APW Happy Hour


by Meg Keene, CEO & Editor-In-Chief

Four women sitting by the edge of a pool with drinks

HEY APW,

See that picture up there? That’s a picture of us, at work, doing our actual job on Wednesday. We were shooting photos for Modcloth’s swimsuits (more to come, but MAN do their swimsuits rock for all body types). And that meant we got to spend a very warm spring day by the pool, which was pretty magical. Plus, Maddie and I went to see Beyoncé on Monday night and it was AMAZING. (Jareesa, who flew out from Minneapolis for the shoot, is going this weekend, so don’t you worry about her.)

Which was good, because while life can look super perfect in a picture like that, it was not an easy week. I’m dealing with a family emergency, I’m still up to my ears in boxes post move, and I’m starting to hit my limit on living with two tiny children in near squalor. I can’t decide if I should just throw money at the problem to get all the functional things we need. You know, shelves for the bathroom—who puts in a pedestal sink with not a single cabinet I ask you?—or to just continue trying to make do. Okay, fine, typing that sentence convinced me it was time to take a trip to IKEA, where particleboard will solve any number of woes.

Wishing you a drink poolside, particularly if life is dealing you a rough hand. Until then, here is your open thread. Jump on it!

BYE Y’ALL,
Meg

LINK ROUND-UP

Use this link to find out how to make the best chocolate chip cookies ever, and then please report back.

Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi is now making iPhone cases that are shaped like a vulva, because why not?

These elementary school kids love space so much that they built a cubesat, and it is on its way to the International Space Station.

Hey, would you live stream your birth on Facebook?

There’s a new Ghostbusters trailer out and it’s pretty fantastic.

Speaking of films, Marvel is making a Black Panther movie and it’s going to be dangerously good.

Read: On watching “White Feminist TV” when you’re a black girl.

You know what might be the only thing more stressful than planning a wedding? Canceling one.

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.

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  • raccooncity

    Guys, I had an ultrasound and my fetus is the cutest fetus of all time. Also I have a job interview. Everything’s coming up Milhouse! I mean, RC.

    • LydiaB

      Congratulations!

    • Totch

      Ripley’s Believe It or Not: cutest fetus.

      Congrats!!!!!!!

    • Congrats! Also I really love the phrase “everything’s coming up Milhouse”, I need to use it more often.

  • LydiaB

    So this week has been quite a big one for me! Prompted by the APW article on addressing invitations, I finally confronted my hatred of post addressed to “Mr & Mrs Hisfirst Hislast” and generated quite the discussion on FB and got many private messages from people telling me they agreed and hopefully I won’t have to deal with that again!

    I also contacted the HR team at my employer and had them change my honorific to Ms. I am happy to be Mrs in a social setting but I don’t see why my marital status should be immediately available to everyone at work whereas a married male’s is not.

    ALSO last weekend, my friends and family threw us the most amazing surprise anniversary party!! They said that they felt that we did so much for them with our wedding that they wanted to really celebrate us and give something back. It was just the most beautiful gesture ever made. There were the same cocktails from our wedding, pizza balloons(!), video messages from friends across the pond and our entire wedding playlist. Also, lots of homemade paper decorations as a nod to the 1 year wedding anniversary tradition! I cried a lot and still can’t quite believe they did that for us, it really meant the world!

    • Lisa

      What sweet friends you have! And go you for carrying the feminist discussion into more public spaces!! I remember posting Hayley’s article about not choosing not to change her name to my Facebook and having similar discussions. It was really neat to hear from other women about their own feelings.

      • LydiaB

        Thank you! I’m really trying to start challenging things as and when I see them (instead of waiting til I get home and going all out to my husband! Why do I get offered drinks by the boss on a night out but not my male colleagues?!) so this really felt like a big deal to me even though it’s small, like finally coming out as someone who is a feminist to my friends and family.

    • Ashlah

      Oh wow, you have the best group of friends and family! That is so incredible!

    • S

      I feel like I need a better photo of the pizza balloons?

      • LydiaB

        Best pics I have! The night was mostly Polaroid captured which is wonderfully retro but doesn’t guarantee the best photos!

        • LydiaB

          Though I have realised they are still bopping around my apartment!

  • Lisa

    GUYS, anyone else excited about Obama’s budget proposal that would defund abstinence-only education? I received only Christian-funded abstinence ed at my public school for grades 6-9, and I am so happy that there’s a possibility that more people won’t be subjected to this awful–as one of my gay friends put it–“hetero-normative, sex-stigmatizing, and all around crap.”

    • raccooncity

      I remember watching “preacher’s daughters” or something like that on american netflix and they showed some abstinence classes at churches/by religious leaders in schools in the states and it was like watching some weird other planet.

      I was pretty entertained with the content aside from when I remembered it was all those poor kids were learning.

      • Lisa

        The company that taught ours is called CPR (Creating Positive Relationships). It was all the things you see in those videos. My husband is from the Bay Area, and he couldn’t believe it when I explained to him what our sex ed was. It’s literally like the scene out of Mean Girls.

    • Eenie

      Nothing is better than abstinence only sex ed. Boils my blood to think about all the things this money could go towards instead.

    • AmandaBee

      YES. As another recipient of this unfortunate excuse for “sex ed,” I’d love to see it die. I had friends at religious private schools who got far better sex ed than what I got in my public school. It was basically just a bunch of shaming and misinformation, and completely ineffective. What, you mean telling students that condoms AREN’T effective will lead to a higher pregnancy rate? Surprise.

      • Lisa

        Funny enough, I think the only actual advice I got was an accident, and it was about condoms! As part of the “no birth control is 100% effective” speech, the lady (it was always a middle-aged lady) told us that condoms have an expiration date and are more prone to breaking if they’re exposed to heat (such as being kept in a wallet). I know she was trying to scare us, but there was actual information packed in that tactic. Whoops!

        • Sarah McClelland

          Ha! I think I remember similar blips during sex-ed seminar in school… Ironically, I got the best of my sex-ed and body positivity from church programming.

        • AmandaBee

          Yes! I had a similar experience. I think they were trying to tell us why we shouldn’t rely on condoms (because that’s super advice) but it actually turned out to be helpful info. On accident. SMH.

    • toomanybooks

      Yeeeeessssssss I am LOVING end-of-term Obama rn, the directive for trans students being able to use bathrooms was also great

  • Keri

    Can we talk about engagement photos? Our session is coming up and I’m getting nervous. I don’t know what to wear or how to not make weird/blank/llama faces in photos. Our photographer seems very nice and I think her style will work well, but I’m just feeling awkward and pessimistic. I’ve seen a lot of engagement photos going up on my newsfeed lately and thinking, Well sure, you guys look great, but that will never be us! What helped you guys if you’ve already done it? How did you pick out what to wear? Is there anything you would have done differently, if you could do it again? I was planning to do my own makeup for the wedding and this, but if you want to make a pitch for another option, feel free!

    • Amy March

      Literally every single bride I know has been 100% convinced every other couple is just naturally better looking and better at photos that she is. False- turns out professional photographers are actually generally just good at their jobs, and make everyone shine.

      For the llama face issue, I suggest mentally picturing llamas in weddings gowns right before every photo. That way you’re guaranteed a natural looking smile.

      • Alanna Cartier

        Also- my natural face tends to be, huge wide mouth laugh. Not ideal photo taking face, but sometimes those are the photos that will feel most like you :) Who you are is awesome, llama face or no. Someday you may cherish the goofiest photos.

        • raccooncity

          Inevitably, those are the ones that your spouse/mom/dad/possible future children will cherish the most.

    • Lisa

      We both picked out nice outfits that we both liked because that’s what we were most comfortable in! I didn’t try to match our colors or anything. Mostly I made sure that the outfits we picked wouldn’t look terrible together and that they made us happy.

      We look kind of dopey in posed pictures so our photographer guided us through a couple of activities. If you’re picking locations and are drinkers, I fully recommend starting with a pint at your favorite local place. Keep in mind that you’ll only probably show people a handful of the photos so, even if there are some that you don’t like, you’re the only one who will know! (Our on-line gallery had 100+ pictures, and only a few ended up on the photographer’s pages.)

      For reference, here are links to engagement sessions one and two if you’re curious!

      • Keri

        adorable!

        • Lisa

          Thanks! I loved our photographer (an APW vendor!) and his work. Seriously, as long as you have faith in the investment you’ve made in her/him, your photos will be awesome. And if you have questions about what to wear, you can always bring a couple of options or ask beforehand. I did this for my first headshot session, and it was really helpful to have the photographer explain which outfits would be better and for what reasons.

    • I just had our “practice photos” (takes some of the stress off to call them this) done last week. It was very awkward for us to pose so mushily and block traffic, but the photos came out lovely. A good photographer will make you look good. Trust me.

      If you call them practice photos everything starts to make sense: use it as a trial for doing your own makeup/hair. Use it as a trial to see if you need/want teeth whitening. Use it as a trial for trying out poses and being mushy in public. Use it as a trial to make sure you get along with your photographer and they do a good job (give feedback!). IT’S JUST A PRACTICE.

      That being said, I packed three different outfits and didn’t decide on what to wear until the day of. Avoid wearing super bright colors, and loud patterns. Pure white tends to get blown out a bit, but maybe that’s good practice for the day of? Avoid wearing glasses, unless you’re alright with the photos being dated (glasses super date the era). etc. etc.

      • JLily

        Ack I was convinced at one point that we needed engagement photos, then convinced we didn’t, and now I’m thinking I’ve made a terrible mistake! Do you think doing the “practice photo shoot” helped a lot on the wedding day? Will I regret not doing them?

        • Lisa

          If you’re camera shy, it might be helpful to do a “practice” shoot just to get you and your partner used to it. If you’re not or if you don’t have as strong of feelings about photos in general, then it’s probably not worth it. I absolutely love pictures so having some professional ones of my husband and I just looking normal is something I treasure!

        • I don’t think you *need* a practice shoot, but it is helpful. It kinda depends on your personality and your faith in your photographer?

          The wedding day photos will be very different because emotions will be high, leading to lots of lovely, natural shots :)

        • Eenie

          It put our mind at ease that we chose the right photographer, and we weren’t completely horrible at photos. Not needed, but it made that not a concern anymore for us.

        • emilyg25

          I do think it helped because we got to know our photog and her style and got comfortable in front of the camera. I’d only do them if you can arrange it with the person shooting your wedding.

        • Violet

          I don’t know how you’ll feel, but we didn’t do them, and we don’t regret it. I’m not particularly camera shy, but my partner is. But he was fine the day of the wedding, even without any “practice” shoot. A little stiff at first, then loosened up, just like you’d expect. We didn’t know our photographer personally, but she was recommended by a friend, so I suppose “getting to know her”would be another reason. But just as most people who choose to photograph couples on their wedding day don’t seem to be terrible monsters, she was a lovely, agreeable person.

      • EF

        I agree with most of this — the idea of a practice shoot helped me a lot — except for the ‘dated’ thing. Our pictures will *always* look SUPER hipster 2013. But I like that. As the hipster movement dies (sigh) I love looking at my ray-bans (which I still wear) and desert boots and our bright coloured trousers. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying where you are in a culture in a particular place and time.

    • Eenie

      I mean, some of our best pictures are when we’re making weird faces at each other. Does that make you laugh? Cause if so, a good photographer will get the goofy shots and then the genuine laughs and it won’t look posed.

      • april

        Two of my good friends, who are both amateur photographers with some pretty excellent cameras, asked me, my husband, and another mutual friend to take their engagement photos. My husband’s major contribution to the session was making silly faces at the happy couple – we got some great photos of them smiling and laughing because of it.

    • emilyg25

      Wear something that makes you feel like yourself and gorgeous and awesome. For some folks, that’s jeans and a tee shirt. We like to dress up so my husband wore a blazer, plaid shirt and jeans and I wore a cute day dress and heels.

      If your photographer is a pro, they should have a lot of experience helping people feel comfortable in front of the camera. But you can also direct them a bit. Maybe you want to just go for a walk or visit your favorite cafe or play a game and have them take photos of that instead of posing a lot. Maybe you want to joke around with each other and make funny faces. It’s all good!

      I did my own makeup too and used the engagement session as practice for that.

      • Keri

        PANTS. I’ve thought about it now and I will wear pants. Dresses are pretty, but I like to wear pants. See, I knew you guys would help me!

        • Eenie

          I wore pants as well! It’s a solid choice.

        • Lisa

          One decision down!

    • Alanna Cartier

      I literally did my own makeup and wore pyjamas for mine, and we switched to other clothes later. We did them in our own apartment. I think the best thing to do, if you are feeling super stressed, may be to talk to your photographers and remember this is just a way of earmarking this time for you and your special person.

      We spent our photo time eating scones, playing games and chatting, and it made me 1 million times less stressed. And I’m perhaps the worlds most anxious person. I did my best to focus on it as a fun experience and any good photos we got were just a bonus.

    • I was super worried about my engagement photos, as a plus size woman who isn’t super confident in her body. So here are my tips:
      * Wear something comfortable that you feel great in, whatever “great” for you is
      * Be in a comfy environment

      We shot at my alma mater during the summer, so no one was really around to gawk at us. Our photographer did a lot of candid shots which also helped, we could just talk to each other and laugh and be natural, and that showed in the photos. Also if you wanna do your own makeup, go for it! I did and I love how I looked.

      • Alanna Cartier

        This is all great advice. This is why I splurged on fancy pyjamas and did mine at home. No one to gawk and I was super comfy. Also my excitement over fancy pyjamas really helped fight my natural anxiety.

      • Keri

        You guys are killing it with the advice and tips! Thank you! This is making me rethink our location – we were going to do it in a fun neighborhood in town where we had our first date which lots of nice architecture and stuff, but it now occurs to my that it’s also a very BUSY part of town and we might not like that at all, so switching to a park or somewhere more private might be the way to go!

        • Shawna

          Yes! We were going to do our photos in the middle of downtown and changed to just wandering the residential neighborhood and park and it was so much better for my photo-shy fiancé (and, honestly for me too and I usually like limelight, but feel like I have to be “on” in front of other people as opposed to being myself).

          We were so surprised with how well tons and tons of the photos came out. We thought we might get 20 or so we liked, but we have closer to 50-100 and it is amazing.

    • cpostrophe

      We had our engagement photo session two weeks ago. Neither my fiancee nor I thought ourselves to be particularly photogenic, and we’ve hated most of the casual photos of us that have popped up. Our photographer is a friend who had done wedding photography before, but got out of the game because they were stressed out by doing as a business. Still, she’s a very good photographer and snapped a great photo of us last year at another friends’ wedding, so we felt very comfortable with her.

      As others have said, a pro photographer will give you good directions and know how to set you up to make some really great smiles and moments. They will also take hundreds of shots and give you the best dozen or two dozen that catch those lightning in a bottle moments when your real self can be captured in the camera. Just trust them and work with them.

      A couple of weeks before the shoot, my fiancee wrote on Facebook that she was super nervous about having the session, and her mom wrote this great piece of reassurance, “I know that the photos will come out great because you’re going to be with cpostrophe, and whenever you’re in each other’s company, you are always glowing.”

      And, so yeah, that’s the direction that I took with the photoshoot. I just have to do the things and say the things that will make my fiancee glow, and everything else takes care of itself.

      • Jess

        This photograph! I want to just take it from the internet and hand it to my photographer, and say, “Try for this, please?”

    • Jess

      THIS IS ME RIGHT NOW.

      I have 2 weeks to figure out 1) what I’m wearing 2) what I’m to do about my hair 3) also my skin 4) also the fact that I look dumb in pictures when I am not posing, and also when I am, but R perpetually looks wonderful even when drunk and not posing? (I look just fine in real life, I just don’t really photograph great, you know?)

      From what I understand, this is going to be ok for the both of us.

      I’m toying with scheduling a Sephora appt that day, because why not.

      • Sarah McClelland

        I did! Bought wedding makeup because I really wanted to do it myself for the wedding, and knew I would talk myself out of buying good makeup for any other life thing.

      • Sephora appointment usually comes with a $50 gift card you’ve gotta buy. Which isn’t so bad if you wanna splurge on nicer quality makeup for your wedding/life anyways.

        • Jess

          That is good to know! I buy a lot of my face-stuff there, so I can burn through $50 at sephora quicker than I care to admit.

          • Also, the Internets seems to think that Mac Makeup artists have to go through special training, whereas Sephora MUAs don’t. So. Just another bit of info ;)

    • BDubs

      pick an outfit that goes together, like shades of blue or gray or whatever. Don’t match.
      :)

    • We had ours this week! We didn’t really need them, as we had a mini photo session as part of our engagement, but they were part of the package for our photographer and she says she always does them to get comfortable with her couples so that she knows what to expect and how best to work with them on their wedding day, so that made sense. I wasn’t worried about it until the day before when suddenly I was like, “Aaah! Photos! What if I look stupid?! I need to hydrate!” I just picked a shirt that I know is a good color on me and that I know I feel comfortable in, wore a twirly skirt for the first part and my favorite pair of jeans for the second part, fiance didn’t change his outfit. I’m always super critical of my face and want to reach into photos all the time and fix little things, but it helps me to remember that you only need a few really great photos. We always treasure our favorites and forget about the rest anyway! The biggest thing I took away from the session is that I was reassured in our choice of wedding photographer – she was easy to work with, directed us when we needed it, capable, and willing to crawl on rocks and crouch in plants to get the shot. As said below, just view it as practice!

    • Ms. Yes

      We had ours done in January and got them back in February. Agree with all of the advise other posters have and would add the following based on our experience:

      1. Plan for and actually force variety. We have a great photography team (also an APW vendor) who are very good at doing candids. But… for the times we posed there are several pictures that though are technically gorgeous we eliminated because our expressions aren’t complementary. Like I’m smiling he’s not or vice versa. Or one of us is looking in a weird direction. So in retrospect I wished I would have said ” lets’ both smile in this one” or “let’s both look at that boat”.

      2. My fiance HATES having his picture taken. Because of that I didn’t want to stress him out by talking about photos too much before hand or reviewing others because he tends to shoot everything down OR say how he will look like a dork and can never look like the pic. BUT… if I had then I would have known there were a few pics he really wanted and was ultimately posing for during the entire session. Had I known I would have carved out those spots in particular. Also… by doing that I would have learned that the photos I LOVE are the ones he hates and vice versa. As a result, we have many photos that I love from our session but ultimately we used a photo I hate for our STDs because it was only one of two that he approved of.

      3. While it is never a good idea to show a picture to your photographer and say you want that style… it is a good idea to know what poses, looks etc. you want to emulate. Then on the day you can say “I’d really like a picture of us doing X” then it’s up to them to capture it beautifully. I didn’t make this list and wished I had. I made a list of locations but didn’t think any farther than that.

      4. One thing that I did that I”M SO GLAD I did was what another poster references… we have a silly thing my fiance does that always makes us laugh and show our authentic self. I asked him do that during the shoot and the picture is one of the best they captured.

      5. I did the reverse of what many suggested – I did a make up trial for the photos and am SO glad I did. Mostly because I was pretty certain I want professional make up on my wedding day and I discovered ways to improve my make up for pictures on the actual day. If however you are leaning toward NOT having professional make up or wondering if you need it then I’d agree with others and use this a trial to see how your own make up photographs.

      Oh… and most of all. DON”T DO WHAT I DID. Which is stay up until way late the night before picking out your outfits. Made the day way more stressful and ultimately, I wished I’d have worn something different.

      But even with ALL that… we still have many awesome pictures and I’m astounded at how nice they turned out. We just would have had more awesome pics had I done some of these things.

      Have fun!

  • Jessica

    Just wanted to say THANKS for this week’s article on Engagements causing tons of stress in a relationship. Husband-elect and I had a really tough week, and the morning after a big fight, I read that article and nearly cried in relief that it wasn’t just me/us. I sent him the article and we used it as a discussion point to express our confusion at how our relationship was going great until we decided to throw a giant party for ourselves. Things are MUCH better now, and I have APW to thank. :)

    • Keri

      I really like “husband-elect.” Glad things are looking up!

      • Alanna Cartier

        Husband-elect. LOVE IT.

  • You guys, during very hectic visiting week in venue-city, we managed to squeeze in two PhD graduation ceremonies, a funeral/viewing, saving family from a computer scam, a bridal shower, vendor meetings with 2 florists, the caterer, day-of coordinator, venue, out of town parents visit, purchasing of photo-ready pants, manicure/pedicure, hair & make-up appointment, and engagement photos (or as FI calls them, “practice photos”). Perhaps I showed up to a nice restaurant wearing foam pedicure shoes, no one’s telling. By Wednesday I was looking forward to coming home and just going to work, rather than driving all over the city all day.

    Our photos came in this week and they’re lovely, although there’s only one shot of us both looking at the camera (and I’m making a fake smile face, lol). We learned a few things…like how to pose, like FI hates blocking sidewalk traffic to pose, and we probably only want to take candid shots during the first look. We’re hoping it’s slightly less awkward when we’re actually dressed in wedding attire!

  • Rhie
  • Totch

    My sister in law (to be) asked if she could throw me a bridal shower, and I know it’s not my thing or her thing, and I am just trying not to ugly cry every time I see her because I know what a big gesture it is.

    I’m planning the wedding while living in her hometown, away from my family who are more showery. She’s planning it the week of the wedding so my family coming in town can attend. I’ve mentioned some closeness issues with my own sister before, and it is just so cool to have a soon-to-be sister who gets me and won’t plan something unlike me, but who also gets why it’s worth doing even if it’s not for me or her.

    ETA: I’m not having a bridal party, so this isn’t like an obvious thing that had to happen or anyone’s ‘responsibility.’

    • AGCourtney

      Awww, that’s so sweet!

    • Kalë

      Lovely that you are joining a family that is so welcoming and gets you :)

  • Spot

    I’ve been fighting with a former employer over wage theft they committed against me earlier this year–my final check vanished from my bank account and I was out half my income for the month. After months of him scaring the living daylights out of my future mother-in-law(!!) with talk of a lawsuit I’m not even named in, half-baked ‘drop the labor board complaint and we’ll pay you’ emails, and an ambush meeting where he literally laughed in my face and said “We’re not paying any fines,” I finally had my conference and it went spectacularly. He came in loud and smarmy and went out wobbly-lipped and stooped. Didn’t even have the right paperwork with him, and definitely didn’t impress the deputy commissioner by constantly interrupting her and talking over her with things she’d told him six times were irrelevant.

    It was such a good feeling getting to declare that he has seven days to pay me my wages and all penalties and fines in full. If he wants to continue his tantrum in court, it means him spending a hell of a lot more money on his own lawyers to fight about small potatoes, and then more on the interest accrued on the amount owed plus paying my legal fees. I’m curious to see if the chip on his shoulder is big enough to win out over simple math, but either way I’m feeling good.

    I kind of want to write him a thank-you note after my wedding for his financial contribution, but that might be a bit much.

    • raccooncity

      Vindication!

      • Danaemiller4

        “my room mate Lori Is getting paid on the internet $98/hr”…..!te50urtwo days ago grey MacLaren. P1 I bought after earning 18,512 Dollars..it was my previous month’s payout..just a little over.17k Dollars Last month..3-5 hours job a day…with weekly payouts..it’s realy the simplest. job I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months. ago. and now making over hourly. 87 Dollars…Learn. More right Here !te50u:➽:➽:.➽.➽.➽.➽ http://GlobalSuperJobsReportsEmploymentsArticleGetPay-Hour$98…. .★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★::::::!te50u….,…

    • Totch

      Congratulations, you’re a badass.

      • Rebeccajsanders2

        “my room mate Lori Is getting paid on the internet $98/hr”…..!te317urtwo days ago grey MacLaren. P1 I bought after earning 18,512 Dollars..it was my previous month’s payout..just a little over.17k Dollars Last month..3-5 hours job a day…with weekly payouts..it’s realy the simplest. job I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months. ago. and now making over hourly. 87 Dollars…Learn. More right Here !te317u:➽:➽:.➽.➽.➽.➽ http://GlobalSuperJobsReportsEmploymentsOrderGetPay-Hour$98…. .★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★::::::!te317u….,….

    • Eenie

      I love stories where professionals in the legal system put idiots in their place. Nice to see the system at work for you!

      • Michellewmorgan2

        “my room mate Lori Is getting paid on the internet $98/hr”…..!ti395urtwo days ago grey MacLaren. P1 I bought after earning 18,512 Dollars..it was my previous month’s payout..just a little over.17k Dollars Last month..3-5 hours job a day…with weekly payouts..it’s realy the simplest. job I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months. ago. and now making over hourly. 87 Dollars…Learn. More right Here !ti395u:➽:➽:.➽.➽.➽.➽ http://GlobalSuperJobsReportsEmploymentsFairGetPay-Hour$98…. .★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★::::::!ti395u….,

    • kara e

      Bravo you! And yeah, write the letter, but definitely don’t mail it!

  • Alanna Cartier

    I’ve gotten super into something called bunz trading (seems to be pretty Toronto specific but it’s growing!). And in the past couple weeks, I traded my way to a million (not really, but a lot) bottles of wine, other booze and olive oil, bags of pasta, cans of baked beans and bath bombs, a few choice cardigans, beautiful scarves, books, the loveliest serving dish, and a fitbit. All in exchange for things I would have just thrown in the garbage.

    Trading things is so awesome.

    • Ashlah

      That sounds awesome! Wish it were a thing around here.

  • AGCourtney

    My daughter had her last day of preschool on Wednesday, and we had a picnic before school and an ice cream social afterward. It was a little bittersweet. She still has another year before she would start kindergarten, but we’re planning on keeping her home next year and possibly homeschooling, so there’s a possibility this was her last last day of school, which made it feel even more strange.

    The tutoring gig is going really well. I really clicked with my first in-person client and I genuinely look forward to meeting with her every week. She’s taking the ACT on June 11th, and I’m actually going to really miss her. And my first client, who I was tutoring in Spanish, is now doing a Shakespeare play in his English class, Julius Caesar, so we’ve been meeting more often for that. I don’t know why it gets such a bad rap, Shakespeare is actually really fun and interesting.

    And, of course, I’ve been keeping busy with my sister – I’m spearheading her college efforts since my parents are zero help in that department. We’ve gotten through her first ACT attempt, AP tests, and are now preparing for SAT Subject Tests in two weeks. Her dream school is Georgetown, and the regional representative will be in Minneapolis on Thursday, so we’re going to that event. We’re getting closer to finalizing her list of schools and we’ll spend the summer doing ACT prep and essays. …I’m so glad I’m able to help her in this way. The college application process can be such a maze even if your family has resources and social capital.

    Does anyone else feel like time is just zooming by? My husband pointed out we were almost halfway through the year already and I was NOT ready to hear that, haha.

    • Lexipedia

      Ooh, one of my friends just got a tenure-track (swoon!) job at Georgetown and is completely in love with it. His students are amazing and he said that he wishes he had that type of undergrad experience when he was in school. Plus, living in DC is awesome as a student – there are so many things to do! (Can you tell I love it here?)

      Good luck to your sister!!!

  • Keeks

    I’m taking the Meg Keene approach to homebuying, which is to say that we were very much not looking, a listing popped up this morning, and I am now realtor-ed up and pre-approved in the span of 6 hours. I mean, I DID warn my husband that when I was ready to buy, I would find us a house in a week or less.

    • rg223

      As someone fighting an on-going war (aka buying a co op in NYC) I am extremely impressed by you! I hope things continue to go smoothly!

      • Keeks

        Thanks! The market is only starting to go bananas in the city I live in, so I can’t even imagine what it’s like in NYC.

    • CP2011

      That was close to our approach too. I think it definitely reduced the front end stress of home buying!

      • Keeks

        The downside is when you find one you are all *hearts in the eyes* about, and so is everyone else.

  • Kate

    Was hoping to get thoughts on name change ideas. It’s still a ways off but I’ll be starting law school this fall which has me thinking more about the career implications of certain name choices. I’m not comfortable taking my partner’s last name, because I don’t want to feel like my identity is being swallowed up whole by his family. My last name is actually a very feminine first name. I don’t want to give it to future kids and it’s a pretty shitty candidate for hyphenation. Plus your usual Dad-was-a-dick narrative. I’m not even sure I want to use it professionally, because I worry I won’t be taken as seriously as a lawyer with such a feminine last name. My current favorite solution is to hyphenate partner’s last name with my great grandmother’s maiden name, O’Connor. I think they have a nice rhythm together. Partner will not be joining me in this hyphenation adventure because he’s already written several scientific papers/established a career under his name. But I’m hoping future kids would get the double barreled name. Is it too odd/confusing to hyphenate with O’Connor? Will people think I’m silly for pulling this name of out seemingly nowhere?

    • Eenie

      It seems like you know what you want. Is partner on board for the double barreled name for kids? If not, do you still want to double barrel? It sounds like a really meaningful change, and anyone who thinks you’re silly can shove their foot in their mouth.

    • Rhie

      Personally, someone’s going to think it’s silly no matter what you do, so you might as well do what you want. And if anyone asks, just smile sweetly and tell them the truth: O’Connor is a family name.

    • Lisa

      I don’t think it’s silly at all! Pulling from our family trees is something we’re exploring for our hypothetical kids some day. What’s most important is that you select the name by which you want to be known professionally (whatever that is) and that you and your partner agree on what name you want to give your children.

      People are always going to judge your choices so you should make the ones that are most authentic to you and bring you the most happiness.

    • raccooncity

      The POSSIBILITY of not being taken seriously “with such a feminine last name” is a great example of why the legal profession is still the very worst thing ever.

      However to answer your question about O’names hyphenated, I have a friend with one and it sounds great, and both names are extremely indicative of their ethnic origin so it also has the bonus of really honouring the lineage of both parents. In his case the O’name comes first though, but whatever sounds good to you is the most important.

      • Amy March

        I dunno, I can’t think of a single feminine last name that would actually be an issue. At all. Not to say O’Connor is a bad idea or anything, but I don’t think your last name hurting you professionally because it is feminine is a real problem.

        • Kate

          You probably can’t think of one because like I said, it’s usually used as a first name. It’s the equivalent of Stacy, Courtney, or Jessica. I’m not saying it’d be the biggest problem but in certain situations (looking at you, crotchety old man judges) it may work against me. The legal profession can still be shockingly sexist.

    • emilyg25

      I love it! If you need a response for commenters, you can just say, “Oh it’s a family name that I’ve wanted to take for a while and this just seemed like a good opportunity.” When you choose a nontraditional name choice, you will get comments and people will make mistakes, but it’s so not a big deal to politely correct them and move on.

  • Rhie

    In other fun feminist movie news, Harley Quinn is getting her own movie! Basically because Margot Robbie is a badass: http://birthmoviesdeath.com/2016/05/16/harley-quinn-is-getting-a-spin-off-movie

    • Now if Black Widow could get her own film *sigh* *shakes fist at Disney*

      • Rhie

        Honestly, I feel like if anything will put the fear of righteous women in Kevin Feige, it would be DC beating them not once but twice (Harley Quinn & Wonder Woman) to a lady superhero headliner. Here’s hoping, anyway… at least Black Widow is always an integral part of the movies she’s in?

        • Shawna

          Yeah, it just feels like DC is saying, “We can’t do much right, but we can do this!” to Marvel. ;)

          If Wonder Woman isn’t good I am going to cry so hard.

  • Initial phone interview with Planned Parenthood for a Patient Administrator position. It… seemed to go well? Hard to tell over the phone, and apparently their initial interviews are all short (10 – 15 minutes), which is not what I was expecting. I will hear back in 2 – 3 business days as to whether or not they are moving forward with the interview process. Getting married on the 28th. Lots of changes.

    • raccooncity

      Planned Parenthood is awesome! I hope you get the job!

    • Shawna

      Good luck and fingers crossed! Also getting married on the 28th – hello date twin!

  • lady brett

    okay, after last week’s tantrum, we all pulled our heads out of our asses, and, post-friday, had the best weekend ever. surreal levels of lovely, which is hanging on in things just working better, even in the hard bits.

    and my honey had a *great* job interview this week! almost a month before they make a decision, though, so definitely still looking.

  • touchdownton abbey

    Hello. I’m new around here, because I am recently engaged.
    We have decided to set a date for this October.
    We decided on a date last week- and this week, all week, I’ve felt a bit like drowning.
    Just wanted to introduce myself and say hello. Also, send all the good vibes my way because, I’m starting to feel the stress.

    Also, thank God for that being engaged and feeling like crap article because I am THERE. It was comforting.

    • Lisa

      Congratulations on your engagement! I was an October bride, too, so welcome to the club. :)

    • raccooncity

      Congrats! Also your screen name was my mom’s fantasy football team name so I heart you already.

    • Congrats!
      Usually you don’t pick a date until you have a venue (they’re the limiting factor, oftentimes). But if you’re doing it at someone’s house, then I can see date-picking as a lot more laid back!

      • touchdownton abbey

        We actually picked the date, because we were inquiring with the venue and that was the date that worked for us! So, at least that part is done!

    • emilyg25

      Congrats! Short engagements are awesome but kinda crazy at the beginning because you have to get big stuff like venue, catering, photographer settled quicky, but then it dies down. Ours was 7 months.

      • AmandaBee

        Yes! You told me this 4 months ago and it’s true. The first month was craziness but now we’re in detail mode and everything important to us is taken care of.

        Except the stuff I forgot. Bahaha, guess those weren’t that important.

        But seriously: prioritize the big things you care about and just be as decisive as you can. Also, don’t read the crazy checklists on other wedding sites. 90% of what they list is totally unnecessary.

      • touchdownton abbey

        that makes me feel a lot better! There are fun parts (like telling people we are getting married!) but right now- I feel like I’m living in perpetual chaos haha.

        • Alanna Cartier

          That was exactly how I felt. Especially because my initial planning ideas fell through. It was like having a second job on top of my job. I made a special wedding planner to keep track of vendor meetings and everything. Now I’m nearly at the six month mark (We’re getting married in November!) and wedding wise things are smooth sailing. It is eerie how calm things are.

    • Alanna Cartier

      WELCOME! and congrats! And the first bit when you are engaged is the worst, because you are feeling all the feels and you have to book everything. Don’t fear. In a few weeks, you’ll have a lull and will probably be a little closer to normal again. Unless you are an idiot like me and plan a huge move…

    • Lizzie

      Hello and welcome! I planned my wedding in about 4 months and it was awesome. You’re gonna crush it!

    • Sarah McClelland

      Hooray! Welcome!

      November bride (almost 2 years ago) here, and I think the fall is just MAGICAL for weddings. Good luck as you plan! I think shorter engagements can make for some crazy, but mostly just give you less time to agonize, which can be good and crazy all at once. I liked having deadlines to choose things by- gave us both less time to second-guess choices we were making.

  • AmandaBee

    Happy Friday! Fiance got a phone call from a recruiter with a nice sounding job opportunity seemingly out of nowhere. He has a phone interview today and I’ve got all my fingers crossed. He’s only been out of work for a month but money has been stressing us out, especially with a summer wedding fast approaching. So it would be hugely awesome if this worked out.

    • AGCourtney

      Sending good vibes your way!

    • Alanna Cartier

      GOOD LUCK :D

  • anon

    I run what is basically a shelter program for families, and the program has just been hosting families for a few weeks now. I am the only staff besides a driver who is around at the beginning and end of the day.

    Today our first real conflict bubbled up, with 2 moms screaming at one another and me trying desperately to get them both to talk in quieter voices and leave the room. The whole situation (and the aftermath) has made me feel totally unqualified for the job, even though I am super qualified for the majority of my responsibilities. Plus, I spent 20 minutes on the phone in and out of tears with the director of another nonprofit shelter program in the county.

    I’m working on breathing and reminding myself that these are all adults too, and at the end of the day, I can’t decide what decisions they’re going to make. But this part of my job: sucks. I don’t like dealing with screaming adults or to be the person trying to decide if I need to kick one family out, when we are the only program in the county for people who aren’t fleeing domestic violence situations.

    Uff da. Just needed to vent, especially because my husband is driving on his way to officiate a wedding and can’t talk with me right now. Thanks.

    • raccooncity

      <3 People are tough. Also, <3 minnesota.

    • Alanna Cartier

      Hugs. You aren’t responsible for the way other adults behave. In so many parts of life, I find this the hardest thing to deal with. It sounds like you handled the situation in the best way you knew how, and over time, you will develop strategies for these (hopefully very infrequent) situations.

      You deserve a big glass of wine/long soak in the tub/ back massage, etc. whatever makes you feel like you rocked it today, because you did. You are doing amazing work.

    • OliveMC

      That sounds rough. I hope you have a restful and restorative weekend!

    • AmandaBee

      Ooof rough way to end a day. Sounds like you did what you could though, you can’t always make adults (esp people in a super stressful situation) behave.

    • Cellistec

      Internet hugs. I have a master’s degree in conflict resolution and I still get super stressed out dealing with interpersonal conflict. It sounds like you did the best you could and at least you kept the situation from escalating.

    • rg223

      Just want to say, thank you so much for the work that you do. So necessary and so often unappreciated by society at large.

  • It’s our 1year anniversary!!! (Or it was on Monday) What a year! There’s no way to express how intense, difficult and wonderful it’s been.

    Still an avid lurker on APW, and LOVING the house posts.. We finished remodeling our house you guys!!!!!
    Remodel + getting married = emotional wringer like nothing else (do not necessarily recommend)

    We’re celebrating by STAYING HOME in this beautiful space we built – he’s cooking something amazing and I’m re-creating some of the flowers I did for the wedding :)
    And of course reminiscing all over our wedding photos!

    Anyway! You guys, it’s Friday!! <3 <3 <3

    • BDubs

      Our first anniversary was Monday too! Congrats to you two!

      • That’s so awesome!! Congratulations to you two too! ☺️

  • LP

    Guys my family is the best. FH and I were planning on doing nothing for our honeymoon, just taking some time off, as he unexpectedly lost his job so money is a little tight. My wonderful mom then decided to give us all of her airline miles, and told my grandparents this, who are allowing us to stay in their house in Florida. They are the best. I have pretty much a free honeymoon and I could not ask for a better family. So much happiness today!

    • AmandaBee

      That’s awesome. Yay for family!

    • BDubs

      Ah, the gift of a honeymoon! So amazing <3

    • Keri

      congrats! what a wonderful surprise! :)

  • Ashlah

    Husband and I have just become obsessed with The Great British Baking Show (The Great British Bake Off, as it’s known outside of the US), and it’s inspiring me to bake something other than cookies this weekend. Trying to decide between cinnamon rolls or chocolate pear scones from Smitten Kitchen! Either would be a new adventure for me, though the cinnamon rolls seem a bit more intimidating.

    I also need to find previous seasons of the show, as Netflix only has one and we’re about out of episodes! Any other good baking competition shows out there? I like how nice this one is compared to a lot of American competition shows. Would love to watch one with kids, honestly!

    • Lisa

      Chocolate pear scones sound divine! I think you’ve just given me my next Netflix binge, and for that I thank you.

    • Alanna Cartier

      Go with what you find most intimidating! At least that’s always my plan. That way you feel like a wizard if you manage to do it, and everything else seems so easy afterward. That’s how I got into candy making last christmas. That being said, that’s also how my perpetual battle with cake rolls began. 4 attempts and still no luck… wah wah.

    • Amy March

      Amazing show. Sometimes I can find episodes from other seasons on PBS’s website.

      • Ashlah

        Thank you, I’ll check that out!

    • JSK

      Cinnamon rolls can be lots of work, but for the most part they come out delicious (if sometimes a little ugly). Since it’s the end of May, may I suggest Joy the Baker’s Peach Cinnamon rolls…?

      http://joythebaker.com/2014/07/peach-cobbler-cinnamon-rolls/

      • Ashlah

        Alas, I’m not much of a peach fan… But hopefully someone who is will come across this recipe!

    • emilyg25

      Do cinnamon rolls! Get comfortable with yeast! It’s amazing!

    • Lizzie

      I am OBSESSED with that show! I, er, use potentially not totally ethically sound ways to see the other seasons, so they’re out there but you might not feel like accessing them that way.

      Now that I’ve fully exhausted every single episode of that show, I’ve taken a recent liking to America’s Test Kitchen – not a competition show, but it satisfies the itch for a cooking show that’s not so personality-driven and faux-easy breezy. It has a real curiosity about cooking that I love in GBBO. There’s a season on Netflix and I highly recommend it!

      • Ashlah

        I am open to accessing them that way if need be, so it’s good to know they’re available…

        America’s Test Kitchen is in our queue, glad to hear it’s a good one!

        • Lizzie

          I will just say that someone might have had good luck with back-to-back free trials of UnoTelly (VPN that is not as scary as it sounds) and then using the BBC’s website and media player. Or so I’m told. : )

      • raccooncity

        ALL the cooking shows on PBS are top-notch.

    • Cam

      Cinnamon rolls! They take a long time and have more steps, but I think they are ultimately easier to pull off, and tastier, and fancier so you feel extra accomplished. Scones are quick, but can be quite tricky texture wise, particularly if you are adding something damp like pears..

    • Her Lindsayship

      Ugh I love Smitten Kitchen. Happy baking to you! :)

    • M

      I’ve baked Smitten Kitchen’s chocolate pear scones, and they are divine! I say go for those – pretty easy, but also super delicious and fancy. Have fun!

    • Keeks

      Cinnamon rolls! Although I’ve tried Smitten Kitchen’s and they aren’t my fave. Molly Wizenberg’s are my go-to: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/cinnamon-rolls-with-cream-cheese-glaze-241631
      Also, you can make them all the way up to the part where you put the cut rolls into the baking pan (so, right before the second rise), then put them in the fridge overnight. Take them out of the fridge in the morning, let them come to room temp, and bake as the recipe says. THE BEST.

    • Sosuli

      LOVE Bake Off! One of my absolute favourite things about living in the UK is how practically the whole country watches it. My FH claimed he would never and then two seasons ago got captivated by a Scottish bloke called Norman and then went on to win his office’s own bake off. I was so proud (especially since I stood next to him giving instructions the entire time…. mainly because he was doing a traditional Scandinavian bake)

      • Ashlah

        Aw, Norman! That’s the season we’re watching right now. I love that it inspired your husband to join (and win!) his own bake off! My husband thought it was a strange choice when I picked it, but he was hooked after the first episode.

    • SuzyNP

      Mmm Bake Off… the suspense, the gentle patter of English summer rain on the tent roof, Paul, Mary, Sue and Mel’s never ending sexual innuendos, the polite words of frustration such as “oh bother, my cremepat has collapsed”. It’s the best. Definitely worth binging on previous seasons ;)

    • Essssss

      This show has been my sanity this year. Love it.

  • Kalë

    I finally took the time to sit down and make/research/update my list of graduate schools that I can A) realistically afford and B) actually want to go to, so that’s a yay! I know we have a fair few Minnesotans/Minneapolonians here, and UM is one of my top choices. Any feedback on the university, grad school, the area, anything else?

    EDIT: I also bought my first piece of grown up art today!!!!!! So excited and feeling very Fancy Lady about it. My first original, first large piece, and first abstract. Been coveting it for evaaaaaah. YAAAS!

    • I’m a Minnesota alum (Chemistry, 2004) and I adored my time there. It’s a big school, over 50,000 students total, but depending on your program it can feel like a smaller university.There’s a ton of things happening on campus, which I loved – concerts, plays, sports, speakers, etc. The campus area is generally safe, though over the past couple of years there’s been some incidences of armed robberies :-( And the Twin Cities in general is fun, there’s a ton of stuff to do here.

      I didn’t do grad school there but I know a lot of folks who have, and overall they had a good experience. The U (what us locals call it) have a lot of highly ranked programs and amazing professors and I also felt like people really cared for me, not that I was just a number.

      • Kalë

        I was hoping to hear from you, Jubilance! I really appreciate the feedback. Yall are starting to really sell me on the U (see, look how local I am already!!).

        • If you have any other questions, feel free to ask! I’m happy to help :-)

    • AGCourtney

      Jubilance can probably speak more to the university, but I know it’s a great school. What department are you looking at in particular?

      As for the area, I love it. The Twin Cities are fantastic. Are there particular things you’re looking for? What’s important to you? (i.e., bike-friendly, theater, concerts, etc.) The public transportation is great, in my opinion, and there are some great biking trails. There’s so much to do and the area is just lovely. Yes, it’s cold in the winter, but honestly, you get used to it. I moved back to my hometown last year, but I treasure the three years we spent living in Minneapolis and I drive up pretty frequently.

      ETA: Haha, Jubilance, you beat me. xD

      • Kalë

        I’m looking at the Comparative and International Development Education program, although I’m also considering a few other options. Starting applications in the fall for fall ’17 admission. In terms of what I’m looking for, walk/bike friendly is huge for me. I live downtown in my current/hometown, and it makes a huuuuge difference to me being able to walk to the grocery store, restaurants, fave shops, parks, etc. So, any suggestions on neighborhoods/areas?

        • InTheBurbs

          In Minneapolis: Northeast, Seward, Nokomis. In St. Paul: Highland, Mac-Groveland, Selby-Dale, Merriam Park

          • Cha

            I echo all of InTheBurbs neighborhood suggestions. The Twin Cities are very bikeable – that was my primary mode of transport. In the middle of the winter I’d often switch over to walking or busses because the shoulders of the roads can get icy, but I have super biker friends who bike year-round. Best of luck to you!

        • AGCourtney

          Okay, it looks like that program is located in the Minneapolis campus. It’s on the East Bank, though, so living in either St. Paul or Minneapolis would work well for you. I lived in the Loring Park neighborhood and loved it – it’s not the closest to the U, but it’s not too far, and I loved being right next to downtown Minneapolis (we were right on the edge, one block from Hennepin Ave., the main street). We went for walks all the time. (My daughter called First Ave. “the star place.”) Seconding InTheBurbs’ recommendations of Northeastern and Seward. (I’m sure the other recs are good, those are just neighborhoods I’m personally familiar with!)

          Great! Yeah, we have bike lanes downtown and I loved biking to class. There’s also bike racks on the buses and trains, which can be helpful. We have these wonderful Greenways which are sort of like freeways for bikes? Entrances on various streets that lead down to the path. I love them, you don’t even feel like you’re in the city anymore. They connect to the trails around the lakes, too. Walkability was huge for me, too – I loved being able to walk across the street to the grocery store for fresh bread or if I needed something for a recipe. There are tons of parks in Minneapolis. Sounds like you’d like it here!

    • Cha

      Originally from Massachusetts, currently living in Texas, but spent 5 years of grad school at the U and would move back to the Twin Cities in a heartbeat if I found a job up there.

      My program was based on the St. Paul campus, which I loved (it’s smaller than the main Minneapolis campuses, but just a short bus ride away). That area has a great quiet neighborhood feel, yet you’re just a 20 min bike ride to downtowns of two major cities with all of the food/music/cultural events/etc. that come with those, plus there’s decent hiking and outdoor pursuits within a 30 minute drive and excellent hiking/camping/parks/etc. 1-3 hours north or south. Winters are cold (not sure where you’re coming from if that’d be a concern), but people embrace them because you have to, so it’s really not that bad – neighborhood ballfields are flooded and maintained as free public ice rinks, cross-country skiing is quite popular, and we still have an ice auger stuffed in the back of our closet that was used for cutting holes in frozen lakes to go ice fishing…

      • Kalë

        Thanks for the feedback! I’ll definitely look into St. Paul as well. I’m not sure yet which campus I’d be on, but I love the idea of a smaller campus and a neighborhood feel. Not TOO concerned about the winters (Alaskan…), although I know the temps get colder than I’m used to. I’m feeling more and more like this might be the best fit for me. Now, just to see to the actual “gaining admission” part…

        • nutbrownrose

          As someone who grew up in Seattle, and now lives in Iowa, I think it’ll depend if you’re from Southeast Alaska or somewhere further north. (I also spent a lot of time growing up in Southeast. Alaska Airlines employee benefits all the way!) In my experience, Southeast is more like Seattle, with the damp being more prevalent than the cold, and in the Midwest, it’s more cold than damp. Like, super drying air, lots of powdery snow, not the damp kind with black ice under it that Seattle has. And it has totally different rain! It’s all at once and you’re soaked through in 2 minutes and then it’s done, unlike Seattle where it’s just sort of mistily damp a lot.

          • Kalë

            I think you found me… I am a southeast gal! Duly noted about the dry cold. I’m actually looking forward to more dry winters, even if that means it’s f-f-f-freezing

          • nutbrownrose

            Just invest in good face moisturizer (if youre anything like me, you think moisturizer is silly because there’s moisture everywhere–not true in the Midwest!) and wool tights to go under jeans. I have had good luck with MaryKay, but really just find one that works. And for tights, it’s important to get ones that aren’t regular tights, but warm ones, because regular tights for me rub weird against my jeans and make my legs feel colder.
            Also, hats that go over your ears. You’ve haven’t had pain until you’ve had dangly earrings freeze inside your earholes.

            But maybe you know all this already? (I tell you because I didn’t, and thought 30 was cold. It’s not. It’s shorts weather.)

    • InTheBurbs

      I’m biased – but the Twin Cities are amazing! Public transportation has improved dramatically in the last 10 years and both train lines serve the Minneapolis campus. Depending on what sort of feel you’re looking for consider living in St. Paul. Some may find it boring but I call it a small town disguised as a city. The U actually has a campus in St. Paul so depending on your program you may spend time there – and it’s connected to the main campus via a direct bus line.

      It can’t be said enough – there are a ton of low cost things to do – during every season. It’s cold – but it’s amazingly beautiful when it snows and winter fashion is a thing here – you can totally change things up with a different hat.

      • StevenPortland

        Totally agree. St. Paul is a good place to consider living and offers an easy enough drive to the UofM. My law school was on Grand Ave in St. Paul and I lived there for a handful of years.

        • InTheBurbs

          My dream neighborhood is Mac-Groveland – essentially Grand and Snelling. I love how walk-able it is!

          • Eileen

            I went to college at Mac and that neighborhood is one of my best memories! But I agree, the Twin Cities in general are FAB as my mom would say.

          • StevenPortland

            When we moved here to Portland we didn’t know anyone. That first afternoon I met our next door neighbor and was happy to learn that she went to college at Mac.

    • sahara

      Love the Twin Cities too! I went to college nearby and would happily live in the cities again. Great creative culture there. I also have a lot of respect for the U of M, at least for the programs I’m familiar with.

      Re: grad school: The research is such a big step – good for you! Sometimes the more expensive (on paper) schools offer more generous financial aid. I went to an expensive private university for my masters but with scholarships it ended up being a lot less expensive than the public university that I was considering at the same time. You can’t really know what they’re going to cost *for you* until you apply, and you might be pleasantly surprised.

      • Kalë

        I’m really glad you said this! There are a few other schools on my list that seem like pretty big reaches without funding/financial aid, and I was sort of fretting about even applying because of the sticker shock. I won’t write them off just yet :)

    • emmers

      Yay, congrats on your art, that’s so awesome!

  • Kalë

    Also,

    The picture of yall by the pool is EVERYTHING and FLAWLESS and made me SO HAPPY

    • toomanybooks

      I know me too! I saw it just after walking outside from work to the bus, in the nice warm weather, and thought, I want to be in a pool too!!!!

  • OliveMC

    This week has been wonderful at work/school (grad school gray area), I feel like I’ve finally gotten my groove back after nearly a year of family issues/wedding planning that negatively fed into each other that were literally just depressing and probably impacted my work more than they should have. I’m hoping that the work goodness just keeps going up and up, there’s a lot to do to finish my degree and I’m going to need more motivation than I’ve had the past year to do it!

    We’ve also been playing the home renovation game and are putting the finishing touches on a gravel patio in the backyard and finishing our basement. :)

    I’m so excited to have a little getaway this weekend! Husband & I are meeting friends at a zoo about an hour from us, picnic-ing (with our amazing picnic basket, http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/store/product/bamboo-21-piece-insulated-picnic-basket/1014366059?Keyword=picnic+basket), and then having a fun night out in the town we got married in. Swoon.

  • MC

    This week has been pretty shitty & stressful all-around so I am just popping in to share a couple of podcasts that got me through it all:
    Another Round: https://www.acast.com/anotherround/episode55-1000blackgirlbooks-withmarleydias-?autoplay They interview Marley Dias, the 11-yr old girl who started #1000blackgirlbooks to collect books for her school that are about black girls because she was tired of reading books about white boys and their dogs. Coolest 11-yr old ever, definitely raised my spirits and made me laugh out loud in public.
    Samantha Bee’s interview on Fresh Air: http://www.npr.org/2016/04/07/473371862/samantha-bee-on-full-frontal-feminism-and-the-freedom-of-her-40s I am loving her new show and this interview was great & funny & poignant.

    Shout out to anyone else who has had a WEEK. We got to Friday, y’all!

    • Lizzie

      My colleagues and I all had SERIOUS WEEKS. Something’s in the air… But now it’s done!! [she says, eyeing the clock and waiting for 5pm…]

    • cityfolks

      I am really mentally done with this week, whatever the clock says. Earlier I found myself saying, out loud, that I couldn’t wait for Monday because Monday means this week is over.

  • Amy March

    Last Happy Hour before vacation in Greece! Anyone have tips for Athens? Can’t wait to spend a week focused only on finding the prettiest patios to drink wine on, and coordinating my hats and dresses (hahaha false- they all totes match already anyway).

    • AGCourtney

      No advice, but I hope you have a wonderful vacation!

    • Ashlah

      I’ve never been, but it sounds amazing! Have a blast!

    • Lisa

      Ahhh, I’m so jealous!! Have a wonderful time in Greece!

    • the cupboard under the stairs

      My only advice is…take pretty pictures so we can live vicariously through you!

    • Jess

      It is my truest goal in life to get to a point where all my hats and dresses and shoes match, and the only thing I have to worry about is finding the happiest places in which to drink wine.

      Have the best time!

    • toomanybooks

      Oooh. I had a summer trip to Greece in high school and it was, as another visitor described, “hell-hot.” I don’t know if that was a particularly hot and sunny time or what but here are the things I desperately needed immediately upon stepping outside during the daytime (starting when you get out of the airport, because I was sunburned before getting to the hotel):
      -huge (huge!) dark sunglasses
      -hat
      -sunscreen on
      -bottled water
      -I wore a lot of like, white linen, short sleeve shirt, shorts. And comfy walking shoes.

      I will say, I was in the best shape of my life after I came home from Greece. All we did was walk around in the heat, hiking up to ruins etc, swimming, and eating Greek salads. And, I don’t know if the islands are in your plans but they are gorgeous. Also I recall that it’s a great place to buy jewelry if you’re into that.

    • Cellistec

      I was there a few years ago and while Athens was not for me, other parts of the country were wonderful. I found that locals appreciate it if you try to speak even a few words of Greek, and if you butcher it they’ll patiently correct you. Also, if your lodging has a fridge, buy the clay-pot yogurt from nearby markets and eat that on your patio too, with honey. There’s nothing like it.

      • TeaforTwo

        OMG yes, eat all of the yogurt and honey that you possibly can, and then bring back as much honey as you can fit in your suitcase.

        • Cellistec

          I was dying to do that but I figured I’d run afoul of the US Customs “don’t bring in any agricultural products” thing. Boo, Customs.

          • I’ve had no problem bringing in honey from France…who knows.

          • Amy March

            Well, I certainly plan on trying and will let you know how it goes!

    • OliveMC

      That sounds heavenly! Have a great trip!

    • TeaforTwo

      We were in Athens a very short time before heading to Crete for the bulk of our vacation, but we DID have a very lovely bottle of wine and platter of food on the rooftop of the Acropolis Museum that I would recommend to anyone. It was a long hot day of sightseeing, and that shaded patio with incredible views and good booze was a highlight!

    • VKD_Vee

      I went to Athens a while ago and it didn’t really feel like a “drinking wine on the patio” kind of destination to me. It’s just such a big, bustling, busy place compared to, say, the Greek Islands. It was smoggy, and crazy, and full of life – I really loved it! My advice is to visit Cape Sounion (not far outside the city) and the temple ruins there. It’s a very quiet and peaceful place and the ruins, and view out over the water, is just incredible!

    • Scalliwag

      Go to Vintage Wine Bar! We were only in Athens for one night of our honeymoon en route to islands, but it was outstanding. The patio had a lot of smokers, so not for us, but the inside space was gorgeous, and the owner was super attentive and we tried all sorts of different Greek wines with great food to boot.

      https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g189400-d6981501-Reviews-Vintage_Wine_bar_Bistro-Athens_Attica.html

  • Elizabeth

    An important question — how do you handle not sweating the small stuff? Now that we’re talking about spending the rest of our lives together I’ve found some things annoy me when I could dismiss them before. And I’m talking really minor things that still feel irritating, like ‘oh gosh, the bathroom floor is going to be sopping wet after she showers for the rest of my life’. I feel petty which isn’t fun, but I’m also a huge worrier/planner.

    • Eenie

      There’s a compromise, person A changes how they do something, person B changes how they do something, or you decide to live with it. Some of the small stuff matters. For example, I agree to not leave extra time on the microwave, and my husband has agreed to load the dishwasher from the back first.

      • Elizabeth

        Thanks! I feel a little better now, because it feels so small but I know if she asked me to change some small habit I felt unimportant I would, because it’s more something I don’t think about now.

        • Eenie

          My husband had a hard time with telling me these things. I moved into his house. It was hard. It gets easier. It really does make it easier if you talk it through. But balance it out with stuff that you like about the change too. Splitting cooking work, laundry, dishwasher, etc.

    • BDubs

      Bring the partner into the brainstorm. “Hon, I can’t stand when the floor stays wet for hours. What do you think we can do to fix that?”
      They may have an amazing solution, plus it helps to remind sweehearts that they do stuff that makes you batty. Sometimes the small stuff just melts away with partner-power working on it.
      xo

      • Elizabeth

        Thanks! I feel like I don’t want to be a nag, etc, but I guess you’re right that even if there isn’t a solution it can be better to talk through it together. Because if it turns out it’s something I can accept then having talked about it might make me feel better about it — and it might be as simple as getting rid of the bath mat and her using two towels and wiping the floor with one of them.

    • Ashlah

      For that specific issue, I would suggest buying a bathroom rug :)

      In general, talk to your partner! If they have a little habit that is annoying you and would be easy for them to change, hopefully they will be open to that. You might need to work on just appreciating the effort at first if it’s a truly ingrained habit, but I bet you’ll be able to come to happy compromises for most of these little issues that feel not-so-little right now. And be prepared to hear similar things from your partner, and demonstrate the same openness to changing some of your potentially-annoying habits too.

      • Elizabeth

        Funny, I’m considering getting rid of the bath rug because of this issue, because it just seems to soak the rug.

        Thanks. I’ve felt like it’s too petty to mention and also like there are higher priorities in terms of changing habits (like not leaving the toilet seat up because then my cat drinks from the toilet and gets sick, and that’s a thing I feel justified about saying something about because of the cat…). I guess part of the issue in not mentioning things is that I do try to be very open etc, but she’s less comfortable bringing things up, so I feel like I disproportionately mention things that bug me.

        • Jess

          *sigh* The person who disproportionately brings up stuff that bugs them? That’s me. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m simply more perfect (that’s it, right? right?) or because R just doesn’t want to rock the boat and I’m more of the “I’ll tell you now and then we don’t have to worry about it becoming a thing later”.

          Regarding the bathroom floor specifically, this was a thing that I really hate. I brought it up in a variety of subtle and not subtle ways: “Oh, I dry off still in the shower so I don’t have soggy feet” to “I just stepped in your shower lake and now I have wet socks.”

          The water issue has gotten much less, and eventually I will be swapping the plush bath mat out (the worst) with a bath mat towel that can be hung up immediately after use, thus eliminating gross swampy-ness from the bathroom.

          • Elizabeth

            Right, it’s like, I want to think I’m just perfect and don’t bother her with my habits but I know that’s not the truth. But on the other hand, yes, I know that for me bottling things up isn’t the answer, like, at all. And there are other exacerbating factors — like I lived in this space alone before she moved in, and she’s currently trying to find a job, so I’m gone 10 hours a day at mine and she’s at home during that time. So I try to understand where I’m coming on any aggravation, which can be a subtle difference but one I think that matters in whether or not it’s a temporary/passing thing or not.

          • Jess

            Deciding when to say something is tough! I use my anger level as a guide a bit, but you’re totally right in that if it’s a one time thing I usually let it go and repeated offenses that are making me more and more angry get some attention.

          • Elizabeth

            Sounds good! I have very nice bath mats that haven’t been an issue for me…but swapping out something more like a towel and having her hang it up would probably be a doable solution.

          • Jess

            They make bath-mat sized towels for this reason! I grew up having them, so it was really easy to just pat off any areas that were a little damp and then hang it over the side of the tub/a towel rack to dry.

            Many bath mats are comfy to stand on, but also really act like sponges and just let water sit around all day long. A towel is at least a small reminder to say, “oh yeah, I should dry this up”

        • Not Sarah

          This might also be a case of a different rug would work better. I hear you though – I dry off almost entirely in the shower. My boyfriend doesn’t and gets the floor a bit wet, but I am usually out of the house by the time he showers, so it’s not a big deal to me. (It would really bug me if he showered before I left the house though.)

        • JLily

          They have super fluffy, absorbent ones at target that are still machine-washable if that matters to you! (and idk about you, but for me, its better to bring things like this up when its only happened for a while than when i’ve tried to hold back and then I’m like, enraged but the other person has no idea that its even a thing!)

    • emilyg25

      I say something! It’s okay to ask someone to use a bath mat. :)

    • CP2011

      I think it gets easier with time. After the first year or so I think everything evens out. Not that things won’t bug you, but it may be easier to either ignore or handle successfully

      • Elizabeth

        Thanks for the reassurance!

      • Sarah McClelland

        We’ve found this to be true too!

      • Lisa

        So true! Our first year living together (during our engagement) and the first six months or so of marriage was ROUGH. I understand why my now MIL was concerned that we might break up after moving in with each other without having a legally-binding contract to force us to stick it out. However, it’s gotten much better in the past 12-18 months!

    • Orangie

      Also read this: http://apracticalwedding.com/2013/08/the-inevitable-cold-feet/ It helped me put everything in perspective.

      • Elizabeth

        Thank you SO much for this link! I think I needed this today.

    • Sosuli

      I posted about something very similar in the engagement thread this week – totally with you on this! For me it’s things like leaving the dishes for 3 days (we don’t have a dishwasher) and not putting the iron away for a week. Suddenly that stuff feels disproportionately important. I’ve done everything from bursting out a “gaaaaahhhhh why the eff is the iron still in the living room?!?” to just trying to explain why it bothers me “the ironing board only takes a 2 minutes to fold away, it takes up so much space when it’s out”. I used to just put it away, but after engagement decided that nope, I will not spend the rest of my life clearing up after my partner. I think it’s better to let them know one way or another rather than to bottle it up until it actually becomes a huge argument.

  • StevenPortland

    Meg, you asked “who puts in a pedestal sink with not a single cabinet?” The contractor we bought our house from is one such culprit. Two bathrooms — both with lovely pedestal sinks — but absolutely no storage. It drives me crazy. I am just lucky we are a 4 guy household. I’m the only one who worries about where to store hair product. The other 3 don’t care.

    • Not Sarah

      We actually replaced our pedestal sink last year with a vanity and it is amazing how much tidier the bathroom looks now! And how much more useful it is!

    • emilyg25

      Same! We bought a giant-ass medicine cabinet.

    • Her Lindsayship

      I hate pedestal sinks!! We bought an over-the-toilet standing shelf and some decorative boxes to keep things in without it being cluttered. Thankfully just a rented apartment – now we look out for that as we’re thinking of buying a place. Not exactly a deal-breaker but it’s just annoying.

    • I love pedestal sinks! I grew up with one in a really old farmhouse, so that’s why. The bathroom had very large built in drawers and shelves for storage though, so it worked without taking up extra space in the small room. Without that, it would have been chaos. I had one in a rental apartment without extra storage and I was just like, “Oh, this is why people hate this.”

      • emmers

        They can also be super hard to fix if something goes wrong, since there’s a pedestal where you’d normally have the sink guts. But they’re very pretty!

    • My parents put a pedestal sink in the guest bathroom to try and discourage us from leaving stuff in there (so that it would always be guest-ready). It was only moderately successful. But we had two other bathrooms with vanities for actual stuff to put places.

  • Anon for This

    I really really wish someone on the APW staff would clarify what I perceive to be some hypocritical finger pointing. I would like to know why Joan Rivers was given a free pass when she said horrible awful disgusting purely racist things about Michelle Obama, yet Tina Fey is criticized for far far less.

    On a side note, do we really want White people creating shows that attempt to give a voice to the Black experience? I think that’s a job for Black writers, producers, and actors.

    • Alanna Cartier

      I don’t think the point is for white women to create shows that attempt to voice the black female experience. Rather I think the point is to be cognizent of race, especially when you are attempting to portray POC.

    • Or we can give more Black writers, producers and actors a shot instead of only allowing 1 or 2 at a time to be successful.

      • Anon for This

        Certainly. I agree with you. I just don’t think any White person on the planet can write the Black experience. How could they? They might come close, but it won’t be what it could have been if a Black person wrote it.

    • Rhie

      To me the problem with that particular comparison is that Joan Rivers is a comedian of a different generation who worked to shock and offend. That doesn’t excuse her but there’s a certain logic to her being an offensive person. Tina Fey, however, has made a career as a comedian who writes in a nuanced and sophisticated way about feminism but somehow also thinks that an Asian character called Dong is both funny and appropriate in 2015. That joke was sophomoric in Sixteen Candles, for crying out loud. And it’s baffling how someone that smart (Fey) can produce both the run of KSchmit episodes about the trial of Rev Richard Wayne Gary Wayne and also this bizarre arc about Jaqueline/Jackie Lynn and the Dong nonsense. The first is so keenly observed and so subtle and so clever and other two are just… I don’t know how they can come out of the same person. I don’t know if it’s a blind spot or willful ignorance or what. And because Tina Fey gets held up as this bannerwoman of modern feminist comedy here and now today in 2016, I feel like she has a lot more responsibility to be smarter about stuff like this.

      • Anon for This

        Sorry, but being of a different generation makes no sense. Joan Rivers was not from the 1700s. She was around for the start of feminism and the entire civil rights movement and beyond. She was not stupid. I can’t think of any other comedian of her generation that said such hateful things about Michelle Obama. I don’t think anyone working to “shock and offend” gets a free pass either. That’s no excuse.

        I think it’s very problematic that there is favoritism on APW. Joan Rivers gets a free pass, but Tina Fey and Meryl Streep are called racists for merely clumsy remarks. This is especially funny since Meryl Streep has talked about a history of racism in the early history of Walt Disney. It’s a very serious thing to label someone as racist, but there seems to be no hesitation or nuance about it here.

        APW recently admonished us all against cultural appropriation to the point that you had people in the comments wondering if they even had the right to eat food from other ethnic groups. But Beyonce dressed up as a Bollywood star in a Coldplay video and there was nary a word about it. That is ginormous cultural appropriation!

        It seems that if a celebrity is a favorite at APW, they get a giant free pass for eternity. I can’t possibly be the only person who has noticed. Either that, or no one is paying attention.

        • Cellistec

          APW isn’t hard journalism; the editors are real humans with real opinions. I’m pretty sure they don’t purport to be the gatekeepers of culture or morality, and I’m fine with that.

  • cityfolks

    My car’s exhaust system went this week – after a very useful 15 years, so not a surprise – which means car shopping this weekend. Which would be bad enough on its own, but we’re under contract for a house (closing in July) and it’s a lot of decisions and details and money at once! Experiencing extreme research/decision fatigue!

    • Ashlah

      Oof yeah, awful timing! How wonderful that you got 15 years out of it, though. Good luck in both of your big purchases!

      • cityfolks

        Thanks!

    • emilyg25

      Are you paying cash for the car? If not, that may affect your closing. Additional debt changes calculations for the mortgage.

      • cityfolks

        I am probably paying cash for the car, and luckily our mortgage paperwork is underway so that’s probably safe – but I appreciate the information. So many details to keep track of!

  • nm

    As I am half of an interracial and intercultural couple (AMWF), I’ve been wondering how many others of us are regular readers of APW. I would love to see more on APW on such relationships. A big question for me lately: In particular, for white women with non-white male partners, how do you balance your respective privileges? I would like to see some more essays on that and / or interracial/intercultural relationships in general. Loving Day is coming up!

    • I’m in a similar relationship– my partner is hapa, I’m white. So you are definitely not the only one. Balancing privilege is an ever-changing process. The (sad) joke between us is that I drive anytime we go outside the city in our (known for racial-profiling) state, because as long as the white girl’s driving, we don’t have any trouble with the police. It’s the small everyday things that require consistent reflection. Can’t say that I have any real answers.

    • lildutchgrrl

      Here – I am mixed (white/Filipina) and identify as white, and my wife is indigenous Mexican-American. My grandparents were married mere months after interracial marriage was legalized in California. (Our Loving case was Perez v. Sharp, 1948.)

    • Unhip in Brooklyn

      Yes! We are also AM-WF. It actually helps because we can relate to each others’ unprivileged status a little better. Sometimes, anyways….at other times it has caused conflict! What’s been even deeper is being an intercultural couple, as he has immigrant parents and I am honest-to-God descended from the Mayflower. There are some hard questions about raising our kids and how much Asian culture to bring in. Plus, dealing with his mothers’ disappointment that I’m white……ouch.

      On a light note, have you watched Baby Cobra on Netflix? Ali Wong does a whole segment on dating white dudes vs Asian dudes, and the unsung potential of Asian guys in general. OH MY GOD I was crying from laughing so hard!

      • Shawna

        Baby Cobra/Ali Wong is AMAZING. We need to watch it again as we had it on while going through this week’s to-do list.

    • Eenie

      My husband is half vietnamese, and I’m white. His mom’s entire blood family still lives there except her children. He’s never been, and so he’s never met most of his family. I’m not sure we’ve really done anything to balance the privilege, but it really took a while for me to understand his mom. I still don’t always get why she does some things, but I’ve gotten better about not stressing about what her actions really mean.

      On the bright side, the only aunt we have met was able to come to our wedding! She doesn’t speak any English, but she has such a big heart. Her son made her move her flight when he found out she was planning to leave hours before our ceremony!

    • Shawna

      Yes to content on interracial partnerships or just more (recognizing there are some on here) discussions on how to talk about issues of privilege in a relationship with someone you love. I’m Indian-American and he’s white, but he grew up less socio-economically privileged than I was. Sometimes I feel like I look at him like I can’t recognize him when he says something that sounds so tone-deaf to me and I barely know where to begin explaining why it’s so baffling or hurtful because I live and breathe feminist and racial justice content. We do our best, but some more guidance would be amazing. Or are there other resources people have found?

    • rg223

      Hi! I’m white, my husband is Chinese/Burmese (though primarily culturally Burmese). Interestingly, I think we have more talks about feminism/male privilege because he is a social worker who (sometimes) works with abused women, and he has to be really aware of how he moves in that space. I’m not sure if we “balance” privileges or not, but that was what I thought of in response to your question.

      Someone mentioned in-laws below – yep, those relationships are TOUGH, especially when the in-laws are immigrants. I think race and my husband being the child of immigrants plays into our relationship in complicated ways. I’d love to read more essays on this too!

  • Maggie Dragon

    I just found out that the summer class I was scheduled to teach (and had been depending on for money to live on this summer) has zero students enrolled in it and thus is going to be cancelled. I just got access to the roster to discover this today, a week before the class is supposed to start and the day after the deadline to apply for any other sort of summer funding. I’m going to be fine— but the surplus in our wedding savings account was supposed to be for a cat surgery/car accident/someone gets hurt fund, not this sort of nonsense. I’m just really disheartened.

    • gonzalesbeach

      aw that’s tough! sorry to hear it.

    • Jess

      I’m disappointed that this is something that can happen, but I kind of understand how.

  • Her Lindsayship

    I’m freshly engaged and wanted to see if there are any other APW folks around Boston who’d be interested in a meetup! Or does such a thing already exist? I’d love to get together not necessarily just to talk about wedding planning or relationship stuff, but also just because I love this community. <3

    • gonzalesbeach

      I’m not in Boston, or east coast, or US however – meetups sound like a lovely idea and hope you have takers! Also a lovely idea – APW mini weekend conference in SF. You know – check out APW’s favourite SF haunts, visit the office, meet the totally rad/inspiring women of APW (and their choice fellow entrepreneurs), chat over drinks and lounge poolside or on a floating swan/unicorn/pizza float in modcloth bikinis

      • Lisa

        Someone put together a Google Drive/conversations for people interested in meet-ups a long time ago, but I don’t know if anything came of it. I lived too far away from most of them to be of much use, but I think the bigger cities had some luck.

    • CP2011

      I would love it if APW could help facilitate real life meet ups! Not in Boston but if I was I’d hang out!

  • InTheBurbs

    I got promoted! I’m now supervising a small team of folks who work remotely doing really cool reporting work. There is a ton of potential for growth – both from a leadership perspective and in leveraging the work the team does. The best part? I didn’t have to interview – was back from vacation for 2 hours when I was offered the role.

    • Congrats! That is awesome.

      • InTheBurbs

        Thank you!

  • toomanybooks

    So, I saw the post about Lula Mae Special Events this week and started wondering if perhaps it would be worth it to have a planner for whatever amount of time. Thought I’d reach out here – was it worth it? What specifically did they help with? What sort of thing gets covered in an hourly-fee-consultation situation?

    I’m also realizing that I super have to look into caterers and wonder if anyone has any recommendations for someone getting married just outside of DC (MoCo)? Now that we’ve booked the venue, the catering is the other Scary Big Cost thing looming ahead (we are two ladies paying for a wedding with no financial help, lol)

    :)

    • Anon

      Hello, fellow DC-er here! [lurker since I got engaged in February!] We are getting married in November in DC and after getting a few catering quotes, decided to just have the wedding at a restaurant. We are getting the restaurant for the entire day + the cost of food/booze for less than what I was quoted by ALL of the caterers. There are some pretty good forum topics on the Prince of Petworth blog that discuss catering/wedding recommendations that I highly recommend.

      We are currently in the same boat on considering a planner – it’s a tight budget and we are going pretty low key, but I’ve never heard someone say they regretted it. We did meet a DC-area planner for an hour consultation, basically to ask “am I getting punked by these caterers or is this the real cost?” and a few DC-specific questions about travel logistics for guests, hotel blocks, negotiation strategies, and so forth. I felt it was worth the hourly price.

    • Nikki

      We were in the same boat re: wondering if a planner was really worth it. We ended up having just a day-of coordinator who helped us with a final venue walk through about a month before the wedding, helped with endless emails and was absolutely ESSENTIAL the weekend of the wedding. We had so many moving parts (we went with a pretty bare-bones venue meaning we had to get everything on our own, from bathroom rentals to caterers, to decorations). There was literally no way I could have coordinated all our vendors the day of the wedding because I was sooo busy getting ready/taking pictures/etc. We also had a rain scare, and our coordinator completely handled finding us a last minute tent (and getting a discounted rate!) the Friday morning before the wedding when I called her in near-panic. She also set up our entirely DIY dessert table, set up all the decorations the day of, dealt with calling all our vendors to confirm when they’d be there to set up/tear down, etc. etc. We were also on a very tight budget, hence us debating if having someone would really be worth it, but she SO WAS. We couldn’t afford a full-on planner, but our day of coordinator was one of the best wedding decisions we made! (Sadly, we’re not DC-based, or else I’d recommend her!)

  • gonzalesbeach

    I don’t have major news this week, but in some ways that’s okay. Brother is one week post-neurosurgery and feeling much improved but still healing, thanks for well wishes a cpl weeks back when it was less clear about what was happening. Partner is working his butt off because it’s his crazy season with work; I’m missing him a bit because I see him at bedtime only basically but should have some more time together this weekend. Oh, also – I tried taking a pregnancy test and it was neg and I’m a little bummed but I know to relax since it’s only a couple weeks off bc (progesterone only). Any sage APW advice on natural methods to get my natural cycle to sort itself out faster? I’m thinking about drinking copious amounts of parsley tea to get a flow going – seemed to work when I was not on bc before. I’m open to most ideas! Have purchased the expecting better book that I’ve seen here on Happy Hours but not yet dived into it…

    • raccooncity

      I think you might just have to let your reproductive system do what it’s going to do. HOWEVER, I wholeheartedly recommend tracking whatever IS happening with an app so that you can have sex at the ideal times. I personally found glow to be pretty accurate, but Ovia was my favourite because it was encouraging and didn’t have a freaky message board to get scared by.

      Best of luck to you!

      • gonzalesbeach

        thanks for the advice! I’ll check those out

    • Anon for this one

      Per someone else’s Happy Hour suggestion, I tried using the Clear Blue ovulation predictor kit this month. They’re expensive ($40 for a 20 day supply of the Advanced kind, that detects 2 different hormones), so I’ve been using them to test every other day. You’re supposed to stop testing once it shows that you’re in your hormone surge (i.e. when you’re ovulating, or right about to). Anyways, I’ve been using both Ovia and Glo, and they were both super wrong about when I’m actually ovulating (I think my cycles apparently change with stress), but they’ve been helpful now that I’m also plugging in this extra data.

      I hope that helps! They also have some less expensive test strips online, so if pregnancy takes awhile, I may switch to those eventually, and maybe use the more expensive Clear Blue ones as a backup for when I think it’s actually the day.

    • Amy March

      Stress reduction! I’m not on team yoga solves everything, but it sounds like you have a stressful time at the moment and that can definitely impact things. At the very least, picking something you can do to reduce stress (yoga, painting, meditation, spending time in nature) might help you feel more in control and help relax more than just telling yourself to relax.

      • gonzalesbeach

        totally true, good advice as yes, it’s been a trying (in more ways than 1 lol) time. thank you

    • emilyg25

      Patience, young grasshopper. I know it sounds patronizing. But if you can think of cultivating patience during this time as your best gift to your future progeny, it’s a little bit easier. Getting pregnant, being pregnant, and child rearing are all one big exercise in letting go and acknowledging that there are some things you just can’t control.

      • gonzalesbeach

        thanks – grasshopper ref made me giggle out loud. thanks for the perspective!

  • Lisa

    Thanks for all of the backpacking advice a couple of weeks back, everyone! We finally got out for a night last weekend, and it was AMAZING. We hiked a total of 15 miles over two days, and on Monday I was sore in the oddest places. (Bruises on my clavicles, and my right hip was super sore/tight.) The only thing we didn’t have that we’ve decided we need are some camp chairs so we’re taking advantage of REI’s anniversary sale to buy some. Unfortunately my husband’s going to be playing at a festival for much of the summer so we probably won’t get back out until August. I’m looking forward to many more adventurous weekends in our future though!

    • gonzalesbeach

      sounds awesome! and camp chairs come in handy for so much, not just camping. eg, extra bbq guests, at summer festivals :)

    • Cellistec

      REI camp chairs are awesome. Make sure you look to see which ones have two legs (tippy) and which ones have four, because for some people (like me) keeping your balance in a two-legged chair is just too much to ask after a day of backpacking.

  • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

    So, last week during HH, I wrote a little bit about house hunting and getting my feelings under control about a house I loved, but my fiance didn’t like it as much, and figuring out how to deal with not Ougetting this perfect house.
    Fast forward a week, and we’re buying it! We went and looked at it again, he fell in love with it, and our offer was accepted! Now I’m knee deep in inspections and homeowners insurance, and all sort of other things, and I’m so, so happy. It felt like the house chose us!

    • Her Lindsayship

      Whoa, congrats!!! That’s so exciting. Glad it worked out so well!

    • AGCourtney

      Yay, congrats!!!

    • Sarah McClelland

      Wahoo! So un-fun with all the inspections, but great to have it work out!

  • CP2011

    My spouse and I have never taken an actual vacation together…now I’m eyeing next summer or spring, possibly this winter if it’s a tropical place. Any thoughts on Alaska or Utah as vacation spots for spring? We’ve always been interested in those states but I’m curious if they are really vacation-y. Also interested in Virgin Islands but every Google search for tropical vacation contains the word “Zika” :/

    • Lisa

      We went to Alaska several years ago and loved it! My husband has family on the Kenai peninsula, and we stayed with them for a week. When in spring are you thinking? I know that they can have snow until pretty late in the season, which might not be what you’re looking for. During the summer, there’s daylight something like 4AM-11PM, which was crazy. If you’re worried about it not feeling “vacation-y” enough, you could always look into a cruise, too. We had some friends who did that and loved it.

      As for what to do in Alaska, we did a salmon fishing charter, toured a sled dog facility and rode on their practice sled, drove through the back country, and got to take a wildlife cruise through the fjords, which included a stay on the cruise companies private island. (Husband’s uncle is the chief mechanic for the company so they didn’t have to pay for it.) The cruise and the private island stay were some of the best days of my life. I also know that my MIL and GIL did a kayak trip in Alaska so that’s an option, too.

      • CP2011

        Cool! Thanks for the info!

    • MC

      Utah will be cold at night in the Spring and probably still a chance of snow/cold weather – maybe going somewhere south like Moab toward the end of Spring would be more reliably warm if that’s what you’re looking for! I was at the Grand Canyon close by at the end of March/beginning of April and we got light snow two nights in a row. I would definitely recommend Tuscon in the early Spring though – it’s a cool vacation spot but not too hot yet! And lots of outdoorsy things if that’s your jam.

      • MC

        Oh, and in my experience, Utah is a great vacation spot if you like outdoors – tons of National Parks that are BEAUTIFUL – and SLC is a cool city, but outside of that there’s not much I’d want to see there.

      • CP2011

        Thanks!

    • Kalë

      OMG! ALASKA! I am (I think) the resident APW Alaskan. When in spring are you thinking? Generally March/April won’t be very warm or nice weather (snow some places, rain others, rare sun in maybe a few), but May/June is the absolute best time of year to come. I’m happy to provide more information :)

      • LindseyM

        Me too!! (As you can see from all the salmon in my picture icon.)

    • LindseyM

      I’m from AK too!! April can be horrible with breakup, everything is brown and dead looking. My two favorite months here are March and May. March its still snowy (although the last three years have been questionably with the weather patterns changing) but the days are getting long, and May is great because the lowlands are green but there is still snow in the mountains so its a beautiful contrast. My favorite thing to do here is to go to one of the public use cabins for the weekend. They have them scattered all over the state; some you can backpack to, and some you have to fly into or take a water taxi.

      • CP2011

        Thanks!

  • RT

    My fiancée and I got an invitation to her cousin’s bridal shower and my reaction was “wait – she’s engaged??” I don’t know anything about the wedding or when is, but assuming we ARE invited and it’s just too far off for invitations, is it common to have a bridal shower this far in advance of the wedding or invitations? (It did say bridal shower, not engagement party.) I feel kind of blindsided.

    • Jess

      I mean, my aunt sent out invitations for a July shower in May and we’re getting married in September and won’t be sending out invitations until July.

      This said, we sent save the date cards in like February and everyone knew we were engaged before that.

    • I sent out Save the Dates early, so when the early Bridal Showers happened, everyone would already know they were invited. Your feelings of blindsidedness are appropriate…Bridal Showers do not usually happen until after invites, normally, I thought. Who knows.

    • TeaforTwo

      It depends. I was only engaged for 5.5 months, and so we didn’t bother with save the dates. I sent out wedding invitations just shy of 3 months before the wedding, which was as soon as we could possibly manage, and then my MOH sent out the shower invitations that week because time was tight!

      I was once invited to a high school friend’s bridal shower also not knowing she was engaged (or whether I was invited to the wedding), but it turned out she was just hella overwhelmed by wedding planning and we got our wedding invitation a few weeks later. I was really, really glad I’d gone.

      People have varying degrees of organization around their own weddings, but most people’s hearts are in good places. So it’s not necessarily common but I think it’s totally understandable. I think the best reaction is for your fiancee to call her cousin and say “I had no idea you were engaged, that’s wonderful, tell me everything!”

  • Amanda

    Online portion of the visa application submitted and fees paid. Biometric appointment is set for Monday morning so we’ll be sending everything off after the appointment.

    London here we come! I’m excited and terrified all at the same time!

    • EF

      London is great! But the UKBA is not. Give me a shout if you need commiseration with the visa process.

  • anonforthis

    Hi APW, I feel like you might have some wisdom on this.
    I’ve always known that I don’t deal with stress so well. I always seem to have some strange ailment when times get busy, fall ill when there is too much on, have periods when my thoughts go dark and my thoughts a little irrational. But I’m pretty sure that everyone has their struggles right? I mean, you only have to see the open feed on engagement anxiety from this week – I’m not the only one that isn’t strolling through life’s rollercoasters.
    But I started a new job recently, full time, and I’m also doing grad school via correspondence. I’m handling it pretty well, the subject and work is awesome, I was meant to do this! Except I’m also blinking excessively, not because my eyes are dry, not because I have vision problems but because my entire face seems to spasm up on a regular basis to remind me that, yes, I’m stressed. And this compulsive “tic” wouldn’t go away, so I went to see a doctor this week. She said I probably had some anxiety disorder (condition? issue? I don’t even know, she wasn’t so clear) and prescribed me lorazepam, told me to come back in two weeks, and if it works then she will put me on three months of anti-depressants. Which sounds massively excessive to me and frankly outright scary.
    I was wondering if any of you had any good resources, blogs etc to share that I could learn a bit more about this kind of thing. I don’t live in the States, but in a culture where mental health is NEVER talked about. It might be a cliché about the US (I’ve only ever read on US blogs about anything to do with medicating anxiety, never one mention of it in any form of media or culture here), but I think you guys are a bit more open about this kind of thing and so you might have some wisdom to share.
    Cheers and happy Friday

    • For starters…are you getting enough sleep, eating a well balanced diet, and exercising for 30+ minutes 3 times per week? Maybe throw in a bit of mindfulness meditation? If you’re doing all this, then maybe go see a therapist, if you aren’t already. Even one of those online Skype ones might help. Talk is a nice stress reliever. Medication might still end up being your answer, but you might as well try all the other stuff if you’re just trying to stop over-blinking.

      • anonforthis

        Ok thanks for your balanced responses, which albeit being on the internet, were very different from the “ohmygodish” responses of my close family.
        Yes I’m pretty covered on the “sleep well, eat well, exercise” front. I’m a pretty healthy person, cook a lot, do yoga, go running, dance in my kitchen, have a good bunch of mates and very supportive partner. Which is why it feels a bit frustrating because I’m doing the right stuff.
        Thanks for your advice, much appreciated.

    • raccooncity

      Understanding that doctors aren’t as easy to come by as people make them out to be, and that the internet is full of overwhelming amounts of opinion and anecdote, let me tell you the most precious advice in terms of medically advocating for yourself: keep track of your symptoms from day 1 in written form. It will help you track patterns, decide objectively if you feel better, and have proof of what’s happening in a language your doctor speaks.

      I’d try the prescription, often they are front-loaded and tapered off, but tracking your symptoms positive and negative will help you advocate for yourself, whatever the outcome is after one month. (Or whenever)

      ETA: and don’t be afraid to say no or ask why.

    • Violet

      Heya, similar-not-same experience to share. During our engagement, I got an eye twitch. That would not go away. Persisted past the wedding and into newlywed year. Infuriating. Knew it was stress (like you, I had grad school to consider, then graduating, getting married, moving, partner beginning grad school, and a nice looooong new commute for me as sole earner. Anywho, my therapist and I worked on the very obvious anxiety that would go along with those things. We were finally at our wit’s end and she suggested acupuncture. I’m not gonna get into my impressions on CAM in general here, but let’s just say I was really desperate to try it. Found an acupuncturist who was more than willing to hear me out, through all my objections, requests for evidence, etc. And guess what? It worked. Eye twitch, done. Took about 6 sessions, but there you go. After I’d endured it for, no joke, over a year.
      A smaller twitch came back, I dunno, a year after that. Because, as you note, stress. Whatever. Went back to the acupuncturist for two sessions; cleared right up.
      Anyway, I commiserate. You’re not abnormal. Our bodies respond to stressful life events. Good for you for looking for things to help, and keep at it until you find what works for you!

    • Amy March

      So, I think if you’re having physical symptoms of stress, a prescription isn’t necessarily massively excessive and doesn’t need to be scary. It’s just a tool to help your body manage the stress. Obviously you don’t have to take it, but it might be worth trying, and maybe combining with some other stress reduction techniques. I know personally my downfall with stress is that I convince myself the only way to cope with the stress is to do all of the work right away, and I forget about the importance of things like getting enough sleep, going for walks, and quiet time for my mental health. Medication can be a tool just like any of those to help with stress.

    • emilyg25

      Keep up with the prescription for now and find a therapist who specializes in cognitive behavioral therapy. It can be very effective for anxiety.

      • Seconded for CBT.

    • Sarah McClelland

      Okay. One of my best friends wrote openly and candidly about her anxiety here, and does so in a way that makes me so glad to know her, but also just really glad to be able to share because we don’t address these things well in public forums: https://katiebugrose.wordpress.com

      And I second pretty much all of what is being said. Personally, therapy and medication were what it took to get me back on track in a time of anxiety/depression. So I don’t knock the pills, especially since they help, and I had already tried everything else I knew to try.

      • anonforthis

        Thanks for this! This blog is excellent.

  • Elizabeth

    Our first anniversary is on Monday and I just dropped the last thank-you card I have been meaning to do FOR NINE MONTHS in the mail. I’m glad I finally got my shit together, but I’m not proud

    • Amy March

      Way to go!

    • Good work! I’m in a similar boat. Our anniversary is next month and I’m still grinding out my last few.

  • anon

    I’d love advice/experience on handling a cheating brother-in-law. He had a (long) affair, which he denied but ultimately came out. For the past year, my family (parents/sibling) and I have been supporting my sister emotionally and financially (as necessary), and it seemed she was finally ready to divorce him (in addition to the affair, he is a lying, manipulative jerk — she acknowledged this winter). Then his mistress breaks off the affair and he re-enters my sister’s life, and after over a year of her begging, he finally agrees to go to couples counseling. Ultimately, whatever happens with their relationship is going to be up to them. I get that.

    BUT now she wants him to come to family events and acts like it’s no big deal. I know I’m supposed to be empathetic and let them hash out their issues and kill with kindness. But I don’t like him, I don’t think he’s remorseful (pattern of dishonesty), and while the greatest toll has been on her, it’s had an impact on the rest of us — in time, in money, in emotions, in disrupting family vacations, in making us lie to avoid revealing the problems to anyone else (per my sister’s request). My sibling hates BIL with a passion I’ve rarely seen before. My parents are angry that he was so hurtful to their daughter (not to mention, he hasn’t seen or communicated with any of us in over a year).

    Bottom line: Do we pretend it’s ok? Do we say something (to her? to him?)? What’s the line between being supportive (good) and enabling (bad)?

    • TeaforTwo

      I think you just keep repeating to yourself what you already know, because you said it: “Ultimately, whatever happens with their relationship is going to be up to them.”

      Marriage is long, and it’s complicated, and nobody on the outside knows what it’s like to be on the inside. I think you can be supportive of your sister in your conversations with her by doing a lot of really good listening. As for your BIL, you certainly don’t have to like him, but you do have to be polite to him, because…what good is going to come out of anything else? It’s your sister he wronged, and that’s up to them to sort out. Voicing your objections might feel good to you, but it won’t help either of them with the process of deciding whether to reconcile or separate.

      It sucks, and I’m sorry. I think we all know someone who is married to someone else we can’t stand for one reason or another, but I’m not sure anything good ever comes of saying that.

      • MC

        Yes to this. Also, if you haven’t seen it, this “comfort in, dump out” graphic has been really helpful for me in thinking about these things: http://articles.latimes.com/2013/apr/07/opinion/la-oe-0407-silk-ring-theory-20130407

        If BIL continues to be a jerk and you find that you can’t just be an objective listener for your sister, which I totally understand, I would focus your concerns on how you feel seeing her hurt, rather than how you feel about the BIL. So instead of saying, “I hate how he does xyz,” something like, “I hate seeing you so upset when he does xyz.” So that she knows you’re on her side instead of making it you vs. them.

        • anon

          Thanks for both of these comments. I can definitely focus concerns on hating how it affects her, rather than on his behavior. I think the tricky thing with not saying anything to her is that she has told me that she has told him that we’ll welcome him back…and while I’m willing to be civil, welcome feels a little strong. So I am worried that by not saying anything to her, she’ll be living in fantasyland and when we’re civil but not more than that, it could come crashing down. But I suppose that may just have to be a risk.

          I’m a big fan of comfort in, dump out. What’s been hard in this case is that she explicitly asked all of us to not talk about it to anyone else, which makes it tough to dump anywhere. It sort of becomes comfort in, hold on….

    • gonzalesbeach

      Carolyn Hax recently had advice similar scenario – although it was infidelity, soon-to-be-divorce but not til after the school year and still have the(sister in the Hax scenario)- in-law at family events. the advice might be different because there are kids involved and it was more about supporting the kids, but she did say that LW could set boundaries with their sibling and didn’t have to invite the in-law to their home. She said “You can of course express your concerns and even set limits in private conversation with your brother. You can exercise your prerogative not to invite your sister-in-law to your home, for example. You can promise civility but not acting. Discretion but not fiction.”

      • emilyg25

        Yes, civility, but not warmth or friendliness. Just cool politeness.

        • anon

          Yeah, I think cool politeness is ultimately where I’m at. I can handle that but not anything more. I do love Carolyn Hax, I’ll need to find that column :)

  • Cellistec

    You guys. I’m DONE with this election season. Somehow it’s bringing out the worst in people without also bringing out the best. I feel like every day there’s another article about a state congress passing some bigoted, backwards law, or a political candidate saying something terrible to pander to bigots, or someone close to me revealing bigoted tendencies I never expected. And because people think loud = right, the problem only compounds over time. It’s exhausting. It simultaneously makes me want to fight and hide.

    • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

      Yup. I’ve hidden more people and pages than I’ve ever done before. I normally don’t mind a little political debate, but I just can’t deal with this election. I think I might take a Facebook break this fall. I cannot handle it anymore!

      • Cellistec

        Yup, I’ve been hiding people from my FB feed too. But bigotry is allowed to flourish when non-bigots are silent, so I increasingly feel the need to call out the bigots when I see them.

        • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

          For sure. I struggle with when to engage, and when not to, and it’s increasingly more difficult!

    • OliveMC

      I’m so over it too. Growing up in a home that didn’t discuss politics, and then realizing half of my family supports a certain candidate I consider to be an overall terrible person has made me want to go live under a rock.

    • MC

      Yes yes yes. Like WTF is going on in the Oklahoma state legislature this week?!!!? Also someone on my friend’s FB is arguing that there is no difference between Hillary and Trump – which, no.

      • Cellistec

        I knoooooow. Dammit, Oklahoma. This is why we can’t have nice things. Or bodily autonomy.

        • MC

          Well, the good news is that the Governor just vetoed the law that would make performing abortion a felony – phew.

          • Cellistec

            Really? A step in the right direction, I guess…probably soon to be totally erased by a tidal wave of similar bills and rights erosion. *headdesk*

  • Cellistec

    Also, a link I almost forgot to share: the story baffled me until I realized I guess it’s the downside of a single-payer healthcare system? http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/woman-who-never-wanted-children-wins-nhs-sterilisation-battle-a7030481.html

    • Amy March

      I think it can actually be quite difficult to find a doctor willing to perform a sterilization on a 26 year old woman (how old it seems like she would have been when she started requesting it) in the US too. Even if your insurance is willing to cover it, which they may not be since it is an elective procedure, you still have to convince a doctor to perform it, and I think there’s a strong sentiment that they aren’t in favor of a permanent solution when people change their minds. Which I think is paternalistic and wrong, but not necessarily connected to the single-payer issue.

      • Cellistec

        True- a friend of mine who was sterilized in her 20s has said as much. The article made it sound like the barrier was more than a matter of not being able to find a willing physician, but on second reading maybe I oversimplified it.

        • raccooncity

          I think, if anything, single-payer systems take out a lot of the red tape when it comes to coverage (the US’s health system administrative costs are HUGE compared to single-payer countries). In Canada, either a procedure is covered for you in your province, or it isn’t…because it’s standard rules everywhere in a jurisdiction it’s real quick to find out. If it’s not, you can pay for it or you can have a long battle to get legislation passed to have it covered. The issue of doctors choosing based on their ‘preferences’ not to do certain procedures is the same issue in either kind of system.

          The article is super vague (rather, gives zero information) about whether this person simply couldn’t find a willing doctor or whether she wasn’t covered and wanted the procedure for free and needed to tough that out with the NHS. It’s possible they had rules on who was covered and she wasn’t included d/t her age.

          • Cellistec

            Interesting…I didn’t realize until I read this that my assumptions about single-payer healthcare, including the Canadian system, are pretty out of whack. Thanks for the education!

    • EF

      Hi, lawyer in Britain here. What this is about is mostly the NHS rules on elective surgeries, which this one ultimately is. You have to get your GP (and specialist, so OBGYN here) to say they recommend a course of treatment. If it’s way out of the norm (like sterilisation in your 20s) it will go to what is basically NHS ethics board. They make the first call, and in this case it seems their first call was ‘she is too young.’
      So you can appeal what the board says. This takes a lot of time, and can take a lot of money too. The case can go all the way up to judicial review if needed, which I don’t think it did here — but that’s usually for really expensive things, like when the NHS turns down trying an experimental million-£ procedure on a cancer patient with only a 10% chance of success. Sure, they could fund that, but then they’ve got to figure out how to take care of all these other patients, too.
      Anyway, it sounds like, based on it being only 3-4 years from first appointment to sterilisation, the appeals board sided with her. It’s not actually that much red tape, and it’s not about finding the doctor who will do it, it’s about getting the hospital to approve the procedure in the first place.

      I’ll defend the NHS forever, though. Having lived and almost died in the USA without health insurance, to go to the NHS has been amazing and so, so freeing. Could they improve? Oh, sure. But it’s a great system.

      • Alice

        I so agree. As an American studying here in Scotland, I am forever defending the NHS. Does it have some issues? Definitely. Are the buildings all shiny and new? Nope. But, when it comes down to it, I can walk into a doctor and get care, for free (and prescriptions, too, in Scotland). End of story. It means that if I get hit by a bus tomorrow, I won’t be in debt for the rest of my life trying to pay medical bills. I remember getting a simple UTI in the states, with half-decent health insurance, and winding up paying around $120 in deductibles and co-pays two months later, which was an awful lot of money on my recent-graduate salary.

      • Cellistec

        Fascinating! Thanks for the insight. So sorry your experience in the US without health insurance was so terrible; it truly is a tragedy how one’s life can depend on whether one has insurance, or what kind, or where. I’m glad you survived our system.

  • Giselle

    I haven’t posted about much (perpetual lurker here for a couple years) but we bought an abandoned house in 2014 to rehab – then our contractor quit returning calls at 75% complete and the past 4 months have been long and hard. Trying to find a new contractor, from across the country where I now live, to to finish the house has been rough. Taking on almost twice as much debt to finish it, because it turns out it is expensive to finish someone else’s meh job, is rough too. (You better believe we’re taking legal action.)

    BUT when it is done, and we fly back, get married, and welcome wedding guests on this beautiful porch as newlyweds to a backyard reception, and dance under the magnolia tree, and have an investment property in a revitalizing neighborhood. That, will be worth it. My HH news, our new contractor starts in 2 weeks and said he would be done by the wedding. :D

    • StevenPortland

      I cannot even imagine tackling a rehab from long distance. We bought a tiny cabin last year and the minor rehab on that about drove me crazy.

    • BDubs

      OMG that’s amazing! You’re preparing your wedding location and you’re going to LIVE THERE!

  • Camille

    It’s been a really rough week. Our beloved kitty Mindy escaped from our apartment and was hit by a car in front of us (the driver didn’t even stop!) and we had to put her to sleep. We’re both devastated. I’m feeling so many emotions at once and as soon as I think I’m on my way back to feeling close to normal my brain starts playing the awful last moments again. I keep hoping I’ll wake up and it will all have been a bad dream. She was just the sweetest, most perfect little cat. I went back to work today hoping that a normal routine would help but I kept having to take breaks to cry. I’d appreciate any recommendations of silly mindless television or movies to watch to give us something else to think about. Hope everyone else is having a happier time!

    • Lawyerette510

      I’m so sorry about Mindy. Internet hugs!

      • Camille

        Thank you! ❤️

    • Ashlah

      Oh my god, I’m so sorry! It’s horrible to lose a pet at all, let alone under such traumatic circumstances. I hope karma comes back to bite that driver in the ass–I can’t believe they didn’t even stop! How heartless. Sending massive love your direction. I hope you have a relaxing weekend spent reminiscing about Mindy when appropriate, and taking your mind off it when you need. I brought up the Great British Bake Off/Baking Show downthread, and I think it fits that bill perfectly. I also like to bask in the nostalgia of shows I watched as a kid (Mr. Rogers is especially soothing) when I’m feeling down and can’t process much.

      • Camille

        Thank you so much, it really means a lot. I watched a season of Great British Bakeoff and loved it, I’ll have to check out the other seasons. Mister Rogers is a great idea too!

        • emmers

          Parks and rec is always my comfort food, along with the Office, and Friends. I’ve also found phone or online games a good distraction when I’m coping with something bad & want to check out. I’m sorry for your loss.

    • emilyg25

      I’m so sorry. That’s a horrible, horrible way to lose a furry friend.

    • Eenie

      That is horrible. I’m so sorry.

    • rg223

      Oh, how awful. I’m sorry for your loss.

    • Alice

      So sorry to hear that. It’s never easy to lose a friend, but is so much harder when it’s unexpected. Hang in there.

  • Lawyerette510

    Our 14-year-old terrier was just diagnosed with diabetes after a few weeks of him being very out of sorts. We gave him his first insulin injection today but then had to leave him at the vet to stay for a week because we’re going out of town and couldn’t cancel. On the one hand it’s good because we can manage his condition and he should be back to his old self, but on the other hand it’s overwhelming to think about how this is going to impact our day-to-day flexibility and our financial lives. *Sigh*

    • Eenie

      Aw poor guy! A friend had a dog with diabetes and he lived a wonderful life.

    • Ashlah

      Oh, that’s no fun at all! My mom’s dog was diagnosed with diabetes about a year ago. It was a rough transition at first, but now that they’ve established a routine it’s just a normal part of life. She does have to make sure she has someone willing and able to do the shots when she travels, but other than that, she makes it work. And pup is much happier and healthier now that she’s getting what she needs! It seems like a potential blessing that your dog is staying at the vet for the first week–it might minimize the time it takes to figure out the right insulin dosage. Sorry you’re all going through that, best of luck with it all.

    • Alice

      Sorry to hear that. We had a diabetic cat who we kept going for five years with a great quality of life on twice-daily insulin. He actually got to the point where he’d come and beg for his shot when he knew it was almost time! It can be quite a big expense, and definitely requires more competent pet-sitters when you leave, but a stable diabetic can be pretty easy to manage once you get used to it. Having a good vet helps, so try and make sure they spend some real time with you to talk about managing him once you’re back from your trip. Good luck!

  • Shawna

    We get married next Saturday! It is feeling VERY VERY real, ya’ll. My grandparents arrived today and will be staying until I walk in acupuncture school graduation the following weekend (even though I’m already licensed and all – there’s only one graduation per year). I don’t think I’ll be able to start work first thing in June as I had hoped because I have not been able to sort out malpractice paperwork and last minute wedding prep at the same time. Geez. But it’s ok. We have the month of June before we go off on honeymoon so I can use that as a prep month if I have to and hit the ground running when I get back.

    I’m feeling pretty good, but there was a sticky point when I picked up my dress and it didn’t fit. It’s since been fixed (we hadn’t accounted for the tightening of the bodice when you add cups in the last fitting), but my mom chose that moment to ask, “Did you put on weight?”

    Well, yes. Yes I have. It has been an insanely stressful year what with excruciating foot pain and an end to my dance career, finishing a grueling masters program, studying for and passing four board exams, and planning a wedding with a partner who was searching for a new job because his existing job was full of people who treated him like crap and so I’m 20 pounds heavier than I’d like to be, thanks for reminding me. However, in this case, it’s because the dress does not fit my RIB CAGE (which, thankfully my lovely dressmaker fixed by letting out the side seam and zipper and all is now dandy).

    It’s just…really, mom? Maybe that’s why I didn’t take you dress shopping. Oh, yes. Definitely why. Every time I do something fun and different with fashion she and my sister choose it as a time to remind me that I don’t look good. But I’m having fun! I don’t want to live in jeans and t-shirts anymore! I never tried fashion trends in high school and now I’m enjoying statement necklaces, weird color combinations, and new silhouettes. Maybe I’m just trying to distract my brain from going, “hey, you’re totally out of shape and don’t fit into a lot of the clothes you used to like” by trying new things. Somehow I have to convince myself that I’m not going to look back at wedding photos and see my arms lack definition and you can see the weight gain in my face.

    Anyway, rant over. I got supportive footwear to cushion my dead metatarsals and am back at dance after a year so exercising with my friends and former company members is helping. That, and I have the best partner and I get to marry him in 8 days!!!

    • Lisa

      Congratulations on your upcoming nuptials!! I’m sorry about the family situation and the injury that’s contributed to you stopping dancing. We can only do the best we can, and it sounds like your mom isn’t taking the full context into consideration. I’m sure you will be a beautiful bride this weekend!

      • Shawna

        Thanks, Lisa! Definitely needed a place to rant last week. Doing better now, but I know there’ll be lots of ups and downs over the next few days!

    • BDubs

      Congratulations! You’re at the finish line!
      Weddings and engagements bring out the absolute WORST in people, and I can’t tell you why.
      Try to let your mom’s comment (or rather foot-in-mouth-syndrome) roll off your back.
      Feeling good is looking good. You will not regret your wedding photos if you decide, right here today, I’m happy and I love my spouse-to-be. Everything else doesn’t matter.
      xoxo

      • Shawna

        <3

  • Michellewmorgan2

    “my room mate Lori Is getting paid on the internet $98/hr”…..!ti396urtwo days ago grey MacLaren. P1 I bought after earning 18,512 Dollars..it was my previous month’s payout..just a little over.17k Dollars Last month..3-5 hours job a day…with weekly payouts..it’s realy the simplest. job I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months. ago. and now making over hourly. 87 Dollars…Learn. More right Here !ti396u:➽:➽:.➽.➽.➽.➽ http://GlobalSuperJobsReportsEmploymentsFairGetPay-Hour$98…. .★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★::::::!ti396u….,….

  • Kara E

    Ahh, yes. The bathroom storage issue. All I’m going to say is that in our 4 bedroom, 4 bath house (yeah, I know it’s huge), we have zero sinks with cabinets. Zero. Yay 1930s house + weird previous owners? Good luck though, Meg, what a pain.

  • Rebecca

    I got engaged on Thursday! I’ve been lurking here for over two years, occasionally having to take sanity breaks because I got too excited about a marriage that wasn’t approaching yet, but now I’m officially allowed to read everything, buy the books, jump up and down and marry my awesome person of over 6 years!
    Got pretty happy-teary when I realised our dog gets to grow old with both of us, but otherwise handling it pretty smoothly so far…

    • Rebekah Abeja

      Ahhh congratulations!

  • Danaemiller4

    “my room mate Lori Is getting paid on the internet $98/hr”…..!te50urtwo days ago grey MacLaren. P1 I bought after earning 18,512 Dollars..it was my previous month’s payout..just a little over.17k Dollars Last month..3-5 hours job a day…with weekly payouts..it’s realy the simplest. job I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months. ago. and now making over hourly. 87 Dollars…Learn. More right Here !te50u:➽:➽:.➽.➽.➽.➽ http://GlobalSuperJobsReportsEmploymentsArticleGetPay-Hour$98…. .★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★::::::!te50u….,..

  • …4
  • AmandaBee

    Okay, I totally already posted this weekend AND I’m late for HH, but I was wondering if anyone has suggestions for fun-but-inexpensive honeymoons.

    Since fiance lost his job we’ve scraped together the money for the wedding, but there’s not a ton left for a honeymoon. But especially with the super intense year we’ve had (and my extra-busy year to come), it would be wonderful to spend a long weekend somewhere. We’re looking into budget airlines, camping somewhere – really, anything is on the table as long as it’s relatively relaxing and fun. We can travel cheaply, but are just trying to decide on a destination. We’re in the Midwest – anyone have suggestions for destinations?

    • Amy March

      Michigan? If you’re going in summer there are tons of cute towns along Lake Michigan, good camping, enough to explore but not overwhelming for a long weekend.

      Or depending on where you are in the Midwest Nashville might be in reasonable driving distance but feel culturally farther away?

      Or cross into Canada if you’re farther North and look into camping on an island you access by canoe, which feels romantic and different, but not extravagant?

      • AmandaBee

        Thanks for the suggestions! Michigan sounds nice – not too far, since we’re in Ohio, but far enough. Any suggestions for specific towns? Googling seems hit-or-miss on finding info about smaller towns along the lake.

        Nashville is nice – we went about a year ago and considered going again, but wanted to go somewhere new. A road trip that includes Nashville and nearby areas is on the table though.

        • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

          Lexington is about an hour and 20 minutes from Detroit, and it’s adorable- there are a handful of sweet B&Bs, and a couple little restaurants. If you’re up for a bit more of a drive (4ish hours from Ohio), Mackinac Island is absolutely lovely! The drive up Michigan goes pretty quickly, since it’s I-75 the entire way. I highly recommend it!

        • Maggie Dragon

          Are you beer people? Kalamazoo is a fantastic town for that— Bell’s is the big name, but I would also recommend checking out One Well and Rupert’s.

        • I spent a week with my family in Cross Village last summer — it was lovely. It is only 30 minutes from the ferry to Mackinac Island, so it made for an easy daytrip. (Staying on/near Mackinac Island would definitely *not* be cheap in the summer.) Cross Village itself doesn’t have much going on — one amazingly eccentric Polish restaurant and a couple of gift shops is about it. (The only grocery store type option was a gas station.) Harbor Springs is a bigger town in that general area, with a nice farmer’s market and more cafes, shops, etc. It’s still close enough to Mackinac for a daytrip.

    • Lisa

      From Ohio, I’d suggest considering Chicago, Nashville (IN)/Brown County, the Dunes in northern IN, Traverse City (MI), or Mackinac Island. Depending on where in OH, you could also feasibly consider something like Niagara Falls or Canada. If you are drinkers, you might also consider the Bourbon Trail in Kentucky; there are lots of cute B&Bs along the way. I hope some of these are helpful!

  • Rebeccajsanders2

    “my room mate Lori Is getting paid on the internet $98/hr”…..!te317urtwo days ago grey MacLaren. P1 I bought after earning 18,512 Dollars..it was my previous month’s payout..just a little over.17k Dollars Last month..3-5 hours job a day…with weekly payouts..it’s realy the simplest. job I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months. ago. and now making over hourly. 87 Dollars…Learn. More right Here !te317u:➽:➽:.➽.➽.➽.➽ http://GlobalSuperJobsReportsEmploymentsOrderGetPay-Hour$98…. .★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★::::::!te317u….,…

  • A

    I just got my wedding photos back and–wtf–there were only TWO posed photos of my new husband and me. I asked if there were any more and got 2 subpar ones. I don’t like any of the limited posed photos of us and am so sad about it. We are thinking of doing a re-shoot just so we have something to frame but I would like to look the same if possible and just chopped off all my hair. I could use extensions to get the same updo look but I’m not sure if it is possible to re-capture the essence of the day. Has anyone else dealt with a similar situation? I’m so disappointed and feel like I should have been clearer in my requests, but who the hell has to request photos of the bride and groom on their wedding day?