APW Happy Hour


Gratitude + sick days

by Meg Keene, CEO & Editor-In-Chief

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Hey APW,

After a brutal month of nonstop sick (day care is magical like that), this week got really fun for the APW team. Our content manager, Najva, is in town from Brooklyn to hang out with us, and while she was here we managed to schedule our first big photoshoot of the year. This one was for ModCloth, and it was super duper duper fun (plus pretty clothes).

On weeks like this sometimes I look around, totally overwhelmed that I built this company from scratch, and it makes me so, so happy, and beyond grateful.

Here is to more, for all of us!

xo

Meg

Link Roundup

The complicated supply and demand of breast milk.

In defense of housework.

Why are white people called expats and brown people called immigrants?

Stop telling Hillary Clinton to smile.

What happened when this reporter went to the Say Yes to the Dress bridal salon?

Let’s stop calling people “ladies” and why gendered language can be accidentally harmful.

Meg Keene

Meg is the Founder and EIC of APW. She has written two best selling wedding books: A Practical Wedding and A Practical Wedding Planner. Meg has her BFA in Drama from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She lives in Oakland, CA with her husband and two children. For more than you ever wanted to know about Meg, you can visit MegKeene.com. #NASTY

Staff Picks

[Read comment policy before commenting]

  • TeaforTwo

    Any internet shoppers out there looking for an afternoon project? I’ve been invited to two weddings this summer: one at 36 weeks pregnant, and one 4 weeks after my due date. (So maybe only two weeks after the baby is born?) I have no idea what to wear to either one.

    At 2-4 weeks postpartum, I’m going to need easy access to my boobs, probably some kind of pattern to disguise leaks, and something loose enough around my middle that I won’t have to worry about someone asking when I’m due while the baby is being passed around. At 36 weeks pregnant….I guess I just need something huge? Not sure I’ll be able to get away with non-maternity-as-maternity for this one, but if I could find something that would work for both dates I’d be over the moon!

    • Eenie

      I don’t have any specific ideas for you, but I would potentially buy a few options, keep the tags on, and then return ones that you don’t end up wearing (if you have money in the budget to float for a couple months). Make sure you have a 90 day window or whatever from when you buy them.

    • Cleo

      There was an article that was actually written about this on APW a while back – dresses to wear while nursing/pregnant at weddings. A round-up maybe?

      I don’t have time to search now, but take a look! (or maybe someone else will find it).

      • TeaforTwo

        There have been TWO articles written about this on APW, but both in December for holiday parties, mainly. These are going to be in June and July!

    • Maddie Eisenhart

      Have you seen Asos’s nursing collection? They are supposed kind of convertible/flexible to be for both maternity and nursing wear. I’ve never been pregnant so I’m not sure how well these designs would play out in real life, but possibly worth a look!

      http://www.asos.com/search/nursing-dress?hrd=1&q=nursing+dress

      • Maddie Eisenhart

        ETA: each dress actually tells you what stage of pregnancy their dresses are supposed to fit.

    • Laura C

      It seems like some nursing styles have room built in on the assumption you won’t have lost most of the baby weight yet or even are intentionally nursing/maternity. Nordstrom has some great stuff, though it can be pricey. http://shop.nordstrom.com/c/maternity-nursing-friendly-clothes?origin=leftnav&flexi=8000786_8000802

      • TeaforTwo

        Thank you, some of these are really nice! A lot of nursing styles do seem to be built with “before and after” in mind, but they are also really, really casual. And while I imagine that most of the time in the weeks right after having a freaking baby I will want loose/comfy/casual above all else, I would like to pull it together a little for a wedding. But there’s a patterned wrap dress at Nordstrom that I think might check all my boxes.

    • emilyg25

      For the 36 weeks, at that stage in my pregnancy, I lived in jersey knit dresses like so: http://oldnavy.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=1020185&vid=1&pid=814011002. Or these two could be used for both:
      http://oldnavy.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=1052313&vid=1&pid=120119012
      http://oldnavy.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=1001102&vid=1&pid=209621002

      I also recently bought a cute dress from Milk Nursing Wear that I quite like.

    • KPM

      I don’t have maternity specific advice but re: your comment that many of the available dresses aren’t very formal, I’d just throw in that if you find a slightly too-simple dress that works well, have fun with accessories. Especially for the pre-baby wedding you can have a big jeweled statement necklace and maybe post-baby you have a nice shawl or shrug?

      • emilyg25

        Yeah, get a black dress and play up the accessories. And anyone who expects a very pregnant and very early post-partum woman to be the height of fashion has their head in their ass.

  • Eenie

    Solid links! What are people’s thoughts on using “guys”? I’ve always intended it to be gender neutral (especially when it’s “you guys”), but in reality it’s not. I don’t know if it actually offends anyone, but I’ve been trying to stop using it, unsuccessfully. Maybe it’s a midwestern thing? I’ll try subbing in y’all now that I’ve moved to the south :)

    Also, saw this artcle on how divorced women suffer in retirement and wanted to share!

    • Jenn

      My feeling on “guys” is that it should be gender neutral, because the only alternative to “guys” seems to be “gals” and “gals” feels like a weird word. As an engineer this has been fairly awkward for me since I end up being the only woman in the room on a regular basis. I can’t count the number of times someone has said, “Okay, great meeting, guys” only to immediately look at me, and say “…and gals.” It singles me out, and I would be just fine with “guys” being used for mixed company!

      Although, I do think “folks” is a nice alternative, from the gendered article.

      • Eenie

        Great meeting folks sounds awkward too! As a fellow engineer, I agree, just make me one of the guys, no special treatment needed. But I also don’t have any emotional energy tied up in the word…

        • Jenn

          I am curious if “guys” is regional though…you mentioned the midwest, and I’m from Colorado, so that’s pretty close. I suppose in the south you could use “y’all”?

          • Ashlah

            I want y’all so badly on the West Coast. What a useful word. But for now it just feels weird in my mouth.

          • Eenie

            It works better with a southern accent. You can try “you all”.

          • Kara

            I’ve lived my whole life in the South, and you can always just say “you all” :).
            It helps keep the “twang” out of my speech if I avoid using “y’all”.

          • MC

            Yes – I’m in a Texas-adjacent state and use y’all in writing but “you all” when I’m talking because it sounds smoother. But I love all the y’alls that I hear!

          • Kara

            I’m Texas through and through, so “you all” helps me avoid the Texas “twang”….except when sleepy or drunk ;).

          • westofhere

            I grew up on the West Coast and live here now. I use “y’all” all the time, though, at least in more informal settings, because I like its gender neutral connotations. I try to keep it not twangy. People laugh at it, but I just point out that it’s an appropriately descriptive term of the group that I am attempting to summon or mobilize.

          • As a fellow west-coaster, I’ve taken to just using “all,” and it really doesn’t throw people off. As in “Hi all” or “Thanks all.” Surprisingly, people find it really easy to roll with.

          • Ashlah

            Oh, I forgot about “all” but I totally use it all the time! It’s a great one!

          • Alison O

            Yeah, a lot of people at my last job (I was based in Mass., nationally there were some Southerners, but not the majority) used “y’all,” and it usually strikes me as affected or silly or trying too hard coming from white non-Southerners.

          • Eenie

            Yeah but I grew up in PA where youse guys is super popular.

          • Kara

            I have a friend from the Pittsburg area, and he uses “yines” (we call him a “yinser”).

          • Kara

            * “yins” …. I typed to quickly.

        • Grace

          Another engineer here! My boss uses, “Gents…. and lady.” Which I kind of find hilarious, but then I don’t mind, actually, I like being singled out as the only woman in the room. It’s not a good thing that I’m the only one there, but if I am, all the men should know about it.

          • Eenie

            Ugh yes, I agree with you there. The thing that pisses me off is when they apologize for swearing in front of a lady. Apologize to everyone, or just say what you want to say without apology!

      • Ashlah

        I love both folks and gals! I really want them to make a comeback. That said, I totally get why being singled out as “…and gals” is squicky. When I was a pall bearer for my grandma, the funeral director was explaining how it would work to the “Gentlemen…and lady.” Oof.

      • Cleo

        The “guys” as neutral is all very romance language-y. One man in a sea of women makes an “ils” become “elles” (in French). That construction has always bugged me.

        Guys and “dude” feel gender neutral to me even though in their etymology they aren’t.

        I will say, I’d prefer an “and gals” or “and lady” to what happened to me in a meeting earlier this week (where I was the only female): “Sorry I’m late, gents.”

        Ugh.

        • StevenPortland

          I thought it was the opposite in French. A sea of women is “elles” and then add just one man and it becomes “ils”. Of course, French class was many, many years ago.

          • Eenie

            That’s how all romance languages work. Ellos vs ellas in spanish. Ils vs elles in french. German actually has a neutral gender but I’m not sure how it works with pronouns.

          • Lisa

            In German, a third person group is sie, which is neuter. German is the only language with which I have experience that has a true, consistently used neuter.

          • Eenie

            Thus why Germans are the best.

          • Lisa

            Eh, we haven’t gotten into all of the cases of nouns or the confusion that “sie” also means singular feminine, singular formal “you”, AND plural formal “you.” German has its own quirks and problems! :)

          • Cleo

            yep. oops! I switched my ils and elles around! thanks :)

      • Jess

        1) I hate folks (see above, I have no rational reason for it). It sounds twee and… just… ew.
        2) Also an engineer, would just prefer to be “guys” rather than the always awful “guys…and gals”

    • TeaforTwo

      That is exactly why the “ladies” article caught my eye! I hate when “guys” is used as gender neutral, and my own personal protest has been to use “ladies” in its place when addressing mixed-gender groups. Because the idea that “guys” is neutral (because men are normal) and “gals/ladies/etc.” isn’t because women are special doesn’t work for me. And it gets some men’s backs up when I call them “ladies,” and…I like that sometimes.

      That said, I wouldn’t use “ladies” for a group that included people I thought I might be misgendering-not-on-purpose. And realistically, I use “folks” more often. But I haaaate “guys.”

      • Jess

        My boss referred to a group of us as “ladies” the other day. I was the only woman. I’m beginning to think my boss is an excellent feminist, ya’ll.

      • Emily

        Unfortunately when I occasionally hear people (in this case almost always men) using “ladies” (or, as I wrote about above, “girls”) they are intending to be derogatory. I’m not suggesting that you intend to be derogatory, but I’m aware of how it can be taken.

    • A.

      I grew up in eastern Pennsylvania, about an hour north of Philly, and “you guys” is definitely extreeeeemely common. I’d say it’s the most common way to refer to a collective group. True regionalists would actually say “youse guys” but it’s all from the same root. I used to fight tooth and nail for it being an innocuous regionalism, but I’ve since come around on it being yet another example of societally-woven gendered language and I’m actively trying to change my habit. It’s very difficult though! I say “you guys” at least once a day, even as I’ve become aware of the habit.

      I’m not southern by any stretch, so I’ve been trying to change to the slightly more punctuated “you all”—again, same root. Or even just hoping that people understand the idea of a collective “you.” But even that can feel abrupt sometimes. I’d love a way to refer to a collective, gender-neutral group in a way that sounds and feels natural. But overall, I’m always in favor of an examination of our conscious/subconsious word choices, even when/especially if it makes me uncomfortable with how I might change.

      • Mary Jo TC

        It makes me wonder if this is a word that’s evolving and becoming more accepted in a new usage? First, the singular “they”–next, the gender neutral “you guys”?

    • Ashlah

      My feelings on “guys” as gender neutral have always been that I fully understand why some people hate it, that it’s absolutely a symbol and result of our sexist society and language, and yet I use it all the time because it’s convenient and ingrained. I try to use folks any time I’m actually thinking about it, though, such as in written form.

      (But sometimes you just need an excited YOU GUYS and YOU FOLKS just doesn’t cut it!)

      • Eenie

        Oh also the frustrated “You guys :(” It is so ingrained. I personally think I may have to go with y’all since it sounds hilarious with my accent down here (I just sound ridiculous all around).

        • Mary Jo TC

          “Y’all” solves lots of problems. It’s a gift from us Southerners to all English speakers. You’re welcome.
          (Seriously, though, as a foreign language teacher, I wonder why English doesn’t have a non-regional, non-gendered second person plural, like “ustedes” in Spanish. Although everything is kind of gendered in Spanish.)

      • Jess

        So… folks is really grating to me for reasons I have never been able to understand or explain. I may be the only one, which is fine.

      • Alison O

        I think my substitution would be PEOPLE, or if I’m feeling particularly something-or-other, PEEPS. Of course, “you people” has another connotation entirely.

    • honeycomehome

      This one is not my fight. I use “guys” when referring to a bunch of girls, a bunch of guys, or a mixed gender bunch. I appreciate that it might be some people’s pet peeve, but it doesn’t bother me.

      Plus, when some people identify as gender nuetral or anywhere on the gender spectrum that isn’t strictly “guy” or “gal” it’s useful to use one word across the board. The fact that it is the male version is, of course, annoying, but so much of language is just working with what you have (in my opinion).

      • MC

        Just to say that it’s fine if it doesn’t bother you, but it might bother others! Especially (as many have pointed out on this thread) in workplace settings. I try not to use it unless I know it doesn’t bother people (in my workplace we’ve all established that it’s okay) and also because it’s a good reminder to be more thoughtful of inclusive language in general.

        • honeycomehome

          Of course, which is why I said, ” I appreciate that it might be some people’s pet peeve.”

          I also think it’s super informal, and I’d never use it in a work or professional setting, and only ever in the context of “you guys.” I should have made that more clear! So I say, “You guys aren’t going to believe this!” or “Did you guys already make plans?” to any group, when I want to make it clear I’m talking to everyone, and not a specific “you.”

          (Though after this thread I think I’ll make an effort to say “everyone” or even just “you” without the guys. Because it’s an easy change, and there’s not a good reason not to make a little effort for those it does bother.)

          Emily’s comment below about bosses saying “We have to have six guys on this truck” isn’t ok, and would make me insane. Just say “people” (or person)! There’s a non-gendered word for that!

    • lady brett

      haha, my daughter keeps asking me why i call her “man”. because i definitely use dude, baby, man, honey and sweetie interchangeably when talking to my kiddos. they think all of those things are hilarious and/or weird.

    • Emily

      It bothers me and makes me feel left out. This is likely because I hear it used mostly in my male-dominated work (fire). Sentences such as “We have to have six guys on this truck” or “The first guy grabs the [whatever], the second guy opens the [whatever]”. I really want to hear other words: person, people, etc. I always tell trainers this in person after classes and some do make adjustments—my Chief has started using “guys and gals” which I don’t love but I appreciate the effort.

      • Ashlah

        I feel much more strongly that individual guy is not gender neutral, linguistically or socially, and it would bother the hell out of me if my boss were saying things like that. Person is an easy replacement there. I’m glad you’re letting trainers know how it feels. That’s the kind of language that keeps women out of male-dominated workplaces.

        • Eenie

          Yes this!

        • Emily

          Yes, you have said this well.

          Here’s a story: the other day after the classroom part of a training my assistant chief said”Okay, Man-up!” meaning, “go put your gear on.” Another woman and I stayed in our seats and told him that it was obviously going to be impossible for us to “man up.”

    • April

      I use it as a gender neutral all the time too. I know it’s not but so far no one seems to mind. I’m not sure what a better phrase would be to use. :/

    • Amy March

      I don’t use it and don’t miss it.

      “Great meeting everyone”

      “Hi, how is everyone?”

      “Wait, people, pause a sec”

      “Are you [looking a multiple people] coming out later?”

      “How’s wedding planning going for you two.”

      • Eenie

        Oh, everyone is a great alternative!

    • Jess

      Whoa, I never really thought about it being a midwestern thing – but it totally is. I say “Guys” as a second person plural (Hey guys!) at least once a day, to just about any group of people. Singular, I probably only use it as a generic or about a man.

      I wouldn’t ever be offended by someone walking in a room and saying, “Can you guys help me out with this” though. It’s just so commonly gender neutral here.

    • Keeks

      It seems like I may be in the minority here – I love using “y’all” and “folks”, I’m okay with “guys”, but “gals” makes my teeth hurt ever since I heard an older manager at work refer to a whole department of women that way. It made me, and a lot of other women here, seriously uncomfortable and doubtful of his leadership.

    • Alison O

      “Guys” doesn’t bother me, but I think it doesn’t hurt to try for something gender neutral.

      I like these neutral terms of varying levels of formality:
      people
      everyone
      everybody
      all (or “you all”)
      friends
      folks
      the # of you (e.g., “Where are the three of you going out for lunch?”)

      I’ve known people who use “fam” (for “family”) among friends or in casual work environments, and I like it but wouldn’t personally use it.

      I think “gal” is just an ugly word, and its usage in 2016 is almost as awkward as “lass.”

      • Jenn

        I’m literally going to e-mail this list to myself to practice using them! And maybe teach them to coworkers too.

      • Ashlah

        I just want something between girl and woman, something equivalent to guy. Are we out of luck?

        • Eenie

          It’s gal or miss I think. But it’s used so infrequently that it’s awkward.

        • Alison O

          Well, we are if googling for synonyms of “gal” and “lady” is any indication. Some of the highlights from thesaurus.com: skirt, bag, mare, bitch, broad, doll, floozy, bimbo, chick. (The synonyms of gal are almost uniformly offensive, whereas lady has more neutral, although not really applicable, alternatives, such as “baroness.”)

          “Dudette” strikes me as having potential, but as a “diminutive” form of a masculine word…not ideal.

          I think “chica” is sometimes used in this context, but I’m not sure how I feel about it.

          • Ashlah

            Urgh, yeah, don’t care for any of that :/ I’ve personally always thought gal had potential, but obviously a lot of people don’t really like it.

          • E.

            Lol I’m going to start saying “hey baronesses”

      • Totch

        Particularly at work, I’d add the word “team.” That and “all” are my defaults!

    • E.

      I was raised by my super feminist mom to not say it, and I try not to, but it slips out occasionally. I try and use you all instead

    • Shawna

      There was a great defense of y’all in the Atlantic. I’ve found myself using it in the past few years even though I never spent time in the South. It just…works. http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2016/03/the-case-for-yall/473277/

  • Ashlah

    Running/Exercise thread? Not a place to discuss weight loss, but a place to talk about activity goals and accomplishments! What powerful things have you discovered your body can do?

    I started running last August, and my first 5K race is coming up next month. I tend to run 1-2 miles every morning, then a 5K (3.1 miles) once a week. Last Saturday I ran my 5K with zero walking breaks for the first time!! I finished in just under 30 minutes, which is a personal best! I’m so proud (and still somewhat bewildered) at the progress I’ve made, starting as someone who has never, ever been active and always especially hated running. It’s amazing to look back to when I couldn’t even run a quarter mile without feeling like I was dying. My body is awesome!

    • Eenie

      Welcome to the club of people who can run 3 miles! I think it’s only like 3% of the population in the US.

      I’m super close to being able to do a dead hang pull up. I can do a chin up, but not quite a pull up.

      I personally hate how easy athletics are for men vs women. It’s so hard for us to build muscles.

      • Ashlah

        Seriously! My husband does pushups for three days and has great muscle definition, meanwhile I do dumbbell exercises for three weeks and you can hardly tell. In fact, the lack of obvious progress kind of my me lose motivation there, and I need to get back into it. I want to be a badass strong lady.

        • Eenie

          Yup. I’ve been lifting heavier recently and have seen a lot more definition, but it’s a struggle. He can’t even comprehend how little I lift compared to him (I’ll ask him for suggestions on a weight to use for a lift and he’s always WAAAAY off base). I personally like to measure my progress with a specific skill (pullups for example).

          • Alex

            May I recommend girlsgonestrong.com? I stumbled on it in grad school and the women who run it are totally bad ass super strong ladies, and they have TONS of helpful videos demonstrating good form vs. bad form and there might be some information about programming with more reasonable weights :) I’m a firm advocate in heavy lifting, too, so whohoo!

          • Eenie

            Always happy for another rec, thank you! I mostly need to just take the time to do my one rep maxes. I’ve been on and off, and trying to be more on lately.

          • Alex

            Heh, oh I feel you. I haven’t hit my ORM since grad school – the whole working-full-time-as-an-engineer thing kinda kills my solid programming I had going during grad school. I’m basically just rebuilding so am hitting mini “PR since I started working!” goals. Amazing what sitting at a desk almost all day does to my poor hips! Happy training!

          • Eenie

            Oh yeah, I just meant I’ve mostly been doing sets, and haven’t taken the time to max out any of my lifts. So I just kind of guess at 80% of ORM. Or find a challenging weight. Lifetime PRs are awesome, but sometimes a “I haven’t lifted this much in over a year!” is an awesome feeling too.

        • Lisa

          I feel you on this. I was going to the gym about three days a week for weights, but I fell out of it when things got crazy with my show. I need to get back in there!

      • Alison O

        Ugh. And weight loss. My dad stops eating chips for a week and loses a pant size. And he doesn’t eat very many chips. I eat one chip (I rarely eat chips) and it’s a permanent 5 pounds. WTF?

        • Eenie

          I know a guy who lost 30 pounds by just not drinking beer. He changed the rest of his diet, but he slowly went back to his old habits and he kept all of it off unless he drank beer. Meanwhile I’ve stopped drinking all alcohol and nothing! Very frustrating. (Although @disqus_SU83Haapqj:disqus said no weight loss stuff which was why I didn’t mention it in my comment.)

          • Ashlah

            I’m not gonna police people’s discussion, I just didn’t want it to spiral too far into negative and/or triggering body talk :)

    • jb123

      Way to go! Woohoo!

      I hurt my ankle earlier in the year and it’s been taking FOREVER to heal. But this week I was able to exercise bike (slowly and with no resistance) for 5 miles! It felt awesome! Everything feels better (both physically and emotionally) when I exercise so not being able to do it while wedding planning has sucked. I was super proud of my ankle for doing that with no pain and my PT said I’ll be able to work up to elliptical in a few weeks!

      • Ashlah

        What a pain! (Literally and figuratively) I’m annoyed enough trying to stay active through a cold, not sure how I’d respond to an actual injury! Way to go sticking with it! Sounds like you’re crushing physical therapy!

    • Lizzie

      LOVE this! I started bouldering about 6 months ago, and have been slowing down progress in the past few months because of wedding planning (5 weeks out!). This week I decided FUCK IT and have re-prioritized climbing, and I feel amazing. I flashed a v2 yesterday (which is really good for me) and am making progress with the “just reach up and try to grab it, and you might fall and that’s ok” thing too!

      Any other APW climbers out there?

      • Ashlah

        I’ve always been so impressed with climbing! The amount of strength it takes is so impressive. I’ve got a friend traveling the western US and rock climbing all over the place, and it’s so cool. Good for you for getting back into it!

        • Lizzie

          Thank you!! Whenever I feel down about not making it to the climbing gym on the regular recently, I remember that it took me several weeks before I could even climb the easiest route in the whole gym. Hanging from stuff takes a long time to work up to, for sure!

      • Jenn

        I climb too! But I stick to top rope. I have a bad knee and can’t deal with the bouldering falls. It makes me too anxious to enjoy the climbing part.

        • Lizzie

          Oh man, I’m sorry about your bad knee! That sucks. Funnily enough, I only boulder because top roping makes me too anxious! It’s SO HIGH UP GAH. What are your thoughts on auto belays? I’ve used them a few times but it’s so hard for me to trust it. Jury’s out on how rational/irrational that fear is, though…

          • Lizzie

            (Also realizing the irony of “oh man” in a happy hour thread with an article about gendered language… “Oh bummer” I mean!)

          • Jenn

            Auto belays are a real struggle for me. I hate that you start falling immediately (as opposed to just stop in place like you would for normal belay)! It is an okay option if you don’t have a belay partner I suppose.

          • Jenn

            Also, my knee has really healed well, I’m just trying to behave so as not to re-injure it (for the 3rd time)!

          • Eileen

            Has anyone tried continuing to climb while pregnant? I just started climbing a few years ago and then tore my ACL skiing (I swear am not actually very athletic) and have finally gotten it fixed (with a foot surgery thrown in there too) and would love to start climbing again—but now I’m in my first trimester (yay!). And also I prefer bouldering… the whole falling on the floor thing makes me nervous about the pregnancy though.

          • Emily

            I haven’t, but Beth Rodden blogged about it: http://bethrodden.com/2014/01/climbing-past-my-pregnancy-stigma/

          • Eileen

            thanks!

          • Chris

            Yup, I climbed until 38 weeks with my first kid, ~20weeks with the second. Like all activities, it’s about listening to your body, and backing off when you feel done. I didn’t boulder, lead climb, or lead belay, I switched to top roping only. I think it’s really important to point out that the risks for lead belaying are alomst as high as for lead belaying as they are for climbing, because the forces aon your core are pretty much the same.

          • Monchichi

            First trimester fist bump! :)
            I’m seven weeks (yay!), and hoping to continue climbing as long as I can. I’ve read up a lot online (stay away from forums though, they contain only men who tell any women asking that they should never climb when pregnant) and talked to my doctors and I think leading could still be safe in the first trimester. But I found I can’t stop being scared that something might happen. So top rope only for me. I also went off bouldering since I figured the jumping is similar to lead falls. I liked this blog post: http://thesevereclimber.com/2013/05/19/climbing-for-two-to-climb-or-not-to-climb/

          • Lizzie

            Yeah, rite??? That split-second moment of free fall is too f**king much for me. I think I need to get a belay partner!

          • Jenn

            Our climbing gym actually has like a daily time when you can meet random people if you need a belay. I think you just show up at 5:30 and hopefully there are other people there. I’ve never tried it, but maybe yours has something similar?

          • Lizzie

            Oh that’s a great idea!

          • Emily

            I’ve never been able to bring myself to trust auto-belays, although intellectually I suspect they are okay…

          • Jess

            I love auto belays, but mostly just because it means that if I fall, nobody has to catch me. I trust machines more than people.

          • Emily

            “I trust machines more than people.” I never thought about it this way… interesting new perspective!

      • A.

        BOULDERING IS SO HARD. Serious props to you!

        My husband and I go indoor climbing a couple times a week. I’d love to do outdoor climbing, but our tiny city is pretty far from any decent places to do so. But even the indoor climbing regularly kicks my ass and is hard! I’m still a true beginner; 5.6 on a flat wall is my comfort zone and I do vBs and v0s (on a good day) sometimes.

        But half the time I just stand and watch the boulder-ers do their thing in just pure fascination and awe.

        • Lizzie

          Hah, PREACH. I sometimes find the grading inconsistent too where I can do a v2 and feel amazing, but then I can’t get up another v0. I still watch the boulder-ers in awe too and keep hoping I’ll be like them someday. And like I said below, I am in awe of people who do the tall walls! So scary to me!

          • Jenn

            As a short person, I find the grading can be inconsistent just based on body geometry. Some routes will be easier for tall or short people, and this can really effect if feels like the correct rating (i.e. the holds are good, but waaay too far apart).

          • A.

            Tall walls are interesting for me…I’ve gotten over the height, but if you throw a large protrusion basically anywhere on the wall? I totally panic, especially if I’m autobelaying. If my husband is guiding me, I’ve been able to do it, but really so much of climbing is SO mental. Which I usually love because it’s almost like meditation in that the only thing I can think about while I’m climbing is the climb. But certainly doesn’t help the scary parts become less scary! :)

          • Lizzie

            EXACTLY re the meditation thing, and the protrusion thing! I was autobelaying a few days ago (like my 3rd time ever) and the route went around a corner and I kinda freaked having the rope go around the corner like that. tbh some routes in the bouldering sections are still too tall for my taste! Isn’t it funny, getting so up close and personal with the little lizard brain portions of ourselves?

        • Lisa

          Part of the reason that I’m wanting to get into climbing right now is that we have AMAZING outdoor climbing within an hour drive of our city, but I have no idea where to start!

          • Grace

            The way I started was taking a class at a gym. Most gyms will have a Climbing 101 or Technique 101. That way you start to meet people right away, and you don’t have to unlearn any bad habits.

          • Lisa

            Can you take those classes solo? The ones I was seeing at the gym I was looking at looked like they were for partners, but I don’t have anyone who’s interested in pursuing this with me.

          • Lizzie

            I would also suggest trying bouldering first! Read up a bit online about the etiquette (follow the routes marked out by the colored tape, don’t start a route if it overlaps with another route someone else is in the middle of, etc) and then you just need a shoe rental and you can give it a go. Very solo-friendly!

          • Lisa

            Interesting! I’ll have to look into that when I finally manage to get out to the climbing gym for an info session.

          • Nicole

            In my experience, those classes are usually solo and then they pair people up to practice!

          • Grace

            You should definitely be able to! I’ve never heard of a gym requiring you to bring a partner to a class. Maybe call just to double check, but if they require a partner, that’s the first I’ve heard of it.

      • MC

        Aww, this kind of makes me miss climbing. My husband is a climber and I did it for awhile – until I had a panic attack halfway up a boulder while climbing outdoors for the first time. But my husband is building a climbing wall in our garage right now and I think having that space to work on my climbing anxiety in private and not in a crowded gym might help. At my peak climbing time I did a pull-up on rock outside and it felt so AWESOME to have upper body and core strength – which as a runner I do not really work on nowadays. I also feel like women’s climbing communities are always filled with awesome women!

        • Lizzie

          A wall in your garage???!!!! SO COOL. Pics when it’s all done!

      • Lisa

        I really want to get into climbing! It’s been a dream of mine since I was little, and I’ve always enjoyed the times I’ve gone. I found a climbing gym nearby and need to actually go by and visit since the lady wasn’t too helpful over e-mail. Is it expensive to get into? Would it be prohibitive to do something like this as a single person? (Husband has no interest in it and really doesn’t like heights.)

        • Lizzie

          YAY I SUPPORT YOU! I love going as a single person, but I also do bouldering, which you don’t need a belay partner for. It also feels much more friendly to beginners (including me!) because you just need to rent shoes, and there isn’t any other specialized gear involved. There are some great suggestions here about finding a belay partner if you are into the tall walls (because I have the same issue!). I love bouldering because of its solitude – it feels very zen and I love being able to get in my own little world. Ugh, it is kinda expensive, but I justify the price of the monthly climbing gym ($95) because it’s the same price as a normal gym, but WHOOPS I hate normal gyms. For now, having access to exercise I adore (rare) is worth it to me, but yeah, that’s the pain point, for sure.

        • Caitlin

          Hi Lisa! Fellow climbing noobie who might be able to help a little. I remember you work at a university, do you know if they have a climbing wall? I ask because I recently went climbing for the first time in a long time by going to the university my fiance is a grad student at. I found it was really reasonably priced and super noobie friendly (they hire students to belay and help anyone who shows up!). It was free to my fiance who is a student and $10 for me, with all equipment provided. Might be a good option if your university has it!

          • Lisa

            This is brilliant! They totally do have one. I’ll have to check in to see how much it costs, but it’s right around the corner from my office. I think I’d be more motivated to go if it was closer. (The climbing specific gym is on the opposite side of town.) Thanks for the idea!

          • Caitlin

            You are welcome! We had a great experience and it had been years since I went and my fiance never had! We totally looked like noobs and needed help to get set up/figure out what was happening, but overall I found the university setting to be very relaxed and supportive. If I had to guess, they probably get a more diverse crowd since all students have access, in contrast to a gym, where people have to go to more effort to opt in and are therefore more likely to be a bit more experienced. Hope you have as good a time as we did!

            Bonus: my fiance found he didn’t love climbing the tall walls (at least not to the very top), but found they had other activities he enjoyed, like a cool balance board thing. He was iffy on the whole thing before we went, but ended up having a blast and really appreciated that I encouraged him to join me. You might be find something similar :)

      • April

        COOL. I’ve always wanted to try climbing but it’s still on my future to-do list for now. :D

      • Emily

        V2 wow! I have climbed on and off but have never gotten over my fear of falling, so I’m only comfortable top roping. Years ago I fell off a bouldering problem and badly sprained my ankle… I never went back to bouldering. Any advice of getting over the fear of falling? I probably won’t boulder agin, but I’d like to do some leading (all in the gym).

        • Jenn

          I’ve been procrastinating on taking my leading class lately, but I hear the best way to get over falling is just to fall a lot. Even fall on purpose, like right before you should be clipping your next quickdraw.

          • Emily

            I’ve heard that too… and it scares the crap out of me! I may never manage to lead, which may be okay.

          • Jenn

            Since I haven’t been leading, it means my fiance has been doing all of the leading when we climb outside. For the past 4 years. I’m mostly just feeling the need to do it out of guilt at this point :).

          • Monchichi

            I’ve been leading for 5 years now. And I’m still terrified of falling. But it does get better with practice, even though I still have good days and bad days. During my best time I would climb a route in the gym to the end and then not clip the anchor, but just jump. Over time that helped so much. At the moment I can’t do that anymore – too scared. But you can start much smaller than that: just go directly to the anchor and then take a small jump. Or clip the anchor and don’t wait until your belayer has taken in the slack, but jump immediately. It helps. And don’t think you can’t do it! You can! Everyone is scared of it at first. My husband has been climbing since he was 14 and climbs crazy hard stuff (5.13b) and he still sometimes gets afraid of falling if he’s on a new wall. So it really is nothing to be ashamed of.

          • Grace

            In the lead class I took, the instructor made you fall three times from the next quickdraw you should be clipping. One was to fall, the other two were to feel how a soft and hard catch would be. It’s a little freaky to think, “Ok, I’m going to fall now,” but as soon as you do, you realize it’s fine. That’s not to say I wasn’t nervous when I had to take a fall outside, but at least you know you can do it.

        • MC

          My boss swears by hypnosis for her fear of heights – I also have a fear of heights (coupled with anxiety, fun!) and have always meant to visit her hypnotist… but we live in a bit of a “woo-woo” area where hypnotists aren’t hard to come by :)

      • Jess

        WHAAAAAAAAT! V2! I am just starting on the climbing bug and it is so much fun. Any good resources for learning more technique than just “brute forcing through the problem”?

        • Lizzie

          SO MUCH FUN, right??!! I feel like a little piece of my brain is constantly thinking about climbing now. I <3 it (and I love being so excited to exercise in general!)

          I am lucky to have a friend climb with me who is totally amazing (I'm talkin like V5/V6 level… she's a B.E.A.S.T.) who has helped me out with this kind of thing. Aside from her showing me how to swivel my hips and start testing the flagging waters (which I realize isn't helpful to you, since you are not physically with us), I learned a ton from a few great youtube videos – these in particular:

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbIDnMmSLsc
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uUfm2NydNgM
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LWq53Gn07HY (maybe not QUITE as amazing, but Jackie seems like such a badass)

          And then I like to go climbing on off hours (before work, early on weekend mornings) so I feel more comfortable trying out stuff on the wall – hanging from different holds, swiveling my hips around a lot, etc – without a crowd of people watching. Climbing fistbump!

          • Jess

            Oh these are wonderful! I will watch them again later tonight in preparation for my trip to the gym!

            I am (sadly) like 2 hours away from a gym of my own, which makes busy hours my only times. *but* I’m pretty used to failing in front of people, so I’m good with that. Also climbing people are encouraging people so they’ll either just ignore you or come over and offer good tips!

            Fistbump indeed!

          • Jess

            Oh man, I watched all of these and then went climbing this weekend – powered through a 5.8 like nothing, half-way up a 5.9 and fell after a pincher, got a successful V0 (probably more a V0-) and then bailed a million times in the bouldering room, but managed to get through a couple of moves I wanted to after lots of attempts.

            It was so fun. Going again next weekend.

        • Elizabeth

          One thing that helped me, since you mentioned that climbing folks are encouraging, is to recreate the issue you’re having somewhere closer to the ground. To begin with I had a friend who’d do that for me — and it helped a lot in both my confidence and in working on the move when I wasn’t already tired from getting there. Also horizontal movement around the wall to pick up endurance/improve gripping different kinds of holds.

          • Jess

            Ooh! That’s a good idea. There are a few things (heel hooks!) that I would love to practice more and just don’t know how to get myself into the right position, and am always feeling fatigue by the time I get to.

            Bouldering seems like the best place to start for endurance!

      • AGCourtney

        Haha, I tried it once, quite by accident. We were hanging out with a close friend and her daughter in Minneapolis, and I’d planned on leaving when she left to go climbing, but we ended up coming along with her. It was really fun, and since I hadn’t planned on it, I was wearing a dress – but still climbing well! – and my friend told me I looked like a Tampax commercial, which is a cherished compliment of mine.

        If anyone’s in the Minneapolis area, I highly recommend trying Midwest Mountaineering. It’s in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood, next to the West Bank station by the U. Climbing is free and shoe rental is only $3!

        • Lizzie

          omg “lady in a dress on a climbing wall” as a tampax commercial = DYING

          I am actually originally from Minneapolis, and when I went back for the holidays last year I tried out Vertical Endeavors. I was… not super thrilled with the facility. So I’m extra happy to get the Midwest Mountaineering rec – I will absolutely try it out next time I’m back home!

      • Elizabeth

        Nice! I’m working on V3’s at the moment, which is a lengthy process. I love climbing a lot, and there is that satisfaction of learning a problem as well as making my body move the way I think I can go. Reaching up and trying to grab it is still definitely something that I’m working on.

        • Lizzie

          Amazing!! It’s just the best, innt? I call those “push & prays” (quietly, to myself) cause you just kind have to… push off and hope you get it. Feels so awesome when you do! : )

          • Elizabeth

            Nice. My friend tells me to make noise when I go for it, that a roar helps you. :p I tend to make cat noises though.

    • A.

      I’m training for a triathlon right now! It’s HELL, but the best kind of challenging, inspiring hell I’ve ever done. I’m a natural/talented swimmer, a decent cyclist, and a horrible, horrible, horrible, awful, no-good runner with zero endurance and somehow even less speed. So when I do my brick exercises (where you do 2+ of the 3 activities in one day), I curse myself for ever thinking that I could do this. But you know what? I’m doing it! And even if I’m the slowest runner on race day (very possible with my 13:00 min miles for a 5K, on average, after cycling), I’m proud that I’m seeing something through and getting the health/strength benefits along the way. And every time I get on the treadmill or sidewalk, 3-4 times a week, I know that I’m truly pushing myself and that feels damn good.

      Bodies are SO awesome!

      • Ashlah

        Wow, a triathlon! That is some real dedication! That sounds so hard and impossible from here–especially since I don’t know how to swim, ha! Go you!

      • Emily W

        You can do it! My husband is the same way, ran a lot of triathlons for a few years, then we moved and there aren’t as many here (not many good lakes). <3

        Wear two caps when you swim, one to hold your hair, another (the one they give you to designate your wave) over your goggles, because they can get knocked off in the insanity of the start. Pack towels, take power gels on the bike (husband used to tape his down with electrical tape, so you can ripe them open and not lose the extra piece, then shoved the wrapper in his tri suit pocket, get two water bottles for your bike, fill one with a weak gatorade, the other with water, and remember that your legs will be jello when you dismount from the bike and start to run.

    • Totch

      Thanks for posting this. I’m on the edge of starting to exercise but havent pushed through yet.

      I’ve been paying more attention to my diet and sleep, specifically to eating breakfast, earlier dinners, and sleeping earlier. I’ve also been making an effort to hit my 1 hour of activity daily (walking the dog). I just need to turn a couple dog walks each week into runs, and take advantage of my building’s gym.

      Breakfast sucks, though. The breakfast struggle is real. Hopefully once I’ve got a better handle on sleep and mornings, I’ll be able to make the morning dog walk a morning run.

      • Ashlah

        Breakfast is tough. I recently switched to green smoothies every morning and I’ve been loving it. They’re nutritious and filling, and I love taking them to work and drinking them while I ease into the day. Plus the green color freaks out my eats-like-a-child boss, so that’s fun.

        • Eenie

          I like egg casseroles for breakfast. Fry up some sausage and vegetables (mushrooms, bell peppers, onion, etc) whip up eggs and put in a 8×8 or 9×13 pan in the oven. Add cheese and some herbs/spices. Then, a quick minute in the microwave in the morning and you’re ready to go.

          • Keeks

            I second the egg casseroles! I make one on Sunday, cut it into squares, and it lasts most of the week. Also, baked oatmeal with lots of fruits & nuts is a good make-ahead thing. I’m not good at breakfast on the fly, so advance prep helps a ton.

          • Eenie

            I find it doesn’t taste as good at the end of the week. But I’ll prep 2x the meat/veggies and then whip up some fresh eggs mid week.

          • Keeks

            I should mention that I don’t eat eggs so this is all anecdotal evidence from my husband. ;) I think he puts more hot sauce on it as the week goes on.

          • Eenie

            As does mine… :)

        • Totch

          Do you blend them yourself or buy them? I love green smoothies and I’ve been wondering whether or not I could do a big batch to get me through the week, but I feel like that doesn’t quite work.

          I need that “ease into the day” kind of thing. Right now I’m using snacking sizes, a combo of cheese cubes, apple slices, and a banana that makes me feel less like I need to eat all of it.

          I aways loved running in the morning though, so I want to get this stuff working both for my overall health and to get my morning person status back!

          • Ashlah

            I blend them myself each morning. My co-worker blends a big batch of berry smoothies at the beginning of the week, but I worry the texture will be weird if it’s not fresh, so I haven’t tried it myself.

            Running first thing in the morning has made me into a much more pleasant person to be around, that’s for sure :)

      • Alex

        Overnight oats in a small (or I suppose normal large-ish-sized!) crockpot will last for a solid 4 days. And in the summer, throw some yogurt on them and then you get protein + whole grains and I think they taste pretty good cold as well as warm :) I usually add a bit of milk or water to them if I reheat. Also, green smoothies (per the recommendations below!) are much easier to build in daily if you have a super easy to clean/use blender. I have a little Ninja that is only about 5″ tall and slightly wider than a coffee mug and the blade totally comes out and it’s SO easy to clean. I started mkaing smoothies SO much more often when I acquired that (it’s also just as good for making salad dressings/hummus/chopping onions/garlic/ginger, etc). I’ve had mine for going on 3 years and it’s just as good as the day I got it. With fruits and veggies, you do get more nutrition the closer you are to the time of processing, fyi

      • Amanda

        Leftovers ftw! I also really like my breakfast salad, which is one of those premade salad bowls plus an egg on top if I have time. Once I got over the idea that breakfast had to be “breakfast foods” I was a lot less stressed about it.

      • emmers

        For breakfast I keep clif bars on hand for tired mornings, and oatmeal/smoothies for when I’m more awake. Protein of some kind (nuts with oatmeal, Greek yogurt with smoothies) is helpful.

    • April

      Wooo congrats!

      I gave up running for rowing a couple of weeks ago and am liking the change so far. I’m finding rowing a bit more challenging and I’m hoping it helps with my strength a bit. I’d love to get into doing more weights when we get settled, but for now rowing is working out pretty well.

      • Emily

        Are you somewhere you can row outside right now? I love rowing… and right now, winter erging.

        • April

          I am but we have a lot of life stuff going on AND my partner got us a fancy rowing machine several months ago so for now the simplicity of being able to work out at home without having to go anywhere is perfection.

          • Eenie

            OMG you have a rower at home? Extremely jealous.

          • April

            yeah! It’s pretty great! Super convenient and no excuses not to use it.

          • Emily

            I’m jealous too! I’d like one but we really have no place to put it… plus I do like having a time to meet a group and be given a workout by a coach. When your life settles down I suggest trying rowing outside; it’s really different and wonderful in its own way.

          • Rebekah

            My husband and I do yearly goal check-ins at our anniversaries. His goal for this year was to buy a rower, so we did. It’s so nice to just be able to sit down and row 1000, 3000, whatever we have time for at a pace we want. It was an investment, but a good one so far.

      • EF

        rowing machines are so great. I live in the part of london that literally hosts boat races on the thames, so i feel like i can never be good enough to be on the water, but starting on a rowing machine last year really got me back into shape. went from that to doing a ton of weights, and it’s such a good combo.

    • Is it cool to just be proud I can do average things? I’ve always had a fast metabolism and summers in college I worked as a camp counselor I was so strong. But this year my husband and I have started working out 3x a week. One of those days we swim and I’m getting better at swimming laps without breaks. I can do a few flights of stairs without getting winded. I can run for 10 minutes. And every few weeks I up my free weights. For someone who’s always thought of themselves as un-athletic it feels amazing that I can do this stuff. I hope to keep getting stronger and I’m starting a yoga class Thursday.It’s so cool to go from no excercise to doing stuff,even though it’s average.

      • Eenie

        Just for the record, those are not average person things. You can run, swim, and are doing free weights! Most people don’t even attempt to do those things.

        • Thanks for the encouragement, Eenie, maybe I just know too many athletic people. My dad especially. In his hey day he ran marathons (and smaller races) a couple times a year and still runs in his 60s!!

          • Her Lindsayship

            It’s rough when you only have a bunch of athletes to compare yourself to – makes it that much harder to feel motivated. But way to go, sounds like you’re making awesome progress! Woohoo!

          • Eenie

            Yeah, I totally understand. You may not feel comfortable calling yourself athletic, but you are doing athletic things, and you can feel proud of that even if it’s not a marathon! So much of fitness focuses on being the best and fastest and strongest…and sometimes just showing up and doing the work is enough. That’s my two cents.

        • Laura C

          Yup! Whenever I say to my dad anything like “oh, I didn’t get any exercise to speak of, I only … ” he’s like “and that was more exercise than the average American gets.”

      • April

        When I first started running I couldn’t do any of the things you mentioned and when I started running, one of the things I am excited about to this day is being able to book it to catch a bus already at the stop without getting winded. Sometimes the little things are the most awesome!

        Congrats :)

        • Ha ha it has been useful for catching the train, though there’s usually stairs so I still get winded because stairs +running is a terrible combo.

      • Ashlah

        I think those are all things to be proud of! When I mentioned running at least a mile every day, that’s just 10 minutes of running, but I feel absolutely astounded I can do it still. Average or not (I really have no clue, but lean towards that actually being better than the average population), personal progress is awesome.

        • I’m not to the point of daily. And I like running on the treadmill more than pavement. Plus up until now it was cold. Personal progress is huge. We started in January and it’s been like wow if I just keep up and go consistentlt my body gets better at doing those things.

          • Ashlah

            That much progress just since January is fantastic! And totally yes, I always knew hypothetically that you get better at things if you do them regularly, but it’s somehow different when you actually see it first-hand. It’s like, “Oh yeah, people weren’t lying, you actually can improve when you practice! Who knew?”

      • Jess

        This is a big deal!! My fitness goal is as follows: be able to do the things I want to do.

        For me, that means being able to walk up the hill by my house to the farmers market, being able to go on hikes while traveling to beautiful areas, being able to try a new activity without thinking, “I don’t have the stamina/strength to do this”

        For you, that may look and feel totally different. Be proud of swimming once a week, and walking up stairs. (Also, I love yoga, I hope you find it to be a good experience!)

        • Totch

          That’s a really good way to articulate my fitness goals as well! Can I borrow it?

          • Jess

            Of course! Use it and spread the word!

        • Amanda

          My fitness goal is to get back into shape so running and walking are easier. I have exercise induced asthma and breathe with my chest when I’m stressed. I was a lot more in shape and could run a 5k, then I had a baby. It is good to know that I can improve my breathing with training, it just kind of socks that I have to do it again.

          On a related amazing-body note, running helped when I was birthing said baby. When I was pushing I would imagine going up the steep hill in my normal run. Just a little bit more and I’ll be at the top!

      • Kalë

        Has anyone else tried the Strong Curves program? I’ve been doing it off
        and on for about a year now. I really like the exercises but I find the
        language/premise of the book and program to be soooooo sexist and
        off-putting. But I do really enjoy the exercises and the aesthetic I get from working to develop my glutes and get stronger. /conflicted

        • AmandaBee

          Yes to the sexist language, but I also really liked the program and it had some really going points about the importance of glute strength and corresponding muscles. Presentation-wise, I liked New Rules of Lifting for Women better, but I’m thinking of restarting the program in Strong Curves.

          • Eenie

            Can you please tell me more about NROL for women? Their website was very vague. I like olympic lifting and some power lifting, but I’m horrible at programming, so I do crossfit. But I just got bumper plates and a bar as a wedding present (my parents rock) and I’m thinking of doing my own thing.

          • AmandaBee

            It’s a good program all-around, if a little basic. If you do more advanced lifting, you may not find it super revolutionary but I think it’s a good basis to work from. I do think some parts of it are a little outdated – like it always has a decent amount of isolated ab work/crunches, which I often skip or swap out for something else. But this is probably the book I go back to most, just because it’s simple but effective.

          • Kalë

            That’s where I find the struggle to be soooo real. I hate supporting (endorsing, it kind of feels like?) someone who strikes me as patronizing and super mansplain-y. But I think the author is super well informed in the topic of glute strength and its importance in forming a healthy, strong body. And the program just plain works.

          • AmandaBee

            Yesss, the internal struggle is real. I generally try to avoid any dude that calls himself something like the “glute guy” (shudders) but then, it’s actually a good book in terms of info. Actually, TBH, I notice this in a lot of fitness writing for women.

      • AP

        Yoga is the activity that taught me how to be grateful for my body for the things it can do! I’m always amazed when I notice my balance getting better, or being able to do a posture that I couldn’t do last week. I also love that I’m starting to know and understand my body better. Hope you enjoy your class!

      • ItsyBit

        I concur that you’re doing above-average and awesome things! But yes, YAY to “average” things!

        I think it’s so important to recognize that the “regular” stuff your body does is amazing. That’s a thing that has been helping me not get too down on myself for not being in the shape I want to be. “Look what I can do on a regular basis!” Even if it’s something entirely mundane to me, like walking down the street or a good stretch. Being body positive in this way helps me stay motivated instead of wanting to curl into a little ball because of any things I can’t do yet.

    • Laura C

      It’s so frustrating going from “best shape of my adult life” to “doing well for 39 weeks pregnant.” I’m genuinely proud of how consistent I’ve been about working out through pregnancy, I’m grateful to a wonderful trainer for helping me know what I can do when … but my gym’s workout level is up two flights of stairs and sometimes I have to pause on my way up and it’s so depressing (and then I get on the elliptical and I’m fine; stairs are just my enemy).

      • Ashlah

        Thanks for mentioning this. I’m planning to be pregnant by the end of the year (fingers crossed), and while I’m super duper grateful that I’ve gotten into better shape pre-pregnancy, I am a little worried about the emotional toll it might take when I’m eventually unable to continue the same progress. Good job sticking with it!

        • Laura C

          I will say that, if anything, pregnancy has made me more conscientious and consistent about working out, because I feel like I’m already going to be losing ground and I won’t have the chance to make up for a missed workout. Not to say I haven’t scaled back what I do, but I have been better about hitting my workout goals, whatever they are at any given point, than I often am. And working with a prenatal trainer is good because I can also think of it as ongoing prep for labor and delivery.

          • Danielle

            That’s really cool! How did you go about finding a prenatal trainer? (All of the trainers at my gym are like 20-year-old dudes; I doubt they have special training experience with pregnant ladies. But who knows.)

          • Laura C

            I wish I had great advice, but it was luck — the gym closest to my apartment is a women’s gym, most of the trainers are women, at least half of them have pre- and post-natal training. So I hadn’t even though about it but when I got pregnant, the trainer I was already with had that experience and then when she left for another job, she made sure to set me up with someone appropriate. But at least one of the male trainers at my gym does do pre/postnatal, so you never know!

          • Danielle

            Thanks, Laura!

      • Mary Jo TC

        I think we’re due date twins. I know what you mean about how that abrupt change from skinny bride to giant balloon messes with your head. Good for you sticking with the gym. I worked out in both my pregnancies too–a little less with the second. For the last 3 months people at the gym have been looking at me like they expect my water to break all over the elliptical machine. I took this week off for fear of inducing labor before I was done at work. But today is my planned last day, so I hope to hit the gym every day until I go to the hospital!
        For my postpartum recovery, I’m thinking about getting myself a Fitbit or similar device. Any good or bad experiences with those? In addition to the pedometer and other functions, I’m interested in how depressing/hilarious it will be to look at the sleep tracking stats when I have a newborn, lol.

        • Eenie

          I really like the Withings Activite Pop. It’s got a wonderful interface for android and iphone. It hasn’t gotten too scratched up. And it looks like a watch! I switched out the waterproof band for a leather one and it looks awesome and I can tell the time. No charging it either (uses watch batteries)!

        • Ashlah

          My FitBit is actually what got me motivated to move in the first place. Everyone gets motivated differently, but it has been the magic bullet for me. I’m addicted to it.

        • Lisa

          I love my Jawbone! It’s very similar to a Fitbit, but it looks more like a piece of jewelry than athletic equipment. Since it’s actually pretty (I’ve got the black/gold one), I’m more inclined to wear it all of the time.

          • Eenie

            This is how I feel about my Withings Activite Pop, except it looks like a watch and updates time zones with your cell phone, and doesn’t need recharging. The Jawbone was a close second in my deliberation process.

        • Emily W

          I just returned a Fitbit Charge HR because it dug into my bony wrists, but I saw on the website that they’re about to release the Fitbit Alta, which has interchangeable bands, including a leather band, and is more slim, so I might get that, because it’s more of a watch that counts steps. https://www.fitbit.com/alta

          • Lisa

            I think my boss just got this one! I remember thinking it was a style of Fitbit I hadn’t seen before. I could probably get behind something like this as I, too, have bony, tiny wrists, which were another major reason I didn’t go with the Fitbits.

        • Not Sarah

          I tried a Jawbone Up2 and I hated something on my wrist that didn’t tell time, even though it looked pretty. So I got a FitBit One instead and I’m so happy with it!

        • Amanda

          I use the fitbit zip and love it. Be aware that most of the ones that track heartbeat have a metal piece that lies next to your skin, and they might not be good for people with nickel allergies.

        • Shawna

          I got the FitBit One for Christmas and started using it immediately. Once I stopped dancing due to injury my body has changed in crazy ways (not the same as being pregnant, but something I’m having trouble getting used to). I like that this FitBit is small and can discreetly hook onto a pocket or my bra rather than being a conspicuous piece of “jewelry.” I only do the sleep-tracker occasionally now (it was interesting for the first month and now I tend to only do it every few weeks) even though that’s the main reason I wanted one! I also like that the goals are adjustable. I’ve been in a very sedentary phase (studying 8 hrs per day isn’t totally conducive to moving) so I bumped down all the goal lines. I’ll bump them back up now that I’m starting to hit them regularly. It’s great for the “oh I’m so close to my goal, I’ll do a walk around the block before bed” and the little things like taking the stairs in my building. Plus it makes me want to do what little exercise I’ve been able to do to hit the goal of 3 times per week, 30 active minutes per day, etc. There’s something really motivating about the little gamification elements (smily faces, badges, etc)!

      • Jenny

        That’s awesome that you have been able to work out during pregnancy (and that you have kept it up!) Stairs are the worst pregnant, I had to stop taking the stairs during my third trimester due to pelvic pain (I worked out like 3x during my pregnancy in the 4 weeks of my pregnancy that I didn’t want to die from nausea/heartburn/backpain). Best of luck with labor and postpartum recovery! I’m 10 weeks postpartum and I will say that I’ve been bouncing back in terms of physical fitness faster than I expected even without working out during pregnancy.

        • Laura C

          I’ve been really lucky as far as no morning sickness early and really everything very easy until the heartburn kicked in — mild heartburn from about 23 weeks but escalating dramatically around 33, to the point where I’ve actually lost a pound between 33 and 38. But it hasn’t gotten in the way of working out, just of sleeping and eating.

          That’s great to hear about bouncing back. I was looking at some early postpartum workouts and thinking “that’s it???”

      • Amanda

        Part of the stairs problem might be a baby squooshing your lungs. The positive thing about that is when baby vacates your uterus, you will get your lung capacity back!

    • SJ

      I started getting active about five weeks ago and I’m amazed. I was just tired of not fitting in my clothes! I mix cardio, weights and yoga and I’ve largely revamped my eating habits. The goal is to complete one of those crazy obstacle courses next year. :)

    • Amber

      Awesome idea! In the last two years I’ve been getting more and more into running which has really helped with some self esteem and confidence issues. First time I ran 5K before work was a huge deal, and I said to my bf that I’d never ever be able to do 10k like some ladies in my before work running group (I run long on Saturdays but only for an hour on week days) and then last week I did a hill workout and then ran around our usual course and when I checked my GPS it was 10k. Small for some, but huge victory for me to do something I thought I’d never accomplish. I’ve done a couple half marathons and this year have set my sights on a full marathon which will be a major challenge but I’m hooked on this feeling of crushing goals and doing the impossible!!

      • Ashlah

        Wow, awesome! I’m definitely feeling like I’ll never do anything more than a 5K, both due to lack of interest and just how hard a 5K is still. But just a few months ago, I would have said I’d never do a 5K, so who knows what the future will bring! It’s an absolute rush when you master something you never thought possible.

    • ItsyBit

      Love this.

      I’m currently in a big funk in terms of exercise/activity. It’s been years since I’ve had a regular exercise routine and just in the last few weeks it’s hit me like a ton of bricks: I don’t look or feel the way I used to; whether it’s the fit (or, erm, the un-fit) of my clothing or getting winded or not being as strong as I used to be, I knew but didn’t see the effects of being inactive until basically just now. And it’s hard. I’m also in grad school and feel like I have zero time/money but need to do something.

      But for the positive: I know I CAN do things, I just need to get back into the swing of it. I used to kickbox & wrestle (freestyle grappling, actually); I’m actively looking for a gym in Manhattan to roll with folks like I used to. I was a kickass wrestler/grappler and I miss it like crazy.

      I also used to roller skate! In LA I was big into roller derby but never got confident enough to skate with big groups (I can’t stop very well) and am looking for a place to practice. Outdoors is intimidating because it’s New York and I’m terrified that I’ll run into people or bowl over a small child since I can’t maneuver or stop very well. If anyone knows of a place worth checking out, I’m all ears!

    • AGCourtney

      APW magic~ We actually just started a membership at our YMCA this week. So far I’ve only gone a couple times to take my daughter swimming and haven’t actually done anything for myself, but I’m looking forward to working out again.

      • Totch

        All these stories are def inspiring me to get started on my exercise plans.

        • Alanna Cartier

          Me too! I’ve been such a lazy butt all winter.

    • Jess

      YAAAY! I’m so proud of you for getting up every morning and running, and the first time you can do a full 5K without stopping is a thrill.

      I run too! I do a half-marathon every other year (this is my year, the sunday before our wedding. That can’t go wrong, right?), which always make me feel awesome about myself. The days where the weather is good and I’m feeling good are just the best. They make me happy.

      I’m learning to do rock climbing slowly – there are no true gyms in my area for it, so I go whenever I can afford a 2 hour drive to the nearest wall. It’s a really fun challenge to break up the running.

      I loved weightlifting and really need to do that again because feeling strong is awesome.

      I do yoga about once a week, mainly for my emotional health and libido, but if I pick the right instructor my shoulders and legs are sore too!

      • MC

        I did my first half two weeks before my wedding and it was AWESOME – after that I felt like I could handle anything, and the regular running was great stress relief during wedding planning. Plus I wore a short wedding dress and my legs looked awesome, which was a nice bonus.

      • Lisa

        Our wedding was the weekend of the Chicago marathon, and one of our good friends used it as an opportunity to kick his butt into gear and train for it. He came to our wedding and reception and then was up and at the finish line the next morning. If he can survive that, I’m sure you’ll be fine the weekend before your wedding! :)

        • Jess

          That is good news! Marathons are way tougher!

    • Kara

      Way to go! I’m working on making better choices in life–food, exercise, stress, $$, etc.

      I won’t lie, I’m so jealous of people that can workout and breathe. I have exercise/activity induced asthma, and even when I was in the best shape of my life, I would still get winded on the stairs.

      I have and use an inhaler before hiking or working out, but it’s often demoralizing watching other people sprint by when I just want to feel like I can breath. It feels like I’m trying to breathe through a wet towel.

      • Eenie

        I have a huge respect for people who workout with asthma. It’s one more (easy) reason to just stay home, yet you choose to use all these fancy inhalers just to breathe!

        • Kara

          Thanks Eenie. I do try to remember that my lungs just don’t work they way I want.

      • Ashlah

        That’s rough! My mom has what basically looks like allergies when she runs. For a few days afterwards, it’s like she has a bad cold. It does lessen when she sticks with it for a while, but it must be so hard to stay motivated to work through something like that or asthma. I give you props for getting out there and doing whatever you’re able.

        • Kara

          Way to go mom! She’s a trooper for fighting through it too.

          Thanks again for the encouragement!

        • Lisa

          Your mom and I are similar in this way. I tried running outside a few times, but I always ended up a snotty, sneezy mess by the end of 30 minutes. I have pretty bad seasonal allergies as it is, and I was curious if it was because I was breathing more heavily during running sessions than walks.

      • Amanda

        I finally figured out w my asthma doc that I have strider breathing, which is breathing with my chest instead of diaphragm, when I get stressed/not focused during exercise. I read the book Running on Air and did the exercises, and it definitely improved my running/breathing.

        I definitely know what you mean about sad exercise comparisons with others though. I play on rec level ultimate frisbee teams, and I get jealous of the people who can stay on the field for more than 1 point at a time. I try to remember not to compare, but it sucks when the other team scores a point because you can’t guard them because your asthma makes you slow :(

    • Keeks

      Way to go!!! I think running is the gateway drug for physical activity. Some people hate it and move on to other activities, other people love it and build a routine around running.

      Six or 7 years ago I started running after being sedentary my whole life – I could only run for the length of a song at first. I’ve worked my way up to a half marathon and started lifting weights as a way to improve my running. My main motivation right now is to be active & strong through pregnancy (which is still a ways off). Now I am kind of in a group exercise phase & not running as much… but this thread is starting to get me excited to get back out there!

    • Becky

      That’s awesome! I actually have my first 5K next month too! Training has been tough, but every time I finish a run I just feel proud that I’m actually getting out there and doing it.

      One of my goals this year is to try some kind of fitness class. There’s a barre studio in town that offers free trial classes, so I think I’m going to sign up and check it out! I also want to try out this kickboxing place, but I should probably take it one thing at a time haha.

      • Ashlah

        Good luck in your first 5K! I am both super excited and nervous for mine! Haha

        • Becky

          Thank you, and good luck to you as well!

    • Congrats on the running, that’s awesome! I’m one of those people who hates running with a passion, but I did train & complete a half-marathon with Team In Training to raise $$$ for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Over the past few weeks I’ve gotten active again, with Zumba on Mon & Fri evenings, and a 90 min yoga class on Wed evenings & Sat mornings. Not seeing a ton of change yet, but I feel better and proud of myself for going :-)

      • Cellistec

        Would you recommend training with TNT? I’m already a runner and have thought about joining it for years but keep balking at the idea of someone else setting the training schedule.

        • Absolutely! Their program is really great and if you’re already a runner, you have some flexibility with your schedule. I liked that they assign you a coach, and there were group runs twice a week. There were also clinics on nutrition and sports injuries as well. I had never run before and they provided all the help I needed to get going and kept me encouraged all the way up to the finish line. They also have a ton of support for fundraising as well!

        • Jenny

          I’ve done TNT in a few different cities and I find that they really vary from place to place (and probably event to event) based on the coaches. But I’ve had really great experiences with all of them. Both programs I did had one weekly long run as a group and one mid day work out as a group (hill training or speedwork) but you could have showed up to any of them and largely done your own thing. In one place they had long runs for time (slow people (me) came an hour earlier so everyone finished at one time) and in another everyone ran for mileage and finished at different times.

          I was already a runner when I joined but did it to meet people in new cities I’d moved too and found it was decent for that purpose. Plus I had several personal connections to LLS so I was motivated to raise money for them as well.

      • NotMarried!

        I likewise HATE running, but going to Zumba classes make me so happy! Exhausted, and sore, and happy!

    • Jenny

      This is so awesome. I was a big runner 5 years ago started where you were 13 years ago and then worked up to being a marathoner, but in the last 5 years I’ve really fallen off the running wagon and then I got pregnant and haven’t run now in over a year. You’ve totally reminded me of why I love running and I’m now inspired to get out for my first run/walk again this weekend!

      • Ashlah

        Do it! :D

    • Laura C

      You know, I was planning on skipping the gym today, but this thread has me seriously considering it. Not in a guilty way, but in a motivated way.

    • There was nothing like learning how to belly dance that made me appreciate just how incredible my body, and everyone’s bodies, truly are. It’s amazing what our bodies can do.

      That said, I’m just amazed we’ve managed to figure out a time when I can get out running three times a week right now. I’m such a better wife and mother when I get my running in.

      • Ashlah

        Ooh, I’ve been seriously considering taking a belly dance class! It’s always seemed like such a positive, affirming activity, not to mention a good core workout.

    • Katherine

      This whole thread is awesome (and making me jealous)! I’m currently off of running right now due to a bad fall on my knee during my last trail half-marathon, so I’m using this time to refocus on strength training and go on more weekend hikes with my fiance.

  • Her Lindsayship

    I liked the housework article – and I relate to the roommate struggle. I used to have roommates with verrrry different standards of cleanliness than me, and it seriously ate away at me. I didn’t think my expectations were that high, but they were not being met, the apartment was dirty. Unlike the Buzzfeed author, I really did not want to establish a norm where I was doing all the cleaning simply because I was the only one who cared (other people’s dishes? nope. not as a routine anyway, I just can’t). I had multiple conversations with them to try to find some sort of compromise so we could all feel comfortable in our own home. But they kept just agreeing with me that we should all be better about keeping the place clean, and then not actually changing their behavior at all. What made it worse was that I hate confrontation and felt guilty for starting these conversations that always put a strain on our otherwise awesome friendship. I went back and forth between thinking I was being petty and needed to suck it up, and thinking why do they bother cooking at home if they’re not willing to do dishes?!?

    I didn’t truly understand how much anxiety it was causing me until I moved to a new place with my boyfriend, who is, if anything, even more clean than I am. I freaking love it. Our place is so damn clean, all the time, and it’s not even a struggle because we both enjoy doing it. Unfortunately I know a lot of people have a struggle similar to my roommate one with their SO – more power to you for working through that crap.

    • Cdn icecube

      Amen to this! I had the exact same problem earlier this year and once I moved out of my place into somewhere new it was immediate night and day difference. Good for you for moving and having a happier living situation!

    • Kalë

      Ugh yes this. Currently roommating with amazing, wonderful, fun friends… who I’m perpetually locked in this resentment struggle with. I could literally have written your post. As for now, I’m counting down the days until the (hopefully near, maybe distant) future when my SO and I can afford move into our own place. That we can keep clean. And where it won’t be a problem that we’re doing all the work because we’ll be making all the mess. Gosh. Solidarity plz.

      • Eenie

        I instituted chore charts when I lived with three other women and when I lived with four other men. The four person all women apartment was way messier. It is so nice having all your own mess though :) I tolerate it a lot more.

      • Her Lindsayship

        A chore chart could be helpful, like Eenie suggests, if you haven’t tried that yet. I tried that and everyone was like, ‘yeah, that’s a great idea!’ and then didn’t do anything. Now, looking back on it a year later, the memories of fun times don’t stand out as much as the tension and the struggle. So I think I would tell my past self to stop worrying so much about trying not to upset the roomies, because they were definitely upsetting me and clearly not as worried about it.

        Anyway all I can offer is sympathy and hugs. :( Hope you can get out of there sooner rather than later!

        • Eenie

          I can agree with you. The only thing I remember about the one roommate is that she kept a separate freezer and minifridge in the common area and left her stuff everywhere. Even getting a majority of people on the cleaning train can help.

        • Kalë

          LOL, I think we are actually the same person. I have a beautiful, hand caligraphied chore chart that I put together a few months ago…. that sits on the counter, looking beautiful, not being noticed or touched by anyone but SO and I, despite the assent of co-roomies that it was a great idea. Sigh. Thanks for the support – at the very least, it’s good to know that I’m not the only struggler who’s struggled this struggle.

  • dearabbyp

    After a brutal couple of months, things are finally starting to turn around for us. Yesterday, we had an inspection on our condo and didn’t turn up any big surprises. I think this many actually happen, which means we’d be moving to a neighborhood where neither of us would have to drive to work. In LA! This is practically unheard of. I can’t wait.
    Starting testing for IVF today. If the timing works out, I will be a crazy person, hopped up on hormones, just in time for our move! Nothing says, “hire movers and direct your husband to lift heavy things” like throwing a ton of money at your uterus and hoping to get one billion eggs.

    • TeaforTwo

      Good luck! For what it’s worth, I expected to be waaaay more of a crazy person during IVF than I actually was. I had been crazy in the year leading up to IVF, when nothing else was working. During IVF…I was a bit bloated and a bit tired. But mostly I was fine.

      • dearabbyp

        Bahaha, that’s a good point — It’s all relative! I mean, how much crazier can I really get?!? I’ve had three miscarriages in eight months (genetics are fun!) so I’m full up of crazy.

      • Seconded. Infertility was much more crazy-making for me than the IVF hormones and we did all out hyperstim since Clomid hadn’t done anything for me previously. I don’t really remember side effects from them except getting sick and tired of shots every day!

    • another lady

      I would personally relish in the hiring movers and having hubs and movers lift heavy stuff! I am prego and have been all about that fact! And, husband / FIL won’t let me carry heavy things, anyways. Good luck with everything. Also, I have not really been a crazy person while prego, just sick and tired the first trimester and a little more ‘on-edge’ than usual. It will probably be okay if you are on hormones or actually prego.

    • QUEER

      Yay, good luck with the IVF!

      And definitely hire movers :)

    • Good luck. IVF mostly bloated me. But it gave us three kids. So it was definitely worth it.

  • April

    WELP, the craziness for us has finally reached it’s peak.

    I posted a couple of weeks ago about how our landlords are reclaiming our suite so we need to move two months before the wedding. My partner has been given the go ahead to work remotely and we are moving to his hometown!

    It’s a move we’ve been talking about for probably 3 years now and I think we are both excited to get out of Vancouver. I’m super excited about the move and also a little bit nervous because the job market there isn’t exceptional. Anyways YAY we might be able to buy a house one day!!

    Possibly related side note: Does anyone have any tips on how to find remote work if you aren’t a software developer? lol

  • emilyg25

    Ugh, the breast milk market. So weird. I feel like a lot of the benefit of breast milk is either overblown or comes from the way your body customizes milk for your baby. Formula is not a bad thing! It’s made for babies!

    • Elizabeth

      I think the problem is for babies whose bodies reject formula. Lots of moms who can’t produce enough milk try using formula as a plan B, but their babies throw all of it up immediately and continue to do so for days and even weeks. That’s when the milk market becomes so intense.

      • Yea the podcast episode introduced it from the place of a mother who couldn’t produce, so said, “okay, we’ll just go to formula then,” and their baby rejected/was completely intolerant to the formula for weeks, and then they started going through the strange world of the breast milk market in the U.S.. For me as a non-parent currently, it was just really fascinating because they go into breastfeeding here vs. other cultures and how that has influenced this particular market, etc.

    • TeaforTwo

      I haven’t listened to the podcast at the link, but I understand why some parents prefer human milk, even if it isn’t from the baby’s mother. Even if Ensure meal replacement shakes are made for adults, I would prefer to get my nutrition from more natural sources most of the time.

      Don’t get me wrong: Fed is best, and I understand that formula is what works for lots of families. (And Ensure is what works for some adults!) But this came up earlier when Eve wrote about getting frozen breast milk deliveries and had to include a “no judgement” disclaimer, and I think that can go both ways.

      • emilyg25

        I don’t mind if people prefer. I mind that there’s a market and people are charging $3/oz. for it. It’s gross to me that something that’s supposed to be so natural is a commodity. If people want to pump milk and exchange it for free, cool. But a baby needs ~25 oz. of breast milk a day. $75/day to feed your kid is insane.

        • Amy March

          I dislike it for the same reasons I don’t support legalizing prostitition, paid surrogacy, or selling a kidney.

  • StevenPortland

    Our sons are the result of surrogacy. If you want to read about a HORRIBLE surrogacy fight going on here in Portland, Oregon, with quotes like “Schnitzer hereby relinquishes any claim to or jurisdiction over any female embryo from Sause and any resulting female offspring that might result from the use of Sause’s eggs”, here it is: http://www.wweek.com/2016/03/16/jordan-schnitzer-gets-a-son-and-a-court-battle/ . I cannot believe how messed up that couple is.

    • Amy March

      This was so interesting. And a real “what not to do” guide to surrogacy.

      • TeaforTwo

        It could double as a “what not to do” guide to being a human being. What stuck out to me most of all was that he has two daughters in high school and college. I cannot imagine what it must be like for them to see him go to such lengths to have a son (and to prevent having another daughter.)

        • StevenPortland

          He’s 63 and super rich. He wants an “heir”. As if his two daughters are not enough. It is just so sad. Plus it takes two to sign a contract. His partner was just as fine with agreeing to move forward so that he could ‘own’ the male embryos but would discard the female ones to her. Wow.

  • AGCourtney

    Emma Watson interviewed Lin-Manuel Miranda for the UN Women HeForShe Arts Week, and initially I was incapable of doing anything over than physically flailing in excitement. It’s a 4-part interview, and though the clip of them beatboxing/rapping together is going viral, I really think the whole interview is worth a listen. Figured people here would appreciate this! It looks like the videos are only on Facebook, so here’s a link to her page: https://www.facebook.com/emmawatson/

    • Alanna Cartier

      Oh! Thanks so much. I had only seen the beatboxing and would love to watch the whole thing.

  • ItsyBit

    Internet friends- Life is both beautiful and hard. Please excuse a semi-rambling comment.

    I’m burnt out from grad school this week (actively avoiding writing two papers as we speak) but want to send out some incredibly belated love to everyone who, over a year ago now, responded to my plea for school/career advice and suggested I look into MSW programs. I found something perfectly suited for me and I am so happy with it, even if my brain is completely fried right now.

    The other night my husband said such a perfect thing: I smiled at him as he was doing the dishes and said, “You’re the best!” And he said, “Nah, I’m a normal husband doing stuff any partner should do.” AND IT MADE MY HEART EXPLODE BECAUSE REASONS.

    In other, awful news, I found out two days ago that a beloved family member relapsed in their addiction. I also officially found out that their drug of choice is heroin. I always knew but didn’t really know if that makes sense. It wasn’t a exactly a surprise but it hurts and has sent me into a spiral of “I’m fine / I’m drowning” cognitive dissonance. Any suggestions on how to healthily deal with addiction in the family? And how to keep living life and doing schoolwork and having a social life with incredibly limited mental energy?

  • Emily

    A link about difficult stuff (sexual harassment) for women in the forest service and park service. http://highline.huffingtonpost.com/articles/en/park-rangers/

    I’ve been involved in a lot of discussions lately about how to communicate about these issues to younger women (my group is in the 35+ category). Questions such as explaining to women in the beginnings of careers that these events are not okay, how to be assertive, etc.

    Thoughts?

  • Cellistec

    For anyone else in the “do I even want kids?” boat, Offbeat Home and Life has a good discussion on that topic today: http://offbeathome.com/2016/03/child-neutral-or-child-free

  • Elizabeth

    I have worked in customer service in some form or another for all of my working life, and am JUST NOW truly understanding the magic of the words “thank you for your understanding” — even (especially) when they are NOT being understanding. It is the ultimate “and we are done now” for when the conversation is at its breaking point. People are so disarmed! They are either flattered, or flabbergasted. Because nobody is going to be like “Actually I am not understanding at all”. I have been using it all week and it has been wonderful.

    I only wish I had this in my arsenal when wedding planning. It would have been so useful for pushy family members.

    • Kalë

      stealing this 5ever

  • onekitchenknife

    Oh noooooooooo. I am a longtime lurker here, but commenting because I am freaking out! We’re getting married in less than a month and we just got an email from our band backing out. They double booked the date, I guess, and the other show is like a show show not a wedding show and they don’t want to do ours anymore and it SUCKS. They are a pretty fabulous band and they’ve really blown up in the last year, but I went to elementary school with one of the guys, and I didn’t think he’d leave us in the lurch like this. This sucks so bad.

    Any thoughts/advice/commiseration? They are refunding us our deposit (obviously) and said he would help with booking another band, but it’s less than a month away! Oh this just sucks so much.

    • April

      Oh noooooo! D:

      Hopefully the help booking another band works out.

    • Ashlah

      Oh nooooo, not okay! I freaked out when our band-leader friend moved away a year before our wedding, I can’t imagine how you’re feeling. You will figure something out, and it will end up okay (hopefully they really come through helping you find a new band), but I support a therapeutic freak out in the meantime.

    • StevenPortland

      Wow, that’s a big stress!! Since you know the band member I assume he feels really bad. I would assertively take him up on his offer and have him help you find a replacement. He might have connections to other bands. The good news is that a month gives you enough time to solve this problem. You might want to assign a family member or good friend the job of “Plan B” which would be to start working on a playlist of recorded music you could use if needed. Worst case scenario you would still have music and wouldn’t be running around trying to fix that problem a few days before the wedding. Or plan B could be to do search on DJs.

    • Alanna Cartier

      I have no helpful advice but I am sending you the world’s biggest hugs! That sounds like a nightmare! I really hope everything works out.

    • Eenie

      Take up his offer to help! And it sucks majorly. Read your contract to see if there’s anything else you were supposed to get if they cancelled on you. Good luck!

  • Alanna Cartier

    The Fiancee and I did engagement photos this week, and I thought you guys might like to see the early ones :)

    Also- we are seriously looking for apartments right now and it’s both terrifying and liberating to be able to choose any apartment in your (two-income) budget, not subject to certain timelines. I think it’ll be my first real grown-up apartment!

    • Ashlah

      Oh my god, I LOVE these!! So, so good. I would have loved to have our photos at home, but we had just moved in and it didn’t feel ready for that.

      • Alanna Cartier

        We were going to go out to do them, but I’ve started to become really sentimental for our little apartment since we have started looking for newer, bigger, grown-up sized apartments. The fiancee and I had our first date(ish) at my housewarming party, so our whole relationship has taken place here. We’re hoping to do our getting ready for the wedding photos at whichever new place we find.

        • Ashlah

          That is so perfect and adorable. I hope you’ll post those pics when the time comes :) I think it’s so smart to have photos taken in your homes. I’m sentimental about our previous homes too, and I love looking at the pictures we have there. There’s one I have no pictures from, and it’s the saddest thing.

          • Eenie

            One of my friends takes a picture out front of every place they move to, and then once a year around the holidays. They have a nice little memory of at least the front door/porch area.

          • Alanna Cartier

            That’s such a nice idea. A little trickier with an apartment though… lol

          • Eenie

            They’ve mostly lived in apartments. They just take it in front of the building or in front of their door! It is a really great marker for time.

    • Kalë

      Oh, Alanna! These are so wonderful! I especially love the (please correct me if my eyes deceive me) pajamas and coffee one. You both look so delighted and content with each other and yourselves. YAAAAS. Love!

    • KPM

      Was going to gush over the kitty but PAJAMA PARTY!

      • Alanna Cartier

        It was literally my first thought when we were planning on doing engagement photos. Like, I have an excuse to buy more fancy pajamas? COUNT ME IN!

    • CommaChick

      Your ring is gorgeous

    • Booknerd

      That cat!! I am trying to find a way to get a picture with my cats (I have a tortie too) as part of our wedding photo’s but my fiance thinks I’m nuts! Maybe a day before in our rehearsal dinner clothes photo will have to do :)

  • Meg

    People who followed me making posts about my husband immigrating to the US and waiting on the K1 Visa will probably laugh but ….Kind of starting to think more and more seriously about us moving (back for him) to Canada in the next couple of years. The housing market near where we live is just so insane. Education in our state keeps taking a beating. When we have kids college tuition is just going to be out of reach. Even having Hilary as president would be a let down for me…and well have you seen their prime minister???

    I guess I’m just worried about how taxes would work. Also if I’d be able to find work there since I don’t speak french. A lot of the traveling research jobs require bilingual people there.

    Being far from my family would be sad, but it wasn’t like we were going to be getting any kind of dependable help from them when we have kids based on what things have been like for my sister.

    • April

      Canada is pretty rad!

      There are a lot of French classes available pretty much everywhere if you decide you are serious about learning. I think most bilingual positions want you to have French but I’m not sure how many actually require you to be fluent. I live in Canada and the only people I know who are fluent in French are from Quebec. It might be worth looking into how much of the bilingual requirement is just ticking a “has French” box.

      • Meg

        I have tried taking a french class before (as an adult, when I first started dating my husband) and honestly…I am just so bad at it! Pronouncing things correctly is just like pulling teeth for me. It just comes across as so awkward and embarrassing. I can speak spanish and studied Japanese, and was told my accent for those was great but…speaking french for me is the equivalent of me trying to do ballet. I’m just so clutzy! I just can’t imagine speaking it in a professional setting.

        But that is good to know that it most likely wouldn’t be required. I’d probably focus on trying to find jobs in Ontario but Nova Scotia would be really nice but unlikely (his family is there).

        • April

          ha, I feel you. I had to take it in school and I was always pretty terrible at it. I took some German while I was in uni and it was a much better fit for me but French just didn’t stick.

          Good luck with your job search! :D

        • Keeks

          French just seems impossible to me. Why put all those extra letters in there if you aren’t going to use them? FTR, I speak German & Russian, which generally use all the letters in a word. So efficient. :)

        • CP2011

          I took French in 10th grade and spent the whole time hoping the teacher wouldn’t call on me because my accent was so bad! But Spanish isn’t a problem.

    • Totch

      I’m an American who immigrated to Canada for school and stayed for a Canadian man (and also for Canada itself, it’s wonderful).

      I moved to Montreal first and then out west, partially because I wasn’t competitive in a truly francophone job market. It depends on your field, but in many parts of the country French won’t be a big concern (more a check box like April said).

      Taxes are annoying, since the US requires you to file even when you’re not living there. It obvs depends on how complicated your taxes are, but most Americans I know pay taxes in Canada and then just have to file (not owe) in the US.

      Let me know if you have questions!

      • Meg

        ok I don’t mind filing, I have a good friend who has been doing my taxes for the past few years (she has a business if anyone still needs them done!) it’s the owing I was afraid of. Paying taxes in two countries would be sort of impossible haha

        • Totch

          My (limited) understanding is that there are two basic directions you can take when filing.

          Foreign Earned Income Exclusion: you can exclude income earned outside the US up to a certain amount, which changes every year. For 2015 it’s $100,800. Past that, you have to pay taxes and apply the rate that matches your full income.

          Foreign tax credit: you can report the taxes you paid in Canada and the US doesn’t double tax you on those. Because Canadian taxes are often higher than in the US, what I’ve been told is that your tax credit often exceeds the taxes you’d need to pay in the US so you owe nothing.

          I’m sure there are more rules for people with more complicated assets, but I don’t own property or anything so I can’t help there.

          I use the FEIE, because student loans and other things mean that I usually get a refund on my Canadian taxes, meaning I wouldn’t have many foreign tax credits. Whichever you go with, keep in mind that you’re not supposed to change between them more than once every five years.

          • Totch

            Sorry if that was too detailed!

          • Meg

            of course not!! The more details the better. This is super helpful! I’ve googled but the IRS website is just like “you have to file” THE END

          • Totch

            Yeah, I know how hard it is to find info. Good luck!

          • Meg

            YEP we don’t own crap haha

        • EF

          HI! I am an expat that does many other expat’s taxes. And it is rare that anyone ever has to pay — $100,000ish is a lot to make, particularly outside of the USA. It really isn’t so hard, I promise.

          If you still have student loans, BTW, it’s also not so bad filing for pay-as-you-earn or whichever you choose. They work with foreign currency and you can re-apply if the exchange rate suddenly drops.

          And let me just say: a national health service is simply the best thing.

          • Meg

            Am hopefully going to be done paying those before we’d be looking at moving…and well my husband has none because…CANADA.

    • Not Sarah

      If your kids are Canadian citizens (which you can apply for based on your husband being a Canadian citizen), then they can get the Canadian citizen tuition rate at Canadian universities, which is much cheaper than international tuition.

      You might need to find an accountant (I would definitely do that if you have a bunch of assets), but you’ll have to file taxes in both countries since you’re a US citizen.

      Also, French is only big in some parts of the country. It’s huge in Quebec, but almost non-existent in BC, for example.

      • Meg

        Wouldn’t they have to be residents to not have to pay international tuition?

        • Not Sarah

          Nope! There’s no in-state/out-of-state equivalent except in Quebec. I went to university in another province and I didn’t have to pay any more than the in province rates. My alma mater (University of Waterloo) specifies “Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident fees” vs “International students”: https://uwaterloo.ca/find-out-more/financing/fees UBC says “Domestic vs international”, but when I put in Canadian citizen and permanent home in the US, it gave me the Canadian citizen tuition. It looks like the SFU website distinguishes “Canadians and Permanent Residents” vs “international”, so Canadian citizen children would very likely get the domestic rates at UBC and SFU too. Just something to consider if the cost of education is an issue for you. I don’t know how student loans would work for them though, since they wouldn’t be associated with a particular province.

          There are also some Canadian universities that you can use 529 funds to pay for tuition!

          • Meg

            That’s awesome!

          • Totch

            Confirmed! Many of the Americans who went to school with me were Canadian citizens through a parent but had never lived in Canada (and paid Canadian tuition). That’s something you should consider even if you don’t move!

          • Not Sarah

            There were even Americans at my school that didn’t like their in state schools and the international tuition at our school in Canada was comparable to out of state tuition at the schools they were considering in the US. Also, for Americans can get a steal with the exchange rate right now on Canadian tuition!

          • Totch

            That was me!

    • TeaforTwo

      Do it! You won’t need French unless you want to work in Quebec or maybe in Ottawa. (Although there are definitely lots of unilingual English jobs in Ottawa, too.)

      The housing market in Toronto and Vancouver is insane, but it’s calmer elsewhere. And our tuition can be expensive, but nothing like what I have heard it is in the US.

      It’s great here.

  • ItsyBit

    Internet friends, life is hard. Beautiful in many ways, but hard right now.

    I found out two days ago that an immediate family member has relapsed in their drug addiction. I also found out that said drug is, officially, heroin. It’s not that any of this is a surprise. I always sort of knew it was heroin but didn’t really know, if that makes any sense. And I had my suspicions that they were using again; this past holiday season was a hot mess of disappointment and hurt feelings and anger and denial. But it has sent me into a spiral of “I’m fine / I’m drowning” cognitive dissonance.

    Any suggestions for how to deal? How to keep living life and being responsible and completing (graduate) schoolwork and having a social life? I feel like I have such limited mental energy. I know there’s nothing I can really do in terms of the family member. I just… I guess, basically, I’m asking the impossible question of “how do I not let it affect my life,” which I know isn’t going to happen. Blah.

    • Emily

      What feeds you? (I’m asking this, but I’ll admit that I personally find it difficult to answer). Dog walks, movies, sunrises, baths, reading (that might not apply since you are in grad school), running, climbing… can you give yourself more of the things that feed you?

      • ItsyBit

        That’s a good idea. It’s hard, I think, partially because it’s a hard question and also because I’ve been focusing on the things that I can’t do. The things that feed me, or at least what I think I’m craving right now: nature, open space, quiet, and “should-less” time with my closest friends. All of these things are outside of my current city of residence. But I’m beginning to think it might be worth scraping together the funds and requesting deadline extensions in order to take a short trip for my sanity.

        Thank you.

        • Amy March

          Do they need to be? If you need nature and open space, does your city have a park? If you need quiet, does your city have a spa, a library, a boring museum no one goes to, or dawn, a time at which I often feel a deep quiet in the world?

          I think you deal with living life and being responsible and finishing work by taking what you can get where you can. A national park might be calling you name, but a stroll through any local park or garden might help fill you up temporarily.

          • ItsyBit

            “Taking what you can get where you can,” yes. Sometimes frustrating, but very true. I’m mostly craving Not City, but you’re right about local parks & weekday mornings at lesser-known museums. They might do it for now. As for a spa- I’d love that. I’ll have to look on groupon or something to see if I can find a deal that I can afford (yay grad school!), hah.

          • Jess

            Botanic Gardens and Arboretums are pretty great too, depending on the size of your city they may be more accessible than you think!

          • ItsyBit

            Good idea, thank you

    • Kalë

      Love your person, but love yourself too (FIRST). I have a ton of experience with this, with various friends and an ex-boyfriend who’ve struggled with addiction – heroin too, actually. Yes to the above – feed yourself and your soul. Love your person but find some peace with the struggle that, as much as you love them and want to help them, that is not your job. Your job is to love you and help you, and keep being that amazing family member that they loved before their addiction. Peace, love, and light to you in your time of struggle.

      • ItsyBit

        Thank you. Sometimes I struggle with explaining that part to my husband (a “fixer” by nature), the difference between this acceptance and “giving up.” Thankfully I think he gets it this time around.

    • Sarah

      When I was having a hard time coping with my brother’s mental illness and suspected addiction issues, I started seeing a therapist. I was in college at the time and just made an appointment with the university counseling center; you may have access to something similar since you’re in grad school. It took me a while to actually go in, because I had never seen a therapist before and also because it sort of felt like since it was his problem, why was I the one getting therapy? But having a close family member struggle with addiction is a stressor in your life too, and if you are worried and feeling weighed down, there’s no reason for you to bear it alone. I just went a few (maybe 3) times and I found it really helpful just to spill all of the details and work through some of the guilt and fear and sorrow I was feeling. She also gave me some mindfulness tools. I’d really recommend looking into it even if you’ve never considered therapy before.

      • ItsyBit

        Thanks so much, I’m looking into it now. And I hope you & your brother are doing well.

  • Felicity

    Fashion minded people of APW I need your help! I am nearing 30 and for the first time I’d like to develop my personal style. I have never been very clear about what I like for clothing besides just following fashion trends. But now I feel like if I truly want to embrace my body as it is, I need to figure out what works and run with it. Any advice on the best way to rebuild a wardrobe? Or how to figure out what your personal style might be when you are a bit clueless? I am always inspired by the fearless fashion of APW!

    • Ooh great question! I went through this over the past year – I went from having no style to a point of view and making strategic clothing choices. I actually started by following fashion bloggers on Instagram and doing a couple of #ootd challenges on Instagram. I also picked up the Lucky Shopping Manual and thumbed through it. I found blogs like Corporette to be really helpful as well. I follow a ton of plus size bloggers as a plus size lady – let me know if you want those recs as well!

    • Alex

      I personally haven’t tried it out yet, but I’ve heard SO many good things about StichFix, so trying something like that might be a good start for a few months to open your eyes to things you might not have thought about wearing before :)

      • Eenie

        I’ve had the most success with building my professional wardrobe when I didn’t buy it all at one time. So stitch fix helps with this, you get six items every time so it’s not overwhelming I’M A WHOLE NEW PERSON!

      • Kara

        I did StitchFix last year, and I can sing its praises! Be very specific. Full stop.
        It was great for helping me get a style…I didn’t have one before, and they were awesome.

        For example I wrote this:
        I absolutely hate pink (in all hues), and I find the colored jean/pants trend not to my taste. I like preppy or classic looks, especially in greys and deep blues (like indigo. I dislike pastels and neon colors.

        Non-maxi dresses tend to work better for me when there is structure to them, but if there’s a seam across the midsection it’s not flattering. I carry my weight in my stomach and thighs.

    • Grace

      Two thoughts, I’ve heard (never used) that lots of stores have “personal” shoppers on hand to help people decide what looks good on them. That might be a good place to start.
      Another place could be Pinterest, look through the fashion sections, pin anything that looks good, then go back and see if there’s a theme of looks, colors, etc. that really appeal to you.
      Oh, another thing, I used to get overwhelmed in stores that had racks and racks of clothing, but I loved more specialized stores like Banana Republic or The Limited, where they have outfits on the models that show you how you can mix and match different pieces.

    • Bsquillo

      I LOVE StitchFix and will totally sing their praises far and wide. It has really helped me develop a grown-up sense of style, and 90% of my outfits I wear to work contain at least one item from StitchFix. Plus, you don’t actually have to leave your house and go shopping (ugh). They don’t have a huge range of sizes, but do have petites and maternity wear…and I believe they are investigating expanding their size range in the future. They also JUST added shoes to their shipments (!) and are planning on launching a men’s service soon.

      • There’s already a plus size company similar to StitchFix called Dia & Co – really cute stuff and their stylists do a great job. There’s also Gwynnie Bee, which is a subscription service for plus size women.

      • Felicity

        I’d tried StitchFix for a month or two, but then paused my membership. Do you find it gets better over time? Maybe I need to try again!

        • Bsquillo

          Yup, totally. Feel free to request a different stylist if the one you have isn’t working out. But I’ve stuck with my same stylist for over a year, and she keeps getting better! I’ve gone from liking/purchasing 2-3 things per fix to most often loving 4-5 of the items.

          It also helps to give really specific and honest feedback or requests…for example, “I won’t wear tops that don’t allow me to wear a regular bra,” or “I need a pair of work slacks that are comfortable for bike commuting.” And linking a Pinterest board to your profile is super helpful. Spend some time pinning things you like, with specific comments like “I’d really like a spring jacket in this style and color.” You can also follow the Pinterest boards StitchFix runs, and pin specific items they post. Many times, I’ve gotten an exact item in my fix that I pinned previously, with a comment from my stylist that she saw it on my Pinterest board.

          • Jess

            Learning that Pinterest is an option for StitchFix opened up a million doors for me! Now I can browse for things I want, and actually have a chance of getting them. Thank you!

      • A.

        Do you know if Stitch Fix is related to Rocksbox (same idea but for jewelry)? I’m obsessed with Rocksbox (quality, service, all of it) and it seems like the model is really similar! Sounds like an awesome idea and I’m checking it out now.

        • Bsquillo

          Sort of, except from what I understand, Rocksbox is more of a rental service (I haven’t actually tried it yet myself), whereas you only buy from Stitchfix. Still, same concept as far as a filling out a style profile, having a stylist select pieces for you, and the ease of shipping on both ends. The service aspect is what sold me, too!

    • Totch

      A big key to finding a personal style for me was admitting that it was OK for it to not be too wide ranging? I really thought personal style meant that everything you owned was special: “Oh this? I picked it up in this cute little shop in Paris!”

      Everything got easier for me when I discovered that Banana Republic fits me. Every time. I can shop online for their clothes and not be disappointed! I can buy something in all the colors! Letting myself focus my wardrobe like that made it easier to always feel like I had something stylish to wear. When you find something that works, don’t be afraid to stick with it.

      • ART

        Yes to this! My wardrobe is about ready for some new items, but at some point I looked at the things I wore constantly and the things I never wore and went huh, I must be at my most comfortable in round-toe wedges and a knit pencil skirt or skinny jeans/pants. So I now own, ummm, 6 pairs of said wedges (3 are the same style, diff colors) and a few pairs of pumps with the same toe shape just to mix it up a tiny bit (I used to HATE all the shoes, now I found what works for me and just buy that over and over), 6 knit pencil skirts in different colors and textures (Old Navy, Target, and the Limited came through on those), and a few pairs of skinny pants that are nice enough for my office, and I can pretty much get dressed with my eyes closed because I do all my shopping for shirts while either wearing the rest of it or I buy stuff online that is easily returnable (free shipping or store nearby) so I can try them on to make sure they work with those shapes. I just got rid of three skirts that I liked in theory, but they were slightly shorter than my comfort level and they were woven/lined so they were not as comfortable as the knit materials. Find your favorite things that you already own and figure out why they are your favorite and own it! That’s a great starting point.

        • Felicity

          This is so helpful! Getting dressed with my eyes closed (and feeling good in all my clothes) is really what I’m going for!

        • Totch

          Yes! I like to think I’m going to wear that cute miniskirt. It’s aspirational. But I don’t because then I have to pay attention to where my butt is.

          But that dress that makes me do my laundry more often because of how much I wear it? Why not own 3 colors? I have it in black, purple, and rust.

      • Felicity

        Buying the same thing in multiple colors! That is revolutionary. I’ve never actually done this but it’s a great suggestion.

        • ART

          That helps a TON with buying online, especially for shoes, because you can be pretty confident that if you have one item/pair of shoes already, the other colors will fit the same so trying on before buying isn’t necessary. Weirdly, not 100% true, but at least 95% true.

          • Eenie

            Not 100% true is right! If you buy in store, try on each item even if they are the same size. The fabric may stretch different or they are poorly made and different sizes. (I have running tanks that are perfect, too small, and too big. Only tried on the one that is perfect.)

    • Felicity

      One thing I’m considering is investing in good dresses. I kind of have this dream that I would never have to wear pants again. Is that crazy? Has anyone tried it?

      • AGCourtney

        I have almost exclusively worn dresses and skirts since grade school. It’s doable!

      • Totch

        I stopped wearing pants for about a year and a half! I just bought 3 pairs because I wanted that flexibility again, but still mainly wear dresses. Don’t throw out your pants or anything, but give it a try.

      • Alison M

        I wear dresses 97% of the time. When I show up to work in pants, all my coworkers are confused.

        Everything thinks I’m fancy/put together, but the reality is that I’m lazy. I love that I can throw on one thing (at least in the summer) and I’m dressed. In the winter, it’s usually the same dresses + tights + a cardigan, so only mildly more complicated. Also, finding dresses that fit/flatter my frame is WAY easier than finding pants that make me feel great.

        • A.

          Haha, I basically commented the same thing as you below without realizing. Dresses are amazing. Dresses for lazy women* 4EvEr!

          (Edited because we’re not girls, re: other convos above!)

        • MER

          YES! This is me x 1000%. Love the simplicity of dresses. 1 piece. If it’s cold, cardigan. If it’s super cold, cardigan, tights and a scarf. I haven’t worn pants to work in…close to a year I think. Haven’t worn pants besides sweat pants in… close to year. It’s amazing.

          (I also have an odd body type. I”m a powerlifter and a gymnast so I have big arms, wide shoulders, small waist, huge bum and thick thighs. Clothes are not made for lifters. Sigh)

      • Carolyn S

        I have the dream on the regular because I’m tall and pants suck… but I also live in a northern climate and it’s cold you guys..

      • CMT

        Pants are THE WORST.

      • A.

        I’m constantly tricking people into thinking I’m fashionable, put together, and polished because I wear dresses 75-90% of the time (depending on the season). In reality? I’m super lazy and dresses are just super easy. I’m also pear-shaped as hell, so throwing on an A-line dress with tights is always flattering. It’s my greatest con, muahahaha.

        • Felicity

          Any suggestions for a good place to buy everyday dresses? I have some very nice quality fancy dresses, but my casual ones seems to not last super long.

          • Ashlah

            We recently got a Nordstrom Rack in town, and I’ve had some luck with quality dresses there. I’m still struggling to balance my desire for quality with my desire to not spend money, so a lot of their stuff is out of my price range, but I often find decent deals there too.

          • A.

            Depends on your budget! Personally, I live by Anthropologie’s sales section because I don’t like paying full-price for their pieces, but I’m a big fan of the style. They actually have a lot of different looks too, not just the romantic-boho they’re known for. However, I also know what works on me style-wise really well, so I’ve never had an issue ordering online (i.e., if you don’t have an Anthro near you to try things on, it might be a bit of a learning curve to see how certain things look on you)

            Otherwise, I <3 ModCloth, Target, Nordstrom Rack (like Ashlah said), and ASOS.

          • Teresa

            I get great dresses at banana republic and Ann Taylor loft–watch for when their entire store goes on sale for 40% off and you can get great deals!

      • NotMarried!

        I am building up my collection of Antonio Melani dresses from Dillards. I’ve recently discovered that dresses with sleeves (at least partial sleeves) and/or peplum details are ideal. They’re fairly reasonably priced, and built well with structure and shape. I live in the business/legal world and the ability to look instantly put together is such an asset.

        I bought the following for Easter – (it fails my sleeve ideal, but i think is worth it!)

        http://www.dillards.com/brand/Antonio+Melani/women-dresses#pageSize=100&=0&orderBy=1&facet=

    • Danielle

      I really like the book “How to Get Dressed” by Alison Freer: http://www.amazon.com/How-Get-Dressed-Costume-Designers/dp/1607747065 She has some really good exercises for finding your style, and has an open mind about clothes (she’s not into following trends or setting rules for different body types, etc). I checked the book out from the local library and didn’t want to return it! It was helpful even though I feel I do know somewhat what my style is… helped me develop and define it even more!

      • Felicity

        Great! I’m going to see if my library has it right now :)

        • Danielle

          Yay! If they don’t, it might be worth investing in.

          One good tip I learned from it is that tailoring is really important to making clothes look and feel good. So once you find your style, you can keep yourself looking awesome!!!

    • Elizabeth

      I find that an open-minded trip to a salvation army or goodwill is a great way for me to try new things without breaking the bank. Stores like that are not as ~inspiring~ as a nice clothing store, but if you look at something and try to imagine how it would look on you, you’d be surprised with what you can find! As much as I love splurging on Mod Cloth, I’m just not going to buy a whole new wardrobe there and I’m certainly not going to feel particularly experimental.

      • Hannah

        Yes to second-hand wardrobes! That is my style, too.

        • A single sarah

          Clothing swaps with a bunch of friends are awesome for this too!
          1) I’m way more willing to try on random things.
          1b) it’s fun to see different people in the same piece and realize how differently it fits.
          1c) lots of feedback on keep this vs leave for someone else.
          2) It’s a motivation to clear out closet with the things I’m not wearing
          3) sometimes you luck out and find your clothing twin and then you know who to borrow from in the future.
          3) no new costs!

          • Hannah

            Yes! Clothing swaps are so great. Nothing like stripping down with a bunch of friends and redistributing your wardrobes together.

            I found my clothing twin at my last swap, and it was amazing! I’m six feet tall with a romantic-lite aesthetic. Lucky for me, one of my friends has a friend who fits both those categories!

    • StevenPortland

      Have you read articles about clothing capsules? One method is called “33 Things”. It is where each season you curate a versatile small capsule of clothing and that is all you wear for the season. By being very thoughtful in choosing the capsule, then allegedly you are likely to always look good and at the same time not spend too much on clothes. It’s on my list of things to try this year. Lots of good articles about it online.

    • Carolyn S

      I’m also always working on this and one thing I’m leaning towards right now is not really buying stuff that is .. like “fun” and challenging but “it’s so cute I’ll definitely wear it.” and instead allowing myself to spend good money on really simple pieces. Every time I read an article about people who wear a “uniform” I’m way more inspired by that that buying more varied items.

    • Hannah

      Congratulations on deciding to only wear stuff that makes you feel good! I got a similar yearning last spring. Most of my clothing is second-hand, which I actually love and didn’t want to change; but I had a tendency to just pick up anything that was in good condition and not offensive to my aesthetic. The result was a bit of a mish-mash.

      A series of posts about “signature style” on XOJane was very helpful. Those can be found here (at the bottom of the page): http://www.xojane.com/terms/signature-style The “homework” for some of the lessons involves articulating your personal style in condensed language. (After brainstorming ideas and consulting a thesaurus, I settled on “romantic queer”).

      I also, for the first time in my life, created a Pinterest board to collect images that resonate with me. Few of them are fashion images as such – many of them are movie stills or historic portraits. Having all those pictures in one place made it easy to take them in at a glance and notice some recurring themes. (Natural fibers, defined waists, collars, lots of layering.)

      Having done all that “work” (which was awfully fun), I was able to pare down my closet to the pieces that I really loved and that fit with my emerging “signature style”. I ended up culling out a good third of my closet! Some pieces were hard to let go of, but once they were gone (distributed to friends at a clothing swap), I didn’t even remember what had been there before.

      I really recommend that route: get *rid* of clothing before you start buying new stuff. Style seems to be as much a question of what you *don’t* wear as of what you *do*. Once you clear out the excess, you’ll have a better idea of what makes you happy, and you’ll be able to make new acquisitions accordingly.

      Good luck, and have fun!

      • joanna b.n.

        Seconding a few things here (a few days late) –
        1. get rid of stuff you don’t like, see what you have that you feel really good in.
        2. collect pics (Pinterest or magazines) of styles that you are drawn to/seem like they’d look good on you.
        3. Go try a million things on. Maybe take someone with you, or like I do, set your mom up to get text photos from you and comment back while you’re there in real time. (I also love to do this at secondhand stores because there’s more variety).
        4. Find out your colors – http://www.colormebeautiful.com/seasons/ I learned that a lot of things that weren’t working for me were because the color was wrong.

        Good luck, and have fun with it!!!

  • Susan

    I just have to spout off that I really hated the Reply All podcast on breast milk. I found it feeding into the fiction that breast is best, no matter what, all the time. (I’m a scientist and have read lots of the primary literature and this is just not true — there actually isn’t a lot of data for a lot of cases as to whether feeding breast milk has any significant positive effect. In some instances, such as premature babies, it definitely seems to be beneficial and in those cases milk banks work really hard to provide breast milk for the babies who need it.) The idea that just because one interviewer’s mother dumped out a lot of frozen breast milk (presumably 20+ years ago) that there is an over-supply of breast milk is ludicrous. Many women (at least 10%) have trouble providing enough breast milk for their own baby. Many more women can’t emotionally/financially cope with the whole pumping routine that is necessary to work and provide breast milk for their own baby. So, there is a fairly limited supply of breastmilk available (at least if we look at an individual country, such as the US) and this breast milk needs to be tested to confirm that it is free of virulent microbes, so of course it is expensive. I thought the podcast framed the problem as something that could/should be solved by the internet, but I see breast milk as simply a very expensive to produce commodity (the production of which is also ethically fraught since it literally comes from women’s bodies). So its cost should be covered by health insurance in cases (premature babies being the main one) where it provides a clear benefit and should be expensive for everyone else to buy on a free market (whether that be a male body-builder or the main guest on the show that simply insisted with no verifiable health claims that it was what her particular baby needed).

    • Amy March

      I find the very concept that breast milk is a “commodity” to be “produced” dehumanizing. Not saying this as a critique of your comment at all, just the general concept and discussion around the sale of milk I think is really problematic.

    • Lea

      I think attitudes towards breastfeeding benefits shift with the public’s emotions. Right now, women are caught between major careers and no maternity leave. They have legit reasons why breastfeeding is challenging and even impossible. But it seems like there is a growing sentiment to downplay the benefits of breastfeeding because we don’t want to make women feel like they just can’t win. Understandable.
      But there are benefits. No study has yet to refute that breastfed babies have higher IQs. That’s a stubborn fact. APW once linked to an article about how the breast constantly changes up the composition of the milk because nipples receive feedback from the baby about it’s health needs.
      Who knows what more science will discover in the future about breast milk that we don’t know? None of this is to make women feel bad about circumstances they can’t control, but we shouldn’t downplay the unique abilities breast milk has evolved over time either. Formula has always only been as good as current science’s understanding of breast milk. The formula of today is vastly better than the formula from 1970 because of research on breast milk.

      • Laura C

        Re the IQ connection, the studies I’ve seen making that claim haven’t controlled for factors like parental education and income, where the studies I’ve seen that have controlled for those things haven’t found any kind of enduring IQ bump. I can’t claim to have read every possible study, but there’s good reason to question such claims (especially since IQ itself is a deeply problematic and shifting measure).

      • Amy March

        No study as of yet proves that breastfed babies have higher IQs because of breastfeeding either. Also a stubborn fact.

        • Lea

          See my answer to Laura above. The Unicef study does.

      • Eenie

        Breastfeeding and breastmilk often get lumped together, but really are two different things. The whole changing the composition thing doesn’t matter if you exclusively pump. (Which I’m not saying any one is different, but you have exclusive pumpers, exclusive breastfeeders, exclusive formula, and then everywhere else on the scale in that triangle.)

        I wish our politicians would get on board with setting up laws so that women aren’t forced into one of the camps but have more of a choice in the matter. I personally haven’t looked into breast milk banks, but I know many people who have had great results using them when they were having issues finding the right formula.

      • emilyg25

        I don’t agree that it’s just a work/leave issue, though that’s certainly a big component. I have stay-at-home moms who couldn’t breastfeed for various reasons and were made to feel totally terrible about it. Even if you’re not working, breastfeeding is really fucking hard for a lot of women, and a lot of pediatricians, OBs and even lactation consultants aren’t up to date on the latest best practices. The system is not currently set up to give women as much support as they need.

        • Lea

          Yes, I’m aware that breastfeeding can be very difficult for some and easier for other. Especially the pain factor.

        • Eh

          “The system is not currently set up to give women as much support as they need.” – I have been breastfeeding/pumping (since I returned to work) for my daughter for 7 months. My experience is that the system is set up to tell women that they should breastfeed (at the hospital I delivered at 95% of women who give birth breast feed while in the hospital – but the 2 month and 6 month stats are very low) but then don’t provide the support they need.

          My daughter had a tongue tie and a lip tie. A nurse in the Mom and Baby unit told me she had a tongue tie but didn’t tell me anything to watch out for or what to do if she couldn’t eat. And the hospital doesn’t have a lactation consultant on staff. My daughter appeared to be latching ok so they released us (did not do a transfer test to check). My daughter had a horrible latch and I was in horrible pain after a couple of days. She was so hungry (crying constantly) and it was the weekend and I had no clue what to do other than keep feeding her (I got a total 1.5 hours of sleep two nights in a row). We went to the doctor on the Monday (she hadn’t gained any weight) and then saw a lactation consultant who said the tongue tie should have been clipped before we were released from the hospital and taught us a position (reclined) that allowed my daughter to latch well enough even without the tongue tie clipped (she gained a pound in a week and no longer cried constantly). She had the tongue tie clipped and then a week later got both the tongue tie and lip tie revised with a laser. I am grateful for our doctor who did not push switching to formula and told us to go to the LC, and the LC was amazing, but I wish the I was more equipped to deal with the situation before we left the hospital. Recently I was asked to review the online prenatal course provided by our local health unit. Half of the course is about how great breast feeding is, how to breast feed (e.g., some positions and some pictures of good and bad latches), and how fathers can support mothers who breastfeed. There is nothing about problems that might arise or potential solutions, and just says to see a public health nurse or LC is there are problems. (There is also NOTHING about formula feeding at all.) I told them that they need something about at least common breast feeding problems and solutions. I was lucky that I knew she had a tongue tie so I at least knew what was wrong, many moms I’ve talked to found out that their babies had tongue ties after weeks or months of struggling.

    • KPM

      I can’t say I had the same takeaway, that it implied breastmilk is always best. I appreciated that the setup was about a woman who really did need breastmilk vs formula for her particular baby (which I choose to believe.) They definitely could have gotten into more of a debate re: the need for breastmilk overall, but Reply All is a show about the internet so they are going to approach solving a problem from that perspective.

    • Gina

      I think it’s pretty clear that breastmilk is the biological norm and there is a new study every day about components of breastmilk that we didn’t know about (and haven’t been reproduced in formula). Whenever you take something that nature does best and try to replace it with something else, you’re going to lose something. Science just isn’t that good yet to create a perfect replica, and our nutrition science is almost laughably behind… We JUST figured out that trans fats are bad for you. In the 1950s, formula was basically evaporated cow’s milk! It is NOT a judgment on formula-feeding moms to say breastmilk is biologically superior, just like it’s NOT a judgment on moms whose toddlers subsist on goldfish and gogurts to say whole foods are better. Formula companies have literally manufactured a “mommy war” (see recent Similac ad) to keep the attention diverted from the question we should really be asking: If breastmilk IS best, what can we do to either make that available to everyone or make formula better?

      I strongly believe that if a mom can’t produce enough breastmilk for her baby but wants to provide that for her baby, she should be able to get it. That’s why I donate breastmilk as often as I can. I think that charging for it is just taking advantage of a mostly desperate population. A lot of babies have a REALLY hard time on formula.

  • anon just for this

    I don’t know if this is appropriate content for Happy Hour, so NSFW/delete if necessary but I had to share somewhere:

    I had my first orgasm from oral sex last night! Like, ever! I had kind of all but given up on it – I enjoy receiving but it just hadn’t ever gotten me there. Maybe an intimacy, having trouble letting go thing? But between the St. Patrick’s day festivities and the awesome lovey-dovey patch I’m in with my longtime partner, something about last night did the trick! I am SO THRILLED and pleased with myself, my body, and my partner. HAPPY!

    • I feel like this is something to celebrate :-)

      • Maddie Eisenhart

        I’m with Jareesa. :)

        • anon just for this

          Thanks yall. I am definitely celebrating – both metaphorical and actual champagne poppin’.

          • Loisjebert1


            “my .friend’s mate Is getting 98$. HOURLY. on the internet.”….


            two days ago new Mc.Laren. F1 bought after earning 18,512$,,,this was my previous month’s paycheck ,and-a little over, 17k$ Last month ..3-5 h/r of work a days ..with extra open doors & weekly. paychecks.. it’s realy the easiest work I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months ago and now making over 87$, p/h.Learn. More right Hereo!269➤➤➤➤➤ http://GlobalSuperEmploymentVacanciesReportsJobs/GetPaid/98$hourly…. .❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:::::o!269……..

          • Sheiladmackie4


            “my .friend’s mate Is getting 98$. HOURLY. on the internet.”….


            two days ago new Mc.Laren. F1 bought after earning 18,512$,,,this was my previous month’s paycheck ,and-a little over, 17k$ Last month ..3-5 h/r of work a days ..with extra open doors & weekly. paychecks.. it’s realy the easiest work I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months ago and now making over 87$, p/h.Learn. More right Hereo!216➤➤➤➤➤ http://GlobalSuperEmploymentVacanciesReportsJobs/GetPaid/98$hourly…. .❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:::::o!216…….

          • Myrtlejsmith3


            “my .friend’s mate Is getting 98$. HOURLY. on the internet.”….


            two days ago new Mc.Laren. F1 bought after earning 18,512$,,,this was my previous month’s paycheck ,and-a little over, 17k$ Last month .,3-5 h/r of work a days ..with extra open doors & weekly. paychecks.. it’s realy the easiest work I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months ago and now making over 87$, p/h.Learn. More right Here!oi812➤➤➤➤➤ http://GlobalSuperEmploymentVacanciesReportsTech/GetPaid/98$hourly…. .❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:::::!oi812……

    • Jess

      YAY! I want to throw myself a party any time I orgasm ever (this would be like once a year, maybe, but only since R), so I am HERE for the Happy Hour celebration.

      I have a really hard time not getting distracted before it happens for me, and also things feel good one day and then don’t the next, so, work in progress.

      Victory for you!

    • raccooncity

      !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      woo!

    • YASYASYAS! ~*snaps for “anon just for this”*~

  • Keeks

    Workplace language victory: the men on my team have started saying “women” instead of “girls” in conversation! They’re still at the stage where they start to say “girl,” then correct themselves and say, “I mean woman”… but it’s becoming more automatic. They’ve even started to correct our boss when he says “girls.” YASSSS.

    • Emily

      Good for you! That is a victory!!!!

      I have someone at my work I need to have a conversation with… he keeps using “girls” to be derogatory to men (i.e., in his opinion they aren’t doing well enough). He’s someone I think will listen to me when I tell him that using the juvenile form of my gender as a derogatory term bothers me. Still, not the easiest conversation to have, but one I need to do.

      • ART

        That seems like it could be the right opportunity for an “I don’t understand what you mean by that, can you explain it to me?” It might not work in that situation (you would know best), but maybe?

    • CP2011

      That is a victory! I would have a hard time being referred to as a “girl” in the workplace, but at the same time I find it to be a more comfortable or natural expression when referring to women my age (25) or younger casually. As much as I fully consider myself an adult, in my head I think of a “woman” being so much older than me compared the flippant use of “girl.”

      • Amy March

        I think it is often more comfortable for women to make themselves “less” because patriarchy. I encourage you to push through the discomfort and own women!

    • Booknerd

      There is someone in my office that refers to every administrative person as a “girl at the front desk” or “girl in accounting” or something similar. Drives me CRAZY, especially if he is referring to me and I can hear him. I want to get up and shout “I HAVE A NAME!!!” or when he just points and says “Her” or “She”. uuuugh SMH

    • ItsyBit

      Hooray!! This language thing wasn’t something that I ever really noticed until I worked with a particularly nasty customer in my retail days. I never fully realized that “girl” implied “child” until this guy actually said it out loud. (He called me “that little girl” to my manager, who was officially Having None of His Bullshit, thank goodness). Now it drives me bananas when I hear it. Yay for progress!

  • E.

    I applied for a job this week. I’ve been running my own business for nearly 5 years, and I’m just so tired. We did our taxes a couple weeks ago, and it threw me into such a funk. For the past three years, I’ve been profitable, but it’s annoying to know that I could probably make more money working retail full time than I do working more than full time doing this.

    So, when I saw a job pop up at my alma mater (in one of my major’s department) as the program assistant, I applied. It’s a 10 month contract, with fabulous benefits, and the thought of making $25k (instead of $10-15k) and still having a couple months off…well that’s really appealing.

    BUT I feel like a failure for even thinking of giving up on my business. Being an adult is hard sometimes. :(

    • Bsquillo

      Congrats on making tough choices! You’re not a failure- choosing a job for work-life balance, better salary, and great benefits is a totally reasonable and noble choice. And I’m sure the lessons you learned running your business will only make you a stronger employee- wherever you decide to work in the future! That doesn’t sound like a failure to me at all.

  • Bsquillo

    Had a great vacation + some adult life lessons this week: we drove to Moab (from Colorado) and had an AMAZING time. Stayed in a lovely bed and breakfast, explored some beautiful scenery, saw some really cool rocks (geeky 9-year-old me with a rock collection would have flipped out). On the drive back, we ran into a sudden snowstorm in the Colorado mountains, so we basically got stuck for an extra night and had to book a last-minute hotel room. Due to continuing snow, traction laws, and general safety, the only way we could get home the next day was to put a brand new pair of snow tires on my car. It was a purchase that hurt- tires are the least fun expensive purchase ever- but we made it back safely, and my car is driving like a champ now. So, lesson learned: don’t drive through the Rockies in the Spring without snow tires (no matter how great the forecast looks), replace your worn-out tires more than once every 4 years if you drive all the time, and save for a rainy day.

    On the bright side, I think YNAB is FINALLY clicking for me. It was paying for the program that got me to actually dive into it, and now things are making sense. I know some older users are split over the new version’s features, but the automatic import + the way credit cards are handled made the program way more appealing for me. Yay budgeting!

    • Emily W

      Our car’s tire died in mid-December. Right after we got back from a vacation. And we drove 45 minutes on the spare to the nearest tire shop, had to buy tires that were higher quality because that’s all they had, and $700 had 4 new tires for our car.

      I feel your pain.

      • Bsquillo

        Yeah, the whole ordeal basically doubled the planned cost of our vacation, haha. Oh well- I suppose that’s what emergency funds are for, right?

        • Eenie

          The whole point of YNAB! <3 Sucks it happened but glad you rolled with the punch! I also spent $700 putting new tires on my car for a winter move, and then the car just completely broke down on me and the whole thing ended up costing about $2k after the one way rental, towing it (twice!), fixing it, and then flying back up to drive it down to my new place. We sold the car and I was so thankful for the extra cushion in the moving fund.

  • QUEER

    Hey! We went to our second attempt at artificial insemination today, and I’m feeling really good! It’s empowering to know I can take my life/body/choices into my own hands and try to get pregnant, even though my partner can’t physically produce sperm. He’s excited too :)

    Our try last month wasn’t successful but now I know what to do and how quick, simple and painless it is, so I was more relaxed. I would like to write more about this process because it is so interesting and unique. And it’s interesting how many straight couples (who get pregnant the old-fashioned way) don’t know what the experience is like.

    I’m really excited about the possibility of having a cute, chubby baby and needed to share!!!!

    Thanks APW :)

    • anon for this

      Isn’t it amazing how the same procedure can be such a different experience once you know what to expect? Best vibes to you. I am an a.i./donor baby and have heard my mom’s stories about stress, nerves, excitement, and eventually joy (twice!) many times.

      • QUEER

        Yes, it IS amazing! We also had a different doctor this time, she was a woman (our regular doctor is a guy, he was out of town) and I asked her questions I forgot to ask last time. Also, she totally ignored my husband, which we both thought was really funny :D

        I’m so glad to hear your mom had you and your sibling by a.i.! That totally gives me hope!!!

    • raccooncity

      Mr. RC is an IVF baby and he is THE BEST, so I assume your baby will be too. Best of baby-luck to you!

      • QUEER

        Thank you, Ms. RC! It’s funny, I don’t actually know any adults who are IVF or AI babies (at least, they haven’t told me!) so it’s a surprising relief to hear, “Hey, there are actual people out there who got made this way!” Even though logically, I know it’s true :)

        (Also, for the record, we don’t have to do IVF, at least not at this point. We are going straight-up sperm donor with my eggs. A much simpler and less expensive process!! I feel lucky for that.)

        • QUEER

          To clarify, and in case anyone is interested, by “Straight up sperm donor” I mean Intra-uterine insemination (IUI) directly into my uterus. It’s a relatively simple procedure in which the doctor basically squirts some semen right through my cervix. It doesn’t hurt (except maybe a little mild cramping afterwards) and the whole thing takes like 5 minutes. No additional hormone treatment or medical procedures are needed.

          I chose to do some blood tests beforehand to make sure my hormones and eggs were in working order. We decided to go this route bc my hubby is trans – so he doesn’t produce sperm.

        • raccooncity

          Oh man, of course those are different things. Also: in a potential answer to your question, while I think AI babies are out there (maybe even unbeknownst to them!), you probably don’t know many adult IVF babies because it’s still pretty new – Mr. RC was the very first in a large Canadian city and he’s only 29.

    • emilyg25

      Fingers crossed that this month is successful!

      • QUEER

        Thank you, emily!

  • EF

    adulting: having that endoscopy+colonoscopy, plus a small intestine MRI all in the same week.

    I’ve lost like 10lbs this week. let me recommend the crohn’s disease diet to you!

    (but really guys? i am so miserable and so tired of my body right now. fingers crossed that i feel better, recovering from tests, because i am SUPPOSED to be off to france on sunday!)

    • Ashlah

      I’m so sorry your going through such a shitty (pun?) time right now. Sending good vibes your direction! I hope you’re feeling well in time for your trip!

      • EF

        heehee seriously the only upside to this week? SO MANY PUNS

    • Eenie

      Our society celebrates weight loss like it would never be a bad thing. Makes is that much more frustrating when it’s due to illness and health issues! Ugh I hope you are well enough for France! Good vibes.

      • EF

        thanks <3
        there's a lot of body shaming with my sisters (who both have several children, and are both obese) and I'm the smallest of my siblings by…probably 75lbs (maybe 50lb lighter than my brothers, heh). but i'm not underweight, just rather average, so people are still like 'ohhh you look great!' and my sisters will be like 'stop showing off that you have time/no kids!' and i wanna be over here going 'but guys i can't eat anything and feel awful.'

        ah, society baggage.

    • Alanna Cartier

      Oh man do I understand this. I have celiac and I finally got an appointment with a real gastroentorologist at the beginning of April.

      • EF

        hope it goes well! having the right g-e can make such a huge difference.

    • Bsquillo

      So sorry :( Hope you find some relief soon! Digestive issues are seriously frustrating.

  • anon for this

    I was hoping that someone could help me come up with wording for my husband about a political issue? He’s been lacking empathy, in my opinion, about student loan debt and why people want to vote for Bernie Sanders for help with that. Now, I’m actually an HRC supporter and so is my husband (though he sometimes tends more fiscally conservative), but while he’s been going off on tangents about what a dick he thinks Bernie Sanders is, he also rants along the lines of: “No one FORCED them to take out $200k to go to art school. I’m sorry, but my taxes shouldn’t cover their poor planning. There are real issues and real suffering in this country.”

    And I just feel like it’s a really unfair way of looking at the issue. For one thing, he’s never had debt a day in his life (his parents paid for his elite schooling out of pocket) and my debt is on the manageable side, so I don’t know how to get him to see that it’s a bigger, more systematic issue. But I don’t have the words to describe this to him really…I tend to just go on about bootstrapping and I feel like he thinks it’s not the same thing.

    • Amy March

      I think he is right- I don’t think my taxes should be going to support someone who took out $200,000 in student loan debt to go to art school.

      That’s not what the student loan crisis is really about- its a very small subset that is easy to take on and diminish.

      I think instead of encouraging him to be empathetic to that particular case, it might help to change the subject of the discussion. Agree that 200K debt for art school person doesn’t need a tax-payer funded bailout. But press him on a student who struggled through a bad high school, managed to get into college, and failed to finish because of lack of available classes, family responsibilities, and lack of funding, and who now has insurmountable debt. Ask him why we “bail-out” people who buy houses, by allowing them to deduct mortgage interest, but we phase out the student loan interest deduction so significantly fewer people benefit. Ask him to remember that for some people, they get to fail and fail again because they have enough support to make it over life’s bumps, but other people start at a disadvatage and expected them to behave perfectly is unreasonable.

      • Alanna Cartier

        Well said.

      • anon for this

        Oh, sorry, I wasn’t clear. He is making that case when talking about the student loan crisis in general; so he’s saying that’s the most common case, rather than the one you’re talking about. But this really helps, thank you!

        • Amy March

          If he thinks that is the most common case, he is flat wrong. Not in terms of empathy or feelings but in terms of actual reality. The NYTimes has written extensively about this, if you’re looking for sources.

          • another lady

            I think it helps when you know some people personally who are working to pay off ‘reasonable’ student debt. If he is/was in this bubble where people’s parent’s just drop the cash to pay for college, he may not realize the reality of this issue. Also, he could ask said parents or other people how much his/their education cost (probably not $20K) My husband when to a tech school for an associates degree, then when back to a moderately-priced local state university for a bachelors degree. It ended up taking him 5 years for the bachelor’s (not unheard of – he switched majors and associates degree credits did not transfer). In the end, he has $80K+ in loans! It’s not like we was waiting away his time and going to keg parties, either. He worked very hard and lived off of very little and had a 20-30+ hour a week job during his entire time in school. So, maybe hearing stories like that will help your husband understand the realities of the situation, instead of the random people who take advantage and get ‘useless’ degrees at private institutions for way too much money. He is now 34 years old, paying aggressively on the debt, and still has $55K+ to go! His sister is a lawyer and also went to the same local state university for her bachelors, then a reasonable law school, and ended up with $160K+ in student loans. I’m not sure if she will ever pay that off, even with a lawyer’s income! And, her husband has some associates degree debt to pay off, too.

          • Ashlah

            Yep. I graduated from a state school in three years, while working part-time, and still had $18k in debt. It’s not $200k, and it’s way, way less than a lot of people end up with, but it’s not insignificant. And then I married someone with $30k in student loans. When you don’t have people to help you pay for school, and you don’t have a guaranteed well-paying job upon graduation, any amount of debt can have a major impact on your finances and your life’s plans.

          • EF

            yup. worked whenever I was in school and literally starved at points. but i had no backup people, no parents, and no home to go to. I have $150K(ish) worth of debt from undergrad+law school. the only bit I really resent is $80K of it comes from 2 years at a top-50 private university I went to originally on a sports scholarship. I was hurt the day before classes started and they cancelled my financial aid package, so I got private loans. It was 2005, this seemed reasonable. It seems a mistake now, of course, but I had no mentors or advisers, just a financial aid office saying ‘here, apply for this!’

            Ah well.

            My ivy-league degree, after I transferred, only cost $25K which was just living expenses, as tuition was covered by the university (this was cheaper and a better deal than going to UMass, my state university). And the rest from grad/law school, which I did in the UK, where it was cheaper and where I still live. I’ll have my private loans paid off in 8.5 years if the pound stays above $1.40, the federal ones I care less about right now and pay very minimums on.

            Student debt sucks, but what sucks more? Those ‘financial aid’ advisers who were getting perks from loan companies to promote their loans, back in the mid-2000s. My university was one that got in trouble for that. What would it have been like if I’d had a home to go to? Or if the NCAA had changed their rules (as they did a few years later) saying that when an athlete loses a scholarship due to injury, the school has to make up for it anyway? Or if guidance counselors were assigned to the college students who were from non-traditional backgrounds?

            There are a lot of ways things could have gone differently. But you better believe I support Bernie, so more kids won’t have to go through what I did.

          • Alice

            Yes! Professional degrees are their own evil subset of student loan debt. I was lucky, and went to a relatively inexpensive school for my BS, which I paid for with a 529 account. Then I got into vet school, with $120,000 left over. And I will STILL BE $150k in debt when I graduate. If my very middle class family couldn’t plan for that, how do you figure anyone with less could? Does that mean that only the richest of the rich should go to professional schools? And a lot of lawyers and vets never get close to the salaries of a cardiologist, for example.

            To speak to the art school example, though, I don’t think it’s entirely fair that we should blame that person, either. Do we say that the arts are inherently less valuable than the sciences, just because we pay artists less? As a country, I strongly believe that we benefit from having our citizens educated in a variety of areas, which creates a more informed society and voting body. I’m not suggesting we write every art student a check for two hundred grand, but I do feel like we should be working to reduce the cost of that education in the first place, for future students.

        • Eenie

          There’s lots of articles out there that talk about the overall rising cost of education. More funding/loans makes universities raise their rates because the loans/funding are out there but to varying degrees based on personal circumstances. I am a very logical and reasonable person with top marks, went to the least expensive four year university I applied to (all 12 accepted me), and still ended up with $36k. It’s a system built to fail so many people. Are you thinking about having kids? Can you do a what if scenario if you had exactly $0 to give to them when the started?

      • ART

        I started to reply but Amy said it better and faster re: the $200k outlier and comparison to other types of subsidized debt (mortgage insurance writeoffs). Federal loans are fixed at what, 6.8%? That’s some of the highest interest out there right now other than credit card debt (and private student loans are typically higher). Paying off my “manageable” student debt (about 30k) seriously delayed my home-buying (and in my case, thusly, baby-having) plans and now I’m feeling really behind the curve. Having a nation of people who put off their major goals (whatever they might be) due to debt is doing nothing to help the middle class – and that doesn’t even get into the types of circumstances Amy describes for people who have it way worse (and those circumstances are common and, I think, really worthy of empathy and an attempt at solutions). I am still undecided on HRC/Bernie, for what it’s worth.

        • ART

          Sorry, meant mortage interest…brain in too many places today.

    • honeycomehome

      There are lots of good points in this thread.

      But I’d also gently remind him that people deserve empathy not because they make the best decisions, but because they are human. And the government has the obligation to do well for people, even those who went to art school. Instead they guaranteed unlimited credit to 18-year-olds, which has allowed Universities to hike up tuition to outrageous levels, and people need to acquire mortgage-level debt that can’t be discharged in bankruptcies or repossessed by the lender in order to get an education. This an irresponsible move on the part of the government, and now a whole generation of adults cannot buy homes or save for retirement or pay for child care. This is a problem for the country and the economy… you know, the one your husband lives in.

      Your husband benefited from getting an education without taking on debt. That should be the NORM and not the exception.

      And ask why is he so angry at the idea of students getting a free education (as Bernie suggests). After all, HE did. Or is he more worthy of that than kids whose parents aren’t rich?

      • Alice

        I agree. And I also think a society where no one except the richest can afford to do a graduate degree in art isn’t really one I want to live in. People have different priorities, and changing priorities, and educating them is a good thing for all of us.

  • Dri

    Help! Mom & I have started looking at what SHE is going to wear to my wedding. She’s a “full bust” woman (as in 36DDD) and not many local stores carry nice dresses/mother of bride dresses in a size that accommodates a woman who has a bigger chest. We don’t have a lot of money to throw around either. Any suggestions for where to go shopping? Or even the types of dresses/gowns that look good on a more apple-like figure?

    I want her to have options without feeling like she has to “settle” or feel bad/worse about her body shape. (It doesn’t help that my future MIL is “fit and glamorous” in my mom’s words. I really want her to feel beautiful and happy in her own skin!)

    • Amy March

      Something like this maybe:

      http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/tadashi-shoji-sequin-lace-gown-regular-petite/3636985?origin=category

      (not necessarily at this price, but as a style idea?)

      • Eenie

        That’s by the same designer as the wedding from the morning! (I think! I could be lying but I’m too lazy to check on my phone.) So pretty.

    • Eenie

      TJ Maxx is sometimes hit and miss for more budget friendly yet “designer” styles. Does she want to look like a MOB or just awesomely herself? I strongly suggested that my mom wear a dress she already loves and buy some new jewelry and shoes to change it up. She ended up buying a new dress anyways, but it’s navy and she loves it.

    • Laura C

      My MIL wanted to cover up a host of body parts (not necessary in my view but she rarely wears dresses and was feeling self-conscious) and wore a tiered dress, so it was sort of loose and hanging but didn’t just look like a sack. Along these lines, though not exactly: http://www1.macys.com/shop/product/sl-fashions-tiered-dress-beaded-capelet?ID=2750019&CategoryID=73579&selectedSize=#fn=sp%3D1%26spc%3D68%26ruleId%3D52%26slotId%3D15

      • Dri

        Yeah, that’s the same dynamic my mom and I have for this.
        This is so pretty! I sent a link to my mom; even if she doesn’t like this one, I think that’s a good approach. Thanks!

    • raccooncity

      So for her prom, my busty sister got a dress from H&M in the size of her boobs and spent the money on really good tailoring instead. she looked killer. ETA: her boobs fit in a size 16 dress, her body was more like an 8.

      • Dri

        Oooh, I didn’t even think of that. That could be a great idea!

    • Alynae

      RentTheRunway! fantastic because you can rent a designer gown for a fraction of the cost, they have great sizing notes and the pictures of real people in the dresses helps me have a good sense of how something will fit. Its a great way to stretch a budget and have a lot more options than a store.
      And an A-line dress is pretty universally flattering.

  • emmers

    Hey ya’ll! Any recommendations on a self-sharpening eyeliner (i.e. lazygirl)? I’m thinking an everyday kind. I’ve used Almay forever, but I’m interested in seeing what else is out there/what you’ve had success with!

    • Bsquillo

      I’ve used Revlon Colorstay eyeliner (this: http://www.ulta.com/ulta/browse/productDetail.jsp?productId=VP10744) for more than a decade now, haha. It’s more of a “crayon” than a pencil, but super easy to use. I guess it’s not self-sharpening per say, but is already fine enough that I don’t find a need to sharpen it. Lasts a long time, doesn’t make my eyes itch, pretty inexpensive.

    • Alison M

      I use MAC Technakohl liner (http://www.maccosmetics.com/product/13838/1347/Products/Makeup/Eyes/Liner/Technakohl-Liner#/shade/Brownborder). I was previously using some kind of drugstore version and was amazed when I switched that I no longer got raccoon eyes. I use Brownborder since I’m pretty fair and black looks a bit harsh on me.

    • I got a Smashbox set from Sephora in December and I’m in LOVE! Beautiful color, long-lasting and sharpens with just a twist of the cap! Looks like their website is out of stock but they may still have some in store.

  • Booknerd

    I just need to vent for a second- I joined cell phone accounts with my fiancee in January and when I called in to find out about a past due notice on my old account I found out that I was only a member of HIS account even though we both called in together to make this change, and I couldn’t make any changes or even see our joint bill. He had to call to add me as an authorized person which still really really pisses me off as I pay the freaking phone bill with MY salary, why the heck can we not both be equal on the account? The poor guy who I called into felt my wrath and didn’t really understand my frustration at all.

  • For the past several weeks the 2-year-old has requested my husband and I sing a duet of “Another Postcard” by the Bare-Naked Ladies as her bedtime song. And we oblige. Because it’s her bedtime and if that’s what she wants then that’s what she can have. But it still makes us laugh.

    • Hannah

      That is adorable, and such a great song for a toddler, and probably a great duet!

      • It was the song that inspired our RSVP postcards for our wedding too. I hid a monkey face in the graphic on them and it made us laugh every time we got one in the mail.

  • Nicole

    Just need to vent – I’ve been having the WORST time with birth control ever since I switched insurance and they don’t cover the pill I’ve had and loved for almost 8 years (Yaz, surprisingly). I feel like I’m doing some weird science experiment on my body for the past few months, trying to find an option that doesn’t make me feel nauseated/headache-y/bloated/grumpy/etc/etc. Currently considering going off hormonal birth control altogether, but I’m scared of getting the copper IUD (heard it’s painful + I might actually want to have kids in the next couple of years or so), and I feel like in school I was taught condoms are SO UNRELIABLE and ALWAYS BREAK which makes me nervous! I definitely want kids just not right now. Sometimes being a woman seems like a choice between having a kid or being in constant “blah” mode thanks to bc. BOOO.

    • Lawyerette510

      I’m sorry you’re having to go through this. If you haven’t tried the hormonal IUD yet, that might be an option, as it has a lower amount of hormones and they are more concentrated as opposed to absorbed through the digestive system. Also, there was just a really interesting Only Human podcast that looked at how so much of the information given during sex ed in school is inaccurate and scares us about sex, which makes me think of how effective condoms actually are when used correctly and you can back that up with fertility awareness methods.

      • EF

        as someone who’s on their second hormonal IUD, i effing love it. definitely worth consideration — and an afternoon of cramps is way better than constant ‘blah’ mode, in my book :-)

      • Nicole

        Thank you for your advice! (and thank you to everyone else who posted) I’m definitely considering the hormonal IUD now, and will probably go in to my doctor to discuss soon. Might wait til after my wedding (7 weeks away!), so that in case my body/hormones get wacky from switching, I won’t have to deal with it ’til post-honeymoon. As much as I wouldn’t mind having a baby in the next couple of years, I don’t want to have one RIGHT away, so unless the IUD also doesn’t work, I’m a bit nervous about just condoms. Though, I have scoured the internet and the general consensus seems to be that they can be just as effective. I’m sure my fear has a lot to do with my abstinence-only public education (but THAT’S a discussion for another time, ha!). Anyway, thanks, glad to know I’m not alone!

    • Katherine

      If your insurance will cover it, I cannot recommend the birth control implant (Nexplanon) enough. Insertion is super easy and not painful, the hormones are also low dose, it’s almost as effective as sterilization, and it can be removed quickly and easily if you decide you want to have kids soon. Also, almost everyone I’ve talked to who’s gotten it, including myself, no longer gets their period (which is a perk for me, but might not be for everyone).

      • emmers

        Talk to your dr, because I believe mine said you can’t get pregnant immediately after removal. But it sounds cool, other than that!

      • Alice

        I use nexplanon too, and it has been great! I also don’t get my period more than twice a year or so, although I know some women get weird spotty bleeding occasionally.

    • Jess

      so, I am one of those people that is very nervous about my BC. As in, I’m getting married, use hormonal, and still use condoms every time. And for a long time, I only used condoms because cancer risk, still on parents insurance, not as empowered to just ask for it.
      Condoms can break – R always knows when this happens (and has stopped to get a new one), but I know that ain’t true for everyone. Can you check to see if Plan B is available on your insurance? It may set your mind at ease.
      I haven’t made my mind up about switching to an IUD, but I am strongly considering it.
      Good luck to you.

    • emilyg25

      Yes, it’s painful to get the IUD, but it’s like 1 minute of pain. Maybe 30 seconds. I’d get it as long as I wanted to wait at least a year for kids. (I had the Paragard for 5 years before trying to conceive.)

      • emmers

        Ditto! I had the Mirena, and was a huge fan. & talk to your dr, but I’ve heard that the hormones it has are much less than the pill.

      • raccooncity

        +1 on the pain part, but also, my Dr. recommended the copper IUD to me specifically because it doesn’t have a lag-time in regaining your fertility, as compared to the pill and other hormonal methods, where you sometimes (not always) need a few months to get regular again.

    • Hannah B

      Never on BC, used just condoms for years, never got pregnant til I wanted to. With proper use, condoms are effective. Never had a broken one, ever.

    • Eh

      Going off hormonal BC was the best thing I did for my health. I had migraines all the time on the pill (we didn’t realize it was hormone related until I got pregnant and I had migraines all the time). When I went off I became very moody while my body adjusted. I had an IUD (Mirena – my insurance wouldn’t cover a cooper IUD) and we knew we were going to try for a baby in 2 years (it’s not really worth it for less than two years if you compare it to the cost of the pill I was on). It was great other than the insertion made me sick and so did having it taken out (probably, at least partially, related to hormones as it has a low level). We got pregnant within two months of trying (I had it removed a couple months before that). Since having our daughter we have been using condoms and never had a problem (I was nervous at first because school also taught me that condoms break).

    • Ms. Yes

      I’m only now getting to last week’s HH but wanted to quickly waylay your concerns. I have Paraguard and love it. Yes, insertion was a bit painful (not unbearable, but the most uncomfortable I’ve ever been) but that will be true regardless of if you choose Mirena or Paraguard. The day and day after insertion I was more crampy than I’ve ever been but again, not horrible. After that first week I have never felt any pain since. I went with the copper IUD for three reasons:
      1. Migraines. Though Mirena is a constant drip of hormones, I was finding hormonal BC increased the frequency of my migraines so just wanted to be hormone free.

      2. I was 39 and really believed I’d be having kids within a few years so wanted the fastest transition.

      3. I am horrible at consistency and REALLY don’t want a surprise pregnancy. The only other BC I’ve ever loved was NuvaRing (even I can remember to replace something once a month) but due not wanting hormonal BC that wasn’t an option.

      We didn’t have kids but 6 years later I’m still happy with it. The only bad thing is it totally changed my periods – the first 6 mths I went from 4 days total to 1 week heavier than usual. Now it’s all normalized and I love not having to think about BC at all. We can get happy any time and any where we please!!!

  • CommaChick

    “Ladies” doesn’t bother me that much, but “little lady” really, really does.

  • Poppy

    On the whole, a good (if weird) week. We’re coming along with the wedding stuff: venue, food, hotels for out of town guests all booked, and we’re getting closer to sorting out the rehearsal dinner.

    But we cannot for the life of us figure out who we want to marry us. Thanks to APW, I feel like we know our options, but nothing quite feels right. We aren’t religious, none of our friends stands out for this from an emotional perspective since all our closest people are in our bridal gang (though we have a list of people we love who have the gravitas and public speaking skills to pull it off) and we agree it would feel strange to have someone we don’t know officiate. Except Ruth Bader Ginsberg, obviously. But she seems pretty busy.

    In other news I’m hustling through a multi-part application for a job I would love in a place we don’t want to live. But my field is so over saturated right now, it feels like it could be a good option for a year or two, and it pays a hell of a lot more than I make at the moment…I’m wondering if this is all a mistake, but as one of my mentors is fond of saying “don’t turn down something you don’t have,” so it’s full steam ahead with the application. It’s been an oddly romantic thing to watch fiancé support me through this process because he values my career satisfaction, even though he has some trepidation about moving back to a place where it snows in the winter. He’s picking up the slack with chores, proof reading things, giving me suggestions, and generally reminding me why I want to marry him.

    • Jess

      Yay for supportive fiancé!
      Re the officiant, we were in a very similar spot that none of our friends felt right to actually be the officiant. We found one thru the listings on wedding wire. We did phone interviews with about 4, since I pre-screened for LGBT friendly. (Not a same sex couple, but it’s very important to me). I came in with ideas, and we went with the person who was most prepared and seemed enthusiastic about our choices and cool with the fact that we are both agnostic-ish. In the end, we decided that we write the script and get to decide what is said, and being comfortable with that was more important than a friend-officiant.

      Turns out I love her and she was super on board with all my (strong) opinions about what a wedding should and shouldn’t be.

      • Poppy

        Thanks for sharing your experience, and for letting be brag about supportive fiancé a little bit :)

    • emilyg25

      Do you perchance live in Pennsylvania or Colorado? If so, you can marry yourselves! That’s the best. (I did it so I’m biased.) But my friend recently became an officiant and she’s amazing; there are good officiants out there, even though they start out as strangers.

      • Poppy

        OH MY GOD I WISH. This is the only option that really appeals at this moment. I love the idea of Quaker ceremonies conceptually, though we aren’t Quaker and have never been to one.

        Good point on the professional officiants – once you get to know them, they don’t have to be strangers anymore!

        • emilyg25

          If you think about it, every non-family person you know started as a stranger! :) I do know what you mean though.

    • Ashlah

      So if you’re certain you don’t want a stranger officiating, ignore me, please. But we hired a stranger for our wedding (for similar reasons as you), and it was totally fine. We didn’t even meet with him beforehand. He gave us his scripts, we massively changed one of them, and he read it. Obviously he didn’t add anything emotional or meaningful to the ceremony, but neither did he detract from it. We were pretty focused on each other and just needed someone to say the words. We had family do a reading to add a personal, community touch.

      Anyway, just my two cents, but find someone who works for you! Maybe one of those gravitas-having folks will be perfect!

    • Kelly

      We “mc’d” our own ceremony (welcomed/addressed everyone, each gave a reading, invited up/introduced other readers) and it felt so perfect and natural for us and we loved it. A good friend had been ordained online and we invited her to come up and lead the “offical” business. She was a friend who did stand out a bit in terms of emotional perspective and she gave a little speech about us. But if you didn’t want that you could just have someone do the “do you take this person? do you take this person?” part. I’ve also been to a wedding where the whole wedding party each conducted a little piece of the ceremony and it was lovely. So it doesn’t necessarily have to be one person running the whole ceremony if you’re having a hard time envisioning who that might be.

    • We had this same angst about who would officiate our wedding! We aren’t religious at all, our good friends were participating in our bridal party, and OMG is it expensive to hire an officiate! In the end, the husband of my good friend offered to marry us as a wedding gift to us – he was already ordained for another wedding, so it all worked out.

    • Eenie

      You can always do the legal paperwork at the courthouse the day before/week before/week after. And then just marry yourselves on the day of like you would be able to do in PA or CO. Not for everyone, but an option. Although you’d still be having a stranger technically marry you. Also people may wonder who is signing the marriage license in this set up, and some people feel very strongly about not seeing your “legal” wedding.

  • Shawna

    I survived the California Acupuncture Licensing Exam! I don’t find out if I passed for two weeks to a month so I’m just trying to ignore the waiting period. It helps that I’m going to be taking the National exams tomorrow and Wednesday and I’ll know those results immediately. Fingers crossed. Yesterday was a wonderful, relaxing, and very surreal day off with my love (who started his awesome new job without a long commute today!) and the weather cooperated so we got to wander around the Japanese Tea Gardens in SF and drink our weight in boba.

    I just can’t believe four years worth of work is…done. I hope I passed!

    After the Nationals I get to throw myself back into wedding planning whole hog and I CANNOT WAIT. All the fiddly detail fun stuff is left.

    • MC

      CONGRATS! And good luck! As someone who has benefited HUGELY from regular acupuncture treatment, I am cheering for you through the internet!

      • Shawna

        Thank you so much! That’s why I went into the field – I also benefitted from treatments so I hope to do the same for more people. It feels good to have found my “thing.”

        Passed the first national (subject) exam this morning! At least they’re nice and tell you right away. I hope you have continued improved health!

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  • Thank you, Meg, for starting this site and community. Some days, APW was the only thing that got me through wedding planning. I only hope that my new pop up wedding business will be as successful! You are truly an inspiration.

  • JeremyRSparks


    “my .friend’s mate Is getting 98$. HOURLY. on the internet.”….


    two days ago new Mc.Laren. F1 bought after earning 18,512$,,,this was my previous month’s paycheck ,and-a little over, 17k$ Last month ..3-5 h/r of work a days ..with extra open doors & weekly. paychecks.. it’s realy the easiest work I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months ago and now making over 87$, p/h.Learn. More right Here!oi1335➤➤➤➤➤ http://GlobalSuperEmploymentVacanciesReportsWork/GetPaid/98$hourly…. .❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:::::!oi1335……