APW Happy Hour


Here's to New York, anniversaries, and robots that clean your floors

by Meg Keene, CEO & Editor-In-Chief

irobot-1-of-1

Hey APW,

As those of you who follow us on Instagram and Facebook probably already know, I was in New York this week to host a press event for iRobot. (Side note: Roombas are actual magic, and I would now like robots for everything. Laundry-folding robot? Eh?) Anyway, David and I turned the forty-eight-hour trip into a little mini-moon of sorts. We got a ridiculously nice room at The Standard, saw the High Line for the first time (it’s been built since we left), caught up with all of our college friends who we haven’t seen for five years, and had two blissful days without the kids.

We miss them like crazy, of course, and I’m writing this from the plane as we fly back to pick them up early from school and cuddle them. But the more responsibilities that get layered on to our life (two careers, two tiny kids, a house, a staff to manage, etc.) the more important it is that we get away every so often and remind ourselves that we’re also a couple. Not just co-parents, or co-life-workers, or co-money-managers, but each other’s person. And that we picked this (and didn’t pick wrong). We’re celebrating twelve years together next week, but we pre-gamed this week.

Thanks to New York, for always welcoming us home with open arms. And to Roomba, for making it happen (and keeping my floors newly cleaned).

xo

Meg

LINK ROUND-up

Why have the CMAs removed any mention about Beyoncé’s performance on social media?

Muhammad was a feminist.

UK lawmakers have to vote on Brexit to make it official. (Or not! Let’s just not Brexit.)

The Hamilton Mixtape is here, y’all.

May we all be this incredible at eighty-seven.

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

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  • Christina McPants

    Parenting: Where you spend time away from your kids missing them like crazy and thinking about how you want to spend time with them… and time with them is spent counting minutes to nap time.

    (I love my daughter. I love spending time with her. She’s amazing. But some days…)

    • Anon

      Amen. This morning my little guy was cranky as all get out (probably getting//has/recovering from a cold). I dropped him at daycare and was like bwahahaha your problem now suckers. But now I’m counting the hours till I get him for the weekend.

      • Christina McPants

        Daycare crud is the worst. The. Worst.

    • Mary Jo TC

      Maybe I’m weird, but I actually…don’t miss my kids when I’m not with them? And yeah, I work full time. Maybe I’m with them enough and get my fill, maybe I’m never apart from them for long enough to miss them, maybe they’re exceptionally annoying, maybe I’m particularly good at compartmentalizing or at ‘living in the moment’ (ha!), maybe I’m deficient in some way. And I count the minutes till bedtime too.

      • Meg Keene

        I don’t miss them at work, but I do miss them when I’m gone for two nights. Not like every second, but I really can’t get enough of them when I’m back.

      • Laura C

        I find that when I’m in a slump during the work day, missing the baby is one of the ways it manifests. Like, there’ll be half an hour when my morning rush is over and I’m getting hungry but waiting to have lunch, and I miss him badly. But during the same kind of time I might equally feel really homesick or negative about where I’m living now or start dwelling on a sad book I just read — it’s just kind of a low spot in my day that gets filled in by something.

    • Julie

      THANK YOU FOR SAYING THIS. Holy cow, what a relief to know this is a normal way to feel! She is the most incredible little, round human being ever, but…nap time is so great.

      • Christina McPants

        I so frequently look at her and go “I love you with all of my heart, but oh my god, please let it be bedtime soon.”

  • Vanessa

    We are hopefully locking down our venue today!!! We loved the place we saw last week but their usual policy is for couples to pay for 100% of the cost up front. It’s a former hotel that now operates under a VRBO model, so this amounts to us paying all of the lodging costs for 3 nights for our 70 guests, 10 months in advance. Even though we know our friends & family will pay for their rooms eventually, it’s a lot of $ to float for a year. So my fiance is trying to work out a payment plan with them and hopefully later today we will have an official date!!!

    And! I asked my friend to be my MOH last night and she said yes :) It’s a great day!

    • louise danger

      congratulations! and yikes that’s a scary policy for them to have. i hope that you’re able to sort it, the venue itself (meaning, the non-bureaucratic bits) sounds lovely!

      • Vanessa

        Thanks! And it is really really nice – cabins on a private lake surrounded by beautiful national forest & Colorado mountains :)

        • louise danger

          guh. can i come if i promise to cover my part of the lodging cost?

          • Amy March

            Obvi the solution to unused rooms is APW filling them up.

        • Olive

          it sounds like a dream!

        • Vanessa

          AND there are 3 hot tubs overlooking the lake – here is one of them https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9911de7573939a6968b972515b20b5561af0ce73c8c6a0e4732cea884b949a76.jpg

          • Looks faaaaaaaabulous.

          • Katherine

            Oh my goodness. So jealous.

          • Jennifer

            This looks familiar. What part of Colorado?

          • Vanessa

            It’s near Nederland :)

          • Jennifer

            That’d be why! I have a friend who was just in that area. (I’m originally from Fort Collins).

          • Vanessa

            Same here! It seems to have gotten a lot cooler since I moved away.

          • Jennifer

            So true. And big. I was back this summer and I just miss the area. (And all my friends get mad because basically no where else lives up to how I talk about it.)

    • Amy March

      Wow that would give me serious pause! What if all 70 guests don’t come? Or want to stay somewhere else?

      • Vanessa

        Well we’re actually inviting 80 (they have capacity for up to 80 but we expect some to not be able to make it) and for all but 2 it would be 1.5+ hours away from home, and an hour away from other lodging options, so we think the vast majority of our group will want to stay there. Plus we’re going to be providing all of the meals & drinks for the entire time people are there. It’s definitely a know-your-crowd situation, but for our group of friends who have traveled from Denver to Hawaii, Costa Rica, and lots of mountain weekends for weddings, this isn’t a very big ask.

        • Amy March

          Oh I didn’t mean to suggest you were asking too much or anything, just that it’s a pretty significant sounding cost for you to potentially get stuck with.

          • Vanessa

            You’re right! But right now we’re expecting to invite around 85, so as long as at least 70 stay we won’t be losing any money. But it’s definitely intimidating!

          • Yeah…so…I think 70/85 is a slightly over-optimistic number (this varies of course, probabilities and all), but a more conservative estimate would only have you losing a bit of money, so whatever.

          • Vanessa

            I don’t think I understand when you say over-optimistic – like we should expect fewer than 70 guests? Predicting RSVP is an imperfect science and it’s definitely a know your people thing, but knowing our people & having built in some contingencies for fewer/more than expected, we’ll be fine.

          • Yeah, then you’ll be fine.

          • K

            I think there’s an industry standard for what percentage to expect. Obviously, knowing your people helps you know if you’ll meet, not meet, or exceed that. We went into our wedding thinking we knew our people – everyone comes to everything! – and did not really take into account that although in my family everyone comes to everything, they won’t come if it means missing finals and failing a class! And in his family, not only does everyone not necessarily come to everything, literally no one came to our wedding. We had the lowest response rate our venue had ever seen, and I’d been worried that we were going to be too crowded in there because “everyone comes to everything” was just my normal, but I was extrapolating my family’s standards onto his without realizing it.

            What I’m trying to say is make sure you really do know your people. (If you do, you’re fine.)

          • idkmybffjill

            Omg that was such a rude awakening for us. It ended up being really perfect for us, but we really really did not estimate correctly. Like 20, “I can’t imagine they wouldn’t make it” couldn’t make it for various different and really excellent reasons. We were able to upgrade all our food and drinks to make up for it but it was definitely a tough, “we could’ve totally gone with that smaller/cheaper venue” moment.

          • emmers

            Yep! We had some bow out due to pregnancy, unexpectedly moving out of state, job stuff, etc.

          • idkmybffjill

            Yep! Literally all the same for us. Unexpected pregnancy that resulted in a due date on our wedding day (one of my best friends from high school who lives out of state and her husband & daughters), unexpected job offer that resulted in a move the week before our wedding (rendering the trip out of budget), unexpected job loss, a sick family member. Just alot of things. All perfectly understandable reasons but just…. way more of them than we’d bargained for. We thought our estimate of 110 was spot on, give or take maybe 5… we ended up with 90. Wouldn’t change it after having had our awesome wedding but it was certainly a humbling experience.

          • emmers

            One other thing– you’ve probably thought about this, but some peeps may share rooms. Definitely the couples, but some non-marrieds too. Just figured I’d raise that in the off chance you didn’t think of it (like I totally didn’t think of it when calculating # of stamps for invitations).

          • Vanessa

            Oh yeah, we’ll be pretty close on numbers so we’re actually going to be assigning rooms to them, so they won’t really have the opportunity to do that without us knowing. But thanks for the warning!

          • emmers

            Good luck! It’s a beautiful location.

          • Amy March

            And especially depending on the cost. If a room for the wedding is $300, I’m much more likely to try and share that room with three friends than if it’s $70.

  • Nope

    Please don’t say UK lawmakers should not vote for Brexit if you believe in voting and democracy.

    • EF

      it’s not a zero sum game.

      referendum are not binding in UK law. nor is the uk truly a democracy; it remains a constitutional monarchy and is not bound by american rules of democracy (assuming you are saying this as an american). if you’re coming at this from the british angle, the representatives are there to vote, perhaps as edmund burke suggested, it is the representatives responsibility to listen to opinions but be the best informed, and thus make the best decision *for the people*. the people can vote the representatives out if they don’t like it.

      52-48 is not clear decision making by the people. an economic crash is absolutely the clear outcome. Please, let us not all be condemned to brexit.

      • Nope

        52 to 48 is clear. If not, why bother voting? Economics professor Mark Blyth explains why Brexit happened. The U.K. economy hasn’t been good for everyone.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwK0jeJ8wxg

        • EF

          omg, a true brexiteer on apw. fantastic. next we’ll have trump voters.

          no one argued the uk economy was ‘good for everyone.’ in fact, a lot of the remain campaign (and labour, and the lib dems, and the greens, and the SNP) were all arguing that we should be concerned that the economy had growing divides, and with torys in charge making it worse and unleashed from the EU? *nightmare*

          52-48 is not clear. It’s slightly above a tie. Since you aren’t someone who studies or knows economics (as everyone who does is anti-brexit) or law (as basically everyone is pro-EU), or business (again, all pro EU) or politics (overwhelmingly pro EU)…perhaps you don’t understand that this referendum, again, an opinion and not binding, is far too close to actually act on. It makes no sense, unless you want to destroy the country. That’s why best practice under international law recommends super-majorities before threatening the very existence of a country (Scotland should be looking for 60% in the next indyref, for instance).

          Brexit doesn’t just threaten the existence of the UK, it almost guarantees the end. Scotland will leave. Northern Ireland cannot have a border with the Republic, and in fact leaving the EU violates the Good Friday agreement (silver lining to brexit? finally a free and united ireland!). Gibraltar? gone. Malta?gona. and so it goes on. the UK will be over. England will be left.

          It’s fascinating to be inside a country, as an immigrant who knows its laws better than virtually all of the population (I studied law in the UK, became a lawyer, studied international and EU law after that), and watch the country march towards tiny insignificance. England is nothing if it follows May’s plan. Here, we finally have a chance to breathe and work towards a future that actually includes everybody, and you’re against it because what, words on the side of a bus? Nope.

        • EF

          one more thing: blyth is actually super anti-brexit, you know that right?

          he talks about it here. https://hbr.org/ideacast/2016/06/brexit-and-the-leadership-equivalent-of-empty-calories

    • emilyg25

      It’s hard to say, but I don’t believe in unrestrained democracy. People make emotional decisions without all the facts. Senate > House of Representatives.

  • Her Lindsayship

    I’m in a weird place this week (maybe because I just watched The Walking Dead premier? :( ) and this about brought me to tears: “Not just co-parents, or co-life-workers, or co-money-managers, but each other’s person. And that we picked this (and didn’t pick wrong).” Go team you!! Congrats on almost-twelve years!

    And in me news, we got “conditionally approved” for the loan for our condo, so I guess this is real now!! This morning I got unreasonably excited about the idea of ordering a return address rubber stamp for our wedding STDs and invites, since our new address will be permanent enough to feel justified in that purchase! :D :D :D

    Wedding planning has very much taken a back seat since we started this homebuying thing, but it’s creeping back into my ‘stuff I should be worried about right now’. If anyone knows a ridiculously cheap photographer in or willing to shoot in Boston, I’d love recommendations. By ridiculously cheap, I mean like $1500. We’ll probably end up hiring a student.

    • Also, FYI, if you have a bit of design sense, you can design your own stamp/image and have someone on etsy make the stamp for, like, $10-$20 depending on shipping. This is how I had ‘face stamps’ printed for my whole family ;)

    • Kaitlyn

      I think I’m going with Molly Burns Photography. She’s based out of New Hampshire and told me it’d cost $2000 to come down to RI (and this covers her travel, full day, etc). Engagement session was another $200. I don’t think printing, albums, etc. are included, but that was something I figured I’d do afterwards when we have more money. She’s a grad from New England School of Photography and might be less since Boston is closer to NH than Providence is. Also, NESOP has a board where you can post photographer requests and can request a student or an alum.

      • Her Lindsayship

        BLESS YOU. This is awesome, thanks so much for the info!! Hope it’s going well with the planning!

    • Emily C

      The first thing I ordered after we closed on our house was a stamp for our wedding invites and basically I want to use it every time I mail something! Congrats on the condo! So exciting! We got married in October and bought a house this year as well and it definitely made for a busy/expensive year, but I love having a place that’s ours.

    • memmily

      I got married a little over a year ago and we used Ashley and Alex of http://www.analogwedding.com/ they were fantastic, super easy to work with, communicative, unobtrusive, they shoot digital and film, and are well within your price range. They’re based out of the North Shore area but they do Boston weddings pretty regularly.

      • Her Lindsayship

        I just looked them up and the big wedding websites are all saying they start at $3000. I guess their prices have gone up since you booked – and no wonder, their work is GORGEOUS. Thanks for the recommendation anyway!

        • memmily

          it might be worth getting in touch with them anyway – they don’t post prices on their site so depending on what your looking for they might be able to work with you. We didn’t have engagement pics or prints done so that may have helped keep the costs down.

  • Ashlah

    1. I got my boudoir photos back, and I am THRILLED. You guys, I’m, like…sexy? I’ve been pretty comfortable in my body for some time, but I’ve never really looked at it through this particular lens. Even the ones where I might not fit society’s standard, I look fierce and strong and badass. If you’re on the west coast, and considering a boudoir shoot: First of all, yes, you should absolutely do it. And second, you should look up Briana Morrison.

    2. I am back to freaking out about the election. A couple weeks ago, I was confident. Now…I’m still on the side of hopeful…but I’m also terrified. I think I’m just going to have background anxiety all day every day until it’s over (and maybe after).

    3. Only slightly late to the party, but I finally sat down and listened to Hamilton with a lyrics sheet, and I am hooooooked. I splurged and bought it on vinyl, and I’m going to do my best to hook my husband next.

    Happy weekend, everyone!

    • louise danger

      If you dig Hamilton, following Lin-Manuel Miranda on twitter is the best-possible choice you could ever make.

    • Gaby

      I have like one person IRL that I can talk Hamilton with and it’s so upsetting because I’ve been hooked for months. Wah!

      • Ashlah

        I really want my husband to get into it (or at least listen through once!), so I can make references and burst into song without him being utterly confused.

        • Gaby

          Yeah he kind of knows 1/16 of the lyrics because I’ve listened to it so often (he loves the king George songs) but I mostly tweet out to the void any time I’m excited about any news like the mixtape lol.

      • Gaby

        oops, also yay for feeling sexy! I might ask my photographer friend for some photos next year, I’m glad you’re so happy with yours.

    • Laura C

      If you’re nervous, you can always phonebank! The Clinton campaign has a tool, MoveOn has a tool, I’m sure others do.

    • AGCourtney

      Welcome to Hamilton! Better late than never, haha.

      I’ve been thinking about doing boudoir photos lately – maybe I’ll try it. I started looking into it but got nervous about hidden costs and stuff.

      • Ashlah

        It’s definitely spendy (though of course it varies depending on the photographer). The only other time I’ve hired a pro photographer was for the wedding, and it seems common for them to give you the rights to all the photos included with the overall price. It turns out that isn’t really the case with any other pro photo shoot (from what I’ve seen), so it’s going to be another couple months before I can budget to actually buy the photos, and that’s going to probably be the same amount that I paid for the shoot itself. Bleh. But worth it for me!

    • Emily C

      Ooo exciting! Our wedding photog does boudoir as well and I loved working with her so much I want to do some boudoir photos in the future. And here’s to looking fierce, strong & badass!!

    • Olive

      So cool and so good that it was a positive experience! Maybe I’ll ask my wedding photog if she’d be willing to do that with me. I could use some feeling fierce and sexy.

    • rg223

      My husband insisted on strict budgets for ourselves for Christmas this year, so I asked my parents to get him Hamilton on vinyl as a surprise. He usually tells them he doesn’t want anything and they get him Chipotle giftcards (still an awesome gift, but not Hamilton-level awesome). I CANNOT WAIT FOR HIM TO GET IT.

      • Ashlah

        How awesome!!

  • Amy March

    Anyone on here running the NYC marathon this weekend? I’m looking forward to cheering people on.

    • louise danger

      my friend will be running it as her first-ever marathon! i won’t be there, but cheer for a lady in a Woodside Sunnyside Runners tank with green hair if you see her! :D

  • louise danger

    We rocked the boat bigtime last week (I missed happy hour, boo) by asking Mr Danger’s uncle to be our officiant. He said yes (hooray!) but Mr Danger’s mom is Deeply Upset – like, angry on the phone, combative, awful. Mr Danger and his uncle (his mom’s brother) have been working together to ensure they’re on the same page about it all, and everyone else has been really supportive. I suspect the root cause of the concern is, she’s every-Sunday Catholic and is concerned that our marriage won’t be legal because her brother isn’t a priest or a “justice of the peace” – we looked it up, as long as he’s ordained somehow, we’re fine; and because all of Mr Danger’s classmates from the parish grammar school have been married at the parish church, so she’s going to miss out on that Mom Social Experience. I’ve sent him some links for how to navigate Difficult Mom Conversations but I have a feeling this fence is not crossed yet. Whee.

    My mom keeps telling me out of one side of her mouth that she wants to help pay for the wedding and help and contribute, and out of the other side of her mouth telling me how hard things are right now for her and my dad.

    Also, we found out that we probably need a new furnace now, three months after settlement on our house, because the old one has a cracked heat exchanger and is venting 10x the normal amount of carbon monoxide. hashtag the joys of homeownership :

    There’s been so much happening! Also it finally _finally_ feels like fall and I’m so happy about that. …except for the furnace bit.

    • Ashlah

      Oof. Just…oof. I’m sorry you’re dealing with all that. But yay to uncle saying yes!

      • louise danger

        Yay to uncle! He has the best presence in-person, and it was so important to us to be married by someone who knows us and isn’t just someone we hire.

        We’ll be doing a vow renewal at Mr D’s childhood parish, with the priest he’s known since kindergarten, so we’re hoping that that combined with all the plans for a dang nice actual wedding down here in our city will help his mom come around.

    • toomanybooks

      Aaaaah the carbon monoxide thing is so scary!!
      Will you be able to pay for the wedding without your mom’s help? My parents, while not complaining to me about how hard things are (eep) just aren’t like, loaded financially so I didn’t ask for help – just waited to see if they’d say anything (which they did – that they wouldn’t be contributing). Maybe there’s like, one small thing that would be meaningful that she could take care of, like accessories for your outfit, or favors or something. (Then you don’t have to have a million conversations trying to pin down a dollar amount that can be contributed.)

      • louise danger

        Yeah, I haven’t asked for help at all, she just keeps insisting “we want to help!” – I gave up arguing with her about buying my dress, so she’s already done that. Now, she wants to buy my veil, too – which, that would be a big help (even without this furnace thing in the mix), but : I asked her for help with things I didn’t care about too much, but now I’m petrified that even those will look… not good, because she’ll find the least-expensive without considering the quality of the thing (if that makes sense?) so it’s just been stressful all around.

        The plans we’ve made have been made from the point of view “this is what we can afford using the funds we have available – without going into debt, without asking for help from our parents,” and everything is basically fitting in there. I think _she’s_ worried that “inexpensive” = “cheap” and not fun, whereas I see inexpensive as “using just the meaningful bits and tossing the stuff that isn’t important, and not just buying everything new.” She’s been open to that so far – things like using mismatched tablecloths on the park’s picnic tables, and she likes the park pavilion – but it’ll be at least a slope battle, if not a mountain-uphill. Happily, each mom has been the only speedbump in what has otherwise been a pleasant and enjoyable engagement and wedding planning journey!

        We have the furnace turned off for now (there’s an emergency switch on the side that the contractor flipped, and he posted a sticker) and someone is coming out tonight to quote us a price for a new system. Alas.

  • Oy Vey

    Small update..

    BF is still pretending like everything is fine

    I found an apartment and will be signing a lease on Wednesday. Then, will be breaking up and moving out on Thursday night.

    I have lots of emotions – excited, nervous, sad, scared, regretful, anxious. I hate that I’m going to hurt him when I love him so much. And I’m devastated I’ll have to leave our (his) dog. But I know this is for the best.

    Thanks APW for all your support during this difficult time. Love to you all.

    • Amy March

      Thinking of you as you navigate this stressful time, and I’m glad you’re taking concrete steps to support your own needs.

    • Trinity

      Thinking of you! You’re doing the right thing. <3

    • G.

      You’re taking huge steps in a tough time. Sending you strength and good wishes for a new start. You got this.

    • Gaby

      I read last week’s happy hour a few days late but you’ve been in my thoughts every day since. Good luck and internet hugs, you are so strong and brave!

    • MC

      So proud of you for making this choice, which I can imagine feels so hard. You’re doing the right thing. Best of luck!!

    • Ashlah

      Sending strength, and will be thinking of you on Thursday.

    • AmandaBee

      Girl, you got this. I’ve been thinking about your posts, and am so happy that you’re moving forward with this and taking care of yourself. Sending you strength!

    • Unhip in Brooklyn

      Good luck! Hoping and praying that it goes as well as it can and that the new stage is better for you.

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      Glad to read the update. Looking forward to next week’s success story. Rooting for you.

    • Laura C

      I’m so sorry you have to do it, but I’m glad you are doing it. Good luck making it to the other side.

    • Kaitlyn

      Best of luck! I’m glad you’re keeping us posted. I hear you about the dog as well :( But this sounds like this is for the best<3

    • Alyssa

      I’ve been thinking about you all week. Lots of hugs for you <3

    • ART

      Thanks for checking in, I was thinking of you. You got this.
      http://i.giphy.com/3oz8xMLQbQyRsCH1xS.gif

      • Oy Vey

        I do love Laurie Hernandez :)

        If only there was no stupid 2 per country rule at the Olympics…

    • Emily

      Good vibes to you. Be kind to yourself next week will all the emotions.

    • Best wishes as you transition. Take care of yourself and lean on your community for support!

    • Katherine

      Good luck Oy Vey. You’re in my thoughts.

    • rg223

      I’m so glad to hear this, especially with the accelerated timeline. You are doing the right thing! Good luck, you’ll be in my thoughts!

    • EF

      way to go for taking care of yourself, oy vey! best of luck in the future.

    • sofar

      Good luck. I just caught up on your update from last week, and your relationship is a way more extreme version of one I was in.

      And I’m not sure if this will make you feel better, but, after the break-up, my ex got his shit together. He worked on himself, went back to school (on scholarship), traveled, bought a home. I hear he is happy. When we broke up, I remember feeling AWFUL when I moved out because he was so effed up emotionally and had always been incapable of being happy (which was “my fault” of course). My bitterness that he was such a dick when we were together is far outweighed by the relief that someone I cared about deeply is happy.

      • Oy Vey

        Thanks. This is really comforting to hear.

        I really want him to be happy and I’m afraid this break up will break him. I hope he can do what your ex did and find motivation to make a better life for himself.

        • saywhatnow

          I hear you, but you’re not responsible for his happiness. Not one bit, especially when it wounds you.

    • emilyg25

      You’re amazing for doing what’s best for you even though it’s so hard. Rock on.

      I’m really sorry about the dog though. :(

    • Jane

      Hang in there!

    • saywhatnow

      I read the summary of your conversations with BF last week, and perhaps it needs reinforcing now, when you feel vulnerable: his behaviour is chillingly abusive – manipulative, controlling, demeaning, and diminishing. I recognised all the symptoms from a short relationship: the blame-shifting, the ominous “warnings,” the hyped-up taking everything personally and demanding apologies where no offence was made, the leaving-you-hanging while he supposedly decides your fate, the passive-aggression, the **constant blaming** for things that are not remotely your fault… I hate to say it, but when it gets this far, it will not change, and certainly not through conversation.

      So as much as you feel sad, try to remember how unhinged his behaviour is, how much is seeks to squash you. Most of all I want to say this: YOU are not hurting him. HE is hurting himself, and you. Any reasonable person has no other option but to leave in a situation like this. He WILL blame you and put it all on you, deny any responsibility, claim he was magnanimously generous – in those moments, please remember that your account horrified (yes, really) me and other readers on this site.

      And remember that you are doing the right thing and that *you are not responsible for him and his well-being.* I hope you cut off all communication with him and make a fresh start. Good luck, and please be safe!

    • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

      You’ve got this. Sometimes the right thing is the hardest thing, and you’ve got an internet full of strangers rooting for you. Sending you good thoughts this week!

    • anachronismsarah

      Good luck, and be safe. Make sure you let us know you’re okay next week!

    • mssolo

      Look after yourself, and remember, you made decisions based on the information you had available to you at the time. There’s going to be a point where you’re going wonder why you stayed so long, why you didn’t see what you do now, what this says about you as a person. And what is says is that you are smart, strong, and make the right calls.

  • Sarah

    I’ve been reading APW for years, long before I was engaged, but I’ve never posted before! I decided to this week after having yet another great experience with a vendor we found through this site. We ordered our STDs through Minted and I typed the wrong date! They reprinted them for free and overnighted the cards – above and beyond.

    I’m also still obsessed with my ring we had made by Bario Neal – I loved working with them and wouldn’t have found them on my own (picture attached).

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9b4c2f25d981fc89fcec9025854531c15cf89a80db5db2def763dff7ccaf7251.jpg

    • KPM

      Gorgous! Bario Neal rings are so cool!

    • Unhip in Brooklyn

      Wow! Your ring is so cool. I can understand why you’re obsessed!

    • That is a fantastic ring!

    • idkmybffjill

      AMAZING ring.

    • JSK

      That is so amazingly gorgeous! Yowsa!

    • Maddie Eisenhart

      OMG the precious, I wants it.

    • Katharine Parker

      Your ring is stunning! Is that a rose cut pear shape? So unusual, so gorgeous.

      • Sarah

        Thanks! Good eye – it is rose cut (something I had never heard of). The shape is irregular, similar to a pear shape but none of the sides are even.

        • Katharine Parker

          My boyfriend and I are designing my engagement ring right now, so I’m pretty diamond obsessed :) Your ring is one of the coolest I’ve seen, seriously.

          • Sarah

            If you like the look of an irregular stone, they come with the benefit of being substantially cheaper because they’re not easy to sell.

          • Katharine Parker

            We actually bought a diamond this week! (I am so excited I keep smiling to myself whenever I think about it.) I’m planning on an east-west setting though.

  • BSM

    I had Lasik surgery last week and went in for a post-op appointment today, and they told me that they’d discovered that the lab tech had entered my prescription wrong and my eyes have been overcorrected. So I still need glasses and will need to have Lasik again.

    I’m basically just in shock. Like, how are there not redundancies to check for this sort of human error? Also, my husband and I were planning on starting TTC in January, so this throws off that whole plan, since I need to wait 2 months to have surgery again and you can’t get Lasik while pregnant.

    The doctor and surgeon were very apologetic and said nothing like this has ever happened before, but I’m beyond frustrated. Do any smart lawyers or doctors out there have advice for me on what questions I should be asking and what next steps I should take?

    • Ashlah

      Oh my god. I have no advice, but I am so disturbed and frustrated on your behalf. Please tell me they aren’t expecting you to pay for the second surgery?

      • BSM

        Thanks. Same! I’m not sure what I want to get out of this, but at the very least I want them to change their procedure to have some sort of check in place for this kind of thing. I have no idea how that doesn’t already exist.

        • Danielle

          I’m really, really sorry.

          • BSM

            Thanks :-/

    • Sarah

      I’m not a lawyer, but I do work in health care and this is NOT OKAY. Unbelievable. I would make sure you have concrete proof of this to show a lawyer – did they give you documentation of this or just tell you verbally what went wrong?

      • BSM

        They just told me verbally. My husband is going back to the office today to drop off my glasses so they can put new lenses in them (thank goodness I hadn’t tossed them yet), so I will ask him to get written documentation while he’s there.

        Also… I had my surgery at an eye/optometry center at a state university. I don’t know if that’s relevant, but it seems like it could be different from a general private practice.

        • Sarah

          I don’t think the location would matter. What they did was malpractice and a university is going to have malpractice insurance. I don’t want to give any more advice because I’m only tangentially familiar with malpractice and how to handle it – I hope someone else gives you advice!

          • BSM

            Thanks for your help. I think I’m still in shock from the news.

    • What the fuck?! I’d tell them that they need to fix it for free. This is their screw up, not yours.

      • BSM

        Thanks. I think everyone’s indignation is a sign that I’m still processing the news. I cried when they told me but have been kind of numb since this morning.

        They technically already have a policy in place that says they’ll do any necessary surgical corrections in the first year at no additional cost, so the fix would be free, but I kind of feel like the whole thing should be free? It was $4800, some pain, and a decent chunk of my time to be in the same position I was before this started. I’m not sure how any of this works, which is why I guess I’ll talk to a lawyer.

        • toomanybooks

          Yeah, I mean, I feel like restaurants have this policy when your burger isn’t cooked to your liking, and that’s not even a $$$$ SURGERY ON YOUR EYES.

        • Ashlah

          I mean, I know exactly zero about malpractice or anything, but I’m feeling you here. It certainly seems like you should get some/all/more of your money back.

          • Eenie

            ALL. You should be getting ALL your fucking money back. That is the minimum you should be accepting.

        • Vanessa

          Yes. You should get a lawyer. I think it’s even reasonable for them to be paying for you to get the corrective surgery somewhere else, because now you can’t trust their work.

        • Jennifer

          I am not a lawyer either, but I’d look for a lawyer or an agency. (Legal aid maybe depending on your financial status). But get ALL the documentation you can before you proceed.

  • AmandaBee

    Since ya’ll brought up NYC: suggestions on affordable stuff to do there in the dead of winter AND a neighborhood that would be fun to stay in?

    Backstory: I had dreams of an awesome beach honeymoon but because of Life Happening that isn’t in the cards right now. Husband and I desperately need to get away somewhere and we’re looking at NYC as a place that is new to both of us but not too hard to get to. We may go in December, maybe in January, depending on budgets/flights.

    When we visit cities we usually AirBNB in a fun neighborhood so we can pretend to be locals and, like, do a handful of touristy things (at least 50% of which will be museums). Bad weather hasn’t deterred us, our last winter vacation was in Chicago in the middle of a cold snap and was still fun.

    So with that backstory, recommend away!

    • Danielle

      Museums! The Met and a lot of others are pay-what-you-wish.

      I <3 Chinatown, not for staying in, but for walking around and eating everything.

    • Unhip in Brooklyn

      I imagine that if you want to do a lot of museums you’ll be hanging out in midtown Manhattan a fair bit, so I would recommend lodging in Queens. Most neighborhoods there will have incredible diversity and food, and easy access to places like the Met, Guggenheim, MoMA, etc.

      • AmandaBee

        Thanks!

    • louise danger

      If you go in December, walk down 5th Avenue and look at all the store windows. Macy’s! Rockefeller Center and the tree! (Be prepared for crowds.) Skip ice skating there and skate a few blocks away in Bryant Park instead – shorter lines, less expensive.

      The Met is fabulous, can’t recommend it highly enough. They also have a gorgeous Christmas tree display with Renaissance ceramic ornaments – tough to describe, amazing in person. It’ll be crowded at Christmastime but if you plan ahead, you can get to the parts you like best first, before the crowds. We were there two years ago within a week of Christmas (maybe it was Christmas Eve?) and oh man, the first floor and the little cafe in the back were mobbed, but the Chinese galleries and the Middle Eastern/Islamic galleries were all but deserted.

      If it snows, wander into the park and explore. Mr Danger and I spent what was at the time a long, snowy-slushy miserable walk through the park in a slush-snowstorm, but we were the only ones out (or close enough as makes no difference) and it was like walking through Narnia.

      There’s the tiniest (I think there are five tables?) place in Greenwich Village called Tea and Sympathy, run by British expats and very, very tasty. The same folks also run a mini grocery (sweets and tea, mostly) and the fish-and-chips shop next door.

      • AmandaBee

        The Christmas hubbub is one reason I really wanted to go in December – we’ll see if we can work it into our budget!

    • Laura C

      The New York Public Library usually has free exhibits, many of which are really worth seeing. And the Jewish Museum is free on Saturdays.

      • AmandaBee

        Awesome, thank you!

    • ZLMT

      I recommend staying in the West Village because it is beautiful, easy to access other parts of the city, and fun to walk around in. And has good food.

      • AmandaBee

        Thanks!

    • I used to live in Greenwich Village (Thompson St and West 3rd) and its an amazing neighborhood with lots of AirBnbs! Super close to basically all of the subway lines, and Washington Square Park looks dreamy in the snow. If you like museums and free things, I used to use Thought Gallery, which lists free seminars and events (http://thoughtgallery.org/ ). The Metropolitan Museum of Art is always amazing, no matter the cold. I also really love the Tenement Museum in the LES. If you don’t want to pay for a tour, you can still go into the gift shop and watch the free documentary they play on a loop. It’s super good. Then go to Chinatown and get some dumplings. Basically, NYC is still awesome, even in the dead of winter. It doesn’t get as cold as Chicago, so if you can handle that you’ll definitely be okay. Have fun tucking into little cafes for warm lattes and croissants.

      • AmandaBee

        This sounds like exactly what we had in mind :)

    • Jessica

      You might want to be careful with airbnb in NYC — there’s a big legal battle between airbnb and the city: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/22/technology/new-york-passes-law-airbnb.html?_r=0
      I bet if you went in mid-January, after the holidays are over but before some of those 3-day holiday weekends (MLK Jr Day, etc), you could get a pretty good deal on hotels. NYC can be expensive, but the advantage is that there are SO MANY options you can often find something surprisingly cheap.

      • emilyofnewmoon

        Thank you for mentioning this–as a born and raised New Yorker, I hate what Air b n b is doing to the city. There’s not enough affordable housing for people who live here, so it’s taking a huge toll on the rental market and is ethically so dicey. I urge my out-of-town friends to try to find hotels that fit their budget if at all possible. Mid January there should be a ton of affordable places!

      • AmandaBee

        I did see that this was going on, and have considered the connection between airbnb and affordable housing issues. In traveling with airbnb we’ve almost always stayed in people’s spare/guest rooms or in someone’s attic, converted shed, etc. In other words, not typically places that would’ve served as housing in the absence of airbnb. The issue they’re fighting out in court seems to be people buying up entire apartments to rent out, which I do hope they crack down on, though that’s really more VRBO’s business model than airbnb’s.

        • Jessica

          Oh sure — I’ve used airbnb a ton as well, and often with those kind of housing set-ups you describe. There are good points on both sides of the airbnb legal issue, but I was just thinking for your sake…I wonder if lots of airbnb hosts in NYC are going to start canceling their listings for fear of legal repercussions. I had a SF listing cancel on me with two weeks’ notice and it was kind of sucky (airbnb did reimburse me and give me a discount towards the next booking, but we ended up having to go to a different neighborhood).

          • AmandaBee

            True! We’ll definitely keep an eye on it if we do go to NYC. It seems like a lot of the listings we’ve seen aren’t for standalone apartments, and I did wonder if that’s why (but then also, it could just be that our budget is way lower than what ppl charge for an apt)

  • Brooke

    In the past couple of weeks we booked our venue (all inclusive for ceremony/catering/bar/furniture/linens, THANK GOODNESS) and a photographer. Tonight we are meeting with our potential DJ. Got our honeymoon booked a week or so ago, and we have samples from EcoFlower on their way. My dress has been purchased and our wedding parties are set. Planning a wedding in just 4.5 months seemed super daunting at first, but now we are feeling so confident about it.
    Spending the next 3 out of 4 weekends attending weddings and I’m somewhat excited/nervous about going to weddings as an engaged person, especially because I know I’ll be looking at it in a whole new light.
    So ready for the election to be over. It’s felt like the last 2 weeks or so have dragged on forever. I’m trying not to get so nervous about polls, there’s really nothing I can do about it at this point except get out there on Tuesday and vote.

    • idkmybffjill

      I LOVED going to weddings engaged. They were so emotional, and I was touched by more things than I used to be/noticed more details. We haven’t gone to one married yet, but I can’t wait!

      Good on you for getting so much done in a tight timeframe! Sounds like you have it on lock!

      • Jennifer

        I thought this too. Weddings after getting engaged just made me happy cry.

        Weddings before my husband were more fraught for me.

        • idkmybffjill

          I always loved weddings pre-engagement but they were more like DANCE PARTIES WOOP WOOP. And I spent alot of time worrying about dressing appropriately for them. I still worry about that cause I’m me, but now I realize that like… I’m not gonna offend the bride if my dress is slightly more casual or dressy than the rest of the guests. I thought everyone at my wedding looked so unbelievably great I couldn’t believe it. Ha!

      • Brooke

        Planning has seriously been a blur…but I’ve really got to hand it to my partner, he has done so much (probably even more than I have..). I was out of town for work for a solid 2 weeks right when we started planning, he went to open houses, found vendors, etc. I never imagined having a short engagement but I feel like it has cut a lot of the crap from our planning process. We have been forced to go with our gut instinct on so many things, which I love.

        • idkmybffjill

          We were engaged for 18 months but didn’t need longer than 6 (except for our venue availability), the closer we got the more decisive and united we became, the more my husband felt the urgency and got involved, etc. If I had a recommended engagement period it would be, “as short as possible.” 18 months was a LONG time. I am delighted to finally be married :).

  • Gaby

    Happy Friday! I just want to say how infinitely grateful I am to have found this community. I find myself referencing different comment discussions (even if I don’t partake in them) to my husband and friends all the time whether it’s regarding politics, pop culture, or finances. You’re all so great!

  • MayJune

    After my fiance and I got engaged this summer, I jumped into wedding planning simply to get it over with and to have answers to all of the (loving) inquiries about our “big day” coming from my sisters and mom. I booked a venue, photographer, videographer, and day-of coordinator with very little research or care, just picking vendors who seemed to fit the bill fine enough.

    And now I’m here already mourning my wedding. I hate the planning process, but I wish I had forced myself to put more thought into it. I’ve second guessed every decision I’ve made, and I’m not excited at all about the wedding that I planned in haste. My sister is getting married a month before us, and she love love loves wedding planning and has put so much time and thought and $$$ into every single detail, which only makes me feel worse about this generic wedding I planned without much thought. But I also don’t wantttt to spend all the time on the details, I just want them to magically come together and I can just show up and enjoy the day but that it will still feel special and unique to who we are as a couple.

    I’m just bummed about the whole process and feeling like a “bad bride.”

    • Amy March

      But, is there anything wrong with what you picked? So her wedding will be all about her details and love of planning, and her love of her spouse. And yours can be a lovely day where no one detail is particularly interesting but all of them are perfectly fine and the one shining perfect unique detail is the love you two share. I don’t think one of those options is better for your guests’ enjoyment, and if you don’t love planning her option certainly sounds miserable to force yourself into.

      • AmandaBee

        Seriously. I had a similar thought when planning our wedding, but later came to realize that (a) a lot of the decisions we made “in haste” were still totally us, and also (b) it doesn’t matter if all the little details are super unique because most people will never remember them. Like it’s fun to have personalized straws if that’s your thing, but it totally doesn’t matter if you don’t have them!

    • Ashlah

      Your wedding will be unique because you and your partner are the ones getting married. Your wedding will be meaningful because you will be surrounded by people who love you. Your wedding will be fun because all of those people are going to be thrilled at the opportunity to celebrate with you.

      I had similar moments of regret when planning our wedding (it wasn’t rushed, but I still felt like there were just so many ways I could have done a better job!), so don’t feel alone. But our wedding day was absolutely wonderful, and I’m confident yours will be too–and you avoided the stress of making every tiny decision into a giant one! That’s not a bad thing!

      • Ashlah

        I also want to say that while I cared about some of the decor details during planning, I found that when I got the photos back, my favorites, and the ones I shared and included in albums, included zero detail shots. None. They’re there if I want to pull them up on my computer, but they really didn’t matter in the end. It was the people and the emotions of the day that made it special.

        • emmers

          x1000

    • louise danger

      first off, you’re engaged and that’s important!

      second, there’s some resources here on APW that might help – click around in the ‘planning 101’ section up there for good articles about what the heck happens next, many of which are geared towards keeping feet on ground and heads clear. one of the main things i take away from reading APW is, your wedding is important and special and unique and meaningful because it’s _your_ wedding, not anyone else’s, not your sister’s, zip. doesn’t matter what everyone else’s looks like or feels like or feeds guests like, because those celebrations aren’t the celebration you picked.

      at the end of the day, the important bit of the wedding is you marrying your fiance. and as long as that’s still happening, no one else will remember the rest. and now that you’ve had this realization, maybe there’s a chance to pour more You into the bits that haven’t yet been nailed down – decorations, colors, your (plural – yours and his and the wedding party’s) attire, the invitations, the menu. your day-of coordinator should also be able to help you!

      if it helps to assuage your feelings at all, i’m commenting as someone who’s slowly coming to terms with the fact that my wedding is not going to be exactly as i want, either, for a variety of reasons. but i’m coping with that by reminding myself – often, if need be – that the important bit is the handsome guy who’ll be at the end of the aisle waiting for me, probably sobbing his eyes out and therefore making me sob my eyes out, too, and both of us causing our dog to worry and act out in the middle of the ceremony. it should be a hoot.

    • Even the decisions you made in haste are indicative of your personality. It’s sort of impossible to make decisions that don’t reflect you in some way.

      That being said…the vendors you’ve picked don’t necessarily make the details. If you want to spend more time on details…then do it. What will your escort cards look like? Signage (who sits where / specialty cocktail)? Will you have a specialty cocktail? What will your cake look like? Will you have a cake? Have you picked out a dress? That can be a big personality-moment thing. Or the flowers/centerpieces. Lots and lots more decisions to make! SO MANY GODAWFUL MORE DECISIONS TO MAKE ;)

      • Jess

        “SO MANY GODAWFUL MORE DECISIONS TO MAKE ”

        Now my coworkers are wondering why I’m laughing. So, thanks!

        • It’s done! It’s over! I’m FREE!
          rofl.

    • Gaby

      It’s so dangerous to compare yourself to others or others weddings, though!
      If you hate the planning process then you’re giving yourself such a gift by not forcing yourself to invest extra time into every little detail. And I don’t know how far away you are but you might still have time to add something personalized? For example: we ordered custom matchboxes through etsy that didn’t take very long to be made and arrive, and my cousin ordered us customized sturdy plastic cups with a logo and the date online and she did it with only a month to go. Those little details don’t cost a ton but could help you feel like you had a special touch without stressing yourself out.

    • emmers

      You not a bad bride! You just a different bride. I hated planning too. And it will be special and unique to who you are because … you will be there, with your spouse. And also, people who you invited! It’s not a generic wedding. I think pre-wedding it’s so easy to get swept up in so many details, mainly cuz of the stupid internet/pinterest and also because most photos focus heavily on cake toppers and custom shoes, because they can’t really capture the best part of the wedding, which is the love between the couple/fun you’re having with your guests. But post-wedding, I heavily regretted the tears (actual tears!) I had had over which cake topper to choose (the answer should have been none of them, since in hindsight that shit mattered 0%), and wished I had realized that a wedding is just a party where you get married, not some weird stylized thing. So hang in there! Weddings are hard, and it’s hard especially to compare yourself to family (my husband’s sister got married the week after us, and I struggled too). But please know that you’re not a bad bride. You’re doing an excellent job, and you will make it through!

      • Ashlah

        I spent an afternoon making our cake topper and it never got put on the cake. Despite feeling like I HAD to figure out a cake topper during planning, it turns out I didn’t care at all.

        • I bought a cake topper, and it wasn’t put on the cake until I was halfway through dinner. I think I nearly burned a hole through our day-of coordinator with my laser eyes, lol.

          Even your ‘personality’ stuff can go missing, and no one (except you) will miss it. There’s too much pressure for this ‘personalized’ wedding nonsense.

          • Gaby

            Can we just all list the things that went forgotten the day of to make ourselves feel better? haha. I tried to keep the day so minimal but I still ended up with the guest book sitting in it’s amazon box under our cake table, the plastic champagne flutes going unopened and unassembled because it was windy and I didn’t want to deal with them knocking over, and therefore the champagne not being used for the toasts. People toasted with their water, cocktail, or beers and I have champagne for the holidays!

          • Danielle

            I forgot my bouquet! That my husband and his dad put lots of time into making! Just forgot it in the rush/excitement to go get married!

        • emmers

          My cake topper also was beside the cake, still in its packaging (guess the venue coordinator missed it!), so I plopped it on the cake during our cake cutting. SO silly!

          • louise danger

            this is an amazing story, oh gosh lol

        • Jess

          I feel like cake toppers must be in the top 10 things that go wrong at weddings. I hear so often that they were forgotten!

          • F’in cake toppers. Who needs ’em.

        • Katherine

          We custom-ordered our cake topper, and my mom forgot where she put it. So, we ordered a second one, thinking it was lost. The topper then broke when we went to cut the cake. At least we had a backup?

    • Jess

      Hello Someone Who Is Not A Bad Bride!

      Your wedding will be special and unique to you, because you and your fiance and friends and family are special and unique. No combination of the choices you can make will be identical to another wedding.

      It sounds like your goals are as follows:
      1) Be able to enjoy the day
      2) Not put too much time and effort into planning
      3) Feel like it is your wedding, not just Wedding Selection #1.

      We came from a similar place, and I was really ambivalent (!) about my wedding. Like, I just really was not excited about it and really wondering if there was something wrong with me for that (see: existentially angsty comments on various APW posts).

      BUT the actual day? All those vendors we had hired because “they had their shit together” came through and made everything easy. All those tiny details we skipped weren’t missed. All those crafty favors I did’t make weren’t something I had to think about whether anybody took or not.

      All I did was show up, let people love me, and dance my face off, and it was so wonderful and moving and personal.

      You can get through the planning, I believe in you!

      Signed,
      Also Not A Bad Bride.

    • Jane

      I don’t think you’re a bad bride at all and don’t think you should feel any pressure to make your wedding more special than it already will be (and hey, what has your fiancé done here, is he a bad groom?) but if you are sick of planning and still wanting to make it feel more like you but are not interested in the aesthetics anymore or putting a bird on everything or coming up with creative and cheap ways to turn the things you love into wedding things
      . . .
      How much flexibility do you have with the ceremony? If you don’t have a strict religious script to follow maybe you can take an active role in designing your ceremony. Or just choosing the content. If you two pick readings and songs that you and your fiancé really love and you think match your ideas about the wedding, it will be personal, but not necessarily “personalized.”

      I just love a good ceremony.

      • Jess

        Ceremony is my most favorite thing to personalize. It’s something that everybody notices and really sets the stage for “This just felt so you!” throughout the rest of the day.

        • Jane

          Yeah – I think Meg has a lot of good comments about it setting the tone in her books.

  • Trinity

    Insurance + being pregnant sucks! My high deductible plan apparently doesn’t cover anything “diagnostic” until I reach my deductible, so I’ve been paying for most of my lab work, and now it looks like the cost of my first/only ultrasound (next week) will also be mine to bear. And because the actual delivery will fall in a different deductible year, nothing I pay now really helps me in the long run. Nothing like money worries to make a pregnant woman cry…

    • Insurance deductibles and the whole tax deduction thing make me really happy I’m due in December. Sorry kid, that your birthday is probably going to be overshadowed by Christmas, mama is broke. My deductible isn’t *that* high, but I went into all this with the info that “all maternity coverage is included” thought, only to find out that I have to pay part of my labs/diagnostics too, until I reach my out of pocket max. :/

      • Trinity

        It sounds like we’re in the same boat! I totally thought “coverage” meant I wouldn’t have to pay. Now I’m doing everything I can to arrange for a better health plan for next year when I have to deliver.

        • I know that some insurance is really wonky about switching coverage mid-pregnancy, although with the ACA that might have changed.

          Bonus: most insurance now covers a breast pump, so if you’re thinking of breastfeeding/pumping, they usually cover at least a basic model (free is free, ya know?)

          • Trinity

            I have employer-provided insurance and we’re going through open enrollment for next year right now–so hopefully I’m OK! And it looks like a should get a free pump. At least I can save some $$$ there!

    • Ashlah

      Ugh. Dealing with insurance is the absolute worst.

    • Danielle

      I’m very sorry :(

      Not in the same situation, but I was just laid off from work and had to change insurance plans while in my 1st trimester. I was already used to my OB, and now have to find a new provider. It’s a lot of instability during a time you just want SOMETHING to be stable.

      Money worries are the worst, especially now. Hugs.

      • Trinity

        I’m so sorry! That sounds so stressful.

        • Danielle

          It was and sometimes is. Thankfully I got on my husband’s insurance plan, which is decent. And I was expecting the layoff, so it wasn’t a shock. And I’m actually grateful to be out of that toxic environment!

          Strength and solidarity to you. We WILL get through this!

    • I’m sorry. It really is terrible. With my first pregnancy I would ask for the costs of certain procedures, or at least their codes so I could check with insurance first and they would just pass my phone call around the office and I’d never get answers. It was beyond frustrating. I’m at a freestanding birth center now, and they bundle all prenatal care and delivery. At your first visit they presented us with all expected costs and what our contribution would be per our specific insurance, and a payment plan for that. I loved how transparent they were, and most importantly, all prenatal care and the delivery should be $200 (a $100 deductible for me and $100 for the baby when its born).

    • Eenie

      I’m so pissed at our health care system, but this specific situation is one that is especially frustrating. I’ve known people who have asked to be induced a couple weeks early to avoid being born in January and having to reach the deductible again. Outrageous that people think this is an acceptable way to run healthcare.

  • ‘Got murrrrried a week or two ago, now delightfully calling partner my ‘hurban’ to his great dismay, rofl.

    My perfectionist personality now needs to let go of the tiny things that didn’t go according to plan. All things no one else notices, but drives this list-keeper nuts.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f81298e1261d2803c2bd2e705dc1bf2c392064fa5efc0821dfcef24fb2a0076d.jpg

    • flashphase

      Congrats!!!

    • ebtree1151

      Congratulations! You look so beautiful! And I love the city skyline in the background (with one of the three sisters!)

    • Kaitlyn

      Congrats! I love this picture and your flowers are gorgeous. I also love the color of that shawl!

      • flashphase

        OMG yes – would you mind sharing where you got it?

        • It’s this shawl in dark green: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01523FHK2/

          Purchased two days before the wedding because the ’emerald green’ I got from etsy was practically a kelly green. ‘Not gonna work.

          Fair warning #1 – my photographer uses a bit of a color filter, so the color’s actually a bit more saturated. A pinch more like a hunter green, but still a slightly faded color. I like both colorings ;)
          Fair warning #2 – that damn shawl snags on *everything*. A bra hook snagged on the middle of it (after the event)! My vintage beaded purse snagged on it. Ev.er.y.thing.

    • Hannah

      Congratulations! I love the shawl and the flowers <3

    • Emily C

      Congratulations!! What a lovely photo of you two…the shawl is beautiful! I wish you all the best in your marriage and in accepting the things that didn’t go to plan!

      • Jess

        The color of the shawl! It’s so perfect!

    • Ashlah

      Beautiful! Congratulations!

    • idkmybffjill

      omg gorgeous!!! The color and way your shawl is laying are everything.

    • Gaby

      So beautiful!

    • scw

      “My perfectionist personality now needs to let go of the tiny things that didn’t go according to plan. All things no one else notices, but drives this list-keeper nuts.”

      if it makes you feel any better, that eventually goes away! (or it did for me) – let yourself feel the things you’re feeling and enjoy that killer photo you have there :]

    • stephanie

      AH! So lovely! I love your wrap!

  • A.

    I’m currently in line for early voting! HILLZ YEAH.

    I’m from a navy blue state so I know my vote doesn’t *really* matter but damn it still feels good.

    All of my in-laws in Florida are voting for her too though and actively participating in GOTV efforts! Hope hope hope hope.

    • Emily C

      omg HILLZ YEAH I am totally stealing that :)

    • louise danger

      navy blue state lol #solidarityhighfive for that

      My NASTY WOMAN tee is out for delivery :D can’t wait to wear it next week

    • ART

      Your vote completely matters when people are questioning the legitimacy of the election before it even happens. The popular vote may not decide the outcome, but it supports the legitimacy of the electoral vote winner. So complete that arrow, punch that button, pull that lever, etc., like a boss.

      • A.

        GOOD POINT.

    • Vanessa

      Your vote matters a lot to down-ballot races!

      • A.

        I’m in Mass where all the down-ballot folks are unopposed Dems! :) But I was for sure happy to vote for the ban on farm animal confinement and legalized marijuana.

    • Katherine

      I live in a solid red state and saw TWO Hillary bumper stickers in the parking lot coming back from lunch. Gives me hope too.

  • flashphase

    So, with some help from our coordinator, we decided to DIY the centerpieces, since she can set it all up day of. Yay, except… now I’m down a rabbit hole of cylinder vases/candles/mercury glass votive holders. Help? Did y’all just order from amazon or did you find craigslist and other sources helpful?

    Also, every time we get a proposal from a florist, it’s like, whoa I had *no* idea how much things could cost…

    • Brooke

      Check out Ikea! They have endless options for candles, vases, trays, etc. Pretty solid prices, too.

      • accidental_diva

        Also (depending on how “matchy” you want them to be) go to Goodwill/Restore/Salvation Army – that’s where we shopped for my college & high school theatre programs we always managed to make out with out spending too much

        • StevenPortland

          And it’s a trend now to buy stuff and then spray paint them all one color so then they match.

        • Danielle

          I got a TON of glass vases at our local thrift store. In fact I just donated a bunch of them back this week!

          At least at my local thrift stores, there are usually a lot of them for pretty cheap, and as long as they’re not cracked, you can easily clean them off and they look good as new!

    • StevenPortland

      If I were you, consider handing off centerpieces to someone else. It is a perfect stand-alone task that someone can take over. And in the end of the day, it won’t matter if you love the result or not because you’ll only see the one on your table, hopefully after a few glasses of wine or bubbly and enjoying all the happiness of the day. And don’t go all out on the cost of them. Much better (in my opinion) to blow the funds on food, drink or honeymoon. (This comment is pre-lunch and so hopefully doesn’t sound pushy.)

      • emmers

        Totes agree with all of this! Centerpieces are one of those things heavily featured in wedding photography, and I spent so much time carefully saving clear bottles and scrubbing the labels off them and then putting flowers in them. And they looked nice… but I really didn’t notice them the day of, because I was busy looking at all of the people. And then I realized that at most weddings, I’ll casually acknowledge a centerpiece and will go on with my life. So in hindsight– simpler = better!

        • Eenie

          We didn’t even bother with centerpieces. I think our restaurant venue put out votive candles for us? (because they were awesome) There was no sadness over the loss of centerpieces.

        • YASSSSS. No one really cares about the centerpieces. Simple is better and easier, and often cheaper.

          I mean, people will acknowledge a giant fancy centerpiece. But I can’t exactly remember any centerpieces from weddings…and I’m an arts & crafts person. So. Whatever.

          • I usually only notice the big ones because they block my view of people across the table that I’m trying to talk to!

    • Flowers are super pricey…Costco has good bulk prices, and etsy has some really lovely dried flower options.

      For centerpieces, what’s already been said: Goodwill if you don’t mind mix-and-match (we bought clear vases this way), Amazon or Ikea for matching stuff, Etsy for particular items, and craigslist is random luck. Maybe look for a wedding resale club on Facebook in your area?

      • flashphase

        I’m only doing flowers for bouquets + chuppah – I was just shocked at the chuppah prices. Most florists said $500-750, but then it turns out there’s all these extra fees – one initially gave an estimate of $500, then after talking to me and adding in fees quoted me $1200!

        • Brynna
        • Yeah, you might be able to save some money with Costco/etsy/bulk flowers and a day-of coordinator? Or a family friend with a good eye? When working with amateurs, it’s probably better to have too many flowers than too few.

      • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

        I got amazing centerpieces from $80 worth of Trader Joe’s flowers, so I will recommend them forever!

    • AGCourtney

      Dollar Tree!

    • Gaby

      This might not be your look, but I went crazy looking for the right vases too and then decided on leftover wine bottles in various colors with the labels removed and some twine hot-glued on. So pinterest lol, but it was easy and it gave my mom and I something to do together for the wedding.

      • Katherine

        I love this. We’re big beer people, so we used a bunch of brown glass growlers we had instead of vases.

        • Gaby

          We’re definitely beer people too! But we tend to host the most often because we’re the only homeowners in our group so we get to do the recycling for the wine drinkers. One of my favorite bottles was actually a Trader Joe’s olive oil bottle! I love that you had enough growlers though, we have two right now and I’m so tempted to buy more every time I check out a new brewery.

          • Katherine

            Do it! They’re cheap, and if you get a growler-to-tap converter (props to my MOH on finding that one), it’s basically like having a fresh keg at home.

      • LikeaBell

        Wine bottles FTW! We did this too. My husband did all of the scrubbing off labels/painting (he likes to spray paint!). Some of them were ours, and some he scavenged by walking around to our neighborhood bars and asking if they had empties, so…free! Bonus to using bottles of some kind rather than vases: They look right with only a few stems of flowers sticking out (cheap alert!) and don’t take much work to arrange. My SILs did a couple of the more involved round vase arrangements as seen below, and while they weren’t very big, they took a LOT more time…and floral foam. :-P The wine bottles were seriously so easy to set up though, and people were able to have conversations over/through them.

        Random aside: I found out about rust-making(?!) spray paint recently. A friend kind of did an industrial-romantic vibe (their wedding was in a train museum) and used this spray paint that you spray, let dry, spray with water, let RUST, and voila! Everything you’ve painted looks like a piece of old cast iron. Cray. And a fun science experiment! I wish I had pictures, but it was really cool, and looked good with their plain glass & mercury glass containers that they put candles in.

        https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d93bce18aed11168c88d180920fd24c9637f9644e14b867cc3695534c9661c7b.png https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/844689131272e4bb1b3b8ef190691d0166a4bc84de9aff9fdf00357bb2881e07.png

        • Gaby

          WOW that looks gorgeous. I don’t have a picture from the wedding but we kept a couple centerpieces: https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5d4bf9177f4ee7b1b9230962aef3f45954c0fda7d773e24861e06484d398d8c9.jpg

          We bought the wood slices with coupons and a couple dozen votive candles from Ross, and we got the pine cones for free from the neighborhood and the bottles as well. I get feel so dang eco friendly hahaha. That rust paint sounds so cool I’m gonna have to look into it and find an excuse to use it!

          • LikeaBell

            Ohh, I <3 the pinecones + twine combination!

      • Alyssa

        I recently did the flowers for a friends wedding, and she and her partner basically spent 6 months saving every glass bottle and buying random bottles of alcohol simply for the bottle…. but it looked awesome! Totally worth it.

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      Check out your local dollar stores. Dollar Tree often has lots of glass containers, and last week my local one had cylinders that would be great for floating candles with something pretty in the water, or whatever.

    • Jane

      I got a bunch of “candle jars” from a bottle wholesale company (the CAST20s on this link) for pretty cheap each – and plan to just use them without the lids. I think they’re nicer glass than I would have gotten at a dollar store and more uniform (and cheaper) than I would have gotten from a thrift store. Maybe you could find something you liked at a place like that.

      I’m planning to leave them plain and just stick bouquets of flowers in them, but there are a lot of DIY things you can do to glass jars if you want to jazz them up.

      http://www.specialtybottle.com/glass-jars/candle/glass-lids

    • Brynna

      We thrifted a bunch of glass vases (I refuse to pay more than $1 for them), spray painted them, and will fill them with white hydrangeas from Costco: http://www.costco.com/Hydrangeas—30-Stems.product.11605219.html. We’ll mix and match the colored vases on each table, since our “colors” are all of the colors. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e46d12a0509f8c22886689cf77762240aad6684cce01e121732d6d63d2b7ccb5.jpg

      We also plan to use the vases/flowers to line the aisle.

      I also went to a florist and was like “no.”

      • flashphase

        WOW!!! Those look awesome!

        • Brynna

          Thank you! Fairly quick, easy, and relatively cheap – those were my requirements, knowing that most people don’t look twice at centerpieces.

      • Jane

        Love the all of the colors as your colors! Ours started as blue and purple and “natural greens” and have just slowly been growing into a good half of the color wheel.

        • Brynna

          Hey, why limit yourself?

      • The $2 options at Goodwill aren’t half bad either ;)

    • I ordered bud vases from a wholesaler called Jamali Garden. Then I ordered flowers from another wholesale place and put them together. Bud vases are super easy because you just sort of cluster them but don’t need to do too much actual floral arrangement.

    • My suggestion is thift store or some type of low-cost option. Here in Minneapolis there are a few wedding resale shops that specialize in that kind of stuff, perhaps there’s one near you?

    • EF

      we used wine bottles spray painted silver.

      well, that was the plan, but then someone stole them when they were outside drying :-/

      so really we just used wine and gin bottles my best man spent 2 hours scrubbing labels off of the night before the wedding. they looked cool though! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a5b24e755637340b6318b07d19d882ca574cbc83b30191835cd8353d8973ba7c.png

      • EF
        • Gaby

          Hey hey, we also did bottles + baby’s breath. And I walked down the aisle to a violin cover of Concerning Hobbits. Was every table labeled a different Middle Earth location? I love the books as part of the decor!

      • We did a similar thing…but with Starbucks frappuccino bottles. They look like milk bottles, but we bought a case for FSIL and had her drink/clean them. Also bought a random clear, small vase/bottle for each table. So each table had 2 little clear vases and we filled them with dried flowers from etsy and some baby’s breath & some purple statice (overlooked gem, that one). Cheap & easy, and no water really necessary!

        • EF

          sounds amazing!

    • Emily C

      I didn’t even price centerpieces with a florist, but I don’t even want to imagine what it would have costed for our 11 or 12 tables! We ended up ordering succulents online and planted living centerpieces using milkglass that my mom’s friend found for super cheap at an estate sale. We sent some centerpieces home with family & friends and now have several around the house as well! Plus it was a really fun/easy bonding activity for my mom, mother-in-law & me. Good luck with whatever you decide on!

    • AmandaBee

      So it really depends on the look you’re going for: for something more formal you might want matching vases and traditional wedding flowers, but for something more relaxed you can really do anything!

      We ended up getting flowers from a local flower farm – we had no control over the type of flower, but we were able to get everything for centerpieces + 3 bouquets + a flower crown for around $250 and I loved the mismatched flower look. My friends and sister got together the day before to put flowers in vases, and another friend made the bouquets/crown.

      We got vases at goodwill – just consider how many flowers you’ll need per vase because some of those vases are big and need a LOT of blooms. Of course, if you have large tables, you may want large centerpieces. We went with bud vases both because the farmhouse tables in our venue weren’t very wide, but also because we could stretch it by having vases with only a few blooms.

      Pictures below – with the flowers all the way down the tables, it actually made a big impact on the space so I’m glad we did them. Our flowers were unexpectedly one of my favorite parts of the day. They also served as favors, since people were able to take them home vase and all.

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/29b60e595a22d0238afc96b95696a102a2502a4399aaa1a1628f62c366badb34.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d8c0c974a5f872796449753d8167e5f4ba6849934162e760f84234723d97e172.jpg

  • Kaitlyn

    I have a work related rant about this new overtime law. I was just informed that I was going to remain salaried, but will be given overtime. However, now I have to track my hours and clock in and out (the major benefit being salaried is that I came and went as I pleased) AND overtime isn’t even at time and a half. It’s this crazy equation that basically pays you less the more you work. The example they gave was a person at my yearly salary works 45 hours/week. Under time and a half, those five hours would be worth approximately $140. Under this RIDICULOUS equation, that overtime is only worth $42! Which is $8/hour! Minimal wage in MA is $10. Isn’t the whole benefit of working overtime that you receive extra compensation to make up for the hours worked? I know that they’re doing this to encourage us to only work 40 hours a week, but I generally work more than that. And yes, at least it’s some compensation, but it seems like a joke and just a way to get around this law. Also, because I now have to track my hours, there’s so much grey area because I’m still salaried. When I go to the dentist, I just go. I don’t have to use PTO, I don’t have to clock out. Do I now have to clock out? Make up the hour at the end of the day? We also now have to basically be in constant contact with our manager about our hours when right now, my boss probably couldn’t tell you the hours I work.

    I was already so frustrated with my job. I work at a place listed as one of the “best employers in Boston” and it was great for a while, but now I’m just done. I came here because I was in a toxic work environment and desperately needed out. I was told I had all these growth options (another major reason for leaving my last job) and it turns out, I’m in a dead end job. I work the shit job in the department and it’s so frustrating. They just hired me a new boss (my third one in a little over a year) and it turns out she graduated the same year I did (2012). I know that can happen, but I feel like I’ve been trying so hard to get out of entry-level jobs and I’m just stuck. And now I’m going to have a boss my age, which is just adding salt to my wounds. It doesn’t help that my job isn’t remotely related to either of my college degrees that I’m in severe debt over. I plan on staying through March at the very least, because I was told I might be getting a promotion (though I severely doubt this), but that’s also when bonuses are paid and the bonus is factored into our wedding budget :(

    In wedding related news, we sent in our first venue deposit yesterday so that’s exciting. Now if only the priest I want to officiate would respond to my email along with the photographer I want…

    • Laura C

      How are they not paying you time and a half? I’m really curious about the legal issue there considering that according to the DOL FAQ:

      Q. How is overtime pay determined?
      Unless covered by an exemption, employees covered by the FLSA must receive overtime pay for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek at a rate not less than one and one-half times their regular rate of pay.

      Are you covered by an exemption?

      • Kaitlyn

        Honestly I’m not sure. I forget what exactly it’s called (we got a presentation today that’s supposed to be under wraps till next week so I can’t reference it), but it’s some sort of sliding scale. Once I get it though, I’m definitely going to cross-reference that link you posted. I’m also gonna go comb through AskAManager and see if she referenced it.

        • Jane

          It definitely sounds like a fluctuating work week to me. There’s usually protections with those to make sure that you get paid the overtime minimum wage (once you add your weekly rate to your extra for overtime). But your state may vary.
          I was looking very carefully at this because I was not going to be exempt under the final rule notice, but the GAO (or whatever agency checks the cost of the rules) shaved a couple thousand dollars off the cap and I found myself on the other side. So I’m a bit hazy on the details now.

  • Kate

    If you’re getting really really worried about Election Day, this usually helps me hold onto hope:
    http://www.iwaited96years.com

    • Ashlah

      brb crying rn

    • Jess

      I just voted for Hillary today! :)

      This group of women is making me feel so glad that I did, and that I could. Thanks for the link!

      • Amy March

        So jealous of all you early voters. I’m getting impatient to cast my vote!

        • scw

          me too! on the bright side, I get to vote across the street from my house.

  • Danielle

    Thanks to all the ladies for your input on midwives and OBs last week (quick recap: my insurance changed and I am looking for a new health care provider during my pregnancy and delivery, am still in my 1st trimester).

    This week I went to see a new OB practice within my plan, recommended by my former OB. I will NOT be using this provider. Why not?
    – They do not allow you to use doulas. Reasoning: “it gets in the way of providing you care.” Um no. I have heard many women say that doulas helped them immensely during their labor and delivery.
    – They provide a standard “Birth Plan” that basically lists all the interventions they could implement during your labor and delivery, including episiotomies, because “this is a safe practice.” Again, no.
    – One of the first papers they had me sign was about agreeing to mediation if I ever have a problem with one of the doctors. Instead of suing them for malpractice, I’m assuming. “It’s never happened before,” one of the ladies at the front desk assured me. Sure.

    I was pretty shocked/pissed off by their practices and will continue to find another, better provider. But still, can you believe this? Has anyone else heard of an OB setting such stringent practices?

    • Anon

      Eeek, yeah, run! I missed your comment last week, but I saw a midwife practice that delivers at the hospital and it was fantastic. If you are in the Chapel Hill, NC area, I’d be happy to talk more specifics. I liked a lot of things about the midwife model, and the fact that I was able to deliver at a hospital with a NICU on the same floor (which is a requirement for me) and also see the midwives was pretty much the best of both worlds. Highly recommend midwives.

      • Danielle

        Thanks Anon! I used to live in Chapel Hill (!) but am now in Columbus, OH, which has fewer midwife options than other places due to stupid laws and other things.

        Thankfully, Husband is in nursing school and connected me to one of his professors who is a midwife. We will be visiting a midwife center next week and I’m really looking forward to it!

      • Sarah

        Ha, I lived in Carrboro, then Durham, and would totally have used their free standing birth center if I was still there when I had kids. But have heard awesome things about UNC hospitals and there “birth center” or whatever it’s called. I used the free standing birth center in my new state and I LOVED it so much. midwives deliver!!

    • AGCourtney

      Wow, what? That’s crazy.

    • That’s absurd, as doulas and avoiding episiotomies have strong evidence behind them. That OB practice sounds like they are actively avoiding science, not choosing what’s safe. Bravo for you for standing up for what you need. It’s so damn unfortunate that pregnancy requires you to advocate so relentlessly for your own health choices. It’s exhausting and not fun, but you’re doing great, momma.

      • Danielle

        The practice is run by a lot of older male doctors, so that may have something to do with it. They’re probably used to an old-school approach of just telling the little lady what to do.

        NOPE.

        This is probably good practice for advocating for myself and the little munchkin in the future.

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      Birth seems to be one of the most ridiculous places to try to squash everybody into a one-size-fits-all box. I say this as someone with no babies.

      • Danielle

        Doesn’t it though? For the Birth Plan especially, as I’ve heard this to be a good exercise for pregnant people/couples to really think through what they want for their upcoming birth. It seems to be a good way to claim agency and some empowerment by saying “This is what I want,” even if reality interferes and you need to make changes in the moment.

        (For the record, I don’t have babies yet either – this will be my first.)

        • afew

          on the note of ‘if reality interferes’ – I think we forgot about the ‘birth plan’ after a few hours of hard labor. Your best bet is a good advocate who can work with you and your health care providers for the birth that you think you want. If a doula is that person for you, then go for it. For me, it was my husband.

    • Laura C

      I’m sure doulas do get in the way of providing you the care the doctors want to provide and avoiding questions or challenges. Which is kind of the point.

    • As a 32wk pregnant lady, I would have run screaming from that office. I especially shudder at a practice that still does episiotomies – the data shows they are worse on healing and most doctors have abandoned them. Anyone who is still doing them unnecessarily is in the Stone Age.

      • Ashlah

        Would you talk to my mom, please? Sigh.

      • Danielle

        I was too shocked to really respond to the nurse who gave me all this info, except to say, “Really?” (Was also really sick, morning sickness, ugh.)

        This place is totally Stone Age, and is actually a pretty big practice in my area! I can’t believe so many women go there.

      • Mrs H

        I just want to pipe in and say that I had an episiotomy (very big second baby, pushed for hours with first big baby resulting in tears, forceps required to prevent c-section as my heart rate was dropping) and it was totally…fine. Much better recovery than the first birth and psychologically much better recovery than pushing for hours, becoming exhausted and demoralised by not being able to get the baby out. Not saying that episiotomies should be routine of course, but they definitely have their place.

    • rg223

      Whaaaaaaaaaat? I can’t even with that.

    • emilyg25

      Gross. OBs like that give OBs a bad name. There are definitely better obstetricians out there who try to be more of a partner in re. But I really can’t recommend midwives highly enough.

    • JC

      Mediation without the possibility of suing for malpractice? Nope nope nope.

    • anachronismsarah

      Sheesh. Mine is NOTHING like that. Good for you for not putting up with it!

  • Stephanne

    Woah! It looks like we’re suddenly planning a wedding for the last week of this calendar year! My partner and I got a domestic partnership last year so she can be on my excellent insurance through work. However, where we live, domestic partner health insurance benefits count as extra taxable income, while spousal health insurance benefits do not. What we didn’t know was that if we get married within the calendar year, our marital status counts for the whole year for this calculation, so by getting married before January 1, we are saving a lottttt of money on our taxes this year. We were loath to do the paperwork now and celebrate our marriage next fall like we were originally planning, so we are just going to do the whole thing in less than two months! We’re meeting with our possible venue tonight (restaurant in NYC where we live), as well as a possible officiant. This is so crazy!

    • StevenPortland

      This is exactly the reason we got married quickly a few years ago in November even though that meant not having the reception until the following summer. We saved a ton of money though.

    • Yup. It’s like having a kid in December, so strange, right?

      • Laura C

        My birthday is in late December and through my childhood I heard so many times “you were tax deductible” that I started saying it when I would tell people my birthday. Even though I didn’t know what tax deductible meant. In retrospect, who was saying this all the time that I absorbed it like that? Doesn’t seem like something my parents would have said.

        • Anon

          I always find this funny (we had an early Jan due date so heard it a lot), but you get 18 years of dependent deductions… so I don’t really understand it.

    • Ashlah

      How exciting! Best of luck with the planning!

    • Jess

      Hooray to a quick planning and a wonderful marriage! Congratulations!

    • Not Sarah

      Exciting! My husband and I got married earlier this year after I got laid off while we were both on work visas and we planned a wedding in 48 hours. It was amazing! Good luck with planning – I hope you get the wedding you want :)

    • anachronismsarah

      Wahoo!!!! Good luck planning and having it all come together- because it will.

  • BSM

    In better news, we got into contract on a duplex in a great neighborhood earlier this week. We’re planning to rent out the downstairs unit and live upstairs. We’ll need to convert our flat into a 2-bedroom, which will involve moving some walls and kitchen reno. So that is an exciting but kind of intimidating/expensive project on the horizon.

    Now we just need to find someone to move into our current apartment, since we’ll be breaking our lease. Anyone looking for a lovely one bedroom in the Lake Merritt neighborhood in Oakland?

    • Alyssa

      We’re in Santa Cruz, but both my fiancee and I agree that if we can’t find a house in our price range in Santa Cruz (which really is a tall order), Oakland is the next town we’re looking at…

      • BSM

        Haha, my husband and I had been saying that if we couldn’t find a multifamily in the East Bay, we were going to look down in Santa Cruz or SLO :)

        • Alyssa

          OMG SLO! I did my undergrad there! You have good taste :) And I would be SO happy for you if you moved to Santa Cruz! I grew up east of Oakland (in Martinez) so the east bay and Santa Cruz are the two places I feel most at home.

          • BSM

            YOU have good taste :)

            We’ll be staying in the East Bay now (obviously) but are planning on retiring in SLO. I love California!

    • Nicole

      My SIL might be looking – how big is it?

      • BSM

        1 bedroom/1 bathroom plus a small office area off the living room. It comes with an enclosed yard and all utilities (minus internet/cable) are included.

      • Nicole

        She might be in to either one? Is there a way to privately message you to find out about rent?

        • BSM

          Sure! You can email us at ckmay16 (at) gmail (dot) com. Lame that Disqus doesn’t have a messaging feature yet.

    • JC

      YES! To either, although price and location (re: where around Lake Merritt) is a factor. I see your email below, so I will send you a message.

  • AGCourtney

    TINY ANGELICA SCHUYLER. Her costume turned out perfectly. I went as a Hamilton ensemble member (loosely based on Carleigh) and we had a fantastic time.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/462808ea0c43b18680d0249f7efdbe90c14ef1055b4226337771d0f4aa37063b.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8354f83cd148013cf97127cbff5e46ca0ed8d37054bc4d19b9989c6d9b4acdaa.jpg

    • lizzers

      STOP. That is too adorable, my heart is exploding.

      The magic of Hamilton will never get old for me!

    • Ashlah

      When you posted this last week, I hadn’t yet listened to Hamilton. Things have changed. This is the best. Your daughter is ADORABLE.

    • Anon

      You win Halloween.

    • Jessica

      SOOO CUTE! I’ve been meaning to link you to the Hamiltunes MSP group–they organized this mass Hamilton Sing-a-long that’s a mix of karoeke and group singing. Kids (one as little as 4!) led the group in a lot of the songs. They are going to plan another one! https://www.facebook.com/Hamiltunesmsp/?fref=ts

      • AGCourtney

        !!!!!

    • AP

      Work!

      So awesome.

  • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

    Two big things happened this past week:1) My parents came to us with a concrete number of how much they’re willing to contribute to our wedding fund. This triggered us to actually sit down and have a conversation about our own finances, and merging our checking accounts and budgets, which has been on the to-do list for a while. We have a venue in mind and can actually move forward on calling them for a meeting/tour. We had a pretty good talk about what we want our wedding to look like.2) A couple we’re close with (one of PADude’s life long best friends and his long-time lady) broke off their engagement. We were both supposed to be in their wedding. It also came out last night that he’s been cheating on her for months, they had a fight that got nasty, and this morning she was going to get a PFA. This makes it hard to stick to our initial plan, which was to stay neutral and not pick sides. It’s really kind of bewildering, because it’s a side of a friend I’ve known and liked and trusted for years now that I hadn’t seen before. It’s also kind of a weird thing to face as we’re just starting to plan our own wedding. /their breakup is not about me but it’s still messing with me a bit

    • louise danger

      I’m not sure what a PFA is (a protective order?), but yikes. I’m sorry you’re going through that. Good luck navigating the next little while. :(

      • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

        Yep, she’s filing for an emergency restraining order. Or, theoretically, did this morning.

        • louise danger

          best of luck to her then <3

          • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

            Thanks. She’s a smart lady who has her shit together. I know she’ll be ok in the end.

    • Jess

      regarding #2, wow. That’s such a difficult situation where you find out something that completely changes how you see someone.

      Good luck to you and PADude going thru that.

    • rg223

      Ugh, I’m sorry about your friends. That’s tough, and so very hard to wrap your head around when you are getting married too.

  • Alyssa

    In the span of two weeks, we somehow became serious homebuyers. We just scheduled an appointment with a Mortgage broker, and are meeting with a realtor to look at some houses this weekend! Homebuying came about spontaneously when I realized I’m ready to settle into a place that’s OURS, and then we realized that the mortgage on some homes in our area are significantly cheaper than any rental rates I can find. So we’re delving head first into homebuying! It feels so weirdly adult and awesome…

    Question though: We don’t have much money at all saved up. Has anyone here taken out a loan for homebuying? Would you recommend it?

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      Congrats! The searching part can be really fun. I really loved checking out all sorts of houses.There are some programs in place for first time homebuyers that allow you to put down as little as 5%. The downside is that you’ll be required to pay PMI, which is insurance that you pay to insure that the lender gets their money back if you default. You can take it off once you have 20% equity, but I highly doubt it’s as easy a process as many potential lenders will tell you it is.As someone who purchased a house about a year ago, I would recommend asking, if you can, about the cost of utilities for the houses you’re seriously interested in. (Unless you’ve already been renting a full house. We moved from an apartment to a stand alone house, which made for a bigger jump in utilities costs.) Keep an eye on the property tax and insurance costs. Moving a mile down the street to another school district would have raised our taxes by over $1000.

      • louise danger

        yes yes yes – we liked a house in $local-city but found a house just across the city line in the county of similar style, square footage, and on a similarly-sized (maybe a little bigger) lot. the property taxes we pay are literally 1/3 of the ones we’d pay in the city.

        the utility company will also be able to give you a monthly average for the utilities on a given house if you call them and explain you’re looking to buy.

      • StevenPortland

        You can get around the PMI problem by getting approved for a small second mortgage. If that second mortgage plus your downpayment (if any) is at least 20% of the house price, then the primary (first) mortgage won’t require you to pay PMI. Talk to the mortgage banker to see if that would work for you.

        • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

          …That’s kind of brilliant.

    • louise danger

      yes! we did a 100% mortgage through NASA Federal Credit Union (we have a space mortgage, hahaha bought a house on the MOON), so we didn’t need any down payment at settlement and we have no private mortgage insurance (THE DEVIL). The only thing we had to pay was estimated property taxes, and we got some of that money back a few weeks later when the actual bill came out. And that check at settlement was ~$1500. It’s possible to buy a house with almost no savings – but there are a few extra hoops to jump through, and you might wind up with a slightly higher interest rate. Definitely do your research, ask as many questions as you need, be the annoying person on the other end of the phone when it comes to talking with your broker.

      If your broker or your agent isn’t listening to you, find a different one. Ask your homeowner friends who they used. Real estate is such an industry of word-of-mouth and referrals!

      Probably the most important advice I have, though, is: don’t let yourself look at houses outside of your price range. Find out what you can afford as far as monthly payments go (your bank should give you a pre-approval letter with purchase amount and monthly payment and interest rate all listed on it), and avoid the temptation to “but if we just wiggle things a liiiiiiittle bit.” And remember that cosmetic details can all be changed, but you can’t change where the house is located. Location location location is a cliche for a reason ;)

      Good luck! We had a blast buying a house earlier this year.

      • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

        Also, what they approve you for may be more than you’re actually comfortable paying each month. Start on the low end of the spectrum. And if you quote with multiple banks/lenders, their multiple runs on your credit score will only ping you once. Get your ducks in a row, and call them all for quotes in rapid succession.

        • MC

          THIS – we got approved for almost twice as much as we actually ended up needing and with all the other costs that come with homeownership (repairs, furniture, home improvement, etc.) I am SO GLAD we stayed on the lower end because a higher mortgage payment every month would have been a pretty big squeeze.

        • louise danger

          yes YES. some maniac broker quoted mr danger as being able to afford a $700k mortgage based on his income and his debt-to-income ratio. and it’s like… sure, he has that much available (no he doesn’t, lol) but we also kind of need to eat? or buy gas? the credit union approved us for a mortgage much closer to what i’d anticipated, hahaha.

      • OMG you got a loan without putting anything down and with no PMI??? I thought that didn’t even exist! How awesome for you guys.

        • louise danger

          yes! this is the only place we’ve found it (a specific local credit union) but I’m sure similar programs exist elsewhere!

          Mr Danger qualified to be a member of the credit union because of his job, and for the mortgage because of his fabulous credit. definitely hurdles to jump, but so so so worth it to have a house that’s _ours_. …even if that means there’s currently a man from the HVAC company in my living room telling us how much a new furnace will cost. /weeps

      • Alyssa

        Thank you! We are meeting with the guy next week, so I will look up all this stuff in the meantime!

    • Amy March

      Do you mean no down payment at all? I guess I just don’t understand how you would decide you are ready to buy a house if you haven’t saved up enough money to put at least something down on that house. I appreciate that there are programs and ways to make that work, but why the rush? It’s a lot of risk to be taking on without a cushion.

      • louise danger

        in our city, buying means that we’re paying less per month for a larger, nicer place than we could afford while renting – all the landlords are trapped in super high pre-crash mortgages and availability on the rental market is low. so although we didn’t have much in savings, we knew that our debt to income ratio and our monthly budget could sustain a mortgage. the trick became finding the right mortgage product.

        • Alyssa

          That’s exactly the situation our city too.

      • JSK

        Coming here to say this. Even if you’re able to find a 85-100% LTV loan you’ll want a cushion for everything that happens during and after the sale. For every place we’ve owned, we’ve had a significant repair or evaluation issue that cost beaucoup money (like a full year’s tax bill due a few months after we moved in because the mortgage lender screwed up the paperwork). Make sure you have something to put down, something for a rainy day, and can afford to continue socking away money.

        I’ve never put 20% down on the three places we own – we did a two loans on one condo (80% and 15% with 5% down) and 5% down on another (no PMI because it was Adjustable Rate and they figured they could screw me later on), both pre-crash. Products have changed significantly since then.

        For our house, we put down about 7% and pay PMI. To remove PMI we would need to refinance (UGH), so we haven’t done that.

      • Eenie

        I guess it depends on if they don’t have any money for a down payment because they are putting more money into an emergency fund because owning a house comes with more risk. We bought our house with very little down, but we have a very good emergency fund and didn’t want to dip into it for a down payment.

      • Alyssa

        In the area that we live in, it’s taken most people we know a few months to really find a house, so by that time we’ll certainly have more money (and can maybe call in some family favors), but I was just asking to see if people had done it.

        I’m not the most financially savvy person out there, but in the area we live in (Bay Area), we can find houses with a Mortgage of less than ~$1,700/mo, which is the top end of our “housing” budget. We can’t find a rental in our area for anything less than $2,200/mo, so when it comes to 1,700/mo vs. 2,200/mo, homebuying suddenly looks more appealing. The other thing is that I’m locked into a 1-year contract as a school counselor/therapist, and if we wanted to move to someplace more affordable to rent, we’d have to uproot and I’d have to terminate my contract and leave all my kid clients hanging, which happened to the school last year and apparently caused some problems — or my fiancee would have to leave the job he just started two months ago and start from square one again. Luckily my fiancee’s parents live nearby-ish so we can live with them for the meantime (and we probably will for at least a few months, but we have to have call in a favor and have someone take care of our cat while we live there). Still, no harm in meeting with the realtor and mortgage broker and seeing what’s available to us.

        • louise danger

          also, if you work in a public school system, you may qualify for other products (mortgages) that might not be available to the general public. worth asking about! people don’t look at mortgages the way they look at other major purchases – cars, appliances, etc – and that’s so strange to me. there’s more than one kind out there!

  • CMT

    Has anyone here done a balance transfer to pay off existing credit card debt with 0 interest? I have about ~3k in existing debt on two credit cards that I feel confident I can pay off in the 12-15 month window that most cards offer 0% interest. It just seems too good to be true. I know that some cards charge a fee for balance transfers, but even at 3-5%, I think I would save over paying interest. And I know that if you don’t pay it all off in time, they often charge interest retroactively for the whole balance. But like I said, I’m confident I can do it in less than a year. And I know opening a new card and having a hard pull of your credit report can ding your credit score for a while, but I’m not looking to buy a house or get a loan anytime soon. Am I missing anything?

    • ART

      My mom has done it several times. It doesn’t seem like you’re missing anything – there are costs and risks, but it looks like you’ve recognized them. I am trying to buy a house at the moment and keep in mind that the hard pull will have some effect, but where it could really get you is to drop the average age of your accounts by averaging in a brand new one. Do you use Credit Karma? I find it really helpful – it will help you understand how much that average age of accounts could affect your score.

      • CMT

        I do use Credit Karma! (Another thing I thought must have been too good to be true.) That’s actually where I got this idea. I forgot about the average age of accounts. I’ll look into that. Thanks for pointing that out!

    • Vanessa

      The catch really is that most people won’t pay it off during the 0% period. But if you’re being really honest with yourself about what kind of payments you can handle, it’s definitely a way to save money.

    • Emily C

      I’ve done it a few times now! I originally opened a Chase Slate card a few years ago because of the free balance transfer offer. Every time I’ve paid of the amount interest free, they offer me the interest free deal again for a a 3-5% fee. I thought it was too good to be true at first, but as long as your payments are on time and you pay off the balance before the interest-free period you’re fine!

    • Amy March

      I think the only thing you are potentially missing is the psychological impact- will knowing that money is not accruing interest make it easier for you to not pay it? Are you currently paying a set amount every month automatically that you know will lead to pay off in 12 months because you calculated it? If not, why not, and does that answer impact your confidence level? The credit card company is betting that you are wrong about this being a good idea, and they are making that bet because they know, statistically, most people are confident they can make this work and most people in reality cannot.

    • AGCourtney

      No, if you know you’ll pay it off in the window, it’s worth doing. My then-boyfriend did it a few years ago, and is about to do it again.

    • emmers

      I haven’t done the 0% interest kind, but my spouse had some CC debt coming into marriage, and we transferred some of it to me strategically to both lower the amount of credit he was using (preparing to buy a house at the time), and to save on interest. I’d be wary of the ones where you must pay off everything by X date or you’ll have a big penalty, unless you’re confident in that (like you are!)– in that case, hopefully you have enough of a cushion that even if unexpected life emergencies com up you’ll be OK. I say that second part because my husband had opened one of those intro cards to buy a tv and got bit by interest when a life event came up that meant he couldn’t pay it off in time- def a learning experience.

    • CMT

      Thanks, everyone! I am making consistent, big-enough monthly payments now (thanks, YNAB!) that I could be making on an interest-free card, so it sounds like it’s a good idea for me. I think if I go this route, I”ll set it up on auto-pay, put the card in a file somewhere, and forget it even exists (outside of budgeting for it every month). I really appreciate the feedback!

      • Ashlah

        Sounds like you’ve really thought it through, and are confident you’ll pay it off. Makes sense to me! I’ve never done a balance transfer specifically (so I didn’t have to do the math of balance transfer fees vs current APR), but this is how I paid for my Invisalign treatment. Good luck!

      • LikeaBell

        It sounds like you’re set, but just wanted to chime in with another vote of DOOOOooIT(!): husband and I did this a year and a half ago to (FINALLY) put the nail in the coffin on the last few thousand of wedding debt. The offer was for 18 months interest free; we figured if everything went as planned, we could do it in 12. Now I’m glad we budgeted for paying it off early because we are just making the final payment (literally today!) after a few setbacks. SO relieved, because, between a couple different offers we had, this one gave us the most time at 0% interest, but also has the highest (insanely high) interest rate once the deal expires. Overall, it was a good move because it saved us interest (the obvious), and actually, the expiration date on the offer gave us good psychological motivation to keep chipping away, which balanced out or overrode the temptation to slack because we knew we weren’t accruing interest. YMMV on that—only you know how your money-brain works! But anyway, vote of confidence, plus an personal experience endorsement for factoring in a little bit of wiggle room, just in case. :)

        • CMT

          Good call on leaving a cushion of a few months. I am slowly but surely trying to change how my money-brain works. It’s so hard! I’m feeling better these days; I hope that lasts!

    • anon

      Go to your bank/credit union and see what the interest on a small short-term loan is. Might be cheaper and won’t harm your credit score.

  • toomanybooks

    Voted early this week! Feels good to have it done. Also we had a tasting with the caterer we were pretty sure we wanted, but to be honest I was a little underwhelmed. It’ll probably be fine if we choose the right things, but now I’m wondering if we should do tastings with other caterers. They won’t be as convenient as this one, but it’s probably worth checking out? Catering is the scariest thing to me because it’s the most expensive, so I’ve pretty much just been trying to find the cheapest place, not the best. Hm.

    • “I’ve pretty much just been trying to find the cheapest place, not the best”
      Pretty sure that kinda explains it all…sometimes going up a dollar or two per plate isn’t the worst idea. At the same time, guests don’t usually expect extraordinary food at a wedding. Unless you’re a foodie…

      • Jess

        Yup! I would definitely try another slightly more expensive place.

      • mssolo

        It’s the wine at a posh restaurant strategy – look for the one that’s second cheapest :)

  • Abbey

    Hi guys!

    So I’ve been engaged since February (I proposed to my partner and got him a pretty ring), and this Saturday he did a counterproposal and gave me a pretty ring as well (exhibit A). It’s from Bario Neal and I’m obsessed with it.

    BUT! We just moved to Canada and don’t really know anyone very well yet, and no one has heard our engagement story, so I’ve gone the whole week without really getting to show my ring to anyone IRL. Because when people asked how my weekend was, I couldn’t say I got engaged, because I didn’t, and just waving my hand in their faces felt weird and I couldn’t figure out how to explain the whole thing, and even though my friends back in the US have been awesome via text, it’s kind of a bummer to be here and not get to do the ring-hand-pose thing, you know?

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b73d43fad36be7a3f3caa1b4c9f794970074017f1960f9a53872c78463a8ae04.jpg

    • Sarah

      I just posted my Bario Neal ring below, too! Yours is gorgeous – I love the shape of the center stone.

      • Abbey

        Yours is so pretty! Bario Neal is the best!

    • Amy March

      Of course you could say you got engaged! Or you can next week. “Omg did I tell you, I got engaged!! [insert ring waving hand].” “Ohhh how did it happen?!?” “Well, I propsed last February, so we really got engaged then, and then he proposed back last week with this gorgeous ring in a lovely park!”

      I mean, or we can all celebrate you here, but I don’t think you’ll be breaking any rules of engagement if you use the word a touch fluidly in your story telling :)

    • You could say you got engaged, or you could say that you and partner purchased an engagement ring? It’s decently common to not have a ring at engagement, so…whatever!

      • Abbey

        Yeah I think I feel protective of the original proposal, and concerned that people wouldn’t see that as “real” because now he’s done the traditional man-thing and gotten me a ring. And that somehow the last seven months have been me waiting for a ring instead of us being engaged.

        • Then, “we got engaged 7 months ago, and [we picked out a ring] [we exchanged rings/gifts][he gave me the ring][whatever]”. People will always be confused by non-standard stuff.

          We did pre-ceremony first look photos, and as we walked through the venue, husband’s cousin sees us and goes, “Isn’t it bad luck to see the bride before the wedding?!” AW SH*T, GUESS WE BETTER CALL IT OFF!! ;)

    • Vanessa

      Honestly, with people who already know we are engaged, sometimes I just say “Want to see my ring???”

    • raccooncity

      Congrats! Where in Canada did you end up? I hope you love it. I love love love your ring!

      • Aubry

        seconded! I’m in Vancouver if you need a buddy :)

    • AmandaBee

      I got my ring 4 months after we got engaged (for a variety of reasons) and TBH I totally did just tell people “WANT TO SEE MY RING?” when they asked me about my weekend.

      And you know, everyone was still super pumped to see it. Possibly more so since they knew I had waited 4 months to get the ring I wanted. It was like telling people I was engaged a second time!

      This being said, no shame in showing off your fancy new ring. Which is beautiful btw!

    • Anna Casey

      Seems like a “double engagement” to me!

      I proposed to my boyfriend in 2011 (with a surprise diamond ring that I designed, and planning on a looong engagement). We announced, were crazy excited, and totes engaged (just like you have been since Feb!). Then when we chose my ring 3.5 years later, we planned a weekend away (coinciding with our dating anniversary), and he “proposed back.” The next week I excitedly showed off my ring saying “we got double-engaged!”

      Might be too annoying to explain to new acquaintances though, so I like the “I just got my ring lookit!” suggestions.

    • Congrats (from a Canada-based APWer)! :)

  • Jessica

    If anyone is seeking a wedding dress that is under $300, ModCloth just put a bunch of their wedding line on sale. I swear to god there are about 6 dresses I would have preferred to have worn for less than half the price of my dress.

    • louise danger

      i hope someone here will get the All the Way to the Banquet one (on sale!) so that I can live out my embroidered wedding dress skirt dreams vicariously through you ;~;

  • ART

    I have been sick to my stomach about the election, even though as my HFA Shop lapel pin says, I Believe That She Will Win. I tried helping myself get into it by pulling out every red, white, or blue item from my closet Wednesday night and picking my outfits from that until next Tuesday. This weekend I’m volunteering at a massive text-a-thon that I’ve been helping with here and there for several weeks (texting likely voters in swing states). I’ve donated, I’ve texted, I’ve car-magneted, and I’m a poll worker (and I voted mail-in). So I’ve done what I can do, and now just have to breathe. No matter what, there is still tons of work left to do, so I’m setting my sights on the future.

  • ART

    Oh and I forgot to add: CUBS, MAN! Any baseball fans? My team didn’t get all that far this year, but that Game 7 was just. nuts.

    • Catherine McK

      Cubs! We live by Wrigley and it has been amazing. The parade went by our condo this morning!

    • AGCourtney

      I work nights at a college library, and while none of us working at the desk were particularly into sports, we streamed it at one of the computers and it was a really fun game to watch. There was a viewing party of sorts in one of our downstairs classrooms with a projector and we heard them all shouting when the Cubs won.

    • Ashlah

      Not a usual baseball fan, but we did watch Game 7, and I was so glad we did. What a great game!

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      This Phillies fan is pleased as punch for Bill Murray, HRC, and all the other Cubs fans. Enjoy!

    • Sara

      I’m a Tribe fan so a little bummed. But we definitely gave it our all!

      • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

        To the bitter end!

    • I actually watched the World Series and was super into it, even though I’m not a baseball fan at all. I kept asking my husband about the rules! I was stoked to see the Cubs win especially after Cleveland had a 3-1 lead…I personally think its karma for that offensive team name & logo.

      • Jess

        I am a vague Cubs fan married to a Cleveland fan, and I managed to alleviate more tense moments by asking about all the (very confusing!) rules of baseball.

        I agree about the name/logo.

    • We were on our flight back from Hawaii, and the pilot announced the final score, lol. No way to get updates any other way, ahahahahahha

    • Sarah

      Chicago!! The whole city is so freaking excited! I got to see a bit of the parade at lunch today and it was really the coolest thing. Those lovable losers are losers no more!

    • rg223

      Love baseball, love the Cubbies (they are my #3 team after my hometown team and my where-I-live-now team), loving life right now :)

    • raccooncity

      As a Jays fan I normally would have cheered for the team that took out my team (Darwinism?) but as a social worker there was no way I was cheering for that Cleveland team – WTF is up with that logo? Come on.

      So I was AMPED about the Cubs win – even more so with the adorable bill murray pictures.

      • Lexipedia

        As a HUGE Jays fan I cheered for the Royals last year, under your Darwinism theory. However the Cubs’ story is so wonderful I just couldn’t help but take up their cause this series. Thrilled that the Cubbies won after 108 years!

  • AGCourtney

    This weekend, I volunteered for the box office of our local live production of Rocky Horror for both Saturday shows (7:30 and midnight) and I had a *blast*. I forgot how much I love and miss theater. We’re doing Pirates of Penzance in the summer and I’m a soprano 1, so I think I’ll try out!

    A non-profit I used to live at is considering building a campus in Rochester, MN, so they asked me to speak and share my story at a donor/information meeting last night. It was a really great experience! I get so accustomed to the program and my experience there that I forget how amazing the program is and all the things I accomplished while I was there. It hit me again hearing everyone last night.

    My daughter started dance classes this week! I knew I wanted her to be in dance, and I had thoroughly researched the options and settled on one to start next year: a company started by my former ballet teacher. Well, I’ve been regretting not starting her this year, and last week, said dance teacher messaged me on Facebook and said, “You know, every time I see pictures of her, I can tell she loves being on stage – would you be interested in joining our preschool class?” And we’re even getting a discount. I’m not sure who was more excited after the class, my daughter or me. xD

    Brief family update for those following along: my mom and sisters are now in a hotel. It sounds like a community agency is trying to find them housing. Dad is moving into his 2-bedroom apartment next weekend (It’s starting to sound like The Ring around here – my husband and I keep quietly reminding each other, “7 days…”) so another benefit of that is that he might be able to get a couple of my sisters out of that situation.

    • rg223

      Aww, I’m so happy your daughter is starting dance! What a kind thing for the teacher to do! I hope she loves it!

  • Brynna

    So we have no idea who we want to officiate our wedding. We’re not religious and all of our close friends are in the wedding party. Any creative ideas??

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      I have a couple friends who are humanist celebrants, and that’s how we plan to go. See if you have anybody like that in your area!

    • Amy March

      Aunts, uncles, justice of the peace, godparents, family friend with a nice speaking voice?

      • Yeah, we had a family friend of my father’s who I’ve known since before I was born. ‘Saw her more than I saw my own aunts, and she also officiates weddings in another state. I liked the personal connection, she was *so* honored to do it.

    • Gaby

      Idk if this is a niche Vegas thing, but “pop-up” weddings are getting popular here. They’re officiants that offer an inclusive package sometimes with flowers etc, but they will most likely be available to do JUST the officiating and from what I’ve seen are really good about having secular ceremonies. You can look around and see if that’s available in your area :)

    • Ashlah

      We hired someone. If you’re not totally set on it being someone personally known, it’s a perfectly fine option. He gave us scripts to work with, we made a ton of changes, and he showed up and read it, and mailed in the paperwork. Not exactly creative, but it worked for us :)

      • Jess

        I loved our officiant that we hired! Seconding this!

        • AmandaBee

          We also had a hired officiant, and it was great. We could still personalize our ceremony, but knew he’d show up and be a professional.

    • Trinity

      We had my husband’s old high school friend (who by then was more of an acquaintance/co-worker) officiate. I wrote the entire ceremony, so he just had to read/perform it. It turned out great!

    • Jane

      My best friend chose a friend of his who was really good friends with him and his now wife. I thought about doing something like that but having a peer didn’t fit my imagination.
      So we chose a good friend of my family (he introduced my parents back in the day and I’m closer to him than I am to any of my extended family) but who also had counseled my FH and me through some really rough times in our relationship. But he’s also very articulate and a great writer. So he’s just getting ordained online.

      We also thought about going with a judge, I know a few pretty well, but decided it would feel like work. My mom, who still wishes we were having a Catholic wedding wishes we’d gone with a judge because that would be more “official” to her than a universal life church minister. My FH and I don’t really care about how official it feels so long as it’s legal.

      The only thing I wish I’d given more thought to was if I had any lady friends who would have meant as much to me. I’m having a secular wedding. There’s no reason I couldn’t have had a woman officiate. And that would have rocked.

    • Jenn

      My brother in law officiated! It was perfect for us because my husband and I are both close to him, but it wasn’t necessarily a groomsman level of closeness. We also knew he was a good public speaker and very dependable.

  • Katherine

    We got married two weekends ago! The ceremony was incredibly special, I refused to stop eating to talk to guests, the band played the wrong song for our first/father-daughter/mother-son dance, and it was all awesome. To any brides out there who are giving pause over short hair, glasses, or minimal-to-no makeup: don’t even. You’ll look fabulous. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2f47532c9bf9dba0154373f314d55a03305bd0c02946d4a9041492d43c61885c.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/552bae94e9f84cdcbf8ebb2c0ad85562500550478a426071194d76d9350432a8.jpg

    • Ashlah

      Wonderful! Congrats!

      • Katherine

        Thanks!

    • idkmybffjill

      Omg you’re so right – you do look fabulous!!!

      • Katherine

        Aw, thanks!

    • You look fantastic! Love the dress!!

      • Katherine

        Thank you!

    • Gaby

      You look great! And I love that you wore your glasses, I kind of regret not putting mine on at any point of the night.

      • Katherine

        Thank you! I can’t see more than 12 inches in front of my face without them, and a chronic eye condition makes contacts (and eye makeup) impossible. I really had no choice in the matter. :)

    • Sarah

      Gorgeous! I love the flower crown. And thank you for the comment on hair. I’m currently growing out my pixie for my wedding and feeling very silly about it. Every phase gets worse- right now, I bear a striking resemblance to Javier Bardem in No Country For Old Men

      • Katherine

        Thank you! And I feel your pain.

    • Jess

      Yay for brides in glasses and short hair! You look amazing!

      • Katherine

        Thank you!!

    • rg223

      Your flower crown is AMAZING.

      • Katherine

        Thank you! Thankfully, I was able to save it in our luggage and it has dried beautifully.

    • Jennifer

      We both wore glasses, but it was more because we HAD to be able to see (also, we’re both Deaf.) But this was ages ago. Just wanted to say you were beautiful and I’m glad you felt good about wearing the glasses, the short hair, and how you looked! It was beautiful.

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e0144ee604fa4dc0471606378c9deb6ba5ba1d69d1322e8ba38b91343b436dba.jpg t

      • Katherine

        You both look amazing, and that venue is STUNNING!

        • Jennifer

          Thanks! The venue was Red Rocks.

      • Eenie

        Your wedding is one of my all time favorites on APW.

        • Jennifer

          awww. thank you!! <3 I really loved writing about it.

    • LP

      Has anyone ever told you that you look like Anne Hathaway?? You look stunning!!! Love the short hair and glasses!

      • Katherine

        Oh my goodness, what a compliment! Thank you!!!

    • stephanie

      Congrats!!!

  • heyqueen

    How many of you ladies used an all inclusive type so for your reception? Like a hotel ballroom or something of that nature? We are in the process of deciding on a venue, and I have one place that will let us pretty much do whatever vs using a ballroom.

    The pro to the non all inclusive place is that we can bring our own caterer, but we will need to outsource for decorating and linens ect. The upside to all inclusive is that its all inclusive, but we’re stuck with hotel catering.

    • idkmybffjill

      We did an all inclusive brewery! The food there was GOOOOOD. The single best decision we made was going with a more all inclusive space. We didn’t have a wedding planner (or a stage manager or anything), and everything went off without a single hitch! Literally multiple people reached out to me to compliment how well planned everything had been. I was only responsible for a little of that. We dropped our decor the day before, they set it up for us and broke it down the evening of, we picked it up the next day. They coordinated directly with our vendors (florist/photographer/dj). It was glorious. All I had to think about on the day was beauty. I was incredibly relaxed.

      • Jess

        yes, this was exactly our experience!

        • idkmybffjill

          I am a *planner*, and plan events for work often. It was a tremendous relief to know I’d hired good people to take care of it, so I wouldn’t dwell. I was able to focus my efforts on planning the pre-wedding day of and totally let go of the details of the wedding itself. It was tremendous.

      • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

        This sounds awesome.

    • We used an all-inclusive for our Pi Day wedding and it was a great option for us. In our case, we loved the in-house caterer though. Perhaps you can find a cool venue that is all-inclusive and has a caterer you like?

      • heyqueen

        That would be ideal. I feel like we’ve damn near exhausted all of our venue options in our area and a lot of them have their “preferred” caterers, and will charge you extra to bring someone from the outside.

        • Eenie

          Have you looked into restaurant buyouts? We went this route and got the all inclusiveness with great tasting food. Open Table has lists of capacities for different restaurants for select cities in the US. That is how we found our venue. This works best though if you’re having less than 200 people though.

          • heyqueen

            We were open to the idea of a restaurant buyout, but none of the places here make food that we’d like.

    • Jess

      I used an all inclusive at a hotel that we knew had amazing food in their restaurant.

      It was the best service and the massive reduction to planning and coordination was so worth it. I cannot say enough good things about doing all inclusive.

      • heyqueen

        Yes, not having to coordinate stuff is SO attractive to me. My non planning ass is planning this wedding, and I want to do the bare minimum hahah.

        • Jess

          Bare Minimum Effort was a major criteria of all vendors we hired! SO WORTH IT.

    • Nicole

      We did an all inclusive one (Skansonia Ferry in Seattle) and it was AWESOME. They did let us bring our own booze (yay!) but the food, cake, servers, everything else, they took care. It’s so nice to have basically one price for everything (plus booze) and to have someone who can take care of it all. In our case, it was also among the cheaper options we saw for some reason, so it was just a win all over. Whenever people ask for wedding advice, I recommend to go inclusive if you can find something affordable. We didn’t get to try the food before signing the contract but reviews of it were good and it turned out awesome.

      • heyqueen

        Thank you! I like the idea of an all inclusive because it takes so much extra stress off my hands. Worrying about coordinating people and the set up/take down is something I don’t want to have to do. I also refuse to ask guests at the wedding to help with setting up/taking down because that isn’t their responsibility. Food and reception venue are two of the most important things to me. We’re Nigerian so I really want us to have traditional food at the wedding, but the tradeoff is that many all inclusive spaces aren’t open to outside catering due to liability ect ect -____-.

        • Nicole

          Some friends of ours were just in a similar position wanting a traditional Chinese 10 course meal and ended up at a Hilton that is apparently the place in southern california that does this. Any chance there’s a hotel in your area that does all inclusive AND is set up for Nigerian food? If you live in an area with a large-ish Nigerian population, there might be something there?

          • heyqueen

            Unfortunately, there isn’t a sizable Nigerian population here. We toyed with the idea of doing it Atlanta where there are tons of Nigerians and just as many venues that would be used to our unique needs, but the logistics are planning from afar just stressed me out even more. I’m looking to see if some of the hotels here would let me bring an outside caterer but still allow me the convenience of an all inclusive. Most have been super strict about only allowing in house/preferred caterers though :(.

          • Nicole

            Bummer! Good luck – I’m sure something will work out. I’ll be sending good thoughts your way!

          • Eenie

            I hope you find something local, but as someone who had a wedding that was mostly guests from out of town, they all loved the amount of touristy stuff within walking distance of midtown and had a surprising amount of people fly in several days early or late to stay and enjoy the city. I was worried about guest logistics, but that ended up being super easy. I would not want to have to plan from a distance though, it’s rough (I was in Michigan for all but the last 4 months of our engagement).

          • Call Me Penny

            Might they perhaps allow you bring in outside caterers for a late night snack? Not the same as a full Nigerian meal I know, but if you were going to go down the late night route you could maybe incorporate it there?

          • idkmybffjill

            woops totally missed this when I commented! Sorry for the redundancy!

        • idkmybffjill

          I’m ignorant about Nigerian food, so this may be a stupid suggestion, but is it possible you could ask the inclusive place to make some traditional dishes? We were able to sort of piece together our ideal menu at the place we went with, and were surprised at how flexible they were!

          • heyqueen

            Oh no. They totally would not be able to cook the food at all.

          • idkmybffjill

            Ugh darn. I was crossing my fingers.

      • Not Sarah

        Oh! We are looking at the Skansonia! How did you like them? I cannot find negative reviews about any wedding venue and it is driving me crazyyyyyyyyyy. We are also looking at Lake Union Cafe and Ray’s Boathouse.

        • Nicole

          THEY WERE AWESOME. I’ve since met 3 other people who got married there who were also like, ‘How are they so cheap and wonderful?” and people STILL talk about how great our wedding was. We did a Thursday night and that was even better because the dates were wide open and the prices are cheaper. I almost turned right around and left when I saw the “bridal getting ready room” because there was something very WIC-y about it, but we didn’t get ready there, so what did it matter? I’d be happy to talk with you more about it, but they’re great. and also the food and cake was all amaze-balls.

          • Not Sarah

            That would be great, thank you! notsarah AT comcast DOT net should resolve to my gmail once you send an email :)

          • Jane

            We had some issues (e.g. the bus driver got lost with like half the people for pictures) in between the ceremony and reception and ended up getting there a little late to decorate. The Skansonia staff sent my sister upstairs with champagne to chill out because she was really stressed. They helped the rest of us set up our stuff, gave us table numbers to use because we’d left ours behind, and helped us figure out where to set up things like the photobooth (which we hadn’t had a chance to plan – my sister was planning from across the country).
            If my whole family hadn’t just been to a wedding there, I would definitely be doing it.

          • Nicole

            We did the ceremony and reception at the same place which was nice – we know a lot of other people who had trouble with transportation in some way. Since doing it there, I keep meeting people who got married there.

          • Jane

            Yup! One of the fantastic things about my not having a Catholic wedding in a church was that I get to have everything in one place!

      • Jane

        My sister’s reception was there. They let her bring different desserts too. We liked them a lot!

        • Nicole

          Oh yeah – we brought stuff in for Cupcake Royale for our vegan, gluten free guests.

    • Our venue had a required caterer, silverware/glassware, table & linens set-up/tear-down, and the most affordable linens prices we found (and they’d set up other linens, too). The decorations (centerpieces, signs, etc.) I just hired a day-of coordinator. So you could just get a good day-of coordinator to handle the loose bits at the non-all-inclusive?

      • idkmybffjill

        ^ great advice. Ours ended up cheaper to go all inclusive than it would’ve been to do the seperate vendors + coordinator route, but if we’d gone that way I think a coordinator would’ve been a must.

      • heyqueen

        By required do you mean they had people they wanted you to use for the linens ect?

        • Just a required caterer (+flatware), bartenders, alcohol-provision, tables & chairs. Everything else was up to us, but the caterers did have linens to rent that were affordable, and would also set up other vendors’ linens. We rented ~6 tablecloths from elsewhere, but guest linens from the caterer.

          I guess we could’ve gotten different tables & chairs…but the venue freely provided some so…

          • emmers

            I’ve also had to haul tablecloths for work in the past when we’ve rented them to return them to the rental place, and those things are heavy!

          • They are super heavy! We only had ~6-8, and it took two people with a decent fitness level to move them, lol.

    • Brynna

      We had the same decision to make (art gallery vs. hotel ballroom). At first, we totally wanted the art gallery, so we could really curate the experience. Luckily for us, the art gallery was REALLY bad at returning calls/emails, so we were kinda forced into the all-inclusive hotel.

      At this point, I couldn’t be happier – so many decisions/costs we would have had to foot are included in the cost of the hotel. I knew we’d made the right choice when we met with the hotel coordinator, who told us she had three different types of table-number-holders we could choose from and I was like, “Oh man, I would have had to research/find/pay for those at the other venue…”

      • heyqueen

        Omg yes! That whole “curating the experience” was very much me at the beginning of the process. I wanted (and still do) want something simple and tasteful, but a lot of that comes at a cost. Either you’re paying someone to achieve that “look” for you, or you’re running around doing the heavy lifting yourself. I’m huge into doing research and considering all my options, (so much so that it took me 2 damn years to nail down the style of ring I wanted), but at this point I’m fatigued with all the moving parts. I just want us to write a check and show up.

        • My rule for DIY was: (1) it had to be something I enjoyed and (2) if it failed, nothing would be really impacted. So, I pressed a bunch of leaves and Mod Podged them to escort cards and table numbers. I enjoyed it. If it didn’t look good, I could just use the escort cards and table numbers without the leaves.

          But it sounds like an event planner, armed with a pinterest board you made, might be a way for you to get this too…it is paying someone for the look, but there’s just too many moving parts.

    • RNLindsay

      Also on the all inclusive band wagon! It made life so much easier but we still had several tasks to do that helped us to feel like it was “our” wedding. I.E. – this is the cake vendor we recommend – but you guys go cake tasting! or here are 2 florists we recommend but you guys pick one and discuss flowers with them. But then once we made decisions, we didn’t have to think about them again! The venue coordinated everything.

    • emmers

      We got married in a restaurant-ish type venue & I really enjoyed not having to worry about renting stuff. It was so nice to have other people there to handle setup, even things like putting linens on tables. We do some small events at work, and at the non inclusive venue, I was wondering how I’d make that stuff happen.

  • Kaitlyn

    Quick two questions that are wedding related and non-ranty:

    1. Does anyone have good resources on how to write a contract as a wedding vendor? My college BFF wants to start doing wedding videos on the side and wants to do some research on how best to do a contract. I googled through the archives here, but couldn’t find anything (though it’s possible my search skills are not up to par on a Friday afternoon haha)

    2. Would you/anyone you know be interested in hiring someone to plan the bachelorette party or bridal showers? Purely hypothetical, but I thoroughly enjoy planning these type of parties and was contemplating making a side hustle out of doing a little party planning. The idea would be to cater to the MOHs/friends/family who want to throw these parties for their brides but don’t have the time/resources/ability to truly plan it out and would rather just pay someone else to do it (aka me haha).

    • idkmybffjill

      2. If you need a business partner in Chicago, let a sister know :).

    • 1. ‘Get your hands on some other vendor’s contracts, really. Even a photographer’s contract would be a good starting place.

      2. My day-of coordinator largely did general ‘party planning’. So it happens…

    • RNLindsay

      Also on the all inclusive band wagon! It made life so much easier but we still had several tasks to do that helped us to feel like it was “our” wedding. I.E. – this is the cake vendor we recommend – but you guys go cake tasting! or here are 2 florists we recommend but you guys pick one and discuss flowers with them. But then once we made decisions, we didn’t have to think about them again! The venue coordinated everything.

    • mssolo

      Hen and stag night packages are a bit of a thing in the UK – the MoH picks the bits of the package they’re interested in through a website and is assigned a coordinator to make it all happen, and all the attendees pay through the website in advance. The coordinator books all the venues, hustles all the 2 for 1 deals, checks out the disabled access etc. Maybe see if there’s anyone already offering it in your area already to get a sense of what the market’s like, then launch a website? No one needs to know you’re the only coordinator :)

  • Leah

    Guys, this Politico Piece on Hillary touches on so many of the feminist themes that get discussed here – she gives up her glasses, hires a stylist, gives up her name, and still gets crap from both more liberal and more conservative people for everything. Women continue to struggle with these issues, but Dang, has she had to struggle harder than most of us (just to get to work hard for her country!).

    • Olive

      LOVE.

    • Ashlah

      That was such a great piece, thank you for sharing! The final line made me a little teary.

  • We had our 32wk appt on Wednesday and I’m so excited that #BabyPi looks great. She’s only in the 36th percentile for group so my midwife thinks she will be around 7lbs, which is perfect (I did not want a large baby).
    The only downer is the rigid rules that my midwife group has for plus size moms. I have to do a non-stress test before each of my appts now, and they won’t allow me to do a water birth. Throughout my pregnancy I’ve had perfect blood pressure, I passed my gestational diabetes test with flying colors, and I’ve only gained 18 pounds! Yet I’m still being treated like I’m “sick” and that my baby will have complications solely because of my pre-pregnancy weight. It wasn’t my choice to get pregnant at my highest weight (I actually thought it wasn’t going to happen until I lost weight, but I got pregnant before that could happen!) and I shouldn’t be treated like something is wrong with me.

    • Ashlah

      Yay for healthy baby, but boo for the medical treatment you’re receiving. That’s so frustrating and ridiculous. You’re obviously healthy by all the measures they find important! So sorry you’re dealing with that.

    • AGCourtney

      Glad BabyPi is doing well! 7 pounds sounds lovely – I’m a tiny little thing and mine was 9 lbs, 5 oz!

      Ugh, that sounds like a lot of extra crap to deal with, particularly given the results of the gestational diabetes test and that you’ve only gained 18 pounds. While I don’t have a medical background, but that sounds excessive. I’m glad you’re both doing well, though.

      Am I remembering correctly that the baby shower was this past weekend? How’d it go?

      • It was, thanks for remembering! It was really lovely, and we had a great time, The crowd was smaller than I expected but I truly appreciated everyone who came. 2 of my husband’s friends flew up just for the day, which was so great.

        • scw

          I’m glad you had a good time! focus on the people who showed up – and don’t think the people who couldn’t make it won’t show up in the future (you know this, but it’s nice to be reminded from a stranger sometimes).

    • rg223

      Ugh, I’m sorry. I think in general birth professionals are overly cautious for the 1% of the time something bad happens, but it is so frustrating when you keep having tests and scans and everything comes back fine. But yay baby Pi is doing so well!

    • emilyg25

      Your midwives don’t seem to run a very evidence-based practice. Guesses about baby weight or only about 50% accurate, and absent any other risks, just being plus sized shouldn’t change your care that much. :(

    • toomanybooks

      What is a non-stress test?? It sounds like a Scientology thing.

      • They stick a monitor around your belly and it records the baby’s heartbeat. As the baby moves the heartbeat should move. It’s basically just a way to monitor the baby that isn’t invasive. I just sit in a chair for 20 mins and count kicks.

        • Danielle

          I’m sorry to hear you are being treated that way :(

          If it makes you feel better (probably won’t), they make pregnant ladies over 35 take regular non-stress tests in their last month or two of pregnancy as well. I guess it’s like, “Hey, you special ladies over here! We’re gonna give you extra special attention! That you don’t want and may not need.”

          Oh well. Congratulations on baby Pi’s healthy development. She sounds adorable already :)

    • raccooncity

      The gestational diabetes thing is such a bummer – I had a friend start out on the edge of overweight and gain NINETY pounds over her pregnancy and did not develop GD. yet there she was, drinking the stupid drink every couple weeks. (like at some point isn’t the drink the worst thing that’s happening?)

      Sorry you won’t get your ideal birth for potentially ridiculous reasons. That sucks.

      • Two women in my office have GD, and both of them are like size 2! Just goes to show that size has nothing to do with who develops it, though some folks medicine seem to think its only an issue for larger women *eye roll*

      • Eenie

        You also don’t have to drink the drink for the test! It’s not even accurate with some diets. That’s so frustrating for your friend.

    • emmers

      Yay for nice sized baby and awesome health! And that really sucks about the water birth & other lame requirements. Very shitty of them.

  • EF

    guys! as you might recall that a few months ago i decided to really give coding etc a try, as i was desperate to find a new job. i eventually quit the job with an abusive boss, and as of this week, i have an offer of employment at an amazing company, as a data analyst! i’m really really excited, plus it pay about 1/3 more than abusive boss did, *and* i get views over central london. huzzah!

    • AGCourtney

      Wow, that’s amazing! I’m genuinely excited for you, EF.

    • rg223

      Amazing! Good for you!

    • Olive

      So happy for you!!! Congrats!

  • accidental_diva

    Anyone have a PMP certification without a business background/degree?
    Background: I’m looking at investing in it – I need to make more money and my current career path is not really helping me in that vein- I think that project management is a good path for me and the ROI is astonishing (~$4K investment to nearly quadruple my current salary) I just don’t know if my arts degree will hinder me in this process.

    • BSM

      I don’t , but my husband is starting to look into property management as a viable alternative career path for himself. He does have a background in corporate finance, but, if you don’t mind, what does the PMP certification get you? Like, what’s the benefit to getting one based on the investment?

      • accidental_diva

        PMP is Project Management Professional Certification- I live near a military base and a most of the contractor PMP positions start making low 6 figures (~$125K) – I’m in the extended DC metro area so many government/contracting jobs would be open to me that haven’t been in the past.

  • rg223

    I only briefly popped in to happy hour last week, so I wanted to say thanks for the Savannah recomendations! I had the BEST time, and my friends ended up being surprised married! (Well, surprised as you can get when you ask people to travel to another state for a party).

  • CommaChick

    Fashion advice needed, APW. What do you wear in a casual office [actually casual, not business casual] in a male-dominated field? I’m about to start a new job, and I’ve never worked in a casual office before. When I visited, the men’s clothes ranged from basketball shorts with a tank top to jeans with a button-down. I’d like to look nice and professional [and not too young], but I also want to fit in with the company culture. What do you suggest?

    • Not Sarah

      Classy looking jeans and plain t-shirts with flats, plus a cardigan and/or scarf if it’s cool in the office. That’s my tech work uniform and it works great! That seems to result in my apparel being about middle of the road – not too dressed up, not too dressed down, though the basketball shorts men will think you are dressed up, but who cares about them…

      • CommaChick

        Excellent, thanks. I’ll be in a tech office, so that uniform could totally work for me.

        • Lexipedia

          Also work in an east-coast tech office, as a rare woman. In spring/fall/winter I stick with dark jeans and either a “fancy” t-shirt or casual collared blouse. On top of that goes a cardigan and a big scarf and ballet flats or flat leather boots. I definitely dress up more than others, but that outfit provides for a variety of options in different circumstances. Friends in the Bay Area would see me as waaaaaaaay overdressed, so YMMV.

    • Amy March

      Jeans, button downs, blouses, cardigans. I find if I think of wearing three items I look more “done.” So jeans + blouse + scarf, or jeans + tshirt + cardigan.

      And I’d wear dresses. Yes, the men will think they are formal because men generally seem baffled by dresses, but they are easy and comfortable so I’d just let them get over it.

      • Jess

        “men generally seem baffled by dresses” Truer words have never been spoken.

      • CommaChick

        Awesome. I love dresses because they’re so easy, but I wasn’t sure if they would stand out in a bad way.

        • idkmybffjill

          And you can always dress down a dress with a shoe! Not a business dress (imagining my suiting dressed with tennis shoes is like commuter chic), but a cotton dress with converse? Yes please.

          • Dina

            Oh yes, I definitely did this look (with a hoodie) last week and I’m pretty sure it’s “in” right now!

          • Lexipedia

            I do cute little keds at the office as a slightly more dressy version of converse.

          • CommaChick

            I love keds

        • Dina

          I’m a tech worker lady and I wear dresses! It would stand out to wear a dress with heels and blazer, but with a cardigan and flats it’s on par with the nicer end of the male crowd (the khaki and button-down type). I also wear a lot of jeans or colored pants with t-shirt (sometimes nicer/blousier ones from The Limited, etc), cardigan, and boots/sneakers/flats. My go-to shoes are Toms jutti flats because they have a soft sole (no noise on uncarpeted floors). Not that it’s relevant right now, but I do wear shorts to the office in summer!

          • CommaChick

            I just googled Toms jutti flats, and I’m in love.

        • Lexipedia

          Ugh. I got advice a month into this job that I wouldn’t be taken seriously in a dress. After six months there I said F-it, and started wearing casual cotton dresses and nobody said a thing.

          • CommaChick

            Good for you. That gives me hope for dresses.

    • emilyg25

      Dark skinny jeans and blouses, nice tees or sweaters, and flats or cute sneaks like Supergas.

      • CommaChick

        I’m so glad you mentioned shoes. I’m normally a flats girl, so I was thinking ballet flats or cute tennis shoe flats.

        • emilyg25

          Also, I have a pair of wingtip oxfords that are hella comfortable and adorable. They’re a good option too.

          • janie

            I wear skinny jeans and t-shirts to work every day but I put on loafers with them and look like an adult. Magic.

        • Lexipedia

          As much as they are expensive, Tieks are totally worth the money as a work ballet flat.

    • ART

      I like skinny jeans and heels/wedges/booties. Also I’m a stretch pencil skirt fiend, in fact I’m wearing a bright tomato red one with flats right now for “casual” Friday. I tend to prefer stretch fabrics for that because they do a good job falling on either side of business casual/casual depending on what you put with them.

      • CommaChick

        I may have to try that. I usually avoid pencil skirts because I don’t find them flattering on me, but now I want to try on some other pieces in stretchy materials because I could see that being easy to dress up or down.

    • Mix in some chinos, too. Comfy but still just a step up from jeans. Just enough.
      J. Crew is all about ankle-length chinos, but Land’s End does custom-inseams for free.

    • Cdn icecube

      Another vote for dark jeans. You can dress them up with a blazer, heels and blouse if need be, but can also wear them with a cardigan and t-shirt and still look put together. I’d suggest trying to make sure that you look ‘put together’ rather than focusing too heavily if you’re too formal or too casual. Because wearing jeans and a t-shirt can look sloppy or it can look nice, but it’s all about how you wear it (baseball cap and messy hair v. nice necklace, clean shoes and styled hair).

      • CommaChick

        “Because wearing jeans and a t-shirt can look sloppy or it can look nice, but it’s all about how you wear it”

    • Jenn

      I’m a female engineer so I totally understand this struggle! I tend to wear dark jeans or khakis, blouses, and cardigans because my office cold. My shoes are flats or very comfortable booties because I stand/walk a lot. I don’t wear dresses or skirts because I do occasionally end up crawling under machines or working on the floor – not too much of a concern if your job is strictly a desk job.

      Something else I want to mention is that the wonderful thing about working with men is that most of them will never notice what you are wearing. Like seriously. So you should mostly dress to make yourself feel confident, comfortable, and professional!

      • CommaChick

        I am not an engineer but will be working with engineers all day, so you really do understand this struggle. I will be in a software lab, so I don’t have to worry about working on the floor (I hope).

  • Not Sarah

    I am so, so tired of venue shopping. Our priorities are delicious food and drink and a dance floor, while I would also like to find somewhere along the water since it is so dreamy. I really wish that it was easier to taste a venue’s food before locking down a deposit! Why would we commit to spending thousands of dollars on their food before tasting it?!? So far, we tasted one venue’s food and we decided we would rather have food trucks than their food so I hope the other venue has better food or we are back to the drawing board. At least the wedding website is coming along nicely…

    • heyqueen

      Solidarity girl. I know how you feel.

    • Ugh. So not envious. I’d like to say it’ll be over soon, but there’s still photographer, DJ, etc. decisions…

    • Rebecca

      So this may not be helpful but since we had the same priorities and the same problem, I thought I’d post..
      We ended up renting a private holiday home at the coast with a huge flat grassy area that we’ve stayed at before. We’re hiring a dance floor to put under the marquees we bought from our local hardware shop, and we are having some AMAZING local cheeses, followed by some AMAZING local pizza (seriously, this pizza is a revelation), followed by some OMG I’M HAVING A FOOD ORGASM cakes from a local bakery. And then we’re organising lots of amazing wine.
      Our wedding is pretty small – probably 50-60 people, and I know this would be way harder with a big guest list, and of course this is more work for us than an inclusive venue, but i thought I’d put it out there because it is turning out to be cheaper than the alternative, and because it was such a relief to say “hang on, we want good food, good wine and a dance party.. why did we think this meant a traditional venue?”

      • Not Sarah

        That is marginally helpful mostly in that that sounds like our ideal if our guest list was smaller! Our guest list is unfortunately closer to 200 though mostly out of town/country and so we are expecting around 100-130 to come. We first started looking at restaurants, but finding one we love and can comfortably seat as many people as we want was difficult. I even dug through Open Table’s private dining in Seattle list and didn’t have much luck there either. Our other restriction is that we want the venue to be in the city limits… I think we might have managed to find a place, but we will see!

  • sofar

    So, PSA to everyone doing a wedding where only subsets of the guest list are invited to the ceremony, reception, etc. Do NOT do this super-awkward thing some friends of ours just did.

    The wedding is this weekend and I was chatting with another guest. I couldn’t remember the start time exactly, and she goes, “Oh, ceremony’s at 4.” And I’m like, “Ummm pretty sure our invitation said 8-something p.m. because it’s just a cocktail-and-snacks reception.” And she goes, “Nope, ceremony is at 4 and then there’s a dinner. And then there’s drinks and snacks nextdoor.”

    So I go to the wedding website and notice this on the homepage: “To find your start time, search your name here.” Hmmm. I enter my name. Sure enough, 8 pm — cocktail reception. Cool.

    But my search ALSO brings up everyone whose name starts with the same letter. So I start clicking (because I’m nosy like that). Nothing is pass-code protected, and I can see the results for anyone else I click on. And people have different start times. The ones invited to ceremony and dinner have a cute little message of, “You’re one of our VIPs! Our ceremony, featuring our adorable doggies starts at 4 pm.” And there are pictures of the dogs.

    I mean, I understand that some people want to invite certain people to the ceremony, certain people to dinner, etc. But pass-code protect that shit so that your b-list doesn’t know they’re the b-list!

    • Jess

      There are truly no words.

    • idkmybffjill

      nope.

    • Yeah, a partially-invited B-list is a no go. I’m sure it’s a “know your people” kinda thing, but I’d imagine most people would be offended to only make the grade for the cocktail reception and not the dinner…just don’t do it, folks.

      • sofar

        It just stings because when I got the invitation, I was like, “Oh that’s cute and super chic — a fun drinks-and-party-food reception for all.” I figured they’d just decided to do an elopement/courthouse thing for the ceremony and then wanted to party with everyone.

        • idkmybffjill

          For whatever reason I think it would be like 1 billion times less rude if they were on different days. We had some friends recently who had a pretty intimate wedding out of town which we weren’t invited to, but a big wedding send off party (which they also hosted/fed people at) locally which they invited all their extended list to and that felt like a really nice way to be like, “we want to celebrate with you!!” in a way that didn’t make me feel left out in the same way this would. I’d have thought it was even better if it had been *after* their wedding but still.

          • sofar

            Yeah, different days would make a difference to me, too. We had a big local reception for the bulk of our local friends and everyone knew we’d had a wedding back in my hometown a few months prior. And it was fine. But if it’s all on the same night, there’s just something so gauche about having people arrive “in shifts.” Because if you decide to arrive a little early, you’re just left standing outside waiting for the VIP event to finish.

          • idkmybffjill

            Ugh yes brutal. Have a later Reception to “receive” the newly married couple is totally normal. Have a tiered event is weird and rude.

        • Yeah, and it’s even key to do this with the rehearsal dinner…which is etiquette/socially-accepted to do tiered…but people can sometimes still be overly loose with the public-ness of it.

    • Ashlah

      Oh man.

    • idkmybffjill

      Also, I mean a) don’t do this. why would you do this. b) maybe just be up front about it if you must. c) if you can’t do a or b then TELL THE EXCLUSIVE PEOPLE THAT NOT EVERYONE IS INVITED. I’d be MORTIFIED if I were the friend who let the 4pm thing slip.

      • sofar

        Exactly! And don’t make your A and B lists publically SEARCHABLE on your effing wedding website!

        • idkmybffjill

          This yes this forever. Like, even if you hadn’t been purposefully searching – it’s so easy to accidentally click the wrong name on search results. What if you’d had no clue and just accidentally discovered it, been confused, then realized no – that wasn’t meant for you after all. rude rude rude.

        • AppyCouple and GloSite both have tiered-publicity functions set up for events. This is super key for rehearsal/dinner stuff, but even more key if you’re going to do a A-B-list! It’s not impossible to find a service to handle this for you!

          • idkmybffjill

            How awkward though regardless, are they just gonna not mention the ceremony all night at the reception? Like you know somoene is gonna be like, “so when did you guys tie the knot officially? Did you elope?”.

          • Yeah, doing it on a separate day definitely helps. But if you’re going to intricately rank your guests in favor-order, you should at least employ the proper tools to reduce hurt feelings.

          • idkmybffjill

            Absolutely.

    • Katherine

      I just can’t understand why people do things like this. I’m sure (I hope) monetary concerns factor into it, but it feels incredibly rude to me.

      • idkmybffjill

        Just like… do it on 2 seperate days. It is so common to have a very intimate wedding and larger reception. Why.

        • Jane

          My friends did this. It doesn’t seem like it’s that hard to do right.
          Their ceremony was tiny compared to their reception the next day. The ceremony was just about the people who would have been invited to a rehearsal dinner if they’d had one of those. I had friends who were invited to the reception but not the ceremony and they did not care – because they got it and nothing was hidden or creepy. And the rsvp links came via email, so you couldn’t see anything about anyone else.

          • idkmybffjill

            Yep. Much better, IMO

    • toomanybooks

      Wowwwwwwwwwwwwww. Not even just something like “the ceremony is really small because the church is tint but everyone’s invited to the reception!” but “there are two separate areas, one for the A list and one for the B list”????
      Nooooooooooooooooo! I can’t imagine the reasoning behind this.

      • sofar

        I honestly just think they were stressed and didn’t really think of how it would look to guests. It was a lovely reception, but lots of awkward conversations when someone would bring up, “Hey wasn’t the ceremony just adorable?” and the other person was like, “Um… ceremony?” From what I could tell the A list was bigger than the B list (maybe split 70/30), so … yeah … kinda awkward.

        • idkmybffjill

          In my opinion, our reception was super fun in part BECAUSE we had a really emotional ceremony. Idk why you’d want to rob some of your guests of that. Hate it hate it hate it. Sorry this happened to you guys!

          • sofar

            We did, too! At first I was thinking, “Oh man we have so many people we don’t know watching this very personal, very weird ceremony.”

            But having so many of our parents’ friends hug us afterwards and say, “We feel like we know you both so much better now! What a beautiful ceremony!” was the BEST!!

            Actually, lots of my husband’s parents’ circle was SUPER angry beforehand because we weren’t getting married in their church. But, even months later, they are coming up to us at parties like, “We LOVED your ceremony. You made everyone feel included, and we’re glad you did it that way.”

        • idkmybffjill

          Also, with that big of a split, why wouldn’t they just be up front – “We unfortunately can’t have everyone we’d like to have with us for the ceremony, but we’d love to party with you after! Please join us for dancing and drinks as we keep the party going!”

          • sofar

            Yeah, I’d have MUCH rather had that be the case. At least I would have been able to avoid that awkward “Oh shit, you weren’t invited to the ceremony?” conversation.

          • idkmybffjill

            Right absolutely. Like I’ll go ahead and give them the benefit of the doubt that they just couldn’t figure out how to invite everyone to everything but couldn’t bear the idea of not including everyone in at least one part – but why not put it out there that way. It feels much nicer to hear, “We wanted you there so we figured out a way to include more people!” than, “You didn’t make the cut. Now have some awkward conversations!”.

    • Mari

      “To find your start time, search your name here.”

      What?!?!?! I can’t believe this is now a thing. A wedding is not like checking into a doctor’s appointment. And that it’s all publicly available to guests?! WOW.

    • Amy March

      Or, maybe, don’t do it at all!

    • Olive

      SO tacky!!! I was looking at my friends’ wedding website today and I was thoroughly impressed with their FAQ section…including “Can I bring a date? Check your invitation for information on a plus one,” “Are kids welcome? We love your children, but ask that you leave them at home for this adult-only affair. Please reach out if you need help finding a babysitter. We’re excited for you to have a parent’s night out!,” and “Will last names be changing after the wedding? Yes! Emily will join the LastName clan.”

      I thought it was a straightforward & positive way to address questions people usually have.

    • anachronismsarah

      Yeah… that’s just tacky.

      My little brother had a private ceremony(family-only… both bride and groom are private, anxious people) at 11 then the reception at 1, but they were WAY more classy about it. Not a word about VIPs, separate invitations, and a good explanation. Different days weren’t feasible but I think everyone felt good about how they did it.

      Everyone got to eat, too.

    • mssolo

      What’s interesting to me about this is in the UK this is a very normal set up for weddings, and the people who are only invited to the evening do know that – it’s common to have the ceremony and reception with your nearest and dearest, then invite coworkers and acquaintances to the evening shindig. Our weddings tend to run much longer, though, with a ceremony around lunch, an afternoon meal with cake and speeches, and then dance party with booze and food (canapes or buffet or food truck) in the evening. You can’t marry at night, so being invited to anything after about 6 is a giveaway it’s the evening portion, and it’s generally felt that it’s more polite to be open about that fact than pretend it’s some separate event.

      • idkmybffjill

        I think it 1) being a cultural norm and 2) being an open fact (and not a weird secret) really make a huge difference!

      • sofar

        Interesting! It’s always funny to me how something that will piss off one culture is totally fine to another.

        A lot of people in the U.S. consider Miss Manners the gold standard for wedding etiquette, and she says you’re “supposed” to invite everyone to everything if it’s on the same day/same location. She’s actually changed her position on that recently (older columns show her saying reception-only invitations are OK). Her new reasoning is that weddings are no longer “local” affairs and generally involve travel for many of the guests. So, unless there is a compelling reason for a private ceremony (your church is small, for example), you should invite everyone. And if you DO have a smaller ceremony, then it should really be just immediate family/wedding parties — and the ceremony-only list should really be smaller than the reception-only list. If you’re at the point where you’re inviting some friends and not others to the ceremony/dinner, then you’re really pushing it. Our friends invited probably 70 percent of their guest list to the ceremony and diner, and then had another 30 percent who were reception-only. And that’s why it felt like a slight.

        • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

          That is super weird. It’s not like you’re paying per head to have people at the ceremony.

        • mssolo

          This isn’t really going to help with it being a slight in your culture, unfortunately, but I think the understanding in the UK is that if you’re invited to the evening thing only, you’re not being invited to the wedding. You’re being invited to hang out and celebrate that there was a wedding, but you’re not a wedding guest. You’re not expected to meet wedding guest etiquette, like bringing a gift, and they’re not expected to meet wedding host etiquette, like feeding and watering you.

          I think historically it grew out of the fact that your wedding was for your family and close friends, for practical and cost reasons (churches were small and receptions were held at the bride’s parents place) but the community would want to come and say congratulations once they got in from the fields / left the factory / shut the shop. Even at the other end of the scale, the aristocracy would have the wedding for their people, and then let the tenant farmers etc in to raise a toast. Wedding for your people, evening do for your community.

  • Anon

    I realized that I have a crush on a woman. On the one hand this is completely not a big deal because a) I get crushes sometimes, and they’re minor and don’t impact my marriage so the crush part isn’t worrying me and b) although I’ve only ever dated men and most often am attracted to men, I was open about having a slight sexual attraction to women too before we got married (my then-fiancé was just like “yeah I’ve always thought I wouldn’t be surprised if you were bisexual”) sooo the woman part is also not actually news. But guys, some sexy dreams about ladies is just a little different from having an actual “omg was she flirting with me? She touched my leg (!!) her smile is so cute” crush. Once I realized that it was a crush, not just usual positive making-a-new-friend feelings, I pulled back contact with this person like I would do in the same situation with a man.

    I kind of want to tell someone though. My first actual crush on a girl! Should I tell my husband, or just you Internet strangers? If it were a crush on a dude like usual I would not tell anyone. I also don’t want to scare my husband or have him think this **means** anything more than “Hey! Remember how I thought I was probably a liiitle bit bi? Yep. Can confirm.”

    • Jess

      Yay! As a bi-ish person without bi experiences, I’m really excited for you!

      • Anon

        Thank you! Are you generally open about being bi-ish with those close to you? Before I’ve kind of felt like there was no point since I am happily married to a man, but this crush is making me want to be more out about it.

        • Jess

          I am not really. I think part of that is that I’m generally private, so it doesn’t feel necessary, and part of it is being in a het marriage.

          I make a few comments here or there when it feels natural to the conversation, so I don’t know that it would shock anybody. I’m sure some of my good friends have probably just assumed by now. (I once had a friend refer to me as being “flexible” regarding sexuality, so…)

          My husband does know explicitly, and it has been fun to occasionally add fantasies into our relationship. I don’t really feel ready to make a big deal about it, but maybe one day!

    • raccooncity

      Have you had a crush on another man while married before? If so, definitely just do whatever worked in those cases. It’s the same thing in terms of your existing marriage. Your partner seems like a cool guy who would treat both the same, as he should.

    • Ashlah

      Hmm…if you usually wouldn’t tell him about a crush on a dude, you might follow that same “rule” here. BUT I think it would be more than great to tell him that you’ve fully realized that you are bi and identify as such! (It’s not totally clear if you’ve done this previously, or if it’s been more questioning than certainty). There’s a lot to be said for being fully known by your partner, and it sounds like he would be really supportive. And you can decide, in the context of that conversation, whether you want to reveal the crush that lead to the realization.

      Regardless, how exciting! :)

      • Anon

        I am, I guess, just now fully realizing/owning that I am bi. Before I felt more questioning and might have thought myself “straight, but not 100% straight” or felt like since I’m in a monogamous hetero relationship there’s no point in questioning further. But this is kind of precipitating the acceptance that “not 100% straight” is bi and that’s okay!

        I think you have a good point on telling my husband. I was stuck in linear thinking, crush–>owning that I’m bi, but I can skip to that last more pertinent point. Thanks Ashlah!

    • Danielle

      As a bisexual lady (married to a guy) — congratulations!

      It’s great to be honest to yourself about your feelings. And I do think sexuality can be more fluid for women than guys, and change more throughout our lives.

  • Angela

    We are 2 weeks out today (Saturday NZ time) and this week, my sister who has been challenging through out the whole planning process upped it a notch by throwing a massive tanty about the bridesmaid dress not fitting. There is an easy solution: take it to get altered, give me the bill, I will reimburse but it seems she is not really looking for a solution but to Be Dramatic and I am over it. However she is supposed to be making our gf wedding cake and we were supposed to try some recipes out this weekend. She is currently not taking my calls. Meh, families…

  • LP

    So, I had my annual OB/GYN exam earlier this week and they found another lump in my breast. This happened last year at the exact same time. I’m thinking it’s nothing, but I’m still bummed out. My mom had BC at 37 and for God know’s what reason, insurance won’t cover a BRCA test for her, so it’s pay 10k or be super careful forever. I’m in my early 20s and this is already the second time they’ve found something suspicious. Last year, it was benign but could become malignant. I’m just sick of it always being there in the back of my mind. I sometimes wish I could just chop my boobs off because honestly they are more trouble than they’re worth.

    • Lawyerette510

      I’m so sorry. Sending Internet hugs.

    • CommaChick

      Somehow, even if you’re lucky enough to have insurance, insurance companies manage to make stress about scary potential health issues so much worse. I’m sorry you’re going through this.

    • Ashlah

      Oh, I’m so sorry. I hope it’s benign this time as well, and I wish you could get some more definitive answers/solutions.

    • rg223

      I’m so sorry. Hugs.

    • emmers

      I’m really sorry.

  • JC

    We’re moving again. Wahhhhhhh.
    But actually, it’s great. I was resisting it for the last month or so, and then one night last week I got home and thought, “I’m going to miss this place.” And that’s when I realized that I had already decided that we were moving and my heart had accepted it. Our commutes are ugly and take all of our energy, we can’t spend time with co-workers because we have to make the commute home, and rental prices near both our offices haven’t actually gone up much in the last year, so we can afford to move there and lower our transportation budgets. Plus there are some very cute neighborhoods in our price range! Actually finding a place is not fun (apartment is only available to show on Tuesdays from 1-1:30? Sigh.), but this feels like the right change at the right time.

    • Olive

      Good luck! I hope the next place is home for awhile.

  • Jess

    An outfit update (since this gathered more attention last week than I expected, and I’m excited by that!)

    1) I went through my closet again and decided to not keep many things.
    2) I bought a few new staples and tried them on at home. I learned that ankle height pants are not my friend, and that wrap front shirts are better purchased in person. I did get four very lovely plain colored t shirts and exactly one new bra (out of 6 ordered!).
    3) I dressed intentionally two out of five work days this week. This was partially affected by going into manufacturing plants where I did not want to dirty nice clothing, and the two days I did dress with intention were within my comfort realm of “nice pants, nice cardigan, camisole.”
    4) This weekend I will be wearing a new olive green t shirt that I’m going to tie at the side for added style and a very lovely shade of brick red lipstick (Besame Red Velvet, for those interested). I may pull out my old jean jacket and try it out.

    • anachronismsarah

      Fun times!
      I’m in the process of switching out/going through- this is a spurt of motivation!

  • stephanie

    HEY GUYS HIIIIII my seven year old son and I saw Hillary, Bernie, and Pharrell speak last night! It was the best, most amazing experience, and I wanted to say something about it here. ♥

  • DetectiveMunch

    I’ve started to have mini freak-outs about my parents getting older. Anyone else? What did you do or research to help settle yourself or feel more prepared?
    Mostly, I want to get a grasp on how to best prepare for helping care for my mom in the wake of my dad’s passing (he’s a decade older than her, and he has some medical issues). My mom hasn’t had to pay a bill, balance a checkbook, or deal with anything financially related in 35 years because my dad sorts it all. I don’t know what kind of provisions he may have set up for her when he’s gone, and I don’t know how or when to start that conversation without it coming off as callous or a sign of ill portent….

    • Eenie

      I’m the executor of my parents’ estate and my parents health care proxy (like my mom would prefer to have me fly in if she’s in the hospital because my dad just shuts down in hospitals). I asked them point blank where the will and other important things are. You should ask your dad to summarize any bills or important accounts and keep a copy with you or in a safety deposit box here.

      I think it helps by framing it as a “what would happen if either of you got ill, how would I be able to help?” Ask for the information you’d need using this frame work if you’re not comfortable with asking them how they want their end of life care and financial obligations handled. But I’m a very blunt person.

      • DetectiveMunch

        That’s a really great way of framing it. Thank you so much!

        • Eenie

          It’s such an important conversation, and clearly one coming from a place of love. I’m sure they’ve at least stressed about it if not actually thought and formed a plan. My mom’s eyes were really opened when she had to handle her mom’s estate. It wasn’t well organized and she didn’t want to put any of her kids through the same ordeal. They’re getting ready to handle two or three other relative’s estates.

          On the other hand, my in laws are older (and smokers) and I have no idea what will happen when they get ill or pass away. It’s complicated cause his mom has three sons, but he’s his dad’s only child. His brothers (and their dad’s family) are awesome and inclusive of both him and their mom, but I still worry.

    • emilyg25

      We talk about these issues a lot in my family—my mom and dad have handled end-of-life care for 5 close relatives in the last 5 years. We’re lucky that all our parents have good plans set up. My in-laws are in their 70s and both are in continuing care retirement communities. That’s a good option because everything is taken care of.

      I’d just let them know that the next time you see them (Thanksgiving?) you want to talk about their plans. That’ll give them some time to get stuff in order if they need to. You can say you know it’s awkward and uncomfortable, but it’s so, so important to do it. I like Eenie’s suggestion of wording.

  • raccooncity

    Hi friends!

    Just wanted to stop in (late because I spent a Friday at work, which is weird) to let everyone know that I really appreciated all the support last week during my minor meltdown and to let you know that THIS week I had an ultrasound update (they do them every 2 weeks) and here’s what’s up:

    Pros: this one has the Kit sized much better – more mid-range baby sized. Like a little baby Toyota Corolla. I also have perfectly average amniotic fluid according to this scan. All scans are not entirely perfect, so I think the reality of the baby and the fluid is all somewhere inbetween the two measurements. Also Kit was hilarious during the scan and made the OB who was doing it laugh – she called Kit a ‘little performer’ so that was cute.

    Cons: Kit is STILL upside down. Stubborn like dad.

    • Ashlah

      Hooray!! So relieved to hear this news!

      Sending baby flipping vibes your direction! ~~~

    • Eenie

      Flip, flip, flip, flip….

    • AGCourtney

      “Like a little baby Toyota Corolla.” Thank you for the laugh! Glad to hear the ultrasound was promising and sending good vibes for Kit to flip!

    • Aubry

      Have you talked about/looked up any baby flipping info? Apparently (according to my midwife buddy) there are some ways to encourage a turn. I’m sure you already have googled everything as an anxious momma. Sending flippy thoughts your way!

  • Anon

    In case you have very little time, but want to do some volunteering for Hillz. You can phone bank from your home (I use my google number so no one call my number back personally).
    It’s super easy, and right now you can pick a script where you are talking to Hillary supporters (turn out the vote efforts), if the idea of total cold calls makes you nervous.

    It’s easy, I just did 10.

    https://www.hillaryclinton.com/calls/

    • Jane

      On my way to her local headquarters for phone banking right now!

  • Giselle

    I wanted to post last week, but needed to wait till I gave notice since I’ve evangelized APW to every engaged person at work….I accepted a new job!!!! A dozen reasons to be excited: career growth, in-house instead of at an agency, can commute by bike or the train in under 30 minutes, start-up experience, leadership role, benefits include 3 months paid parental leave when the time comes, and people from the new company have sent little welcome notes, which is just plain nice.

    Not least of all, the salary is **so** fair. I realized in the past 6 months that I’m massively underpaid for my experience/skills in the market (Bay Area tech/design). Looking forward to sharing some serious facts in my exit interview, new salary is a 76% raise (and I thought I was paid pretty well/am paid well compared to many in the area).

    Which has all piqued my interest in the rhetoric around how people (and women) talk about getting the job/salary one deserves, but also feeling “lucky”? I heard myself say “I’m so lucky” a couple times while telling friends – and yes networking led to my recent jobs, and not everyone has access to such networks because of the many barriers to entry. But I’ve also worked *so* hard, and been intentional about my goals and that’s all me.

    So I stopped saying “lucky” …but still, part of me feels the need to acknowledge that there was help along the way while most of me wants to be clear about being deserving on my own merit. Thoughts?

    • Wooo! 76%! Congrats!

      Eh, “luck” is certainly a particular amount of hard work and another amount of happenstance. It’s hard to know how much of our achievements is based on randomly good timing, privilege, and effort…

    • AGCourtney

      Congrats! That’s awesome.

    • MC

      I remember so clearly when I accepted my current (excellent) job that my then-fiance said something about how lucky I was, and my (female) roommate was like, “It’s not luck, it’s that she’s really good at what she does! You earned this!” It is true that hard work isn’t the only thing that contributes to success, but I think reminding yourself that it wasn’t 100% luck and happenstance is very important.

  • Bsquillo

    I know I am a bit late to the party, but my husband passed his dissertation defense this afternoon!!! Now I’m married to a doctor (of music). We’re both so, so thrilled that this seemingly endless process is coming to a close. Celebrating this weekend with a quick getaway to a nice hotel tomorrow :)

  • MC

    I’m late to the game but I wanted to share a combined finances success story!! Husband got a surprise bonus this week (very surprising since he’s a public school teacher, so bonuses aren’t really a thing…) and we sat down and talked about our financial goals for the rest of 2016, big priorities for 2017, and used all that to decide where to put the bonus. (We ended up deciding to put most of it toward our mortgage, a bit for a nice dinner out for us, and split the rest evenly for personal money.) And it was NOT STRESSFUL!!! It was actually pleasant and wonderful!! And now I am dreaming about what to do with my extra bit of cash this month besides throw some of it to Hillary’s campaign…

  • Louise

    Happy f*ing Friday, all! For my fellow teachers out there… congratulations, the week after Halloween is finally over! (Or are my kids the only ones that are candy-fueled/hungover shadows of their former selves this week?)

    OK, on to the real post… My husband and I decided to celebrate our (hopefully short-lived at this point) child-free life and do some traveling during the holidays. After living abroad for two years and coming home for one Christmas, we did the family thing and quickly concluded that we need a new plan. So, we told our parents that they get us every other year, and on the off years, we’re traveling. This year, we’re going to London and Berlin– London, because that was the cheapest ticket, and Berlin because I loved it when I was there a decade ago and my husband has never been. I am super excited (and completely anxious because I hate flying– may have had a panic attack while buying the tickets…), but haven’t planned much.

    SO, any recommendations for London or Berlin (or day trip-able destinations from either)? We love to eat, wander beautiful places, learn about history and look at art.

    • longtimereaderfuturebride

      Your plans sound awesome! I love Berlin, I spent time there twice in college once to study abroad my junior year and once to student-teach (hi fellow teacher!, my kids are post-halloween crazy too). If you have never been Potsdam is a great day trip from Berlin. You can take the S-Bahn with an extension ticket, it only takes about 30 minutes. Frederick II’s palace Sanssouci is there and I bet it would be beautiful in the winter. The town itself is really cute as well and very walkable.

    • Her Lindsayship

      First off, serious props for being in love with travel while being a person who hates flying! That takes a lot of guts.

      Second, maybe since you’ve been to Berlin before this is already obvious, but when I went I really loved the Turkish market in Kreuzberg, open on Tuesdays and Fridays. I also highly recommend renting bicycles and riding around if the weather permits. Berlin is so sprawly for a European city, but at least on bikes you feel more connected to it than in a car. Have fun!!

    • mssolo

      Most of the National museums in London are free, but don’t discount the charging ones if they’ve got something you like, and look out for special exhibitions – if I had to rate venues for Special Exhibitions, it’d be V&A first, then the British Library, then the British Museum. I prefer the Tate Modern to the Tate for art, and you can combine it with visits to the other South Bank attractions. Get Oyster cards in London for traveling by public transport, then hide them in your gloves and wave at the sensors, so you feel like you’re a jedi. If you’re foodies, go for lunch services at the posh restaurants; it’s cheaper and easier to get a seat (for the big London restaurants, it’s too late to book dinner reservations for this year already) and you still get to feel fancy. The Glasshouse near Kew is really nice, and an excuse to have a nosey along the Thames even if you don’t fancy paying to get into the famous gardens. Heston Blumenthal’s Dinner is an amazing full sensory experience, but will drain your wallet because can you really say no to a liquid nitrogen ice cream cart? Look out for pop up’s as well; we went to a pop up gin restaurant run by Fever Tree tonic a few years ago which was fab, and often the pop ups are in more interesting parts of London than the big name chefs.

      A lot of parts of the country are accessible for a day trip by train but you’ll want to book train tickets in advance because they’re incredibly expensive on the day. I have to rec York, because I used to live there, but make sure you allow plenty of time for the major attractions and bear in mind closing times are just that, not last entry times. Castle Museum has a Victorian street, that they do up for Christmas, the Art Gallery has just reopened with some new exhibitions, and there’s some cute museums in the city walls run by the guys who run Jorvik (which is closed due to flooding, but reopens next year). If you’re going around Christmas it’s a full on chocolate-box medieval city, so include time for just walking the city walls and taking cute photos. Restaurant recs include York Cocoa House (if you haven’t used chocolate in savoury food before, you will after), El Paradiso (the Italian restaurant the waiters from the other Italians take their families to when they visit), and City Screen’s bar (lovely view over the river).

  • BenevolentSpaceDictator

    Long-time lurker.

    I’m trying to find a good balance between being really thrilled with how our wedding turned out, and wanting to show it off, but feeling comfortable doing so.

    So, baby steps.

    Got married in August. My friend took this sneaky photo of me with Señor Poodle-Headed Wonder Geek. Yes, we have all the AMAZING photos from our photographer, but I’m lazy, and this one was easy to pull from IG. (My friend is a sneaky photo ninja.)

    I’m also contemplating reaching out to certain high-profile bridal magazines with the shots, since I’m connected to them professionally, but I haven’t decided if that would be awkward or not. Thoughts?

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4cb5918d86c2e9a519519be73161517ffa58b631bd4fd2d10ebac1d0d59d1fcd.png

  • Jane

    Brides with big dresses, did you practice dancing in something similar for your first dances?
    I’m used to dancing with my FH but usually in jeans or pajamas. I’m worried I won’t be particularly graceful in a giant skirt. I imagine it’ll be harder for my FH too.
    But nothing I own is a similar shape. Maybe just the petticoat?

    • Laura

      Do you have a crinoline skirt that you’ll be wearing under your dress to add volume? I wore the crinoline over regular clothes to practice.

  • Suzanne

    So we celebrated our 3 years since our obscenely young visa city hall wedding (it’s been a over a year since the big celebration)! And we’re stil going strong. I feel like all the difficult choices I made to prioritize our relationship– moving to another continent, changing degree paths, learning another language, having to be financially dependent on him– they are all paying off now. I’m still financially dependent but now I’ve started the Landscape Architecture Master’s program at Versailles and after three long years I have found my people! And I love my classes, even if they are kicking my ass.
    My school is beautiful and I get to MAKE things! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5fc45f09dcb958e1ea4d8ac3468e2aa0e333d7e9a425474d816c71f783046a21.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/eb6c37e46e8f7528645c9fbb11b63654f96ec7a4805463059a69d08f01806214.jpg

  • Samantha

    Ring hunting tips! So I proposed to my fiancée a few months ago (using an emerald ring with a rose gold band). She wants to get me a ring (and, well, I want one). Trying to find a ring that 1) goes with hers 2) fits my size 9.5 stubby fingers 3) doesn’t totally break the bank is proving a nightmare. Does anyone have any advice on online realtors? I don’t want a diamond (I don’t mind teeny accent ones) and would prefer rose gold…. help?

    • idkmybffjill

      Can’t say enough good things about Rosado’s Box! (Etsy) They use recycled metals and have been wonderful to work with. We got my wedding band from them after realizing how pricey it would be to go through our designer for my engagement band (I just wanted a simple band with tiny tiny diamonds). If you’re anywhere near Chicago, they also have a brick and mortar location on Jeweler’s Row, they let us come in and try on a bunch of rings before buying. Also – when I first got my band it looked not quite right to me, and they didn’t try and convince me otherwise, just made me a new one!

  • My brain was all over the place on Friday, and I wanted to post something but couldn’t wrap my head around all the things I wanted to say.

    Nearly 34 weeks pregnant and was at my appt last week; my doctor things the baby is still breach, but isn’t too concerned yet. However, we did discuss the next steps if this girl/guy continues to stay head’s up. My doctor is a GP, so he can’t actually do a cesarean, which means I’d be sent to an OB I don’t know/haven’t met just weeks before delivery. Which also means he wants to do whatever possible to flip this baby (me too!). After freaking out for a couple days, I’m looking at the bright side of either situation. Either baby flips and I get to stay with my doc/have the low intervention birth I wanted, or baby needs to come early via scheduled cesarean, and I don’t have to worry about having a kid on Christmas eve/day, since I’m due Christmas week.

    My FIL is in town this weekend, and I spent the whole weekend more or less working and running around like crazy, but he and my husband knocked out a bunch of house projects. He decided to stay through today, so I’m working up in my office while he paints stuff in our garage/backyard for the baby’s room.

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