laura

          Well, I am serious about the big trees, but I was also being silly. Hope you can make it some day at least. :)

    • KerryMarie

      I love Smitten Kitchen! California: you should definitely check out Big Sur (BIG TREES!), and drive down the coast (HWY 1) for the scenic loveliness. And while you’re at it, you should pass through Cambria and San Luis Obispo!

  • Molly

    Weird stuff happening, y’all. My fiance is about to have a promising job interview for a position with his company in Colorado, which, if he got it, would mean that we would get married early (!!!) and move out there before our wedding reception in May. This doesn’t really throw a wrench in any gears since we were going to the courthouse with family anyway, it’s just a bit of a shock!

    I’m excited, though. I recently (as in, at the beginning of January) started a job that I am not particularly fond of, working for a supervisor who has turned out to be an absolute devil. It is not a positive work environment AT ALL (she yells at almost everyone on the regular, calls employees stupid, tells them they can’t be out sick anymore unless they’re in the hospital, and other absolutely ridiculous things. I wish I had heard some of the stories people have to tell about this woman — and had seen how she treats her employees — before I started working here.

    Thing is, I left a temp job to come to this one. Anything seemed better than that. The pay was better, it was permanent, and it seemed like an interesting change of pace for me job-wise. But now, I’m not so sure I can stay. I find myself hoping my fiance gets the job in Colorado so I have a valid reason to leave this job. If he does, I’ll have a valid reason for leaving this one, and the addition of yet another short-term job to my resume will be easily explained away (employed life after college has been hard on me, y’all).

    In short, I’m scared. How’s that for a selfie.

    • http://www.pinterest.com/katerees711 kater711

      That sounds like an awful work environment. Depending on what happens with your fiancé (fingers crossed) I’d start looking for something in place of this job. If you left it would give you the opportunity to have a frank discussion about how she treats people. Actually, typing that it seems that maybe the conversation should be had either way. I know that can seem so intimidating, I’m not sure I could do it, but do you have an HR department you can talk with or maybe her supervisor, or a couple of coworkers together. I’m sorry your supervisor is so unreasonable.

      • Molly

        The unfortunate part of this whole situation is, she basically is the HR department. It’s a small company and she is CEO/co-owner with her spouse (who is nice). So there is no structure for filing a complaint, really.

    • Anonymous

      I’ve had. . .7? jobs since graduating in August of 2010. I’m with you. I took my most recent position with high hopes of hanging onto it for more than a calendar year (my partner is in grad school, so a locally-based position wouldn’t be forever anyway). On paper, this job fit my skills and strengths to a T. I was so excited.

      Then I started to get to know my boss. Her personality and her management style combine to create a highly toxic work environment. Since I’ve been employed there (Sept), three people have quit, two of whom started at the same time I did. I now have a plan in place to leave for part-time employment elsewhere, but need to finish out my responsibilities through the end of the month. I know when I give notice, she will treat me like shit until I go (her past MO, at least).

      Nothing is worth sacrificing your well-being. The toxicity at work affects me at home, and I have very strong boundaries. Your resume will be okay. You will still have good job experience. The economy is rapidly changing, and if employers don’t understand your circumstances, they probably aren’t great people/companies to work for anyway. You will tell them all the varied skills you’ve picked up, and how each job has helped you move further toward your professional goals (either by example or counter-example). I know where you are, and I recommend you quit, whether your fiance gets the job or not (and best of luck that he does!)

  • Kathleen

    Hello Minnesota APWers! Anyone have recommendations on pre-marital counselors in the Twin Cities? We’d love to do it but google searches have turned up some questionable results (one was quite possibly a cult). We’d like something non-religious (spiritual is cool, though). Looked at the vendor directory here but no luck (perhaps a future APW expansion?) Anyone have good experiences to share?

    • http://www.blackgirlunlost.com Jubi The Great

      Great question – I’d love that info myself! The only recommendations I’ve gotten so far have been friends who went to their pastors, which wouldn’t work in my situation.

      • Lian

        Another Minnesota APW’er here! We haven’t picked one yet but will probably go with someone synagogue related. However, I do know that Minneapolis Community Education has premarital counseling classes, I just can’t find them in the catalog right now, maybe they’re not offered this ‘semester’. But that might be an option.

    • Crayfish Kate

      This link has been suggested before on Happy Hours, might want to give it a try :-)

      http://www.goodtherapy.org/

  • YOQ

    Coolest wedding-related thing that happened this week: fiancee and I lived in different states when we started dating, so we met up in New Mexico for a weekend for our “first date.” We went to El Meson, in Santa Fe, one night for dinner, and we had the most AMAZING goat cheese cheesecake for dessert. Fast-forward past engagement and into wedding planning: she doesn’t like frosting and I don’t like cake, so we’ve decided on cheesecake, shortcake, and fresh berries for our reception. (And whipped cream. I love whipped cream.) On a whim, I contacted the restaurant to ask if they would be willing to send us the recipe for that goat cheese cheesecake. AND THEY DID! I’m over the moon. Also, if you’re in Santa Fe (whether you live there or you’re visiting), I totally recommend El Meson if you like tapas and/or flamenco.

    • Laura

      That is not only a huge celebration (delicious AND meaningful food? win!) but an amazing idea. *calls restaurant where we had our first date and he later proposed*

      • YOQ

        Now I’m trying to figure out the next step: I have a cheesecake recipe, a shortcake recipe, and ~200 guests. Are there such things as free-lance pastry chefs who will just make whatever recipe I hand them? (I’d rather avoid asking any of our guests to do this part, but if push comes to shove, we have at least three pastry chefs on the guest list…) Good problem to have.

        • Laura

          If you have a favorite bakery in town, call them up! It can’t hurt to ask.

        • Caroline

          We have a family cake recipe we wanted to use. Several bakers were totally happy to use our recipe. We didn’t end up using them because my mama offered to bake the cake, which, since it’s the recipe she used to make me birthday cakes every year of my childhood, would be so fabulous. But, bakers were enthusiastic to use a recipe we provided which had special significance. Not all of them, but some of them.

    • K.

      Ah! El Meson is THE BEST. It is hands down my favorite restaurant in Santa Fe (and there are a lot of good restaurants there.) It was fiance’s and my special date place when we lived there!

      • YOQ

        So delicious. And, it turns out, really nice and generous and stuff, too! (I mean, the pastry chef is actually adjusting the recipe for our (sea-level-ish) altitude and everything!) I figure the least I can do in return is tell people how great they are. :)

    • MC

      MMMMMMM I was just telling Fiance that I have been craving cheesecake and we live in Santa Fe! Looks like we’re going to El Meson for our next date night.

      • YOQ

        It was a dessert special, so I doubt they have it all the time–you might want to call ahead. But everything else we had there was fantastic too…

        As a side note, how many Ali Ms are commenting on this thread? I can’t decide if I think you are one prolific commenter, or if there are multiple people using the same name…

        • MC

          I think that’s something that happens in Chrome – or when I use Chrome, at least, it seems like there are tons of commenters with the same name. But in Firefox on my home computer all the usernames are different.

          • YOQ

            Weird. I’m using Firefox, but I’m counting at least three different Ali Ms. I think.

  • PurpleHeather

    We sent out our save the dates this week, and I discovered an easy way to centre the address labels on the envelopes. Take two post it notes and fold them in half, so the sticky side is face down and on the bottom, along an edge. Position one at the top left of the envelope horizontally, and one on the left side, vertically. Use these to line the label up, then stick them on the next envelope.

    Much simpler than my description seems, and good to get the labels square.

    Also, use new labels (or at least ones that are still sticky) and/or number your envelopes on the back in pencil, so when they’re returned because the label fell off you know whose it is. Learned that one the hard way…

  • Nicole Cherae

    I’m finally making progress on wedding plans: ordered invitation samples, made an appointment to see a venue (most likely THE venue), bought his ring, and made an appointment to try on a dress I fell in love with online.

  • Laura C

    Oh, wow. Today, out of 10-11 people in my department at work, 4 were on vacation or out sick. And I was the person responsible for making the trains run on time in their absence. I ended the day with the kind of mental exhaustion that just breaks you. I asked A to go for a walk with me and we initially thought we were going to the store to get ingredients to cook a particularly nice dinner, but when I kept coming up with genius ideas like “we could just have omelets? you could get some crab cakes and I could have … an omelet?” we scrapped that and he suggested we go out for drinks. Which turned into drinks and enough appetizers to equal dinner, and me feeling soooo much better. So glad he dragged me out rather than letting me huddle up in a ball feeling exhausted but unable to sleep.

  • Anonymous Coward

    Anon to talk about work stuffs.
    A couple weeks ago, I was feeling like I really wanted out of this job where I’ve been for a several years. (I do have an application in at my ideal employer; I’m on the list after exams but not at the very top, so it will probably be a while before I get to the interview stage.) But I was just assigned a new project which is quite different from the stuff I had been doing in my usual department, and I don’t have to do that stuff in the meantime. The boss said that the project could lead to a promotion into the new department. And I’m working hard and accomplishing very achievable goals, getting rockstar points — and overtime pay! — and just received a bonus (more related to my other work over the past year, but still). I’m feeling more like I could give this place another 6 months. Or until I take maternity leave (hopefully sometime later this year). It’s a bit of a relief.

    • Caroline

      I’m glad things are feeling more tolerable. I hope you are able to do work that is more interesting, and yay! for extra pay before you head into baby-making.

  • Magical Unicorn Lady

    Drive by angst comment because I have to put it somewhere, might as well be anonymously on the internet, right? We’re in the midst of our 7th two week wait. Lucky #7, right? 6 more days. I am dying inside from nerves and worried and… just too many feels. But I had a dream during the last two week wait that I was five months pregnant in June, so that’s gotta count for something, right? Right? (Right, it will probably just destroy me more when I get the negative)

    Christ, if this one doesn’t work, I’m not sure where we’re finding the next $2K for another Clomid cycle.

    Just… too many feels.

    • Caroline

      Just offering some online sympathy/hugs and good thoughts.

  • E

    Hi all–I’m late, but hopefully someone will see this and give me some needed advice or at least a virtual hug.

    GOOD NEWS: My BFF from childhood who is unreal and amazing and special in every sense of the word just told us that she and her husband (who is equally amazing) are expecting their first baby! They told us during a Skype and I totally started crying and was so, so so happy for her–they will be amazing parents and are total rockstars so this is a super good thing

    WEIRD NEWS: My reaction. I mean, I sort of knew this was coming and I knew that they were trying to have a baby, so it wasn’t surprise. And I AM genuinely happy for them. But they were also like our last couple friends who don’t have kids….and my husband and I really don’t want to have kids or plan to have kids (we just adopt dogs). We’ve never wanted kids–it’s just not something that we have looked at as our “thing”–I mean, maybe that will one day change, but I don’t foresee it….and not having kids has been great–we’re able to travel and be selfishly indulgent and do all sorts of things our kid friends can’t do…but we are also few and far between–literally everyone we know is having a child or already has 2-3….

    I know that there have been lots of convos out there on APW about not having kids and what that means, but I have been feeling sort of sad about it lately. We’re in our early 30s and we have like….4 friends who don’t have kids–and that’s just because they haven’t had them yet–we’re the only people who know who are like “We don’t want kids”–plus, we live in an area where we constantly have to justify this to our families and such….

    I guess my question to all of you fabulous ladies out there is–1) it’s ok to not want to have kids, right? I mean, my therapist says it is, and I feel like it is…but then I also feel so sad and lonely thinking about all our friends being caught up for the next 18 years with raising kids and us….not doing so. And I also start to feel weird about myself as a lady–I mean, does it mean something that I am a woman who literally has no desire to birth a child? I know that sounds ridiculous and cliche to ask, but really–what does that mean that I just don’t want them? I love children…I mean, I’m a high school teacher, I just don’t want my OWN…..2) Where do we find other non-kid wanting people to hang out with? We have found a few great couples (including 1 through APW!) who are also child-free and planning to stay child-free, but I also just am scared that we are going to be that 1 weird couple who just don’t ever want to have kids….

    I don’t know, it’s been odd….I’d love some shout outs or thoughts on this matter if anyone has anything that might make me feel not so weird….

    xoxo APW

    • p.

      I’m also child-free at this point, and for the last 5-10 years most of my friends and family have become parents. It does change things and that can be tough (at least it was for me). But in my experience, at least, it doesn’t usually change things for 18 years. There’s just an adjustment period for both you and your friends.

      Many of my friends with kids went down the kid rabbit-hole for a few years, but some are back now that they’ve adjusted to parenthood or now that their kids are older or in school. And some are thrilled that I don’t have to worry about finding a sitter to go out for lunch or out for a drink.

      I also met some new friends who didn’t have kids by continuing to pursue the things I’m interested in. I met people at weeknight cooking or wine classes, the dog park, or the farmers market. For me, continued exposure to people helped build friendships so a series of classes was usually better than a single class. I also found that weeknight activities tended to include people who either didn’t have kids or parents who were ready to have adult time.

      This isn’t to say that you won’t miss your parent friends during this transition time or feel left out at times. It’s been lonely for me at times and letting go of certain friendships or seeing those friendships change has been one of the harder parts of my adulthood. But over time I’ve also realized that some of my friends and I were on different paths regardless of kids and kids probably just made those different paths more obvious to me.

      Just my two cents, but I hope it helps.

  • Laura

    “Decision Fatugue” is a phrase thrown around a lot here on APW, and here’s an interesting article on it! http://www.fastcompany.com/3009641/leadership-now/quick-end-decision-fatigue-before-it-drains-your-productivity-reservoir

  • Emma Klues

    So I know it’s Sunday and I am late to the party, but I just feel like this is a good crowd to source. I’m going to Ireland in the spring, any hidden gems or things I won’t find online that I should know about? Many thanks!

    • lizperk23

      I spent a month one summer and would definitely recommend Newgrange! Also, I enjoyed Galway. I wish I’d had time to just drive around but I was mostly in Dublin. Also spent a day trip in Belfast which was interesting, and sort of surreal. Have fun!

      • Emma Klues

        Thanks Liz!

    • lady brett

      i spent a semester in belfast (10 years ago…things may have changed!) and spent about 3 weeks travelling ireland. i don’t know that i have any hidden gems, but the best places i ended up were the cliffs of moher (which really are more spectacular than you’ve heard), the aran islands (wonderful for a day of walking and taking in the landscape (and small, furry livestock)), the dingle peninsula (the irish folks i met there said that it is similar to the ring of kerry, but as it is less well known, there is less tourist traffic – though it is a definite tourist destination), and i would recommend blarney castle, not for the castle or the blarney stone (though cool), but for the truly spectacular grounds. i wish i could remember what the wooded area i explored was – it’s the sort of landscape that makes you fully understand where stories of fairies and sundry come from (killarney national park, perhaps?).

      • Emma Klues

        Thank you! Yes. You just reaffirmed half of my itinerary :)

  • Kayjayoh

    Oh my…that moment when you realize that you are probably going to have about 30 people at the rehearsal dinner. If we have a rehearsal dinner. I suggested not having one. Fiance was not down with that idea. I am looking in the idea of park shelter + food cart at a park a few blocks from the space and the hotel. But it might now be much less than a restaurant and would come with a few minutes more walking (or driving) for people, more weather uncertainty (even with a shelter, if it is raining it might be much less fun), and a lot more DIY in terms of set-up and cleaning.

    So, I’m leaning toward the space that is a little less “Wisconsin” feeling (still a nice, local place) but that can fit us and doesn’t want to charge us $100 just for being there and require a $500/hour spending guarantee. (It’s Irish pub vs brew pub. The brew pub has better beers and a great outdoor location, but will probably cost us at least $400 more, due to the space charge and the spending guarantee…I doubt we could get in and out in under an hour.)

    Grar.

    • Laura

      Grar is right! Would it be terribly inappropriate to ask your guests to chip in? Maybe not to pay for themselves outright but to give $5 a head? Or something? Or are they already spending lots of money to travel?

      • Kayjayoh

        I don’t think asking folks to chip in is going to be viable.

        • Laura

          Well then it must a “bite the bullet” time. Press on.