APW Happy Hour


See you in San Francisco!

by Meg Keene, CEO & Editor-In-Chief

photo of Meg Keene in front of pink wall

Hey APW,

Because I didn’t do a book tour with my newest book (something about having just grown a second human and all that), I haven’t gotten to do an in-person event with readers in ages. And I love those events more than anything. So I’m pretty stoked that I’m going to be doing a very book tour–like event at Minted’s San Francisco popup shop next Tuesday. Basically, Minted and APW are cohosting a low-key engagement party, where we give you all the information and support you could possibly need. We’ll have bubbly, I’ll speak for a few minutes, and then I’m gonna spend as much time as they’ll let me answering all your wedding planning questions, and talking about all the newlywed stuff, and just generally trying to solve all the problems. Except venue. I can’t find you a wedding venue. But I can tell you about top secret upcoming APW plans, if you ask really nicely.

Perks include: champagne, cake, and cute outfits. (Shit. What am I going to wear?) The event starts at 5 p.m., and I’ll start talking around 5:30, so make sure to get there early to snag your bubbly and a front-row seat. You can RSVP here.

IMMA GONNA SEE YOU SOON BAY AREA YAYYYYYY! Bring your partner, or your bestie, or just come on your own.

XO,

Meg

Link Roundup

How Hillary Clinton Can Get ‘That Presidential Look’”: YOU WILL THANK ME FOR THIS.

Lena Dunham and What to Do About White Feminism in the Face of Relentless Misogyny

Why are we leaving trans men out of conversations about menstruation?

You wanted erotic fanfic about The Devil Wears Prada, right?

Why is Hillary Clinton so walled off?

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]

  • Lisa

    Happy Friday/Monday, everyone! I’ve been out sick all week at work, nursing a pretty awful cold, so I turned my long weekend into the longest weekend ever.

    Last weekend I got to head back to a place where part of my heart lives (<3 Chicago <3), and while there, I cashed in a free haircut I had coming to me to do another donation chop for Pantene Beautiful Lengths! I'm super excited about the cut even if it's been pulled back in my nightcap for most of the time I've had it.

    Many thanks to APW for turning me on to Pantene's program several years back! I'm so glad I've had the chance to give even a small amount of happiness to women going through a difficult time.

    • ART

      I love it in both photos!

      • Lisa

        Thanks! I’m super happy with the cut and looking forward to (hopefully) recreating the look myself this week.

    • Ashlah

      Lookin’ good! And also I want both of your shirts!

      • emmers

        Ditto!

        • Lisa

          They’re both from the Gap family– left is Banana (ca. Summer 2015), right is Gap (ca. Spring 2013). I love both of them for their versatility! The green A-line skirt that you can just barely see in the right photo is another wardrobe staple.

    • Eenie

      I’m planning my fourth beautiful lengths chop right now ?

      • Lisa

        That’s impressive! Does your hair grow really quickly, or have you been at this for the better part of a decade? I was just shy of two years between chops, and I think my resulting cut was only slightly longer the second time.

        • Eenie

          Over ten years! First donated in 2005. My hair does grow abnormally fast, and if I don’t use heat on it i can go three months between trims and my stylist doesn’t even recommend I come in more frequently. I got some weird layers in a bad cut last year, otherwise it would have been grown out and chopped already!

    • beautiful!

      • Lisa

        Thank you! :)

    • Kalë

      Yay! Another Beautiful Lengths gal! I’ve donated twice – the first, in 2013, cutting my mid-back length hair to a pixie; the second, last September. cutting my shoulder length hair to a pixie again. Wigs for Kids is also an excellent option for those considering donating.

      • Lisa

        Yay, donation twins! My first was back in 2014 three days after our wedding. I always suggest PBL or WFK to people. One of my co-workers at my last job was planning to donate to Locks of Love, and I managed to convince her to go with PBL instead.

        • Eenie

          PBL over LOL every day of the week! They make it so easy too.

          • Kalë

            And, bad hair politics aside, they accept shorter lengths, too. IIRC, I think the minimum for LOL is 12″, while PBL is only 8″.

          • Lisa

            LOL was 10″ last I checked, but 2″ can make a pretty significant difference.

          • Eenie

            Yes, this is how I convince most people to change their mind. You have enough length RIGHT NOW!!

        • Kalë

          That’s awesome! One of my only passionate Facebook rants has been about Locks of Love (and why PBL and WFK are superior). Also, twins AGAIN! I just convinced my Aunt to donate her 17 inches to WFK :)

    • heyqueen

      I love your haircut. You have so much more body and volume now. Was it a Deva Cut?

      • Lisa

        It was! I’ve been getting only Deva cuts at a salon up in Chicago for about 4 years now (though I suppose two of those years might not count since I didn’t cut it at all…). The left picture I had a lot of issues going on (never got a great handle on my hair once we moved/changed climates, not caring because I was having problems with the crazy heat/humidity this summer, deciding to use up old products that didn’t work as well due to not caring, etc.). I definitely needed a “check-up” with my stylist to diagnose which products would be better with this area and water, but this was the first chance I had to see her in a while. I’m very pleased with how it turned out!

  • LadyMe

    That presidential look article is my new everything

    • Ashlah

      Seriously, so good.

    • Lisa

      My favorite:

      “Zachary Taylor

      To Get This Look: Glue some straw to your head and spend the next twenty years drinking grain alcohol in blistering sunlight.”

    • Her Lindsayship

      My fave: “James Madison – Forget to sleep for four days. Dress up, halfheartedly, as a vampire. When asked to pose, think about people who annoy you and children who have done some nonsense.”

      • Amy March

        Andrew Jackson: DON’T GET THIS LOOK! THIS LOOK IS NO GOOD!

      • Jess

        I am also a fan of Chester Arthur’s audacity:

        To Get This Look: Fully. Commit.

        “Chester,” his friends asked, “don’t you think it’s a little much to pull off? The sideburns, the fur coat, the mustache, the ring?”

        “How dare you even ask that question of someone who has pulled off being named Chester for years?” he shot back.

    • Jess

      “To Get This Look: Draw dark eyebrows on a sinister hypnotist…”

    • Kalë

      Had me gigglin’ at my desk

    • AmandaBee

      Right? I laughed so hard and immediately emailed to friends. So good.

    • Laura C

      I have been sending that to everyone. Every time I read it I have a different favorite.

  • GotMarried!

    I fly to PARIS on my HONEYMOON tonight!!!

    That is all!

    • Lisa

      Bon voyage et amuse-toi bien!

    • Jessica

      Au revoir!

    • Seeya!

    • sofar

      Yay honeymoons! We leave on ours at 7am tomorrow. Staying focused at work is difficult. Have an amazing time. We earned this!

      • GotMarried!

        Have a great trip! And post an update happy hour after next!

    • Laura C

      Go to Laduree and Ste Chapelle for me, please!

    • toomanybooks

      Omg so dreamyyyyyyy
      We are thinking England for ours but then I remember that when I was in France I never got to see Versailles etc…

      • GotMarried!

        I’m home now and could i go back, i’d do a day in Paris and then head out to Metz or somewhere similar in the countryside for the rest of my time. We enjoyed the city, but enjoyed the rural areas much more.

    • JezzicaJane

      My parents left for Paris today as well to celebrate their 36th anniversary :) Enjoy!

  • LJ

    Good article on Schumer and Dunham. I read Dunham’s autobio/memoir and wanted to like it but it just felt like all she did was talk about how fat she is and how her fatness and body image is all-consuming. Veeeeeery one-dimensional. I was disappointed. I have wanted to like her but I haven’t found a way to yet. I’m over it.

    For a waaaay better autobio/memoir about awesome ladies, check out Tina Fey’s. Hilarious and VERY intelligently written.

    • Ashlah

      Bossypants was pretty good, minus some of the racist bits. I have such ambivalent feelings towards Tina Fey. I highly recommend Amy Poehler’s and Rachel Dratch’s books!

      • MC

        I really like Amy Poehler’s book too. I also read Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes and that one was great!

      • LJ

        I am now sheepish that I didn’t notice racist bits. Are you able to recall?

        • Ashlah

          It’s been a year or two since I read it, but I remember specifically being uncomfortable with portions about her father. Here’s a post I just pulled up that explains one person’s view. There was a lot of good stuff in the book, and some other questionable stuff, which is pretty much in line with how I feel about Tina Fey most of the time.

          • LJ

            ohhhh I remember that part. Yeah.

            Living in Canada and hearing some of these things is so interesting. There are so few black people where I’ve lived that it isn’t a thing that is experienced in the same way. Anti-Asian racism, however, disturbingly prevalent….

        • Anon

          This part too, which many White Feminists love, has been called out numerous times: https://athenagenevieve.wordpress.com/2014/11/13/reminder-that-tina-fey-quote-everyone-loves-is-super-racist/

    • Amy March

      I didn’t really mind that aspect of it – the risk of writing a memoir so young is that you still have a very young perspective on life. I don’t think she is perfect by any means, but I do think she’s interesting, and that just how important it is to see something made for young women by a young woman who has both an artistic and a financial say in things is sometimes lost in the critique.

    • APlus

      I also recommend “Stir, my broken brain and the meals that brought me home” and “delancey” as autobiographies/memoirs about awesome ladies. They aren’t famous comedians, but they are both great life stories, by women, about women.

      • Rebekah

        I love Molly. Good call with the “Delancey” recommendation. I enjoyed “Blood, Bones, and Butter” by Gabrielle Hamilton too.

    • heyqueen

      I can’t get behind Dunham, Schumer, Fey, or Pohler. They’re all touted as these big “women” icons but nothing they offer resonates with me at all. Lena continues to make herself even more unlikable after her snaffu with Odell Beckham this past week. Her white privilege is so glaring, and she always has blinders on. Amy Schumer had made a career out of being a mediocre white woman, and it’s so irksome.

  • Amy March

    The Humans of New York photos of Hillary Clinton resonated so hard with me this week. Because, yes, exactly, I do feel like I am required to keep my genuine self in check to deal effectively with men in my professional life, and god what a burden to bear when your professional life is public.

    • LadyMe

      If 5% of what is said about Hillary was said about me, I would go curl up in bed and never leave. Her “haters gonna hate” toughness is amazing.

    • Eenie

      Over the past eight years as I’ve gone to college, started working, and basically become an adult, my opinion on Clinton has completely changed. She has all of my respect for doing what she does in the public eye.

      • Amy March

        And that’s one of the explanations given for why older women are bigger fans, at least in part- they get it, because they have had some sexism happening to them for so damn long.

        • toomanybooks

          Yes, my mom really gave an impassioned speech (to me) about Hillary and being a woman who went through what she did, when she did. She’s really been able to follow her longer and see what it’s been like for her (and also deal with sexism in the workplace herself).

      • Jess

        I remember being a teenager like, “Whatever, sexism is a thing of the past. It clearly doesn’t happen anymore!”

        Ten years down the road, I’m like, “NOPE. These are very real and actual problems in the world. We need a win.”

        • Eenie

          I wasn’t quite as naïve, as someone who entered the STEM field and had a general understanding of the issuea. I just didn’t really understand how it can affect an individual person vs “society”. And then I entered an extremely sexist industry. It’s rough out there. Still is.

          • Jess

            I am in STEM, and was still *so* naive. I think it was mostly because my mom was a boss-lady, and I was blundering around thinking, “This is how all the world works, everything is fine”

            It is not how the world works at all.

        • NolaJael

          Law is similar, but you don’t get the gut punch until after you graduate. Law school = look at all these accomplished lady students who are my colleagues! Law firms = *crickets* oh, shit…where did everybody go?!

          • Alex

            Haha, oooh I feel you. I have my PhD in a STEM field and that’s totally what I thought! “Look at my 20-30% grad student cohorts who are great and not pushed out of anything strictly because they’re female!” Now it’s a “Look at the 20-30% women at the bottom of my industry company who magically vanish to ~5% by the time you have “tenure” at the pseudo top of the company!” Sigh. Maybe my one-day children will work at companies where it’s actually fairly even

          • Jessica

            YES. That’s MBA programs too. It’s either… Where is everyone or why are most of the MBA women in marketing?

          • Laura

            hell yes. i just became only the second female full time criminal lawyer in my jurisdiction. #2 – out of approximately 60 lawyers. HOW is that possible in 2016?! thank goodness 2 other new calls in my area are also women.

        • Emily

          I wish I knew a way to get this across to younger women (like teens).

    • YES, this! In all fairness, I’m not the biggest Hillary fan, but her HONY photos made me relate to her so much more. I’ve spent my entire adult life trying not to be a “stereotypical emotional woman” in a male-dominated workplace and also dealing with the “Angry Black woman” stereotype which forces me to swallow my anger in times when I want to rage.

    • GotMarried!

      Yes! I follow HONY as well and saw this this week and shared on facebook! I am not a fan of her politics … but I want her to succeed so badly, for who I believe HER to be!

    • Now if only the merchandise I ordered from her store back in JULY would finally arrive, or the customer service team would proactively give me an update…her merchandise store has great stuff, but SHIT for service. *ugh* All the FB ads for her store stuff is just full of unhappy customer comments these days, lol.

      • ART

        RIGHT?! I’m having the same issue.

      • MC

        Just ordered something from her merch store with the hopes that I might get it by election day… fingers crossed!

      • Laura C

        I did finally get the convention sign pack I’d ordered. Arrived a week or 10 days ago just when I was really starting to wonder.

      • Annie

        It took 8 weeks for my Women for Hillary shirt to arrive – I’m sure it will come, but man, you’d think they’d have better processes over there! I remember thinking that even if it didn’t come, I would’ve been okay with chalking it up to a(nother) donation but it’s still frustrating.

      • ML

        Yup, they sent me a unisex tee when I ordered a women’s tee, and customer service has not gotten back to me. I guess I’ll just have to wear the oversized cut, but for how much I spent, I’m so bummed!!

      • Meghan

        Well this is really bumming me out. I was hoping that maybe my super-slow experience with the store was an anomaly/I would get my stuff soon. Now it’s sounding like I’ll be lucky to get it before Election Day.

        I’m no political strategist, but wouldn’t it be best for the campaign to get their branded merch into people’s hands soon enough for it to be visible? What am I missing here?

        • Yes. It seems like a really great strategy…”they” keep saying there isn’t a lot of enthusiasm for her…but its also really hard to show when you can’t get the product. Only about 60 days left until the election, so its crunch time.

        • stephanie

          I think actually, it takes about 6-8 weeks. It says 2-4 on the site… but that’s not my experience.

          • Lisa

            My MIL said that, when she bought me the champagne flutes, they told her it would be 6 weeks, and that was pretty spot on. I’m surprised that others were told 2-4 if she was told 6 during the same time frame.

      • I’ve only bought HRC stuff in order to give a donation to her, so I haven’t been too put out by how slow the store is. But I REALLY hope my glassware is in by election night so I can toast to her with it! Made from 100% shattered glass ceiling, y’all.

        • stephanie

          Same!! I have been patiently waiting.

      • Yeah, tracking info would be great. I also tried to order yard signs because we finally bought a house, but they are all sold out and our local DFL office doesn’t have any. When Obama was running for president, they were handing out yard signs like candy. I love Hillary, but I do wish her campaign was making it easier to show some enthusiastic support.

      • Lisa

        So I looked at the store a while back when it was originally discussed during HH, and no shitting as I was looking at today’s earlier, I got a text from my husband saying that a package had arrived from The Hillary Victory Store. I came home to the champagne flutes and Love Trumps Hate buttons! I have NO IDEA where they came from because I definitely didn’t order anything, but I can’t wait to drink mimosas out of the shattered glass ceiling flutes.

      • toomanybooks

        I donated for a Woman Card so long ago that I thought maybe something had gone wrong, but I just got it in the mail this week! Yaaaay!

      • stephanie

        OMG I KNOW IT TAKES FOREVER

      • stephanie

        OMG UPDATE I got an email from them today saying that they’ve had huge demand and are so sorry, my order will ship soon, here’s a 10% off code. “thankyou16” you guys!

        • I kinda hate when companies do this. It’s like, when I ordered the first time, I *barely* got my products. Why would I give more money that may or may not pan out?

          What would be an *actual* apology (instead of just a dig for more of my money) is giving me 10% off my already one-month late purchase.

    • toomanybooks

      Yes, I liked it a lot and I think it really spoke to why people don’t like her. Though for me, she has plenty of charisma! When she was on Broad City I wasn’t even decided on who I was voting for yet but I was like “omg she is a goddess”

  • Jessica

    I’m in a male dominated industry which can be tough, for obvs reasons. The 20-something boys were particularly not amusing at work this week. *Sigh* It makes me SO glad I am going to a new job in a week where I negotiated a promotion & raise & have a great sponsor and mentor.

    Also interestingly another female co-worker of mine is leaving. Our reasons for leaving are the same (we both want kids in the near-future) but our approach is different. She’s moving out of the industry all together (for less travel / more work-life balance); I’m staying in the industry in a more senior role (more control & a team to delegate to). It will be interesting to see how it all plays out.

    And also soooo not something I can say in my male-dominated company (um, I’m leaving because I might get pregnant in a year and if that happens it’ll be tough to continue to be successful at work).

    • Alex

      Yay congrats! A promotion, raise AND mentor?! Awesome!!! And I feel ya on the male-dominated industry not being good for women. I was just fortunate all through my schooling to be surrounded by bad ass women (and good workplace environments) who made it seem like such things weren’t as bad as they actually are, and nooowww, not so much.

      • Jessica

        Thanks so much Alex! There’s a few more women at the new place, enough to have a couple women execs who can mentor me, plus I’ll feel like a little bit less of a pioneer. That’s so awesome you had many bad a## women to learn from.

        And if anyone has tips on how to manage right-out-of-college men, I’d love to hear them.

  • Alyssa Andrews

    Happy Friday! Many small but happy updates this week. I feel like I’m (finally) getting a handle on all the moving parts of my new job. We’re doing a Google Hangout to meet with our potential photographer tomorrow morning, and going to an Oktoberfest celebration in the area, which has become my fiancee’s annual family tradition, and my parents are joining us this year! My fiancee won the yodeling contest last year so I think my mom has some high hopes going in. Should be fun!

  • GotMarried!

    so honeymoon announcement aside … apparently i should read the links before declaring “that is all”

    The Hilary Clinton Presidential Look link is AMAZING!

    • emilyg25

      It’s 100% worth your time!

  • ART

    There’s been some discussion about Roombas here in the past, so I just wanted to share that I bought one on Wednesday when our hand-me-down vacuum started acting up and we both went “ugh! can’t!” The price for the model that doesn’t use brushes felt a little outrageous (thanks, hair that gets everywhere), but after an hour we were both madly in love with the thing and also embarrassed to find out what a bad job our old vacuum, and we, had been doing. This thing really sucks, in the best way (ok, maybe second best?) It has kicked us in gear to declutter and make some decisions about our home that are already making it a more pleasant place so…it’s feeling like the best money we’ve ever spent. It’s making me really happy.

    • Ashlah

      Oh man, brushless?? If/when ours ever dies, we might have to splurge on the brushless. Thankfully neither of us have long hair right now, but it’s still gross to pull cat hair out of it.

    • Alex

      Ooooo what one did you get? Agreed about the hair that gets everywhere problem and wanting to declutter my life, so I’ll happily take recommendations!!

      • ART

        We got the 860, which uses these plastic beater thingies instead of brushes. It does have a little spinny brush thing but that doesn’t seem to have the same kind of problems (and is like a weirdly cute appendage on your new little robot pet). I think the difference between that and the rest of the 800 series is that they come with more “virtual walls” (sort of handy but you can buy separately) and maybe a remote control? But I believe the vacuum is the same. We’ve been following it around the house so far to see what it has trouble with, like it gets wedged under our fridge because our landlord took the feet off the fridge to make it fit beneath the cabinet, so it’s just shy of standard toe kick height. We’re going to attach a dowel to the bottom of the door to keep this from happening. But it’s a really rugged little thing and does an awesome job on our carpet, area rugs, and hard flooring so far.

    • Jess

      This is a good thing to know! I have been trying to decide if a Roomba would be worth it.

      ETA – I actually don’t do the vacuuming, so I admittedly have less weight on this than R does. But still!

      • chris

        SOOO WORTH IT!! We got a Neat-o (like a roomba, but a different brand) and it is the best thing ever. I love it.

    • NolaJael

      This is on my “someday” list. :)

  • nwp

    Just moved to Chicago after four years in a place where we had very strong community. Moving and making friends as a adult is the worst.

    • Christina McPants

      I moved to DC 13 years ago and I still don’t feel like I’ve made any/enough adult friends. I feel you.

    • Lisa

      I completely feel you. We moved to Badtown about two years ago, and the friends we made during the first year had all moved by the end of the second.

      It will take a lot of work, but Chicago does have a large number of diverse communities. If you can think of something you enjoy doing, that might give you a good jumping off point to finding others in the area who have similar interests. I don’t know if anyone from it is still on here, but someone told me there was an off-shoot APW feminist book club that was meeting in the area. I didn’t get a chance to go, but if someone here has information, that might be a great place to start!

      • I think there used to be one that met in Lincoln Square a long time ago? I remember seeing that on the book club threads, circa 2010 or 2011 maybe? And please eat some Lou Malnati’s pizza for me. And a Swirlz cupcake. Yum! :) If I were still there, I’d be happy to meet you for coffee, but I no longer live there…

        • Lisa

          The one I know was up in Rogers Park, and it was going on still in 2013 when I left. I actually read the book for the month, baked cookies, and tried to go to a discussion, but it wasn’t at the address I’d been given so I ended up missing it and having to eat all of the cookies by myself!

          • That’s weird about the address mix-up, but kinda funny about having all those cookies to eat yourself! :)

          • Lisa

            I think it was something like I assumed it was at the address of the person who invited me, which was in her e-mail signature or something like that, but they were actually having the discussion at another member’s house that month, which I didn’t realize until I was already at the address in RP. I couldn’t get a hold of my contact because she was already at the discussion with her phone off.

            If I remember correctly, I took a bunch of the cookies to the IT guys at work the next day. I was their favorite person and always got the fastest service for handing out candy/cookies anytime they came by. ;)

          • Good move on sharing them with the IT people!

    • Alyssa Andrews

      We’re anticipating making a move like this, since our area (Bay Area!) is just waaaay too expensive for what we make and we want to buy a house in the next few years. This is the first time we’ve both felt so “at home” in a community and the prospect of leaving is really saddening, but sometimes it’s what you’ve gotta do… I hope it gets better for you :)

      • nwp

        We just left the Bay Area for that exact reason!

        • Alyssa Andrews

          Let me know how it goes for you in Chicago, I’m hopeful for you! My guy and I are considering Oregon and Washington, but Chicago has definitely entered those “Wouldn’t it be cool if we lived…” conversations. Good luck nwp!

          • nwp

            Thanks! We also looked at the Pacific Northwest. Family in the Midwest was a strong factor! Good luck with your process.

          • Alyssa Andrews

            Ah, makes sense. My guy’s family hails from Milwaukee and my mom’s family is from Kansas. Yay for midwest roots :)

        • Lisa

          My husband desperately wants to move back to the Bay Area (where his entire family is), and I continue to maintain that there is no way we could afford to do it without living in a relative’s home, which I’m not really open to long-term. The COL there is just ridiculous.

      • We’ll also be leaving the Bay Area at the end of my contract, partially for this reason. Cost of living here sucks so bad. If you don’t have community, it’s just plain not worth it.

        • nwp

          Truth. Fortunately, my job provided free housing, which was the only way we afforded it. When the contract ended, time to go!

    • Yeah, it is. You legit have to make friend dates. Like, invite someone to coffee. Then to a movie. Bonus points if they’re also new to the area. That really helps!!

      • Lisa

        This is what I did in Badtown after someone did this to us at a C&B registry event. We just happened to be talking to a couple who seemed very friendly, and I straight out said, “We’re new to the area and don’t know many people yet. Would you guys be interested in hanging out at some point in the next couple of weeks?” We friended them on Facebook and had them over for dinner a week later. Two years later, we’re going to be in their wedding party!

        • Yeah, I legit meet people at post-doc happy hours here and tell them we should eat lunch together, send an email a few days later when I think of it. It does work, but it does mean you might have to get out of your comfort zone.

          • Lisa

            Exactly. It felt like I was propositioning for a first date, but it’s mostly worked out well. Some of the friendships don’t pan out (ex. the woman I texted back and forth with for 2 months trying to arrange drinks), but it’s been better than remaining completely solo.

            I’m at an awkward place now where we don’t have many friends in the area, but we’re planning to leave within the next year so I’m not wanting to form too many more attachments. It’s lonely sometimes, but I’d rather nurture the relationships I do have over forming more ties to a place I don’t intend to stay.

          • Marie

            I feel the exact same way about making friends, and also surviving the last year of my PhD.
            We know we’re only going to be here for 9 more months (hopefully…) but a lot of our friends have just left, so….we’re stuck? We’ll make some new, less serious friendships, I guess?

          • Lisa

            We actively recruited an applicant who auditioned at the school last year to this university because we sensed she had friendship potential. (She was also a really good player, and my husband wanted to work with her.) I’m hoping that she’ll be our friend for at least this year so we aren’t too lonely.

    • You didn’t ask for suggestions, but when I relocated this most recent time, Meetup was my way to make friends. I wish it had existed when I moved to Orlando cause that place was really hard to make friends at first. Best of luck to you!

      • nwp

        Thanks! I’ve looked at Meetup a bit, there are just so many options. I’m just searching for laid back chill women who want to eat, hang out, go on walks, and have wine and tea. There’s a lot of 20 something bar action happening. Will keep searching though!

        • Lisa

          If I was still in Chicago, I would totally be your lady. Best of luck finding new friends!

        • That sounds good to me too… Maybe some sort of multiple-session class could be a good place, if there was a class that aligned with an interest, maybe you could meet people that share it? Good luck!

    • Katelyn

      Welcome to Chicago! What are some of your hobbies/interests? If you’re into music or dance I highly recommend a course at the Old Town School of Folk Music. Chicago also has a really strong recreational sports scene – most of which have “independent” teams where individuals can sign up. I’ve made lots of new friends through both of those.

      Meetup is good, too – but kind of daunting. There are also a lot of dormant groups.

      If you’re on the north side, I’d be happy to get a coffee!

      • nwp

        Thanks! I enjoy spending time outdoors – walking, running (neither far nor fast), hiking, board games, drinking wine and tea. I’ve definitely found meetup daunting. I’m living in Hyde Park, but would be happy to meet somewhere for coffee!

        • Lisa

          I wonder if there are running/walking groups that meet along the lakefront. The trail there is so great, and I have a hard time imagining there aren’t organized groups that utilize it. Husband and I used to go for walks or ride bikes along the length of it when we lived in town.

        • ScoutAbout

          Hyde park is the best! I lived there for a few years but ended up on the north side for work now. Getting married in 3 weeks so feeling a little hectic at present, but happy to get coffee!

          • nwp

            So close! Best wishes in the final weeks of logistics!

          • ScoutAbout

            Thanks! Our reception is actually in Hyde Park and we are looking forward to it! I would love to tell you all of my favorite places to eat, and maybe meet up when we get back in town!

          • nwp

            Exciting! I’d love some recommendations. Feel free to contact me by email at nwittpenwell AT gmail.com

        • There was a board game bar/pub on the Northside… What was it called? Lisa, do you know?

          • Lisa

            Is it Guthrie’s Tavern? I’ve never heard of it before, but it sounds fun!

            One of my favorite Chicago summer secrets is Veggie Bingo at the Hideout on Wednesdays. You can buy a bingo card, and they give away awesome local prizes for the winners, the top one being a big CSA basket. During winter, they transition it into Soup & Bread, which is a weekly charity event where local chefs cook soups around a theme and Publican donates a bunch of bread to sop it up! Both have Facebook events you can search.

          • Yes, it is Gutherie’s, thanks! I’ve never been but a friend used to go regularly and loved it!

        • A tea class of some sort?
          http://www.japaneseculturecenter.com/chanoyu-tea-ceremony/
          Or some future event with this Meet Up group?
          http://www.meetup.com/tealovers/events/129832882/

    • Olive

      gah! welcome to my hometown! I hope you fall in love with it. Good luck making friends!

    • Have you heard of Hey!VINA? It’s an app for women looking to make friends. I haven’t tried it personally but I’m about to move as well and am thinking about trying it then. I’ve also heard you can use Bumble this way. It’s usually a dating app but you can change the settings to meet friends. I met my husband on an app, why not my new bff? :)

    • JC

      Good luck to you! I have no Chicago-specific suggestions, but I would say have lots of patience with yourself on the making friends front! It just takes so much longer than when I was young. I’ve been in my new town for two years and I feel like I’m just started to get the hang of it. Have fun trying new things and know that your people are coming your way some time!

      • Yeah, this is true. I’d say it takes at minimum about ~3 months of knowing a person for them to start thinking to include you in stuff. That can be a verrrrrrrrry lonely 3 months!

        This is also why *you* have to be the instigator of social events.

    • Another Meg

      I’m in Albany Park! What neighborhood did you move to?

  • Gina

    “How Hillary Clinton Can Get That Presidential Look”… could not. stop. reading.

    Also, I had a dream last night that I was interviewing Hillary Clinton while breastfeeding. I’ve got a teething 15-month-old permanently attached to my boob so at least half of that dream is accurate.

    • Rebekah

      That’s too funny, because last night I had a dream I went to a party at Hillary Clinton’s house and she had an indoor pool! (Of course, Tina Fey was there, and at the end of the dream Clinton turned into Amy Poehler, but hey. What can you do, subconscious?)

      • Gina

        That sounds like my kind of party!

  • Kaitlyn

    My guy made me really proud this week with a comment he made. He was telling me how he was reading an article about racist microgressions and he was thinking, “Is this a thing?” and getting slightly annoyed reading it, but then he said he thought, “I’m a white dude who literally has no idea how any of this feels so I don’t get to have an opinion or judge”. Swoon haha I’m glad he’s so in-tune to it all :)

  • MC

    Oof, what a week. My nonprofit org just got a new intern (a BSW student) who needs a looooot more training on computer tasks than I’d initially believed based on her resume & interview. I had to teach her how to send an e-mail from gmail and basically give her excel 101 – which is fine, but it has meant a lot of extra work for me that I wasn’t anticipating so my workload has felt super overwhelming. Also, as a #millenial who’s used computers since age 8 I feel very unqualified to teach someone how to do basic tasks with computers and microsoft programs because it all just seems natural and intuitive to me, which it obviously isn’t for everyone.

    So does anyone have any ideas/resources for training someone on computer stuff? I want to help our intern learn these skills but I also don’t have all the hours in a day to sit next to her and tell her where to click. Also if anyone has any intern management/training tips in general… it’s an unofficial part of my job but I would like to improve, and I think my lack of comfort/time is making me impatient which makes me a little less compassionate. Seriously, TGIF.

    • Ashlah

      Oh man, no advice, but I feel you. I’ve never been a good “teacher” of anything, and it is so hard to teach computer basics, especially when you really aren’t sure just how basic you need to go.

    • Google typically has pretty good online videos for teaching people to use their stuff…and I would bet there’s a free MOOC on using Microsoft products, like this: https://www.edx.org/school/microsoft

      The term you’re looking for, wrt to knowledge being intuitive, is “expert blindspot” ;) Welllllll known in teaching circles.

    • Eenie

      Teach her how to google. It sounds like most of the stuff should be easily found online. Show her how to find the solution to simple problems, and ask her to make that her first line of defense when she gets stuck. Then, when she is still stuck, make a list, and have a regular cadence where you can train her. This may be once a day after you’re back from lunch, or once a week depending on what works best. You’d want to explain that questions outside of that time are fine too, but if it’s feasible to save it for the meeting she should. Are you her only resource? Can you introduce her to other people who can take on some of this informal training?

      • Lisa

        I was trying to think of a good way to explain this because my first reaction to the problem was “she should just google it,” which I know isn’t particularly helpful. I’ve seriously taught myself how to do most things in Adobe/Microsoft products by googling them.

        • Eenie

          I think I used to assume everyone knew how to google. They do not. I’ve taught SO MANY coworkers how to effectively Google and find solutions to computer problems. I know it has helped them out long term since I no longer sit next to them and they can now still solve 80% of their computer problems.

          My favorite story about being “amazing” at fixing printers was when I shook one upside down based on internet forums and my friend thought I was magic.

          • Ashlah

            Yep, I’ve totally become the default “tech person” in our office strictly because I’m young and can Google things.

          • Lisa

            Yuuuuup. My co-worker/manager at my last job got technology added to her job title when she was promoted (primary role was marketing) because of this exact thing.

          • Eenie

            Yup. After the first three times this happened, I made a conscious choice to limit my free computer help at work. I would like to be known for other things first.

          • rg223

            I’ve fixed issues our IT guy couldn’t because I spent time on it and Googled (rather than spending two minutes and giving up). True story.

          • “information literacy” is a skill that not everyone possesses/learns naturally. It can, however, be taught…like most skills.

          • Eenie

            Oooh I didn’t know it had a name.

      • MC

        This is really, really helpful – I’ll try this next week. Thank you!!

    • Amy March

      I just want to point out that you have an intern who doesn’t possess basic competence skills, and your reaction is that you are too impatient and not compassionate enough, not “ugh incompetent intern how did this person even get hired.” Which, basically, means lack of compassion is not your issue! You’ve got compassion in spade.

  • Mary Jo TC

    I just submitted an essay about the end of my latest pregnancy to APW. It might not be great but I’m kind of proud of myself just for trying because it’s my first step getting myself out of an almost year-long writing rut.
    Every once in a while, people ask about the submission system, asking about things like getting automatic confirmation emails. I know the team has been working on it for a while, that the volume of submissions is huge and there’s no time to respond to everyone. But I wonder if the team could give me an estimate for how long I should wait to hear from APW before I try submitting somewhere else.

    • Violet

      I’ve had two very discrepant experiences both times I submitted. Once was about 2 days after I submitted, I got an email that morning that it would be running that morning (this was when essays went up in the AM and sponsor posts/How Tos went up in the PM). Then the second time, I submitted in May of 2016 and never heard anything. Since it’s 4 months later, my assumption is it will never run.

      • stephanie

        Hey! So I have actually recently taken this over, and am implementing a new system (starting next week) where everyone will *hopefully* get an email within 2 weeks of submission that lets you know yes or no. It won’t be flawless at first, but I’m working on it.

        • Violet

          Oh, very cool! It’s not like I was planning on submitting it anywhere else regardless, so it doesn’t matter to me personally. But for people who are “Capital W” Writers, I’d imagine the option to send somewhere else if it won’t run here will be very helpful!

    • stephanie

      Youuuu are actually on my “to email” list for Monday. I saw the submission come in this week—if you submitted it earlier than that, can you email me? I’d love to chat more about this. stephanie@apracticalwedding.com

  • Hi everyone! I wonder if you have any natural skin care products advice to offer?

    For the past year or two I’ve used Clean & Clear Advantage Acne
    Control products pretty much exclusively at morning and night. My skin is more oily than dry, and somewhat neutral. I wear make up rarely. I recently branched out to Tu’el/Eva’s Esthetics acne products and Herbivore Charcoal Soap bar. I like both for cleansing, but I’m really looking for something to help more directly with acne prevention. I’m getting pretty regular pimples repeatedly. Any suggestions?! Thanks in advance! :)

    Crazy side note about benzoyl peroxide: It’s always bleached things that it
    or my face comes in contact with, usually with an orangey tint, but our
    main bathroom has been under construction and in using the sink
    downstairs – I bleached the wood/stain of the vanity!!!

    • ART

      That sucks…I have bleached handprints on my towels from a former roommate’s boyfriend using benzoyl peroxide :(

    • Annie

      This might make me sound like a total hippie, but I’ve been swearing by tea tree oil on my face for acne prevention for some time now.

      It’s the only thing that’s helped me keep pimples at bay since coming off the birth control pill. For the record, I have combination skin and I tend to use it only where I break out (cheeks, chin) and where I get oil (t-zone). I use full-strength because my skin can handle it, but most people dilute it a bit. It feels counterintuitive to put oil on your oil, but it actually works really well, at least for me.

      • Ashlah

        My husband uses diluted tea tree oil or peppermint oil to clean his face sometimes. He swears by it.

      • Eenie

        Tea tree oil has antibacterial properties. Good carrier oils are almond and avacadobif I recall.

      • EF

        ditto this. i use the tea tree series from the body shop (and i also have an iud as others have discussed theirs). it was the *only* thing that has ever made a significant difference for my skin. i almost don’t look like a teenager anymore!
        (i still get carded for wine at the grocery store all the time though. sigh.)

      • heyqueen

        Tea tree oil works great as a spot treatment. I use it to dry up upcoming break outs. Also, apple cider vinegar and bentonite clay masks!

      • I use tea tree oil too (full strength). I also wash my face with coconut oil.

    • Eenie

      I’ve had luck with the cerave line of products. In particular to control oil I use a powder from Tarte with amazonian clay in it. It’s a game changer, otherwise I look like a grease ball.

      I’ve finally noticed that my acne has subsided as I aged, which I thought would never happen, and for the first time in my life feel comfortable leaving the house sans makeup. I know the struggle. I’ve had the bleached towels.

      • Kalë

        Yes to Cerave! Also, I’ve had great luck with the Simple line of products. Their Refreshing Gel cleanser and Hydrating Light Moisturizer are two of my Holy Grail products.

    • Kalë

      Not sure if you are a redditor, but I would love to point you in the direction of r/skincareaddiction. They are EXPERTS and would be great at guiding you in the right direction. Every person’s skin is different (duh) but my skin (combination, acne and sensitive skin) has literally been GLOWING off of a few product recommendations from there. I believe there is also a sub for natural skincare or natural beauty but not sure what it is.

      • Lisa

        I’m going to have to check this out. Ever since I switched to an IUD 2 years ago, I’ve had pretty bad acne around my jawline, and it’s intensified in the past 6 months. It’s frustrating to look in the mirror every morning and hate your skin on the worst days or feel “well, at least it isn’t TOO bad today” on the best ones.

        • Eenie

          Ugh my IUD or more likely going off the pill made my acne so bad! It has since calmed down in the two years since. I don’t want to know what will happen when we take the IUD out and start trying/get pregnant.

          • Lisa

            Yeah, my doctor friend told me that it’s less the going on IUD that causes the acne than the switching from a systemic hormone. I guess it’s good to know that it’s just my body that’s naturally messed up and not something else doing it, but this whole situation is super frustrating/painful.

          • Eenie

            I had the extremely bad hormonal cyst acne. The only rx that really helped was a retinoid. I was able to get a prescription through one of those doctor apps on my phone that APW actually sponsored. I remember I hoped my period would disappear (ha!) And with it my period acne would too. Nope. Nope. Nope. But age has helped FINALLY! I get a pimple or two a month, and they are not the cystic kind so I deal.

          • Lisa

            I have a combo of all the kinds of acne and tend to get cysts at the corners of my jaw. I had some acne as a teenager but never progressed beyond prescription topicals. I’ve always been a bit hesitant to take a full-time medication because I know some of the acne meds have serious side effects.

          • Eenie

            Retinoid is still topical! Accutane scares the crap out of me. I also noticed changes in severity with dairy, soy, and too much sugar. If you haven’t experimented with eliminating foods, that’s a medication free thing to try too. Reddit is all full of great ideas though. All of the things I mentioned I read about there first.

          • Amy March

            I loved Accutane and think its a shame that it gets such a bad rap based on fear. It’s the gold standard treatment for a reason. Most people will experience some dryness, a small portion of those severe, and that’s it. The suicide ties are pretty clearly false, and the pregnancy issues real, so don’t get pregnant. It’s a huge hassle now to take because of the registration, birth control, and pregnancy test requirements, but I am so so grateful that it was an option and will never stop singing its praises. People spend so much time and effort and money on natural organic beauty product stuff when there are doctors with actual training and real solutions out there.

            If you have cystic acne and are serious about getting rid of it, see a dermatologist. Try the new topical treatments. Ask questions.

          • Eenie

            Oh, I know it’s helped so many people. But it still scares me with the side effects- mostly the severe dry skin and changes to hair texture. I had a very severe reaction to a topical that made my skin peel off when I was 14. Accutane was never recommended for me personally from my dermatologist, so I’ve not taken it and would push back that it’s the gold standard for treatment. Salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide get that determination in my book. It’s great as an option for people with severe acne where nothing else helps.

            And although I don’t have perfect skin now, I have manageable skin and I’m very thankful for that.

          • Amy March

            Yes, I mean that it is the gold standard for acne that hasn’t responded to other treatments, obviously not a first round option. I just hate the vaguely scary rap it gets.

          • Lisa

            Was the topical Proactive? I had a very similar reaction when I tried it at age 14 — all of my skin just completely flaked off my face. It was awful, and I felt so bad that I’d convinced my parents to buy it for me. Fortunately it did work for my sister, and she used it for several years, but it was a lot of money upfront for something that didn’t work out.

          • Eenie

            No it was Differin aka adapalene. Will never use that again! It made my skin so severely sensitive to sunlight. I was worried with retinoid being in a similar family but it went fine.

          • Lisa

            I had pretty good luck with Differin in high school/college, but the prescription lapsed, and I went on BC, which cleared up the issue for a few years.

        • Kelly

          I’ve had a similar experience with going off the pill/getting an IUD and my skin has become a constant source of frustration. I’ve tried so many different routines, and currently I’m trying out a BHA lotion from Paula’s Choice and it seems to be helping. This summer we were camping for 3 weeks, so my routine became: wipe my face at night with a Simple face wipe, put on a little BHA lotion, then in the morning put on Neutrogena face sunscreen. My face was the happiest it’s ever been! Now that were back/not camping I’ve been trying to keep that exactly the same but it’s not working any more! Grrrr…must have been something about being on vacation and having less stress? It seems like every little variable can throw off the balance, which is frustrating. Anyway, I’m just venting now, but yes, ugh skin…

      • Keeks

        Another vote for checking out r/skincareaddiction! They helped me develop a good routine. I wash at night with Cerave cleanser (NOT the one for dry skin), followed by a lactic acid gel. In the winter I follow that with a nighttime moisturizer. All year round, I make sure I use an SPF moisturizer like Clinique Skin Defense in the morning – especially necessary when using AHAs! I also just rinse my skin in the morning, I don’t use cleanser. Oddly, I really think it’s the moisturizer(s) that make the most difference.

        I have sensitive skin so benzoyl peroxide makes my skin peel off. Also, I’m a cheapskate so Clinique is about as fancy as I get with products.

    • Have you tried just using a plain old bar of facial soap? Like the kind that costs less than $3 at the drugstore — a name brand is a type of bird, but I haven’t found that the brand makes much difference. ;) Give it a couple of weeks and see if your skin balances out. I found that the products I was using were actually irritating my skin and making it overproduce oil, and just a little help from soap to get dirt and sweat off my face was all I really needed. (I think I got this idea from reddit, so I also second Kalë’s suggestion.)

      • APlus

        I mostly just use ivory soap.

      • Em

        There is a problem with soaps. The ingredient, whatever it is, that keeps them solid, also clogs pores. Read it on Beautypedia.

    • cml

      Another reluctant hippie here – I’ve done scary Accutane and it did help immensely because I rarely (if ever) have cystic acne anymore, but I would never recommend it because it is…scary. Plus I do still have breakouts, ugh.

      I have combination, acne-prone, sensitive skin and it’s the worst.

      I’ve had huge success with this:
      -cutting back on sugar (so maybe take a look at your diet? Mine is definitely hormonal, but cleaning up my diet does help)
      -mix witch hazel with some tea tree oil and use it as a toner.
      -moisturize with coconut oil as needed.
      -on days when I’ve worn makeup or sweated a lot, I wash my face with Cetaphil and one of those Clarisonic brushes.
      Since using the tea tree oil toner, I’ve been able to cut back on washing and have noticed that my skin is less oily as a resuly. And my complexion, while still not perfect, is the best it’s ever been!

      • Amy March

        So it worked, but you’re still comfortable vaguely calling it scary?

        • cml

          Fair – it worked great for me. I know others who dealt with some rough side effects, one who went into a pretty bad depression. So I do call it scary, but also recognize that it has a place.

        • Booknerd

          I finished one course of Accutane and luckily it worked so I don’t have to do it again, and I would still call it scary. First 2 months I broke out more than I ever had in my life (normal side effect) and then my whole body dried out. My joints ached constantly, my lips were so dry if I didn’t have product on them every second it was agony. I did experience mild depression near the end as well. It was definitely the right choice for me as it worked out great but it was some of the hardest 7 months of my life, I had no idea how much it would affect me.

      • Eenie

        Be careful with coconut oil. Some people get really clogged pores with it.

        • cml

          I’ve heard that, but it’s been quite a long time and I haven’t had any issues yet! One more example of how skin care is totally one of those things where you have to figure out what works for you. :)

    • emmers

      My husband has luck with PanOxyl (10%) for some body acne. He’s also gotten religious about using a scrub brush, which has helped (I guess unclogging pores?).

    • Angela

      I have tried BP, differin and adapalene as topicals, and found them just too harsh for my sensitive skin but was getting crazy painful cysts on my chin and either on the bridge of my nose or in my eyebrows and the ones around my nose/eyebrows were making my eye(s) swell closed at times. The thing that has worked for me without crazy irritation, is topical clindamycin (antibiotic). I use the Body Shop aloe foaming cleanser, Bioelements calmitude hydrating solution as toner and Trilogy sensitive moisturiser (NZ brand) for my other skincare. Occasional little pimples but no cysts.

      • I used topical clindamycin (BenzaClin, specifically) from 8th grade all the way to age 28 or so. That stuff really worked for my mild, but constant, acne. Nowadays I get no pimples, but occasionally a chin cyst, but I’m fairly certain they’re hormonal/nutrition related.

    • KayT

      I have struggled with acne all through my teens and 20s. A couple things have helped me control it: I use tea tree oil on my skin. I mix a few drops in with my moisturizer (CeraVe) every night. I also use it undiluted as a spot treatment. Just be careful with it, tea tree oil can sting. After a while, you’ll learn your tolerance for it.

      Diet also has a huge impact on my skin. High fat foods, like nuts, oils, avocado, and cheese cause breakouts for me. I realize this will be different for everyone, as people react to foods differently. It took almost a year’s worth of tracking my diet to make the connection. I occasionally still eat those things, but at least I know what the consequences will be.

    • Kelly

      For a few months I decided to be fancy and try a routine based around Osmia Organics facial soaps and serums. They were very lovely and I indeed felt very fancy but for me they didn’t make that much of a difference. YMMV. BUT I do think the spot treatment is awesome! It’s in a tiny little roll-y bottle and it’s pretty pricey, but a little goes a very long way and it WORKS. It blasts pimples and keeps them from getting crusty while they heal. I mentioned this in a reply to Lisa, but Paula’s Choice makes a great BHA treatment in a variety of forms, and that’s the only thing I’ve found so far that has made an actual improvement to my skin. I also really like Mad Hippie’s face lotion, although it doesn’t have UV protection.

    • toomanybooks

      I like Fresh soy face cleanser – I have dry skin but I feel like it supposedly works for everyone?

      • I’m totally an advocate for everyone using what works for them so I hope this doesn’t sound mean! I recently used a Sephora sample of this cleanser and it gave me the worst acne I’ve ever had :| it’s still clearing up, three months later. Definitely google the ingredients to see if any of them might set you off.

  • Kate

    So a male law school classmate who has been giving off weird/creepy vibes for the last couple weeks GRABBED ME at the law school’s favorite dive bar last night. I felt someone grab my shoulders really tightly from behind. It was such an intimate way to grab someone I thought my SO had come to surprise me. Imagine my horror to turn my head and realize it was that classmate. The worst part was that it wasn’t even a quick squeeze- he grabbed my shoulders tightly and DID NOT LET GO. He was completely silent too, didn’t say a word to me. I pulled away and hightailed it across the bar. I had been planning to leave, but I was afraid to. So I found a group of classmates to talk to. Even then, I could feel this creep sidle up behind me, completely silently. I flat out ignored him for a good 20-30 minutes until he finally stepped away. But at one point I glanced up to find him standing alone across the bar, just standing there staring. I don’t think we’ve even been introduced. I’m seriously creeped out. Lookin for some solidarity, reassure me that this is not all in my head.

    • Sometimes, it’s better to make a scene than be polite…people you don’t know don’t get to touch you or get in your personal space. This is best done in public…

      • Kaitlyn

        I agree! Make a scene, alert your other classmates, etc. I would also be complete creeped out and it’s best to listen to your gut sometimes.

    • Alex K

      I’m creeped out on your behalf. That makes me shudder.

    • Amy March

      No, this isn’t in your head. He was incredibly invasive and inappropriate, and acting to make sure you were safe was a perfectly reasonable response.

    • anon for this

      Not in your head…that is really not ok. I had to bring up a weird issue w/ a coworker with HR this week, and they did address it, which made me feel like my weird vibes were totally validated, but was hard to do. If there’s a next time, I definitely don’t think a loud “hey man, can I get some space?” would be out of line.

    • emmers

      Is there someone at the Law School you would fee comfortable reporting this to, like a Dean of Students Office or something? Even if it was off campus, they may have someone talk to him about it, if that’s something that you want. Because that is not OK!

    • Ashlah

      Yeah, not okay. If you’re comfortable doing so, I would report his behavior to somebody at your school.

    • Kalë

      Tell somebody! Enlist a fellow law school friend to help you keep the creep at bay. Two is better than one and all that. Also, as much as I hate that I feel like I should say this, you might want to think about documenting (bare minimum – write it down) all of the weird/creepy stuff that he does. Just in case :(

    • Jess

      THIS IS NOT IN YOUR HEAD. This is totally unacceptable behavior. This is creepy as fuck.

      I have no restraint and really don’t like being touched. It would be totally acceptable to yell, “Get your fucking hands off me!!!!” at the first point of contact, and continued to stop any conversation you were having and turned to him to ask pointedly, “Why are you standing so close to me?”

      You should definitely not be afraid to be impolite here. He is way out of line, so any scene causing/rudeness is justified.

      I have a situation with a co-worker who doesn’t really *do* anything reportable and is acceptable at work, but when he’s drunk he tends to leer at me in a way that makes me uncomfortable. I told my friends (mostly dudes) and now when they spot him at a bar, we leave or they circle up to block me from his view. This is also an ok way of dealing with him in the future.

      • cml

        I 100% have made a scene in situations before – once was in college at a bar with a creepy dude who grabbed my butt. You better believe I made sure EVERYONE around us knew about it and he got an earful from his fraternity brothers at their chapter meeting that weekend.
        This guy sounds way worse. Tell everyone and make a ruckus.

    • Laura C

      It wasn’t all in your head even before he touched you, but once he did, no one can even pretend it’s in your head. (Ok, someone can and will pretend that. Everyone else will be like “you asshole, this is serious.”)

    • E.

      Not all in your head, he was way over the line.

    • Cellistec

      WHAT. No, that is not in your head, and not acceptable, and all your reactions are legitimate. So sorry you have to deal with this creepy dude.

    • emilyg25

      It is okay to step away, put your hand up, and say loudly and clearly, “Please do not touch me.” I bet you most people will totally get it.

    • Kate

      Thank you all for the little sanity assurance. It’s hard to react exactly how we want to in the moment, and he is just so strange in general that I worry that engaging at all might feed into some bizarre delusion. I have looked into how to report him if this shit escalates and I won’t hesitate next time to tell him to back off. If he was a more normal variety of creep and didn’t have the face of a serial killer it might’ve been easier to tell him off in the moment.

  • JennDee

    Guys, I cut the top of my left ring finger off!! The finger’s fine, luckily it’s just a bit of skin, but it bled and bled and bled. I now have to take my blood and gore-covered engagement ring to our fantastic jeweler to attempt a cleaning. And you don’t even want to know what a fucking joke those ‘fingertip bandaids’ are….

    Here’s hoping my weekend with my lovely lady friends goes much, much better than my morning did! Best of luck to anyone getting married this weekend–sending you all the relaxing and happy vibes!!

    • emmers

      OW! I hope it feels better and heals quickly! Those high-traffic cutes are the worst!

    • Hayley

      Holy cow! I am so sorry. That sounds horrible! I am sending you quick healing vibes.

  • This past weekend we went back to my hometown, and my family threw us a baby shower. I was expecting an explosion of pink (which I didn’t want) but my mom listened to me and did everything in yellow and gray, which are the colors of the nursery. And my family went all out – they put together a beautiful shower with a ton of food, fun games, and the guest list was so great. I was so touched, I was almost in tears, I really didn’t expect them to put in so much effort. And it felt so good to have folks fawn over me and my little bump – as a plus size pregnant lady I’m kinda self-conscious about the size of my bump & worried that I just look fatter, instead of pregnant.

    • Eenie

      Aw! Yay for family knocking it out of the park! I’ve noticed my parents have been extra super careful to listen to my brother and SIL’s wishes. They don’t want to be put on the “can’t babysit” list.

    • Jenny

      Ooof, I hear you on the plus size pregnancy bump. I had a horrible experience when I went to a pre conception visit where the nurse was just so mean and depressing about my weight, but I had a good pregnancy and good labor and a lovely healthy baby. If it helps I totally looked obviously pregnant around 7 months, which is about the same as my skinny friends (though of course everyone is different) I’m so happy to hear the good news about your shower! I also think that because I was plus sized I got way less strangers comment on my body/pregnancy.

      • I’ve been super lucky in that I haven’t had any weight/body shaming from my medical team so far *knocks on wood* which has made me very happy. I would have been ragey at that nurse! I’m 24 weeks and I’m hoping that I really “pop” in the next few weeks.

        • Jenny

          Yeah, once I was pregnant I luckily had a great team, but the pre conception visit nurse totally screwed with my head and we decided to stop trying for a few months for me to get my head back on straight.

          • Katelyn

            I’m a few years from trying to conceive but I’ve had a GP in the past who hounded me about my weight and how I would get gestational diabetes. I am 15 pounds overweight, not 50! Personally, I don’t think it’s *ever* OK for a doctor to comment on my future procreational habits unless I specifically ask.

            My new physician actually said my weight was fine – both for everyday life and for procreational purposes – as long as I was working out, eating healthy, and my bloodwork was good. I still can’t get that other doctor’s words out of my head, though – and not in a positive way.

            /end rant

          • Oh that sucks! I was actually really worried about my weight and that it would keep me from getting pregnant – I’ve been lucky to find medical professionals who don’t subscribe to that nonsense. I actually got pregnant at my highest weight, so with pregnancy weight I’m heavier than I want to be, but at every visit I’m 100% healthy & so is baby girl.

            What also has been helping is the plus size pregnancy group I found on FB – there are mothers in the group who are heavier than me who had healthy pregnancies & babies, which makes me feel better.

          • AP

            For what it’s worth, gestational diabetes affects 7% of all pregnant women, regardless of weight. It has to do with pregnancy hormones, and has nothing to do with preconception weight. When doctors say things like that, it makes me mad because it’s not based on medicine, it’s coming from their misunderstanding of both diabetes and weight. (Speaking as a dietitian who counseled women with gestational diabetes for 2 years. I worked with women in across the entire weight range.) So you can totally disregard that GP’s words!

          • Jenny

            Sorry to hear that, yeah, it’s just so horrible. I was definitely more than 15 lbs above, but still. There really isn’t any good evidence that weight in and of itself has much to do with a healthy pregnancy. Pretty much every study I read used BMI instead of weight (so for my height someone 156 pounds was the same as someone who was 220- which doesn’t lend much to the every lb matters) and non of them controlled for blood sugar, blood pressure, or other health issues so they were confounding weight with other health problems. Just… no.

        • raccooncity

          I was the opposite at first – I was underweight to start, but since I got regular periods no one was worried about me getting pregnant. However, I’m also quite tall so I hide my baby really well. Strangers JUST started to openly suggest that I’m pregnant.

          It’s been really hard sometimes to deal with people constantly (i mean constantly) feeling like they can tell me that I need to eat more or the concern trolling over my size. I got “you don’t even look pregnant” from someone new every. single. day. until I was in the 3rd trimester. As someone who was happy to be pregnant, it crushed a little to hear that, and it crushed a LOT to hear it when I was 25 weeks. I wanted to yell at people “I am 28 weeks pregnant, I’ve gained 32 pounds already and my uterus measures large for this week. BABY IS FINE.”

          Needless to say, I’m not handling the sudden public ownership of my body very well.

          • OMG I hate all those people! How horrible for you! I really hate how pregnancy causes people to think they have ownership over another person’s body, it’s so disgusting.

          • Jenny

            Ugggggh!!!! So sorry! People seem to think that when you are pregnant you look 7 months pregnant the whole time. Aside from the fact that everyone looks different pregnant, and everyone looks different at different stages of pregnancy. By and large there isn’t a large window for most people of looking “cute but obviously pregnant”. It’s usually, looks the same, maybe has been eating more fro yo than usual, probably pregnant but not sure, cute but obviously pregnant, giant and going to pop pregnant lady shuffling everywhere. But since on TV and in movies all pregnant people look cute but obviously pregnant, we think that all women look that that for the duration of a pregnancy.

        • raccooncity

          Also: FWIW, I exploded into pregnant bump-ness between 25-28 weeks so I hope the same for you!

    • Jessica

      This gives me hope that people will, in fact, listen to a mom’s opinion on colors.

      Not that I expect my family to do that, but I’m not telling them the sex of any fetus I carry so they have to deal.

      Congrats on a wonderful baby shower!

      • Amy March

        I think there’s something about being told “we want gender neutral colors” that really riles people up. 30 years ago baby showers weren’t color coded, no one really “knew” what they were having, and everything worked out just fine!

        • Annie

          My husband’s aunt didn’t speak to my sister-in-law for two months when our niece was born because one time SIL mentioned (in a group, offhand) that she doesn’t like big headbands on baby girls, since it’s mostly about gender-coding newborns. Basically like, I don’t really care if people don’t know if she’s a boy or a girl, I can tell them or not, etc.

          Aunt took megawatt offense because it’s her favorite look on little girls and took it as judgment on her choices and it’s just FUN and “Oh, well, now I guess I can’t buy my GREAT-NIECE the BEAUTIFUL crystal headband I was PLANNING on”, yadda yadda yadda. People’s feelings on gendered items and colors goes deeeeeeeeeep.

          • Amy March

            Yup. I think people really do take “could we maybe not do entirely pink princess” as “no I hate your style and your generosity is useless to me please go jump in a lake.” Which is obviously absurd, but if you suspect it picking a theme people can embrace- frogs, giraffes, puppies, and then registering for some really cute stuff in that vein seems to provoke less hostility.

          • Jessica

            A theme animal is a really good idea!

          • Lisa

            I’m wondering if I can do “nerdy fandom” as a theme someday. I’ve seen lots of good onesies in this vein, and it would certainly eliminate some of the gendered clothing.

          • Amy March

            Good luck with that! If you’re eliminating gender coloring, I think eliminating “stuff you can get at buy-buy-baby” and “things that your aunties have heard of” is just going to result in people . . . carrying on and buying what they are used to.

          • Lisa

            I don’t think I need to totally eliminate gendered clothing, but cutting down on it for my hypothetical children is something I’d kind of like to do. We’ve also talked about not finding out the sex before said potential baby is born so I’m thinking this would also force people to get creative with any clothes they want to purchase.

          • Eenie

            Yeah, I think this is the most logical solution. The other thing you could do is just put all the kids in the same clothes until they can express their own opinion on what they wear. This is my hypothetical plan.

          • Lisa

            Depending on where you live that could be an issue though. If you need winter clothes and your children are born in different seasons, then they might not fit into the older sibling’s clothes at the appropriate times. I know my boss has had issues with this with her boys (one was spring, one was winter) and ended up buying several new pieces for the younger one.

          • Amy March

            Also, babies are filthy.

          • TeaforTwo

            Not necessarily at first! Before they start solids and crawling around, they can’t really wreck or stain things before they grow out of them. Moms who eat while nursing and drop good all over the babies can, but my baby hasn’t actually wrecked anything himself.

            Toddlers, on the other hand, are super filthy.

          • Eenie

            Hah “winter clothing”. It’s only been eight months and I forgot there are actual season besides “omg so hot”, “this is nice”, and “jacket weather”.

            Kids also grow at different rates, so two born in the exact same month may not fit the seasonal clothing too. Le sigh. My future hypothetical son will wear pink though.

          • emilyg25

            If your experience is anything like mine, they just won’t buy any clothes till after the baby is born. People are weird. But free clothes are awesome. And you always need more than you get, so you can just fill in the gaps with things that suit your style more.

          • Jessica

            I saw a 2 year old girl wearing a shirt with the star trek logo patterned onto it. It exists!

          • Lisa

            I’ve seen tons of great Star Wars ones, too. Husband and I are both fairly nerdy so I could see this working well for us.

          • GotMarried!

            And this would be my favorite choice for a nerdy fandom item!

          • GotMarried!

            This Sounds Amazing!!!

          • MC

            My SIL and BIL are doing a space-themed nursery and including science fiction in that category, which I think is great!

          • Oh, that sounds really fun!

          • Alex

            I have some facebook friends who adopted a baby girl and HOLY SHIT the atomic orbitals onesie they got her? Definitely buying for my future child. Regardless of gender. I can’t for the life of me remember the company off the top of my head but they have a whole line of mainly-science-themed gender neutral things

          • jspe

            I bet it’s princess awesome….and FWIW, it’s explictly gendered, under the idea that skirts/tutus and science can’t go together. though I have awesome friends that are using lots of hand me downs, some of which come in pink/purple, and are totally embracing the “boys can like purple” set of options. Which I really like. It’s much more acceptable for a girl to have “boy things” than a little boy like “girl things.” Which, duh, if masculinity is the dominant culture, then obviously that makes sense, but it makes it that much harder to fight the gendering of boys in specific ways, too.

          • stephanie

            You totally can. (these are all from 2009!)

          • Her Lindsayship

            I was with some friends the other night discussing a baby shower one of them recently had. She’s having a girl and she mentioned that she’d gotten a fair amount of pink clothes. My fiancé said, “yeah, you have to do that or people won’t know the gender!” I thought he was being sarcastic but he followed up with “otherwise you’d get, ‘how old is he?’ all the time.” And I downright yelled “SO? why do people NEED to know the gender of a baby??” All I got for that was a ‘hm’ and someone changed the subject so. I’m definitely that person in my friend group.

          • Jessica

            I’m that person in my husband’s family. I said something about “well that doesn’t really matter” about confusing a baby’s assigned gender, and they said “it matters to me!” and I can’t really argue with that.

          • Kat

            Because what a baby really neeeeeds is a crystal headband….

        • I was worried about that but luckily my mom was pretty adult about it all.

          She has already decreed that her granddaughter is gonna get at least 1 pink clothing item tho, which I suppose is ok. I just don’t want my daughter smothered in pink and only pink because she’s a girl.

          • Sara

            My mother had me two weeks early, and her family really procrastinated on the whole baby shower thing. So I ended up at my own baby shower, which meant everyone obviously knew I was a girl. My mom said that I didn’t wear any color other than pink for the first two years of my life because of my relatives.

          • emilyg25

            Remember that for a long time, you will be the strongest influence in your child’s life. You can do this.

        • EllowEllow

          I feel like babies 100% are guaranteed to receive some gendered clothing, so asking for “gender neutral” or similar wording at least increases the odds that you’ll get a mix. The urge to get frilly pink stuff for baby girls is nearly insurmountable and weirdly personal for some people, so I guess that’s the trade-off.

          • Eileen

            I gotta say I have been really surprised by just HOW gendered baby clothing is these days now that we’re buying it. Even the boy stuff just screams boy. We found a pink pyjama the other day that said “I’m my parents’ little boy” (well in French so the equivalent of that) and I said WE ARE BUYING THIS (there was the equivalent in blue for a girl).

          • TeaforTwo

            I found the same thing when I was expecting, and we hadn’t found out the sex. French baby clothes can be quite a but more gender neutral (or more softly gendered, if that makes sense). I love Petit Bateau and Jacadi for this, but they are both $$$$.

          • Primary has been showing up in my ads…it looks like the way to go for gender neutral in whatever color.

          • Amy March

            I think the only reasonable solution is trips to Paris to buy bébé clothes for everyone

          • emilyg25

            It sucks. I really thought my kid was going to wear clothes from both sections, but I have a boy and toddler girl clothes are cut like women’s clothes–tight, nipped in waist, cap sleeves. It would just look silly. Whenever I see a pink or purple boy shirt, I grab that shit. Primary is a great resource.

          • rg223

            This is the thing I haaate about girls clothes. Why does it need to be cut like a four year old has boobs?

          • Eenie

            I hate this as an adult. I had no idea it was a thing in baby clothes.

          • Ashlah

            I worked in the children’s department of a big box store while I was in college, and it was horrible. Horrrrrrible. At least it gave me some substance for a gender studies essay.

          • Lisa

            The retail store where I used to work had a kids component, and some of it made me cringe. What was worse were the customers who, if an item was not explicitly gendered, would ask which sex an item was for and would leave the item in a huff if there was no gender or if it was technically listed as the other. My BIL is one of these types, and I remember getting a little bit of pleasure out of seeing pictures of my nephew wearing the “baby girl” short overalls for months.

          • toomanybooks

            Ugh. Kids’ bodies aren’t even different based on gender at that age! Like, men’s clothing would fit like a nightmare on me as an adult, but when you’re a kid it’s just not even a thing. But I guess that leads to parents wanting to make suuuuuuure you know their kid is definitely a boy or girl.

          • Kalë

            Love this!

        • Amy

          Before I had my daughter I was adamant that she wasn’t going to have a super pink, girly wardrobe. The stuff I bought her and most of the stuff given to us at our baby shower was pretty much gender neutral.

          Then my cousin sent me a GIGANTIC box of hand-me-downs from her baby and holy moses, it was the girliest box ever. Everything is pink, purple, and/or frilly.

          And you know what? Now that I’m currently deep in the trenches of the newborn period, IDGAF what she wears as long as it’s not covered in bodily fluids and doesn’t have a million snaps. Bonus points if it zips up since she screams when I pull things over her head. So about 85% of what she wears is pink, purple, and/or frilly hand-me-downs.

          I’ll probably care more when she’s older, but for now, whatever. That said, I still can’t bear to put her in anything with the word “princess” on it.

          • Lee

            I love pink and purple because with my dark hair and eyes, they are my best colors. If I had a baby girl with my coloring, she’d be wearing them too. However, HELL NO to anything saying “Princess”. Oh God, no.

            Besides, I don’t believe in the monarchy. Ha ha.

          • Maybe you could get creative with a Sharpie and turn some of those with princess text into feminist statements? :)

        • TeaforTwo

          I think it is confusing to tell people the sex of a baby who hasn’t been born yet and then immediately disclaim that you don’t want people to gender the child.

          We didn’t find out the baby’s sex until he was born, so his layette is mostly grey, ivory and yellow. Some pale pinks that I deemed gender neutral because my husband has dress shirts the same colour.

          • heyqueen

            Yeah I agree. If you explicit you do not want gendered clothing, don’t tell people the sex of the baby.

          • Anon

            Sure, but you still get stuff after a baby is born and unless you give your child a gender-neutral name and refuse to discuss their sex with anyone ever, you still might have to eventually have the “Hey, we’re not a pink frilly / handsome li’l slugger family” discussion.

            In my brother’s experience, they had gender neutral stuff to start because they withheld discussion of the sex until birth and then have been bombarded nonstop, nonstop, nonstop with pink, pink, pink, pink and family members have been really weirdly intense about it.

            Sometimes setting boundaries early can be harder, but can help the pile of Stuff We Don’t Want piling up (at least until the kid is old enough to be like ‘Eff your neutrality, ALL THE PINK PLZ’)

          • Amy March

            And I think that’s part of the problem. Setting boundaries about “acceptable” gifts for people to give you is looking a gift horse in the mouth. Sure, it makes sense to me, but I think people generally find it very off-putting.

          • toomanybooks

            Lolllllll “handsome lil slugger” I’m sure that’s like twenty hundred real baby t-shirts too.

          • emilyg25

            It’s a lot easier to just thank people graciously and privately place the gift in the donate bin.

          • JC

            But most people aren’t asking others to refer to their future child by gender neutral pronouns that haven’t really gained popularity yet. I don’t see why, “We’re having a girl, but we’d prefer to keep the pink tutus to a minimum” is confusing.

          • Anon

            And for some people, not telling anyone the sex in order to get gender neutral stuff is cop-out. They specifically want to make it clear that yes, they’re having a girl and identifying her as a girl…but at the same time, they DO want to avoid certain stereotypes and coding in raising her. I don’t think that’s an unreasonable goal or one that parents should avoid vocalizing just because it might rankle.

          • Amy March

            I think its just a question of priorities. You can absolutely announce that you’re having a girl and invite your entire gender traditional family to a big baby shower, but if your goal is “not have home full of pink stuff” you won’t win, and you know it going into the situation. You’ll get all the pink, plus hurt feelings and angry conversations. If your goal is: take a stand for gender neutrality and the full spectrum of color choices, then maybe all those conversations are the point of what you’re doing, and the fact that your actions are less effective at reducing the flow of tutus isn’t as important.

          • JC

            This makes a lot of sense to me. I’d like to share the sex of my (future) children with my family, but I also know that it’s partly to have conversations with my mom, who has been on a traditional gender kick as of late. I’d like us to talk about why my baby’s sex doesn’t equal gender, and how knowing the baby’s sex ahead of time doesn’t mean all the tutus. But I also have to not be afraid to throw away/donate said tutus when they inevitably arrive.

          • Eenie

            My nephew was feature in a “definitely a boy” blog post this week because he likes balls, cars, and blue. I rolled my eyes so hard. Gendered stuff goes way beyond clothes, and sometimes you lose the clothes battle.

          • JC

            Yeah, I’ve been really attuned to the conversations around boys reading books about girls and noticing how often people balk at that idea. So much eye rolling on my part.

          • Eenie

            I really want to get them a good toddler feminist book that isn’t OMG FEMINIST. If anyone has any recommendations. Bonus points if it’s Catholic approved…

          • JC

            This is a post-toddler/Pre-K read-aloud or an early elementary read-on-your-own, but my new favorite is “The Sandwich Swap.” It was written by the Queen of Jordan, and it’s great.

          • AGCourtney

            I don’t have specific recommendations right offhand, but have you heard of A Mighty Girl? They have tons of fantastic recommendations. http://www.amightygirl.com

          • Eenie

            I have! I will check that out, thanks!

          • emilyg25

            So I really like to get children excellent stories that also happen to broaden the definition of masculinity. Examples include Harold and the Purple Crayon, Ferdinand, and a new book called The Hug Machine. Another book that’s not even gender related really is A Color of His Own. I feel like all of those are subtle enough that any parent likes them, but definitely get the message across that you can be whoever you are. Kids pick up on that shit a lot better than adults.

          • Eenie

            This is also a fantastic idea. Thanks for the suggestions.

          • raccooncity

            Tough Guys Have Feelings Too!!!!!!

          • Sandy

            May I suggest emailing the GetBooked podcast? Custom recommendations is what they do and they are great at it. And they are all about the feminism and diversity. Actually you don’t even have to email just fill out the form at the end of this page http://bookriot.com/listen/dallas-meets-gossip-girl/

          • Anon

            Reply to add: And I’d say the same for little boys and sports/”lady killer”/all blue paraphernalia as well; it’s not about hyper-femme or masculine being “bad,” it’s about some people not wanting unnecessary early gendering before the kid even has a personality.

            Our nursery is going to be planets and fairy-tale themed, regardless of the baby’s sex, because it reflects both science and whimsy, with as many colors as possible. Our kid might/probably will eventually reject that to their own taste, of course, but it’s about establishing our little family’s values in a small way. But we also aren’t progressive enough, frankly, to go full gender neutral in raising them (i.e., we’ll identify them with the gender assigned at birth until our child tells us otherwise)

          • Lee

            I want to live in your nursery. Seriously.

          • emilyg25

            We did not know the sex of our child and we did the nursery in a space theme. A family friend accused us of knowing he was a boy all along because it was a “boy” nursery. I guess we just have a much broader definition of gender-neutral?

          • stephanie

            We had a similar experience! My friend called my son’s room “space themed” because there was/is a planet mobile hanging from the ceiling and he has a bunch of space toys. She was like, “What will you do if you have a daughter and they share a room?” And apart from us having already been quite clear that we had/have zero plans to have more kids, I was like “…keep it hanging there?” Why is space a boy thing?

          • rg223

            I don’t think it’s confusing if you don’t make a big deal about it. If you make the party themed around a gender reveal, okay, sure, seems like you’re excited to get pink or blue stuff. But if you mention to people individually, “Oh, we found out it’s a boy, but we are still putting all gender neutral stuff on the registry,” people should get it. They might ignore you, but they’ll understand your wishes.

        • stephanie

          I… was quite fond of intentionally dressing my child in girl’s clothing when he was small more or less for a similar reason. Also? He liked it. He still does sometimes, and even recently picked out a shirt that his pink glittery hearts on it. I meeean.

    • NolaJael

      A former boss of mine told me offhandedly once that I was not the type of person who would look good pregnant (I wasn’t pregnant or trying, it was a hypothetical mean comment.) I will never forget that. It was so random and so unnecessarily hurtful. So lovely that your people fawned over you and the miracle you are growing. :)

      • Jessica

        My face hurts from the immediate change to disgust it went through while reading that. I’m so sorry, what an asshole.

      • KK

        That is gross. ugh, so sorry someone said that to you.

      • toomanybooks

        What! (Also, now that I think about it, it would be equally creepy if your boss told you that you would look good pregnant!)

    • Kalë

      The best baby shower I’ve been to was one where the parents didn’t know (or weren’t telling) the baby’s gender. The shower hosts provided white onesies in a variety of sizes and the guests got to tie dye them! I love this idea and fully intend to use it on my hypothetical future babies :)

      • Lisa

        I love the idea of tie dyeing! I was at a baby shower last weekend, and we colored the white onesies with fabric markers. I spent the whole time thinking about how much fun it would have been to break out the buckets instead. Plus tons of different colors would help camouflage the inevitable staining.

        • lildutchgrrl

          I did a tie-dye craft recently with colored permanent markers and droppers of rubbing alcohol, which helps the lines bleed. It’s important to keep the space ventilated, but it was much less messy than traditional tie-dye, and dries quicker, too.

    • NolaJael

      :(

  • savannnah

    SO parental summit 2016 was last long weekend and you guys were right- it mostly went off without any major issues- All three sets of parents got along fairly well. Here are the awk highlights:
    My fiance’s dad, despite being warned numerous times offered my dad a beer about every 20 min they were in close proximity of each other- my dad as expected, turned him down every time
    My mom and fiance’s stepdad got along so well that he missed the first half of the Huskers first football game of the year talking with her about photography and fiance’s mom joked around for the rest of the trip that stepdad was going to leave her for my mom.
    My fiance’s dad asked my parents immediately upon meeting them, if they identified as ‘a Jewish people’ and then asked my dad how he felt about an old California hippie officiating at our wedding (our officiant is my dad, who is not from California)
    My mom tried to help set the table and made everyone uncomfortable by asking where the salad forks were.
    Finally the men got drunk on Saturday except for my dad who hung out in the kitchen with the women and babies.
    Overall no blood was spilled and I think everyone left looking forward to the wedding next year ( a year from this Saturday!)

    • Jessica

      “My mom tried to help set the table and made everyone uncomfortable by asking where the salad forks were.”
      That made me snort a bit. Chortle, perhaps.

      I’m glad it went well!

    • Amy March

      Sounds like it went great!

  • Kalë

    Last Friday at work before Big Adventure! So very excited and a little anxious. On Monday, I start training my temp replacement. I’ve never trained anyone before, other than showing coworkers how to do basic tasks, and my replacement is significantly older than me (I think my parents’ age?). I’m pretty nervous about the whole process and feeling a little bit of impostor syndrome.

  • Laura C

    We moved to the next step in sleep training babykin this week and wow! So far we are just putting him down in the crib awake and sitting with him until he falls asleep, and it has not taken more than 25 minutes once, and he’s been waking up less in the night. If you’d told me how good three nights in a row of 6-6.5 hours of sleep could feel, I would not have believed you. As a result, everything in my life just feels so much more manageable. This is the first week since we’ve been in SF that I haven’t had a day where I was just on the brink of meltdown for hours. And he’s in a better mood, too. On the way home from the farmers market the other day, he just sat in the stroller chuckling at me.

    Also we went to Las Vegas last weekend and even with a baby, it was great. We took him to see the dolphins and big cats in the Mirage’s Siegfried and Roy area, and he loved that, and we ate a ton of good stuff — I actually brought my breast pump so I could drink mimosas at the champagne brunch at the Bellagio. And no matter what you’re doing there, the people-watching in Vegas is the best.

    • emmers

      That is so awesome! I’m so happy for you with your sleep accomplishments!!! And with your Vegas mimosas and fun– so great!

    • emilyg25

      Yeah, if someone had told me a few years ago that I’d wake up after getting 5 consecutive hours of sleep and feel like GOOD MORNING YOU BEAUTIFUL WORLD, I would have laughed in their face.

  • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

    I’m getting married tomorrow!! I’m currently eating mac and cheese at a Panera alone, on my way up to our summer camp venue, and I’m excited and nervous and exhausted and jubilant, and I’m so glad I’ve had this community to guide me through! Xoxo!

    • GotMarried!

      Panera Mac & Cheese is amazing! What a perfect pre-wedding stop! Have a marvelous day!

    • louise danger

      congrats! go get ’em! :D

  • C.

    As of last week, I’m officially engaaaaaaaaaaaged!!! Told all my friends on Friday and 2 out of 3 bridesmaids were totally pumped, and I’m hopeful the third will eventually come around and find a way to be excited and happy. Everyone was shocked at the relatively short engagement – 4 months, with the wedding on 1/7/17 (not on purpose! It just worked out that way.) We’re both giddy and happy and so excited to be putting all the ideas and advice from APW into practice, and are confident it will all come together. Now to convince my mom that no, we shouldn’t buy bridesmaids dresses from the sketchy Chinese factory masquerading as a cute Etsy shop…

    (Also – any tips on knowing where to draw the line on the guest list? Our preliminary lists including all family, family friends, friends from school, coworkers, our 150 church members, etc. all add up to just over 400 people, I thiiiink. Help.)

    • Kalë

      Congratulations, such happy and exciting news! Best of luck :)

      • C.

        Thank you! :)

    • savannnah

      Congrats,
      With the guest list- I’d say take a closer look at co-workers, church members (unless thats a given) and friends from school you haven’t talked to in a year and then see where your numbers are.

    • Amy March

      Unless you want your reception to be cake and punch in the church hall (which is perfectly lovely), cut all 150 church members and only include people who fall under another category. Cut all coworkers you don’t also socialize with, ditto friends from school you don’t really see. Cut distant family and family friends you are no longer close with.

      Realistically, 400 people is absolutely bonkers. What if you started over completely, and instead of listing anyone who could possibly want to come/you might want there, listed only the people who you absolutely cannot imagine getting married without them there, and then add from that core group instead of cutting.

      In many churches, wedding dates are published in the bulletin and people just turn up at the ceremony if they want, which means they don’t need to be invited to the reception. See what other couples have done.

      • C

        I like the idea of starting over, which would probably help us trim quite a few people – we are planning on cake and punch with the huge group and then a small(er) dinner with mostly family. However, cake and punch still cost money, and the biggest room at the church can legally hold “only” 300 people (yes I realize how crazy that sounds!), hence the revisiting of the guest list. Thanks for the suggestions!

        • emmers

          You might also tier it, like a group A/B/C, depending on OMGmustbeatwedding, on down to it’d be cool if they came but not make or break. That helped me weed out people!

    • Congratulations!

      For your guest list, let your budget be your guide. 400 people is a lot of folks to host – food, drinks, a venue that large, and all the decor that comes with it. Also maybe consider if that list of folks are REALLY the folks you want to celebrate this moment with. I know I could have invited double or triple the number of folks I had on my list, but when I stepped back and thought about it, I wasn’t close to some college friends, coworkers, etc. I made a list of the folks that I knew I would miss if they weren’t at my wedding, and using that method, we arrived at a pretty reasonable number. Best of luck!

      • emmers

        Yes– my first thought was– expensive! Unless it’s just cake, but still!

    • JC

      Can the church members be invited by the pastor at an upcoming service, making it clear that they’re invited to the religious ceremony (only)? Our aunts hadn’t planned on including a bunch of their fellow parishioners, but a bunch of people asked to come the week before, and they realized there was of course plenty of room in the church for anyone who wanted to drop by and send their love! (Just no extra food to go around…)

    • Eenie

      We grouped – immediate family, extended family we see frequently, entire extended family. Ride and die friends, friends we hang out with, friends we hung out with before moving, coworkers we regularly see outside of work, etc. We cut out the entire extended family and limited coworkers to ones that feel I to another category. You could also look into getting a banquet hall that holds 400. Or assume that not all 400 end up coming and the church will work after all.

      • Lisa

        “Or assume that not all 400 end up coming and the church will work after all.”

        This. Unless every single person on this guest list is local, you’re probably looking at a 50-60% acceptance rate. We invited 140 people and ended up with only 85. The higher your numbers get, the lower the acceptance rate tends to be. APW has something about this somewhere, but I’m a bit too lazy to look it up right now.

        • Amy March

          Especially if this is really all 150 church members- if they don’t really know you and aren’t close, probably not 100% of them are coming.

        • Yes and no. There’s always going to be some wedding that’s an exception…and at the very least, you need to ensure that your venue can hold a giant chunk of them.

          300 venue, 400 invitees is betting on 25% of people not coming. I’m sure that happens most of the time, but what happens if this is the one case in which it doesn’t?

          P.S. Even with a 40% distance wedding, we are having exceptionally high acceptance rates on RSVPs. Most of the distance people I thought wouldn’t come…are a Yes. So. Just be careful with this!

        • Jess

          I just did the math – we’re at 61% for a Friday with almost all people travelling at least 2 hours. Accurate assumption, APW!

          • Eenie

            We ended up with almost 90% and 75 people for everyone travelling 4+ hours! A surprising amount of people chose to drive 12 hours.

        • idkmybffjill

          I can not tell you how much it meant to me to read ” We invited 140 people and ended up with only 85.” There was some distant cousins that I was very stressed about inviting because I honestly though they might not know who I was (they’re my stepmom’s nephews and we don’t share a last name)… and I shouldn’t have stressed, invited them without a thought AND invited the extra friends whose place I was giving to cousins. Of those 145, we were SURE 110 would be there. Now it’s looking more like 85-90, but we got to add in those friends which was a really exciting thing! Our venue has a minimum spend and this week we both were really sad about 1) the attendance rate and 2) the fact that we might have to pay over to reach the minimum. It’s looking like it’ll mostly work out fine, but I frankly just felt like the least popular bride in the world and I felt so sad!

          • Lisa

            I was really disappointed with the attendance rate for our wedding. We were pretty certain we’d have 100 guests easily, which is what the original space we’d been set up for could accommodate. (There was a mix-up on their end and flip out on my end, which resulted in a restaurant shut down for 3 hours.) I wish I hadn’t stressed about whether or not to invite certain people in retrospect because, knowing how it all worked out, I could have probably invited at least another 20 people and still been fine.

          • idkmybffjill

            That’s exactly how I feel. We LABORED over the list. Wanting to make sure it was people we felt genuinely close too. Making sure it included the folks our parents wanted there…. Although I suppose the alternative would’ve been inviting 200 people and praying for a miracle 100, I wish I’d spent alot less time agonizing over it.

          • Eenie

            Aw. We had a good acceptance rate, but our venue had a minimum spend amount that was based on 100 people but a max capacity of 100 as well… We ended up way under but they bumped up our alcohol to premium and did lots of other small things when they realized we were under the headcount. They also messed up the bill by $2000, and I pointed it out to them and corrected it before paying the balance. I’d shoot them a quick note to see if there’s any way you can add in more stuff since you are unsure you’ll hit the minimum – late night snack, a fancy cocktail, extra appetizer or side, etc.

          • idkmybffjill

            Yeah – we’ve worked it out so it’ll be totally fine, especially with getting to invite those extra friends. It was mostly a bummer because a second choice venue was cut due to our estimated numbers…. and that’s just a hard pill to swallow! Oh well, more friends! Nicer booze!

          • Eenie

            Gosh, if I told you how many venues were eliminated because my husband did not want a cocktail style reception….we ended up with a cocktail style reception anyways. In a more expensive place.

          • idkmybffjill

            *sobs*

          • Eenie

            HE DIDN’T EVEN REMEMBER HOLDING THIS OPINION WHEN WE MADE THE SWITCH. But he was fucking adamant that everyone had a seat and that the capacity was more than the invite list. Three months later – oh yeah everyone kind of milling about sounds fun. I’m so glad we’re done wedding planning.

          • idkmybffjill

            For a second mine was like, “should we call that other place and see if they can still take us? even if we lose the deposit it’d still be less.” and like… we are in Chicago, the chances of that being available are hilarious. It is 36 days til our wedding and I immediately started laugh/crying. He swiftly changed his tune when he realized how much work it would be (thank you baby jesus).

          • Lisa

            LOLOLOLOLOLOL. And I’m sure you hadn’t done anything like purchased and sent invitations with the location on them yet, right?

          • idkmybffjill

            Right lol. We would literally have to just contact all the people who have already RSVPed and been like JK JK JK HERE IS WHERE IT IS

          • Eenie

            But it’d be super convenient for everyone who still hasn’t! “Hey are you coming? BTW new address is here.”

          • Lisa

            It would be like a secret “in” crowd, and it would totally cut down on wedding crashers. “Oh, you didn’t RSVP? TOO BAD, WE’RE NOT EVEN HERE, SUCKERS.”

          • idkmybffjill

            GOTCHA! hahahhaa

          • Eenie

            HAhahahahahaha. My husband was extra fantastic in the month before the wedding. If yours thinks similarly to mine, he was able to execute a plan swiftly and work on the fly, but has trouble visualizing long term stuff and backup plans. It works like this in real life too, which I’ve adapted to. Good luck!

          • idkmybffjill

            Yes!!! The past two months I’ve been like, YOU WONDERFUL MAN WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN I LOVE YOU. Which is GREAT cause the first bit of planning was rough.

    • Brynna

      Congrats!! I read somewhere (here?) that you can use the rule of fives: if you haven’t talked to that person in five years OR if you can’t imagine spending five minutes of your wedding day chatting with that person, you should eliminate them. This didn’t help us much (my brother and sister both were married within the last 18 months, so we basically used their guest list and eliminated people that didn’t show to either and added a few friends), but maybe it will help you?

    • APlus

      I used a bullseye approach. Inner circle being people I couldn’t get married without (which for us was immediate family, aunts/uncles, and a couple friends), middle circle being people i would love to be there, and outer circle being people I could see including. We ended up just using the inner circle, but the tiers helped us workout as a couple what vision we wanted.

      • AmandaBee

        THIS. It helped us make a decision because we just picked a circle and ended it there (ex: cousins but not more distant, friends we see frequently and love but not acquaintances). There were a couple weird ones, like coworkers who I’m really close to (and because it’s a small office, it’s hard to invite one without the rest), and having the “circles” decided made it easier to decide on whether to include them or not.

    • TeaforTwo

      I think the only rule for your guest list should be “do I want to invite this person?” From there, figure out what you can afford to do for that number of people. If you invite 400, about 300 will show up. Maybe slightly fewer. Can you fit them in the church hall? What if they spill out into the church lawn? Punch and cake? Potluck picnic? Catered multi course feast? Pizza? Full bar? No bar?

      I know other folks here have offered advice on trimming it down, but my vote is have the people you want there first, and let that guide what kind of reception you can host.

  • Jessica

    My best friend got married last weekend and it was A TOTAL BLAST! I was really worried about it, and her, and stuff and planning and all these things that add up to “my best friend is getting married and I can’t process feelings.” But our entire friend group and most of their SOs came up to the Twin Cities and were just amazing. Hanging out with people who you’ve known intimately for 10 years, who can diffuse any situation easily, and who just get you is the freaking best. I got really drunk and sat her new husband down to be like “IT’S YOU AND ME NOW DUDE, DON’T SCREW IT UP, WE WILL TAKE CARE OF HER!” And then everyone called me mom and we got an Uber back home, where my friend made me scrambled eggs and my other friend gave me water, and we went to brunch with 15 people the next day.

    It was so fun.

  • AGCourtney

    Well, family situation is still awful. Instead of a homeless shelter, though, my mom and sisters are crashing in a church member’s basement. I mentioned my dad initially took the news of his eviction well, but when I was just about to leave for work one day, he started an argument that escalated into as close as we get to a screaming match – though he eventually apologized and conceded that maybe he shouldn’t have called me a liar, it still ruined my day.

    I have been so, so busy lately. I’m an evening supervisor at a college library but had two weeks of day shifts before term starts. On top of that, the ACT test is tomorrow, so I’ve been really busy with ACT tutoring clients. The other night, I tucked my daughter into bed, and she asked me, “When’s Saturday?” “In two days, sweetie. Why?” “That’s the test, right?” “…yes, why?” “Because then you won’t be busy anymore.” OOF. I actually brought her along for some tutoring sessions, and my husband has brought her to the Verizon store he works at, and that actually worked out really well!

    It’s been work hard, play hard these last couple weeks. I got a season pass for the Renaissance Festival this year and my daughter and I have been there all the time. (My house is a mess, but I’ve accepted it’s just a busy season.) Ren Fest is our favorite time of year, so I’m really glad we’re able to be there so much this year.

    In other news, an update in the kitchen saga: after all the trouble with the counters we’ve decided to say “eff it” and we’re just going all the way and getting new cabinets. I’m a little loathe to give up a huge lazy susan we have in the corner, but it’s going to be great. Yay IKEA!

    Just for fun, here’s a couple pictures of our first weekend at Ren Fest. I need to get the recent ones loaded on the computer.

    • Jess

      1) Pirate Daughter! I’m glad you’re finding time to play hard, too.
      2) I’m really sorry that things went from ok to angry with your dad. Hopefully the swings will become more moderate as the situation levels off.

    • Kalë

      Just wanted to pop in and say – your teeth look amazing! :D

      • AGCourtney

        Aww, thank you! :)

        I got the top ones done in May and hopefully I’ll be able to get the bottom front ones done soon. (That’s actually why I have a second job. Many HH posts have been about my dental saga, haha.)

  • JustWondering

    I’m curious what the latest situation is on APW for wedding posts. It seems like there are a lot less than there used to be and most are photographed by a sponsor or at least one of vendors is an APW sponsor. I’d like to submit my wedding because feel like its a bit unique and I had to figure out a lot of challenges due to the situation and our venue never hosting a wedding before but don’t want to go through the hassle of putting together a submission if APW is no longer really taking outside submissions. Any insights would be helpful.

    • NolaJael

      Also interested.

    • stephanie

      Hey! So we’ve been featuring just as many weddings as we always have in the time that I’ve worked here (if not more—some weeks we do two, but there’s always one), and that’s been over a year. But as to your other question, a TON of the weddings aren’t shot by APW sponsors/don’t feature any of our sponsors or vendors! You are absolutely welcome to submit your wedding. I mean, the one we featured today wasn’t shot by one of our sponsors, and we featured one recently that had crowdsourced photos. Totally send it! We want to see them all.

      • S

        I’m kind of in the same boat with wanting to see more weddings. 1 a week is…low. Some weeks it feels like there’s more feminism and politics think pieces than wedding content. Which: I LOVE those think pieces and think they do have a home here, and I’m grateful for them, but also this is a wedding website and it just feels like less of one of late. No offence to APW, but it’s never going to be my primary source for my feminist and political content sourcing (though it’s a great accompaniment) but it is my primary source for wedding (and marriage!) stuff. I’m also so exhausted by all these partnerships. Lots of them are really interesting and useful and I love reading about when actually, truly relevant to marriage and weddings (loved Maddy’s Blue Apron series!) but honestly lately it just feels like APW is less interested in its readers their weddings and hearing new voices and more interested in sticking to pieces by core staff and finding new ways to make money. And I am all about making money. People gotta get paid. But, you know…happy mediums are appreciated.

        • Rebekah

          Same here. It used to be a variety of How We Did It posts, Essays, and Wordless Weddings (with songs! I miss that). Now it’s 1-2 wedding posts a week that kind of combine aspects of each of those. I think it seemed like more because they were doing 3 posts most days and are now doing 2, with 1 often being a sponsor post. I don’t begrudge them paying the bills, but it’s kind of a tough transition to get used to as a reader.

  • Claire

    I joined The Bullish Society on Tuesday! It’s helping distract me from the fact that I am trying to juggle teaching myself to code at night, downsizing all my stuff in preparation for a cross-country move, working 12hr work days at the job I am trying to leave, and all my normal living alone chores like keeping the house livable. I give notice in 3 weeks, and then the burden of doing all this while keeping it mostly secret will finally be lifted.

    • KK

      I feel you on the preparing to move cross country… it’s a bear. And it’s only more stressful when people around you can’t know all that’s going on in your life… but only 3 weeks left of that, so that’s good! Keep on keepin on!

    • SuzyNP

      So cool! I want to join the Bullish Society, but with working full time and doing graduate studies by night/weekend, I think it would just be a (albeit awesome) distraction rather than a help! But I’ll join when I can. Hope you enjoy it! Good luck with the move¨

  • Her Lindsayship

    I found out this week that the four courses I’ve taken toward a graduate certificate in data science would not transfer over to the same university’s MS in data science. None of them. I wasn’t super stoked about doing the MS right away, but I think I was assuming it would at least be an option after taking a semester off. Now I’m not sure what to do… Try to find a job on the certificate credential alone? Start over in a master’s program (ugghh I’m so burnt out on classes right now)? Eat a Snickers? Yeah ok I already ate the Snickers.

    Anyway, if anyone here is in that field, advice is welcome!

    • amcyg

      I am! What about just trying to find a job? Or completing a bootcamp (I attended Zipfian, now Galvanize, and highly recommend it). If you’re burned out on school, and just want to work for a while, there’s enough demand in the field that you’re likely to find something, even if it’s an internship at first.

      • amcyg

        Ps, if you need someone to talk to about prepping for the interview process, I’m happy to chat via email (or coffee if it turns out we’re local!).

        • Her Lindsayship

          Hey, thanks! I’d really appreciate that. Do you happen to be near Boston?

      • emmers

        I know zero about this field, but this seems like a low-risk option. Try to find a job with your current credentials, and if it doesn’t work, then re-evaluate.

    • I got into data science with an MS in chemistry & 7yrs as a lab chemist working with Big Data, so it’s completely possible to make the leap without a piece of paper with “data science” on it. I think what’s more important than the cert/degree is a demonstrated ability to work with Big Data and how to apply the various tools.

      Now that I think on it, I only know 2 people who work in Big Data who have a degree related to it, and both of them have degrees in Math, with 1 person being a Math PhD.

    • Keeks

      I work in a data science field and my undergrad degree is in a foreign language! My grad degree is in a technical field, but it was more helpful for gaining connections and networking and general business knowledge – probably things that you’re getting out of your certificate classes.

      If you can explain and analyze data well to non-data business users, employers will snap you up! In the 5 years I’ve been doing this, with no certifications beyond my schooling, I have never had to look for a job… the jobs come to me.

      • I work in a field that requires some analytics, but wouldn’t necessary call myself a data scientist. However, when applying for data science positions I found that a portfolio (i.e., a professional website with data I’ve analyzed, brief summaries, followed by more in-depth details) was really useful for getting my foot into the door for an interview.

    • Alex

      If you can code moderately well (and have enough side cash to not need a job for 12 weeks or so), check out Data Incubator or the other Data Science bootcamp that helps you prep for data science jobs and basically guarantees placement. They’re in SF, NYC and I think maybe Boston/DC and maaaaybe one started doing it online (so you don’t, you know, have to LIVE in some of the most expensive cities in the US)

  • NolaJael

    Probably my last HH before the wedding one week from tomorrow! It is definitely feeling real now. Four days to pack and prep then we leave for Lake Tahoe! So excited and I’m SO much more comfortable with our choices having found this community. APW fangirl for life!

    • KPM

      Ah, a Tahoe wedding sounds wonderful!! Have a fantastic celebration!

    • GotMarried!

      YAY! Have a wonderful wedding!

    • Jenn

      We are wedding date twins!! Congrats!

      • NolaJael

        Sweet! Good luck on the final stretch!!

      • CommaChick

        Triplets

    • JLily

      I’m nearby lake tahoe. Weather should be perfect for you rn!

  • AGCourtney

    Oh, before I forget again: What’s the verdict on nYNAB?

    Our student discount expired and now we have to make a choice about whether to switch from YNAB4.

    • Eenie

      I’m using YNAB4 personally. My husband needs to see the income report to get value out of it.

    • APlus

      Is there a decent budget tracking software that doesn’t tie into your accounts? I recognize this would require doing the entering myself, but we aren’t comfortable with giving our banking information to any 3rd party, regardless of alleged security blah blah blah

      • Eenie

        YNAB4…which you can’t get anymore ?

        • Lisa

          It’s still possible to purchase YNAB4 through the web-site. We’re still considering doing it while it’s available because we don’t need all of the features of nYNAB (direct imports), but we know there is a limit on how long we can put off this decision.

      • Lisa

        You don’t have to tie nYNAB to your accounts. We’re using it now, and we don’t have our banking information attached.

        • Eenie

          Knowing that YNAB4 is still available, I would recommend that instead though. One time purchase vs subscription and it has lots of reports.

          • Lisa

            That’s what I’m leaning towards because we really don’t need the direct import. I know some people like the “goals” feature, but it’s really just automating the math I already did when putting our budget together.

          • AGCourtney

            That’s what I’m leaning towards as well. One-time purchase of software I know I like. I recognize it won’t have updates and all that, but the direct import really isn’t that important to me. My husband is slightly leaning the other way, toward nYNAB.

      • emmers

        Goodbudget is what I use because it’s free. It’s OK, but has some limitations, like you’re limited to how many envelopes you can have (to I think 10?), so I consolidate a lot (i.e. one envelope for 2nd half of month recurring bills like phone, student loan, etc). Still, it’s better than nothing, and I like that it’s on an app, so I can update whatever category on the go.

      • This week I just bought the Simple Planning budget planner after doing a lot of looking into various options that don’t tie into accounts online. I am still setting it up, but it was $16 for a complex Excel that I NEVER EVER EVER would have been able to build myself (I decided that though I originally wanted a free one that this was WAY worth it to me, especially in the long run)…I’ll be able to use it for years. And there’s a pie chart and bar graphs. It’s at simpleplanning.net

    • Lisa

      They switched the student discount to nYNAB so we’re using it now. It’s fine honestly, especially since we don’t use the direct import features, which I think is where a lot of the issues have occurred. (We’re both diligent about entering transactions, and I review our credit cards/budget every 3-7 days to make sure everything is aligned.) I really miss reports, but YNAB commented on my Facebook post to say they are “weeks away” from adding the feature. Hopefully they’re telling the truth!

  • joanna b.n.

    Slow clap for the “How to Get That Presidential Look” piece. Exquisite!

  • Megan

    So my dog is sick… :( We have a 5 year old maltipoo rescue which we adopted 3+ years ago. He’s been a really challenging addition to our family with lots of emotional issues… and a weird penchant for getting fleas! OY. I love him but being his dog-mama is sometimes overwhelming…

    Anyway, since we got back from vacation in late July he has been having accidents in the house multiple times a day. He’s been drinking a lot of water but at some points he can’t even hold it for 2 hours… We brought him to the vet on Tuesday and the vet thinks he has Diabetes Insipidus. We should know more early next week but now I feel bad that we didn’t bring him in sooner… We thought the peeing was a behavioral problem for over a month and in that time things may have gotten worse for him…

    :(

    • We ignored/didn’t seek out veterinary advice for two separate but related problems for our dog for much much longer than 1.5 months. It happens. It’s hard because they can’t tell you what’s wrong or if they’re in pain. Don’t beat yourself up!

  • Leah

    So… We have baby. Which is just crazy. He’ll be 3 weeks old on Sunday, he likes to eat, sleep, poop, and take long walks (which really means sleep). Hubs and I are both just…home hanging out. Which is weird. And feels like some out of body limbo state before the demands of the real world come crashing back in. And I’m terrified of having less time and ability to do all the things that normally make me happy. And about being on a short leash from this demanding little person due to being the sole food source. Also, he is totally beautiful and fascinating. So, here goes parenthood…(deep breath).

    • Ashlah

      Aw, congratulations and best of luck with it all.

      • Leah

        :) thanks!

    • emmers

      Good luck with the adjustment! But congratulations!

      • Leah

        thanks! :)

    • emilyg25

      Congrats!! Good luck! I feel like a substantial portion of parenthood is “some sort of out of body limbo state.” Remember to give yourself grace. Some moments really suck. But some are transcendentally amazing. It’s cool.

      • Leah

        thanks! it is definitely pretty darn cool so far…and exciting to see what happens next.

    • Hannah B

      Good luck! I wish there was an APW mom group…I’m due in a few weeks! I’m right there with you with all the feels!

    • macrain

      I am four months in, and I promise it gets less consuming! The short leash, which is incredibly short during the newborn days, does get longer, simply because your baby will be able to go longer between feedings AND you’ll probably start pumping a little, which will make you feel better about leaving the house. (If you have already started pumping, KUDOS. It took me weeks to even figure out the damn thing and even longer before I started building up a freezer stash. It all takes time.)
      I swear things got better and easier so slowly that one day I looked up and realized I had an actual bedtime! And time in the evening to myself! You start to get little things back very gradually.
      I do feel like we are still in the new parent haze, but the small victories-like leaving the house to get a pedicure-feel AMAZING once you get to them.
      Hugs!

  • KK

    We put our house on the market as of yesterday! We spent the entire 3 day weekend getting all of our extraneous crap packed up neatly so that our house is totally clutter free, and our agent said we did a great job when she came for photos. We are going camping this weekend to distract ourselves and so that the house is available for showings… there are already 5 scheduled, so hopefully that’s a good sign. I am nervous that we set the price a little high, or maybe it’s too low? Who knows??!! (Hopefully our agent does since that’s why we hired her haha)
    Fingers crossed that someone falls in love with it this weekend and makes an offer! Although that would be pretty surprising in our rather slow real estate market.
    Ugh, I do not do well waiting on stuff that is totally out of my hands….

    • Ashlah

      Good luck!

  • accidental_diva

    OMG- my brother’s wedding was last week
    I lost 50 lbs for it (I have about 50 more to go for me)
    It was amazing and wonderful and so much not what I want for mine (which is nice to know – cause I think the bf are I are definitely more pre-engaged than before) – ::sigh:: I’m just so happy for them.

  • EF

    so 2 weeks ago, my boss and i were having a skype meeting, and he went off on a rant (as he does) and started talking about how the wage gap isn’t really a thing, and if it is a thing, it’s because women are in part time work so they can take care of children as that’s their role and also because women are too timid to ask for raises. and also we can’t trust stats on the wage gap because women do them and are bad telling the truth/doing math. or something.

    my job is literally data, stats, and research. and boss severely underpays me. i held my tongue, for the most part.

    then on the bank holiday monday (in the uk) he emailed me follow up links on how the wage gap isn’t a thing.

    ohhhh i have been pissed. simmering with anger and rage. not only is he super wrong, but how inappropriate is it to email followups to YOUR rants on a holiday!? argh!

    bright side: i’ve only got 2 weeks left working for him. thank the fucking lord.

    • Your boss is a dickhead.

    • Lisa

      What an asshat. Thank goodness you’ll be out of there soon!

    • Her Lindsayship

      whaaaaaat?! So glad you’re getting the f out of there! RAGE.

    • Ashlah

      I’m so glad you’re leaving. Fuck that guy.

    • Sosuli

      Ugh I have heard the “its just because women work part-time” thing soooo many times. Like yeah, most of the mothers I know in the UK do work part-time… often because it makes “financial sense” for them to cut back since they got paid less than their husband’s in the first place! Yay to final two week countdown of working with that ass.

      • EF

        it’s also just…untrue? like most comparisons control for part time work and only compare full time vs full time. so it’s disingenuous in more ways than one!

    • Jess

      This came out this week! Just in time!
      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/sep/05/gender-wage-gap-women-pay-raise-men-study

      So glad you are out from under this dude.

      • Alex

        I saw that! BBC ran it too :) Freakonomics I think either earlier this year or mid last year did an interesting evaluation of this. Personally, I think there’s a lot of societal issues (particularly in the US, and especially about the “it doesn’t make sense to pay for daycare” thing) which contribute to it. And the whole “people like to hire people who are just like them” thing . Let’s all move to Scandinavia?

      • EF

        ugh! if only i could send this back to him!

    • Kalë

      Wow, fuuuuuck this. Thank goodness you’re outta there.

    • Steph

      My understanding of the argument that the wage gap is a reflection of women’s choices — is more that women more often go into fields that don’t pay highly. In the fields they go into that have a lot of men and pay highly, the gap is very small.

      I don’t know about the part-time thing.

  • janie

    Hi all – interesting question maybe?

    If I were planning a wedding with my only-fiance, I would only invite coworkers we see outside of work. HOWEVER, I am marrying my coworker-turned-fiance! We definitely feel obligated to invite more than just the “outside of work” coworkers due to the nature of our relationship. Our branch has about 25 people and its a very friendly office (obviously, it fostered our relationship!). Do you all think this pressure is imagined or real? I’m worried we’ll basically end up inviting the whole office, which might not be the end of the world because we are close with all of them.

    • Eenie

      I think as long as there is a clear division between the invited / not invited coworkers, either solution would work. But if you have the space and money I vote to just invite them all.

      By clear division I mean that the invited coworkers see you regularly, and the uninvited do not. Or the invited are on your immediate teams, uninvited are not. Basically anyone not invited should be able to deduce where the line was drawn.

    • Ashlah

      It’s not clear how important it is to you to not invite the whole office. If you consider yourself close to all of them, and it wouldn’t be a financial hardship, I would go ahead and invite them all. It’ll foster those relationships going forward, and make office politics easier.

      That said, you are under no obligation to invite everyone. At our wedding, I invited my whole office (only 4 people plus their families), but we only invited 3 of my husband’s 20+ co-workers.

      • Yeah, 3 of 20 is fine, but not….10 of 20? ‘Not sure where that line is, but it’s definitely somewhere under 50%.

        • idkmybffjill

          I think the tiered approach works well here. Like… the team you work with every day, or just folks you hang out with outside of work. The people you eat lunch with. When it crosses the line into, “the person I always say hi to in the bathroom” then you kinda have to invite everyone.

        • emmers

          Someone told me that you should either do everyone, or no one (but have “exceptions”). I like a lot of my coworkers, but I only invited 1, who is someone I’ve done outside of work stuff with. I didn’t even invite anyone on my team, though they’re great, because they have spouses and kids, and it gets out of control!

        • janie

          I think I instinctively agree with the fifty percent rule – I would say that the problem is the number of people we are close with and socialize with outside of work is closer to 75%. And then the last 25% are literally just coworkers that we aren’t close with. They wouldn’t be randos off the street, but I think even they would be surprised to be invited.

          • Amy March

            Oh then I think they must be invited. At that point, it looks more like excluding just a few people.

          • janie

            It’s funny, when I started dating my coworker this is NOT one of the problems that I thought I would be dealing with!

          • Eenie

            I think you should invite them then. It would be a nice, lovely, inclusive surprise. I bet they won’t come.

          • NolaJael

            I would definitely invite them all then.

          • Lisa

            If you’re looking at just 25%, I’d invite them. If they’re not close to you and don’t socialize with the others outside of the office, it’s unlikely that they’ll even come. They’ll probably chip in for an office wedding gift or get you a card, but they probably won’t give up their Saturday plans to hang out with you all.

    • Amy March

      Either the whole office, plus their significant others, only a few people, or no one at all. Any is okay, but you can’t invite like 15 and not the other 10.

    • Jess

      I’m in the same situation and we only invited people we socialize with outside of work on the weekend.

      We’ve got a bit larger of an office (more like 100), and we are very close with this group of friends, so YMMV based on how close you are and what percentage of the office that close group is.

    • toomanybooks

      There’s an engaged couple at my office (one of them in my very small department) and I definitely don’t expect an invitation. (Question: how much of this pressure comes from Jim and Pam’s wedding on The Office)

  • AmandaBee

    You guys, I got my photos this week! And though I’ve always been weird about seeing myself in photos (stupid socially-constructed body image issues), there are some real gems in there that I know I’m gonna treasure for awhile.

    On that note: anyone care to share websites/tips for making photo albums for family? We own the digital prints and would like to make albums for each group of parents + my grandma, and potentially us. Or I might just get a few nice prints for our walls for us.

    I’d like to get something that’s a little higher-quality print-wise than Snapfish, but with a reasonable price (say, around/under $100 each?). We’re also trying to decide if we should get a good selection of photos and print multiple versions of the same album, or customize the albums for each family group. Is it weird for my inlaws to get an album with my parents in it?

    • People like Artifact Uprising. Photographers like mpix.com These two might use archival paper, which is semi-important for an album for you…but maybe not for parents/family.

      But there’s lots of Snapfish similars that have coupons/groupons/sales occasionally that work alright. Picaboo, Shutterfly, Pinhole Press…

      • AmandaBee

        Thanks! I know I’ve heard of mpix, but not Artifact Uprising before.

    • Eenie

      On the customization, have specific family shots and just swap those out. if they are candids with other people or parents dance/toast leave them in.

      • Ashlah

        We did three family albums this way. Lots of pages were the same between books (pretty much all the pictures of us), then we swapped out the formal family photos and some of the candids (i.e. a photo of my family members dancing for a photo of his family members dancing). You definitely don’t want to start from scratch for each one, or you’ll tear your hair out. I almost did anyway.

        • Eenie

          Our photographer did our album, and neither parents want one. I am so thankful, the engagement photo guest book was enough for me! We put in all the goofy pictures and people loved it, so worth it!

        • AmandaBee

          We have separate formal family photos, so this seems like a solid alternative.

    • Alex

      Blurb!I found them through APW, actually. Sign up for their email and every 6 weeks or so they’re running 20-40% off promos so just wait for one of those :)

      • AmandaBee

        I’ll check it out, thanks!

    • emilyg25

      My faves are Artifact Uprising and Kolo.

    • Alison M

      I did mine with mpix and was very happy with the results. We did mostly the same pictures but swapped in a few extras with the relevant family members for getting ready/portraits/receptions.

  • anonanon

    Here’s a twist on the advice from the Ask APW yesterday. Do I have to invite a family member’s SO to my small (25 people) wedding if I strongly dislike him? I know it’s “wrong” not to include him, but he’s an obnoxiously loud racist guy who dominates conversation and talks routinely about his gun and who’d he shoot if given the opportunity (like anyone who entered his house uninvited, not like individuals). The couple times I’ve met him I’ve had to walk out the room at times because he makes my skin crawl.

    Two important extenuating circumstances: Everyone else with an SO will be there with that person. Also, none of the other family members like him, so I worry they’ll kind of hate my wedding if they have to spend an evening with him. (It’s a dinner-party style, no-dancing celebration, so it’s not even like they only need to suck it up for a short time, it’ll be the whole night.)

    • Eenie

      I think you still invite him. Who’s SO is he? Does he/she know how racist and obnoxious he is?

      • NolaJael

        Yeah, invite him. But give someone the task of checking on Uncle Racist so you don’t have to worry about him ruining the day for your or any of your other guests.

        • Angela

          We are inviting my SIL’s partner despite misgivings (he was violent to her approximately 3 years ago, and has/had a drinking problem, they broke up but have reunited and have 2 children who are also coming). We have appointed a friend to “mind” him but also to be the peacekeeper/intercept between him and any outspoken family members. We decided we value our relationship with her too highly, not to invite someone she has decided is important to her, even if we disagree with that decision. We are also going to talk to her about it.

    • Amy March

      I think the general answer is still yes. If he is loud and rude and racist, then someone says to him “stop talking you’re being rude.” People can’t just dominate conversations if other people speak up.

      Or, if he is really that bad, don’t invite family member. “Sorry, your taste in partners is repugnant, and I simply refuse to associate with your SO, and frankly the fact that you’re down with a violent racist is also not cool.”

      Or, there’s option C- just be rude! Not inviting him is clearly wrong and rude, but you may well decide you care not at all about being polite in this situation. Just be prepared for it to do serious harm to your relationship with relative, and potentially with others who think you have behaved poorly.

      • Eenie

        This. All this.

    • AmandaBee

      Tough call! I always lean toward invite, but understand why that wouldn’t be ideal in this situation. Have you spoken to said family member at all about your concerns and whether that person can ask their SO to tone it down for the wedding? Is he typically outspoken even in more public situations? I’m assuming that family member is a non-negotiable? (i.e., you couldn’t just not invite either of them)

      This is where I’ll admit that I actually didn’t invite a parent’s SO, but that was because he is both an (a) raging unchecked alcohol with (b) violent/abusive tendencies, particularly when drunk. So I do think there are extreme circumstances when the guest of a guest isn’t invited because the safety or comfort of other guests trumps the always-invite-the-SO rule.

      If his racism or other behaviors is going to make other guests feel unsafe or targeted, I think it’s understandable to not invite.

    • Jess

      So, I’m actually pretty ok with being rude here? It’s rude, but I support of you not inviting him. (Rubber-Stamp-of-Internet-Stranger-Approval)

      I do think you may have to tell the family member that they are not to bring said person, and accept that the family member may not come.

    • AGCourtney

      It’s probably technically rude, but I wouldn’t invite him. I didn’t invite my stepdad.

    • emilyg25

      It’s up to you, but I’d still invite. My lovely uncle is married to a terrible woman and we’ve just kind of made peace with it. Every family has that one crazy person where everyone else just rolls their eyes when they talk.

    • S

      I think “rude” is a pretty flexible thing. Is it rude to completely throw etiquette out the window and make your relative have to go somewhere without her SO? Definitely. Is it rude to ask a bunch of people to sit with an asshole they all hate for an entire dinner because of some dumb rule where your relative apparently can’t live without her SO for an evening? Also maybe. I’d personally rather be rude to two people, one of whom I don’t like and don’t care about at all, than rude to 25 other people, all of whom I care about, plus make them uncomfortable, plus make my wedding less enjoyable. And I kind of think I’d have MORE people at the wedding having a bad time with this guy around, than I would hypothetical people in my life who might look down on me for not inviting him. So. Whatever. Know yourself, know your guests, know your relative, and act accordingly in regards to what works best for the most people. (But then, I’m not really into worrying about what is rude or not for the sake of looking for ways to be offended. But I don’t really get offended very easily and tend to think that other than when it comes to out-of-town weddings, this rule and all the hand-wringing around it is for people that like to be upset about things. If I was not invited to my my partner’s friend or family member’s local wedding, it would literally never occur to either of us to take it as a slight against myself or our relationship, unless other factors meant it very clearly was one. Why should I expect someone I don’t know to pay for me to eat dinner and cake with them? My partner’s a big boy and doesn’t need me to hold his hand.)

    • LJ

      Invite him but not be afraid to have someone kick him out if he missed behaves on the night of your wedding.I would be very clear about your expectations that everyone get along nicely and act in a tolerant manner. Give him warnings- maybe a three strike system. He doesn’t need to know that the system is in place. But to give him maybe one or two “hey uncle T, we don’t talk like that here.”s and if he continues to disrespect then have a larger person (someone physically imposing) escort him out. Give him the chance to not be an asshole but set boundaries.

  • Cellistec

    I’ve been on a reading bender the last couple of weeks, and have the following recommendations to show for it:
    -Jessi Klein’s memoir, You’ll Grow Out Of It
    -Lucy Knisley’s wedding memoir, Something New (the rest of her work is fantastic too)
    -The Rosie Project sequel, The Rosie Effect
    -Carrie Brownstein’s memoir, Hunger Makes Me A Modern Girl

    So I pretty much want to start a book club that consists of me sending a book to a friend who would like it. And then getting to talk about the book over a glass of wine or Skype a couple weeks later. That’s a book club these days, right?

    • Eenie

      Dude. I’m in if you’re serious.

      • JC

        Me too!

      • Jess

        Same.

    • Angela

      I am planning my reading list for my honeymoon (cruise). So far I have:
      – Reader, I Married Him – Stories Inspired By Jane Eyre – ed. Tracy Chevallier
      – The Woman who Stole My Life – Marion Keyes

      now adding the Rosie Project. Any other recommendations?

    • emilyg25

      I think I’d do this, yes.

  • louise danger

    hey y’all :) i posted last week in a tizzy/discouraged quandary about catering for my itty-bitty (50 people) wedding next fall. i reached out to a local food truck which is associated with one of our favorite restaurants downtown, and she got back to me this afternoon: i’d feared we’d have to shell out somewhere near $1000 to feed everyone something more than cake-and-punch but it turns out we can have a perfectly excellent lunch off the truck for around $13/person! heyyyy!

    i’ve also realized that the wedding dress venn diagram seems to look like this (pick two): inexpensive, fashionable, plus-size – gonna keep scouring the internet for something that ticks the most boxes on my admittedly probably-too-long list of dress characteristics. is anyone here a plus-size bride (i’m a street size 18-20, 6′ tall) with tips about where to look? my only absolutes are no satin (too shiny) and reasonably modest (i’d like to be able to wear a normal bra or structural strapless bustier underneath to give me some support).

    elsewise, i’m moving to battle a different dragon, one which looks suspiciously like my mom. /deep breath

    • Do you have a boutique in your area that caters to plus size brides? My city (Minneapolis) has one which was a godsend – the one here is Luxe Bridal Couture. You could also try looking for shops that carry designers that are size friendly. And finally, I know a lot of plus size brides who had success at David’s Bridal – might be worth popping in for a visit.

      • louise danger

        we have Curvaceous Couture, which I’m leery of due to the reality TV connection (and i’m not sure they have stuff in my slightly flexible pauper’s budget) but which is potentially a good resource.

        David’s is on my list, and Alfred Angelo; plus, there’s a boutique about 45 minutes away that might have some good options, too. i wish i wish i wish BHLDN did plus-size stuff, dangit lol

        • Hannah B

          my (plus size) friend got her dress at alfred angelo and I think she was able to do layaway so as to purchase a more expensive dress, just in case you do decide to flex :) Good luck!

        • Lawyer_Chef

          I’m a size 18 and had good luck at David’s Bridal — the plus size floor samples fit me perfectly so it was way easier than I thought it would be!

    • Jess

      Come with me, our numbers in the army of battling mother-shaped dragons are strong!

    • emilyg25

      I was going to suggest David’s. I know a lot of folks who’ve had success with them.

  • Vanessa

    Just popping in on the tail end of my vacation to say – we’re engaged! He asked at the end of our 3 days of backpacking in Yosemite. Now we’re celebrating in San Francisco for a couple days before heading home!!

    • AGCourtney

      Congratulations!

    • E.

      Congratulations!

    • Angela

      Yay! Congratulations!

  • Ellie

    Hello APW! I’m coming out of 2 years of lurking to say thank you for all of your posts and comments and insights. Seeing all the different kinds of weddings featured here helped us to be comfortable with the decisions we made for our own wedding. Three weeks to go, and I’m already constantly feeling like I’m forgetting something! Send internet hugs (and tips) my way please!

  • Anon for this

    I’m pregnant!

    Of course, the timing. My partner went on a backpacking trip so I can’t tell him until he gets back on Sunday. I have to hold this amazing news in until Sunday. This is going to be a long weekend!

    • emilyg25

      Oh my god. I can’t imagine waiting. Congratulations!

      • Anon for this

        Thanks! I also just finished Stranger Things, so I’m up a creek.

        Happily accepting new Netflix series suggestions to get me through the weekend!

    • nosio

      Congrats!

    • rg223

      Congrats to you!!

    • Poppy

      eeeeeeee!!!!!!

    • anon for baby talk

      Lol– congrats! I took a pregnancy test early one weekend morning, and I told myself, “I’ll let him sleep and tell him when he wakes up.” I lasted about 30 minutes. Good luck with your wait!

  • Likeabell

    Dropping in to give a shoutout to Navja because I just got an email about an upcoming exhibit by Molly Crabapple (love her), and did a double take when I saw ‘Navja Sol’ on the list of ‘muses’ for the show. I love when I find out that peeps I admire are friends with other peeps I admire. <3
    In other things, I'm a graphic designer who has never (shameface) had a portfolio website, and I'm setting myself the goal of building something by the end of this year in hopes of picking up more freelance work. Spouse and I are planning on kid #1 sometime in the next year or two, and even though my current job has good benefits and is about as flexible as you could ask for, I'm still really hoping to escape the corporate world at some point (introvert who hate hate HATES #cubelife). Anyway, looking for any recommendations for an easy website builder for a non-code-savvy designer! I've used Squarespace and thought it was ok, but formatting large amounts of text left me frustrated. Has anyone used Wix? Or Format (think it's relatively new, but it's supposed to be for designers/photographers/artists and fb won't stop bombarding me w. ads for it)?

  • JezzicaJane

    Boyfriend and I are going next weekend to purchase the engagement ring that we’ve been looking at since May! So excited!

  • Jess

    This is late, but I needed to just get it out of me and into the world.

    We are 2 weeks out now, and I spent the whole week being The Wedding Manager because R was out of town for work.

    I have sent off our APW made timeline spreadsheet to all of our people (so helpful!), dropped off my ring to be soldered onto my band (I have no idea if it will be done in time), put in the last of the major payments (my credit card is completely done for right now until the payments can actually process), put together an initial table assignment sheet, finalized flowers, and confirmed both our dinner and dessert orders.

    I got completely emotionally crushed by work and life (also my mom) on Monday and Tuesday, but resolved the mom stuff on Thursday a bit, by focusing on the fact that her intention is to get stuff done and help even if the way she does it really hurts. Work stuff is still there, but I have said everything I can say to fix the situations and owned up what I can’t fix. I also cried at R a bit and that helped.

    I made an appointment to get my hair highlighted for the first time ever next week. We’ll see how that goes! I’ve kind of wanted to for a while, and my hairstylist said it would probably help the hairstyle I want for my wedding day look better.

    This helps because I’ve been feeling pretty crumby about the way I look, which is… not at all how I want to feel when I get married.

    Basically, I feel like I’ve been going a million miles a minute, especially in comparison to the lethargy I have been having on account of depression. It’s either a case of the blahs or running at a dead sprint. When do I get to just start being excited?

    Tonight is going to be a night of very red lipstick and margaritas.

    • Hannah B

      you can do it! you’re doing great! Enjoy your margs, you’ve earned them.

  • Hannah B

    Less than three weeks til baby is due and I simultaneously am super impatient for her to get here already and also kind of not ready for the whole taking care of a newborn to start and also anxious about childbirth. Though I am def. over being pregnant in this heat.