Wednesday’s TPS Report: Tweed Stand Notch Collar Jacket

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

Tweed Stand Notch Collar JacketLet’s try, if we can, to forgive the model her daffy look — and instead focus on the great jacket. Love the styling here, with the slightly longer and very neutral blouse. Note that the blazer does have a single hook and eye front closure, as well as darts in the back. It’s $129.50 at Bloomingdale’s. Calvin Klein Tweed Stand Notch Collar Jacket


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  1. Nice use of “daffy,” Kat!

    Reposting a request from 10 min ago at the end of the Coffee Break comments, with the hope of getting more suggestions:

    Morning fashion emergency: I am wearing a silk dress with black tights. I have a meeting in less than 1 hour and CRAZY static cling!! I looked online and lots of the remedies do with how to wash the clothing, or humidifying the air. Neither is possible right now. I can race out and buy dryer sheets from CVS, but thought I would ask the hive if anyone has any other/better suggestions?

  2. Good morning Corporettes! Love this jacket. But threadjacking —

    Since it’s an election year and all, I’ve been wondering. How do you feel about sharing your political views on Facebook and Twitter? I have never done so, figuring that if we’re close enough friends we can talk about it in person, but that has left me with no one but my mom and my boyfriend with which to talk (rant) politics. I kind of want to get into a discussion, or at least share links to articles that I think make good points, but I don’t want to alienate anyone. What do you all think?

    • phillygirlruns :

      i generally don’t like talking about politics but i’ve never felt alienated by any of my friends posting their viewpoints or linking to articles on facebook or twitter. i often read the articles and sometimes find them interesting, sometimes not. occasionally someone will post something i find truly offensive, but it’s rare.

    • Always a NYer :

      I don’t have a political leaning listed anymore. In college, I had moderate listed but at this point I figure if you know me at all, you know my political leanings depend on the issue – liberal on some, conservative on others, middle of the road for most.

      It’s not fair about censoring one’s views but politics can get very messy, and very fast, when discussed with certain people. That and I hear my mother’s voice reminding me, “One never discusses s*x or politics in mixed company.”

    • Ooof, this is big for me. I consider myself liberal, but most of my local friends/family are very conservative. My girlfriends from college have views more aligned with my own. Facebook isn’t an issue for me because my account is locked down (visible only to friends), but I need to get back on Twitter for issues related to my job…and of course I have some political stuff on there. Thinking of restarting Twitter from scratch with a new, “cleansed” account. For me, it’s less about what my friends think — they know me and my views. More about a client or colleague coming across something that surprises them.

    • Just so you know it won’t be a discussion you get… Especially since you use the term rant. You are going to get people who rant with you, or people who rant at you. Since you termed it “get into a dicussion” not “have a discussion” you might actually be looking for a little fight. If so, facebook is the best place to do it.

      I’ve defriended at least 4 people after I couldn’t deal with their facebook politic nonsense anymore.

      • sorry, so many typos. I actually have a broken wrist so that is my excuse and I’m sticking to it!

      • Yeah, you’re probably right. I think what I actually want is more close friends in my town to get together and lament with, not a facebook fight with strangers.

        • If that’s what you want, can’t you make a FB group for those people and keep it secret (or FB’s version of “secret”), so people can only see it if they are invited to join?

        • It takes a bit of work, but you can create a friend group for just those friends you’d like to discuss politics with, and when you post a political link or status, limit it to just that group. The hardest part is remembering to change the setting of who can see the post each time, and making sure you post the link directly through FB and not by “liking” directly on another website and having the website post the link to your wall (though you may be able to limit who this appears to after the fact–I’m not sure).

    • AnonInfinity :

      I will periodically post that I’m excited about the way an election went or “like” a candidate’s FB page. I don’t post articles about political topics, but only because I feel that most of those are too slanted to be useful.

      I honestly love political debate and have jumped in a couple of times on comment threads on other friends’ pages. I even enjoy reading the ranters’ opinions and even when they’re different from my own opinion. I’m also a person who talks about politics at work with others who enjoy such discourse, and I don’t think it’s rude at all for someone to bring up a political topic or ask my opinion. In fact, I wish that we could have more open discourse and not get so hurt by such discussions. I know it often happens because one side is not respectful of the other side’s views, but my wish for the world is that we could talk about such disagreements while still being respectful.

      • “In fact, I wish that we could have more open discourse and not get so hurt by such discussions. I know it often happens because one side is not respectful of the other side’s views, but my wish for the world is that we could talk about such disagreements while still being respectful”

        Totally agree with this. At my former place of employment, I was friends with a woman whose political views were the exact opposite of mine, but we could talk about them respectfully (this was during the run-up to the 2008 election). Neither of us changed sides, but I think we both understood a little better where the other person was coming from. I think this is extremely valuable and wish it could happen more often.

    • I’m in DC, so no one here has any qualms about talking politics in any situation, and I post political content and commentary on my Facebook all the time.

      That said, I do have a couple of rules for myself. I never make ad hominem attacks. I try to post primary news sources rather than blog links. If people disagree and want to engage with me, I am always respectful. If other people post things on their own pages that I disagree with, I never comment*, but if other people post comments on my page that I disagree with, I will tell them they are wrong and why.

      I had an old friend from my red-ish home state who used to post really inane political comments on articles I posted on Facebook. My liberal friends would jump all over her, and she would complain to me that they were too mean to her. I told her that I wasn’t going to stop my friends from disagreeing with things she posted on my page, and that she shouldn’t post those things if she didn’t want to get called out for them. She ended up not only un-friending me, but blocking me, and we aren’t in contact anymore, which is sad. I was a bridesmaid in her wedding.

      *The one exception I made for this rule was when someone made a very specific violent threat against Obama during the healthcare debate, so I responded saying how inappropriate that was.

    • I have friends who post political items, and they range from Occupiers to super Right Wingers. I have a tendency to adjust my settings to not have their posts show up on my news feed if they go on and on about it.

      I don’t mind a few comments here or there. But if it’s what you’re posting about every day, sometimes several times a day, I’m just not interested. Particularly since people who do that tend to get a little loopy about it (“wall street is trying to kill us” or “Obama is a socialist/nazi/ etc” ) and there’s really no information there for me, except maybe that this person I considered my friend is nuttier than I thought.

    • I err on the side of caution and don’t post many political links anymore. In general, I feel that online forums are not always the best places to discuss politics because nuance tends to get lost and people put things in writing that they’d never say in person. And, it’s hard (for me, at least) to convey exactly why I agree or disagree with an issue in just a short status update. My FB friends have a wide range of political philosophies, and I figure that I’ll probably offend someone if I can’t fully explain myself and it’s not worth it. Plus, moderating any spin-off discussions between friends who don’t know each other is just … tiring. I learned that lesson the hard way. My closest friends know my views, and I’ll happily discuss political topics with them in person.

    • I get that this makes me a bad person, but I tend to hide anyone who is regularly posting things that make me angry. I have a really hard time with the “I can’t go to bed, people are WRONG on the internet!” problem, and for me the only solution I’ve found is to avoid it as much as possible. Generally, this means regularly posting very disrespectful things about politicians of the other party without differentiation, or posting regularly about very specific topics that are hot button issues for me.

      I’m happy to engage with people on these topics in real life, but life is too short for me to spend hours stomping around angry about something someone said on facebook.

      • Love the xkcd reference.

        • Seconded. Love that there are folks here who like xkcd! :-)

          • Thirded. And FWIW: I have the same issue. I really like the “hide” feature on Facebook for this reason.

          • xkcd this morning definitely helped brighten my mood :)

          • A millionthed for the xkcd reference and for the hiding people who annoy me reference.

            I also hide people who have their twitter linked to FB and tweet a lot as well as people who post stupid cr*p. Basically, anyone who annoys me.

          • TCFKAG, if I unfriended everyone who annoyed me I’d be an orphan with no friends!

          • I don’t unfriend them! I just hide them. I have a pretty high tolerance too — you have to post about Ron Paul at least three times a day — or do that thing where you ask people to send you secret numbers and then you’ll say if you like them or not.

            That sort of thing. :-P

          • Eleven.

          • Yes. Though I probably wouldn’t date you because I don’t know you 11 — also my husband might object.

      • I don’t think it makes you a bad person. You are under no obligation to read things that agitate or upset you, and in fact I think it’s smart to cull those things from your life, to a degree. As someone who posts a fair amount of political things, I hope and expect that anyone who finds it annoying or offensive would hide me.

      • Eh, you might be a “bad” (by which I mean slightly unreasonable) person if you blocked or de-friended them, but I don’t think hiding someone from your news feed hurts anyone.

    • I don’t share many of my political views, but sometimes I post a link to an article or a news story that I found interesting, which probably gives hints as to my political views. In general, though, I consider 99% of the political comments that my FB friends post incredibly annoying, regardless of the party they support. I don’t comment on many of the posts, but I will fact-check statements and give a link to correct information if someone has posted something that is blatantly wrong. I haven’t seen political discourse on FB go well. It tends to get ugly quickly, and that’s why I don’t post or participate in posts.

    • I’m a total political junkie, but I rarely post political stuff on facebook. I, too, have friends that fill the range from far-left to far-right (I consider myself moderately right of center). While I do enjoy political discourse, I don’t particularly enjoy it on facebook. I just feel that it’s way too easy for people to get overly-riled up and mean when you’re posting on the internet as opposed to talking face to face.
      I’ll occassionally post political stuff if I find a particular article interesting or insightful and I do tend to get rather annoyed with the handful of friends who post political stuff all.the.time (those tend to be the people that swing far one way or the other).

    • I have pseudonymous Twitter and Facebook accounts. I rarely post my general political views, although I will complain about and retweet tweets about the latest homophobic/sexist/racist scandal. People these days are too easily offended and I don’t want them making decisions that affect me based on their disapproval of my views, no matter how reasonable they are.

      If I see a particularly thought-provoking article, I’ll email it to my real friends. But I keep them to a minimum because people are busy.

    • I’m in DC — politics are everywhere, and I don’t have a problem discussing mine with anyone, as long as they’re respectful. Online, though, I stay out of it, because the internet has a way of bringing out the worst in people, and I don’t like the nastiness that political discussions tend to devolve to. If you choose to post about politics, I think you should be careful of the tone (and keep an eye on subsequent posts from your friends for the same reason). I have unfriended a few people because their political status updates were really offensive and I found myself getting angry every time I saw one on my little newsfeed thing.

      If you use your account professionally in any way, definitely leave politics off. I was “friends” with my former Realtor for a while, and even though she used the account extensively for professional networking, she had a lot of political rants on there as well. Even though I didn’t disagree with her views, I thought it was really tacky and unprofessional to put them out there for her clients to see.

    • one of the main aspects of my professional career is my focus on LGBT issues and equality. I write about it professionally, I give lectures and training seminars at Universities and companies, etc. So for me, it’s not only something I am extremely passionate about, it’s a part of my career. My business cards even have rainbow colored peace signs on them, so yeah, I talk politics.

      That said, social workers have a National Organization (NASW) that typically endorses a candidate or, if nothing else, we have a professional code of ethics and often a candidate says/does something that directly opposes our code, so it fits with my career to discuss those things, to lobby for them, and I’m personally running for office within the NASW organization.

    • I limit my posts to the contraception issue. It’s an issue that directly affects me and my access to healthcare for a medical condition. I think it’s important for the 99% of women who use contraception to be loud and proud to force people to recognize that they aren’t talking about random sl*ts, they are talking about me.

      • Do 99% of women use medical contraception? I feel that is an exaggerated number.

        (And this is why I don’t like these kind of posts on fb :)

          • yeah that says that 99% of women have at one point used a form of contraception (including condoms) It says that 62% of women are currently using contraception (including condoms) So you manipulated that stat to make your point. No wonder I couldn’t google it myself

          • Hmm. I don’t think she said 99% of women currently use medical contraception (that would be a very surprising number). I don’t think she was manipulating the stat – maybe you’re reading that into her comment?

      • Demanding that someone else pay for your contraception is not the same thing as advocating for access to healthcare. FWIW, Georgetown’s health insurance does in fact pay for contraceptives prescribed for medical conditions (other than a desire not to get pregnant, which most agree is not a medical condition). 99% of the woment who currently want to avoid pregnancy and are sexually active already use contraception, so it’s kind of hard to claim that access to contraception is an issue for anyone. And in closing, let me just say that I am sick to death of people trying to claim free contraception for adult working women is some kind of health crisis. That’s dishonest.

        • the hormones in birth control are often used to manage common medical issues (PCOS, endometriosis, etc.) In addition, most young women in low-income areas don’t have access to birth control methods that are affordable to them. There are also many women who work and are underemployed or barely making ends meet while feeding kids and the like who can’t afford $50/mo or more for birth control. Of course none of this even considers other aspects such as just how often viagra is covered for low/no cost under insurance plans but birth control is not.

          When our government wants to ban abortions, cuts funding for places that provide low-cost prenatal care, doesn’t offer as many options for low-cost child care, and doesn’t do so well placing children up for adoption immediately into stable homes, it absolutely IS a crisis that women aren’t able to obtain birth control they can afford.

        • 1. Is demanding that someone else pay for diabetes medication immoral? I pay for insurance, why shouldn’t it cover medical care that 99% of women use?

          2. Go back and watch Fluke’s testimony. The friend with ovarian cysts tried to have her contraception covered but the insurance company made the process so onerous and continually denied her claims. Saying you cover something doesn’t actually mean it’s really covered.

          3. It was an issue for me at one time. It was an issue for most of my friends at various times. Luckily, we had parents or partners who helped us through. This is pretty common. Excuse the bias in the article but it does have links to objective sources.

          4. It may not be a health crisis for you. But it is for some. It was for me in 2005 when I worked full time making $11/hr and had health insurance that I was paying $150/month for but it didn’t cover birth control or a women’s exam. Women earn health insurance through their employer as part of their wages just like men do. Yet women’s health conditions are not covered by the insurance we ourselves pay for. It’s dishonest to not treat men and women’s health equally.

          • Barrister in the Bayou :


            I totally agree with you btw, but I had to make it a little more light-hearted. ;-)

          • Like I said above, you’ve manipulated that 99% stat. Government sets the minimum and companies can do what they want as long as they are above that minimum. It is an incetive for companies to have good benefits to attract good employees

            Of course there will always be those companies who get away with the bare minimum. If we want to have a discussion about raising that minimum that’s fine, but we should realize we are taking away a religious freedom that groups had always previously had. We are saying that the government has the power to regulate religious beliefs. The government gets to say, no your belief in not paying for birth control is stupid we overrule it. This will have far reaching implications.

            (Please remember that this is a right that these groups have always had. The conservatives aren’t trying to create a brand new right)

          • Also, I’m on BC. I don’t want to pay for BC it would suck. But I don’t think the way to do that is to start overriding religious freedoms.

          • I’m still waiting for someone to show me the religion where birth control is a central component of their faith. Right up there with the 5 pillars of Islam and the divinity of Jesus Christ.

            Religious attitudes about birth control are by products of their (sometimes inconsistent) attitudes towards life. But a very one side view that seems to disregard the life of the woman/mother and focus on the life of the potential child. Birth control and women’s health issues are NOT attacks on religious freedom. No one is making anyone take birth control – individuals are still allowed to practice their faith as they see fit. In fact, setting a standard like this prevents religious organizations that operate in non-religious arenas from forcing their religions beliefs on others. That sounds more like religious freedom to me – the freedom not to be subject to a religion I don’t believe in.


          • Karenpadi is my hero. When I was about 19 years old, I had a knock down drag out fight with my boyfriend of five years because he spent his discretionary money on records and I was paying $50.00 a month for birth control pill. That money was way more than I could afford at the time. Way more. Of course, I couldn’t afford to get pregnant, either. I never could understand why health insurance did not pay for BC.

        • (1) Actually, seeking insurance coverage for medication, including contraceptive medication, is a form of seeking access to healthcare. Unless you would like to provide a very narrow definition of “healthcare.”

          (2) Technically yes, but in practice it is pretty difficult to prove to the insurer your “real” motivation.

          (3) No, if this is based on karenpadi’s stats. 99% have accessed contraception at some point. That doesn’t mean that 99% have all the access they need at all times. It also doesn’t mean that they have access to the right kind for them. For example, I take medicine to deal with a neurological issue. If I got pregnant, the medicine would likely cause significant medical issues for the fetus. My husband has trouble “keeping it up” using just a condom. But if we both worked at religiously affiliated hospitals (whether as physicians or as janitors), we couldn’t afford the pills I take to avoid pregnancy for the present while continuing to have a sex life as a happily married couple. As physicians, we could afford the pills out of pocket, although I don’t think we should be required to do so; as janitors, that would be a lot tougher to pull off. And it would be a lot more likely to lead to an abortion.

          (4) It’s not an issue of “free” contraception. Mine is “covered,” but I am still paying for it, both in co-pays and in premiums.

          (5) If, like pretty much every other developed nation, we had health insurance that was not employer-based, this whole issue would become moot. Plus, when you lost your job, you wouldn’t also lose your health insurance.

          (6) “In closing, let me just say that I am sick to death of” language like that. This is not debate club, and if it sickens you to death to hear other people’s views, then perhaps you should skip these sorts of threads.

          • Barrister in the Bayou :

            Second BOOM!


          • As someone who spent 7 years very very ill due to endometriosis that went undiagnosed (as many as 10% of women have this and there is an average diagnostic time of 7-8 yrs), many endo sisters are treated hormonally with birth control. For 7 years, I regularly had to choose between food and the birth control that was required so I could function outside of my bed. Yet healthy eating also helps with some of the symptoms. Meanwhile my insurance covered viagra and some forms of hair transplants/regrowth treatments for men. This is almost as wrong to me as knowing that there are fellow women out there who don’t see how this is wrong.

            I agree that we shouldn’t lose health insurance when we lose jobs, but however we obtain our health insurance, why is it acceptable that it’s so male-biased? Why are treatments specific to men and their physical needs covered or low-cost yet so many needs of women go ignored? Why should I have to have the surgery to diagnose me as someone with endometriosis in order to have my birth control covered yet a man can just say, “it won’t go up” and he’s got his viagra fully covered?

            I don’t know about the choice of language all around but I must admit that I am sick of the way things have been; both medically sick over it (see above) and educationally/emotionally troubled that women don’t stand together so that our voice is as strong as possible on matters that touch the needs of women.

          • We have to agree on constitional issues because we are women? The situation you describe is horrible. It is a problem with the insurance, not the government. please have a class action lawsuit against your insurance company if they were not a religious group.

          • It’s not about having the same political beliefs overall because we’re women but I don’t understand how a group of women can look at another group and be ok with knowing they have access to less, that it is acceptable to have a group of men make legal choices for women and their bodies.

            Why in the world aren’t women standing together to recognize when women’s rights are being screwed with?

    • I rarely post on Facebook but do read my friends posts. I’d be sensitive to over-sharing political views. I don’t mind seeing them from time to time, but I have one specific old friend who posts about her political views constantly and it drives me nuts to the point that I’m considering un-friending her. Ironically, I actually agree with her view but find it grating to hear about them 5-6 per day, along with posts encouraging everyone to act to join her on various issues.

      • Same for me. Sometimes a political post is okay, but it can get really annoying really fast. I’d say to the OP to be careful about posting political things. It can turn people off so quickly and you’ll probably never even know how many people who will end up resenting you for it. I actually defriended someone who kept posting nasty rhetoric about illegal immigrants. It was too bad because I actually liked and admired her as a person but I just found her views so distasteful I couldn’t take it anymore. You are probably “friends” with tons of people you don’t know that well, so tread carefully. You don’t want to unknowingly offend someone.

  3. Bag-shopping threadjack! My only-months-old Kate Spade Editorial Roland Cecilia completely crapped out this morning – the strap literally fell off. So, now I’m on the fairly urgent hunt for a new work tote that is big enough to hold file folders, plus a pair of shoes and lunch from time to time. Suggestions?

    (Also to Kat: I’m getting the out of memory at line 206 error again.)

    • phillygirlruns :

      caphillstyle had a great post on this a few days ago. lots of recommendations in the post and in the comments.

    • Kate Spade has a warranty on their bags: enjoy a one year warranty on our handbags, baby bags, and small goods. for any manufacturing defects within this timeframe, repairs are on us (our apologies!). we invite you to email our customer service team (from the KS website)

    • Absolutely email KS customer service about this. I had a bag that cr*pped out after just a few months and they ended up issuing a gift card for the purchase price after determining it was unfixable. Kind of a slow process, but with a good end result.

      • This. They did the same for me and I had used the bag for at least six months. I sent it to them for repair and they sent me a gift card for my full purchase price. I was really impressed.

        • I’d emailed them about another issue last month and was unimpressed. At this point, I don’t want a gift card – I just want my money back and will be returning the bag. Will not be buying a KS bag again for a long time, maybe ever.

    • My strap on that same bag tore as well but I blame myself not KS. I think I was hauling around much more than the bag was intended to withstand. Can you just get it fixed? My cobbler fixed mine for $15.

  4. Awesome jacket. But how many tweed jackets is too many? I have a more wintry black / cream tweed jacket, and a more year-round 3/4 sleeve black and white tweed. Can I possibly justify adding this to my collection? It would look so brilliant with The Skirt in magenta.

  5. Woods-comma-Elle :

    Like the jacket, not so keen on the longer top underneath but then I’m a tucker…

    Nail question – I have short nail beds and it’s a nightmare to grow my nails. The main problems is that by the time my nails reach the tip of my fingers, there is already a lot of ‘unattached nail’ growing and they always break, just near the edge of the nailbed, really far down, so I constantly have nails that look like I’ve been biting them because they stop half way up my fingers as soon as they break.

    I’m not sure if I’m explaining this well, but if anyone knows what I’m talking about and has some suggestions on how to avoid this annoyance, I’d love to hear it.

    • Always a NYer :

      Regular manicures will help, that and remembering your vitamins. My nails are pretty hearty but I notice that they are much stronger when they’ve been properly buffed, clipped, and polished.

      For DIY, keep them filed with no rough edges (which will make them break faster) and use a nail hardener. I also like those nail buffer sticks to get rid of the ridges and add shine my nails.

    • I’m just gonna throw it out there but you don’t *have* to grow out your nails. But if you want to and you’re sure your diet is ok (protein, fats, vitamins), I’d suggest regular filing of your nails to encourage them to grow the shape that you want them to. Like, at least once a week. More often if necessary, depending on the strength of your nails. Also, having a really good nail cutter that actually cuts through the entire nail without tearing your nails and leaving different levels cut at different lengths is important, too. Or, you could just cut your nails more often so that they don’t grow long.

    • I have the same issue. Mine is a result of years and years of nail biting. As in, I just quit a couple months ago and still relapse. I’ve really liked Butter London’s Horsepower nail fertilizer. It’s made my nails much tougher, although they’re still not as strong as I’d like. Definitely worth a shot. You apply one layer every day for a week, take all layers off, and then repeat.

    • All of my nails fell out when I was a child (allergic reaction), and so I had short, misshaped nail beds for decades. Regularly pushing them back has help them become a little deeper and more oval shaped over time. I also have a lot of breakage. If you puposefully keep them somewhat shorter, it helps. I also did the soak-off gel manicures for a while. They were amazing and helped my nails grow longer without breaking, but after a few manicures went by (with very careful removal and stuff), I realized that my nails were actually being damaged. So the manicures started to chip and my nails started to break even with the gel coating on them. So while a few months ago I would have suggested it as a solution, sadly I have to warn you against it now.

      So I would gently push back your cuticles (using a towel wrapped around a fingertip right after a shower) and apply cuticle oil 1-2x a day. I think massaging it in helps – just a theory about increasing the circulation. Personally I don’t think diet helps much, or vitamins. But they can’t hurt. And once one or two nails breaks really short for me, I trim the rest of them so at least they’re somewhat consistent. I wouldn’t do manicures – the occasional buffing, drying tendency of polishes and nail polish remover do more harm than good. Just shape them as best you can.

      • I second the recommendation for pushing back your cuticles. I’ve been doing this semi-regularly for a few months now and my nail beds definitely look longer and nicer. Using cuticle oil is critical, though, and make sure you let it soak in for a few minutes before you start pushing.

    • I have the same issue.

      In addition to the diet/manicure (DIY or otherwise) recommendations, I’d like to put in a plug for regular ol’ oil treatments. I’ve found that part of my problem is that my nails dry out from either nail polish or, when my nails are bare, from being on almost constant contact with paper all day (I’m a young lawyer in a litigation firm. So. Many. Papers.) To combat this, I not only rub lotion on my hands and nails a few times a day, but also rub a small drop or two of EVOO onto my nails about an hour before bed when my nails are bare. The extra moisture helps mine be more resilient and nourished, and helps prevent breaking.

      • Sounds weird, but try taking pre-natal vitamins. I have very long nail beds with nails that grow quickly but tend to peel. My nails grow freakishly quickly and are much, much stronger now that I’m pregnant and taking prenatal vitamins.

        • Good to know! I’ve thought about prenatals before, but I was worried about the elevated levels of Vitamin A in them, since it’s a fat-soluable vitamin and an excess wouldn’t just be excreted by the body.

          Maybe I’ll ask my doctor about this at my next checkup (0r look for prenatals with lower amounts of Vitamin A in them).

        • It might be more due to the pregnancy than the vitamins, and your nails may go back to normal after you have the baby, just like with the hair.

        • lucy stone :

          Second this. My doctor put me on prenatals even though we’re not thinking about trying for a while yet, and my nails are finally in decent shape! I keep them super short because I do so much typing, but at least they are strong now.

    • I don’t have an answer, but I also have a nail problem that I finally decided last night I should ask the hive about – I have a big ridge on my left thumbnail (top to bottom) that slowly developed and has now been around for three years – it wouldn’t bother me that much, but I have always had thin nails (I used to be able to bend them backwards without breaking – yuck) and now that nail splits right where the ridge is. Once it splits, it inevitably snags on something and the shorter section breaks off, leaving me with the option of either a very oddly shaped nail or cutting the nail back down to the quick. I am so sick of dealing with this constantly, and now I see I am getting a ridge on my right thumbnail (same spot, not symmetric though – both of them are about 1/4 inch in from the right side of the nail). Has anyone dealt with this? any suggestions? Any idea who I should consult on this? They are not little ridges that could be buffed out. I did try a Shellac manicure thinking that it would protect the nail and give it a chance to hopefully grow without splitting, but the shellac just split right along with the nail.

    • Can't wait to quit :

      I had the same problem. I tried something called Nailtek. It’s available at Ulta and in better drug stores. It’s a protein treatment that goes on like a polish. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting much but it is AMAZING! Totally stopped that thing where the nail breaks way down on the side. My nails are now strong and grow like crazy.

  6. Aaaand I have another question, this one more clothing-related. Can anyone recommend straight-leg dress pants that are cut for curvier shapes? I usually wear LOFT or Gap premium pants, but the curvier fits all come with very wide legs. I am tired of them whipping about when I walk down the hall.

    • If you have pants that fit you well above the knee, it’s really easy to alter the legs so that they’re straight instead of wide-leg.

    • No recommendations, but I’d love to hear what others think. I desperately need some new work pants!

    • I like AT Curvy in the Trouser cut. I also have had good luck with Michael Kors.

    • Ann Taylor’s curvy fit pants are wonderful and have been recommended by many commenters. I have two pairs and I love them. They come in all different styles – suiting pants, trousers, jeans, etc.

    • Try Limited Cassidy bootcut fit – it’s reasonably curvy but slimmer cut.

    • i got the Halogen pants in the Taylor cut based on suggestions from here, and I love them! I had to size up one (b/c of my thighs) and have the waist taken in, but they were so worth it! They also have a very wide waistband, so they are so comfy, fitting over all my curvy parts.

    • I really like the Caroline fit from Brooks Brothers. They are pricy (I’ve usually bought them on sale for ~$100), but I’ve probably gotten 100+ wears out of each pair and they are still going strong. I also really like the Catherine fit, but it is a bit more tailored.

    • I second the AT curvy fit, although I agree they can be wide-legged. I just took in the side seams of a pair (unlined, fortunately) for a very easy fix. I am wearing today the Halogen Quinn fit tab waist trousers and LOVE them. I’m a curvy 5’5″– narrower waist, wider hips, not much bum, size 12-14 (12 in AT, 14 in most BR) — and the Halogen 14 petite fit like they were made for me. (Unfortunately, the matching jacket would not button over the curves on my top half and went back.)
      Oh, and I never shopped at Nordstrom — the closest is 50 miles away — until becoming a corporette. The Skirt is like a gateway drug.

    • lucy stone :

      I have had great luck with Talbots Heritage Fit.

      • Thanks, everyone, for the recommendations! Last time I checked, I had every color of AT Curvy fit that I could wear to work, but maybe they have come out with some new stuff. Either way, I see some shopping in my future with all of these great options!

  7. Another excellent morning for me…

    Apparently, my cellphone and my glasses case fell out of my bag this morning. I know the cellphone must have fallen out in my car. I’m hoping my glasses case did the same.

    Then I slipped and fell again this morning. That’s twice in less than a week! And, of course, I landed on my bad knee. I think it’s my clogs because the same thing happened. My right foot slipped and I came down on my left knee.

    I actually had my old glasses in my bag as well so I can at least see at work. But now I have to shop for new commuter shoes.

    • Sounds awful! Are you wearing Danskos? Their old line used to cause people’s ankles to roll, so if you bought them before 2009 you might want to upgrade to a new pair.

      • Hmm, I bought my danskos in December, 2009 and have the ankle rolling problem; I wonder if I got an old pair.

        • I’m not sure exactly when they made the switch. I have one of the “new” pairs that I bought in 2010, and frankly I don’t like them as much as the old ones; they’re stiffer and seem to be lower quality. My old pair are like 5 years old and I still adore them, ankle rolling be damned.

          • Dansko used to be made in Europe, now they are made in China. I think the quality has suffered (as a devoted clog wearer in the OR, I have made a study of this). Sanita clogs are made in the old Dansko factory in Europe and I think are of better quality.

          • @ EC MD – do you have a problem with rolling your ankles in Sanitas?

            I have, um, 7 pairs of Danksos in various styles, and I’ve shifted to wearing the Sausalito line instead of the Professionals because I hate the redesigned Professionals so much. I really do like the Sausalitos, but miss the “real” thing.

          • Blonde Lawyer :

            I have the Dr. Scholl’s knock off and I roll my ankle every time I wear them.

    • Diana Barry :

      Aw, man! That sucks – I have had to go back all the way to my car after I left my regular glasses in there, hope you find yours (and your phone!) later.

      Hope your knee feels okay!

      • I cannot wear clogs, mules, slip-ons. They always cause problems (I tend to kick them off and then trip on them). Hope the day brightens up!

        • I’m in an area (geographically speaking) where the dress code seems to be pretty loose – such that I used to wear a pair of black leather mules to court every now and then. They had a wonderful non-slippery sole on them and I had even been dancing in them. The last day I wore any open backed shoe to work was the day I fell off my shoes in the middle of the courtroom. The non-slippery sole stuck to the carpet as I turned, and I fell – all the way to the floor. The criminal defendant was laughing so hard he choked. Buh-bye mules. Forever.

          • Anon in ATX :

            One of my heels broke in the morning that I argued my first Motion to Suppress in court. Totally embarrasing! So really no shoes are totally safe :)

    • I’m sorry to hear that your day has had such a bad start. Here’s hoping the rest of your day goes very smoothly!

    • Sorry. My knee is still sore from my fall on Friday.

      I have had a pair of Merrell clogs for a while and I really like them. They feel more stable to me than Danskos.

  8. Same blazer at Macy’s with extra 15% off
    Link follows

  9. Threadjack! I’m all over this thread today.

    Husband has a business trip in Las Vegas next month, and I’m going along — also for business. I work at a nonprofit so can stay with hubby, see some donors out West, and all it will cost my employer is my plane ticket and food. We’re staying at Bally’s.

    Questions: good places to work remotely that aren’t my hotel room, for a change of scenery? Good, non-sketchy places to meet donors and prospects? (I’ve been lucky b/c so far everyone’s offered to either come to me, or have mentioned a spot where we can meet, but I like have ideas in my back pocket.) If I happen to have down time, fun things to do solo in Vegas (besides window shopping)? Thanks, ladies.

    • Can your employer pay the price difference to upgrade you from a regular hotel room to a suite with a meeting area? That’s what I usually do when I travel for business and don’t have an office available to use. Hotels also usually have meeting rooms or business centers that you could rent for a couple of hours.

      Otherwise, I worked there for a while and I occasionally used the UNLV law library, although I can’t recall if I had special access or if anyone could use it.

      • Vegas Baby :

        Anyone can use the law library during the day. If it’s after a certain time (I forget what time, maybe 10 p.m.) you won’t be able to get in to the school though.

    • If you have half a day in Vegas, consider renting a car, preferably a convertible, and driving out to Lake Mead. The panoramic view of the desert is amazing and if you can time your return to be around sunset, the view coming back in is spectacular.

      Or shopping. The walk from the Forum Shops to Fashion Square and the Wynn isn’t bad from a fitness perspective, either. Good window shopping, too.

  10. Love the jacket! FWIW I just picked up one at H&M with the same cut (not tweed though)… they have it in black, beige, and bright orange for around $35, and the quality is actually pretty good.

  11. Dear Hive,

    I’m feeling overwhelmed. My husband is taking a major test this weekend for professional certification. He’s changing careers and he needs to pass this test to get into his program. Right now the job he’s at doesn’t pay anything meaningful (close to half of what he made pre-recession, with no indication of change in the foreseeable future), and he’s really not qualified for any other field. He’s been studying daily for a couple months, and yesterday took his last full-length practice test – and his score is not. even. close. to what he needs to pass this weekend. Although his score has gone up tremendously since he started, he is still not even close to a pass score. It is very difficult – he’s the smartest man I know, but this is in a totally different field he didn’t go to school for, and at this point it will take a miracle for him to pass this weekend. He knows it, I know it, last night was horrid, and now we have three days in which I don’t know what to say or do – and a month before his score comes back.
    How can I be a supportive partner in this scenario? I’m overwhelmed by how to handle how stressed out and bad about himself he feels. And of course, I have feelings about lots of tied-in finances/moving/family issues but we’ve discussed them before, and I can suppress those feelings for the next few weeks (although I suspect he is thinking about them as much as me). At the end of the day, I love him to death and would happily live in a van on the street with him for the next 50 years – but life is not turning out how we, mostly he, planned. I just have no idea what to say to someone I love so much who is 95% likely to fail a test for which he’s been studying for months, and having to remain in a soul-draining position for at least another year, or until we can figure out a Plan ‘B’. I’m worried that this is the event that will push him from stressed out/worried/feeling bad about himself into full-out depression.

    • If I were him–and at times I have been in pretty grim straits–hearing “I love you to death and would happily live in a van on the street with you for the next 50 years” would be very meaningful. It comes with the acknowledgment that things have not been working out as hoped, which is often how it goes after all. Be willing to say and hear things that recognize the challenge for what it is, but emphasize what you do have: a commitment to him for better or worse. Your marriage and love is something he brings with him as he goes into this test, and whatever comes after, rather than another thing that is at stake in his success or failure.

    • *hug*
      in the short term, think about a gesture that would help center him and calm him (and you) down as he goes through the home stretch of this studying.
      after the test, make sure to celebrate, even it is quietly as opposed to bottle service at local hot spot.
      I think the key to your post is “we can figure out Plan ‘B'”. WE. that is great – you are partners and focus on that.

    • Is it a test where failing now will be held against him later? If not, I’d suggest to just take it, but treat it as a practice test.

      In the bigger picture, I find that it helps to acknowledge things you’re grateful for and things that are going right for you. You could make a list together, or you could just take time before dinner or every morning to name one or two things you’re grateful for that day. Also, could he find a position that isn’t part of his original plan, but is at least less soul draining? Even something like a barista, dog walker, yoga teacher, etc that doesn’t require a professional credential? He may not make more money, but he’d at least be happier and that’s what’s most important.

    • As an actuary, I can totally relate about high pressure exams with low pass rates! I agree with the prior poster. Tell him you love him no matter what, let him cram for the remaining days (seriously, take ALL of his home tasks yourself for these last days) and then when the test is over, it’s over. Definitely celebrate, and if you can, go away for a weekend – not to see family, not to do activities, but just to somewhere you can chill and NOT talk about the exam.

    • First, print this out and show it to him. Its really all I would need to hear if I were in his shoes.

      Second, some of the practice tests are designed to make you feel bad about your score, I’m convinced. When I took the MCATs, the last practice test Kaplan offered free, a week before the test was so fricking hard and I scored so low that I was totally demoralized. I’m half convinced they were trying to shoot my confidence so I would take their very expensive course later. Not to say this is the case, but I wouldn’t let me confidence depend on a practice test.

      But even if I’m being a Pollyanna and he will fail the test, tell him what you told us.

      • This is very true. I remember in studying for the bar our first practice test was just ridiculous, then after stressing out all weekend about how we were definitely going to fail the bar, etc… the instructor comes up and says “Just so you know, on that test (something like) 50% was a passing score.” The sign of relief could’ve been heard round the world.

        I think all you can really do is be there for him. Make his favorite dinner/dessert, celebrate with him afterwards however you two celebrate things, etc…

        So you know, my mom, who is amazingly smart and dedicated and has been an attorney for over 30 years went through the process to become specialized (through the state bar, you have to take a very difficult test) and she failed at least twice. She studied, this is her area of law, but the test is just really hard. It’s designed that way so that only people with a certain level of knowledge can call themselves specialized. This sounds like the same thing. Failing tests happens. It sucks, but it happens. She did eventually pass.

        I’ve also heard stories of people taking, and failing, the bar exam 10, 15, 20 times. One guy passed the bar the same year his son did…and the first time he’d taken the bar was the year his son was BORN. Obsessions like that aside, just remind him, this is not the last time this test will be given. He can take it again. He will pass it, just maybe not as soon as he’d like.

    • Anon for this :

      I’ve posted this before but I will post it again if you missed it:

      When my husband was super depressed with his job I woke up one day and realized that my career, our financial future, our possessions, did not matter anywhere near as much as his mental health. I took a huge leap of faith and told him that he had my “permission” to just quit his job or to apply for jobs in Antartica and we would make it work even if we screwed our credit, lost the house we own in another state, etc. I make enough to pay for our rent, gas and groceries. Everything else, including my massive student loans, could go into default until he got back on his feet.

      Turns out, that freedom is what he needed to stick it out at his job. When it came right down to it, he knew that he would be miserable sitting at home doing nothing with the bills piling in. It just totally changed his outlook for him to be doing it for him instead of doing it because he “had to” because of our goals, our plans, our debt, my career, etc.

      I suggested this before and the poster I suggested it to said “I wish I could just say quit or move, but we can’t.” Well, neither could we, responsibly. But, technically, if you let everything else go to h*ll in a hand basket, you probably could. If you had to. I wouldn’t recommend anyone actually doing this unless it was an absolute last resort ie: spouse would rather drink a bottle of jack and jump off a bridge than spend another day at work.

      At the end of the day, all you really need is a place to live and money for food and heat if you are in the north. The rest, even electricity (unless you need it for heat and running water) is just a bonus.

    • Everyone, thanks so much for your comments. I went out at lunch and bought a card that I’m going to put all of these kind words that I truly mean in for him, as well as a little study-snack treat.

      • Am posting a bit late but a good thing to do will be to line up some stuff in the coming month to take both your minds off the test and its repercussions. It needn’t be costly but the more involving and life-expanding the better eg. is there something on your bucket list ? Actually even driving out of town for a weekend in some place you haven’t been before can be pretty rewarding in terms of taking you out of your immediate worries.

    • a passion for fashion :

      also, fwiw, my practice tests for the bar were horrid. i mean, not even close to passing. same for the mpre. and not only did i pass both tests, i got fantastic scores on both.

      so my point is that just because his practice scores are bad doesnt mean he is not going to pass.

    • You’ve gotten a lot of great advice. One thing no one has asked so far, though, is whether he has always had difficulty with standardized tests, or whether it’s just this particular test. If the former, he may be eligible for certain accommodations that could help increase his score (like more time if he’s unable to finish in the alloted time). Although it’s probably too late to secure these types of accommodations for this test, it may be relevant if he ends up having to take the test again. If the latter, it could be a manifestation of his anxieties associated with his career path in general, which the advice offered here might help alleviate. Either way, good luck to him, and to you.

      • Anon in ATX :

        You & I are in the same boat. DH has taken his last exam to be a ASA about a half-dozen times so far, and he is determined to pass whatever it takes. I just tell him how much I admire his perseverance/strength and say how I would have given up long, long ago. (all true) also, we always celebrate after, even though the news is bad, and he takes a break from studying before getting back on the horse. Good luck to you & him!!

  12. Littlest Attorney :

    Ran across this dress and am totally in love — thought the polka dot crowd would especially appreciate it too!

    • I *love* this, but I’m worried that it would look too cutesy for workwear on me (I am petite and already look rather young).

      I also really like the cut of this jacket, but after realizing my work wardrobe is almost entirely black, gray, or white, I’m trying to stick to buying only colors to mix in!

    • I have seen this dress as well. I wonder if it goes with this jacket. They didn’t say whether the tweed part of the dress is navy as well but they styled it with the jacked in their ad.

    • Love love love! I would wear that thing to death if I was buying clothes right now.

    • Hey, I tried this dress on at Century 21 this past Friday (near WTC). Super cute but it has kinda casual-ish fabric. It’s $60-$70 there, plenty of sizes available.

    • I tried the dress & jacked on and I didnt like the look. I had loved it online and rushed in to a store to try it on. The dress looked dated (the blue band is denim). I had high hopes but it wasnt what I was expecting at all.

  13. I had an advanced-trolling moment this morning: I decided to wear a dress that I’ve owned for, oh, at least a year and probably closer to 2. I don’t wear it that often, but I’m sure I’ve worn it at least 10-20 times. As I went to pull it over my head, I noticed something awful that I’d never noticed before: It has a back vent. And said back vent was sewn together with a black thread X. And had been so sewn together for as long as I’d owned the dress. Every time I walked down the street, fancy overachieving chicks were probably gaping at my backside, snickering at the rube who didn’t know better than to leave the back vent sewn up. I hung my head in shame as I raced frantically to the kitchen for a pair of scissors. How could I make such a rookie mistake?

    The horror, the horror.

    • It’s a get together but, as I emailed Susan a few hrs ago, I am not feeling well and am not willing to risk getting anyone sick so I’m sitting this one out… but if anyone would like to have dinner together maybe on the 13th? There’s an italian place called Sac’s that’s pretty well known, affordable, and they have room for a bigger group. It is right near the N/Q subway line (Broadway stop) in Astoria. Just an idea anyway but I do hope you all have fun at the museum and tea’ing!

      • K, sorry to hear that you’re not feeling well. Rest up and I’ll send some Ancient Greek healing vibes at you. That’s the wing I’m in at the Met. Wanna check out their collection on suits of armor, too, before the Museum closes!
        We’ll reschedule all for another date! Don’t anyone go to Saint’s Alp tonight, unless you really want dumplings and bubble tea!

  14. Question for the hive…

    I live on the fourth floor of a building whose elevator recently broke. While the landlord has kept mum about it, I heard through a neighbor that he is suing the elevator company, and the elevator repairmen have said that this is a Major Repair. (I get the feeling that this may take months to resolve.)

    Meanwhile, I’m still paying what I paid when I signed a lease for a place with a working elevator. When I move, I will now have to pay for movers. (I probably would have anyway, but now it’s an absolute must.)

    What are our thoughts on asking the landlord for a small reduction in rent? Am I crazy? Am I being really cheap?

    • I am no expert in lease-related legal matters, but I think you’re unlikely to succeed in getting your rent reduced. At the same time, it can’t hurt to ask, if it’s really bugging you that much; I’d just be prepared for your landlord to deny your request.

      • The elevator in my building was out for a while, and they told us up front there would be a rent reduction for the 4th floor and up (progressively high percentage reductions). This is probably not the norm, in which they volunteer the reduction. However, the one time I did ask for a rent reduction, we got it. That was for lack of heat over a full week in December, which was also in violation of DC law and involved fines for the management company. So: it does happen, you probably have to ask, have a good argument, and see if any laws apply.

        • I stand corrected! Like I said, no expert :)

          • Aw I was not correcting you. Might as well have entered it as a different reply so it didn’t read that way.

        • We’ve asked for and gotten a rent reduction for the simple reason that the market plummeted and we were paying way above market rate for rent. It’s certainly worth a shot to ask because you’re now living in a fourth floor walkup. Another option is to take the initiative and withhold what you think is a fair portion of your rent (put it in an escrow account) and let your landlord bring you into housing court for the unpaid portion, at least in NYC. You take the risk of being sued for unpaid rent, but the landlord may also recognize the fairness and not bother to initiate a lawsuit. And if they do, a housing court judge might side with you in any event.

    • I think it’s reasonable. Research your local landlord/tenant laws, but this may be considered a major change in the conditions of the building that requires some sort of compensation from the landlord. Most likely, though, any rent reduction would be voluntary, to be nice and prevent you from moving.

    • I think it’s reasonable. Plus, if the landlord is planning to sue, wouldn’t it help his case if he showed that he was forced to reduce the rent because of the broken elevator?

    • I think it’s worth a try. Also, movers I have looked at charge more for buildings with no elevator or may charge per flight of steps, so even if you would have hired movers anyway, your costs might go up.

    • You are entitled to subtract (abate) part of your rent when the apartment you receive is not the apartment you agreed to rent. In this case, you agreed to rent in a building with an elevator, but that’s not what you are getting.

      I would talk to the landlord about it and ask for a small reduction. More than $50 a month is unlikely. This is general opinion, not legal advice by the way.

    • Eloise Speghetti :

      The law depends on the state. Go to your local Legal Aid Society’s website and see if they have any free information on Landlord/Tenant Laws. These things are often very easy to navigate once you know the law.

      According to the show, the Big Bang Theory, the elevator will never be fixed and you will get great legs as a result. Much of your life’s plot will be developed while walking up and down these stairs.

    • Yes, depends on local housing law. I don’t think elevator access is generally defined in the “warrant of habitability” portion of most housing codes. That’s usually just heat, electricity, water. But you can check.

      Most local Legal Aids have a housing clinic too, where you can call. But you are low priority relative to the people who have lead poisoning and vermin and deadbeat landlords…just so you know. That doesn’t make it any better….but just trying to shed some perspective. Good luck!

  15. Question for research minded ladies…

    I have tons of information on how the Affordable Care Act will help women gain access to healthcare but I am trying to research if this is an accurate claim. I’m having a hard time finding any articles that challenge this – where are some good places to look or are there any organizations that have put any research out there about this?

    • Try the health law oriented sites- American Health Lawyers Association, The University of Houston Law Center Health Law Center, ABA-Health Law Section, then try certain larger firms with good health law sections like Foley & Lardner, then think tanks and research agencies (try those focusing on women’s care or rural health, they would be more focused on access issues). You might also call your state representatives and ask for a summary of the bill with respect to access to healthcare. The short answer is no. The bill doesn’t solve access issues. But, there is quite a lot to say between a and z.

      Good luck.

      • Most women’s organizations supported ACA so you’ll likely be limited there to how the law works and MAYBE if you’re lucky where it falls short. I would encourage you to look at Health Affairs if you’re looking for actual articles and you could do some broader think tanks like Heritage etc. Do you need actual published materials to reference? Also your state rep wouldn’t have a summary of the bill. I would encourage you to look up provider organizations since they will have finer points as it relates to women’s access. The law put a lot of structures in place that are supposed to increase access for a lot of populations (for example increased Medicaid reimbursements etc) but isn’t necessarily a guarantee for improved access. I’m happy to be of assistance if you can provide a bit more detail about what you need the info for.

        • L,
          Thanks so much! I am not doing any scholarly research, just trying to better understand if the ACA will live up to its promises and how it will impact women and children in particular. I am researching this because I am on the board of a local women’s organization and my director has asked me to recommend to our board whether we should publicly support the ACA. I am getting pressure from higher up in the organization to support the ACA and it is expected that we do so. No one has shared with me what the reasoning is or has presented us with a fair look at the legislation and how it will impact the community we serve. I just keep getting “it will help women”.

          My background is not in law or policy and it is a volunteer position for me so this is definitely not my area of expertise. I just want to make an educated, well reasoned recommendation to our board.

          • Kaiser Family Foundation has excellent fact sheets summarizing the ACA and what the various provisions in would do / how they would be implemented. Link coming in a next reply, in case it gets stuck in moderation.

          • Looks like there are some provisions in Medicaid and Preventive Care that might be in the areas you’re looking at (women & children). I also failed to mention before that KFF is a very well regarded source in health policy circles, in case you’re concerned about where the info is coming from.


          • Not your original request for articles countering this claim, but if you’re looking for more specific information on how the law will actually help women, healthcare dot gov has a page exactly on this (link to follow) – basically it boils down to prohibiting insurance companies from charging more to insure an individual because she is a woman (previously legal), prohibiting insurance companies for denying coverage for preexisting conditions (which previously included things like having been pregnant), and requiring all insurance plans to cover no-fee preventative care, including a yearly well-woman exam, breast-feeding counseling, a bunch of screenings for various diseases, and yes, contraceptive services (this is where the recent controversy has occurred). So this is where the claim that the law will specifically “help women” comes from.

          • Links –
            How the ACA helps women –

            List of women’s preventative services that will covered with no-fee by all plans –

            And finally, for anyone looking to figure out what their personal health insurance options are, is a great resource – you just fill in your state, age, and I think a couple other things, and it spits out a list of options available to you, what coverage is included, and what the cost would be. I was able to talk my younger sister out of going without insurance (i.e. I would be paying for it if she had any terrible accidents/diseases), by using this site to find some good and affordable options for her, which she then signed up for.

    • Maybe try some amicus briefs from the state supreme courts that have heard cases on the healthcare bill? I’m not that familiar with those cases but I have found amicus briefs very useful for research in the past.

    • Cato has put out a lot on the ACA, although I don’t know if there’s anything on your specific topic.

    • Try RH Reality Check (dot org). The articles are short and written from a pro-women pov but they are well researched and often include links to source documents.

      • Not directly related to your comment, but I really am sick of people saying “pro-woman” when what they really mean is “pro-Democratic Party position on an issue.”

        • I don’t really mean “pro-Democratic Party position on an issue” with the moniker “pro-women”. If you want to get into the politics of it, in addition to some Democrats, I associate “pro-women” with Republicans such as Barry Goldwater, Richard Nixon, and George HW Bush.

    • As a self-professed health policy nerd, I think these organizations have good materials –

      And I’ll echo the recommendation for Kaiser Family Foundation materials in general.

  16. Weightloss related TJ/vent. Any helpful guidance advice to stay “on” the wagon? I have so far to go and feel like there is no point anymore. The only thing keeping me going is the faint memories of my nice clothes, but I feel like it will be so long before I get there. Sigh.

    • Check out a tumblr page called Ben Does Life (bendoeslife dot tumblr dot com); at the top of the page you can click on “Beginning” and read about his very inspiring weight-loss journey from Day 1.

      I think I found out about Ben Does Life from a corporette comment a while back. Thank you to whoever posted it.

    • I’ve been doing WW since the end of August, and just hit 15% loss. I weigh in every Monday morning (at home – I just do WW online). For me, staying on the wagon has been easy enough because I have “next week’s weigh in” to consider.

      I’ve found a good range of foods I like that are the right points level. Any diet that allows me popcorn, fruit, and WW or skinny cow ice cream is easy to work for me!

      And yeah, remembering the big clothes I’ve given away helps too.

      Good luck!!

    • Other 'rettes :

      We’ve got a sparkpeople dot com group called Sparkers who Enjoy Corporette. If you’re looking for online accountability, feel free to join us.

      • Littlest Attorney :

        I just joined! I’m in a friends wedding in May and my bridesmaid dress fitting is in three weeks. I’d like to lose about 5 pounds before then (overall I have a lot more to lose) but 5 pounds in 3 weeks would make me happy and some online accountability would sure help.

    • I’m also trying to lose a significant amount of weight. I had prior success (and then was derailed by a cross-country move, the bar exam, starting a new and busy job, and taking a second bar exam all within 8 months). What worked then is what is working for me now: have a plan (and a contingency plan) and get external support from other like-minded people.

      I was doing WW for a while, but now I am back to MyFitnessPal for calorie and nutrient tracking, though there are several online communities (with smartphone apps) that will provide both tracking and forum support for days that you need a little extra help. Many of the threads I find most helpful are those that focus on mini-goals as well as the overall before/after. I’ve got a LOT of weight to lose (around 85lbs to be at my ideal weight) so I definitely feel your pain.

      And if you’re interested in a virtual pen pal to talk to all of this about, or swap exercise routines/frustrations or healthy recipes, let me know.

    • Maine Associate :

      I am trying to lose 30 pounds. I am down 7 so far. Yesterday was the first day that my clothes fit better. In fact, my first thought when I got dressed was that my pants had stretched out! Just think of how good it will feel when your current clothes are too big. You can do it!

    • My earlier post is stuck in moderation…so here goes, and my apologies for so many brackets:

      If you’re looking for buddies or to join an online group to keep you accountable, we have a mini-group set up at

      spark [no space] people [dot] com. It is under the group Sparkers who enjoy [the name of this blog].

      You can contribute daily, weekly, or just read what we post.
      Personally, I’m a big fan and have lost close to 40 pounds so far with about 25 more to go.

    • Whenever I’ve tried to be disciplined about my eating, having an endgoal in site really helps. So not sure what your time frame is, but maybe you can picture going to the beach in summer and feeling super fabulous, or plan a vacation and imagine how great you’ll feel and how good your pictures will look.

      • Seriously so helpful, thank you!! Its so frustrating since I can usually just set my mind to something (say at work) and get it done, but this seems to be so much harder.

        I’m going to sign up for sparkpeople and join the WW group. I also love the idea of connecting weight loss to a fun endgoal.

        • I’m on the sparkpeople group too and it’s really helpful (for instance, you’ll see, we have a challenge going where whenever we post here or there we do 20 shoulder presses. The two of us who are doing it are seeing significant more strength in our shoulders after just one week!).

          I know what you mean though, I have a very long way to go and my body is apparently super efficient (at least that’s my coping strategy for today) because it does not want to let go of one. single. 1/10 of a pound! I totally agree re frustrating since usually in life I too can set my mind to do something and accomplish it, but weight loss does not work like that.

          Still, every time I think that this is just not working I do see a small benefit. Or I feel better. Of I realize I can run farther/lift more. And I compare that to how I felt a couple months ago and I don’t want to go back, no matter how hopeless it sometimes seems to move forward. It only seems hopeless because the gains (losses) are too small to see immediately. They’re still there!

          I do also gain some inspiration from reading about/seeing the pictures of people who have lost 80, 100, 150 lbs. Some of the before and afters on sparkpeople are really amazing and inspiring. (And some are just annoying, but you get that anywhere!) :-)

          • Just a little encouragement to you, CA Atty – if you’re doing weight training, it could be that you’re just gaining muscle as you’re losing fat (and inches) so the scale isn’t moving much.

            Are you also tracking measurements? I’ve been doing the 30 Day Shred and while I’ve only lost about 5lbs so far, the difference in inches on my waist, arms, and legs is much more substantial than that number would lead you to believe.

          • Thanks ELS. I am doing a little weight training, but really only a little. I do think I’m building muscle and I’m pretty muscled in general so that does tend to slow my scale-measured weight loss.

            I just started tracking measurements, it’s been about a week and I’ve seen a half inch here and there but nothing that can’t be explained by measuring in the wrong place! :-) (I don’t really think I am, it’s just very slight.)

            Honestly, I really screwed my metabolism a couple years ago when I got a little bit too into some anorexia-promoting websites for a psych class I was taking. It’s going to be a long hard slog but I’m in it for the long haul…like, the rest of my (longer if I lose the weight!) life! :-)

    • Hey L — I saw a running poster once that said something like “Stop exercising and start training” — and maybe that’s how you need to treat weight loss. Stop treating it as a diet and start treating it more as a sport, one where you set definitive goals, track your steps, and experiment with techniques (within reason) so that you don’t get too far into the grind.

      Plus, try to make sure there is variety both in your meals and your exercise, use exercise goals to help yourself measure not just weight but also fitness.

    • I’ve kept my 30 lb loss off for 3.5 years now. I remember at one point, about 15 lbs in, I was so tired of being good, tracking, etc, that I decided one day – when we went to the town my dh grew up in for their annual celebration & parade (where they throw tons of candy) – that I would eat whatever I wanted and not worry about it at all. I ate junk all day and felt absolutely AWFUL the next day. Just yucky. I couldn’t wait to get back on the wagon. Maybe a day off will either do what it did for me and help you realize eating healthy is really a good way to go, or maybe take a day or two off from your eating plan just to relieve some of the pressure? I also rewarded myself with something small (money was tight) every 5 pounds (like a new magazine or nailpolish or something) and then something slightly bigger every 10 lbs (like a new top or going to a movie). I know that those little rewards really helped me stay on track. The short term (5 lb) goals also really helped me to stay focused because they were relatively quickly reached as I worked on the longer term goal, which seemed so far away. Oh, it also helped me to find something to eat that felt like an indulgence, when it really wasn’t. For example, one of my favorites was fat free vanilla yogurt with some raspberries on top. Healthy snack, but SO YUMMY it almost felt like I was cheating. I also didn’t ever deny myself something I was truly craving – I just made sure to be careful about portion control, and adjusted other things I ate that day to compensate for it.

      Good luck!!

      • That is such a good point, about the mini-goals and rewards. I sat down yesterday when I got home from work and (along with my workout schedule) made up a list of rewards for every 5 and 10lbs lost along the way. It’s much easier to think about it in small increments, because the time frame is SO much shorter. Already when I was working out this morning and wanted to quit, I thought, “But if I do this now, I’ll get to buy that book I’ve been wanting in about a month!”

  17. Thanks to everyone for the Internet hugs and cookies-for-dinner recipes yesterday. Although I still trying to figure out whether mr gov anon and I should try to work things out or end it, some of the MIA co-workers have shown up (not the one with the critical file however) and most of the soreness from my fall is going away. Opening a bottle of our best wine last night probably didn’t hurt either.

  18. Has anyone ever done a rafting trip through the Grand Canyon? If so, any recommendations? Looking for a good company to go with, plus advice on trip length, etc.

    • that sounds amazing, I am completely envious!

    • Try AZRA. The trips range from 5 – 13 days or so depending on if you do the top of the canyon to ghost ranch (I think) and hike out — that’s the 5 day option, do the entire length (13 days) or hike down to ghost ranch and meet the rafts there (super, super early morning 5 hour hike down into the canyon).

      There are a number of different companies offering different options — you do some paddling, guide does all the paddling, motorized boat. The camping conditions are primitive and the whitewater is serious, interspersed with lots and lots of flat water. It is a truly amazing trip. There are very few spots on earth as beautiful and as isolated.

      I believe these trips book very early, so you might be looking at 2013 dates rather than 2012.

      Let me know if I can answer anything else.

    • Also, I think 8-9 days was a good length to see some variety in the scenery (ok, the geology) but as I said camping conditions were primitive and I was ready to wash my hair at that point — the river is nasty — polluted and very very silty so except for hiking up into the slot canyons and finding pools/waterfall there, the options for getting clean are limited. I must have brought 30 pounds of sand home with me.

    • Loved rafting the Grand Canyon! My family did 7 days, on a motorized pontoon boat. We did Arizona River Runners (I still have my coffee mug from 15+ years ago).

      As Whit says, there are many options out there – size of boat, type of boat, party size (I think ours was 30 people, 2 pontoon boats), and length of stay. Plus how you get in and out of the Canyon. We drove in and helicoptered out.

      Have fun!

    • Rafting the Grand Canyon goes at the top of my list of peak life experiences. My parents and brother and I went in June 2003 and knew we wanted to do the small oar-powered rafts rather than the huge motorized pontoon boats. Best choice possible for me — it’s a slower pace and you get to see more; plus your mind, body and spirit get into river mode, ratcheting back to just experiencing everything around you every day instead of the constant stimulation and information overload we usually have in our daily lives.

      I think we went with Arizona River Runners. The guides were amazing and the food was truly fantastic (and this coming from a San Francisco food fanatic). We did the 8-day and 7-night lower half of the Grand Canyon, so we spend the night in the National Park at the South Rim and hiked down the Bright Angel Trail to the river (close to Phantom Ranch). It’s a 7-mile or so hike but all downhill — which makes it easier for some people (b/c you get less winded than hiking uphill) but harder for others (people with tricky knees — my dad used hiking poles the whole way down).

      There is one guide (at the oars) and 3-4 guests per raft. I think we had 6 rafts with guests and two that just carried gear. So 8 guides and 22-24 guests on the trip. The guides also do all the cooking setup and food prep. You camp out every night at a different campsite on the banks of the river; in June it was warm enough not to put up any tents, but cool enough to want to be inside the sleeping bag. Most days you stop for the day early enough to do a hike up a side canyon to a waterfall or series of pools. Also, there are lots of good rapids to run — Lava Falls is the big one toward the end of the lower half.

      Have a fantastic time — I highly recommend the oar boats. I have vowed that my trip in 2003 will not be my last!

    • OARS is the granddaddy of all rafting companies. Not saying they are the best, just the oldest. They are awesome though. In terms of length, it depends on how long you want to float for…I usually feel that 2-3 days is enough rafting for me, but the grand canyon is really cool. (Disclaimer–have not rafted there–only hiked in to Lee’s Ferry on a 5 day backpacking trip. Lee’s Ferry is the main put-in for many outfitters). It’s gorgeous!

      OARS has a lot of reviews on their websites for past trips too. Enjoy!

      Also, if you’re really intrepid, you can apply for a permit and do it yourself, but this is NOT recommended if you don’t have significant whitewater experience. Cheers!

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