Splurge Tuesday’s TPS Report: ‘Jackie’ Belted Gabardine Sheath Dress

Our daily TPS reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

Black Halo 'Jackie' Belted Gabardine Sheath DressHappy New Year, ladies! I think it’s been ages since I featured a Black Halo dress on this site — even the Jackie, which has been around forever — but something about this lovely red dress is screaming my name. Love the long hem length, the wide waistband, and the asymmetrical neckline. It’s available in red, cobalt blue, and black at Nordstrom for $345. Black Halo ‘Jackie’ Belted Gabardine Sheath Dress

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Comments

  1. Happy New Year, Corporettes!

    The top on this dress is bothering me – the drape across the chest, the cut – maybe it’s just the model, but I wouldn’t want to wear it like that.

  2. Sydney Bristow :

    I love everything about this. I’m very sad that it wouldn’t fit me and that I don’t have the money, although if it came in my size and the quality was great I’d consider paying $345 for it.

  3. This is beautiful. If I had it in my budget, I’d have a very hard time picking between the cobalt and the red.

  4. I like this style a lot, but I think that hemline would hit very awkwardly on anyone not 5’8″+ and less than 130 lbs. It looks great on the model.

  5. Question: How long do we have to submit claims for 2011 FSA? I’ve looked EVERYWHERE on my health insurance provider’s website and it’s nowhere to be found.

    • I believe you have until March? Your FSA may be administered separately from your health insurance provider — I know mine is. Try checking with HR if you don’t know the FSA administrating company’s name; you probably will just have to go to their website and create a login. From there, it’s pretty intuitive (though YMMV on the responsiveness of the claim-submittal process).

    • If your FSA is administered by ADP… I think the website is down. I have both a healthcare fsa and a commuter/parking fsa via ADP. My parking fsa didn’t register this morning. I can’t get hold of anyone at FSA and the link on the adp site is broken.

    • Depends on the administrator for the FSA. The run out period (period for submitting claims that have already been incurred during the regular plan year) is usually somewhere between 60 and 90 days after the end of the plan year.

      Its also possible (maybe even likely?) that your FSA is not administered by the health care provider, so I would contact your HR department about deadlines.

  6. Rant about Talbots and sizing. I ordered two sweaters (size small) and a shirt (size 6). Tried to wear the shirt and one sweater this moring and they’re both way way way too big. I’m 5’9″ and slender (definitely not skinny) and the idea that a small wouldn’t fit me is absurd. I realize I can buy an XS, but isn’t an XS supposed to fit women who are 5’1″ and 105 lbs? Why won’t they just make clothing to reflect the words they use to label them–like make “small” sweaters small. Amazing idea. I’d be happy to buy a medium or large–since I’m much closer to being a medium or large woman.

    Thank you. Rant over.

    • I hear you. J Crew is getting bad, too. I’ve always worn a small in their tops, but now that they have added the XXS to their sizing, I need to size down to an XS. I’m about 5’4″ and usually clock in around 125 pounds. The idea that I’m now considered “extra small” is absurd to me.

      • Yes! This is driving me crazy. I’m the same height and weight as you, I’ve worn J.Crew for years, and I’ve always been a 4 in bottoms and S in tops, but lately I’ve gotten a 2 in some items and XS in nearly all shirts. I’m pretty average-sized, not unusually slender or petit (which is what “extra” small seems to imply). Part of the reason I get so many of my clothes at J.Crew is that I can order online without trying things on, so it drives me nuts that they’re messing with that.

        This is irritating, though not as irritating as the marked decrease in quality over the last few years, which I know people have griped about on here before.

        • Anonymous :

          Oh my goodness, I have the same issue with JCrew. Been wearing for years, my issue is that the small and XS tops don’t have long enough sleeves! I’m 5’10” and slender, so the M tops have long enough sleeves but end up boxy, but the smalls have too short of sleeves. It is driving my absolutely batty. I know they have tall sizes online, but I like to try things on, and the tall sizes are too long in the torso for me (short waisted, long limbed . . . sitting I am the same height as my 5’3″ sister).

          Maybe I’m just destined to be awkward as my 13 year old self figured out…

    • Salit-a-gator :

      This. Last year I made the mistake of buying something from Talbots on final sale – it was way too big and I was stuck with it. I think Talbots is a “must-try-on” store for me – always had bad luck with online orders.

    • I bought a couple things at the talbots outlet in much smaller sizes than normal. I usually wear an 8 but the Talbots items were in a S and a Small Petite.

    • Totally agree! I sometimes wear petites there and sometimes not, so it’s a giant pain to figure out what to order. I wish all online companies would go the Boden route and list actual garment measurements, so you can order based on how much ease you want, etc.

    • This. Oh, so this. I’m probably the same build as you, SunnyD, and apparently I’m a “petite” at Talbots, or sometimes an XS. In any event, cannot order online from them anymore. There are lots of adjectives with which I could accurately describe my body, and “petite” and “extra-small” are nowhere among them.

    • I am sized out of some stores because of the ridiculous vanity sizing. I would likely buy Talbots, Ann Taylor, etc. clothing if it fit me.

      Alternatively, has anyone noticed that BR has made the arms super narrow in their x-small shirts? It is to the point that I now have trouble bending my elbows in some of the shirt, and I have fairly thin arms. My sister and I both have this issues, and if we go up much, the shirt is too big in the shoulders or torso.

      • Yes. I’ve noticed this with Loft, too, over the past couple of years. My boyfriend’s theory is that women want the sleeves to serve as “arm corsets” to hold any arm pudge in place.

        I also can’t buy BR button-up anything this year. If the shirt or sweater fits in the shoulders, the buttons gap open across my bust. I’m not flat-chested but didn’t think I was super-busty either (32D). It’s annoying, but on the other hand I’ve saved some money this year by basically eliminating BR from shopping consideration.

      • This is a huge issue for me. My arms are lean, but not skinny. An XS usually fits me well around the bust and waist, but I feel like I’m going tear the seams out of the armpits. If I go up a size, things look sloppy.

      • Research, Not Law :

        I’ve noticed this with Gap, too. The tight sleeves make me look like sausage.

        LOL, although I do love “arm corset.”

    • THIS. I am 5’8”; I’m on the slender side but have a pretty large bone structure (big shoulders, long arms etc) — there is absolutely no way a size Small should be too big, no matter what store. It’s just depressing, and since the size charts on the websites don’t actually match the sizes, I have given up just about all online shopping.

    • Recently went in a Talbots BM looking for a top. I’m 5’0″, 110. Nasty looks from the saleswoman who was trying to “help” me. Apparently actual petite women are no longer welcome.

  7. I like the dress in the blue color but I always feel that asymmetrical necklines look funny when I wear anything over them (e.g. a cardigan). Is there a way to style a dress like this for cooler weather or is it really only a summer dress given the asymmetrical neckline and sleeveless-ness?

    • Wondering the same thing. I love the dress, but I don’t love being almost-sleeveless at work, and I’m not sure how layering would look.

      • Anonymous :

        I have own the dress is black. I am 5’5″ 135 lbs. It is gorgeous on – but I think it is too much for the office. No amount of cover up (jacket, cardigan, or gauzey sweater) will do this dress justice. The art is in the neckline, back, and “cut”. Too much skin for the suits (IMHO), but a definite go for weddings, parties, dates, and cocktailing. A safer bet would be the 3/4 sleeve Jackie O dress. Happy New Year!

    • Sydney Bristow :

      It probably depends on how distinct the aysemmetric line is. A coworker wore an aysemmetric dress recently with a crew neck cardigan that she wore open and I thought it looked fine. The line looked intentional and not like her dress was just a little crooked.

    • My first thought is that a drapey cardigan might work, I think they are sometimes called “waterfall”? Because the front of the sweater is rather unstructured, it wouldn’t compete with the asymmetry.

      On the other hand, it might look like a hot mess. How about a bolero style sweater? Almost no neckline to speak of on those.

      • I don’t think a drapey cardigan – or any kind of cardigan, unfortunately – would work over this dress. the neckline is not only asymmetrical, it’s draped, which would make it look odd underneath another layer.

        frankly i think the neckline and sleeves *make* this dress what it is – for better or worse – so if you weren’t planning to wear it as shown i would take your $345 and spend it elsewhere. You can get a much more versatile dress for that price or a fraction thereof.

        • I have an asymetrical neckline dress similar to the one featured and the only thing I’ve been able to do to make it work is wear a tissue thin, long sleeved crew neck underneath (turtleneck may work, too).

    • I have a dress with an asymmetrical neckline and cap sleeves. I love it and wear a basic crew neck cardigan over it (unbuttoned). In my experience, since the asymmetrical aspect looks intentional, the cardigan works.

    • Lawyer Bird :

      I have a couple like this and I wear them with a tissue-weight turtleneck underneath.

  8. DC ‘Rettes? Did anyone “lose” thier remaining Smart trip benefits? I had 30 $ from last year and poof! it was gone this am – my january money loaded on automatically, but I thought $ carried over from the previous year as long as it was under a certain amount! :(

    • Yes– and it will happen every month you have a surplus. No more rollover.

    • Yep, they changed the rules. You now have two “purses” on your SmartTrip, work and personal. When they switched the system (late November, I believe), whatever was on your card went into your personal purse and the work purse was empty. They will put money automatically in the work purse each month, and it will zero out at the end of the month–no more carryover. I’m not exactly sure on this, but I believe that if you spend your work purse in the month, it starts dipping into the personal purse. And if you have a long commute, that’s likely–Congress didn’t pass legislation extending the exempt transit benefit of $250 so now the limit is $125.

      • Yes, when you use up your work purse, it automatically switches over to the personal purse. It happened to me last month, right around the time I saw Obama signed the executive order freezing my salary for another year.

    • Lawyer Bird :

      There were some changes to the program. You had to register your card and use it once in the second half of December. I assume you’ve done this, since your January money loaded automatically.

      Whether or not your money rolls over month to month is up to your employer. If your employer puts the money in for you, then most likely they have decided to take the money back at the end of each month. That’s what seems to have happened in your case. If they deduct the money from your paycheck (as opposed to giving you free money for transit) then you should be getting it back. If anything isn’t clear, you should talk to your company’s benefits coordinator, because the rollover is up to your company, not Metro.

      I got all this info via an email from Metro after I registered my card. I will copy and paste it in a reply, to avoid moderation.

      • Lawyer Bird :

        Here’s the info Metro sent me:

        SmartBenefits Autoload Begins January 1, 2012

        Metro’s SmartBenefits program is taking steps to comply with the IRS requirement to separate parking and transit benefits to restrict comingled use. (Internal Revenue bulletin Rev. Rul. 2006-57)

        Claiming your SmartBenefits

        Beginning with January’s benefits, you will no longer need to load your SmartBenefits onto your SmarTrip card at a Farecards and Passes machine. With Autoload, your benefit will remain in an account. And like a debit card, your SmarTrip card will access the account and deduct the fare or parking fee when you tap your card to a Metrorail faregate, bus farebox or Metro parking target.

        Preparing your card to access your account

        To access your account beginning in January, you must use your SmarTrip card at least once in the last two weeks of this month (December 16 -31). This action prepares your card to access the account. This is only important if you HAD NOT planned on using your card in the last two weeks of the month. If you’re a regular commuter, it’s not an issue. You must repeat this step if you replace your SmarTrip card or make any changes to your benefits.
        Autoload works on Metrorail, as well as Metrobus and these regional bus systems: ART, CUE, DASH, DC Circulator, Fairfax Connector, Loudoun County Transit, PRTC OmniRide, Ride On and TheBus. It does not work on the MTA bus and rail systems.

        Changes to SmartBenefits

        Beginning in January, your employer will determine what happens to any unused benefits. They may either be credited back to your employer’s account or rolled over to your account for future use (maximum of $4,045 for transit and $4,045 for parking).

        Also beginning in January, transit funds will not be transferrable from one purse to another. Transit benefits will not pay for parking and parking benefits will not pay for transit. Nor will funds be able to transfer into your personal stored value purse.

        Your personal stored value purse allows you to load additional amounts to cover either transit or parking. Transit and parking payments will be deducted from your transit and parking benefits purses first. If and when those funds are exhausted, payments will be deducted from your personal stored value purse.

        Any funds on your card prior to January 1, 2012 will move into your personal stored value purse.

        Transit benefits are limited for use on bus and rail, however, transit benefits may be reallocated for MetroAccess, MARC, VRE, MTA commuter buses, registered vanpools and independent bus services.

        Immediately notify your program administrator if you replace your registered SmarTrip card. Register your replacement card immediately at smartrip.com. Please allow at least 24 hours for registration to occur.

        SmartBenefits cannot be assigned to unregistered cards.

        You can view:

        . Personal stored value balance at any Farecards and Passes machine.

        . Transit purse at any faregate or farebox.*

        . Parking purse at any Metrorail parking target.*

        . All balances # plus all transactions # by creating an online SmarTrip account. Go to smartrip.com and click on Manage your Account Online.

        * If a portion of your fare or parking fee comes from your personal stored value purse (due to insufficient funds in your transit or parking purses), the amount displayed will be the balance from your personal stored value purse.

        For additional information, visit:
        http://www.wmata.com/business/employer_fare_program/

    • ChristinaMD :

      My father retired in April with a ridiculous amount of money in SmartBenefit vouchers. It’s a good thing we happened to talk about it at Christmas b/c I had to run downtown for him and exchange them for some ludicrious number of one day passes b/c they couldn’t transfer onto the SmartTrip card anymore. Sigh – I feel for people dealing with Metro everyday – what a bunch of nincompoops when it comes to rolling out benefits programs (I realize the Gov’t is partially to blame too)!

  9. Bummer for those of us used to previously-stellar Boden customer service: was just told they are not doing price correction credits on the new sale prices as they always have for their 2x yearly sales. Disappointing to have that new-dress buzz immediately worn off b/c I paid too much by days… will make me think longer about buying in future, knowing it’s more caveat emptor.

  10. a nonny miss :

    Blonde Lawyer, has your blog gone live yet?

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Thank you for asking! It has and you can see it here: http://mundaneart.tumblr.com/ I have three days of posts already!

      Here is the idea:
      Using just my iphone and free editing software, I am demonstrating that it doesn’t take a fancy camera or lessons to make art through photography. It involves cultivating the eye and seeing the beauty among the mundane.

      Each day I will post three pictures of the same scene. One will be artistic and edited, one will be artistic but unedited, and the last will be a wider shot of the scene. I hope to demonstrate that this “mundane art” would have been lost if one wasn’t looking for it. My goal is to inspire other people to try photography and to see the beauty around them even if they don’t have a fancy camera.

      • a nonny miss :

        I’m definitely going to follow!

      • Cool project – thanks for sharing!

      • anon for this :

        Very cool! Added you to my google reader subscriptions!

      • Happy New Year, everyone!

        My resolutions are:

        1. to find a better job in, and relocate to, Big City (interview #2 with the firm I met with before Christmas still hasn’t been scheduled)
        2. to get up to running 10K (last year I did Couch to 5K)
        3. to get my debts in order
        4. to eat as “green” as possible (this is really just a continuation of what I tried to do in 2011, but I want to reinforce it and bring my BF into the plan)

        Ugh, I sustained my very first skiing accident last week and injured my knee. At least I am walking now, but I made the mistake of wearing short heels today, which was a mistake. The knee is very sore. :-(

        • Sorry, I don’t know why this posted here. I didn’t mean to. Though I will add my support of Blonde Lawyer’s project to this thread, because it sounds way cool!

  11. Five Year Plans :

    Dear Research, Not Law

    A couple weeks ago, you posted that you and your husband spent your first NYE discussing your “five year plans.” I wanted to say thank you for the great idea. At dinner on NYE, my fiancé, SS (21), SD (16) and I each discussed our five year plan. It led to some great discussions. 

    Also at dinner, we held our annual motto vote. The winner was “Live in Reality.” Past mottos have been “No Drama,” “Solution Oriented,” and “Read and Think.”As usual, the best part of the election was the discussion of each candidate. 

    Happy New Year, and thanks again. 

    • I love that you have an annual motto! How cool is that?

    • Seattleite :

      Thanks for posting this! I’m going to adopt both approaches with my kids.

    • Oh, I love an annual motto. So stealing this idea!

    • Research, Not Law :

      Oh, I’m so glad!!! And I love this year’s motto!

      I can’t remember if I mentioned in my OP, but we apparently stuffed them in a drawer and forgot about them. We just uncovered them a couple of months ago, nearly 5 years exactly after we wrote them. It was really special. Some factors have made us feel like our life is out of control recently, but we realized how nearly spot-on we are on the important things.

      Happy 2012 to you and your family :)

  12. Blonde Lawyer :

    So, New Year’s Resolutions? Here are mine –

    1.) Eat as close to gluten free/lactose free as possible for at least long enough to see if it makes a difference. I’m reading and loosely following the book “Clean” that was recommended here.

    2.) Also going off of Clean, being aware of and trying to reduce toxins and chemicals in my daily life. Eating hormone free meat, using green cleaning products, etc. Even if I can’t cut the dry cleaning cord, being aware of the problem is half the battle. Does anyone know of a reputable source to find beauty products that aren’t tested on animals? There are so many different codes out there. Bath and Body Words says “this finished product not tested on animals.” So, does that mean the individual ingredients were? One of my face creams says “cruelty free” with a picture of a bunny. Okay, well, I don’t think the U.S. defines animal testing as cruelty. So . . . do you test on animals or not? I

    3.) Keeping up w/ meditation/hypnosis. For those of you asking about hypnosis for stress reduction, I found a great free iphone app that was very similar to my real session. It is called a meditation app but for me it is hypnosis. It is called Silva Meditations and so far I’ve done the morning and evening ones.

    4.) Keep up w/ my photography blog, linked above.

    • Great post!
      1. Only actively engage in good relationships (except family because, well, you know).
      2. Enjoy spending my money.

    • You might want to do gluten free first, then both together (or lactose free first, then both together). That way you can discover if you’re only intolerant to one and you won’t give up anything you don’t need to give up. :)

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        I’ve already been doing LF for a couple years. Thanks! I just mention it because otherwise people send me GF recipes that are full of lactose. :)

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        Oh and the LF resolution is also because I want to adhere to to it more strictly. I have been eating yogurt, frozen yogurt, and some processed foods that contained milk or milk products. I’ll still make occasional concessions with lactose pills but I’m going to be more vigilant about all the hidden lactose.

    • Lawyer Bird :

      Beautypedia has info on animal testing:
      http://www.beautypedia.com/AnimalTesting.aspx

    • I’ve been slowly making the switch to green cleaning products and like most of the products in the Method line. I also like that they sell refills so I’m throwing fewer bottles away.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        I LOVE Method! I read about the product in a Yoga magazine before it went mainstream. I signed up as an “advocate” and for awhile I got to test new products before they ended up in stores. I also got a ton of free swag and coupons. I’m not sure if they have scaled back their advocate program or if I just stopped getting stuff b/c I’ve moved too many times.

      • Love the Method wood cleaner. It takes hair spray off of wood furniture without damaging the furniture and also is the only cleaner that works for unglueing mail from my dining room table after my cat has barfed on it when I left her for a few days. And it smells great (almond)!

        • NOLA, I am not sure I want to know why you have hairspray on wood furniture. But as a hairspray devotee, I can’t judge. I’m also a big fan of Method!

          • Ha ha! Well, it’s just a small bedroom (old house with no outlets in the bathroom) where the only place in the house that’s convenient to do my hair has the footboard of my bed on one side and my dresser on the other. No matter how hard I try, hairspray does build up on the wood.

      • I love Method’s granite cleaner — it smells like peppermint! I also completely love Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day products — esp. the Honeysuckle hand soap. Not tested on animals (though I know the OP was asking about beauty products, not cleaning products, for that).

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Great choices! Mine are to read for pleasure more often (goal is 1 book per month), start dating again (OK Cupid profile went up yesterday), and to take more pictures when hanging out with my friends.

      Sorry if this posts twice, the office wifi and I are having a disagreement this morning.

    • I like reading others’ resolutions! Mine are:

      1. Spend at least 20 min cleaning my house every day.
      2. Go on regular one-on-one ‘dates’ with each of my boys (includes dh and my sons ages almost 12, 9 & 6 – no daughters for me) I haven’t decided on the definition of ‘regular’ yet
      3. Read more non-fiction, especially business books. I’m a new manager and have a lot to learn.

      • Snarky In House :

        Here’s what I came up with for mine this week:

        1. New job

        2. Run 1 race a month and of those 12, 1 half marathon and 1 full.

        I forget the rest… oh well… lol…

    • Anon for this :

      Last year my resolution was to improve my skin-care regiment. I got new fancy creams, had a few facials, got a clarisonic, and learned to be fastidious about not going to sleep with makeup on. Skin is looking much better, I don’t even wear foundation now!

      This year – eat healthier. I’m working on mini-resolutions within that one. I’m going on vacation in January so this month the resolution is “eat breakfast.” I’m going to have one per month to focus on (with maybe some repeats). Ideas – bring healthy lunches 3x per week, make healthy dinner 4x a week (then more), stop drinking soda, etc. If I tried to do all these things at once, I would definitely fail, but one at a time I have a good chance.

    • Suddenly Anon :

      Last year my resolution was to get physically healthy, and I lost over 50 pounds (hello skinny jeans!).

      This year my goal is to get financially healthy. I have a long, long way to go.

    • Bursting out :

      I’m a big self-improver, and usually have a list of resolutions several times a year (New Year, birthday, seasonal changes, etc.).

      This year I have exactly one: give birth to & nurture a healthy baby. To that end, I’m eating organic, vegetarian, gf foods; gobbling up vitamins; using non-toxic cleaning products, not buying particle board/ MDF furniture for the baby room; choosing organic clothing/ bedding for him/her…. Less than two months to go!

    • To work harder and make more money. I’ve set a very lofty goal to try to make $2,000 average per week that I work in 2012 (I started with a goal of $100K, but then revised when I thought of the fact that I might need to take time off later in the year, depending on what happens.) This would be a huge leap for me, and I’m going to try to get as close as I can.

      Must limit my Corporette time, though!

    • Seattleite :

      1. Give up white food – sugar and flour. I feel so much better on Atkins, and suspect I have celiac disease. No more excuses that I only have time to cook pasta or eggs on toast!
      2. Thin down my possessions. I want to move to the city, but right now I couldn’t possibly afford a place big enough for all my stuff.
      3. Start exercising again. In the interest of keeping myself going, a 20 minute walk or 15 minutes on the elliptical counts. I’ll always have 15 minutes.

    • Making your own cleaning products is always an option. Once I use up the products that I already have, I plan on making my own laundry detergent, all-purpose cleaner, and bathroom spray.

  13. Legally Brunette :
  14. I have been growing my very short haircut out for months. About two weeks ago, I got a fantastic cut into a classic bob and I am just thrilled with it. The stylist cut it so precisely that I don’t even have to blow my hair dry to get it to curl under perfectly.

    Since my f2f friends would probably just roll their eyes at this news, I’m sharing it here: I LOVE my new hair!

    • Sydney Bristow :

      What city are you in? If you are in NYC, please share the stylists name! I’m in desperate need of a haircut.

      • Me to. The manageing partner says I am begining to look like a “yippee” whatever that is. I think he likes my hair LONG, so I am tryeing to get it cut SHORT. He made me work until 5:30 pm on Friday when everyone else had left! FOOEY on him! FOOEY!

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        I’m sure you’re able to spend a lot more in NYC but my sister just got her haircut by Grey at Dramatics NYC on 5th for $45 and she LOVES it. It looks incredibly good on her. It’s a long layered style.

        • Sydney Bristow :

          Awesome thanks! Coming from the Pacific Northwest, I just can’t bring myself to pay $60+ for a cut. My style is long layers too, so I’ll check this place out.

          • When i was in law school I got great cuts from Irma at Astor Place (if I recall right, $40 with a blow-dry, less if you left with wet hair). It’s just not as convenient for me anymore, and I did miss some of the little luxuries that even a cheaper salon typically has.

          • Anonymous :

            Hey, I live in Seattle and spend $75 on my cuts!

      • Not in NYC; sorry. This was a very small salon in Cocoa Beach, FL. I was only in town briefly, but that was the day I just reached my limit and had to get it cut.

    • AnonInfinity :

      Your post give me hope. I’m trying to grow out a pixie cut. I love it, but I want to try something different after having it super short for 4 years. I’m getting very impatient, and I feel like it’s looking more awkward by the day! Any tips on making it through the awkward phase?! I get very frequent trims to shape it (every 3-4 weeks). Ughhhhh.

      All this is to say, I’m so happy that you love it!!!

  15. There was a discussion here a while back about cures for keratosis pilaris. Over the break, I tried out Glytone exfoliating body wash with excellent results. Combined with Amlactin drugstore lotion, the bumps are gone! Miracle cure for anyone else craving smooth skin for 2012.

  16. Always a NYer :

    Do any of you ladies have experience with Zumba? I’ve never gone to an excerise class before and am going with a friend to a class next week after work. Will yoga pants, a t-shirt, and sneakers be appropriate to wear? Any tips on what to expect? TIA!!!

    • another anon :

      Your outfit should be fine, although I might consider going with shorts as it is a very active workout and you might get hot in pants. I’ve only been to a few classes, and I didn’t really care for it. I found it difficult to keep up with the moves, which seemed pretty complicated to me. But I’m sure if you are more coordinated than me or if you stuck with it for a while, it would be easier. The other thing I didn’t like is that there seemed to be a lot of marketing of zumba-branded clothes, music, etc. during class. But that probably varies depending on the teacher.

    • I’ve been a Zumba fan for years…it’s great exercise whether or not you can dance! General workout/gym clothes and sneakers should be fine. Have fun! I’m so jealous…5 months pregnant and craving for some Zumba action!

    • Another Zumba Fan :

      Just remember you are there for yourself. Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing.

    • those clothes are perfect! be ready to have fun and don’t be self conscious! the most important part about zumba is to just keep moving- even if you can’t figure out the steps, even if you think ridiculous etc. just keep bouncing around and you’ll have fun and have a great workout!

    • Your attire sounds perfect! Also, you’re probably going to sweat a lot, so make sure your hair is off your face as well.

      My advice is to give it a few tries before giving up on it. I have years of dance experience and used to be a dance teacher, and I definitely stumbled around a little confused during my first class. However, after three classes or so, it got a little easier and a lot more fun!

    • Zumba works for me. It keeps your heart rate up. I ended up going to a few different places before I found a class where I didn’t feel like a danger to the other women, though. I tend to be so far off the beat that I was bashing into other people. In the one I go to now, there’s enough space for everyone to give me a wide berth.

      I concur that there is a ridiculous amount of marketing of clothes, etc., but you can wear almost anything for the first couple of classes. Good shoes are important — it’s pretty high-impact and there are a lot of side-to-side moves. My teacher recommends cross-trainers.

    • Zumba is so much fun! My advice is to go in with the attitude that you are going to have fun rather than look good, because everyone except the instructor will look absurd. I find that when I just go with it and smile I end up having a really enjoyable workout.

    • Lawyer Bird :

      I love Zumba! It’s like line dancing except with a ton of cardio and no pressure to actually do all the moves correctly. Basically, the teacher will have a routine consisting of two or three sets of moves for each song. She’ll stand in the front and you’ll copy her moves at first, and then you’ll have it down. It’s really fun.

      Wear a good sports bra because it can be pretty high impact, with side to side jumping and whatnot. If you have a choice of athletic footwear, try to wear something that does not have a lot of tread on the bottom – you want to be able to move easily and running shoes tend to stick to the floor.

      My (other) favorite blog is by a Zumba instructor – check out fitnessista dot com.

  17. Anon for this :

    Ladies – I want to give you a huge thank you. I got engaged over the holidays and am so happy. You’ve helped me along with great advice during a really rough patch of our relationship, suggestions on how to go ring shopping together and more. This is a really amazing community.

  18. OT –Myhusband and I want to get a couples massage this weekend. Anyone know of a good place in NYC or surrounding area that you don’t have to make an appointment weeks/months in advance? Thanks.

    • Depending on how much you want to spend:

      Graceful Services (multiple locations) – relatively inexpensive, but not a very spa-like atmosphere. My go-to for a straight-up massage.

      Silk Day Spa – have never had a massage here, but they’ve been my go-to for facials.

      Great Jones – this one might be hard to book on short notice, but they have a great steam room and sauna, and plunge pools, so you can spend a few hours there and have a bit of a spa day. Perhaps the priciest out of the three.

  19. just Karen :

    I just bookmarked your blog – great concept, and beautiful pictures. Thank you for sharing!

  20. Generic BC :

    Does anyone have experience with Tri-Sprintec vs Tri-Nessa birth control? I’ve been on Tri-Sprintec for a few months and just had my prescription refilled at a new pharmacy and noticed that they have me Tri-Nessa instead. I know they’re both generics of Ortho Tri-Cyclen, but does anyone know if is there any difference between the two? I’ve been sensitive to certain kinds of birth control in the past and have thus far had a decent experience with Tri-Sprintecs, so I don’t really want to change, but if they’re exactly the same then I won’t make a fuss.

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