Thursday’s TPS Report: Plaid Pencil Skirt

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

MICHAEL Michael Kors Plaid Pencil SkirtI actually own this skirt — it’s a great black and white mix with a medium/dark blue stripe running through it, and an interesting leather belt detail at the hip. The bit of blue elevates it beyond a basic, and I think it would be great with a blue, yellow, purple, or just a simple black top. It’s a new markdown at Nordstrom — was $89, now $59 (in regular and petites). MICHAEL Michael Kors Plaid Pencil Skirt

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  1. My first thought: “Would the leather bit make it hard to dry clean?” I’m becoming my mother, ah! ;)

  2. PharmaGirl :

    I really like this but, alas, not available in my size.

  3. I saw this skirt at macy’s and really liked the quality. they’re also a sheer tie neck blouse with the same pattern on it that was pretty great.

    • Did you try it on? If so, did it hit at the knee, or a few inches above, as on the model?

      • unfortunately i didn’t try it on, but i generally find michael kors skirts to be entirely above my knee cap (i’m about 5-4), so they are always a little too short for my taste

  4. TJ – for any runners, etc.:

    I’m fairly new to running (about 6 months). I usually run outside and typically enjoy it, but it’s often difficult to get out there after a long day of work. My question is – how do you motivate yourself to exercise after logging long (and exhausting) hours at work? Do you just take a night (or week) off, or do you feel better after forcing yourself to go?

    Any advice/tips appreciated!

    • Force yourself to go. You’ll feel good once you get your butt out there. For motivation, sign up for a race and see if you can get some friends or coworkers to join in.

    • Commit to taking just a 10-minute walk. It’s not an overwhelming goal, and once you’re out and about it always feels much easier to ramp up the walking into running.

    • I find that I feel better if I go ahead and exercise. The endorphins make me feel better and I sleep better.

    • I found a run streak did wonders for my motivation. Runners World did one last year, at least one mile a day for every day between Thanksgiving and New Years. Helped me get my butt out the door and I very rarely ran “just one.” You could do a similar thing with any length of time (25 days, month, 50 days, etc.)

      Plus it kept off the holiday weight. Score!

    • Try working out in the morning instead of at night. You won’t be as tired / hungry, and then when you get home from work you can just crash and relax, knowing that you’ve already worked out that day.

      Or if you can swing it, try running at lunchtime. That’s my favorite way to break up the workday, but obviously can’t be done when work gets too busy.

      • Totally agree with the working out in the morning idea. I am not by any means a morning person, but I find that waking up early to work out makes me feel smugly productive/healthy for the rest of the day.

        By the end of the day, I’m so exhausted and hungry and my powers of rationalization are in high gear, so I can easily convince myself to skip the workout. In the morning, however, I just stumble out of bed and put on my workout clothes (planted near my bed) without being alert enough to talk myself out of it.

        • viclawstudent :

          I find it really hard to run in the morning (having tried that as a solution to OP’s after-work problem). It always seems lower, more laboured, etc. Not sure why. Also I have trouble figuring out when to eat – before (problems with digestion if run right away) or after (hungry while running).

          Related to Fiona’s tip – how do people manage running at lunchtime (or any other type of lunch-time work out)? Do you get a long lunch time? I can’t figure out how people eat, workout, and then shower/re-do hair etc in the time allotted.

          • My old office had a gym in the basement, so I would head down there, throw on running clothes (10 min), run (20-30 min, max), shower and be back at my desk (15 min). I’d pack lunch and eat at my desk after. I did not wash/dry my hair.

          • Your legs are stiff in the morning so it is definitely always a harder, slower run, but I find if you start out walking, or wake up and walk around for 10-15 mins before you start, it can help make the run less difficult.

          • Anonymous Poser :

            I drink some juice mixed with water before I run, and that keeps me from getting hungry while I run, but then I’m running about 3 miles, and YMMV. :-)

          • For lunchtime running, I have a gym in my building, so I can change quickly, run outside for 35-40 minutes, take a quick shower without washing my hair, and then go back to work. I also won’t do a full face of makeup and I will wear my hair up for the rest of the day. I eat a snack before I go (like a yogurt) and then eat lunch at my desk when I get back (usually leftovers or a frozen Trader Joe’s lunch that I brought from home). I do need a good hour though, so if my day is jammed up I can’t do it.

        • Me too. I get up earlier than I ever thought I would & run in the morning because otherwise I wouldn’t go at all. Too many things claiming me in the evening.

          I get up, drink a big glass of water and head out the door. As long as I’ve hydrated properly the day before I don’t have an issue with heavy legs or anything. However, if I run in the evening, my legs always get tired sooner. And I love being out in the morning, in the crisp air, seeing the sun rise, etc. It’s always a great start to my day. I’m usually in a better mood & more productive on running days. The challenge for me is making sure I get to bed early enough the night before – which seems way easier for me than working out in the evening!

    • I always tell myself I’ll be sooo pleased with myself afterwards that I did it, and always am. I NEVER regret doing it, but I often regret skipping a run.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Yes, this! I tell Present Senior Attorney that Future Senior Attorney is going to be super happy and grateful that I made the effort, and if I don’t make the effort, Future Senior Attorney is going to feel awful.

        Like that Facebook thing that was going around: “‘I really regret that workout.’ Said nobody, ever.”

    • anonanonanonanon :

      I’m sort of in the same boat. I’m newer than you, and use the get running app on my iphone to track my progress (and the nike plus app, but I love the get running, it has a nice British lady who encourages me and asks if I want to run today, instead of berating me to run). I have been known to get up at 430AM and run for half an hour (I work at 730 and have kids to drop off first, and will get a little housework done in the morning too), but now it’s too dark to do that, so I’m struggling too. I agree with anna and I force myself to go. I usually wait until after dinner and some time with the kids. I just try to get out three or four days a week, and try to cycle on my off days. It’s not always possible, but I find I’m halfway through the mileage/workout/run before I know it, and am back home sooner than I thought.. Mo also has a good point the “just one” concept.. I’ll have to try that.. I also kind of tell myself “you never regret it” because, honestly, I never do. It clears my head.

    • I actually schedule it on my Outlook calendar to go. I run ~4 days per week (including Saturday and Sunday), so I just block an hour every Tuesday and Thursday evening. It keeps me from forgetting and helps me stay on track.

    • Newbie Runner :

      I have a related question – once you get yourself out of the house and onto the trail, how do you keep yourself from quitting? I’m hitting a wall at about 2.2 miles. I’ve run as much as 2.5 a few times recently, but mostly run out of gas at around the 2-mile mark. Some days I get so tired I quit and walk after a mile. How do I know when I should push myself farther and when I really need to rest?

      • Thanks for all the advice! Newbie, I’ve had the same problem recently. I’ve found that if I stop and stretch for about 10 seconds and/or just walk for about 20 seconds, I can typically pick up the run again. Also, if you are just starting out, you may be pushing yourself to run too long. When I first started, I used the Couchto5k app, and it has a great plan to slowly increase your running distance without pushing too hard all at once.

      • I find it’s easier to commit to run for a time rather than a distance (eg, half an hour), and I also really like running in shorter intervals with a walk break in between (eg, 3×10 minute runs, with 3 min walk in between). My running buddy finds the walk breaks really demotivating, though, because she has a hard time starting back up afterwards, so she prefers to just run 30 minutes solid and slow way down when she’s starting to feel like she can’t keep up.

        • Anonymous Poser :

          I am the same way! DH used to say, okay, we’re going to run Xdistance today, and I just hated it. For some reason splitting the running up into intervals (we started with 2 minutes running hard, and then 1 minute steady running, repeat 7 times) and basing it on time rather than distance made running so much easier for my, psychologically.

          • Anonymous Poser :

            Made running so much easier for *me* psychologically.

            Not “my” psychologically. :-)

      • Are you just getting an overall tired feeling, or is there something specific that is wearing you out (sore legs, out of breath)? If it’s just an overall tired feeling, it’s probably just a mental block you need to overcome. Tell yourself “one more song,” or keep choosing points in the distance that you’ll run to – by the time you get there, you might have broken through the tiredness. Interval training also keeps things fresh for me – run fast for 2 minutes or so, then jog, and repeat. Basically, if you feel like you physically could keep going without being in pain or passing out, you probably can. Also check your diet – a lack of iron or dehydration may be contributing to your fatigue.

        However, if you find yourself unable to breathe or something actually *hurts*, you need to stop or walk. Incorporate squats and leg presses into your exercise routine to build leg strength and prevent injury. Or if it’s shortness of breath, slow down your overall pace.

      • I get tired around the same point. I plan my run so I hit the downhill part at 2 miles, which is a really nice break. I think to myself “are you really so tired/lazy you can’t make it down this hill?” And then I do. The rest of the way home is flat.

      • I always run intervals – run 8 min, walk at a brisk pace 1 min, for example. This gives me a little break, and doesn’t interfere with the quality of the workout. It also makes it easy to increase my distance – just by adding either another minute to my interval, or adding another interval. Dh ran a half marathon last year doing 10/1 intervals. A few years ago a man came to my boys’ school who was running a marathon a day for a year and I think he ran 6/1 intervals. Maybe knowing you’ll have a little break soon will help you push through?

    • I also have a related question. I get terrible blisters on my feet after running. I can only run about two miles before I get them. I’ve changed my shoes several times, including going to stores that analyze your gait and suggest shoes based off of that. I also have chany ged my socks to moisture wicking–I recently bought Feetures, which seem to help some although I have only worn them twice and noticed some blistering after my run last night. I also started using a foot deodorant and foot powder to try to decrease moisture and have used a balm made by Band-Aid I think to try to stop it. Any other advice?

      • If you’re getting blisters in the same area, put Moleskin over those areas before running. I also love Body Glide, and think it might help if you put it on your feet (after putting the Moleskin on).

      • Cornellian :

        make sure your socks have no cotton, and are made for women who run.

      • Where are your blisters? I get them on the sides of my toes so I switched to running toe socks. Iniji makes them and smartwool has a model too. That really helped me. FYI, the smartwool version is a little thicker so I only really wear those during the winter.

      • 401(k) for the Self-Employed :

        I had horrible blisters for about five months. Here’s what worked for me:

        1. New shoes – When trying them on, think about how they feel in the areas that you a prone to blister. If they feel at all tight or if they rub in blister-prone areas, try something else.

        2. Smartwool socks – I found that I liked their wicking properties best.

        3. A&D Diaper Rash Ointment – I slather it on all the places I’m prone to blister every time I run.

        4. Aqua Heel bandages – I cover any blisters with these bandages, and if I am running more than 6 miles, I put them on preemptively to prevent blistering.

        Hope this helps! It’s gotten me through two halfs…

        • Thanks for the help! I’m blistering primarily where my arches start at the front of my toe on the inside of my feet if that makes sense. I’ll look into some more socks (trying a bunch of different kinds is getting expensive! but totally worth it if they help). Diaper rash ointment?! How interesting! I would have never guessed to try that, but it makes sense! I’ll give it a whirl! Thanks again!

    • I run only for a half hour during the week and save my long runs for the weekend. It helps with fatigue (both muscle and mind), but still conditions my body for running. I usually treadmill it at lunch. If I can’t run at lunch, I will run early in the morning but I hate doing that!

    • 1. Change into your clothes immediately when you get home before you even have one thought that you do not want to go. Laying out your clothes and shoes and ipod or whatever helps prevent thinking about all the other things you could be doing (I could bake these kale chips tonight or do laundry or watch tv etc.). Do not look at your phone or anything before you leave, just go.
      2. For the morning, I have a note by my alarm clock that has the dates of upcoming races for which I have signed up and that paper that says 140lbs= grand dames :( in my medicine cabinet area for afternoon runs.
      3. I also try to think, this will only take 30 (or X) minutes and then it is over. The longer I wait to start the longer it takes. I live in an area where running at night is not so safe so this pressure helps more during the winter because I hate the dreadmill and the outside run is so pretty if I can get it done in the daytime.
      4. Last resort: I will agree with myself to decrease the run but I have to go and once I get out there I usually run the full thing.

    • Is there a running group or club in your area? I love mine. It motivates me to get out there, and running with someone else usually helps me keep my pace up when the tired feeling sneaks up on me.

    • On days when I really don’t feel like getting out there, I make a deal with myself — if you go and you still feel sluggish, you can stop anytime. I usually don’t take myself up on it, but sometimes, even once I’ve gotten myself out there, I just don’t feel like it. So I’ll run for 15 minutes instead of 40, or do a run walk combo, or run significantly slower than usual.

      I try to frame it in my mind so that all incremental exercise = good (rather than missed exercise = bad). I also think of running not as something I “have to do” to stay healthy, but as something that I am so fortunate to be able to do because my body is healthy and amazing! (Similarly, I frame my eating decisions as every incremental healthy decision = good, rather than thinking about the decisions I wish I had made). Using these mindsets is EXTREMELY helpful to me in staying healthy & happy. It keeps me from getting discouraged and keeps me feeling positive about myself and my body.

    • phillygirlruns :

      i’m in the “force yourself” camp, though i’ll sometimes give myself permission to do a shorter or different run if i’m truly tired. i’d say 8 times out of 10 as soon as i really get moving, i end up deciding to do whatever i originally planned to do anyway. i ALWAYS feel better for it.

    • I also run in the evenings (on the treadmill after my kids are asleep usually). On days I don’t feel like it, I tell myself that I will just walk for ten minutes. I always do a few minutes of walking as a warm up anyways, and so I am usually ok to start running and run for the full 30 minutes or whatever. I don’t think I have ever just walked for ten minutes, it is just something I tell myself to get me up off the couch, lol. I also have 2 rest days a week and if I am legitimately sick, I rest.

    • I will often bring my clothes to work and change at work. If I wait to change when I get home, it is too easy to skip my workout.

      Also, make sure you aren’t overdoing it–it can be easy to overdo it, especially at first. Fatigue can be one of the first signs, so just listen to your body. If it is just a long day thing, however, the tips about just going out and doing something are good. Often once I start, I don’t know why I struggled with getting ready!

    • Turtle Wexler :

      Somewhat related question — I’m also a recent runner, and the weather has generally been nice since I started. With fall/winter coming, I know I need to invest in some new, warmer running clothes, but what? I’m in the PNW so it needs to survive the drizzle; I don’t plan to run in full-on rain, but if I avoided the wet completely I wouldn’t be able to run again until next July…

      • Here’s what I’m going to go buy once the weather turns to drizzly in Seattle:

        – Running tights, preferably ones with a pocket on the butt
        – Lightweight waterproof jacket: keeps the heat in, and clothes dry
        – Hat or visor: keeps the rain off my face!
        – Non cotton shirts and socks. Nothing is worse than wet feet with cotton socks.

        • Oh! And a reflective vest so that I don’t have any excuse when it is dark in the morning and the evening.

        • Turtle Wexler :

          Thanks, AK! It looks like we still have a bit of good weather left, but I’m trying to get what I need now so when the day comes, I won’t be able to use “I don’t have the right clothes” as an excuse for sitting at home rather than getting out for a run.

        • Don’t forget some gloves or mittens and a hat or ear wrap to keep your hands and ears warm.

      • Runner’s World website has a “what should I wear” page where you can type in the weather and whether you like to be warm or cool when you run and it spits it out.

        Only problem is that 90% of the time it tells me to where a vest (which I don’t own.)

    • I joined a running club. I’m only obligated to go once a week but I’ve been going 2-3 be,se I like the social aspect

  5. punk rock tax lawyer :

    Threadjack! — I have two stones that I’d like reset in some new piece of jewelry — maybe a pendant or a ring. They aren’t super valuable stones, but have sentimental value. I have no idea what I would want the new piece of jewelry to look like — I just know that I want these sentimental stones in something cool that I’d actually wear. My taste tends to run toward modern/simple/minimalist/geometric type stuff. Anyone know of anyone good for me to go to for this? I live in Austin, TX, but I would mail the stones if needed.

    • I would recommend Kirk Root Designs in the Arboretum. They do really nice work.

    • NotFromTx :

      You should check out this place.

      They really do a great job but you’d have to mail the stones and talk to them through phone/email I guess.

    • Anon in ATX :

      No advice but I just wanted to give a shout-out to my fellow Austinite. Glad to know I’m not the only one :)

    • I brought a star ruby and a fire agate to a local jeweler whose work I liked (savane silver dot com) and she and I decided what would work best for me. She made two rings that I was really happy with. Is there anyone local you like?

    • Emily Elizabeth :

      I know nothing about Texas, but I would recommend going someplace local as opposed to mailing the stones somewhere. A really good place will draw up designs with you, make wax models, etc… It’s easier to really figure out if you like the piece if you’re there in person.

    • I would check out Benold’s on Anderson Lane or Russell Korman on 38th. They are both old Austin jewelers that could be helpful. I had a ring made from some loose stones at Benold’s several years ago.

  6. Good morning, all — wondering if I might get your input on a bit of a sartorial dilemma.

    I have a wedding to attend in a few weeks’ time and I’m trying to figure out what to wear to the ceremony (which is on a different day than the reception). The ceremony itself is on a weekday afternoon and it’s being held at a fairly casual restaurant in NYC. I’m thinking it’s going to be pretty intimate (less than 50 or so?). I think there may be a small cocktail party to follow.

    What would you wear? I am thinking about wearing a long-sleeved silk dress that I got at anthro last year (leifsdottir, “ottoman poppies dress” — I’ll stick a link in the reply), but don’t know if we think that’s too casual?

      • Whatever the initial comment related to this dress appears to have disappeared into the internet buffybot. :-)

        • But fwiw, I like the dress. :-)

          • Thanks! Who knew that a reply could post without the intial comment posting?

            The question, which got stuck into moderation no doubt due to the dreaded “c*tail word (I mean, seriously?), was as follows:

            Good morning, all — wondering if I might get your input on a bit of a sartorial dilemma.

            I have a wedding to attend in a few weeks’ time and I’m trying to figure out what to wear to the ceremony (which is on a different day than the reception). The ceremony itself is on a weekday afternoon and it’s being held at a fairly casual restaurant in NYC. I’m thinking it’s going to be pretty intimate (less than 50 or so?). I think there may be a small party to follow.

            What would you wear? I am thinking about wearing a long-sleeved silk dress that I got last year (leifsdottir, “ottoman poppies dress” — I’ll stick a link in the reply), but don’t know if we think that’s too casual?

          • the dress is super cute, but I feel like it might be too casual, maybe because it is giving me the peasant dress vibe? Maybe you could dress it up with some accessories, metallic belt, interesting jewelry, cute shoes? How casual is casual?

    • Senior Attorney :

      I think it looks great and not too casual for an informal afternoon wewdding!

      • me too – I think it looks perfect for the kind of event you’re describing.

  7. I’m sure many of us have lived in our fair share of tiny apartments with decor restrictions (painting, drilling, etc.). What creative ways have you discovered to make an apartment feel a little less barren?

    So far I’ve considered:
    -Making my own temporary wallpaper from contact paper.
    -Using two bookshelves as a headboard to maximize storage space in the bedroom.
    -Hanging mirrors to make the space seem bigger and capitalize on light.

    Any pieces you’ve found to do double duty? Ways around your lease’s restrictions?

    Hooray for renting!

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I haven’t tried any of them, but I really like the removable wall art from a company called Blik. Mirrors are also a good way to go. Accent pillows and blankets in fun colors can help too.

    • I think the biggest thing is mercilessly getting rid of stuff so that what you have fits nicely into where you live.

      • Haha. I’d agree. Fortunately I’m young and have yet to acquire much in the way of stuff :) Though I’ve quickly realized the stuff you have is on display much more in a small space, which makes design and functionality all the more key.

    • I got a huge mirror with an ornate frame and placed it against a wall. It is a nice piece and makes the room look much bigger.

    • I own rentals and we let people paint – if you are renting from a person, you could try approaching them with a specific paint chip – they might go for it if it is something neutral, like a warm brown. Probably wouldn’t work as well if you are renting from a management company though.

      Could you ask if you could paint if you painted it back when you move out? Only go for that if you are a good painter – if you drip paint on carpet you’ll lose your deposit, not worth it.

      • Emily Elizabeth :

        I’ve also had good luck with asking my landlord to paint. If they seem hesitant, I offer to paint it back to the color of their choosing when I move out (although one liked my colors so much, they kept it). And if they still seem hesitant, I offer to hire professional painters to re-paint before I move out. It turns out that a lot of landlords are nervous you’ll do a great job painting for your tenancy, but then do a sub-par job quickly before you move out which means they just have to re-paint your re-paint job.

        • Along those lines, most landlords re-paint between tenants, and don’t care if a tenant paints because they’ll be repainting anyway. Of course, check with your landlord before painting.

      • I’m in an apartment with a big management company, and I painted my living room. The form lease in my state just includes language that you have to get management approval prior to painting, and that if you don’t paint it back you’ll be charged for the cost to do so. When I did mine, I did it with full knowledge that I would have to paint it back, but even when I factor in that extra cost, the warmth it adds to the room is absolutely worth it.

        Oh, and I painted myself despite having no painting skill and just used plastic dropcloths tucked under the edging tape (so they wouldn’t move). No problems with drips.

        • Oh, I should clarify that the management approval is typically a rubber stamp process. I guess they just want to make sure you’re not painting swastikas on the wall or something similarly outrageous that could offend maintenance, neighbors who can see in the window, or prospective new tenants if they show your unit, etc.

    • Cornellian :

      I really like FLOR for modular carpet. They have some really neat and bold patterns, as well as the basic solid colors. You can hose the carpet squares down or replace them one by one, and you can build almost any color you want in to their rugs.

    • If you have restrictions on hanging things try 3M command products – they hold things well but seem to be removable with no damage; I’ve had good luck with them.

      • I love these. Big ones to hold up heavy things, water resistant to hold up things in the shower, small ones for jewelry, white ones, silver ones, bronze ones.

        If you follow the instructions, they won’t fall. Press on for the time suggested. Wait to put anything on for at least 30 minutes.

      • I’ve had bad experiences with them taking off large paint chips.

    • I have a big expidit book shelf in our entry way and have leaned art up against the wall and adorned the top with knicks and knacks to make it seem more personalized (it is also awesome for storage). Hanging art and having brightly colored pillows/area rugs make it seem less drab. Mostly just trying to make due with the restrictions.

      I also saw this thing on pinterest that is a garment rack made out of pvc pipe in the corner, I’m planning on making that to help with clothing storage.

      I’ve found that the IKEA catalog is great for ideas for small spaces.

      • In the Pink :

        CB2 crate and barrell other site specializes in small sized items. We often look there for inspiration as our mid century modern house isn’t able to accommodate much of the mcmansion sized stuff.

        You can also hang or frame fabrics for decor and headboards. I can see them as a “backdrop” to floating shelves or those hanging backless “cubes” that hold items for a colorful, yet storage happy headboard and maybe over a sofa or dinette table.

        Have you seen those coffee tables that are either modular or are rolling carts with glass tops to do storage and decor simultaneously?

    • AnotherLadyLawyer :

      Just a word of warning — contact paper is the worst to get off of the walls! I hated my one-color law school apartment walls (sky blue! what landlord picks that?) so much that I tried almost everything. Contact paper on the wall nearly killed me when I tried to take it off 6 months in. They make temporary wallpaper these days, but I’m not sure how well it works. There are probably 5 Apartment Therapy posts about it, so maybe give those a read. I wound up with starched fabric on some walls, a triptych of hanging fabric panels as art (from Ikea of all places), and lots of big framed posters.

      • there’s a lot of temporary/removable wallpaper for rentals on the market these days — I haven’t personally tried it, but I’ve heard good things about it & it sounds easier than contact paper.

    • Research, Not Law :

      I replaced the hanging vertical blinds with curtains (or sheet) by sewing in button holes along the top and clipping them in. Note: store the blinds laying down, such as under a couch or bed, so that they aren’t bent when you rehang to move out.

    • Socksberg :

      I put some cheap funky rugs over the ugly beige carpeting which helped take the ‘neutral rental’ feel out of the apartment.

  8. Woods-comma-Elle :

    Hey y’all.

    I just wanted to say a thanks to all who offered advice on bar exam prep, review courses and telling work about wanting to qualify in another jurisdiction. Finally had a chat with my bosses yesterday and they were totally cool about it, although I did strategically wait until they were on drink number four of the evening so that may have helped. I signed up for Themis today which I started looking into on a c’rette recommendation, so thanks for that!

    Now the fun part starts as I actually have to start studying!

  9. TJ – Does anyone have any experience with wide-calf riding boots? I love the look but have muscular/chubby calves. I feel like most stores advertise a 16 inch diameter as “wide” but I’m not sure that is actually wide enough.

    • lucy stone :

      I have two pairs of Fitzwells from Zappos and really like them. One is actually loose enough I can tuck jeans into them.

    • I bought last year’s version of these and they had enough room to wear over jeans.

    • I got a pair from Duo that look nice. They are not cheap but fit really well and are sized to fit larger calves.

      And I prefer to think of my calves as “athletic” rather than chubby :)

      • AnotherLadyLawyer :

        Second the recommendation for Duo. I bought a pair of Duo boots (look at the outlet, they are a littttttle bit cheaper) last year and lived in them for fall. As EC MD noted, they are sized to fit larger calves – you measure your calves to the centimeter and then can pick a custom circumference. I’ll also echo what other posters have said — measure your calves and know the number. “Wide-calf” doesn’t really have a standard meaning, so some are 17 inches, some are 19 inches, some are more or less. And the circumferences infuriatingly go up as shoe sizes go up, so it’s hard to pin down what you’ll be getting. Also – some places now have wide-wide calf, so don’t hesitate to try those (especially if you have a smaller foot and wider calf and wide-calf boots aren’t working).

    • I have spent years buying and returning wide-calf riding boots. I’d offer the following advice:

      – Get a tape measure and measure your calves (if you want to tuck pants in, measure your calf with pants on). You can sort on Zappos by calf size without having to select “wide calf” as a descriptor.
      – Zappos will list out the circumference of the calf size of its boots under Product Description. However, take note – not all of those measurements are based on the same shoe size, and the calf circumference will increase if your foot is based on the size used for measurements and decrease if your foot is smaller. You can make small estimates based on how many sizes are between your size and the size on which measurements are based, but this is an inexact science.

      • I also think that they measure the outside for circumference, not the inside, so a boot listed with a 16″ circumference may not actually be 16″ on the inside. Reading reviews really helps me here.

    • I have this problem as well. The best bet for me has been zappos and just trial and error. Mostly the problem for me is that anything that is wide calf boots aren’t really the style I’m looking for. So because of the free shipping I can try on a few different ones in different sizes and see what works for me.

      I have a pair of boots I’m going to take to a cobbler and see if they will put in a gusset between the zips…

      I think we get the short end of the stick in the boots department, and it is sad.

    • Gah, I was seriously going to post just this question today. I have my eye on a lovely pair of riding boots that have a wide calf versions, but apparently my calves are extra extra wide. Why is there so little variation in boot shaft size when there’s so much variation in bodies?

    • phillygirlruns :

      get thee to widewidths dot com. great selection of quality brands, with exact measurements for each size.

  10. Going through a rough week, both professionally and personally. The only thing that’s holding me together is my students, who are awesome and engaged and fun. Last night, I bought myself a ring. Jewelry makes me feel better. Or at least theoretically.

    What do you do to keep yourself together when life gets tough? I already exercise a lot so keeping that routine helps. Last night I went to a friend’s going away party and had a couple glasses of wine and a piece of chocolate pie but then just woke up feeling tired and have a headache. Any thoughts?

    • Cheesy, comforting movies? Stack of fluffy magazines? Browse through a bookstore, buy a couple of fun books or a pretty tchotchke (it seems Barnes & Noble is about half blank books/journals, note cards, bookends, etc, these days)? Indulge yourself in good food – I think we are the same age (in our 40s) and I, too, find that booze and sweets are often more trouble than they are worth, but some really good, grainy bread with butter, accompanied by a fancy salad or some really good fruit, vegetables, whatever can be nice. When I’m feeling down I sort of let myself go a little nuts at Whole Foods. And I find a small glass of wine or bourbon/Scotch is relaxing, but doesn’t make me feel crappy the next day.

      Sorry you are having a rough time.

      • Definitely the magazines help. InStyle and Lucky are my faves. You’re right, I should indulge in some good food at Whole Foods. I didn’t buy much for *me* to eat this week. Bought food to cook for SO and me, but then he was only here one night and that left me scrounging.

    • Woods-comma-Elle :

      Sorry to hear that! For me, the easy pick-me-ups are shopping and braincandy tv shows like Hart of Dixie and suchlike. And wine, but then you already tried that and sounds like it wasn’t the way forward.

      • Can’t wait for HoD to come back! Though the previews make it look like Wade is going to be a jerk at the beginning, which I will be VERY MAD ABOUT. :-P

        • Woods-comma-Elle :

          I haven’t seen the previews but that is not cool. Holla for Team Wade (George is so boring).

        • I haven’t seen them, either, but I agree! Not that I can blame him– ever since he told Zoe how selfish, etc., she is, all I can think when I watch is — yeah, she is all of those things! Why do you even care about her? It’s become really frustrating for me!

    • hellskitchen :

      I have just started learning to meditate after going through rough personal and professional couple of weeks. I also try to focus my attention away from myself so I find myself doing a lot more charity donations and getting involved in advocacy work these last few weeks.

    • In the last month or so I’ve started watching Dr. Who, Sherlock, Teen Wolf, and the Vampire Diaries. Its not because I’m wildly cheerful. :-P

    • So it's that kind of Friday :

      Definitely keep your exercise routine. Why not add something different – sign up for an art class, language class, boxing class? Take yourself to the theatre, museum, local sporting event? Just getting out there is often helpful.

      • Time is an issue. At this point, I’m only having time to work and work out, with choir on Wednesdays. I have a little time to myself in the late evenings, but that’s not conducive to taking on something new.

    • I talk my dog for a walk. Besides the exercise, he’s so bouncy and cheerful that he makes me happy just to see his happiness. His cheerfulness also attracts a lot of attention, especially from children, and it’s great to watch him wiggle and wag amid a group of giggling preschoolers. (Fortunately, he’s the type of dog who’ll let anyone do anything to him, including letting toddlers pull his ears or bop his nose, just as long as he’s getting attention.) Sometimes just a change of scenery, and a little people (and dog) watching can make a difference.

    • In the Pink :

      A big stack of fashion magains, and then reading the articles in them. Also a dvd that I know DH wouldn’t watch…usually hits me when he’s away on postings and I’ve done my office work for the weekend. I also use that time to cull through closets, gift stashes and take stuff to donation places. Makes me feel good to clear out and to help others.

      Hope you get a bright light coming your way soon, NOLA!

    • anonanonanonanon :

      Sorry :(
      Sometimes, I try to look back at how far I’ve come with certain aspects, however this is typically only works if you know specifically what is going wrong (i.e. money, look how much I’ve paid down, refinanced my house, padded my retirement, I’ve been more broke than this before, etc). If you can find the trigger, you can typically find something to work around triggering it or working past it.

    • Sorry to hear that you are going through a hard time – and hope it gets better soon!

      When I’m feeling down, I go online and cheer myself up with various adorable / hilarious websites. (Thank you to whoever recommended dogshaming, BTW!)

    • This is totally personality-dependent, but when I’m down I really need to have human interaction to feel better; being alone just makes it worse. Try your best to make plans with friends, or go to sites like and find stuff to do with others. Or call an old friend you haven’t talked to in a while, or a family member you like talking to. You’ll get through it!

      • I did send out an email to my group of friends last night inviting them to my annual Art for Art’s Sake/birthday dinner thing in a few weeks. That should be fun! A friend of mine asked me to go out tonight so I might try to do that if she’s still up for it. I’m normally really rigid about my workout schedule, but this may not be the time.

        I went to a party last night and, although it was fun, bittersweet because my dear friend/surrogate parent is moving to another state. Also, I had a death in my family yesterday and my SO was calling to talk in the middle of it, so I ended up leaving early.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I love to watch junk TV when I’m down. The junkier the better. I’m taking “Toddlers and Tiaras” here. Maybe it’s for the schadenfreude.

      Exercise, of course.

      Also, if I can bring myself to do it, I get a real boost from tackling projects like cleaning out the closet or tackling the stack of stuff on my desk.

      And, of course, endless hours on the interwebs.

      I hope things turn around for you soon!

      • Getting my laptop back (post-hurricane) has really helped! My friend replaced the keyboard the other day. Of course, he also said that the amount of black cat hair under and in the keyboard was appalling! Kittycat circles the laptop like it’s somehow between her and me/treats.

    • um, how do I keep myself together? that’s a good question! I normally just fall apart ;o)

      you can always email your internet friends, though! and polka dots? would more polka dots help?
      always sending you {{internet hugggs}}

      • Are you encouraging me to send all of my money to Kate Spade? Because those polka dot purses are awesome!

  11. Does anyone know of a good online site where we corporettes can list clothing and accessories (too good to donate, too small to fit!) to sell, like an online yard sale but for fashionistas? I don’t have many consignment stores in my area and I am hesitant to use other traditional auction sites. Any tips would be greatly appreciated!

  12. Does anyone know of a good online site where we ladies can list clothing and accessories (too good to donate, too small to fit!) to sell, like an online yard sale but for fashionistas? I don’t have many consignment stores in my area and I am hesitant to use other traditional auction sites. Any tips would be greatly appreciated!

    • In the Pink :

      didn’st someone set up a rehash thing? I went and registered right away, but there wasn’t much listed – yet.

      • That’s what I sorta remembered too- that we ‘rettes had something set up?

    • a passion for fashion :

      depends on how good stuff is, but you can consign on line at therealreal dot com. their big draw is very high end, but you can also consign stuff that is not gucci, prada etc.

    • Check out Threadflip – I think I actually heard about it on this website, but they seem like a good option. I’ve been toying with the idea of listing some of my clothes there but haven’t pulled the trigger yet. If you have a lot of items you may want to look at their “white glove” service, which styles, takes photos and lists everything for you. Good luck!

      • I’m thinking of selling businesswear — think suits and blazers with plenty of life in them, but I’m just done with them.

        Do you think a more fashiony site like ThreadFlip would be good, or just do the ebay thing?

    • Take a look at I’m thinking of trying it out.

      • what’s with the “cant even look at copious dot com without going through facebook” stuff?

        damn people, stop gathering marketing data

    • Sugar Magnolia :

      There are many, many more people looking for clothing on Ebay than anywhere else. The bigger the audience, the higher the bids will go. Therefore, I prefer Ebay. I haven’t had any experience selling anywhere else though, so I am anxious to hear about those who actually sold things elsewhere.

  13. Legally Brunette :

    Frantically looking for some help from the Bay Area contingent…

    I need to find a venue ASAP in the South Bay/San Jose, CA for an Indian religious/cultural ceremony that can accommodate about 130 people. The ceremony is one to celebrate the mom-to-be (me!) and bless the unborn child. It would be ideal if the hall could be connected to an Indian restaurant, for purposes of the catering. Not looking for a hotel, more like a banquet hall or a hall that is part of a community center. I haven’t lived in the Bay Area for 10 years so am really out of touch to what is around.

    ANY ADVICE would be super appreciated. TIA.

    • An Indian friend had her wedding reception at Mirage Palace in Fremont and really liked it. They don’t provide food, however. Her brother’s reception was at Chandhi in Newark. It was smaller, but still nice and I think they provided the food. My friends are Punjabi/Sikh, and I think the food at Chandhi was Punjabi (other functions going on at the same time seemed to also be Sikh).

    • It was 5 years ago, but a good friend had her mehndi at Chandni Restaurant in Newark, and her wedding reception at Flamingo Palace in Fremont, and I think there were easily that many people. Both venues were nice and the food was delicious.

    • Here Comes the Guide is a good website for events venues. It’s focused on wedding venues, but might be helpful. Congrats!

    • karenpadi :

      I’m not an expert on Indian cuisine but I have been to Mayuri restaurant in Santa Clara (next door to San Jose) where there’s always a large group in the banquet hall.

  14. I’ve missed the comments for the last few days, so apologies if this has already been said, but congratulations to Kat on being featured as an expert on business appropriate attire in the October issue of Real Simple!!!! Great advice as always.

    • Ooh, I guess I need to pick up that issue. Real Simple is often my grocery store “treat me” impulse buy. I really ought to just get a subscription.

      • Real Simple is my airport pick me up. I held off getting a subscription because with two moves this year the changes of address seemed like too much of a hassle, but I really have no reason now.

        • Likewise. I used to have a subscription but cancelled it when I started moving around…I think it is time to pick that up again!

          • Sugar Magnolia :

            Kat should use her clout with Real Simple to get a discount for readers of her blog. That would be awesome!

          • I love Real Simple–the one magazine a month I actually manage to read. It satisfies my need for a home decor magazine, a cooking magazine, a fashion magazine, a fitness magazine, and a lifestyle magazine all in one.

            And now it has Kat!

          • Second to the reader discount! Kat, sounds like you have an audience to deliver!

  15. cakestyle? :

    Has anyone used cakestyle? What are your thoughts? Trying to decide if I should try it out…

    • I just got an email from them. Deleted because I refuse to pay full price for most clothing, and I enjoy the actual shopping process – I’d miss it just receiving boxes of stuff.

      Anyway, here’s a positive comment that I remembered I’d seen mentioned on here before – here was the comment from back in March:
      I work with Kait at cakestyle .com. You have a phone consultation and the she sends you a box and a video of how to style the clothes in the box. I think it is AWESOME! She has sent me work and weekend clothes, and seems to really “get” me, despite never having met. You can see my video here: cakestyle .com/jennbuntin. I ended up getting the lace dress, black dress, black skirt, cream shell, and pink pants. I also asked for a “birthday box” with something to wear for my March birthday brunch, and ended up purchasing 2 dresses and a silk blouse from that mini-box. HTH

    • Sweet as Soda Pop :

      This is probably too late for you to see this, but I do use CakeStyle (Kait is my stylist), and I LOVE it. However, if you’re not willing to pay upwards of $200/piece, it probably isn’t worth it for you, since they don’t seem to have a lot of budget-conscious clothing items.

      • Sweet as Soda Pop :

        And I just realized that the comment copied from above is me… Whoops!

  16. Does anyone know where I could find Steve Madden Adeson boots? I didn’t buy them when they were at 6pm but now I can’t find them ANYWHERE. They must have been really popular…you would think they’d make more if they are all sold out! If they are truly gone does anyone know of any cool flat button boots I could console myself with?

  17. anonforthis :

    I posted this at the tail end of yesterday’s morning thread. Reposting in hopes of more traffic. Thanks so much to those who responded so thoughtfully yesterday. You had me in tears. I can’t talk to anyone IRL about this.

    Hi ladies. I need your excellent advice.
    So, over time, I’ve come to the realization that my husband has periodic bouts of depression. Mostly mild. Once in our 14-year marriage it got pretty bad, when he was in a bad spot with his job. He was much better immediately when he switched jobs. I have suggested therapy/raising it with his PC doc from time to time, but he has always been adamantly against that. I think he was afraid to admit he had a problem and he didn’t want to feel weak. He will only rarely discuss it with me and in pretty vague terms. Also he has this idea that mental health problems are all in your head and you should be able to snap out of it, and he thinks mental health professionals are quacks (to be fair we have a few in our extended family that happen to be rather unstable and I think this has colored his view), and he doesn’t want to go on meds. There is a lot of serious mental illness in his family (bipolar, serious depression, etc).
    Now, he’s fallen into another bad depression. He cheated on me a few months ago. It was just one incident, only got as far as making out (ugh writing that out makes me want to vomit), and he confessed the whole thing to me a week later because he couldn’t live with himself. It wasn’t something he was seeking out, but a close friend came onto him aggressively, and he didn’t do the right thing. That doesn’t make it okay. I know all about the tendency to blame the other person, and he’s not doing that. He definitely blames himself, to the point of self-loathing. For various reasons I’m not going to go into here, I am 100% sure he’s telling me the truth. We’re working things out. I insisted on marriage counseling, and he agreed. I think he was already mildly depressed before this incident, and probably that had something to do with how he let himself get into this situation, but now he’s really bad. He’s at least admitting he’s really depressed and that he “has issues” he needs to deal with. He seems to actually be looking forward to the counseling as a way to sort out how this happened and to improve our marriage (which actually we both considered pretty good with some minor issues from time-to-time before this incident).
    I am really worried about him and hoping he can get some help for his depression through the marriage counseling (we start next week with an MSW/LCSW we found through our church’s resources – not a pastor, but our church has a network of professionals they refer people to). Like, I am sure it will come up that he is depressed and perhaps the therapist can nudge him toward getting help (maybe trying meds? I know the social worker can’t prescribe, but perhaps could suggest consulting with MD). Does this sound like something that might actually happen? I have no experience to guide me here. Does anyone else have other suggestions for how I might help him get help when he’s resisting (but I think his resistance is wearing down and he’s close to accepting that he needs to do something proactive)?

    Also, we have small children 8 months to 8 years, in case that makes a difference.

    Read more:

    • Well, the positive spin is that he is finally connecting with the help it sounds like he needs. The therapist will likely present several options for treatment that may include meds. He may decide to try some other methods before trying meds, or he may want to try medication in addition to these other things. Some people see relief very quickly from medication and helps bring them back to a “normal” baseline. Medication/treatment for mental illness is like medication/treament for any other physical issue and it’s a shame there is such a stigma. I would definitely pitch counseling as a team effort for working on your marriage. Part of his contribution will be dealing with his own issues.

    • I have found that choice of words can have a powerful impact. When my father resisted treated his depression, I found just talking about his “bad mood” and how it was affecting his life was more helpful. Now he is taking a medicine that helps/stabilize his mood…. he can deal with that.

      Sometimes if he refuses to do it for himself, you have to ask him to do it for you… because it is affecting you profoundly. Often that fails though.

      It is great you are going to start therapy. Therapy often works as well as meds, but it can take a long time. However, it also sounds like your husband may have a genetic tendency towards depression, so I suspect he needs individual counseling and meds to treat his problem. But I agree that marriage counseling is a great doorway to convincing him to get treated.

      Also, when my father got bad and refused help, I simply called his primary care doctor on my own and asked him to bring it up at the next appointment. A good doctor, just by asking a few questions in an appointment, can easily bring up the topic of depression…. often in a non-threatening way. Sometimes depression manifests also in disrupted sleep, eating, memory/concentration difficulties, difficulty at work etc… and my focusing on using a medicine to “treat all of these issues” is often easier for some folks to accept. It helped my Dad, who was started on a med.

      Good luck to you, and hang in there.

  18. Diana Barry :


    I feel like cr*p – this is my second day of being sick. Yesterday I was tummy-sick and today I have a fever and I still can’t eat anything except chicken broth and rice krispies. :( And I feel bad bc the house is a mess and I can’t take care of the kids properly. AND I feel bad that I am missing work (eg billable hours). ARGH.

    • Oh, boo! Hope you feel better soon. Remember that you’ll be much better able to take care of the other stuff (kids, house, work) after you’ve rested and let your body take care of itself.

    • Ugh, I’m sorry!! I am so bad at being sick… but definitely try to think about letting your body rest and heal itself, and that you don’t need to feel guilty about that. Easier said than done, of course, but really, your white blood cells are doing a LOT of work killing all the nasty virus cells running around in there! So, your body is definitely not being lazy! ;o)

      Sending you healthy thoughts, hope you feel better soon!

    • Keep reminding yourself that you’re being smart. You need to rest to nip this illness in the bud. You could work yourself into the hospital…

    • Oh honey, I could have written this. For me it’s been two days of miso soup and tea. The worst part is, I seem to be running out of food-poisoning-free lunch options.

      //Godzilla RAWR//

      //Kanye shrug//

  19. Gift-receiving threadjack. Do you ever talk to a gift giver about not liking/using what they gave you? I would never be anything but gracious about getting a gift, but this is a situation where the person meant so, so well but was incredibly off base, and the gift was expensive and will be hard to return, if we go that route (think something you could get from Amazon that was purchased for more money off an obscure website that probably charged an arm and a leg for shipping). This situation has a high likelihood of repeating itself because of our relationship to the gift giver (it was a joint gift to my husband and me), which is why we want to figure out if there’s something we can or should do. It just seems like such a waste of money.

    We had briefly discussed gift ideas when asked by the gift giver, but she decided to get this other awesome thing that she found rather than something that we mentioned.

    • If the gift-giver is a relative, the task falls to the spouse related to him/her, or an intermediary… for instance, if the gift came from a maternal aunt, you’d ask your mother to talk with her.

    • Ugh, I struggle with this too. My family is pretty open about stuff like this. If you don’t like it or want it in a different color, it’s perfectly fine to say so to the gift giver. We all want the other person to like and use what we gave them. There is a limit, you don’t want to be nit picking *every* gift you get, but in general, we all take it in stride.

      My husband’s family would be mortified. They routinely get him clothing items that are too small. I am always glad when it’s something like Land’s End that I can exchange for the right size, but he’s got at least 3 sweaters in his closet he’s never worn.

      So basically, it depends on whether this person is going to be upset that you are unhappy with their gift, or glad that you want to be able to use their gift often. If they’re going to be upset, I’d say you have to suck it up and maybe use it briefly before giving it away or regift to someone who would appreciate it more.

      I had a friend who I thought was a lost cause. She’d spend a small fortune on gifts that looked cheap or were just not my style. I eventually suggested we both “register” at crate and barrel because we both liked stuff there, and she was hard to shop for too. It worked out. We both got stuff we loved and wouldn’t buy for ourselves after that.

      • I agree with the comment that it depends on the personality of the person. Some people would genuinely like to get you the “right” gift, and don’t mind if you make suggestions/return something. If the relationship permits this, by all means do so. Also, if this is someone you regularly gift, ask him/her for suggestions and buy only from that list. It might help set a precedent!

        However, there’s also the opposite personality who would be mortified and/or insulted by any thought that you dislike the gift. If the giver falls in this category, I’d worry less about your feelings of “wasted money.” Giving you the gift made them happy, and they are willing to spend that amount on you. Either try to enjoy it the best you can, and if that’s impossible (it doesn’t fit with your home or life style) try to pass the item on to someone who you know would love it. The latter will also make you feel better :)

    • Is it something others might want? If so, eBay.

    • I don’t have any advice, but am sympathetic. Last year for Christmas, my MIL got us a gigantic copper cat on a stake to stick in our yard. She prefaced the gift with, “I know that you guys don’t like tchotchkes or yard art, and that this is totally not your style, but I saw it and loved it so I decided to get it for you anyway.”


      • MaggieLizer :

        Those are the worst kinds of gifts because now every time she comes to your house, she’ll guilt you about not displaying it. My mother totally does that. Think angel figurines. Shudder. I’ve seriously considered getting a roommate just so I can blame someone else when I don’t put out all the old lady stuff my mom gives me.

        • lawsuited :

          I don’t keep, and therefore can’t display, weird decorative gifts. I love my family and friends, and I have pictures of them displayed all over our house, but it’s of primarily importance that I feel comfortable in my own home, ya know?

          (Also, the gifters in my life have figured this out and tend not to give me decorative gifts anymore. Phew!)

      • Anne Shirley :

        Do you live near that side of the family? Cause I’d have all kinds of fun sticking that in other people’s lawns by cover of night. Just think- you could costume it for holidays and everything!

      • no advice…but i have been in a similar situation, so i’ll be watching the comments.
        my MIL has gifted me really (IMO) expensive and non-returnable jewelry a couple of times, but the items are just not my taste. one time i considered telling her that the item was too indulgent, but it didnt seem right. is there a way to graciously decline/return?

        • Nope. Thank her graciously and regift. If she asks, you don’t know what happened to it.

      • If I had a brother I’d assume your MIL is my mother. She totally takes only her own tastes into account when purchasing gifts. On the upside, her gifts are great for including in white elephant exchanges.

      • I find that almost a little rude, especially if she expects you to keep it/display it. I’d be tempted to dress it in a little outfit, wrap it up, and regift it to her next Christmas!

    • I can very much relate to this problem, my mom is totally like this (gets expensive things that just don’t fit our lifestyle) and worse, often calls me afterwards to ask how much I’m using/enjoying said ridiculous thing. I’ve tried a multi-pronged approach: 1) brainstorming and then dropping hints about types of gifts that I would like receive and she would also enjoy shopping for (I’ve strongly suggested fancy food items, because since they’re consumable they don’t hang around the house eternally), 2) keeping things for a while and then reselling them on craigslist or so whenever we move (selling it makes me feel less guilty about the wasted money, and 3) when she’s following up with me about something that’s expensive and just totally wrong, I will occasionally tell her that it’s not working, and why. That’s difficult and uncomfortable for all involved, so I do it very rarely.

    • No real advice, just sympathy! My dad is a legendary bad gift giver. He is well known for saying, “I want to get [recipient] something she wouldn’t get herself!” For example, a few years ago he gave my mom – who has extremely traditional, conservative taste – a fuchsia suede jacket. She was horrified.

    • Thanks for all the advice and commiseration. The items that we received are just things we will not use. It’s like Charlotte’s yard ornament example…exempt we don’t even have a yard, which I am sure the gift giver knows, but didn’t stop to think about it. Lucky for me, if we decide to say anything at all, it’s my husband’s family, so he’s the one that has to do it.

  20. Diana Barry :

    Hmm. I can’t tell if I posted or not. Just a rant!

    I feel like cr*p – this is my second day of being sick. Yesterday I was tummy-sick and today I have a fever and I still can’t eat anything except chicken broth and rice krispies. :( And I feel bad bc the house is a mess and I can’t take care of the kids properly. AND I feel bad that I am missing work (eg billable hours). ARGH.