Suit of the Week: Tahari Arthur S. Levine

TAHARI ARTHUR S. LEVINE Two-Piece Skirt SuitFor busy working women, the suit is often the easiest outfit to throw on in the morning. In general, this feature is not about interview suits for women, which should be as classic and basic as you get — instead, this feature is about the slightly different suit that is fashionable, yet professional.

Wow: Lord & Taylor is having some serious sales. For example: suits and suit separates are marked an extra 50% off, and then you can save an additional 20% off with promo code FINAL. I like the look of this white skirt suit from Tahari — it’s about as classic as you can get, for, you know, a white skirt suit. I think the white jacket would be the real workhorse, here — I’ve always gotten a ton of wear out of my white blazers! — and this one has a nice fitted look. It was $280, but is now marked to $70, and with the additional 20% off it comes down to $55. Limited sizes only, of course. TAHARI ARTHUR S. LEVINE Two-Piece Skirt Suit

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Comments

  1. Nurse Ratchett :

    I love it!

    • Migraine Sufferer :

      LOL!

    • Nurse Rached :

      As did I.

    • This suit is VERY nice and VERY afordable, even if it is in WHITE. Nontheless, I would NOT buy it b/c I have to take the SUBWAY to work and it would get VERY dirty VERY fast in the subway. FOOEY!

      If I get to become a PARTNER, then mabye I can stop takeing the SUBWAY, but even the CAB’s are FILTHEY inside. I do NOT enjoy getting a ride today in a CAB, but if I go in-house, then I can get CAR services!!! Yay!

      Yesterday, I rode in the companies’ CAR service, and it was air condition and CLEAN! Of couse, I had to share with the 2 cleint’s, but we went to thier FAVORITE restarant, on the UPPER East Side. I thought it was OK, but they LOVED it, so I did NOT care! I am already busy on my first case and have 3 file’s from them. I am going to work very hard and the cleint said I get more case’s if I did a good job! The manageing partner is VERY happy that I locked the cleint, so he said he is geting me a GIFT CERTIFICATE from Lord and Taylor’s! YAY!!!!!!

  2. K...in transition :

    just saw this http://www.groupon.com/deals/dc-bth-cafepress?c=all&p=1 and wondered if it could be used for JSFAMO items… not sure if that makes me wise or a c-rp-r-tt- addict!

    also, as an update, someone finally responded to me on the couch surfers website and I’ll be cat-sitting in exchange for a free place to stay for the length of my visit! Now to stop myself from trying to justify buying rush or lotto theater tickets I can’t afford right now… hehe

    • Take your student ID, if you have one!

    • YAY!!!! I am so glad you found a place to stay, K! And I am so excited about the show, I hope you tell us all about it!

    • So glad you found a place to stay! I was wishing my friend was still in NYC because he would have taken you in. He is temporarily in DC.

    • SoCalAtty :

      That’s great! (and you’ll have a kitty to hang out with!)

  3. Diana Barry :

    So, I was organizing my makeup bag last night, and ALL MY LIPSTICKS ARE THE SAME COLOR. How did this happen? I now have like $200 worth of lipsticks that are ALL THE SAME COLOR! And of course, this doesn’t include the ones that I wear all the time (which are the perfect red, orange, and berry ones). Please tell me I’m not the only person who does this!

    (Sorry for the ELLEN caps.)

    • Merabella :

      I had this realization with nail polish. I have 8 different purpley reds. 8. Enough said.

      • Same here, I have decided to do some summer cleaning in my bare apartment.
        I bought some organizing bins and drawer dividers and got started organizing everything. Here are the horrifying findings:
        – I own too much navy. This is my go to color
        – 90% of my tops are from LOFT
        – I have an embarrassing number of socks that are all black..
        – All my nail polish is in this category: deep red/ corals / clear
        – 50% of my weekend wear is either navy or gray
        Needless to say that after finding out I’m a very boring, predictable person, I decided to up the accessories a notch

    • Winterberry :

      I just noticed that all my nail polishes are the same color. I keep buying slight variations on the same bright reddish-orange color over and over again.

    • BigLaw Optimist :

      Eyeshadow. I must have 27 different taupey-brown colors. Some have shimmer, some are matte, all are the same shade. Every time I go to the makeup counter, I think – hrm, this is lovely, instead of “YOU HAVE THIS IN YOUR PURSE YOU MORON.”

      • Your note to self made me giggle inappropriately at my desk.

      • I’m basically a crow around eye shadow, snatching up anything and everything I can and making off with it. Do you know how many eye palettes are on the little cake stand in my bathroom right now? Six. Possibly even seven now that I think about it. Nobody needs that many eye palettes. Yet, there they are.

        • This is me with dresses. I had to restrain myself from buying a dress just 10 minutes ago (literally, had to get up and walk away from the computer). No one could possibly need as many dresses as I own.

          • This is me too.

          • I’m this way with wrap dresses.

            I noticed that the last 2 wrap dresses I’ve bought are in patterns & color combos similar to what I already own because I seem to already own every possible color+pattern combination.

          • Yep. I love me some dresses. I pretty much exclusively wear dresses and skirts to work, and even though I like and own many pairs of jeans for off hours, I would so much rather wear dresses.

        • I just have to tell you a cake stand seems genius for eyeshadow storage. You have given me a project.

          • Hah! Thanks. I’m not the genius – Pottery Barn is. I got this contraption from them a few years ago. It basically looks like you cut a tiered cake stand in half and then screwed it into the wall… so you have three shelves, large to small, to put your stuff on. It’s really lovely and keeps all sorts of stuff (forget the eye shadows – we haven’t talked about my nail polish collection yet) off my counter and looking somewhat neat.

          • Here’s something that might work well, although I do like that mine screws into the wall above my counter, freeing up additional space…
            http://www.potterybarn.com/products/tiered-basket-bath-storage/?pkey=cbath-storage

          • found my bathroom cake stand! though I don’t think you can buy it anymore, unfortunately.

            http://www.kaboodle.com/reviews/wall-mounted-glass-cake-stand

          • In the Pink :

            I use little ceramic bowls, decorative and give some inspiration to the vanity. DH suggested colorful glass ones, but at the time couldn’t find any. Matching/complementary drinking glasses/tumblers for the brushes and mascaras and liners.

    • All of my CLOTHES are the same color! I somehow am only buying clothes in the cobalt/indigo blue category and grey, and then i can’t wear anything together, cause it looks like some weird, monochromatic runway outfit of all the same color! How do I stop?

      • What does it say about me that I am dressing in various shades of gray? Ha ha

      • just Karen :

        I am wearing a grey skirt with a cobalt top… and it’s one of my favorite outfits. I don’t think you need to stop :)

        • No, I agree, that looks great, but then my only two sweaters are cobalt and grey, so when i get to pieces 3 and 4 with the same colors, i start feeling waaayyy too matchy matchy. Esp. when every. single. day. is a different arrangement of the same colors again!

    • I have six berry lippies. Why, oh why does this happen?

  4. Research, Not Law :

    You know, despite all the beautiful white suits I see online, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone wear a white suit. Maybe it’s regional? I like the jacket but would feel awkward in the suit. Am I trying to power-through brunch at the yacht club?

    TJ: Eyebrow waxing at home. Anyone do it and have product recommendations? I was dissatisfied with a couple of options I tried years ago, but my eyebrows have gone feral since having the second child and I think this would be the best solution for my schedule, which is inconsistent with salon schedules. I have fine hair that’s a B to tweeze.

    • I wear a white suit probably once a month during the long summer in Texas. Perhaps it is regional, but I don’t feel awkward wearing it. Of course, not that many people do wear it even here, so it’s still unique, but I don’t mind being unique in my wardrobe.

    • I went to a meeting in Houston recently and three women were wearing white blazers, and one was wearing a full white skirt suit. They all looked great — if you wear a colorful blouse it doesn’t end up looking nurse-like.

    • I see it in DC in the summer sometimes. I see a lot of white suiting separates.

    • I’ve seen women here in Texas pull off white pant suits, but I’ve never seen it done with a skirt.

      • I do my eyebrows at home, with an occasional professional cleanup because I tend to be conservative so I don’t wax off a whole chunk…

        I LOVE the Salley Hansen microwaveable hard wax. Its very hard to find, but Ulta seems to carry it consistently. You pull the wax itself, so you don’t have to mess with strips. The “warm between your hands” plasticky ones have always sucked, I never have been able to get them to work.

        • Oops, that was a reply to OP, not to Herbie. That reply link at the bottom of the convo gets me every time :)

    • Anonymous :

      I also use Sally Hanson microwaveable. The longer you have it, the longer you have to microwave it for. Mine usually lasts about a year. I replace it not because I run out, but because it won’t melt anymore.

    • I’ve always done my own – I use stuff that comes on its own strip (which I think is Sally Hanson). I cut the strips with a scissor into the shape I want my brow, rub them in my hands a little bit to warm up the wax, and then press on and peel off. Very easy, very quick. Just be careful not to get the strip stuck to your eyelash.

      • I have never tried (chance of accidentally removing an entire brow is high, given my hand-eye coordination…) but one of my roommates in college used those Sally Hansen strips and accidentally ripped a patch of skin off her eyelid. Of course, I have had that happen in the hands of a “professional” waxer, so I guess the moral of the story is that waxing = risk.

        • Really? I find myself to be too uncoordinated to use an eyelash curler, but as long as I trim the strips into the shape I want with a scissor before I apply them I’ve been fine. They come way, way too large, so I trim a lot off.
          Note to self, though – carefuler around my eyelid.

    • Research, Not Law :

      I’ll be checking out that hard wax. Was there a learning curve?

      The hand-warming sheets failed me in the past. Glad they worked for someone, since they seemed like a good idea.

      I can see white suits in the SE and Texas during the summer. Watch. Now I’ll see three of them today. (In PNW, by the way).

      • I don’t know about a learning curve… try not to get it too hot or you have to sit and wait for it to cool some. Apply a thin layer a little past where you want to wax and leave a little extra on the end so you have something to grasp to pull it off. Just like any other wax, you want to try to stay as close to the skin (pull back, not up, if that makes any sense). Have the guts to grab and pull; if you do it slowly, you’ll just break the hairs instead of pulling at the roots.

        Also, know that any wax can be removed with an oil based remover, or even baby oil or olive oil. So if you get it somewhere you don’t want (middle of your eyebrow), you don’t have to pull it. Take it off and start over.

  5. I bought the eyelet suit on Lord & Taylor’s website based on a ‘ r * e t t e ‘s advice, and I love it. I’d mentioned that last week but thought I’d say it again at the risk of sounding like a broken record. I highly recommend that suit.

    • I really liked that suit but they didn’t have it in my size. Jealous!

    • I am so excited you got it. I am just not very good at dressing up, and I am too much of a klutz to have white clothes, much less nice ones…. but for some reason it makes me super happy that you are out there wearing that beeyootiful suit!!

  6. Migraine Sufferer :

    full white suits remind me of old-school nurses. I don’t think I’d feel comfortable in- not being a nurse.

  7. This woman is mad, right?

    http://blog.penelopetrunk.com/2012/07/17/marissa-mayer-becomes-ceo-of-yahoo-and-proves-women-cannot-have-it-all/

    Her advice is to marry rich and spend your husband’s money? Do a PhD for the fun of it?

    • Quite mad.

    • Actually I kinda love her. But I’m nuts too

    • Do people even read her anymore? After that whole “I’m staying with my abusive husband because I can change him” thing?

      • also here is a picture of me naked and bruised

      • I haven’t read Penelope Trunk in years, but I googled to figure out what you were talking about. What a horrible situation, and, as someone who frequently works with survivors of domestic violence, the comments on that entry make me want to vomit.

    • Penelope is trolling. It’s her thing.

    • trunk is the worst.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Honestly, I think her four suggestions are not the worst advice I’ve ever seen. I’ve done almost all of them in fact:

      1. Marry rich and spend your husband’s money to fund your own startup. Okay, haven’t done that. But only because I didn’t think of it.

      2. Go back to school when you have young kids to get a PhD./3. Have your kids very early. I sort of combined these, in a way. Had my son in my mid-20s, when I was in law school, and it worked out amazingly well. I didn’t have to go to work full time until he was 2, and now he’s grown and gone and I still have plenty of “career” left in me.

      3. Quit and stay at a big job. I’ve done that, too. Coasted at the Medium Sized Law Firm after I made partner, then switched career paths and resumed upward mobility (see “he’s grown and gone,” above.)

      None of which is to say that Penelope isn’t kind of a head case. But there are ways to do Career And Family without having to take it all head-on, all at once.

      • Gotta agree with #2. Having kids young & early in my career was the best thing for me by far. I don’t feel it has hurt my career at all, even though at 37 I’m not CEO of Yahoo. However, I see women my age or a little younger struggling with the ‘when should I have kids, how will we handle having kids now’ dilemmas, and I’m glad it’s not an issue for me.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        I think “quit and stay” is smart too.

    • Anonymous :

      I think the post is totally reasonable. All of her suggestions seem legit to me and I did numbers 1,2, 3. Not 4 though, but that’s because of number 1.

  8. I’m going out to one of my friend’s summer houses on Cape Cod this weekend. (It’s actually her parents’ house and they’ll be there as well). I was planning to bring some nice balsamic and olive oil as a hostess gift for her parents, but I also wanted to bring down some general food / groceries to contribute for the weekend. Any suggestions on what to bring? I’m trying to think of things that are easy to transport, can ride in a hot car for a couple of hours, and don’t require much prep work. Any ideas?

    • Fancy jam, bakery bread + coffee beans and tea bags. then you’ve provided a nice breakfast.

      • Research, Not Law :

        I was going to suggest granola, but I suppose that requires milk or yogurt.

        Nuts and dried fruit for snacking.

    • Some kind of nice hors d’oeuvre? Nice crackers or pita chips and some kind of spread, like a tapenade?

    • I like coffee cake for this purpose. It’s breakfast, dessert, snack — you choose.

      • hellskitchen :

        I want some warm coffee cake badly now. Especially with all the rain and thundering and hailing going on in NYC right now

      • Bonus: coffee cake in a hot car will make your drive smell DELICIOUS.

  9. SoCalAtty :

    Update on the horrible secretary! She just walked out! After that last awful mess, the attorneys here have been giving explicit instructions with follow up emails, so there was no wiggle room to pass the blame off on mistakes.

    How unprofessional to not give notice or give us status on the projects that we’ve given her this morning. So I have to answer phones and prep filings for now, until I find someone, but we are not very high volume so that is not a big deal.

    This is really a pretty great place to work, so I can’t even imagine someone walking away from a good salary, consistent hours, OT pay when needed….crazy.

    • Merabella :

      Thank your lucky stars that lady is out of there! She sounded like a hot mess.

      • SoCalAtty :

        She was! I still just marvel at the lack of professional behavior….and I gues walking out at 11am was the final demonstration! In this economy I would have to guess that I will find someone happy to have the job.

        • This happened with an attorney I worked with – the admin walked out at lunch and left her work shoes. She had them in the general office as a general reminder of what she didn’t want to live through twice, and in the off-chance that she would come pick them up.

    • I had a crazy secretary once. The only bad direct report I’ve ever had. She became convinced I was out to get her because I was, in her opinion, threatened by her. I tried to tell people – my boss, HR – but no one really listened to me. About 6 months after I left the company, friends tell me she had some sort of screaming breakdown at work and had to be more or less carried out of the building by Security.

      So just walking out is not the worst case!

    • Ada Doom Starkadder :

      Ugh. Sorry you have more on your plate now that you don’t have a secretary, but yay that you don’t have to deal with her crazy.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Hooray!! Now just get the puppy to come in again and it might be the perfect office!

      • SoCalAtty :

        Sydney – I know! If I could get an awesome secretary in here, plus the puppy, and maybe the secretary will have a puppy of her own and they can play in the hallways. Requirement for the job? Maybe…I’m just kidding, I think.

        • Sydney Bristow :

          It wouldn’t even make my list among the craziest craigslist job postings I’ve seen. :-)

        • SoCal Gal :

          I know an out-of-work paralegal who would happily do admin type work. And who loves doggies…

          • SoCal Gal – hopefully you see this but if you want to contact me please do! Email is meyerlemony at g mail dot com.

    • Yeah, congratulations! Sorry about the temporary extra work, but it’ll all be worth it in the end. You’d already started looking for someone, right? I’m sure a craigslist ad with a picture of the puppy will bring hundreds of fine applicants :-).

  10. Kat – what do you wear with a white blazer? Looking for ideas for a conservative law office in the hot south. Thanks,

    • I wear mine with a black and white skirt and black cami during the week, or with jeans and a black or coloured top on Fridays.

    • I’m not Kat, but work in an office like yours. I have a white blazer that I wear over sheath dresses of various colors (including black) and solid-color pants from other suits in the summer to brighten them up. Mine has some texture and I get lots of compliments on it. In fact, I bought the recommended suit for the jacket earlier this year, having gotten so much use out of my one white jacket last summer. I ended up returning it, but only because I just have too many clothes.

    • MissJackson :

      I’m also not Kat, but I get a ton of wear out of my white blazer in the summer. I wear a lot of color, and I feel like it helps to “tone down” some of my outfits. Bright solid pencil skirt + bright printed blouse can seem like a bit much sometimes even for me. Add a white blazer, and all of a sudden it’s perfect.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I wear mine with everything. Today it’s The Skirt in fever pink with a gray and white pussy-bow polka-dot blouse, and gray pumps.

      • Migraine Sufferer :

        I want that outfit! *looks for white blazer*

      • I want your outfit! And I don’t even have to wear blazers to work and am convinced I’d spill on white before I even got out the door in the morning.

        • Senior Attorney :

          I will say I only buy white blazers with bracelet-length or 3/4 sleeves because if they have long sleeves, they will get grubby.

  11. in sickness and in health :

    Sorry for the length of this question:

    My husband and I are both changing jobs in one month, including changing health insurance. He will be teaching at the high school, I will be joining a small firm in private practice. We live in a relatively small town in the South, with an extremely low cost of living. Our combined salary will be $110K; after deductions, our tax bracket will be right at the edge of 25-28%%.

    Health insurance: My employer offers me either the option of $450 add’l per month in compensation or health insurance. I can also put my husband on for an additional $550 per month, but that would be an after tax payment.

    My husband’s school system will pay his health insurance, but he cannot get any additional salary if he were to decline the health insurance. To add me to his health insurance, which would be a pre-tax contribution, it will cost $647.00.

    The two health insurance plans are identical. (Really – it’s the same plan, same provider, booklets are identical).

    Unbeknownst to our employers, I have a medical condition which involves very expensive procedures every couple of years (tens of thousands of dollars), but doesn’t affect my productivity in the interim. So losing health insurance would be very traumatic for us between now and 2014.

    If I am correct, doesn’t it actually make better sense for him to add me onto his insurance rather than either (1) have me add him onto my insurance; or (2) have each of us carry our own insurance?

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      If I’m reading this correctly, you absolutely should go on his insurance. After your subsidy from your employer it will only cost $197 for you to be on his v. $550 to add him on yours. Plus the “hit” from your procedures will be spread over a larger group presumably where he works for a school and you a small private employer. Add to that, if you need to leave work in the future for your condition or pregnancy and lose coverage, you would need his coverage anyway. Seems like a no-brainer.

    • You should be on his insurance if at all possible. Not only will it save you some money, but then your health issues will be separated from your employer. I know we have health information privacy, but employers still get a lot of information, and if your employer is small, your claim will really stick out and they will know it’s you.

      • Anecdote about employers receiving health information…

        A woman who worked with my aunt underwent a breast reduction. The company’s HR department requested some documentation from her surgeon to determine how long she would be out, if she would have any restrictions upon return, etc. Well, someone at the doctor’s office screwed up and along with the paperwork, included PHOTOS of the woman that had been taken as part of her initial consultation. Like, sans clothing. I’m not sure what ultimately happened, but I know she was considering suing the doctor.

    • Well, in terms of the cost of premiums, it makes more sense for him to add you onto his insurance. You’re spending $647 but receiving $450, so that’s a $197/mo cost to you. BUT, that’s only the cost of the premiums. You need to research the policies and ask more questions. What are the policies’ respective deductibles? What co-pay is required once you meet the deductible? What is the out-of-pocket max? What exclusions from coverage do the policies have?

      • in sickness and in health :

        The policies are identical. It’s the same plan. Literally, it’s the same group plan through the same provider – we’ve been given identical booklets and can find no difference anywhere.

        • Same deductible, co-pay, limits, etc?

          • in sickness and in health :

            Yep. Which, thankfully, has made this analysis much more simple for us – although some of the factors being brought up, including yours, mamabear, are things I hadn’t thought of and definitely helpful.

        • Oh, I thought by identical you just meant the same coverage. Then yeah, definitely go with his.

    • Is it just me, or is $600-700 a month for employer-based health insurance crazy? Maybe I’ve just been out of the workforce for long enough that employee contributions have gone up a lot, but wow.

      • SoCalAtty :

        Depending on age/region, that’s about right for a spouse. Most employers, even govt. out here in CA don’t contribute anything to spouses, just let you add them and pay full price. Sometimes it is a better deal than buying individually, sometimes not.

      • It is crazy, but it’s what a lot of us have to pay. A lot of people pay much more.

    • OC Lawyer :

      Yes, you should both be on your husband’s plan.

      Because you say you have to have these expensive procedures, I’m trying to think of a way to reduce the amount you have to spend out of your pocket on them. If your husband’s insurance pays 80%, you still have to pay the 20% out of pocket. Idea 1: Does either of your employers offer a pre-tax health care reimbursement account? Idea 2: If your out of pocket contribution to the procedures will be more than $450/month, maybe you should get your firm’s insurance too (just for you) and use that as secondary insurance so that you don’t have to pay anything out of pocket.

    • in sickness and in health :

      From a financial standpoint, it seems like it would be slightly cheaper for us to each carry our own insurance.

      But when I take these other factors into consideration, it seems better to have us both on his insurance.

    • If I’m reading everything correctly, I agree with your assessment.

      I’m sure you have done this, but triple check his insurance details vs yours (deductibles, in network out of network) etc. If possible, also find out the COBRA rates to see, just in case, if there is any difference between the premiums on the off chance you would ever have to go that route.

    • With the $450 stipend, you’re still spending $197/mo to be on your husband’s plan. How much of a premium would you personally have to pay to be on your firm’s plan? If it’s less than $197/mo, I can’t see how it makes sense to join your husband’s plan. That’s $2400/year.

  12. Done Pumpin' -- Charlotte NC :

    Any store / shopper recommendations in Charlotte, NC?

    I think my post-baby size has stabilized and mommy is ready to shop for some new office-appropriate clothes. FWIW, have not shopped for work clothes here, only maternity and baby items.

    Many thanks!

    • anonymiss :

      South Park Nordstrom personal shopper? If you work with her to find new items and determine your size and figure, you can get the foundation at Nordies and then go into the rest of the mall to supplement it.

  13. Research, Not Law :

    Seeking menu/recipe sources for the paleo/caveman diet. DH is testing a highly suspect wheat allergy, I’m currently dairy- and soy-free, and older daughter is nut-free, so this seems like a good resource to mine. Would South Beach or any other diets seem helpful, with reasonable substitutions or alterations? I need inspiration.

    • Check out Mark’s Daily Apple.

    • I have developed about a dozen recipes that would qualify. If you want, I can post them here?

      • Research, Not Law :

        That would be super. You could also email them to peachypear [at] gmail, if you prefer.

        Thanks for the super suggestions, everyone!

      • EATING CLEAN RECIPES

        LENTIL SALAD

        Ingredients:
        Prepared lentils from Trader Joes
        One bunch fresh asparagus
        Prepared beets from Trader Joe’s
        Crumbled feta (optional)
        Whole grain mustard (I like Maille or Grey Poupon)
        Olive oil
        Balsamic vinegar
        Baby food (or similar) jar with lid
        Big Tupperware

        Method:
        1. Steam asparagus (put pot with steamer rack and water on stove and light flame, rinse asparagus, cut off bottom inch or so, put in pot, cook until tender but still crisp – about 5 minutes).
        2. Empty entire package of lentils into Tupperware.
        3. Empty beets onto cutting board, cut into quarters, put into Tupperware.
        4. Put two spoonfuls of mustard and equal parts olive oil and vinegar in jar, close lid and shake.
        5. Remove asparagus, cut into one-inch pieces, put into Tupperware.
        6. Add vinaigrette to Tupperware, close and shake.

        SALMON (OR CHICKEN BREASTS) WITH TOMATO, BLACK OLIVES
        AND SPINACH (OR ARUGULA)

        Ingredients:
        Salmon from Costco or chicken breasts
        (salmon: 1/3 pound per serving)
        One lemon
        8 or 10 Roma tomatoes
        Black olives (with or without pits)
        Bagged spinach or arugula
        Olive oil
        Garlic (I keep a jar of minced garlic in olive oil in the fridge)
        Wine (option: use water instead)

        Method:
        1. Rinse salmon and cut into pieces about the size of a deck of cards (or a little bigger) and pat dry (or similar prep with chicken breasts).
        2. Chop tomatoes
        3. Sauté a spoonful or so of garlic in a little olive oil in a really big frying pan over low flame
        4. When garlic is not quite browning, add tomatoes and increase flame to medium
        5. When tomatoes have cooked together a little, add olives
        6. Meanwhile, put salmon or chicken on cookie sheet on foil (for easy cleanup) and sprinkle with freshly ground salt and pepper. For salmon, put a lemon slice on each piece.
        7. As tomatoes cook together, add wine or water as needed
        8. When sauce begins to coalesce, turn on broiler to high
        9. Put fish or chicken under the broiler. Salmon for about 5 minutes per inch of height. Remove from broiler when fish (or chicken) is just barely done.
        10. Put fish slices or chicken breasts into sauce in pan, add spinach or arugula, put lid on a cook until greens wilt.
        11. (can serve over rice or couscous or other grain)

        SALAD NICOISE

        Ingredients:

        Large Tupperware
        Small jar (like the ones for jam you get from room service)
        One individual can of tuna
        Lemon
        Cherry tomatoes
        Black olives
        Hardboiled egg
        ½ avocado
        Greens of your choice
        Olive oil
        Vinegar of your choice
        Method:
        1. Drain tuna and put into Tupperware. Add some lemon juice and flake with fork.
        2. Add handful of tomatoes.
        3. Add handful of olives.
        4. Slice egg and add.
        5. Make slices horizontally and vertically in avocado with a knife. Then scoop it out with a spoon and put into Tupperware.
        6. Add greens (more than you think)
        7. Put equal amounts oil and vinegar in small jar, close and nestle into greens.
        8. Cover with lid.
        9. At office: shake jar, pour into salad, put top on Tupperware, shake, eat.

        Alternative: instead of egg, avocado, tomatoes and olives, use fruit (blueberries or grapefruit sections) and raspberry vinegar instead of balsamic.
        Alternative: instead of tuna, I sometimes use tuna burgers (I buy them at Santa Monica seafood, who makes them fresh. They are just fish and spices, no bread or anything. They sell them by the pound, and I can get three burgers for $10. I put them in the toaster over broiler until the top looks cooked (a few minutes) and then flip until the other side looks cooked. On foil for easy cleanup. I am told TJs sells either tuna burgers or salmon burgers, but I haven’t looked for them yet.

        “GRILLED” VEGETABLES

        Ingredients:
        One eggplant
        One red pepper
        One yellow pepper
        One green pepper
        One box sliced mushrooms
        Baby food jar
        Olive oil
        Balsamic vinegar
        Cookie sheet (two makes it easier)
        Foil

        Method:

        1. Slice eggplants into ¼ inch thick rounds. Put broiler on high. Place eggplant rounds on foil on cookie sheet.
        2. Put equal amounts olive oil and balsamic vinegar in jar and shake. Put a half-spoonful on each eggplant round. Put eggplant sheet under broiler for 15 minutes (or until slices just begin to brown.)
        3. Meanwhile, clean peppers and slice into long slices. Put on foil on second cookie sheet and sprinkle with vinaigrette.
        4. When eggplant rounds are just browning, turn them over and sprinkle other sides with vinaigrette. Put back under broiler for another 15 minutes (or until brown). NB: you might want to rotate the cookie sheet after 7 ½ minutes if one part is closer to the broiler mechanism.
        5. When eggplant is done, put peppers tray under broiler for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, open the oven to stir the peppers and check for doneness. They are done when each slice has a little brown on it. That may take 20 or 25 minutes. Don’t undercook!
        6. Repeat with mushrooms.
        7. To serve, either put a little of each vegetable in a little Tupperware (so you have a medley to go in each one) or display on a platter for serving. Better the next day. Keeps for 3 or 4 days.

        FRITATTA WITH AVOCADO AND TOMATOES
        Ingredients:
        2 eggs
        Non-stick frying pan
        Plastic spatula
        Pam
        Non-fat milk
        ½ avocado
        Tomato
        Mustard vinaigrette (see above)

        Method:
        1. Mix the eggs and milk in a bowl or mug with a fork.
        2. Put the Pam on the frying pan and put over low-medium heat.
        3. Add the eggs to the pan.
        4. RESIST the urge to do anything to the eggs.
        5. When the eggs start firming up, wait until the entire circumference is firm.
        6. Then, and only then, slip the spatula around the circumference to make sure the eggs don’t stick.
        7. If any bubbles pop up, poke a hole in them with the corner of the spatula.
        8. Keep using the spatula under the eggs, all the way around, to make sure nothing is sticking.
        9. ONLY when the entire top of the egg pancake is firm, flip the entire thing over like a pancake.
        10. When the bottom is the right amount of brown for you, take the pan off the heat.
        11. Cut the tomato and avocado into small cubes.
        12. Put the frittata in a Tupperware, put the veggies inside, drizzle a little vinaigrette over them, flop the rest of the frittata over them, close Tupperware and put in fridge.
        13. Serve cold.
        14. Does not last more than one day. But CAN be made the night before for lunch the next day.

        BERRIES
        Ingredients:
        Strawberries
        Sugar
        Cointreau or brandy or Grand Marnier

        Method:
        1. Slice berries
        2. Put in bowl
        3. Add a spoonful of sugar
        4. Add a couple spoonfuls of liqueur
        5. Toss
        6. Better after about an hour.

        SHRIMP WITH EDAMAME

        Ingredients:
        Frozen shrimp from Trader Joe’s (shells off, tails on) (tails off, too, if you can find it)
        Edamame from Trader Joe’s (shelled)
        Cherry tomatoes
        White wine (I keep “Two Buck Chuck” sauvignon blanc in the fridge for cooking)
        Garlic
        Olive oil

        Method:
        1. Put shrimp in bowl of room temperature water to defrost. Remove tails. Keep changing water as it gets cold, but use only room temperature, not hot, water.
        2. Put a very small amount of olive oil in big frying pan and sauté a spoonful of garlic in it.
        3. Add a little wine.
        4. Add tomatoes.
        5. When tomatoes start to get soft, add edamame.
        6. Then add shrimp.
        7. When shrimp are white, remove from heat. Do NOT overcook.
        8. Can serve over rice or cous cous or other grain.

        Alternate: instead of cherry tomatoes and edamame, use big tomatoes (chopped) and spinach or arugula.

        SHAK-SHUKAH
        (Israeli Tomato Stew with Poached Eggs)
        Ingredients:
        Olive oil
        Garlic
        4 or 5 mushrooms
        1 bell pepper (any color)
        4 or 6 tomatoes
        1 can tomato sauce
        Wine (optional)
        Salt
        Cayenne pepper
        1-3 Eggs

        Method:
        1. Slice mushrooms.
        2. Cut pepper into small (1/2 inch x ½ inch) pieces
        3. Chop tomatoes in large pieces.
        4. In a large frying pan, sauté garlic in olive oil.
        5. Add mushrooms and peppers.
        6. Cook until peppers get soft. Keep stirring so that everything browns evenly. Add a little wine to get the brown stuff off the pan, if you want. Season along the way with salt and cayenne.
        7. When peppers are soft, add chopped tomatoes.
        8. When tomatoes have wilted into a sauce, add can of tomato sauce. Season with more salt and cayenne if you want.
        9. Break egg(s) into small bowl and whisk.
        10. When mixture is hot through and through, add eggs and let poach until thoroughly cooked.
        11. Serve in shallow bowls (with warm pita or baguette, if you want).

        CHINESE LEFTOVERS SCRAMBLED EGGS

        Ingredients:

        2 eggs
        Fresh spinach
        Olive oil
        Minced garlic
        Black bean paste
        White wine
        milk

        Method:

        1. Sauté a spoon of garlic in olive oil
        2. When the garlic is almost brown, add a spoon of black bean paste and a little white wine
        3. When these mix, add some spinach.
        4. Beat the eggs together with some milk
        5. When the spinach is wilted, push it to one side of the pan and let the oil drain into the empty space
        6. Pour the eggs into the oil and cook
        7. When the eggs are almost done, mix the spinach into them

        CHINESE TOFU AND SPINACH

        Ingredients:

        One package extra firm tofu (about 7 ounces)
        Fresh spinach
        Olive oil
        Minced garlic
        Black bean paste
        White wine

        Method:

        1. Slice tofu into squares just larger than dice
        2. Heat olive oil (a few tablespoons) in medium size frying pan over law-medium heat
        3. Add spoonful of garlic
        4. When garlic is just turning brown, add same amount of black bean paste. Stir.
        5. Add some wine. Stir.
        6. Add tofu to pan and let heat through, stirring occasionally so that the sauce gets all over the tofu.
        7. When tofu is hot, add a few handfuls of spinach to the pan and cover.
        8. When spinach is completely wilted, stir everything together.

        Makes one serving.

        HUMMUS

        Ingredients

        One can garbanzo beans (drain and reserve liquid)
        Garlic
        2 T Tahini
        2 T Lemon juice
        2 T Garbanzo bean liquid
        2 T Olive oil
        salt

        GARBANZO BEANS AND SPINACH

        Ingredients:

        ½ onion
        Olive oil
        2 Roma tomatoes or 1 large tomato
        1 can garbanzo beans, drained but not rinsed
        1 bag fresh spinach
        ½ lemon

        Method:

        1. Chop onion
        2. Sauté onion in olive oil
        3. While onion is sautéing, chop tomatoes
        4. Add tomatoes to pan
        5. Sauté until onions start to brown
        6. Add freshly ground salt and pepper
        7. Chop several handfuls of spinach coarsely
        8. Add to pan
        9. Squeeze juice of ½ lemon over pan
        10. Cook until spinach is wilted.

        CHOCOLATE MERINGUE COOKIES WITH PECANS

        Ingredients:
        3 cups powdered sugar
        7 Tablespoons cocoa powder (preferably Valhrona)
        2 Tablespoons flour (Can substitute almond meal)
        One pinch salt
        3 egg whites
        One half teaspoon vanilla
        2 cups finely chopped pecans
        Parchment paper
        Method:
        1. Preheat oven to 350 and line cookie sheets with parchment paper
        2. In large bowl, combine sugar, cocoa, flour and salt. Mix together with knife.
        3. Add egg whites into all other ingredients already in small bowl and beat on high speed about one minute. (Mix egg whites into dry mixture with a spoon before using the mixture to avoid making a big mess.)
        4. Fold in vanilla.
        5. Stir in pecans.
        6. Rounded teaspoon per cookie (ONLY a teaspoon – any bigger will be too big, really). Two inches apart on cookie sheet (otherwise they will bake together).
        7. Bake 15 minutes. (maybe a minute or two less).
        8. Cool before removing cookie from sheet.

        Makes about 50 cookies.

    • don’t bother adapting recipes, there are tons of paleo recipes online.

      Everyday paleo: http://everydaypaleo.com/category/food/
      Mark’s daily Apple: http://www.marksdailyapple.com
      Nomnom paleo: http://nomnompaleo.com/recipeindex/

      Nom nom also has links to other paleo blogs: http://nomnompaleo.com/linklove

    • Check out East Asian cuisine. AFAIK it usually doesn’t feature wheat or dairy, and there´s lots of variety.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        This is probably obvious, but beware of soy sauce though. It has soy (duh) and wheat. There are several wheat-free brands though.

        • phillygirlruns :

          coconut aminos are a good wheat and soy-free alternative to soy sauce. fish sauce is even better, but it has a somewhat different flavor from soy sauce – coconut aminos are almost dead on.

    • Anonymous :

      Check out the everyday paleo blog.

    • Check out Nom Nom Paleo – her recipes always look really good.

      • Also, I believe phillygirlruns mentioned at one point that she follows a paleo diet. She probably has some good resources!

        • phillygirlruns :

          i do! but they’ve almost all been posted… nom nom paleo, mark’s daily apple, whole9, everyday paleo. not sure if anyone’s mentioned primal palate yet – but they’re fantastic people in addition to a great recipe resource. beta dot primal-palate dot com.

          the longer i’ve been eating paleo, the more i’ve realized that this is sort of an anti-recipe diet. i eat meat (chicken – thighs or whole birds usually, sometimes breasts; all cuts of beef – roasts, steaks, ground beef; pork chops; chicken sausages; sometimes pork sausages), greens (favorites are kale, spinach and collard greens), most other veggies (sweet potatoes, cauliflower roasted with olive oil and garlic, anything i can eat raw out of laziness), some fruit (i dominated a bag of cherries in about 36 hours this weekend…so delicious) and plenty of eggs (usually scrambled with leftover meat, spinach and whatever other veggie i have cut up, but over-easy with bacon and kale is amazing).

          you can get as complicated as you want, but it’s very easy to avoid potential allergens if you approach it simply, at least to start. if i’m really uninspired i’ll cook some meat (say, pork chops or sliced up steak or something) with a little coconut oil in a cast iron pan, and then cook some greens in the drippings with a little salt, pepper and hot sauce. it takes about 10 minutes and is as simple as it gets.

    • Merabella :

      Check out The Big Red Kitchen. She does Mason Jar Meals, and a lot of her options are paleo friendly. She also talks about options when dealing with some family members who aren’t on paleo at the same time.

    • Amelia Pond :

      I second Mark’s Daily Apple. He also has a cookbook that I picked up from the library that has some really good quick meals.
      Nom Nom Paleo is also good and has great family ideas.

    • Don’t bother adapting, there are tons of paleo blogs online. It looks like my comment got stuck in moderation, but check out nomnompaleo.

    • Praxidike :

      Just google any of these, and I’ll put the links in a separate post.

      1) Nom Nom Paleo
      2) PaleOMG
      3) Paleo Table

    • I have similar dietary restrictions & I love the recipes at the Stone Soup blog–super quick, too.

    • In addition to what others have recommended (in particular Everyday Paleo and Nom Nom Paleo), check out theclothesmakethegirl dot com. Her blog recipes are fantastic and she just published a cookbook — Well Fed — that I highly, highly recommend. Also, check out whole9life dot com, in particular their blog (home of the Whole 30).

    • K...in transition :

      Cybele Pascal’s books are amazing… her husband is a friend and that led me to her books since I’m soy-free- awesome!

  14. Maybe it’s the heat recently but I feel like I’m starting to burn out at work. Didn’t request major holidays for the summer as my boss will be away but am thinking about asking for every Friday afternoon off in August – I have the hours banked from OT and work would much prefer I use ’em vs. ask for the money. Anyone had a schedule like that? Will this make a difference?

    • def anon for this one :

      I had (emphasis on had) a coworker who sent out an email a few years ago saying she didn’t have the time/money/inclination to take 1-2 weeks off this summer, and letting us know she would instead be using her vacation to take 4 day weekends every weekend of the summer to enjoy the beauty of our state’s beaches, hiking, and other staycation-esque activities in the summer. It sounded lovely.

      She was also let go in the fall, in part because no one really felt like she was doing enough work, even though she was using her earned vacation time. Now Friday afternoons off may be a totally different case (after all, many businesses have Summer Fridays and similar programs) and you’ve said your business prefers you use the hours, rather than take the cash payout. But, IMO, it’s way easier to delegate your projects and work and set an out of office reply for a couple weeks, come back and catch up and be available during regular business hours, and keep the office viewpoint that you are a hard worker back from vacation, than to continually be out of the office for 1-2 days per week and have people feel like they cannot reach you when they need to, on a regular basis. I think that tends to build general annoyance among coworkers and managers (or at least, it did in my company) that “Oh we can’t give that project to Jane – she won’t be able to finish it by the end of the day and she’s not in again until next Tuesday…”.

      That being said, I totally think it would help with burnout so if your office is not like mine, I say go for it!

      • def anon for this one :

        I guess I should add – we have other workers here (typically working mothers) on a limited time schedule (ie, 10-4 while the kids are in school, in the office MTW, working from home Thursday, Fridays off, etc) but people don’t have as much of a problem with that.

        My only explanation for the discrepancy is people assume and expect that their compensation is adjusted for it (not that it’s any of anyone else’s business, of course) and get a little rankled, especially on the management level, at feeling like they are paying someone the same amount as before when they are doing less work, however illogical that may be. Or maybe kids are just viewed as a better excuse. I’m not justifying it, just trying to explain it.

    • Amelia Pond :

      A manager in a different division is currently doing this. And it is turning out like def anon talks about. When the manager gets back every Monday she has a stack of emails and voicemail to go through and things are falling through the cracks. We had to reschedule a standing Friday morning meeting where all department managers get together to discuss projects that cross departments. It would be less disruptive for her to be out for a week or two. But if you are on more independent tasks and are the kind of person who can track emails and won’t have 100 messages waiting when you get back, I say give it a shot.

      • Amelia Pond :

        To clarify my office: we have people on flexible schedules, but managers are responsible for being in the office while it is “open” (between 9 to 5). The manager who takes off on Fridays deals directly with the problem cases for clients so for her not to be here to put out a client fire tends to cause more problems internally. Clients will be calling other staff freaking out and are usually not happy with “we have to wait til Monday for the manager to return”.

    • I work a compressed schedule so I have every other Friday off. It definitely helps with burnout (which I am feeling a lot right now–I think you’re right about the heat). On the Fridays that I work, I’m in the office 8 hrs instead of 9, and it is so nice to even get out one hour earlier. It feels like it’s truly free time.

      • I should add that a lot of people have a schedule like this where I work, so it’s pretty uncommon to have major meetings scheduled for Fridays.

      • This is similar to my schedule. And a lot of my co-workers also have similar ones. People adjust to you being gone that day and the regular 3-day weekends help with the burn out.

      • This is the fed govt’s AWS schedule.

        I would like Friday *afternoons* in August would not be anywhere as big a deal as all day Friday and Monday off for weeks on end. I think the other issue with the woman mentioned above is that it sounds like the email she sent out had a bit of a tonal issue. Better way to handle it: clear with supervisor, then not explain reason to everyone else.

    • On the other hands, some friends of mine own a small media development company. One of their salesmen was getting burned out and asked to take every Friday off for a defined time period (maybe the summer, maybe a couple of months, I can’t quite remember). His reasoning was he just needed to chill out a little and didn’t really want the added stress of planning a vacation (some may laugh, but I totally identify with this – I find planning travel to be quite stressful). They were happy to oblige because he was a very valued employee and they decided they’d rather have him there fully present at least 4 days a week than doing a mediocre job 5 days a week because he was so burned out.

    • I take off every Monday morning in the summer for the same reason – excess of vacation days plus summer burnout. I love it.

      • So many helpful comments! Thanks ladies.
        The only people who do formal compressed time where I work tend to be admins and I have to admit I find it annoying. Maybe I will just suck it up and turn it into one or two full days off.

        • My manager was very supportive about my doing a 4-day week — because I took Wednesdays off. I also moved it around a couple of times to accommodate important meetings. Because I wasn’t tacking it on to a weekend, it didn’t cause the same amount of resentment from my coworkers.

  15. Am I the only one who finds the Lord & Taylor website impossible? Search terms never yield half of what I’m looking for and know they have , you have to click on things to see size (which is really annoying when there is only one size left!), and half the time I try to load maximum items per view–so I don’t have to keep scrolling pages– the page dies. Not to mention I always have a hard time gauging length on their dresses since they hang them on those stupid dress dummies. (I need to see knees, darn it!)

    Why can’t everyone be more like Nordstrom’s?

    • Ada Doom Starkadder :

      You’re not the only one frustrated by the Lord & Taylor site.

      I used to get some dresses from there (L&T) but now have mostly defected to Piperlime, thanks to the suggestions from here (from b23, I think?)

    • Oh, and I hate Lord & Taylor’s website with a fiery passion.

    • I can NEVER see pictures of the actual item. So frustrating.

    • ChristinaMD :

      This is not a L&T Website issue, but they also don’t track inventory store to store, so they can’t even tell you if a neighboring store has an item, that store may be out of, in the size/color/etc. you’re looking for! :(

  16. Guys, I have become a road warriore t t e for the foreseeable future. I try to schedule dinners or drinks out to reconnect with friends and coworkers in the cities I’m visiting, and if I don’t have a dinner I usually work late. But there’s still a lot of evening alone time in hotel rooms.

    For those of you who travel frequently, what other things to do you to keep yourself from missing home? My lodgings tend to be the dead part of the city (financial district after hours) so going out locally isn’t really the thing.

    • Working out was always my thing when traveling. I was usually able to work out harder/longer when I had nothing else to do for the evening.

      • Merabella :

        Definitely second this suggestion. You can use the hotel gym to keep up with workouts, or stream exercise videos from the internet, or bring dvds with you. You could also look at Groupon or Living Social in the areas you are going to be traveling to and see if there are any experiences or classes you would want to take in the evenings after work.

      • I’ll second the working out. I normally just hit the treadmill for 30 minutes to an hour. That normally makes a pretty good dent in the evening.

      • Third the workout suggestion..
        I also use evenings to do a self manicure, pedicure, any grooming on eyebrows , mini facials.
        Part of why I like such travels is that I can pamper myself at night even if it is reading a magazine while in the bath tub.

    • Start a TV show streaming on Netflix so you always have something consistent to unwind with at night? Bonus if someone at home is watching too and you can talk about it so you feel like you’re still doing something together?

    • FormerPhotog :

      Well, nthing working out. I also pack a knit/crochet project. I IM with my spouse, too, which keeps me from feeling so lonely.

      I also don’t eat out as much – I try to find a decent grocery store and get some breakfast and lunch staples, so my diet is more familiar. (Granted, my road warrior weeks are all installs and trainings, and when I’m not teaching, I’m solo, so there’s not a lot of opportunity for lunches with others).

      I have my guilty pleasure Netflix, too – stuff that I don’t watch at home, so it makes it a novelty when I’m traveling.

    • Research, Not Law :

      A coworker takes along her scrapbooking stuff. She travels by car, so she keeps it all in a rubbermaid container. It allows her to take advantage of the dead hotel time, but I imagine also keeps her feeling connected to home.

    • Reading! I would try to pack a good book that I was excited about and I would “save” it for the hotel room to help kill the time during those lonely hotel evenings. I would also schedule phone dates, when time zones allowed, to catch up with college friends, relatives, etc.

    • I’m trying to imagine a world in which I have free time whilst on business travel. :)

      I like to watch local-language TV and try to guess what they’re saying, read on my kindle, and work out. I love taking advantage of hotel swimming pools. And I can always take a cab to a more happening part of town, or order delivery from local restaurants (most hotels are fine with this but check before you place the order). And of course I Skype with my family a few nights a week, too.

    • Maine Associate :

      You should schedule C*rp*rette meet-ups!

    • I second the working out suggestion – I find many hotel gyms depressing/gross, so I try to find a local yoga studio or Crossfit gym to drop in on. It has an anthropological bonus in that it’s usually really different from what I’m used to.

      Hit up a grocery store on day 1 and buy snacks, fruit, bottled water, anything that you would normally have at home.

      Carry an ipod adapter for the clock/radio or portable ipod speakers so you can have your own dance party.

      Use the evenings to make calls to friends and family that you haven’t talked to in a while. This always cheers me up immensely.

      If you’re in a different region, go shopping! Sale racks may have totally different things than your home stores.

      I also like to pack a travel candle – makes the hotel room smell less hotel-y.

    • If the hotel has a nice bar, get yourself a fun c*cktail and watch trashy TV. I generally travel alone and I love it, but I don’t have a family (just a kitty, who is well taken care of by my young colleagues). I’m a big fan of the Yankees so when I’m in New York, I get myself a falafel sandwich, put on my Yankees fleece and watch the YES Network for hours. Well that and shopping.

      • So… I just got back from about 15 (literally 3 but feels liKe 15) cocktails with an old friend, then polished off a bag of peanut m&ms from the vending machine. Someone on the internet is wrong, and apparently it’s me.

      • I love watching trashy TV alone in my hotel room, it’s one of my favorite work travel pleasures. I also like doing things like face masks, pedicures, etc that are not as much fun to do at home because my SO always gives me a bit of an eye roll when he comes home and finds me spread out on the couch with green mud all over my face.

    • I love taking, sending and receiving pics on my camera phone while on the road – I might send a 1-line note plus pic of an interesting planting idea for our garden to my hubby, some tasty local snack to a foodie friend, or a cool storefront to a client. But what started as a way to keep in touch with friends and family is now 5 years’ worth of my personal photo-journal, with lots of things in there which still make me smile.

      If you really have a lot of downtime, you can use Instagram or some such to play with your pics. Or a friend of mine uploads a pic a day to a site called Project 365, mostly for his kids when he’s on the road, and for his parents, who live in a different country.

  17. Sorry to pry, but how long since your child was born did it take for your size/shape to stabilize?

    I know I am going to need new clothes post baby, and am wondering about a timeline if you don’t mind sharing.

    • Done Pumpin' -- Charlotte NC :

      I think this is for me.

      After #1, quickly (1 month to tolerable with lots of loose skin, 4 months to tolerable, 6 months to normal?). Even after eating half of Cleveland while nursing.

      YMMV, but would recommend against limiting food — think of it as Mommy fuel (and you will need it, especially if nursing) and baby fuel. You’ll probably get more active each day and a lot of size stabilizing is just having your skin shrink back, so it can take care of itself as you get into your normal routine, strollering, etc.

    • Research, Not Law :

      With my first: The “who is that in the mirror” phase past at 5-6 weeks post-partum. I lost weight slowly but steadily and was back to regular size (although a slightly different shape) by about six months pp. I lost the little bit of remaining weight over the next few months. It really was “nine months on, nine months off.” For reference: Like Done Pumpin’, I was a bottomless pit of hunger. I walked with baby a lot but otherwise did not return to exercising.

      You didn’t ask, but: In general, I wouldn’t buy clothes in advance. I did and it was a waste. When you think about new clothes, keep in mind nursing access (if you plan to breastfeed). I didn’t.

      • Agree with RNL’s advice about nursing clothes. That was one of my rookie mistakes.

      • Just co-signing everything here. Not only nursing access, but pumping access if you plan on pumping at work. I didn’t realize how much that would limit my wardrobe, as well.

    • This is so individual and you’ll get a different answer from every woman. Just like during pregnancy, your postpartum body will change pretty much constantly for at least a year, maybe longer. My best advice is to buy things as you need them, and only as much as you need. It can get expensive, unfortunately. If you plan on having more kids, just keep everything because it’ll probably get used again. This is not the time to follow that rule of only stocking your closet with what fits.

      My experience is that it took about six months to lose weight but about another year for my ribcage and hips to return to their normal position. The day I realized I had a waistline again was a happy one. :)

      • Done Pumpin' -- Charlotte NC :

        FWIW, some maternity items with a before-and-after belly (often stretchy) worked well with majamas nursing shirts, which I found were longer and floated over the tummy area. If you are adding maternity clothes still, this may help you in the transition phase with bottoms. Even if you aren’t nursing (or nursing for long), the cut of those tops was awesome (or horrible, not much in between).

    • Oops, this was supposed to be in response to Done Pumpin’ — Charlotte NC

    • For me, it wasn’t really until I stopped exclusively breastfeeding and introduced formula during the day that I started wearing my pre-preg size again. So, 7 months or so. In the meantime, it wasn’t so much size as shape that kept me in new numbers. Hormones are funny things. I bought a few work items at Target (really, Merona looks pretty good, and it’s washable!) to get me through until I felt it made sense to buy longer-term clothes.

      And no, I didn’t diet. I just let nature take its course, and in chasing around a toddler, I actually ended up a size or two smaller than my pre-preg size within 18 months. As DP said, YMMV.

      Oh, and those Target clothes came in handy again during the ramp-up of preg #2. Win-win!

      • You guys are awesome. I didn’t get back to my pre preg weight until 3 years after the birth of #3 and 6 months of concentrated weight loss. But I lost that 30 lbs of ‘baby’ fat (10 lbs after each child)!!

        Of course I was working from home p/t and knew we were planning on having another after the first 2, so less motivation than some of you.

        However, I am one of those women who lost very little weight while breastfeeding. I heard SO many times that when you bf the weight just melts off. It doesn’t happen like that for everyone!

        • No kidding! It might have just melted off with bf if I hadn’t had an appetite the size of Texas….but that’s not how it worked for me, either.

    • Back to pre preg weight only now, baby is three months old. This is #2 and we are done, so it is now or never for me.

      Shape is still different compared to pre preg esp belly area.

      About 3/4 of work clothes now fit me, so I started ordering some but in reasonably forgiving brands/cuts. I try one old clothing item a day and move it to the ‘fits me’ side of my wardrobe. That way, I avoid dress-up time tears and angst when I return to work in 7 weeks.

  18. Is it correct to assume that a FINAL sale at L&T means no returns? I checked their website but can’t find anything about this. I simply won’t ever buy clothing online if I can’t return it if it doesn’t fit or isn’t flattering.

    • 2/3 attorney :

      I also would like to know the answer to this.

    • 2/3 attorney :

      I asked L&T customer service if final sale items can be returned and she said anything purchased on the web site can be returned within 90 days.

  19. TJ: My SO just accepted his dream job in Indianapolis!
    Anyone from there or living there now? What’s the city like?

    He’s in the NW area, outside the city. From looking online, I get the sense that cost of living isn’t high, but neither of us have any idea which neighborhoods are nice/safe or not.

    We’re doing long distance for now, so I’m not really looking forward to that part, but we’ve done it before so I know it’s manageable.

    • My SO lived briefly on the NE side of the city. Carmel and Fishers are both great areas and very safe. Cost of living is probably a little higher in those areas, but still very affordable. If you want to live in the city limits, I’ve heard that Broad Ripple is a nice neighborhood.

    • Broad Ripple is very nice! Cool boutiques and restaurants.

    • Anonymous :

      Goooo Butler Bulldogs! That is all.

    • Love Indy! It’s pretty, there are some big-city bonuses, and even in the heart of the city it feels suburban.

    • I’m from there! I’ve lived my whole life in the Indianapolis area, besides going to college/now law school. Specifically the north side. Most of the north-side suburbs are relatively safe, although there’s going to be some cost of living fluctuations, mostly depending on if you want more urban/suburban/rural. Cost of living in general isn’t high compared to some areas, like larger cities, but it’s definitely going to be more if you’re not living in one of the more rural areas.

      Other than that, if you’re trying to pick an area to “settle down” you might want to look at school districts. My parents lived in the Broadripple area when I was really little, but the schools aren’t very good and are sometimes not safe (my parents once had a babysitter say she avoided going to the bathroom all day because she didn’t feel safe) so they eventually relocated. If that’s not an issue yet for you guys, though, Broadripple is a great area with lots of fun stuff to do, and it’s not too far from the north side suburbs (I had orchestra rehearsals there every week while I was in high school and it was never more than a 20 minute drive, and if you’re commuting out to the suburbs you shouldn’t have that much traffic to deal with since most people will be commuting the other way.)

      Sorry if that’s a lot to take in, let me know if you have any other questions/I didn’t explain anything well enough. :)

      • hey Allie, that was great!

        We both lived in Pittsburgh (oakland/shadyside) for college, and he grew up OR and I’m from CT (pretty familiar with NYC). Definitely not coming from or looking for rural! The cost of living looks comparable to Pittsburgh, even a little cheaper.

        The Midwest is an unknown for both of us, so it’ll interesting to see how different it is from the other cities I’ve been to.

        Definitely not thinking of settling down yet! His work is further out– by Fieldstone and Brookstone? I’m not sure what the areas are called– and he’s thinking as close to work as possible so maybe even further into the suburbs from Brookstone.

        • Exact opposite here – I grew up on the south side of Indy, and lived in Shadyside for law school.

          You’ll find that Indy is much, much more suburban in the downtown areas than PGH. Cost of living will be slightly lower, and I second all the neighborhood recommendations above.

          Welcome to the Hoosier state :)

  20. There’s a storm watch for the DC area!!
    Will the meetup tonight still be on??

    • I’ll be there.

    • Me too!

    • Storm watch was until 5 so it should be on its way out. I’ll be there even if it’s raining.

    • It looks like it’s cleared up downtown! Looking forward to the meetup (and weirdly, a little internet/blind date nervous….do I have the right outfit on? what if I can’t find you? what if I sound like an idiot?)

    • No derecho will keep me away. Also, I already had a drink at an office “team meeting.” So really, happy hour already started for me.

      • I am so sad I’m out of town! Please tell me there will be another so I can feel better. ;)

  21. LADIES! By way of follow up to our discussions of creating a C*rp*rette clothing swap, we now have group on Rehash!

    http://rehashclothes.com/groups/183

    You’ll need to create an account, but it can be as anonymous as you want. So excited to see what the rest of you ladies have to offer!!

    • Is this straight up swap (like bartering), or is selling things permissible, too?

    • Thanks so much for doing this. I have several items to get rid of, and I just ordered some gorgeous wool Calvin Klein pants on final sale through Outnet, so if those don’t work for me, they will need to get swapped too.

      • 2/3 attorney :

        I have never used this before but just joined. I am already thinking of the things I could stand to not have in my closet.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I think we overloaded the site. If you go to rehash directly, their “groups” link is down.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      No idea what I said this time that got me moderated. We overloaded the “clothing website listed above” website. If you go to their homepage, their gr0ups link is down.

      • K...in transition :

        down for me too… someone please post this when things are up and running! maybe folks should use the same names as we do here just to make it easier to keep track?

        • The link didn’t work for me, but I just made a login and scanned through the groups (not too many) until I found this one, and then joined. Yay!

        • I made a login then got the error when I tried to post. Trying to give away a black and work work-appropriate shift dress.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        Now none of that site will work for me.

  22. Has anyone tried those special anti-fatigue lenses for glasses? If so, are they worth the extra expense? I’m a contact lens devotee and wear glasses only a few hours a day, so I’m trying to decide whether they’re worth it.

    Kat, a HUGE thank you for your post about eye issues a few weeks ago. Today I had my first eye exam in 18 months and thank goodness, because in addition to needing a new prescription, I have a few strain/fatigue issues that I need to address. My doc said the special lenses weren’t mandatory but could be helpful. (In hindsight, my eye issues may explain why I’ve never been able to wear my glasses for more than a few hours without feeling like my vision is getting blurry?)

  23. Building off the hilarious links in this morning’s thread – You know what bothered me the most about 50 Shades of Grey? Why the hell is a billionaire from Seattle shopping at Neiman’s (which one time she misspells as Nieman’s) instead of Nordstrom?

    #onlyonc o r p o r e t t e

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      You know what *really* bothered me? The scene where he sends someone over to Ana with a brand new MacBook Pro and it comes out that recent college graduate Ana doesn’t even have an email address!!

      Like… seriously?!

      • Oh, she also didn’t have a cell phone. Because I guess you don’t need that or an e-mail address when you’re LIVING UNDER A ROCK.

      • momentsofabsurdity, I bet if she did have an e-mail address, it would have been hotmail. And she’d be on MySpace still. With a Geocities website.

      • And she needed to start “the email program.” Who says that?

    • So… should I read this book? I feel like I’m missing out on a phenomenon.

      • If you normally like trashy, formulaic romances, it’ll be entertaining enough. I liked it. If you hate trashy, formulaic romances, no, don’t read it.

        • I would never admit to reading it, and I normally do not like trashy romances, but I did like it. Yes, the writing is so horrible that it’s distracting, and yes, the characters are totally one-dimensional and unbelievable, but I found it hot nevertheless. I do think it’s a bit of a cultural phenomenon, so I think you might want to consider reading at least the first book in order to “get” the Shades of Grey references in the media.

      • I’m not sure what terms are acceptable for this site, so excuse the euphemisms.

        I’m in my early 20s. A bunch of my friends are reading it, and are surprised at how raunchy it is…. which I found surprising!
        I guess for people that have *never* read romance novels or any sort of NC17 fanfiction before (which I thought was common among geeky 20s?) , it’s an introduction to a whole new world.

        I found it accurate in portraying an *unhealthy* BDSM relationship, and as accurate as most trashy romance novels are in terms of the steamy bits. (so not very). As others have said, the writing was terrible.
        I guess the internet has gotten me used to a higher quality of steamy literature?

        • I find that the vast majority of romance novels are a blueprint for an unhealthy/borderline abusive relationship. It’s shocking, really. And yet I love to read them!

    • Anonymous NYer :

      this is an interesting review of 50 Shades. I haven’t read the book, and have zero desire to (not because I don’t like trashy books, but for all sorts of reasons), and this review pretty much reinforced my desire not to.

      http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/340987215

      • SF Bay Associate :

        That was HILARIOUS. Thank you for sharing.

      • Yep, that’s what was posted on this morning’s thread that prompted me to post about Nieman’s. :)

    • …and I don’t think there *is* a NM in Seattle.

      But I don’t even know where to start with that book. AFAIK, it is correct about only two things: (i) the Heathman is a fantastic hotel and (ii) Thomas Tallis was a genius.

      • Seattle Freeze :

        Not in Seattle, but there is one in Bellevue now.

        • Obvs. Christian did his shopping on the east side. He probably flew there in his helicopter (520 is so 99%, OBVS).

  24. 2/3 attorney :

    I know a lot of you are past the renting-rooms stage of life, but I thought it would be worth asking if anyone knows of a room available in DC for the fall (mid-August to mid-December). I’m a 3L interning on the hill for one semester. I’m trying to rent sight-unseen from New Mexico. Maybe you would keep it in mind if you hear of anything or let me know if you have suggestions for resources. I am having a heck of a time on CL and other places.

    • Consider contacting the Career Development Offices or student groups at the local law schools. This worked well for me last summer.

    • You should contact the Dean of Students at a DC law school or two and see if they would be willing to keep a lookout for you or help in any way. (Or have your own Dean do that for you)

      Certainly there are DC law students who might be interning in NYC or another city for a semester who want to sublet.

    • I may know of one. Do you have an anon email address?

      • Oh, also, check out the International Student House in Dupont Circle, although it’s dorm-style and thus maybe not ideal.

      • 2/3 attorney :

        I’m not sure what an anon email is but I made a new g m a i l without my real name – catcrafty3 at g m a i l dot com

        I am not very sure about dorm style, but wouldn’t rule it out if I get desperate.

        Someone from my program is supposed to have contacted the law schools there, but I guess if you want it done right, better do it yourself.

    • you can also try thewihn dot com. there are a few (mostly undergrad but they may be able to help you out) programs. also check out hillzoo and occasionally some of the hill papers have roommate requests.

      Also, if you want there is an all girls christian boarding dorm literally across the street from Hart. They have all sorts of insane rules, but I’ve heard it is really cheap. you could see if they do a week at a time if you’re desperate.

    • Georgetown Law’s Residence Life should be able to help. They keep a database of off-campus housing and people looking for roommates.

    • I don’t, but just wanted to say “Hi!” from a fellow UNM SOL grad! (I assume you are going to law school in NM. If not, then “Hi!” from a fellow New Mexican!)

    • I know someone who owns a house and is looking to rent a room during that time. She’s in the Eckington neighborhood, which would be really convenient to the Hill. She is going to send me photos and details tonight, and I will pass them along to you.

    • watchthecityglow :

      I used “Housing Available: Grace Presbyterian Church” message board along with “Frontline Connect: Roommate Connection” to find possible housing along with CL. When I first came to town, I stayed in GWU’s dorms before finding a CL place, as I came sight un-seen as well. Also, contact the office you’re interning for, they might know of someone (or they might just send you a horrible packet that lists all the universities, etc.)

  25. Reg Poster, Anon for This :

    OK ladies… I seem to be doing ok with the work wear, but am stuck in the same-old routine for casual wear. I’m having an summer bbq and inviting a lot of friends and family, and would love a cute outfit to go with my newly updated backyard. But I feel a little afraid? stuck? unsure? So if anyone would like to be my Stacy or Clinton, I would really appreciate it. I’m 5’4″ and a size 12-14 hourglass-y type and would love some suggestions other than jeans and a t-shirt. Unless they’re special jeans and a t-shirt.

    • Merabella :

      Maxi dress, belt to cinch the waist, and bare feet or simple sandals – casual chic.

      • Reg Poster, Anon for This :

        OK, I’ll admit, I’ve been hesitant to try the maxi dress thing. I usually don’t belt things – but in this instance you would reco a thicker belt, yeah?

    • How about a light-weight maxi dress or skirt? I’m finding myself seriously living in those this summer. Sooooooooooo comfy. One of my favorite summer casual-but-cute outfits that I’ve worn is a slim-fit cobalt maxi skirt, with a plain ribbed tank top tucked in, strappy flat sandals and fun jewelry/accessories (once I even wore a white straw fedora hat with it).

    • Fun peasant-y skirt and a bright coordinating top? Throw on a bunch of bangles/big earrings and a cute pair of sandals.

    • I’d go with some sort of dress and either wedges or pretty flipflops. Boden’s having a good sale on dresses right now.

    • My boyfriend’s brother’s gf is about your size, and probably 80% of her wardrobe is maxi dresses (we also live in SoCal so the weather helps with that), and she always looks phenomenal. She generally wears them with flat sandals, or very low wedges, and sometimes a lightweight, more flowy cardigan. She has a few black ones that look good, but also some fantastic brightly printed ones.

    • I just totally redid my casual wardrobe with separates, and I now feel flush with all kinds of mix-and-match possibilities for casual events. On the off chance you would consider that, here is what I ended up with. It all goes together, so it generates so many options:

      white slim cropped pants (no waistband, no pockets)
      black slim cropped pants (no waistband, no pockets)
      white cropped casual pants (waistband, pockets)
      black cropped casual pants (waistband, pockets)
      white straight leg jeans
      white and black vertical striped skirt
      white and black large floral pattern skirt
      red sleeveless v-neck top
      teal sleeveless round neck top
      dark pink sweater shell and matching cardigan
      black long waterfall cardigan
      3 black round neck T-shirts
      1 grey round neck T-shirts
      1 white round neck T-shirts

      For a BBQ, I’d probably choose black cropped pants and the red top.

  26. in search of SoCalAtty(I think) :

    Thanks L for your suggestions! Reposting from this morning, just in case.

    SoCalAtty-If I recall, you live in Orange County and ride. I just got back into riding after a 5 year hiatus and am looking for some new gear. I took a quick glance on the internet and it doesn’t look like there are many tack shops in the area, especially ones that get good-ish reviews. Is there a place that you recommend? If it matters, I’m looking for some half chaps (tall boots don’t fit so well, short ones do), likely a new helmet, and some breeches.

    • SoCalAtty :

      Hi! Yep that’s me, but I’m up in LA rather than the OC, but I can still help you out :) The best, best rec. I can give you is unfortunately kind of a drive, Valencia Sport Saddlery in Valencia. Ecole is the owner, and if you go up and know what you want, she’ll order anything she doesn’t have. Once all of your measurements are in her file, you can almost just call her and tell you what you need.

      In Orange County itself there isn’t much, but if you want to go south to San Juan Capistrano, Mary’s Tack has what they call an “outpost store” which is pretty good. Mary’s website is also good. If no one is running a sale, I like Smart Pak Equine for the free shipping and no sales tax. Mary’s big store is in Del Mar, and isn’t too bad of a drive from OC. No more than an hour.

      I just bought a new pair of half chaps, and they are the Grand Prix and were right around $100. I love them! I had the very expensive Treadstep pro gaiters and they only lasted about a year. Granted, that was when I was riding at least 2 horses 5 days a week. I have the CO AYR8 helmet, which I really like, but if CO doesn’t fit your head you can go GPA or Samshield. What’s in fashion right now for breeches are the Equine Couture brand, which I also love. TS schooling breeches are always a good bet. ROMFH has some good cheaper schooling stuff too and those have held up really well for me.

      There is a Showpark horse show at Del Mar in about a week and a half, you could make it a fun day, go watch the grand prix on the grass, and hit the Mary’s tack superstore! I think I’ll be down there to cheerlead because a few of my barn mates are going down to show. Email me if you go at meyerlemony at g mail dot com :)

      When you are ready for new tall boots for show, I would make the drive to Valencia because Ecole is now carrying the Sergio Grasso customs and they are beautiful. There are also Parlanti reps in your area, and those are beautiful too!

      • Thank you so much for all of this! I used to go to the Valencia saddlery and another one in Calabasas (Im from LA) when I was growing up and and have been waiting for a reason to drive 2+ hours so it’s not just a trip to a saddlery. But I might have to do it this weekend now. Fooey traffic. But it will be worth it I’m sure. Equine Couture is SO popular. I don’t think I’ve really seen people wear much else.

        I’m going to be out of town for the next few weekends, but if I can make it down to Del Mar I will let you know!

    • 2/3 attorney :

      Wow, you guys are seriously making me wish I had the means to ride again right now. So jelly.

      • SoCalAtty :

        The means and a lame horse :( it is pretty tight budget-wise sometimes, but worth it to even be able to go hack and walk around while my dumb mare (and I say that with love) recovers from an “I kicked the stall door and jumped around like an idiot one to many times while in heat” episode.

        2/3 attorney – If you don’t have the budget to own/train, have you looked around for lesson barns? There is a fun one in LA that lets you buy by the lesson/week, and although the horses are just lesson horses it is something.

        It’s bad for the clothes spending – I see nice suits and I think, “but I want the new Baker plaid breeches…or whatever shiny thing is in the tack catalog…” Good to know there are others out there that know about “horse poor…”

        • I’m finding being horse poor to be a quite a good thing for me right now. I’ve been making do with what I have from a few years ago but it’s just too damn hot for winter breeches and boots that pinch suck. So I feel you on the plaid Bakers. And pretty much everything else. I can rationalize this shopping because it lets me get out and do what I want to be doing. And I want this way more than another pair of pumps for work.

          2/3 attorney- I agree that there are ways you can do it. A lot of barns do have lessons that you can buy in packages or for a single leason. And for later, I’m looking into doing a horse share/lease with a woman who is now too big to ride her horse. It’s not cheap, but totally worth it. I think you’re going to dc, where it definitely won’t be cheap, but I bet there are some places that are more affordable when you’re back.

  27. Constance Justice :

    Friends! I just had my annual review and negotiated a higher salary and bonus than I expected! Happy news!

  28. Name threadjack:

    Have any of you ever wanted a different first name? And if so, what name would you like to have?

    Me: YES! My firstname is boring, and my firstname + lastname is doubly boring.
    If I could have a new firstname, I’d probably pick, in no particular order, because they’re all more interesting to me than my real name:
    1. Morgan
    2. Rebecca
    3. Lara

    • I have an “ethnic” name that, within a year or so of my birth, suddenly became very, very popular and no one recognizes as “ethnic” anymore (don’t want to say which ethnicity I am). So since age 10 or so, I’ve gone by a nickname that sounds very typically English. I would change my name to a name from my ethnicity that is more obviously ethnic.

      My last name is obviously ethnic, and I really like it. I wouldn’t change it and unless I marry a man of the same ethnicity, I plan to keep it.

    • I always wanted a different last name more than a different first name, and I kinda still do though I think the ship on that one has sailed.

      But I did at one point freally wish that my name was Julia as a child. Also, Dolores. I thought Julia sounded very sophisticated. As for Dolores, I went through a very weird obsession with the Sister Act movie when I was 11 or 12. As a teen, I also thought Yvonne de Carlo (as a full name) was about the coolest name one could ever have. I used to actually use it when I dropped off photos at Walgreens and such. But that was more of a full name thing, I don’t think I’d want to be MyName De Carlo and certainly not Yvone MyLastName.

      FWIW, I know someone who changed her first name in her 30s from something “boring” to something definitely unusual, and it seemed to work out fine for her (but she was not in the corporate/legal field).

      • You’re friends with Portia de Rossi? (j/k)

        I love how the world has changed such that more unusual/ethnic names are more accepted than before.

        Frederick Austerlitz had to become “Fred Astaire” to work in Hollywood in the 1930s and 1940s; love that in the 1990’s, Mandy (Amanda) Rogers decided that “Portia de Rossi” was more interesting.

        • Well, I suppose in all fairness, it’s a matter of what kind of ethnic… I got Yvonne De Carlo from the actress who played Lily on the Munsters. I guess there’s always something.

    • When I was a kid, I desperately wanted my name to be Kimberly. I can’t remember the reason why – I don’t know if it was influenced by a book or a girl that I knew.

      • In kindergarten I really wanted my name to be Amy, because there was a girl in my class named Amy who learned to write her name way before everyone else. My own (long) first name seemed impossibly difficult compared to Amy.

        But seriously, I wish I had a different last name. My own last name is my stepfather’s very ethnic last name – an ethnicity that I do not share but apparently look like I do. Everyone pretty much assumes that is my ethnic background, and I get mailings in that country’s language, etc. I had my chance to change it when I got married but did not as I am an academic and by that point had many publications under that last name. But I get so tired of people making assumptions about my culture/religion/background based on my name.

        • Senior Attorney :

          I always take my husband’s surname when I get married. ;)

          My first husband’s surname was Irish, and when I was married to him everybody assumed I was Irish. Especially since I was coloring my hair red at the time!

          My current husband has a Jewish surname and now everybody assumes I am Jewish.

          Not, I hasten to add, that there is anything wrong with being Irish or Jewish. I just happen to be neither.

          • Huh. I never take my husband’s name when i get married.

            My other standard joke is that im very pro-marriage. I get married all the time.

            (married to my second husbanfd, for the record, lest you think i am zsa zsa gabor)

          • I took my husband’s name and, after going through everything to change it back, I vowed to never ever do it again. And, of course, I published while I was married.

          • Senior Attorney :

            My mom’s line about one of her brothers was “Oh, Johnny always marries the nicest girls!”

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      Yes. I have a very common first name that I’m not super fond of. At one point, I wanted people to call me by my middle name, which is Julia. It never caught on, and now I’m just too old to switch without it being weird.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I have a horrible first name. It’s from the wrong generation and also from the wrong part of the country, it was used for a geeky character in a TV commercial when I was in high school, and I have always hate, hate, hated it. When I was in college a professor suggested changing it if it was that big of a deal, but at the time, with all the wisdom of my 21 or so years on the planet, I decided it was far, far too late in the game to even consider such a thing. Which was ridiculous and wrong and I totally wish I’d taken his advice.

      I always quite liked Elizabeth.

    • emcsquared :

      My first name doesn’t lend itself to nicknames, and as a kid I really wanted a nickname that was not “(awful) maiden name + derogatory term.” So I changed my last name when I got married…and now I have no nickname. Which is a relief but a little sad.

      Also, I really wanted to named “Sam” as a kid. No idea why.

    • I’ve always liked my name. It’s common enough that everyone knows how to pronounce it and knows that I’m a girl, but not so common that I run into others every time I turn around. I also like how my parents picked my name. One night when my mom was pg they were discussing names before going to sleep (back in the 70’s before reliable ultrasounds). They couldn’t decide on anything. In the morning when my dad woke up he said “She’s xxxx” – and here I am. I’ve always thought it was a cool story.

    • anon for this :

      Yes, and I use my middle name instead of my first. My family moved across the country when was 13, so it was pretty easy to introduce myself as (my middle name) in the new place. Now it is only weird when dealing with banking and school records, or other official things.

      This is funny now, but when I was a little kid it was very painful: my first name is Molly, and everyone called me Molly McButter because that was a popular commercial when I was in grade school. So, Molly went out the window asap.

      I have long considered what to do when I get married. I would like to to [My Middle Name] [My Last Name] [His Last Name] and drop my first name altogether, but I really don’t want to hurt my mom’s feelings. Has anyone done that?

      • A girlfriend of mine did the Middle Name + Her Maiden Name + His Last Name when she got married. I didn’t know her during the name change (and after we got closer, I was surprised to learn her “real” name), but she said she’d been going by her middle name for so long that her parents hardly even raised an eyebrow.

    • K...in transition :

      I have 2 first names but go by a shortened (and spelling altered) version of the 1st first name. My business cards and professional publications are always: 1st 2 names (name I go by) last name. My degrees and licenses are my legal name.

      My last name doesn’t tie to anyone but my immediate family, it was invented just before my birth by parentals who were trying to hide its religious implications. I’m not at all close with my immediate family so I used to plan to change it to what it should have been, as soon as I turned 18. But school records came into play, then grad school records, then I figured I’d marry and just take his name. Now I’m almost 30 and still have it and am beginning to become convinced I’ll never marry and that publishing so much means it’d be messy to switch names via marriage or my own choice. Oy!

    • SoCal Gator :

      When I started posting online, on MyFitnessPal, Facebook and other online social sites, I adopted a shorter version of my given first name. I am “Jo” and I really like that nickname. It feels younger, sassier and much more energetic. It’s funny though when I meet some of those online friends in real life and they call me Jo. It’s fun to have an alter ego with a new name!

      • Senior Attorney :

        Yes, I’ve used a variation of my (hated) first name online for years, and when I meet friends from the interwebs they often call me by that shortened version. Turns out I really like it!

    • I kind of acquired my own first name early on in life, which really suits me, so I guess not really? But still. My mom told me once that she always thought she’d name her daughter Ann (since it’s a family name) MaidenNameStartingWithD Husband’sLastName, and call her Andi for short. I really like the idea of that. I could see myself as an Andi. Although I’m very happy to be nickname-starting-with-an-A.

    • I always wanted a first name that was slightly more “traditional.” Like Catherine or Charlotte. Or a name that ended in “a”. Oh well. I’m used to this one.

    • as you may guess from my handle, one of those is my regular name … and I always thought it was a boring one! I think that’s more of a “grass is always greener” thing. You’re used to your name, so you think it’s boring (unless it’s truly “unique,” and then you probably hate having to defend/spell it for others).

      I do love the name Lara, though. I feel like my identity is so attached to my name I don’t often think of changing it, but I like thinking of pretty names I could name a (hypothetical) child and live vicariously through them. Lara is one of my favorites.

      • My first name sounds nice in my native language, but horribly old-fashioned in English. Someone once said, when I introduced myself: “Wow, that’s my grandmother’s name. I haven’t encountered anyone by that name in ages.” And my mom was upset when she heard Americans say my name (some try to say it the way it’s pronounced in my native language but usually it doesn’t sound anything like my name either). Oh well, I guess it’s too late to think of a good nickname.

    • I have two first names! I have always hated the name my parents gave me and tried many variations of it when I was younger (I love my middle name, but it never occurred to me to use it). When I got married, I was given the option of changing my first name (which is common among my husband’s culture, tho most women my age no longer do this). So, I have the name that I took when I got married (and new friends call me this name) and I have my legal name which old friends and family still use. I always meant to legally change my first name to the name that I took, but I dragged my feet and now, I will have to wait for us to go through some legal things before I can change it.

      • I confuse people :

        OK, I’m super late to this but I had to comment…my first name is vaguely Middle-Eastern. my (married) last name vaguely Chinese. Me? Irish mutt American married to a German national. I like both names but sometimes get sick of the confusion for people who haven’t met me in person. Sometimes wish I had stuck to my maiden name just so people wouldn’t be so confused…

  29. Ladies, I just wanted to say thanks to everyone who responded to my allergies question on the morning post. I am going to look into doing the shots some more, and also into NAET therapy. You’ve given me food for thought as always. I have never had allergies until recently so dealing with them, esp. the weird food ones, has been somewhat difficult. I appreciate hearing your responses. Also, that apparently I am not the only one who has to go without stone fruit this summer (misery does love company…)

  30. Any federal prosecutors out there? If so, can anyone comment on what kind of hours they typically work / how regularly they work on the weekends?

    Thank you!

    • It really depends on the office. I work pretty crazy hours, especially when I’m in trial. I usually work until 7 or 8 so I don’t have to come in on the weekends.

    • I know lots and used to live with one. The hours were sporadic, i.e. much longer when in trial, but in general they do work pretty long hours and do work on weekends. My old roommate used to spend hours listening to “jail calls” on the weekends, which was sometimes hilarious. In DC they are also required to do intake paperwork on Saturdays and holidays on a regular basis (not sure how often).

  31. To the Reader looking to take a class in one of the mathematics….was it Calculus, perhaps?

    www coursera org/category/math

    The classes are free and the schools signing on include the California Institute of Technology; Duke University; the Georgia Institute of Technology; Johns Hopkins University; Rice University; the University of California, San Francisco; the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; the University of Washington; the University of Virginia; University of Edinburgh in Scotland, the University of Toronto; École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland; The University of Michigan, Princeton, Stanford and the University of Pennsylvania.

  32. Speaking of names.... :

    I missed yesterday’s discussion about changing first names, but just went back and read some of it, and have been reading with interest today’s discussion about changing last names.

    I have an unusual, hard-to-spell, impossible-to-pronounce-correctly first name. It’s more or less a made-up name, and I’ve always hated it, and considered changing it in college. I even tried for awhile (with a nickname related sound-wise to my real name), but found that I didn’t respond when someone called me by the new name! So like a poster in yesterday’s thread said, I decided it was already too late in the game to change my name, and I stuck with my real name — which even I now pronounce differently from how my parents pronounce it, since it’s been easier to go with the flow of how most people assume it is pronounced.

    Then, during my radical feminist days (college and just post-college), I decided that not only would I never take my (future) husband’s name, but I would also drop my last name, which after all was my father’s name. Why should I allow the patriarchy to saddle me with either my father’s or my husband’s names, as if I was property being passed from one to the next? The problem was that I didn’t want to insult my father, but I had a neat solution, since my father had chosen my first name and my mother had chosen my middle name: I would become Firstname Middlename (and my middle name is one that could reasonably be a last name). As it happens, though, I never had the guts to do that, either. So I still have my original name. I didn’t change it when I got married, but we gave our children (both girls) a hyphenated last name (myname-husband’sname). We later divorced, which makes me even happier that I didn’t change my last name. But our daughters have a somewhat unwieldy last name, and I suspect that getting married and taking their husbands’ names will eventually solve that problem for them.

    But here’s the thing: I’ve now got a reputation in my field, with pages and pages of results on Google if you search for my name. And it turns out that my name is unique in the world! I appear to be literally the only person with my name, anywhere. So now it seems like an advantage, that I’m easy to find. (Of course, if I ever want to slip into obscurity, I’ll still have to change my name!)

    Thanks to anyone who has actually read this far. This name stuff has weighed on my for years, so it was nice to be able to share this.