Coffee Break – Soho Croc-Effect Leather 2013 Diary

Smythson Soho croc-effect leather 2013 diaryI usually can resist the allure of high priced notebooks and calendars, but hello: gorgeous, gorgeous notepad from Smythson. Love that electric purple hue, the light-blue paper, and the suggestion that you display it proudly on your desk. (Although: I do wish it were a reusable cover instead of a diary, similar to these composition book covers. Also, FWIW, Smythson makes a clutch in this exact same color.) It’s a bit of a splurge – $305 at Net-a-Porter. Smythson Soho croc-effect leather 2013 diary

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Comments

  1. phillygirlruns :
  2. Charlotte :

    Early TJ — my apologies. So there is an Ulta opening up in my local mall, and I’m not sure whether to get excited or not. I’m not really that familiar with it, except that I guess it’s kind of Sephora-like. Do you all have any recommendations for products there? Would love to hear from you. Thanks!

    • I really, really like Ulta. I found that their foundation was great for my skin, their double duty line (foundation plus primer.) I started using Ulta products after receiving one of those eyeshadow gift sets last Christmas, and then switched everything I used to Ulta, eyeliner, mascara, all of it. I’m happy :)

    • Maddie Ross :

      I do not have an Ulta in my town, but have been to several when I’ve traveled and really like them. What’s great about them versus Sephora is that it has a mix of drugstore level and name brand cosmetics. It also has some drugstore level products that I almost never seen in drugstores and normally need to find on amazon or drugstore . com. It also seems less, maybe the word is juvenile, than sephora. I love many of the brands sephora sells, but I always seem to feel like a teen with a credit card there. And I find their sales people a little pushy, but without great makeup skills themselves. Ulta is less hectic to browse.

    • We just got Ulta, too! I buy my hair and nail products there, so I’m happy I can do that locally.

    • Round Two... :

      I love Ulta. They have some of the high-end stuff that Sephora has, but they also have a comprehensive selection of all the drug store brands, so it’s one stop shopping. And they seem to re-stock often, so I don’t worry about whether they’ll have my hair color or particular mascara in stock – way better than CVS. Definitely sign up for their loyalty card – I don’t go that often and I seem to get $5 off every other time, plus they have great coupons.

      • Notalawyer :

        The loyalty card is great! And if you earn enough points, you can redeem for free facials (and other services).

    • My town recently got an Ulta and I really like it. The store-brand stuff is solid and I like that they have a mixture of low- and high-end stuff. And Ulta has more coupons than Sephora if you sign up for its version of beauty insider.

    • Charlotte :

      Thanks, all, for responding. I’ll have to check it out. I tend to get a little overwhelmed (albeit excited at the same time) in a large cosmetics store, so if anyone else has some specific recommendations, I welcome them. Also, how is the expertise, typically, of the staff? Do they do makeup, consult with you in a knowledgeable manner, etc.?

      • Awful Lawful :

        This is a timely post. I had a makeup consultation there 2 weeks ago. I would give it a good and a bad review.

        Bad:
        1. They charge $30 for a makeup consultation, which I think is kind of lame considering most places do it for free, or provided that you purchase X amount of product. Then they ask if you want to leave an additional tip.
        2. I got talked into doing a “20 minute $20 facial.” This consisted of the woman washing my face with their skin care products, that she then recommended I buy. Not much of a facial.
        3. Before she started my makeup, I told her “I am a lawyer and really need to keep my makeup pretty conservative because I have to appear in court frequently.” Somehow she interpreted that to mean that I would appreciate BLUE liquid eyeliner with dramatic wings at the end and BLUE mascara. I had no words.

        Good:
        1. The consultant was VERY nice.
        2. She did recommend great foundation (Smashbox BB cream), blush (Tarte), and finishing powder (also Tarte), which was a nice step up from my previous makeup routine.
        3. She also encouraged me to color in my brows and wear a darker lip color (Tarte lip stain in Envy), which is something I was not doing before but now LOVE.

        If I could do it again I would. But I would skip the “facial.”

    • I like Ulta and this may just be specific to my area (not a big or fashionable city), but check the expiration dates on everything with one. I’ve been to two stores in fairly major cities in my state and noticed that the sunscreen was years past its expiration date in both. I love Ulta for the nail polish selection but that made me wary about the skincare products.

  3. To tip or not to tip? :

    Ok, curious if I am out of line here:

    I work in a large gov’t agency. There is usually one person assigned to clean each floor. The woman assigned to my floor is Z. Z started with us in late November of last year. Come holiday time last December, I gave Z a holiday card with a tip. So did lots of others. Prior to Z, we always tipped the cleaning people at holiday time and our regular person was wonderful and someone many considered a friend. But here’ s the problem: Z just sucks! She is lazy, she spends more time on her iphone than on her duties, you have to ask her to do everything at least 3 times before it gets done and she never volunteers to do anything herself. She basically does the bare minimum all of the time. As a result, my office neighbor said she wasn’t going to be tipping Z at all this year. Would I be wrong to not tip also?? Part of me thinks that I shouldn’t because she does such a subpar job and tipping is supposed to be something extra for a job well done. But another part of me feels bad, esp. in light of the fact that I tipped last year when I still didn’t know her. We’re not talking about a large sum of money here. It’s more about the principle of the matter. What would you do?

  4. Is it possible to restore a leather coat? I have a dark brown smooth leather jacket (I’m thinking that you might call it a car coat style?) from Wilson’s that I’ve had for a l-o-n-g time, and it’s really showing a lot of wear. Mostly, the color has just worn away at places where it creases (i.e., my arms) and around the edges. I love the coat, but I think it’s past the point of “good” aged leather. I’d hate to get rid of it, and the overall structure is still pretty good (plus it’s very warm). It’s just the color that looks bad, really.

    • It might be. You could take it to a dry cleaner or maybe a cobbler? If any Wilson’s still exist near you, they used to offer refurbishment services.

    • Merabella :

      This may just sound silly, but can you get it polished like shoes?

      • Meg Murry :

        That was my thought too – could you try in on an inconspicuous worn off spot first, if there is one? My husband has also “fixed” some spots on an older leather coat with sharpie – he only wears it as his “working in the yard” coat now, but unless you are eye to eye with it, you really can’t see the repairs.

      • I had thought about that, but I’m afraid that it wouldn’t work well because of the extent of the wear (I think that the polish would just sink into the cracks in the color and be obvious, as they’re pretty large cracks). Of course, if I’d started doing that 5 years ago, that might have been a better option.

    • Leather honey. Seriously, check it out on amazon.

  5. Research, Not Law :

    Very pretty notebook, but I don’t know what I’d use it for.

    Can anyone recommend a forgiving yet attractive dress for a pear shape with large cup size? Need to refresh my Thanksgiving dress. Dressy casual. Preferably at Nordstroms, but I have most brick and mortar stores available. Hopefully around $100-150, size 6.

  6. Did Kat just recommend a $300 notebook? Made of “croc-effect” leather????????? NOT EVEN REAL CROCODILES?????? WHY IS THIS SO EXPENSIVE? This is NOT a bit of a splurge. Not. Nope.

    *I have no desire to own real crocodile leather anything, although I do purchase mainstream leather products.

  7. What other blogs/websites (no style/OTD) do you read on a regular basis? I have my regulars (here, the news, longform, a few style/celeb gossip blogs) but I don’t have the time or the inclination to sift through thousands of random websites to find a few more good ones.

    • You mean in general (not ones necessarily geared to the same subjects as this one)? Oh, boy, way too many.

      Althouse; Slate; Instapundit; Above the Law (which is terrible and I always feel dirty, yet I go back); Cracked; CNN; AdviceGoddess; and The Volokh Conspiracy are probably my biggest vices. I’m sure that there are others, though those could be a full time job on their own. Althouse and this site are my top 2, multiple times a day sites, which is funny, since they have basically nothing in common (other than both being more about the comments than the content – that’s probably the connection, now that I think about it).

    • Young House Love, Making it Lovely, Life in the Fun Lane, Bower Power.

      • Merabella :

        I LOVE Young House Love, and I check it out often, but not daily. I also love Tom & Lorenzo (their recaps of Mad Men and Revenge are amazing, and I can’t wait for Downton Abbey to start back so I can read those too), Capitol Hill Style (I kind of like that she is snarky), Rock Star Diaries & Ain’t No Mom Jeans. I have no kids, but I love the style of the ladies at Rock Star Diaries and Ain’t No Mom Jeans.

        • No kids either. Ain’t No Mom Jeans and Rock Star Diaries are great and bookmarked now. Love their style and I want the Thanksgiving dresses.

    • MacKaylaLane :

      smittenkitchen if you don’t already

      thepioneerwoman as well

    • Temptalia.com for anyone interested in makeup.

    • Jenna Rink :

      Some of my favorites that haven’t been mentioned yet are LaineyGossip, Here Be Hippogriffs and Mimi Smartypants. I also love Cap Hill Style (because of, not despite, her snark) and Smitten Kitchen.

    • Senior Attorney :

      New York Times, Slate, Salon, Television Without Pity, FACEBOOK, You Look Fab. Those are my main ones. And I love Suri’s Burn Book!

    • My go to blogs:

      Cap Hill Style, Annie’s Eats, Fit Sugar, Above the Law, Suri’s Burn Book.

    • I have a blog about cooking. A lot of it is make-ahead. It’s still in its infancy, but I know some of you guys are particularly interested on how to get food on the table when working long hours—it might be useful to you.

      http://mealssquared.com

      I’m a regular reader but don’t usually post with my blog address in my handle. And now I shall go back to being anonymous.

    • TheChive.com and TheBerry.com!

    • I always enjoy gofugyourself for a good laugh.
      Not into sports at all, but grantland dot com sometimes has fantastic articles on very random topic (and I can only imagine it’s even better if you actually care about sports since you’ll be interested in a lot more of it than me)
      The hairpin dot com (more for specific features though, like ask a clean person, etc.)
      Letters of Note dot com
      Also – if you have a tablet or a smartphone, there’s an awesome free app called Zite that will basically find cool stuff based on your interests. You can thumbs up/down stuff you like/dislike so your recommendations get ever more on point. It’s really great for finding cool stuff online and articles, etc., that you may otherwise have missed.
      One more I’d throw out if you like long reads is pulitzer.org – you can read past winners and they are almost all wonderful and fantastic. I found this site when I took a class on PP winning journalism and I was amazed by how many fascinating stories there are out there, esp. from smaller publications I may never otherwise have read.

  8. Just thought I’d post to say I’m re-committing to the mission of my tumblr (:-P) and I’ve posted a couple of my shopping missions today and will hopefully post a couple more tonight. So if you have submitted any recently check back soon — and feel free to submit more. :-)

  9. Meg Murry :

    Oh, I love the look of this planner, but there’s no way I could justify spending that much on a planner for one year. I don’t even know if I could let myself spend that much on a refillable one. Also, it crunches Saturday & Sunday smaller than the other days of the week- a pet peeve of mine, as I often have a lot to write on those days as well (If I’m going to an event, like a wedding, I like to be able to write the address down right next to the event, sometimes even directions as well.) I do like that it has a notes page next to the calendar though – I find that easier than a separate “to-do” list on a different page or daily.

    Anyone have a perfect paper planner they’d like to promote? Or a program that prints nice, useable calenders from google calendar events or similar? I can order one from work, but I haven’t found one I like well enough to use all year. I prefer refillable pages, so I can add blank pages and only have one notebook/planner to carry at a time.

    • Maddie Ross :

      I have a Moleskein planner that I really like. Each day is the same size, split up across one page of the planner, and the facing page is completely blank. This works really well for me as I use it for lists for both work and personal purposes. I have a mini-sized one so it fits in my purse more easily, but think I am buying one size up for the coming year to have more room to write. Plus I think the Moleskein looks classy. I’m all for girly stuff (I have a pink sparkly iphone cover), but it seems more professional to pull out my black Moleskein in the courtroom.

      • +1 for Moleskein. I no longer use a paper planner but was religious about this brand until I switched to an electronic schedule. I still use their notebooks all the time. It’s a cult, I swear!

      • anon in tejas :

        I used a mole skin before I went electronic. I kinda miss it! It was always super classy.

    • Merabella :

      I adore my Russel + Hazel planner that I bought at the Container store a few years ago. They have refill pages, and you can do month/week/daily. I also like that you can add notes pages.

    • I love my Circa refillable notebook from Levenger. Their calendar refill is vertical format, with a week spanning two days. You won’t like that Saturday and Sunday are squished; but each gets half a column. The paper is nice weight, and I can use my fountain pen without fear of bleedthrough.

      The other thing I like is that you can swap different fillers in an out, so for 2013 I’ve got a calendar section, a notes section, and a todo list section. Plus since it fits into their system, I only need to put a few months of the year into the notebook at any given time. I rarely plan 6 months in advance, so that is helpful.

      Anyways, I sound like a shill for Levenger, but I love the system and it’s really worked for me. I’m on a get organized jag, and it seems to be helpful.

      • Meg Murry :

        I currently use a Circa, and I print out pages from my corporate email. I am a bit of a Levenger addict too, I just wondered if there was something even better and more amazing out there that I didn’t know about. The printed out pages work ok, I think I might just need to get a ream of heavier weight paper to use instead of standard copy paper, as flimsy paper tends to fall out, especially if I drop my planner a few times too many in a day. Maybe I just need to splurge on a new Circa cover, since I already invested in the rings & punch. Hmm, I wonder if my boss will let me expense it, since they do buy Franklin Covey for other people and I know those aren’t cheap. Hmmmm …..

      • Do you know of any systems that are like Circa, but a little cheaper? I do terrible with notepads and loose leaf paper, so I need a way to take notes and then be able to re-arrange them by subject. Circa seemed to be a good solution but it seems a tad pricey. I guess I could use a binder, but it doesn’t strike me as super professional.

        • Meg Murry :

          I found a compatible disc system on clearance at Staples or Office Max a few years ago – I think the brand was Rolla or Rollabind. A quick glance at DIY planner dot com (where I first learned of circa) shows other disc systems – Rollabind, Staples ARC and a CVS generic – but I don’t know if they are compatible with each other or not. Be aware that if you want to remove & re-arrange more than 1x you’ll want to use sturdy paper – regular printer paper doesn’t hold up to being put in & taken out multiple times.

  10. Mountain Girl :

    TJ: If you wear turtleneck sweaters how to you keep your makeup from transferring to the top of the turtleneck along the fold? Do I need to do something different or try another brand?

  11. LIfe/Career change? UPDATE :

    This is an update to my post a few weeks ago asking for advice with trying to decide if I should stay at a job I really love, doing work I love, at a nice, stable firm with a good supervisor and lots of support and decent money, to work with my husband at his very rapidly growing business (all of this shortly after returning from maternity leave). As most of you pointed out, I was leaning towards leaving the firm and was geniunely excited to help husband grow his company.

    I had an honest discussion with my supervisor last week and indicated to him that I wanted to be up front and tell him that I was going to be leaving the firm and it was a hard decision and I would be happy to do whatever they needed to make the transition go well, including stick around for a while or phase down slowly. He was sad I was leaving but after I explained the situation, he agreed it was the right thing for me.

    Since then, the consultant who helped the firm while I was on maternity leave (on my recommendation) and I sat down and came up with a proposal to share my job and the firm accepted it! So I will work part time at the firm, doing the aspects of my job I love, and she will work part time, doing other parts of the job that fit her strengths more closely. I’m obviously losing benefits and taking a pay cut, but I will keep the position and the relationships I’ve built here, while I work with my husband in a growing company.

    The arrangement is temporary, until they can find someone to fill the position full-time, but they have indicated there isn’t a big hurry to “fill the seat” because they are happy with the coverage and skills of the consultant and I.

    I just wanted to say that I think I owe those of you who post here a big thank you. I’ve read so many of these “dreams come true if you work hard” stories and really enjoyed the “if you think you’re worth it, someone else will too” attitude people here convey and I think that mentality has put me in the position where I felt comfortable asking for the best of both worlds and really believing it could happen.

    That being said – any tips from anyone who job shares? We have a project list we will both update daily and have divided up a lot of the tasks, but some of it is just going to fall into whoever’s lap happens to pick up the phone or be in the office on a certain day so I’d love to hear some strategies for success in job sharing.

    • Thanks for the update! I thought your original question was interesting and it’s great to hear how you’ve come up with a transition plan to get you to where you want to go. (And this is good inspiration for me to go after making some changes I’ve been thinking about in my own work set-up.)

    • Congratulations! This sounds like the best of both worlds — go you!

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Awesome! Thanks for the update.

    • Great news, OP life/career change. No tips on the job share but it sounds like you crafted a good solution.

  12. Hey ladies,
    First things first: I adore this color!
    Secondly, I have a silly but persistent “problem” (i say that because maybe it’s not really a problem and I should just let it go). My dear, wonderful, handsome, husband chews his food with his mouth open. He also talks with his mouth full of food. His table manners in general are not great, but this one thing in particular gets to me…especially when he actually sprays me with bits of food when he’s speaking. We’ve been together for 10 years, and this has always bothered me but I’ve never figured out how to say something without sounding rude. We don’t have kids yet, but i’m slightly worried that they will pick up on this and do it too! But that’s not really my issue…mostly it’s just kinda icky and it bothers me and I wish he would stop. Any creative ideas for how to say something or fix this without insulting him??? Or you can tell me that I should just let it go and be thankful for all his wonderful qualities (which I truly am- I love him).

    thanks ‘rettes!

    • I would just say something. He’s probably going to ask why you did not say anything before (I would). I would recommend not bringing it up while you are eating, but at a different time. Is there a chance he has some breathing issue when he can only breath through his mouth? But yes, say something.

    • I mean this nicely: it’s generally a bad idea to use hypothetical kids to gain moral weight in arguments. Your kids will pick up reasonable table manners at worst and probably shout “Say it, dad! Don’t spray it!”rather than go the other way. But making this For The Children is giving it more power than it deserves. As is waiting ten years to bring stuff like this up.

      If he is spitting on you, then say “careful, you’re spitting on me”. Eventually he will do it less. Grand pronouncements are overkill here.

    • How have you survived ten years with this? I would have said something by now. But I’m blunt like that… my bf and I have been together for five years and just the other day I forced a mint on him because his breath was awful. He was slightly offended when he asked if his breath was bad or something and I confirmed, but then took a second mint. He was glad I was ballsy enough to point it out.

      But yeah, you can certainly point out if he’s spitting food at you. Nicely, in whatever way works for you. I would say something jokingly, like “Hey babe, you’re supposed to swallow that, not spray it at me! Is my cooking that bad? [laugh].” Do what works for your personality, but definitely mention it, or you’ll find yourself old and disgusted and disgruntled (see every sitcom involving retired persons for examples).

      • Haha, okay, thanks. He’s a quiet guy, so he’s often not talking that much at any time, including eating. Maybe that’s why it’s not so terrible? I’ll say something. Thanks!

  13. Every time I see purple croc (embossed or not) anything, I think of Kat.

    And another C*p*rette commenter gets her wings.

    Or a Birkin bag.

    Or a JSFAMO mug.

  14. Last Minute Black-Tie :

    I’ve received an invite to a black-tie event through my work that I very much want to go to. I don’t, however, own a floor-length dress that would be appropriate to wear among coworkers, and don’t have enough time to shop for one. I was thinking of wearing something along the lines of the dress in the link below (with shoulders on the lace that almost resemble cap sleeves, no sparkles, and decidedly knee-length on me (i.e. not above-the-knee like on the model)). Thoughts? I think it’s appropriate, particularly as I’m on the younger side (read: under 30), and probably won’t be expected to have a closet full of floor-length gowns just yet…

    http://www.bonton.com/shop/women/dresses-social-occasion/little-black-dresses/adrianna-papell-beaded-lace-little-black-dress_553276.html?srccode=cii_10043468&cpncode=33-106114022-2

  15. emcsquared :

    ACK! I have been running like a crazy person since 8 am Monday, and nothing on my to-do list has gotten checked off and I feel like I’m not actually doing anything productive. How to cope?!

    Every document I draft gets circulated to three higher ups who want a million plus one edits and ask a bunch of follow up questions, so every “finish” turns into another to-do list, and then a bunch of phone calls are scheduled so even my “get stuff done” time goes away. I’m not saying it’s unnecessary – I think the edits and suggestions are valuable. I’m just having a hard time going home after a 15+ hour day and feeling like I’ve just spent my day digging deeper into a hole.

    • Meg Murry :

      that’s the point when I start putting things on my to-do list like “brush teeth” “shower” “eat lunch” so at least then I have SOMETHING I can actually check off. I hate days when the to-do list growths at 2-3 x the rate items get done – I have no real advice I can offer, just commiseration

    • Research, Not Law :

      I’ve been having the same kind of week. I go to work, work, and yet nothing seems to be getting done because one thing needs to be reviewed by someone else, the next project is awaiting confirmation, something else was continually interrupted by awkwardly staggered meetings, yadda yadda yadda. So frustrating!

  16. SoCalAtty :

    Hi hive! I’ve been lurking but sick and getting over a nasty case of food poisoning, so no energy to comment. Slightly better today, but I have to say that I saw The Book of Mormon over the weekend and it was hilarious. I’m currently listening to the soundtrack while trying to get this discovery drafted. The Los Angeles cast was fantastic too!

    • I saw it 2 weeks ago and I loved it too! I didn’t buy the soundtrack, but I wish I had.

    • I saw it twice and seriously considered seeing it a third time before it leaves. I love Book of Mormon!

    • Senior Attorney :

      I love it, too! I saw it on Broadway and again in L.A. and it is totally my Favorite Broadway Musical of All Time!! I have the cast album memorized at this point! (It’s available at Amazon, Lalo, FYI! Probably iTunes, too!)

  17. Nice calendar, but I’m looking for a more expensive thing I can throw away every year.

  18. Or you could spend that same amount of money on a leather binder from Filofax for instance, and get a ton of inserts too, and even have money left to buy a printer + good quality paper and print your own inserts! They have very pretty purple models too :)

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