Please send your questions to I will select questions at random to answer Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. I will also post tips and reviews on things I think are important, so check back frequently.

Question from Disappointed in Colorado

Dear Lindsey,
My brother, sister-in-law, and their two children recently visited from out of state.  They stayed with my husband and I for 10 days and during that time, their 8 year old daughter, "Sally" was always "borrowing" things without permission.  It was made clear to both of the children that our bedroom and bathroom were off limits.  One day I found her in my bathroom playing with my designer make-up which she pretty much ruined.   She also took clothes out of my closet, went through my jewelry box, and even took money out of a savings jar I had stored in our closet.  When Sally got caught taking each of these things, her mother made her give them back, told her not to do it again, and did nothing more to punish her.  I tried to talk to my brother about this behavior and he just waffled and told me that his wife does the discipline.  I can't believe they let Sally get away with this type of behavior and do nothing about it.  I'm afraid she's going to grow up to be a kleptomaniac or partake in other worse behavior as she gets older.  How can I get through to my brother and sister-in-law that their lack of discipline is unacceptable?
-Disappointed in Colorado

Dear Disappointed in Colorado,
It sounds like your brother and sister-in-law need a wake up call!  This isn't the first time I've heard this type of scenario, and I don't understand why some parents are so lazy in the discipline area.  Children need boundaries and consequences to their actions.  Some parents want to be their childrens' friend and be a cool parent.  Well, kids are going to have enough friends their own age.  They don't need more friends, they need parents!
It isn't fair to you when your niece steals and destroys your things.  You are trying to do your family a favor by letting them stay with you while you visit and this type of behavior should be unacceptable to Sally's parents.  If they are unwilling to take action when Sally is acting up, then you have the right to discipline her yourself while she's under your roof.  If her parents don't like it, then you can ask them to stay in a hotel during their visits.
Maybe during their next visit or over the phone you can have a heart to heart discussion with Sally about why she is being such a brat and pulling a Winona Ryder in your house.  It may be an extension of something that is going on at home or school that your brother or sister-in-law hasn't told you about.  Many times when children act out it's because there's a bigger issue going on.
Sally is not your kid so ultimately you can not make parenting decisions.  All you can do is tell Sally's parents how you feel and hope they do something about it.  For future visits, tell them they can either keep their kid in check, stay in a hotel, or don't visit at all.  Maybe that will be enough to make them realize Sally's behavior is inappropriate and unwelcoming.
Lots of Love,

Question from Perturbed Parent

Dear Lindsey
I took all 4 of my kids (yes all 4) to a graduation.  I brought books, treats, you name it I brought my kids sat and played with their stuff and not one word was made the whole time. But across the way a woman had with her 1 child that screamed and cried the whole 2 hours. After the 2 hours were up this older woman came up to me and thanked me for keeping my kids under control, and then she walked over to the other woman and told her that she should take a lesson from me and keep her kid under control.
I felt really bad for the woman with the upset child. I don't think it is anyone's place to make a comment like that to someone.  I am sure the mom of the screaming kid was plenty embarrassed and really did not need it pointed out to them that her kid was a disruption.
Where do we draw the line on commenting on the way people parent their kids?
Dear Perturbed Parent,
It sounds like the old bag needs to mind her own business and not make an already difficult situation that much worse for a struggling parent.  I think any parent knows that children are going to melt down from time to time and a parent can only try to do the best they can to diffuse the situation.  The only time when a stranger needs to comment on another person's parenting skills is if it is a safety issue.  I'll admit, I've told a child to sit down when they are standing in a cart in the middle of Target and the mom is two aisles over looking at clothes.  That child could fall and crack their head and obviously no one else is paying attention to him.  If it's a situation like a melt down or temper tantrum, I'm sure the parent is already frustrated and ready to flip out so just shut your mouth, put in some ear plugs, and suck it up.
With that being said, I think parents need to know when to draw the line in public situations.  If your child is screaming for two hours straight, maybe you should have removed the child from the situation when you realized that there was no calming the child down.  Sometimes a change of scenery or another distraction can help the child to calm down.  If you can't make the child happy in the environment they are currently in, then you need to end the child's suffering and take them home.  I think most people understand that sometimes a child just can't be comforted enough to behave, and they understand if you need to bail on an important event. 
If I were that woman with the screaming child I would have told that lady, "Thanks for the advice.  Next time my child has a meltdown, I'll find you in the crowd and let you handle it since you obviously know better than I do.  Dumb ass!"
Lots of love,

Question from Annoyed at Work

Dear Lindsey,
I work with in a hospital department with a group of about 15 people.  I'm not particularly fond of two of my coworkers, one male and one female who'll I'll call Joe and Janice.  Don't get me wrong, they're nice people, but they're both a little on the bossy side and somewhat annoying.  The thing that bothers me about these two is that Joe brings Janice gifts all the time and she's a married woman.  He'll show up with chocolates, flowers, trinkets, and other small gifts. In return, she'll shower him with compliments and sexual innuendos.  She claims it's just harmless flirting and she would never act on any advances from Joe, but I think it's crossing a line.  Their obvious flirting bothers most of us in our department, but since both of them have somewhat overbearing personalities and we all want to avoid workplace conflict, no one will say anything to them.  How can we end this inappropriate behavior in our workplace?
Annoyed at Work

Dear Annoyed at Work,
It sounds like someone in your department needs to grow a pair and just tell these two that they're acting gross and inappropriate.  I understand not wanting to create an even more uncomfortable situation by calling them out, but if it's bothering you and the rest of your coworkers that much then it needs to end.
The best solution would be to let your supervisor know how you and your coworkers feel about these two love birds.  It should be your supervisor's responsibility to resolve conflicts, especially ones that are making the majority of the staff uncomfortable.  Just explain the situation and why you feel the way you do in a professional manner and let your supervisor know you'd like the issue resolved as soon as possible.
If for some reason your supervisor speaks to Joe and Janice and they still continue their inappropriate behavior, you can either try to talk to your boss again or start dropping some not so subtle hints that they are grossing you out.  You could ask Janice how her husband feels when she brings home these gifts.  That might make her realize that the gifts are inappropriate.  You could tell her there's a rumor going around that she and Joe are having an affair (even if there is no rumor) and it's being fueled by their constant flirting.  Maybe the embarrassment of being known as a cheater will knock some sense into her.
If subtleties don't work, then just come out and say it.  It sounds like your coworkers would back you up.  Maybe if a few of you confront Joe and Janice together you can tackle the issue.  There's strength in numbers when faced with a difficult situation.
If all else fails, you can pull a total jerk move and let Janice's husband in on what's been going on at work.  Maybe an anonymous email or phone call???  A pissed off husband can end this nonsense real quick.   
Lots of love,

Review of Mexican Everyday

For Mother's Day I asked for the cookbook Mexican Everyday by Rick Bayless.  You may have seen him on Top Chef Masters on Bravo TV.  He is AWESOME.  He is basically the king of Mexican cuisine and I'm pretty sure he's not even of Latin descent.
Last night I picked the recipe for tomatillo-sauced enchiladas with spinach and mushrooms and embarked on my culinary adventure.  I had read through the recipe before hand, but most of the time, when I'm using a famous chef's recipe I somehow get lost in the middle and end up screwing something up.  Usually what I make never looks like the picture in the book.  And the directions are somewhat difficult to follow so I kind of wing it towards the middle of the recipe.  Not this time!  I breezed through the directions and ended with a successful and beautiful dish.  I couldn't believe it.  I also made a side of cilantro lime rice; recipe courtesy of myself.
After dinner I couldn't believe how great everything turned out and was excited to peruse the cookbook for more dinner adventures.  I highly recommend this cookbook for anyone who enjoys cooking and eating Mexican food.  Because of copyright enfringement and because I don't want to piss off Mr. Bayless I can not give out the recipe for the enchiladas, however, here is the recipe for my super easy rice inspired by Chipotle.
1 cup instant rice
3/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
Salt to taste
Chopped cilantro to taste
Combine the broth, salt, and lime juice in a pot and bring to a boil.  Stir in the instant rice and cover.  Let stand for 5 minutes or until the liquid is soaked up.  Stir in  the cilantro until wilted.  Serve and enjoy.
Here's a picture of the final product.  Yeah me and Rick Bayless.  What a good team.

Question from Confused in El Paso

Dear Lindsey,
My boyfriend and I met during our sophomore year of college and moved in together after graduation.  Six years later, we are still living together, renting an apartment, but he hasn't proposed yet.  I love everything about him and we rarely fight except when it comes to getting engaged.  He can't come up with a valid reason to not get married.  He'll tell me he wants to wait until he can afford a nice ring, or until we can afford a nice wedding, or until we can afford a house.  We both make a comfortable salary, so really none of these excuses are valid.  Plus, I always tell him I don't need a fancy ring, wedding, or house.  I'm a simple person and whatever he can afford I'd be happy with.  I'd be happy eloping and getting married at the court house. 
I believe his lack of commitment stems from his parents getting divorced when he was in high school.  It was a terrible, messy divorce and it took my boyfriend a long time to recover.  We talk about it once in a while when he is up for talking about it, and I try to reassure him that I am madly in love with him and we would never end like that.  
I don't know how much longer I can wait.  I try to convince myself that I'd be find if we never got married, but really I want to be able to call him my husband.  I love him so much, but I'm not getting any younger and I'd like to start a family soon.  Is there any way I can get him to commit?
-Confused in El Paso

Dear Confused in El Paso,
Have you ever heard the saying, "why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free"?  I think this may apply in this case.
It sounds like your boyfriend is coming up with excuses to not propose when there actual may be a bigger issue at hand.  He may need counseling to help get over his commitment issues, especially if he was scarred by his parents' divorce.  That is a hard thing to get over even as a teenager, and if he's never dealt with his feelings then he may have some pent up issues he needs to get out.  If he doesn't deal with those issues, you may never see that ring you so desire.  You may want to politely suggest he talk to a professional and even offer to go with him if he needs the support.
If you want to go the non-traditional route, you could always propose to him.  If he says no, then pick up the pieces of your broken heart and move on.  If he says yes, then set up that appointment at the court house since you don't care about having a wedding.
If you don't want to propose, then the only other alternative is giving him an ultimatum.  It sounds like a bitchy thing to do, but it seems you're at a crossroads anyway.  You either need to move in the direction you want to that makes you happy or move on to bigger and better things that will lead you to that happiness you desire.  Guys typically don't like ultimatums, but he needs to sh*t or get off the pot, as the saying goes.
If all else fails you could pull the classic soap opera move and get knocked up to force your man into marrying you.  Please don't do that though.
Lots of love,

Tip #3 - Unfortunately, men are not mind readers

Mother's day was last weekend and some of my friends and I were chatting away the following day about how the holiday went for us.  We had parts of the day that we liked and parts that were not so great.  We all came to the conclusion that if we had just told our husbands exactly what we wanted we would have the perfect day. 
Many of us women just have that natural gift-giving instinct.  We plan far in advance to select the perfect gift for our loved ones.  When our significant other mentions in passing he thinks the newest gadget is totally cool or is interested in home brewing, or something else we could care less about, we pay attention and bank that for later when gifts are in order. 
Most men are not as attentive.  They usually have to be reminded a significant event or birthday is coming up and even then they usually try to find a gift only a few days in advance, if that.  If you have a man that is an exception, and always gives the perfect gift which is thoughtful and meaningful, well then good for you.  Don't brag about it though, the rest of us don't want to hear it!
Moral of the story, women, just tell your man exactly what you want.  I know what some women out there are thinking, "But I want to be surprised."  People in hell want a cold glass of water, but they're not getting that either.  If you're really into the surprise, make a list of several things you may want and give it to your man.  Tell him to pick a few things from the list.  That way you don't know exactly what you're getting and you still get something you want.  If you don't care about the surprise, tell your man what you want, where to get it, how much it's going to cost, and you may even want to contact a sales associate ahead of time just to put it aside for easy pick-up.
Lots of love,

Review of Cloth Diapering - Not as much work as I thought

Sorry to my readers for not posting anything yesterday.  Last night's storms interrupted my Internet service and after several reboot attempts, and many 4-letter words later, I gave up and went to bed.
Today you're going to get a two-post special.  Lucky you!!

What I wanted to post yesterday was my review on cloth diapering.  I'm not posting this to try to convert anyone or act like I'm holier than thou, but because I had no idea what cloth diapering entailed and I think many other new moms don't really know either.  I'm sure many of you are thinking what I thought at first; cloth diapering is way too much work, too gross, and too much of a hassle to deal with.  Cloth diapers are those small sheets that you have to fold and then use safety pins to secure them.  What if I stab my baby??  On top of that, I'll have to use a diaper service because I won't be able to keep up with the laundry and I can't afford that.
While pregnant I met this fabulous group of expecting mommies at birth class and now we get together all the time for fun and support.  Several of the moms use cloth diapers, and when I saw one for the first time I gave that mom a weird look and said what the heck is that?
Low and behold it was a cloth diaper.  It looked nothing like I thought it was supposed to.  No safety pins, no white sheet, but how could this be?  It was instead something that looked very much like a regular diaper with snaps and Velcro, but much softer and even had the cutest flower print.  My mind had been blown! 
When I got home that day I immediately jumped on Google (because that's where I've gotten all my information from the last decade) to find out more about cloth diapering.  What I found was an overwhelming amount of information on the subject.  Not only were there websites selling cloth diapers and explaining the different types and uses, but there were online chat groups and local meet up groups dedicated solely to cloth diapering.  Why hadn't anyone mentioned this to me when I was pregnant?  I didn't even know this was an option.  I felt so left in the dark.  Curse you Babies R Us for not having cloth diapers as one of your million options on your registry!!
I decided to give them a try based on the cost savings alone.  I also am all for saving the environment and not filling up land fills with stinky disposable diapers that take 500 years to degrade, but really it was more about the money.  The initial investment can be a few hundred dollars to get a large enough stash that you're not doing wash daily, but over the course of your child's diapering years you save a ton of money.  You can spend even less if you find them used.  I'm cheap, what can I say! 
After perusing through multiple websites, I decided to find a local store so I could get some hands-on learning.  I couldn't believe the lack of cloth diaper retailers.  There were only a couple stores in my area that I could actually visit to purchase instead of online only.  I ended up going to Babies Bottoms and More, which is actually just a retail shop out of a family's garage.  The lady was so sweet, and spent several hours we me and my friends explaining to us all the different types and how to care for them.
I settled on one size pocket diapers that had snap closures and only bought a few to make sure I could handle this cloth diapering adventure I was about to embark on.  When I arrived home, I realized that they were too big for my son.  Rat poison!!!  I spent all this time researching and finally made a decision to change over to the cloth diaper world, and they don't even fit? 
The next day I went to Target and bought a small box of disposables out of frustration.  It took a few days, but I decided to check out other cloth diaper options.  I realized that a Velcro closure would be more suitable for my skinny waisted son and also the diaper needed to have snaps to make the rise smaller.  I found Kawaii Baby diapers that were relatively cheap so if they again didn't fit I wasn't out too much until my son got bigger.
I received the package with my new cloth diapers in the mail a few days later.  I removed the diapers from the box and tried them on my son.  They fit pretty well.  Super, mission accomplished!  Since then we've used them exclusively and it's going great.  I've also bought some biodegradable inserts that just lay in the diaper to help contain the poop.  They're fabulous!  I just fold up the corners and drop the poop-filled liner into the toilet.  The rest of the diaper goes into the Diaper Genie that's lined with a garbage bag just like a regular diaper.  When the bin is full or I need more diapers (whichever comes first) I just pull the whole bag out and turn it inside out into the washing machine, dumping the soiled diapers and then tossing the garbage bag.  I use cloth diaper friendly detergent and then dry them normally in the dryer.  I'm doing this basically every other to every 2 days, and it's really not that much more work than doing regular laundry.  Even my husband doesn't mind it.  I did have to have cloth diaper class with him to explain how everything works, but after a couple times he got it.
Now that I'm in this new cloth diapering world, I think it's great.  I'd highly recommend it to any family that wants to save money on diapers and would like to do a small part in leaving a smaller carbon footprint.  Do some research before you buy to learn the different types and the proper care.  As Levar Burton would say on Reading Rainbow, "You don't have to take my word for it." 
For those of you who are considering or are already using cloth diapers please take the poll above.
I'll see you next time

Question from Juliet

Dear Lindsey,
I've been at my job for about 5 years now.  My friend, "Romeo", started working in my department about a year and a half ago.  Instantly we became great friends and shortly after that I realized I had more than friendly feelings for him.  I could tell that he felt the same about me, but since our employer has a strict no inter-office dating policy neither of us have acted on our feelings.  Romeo and I hang out with other friends and co-workers just so we can spend time together without being labeled as "dating".  We make jokes in passing about how we're perfect for each other and even jokingly call each other husband and wife.  Everyone in the office also jokes along with us and agrees that we treat each other like we're married. 
Here's where it becomes complicated.  Just this past week, Romeo told me he thinks he's in love with me and would like to take our relationship to the next level.  I am absolutely elated and feel the same way, but am worried that we will put our jobs at risk if we pursue a romantic relationship.  Our co-workers can be very nosy and gossipy, so we can almost guarantee that management will found out if our relationship becomes more than just friends.  Both of us love our jobs and really can't afford to lose them.  I don't want to miss out on what potentially could be the love of my life, but I also can't risk being laid off.  Any advice you can give me would be great.

Dear Juliet,
It kind of sounds like you've been covertly dating for the last year by hanging out with each other in a group setting.  Way to go 007, but I don't think you're fooling anyone, especially your co-workers.  I'm sure they realize you two are totally into each other, but you're just trying to avoid a company scandal and being fired. 
Since you already know you have a solid, loving relationship, it's kind of stupid to walk away from each other just because you may lose your jobs.  Love doesn't come around all that often and when you find it you need to hold on to it.   Cheesy sounding, I know, but it's the truth.  Think of how many people out there pay for dating services and websites just to find "the one", and you found yours for free!!  Good job!
Many employers have a no dating policy because they are worried that the relationship will sour and then there will be hostile relations in the work place.  Sometimes exes working together can even lead to sexual harassment lawsuits.  They put these policies in place to try to avoid all of the petty crap that comes with break ups and to cover their own butts.  What you could try to do is go right to human resources and explain your situation.  If you're really worried they may take action against you, tell them you're coming to them on behalf of a co-worker of which you can not name.  Tell the HR rep that you (or your "friend") have been socializing with a co-worker in a group setting and you both have developed feelings for each other and would like to pursue the relationship.  Let the rep know you understand they have a no-dating policy, and you are willing to sign any needed documents that state you won't behave inappropriately or sue anyone if the relationship goes south.  Plead your case in a professional manner and let them know you are willing to do whatever is necessary to be able to date your co-worker and hopefully they'll take the bait.
If for some reason they still deny your relationship, it's just because the HR rep is cold and heartless and probably never has had a date in his/her life.  Just smile and pretend like you're fine with the decision, then set up a secret date for Saturday night with your man.  The rule for secret keeping is, if you don't want anyone to find out about something, don't tell anyone!!!  Not even your mom or your best friend.  Try to have dates at home to avoid anyone seeing you out together.  When you'd like to go out, make sure it's in a group like you're doing now or at a hole in the wall place you know you won't run into anyone.  Many companies monitor email, so if you have inter-office email or company cell phones, don't send each other love notes via company property.  Hopefully you can keep this up without getting fired.  The best part is if you keep your relationship secret long enough to make it to a marriage, you won't have to invite your co-workers because they won't even know about it.
Both of you need to keep a copy of your resume updated and on hand in case you need to start looking for a new job.  In fact, it may be easier for one of you to browse the classifieds or the web for a new job just in case.  Good luck and happy dating!
Lots of Love,

Question from Mad for Mr. Buttons

Dear Lindsey,
I have been dating this guy for a little over a year now and I think he may be the one.  We have been talking about moving in together into his house since I rent an apartment.  The problem is I have a cat, Mr. Buttons, who my boyfriend doesn't like.  I've had Mr. Buttons for 5 years now and I am not about to get rid of him, but my boyfriend refuses to have a cat in his house.  There is no perfectly good reason why he shouldn't like Mr. Buttons, other than he doesn't like cats.  Mr. Buttons is very sweet, is front-paw declawed, and sleeps most of the time.  If he were an evil cat or tore up the furniture I may understand why he wouldn't want him, but he's the perfect companion.  He doesn't even have pet allergies, so really there is no good excuse to not like Mr. Buttons.
For the last year that we have been dating we mostly are at his house so he doesn't have to be around the cat.  On the rare occasion he has to come to my apartment he makes me lock Mr. Buttons in the guest bedroom so he doesn't have to interact with him.
Is there anything I can do to get my boyfriend to let me keep Mr. Buttons?  It's silly to say, but since I don't have real children Mr. Buttons is basically my child.  It may break my heart to have to give him up.  I've told my boyfriend this and he just replies with "it's just a cat, what's the big deal."  Please help me!
- Mad for Mr. Buttons

Dear Mad for Mr. Buttons,
Your boyfriend sounds like a real douche bag!  Sorry to say it so bluntly, but it's true.  I have the urge to punch him in the face and I don't even know him. 
If you love Mr. Buttons as much as you say you do, I can't believe you've kept this guy around so long.  Anyone you want to spend your life with should be accepting of the things you love.  Your boyfriend needs to realize that the cat was with you long before he was and if he loves you he needs to be respectful of the things you love.
When I went to my husband's house for the first time way back when we had just started dating, I walked in the front door and saw this giant, orange cat sitting on the top of the reclining chair.  I asked who she was and he said her name is Molly Esther.  Right then I knew I had found the one.  I already had two cats of my own and was so impressed to see he had a cat as well.  Not many single guys have cats and to top it off he gave her a first and middle name.  I was in love because I knew we both had a huge love for animals among tons of other things we had in common.  I could never be with someone who was not an animal lover.
Your loser boyfriend won't even let you have your beloved pet in the same room when you're at your apartment.  This should be an instant red flag that he is in fact NOT the one.  Even though you may think you love him, anyone who treats something that you care about so horribly does not love you the way you should be loved.  Try an experiment and tell him that there is no way you are giving up Mr. Buttons and he'll just have to learn to love him once you move in together.  See what his reaction is and make a decision based on that.  Chances are your boyfriend is not going to be willing to have you both living under his roof.
My advice is to can the cat-hater ASAP and wait for Mister Right to come along.  Maybe volunteer at an animal shelter, zoo, or veterinary clinic to meet guys who love animals.  Surround yourself with people who have similar interests and the right person will come along.  When he does you'll  be amazed at how much you are truly in love, and how wrong you were to stick with a guy who tried to make you get rid of your first love, Mr Buttons.
Lots of Love,

Tip #2 - How to shed some pounds

 Many of us struggle with our weight whether it be an extra 5 pounds or 500 pounds.  Here are some simple tips besides a healthy diet and excersice to help you shed some pounds just in time for swim suit season.
1.  Try drinking a glass or two of water before each meal.  The water will help you fill up before the meal and hopefully you won't eat so much.  Then give your kidneys a work out and continue to drink lots of water throughout the day!  This is good for your skin too!
2.  When eating out, try cutting your meal in half when it arrives at the table and ask for a to-go box right away.  Put one half in the to-go box right so it's out of your sight and then eat the rest.  If you need to, put the to-go box on a chair or somewhere out of your sight if it's still calling your name.
3.  Cut out pictures of supermodels and put your head on their body.  Then cut out a picture of what you look like now.  Paste both to your fridge and to your work-out equipement, such as your treadmill, to help keep you motivated.  Change the real picture of you weekly to see how close you're coming to super model status.  Although most of us will never look like a supermodel, it's a nice goal to shoot for.
4.  I'm not going to tell you to avoid alchohol, unless you're recovering and in an AA program.  Do try to pick lower calorie options such as light beer, wine, or cocktails make with low calorie mixers.  Fruit juices can be a great alternative to mixers as well.  Vodka and cranberrry, YUM!!  When you're out on the town ask the bartender what they have in a low calorie option.  They should know, that's their job.  Side note, the higher the alcohol content, the higher the calories.
5.  Do activities that are fun for you.  If you hate running, you're not going to stick with it long enough to see a difference.  There are a ton of things that are actually fun that keep you on your toes.  If you enjoy running, good for you but don't try to convert us non-runners into runners!  Pole dancing is a fun option and it can be useful in your dating/married life as well.
6.  Buy yourself something that makes you feel and look good in your current size.  If you keep trying to fit into smaller things with the hopes that some day they'll fit it can get discouraging and frustrating.  Why not try to feel good about yourself while you're trying to lose weight?
7.  Most important, don't compare yourself to everyone else you see.  Bodies come in many different types and if you're 5'2" with an hourglass shape, you're never going to look the same as your best friend who is 5'11" with a straight frame.  It's just not going to happen.      
If all else fails just remember the wise words of Lady Gaga (of whom I am not a huge fan but oh well)
I'm beautiful in my way
Cause God makes no mistakes
I'm on the right track baby
I was born this way
Don't hide yourself in regret
Just love yourself and you're set
I'm on the right track baby
I was born this way.
Say that over and over until you believe it!
Lots of Love,

Question from Stumped in San Angelo

Dear Tough Love Advice,
I've got this long time girlfriend. We were best friends for years. She went to med school and traveled while I got married and had a baby. Going to med school was a life long dream of hers but now she's feeling left behind because so many of her friends are married and some are having babies. I sense she is jealous of me despite her many, many adventures and doing so well in school. This jealousy, her super religiousness (which I have become disenchanted with) and the fact that I haven't laid eyes on her in two years has contributed to my feeling that we are no longer best friends and barely have anything in common anymore. I'm sure she feels this way too, but its a strained relationship. She's about to move back to Texas so she'll be closer, but I don't know how to handle the relationship anymore. Do you have any thoughts for me?
Stumped in San Angelo :)

Dear Stumped,
The way I see it you have two options.  One, try to reconnect with your friend and maybe have a girl's day together to see if you do have any friendship left, or two, just accept that your friendship isn't the same as it once was and both move on to bigger and better things.  Personally, I vote for the second. 
If you already know your relationship is strained, you lack things in common, and her religiousness gets on your nerves, then why make an awkward situation that much worse?  It sounds like you've both already found your paths in life and they don't seem to coincide with each other, so why force it?  There's no rule that says you have to be friends with someone, and life is too short to waste a few hours hanging out with someone you aren't fond of.  Some friends are like sports cars, they're fun to have for a while, but eventually you have to get rid of them because they don't fit your lifestyle anymore. 
The other thing that jumps out at me is the fact that you think she may be jealous of you.  No one wants to hang out with someone who has the green-eyed monster for them.  Those types of friendships result in each friend trying to one up the other and then you just get annoyed with each other and the friendship ends anyway. 
I can't believe she feels left behind because she went to med school and traveled.  I feel so bad for her that it's brought me to tears.  Wait, no that was just my contacts drying out.  She's probably seen so many cool things and has an awesome job.  I wish I had been left behind!  She needs to suck it up!   
Here's a compromise.  Be friends with her on Facebook and only chat with her when necessary.  That way you can say you're still friends with her but you don't really have to be "friends" with her.  Maybe comment on a photo or a status update once in a while just to remain "friends" but if she actually wants to hang out make up an excuse as to why you can't get together.  You could totally use your baby to make up reasons why you can't get together.  Eventually she'll stop bugging you and you can just be Facebook friends who never talk.  This works great, and really isn't this why Facebook was invented? 
To any of MY Facebook friends that may be reading this, I'm not just Facebook "friends" with you and I would never make up excuses to not hang out. 
Lots of love,

Review of Nordstrom's Nursing Bras - Two Thumbs Down

Recently I went on a quest to find nursing bras that were comfortable, attractive, and easily opened to access the girls for nursing.  On a recommendation I ventured to Nordstrom because I was told they have a great selection and they are good quality.  I was also told the ladies there are very knowledgeable and will fit me so I can get a proper size.  I couldn't wait to find something that was functional, but also attractive since I was already feeling like Bessie the cow being milked all the time.
I went on a Saturday, and although the store was busy, there was only me and one other lady in the bra section.  Coincidentally, she was also shopping for nursing bras.  We both wandered for about 10 minutes trying to locate the nursing bras, when finally a sales person came to help us.  We were told they only had 3 styles and they were all in the back.  She asked us each our size and then headed to the back to grab what she could find.
My chest had grown substantially from my pre-pregnancy size and I had no clue what size I should be put in, so I was slightly annoyed that she did not even offer to measure me.  When she returned with the bras I asked to be measured and she claimed they don't measure nursing women since the size fluctuates during the day.  Really??  I can't even get a measurement to give me a ball park figure of what I should be in?  LAME! 
So now I'm in the fitting room and I look on the wall hanger at the three styles the sales associate has hung there for me to try on.  At that point I think I vomited in my mouth a little.  All three were hideous!!  I'm thinking to myself, I already feel super unattractive because I'm still 20 pounds overweight, have a lovely c-section scar, look absolutely haggard because of the lack of sleep, and now you want me to wear something that looks like I shoved my boobs in two potato sacks??  Gross!
Against my better judgement, I tried each one on.  With each bra, I felt more and more like I was trying on bras from my grandma's closet.  I also thought laying in a pile of fire ants would have been more comfortable that each of these bras.  I can't believe Nordstrom had such a small, unattractive selection of nursing bras.  To make matters worse, I pretty much found the same selection at other department stores, so sorry Nordstrom to pick on you alone.
Can't anyone out there make a comfortable, attractive nursing bra that is also somewhat inexpensive?  Here's what I would want in a nursing bra.  Make my boobs look like a porn star's, be comfortable enough to sleep in, have easy one-hand snaps in the front to access the girls, be affordable, and be so pretty that it could be hung in the Louvre as art. 
To all my readers, if you have found one please post a comment below.  As for now Nordstrom, you get two thumbs down in the nursing bra department!  You do have great shoes, however, so I'll cut you some slack.
Lots of Love,

Question from Reasonable in San Francisco

I found this question on Dear Abby's column and just had to repost and put my own response...
Dear Abby (Lindsey),
I am invited to a 60th wedding anniversary party. They are requesting that all the guests wear white. I think it's unfair to ask that of a guest. I recently lost weight and will have to buy something new to wear, besides paying for my hotel and a nice gift.
I care about the couple and want to share this special occasion with them, but I'm on a fixed income. To have to go out and buy something new is a hardship. Abby, what do you think?

Dear Reasonable in San Francisco,
Seriously??!!  If someone is having a themed party it is not unfair to ask their guests to dress the part.  It's the same of asking guests to wear grass skirts and coconut bras to a Hawaiin themed party.  I would think since you lost weight you'd want to go to as many social gatherings as possible to show off your new figure, especially in white.  There are a ton of other options instead of being a cheap ass and not wanting to buy a new outfit. 
1.  Borrow something from a friend or family member.  There has got to be someone you know that has a white outfit in your size they can lend you.  Maybe bake a cake to say thank you for borrowing the outfit.
2.  Go to a consigment or thrift store to find something.  You can't tell me you can't find something white and cheap at a place like this.  It may not be the best quality, but you're only going to wear it for a day.  You live in San Francisco, so if you can't afford a $20 outfit, you shouldn't be able to afford to live there.
3.  Buy something, be very careful at the party, then return it the next day.  I do this all the time.  There's no harm in tucking in the tags so no one can see them, then taking the outfit back and claiming it didn't fit right.
4. Bleach an outfit you weren't super fond of.  Bleach turns everything white!  I have ruined many an outfit this way.
5.  Get a cheap gift and stay in a crappy motel, then you'll have extra money to buy a new outfit.
6.  Sell plasma for extra spending money.  I did this in college and made bank!!!
7.  Look for a clothes swap in your area.  You can bring crap that you don't want and exchange it for someone else's crap that they didn't want.  Maybe you'll get lucky and find a white outfit.
8.  If none of the above options work for you then send your love with a present in the mail.  No one said you have to go and if I were your friends I wouldn't want your cheap ass there anyway to ruin my anniversary!
Lots of love,

The orginal question can be found at