On Sharing Time: How Much Did You Spend on Presents This Year?

1. Around $460. Will probably spend another $50 for my grandparents. 2. $130--this was the first gift I bought, and it was on mega-sale, so those two factors combined to me spending more than intended. But, it's a nice present! 3. $17 for some stacking mugs for my brother's studio apartment. 4. Not really? I had a general idea and mostly stuck to it. 5. I overspent a bit, but I wanted to be generous with my folks since they paid for my wedding this year. 6. Nope. 7. I'm happy with the gifts and I hope the recipients are, too! What I should NOT have done is get suckered into buying so much stuff for myself during black Friday/other holiday sales.

Posted on December 19, 2014 at 2:03 pm 0

On Getting Cold Feet About Your Wedding ... Dress

Prudie's commenters were way harsh on this poor woman (surprise!). Like, telling the fiance he should get out while he can. Wedding dresses are expensive! I'm a pretty confident person, and never have I felt more threatened by societal messages about image than during wedding planning. When you make a purchase that big that impacts your appearance, and are already feeling insecure, buyer's remorse is not surprising. It happens to otherwise perfectly reasonable people. Your advice is much better, Ester. Alterations!!

Posted on December 12, 2014 at 11:47 am 0

On How To Define Productive: A "Do 1 Thing" Inspired Meditation

this question bugs me all the time. i realize that, by deciding to work full time and go to grad school part time plus, like, be married and have friends and try to care for myself and my home, i am setting myself up to always be found wanting. i can't really judge my productivity by "did i do everything i need to do?" because there is ALWAYS more to do. i never quite understand people who say "well, if i finish all my work, i should be able to leave work early" because there is always more work to do! when does one decide they're "done"? idk. i solve this problem by driving myself crazy and sacrificing self-care.

Posted on December 11, 2014 at 6:50 pm 0

On Even With Healthcare, We Can't Always Get Doctors

@moreadventurous They're really great. I often don't go to my primary care doc for anything but annual checkups. If I feel like crap because I have a sinus infection RIGHT NOW, I don't want to wait three days to get an appointment. I'll just go sit for an hour in the urgent care place and walk out with some antibiotics.

Posted on December 11, 2014 at 2:27 pm 0

On Even With Healthcare, We Can't Always Get Doctors

@moreadventurous I do use my gyno for a lot of my needs, too. And urgent care clinics are definitely a thing in Illinois!

Posted on December 11, 2014 at 2:22 pm 0

On Even With Healthcare, We Can't Always Get Doctors

Well, I'm on a PPO, so I can go to pretty much whoever I want. I haven't changed my primary care doctor since I picked her, though. I think I just picked Northwestern because it's close to my office and well regarded, called their primary care practice, they set me up with her, and I liked her. Northwestern (and a lot of other universities) have doctor profiles listed, so when I need to find a specialist for a condition, I read up on them and try to find one who specializes/does research on it.

Posted on December 11, 2014 at 2:21 pm 0

On Holiday Shopping Stories

@ATF We had a weekly marketplace in 5th grade where we sold, like, friendship bracelets and our parents' castoff items to our classmates with fake currency. It was supposed to be a lesson in money management--we also had a fake bank and fake checkbooks to balance. Anyway, I bought my mom a gravy boat there and she STILL uses it. It's actually a pretty nice gravy boat.

Posted on December 2, 2014 at 2:38 pm 1

On The Joy of Holiday Travel

I booked my flight back in October for a hair under $400, which isn't terrible for Chicago to Florida and back. At least it'll be warmer there.

Posted on December 2, 2014 at 2:31 pm 0

On Hacks for the Worst Airports in America

O'Hare hot tip: go to a Frontera Fresco.

Posted on November 26, 2014 at 11:36 am 0

On Zillow Is My Pinterest: On Buying A House Before 30

@lemonhead3159 @Tripleoxer Ya, maybe there's some down payment assistance program going on here...

Posted on November 24, 2014 at 4:52 pm 0