APW Happy Hour


by Meg Keene, CEO & Editor-In-Chief

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

HEY APW,

It’s… been a rocky few weeks over here. Nazi salutes in the capitol and talks of a Muslim Registry do not make for good times in the APW office. But, last week Maddie and I got to visit the new BHLDN wedding dress boutique in the new Anthropologie store in Palo Alto, and it was magical. I mean, first, the new Anthropologie super store is something truly magical, and I’d like to just move into it. (I didn’t do that, but I did move OUT a large selection of their merchandise and move it into my closet. You know, in case of… speaking engagements?)

But as great as the store was, the BHLDN boutique feels like something out of my wildest feminist wedding dreams, back when I was planning my wedding in ’08 and ’09. It’s a place where you can go in and try on everything from a wedding jumpsuit, to a gorgeous wedding ball gown, to a non-white wedding dress… all while getting zero sales pressure and having a huge range of price points (with most of their stuff coming in under $1,000, and the stuff that costs more being amazing value for the quality that you’re getting). Unlike…. every wedding dress store ever… their salespeople don’t work on commission and are instead focused on customer service. So they genuinely just want you to walk away feeling happy. (Oh, plus, you can buy things like these Plum Pretty Sugar robes for you or your bridesmaids. They gave me this one, and I’m wearing it every day.)

Long story short, as dark as the world has seemed over here, it was amazing to have a day where I remembered that I really do love and believe in what I do, whether it’s promoting diverse images of joy or empowering people to get married in whatever the hell they feel like.

So I’m adding gratitude to my job to the list of things I’m grateful for tomorrow at Thanksgiving. Given that this week our baby girl had the worst case of hand, foot, and mouth disease that the childcare has seen in years… I can use all the gratitude I can get.

XO

MEG

LINK ROUND-UP

“Identity politics” matter, now more than ever.

On Rural America: Understanding isn’t the problem.

Johnny Depp need not ruin “Fantastic Beasts 2.” PLEASE J.K. FIX IT.

Shonda Rhimes: “My pen has power.” YES.

Worried about Thanksgiving? #HowToSurviveThanksgiving has got your back.

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]

  • Amy March

    Hand foot and mouth is the absolute worst, says this grown adult who suffered with it for 2 weeks this summer despite not even having kids. Srsly doctors, no one likes to be laughed at when they come into your office in pain!

    • Eh

      My niece has it right now. We are keeping my daughter away from her. There was an outbreak at my daughter’s daycare just before she started there so she luckily just missed it.

    • Katherine

      I had it in high school, and I agree. It is the pits.

  • Lisa

    OMG, ladies, if you don’t know about the $400 RT Delta sale (most US cities to most European ones), I am here to inform you!! I discovered the deal on Monday night and have been talking tickets all week. We’d been saving in YNAB for my flight to Paris in April to join my husband’s string quartet and see them play in a music festival, and since the flight for that was only $433, we ended up booking tickets for the two of us to go to London over husband’s spring break.

    Anyway, it’s an amazing deal. If you’re planning a honeymoon (or a regular vacation) with somewhat flexible dates, this is a total steal. Even Badtown Airport was included, and we never see these kinds of prices!

    • Jessica

      I almost impulse bought tickets from MSP to Paris for the week of my birthday–they were only going to be $370. But I can’t really do travel right now.

    • I’m currently trying to convince my husband that April isn’t too early to take BabyPi to Europe.

      • Lisa

        She can sit on your lap! That’s plenty of time to get a passport for her. Plus, you’ll have some maternity time still, right?

        • I’m going back to work at the end of March or beginning of April but I’d totally squeeze a trip in there…I really need to try to make that happen.

          • Lisa

            I’m in a women’s travel group on Facebook (Girls LOVE Travel), and there was a Canadian woman in there who used her 12 month maternity leave to travel the world with her infant son. The trip looked amazing!

          • Danielle

            12 months of maternity leave?! Crying over here (in America).

          • Alanna Cartier

            That sounds so lovely!

          • Lawyerette510

            It is definitely not too early to travel, and what better note to return to work on than your first international trip as a family? While I do not have children of my own, most of my friends have found it easier to travel with infants than other age children, just for what it’s worth…

          • Sorry to interrupt but I keep seeing this everywhere and it’s really bothering me. Saying ‘first XXX as a family’ implies that Jubilance and her husband (and all married couples) aren’t a family until they have children, and it’s really insensitive to people who can’t or don’t want to have children. Can we please say ‘first XXX as a family of 3’ instead?Thanks.

          • Lawyerette510

            That’s a good point. I had to really thought that closely about the language, which shows a lot of ideas I’ve internalized and don’t really hold given that I’m half of a married couple who isn’t going to have kids.

      • Alyssa

        How old will she be by then? A lot of our friends have taken their infants to Europe/on long plane rides in the last year, and they said it was VERY do-able!

      • Gina

        Yeah, do it now. Before 12 months they’re the most portable and easiest to travel with, in my opinion!

    • BSM

      Is there a link?!

      • Lisa

        No link! I just went to the Delta website and played around with departure dates and arrival cities with the flexible dates feature.

        • Eenie

          This may explain why all my watched flights to London suddenly dropped below $500.

  • Angela’s Back

    Out of curiosity, anyone else have the election ruin their honeymoon? We got married on 11/8 on Oahu, flew to Maui on 11/9 and then proceeded to get zero sleep OR sexytimes that night. The only good thing was being in such a beautiful place to process it and having a great reason not to be reading the news.

    • lildutchgrrl

      Oof, I’m sorry. 11/8 was my friends’ anniversary, and I made sure to wish them a happy one BEFORE diving into election stuff. (At the beginning of the day we were still happy and hopeful.) Same friend, btw, whose 17th birthday was 9/11.

      • Lisa

        Ooof, she has some awful luck with important dates! :(

      • Angela’s Back

        How cruddy for your friend! On the plus side of this Trump up in my honeymoon business, though, my mum pointed out that we did at least get married on the very last day of the Obama presidency unsullied by what will follow it.

    • Alexandra

      It ruined my birthday, which is 11/9. I didn’t get any sleep the night before and was groggy and depressed the whole day. I live on Oahu, which is actually a pretty good place to be right now since it’s probably the most blue state in the country and I don’t have to deal directly with the horrifying Trump-enabled hate that I keep reading about in the news.

      • Angela’s Back

        that’s not cool, taking your birthday away :(

        • Alexandra

          Thanks! Come to think of it, Republicans tried to ruin our honeymoon, too, which was in a national park in 2013 (when they shut down the government and the parks all closed). We still had fun, though.

          Of course this election would happen at a time when I’m 35 weeks pregnant and can’t have a glass of wine (heartburn, not baby–I’d be all over a glass of wine if it weren’t for the heartburn).

    • Ashlah

      Oh, that just sucks. Maybe a re-do on your anniversary?

      • Angela’s Back

        It *does* seem like we’ll have to celebrate extra hard every year from here on out to make up for it… :D

    • Alanna Cartier

      We got married on November 13. We had a disclaimer that our MC gave, that if anyone talked politics they wouldn’t get dinner. It worked.

      • Angela’s Back

        nice!

  • Lawyerette510

    I wish the Anthropologie & Co locations in Walnut Creek and Palo Alto would have been open a couple of years ago, as that would have been my dream way of shopping for an outfit. I’m planning on checking out the new store in Walnut Creek just because I love seeing all the different offerings from them for home as well as fashion.

    • Lisa

      All of our dishware is from Anthro because they had the only plates we could agree on. They’re so beautiful!

      • Alanna Cartier

        I have a few of these guys. I managed to chip one though :(

    • Alyssa

      The WC one is great! Dangerous, but awesome. I got my dress there a couple months ago.

    • Yes!! Even just one year ago would’ve worked for me!

    • JC

      I drool every time I walk by the WC store…

  • lildutchgrrl

    Yesterday I got the endometrial ablation I mentioned on the October birth control post (https://disqus.com/home/discussion/apracticalwedding/is_hormonal_birth_responsible_for_depression/#comment-2947062614). For anyone who might be considering one: It was really simple and not as painful as I’d feared; maybe a 4 out of 10. (For reference, I routinely have 4-level cramps, sometimes up to 7 or 8 on bad days, and the gallstones were 7 before I had my gallbladder removed.) My wife was allowed to come in and hold my hand through the procedure. I had pain the rest of the day, but feel fine today. And I get to take it easy for the long weekend! Many stars, would do again. (Now to see whether it fixes the bleeding as it’s supposed to.)

    • Ashlah

      I hope it helps going forward! Glad the procedure itself wasn’t so bad.

    • Cellistec

      Good to hear! Thanks for the update.

  • Vanessa

    The “Identity Politics” link only includes a 6-line excerpt of the story, and both of the links on that page to the full article are broken. Is there another link?

  • CMT

    I got a new job! I won’t have to be in this soul-sucking office watching my brain deteriorate as I spend 8 hours/day surfing the internet anymore! I am still pretty heartbroken about breaking up with my boyfriend, but I’m going to focus on the good things. New job! More money! My best friends are coming today for the weekend! I’m going to buy a Christmas tree on Friday! I’ll be happy if it kills me.

    • Lisa

      Congratulations on the new job!! Hopefully it will be much more fulfilling than the current one.

    • Katherine

      Congrats on the new job!

  • anon for this one

    Real, anon talk – husband and I pulled the goalie so to speak back in Sept, and I feel like in just a couple months I’ve gone from easy breezy “we’ll see what happens” to worrying if somethings wrong, and researching fertility and thinking ovulation and spending wayyy to much time wondering if I am pregnant or not. It doesnt help that the 3 people I’ve really talked about conceiving with are my sister and one of my best friends, who got pregnant the first month, and another friend who posted recently that she and her husband tried for year and have unexplained infertility, and are now looking at adoption. So while my rational brain knows that there is (apparently) only a 30% chance of pregnancy even if you do like all the things a cycle, my irrational side feels like it’s either get pregnant right away or we never will.

    And while I don’t feel particularly stressed about it (if it turns out we can’t have kids yay no more BC) I find it frustrating that I went off the pill and totally thought it would just be something that I didn’t think about and then poof I’d be pregnant. but it’s starting to look like that’s not the case.

    As a side note, husband and I did have an excellent conversation about male privilege, when I was speaking with him about my concerns, and he said something like “oh, it takes a while for a woman’s cycle to get normalized after birth control”, and I explained to him that a) according to my research that’s actually not true, and b) I didn’t much care for him trying to explain to me how my reproductive system worked, and asked how he would feel having a woman tell him what it was like to have a penis… the conversation progressed from there but it ended in me explaining a lot of how it feels being a woman in a male dominated and run society. He was awesome, validated the experiences I had, agreed that it was unfair, and truly LISTENED, without offering immediate ways to try and fix things, or saying something like “if you just…”. It was really nice.

    • Ashlah

      I can relate to the (probably) unfounded worries about fertility, and I only stopped the Pill in October. My first cycle was 36 days, and you best believe I freaked myself out in that last week before my period by reading threads full of women who did take forever to have a normal cycle (or who never did) after going off the Pill. And I still wonder if this is going to be hard/impossible for us. After one cycle! I try to be chill overall, but I’m definitely not the type of person who assumes bad things only happen to other people. I’m a worrier at heart, someone who knows that these things can happen to anyone. So I can relate to your worry, and to your knowledge that the worry is pretty unfounded this early on.

      I’m glad you had such a productive talk with your husband!! That’s really great.

    • Amy March

      You’ve had 2, maybe barely 3, cycles! I sympathize with not liking having your body mansplained to you, but I also sympathize with his bigger point- it really is very much too soon to be concluding there is any sort of problem.

      • It’s a completely legitimate fear to think that you cannot get pregnant when so many couples can’t and have to go alternative routes. We all know someone who cannot have children, and we all have friends who go pregnant accidentally or very quickly. So even it’s only been 2-3 months, and rationally that doesn’t mean that there is anything to worry about, it’s easy for your mind to go straight to thinking ‘I’m infertile’.

    • Last year in Sept I also went off BC. Then promptly panicked when I wasn’t immediately pregnant. I did eventually get pregnant in January. (but then miscarried at 11 weeks…trying for babies is a TRIP. I got pregnant a second time and am now 25 weeks). But basically, this is hard.Your body really needs some time to clear out the BC, so it does take a bit. The thing I found most helpful was using the Clear Blue ovulation predictor kit. I first ordered the cheap strips on Amazon, which I wouldn’t recommend. Just use the good one and it will help you understand your cycle, and dramatically increase your chance of conceiving, and maybe help you feel like you have some control over this (very uncontrollable) situation. I ovulate late, which I wouldn’t have known otherwise.

    • emmers

      We went off bc earlier this year, and it took me maybe 3 months to get pregnant, and then I miscarried at 8 weeks at the end of July. I’ve found fertility tracking (thru Ovia app, cheap wondfo test strips, and clear blue) helpful, as well as counseling. If there’s a friend who won’t be getting pregnant, they can be helpful to confide in. It’s hard sometimes when close friends get pregnant easily when you’re having a hard time. But it’s ok to grieve, and realize that’s normal. Hang in there. Try to also reward yourself by doing things just for you, like hobbies or reading books, etc.

    • Anon

      Which research told you that it’s not true that it takes women time to normalize after birth control? Emily Oster the author of Expecting Better (a Brown University economist who parsed through lots and lots of available and relevant pregnancy data) actually says it can take up to 7-9 months. I’ glad you had a great conversation with your partner, but his actual point may not have been invalid.

      • Anon

        It usually doesn’t take that long btw, but most data says average of 3 cycles. Even my clear blue fertility monitor told me not to bother trying to track until 2 birth control free cycles.

      • emmers

        I don’t know about hormonal birth control, but even if that is a thing, the needing time for normalization, it doesn’t make it suck less. Hang in there.

      • anon for this one

        You know, i don’t even remember any more – one of the articles about myths about trying to get pregnant? It probably isn’t a myth, and probably is accurate, but there is just so. much. information.

      • Yep! Although I don’t believe that this is true – you do ovulate once you get off the pill, but the timing will be irregular and thus harder to track unless you use FAM – this is why I got off the pill a couple of years before trying to get pregnant and switched to non-hormonal BC for a while.

    • I wasn’t on BC, but I went through similar worries when my husband and I were ready to start trying. I had regular cycles, regularly ovulated, but because I’d never even had an accidental pregnancy scare, I was sure that there was something wrong with me. I think hearing from friends who also took 12+mos and/or interventions to get pregnant also had worried to the point of obsession about my fertility. It took us a few months to get the timing right but I got pregnant on the 3rd month and I’m now 35wks pregnant with BabyPi.

      I commiserate, I understand and *hugs* for you. It’s hard. It’s good that you and your husband can talk about it and get your feelings out.

      • Danielle

        I was in a similar-ish situation (not on BC, had never been pregnant before), and was really wondering if it would be possible at all. Not for any logical reason, just nerves and the fact that it had never happened before.

        One main difference is we did IUI with donor sperm. 6 months and now I’m 13 weeks pregnant! I will say, one benefit to using a fertility clinic is they did a lot of blood tests on me before we started trying, and I learned that my hormones and ovarian reserve were all pretty healthy. That took some of the worrying away. (Like other commenters, I also used the Clear Blue fertility monitor to track my ovulation. We wanted to be super accurate since we were paying $$$ for this!)

        Yes, I completely empathize with you, anon: pretty much every month I was wondering: “Is this the month? Did it work? Am I pregnant?” for two weeks. And then “Oh no, I’m not pregnant, maybe it can’t happen to me ever, maybe something is wrong.” Until I got pregnant. And now I’m just sick all the time! Which is another story :)

    • Eileen

      Even if everything goes well, it can really take over your brain to be trying. That’s nothing to be embarrassed or feel irrational about.

    • Lulu

      I will say that if you are 35+ and hit the 6-month mark, don’t hesitate to seek testing if you want it. The initial fertility workup isn’t too invasive or prohibitively expensive and can give you really useful information. I (irrationally) worried my gyn would blow me off, but she didn’t, and I’m glad I didn’t wait longer than I did.

    • rg223

      I’m sorry you’re going through this, though I am glad you and your husband had a good conversation about it! I think part of this is that people only talk about the extremes, because that’s what’s considered interesting. Before I was considering getting pregnant, it felt like everyone either got pregnant on the first try or had problems (which sounds like all you are hearing too). But as more and more of my circle gets pregnant, I’m hearing a lot more comments like, “This is boring, but it took four months.” I don’t know any statistics, but I know lots of people who got pregnant after four, seven, ten months and nothing was “wrong.” I hope hearing this is helpful in some way… I just wish that narrative where more common!

  • Ashlah

    Husband was having a particularly hard time with the election last night. It comes and goes in waves for both of us, sometimes on the same schedule, sometimes not. He feels helpless. I was having a very hard time convincing him that any of the small things we can do (donate money, volunteer, contact our reps) are enough or matter at all. He wants desperately to do something huge that will fix everything, which, of course, is not a real possibility. And he knows that. I know that he was just feeling really disheartened and afraid and wasn’t ready to talk solutions yet. He started becoming more open to them as the night wore on, so I’m sure we’ll discuss more in the days to come. We’re both struggling to decide what issues to focus on since it seems like literally everything we care about is under attack.

    Anyone else having mixed feelings about all of the campaign promises Trump is now walking back? On the one hand, it’s obviously and good thing that he’s not going to go after Clinton and that he’s reconsidering the use of torture…but I feel like 1) He’s getting way to much praise for taking these stances now; and 2) I worry that he’s either straight-up lying, or that by foregoing a few things, he’s lulling us into a false sense of security and people won’t pay attention to the horrible things he still plans to do.

    • CMT

      I’m having a hard time believing anything he says, whether it’s a new promise or reneging on an old one. I think he just says what the audience that happens to be in front of him (NYT, crowd of supporters, etc) wants to hear. But given all of the people he’s putting in positions of power, I don’t think it’s going to turn out okay, even if he does say he’s backing down on some of the most horrible things.

      • Alexandra

        The thing that’s striking about him to me is how utterly without any kind of convictions or beliefs of any kind he seems to be. My husband and I have been watching an Oliver Stone documentary series about American History and the contrast between Trump and other leaders in history is striking…he just seems to be an opportunist, plain and simple. There doesn’t seem to be any kind of master plan or agenda or strategy other than saying whatever gets the biggest reaction at the time.

        To me, it seems like a situation ripe for him becoming somebody’s (Bannon’s?) puppet. He doesn’t stand for anything, and people debate this, but he also just doesn’t seem all that smart. He seems like a classic figurehead set up for worship by the masses but not actually calling any of the shots.

        • Ashlah

          All of this. Yes.

        • CMT

          Yes, he is definitely already somebody’s puppet or well on his way to becoming one. Which to me is even scarier than him actually being in charge.

          • Alanna Cartier

            I feel like he’ll be a lot of people’s puppet. Putin, Bannon, Pence. All of it is bad news.

        • Danielle

          He has no moral compass.

          • Alexandra

            I mean, there’s just no “there” there. There’s not even an immoral compass. It’s just popularity/reaction/bluster. Which is why I think he’s going to become a figurehead with someone or multiple someones evil behind him. I’ve almost gotten to the point where I don’t take him at all seriously OR literally (the thing I keep reading about). I’m just watching for power to fill the vacuum he seems to represent.

            I’m getting hopeful that he is ruled by greed and stupidity and will do something impeachable with his businesses/real estate quickly. Except then that opens the door for Pence, a person who DOES seem to have some guiding principles…that I strongly disagree with.

          • saywhatnow

            I think you’re exactly right in your first para, but I also believe it’s much more insidious – he’s not just empty and impressionable, he’s downright manipulative. He seems like a textbook case of Narcissistic Personality Disorder – really, his behaviour checks every box: lying, gaslighting, verbal bullying, blame-shifting, grand-standing, inability to withstand opposition or disagreement, etc etc.

            THere’s been a fair amount of discussion about abuse on this site. Trump displays all the words and actions of a textbook abuser. Every single one of them: emotional. verbal abuse (can’t comment on the physical, though Ivana Trump did make a rape allegation before she “mysteriously” recanted). He’s a bully, plain and simple, and it terrifies me to read that we should “give him a chance.” No, never.

            That means he absolutely can’t be trusted. What’s most striking to me is that he behaves as if he’s the CEO of America rather than its (next) President: like, he really doesn’t get that the job isn’t just about ordering people around and having them do What He Says (including other world leaders – suggesting who should be next British ambassador?! Really?!). He apparently believes he can place in family in positions for which they are wholly unqualified – never mind them being involved at all is straight-up nepotism (and really, Kushner as Middle East peace envoy?! Dude is delusional, yet the NYT covered it without once mentioning how insane the idea even was).

            Trump is clearly impervious to the idea that he doesn’t have absolute power, that said power is to be wielded for the common good and not his personal benefit, or that being President doesn’t make you Boss – it makes you A PUBLIC SERVANT, accountable to the people (and not the other way around).

            He hasn’t become more reasonable. It’s just another facade, another game. He’s “open to” the possibility of climate change being a thing?! Dude, that’s not progress, it’s the baseline for not being a crackpot science-denier. It’s chilling to read about him complaining to the press about how
            he wants to be covered. Where was the outrage over how intrusive such a conversation even is? Just another example of him not believing in basic civil freedoms, like freedom of the press.

            SO yes, this is a man who can be manipulated. But he’s also a gaslighting, narcissistic manipulator himself, as well as a demonstrated fraud. If we expect that he will govern for the common good, we’re bound to be let down. I doubt he’s able to grasp the concept.

          • nutbrownrose

            I’m currently hoping for a double-impeachment, because then we would have Paul Ryan as President. And if anyone told 2014 me I’d be hoping for a Paul Ryan presidency, 2014 me would have punched them.

        • BSM

          Some of the more reputable sources of news that have been able to get somewhat close to his campaign/circle have said that he’s incredibly impressionable and tends to go with the opinion of the last person he speaks with. Former attorneys of his have said that they used to have to meet with him two at a time because he would constantly contradict himself from one meeting to the next seemingly without realizing it. I’ve also noticed that he just tends to agree with whomever is around him – this even happened a bit during the debates, him agreeing with HRC at random intervals.

          I agree that he has absolutely no master plan and is wildly unintelligent (as Warren Buffet noted, if he’d just put his money in index funds rather than investing it himself, he would have made more money in the last couple decades) and uninterested in learning or changing.

          On the one hand, it seems like this might just mean he’s going to be completely incompetent, get nothing done, and probably get himself impeached. On the other, the people he is putting in positions of power are wholly unqualified – either in the sense that they too have no idea what their doing (Reince, Ben Carson) or in that they are actually evil people (Bannon, Sessions) – which makes me very pessimistic that things will turn out OK. It’s only been 2 weeks and things are already not OK.

          • Alexandra

            If I didn’t have to live through this, I’d find it absolutely fascinating to study. I really wish I had a friend with a PhD in Poli-Sci to provide some super smart analysis of what the hell is actually going on and what we can expect. I’m beyond Trump–he’s such a cartoon character–and now looking for the Dick Cheney in this situation. Is it Pence? He doesn’t strike me as that smart, either…

          • You’re not gonna like it, but I have a hunch that it’s Bannon.

          • Ashlah

            Shudder.

          • Gaby

            Your third paragraph summarizes exactly how I feel. It’s no wonder so many of us are feeling hopeless and terrified!

          • That’s sort of reassuring, because at the moment it’s really hard to see which side of the “opportunistic, ignorant guy who thinks he can run a government like a business” and “incredibly savvy dictator prepping for full take over” he’s on. Like, trying to tell the UK who our ambassador should be is the act of a dictator. It’s possible it’s just political naivete, but we can’t afford to treat it like that.

            The Guardian makes a very apt comparison with Italy’s Berlusconi, who also set out to run a government for profit. I think a lot of Trump’s recent appointments are the outcome of promises he made to people who helped get him into power. You do me a favour, I do you a favour. In some respects, he’ll have it easier than Berlusconi as well because America is less corrupt than Italy on a lot of levels; you can’t parachute a friend into a prime position that the Mafia control! And no EU holding the purse strings, either. the Guardian article does have some good thoughts on what worked for Italy in ousting Berlusconi; though the ramifications of his work still echo through Italian politics, some mistakes won’t be repeated again.

          • saywhatnow

            I don’t think the ambassador thing was political naivete at all. It was inappropriate pressure and bullying, testing the limits of what how far he can go. He clearly feels justified in behaving as if the whole world is accountable to him, and doesn’t abide by the notion of:
            1) separation of powers (see Clinton prosecution threat and retreat)
            2) limits on power (see: conflicts of interest, nepotism, cronyism, etc etc etc).
            3) accountability (see: treating political office as a reality show – “Only *I* know the names of the finalists for cabinet picks!” is something he actually tweeted. See also: putting out a video full of empty generalities rather than holding a press conference where he would be asked actual questions).

            Trump is no innocent, bumbling buffoon. Well – he is a bumbling buffoon. But neither innocent or naive; a game-player who’s out to trick people, as his business dealings clearly prove.

      • Sara

        That’s exactly how I feel. Trump is a crowd pleaser. He’ll just saw whatever is important to the person in front of him. For the most part, I don’t think he has strong opinions about any of the things he’s promised in the past.

      • Ashlah

        Completely agree. Throughout the campaign he proved that he says whatever he thinks will get him ahead with the people around him. I just don’t understand how people didn’t see it. How he got to be the “honest” candidate. It’s baffling.

      • BD

        This has been my opinion of him from the beginning. Literally nothing he says has any sway with me, because I know he’s only saying that in the moment to get what he wants out of the people listening to him, and give the guy some time and he’ll renege/completely contradict himself. He’s totally without substance. It will be so easy for others to rule through him and THAT’s what scares me the most at this point.

      • http://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/11/22/opinion/donald-trumps-demand-for-love.html
        This NY Times article generally supports your statement. Womp womppppppppp

    • Gaby

      It has definitely been hard. That first day after felt like the worst, slowest day ever and somehow the news have just gotten progressively worse every day since. Having this community has helped a lot, especially the posts about what we can do and what others are doing. I tried deleting my twitter app for a day to limit my exposure to depressing news but then I missed the comedians I follow haha. I’m just trying to limit myself to be JUST informed enough to be effective, but then shutting everything else out so I can spend time with others without feeling distracted or overwhelmed.

      • Ashlah

        It’s definitely hard to find a balance. I regretted turning on the news while getting ready this morning, but it’s all stuff I feel like I need to know, so…ugh.

        • Eenie

          HBO’s Vice News and the Skimm Daily email is my current daily dose of staying in the know without overdosing. Neither are particularly partisan either (from what I can tell). It’s my 5-10 minutes in the morning (Skimm) and 25 minutes at night before bed.

    • Meg Keene

      We have a hard time in waves too. Like sometimes sobbing, scared for the kids, scared for muslim and immigrant loved ones and caregivers…. then other times I’m like THIS IS A FUCKING JOKE. I know both are a little extreme as far as rational reactions go (though the former is more grounded in reality than the latter), but… I just wanted to chime in to normalize what you’re going through.

    • lamarsh

      I totally understand where you are coming from. We went out of town this weekend and I didn’t look at my phone, so Saturday was the most normal and calm I had felt since the election. Then we came home on Sunday, I checked Facebook and had a full on anxiety attack. (But then I started watching The Queen on Netflix and man, is that show weirdly soothing.) That is all to say, it is hard to strike a balance right now, take care of yourself.

    • Cellistec

      I second everything you said. The best I can figure out is, my standards for American politics are so rock-bottom by now that anything that’s NOT apocalyptic is a relief. But then I get a wave of righteous anger again, and that’s kind of a relief too, because I don’t want to lose that outrage. And then there’s the guilt at being so emotionally exhausted from all this, when I’m not even in danger of being deported or losing my healthcare, for example. So, yeah. It’s all real.

    • Katherine

      I’m with you on this. I feel far too suspicious, especially given Trump’s history, to trust anything he’s saying. Good luck to you and your husband with processing; I think most of us are still working through it.

  • Vanessa

    We booked our venue yay!!! And now a question for anyone who did electronic save the dates/invitations – what company did you use? We want to do all electronic save the dates and invitations, and would prefer using a service that integrates the save the dates, invitations and website all together. The only thing I’ve found so far is Glosite, and their designs are not what we’re looking for. I like some of AppyCouple’s designs, but I can’t tell if they actually do save the dates/invitations, or just let people rsvp from printed invitations. Halp!

    Ideal situation would be if Paperless Post could just have website templates that correspond with their matching wedding product suites.

    • Lisa

      We used AppyCouple for our web-site and RSVP platform. I sent out paper STDs and invites because it was important to my husband, but if I remember correctly two years later, they had templates for invites and such under the communication section of the owner’s end of the web-site. I used it to do custom e-mails to our guest list with an invitation to the web-site about 3 days after I sent out the paper, and then I followed up with reminders one month and two weeks out from our RSVP deadline.

      Maybe you could call AppyCouple’s customer service and ask them? @Lawyerette510:disqus, didn’t you use AppyCouple, too?

      • Vanessa

        Ooo interesting. I will email them, and if it turns out that they have invitations I’ll let them know it’s not at all clear on their site. Thanks!

      • Lawyerette510

        We did use AppyCouple, around the same time you did. We sent out paper STD postcards that we found on Minted that had a very similar motif to the AppyCouple design we used. It involved some triangular multi-colored bunting. I think we found the minted design first, then picked the AppyCouple design. We liked it because we knew we were using some similar bunting in real life at the reception (borrowed form a friend who made it for her wedding). We also used the email templates they had for email communications.

        Then we ran with the flag bunting and I actually made a rolling stamp that looked like bunting, and used that stamp for the bags for people to pack up cookies to take home and for the notes we wrote to each guest as the escort cards, and used it again for our thank you notes.

      • We designed our own postcards, with the back sort of matching the AppyCouple design (rather, we designed the invite postcards first, and picked an AppyCouple design that mostly matched…then altered the paper design slightly). Postcards.com sells postcards 100 for ~$40 (incl shipping).

        If you do AppyCouple, be sure to mention the HOTEL BLOCKS and other PUBLIC EVENTS (i.e., welcome drinks, post-wedding brunch, etc) on the invitation *and* your emailed communications. Guests do not go looking for this stuff!

    • I used AppyCouple as well, though we did physical STDs. I think you could something like Paperless Post for the email STD and then link to your AppyCouple site to collect responses. AppyCouple does allow you to set up different events and guest lists, which was a feature I really liked.

      • Vanessa

        Hmm, your response is making me think. We don’t have different guest lists for different events (everyone is invited to everything Thursday arrival through Sunday breakfast) so maybe PP’s rsvp function is enough, and then when people rsvp we just provide a link to the website? Hmm hmm hmm. Thanks for sharing your experience!

        • AppyCouple’s RSVP function is still really great, even if you have everyone invited to the same events. We had a plated dinner w/3 options and AppyCouple made it really easy for people to respond with their dinner choices. And I loved that AppyCouple was both a website and a wedding app, as 80% of our guests were from out of town and needed info on travel & the events. Best of luck!

          • Lawyerette510

            I second these sentiments about AppyCouple’s functionality.

          • Lisa

            Thirding the AppyCouple functionality. I loved it!

    • Eenie

      We did paperless post and a google site. Not what you want, but it worked out fine. We did an RSVP form on the site and didn’t use the paperless post RSVP process. Ask away any questions you have, though this doesn’t sound like the route you want to go.

      • Vanessa

        It sounds pretty close to what our backup plan is though – thanks for the feedback!

        • Eenie

          Not a single person struggled with the website or email invite (except the one person without email/internet). There was still the usual late/no RSVP responses.

    • Alanna Cartier

      I used paperless post for save the dates, and Riley and Grey for my website. I used paper invites though.

      Minted has websites and email invites I think…?

    • We used AppyCouple, and I’ve written up the experience here: http://byov.blogspot.com/2016/11/wedding-review-wedding-websites-and.html

      Main thing to note: no one looks at your wedding website. No one knew there were hotel blocks, or additional events (unless they were required to RSVP). That’s what a paper invite usually communicates, but people don’t go searching for it in a website. Just FYI.

      • Eenie

        Except me. I love getting extra details from someone’s site. But I agree it’s not worth it to stress too much about it.

        • Oh, yes, there’s definitely some minuscule contingent that goes through the whole website. But if this select group doesn’t include your immediate + extended family, it gets super annoying fast.

      • Jess

        This explains so much. We had so few people actually book thru the block!

    • Not Sarah

      We’re using Riley & Grey! I loved how easy the website was to put together and their designs were great. The emails were a bit confusing, but I’ve got it figured out now and know how to do save the dates vs invites.

  • TwoInTheBrush

    I am not loving the Forsetti piece linked above. Although it’s helpful to have another viewpoint about the trumpocolypse, I found the post too simplistic in its generalizations of the people and a little haughty which, even if it’s deserved, doesn’t make me want to agree with the author.

    • Sara

      Me too. I actually live in a rural community. Some of it is true, but it’s way too simplistic as you said. The people themselves are not that simple and vary a lot more than was portrayed. I didn’t care for the odd cliche mentions of calico, gingham or Aunt Bea either.

      I don’t know anyone who is taught that white people are more favored by God.

      There were several factories here. After NAFTA, the factories gradually disappeared and now there are none. One lady told me she makes less money now, even after getting some training to work in a doctor’s office, than she did at the factory. Cost of living has risen, but wages are actually less.

      Telling these people that NAFTA is a great thing just because it doesn’t affect the author, is a form of gas lighting. And rural people know it.

      • NotMotherTheresa

        Ugh, yes! His belief that NAFTA didn’t hurt anyone since it didn’t hurt him is just as bad as the people who think discrimination isn’t a problem since they aren’t being discriminated against. Apparently he hasn’t moved quite as far beyond the “If it’s not happening to me, it’s not an issue” mindset as he’d like to think he has!
        I also live in a rural community. We’re diverse and complicated, just like the people everywhere else. Yes, we are largely white, conservative, and Christian, but that doesn’t mean we’re all racist homophobes who’re afraid of sending our kids to college, lest they start to believe in evolution. I mean, I suppose that exact family does exist somewhere in my town, but there’s probably a family like that somewhere in San Francisco, too. Besides, my next door neighbors are dyed in the wool Communist supporters, so I’d like to think those two families are ideologically balancing one another out.
        Are there real problems with the logic many rural voters are using? Yes. Are some rural voters sexist, racist, homophobic assholes? Yes. Are some people blaming the wrong groups for their problems? Yes. Is there sometimes a bit of hypocrisy? Oh my goodness, yes! (Just the other day, the husband made a comment about how he doesn’t understand why people haven’t all left Flint yet, to which I pointed out that our town’s biggest industry is meth, and that we don’t drink our own tap water.)
        Still, the author’s tone is EXACTLY what people are talking about in term’s of the failure to reach white, working class voters.

        • Sara

          Exactly. Thank you. There is very little accurate representation of rural communities right now in the aftermath of the election.

          I was also disturbed by the idea that these people are stupid because they don’t move to where the opportunities are. People here have a deep love for the land and many of them traditionally operated small farms in addition to factory work. In any case, the land usually goes back generations and is considered a treasure.

          Also as far as welfare, my area didn’t become so dependent on it until NAFTA. That’s the real reason it goes against the grain. It’s a fairly new need in these communities.

  • Jessica

    Ok. So.

    Last week my husband told me he had slept with anther woman the night before. It crushed me. He hasn’t really ever lied to me (except the normal ‘white’ lies), and he lied to me and was unfaithful. He didn’t sleep at our house for 5 nights, came home on Sunday to sleep in the guest room, slept somewhere else on Monday, and came home again on Tuesday. The only thing he’ll tell me about where he’s been staying is that it’s not at her house. I know the first night he just walked around the city all night.

    He is in a deep, deep depression. He saw a therapist yesterday, but didn’t click with the guy. He is trying to insist that he do all the steps towards recovery himself. I’m scared, frustrated, hurt and totally unsure of the future. I don’t know if I’m going to my family’s Thanksgiving tomorrow, and he hasn’t even told his family a little of what is going on. I’m an action-oriented person, and I’m feeling very trapped by my lack of options right now. I love him, and I want to work on our marriage–but that can’t happen until he faces his own mental issues and gets some help.

    I saw a therapist earlier this week, just to make sure I have someone to turn to who is objective and can see warning signs of my chronic depression. She has already suggested medication. All I want is a time machine to go back and be more proactive on getting him help in August.

    Ugh.

    • Alexandra

      Oh no. How awful. No advice, but so sorry that you’re facing such a dreadful situation the day before Thanksgiving.

    • Ashlah

      Oh, I’m so sorry. What an absolutely painful situation. I’m glad you’re seeing a therapist yourself, and I hope you continue to focus on your own healing while he deals with his issues on his own, at least for now. Sending you strength. What an awful way to go into the holiday season. Please let yourself skip your family’s Thanksgiving guilt-free, if you feel the need.

      • Jessica

        Thanks Ashlah.

    • Amy March

      This is not on you- you know that right? It’s not on you because you didn’t get him help in August, it’s not on you that he is wandering the streets.

      He slept with another woman – the fact that he is apparently also suffering from mental health issues doesn’t absolve him of cheating and lying, doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t respond with anger, and doesn’t mean you can or need to take on the burden of fixing him.

      You may not be able to take action on fixing your marriage right now, but there are lots of actions you can take for protecting yourself and your needs. Therapy is a great one, and I would add going home for Thanksgiving if your family is a refuge, confiding in a close friend, developing and committing to a really great self-care routine, setting boundaries on his ability to come and go as he pleases from your home with no notice to you- you may not know where you are going right now but you can make sure you are as best prepared for the journey as possible.

      • Jessica

        I appreciate your words. I don’t think any of it is on me–I just wish I could fix it.

        He has lost the privilege of marital privacy. My parents and our close friends know what has happened. They are reaching out to him. My #1 concern right now is making sure I can take care of myself and our dog, and a very close second is getting the person I love most in the world the help and care he needs. As I told him last night, I can’t be mad at him when I’m so worried.

        Also, I have completely blown my for-fun budget on shoes, purses and skin care. I also started re-reading Harry Potter for the first time since the last book came out. So, Plan Self Care is a go.

        As an aside, my friends have a tradition that we watch Little Women after the first snow of the year, so I did that with them this weekend. I thought you may appreciate that :)

        • Amy March

          That is a lovely tradition I will implement immediately in my own life, and I will keep you and your family in my thoughts.

          • Jessica

            Thank you.

          • Alexandra

            So Amy March IS a reference to Little Women! I’ve been wondering for ages.

          • anon

            I used to secretly think @amymarch:disqus was meg’s commenting alter ego (I mean, meg seems like a jo right?)

            also lol at me feeling like I need to go anonymous for this

        • Angela’s Back

          What a cool tradition to have with your friends!

          • Jessica

            In college we would do the rag curls, to varying degrees of success!

          • Angela’s Back

            man, sometimes my rag curls look awesome and sometimes there is a small hair animal nesting on my head.

          • Jessica

            They always look like the latter on me. My friends with either really curly hair or really sleek hair had the best success.

          • Lisa

            That is the most adorable thing ever! Little Women has been one of my sisters’ and my movies since it came out. We watched it on everything from car trips to 4-H sewing marathons to our wedding days.

          • Jessica

            The two of us in the group who are married kind of regret not singing Meg’s wedding hymn at our own weddings–we aren’t really religious, so we didn’t want to pretend that it was anything but a reference to the movie.

          • Lisa

            I totally arranged “For the Beauty of the Earth” for four part women’s voices and had my close friends sing it as my bridal entrance. It was beautiful. I’m getting teary just thinking about it!

          • Jessica

            That sounds lovely!

          • Lisa

            Thank you! I also had a song from the opera version (“Ours the Hours”) sung later in the ceremony. It’s a section where Mr. & Mrs. March read their wedding vows to Meg & Jon and teach them the words and values. Little Women means a lot to me.

          • Anna

            OMG Can you send that to me/would you mind? My family sings at Christmas every year, and my female cousins & I are always getting asked to sing a piece. I will totally give you all credit!

          • Lisa

            I’d be happy to send it to you! Give me your e-mail address, and I’ll get it to you tomorrow. You can delete the comment once you’ve gotten the music. :)

          • Anna

            Accosgrove@yahoo.com

            Thank you SO much! Also, props for the creativity. I would never have thought (or been able) to do something like that.

          • Anna

            accosgrove@yahoo.com

            Thank you so much!

        • Meg Keene

          I just want to double down on what Amy March said, just on everything.

    • Sara

      I have nothing helpful to add, but I’m glad you’ve already reached out to a therapist. Sending love and peace. If your family stresses you out, I would stay home. If they bring you comfort, go spend time with them with a vauge reason why husband can’t come.

      • Jessica

        My family both comforts me and stresses me out. I’m going to see if he wants to be at the house by himself for a few hours. If yes, I’ll go to the dinner, if no, I’ll stay home/go see Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

        • Sara

          I would just see the movie anyways :) I like going to movies alone, there’s something comforting (to me) about having the cinematic experience by yourself.

    • Cellistec

      I’m so sorry this happened to you. I hope you find some helpful self-care over the holidays.

    • Lisa

      Wow, I am so, so sorry this is happening. Wishing you a lot of peace and strength right now.

    • emmers

      I’m so sorry. You are doing what you can, so keep hanging in there.

    • Gaby

      I’m so sorry you’re going through this. But I’m happy to see you’re doing so well at prioritizing self care! Best wishes and keep taking care of yourself.

    • anachronismsarah

      This is hard and it sucks. Proud of you for taking care of you and urging your husband to take care of him.

    • gonzalesbeach

      sending lots of good thoughts your way through this.

    • Jess

      Oh. Jessica. I’m so so sorry. Take care of yourself right now. There’s no magic time machine, so try not to think too much about what you should have done.

      You’re doing great looking out for yourself in finding a counselor right now.

    • rg223

      I am so, so sorry. Good luck today.

    • Hi Jessica, I wanted to check in and see how you are doing. Did you go see your family for Thanksgiving? I hope you have been able to surround yourself with support and love during this time.

      And just because this stuff is awful and it’s so hard to know what one should do when facing this kind of thing, I wanted to suggest a couple practical questions to consider… Do you have shared finances with your husband? Shared credit cards? If so, you might want to consider calling your bank and seeing if there is a possibility of temporarily freezing these until you see how things are going to go. If you feel he is unpredictable and that can’t trust him right now, it could be something you might want to consider during this time of uncertainty. You can ask them what the process would be so that you would at least know should you feel that is a step you need to take. Do you have your own checking and credit accounts not associated or connected to him in any way? (After being through this and not having my own checking account, I will always keep my own separate account.) Also, have you gone to see a doctor to get tested for stds? I know it is absolutely awful to think about these things, but sometimes things happen and we’re no longer sure we really know the person we thought we knew most in the world…

      Also, I’d like to echo what Amy March said about infidelity not being “okay” because he was depressed. If his coping mechanism for depression is infidelity, there is a problem there. And none of this is your fault.

      Please do you best to eat and sleep and take care of yourself. And if you need someone to talk to, feel free to send me a message (follow the link in my name; there’s a message box there). Thinking of you…

      • Jessica

        Thanks Jennifer. I got through Thanksgiving alright–it was a little lonely, but the thought of seeing people was just too much. He didn’t call, which hurt a lot. I finally texted him yesterday “I love you. You’re pissing me off.” and he called, then came home for the night. He went to a therapist today and knows he needs a lot of help. He keeps saying he is embarrassed and that he’s sorry.

        I did transfer a huge chunk of money from our joint account to my personal account, and told him it was because all of our emergency savings were in his savings account. I have my own savings account, too. I froze the credit card for a few days, but it’s looking like he’s not going to do anything rash with money.

        I also have a doctors appointment next week to replace my IUD and I will ask for STD testing and probably a prescription for an anxiety medication–anything to shut my brain up. The reasonable, rational part of me thinks that he only slept with one person, and that we did not sleep together since he cheated, but who the hell knows anymore. Better to be safe than sorry.

        I keep going between worry and concern for my best friend and person I think of as my partner and his mental health, to being angry and betrayed by his actions and choices. I know we have a lot to work on, and I hope that we can fix it and move forward.

        Thank you for your advice and encouraging words. I hate that anyone has to go through this. It’s the worst.

        • Jessica, I am so, so glad to hear that you are thinking through these things despite the pain and devastation you are facing. I think you are making wise choices to be better safe than sorry on all accounts. And I too was completely worried about the person I loved most in the world and complete devastated. Sleeping and eating were near impossible and my brain was reeling, going nonstop with questions… It took me a while to accept that that was my new reality and that it really was happening. Send me a message if you want book or blog recommendations, etc., or if I can help somehow. You will make it through this hell. Hang in there…

  • joanna b.n.

    Whoa. I had to stop midway through reading to add that robe to my christmas list, STAT!! What a dream that is! Hope Santa put me on the good list this year!

    Also, yeah… I have to say, I’m so glad the holidays are here, because they are a chance to just be with my most beloved people and be grateful for the good in a year that has felt like a landslide of bad. So, happy Thanksgiving to all, and thanks APW for being a port in the storm, as always.

    • Danielle

      I know, that robe! It is almost my dream robe! But I wish it was a little longer.

    • Plum Pretty Sugar also has an ongoing Flash Sale with some lovely robes in there too :)

      • lamarsh

        Anddddd just bought the perfect flash sale romper to wear while I get ready for my wedding.

        Perfect retail therapy – thanks for the tip!

        • It’s a weird sort of “flash” sale, in that the Wren robe I purchased ~4 months ago is still on sale. So…glad it could help someone!

  • Angela

    We got married last Saturday!! We had an amazing day even with the normal hiccups and it is effing awesome to be married and not planning a honeymoon! http://www.fantailphotos.com/uploads/1/5/5/7/15578422/w-416-853×1280.jpg

    • Ashlah

      Beautiful! Congratulations!

      • Angela

        Thank you!

    • Angela
      • Laura C

        Oh, I love that skirt and those shoes together.

        • Angela

          I had to get purple in or it would have been someone else’s wedding!

          • Ashlah

            LOVE the purple!

      • Cellistec

        Knee-length dress with sleeves! Love!

        • Angela

          Thank you! I wanted something semi-modest but sassy! Despite it being a few days shy of summer here in NZ and forecast for sun, the weather was not our friend, with a biting wind and constant drizzle. I was very glad to have those sleeves!!!!

      • Lawyerette510

        The purple shoes on both of you! The skirt! The look on your faces! That dapper vest! Congratulations!!!!

      • Gaby

        So much love! I think my eyes are wishfully adding a slightly lilac tint to your dress because of the shoes.

        • Angela

          The sash is Cadbury purple too but you can’t really see it in these pics. The rest of the dress is white but feel free to tint it lilac in your mind!

      • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

        Congratulations, you both look lovely!!

      • Em

        Your dress is so beautiful – do you mind me asking where it’s from?? I am desperate for a short dress with sleeves!

        • Angela

          It is the Venus NZ Lilly which is strapless but I had the bolero jacket stitched to it, swapped the sash from white to purple and added an extra layer of petticoat for more poof. I was of the opinion that the wedding was my opportunity to go as poofy as possible.

        • Angela

          this dress may be more what you want but wasn’t available when I ordered mine://www.venusgowns.co.nz/Bridal-p/vn6905.htm and this is my dress prior to alterations http://www.venusgowns.co.nz/Bridal-p/vn6887.htm

  • Eileen

    My parents arrive from the States tomorrow to meet the Franco-American one month old! I hope it will give them a good break from their Trump sadness. And also allow me to shower in peace.

  • Em

    So I posted a couple of weeks ago about how happy I was to have found our perfect venue – a Mexican-Turkish fusion restaurant which would have facilitated an awesome, fun, casual wedding with excellent food, wine and lots of dancing (which was our plan all along). But I’ve had a lot of second thoughts about it since then – mainly about the fact that even somewhere as mild as Sydney in winter can get pretty cold outside, and at least half of the space we would have used would have been outside and a lot of it not undercover in the case of rain. So I’ve spent the last week Googling and sending inquiries to what feels like thousands of venues, and I think we’ve found a good alternative – but it’s very different from what I’d originally thought we’d end up with.

    Rather than the awesome alternative, colourful, non-wedding-y restaurant wedding I thought we’d have, I think we are likely to end up with a more wedding-y wedding at FH’s alma mater, which has a beautiful hall with a huge mural, and old style wooden features. But it’s a good price (cheaper than the minimum spend on the restaurant, even!), the wedding coordinator who’s been handling my enquiries has been prompt in replying, very efficient and very flexible about a lot of things in terms of packages etc. And I’m realising that these things are great things to have when it comes to wedding planning from a distance! But I’m struggling a little bit to reconcile the wedding I thought I’d have with the one I might end up with – and trying to work out how to make sure that the feel of the wedding I thought we’d have ends up being the feel of this wedding. I’m hoping that things like an awesome wedding band or DJ will help create a fun feel and lots of dancing, and I’m reconciling myself to it by focusing on how this venue will allow us to have things like having an amazing, beautiful, not white cake, and the sharing/family-style meal of my dreams…Did any of you struggle with this sort of issue? Between the alternative wedding you wanted and the more traditional wedding that was just easier/cheaper/more straight forward?

    Also, as an aside, two things I’ve learnt in the last week: winter really is a cheaper time of year to get married (even somewhere with a mild winter!) and “alternative”/hipster venues can be a lot more expensive than traditional venues. There’s a very hipster cafe here in Sydney with beautiful gardens that has developed a lucrative sideline in weddings recently (such that about 50% of weddings featured on Australian wedding blogs seem to have occured here) and it is charging at least 25% more than what some really beautiful traditional venues are charging. But I’m guessing a lot of people don’t know that and think that people are saving a lot of money by having their wedding there…

    • Alanna Cartier

      I initially had a very different idea for my wedding too, and had to start from scratch. But everything worked out, and now that the day is over I am SO GLAD our plans changed.

      • Em

        I think I’m going to end up appreciating the ease of this venue in the end, that’s for sure :) it’s comforting to hear though that it’s possible to have a wedding very different to the one you had in mind and still love the day!

    • Laura C

      Did I ever struggle with that. For me it was all about size — an informal, non-weddingy venue for 250 just was not in the cards as far as I could find. And we were able to do outdoors (venue with a tent and a covered patio), but the decisions we made, like abandoning a lot of traditional wedding timeline stuff (introductions, first dances, cake cutting) and really pushing people to the dance floor as early as we could — that stuff made a huge difference, I think.

      • Em

        This is very useful to bear in mind! I think I’ve ended up in a position where we’ll end up either in a traditional wedding venue (which is super easy to coordinate and this is what people there do day in, day out) or a blank slate venue where we would have needed to coordinate a whole bunch of vendors, bring everything in…and I just think doing that remotely is just beyond me – and winter complicates matters further! But I am definitely keen to try to make the actual feel of the day a bit less traditional – having a wedding not in a church, secular ceremony, no throwing of a bouquet, not wearing a full length dress, etc…

    • Alexandra

      We had this gorgeous, cheap venue all booked. It was a YWCA with the most beautiful bay view on Oahu; only $800 for the venue fee. But it was going to need mass quantities of independent contractors and there was no AC in the hottest part of the year in Hawaii.

      We wound up going with an all-inclusive country club. Very cookie-cutter. We were sponsored by a friend of a friend and it had no venue fee. So much cheaper and easier. So much less Pinterest-y. Very generic. Ah, the glorious AC and not having to make any decisions.

      Regrets? None. We’re lazy and just trying to book a caterer made me too tired.

      • Em

        Oh, this is so comforting. I completely understand now where this is coming from – there’s something so reassuring about the “here is the package, these are the changes you can make, and the cost of each change” transparency and the ease of only dealing with one person in respect of your venue!

      • idkmybffjill

        you will be SO HAPPY when it’s the week of the wedding and everyone thinks you’re gonna freak out and instead you’re chill AF. Enjoy!

    • NotMotherTheresa

      Sometimes, cookie cutter really is the way to go!
      We had our ceremony at a church, followed by a reception at our country club. It was super cookie cutter. To be completely honest, if you photoshopped out my husband and I from our wedding pictures, you’d be hard pressed to tell who’s wedding it was.
      But you know what? It was awesome, and for the people who were actually there (as opposed to the ones just looking at the pictures) it was a very unique, very “us” wedding. We served our favorite foods. We had an awesome band. Everyone had a great time. Plus, it was significantly cheaper than any of the more “unique” options would have been! For $20 a person and a $300 venue fee, the country club took care of everything for us, an all we had to do was tell them what kind of chicken we wanted.
      I’ve been to a few Hipster Dream Weddings, and honestly, as gorgeous and cool as they are to experience, they tend to be way more expensive, way more of a headache, and often less fun than a comparable cookie cutter wedding would have been.

      • Em

        I was part of the bridal party for a hipster dream wedding a few years ago, and it was a beautiful but ridiculously stressful enterprise…so I completely hear you on this! And I just keep reminding myself that basically all of the weddings I’ve been to in recent years have been fairly low on Pinterest-able details, but high on good food and good wine and fun – and as a guest, that’s really what you remember most…

    • Angela

      I think a lot of the “cookie cutter” places actually offer more personalisation than you might expect. We were delighted with the flexibility of our “cookie cutter” venue and also delighted not to be dealing with a separate caterer, hiring tables/linens/crockery/glassware etc. We felt like our reception was plenty personal.

    • Eenie

      If we had found a “cookie cutter” venue for cheaper than our restaurant we would have gone that way!! Something about being in the middle of a big city meant is was $200 a head :)

      For perspective: We spent almost a year thinking we were planning a sit down dinner reception. Turns out that wouldn’t work great in the space (we initially talked with the venue person that promised the moon, and his brother ended up handling our day and was super responsive, realistic, and all around wonderful). We went with a cocktail style less than 2 months before the wedding (after we had sent out the invites…). It was fine. It was hard to get over the difference, but once we did we loved it.

      • Em

        I was quite surprised that the ‘cookie cutter’ venue was so reasonably priced, to be honest (Sydney is a big and super expensive city for most things!) – and I think it’s that plus the more responsive contact at the venue that’s pushing me over the line towards it. Plus, this morning I found out that my dad, a very long time ago, played in a student band that played a function in the same room, and he had lovely things to say about it. So that’s kind of cool!

  • Anon

    What is on everyone’s Christmas/holiday lists this year? I’m starting to get asked for my list and honestly, I just can’t think of things I want. For my mom it needs to be material or experience related, for my aunt, material (otherwise I would ask for a cleaning service to come clean my house!- I’ve tried in the past to deaf ears).

    So what is on your wish list? Alternately, did you find a super cool present to give?

    • Alyssa

      I bought my parents a National Parks Annual pass. They’re both retiring around the beginning of the year and just bought a trailer for camping, so I figured I’d encourage their travel! That’s the gift I’m most proud of this year. That, and the fact that I got my and my fiance’s family to pitch in money together to get my guy a KitchenAid mixer, because he uses one at work and is OBSESSED.

      • Katherine

        Our Kitchenaid has changed our life. Fresh ciabatta and baguettes every week are the best.

        • Alyssa

          Yes! My guy usually makes them by hand, but he loves the KitchenAid at his job so much that he will sneak it home on the weekends to make bread and return it on Monday. He hasn’t tried ciabatta yet though (only baguettes), I’ll have to suggest it…

      • anachronismsarah

        YESSSS. We have a little red workhorse.

    • Cdn icecube

      My usuals are: books (or kobo gift cards), hot yoga/barre/spin passes, scarves and cookbooks (Cravings — yes please!). The big things I’m hoping for are nice earrings or an iPad. I don’t have high hopes for either but maybe a few people will get me apple gift cards and I can combine them.

      My mom, aunt and I are doing a homemade gift exchange so I’m making spiced rum and something TBA.

      I’m also making someone a puzzle of a fave picture of them because they like puzzles and I’m getting the man-friend a non-counterfeit NFL jersey.

    • Jessica

      Last year we gave both sets of parents dinner and a movie–theater and a nice restaurant gift certificate. His mom is much more into ‘stuff,’ but will never tell what she wants, so that’s what she gets (we don’t want to inherit the ‘stuff’)

    • Danielle

      I *really* want this expensive lemon-scented perfume I fell in love with at Sephora a few months ago: http://www.sephora.com/bergamote-soleil-cologne-absolue-P405909 I just got a sample and it is holding me over for now :) But I also promised to buy it for myself when I get a new job. We’ll see what happens first :)

      • Gaby

        Similar thing happened to me but with the Orange Sanguine scent from that same brand! Darn Sephora and their wonderful samples. It smells so heavenly.

        • Danielle

          Ooh maybe I need to go back and try the orange scent too!

          It really is heavenly… I just put some on and am swooning <3

          • Gaby

            Maybe what we both need is their citrus travel set so we can experience all the goodness without spending the big bucks http://www.sephora.com/necessaire-citrus-P406740?skuId=1786623&icid2=products

          • Vanessa

            I have the cedrat and pomelo in that size and they are fantastic!

          • Danielle

            YES, that’s a great idea! And the tin looks super cute too.

            (Though, if we’re being honest, what I really want to do is just go to Sephora and bathe in that stuff, and roll around in it the way my cat does with her catnip. That would be reasonable therapy for the current political insanity and stress levels here, right?)

    • I have absolutely nothing on my Christmas list this year (except wishing that BabyPi makes a 2016 appearance) so I’m looking forward to everyone’s suggestions!

      • Jenny

        I was due early January and last year I asked for a robe that would fit my post partum body so I could through it on when people came over and some fuzzy slippers and a few dvds and a Hulu streaming with no commercials subscription. Basically stuff to make my maternity leave more comfortable! My big miss was wireless headphones because my tv didn’t register them but if they had it would have been awesome.

    • Amy March

      Tickets to the ballet and a slow cooker.

      • Cdn icecube

        A slow cooker changed my life. I don’t know how I lived without one before.

      • Lawyerette510

        I’m just going to make a pitch for the Instant Pot, because you get a slow cooker with a timer and warming function and also a pressure cooker, and you can actually sauté in it before you pressure or slow cook something. We had our slow cooker for 3 years and loved it, then got the Instant Pot, and the slow cooker has gone into deep storage for purposes of keeping things warm at parties only.

        • Gaby

          Oh gosh yes, I’d forgotten how much I want an instant pot. I think I’ll probably donate my slow cooker as soon as I get my hands on one.

        • lamarsh

          Registered for an Instant Pot and very much hoping I get one. They sound amazing.

          • Lawyerette510

            Oh I hope you get it!

        • Jenny

          Yes! Love the instant pot! I’d bet they’ll be on Black Friday sale on Amazon.

          • Lawyerette510

            You’re probably right. Ours was from an Amazon sale, and is some of the best money we’ve ever spent. I especially love to use the pressure cooker mode to braise hearty greens like kale or turnip greens. I’m going to use it tonight to cook the turnip greens and kale for a creamed mixed greens side for tomorrow!

      • Alanna Cartier

        I just went to the ballet this week. It was amazing. Even better than I’d dreamed.

      • Good call on the ballet tickets!

    • lamarsh

      An Everlane snap backpack, because the over the shoulder bag is not cutting it for my 30 minute walking commute and my neck is all out of whack. Also, these seem to be about as professional-looking as a backpack can get.

      https://www.everlane.com/collections/womens-backpacks-bags

    • Ashlah

      I’m actually working on my list right now! I always have an ongoing list of books and records I keep handy. This year, I’m also asking for cold weather running clothes (including socks. I’m officially an Old.), a winter coat that isn’t a pea coat, a nice pair of slippers, soy candles, fancy looking coat hooks, a cute lunch box, and maybe some decor for my office. The household wishlist is mostly kitchen stuff.

      To bandwagon on your comment, I would love to hear some good (inexpensive) gift ideas for 2-year-olds!

      • Amy March

        Melissa and Doug have adorable sets of play food- boxes or cans – for under $20.

      • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

        Sandra Boynton board books and Mo Willems books are always a hit with the littles! They’re the only ones I never tired of reading to the various kids in my life, too.

    • Lawyerette510

      I want some gift certificates for massages this year. I’d say that’s the top of my list right now.

    • Gaby

      I’m holding off to buy myself Abbi Jacobson’s “Carry This Book” but I want to make it special and wait til we’re closer to Xmas.

      • Gaby

        This is kind of a shameless opportunity to brag, but after discussing Xmas gifts with my husband, we agreed it would be better for him try to get me Hamilton tickets than try to buy a bunch of smaller purchases I don’t really need. So we found Hamilton Chicago tickets for about $400 for the both of us!! We won’t be going until the end of April but I’m beyond excited and happy that we’ll be returning to Chicago. So uh, if you or anyone you love likes Hamilton, the Chicago tickets are much more attainable than NYC.

    • Laura C

      Since we have another cross-country move coming up, I am all about experiences or Kindle books this year — physical objects are just going to make me think about packing. But I know I need to think of something for my MIL, because she is a major gift person. She’s giving me a ring for my birthday (which is right after Christmas), but … yeah, I should try to come up with an idea that won’t make me tense to receive at Christmas.

      Both our parents and my BIL are getting Shutterfly books of baby pictures for Christmas, but we need to figure out something else, too.

      • Lawyerette510

        This is on the experience side, but what about http://kabukisprings.com/? It’s in the city, the massages are great, and the communal baths/ sauna/ steam are top notch.

        • Laura C

          Oooh, thank you.

      • Amy March

        Do you own the fanciest newest kindle possible?

      • Eenie

        Can she gift you a date night? Tickets to a movie and a gift card, Spa day for the two of you, or a winery/brewery tour? And part of the gift is being babysitter for the day (I forget if she lives close enough to you for this to be feasible). I think with another move on the horizon, experience gifts are the way to go.

    • Eenie

      Money towards paint to paint our house!

    • Mary Jo TC

      My siblings and I usually go in together for presents for our parents. On Thanksgiving, I’m going to pitch an idea. I think the 7 of us could commit to funding a scholarship in our parents’ name at our small urban Catholic high school, as a Christmas gift to them every year starting this year.

      I’m excited to get a “Q&A a Day for Kids” book for my 3 year old. You ask the kid a question every day and write down their answer in the book and maybe by the third year of the book he can write his own answers.

      • BSM

        The scholarship is a really lovely idea.

    • anachronismsarah

      We finally got our act together to give wedding portraits and photo books, just after our 2nd anniversary… We are also giving kitchen gadgets to my mother-in-law who has to cook more after a diagnosis, and cute home things(I made a wreath) for my brother and new sister-in law.

      I’m in the camp of something you want, something you need, something to wear, and something to read when it comes to asking for things. My want this year is a finished sewing space- and need is pants that fit. Wear is something sparkly/re-stringing pearls and read is a good magazine subscription.

    • Katherine

      Money for all-terrain tires and some storage shelving/cabinets since our rental house has zero storage. Nothing exciting, but sorely needed.

    • – A new wallet. Old one is sooooo busted.
      – A fancy comfort luggage strap for upcoming interviews
      – Maybe a suit (interviewssssss)
      – Nice picture frame for a wedding photo
      – Foldable rear bike baskets
      – Vintage pumpkin pie plate with recipe printed on it, same one my mom had growing up
      – Part of my gift to my lil sis is some pieces from the Xmas plates/glasses/bowls/mugs we had growing up. A candy dish, potpourri warmer, and candy jar all in the same pattern.

      Some other options:
      – Agate coasters with gold edges (etsy), Personalized stuff (photo playing cards, state cutting board, name jewelry, rolling pin, etc.), Traveling disc golf goal, Reallllly good mini flash light, Leatherman, Pineapple shot glasses, Wine preserving kit, Dremel set, Soapstone everything, DIY bitters kit, Portable projector, Gift card for a massage, Bath salts, Good kitchen knife, Other stuff you might find on wedding registry lists ;)

      Cup of Jo also often has some pretty good gift lists starting around now…

    • S

      I’ve asked for a couple of books, new sheets (we have a dog who sleeps in our bed – we always need new sheets!), and pyjamas (I live in them and wear them out so quickly!) I actually hate asking for presents but my mother prefers it and does NOT do well when left to her own devices in the gift-giving department. Right now I’m struggling big time thinking of something for my partner other than the traditional Christmas Eve PJs we gift each other. Normally I’m a great gift giver but I just can’t really think of anything he wants this year!

    • BSM

      We’re trying not to do many gifts this year. I’ve asked for some smaller Oxo kitchen things (dish brush, tongs, spatula, whisk), new bath towels from Crate & Barrel, and a couple beauty items/a Sephora gift card.

      The things I would most like to receive are the series of March books by Rep. John Lewis (link to Book One below) and donations in my name to Planned Parenthood and the ACLU.

      I think husband and I are going to try to hit up the Etsy Holiday event in SF this weekend to get things for our families. I’m having a tough time being a consumer in the midst of this political mess we’re in.

      https://www.amazon.com/March-Book-One-Oversized-Hardcover/dp/1603093834/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1479939741&sr=8-2

    • NotMotherTheresa

      My wish list is actually extra easy this year, since we had our wedding a few months ago, and we have registry leftovers to ask for! (As opposed to the past two years, where we were hesitant to get any house stuff, since we knew we needed to save stuff for the registry.) I’m asking my mom for nice-ish picture frames so that we can finally upgrade all of our crappy ones from the dollar store, and I’ll be asking the husband for a wicker storage hamper or two and a nice set of lamps, since the $10 Target buys from my college days are starting to look pretty sad. I could also go for a new set of pajamas and a fresh pair of nude heels, plus maybe a good pair of boots. I can’t decide on the boots, though, because honestly, my cheap $20 pleather ones are still going surprisingly strong after four years.

    • Eh

      Our response to people who have requested a list of physical items (and that has only been my MIL and my husband’s grandmother) is that we will be happy with whatever they get us (we did provide a list of gift ideas for our daughter) and we then added that we are doing some renovations to the house and if they want to contribute towards that gift cards for Home Depot and IKEA would be appreciated. We decided to not give a list this year because we have been told that the things we need or want are boring (we have never asked for a cleaning service but that sounds like heaven). We really need new window coverings in our bedroom and I would love new luxurious sheets for our bed but those things are too mundane for gifts according to my in-laws.

      Interestingly, the gift the last couple years that has gone over the best is a custom calendar for my in-laws. We put in pictures of our family and my BIL’s family and my MIL/FIL and we put in all the important dates (birthdays and anniversaries and holidays). For my SIL I usually get her pictures in frames since she doesn’t have many pictures in her house and is always commenting that she would like more. A few years ago I got her favourite wedding picture framed. Last year I printed pictures of her girls. This year I made a collage of their family from pictures we had taken at a family portrait session.

  • Alyssa

    You guys, this week has been a struggle for me. I have the week off, and I was looking forward to running, being outside, re-centering myself, etc. etc., but all I seem to be able to do is sit on the couch, online shop and completely over-do my screentime. I feel like a complete slug. So while I have a break and it is restful in a sense, it doesn’t feel very nourishing, and I think I’m just running in intellectual circles in my head between self-criticism and trying to give myself a break. What do y’all do for self-care, and what do you do for yourself when you need to get out of your own head?

    • idkmybffjill

      Make a plan with someone! Sometimes that’s the only way I can break my cycle. Knowing I don’t want to flake on that yoga class with my friend gets my butt in gear, and usually once I’ve gotten out and done the class I can sort of get my act together.

      • lamarsh

        Or book a class that charges you a fee to cancel at the last minute. That usually helps me with the post-work, I just worked all day I can’t possibly also work out now malaise.

        • idkmybffjill

          Ooof I WISH that motivated me. I’m much more motivated by letting someone down than losing money. In my head it’s twisted like, “well I’m spending it either way so if I want to skip it I can.”

    • Gaby

      I think actually scheduling that active time helps if you don’t have a friend or partner to hold you accountable. I’m scheduling a block of time on the stationary bike tomorrow morning so I can combat some of the couch potato habits I’m starting to fall into. I’m definitely going to write work outs into my planner once the new Gilmore Girls season is out because I’ll otherwise be stationary for 6 hours at a time.

    • anachronismsarah

      I miss the self-care sharing corner that happened around here for a while!

      I knit. Or read. Or go for a walk. This week it was gardening.
      Often I’ll do better and actually get out of my head and get shit done when I can think out loud first- so I walk and phone date with a friend. Or have a friend-date for something fun and girly.

    • Katherine

      I like the “traditional” stuff. Mud mask on, sitting in a hot bath with a book (hot toddy optional). Otherwise, if I’ve had a particularly stressful day, once I get home I’ll immediately queue up a yoga class on Youtube.

      • Alyssa

        Yes! I love yoga videos on Youtube. The Do Yoga With Me channel is my fave.

    • BSM

      I’m feeling kind of the same way as you. One thing that help me start to get back into running is to not push myself too hard. I’ve always been a runner and ran a marathon earlier this year, but I tend to be a very all-or-nothing type person. I try to be nice to myself and consider getting out the door and doing anything as a huge achievement.

      • Alyssa

        Definitely. I just went on a walk to say hi to my guy at his job (a couple miles from our house), and even just walking did make a huge difference. I need to start building back up to running again — I have knee and calf injuries from my HS running days that act up if I do too much too fast, so it’s a slow process, but I’d love to build up to do a 10K Trail race sometime next year!

    • Her Lindsayship

      This is late but just wanted to express some solidarity. I inevitably do this with my self-prescribed self-care time. And then sometimes end up more stressed out than I was before, because now I’ve wasted a day. I’ve found I have to sort of trick myself into the more productive/active thing, by telling myself, “ok, we’ll just do this for like five minutes tops and then we can go back to [[TV/online shopping/APW]].” By the time I’ve changed clothes and stretched, I’m ready for a real run, but sometimes I’m not able to recognize that while I’m on my laptop so I just have to lie to myself about it!

      As for what to do in the aftermath, when you’ve already had way too much screentime and feel like a zombie, it’s a really good time to practice being kind to yourself. Reading a good book for a few minutes can be a great way to get out of a cycle of self-criticism. Sending positive thoughts your way, hope the rest of the weekend was more nourishing.

      • Alyssa

        Thank you! This is helpful. I had a hunch that although I was being hard on myself about being a zombie, I was also doing exactly what I needed, and I think it ended up working out. Was I as active as I planned? Heck no (I discovered Downton Abbey and obsessively watched it), BUT I noticed this past weekend I was in GSD mode and made soups, cleaned the house, took walks, etc. Just another reminder that I need to stay in tune with my body and listen to what it needs and respect it, not criticize it.

        I love the idea of tricking yourself. I usually convince myself by saying “I know you don’t want to do this now, but you will be so glad you did by the time you’re done.” I’m usually right, but I like the 5-min rule… it seems a little more convincing to me. I hope you had a great holiday!

  • Alanna Cartier
    • Ashlah

      Aww, you look so happy! Congrats!

    • lamarsh

      Beautiful photos and those flowers are a dream. Congratulations!

    • Lawyerette510

      The florals! The lace sleeves! Your smiles! So wonderful. Congratulations!

    • Gaby

      Congratulations! Lace sleeves are my absolute favorite

    • Em

      So beautiful and so happy! And the flowers are so pretty!

    • Katherine

      LOVE your crown and sleeves! You look stunning.

      • Alanna Cartier

        Thanks! I figured if there is one day you can unabashedly wear a flower crown, your wedding day is it!

    • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

      OMG DRESS AND FLOWERS!!

    • Angela

      Congrats!! You are glowing!!

    • Her Lindsayship

      Congratulations!!! and WHOA THAT BOUQUET

  • toomanybooks

    After a few prods to my fiancée to check her email for an update from the place we ordered our wedding rings, she finally checked when I made her do it while I was actually in person last night – to find an email from a few days ago saying the rings were ready and they could ship them Monday and have them to us Wednesday if we confirmed that that delivery day worked for us. Aaaah!!! We could have had our rings today!!! Instead I suppose they’ll be delayed, but I don’t know for how long and I probably won’t until my fiancée and I are both home because, of course, it’s going to her email and she doesn’t check hers as obsessively as I do. (Normally I am the one who does the ordering, but she was making the purchase for this one.) There’s definitely not a time crunch, I’m just excited to see our wedding bands.

    In the meantime, we are trying to make another caterer appointment, and I’m thinking about what kind of thank you cards to buy. Does anybody have recommendations for (not necessarily “Wedding”) thank you cards that can be bought in bulk for cheap? Maybe Black Friday deals?

    Also: my fiancée is impatient to send out our invitations (they are ready) but our wedding is in late May next year and I was planning to wait until February (or at least after the new year!) because I thought that would be an appropriate amount of time before the wedding. We should wait, right?

    • Amy March

      You should wait. 8-10 weeks is traditional, I think 12 weeks is a reasonable max. If you want to let people know sooner send a save the date or an email. Sending them too early is just going to result in even more people than usual losing them and/or forgetting to RSVP.

      • Yup, exactly. 8-10 weeks prior to the wedding, unless it’s a destination wedding, then you can fudge the numbers a bit.

      • Eenie

        If you have a good number of people booking flights, I’d send out a save the date. Otherwise texting, calling, emailing those few people works well.

      • idkmybffjill

        Agreed. We sent a couple rounds (12 weeks and then 9 weeks) – we knew a huge chunk of my cousins would likely not attend but wanted to be sure before we sent out local invites to our extended friend group. An unexpected bonus was that the second group (9 weeks out) RSVPed WAY faster. Part of that was that it was our friends who were psyched to be invited, but I think getting the invites and seeing a more immedate response date lit a fire.

    • Alexandra

      I found 50 Thank you cards for 5 dollars at TJ Maxx last weekend. Stoked on that deal.

      • Gaby

        I was just going to recommend TJ Maxx or Marshall’s. I stock up whenever I go so I’m not empty handed on appreciation days at the office.

      • Lisa

        We bought two packs of thank you cards at our local Wal-Mart for about the same price. They are simple and pretty, and we’re still using some of the leftovers years later!

    • Lawyerette510

      As for thank you notes, one really affordable way to have less traditional wedding thank you notes, is to buy some plain cards (either solid colors, or patterns, or both) and a “thank you” stamp (either self-inking, or get a few colors of ink pads and stamp you like). You can stamp the front of the card and write the note on the inside, or for cute patterns leave the outside plain and stamp and write on the inside. Michael’s often has sales on multi packs of cards, and coupons on their website. Also, lots of times stamps are on sale too.

      As for sending the invitations, this is generally too early (unless you’re talking destination, but it might be a little early for that). The reason is because you want people to RSVP, and you’ll have a higher rate of people changing their RSVP or just plain flat forgetting if they are RSVPing to an event 5 months away.

      • toomanybooks

        Ooh, I’ve been thinking about the blank card/stamp thing. I’m an artist and graphic designer, so this should be my jam, but I’ve barely been thinking about DIY projects! I want them though, it’s so soothing for me to have a project. I’m thinking DIY wedding paper goods will be the thing that gets me through this winter.

    • Eenie

      We did Shutterfly ones for pretty cheap. Used an engagement photo.

      • Picaboo is having a sale on flat cards. Like $18 for 40 or something?

    • Eh

      We got thank you cards from Wedding Paper Divas that said “Thank You”, no picture but were personalized with our initials and the year we were married (which I wish I wouldn’t have done) and we got them right after Christmas for 50%.

      I live in Canada so we don’t have Target anymore but I bought a ton of generic Thank You cards from them (just finished getting through them).

  • Taking a Leap

    I’m trying to start my own freelance social media management business. I’m equal parts pumped up that I can do it and get out of my current soul draining job and terrified that it won’t work and I’ll be stuck at a dead end job for ever. Nothing like living in extremes. I have one artist who makes an adult yoga coloring book and other body centric art, who is my guinea pig–I’m managing her social media platforms for free. We’re doing an after Thanksgiving sale and I’m sorry worried it will be a flop. We’ve only been working together since the end of last month, but I really like her art and I want her to do well. And I want to do well. Starting new things is scary–it’s like taking a leap of a cliff.

  • Bsquillo

    I feel like I’ve missed the last few happy hours, but MAN you guys, what an emotional roller coaster this post-election landscape has been. I’ve been back and forth between angrily motivated to call ALL my representatives, and in total despair that the world is not as kind as I thought it was.

    On a brighter note, my friend’s 9 year old, spunky and cool daughter is still excited because “she still has the chance to be the FIRST female president.” While I certainly hope that happens long before she’s 35, at least the next generation is hopeful.

    Going to head home soon and cook ALL of the food. Thanksgiving is by far my favorite holiday! Wishing everyone a safe, happy, and restful holiday.

  • Katherine

    Shout outs in solidarity to those of you who have to work Friday. I’ll be in the office and my husband will be at the brewery, but it’s nowhere near the same as working retail.

    Otherwise, I’m excited for our first solo holiday! Zero vacation time = zero travel obligations. The house is a total disaster and I accidentally left out half the liquid in our dinner rolls, so they look slightly tumorous, but everything will be delicious all the same.

    • Ashlah

      I’m five years removed from working retail, and I’m still thankful every year that I’m done with it. Sure, I’m annoyed I’ll be at the office from 8-11 AM, but that’s really nothing compared to 2:45 AM – 12:45 PM.

      • Kelly

        Working 8a-11 also, but thankful that it was my choice to go in for a few hours. Thanksgiving & the Friday aren’t “free” days off, they come out of our vacation hours so I didn’t want to use all of them since we aren’t traveling

  • Alexandra

    I’m having such a surreal experience right now. I’m taking an on-line harassment training module series at work (fun day before Thanksgiving activity) while simultaneously internet surfing…OMG Trump needs to be reported to HR. Immediately.

  • anachronismsarah

    Soooo I am hosting Thanksgiving… for my in-laws.
    It’s been a marathon cooking week… pumpkin on Sunday for pie today, all kinds of chopping Mon/Tues, and i cooked ALLL THE THINGS today! Green Bean Casserole, Mac and cheese, smashed potatoes, plus helping hubs make pumpkin-cheesecake pie.
    Now for marathon cleaning and getting the turkey all prepped.
    Oy vey.
    In other news, I’m looking up a little more- trying not to worry so much about when things happen with TTC, and just settling into good routines. We’re re-doing my sewing room to make it function better both for me and for overnight guests. And cleaning up all the tiny piles of crap that have built up everywhere, and generally just figuring out how to be good buddies with cleaning/household tasks and not hating each other about it.
    It feels good for things to be going right at home- It gives me a sense of control over at least SOMETHING… and that gives me more hope. If I can start impacting my little corner of the world and encourage others to do the same, maybe the world will look like a different place…
    It’s a good thing though. Positivity is its own kind of momentum, and in this very VERY red area, I am clinging to making small change to mindsets, and encouraging kindness and open-ness.

    • Eenie

      We are hosting my FIL and went with two chickens and minimal sides for just three people :) Briefly considered grilling out, but we did that a week ago when he visited for a night with my MIL. Good luck! Sending you my good hosting vibes!

      • anachronismsarah

        Thanks! We have 9 tomorrow.

  • S

    Anon started a thread about what’s on our Christmas lists – can I ask what we’re all getting our partners, or what presents have been big hits in previous years? I’m usually great at gifting but I have severe gift-block this year! I can’t think of a single book or record he’d love (plenty he’d LIKE well enough, sure, but none he’d be particularly “omg how did you know?!” about), can’t think of anything in particular he’d like tickets to, can’t think of anything he particularly needs…I have a couple of little things in mind but nothing exciting or thoughtful or special.

    • Eenie

      Not every year has to be super awesome! We are skipping gifts for each other this year and putting the money towards travel. I’m also just gifted out.

      • S

        Yeah! I think my struggle is that I really hate to feel like I’m buying things for the sake of buying things, but also gifts are quite important to me – it’s my main love language, I think. I’m fine with a “not super awesome” gift year, as long as the gifts are still in some way useful, rather than just things I’ve bought just for the sake of putting something under the tree. I just can’t really think of ANYTHING he needs or particularly wants at the moment, for some reason.

        • Eenie

          Can you postpone the gifting? I’m a big fan of random surprise gifts instead of expected gift at standard holdiays. My SO and I hardly ever give each other big gifts for birthday, christmas, or anniversary. We do get each other little surprises on random days or if one of us has had a bad week or just doesn’t think we deserve said thing that we totally do.

          If you really want to gift something useful, could you splurge on a fancy week of groceries together? Buy all the cheese, alcohol, fruit, veggies, meat, etc that normally blows the budget and get some red box movies for a nice night/day in?

        • Eenie

          I think you have two options then. Get a nice experience date gift for the two of you (have you given him ideas/is he struggling too?). Or postpone the gift. Decide you’re going to wait until you find a gift you feel like giving and have it be a total surprise. Unexpected gifts are my favorite. My SO and I have almost done away with the expected gift giving because it’s no fun.

          • Lulu

            My best friend and I give an “Annual Gift” whenever we see something that speaks to us, and it is the BEST.

          • Eenie

            Oh this is a great idea – I may have to adopt it. My best friend and I celebrate/gift things way after the occasion. I got married in April and our wedding gift from her is still “in the works”. I love it though. Even the “I’m sorry your uterus is hurting” gift arrived a month and a half after the particular incident.

      • emmers

        Us too! I may be getting the Hamilton soundtrack, but he’s already gotten a big ticket item he needed, so no more gifts this year.

    • Alyssa

      Since this year I FINALLY have an adult paycheck, I bought my person tickets to see Handel’s Messiah in SF, because every year he talks about how much he loves it, but in the 7 years we’ve been together we’ve never seen it. Otherwise, I tend to go the “practical” route for him, and just consider the stuff he has, what needs replacing or could use an upgrade.

      • S

        I wish my partner wasn’t the sort of person to just go out and get new socks/shirts/whatever as soon as he needed them – it would make this time of year a lot easier! Alas, he likes clothes shopping more than I do and also makes more than I do. Whereas I might “make do” with the same wardrobe and wear holes in everything and borrow his socks when I need socks – he just goes and buys new socks if he’s running low. I’m wracking my brain trying to think of non-clothes things he might need replaced or upgraded and am drawing blanks. Again, if his bike light breaks or anything like that, he’ll just replace it himself. Argh!

    • BSM

      Depends so much on what he’s into and what kind of gifting y’all practice. We tend to think of gifts as special things that you wouldn’t normally treat yourself to, so even just nicer upgrades to things he already has seem to go over well: nice socks and t-shirts (my dude likes the J.Crew ones but normally will only get them on sale because at $25/tee, they add up kinda fast), card case or wallet (got him this one for his birthday in October: http://bit.ly/2fGQyhJ), higher quality slippers (LL Bean ones are awesome), a really durable umbrella, a nice dopp kit (Herschel Supply Co. has some great ones).

      I’ve also in general had good success with work bags. I got hubbs a nice Banana Republic one a few years ago that he has worn into the ground, so this year I’m replacing it with this one from Topo Designs: http://bit.ly/2gCc4YX. I have one of their backpacks and loooove it. So well made and pretty.

    • Gaby

      I am guilty of getting him gifts that benefit us both (ie. things for the home) because he’s a computer geek and I don’t stand a chance at guessing what new piece he wants to upgrade. My first idea this year was a commission for an illustrated portrait of us and the pets since it’s first xmas as a married couple. But since that is also something *I* want, I’m splurging and getting him an a fancy air monitor because 1. that boy loves gadgets and 2. he constantly has sinus issues and the humidifiers and purifiers he’s bought in the past are not as pretty as this one. It still probably falls more on the practical side but it does have some wow factor!
      I’m with BSM and support buying upgrades for things he already has. I’d love an instant pot as an upgrade to my slow cooker and I’d buy him an upgrade to his current laptop bag if I didn’t think the air monitor was higher priority.

    • Cdn icecube

      Big hits:
      – Gronk jersey
      – smart watch (not an apple watch, but a pebble – cheaper and still really good).
      – paintball gun
      – Coffee maker

      Big Misses
      – espresso maker
      – counterfeit jersey
      – New clothes

      • JC

        Oh my gosh, my boyfriend hates the Patriots, but we LOVE Gronk. That is a fabulous gift.

        • Cdn icecube

          It was top 3 for sure. :)

    • Lawyerette510

      I’m getting a new wifi system for the house. He really wants one, and while we will likely need to upgrade to one sometime next year when he goes back to school and I continue to work from home, we don’t need it now. He really wants it NOW. So I’d consider it a gift to get it three months before we planned to. Also, I’m getting him a couple 100% cotton hoodies, because this man really loves things that are 100% cotton.

    • NotMotherTheresa

      Buying for my husband is horrible. He is the type to buy himself what he wants, and if he hasn’t bought it, it’s usually because we flat out can’t afford it. To make it even harder, I’m a housewife, so it’s generally his money I’m spending to get him anything.
      Last year, I gave him my dad’s old watch, and he was pretty stoked about that, because he’d been wanting a new watch and oddly enough couldn’t make himself cough up the money for one. (Don’t worry, my dad’s not dead or anything, he just felt like replacing his Bulova.) This year, I’m buying him/us a new duvet with money I made filling out surveys. It’s not super glamorous, but we’re getting a new king sized bed, so I know we’ll need a new, larger duvet for it, and this way, he won’t have to save up the money.

    • Rebecca

      An Audible subscription has been the most appreciated so far, and he gets to pick his own books. Plus I’m now sorted for years because I’ll just keep renewing it..

    • emilyg25

      My husband is tough because he’s not into stuff. I got him a night in a fancy hotel in our nearby big city.

    • I’m getting him an e-reader. Frankly, I don’t know why we never bought one before. We travel a lot, and he always lugs a huge thick Sci-Fi book with him, plus a travel book. Last time we flew, he was wondering what the carbon cost is of taking a 600 pg book around the world on planes.

    • JC

      He doesn’t know it yet, but we’re going to the Game of Thrones live orchestra concert in San Jose in March!

  • LP

    So, I posted a couple weeks ago that I had another suspicious lump in my breast. I went to see my surgeon and both she and my radiologist do not think that it is obviously cancer, but they also both want me to have a lumpectomy because of both my and my family’s history. It’s scheduled for two weeks for now, and I’m half bummed, half glad that it’s going to be out of me. A weird part of me feels like this is just routine at this point since it’s happened two years in a row. I’m still pretty optimistic that it’s nothing, but there’s also a part of me that wants to just curl up, cry, drink questionable amounts of wine, and cuddle with my dog. Oh well, I’ll continue to soldier on.

    • Danielle

      You’re allowed to cry and cuddle. 100% <3

      • LP

        Thank you<3 I can promise you that the dog has no issue with this.

    • Lawyerette510

      Sending thoughts of a smooth couple of weeks for the wait. While I haven’t experienced similar, there were a couple of years in a row where my husband had melanomas that were deep enough to require serious surgery to remove them and biopsy some lymph nodes, but never required treatment beyond that (thankfully). Between the second diagnosis and the surgery, and even through the third year, he talked about that feeling of “is this just a thing that is going to happen every year? I know what it involves and that I’ll probably be fine, but damn it sucks.” I don’t really have any advice, other than to say keep taking care of yourself emotionally (and the crying, drinking, cuddling is a good way to do that), and that what you’re feeling is normal.

      • LP

        Thank you! I really appreciate it. Trying my best to take care of myself, it’s not always my strong suit. But I do appreciate hearing this is a normal feeling!

    • Jess

      Good luck, and I am sending you the limited patience I have. I hope this all comes to not-a-whole-lot.

    • rg223

      Sounds like a good self-care plan! Hugs to you.

  • BSM

    Adding to my election depression is how disappointed I am in Democrats’ responses to the Trump dumpster fire (Trumpster fire?). I know that it’s only been two weeks and that no one was anticipating this happening, but what the fuck guys? How about some coordinated condemnations, actions, outrage, fight? His infrastructure plan is just a mechanism for developers to line their wallets, but we should work with him on it?

    Hearing Progressives say that we should have identity politics take a backseat to a message of economic populism has me furious. I can’t even put together a response to that because I find it disgusting and wrong on so many levels. The best I’ve read is this piece from VSB, excerpt below:

    “The concept of “diversity” — of wanting it recognized, acknowledged, and appreciated — isn’t just some sort of classroom rhetoric or academic thought exercise. The recognition of and sensitivity to it is vital because it *literally saves lives*. For the tens of millions of historically marginalized Americans, this isn’t about being right or wrong. It’s about safety. It’s about being able to relax and exhale in our own home. It’s about a pursuit of the most basic human need; one that, for as long as America has existed, has been beyond our grasp. We’re not upset about the election because “our team” lost. We’re upset because this incoming administration — through both their campaign and the decisions made since the election — has promised to provide us with pain.”

    http://verysmartbrothas.com/mark-lillas-the-end-of-identity-liberalism-is-the-whitest-thing-ive-ever-read/

  • KiwiSarah

    Might be a bit late to the party, but I’m looking for advice from Hamilton fans. I’m visiting New York for the first time ever in early January and have been looking at resale tickets on Ticketmaster, which are insanely expensive as expected. Any idea whether they’ll go up or down in price as we get closer to the time? Or tips on other (reliable) places to get them? We’re only there for a few days so I can’t afford to to stand in line for the super cheap ones. Thanks!

    • Amy March

      Stubhub is also legit, but I doubt you’ll see them going down in price. If you’re open to other shows Waitress is really fun and Dear Evan Hansen is new to Broadway and shatteringly emotional.

      • Lisa

        I really want to see Waitress! It’s one of my favorite movies, and I’m loving the pieces I’ve heard of the soundtrack.

  • Laura C

    So apparently hand foot and mouth is going around in the Bay Area? At pickup today they told me they’d had a confirmed case, so do extra hand-washing/watch for signs. Off to research it in more detail…

    • rg223

      It has been going around New York since the summer and it is AWFUL.

  • toomanybooks

    This might be kind of late to post. But. I’m thinking about the Europe flight deals and I’m trying to decide: my wedding is on a Sunday of a holiday weekend. Should I leave for my honeymoon on Monday or Tuesday right after that, or should I go back to work for those four days and then start my honeymoon that weekend?

    • Ashlah

      After our Saturday wedding, we left for our honeymoon on Monday. For us, it was perfect. We had one day at home to relax at home, open gifts, and finish packing. (And for me to chop off all my hair!) I personally don’t think I would have liked to go back to work between the wedding and the honeymoon–it seems like it’d be such letdown! I really liked that our honeymoon and wedding felt like a singular, connected event.

      That said, plenty of people have their honeymoon pretty far separated from their wedding, and I’m sure they’re wonderful! What are the reasons you’re considering delaying for four days?

      • toomanybooks

        We were thinking it might make more sense to take a straight two weeks off of work the next week (starting and ending on weekends, like maybe that would maximize time off)… but now that I’m thinking about it, it would probably be fine to just take off the same amount of days. I like the idea of taking a day to relax and then going straight to the honeymoon.

        • idkmybffjill

          Late to the party, but I returned to work on a Thursday (took two weeks for wedding and honeymoon, got back from honeymoon on Tuesday, returned to work Thursday), and it was SUPER great to have a very short week to reacclimate to normal life again instead of starting again on a Monday.

          • toomanybooks

            Oh, cool! I’ll be coming back to work on a Wednesday and I hadn’t even thought of how the shorter work week will make my return easier :)

          • idkmybffjill

            It was really great! Obviously depends on your job, but working that short week let me pretty much get life squared away (I’d done a TONNNNN of work before I left), so the following Monday was just like any Monday instead of a Monday + my first day back.

    • emmers

      I vote for not going to work. I really needed the honeymoon to chill/get away.

    • LP

      Don’t go back to work. You’re not going to want to and you’re not going to get as much accomplished in those four days anyway because you’ll just be gone again. Plus flights/hotels are usually cheaper during the week!

    • Eenie

      Monday, unless Tuesday saves you some serious $$$. Tuesday flights are typically cheaper. Don’t go back to work.

    • Jess

      I vote it depends on what you do for work? Are you in the kind of position where taking time off for your wedding plus taking no-contact-in-Europe time off will make you stress about not answering questions/pushing forward projects? Or are you in a position where you can drop things for two-to-three weeks at a time?

      For me, we had to go back to work Tuesday & Wednesday because of when our cruise started, and honestly? Taking Monday off was amazing to recover and enjoy the general good feelings, and going into work let me depart for Europe with my mind and conscience clear, knowing that I had checked in and gotten some stuff done.

    • Angela

      We got married Saturday just been and leave for our honeymoon this Sunday. We took the week before the wedding off and this week as well as the honeymoon. I have really been enjoying using this week to sleep, bonk and catch up with people who travelled to our wedding and also to get a few bits and bobs for the cruise and run errands (exchanging gifts where we got doubles when ppl went off-registry). I was incredibly grateful not to have to worry about packing etc before the wedding. We were spoiled with a night in a fancy hotel after the wedding as a wedding gift which was lovely.

    • emilyg25

      Don’t go back to work!! We got married on Saturday and left for our honeymoon on Monday. I liked having a day to rest. So I vote Tuesday.

      • toomanybooks

        Yes, I decided going back to work would be a drag. Ended up getting tickets for late evening the day after the wedding… to go to Iceland and England!!! I’m so excited! Thanks for the input, everyone, it really helped me be more decisive.

        • E.

          This is late, but we went to Ireland and Iceland this summer and Iceland was spectacular. Such an amazing place

    • anachronismsarah

      Tuesday! Give yourself a day to sleeeeeep

  • Cdn icecube

    I don’t know if anyone is still around.. but is anyone watching this??
    http://theslot.jezebel.com/jesus-electoral-christ-jill-stein-actually-raised-over-1789333852
    https://jillstein.nationbuilder.com/recount
    I’d be really interested in hearing people’s thoughts on the possible success of something like this. Is it too little too late, or can something still be done?

    • suchbrightlights

      I donated towards it. As I understand it, it is not too little, too late if funds are raised by the state deadlines. As an e-acquaintance phrased it on Tumblr: “The Cubs won the World Series, miracles can happen.”

      • Cdn icecube

        So far they’ve funded recounts for two states and are well on their way to the third so fingers are crossed. I know that I’m Canadian and this is *not about me* but I really hope that a miracle occurs and the world is not subjected to the rule of the orange cheeto.

        • suchbrightlights

          I feel horrible about saying this, but I’m torn. If the election is discovered to be rigged (or enough of the electors turn faithless to flip the result) I think the uproar would be tantamount to, if not outright, civil war. The House and Senate are still heavily red and would persist in the same obstructionism they’ve engaged in for the last eight years, so Hillary would be in the same Sisyphean position as President Obama has been, and the party wouldn’t have the electricity behind it to engage as it does now (read: lower chance of flipping the legislature in 2018.) So I think we’d still be deadlocked even in a best case scenario. And yet that has to be better than anything Trump (or the men behind the curtains, really) would accomplish, because they’ve already shown what they are and what they want, and it’s immoral, inhumane, inhuman, and unconstitutional. So what’s worse: at least two years of that, or at least two years of potential civil war and the same old shit from the legislature? I don’t know what the answer is because either way it’s measured in lives and humans. This is where we are, and it makes me sick, but sick doesn’t do anything productive, so instead I’m mad as hell.

  • raccooncity

    Surprise! Kit is here.
    We ended up needing to get him out via c-section, which was NOT FUN FOR ME. (the spinal block was described afterwards as ‘touchy’ by the anaesthetist, which i thought was her maybe being generous to her own work…) The before and after parts have been okay though, and I’d say comparable in terms of pros and cons to a vaginal birth. They’re just different.

    Anyway, we got 24 hours notice before the surgery and I spent those hours having a major breakdown and crying all day about how I actually didn’t want to do any of this and that I really only wanted it to be “just the two of us” (to Mr. RC). So…that’s why nature doesn’t give you a specific time when you become a parent, I guess.

    That’s over though, and Kit is very cute, very well behaved and we love him a lot. His real world name is Alfie, but we called him Kit in the womb so I’ll probably just keep doing that here. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/12725e23cd980bd363f83fb1f3e57c0db449ceae0c35861096095faf94e517fd.jpg

    • Booknerd

      Congrats!! So adorable <3

    • emilyg25

      Aww, he looks like a chunky little monkey! Alfie is a great name.

    • suchbrightlights

      Congratulations! Welcome to the world, little Alfie! After your pregnancy experience, I hope that his first words to you are “I’m sorry, Mom, and thank you.” Not only because it seems you’ve had quite the adventure bringing him into the world, but also because if he starts speaking on track for normal human development and comes out with a full articulated sentence, that’s some genius kid you’ll have. ;)

    • Danielle

      Welcome, Kit! What a gorgeous little face!!

      All the best in healing and bonding these first few days <3

    • AGCourtney

      Congratulations, RC! Wishing you a speedy recovery and a wonderful transition to parenting. It’s a special time. <3

    • E.

      Congratulations!

    • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

      Oh! What a sweet peanut. Congratulations to you!!!

    • Her Lindsayship

      Congratulations!! I appreciated your honest breakdown story greatly – fairly certain that’s how Her 9-months-pregnant Lindsayship would also behave. Wishing you a speedy recovery!

    • anachronismsarah

      Amazing. Congratulations! And Swift/smooth recovery!!!!

    • Eh

      Congrats! Welcome Kit!

    • Lisa

      Congratulations on the birth of your son!! He’s adorable! I love his name, too. We still call my nephew by his womb-name (Tank, long story) instead of his real name, and it’s been almost four years. Some names just stick!

    • Ashlah

      Oh my gosh, I just saw this, congratulations! I’m sorry the birth experience was less than ideal, and I hope you’re healing up quickly. You sure do have a little cutie on your hands! Love his name too. Congrats again!

    • JC

      LOVE!!!

    • gonzalesbeach

      congrats!! what a sweetheart!