Frugal Friday’s TPS Report: Cap Sleeve Tee

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

Cap Sleeve TeeI was originally going recommend another top from The Limited, but then I started poking around the site and found this highly rated cap sleeve tee, available in 14(!) colors. Every comment talks about how comfortable it is, how soft, how versatile, how great it is under suits, and how the commenter has gone back to buy it in another three colors they love it so much. So I had to pass it along to you guys — particularly since The Limited is having a sitewide $25 off ever $50 you spend sale (with code JUST4U) that makes the$26.90 top basically two for one. Cap Sleeve Tee

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Comments

  1. shop thru me! :

    i love this color tee! okay, here’s my tj – i need a tan pencil skirt. sounds easy, right? Well, it hasn’t been. I’m pretty “straight” shaped, 5’6 and wear a pretty consistant 4 in BR. I’ve had a really really hard time finding a tan pencil skirt for spring/summer that doesn’t float up over my hips while i walk. i think it’s cause i dont really have any hips to like, hold it down? Anyone have any suggestions? looking for kind of a summery weight material, but year round is fine, just not super hot. and, for anyone who needs a shopping suggestion, i’m on wear # 6 of my target “value” merona kimono dress today and it’s just as amazing as when i first bought it – washes great, wears well, holds up to my ineveitable spilling of coffee and salad dressings…

  2. Looks like Limited does have some cute stuff this season. Can anyone comment on fit? Do they run big/small/TTS? I haven’t bought anything there for years.

    • I went to the store for the first time in ages and was surprised by how much I liked the clothes. I found it ran large, though. I am petite, usually an XS or 2. I tried on a shirt and a jacket in XS, and they sadly seemed to be at least one size too large.

      • Your handle makes me think of the heroine in Miyazaki’s “Spirited Away.”

        While I loved the movie, I walked away wondering if the events that transpired would make Chihiro lose a lot of respect for her parents going forward. It’s one thing to have your faith in your parents shaken when you’re a teenager, but I think Chihiro is 10! Tough to have to save your parents’ bacon (couldn’t resist…) when you’re only 10.

    • Anon in ATX :

      I bought this shirt in Small, which is what I normally wear at the Limited, and I was happy with the fit. The shirt is on the long-ish side, but not too long to waar untucked. Very nice shirt & I would buy a few more if I had some extra $$ to drop.

      • Backgrounder :

        It think it runs pretty TTC. I bought it in white. I personally thought the fabric was a tad bit on the clingy side but I wear it, and it’s v-neck companion, all the time.

    • I bought three… IMO they do run TTS, but are very stretchy, so even though I bought the XL, I really could have done a L if it wasn’t available. The fabric is kinda clingy, as other commenters have noted, but I believe that is a characteristic of the stretchy. And the length is great – right at low hip, so a good amount of length to tuck and know that it will stay, or to leave untucked to wear more casually.

  3. Cute, but sizes are very limited.

  4. I have been really liking the Limited lately. I find it runs tts.

  5. Mamma Mia :

    I have this shirt in purple, and I do like it a lot- the fabric is really nicely stretchy but not too clingy, soft, and I love the color and fit. But I would say that it’s started to wear a little bit more then I would prefer (I’ve had it almost a year, so maybe I’m being too picky, but I’ve washed it on delicate), with some minor pilling.

    Threadjack: Headaches and pregnancy. I’ve long been plagued with sinus headaches and dizziness, particularly when the weather changes suddenly or storms come through. The only thing that’s helped is Advil and Sinus medication (Sudefed or similar) taken together. Unfortunately, neither one of these appear to be OK for pregnancy. Tylenol doesn’t make a dent in the pain. Anyone have any suggestions?

    • a passion for fashion :

      I’d talk to you Dr. I believe there are some OTC things you can take for that — and also make sure you dont have a sinus infection

    • HippieEsq :

      I would definitely call your doctor. I know that mine doesn’t want me to take anything ever, unless it is really an emergency, but a younger friend said hers OKd Sudafed. I would not take ibuprofen (Advil) because the harm it could do your liver (or your baby’s liver).

    • I am not a doctor, and I am not giving medical advice. Please check with your doctor.

      I usually just took Tylenol and lived with it. However, my doctor was not a scaremonger and allowed me to take Advil when I really needed it in the first two trimesters. My understanding is that if ibuprofen is going to cause problems with pregnancy, it is generally only late in the third trimester when it can cause a problem with the baby’s lungs before delivery.

    • Also in Academia :

      Not a doctor — well, not that kind! But my medical doctor has OK’d Sudafed and Tylenol Cold and Sinus. Also plain Tylenol, and don’t forget that should it turn into a sinus infection, you can also take antibiotics. Different doctors have such widely varying ideas of what’s OK!

    • This thread is suggesting that I should never get pregnant. Then again, I’ve taken so many medications for my sinus and allergy issues that nothing works anymore anyways. Joy.

      • I know! I had no idea that ibuprofen was off limits. With my diet of coffee, alcohol, cheese, fish, and ibuprofen, I think I may not be cut out for this pregnancy thing.

        • Likewise. I was horrified when my friend came to a party with terrible allergy symptoms and told me she couldn’t take anything because she’s still breastfeeding. Between pregnancy and breastfeeding, that’s one year, nine months without allergy meds. Yowza.

          • Blonde Lawyer :

            Never been pg but thought I heard Claritin was safe. The whole med/pregnancy thing is one reason I seriously may not have bio children. I spent my 20’s figuring out all my medical conditions and getting the right dose of every med and finally feel good. I really dread the idea of stopping all of them. My doc assured me that certain meds may still be used if the benefits outweigh the harms but the guilt of that possibility of harm would really bother me I think. Why can’t guys just carry and birth the baby!

          • Nah, it’s not that bad (or it doesn’t have to be). Some stuff is tested for PG women, most stuff is unknown (how do you experiment on that?), and some stuff is known to cause problems (thalidomide) or ability to cause problems (raw fish).

            I love my children even more b/c my caffeine-Thai-dairy consumption never seemed to interfere with their sleep / digstive issues. I limited caffeine for the first trimester (am not a coffee drinker though), but after (including when nursing) was committed to business as usual *unless* it appeared to be causing a problem.

            Happy baby –> happy mommy –> happy baby.

        • No cheese?!!?! What?! I have recently even heard no cold cuts. And no sushi. How you people do this for 9+ months awes me!

          • Dude, no caffeine. NO. CAFFEINE. I drink coffee and tea everyday, to help wash down my chocolate addiction.

          • We can have cheese, but not the unpasterized “soft” cheese. Most stuff at the grocery store is pasteurized, most soft cheeses at restaurants are not. It isn’t terrific, but not a disaster.

            And we can have caffeine, just not much. I have one cup of half-caffeine coffee with cream in it each morning. About 60 mg of caffeine.

          • Yeah, up to 300 mg of caffeine a day is fine. You don’t have to give it up. Likewise the cheese.

          • River Song :

            It’s weird. I had no trouble at all giving up wine, which I really thought I would miss, but I was so so missing my coffee! You get used to not eating or drinking certain things, though, and it really helps if your partner gives them up too. Also, as soon as my baby was born, my husband brought out a major previously-forbidden foods party with sushi, pate, soft cheese–you name it.

          • I’ll admit that I’m definitely not being millitant about most of these things. Cheese and cold cuts, I eat fairly rarely anyway (at least, the dangerous kind of cheese), same with sushi, but I’m not declaring those things completely off-limits. I’m being careful with caffeine, but I’m still having my usual black tea in the morning and green tea after lunch. If I’m going to have coffee, I try to limit it to a half-cup. (the 300 mg ceiling is about 2 cups of regular coffee, or 6 cups of black tea, so that’s a lot more than I drink on a regular basis.) But medicine, even the friendly OTC types, just seems a little bit scarier.

          • long time lurker :

            I am very ambivalent about having kids but I have to say what moves me into the column of no is the pregnancy stuff – not only the restrictions but the actual birth grossness and pain. I am a giant wuss who cries at the dentist so I’m pretty sure I would have a total breakdown with all the medical-related pregnancy stuff. I admire those who so gracefully handle all of it.

        • R, that’s my diet, too. May be adoption-bound…

        • Don’t have or not have kids/pregnancy based on comments (including mine) on an internet forum. Talk to a doctor or read up on it.

          For allergies, I subsituted NasalChrom spray for Zyrtec. As others have said it’s only RAW fish (and some fish high in mercury like swordfish), raw unpasturized cheese (nix the Brie, eat the cheddar), some cold-cuts, alcohol and high doses of caffeine. If you have long-standing medical issues like epilepsy, RA, diabetes, allergies, please see if there are options. You may be pleasantly surprised.

    • Don’t take sudafed if you’re in your first trimester! Its not approved for that.

      I feel you, as I’m just overcoming a flu (at 5 1/2 weeks) and doc only said I could take tylenol for the fever…and then only to keep it below 101.

      I’ve been using steam and a neti pot. It takes some getting used to, but it works pretty well. Keep in mind, sinutis is very common in pregnancy because the hormones activate your mucus membranes…so you want to find a solution you’re comfortable using frequently.

      • This is great advise! I agree with it 100%!

        When I had a bad cold over new year’s, my mom made me get a NETI pot, and after breatheing in alot of the peperminted hot steam, I got all decongested VERY quickly!

        When I came back into work, I recomended it to the manageing partner, who was bloweing his nose all winter (UGH!) and useing the same dirty hankercheif and sticking it back into his vest pocket (gross!).

        I have to work all weekend on 2 EBT’s! This place is terible on weekend’s b/c they turn off the a/c and heat. FOOEY!

    • Unisom- most doctors okay unisom for the nausea (along with B6), and I believe it also works as a decongestant. I could be wrong, though. At least, you will sleep better.

    • Have you tried using a netipot? I have gotten migraines and sinus headaches, but using a netipot twice a day (when I wake up and in the evening) has really helped with my sinus headaches. Like you, I’ve relied on a sudafed/tylenol regiment for my sinus headaches, but using the netipot has almost eliminated my need for them.

    • I don’t know what is allowable for pregnancy, but I was prescribed Flonase for similar issues. It reduces swelling in nasal passages, or something, and works well. If you’re looking for a non-medical option, acupuncture and massage can help with sinus problems. Also, if you’re not already, start using a Neti pot to rinse your sinuses every day or two.

    • My OB okayed Sudafed and Claritin (both regular and D) which both help my sinus headaches and weather/pressure related changes. Her practice (at Northwestern in Chicago) puts out a patient brochure that says Sudafed is fine, so it can’t be that awful:)

    • I have a history of sinus issues and I got one of those nasty summer colds during my second semester. My pharmacist recommended a eucalyptus saline nasal spray. It was reasonably effective and doesn’t have the rebound issues something like Afrin has — maybe worth a try?

      • Mamma Mia :

        That sounds interesting, where do you get something like that? I can’t think that I’ve ever seen it on a drug store aisle, but maybe I just haven’t looked.

    • River Song :

      How far along are you? I had the worst, awful monster migraines of my life during my first trimester. I only took Tylenol, which didn’t help much. Taking a day and resting with the shades drawn and a cool compress on my head helped some, as I seemed to be light sensitive. As soon as the second trimester rolled around I was fine. Do you have morning sickness as well? My doctor said women usually get one or the other, morning sickness or migraines, and the superstition was that morning sickness means a girl, headaches mean a boy. She was right :)

      • Mamma Mia :

        Heh. I’m 6.5 wks along, so it’s still pretty early. No morning sickness at all (yet! knock on wood), and not even any fatigue until this headache hit yesterday. But the headaches aren’t particularly unusual for me – I’ve gotten them for years when the weather does something strange (we had storms last night).

        Of course, they seemed to go away a few months after I went off the pill, so maybe they are pregnancy related (and pill related, in that way that the pill tricks your body into thinking it’s pregnant). Either way, they suck.

        • River Song :

          Hmm… that sounds a lot like me. I also had (and have, now that I’m b-freeding and not on the pill) hormone-related headaches. But the pregnancy headaches were something else as far as intensity. I hope your headaches end in the second trimester! Really, as soon as I hit that mark, I felt great. Feel better!

          • River Song :

            Forgot to say: some pregnancy headaches are caused by lack of protein. If you can stomach it, try cottage cheese when you first get up, then breakfast. Even a spoonful of cottage cheese would help me sometimes.

      • Bah. I puked multiple times a day during the first trimester and had a boy. TBH, remembering the misery of my first trimester has kept my baby fever in check somewhat because I am SO not looking forward to going through that again.

    • My OB okayed Sudafed (I am a daily user) and Tylenol. When PG, especially near the end, you have a massive blood volume comapred to a non-PG person of same height/weight and this can result in vascular-type headaches. Good luck!

    • Mamma Mia :

      OK, I spoke to my doctor’s office, and they did OK Sudafed. Yay! She also said that Tylenol Cold and Sinus is OK, along with Dayquil/Nitequil and Vicks rub. I’ve got an “orientation” appointment next week, so I’m thinking that I’ll just gather up all of my usual medications beforehand so that I can go over each one then.

      That makes me feel a lot better! Thanks for all of the other suggestions, too – I’m going to see about getting a neti pot.

    • I had horrible migraines during my high-risk pregnancy and my doc (maternal fetal specialist) prescribed tylenol with codeine. Not as good as migraine meds, but helped.

      I was also could-not-breathe stopped up. My doc said no sudafed, but benadryl was ok (I really think this varies from doc to doc). Afrin and Nasonex were the only things that saved me (claritin didn’t work). And truly, the absolute cure? labor and delivery (I thought it was so mean when someone told me this, but turned out to be true…the morning I delivered I had to use Afrin, that was 7 months ago and I haven’t used it since.

  6. Christiana :

    I’m actually wearing that shirt right now….

  7. This top IS really soft- I have it in two colors!

  8. DC Darling :

    What is with this seasons obsession with Dolman sleeve tops? I don’t want to look like I have wings every time I move my arms.

    /endrant

    • Anonsensical :

      I know! Last time I dragged my husband to the mall, he looked around and asked me if the flying squirrel look was in.

    • They are cheaper to make because you don’t have to set in real sleeves? That’s my take on it.

    • a passion for fashion :

      to each her own. I love them. In fact, just ordered a polka dot one from the Limited.

      • DC Darling :

        If you don’t mind me asking are you by any chance more petite up top? As a chestier woman, Dolman tops just make me look bigger by giving me the added “your boobs are so big they need some of your sleeve area to fit” look.

        Also, style them with more fitted bottoms?

        • MaggieLizer :

          I’m large of bust and I like them because they tend to be a bit looser up top. With a nice draped neckline, it’s casually s*xy without being obnoxious. There’s a fine line between a nice loose, flowy sleeve and having way too much material so you just have wings.

          • MissJackson :

            I agree with this. I’m larger on top than on bottom, but I carry my weight mostly in my mid-section, and I really like dolman sleeves because I feel like they are both very forgiving and very flattering. I pair them with something very slim-fitting on the bottom.

            I will agree that there is such a thing as too much sleeve material. I like the more moderate dolman sleeves — and all of mine are to-the-elbow sleeves, which I think keeps the “batwing” effect in check a little bit, too.

          • phillygirlruns :

            agreed. i’m busty as well and find dolman sleeves very flattering.

          • Ditto, for those exact reasons. With a slightly wider neckline, looser fit and larger sleeves, dolman tops do wonders for balancing out my boobs.

            I’ve styled them with wide-legged slacks, slim-cut trousers and pencil skirts… all seem to work.

        • a passion for fashion :

          im just sort of average, or maybe on the petite side of average, so i get what you are saying. And yes, i do generally style them with more fitted bottoms. I picked up a white suit from the Limited as well (I know, I seriously have a shopping problem . . . ), which i will probably wear this navy/white polka dot dolman sleeve top this summer.

          • DC Darling :

            Eh I might have to give it another chance. The ones I saw were long sleeved and I felt like a walking bat signal. If I can find an elbow length in good material I’ll try it out.

            Any excuse to shop, know what I’m saying?

      • I also like them, although I don’t think I own any. I’m a very pearish pear shape, and I think they even me out a little.

    • I hate them too. They make me look really top heavy.

  9. maybe this is a sign that I’m way too slaphappy already this morning, but the way the discount code ends in “4U” prompted Stanford’s (SATC) online chat buddy BIGTOOL4U to pop into my head.

    Philly ladies – any newish BYOs around Center City that you’ve tried and liked? Looking for somewhere to go tomorrow night, haven’t been keeping up with restaurant news over the past month or two, and in the mood to try something other than the usual Melograno / Audrey / Mercato / Kanella standbys, even though they are delicious!

    • Anon Philly :

      Hickory Lane on Fairmount is very good. They were still waiting for the liquor license the last time I was there so you might luck out and be able to BYOB.

  10. Joan Holloway :

    Love the neckline on this tee but sad about the cap sleeves. So not flattering to large busts . . . or large upper arms.

  11. I love the color of this shirt! It looks really stunning against the model’s complexion.

  12. WannaBe Ex-Pat :

    Love this shirt, and most of the colors it comes in!

    Now for my threadjack. My current internship ends this month and in August I’ll be graduating with my Master’s degree. I’ve always wanted to live and work in London and have decided that now is the time to find out if that’s what I really want to do. I’m 24, am single and without roots so I’m free to try this now.

    My plan is to set up appointments with employment agencies, send out resumes in the hope I can get an interview, and go over for six weeks in September to test the waters. I have been to London several times and fell in love with the city when I was ten but living there on my own will be different than travelling with my mother and staying with relatives.

    I have family north and south of London but don’t want to stay with them as I’ll be there for six weeks. My real concern is where to stay that won’t completely bankrupt me. I don’t really like hostels and know my standard 5-star hotel stays are out of the budget. Any recommendations for bed and breakfast, extended stay type places that are extremely clean, in or no more than a 40 minute train ride from London, and with a younger crowd? This is all new to me so I appreciate any tips you may have.

    I’m currently building my budget to include my airfare, my rooming situation, food, public transport, and fun money because I love British fashion! I’ve also started my packing list. Is there anything you would add, to the budget or my packing list?

    Thanks for any advice you ladies have for me!!!
    (I have dual citizenship with the US and an EU country so visas aren’t going to be an issue for me, btw)

    • I studied abroad in London, and remember that some of the student accommodations rent rooms that are good for medium-term stays. I’d look up some of the universities in London (UCL, Kings, SOAS, etc.) and inquire if they have any dorms/student quarters for rent around that time.

    • I know you said you hate hostels – but the type of thing you’re looking for can sometimes be found at hostelworld (dot) com.
      They have lots of low-price private rooms with private bathrooms at places that are sometimes called hostels, but are really just as nice as any hotel.

    • No recs., but I would think you’d get a better deal with a short term rental. I did this for a few weeks in Amsterdam and it was a much better deal for that kind of duration.

    • Check Goodenough College – they have student housing like this and it’s a really lovely place in central London. Enjoy! I too love London :-)

    • I agree that a short-term furnished rental would be a good option (although of course you won’t be part of a community of younger people, like you would in a hostel or university housing). Five years ago, we found a furnished flat in London for a week that was about the same cost as a moderately priced hotel but with lots more room, a kitchen so we could at least do breakfast there and even laundry. We used nyhabitat dot com; they have rental units in NY, London, Paris and a few other cities. The person we worked with was very helpful — and patient — in finding the best location for Americans who wanted to do some touristy stuff but also have a more local experience, while being mindful of the fact that we were traveling with a 12-year-old.

    • I stayed at the LSE High Holborn residence one summer, and it was fine. Good location, small but private room, shared bathroom. Really enjoyed it, and the bar in the basement is great for meeting people.

    • Try Airbnb. You might find an apartment you can rent for a month or so.

      • Try vrbo dot com for a rental. We did that for a two-week trip to Paris and saved a bundle. Having kitchen facilities at least makes it a very good deal.

    • LinLondon :

      Depending on when you come over, I’d also recommend the student halls, but you’ll have to be out by the time term starts in late September, so maybe do half time there, half time on something you find on AirBnB. I’d try to stay as central as possible. When I was flathunting when I first came over, I stayed at the SOAS dorm in King’s Cross, and even with the excellent transport connections there, it was still a huge pain to haul @ss around. Being out in Zone 3 or 4 would have been even worse for someone who needs to get around town quickly/easily. Also, if you’re coming over at the start of Sept, the Paralympics will still be on and Central/East London will be less than charming transport-wise.

      Your CV can be two pages. That was a big “whoa, really?” moment for me when I was job hunting. DO put that you have the legal right to work in the UK on top of your CV or in your cover letter. Don’t worry about using British spellings. The Guardian has probably the best/most popular jobs website, but definitely Google around to find recruiters.

      Things to include on your packing list – one of those Totes umbrellas from Target. It’s impossible to find an inexpensive collapse-with-a-button umbrella here. Don’t bother packing electrical items like hair dryers, just buy cheap ones at Argos. And if you like sturdy Q-Tips, bring them from the States :)

      And don’t support Chelsea.

  13. TJ: Is anyone watching the Kentucky Derby tomorrow? I’m tasked with bringing dessert to a party and so far have thought of incorporating pecans and/0r bourbon. Any good recipes or suggestions? Thanks!

    • Bourbon balls!

    • Ina Garten’s pecan squares are AMAZING but definitely cut the recipe in half (or quarters) unless you are going to a party with 50 people. Seriously, the original recipe calls for 9 sticks of butter.

      The recipe is on the Food Network website.

      • Not had these, but anything Ina Garten is usually amazing.

        • Agreed. Her background is fascinating as well (she’s a former White House nuclear policy analyst – crazy, right?).

          • I know. I refer to her as Aunt Ina. She is coming to my dream dinner party, along with: Meryl Streep, Judi Dench, Helen Mirren, Diane Sawyer, Kate Middleton’s clothes, and I can’t remember who else…..

          • SF Bay Associate :

            Me, eek. You forgot to invite me to that fabulous dinner party.

            I adore Ina Garten. Every.single.recipe. I’ve made from her is great. They all work on the first try, and they all work really well.

          • hahaha, definitely you SF Bay. :D I totally want her and Jeffrey to adopt me oh so badly.

            I forgot: Hilary Clinton, as long as she wears those glasses. Maybe Martha Stewart? Not sure, I don’t want a girl fight or anything.

          • eek, I love that you’d invite Kate Middleton’s clothes (I assume not the Duchess herself?) to your dinner party!

          • I like to watch Ina “Fight Club” style, i.e., pretending that Jeffrey is dead and that Ina is basically off her rocker. Her friends come over to check on her often. “Ohhhhhhhhh, you’re waiting for Jeffrey, Ina? That’s greeeeeeeeat!” *pats head* “I’ll slip your meds into the brownies, ok?”

          • Oh gosh. I want to come to this legendary dinner party too.

            So glad others share my Ina obsession!

          • January, I am sure Kate Middleton is a very nice person, but I think her clothes are more interesting than her. Nothing against Kate, she’s lovely. But, it’s my dinner party. ha. I’m on the fence about Oprah – I feel like she would monopolize the conversation and she would be all passive aggressive for trying to +1 and bring Gayle and I had to tell her no.

          • long time lurker :

            I love her life and her beautiful house in the Hamptons. The shows where they show her shopping and getting together with her friends are my faves.

          • In my head, Ina and I are friends. I get to hang out with her in the Hamptons during the week when Jeffrey is gone.

            Actually, in my head we turn into frenemies, because I start hanging out with all of her gay male friends more often than she does and she gets all jealous.

            <— needs help

          • eek – No criticism intended, I’m just amused by the mental image of a Reiss dress sitting on a chair among all your other luminous guests! Agree that the Duchess doesn’t have much of a public persona, so I probably wouldn’t invite her to dinner, either, unless she wanted to give me fashion advice.

          • @ January — your post totally made sense; I just wanted to explain why crazy me prefers her clothes. You’re right, we don’t know much about her persona. Also, spinoff of Mamabear, what if Ina likes Kate more than me? Another reason why she can’t come.

    • I started thinking about bourbon-soaked fruit – for example, peaches over ice cream, or a fruit tart. From a quick google of “bourbon soaked fruit desserts” this one caught my eye, and you could sub in fruits as desired – http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/tipsy-spiced-fruit-tart-50400000108678/

      now I’m hungry.

    • Martha Stewart has a whole feature on this.
      http://www.marthastewart.com/901277/kentucky-derby-inspired-recipes#/198540
      I think the Roses pie looks pretty good. Apparently any chocolate pecan pie with bourbon is the standard.

    • My cousin, who has a catering business, makes something like this: http://americanfood.about.com/od/desserts/r/chocwalnutpie.htm

    • AIMS is right–Derby pie is chocolate-pecan pie with a bit of bourbon, and that’s the standard. Recipes generally don’t call it Derby pie because the name is owned by a company that sells pre made (not very tasty) pies. Bourbon balls are pretty easy to make (but they’re not my personal favorites). Lemon squares would also be tasty and go well with the traditional food.

      Ooh, Derby Day! I’m hosting a party, too, but not till a few weeks from now (better late than never!). I’ll definitely make Derby pie–not sure where I’ll find a pie plate, though–and I brought a bottle of Maker’s from home at Christmas that I’ve been saving for mint juleps. My community is going to think that the Americans are crazy when we start running around in big hats with paper horses. At Thanksgiving my host family thought it was so bizarre that all of the dishes were a mix of sweet and savory–I hope they’ll like the pie!

      • Are you currently abroad right now? When I was studying abroad we bought a bottle of Maker’s specifically for juleps as well. My local friends thought some American traditions were crazy, but we had fun all the same :)

        • Yup, I’m abroad, and my community has had veeeerrry little exposure to other cuisines, so it’s fun to get them to try new things! They love brownies, though they were initially skeptical about how dense and moist they were (not cake-like enough). But now, every time I make them, they’re gone right away.

    • Kentucky Derby Pie! I come from Baptist roots, so my mom’s recipe cuts out the bourbon, but I’m sure you can find one online that adds it in. It’s basically a chocolate-pecan pie, and it’s delicious. My mom also adds Heath bar into it sometimes, which makes it even more tasty.

    • Last year my friend had a derby party and I found a number of recipes. I particularly like this coconut cake one: http://www.yumsugar.com/Coconut-Cake-Spectacular-Finish-Any-Meal-3156463

      Since tomorrow is also cinco de mayo, maybe you can combine both events, or at least where a sombrero as your hat.

    • Thank you all for the recs! I might have to take a medley of desserts, these all look great.

    • MaggieLizer :

      On a related note, anyone have any favorite mint julep recipes?

      • A few things I’ve picked up:
        -Use confectioners’ sugar (it’s finer and will dissolve easier)
        -Use the freshest mint you can find, and strip/discard the stems (they’re more bitter)
        -Use crushed ice

        Per drink:
        1 tsp confectioners’ sugar
        5 mint leaves
        4 oz bourbon
        Crushed ice

        Muddle the sugar, mint leaves and a few drops of bourbon in bottom of chilled glass. Add 1 handful of ice. Place the straw in the cup and pour the bourbon over ice. Add more ice, forming a mound at the top of the cup. Place the mint garnish near the straw (so you smell more mint while you sip). Enjoy!

        • So all these years when I read in novels that a Southerner was drinking a mint julep and I imagined a sweet genteel libation, she actually was drinking Bourbon basically straight with some sugar?

    • I am going to try the Smitten Kitchen blondie recipe in the near future, and you can dress that up with some bourbon and pecans. It looks pretty simple, too, so bonus points there. Although I was gifted Derby Pie in a jar, so I may need to make that in the near future :)

    • I love watching the Derby. This year, we’ll be watching it on the big screen from the Virginia Cup. I hope the weather cooperates!

    • I am a banana. :

      Maker’s Mark website has an awesome recipe section.

  14. Sale alert! Neiman Marcus is having a surprisingly good sale right now. It’s marketed as the Real Deal sale, up to 40% off, but when I went to the stores, I saw prices on brands like Elie Tahari, Milly, David Meister, Kay Unger, etc. marked down significantly more, up to around 65% or so. I scored two lovely David Meister dresses and an Elie Tahari silk top for about $350 total (retail over $1000 total). Whoo!

  15. more money, more problems... :

    Ladies,

    Background: I’m in charge of our family finances, and I’m very nerdy about it and reconcile twice a week. Lately, for several months I’ve been feeling some unease that our checking account does not have as much money in it as I am expecting, based on our budget. At this point, based on my hand-reconciliation, we have $642.00 in our account. So I’ve been a little panicked as we are coming into the season of more expenses, less income in my family.
    However, according to the bank, we have the amount of $642.00 + [my biweekly paycheck amount] + [0.20] in our bank account. I’ve gone through and re-reconciled everything for the last 6 MONTHS, and cannot find a time that I’ve missed recording my direct deposit. Also, I found the place where I incorrectly read a ‘7’ as a ‘9’ causing me to be 20 cents off – my point being, I’m really particular about making sure that our accounting is done correctly. Also, there are no outstanding charges/checks right now on our account, unless they are more than 6 months old – I have quintuple-checked.

    What should I do? Act like I still have $642.00 in our account (meaning we will probably need to transfer money out of savings to cover some semi-annual large expenses coming in the next month or so) or declare checkbook reconciled with $642 + paycheck amount in balance henceforth the base?

    Also, I’m open to any recommendations for software/spreadsheet reconciliation. Nothing fancy – something I can just export and will show balances/totals. I’m stressing myself out too much doing this by hand.

    • I don’t understand what the problem is?? It is showing that your paycheck has been deposited, but it actually hasn’t been?

    • SpaceMountain :

      I use Quicken and download my statements directly from my bank. It makes balancing the checkbook much faster & easier.

      • I use Quicken and reconcile vs. the paper statement. If you’re that precise (which I am also), you should definitely be on Quicken or some other computerized system. It will make your life much easier. And if you’ve counted the number of your direct deposits this year and they’re correct, you might have gotten off ages ago without realizing it, in which case you’ve just found some extra money

    • Apologies – that does come across as more of a freak-out than clearly state problem.

      The issue is this – the hand-reconciliation of our checkbook, going back six months, shows that there is significantly less money in our checking account than what the bank says there is. The difference is exactly the amount of my direct deposit paycheck. However, I’ve gone back six months, as far as I have access, and can’t find a time when I forgot to add a paycheck. I’m worried that if I add that amount back to my hand-reconciliation, that a charge we have no record of will somehow show up and I’ll be overdrawn on our checking account.

      • did you get 3 paychecks in March? Also have you looked at the statement? Sorry I am still have trouble figuring out your problem but I use online banking. If you get your statements shouldn’t you be able to see where or when the extra money was put in?

        • I do use online banking; but the statements only go back 6 months online. So, for at least 6 months there’s been a discrepancy of [paycheck amount] between what the bank says my balance is, and what my records show my balance is. But in those 6 months, there is no record in the statement of a deposit that I didn’t also record.

          I’ve only finally confirmed it because we usually have a lot of money movement going on, but for the first time in several months we have absolutely no outstanding charges so it’s clear that there is an actual difference in balances.

          • Maybe call/visit your bank and ask for a year or two worth of statements?

          • arithmetic :

            This is exactly why I always say NO NO NO to that automatic demand that I stop receiving paper statements. Call me old fashioned, but . . .

          • Shrug. You can save PDF’s of the statements (at least at my bank), so you can have your own copy of the statement without being limited by the online access. So you can still have copies without having all the paper.

      • Have you checked your itemized bank statements against your hand-reconciliation? It seems possible your work accidentally deposited an extra paycheck (or that you missed a three paycheck month?) that would show up on the statements.

      • what are the chances that a still-to-hit charge would be the exact amount of your paycheck? slim, I would think. Therefore , the error (either yours or your bank’s) has to be around a missing or an extra paycheck. Helps narrow your focus at least.

        • stl – By any chance, is your name is your location?

        • Agree. If the discrepancy is exactly that much, that’s what happened- paycheck is missing or extra from somewhere, no other outstanding charge is likely.

          I cannot imagine your work accidentally did an extra paycheck and hasn’t noticed. In addition to all of the things others suggests re checking back statements, you could try contacting your payroll person to be sure.

          Here’s my most common sense answer: You have checked back 6 months and haven’t found the extra paycheck or other explanation. If the extra money has been there for more than 6 months, it is almost certainly yours and not some bank mistake or pending charge. You missed one somewhere, it doesn’t matter where. Let it go. (I realize that you probably won’t, but thought it was worth saying).

    • Do you not use online banking? Also March had 3 paychecks for me. Could that be it?

    • How long has the bank showed the extra money? My bank randomly showed I paid my credit care bill twice, so I had a negative balance for about a week. They figured out their mistake thoug, and it evened out.

    • arithmetic :

      When was the first time the bank thought that you had [amount of your paycheck] more in the account than you thought? If you just noticed it this week, then it has to be related to your most recent paycheck.

      Also, maybe it is a fluke that the amount is your paycheck? I am pretty compulsive about balancing my checkbook to the penny every week. Sadly, I also am mathematically challenged. Over the years, when it doesn’t balance, I have noticed two common errors (made by me!): (1) I forgot to write down my paycheck as a deposit but the check was direct deposited so the bank knew about it, and (2) I either added or deducted something twice.

    • Do you get paid every two weeks or twice a month? If the former, March had three Fridays and was therefore a three-paycheck month for many people who get paid every two weeks.

      I actually prefer just making a spreadsheet by hand because it forces me to look at everything very closely, but I used to use Quicken and that worked well and allowed exporting of data.

    • No advice on the current issue, but we use Mint for all our expenses. It takes some time to set up the initial categories, but it makes the weekly or monthly budget re-caps super simple. We also have categories for our rental property and my MBA expenses, so we can get a true sense of what we spend to live vs. spending for education/rental property. The rental property category is also helpful at tax time, since we can do a write-off on those expenses.

    • Honestly, when this happens to me, I just stop spending for 3-4 days and see what shakes out. You might also want to call your bank and talk to someone.

      • It sounds to me, OP, like you’re saying that going back 6 months, the extra paycheck money has been there the whole time. IF so, you probably missed a check more than 6 months ago, and are just now realizing it because you’ve got nothing pending to mess with your numbers.
        You can pop into your bank and they’ll usually give you a printout of deposits going back however far you want, at least mine always has. You can get just deposits, since that’s likely the problem, and go back farther and see where you missed one.

        If the problem recently appeared, the extra march paycheck possibility seems viable, but it sounded like you were saying the money has been there at least 6 months.

  16. I’m going to a baby shower tomorrow and was asked to bring an item to be included in a “labor survival kit” that I guess we’re putting together for the mom-to-be. Readers with kids, any suggestions of items you would have had in such a kit?

    • Don’t have kids but I love this calming cream by origins. It is minty and smells really good and you put it on your pulse points.

    • Yikes. As a non-mom, I’d put in chocolate or champagne for the birth.

    • Lip balm

    • Travels-size shampoo, conditioner, lotion, toothpaste, and mouthwash to pack in her hospital bag.

    • new york associate :

      I’d bring an iTunes gift certificate so she can buy labor-music, or a clean sock with tennis balls stuffed inside. The sock-with-tennis-balls is supposed to be great for back labor. I never needed it or used it (thank you, epidural!) but it was one of those things that I was obsessed with putting together before my due date.

      • new york associate :

        Oh, or granola bars. Hospitals have different policies about eating, but I really needed a few extra calories to get me through the pushing.

    • PharmaGirl :

      Snacks (granola bars, dried fruit) because she might be in labor for a long time and end up missing meals, slippers or slippersocks that can be tossed out before she is discharged (not ask me why I had to throw away my slippers), lip balm, reusable water bottle (preferably one with a straw).

      I would hesitate to buy any lotions or potions with a scent as they could irritate the new baby.

    • I was glad to have trail mix and juice boxes (although I had to sneak them since they don’t want you to eat at the hospital once you’re in labor). I also had a tennis ball for back massage but didn’t end up using it. Can’t really think of much else for labor per se. Socks with tred on them are nice, but both times they gave them to me when I was admitted. If post-labor stuff is allowed too you could get a nursing tank (Target has a lot of good ones) or some postpartum products- Earth Mama Angel Baby has some great ones.

      • The no-food-during-labor policy is probably in case they need to do emergency surgery – I don’t have kids, but once when I was hospitalized I wasn’t allowed to eat for 24 hours in case they decided they needed to put me under. It seems crazy to have women in labor also be starving, but I’m sure there’s a medical reason for it.

        • A good friend went into labor with her first baby in the morning after eating only a handful of Cheerios. She assumed she would be able to eat at the hospital, so didn’t have anything else before she left the house. Upon arrival, she was told no food or drink until after the baby was born. So she spent her entire labor ravenously hungry. She had all her relatives bring her favorite treats so she could indulge as soon as possible!

          • It is because if you have to be under general anasthesia for a cesarian (rare) you can aspirate (choke) on any food in system and it is a serious complication. They can give you fluids to keep energy up somewhat but that is the reason for the restriction.

    • Thanks all! My coworker just told me to get her hemorrhoid wipes and stool softeners, because she’ll REALLY need those. I’m going to go with that. :)

      • really? at a work shower? I would have been so embarrassed to receive those in front of a group.

      • oh my god… I would die.

      • Wait, are these things you will actually need after giving birth? Why? (If not so TMI that can’t be posted about anonymously here.)

        • Pushing and squeezing out a baby causes all kinds of rips and tears, not just where you’d expect them. And then it is very, very painful to go #2 for a few days. Or so I’m told, because not coincidentally, I’ve recently decided not to have children.

          • This is sadly true, plus if you get pain meds and/or epidural, those things can constipate you further.
            Many women have to have stitches in that area after childbirth. Many. Trust me, stitches in that area do not make for a fun bathroom time. At . All.

    • Slippers and shower flip flops, because hospital floors are gross.

    • First aid numbing spray. For, you know, down there, when its all over.

    • This thread just horrified me.

      I want babies, but this horrified me. I will never look at a pregnant woman the same way.

    • I made one of these for my best friend. 1″ fabric headbands, fuzzy socks, high-end hand lotion and lip balm, her favorite beverages, puzzles/easy reading books, mints/life savers/hard candies, hand sanitizer.

      • What a weird request. It’s so personal. I have my kit packed with essentials already (the hemorrhoid stuff, nursing pads, sanitary pads, etc) and packed MY favorite warm slippers, tank tops, etc. I have a travel kit for regular travel that already has the shampoo and such. How will the guests know which items she has or wants? I think snacks are good, if you know what she likes, as they don’t get into her personal business too much.

        Or a fun playlist downloadable to ipod. Or fun reading materials to distract her. Or some fun focal point picture.

  17. Gifting fail? :

    So I sent a good friend an electronic gift certificate semi-anonymously last weekend and haven’t heard anything from her. I chose a funny name for the “sender” but used my real email address and included a message that referred to a conversation we’d just had, and the gift certificate was in the amount of an item we’d just discussed her wanting really badly. I sent it to her because she’s had trouble finding a job and isn’t spending money on non-essentials right now, but has also been bumming about a relationship with a guy who makes her feel really crappy, and I thought getting to buy something pretty that she really wanted would cheer her up. I thought at the very least I’d get a “Hey, so I got this gift certificate and wondered if you had anything to do with it” message, and I can’t imagine she wouldn’t know it was from me. So now I’m confused. It may have gone into her spam folder and she hasn’t seen it, or I may have inadvertently made her feel awkward and she deliberately isn’t bringing it up with me, or she may have received it and genuinely doesn’t know who it was from. I just want to make sure she got it OK, but have no idea how to bring it up without it being totally weird and awkward. I just feel like an idiot now.

    • Why do you feel like an idiot? She probably got it and thinks you wanted it to be anonymous, or she just hasn’t had time to send a thank you yet. At any rate, whenever I have sent a gift and am not sure it was received, I just send an email or text like “Hey, I sent you a surprise gift last weekend and wasn’t sure if you got it. Can you confirm?” No big deal.

      • Gifting fail? :

        I just hope I didn’t make her feel weird, like if she’s self-conscious about her current situation. And she’s a very independent, self-reliant woman who never asks anyone for anything. I kind of did it on a whim and am wondering if it was the right thing to do.

        • Yes, it was totally the right thing to do, bc ur an awesome friend. Some of these e-gift things have a reminder option, so maybe you can log in and do that? Like a fb poke? Or just be direct like J suggests. You two are pals, it’s nbd.

    • MaggieLizer :

      That’s really nice of you. I might ask something like, “Hey were you able to get [gift you guys talked about] or did you decide to get something else?”

    • Christiana :

      I sent a good friend and coworker a six month birchbox subscription for the months leading up to her wedding. Brichbox did not include anything in the package about it being a gift, who it was from or anything – she thought it was a thank you from an event she had attended!

      We went out for coffee and she started talking about the nail polish she had on and the gift she’d received from the venue. I started to put two and two together and realized that she had received her box! I just asked her if it was from Birchbox (it was) and explained it to her…but I was really irritated that they didn’t include any mention of a gift! Not that I need/must be thanked, but just so that she could have known what was going on. Maybe go out for coffee and ask if she received it? Idk, obviously, I’m not supreme at handling this situation!

    • A friend actually did this recently with me, and it went to my spam folder. She asked about two weeks later, and I was so glad she did!

  18. It sounds like you are saying that you may have erroneously gotten an extra direct deposit. I know it’s tempting to pocket the money, but I think you should probably contact your HR department and ask them to look into it. They will fund the error eventually, and it might look bad if you didn’t report it. if they look into and find no error, you get a windfall– extra money and karma points for being honest.

  19. new THE skirt? :

    Has anyone tried the new Halogen stretch cotton skirt from Nordstrom? Am wondering if it’s a good replacement for THE skirt during the summer. Link to follow in comments.

  20. Sad Interviewer :

    I’m in mid- management and I love the company I work for, adore my boss, am passionate about the work I do, and have many friends I’ve made through the years in my department and others. Whenever we have an open position in my department, my boss usually has me interview candidates to get my general gut sense and answer their questions about “culture.”

    The problem? There is an absolute B at my level, and I feel awful for anyone that is going to have to work under her. (She’s one way in front of our boss and completely another when he is not around. A total Jekyll and Hyde, and I count my blessings every day that I don’t have to work directly with her on projects.) I’ve had candidates ask me what she’s like to work with during interviews, and I just don’t know what to say. (In my head, I’m always screaming–“This is a fantastic place–really– so long as you’re not in this position.) The last person we hired (a very sweet but incredibly meek guy) was regularly screamed at and talked to in a very dehumanizing way (one time she was shouting in a closed conference room that I could hear down the hall–like straight out of something where I thought it could turn physical). Another coworker alerted my boss out of concern for all involved that it would likely escalate to HR. I didn’t get the opportunity to work with this hire directly, but I heard from others that his output was strong (unfortunately, the job rarely afforded the opportunity to work with them). Queen B came to me yesterday to say he had left and then bad mouthed him about being a bad fit. I don’t know what happened, but I very much doubt my boss had a fair picture of what was happening day to day. I feel guilty for being on the sidelines but also wanted to respect that it wasn’t my business (I did talk to the hire one time after work when it was just us and told him that I had overheard her talking to him earlier, and that I really respected that he was able to stay so calm and added that he shouldn’t take it too personally since I’ve seen her that way with others quite a lot [I didn't say it, but I know of several absolutely disgusting emails with contracted workers that my boss wouldn't see; I inadvertently got them through forwards and didn't save]). I’m sad that he has probably left without a decent reference base now.

    Going forward, what do I do when my boss asks me to help interview for this poor soul’s replacement ? I don’t want to take part in throwing another sheep into the lion’s den.

    • You need to speak to your boss. Part of your job is keep him apprised of any and all situations. It makes you AND your boss look like morons keeping someone like this employed in a position where she can literally abuse other people. DO SOMETHING.

      Documentation will absolutely help. As for those emails – you can speak to IT and have them go through your email archives. Usually narrowing down a time frame can make it easier.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      Is your boss aware of her managerial style? I think it would be okay to say, “Boss, I know you want me to interview candidates to fulfill our empty role. I’m concerned if we don’t address some of the reasons Past Candidate left, we will find ourselves doing another search in a few months.”

      Alternatively, you can just say, “I think the interview should be with Queen B, as the candidate will be working directly under her.”

    • Please please please let your boss know!
      Both I and DH have been those at the receiving end of such a person one too many times and had it affect our careers significantly. People like Queen B not only bad mouth, but they also give unfair performance assessments to contractors resulting in getting a bad performance review.

    • I have a coworker like this. She’s senior to me, but not my supervisor. Pretty much everyone in my department has tried to intervene with her once or twice, and she just turns around and bullies them. There’s no way my boss really doesn’t know; every single person in our office knows and he’s made comments that imply he knows but he obviously likes her a lot and doesn’t want to ask her to change (also, she gets really defensive and shouty if anyone criticizes her, and he probably doesn’t want to deal with it). To get someone fired or disciplined at my office, you need quite a few HR incidents, and even if I went to HR myself it would only be her first incident since my boss never reports anything and I’m sure she’d find out. If he wants to let her get away with it, he’s the one who looks the worst.

      All this is to say that honestly, if I were you, I’d keep out of it and just decline to participate in interviews for her new subordinate.

      • Oh, if you have his contact info, you could also contact the recently departed employee and offer to serve as a reference for him. He’d probably appreciate that since I’m sure he doesn’t want to use her.

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