Frugal Friday’s TPS Report: Faux Wrap Blouse

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

Pleione Faux Wrap BlouseI’ve noticed this blouse before at the Nordstrom site, but have always hated the way it was styled (including in the picture here) — but I happened to notice that Jean at Extra Petite posted this recently, and it looks lovely on her (like, where-did-you-get-that perfect). I still don’t think it would work on someone like me (busty and hippy), but if you’re shaped more like Jean, I’d seriously take a look.  So: There are five versions on sale for $40.80 today (including this grey-on-grey stripe); there are a bunch of other colors and sizes (petites and plus) still at full price. Pleione Faux Wrap Blouse

Seen a great piece you’d like to recommend? Please e-mail tps@[email protected]
(L-2)

 

Comments

  1. Personal finance TJ:

    For those of you with larger emergency funds (12+ months), do you keep the entire thing in extremely liquid savings? Or do you keep some portion (3, 6 months?) in a savings account and the rest elsewhere (CD, index fund)?

    • Anonymous :

      CDs. The breakage fee is usually 3-6 months’ interest, which to me is a small price to pay for an increased yield.

    • MiddleCoast :

      I keep $5,000 in a savings account which is tied to my checking account in case I would need money in a hurry. The rest is in laddered CDs, I have one coming due every month. In a dire emergency where I would need a large amount of cash, I figure I can break the newest CDs taking the smallest penalty hit. I also keep about $500 cash on hand just in case or to dole out to my kids for their needs. e.g.,that $5 they forget to tell you about that they have to hand in today for the pizza lunch or the neighboorhood kid selling candy bars door-to-door.

    • Anon from Chicago :

      we used to keep it in CDs, but the CD rates have been lower (or about even) to our money market account for the past 5 years or so, so we’ve kept it liquid. I think CD rates are starting to pick up though, so it is probably time to consider moving it around.

      • I’m with you. I think I’m going to start laddering this year — maybe up to 50% while rates are so low. If rates start to tick up, I’d start laddering a bunch of 1 years and then a bunch of 2 years, but it’s a lot of hassle now for such a nominal difference.

        And in my mind, it’s still 2009, so nothing wrong with cash.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I keep it all in online savings accounts. I feel like the purpose of that money is to BE THERE, so I don’t worry about the yield.

      And indeed, when I needed it, I needed it all, and I needed it in a hurry, and I was glad it was sitting right there where I could put my hands on it instantly.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Coming back to say over the years I’ve done the math and the difference between the passbook savings rates and the CD rates aren’t enough to make up for the hassle and the reduced liquidity.

        • DowntownBK :

          Yep, I agree with this. I have approx. 12mo of expenses in my E-Fund, all held in a high yield online savings account (AmEx). I haven’t found that there is much, if any, premium for locking the money up in CDs, so I haven’t done so. I may revisit that this year depending on where rates go.

  2. Anon for this today :

    I am a young attorney in a large city, but I practice in a fairly niche area of the law. Basically, everybody knows everybody else. While I was in law school, I briefly worked for an attorney in this area who has a less-than-stellar reputation for both her legal skills as well as how she treats her employees. At this point, I am far enough removed from this position that I no longer put it on my resume.

    Recently, I have heard from two separate attorneys in our field that this woman tells people that she “trained” me. This is not only untrue, it’s also something that I really wish she wouldn’t say. She didn’t “train” me, and to be frank I don’t want people thinking that my work product, skills, or general professional demeanor are anything like hers. Am I being petty? Is there anything I can do besides laugh it off when this comes up?

    • I don’t think it’s petty, but I think you don’t want to come off as petty, either, if it’s that close-knit of a community. Maybe I’ve been watching too much Downton Abbey, but this could be where an “Oh, that’s interesting” and an air of surprise could convey thing sufficiently. What would Lady Mary do?

      • Meg Murry :

        I think it would be best to just say “Yes, I briefly worked for her in law school, but I received most of my training at [First Real Job]“. If its someone you know doesn’t like her, you could add “but our work styles didn’t really match well” or “but we weren’t really very compatible”. I would avoid bashing her completely, or grumbling about her claiming to “train” you – just tell the plain, basic truth and let people make their own determination of you separate from her.

    • Yay! Fruegel Friday’s! I LOVE Fruegel Friday’s and this wrap, tho I would HAVE to wear it on the weekend’s b/c the manageing partner want’s me to look alot more formal then this and he want’s me to show off for the judge, but not with this one, he say’s! FOOEY, b/c I need him to reimburse me now that dad has frozen my clotheing budget.

      As for the OP, yes, it can be trying to have to deal with a schleppy lawyer or boss who claim’s they trained you when realy you trained yourself. I think in my situeation, I have a great MENTOR in the manageing partner b/c he let’s me do whatever I need to do to get the job done, but whenever we are trying to get NEW cleint’s, he alway’s says he taught me everything I know. Everything? Not realy, but he like’s to think so, so I just smile and nod YES! b/c he made me a partner!

      Rosa has an ex-freind who’s husband is now divorced from her and she think’s I should meet this guy. I think I once met her ex-freind at the gym in Chapaqua, and she was very pretty. I am thinkeing that if he divorced her, why would he marry me? I know I am cute, but she was very atheletic and had a great body and tuchus. I could NOT compete with that, but mabye he would like me for my brain’s and job? I do NOT want to be thought of as someone who can work for money, but someone who can be a mother to our children. I do NOT know if she had kid’s with him, but will ask Rosa. I also do NOT want to have a Brady Bunch siuteation with a bunch of kid’s I have to shuffel over to her house 2x a week. FOOEY!

      Why can’t life be simple. A decent guy who want’s children, but does NOT have alot of baggage like this one probabley does. DOUBEL FOOEY! I should have married some guy from college and by now I would have been planning a vacation. Instead, I am watching as other peeople have plan’s to go to their ski house in Vermont or to Cancun. YAY!!!! For them— but FOOEY for me b/c all I have is my fitbit, and some looser’s waiting to grab my tuchus!

    • Babyfine and Meg Murry have great ideas. If it comes up, I would be somewhat factual/mystified. E.g., “she said she trained me? While I did work for her for a few months in law school when I was a 2L.”

  3. Paging AIMS :

    This is Monday. I was just reading yesterday’s thread and saw the tortoise necklace you’re considering. I love it, but I used to have something very similar and I thought I’d share with you that it made a lot of noise when I walked (which was totally unexpected). Had it been choker-length, this probably wouldn’t have been an issue, but it flapped up and down just a bit the way longer necklaces do, and I ended up donating it because I was too uncomfortable with the clinking sound. This may not be an issue for you, but just in case! Not sure of the return policy, etc.

    • Ooh, that’s something to consider! It’s still sitting in my cart and I just checked and it is non-returnable. Maybe I should look for one of these in person so I can try it on and see if it makes noise/would bug me. I generally hate things that make noise, esp. at work. I have a pair of dangly earrings I had to stop wearing because they clink in such a way that I feel like Tinkerbell walking around the halls. Which is fine in my personal life, but not exactly how I want to appear at work at all.

      • Exactly. It’s something I tried to get over but couldn’t! And I did buy mine in person, so I don’t know what my excuse is. I guess I would have had to do a brisk stroll around the store while wearing it in order to recognize the problem. They probably would have thought I was heading for the door without paying…

        • You can’t always know to briskly walk around with your necklaces before buying! Although now you can be sure I will do a quick run around any shop, perhaps with a heads up to the store clerk first…

          • I’ve also been known to do what could only be called headbanging while trying on sunglasses, to see how loose they are on my nose and how quickly they may slip down while I’m moving around. We could get kicked out of the accessories department together!

          • That would be awesome!

  4. Ladies, I have a new job (after looking off and on for about 2 years). Switching fields, but moving into something that relates to both of my degrees. Am excited and slightly terrified. I’ve got about a week and half at my current job and then go right into the new one.

    Feel a little bit bad (but not enough to stay) about leaving the old job, since I’ll leave a hole that will have to be absorbed by other people (since they won’t get someone hired quickly enough to fill it anytime soon).

    And it’s about a 20% raise in pay. So that helps. Now if only all this friggin’ snow would go away I would have an awesome birthday month. Just had to share :)

  5. Kat – are you having technical problems? I stopped getting comments from the afternoon thread fairly early last night, then when I tried to get to this post from Firefox, it either wouldn’t open or it went to Facebook (and I’m not on Fb). I’ll report it.

  6. Morning routines :

    Any Etsy shop recommendations for wedding bands / fine jewelry? I’m looking for a hammered white gold men’s band but am a bit overwhelmed by choice.

    • Cornellian :

      NO, but that’s EXCITING.

      • Yep, super exciting although final year of the PhD + teaching + side jobs + elections + a wedding was probably a bit bananas. We had a powwow the other day and divided the to do list so it is feeling a bit more manageable.

    • Sea Babe Jewelry! They work with recycled gold, were responsive and great to work with, and reasonably priced. They have quite a few hammered white gold bands.

      • Those are lovely! I especially like the sets. I’ve been searching for something in that price range for husband and I when we travel.

      • Morning routines :

        Awesome, I had favorited one from there. We exhausted the family heirlooms with my rings (engagement ring from the 1920s, wedding band from the 1940s) and I wanted something that felt more special than a mall jeweler standard.

        • omg but your rings sound awesome, too!!! Yay, I’m so happy for you, lady! Try to let go of some of the stress, everything might not happen, but the important part is that it will happen, you will be married, and then you get to enjoy the memories ;o) So exciting!!

          • That’s excellent advice, it’s a fun time but a hectic one. We sat down and sorted centrepieces last night which was good.

            The ring is super special, was my great grandmother’s sister’s and passed down to me, an Edwardian cluster ring so something very unique.

    • Here is where I got my fiance’s band: https://www.etsy.com/shop/PointNoPointStudio?ref=l2-shopheader-name

      They are are on the low end of the price spectrum, which worked for me since I figured he will probably lose it. They are really unique pieces and the customer service is fantastic!

    • Also check out Bario-Neal jewelry – independent, but not on Etsy. We got my husband a wonderful hammered band from there.

  7. Spinoff of yesterday’s post on sweaters for those allergic to wool and cashmere–what about pants? I prefer wool pants and suits to polyester, but manufacturers seem to have stopped lining pants. I used to buy many of my suits at J. Crew but am now limited to skirt suits since they no longer line the pants. To make things worse, I am on the small-ish side and not curvy so Talbots and Ann Taylor are not a possibility.

    • Cornellian :

      If you have the money to invest (or can wait for a sale), I’m a petite athletic 5’4 size 2, and I find Brooks Brothers has some good options now.

      I also feel like there should be the equivalent of a slip for wool pants…. silk shorts or something. Does this exist?

      • Silk long johns do exist.

      • million dollar idea right there

      • They used to make something called “pettipants” that were basically a slip for pants, but I found them uncomfortably warm and there was still itchy wool contact below the hem of the pettipants.

        Thanks for the Brooks Brothers recommendation. I gave up on them a while back because their jackets used to be too boxy, but I will give them another try.

        • Cornellian :

          They have reworked everything, fits are much more modern now.

          • Things on their website look awful (and that’s on models). Is it worth a visit to the store? I used to have a shape that worked well in Talbots (skinny pear — 30D bust but 38″ hips) and I always looked awful in BB clothes. Now I think Talbots has reworked its sizes so that the suit jackets don’t quite work (their sheaths though are still awesome) on me. If you say so, I will stop in.

      • Yup – petti pants, I think? although they are usually knee length. Might be worth it to talk to a tailor about custom making some sort of pant slip that works with your pants – not adding a lining to the pant, so much as making a separate garment to use with those pants.
        In the winter months at least, could the OP get away with silk long johns? Or tights?

        Part of the reason for the lack of lining (not that it really helps), could be that if it’s the Jcrew stretch wool suiting, you lose the benefit of the stretch by putting a lining in, since they don’t stretch. Having a separate garment as the lining should still allow you to get the stretch benefit (if that’s the fabric you have) while still having that barrier.

        • I’ve had pants that had a stretch lining, which was amazing. I generally hate lined pants because the lining material often has even less give then non-stretch wool. But lining with a little stretch? Perfection.

          • The challenge is finding something with a stretch lining :) It’s definitely not a typical thing, so I’m not surprised that mass marketed stuff doesn’t have that option widely available.

            But yes – if you find a stretch lining, to go with stretch (or non-stretch fabric), that would be seriously awesome.

      • If it’s winter, I wear Uniqlo heattech leggings under my pants. I don’t know if they have long pants in their Airism line, which is the summer equivalent, but if so, those might work. Sometimes I wear the jockey skimmies if I just want something short.

    • Pendleton lines all their wool pants. www dot pendleton-usa dot com

    • To avoid moderation, google Vermont Country Store and Snip-It Pant Liners

  8. Shoe Shopping challenge :

    I am on a very specific shoe quest if anyone wants to help….
    I really want a pair of blue pumps, closed toe (almond or pointy, not round), that are not super bright but not navy or light blue either – basically dull bright blue if that makes sense. Textured snakeskin a plus, but not necessary. Probably not suede though. 3 inches or lower. preferably $150 and under. Anyone seen anything along these lines?

    I want to be able to wear them with a navy suit and a bright orange dress this summer so nothing too crazy would work, I feel like. I also don’t want to look like a Mets or Knicks uniform so nothing cobalt works either.

    PS: Have you guys seen the SJP shoe line at Nordstroms? Super cute!

  9. Simsi - Another Finance Q :

    I know we’ve been going through a lot of these, but my finance question concerns A LOT of student loan debt. I have around $195k in student loan debt. I make around $150k/year, and DH makes around $100k. We’re in a moderate COL area, and he is covering all housing, and I’m covering incidental expenses (groceries, dinners). We’re also wanting to purchase a home in the next year or so, unless that is completely crazy (probably around $300k, which would be lower than our rent if we put 20% down). If I pay $3k/month to my loans, plus around $12k of a bonus every year, I can pay them off in 5 years. And if I save $2k/month I’ll have $30k by early next summer (so 1/2 of a down payment, DH has the other half already). This leaves close to $2k/month left for the incidental living expenses. Is this reasonable? Are we crazy thinking about a house next year? (Note: this savings is on top of an already existing 3-4 month emergency fund. No plans for kids.)

    • Anonattorney :

      It really depends on what is included in incidentals. If it’s just groceries and dining, $2k should be more than enough for 2 people.

      Are you contributing to retirement?

      • Simsi - Another Finance Q :

        Yes, plus random bills (small) and other entertainment expenses (movies/weekends). We are contributing to retirement (I’m at 4 or 6% with match, and I don’t know off the top of my head what his % is). Once student loans are paid off, I think that payment shifts into retirement.

    • Trying living on $2000 a month for a few months and see how it goes? Go into that period knowing that you are going to try to hit that mark, and really look at what your spending habits are like, and if it’s sustainable for an extended period.

      You’re going to have to do it anyway in order to start saving – and if you find yourself not being about to make it, then maybe you put off buying for another year and adjust accordingly. It’s not like you are likely to start looking at houses too far in advance of having the down payment saved, right?

      • Senior Attorney :

        I think this is a good idea. Try it out and see how it feels.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        I think this sounds like a good idea too. If you put the money you’re planning to pay to loans and house savings into a savings account then you can allocate it as planned in a month or two once you know $2000 is reasonable.

        Can you track your past expenses to get an idea of what you normally spend in a month? I think $2000/month for incidentals doesn’t sound like too little to me but it will depend on what you count as incidentals.

      • Anonattorney :

        Thirded!

        Just to put it out there, for a household of 2 people we currently spend around $800 a month on groceries, restaurants, and booze. Internet and cellphone bills total $150 /mo, “TV” (Netflix and Hulu) total $24/mo, gas is about $75/mo, parking is $215/mo, and gym is $90/mo. Probably $50 for household items like cleaning supplies and paper goods, but this is usually included in the grocery bill.

        I think $800 for food is tight because I love cooking elaborate meals and going out to eat, but a lot of people seem to do just fine on less than $400.

        Once you get into beauty supplies and clothes, though, things will vary greatly depending on your spending habits. I buy cheap shampoo, conditioner and lotion, but splurge on makeup. I also don’t shop much, but when I do I tend to buy things on the slightly higher end.

        So, with all those incidentals (I didn’t include my utilities), I’m only at around $1400 for “fixed” incidental expenses. If I had it my way, I’d up our food budget to $1000 so I can splurge on more nice meals and fun cooking ingredients.

        If I were you, and used a similar budget, I’d up my retirement contribution by a couple hundred bucks a month so I’d have $1750 to spend. I’d spend the $1400 on incidental expenses and allocate another $50 each month to a gift or charity category (we don’t spend a lot on gifts in my family). I would then put $200 to saving for vacations and another $100 to saving for clothes and beauty.

    • Sounds pretty doable to me. And can I just say – I wish I had only $95K in student loans!

    • $2000/mo for incidentals sounds *extremely* high to me. I agree with the suggestion to look at your past spending to get an idea of a budget, but I also think that if you’re spending that much on groceries and entertainment while trying to pay down $200K of student loan debt, save $30K for your share of the down payment, and save for retirement, you may need to cut that budget.

    • Need to Improve :

      I think that’s reasonable. I live in a very high COL area, and when we were first out of law school, my husband and I budgeted $2400/month for all non-clothing incidentals, such as groceries, entertainment, electricity/water/garbage bills, trips, meals out, toiletries, etc. My clothing budget was separate, though. With $2,400, we lived very well, and we could have cut it to $2,000 if we got rid of some extras. So adjusted for COL in your area, this seems doable. Good luck! We had a similar plan and I am glad to say we pulled it off.

  10. Looking for in-law/baby advice. Trying to be vague, but hubby and I are expecting and had invited his parents (who live across the country) to come and visit during a specific date range that would work best for us. It was a 10 day range, and we gave them the dates months ago. Now all of a sudden, those dates don’t work for them, and they want to come for 14 days at a time when we would be transitioning from my husband being home full time to help me, to him going back to work. Husband is not good at pushing back, doesn’t get on well with his parents, and I am not very comfortable having them around when it is just me at home. Rather than fight the dates, he would rather let them come and then be frustrated the entire time. They will not be that helpful with the baby. But obviously we want them to visit and meet their grandchild, it is their first. Any advice on pushing back on dates, or coming to some alternate arrangement that would work?

    • anon-oh-no :

      I was in a similar situation with our first. the in-laws came (as did my own parents, which wasnt much better). there were certainly some annoying parts, but consider that even if they cant help much with the baby, there are other things they can help with, and you can just ask them for help. Those first few days (and even weeks) after my husband was back at work were very, very overwealming. so it was nice to have some other folks around. so consider that it might not be as bad as you think, but it will likely make them very happy and your baby will only be an infant once. plus, at worst, it will be over in 2 weeks.

      • +1

        Having them come at the transition time may actually be very useful. Having other people around to help with dishes, laundry, diaper changes, shopping, cooking, general housecleaning etc could be invaluable. And new mommies are expected to nap when the baby naps during the day, so you’ll have a great excuse to go in your room to escape. New babies are magical, but overwhelming with their needs, including their complete inability to self-soothe. Company can be really nice to have.

        • Yea, the problem is that as I mentioned my in-laws are not very helpful and in fact my MIL loves to throw any little help she provides in your face or to make it ten times more stressful than it needs to be.

          • Anon in NYC :

            I think your husband needs to explain to his parents that ideally they would visit before he goes back to work or a few weeks after the transition, but it is not a good idea for them to stay with you during the transition.

    • “I’m so excited for you to visit and meet the baby. Like we talked about before x,y,z were the best dates for you to visit. Since those don’t sound like they’ll work, what about the last 4-5 days when H is home, so you’ll get to see all of us at once. We’re not up for hosting once H goes back to work, so that would work best for our new family.”

      Ultimately, someone is going to have to push back – which you can do nicely, unless the Inlaws are just clueless.

      Would you be okay with them still being in the area, but staying at a hotel once H goes back to work? So they can come visit in the evenings when he is home, but not necessarily be underfoot the whole time.

    • Anne Shirley :

      Having invited them to stay for 10 days, I think pushing back on them for suggesting a different time will seem odd, even though it makes perfect sense that you’d feel differently about it. Can you dial back the dates to 10 from 14 and make your own boundary plans? I’m thinking things like going to visit other friends in the afternoon one day without them, asking them to babysit one night while you go out, having a routine of mommy-baby time walks with the stroller etc? Obviously you need to be comfortable, but since you invited them for 10 days to begin with it seems like you do place some value on them visiting.

      • this, I would just push back on the number of days. “We’re not up for hosting for more than X days.” and I’d second the hotel idea, ask your husband how to tell them they can stay at a hotel for X days and visit in the evening.

    • I’m also trying to juggle multiple sets of grandparents planning visits, and I’m wondering if maybe the solution for you is to just give them chore lists and be clear that if they’re coming, you’ll be expecting help. Not in a b!tchy kind of way, but more like “Oh, how perfect that you’re coming right when DH is going back to work! It will be so great to have you around to help with the grocery shopping, cooking, and laundry! And I know you’ll want time to snuggle the little one, which will be great for me since it will give me a chance to take a nap or a shower!” And then when they’re there, say “it would be so great if you guys could do a grocery run for us today. I can give you the list and I’ll give you the money for the groceries. It is such a help to have you around!” Maybe a different situation because I do believe my mom will be really helpful when she’s here (she’s already planning to be on night duty with me — hooray!) but, as I’ve mentioned here before, my mom and husband do NOT get along, but Mr. TBK is super excited for an extended visit from Mama TBK because he knows that, annoying as they find each other, it’s going to be all hands on deck for the first several weeks and the more hands the better.

    • I assume the baby will be less than 8 weeks at this point? Really they just eat, sleep and poop most of the time. It’s not so much that you need help with the baby; it’s that you will need help with all of the other life stuff that isn’t getting done because you are on 24-7 baby duty. Can the in-laws cook, do laundry, clean, hold the baby while you shower, run to the grocery, walk the dog, pick up take-out, etc? Sure, you are probably the one getting up in the middle of the night, but knowing that someone else can make sure there is food in the house is a huge help.

  11. Famouscait :

    TTC post. Feel free to skip over.

    Six months ago I miscarried my first pregnancy just a few days after a big, happy pregnancy reveal to my family (parents/inlaws and siblings). DH and I have only felt ready to start trying again recently, which my sister knows because I got all upset last month when I hoped I was pregnant but wasn’t. This month, I feel even more sure I am (based on um, our activity, plus current symptoms) but I’m waiting another couple days to take a test. Whenever I get pregnant again, I want to tell my family early so that I’ll have their support in case the worst happens all over again. But, because of the previous miscarriage I’m very nervous about expecting and just sort of want a we’re-happy-but-keeping-it-in-check-for-a-bit type of response. I thought maybe a good way to set this up is to tell my sister how anxious I am about taking a test in a few days? We’re close but she didn’t disclose this type of thing to me before she had her kids, nor did she know when we were trying (the first time around). Thoughts? Thanks for letting me vent my anxiety here, cyber friends.

    • Anne Shirley :

      There’s nothing wrong with calling when you have news to tell and saying that while you’re obviously pleased, you’d like to keep everything low key for the moment. Is your concern that your family is likely to ignore your request?

    • I’m so sorry about your loss. I’d just talk — it’s a special history and I could see why you’d want to. I think people do more vanilla things in more vanilla situations and it seems a bit market talk talk more with people who have had children (v. ones people who haven’t). I wasn’t in vanilla situations when I was pregnant and it helped to have people to share with. Good luck!

    • No advice other than what others have already posted, but wanted to let you know I’m pulling for you! Unless your family are the type to always go way over the top on everything, I suspect they’ll also feel a little subdued this time and also want to wait to get too excited. This pregnancy/conception thing can be way tougher than most of us imagine it’ll be. I hope so much that you get good news.

    • My guess is that your sister would love to talk about this stuff with you, but is trying to be sensitive and give you your space on the issue and maybe waiting for you to bring it up? Call her, if that’s what your heart says.

    • I’m so sorry to hear that. And I hope you can expect good news, whenever that may come.

      I was your sister in this scenario when my own sister miscarried. It was devastating for her and all of us, as you know. She is very open, so I knew that she would speak her mind when she was ready, but I tried to make sure she knew she could come to me by listening/not prying or asking too many questions– in other words, I followed her lead.

      It’s hard to say because I don’t know the relationship you two have, but my guess is that she understands what you are going through – especially as she has had kids of her own. I think bringing up that you are anxious to take a test again would be a good way to signal to her the tone you want — “happy but in check.” If you are comfortable talking it out with her, do that. Say, “well, we decided we were ready to try again and now I’m taking a test soon, so as you can imagine I’m feeling nervous and excited and still sad (or other X emotion) because of…(and then vent/explain as much or as little as you want)” In other words, you do the talking– if you are comfortable with it. Let her take cues from you as to how you want to proceed and how you want the family to react. You can even say “that’s all I want to say right now” – I’m sure she knows it’s a sensitive topic and as long as you’ve let her know you need her support, she should be there for you in the future. But whatever you are comfortable with!

      • Famouscait :

        Thanks, anon. I appreciate hearing it from your perspective as a sister. Neither my mom nor my sister ever experienced this first hand, so I do know they feel a bit unprepared on how to discuss. That being said, they’re also super happy and supportive of me (which I appreciate) but perhaps you’re right that I need to be clear about how I’d like them to express that support.

        • Hugs. I don’t have any kids, but her pain was our pain. This hadn’t happen to anyone else we knew either, but I do know my sister. As others have suggested, I’m sure your family is ready to support and love you in whatever way you need right now and whatever way you are comfortable expressing it. xoxo

        • I second the advice to be clear on what you want. You’re totally entitled to handle it however you want and definitely to say “we’re excited but also trying to keep things in check right now and we hope you will respect that.” My sister disclosed her pregnancy very early. A few months later I ended up disclosing my pregnancy to my family early because we were leaving for a family vacation with them in which my lack of drinking would be noticeable. Then I miscarried that night. When I got pregnant again, I choose not to say anything until I went to the doctor at 8 weeks and heard a heartbeat. My family was very understanding when I explained that I just needed to wait this time and that while I was ecstatic to hear a heatbeat, I was still nervous. I’m sure yours would understand that you are excited but nervous. Really hope it works out for you.

    • Hugs and hope you get good news!
      I’m sure your family will understand the need to keep it low key this time around. And if you choose to not say anything to them until a little later in the pregnancy, they might be surprisingly understanding of that too, given the history.
      I’d say not to worry about keeping your family’s emotions in check, but just to manage your own emotions the best way you can (even if that involves being low key and keeping good news to yourself for a while till you’re less anxious).

    • I was in your situation a few years ago. Told everyone we were expecting, and then lost the baby. It totally sucked, and my heart goes out to you.

      When we got pg again, we called our parents (both sets lived about 5 hours away) and said something like “We’re expecting again, and are cautiously optimistic, but we’d appreciate it if you didn’t tell anyone until after x weeks. We wanted you to know because we could use your prayers & support just in case something bad happens again”.

      My sister was too young to discuss anything with, but I think your plan of letting your sister know how anxious you are about testing is a good one. You are in a much different situation than she was, and I know that sometimes you really, really need to talk to someone other than dh. Good luck, and I hope everything works out this time!

    • First, I am so sorry for your loss. I’ve been there too (twice) and it is just awful. Everyone is different, but it really helped me when I just started talking about it. Keeping something like that inside was making me totally crazy. People are generally extremely understanding and supportive and I have been surprised how many people have gone through similar situations. When I had my second m/c (which, btw, was after I had my son) it must much easier to manage emotionally in large part because I had expressed my worries to people close to me before it happened.

      I really hope you get a wonderful suprise in the next few days. Keep us posted. I’ll be rooting for you!

    • Diana Barry :

      Will your sister be good about not telling anyone if you share with her? Or do you think she will be too excited? I would think about how you’d feel if she told people, if she was not low-key enough, etc. etc. before you decide to share with her.

      Good luck!

    • Philanthropy Girl :

      I am so very sorry for your loss. Our first pregnancy didn’t go as planned either, and we are now expecting again after almost 2 years (11 weeks on Monday). I understand the fears and anxieties, and also the desire to feel supported as soon as possible. I put off taking a test for days, and never got up the courage to take a second one. I have been sharing our news, including my fears, with the people it feels most safe to share it with. If your sister is a safe person who will understand the caution and anxiety as well as take great joy in the prospect a new member of your family, I think it would be a great way to have the support you need at this point.

      If she isn’t the safest person to help carry this very delicate load, perhaps turn to a good friend.

      Hoping you have good news when you are ready to hear it, and that you have all the emotional support you need. There is a lovely blog called Still Breathing which has been running a series of letters to moms expecting again after a loss. It is full of wonderful affirmations and I would recommend it highly.

  12. Bostonites- I have friends coming into town next week for a conference at the Hynes Convention Center. Me and a friend want to dinner out Monday night- somewhere yummy, not to loud, where we can sit around and eat and gossip for an hour or two over dinner. Any recommendations in that area? Preferably not above the price range of 30ish dollar entrees (maybe less than $100 total each with a glass of wine thrown in)? Any suggestions? Also needs to be somewhere that we could get into around 7 on this late of notice? Thanks for any help! I’m still a newbie to the city.

    • Also just curious- any other readers going to this conference? It’s CROI (Conference on retroviruses and opportunistic infections)– one if the big conferences in HIV research.

    • I like Eastern Standard on Comm Ave. It’s probable a ten minute walk from the convention center, or a stop or two on the T. Prices are in the mid-$20 range for entrees, they have awesome cocktails and wine, and the atmosphere is pretty mellow. I don’t think you’ll have any problem getting in, especially if you make a reservation today or tomorrow.

    • Towne is nearby, and huge, so you shouldn’t have trouble getting a table. Sonsie is a little loud, but the food is great. Atlantic Fish is also very good.

  13. Get me out of court! :

    I work for a small litigation firm, and have previously worked at several others. I keep switching firms to try to find a job that I like more, but I’ve come to the conclusion that I really hate working for law firms.

    I’ve applied for several in house jobs, and several jobs where the post indicated that a JD was preferred but not required. I’d really like to work for a bigger company, rather than a small business, because I’m so frustrated by the lack of consistent policies and stability. I’m not even getting interviews at those places. I really feel like people don’t believe that a litigator is seriously pursuing a non-law job.

    I am thinking that an MBA would help. There is an inexpensive school that is well respected within my city (which I do not plan to leave). Would it be crazy to get an MBA? I could do it with no loans, but it will drastically reduce my ability to pay off my law school loans quickly, and save for retirement. I would do it while still working, so it would probably take 3-4 years.

    Has anyone ever done this? Thoughts? Thanks!

    • Are you networking with these companies? Addressing the move from legal world into non-legal work in your cover letter? I think it’s one of those things you need to say explicitly, and really connect the dots about why you want to move. Have a story that explains why it’s something you want to move into (as opposed to why you want to get away from what you are doing).

      Larger companies are just harder to get into anyway – the online application systems are not helpful on either side, and about the best thing you can do is network the he!! out of your connections. Which is probably where the value of the MBA comes in – creating connections, and signaling that you are interested in the business side. Maybe that could be your info interviewing slant for the positions that you are looking at in these companies – do they see value with someone with both a JD and MBA, or is that just going to be overkill.

    • Coach Laura :

      I think an MBA might be useful but it’s good to think about your alternatives or potential career paths before starting on this path. I’m not clear if you want a legal in-house job or if you want to use your law degree or transition to a job that doesn’t require a law degree. I’ve seen very successful people use their law degrees to make the leap to a business career or a career at a non-profit, university or governmental agency. What do you want to do? Lawyers have skills that are useful in many industries – finance and banking, venture capital, startups, health care, technology to name a few – and in many functional positions such as management, contracts, due diligence and more. Your current skills may include strategic thinking, analysis, writing – what are your top skills? Getting an MBA may help the transition by showing that you’re serious about making the move while getting contacts to help facilitate the move but it comes with costs as you know.

      I would start with a general skills inventory, read the blog/book After the Law and a book I’ve recommend here before called Pathfinder by Nicholas Lore, plus the old standby book “What Color is your Parachute” can be helpful too.

    • Abby Lockhart :

      Have you considered working for a larger law firm? In my experience, bigger law firms have consistent policies. I’m not sure what you mean by “stability.” If you mean you want to feel like your job is not in jeopardy on a daily/weekly basis, law firms may not be for you. If you mean you want to feel like the firm will be around in a year, a bigger firm (in most cases) might be attractive.

      • Get me out of court! :

        Thank you guys! I think the issue is I’m not entirely sure what I want… I always thought my problem was with my firm, but now that I’m on my third firm, it’s becoming clear that that’s not the problem.

        Thank you for the book recs Coach Laura. Downloading those now!

  14. Thoughts on the color of this bag? There are other more muted colors, but this one is on sale, and I can’t decide if I love it or hate it.

    http://www.katespade.com/cedar-street-elissa/PXRU4622-1,en_US,pd.html?dwvar_PXRU4622-1_color=648&cgid=katespade-root#q=elissa&start=1&cgid=katespade-root

  15. Senior Attorney :

    TJ: Just wanted to share that I am super excited today because tomorrow night my son the Marine is coming home to California after two long years in Japan! I haven’t seen him since a short visit 14 months ago, so I am beside myself with excitement and happiness! He’ll have some time off before he starts his new (reasonably local) assignment and I’m taking some vacation time as well, so les bonnes temps will definitely be rollez-ing around here!! Ooh rah and hooray!!

  16. Headed to Dublin :

    I’m visiting Dublin, Ireland in about a month’s time on a work trip and will be staying close to the airport and using taxis to get around. I may have one full weekend day there to sightsee before I return.
    (1) Any recommendations near Blanchardstown for weekday evenings, maybe to grab a drink or meal? Is it safe? (2) And the top things you would recommend me to do for my one free day in Dublin? Thanks.

    • Anon in NYC :

      The Book of Kells (in Dublin) is worth it. I really wanted to go to the prison, but you have to make reservations in advance for specific times. I thought the best thing about the Guinness brewery was drinking a Guinness in their bar at the top (fantastic views), but it’s pricy and out of the way. Even if you’re not a dark beer drinker (I’m generally not), Guinness in Ireland really is better than in the US – it’s a must try.

  17. Wedding Planner? :

    Sorry – a wedding related TJ, so feel free to skip. I just can’t stand most wedding websites and I don’t know where else to ask!

    I’m just starting to plan our destination wedding for spring of next year and I’m looking into hiring a wedding planner. If we were doing it locally, I probably wouldn’t consider it, but given that we don’t live in the area, I’m starting to think I could use the extra help. However, I do like researching vendors/putting events together and I have the time to do most of it, so I’m wondering if a planner will really add that much additional value.

    Did you use one? Pros/cons? Was it worth the additional spend? Did he or she end up saving you any money via discounts or existing relationships?

    • Clementine :

      Maybe this is a good place to get a ‘Day-Of Coordinator’. I spoke with a few who offered basically minimal planning/contact services leading up to, helped you put together a detailed timeline, and then were there the day of to make sure everything ran like clockwork and you could just relax.

      If you are happy to research vendors and plan everything, then do that and find somebody who knows the area, has a great contact list, and will keep everything flowing smoothly on your wedding day.

      I didn’t have one and really, really wish I had. My FIL later criticized that nobody made it clear where they could park for most of the reception -most people used the free and readily available public parking, but we did have a private lot available… it was on the website but this is an example of where a DOC could really have helped us out. Also, if anything goes wrong at the last second- tux pants the wrong size, wonky flowers, vendor no-show, a good DOC will have a list of good local back-ups they can call.

    • I would at least consult with one or two to see what they can offer. I think unless you’ve planned a wedding before – or an event with similarly large proportions/moving pieces in that area – they can probably provide really valuable input as to what certain prices will get you in the region. And unless you plan to do an all inclusive venue, they can also provide some good advice on weather, traffic, or other local things you haven’t thought about.

      If you don’t go the planner route, I would check out a practical wedding, as they have a lot of great resources. And don’t discount the knot either for compilations of venues or vendors, though I would not give them any personal information if I were you.

      I didn’t get a planner, but kind of regretted it because I felt like I could have saved some time upfront with more realistic budgeting and also with referrals for vendors.

    • I didn’t, but I also got married 2 hours from home and had a very small wedding. I echo Clementine’s Day Of coordinator suggestion, especially if you are getting married in a place where you don’t speak the local language, you do not have a coordinator as part of a hotel package, or you have a large/more fancy wedding. A good DOC can make your life so much easier during the wedding, so you just have to enjoy yourself and be a beautiful bride vs. directing reception traffic and wondering why the flowers aren’t there yet.

    • I’m an event planner, so I can give you the perspective that a destination wedding will be a really useful time to have a planner. I recommend hiring one that specializes not only in destinations, but one that concentrates (or lives in) the location you decide on. From there, he/she will be able to do as much or as little as you want them to do for your wedding, but they will be an added bonus when it comes to recommendations, tips/tricks for the area, etc. He/she may be able to save you money with discounts, but the value of a destination planner is in their knowledge and experience with vendors.

    • Third the day of coordinator suggestion. Although mine didn’t get me any discounts, I have heard that it happens. Just make sure you’re on the same page about what you want the day to look and feel like.

      I felt that the money was well spent to delegate day of decision making. For our wedding, the weather wasn’t great so half the flowers had to be taken off the tables after one vase tipped over and broke. Then our outdoor dinner was cut short because guests were cold. I hardly noticed these hiccups thanks to our coordinator.

    • Diana Barry :

      I had a destination wedding but it was fairly close by – 3 hrs or so, not in another country, etc. – and didn’t use a planner. I also liked researching places, etc. and made sure we had everything set up ahead of time – I made my own welcome bags, maps, etc. – so all the guests knew where everything was.

    • My mom talked me into hiring a coordinator after I had already booked all of the vendors. I am a super type-A control freak and am also extermely frugal so I resisted for a long time. We figured it would be more of a day-of coordinator situation. Our coordinator has different packages. The largest package is start to finish 24/7 help with everything and the smallest was day-of coordination only. We went with the medium one because we anticipated needing a lot of help working with the owner of the venue (he is a lovely farmer but does not understand why he needs to call us back, let us know how many tables there will be, etc.). It has been the single best decision we have made. She has been such a help with everything from getting us discounts on wedding favors to running interference with my future MIL. I would suggest getting references and interviewing coordinators so you can make sure they are good, as well as a good fit for you. You can also see if they have any package options so you aren’t paying for services you don’t need.

      • Anonattorney :

        I had a similar package and it was the most valuable purchase I made. The biggest thing is that they handle everything on the day of the wedding. You can get a day-of coordinator, but it’s useful to have someone helping out with the rehearsal dinner and who is familiar with the vendors before they get to the actual wedding day. It’s invaluable to not have to stress about random details on your wedding day. I was able to be entirely in the moment because of my wedding coordinator.

    • I’m doing a day of with unlimited email in between. It’s fantastic. I can say hey who do you know who has swans and she’ll email some recommendations. Not in a pushy way, but only when I ask. I enjoy researching, so I’ve found a few of my vendors on my own and used a few of hers. I love my person and they’re reasonable about pricing (very up front no extras). Happy to email you the name of the company if you post an email address (they do destination though I have no idea about cost there).

  18. Big move? nyc to seattle :

    Has anyone made this move or a similar one? I’m in my late twenties and have been in NYC for about a decade. SO and I are interested in moving to Seattle for quality of life and to be closer to family, but I’m wondering about timing. No kids yet, maybe in 3-4 years we’d start trying. I’m considering job opportunities in my field (UN related, could change my orientation to non-profit or more tech) and starting over new. Has anyone made a big move like this? What did you do to prepare and how far in advance did you start applying for jobs?

    • I did this exact move. My advice is to start looking for jobs well in advance – Seattle can be a tough job market, unless you’re in a very high-demand field. Networking is critical, because it’s a fairly insular place, and a smaller city than you’d realize, so connections matter a lot.

      I’m happy to answer more specific questions about Seattle, if that would help! I did end up moving away, myself, because the weather just killed me and I like to travel too much to deal with the flight situation in Seattle, but it’s a great city.

    • I’d work your alumni / friend networks to try to figure out the local job market, prospects, etc. And when you get to the application/interviewing phase, work your connections to the area (and make clear you’re not just a city slicker moving West on a whim). I’ve done big-but-temporary (one-year) moves, and for me it’s been fine to wing it for everything except the job – but you need to do whatever lets you sleep at night. Other than that, Seattle is awesome! Good luck!

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I went the other way from Oregon to NYC. In my case, it was just me moving and I was moving for school. I sold the vast majority of my possessions and shipped a few boxes.

      It can take so long to find a job, especially looking long distance, that I don’t think you could really start too early.

      • I also moved from Oregon to the east coast (but after I was done with school). I sold all my furniture (it was mostly Ikea and similar and I didn’t think it would hold up in a cross country move) and packed all my personal belongings into my car and drove across the country. Finding housing can be a little daunting when you are not familiar with various neighborhoods, etc.

        I will second Sydney Bristow in saying that finding a job was the most difficult part. I put a lot of time and money into flying out east to network and apply for jobs. I also joined local professional organizations (local Bar associations and young professional groups) about 6 months to a year in advance of the move in order to be able to follow the listserves for announcements about job postings and networking opportunities. I’d also reach out to any contacts you already have (whether in Seattle or not) and ask them to introduce you to people they may know in the Seattle area.

    • Thanks for this feedback – I’ve never looked for a job in a city other than my own so it’s so helpful to know that I need to apply starting very early. It’s strange to imagine leaving NYC but I can’t imagine myself here forever.

    • Yes, I think start now looking for jobs. Be very clear in cover letters that you are looking to relocate for family. Then be prepared to do a 2 stage move when you get an offer:

      1. Whoever gets a job first moves out right away, find a small, furnished sublet, and just bring a couple of suitcases.

      2. Start looking for a more permanent apt/house once you start and are physically in town

      3. At some point, you fly back, help the other SO pack the rest of the stuff and send it on its way (I recommend PODS), and both fly to Seattle. (also recommend selling as much as you can. You can buy new stuff in Seattle for much cheaper than NY retail ;o))

      4. If the new place isn’t ready yet, put the stuff in a storage unit until it is ready.

      This is basically what I did except it was just me, and it wasn’t easy, but basically it worked, i was never stuck with stuff and no apartment, and i didn’t get stuck in a horrible longterm place because I had secured it sight-unseen. Good luck!!

  19. Wedding Registry Question Redux :

    To follow up on yesterday’s question about wedding registries:

    My fiance and I are in a situation where having a gift registry simply makes little sense. We have lived together for several years and have basically everything we need (we already have the Le Creuset, the Kitchenaid mixer, etc.). It would be v. helpful for that New York City condo down payment after we get married. We are both from a culture (Chinese) where cash gifts from attending guests is the predominant tradition (general social expectation is that it’s bad for the couple to ask for a large cash gift, but also bad for a guest to not give cash if he/she could afford it). How do we convey this to our friends who may have grown up in a culture where cash gifts are deemed “tacky”?

    • There is no good way. I made comments to some of my friends with whom I am very close and with whom I am comfortable discussing finances that we were really hoping we end up with cash gifts because we don’t need stuff and have debt, but that is more me confiding in my closest friends than trying to get the word out that we would like cash gifts. I think in most circles asking for cash is considered tacky no matter how you do it.

    • Honestly, if your family on both sides plans to give cash (based on the cultural traditions), I see nothing wrong with simply not having a registry. If your friends ask, say something like, “in our culture, we really don’t do wedding registries.” I think everyone will get the hint (or at least give you a gift receipt).

    • Opinions will vary, but my two cents: You don’t. If you don’t want a registry, don’t have a registry. When someone asks you about not having one, you explain that you are fortunate to have everything you need. You might also say that registries are not common in your culture. Personally, I would feel uncomfortable also informing guests that money is preferable or dropping hints about how helpful the extra dough would be for my down-payment. To be honest, I really do not think there is a non-tacky way to imply that what you really want from your wedding guests is cash.

      People know what their options are, and if they want to and are able to give cash, they will. For example, I think asking for money is tacky, but my personal practice is also to give a gift at a shower and write a check for the actual wedding.

      • I agree. I think your official line could be: “No gifts please, we don’t need any more things for our life together” Or “We are fortunate to have all of the material goods we need”

        But then you have to leave it to your families to know that means they will give you cash. You could do as people above said and tell friends you are very close to that in your family everyone will give cash, but you really don’t need any more stuff, but it’s different in a one-on-one conversation where you don’t ask for it directly, than putting it on the invitation as a stated thing.

        Also, you still might get some physical gifts anyway, be prepared for that.

        But someone did mention yesterday the website Honeyfund lets you say that your registry is for a down payment (as opposed to a honeymoon) I guess you could do that if you want to give people an online location to donate. But I still think a lot of people will feel like that is rude and basically asking for cash. :o(

    • It’s the outright asking for cash gifts that is frowned upon, not really the giving of cash gifts. I think that you will have to accept/expect that some people will want to give a physical gift and some people want to give money and then not judge them for whatever choice they make. There may be some opportunities to address the cultural differences (oh, we don’t really do showers because our culture doesn’t give that type of gift) but other than that, your guests will do what they are comfortable with.

    • I don’t think you can. I have friends from cultures who’ve told me that cash gifts are the norm for them, and they gave me cash at my wedding. I just couldn’t bring myself to give them cash for theirs. In my culture, you give cash down, not up or sideways. That is, older people give money to younger people but no one else. So a cash gift from a parent, grandparent, aunt/uncle, parent’s cousin, etc. all fine. But cash between friends, siblings (unless the giver is older and more established than the recipient), cousins the same age? Nope. Maybe I should have sucked it up and given cash (but then you could say that my friends should have sucked it up and bought a gift). But giving money for me symbolizes a certain hierarchy and it would make me deeply uncomfortable to subvert that hierarchy.

    • Stormborn :

      You don’t. People know that money is good. People also are either comfortable giving that or they aren’t. If there is anything you want to upgrade than make a small registry, otherwise just don’t have a registry. And of course decline any shower offers.

    • I’d do a registry of things you don’t mind getting to help those who prefer not to give cash. Even with the Le crueset and all, you might want to get “wedding” tea set, etc. My SO and I have a collection of utensils from our single days (dating back to post college first apt, college dining hall teaspoons i still have, etc) but if we were to get married, I’d probably register for a full set of proper utensils.

    • A Chinese friend of mine recently married a non-Chinese woman. Their wedding was mostly traditional American, but had a few Chinese elements thrown in. On their wedding website, in the spot where a registry normally would be, they had something like “We are so happy to have you join us at our wedding, no further gifts are needed! With that said, if you would like to follow Chinese tradition, may we suggest red envelopes! Chinese tradition has it that it is good fortune for guest to give “blessings” to the bride and groom in the form of a red envelope. You can learn more about the tradition here: [link to article about it].”

      I didn’t find this tacky at all and really appreciated that they were telling us what kind of gift they would most want.

      For my own wedding I did a regular regular registry + honeymoon registry. In light of this, I was really surprised at the number of people who ended up just giving us an envelope of cash at the wedding, but in the end those were our favorite gifts. We were able to take all of that cash and put it into savings for a down payment, which really to me is the best wedding gift I could imagine! I since have changed my wedding gift giving norm from buying from the couple’s registry to giving cash and a nice card (unless I cannot attend–then I send something from the registry). I always was told not to buy off-registry gifts because the couple may already have that item, your taste may not be the style they want for their home, it may not be easy to return, etc., despite the nice thought of doing something more personal. Thus, for me, the most personal thing to do is write a nice card, and then include a check.

  20. Anonymous :

    I’ve been to a few weddings recently where the couple has not really registered and instead they included websites where guests could contribute to a down payment or part of the couple’s honeymoon. I didn’t find the listing of the websites in lieu of a traditional registry to be tacky or money grabbing.

    One of the couples was really clever in wording a request for no gifts in the invite (where one would normally find registry information) and they said something to the effect of (unfortunately I can’t remember the exact wording): “We’ve already got more stuff than we need and are looking forward to laying down the foundation to building a life together. In lieu of purchasing something off a registry, please consider helping us on our path to owning a home.”
    One of the other couples just listed websites where guests could contribute and then they included in their thank you notes an actual description of what the money I gave them was used for (eg. instead of just thanks for the cash, they wrote “Thanks for your gift of $$. Your contribution to our honeymoon fund paid for us to do x,y, and z while we were on our honeymoon.”

    IMHO, with so many more people getting married later in life (ie. after they’ve lived on their own awhile) and more people starting life with substantial student loan debt, the traditional registry is not necessarily as beneficial and practical for some couples as it once might have been. I think a lot of guests will start to understand that more and more.

    • Anonymous :

      omg no. Consider my pearls clutched- no amount of cute wording makes begging ok. If you have everything you need- congrats! You are blessed. Be thankful. Don’t ask for money in any way shape or form. I’m against registries in general, but the only reason they get a pass is so that people can see what would match your home.

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