Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Wendy’s Picks

annie-hall-diane-keaton-menswear-6Wendy’s Weekly Picks,” is a feature in which I highlight stuff I like or recommend in the worlds of fashion, gift ideas, home decor, makeup, websites, entertainment, and recipes. Of course, many of the things I link to will be affiliate products, which means I’ll receive a commission on any click-throughs or purchases you make through the affiliate links. As always, I appreciate your support!

Yay, it’s fall — time for sweaters and jackets and ankle boots and pumpkin-spiced everything and football (said to humor those of you who love the sport) and staying in and watching movies under cozy blankets, and also butternut squash soup. If you need/want to update your fall wardrobe, I’m loving these looks:

I splurged on these pants not too long ago and they were too big, but I decided I liked the looser look better and so I didn’t exchange for a smaller size, which ended up being the best decision. They’re insanely comfortable and get so many compliments and now all I want is to live in slouchy pants all the time, like these and these and these (Use code GOODBUY for up to 30% on $100-$200 purchases). (I also got these jeans during a flash weekend sale earlier this month and I don’t want to take them off).

And, of course you need shoes with your slouchy pants. You can’t go wrong with these classics. But I also love these, these, these, and these.

I ordered this poncho and hope it fits and that I can wear it all fall. I’m crazy about this one, and I feel strongly that every woman needs a variation of this top in her fall/winter wardrobe (this one is an even better deal).

Also, how versatile is this dress? You can wear it all summer and then throw a sweater or poncho or jean jacket over it in the fall and wear tights under it through the winter.

If you want to try the suede moto jacket trend, this (faux) one is very reasonably priced.

And if you’re digging the oversized trench trend this fall, this is a great value.

And if a soft, oversized blazer is more you, this is also a good deal.

And now I suddenly need to re-watch Annie Hall…



The holidays are over three months away and I am already stressing about buying my in-laws Christmas presents although I don’t feel my husband is on the same page. We just had a new baby, and I want our first family Christmas to be focused on our new little family and not on the financial burden imposed (and definitely not reciprocated at all) by his family.

When I first met my husband ten years ago, I would help him buy Christmas presents for his family. He doesn’t have a large immediate family — just two brothers and their respective wives/girlfriends, a niece, and his mom and dad. And the budget isn’t major either, usually around $50 or so per person. What is annoying is that as time has gone on: We are expected to continue to give nice $50 (at least) presents to each of his family members every Christmas while no one else in his family reciprocates. (The other family members either don’t have jobs or don’t have jobs that make enough income to buy presents.)

His younger brother and on-again-off-again girlfriend basically always are broke and can’t buy anyone anything, so they usually do DIY presents, like cookies, homemade towel animals, etc. However, when they do have money, they don’t hesitate to spend on themselves and not save it (he bought a new motorcycle, she got a boob job, etc.). I don’t understand why it’s ok for them to give us homemade cookies but in exchange we have to contribute to buying them a GoPro camera (that really happened last year).

The other thing that’s bad is that over the past years Thanksgiving and Christmas are the only times we see my husband’s family anymore. They get together at Thanksgiving to give everyone their Christmas lists, and then my hubs and I, MIL, and his older brother all go shopping on Black Friday to fulfill the requests of the rest of the family. It’s a lot of work to do this, especially for others who will not be reciprocating. Throughout the rest of the year, we make it a point to give my FIL and MIL birthday presents and Mother’s Day/Father’s Day presents and we give his brother presents whenever we see something we think he may like or need. (We are also the only ones of his three brothers to do this.) We have invited my hubs’ entire family over for various events (summer cookouts, birthdays, special occasions, etc.) and they always come up with excuses and reasons why they can’t attend (even though nothing is required of them to attend, we just want to spend family time with them).

We just had our first baby and are so excited and over the moon in love and we are really looking for ways we can cut back our working hours to spend more time as a family, which would greatly decrease our income and therefore our Christmas present budget.

Now that my son is here, what I would really like to have happen this year is for us to still get together with his family for Christmas but not exchange any presents (except maybe we could all give presents to his niece since maybe it’s not fair to not give kids presents at Christmas?), just maybe have a shared meal and spend quality time together. If I am really pushed for a compromise, I would propose that maybe if we do exchange presents, they should all be of the DIY kind (maybe we all bake cookies and exchange them?) Or maybe we can buy small presents and play a game of some kind (my husband is the ultimate strategic board gamer, so he could make us a really a cool game) to exchange them.

I want to keep the family relationship and holiday time/memories (almost at all costs) but remove the ridiculous price tag and potential financial burden to us (that is clearly not fairly or equally reciprocated). I am asking for advice on how to convince my husband this is a good idea, and how we should tell his family our plan and convince them to do it, and keep the peace among everyone so no one goes crazy and we keep growing relationships going forward. I believe that love always wins, and I want to raise my child to value his family members, not things. — Torn Up About Christmas In September

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I turned 40 earlier this month and one of the goals I set for myself for this decade was to make my life a little easier. This is different — or I should say more — than just “simplifying my life,” which makes me think of mad organizing binges (which I have regularly), getting rid of stuff I no longer need or want (already do this), and saying no more frequently (working on this). Making my life easier will require me to do some things I’m not always comfortable with, for example: [click to continue…]



This week in the forums we’re discussing:

Girls vs. women

He’s says he’s not sure he sees long-term with me..?

Feel disrespected by husband’s ex

How do you handle arguments and reconnecting afterward?

My baby slept through the night!

Ex-Wife or Me?

Anyone going on awesome dates?

Weight loss/get in shape thread?

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

Wife is going on a cruise with ex-boyfriend

Online date disappeared

“Should I Cancel My Wedding?”

Follow along on Facebook and Instagram.

If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at



In our household, I am the default cook — something that seemed far more reasonable and manageable before we had two children, each with his or her particular dietary quirks (basically, I have one child who would like nothing but pork all ways, always, and broccoli, and another child — and I won’t name any names but his initials are JCC — who will only eat chicken nuggets, scrambled eggs, hot dogs, and pizza). We are insanely lucky (especially by New York standards) in that Drew is usually home by 5:00, which means we get to eat dinner together as a family almost every night. This is great, and it’s something that, if you’re able to accomplish, I highly recommend. It means we have time to talk together about our day, discuss current events (in kid-friendly language: “Donald Trump is a dumb-dumb.”), and slow down for fifteen or twenty minutes — as much as you can, anyway, with a 5-year-old and a 1-year-old — and just be.

But it also means I’m on the hook to prepare a family meal by 5:30 almost every night of the week — something I can hopefully coax Jackson into at least trying (our rule is he doesn’t have to finish what I’ve made, but he does have to take a few bites, and dessert is only guaranteed if he eats more than half of what’s on his plate) and which can be made in the twenty minutes of time I usually have between the time I come home from the playground or whatever activity and the time when everyone’s blood sugar suddenly plummets in unison and food, in whatever form, must be offered immediately. These are a few of my go-to meals that accomplish this:
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