Weekend Open Thread

Something on your mind?  Chat about it here.

I don’t know if it’s a byproduct from growing up in the 80s, but here’s my dark, deep secret:  I often look at leather pants and think, “those are so hot.”  I’m told they’re horrible to wear, but somewhere on my fashion bucket list, there’s a hot pair of leather pants in there.  Anyway:  while browsing ShopBop I found these amazing GREEN leather pants.  Green leather!  And they’re cropped!  They’re kind of blowing my mind right now (more in a “whoa, these exist” kind of way than a “must have” kind of way), and I had to share. They’re, um, $875 at ShopBop.  Alisa Leather Pants

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Comments

  1. I ripped my pants putting them on this morning. This job (biglaw for just over a year now) has not been good on my figure or wardrobe. I need to lose the added weight NOW. I’ve done Weight Watchers in the past, but don’t like thier new system. I really need to get over the stigma of eating home-made stuff/diet-ish food for lunch. Any advice on that from the group? Everyone here goes to the firm cafeteria and its the social time of the day. I feel sooo fat :( Anyone tried anything useful?

    • Sparkpeople! It’s a free online weight loss site that has menus, workouts, and tons of support! I lost 35 pounds just by following the program (track your food, cardio, strength training, and motivation)

      • Anonymous :

        Ditto Sparkpeople!

      • Third! Helped me loose 30 lbs, and I’ve kept it off for 3.5 years. And, I still participated in weekly treat day at work while loosing. Great program, and free!

        • Can't wait to quit :

          Fourth – love Sparkpeople. I could never stick w/ WW because I didn’t get enough to eat, but Sparkpeople is adjustable so you can lose weight slowly if that’s what it takes for you. As for wanting to go to the cafeteria to be social – why not eat a small, home made something at your desk, and then just go get a cup of coffee for the social part?

      • I am always interested in WAYS to loose weight. I was SO busy doing EBT’s today that i am JUST getting to the HIVE to say HELLO.

        Anyway, the manageing partner says I will be getting a $5,000 raise!!!!! YAY!!!!!

        Evedentely, he like’s how I do EBT’s, and want’s me to recrueit NEW CLEINTS!!!!!!

        But I do NOT want to have to SCHMOOZE with POTENTIEAL CLEINTS. FOOEY on that!

        I have to work alot this weekend on new EBT’s. FOOEY!

        • Ellen’s juxtaposition of a professional woman with a big job and a big boss who pays big money for serious professional work to a women who hasn’t even mastered the basics skills of spelling, writing conventions, electronic social discourse (highlighted by her use of the trademark “fooey”, a word that no one actually uses), and employee-employer relations flies in the face of everything we are taught to strive for as women and teach our daughters vis-a-vis social correctness, academic perfection, and trying to conform and fit in. As Ellen’s character demonstrates, these conventions are not where the sparks of true creativity and innovation reside. What a great demonstration of how the creation of a character can be an extraordinarily powerful and thought provoking teaching tool above and beyond anything that can be simply said with words.

          • Not sure if you’re a regular Corporette, but I had thought I was the most scholarly of Ellen’s followers until now! Good to see that someone else shares my inexplicable need to close-read her.

            I share your opinion that Ellen’s persona is an illustration of irony. I would add to your profile: she talks a big game about being independent and respected as a woman, but also harps constantly on her need for a boyfriend/husband (to pay her bills), need to lose weight, and inability to do things like math or taxes (thus needing either Alan or her father to take over). Her posts are also, often, incoherent or totally non-cohesive in their various points. I think “she” is probably making fun of us, but it’s very artistically done in its own way, and she’s so absurd that I don’t think many people are earnestly offended. Generally the three responses I see from Corporette readers are: 1) ignore; 2) play along; 3) tell her she’s lame and to stop. I can understand each of these responses. I wish she provided more variation and sharper humor, but even as-is I feel like she serves a purpose that defies categorization.

            About once a week I Google her full “name”–Ellen Barshevsky–to check out what she has written on other blogs. She has a very consistent voice. I think it’s possible that the troll/blogger who got kicked off the ABA online site in 2008 is NOT the same person(s) we’re dealing with now, but even if so the new torch-bearers are being fairly loyal to the original.

            I actually find some solace and inspiration in Ellen’s account of life. I hope she is not so obtrusive as to seriously bother readers who don’t like her, and I also try to moderate my own engagement with her because I know that many readers (validly) see this as “feeding the trolls.” I have encouraged her to solve this problem by starting her own blog, but am not having any luck.

          • I love that the two of you have taken the time to deconstruct Ellen (teh Ellen?). Well done, ladies.

    • Whoops, I totally missed the “reply” button! I responded like two posts down! Sorry!

    • AnotherLadyLawyer :

      Ditto the concern about the stigma, but mine is more focused on having to reject offers to leave the building to pick up lunch. What seems to work for me is blaming it on a New Years Resolution, no matter what the real reason is — looked at my Amex bill, realized how much money I spend on food (NYC, so it’s outrageous) and am now attempting to be “good” by bringing in my food. Everyone says “Oh, I should do that!” No one needs to know it is “diet-ish” or homemade because you’re sticking to WW or your own plan. Another option? Eating lunch at your desk, but circling back with the people you’re close to in the office for coffee or a walk around the block in the sunshine in the afternoon. I’d much rather have a 3pm social pick-me-up!

    • Equity's Darling :

      Lose It. iPhone app, lets you scan food items you’re eating, also free.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      There’s a stigma against eating homemade food for lunch? Well, shoot. Could you bring your homemade nice lunch with you to the firm cafeteria so you can still socialize? I bring my lunch every single day. Saves money both in terms of not buying food out and eating up the food we have, saves calories because restaurant portions are big even if they are healthful, and saves time. My colleagues don’t mind that I bring my glasslock downstairs while they go buy food – just one of my personal quirks they are used to, I guess.

      I also have a no-office-treats rule. None of the random pastries/cakes/cookies that get brought in, ever. I may take it and wrap it in a napkin to be polite to “eat at my desk” if someone insists, but I will throw it away immediately. Not worth the calories.

      And no liquid calories. I drink water, or unsweetened tea. No soda, no juice, no “enhanced water.”

      • The “no office treats rule” has just been adopted by me. Thank you! I generally don’t partake, but I do have weaknesses for some select items that show up from time to time.

      • This rule was one of my New Year’s resolutions. It worked for about a week, and then people started bringing in king cakes for Mardi Gras :-) Somehow it’s sooo much more difficult to give up yummy seasonal treats than it is to pass on grocery store birthday cakes.

        • I started just telling myself that I don’t eat/like king cake. I generally don’t like sweet yeast dough baked goods and the copious colored sugar turns me off, so it’s been fairly easy. I hadn’t eaten any in years. But I have to admit that I fell off the wagon on Monday for a fabulous moist iced king cake with lots of cinnamon and a creamy filling. Unfortunately I was really hungry.

          • Hope it was at least from Gambino’s and not the Winn-Dixie. :)

          • You know, I don’t know where it was from. I can’t imagine Winn Dixie and since Katrina, the only Gambino’s is way out in Metairie. I’m thinking maybe it was Whole Foods. But I know it was good.

    • Join the cafeteria crowd but only get coffee and a piece of fruit. Explain you’re working on eating several small meals throughout the day (assuming someone even comments–they may not really care and, after a time, everyone will know that’s all you get everyday). Then eat your homemade lunch at your desk 90 minutes later when you’re hungry again. Cheaper and more healthful, while still participating in the social time.

    • Lean Cuisine. I try to make my own healthy lunch but sometimes it’s just easier to pop a frozen meal into the microwave. I keep a week’s worth in the office fridge and don’t have to think about counting calories when I’m in a hurry.

    • Buy a diet soda/water from the cafeteria and bring your own food from home? Then you could socialize and still be sure you’re eating a reasonable meal. My old office had a cafeteria and I ended up doing that because the healthy options just weren’t working for me.

      • I recently started bringing my lunch at least 4 days, but found a cute lunch box at laptoplunches.com, so I don’t feel as badly about it!! A few other friends decided to do it, too, so there is now a small group of us who pack, but we sit with others in the “common area” who also buy. I follow a low carb type of diet when I want to lose weight so with the little laptop lunch containers I can pack a salad with berries, some ham/cheese rollups, veggies w/ dip, and some air popped popcorn.

    • I’ve lost 38 pounds on spark people. Love it.

    • Anonymous :

      I’ve learned to get over it and take my own lunch to the cafeteria. It’s awkward the first few times, but I’ve recently discovered I have a mild wheat intolerance, and so it’s just much easier to bring my own. People’s reactions will be the hardest thing to deal with, but instead of overdrawn explanations or feeling guilty about it, attack it head on and say, “I whipped up a great risotto for lunch today! I’ll go snag us a table by the windows.” If they ask, say you’re feeling sick of processed foods and want to try something different.

      I find it’s easiest to stay on track if I keep my mini fridge and office stocked with basics (baggies of veggies, apples, oranges, cheese sticks, popchips, etc) and then just bring my entree with from home. I buy apples and oranges in bulk, and I cut up and portion out veggies into snack-size baggies on the weekend. I cook a lot, and it’s satisfying to make my co-workers jealous of whatever I’m having for lunch. I do avoid carrying a tacky lunch bag – invest in some good, heavy duty tupperware that seals well and won’t stain. Throw it in a tote or purse. I personally haven’t gotten any pushback from my coworkers, though I was upfront with them about the wheat issue. They even like it that I can go find us a table and save it while they load up their overpriced caesar salads and wait in line. You’ll save money, stay healthy, and best of all, you won’t miss that important social time.

    • I am curious about the stigma you mentioned against bringing in your lunch. When I bring in my lunch I feel like I won the battle for the day against the overpriced lunch spot across the street, but my husband, who make less than I do, refuses to ever bring in food to work for lunch. The funny thing is he enjoys cooking and sees it as a sign of affection. He does 99% of the cooking at home, and when we put away our dinner leftovers, he lovingly puts together TV dinner-sized portions for me to take to the office for lunch.

      • Maddie Ross :

        This is my husband, too. Drives me nuts. I bring my lunch nearly every day (unless I have pre-arranged plans or I’m running super late). My husband goes out every day, even if it’s by himself. He says he needs the break, though I’ve never figured out why eating Subway is more of a break than a turkey sandwich and carrot sticks.

        • MeliaraofTlanth :

          because you get that nice little break for the time it takes you to walk/drive to the Subway and back. I admit that while I try to bring my lunch, I usually break down and go out to get lunch at least 2 days a week for this exact reason. I just need to leave the office (and don’t drink coffee, so I don’t have that excuse for a midafternoon break)

      • This was my husband when he worked in an office. He hated his co-workers asking him questions about his lunch, even just innocuous things like “oh, that smells good, what is it?” These are people he worked with regularly, and generally liked, and it’s not like he is shy in general. He just has a hangup about feeling cross-examined on his lunch. Being familiar with some of those reactions/questions as a lunch-bringer myself, it can be a little off-putting when people use it as an opportunity to question your eating habits, or as one of those all-about-them “compliments” (“oh, you’re so good that you do that; I could never do that; how do you find the time?”). I agree with the word stigma, but it’s a strange stigma, because in my experience most people do recognize the many reasons and value that comes from packing lunch. So the stigma is sort of one that you’re a weirdo for actually prioritizing and acting on those reasons, like you’re a show-off or something. At least, that’s how I’ve experienced it — even though my food from home is not much to show off!

    • SoCal Gator :

      I found MyFitnessPal to be a great companion to the medically supervised weight loss program that I followed. If you have major weight to lose (30 pounds or more), this program is and was for me a life saver. My program was through HMR.

      But if you just need to lose less than that, MyFitnessPal helps you set daily calorie and exercise goals, you can track all of that and it has an incredible support community. Check it out. It can be used online though a computer and/or through a smartphone or iPad (and they all sync). Even now on maintenance, MFP is a permanent part of my life (to make sure I keep the weight off).

    • Weight Watchers also has a Core system- no points. You could check into it. It’s more for people who don’t want to do the tracking and prepared food route.

    • Everyone has been mentioning diet, but don’t forget that exercise is super important too! If you’re really busy all the time you can still do one of Jillian Michaels’s workout videos – they’re only 20 mins each!

    • What about a salad for lunch each day? They must have salads – I don’t mean potato salad or pasta salad – you know what I mean. Or else a small sandwich, or half a sandwich and a cup of (non-cream) soup. Then do you heavy dieting at dinner time – a piece of fish, two cooked veg. It’s important to start the dsay with a decent breakfast – half a grapefruit, one egg, piece of toast or equivalent. (I used to be the diet person in an internal medicine office.)

  2. I, too, like leather pants, but not in this cropped version. $875 to look stumpy, no way!

    But this pair could totally work for corporettes leggy enough for the cropped style.

    • Actually I’m told that everyone in Denmark has a pair of leather pants. For those times when the winds whoosh over from Siberia :-).. Then, you’re very glad they’re hot.

  3. Anonymous :

    Does anyone have any experience with C.Wonder clothes? Fit? Quality? I’m admiring a sweater online but debating paying $78 for something that is 45% nylon.

    • I went into their store recently and was not too impressed. Some of the items weren’t bad, but some were kind of cheap feeling/lo0king when you looked closely. More so for accessories and home items (horrible, thick porcelain, etc.), but I don’t think I’d go in again. Felt like a discount version of Tory Burch (the company is actually from her ex-husband and I think she may be involved, too).

      I’d check the return policy before placing my order.

  4. My SO and I are going on a 5-day vacation in March. I am on the West coast and we are looking for: quick flight, sunny, relaxing and on the beach. Right now we are looking at either the Hilton Los Cabos or Hanua Kai Resort in Maui. Any one ever stayed at these resorts? I would love some reviews/experiences. Thanks!

    • I didn’t stay at that resort, but I don’t think there’s any way to go wrong with going to Maui. Seriously, its amazing. If I lived on the west coast I’d go all the time.

      • Funny, I used to have to go to Hawaii all the time in college (sports, no real “fun time”) and while it’s pretty, it’s not one of my favorite places. Now, St. Maarten, Barbados?? Yes please!! If I lived on the east coast I’d go all the time!! :-D

    • I have not stayed at either resort, but we stayed at the south end of Kaanapali Beach in Maui and I went running past the Honua Kai Resort every day. It looks gorgeous, and is in a great location on North Kaanapali (north of Black Rock). You can walk on the walking trail along the beachfront to Black Rock, around the Sheraton, and to Whaler’s Village for different restaurants, bars and shops. Long story short . . . I’m biased, b/c I love Maui! (West Coaster here, and to date I’ve talked myself out of Cabo in favor of Hawaii every single time . . . .)

      One thing to consider if you want to do some ocean swimming (in addition to sunbathing and drinking fruity drinks poolside, which I’m sure is an activity available both places) — Kaanapali is eminently swimmable, whereas I understand that there are few, if any, swimmable beaches in Los Cabos/Cabo San Lucas (rocks, riptides, etc.).

      • Also . . . Honua Kai is relatively recent construction; it’s one of the newest resorts on Maui.

        • If you go to Maui, definitely go to Merriman’s for dinner one night! Amazing food and amazing wine list, and if you time it right, you can have drinks first out on a beautiful terrace on the rocks watching the sun set. . . .

    • spacegeek :

      Cabo is great if you are a party type. Hawaii is more laid back, and Maui in general is my favorite island. Either is great. Hawaii will be more expensive hands-down. Our vacations are always beachy–we work so hard that mostly I just want to sleep and read and do nothing when on vacation. Puerto Vallarta, Manzanillo, La Paz and Cozumel are all places we’ve been. Kauai feels more wild than Maui, and Hawaii is amazing but stay on the dry Kona side…

      Wish I could help you with those specific resorts, but I don’t have experience with them. Kaanapali is my go-to for Maui. Def consider staying by Black Rock. Good luck and enjoy!!

  5. Ugh –

    Personally, I’m not a huge fan of cooking and I don’t have time to prepare meals every night. Generally what I do is spend some time on the weekend making some larger food items (think lasagna, pot pie, a spaghetti squash, etc.), then I store leftovers in individual serving size containers in my fridge. This makes it easy to grab one container (plus a couple pieces of fruit) in the morning when I run out the door.

    I also try to store some snack foods in my office like fresh fruit, nuts, & oatmeal. The problem at my firm is that we have “birthday tables” where the support staff brings in loads of baked goods and doughnuts and leaves a table next to the office of anyone celebrating a birthday that day. Having some healthier options in my office helps me avoid the downfall of that table.

    Not sure if this helps, just my strategy!

  6. MeliaraofTlanth :

    Leather pants: hot in the temperature sense, too, and not that easy to move in. (I assume. I’m guessing from wearing chaps for horseback riding). Every time I see a movie poster with the lead female in leather pants (like all the Underworld movies and The Matrix are what immediately spring the mind), my though process is “how can they possible run and chase the bad guys in that? They’d die of a heatstroke.”

    • These pants make me giggle. I mean they’re leather. And green! And cost $875!!! I love it….I think Kat might just be trolling us a little today.

    • Also…have you seen the episode of Friends where Ross buys leather pants. If not — well, you should. It would reaffirm your belief that they are impractical for saving the world or chasing bad guys.

      • Equity's Darling :

        I LOVE that episode!

      • Classic episode!

      • MeliaraofTlanth :

        I’ve never actually seen any episode of Friends (no idea how I missed it, but I did)… but I’ll look that one up tonight.

        • Tired Squared :

          Friends was one of my all-time favorite shows a few years ago, but there are quite a few episodes that I re-watch now and just don’t think are funny.

          That said, the one with Ross’ pants (called “The One with All the Resolutions”) is hysterical. Since you’ve never seen the show, I’d also recommend “The One with the Prom Video,” “The One with the Princess Leia Fantasy,” and “The One Where Everybody Finds Out.”

          • i like the one where they try to carry the couch up the stairs. I still think of it whenever I hear the word ‘pivot.’

            “Pivot! … Pivot!!! … PIVOT! …. PIV-OT!!!”

          • My favorite is “The One Where Ross Got High”, with Rachel’s meat trifle!

          • You really must add the One with the Embryos to the list.

            Ms. Chnandler Bong….

            heehee

          • Totes McGotes :

            Which is the one with the blackout?

            “Now that I think about it, gum would be perfection!”

          • Tired Squared :

            zora and TCFKAG: You’re right … the one with the couch and the “One with the Embryos” were both good too! I can’t remember the name of the couch one, though (pretty sure it’s not the “One with the Couch”)

            “We steal that TV guide every week!”
            “I KNEW IT!”

          • Totes McGotes :

            And which is the one where Rachel and Monica are fighting and Phoebe is like, “If we were in prison, you two would be my b!itches”?

          • Totes:

            Thats the one (I believe) where Chandler moves in with Monica and Rachel moves out.

            And…I have to live with a BOOOYYYY………

          • ack, stop making me laugh!!! my boss is starting to get suspicious and annoyed!!

          • “The One Where Everybody Finds Out!” Best episode EVER!

          • GET OFF MY SISTER!!!!!

          • My favorite is the trivia game where Rachel and Monica take on Chandler and Joey for the apartment. “That’s not even a word”.

            I hated and hate Ross. My ranking of characters was Chandler, Monica, Joey, Rachel, Phoebe and then Ross at the very bottom.

        • The one where they are all getting ready for Ross’s speech and Joey wears all of Chandler’s clothes because Chandler borrowed his last pair of underpants. “Could I BE wearing any more clothes. Maybe if I wasn’t going Commando.”

          • This is definitely my favourite episode ever!!

            “Whew, it’s hot with all of this stuff on. I better not do any, I don’t know, LUNGES!”

      • This episode is the only thing I can think of when I see leather pants :-)

    • These pants look uncomfortable and unflattering. I will admit though that I like the way the blogger at 9to5chic styles leather leggings: http://www.9to5chic.com/2011/12/winter-coat.html

    • Diana Barry :

      I had bootcut leather pants in 2000. Got them at a sample sale in NYC. I don’t know if they’re still in the attic or not! :)

      • Never had leather pants, but I do have a long vintage leather skirt somewhere that I inherited from an ex-BF’s mother. Sort of similar to this:
        http://tinyurl.com/7rbolc6

        I haven’t worn it in a while because my life is boring now and I mostly dress for work, but it’s surprisingly awesome and versatile (or maybe just in my own mind ;))

      • I have leather pants from Ann Taylor… somewhere.

      • In high school (in the late 90s) I had pleather pants — because I couldn’t afford real leather. I think I wore them twice because they were brutally uncomfortable.

        I also had a long, patchwork brown vintage coat that I found at the used clothing store that I loved. I wonder what ever came of it. Hmmm….

      • spacegeek :

        I have 2 pairs of leather pants… that my *grandmother* wore! Seriously she was one Hot Mamma! Now that I think on it, I have 3 pairs of leather pants–I have a gorgeous pair of red leather ones, and a pair of brown suede pants too! I guess I like them… The grandma ones are trousers. The red ones are bootcut and are like a size 4 (sigh). And the suede ones are luxurious and totally not kid-friendly! LOL I have had no issues wearing them. They are like a warm pair of good jeans.

  7. Repost from yesterday: Does anyone else worry about data security in online tracking sites like toggl? I’ve been using it for a week now and really like it, but I worry about someone hacking the site and obtaining client data. I only use last names, but even that is somewhat confidential. I thought about using code names, but I work on so many different matters that it would get confusing/complicated really quickly. Any advice/suggestions?

    • Seattleite :

      We do very little online, so I can’t be helpful there. But each of our clients is assigned a 5-digit number, and then a 4-digit ‘matter.’ Hard drive storage is divided into folders with the 5-digit number and then subfolders with 4-digit matter (and add’l sub-sub-folders as necessary). We do have to refer to a master list to figure out where stuff is/goes, but it’s cleaner to store by client number rather than name. We have too many clients with the same names! Obvs I don’t know if you’re free to choose your own storage/naming conventions but that’s an approach to consider if you are.

    • I love manic time for time tracking. It is free and the time is stored locally on your hard drive. You just have to download the program.

    • don’t know those sites, but i generally worry a lot about all online tracking/security. it is very troubling to me how little control we have over all of it. i spend time trying to implement the opt-outs and safeguards and it just barely helps.

      did anyone read the scary gq article recently about evil sexual predators hacking into computers and watching people through the cameras? (my husband got that mag as a gift- hate it for the most part). I am putting a sticker on my laptop camera as the feds recommended in the article- what these guys did to the women was terrifying.

  8. Anyone seen this top irl and have a review of it? It’s final sale so would like feedback before I buy if possible.

    http://www.talbots.com/online/browse/product_details.jsp?id=prdi27863&rootCategory=cat90036&catId=cat80006&sortKey=Default&section=Sale&conceptIdUnderSale=cat90036

    Thanks :)

    • Tried on that top (or a very similar top) a few months ago.

      Would be flattering for adding volume/interest on top if you are more straight up and down; when I tried it on, the extra volume created by the pleating at the top all wanted to gather in between my b**bs; it also looked like I was disguising a pregnancy. I also felt the fabric was a little on the shiny side for work.

      The “scoop” also fell a little lower on my back than I would have liked (but I’m a fan of turtlenecks and high jewel necks, so YMMV on that point).

    • It looks gorgeous!! Very tempted.

  9. Newly nail-obsessed :

    Yay – Open Thread! Since there is obviously a lot of interest in nail polish and related issues his site, is anyone else excited about the OPI Holland Collection launch next week? And, in a more Corporette-focused vein, thoughts on which colors are the work-appropriate?

    • Newly nail-obsessed :

      (Oops, I was going to say “the most work-appropriate” then took out “most” and forgot “the.” Sorry.)

      • I just looked at a website and it looks like they all have glitter. Is that true? If so, I guess I would wear glitter polish on occasion and I don’t necessarily thing it’s not work appropriate but the hassle of removing glitter polish (even with the wonderful suggestions posted here) is enough to keep me from trying them. I did like the eggplant color, though.

    • Equity's Darling :

      Yes! I’d wear all the colours to work, but I think my office is pretty lax on the nail colours. For more conservative work-places, I’d say that Gouda Gouda and Wooden Shoe are work appropriate, don’t know about the others. Rotterdam is probably my top pick from that collection, or Wooden Shoe or Dutch ya Just Love.

      I’m also SO excited for the China Glaze Hunger Games collection. Ahhhh, nailpolish makes me so excited!

      • I was just going to say that I am super impatient for the Hunger Games collection! Yay!

      • a nonny miss :

        I was also going to comment about The Hunger Games collection! They will all be mine.

      • Newly nail-obsessed :

        Me, too!

      • spacegeek :

        Yes to Hunger Games!! I am looking forward to Fast Track and Dress Me Up for fingers, and Harvest Moon for toes!!

        • Also excited :

          I totally agree on Fast Track. It didn’t seem like anything special in the press release “swatches,” but now that I’ve seen it on actual fingers on Scrangie and All Lacquered Up, I think it is gorgeous! Same for Foie Gras. I wonder if I could make that work for my office…

  10. I’m having flashbacks to the Friends episode where Ross is his date’s bathroom, trying to get his leather pants back on. THE LOTION AND POWDER HAVE MADE A PASTE!

    • But his son thought he was a cowboy. So there WAS that. :-P

    • another anon :

      This is one of my favorite Friends episodes, and that was my immediate response to these pants as well.

      Joey: Does the paste look like the pants?
      Ross: Um, no? Why?
      Joey: Because if it did, then you could make a pair of paste pants!

      Or something along those lines :)

      Why is that taking up space in my brain???

  11. a nonny miss :

    For the Downton fans, I hope this blows your mind like it did mine: http://www.papermag.com/2012/02/downton_abbey_stars_out_of_cos.php

    Also, thanks to everyone who has ever recommended The Hunger Games. I knocked the trilogy out last weekend!

    • Merabella :

      They don’t wear any makeup on the set of this show because it would be historically inaccurate. It is AMAZING how much that can change a person’s look.

      • MeliaraofTlanth :

        they don’t wear makeup on the show? Like any? Does this mean that the women that plays Mary actually has skin that perfect? Jealous.

        • well, considering the lighting needed for filming, I’m sure they use foundation/powder, and very natural colors of makeup designed to make them look like they aren’t wearing any makeup. So, rest assured, they probably don’t look that perfect with literally no makeup in real life ;o)

        • They do – just not very much. They’re supposed to look like they’re not wearing any though. From what I’ve read, just some primer/foundation to look pale and like their skin has never seen sun and some lip/cheek stain.

        • No, they do, in that they wear makeup so their faces are better captured on film. You know, in the vein of wearing 10 products to look “natural.” LOL.

          They just don’t wear makeup that conforms to modern trends like sparkly lip gloss or grey smoky eyeshadow. But they do wear foundation/concealer, etc to even out skin tones and hide blemishes (everybody is suspiciously free of zits, even young’uns….)

          • MeliaraofTlanth :

            oh thank god, I was going to have a complex. The next question, of course, is what foundation are they using that looks so natural? Me want.

          • Do not get a complex! :o) besides, it looks ‘natural’ on film. In person it looks like a thick layer of spackle and powder. Those lights used for filming are reeaally strong, and wash pretty much everything out. Plus, then there are filters on the cameras which really change a lot, too. Think of it like the airbrushing in magazines, NO ONE really looks like they do on a major television show.

    • 1) I love how they show the dogs “on” and “off” screen.

      2) Hello, Mrs. O’Brien! Wow!

    • Is it wrong that off-screen Mr. Bates holding a baby is just about the hottest thing I’ve seen in recent memory? I’m getting old!

      • a nonny miss :

        I thought the same thing! But as an a early-mid twenty something, my friends judged me harshly.

        • Is it because of the baby? Or because of the age difference between you and Mr. Bates? (Or both?)

      • Giddyup!

        Had the same reaction. :)

    • Most unrecognizable in real life: Thomas!

      • He looks way more likeable with the facial hair. I think it hides his Sneermouth.

      • I think Thomas on the show looks like John Travolta. Something about the square face (which is different from a blockhead, although Thomas is both) and strong jaw.

    • I have SUCH a thing for Hugh Bonneville.

  12. We’re thinking of going to the Napa/Sonoma area for our honeymoon following a mid-December wedding. Thoughts on whether we’d have a good time considering the weather, etc.? Any other December, non-beach, honeymoon ideas?

    • Merabella :

      I went on my honeymoon to San Francisco & Napa/Sonoma and it was so great! I think you could very easily have a good time, not matter what the weather, because there are so many vineyards and restaurants to visit and check out, and you will probably have more of a unique experience since there won’t be as many tourists as during the summer time.

      Hit up San Francisco too if you want. It was an amazing city with a lot of great things to do. We really enjoyed it.

    • we bought tickets spur-of-the-moment for a long weekend in the Sonoma area at the end of the month… I am paying attention to this thread, as I haven’t done a lick of planning.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      It will be gorgeous, uncrowded, cozy, and chilly for CA. It may rain, and the temps can dip at night, but that’s fine because you’ll be in your cozy room under blankets with your new husband. I absolutely love wine country in winter. The crowds of tourists are gone, the vintners and restaurants aren’t super busy (unless you go during Xmas) so you can actually relax and talk to them, and the mists and chill can make the (bare) vineyards look almost magical. I actually like the Russian River and Dry Creek areas best, and love to stay at the Farmhouse Inn, but you’d have a wonderful time in Napa or Sonoma, too.

    • Rose in Bloom :

      I don’t know anything about Napa/Sonoma during that time of year, but Biltmore in Asheville, NC is lovely in mid-December if you are looking for non-beach alternatives. We got married in mid-December as well and went there for the few days between our wedding and Christmas. We stayed at the Inn on the estate, which was nice because it gave us tickets to tour the house and everything else on the grounds (and there is a winery there). Asheville is a neat town as well.

    • Hey, I have two friends who took January honeymoons to Napa. It can be chilly (40s at night), but it’s the off-season, so everything I’ve heard you have the place to yourselves (relatively speaking ) and it’s super cheap compared to high season. I also have a buddy who worked at Cakebread for awhile before law school and he and his wife usually take early spring trips out there. I consider them insiders, so it must be a good time to go!

      I think the only downside is that you need to plan a little more carefully as some restaurants may close on Mondays & Tuesdays during the winter, same for wineries, but as long as you research in advance, I’m sure you won’t have any trouble.

      I’m headed there myself in March and would be happy to share all my info with you.

    • I went this past December (on the recommendation of the Corporettes, of course), and it was awesome. It didn’t rain, and the weather was just lovely. Very brisk. It wasn’t all that crowded. I would highly recommend it.

      • My comment is awaiting moderation for some reason . . . I went this past December, and it was awesome. The weather was fabulous.

    • yes! Weather can be fabulous or rainy or both in the span of a few days. It is chilly for California, but wonderful and uncrowded. I am a late December birthday and had no problems getting in at Cyrus, Redd, Ad Hoc etc. then, either. Yountville and Healdsburg are especially great if you’re foodies.

      • karenpadi :

        Oh Redd. My favorite.

      • Ooh, yes! Cyrus, Dry Creek Kitchen and Scopa in Healdsburg; JoLe in Calistoga; and Redd and Bouchon or Ad Hoc on the Napa side.

        Good hotels for chillier weather . . . .
        1. Hotel Healdsburg (right on the square in Healdsburg) — they have a lovely lobby with a fireplace and huge squashy couches all around it, plus fuzzy throws and long lounge chairs in the room (and the most amazing bed linens . . . I think they must be Frette).
        2. Indian Springs, in Calistoga. Guests of the lodge or cottages can stay in the naturally heated mineral pool until midnight! With steam coming off the water and stars above . . . it’s kind of other-worldly. And I found the mud bath seriously relaxing.

        • spacegeek :

          Oh! And if you are in Calistoga try the Lavender Spa (google it)! They have the nicest set up for a couples bath and massage. You are in a cottage together with two bathtubs next to one another and spa tables side by side too. We love to do spa time, and this is the best we’ve had for quality treatments *and* together. We’ve gone back more than once.

    • karenpadi :

      I agree with SF Bay Associate. Winter is the best time to visit Napa. It’ll be chilly and rainy but also beautiful.

      For the best deals, sign up for travelzoo in the bay area. The hotels in wine country have some amazing midweek deals in January (and a few in December).

      • spacegeek :

        Gosh I love Napa/Sonoma… the light in winter is so wonderful there–everything looks like a painting! It won’t be warm but it will be amazing. You will be rested and happy!!

    • I live in the Bay Area and just spent the three day Martin Luther King weekend in western Sonoma. It’s my favorite time of year in that area. Fewer tourists, no worries about whether it will be foggy or too hot. Just perfect. The only risk you run is rain, but if you have cozy lodgings, no problem. :)

    • I have to recommend the Cottages at Napa Valley. Absolutely lovely, perfect for a honeymoon, and daily delivery of Bouchon for breakfast.

    • I love the wine country in the winter – when the rains come, the hills start to green up and look really lush. The mist/ fog/ rain make the landscape really mysterious and romantic. Unlike the east coast or midwest, it rarely rains heavily for multiple days – much more likely is soft, misty rain. And when the skies clear: glorious blue and crystal clear air! Really spectacular. The wineries and restaurants should be mellow with the summer traffic & tourists gone. You can also drive over to the Sonoma/ Mendocino coast (an hour or two away). After my late-Oct. wedding a few years ago, husband and I recovered at the Greenwood Pier Inn, directly above waves crashing into the coast and swathed in fog. It was magical!

      Another possibility would be to head farther south to Big Sur, where you’d have similarly rugged and beautiful landscape, lots of snazzy inns, good food, and possibly warmer temps (but fewer wineries – though some around San Luis Obispo).

  13. Anonymous :

    Dear Managing Partner,

    Please do not engage in extended conversations in the only women’s bathroom. It is really awkward trying to “go” when I am the only person in a stall (and therefore all noises will be attributed to me) and you are standing 3 feet away.

    Thank you.

    • Dear all humans,

      Do not engage in extended conversations in the bathroom. That’s just weird.

      Thank you.

      • There is a woman in our office who talks on her cell phone while literally going to the bathroom in one of the stalls! It is so very odd. I just do my business, flush, wash, and leave and always wonder a) what the other person is thinking while hearing all of this and b) what is so important (clearly nothing b/c she does it frequently) that you can’t take a break from your phone to use the restroom! Just strange.

        • I think talking on the phone while in a public bathroom is so disgusting. It’s bad enough other people can hear my business who are there, but people on the phone too? Ewww.

      • Totes McGotes :

        There is a woman in my office who will go to the bathroom especially to make calls. (?????!) It is revolting… and makes me want to “exaggerate” my sounds. I don’t though, because she also has a reputation of being a bad person to have mad at you.

      • A partner in my former firm used to take his dictaphone in the bathroom and dictate letters and briefs, which our shared secretary would then have to type, ignoring the flushes and other sounds. He was in many ways a really great guy, but 19 years later this is still my most enduring memory about him.

      • Anonymous :

        On the other hand, years ago I knew a tax partner that lived 4 blocks from the office. He left the office every morning at 10 with the newspaper, and went home for 30 minutes.

        I never asked, but it was understood that he was going home to do his business.

      • another anon :

        Also, if you enter the bathroom and there is one occupied stall, and several unoccupied stall, please do not select the stall that is immediately adjacent to the occupied one. Why would you do this??? Please leave at least a 1 stall buffer zone if possible.

    • To be fair, it’s a little ridiculous to avoid going to the bathroom in order to not have “bathroom sounds” attributed to you in the public bathroom. Think of that children’s book, Everyone Poops. Of course, its common to be a little uncomfortable. My solution? flush first, do your business (flushing sound drowns out other sounds), flush again, leave bathroom and get on with your life. People may think all kinds of things about your double flushing, but who cares? I simply don’t have time to sit in the bathroom all day waiting for it to empty out so that no one discovers that my bathroom activities aren’t always silent, making me pretty much just like every other human being on the planet.

      • Just to clarify- I don’t mean to say it’s not also a little ridiculous for her to regularly have extended conversations in the bathroom. I’m not even going to get into the other posts about people using it as their own personal phone booth.

      • Jane Fairfax :

        I had the great good fortune to travel to Japan a year ago for work and one of the things that delighted me the most about the country was the wide variety in Japanese toilets. Everything from what was little more than a hole in the ground to fancy toilets with multiple buttons to wash, dry, etc. One toilet even had a button with musical notes on it that when pushed started a polite little musical sound track that I assume was intended to cover any “rude” noises. I thought it was brilliant. I kind of wish my office had one.

      • In the same line of bathroom information, our office stocks “PooPouri” to mask any unpleasant odors. It’s been quite popular.

    • Can I say I was just glad to hear your managing partner had a valid reason to be in the WOMEN’S bathroom? Three cheers.

  14. Help please!

    There’s a lawyer at my firm that just doesn’t ‘get’ me. I don’t know what it is about me, but they seem to have issues with me. I know said lawyer doesn’t dislike me in any way, but also doesn’t really ‘like’ me in any meaningful sense.

    Apparently I don’t express enough ‘enthusiasm’ even though I said “great! this is a really interesting case!” I say it with a genuine smile, but I’m not bouncing up and down. That’s simply not my personality. I have never been accused of not being enthusiastic/interested enough. ever. If anything, I am told I am very motivated and interested in the subject and care a lot. So, I find it kind of hard that as a professional I am supposed to be super perky 24/7. Obviously if it’s a big deal moment, I get excited (i.e., we won the case!), but the daily grind?

    I hate to say it, but I feel like it’s partly because I’m a girl. I’ve been told I behave more like a guy (I’m girly in other respects for sure, though), but I just don’t have the girly mannerisms. I’m serious and focused. I make people laugh a lot with my witty or just plain funny commentary. I’m not boring, I’m just not the perky blonde.

    Help?!? Should I be concerned? I’m worried this person is spreading negative feelings about me.

    • You said he doesn’t dislike you, what is giving you the impression he is spreading negative feedback? (asking before I answer more because that will influence it)

      • Because of the nature of where I work…everyone is close-knit, you’re expected to be close with everyone, I know the lawyers tell the other lawyers their opinions of others because I hear them say that they do.

        Thanks for replying! Looking forward to insight.

    • Seattleite :

      How long have you worked there?

    • Unless you’ve left out some information, I think you may be overreacting. It is OK if one lawyer at your firm doesn’t “get” you or doesn’t like you “in any meaningful way.” It sounds like you have been getting good feedback about your personality and motivations from other people you work for. However, I would be more concerned if (a) this lawyer is in a position to make or influence decisions about your employment, (b) you work in a very small firm or on a very small team where this type of personal “meshing” is very important, or (c) you have evidence that this lawyer is spreading negative opinions about you.

      If you want to address it, talk to somebody equally or more senior to that lawyer who you trust and enjoy working with. Ask whether that person knows of any issues that you’re not aware of. If possible, try to get assignments from other people and avoid working with the person you’re not getting along with.

      Also, try monitoring yourself objectively for a bit to see if there might be a reason you might be interpreted as less than enthusiastic. Is your sense of humor too dry for some people’s liking? Are you sarcastic when you’re tired? Do you complain more when you’re sick? As you said, there may be some quirk to your personality that this lawyer just doesn’t “get,” so pay attention to when this person reacts negatively to you and focus on being upbeat and professional.

      Your concern that the lawyer is spreading negative feelings about you is the trickiest one. Do you have evidence that this person has said negative things about you to others? Is it more office gossip from a colleague, or real concern from a superior? Unless this person is saying really terrible or untrue things, you may just have to ignore gossip and trust that people will form their own opinions about you. If this person is your superior, and you have to continue working for him/her, then you may have to address the concerns head-on.

      Again, put this in perspective and determine how serious the situation is. It may be OK if there’s someone who just doesn’t “get” you.

      • Exactly- I would answer yes to all three of your questions, with probably more like a “maybe” to the last one.

        As for humor, I know that dry humor often isn’t appreciated at work, so I definitely keep it to the simple funny, innocent stuff. I actually havent been sick since I started here (shocking now that I think about it!) so I havent ever complained about that (or injuries/etc.).

        The problem is, I don’t know how I can possibly address the concerns. I think it’s mainly that this lawyer cannot read me. I’ve been told (not at work ever before, but in dating) that I’m hard to read at first. Well, when I feel like you’re constantly judging me, I try to keep a neutral face so that I don’t express my thoughts of “what?” when you say these things.

        I’m not trying to say I’m perfect, and I know this sounds totally defensive, but I really don’t see that I’ve done anything fundamentally “wrong”. I did a lot of honest, objective, thinking about it. Higher ups say that I have been so eager and impressive. I really don’t think I should have to fake enthusiasm by being really perky- I think it will come across phoney in five seconds. Other people we work with are not super perky either, why is it a problem for me?

        Sorry for the rambling. It’s just frustrating. In school I had profs ask me to work for them and speak very highly of me to others because of my interest in my work.

        • it's almost saturday :

          Seeing that you’ve evaluated the situation and concluded that you haven’t acted differently with him than any one else my thought is this… You cannot change who you are and to try to do so because a person doesn’t “get” you is not okay. Just be authentic and let the chips fall where they may. In your work life, some people will love you, some people will not like you and others won’t have an opinion either way.

          • Pretzel_Logic :

            ugh, I think you may be me in five years. haha. Personality sounds VERY similar and I am often branded “cagey” quickly. I am, and that does cause problems. I’m also 5’9″ and intimidating to some people (short guys behave differently around me, it’s not just in my head). My dad is the same way and he’s told me that fake it till you make it is very helpful in social or boss-related situations. Basically, you are going to feel like a phony while you’re projecting a perkier attitude than one that you actually have (or ever have), but IT WORKS. People buy it. I am a complete introvert but I have to pretend like I’m not when I’m in public/at work/at school so my natural shyness doesn’t get branded as b**chface. (To be fair, I do have that sometimes. HAHA.)

            My last thought, though, is that unless this guy is your direct superior…don’t worry about it too much. If he has no control over your hiring/firing, accept that you and he have a personality clash. That’s okay. I would think that if you at least have mutual respect, that will go a long way, and if you have good reviews on your work, you probably have at least his respect in the work setting.

          • When I was in training, I had this really excellent, but incredibly egotistical (probably megalomaniacal, actually) vascular surgeon I worked for. He made me slightly crazy, but I amused myself by thinking of the most outrageous, over-the-top compliments, which I would say to him with a straight face (think “that stitch was placed so perfectly.” or “That’s the best looking graft I’ve ever seen.” Or “I don’t think anyone else could have placed that wire as well as you did.”) He. Ate. It. Up. He believed everything I said, and adored me. I was slightly embarrassed, but it worked.

            I still laugh about it. I’m not necessarily recommending the approach, but never underestimate people’s ability to lap up BS about themselves.

        • Interesting.

          I’m a 2L so can’t comment as to career but as someone who is not very perky but is friendly and smiles and laughs a lot, I have to say there is one part of your post that raises flags for me: “being difficult to read”. Many people when being friendly try to mirror the emotion of the person talking to them (I do this). If they are calm, I try to be calm. If they are enthusiastic, I am let myself laugh and enjoy myself too. Please understand that this is not being “fake” or “phoney”. I am feeling genuine emotions but just regulating them around the other person in the most appropriate way. This is nothing to do with being an introvert. I am an introvert (btw – bugbear, being introverted is nothing to do with being quiet!) I know quiet, loud, introverts and extroverts, all of whom are easy to read.

          However, there is one girl I have to work with on a journal who is IMPOSSIBLE to read. She makes funny off “faces” all the time, gestures or slight grimaces or winces which seem completely random and her face is pretty blank. I HATE talking to her. It kind of gets me down. She says all the right things. Because of the disconnect between what she is saying and her tone/gestures, her comments seem on the edge of sarcasm. It makes her seems completely uninterested in the conversation and the topic. If that is what you are doing, it is possible that this is the outcome.

          Speak to a friend bluntly about your facial expressions. Basically, my point is that if you are trying to control your emotions all the time or you just have generally unfriendly facial expressions, you may be coming across as insincere and that is really easy to detect.

          • Oh, and what are “girly mannerisms”? If you are defensive about “being made to be perky like a girl”, you may be overcompensating. It’s possible that your ambivalence about this is bleeding through into your demeanor and your boss is reading it as ambivalence about the task/him.

        • Didn’t your mom ever tell you…

          Not everyone will like you and that’s okay.

          The end.

          Do your best. Then let it go. You can’t control everything. I know, it’s hard to swallow, we all want to control everything, but it’s not the way it works.

          • I was going to reply to all of this helpful commentary, but I feel like I’ll be beating a dead horse. Thanks everyone for chiming in! I’m just gonna let it go and focus on being ‘me’- which apparently everyone else seems to get along with :).

          • agree- don’t worry about it. i have worked with many people i just don’t like, and work with them anyway. i can tell not every loves me all of the time. whatever- it’s a chemistry thing. unless there’s something bigger going on, or it’s your boss, try to let it go.

    • Well, I am the perky blonde and I’ve been on the opposite end of what you are experiencing. We just can’t win. I was frequently commented and praised for my enthusiasm and attitude at my last job except by one mid level who had a miserable home life and worked 24/7 to avoid said home life and to make everyone else miserable. He just didn’t “get” how I was always happy and optimistic. When he criticized something, I’d thank him for the feedback, say I would do it differently going forward, and then move on. He complained to my mentor, the senior partner, everyone, that I just wasn’t taking his cases/life/his criticism seriously enough. Luckily, they all said that I got the message loud and clear, responded appropriately, and unlike other more fragile people (for lack of a better word) I didn’t let him beat me up, make me cry, etc. He just couldn’t handle that he couldn’t break me down. He could yell at me, I’d be professional and then 10 minutes later, smiling and laughing about something with my AA.

      Hopefully, your coworkers see you as a serious and dedicated professional and will defend you if he starts complaining about you being too blah. Some people just need something to complain about.

  15. I got scammed! :

    I need to rant.

    I bought a groupon about a month ago for an online grocery deal. So I happily went to the website, put in a $40 order. A couple days later the merchant emailed me noting that they had issues verifying my groupon code. The merchant refused to accept the groupon, and then today charged me $98.34 for groceries I never ordered! I called the merchant’s customer service- no response.

    So I call my bank, tell them that the charge was NOT authorized. Their response? “Oh well we can’t freeze your card or your account or dispute the charge until the pending charge goes through.” What is the point of having a fraud protection department if their hands are tied until the fraudulent charges goes through??

    I’m EXTREMELY upset at both the merchant, for obvious reasons, and Groupon, for not doing due dilligence on the quality of the merchant before offering the deal. Most of all – I’m upset at myself for being so naive as to trust a spankin new online business with no prior reviews.

    • You should call Groupon and let them know. They are great about customer service and dealing with merchant problems.

    • Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler :

      Sorry, that sucks. I can’t help you with the grocer, but I have had a very easy time getting Groupon to refund me for the price of the Groupon when a deal went sour. It’s may not be much, but it’s something, right?

    • In the nicest way possible: relax. Groupon will refund your money, they have a money back promise. The bank can never do anything about pending charges, because sometimes they never go through. If they processed the payment before the charge went through and it never did, then theyd have to go back and take money out of your account. As for the new merchant, make sure you call again. Your not scammed until you’ve actually been charged.

      If the first time you used the website was a month ago, make sure you didn’t sign up for a monthly delivery service. I remember looking at a monthly delivery service groupon was offering, but you had to sign up for a few months of deliveries so make sure you didn’t sign up for that.

    • Can you post the name of the merchant/grocer you’re having the dispute with?

    • Mountain Girl :

      I had some issues with Living Social last summer. When I contacted Living Social customer service they referred me to the merchant. Really?!? It is the merchant I am having issues. It took me forever to get this resolved but it was the last purchase I made from any of those sites.

      • I’ve had issues with LivingSocial as well, and they did exactly the same. Actually, one of my complaints they never even responded to, I had to continually follow up. I’m using up my vouchers through them but doubt I will purchase any more.

    • Anonymous :

      I don’t get it either but my bank does the same thing.. I had to wait for the charge to go through before I could dispute it. Also (don’t get this either) but apparently businesses will initially charge more for something (which shows up pending on your account) and then the final amount that was actually charged is less.

      • some companies run a charge and immediately reverse it just to prove your card works and then charge the actual amount so that a pending charge may never actually go through. Banks can’t give you money until the bank has it removed. In other words, a pending charge means, “maybe we want this much from her” and the actual charge says “we took this amount from her account.” A bank can give you back what was taken but can’t do anything about a maybe.

        As for why businesses may have a higher amount pending, it can be something like a gas station where they have an average amount, say $50, so when you swipe your card before filling, it says “maybe we’ll need $50 from her” then it’s approved enough for you to fill up, you do, and then it charges for sure the actual amount. This helps to prevent you from having $2 on your debit account, getting $50 in gas, and then making the gas station spend a fortune chasing you for their money.

        As for the 2nd paragraph, THAT is why you don’t want to use a debit card, only credit cards (or the credit option of your debit card), they don’t hold money the same way.

        hope that helps

        • I also bought a Groupon deal recently for a grocery delivery service, and about a week ago got an email from Groupon saying the deal had been canceled and to let them know whether I wanted a Groupon credit or a refund – wonder if it is the same company?

          At the very least, Groupon will refund your money, and if the charge goes through and you have to dispute it with your credit card company, they may also be able to provide information to your bank backing up if there are problems with that vendor. Hope it all works out!

          • no offense to everyone who loves these sites, but i wouldn’t ever use any of them- seems like an easy way to get sucked into stuff you may not ever get for whatever reason

  16. Now or never? :

    Reposting here re: all the advice I got on the morning thread:
    So much food for thought, ladies. Thanks for all the input. I have decided that I am going to go this afternoon and get on some form of BC pill. That way, the Depo can work its way out of my system and I can stop the pill at a time that I feel is comfortable for H & I, at which point we will start using condoms and I will track my cycle and get familiar with my body. I actually own Taking Control of Your Fertility, but haven’t read it because I bought it and immediately lent it to a friend and her H, who are having trouble conceiving. I will have to give it a thorough read when she returns it to me.
    I don’t feel pressured by others’ advice as much as I feel pressured by the fact that the longer we wait, the harder it may be to conceive. Obviously, that comes from anecdotal evidence and statistical evidence, and that’s what has impacted me the most.
    I know that last year, I had the idea in my head of that mythical “right time” to have kids, but it has become more obvious to me since then that such a time doesn’t exist, and if it does, it might be too late. Given the alternative, I would rather resent having a child a year “too early” than waiting and experiencing what many of my friends and relatives have gone through TTC slightly later in life.
    I agree that a group for Not (Quite) The Mamma ‘rettes would be a great one to have.
    Thanks again for all the thoughts. I love this community.

    • Merabella :

      Be careful with the birth control. Pfizer just recalled a bunch of them.

      • Now or never? :

        I saw that! I am going to make sure I pick one that’s not on the list :)

    • Mamma Mia :

      Anyone know how to set up such a group? I’m so not a tech person.

      • on facebook, you should see a “groups” section on the left side. click on “create a group” and fill in the blanks, then copy/paste the main page’s web address and post it for people to join

  17. Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler :

    I’ve gotten really into statement necklaces. So far, I’ve been keeping them on my nightstand lamp, but as I have four hurtling through the air toward me as I type, I’m beginning to think I need a new system. Any suggestions?

    • Totes McGotes :

      I am obsessed with my Lori Greiner jewelry storage case. I have the big one that is a full-length stand-up mirror (might be overkill for what you’re talking about), but there are smaller ones, including some (also mirror fronts) that you can mount on a wall. She has a QVC shop.

    • I have a wooden folding rack thing that I hang on the wall. It has pegs coming out at the points and crosses (I hope this description is making sense…) Anyway, I hang all my necklaces and some bracelets from the pegs. I cannot tell you how many compliments I get when people see them all displayed. It’s a nice little splash of color, and until you get too many (like I currently do), it’s easy to see what all you have.

      • Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler :

        I was thinking of something like this, but I’ve hung a couple of necklaces up in the past (albeit cheap ones) and they stretched out and didn’t look right when I tried to wear them again. Has that ever happened for you? If so, how did you fix it/prevent it from happening again?

    • I use this “the little black dress” jewelry organizer from the Container Store. It’s fun and stores all my jewelry and has held up well so far. It also keeps things out of sight and off the floor, so my jewelry is safe from our cats. And it takes up much less space than a jewelry box.

    • Anastasia :

      I hang my statement necklaces and bracelets on a “mug tree.” I found space for all my coffee mugs in the cupboards and needed to repurpose, and it’s great! (Except now I’ve acquired a few too many pieces of jewelry, so I either need a second mug tree or a new system.)

      My mom has a folding rack like the one Duchess described — love that, too!

    • I hung a bulletin board in my closet and put nails/push pins in it. Hung the necklaces from the push pins. This way I can see all of them at once and it’s easy enough to force myself to hang the necklace back up at the end of the day (as opposed to just throwing it on the dresser).

      • Moonstone :

        I did a variation of this. I covered a bulletin board with wrapping paper that coordinates with my comforter and I hung it near my closet. I used big decorative tacks to hang statement necklaces — stretched out so you can see their beauty. I made something similar for my bracelets, where I used decorative drawer pulls and now I pile 2 or 3 bracelets on each pull.

        It was very satisfying to turn a pile of tangled jewelry into artwork. And I felt less guilty about spending money on baubles once I was able to appreciate them even when I was not wearing them.

    • I love this DIY jewelry organizer from Headlines and Hemlines. It just looks clean and sophisticated and allows the jewelry to shine. I’ll make it one of these days, really.

      http://www.headlinesandhemlines.com/2011/03/diy-organizing-necklaces.html

    • Thumbtacks across the inside “side” wall of my closet keeps them all within easy reach. Love my new system!

    • I have a couple decorative hooks on my wall next to the mirror I use to get dressed. I hang all my fun necklaces on those.

    • I have this hand-shaped necklace stand on my dresser

      http://www.amazon.com/KCF-49131-Jewelry-Necklaces-Bracelets/dp/B001HSNCBS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1328305268&sr=8-1

      to me, it’s a graceful, feminine hand displaying my favorite (non-precious) necklaces, and adds kind of a quirky yet elegant note to my dresser.

      To my husband, it’s a creepy zombie hand coming out of the ground and he would like me to get rid of it immediately.

      Which, for me, just adds to the fun.

    • Legal Marketer :

      I saw a cute idea. A woman dedicated her top dresser drawer to jewelry and then put various shallow bowls (from mismatched china) in the drawer and just dropped each necklace into one of the bowls. (You could add your earrings or ring or whatever too.)

      I liked it because some of my statement necklaces are big and chunky and tend not to fit in the compartments of other jewelry organizers, and because it just looked so cute.

      • I’ve been doing something like this after reorganizing things last fall, but my containers in the drawer aren’t so cute. The china/pottery idea sounds lovely! Overall, I love having all my jewelry not only organized by out of sight and not catching dust.

    • I corrall mine in a few glass bowls on top of a dresser. It looks like tiny hoards of pirate treasure, which is awesome.

    • I have this: http://www.amazon.com/BelleDangles-CLASSIC-Classic-Jewelry-Organizer/dp/B0057GMK6Y/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1328308770&sr=8-3

      I have most of my necklaces, earrings, watches, bracelets on there and a few things in boxes stacked on top. It’s worked pretty well for me and I actually wear the stuff I own now!

    • Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler :

      Thanks everyone for the great ideas. Please keep them coming.

      • Yes, please! I’m loving this thread. Anybody know of a Pinterest board that showcases jewelry storage?

        I saw this idea for storing bangle bracelets recently and just drooled over all the beautiful colors: http://vixenvintage.blogspot.com/2012/01/bangles-and-bras.html

        • Not a big bangle person, but I want those things for my tights! I had no idea “stocking boxes” were a thing. But then, I’m not really a big container/storage solutions person. Although I wish I was.

      • Question for everyone who hangs up their necklaces or stores in decorative open containers – any good suggestions to keep them from getting dusty and from scratching/ chipping each other ?

    • Accountress :

      I got some nice wood lattice, painted it white, hung it up over my dresser, and put big screw-in hooks into intersections of pieces of wood. It is one of two DIY pieces I have in my home- I’m not creative and I don’t believe in doing something that you can hire a professional to do better.

    • Ruthy Sue :

      I use the canvas necklace & bracelet organizer from the Container Store. The Velcro loops easily accommodate a variety of types of necklaces and bracelets, plus nothing falls off, which is great. Even better is that it takes up almost zero room in your closet, and won’t get dust like a jewelry box.

      http://bit.ly/y6E8I1

      • in-House Europe :

        I’m late to this but I wanted to chime in – we have a closet system from Ikea (!!) where one of the “drawers” is a velvet-esque jewelry storage drawer. LOVE.

  18. goirishkj :

    I know that there have been some other commenters previously who are IBD patients or are otherwise involved in Team Challenge with the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation. Any of you running Napa to Sonoma this summer with Team Challenge? This will be my first Team Challenge event as a runner so I’m very excited, although I’ve done other half-marathons on my own. I know my team is just getting ready to start info meetings next month, but since I’m guessing we’re all in different cities, I thought it might be fun to connect via email and share stories and fundraising tips as we get ready for the race this summer! If anyone else is up to it and wants to post an anonymous email address I’ll respond, or I can create a new email address for this if there’s any interest.

  19. I’m not really sure that I *get* this author, but this article made me chuckle and think of Corporette something fierce: http://www.slate.com/articles/life/doonan/2012/02/work_clothes_what_to_wear_at_the_office_.single.html

    My favorite bit: “If you are a careerist Gen Xer or a millennial over-achieving lunatic and are disinclined to sacrifice professional success for that bird of paradise role, then do as follows: Simply match your surroundings by wearing conservative tailoring in muted tones—go greige, beige and even champeige—and glide down the hallway like a venomous asp.”

    Champeige!

    • Seattleite :

      Now I want to change my handle to Venomous Asp.

    • Just as a frame of reference: The author is one of the main creative head-honchos at Barneys. He’s married to Jonathan Adler (the designer).

      • Seattleite :

        Huh. My immediate reaction to the article was that of course we’re worried about the rules, have you seen what’s on offer these days, must be nice to be a man! And now, knowing that, I’m adding capitalizations and !!!! to that thought. Don’t yank us around and then sneer at us.

    • Awesome. Also like “look like you’re going someplace better later”. That’s great.

    • Oh dear. Simon Doonan. He used to be funny.

    • Oh, I love him. Kanye E, we will have to disagree. I still think he’s funny.

  20. Vegas Baby :

    Any recommendations for a blazer that is work-appropriate but still casual enough to wear jeans? I want it in black.

    My suit jackets, when paired, with jeans, looks like it should be worn with a suit, and I’m looking for something to wear over a shell in place of my normal cardigan.

    Thanks in advance!

    • I have the Jcrew Schoolboy blazer in wool flannel, and I love it! I have it in grey, and I wear it with black skirts, navy, jeans, etc. The sleeves are lined in a striped material that look cute rolled up for a more casual look.

    • I’ve had good luck w/ Lands End Canvas – have a cute dark grey flannel one I think they still have on there & a dark brown courderoy (sp?) one too. Not sure if they come in black too, but both of mine are nice/dark neutrals that I love w/ jeans.

    • I have a couple jackets from Ann Taylor and one from White House Black Market and one from BR that work with a skirt and shell for the office and with jeans for the weekend. None of them are part of a suit; they were sold as stand alone jackets.

      • On a related note, what are some rules for pairing blazers with non-matching skirts or dresses in warm weather, with respect to color, texture of fabric, etc.

    • Piperlime – the site associated with gap and banana – has a blazer by Tinley Road called the Bleeker Blazer… it’s not wool, but the fabric holds up well and its got a little more of a fashion-y look than a traditional blazer, without being too edgy. I have it in black and have worn it to work and on the weekends with jeans.

  21. I’m madly in love with this skirt from modcloth. I think it would be work appropriate in a business casual office with a twinset or a nice top and black blazer but, well, it’s modcloth, so I’d like a second opinion.

    http://www.modcloth.com/shop/skirts/sketchbook-review-skirt

    • pretty in the photo but comments on the page don’t look so good

    • I like it a lot! I couldn’t wear it in my business attire office, but at a more casual place with a black jacket I think it’d look great.

    • Beautiful. Love.

    • Really pretty, just make sure it’s long enough for you. A skirt like that I would want to rest at my natural waist, and 24″ of fabric wouldn’t cut it. All their skirts and dresses are too short for me, but I’m tall.

  22. Anyone expert in random body phenomena?
    I have a small, hard lump in the center of my chest: below bra level, almost right over where my ribcage ends (if it were higher, it would be right in between my bre*sts). It’s not red or pink, just my normal flesh color. And maybe an 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch long, raised up. If I press on it at all, it hurts, but otherwise I don’t feel it. I first noticed it about a month ago. I’m sure it’s not a bite. Anyone have ideas? I obviously have not talked to a doctor about it, yet. But I’m getting more concerned because I was touching it kind of absentmindedly over my blouse, and it really hurt underneath the skin.

    • I know you’re going to get this from everyone else, but go to the doctor. It’s probably nothing, but it could be something serious and I don’t see why you wouldn’t have it checked out.

    • Maddie Ross :

      While I’d still get it checked, this sounds vaguely similar to the lypoma I have on my leg. Lypomas, or fatty tumors, are not tumors in the cancerous sense but are caused generally by trauma or injury. I think mine was caused by a fall while running. It’s near my hip joint and not really noticeable to anyone but me. It doesn’t hurt and is normal colored. About 2 inches in size now, but it started out smaller. I’ve considered having it removed, but have not pulled the trigger. Again, this is just a thought.

      • Research, Not Law :

        I was thinking the same thing – but please do get it checked!

    • don’t want to scare you. it’s probably nothing. but go see a doctor ASAP. ASAP ASAP ASAP. at worst, it will be an inconvenience; at best, it will save your life. i have too many cancer stories about people i know that i even care to recount.

      and please do let us know how it goes!

    • Call your doctor, get it checked out, and truly, don’t spend any more time soliciting internet advice or WebMD info about it. This is the kind of thing that requires a doctor, period.

    • locomotive :

      Go to a doctor. They might send you to a dermatologist (mine did). I had basically the same thing on my upper chest (flesh colored, tiny bit of discomfort when I pushed on it, about 8mm wide) and it turned out to be a epithelial cyst (literally a bag full of skin cells that got stuck beneath the skin). You should definitely go get it looked at, but just keep in mind these are super common for a lot of people and are completely benign, just gross. Unfortunately I had to get mine removed and it scarred right next to where necklaces usually hit so it’s now a big raised puffy scar on my chest and makes me self conscious wearing normal cut tops :( , BUT no health consequences, just my self image.

      • sounds like you’re a perfect fit for the bigger chunky jewelry that some aren’t awesome enough to pull off… it’ll cover your scar but better, it’ll highlight your gorgeous face and neck!

    • Sounds like a cyst, but you should get it checked out immediately. If it’s a cyst, you may need minor surgery, but more likely the doc can drain it in-office and you’ll just have a bandage for a few days. But it could be something more serious, like a fatty tumor or even a tumor tumor.

    • Thanks for the comments; it’s comforting to know about all of the many benign possibilities. I’ll see the doc.

  23. I just wanted to say thank you… I lost my job in November and you all being on my side when the company tried to screw me helped me not to feel so worthless. In December, when my pup first got sick, I became majorly a homebody so I could take care of him and you guys were one of the main way for me to socialize and connect to others when I wasn’t in a professional setting. Now that he’s in his second health crisis, all of your well wishes are an absolute lifeline as I wait to hear whether I’ll get even a small amount more time with him or if the past 6 weeks was my extra time.

    I know we’re really here to discuss jobs and clothes and such but I hope you don’t mind that I’m off topic here… I just really appreciate each of you. Thank you.

    • karenpadi :

      You are welcome! Thanks for the help you’ve given to others.

    • You’re so welcome. Thanks for being a pillar of this lovely community.

    • MissJackson :

      We appreciate all of your sound advice! It’s a two way street :)

    • K, we’re all rooting for you and your diggity dog. Please keep us posted, and hang in there!

    • springtime :

      You’re awesome K! I always like your commentary :).

    • Thank YOU for all of the comments and support you share with the rest of us. Please know that my thoughts are with your pup.

  24. nerve pills :

    Need some job reassurance. Recently interviewed with Midlaw in another market. Interview went well and the recruiter says all reports are positive. Now the firm is looking at their 2012 projections to figure out if they have enough work to feed another atty. Since this would be a relocation, I am grateful they are running the numbers, but part of me feels like they should already be on top of this. I was submitted to them 4 months ago in response to a posted position so it has been a somewhat slow process. I am the only candidate being considered. Words of advice and similar stories with positive outcomes are welcome. I already have floor pacing down.

    • Have to be honest — having lost a job do to insufficient work at the firm — this would be a huge, giant red flag for me. I’d want to know more about how work is assigned, billable requirements, and what exactly happens when those requirements aren’t met.

      • karenpadi :

        Second this. Moved to Big Law from a very stable job in a boutique. Laid off 10 months later. Same thing happened to a friend who was doing the reverse (stable, big law to boutique).

        I’d ask if they have any anti-hoarding policies in place.

        • nerve pills :

          Yeah, I am definitely doing my own research as to what kind of workload they have. They are the biggest player in that market so being tapped out workwise isn’t a good sign.

      • Yes, I’ve gotten this story and had similar situations with two different firms. Neither one worked out, but I ended up finding an awesome job at a firm that did have a need for someone. It if doesn’t work out, it wasn’t meant to be.

    • Check linkedin to see if any associates have departed lately. Consider contacting them to see if they will want to chat. I am aware of one firm in my city that has hired summer associates for full time employment the following year even though they are actively laying off associates (mostly mid levels) currently. There is not enough work yet they keep hiring to keep up appearances. They want clients to think “oh, x firm is healthy, look, they are hiring.” The layoffs are stealth and the associates and firm repeat the mantra that they left for another job or to find a better fit, etc. It is such BS. I know others have left voluntarily to avoid the ax. If someone called them and said what is the true story at x firm, they would dish. If your state has online pleadings, try seeing what lawyers filed things in the last 5 years from that firm. Lexis/Westlaw will have the bigger decisions too. If you are seeing a lot of names that are no longer there, tread carefully.

  25. anonymous :

    After reading the (sometimes heated) conversation about SGK and PP yesterday, I thought the news about SGK changing its policy was interesting, and articulates well both sides of the issue. Whatever your opinion on the outcome, I think it’s particularly impressive what an impact the public reaction made on the decision makers at SGK. All you corporettes who contacted SGK, pulled your donations, or donated to PP actually made a difference, and I think it’s cool when people care enough about their opinions to do something about it and then I see that it’s not a futile exercise.

  26. Hi ladies, question re: tipping. Apparently I’ve been doing it wrong and giving away all my money all these years. I am getting haircut and highlights done tonight at a salon in the city for which I have a voucher from one of the deal sites. It costs $69, originally it states $200. I believe the only 2 stylists there are co-owners. My Qs are as follows, based on my bf chastizing me for over-tipping and contributing to the problems of tip expectations run amok (lol):

    1) My bf believwes that all these groupon peddlers inflate the amount of the original price for the service and he doesn’t believe you should fully tip on the original amount if it is inflated ($200 sounds reasonable here, but other vouchers I’ve had sounded insane for the original price and I still tipped on it). Do you agree with him?

    2) I never knew that you do not tip the owner of a salon if he/she is the one doing your cut/coloring. For starters, I never know who the owner is as I always try new salons. In cases where I did know my stylist was the owner, I still tipped as usual. I feel weird walking out not tipping someone who performed a service for me! My bf’s logic is that “if you own the place you’re getting all the profit. The idea is to tip the worker cuz they only get a cut. If you own the place then you make 100% of what the person is billed…and that’s enough.”

    I feel like an awkward fool about the whole tipping thing. Last time I had a voucher to get a brazilian blowout at a small new salon and they said the original price was $300 (I paid $125 for voucher). Turns out my stylist was the owner. I gave him like $52 tip, which after being scolded by my bf I feel like a fool, since not only was the original price insane but I gave such a huge tip to the owner. And I believe he half-assed the process, so he didn’t even deserve it. Please advise!

    • I’ve never heard of the “don’t tip the owner rule”. So, FWIW, I tip whenever the service provided is usually a tipped service (food service, hair, valet, etc.). I also tip based on market rate, not a discounted rate. So, when I use a coupon for a restaurant, I tip based on the price of my meal before the coupon is applied.

      $200 seems really high for a cut and highlight but use your common sense. If $200 is reasonable based on the type of salon and location, then tip based on $200. If you think the value is really somewhere around $150, tip based on that.

    • Call the salon and ask them how much they charge for the service. Don’t mention the groupon. Tip on that amount.
      As to whether to tip the owner, if the only two stylists are owners, I’d tip them – I am sure they rely on the income.

    • Research, Not Law :

      I’m no tipping expert, but I’ll offer my thoughts:

      1) Do tip on the actual price, not the deal price. If you suspect the supplied value isn’t correct, then simply look at the cost listed on their website. That’s the value I would tip on.

      2) I’ve never understood the “don’t tip the owner” concept. I tip as gratitude for a service well-done, not because I want to help the stylist pay rent on their station. Besides, I’m guessing your all-knowing boyfriend has never known anyone who owns a business. They have expenses, too.

      3) If you feel like the person doesn’t provide a good service, than scale the tip as you see fit. Again, I suppose it comes down to your personal reason for tipping, but pull back the tip if you feel the person did a sloppy job because you had a deal. Most places offer groupon deals to attract new customers, so if they blow their first impression, it’s their mistake.

      And, while you didn’t ask, it sounds like your boyfriend should learn to appreciate others, both the people who serve him and you by staying out of your business and not “scolding” you for giving a tip that *he* felt was inappropriate.

      • I posed the Q to settle a debate, I used exagerated terms like “scold” for effect, not really the point. I thought his points were valid.

      • ha! You beat me to my response almost word for word! great minds

    • OK so you have a lot of different issues going on in that question haha.
      1) yes on a groupon, you should always tip on the original price. There may be instances when groupon inflates the price, but most of the time you are getting value, not a service. So you are paying 50 for 100 value worth of services, and you can see how much that is on a website or menu. If you are only buying vouchers where prices aren’t listed, perhaps you’re not using good places. To be honest your bf sounds a little cheap.

      2) the no tipping the owner thing is when there are other stylists. Like one owner, 10 stylists. The owner is getting a cut of those people profit, so you don’t tip the owner.

      3) You should not feel pressured to tip 20% for half half serviced. Im a good tipper, but 20% for me is very good service. terrible, terrible service I go down to around 12% and just regular is usually like in the 17-19 range. Excellent is a little over 20.

      4) your bf seems really concerned with your tipping! Whenever I think oh I gave a little too much tip, I think well hopefully it made that person’s day. Granted you don’t want to be doing that all the time because that adds up, but don’t feel too bad about overtipping if you really enjoyed the service provided. No need to feel like an awkward fool!

    • Tired Squared :

      #1 – I think you’re right about some of the voucher prices sounding insane. I think the easy way to get around this is to check on the price of a treatment on the salon’s website, instead of on the voucher, and tip on the treatment amount. So if you find out that a haircut is usually $150 and it says $200 on the voucher, I would tip on the $150.

      #2 – I’ve heard the “don’t tip the owner rule” from a few salon owners, including my entire family used for 15 years. However, I still tip… because I think a tip is for a job well done. So owner or not, a stylist will always get 15%-20% from me, and higher if they’ve done a fantastic job. So please don’t feel like an “awkward fool!”

      FYI: That normal tip has dipped lower than 15% too. Hairstylist who thought “long layers” meant “chop off 10 inches before I could stop her,” I’m looking at you!

    • I have heard the “don’t tip the owner” rule, and I’ve never been entirely comfortable with it. But FWIW, it’s not total BS.

      Groupon (and their knock-offs and competitors) tends to screw the retailer, especially smaller businesses. Groupon typically does not inflate prices, but unless the retailer builds a huge mark-up into their prices, they lose money on each Groupon deal they sell; most of them are in it in hopes of repeat business, which usually doesn’t materialize. A lot has been written about the Groupon phenomenon and its impact on small business owners, if you’re interested in further reading.

      I think you’re doing the right thing if you tip based on the retailer’s posted prices. I have no doubt that you are making the recipient of your tip very happy; (s)he is definitely laughing at your gullibility for over-tipping. Personally, if a server at a restaurant gives me a deal, or I have a 2-for-1 coupon or something, I always tip based on what the full price would have been. It’s one thing for the business to anticipate and budget for customer discounts; it’s another to impact the server personally.

    • Your boyfriend must be really fun at restaurants. I’m a good tipper & find it totally worth it. It’s like Hello Dolly everytime I walk into my favorite restaurant or hair salon.

      • Oh, you make it rain, huh?!

        (:

      • AnonInfinity :

        Same here. I tip my hairstylist 20-30% each time, and I feel like it’s so worth it. She gives me free product from time to time, she doesn’t get upset if I have to cancel at the last minute, and she always calls me if an appointment time opens up that she knows I prefer.

      • I tip ridiculously well. I tip 20% minimum. On a $13 dollar cab ride I pay $20 because I feel so ridiculous asking for a couple bucks back. It was just the way I was raised (and neither of my parents have ever made over $30,000).

      • You know, women have a reputation among the service professions for being terrible tippers. Especially groups of women. I think Corporettes should do their best to eradicate that image, in the same way we strive to be taken seriously at work.

        • YES.

          Also I reckon it is important that a professional women has access to at least one restaurant where she can bring clients, co-workers and staff, and be correctly recognised as hosting the meal ie. she gets the wine list, bill etc. Tipping properly at my regular places helps to ensure this.

        • By overtipping. Ridiculous.

          Why don’t we just tip what the service was worth?

          • Hmmm…. that’s a rather combative comment.

            I don’t think I overtip. I think I just said I tip well. If the service sucked, I probably would tip very little. However, tipping at a place you frequent is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Service is never terrible once they know you tip well.

            I’m not sure what you mean by overtipping, but I tip 20% rounded up to the nearest $5 for good service. I live in a high cost of living area, and it’s well established that service personnel make a very low hourly wage. Tips are the only way for them to make ends meet.

          • Apologies for sounding rude but I bristle at the notion that I should have to actively combat unfounded stereotypes in my personal life. As an AA woman, I tip well because I’m a generous person not because I accept some racist/sexist notion that I should be a bad tipper and make it my life’s work to prove that racism/sexism wrong.

            I tip what something is worth.

        • Well I’ll be the devil’s advocate here. It sounds like people are tipping a lot of money and I agree generally with the boyfriend that it’s something to consider. I have represented workers in many settings and some need the money/struggle- others are doing quite well actually. (NYC waiters in some hotels make well over 6 figures for half a week’s work; not so for smaller places of course).

          Point being: do you want to pay off your own debts and retire some day? I’m not saying be unfair to anyone and tip under the norm, but $50+ on a hair service? etc.? that just seems excessive. They are getting an hourly wage and a tip throughout the day. If someone got let’s say $15/hr + a few $50 tips per day, that = $300+/day is roughly $75,000 (sorry if math not perfect)– that is way more than I made for years after law school.. just saying.

          I’m on the one hand impressed that it sounds like everyone is so generous, on the other hand wonder how you will pay for your own families, debts, future, etc. over time.

          • one more devil’s advocate bit- i read once something that said the middle class are all overtippers compared to all else- the rich are rich because they keep their money, the poor don’t have money to tip. not defending this logic at all, just passing along- it did make me pause and consider if i was handing money over too easily all the time.

            has anyone else bought real estate in nyc, and tipped one of the people involved (forgot which, title or something) $500? happened to me- at closing, they read the suggested/expected amount out loud and asked if we needed to change it- too embarrassed so just wrote the check. ridiculous. in years since i have been more selective.

          • I think this logic only works for places that pay a living wage, and tips are considered “extras.” This is NOT the case for waiters and waitresses or bartenders.

            I tip based on the full price of a service or item (in the case of restaurants). Good service gets between 15% and 18% tip. Excellent service (but only truly excellent) gets 20% to slightly over 20%. But if I get sub-par service (at a place I don’t go to often) I have no hesitation tipping under 15%.

            My husband and I are upper-middle class for the area we live in, but have significant law school debt. We tip well when we go out, but are definitely addressing our loans and retirement by not going out often. We also don’t go to places that would put strain on our monthly budget, with or without tipping.

          • agree generally on waiters, and the range (15-20%). Posters above mentioned tipping 30%, part of what I was reacting to. Also, restaurants can’t be painted all with one assumption. I worked for a labor union just out of law school and learned this on the ground- trust me. I have worked for $2/hour waiting tables during school plus measly tips, and there’s a whole world of places like that. There is also a whole world, in big cities, of waiters/bartenders financing acting/dancing etc careers by working 3-4 nights/week making eg $150,000 and treating the rest of staff terribly (buspeople etc they are supposed to help out) and they get a fair hourly wage as well. Anywhere with unionized staff + high prices + lots of clientele may be on this end of the spectrum. I honestly never knew that until I represented it first hand and realized I was being duped if I overtipped. You’d be shocked. Again, not the norm, but when ladies above are posting about high-end salons and other things tipping the high percentages/amounts- the boyfriend has a very valid point to raise it.

            It’s interesting to me that most of the posters think we have to tip high to be respected or have a good reputation. Agree in a general sense that is nice/classy. But, there is a counterbalance to that which is not being a sucker/taken advantage of just becasue you feel like a guilty woman who has to prove herself. Not a one-size fits all topic of course- just raising some counterpoints.

          • Same Anon :

            Now been thinking about tipping all weekend.

            1- Do others abide by the 10% for drink portion of dinner rule? I heard this a long time ago and don’t follow it to a t, but do usually tip somewhat less on drink portion. That can add up a lot and is a ton of cash for very little work.

            2- This morning, went to dog park with friend and dogs got filthy. We went to a local urban dog wash place. They charged $25 for self-wash per dog (ie we washed the dogs) and expected a tip for hovering around behind us. Does this seem absurd to anyone else? Sadly it was convenient so worth it as she was covered in mud and we were headed elsewhere directly, but the tipping aspect seemed ridiculous to me- all he did was assign us a station and hand us towels.

            3- another example from my past labor work- bellhops at nice hotels! I knew several in NYC who had second homes in the caribbean and pulled $200,000+ per year, untaxed mostly, plus lifetime pension and benefits. Not making this up, no reason to. It was highly disillusioning to my naive young pro-worker stance- good for them, but certainly didn’t retain any pity for the ‘poor’ bellhops. These are higher-end hotels only, but nonetheless- there really is a range out of circumstances out there people. Just because someone isn’t a lawyer or doctor doesn’t mean they aren’t raking it in.

          • Anon non non :

            No kidding! Stop with the over tipping please!
            And this phenomenon of waiters making in six figures does not only apply to high end NY restaurants.
            DH has MBA and I was waiting to finish JD (relevant because of current and potential earning capability) and we bought a townhome in suburbs of a large midwestern city -far from work so that we would never be burdened by mortgage payments if either of us lost our job. BUT, our neighbors were a couple both of whom were waiters at a suburban italian chain restaurant similar to Olive Garden. Not only was the house they bought few thousand dollars costlier than ours, but they also had a nice Range rover AND a truck. Both seemed new. We bought a Camry because they offered 0% financing.
            Though loans came easy those days, I am sure they made enough to afford such luxuries.
            I would feel like a sucker tipping such people more than 15% for best service. They obviously are VERY comfortable!

          • Doesn’t ruffle my feathers that there are bell-hops who make 200 k a year or waiters who own nice cars. Why ever not, if they are good at what they do ?

          • ss- doesn’t ruffle me either, good for them- point is just that there is no need to overtip unless you really feel that the high amount is merited. a lot of people seem to do it out of feeling ‘bad’ for the person that they are so underpaid, so sharing for awareness purposes. i’m not saying don’t tip at all, either- but some commenters cited really high amounts (30% etc) for services. for an exceptional situation, okay, but for routine stuff, i wonder if people are aware that the service people sometimes make more than they do with less debts and better health/pension packages. nice that people are so generous, but i am currently focused on maintaining a balance that includes my own debt payments and retirement savings.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I had quite the conversation about tipping last night with a friend of mine who is in town from the UK. I’ve never really thought about it before and typically tip between 15-20% depending on the service (based on the non-discounted price). He was so upset at the entire concept of tipping and thinks that people should be paid wages that are high enough to not rely on tips and have the price clearly marked and set to the price to cover everything. He thought he’d just open a bar, pay a good wage, and not allow tipping. I said he’d probably have a line around the block with all the people who don’t like trying to figure out how much to tip.

      • Your friend can open his bar in Japan – service there is generally terrific and tipping doesn’t feature in the culture (they come after you to return the money if you attempt to leave a tip).

  27. High-strung :

    Anyone else have a boss who makes a lot social skill-related comments about people behind their backs? I was in her office and she asked me to look at something and then walked out of her office. I assumed she’d be back in a minute or two, but after she left me sitting there quite a bit longer I went and found her in an office next door. She told me she was busy and would find me when she was ready, and then I could hear her complaining to that coworker about me. This is kind of her typical behavior with most people in the office, and it’s frustrating to see how easily these little things annoy her. Anyone else deal with a boss like this?

    • maybe, when she goes to leave, you can stop and ask, “oh! you seem busy, why don’t I [fill in the task you were asked to do] when you return or I can take it to my own desk and you can tell me when you need it done?”

      she may not realize she’s offending you or she may think she’s doing it to avoid hovering and being rude in hovering. it wouldn’t be a rude question, you would sound polite, and maybe it’d bring to her attention how her behavior comes across.

    • I think I’ve posted before about my boss. The problem with him is that he missed several rungs on the social skill ladder. Doesn’t hold doors. Doesn’t tip, etc. Travelling with him was a nightmare.

    • Another Sarah :

      I did. I quit. But I was leaving a hellish un-paid “internship” (read: slavery) after 48 hours. I agree with K, that she may not realize she’s doing it. Or she may not care that she’s doing it and confronting her might not do you any favors. But if she’s doing it to most people then most people realize that it’s really not you and it’s just her.

    • That sounds awful! I really don’t like it when coworkers comment on each other’s behavior or social skills, especially when they’re in the office and people might overhear something. It destroys trust. It’s so nasty. It sounds like you’ve recongized a pattern of behavior. Do your best to work around it. But definitely don’t beat yourself up if you can’t avoid it completely. If she’s doing it to everyone, she’s going to do it to you too. Look at this situation as a chance to learn how to deal with a difficult person. See if you can problem solve and find ways to work around her bad behavior or prevent it from happening. But that’s looking on the bright side. This would drive most people crazy. It’s just so inconsiderate! I’d definitely be calling up a close girl friend to vent to after work or take a kick-boxing class or something to let go of the negative energy from the work day.

  28. Hello Ladies,
    My husband and I are going on a vacation the first week of April. We are making stops in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and San Diego. I have two questions:
    1) I am usually traditional and stick to the old-school “no white before Easter” rule. However, we live in the Midwest and I am ready wear something other than jeans. Would white shorts/pants/skirts/shoes be out-of place in these locations at that time of year? I don’t want to stick out like a sore thumb! Also, thoughts on what to wear to a dinner/show in Vegas?
    2) My husband is a huge foodie whether it’s “fine dining” or authentic, local food. Any recommendations for restaurants in any of those cities? Alternatively, any suggestions for must-see activities/sights?
    Thanks!

    • I think white is fine at any of the places you mention in April (or even in March!). Believe me, in Vegas you will see people in such insane outfits, your white whatevers will be a complete non-issue. For the dinner show – if you feel like it, wear a dress up as you would to a nice night on the town! Alternatively if you want to wear jeans, you won’t be the only one.

      No restaurant ideas but yelp or the ladies on this board will have some I’m sure.

    • I can’t give tips for Vegas or San Diego (though I think white would almost certainly be fine for all of those) but for LA:

      (1) Rent bikes and bike along the beach from Santa Monica. Get some fish tacos from one of the places along there. Ride some of the rides on the pier.

      (2) Along the PCH from Santa Monica out towards Malibu, there are a few restaurants right on the water that have beautiful, beautiful views of the sunsets. I ate at Chart House or Georffrey’s (can’t remember which one) — it was expensive and the food was good but not outstanding — but really the view was unbelievable. Be there at sunset or be square.

      (3) If you have the time, hit up the Getty Center and pack a picnic, its pretty cool.

      (4) In Malibu, if you’re there for a day, grab lunch at the Malibu Kitchen (the meatloaf sandwich is really good).

      (5) I really loved Umami Burger, well worth it.

      (6) Chase a couple food trucks, its kind of fun.

      (7) I got some tacos at Grand Central Market in Downtown LA which were pretty good and worth the experience of wandering through the Market. Plus, while you’re down their, check out the Disney Concert Hall, its beautiful.

    • 1) It’s hard to stick out like a sore thumb in SD, LA or Vegas. As long as you don’t look summered-out you should be okay. I live in southern CA and I see people wearing white shoes all of the time. I haven’t seen many people wear white pants but if you pair them with something that’s more season appropriate you’ll be fine. Heck, does it really matter anyway? If someone gives you a weird look because you are wearing a white skirt you probably don’t want to talk with them anyway. Also, remember… in Vegas you will find mostly tourists so people are wearing all sorts of things. For a dinner and a show in Vegas, you will see people wearing casual clothes to full-fledged sparkly new years’ eve-style cocktail dresses. I usually plan to cab it to dinner and show so I am not limited with my shoes. Wear whatever you feel like wearing. I usually wear dark jeans (or skinny pants), cute heels and a fun top or a cute cocktail dress that’s on the casual side. Again, there are all kinds of people in Vegas which means all kinds of styles. Bring some comfy shoes since it’s fun to walk the strip (especially in April since the weather is nice).

      2) There is amazing food all over Vegas. The best way to narrow it down is to pick your hotel and the shows you want to see first, then find restaurants around those places. Many of the celebrity chefs have restaurants in Vegas so if you can’t chose, select one of those. SW Steakhouse (very modern) is amazing. The chef who always wears the clogs (Mario B___?) has a really good restaurant for an upscale lunch at the Venician. Seriously, every hotel has amazing food.

    • Ok this will eventually be posted twice since I used the real spelling of c*cktail dress. Shame on me!!

      I forgot to add, while in Vegas see a Cirque du Soleil show. They are all amazing.

      1) It’s hard to stick out like a sore thumb in SD, LA or Vegas. As long as you don’t look summered-out you should be okay. I live in southern CA and I see people wearing white shoes all of the time. I haven’t seen many people wear white pants but if you pair them with something that’s more season appropriate you’ll be fine. Heck, does it really matter anyway? If someone gives you a weird look because you are wearing a white skirt you probably don’t want to talk with them anyway. Also, remember… in Vegas you will find mostly tourists so people are wearing all sorts of things. For a dinner and a show in Vegas, you will see people wearing casual clothes to full-fledged sparkly new years’ eve-style cocktail dresses. I usually plan to cab it to dinner and show so I am not limited with my shoes. Wear whatever you feel like wearing. I usually wear dark jeans (or skinny pants), cute heels and a fun top or a cute cocktail dress that’s on the casual side. Again, there are all kinds of people in Vegas which means all kinds of styles. Bring some comfy shoes since it’s fun to walk the strip (especially in April since the weather is nice).

      2) There is amazing food all over Vegas. The best way to narrow it down is to pick your hotel and the shows you want to see first, then find restaurants around those places. Many of the celebrity chefs have restaurants in Vegas so if you can’t chose, select one of those. SW Steakhouse (very modern) is amazing. The chef who always wears the clogs (Mario B___?) has a really good restaurant for an upscale lunch at the Venician. Seriously, every hotel has amazing food.

    • There are SOOOO many great places to eat in Vegas! Check out the blog, “Eating Las Vegas” (the blogger is a lawyer in real life) for some good tips, but I have had excellent experiences at:

      – Fleur de Lys at Mandalay Bay
      – Julian Serrano at the Aria
      – Mon Ami Gabi at Paris (seriously, just like walking into a Parisian bistro)

      As well, you may scoff, but when we went, we bought a 24-hour buffet pass that was good for all the buffets at hotels owned by Harrah’s. If you manage it right, you can make it work for 4 meals. Because you use it for 24 hours, you don’t feel you have to eat a huge amount at each place, and it is pretty good value (I think it cost us $49 per person, which, for 4 meals, is pretty good). We liked the buffets at Planet Hollywood and Paris but weren’t so keen on the one at Caesar’s Palace.

      If you haven’t been to Las Vegas recently, you must walk around inside the new Cosmopolitan Hotel, especially to see the bar that is built *inside* a giant chandelier. Fantastic.

    • Don’t get the ‘no white’ rule. I wear a white wool pencil skirt and/or winter white trousers all the time in winter, especially with darker tones (like navy or black). Another outfit I like is my winter white trousers with a similarly colored, collared silk blouse that has very faint pink/tan stripes. Wear that outfit in winter too.

    • Seattleite :

      I was in San Diego last weekend and, given that it was 78 F, white would have been perfectly fine.

      (I really think that ‘no white’ rule was promulgated back in the days of muddy streets and sidewalks. And do we really want to be like the missionaries in Hawaii who wore long underwear despite the temperature because It Was Just Done?)

      • I lived in SD for 4 years and would wear white whenever. Actually, having lived in California all my life except law school (and not having a very feminine mother) I’d never even heard that whole white rule except in old books.

        For SD though, you absolutely have to go to La Jolla, park and walk, it’s touristy, but it’s gorgeous. I don’t really recommend eating there, more expensive than it’s worth in general, but wherever you go the food will be good, make SURE you get a view! I also recommend Mission Beach, it can be a pain to get there because of traffic, but once you are, again, just park and walk. There are tons of fun beach bars, burger shops, etc… You probably already know this, but if you are a beachy person, it WILL be warm enough to get some sun or even swim if you’re brave!

        Finally, the Gaslamp. Again, no real recommendation because just about everything is great. Avoid the chain restaurants, they’re no more special here than anywhere else, frequently less so, and there are so many unique and wonderful places. I did really like a place called the red door because they had something like 150 tequilas on the menu!

        I recommend just walking around the Gaslamp people watching (last time I was there was Halloween and OMG doesn’t BEGIN to cover it!!!), see if there’s a concert or something at Petco. I stayed at the Omni hotel and there’s a bar on about the 9th floor that is awesome for sitting out overlooking the park. There was an odd rap/trance concert one night when I was there, didn’t really enjoy the music but again crowd watching was GREAT. I also really liked the Altitude Sky Lounge mostly just because of the birds eye view of the area.

        • Seattleite :

          OTOH, I found the drive out to La Jolla and Misison Beach an exercise in frustration. Too much traffic, hard to find parking, blech. (But then, I do live near the ocean so beaches aren’t a novelty.) Next time I go, I won’t even bother with a rental car. I stayed in the Gaslamp and spent a good chunk of each day at Marina Park or another park farther down the bay. Had very nice dinners at Osetra (mahi mahi, plus the seafood napolean appy was great) and a little bistro called Cafe Chloe (Sunday night prix fixe dinner).

    • go for it :

      I live in southern california and used to go to Vegas quite often. Wear white if that’s what you want to wear. I see people where white here all year ’round. When you are in Vegas, wear whatever is comfortable to you. If you will be exploring, wear comfortable shoes. If you are going to dinner and a show, wear what makes you feel good in your own skin. People wear anything from daytime outfits to what you’d wear at a nice restaurant in your town to crazy club wear to super fancy schmancy outfits. San Diego is super laid back. Check out the gaslamp district for dinner or drinks one evening. Also, that’s a great place to stay (I love Hard Rock at Gaslamp). Wear comfy clothes when in LA and for dinner (there are SO many great places) I suggest dressing up a bit. Have fun!

    • There is (or was, until recently) a Michelin guide to Vegas. My foodie friends like to eat at the starred restaurants there (Joel Robuchon, L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon, Picasso, and MIX are some of the ones I’ve heard good things about). I assume those are all $$$$. For a really nice but much less pricey meal (entrees in the $20s-$30s) I would recommend Scarpetta. I haven’t been to the Vegas one (it has 4 or 5 locations in the US), but my meal at the NYC location was one of the best I’ve ever had. According to Yelp the Vegas location is just as good. The bread basket is to die for.

      Vegas can be tough for people who like good food. There are some world-renowned restaurants there but there are also a lot of awful and extremely overpriced places and it can be really hard to get a good meal with dropping a lot of cash and even if you do drop a lot of cash your food may still be terrible. I’ve always been on a fairly tight budget when I’m there and can’t really say I’d strongly recommend any of the places I’ve eaten at.

      As far as sights, if you’ve never been before just walk up & down the strip and look out all the casinos/hotels. Each has a different vibe and decor and its fun to see all of them. Each has things to do that kind of fit its theme and depending on what you like you’ll probably find some things to do in the particular hotels. The nice thing about Vegas is that I find it very relaxing compared to our vacations where you feel like you have a checklist of things to see.

      Some specific things I like:
      1) the fountain show at the Bellagio (think I watched this about 10 times my first trip to Vegas)
      2) the Chihuly sculptures in the Bellagio
      3) the lions in the MGM grand
      4) If you are into movies/TV theres a Television City in the MGM grand where you can sign up to see an advance screening of a show and give your opinions on it. It was surprisingly fun. We saw AMC’s The Killing about six months before it came on the air.
      5) it was awhile ago that I did this, but I liked The Flamingo’s champagne brunch buffet. It was fairly reasonably priced compared to Wynn, Bellagio, etc and we really liked the food & atmosphere
      6) Forum Shops – even if you don’t want to shop, worth a visit to see.
      7) the canals at the Venetian – also cool to see & you could do a gondala ride if you like

      We went to downtown Vegas (e.g. Fremont St) on my first trip there. It was expensive taking a cab and on the way back we took a bus to save money and felt pretty unsafe (we were 3 college girls). Overall we felt like it wasn’t worth it. But I know a lot of people who think its so cool to get off the strip and that this is a “Vegas must do.”

      As far as clothing, Vegas is basically the only place where you can wear whatever you want and not stand out. If you want to wear a sparkly sequined mini-dress during the middle of the day, or a jeans & a t-shirt when you go out at night, no one will care (caveat is that of course the really fancy restaurants have dress codes). Vegas is a weird mix of some really eccentric personalities, a lot of tourists of different demographics (college kids, couples, older folks) and the fact that the town is so big on partying & laying by the pool (in the summer at least) means that anything goes when it comes to clothes.

    • I live in OC but was raised by two mid-Westerners and spent some formative years in Boston and NYC. I regularly wear white jeans during the winter here. Many people do. I refuse t o wear white shoes until Memorial Day, but you will not be out of place if you do.

      In LA, I would suggest a day at the Getty Villa followed by a meal at Reel Inn in Malibu. You should be able to find both online. You need to make parking reservations at the Getty, but they are free.

      I also suggest Sunnin restaurant on Westwood Blvd at Santa Monica Blvd for amazing Lebanese food. WwwDOTsunninDOT com.

      • TCFKAG mentioned food trucks. A bevy of gourmet ones (sushi, gourmet Mexican, cupcakes) parks outside of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) on Wilshire at lunch time.

    • I think your husband would have a lot of fun reading the Chowhound boards about these three cities to get a sense of where the highlights are for eating in and around SD, LA and Las Vegas. You go to chow [dot] com and then just click on “Chowhound Discussions.” There are separate discussion boards for all three cities.

      IMHO, Los Angeles is a truly great food city — from the high-end to dive-y ethnic food and street trucks and everything in between. Las Vegas also has great, big-name restaurants from world-famous chefs, but everything gets very pricey very quickly. I end up feeling a lot of pressure (self-imposed!) to get the best possible food for the money spent, which can be stressful when there are SO MANY places to choose from. San Diego is not nearly as much a food city as the other two, but I’ve had amazing fresh fish there and Baja fish tacos are a delicious world unto themselves. (As is In-N-Out Burger — based in LA but locations in all three cities — if you and H have never had one!)

      Las Vegas high points for me personally: L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon; Sinatra (in the Wynn); Cut (Wolfgang Puck’s steakhouse in the Venetian — I know, but they had the most amazing mac & cheese and pretzel rolls!); and Bouchon for brunch. I’d try to get reservations at é by José Andrés if I were going back to LV any time soon. (I’ve also always wanted to go to Lotus of Siam, said to be one of the best Thai restaurants anywhere, but it’s far off the Strip and my husband and I don’t usually rent a car in Vegas. ) If you stay at the Wynn or the Encore, walk across East Desert Inn Road to the little strip mall there and go to Tacos El Gordo — it’s a branch of a famous Tijuana place and the tacos are delicious and around $1.50 each.

      • In San Diego:
        For Baja fish tacos, try either Fins (preferable, but fewer locations) or Rubio’s.
        If you’re up in North County (or driving from San Diego to LA), there is a great place on the Pacific Coast Highway called Fish 101 in Encinitas. Amazing fresh fish and great seasonal sides.

    • Thanks everyone! Very helpful suggestions. Much appreciated!

  29. soulfusion: I got your email about running partners, but when I’ve tried to reply I keep getting an automated message that tells me that your account is “permanently disabled.” Let me know if you’re still interested!

    • soulfusion :

      yeah, gmail disabled my account recently and I have been trying to figure out how to reactivate it. I’ll try and send you another email. Thanks for following up!

  30. SF Bay Associate :

    Bedding – time to upgrade the bedding from Target/Ikea to married lady stuff, much in the way that the dishes are now matching Williams Sonoma instead of chipped Ikea. The DH does not like prints, so maybe I can find something with texture? I’ve finally convinced him that, despite his annoyance at all the extra pillows on hotel beds, two extra pillows at home would make reading in bed more comfortable – i.e. four pillows total. I’m totally clueless about this. Where do you all like to shop for bedding? What was your not-girly-but-not-boring compromise with your SO?

    • overstock dot com or a great sale from a department store might be your best bet. I don’t do girlie stuff but I live in the inexpensiveville world… I have a comforter that’s black on one side, gray on the other, then black satin pillows and a couple of pillows on it in a different color (for example, one is the queens pillow from sitenyc dot com) so it’s different without a pattern, soft without girlie.

      • My husband actually picked-out our bed linens and still loves them! :) We have a textured creme duvet cover (originally from C&B but not longer available), a textured deep purple quilt (BB&B Chrysanthemum quit), two creme/deep purple patterned pillow cases, and two deep purple pillow shams. It is simple but the quilt & patterned pillows add just enough interest/color. We have the quilt folded at the end of the bed right now. We can switch-up things up when get bored by layering the quilt first and the folding the duvet half way down (think hotel bed). The best part = not spending 5 minutes each day taking pillows on/off the bed! :)

      • I LOVE overstock for house stuff. Also HomeGoods (& TJMaxx). There’s actually a great homegoods/tjmaxx combo here in San Carlo. It’s like a treasure hunt!
        That said I have given up on a top sheet for the time being because it makes making my bed in the morning THAT much easier.

    • Anonymous :

      Restoration Hardware.

      • another anon :

        Unless they’ve changed in the past few years, I think their sheets are way overpriced for the quality. I bought two pairs several years ago, and both now have holes in them and are pretty much not usable. I have some from Bed Bath and Beyond that have held up much much better, but I couldn’t tell you what brand they are.

        RH towels, on the other hand, are AMAZING and hold up wonderfully.

    • The Company Store (online)

      • Love the Company Store. I have a down comforter from them. Highly recommend.

    • Seattleite :

      “Hotel Bedding” collection in white textured stripe from Macys, but my cats are white and champeige so white-ish was a must.

      Although, i do remember reading a dozen years ago that women put out more in a feminine bedroom. Passed that along to my then-H and got the florals I wanted, stat.

      • karenpadi :

        Second the Hotel Collection at Macys. I have their pillows and just bought two sets of sheets a few weeks ago.

        I got the “low end” 400 ct sheets and oh.my.goodness. Amazing! I’d wash them before first use (my dad said not to, big mistake). They held up very well in the dryer after the first wash–only a minimal amount of lint.

      • I can’t afford it, but I spend a lot of time staring enviously at this collection.

        We got really high thread count sheets (from bed, bath, and beyond) for our wedding (600-700 ct) and I’ve been really disappointed with them. We’ve had them for a little over a year and they’re seriously discolored in places, and my husband didn’t like the way they felt until I washed them 5 or 6 times. I don’t know if it’s just the brand we got, but it’s something you might want to take into account.

        • I mentioned it above, but they often have the hotel line @ tjmaxx & overstock for MUCH less.

    • My husband and I settled on the Hotel Collection from Macys when we registered. He is the kind of guy who feels as though tan is a huge departure from his usual bedding (when we first dated, everything was white or cream or creamy white). Though it wasn’t cheap, I haven’t been impressed with how it held up. The sheets have been fine, but the duvet cover is breaking down and looks cruddy. To be honest, some of the IKEA stuff that we got before it is holding up better. So I have trouble recommending it. We actually just bought a couple other duvet covers at IKEA recently, for about 1/4 of the cost of the Hotel Collection stuff. But it is nice and plain and does do nice textures.

      • karenpadi :

        Second getting the cheap duvet cover. My duvet covers are Style & Co. at Macy’s and they outlasted the matching sheets. Plus, I don’t really mind that they aren’t as soft as my lovely new sheets because I have the flat sheet between me and the duvet.

      • Cats Ahoy! :

        Can I ask how you keep your comforter from bunching up inside of the duvet cover?

        • There are little hooks you can get at bed bath and beyond that keep the corners of the diver with the corners from the cover. ( hubs specifically asked a lady at bbb about this today. I was stupefied that he was concerned with this issue, or that there was a product, but rest assured, bbb has it conquered!)

          • MeliaraofTlanth :

            I just spent 15 minutes today trying to straighten out my comforter inside my duvet. I had no idea this sort of thing existed. I’m not super excited.

        • karenpadi :

          When grabbing the duvet cover, always grab the duvet too. Take a big handful and don’t be shy. My ex could never get the hang of this and it drove me nuts.

    • I bought a Calvin Klein set at Macy’s. It’s an abstract leaf print in dark teal and brown that looks fairly masculine. DH is fine with it.

      I’d also look at West Elm — I’ve always thought they had attractive textured coverlets.

    • Diana Barry :

      Garnet Hill! I wait for the sales, but they have great quality sheets.

    • I have an all-white bedding theme, but all different shades and textures of white.

      I switch between a cream flannel duvet cover in winter – from Land’s End – and a white cotton sateen cover in warmer months – from Overstock.

      My plain white pima cotton 800 thread count sheets from Overstock have become so soft in the three years I’ve had them, I don’t rotate sheet sets anymore. I just wash this one set and put them back on.

      I rotate between two different Ikea throws at the foot of the bed, both have lots of texture and are different weights for different seasons. Both are slightly off white.

      I found some quilted and hand-embroidered pillow covers at an outlet for the extra two pillows (yes, tell your husband pillows #3 & 4 are necessities!) and then three toss pillows – 16″ squares covered with pillow covers from Etsy shop TheHomeCentric (highly recommend) – two matching cream velvet with beaded trim, and one satiny ruffles in pure white.

      Last, one oblong “neck” pillow with a handknit (by me) cover in fishmerman’s wool, which is off-white. That one never stays on the bed because my kids steal it.

      All of this white is not too girly for my husband, whereas florals would be. I love my all-white bedding because I find it soothing. We have painted walls (terracotta-ish) and art hanging up, so it’s nice to have some negative space in the room. The texture and slight variations on color keep it from looking sterile.

      Full disclosure, I was totally copying Candace Olsen in all of this.

      • PS My husband has fond memories of the “pink” sheets I had when we were newly dating. (They were actually peach, but he’s a guy.) They were fine for him when it was my house, but once he moved in, they were too feminine for him.

        ????

      • Sydney Bristow :

        That sounds absolutely lovely!

        I don’t know how grown up they are, but my favorite sheets are Beech sheets from Bed Bath and Beyond. They are so so so so soft. Technically they are jersey sheets, but I don’t find that my clothes stick to them like I experienced with other jersey sheets. I think of them as being in between jersey and regular cotton sheets.

    • We registered through Amazon — but I highly recommend looking at the bedding on there. The reviews are helpful and there are ton of “men” friendly sets. I found that if I went with colors he found acceptable (white and green) I could get something of a pattern through.

      :-)

    • Research, Not Law :

      So, I hate Macy’s with a passion… but I LOVE the Charter Club bedding. We’ve had ours for about four years and it’s be wonderful. It’s soft, durable, etc. We have the “stripe,” if it matters. I am planning to buy more as our other existing bedding wears out.

      • MissJackson :

        Yeah, I’m not generally a huge Macy’s fan either, but the Charter Club bedding is amazing. We also have the stripe — I think it’s 500 thread count? — and it’s held up great, feels incredibly soft, washes well, etc. Wait for a sale and use a coupon and it’s incredibly well priced, too!

    • I like duvets and duvet covers from Pottery Barn, but I haven’t been crazy about their sheets. Overstock is a good place to get sheets.

    • skippy pea :

      I am going to have to say the high thread count egyptian cotton collection from Costco. While it comes only as sheet set and does not have very soft feel to it, they have lasted us well these last 7 years. I change my sheets weekly and wash them in cold water. We use colorful quilts and duvet covers to ad interest to the bed.

      I have also seen some nice feeling sheet sets and coordinating bedding at Home Goods. Don’t know about their quality though.

      • Yes, I was just coming here to say Costco! We stayed at a fancy resort last summer and SO was convinced that we needed to replicate their Egyptian cotton sheets. My budget was whinging from the thought of $400 sheets. I spent a bit of time trolling for online sales and then the next day while walking through Costco, I spied their set for $42 for a queen set, $49 for king. They are more lustrous than silky but we found them plenty soft and very cool for the summer months. I’m happy to hear that they’ve lasted for seven years for Skippy Pea, but even if they don’t, they are a bargain at 50 bucks.

        For winter, we like flannel sheets from Lands End. Very cozy.

    • I splurged on a nice duvet cover and am so glad I did. It brings me pleasure every time I see it, and it’s held up so much better than cheaper ones we’ve had. This, in aqua: http://www.comforthouse.com/duvetcover6.html

      On the other hand, I still go with the bamboo sheets from Target. We had spendier ones (can’t recall which brand now) that really didn’t hold up long, so we went back to the Target bamboo ones again.

    • I have a West Elm duvet, duvet cover, euro pillows, and shams that have all held up well (2.5 years and counting). They always seems to have a lot of solid, muted or neutral colors with a bit of texture to them. I haven’t tried their sheets though…

  31. I have a beautiful, new, healthy baby! One of my goals for maternity leave is to figure out how to take better photos of my kids. I have a Canon point-and-shoot that works fine, but I’d like to step it up. Can those of you with some photography knowledge recommend a digital SLR for an SLR newbie? It should be rather user friendly because I don’t see myself becoming the highest-level photography expert any time soon. Right now I know nothing. Instead I want something I can take decent pictures with right off the bat and learn more about it over time.

    • I have a Micro 4/3 from Olympus (which is technically not a digital SLR) but I can literally not recommend it enough. It is the best camera in the world and it has made me into a good photographer (I can’t take any credit for it).

      They are generally only carried by specialty camera stores — but if you go into a nice camera store they should be able to give you an overview of them.

    • First of all, congrats! I have a NikonD5000 and really like it. Even shooting on auto, it does a nice job. I am also taking a class from a local camera store (highly recommend doing this if your schedule allows). If a class isn’t an option, the book “Understanding Exposure” is great for explaining the basics. There are lots of online tutorials as well.

    • Can't wait to quit :

      congratulations! Check out thefrugalgirl.com. In between the home schooling, general household frugality, recipes, etc., she has some really good tips on photography, and how to take great pictures of your (and others) kid. It’s a fun site, and she’s not a big techie so her advice is very accesible to the non-tech person who wants to improve their photography.

    • ChampeigeX1000 :

      congratulations! I also have a Nikon D5000 and it’s fantastic. May be wishful thinking for you with the new baby in the house, but if you have a couple hours to get out, I’d recommend going to a camera shop or even Best Buy to hold the Canons and Nikons and see what you like in your hands. For me, it was Nikon that felt best. I also recommend the book “Your Baby’s First Year In Pictures” by Me Ra Koh. She does a great job of breaking down the functions of your camera and gives great ideas for pictures as well. Understanding Exposure is also very helpful.

    • congratulations!!!!!!!

      Have fun falling head over heels, deeply in love with your baby in a way you didn’t know was possible. :)

      I’m envious. Mine are 9 & 10 now.

      Sorry, know nothing about cameras. I just love newborns.

    • congrats! you can probably click around on amazon, reading the reviews, and find something awesome… probably more important is that you should be willing to take a ton of shots at different angles and at different times. Digital cameras mean you can take 30 photos a day and delete the 29 you don’t love but still end up with some incredible shots. focus on different features rather than the standard stuff… take closer photos of eyelashes or fingernails or the like and you may enjoy them better than the standard ones everyone has. Good luck on the awesome shots!

    • Oh, I forgot to mention this – take photos of how your baby actually IS, rather than waiting to take photos at perfect moments. My daughter (who’s perfect now) cried for three months solid, but it’s hard to convince her of that because we only took photos when she was smiling. Our favorite photos of our kids as babies, now, are photos where they’re a little dirty, a little cranky or otherwise messy, also known as real life.

    • Congrats! I’m a hobby photographer. I started my hobby with a basic point and shoot Kodak. I’ve since upgraded to a Kodak Z650. Still point and shoot plus override so you can change all the manual settings but not a full SLR.

      Photography is all about framing the picture. Anyone can take amazing photos with any camera and basic editing software. I actually started a blog January 1st to illustrate this. All my photos are taken with just my iphone and the app befunkyfx. If you click on my name it will take you to my blog. Each day I post three pictures. One is a mundane scene where you might not see anything artsy. The next is what I saw as art. The last is how I edited it. Browse through a couple of my photos and you might start to see how you can take a great picture of your baby from an otherwise mundane scene.

      I also have a list of my best tips under “photography how to’s.” (Link on the bar on the right on my blog.) The title of that article is dumb but google said it would get me the most hits.

      If you have trouble getting there from clicking on my name, just google Mundane Art. It is on Tumblr.

      For kid specific tips, I’d browse tumblr or another site of pictures other people have taken of their kids for inspiration. Again, it is not about the camera, it is about you and your eye, what you see and how you capture it. Zoom is your friend.

      • ChampeigeX1000 :

        I totally agree that you don’t need a fancy camera to get a great or meaningful image, BUT I will say that one of the reasons why I got my SLR was because the shutter lag on every single digital point and shoot I’d ever used was killing me. I miss far fewer pictures now.

    • Congratulations! I totally agree with the suggestion that you visit a Best Buy to see how the DSLRs feel. Also, a lot of entry level-ish DSLRs have HD video recording capabilities, so definitely look out for that!

      If you’re not totally set on getting a DSLR, you might want to also look into well-performing cameras that have a more compact form factor, like the Canon G12. Based on my experience as a frequent DSLR user, there may be places where carrying a large (relative to other cameras) DSLR may be a problem or awkward. It would be awful to miss out on beautiful baby moments just because you didn’t feel like shoving the DSLR in your purse! I currently own an older entry-level Canon DSLR (the Canon EOS 450D, which is the same as the XSi) but am actually considering buying a G12 so I can carry it at less opportune moments. The G12 does record HD video.

    • You know, usually taking better pictures has a lot more to do with learning what makes good pictures than with the price of the camera.. Kind of like spending a lot of money on a bike doesn’t make your legs stronger :-). Plenty of good tutorials available online..

    • Thanks ladies for all of the helpful suggestions! I love that a girl can ask for advice on almost any topic around here and always get some useful responses. With the new baby and all I am not going to be able to get away to take a class right now, but I will check out the recommended books and also look for some online tutorials. I have some time for reading since I spend a lot of time in a chair nursing/pumping right now.

      Has anyone seen a particuarly good online photography how-to/tutorial they can recommend? Perhaps what I need to do is learn about photography first and practice with the cameras I have (iphone and Canon point-shoot) before I decide whether/which SLR to buy.

      Thanks again!!

  32. OK, question–I’m applying for a job that is a very lateral move (really the exact same job I currently do but at a different company). I have had two phone interviews, and just set up an in-person one. The HR contact sent me an official “application” to fill out before the in-person one–anyone have an idea of how much of it is rude to not complete? I know that the people making the actual decisions won’t be looking at it, and suspect it’s something for them to have on file (plus some signing OK for background checks) I mean, I’m rolling my eyes but putting in my high school name and things–but I’m leaving blank the spaces for “starting and ending salary” for all my previous jobs (none of your business!), and my current supervisor’s name (also none of their business–I don’t intend them to call her, though she’d give a good review, she doesn’t know I’m looking!). But I don’t want the HR person to be too annoyed, either. Thoughts?

    • On the flip side, if you don’t fill it out, will you marked as a troublemaker? Eventually the hiring people will check with HR and you don’t want that to hold up the job. I don’t think giving your supervisors name automatically means that they will call her without giving you a heads up. You can always call to verify that.

    • I would hesitate to leave so much of it blank. But I totally sympathize with your irritation. So much of those applications are copying and pasting your resume into the correct fields. In one applicaion I filled out, I was asked for my GPA and class rank from high school. I had to call my mom to see if she had it written down in her files somewhere. I mean, really! Who cares? That was forever ago. Don’t my more recent accomplishments matter 100 times more? It does feel like a waste of time.

  33. I recently started a new job, and overall it’s going well. There is one issue, however, that I would love opinions about.

    My direct supervisor seems to be a very nice person … but she has serious time management issues. She has been late to or canceled every meeting that we have had! I thought I would be able to reduce the inconvenience of her perpetual lateness by confirming all of our meetings in advance (e.g., “Just want to check and see if we’re still on for 3:00, or if you need to reschedule”). Unfortunately, this has not worked out. She either insists that she’s ready, or she asks for a brief (5 minute) delay – when in reality she needs much more time to attend to other tasks.

    Any advice for how to handle? Thanks in advance!

    • Seattleite :

      a) Use the workaround for doctors who run late, and ask for her first appointment of the day or after lunch? b) Throw it back at her to solve: “I’ve noticed you seem to be swamped, when would be the best meeting time?” c) Quick call to her office right before the meeting (to help her switch tracks to Meeting With Coalea Time)?

      Unfortunately, the laws of Managing Up dictate that you’ll probably have to adapt to her rather than the other way round. So, accept that that’s part of the process for Supervisor Meetings and use that delay to check your email, run to the bathroom, whatever, while she clears the decks.

    • I think you’ve already tried the best option. I doubt you can fix her behavior. You’ll probably have to be the one to adjust because she’s the manager. My boss is often late to meetings. Most of the time, I’ll wait at my desk until I see him walk down the hall to the conference room for the meeting. Otherwise, I could be waiting in the conference room for 5-15 minutes with nothing to do. I’m glad your job is going well otherwise! Hopefully this is just one weakness your supervisor has, and her more positive attributes make up for it.

  34. I used to like the NY&Co long body shapers as a layering tank. I discovered today that they not only no longer carry the longer version but they also seem thinner than they used to be. Anyone have any suggestions for a black, long-line, stretchy layering top, preferably with a shelf bra (I always wear a bra but I like the extra bit to keep things in place)? I’d be ok with cotton, if it felt sturdy and smoothing and stretchy but preferably not.

    • try ebay or even amazon for older better versions?

    • No, but I’d love to hear recommendations, too. I use American Apparel camis with shelf bra, but they’re definitely not long enough (with my long-torso) to wear with low- or mid-rise pants.

    • I found really great layering tanks at, of all places, Costco. They’re Kirkland (the store brand), and they come in 2 packs in assorted colors for about $12 a pack. Shelf bra, very stretchy, very long, and they’ve held up so far through about 6 months of machine washing with no visible degradation, so the quality seems good. Highly recommend.

  35. OK, this is venturing into Crazy Cat Lady territory, but I’d like recommendations on a cat water fountain.

    My cats are always hopping up into sinks and the bathtubs looking for dripping water and completely ignoring their water bowl. (I have two brother cats.) I understand a cat fountain with running water might help. There are several varieties on Amazon, and I’m looking for recommendations from someone who has tried this already.

    I came home today to find brother #1 in the kitchen sink, and it completely grossed me out.

    • I haven’t had one in a few years – I had one for my older cats who had kidney problems and especially one who was obsessed with water. Looking at the ones on Amazon, I think what we had was the Drinkwell original pet fountain. It worked just fine and has removable filters.

      • viclawstudent :

        My cat did the same thing (loves the dripping tub faucet). I got her a cat water fountain. She hated it, ignored it, and it made a rather loud noise. I unplugged it and went back to turning the tap on to drip for her in the tub in the morning while I’m in there getting ready.

        So, I guess, just a warning that even though your cats like the dripping taps, they may not find the cat water fountains appealing.

        • Crazy Dog Lady :

          When my 60 lb rescue mutts fell in love with my mom’s cat’s water fountain on a visit home, we bought one for them. Voila – no more sneaking drinks out of the toilet. I think they like cool, moving water that’s not sitting there getting stale all day.

          Obviously, 60 lb mutts have different needs in a fountain, but we have been pleased with the Drinkwell fountains we purchased on Amazon. In 6+ years, we have had two. I don’t remember anything being wrong with the first–we just upgraded for a bigger reservoir (big dogs drink more than cats, I would imagine). With regular-ish cleaning (a good thorough scrub down of all parts every couple of weeks – and this is for slobbery dogs with dirt in their whiskers from eating rocks and twigs in the yard), they have held up pretty darn well. We’re not even particularly great about changing the filter.

    • Well, I’ll beat you with the crazy cat lady thoughts. My cat is diabetic so when he pees he pees a ton. Inevitably, he steps in his wet litter and gets it stuck in his paw pads. We keep the litter box in the basement and have a nice rough tracking pad outside of it for him to walk over on his way out. But, he runs upstairs, through the cat door, across the wood floor, straight to the DOG’S WATER BOWL and proceeds to take a bath in it. He will dunk his entire leg, up to the shoulder, and nibble all the litter out of his paw pad into her bowl. Rinse and repeat other leg. Then he will just play like a toddler in a bath tub, splashing the dogs water all over, maybe to get the bits of litter out of the bowl? Dog doesn’t care but I don’t think she should have to drink water with dirty cat litter in it where cat has taken a bath.

      I am considering getting him a plastic baby tub with water and keeping it somewhere between the dog’s bowl and his litter box. He could bathe himself in it and splash all over without soaking our wood floors. But, the sides might be too high. I might just get a great dane sized water bowl with a plastic tarp under it or something and put it in the basement. I don’t know what I could put down that would be better than bathing in dog water to him.

      • Littlest Attorney :

        This made me laugh out loud! Thanks so much! Just what I needed on a Saturday spent at work.

      • Seattleite :

        As a cat owner myself, I’m pretty sure that part of the attraction is that it IS the dog’s water bowl.

      • Anne Shirley :

        Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful story! I just laughed so hard I snorted.

    • my kitties hate water, so i’d love to have your problem. that said, we sometimes care for our neighbors’ 2 boy cats and they have a cat fountain that they enjoy playing with and splashing around in, but have no interest in drinking from it. the fountain was loud too, so they eventually just stuck it in a cabinet.

    • I use the Drinkwell basic fountain for my two cats. It took a little adjustment (a few days) but now they love it and drink a lot more water than before. It also keeps my boy cat from sloshing his water bowl around to see the water move before he drinks it and getting water all over my floor.

      The water fountains ARE a little loud, but after a while we’ve gotten used to it, and the cats don’t seem bothered by the noise, even my skittish girl cat.

    • We’ve got five cats and they love the Drinkwell. But talk about being grossed out: Yesterday my 17-year-old son and his friend came in from skateboarding and the friend thought the water in the cats’ fountain (on a table) looked so cool and fresh that he asked of he could drink out of it. I said no, of course not, the cats stick their paws in and the water recirculates. That backed him off — but then my son drank out of it. Our dogs and cats can be pretty gross, but nothing beats a teenage boy.

  36. So I know there was some discussion on here recently about how many hours people work, but I’m wondering if anyone could tell me what the norm is for Biglaw junior associates. I just started and everyone in my firm, except for my group, seems to be gone by 7 pm and doesn’t come in on weekends, but the people in my group have told me they work 7 days a week, 12-14 hours a day, and they actually come into the office on the weekends instead of working from home. The group is currently “incredibly busy” but apparently has been this busy for over a year. I know too busy is better than the alternative, but this seems pretty crazy to me. There have been some comments indicating that the same schedule is expected of me, even though I don’t have enough work yet to begin fill an 80 hour work week (I’m currently working about 50-60). Should I go in both weekend days anyway and twiddle my thumbs? Also, am I really not going to have a single day off for the next year? :(

    • Anon, how badly do you need this job? Because I think that affects what you do. (And, regardless, I usually think it is best to tough it out for a year before you bail.) If you really need the job, then you need to do more to fit in. Don’t come in on the weekend just to twiddle your thumbs, but don’t turn down a project that would force you to work on the weekend either. Find out who makes the decisions that matter, and make sure that they think you are doing enough work, working enough hours, etc.

      If you don’t really need the job, then do what works for you. If they seem disappointed or want you to come in more, then start looking for another job. Also, figure out which hours people are really working and try to synch up with that. (Don’t show up at 7am if everyone else shows up at 9, for example.)

      One last thing . . . you said you are new to the firm. This stuff may be obvious, but just in case, keep in mind that there are different expectations for different levels of people. Staff will get to leave earlier than attorneys. Young attorneys will be expected, to an extent, to prove themselves and show that they aren’t afraid of hard work. Partners will be expected to bring in business, etc.

    • Sad. I hope that’s not the case! Ugh to the max.

    • You are the new, young attorney. Impressions matter. You need to be there just as much, if not more, than everyone else. There will be a LOT of thumb-twiddling time, and you will get a little irritated at all the lost, non-billable time you waste at the office for a few months. It is just part of the rite-of-passage to the next step. Irritatingly, in BigLaw, a lot of it is the face-time. So you need to be there. I always tried to see what sorts of online tasks I could get done while in the office… maybe shopping, maybe bill paying, maybe emailing friends/family, etc. That way when I DID get out of the office, I didn’t have to look at a computer and I was actually free to do stuff. Also, you can do non-billable stuff while you are hanging around: CLE, write an article, read up on your practice area, etc.

      You need to also get the vibe for your group. If they are coming in 7 days a week/12-14 hr days, be there. If they just talk a lot about it and don’t do it, then you won’t need to do it either. There’s a lot of “talk” about this kind of stuff, but what people ACTUALLY do differs significantly. So you need to go in for a few weekends and find the patterns.

      Additionally, people act differently on the weekends. They seem to let loose a little and generally are more productive at the office because they want to get work done to get out of there. So you may have more luck informally talking with partners or senior associates and that may lead to work.

      I know it may seem harsh but… this is one of those “suck it up” circumstances.

      As for whether you’ll ever get weekends off… sure you will. Once you figure out the true “vibe” of your group. And, just as a guess… I doubt your group works 365 days a year. It may just be your group’s busy time or it may just be a few big cases right now. Things ebb and flow in every group.

      Hang in there and get your investigating hat on.

    • Littlest Attorney :

      When I started at BigLaw my group was very busy and the case to which I was assigned was understaffed. People talk big in biglaw but its often not quite the whole truth.

      This is how I managed the transition. I did all the work I was given and when I thought I was done for the day I took a walk around the floor where my group sat and saw who was still around. If no one was around, I’d go home (but kept an eye on my e-mail). If people were around I poked my head in and asked if there was anything I could help with. Most of the time people said no, but seemed to really appreciate the offer. At that point I’d go home.

      Regarding weekend work, we had team meetings and agreed as a group if we were coming in. That was tremendously helpful in terms of expectations, but my not be possible depending on your group. If the group wasn’t coming in I didn’t usually come in unless I wanted to get ahead on a project and throught I would work better at work. But I did keep a pretty close eye on my e-mail all weekend.

      Maybe others will disagree with me but if you have no work to do you likely don’t need to be at work. If work comes up someone will e-mail or call (so perhaps keep an eye on your work voicemail if your system doesn’t send you an e-mail when someone calls) and as long as you respond to that e-mail /call quickly (I tried to respond immediately on weeknights and within 15 – 30 min on weekends — not to say on weekends I always started doing the work that quickly!) and let people know you can handle their issue/ concern no one will care that you weren’t at work when they sent the e-mail.

      If all else fails, imagine you were in the other more senior associates shoes. What would you want/expect of a junior associate.

    • Sorry but welcome to biglaw unfortunately. Im sure you’ll get weekends off sometimes, my partner like to make it sound like he is letting us go to hawaii when he rewards us with weekend days off. as I type this from the office.

    • I really do not want to come off as harsh, but you need to adjust your expectations. I’m a little alarmed by you saying the folks from your group “actually” come in on the weekends. As a junior in Biglaw, you will absolutely be coming in on at least some of the weekends, if not all of them for weeks or months at a time. Yes, you will bill 80+ hour weeks, but hopefully not for several consecutive weeks at a time (when and if you do, that sucks). Yes, you will have to cancel plans with friends, significant others, and family (but never stop making them). And absolutely schedule vacations because you will need time to recharge.

      Also, don’t compare your hours to other people’s. At any given point it will always seem like everyone is working less than you. Whether that’s true or not, it doesn’t help your situation. And, I say this in the kindest way possible, but if you aren’t willing to be at a job where, as a junior, you are essentially paid for your time and availability, you should reconsider a career in Biglaw. Some of my friends have gone into it without realizing the impact it has on their personal life in terms of time, stress, etc. They have ended up burnt out and miserable in a very short amount of time. This is really something to consider – it doesn’t make you “weaker” or less “capable” at all, but recognizing it isn’t for you is a really important matter.

      • Anon NonBigLaw :

        And here’s the biggest paradox in the legal profession, BigLaw is supposed to be “the dream,” what everyone aspires to in law school, and yet it really just involves ridiculous amounts of overwork, no personal life and working for clients of questionable ethics with self-inflicted legal problems…meanwhile, most big firms have readily admitted in the press that they plan to work associates to death and then boot them out before they can become partners, because there just ain’t enough room at the top for all the grunts slaving away at the bottom, moving up too many associates will cut into the top guys’ profits…tell me again why law students are supposed to aspire to BigLaw careers and worship anyone who actually gets in to one of these hallowed firms? Because I forget.

        • karenpadi :

          Six-figure student loans. It’s much easier to pay those off when making $160k/yr instead of $60k/year.

      • This is the OP. I hear what you’re saying, thank you for being blunt. Just to clarify, I was not at all surprised that people work weekends, but that they are physically in the office both days (not talking about working in teams, just people working individually in their own offices). Obviously I would expect to come in if I will actually be working on something with other people, but 95% of the time I’m working alone and I guess I am saying I’m surprised at the level to which physical presence in the office is expected even though nobody seems to work together on the weekends.

        • I’m at a midsized Southern firm, but the last several months have involved a LOT of work on the weekends due to how my trial schedule worked out. I have to say that, usually, I actually prefer to go into the office rather than working from home — faster internet connection, all the materials are there so I don’t suddenly realize that I needed to bring home two more deposition transcripts that I forgot, and so on. Also, I like the division of my physical space — having my work stuff stay at work makes my home life a lot more pleasant. And as for face time, you’d be surprised at how much the partners know about who is there on the weekends and how frequently — even the partners you never seem to see. Just my two cents.

    • Great comments so far, so I’ll just add a few things.

      Hours and workload can vary greatly from group to group. It is entirely possible that your group maintains a more hours-heavy workload than other groups in your firm, or works more hours in the office. The type of practice can affect work styles. At my former firm, transactional groups tended to keep later hours (9 or 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the earliest, but frequently later and numerous all-nighters). Weekend work was mostly done at the office, and most transactional lawyers would be in the office at least one day a weekend for some amount of time. On the litigation side, hours were earlier (7:30 to 8:30 a.m. until 6-ish p.m., with significant work done at home later in the evening). Weekend work was frequent, but was more commonly done at home. If you were in trial, you lived/slept/ate/breathed trial and nothing else for at least a few weeks before the trial and however long the trial lasted.

      All this said, you need to keep up with the norms of your specific group. My understanding is that on the transactional side of things (if that’s where you are), it’s much more likely that you could go in on a Saturday with nothing specific to do, but end up getting calls or having someone come by your office with work. I think on the transactional side, there is a much stronger expectation that if some on the team are there (typically the more senior folks), then everyone should be there, regardless. And if your group is slammed, the last thing you want as a very junior person (if you want to keep your job/get better and more interesting work) is to be seen as someone who shirks work or isn’t a team player.

      To be clear, I’m not disagreeing with you that what appear to be the norms of your group are a bit crazy. However, that’s typical Biglaw. I’m sympathetic to your frustration, and ultimately you’ll have to decide whether it works for you or not. It works for some and not for others. (Full disclosure, I decided that it didn’t work for me, and when I was able to, I left.)

      • Oh, I also meant to say as a counterpoint to all of the above that, as Littlest Attorney pointed out, people talk a big game in Biglaw that isn’t always backed up by actual time they’re putting in. Just because someone says they’re slammed or oh-so-busy, doesn’t mean they actually are.

    • WorkingGirl :

      I am a senior associate in BigLaw and I don’t think face time matters that much. All of the partners see your hours at the end of the months. THOSE are what matters. If you are billing 50-60 hours a week as you say–or 200-240 a month–people will notice that you are meeting expectations. It does not matter if you are working from home on the weekends, unless of course someone actually needs you to physically be in the office. People talk a lot of smack about the horrors of BigLaw life, but that’s really a cultural thing that is not always grounded in reality. I have found that most associates bill 2000-2400 a year unless they are in trial a lot or doing a lot of deals. That does not average out to more than you are working per week. The work is cyclical, of course, but my point is that you should take the drama queens with a grain of salt. You’re not signing away every weekend of your life. You will have to work hard at times, and you’ll have more freedom at other times.

      • (OP here). Thanks to all for your input! I did actually go in today and was the only person in the office until mid-afternoon, so I know the 14 hours a day/7 days a week is at least somewhat of an exaggeration. I think my plan going forward is:
        1) check email very regularly nights/weekends (I currently do this)
        2) be very proactive about asking for work (I currently try to do this, but will make even more effort to do so, especially before leaving for the day)
        3) go in at least one weekend day, at least for a few hours, to check-in and see if there’s work to be done.

        • Most people in my group go into the office on weekends, but I prefer to work from home. I make sure to reply to weekend emails quickly- even if just with a “will do” or “sure.” I also have managed to work into conversation with several of them my view that if I had a husband/pets/kids, I’m sure I’d need to be at the office to avoid distraction, but since I live alone, lucky me it’s easy to focus!

          My personal “facetime” requirement is that I know both of the partners I work for like their early mornings in the office, so I try and be in at 8am on Fridays- its a high-value hour in terms of looking present, and helps me get out the door before 7 on Fridays.

      • Partners Know the Truth :

        This! I was a litigation partner in BigLaw. We got a monthly report showing the hours of every attorney in every office of the firm. We knew who was actually working and who was blowing smoke about being “so busy.” As long as you are doing the work that needs to be done and making yourself cheerfully available to do and learn more, ignore the hallway cross-talk. It is just for show.

        Related question: how do more senior BigLaw attorneys feel about participating in that hallway cross-talk? Example: male senior associate returns from court loudly proclaiming his victory to the entire hallway as he takes the long way to his office. No one knows that he won a dinky motion that he should have been embarrassed to lose; all they hear is that he is a winner. To what extent should we girls do the same instead of quietly returning to our offices after court, informing our client/partner of the win, and getting back to work?

        • My firm actually releases billable numbers for all timekeepers (associates, partners, of counsel and paralegals) to the entire firm every month. I know how much our managing partner billed; I know that I bill more than the woman down the hall who is always complaining about how this job makes work-life balance impossible; I can ballpark who’s probably going to get fired this year and who’s getting a bonus. I really, really like the transparency – it’s not just partners who know the truth, it’s all of us.

  37. Hi all,

    It’s time for one of those “I wish my mom had known to teach me X” moments. I’ve been monitoring the recent discussion on facial hair removal, and wondering what the standard is – i.e., how do you know when it’s time to do something about it? I shape my eyebrows . . . but I’m wondering about the very fine blond hairs on my upper lip. Does that qualify as a mustache / peach fuzz that I am supposed to be removing? I never really noticed it until a few weeks ago; I truly don’t know if that’s because it just appeared, or if the recent discussion has heightened my awareness.

    TIA!

    • MissJackson :

      I had this moment while I was in law school and a bunch of my friends all went to the salon together before an event — every single one of them had their “mustache” threaded. It had never even occured to me that this was something that I should consider. I am like you — I have some super fine, super blonde hair on my upper lip. I have to look for it in order to see it, and had never noticed it until that day.

      I have enough beauty maintanence stuff — I see no reason to add something unnecessary. I pulled up a bunch of photographs of myself to try to evaluate whether this hair was visible. It’s seriously not. I figure if I can’t see it in photographs, other people can’t see it in every day life, and I’m not going to “fix” a problem that doesn’t really exist.

    • Totes McGotes :

      I would absolutely remove it. For everyone I know whose fine blond hairs aren’t very noticeable, someone else’s really are. The color does not always mask the texture. I would suggest removing them and then seeing if you feel or notice a difference.

      • hmmm food for thought. I’ve never waxed mine either. Often when I get my brows done the girl will say “lip too?” I’ve always declined. I also fear if I start doing it, I’ll be stuck doing it. It might grow back thick and dark instead of thin and blonde. I break out a ton from waxing/threading and my skin gets super red. I’d rather not have to to do that on the upper lip too.

    • Ask a trusted girlfriend. Everyone’s facial hair is different, and it’s hard to tell if what you describe is visible to anyone else but you. Personally, I have no hair on my upper lip at all, but if some appeared I’m pretty sure I’d remove it immediately.

  38. I’ve never used perfume, but I want to get into it – something that I can make my signature. I don’t know where to start – should I just go to a department store and spray a bunch of things until I find one I like? I’m also worried about it gradually creeping up until it’s overwhelming, without me noticing. I never want to be THAT lady. Any advice?

    • Seattleite :

      Don’t try more than two a day. Wait at least an hour to see if you like it as it ages. Go to a dept. store perfume counter during a slow time and throw yourself on the clerk’s mercy.

      (I found my favorite perfume by buying one of those Sephora sample boxes that comes with a certificate for a full size bottle, but wait to do that until you’ve had a chance to test most of them and know you like them.)

    • Try one or two a day, and try it on YOU, not on a cardboard tester. Perfume interacts with your body chemistry. You should wear it for 3-5 hours at least before you decide to buy it.

      Before you start, get an idea of what notes you like (notes is the term for the different scents you can smell in a perfume. Perfumes have top notes -which you smell right away-, middle notes -which you smell as the top notes dissapate- and base notes – which you smell after the other notes have died down and which have the most staying power). Also decide if you want an Eau de Parfum, which is more potent and strong-smelling, or an Eau de Toilette, which is lighter. Then go to Sephora or a similar store with lots of fragrance choices and tell the salesperson what notes you like, and she should be able to help you find a few perfumes to try.

    • I would recommend smelling as many bottles as you can without spraying yourself just to get a sense of what you really don’t like. Maybe you hate florals. Then you can disregard them once you get to the trying on stage. Between smells, you can sniff a jar of coffee beans to clear your nose. Most nice stores keep this on hand.

      You might also want to read a little bit about the difference between perfume, eat de parfum, eau de toilette, etc to decide which formulation you like once you find a smell you like.

      Good luck. I wore the same perfume (Bal a Versailles eau de parfum) for years. When I decided to find something new, it took me a couple years to settle on the right one. First, there wasn’t anything that sang to me. Then I had a couple false starts in which I thought I found the one, bought it, and after a couple weeks decided it wasn’t right for me. It definitely is a process. That was seven years ago, and I’ve been wearing Creed Vanisia ever since and love it.

    • Another Zumba Fan :

      I recommend Jo Malone of London (available at Saks and I believe Nordstrom). All the fragrances in the line are designed to be layered so you can create your signature scent. I went to a master class at Saks with a rep and learned so much about fragrance. The rep was from JM and was not a Saks employee.

    • Once you find one or two scents that you like, you should check out the website Fragrantica dot com. I am a perfume addict, and i LOVE this website… you can look for similar scents and explore entire families of perfumes (floral, oriental, woody). It also lists a ton of different fragrances, which is great if you’re looking for something that not everyone and their mothers wear.

      • spacegeek :

        Yes! I did this–was wearing the same perfume for 22 years (gasp). I recently upgraded and love my new fragrance–it smells “yummy” to me. (Old=Samsara, new=Carolina Herrera 212)

    • Jacqueline :

      Check out the site nstperfume.com (Now Smell This) — I started reading it when I knew nothing about perfume, and I got so many ideas! They have fragrance reviews, recommendations, and best of all, a weekly mailbag where readers write in describing their personality and fragrance style, and the hive shares their personalized picks. Good luck, and happy fragrance hunting!

    • Just today I checked out the new Tom Ford scents at Neiman Marcus. I think they also have them at Saks and Nordstrom. Definitely unique and worth checking out. I’m obsessing over the Jasmine Rouge.

    • Perfume fanatic here! This is how I would do it. Go to a higher-end department store. Wander around, grabbing any bottle that looks interesting and spraying it on a card. Write the name of the perfume on the card. It’s ok to tell the sales associates you don’t need their help, most of them are pretty useless. It’s also ok to choose perfumes to sample based on how they look, usually perfume bottle and ad design is targeted to tell you about the perfume (pink ones with lots of shiny stuff on the bottle normally smell young and very sweet, green bottles smell slightly herbal etc). Take any that interest you away from you, keeping the cards in separate pockets so they don’t mix with each other. Smell them repeatedly over the next hour or two as they’ll change and develop over time. Next time, spray your favourites on you skin (you can try on up to 6 at once, if you really want: one on each wrist, one on the crook of each elbow, one on the mid-point of each arm). At this point, you can tell a knowledgeable-looking SA which ones you like to get recommendations (“I like this one but it’s too sweet, this one starts off good then gets weird and bitter etc”). Don’t buy anything until you’ve worn it for a couple hours first.

  39. Chicago Corporettes, I could use some referrals – need a new dentist and allergy doctor. Anywhere downtown or on the north side will work. Thanks!

    • Jacqueline :

      Drs. Carpo and Garza at Grand/Michigan Dental are decent. Convenient location, and you’ll be in and out in a half an hour (assuming you don’t have any cavities or major work to be done).

    • I love my dentist. The office isn’t fancy (no tvs, headphones, etc) but she is great. Office is in the loop at Jackson and Wells. Dr. Priya Tirumalasetty (She goes by Dr Setty). Don’t have an allergy doctor.

    • My allergist is Dr Bradley Sabin at Michigan Ave Internists (200 S Michigan). I only start going in the last few years, but so far so good. I definitely recommend him.

      • Also, I think he offers relatively early hours at least once a week (I try to book for 8am or so), so that you can still get to the office at a reasonable time.

      • Thanks, Jacqueline, jcb and NB!

  40. Ms. No Name :

    Ladies,

    The SO and I are preparing to (eventually) move to Texas from New York. First step is to take the Texas bar in July. I’ll be studying in NY while working full time. Soo I want to start studying right away (few hours several times a week at night and one weekend). I passed the NY bar years ago by taking barbri. I’m willing to do Barbri again but I’d like to avoid the $2k+ cost if possible. I don’t have any of my books or study materials from the first exam (darn small NYC apt).

    Any second bar test takers have advice? For TX test takers, what bar review course did you take? Anyone have experience working and studying?

    • First, (future) welcome to Texas! I hope you love living here–and remember you’re arriving at the hottest time of the year. Our winters are generally beautiful (it’s been 50+ degrees and sunny all week!) so don’t judge the new place too fast. :)

      Second, if you took the NY bar “years ago,” are you sure you can’t waive into Texas? Although I took the TX bar (so I don’t have personal experience), I think you can waive in if you’ve been practicing 5+ years.

      Third, I took both Barbri and PMBR, which may have been overkill (but I was a paranoid just-finished-law school type). A guy at my former firm came from out-of-state and took smash or mash-something (sorry, I don’t remember the name) instead of Barbri and passed on the first go around. Fortunately for you, Texas has a pretty high pass rate. Good luck!

    • I clerked for a federal judge first year out of law school in an adjacent state. I was not sure which state I would wind up in, so I waited a year to take the Bar Exam. I worked up until a week before the bar exam and then took that week off and studied fulltime. I started studying the first of May and was fairly disciplined about studying most weekend days, also some evenings. I bought the BARBRI materials and studied them and passed with no problems. Attended no Barbri classes since I was workign full time and nothing was available after hours.

    • Bar-Bri, but that was about a million years ago. Texas has specific subject matter that is state specific (oil & gas, property), so you definitely need a Texas-based study aid. Good luck!

    • Yes! Husband and I did together leaving NYC for Seattle 5 yrs ago. We got 1 Barbri ipod (preloaded loaner) for the fee, shared it and had mobility. We went to Florida one weekend and listened to lectures on the beach/plane. We went to libraries all around the city on weekends. We made flashcards for subway commute time. It was a long 2 months, but worth it as we passed, got jobs and love our new lives so much more. And because we got to do it together it was a weirdly enjoyable time of focused study. Did nothing else though but work/study most of those weeks.

    • I took Barbri and most folks I know did as well, so I don’t have much firsthand knowledge about other programs. The iPod option provided a lot of flexibility. Will they ship you the materials now, or will they wait until the start of the “official” course date? (I honestly don’t remember when I received mine.)

      I do have a friend who took and passed the bar last summer and used a different course. I’m waiting to hear back on which one– if I’m remembering correctly, it involved online streaming lectures that you could access at any time. I know it was cheaper than Barbri and it clearly worked for him!

      • My friend took the Kaplan course, but I took a look at their website and it doesn’t appear to be cheaper than Barbri.

  41. Ladies, I’ve been thinking a lot about what I’d rather be doing than my deal-lawyer job. As part of that process, I was thinking about what I like about it, and I realized that what I’m best at (and enjoy the most) are the crisis-management aspects of it. I am not an exceptional lawyer at ordinary times, but in crisis, I’m calm, focused, more creative, more organized, more resourceful – and happier.

    If an example helps, I had a client last year who needed a very large loan to keep it afloat; I came into the office two days before the loan was going to close and found out that the collateral had burned down. This was a major disaster – without the loan, the client was going to be insolvent, but without the collateral, the syndicate wasn’t going to lend. That’s the kind of situation and environment that, for some reason, makes me happy and in which I’m best at my job.

    So my question: is there a job where this skill is particularly useful? Other than being a deal lawyer? I guess I’m trying to figure out if there’s something that’s like crisis communications, but isn’t PR.

    • Good in a crisis :

      Chief of staff for a high profile CEO or government official or university president? Likely a large salary cut for you, though.

    • Most growing start-up companies seem to have crisis after crisis. So you might do well in a start-up environment, although I am sure that it would be a huge pay cut.

    • If you would work in a role other than a lawyer, there are emergency preparedness and emergency communications jobs. Most states have several state funded positions, there are probably a bunch with FEMA, there are some with the red cross. These are probably different than the types of crisis you are referring to but something to consider. I believe some of these are high level positions that pay well.

    • Cbackson,

      I think some of the boutique consulting firms might have a niche to fit a trained attorney. I think the other posters have good ideas, but most companies don’t need 24/7 damage control. Consulting companies might have a roster of companies that would keep a crisis manager busy. Also, a large health care concern (e.g. large hospital system especially university hospitals) might be a possibility.

      Also, since I know that you’re in Seattle, friends have used and liked Centerpoint’s Passion Search class. I think they have classes that meet weekly for 8 weeks after work hours. http://www1.cpinst.org/

      Good luck!

      • Thanks! Yes, I was thinking that something consulting-type might be a good outlet for this. Thanks also for the link – looks interesting and like it might help me. I’m really flailing around trying to figure out where to go from here.

    • I’m not sure if emergency management (or “business continuity”) would be what you are looking for. It’s a lot of planning for disasters and not a lot of actual disasters.

      My fiance is in Emergency management / planning. And while he often “pretends” there are crises to plan against (lately it’s been what would happen if a steam pipe blew at the major hospital he works at) he actually has few crises on his plate. When he was studying, he told many people he wanted to work directly and continually with large disasters and the general recommendation was that he consider joining the Navy. (He didn’t.)

      Red Cross had some huge cuts in their staffing early in the recession and I still don’t think they are up to pre-recession staff.

      However, there are always positions with overseas companies like Drs. Without Borders or Amnesty International and other people who set up and run refugee camps if that’s what you’re interested in. Also, if you’d be willing to get another masters, lots of people transition by studying epidemiology or public health.

      If you live in NYC and are interested, there is an emergency management networking event every couple of months. And I’m sure my fiance would be willing to talk to you.

      • Yeah, I don’t think that emergency management is really along the lines of what really draws me. I actually used to work in public health, and I know a bit about that sphere. I’m thinking more along the lines of crisis communications – the people the client call when the sh*t hits the fan – only not in a PR role.

        Basically, sort of like George Clooney’s character in Michael Clayton, only hopefully, with less covering up of nefarious doings.

    • What about m&a consulting work? Most large big 4 and consulting houses have departments that would love JDs .

  42. Ms. No Name, I’ve taken three exams, although not Texas. First was right after law school, obviously, then one about 7 years out. I did study while working, but did not take BarBri. I did buy a recent grad’s used BarBri book for the state-specific part of the exam (I didn’t have to retake the Multistate). Then I had to take a full exam after I’d been out 9 years, thanks to a ridiculous interpretation of the state’s reciprocity rules. For that one, I took the BarBri class in the evenings after working during the day, and studying on the weekends. I didn’t find the working and studying to be that big a deal, but I did find Barbri helped keep me disciplined about studying. Hope that helps, and good luck!

    • Ms. No Name :

      Wow, three bars! That gives me hope that it can be done. Thanks for the response. :)

  43. 你好,

    有没有人可以介绍一些想Corporette有意思,有用的中文博客? 我很想找到好的中文博客- 看新浪等网站太难找了。谢谢。)

    (FYI non-Chinese readers – Just asking whether anyone can recommend blogs in Chinese as interesting and useful as Corporette. I would really like to find some good Chinese blogs. thanks)

  44. scientist :

    I’ve been feeling rather uninspired by my clothing lately.

    I work in a business casual setting. I’m the only female at middle management. My male counterparts wear button downs or polos with jeans or khakis. I often wear long-sleeved t-shirts with dress pants and long scarf or button down with jeans (or some variation of that). I’m ready to make a bit more of an investment in how I look, but I’m not sure where to start.

    I’d love to hire a stylist, but those listed in my area look like college kids who have no sense of what it means to work in what feels like a old boys’ club. Any advice or inspiration that you use that you could share?

    • Hey!

      One piece of advice that people offer on this site a fair amount is that if you have a bit of money to budget towards the effort is that you can work with a personal shopper at Nordstroms. They do a great job and they can really help you spice up your wardrobe (with color, jewelry, whatever — you know, nordstroms has everything!). Their services are (I believe) free. I do believe you get added to their e-mail list, but they then send you deals and stuff so it isn’t so bad.

    • When I was working out My Professional Style, I read a lot of fashion blogs, like extrapetite (even if you’re not petite, she does a lot of classy work-wear) and the Vivienne Files. In the same vein, I tried to be mindful when I saw professional women whose style I admired, whether it was walking down the street or on the news, so I could shamelessly rip them off later.

      I also thought about what things I liked about the clothes I already wore, what pieces of clothing made me happy every time I put them on, and tried to find ways to incorporate them into my working wardrobe. So for example, in college, I always wore lots of cardigans and big scarves, because I like them, feel comfortable in them, and am a master of the artful scarf drape–so at my job I wear a lot of cardigans and big scarves, because those things are still true. I just put them over a pencil skirt or dress pants, instead of my trusty Urban skinnies.

      I don’t have experience with a Nordies personal shopper myself, but that could also be a great idea, if you’d like someone who can push you outside your comfort zone.

    • I’ve recommended this a lot lately, but check out youlookfab [dot] com [slash] blog. The author is a personal stylist who is based in Seattle — but I think she also does some consulting work from afar if you’re not in that area. Plus the blog itself has lots of inspiration for something more than LS tees but not full-on suits every day . . . .

    • Agree with both the youlookfab recommendation AND a Nordstrom personal shopper. If you’re in Seattle, I’d recommend hiring Angie of youlookfab in a heartbeat.

      Part of the problem, though, is that business casual sucks.

    • scientist :

      Thanks, everyone.

      I have used Nordstrom’s personal shopper before. I guess I’ll have to learn to be more firm with describing the office culture as conservative casual similar to an engineering company as described on You Look Fab. I bought some lovely clothes last time that I just can’t bring myself to wear to the office.

      I guess the real issue is that my personal style is more dressed up than what my workplace is. These are definitely some great sources to help me work on becoming more comfortable.

  45. I need to vent for a second. Since starting my job search, I’ve gotten two interview offers. The first one decided they weren’t considering out-of-town applications, after we had already scheduled a phone interview. The second one, which I got this week, told me that I’d have to come for an in-person interview next Friday. I couldn’t make that happen, mostly because of recent car trouble which has lowered my savings to a level where I am not comfortable splashing out half of my monthly salary on a plane ticket. At least not for a first-round interview.

    So while I am happy to have gotten another interview offer (and the accompanying morale boost, which is much-needed since I’ve been feeling pretty hopeless recently) I am just so frustrated that, once again, I can’t even do the d a m n interview. For a variety of reasons, I feel that I need a change in location, and am not willing to compromise on that at this point–but is this really representative of long-distance job searches?

    • But on a happier note, my new pup is currently lying in her crate doing the curled-up-husky-with-tail-over-nose thing. For any Corporette who is considering getting a dog who has not drunk the adoption Kool-Aid–she is living proof that you can get a really fantastic animal from your local shelter. She’s house-trained, sits on command, doesn’t get on furniture, doesn’t bark (but will do the husky a-roo-roo when she needs to go out), loves people, gets along with all the dogs she’s met so far, gets excited for toys and walks but calms down immediately when fun time is over, is happy to lie quietly on the floor while the people are occupied, sleeps through the night, and walks well on the leash. She isn’t perfect–she scratches at the door during her periodic confinements (but has done no visible damage), and being in the car stresses her out–but seriously people. Why on earth would you pay thousands to get a dog from a reputable breeder, or (heaven forbid) buy a puppy from a pet store, when it’s possible to get a lovely, purebred (if you care about that), and pre-trained dog from a shelter?

    • I believe that most employers are going to expect you to come for an inperson interview.

      • I would expect that for later-round interviews, but all of the advice I’ve been getting (and the experiences of my peers going through job searches in the same field bear this up) has been that employers have been flexible with first-round interviews. I appear to be the only one in my cohort getting slammed by it. So it’s frustrating.

    • Have you countered their request for an in-person interview with an offer to do it over Skype or video chat? I work for an employer that often hires people from overseas or out of town, and we definitely don’t expect people to fly in just for a first round interview – that sounds really unusual to me and like a huge risk financially for you.

      • Thank you for making me feel like I’m not crazy! I’ve offered the phone/Skype option both times. And obviously, it hasn’t worked out. Sigh. Just so frustrating.

  46. Shopping update:

    Bought this skirt at Target today:
    http://www.target.com/p/Mossimo-Womens-Ponte-Knit-Skirt-Assorted-Colors/-/A-13908717

    Love it! It is super comfortable, almost a heavy sweatshirt material. The elastic waist is amazingly comfortable. It is lower rise than most pencil skirts too which is perfect for my short waist. The material is stiffer in person than it appears in the picture. I walked around and it kept its professional shape and didn’t look like lounge wear. It is a little fitted, as most pencil skirts are, so if you are between sizes, go up. I wear a 4/6 and bought a medium. It hits at the bottom of my knee and I am 5’7″. It might be a tad too long for the short-legged. While the material is substantial, you would need to choose the under layer carefully to avoid vpl. For $17.99 it’s a steal. I bought the fun turquoise color.

    On a more serious note, when I picked up my birth control, I asked the pharmacist to confirm that mine was not part of the recall. She informed me that there were two recalls, one NINE MONTHS ago, the other SIX MONTHS ago. She said for whatever reason, the press is just picking up on it now. Further since it is a voluntary recall and not a “patient recall,” whatever that means, pharmacies are not routinely notifying patients about it. FYI and buyer beware.

    • Actually, there is a new one. Here is Pfizer’s press release for the recall. It sounds like your pharmacist was poorly informed.

      http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm289770.htm

      There was one six months ago, but it had to do with the packages being positioned wrongly and you had to rotate them in order to take the pills correctly. This new recall is because the placebos and the active ingredient pills may be in the wrong order, so you would take placebos on a day when you could get pregnant.

      • That’s what I thought. She claims she looked it up and confirmed. Either way, my bc isn’t made by pfizer so I don’t think it applies but she seemed totally uninformed. She made it sound like the one from 6 months ago was just making the FDA list now. Didn’t seem right to me.

  47. I got an email from the dean that I won the jurisprudence award for the highest grade in my criminal law course last semester. I can’t tell any of my law school friends, and the other people in my life don’t really get it. I’m in an evening program and am married with two kids and work full time, and I’m super proud and astonished, so thanks for letting me brag here and get it off my chest! :-)

  48. Seattle people: any suggestions on how to find a good housekeeper? Not just cleaning service, but someone who will get to know our home and do more (errands, some food prep, etc.)? Haven’t been able to find personal referalls from people we know. Craigslist no luck. Pregnant, work a lot, need to find more help soon!

    • I would have loved a job like this in college. (I assume you will pay at least market, would be flexible with the schedule, etc.) Someone would probably love to fit your errands and housework round his/her class schedule. Maybe contact a local college career office?

    • Check out Seattle Nanny Network. They don’t just do nannies — they also do house managers, etc. That’s where I found our nanny and really liked them on a personal level. Very professional, very responsive. Of course, you’ll pay a cut to them, but we found it very worth it. When our first nanny gave us 24 hours notice that she was quitting (I was a surgery resident and my husband was out of town) they found replacements that were fabulous. Also, when we took a little extra time to find our second nanny (who was AMAZING) they totally stuck with us and didn’t get impatient.

      • Thanks EC MD! I will check that out for sure.

        Homestar- probably not the best fit… we currently have graduate students, working for a green cleaning company my friend runs. We pay way over market (way over). They transition a lot and honestly just aren’t that motivated to dig in- learn how the appliances work, etc. and as soon as we get a rythym, they leave. The hourly rate is too high to up it to weekly plus errands too. I hate to say it, as I don’t expect people to kill themselves working too hard, but they aren’t that efficient with the time pretty often either. Generalizing yes, but we’ve had them for years over several people. Ideally I think a person who does it as a career would be best- someone who takes pride in keeping things orderly/ship shape and supporting a family, and has the experience to know the tricks to do things efficiently. Not someone just wanting to make cash on the side.

        I had been corresponding with a woman who seemed perfect per her ad for a month, and let it go yesterday after her communications continued to be flaky/confusing. Need somone to help improve things, not make worse! We are willing to pay a lot if it’s a higher level service, but if they don’t understand basics, not so much.

  49. Does anyone else find it annoying how stores call sales events now? I look forward to when that attempt at marketing buzz wears off some day.

    Interestingly, my being pregnant might end up resulting in a tiny bit of reverse discrimination, or basically, helping me nail down a promotion. I have an opportunity at work for a big leapfrog promotion simply because I happen to be the most qualified internal person. Way more money and responsibility, especially over time. They asked me to apply, and I had a very good meeting with the would-be boss. I am 100% qualified anyway just the way it’s written so would be in a strong position regardless. But, it is funny, it occurred to me that even if they get outside candidates, I probably have very strong chances, because any manager would have to have cross their mind- if they reject me despite being qualified, it could look like they did so because I was pregnant. Like I said- I am a great fit anyway- but wouldn’t it be a pleasing twist if that played a positive factor, since so often women get disadvantaged in these and other situations? We’ll see what happens- not counting chickens, but just occurred to me this could be a plus. Despite me being a tired pregnant mess every day lately:)

  50. re: The $1.6B Woman, Staying on Message
    NYT Business section ran a story on Sheryl Sandberg and her message of female workplace empowerment. Anybody else read it and have a reaction to it?
    I thought it was interesting that the article neglected to mention that for all of Sandberg’s pro-women rhetoric, there is not a single woman on the board of Facebook.
    I also thought the comments that just because she has financial means, she does not have the same issues with raising children and balancing a career, was harsh. Sandberg may not have the same financial difficulty security quality day care and education for her children, but all the money in the world does not make the separation easy.
    curious to hear what the hive thinks….

    • I agree with your thoughts. I have mixed feelings about her messaging. On the one hand, great motivational bits and all. But she has had a very charmed path for some reasons of family choices, not hers. She was Treasury Dep at age 28– extremely unusual– because her parents sent her to Harvard where she met famous sponsors with connections. Most people don’t get that chance. I do think she’s done as much possible with her opportunity and like that, and am glad for her. I like that she prioritizes focusing on women’s career/family issues. Some of the messages just seem overly general/harsh for the vast majority (just do it! or you’re the one at fault!) not leaving open the possibility that a stellar rise to the top is nearly off-limits for many.
      Agree also that just because she has the money (which does help I can only imagine) it doesn’t make balancing time with kids vs work easier. I report to a very wealthy high level corporate leader, who doesn’t see her kids much. Women at my company comment about that and some have turned down promotions. Sounds like SS has a better balance but it still requires daily tradeoffs.

      I wonder and guess that she might be one of these people with really high energy. My boss is like that- he doesn’t need much sleep and can perform while exhausted. I am not- I really need rest to stay coherent, especially if I am not feeling well (which has been the case for nearly all of my pregnancy). I have thought about this a lot given the opportunity I may have coming up at work for a promotion during my third trimester (post about it just above this topic). At first I was very hesitant to go for it, because I can barely keep up with my current job- most mornings I am a mess and often have to leave early later in the day. My current bosses have been great with flexibility and such as they know I’ll do all I can. the idea of having to earn new subordinate/boss respect and trust mid-stream on this is stressful. Although SS would say no brainer, go for it, it’s worth considering the health of one’s self and baby, not just advancement at all costs (I am not suggesting she jeopardized anything- just that she must have had easier pregnancies, higher energy, or something to promote her message on that so strongly- shows lack of awareness of range of women’s experiences). I’ve decided to apply and see what happens, in part because the new job is actually less stressful than my current one (once I got settled in). In some ways it would take me out of the more central business issues but is a good move for long-term purposes.

      On the Board lack of women- agree. Noticeable omission in FB’s persona.

      Anyway, thanks for the article note, hadn’t seen it.

      • Anne Shirley :

        “But she has had a very charmed path for some reasons of family choices, not hers. She was Treasury Dep at age 28– extremely unusual– because her parents sent her to Harvard where she met famous sponsors with connections”

        How did her parents “send” her to Harvard? Even if they paid for it, and Harvard has excellent financial aid, she got in on her own. I understand that the privilege of growing up in a loving family that values education is a great one, but plenty of people have those opportunities and do nothing with them. She worked for it.

        • Of course she worked for it. But if you don’t think that growing up in a household that can afford to send you to Harvard, and afford to give you every single advantage to get there isn’t charmed, then I my jaw just hit the floor.

          Of course there are people who have those opportunities and squander them. But the point is that most of the population does not get those opportunities at all.

          • Alanna of Trebond :

            I think “charmed” might be a little strong a word. I usually save it for so-and-so’s family sent them to Exeter/Andover/Deerfield (etc.) or they donated X library so they could get into Harvard. I went to Princeton, and the school (not my parents) paid for most of it and I don’t think I would say that I am “charmed”.

          • Right there with you, ELS.

          • @Alanna I can understand the hangup on the word “charmed.” Maybe it’s not the best word for her situation or yours, as I’m positive that both she and you worked hard to get to an Ivy and worked hard after to get to where you are now.

            However, my point stands that there is a small minority of those with aptitude and potential that are able to afford Ivy schools, even with financial aid. I speak from experience – even with the generous financial aid packages, I wasn’t able to scare up the money to go to the Ivies to which I was admitted. Of course, I’ve done just fine for myself since, but attending an Ivy opens more doors to those with an excess of money and success that I just didn’t get at my schools.

            However, I do apologize if the use of the word “charmed” on my part seemed snarky or otherwise combative. I didn’t mean it to be so. I simply meant to point out the fact that in addition to hard work, there’s a lot of good fortune that plays into anyone’s success.

          • I think I used charmed first… fine with another word:) What I mean is, it cuts both ways. Sure, the person with the opportunity must seize it and work hard on merit. But if you honestly think family money/culture etc doesn’t most often have a LOT to do with it, you may be in a bit of a bubble. Just the process of getting your credentials groomed in high school, the application form, etc. take extra oomph most of the time that isn’t natural to the masses. Not saying it can’t be done- but it’s a fairly self-perpetuating thing in those circles, breaking into them without any relevant background is hard and not that common. I recall a dear friend from a wealthy NYC family joking about how her mother’s paralegal wrote up her Harvard app essay for her (the typing/editing, not the idea). It’s little things that add up to admissions + connections+ big breaks.
            Again, not saying it can’t otherwise be done, and that the woman herself must deliver. But, there’s a lot of socioeconomic impact as well, so SS’s messaging that is very ‘it’s all in your hands’ is just a bit too removed for me. I grew up middle class, now do quite well, but after attending a mid-ranked law school, was often treated like a leper in NYC. It’s utterly different on the west coast. So I’ve seen a few sides of this- and the ivy/elitist/exclusionist thing of closed-circle opportunity is very real. And it is possible to escape it, and do really well on your own.

          • Alanna of Trebond :

            Thanks for the responses–ELS & Ruby! I don’t think I can deny that an Ivy gets you those opportunities, that was one of the reasons I wanted to attend one. And I also can’t deny that it is easier for people of a certain class to get into an Ivy/Ivy-equivalent school. But I think I dislike the word “charmed” because it implies that the person benefiting from those opportunities doesn’t deserve them, even when that person may have gotten those opportunities on merit.

            Anyway, happy Super Bowl Sunday for me here in New York! Have a good week!

          • I don’t think “charmed” implies “doesn’t deserve it” so much as implying considerable luck. I’ve described my life as “charmed” several times. Although I was born into a lower working class family, they valued education and set things up so that my tuition was paid all the way through school. It wasn’t enough to send me to a top-level university, but my mid-level one was fine, and I ended up with only the student loans from grad school. Most of the decisions I’ve made hoping it’ll pay out in the end worked out at least partially. I’ve also used it to encompass the fact that myself and those closest to me have never had major illnesses, I’ve had no hugely traumatic incidents in my life, no one close to me has died unexpectedly etc. That all seems pretty darn charmed to me.

            Although I’m also fine using “well-off” to describe my financial situation, which is another one people seem to resist strongly for some reason.

          • You too!

            My husband and I were discussing the SS messages tonight. We agreed it may be possible that SS’s mantra of individual responsibilit/ambition/effort goes to her own wanting to believe she did it all on her own (and of course, did a lot on her own, just had the benefits of other things too). So may not subconsciously or consciously enjoy thanking or attributing other socioeconomic factors- less personal satisfaction/credit. Projecting onto her general theories about women, since she doesn’t usually drive all points home using herself. We are guessing here of course, but it might explain the over-generalized messages. Other explanations include ignorant of range of personal circumstances/experiences (unlikely- someone must have at least told her, if she hasn’t been exposed), or choice to deliver strong controversial soundbites to make a splash, even if knows reality way more nuanced (maybe), or simple arrogance (unusual in a female lead- and not becoming for most).

            WHen I represent my company at events to accept an award or such with famous CEO types there (Ted Turner etc.) my media guy has coached me to ALWAYS lead with a thank you to the employees who are the hard-working backbone of our success blablabla. It’s the typical classy approach- if our CEO stood up and said “and I made it all happen! I did the whole thing! etc.” it would not be well-received. Sheryl isn’t doing that, as she’s talking generally about what other women can/should do (sometimes referring to her own experience), but the lack of acknowledgement of the role of others can be odd- and perhaps bordering on tacky. What do others think?

            The Davos panel comments (just watched it) aren’t along her usual advice to women lines- more a citing of numbers about how women are treated/perceived, so more fact-based. Didn’t hear anything troubling in this one.

          • Jas, thanks and agree with your thoughts. Maybe the definition/implication is more about the ‘non-charmed’ people… i.e. you can work your *ss off your whole life and still not experience wild success. Your inputs are just part of the equation. A must for success, but in itself, not often enough.

    • In search of Bunkster's Bark :

      “Charmed” is getting Lawrence Summers’ mentorship for your post-grad work in Washington. She was profiled in the New Yorker last summer and that’s the part that stood out to me. I don’t remember how their paths crossed, but he opened doors (figuratively at least) even before she graduated and then took her to Treasury with him. I’m sure she worked her a** off and is undeniably smart, etc. etc. Nevertheless, Harvard was not her only foot in the door.

      • they met at harvard. yep, that was the key connection that launched her, stemming from her getting to go there, then catching his attention (merit + fortunate-ness)

    • I admire her a great deal.

      And yes, her background and connections helped her get to where she is. But I don’t think her message is “every woman out there can be COO of Facebook.” It’s that whatever our personal career goals are, we have more control over them than we may think, and that we shouldn’t take ourselves out of the race because we think it isn’t possible.

      My father is a professor who’s won a ton of awards for mentorship of female graduate students and faculty (something he says became important to him once he had a daughter, thanks, dad!). His message to me, from an early age was that when it comes to work-life balance, the “deal” you make with your spouse is the most important factor in your success.

      My mother had a lower-status but inflexible job (public-school teacher). Part of their “deal” was that he couldn’t take on certain higher leadership positions at the college because he needed job flexibility to be able to handle childcare. I think that it’s one of the most important things he ever taught me, and it has definitely affected how I approach relationships: I won’t be with a man who isn’t supportive of my career and its demands. Otherwise I’m sabotaging myself.

  51. Anyone else brave the lines for the Jason Wu for Target today? I got there 10 minutes before doors opened and managed to get a few blouses that I wanted for work (the blue with white polka dot and the pink with white short sleeve), the white and black purse and a scarf. So excited! I didn’t like the Missoni (it’s just not a look that I wear) but this collection was enough to get me up early and in line. Besides my iPhone this is the only time I’ve waited in line to shop for anything!

    • Lawyer in Theory :

      Longtime lurker here… Anon, question about your Jason Wu for target experience- how was the sizing? I am currently obsessed with one of the a-line dresses, and planning to buy one on Ebay. I have a size 2-4 upper body and a size 8-10 lower body. I’m trying to decide between the 4 and the 6… how would you say that the jason wu sizing was? were the clothes tiny, or do they fit like regular sizes? TIA! I didn’t even know this was coming (lol, clueless, i know) or really who jason wu is but that stuff is adorable.

      • I found that it really varied based on the piece. The button up ones with the tie waist were pretty forgiving. I just got a medium and it fit well (I fluctuate between 6 and 8 at most stores). The zip up A -line flare out ones were a little tight in the chest. The bottoms were forgiving but if you have any sort of chest I would recommend sizing up. You might want to wait and see if things get returned before spending a ton on ebay. My understanding is that a lot of Missoni stuff ended up getting returned.

      • Can I also say I hate that people go buy all these things just to mark them up to sell on ebay. There are people who really want these pieces and can’t afford the markup. Also, the designers clearly want the pieces to be at a lower price point and more accessible for the average consumer, otherwise they wouldn’t partner with Target! It would also help if Target commissioned more of the pieces so people wouldn’t have to resort to resale with 100% markup or more. Sorry… rant over.

        • Lawyer in Theory :

          Thank you! Yeah, maybe i’ll wait and the fever will pass. Sounds like I would be good with a four since I’m flat-chested and large-arsed :) you’re right about all these people just buying tons of it and putting a 100% markup on ebay. Grrr! Though there’s no way I could be bothered to go fight the crowds. they should commission more pieces… wouldn’t they prefer to make the money themselves, rather than have it go to the black market?

          anyhoo this is the thing I’m yearning for http://www.target.com/p/Jason-Wu-for-Target-Poplin-Dress-in-Navy/-/A-13840107#?lnk=sc_qi_detailbutton — so cute for a European holiday!

          maybe I’ll wait til the fever passes or someone has buyer’s remorse and puts it on ebay for 20 bucks.

    • I was really looking forward to this. I got up early and got to the Target in my neighborhood about 20 minutes after it opened and they were already almost out of stuff. The things I did try on had really terrible fit. The cat T-shirt is super long and boxy-looking. I’m normally a Small/Medium in Target stuff but even the Smalls were too big and they were already out of X-Smalls.

      So disappointed and unimpressed. If this is what the “bring the designers into the mainstream stores” experience is all about, then No Thank You!

    • Anonymous :

      I spaced on Jason Wu but went to Target for regular household things at about 9:30 am. Jersey City Target (i.e. NYC). CLEANED OUT. Nothing.

  52. Made an offer on a great house yesterday. Just found out the seller accepted one of the two other offers on the house. I know rationally that it’s not the end of the world and that we will find another house. But I just wanted to say RATS!!!! in this anonymous forum.

    • How disappointing! I’ll channel Ellen here and add FOOEY!! to your RATS!!

      Here’s hoping that this means the next house you find will be even better…

    • Don’t completely give up hope — deals fall apart sometimes. (Though if the deal does fall apart, be wary and find out why! Make sure its because the buyer couldn’t get financing and not because of the inspection.)

  53. Anonymous worrier :

    So I’ve applied for my dream job and have an interview coming up that I’m very excited about. The problem? I’m not sure I could afford to take the job if they offered it to me. It would require taking a significant pay cut and moving to a city that’s about two hours away from where I live now. I’m upside down on my mortgage thanks to the lousy real estate market, and would probably need to sink a few thousand dollars into remodeling if I want to attract renters. Meanwhile, I know my current job will be ending in six months (it’s a clerkship) and I don’t know if I’m going to find anything better anyway. Any thoughts on what I should do if this interview turns into an offer?

    Thanks!

    • Figure out what’s the least thousands you’d need to sink into your place to rent it. Do you have something close to that? If so, take the new job. You can always come up with more money for more fixes later, if needed, in between renters or not as you feel about it. But you can’t come up with a good job at precisely the right time just by snapping your fingers..

    • I was in your spot. I took the job and rented out my house. I showed it “as is” and mentioned I would be fixing x, y an z. The renter turned out to be a handy guy who built ships and new how to do plumbing, electric, etc. He said if I took $200/month off the rent, he would fix the things that needed to be fixed and anything else that came up during the lease. We took the deal and it worked out for us. Now we have crappy tenants that we have almost had to evict once for non-payment but we are much more financially secure now (almost 3 years out of school) and can handle rent and the mortgage when they are late with the payment. I say take the job and make the move. You could probably find renters without all the fix ups if you price the place accurately. You might not quite break even with the cost of the mortgage but it should make the move doable.

  54. Do Synagogue Dues = Charity :

    A couple weeks ago, we had a thread about what percentage of our income we give the charity. I just re-read it because I am rethinking this issue. I wonder: do my synagogue dues count toward that percentage? They are 501(c)(3) deductible, but I always thought of them differently than my donations to Planned Parenthood, ADL, etc. In my mind, this is just what I have to pay/give to belong to the synagogue of my choice.

    Some commenters wrote about tithing to their church(es). Synagogue dues aren’t really the same. There is a pricelist (for lack of a better word) that tells you how much to pay based on your family structure (single, married, kids, senior etc), not a set “everyone pays X%.”

    I would be curious to hear what people think.

    • I’m not Jewish, but for what it’s worth this sounds like charity to me. The fact that the synagogue requires (or effectively requires) it for you to attend there doesn’t change the fact that you are choosing to give money to a religious organization.

    • By paying to be part of a synagogue, you’re supporting the synagogue’s charitable and community works. The fact that synagogue dues are mandatory has always rankled on me, frankly – I don’t think you should have to pay money to worship God as part of community. But I do consider it a charitable donation akin to tithing.

      • In the Bible, the tribe that had the title of priesthood was not allotted any land whereas the other tribes were given portions of land. People from the non-priestly lineage were required to support the Levites, who were granted the responsibility of administering worship. Here it is a similar idea.

      • Synagogue dues are not mandatory… at least not in any of the synagogues where I have been (all Orthodox). Paying for membership is up to you. My family couldn’t afford membership fees so we never paid and it was never an issue. Most synagogues do charge for High Holiday tickets for non-members.

    • Yep, that absolutely counts.