Wednesday’s TPS Report: Broadway Blend Encore Blazer

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

Broadway Blend Encore BlazerReaders continually sing the praises of Pendleton suits, and I like the look of this “encore” blazer, particularly in purple. I like the “superlight wool blend with a touch of stretch,” and the fact that it’s fully lined. The sale is good, too: it was $238, but is now marked to $118.99 at Pendleton (available in regulars and petites — and why yes, there is a matching skirt and pant). Broadway Blend Encore Blazer

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Comments

  1. momentsofabsurdity :

    Has anyone ever taken a TRX fitness class? I have my first class today and wondering if there is anything I should know going in or tips from people who have done it before.

    • Yes, and it is a HARD workout! Expect to be very sore tomorrow and the next day. I would take it a little easy your first time… you will feel like you can handle more body weight resistance, but unless you’re used to that type of workout, those little stabilizer muscles will not know what hit them.

      Also, I’d wear a close-fitting top. You will probably be in pushup position or otherwise at angles where people will be able to see up/down your shirt if it is loose, plus it makes it easier for the instructor to check your form.

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        Thanks for the tips! Considering I am pretty good at cardio and pretty awful at any sort of strength training, I’m kind of nervous. But I really want to up my game this year and get stronger/more toned — hopefully this will help!

      • +1. I did it once. It is crazy hard. I was sore for almost a week afterward.

    • Love TRX! It is one that can be adjusted for how fit you are. It is challenging, but you can adjust the difficulty of the exercises. I really enjoyed it!

      I second wearing a close fitting top!

    • By the date, I see that you’ve probably already taken your class. I hope you liked it. I love TRX!! (So much so that I bought one for home, but I am not easily motivated to work out by myself.) I used to drive 45 minutes each way to a TRX class.

      My advice would be to give it several tries. It’s hard, but if you have a good trainer, you can go at your own pace and adjust your angles for your body weight and strength. Unfortunately, it doesn’t get easier very quickly, BUT you’ll see results, especially to your core, really fast!!

  2. Does anyone know of a good source for nice hair combs? I would like to start putting my hair up using combs but am not sure where to get nice, non-fragile ones if possible. Thanks all!

  3. Threadjack: I’m considering joining CrossFit, an aerial gym, or some other alternative to kickstart my workout routine and get stronger/fitter. I’ve been a runner for 10 years and taking gymnastics for about 2 years (as an adult), so I’ve got a decent fitness base to start.

    What’s keeping me back is the price – the local crossfit gym looks like it’s around $90-130/month ($18-22/session), which seems awfully steep compared to a traditional gym. What’s the real difference? More personal direction from trainers? Is it worth it, as opposed to downloading the crossfit workouts off the internet and performing them at my own gym?

    TYIA.

    • phillygirlruns :

      disclaimer: i’ve long since drank the crossfit koolaid.

      i pay $150/mo for my crossfit gym, and it’s completely and totally worth it. however, the quality of affiliates varies widely, so really do your research – look at their programming if you can (most gyms post each day’s workouts on their websites/blogs), compare a few local affiliates if you’re able, etc. for me, what makes it worth the money is a combination of the quality of programming and instruction, and the community. i’ve been doing this for a little over a year and a half now, and i’ve made some of my best friends there while getting better at, quite literally, everything. i rarely run anymore unless it’s programmed into the workouts and yet i still demolished my prior 1-mile time by a good 30+ seconds. i’m stronger, faster, leaner, blah blah blah – and i got there because i got to work with quality coaches.

      performing the mainsite workouts on your own is an option but you won’t have the benefit of having someone teach you the movements, watch you perform them, let you know what you’re doing wrong or what you can improve, etc. i also think a lot of the mainsite stuff can be pretty crazy, especially when you’re just getting into it, and a coach will be able to help you figure out how to scale things appropriately depending on your goals.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      One of my good friends joined a CrossFit gym (she totally recommends it, though it seems too hard for me!) — it is REALLY expensive but she says, really worth it.

      She was generally fit – a runner, did a good amount of weight training, etc. Doing CrossFit 2-3x per week has caused her to noticeably bulk up (though not scarily/unattractively!) and I asked her about doing the workouts at home. She says the community aspect and trainer part really push her to work harder and be better than she is on her own at home. She’s definitely noticeably a lot stronger and fitter, and it also seems to be one of those workouts that’s really addictive.

      She did join a generally noncompetitive gym, so there are more women (her boyfriend is at a competitive gym that is primarily men). I think if she were interested in competing, it would be a LOT more money because she’d need to train every day rather than a couple times a week, and it’s already the biggest line item in her “discretionary expense” budget, she said.

    • I agree with phillygirlruns’ points – especially about finding a quality Crossfit affiliate. A couple of other considerations:

      – If you go frequently enough, your per-visit cost starts to drop to a much more reasonable $10-15 per visit.

      – I consider the extra money I pay Crossfit to be the “outsourcing” price — I don’t have to keep coming up with ideas about what to do and don’t have to check the mainsite and figure out what the movements are. Despite being a weightlifter for several years, a lot of Crossfit movements were new-ish to me.

      – Since everyone is doing a similar workout, the gym will have all the equipment you need in multiples. No more hassle over waiting for the equipment you want to free up or feeling annoyed about fellow gym-goers’ bad etiquette.

      • Edited to add: the per-visit cost dropping calculation assumes that you can buy an unlimited training plan.

      • Realistically, I’d like to supplement my existing training with Crossfit rather than dropping it entirely, so I don’t know that I’d get more than 2 workouts in a week (I’ve gymnastics 2x a week already and enjoy it way too much to give up). But that is a good point on the unlimited plan.

    • I haven’t tried Crossfit, but I’m seriously skeptical of it. People do get great results, there’s no doubt about that, but there have been many articles about how the lack of focus on form and the competitiveness can lead to injuries. This might not be quite as big of a concern for you since you have a good fitness base, but it’s something to watch out for. There’s also a sort of cult-like mentality to the whole thing, which turns me off but I know it motivates some people. I’d say you might as well get a personal trainer, which costs just about as much and you get more individualized attention.

      • CravingMusic :

        My Crossfit trainer was very careful to make sure that everyone used proper form.

      • Yes, be careful. My DH’s BFF got really into Crossfit and is now in *amazing* shape, but it really is cultish. They all motivate/push each other to do the set heavier/faster than before, and with all that adreneline pumping and your friends and coaches cheering you on, you can really do more than you ever thought possible, which is great. However, you also risk injuring yourself because this faster! heavier! exciting! you can do it! environment isn’t that conducive to listening to your body and its limitations. The BFF really hurt his wrist recently, two years into Crossfit, doing a powerlift and is now on a long break from Crossfit. DH got into Crossfit recently and loves it. He was a collegiate athlete, in pretty good shape to begin with, loves working out in teams, loves having a coach, and loves competing against his previous scores. He did a ramp-up series of classes that was even more expensive than the normal monthly fee, but started in a much smaller group in a series of classes that focused closely on form. I strongly recommend you do the same. He’s since “graduated” to the regular classes, and like BFF, aggravated something at Crossfit recently and has had to take a break from Crossfit. So, I’d suggest that if you’re interested, you do the ramp up series, then go only 2 or 3 days a week max, and really, really focus on form at all times. BFF and DH can’t wait to get back into the Crossfit gym. They love it.

    • I joined my local crossfit gym for 3 months before quitting. I attribute this mostly to the atmosphere of the gym, which was more…macho/fratty if I can describe it that way and I felt a little uncomfortable. I’m sure it didn’t help that there were not many women and the ones there did not happen to be that friendly. On the other hand, my best friend is near Boston and adores her crossfit gym – so the variation there can be pretty big.

      I did instead join equinox, where I found that many of hte interval/strength training fitness classes like tabata are similar to crossfit workouts (or left me feeling similar levels of soreness) and although they’re certainly not a complete replacement, I would say they’re similar, but on a less strenuous scale. I really like these and have decided to stick with equinox instead. It’s also expensive, like $120-150 a month.

    • Senior Attorney :

      You might also look into a small iindependent private gym. Here in the Los Angeles area you can’t swing a cat without hitting one of these, and I love mine. It’s small and they have “indoor boot camp” classes for a maximum of 12 people at a time, and private personal training sessions. Killer workout without the macho competitiveness that I’ve hard of from crossift. And we get a lot of individual attention. Cost is about the same as Crossfit, but it’s another alternative to think about.

  4. ooo I like the colour of this! I’ve been looking for a purple blazer to add to my collection but haven’t managed to find the right shade yet. This is probably not right either because I want something that’s more of a separate and would look good on jeans too but I love anything purple!

  5. Politics nerd over here: why can’t the States have PMQs? Listening to David Cameron waffle on Europe, so entertaining!

  6. Random remodel question – does anyone know a good place to buy bathroom vanities? I am redoing the bathrooms and my contractor has been pretty good about giving me vendor suggestions except for the vanities. It seems the options are either something super custom and very pricey, or very inexpensive and super low quality from Lowes or Home Depot. My google skills have totally failed me on this one, so I thought I’d ask you all.

    • Houston Attny :

      Not sure exactly what style you are looking for but if you haven’t actually checked out the ones at Lowes and Home Depot, you might be surprised. Some of them seem to be of a higher quality than others. If you have and you don’t like what you’ve seen, might a kitchen cabinet place also sell them?

      • Home Depot and Lowes sell Kraftmaid as well as their in stock cabinet options, so they have a range from semi-custom to cheap. Are you looking for a cabinet, sink & counter all sold as one? Or do you want to pick out your pieces individually? You can also look for a plumbing supply store – some of them have sinks, tubs, vanities, etc, or a place that specializes in countertops, solid surfaces or kitchen cabinets will probably have bathroom options as well. This is a time when the old fashioned yellow pages might serve you better than google.

        One other option to consider – in a master suite or bathroom that doesn’t need to be reached by kids, kitchen height cabinets are much more comfortable to use than typical bathroom vanity height cabinets – those couple inches really make a difference, and the price difference between shorter cabinets and taller ones is minimal.

        • Ditto Kraftmaid.
          Depending on your taste/style, Restoration Hardware’s stuff is good (winds up being competitively priced when you factor in countertops and sinks). I’m also a fan (multiple reno’s) of converting a nonprecious antique dresser into a sink vanity, if that is your style.

          Generally, look at tile and kitchen cabinet stores in your area. If you are in NJ/NY/CT, check out Green Demolitions too (high-end resale of reno stuff).

    • I should add where I’ve looked so far: Overstock, Wayfair, Costco, Amazon… I think those are the main ones…

      • In the Pink :

        Several years ago we ordered Kraft Maid cabinets from HDepot. Very happy with them and it’s daily use on our part. Just factor in the delivery time since you’re working with a contractor.

        Other people actually buy old dressers, cabinets etc. Probably also new ones.

    • Restoration Hardware has gorgeous, awesome, amazing ones. But $$$$$$.

    • We bought vanities from Home Depot and I don’t think they were “super low quality.” They have held up for the past 8 years without any scratches/marks/etc. The drawers still open and close smoothly, the hardware is still on tightly and looks new. And this is all with 3 kids who make a giant mess in their bathroom. We did not go with the cheapest, unfinished option, but rather one of the nicer sets. I would take another look over there and see if there is anything you like.

    • Restoration Hardware perhaps?

    • Diana Barry :

      Have gotten them from Lowe’s, Costco (really!) and a vanity place (that we had to go to). Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware also have them, although I am not sure of the quality. You are right, the ones at Home Depot are cr*ppy.

    • Try efaucets(dot)com. They have a great selection of quality pieces. But BEWARE, their return policy is extremely strict and customer service quickly went downhill when I needed to return something. I would only recommend ordering if you know for certain that you are going to keep the item.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Ours is from Strasser Woodenworks. We found the style we liked from their website and then googled around until we found the best price online. It has a lot of nice features like soft-closing doors, and i’s been 5 years and it still looks great.

    • We just got a Home Decorators Collection Catalog. I haven’t ordered from that company, but the catalog had a couple of vanities that I was looking at.

      • Home Decorators is owned by Home Depot — same stuff.

        Note that there is a LARGE difference in the in-stock/on the floor and “order only” stuff at HD and Lowe’s. The “order only” stuff is generally much better quality.

    • Our local semi-independent hardware store/lumber yard does cabinet orders. Meaning, they have folks on site to take orders and walk you through the displays and show you what is available from the manufacture and what must be custom.

      They are technically an Ace hardware, but you’d never guess it from how fancy it is inside. We just got a quote for our new bathroom cabinet and it was only about 50% more than the cheapest one we could find at Lowes (which was too ugly to consider putting anywhere…). The manufacturer was Schrock Cabinetry.

    • Restoration Hardware, Ethan Allen is getting in on it now, but I would really look around to see if you have any cabinet makers in your area that can make you something custom. For the price of what you are going to like, they can make something custom for the space with exactly the wood/counter and look that you want.

      Also Ikea. Their cabinetry looks pretty good, so long as you get solid wood and nothing that is veneer.

    • Praxidike :

      Ikea actually has some cute ones.

    • Thank you so much everyone for all your suggestions!! There are lots of places that I hadn’t thought about. I spent way more time than I’d like to admit today looking up several of your recommendations and have some good leads. One is a kitchen cabinet place, the other one is a plumbing store where they do custom cabinetry. I’m thinking I’ll also swing by HD and compare what these 2 places offer with KraftMaid. You ladies are awesome!

  7. Houston Attny :

    THANK YOU for your great money saving tips on yesterday’s Coffee Break thread. I’ve read your great advice and will check out the previous thread on this as suggested. Truly appreciated!

    • locomotive :

      I forgot to add my .02 that amazon price has been one of the biggest saving tools for me. It is $80 a year I believe (my first year I paid $40 to just upgrade my student prime membership with my college email). You can watch streaming video (I cancelled netflix for a few months for this), borrow a book every month on your kindle, and get 2day shipping on so many things (which meant fewer target and cvs runs for me). Even just cancelling netflix (I don’t have cable tv either) for 4 months made up for the first year’s prime payment.

  8. Early pregnancy TJ…

    I am 6 weeks pregnant, so a ways away from telling my coworkers. Tomorrow we have someone coming in to make a presentation to my whole team, and will be bringing box lunches for the whole group. My bet is that the box lunches will be sandwiches with some kind of lunch meat, which I’m not supposed to be eating right now. My question is how do I avoid eating the lunch without tipping people off?

    Also, next week I’m going to a conference with my boss and a sales guy from our office. We’re presenting at the conference, but the point of the trip is also to schmooze with people and try to pick up some more clients. Booze will be flowing. Any suggestions for being social and not drinking without making my boss think I’m pregnant. My boss, who is one of THE NICEST guys on the planet, has made pregnancy jokes in the past when I’ve shown up to happy hours and not drank for non-pregnancy reasons.

    Thanks guys!

    • Tell them you’re a vegetarian. If anyone says “wait, no you’re not,” tell them that you’ve recently stopped eating meat for health reasons.

      Re the conference: make friends with the bartender / a waiter. Have them fix you something that looks like booze (cranberry and soda works well, or just seltzer and a lime), and then every time you need a refill just say “another one please!” If someone forces wine or alcohol into your hand, take a few fake sips, and then leave it on a table.

    • Diana Barry :

      Disclaimer: I am pretty relaxed about the pregnancy “rules”.

      I would just eat whichever sandwich you want. I had many a subway sandwich during my pregnancies as well as some wine. :)
      Also, at the conference, I would get a glass of wine, take a sip, then put it down on a table/server when boss isn’t looking and say “I’m going to get another drink, can I get you anything?” Makes your boss think you are drinking more than you are. :)

      • What did you do about caffeine intake? The rules are so vague. I’ve been drinking probably two cups (ie, 8 ounces) of coffee in the mornings, and then usually one cup of either Diet Coke or tea in the afternoon/evening. I looked up how much caffeine that actually is, and it’s probably still not as much as they say you should limit yourself to. But then again, some people say limit yourself to one cup rather than __ mg (can’t remember now how much it is, maybe 120?).

        • I eventually got down to a half cup in the morning and a half cup in the afternoon. I did it by cutting decaf coffee into my regular coffee – slowly increased the percentage until I was drinking half-caf twice a day and just decaf other times. It helped me feel like I was still drinking coffee (which I enjoyed). Starbucks has the best decaf.

        • I didn’t drink much coffee while pregnant and I really cut down on my artificial sweetners, so pretty much one Coke Zero a day. I was pretty relaxed about the dietary rules as well, but also wanted to clean up my diet some. I had to go to decaf or half-caf coffee while nursing because it seemed to wire my little one. Oh the irony, since he was the reason I needed the coffee in the morning.

        • I have never been pregnant, but I actually looked this up a while back to share with a former colleague who was constantly touting the need for pregnant women to be completely caffeine-free (e.g., scolding a pregnant colleague for eating ONE Hershey’s Kiss).

          According to the Mayo Clinic, pregnant women can consume up to 200 mg of caffeine per day (this is about one 12 oz. cup of regular coffee, per the March of Dimes).

        • Diana Barry :

          I had one Starbucks via (180mg) and one tea (50), going by the 250mg guideline.

        • Also, look at sbucks website…it states caffeine of the beverages. Normally, I am a black coffee drinker but I would have fraps and lattes during pregnancy b/c they have less caffeine.

      • I’m with Diana Barry on this one. Obviously YMMV re: comfort level, but a few sips of wine taken to “blend in” shouldn’t hurt your baby. Same with the sandwich. See if there’s a veggie option or just eat a lot of sides (chips, pasta salad, etc.) to fill up and have a snack handy before/after.

        • My OB told me that I could have one glass of wine, with dinner, every.single.day. throughout my pregnancy. I did drink wine (not every day) and both kids are fine.

          The “no booze” thing is basically to prevent fetal alcohol syndrome, which if you research/google it, only occurs when the mother is, basically, an alcoholic (dislaimer, I am not an MD). Now, I’m not telling you to go out and do shots, but you do not have to follow the “no booze, no lunch meat, no sushi, no coffee, no fun” rule exactly. Just eat well, don’t booze it up too much, and try not to eat food that looks/smells like it is going bad.

    • I’m 28 weeks pregnant, and I never stopped eating lunch meat or sushi or spicy food, or even having the occasional glass of wine with dinner. I know plenty of women follow ALL OF THE RULES! to the letter, but my doctor agreed with my suspicion that they are overkill. If you don’t want to eat the sandwiches, don’t eat the sandwiches, but they probably won’t hurt you or the baby any more than they’ll hurt any of your other coworkers.

      As for social drinking, ask the bartender for a non-alcoholic drink in the same glass, with the same skinny stirrer straws as he puts in alcoholic ones, or just unabashedly drink water and tell anyone who asks (I hate that it’s socially acceptable to make conversation out of someone’s beverage choice!) that you made a New Year’s resolution to cut back on the booze.

    • Seek out the vegeterian option? Pretend you had a huge breakfast? Stick the sandwich in the microwave and nuke it for a few seconds? Fill up on cookies/chips/pasta salad? As long as you don’t make a big deal of it, people will likely ignore what you are/aren’t eating.
      You aren’t drinking because you are in a weightloss bet with your husband, you want to keep your wits about you, you need to work out, you’ll sober drive, whatever. He may make a joke but he’s not going to hound you in front of clients. I have also had some luck with intercepting a server/bartender and getting them in on my “double vodka soda, with lime and cran, hold the vodka” They are used to that type of request.

      • Yup. Vegetarian option is your friend. I didn’t follow every pregnancy rule (I had a glass of wine here and there and heaven help you if you tried to stop me from eating cookie dough), but I did follow the lunch meat one because of the listeria threat. I learned to eat a lot of vegetarian sandwiches. Or if there is one with a grilled chicken breast, I would eat that.

        As for drinking, tell your boss that you’re making an effort not to drink during the week anymore. It’s still early, so claiming a New Year’s Resolution still flies, as well. I also drank a lot of club soda with lime before I was telling people.

    • Bring your own food for tomorrow. You don’t *have* to eat what they give you. Just sip/munch on whatever you can have and fill ‘er up with regular food before/later.

      As for your boss making pregnancy jokes, develop a thick skin. You’ve already set up a precedent by not drinking before.

    • For the lunch, you can (1) get vegetarian (you don’t have to claim to be vegetarian–I’m not and I often order the veggie sandwiches because sometimes the lunchmeat looks *gross*) (2) eat the non lunchmeat part of a deli meat sandwich (bread, veggies), plus the chips and call it done. Have a yogurt before you go the meeting, or stick a power bar in your purse in case you don’t have the option to sneak out for a bathroom break.

      For the client extravaganza, I feel you. Our client dinners are absolutely filled with booze.
      (1) If this is just one dinner, I’d order a glass of wine and take (or don’t) a few sips. Get a water on the side and drink that, too. You could also certainly give some excuse like you’re not feeling well, you have to get work done later, etc.
      (2) If you are more concerned that everywhere you turn at the conference, people will be holding drinks and it’s weird that you won’t be, just order drinks for yourself at the bar, make sure you don’t stand around with an empty glass to invite “can I get you something?”s from your boss/client, and if you want to really sneaky, you can always order something in front of your boss/clients and then sneak away and drop in off on a tray later.

      All told, I think people will not notice if you are subtle.

      • goirishkj :

        So agree with this last sentence.

        At about 9 weeks I was at a conference that was very booze-y. Several of my coworkers were there. My boss knew I was pregnant (I told early because I had a lot of early appointments) but no one else did. Most of the others from my office were guys and did not pick up on anything, even though they commented on all the ginger ale I was drinking. When I announced my pregnancy, in fact, I told one of the other attendees that was why I hadn’t been drinking at the conference and he admitted he didn’t put it all together.

        Regarding the sandwiches–meh. My doctor told me that the lunch meat risk has been overblown. Obviously, do what is comfortable FOR YOU. If that means lying and being a vegetarian for a day, do it. But if you eat a sandwich, don’t beat yourself up. Then again, I drank coffee (I cut back drastically) and I’ve had the occasional small glass of wine on special occasions. And I even had a few runny eggs here and there. (I don’t eat seafood which is why you don’t see sushi on this list!) My own thought is that the super strict focus on all the rules is to give us some sense of control at a time where there is so little control.

    • wolverine :

      Go to the bar and order a non-alcoholic drink like tonic water with a twist of lime and nurse it all evening – then if your boss asks if you need a drink, just point to the one in your hand

    • Need to Improve :

      I really think this is mostly a personal comfort issue. My family is not from the U.S., and when I was pregnant they were baffled by all the “rules” we have here. But, interestingly, they had their own sets of “rules” I had never heard of. My reponse to this was to followalmost none of the rules. I ate raw cheeses and lunch meat (just like my mother did when she was carrying me) and it was fine. I did not eat raw fish, because that’s the one thing that actually has given me food poisoning before and it felt wrong to me to eat it. But I am sure there are a lot of Japanese women who do. So go with your gut and what feels right, but don’t worry too much about all the little risks.

      Drinking a little coffee or a little wine is fine, it’s overdoing those things that is the real danger. My OB told me that they tell people to drink no alcohol at all because they are worried about the people who will hear that it is ok to drink one glass and then drink four. She said i could have a glass of wine whenever I wanted.

    • If he makes pregnancy jokes about not drinking, you can remind him (laughing) that he made a similar joke at x event months ago. The parallel suggests that you aren’t any more pregnant now than you were then. It you can do it in a light tone, push back against his “are you pregnant?” with “I’m not alcoholic”

      Being vegetarian; I had no idea there was a lunch meat guideline. You can always take your sandwich apart, eat the bread, cheese, lettuce and tomato. Or just take a can of soup and ask the person next to you in a sceptic so tone of voice if the box lunch is good. You’ll look like a snob, but not a pregnant one.

      Honestly though, pregnancy can be an exciting time and the way you feel can change so dramatically that it can be hard to realize how undramatic it is for those who don’t know. If you don’t make a big deal about what you’re eatin and drinking, most normal people won’t either. I think your boss’ cracks about not drinking are strange.

  9. Did anyone see this great art/social commentary piece about women’s struggles with skirt length and clothing in general (why women have so many more pieces of clothing and shoes than men): http://thesocietypages.org/socimages/2013/01/22/the-balancing-act-of-being-female-or-why-we-have-so-many-clothes/

    Very interesting and true!

    • I really liked this! Thank you for sharing

    • Thanks for sharing this link. So very true, and I’m glad she ties in the very real consequences of women being judged on their attire.

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        I agree – this reminds me of that thread a few weeks ago about how a poster’s “discretionary” budget always ends up higher than her husband’s. There are very real consequences associated with not “maintaining” our outward appearance that men, for the most part, don’t feel.

    • Thanks for sharing this. Someone posted the picture here before, but the additional commentary on the difficulties of navigating dressing in various settings is an excellent point.

    • To me, most of these issues are basic reflections of the fact that politics and culture simply have not adjusted to the reality of women doing the things that only men used to do. Unfair maternity leave policies, pay inequity, byzantine rules of dress–all relate to goals of building a career, providing financially for oneself or family, going after what you want personally and professionally, and being taken seriously as a talent or intellectual. None of these used to be expected by or of women! I’m as annoyed as anyone by things like this, but I think it would be more surprising if everything had already adapted within just ~50 years. I don’t think we necessarily realize how new a normal we are making right now, in terms of gender roles. It’s exciting when it isn’t infuriating.

      • And another one: the lack of maternity business clothes! For example, what does it say that Banana Republic doesn’t make maternity clothes, but you can get all the maternity jeans and shorts and tees you could ever want from Gap and Old Navy?

        • Wow, that really does fit in. Very troubling. I’ve never thought about it because I’ve never had to.

        • Preach, sister. Amen.

        • I found that unless you are in a 100% suit-only environment, most places would never expect a pregnant person to be in a suit. Maybe a dress if you needed to be in formal attire, maybe thrown on an unbuttoned jacket if you had to, but not a suit. I’ve found that pregnant female Biglaw people in my city aren’t suited up with any regularity.

    • Very thought provoking. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Yet Another ADD/ADHD question :

    I looked at the past threads on this topic and employed google, but couldn’t come up with an answer to this question: Does a diagnosis of adult ADD/ADHD require that you had either an ADD/ADHD diagnosis as a child or at least, in retrospect, exhibited symptoms as a child? Sorry for turning this site into an ADD/ADHD informational, but am hopeful that someone’s got the answer I haven’t found. Thanks!

    • lucy stone :

      Not in my experience. My H and I were both diagnosed as adults. I had loads of symptoms as a child, but he had none.

    • Not in my experience, either. I was diagnosed as an adult and, other than some pretty classic disorganization, didn’t really have any symptoms as a child. There is a component of “psycho-social” (I’m sure that’s not the right word) symptomology, where they are looking for a history of problems, but most of mine developed in my 20s.

      • In the Pink :

        The true diagnostic criteria (at least until the new manual is released soon) required “…some sympotms that caused impairment were present before age 7 years.” Of course, that’s the strict interpretation. Careful history taking can often uncover patterns that were just not addressed, attributed to other things, and/or were compensated for by the child, involved adults, or having environments (home, school, hobbies) which “fit” the child’s skills and capabilities.

        Sorry to be technical, but you asked.

    • Yet Another ADD/ADHD question :

      Thank you for the responses.

  11. I’m on maternity leave (baby will be 6 weeks tomorrow) and flu season and the bitter cold have us cooped up alone, inside. So, to cheer myself up a bit I’m daydreaming about summer and getting out of the house.

    Have you ever gone on a short (5 days roughly) vacation with a 6-9 month old baby? Where did you go and how was it? We’re in the northeastern US and would love driving-distance recommendations. Or, if it was a disaster, tell me so!

    • I took my 8 month old on a one week vacation without any problems. I found the keys were 1) staying somewhere that had a kitchen/kitchenette to prepare/store breastmilk/formula/baby food; and 2) lower expectations around what can happen each day – we aimed to do or visit one thing/place per day and planned a 2nd option as a back-up or in the off chance that time allowed two activities. We tried to stay somewhere centrally located so that baby could nap in the condo – baby was too old to sleep on the go and good naps/sleep were key to maintaining sanity (just like at home). I would definitely start looking into options – the planning will take your mind off the dreary winter months.

    • A long time ago, we flew to Florida with a 7-month old. I was still nursing and it made our trip a lot easier. He could not yet crawl at the time and so was OK with being in the crib/stroller most of the time. A month later, it would have been more difficult with him being more mobile.

      Bear in mind that he was generally an easy, unfussy baby and I had no problems b-feeding in restaurants, on the plane, on the beach etc. – properly covered up, of course. A vacation with a more sensitive baby might be more trouble, but if you are planning a driving trip, you should be fine on the road – most babies travel well in the car.

    • We’ve made three driving trips with our baby, while he was ranging from 6-10 months. Granted, we have an “easy” baby who isn’t very fussy in general, but we had no problems. I’d echo Anon’s advice and be sure and book a hotel room/condo/suite that has a kitchen or kitchenette. Bring more diapers and baby clothes than you think you will need. Laundry facilities would be a plus.

      Anon’s advice is spot on about planning for each day, and I’d recommend someone sitting in the backseat of your car with the baby for the driving portion. It certainly made it easier to keep our baby happy and entertained that way.

    • Haven’t done this myself, but my best friend took her 6-month-old to Paris for a month, from Canada. If she can do that, I am sure you can do five days by car!

    • How about Tyler Place, which people love? I’ve never been there but it sounds wonderful. http://www.tylerplace.com/ We stayed in a similar place in Wisconsin when our kids were small and it worked out great.

    • I went on vacation when my baby was older – – but still had to plan around naps. We got a beach front condo with a view of the water. That way, I could be reading my book on the balcony during naps and after his early bedtime, and was still happy.

    • We traveled with my son when he was 6-7 months old and it was fairly easy. but we had a few things that helped:
      1) He’s a pretty relaxed, go with the flow, sleep wherever (stroller, car, strange hotel bed) kind of kid
      2) We took my inlaws with us, so we could alternate who stayed in once the kiddo went to bed and who went out for a nice dinner sans baby.
      3) We didn’t have tons planned and were willing to drop what we were doing if the baby was cranky and needed to just go back to the hotel and nap.
      4) My husband is an excellent co-parent, so there was no “dad is on vacation, mom’s doing all the same baby duties as at home plus some” that I’ve heard from some of my friends.
      5) I had a day or two after we came home to deal with laundry, etc and get baby back closer to his regular schedule before I had to go back to work.

      If you plan properly, a vacation with a baby is possible, but part of the key is managing expectations. You probably aren’t going to be spending hours on the beach, thoroughly exploring museums or eating at fancy restaurants. But if you just want to get away for a while and see somewhere new, its actually easier with a baby that isn’t mobile yet than a 1-3 year old, IME. Also, if you are dreaming of warmth now, another option is to drive south in the spring instead of summer. Just driving a couple of hours south in March, April or May can mean 10-20 degrees warmer to give you a kick out of winter doldrums, and its often “off season” so cheaper and less crowded.

    • Research, Not Law :

      Yes! I actually find it to be a good time to travel. I find 12-18 mo the hardest, actually.

      Get a condo instead of a hotel room so that baby can sleep in their own space (if hotel is the only option, then set them up in the bathroom) and so that you have some eating space.

      If you drive, plan for one hour out of the car for every three hours in the car. Eat lunch at a park, for example. While we’ve done many a long drive, I would stick to no more than 3-6 hours from home.

      Your itinerary will likely be different than before, with an earlier start, earlier end, and nap times. At that age, I recommend being home for one good nap per day. You’ll probably do fewer outings, as running from here to there can be hard on the baby. The upside is that we usually found we were hitting the sites and restaurants at off times.

      I highly recommend that you have a day at home between vacation and returning to work. Vacationing with children is fun, but it’s exhausting.

    • another anon :

      Hey, I’m also on leave and my baby will be 6 weeks on Monday! I am so bored!

    • Congratulations on your gorgeous baby! You should totally go on vacation for a few days. 6 months is a really fun age – they are smiley and more or less trying to sit up, but not able to get away. Also, they’re not eating too much probably so you don’t have to pack tons of food and utensils, etc. As long as you’re relaxed and a bit flexible you’ll have a great time. We took our second and his older brother to Hawaii from Canada for 10 days at 6 months and had a blast. We also hired a fabulous sitter through the hotel and left him and his brother for a couple of hours at dinner a few times. I left breastmilk in the hotel fridge but he just waited for me to come home. Now, we knew this lady from many times before and she was wonderful, but it was a nice break for all of us.

      Enjoy babyhood. Next thing you know they’ll be 13 and rolling their eyes.

    • traveling baby :

      My parents took me to Taiwan at 6 months and mainland China at 9 months. We went to California and NYC when I was a baby (flight times 6-12 hours from where we live). We also went to Greece when my little sister was about 9 months and I was 3. This was more than 30 years ago. It’s possible.

  12. Diana Barry :

    Ladies – thoughts on regional differences in makeup etc.? Noticed in a meeting recently that the other women (attorneys) in the meeting, age 30s to 50s, had no makeup nor colored hair to cover greys. I felt comparatively overdressed, makeup-wise – I will put on makeup (lipstick, mascara, sometimes eyeshadow) to go to a meeting/lunch/court and about half of the time at the office. This is in Boston. Do people in other areas wear more makeup? Also, do r e t t e s feel themselves to be more or less made up than the women around them?

    • Absolutely. I’m from Maine and have lived in several other regions now–makeup is more common *everywhere* else than it is in Northern New England! When I go back to visit now I feel like I stand out a little bit, but it’s how I like to do.

    • Deep South here. I wear makeup whenever I leave the house. A tradition learned at the knee of my mother and well, every woman in my family. It’s a “natural” look but it’s makeup none the less.

      • Houston Attny :

        Me too! Don’t go to the grocery store without it – as my mom would say, “you never know who you’ll see.” :)

      • I also rarely leave the house without makeup on. That being said, a lot of the women at my company don’t wear makeup at all. I’m happy with the way I look, so I don’t worry about making any changes to my regimen when it comes to work.

    • I wear no makeup to work and only minimal amounts (lip gloss and blush) if I go out at night. But I’m in Boston and I work in IT and I hate mascara. I do, however, color my hair. And I can’t wait for my appointment next week, because the grays are apparent.

    • There are definitely regional differences. I lived in Boston for several years and, like you, noticed many professional women with no makeup or hair color on a regular basis. Now I live in the Southeast, where everyone wears makeup to the grocery store and women with visible grays stand out. I have also recently been noticing that women from some cities wear more eye makeup than I am used to seeing in my local area. Makeup usage also seems to vary by job. Surprisingly, I often see social worker types (drug court staff, etc.) wearing a lot of makup, perhaps to maintain an air of professionalism. More makeup on lawyers, less on researchers and policy analysts. Etc. Because I travel a lot and work with a wide variety of people, I strive for natural-looking makeup that doesn’t stand out whether or not other women are wearing it. I have also found that lipstick/gloss is the key to blending in. If nobody else is wearing makeup, I usually go for tinted lip balm. If everyone else is wearing lots of makeup, I wear both lipstick and lip gloss.

    • I thought I replied, sorry if this double posts.

      I wear foundation, eye shadow, and mascara every day at work. And my nails are usually always done. And I try to keep up with the greys (way too many for being in my 20’s.) I try to keep my outfits fun but professional. I feel way more dressed up/made up than the other women in my office, but I’m the younger than all of them by 15-25 years. And when the IT guy said that he thinks I “look better without make up,” thinking I never wear make up to the office, I figured I kept it natural enough!

      Oh, and I’m a Southern girl living in Southeast New England. And freezing my hiney off!

    • As you may have noticed when you met me (haha) I almost never wear make-up unless for interviews or *important meetings* or court or something. And I do think that at least in New England this seems to be fairly common – and in other parts of the country I’ve noticed more make-up is more of a norm. At least in winter here I’ve always wondered if people just figure their eyes will water and the make-up will end up a mess anyway?

      I don’t know, I’m just not a make-up girl. Sensitive skin and an aversion to having to do things other than stumble out of bed and eat cereal in the morning will do that to you.

    • Seventh Sister :

      I think definitely yes as to regional differences. I remember being an intern in Boston and feeling like a peacock for wearing an indigo-colored, very very preppy, work-appropriate Ann.Taylor dress since it was not gray or black or brown. Also, my fairly natural-looking pink lipstick seemed like a lot of makeup sometimes. Here in LA, both choices looked incredibly restrained.

      Growing up in rural MD, I don’t remember my mom ever going to the store or work without makeup, and she is not particularly interested in dressing up. I have trouble walking out of the house without powder and lip gloss, even on the weekends, but I tell myself it’s due to lack of sleep and not wanting to the be the frumpiest mom at the playground.

    • I love make up! I put it on in the morning while drinking a cup of coffee and listening to my favorite radio station. It’s one of those little peaceful moments during the day that I treasure. I instantly feel perkier when I have some tinted moisturizer, eye liner, mascara, and lip gloss on. I aim to look natural, but it can make a huge difference.

    • Research, Not Law :

      Absolutely it varies. I’m from the PNW where make up is decidedly optional. Many women go their entire lives without wearing it on a regular basis. I once has an east-coaster priest comment that he felt like he was preaching to a bunch of nuns because that was the only group of women he’d ever met that wore as little make up as the typical PNW woman. My daily face is tinted moisturizer. I put on mascara and draw eyebrows if I’m going for a gold star. I do a full face only for dates, parties, weddings, etc.

      When visiting the east coast (ie, NY, Baltimore, DC), I marvel at the effort women make every day – especially their nails! Some women here (mostly transplants) keep their nails done, but I’d never seen anything like nails over there!

    • I wear tinted moisturizer, mascara, and blush (lipstick/tinted lip balm theoretically makes it on once I’m at work and have had my caffeine) to work everyday. My office is all over the place, though. My boss wears minimal/nothing, the other manager is more made up, though still natural-looking, and everyone else is somewhere between nothing and Actually Wearing Eyeliner.

      • long time lurker :

        I am an Actually Wearing Eyeliner type. I darken my eyebrows slightly, wear a neutral base eyeshadow, and eyeliner. Mascara if I want to look nice. If I have a blemish I use concealer. And that’s pretty much it. East coast big-city lawyer, but come from hippie parents.

    • I once interviewed for a job at a college in the northeast and I felt like I was wearing too much makeup and jewelry. I don’t go crazy but I love fashion and jewelry and I wear makeup (and not a ton) and I always try to look pulled together (highlights, a good haircut, etc.). I think I am representative of how women dress/look here, so maybe it’s a southern or N.O. thing. The women at this school were wearing t-shirts and jumpers and no makeup or jewelry. I didn’t think I would be a good fit at all. I mean, obviously, the interviewee is always more dressed up than others but this was way beyond that.

    • hellskitchen :

      A question for the hive – would you judge a woman’s professionalism is she had some gray hairs? I wear makeup and accessorize my outfit carefully, but am really not interested in coloring my hair. I only have a few gray hairs now and I keep my hairstyle work-appropriate but am wondering if having gray hairs will eventually make me look unprofessional

      • I don’t. I started going gray in my late 20s and am now in my late 30s completely gray. I have been in the job market twice in the past 18 months and did not feel like it compromised my job search at all. As long as the rest of you is completely pulled together (for ex, eyebrows maintained), I don’t think anyone would give it a second thought. Gray by choice is tons better than having gray roots (which I would have nearly all the time, since my hair grows super fast). I am definitely in a more “made up” part of the country.

        • Silvercurls :

          Maybe it varies depending on whether the woman is seeking a professional or an administrative support position? That was the sense I got from polling about 8 friends, ranging from mid-career professionals to retired professionals to seeking employment as professionals or admin support staff.

          There are some amazingly skilled professional and amateur hair colorists out there. I think that their work looks great–on other people. I’m not always thrilled to see my hair turning silver in front, salt-and-pepper elsewhere, but given my other interests and responsibilities I still choose not to find the time and energy every 3-4 weeks to maintain the color of my short, curly/wavy, and fast-growing hair. Instead, I get it cut well and keep it tidy and otherwise look mostly pulled together. It probably helps that I’ve spent most of my working life in business casual environments even though I also live in a “made up” part of the country. I don’t judge people who choose to color their hair; I just know that the decision would not work for me. Probably none of this is news, given my blog name here. :-)

      • Seventh Sister :

        I would not judge over gray hairs (whether a few or a lot). That said, I do think a good haircut, short or long or in-between, makes a person look more professional. This goes for women *and* men. My poor fool father and his combover…

        What I find interesting about the hair-dyeing question is the assumption that most dyeing is either to be blonde or to cover gray. I have dark hair, and people almost always express surprise when they find out that I dye it simply to adjust the color (the adjusted shade is somewhere between Anne Hathaway and Kathryn Bigelow). My natural hair color is fine, I guess, but it is super-dark at the roots and very light on top, which looks *less* natural-looking than a single-process color. It’s my one big beauty indulgence, but it makes me happy.

      • hellskitchen :

        Thanks you all. Gray, my hair grows fast too so I think if I colored I’d have to do it frequently. I did try an at home color kit once… the color was fine but I don’t think my scalp and hair reacted well with the chemicals (it was an ammonia free kit too) so I want to avoid coloring more for the long-term health of my hair rather than cost or convenience. Also my mom and my aunts color their hair and I feel like they are going to have to suddenly switch from dark hair to a full head of silver, rather than a gradual transition. I want to avoid that too.

  13. …that awkward moment when you see a judge in the grocery store and you’ve already said “Hello, your Honor,” before remembering that you’re coming from roller derby practice and probably shouldn’t seek to be recognized by your professional colleagues in the outfit you’re wearing.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Love the mental image of this. What was the judge’s response? A Supreme Court Justice of my state once asked that we refer to her by her real name in public and not “your honor,” unless it is a professional event. She didn’t like to be called out as “your honor” at a grocery store. I don’t know how other judges feel about this so now I’m just afraid to address any of them outside of work.

    • i would love to get into roller derby — were you an experienced skater before you started?

      • SoCalAtty :

        I’ve thought about this…roller derby has a pretty big league here, and I competitively roller skated as a kid (singles and pairs). It looks fun, but I’d hate to break my arm or something. They have different teams / leagues based on skating ability, and they’ll teach you if you don’t already skate.

    • Research, Not Law :

      Love this. :)

    • Any judge I know wouldn’t think twice. In fact, some of us might wish we were on a roller derby team. I say, good for you!

      Also, it probably would be more awkward if you were to see one of US in roller-derby gear.

  14. Any suggestions for a good vacation/short trip to take by yourself? I really want to do something for Easter long weekend and seem to be having trouble getting people on board so I thought I’d do something myself, preferably not far from Toronto.

    • Anne Shirley :

      Chicago? Shopping, museums, architecture tours are all things that can be enjoyed alone.

    • locomotive :

      Portland! I loved my week long visit there. I went to the Japanese Tea Garden (there is also a chinese tea garden I believe), Powell’s (GIANT used book store. amazing), Voodoo donuts, day trip to go hiking nearby, great food at cafes, fancy restaurants and foodcarts, and went to a few local music shows. I was by myself and not terribly lonely, although I will warn you that there is a large homeless population there (but very harmless compared to the homeless in cities like NYC). I’m not implying it’s unsafe because of that but some people are just surprised when they initially visit.

    • Why not go to NYC for the weekend?

      • I sometimes fantasize about going to NYC for a few days all by myself, leaving dh home with the kids. Unfortunately I think dh would be hurt & not totally on board with the idea at this point in our lives.

      • Love NYC. Went with my SO in the fall and we have plans to go back and hit the things we missed. In all honesty, I don’t really like travelling alone – I find it more isolating because I like to talk to people about the things we see but I feel like I desperately need a getaway.

    • I will be watching this thread too, planning to take a solo trip over a long weekend. Can we do Portland without a car or is that a must? I have never been there.
      Chicago is very do-able without a car and many touristy things to do by yourself, but I already live here and looking for something out of town.

      • My mom + I did Portland without a car. We had one (did a whole week trip along the Oregon coast) but did not need it in the city. We did rent bikes for a day, which was a fabulous way to see the city, but generally walked everywhere.

      • Research, Not Law :

        Yes, you can definitely do Portland w/out a car. Most of the typical tourist spots are downtown, which is very walkable. Public transit can get you pretty much anywhere else you’d want to go, especially from downtown. Taxis don’t roam looking for passengers like they do in other cities, but there are a couple of companies that you can call.

        You would need a car to see the coast, gorge, or mountains, obviously.

      • locomotive :

        Portland is very walkable downtown. I was in a hotel in the central downtown area (I forgot what it was called), but the Portland metro is free within that ‘downtown’ area which is also great! I used a cab to come back from a bar near voodoo donuts one night and rented a car for the day trip to go hiking about an hour towards the coast.

  15. Midwest Transplant :

    I like the fabric of these jackets. How does Pendleton generally fit? I have a defined waist and like my jackets to nip in there (to show that the width of my hips are not the width of my whole body :) ). Can assume these are a boxier cut?

  16. Sometimes I wonder what goes through a stylist’s mind… today’s case in point:

    http://www1.macys.com/shop/product/bar-iii-jacket-long-sleeve-boyfriend-blazer?ID=778890&CategoryID=120&RVI=Browse_1

    Perhaps I’m just late to the “box of midriff” trend? ;)

  17. Blonde Lawyer :

    I was traveling the last five days and missed the negative threads. I hope nobody responds to this post because I’d rather let the bad ones die. However, I feel as a regular poster that went MIA during that time I just want to say that I was not any of the “anons” and would have offered my support to those that were “called out” if I were here for the original threads. I’m sure my absence wasn’t as obvious to others as it was to me but I don’t want anyone to feel like I was silently reading while they were being attacked.

  18. Foreign Languages Threadjack:

    All that talk about Spanish language newspapers/gossip-zines has gotten me thinking about this, so of course, I want to know what you’re all thinking on this subject!

    1. What language was your birth language/first language?

    2. What foreign language did you learn in your school years (can be anything from grade school to grad school)?

    3. What foreign language did you learn outside of the usual age-cohort schooling system?

    4. What languages would you learn if you had unlimited time or money to pursue it?

    For me: 1. (American) English 2. Spanish 3. Japanese (still learning, actually, just crossing the divide from beginner to intermediate and it’s HARD) 4. Sanskrit, Ancient Greek, and Russian.

    • Ooh, this is such a good question.

      1. American English
      2. French
      3. Polish (elementary, enough to live there) and starting Dutch for fieldwork
      4. Russian to prepare me for my Transiberian journey

    • 1. American English
      2. French, Latin, Russian
      3. Do programming languages count?
      4. Not sure…

    • locomotive :

      1. Mandarin Chinese (Asian American, born in the US)

      2. English (of course!) and spanish (I’m conversationally fluent but with a terrible American accent)

      3. Chinese…forced to attend Saturday schools by my parents. I am semi- thankful for it now

      4. German and French and Italian. A life goal of mine is to know all the Romance languages – if only to help facilitate vacation-ing in Europe :) oh, and also Japanese because I adore everything in Japan (the food! the makeup!!)

    • Diana Barry :

      1. English (US)
      2. French (through year 2 of college)
      3. none
      4. Japanese, Italian, and Vietnamese (for my various food tours!)

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      1. American English (with some Southernisms… Apparently the rest of the country does not say “might should”)
      2. Latin (6th-12th grade), Arabic (3 semesters in college), neither of which I remember much of, sadly
      3. None
      4. Arabic (again) and Spanish would be first on the list. Japanese, Italian, and French are also on there. And Mandarin Chinese, but I think I would never be able to master tones.

    • 1. American English (with some Bostonianisms — Gail, I only recently learned that the rest of the country doesn’t say “directional” or know what a “Hoodsie” is).
      2. French
      3. Nothing
      4. ALL the languages (but I’d start with Spanish, then German, then maybe Chinese or Arabic)

    • 1) English
      2) Spanish (6th-12th + 1 semester of college) and Italian (study abroad and then after college in classes).
      3) None really – have picked up bits and pieces of French and German while travelling.
      4) I’d become truly fluent in Spanish and Italian. Then I’d probably learn German and Mandarine Chinese.
      Probably some others too, but that seems like enough for now.

    • 1. Malayalam (or rather, a Malayalam/English hybrid)
      2. French, Spanish and Latin.
      3. Nothing (that makes me feel bad though!)
      4. I’d love to learn Hindi and Italian.

    • 1. Japanese
      2. English and German
      3. –
      4. Learning a new language seems lovely, but given that scenario I would also like to become a simultaneous interpreter for 1. & 2. which is something I’ve always found fascinating.

    • 1. Spanish
      2. English, French, Portuguese
      3. None
      4. Not sure, probably go back and really try and learn French properly

    • 1. English
      2. French, Japanese, Spanish, Indonesian, Mandarin
      3. Hindi, Thai
      4. I would go back and become perfectly bilingual in French (right now I am pretty fluent, but by no means bilingual). Then I would work on improving my Hindi.

    • Great question!

      1. American English

      2. French (8th grade, HS, college), Latin (1 year in HS), Japanese (1 year in college), Spanish (self-taught + 1 year in college)

      3. None :-(

      4. I would love to become fluent in Spanish and Japanese and to learn ASL, Korean and Russian. I think it would be extremely practical to learn Mandarin but the idea of tones is so intimidating!

    • 1. American English
      2. French, first when I was 8 in private lessons, then in jr high/high school
      3. Spanish (mostly cursing and food)
      4. Spanish for real

      The private French lessons make me sound a little princess-y, but there was a French couple in our small town for a few years for his work, and his wife was looking to fill her time. She introduced me to cafe au lait, which was fantastic!

    • 1. American English
      2. French, Spanish
      3. Japanese (though I can’t say I’m even conversant. But I tried.)
      4. I think I would want to become fluent in either French or formally learn Japanese – my self-study lasted about a month and a half.

    • 1. English
      2. Learned Spanish and French in grade school; Mandarin in college (intense course; every single semester in college)
      3. Started picking up Korean as a junior/senior in college and have continued very casual study as an adult;
      4. I’d love to improve my Korean and bring it to the same level as my Mandarin (which is limited professional proficiency/relatively advanced). I’d also like to learn some basic Japanese, so I’d have NE Asia covered! Realistically speaking, it’d be good to know Spanish, as well. I don’t think it’d be hard for me to pick back up again; I’m mostly limited in terms of the $$ I can devote to language learning right now!

    • 1. American English
      2. Spanish and French (still working on Spanish, French is all but gone)
      3. traveler’s Italian, Norwegian, Japanese, Turkish, Portuguese (I’ve forgotten most everything I’ve learned in these languages)
      4. Latin

    • Not Carrie Mathison :

      1. English
      2. French (bad), Farsi, Latin, Spanish
      3. None
      4. Would get better at all of #2, especially reading non-English characters

    • 1. English English – yes, from England
      2. American English; Latin; French; Spanish; Portuguese; Italian; Russian (can’t remember more than hello and thank you!); and German (can only remember how to count!!!)
      3. More Italian – still only enough to travel
      4. I’d love to be immersed in Spanish and Portuguese again so that I regain fluency, and then maybe something exotic like Swedish or Croatian or Turkish

    • 1. English
      2. Spanish (high school), Italian (college), German (college and grad school)
      3. None
      4. Would probably get better at Italian (I only took a year)

    • 1. English

      2. French and ASL (middle through highschool), Farsi ( 2 semesters in college)

      3. French from my Parisian godmother (which was a source of conflict when my French teacher was Quebecois), Norwegian from my relatives, a little bit of Spanish and Vietnamese

      4. Where to start! Spanish, Arabic, Vietnamese, Mandarin, Hindi (just think of all the Bollywood movies!) Irish, Xhosa, Icelandic, Farsi… ALL the languages!

    • 1. English

      2. French (grade school, high school – lots ); Spanish (middle school, high school, college – lots); Hebrew (just a little in grade school); Latin (high school, a little); Italian (college – lots); Yiddish (college, a little)

      3. Farsi! Just a little so far.

      4. More Farsi; more Hebrew; Arabic

      • 1. English (american – and I beat the NY/ NJ out of myself) and then picked up certain southernisms in law school
        2. Spanish 6-12th – majored in college and studied abroad- still fluent
        3. a tiny bit of french, italian and british english
        4. Full french, italian – and also mandarian chinese and russian

    • 1. Kikuyu & Swahili
      2. English & French
      3. Some basic Italian–forgot most of it already
      4. Improve on French & learn Spanish

  19. Last week I think, there was a post about Macgyvering your wardrobe… I need ideas.

    I don’t know if it’s the bitter cold, combined with wearing tights…but my shoes today (just simple black pumps) are all of a sudden way too big. They seemed fine when I left the house for work this morning, but walking around the office I feel like I’m walking in clown shoes!! I wear these shoes pretty much every day, and they normally are perfect for my feet. Any ideas of how to keep them from coming off??

    • Could you stuff tissue into the toe? Or run to CVS and grab a heel insert?

      • I tried putting tissue into the toe, that actually made it worse. I’m currently having a heated debate with myself about whether to brave the “feels like -1″ outside to get to CVS over lunch…

    • kerrycontrary :

      Run out to the drug store and get some heel grippers. In a pinch you could TRY scotchtape (wrapped in a doughnut shape). You can peel them off when its warmer and your feet go back to normal size (body parts shrink in the cold, swell in the heat). They might even be better by mid-afternoon when your feet are most swollen.

  20. I have a clothing sad. I found the most perfect piece of clothing for myself, but it is only available through the London branch of a retailer, their American website doesn’t carry it. So for the first time ever I submitted a comment to a company’s website basically being like “please start carrying this item….PRETTY PLEASE”.

    I should have added “I am a super influential fashion blogger with like nine readers” – but I didn’t think that would win them over. But seriously yo – I now know how people in the Great White North feel I think. SO frustrating.

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