Coffee Break – Short Woven Marble Necklace

tuleste market Short Woven Marble NecklaceI always love the accessories at ShopBop, and they’re always what I hit first when ShopBop has some of its legendary sales. This marble necklace is only 30% off, but the bright red marbles and the interwoven chain make a great statement piece for the office. I particularly like the one marble hanging from the clasp in the back. It was $135, but is now available at ShopBop for $94.50. tuleste market Short Woven Marble Necklace

P.S. Note that Max & Chloe has it in purple as well, although at full price.

P.P.S. Just noticed the Anthropologie Semi-Annual Clearance Sale is on right now — lots of cute accessories there, too.

(L-4)

Comments

  1. creative baby gift ideas :

    Anyone have any favorite creative baby gift ideas? My friend just had her third son! I usually give books or clothes, but I did that for her first two. I’d like to try something different.

    • K in... Transition :

      check out etsy and see what stuff they have to get ideas or to choose?

    • I think it might be nice to get something for her. My cousin gives new moms a necklace with a pendant with the baby’s birthstone. Alternatively, you could get something the whole family would enjoy- like an edible arrangement.

      • I may have missed the boat, it being so late in the day, but I second this. Depending on your price point, a really luxurious cream that can be used for baby AND mom tends to fit the bill of being a gift for the baby that the mom will appreciate a lot more for herself. A slightly more expensive option might be a gift certificate for a baby sitter and a massage, but it would certainly be appreciated -particularly with three kids!

    • a damily portrait session with a local photographer? could be a little expensive for one person, but a fun group gift

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      Loved the suggestion posted here a few weeks ago by a commenter – articipes, or artistic recipes where you could create a “What Little Boys/Girls are Made of” recipe to hang on a nursery a wall.

      I believe the shop was this:
      http://www.etsy.com/shop/articipe

      • Some people might love that but others might not appreciate the gender stereotypes. Know your friend!

        • SF Bay Associate :

          As I recall from the previous thread, you get to tell the Etsy person what to put in the “recipe.” Rettes were offering strength, wisdom, patience, creativity, confidence, charity, honesty, justice, and I forget what else for the little girl recipe.

        • Ah, but if you wanted to subvert the paradigm, you could have the little girl be made out of tough things or the little boy be made out of pink things. ;-)

          haha. But I generally agree that you should tread lightly on these things, this is why I love safari themed baby gifts, so gender-neutral!

        • momentsofabsurdity :

          Oops – should have clarified that the poster back a few weeks ago was doing a custom designed poster that little girls are made of curiosity, strength, smiles, etc — ie, non gender specific stuff.

        • …or just not want that as decor..wouldn’t be for me- I try to never pick out housewares or art for people as it’s quite personal.

    • Francie N. :

      I recieved a time capsule for my daughter (time capsule company on amazon). On her first birthday we filled it with special things from her first years and letters to her grown up self. At the time I thought it was neat but hokey. Now we open it next year and three of the people that wrote letters have passed away I think it is great and get it for every new baby I can.

    • Maybe something a little something for the two older children as well, as they may be feeling left out.

      • My sisters have almost the same birthday and one of my uncles used to always bring me a book on their birthdays. I will ALWAYS remember that because I did feel kind of left out that everyone was getting a present except me (even though yes, I got present on my birthday).

    • Mom of 2 boys :

      Bring her some food or taker her to lunch. She likely doesn’t need more stuff.

      • agree- i need anything but baby stuff. anything for grown ups making life easier or more pleasant is nice. even though not as cutesy fun for you to shop for:) i’ve said this before- due this month, have 3 entire tubs of brand new baby stuff to return- clothes, stuffed toys, wipes in brand I don’t like, etc. It is a real pain to take it all back to various stores and store it when I can’t lift anything. Smiled and said thanks today genuinely appreciating the gesture when I got even more unneeded stuff from a colleague, but it is all going right into the tubs.

    • They are pricey for a pack ($25 and up) but the worlds cutest baby socks that look like shoes: http://www.trumpette.com/socks/socks-boy/socks-boy-baby-2

    • Sarah + Abraham makes absolutely adorable art prints and pillows for babies and children. You can customize both the name and the appearance of the child. Here are links (first one goes to the print, the second to the pillow):

      https://sarahandabraham.com/item.php?item_id=323&category_id=140&n=0
      http://www.sarahandabraham.com/item/olliegraphic-pillow-boy/553/c166

      I ordered a print for my daughter and it’s precious.

    • my go-to is a myblankee brand blanket. they now have an online outlet shop (google it) with reasonable prices and the quality is absolutely amazing. i cannot say enough good things.

      personally, i usually go with the stroller size blanket in a non-baby specific print/pattern, when the baby grows up they make a good throw blanket.

      i’m also a fan of board books when there’s a big brother or sister in the picture, i always make a point to tell the sibling it’s so they can do something together once the baby arrives.

      • on the board book idea, when i attended my cousin’s baby shower 2 months back her 6 year old daughter told me that the books i included as part of the gift were the first books she had ever owned. it kind of blew my mind and she excited by the idea of reading for fun–something she claimed she had never done before. she says she only does homework.
        of course, she has more dvds than she can count and is on the internet playing games all the time.
        i still am not over it because it is so different from what i would expect, but i don’t have kids, so what do i know.

        • Lawyer in Theory :

          i make friends that are pregnant a baby book. I got the idea from “young house love,” they have a PDF template (if you google it) for a baby book (like, “my first year” with spaces for photos, etc.

    • I’ve started following my sister’s lead (she has multiple kids, I have none) and buy boxes of diapers, particularly for second and third time parents. The recipient usually laughs and is also generally appreciative.

    • For the second or third kid of the same gender, I always get something personalized. A baby blanket with their name embroidered on it, one of those stools with the puzzle name, a personalized growth chart for their wall, something along those lines.

      The third boy is going to have so many hand-me-downs that it’s nice for him to start off with something that’s only his.

    • SoCalAtty :

      Great suggestions so far! Recently, my go-to has been the bath products for mom & baby. I like to get a little gift pack for the baby, and something yummy from philosophy or something else for mom. You can do it online or just wander in…there is always something fun!

    • I’m late to this thread, but there’s an Etsy seller who makes hand-carved wooden teethers in the shape of states. When a relative adopted a little boy from another state, I bought one as a baby gift: huuuuuuge hit! It’s a great gift for someone who’s relocated from or has ties elsewhere.

    • creative baby gift ideas :

      Thanks so much, all! I might do some combination of wooden state teether, personalized baby blanket, and bath/body products for the mom. Love all these ideas!

      • most people probably aren’t as picky as I am about toxic stuff- I don’t use mainstream diapers, creams, lotions, etc per the chemcials, so have a bunch of these gifted items to return. i’m sure you know your friend and whether she has preferences on such.

  2. River Song :

    Do you think this necklace is appropriate for a job interview (worn with a plain charcoal gray skirt suit)?

    I’ve been looking for a tasteful red necklace for such an occasion. I’m in academia, if that makes a difference.

  3. K in... Transition :

    Just had a 3rd interview for a company… 1st by phone, 2nd in person where there were a few positions they were considering me for, 3rd by phone. They’re a hair away from offering me a position that sounds awesome (lots of autonomy, I set the daily schedule with clients, etc.) but I’m still waiting for HR to call me regarding salary. Am so afraid that’ll make this job a non-option since the agency is huge and the salaries are pre-set so no wiggle room.

    Also, an online PsyD program wants to speak with me about writing for them/their website to chronicle a real student’s journey and will pay me to do so, enough to cover tuition and 25% (to cover my taxes as I’d be an independent contractor). Am talking to them later today about this idea since my research is so far showing no one cares where a person gains her PsyD (the way they do where a gal earned her law degree, for example).

    Tomorrow, I’m off to the state capitol for LGBT Lobby Day and then Thursday I head to San Fran for my sister’s law school graduation (trademark law).

    Not a bad week to be in transition, I suppose! (Still no luck finding a maltese through local shelters, for those who’ve been asking, but I’m continuing to look.)

    • tuition paid!!!!!!!!! :

      that online job sounds awesome! take it!!

    • Wow! Congrats to you on all fronts… sounds like things are going great! I like the sounds of that PsyD deal too – you can’t beat school that is paid for by someone else.

    • K in... Transition :

      following up on the job thing… the # that HR gave me was below industry average in the area. I said as much. I explained why I am worth more and gave her a number I’d be willing to take, which she said she’d have to take to the CEO for approval on. I had my resume in front of me and reiterated the reasons why I am far above the average candidate and how I plan to continue within the company as I earn additional credentialing and degrees. I said I could truly see this being a long-term fit and would hate to see it not work out due to the salary which my work and experience more than make up for. She said she’d take a look and get back to me in the next 3-5 days.

      No clue whether the CEO will accept it, whether that’s all talk, or whatnot, but she said she’d try and she asked for my additional info to begin the background check process, so I figure it’s not impossible. If, however, she comes back and says there’s nothing additional than the initial number, I’m not sure what I’ll do since this really could be a great fit but the number would be about 10% below the low-end of industry average, which, in a low income field like mine is a major thing.

      • Sounds like you did a great job negotiating for yourself – hopefully they will see all the great things you have to bring to the position and make a better offer!

        Sending you good vibes!

      • MaggieLizer :

        You handled this terrifically. Good luck! I’m in the same boat – I’m waiting for a firm I’m really interested in to get back to me with a number, and I’m so, so hoping it’s high enough to warrant switching. The waiting is horrible!

    • I really really really hope you get this, but it DOES matter where you get your PsyD from. Not because of the degree -because of the networking.

      More established schools have well-respected professors who know other well-respected psychologists out in the field; newer pop-up schools don’t. As I’ve recently learned second-hand, your on-site training is far more important in a PsyD than the actual classes you take, particularly because the psychologists you work with are the people who will find you jobs after you get out!

      Make sure to ask if you can talk to recent graduates of the program. If they say no, RUN.

      It’s not a financial commitment for you like it would be for most, but it is still going to be a huge time commitment -unlike law school, you’re not in and out in three years. It’s the long haul (make sure to ask about their on-site requirements and placement programs as well), so it’s worth doing as much research as possible.

  4. anon for this :

    Okay, I need advice. I’m a law school dropout (one year in) who left law school x after a pretty miserable grade-wise – the main reason for my poor grade performance, I think, stems from the fact that early into my 1L year, I was sexually assaulted. I had moved away from my boyfriend of 6 years to go to law school – he got into law school in our area, I did not, so I thought that we’d do the distance thing for a while and be fine, but after this assault, my world kind of fell apart- drinking, depression, the like…so after the 1l year, I decided to return to boyfriend and my original city, he’d continue school and I found a job. Unhappy with my job, I’ve applied to his law school as a transfer student, but I know I’m a stretch based upon my poor 1l year performance, even though I was wait listed at this school originally – meaning, I think I could hang on with the work/other students, it’s just my 1l year makes me look dumber than I am. So , I get an email from the transfer school (lets call it law school Y) and they want me to come in for an interview TMMRW!! (AHHH!!) with two deans…what does this mean!? Im so nervous/excited…but how can I explain the fact that my poor 1l performance stems bascically from a trauma? I mentioned that in an addendum to my application, but I was hoping it could stay “on paper” – I basically bust out in tears if I mention it out loud. I’m meeting with two female deans…any advice on how to handle this sensitive and upsetting, but honestly pretty crucial to explaining things, issue would be much appreciated. Also, is this a suit appropriate thing? I’ll be coming from work, but I don’t typically wear a suit to my office, but I can…ahh, I’m just so nervous.

    • First, I’m so sorry that this happened to you, and I think that if you do cry while you talk about it, no one will hold it against you. Do you think you can keep it together if you talk about it in the broadest possible terms, like, “I was the victim of a crime and the trauma had an impact on my performance.”?

      • Oh, I also wanted to say that I had some serious health problems that impacted my grades 2L year. I attached an addendum to my transcript to explain to potential employers what had happened, but no one ever asked me about it in an interview.

        • karenpadi :

          As an interviewer, when there’s a note like this in the cover letter or elsewhere in the application materials, I never ever never ask about it in an interview. I respect that the applicant has identified the issue and addressed it.

          Plus, notes like this are code for “the issue has to do with something that if you ask me about in an interview would constitute an illegal interview question.” I don’t even want to approach anything like that with a 10 foot pole.

          Behind the scenes, for those who are curious, yes, we do wonder. But we don’t talk about it or try to guess what happened. I do appreciate it when the applicant tells me what he’s done in the meantime like doing some contract work or taking CLE courses or being involved with a local organization. Then, if I want to hire him, I can address others’ concerns about “rusty skills” or “lack of dedication to the profession”.

    • First of all, I’m so terribly, horribly very sorry all this happened to you. I don’t see in your post whether you have been in therapy, but you might consider joining a support group for survivors of SA — which could help you get past the terrible, horrible, feeling every time you talk about it. The truth is, you probably have PTSD and you can’t get over it just by ignoring it and hoping it goes away (as appealing as it sounds.) Some type of therapy could really help.

      But none of that helps you tomorrow. So some concrete advice is as follows.

      (1) Wear a suit or as close to a suit as you have, you will feel more confident and professional in a suit and coming from a place of power will make it easier. (2) Tonight take a piece of paper and right down some version of what you wrote above, but keep it very neutral. “During my first year at school X, I was the victim of a serious crime (you can choose to specify it was s*xual in nature if you want but I don’t think you have to). Do to my reactions to it, I struggled a great deal during my time there. But since then I have taken X, Y, Z steps to improve my life and I’m doing much better. I believe I’m ready to re-enter law school and will be an asset to School Y.” Literally write it on a note card. (3) Sit across from boyfriend, or mirror or dog tonight and practice saying that exact speech until you can say it calmly without getting upset.

      Then otherwise, be ready to talk about why you want to go to law school and what you want to do at Law School Y. Presumably, they are bringing you in to try to get a feel as to why you seem like such a great candidate other than your 1L grades and you can just pitch yourself, just like in a job interview, but you have to get the part about the assault out of the way quickly. If they ask questions about it, merely say you really aren’t comfortable discussing it. They probably won’t press the issue.

      • I think this advice is perfect.

      • agree
        get as close to a suit as possible. for what its worth, i didn’t really know suits were a thing when i was applying to law school. so i wore button front shirts and slacks to summer time law school interviews, i never felt inappropriate or under dressed at the time, but in retrospect, i’m a little horrified by my gaffe. unfortunately, i can’t recall anything about those interviews that would be helpful to you, they were either group interviews or one-on-one interviews for public interest scholars programs and other school-related activities after i’d already been accepted but before i started at the school. all the other candidates wore blazers, but even then it didn’t register in my mind.
        good luck !

      • just Karen :

        This. Exactly this.

    • I’m so sorry to hear about your terrible experience and kudos to you for getting back on track.

      I found the deans at my law school to be incredibly understanding when I went to them to say I was depressed and not sure I could continue in law school. You will hardly be the first student to cry in front of them if you shed some tears.

      Wear a suit, practice what to say, and take deep breaths. They just want to hear that you believe your 1L year is completely attributable to the trauma and you believe you have moved past that to the point where those grades don’t reflect the level of performance you would be able to put forth now.

      Good luck!

      • Agreed. Deans are intimidating to us, but they aren’t intimidating to their families or their peers. They are people, and they, for instance, have to worry about balancing families and work, too. They also have to pick out their clothes every morning. So yes, you will not be the first student to cry (if you d0). You never know – one of them could have been a victim of sexual assault, too.

        They’re interviewing you because they like you! Congratulations!

    • I also had a traumatic experience in law school. I think you need to at least show you are doing something to help yourself, like therapy or how you are coping. After grades came out and mine were terrible (happened right before exams), I reported it to our “student” dead. We had a therapist at our law school that I talked to per her advice. When I was hanging by a thread, I knew they would give me a second chance even if I fell below the mark because I was getting help. I never dipped below the required GPA but, I think if I no showed to those appointments(or did not get help at all – which this school therapist was no help but, I was too devastated to find one I liked until I met another lawyer who had been through the same and am working it out now), they would have been less sympathetic (and some would not have believed me). A suit is appropriate I would say. Just in case. Good luck. I am really sorry that this happened to you.

      • I agree with this. I had a related trauma in undergrad. I’m a very private person and didn’t go to formal help for a while (and even then minimally), but I was able to show that I had managed it myself when I finally did tell.

        I think that, if you show them either that you a) have gotten help (which takes most people years, if they ever reach that point) or b) are getting help now, you should be good. I would say to try not to break down – one or two tears are fine if you are going into details, but if the vague mention of it causes a meltdown, they probably won’t think you will do much better in 2L and 3L.

        I realize that sounds harsh, but I also think it is the truth. It does depend on the deans specifically (personally rather than professionally), but I think that is how most would view it.

        I’d definitely suggest a suit.

    • Former MidLevel :

      I don’t know much about these types of interviews, but…..hugs. Hang in there.

    • K in... Transition :

      Echoing everyone else in being so sorry this happened to you, but more than that, I’m in awe of your handling this so well and returning to pursue your career! *high five*

      I think you ought to prepare a sentence or two about this and repeat it to yourself over and over until your emotions have been mostly removed from it. Maybe something like, “a personal trauma occurred that was unexpected and outside of my control, which unfortunately led to my grades not matching my abilities. However, since that time, I have taken the necessary steps to ensure that I will be able to return to school able to earn grades that are consistent with my abilities.”

      That said, if you can’t speak of it without losing it, I truly hope you’re seeing a professional to help you through this.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I second TCFKAG’s advice but would add that if you disclosed the assault on the addendum to your application then they probably already know about it. You can also point them to that. So, if the question is just “explain your grades.” You could say, “I was the victim of a very serious crime, as I’m sure you read on my application. I would rather not going into the specifics of the crime since you can read about it there but I can happily say I am now >>>>> and go into the rest of your spiel.”

      • intervieweee :

        Thank you, everyone, for the advice – I’m working on a notecard right now for tommorow! I’d been seeing a counselor, but she wasn’t really a great fit, so i’m in between people right now, but it’s more the idea of telling a total stranger about it that makes me want to break down – i can talk about it with my boyfriend and not completely lose it. Thank you all, though, this is all really helpful advice and i’ll report back tommorow as to how it goes! and i’ll definatly be wearing a suit, don’t fail me now, theory outlet whole thing less than 100$ best find ever suit!

        • Remember, there’s no reason you need to disclose anything beyond “I was a victim of a serious crime” or “I experienced a serious personal trauma” or something of the sort. The words s*xual assault need not pass your lips and frankly they don’t need to know.

          But Deans of schools are generally (though not universally) experienced in dealing with this sort of thing, as students go through it not infrequently. It may not be as awful as you think.

        • Campus Counsel :

          KLG said: “They just want to hear that you believe your 1L year is completely attributable to the trauma and you believe you have moved past that to the point where those grades don’t reflect the level of performance you would be able to put forth now.” She is exactly right.

          I sit on our campus’s crisis management team, and students in crisis are a recurring issue. We all want to make sure that the student gets whatever help/resources s/he needs to deal with the issue, whatever it may be, both immediately and long term and we want to make sure that the student succeeds, whether that means continuing in school or leaving and returning when s/he is able. You do not need to say anything about what happened (privacy), but if you choose to explain (which I personally think is wise), you can legitimately choose to be as specific or as vague as possible. I promise that the two deans have seen both ends of that spectrum and everything in between (including tears!).

          If you are sufficiently specific that they can figure out it was an assault, don’t be surprised if they offer you a description of the resources on their campus (counseling center, rape survivors meetings, whatever). They are not trying to pry; they want you to know that there are resources available to you if you choose to attend law school Y and that if you think they will help you, you should use them.

          Of course we always wish we were “perfect” and could sit through a meeting saying exactly the right thing in the right way and there was nothing to explain away. But in the world of things to explain away, yours is something that: (1) wasn’t your fault, (2) they’ve seen before and know how to handle/help, (3) you are recovering from properly. That will go a long way.

      • Although I’m an engineer and not a law school grad, I would be quite surprised if they asked you about it – they don’t want to make you cry, either. What they do what to know, probably, is if you’re a basically strong, confident, hard working, etc, etc, person. They are probably perfectly willing to blot out that year in their minds; they just want to know if they like you in general. I would focus less on how you’re going to answer that specific question, and more on how you’re going to rock the interview in general! You got an interview! Congrats! You’re awesome, and they want to meet you.

        This isn’t quite the same, but, before I got divorced I spend tons of mental energy thinking about how I was going to explain things to my coworkers, how I was going to respond to people’s comments, etc, etc. But the truth was – most people didn’t say anything, and a few people just said “I’m sorry…you’re a wonderful person and I hope things look up for you soon”. (And a bunch of people said “congratulations” assuming I’d gotten married rather than divorced when my name changed). But…none of my carefully crafted explanations of what happened ever got used.

        Best of luck to you!

  5. I finally got THE skirt today. It is amazing. I think I do have this figure 8 body type.

    What is the best way to flatter that body type? I haven’t found anything helpful.

    Thank you ladies!

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I am figure 8 shaped. I find what works for me is:

      1) Straight or slim skirts. A line or flared skirts just make me look wider.
      2) Waist detailing or waist belts since my waist is very small.
      3) Peplum which sometimes hides my hips
      4) High waisted skirts (not really pants)
      5) Short jackets. Long jackets overwhelm me, even though I’m not short, and my waist gets completely wrong (not to mention the waist always sits in the wrong spot)

      • awesome ideas! Thanks.

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        And by “my waist gets completely wrong” I mean “my waist gets completely lost.” Post lunch dip….

      • In addition to these ideas, I think figure 8 people look especially good with the belted look that is so in right now (like a longer cardigan belted over a pencil skirt.)

      • In addition to what momentsofabsurdity said, high-waisted (i.e. hits at real waistline) pants. I know momentsofabsurdity mentioned skirts, but I have real problems with low-waisted pants because they never seem to fit right. Pants that sit at my natural waist just seem to be way more flattering and are even better with slim belts. Problem is, admittedly they are SO hard to find.

        • Sorry, and one other thing – the best clothing item I have ever found that flatters my shape is waist-length cardigans (mine have 3/4 length sleeves). Again, it’s all about emphasizing the waist and I find that waist-length cardigans are professional enough to wear to the office, keep me warm, and give that definition that I am looking for.

    • There is a great blog that talks about body shapes. Here is a post (one of many) on 8-shapes: http://www.insideoutstyleblog.com/2010/05/real-life-body-shapes-8.html

      I’m an X shape myself, and try to always emphasize my waist in some way, or at least, make sure it’s somewhat visible, as that’s the best part of my figure (IMO). I can never completely ‘surrender my waistline’ as Angie at YLF talks about because then it looks like I’ve gained 20 lbs. However, even some drapy, loose tops will drape just right over my hips to show that I indeed do have a waist.

    • Not positive whether figure 8 is similar to or the same as Angie’s “hourglass,” but if so, I think this post (from her “You Look Fab” blog) should be helpful:
      http://youlookfab.com/2010/05/05/how-to-dress-the-hot-hourglass-body-type-2010/

      • Whoops — it looks like figure 8 (high hip) is contrasted with an ‘X’ body type, which is closes to the hourglass. Sorry about that.

  6. Travel destination advice? :

    Looking to take a one week honeymoon in early October. Leaving from the east coast. I would love to go somewhere that involves getting some sun but lying on a beach for an entire week is out of the question because my fiance is particularly susceptible to skin cancer due to his previous cancers. Looking for recommendations for places that offer both sun and fun so to speak (typical summer vacation activities for us include hiking, biking, kayaking, sightseeing, museums, etc.). I welcome any inspiration the hive has to offer!

    • Anonymous :

      In October, avoid the Carribbean because its hurricane season.

      • RussiaRepeat :

        I actually go to the Caribbean in October every year to take advantage of the extra warm water and lower prices. I do generally get travel insurance, but most places refund for hurricanes as a matter of course. So far so good in getting to take my trips, whereas a July trip to Bermuda got ruined by an offshore storm system.

        • I have gone on two Caribbean cruises in the October time frame, mainly due to the lower prices. Cruises are great because you can get sun when/if wanted by going to the pool area and/or beach excursion, but there are plenty of other activities on the ships and at the ports where you don’t always have to be in the sun. I have personally loved both cruises I have been on.

      • I would avoid the Gulf in general during the peak of hurricane season (the worst is late August/early September) but still through early October. You don’t want to have to evacuate during your honeymoon.

        • Anonymous :

          I have a friend who was evacuated from Puerto Rico during her mid-November honeymoon. She was annoyed but resigned.

    • RussiaRepeat :

      Would you be interested in trying scuba diving? I am also at high risk for skin cancer, but I stay in the shade, covered and with SPF 70 on the boat deck and then in the water I’ve got neoprene on. Most Caribbean islands have excellent scuba shops/schools and you can try it one day (called a Resort Course or Discover Scuba Diving) without having to do a ton of course work.

      Scuba or no, I would recommend Puerto Rico as having a nice mix of water/beach and other things to do–El Junque is great for hiking and not too far from the historic stuff in Old San Juan. I am pretty sure you can go kayaking on the main island, but it’s supposed to be especially good on Vieques. Lots of good deals from the East Coast flight-wise (I went with JetBlue).

      Bermuda is another good option for historical stuff, a nice zoo, a downtown area worth checking out and watersports. I love Grand Cayman as well, though it feels a bit less historical, it has an excellent botanical/wildlife preserve, a turtle farm, some nice driving on the East End, and kite surfing on the East End, as well as the usual water sports all over.

      • I always wear a dive skin even out of the water. It’s a very lightweight full body suit, covers arms and legs, and it’s pretty cool, or if you get hot, just jump in the water and get it wet, or pour water on it. I just don’t want to get sunburned, and don’t tan at all. Also stay in the shade as much as possible. But, I know people who have had skin cancer have to be so much more careful, it might not be a good idea.

        • Travel destination advice? :

          Skin cancer wise he is probably fine scuba diving for all the reasons you all mentioned but we’re a little wary of scuba because his lungs were damaged from one of the chemo drugs and he wheezes pretty badly while running even now. Not that a beginner course would hopefully cause problems but I think we’ll stick to snorkeling and he can wear a t-shirt or something :)

    • Belize! Seriously, I had the best vacation ever there! It can be cheap or expensive, depending on your preferences (I went the cheap backpacker route). There’s history, hiking, caving, and of course you can hit the cayes for beachy activities. We hit Caye Caulker for the last 2 days of our trip; it was a nice day to relax before we headed home. It’s also super easy to get to from the east coast.

      • just Karen :

        yes! I just got back from a 12 day honeymoon in Belize and highly recommend it. If you go, definitely do the ATM cave tour – you have to swim, crawl, and climb, but you get to some amazing artifacts inside a cave that was used for Mayan rituals (as in human sacrifices).

    • Seconding Puerto Rico! Stay in San Juan a few days and go to the forts, hike in El Yunque, and then go out to the beach. We didn’t make it to Vieques or Culebra, but they are supposed to be beautiful–Vieques has a bioluminescent bay, but we went kayaking in the one in Fajardo, which was fun. We went in early October, and the weather was nice, but you might consider getting trip insurance that will cover hurricanes if you’re booking far in advance.

    • How about somewhere like Savannah, GA? There are some beachy islands nearby, but also fantastic old historical places to walk to in town.

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        or Charleston. Same concept.

        • What about Costa Rica? It’s a short flight (2 hours) from Georgia-so not too far if coming from East Coast. It has great beaches, but we also spent 2 days in the rainforest-awesome hikes, and two days at the Lake Arenal area-awesome heated pools and waterfalls! Highly recommend and it should not be a problem spending plenty of enjoyable time out of major sun. I personally think it’s harder to avoid the sun in the Caribbean, and I did go to PR once but really enjoyed CR more.

  7. I’m so annoyed and need to vent! Just had a trial setting conference and asked the judge to set a trial in December of January instead on November because (1) I’ll still be on my short, two month maternity leave through the end of November, and (2) my partner on the case will be in another trial in another court that won’t end until the end of November. Guess when the judge sets trial? End of November, for NO PARTICULAR REASON, other than “this case is old” and “you have other attorneys at the firm.” Yeah, like the other attorneys are just sitting around, and handling pre-trial and trial for me is no big deal. Ugh. Can’t wait to bring my newborn to the office to do trial prep.

    • Ugh, I am so sorry to hear that.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      That stinks!

    • Sorry for all the typos – it’s hard to type coherently when raging. I mean, seriously, the court had availability in December and January (I checked with the clerk in advance). He really just set it earlier to be a hardass. What does that prove? Aren’t we all adults? Things like this make me want to quit the profession, and I normally don’t mind it that much.

      And I can’t even have a drink (or five) after work because I’m pregnant! I’m climbing on the self-pity train now.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        My state’s bar has some kind of coalition that is looking into promoting women’s interests in the bar. They just did a big work life survey. If you have something similar you might want to mention issues like this and how they affect your practice.

        • Also check out the San Francisco bar association glass ceiling initiative for best practices. They have great resources for firms and companies, and I bet they have one for courts, too.

    • That is terrible. There was an opinion published on above the law quite some time ago by a judge that granted an extension so that a father could be at his child’s birth. Maybe someone can anonymously send your judge that opinion. :)

    • Wow, what an a$$. The judges around here are usually so accomodating about scheduling conflicts, I can’t imagine one doing that. Can you file a formal Motion asking for the trial date to be moved? It’s ridiculous for him to say someone else who hasn’t worked on the case can try it if you’re not available. It would be different if you were asking for 6 months, but one month? Jeez, what a jerk.

    • I believe we all agree that he is a DOOSH. Where is Ellen when we need her?

    • Thanks for the supportive comments – they do make me feel a bit better! I’m kind of stuck on trying to move the date, because the client actually would prefer an earlier trial date. I had to use some finesse to get the client to agree to a later date on account of my pregnancy, and was so happy when they did, only to get screwed by the judge. Sigh.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        Could you move it up then and try it in August or September before your leave?

        • I wish – get it out of the way and have the benefit of the jury liking me more because of my huge preggo belly (so I’ve heard from others – never been pregnant during trial myself). But there’s conflicts with other cases.

          • Anonymous :

            It is anecdotes like that, as well as similar personal experience, that confirms my decision to leave litigation.

      • I don’t know where you practice, but any chance you’ll get bumped? All 4 of the counties I’ve had court cases in use bumping, i.e. there’s a list of priorities for cases, Case A is #1, Case B is #2 in the event Case A settles or has to postpone, etc…

        Unless you’re #1, in which case, good luck!

  8. Lawyer in Theory :

    Lawyer in Theory May 15, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    Please help me pick some nude pumps for summer. I’m pretty price sensitive, these are the two I’ve come up with. I like the very classic shape:

    http://www.zappos.com/ivanka-trump-amoro-light-natural-leather

    and

    http://www.zappos.com/nine-west-ambitious-taupe-synthetic

    I wish the ivanka trump matte ones came in the color of the nine west patent, but you can’t have everything. I just want a useful everyday light colored shoe… .which one should I get?

    Thanks ladies!

    Read more: http://corporette.com/2012/05/15/tuesdays-tps-report-two-tone-dress/#ixzz1uy9NVonO

  9. Doesn’t Anthro take an additional 50% off clearance in stores?

    • Beach Bar :

      Occasionally they’ll run a promo for an extra 25-30% off sale items, but it’s not very often. Technically the Tag Sale is going on right now which often means a bonus %-off promo, but according to Effortless Anthropologie, there isn’t going to be one this time.

      The only time I’ve ever seen 50% is last Thanksgiving for 5 hours on Black Friday (6a-11a), and that was the only year in my Anthro shopping history that they’d ever gone that high. Most of the good items/sizes were sold out by the time the 50% kicked in because they started offering 25% a few days before Thanksgiving and framed it as “save 25% now, save 50% later if you can wait that long.”

  10. So I have a shameful confession to make to the Hive. I have no idea what body type I am (the figure 8 discussion above reminded me). I mean, I know what I look like in the mirror of course, but I don’t know what shape that’s called. I don’t know if I’m short-waisted or long-waisted (is there a middle waisted?) How do you all figure these fascinating grown up lady things out?

    I also don’t know whether I’m a summer or a winter or whatever…and I only sort of know what colors I should be wearing (both in terms of make up and clothes)…I just know what I like.

    Is there some secret resource people have that teaches them these things. Did I miss a day of middle school where we all learned about it?

    • I don’t know either.

      Any of these things.

      I don’t know what things flatter my shape or my color. I know what *I* like on me. I think I can dress myself, but the possibility exists that there’s a whole world of more flattering styles and colors that I am not tapping in to.

    • Anon for this... :

      You definitely didn’t miss a day in middle school. You were probably too young for the “seasons” phenomenon, which I’m told is a relic from the ’80s. As for the short- vs. long-waisted issue, I like this chart: http://www.insideoutstyleblog.com/2009/06/how-to-tell-if-you-have-a-short-balanced-or-long-waist.html

    • Second Anon for this. You didn’t miss a day. If you’re unsure whether you’re short or long waisted at this point in your life, you’re probably pretty balanced. If you were short waisted shirts would always be really long on you and if you’re long waisted, they’re always too short on you. I know this because there is approximately 3 inches from the top of my hips to my b**bs. Even petite shirts are often too long on me.

      As for summer v. winter, NO FREAKING CLUE! :)

    • Ha – I’ve never learned either. And now that I was reading that site, I can’t figure out if I’m an 8 or an X. So, I’m no better off than I was 10 minutes ago. I have no idea if I’m a summer or a winter either. Agree with Supra – there’s probably a whole world of styles that are way more flattering on me.

      • heehee, I thought it was just me, but I can’t figure out if I’m an 8 or an X either! Any one else know?

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        I figured out I was an 8 by a tip suggested on a separate blog I don’t remember now – if you pick up a small child, can you easily rest them on your hip without needing to jut it out at all? If so, you are probably an 8, since an X will need to move their hip out slightly to keep the child at a comfortable place on the waist.

    • For color, there’s a book that provides somewhat of an update on the old “Color Me Beautiful” seasons theory (this is the ’80s thing). I got it from the library and thought it was pretty good:
      http://www.amazon.com/Life-Color-Therapy-Perfect-Palette–/dp/B0030ILW8I/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1337116009&sr=8-1

      Although — I still haven’t figured out which category I am under their system, whereas I’m a definite Winter under the ’80s system (discovered through having someone hold solid-color swatches of fabric under my chin until the entire rest of the group said “Ooooh” — in 1983 or so).

    • I used to know what season I was – probably in the 80s. Every time I read a magazine and see body types, I don’t fit any of them, but I’ve seen people talk here about being my type (apple with large bust, although unlike many apples and the apples in my family, my legs are very muscular). I was even struggling the other day with whether or not I have warm or cool undertones. Why? Despite being a smart person, I’m probably a failure on this count. I know what looks good on me and I think I dress well and wear flattering clothes and colors. Do I need to care?

    • I think a lot of it comes from the aspect of your body you fixate on and have a hard(er) time dressing.

      I figured out I was long waisted before I can even remember. As a kid, one piece swimsuits and leotards often hurt to wear. As I got older, this never changed. Fitted dresses usually don’t fit at the right places – waistbands constrict my ribs and it’s not uncommon for dresses to make me look like someone is holding me up by the armpits. T shirts can be a problem – if the style isn’t labeled “long” or something similar, it will usually either show my midriff or come to just the top of my waistband (ugh, and when everything was lowrise, forget about it. I think had to layer Hanes A frames under everything from about 2000 to 2007 just to keep my abdomen covered.)

      Shape is harder for me. I’m either an I or an A and I swear I change shape when I gain weight. I have short legs and gain weight on my thighs, so I feel like I’m an A when I’m heavier, but I don’t really have hips. I have a hard time seeing my frame shape past the other stuff I have going on (long waist, short legs, small bust). Like Supra, I ended up just gravitating to stuff I liked on me, which I like because it downplayed what I didn’t like about my shape and emphasized what I did like.

    • I don’t understand the difference between 8 and hourglass. I liked it better when our shapes were named after food.

      (I looked at the website, and don’t have any idea what the blogger means by the model having a “high hip.”)

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        Beyonce is a good example of an 8 shape – basically you carry your weight up higher (in your hips) rather than in your butt/thighs — it’s also described as a “hip shelf” because it literally looks like your hips are a jutting out shelf, below your waist. It shares the “small waist” designation of an hourglass but a lot of the convention hourglass suggestions for bottoms, like flares/a-lines don’t work well.

    • I know I’m a spring because my mom took me to have my colors done when I was about 13 or 14. It was a mother-daughter thing to do (and kind of amazing, because I didn’t learn much else from my mom about fashion, style, makeup, etc – she’s very low maintenance).

      As for body shape, I did lots of online reading – at youlookfab.com and insideoutstyleblog linked above. I always thought I was a pear or A shape because I have thighs & a small waist & and average bust, but I also have broad shoulders, and according to some things I’ve read, if you take that into account I’m definitely an X shape.

      When my youngest was about 2 I kind of went through a style transformation. I started working full time, lost my baby weight, and wanted to make sure I was choosing the correct styles for my new body & new job. Thank goodness for blogs!

    • Oh honey. I don’t even know my Ayurveda dosha. Now I’m supposed to know my body type and “season,” too?

      UNCLE!

  11. Does anyone have an organizing system for items Kat posts but you want to wait for a sale (besides bookmarking the post)? I use shoppingnotes, but I want Kat to get the $ for items she recommends and usually forget to come back to the site and click through here (that’s how these fashion blogger sites work, right?)

    • Pinterest? If you pinned from this site then your pin on pinterest would lead you back here…

    • I’m not actually sure Kat get’s her money that way — I think hers may come from advertising and from content listings — but to be honest, I have no idea.

      But I am very impressed that you care enough to think about it. That’s got to be good hive etiquette right there.

  12. Woods-comma-Elle :

    Oh partner, how I love thee, let me count the ways.

    Deadline: today

    Me all day: drafting document, incorporating my comments, his comments, third party’s comments.

    7.30 pm: about to print redline, partner comes in ‘oh I just realised we forgot to look at this other document for boilerplate’, commence redraft

    10pm: print redline, give to partner for review

    And now I wait… at least I have this website!

  13. So, as I posted a few months ago, I’ve been in need of major wardrobe renovation for a long time, but hadn’t done it due to lingering guilt over spending money on myself. This spring, I decided to use my teaching money (the stipend I get for the one course per year I teach at a local law school) to do it.

    You guys, I feel like a new woman. I have bras. I have attractive and appropriate shoes. I have replaced my nearly ten-year-old black work bag. I HAVE BUSINESS PANTS THAT DON’T FEEL DOWDY.

    It is delightful. Seriously, awesomely delightful. YAY!!!

  14. Too petty? :

    TJ! What do you do when a coworker misuses words/phrases? I have a coworker who consistently misuses expressions, like saying “in lieu of” when he actually means “in light of.” I think I have heard him do this in every conversation we have ever had (weekly for the last 6 weeks as we work on a project together). He is not in an externally facing role so I feel like I should just let it go but it is driving me crazy. I am used to it now, but it used to really throw me for a loop trying to follow his train of thought.

    • This would drive me nuts. It depends on how much you want to correct him. I would set a limit for myself, like once per week. Make sure to do it nicely. “When you say ‘in lieu of,’ I think you may mean ‘in light of’. Am I understanding you correctly?”

    • Heehee…since I don’t have to work with him, this made me ROFL. Seriously, that’s funny, especially if he’s really pompous about his use of language.

      Just don’t become a “ross” and constantly correct him. That’ll make you even worse. :-P

    • SoCalAtty :

      My husband does that, and we call them “Mark-isms.” It drives me nuts! It is usually some kind of metaphor or expression that he completely destroys. Lucky for me, I’m married to him so I get to poke fun a little. The most politically incorrect one I’ve heard out of him lately was “Texas Staredown.” I let it go, and then 5 minutes later realized he meant “Mexican Standoff.” I laughed so hard I cried. Unfortunately, he has pretty much 100% of the client contact for his company. The good thing is that they are all in construction so they can laugh at each other. The bad thing is that he has started getting large corporate clients which won’t think it is funny, so I think my ribbing has made him leave expressions out of his vocab.

      I like Hel-lo’s suggestion if you really want to correct him. I will say that, depending on your relationship, there is a possibility of offending him so tread lightly.

      • “All intensive purposes”

        ’nuff said.

        Well, almost, for me it’s a client and she says this ALL. THE. TIME.

        • Gaahhh!!! Luckily I never use that phrase but I totally thought that is what it is. Now I know. Thanks CA Atty!

          • My ex-boyfriend said “all intensive purposes” once and I corrected him immediately – no way I could stand that. He used to mess up expressions all the time – just one of many reasons he is my ex-boyfriend!

    • I have a coworker who sent out an email inviting the office to lunch “in lieu of” the upcoming work we had to do on a group project. I so wanted to skip the project and say that I’d thought lunch had taken its place.

    • I have a coworker who does this too. I tried correcting her once and she just looked at me blankly, so I don’t bother anymore. But quite frankly, I find it hilarious rather than irritating. I even write them down so when I’m feeling sad or crabby, I can look at them and get a good laugh. Try looking at the misused expressions not as an irritant, but as something funny instead and maybe that will fix your problem!

  15. The inner flower inside me really wants a pair of Kork Ease sandals for summer (the Ava). Anyone have any experience with this brand? True to size? Narrow or wide? Comfy? Will they look totally ridiculous on the commute to work with, say, a pencil skirt and a blouse?(confession: I don’t really care about the last part since most of NY will be in flip flops but I feel like this is something I should consider) …

    • That was meant to say “inner flower child,” not “inner flower.” “Inner flower” sounds weird and mildly creepy. Apologies.

    • Divaliscious11 :

      I have them and I love them….. I do wear them to work but with “substantial” clothes, nothing too lightweight. They look heavy, even though they are actually light to wear. I’d get them snug, but not tight. I have the Ava in chocolate brown and they are my neutral. I also have Bette in black.

      • Thanks ladies – my inner flower (child) is super psyched!
        Divaliscious – did you size down in the Ava? Some of the reviews say they run large (as Kanye’s review also suggests), I’m normally between 6.5 and 7.

  16. Scuba diving – who has done it? how did you get certified? Going to have the opportunity to scuba dive on a multi-week vacation in about a month. I am trying to figure out if I should take some kind of course before I leave or if I will be able to do it at my destination (without eating up too much of my vacay time of course!). Any experiences?

    • I would recommend doing the class work and pool work ahead of time so you don’t waste vacation time on that. Then you could do your check out and open water certification on your first day of vacation. Have fun!!

    • karenpadi :

      Oh how I love diving! It’s pretty wonderful.

      If you have 2-3 days to scuba dive, I’d recommend getting certified before you leave. I’d take the course at home over the weekend with a local dive op. You’ll do all the book learning and pool exercises in about 2-3 weekends. It’s not a difficult course and it’s kind of fun. Then, you can finish your open water dives on the trip in a single afternoon. Yay!

      Doing the course on vacation can take 3-5 days (depending on your swimming ability and schedule). It can be stressful but it will be fun.

      If you only have 1 day to dive, I’d just go the resort dive route.

      I highly recommend picking up some quality snorkeling gear before you go. Mask fit is essential to enjoying a dive. You don’t need to spend to much–about $30. Go to a local dive shop and “try on” all the masks that they stock. You try on a mask by opening your mouth (seriously) and smooshing the mask (don’t wear the strap) on your face. If the mask seals and sticks to your face, it fits! I prefer a black skirt to cut down on glare but clear skirts are prettier.

      For fins, I recommend getting a pair that you wear booties with. The booties will come in handy walking over rough shore lines and keep your feet warm. Don’t buy split fins until you try them–they are kind of love/hate among divers.

      For a snorkel, get one with two valves: one at the top and one at the bottom.

      And, if you are diving with a boyfriend/fiance/husband, do not let him pick out your gear, put your gear together, or otherwise take control of your diving. Please. So many women allow their man to run roughshod over them that they end up with the wrong equipment or know nothing about their own gear. Don’t let male divers intimidate you with the bravado.

      If you have long hair, I recommend getting a swim cap for your hair. Mask straps hurt! I’ve used one made out of swimming suit material and a triathlon cap made out of neoprene. Both worked dandy.

      Welcome to diving! It’s truly a wonderful sport.

  17. TJ/vent: I noticed up the depo of an inmate and due to lack of space at the jail, the depo will be held in the judge’s conference room in the courthouse. Opposing counsel wants to appear by phone (even though he told me he was free on the date of the depo when I checked with him) and called me to ask me to find out if there is a phone in the room. Why couldn’t I tell him to do that himself if he doesn’t want to appear in person?!? I am the least assertive person in the world at 4:30 on a terrible horrible no good very bad Tuesday.

  18. Argh. Spilled coffee in my purse (don’t ask). Fortunately both purse and lining of purse are brown, but obviously I ought to do something about this…anybody know what? I guess I need to take it to a leather-cleaning place?

  19. Anon Baby Rainmaker :

    So, dear hive, I do believe I just blew it. I’m with a new firm, and I just brought in my first client. It is a small firm, with just 3 attorneys including me, but I got waaaaay ahead of myself and brought the client in BEFORE negotiating what my percentage would be. It is a pretty straightforward business litigation (defense) client, so the hourly is standard small firm rates.

    I was way too excited and jumped the gun. We’ve vaguely talked about the issue before, but nothing is nailed down in writing. The sad thing is I don’t even know what associates typically get for bringing in hourly business! At one firm I was at it was 3% (of bills sent out and paid), at another it was 5%, and my husband (non-lawyer) thinks I should ask for 10%.

    Fingers crossed that this isn’t a bad thing because now they know I am serious about contributing?

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Same boat and did the same thing. What’s worse is I said something stupid like “x called me instead of you because he wanted me to get credit for the case, whatever that means.” I then tried to cover it up a couple days later by saying “oh, obviously he was talking about origination credit.” Grrr. In my case, juniors don’t get anything special for origination. It is part of the review but not compensation structure. Maybe next year for me though! You can make it part of your salary negotiations in your annual review.

      • Anon Baby Rainmaker :

        Grr! In this case, I know I get some kind of percentage or something, I just neglected to nail down the details before. My probation and real salary negotiation take place this summer, so at least I know I can factor it in there.

        I totally understand the percentages are almost as taboo as “how many hours do you bill for a demurrer” but I’m still curious!

  20. Beach Bar :

    So I finally have the time to post about my Bar Method experience, for those who were curious! I went to a Mixed level class last week and overall I thought it was great. I kept hoping I’d be able to go to another with this instructor while I was in town, but my darn conference kept getting in the way ;)

    Pros:
    -The instructor was very friendly and knew everyone’s names.
    -She was vigilant in watching and correcting form. Some people might be uncomfortable being “called” out, but I don’t think there was anyone who was perfect to avoid correction, so you’re all in the same boat. She also gave praise, so it wasn’t all “oh crap I’m doing it wrong again.” I haven’t seen this kind of dedication to correcting form in the other classes I’ve done, so I think Bar Method would be great for first-timers, especially if you don’t have a dance background to feel confident in your positioning.
    -The class wasn’t overly packed like some I’ve been in. I’m claustrophobic and when studios pack you in, I don’t get as much out of the workout because I restrict my movements thinking I’m closer to people than I actually am.
    -The facility was clean and had a nice locker room.
    -My legs were definitely shaking, so I could tell it was doing something!

    Cons:
    -The music was kind of eh. Better than the DVDs but still kind of old and lacking a good beat.
    -A lot of the sets were longer sets of the same motion. I think I prefer doing fewer reps with frequent changes to distract myself from the pain!
    -This sort of goes along with the music point, but I feel like some of the other barre classes are faster-paced and more upbeat to work up a sweat, which suits my workout style. YMMV.

    For background, I’ve also done Pure Barre, Physique 57, and Core Fusion live classes and own Bar Method, P57, and Core Fusion DVDs. I posted about the DVDs last week, but I’ll follow up with a post on my experience with the live classes.

    • Beach Bar :

      Follow up:

      Out of Physique 57, Core Fusion, and Pure Barre, Physique 57 is my favorite, which is probably due in some part to my love of the DVDs. The music and instructors are energetic, and the workout is pretty fast-paced so you’ll work up a sweat, get your heart pounding, and generally feel like you’re getting your cardio for the day (for me, it’s not enough to cut out running, but enough that it “feels” like a workout). Sadly I don’t live in NYC or LA, or I’d go to the classes as often as my bank account could stand it. I *may* have just planned a work trip around sneaking in some classes–I’m kind of obsessed!

      Core Fusion is probably 2nd in terms of the challenge of the workout. Not quite as fast-paced as P57 but still gets my heart pumping a little bit (though it’s possible my sweat is just from what seems to be a higher room temp than the others). I’ve done classes where they had a 2nd instructor present to help adjust form, which was nice, but they weren’t as vigilant as Bar Method.
      Cons: This might be just my city, but I think a combination of the higher price and the location bordering a rich enclave results in a trophy-wife crowd of mostly 40s to 50s women. I’m in my late 20s, so I feel a little bit out of place.

      Pure Barre: I keep going back because I like the music and the age group is closer to me than Core Fusion, but it’s probably lowest on my list in terms of quality. I still think it’s a good workout with the right instructor and I much prefer it to the hot yoga classes I tried recently, but the other barre classes are just better than PB. My reasons: the instructor doesn’t really watch for form, doesn’t pay attention to people doing the wrong move (e.g. flexed vs. pointed toes), and the difficulty of the class can be highly dependent on the instructor. I’ve gone to some that just weren’t that challenging, even in my weak areas. Also, sometimes they squeeze way too many people into a class that there isn’t room to move. I don’t think I’d recommend PB for someone new to barre classes because of the lack of focus on proper form. If you’re not new to barre, you may be fine if PB is the best for you on location or price reasons. I typically will buy when there’s a groupon or other deal, and I do like that the schedule in my city has several late evening classes for us C-rette types :)

      I’m not sure where I’d rank Bar Method among those three, just because it has such a different selling point with its emphasis on form. I think it’s great for beginners, and it may end up being the one you stick with or at least go back to every so often to get that refresher on form. But for me, the tempo of P57 is addicting, so that will probably hold its place as my go-to.

      While writing this, I thought of some other points I wanted to add, but in an effort to keep this from hogging even more screen real estate, I think I’ll stop there. I’m happy to answer questions though! I started barre workouts last fall because I thought my thighs were bulking up from cycling, and I absolutely love the workouts. It’s been awesome for toning my entire body, not just thighs. I think it’s even made my legs stronger for running and helped with some muscle imbalances that were causing injuries (no more IT band problems!).

      • Cavedweller :

        Thanks so much for the review! I was the anon who asked for dvd recs last week and this is helpful for future reference. In the meantime going to check out your dvd recs. Thanks again!

        • Cavedweller :

          I’m also looking into barre workouts to shape and tone my lower half (my thighs tend to bulk up easily and I’m hesitant to start biking because of that….). Did you start with bar method ? If so, was it effective? How many times a week and how long per workout? I’ll re-post tomorrow in case this post is too late in the evening. Thanks!

          • I started with the Bar Method DVDs (first the Beginner Workout and then the Accelerated Workout). I probably only did them 1 or 2 times a week in addition to my regular running and biking, so I don’t know that they made a huge difference. But they did get me comfortable with the barre workout style so that I could move onto the P57 DVDs, which I found much more challenging and fun to do 3+ times per week (I initially ordered the P57 Volume 2 set because I wanted the Thigh + Seat Booster–I later got Volume 1 and I think it’s a bit easier, though you can always modify either).

            I’ve noticed a definite difference in the shape of my thighs–they’re more long and lean and not so bulky in the quads. I used to have huge quads and pancake flat hamstrings, but now my legs are more evenly rounded all the way around. I’ve also shaved off a lot of the “insulation” on the outside of my hips, but not as much in the upper inner thighs as I would like. Nor has it eliminated that yucky cellulite on my seat. Unfortunately, those may just be genetic (because that’s where weight goes first in my family) and/or a result of my Buddy the Elf diet–and it’s at least better than it used to be. I know you asked about lower body and like you my primary area of concern was lower body, but I also love what the workouts have done for my upper body. My arms are defined without being scary-ripped, and same for my back. It’s so fun to be able to easily hoist my 40lb rollaboard without assistance :)

            I now do the DVDs 3 times a week–I shoot for the hour long P57 ones or an hourlong live class, but sometimes if I’m sore or having a losing day against my never-ending sinus infections, I’ll do one of the 30 minute express or booster videos. There was a time last fall when I was really gung-ho and did 3 one-hour videos per week (MWSa) plus a half-hour booster on my weekday run days (TTh). I’d love to have that energy again! Aside from the barre workouts, I run 3 times a week–4-5 miles 2x during the week and 7-8 one day on the weekend, shorter during the miserable summer months and longer during winter if I’m training for a half.

            Hope this helps! I think you said that you ordered the P57 videos, so I’d also recommend “Liking” their FB page. They post a monthly challenge with a schedule that can be helpful if you’re not sure how to design your workout plan. There’s also a lot of women that check in there when they do their workouts, if you’re looking for that kind of accountability! I personally don’t follow their challenges because I need my run days, but it’s at least a plan to start with and then tailor as needed.

          • I just remembered one thing that I think is really helpful for starting out with the DVDs. I have a mirrored wall in my dining/living room, which I can’t stand from a design perspective but love during my workouts because it allows me to see what I look like compared to the instructors in the videos, and adjust my form accordingly.

            Oh, and if you ordered Volume 1 of P57, don’t watch the women in orange in the back during the full-length video! Volume 1 uses “real people” in addition to instructors in the videos, and I think those two plus the man in purple are the clients. The woman in orange with the ponytail tends to be a tad erratic and overexaggerated with her form, so I don’t recommend watching her. She sure looks like she’s having fun though, so maybe watch her for motivation :)

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