Thursday’s TPS Report: Blue Silk Asymmetrical Pleat Front Dress

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

BCBGMAXAZRIA Blue Silk Asymmetrical Pleat Front DressBluefly is having some pretty huge sales right now. For example, look at this fun black, blue and white dress from BCBGMAXAZRIA — it was $238, but is now $73 at the site. I love the colors, and I think it’s the kind of dress you can dress up for the office (with nude-for-you or black pumps and perhaps a long silver chain) or dress it down for the weekend (flat sandals, big tote bag) or up even more for a wedding or some such with a clutch, a statement necklace, and perhaps some bangles. Lovely. BCBGMAXAZRIA blue silk asymmetrical pleat front dress

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  1. Cornellian :

    I just realized the wrap dress I’m wearing today is going to make me flash everyone all day. Boo.

    TJ! I have people visiting me in my small (standard/large for NYC) apartment for 11 days. I’ve never hosted a couple for this long, and I’m not sure what I should be doing to get ready. It’s my 35 ish male Scandinavian cousin and his longterm gf, whom I’ve never met. I’m afraid they’ll be judgy of my basement, kitchenette-outfitted, shady neighborhood flat, or that I’ve forgotten to get things ready for them.

    So, if you’re coming as a guest internationally, what would you expect from your host? What would be a help to you?

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      Don’t worry! I’m sure they’re happy enough to have a place to stay, and won’t be judgy at all. Especially considering apartments and housing in Europe tends to be less sprawling than American housing, I think Europeans aren’t usually as surprised as our own Midwesterners at the size of NYC apartments!

      That being said, before I have guests I try and do a deep clean of the apartment so it’s bright and shiny (I live in a basement apartment too so everything clean and sparkling does a LOT to make the place seem less basement-like). I buy a lot of groceries (and maybe you can buy some Scandanavian groceries too?) and make a few home cooked meals for them (especially for that long of a visit). Make sure you’ve got clean towels available and their bed set up before they arrive, especially if they are arriving late and will just want to crawl into bed. I don’t have a guest bedroom, so I always offer to take the air mattress and give the guests my bed (usually I’m shot down, but it feels polite to do so anyway).

      If it’s people coming to visit me (as opposed to just tour my city) I have a plan of a bunch of things we could do but leave it up to them to decide. If they’re just using my place as a crashpad, I still suggest different things that might be fun and try and join them for one or two.

      Sounds like you’ll have fun visitors – enjoy!

      • This. Clean, stocked, and a place to sleep :). You’re hosting them — for free — for 11 days! I’m sure they will be appreciative of that alone. Have fun!

      • Cornellian :

        I think I will insist on the couch, for at least the first few days while they get over jet lag. I have a queen air mattress and a full-ish futon couch thing, but for two (unsurprisingly) tall people, it seems humane to give up the bedroom for the first few days. When teenaged me used his place as a crash pad, I just slept on his couch with a blanket, so maybe I shouldn’t worry too much.

      • Give them the password so that they can use your internet connection, if you have a password (which you should).

    • Clean towels, clean sheets, maps of the subway, maybe a guidebook and a metro card that they can charge up, and if you’re feeling really generous, find out what kind of coffee and/or teas are most drunk in Scandanavia and stock up on that.

      They’re coming to NYC, they must know apartments are small (and places in Europe are pretty small too.)

      • Oh, and just make sure they know they can feel free to use your toiletries.

        • If you want to be an extra great host, put together a little basket with toiletries and set it out in your bathroom. Basics would be what you would expect to see at a nice hotel. Extra nice would be things like mints, floss, hair spray, a few feminine products, ear plugs, maybe some packets of basic medicine like Tylenol or Pepto. The sort of things you always wish you had packed but forgot.

      • Cornellian :

        Map is a good idea. He, at least, is a tech freak, so I imagine he has 2354 guidebooks on his iPad already. I think I’m feeling guilty because they come in 1 AM ish pre customs and luggage on a worknight, and I cannot make it out the 2 hour 40 dollar trip to the airport, so I’m projecting on to my general hospitality skills….

        • If you’re in NYC, I always found the Streetwise Manhattan laminated folding map to be very helpful. It’s small enough to put away easily and it includes all of the public transportation.

        • iPad is great and all, but when you’re standing on the train platform trying to figure out which line gets you anywhere close to the Met, you really don’t want to be whipping out expensive electronics. :-) Pocket map for the win (I also like Streetwise.)

    • If I’m visiting someone, what’s important to me is that I can find things I need without asking about every single thing – towels, soap, toilet paper, basics like getting a glass of water for taking medication, coffee for the morning if that’s what they prefer (or directions to a local coffee shop), simple snack food (which could be different from what we’d want).

      • I always set out a “bundle” of towels (bath towel, hand towel, washcloth) on the guest bed/air mattress . I wrap a ribbon around it and stick small soaps, etc on top to make it look pretty and inviting. I also put bottles of water on the night table (or just somewhere in the guest space) in case my guests are thirsty in the middle of night and don’t feel comfortable getting up in a strange place.
        I set something out something for breakfast the night before in case they are up before I am (like banana bread or muffins) along with coffee mugs, etc. and either set the coffee maker to start brewing automatically or set out a basket of k-cups.
        11 days is a long time–I think two or three days of the above advice everyone has offered and your guests will feel very comfortable and welcome and you can “relax” a bit.

        • Cornellian :

          love the muffin/etc. idea. I think I’ll get some yogurt, fruit, and muffins.

    • Clean room, beds made up, maybe magazines in their room in case they suffer from jet lag , toiletries, knowing where the tea/coffee stuff is etc. Maybe a bottle of water by the bed.
      Relax. You’re being very kind hosting them.

      Also don’t cook in case they’d like to eat out. Wait till they arrive and then decide.

      And yes, maps would be great (or direct them to where they can buy one).

    • Also, make sure any electronics they bring are good to go.

    • Since they are visiting from abroad, it would be a nice touch to put up a tiny folder with brochures to places you like in NYC: movie theaters, favorite restaurants, things to see.

    • I’d also suggest giving them a set of keys so they aren’t stuck conforming to your schedule as far as when they can leave/return to the apartment.

      • Cornellian :

        Yes, I did make a copy of the keys for them. I need to warn them whenever they touch their keys, my ginormous waist-high dog will become extremely excited about the prospect of a walk, though….

    • Show them a place where they can hang their wet towels to dry. So many bathrooms in NYC lack the space for three towels to hang. I always get stuck with wet towels that I have no idea where to put!

      • Cornellian :

        I actually bought suction cups yesterday for this reason! Hopefully they work….

    • I wouldn’t expect anything, but when I have guests I usually put out towels for them & some basic bathroom things like shampoo/conditioner, etc. I also usually leave a few snacks & bottles of water in the guest room & have bowls of fruit/other snacks sitting out in the kitchen so people don’t have to go looking. I also leave a little card with my wifi password info in the guestroom too. I guess I just take a page from hotels I like to stay in & try to make the space cheery & comfortable (place for bags, flowers, that sort of thing).

    • As a Scandinavian – I would definitely not expect anyone to get special Scandinavian groceries or teas/coffee for me when I go abroad. Part of going abroad is experiencing the differences in food/drink. But make sure that your fridge is stocked with enough variety that they won’t feel strange going in and grabbing breakfast/snack if you’re not around. (And tell them)

      I would also appreciate tips to coffee shops/diners/restaurants that you recommend in the neighborhood.

      If there are any intricacies – how to open the windows if it gets hot/cold, and work the AC (if you have), and any other thing around bathroom, kitchen that they need to know.

      Towels and such and other things they might need.

  2. To Nellie :

    You posted yesterday re: deoderant. I use milk of magnesia (the Phillips brand name and not the original formula–not the mint) and it works really well. I shake it up, pour some on my fingers, apply, let dry. At least for me, it dries clear so I don’t have any problems wearing tops without sleeves. Doesn’t stop sweating, but it does stop smelling…

    For more:


    • And I love this dress!

    • Saw that thread too late yesterday, but wanted to add that I swear by Kiss My Face’s Liquid Rock deodorant.

    • Thanks for all the tips, today and yesterday.

      • Cookies and Wine :

        I second the soapwalla rec from yesterday. It’s completely natural, no aluminum, etc. I feel like every other natural one I’ve tried just feels sticky, like it never dries. This dries great and works well. Since there’s no aluminum, it’s not an antiperspirant, so it won’t completely stop sweating, but it does seem to curb it. I wouldn’t say it works quite as well as an aluminum based antiperspirant, but it does the trick if you’re mostly expecting to sit at a desk all day.

  3. Question to follow up on yesterday’s thread: I don’t qualify for a Roth IRA. I don’t really know much about a regular IRA. Are there income requirements? What are the benefits?

    Also, I remember someone saying long ago that you could “back door” into either a regular IRA or maybe a Roth. I really don’t recall. But I had no idea what that meant. Could someone please explain?

    And, Kat, thanks so much for the post yesterday. My husband and I are setting up automatic investments this weekend!! You really do make a difference in people’s lives.

    • Oh, and how do you set up a regular IRA? Would Schwab be able to do that?

    • The benefits of a traditional IRA are similar to 401(k) it’s basically just a personal investment vehicle – you can invest pre-tax money and you don’t pay taxes on it until you take it out. There are limits to how much of a tax deduction you can take at higher incomes though.

      I think you backdoor into a Roth from a traditional IRA, and anyone can do this (regardless of income). So first, you would have to set up a reg IRA, and then you have to pay the taxes (because reg is pre-tax investment, and Roth is post-tax) to transition it to a Roth.

      • And the limits are the same – $5,000 a year or $6,000 if you are over 50. I think you should be able to set up an IRA through Schwab, my Roth is through Vanguard. Clarification on investing “pre-tax” – you basically deduct the amount you invest in an IRA, but you may not be able to take the full deduction if your MAGI is high.

      • ChristinaMD :

        A traditional IRA uses after-tax money, in that it’s funded directly from you, not via a paycheck deduction program. This is also why it’s not qualified to roll into a 401k though a rollover IRA (rolled from a prior 401K is).

        You can convert a traditional to a Roth, but please speak to a professional. Some of the ‘advice’ from commenters on this site is spotty and you can incure a significant unanticipated tax situation if not aware of the specifics of what you are doing.

    • Agree! Yesterday’s thread inspired me to re-check on my own finances, so I set up another auto-investment last night AND realized I had cash on hand to pay off one of my student loans, which I did this morning. Just one more to go!

  4. downstream :

    This dress has been featured before – I know because I bought it then :). It’s a little on the short side, but if you are short or don’t mind, it’s a great, versatile dress.

  5. You know, I get what Kat’s saying about dressing this down for the weekend and I see women wearing that kind of outfit when I’m out on a Saturday but I just can’t pull it off. My legs look so stumpy in flats with a dress (whereas they look longer and muscular in heels). Maybe it’s just me and I’m too self-conscious.

    • Be nice to your legs, woman ;). I do know what you mean though; it’s hard to wear flats with dresses when you’re used to heels. My legs are pretty short (not shocking), so when I’m not feeling the flats or flip flops (I live in Florida), I like to do a nice open-toed wedge on the weekend. Still more casual and more comfortable, but gives me that couple inches of confidence! Also, on the weekends I tend to belt everything. Defines the waist AND can dress down a more formal look.

    • see, im lucky that i live in hipster heaven where lots of women wear d1ckies and their jeans cuffed, w chucks, but i’ve gotten accustomed to the fact that my legs look different in different looks, and I’m ok with that. It’s different then when I wear wedges, or boots, but I kind of like the look of ankle cropped pants with flats on me, even tho i am such a pear, and the eye kind of goes right to my hips that way. I’m ok with it. They’re my hips! ;o) I think i’ve kind of gotten over this need to only have my body shape look one single way, I kind of like the variety.

      wow, that’s rambly, hope that makes sense.

      but all im trying to say is: I’m sure you’d look fab in a dress and flats!! ;o)

      • Trust me, I don’t think I would! I mean, I love my legs. They’re the strongest part of me and very muscular but they’re not long and lean. I bought some low wedge sandals that could look better, I think, but they’re not as comfortable as my go-to Saturday shoes. I’ve tried casual skirts but I never end up wearing them. I wish they looked good – it’s so hot here!

      • Aye, aye!

        Let us try to dis-accustom (heh! I like to play it fast-and-loose with my words sometimes!) ourselves from the cultural rhetoric of the “long and lean” being the only Look toward which we should strive. Skinny does not automatically equal pretty. Interesting and stylish and intentional and put-together … do not mean skinny.

        That said, I completely understand what you mean about feeling strange in a dress/skirt and flats. I can say I went through the same thing about 1.5 years ago, and the only thing to do is to not think about it so much and just wear it. Because we are so accustomed to one particular look being the “pretty” look – dress and heels – it almost inevitably takes some time to de-condition (and re-condition!) our brains and eyes from the high-heels dogma! (I did, however, decide back then that I will no longer wear heels at all, ever – and on principle only – and I am so very happy with my decision. Nary a fraction less feminine do I look, and I have also suffered fewer running injuries.)

    • Wear peeptoe flats with a low vamp. That elongates your legs nicely.

    • I hear that from my shorter friends all the time. Note from a tall chick – you look fine! You look great! Your longer legged friends are jealous of you because most dresses like this would be way too short on us.

  6. onebuttonortwo? :

    Apologies for the early threadjack. I have a question for the hive and would appreciate all the input I could get!
    What do people think about a one button suit for OCI interviews? I’m currently preparing for 2L OCI and am looking for a basic charcoal interview suit. I have a black one and a navy one already, but the navy one won’t be suitable because it was bought before 1L (when I was maybe 15 pounds lighter….) I’ve been searching for a plain, classic, two-button charcoal skirt suit but can’t for the life of me seem to be able to find one. JCrew, Ann Taylor, Banana Republic etc all seem to carry only one-button jackets, or have two-button ones available only in black (and possibly navy). I was under the impression that a two-button jacket is more formal and classic than a one-button one, which is more trendy, but now I’m not sure if I need to keep looking, or just go ahead and buy a one-button.
    For what it’s worth I am also petite-sized, a bit busty, and short-torsoed, meaning that I actually feel more comfortable and think I look better in one-button suits – but this is mostly because I feel they don’t make my figure look as “boxy” as two-button suits do.
    If anyone would be willing to help a clueless jobseeker, it would be very much appreciated!

    • phillygirlruns :

      two buttons may be more classic, but if the suit fits you properly no one will notice how many buttons your jacket has. we have similar builds and i would not think twice about wearing a one-button jacket for a more formal occasion.

      • I also look better in one button suits and wear them all the time. Don’t overthink this. A conservative suit that fits you well and makes you feel confident is all you need.

        • Former MidLevel :

          Agree with both of these. A one-button suit is fine. Good luck with OCI. :)

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I look better in one buttoned suits and wear them almost exclusively. I really don’t think, if your suit is otherwise conservative, anyone will even notice, let alone mind.

    • I promise you, there is NO check box on the pre-screen interview sheet for “she was wearing a two-button suit”.

    • Two cents :

      One button is totally fine, no one will notice. The fit of the jacket and how you feel in it is much, much more important. Good luck with the OCI! One piece of advice is try not to schedule all of the interviews back to back – leave a 30 minute interval here and there, because invariably interviews run late and I hated rushing from one room to the next.

    • If I’m interviewing someone and she is otherwise normal and qualified, I can guarantee that I will not notice whether you are wearing a two or one-button suit. Maybe, maybe I might think to myself “Oh, she’s wearing a one-button suit jacket. I can’t pull those off.” But that’s it.

    • onebuttonortwo? :

      Thank you so much everyone! I think preparing for OCI has made me even more neurotic than I usually am, this is all really reassuring and helpful. I’m going to go ahead and buy the one-button suit and move on to the next thing I need to do – buying interview shoes….

    • Diana Barry :

      Doesn’t matter, no one will notice, the important thing is that it flatters and you feel good in it! :)

    • Maddie Ross :

      If it makes you feel better, I’m a senior associate and own about 15 suits. I just mentally ran through them all and honestly cannot tell you whether any particuarly one of them is one, two or three button. And I wear them to court (including our supreme court) frequently. Don’t worry about this detail at all. Find a classic suit that you feel confident wearing.

    • I just came back from a half-day arbitration hearing; the (female) arbitrator was very sharply dressed in a charcoal suit — and peep-toe wedges! — and I have no idea how many buttons were on her jacket. I had to look at the jacket of my suit to count the buttons. It has THREE. I don’t think it matters a bit.

  7. phillygirlruns :

    oh, i like this dress. a lot. BCBG is one of those brands i hate to buy online though – their sizing is always so weird.

  8. Retaining hair :

    Hi ladies, we’ve had a few posts on hair loss, but I have a slightly different question. I’m currently 13 weeks pregnant, and my normally thin hair is slightly fuller than usual (I wish it was more full, but I’ll take what I can get). Unfortunately, I hear that any hair that you gain during pregnancy ends up falling out after the baby comes.

    Is there anything I can do to KEEP the extra hair that I have now, even after the pregnancy? I suspect the answer is no but I thought I would try to see if all of you smart women have found a way to get around this.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I have heard prenatal vitamins help a lot with hair growth – not sure if there’s any issue with continuing to take them after the baby’s born but if you could, I bet that would help.

      • Cornellian :

        I’ve taken them non-pregnant, and it’s been fine. (I think.)

        I would stay away from weird herbal hair supplements. I know the folic acid in prenatal vitamins is supposed to be helpful, as are all of the omegas. If I religiously take omega supplements for a few months, I definitely notice a change in my already thick, long hair.

      • I continued taking them postpartum (my doctor recommended since I am b-feeding), but they didn’t stop the hair loss for me. My nails are in the best condition they’ve ever been, so there’s that.

      • I continued taking prenatals because I was breastfeeding and needed the extra nutrients. I don’t think they did a darn thing to help my hair, sorry to say. What really surprised me wasn’t the hair loss, it was the change in my hair texture. My hair is naturally straight and stayed that way during through pregnancy, but around 2 months postpartum turned very wavy until I was done breastfeeding.


    • Diana Barry :

      I don’t think so. I keep on taking prenatals after the babies are born (while nursing, I nurse for a long time so have been taking them ever since I got pregnant with my first), but the hair always starts falling out around 3 months postpartum and continues for a couple of months.


    • Not that I know of. Enjoy one of the (few) awesome side-effects of pregnancy. I also noticed that I didn’t have to shave my legs as often while pregnant. It was odd, but nice.

      • I’m 6 mos preg right now and I have definitely noticed the not needing to shave my legs as often. Which is really nice now that it’s getting more difficult to bend at the waist.

      • PharmaGirl :

        Ha, I didn’t have to shave my legs either! It was awesome, especially when I was huuuuuge.

      • My friend’s leg hair stopped growing while she was pregnant. Her son is now four and it hasn’t grown back. I’m very jealous!

    • I also take prenatals while still nursing, but the hair started to fall out about 3-4 months post-partum regardless. I welcomed that though as my hair was ridiculously thick pre-pregnancy and I didn’t need the extra fullness!

    • I don’t think there’s any way to stop it. Hair changes were one of those things that I had NO idea happened when you were pg. My naturally curly-ish hair grew straight & thick when pg, then a bunch fell out after the baby was born, and then grew in curlier. I always had to get my hair cut quite short when each of my ds were about 18 months because my hair looked so strange, but I love how my hair is curlier now than it ever has been.

    • Not a long term solution, but my hair stayed thicker until I stopped breastfeeding. That was about a year post-partum. Other weird hair things — during both of my pregnancies & bf’ing my hair was stick straight. Now, it’s curly. Growing up, it was slightly wavy.

    • Thanks everyone for the helpful comments. I will continue to take prenatal vitamins post-baby and hope for the best. Very interesting to hear about the hair changes. My hair was bone straight growing up, and now is very curly. I would be shocked if it went back to straight, but who knows!

    • You will still lose hair, but flaxseed or fish oil supplements will greatly improve the texture and quality. It probably takes a month or two of daily supplements to notice a difference. I take them for an eye condition, but the hair and skin was a nice side effect. I started noticing.

    • Research, Not Law :

      I think your only option is to make more babies. By all means, take the PNVs (you should while nursing anyway), but it doesn’t help in my experience. I cut off 9 inches of hair pp, which made it feel thicker ;)

      My hair went from curly to straight with my first. It ‘bounced back’ to wavy. There was no change with my second.

  9. Sabbatical! :

    I have just been approved for a sabbatical. Woohoo! What would you do with 6 months off? I’m looking for specific ideas for hobbies to try, classes to take, sporting events to train for, house projects, volunteer opportunities, anything goes…

    • SO JEALOUS. All of those sound wonderful.

    • I assume this isn’t an academic sabbatical where you have scholarly work? During my sabbatical, I volunteered at my church office one day a week. I also knitted a lot of things to give away or for the church to sell to support various programs. I think they sold everything I made for about $2700 so that was fun and I had months to prepare. Maybe travel?

      • Taking six months and doing nothing but knitting (and maybe some traveling) sounds like my dream in life. Not sure how I could convince my employer to go for that though.

        • Yeah, I also wrote every day. A couple of peer-reviewed articles published in academic journals.

    • Travel

      Learn a language

      Take up a sport

    • emcsquared :

      I would want to learn cello while living in Europe.

    • travel. eat fondue.

    • Rent a house in Maine (spring/summer). Write a novel. Eat fondue by the fire and not be confused.

    • ChocCityB&R :

      Please give more details on this thing you call “sabbatical.” I’m assuming you are not an academic otherwise you’d spend the time writing. HOW does one get a sabbatical in a non-academic job??

    • I am on sabbatical too! Some ideas:
      Pottery classes
      Soccer course
      Acting class
      Learning about technology more (iPhone)
      Making photobooks for parents/ family
      Organizing attic
      Build a pond in backyard
      Build a small home gym and workout everyday
      Sell stuff on eBay/ craigslist

    • Rape crisis hotlines usually need volunteers but require a heavy time commitment from their volunteers, making it nearly impossible to get involved while working full-time. I would love to be able to be involved in that important work.

      Also, yes, I would absolutely learn a new language and probably try to take up piano lessons again.

    • Two words. Foot Calligraphy.

    • oh, and for a real answer: these are the perfect times to go to museums on weekdays! And other things that are usually packed on weekends, but there’s something so fun and illicit about doing them on weekdays, in addition to missing the crowds. Go to art galleries, matinees, day time sporting events, day trips around your city, all those things you can’t do during the day when you’re working.

  10. Hi everyone — threadjack from a long-time reader, first-time poster regarding a possible new position.

    Long story (kinda) short, I worked at Firm A as outside litigation counsel for five years (2 as clerk, 3 as attorney) to a large corporation and I loved the work. Moved to Firm B little over one year ago due to issues with a partner/boss who is also outside counsel and was mostly supported by those at Firm A for the move. The partner is well known to be difficult but the powers that be weren’t willing to rock the boat to help with the situation as it was classified as a “cat fight”. The move to Firm B is one that has been neither good nor bad. It has been mostly dull although I did get a nice raise. Anyway, large corporation now has my dream job open and, due to my work as outside counsel, I am qualified for it. I know that large corporation will call Firm A and, most likely the partner and powers that be. Do I take the chance and apply nonetheless?

    • Yes! If you don’t ask, you don’t get!

    • Absolutely!! What’s that saying about missing 100% of the shots you don’t take? GO for it, hope that the partner is professional, and perhaps direct them to a former superior with whom you left things on better terms, if you can. You make your own reputation, so don’t let what someone else *might* say foreclose an amazing opportunity. Absolute worst they’ll say is “No.”

      • Thanks for the words of wisdom KLG and petitesq. Sometimes I wonder if I just over-think things and was seeking affirmation for the decision from people outside the situation.

    • Yes. Go for it.

    • I see no reason why it wouldn’t be amazing to be in-house and to be able to boss your old boss around. The corporation never knew why you left–it was just to “pursue” other opportunities. For all they know, you and old boss were BFFs! Do it–most companies would kill to have someone who knows how they operate and can hit the ground running! Best of luck!

    • I was in a similar situation years ago, and the partner at Firm A couldn’t have been more gracious and gave me a fantastic recommendation — and I got the job!

  11. I haven’t told anyone in my real life yet, and I only feel comfortable sharing this anonymously…

    I signed up for my first marathon! Over the past 18 months I’ve lost over 100 lbs and run two half marathons. I’ve fallen in love with running and after going back and forth for a few months on if I am capable of running a full marathon, I took the plunge. I signed up for one at the end of November (woohoo Philly marathon!) and there is an option to drop down to the half in case I discover halfway through training that I actually do not want to run a full marathon.

    I’m super excited but also too nervous to tell anyone this far out. So far I’m keeping it to myself and getting very excited about the training calendar I made. Today was my first official training workout — 2 miles warmup, 2 miles tempo, 1 mile cool down.

    Any other ‘ r e t t e s training for a fall marathon?

    • Woohoo! I only run when someone is chasing me but that’s such an amazing accomplishment. Hooray for you!

      • SF Bay Associate :

        Thanks for making me LOL Cb :). I also only run when someone is chasing me.

        Rock on, anon3tte!!!

    • Not training for a marathon or even planning to, but I’m impressed!! Good luck.
      And can you share your weight loss tips?

    • Rose in Bloom :

      I’m not training for one (hoping to do a 5k soon!), but congratulations on taking the plunge and on all of your hard work so far! Best of luck with your training.

    • Cornellian :

      Did a marathon last year, and am considering a half this fall and a full this winter (in Texas). You’re motivating me now… I guess I could get out for a run after work today…

      I love me some training calendards.

      Good luck and keep us updated! I recently decided that if I can run five miles in three weeks, then I’ll sign up for the half (I haven’t run in nearly a year and don’t go to the gym).

    • Congratulations! Not currently training, but have run a few in the past. It’s a wonderful experience and I hope you enjoy the whole thing—the training through the race.

      I found it helpful to have someone to run with on long runs. Running 15-22 miles alone is a looooong way (and I love to be alone!). Even if you don’t have friends who are training, if you have runner friends, they may be willing to meet you for a few miles. For example, if you have a 20 mile run, do the first 5 alone, then have Friend A meet you at an assigned time and place for miles 6-10, Friend B do the same for miles 11-15, and Friend C for miles 16-20. All your friends get their workouts, you get your loooong runs done, and you’ve gotten a chance to catch up with friends.

      And congrats on your weight loss and taking up running. Have fun.

    • Congratulations! I did the SF marathon a few years ago and it was a terrific experience. If you’ve still got some gas in the tank in the last six miles, make sure to look around and enjoy yourself, especially the last mile. You’ll never run the last mile of your first marathon again. Also, see if you can get some friends/family to cheer you on along the route. I post my cheerleaders at mile 20 and then again at the finish. I find miles 16-20 to be the worst and knowing I have smiling faces and big hand-written signs waiting for me at 20 helps keep me going.

      • Cornellian :

        I second this! I never even ran the last mile of my marathon the first time around! I had it stuck in my head that a marathon was 42 km, which is very nearly true. unfortunately those last 300 m brought me very close to tears of frustration.

    • Good for you!!! I’m training for the Arizona Ironman on Nov. 18 so I’ll have to run a full marathon at the end. My training is a mess due to a broken toe and stomach virus – back to square one right now. But I’m trying to get motivated. It would be great to hear how your training is going and share experiences. Which marathon did you sign up for? I’ve run about 15 or so, and my first was Marine Corps in 2000 – it was AMAZING. You’re going to love every minute and mile of it.

    • Congratulations and good luck!

    • MissJackson :

      Exciting! I ran Philly a couple years ago — nice, flat course! It was my first full, too. The first half through Center City was amazing; very good crowd support. A little lonely on the back half, though, if you’re slow (I am). It’s very hard for spectators to get to the stretch along the river (which you run twice — out and back). If you can have friends or family either make the effort to get there, or at least be waiting for you in Manayunk, that’s a good idea. I’m not sure I could have made it through without knowing I had friends looking for me.

      Trust in your training. I will say that for me a marathon is an entirely different mental challenge from a half. I love the half distance. I love how I feel at the end of a marathon…. but I can’t say that I actually love the marathon distance :)

      Also – you are very inspiring. Congratulations to you on making such an incredible life change!

    • Thank you everyone for all of the support and advice! I am looking forward to the rest of my training and sharing all the aches and pains with everyone, since I haven’t told anyone in RL yet. So far I’ve told my friends and family I’m doing the half… not sure yet when I’ll “surprise them” and let them know it’s the full.

      In terms of weight loss — I had a horrible diet (tons of junk food, cr*p, out of control portions) and no physical activity. I made changes slowly, but now my diet is mainly vegetables and lean proteins with small portions of fruit and whole grains (both of which I have trouble controlling myself around, so I try to consume them in set amounts). I have one “cheat” meal a week, and try to work out 5-6 times per week. I started hating exercise and now I love running, the stair-climber, weight lifting, core work, and Zumba.

      It took about a year for it to stop being a diet and really become a lifestyle. Breakfast is greek yogurt or cottage cheese and fruit, lunch is a salad with lean protein, veggies, and salsa (which I infinitely prefer over salad dressing and is also full of nutrients!). Dinners are more lean protein with a side salad or microwave steamed veggies and a small fruit salad. If I want something sweet later on, I do a fruit-based popsicle or greek yogurt. Snacks are raw veggies, edamame, or cottage cheese.

      So excited to see so many other runners here!

      • Congratulations! You can absolutely do it! Don’t think in terms of dropping down to the half — be confident and have faith in yourself. You will get through the training. It’s a lot of work to train for a marathon, but (IMO) it’s one of the most rewarding things you can do! The feeling when you’ve completed it is amazing. I’ve done hundreds of races, and there’s nothing quite like the marathon. It’s use remember – respect the distance, but don’t fear it. Put the training in, and conquer that beast!! :)

    • Woohoo! You go!

    • phillygirlruns :

      congrats! i’ve run the philly half but never the full. it’s a perfect time, weather-wise, to run a long race, and the crowd support is great for the first half – i’ve heard it drops off significantly for the second half, at least in stretches.

      have fun with your training! and find a buddy for the long runs…for me, once the runs hit double digits, having a friend to run with was the only thing that got me through.

      • I’ve done the Philly half twice, and I think you’re right, phillygirlruns, about the second-half crowd support, since the course goes up into residential areas. Friends who have done the whole have all said that they struggled a bit at the halfway point, where the halfers go right and marathoners go left. You’re right about the perfect time of year. Both times we had sunny days that started around 45 and climbed to 60, perfect running weather (for me)!

    • I’m doing the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in October. This will be my fourth time doing Nike– 1st time was a full marathon and then half marathons since then. Good luck, you will do wonderfully and what an accomplishment already! Congrats!

  12. Is anyone excited for the Olympics? I’m normally not that into it but something about being in the UK (although the north, so we’re pretty unaffected) has me super into it. I’m obsessed with the outfits. Particularly jealous of the Dutch and the Danes, not quite sure if the French are planning on exercising or carrying out a hit on their opponents.

    • DC Association :

      I LURVE the Olympics! Always have. I cannot wait!

      Very cool link, thanks for sharing!

    • The uniforms for the Netherlands are awesome! Classic, yet still interesting.

    • Agree, Denmark and the Netherlands were my favorites!

    • I’m very excited about it this time for some reason as well! I’m moving next week and will be off from work for a few days to move/unpack, and can’t wait to watch the coverage as I’m doing that!

    • Cb – where are you? I’m from Manchester and used to live in Middlesbrough so I have both sides of the North covered! Wish I were back home for the Olympics. Heading over for Christmas/New Years and can’t wait.

      • Irongirl: I’m actually in Scotland (but American). Given the debate on independence, there is a depressing lack of enthusiasm for all things British. No jubilee street parties, a pretty meh response to the Olympics. All for self-determination but I really need an excuse to wear my red, white, and blue bunting dress and drink summer Pimms.

        • SF Bay Associate :

          Fun fact you can whip out today – I heard on US National Public Radio today that most bagpipes are made in Pakistan!

    • I’m so excited I might die a little. :-)

    • Anne Shirley :

      Okay but let’s pause for a sec: are we going to be posting excited happy olympice spoilers on here? I’m already going to be in news/twitter/Facebook cone of silence, do I need to add this site?

      • SF Bay Associate :

        Gosh, I know. Stupid PST. My European/East Coast friends on facebook blew the soccer game for me yesterday. Please let’s not do that here too because while I do love Corpor3tte, I love the Olympics more.


          • I never forgave some random internet announcer for ruining the time that Misty H&men (don’t know if that’ll set off the mod-bot) broke the world record in the 100 (or 200) butterfly because he wanted to make jokes about her name. I would have ripped my car radio out right there if I could have.

    • I loooove the Olympics. I am obsessed with it always, but the summer Olympics are my favorite, and I have been counting down since January.

      • I LOVE the Olympics too! I don’t sleep while they are running because I can’t stop watching! I’m a horsey person (jumping) so I’m pretty excited to see Rich Fellers and Flexible represent the US in the showjumping. I’ve seen them go here at the Los Angeles Grand Prix, and they are just so fun to watch! Ok, gush over :)

    • Does anyone know what time the opening ceremony is tomorrow (Eastern time)?

      • 730. I’m hoping my flight makes it back in time. I’ll be cutting it close.

        • 7:30???? Eastern time? That’s 12:30 in London.

          • Oh, fail. 7:30 in the morning. Your comment about your flight threw me for a sec but I guess there are early flights.

      • NBC is airing it at 7:30 p.m. I don’t think any U.S. networks are airing the owning ceremony live.

        • Autocorrect fail. Opening.

          • Oh, I have never watched the Olympics before and just assumed they aired everything live. I never understood why people would want to watch reruns of sports, when the result has already been determined.

    • phillygirlruns :

      SO excited. i have a completely new appreciation for olympic weightlifting – i think i’m most excited to watch that. and i’m just a little bit in love with donny shankle. and, of course, gymnastics. i could watch gymnastics for hours.

    • The Olympics are my Super Bowl!

    • NBC Live is an app for iPad which allows you to watch all the events live. It is pretty buggy, though. The “touch here”part of app didn’t work, it’s overloaded w/ ads, and you have to be a cable or satellite subscriber (or sign up for a 4 hour temp pass). Right now, it’s more trouble than anything so i hope they fix the bugs soon.

    • LinLondon :

      I am, generally speaking, an Olympic fanatic. I absolutely love the Olympics and I just think it’s some of the best things about humanity crammed into a few weeks.

      That being said, I am an East Londoner, as well, and I’m finding it tough to reconcile my love for the games with how much inconvenience it’s causing. I know that sounds really self-involved, but the fact that the part of town that I live in is almost completely cut off from the rest of the city due to the “Olympic VIP” lane (heaven forbid Jacques Rogge has to leave his hotel an extra half hour early) is really annoying. I think the *city* will do the games proud, because I genuinely believe it’s the best city in the world and the games will be a success. I just wish that the Olympics Committee had done more to engage Londoners. Someone in the Guardian or NY Times said something to the effect of “Londoners feel like they’re hosting a party they’re not even invited to,” and I think that’s spot-on.

      But I’ve got tickets and I’m volunteering during the Paralympics and everyone’s starting to get genuinely excited, so, commute trouble or not, it’s going to be amazing :) Now just cross your fingers that some semi-affordable swimming or diving tickets open up in the next few weeks!

  13. I really like this, but think I spent too much at the NAS to justify spending any more right now!

    Related to that, I bought my first silk shirt (at the NAS) and realized now that its in my closet that I have no idea how to care for silk. It says “Professional Dry Clean Only, Do Not Steam” on the tag. I’m generally a sweaty person and can’t usually wear shirts more than once between washes – do I really have to get it dry cleaned after every wear? I would have steamed it like I do my suits jackets, but it says Do Not Steam.
    Is there something I can do to keep it not smelly but still be able to wear it frequently without constant trip to the dry cleaners? If not, this may be on the ‘return’ list and I’ll have to stay away from silk.

    • Rose in Bloom :

      Is it the sort of style that you can you wear a cami or other lightweight shirt underneath it? If so, you should be able to go a few wearings between dry cleaning it.

      As an aside, I hand wash most of my silk shirts or dresses and iron them and have had no problems. However, none of those items say “don’t steam” on them.

      • I could possibly wear a cami, but my biggest worry smell-wise is in the underarms, and a cami doesn’t really help much there.
        It’s actually the blue geometric shapes one that was feature on this blog a few days ago – my first purchase based on a rec from here! I agree with others that its a little boxy, but I think it looks great under a blazer. I would just hate to wear it once (and then would feel bad/would not be able to return it) and then realize it needs a dry clean after every wear, and then it would become my special interview/going to a big day of court shirt instead of a nice everyday at work shirt.

        • I have a shirt that I really have to dry clean after every wear, unless it’s just out to dinner or something, but I really really like it, so I figure it’s worth it. I’m all about machine washable work clothes, but it’s nice to have something that I can wear on it’s own (well, with pants) and feel great in, and I just keep a pile of stuff for dry cleaning that I take once in a while.

    • Dryel?

      • I thought about that, but they really specifically said “Professional Dry Clean Only.” I have no idea what possible mishap they’re guarding against if I try to use at-home stuff. Have you used this with success for really delicate stuff?

        • No, I haven’t. I use it primarily for wool or cashmere sweaters and for heavier gauge silk knit tops. One option is to get some dry cleaning solution and sponge it lightly on the underarms (if that’s the problem area). I worked in the costume shop in college and we had a chemical called pickerin (sp?) that we could sponge lightly on trouble spots. Some home dry cleaning packages include a bottle of “spot treatment” that I suspect is just the same chemical. We also used diluted vodka for smelly ‘pits — this was mostly for ironing (spray vodka on pits, iron, iron takes away bad smell) but it might also work if it air-dried.

    • I have steamed two silk blouses I own with no ill effects. One of them puckers a little all over when I steam it, but the tiny puckers fall out after a minute or two. Neither of them say “do not steam,” though. I think those tags can be alarmist (I handwash “dry clean” items all the time), but I can see how you might not want to risk it with a nice blouse. Why would you not be able to steam silk, though? It’s a natural fabric; it should be able to get wet, and steaming is just slightly damp.

    • You can definitely steam silk (I do all the time) — what you have to watch for is that your steamer/iron is well heated so that it produces an even mist and doesn’t spit droplets. Drops of water landing on the dry silk can leave water stains, which is what you want to avoid. I also don’t wash silk between every wear — I hang it up outside for a few hours and see if that airs it out enough that I feel comfortable wearing it again, and generally I can wear it 2-3 times this way. Finally, you can hand wash silk — I use a no-rise wash (Eucalan) and hang it to dry on a hanger. The only downside to doing this is that it does change the texture of the silk somewhat (eg, it makes charmeuse a little less shiny and more drapey, I find), so approach with caution there.

    • Hmm, this is a tough one. Now, I don’t usually buy things retail, so I’m a little less worried about potentially ruining them, BUT, what I would probably do, if I really really really loved the blouse, would be to just go ahead and hand wash it or use dryel. Silk is a natural fiber, I really don’t think handwashing could irreparably destroy it. But, considering the warning label, it will likely change the texture or sheen somehow. I would just decide in my head that I’m ok with however it turns out and I’m just going to wear it anyway, because I really can’t deal with dry cleaning after every wear. So, I would just hold my breath, handwash it and see what happens.

      But that’s just me, and I usually don’t spend so much on a top that if it gets ruined, I’m upset about how much money I lost.

      Alternatively, you could totally do the vodka-spritz on the armpits trick. I did that recently on a second-hand dress that had an embedded perfume smell around the neckline, and it worked like magic!! You just fill a spray bottle with watered-down vodka, and when you hang up the blouse at the end of the day, spritz the armpits liberally with the vodka. After a day or so when it completely dries/evaporates, the smell is gone. And, no, it doesn’t smell like vodka at all. Truly.

  14. Grr – got a tiny snag in my new “the skirt” when pulling out the threads that stitched the back vent closed. Any tips on fixing it? It’s just one thread sticking out in a little loop down by the hem.

    • Push a sewing needle into the fabric from the outside right next to the thread, leaving the loop of the needle showing. Thread the little thread sticking out into the loop of the needle. Pull it through to the inside.

    • there is also a little tool you can buy at sewing stores. it’s a needle without an eye, but the fat end is knurled. You just poke it though next to your snag and pull through to the other side. The knurling grabs the loose thread and pulls it through to the back of the fabric so you can’t see it. I like this tool even better because often, the snag is too short to pull through or has pulled as a loop which I definitely don’t want to break.

  15. Diana Barry :

    Does anyone else really not like this blue (cobalt?) color that’s everywhere lately? It reminds me of the 80s and plus, it doesn’t look good on me, so I keep getting annoyed when I see it. :-0

    • It was my school’s color in high school, so I associate it exclusively with athletic warm-up suits and cannot bring myself to wear it in any kind of grown up way.

    • Research, Not Law :

      Definitely reminds me of the 80’s, but I guess that’s the point? Not a fan of the cobalt, but it’s not my most disliked color either.

      I like very few of the colors right now. I’m not a bright/bold color person. It’s been a rough couple of years.

    • Seattleite :

      Sorry! That color is ‘my’ color, and I’m incredibly grateful to have it in the stores after years of earth tones that make me look jaundiced and ill.

  16. Blonde Lawyer :

    I missed the personal finance thread yesterday. (Good news is, I’m slammed at work.) I was recently thinking of moving some money from my ING savings to sharebuilder. I like the idea of having it all linked through ING. Does anyone have sharebuilder experience? I was hoping to invest in mutual funds. Like other posters though, I’m thinking my money is better spent paying down my high interest student loans.

    • I have exactly one investment through sharebuilder (cause I thought it would be fun to play with stocks and they were having a special) but I like it. It is really convenient to have it all through the same place. You might want to check if/wait for a “make your first investment and get $50 credit” – which we did and it worked out really well.
      They do have fees and whatnot, but my understanding is that’s par for the course and that theirs are on the low side.

      Because of the transaction costs, state of the market, etc it probably is better to pay down loans and stick with other things like a 401(k) if you can. But, eh, its all a gamble.

    • I personally only use sharebuilder to buy stocks. For mutual funds I use Fidelity, so I can’t speak to how sharebuilder is with other investments. I like sharebuilder for stocks though, especially if you plan on setting up automatic investments. Be careful with the charges though – I’d look into purchasing a monthly plan unless you only plan on making a few trades at a time. I have it set up so I get 12 automatic investment trades/month for $12 (so $1 per automatic investment trade).

  17. Life improvement/networking tips TJ

    After painful months of company restructuring, I know I’m not laid off. My new job title and line manager are still not announced, but I know my day to day work will be the same.
    During the heist of insecurity I decided to start looking for jobs, and thought about using my network.
    I discovered in horror that I got so absorbed in my work that I almost didn’t have a life outside of work and maybe gym.
    When I moved to my current city and got an apartment and a car, I thought I was living the dream and had great expectations for my life.
    I didn’t realize it but desolation creeped into my living space: I never got a sofa to sit on, don’t have a dressing (just hangers on sticks), never fixed the cable, piles of clothes, loads of laundry, no food in the fridge etc.

    A series of events led me to decide to take control over my life again and make it enjoyable.
    The tipping point was when my general manager used a metaphor about me being miserable and lonely. I know he said it in a specific context hypothetically and didn’t insinuate it was true but I just couldn’t shake this out of my head.

    I have started the process of renewal 2 weeks ago. Started cleaning my apartment, buying little things to make that empty space livable.
    Then I decided to start painting again after an 8 years hiatus and I’m currently setting up a tiny studio.
    I have a schedule for home improvement projects and will undertake them one after the other.
    But this still does not solve the issue of me being a lonely person who never has an afterwork “commitment”: no happy hour, no dinner, not even dropping by a friend to watch a movie.
    I decided to look up my facebook “friends” list and start catching up with them one after the other with the goal of asking them for a coffee. I would like to grab coffee with someone.. anyone 2 times per week. Any tips on getting human contacts for a person who lives alone with a cat in an empty apartment and occasionally has her father or sister mooch for a few days but they don’t like to go out and I end up cooking for them at home.

    The second thing, is I miss my collegiate life when I used to be very active in clubs and such. I have over 40 days cumulated vacation and HR are pushing me to use them but I sadly have nowhere to go alone. I decided to use my vacation days going to non-work-related conferences to meet new people. Do you have any tips for me to get to go to conferences and workshops.
    I started googling women leadership workshops and such but it’s too over the place or for students in American colleges (I’m in north Africa but willing to travel) and I need to start somewhere.
    Any tips on having a better social life are more than welcome.
    Lonely Houda

    • Can you join a group that meets regularly like a book club, a painting class, or a recreational sports league? I have made lots of friends through a book club I joined through church. I have a friend who loves painting and joined a painting group that she has starting traveling with, going on painting trips to fun locations. Lots of people in DC do kickball, softball, soccer, and touch football leagues, or bocce for the less athletically inclined. Having a regular meeting set up with people allows you to get to know them better over time. It also makes it easy to say, hey want to grab a drink before class.

    • Houda – where are you located? If we’re in the same place, I would love to meet up.

      • I currently live in Casablanca, Morocco

        • That’s right, I’m sorry I missed that part and I remember you mentioning that in prior posts – particularly because Morocco was one of my favorite trips.

          I agree with everything suggested, start making lists and doing things. For me, just setting time to grab my camera and go for a nice walk in the park was helpful to get me out of a funk. As far as friends, I think you should start looking into intramural sports. In my small city, we have a very chill league with kickball, wiffleball, etc. Also, what about group activities, like cooking classes, yoga, kickboxing, etc.? I’ve had luck meeting people at such places but I’m sure it must be very difficult given your current location.

    • Points System? :

      After a period at work like the one you describe, I made a list of all the things I wanted to do now that I had time (I had been in trial for months). Then I assigned each activity a number between 1 and 5 to indicate the possibility that I might meet someone doing it. Examples:

      * clean my closet: 1 (unless something strange is going on, there is no one in my closet)
      * go to a museum: 2-3 (if I force myself to say to a fellow picture-viewer “Wow, that’s a great painting,” it could happen).
      * take a tennis group class: 4
      * speed dating: 5

      You get the idea.

      Then I had to actually do it, which was hard because I am an introvert and would rather have sat on the couch reading. I did not meet my husband this way, but it did get me out of the house and interacting with the world again, which eventually led me to friends and activities and him.

    • Houda, is there an international women’s association in Morocco? IWAs are a very loosely affiliated network of social clubs for expats and country nationals. They’re in many countries and they’re always a fun group of women, both expats and nationals of the country. If there isn’t an IWA already, you should start one! There’s no umbrella organization or paperwork involved; just get a group of women together, post some notices or call consulates and other international organizations in your city, and have your first meeting and plan some social events.

      It might be helpful for you to contact some of the IWAs in other countries to get ideas for how to start one. I’ll post links in a reply to some of the IWAs I know of.

      • Yerevan:

      • Kuala Lumpur:

      • Tbilisi:

      • Prague:

        I’m sure there are many more that I don’t know about.

      • Actually a Google search revealed that there is one in Pittsburgh. Maybe I’m totally confusing you with someone else, but didn’t you post once that you traveled to Pittsburgh to visit someone?

        • Thanks BlueJay;
          Your idea got me several search results. And I am going to contact 3 groups!
          I found an American International Women’s Association in Casablanca. I didn’t even know it existed! And they are into charity. I will contact them and see if they’d accept me !
          I found an NGO that promotes intercultural exchange, so again in line with what I’ve been doing before diving in the job market.
          There is also a club for English speakers to meet and have a snack and chat.

          I am so excited to try all these places! I’ll probably report back in few weeks letting you guys know how it went.
          Thanks so much all for the ideas. I am increasingly grateful to be part of this community
          P.S. Yes, I went to Pittsburgh in May for my friend’s graduation.

    • I’ve moved a lot so far for my career, so I’m constantly having to rebuild my social network. I’ve started being much more forward about making friends — when I meet someone that I feel like I click with, I tell them that I enjoy their company and would like to hang out more, and make sure to call/follow up with them. Letting friendships happen “organically” just doesn’t seem to work now that I’m not an undergrad and running into the same people regularly because of shared classes, etc. I also try and make a point to go to the gym or a social activity at the same time every week (same wednesday spin class, always go to the sewing shop in sunday afternoons). I find this better for meeting people than just going to a random spin class on any day of the week, because I get to know at least a few of the regulars.

    • MaggieLizer :

      Are there any art schools, museums, etc. nearby that hold art classes at a time that other professionals are likely to go? I’m more of a painter but started taking a pottery class one night a week because the painting classes were too early for my work schedule. I’ve only made one or two friends with people close to my age, but I enjoy the class and the people in it, so I know I have something fun and social at least one night a week. I also became a museum member and have gone to a few social events through that.

      For vacations, your alumni association might host group vacations to exotic locations if you want to be able to take a nice trip but don’t want to do it on your own.

  18. I hate these kinds of abstract patterns and I hate this color combo. To each their own, but to me they look a bit dated and somewhat cheesy. Very late 80s/early 90s “modern art print.” I know it’s a personal thing though because a lot of people do seem to like this stuff and the prints keep getting made and featured here (sometimes even twice ;)) …

    • I totally agree with everything you said, AIMS. Actually, this is one of my biggest concerns about maternity clothing (we’re TTC). 80% of the maternity clothing at places like Pea in the Pod is this type of thing. I’d rather go n a k e d. :)

      • SugarMagnolia :

        I have three different maternity dresses that have a “criss cross” top to them that I wear every week with different jewelry and scarves to “mix things up.” I have one print dress from Gap Maternity I got on ebay that has an annoying print, but it fits and looks professional. I have one pair of maternity black pants. When you get to a certain point in your pregnancy, I think you just give up, and wear the few things that fit.

      • PharmaGirl :

        I was thinking the exact same thing about maternity clothes as soon as I saw this dress. When I was pregnant I bought a shirt with this kind of pattern and then I hated it so much I only wore it once.

    • I’m not into it either. Cobalt is my favorite color, but this kind of print looks (I’m sorry) ugly to me. I see it so often that I wonder if it’s really cheap for manufacturers to make–or something? Don’t know any other explanation for how ubiquitous this stuff is.

    • Yes, this reminds me of the splatter painted, over-size cropped t-shirts I used to wear in 5th grade. This kind of thing, along with the return of hideous 90s florals, is why I hate shopping so much right now.

    • Thank you. ITA.

      I hate these patterns, too.

      I think one of the points that Elizabeth Cline makes in _Overdressed_ about the mass-produced crap-quality clothes is that these patterns and colors are sometimes chosen to distract from the cheapness of the material, as well as the shoddiness of the construction.

  19. mintberrycrunch :

    Ouch TJ: Woke up this morning with a sore neck (noticed it when blowdrying my hair) – assumed it would get better but it’s only gotten worse and spread – now it’s pretty painful to turn my head to either side. I have a long work day ahead and I’m traveling in the car for 3+ hours tonight. Any tips for relief?

    • Not sure if it’s related to this, but this used to happen to me when I wore a retainer and clenched my teeth all night. Advil and a heating pad helped, but only time cured it. If it doesn’t go away in a day though I’d say get thee to a doctor.

    • Try Alleve. 2 now, 1 every 12 hours thereafter. And gentle stretching.

    • Sorry to be alarmist, but whenever I hear about neck pain, I want to rule out meningitis. The symptoms are stiff neck, fever, severe headache, and vomiting. If you have any of the symptoms other than the neck pain, see a doctor right away.

      • This. If you are having ANY trouble touching your chin to your chest, I’d get to an emergency room or at least an urgent care center.

        Seriously, meningitis is no joke.

    • I go to a chiro for that, insta relief.

    • SpaceMountain :

      Assuming it’s not meningitis, some extra magnesium might help. And go for a walk & swing your arms while walking — that will loosen things up a bit.

      • OK – on the magnesium suggestion – my chiro suggested magnesium glycinate supplements to help deal with a muscle issue I’ve been dealing with. Been on them 10 days and my gut is having a very hard time adjusting. Feel like I have a bowling ball in my stomach and the loose bowel stuff is no picnic either. Will my body ultimately adjust to this or should I throw in the towel? I’m just taking the recommended dosage, 400mg FWIW.

        • SpaceMountain :

          The powder form (magnesium citrate) can be easier on the stomach. You dissolve it in water and drink it. (It’s on Amazon as “natural calm” and I assume health food stores). Also, you can get magnesium in a lotion or spray, as your body can absorb it through the skin. Or maybe you need a vacation to Hawaii, swimming in the lovely warm salt water to boost your body’s minerals and calm your insides.

          • You can also buy some magnesium salts for your bath, and pretend you’re in Hawaii!

          • I’m all about the Hawaii suggestion :)

            Thanks for the other thoughts as well. The current situation is not a good one!

    • while driving, stretch your ear to your shoulder and hold for 15 seconds on each side. After you do each side, roll your head slowly all the way around. If you can lie on your back when you arrive at your destination with your arms out to either side and hang your head off the bed, this has helped me with neck pain that creeps up. Assuming it isn’t meningitis…I have pretty bad neck pain that comes out of no where sometimes when I wake up.

      Sometimes I find knots at the base of my skull at the top of my neck and push and rub those until they go away and the pain stops also. I assume it’s also from jaw clenching while sleeping in addition to leaning over a computer and driving during the day. I have never seen a chiro but I hear they work wonders.

    • I had this earlier this spring and it was agony – I couldn’t turn my head at all and it got worse and worse. I went to a physical therapist a couple of times and they worked wonders, plus they gave me some exercises to keep doing at home. That solved it. I also wore a neck stabilizer you can get at Walgreens to help my neck muscles relax a little – it was too painful to hold my head up without it. Also take some ibuprofen for the inflammation. Hope you feel better.

    • mintberrycrunch :

      Thanks ladies – no other meninigitis symptoms, and it really just feels like I slept on it wrong. I’m going to try the Aleve and stretching, and will keep an eye out for any of those scary symptoms for sure!

  20. Reporting back on NAS purchases, which were delivered yesterday. I am keeping just about everything, with the exception of a Halogen blazer and skirt, “the skirt”, and a Halogen long-sleeved top. The Halogen top and blazer are cut very thin through the mid back (so that raising my arms is akin to sprouting “bat wings” and way too tight (I’ve never noticed this problem on myself with other brands, so I’m guessing it is the cut and maybe due to really low armholes). The skirt has definitely been re-sized – the size 6 I ordered fits more like the size 4P I bought a couple years ago and hugs my b*tt too much for work wear. The green stone (?) color was also way limier that it looked online.

    The Halogen Taylor denim trousers were a very flattering cut and will be my go-to Friday jeans day pants.

    Finally, I heart this dress SO much. Gorgeous color, the jersey fabric is substantial and flattering, and the cut is very flattering for the long-waisted among us. Love love love. Wish it came in more colors.

    • Also forgot to mention that the dress has pockets. I am hereby nominating it as the new “The Dress II” :-)

      • Long waist :

        I have a super long waist, so always stay away from anything with a defined waist when buying online because I assume it’s not going to fit me. I don’t know my measurements, so am just going for a feel/gut sense here — it is for loooooooong waists, or just “longer” waists? (To give any idea, I’m 5’7″, but always wear petite or short pants, because my legs are super short.)

        Also, styling suggestions for the red? OK to wear a black blazer?

        • I think it would look great with a black or a grey or a navy blazer. I wore it with seersucker.

          It would also look nice with cardigans for the more casual office. I’m not sure how it would work for the extremely long-waisted, but it might be worth it to try out…the way the skirt works may disguise that it doesn’t hit right at your waist, if that makes sense.)

    • You’re killing me, I’ve been eyeing this dress. Did you get the fire color? If so, is it more orange or red?

      • I got the fire color. It is red, but it is a lighter orangey-red rather than red with a blue undertone.

        • Ok, that’s what I thought. Not a great color on me, so I’ll pass. But it looks so pretty, so enjoy!

      • So, I got mine and wore it yesterday. think
        calling it fire red is an overstatement, its a reddish coral. Its very flattering, though ideally on me
        it would hit maybe half an inch higher (its just below my natural
        waist) but with a jacket (which you’d need for work) no one would
        notice. It has pockets, which are awesome. It is also a really
        substantial, nice thick ponte knit, which I like. And the two pleats
        in front hide any potential pooch, which I really like and would only
        be a problem if you were worried about starting pregnancy rumors

        • New poster :

          Thanks so much for the reviews on this dress! I am fairly short waisted, so it sounds like maybe not going to be great on me? I will order anyway and see.

  21. My Skirt arrived today and I wanted to report back to the group. (For reference, I have size 1o hips, size 4 waist–pencil skirts are usually impossible.) I already wore mine slightly loose, and I ordered a size up based on the reviews. It fits great! I’m not sure where all the hate is coming from…perhaps try ordering a size up if it worked for you in the past. It definitely sits lower and is a bit longer, but those are both pluses in my book. Also, the lighter weight fabric is a godsend in the summer heat. Don’t give up on The Skirt!!

    • I really like the new skirt too! I think the stitching looks better, and it fits me a little better than the old one does. I’m going to buy more of them when I decide what colors I want (I have the gray color now).

    • I got mine yesterday too and really like it. For the poster who asked yesterday about the new Skirt for apple shapes, I’m pretty appley and it seems to be working for for me.

    • I'm Just Me :

      I got mine as well. I have another on backorder. I prefer the fit of the old skirt, and like the way the seaming fell on my hips, but the new one fits, and looks fine. I have never had to order down a size for the old version (I am a 16), and I ordered the same size in the new one. I am pear-y, with a thick waist and a mummy-tummy. The new one is longer, or at least appears longer, maybe because of the way it sits on my body; I have not actually compared the two items for length.

      I got the storm colored one and am waiting for the dark camel. Storm is a fantastic color, I can hardly wait to pair it with some jewel tones in the fall.

    • I just got my new “the skirt” in the ocean blue color. I ordered the same size as I did in The Skirt and on me at least, the fit is similar. I’m now debating a out ordering it in the black/purple combo.

  22. Google Chrome Help :

    Anyone else use Google Chrome? I set my homepage/start page to be “Google Advanced Search.” However, whenever I open Chrome, it goes to a page that has icons of either my last few visited sites (“Most Visited”) or of Chrome Web Store, YouTube, Gmail and Google Search (“Apps”). To get to my start page, I have to hit the home icon.

    Is there any way to get Chrome to open to my start page instead of to its own “most visited” or “apps” page? Why even call it a start page if you are going to make me manually get to it and assign me your own start page?! Aaargh.

    All suggestions welcome.

    I actually prefer Explorer, but it killed my laptop, so I switched to Chrome. So far +1 for Chrome that it doesn’t kill my laptop, but -1 for Chrome about the start page and -1 for Chrome that you can’t send a webpage and have to instead cut and paste the address and send that.

    • The tool icon in your upper right corner–> select Settings –> go to “On Start” –> enter in the beginning webpage(s) that you always want to come up first.

      • Google Chrome Help :

        Yep. Did that. When I click on the home/house icon, it goes to my preferred page (google advanced search). But I have to click the home icon to make it happen. On opening Chrome, I get the Chrome pages I described.

        It only adds an extra step, but still: it adds an extra step. Grrr.


  23. Hive – just saw a posting for my dream next job (i.e. not where I want to land but great next step). Problem is I just committed to a prestigious and competitive assignment at my current job for now through April. It involves interactions with an outside entity and would make my current employer look bad if I left in the middle. I’m so torn about even applying to this job. I’m in a small niche legal community and need to keep good relations with all involved. Any thoughts are welcome.

    • I think your best bet if you want to go for it, is to create a succession plan for your current employer. Do you have any contacts at the dream job? Getting even just a little inside intell can help (like figuring out what the hiring horizon is, finding out if it’s the kind of posting where they already have someone in mind, getting a sense of how competitive you would be, etc.) In the meantime, is there anyone else at your current job who could take your place on your current project if necessary? When you interview for the new job, if they ask when you’re available to start, you can outline your current situation and see what you can negotiate for a start date. They might absolutely need someone right away and then you have to choose whether to ditch your current job. But if you choose to be up front, the new job people will probably respect your dedication and even if they can’t give you the job because of timing, you’ll make a great impression. If you can finagle a month or six weeks until a start date, you can present your current employer with a ready-made plan for transitioning you off the project without a hit to their reputation. (Sorry if this is all a bit muddy. I’m afraid I might not have explained this well.)

    • I think a lot of the time we think we’re indispensable when really we’re not. So long as you give your employer enough time to find a replacement and you help ensure a smooth transition, the project will be fine and no one will think badly of you or your employer. You need to look out for yourself and your own career advancement.

      Besides, applying isn’t the same as accepting. Definitely go ahead and apply and worry about the rest if and when you get an offer.

    • You state you’re in a small legal niche and no one has mentioned that if you leave your current employer and outside organization in a bind, this will not boast well for your long term career.

      I agree that people often think they’re indespensible when their not, but I also firmly believe that if you committed to a group for a project (is there a contract, did you talk about your committment) and you break that committment it looks much worse than any next step job would take you.

      • Ugh – this is what worries me. No contract but, yes commitment, and I was selected from many others who put their hat in.

        • But if many others put their hat in, that presumably means there are others that would be willing and able to step up if you were to leave.

          I think you should at least look into the new job possibility, and let them know the situation if interviews get that far. You may decide you don’t like the vibe of the new place enough to leave, or you may get a great feeling from and be sure it’s the right career move for you. Either way, you won’t know if you don’t apply.

  24. There’s an article on the Careerist about how women over a certain age shouldn’t have long hair, as it makes them look old and isn’t professional past a certain age. This makes me wonder whether it’s time to cut my hair? I am (gasp) 45 now. I have long (below my shoulders but above my b r a strap), thick, straight (or at least it’s straight after I attack it with a flat iron) hair. I keep it well highlighted so that no gray shows. I usually, though not always, wear it in a sleek, low pony at work, as I think that looks neater and more professional. Frankly, my hair is one of my better attributes — I get compliments from other women about it on a regular basis — so I’m loathe to give that up. But on the other hand, I don’t want younger people in my profession to be thinking that I’m some sad older woman who can’t come to grips with the fact that she’s aging. Is it time to give it up and go with a shorter cut?

    • I think in some cases longer hair can make you look younger, and that classic “old lady” cut of lots of little fluffy curls makes you look old. It depends on the person. Also, who cares — do your hair the way you like! It sounds like the way you’re doing it now is very nice and professional. If you love your long hair, keep it.

    • Based on your description, you look fabulous. Don’t fret it. Also, no younger woman is thinking, “Ew her gorgeous hair is past her shoulder and is therefore hideous because of society and whatnot.”

      In fact, one of the senior female attorneys at my firm wore her hair like that yesterday. In response, I am wearing my past-shoulder hair in a low, flat-ironed ponytail today.

    • I think that as long as it looks well-maintained and professional, then having long hair when you are “old” is fine! I know I have seen older women with full gray hair that is very long (4-5 inches past bra strap) and broken at the ends that just does not look good. But if they kept it trimmed it would look fine.

    • I think that sometimes age/coloring makes women’s hair more brittle and dry, therefore making you look older. If your hair is healthy and neat I don’t think it matters. Do what you want to do.

    • Cornellian :

      I’ve often wondered the opposite: why do women over 30 chop their hair off? (apparently the texture changes? I’ve also been told that it’s easier to maintain, but I’ve had short bob that need neck shaving in the back, and I currently have hair that touches my butt if I stare at the ceiling, and longer seems much easier.)

      Keep it long. Well-maintained and conditioned, but long. Even if it goes gray.

      • Honestly, I chopped my hair off at 29 because I always thought I’d look better with short hair, hated long hair, couldn’t control my long hair, and finally had the confidence to ignore the “long hair” brigade.

        Do what works for you. If that’s long hair, keep it long.

        • Cornellian :

          Oh, I didn’t mean to imply that short hair is inferior to long hair. it just seems de rigeur that women of a certain age have to chop their hair off to keep their career. We should definitely all do what we feel is best for our hair.

      • Obvs everyone should do what they like and feels best for them but personally I found that short hair makes me look younger than 35. The shorter the better in fact.

    • Don’t cut it unless you want to cut it. The idea that any single feature is always unprofessional or inappropriate on all women of a certain age is ridiculous, frankly. And 45 is hardly a sad older women.

      Lots of powerful and professional women have long or longish hair, including many 40 and 50something members of Congress. You like your hair, it makes you feel more confident, leave it alone.

    • I think the cut/style is key. If you have a chic, up-to-date style (i.e., you’re not still rocking your high school haricut), you’re fine.

    • As long as you look professional and are happy with your look and comfortable in your skin, there shouldn’t be a hard-and-fast rule about long hair past X age.

      Frankly, I think people who say stuff that a woman of X age shouldn’t have [hairstyle] are @ssholes. I also suspect they’re the same people who then want to turn around and accuse older women who’ve cut their hair short of having zero s#x appeal. Don’t court these people’s approval. They’re not worth it.

      • I totally agree with the above advice, but I also wanted to add that I am stunned that anyone would associate 45 and “old.” 45 is most definitely not old!

        • Exactly! My mother and I have agreed that she, at 73, is in late middle age.

  25. Soliciting reviews for ISO Beauty – Proliss hair dryer. Anyone have it? Recommend or not? (Looking to upgrade to a better-than-drugstore pick-up blow dryer, if they make a difference.)

  26. I searched the ‘r e t t e archives and found helpful advice. I was wondering if anyone had any new tips on working out during lunch. Also, I’m in the market for a gym bag that needs to hold a week’s worth of work out clothes/supplies, if anyone has any favorites.

    • locomotive :

      plan things efficiently! I always know exactly what I am going to do as soon as I step into the gym. I try to only take 1 hour for lunch/whatever I do for lunch, so that means 15 minutes back and forth to the gym, 30 minutes of really intense working out( 5 min warm up on treadmill, lifting for 15 minutes, high intensity intervals for 10 minutes), and 15 minutes to shower, pin up my hair, get dressed and flee the premises. I do minimal makeup upon getting ready (moisturizer, eyeliner, blush) and wear flats to and from so I can walk at a brisk pace.

      I use a the gaiam ‘everything fits’ gym bag and i love it. doesn’t look too gym-y to me and it’s really lightweight.

      • I’ve never been able to do lunchtime workout because of the hair issue. Do you wash it? If so, do you then dry/style it? I just felt like it would take too much time.

        • I’m not a lunchtime gym-goer, but for me, if I have to get someplace quickly after running, I just put my hair up in a high bun, after running some dry shampoo (I use Oscar Blandi Pronto) through it.

        • Unless I’m swimming (which is a great lunchtime workout since you can get a good workout in minimal time and have time to wash and dry hair), I put mine in a ponytail to work out, keep it in a ponytail in the gym shower and kind of rinse around the hairline to get some of the sweat out, and then use the dryer to dry the wet part around my hairline and brush the rest out. I’m lucky to have an above-shoulder bob and thick hair, so it’s doesn’t look terrible. I decided I’d rather have the workout than perfect afternoon hair. (Then again, my hair hardly looks perfect unless I”ve just walked out of the salon.) I have a pretty quick makeup routine as well.

        • locomotive :

          when I can get away with not washing it (if I don’t feel horribly gross after the workout), I will just put it into a bun or ponytail. if I do wash it, I just put it back into a bun and blow dry the top layer so that it looks kinda dry (or it basically dries off by the time I walk back on the top layer). I also don’t work out every day – so since I go about 3x a week, I just wear my hair down on the other days.

    • My job is pretty flexible so I don’t have to stick to exactly an hour at lunch, but I try my best when I can. It’s good to have a plan before you get to the gym so you can maximize your time. Right now I do yoga and spin at lunch. The tough issue is showering. I have curly hair so I blow dry the roots a bit after I get out of the shower and then run the AC on full blast while I drive back to the office. It’s a little ridiculous, but it works! My hair is mostly dry by the time I’m back in the office!

  27. TJ: My husband just started work at a firm where he has to wear a suit everyday. Said husband has very sensitive skin and is finding that his wool/wool-blend suits (Theory and Brooks Brothers) are extremely itchy/uncomfortable. I really feel for him because I have sensitive skin, too, and it can make life miserable.

    So, any suggestions? Are there companies that make non-wool (but nice) suits, or are some wool blends better than others? I would love to hear about personal experiences with this. He has a great cotton suit from Banana Republic, but that won’t cut it all the time and obviously won’t work in the winter.

    • Men’s Wearhouse will have some poly-blend non-wool suits, although I don’t know if that’s really what he’s looking for. Can he look for suits with lined pants? I don’t know if they make lined pants for men.

    • I’ll be surprised if you get recommendations for non-wool (nice) suits, but has he thought about wearing lightweight silk long underwear?

    • Can a tailor add lining to pants? If the pants are only lined to the knee, could he wear full length dress socks?

    • If they’re lined, does that help? My SO just bought a bunch of suits from Jos A Banks and they are wool, but fully lined. Also, they have some summer weight suits, which look completely normal weight to me, but aren’t wool. FWIW, they are running a buy 1 get 2 free deal on suits, so couldn’t hurt to try?

    • Thanks for all the replies so far. I assumed his pants were lined, but I just asked and it turns out they are not! Any suggestions on men’s suits that do have lined pants?

      We will definitely check out Jos A Banks–do you know if their suits fit well on slim-built guys? He’s about 5’9”.

      Long underwear is a good idea, but not for the summer. Maybe I’ll check on his dress-sock situation, too–I don’t know what he wears but it sounds like it could help mitigate.

      • I don’t know, i am also super sensitive to itchy fabrics, and having a lining never really helped. I would either feel it through the lining, or just the places where the edges of the wool met my skin would make me itch till i went cuh-razy.

        I would try what other folks said about places that offer non-wool blends, maybe make friends with a salesperson at Jos A Banks and at Brooks Brothers who can give you a heads up anytime they have non-wool items come in? There probably aren’t as many non-wool options, but if you keep looking, maybe over time he can build up enough of a wardrobe of suits that don’t itch.

        And, also, look for higher quality stuff. I actually discovered that I can wear some wool now, but only really really nice and soft cashmere, merino, etc.

      • lucy stone :

        Jos A Bank makes a slimcut suit. My husband had a groomsman who is very slender so he got the slim cut and one of the other guys got the husky cut. He may want to try department stores as well. We found a really nice wool blend at Macys.

      • Seattleite :

        Check into having lining added to the pants he already owns. I know for a fact that Nordstrom & I believe Men’s Warehouse will do it. MW will also tailor things bought elswhere.

  28. After Belle & Clive didn’t really take off, rumors are that Bluefly is downsizing quite a bit, so I imagine they are desperate to rid themselves of some of that years-old inventory they’ve got lying around. I would expect some pretty steep discounts on their site now and in the near future.

  29. After spending my entire career having had my own office, I am in a cube in my new job. My coworker across the way spends almost his entire day on the phone making personal calls. (This week has been particularly bad because he is moving his MIL to a nursing home). There is no good place to make calls here and the conference room is almost always occupied. Thus far, I have dealt with this with Pandora and some headphones. But, I’m afraid it looks unprofessional that I have to take them out whenever my boss stops by. Any ideas on other strategies for dealing with this?

    • The only thing I have to offer, having coming from a cubicle farm, is that you get used to it over time and become better at blocking things out. There will always be loud people, but then you can roll your eyes at the person across from you when you hear ‘Jim’ on the phone two aisles over for the umpteenth time. If you are lucky, he may actually be discussing issues pertinent to your work, and you’ll be a step ahead of the game. :) If you have a particularly important call, or you’re hosting a conference call and you can’t take it in the conference room, you can tell the people around you so that they’re sensitive to your needing more quite at that time. I sat next to a corridor and made a little sign I could hold up and wave if people were standing there having a conversation and it was interfering with my phone work.

    • Research, Not Law :

      Ah, cube life. I do find it has some advantages, but it is hard when there’s someone who spends a lot of time on the phone. There are some details I wish I could unlearn about some of my coworkers.

      Agree with Mouse that you will learn to tune it out. Earphones are a common solution, so I wouldn’t worry about using them. However, it would be good to leave them out when the area is quiet and to give your “I’m excited to hear what you have to say” face instead of your “why are you interrupting me” face when you take them off. Your boss probably understands why you’re using them, but if you feel the need to explain, just say that they help you focus over “the noise of the office.”

      Needless to say, you should be respectful of others when you have your own calls and conversations. I use a normal voice most of the time, but I do try to speak softly when I know a nearby coworker is on a call (or, for one of my more sound-sensitive coworkers, if they are having a rough day).

      If you show respect for them, your coworkers will be much more understanding if you need to occasionally ask them to speak softly. I find “excuse me, I’m having a hard time hearing my call” to be much better received than “please quiet down, I’m on a call.”

  30. I love a high-fashiony take on workwear. I especially love the last photo in which execu-babe is being followed by her minions. Can that be me, please?

  31. I had a laparascopy yesterday to treat endometriosis. I figured the chances here were high that someone else has gone through this! They fill you with CO2, which manifests as huge pain in the right shoulder oddly enough. It hurts way worse than the actual incision. Any tips on helping dispel this gas faster?? Its been 24 hours and still going strong.

    • All that helped me was walking around as much as possible and taking gasx. It will eventually work its way out, but is very uncomfortable in th meantime.

    • Yeah, you just have to wait for it to pass, literally. Its a pain in the shoulder, literally.

    • This happened to me after some surgery. Walking around is good, but the thing that helped me was a heating pad on the shoulder area when I was sitting. Hope you feel better soon. !

    • Yes! Ginger tea! Just put a few slices of ginger root in a cup of boiling water, let it sit for a bit. Sweeten with honey or sugar and drink as hot as possible. This is the only thing that worked for me after a similar procedure. And yes, the gas pains hurt like the dickens – I had no idea!

    • Yes! Ginger tea! Just put a few slices of ginger root in a cup of boiling water, let it sit for a bit. Sweeten with honey or sugar and drink as hot as possible. This is the only thing that worked for me after a similar procedure. Heating pad helps too.

    • Headstands.

    • If you feel well enough to do a little yoga, downward-facing dog is great for getting the gas out. Seriously, I’ve attended some serious fart-fest yoga classes!

      • Omg this cracked me up. I’ve never done yoga and now I’m afraid to.

      • emcsquared :

        My mom was instructed to do cat-cow when pregnant with me to alleviate gas issues (normal gas, not sure if it would help with post-surgery gas bubble).

    • Anonymous :

      Related: I am unfortunately prone to gassiness and somehow it causes pain in my left shoulder. Can anyone explain the connection/mechanism of this?

    • Thanks for all the suggestions! Love me some downward dog, didn’t even think about that. Will try the tea and heating pad, too. This was a total surprise to me, so I’m grateful for the suggestions.

  32. Contiki Tour :

    Anyone ever do a Contiki Tour? I’m looking at the one going to South America in August (yes, very last minute). I am 26, but I will be travelling alone so I was hoping I would meet some fun people on the tour.

    • Anonymous :

      You should go! My friend did a Contiki tour solo in Australia and loved it. She still keeps in touch with people she met 1+ years later.

    • Yes, I did a Contiki trip solo to Morocco and it was amazing. I am an introvert, but it was great. I was 23 and was rejected by my dream employer and it was a great way to get me out of my funk. Highly recommended.

    • Yes. I did a Contiki tour in Europe with a friend when I was 26. It was fantastic! Everyone was pretty much in their mid-twenties and there were a bunch of women who signed up individually. The group got along very well. We had a great time. Definitely recommend it.

  33. I have a question for you stylish ladies: can you help me with hair cut/style suggestions?

    I’m sick to death of my hair. It’s pretty long (almost to my b**bs), slightly wavy, medium-thick, and layered. I know, boring! I’ve had the same hair style for roughly ten years and i’m so tired of it! I’m sort of limited because I can’t stand blow drying or investing much, if any time in my hair. I usually come to work with it wet after the gym and I don’t wear product, although I used to use a curl-scrunch gel. I love the look of a short or shoulder length bob with side swept bangs, but I’ve tried bangs three times in the past and I just feel like they look terrible on me. My face is already oval, and bangs seem to make it a strange, squat shape, maybe that’s why. Also, i have a big nose, and I feel like bangs make it look huge. Other than cutting a few inches and keeping the same wavy, layered look, do you have any ideas??? I just feel like there are about three hair styles for women, I’ve tried them all, and now this is what I’m stuck with.

    • Maddie Ross :

      Hi, are you me? I didn’t realize I was posting right now — I thought I was working on brief. But seriously, I’d love to hear any suggestions that anyone may have about this. My most recent attempt at change was to add a few more layers, but I don’t think I like it. I keep thinking I want to do something drastic and cut it really short, but I’m nervous I’ll hate it. So instead I just keep going with the same style, day after day. The one thing I do that you do not is when I do blow it dry, I use large hot rollers for a Princess Kate kind of look.

      • Haha, I should be doing what your doing, but all I want to do is make excuses to go to the bathroom and frown critically at my hair…

    • Whenever I get in a rut, I get one (or two) of those hairstyle magazines. I go through once, just looking for things that make me say “oooh, cute!” without judgment–i.e., without saying things like “oh, that would never work on me.” Then I go through it again with a more critical eye, seeing if the model has a similar face shape, etc. When I find a few I like, I take the magazine with my to my stylist and ask if she thinks it would work on me, with or without modifications. I don’t know if this is useful to you, but it works for me.

    • Okay, YMMV, but I have a great hair stylist so when I felt this way (my hairstyle did not match my personal style, dress, or anything), I went to my stylist and told her I was sick of my hair, wanted and change and described what I was looking for style-wise (although not specific). She knows me, knows my hair (she’s been cutting my hair for about 21 years) and she just went for it. She ended up going shorter on my subsequent visits but I have to say, people tell me that my hair looks better than it has in years. The style of it fits me. And all I do is dry it upside down and spend a minute fiddling with it, spray and go.

      • NOLA, this is my dream! To find a stylist that knows me, knows my hair, my life style, my (in)tolerance for fussy styling, and has the confidence and vision to give me what I don’t even know that I want. Sigh. I keep moving around too much to form much of a relationship with a hair stylist, but one day!! That’s when I’ll know I’ve “made it.” ;)

        • Yeah I have followed my stylist all over town as she has changed locations. But she’s totally worth it. I have thin, fine hair and she has figured out how to make it look good!

    • Anonymous :

      I went from curly hair to Japanese straightening. Waaaay different look, and I loved it. I’m easing back into curls after 6 years now, and not yet acclimated.

    • Research, Not Law :

      I have the same hair and face and know your struggle. With extensive testing, I find there’s one long cut (basically what you have already) and one short cut (chin to nape of neck with layers) that look good. When I tire of alternating between the two, I pledge to straighten and do something different until I tire of straightening.

      Like Nola, I will rely on my stellar stylist to help with suggestions.While she agrees that there are essentially two options, she can play with it a bit. Even shorting an inch or two inches, changing layers, and adjusting face shaping can make a difference in how you feel about your hairstyle and make you feel like you have something fresh.

    • Oh, your hair sounds so pretty. I am always jealous of women with hair like yours.

      Maybe instead of changing the cut, you could learn different styles and updos? There are lots of good hair tutorials on YouTube and also check out the hair tutorials on joannagoddard dot blogspot dot com.

    • I had the same feelings about my hair in January, and ended up getting about a foot cut off. I was very sick of my long hair and wanted a change. Now a have a bob with layers and without bangs. It’s a little grown out to my shoulders just because I am long overdue for a cut and highlights. I got a lot of complements after the cut, and I have something now that looks professional even when it is down. Before, I would wear my hair up everytime I went to court. Now I have more options.

      I suggest looking up a highly rated stylist on yelp and going in to see him with suggestions, but an open mind. Ask him what he thinks you should do to modernize and change up your look. These situations where you are not exactly sure what you want are good times to splurge on a highly rated stylist. If you really hate it, you can grow it back.

  34. Hope I’m not too late to this thread. Gilt has some amazing stuff today — the Zac Posen collection is so pretty it makes me whimper a little bit. Also, the Tart Infinity Maxi Dress is on sale in a bunch of really nice prints for $109. Does anyone one one of these infinity dresses? Would you recommend one? If I’m in-between a M/L, which size to order?

    • that should be “does anyone *own* one” …

    • I agree, the Zac Posen dresses are beautiful. When I look at collections like that though (with those price tags!), I sort of think to myself, well, they can dress me when I am a fabulous and distinguished millionaire and must attend important galas. Which will never happen, but it’s fun to think about!

  35. Hive, I’m nervous! I wrote up a nice proposal about what I would like for my non-probationary salary, backed it up with research, and had a few people proof-read. It is slightly above what I really want, so when they come in lower I have somewhere to go and still get what I want…but now I’m having those “hey, you’re in a good spot,don’t push it!” feelings. I took the hive’s rec. and read that book “Ask For It,” which was slightly helpful but I still have jitters about it.

    It didn’t help that when I was talking to my grandpa that raised me about it, he said “well don’t ask for too much, they might just let you go!” Thanks. I’m essentially asking for the exact NALP average for a firm my size, and I know that is slightly high for reality, but Robert Half has that report for firms my size by region and I’m right in line with that too. I think I’m asking for a salary that is about 28% of my billables, so nothing nuts. I’m just so nervous about it!

    • 1. Not sure how old your grandpa is, but the older grandpas lived through the Depression and WWII and have a deep fear of scarcity. If your grandpa is like mine, he also worries about his little girl out there in the big, rough business world (mine never quite caught on that the working world was not what it was re women in the 1950s when he was coming up, or even in the 1980s, when my mom was coming up).

      2. Asking for what you’re worth (and it sounds like you’ve done your homework) should make your employer respect you more. Employers take their cue from you about what your worth is. If you low-ball yourself, they’ll value you less and they’ll be less satisfied with themselves for hiring you. If your request is in the right range, they’ll feel content that you’re actually worth what you should be for your position.

      • SoCalAtty :

        Thanks TBK! He was born in 1924, and he and my grandma took me when I was 8, so I was totally raised with 1950s thinking. So that makes sense! For #2, thank you for the reassurance! It all logically makes sense, my (poorly trained and wrong in this case) gut is just giving me fits.

    • I’ve heard that your salary should be 1/3 of your billables, so it sounds like you are in the right range or at the slightly lower end.

    • SoCal Gator :

      Good luck! Don’t worry. They will respond with what they can do within their budget limits. I have been through many of these salary negotiations before.

      Is it an Orange County firm? (My firm is based in LA and I work in the Irvine office).

      • SoCalAtty :

        Thanks kc and SoCalGator! I’m in LA County but up in Glendale. So I tried to go with Glendale, not Century City/DT Los Angeles, appropriate salary. We should do a SoCal meet-up…I don’t mind driving to the OC, especially if we do something yummy!

        • SoCal Gator :

          Sounds great! I would love to do a meet up if you don’t mind the fact that I am one of the older posters on this site (35 years in practice — I can hardly believe that myself!).

          Best of luck with the negotiations and let us know how it turns out. I am keeping my fingers crossed for you!

  36. SugarMagnolia :

    I have no advice, other than to express how great it is that you are asking for what you think you are worth. That is huge! Good luck!

  37. Anon for this :

    Anyone in the DC area have any recommendations for a place to get screened for adult ADHD? I’ve been screened previously in the past as a teenager in another state, but it is no longer “good”. Thanks all!

  38. Anonymous :

    This is FUNNY!

    I have a very similer DRESS that my SISTER bought in TARGET and gave to me, and she said she paid only $37.00 INCLUDEING tax! YAY!!!!!

    The onley reason that she gave me the dress is b/c she is too thin and the dress HANG’s on her. She told me that I have a few extra POUNDS so the dress fitted. She was right.

    Anyway, I have been WAY to busy workeing all of the new cases that Jim gave me. But I am NOT makeing any extra, just the manageing partner who is in CHARGE of the billeing for the client. FOOEY! I think I should make a cut for all the extra work I am doeing on these cases.

    I also have to figure out how to keep Jim at ARM’S length, because he is the CLEINT!

    I have alot of thinkeing to do.

  39. What hapened to my coment?

  40. I have alot of thing’s on my MIND. The cleint, Jim, wants me to do MORE WORK, but I am NOT getting any extra pay.\

    The manageing partner is makeing a fortune on me and I wonder why I cannot ask for a cut. I am workeing now every nite until after 8 (FOOEY) and then have to take the subway home.

    If I was In-HOUSE, I could take a car SERVICE. YAY!

    But I can NOT, and the manageing partner is not workeing any harder, just me. FOOEY!

    I also have to keep Jim at arm’s length. My mom says NEVER mix work with personal thing’s and Jim want’s to get romantic. I do NOT want to loose the cleint, but also do NOT want to do anything fooleish! Help!

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