We have an open thread all day today on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
Do you have a neighborhood bar or hangout? Describe it for us. Do you wish you had one? What would it be like?
We have an open thread all day today on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
Do you have a neighborhood bar or hangout? Describe it for us. Do you wish you had one? What would it be like?
I’ve only recently noticed more cases of family estrangement, both among people I know and among celebrities, and I agree with the myths as explained in this article. No family is immune, and for the first time I’ve considered the possibility that this could happen in my nuclear family. It’s sobering.
What are your thoughts?
Instead of diving into a list of New Year’s resolutions, Gretchen Rubin suggests a Year-End Review with Myself. One part of the review process involves making an end-of-year ta-da list. It might inspire you to visualize priorities for the coming year.
In episode 134 of the “Happier” podcast, for our weekly “Try This at Home” tip, Elizabeth and I suggested making a ta-da list. Make a list of everything you’ve already accomplished. You’re often pleasantly surprised and energized to see how much you’ve done, and giving yourself credit for your efforts often make it easier to keep going.
What’s on your 2017 ta-da list? Does it inspire you to build on any specific accomplishments for 2018?
Related, what were your best and worst financial moves in 2017? Which purchases and financial planning actions were winners, and which were losers?
Tom Sietsema ate three times each at the top 10 full-service chains, and tells you what’s good — and what’s not
I do not disagree with his number one pick. What about you? Your favorites and your most disliked? Or do you avoid them altogether? What are your favorite restaurants of any type?
On the heels of the holiday music topic from yesterday, today we can discuss cookies and other holiday sweets.
Frosted sugar cookies are included in my favorites. I go for the rustic look with no sprinkles or other decorations that take away from the basic cookie and frosting combination.
What are your favorite cookies? Is baking cookies a holiday tradition? Do you give sweets as gifts? Which cookies remind you of your childhood? Which are your least favorite? Please share your favorite recipes. And feel free to discuss other holiday recipes.
During a recent dinner conversation I found a sharp division between generations on the topic of sharing salary numbers. Older employees thought secrecy was a good idea but younger ones thought transparency was best.
Ask Me How Much Money I Make: Pay Gets More Transparent
Nearly half of millennials surveyed said they talk about their compensation with friends, compared with 36% of Americans overall
Managing a generation of young people inclined to share relationship statuses and meal photos on social media requires employers to adjust the way they approach compensation, experts say.
“Pay and promotions are not secretive topics anymore,” says Mary Ann Sardone, who consults with large employers on compensation issues and leads the workforce-rewards practice at benefits consultant Mercer, a unit of Marsh & McLennan Co MMC 1.33% s.
“Companies are spending more time ensuring their pay decisions are fair, and highlighting career paths under the assumption that the information is going to be widely shared,” she says….
When Cameron Feenstra received a job offer this summer from Prattle Analytics, a St. Louis-based research firm, the first thing the 22-year-old did was call his sister. Although he was willing to take a below-market salary for the chance to work at a fast-growing startup, Mr. Feenstra wanted to ensure that his offer of $42,000 was a fair annual salary for his role as a junior quantitative analyst.
After talking about salaries with friends and family, and consulting anonymous career and salary-sharing websites such as Glassdoor, Mr. Feenstra decided to negotiate for more money, even though it was his first real job in the field.
“People who don’t ask around never learn how to negotiate, because they don’t know where everyone else is” in terms of salary as a reference point, Mr. Feenstra says. He got a pay bump to $45,000 before accepting the offer.
The attitude shift has put greater pressure on employers to explain why some workers are paid more than others and to formalize compensation and promotion practices, says Kristina Launey, a partner at law firm Seyfarth Shaw LLP, which specializes in labor and employment issues.
What do you think? Secrecy or transparency? Do you believe that secrecy helps perpetuate the gender wage gap? Do you share salary information with co-workers, friends, or extended family members?
Do you want to share, at least anonymously?
- Take-out menus.
- Sugar packets.
- Parmesan cheese and red pepper packets from pizza deliveries.
- Decorative bottles of herb-infused olive oil.
- Duplicate salad tongs.
- All but one each of large, medium, and small spatulas.
- Half-used candles.
- Magnets you’re intending to fix.
- Advertising magnets.
- Kids’ meal toys, including character cups.
- Extra napkins you picked up from the burger joint.
- Ketchup packets.
- Chipped mugs.
- Aunt Jane’s highball glasses that you never, ever get down from the top shelf.
- The George Foreman grill you’ve used twice in the history of your decade-long marriage.
- Anything more than four hot pads.
- Stained or holey dish towels.
- All but five of the nice glass jar food containers and lids you’ve been hoarding.
- The serving platter that you never liked but kept because it was a gift.
- Take-out chopsticks.
- Extra whisks.
- Duplicate ice cream scoops.
- The cheese slicer.
- Old water bottles that you never reach for.
- Tupperware without lids.
- Lids without tupperware.
- Duplicate can openers.
- Duplicate garlic presses.
- Baby utensils you no longer need.
Any of these things hanging out in your kitchen right now?
If you have any of these items, can you justify keeping them? Any other kitchen things you know you should discard? On the other hand, what kitchen things are you missing or coveting?
We have an open thread all day.
This is the time of year for deciding on a health insurance plan and other employee benefits. It can be complicated. Our plan includes the use of a health advocate at no extra cost. Among the services offered are open enrollment assistance, care coordination, and assistance with complex medical conditions.
Have you completed your enrollment paperwork? Any questions or advice to offer?
Homeowners’ Shift Away From DIY Projects Dries Up Paint Profits
Rising incomes and a stronger housing market have many hiring professional painters
Homeowners are increasingly leaving painting to the pros, complicating business for paint makers and retailers…..
“More and more is being done by the professional painter,” said Dan Calkins, president of global sales at Benjamin Moore & Co. “People just don’t have the time.”
Nicole Buddin, a 31-year-old marketing manager in Chicago, recently hired pros to help paint her new house in the suburbs after she and her husband painted their condo in the city themselves three years ago.
“It’s just so time consuming,” she said. “We swore we wouldn’t do that again.”
Whether it’s home renovations, repairs, or maintenance, it seems the people around me are relying more on professionals. Maybe it’s because we’re getting older!
Have you noticed a “shift from DIY to do-it-for-me”? Did you used to do more around the house? Any DIY projects planned for this long Thanksgiving weekend? Is tomorrow’s meal DIY or do-it-for-me?
Let’s share holiday gift ideas.
I was prepared to hate everything about Oprah’s Favorite Things gift list, but when I saw a tempting cashmere sweater and the “Letters to Me, When I Grow Up” book for children, I got sucked in to thinking about shopping for a few items.
Are you shopping for any of these hot toys?
And then you have the minimalist approach.
Here’s an idea: what if you decide to gift only experiences this year? How much more memorable will your holidays be?
Consider these experiences: concert tickets, a home-cooked meal, tickets to a play or a musical, breakfast in bed, a back rub, a foot rub, a full-body massage, a holiday parade, walking or driving somewhere without a plan, spending an evening talking with no distractions, making-out under the mistletoe, visiting a festival of lights, cutting down a Christmas tree, watching a sunrise, skiing, snowboarding, sledding, dancing, taking your children to a petting zoo, making snow angels, making a batch of hot apple cider, taking a vacation together, watching a wintertime sunset.
What other experiences can you give to someone you care about?
Is this a trend?
Take a poll:
Does this graph match your experience?
Here are peak years for other parts of your life.
The age when you hit ‘peak loneliness’ – and other life milestones
A new study has found that 35 is the age at which men feel the most lonely. But when might you feel the most creative or content?
Of course each of us charts our own course for peaks and valleys so these broad conclusions can be meaningless for any one person. Are you on the fast track for some of these milestones but a late bloomer for others? Share your observations.
We have an open thread all day today.
For fun, check out your “opposite job”.
It can be hard choosing a home to buy, and sometimes mistakes are made. Do you know anyone who believes they chose poorly?
The Suburb of the Future, Almost Here
Millennials want a different kind of suburban development that is smart, efficient and sustainable.
Apparently millennials are still choosing suburban life, but suburban life is evolving. Do you agree with the changes described in this article? What other changes do you foresee?
The Best Places to Live in America
MONEY identified 100 spots that offer a healthy economy, affordable homes, and a high quality of life.
Did your town make the cut? Some local residents were “shocked” and “disappointed” that our area was not included.
Many of us would like to lose just a few pounds, maybe 10 pounds or less. Often the extra weight has slowly crept up slowly over the years.
At 6-foot-2 and 195 pounds, Mr. Edis, the chief executive and a founder of the smart-car start-up Dash, cuts an impressive figure to other people. But when he takes off his black V-neck T-shirt, he can see the extra pounds (he would like to be down to 185). And he is not fine with it.
Is Mr. Edis realistic? Many of us are in his shoes, wishing to lose just 5-10 pounds. Partly it may be because we wistfully remember our body’s glory days, roughly from the teen years to mid thirties, and we’d like to recreate some of those bygone images. Realistically it is nearly impossible for the average person to continue to weigh the same as they did back in their twenties so perhaps we should give up that hope once and for all.
Here’s someone else who’s gained a few pounds along the way.
What about you? Do you want to lose just a “few” pounds? Or do you believe that’s a fool’s errand and have accepted that you’ll probably carry that extra weight for the rest of your life? Some of us here have lost considerably more weight, or are currently working on losing more. Are you happy with your weight or do you fret about it?
Today we have an open thread all day.
Locally we celebrate Columbus Day in a big way, but I wonder if that will soon change.
Here’s the NYT’s opinion on how “symbols of hate” should be treated.
Should I throw out my Dr. Seuss books?
Today we have an open thread all day. What’s on your mind?
We have a Labor Day open thread all day.
Here’s something to try.
There are many cost of living rankings out there, but most of them give cost of living averages for the “average American household.” Here’s the issue – the “average American household” doesn’t exist. Income and expenses vary widely between a single millennial to a household of two parents and three kids. Our cost tool explores the costs and expenses of living in a place based on your own, specific needs.
The True Cost of Living tool allows you to add details like household size, income, occupation, and even food preferences.
Have you tried any “beyond the bounce house” party ideas? Or have you stayed with traditional, and even old fashioned, parties for your kids?
What are the best parties or get-togethers you or your kids have attended or hosted recently? Have you experienced some duds? Do you host or attend parties frequently? Or is that not your thing?
Although this quiz is imperfect and may reflect some bias, it can give you feedback on how well you know the financial aspects of retirement planning.
We have an open thread today all day.
Here’s a topic on my mind.
Many of you will be pleased that packing cubes are recommended. Right now I’m looking for a more efficient toiletry bag, one that hangs on a hotel door hook..
In shopping for a rolling bag recently I noticed that four wheels (spinners) seem more popular than two wheels. I prefer two wheels because it’s slightly more compact and I don’t notice the extra ease of a four-wheeler.
At what age did your children become mostly responsible for packing their own suitcases?
Students’ career paths after college are often surprising and difficult to predict given students’ majors. Not only do students from the same major transition into a surprising variety of occupations, they also earn very different incomes: to take one example, the 3.4 percent of English majors who become managers earn a median salary of $77,000, while the 8.3 percent of their counterparts who become elementary and middle school teachers earn $51,000. Different career paths and the associated earnings differences for students with the same college major are pervasive and important for understanding both the benefits of college majors and of college itself.
Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, we have calculated annual median earnings for men and women of various ages who have graduated with a particular major and entered a given occupation. For each group of college graduates, we show the most common types of jobs, as well as the fractions of graduates who are unemployed, out of the labor force, and employed full- or part-time. In addition, among each group of workers with a particular major, we show the range of annual earnings and the percent who obtained education beyond a bachelor’s degree for the most common types of jobs. This interactive is intended to be a resource for those who seek a better understanding of how their college major can be used, as well as those interested in how college specialization and the labor market interact.
You can play with the interactive charts at The Hamilton Project. Unfortunately these charts don’t take into account one of our favorite topics, college selectivity.
Open thread today all day. To start off, here’s a question for you.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve done for love?
That question comes from this Q&A a Day: 5-Year Journal.
The Q&A a Day Journal shows you what was going through your head each day—for five years of your life. Simply turn to today’s date, answer the question at the top of the page, and when you finish the journal, start over. As you return to the daily questions again over the years, you’ll notice how your answers change, or don’t!
So, what’t the craziest thing you’ve done for love? Did it work out well?
What do you think of this journal or other ones that allow the writer to jot down short entries? Do you keep a journal or sometimes wish you did?
… The seeds of resilience are planted in the way we process the negative events in our lives.
Sheryl Sandberg’s latest book is about building resilience. Have you heard of the “three P’s”?
… After spending decades studying how people deal with setbacks, psychologist Martin Seligman found that there are three Ps — personalization, pervasiveness, and permanence — that are critical to how we bounce back from hardship,” Sandberg said. …
Here are more details.
Resilience is a critical life skill. Some people seem to possess an abundance of resilience, but how much of it is is nurture and how much nature? In other words, how much can be taught? Do you think teaching about the three P’s can help? Looking around you at relatives, friends, colleagues, and others, do you understand why some are more resilient than others? Or is it mostly a mystery? What are your thoughts?
Something else to consider. Are totebaggers as a group highly resilient, or is it more that they have not been severely tested?
7 Questions Interesting People Always Ask in Conversations
Replace those typical (and boring, I may add) questions like ‘What do you do for a living?’ with these refreshing questions that lead to great conversations.
I’m not crazy about some of these questions, particularly the first one. Do you like these questions? Do you typically use them in conversations? What are some other good questions?
For fun, let’s get to know each other better and answer these questions in the comments. If you’re up for this, answer all seven or pick a few.
1. What’s your story?
2. What was the highlight of your day (or week)?
3. What is one of your most defining moments in life?
4. What book has influenced you the most?
5. What was your dream job growing up?
6. If you could know the absolute and total truth to one question, what question would you ask?
7. Why did you choose your profession?
This room evokes a mixture of nostalgia and horror from my childhood.
What are your thoughts on the good, the bad,and the ugly decorating styles through the years?
32 Unexpected Places You Should Be Cleaning In Your Home
I’ll admit our sliding-glass door tracks and my jewelry have not been cleaned in a long time. There are other places that I prefer not to think about.
Who knew it was a mistake to make your bed too often?
What cleaning mistakes do you make? Which places do you neglect to clean on a regular basis? Are you a clean freak, at least about some things? Or are you a slob? Or in between? Any cleaning tips to share? And tell us how you handle any family conflicts that arise from different preferences among household members.
Reason #2 has been mentioned here a few times.
I was fortunate that I loved my careers, if not always the specific jobs. I even loved many of the part-time jobs I had while going to school because they involved photography, which I enjoy and even considered as a career..
What about you? Do you love your career? Do you love your job? If not, why do you stick with it? What “passions” would be part of your fantasy jobs? What have you observed among people around you?