5 Friday Thoughts (and some very pricey pants)

January 25, 2019

1- It has been a very busy work week, and I am about to head into a mostly-solo-parenting weekend (Josh is on call). This is my first one in quite some time, and I really want it to go well! My strategies are going to be sticking to ‘weekday’ hours to stay rested and fit workouts in early, and to seek out a lot of social interaction. I will report back.

2- The first pair of pants in The Great Work Pant Faceoff has arrived! They are Theory and they are eye-waveringly expensive. I was hoping to hate them. Unfortunately I do not. However, I will not make any decisions about keeping them until I have tried on all of the competition.

Theory Classic Skinny Pant, size 2, $$$$
They are cropped in the website’s picture but fit nicely as regular-length pants on 5’1″ me.
Stretchy, comfortable, appear professional. If they were 1/3 the price, they’d be an easy yes.

3- One more request for feedback on the font size — is it better now? I feel like it’s a lot more readable, but perhaps it needs to be even bigger? Please let me know — particularly if you are reading this on a non-phone screen!

4- I have been in a major reading rut. Last night I just gave up and watched Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (Season 4, I am behind). Maybe 2019 will be the year of TV. I do miss books though. Not sure how I went from spending an hour/day reading to very little . . .

5- Notable posts as of late on a common theme: wealth and words, grocery budgets, and Laura’s Year of Living Frugally. On the non-frugal front (but fun to fantasize about!) I also loved reading Brittney’s ski vacation recap. Money – and the ways we spend it – really is a fascinating topic. Our grocery budget is . . . not low. I’m more focused on high quality food and avoiding food waste over other priorities, but I recognize that comes from a lucky place of having food not be a huge chunk of our budget. While Josh and I are definitely not FIRE people, we actually DO have an interest in streamlining our spending, extremely-pricey-pants aside. Maybe more so we can take lovely future family ski trips than retire early, but hey — that seems reasonable to me at this juncture.


  • Reply Beth @ Parent Lightly March 15, 2019 at 9:12 pm

    I’m on my laptop and i would prefer it maybe one size bigger….but I like larger! On the book note, do you use the Kindle app at all? If you go to the store, it gives some good recommendations and I often find something I want to read there. I also look for highly rated series because then I have a built-in couple of books to read (and I love binging on a book series). If I like the series, then I’ll like that author on Kindle so it will notify me when the author has a new book. Often I just pre-order the next book in the series so it automatically appears when the book is out. It’s a great surprise! On the FIRE front, my husband and I decided that we’d rather do fun stuff along the way. We both like working so we’re not aiming for early retirement, but more of a work-life-travel balance. Both of us have pretty good gigs at the moment, doing interesting work but still have enough vacation time and travel points to take some solid trips with our kids! A lot to think about this Friday! Now I’m going to go read the ski trip recap you linked to because I just posted my own ski trip recap yesterday. Ha!

  • Reply rebecca March 15, 2019 at 9:12 pm

    Reading on my laptop and the font size is perfect!

  • Reply Holly March 10, 2019 at 7:05 pm

    Yes font looks good on the laptop! I find FIRE people so interesting…I just personally do not get the desire to live so frugually just to stop working. I’d rather achieve balance with work and earn enough to be able to treat myself (quite a bit, hah!) along the way. (Obviously while still saving aggressively for retirement – but at a normal age!) But I realize I am privileged to have a career that pays very well and that I don’t mind/enjoy (sometimes!) doing.

    I know you guys use YNAB, but have you heard of the Dave Ramsey concept of sinking funds? We don’t do his whole philosophy (because we don’t have non-mortgage debt), but we like his app Every Dollar and the concept of “funds” has really helped us save more intentionally for travel, wardrobe updates, etc. We set aside money each month, actually in our budget, for non-monthly expenses like travel etc that we will incur in the near future. Helps us feel more confident when we do want to take pricier trips or splurge on a new clothing piece – we know the funds are already set aside for it.

    FWIW I think you could actually go down a size in those pants – they look baggy in the butt/thighs and I think it’s supposed to be a slimmer fit? I love the look of a slim ankle pant with heels!

  • Reply Tamara Cohen March 10, 2019 at 7:05 pm

    I’m on a desktop and the font size is great, but typing this comment, I see it’s small in the comment box. Love the pants, but I think one size down, or a slimmer fit would still be professional!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger March 10, 2019 at 7:05 pm

      So odd, b/c they are the same font on my desktop! I think I am going to go one more size up in the font. As for the pants – yeah I can see what you are saying but I think then they’d be tight or at least less comfortable in the waist. So maybe they will just get returned . . .

  • Reply jane March 10, 2019 at 7:05 pm

    Glad to see I am not only one who says’ baggy in the butt’ and at that price they ought not to be. But even if they were only $35 they would still be baggy fit and not good. Unless you know a good tailor who can fix the fit and not double the cost of the pants. I DO NOT KNOW such a person where I am., nor do my friends. I want to know which, if any, of the pants you get have pockets sized to put a cell phone in safely so it will not fall out… like men can do in ALL their pants.

  • Reply Ana March 10, 2019 at 7:05 pm

    yeah, the butt situation is not great in those pants (its not you, its the pants!) and for $300, better be absolutely perfect! When I’m in a reading rut, its usually wrong book at the wrong time, so I just have to give up on whatever I’ve been dragging on, and move on. Great suggestions above, I’m adding some to my list!

  • Reply Amy March 10, 2019 at 7:05 pm

    Did you change the actual font from the old site? Or is it the same font, different size? Just wondering if it’s not just the size but actual font that is less reader friendly. You have to 100% be in love with those pants for $300…but that’s just me 🙂

  • Reply Amy March 10, 2019 at 7:05 pm

    One more thing…My favorite book from the last few months is Beneath a Scarlet Sky, also loved the Goldfinch and Hillbilly Elegy.

  • Reply Jessicsa March 10, 2019 at 7:05 pm

    OMG, Sara, thank you for pointing out the cost of groceries. My twins are a year old now, and feeding them, plus myself and my husband, fresh, nutrient-dense, minimally-processed foods has a cost that is SO “not low”. I often find myself scratching my head, asking “how could we have spent so much?” Glad to know I’m not the only one.

  • Reply Krista March 10, 2019 at 7:05 pm

    Michelle Obama’s book was great and a fairly quick read. I cried a few times and not just because the contrast to the current situation is so depressing.

  • Reply Kersti March 10, 2019 at 7:05 pm

    I like the pants but would suggest a petite size 2 if they have it. Have you read Bad Blood?

  • Reply Ginny March 10, 2019 at 7:05 pm

    Nope, those are not the right pants for you! This is good news though since they are $$$. I think it’s the fit not the size, so sizing down wouldn’t work. I am your same size, we need a very fitted pant. Not TIGHT of course we have to look professional…somehow that perfect fine line between very fitted & tight…the struggle is real! I love clothes & will search the world over for the right ones…don’t give up your pants are out there somewhere. 🙂

  • Reply Sara March 10, 2019 at 7:05 pm

    Hi – I’ve never left a comment on your blog (even though I’ve been reading for YEARS), but just wanted to throw out my favorite work (and travel) pants. They look casual on the website, but I wear them with blouses and cuff them a bit, and they look consistently great. I’m an international teacher, and I feel comfortable wearing them in just about any situation. Size down one size.
    PS – As a mom of two young children working at an international school in India and traveling constantly and trying to find balance in it all, I LOVE your blog and podcast. Thank you for being you!

  • Reply sree March 15, 2019 at 9:12 pm

    i bought express pants 10 R or P , P is hard to find , but they fit great , they were 75 so i thought high price still hey we all need black pant for work day in and day out

  • Reply Anne March 15, 2019 at 9:12 pm

    Font size is good for me. The pants are so-so.

  • Reply MC March 10, 2019 at 6:59 pm

    ok two thumbs up for the referal to the Deer Valley ski vacation blog post. I taught kids ski lessons at Deer Valley 10 (gulp!) years ago. Loved getting the littles out on the hill. And yes, the food is amazing!!

  • Reply Jane March 10, 2019 at 6:59 pm

    Sarah , look at thredup for pants. There are many theory, JCrew, reiss, and a fraction of the cost! And they have beautiful quality!

  • Reply Solitary Diner March 10, 2019 at 6:59 pm

    Have you read Young Jane Young? I found it a really easy read, and it has a nice feminist message to it without being preachy.

  • Reply Emily March 10, 2019 at 6:59 pm

    The best book I’ve read recently is the Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai. Knowing your taste I think you’d love it too. It is very readable and goes fast.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger March 10, 2019 at 7:05 pm

      I am putting this and the one mentioned above on my kindle now!

  • Reply gem March 10, 2019 at 6:59 pm

    Font size is terrific! I am using a laptop. Thanks for increasing it.

  • Reply Julia Lazar March 10, 2019 at 6:59 pm

    I barely notice a difference, font still seems small!

  • Reply Alyce March 10, 2019 at 6:59 pm

    The print is still small on my computer. I zoomed in on it to make it larger.

    Regarding the pants, my first question would be how hard is it for you to find pants you like? Because if finding pants you like is relatively easy, I wouldn’t spend that much because chances are you’ll find something you like at a lower price. I personally have a very hard time with pants, so last year when I placed a huge pants only order from Nordstrom, and wound up loving a similarly priced pair from Lafayette 148, I would have willingly paid any amount for them, even though they were literally three times what I ordinarily pay for pants. (Though I did actually return them because I had just found out I was pregnant and wanted to wait till after pregnancy before dropping that kind of cash.)

    My second thought, regarding fit would be to focus on how the pants make you feel when you wear them. I took a couple of garment construction classes and one of the things you consider in measuring patterns and cutting fabric is the garment “ease.” You have the minimum amount of fabric you have to cut that reflects your body’s measurements, then you add more inches to your pattern based on your ease preference. So you’ll add more or less inches of fabric to your pattern depending on whether you want the garment to be super flowy, or to skim your body, or if you want it to be skin tight. Or maybe you only add inches to different parts of the garment. Like if you prefer more room in your hip area, but overall prefer a slim pant leg. It’s really just a matter of personal preference. Not that you solicited feedback from your readers or anything, but I mostly feel that when others weigh in on how clothing looks on you, their feedback is based on the cultural default of whether the item makes you look as skinny as possible. And it’s easy to forget that the item that makes you look skinny may not actually be what feels good to wear. I’ve found that when I focus on how I feel when wearing a garment, I’ve pretty much never regretted a purchase, and I wear it with joy until it falls apart.

  • Reply SB March 10, 2019 at 7:05 pm

    The pants are too big for you. Too baggy and too long.

    Font is fine.

  • Reply Lee March 10, 2019 at 7:05 pm

    Font size is good on my desktop! I find that I always slow down with my reading when I pick up a non fiction book (like right now). I don’t want to LEARN anything, I just want to relax, lol!

  • Reply Emily March 10, 2019 at 7:05 pm

    I think you normally look amazing but those pants are not doing a good job of highlighting that. The baggy fit makes you look bigger than you really are. There are better pants out there that show your true, awesome, un-baggy self!

  • Reply Amanda March 10, 2019 at 7:05 pm

    Font size is good! Some recent reads (in no order) to help get that spark back: Harry’s Trees, Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell, Next Year in Havana (author lives in south FL !) , Rush, The Other Woman, and Nine Perfect Strangers. I’m excited to see your pants reviews as my wardrobe needs a refresh, too. Especially capris/cropped pants. I live in Boca, and our always-one-season wardrobe is a challenge in its own way.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger March 15, 2019 at 9:12 pm

      I LOVED 9 perfect strangers and read it in like 3 days. Maybe I just need a more addictive book . . . I am going to check out Next Year in Havana!

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