Tuesday’s TPS Report: Hydric Medora wool-blend blazer

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

Theory Hydric Medora wool-blend blazerGorgeous, simple blazer from Theory. The collarless, simple shape strikes me as relaxed professional elegance at its best.  I’d probably style it with more structured pieces than what’s shown here — trousers, a collared blouse, etc.  It was $455, now marked to $227 (limited sizes only) at The Outnet. Hydric Medora wool-blend blazer

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Comments

  1. Ob/gyn issue :

    TMI question:

    Every once in a while, maybe every few months, I will get this sharp, burning, narrow band of pain toward the front of my pelvis. This isn’t a UTI (doesn’t hurt to pee & pain is a bit forward from my urethra), but the sensation is similar. Most often, the pain will kick in when I move suddenly. For example, if I was lying or sitting down and then I stood up, it will burn for a few seconds. Sometimes, I can feel the burning while I am walking, too.

    I know this is really an issue for my ob/gyn, and I promise that I will get around to asking him, but I am still curious as to whether others experience anything similar, and whether they have figured out how to ward off or minimize the pain. Thanks!

    • IANAD, but I’ve had similar things that turned out to be ovarian cysts.

      • I was thinking the same thing.

      • cysts, too :

        I have had experience with ovarian cysts. Hard to know if that’s what you’re describing, but IME, the pain can “migrate” if the cyst ruptures–then there is free fluid that is irritating and can make it more painful to be in one position (for me, often lying down is uncomfortable), and I was told to basically just wait until it reabsorbed. A heating pad can help, and I sometimes take ibuprofen or tylenol if I’m having persistent pain.

    • Could it be a nerve issue? Maybe a pinched nerve somewhere in your pelvis creating a burning sensation?

    • I don’t think this sounds like the type of issue you should just “get around to asking” your doctor. I think you should go to a doctor whenever you have an issue like this–the sooner the better. Good luck!

    • It could be ovarian cysts, but I have them frequently and the pain is a bit higher up than what you describe and also localized to either the right or left ovary (and you can definitely tell which one). What you describe sounds like it could be a pelvic floor injury, such as a strained or torn muscle. I strained a muscle in my pelvic floor and it felt exactly like what you describe. I’d suggest discussing it with your doctor sooner rather than later.

    • Ob/gyn issue :

      Thanks, everyone. I am digging up my doctor’s contact info right now.

    • Eloise Spaghetti :

      I had the same thing and I had to get an ultrasound to see if it was ovarian cysts (which run in my family). It was not but, I remember that as soon as I called in to my doc with the symptoms, I had the ultrasound the next week.

      • This is great! Sometimes we need to say the problem out loud (or write it on an anonymous chat board) and then we can face it! Good luck! Bet it is nothing.

    • I have had something similar for the last couple of years. I have had an ultrasound and there seems to be no explanation. I’m sure this is not helpful at all but I thought I’d share!

      • Je suis un lapin :

        FWIW, I have had cysts off-and-on for a while. The first time I had this kind of pain, the ultrasound did not show any abnormalities. Now that I’ve had them diagnosed by ultrasound in other instances, I think that the first time that’s what it was, the pain was so similar, and apparently sometimes there can be no lingering traces on an ultrasound.

        Do those of you who get ovarian cysts fairly often always go to the doc about it? I feel like it’s not worth getting the u/s repeatedly, since it is not particularly enjoyable and there is nothing they can do about the cysts, but on the other hand, if my symptoms could be indicating something else, I would want to go and make sure it’s “just” a cyst. Thoughts?

    • Ok, I’m kind of freaking out now.

      I read this and it sounded familiar. It happens to me once every several months, and goes away after about ten minutes or so. The pain almost starts at my belly button and goes down – like someone hooked it and pulled it up (does this even make any sense?) The idea of ovarian cyst never even occurred to me because it didn’t seem like the “right” kind of pain (I’m not a doctor, I know nothing, don’t read into this), and I also never mentioned it to the doctor, despite some well-document hypochondria, because it just didn’t seem serious or bother me for too long. Are we talking about the same thing/should I actually bring this up with a doctor? I’ve probably experienced this pain maybe a dozen times or so in the past 7-8 years.

    • AlwaysAnon :

      Have you considered whether it may be mittelschmerz? I had this when I was younger, and it used to freak me out, but it literally just means pain associated with ovulation. I hope I spelled that correctly, but you can learn more by Googling it.

  2. Woods-comma-Elle :

    Less keen on the jacket, but love the skirt! I always feel like I’m too short to wear flowy skirts though, even with big shoes.

    A question for all photographer Corporettes: I recently bought an SRL and I’m looking into sites to upload my photos onto.

    What are the good/bad things about e.g. Tumblr and Flickr (and other sites you like), what do you like for uploading, what don’t you like and why? In particular, without me trawling through the T&Cs, does anyone know what the position is on copyright? If I upload pictures on these sites, do I still keep the copyright? I remember reading something a while back about Facebook getting copyright when you upload pictures and I wondered if this was an issue anyone had come across on photo-specific sites.

    Thanks in advance!

    • I purchased a “pro” membership on Flickr, and it’s great if you’re going to be uploading more than their free limits. You can limit who sees your photos (totally private, or certain groups of people). You can also edit your photos in programs like Lightroom or Photoshop (I believe), and then upload the edited photo from the program to Flickr. I don’t know anything about the copyright issues though.

    • On Flickr you retain the copyright, though a) you do grant Yahoo a license for usage and b) even if you set your account so that others can’t download pictures, there are still ways for your pics to be stolen and used without attribution. There are things you can do to limit the latter, such as uploading small-sized, low-res pictures and using a watermark.

    • he Melitta :

      That’s funny, I felt the opposite!! I just feel that the skirt would be hard to wear well. My sis bought me a similar one which I have never worn for that reason. Pretty on the rack, tho.

  3. I like collarless jackets and find them versatile but this one seems a little shapeless.

    • I can WEAR this (and it hides my tush), but the MANAGEING partner would acuse me of being granny-like and stodgey, and I am woried about him NOT re-iburseing me for the 20%

      He always likes me in fashioneable clotheing so this would NOT work for him. Plus with my clotheing allowance, I do NOT want to waste it on clotheing that I do NOT like and that HE does not like b/c he may NOT aprove it after I buy it. FOOEY on that!

  4. This would really look frumpy on me. Maybe I’m just too petite. I can’t imagine it looking elegant on anyone who doesn’t have a coat hanger model body.

    • Meriweather :

      Agreed, although not sure coat-hanger is necessary. I think it would maybe be okay on someone tall, athletic, and small-racked. But even then, I’m not sure it would be more flattering than a more typical (shorter, waisted) jacket — it would just be okay.

      • MissJackson :

        Yeah, I can’t make anything this long and boxy work. Even long jackets that have more shape don’t really work for me. I’m just too short and I look like I’m playing dress up in my mom’s clothes.

        (I love the “boyfriend sweater” look on other people. But I have the same problem there — I somehow look like I lost 5 inches and gained 20 pounds.)

      • Doesn’t everything look better on someone tall, athletic & small-racked?

  5. PharmaGirl :

    My piperlime order arrived yesterday for the silk blouse featured here last week (Trinity Geo Print Silk Blouse).

    Quick review: I love it! The sleeves are the perfect length for me and the cut in the chest fits my DD boobage without pulling thanks to a little keyhole opening under the bow (not visible in the picture). The body is a bit wide and loose but I can tuck it in and let it blouse out a little. I’ll be wearing it this week, probably with charcoal pants.

  6. I’ve been interviewing around and had a slightly awkward situation yesterday, and wondered what Corporette had to say on it!

    I applied for a job through a recruitment agency and landed an interview, which went extremely well. The second interview a week later was a writing test, which I aced, and a business financial test (analysing a balance sheet), which I failed pretty spectacularly – no surprise as I don’t have experience or frankly much interest in that field. I thought from the fact it had been such a big part of the test that the job was going to focus a lot on corporate finance, and that I wasn’t a good fit for it, and wrote it off in my head.

    However, the company asked me back for a third, final interview. I went along to see whether it was as finance-heavy as I’d thought, and ended up sitting what felt like an oral exam on business finance in front of a three-person hiring panel! I flubbed most of the questions, although I gave (what I thought were) good answers for the ones I did have a clue about. After a few minutes of more ‘normal’ questions (what’s your management style like, tell me about how you got promoted at CurrentJob, etc) the hiring manager took me aside and basically said (extremely nicely), “This isn’t really a good fit for where you want to go with your career, is it?”

    I wasn’t sure how to handle it as I’ve always been trained to be positive in interviews, no matter what. However, the fact was that it *was* a bad fit, and we both could see it – nothing wrong with either me or the company, we just weren’t right for each other.

    What do you do when it’s clear the job isn’t right but the interview is still going forward? I’m rethinking my stick-it-out sunny-side-up approach as it would have saved me 20 minutes of embarrassment as I scrambled for answers in front of the hiring panel!

    I once just knew I didn’t want a job within about 30 seconds of sitting down at the table with the interviewer, and I had no idea how to handle that either. Interrupting her to say “Thanks for your time, but I’ve decided…nah” seems really rude, but so does wasting everyone’s time!

    • Surprisingly frank on the part of the hiring manager. I agree it’s awkward but I can’t say I haven’t wanted to do it myself. We get a lot of people who apply because they want to work at this institution but don’t really have any way of expressing why they want the specific job they have applied for.

      It sounds like you knew it was a bad fit (good for you for having that insight) and there might have been a way for you to politely excuse yourself from the rest of the interview, but for what it’s worth, I don’t think you handled it badly.

      • Yes, I was really pleased she came out and said it as I’d been thinking it myself since the previous week but wasn’t sure how to politely excuse myself without creating a bad or weird relationship with the company for the future.

        When I’d seen the job posting it looked a lot more focused on macroeconomics (which I do have a fair bit of experience in), so it was partially down to the job description being a bit vague and me only figuring out how business-heavy it was on the interview. I did get on very well with the hiring manager and the team, and I’d be thrilled if a job more in line with my skills and interests came up there – it was just very difficult to figure out how to preserve that while I was clearly not right for the job (and vice versa)!

    • If I had my wits about me, which I don’t know if I would have after a crazy interview, and someone pulled me aside like that, I would hope to say something like

      “you and I both can tell that I’m weak in the business finance this job would require. But I love your organization and what you do. Please keep me in mind for other opportunities.”

      I don’t think you lose much at that point by being honest. They probably really liked you, were disappointed you couldn’t do the finance stuff, and brought you back to make sure that you really couldn’t do it. And you can’t. So being overly positive, bordering on delusional will only hurt your chances in the future. So I think reality based discourse is appropriate.

      • That’s a great way to put it – I did say something like “I really hope you find the right candidate, this is a great team and I’ve enjoyed my interview experience here”, all of which was true. I agree it would have been weird for me to try to sell myself as an expert on something I have so little experience in, but it was really difficult because I’ve always had it drilled into me to never go negative in interviews.

        Your saying that made me realise we both probably went into the third interview to find out whether our impressions were correct: “is she *really* that weak on business finance?” and “is the job *really* that heavy on it?”. I feel a bit better thinking of it as a confirmation rather than just a waste of time!

        • You know, if you’re still interested in the company, it may be worthwhile to say all of this to the hiring manager – that you came to the third interview to determine if the job really was that heavy on business finance, hated to waste their time, but you’re really interested in the company and hope they would keep you in mind for other more appropriate opportunities.

    • This is not exactly the same thing, but I was on a panel interviewing someone once, and we told him the salary at the very beginning of the interview (it had not been posted as part of the advertisement) and once he heard the max salary, he said that it was too low for him and that he did not want to waste everyone’s time, and thanked us for meeting with him and then got up and left. We really appreciated his honesty and did not think badly of him at all.

      • We had advertised the salary (well, minimum, but you should be able to tell from that) for the position I have open and we went through a difficult scheduling process with a candidate who dropped out immediately afterward because the salary was too low. He went as far as sending me data showing me why he thought our salary range was way too low and his reasoning indicated that he didn’t understand the nature of the job/our organization at all. I thought it was pretty nervy.

    • Eloise Spaghetti :

      “Now that I have more information about the fact that the position is more finance heavy than I previously thought and I do not have experience in that area, I do not think it would be a good fit. Thank you for the opportunity.” Stand up, shake hands.

    • karenpadi :

      I don’t think they should have asked you back for the third interview. They dropped the ball on that one.

      I was in a situation where I was interviewing at two firms who work together very frequently for some big clients. 10 minutes into a day-long interview process, I knew I didn’t want to work there. But I wanted to work at the other firm and I knew it was a small world so I made the best of the day and thought of it as networking.

  7. Random, but a friend sent me a copy of Shades of Grey for my kindle… I had no idea what I was getting myself into but I’m hooked.

    And that would be how I ended up staying up til 12:30 reading the damn thing until I finally had to put it down to try to get some semblance of sleep last night.

    • *Fifty Shades of Grey

      • I stayed up all night reading it. And quickly made it through the next two as well. Was slightly uncomfortable, but couldn’t stop reading.

    • For a moment I thought you were referring to “Between Shades of Gray” by Ruta Sepetys, which is an amazing book I recently read and made me cry. Shared it with my mom who also wept. If you’re in the mood for a tearjerker based on modern historical events (more like tragedy under soviet oppression), check that one out too. Highly recommend.

      • I realize the genre is completely different and probably polar opposite…just the name brought to mind this book, if you want a change of pace.

  8. TJ.

    What is the hive’s take on the midi length skirt trend that has recurred? I bought one pn clearence at Old Navy of all places (it is gorgeous and not typical ON fare, IMHO) and aside from wearing it with pretty high heels (to combat stumpy leg look) and a slender fitted top ro balance the slight volume, any other suggestions? Styling, dos/donts, etc?

    • I got a striped one from ON too. I wear it with 3/4 length sleeve t-shirt and heels with a cute belt. I’ve seen some pinterest posts that have a button down or chambray shirt paired with the skirt and booties, which is king of cute, but you have to have long legs. Depends on when/where/what kind of event you are trying to wear it to.

      • I bet its the same skirt! I may try to wear it to work this summer with a fitted t and heels. I work in labor/employment in state government and our summer dress code is pretty relaxed (though heck if i wore sweats and a cardigan i’d be miles ahead of many of the people i work with…!)

        • I switched out the ribbon belt on mine for the yellow “patent leather” one they sell. I got tons of compliments!

    • Woods-comma-Elle :

      I have one, but I struggle with it as I am short (so even with heels it really cuts into my legs). I find it’s easier to pull off with a flowy skirt, I think and I agree that I would then probably style it with something relatively form-fitting so as not to look wider and therefore even shorter. Also I would probably steer clear of very high necklines (within reason!)

      One thing I would maybe think about is a higher hairdo, like a beehive/french twist or something, that would add height at the top.

      Also, I just went through to your blog and your dog is super cute!

    • viclawstudent :

      Is it one of the Old Navy ones that’s a sort of very light, swingy satiny material w/ a stretchy waist-band in the back and a flat waist-band in front? If so, I bought two of them (the blue and the grey) at Old Navy because they were gorgeous and comfortable and $10, and I love ‘em. I’ve styled them with flats and a casual sweater – kind of a “off hours ballerina” sort of look, maybe? – but I don’t really worry about the stumpy effect because my legs are already so short compared to my torso that it’s impossible to avoid looking a little lopsided. On the other hand, I’d probably avoid wearing them with boots – I think that would make the skirt look like you just bought it too short.

      I do mostly wear it the way you describe – heels, usually with fun pantyhose (ie fancy fishnet or lace), because it adds visual interest between the end of the skirt and the shoe, and a nice slim top.

    • I think midi skirts are unflattering on 90% of the population and I really dislike the trend for that reason. They look fine if you have very skinny legs and/or are tall.

      However, is this old navy skirt long enough that it might be more of a maxi skirt on a petite girl?

  9. Diana Barry :

    This is very odd-looking – I’d have to see it to figure out if it looked nice or not!

    I think half the problem is the way they’ve styled it – I can’t STAND this kind of pleated skirt, it gives me bad 80s vibes. If your tummy pooches out even 1″ from where the skirt hits, voila! Instant fatty!

    • agree completely – the blazer actually looks pretty nice on the direct link, but completely shapeless in the photo above.

  10. Legally Brunette :

    Speaking of blazers, can anyone recommend a fitted, short(ish) blazer to wear over a sheath dress? Black or white, ideally. I’m 5’5, and all of the blazers I have tried on all looked too long over a dress. Links to specific blazers would be great, thanks!

  11. Threadjack: thanks to Kat’s inspiring posts, I’ve been trying to wear more of my jewelry rather than sticking to same pieces day in/day out. This has made me realize I need a better way to store/organize my jewelry. I have a fair amount (mainly fun costume pieces, but also some decent pieces I would like to be well-protected). I’ve been looking for a good quality jewelry chest (and by chest, I mean something with several levels and several organizing spaces that is at least 1 ft deep by 1.5 ft wide) — something that I would want to keep for a long time, and even grow into. I can’t seem to find what I am looking for. I’d like something wood that I could display on a dresser top. Most of what I see is cheap fake wood laminate, and/or too small. Does anyone have anything like this, and could you recommend where I might find/buy one? I’m willing to pay for a decent piece; I just can’t seem to find what I am looking for, and I thought the Corporettes out there might have needed something similar!

    • Totes McGotes :

      Lori Greiner makes a line of fabulous organizers. I know you’re looking for a tabletop one (she has those too), but I’m obsessed with my full-length mirrored chest!

    • Reed and Barton make beautiful jewelry chests. I’ve had mine for 20+ years and just got one for my daughter, which I expect her to have or a very long time as well. You can find them on Ross Simon or amazon.

    • I hated all the jewelry cabinets I found, so I went to an import furniture store that had a lot of Asian-inspired wood furniture and found an old Chinese herbal medicine cabinet in red and black with brass handles. It’s about 5′ high and has about 20 small drawers (2 across and 10 down). Inside the small drawers I put in ice cube trays to store my earrings and rings and silverware organizers for my necklaces. It keeps my jewelry well organized and is a pretty cool piece of furniture to have for less than $200.

    • I would recommend looking on Etsy–you could probably get something not cheap, but at least less than a lot of stores, and probably more unique/nicer! I mostly only have earrings, so I bought a rack from an Etsy seller that screws into the wall and then has lots of notches and holes to hold the earrings–since they’re out on display it’s easier to pick among them and remember which ones I have!

    • Crate and barrel, pottery barn and red envelope.

    • My Jewelry Storage Secret :

      I keep all my jewelry on 3 thread holders (super cheap at Walmart) on a shelf in my walk-in closet. The spokes on the thread holders allow me to drape necklaces, bracelets and watches so they are easy to find. I’ve woven a few pieces of yarn through the spokes to drape dangle earrings and I’ve nestled a pieces of velvet wrapped cardboard between the spokes to display stud earrings. I’ve separated my pieces by color – one thread holder holds all my gold, the other my silver pieces and the third my colorful costume items. It works because everything is easy to see and I can select pieces to match my outfits as I pull them from the closet. I still have several go-to pieces that I use on a daily basis but this set up makes it easy to mix things up when I’m feeling feisty! ;) Shh… don’t tell anybody! :)

  12. Former MidLevel :

    Can anyone recommend good books for my 4- and 7-year-old nieces? The 4-year-old loves dinosaurs and the 7-year-old has announced to Grandma that she is “ready for chapter books,” but I’m not really sure where to start.

    • Magic Tree House! They have all kinds of adventures, and there are some about dinosaurs. It is an awesome chapter book series but still has pictures and can be read out loud.

      When I worked at a large bookstore chain, a lot of girls in that age group really like the Rainbow Fairies series and the like. The Mercy Watson stories are cute as well.

      • My 7yo daughter LOVES Magic Treehouse books! She also enjoys reading book by Roald Dahl and Beverly Cleary.

        My other daughter is 5, but since she’s more of a “Fancy Nancy” and “Pinkalicious” fan and not much into dinosaurs, I don’t know how much help I can be. Two books we all love to read together are “Cluck O’Clock” and “Cinder Edna” – both are available on Amazon.

    • Always a NYer :

      What about the Cam Jansen (?) series for the 7-year-old? They’re about this girl detective and I remember really liking those in 2nd and 3rd grade.

      • Meriweather :

        Oh, I loved those books. Also Encyclopedia Brown. (Don’t remember exactly what age I read them at, but early grade school is probably right.)

    • For the 7 year old – at the risk of opening the Pandora Box, I’d try The American Girl books. They are short, chapter books, and historical, but have all of the (expensive) doll tie ins, if the 7 yo ever got wind of that. Otherwise…Little House on the Prairie? I’m trying to remember what I was reading in 3rd grade…

    • The first Betsy-Tacy book (by Maud Hart Lovelace) should be appropriate for the 7 year old. And then you can buy her the rest as she gets older. I agree with Magic Tree House and Cam Jansen. I think I also read a lot of American Girl and Boxcar Children books around that age.

      • In House Counsel :

        2nd the Betsy-Tacy rec (waves to Lynnet) and also Mrs. Piggle Wiggle or the Ramona Quimby books

        • Love Betsy-Tacy!

          They’re old fashioned, but what about B is for Betsy? There are a million sequels and those were some of my early beloved chapter books.

    • Harriet the Spy? I loved that book.

      • yes, Harriet the Spy! Ramona Quimby, the Fudge books by Judy Blume, American Girl, Bobsy Twins, and Boxcar Children series were also favorites. I liked Anastasia Krupnik (see: handle), but I’ve since learned that some parents have sought to have those banned for a variety of reasons and your older neice may be just a leeetle young for them still.

        Dinosaurs: Magic Schoolbus. :) Also, I loved a series called “I Wonder Why…” I’m not sure whether there’s a dinosaur one, but they’re great books for curious kids.

        I have never heard of Magic Tree House or Cam Jansen… I’m going to have to go look for those.

        • People are banning Anastasia Krupnik? WHY? I loved those books.

          • Meriweather :

            Maybe offended by nose-bellybutton-left nipple-right nipple?

          • From wikipedia: The Anastasia Krupnik series was 29th on the American Library Association’s “The 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990–2000″[1] for reasons such as references to beer, Playboy Magazine, and a casual reference to a character wanting to kill herself. The series was also criticized because one novel of the series featured Anastasia replying to a personal ad and lying about her age and her life to an older man; however, the two never have any romantic experiences and when they meet, the man has no idea Anastasia is the woman to whom he had been writing.

            Seriously?! I don’t remember ANY of those things from the book. Things I do remember: her dad was a poet, her little brother Sam was hilarious, she fell in love with the house that had a tower bedroom, she accidentally dyed her dad’s shirts purple, and she couldn’t be in the club with all the girls whose names ended with “i.” Funny how adults fixate on such different things than kids…

          • I have always wanted a house with a tower, ever since I read that book!

        • Oh I LOVED the Boxcar Children! I was just going to mention that and saw it in your post. I was also really into Nancy Drew, the Babysitter’s Club (I can’t remember if that or the “spinoff” series told through the younger stepsister would be better for a 7 year old), and the Sweet Valley Twins.

          Edit: Amazon tells me BSC is for 8 and up and Babysitter’s Club Little Sister is for 4 and up. So that could be something fun for the older sister to read the older version and younger sister to read the Little Sister version, and then the 4 year old can step up to the older version in a few years.

    • Ooh, I just went through this!
      For the 7 year old who is ready for chapter books, I would highly recommend The Night Fairy by Laura Amy Schlitz; also the Pippi Longstocking books (Astrid Lindgren, the author, has written a bunch of other seriously fabulous kids’ books, all of which I adored at that age. My super faves were: Ronia, the Robber’s Daughter, Happy Times in Noisy Village and Kalle Blomquist [if you can find an english translation]).

      For the 4 year old into dinosaurs, I would get some cool kids’ encyclopedias on the subject. I think kids really dig that sort of thing. There’s also a very popular book for kids that age called How do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight, which was a big hit with my cousin’s son when he was around 3-4. I think there might be other books in that How do Dinosaurs series, too.

      • Aims: Wonderful to learn that someone else loves Ronia, the Robber’s Daughter and other, less known, Astrid Lindgren books. I read it aloud to my niece when she was little, and she still reads it when she visits “for old time’s sake” although she’s in her teens now.

        • Oh my god, I wanted to be Ronia! That’s such a nice bonding experience with your niece :)

          • Oh! Me too. Ronia is my favorite, although I love them all.

            Anyone else like Tove Jannsson’s (sp?) Moomin books?

    • When my sister and I were about those ages, my mother began her campaign of having us read every book that won the Caldecott and Newbury awards. It was a lot of really wonderful reading. The subject matter was broad and opened our imagination and thoughts of the world. The writing was lovely and helped us learn to write.

      For 7 years old, I also would suggest:

      Harriet the Spy
      Mrs. Piggly-Winkle
      Little House in the Big Woods (and then she can read the whole series)
      All of a Kind Family (ditto)

      I am 20+ years older than my next set of half-siblings, and I took tremendous pleasure in being the one who bought them most of their books. I did it based on the Caldecott and Newbury lists and the ALA list of banned books (as they got older). You have a wonderful experience ahead of you.

      • I have lovely memories of my dad reading my siblings and me a chapter or two of the “Little House books” before bed every night for years. We went through the whole series together. (although I read ahead on my own). I think we started when my youngest sibling was about 4. Great suggestion!

      • Also look at the Main Street series, Sisters Grimm, and things along those lines
        yay books!

      • Oh yes, I was completely addicted to the Little House books at age 7. Highly recommended. I think I started the Narnia books shortly after that as well, so you might consider those too.

    • Former MidLevel :

      Thank to everyone for the great suggestions! I really appreciate it.

      • My 5 year old loves to read the Fairy series by Daisy Meadows (I think). There are various series – the Jewel Fairies, the Weather Fairies, the Rainbow Fairies – she devours them. Pretty fluffy, but I think a 7 year old would like them, and the protagonists are pretty spunky.

        • oh, and I also loved the Little House on the Prairie series when I was 7, like the poster below. I hope my daughter will be reading those once she graduates from the Fairies and Magic Tree House books. :-)

    • Barrister in the Bayou :

      I was a pretty advanced reader at age 7, but I really enjoyed Laura Ingalls Wilder and the Little House on the Prairie series and I think that Dr. Seuss books would be perfect for the 4 year old.

      • I have a 7-year-old and she loves lots of the books listed here (Betsy-Tacy, Little House, Magic Tree House though that was bigger among her and her friends last year, Pippi Longstocking), B is for Betsy, Boxcar Children). A few others not mentioned yet: Half-Magic (Edward Eager), the Clementine books by Sarah Pennypacker, and definitely the Ivy and Bean books by Annie Barrows, which are utterly delightful.

    • Beverly Cleary books are great. The box car children. Even some early Judy Blume — Fudge and Super Fudge.

      • Let’s not forget Charlottes Web and The Trumpet of the Swan. My daughter, age 8.5., loves the Sisters Grimm series, and also enjoyed A Secret Garden and The Little Princess.

        I’d stay away from the Magic Treehouse series. It’s OK, but very formulaic.

    • So many great suggestions! When I was in early elementary school, I love the Little House on the Prairie books. There’s also a series now about Laura’s daughter Rose. I also remember enjoying Nancy Drew, Baby-Sitter’s Club, Trixie Belden, Bobsy Twins, Sweet Valley Twins, and A Wrinkle in Time (and its sequels).

    • For the 7 year old, Rainbow Fairies. I didn’t really want to like them but they are adorable chapter books and they keep coming out with new ones so even if she’s read some of them, it’s unlikely that she’s read them all. For the 4 year old, Elephant and Piggy series by Mo Willems.

    • Posting just to second:
      * Little House on the Prairie books (the first is “Little House in the Big Woods”)
      * Betsy-Tacy books (the first is “Betsy-Tacy”)
      * Encyclopedia Brown
      * The Boxcar Children (this is a whole series too)
      * Anastasia Krupnik
      * “B is for Betsy” (this is the first “chapter book” my elementary school librarian handed to me) and the others in this series (one is “Little Eddie”)
      * “Half-Magic” (and other Edward Eager books)

      And to add:
      Noel Streatfeild’s “Shoes” books — Ballet Shoes, Dancing Shoes, Theatre Shoes, Skating Shoes, Circus Shoes, Movie Shoes, Tennis Shoes, etc.
      Jeanne Birdsall, “The Penderwicks” (plus the two additional books in the series)
      Helen Cresswell’s Bagthorpe series — the first is “Ordinary Jack.” It might be hard to find these, as I believe they are out of print. But hopefully libraries have them! They’re hysterically funny.
      Joan Aiken, “The Wolves of Willoughby Chase”

      Plus my two favorite Newbery winners:
      The Westing Game
      The Witch of Blackbird Pond

  13. First World Problems :

    I’ve been married for two years, and in the last 2-3 months I’ve begun having a lot of problems with my ring finger. Specifically, when I wear my engagement and wedding band together, my skin has been getting scabby and irritated where the rings come together. I’ve tried the following: taking the rings off at night, washing & rinsing the rings each day, wearing them on my right hand every other day (caused the problem to begin on my right hand, too).
    However, it’s definitely the combination of both rings on my finger at the same time – if I wear just one ring for a few days (either), then the issue goes away.

    It’s getting to the point where it’s very bothersome during the day, and so I only wear one ring. The rings come as a set in such a way that I can wear the engagement ring alone, but it looks funny to wear the wedding ring along. Has anyone else had this problem? Right now I’m wearing my engagement ring only, but I feel a little bit silly and also I feel very guilty that I’m not wearing the wedding band that my husband spent a pretty decent amount on.

    To clarify, these are very, very nice platinum rings from Tiffany’s – everything I have googled suggests cheap metal, etc, but that’s definitely not the issue here. Has anyone else had this problem? Is there a lotion or cream that might alleviate this issue? I wore both rings without issue for a year and a half.

    • Could it be a seasonal weather issue? I know my hands have got a lot drier in the past few weeks.

    • Could you get the rings soldered together?

    • It is possible you may have developed an allergy to the metal in the rings. It may also just be eczema or some other kind of skin condition brought on by the irritation of the two rings together. I had a similar issue wearing a watch all the time. It caused a rash on my wrist. I found that hydro-cortisone helped. Also try taking the rings off when you wash your hands, as soap may be getting trapped underneath the rings and causing irritation.

    • Also in Academia :

      This happens to me too. I’ve been taking them off at night or on the weekends if I’m home for a while (I hate going out without them) and using Neosporin on the wierd rash. Also cortisone cream, if it’s itchy. Both have worked OK!

    • Springtime :

      It’s probably sweat and other stuff that accumulates between the rings throughout the day. Sounds like it’s causing you to get eczema, which can show up at any time even if you didn’t have this problem before. I get it randomly on the side of my middle finger- i never wear rings, there is no reason for it, but routine (now I am down to only when I notice it flare up again) application of hydrocotisone (sp) seems to help.

      I would suggest applying hydrocortisone cream on the area 1-2 daily, then putting your rings on.

    • When that happens to me, it’s usually just dermatitis. Make sure you use moisturizing handsoap. You could be getting that drying soap under your rings.

    • Could you wear one ring on each hand? I have seen this from time to time.

    • Tiffany & Co. :

      The dermatologist will probably say you need new rings. I would definitely call Tiffany; I bet they have experience with this and may have a corporate practice (buy back the original if you replace through them? etc).

    • Have you really cleaned the rings themselves (not just with soap and water when you wash your hands), or considered getting them professionally cleaned by a jeweler?

    • Is it possible that there are materials in the rings that react to each other when worn together and cause an allergic reaction? Or possible the rings have degraded somehow after being worn for a year and a half and exposed an allergen? What you describe definitely sounds like an allergy or sensitivity to something in the rings.

      Its also possible that when you wear both rings more stuff gets trapped under them (especially if you don’t take them off when washing your hands or put them back on before they’re 100% dry) and that’s causing some sort of reaction, but I can’t see why that would happen with both rings but not with one worn alone.

    • Did they change the hand soap at your office? Industrial strength pink soap caused this problem for me . When the soap supplier changed, the problem went away. Make sure you rinse thoroughly and if you can bring your own soap, even better. Cortisone might improve the rash.

    • I had something similar to this too. I think mine was being caused by moisture being trapped between my finger and rings. I started taking my rings off at night to let my fingers breathe and used Lotrimin – and it cleared up. Hope that helps!

    • I had this too! I went ringless for 2 weeks or so until it healed 100%. Then I went back to wearing them with the following limitations –
      1.) As soon as I change out of my work clothes at night the rings come off unless I am going out w/ people other than just my husband to the grocery store.
      2.) I do not sleep in the rings.
      3.) I think this is the most important – I do not exercise in them!!! I bring them in an eyeglass case to the gym and I lock them in my gym locker with a very heavy duty lock. (I feel this is safer than leaving them locked in my car.) I also make sure no one is looking when I take the rings out of the eyeglass case to wear them after showering. If people are around, I wait until I’m back to my car. I wear one pair of glasses to work out and another to work so if anyone is watching people to decide what to steal they would think that the eyeglass case in my locker just contains junk work out glasses.
      4.) I do not shower with my rings on ever and take them off if I use lotions.
      5.) This one is not going to be popular. I have cut down on washing my hands significantly. It has made a huge difference. Part because the space between the rings was staying wet and part because I’m allergic to dyes in tons of soaps. If I get some food on my hands at lunch, I rinse them, NO SOAP and thoroughly dry. Obviously there are times I must still wash my hands, and I do, but I’ve cut it back to the necessary only.

      My problems completely went away. If I slip up on any of the above, they come back with a vengeance.

    • I get that off and on. It’s from hand washing – water trapped under the rings, and yes, I dont get it if I only wear my engagement ring, and it’s only a problem in winter. You have to take your rings off before or after you wash your hands, then don’t put them back on until both your finger and your rings are thoroughly dry.

      For me, this is a recipe for forgetting my rings in the ladies room, so I wash my hands with them on, then go back to my office and dry them with a kleenex, then apply hand lotion and put them back on.

      On the occasion I do get a rash, I leave my rings off and apply hydrocortisone cream until it clears up.

      All of this advice is from my dermatologist.

    • a passion for fashion :

      this happened to me about the same length into my marriage (though right after our first baby was born, so i thought maybe it had to do with that). After lots of crack internet research, I decided it is something called wedding ring dermititis. In any event, here is how i handled it:

      dont wear the rings until your finger is better (or wear them on the other hand). Once better, wear them during the day, take them off at night, and dont put on until after your shower in the morning. 5 years later, this is still working. Although I will say that initially, I tried all the things you are doing and it took a few months to really get better.

  14. New and intriguing allergies have a way of showing up in your late 20s into your 30s. I already had some when I was younger, and they’ve been getting worse over the years. I’d suggest going to a dermatologist. In the meantime, and to be used sparingly, Hydrocortisone 1% lotion (drugstore) will probably help relieve the discomfort and any visible irritation.

    Unfortunately it’s possible that you may need to get new rings, depending on what kind of results you get from the dermatologist. I’m sorry, and I feel you.

  15. I was recently diagnosed with a vitamin B12 deficiency and prescribed a series of shots (1 per week for 6 weeks). I’ve had 2 shots thus far and don’t really feel any different.
    Has anyone ever had vitamin B12 shots? If so, did you notice any changes right away? Not for a while? Never?

    • I’m curious about this too. I recently had one shot and didn’t really feel different either. Except…later I worked out and kind of felt like I had more energy. But I’m not sure it was because of the shot or because I’ve been working out. I also lost like 3 lbs over the next three days, but again…don’t know if it was the shot or because I’ve been working out. On the other hand, I’ve continued working out and haven’t been back for another shot (the 1st was just on the 17th of March) and have only lost another lb or so. I haven’t been as good about watching what I eat though.

      Long story short, I did see some benefits but I don’t know if they’re coincidence, placebo, etc…

      However, I have one more that’s pre-paid and I think I’m going to try to find somewhere local and cheap to continue them.

    • PharmaGirl :

      Do you mind if I ask what led to the diagnosis? I have been reading up on this based on a few symptoms over the past year but the symptoms could be a sign of many different things (or nothing at all). Just curious how you ended up on the path to B12.

      • I get regular blood work and it showed up on the results. B12 must be part of the regular blood chemistry panel because my doctor did not set out looking for it/thinking there was a problem.

    • I take sublingual B12 tablets (sold at Costco) and feel so. much. better. when I take them. I started taking them for bad circulation and find I just feel more energized and lively overall when I take them.

      • karenpadi :

        This. Apparently a B12 deficiency runs in my family on my mom’s side. The symptoms are like the symptoms for anemia and iron supplements were helping a little but not solving the problem. Now, I take 25oo mcg every day and feel much better.

      • Ooh, I’m glad you mentioned this. I hadn’t yet checked if I could get them as a tablet.

    • I think it varies by person, and what you should expect depends on the severity of your symptoms beforehand. FWIW, my father’s B deficiency was so severe that he’d been misdiagnosed with MS; he said his first shot made him feel dramatically and almost instantly better.

      • My doctor mentioned that he has had older patients who came to his practice with diagnoses of dementia – but blood tests revealed severe vitamin B12 deficiency. Their “dementia” was reversed with B12 injections.

        I wasn’t exhibiting signs of dementia (at least, I don’t think so!) so that could explain why I have not noticed any dramatic changes.

      • I went to the doctor because I thought I had MS (I’m a worst case scenario kind of person) and ended up being diagnosed with a B12 deficiency. But to answer the OPs question, I didn’t feel that much different after getting the shots, it was just that the neuropathy and such went away. I didn’t feel some sudden boost of energy or lose weight or become fabulous or anything.

        However, it’s very important to treat a B12 deficiency, because it can do permanent damage to your nervous system if it goes untreated.

    • I have had shots before and I love them. I don’t have a deficiency but I generally feel much better and more energetic and focused after. My mom has a B 12 deficiency and when she first got one after the diagnosis, she said she felt like ten years lifted off her life.

  16. Anon for this :

    Does anyone else go through phases where you’re just depressed about the nature of work in general? I have a perfectly fine job (for a lawyer) with reasonable bosses and I make plenty of money. But lately (and especially today) I just get so burnt out by the idea that I’m going to have to go to work every day for the next 30 years. I hate that I’m going to spend the best hours of the best years of my life at work, instead of spending them with my family or doing things that I love. Does anyone else ever go through this? Any suggestions on getting past it? It’s not like I have some alternate dream to pursue – I really just don’t want to work very much at all. Honestly, the idea of just dropping out and doing a part time contract position sounds really tempting, but then who knows how I would afford to pay my bills. Any advice or encouragement?

    • Yes, I was just thinking something along the same lines the other day. But thinking about anything “as for the rest of my life” can get pretty overwhelming. Andas I found out during my maternity leave last year, even not working isn’t all cracked up to be either.

      But if you really want to work less, take a hard look at your spending priorities. The book “Your Money or Your Life” might be a good place to start or check out some personal finance blogs – a lot of them are oriented to a frugal audience.

    • Woods-comma-Elle :

      Yes, definitely feeling this at the moment having to work (and having about 10000 things on) while my parents are in town.

    • When was your last vacation, and when is your next one scheduled? Only partially kidding – get other stuff on your schedule so you have something besides work to look forward to.

      And remember that working is the thing that allows you to enjoy doing things with your family otherwise. And helps you to feel like a productive member of society.

      But yes, you are not alone. Work is just…work sometimes.

      • Anon for this :

        I actually have a nice vacation coming up at the end of the month, but I think it’s also contributing to the problem, because I’m already thinking about coming back from vacation and not having another vacation to look forward to!

        • I feel ya. I took a two week vacation in end of Oct/beginning of Nov. When I got back I got the offer to start at my current job. I’m on probation for 1 year, and can’t use vacation time. Then, the beginning of the year is a pretty busy time for this job. It was so great being on vacation, but knowing that due to these time constraints it’s going to be almost 2 years before another one??? Ack! (I know, 1st world problems and all that, some people don’t actually take vacations. I do.)

          I just try to appreciate every moment of the weekend and pack lots of stuff into my evenings.

    • I feel this way too. And I have a decent job for a lawyer, reasonable bosses and hours and make good money. I don’t have any good advice as I’m trying to figure out this out myself but just wanted you to know that you’re not alone.

      • Thirded. I enjoy my job, have great coworkers and boss, but sometimes I look out my window at the people running by in the sunlight at 10am (ps who are these people and how do they have time to go running at 10am on a weekday!) and wonder why I’m wiling away my life indoors slaving over a computer screen.

        Then I go to Mint.com and look at my student loans.

        Seriously though, work is work, it’s not always fun. Sometimes you have to just work to live not live to work. And taking a quick walk in the sunshine at lunch once in a while doesn’t hurt!

        • Anon for this :

          Yes! Just today on my way into work, I saw a woman about my age going running along the river with her dog. Who is she and why does she get to hang out with her dog at 9 a.m. on a Tuesday?

          • Yes, I was gonna add: every time I have a day off I notice ppl having leisurely lunches, shopping and just generally chilling. Who has all this downtime?! It’s not just tourists, I know that much. Is everyone rich, or unemployed and overcharging their cards?

          • PittsburghAnon :

            It’s possible that these people are just so rich they don’t have to work, but more likely (a) she’s unemployed, or (b) she is in a field where she works odd hours (e.g. health care). Thinking about that quashes the envy pretty quick.

          • Eloise Spaghetti :

            Bartender, nurse. For those who have really good health insurance, bartending nurse?

            I feel the same way as you. Men are better at compartmentalizing this stuff than us. The only way I have been able to deal is by planning stuff. Right now I have not planned anything and it is really wearing on me.

          • I was on my way to an ebt this morning and wondered the same thing when I saw some people in running clothes having a post-run coffee. So not fair.

          • It could be so many things — maybe she’s a grad student; unemployed; self-employed (and does her best work in the afternoons/in the evenings/at 2am); a freelancer; a server, barista, bartender, baker or chef; a more senior attorney with no face time so she gets in at 11am (or just worked through the last weekend); a trophy wife; a nurse, doctor, paramedic or firefighter; on a staycation!

          • Ooh, just thought of another big category — one of my close friends is a massage therapist. Her weekends are Sunday-Monday, because many of her clients would like to schedule services for Saturdays. I imagine this could be true of many other service professions — stylists, salon people, nannies, etc. — plus all of retail.

          • Well, and full disclosure, I work near a peace officer academy, so I’m pretty sure some of the guys running by my window are in school there. And I know school can have bizarre hours. I will say, seeing these guys run by makes me feel old. Because not one of them is even in dating range for me. Sigh. (And I’m in a committed relationship!)

            I guess when I was in school I was always either at school or working. I exercised at school too, it was just easier. It’s not for everyone.

            Most of them are probably odd-hour workers. I’m just always amazed at how much time other people seem to have. But you never know until you walk a mile in their shoes. I’ve been lucky enough to “lounge” around in San Diego for a couple hours…because I was on a business trip and my flight was delayed and it screwed up the rest of my day and most of the time I was on the phone anyway. I once got so irritated at a flight delay I went ahead and took the 6 mile walk from the airport to Seaport and back. Unfortunately, I was wearing regular work clothes since I didn’t think I would have time. My feet hurt for DAYS.

          • Oh, also I have a friend who is also an attorney and she fits in a run at lunch every day. She may not take lunch at lunch, but whenever she does, she runs. I have never EVER had the kind of job where that would even be possible, nor do I have the face for it. I get extremely red for hours after working out, I don’t even like to work out in the mornings due to it. But for her…and people probably wonder the same about her.

          • AND I once saw someone out running (and clearly exercising, not from the po-po) at 3am. (Don’t ask me what I was doing up.) I get that some people are on different schedules that me/the rest of the corporate world, I’m just jealous they have time/schedule to sit in the sun and have a cuppa joe with a friend on a random Tuesday morning.

        • Are you in SoCal? I have wondered this for ages, along with why traffic is bad all day. Unemployment is higher, and some people have flexible job schedules. Others are required to run for their job as personal trainers, athletes, actors, and the like.

          • agree with the flex schedulign thing – i have to be inthe office from noon to 9 every day, so i often go for a run around 10 am or so. I often pass people in thier work clothes and wonder if they think i’m a total slacker or something….haha, this answers that question!

          • Anonymous NYer :

            Yes I always wonder why traffic is bad all day. I oftentimes go into the office at a normal morning hour, but then have an 11:30 court appearance in the city or something. Who are all these non-delivery truck people driving into the city at that time?

          • I am always so jealous when I go out during the day and there are people enjoying their lives! I remember staying home to study for the CPA exam and going outside in the middle of the day and the streets were still full of cars! Why wasn’t everyone at work? Traffic is actually worse getting to my apartment from work during lunch than after work.

    • I do sometimes think like this, but then I look back on times when I didn’t have a job to go to every day, and I realize that I am much happier having some structure to my time, having a place to go every day, a reason to get dressed up, and people to talk to. Even though I don’t love my actual job, I couldn’t imagine being happy without one. Of course, your personality may be totally different from mine, but it’s worth considering what your life would be like without a job. After the first couple of weeks, would you really like it?

      • I agree. I don’t love my job, but if I’m honest with myself, I know that I wouldn’t be any happier if I was a trust-fund baby with no need to work. I think that would make me depressed, honestly. It’s nice to be plugged in to a community, have structure to my week, and to feel like I’m doing something productive.

    • I am with you fellow Corporette, I am working 2 years out of law school and already feel that way. I work 11 hours a day and get paid well enough (not biglaw, so much less relaxed, mostly face time politics require my presence here), but wish I had more spare time. I wish I could take long lunches, go to the gym regularly, shop, get a mani-pedi, take long strolls and just chill instead of wasting my youth away in an office. Being limited to nights and weekends to ‘live my life’ (i.e. do the things that bring me joy) seems like a very abridged life, not to mention that everything is crowded or closed on my free time.

      Sorry to be such a Debbie Downer about it, but I commiserate on this front for sure.

      • i feel the same way. but I’ve also noticed that I feel this way about once every two months, usually when (1) I am working such long hours I can’t eat meals or speak to my husband or (2) I have quiet days at work and have too much time to think. I give a decent life and make good money and only work weekends when there’s a serious emergency. Yet, it feels unfair to have to live my real life only on weekends or late evenings when every single place is so crowded or closed. I also live in a very central manhattan neighborhood (that I love) that just has way too much pedestrian and street traffic on weekends and evenings, so it makes me want to stay in even during my off time. One way I’ve found to cope is to disappear to go run errands during the middle of a work day, but even then I only am able to implement that plan maybe one day a month.

        • Ditto x 1,000 =/

          • plus — it doesn’t help that many (not all) senior lawyers around here are always “working from home”… makes me feel like I’m missing something?

            Last year I had a great summer with low billables which I could afford because I had a busy beginning of the year. I look leisurely walks over lunch and went to the library during the work day. But then it hit November and I realized I forgot to take any vacation time. How pathetic is that?

          • More pathetic is me, who gave up a job with 5 wks vacation and offering to match my new job’s salary (which is much higher, but 3wks vacay and longer hours), but me taking the new job anyway because I thought it’d help me grow my career. The same things I didn’t like at my last job are present here, plus less down time =( As Ellen would say, PHOOEY on that.

      • “abridged life”. I like that phrase.

    • layered bob :

      I found the book “Quitter” by Jon Acuff helpful – it’s geared towards people who do have another thing they want to do with their lives (I don’t), but I found it very helpful in giving me ways to think about work when I was burnt out. It’s a pretty quick read, but changed my viewpoint on work a lot.

    • Every freaking day. Sorry, no advice, hopefully someone else will have words of encouragement. I could use them also. My solution is to buy lottery tickets, but I’m pretty sure that’s not a good solution.

      • Ada Doom Starkadder :

        About 30 of my coworkers joined the office lottery pool a few days ago when one of the NJ / NY (?) lotteries had a huge “jackpot” of over $600m. I didn’t join, and was thinking that I’d be kicking myself if they all won and didn’t show up for work afterwards.

        They didn’t win and posted their non-winning lottery tickets on kitchen corkboard with some choice comments on them! I felt bad for them. I also think that if they’d all won and quit en masse, I’d have missed them. I get along with them really well and on 90% of the days, I actually look forward to my workday. But that other 10%….

        • That was a US-wide lottery. My SO actually bought a few tickets and induced me to pick some up in out of the way places (he has a theory that the smaller the town the more likely the win). We matched…1 number out of 6 tickets, I think?

          I’ve never been a lottery player, but now that I’m happy in 90% of my life (including usually work!) and can think of any million of things to do to keep myself occupied if I had unlimited funds…it’s darn tempting!

          I do remember a while back there was a big jackpot and a bunch of people in the same government office in a pool in NY or something won. I always wondered what the boss thought when they walked in that next Monday and realized they had to hire ~25 people ASAP!

    • Woods-comma-Elle :

      This reminds me of a conversation I had with my mum and sister some time ago about how your working folks’ attitudes (mine included) have changed to be more about ‘I’m not happy/fulfilled in my job’ rather than ‘I have to do a job, I have this one, I will do it until I die’.

      This is not a judgment on anyone, old or young, but certainly interesting as personal fulfilment is not something that was perhaps so vital to my parents’ generation (some, obviously, but not all e.g. my mother could not undestand why I wanted to go to law school when I already had a job which I hated).

      I think people used to much more often get a job and stay in it until they retire, rather than e.g. change firms/companies/careers. I think we are lucky that we have the latter option (e.g. my dad had to leave school very young to provide for his family), but at the same time it creates frustration when you feel you aren’t getting everything you can out of life. J

      Just some food for thought as it was very interesting how different my mum’s attitude was to mine.

      • This. My husband blames our parents for always telling us we could be whatever we want and to just do what makes us happy. Doing what makes us happy makes no money and then we are not happy. Doing what makes money is no fun and then we aren’t doing what makes us happy and feel we have failed. I am actually pretty happy with my job though I do wish I had more leisure time during the week. He has never found his “fit” still doesn’t know for certain what he wants to “be” and continues to just do the job in front of him while searching for something else.

        • There’s a reason that it’s called “work.”

          • This. Work is work. Fun is fun. If work were fun, we’d call it fun. A couple of hours ago, I was in criminal court and there was a truly pathetic woman there – none too bright, physically unappealing to an extreme, and with hearing problems as well. She was homeless, with no family/friend support system at all. I was reminded to be very grateful for what I have, including and especially a job that I honestly don’t much like most days but which does offer me a decent if not extravagant lifestyle and stability in my life.

        • This x2… except my Mom blames *herself* for telling us this ;o) and i try to reassure her.. while also saying: yes, it is your fault….

      • I also think we’re raised today with the expectation that work will be super-enjoyable, and then when it’s not, we’re surprised. I got that sense from TV, children’s books, conversations with my parents about how I could do whatever I wanted, my college making the same point/listing grads with cool jobs…never occurred to me until I actually started working that most jobs are tedious but you stay at them so you have more options as to how to spend your free time and/or create more options for your offspring.

      • Anon for this :

        I think that’s all well and good, but I also remember my father working a strict 9-to-5 with no weekends or evenings ever, owning a single family home in a good school district with a pool in the backyard, and not being strapped with student loans. I think it’s unfair for our parents’ generation to say that we are brats for not liking our jobs when the game has changed and we have to work so much harder to achieve a standard of living that was achievable on one 40-hour/week salary just a generation ago.

        • Not to mention the unstable nature of the job market and economy these days…and they didn’t exactly have blackberrys or the Internet back then. It’s borderline hubris for the older generations to look down on us for these very legit qualms.

        • I agree with this. When my dad was my age, he bought the house (alone) that he and my mom still live in, in a fantastic school district within walking distance to the beach. He was an engineer and probably made comparable money to what I’m making (taking into account inflation obviously), but I live in a three bedroom apartment with two roommates and it’s unlikely I’ll buy anything in this area unless I get married/move in with a SO because I’ll never be able to afford it on my own and even then I can probably only afford a condo. He worked 40 hours weeks his whole life and was home by 6 for dinner every night when I was growing up. He was on tons of committees and had lots of interests and worked out every morning before work. I haven’t had a day off in over a month and for the last two months Monday-Thursday I’m usually in the office at least 15 hours a day, maybe more, and don’t remember the last time I got proper exercise or ate dinner (or even any meal) at home.

          My dad was bored by his job after 7 very hard years at school, but he stuck it out because that’s what you did. He spent my whole life telling me to get a job that was challenging. Now I have a job that is challenging, but not in a good way.

      • There was an article in the nyt or some other large publication a year or two ago about how attitudes about professions has shifted within the past 50 years. 50 years ago, a job was what you had to do to get by, it was your duty – you went to work so you could have fulfillment outside of your job, whether through your family, hobbies, etc. Now, based on the strength of our economy, the larger number of people going to college and getting professional degrees, and the new availability of non-managerial white collar jobs, jobs are seen as things that should fulfill us in and of themselves. I think there’s also a discussion in there about how different generations of parents are raising their children, but that’s an entirely different can of worms.

      • Ada Doom Starkadder :

        I hear ya, definitely a difference in attitude.

        However, I do feel that people tend to move in the extremes. In our parents’ generation, they were told explicitly and implicitly that it was OK to be unfulfilled in jobs, marriages, families, because that was “how it is.” It was the kind of cultural training to make people be better-behaved cogs in a machine that didn’t really benefit them.

        Our generation is told that everything we do must be fulfilling, and we’re still mostly cogs, but less well-behaved. I try to have some perspective and accept that some things should be fulfilling to me, and other things, maybe not so much.

    • Yep, several times a week. I have so many things I like to do – read, go for walks, e-mail friends, cook – but I work and then in the evenings much of the time am too tired to do them. I don’t even work crazy hours like many of the other posters on here (small law, Midwest), and I work with good people at a job that is relatively interesting. I can hardly imagine doing this for another thirty to forty years.

      I know this should be motivation to me to live frugally so I can retire early, and I kind of do, but I buy more clothes than I need and get takeout way more than I need because those things make me happy, however fleetingly. No good advice here, but you’re not alone at all.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      I think everyone feels like that at some point. That’s what sells so many lottery tickets.

    • I’m 47, have been working almost my entire life, and have 20 years to go if my SSA retirement age is correct. I like what I do and the people I work with, but hell yeah, I’d rather be home walking my dog on a gorgeous day. Everyone would. Also, living in Berkeley, there are many days where I feel like I’m the only person on my block going to work. It sucks to compare yourself to others – it’s a lose-lose – but its also a natural thing to do.

      My husband views work as a means to taking vacation. We use up every day of our vacation allotments. Yes, I know everyone says, “I don’t have time to take all my vacation days!” – i used to say that, too. But because my husband works at a hospital and his team has to schedule vacations 6 months in advance, we’ve become really good about planning when and where we’ll go and sticking to those plans. Taking all of our vacation has not hurt either of us professionally. we’re both rated as (and paid as) top performers at our respective workplaces.

      When I think about the drudgery of going to work every day, I think of my Grandparents and their wheat farm. They worked seven days a week, in all kinds of weather, and all kinds of hours. They did not go on vacation. Work has always existed -we just do it differently now. That makes me a little more appreciative of my air conditioned office and comfortable desk chair.

    • I’m still in school, but I can’t imagine that being a lawyer is enjoyable or fulfilling. It seems like it is mostly going over minor details that do not make a difference in the big picture, but affect legal status. Sometimes I fantasize about moving to Europe (Italy, France) or somewhere that focuses on enjoying life rather than slaving away in an office to make business deals that wont really make a difference other than making people lots of money. I would love to spend my time outside, drinking wine, and doing something meaningful.

      • New Zealand! I was getting pretty serious about emigrating there at one point in my life, because they need and encourage young professionals and it’s GORGEOUS there. But then life happened. My mom actually just visited there and she came back all “you made a serious mistake” by not going. I also met a woman who lived in NZ for 20 years, but it was her husband’s dream and her husband’s job and when he left her she moved back. She regretted moving back, though she wasn’t sure she would have been happy staying there either.

        Anyway, that’s my dream. :-) My SOs is to buy a yacht and sail the world. Or a 5th wheel and explore every nook and cranny of this country. Depending on the day.

    • karenpadi :

      Three words and two words: elaborate exit plan and “attorney rewards”.

      Elaborate exit plans: I have plans to leave this job tomorrow, in the next 3 years, and in the next 8 years. Finances are figured out, alternate career plans are figured out, everything.

      Attorney rewards: things I do to reward myself for being an attorney in the meantime: having a gardener and cleaning lady, jewelry budget, and a monthly massage.

      I have a fantasy to take a 3-6 month sabbatical in the next 2-3 years. I don’t know if it’ll be possible but I am mulling through the idea now.

    • I’ve posted with similar feelings recently, so know that you’re not alone. I really feel like I have wasted away most of my 20s in an office with nothing to show for it (family, a house, significant savings, personal satisfaction, etc) and I can’t imagine living the rest of my life like this. I also would like to just quit my job and do some temping or take a nice extended summer break and work on myself, but when I’ve asked people about that it has not gone over well (but maybe I should stop asking people!) On the other hand, I don’t want to screw up my financial life and never get another job because I was sad in my twenties. I’ve been reading about early retirement over on the Mr. Money Mustache blog, and I like the idea, but I live in such a high cost area that I’m not sure it’s really feasible without giving up more than I want to. I would love to have a little etsy business selling yarn or something, but I know I could never make enough money to live off of that. So here I am still at my job, but at least I’m now too tired to be genuinely miserable.

  17. Double Vent Professional? :

    I recently bought this exact jacket from bloomingdales. It fits nicely from the front, but I am completely confused as to how formal the double vents in the back are. I have been looking for a perfect investment suit for big deal meetings and interviews. Would a jacket with this collar and double vent be appropriate?

    (I ask because when I tried it on for a male friend, he opined that double vents are an accomodation for “husky” sizes only in menswear and not flattering or appropriate for straight sized people.)

    • Former MidLevel :

      I don’t think there is anything inherently unprofessional about either double vents or collarless jackets. I also find that rules for men’s suiting often just don’t apply to women.

    • I’ll also dispute the double vents as being only for men’s husky sizes too. It’s just a style of construction.

    • Double Vent Professional? :

      I appreciate it. This jacket is otherwise quite flattering when paired with matching black slacks.

      • If it’s flattering, go for it! (FWIW, I’ve never heard anything about double vents being associated with any particular size, for men or women.)

    • I have a double vent jacket to one of my suits, and it’s never even occurred to me that it could be construed as less professional. If anything, I think it looks a little bit more so than a single vent (sort of along the same lines as the way a double-breasted suit looks more formal?). It’s a size 2, so it’s not a husky issue. I’d be pretty creeped out by an interview who even noticed the venting in the jacket.

      All that said, I wouldn’t wear a collarless jacket like this one for an interview or court. I’ve heard that they’ve done studies that say that people are taken more seriously if they have collars on. :)

    • I thought of your comment at lunch when I ended up walking behind a slender man in a suit with double vents. He was definitely not husky!

    • a passion for fashion :

      i dispute this double vent theory as well. Double vents are often considered more formal, and certainly these days, they are considered more fashionable.

  18. NYC virgin :

    Threadjack–Suggestions for an NYC hotel? I want it to be very clean and bedbug free, and feel safe there, but I’ll only be there to sleep so don’t really need amenities like bar, spa, or restaurant. This is my first trip, so I don’t have much of an idea of what I’ll need to pay for someplace that isn’t super swanky, but also doesn’t give me flashbacks to communal hostel experiences in college.

    • I always stay at the Marrakech Hotel on the upper west side. It’s near the subway, clean, and relatively affordable. It’s pretty bare bones, and you will have to haul your luggage up the stairs, but it gets the job done as a place to sleep. And most importantly, I’ve never seen it on the bedbug list. I’ll be staying there over the weekend in a couple of weeks, and I think we are paying a little over $200/night.

      • Marrakech is a city in Morocco.. yeaaay
        silly comment but your comment made me smile since I’m moroccan.. OK I’ll move on now..

        • The whole place has a kitschy, fun Moroccan theme. Every time I stay there, I think to myself that I really need to take a trip to actual Morocco. :)

          • :) welcome!
            I’ll be the one crazy lady at the airport waiving a giant “corporette” sign and wearing blue nailpolish and 2 elastic bands on my wrists

    • If you’re OK with staying near Wall Street, the World Center Hotel is frequently available for around $120 after taxes on Hotwire. It’s directly next to the World Trade Center memorial but it’s very clean and about a 3 minute walk to the subway.

    • canadian anon :

      I’ve stayed at the Pod Hotel a couple times (a few years ago) and liked it, just for that purpose of “just there to sleep.” It’s in midtown.

    • Best Western midtown (near times square) was just remodeled and has been getting some press in travel rags. You should also check out NewYorkMagazine’s website because they do a “hidden gem” budget hotel feature about once a year and the places are very well-vetted. Have fun!

  19. Ladies, I need some suggestions for new underwear. I have been wearing various styles and cuts from Victoria’s Secret for the last decade or so, but I’m ready and willing to branch out if you have suggestions that meet the following requirements:

    1. No VPL
    2. Does not ride up
    3. Provides relatively full coverage in the back but is still low rise (bikini, boy short, hiphugger, etc.)
    4. Is not a thong (see #2 and 3)

    I have found that the VS Pink line has some bikinis that mostly fit this profile (waistband and leg band are fairly thin and not super elasticy so they don’t cause too much VPL, but tend to stay in place pretty well throughout the day). I really like their lace-waist hiphuggers, but they do cause a bit of VPL that will be a problem with thin summer dresses and unlined pants.

    • Soma!

      • 2nd and3rd Soma.

      • I’m not familiar with Soma but they look like a good contender based on what I see on their website. Are they available in department stores, or just at their stores? I’m in the DC area.

        • Merabella :

          You can only get them in the Soma stores, or Chicos if there isn’t a Soma attached. These are the best underwear I have ever bought, and I’m never going back to the hackneyed group of undies I had before. They often have buy x pairs get y pairs free. Also join their club, they send you coupons you can use.

    • Jacqueline :

      Have you tried GapBody? They have some that fit all your requirements, and occasionally there are great sales.

    • Legally Brunette :

      Just bought 6 of the VS lace waist hiphuggers and LOVE them! So, so flattering.

    • Anonymous NYer :

      I’m interested in some other recs also. Same 1-4 for the OP, but also, no cotton. For some reason I keep buying cute cotton underwear, which are fine under most pants, but clothing of certain fabrics sticks to the cotton – if you know what I mean. For instance, I have some lightweight knit skirts and dresses and the knit clings to the cotton and keeps it from falling properly, and you can clearly see the indentation the undies make in my lovely hip fat (fwiw, I’m about a size 12 – not plus sized, but def some love handles).

      Also, I know spanx sound like an obvious choice, but I’m just in the market for regular old undies that don’t show or cause visible anythings (panty lines, indentations, whatever).

    • Barrister in the Bayou :

      I’ve recommended it before, but I love the Maidenform The Smooth Bikini Panty.

    • Macy’s sells a “knockoff” version of Hanky Panky’s/those wideband lace thongs VS sells under the “Morgan Taylor” brand and I LIVE in them. I wear them almost exclusively and they’re less expensive than VS but still good quality.

    • Second SOMA. I am generous of back side, and Soma are super comfortable, and have little grippies on the leg holes that mean they never budge and never give me VPL. I order them online

  20. someone I know has and it worked immediately

  21. Hi all — I am relocating to California and need to take the California bar. Does anyone have experience taking the CA bar, particularly while working at the same time? I’m particularly interested in thoughts on the Attorney’s Exam (no Multi-State multiple choice tests, just the essays and performance tests); preparation courses that work for people who are working full-time; and anything I can do in advance to get myself up to speed on California law.

    • I 100% recommend Bar Breaker

      http://www.amazon.com/Bar-Breaker-Vol-Jeff-Adachi/dp/1882278046

      I wasn’t doing the attorney exam but I had recently passed another state’s exam so I wasn’t concerned about the MBE. These books are all you need to pass, I swear. I had at least two friends who failed the exam their first time, got these books and passed the second time.

    • Left coaster :

      I did it recently, while working full-time at a law firm. It was not a walk in the park, but I did it and it worked out fine. I wound up just doing Barbri — maybe I could have gotten away with another, less expensive program, but I was familiar with Barbri from my first test and felt comfortable with it. I would really recommend trying to take at least a couple of weeks off from work before the test. I had to take some unpaid leave, but it was worth it — the CA bar is no joke.

      I hadn’t been practicing long enough to qualify for the Attorney’s Exam, but I was advised that even if I had, I should take the MBE again anyway. The pass rate for the atty’s exam is abysmally low, and the thinking is that the MBE actually brings many people’s scores up. Not sure if this is true or not, but if you are good at the multiple-choice aspect, it may be worth thinking about.

      • Yikes, I hadn’t thought about that. I had really hoped that I’d never have to do the MBE again, but what you’re saying makes a lot of sense :) Did you do the actual classes for BarBri or do it on tape?

  22. devastated :

    Ladies, I need your support/guidance/wisdom. I got married last year. We had a short engagement in part because I was under the impression that my (our) tax burden would be lower if we filed as married. I have the biglaw salary (~$170k, plus bonus), and he has a 1099/independent contractor who wasn’t employed much last year, making less than $25k. For two of my coworkers, when they married their wives who made a lot less money than they did, it resulted in a $10k++ refund. So I thought we would get that, too, and told now-DH that based on what my coworkers told me, we should get that sizeable refund as well. So we pushed to get married in 2011 so we could file jointly for 2011.

    We just got our draft tax return back from the preparer, and our refund is only about $3k. He’s furious that I didn’t actually check with a tax expert to verify that we really would get $10k+ back, basing it instead only on my coworkers’ experiences. I told him at the time, many times, that I was basing my assumption on their experiences. Never said I consulted an expert, and foolishly thought I didn’t need to. He didn’t consult an expert either, says he reasonably relied on me. Now, filing jointly and married, his student loan interest is non-deductible because I make too much, which is no surprise, but where the h3ll is that $10k refund??

    I feel horrible. I’m hurt he was so mean, mad at myself for not thinking to consult an expert like he now says I should have, resentful of a tax system which takes 35% of my income and offers me next to nothing (says this Obama supporter), totally confused because I don’t understand why our experience is apparently different than my co-workers, and really devastated at not getting the $7k+++ I was really expecting to receive. I wish we hadn’t gotten married last year.

    Are there tax websites I can read to try to understand what the h3ll happened? Words of wisdom? I’m pretty much regretting my entire existence right now.

    • Sounds like you’ve had your first big fight, and it’s normally for couples to have fights over money. I think you are both in the wrong. I don’t see why you’d expect a big refund. You get a refund when you’ve overpaid your taxes, usually because you can take advantage of a number of deductions because you have done things like donate to charity, incurred large medical expenses, qualified for the mortgage or student loan interest deduction, etc. Your husband, as an independent contractor, also has a higher percentage tax burden due to the self-employment tax. It sounds like you don’t understand personal finance or tax very well, and with your high income, you’d benefit from reading up on it on your own or consulting with a financial planner. And most importantly, you need to never treat money that “should” be coming to you as though it’s already come – don’t count your chickens before they hatch.

      As for the fight, your husband is probably feeling emasculated over the huge difference in your salaries and upset that you did not get the money he expected. So you should try to be understanding of his perspective. Having said that, it’s absolutely wrong for him to fight dirty and be mean to you. It sounds like you rushed into marriage without premarital counseling and didn’t spend a lot of time discussing finances, argument styles, etc. If this is indicative of a larger pattern of behavior and he can’t disagree without being disrespectful, I’d suggest marriage counseling to go along with that financial planner.

      • “you get a refund when you’ve overpaid your taxes”

        This is a really important point that I think a lot of people miss. There is nothing good about getting a tax refund. If you get a tax refund, it means that you have been, over the course of the year, allowing the government to use and control YOUR money, interest-free. You certainly had a better use for that money than to lend it to the government for free. The best financial course of action is to arrange your deductions so that you only have a very minimal refund.

    • Okay. Deep breath. First, you have to deal with the anger, and hurt. I would be livid with my husband if I were in your shoes. You guys have to get on the same page about this, somehow.

      Second, I think it would be worthwhile to file for an extension and talk to an accountant. A second opinion is always helpful. Could you even use the same preparer or accountant that your co-workers used? They would be in a good position to explain what is going on. And I think you should use that accountant to help you think through your actual financial situation and tax situation. This will come up again and again, and I think you guys could use some professional advice for next year and your futures.

      Third, my totally uneducated guess is that your coworkers married people who were working in standard jobs and as such, had withholding on their income throughout the year. By contrast, if your husband is an independent contractor, there’s probably no withholding on his salary and he’s going to have to pay all of his taxes at the end of the year, at your combined marginal rate. It might be helpful to do your own taxes and calculate the difference between married taxes and single taxes, just to see what the change is.

      • long time lurker :

        Actually, 1099s are supposed to make estimated payments quarterly.

        • You’re right. I was just thinking of my own experience, fresh out of college, when I got 1099 income and had no idea that I was supposed to make quarterly payments. I got slapped with a giant bill at the end of the year; it was just awful.

        • At his income level though, and factoring in the student loan interest deduction that he was expecting to be able to take, his estimated payments were probably marginal.

        • They are, but it’s hard to judge. I was a 1099 for part of last year, and I did make the estimated payments for the time that I was working that job, but I got them way off and we do owe a pretty good chunk right now (approx. 3K – which we were prepared for, as I did sock away $ in an extra account to make sure taxes were covered just in case, but still, less than fun).

      • Meriweather :

        The withholding issue is my guess as well.

    • long time lurker :

      This sux. I too have heard that when one spouse makes less, the tax burden can be lowered (of course in my case we make about the same, so when I get married, I’ll be paying more…) Do you rent and your coworkers own their homes? They could be taking advantage of the mortgage interest deduction. That can make a big difference and might explain the difference. Also the coworkers could have medical or other deductions that are helping them out. Did the tax preparer discuss anything with you about expectations of a refund/amount/effect of marriage?

      • It’s also possible that they are doing something shady, or are really aggressive in claiming deductions. You can’t know what’s going on in other people’s financial lives – and you both probably stumbled in not looking at your own unique financial situation.

        Also – a 3K refund is nothing to sneeze at. Just saying.

    • Wow. Take.a breath. My first reaction is, yeah, that sucks but hey – it’s not cancer, it’s not being homeless, it’s not having everything you own being wiped out by a hurricane or tornado. I don’t mean to minimize, but if $7K you’d “planned” on doesn’t materialize in the context of an almost $200K annual combined income rocks your world this much, you need to take a step back and ask why. And ask how a $10K tax return precipitated your marriage.

      • This. And get to counseling… if you married for the sake of a refund, you’re going to need it.

      • This.

      • Agree I think you need to get to counseling, asap. This just seems like such a weird situation. I am guessing you spent more than 7k on your wedding? If not this is less relevant but why would you rush to get married over 7k which you werent even sure you would be getting?

        I would try to look at the bright side. You are newlywed, a household income of well over 200k a year, richer than most of the country, and now you have an extra 3k. You should be rejoicing! Not regretting that you exist.

      • In that vein, it’s healthier, but not necessarily easier, to focus on what you have, rather than what you wish you had or expected to have. Regardless of who is in charge of the local, state, or national government, some of what you have appears to be invisible to you. You have clean water, reliable electricity, access to health services, relative safety, public (for the most part) roads, and more! If you are expecting more from your representatives, perhaps political involvement could help. Also, it is common for people in your income bracket to have several advisors to assist them with taxes, financial planning and other assistance.

    • Okay, I’m really confused why you would assume your taxes would be similar to your coworkers. First of all, I don’t even talk about taxes with my coworkers, I have no idea what their situations might be and don’t particularly want to! Second, taxes are so individual and there’s absolutely no way to tell what might be different from one person to the next. Third, you said the coworkers spouses made less but didn’t mention if they were self-employed. That makes a HUGE difference. You also don’t know about their deductions, whether they own homes, have other investments, etc etc etc…

      However, I’m also confused about his reaction. Why is he reacting so badly about something this minor? I get that it’s a chunk of money and I would not be casual about $7k, but in the grand scheme of things? Not that important. The reasonable reaction would be for both of you to sit down with your finances and try to figure out what a reasonable expectation would be. A financial/tax planner would be great for this.

      Your reaction seems out of whack as well “regretting my entire existence?” Maybe you’re just feeling horrible right now, and hyperbolizing, but that seems a bit extreme. You guys got engaged for reasons other than hoping to get $10k back on your tax return, correct? You just hastened the wedding because you wanted to try to get the refund for 2011. It didn’t work out but eventually you would have been here anyway, right? Because you would have gotten married in 2012 and then filed your taxes in 2013 and only gotten $3k back instead of $10k. So it’s not like you got married based on false pretenses or something like that, you just got married a little bit earlier than you would have otherwise to TRY to get this $10k.

      Why would you have consulted with an expert? This is a marriage not a business merger!

      I think both financial planning AND marriage counseling are in order.

      (Side note, a friend of mine mentioned that she not only did not get a refund but actually has to come up with just about an entire month’s salary for the tax man. Now THAT is an unwelcome shock!)

      • My first experience working after college, I apparently filled out the W4 form all wrong (single? check! head of household? well, my household is just me, so, check! no dependents? check! etc.). As a result, I not only didn’t get a refund, but also wound up owing what was, for me at the time, a ton of money. I had to take a small loan from my parents to be able to pay my tax bill.
        Looking back, I can’t believe I made such a dumb mistake, but no one had ever clued me into the basic fact that how much you withhold throughout the year has a direct impact on how much you pay/receive back as a refund. Oops!

      • Agreed. Would you really have consulted an accountant as to whether you should proceed with your marriage? And your husband knows you’re not an accountant; he is just as much at “fault” (though it doesn’t really sound like anything terrible happened here that requires the apportion of blame) as you are.

    • Your total tax burden depends on whether you are married, how much you make, deductions, etc.

      Whether or not you get a refund and how much it is depends on how much you withhold during the year.

      These are separate calculations.

      You have to look at your bottom-line tax burden, not your refund amount, to see whether getting married saved you money.

    • Pie in the sky :

      I’m a lawyer. My husband works for the IRS. We have screwed up our taxes. We owed a ton last year, caught our mistake (forgetting to depreciate a home we rent out), and had to amend two years worth of returns. Honestly, we still don’t know if it is right. If it is wrong, and it gets caught, he could lose his job – even if a professional screwed it up. Our tax system is messed up. Even the professionals don’t know how to do it right. Since you are an attorney, he probably thought you knew everything there was to know about taxes. Now he knows you don’t. You will get through this.

      • Speaking as someone who just yesterday filed her amended return and was totally bewildered by the state form she had to fill out by hand – THIS.

      • thisthisthisthisthis. from the (non-tax) accountant who gets adjusted at least once every three years and has to explain to my bewildered husband why owing the IRS is a good thing.

    • On the bright side, at least you got a refund at all. At $170K per year, I wouldn’t have expected a refund at all.

      Not sure why your husband is “furious” with you. You guys are making, what, $200K+ combined? And you got a $3K refund? I’d mark this one down as a victory and prepare yourselves for next year’s tax bill.

      And finally, don’t let your husband lay this all on your doorstep. Yes, you made an assumption you shouldn’t have made. You were wrong. On the other hand, you two are in a partnership and are jointly responsible for your finances. He bears responsibility in this as well.

    • If you had a CPA or other professional prepare your taxes, that person should be able to answer all these questions. If they can’t or won’t, I would look for a new person to work with.

    • Anon for this :

      Agree with others that the self-employment plus a high salary are to blame. Hell, my husband and I got married at the end of 2011 and OWE the government $8k. So, you could be worse off. Your joint income, unfortunately, is right at the top of the 28% tax bracket. If you received any bonuses, payments, etc. from your firm that counts towards your income, you could easily have tipped over into the 33% tax bracket.

      You need to find an accountant (not an H&R block or the like) and figure out if your husband can incorporate himself (my friend is a personal trainer and is in the process of doing this right now because he is an independent contractor with the gym he’s at), and also how your husband can pay taxes quarterly. And, you need to find out from your accountant if there are ways to minimixe your tax burden (beyond the obvious of maxing out 401ks, etc). Perhaps married filing separately would be a better option for you (I have no idea – just throwing it out there).

      • Another S :

        I got married at the end of 2011 and we owe the government $10K. Funny/sad/true story: because I am an unromantic dork, I DID consult an accountant prior to picking a wedding date and learned ahead of time that marrying in 2011 would end up “costing” us more money. Then my now DH pointed out that I was losing sight of what was important, and he was right. Love him, hate the marriage penalty.

      • Can anyone recommend a good accountant in NYC? I am getting married this year and make more than twice as much as my future husband. Combined our salaries will be around $300k. I am wondering whether I am going to get screwed financially by getting married and what our taxes will be like. I’ve always filed using turbo-tax but I think I need professional advice going forward. TIA!

        • Anon for this :

          I’ve used The FulServ Group (years ago) and also The Law Offices of Robert F. Carroll, P.C. (robertcarrollesq DOT com) (he’s a CPA and lawyer). I had good experiences with them both.

        • My Accountant :

          David Weiss, CPA. He’s at Madison and 34th. (212) 695-5771. Been going to him for 10+ years.

        • Not to scare you, but you are absolutely doing the right thing by discussing this with a professional beforehand. At those income levels, marrying could well take you into AMT territory (and the brackets for married filing separately don’t help on this point), increasing your federal tax bill by five figures, easily.

      • Whoa, ok, the first thing you need to do (about the financial stuff) is figure out what you would have owed if you had NOT gotten married. How much you got as a refund means zip, nilch, nada. All it is is the difference between what you’ve already had withheld from your paycheck, and what you owe. Did you owe/get $0 back last year? Probably not. So, you really don’t know how much getting married saved you in taxes. If could have saved you $0, $3000, or $10000. As a starting point, I’d figure out how much you both paid in taxes last year, and then compare it to this year, to estimate the difference in taxes and see you saved money. (Obviously, if you got a raise that won’t work perfectly). Second, his being an independent contractor has a huge effect on things; I think finding a good accountant will be very valuable. Third, I think you both would benefit from learning a bit more about finance (which is particularly fun when you have such a high salary=)); I recommend Smart Couples Finish Rich as a good starting point. If you like that and want something more advanced (but still very readable), get Bogleheads. Blogwise, getrichslowly.org might be a good one for you (look in the archives as the newer stuff is less nuts and bolts)

        Now, about the emotional stuff; I have to say it concerns me that you 1) rushed things a bit to try to save taxes, and 2) are saying that you’re shocked by how mean he is. It reminds me of my own story – I married someone I wasn’t tooooootally sure I wanted to marry, and distinctly remember thinking things like “well, logistically it makes so much sense; we’ll be able to save a lot more, buy a house sooner, etc, etc”. And then, within a few months of our marriage, I was shocked at the unbelievable mean things that started being shouted at me. And the way EVERYTHING was my fault. So, now I get to recommend a few more books, just in case: Verbal Abuse (or something like that, by Evans, I think??), and, from a Christian perspective but helped me develop more of a backbone, Sacred Influence. I hope you’re just having a bad fight, and things will get better, but, if not, know that there’s people here on this community that care about you and have gotten through similar things. (My life is GREAT now, sans husband, with a wonderful boyfriend).

    • Agree with all of the above 1000%. I don’t think OP necessarily needs marital counseling (it’s one stupid fight), but I do think OP and her husband both need to have some better perspective. Yes, it’s disappointing that you didn’t get $10K. But you’re getting $3K! And for him to be “furious” about this, and for OP to be “devastated” is, imho, extremely unreasonable. Frankly, I would have the accountant prepare a “draft” version of his returns (and yours) if he was filing unmarried. I bet he wouldn’t be getting 3K back (If I am right, show him the return and tell him he’s an a**; if I am wrong, burn it and never bring it up ;)).

      • anon for this :

        Agree with so many of the other posters who recommend having a little prospective. My husband and I make a (mesely) combined $75,000 and we still had to pay in $900 this year. That sucks. But we’re healthy, our baby is healthy, and life is 97% good. I know it’s disappointing when you thought you were going to get more, but you’re newlyweds – surely you can find a way to enjoy the money and each other.

  23. Etiquette question: I am going to a bridal shower soon, and the bride requested to receive gifts off her registry. Since I have to pay for shipping, I decided to just get her wedding gift at the same time. Normally, I would have a wedding gift shipped to the bride directly, while I would bring a wrapped gift to the shower. The bridal and wedding gifts are the same (e.g. she registered for two matching sets of the same thing so I bought them both).

    So my question: Should I bring both gifts to the shower and not send a separate wedding gift? Or should I bring one to the shower, and send the other later on (which means I’ve paid for shipping twice; once to me and once to her)? Or should I bring one to the shower and bring the other to the wedding in person (which I always understood to be a faux pas since the bride will then have to get it home)?

    • SF Bay Associate :

      Do not bring the gift to the wedding. Bring both gifts to the shower, but don’t bring the wedding gift into the house (leave it in your trunk) so it doesn’t get confused. Give it to the bride (or her mother, who will surely be in attendance, or the MOH) at the end of the party, separately, quietly, and tell her it’s your wedding gift for her and her fiance/husband to open later.

      • No trunk. Everything that’s coming with me is being carried on the metro. But I can wrap them differently and ask the MoH to give it to her later – great idea.

        • I’ve done this before – bought a set off the registry for the cost of what I would have spent on both the shower and wedding gifts. I actually didn’t even go with 2 separate wrappings, I wrapped the shower gift and just put the other in a bag. No reason to create more paper trash than necessary.

    • Frankly, I’m not convinced it’s a complete faux pas to bring a gift to a wedding. Most weddings I’ve been to had a table for gifts. I don’t know what the bride/groom did with the gifts brought to the wedding. I assumed parents/family/bridal party members took care of them since the couple was leaving for a honeymoon shortly thereafter.
      Alternatively, I would say bring both to the shower.

      • SF Bay Associate :

        Right – you don’t know what they did with the gifts. It’s actually a big burden to put on the bridal party or parents or family to figure out what to do with all the (generously given) boxes and easily-lost envelopes. They may not have space in the car, because they’re already transporting other family members around, plus whatever crap the couple needs them to take home (among other items in my case, a clothes steamer). Even if they have space, they’ll have to make multiple trips to the car after what is assuredly a long day to carry the gifts. And then the couple has to get the gifts from the person who transported them home to their own home. Further, at larger weddings, gifts can “disappear”… wedding crasher? waiter? evil guest? random person who slips into the hotel ballroom and slips out again? Who knows, but the bottom line is that the giver never gets a thank you card for the disappeared gift that the couple didn’t know existed, and the couple wonders whether giver gave a gift but are too embarassed to ask. This happened in a wedding I was in a few years ago. Eventually the giver called the bride’s parents and asked where her thank you note was, which led us all to realize that her generous gift had disappeared during the reception. So, yes, it is a complete faux pas. Send it to their home, or give it to them after they get back from their honeymoon, but for heaven’s sake, don’t bring it to the wedding. They will really appreciate your thoughtfulness in the delivery method as well as your generosity in giving a gift.

      • PharmaGirl :

        I agree, assuming the bride and groom are not getting married away from their home state. My wedding was in the state where the majority of guests lived, not where I live, so having a ton of gifts to bring back would have posed a challenge. Instead, we received cards only, not a single wrapped gift (which made the gift table look a bit awkward, in the end).

        The next year when my baby shower was held in that same state, all of the guests brought large gifts that I could not transport home in my tiny car. Alas, first world problems.

    • The store might be able to ship the wedding gift directly to the bride. I just did that for a wedding I attended. I took the shower gift with me to the shower, and ordered the wedding gift online. The store’s website even had the option of printing out a little gift receipt with a picture and description of the gift that I mailed separately with a nice card, just to be sure they received the wedding gift and knew who it was from. But there were a lot of gifts on the gift table at the reception, so people did that also.

  24. Vent: DH is waiting on a job offer (he’s already learned from connections inside the company that they will be extending an offer, and he’s been trading voicemails with the hiring manager). For reasons I can’t explain (probably because it is completely outside of my control), I am way more stressed about this than he is. Trying to be patient and not bug him about it, but it is driving me nuts! Fingers crossed the offer is good and there are no extended negotiations on salary, etc.

    • Just hired :

      I recently went through something similar with my husband and it is the worst! My fingers are definitely crossed for you.

  25. Similar to Former MidLevel above, I need to buy a present for one of my son’s pre-K classmates (a girl) who is turning 6 tomorrow. Would any of the book suggestions be recommended for a 6-y-o, or are we talking different worlds between 6 and 7? I would love to hear any suggestions for a present, either book or something else, but need it quick, so I would need to purchase it either at Target or Barnes & Noble. My price range is $20-25. Thanks in advance for any recommendations you have!

    • I don’t think there is that big a difference between 6 and 7, in my experience (I have a 7, 5, and 3 yr old). In addition to books, my girls like crafty things – washable paints, glitter glue, markers, with a big book of plain painting paper is always a hit!

    • Anastasia :

      ha, look at me skipping only to book threads today! My favorite subject. Anyway.

      There might be a world of difference in reading levels between any two children’s reading levels (my 6 year old neice is nowhere near reading “chapter books”), but the suggestions in the other thread would be totally appropriate, content-wise, for a 6 year old. If she’s not quite up to reading them, herself, hopefully her parents will help her out. To err on the side of caution, maybe go with one of the picture encyclopedia type things? or something like a Graeme Base book? Even if her reading isn’t great, she’ll be able to enjoy the pictures (heck, I still enjoy the pictures!).

    • The Junie B Jones series is great–every five and six-year-old I know finds them hilarious. You can get a box set of about 4 books for $20.

      • 2nd Junie BJones. My daughter read those over and over at just about that age, and liked the series for a solid 2 years or so.

    • My six year old LOVES the Elephant and Piggie series by Mo Willems. They are great for beginning readers and are really funny. Really, anything by Mo Willems rocks.

      • ITA!! I was just going to post about my 6yo ds LOVING Elephant & Piggie. They are really great. We’re huge Mo Millems fans at our house – Knuffle Bunny? The Pigeon books? All awesome.

    • My girls are 5 (almost 6, sniff) and 7 and big readers. Hits at our house lately- The Fairy Books x1 Million. ALL of them. Little House Books, Judy Moody, the Little Princess, Junie B, the Noel Street “Shoes” books, some American Girl books. There is a fairly big difference between 5 year old readers and 7 year old readers (my 7 year old reads Harry Potter and Nancy Drew and my almost 6 year old is not ready for that).

      Think princess, magic, fairies, unicorns, and you’ll be just fine. Oh, and stickers, girls LOVE stickers!

    • Charlotte :

      Thank you, everyone, for your helpful suggestions — I am excited to see which of these I can find tonight on my way home!

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