Coffee Break – Mademoiselle

Essie Nail Color: MademoiselleI’ve always heard amazing things about Essie Mademoiselle, the color featured here. Best-seller! “A grown-up pink!” “The perfect nude!” But on me, it tends to be a bit too pinky. So a friend taught me this trick a while ago: you layer different pinks to get a nude-for-you look. I think a lot of New Yorkers do this — layering Mademoiselle and Sugar Daddy is popular; I’m a fan of a Mademoiselle/Starter Wife combo. Essie polishes are $8 at Essie Nail Color: Mademoiselle

Readers, what is your favorite pink/nude nailpolish?

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  1. Not an Essie fan. Mine chipped and didn’t last a week. The only nail polishes that have worked for me so far are OPI and, surprisingly, Sally Hansen Insta-Dry!

  2. Anonymous :

    OPI Bubble Bath. Always perfect and stays on.

    • Yes! And I’m a google geek and found that what Giada De Laurentiis wears too. Her nails always look impeccable on her show.

      • lawsuited :

        Yes! OPI Bubble Bath and OPI Coney Island Cotton Candy are my favourite nude-for-me shades!

        • lawsuited :

          Hilariously, my nails are OPI Tiptoe Through The Tulips (a very hot pink), wonder if that’s “a bit too pinky”?!

      • Totally agree with OPI Bubble Bath as the perfect pink/nude. One coat and it’s my “my nails but better” color, and multiple coats make it a great sheer pink. The best part about this polish is that it never gets streaky!

  3. Former MidLevel :

    I think I’ve said it here before, but I like OPI Samoan Sand (yes, I am super-pale) and my new favorite is Dior Incognito.

    • I’m not super-pale (Mac NC35-ish) and I also like Samoan Sand!

      • I just got Chanel Frenzy and it is the most awesome pale color ever – a pale grey with a hint of lavender

        • +1 on Frenzy. I like how it looks with 1, 2 or 3 coats.

        • If we’re talking greys, I’ll plug my standard warm, pale gray: OPI’s Moon Over Mumbai. Subdued enough to pass in every circumstance I can conceivably encounter, interesting enough to not crush my artistic soul.

        • Former MidLevel :

          Ooh – I may have to check that out.

    • Totes McGotes :

      I love Samoan Sand and Malaysian Mist (though I think that’s one’s been discontinued).

      • Ballet Slippers by Essie is the perfect pink. This is a great color for work and I think the lighter colors tend to look nicer longer.

  4. What to say when.... :

    Awkward situation help needed. This weekend, I went to a birthday party with my boyfriend and his three year old son. I get to spend time with this little guy pretty frequently, and people either think I’m his mom (and I have to correct them) or know instinctively that I’m not and ask me what I am (really?). It doesn’t look that bad here when I write it out but it is usually seriously awkward, especially when BF isn’t around. It’s probably even more awkward because I adore the kid and wish he were my son, but he’s not. Help me figure out an appropriate canned response for this inevitable question?

    This weekend at the birthday party a guy asked me, “Is this your…do you have a child?” and pointed to BF’s son. I smiled and said, “No, he’s my fake son. I get to have all of the fun!” Still cringing at myself, but why would anyone ask that? Sheesh.

    • Anne Shirley :

      “Is he your son?”

      “No, I’m dating his father. ”

      Perhaps I am missing the awkward part?

      • I’d do this — cut off the subsequent question by explaining it in your first answer. Maybe add something like “but he’s the best, isn’t he?” So you don’t get any evil step-mother looks.

    • I would love to hear any good advice on this. I usually go with “She’s my husband’s daughter” in those awkward situations because sometimes I feel like I’m insulting her when I specify that she’s my stepdaughter but it doesn’t seem right to say she’s my daughter because she isn’t (and her mom is very much present).

      • Is she your stepdaughter? Because I’m not seeing what’s insulting. I’m a stepdaughter on both sides (mother and father both re-married) and I can’t think of what else my steps would call me — and I definitely feel they both love me very much.

        • Brooklyn, Esq. :

          As another stepdaughter, I second this.

          • Yep. I actually think that whatever awkwardness there might be here would result from you calling the girl your husband’s daughter as opposed to your stepdaughter.

            I have a stepfather and we have gone through some very rough times and some very good times, and I never had an issue with the ‘step’ term during either of those periods.

      • If you have any sort of stepmotherly realtionship with her, please don’t say this. My stepfather’s mother used to walk around with me (and other grandkids) and loudly proclaim “this one is not my grandchild but the other ones are”. It really hurt my feelings and made me feel like I was nothing to her. I would prefer “her father is my husband”, or anything really, compared to “she’s my husband’s daughter”. I agree that “she’s my stepdaughter” would probably be best. Better yet, if she is old enough, why don’t you have a talk with her and see how she would like you to refer to her, and vice versa? It’s probably just as awkward for her as it is for you.

      • Have you asked her what she prefers to be called?

        I refer to my mother and step-father as my parents (my biological father is out of the picture) and when just referencing my step-dad I make a point of calling him that. He stepped up and I really like to make that point when I talk about him, even if I’m the only person that catches it. He doesn’t differentiate step and biological and people who don’t know, typically don’t realize he’s not our biological father. My family as a whole, with the assorted step/half/biological mess, we have always just come down as family is family no need to modify titles.

        I’d probably ask your boyfriend how he feels most comfortable with you answering that question and depending on your relationship with the mother ask her preference as well.

      • Thanks all. She’s super sensitive these days so I stress every time it comes up, but given what you guys have said I will now probably take Stepmom’s approach below.

      • I think it depends on whether you have a motherly relationship with her. To provide the dissenting point of view, I think “she’s my husband’s daughter” would make more sense with my particular relationship to my dad’s wife, since she has never been a mother figure for me (she’s about halfway between my age and my dad’s age, so she has always felt generationally in between, sort of like a much older cousin). Although I have to say I would prefer above all else, “she’s [my half-brother’s] sister.” Whatever emphasizes her closeness with your family without feeling inaccurate. It’s ok to have more than one mother figure, so I think if you take on that role, you can definitely call yourself her stepmom without taking anything away from her mother or that relationship.

        • Anonalawyer :

          This is what I say re: my stepson – “He’s [bio-son’s] brother.” I do not have any kind of relationship (other than cordial) with my stepson’s mother, but am glad that my bio-son calls her “Aunt XXX.”

      • I’m a stepdaughter, and I get very ticked off when my mom calls me “our” (i.e. her and her husband’s) daughter. My stepfather’s been my stepfather for more than half my life and I love him, but he’s not my dad and only my dad deserves that title. Having said that, the way you phrase it as “my husband’s daughter” actually sounds more like you’re distancing yourself from her or you don’t want to be associated with her. “My stepdaughter” makes it clear she’s part of your family.

        • Which just goes to show that everyone is different! I love my (bio)father, but my step-father is also my “Dad” and I would be devastated if he called me “my wife’s daughter” or even “my stepdaughter.” He is “Dad”, I am “my daughter” and my other Dad is “my other Dad.”

      • Stepmom re: driving and ACT preparing :

        KLG: see my comment below. I agree with anon at 3:11 to discuss it with your SD. (I call my SD SD and my SS SS even though we won’t marry for some time because we have been engaged and living as a family for years.)

        Be prepared, however, for SD to tell you that she totally understands that you think she is an important part of your life and you adore her/love her/think she’s great and you want to support her and yet, at the same time, demonstrate that whatever horrid things her mom has told her about her she has digested hook, line and sinker. My favorite was “Why does SM need to know when my school day begins and ends or when my final exams are? She is not my mother. Only my mother and father should be involved in my academic development. That is not SM’s role. SM is overstepping her boundaries and it is not appropriate or acceptable.” She was 13 when she said that. Clearly channeling her mother, who had said the same thing, using the same words, to dad a few days earlier.

        SD lives with us 50% of the time, so knowing her school schedule is important for things like cooking breakfast, planning dinner, not planning parties at the house during midterms and finals, planning family vacations etc. When her dad explained it to her, it was clear that SD was not buying it. She magically thinks that all those things can happen without my involvement.

        I try to have compassion for the cognitive dissonance these girls must experience between the reality they experience in our houses and what their mothers tell them they experience in our houses. Sometimes the desire to please mommy is so strong that it forces them to not see what is happening in front of their eyes in dad’s house (namely, that it is normal at dad’s house and not the horrific mess mom says it is).

        I will admit that sometimes my compassion fades. Right now, for example. Mom sent my fiance an email last week saying that there are changes afoot at her company that mean her salary may be reduced and she may lose her health insurance, so my fiance should tell her how much alimony he will pay her every month or they can go to court and have the judge figure it out. Meanwhile, owner of the company where she works (who also happens to be the kids’ grandma) reports that mom was told recently that she has to choose between keeping her current job and staying in town to actually do it, or continuing to spend every other week across the country with her boyfriend who lives 3500 miles away and going part time or quitting — because when she is across the county while SD is with us, she is not doing her work. Naturally, her initial reaction was to demand that my fiance, whom SHE left 6 1/2 years ago, subsidize her dating life and to couch it to him as a lay-off. This makes compassion hard for me.

    • Back when I was waiting tables, I was always trying to come up with “folksy” ways to offer drinks to families (very conservative/religious area, but management insisted that we offer a bar drink to everyone, though many clients made it very awkward). For a little while, I started saying something like “How about a lemonaide for the kids and some margaretas for mom and dad?” I learned really fast that that was not a good idea when a couple of moms gave me the abosolute evil eye and said “He’s *not* their father.” So, don’t act offended; people are innocently stupid a lot, would be my advice I guess. :)

      How about something like “He’s actually (name’s or my boyfriend’s or my fellow’s) son, but he’s still my little buddy”? Or is that too cheesy?

    • I actually like this: “No, he’s my fake son. I get to have all the fun!” It tells the person he’s not yours, but that you have a relationship with him, and that you care about him.

    • Another Zumba Fan :

      “Fake son” sounds insulting to me. Just say he’s your boyfriend’s son.

      • Brooklyn, Esq. :

        I agree–if I heard “fake son,” I’d think “what does that even mean?” Say he’s your boyfriend’s son and then follow it up with something that shows your love for him–“isn’t he the cutest?” or “I love spending time with him” or “we are very close”–whatever fits the situation.

      • What to say when... :

        That was how I felt after I said it. I felt horrible.

        • Brooklyn, Esq. :

          Aw, I didn’t mean to make you feel bad! I can see how this would be an awkward situation, I’m sure you’re navigating it as best you can. Plus you get gold stars for not only only tolerating your boyfriend’s kid, but loving him enough to worry about this. :) You will figure it out.

    • Hmmm, I don’t know if I’ve been in a situation where anyone assumes BF’s kid is related to me (ethnicities and ages make it it unlikely ), but the few times I’ve introduced her it’s been “kid name, BF’s name’s kid” or just “kid name”.

      I think the trick is to just not get flustered or embarrassed about it — why should you be?

      There may be a debate about SO’s son vs. stepson — I don’t have that issue since we’re not married.

      Also awkward is the “do you have any kids?” question when you are sans-kid. That answer varies depending on who’s asking and why.

    • Stepmom re: driving and ACT preparing :

      First, don’t feel badly. Many stepmoms have that awkward experience early on. I think it’s a rite of passage.

      Mine came when we had been dating for 2 years and some well meaning man at a soda counter said to me “you and your daughter” something. SD was 12. I said, “Oh, this is my SD, not my daughter.”

      After that happened, I had a brief conversation with SD. I told her that I was caught off-guard by the man’s comment and responded badly. That when I say I’m not her mom it’s not because I don’t think she’s great or don’t think she’s important in my life, but because I know she has a mom who loves her very much.

      I have tried to walk the line between not saying I am her mother (because her mother is one of those “she is not your mother — she has no right to talk to you about anything — she is not a part of your family — she is just some @(!&)! your father is dating — and I don’t want to exacerbate that for her) and demonstrating how important she is to me (which she is). I fear I have fallen too far to the “not mom” side.

      Since then, when it comes up, I say something like “Oh, I wish I were lucky enough for [her name] to be my daughter. She is my SD. I lucked out when I met her dad.”

      Your SS is so young, that maybe you better have the conversation with your BF and decide between the two of you how you will respond and what you will say to SS. (I know he’s not technically SS, but it’s easier to type than “BF’s 3 year old son.”)

      Good luck.

      • What to say when... :

        “Oh, I wish I were lucky enough for [her name] to be my daughter. She is my SD. I lucked out when I met her dad.”

        Love this. Thank you.

    • I think you should ask the three-year-old son what he wants to call you and what you should call him. Maybe he’ll come up with a silly nickname or a special title for you. He’s old enough to have ideas and preferences, and referring to him the way he wants you to means you won’t ever accidentally offend him.

      • Sweetknee :

        A friend of mine refers to her step daughter as her “bonus daughter”. I love it.

        • What to say when... :

          Where is the like button on this thing? :)

          • transition :

            be careful with this… leann rimes calls her step kids that and it makes their bio mom furious… why is it that I know this kind of celeb or quasi-celeb gossip? groan!

          • Leanne is crazy and so is Brandi. I watch Bravo, I know these things, too!

  5. Portmanteau :

    One thick coat (or two thin ones) of Butter London’s All Hail the Queen is almost my perfect nude.

  6. I received an offer for a position I’m very excited about, but I also just interviewed with another potential employer I liked very much. I have no idea if the other employer would have made me an offer or not, but the employer who did just make an offer needs an answer pretty much right now. There’s no time to let the other employer know that I’ve been offered a position and give them a chance to extend me an offer themselves. I feel a bit pressured and it’s dampening what would otherwise be unbridled enthusiasm about getting an offer. I guess I thought I’d be given some time to think about it. . . . Should I be concerned? How should I handle letting the other employer know I have to drop out of the process?

    • If I’m reading this right, you really like the employer who gave you the offer and would be perfectly happy to work for them, right? What vibes are you getting that make you concerned? Just the fact that they need an offer quickly? If they’re busy, or they’re losing someone and need a replacement fast, I see no issue with the need for a quick answer. As for the other employer, contact them (email is fine) and say you appreciated the opportunity to interview with them and were very impressed by everything you saw, but that you have recently accepted another offer and therefore would like to withdraw your candidacy.

      • In “need an offer quickly,” offer = response. Duh.

      • I do really like the employer. I think part of my problem is the fear of having to start a new job after looking for so long. To go from job-hunting to having a job is weirder than I thought it would be – a total paradigm shift. I feel strangely overwhelmed.

        • I’ve been there. The job I took wasn’t one I was super happy with, but it really felt like a let-down when I expected to feel really excited. I also think that the longer I was out of work, the bigger and more glamourous The Job became and so anything was going to be disappointing. It’s not a feeling you expect and so it can feel like you got whacked on the head out of nowhere. But still, congratulations!! You got a job! And you like the employer! My suggestion is that you just ride out the anxiety and know it will be there and meanwhile make plans to celebrate. Your friends and family will help you feel more positive because they’ll only see the good in all this.

        • lawsuited :

          Pretend (or don’t pretend, because right now it’s true) that you don’t have another offer on the table. You’d be thrilled and accept the offer you have right now, right? It makes sense to accept the offer you have rather than reject it and wait to see if another offer comes in, but you might have to use a little Jedi mind-trick so that you don’t feel the “what if”s.

          And, congratulations!

        • transition :

          I’m right there on all fronts… unemployed for 9 mos, had interviews last week; 1 that wants 2nd interview the following week, 1 that may take months before making an offer, and 1 that offered me a job within days. I took the latter and emailed the first that I’d accepted a position elsewhere. Today was day 1 at the new job (I gave details later in this post actually) but the paradigm shift is being felt full-force. So no real advice other than to do what you feel is best (wait for what you want vs. a bird in the hand being worth 2 in the bush) and to know you’re not alone on this!

  7. Anne Shirley :

    Chanel Island is ny current fave, sort of iridescent beige. My fave pale pink is Sally Hansen Shell We Dance

  8. Shoe Splurge :

    I am thinking about splurging on my first pair of Louboutins – the Simple 70s in patent nude. For those of you who have tried this brand – do you think these are worth the ($$$$) price? I did try them on in-store and they are comfortable. Thoughts from the hive?

    • college + 20 :

      I think that patent is very seasonal and patent nude will just look done in a few years, esp. compared to nude-for-you non-patent. My thinking, though, is for office-wear and not for non-office, and that expensive shoes should be able to be worn enough (often and over a period of years) to justify the expense. Also, this is a very look-at-me shoe, and I wouldn’t want to do that to much 1) in front of clients, 2) in this economy, or 3) in front of the people who set my salary (lest they think I am overpaid).

    • This very topic has been discussed

    • Argh, posting again to avoid moderation for referring to this w e b s i t e.

      I think is a know-your-office thing. Female attorneys (including young associates) in my office often wear Loubs, so I think you would get plenty of wear out of them. Also, I’m in Texas and didn’t even know patent was allegedly seasonal until I started reading h e r e.

      There have been whole debates previously about the utility and feasibility of wearing Loubs to work. I generally fall on the “whatever floats your boat” end of the spectrum (maybe because I’ve already planned to buy a pair the day I make partner). For what it’s worth, these are pretty demure on the “look at me” range and I would buy them in a heartbeat if I really wanted them.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      Not trying to stifle your question, but we had a great discussion about loubies at the office last June:

      • Shoe Splurge :

        Thanks for the link. I didn’t realize this had been discussed before. FWIW, I work in BigLaw in a major metropolitan area, so I think these shoes would be appropriate in my office, although perhaps a bit flashy with the red sole. And my department is almost all men who couldn’t care less what is on my feet (unfortunately, the lack of women is a sad statement on the state of my firm).

    • a passion for fashion :

      If you want them, get them. They are lovely. Though for my 2 cents, I am still partial to Manolos and Stuart Weitzmans. I think both are mkore comfortable, and at least the SWs are often 1/2 the price.

    • I personally find them too-attention grabbing for my style at the office. Nice shoes are so much more comfortable and I prefer Jimmy Choo since they are more understated and people usually would not notice that they cost a lot.

    • oil in houston :

      I’ve been drowling over htem for 2 years now, thinking first it wasn’t worth the expense, then that the trend of this particular colour won’t last, and yet, it’s still around…
      so if you feel like you can justify the expense, go for it, they’re amazing shoes!
      (as for me, I’ve started to warn my husband that the special bonus I got from my boss last week will go directly towards those beauties as soon as I have the time to go and buy them!)

    • I haven’t bought Loubs but I have purchased both patent and non-patent Jimmy Choos for the office. They are the most comfortable shoes I own, the leather on the inside is buttery soft, and they are gorgeous. I adore them, but they have not held up in NYC. I had them resoled and put tips on the front as soon as I purchased them to help avoid wear and tear, but they still manage to get scuffed and dirty in the city because I walk a good amount. Also, NYC is full of hazards for women with high heels. (For example, one of my heels was caught in a sidewalk crack and the heel broke off. Got them fixed, but they still feel a little wobbly). If I only wore them in the office and switched to flats (which I don’t), then the shoes would be fine. As a result I usually wear a black pair of Cole Haan’s that seem indestructible. Maybe this is just me, the Choos, or I’m unusually hard on my shoes but whether the Loubs will last day to day and whether you will care or not is something to keep in mind.

    • Divaliscious11 :

      If you want the Loubs, buy the Loubs, but Choo’s are more comfortable imo….

  9. Does anyone play fantasy football? I love to watch football, but I live in a city with a terrible team, and so I’m joining my work’s league so that I can have more of a reason to turn on the TV on Sunday afternoon. While I enjoy watching the sport, I’m far from a football expert. My league’s draft day is Friday afternoon.

    Does anyone have any pointers for me so that everything goes well for me on Friday? Any recommendations for places where I can read up on what I’m supposed to do? I feel like I need to study or something…

    • Totes McGotes :

      I just had my very first fantasy draft yesterday and felt like I learned a lot.

      My Tips:
      -Don’t do autodraft. A lot of what you do will be responsive to the other league members, so you want to be able to adjust even if you can’t physically attend the draft.
      -You don’t have to pick positions in a particular order, so decide which positions are most important to you and draft those first.
      -Once you have decided which players you’re most interested in, read up to make sure they were not injured recently!
      -In choosing the players you’re interested in, make sure that your players don’t all have the same bye weeks. Along those lines, make sure you don’t have more than a couple of players from the same team.

    • bailey270 :

      I suggest reading some of Matthew Berry’s columns (aka Mr. Roto) on ESPN’s site. He has both a draft day manifesto which explains his suggested strategy (though it is long) and also a likes/dislikes column for individual players, that might be useful as a guide.

    • Look at how the scoring for your league works. They’re all different and it may affect the order you draft a RB vs QB vs WR, as well as how your rank certain players. For instance, if interceptions or fumbles are heavily penalized, you should pay attention to a player’s turnovers (In such a league, there’ll be a big difference between a QB with 20 TDs and 7 interceptions vs 22 TDs and 12 interceptions).

      Also pay attention to bye weeks and draft your backup players accordingly.

    • Crabby blonde :

      Please, don’t draft a kicker or a defense until the last few rounds, and don’t draft a backup defense or kicker. When those positions have a bye week you can drop and pick up a new one.

      I like the nfl cheat sheet app- just make sure to customize scoring for your league.

      Also, half the fun is the trash talking, so get ready to be mouthy!

  10. I think a lot of “people” layer nail polish colors. Even outside New York!

  11. Please recommend some polish colors I could find at a drugstore for us budget-conscious folks. And also, since in my case they are for toes, they don’t necessarily need to be pale pink, which I’ve found make my toenails disappear into my skin.

    • Essie is actually sold in many drugstores, $7-8 dollars/bottle. The nice thing with Essie nail polishes is the bottles last a long time. I’m not sure if it’s because they don’t get restocked as frequently, but every Revlon, L’Oreal, etc., bottle I have bought recently has gotten that oil (or whatever it is ) separation in 4 -6 mos.

    • I am forever grateful to Corporette for introducing me to the Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure line. There are quite a few neutrals in that line as well as the more fun/seasonal colors. I will be rocking Gilty Pleasure and Plum Luck very soon. :)

      • Oooh, I spotted Plum Luck in the store this weekend, and it’s definitely on my list, too!

      • I think I must be the only [reader of this site] that the Complete Salon Manicure line doesn’t work for. It stays weirdly soft for like, a day, and so I always wreck it way faster than anything else. However, Hard As Nails is virtually indestructible on me, so go figure.

        • It does that on me too. (stays soft) I always end up having to take it off and use something else because it smudges all over. I’ve tried several times. Finally gave up.

    • Gah, I’m in moderation so reposting …

      I am forever grateful to the ladies on this site for introducing me to the Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure line. There are quite a few neutrals in that line as well as the more fun/seasonal colors. I will be rocking Gilty Pleasure and Plum Luck very soon. :)

      Read more:

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I like the Petites brand that they carry at RiteAid (and I’m sure other drugstores). It’s about $2 and there are tons of colors. I like one that I think is called Plum Royal.

      I think the key to nail polish is that certain brands work differently for different people. My sister likes the drugstore brand Sinful, but it never works for me. Some people think Essie chips all the time and others think its wonderful.

  12. I Do Not Like the Cone of Shame :

    Never thought of layering Essie nudes, thanks for the idea! My perfect-for-me Essie pink was Overnight, which sadly is no longer in production.

    • I find the whole finding a perfect nude experience frustrating, plus I never really like the result even when I do manage it. My favorite “nude” like manicure is Essie’s Pink Glove Service, which just gives my nails a really pretty pinkish sheen. It’s very subtle but also doesn’t look like every other “conservative” manicure.

  13. So I’m unexpectedly TA’ing in the fall. I agreed to it cheerfully but I am secretly terrified of the fact that 30 eyeballs will be on me. Any tips for not sounding as nervous as I feel?

    • Practice.

      First impressions are important, so memorize a 5 minute intro to the session and practice it in front of a mirror until you feel that the tone and presentation are right. You can also practice your introductions to topics, etc.

      During TA sessions, be enthusiastic, energetic and confident. Your energy and excitement will infect the students and they will be more likely to pay attention and be excited about the subject.

      True confidence will come with time, but until then fake it.

    • I would say make really good lesson plans so that you know what you’re going to cover. Also plan the learning goals. Not just what you want to say, but what you want them to learn from it. Thinking about it that way helps to reinforce it for you. Planning your own course and/or lectures is really important because ownership of the material will make you more comfortable. I once took over a class from someone else and was essentially teaching her class and I felt like a disaster. Now that I have completely revised the course, I could walk in and teach it at a moment’s notice. I’ve gone from nervous to completely able to wing it on command. You’ll be great!

      • I was a teacher before I was a lawyer, and this is spot-on. Knowing what you want them to learn makes all the difference for lesson-planning.

      • I second the lesson plans! Really excellent planning and knowing where you are headed with the class takes the nerves away. Also, if you are allowed to deviate from the lecture-only model, engage the class. Think of some activities. Make them move around. It is more work in the planning but your students will thank you for it.

    • Take a class designed for this situation. People have liked Toastmasters, but I’ve never done it. A friend in a similar situation to you took an improv class, which did the trick for him. I took the same improv class just to improve my general public speaking skills and it totally worked for me.

    • Second what everyone has said as far as planning the material out. You should have an idea of what your students will want to talk about; have examples, references, topics, etc. ready. If it’s appropriate for the type of class, you might also want to give them group work for part of the section. This lets them get to know each other, get to talk a bit, and lets you work with them in smaller groups for a bit of time (a nice breather).

      I also suggest speaking loudly. It’s not uncommon for first-time TAs to speak very quietly (and into the blackboard). Project! Make sure your students in the back can hear you clearly (ask them if you’re not sure). It’s good for the students, and it makes you both feel and sound less nervous.

      Best of luck.

      • Thanks everyone! As always, super helpful points. It’s a small class and I am doing less teaching than facilitating discussions about the lectures. I originally wasn’t supposed to do it this year but an opportunity came up and I think it’ll be a good way to get my feet wet on a manageable scale (2, with a smaller class and a trusted professor) versus TAing for one of the survey courses.

        Now I just need to moderate my strong accent. Is it possible that my accent has gotten STRONGER since moving abroad?

        • If it’s a small group then definitely plan active learning activities. Design things that will get them talking about the material. I do a little lecture then divide the students up to try what I taught them, then I have them talk about the challenges. One of my friends uses an activity where students have to read a peer-reviewed article on their subject then discuss it with their peers without notes. It gets them engaged with the material.

          Not sure what to do about your accent but that’s interesting. I don’t have much of an accent (people can’t figure out where I’m from – definitely don’t sound like western PA) but I’m an auditory learner and I tend to pick up the accents around me. Weird when I was studying abroad (Austria). I came home talking in stilted English!

  14. First time boss lady :

    Assistant question – I love my asst, she’s really friendly and helpful and enthusiastic, but she also sometimes makes a lot of mistakes. None of them are very big in and of themselves, but there sometimes seem to be a lot of them, and they sometimes have bad results in the detail oriented world of law. For example, a few weeks back, she prepped a notice of hearing that went out to opposing counsel, but it stated a day of the week that didn’t line up with the date (i.e., Wednesday, January 15th, when the hearing was actually Monday, January 15th). Which, to be fair, I didn’t catch before it went out, but should I really have to get my calendar out and check each date? So, I have the hearing all planned out for Mon, only to get a last minute call from OC saying, “Wait, when is the hearing? Because we thought it was Wed and can’t do Mon.” So, I have to allow them to postpone the hearing, which is more and more time until we can get some resolution on the issue for the client. Or, often, I’ll send her an email that says “Please do X, Y, and Z”, and she’ll say that it’s done, but entirely miss Z. (I’ve tried to word these emails as clearly as humanly possible, including laying out specifically numbered lists, but that doesn’t seem to help.)

    I guess what I’m asking is how to react when these things come up. I don’t want to make a big deal about them, because, like I said, each individual one is small and something that I could certainly have done myself, but I feel like they happen enough that I should say something. I am just not sure how to say something without feeling like a jerk about it.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Maybe you can address it the way you did here. Have a meeting with her. Tell her you realize everyone makes mistakes. Tell her you have noticed some of her mistakes but haven’t addressed them because individually they were small. They seem to be getting more frequent and in the aggregate will be a problems. Suggest some things she can do to catch the mistakes. (Proofread, slow down, make lists, etc.) Also remind her that she is in a field where little mistakes can turn into big problems so you would rather have something done right than fast and encourage her to be more diligent. Make sure you follow up w/ praise when things have been right for awhile.

      • I second this. If you say that it’s not that any one mistake has been that large but that in the aggregate, it’s starting to cause problems. Also, having suggestions for how she can be more attentive is very helpful. The problem with being forgetful or missing things it that, well, you forget or miss them and so it can be hard to figure out how to improve. If your firm is big enough to have a secretarial department, you might also check to see if they have any tips. Attention to detail is the sine qua non of the legal secretarial position so any secretarial department will have dealt with this issue over and over again and should have some good suggestions.

      • First time boss lady :

        You know, that sounds great, but when I imagine doing actually doing that, it feels very confrontational.

        But, now that I type that, it occurs to me that that’s kind of stupid, and that I probably need to just bite the bullet and deal. :)

    • She. Sounds like a mess. I would tell her that work is important so she should be more carful in her job.

    • Maybe also give her a chance to explain from her perspective. I’m not really big on excuses, but is her work load so heavy that she’s missing things because of that? Is there a personal crisis that’s getting in the way of her attention to detail?

      Also, I agree with a sit down conversation about the global issue, but honestly, I think you need to start creating a paper trail about the mistakes. If it gets to0 problematic, you need to have documentation that you’ve addressed these issues already. It could be as simple as a quick email “So you know, hearing was misscheduled for WED Date X rather than the correct MON date X. I have made an agreement with other side, but you need to double check dates carefully for all hearings going out.”

      • I know this doesn’t make a lot of sense, but I’d leave off the “you need to double check dates carefully going out.” When I’ve made mistakes, if my supervisor just says “this was X but it needed to be Y” I feel more motivated to make changes because the supervisor is assuming that I’m together enough to take steps to make sure that next time it’s Y. If the supervisor says “so please be sure it’s Y in the future,” I feel like I’m back in elementary school and then I feel more hurt and somewhat resentful.

        • Honey Pillows :

          Wow, this really puts my feels-like-overreaction to corrections in perspective. It DID feel like I was back in elementary school.

        • The only reason I added that line (I agree with you completely — it feels like you are being talked down to) is because I’ve been told by an HR person that if you don’t also document the corrective action you would like the employee to take, then you haven’t really created a paper trail for future action. I’m definitely thinking worse case scenario here.

      • First time boss lady :

        To some degree, I think that it might be personal issues intruding – she’s had more than her fair share of them lately (going through a divorce, mother recently had major surgery, mold in her kitchen meant that she needed a full remodel, beloved dog just died). But, at the same time, it’s been several months of this stuff, and, I don’t want to be insensitive to it, but I kind of need her, too.

    • Legal Secretary in SF :

      A notice of hearing with the wrong date on it that went out to opposing counsel would be considered a big deal at my law firm. Associates here are responsible for proofreading their documents before they go out; it’s a given that they would check the dates. However, since you mentioned your assistant makes a lot of errors, you would be doing her a big favor if you brought them to her attention right away instead of waiting because you don’t consider them to be important enough.

      Are you a new attorney? It can be quite an adjustment to having an assistant:) I’ve been doing legal work for 30+ years and if I were working for you, I’d want to be told right away if I did something wrong, no matter how small you may think it was. No matter how many errors are made by your assistant, if you don’t catch them and the partner does, it will be on you.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 on the last sentence. It’s not just that the partner will blame you, but you should also be ready to take the fall for these mistakes if you had an opportunity to proofread the document. In my book, passing blame down to an assistant is a no-no, esp. if you haven’t been communicating with her about her mistakes. She gets the blame for consistently giving you documents with mistakes in them. She may even get fired for it. But you get the blame when the document passes through your hands and leaves the office or makes it to the partner with mistakes in it.

    • Just w/r to the XYZ lists, I always number things (1. copy this to OPC 2. send this to the judge 3. tab and arrange in date order and file under Q) and they have to check off and initial the list on each item. The list gets filed down in an area for notes, etc.

      I have a few assistants that we all share and they are all different. But one is like the way you describe. I am sure she isn’t happy about it but when she brings me things to sign I always tell her I will read it and bring it back whereas with other assistants I would skim and sign right then and there. I mean I would feel bad if I didn’t find an error 3/4 times.

      Either she isn’t paying attention or she’s naturally not detail oriented. If she knows you are going to review it carefully and ask for changes, maybe she will be the first kind and she will pay more attention. Unfortunately mine is just terrible at catching things like that no matter if it’s the first or 24st time I correct her.

  15. I’m wearing Essie Mademoiselle right now! I think it’s a great nude (not too pink-y) for people with pink undertones to their skin, like mine.

    • Any recs for a good nude for folks with yellow undertones? I’m wearing Mademoiselle right now and it’s too pink even though it’s very light.

  16. Posting again to avoid moderation, sorry if it posts twice (every single comment I post goes to moderation for a long time…what’s that about?)

    Does anyone play fantasy football? I love to watch football, but I live in a city with a terrible team, and so I’m joining my work’s league so that I can have more of a reason to turn on the TV on Sunday afternoon. While I enjoy watching the sport, I’m far from a football expert. My league’s draft day is Friday afternoon.
    Does anyone have any pointers for me so that everything goes well for me on Friday? Any recommendations for places where I can read up on what I’m supposed to do? I feel like I need to study or something…

    • I have played about 12 years now.

      Couple of pointers:
      Study up on ESPN and CNNSI and a few other sites (fantasy football toolbox is good). Do a google search.

      I draft kicker and defense last. There isn’t a huge difference in top and middle of the pack.

      I’d look to either draft Rodgers/Brees/Brady or else draft RB and in the first two rounds. Then grab a QB and load up on WR and RB. It’s hard to tell who’s going to be hot so just pick 4-5 and then play the best matchup.

      Think tight end in rounds 7-10. You want a top 8 guy but don’t panic.

      Have fun!

  17. So, ladies, I need a little insight. I am 39 and have been a practicing litigator for 6 years now. While I occasionally fought stress or burnout in the past, I didn’t have any difficulty focusing or working long hours. Now suddenly over the past several months, I have no energy for work, no focus, and no motivation. Initially, I gave myself a break as I was coming off a huge trial and it was nice to not be swamped for once. But my “working vacation” has now continued over several months. My billable hours are down, and worse, I feel like I am missing things due to my lack of focus. I cannot seem to get things back on track. Has anyone experienced this? If so, what turned it around for you? I would really appreciate the insight!

    • I’m not a litigator, but am just completing my 6th year as an attorney and boy am I ever burnt out. I am so behind at work that I think my boss would seriously take disciplinary measures if he found out, and yet, I just cannot get myself to care. I thought a break would help, but it didn’t. I’m unfocused and bored all the time, and often find myself sneaking my kindle out to read at work or looking forward to meetings (which I normally hate) just for a break in my schedule. And I’ve been sleeping late and rolling into work at, like, 10:30 (which is not a problem in itself, but I’m still leaving by 6).

      Anyway, no advice, just commiseration. Maybe this is an early 7-year itch, or a 7th-year itch?

      • wow – me too. Also a sixth year litigator and just feeling so unmotivated. Bored and unfocused and have found myself making a lot of stupid mistakes as a result.

        • just Karen :

          Yup. 6 years as of April, and am spending a LOT of time on this website…there are days when I have gotten less than an hour of real work done. Ridiculous.

          • I’m in the same boat as you ladies. Worse yet, I can barely bring myself to care. :( Maybe the five us of could combine efforts to pull in a full 8 hour billable day.

      • My goodness add me in! I’m a litigator as well and my 6th year officially starts in December and, while I work in a pretty good firm, and even just got a raise I have this growing feeling of just being…over it? What has saved me is that I was recently (within the last 6 months or so) reminded that what truly got me interested in the law was politics and mediation – so I’ve taken steps to start moving toward getting into politics or becoming a judge. You can’t even run for an article 3 judge position until you’ve been in practice for 10 years, but now that I have a concrete goal in mind I’m starting to feel better.

        I’ve also been accepted into my city’s leadership training program, which is 9 months of behind-the-scenes work in city government. I’m pretty excited about that. Maybe you all can find something outside of work that excites you?

        • I actualy feel better now knowing so many others are in the same situation.

    • I’m having the exact same problem at the exact same point in my career. Looking forward to hearing others’ experiences!

    • I am not in law but in public accounting. I am at 5.5 years and having the same problem. I have some big projects due by 9/15. My billable hours are down from last year at this time and I just don’t care. I have dark circles under my eyes, no food in my apartment, and my place is a mess. I am in such a slump! One thing I did make a priority is to go to the gym 4-5 times a week. I have been able to keep up with the gym but it is making things worse, not better. Any help would be appreciated :(

      • Another CPA :

        I’m at 4.5 years in, but I’m also having the same problem. I haven’t been able to ramp up after 4/15 and I feel so far behind compared to where I should be 3 weeks to 9/15. And I know it’s because I just haven’t been able to put the effort in, but I am just finding it so hard to work this year. No idea how to help, but you’re not alone.

    • My first thought is to be sure this is not a medical issue (it was for me!). Sudden lack of energy/focus could be the result of a sleep disorder, hormonal imbalance, vitamin deficiency, etc. I’d hightail it to your doctor for a workup.

      Failing that, you can try something like the pomodoro method (set a timer for 25 minutes, and then take a 5 minute break at the end) to help you get chunks of work done. Set some deadlines for yourself that are shorter than you might normally set– bonus points if you can set up some kind of external mechanism for enforcing them– and then stick to them. Set goals for work product, then reward yourself for meeting them (and don’t reward yourself if you miss them!)? There are a lot of strategies out there to help motivate people to meet health/fitness/weight goals– try co-opting them for meeting work goals. Be sure you’re getting enough sleep and enough exercise. Get up regularly and get your blood circulating with a quick walk. Good luck!!

      • Another idea, if the issue is just boredom: can you create a project for yourself that is exciting or interesting to you? My work environment is not practice, so I don’t know how feasible it would be, but I know that I am more productive when I have more going on, and creating a project that excites me can get me in a working mood more readily. Is there a topic that interests you that you could work writing a bar journal piece about? Or maybe a firm committee you could get involved in? Get in on a project with a different practice group? Volunteer at a local law school? I know those things will definitely not be interesting/exciting to everyone…but maybe there’s something you can do that will help generate some enthusiasm that can spill over into your “real” work?

    • Summertime blues? :

      Not much advice, but commiseration. I am right there with you. I don’t know why, but I’ve noticed that I tend to go through a slump period every summer. I am guessing it’s a combination of wanting (needing?) a break and having some seasonal issues, like trouble sleeping, dehydration, etc.

    • I don’t mean to hijack your thread, I’m not a 7th year and don’t have that itch (yet) — but I’m a 4th year and facing a ridiculous up-ramp in responsibility and expectations (and generally have too many cases on my plate to up my game in the way that’s being expected of me).

      Any words of wisdom from associates who have clearly excelled and made it further than I have?

      • I got a huge increase of responsibility in my 5th year that led to me actually being the acting head of my department for a few weeks due to another staff member’s medical emergency. My advice? Fake it ’til you make it. As in, act confident and like you have your sh!t together, and after a while you’ll realize that you actually are confident and do have your sh!t together.

        Also, don’t completely burn out after 2 years, but I have no idea how to avoid that one. :)

    • Litigator :

      I find that I’m like this after a big trial, too. It’s tough.

      I used to kid myself that I was more productive when there were more things on my plate.

      But, then I realized, uh, yeah, of course.

      We litigators crave drama and adrenaline. Your best bet is to find something else that gets you just as wound up.

    • Oh god, thank heavens I am not the only one!! Have worked for 15 years now and just struggling to motivate myself to get back there. Just adding all this makes me feel ‘not alone’.
      Fwiw…I am not a lawyer. But I can really relate.

  18. Locomotive :

    As a PSA, i just bought this faux-wrap dress from athleta for weekend wear and I LOVE IT. It is on sale for super cheap, and the fabric is extremely soft and stretchy and comfortable. I can’t emphasize how sofffttttt and comfy it is. I got it in black and dressed it up with some bigger jewelry to go to dinner Saturday, but also wore it sightseeing earlier during the day and it was so comfortable and easy. Link to follow!

    • Locomotive :

      If this doesn’t show up, it’s the Athleta Karmady dress

      • Locomotive :

        I think it’s pretty true to size. the site lists dress lengths which is helpful for the petite/tall sizing. I am 5’2″ , 140 lbs and I got a petite small and it fits beautifully. I am pear shaped and it helps conceal my tummy as well as larger bottom half. arms are loose (comfortable, not too large) an chest is comfortable for a 32C. I also like how the neckline is not too low at all – you can conceivably get away with this at a biz cas office if it’s not too short. You can also get free returns in store and online I believe.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      Oh, cute! What’s your shape, Locomotive? How does the sizing run?

      • SF Bay Associate :

        Ordered, with a $10 reward cert and luxe free shipping. Thanks!

        • How did you get a reward certificate? Do I need to shop at Athleta more often? I try to only buy workout clothes from them during their semi-annual sales, but they like to frustrate me by not marking down the stuff I’m interested in.

          • SF Bay Associate :

            I have a Banana Republic Luxe card, which earns me points at BR, Gap, Old Navy, Piperlime, and Athleta. I only buy things on the latter two, if ever. I just so happened to have a rewards cert burning a hole in my pocket for the past eight months or so.

        • just Karen :

          ditto that exactly – rewards certificate and luxe shipping :) I ordered the purple one – am hoping it will work with tights and boots for fall!

  19. Time for the world’s most specific request for help from this community.

    Where do you ladies shop for dressy baby clothes? My specific problem: my son’s baptism is at the end of September and I have no idea what he should wear. He’ll be almost 8 months old at that point, and is very tall, so I think he would look pretty silly in a christening gown. (No offense to those who have used them, just not for me). The christening “rompers” that I’ve come across are often made with hideous fake-satin fabric.

    I’m thinking he just be dressed nicely, but his regular clothes consist of whatever was on clearance at The Children’s Place, Gymboree, Old Navy, etc. So where do you buy clothes for a baby that are business casual?

    (I can’t even believe I’m asking this question. Motherhood changes everyone, y’all).

    • Janie and Jack (the upscale cousin to Gymboree) has cute stuff. Caveat: I’m the childless person who buys the “non-practical” stuff… but I think that your occasion fits the bill.

      • Second Janie and Jack, definitely. I have gotten cute “dress up” clothes for both of my boys there (it also makes a nice gift — high quality clothing, from layette sizes up to older kids). (They also have great end-of-season mark downs if you are near a store).

    • Children’s Place and Gymboree are my go-to places for stuff like this. I usually look for the button downs, polos, little sweater vests (omg, the cuteness) and twill pants. Old Navy sometimes has dressier stuff, too, but you might have to get it online. My brick-and-mortar ON is great for basics but not much else.

    • Janie and Jack has cute, dressy clothes for boys. They are not cheap, but perhaps you can justify a splurge for his baptism?

    • No suggestions, but “baby business casual” made me laugh. I’m just picturing like a J. Crew ad with babies looking very serious and slinging jackets over one shoulder. Oh my.

      • Migraine Sufferer :

        Baby J. Crew is called “Crew cuts” OP might find something there…

    • Hmmm. My kids are much older, but I get their nicer clothes from Boden, Hanna Andersson and the Gap. Not really sure for that age. Are you looking for something like khakis and a button down? Not sure what’s available for babies, but I would suggest maybe checking out Children’s Place or also Lord & Taylor often has dressier clothes. My nephew was baptized (at a year old) in a white cotton shorts romper with some smocking and embroidery. It looked appropriate and not over the top – he looked like a little cherub. No idea where my SIL got the outfit though. I have noticed that some stores have a section with dressier clothes like that, but can’t remember which ones. If by any chance you are in the DC area, you could try Great Beginnings and Buy Buy Baby.

    • I do not have children, but we have a tendency to dress our babies pretty formally in our family so here are some ideas I am aware of, I am sure others’ will have more/better suggestions:

      1. Jacadi – pricey but really nice quality and you can find good sales, esp. if you have a store near you. Just be mindful of returns – they can get tricky with store credits, etc.

      2. Ralph Lauren’s baby collection (check out nicer dept. stores, and esp. the sale section — all this stuff gets heavily discounted at some point); also nicer dept. stores generally, as well as they’re outlet stores.

      3. Gilt and Rue La La Baby –> this is I think the number one source for fancy kid clothes for my loved ones.

      And – if you happen to be in NY or somewhere else on the East Coast that has a Daffy’s: go there before they close for good next month (going out of business :( ) – they have the best fancy baby clothes and at major, major markdowns.

    • Wooden Soldier has some cute things, more for girls than boys, but there are boys outfits, too. Look in the Casual Outfits and Family Ensembles area. The Special Occasion wear seems to be all girls.

    • SpaceMountain :

      I found a little navy blue velvet sailor suit for my son’s baptism at that age (ages ago). Not the cheesy kind with the white shirt/red tie — it was pretty much a little sailor jacket and shorts in navy. There is also a little white christening suit at Macy’s right now in the baby section of the web page.

    • Diana Barry :

      Janie and Jack! Definitely. Also, Old Navy and Gap sometimes have some nice things. For my son’s baptism (he was 10 months and HUGE), he wore corduroys, a blue button-down and a sweater-vest – button-down was from ON, cords from Gap and vest from Janie and Jack.

    • I know this is regional, but here in “deep south city” I would do more of an heirloom look for a baptism even if you didn’t want to go with the gown. I would have suggested Strasburg, for one, but they went out of business. Pieces by Tam has some rompers, jon jons and button back short/shirt sets for young boys that are classic (think JFK, Jr. when his dad was President). I will post a link separately.

    • I was at a wedding recently where the Best Man had a baby boy, under a year old. The dad bought a second tie, exactly like the one he wore, cut the tail off, and made a little mini-tie for Junior. It was adorable.

    • High end department stores may have something or independent boutiques. I didn’t realize Strasburg was out of business. Janie and Jack probably has something that would work.

    • Thanks for the great suggestions, everyone! I have a package from Janie and Jack winging it’s way to me, along with a Ralph Lauren sweater vest. And I’m tempted by some of the smocked rompers from Pieces by Tam. Little boy clothes…I die of the cute.

    • SV in House :

      My son was christened at just about a year. I was adamant about a silk christening gown, which I loved and then re-used for my daughter. Nordstrom had some good choices, as did a local irish store.

    • Janie & Jack would be good. Also try Olive Juice Kids, they have classic and lovely clothes that would probably be in the right color scheme. Nordstrom might have something too.

  20. Unemployed :

    Has anyone used TheLadders dot com? It’s on a deal site this week and I’m wondering if it’s worth the money.
    (sorry if this shows up twice; am using a phone and getting the posting-too-fast-error)

    • Used them last year and found them to be a total waste of time. Save your money!

      • This. The Ladders is a complete joke. They aggregate their job listings from other sites and then want you to become a premium member to “see more.” Then you’ll get a call from a resume specialist that will tell you how your resume is jacked up and that they can fix it for $500. Funny thing is, the things they told me were wrong with my resume were the EXACT things they told two other people. The CEO, Marc Cenedella sends out stupid e-mails that are kind of like professional negging. And he seems like a jerk,

        I’ve had the best luck with Indeed, WaPo jobs, LinkedIn, and of course the tried and true: personal referrals.

    • Unemployed :

      Thanks ladies. I’ll save the $24

  21. No pink polishes ever look nude on me. They just look really pink. My favorite nude but pearlized shade for me is Fingerpaints Art Lofty Toffee.

    • Barrister in the Bayou :

      NOLA, I hope Isaac doesn’t send too much trouble your way! I’m getting the heck out of the area and heading for higher ground. I was planning to leave town anyway, but now I have an excuse to start my long weekend earlier ;-)

      • Good for you! I’m here for the duration. I have all of my provisions and I’m just resigned to the idea of spending a few days in hideous heat. This is the first time I haven’t put my car up in the school parking garage so I hope it’s okay. We closed early this afternoon so I’m home and getting ready.

        • SF Bay Associate :

          Take care, NOLA (and take care, New Orleans)!

          • I’m hopeful. Although I just came in from helping my neighbor clear out the backyard (we share a backyard – I live in a double). She has a bunch of junk out there that could become flying projectiles. She’s a total nervous nelly but completely unprepared. It made me want to go stay somewhere else. Yeesh.

          • SF Bay Associate :

            I feel absurdly proud of myself for realizing that means you probably live in a Shotgun. One test closer to my New Orleans merit badge. Seriously though, take care but it sounds like things will be fine this time around.

          • Ha! Funny. Actually I don’t. I live in a two story side-by-side double.

          • SF Bay Associate :

            Blast. A little farther from that merit badge after all.

  22. I don’t really understand why people wear nude polishes. Aren’t your unpolished nails nude? Why go through the effort of a manicure to get a nude look?

    Not being snarky, genuinely curious. I prefer either unpolished nails or short, bright ones. And I freely admit that I wear glitter polish for basically the entire months of December and January.

    • This is so funny– I used to always get a light pink or beige on my nail until once a manicurist bullied me into getting white with sparkles during the holidays. She literally told me I was boring and wouldn’t take no for an answer. I was a little peeved but have since branched out a little more in terms of colors! :)

    • My unpolished nails look disgusting even if they are clean. No fungus or anything like that, but they still look fairly ratty even with a manicure and clear polish. Weird, I know, but I wear one coat of a light pale pink and it’s just enough they look plain and not grubby.

    • financialfashionista :

      Personally I think a nude color makes nails look really polished and more shophisticated….if a finger nail can be sophisticated.

      But mot of the time I’m rocking short bright nails as well, and have been known to sport glitter in January! I like to snag up a variety of colors when they go on sale at drugstores so I always have lots to choose from.

    • Merabella :

      I prefer clear polish to nude polish in all honesty. I never got the nude thing – because it still chips and it noticeable, where as clear is not so much.

      • My clear polish starts to look yellow by the end of the week, which is why I started using a light pink.

    • Theres a huge difference in the look of nude vs unpolished.

      Its like saying why put black mascara on black lashes. It enhances and on my nails, looks a million times better and more polished. (ba da dum)

      • I guess I don’t understand why you’d put black mascara on black lashes, either, but not having black lashes I’ll take your word for it.

        Maybe I should try nude polish and see if I like it.

    • Jacqueline :

      Agree with L — the nude elevates my nails ever so slightly. With nothing on, they just don’t look great sometimes. I also like hiding the white nail line because they’re not always even on all my nails. A nude polish makes for a more uniform look. I do think it’s one of those trends that probably won’t stick around, but for now I’m enjoying it.

    • I mostly don’t. Very occasionally. I wear blue a lot (hehe). Periwinkle in the summer, gunmetal or sapphire in the winter.

    • I have a bad habit of biting my nails, and the only thing that I have found to cure the urge is to keep polish on my nails. I get manicures fairly regularly, but if my polish starts to chip and I can’t get in to a salon, I paint my own nails. And a home manicure with nude polish is far more forgiving than a bright polish, where every mistake is obvious.

      My favorites are Butter Yummy Mummy, Essie Ballet Slippers, and OPI Love At First Sight.

      A whole world opened up to me when I realized there were nail polish blogs. So many pretty colors.

  23. Essie “brooch the subject” looks nude on me.

  24. I am Pretty in pink too! Yay! The Manageing partner is makeing frank work on the hsr b/c Jim needs it this week!

    Myrna is thinkeing that she wants to go back to the beach saturday! I DO NOT wank

    She thought the beach guys were cute but I think they were to young! FOOEY! I need a MAN NOT A BOUY! FOOEY!

    Jim keeps calling about the HSR FORM! I told him Wensday, so why is he so Worried? FOOEY! It’s only a form and frank is doeing it today! Yay!

    • ” I DO NOT wank” Proof that Ellen is a man! Or a just a typo….

      • OF COURSE it was a typo. Haven’t any of YOU tried to send an EMAIL on an I-PHONE? FOOEY! I want a IPAD but it is to big. FOOEY!

    • You DO NOT wank, Ellen? Did you miss all the threads on PERSONAL DEVISES for your special LADY garden?

      • Although I agree, wanking with MYRNA at the beach could give the beach guys the WRONG IDEA

        • I’ll update in a few. My expert assessment is that this line is a typo + accidentally unfinished thought–errors that even Ellen does sometimes make. But I’ll of course appreciate it if she comes back to clarify.

  25. styling suggestions for this necklace:

    thanks to a ‘rette suggestion, i looked into coldwater creek’s jewelry and fell in love with this necklace..and its on sale! so, can i wear it to work or is it too much? how would you style it?

    • karenpadi :

      I think it’s fine for work (California, here). Your top should be pretty simple. They recommend simple v-necks on the site so I’d go with that. Or maybe a twinset (do people still wear those?).

      It’s beautiful! Kontraktor might know best here–she knows how to pull statement pieces like this off really well and in classy ways.

    • Love it! I’d wear it with a simple top, either V or crew-necked. I think it would look especially nice with charcoal, cream, or brown; personally I wouldn’t do pink or green, since I’d see that as too matchy-matchy. Would absolutely wear it to work.

      • Also, I think this is pretty:, and I want someone to buy it and love it.

  26. Essie Ballet Slippers works for me!

  27. Loft is doing the talbots thing! For the second time, they charged me and the order went through, and then they went and told me it wont be shipping because its out of stock.

    the first time it was a dress. I was bummed but didnt contact them. This time, it was the top of a bathing suit. So I said, oh please cancel the whole order then. And they were like we cant, it already shipped. So I sent them an email and said why would I want half of a bathing suit? And they said you are welcome to return it at any loft location or by mail for a return fee. Umm, yeah charge me to return HALF OF A BATHING SUIT. So I email and said, you really should waive the fee. And they said no. So I just called and they did. But still!

  28. Really random question — where would you say that DC people have their summer homes? I’m from Boston and people there summer on Cape Cod, along the Maine coast, or on lakes in New Hampshire. New York people (the movies lead me to believe) summer in the Hamptons, and I have Michigan friends who talk about summer homes in Saugatuck. But I’ve been in DC for years now and couldn’t tell you where people have their summer homes or rentals — I’m starting to think they just don’t have them. Is it Bethany Beach, or Rehoboth, or Virginia Beach? You’d think with the weather, people would be even more eager to get out of town than in places further north but I almost never hear people talking about getting out of town for the weekend. (I realize how random and frivolous this question is, but I’m curious.)

    • I have two sets of relatives in DC ‘burbs and both have places in Ocean City, MD.

    • Eastern Shore, Northern Neck or Sandbridge. A ton of people go to OBX, but that is a long drive (to me).

    • Maybe you just dont hang out with as rich of a crowd in DC? I dont know anyone in MA or NY who “summers” So maybe you just dont have as rich friends in DC as you knew other places.

      • that sounded way snarkier than I meant! but I just meant different crowds

        • Eh, I know big firm partners and lobbyists, which is about as rich as you get in DC (except for the people who made their money elsewhere and then moved here for appointments).

    • VA Mountains :

      I’m not from DC, but my family has a place at Wintergreen outside Charlottesville in the Shenandoah Valley. I’d say well over half the cars there sport DC plates or seem to be from NOVA. Not the beach, but definitely a getaway for lots of DC folks.

      • Ditto.

        I also think the proximity to a lot of options splits people up a little more in allegiance to beaches. Rehobeth/Dewey/Bethany seem to be very popular in addition to the Chesapeake Bay, Virginia Beach and Sandbridge, and OBX.

    • DC Association :

      It is Bethenny, Rehoboth, Ocean City, Dewey that most people in the DC area go during the summer.

    • I don’t know a single person with a second home. But a lot of people I know rent condos or get hotel rooms for a week or a few days at Ocean City, Rehoboth, Virginia Beach, A$$ateague (however you spell that), or the Outer Banks.

    • There are many that have places in the mountains of Virginia or West Virginia.

      But I’ve found that DC people have second houses less than NYC people do. It’s just not as big of a thing.

    • I know some people with places in horse country in Virginia. Not sure if that counts.

      • Definitely counts. And that is where I’d rather have my “second” home, but I’m still working on the first. Sigh

    • Fellow DC-er :

      I would say at the beach, OBX or Ocean City, and a lot of people go out towards western MD or west virginia. Deep Creek Lake is pretty popular. I don’t think leaving town every weekend is as popular in DC though (but it should be since it’s so darn hot!). You have to keep in mind that our apartments are bigger in DC and green space is more plentiful.

      • Also DC. Second homes usually mean Rehobeth or Outer Banks.

        Bright young things spend summer weekends in rentals in Dewey.

    • Divaliscious11 :

      Ocean City, St Michael’s and lots of DC area folks have a place or rent on the Vineyard.

  29. Sydney Bristow :

    I’m so tired of waiting for fall that I keep giving up and am wearing dark nail polish again. Actually I keep changing my mind so me week I’ll wear the dark burgundy color and the next ill go back to a summery red. Can’t it please be fall already?

    • TO lawyer :

      I’ve been doing this too! Last week, I had a dark purple/grey on and this week, I’m back in bright coral. It needs to be fall already… I’m so ready to wear my favourite boots again.

  30. Jacqueline :

    I prefer Essie polishes to OPI (I have very tiny nail beds, so the Essie brush is better), but I have yet to find an Essie nude that I like more than OPI’s Tickle My France-y. It’s more of a nude mauve on me (I’m extremely pale), but I just love it.

    Nail polish-related threadjack:

    1. Has anyone seen the new Essie fall collection (Stylenomics) or OPI’s German collection in stores yet? I can’t believe I’m getting this excited about drugstore nail polish collections… but I am. And I have only seen half the Stylenomics collection, but not the one I really wanted, Recessionista.

    2. What are your favorite burgundy/cranberry/wine nail polishes for fall? I love Sonia Kashuk’s Stop Whining, but I could use some more suggestions.

    • My Ulta has OPI’s German Collection. Honestly, I was underwhelmed, but if you like the burgundy/cranberry/wine family, I think it would be more to your taste.

    • Rural Juror :

      My hair salon has the Germany OPI collection. I got “Berlin there, done that” which is a greige that borders on lilac-ish. I’m loving it! I also like “don’t pretzel my buttons”

    • I picked up Wined Up in the Insta Dri line by Sally Hansen. Its a great Bordeaux color with just a hint of shimmer.

      Probably a better color for fall, but I’m wearing it now. I was impressed with how forgiving it was when I put it on myself. I normally get lots of bubbles but didn’t this time around.

    • I purchased OPI’s My First Knockworst (or something like that) from the Germany collection at Ulta. It’s a nice light pink shade that’s slightly dirty (can’t think of a better word), so it’s conservative but nice for fall and doesn’t look like your average Mademoiselle shade.

    • CVS has displays of the Essie Stylenomics collection out, and I’ve seen the OPI Germany collection at Ulta. I got Miss Fancy Pants from the fall Essie collection, and in the bottle it looks a lot like Chinchilly, which I already own and love. Hmm. From the OPI Germany collection, I got Every Month is Oktoberfest, which is a purple/red vampy shimmer.

      Some of the Essie displays at drugstores only have four of the colors (there are six in total), but I’ve seen the full collection at CVS too—you might just have to look around. I do prefer to buy Essie at Ulta if I can because the selection is better, but I also have this vicious cycle with nail polish at CVS where I buy it, earn rewards, and then buy more, so it ends up being cheaper for me to buy it there!

  31. I cannot be the only one with this problem :

    Skip this if you don’t like threadjacks about s-x please!

    I apologize if some of you find this inappropriate, but are there any readers of this site who are on the k!nky side? I’ve moved to a new city and am considering attending some social events or even checking out a local semi-private club, but as a white collar professional, I’m concerned about my reputation and being “outed”. But I don’t know how to meet people who share my interests otherwise – I’m on the major social networking site for people like me, but it’s impossible to make online friends there unless you attend some real life events. So, advice from anyone on how to balance my s-x life with my professional one? Or should I just suck it up and be vanilla for a while?

    Again, sorry if this is inappropriate.

    • Anon for this :

      Not inappropriate, necessarily, but maybe not the audience you’re looking to reach. Re: being “outed,” if people recognize you from an event, doesn’t that mean they’ve outed themselves as well? So either they’ll stay mum or they’ll be ok with it?

      Also, meeting vanilla people doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be vanilla. You never know, they might have the same proclivities as you, and they might be hoping to find someone else with the same tastes, but are also afraid to out themselves!

      This is applicable to every part of life, not only the bedroom!

      • Thanks. I figured this was the site where I’d be most likely to get advice from the perspective of white-collar professional women.

    • vanilla but... :

      have you tried searching Dan Savage’s archives? I seem to remember him basically saying that the k!nk community doesn’t “out” its members to non-k!nky people as a rule.

      Maybe start with a small RL event that leans less k!nk and more vanilla? Then you can check out the other attendees and see if you feel more comfortable with the people there before going to larger–and more k!nky–events.

    • I have a friend who lives in DC and works for the federal government who also has this issue. I can’t vouch for any approach personally, but she says it’s basically like what they say about AA: if you see someone from work at this event, they know you were there, and you know they were there. They can’t blab unless they’re prepared to reveal why they know.

      I guess things could be awkward just between the people who saw each other, but that hasn’t been enough to deter her. She has recognized at least one person from work at these events, and apparently it’s fine with her.

      • Yeah, I probably just need to woman up and go. I think what really concerns me is that most people get to know the local community by going to meetings at restaurants or other “normal” settings just to get to know people, and I’m afraid of running into someone I know and them asking me to introduce them to the people I’m with or something. I live in DC too – it is a small town, really, and even smaller within my profession.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      If you run into other people from the professional world, wouldn’t you both be keeping the other’s secret? My guess is that if you run into someone at one of these places that they would be there for the same reasons as you and wouldn’t want to be “outed” either.

    • It totally happened to me. I was at an event, dressed up, and I got a tap on the shoulder. It was a guy I had interviewed earlier in the week, wearing a mesh shirt, leather pants and dog collar. Awkward! He asked me, “So did I get the job?” (The answer was no.) He went on to date my friend and turned out to be a major jerk. But no professional impacts. One thing to keep in mind is that some people are more private than others. So there is always a bit of a risk. But with the new 50 Shades trend, almost anything can be written off these days as harmless experimentation assuming you don’t go too crazy.

      • Thanks – this is exactly what I’m concerned about, and I’m glad it worked out for you. Makes me feel better.

  32. Random question that I hope makes sense: I have a newish mac and took off the detachable part of the charger and put on the long extension cord type 3 prong end. I have no idea where the short end is, but I want one. I checked on apple’s website and I can only buy a new charger. I’m thinking of looking on ebay but don’t know what to call this piece in my search terms. Any ideas?

    • my macbook is 5 yrs old and that piece came with my charger.

      • Yep! Thank you! I had no idea it would be called a duckhead…

        • Did you not get that piece? Or was it just a dummy piece…..oh well. And yeah, duckhead – WTF?

          • No I did, I just lost it, probably while moving. I think I’m going to get 2 for $3.50 since I seem to lose little pieces like this.

  33. PSA: I bought this necklace a few years ago, and find myself wearing it probably 3 times a week. It works with any color outfit. Especially dramatic with black.

    I saw it in a catalog that came addressed to my mom, and thought I might recommend it to other sisters.,225&site=EX&GEN1=Jewelry+%26+Watches&T1=E10583&dispRow=0

    • Oooh….so pretty and versatile. I’m putting it in my wantlist (yup, I’m one of those geeks who make multi-tab Excel workbooks tracking discretionary expenditures.)

    • Kat posted this necklace a while back. Now might be the time to get it.

    • Yes, Kat did post it a while ago. I finally found it after a longish search in my area. It’s wonderful.

  34. Going Home? :

    Long, long, long time reader, first-time commenter. Looking for a bit of input from the hive…
    I’m a corporate associate at a big biglaw firm in a large, East-coast city – about to enter my third year, which means I’m going to start specializing into a smaller practice area. I’m at my current job on a visa that will need to be renewed within the next couple of years, and have always thought that I would return home to the city where I grew up (which has a great quality of life, a slightly more balanced approach to work, and my family, amongst other things). I initially thought I would work at my current job at least a year (to see how I liked it), and probably to the end of my initial visa term. I now find myself starting to field calls from recruiters who have been able to give me more information about available lateral positions to the city I want to end up in. I know that this (2-5 years in), is kind of a sweet spot for lateral recruiting, and I feel like I want to make the switch earlier rather than later, so I have time to build up my network in the new city to open up the possibility of other future career avenues (i.e. not just firm life forever and ever). I’m trying to decide if I actively want to start the search, and am trying to balance a few considerations:
    (i) Salary – it would be a definite pay cut to go to new city, though the cost of living would likely be (slightly) less. Cost of buying a home in new city is still very high, though, and I can save a lot at current job. I’m trying to figure out if it makes sense to leave the higher paycheque before I have a really sizable chunk that I could put towards a down payment in new city.
    (ii) Career Path – I feel like I’m still learning a lot at my current job, but I’m not certain it’s in an area I’m totally passionate about. I don’t want to end up a few more years down the line and find that I’ve specialized myself into a niche area I don’t particularly love, and suddenly find that I’m too “expensive” for anyone to hire me to do anything but that…
    (iii) Personal Life – I have friends in my current city, from both school and work, but no-one I am very close with. New city has a lot of old friends, family, and (perhaps most importantly at this point), a SO with whom I’ve reconnected in the past year or so. I’m at a point in my life where, even though I live in a great, exciting city with lots to do, when I have the occasional evening, or slightly more frequent free weekend, I would much rather spend time with people in my life that I know I care about, than be out here “living large” in my current city.
    All of this being said, I don’t *hate* my current job, and were it not for the fact that my SO has reentered the picture (this is someone I have known and had personal relationship with most of my life, though not always in a romantic sense), I would maybe put things off another year or two. I just find myself feeling almost a bit disloyal (for lack of a better word) to the firm I’m at, where I genuinely do enjoy the people and (most of the time) the work, and who have given me such a great start on my career.
    I know that I’m the only one who can decide when it’s right for me to move along, and from my understanding of how the process works, I’d be unlikely to actually move for 3-6 months from initially starting the “application” process, but I’d really enjoy hearing from some of the ‘r e t t e s on this… any thoughts on if I should pull the trigger and tell the recruiter to hit “send” on my CV and transcripts?

    • My two cents: It can’t do you any harm to hit “send”. You don’t even know what the reaction will be from firms in your home city. I would go for it and see whether the move is even an option. The worst that can happen is that there aren’t any suitable jobs available for you now.

      I wouldn’t worry about the disloyalty factor. Associates move around all the time and in Biglaw particularly, if you are from another country (which it sounds like you are), the partners probably think it’s more likely than not that you will move on eventually anyway. Not meaning to be snarky, but I’ve been there and it’s just a fact.

      I think it’s very mature and self-aware of you to recognize that you would rather be back in home city, and to make the decision to move back early so you can build your network there.

    • Anne Shirley :

      So I’m reading the only downside is really money? Because this sense of disloyalty thing is ridic- the only loyalty you owe a law firm is 2 weeks notice.

      I say go for it! City you like, job you’ll like, friends, family, SO- sounds pretty great to me.

  35. Anonymous :

    I applied to a firm and have been invited to complete some forms through Lexis Nexus prior to my next interviews. I realize I am overthinking this, but when I did the initial application, I put down my salary was X dollars (I have a letter from my former employer stating this salary). However, the company went bankrupt and I had unpaid wages which I will never see. I am concerned that the Lexis Nexus search will show my most recent tax return doesn’t match up with my stated salary. Do I mention this upfront? Do I say nothing? I am concerned that it will be held against me, I’ll look untrustworthy, and I’ll be uninvited from the next round of interviews. Thank you for any insight.

    • Archivist perspective :

      I would probably mention it to the hiring manager if you have the chance. They know how to deal with these situations, and I’m sure it’s not that uncommon. When I had a financial background check there was something that had to be clarified and it wasn’t a big deal.

  36. emcsquared :

    Had to share – I got married almost exactly two years ago and registered with a big box store that shall remain nameless (…rhymes with Blahr-get…). We had registry gifts addressed to my married name and mailed to my parents’ house.

    So my dad calls me yesterday and says, “So …. do you have something you want to share with us?” And I was confused, because I had no news and plan/hope to have no news for many years. But it turns out that big box store had other plans; it (apparently) sold my wedding registry information to a baby supply outfit, which then decided that since I’ve been married two years, I must be popping out a kid soon, so it mailed my parents a bunch of samples of free baby formula addressed to me.

    Anyway, I found it depressing/amusing/creepy.

    • I’ve heard of that happening before with a store with a name that rhymes with the same thing. I’ve also heard terrible things in general about registering there, although hopefully you had a good experience.

      • emcsquared :

        Nope, not a good experience! It was a terrible registry system – almost all of the items for which we registered were seasonally stocked items and out of stock by the time our wedding came around. We weren’t notified that they were out of stock until guests grumbled to us the night before the wedding and it was too late to register for more items. And we got some strange “substitutions” when guests ordered items that were out of stock (for instance, instead of two sleeping bags, they sent us three nylon fishing vests and a spatula).

        Blahrget, why do I spend so much money with you when you treat me so badly?!!

        • We got married a year ago, and they decided to re-vamp the website in August. The link on our website stopped working for a while, and the website was down a lot.

          We ended up getting lots of gift cards to Target as a result, but it was super frustrating trying to figure out why nothing was working.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      Yea, apparently this happens a lot:

    • Target’s data mining is famous for “knowing a woman is pregnant before she wants us to know.”

  37. I have an aqua cashmere cardigan and I just lost one of the buttons from it (also aqua). I seem to have lost the extras. Any suggestions for what to do other than get them all replaced to match?

    • Seattleite :

      In a pinch, I may or may not have removed the very top button and used it to replace the msising button. And then worn the offending item oh, ten or twenty more times. It was a crew-neck, though, not a v-neck.

      • This is a crew neck. I was thinking of removing the very bottom button to that end.

  38. transition :

    Updating on my 1st day of the new job, as promised… Pulled a muscle between my shoulder blades this morning, so I was a bit more focused on the physical pain than I could be on the stress of day 1! All day was meeting time after meeting time. So far, folks seem nice, so I’m hoping they really are as I get to know them more. My office has nothing in it, totally empty (no writing instruments, supplies, decor, nothing) so I’m working on figuring out what they will supply and what I will have to purchase. There’s no a/c in the building but I’m allowed to bring a window a/c, so I’m debating whether there’s enough warm weather left to need one or if that’ll have to wait for future paychecks. For now, I’m exhausted (not much sleep last night). Tomorrow will be paperwork day and getting settled in, I suppose… going to figure out what supplies I might have around the house, etc. that can be used!

    • Congrats on getting through your first day!

    • Anon for this :

      Yay first day new job!

      Sorry about the shoulder pain though -that’s terrible! Try those sticky heat patches -they are my Windex.

    • YAY! First Day!!! PLUS, now the first day is over, along with all that pressure, and you can start to breathe again. ;o) I’m glad it went well, and don’t worry you’ll have time to figure things out, everyone knows you’re new…. I’m so glad it went well, and i hope it’s even better when you get to start meeting the kiddos! Now your next milestone is: First Paycheck!!!!!

  39. I just reserved a condo in Maui for 10 days next April. We will have a 4 year old and a 3 month old.

    I can’t wait. Squeee!!!

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Sounds like a blast – minus the flight. My husband, who has done a ton of long distance travel in his lifetime gave me a random tip that I love. When I fly, I stash a coloring book and crayons with me. Fussy traveling kids seem to love to color with the stranger sitting next to them way more than they love the toy their mom brought along. I’m thinking if I ever have kids, I will bring a coloring book and if my kid gets fussy, see if I can get a seat mate to “gift it” to the kid. The bonus is this gives me a legit excuse to color on my flights :) I already have my coloring book (sesame street) and crayons packed for this weekend. If I’m not seated near a kid, I’m coloring anyway!

    • Divaliscious11 :

      Start looking for a sitter now…so you and your husband can have a date…or three….

    • On Sunday, I’m leaving for a ten day trip to Maui. If I remember, I’ll try to give you some highlights of things to do…..although I suppose guidebooks provide the same service.

  40. OPI Barre My Soul (4 coats, lasts a week with no chips when topped with SH Insta-Dry topcoat)

  41. I don’t know why this never occurred to me to do. My go-to “safe” pink (because I have a weakness for ridiculous hot pinks) is Essie’s “Eternal Optimist,” which is almost perfect (especially in its opacity; I just can’t with sheer polish), except it’s slightly too cool for my skin tone. Now I just need to figure out the right pink to it up with.

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