Thursday’s TPS Report: Sleeveless Sheath Dress

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

Sleeveless Sheath DressOooh: Ann Taylor is having a friends and family sale — take 40% off  your entire purchase today (although you have to sign up to get the code).  I’ve been eyeing this lovely sheath dress — which also comes in petite sizes in black, and a nice dark burgundy in the regular sizes 00-18.  I like the high neckline and high back, the hidden back zipper, and the stretchy material. It was $139, but with 40% off it comes down to $83.40. Sleeveless Sheath Dress

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(L-all)

Comments

  1. BurningOut :

    Has anyone here actually suffered from burnout, or knows someone that went through it? How did they know it was time to step back? How did they return from feeling burned out? I am talking to a professional about this also, just looking for some personal examples.

    And on a related note, how do you most effectively “relax”? The only thing that seems to help me zone out is running, but I’m dealing with some runner’s knee, so I can’t do that as much as I want.

    • Chiming in to commiserate. I am burned out and the only way I can think to escape it is to change jobs. But I can’t change jobs until a huge project I’m on is done, which will be next spring. I am so sick of it all that I’m having a hard time doing a good job on this huge project, too. I know it’s time to step back because I feel so overwhelmed and sad all the time. I cry in my office or on the way home at least once a week. I’m also seeking professional help, but I’m not convinced it’s working.

      To relax, I drink wine or tea and read a book on my porch. It’s lovely. I also like to walk in a park near my house.

      I’ll be following this thread closely.

      • Why do you have to wait until your project is done? What’s going to happen if you get a new job before it’s done?

        • I would burn a huge bridge if I left before it was over. I don’t want to be too specific because I don’t want to out myself, but I have a significant role in a project that has been in the works for several years. No one in my firm can get up to speed quickly enough to be effective if I leave. I hesitate to say that because I know everyone is replaceable, and someone else could do an ok job, but my bosses and others in the industry would view my departure as Not Okay in a way that it would jeopardize future job prospects in the field.

    • Yup – I suffered from burnout at a pretty young age. Crazy long hours so very sleep deprived, very stressful work with high stakes daily. It was very satisfying, important work. But very difficult for my personality to sustain.

      I probably knew it was time to step back when I started screaming in my car as a stress release. Or crying. Honestly, I should have gotten on medication at that point, as I continued to work in the position for 3 more years and the stakes continued to rise. Sometimes, I cannot believe I survived. The lack of a support system (no nearby family/friends, as I moved to a newish city for the job and was working so hard there was no time to see the few I had) – didn’t help.

      I left that position at a very good transition point, where no one was left hanging and many moved on to new positions anyway. And I haven’t gone back. I actually took a very long sabbatical (forced to take FMLA due to family reasons) and it gave me healthy perspective. I will probably return to my prior field, but in a very very different position.

      If exercise is a good stress release, I definitely recommend sticking with it. I’ve actually found that one of the most effective ways to relax. Talk to your doctor/trainer/physical therapist about what is safest for you/your knee. I would consider swimming, and possibly pilates/yoga or a spin class if that is safe.

      Also look up some of the mindfulness medication exercises. You can even do them if you have a couple minutes free at work. If you can train yourself, they can be very effective.

    • This may be an extreme solution, but pre-kids I was burned out at a job that I objectively loved. I asked for — and got– a leave of absence. I spent a summer volunteering for organizations that I was interested in but hadn’t been able to connect with. I went back to work at the end and was able to a) focus on the parts that I enjoyed and b) continue with some of the volunteer work.

      A potential, less extreme solution to your burn out may be to take some time to focus on other things. If you have more variety of obligations then you won’t be as fixated on work-related items. Try relaxing your mind, not just your body.

    • I am in the same boat. I had a terrible year both personally and professionally. Last two months were extremely busy that I had to work even when I was sick. Thankfully that firefighting is over. I am trying very hard to meditate and calm my mind. I am taking leave from work starting from Christmas till last week of January. Hopefully that is enough time to relax and feel energetic again.

    • First Year Anon :

      I have been in a very similar situation to you, including the injury that preventing me from running.

      If exercise helps, try to do swimming or weight lifting (anything that will let you knee heal).

      Otherwise, I really limited all of the unnecessary stress in my life. That meant not taking on any other obligations or favors unless I had to, if I needed to buy food instead of cooking (but I kept it very healthy so I wouldn’t gain weight on top of it all), I did that without kicking myself over the extra cost, and used all possible conveniences in life to make things easier.

    • HA I just came here to post the exact same thing. I don’t have money to go on vacation. I don’t trust myself to take a staycation. I work 65-90 hours a week and have taken 7.5 days of personal time, most of which were for medical reasons.

      I am taking Wednesday before Thanksgiving off to go home to my parents early but I doubt that will be relaxing. I have been coming in at like 10 am and working until 10 pm and then going home, going to bed, getting up and doing it again. I’ve had the flu/cold and it took two weeks to get over it. Now I have a sinus infection so I haven’t been able to run outside since it has been cold. It is just making it worse and worse and my boss is all over me to arrive by 9 but he leaves at 5. When I arrive at 9, I still leave at 10 and I just want to sleep in in the mornings. I love my job too but I cannot get out of bed in the morning. I see someone professionally and we have changed medications but I am not even motivated enough to get up and take it.

      I have a 10 pass yoga class and a yoga studio next door. I find that it really relaxes me but I bet I haven’t gone in years. I also lost my debit card in a dress pocket in MAY and got a new one so my gym membership stopped getting paid and I never went back. All I need to do is tell them the new number and they won’t even charge me the past months but I just can’t motivate myself to go over there. My entire life takes place in a 10 block radius too. It’s not a commute or anything that’s actually difficult.

      Wine is relaxing.

      • Ugh, I’m on this kind of a schedule too, lately, and I hate it. I want to come in earlier, but I inevitably end up staying late anyway, and by the end of the week I’m just too tired to get up early. And I wish I could get back to running regularly.

    • For me, it was having a baby and taking a long maternity leave. Prior to pregnancy, I was crying bc of work burn out several times a week, and pregnancy did not help. But taking a few months to focus on something else (baby!!) and not think about work reset my batteries in a way that vacations had not. Also, becoming a parent shifted my thought process on what’s a big deal and what’s not as well as made me much more focused and efficient at work, since the same quantity of work has to happen in time for daycare pick up.

      Obviously not the solution for everyone!

      • Senior Attorney :

        I had a similar experience years ago. I was a senior associate at a firm, working crazy hours and seriously burned out. I broke my arm very badly and was off work for two months. It was eye-opening partly because I realized that I was not, contrary to my prior belief, indispensable. After I went back it no longer seemed quite so life-or-death as it had before. And I still made partner on schedule.

    • I’m in academia so I my options are a bit different. I’ve been eligible for sabbatical for a while, but didn’t take one because a) we were searching for a Dean, hired one, then that went south, and b) my younger colleagues were eligible for the first time and I wanted to give them a chance. Now, we have settled the leadership situation and have had some turnover. I’m thinking either a sabbatical or a 6 week research leave to write an article I’ve had rolling around in my head. I may take the 6 week leave next summer just because it’s easier.

    • Yes. I knew it was time to step back aka find another job when I was having panic attacks regularly, my work product was suffering, my friendships had become nonexistent due to my work schedule, I could no longer enjoy the activities I loved when I could squeeze them in outside of work, and I was drinking myself into a blackout multiple nights a week.

      I fixed it by finding a new job. The second job was miserable too, but because of the people not the job itself. It all worked out in the end!

    • Oh my goodness, yes, yes, yes, I have experienced burnout. It’s especially awful when you have to work your buns off due to deadlines/projects (including crazy hours), but psychologically you really, really don’t want to be at work.

      So, a few things that helped me. When I had to work crazy hours, and my day was crazy the whole day, I started to carve meals out as “me” time. What that meant was that a work friend and I would book a conference room and take our takeout to that room, and act like normal human beings for 20-30 minutes, just chatting. Even though my life had been awful all day, this was a nice sanity time.

      On a similar vein, build in breaks. That means that you should build in time to your day to take a short (ten minute) walk around the block of your office, or to nip down to Starbucks or whatnot. Your day will be crazy all day, so ten minutes, even if you think someone is going to blow their top, is not awful. If such a break is absolutely not possible, go hide in a ladies room stall for ten minutes. I am not kidding. If it’s come to that, it’s come to that.

      Take time to call your friends or family during your commute to ground you. Even these ten minutes of check-in will help you understand that there’s an outside world.

      Schedule exercise. Like actually put it in your calendar, or pay a personal trainer so that you absolutely have to show up. Even if you think going for a workout will take more time out of your already-frazzled life, you should just do it. Your body will feel so much better for not being stuck at a desk. You don’t have to do an aggressive workout, but even the act of getting out of the office or starting your day with a workout will be key. Do not try to schedule this later in the day when everything’s crazy. Morning or Friday night or early on a weekend are better for making it actually happen.

      Try to do one thing each weekend which is just for you. Watch a trashy TV show, grab a quick brunch with a friend, whatever will help you recharge.

      Schedule your next vacation or PTO day, and also schedule a few doctor’s appointments that you’ve been putting off. It’s easy to lose perspective when you are working too hard. Remember that you have vacation and the wheels will not fall off if you take a three-day weekend. Even if you think taking vacation makes your work life worse, I promise that your colleagues will cope without you for one business day. Schedule this and stick to it. it will give you something to look forward to.

      Build treats into your day. For me, that meant getting my morning SBUX hot chocolate (not a coffee drinker) even though it was sort of indulgent. Yeah, sad that my ten minutes in line was a treat, but…it was. Leave your PDA in your purse. Just indulge in being in the outside world.

      Take a long look at how you are thinking about work outside of work. Is it worrying you? Do you have an endless loop of “omigosh I have so much to do” or “wow, this colleague is totally driving me crazy?” running during the few hours you are not at work. Try to cut that off. I had a very wise colleague who had a NY resolution to spend less emotional energy worrying about work outside of work, and this was fantastic advice. Although it is not completely possible, do your best to shut down work AT WORK and enjoy life during the few hours you are not at the office.

      Finally, allow yourself to daydream and decide what about the job is not working. See if you can take steps to make stuff work better for you–can you roll off a project or delegate certain tasks? Do you need more resources to get things done properly? Sometimes it seems easier to power through with things the way they are, without being more circumspect. BE MORE CIRCUMSPECT and try to figure out a way to dig yourself out of a hole.

      Oh–one more. I try to practice gratitude. For instance, even when my job is in a low point and I am not terribly excited to get up in the morning to go to work (<–UNDERSTATEMENT ALERT!), I try to think about the fact that it's a paycheck, it doesn't define me, I am lucky I am not doing physical labor, I work with (mostly) nice people, etc.

      GOOD LUCK. It does get better, but you need to practice self-care and try to fix what's killing you now.

    • I’ve spent the last 3.5 years pushing toward a big promotion. It was supposed to happen almost a year ago and didn’t for “political reasons” including an internal re-org.

      Now I am just burned-the-f-out. I know I can secure this promotion if I keep pushing another 6-12 months but I’m just pissed off. Even if I did get promoted, because of newly introduced salary caps I will be making way less money that I would had I been promoted when I was told I would be. I have a brand new boss who is aware of the situation. I like her and want to continue to be on her team…but I’m just angry at the company and want to leave soon to salvage my self-respect. No idea where I would go, however. A new job would require a geographic move and I do not think I am up for that.

  2. Thursday fun – I am looking for some short vacation ideas for the first half of December. I am thinking 4-5 days, within a driving distance or 3 hour flight from DC for my husband, myself, and our 1 year old. We haven’t really gone on vacation with the kid, except for flying to see family and attend weddings. I am not sure what would be easier with a toddler, resort-type getaway or a city vacation. Our goal is to relax, get our minds off of work, see some new things, oh and relax!

    • The weather is usually pretty mild and houses should be cheap to rent b/w Thanksgiving and Christmas. Also: Colonial Williamsburg — will be decorated nice and pretty (and they are used to families).

      • Colonial Williamsburg is lovely. I have a lot of nice memories walking around it with all the decorations, a cup of hot cider in my hand.

      • Thirding Williamsburg. If my memory serves, it really is beautiful at the holidays.

      • Fourthing Williamsburg. I went down around that time last year and it was gorgeous. Weather was wonderful for walking around and it was so beautiful with the decorations.

  3. Purchased this dress and immediately returned it. Unlined and the fit was terrible.

    • Unlined I can handle- why was the fit terrible?
      What’s bad for one body, works for another, and I really like how it looks!

      • Big and shapeless for me. Not flattering at all. The wool suiting dress I purchased in the same size fit beautifully though.

    • Same!! It was absolutely terrible. The fabric was bad, and just no.

  4. Regrets about leaving Big Law :

    I just started my new inhouse job on Monday and I find that I am seriously missing my BigLaw job. The compensation at my new job is only slightly less but I am expected to work 40-45 hours a week. I made the jump within 2 months of returning from mat leave (the transition back was ROUGH, but I really enjoyed my job before I left). I felt overwhelmed at my biglaw job, but looking back it wasn’t so bad – I never worked weekends, I enjoyed the flexibility (come in late, take off for appointments and no direct superior) and I loved the partners I worked for. On the flip side, I tended to get off later, partnership prospects were slim, and the work was not substantive.

    I find I am hating the strict 9:00am-5:30am, being viewed as a “cost center” rather than a “revenue generator” and missing the brilliant people I worked with in biglaw.

    Am I just experiencing culture shock or is it possible that I was too quick to jump ship after returning from mat leave? The transition back to work was rough, but I am wondering now whether I should have waited it out. I am having major doubts and anxiety that I made a HUGE mistake.

    • If it was just Monday, I would take a deep breath and give it time. In my experience it takes at least 6 months to truly settle in and even be able to objectively evaluate a new job.

    • I’d give it some more time. I found more flexibility with time in-house, as people learned that you were doing the work, putting in the time generally, more flexibility was reasonable. I also work with some of the most brilliant (and efficient!) people ever, so that just might be your company, but not all in-house positions.

      I think you need to give it a few more months and see how it goes.

    • I felt much the same as you when I started my new in house gig. The big adjustment for me is keeping “office hours” and being not-totally-free schedulewise. HOWEVER, there is so much less stress here and the normal schedule makes it easier to plan the rest of my life. Bottom line: you made this decision and there’s no point in torturing yourself about it now. This is not a HUGE mistake, it’s just a different path than the one you were on. Your anxiety is normal. Give yourself a break, immerse yourself in the new environment so you can adjust, and know that if you decide you want to go back to BigLaw, you can work hard and make that happen. I suspect, though, that once you get used to the new normal, your regrets will fade and you will be comfortable with your choice.

    • It’s possible you’re better suited for Big Law. It’s also possible you just need some time to adjust. Three days is nothing in the big scheme of things. I agree that you should give it a few months before you start thinking seriously about options for moving.

      Can you focus on all the things your new job gives you time to do? Make it home in time for dinner with your family? Allow you time to cook and bake (if that’s something you enjoy)? Have free time in the evenings and not be so braindead that you can actually do a hobby rather than just lying comatose in front of the TV? Unless you truly had the best Big Law job in the world, I bet you were consistently working much more than 45 hours a week. Focus on all your new found time and put it to use doing things you enjoy. It sounds like money isn’t the issue, but if you’re feeling the squeeze from the salary decrease think about things you used to have to outsource (grocery shopping, etc.) that you can now do yourself.

      Also at most 9-5 jobs its still possible to take time off for things like doctors appts — it may be a more formal process than Big Law and you may have to get official permission from someone, but it can be done.

    • Can’t truly commiserate except that I would hate 9-5:30 life. Reminds me of being a secretary at a law firm after undergrad and thinking “I wish I was a lawyer so I could go get my haircut at 2 p.m. and arrive when I wanted.”

      Is there something you wished you could have done in big law that you can do in the evenings now?

      • It totally depends on the company (and I am not a lawyer, so YMMV) but as others have pointed out, once you get a reputation as a person who gets things done there is often a lot of more flexibility at some companies to either leave early, come in late or take long lunches for appointments and make up the time later. And the nice thing about 9-5;30 life is that at a lot of places when you leave at 5:30, that’s it – you don’t have to think about work at all until the next day, no need to log back in at night to do more work. And again, once you develop a good reputation, the pressure for “butt in seat from 9 to 5:30 every single day” eases a bit.

        Can you plan something at 5:30 that you weren’t able to do in the past (an exercise class, dinner with friends, or just picking up your baby early and enjoying time to cook a real dinner) so you can start to reap some of those perks of getting out earlier?

        And regarding missing the brilliant people from BigLaw – chances are there are some pretty smart people at your new job too. You’ve only been there 4 days, give yourself a chance to meet and get to know some people.

    • Hello to myself 3 years ago.

      Yup, that was me when I made the switch too. I was in MidLaw, not BigLaw, but felt very similarly when I moved to in-house 3 years ago. I missed the work I had been doing, some (not all) of the partners I’d been with, and the flexibility of billable hours (call me crazy, but it does let you get your haircut at 2pm or whatever you want). Now I work 8:30-5:30 on a different cross-section of legal work, with different people.

      When I first started, I also wondered if I’d made a mistake. But when I looked back, at the decision that I made at the time, I couldn’t fault myself for deciding to try an in-house job. Regardless of whether it worked out, I at least stopped beating myself up over the decision, because with all the information I had at the time, it made more than perfect sense. I didn’t want to become a partner at that firm, I took a very minimal pay decrease, and I also got to move to a better city. Win win. So, I’d say one thing to do is STOP replaying your decision in your mind – it’s done, and like me, I’m sure you had really good reasons for making the decision.

      So, what to do next? Here’s what I’ve been doing – getting to know the job, doing my best at it, enjoying my nights and weekends (also with a new baby), and planning my return to private practice. Because, after all, the move you’ve made isn’t irreversible. You can go back. But you know what? The longer I’ve stayed here, the more I like it. It takes time to get to know a company and build up some institutional knowledge, and get to know the right people within the organization, and also build up your credibility again. But once you do that, the job kind of changes – it’s much more fun, more difficult, and more rewarding than it was my first few months here. My first few months here, I felt useless and lost. But now I feel valuable and challenged. I think that it takes longer in-house to get up to speed and feel valuable than it does moving between law firms.

      So what can you do — you can abandon ship and go back to big law if you want – you wouldn’t be the first. You absolutely wouldn’t be the first lawyer to spend a couple of months inhouse and decide that you don’t like it. That doesn’t mean you made a MISTAKE – it means you have more information now, and are making a new decision. Or, you can recognize that you can make that move any time, and you can stay where you are just for now (not committing to years and years, just right now), and see if you start to like it as you get better at it over time. And in the meantime, please do enjoy your evenings and weekends with your baby.

      And look, maybe you’ll be me 3 years from now, posting here to the next lawyer who’s freaking out over her move. And maybe 3 years from now, I’ll be in BigLaw. Who knows! Any way it plays out, it’s fine. You’ve gotten good experience, and learned more about yourself.

      Good luck!

    • Monday you started? As in 3 days ago? Seriously relax. You’ve had orientation and what a day of work? Do you even know where the bathrooms are? Change may just not be for you. This kind of post actually makes me mad as there are tons of people who would kill for your job.

      • ehhhhhhhhhhh :

        I’d lay off OP. It took me a YEAR to find a law firm job after graduation in 2011 and on my first day I cried in my office like a child because I thought it was so different than what I imagined for my life/ missed my judge and chambers. Even though I was desperately grateful to have a permanent job. Change is just difficult, and starting a new job is rough. OP, my guess is that this is just the impact of change and things will settle out.

      • Seriously? :

        Alright, simmer down. She’s allowed to not love her job immediately and to think she’s made a mistake. I am very happy Mid Law litigator and mom, and don’t see myself liking in-house work. And I know several people who’ve made the move in-house and moved back for some of the very reasons she’s described. You’re right that it’s early and she should give it a chance. But don’t be all up in arms that she “took your job.”

    • Re-direction :

      Definitely give yourself some time to adjust. I’m not a lawyer, but my brother transitioned from boutique law firm (where he was squarely on partner track) to in-house and had a similar reaction to you. He ended up leaving after about a year to join another firm started by one of the partners from his first firm. And I think he now regrets it.

      He wants a lot of things that I think would have come naturally to him if he’d stayed in his in-house job (chance to manage a team and learn more about the business side and a broader range of law). Obviously YMMV in terms of what you want and what your company can offer, but companies are very different from firms and that can be a benefit if you take advantage of it.

  5. I signed up for life insurance through my husband and was asked to submit to a (free) medical exam before they give me coverage. Is this normal? I go to the doctor regularly so I know I have a healthy BMI, blood pressure, cholesterol, etc., but the idea of an insurance company (as opposed to a doctor) having all my medical information really freaks me out. What if they discover I have a terrible disease and I can never get health insurance again? Am I being totally crazy and irrational?

    • Umm…yes, you are being crazy and irrational. Life insurance is sold and priced based on risk. The insurance company gets some health information directly to assess that risk. It’s due diligence on their part. And if they find a disease, you will still be able to get health insurance (thanks, ACA), but life insurance may be tricky.

    • Totally normal. :

      Yes, totally normal for life insurance. It’s not always done with employer/group policies, but it can be if you are getting a certain level or amount of coverage. It’s almost always done with individual policies. If you’re truly concerned, can you just get a lower amount of coverage that doesn’t require it? I don’t think you’re being crazy, but it is a totally normal part of the process. And yes, they can deny you life insurance coverage. But they cannot deny you health insurance coverage. The ACA guaranteed that.

    • Yes, it’s normal. Physical is not intrusive, so if you get regular checkups they’re not going to discover something. Deep breaths; you will be fine.

      • They aren’t going to test for anything you probably haven’t already been tested for at normal checkups.

    • No, you are not being crazy, but a little irrational. But that’s ok! Many of us can be a little irrational about our health, I have found.

      There’s no reason to think they will discover anything unusual. These exams are very routine and the blood tests are standard. All you have had before. Just make sure you don’t eat half a carton of Haagen Daas ice cream the night before your blood tests. Ask me how I know…

      And now that Obamacare exists, there isn’t any concern that you will be denied health insurance for any pre-existing conditions, if you have to purchase insurance yourself. That is against the law.

      And if you are having this much anxiety over something that is pretty routine, I would step back a little and ask if anxiety has affected other aspects of your life/relationships and whether it is something that you need take some time to address. That could have a WONDERFUL effect on your health, when treated properly.

    • At our life insurance exam, they checked weight, blood pressure, and did blood work (mostly concerned with cholesterol, blood sugar, and tobacco use). There was a questionnaire too about lifestyle and some family history.

    • No. My mom is a health teacher and vegan psycho. Healthiest person I know. She went in for my dad’s and they found her as a tobacco user and said it could have been because of too much broccoli or a certain type of nut. Then it got reported to their health insurance and the rates went up. It took them 6 months to get a new test scheduled and the results to fix it. There are plenty of options where no one gives you an exam, or so I am told.

      • Some employeers will have a guarantee-issue life insurance provider. Though, it may only be guarantee-issue if you take it when first offered, and you still have to do the health exam if you opt-in at a later point (ie, next open enrollment).

        • Yes – I certainly haven’t seen “plenty of options”. Many companies waive an initial health screening either if you sign up the first time you are offered the insurance, and/or if you are buying insurance below a certain threshold. for instance, at my last job, the company paid for insurance up to 1X my salary, with no medical exam or paperwork. I could buy additional, in increments of $10,000 for something like up to 2X my salary (so up to 3X my salary total, or something like that, and there also may have been a “or $X max, but my salary is low enough that I was nowhere near that). The cap for my husband was much lower – I think I could only buy up to 1X my salary for him, and not more than 50% of what I was buying for myself, without triggering the mandatory medical exam.

          In my experience when we priced out life insurance, the only place that offered it with no exam whatsoever either charged very very high rates or had a very low cap on how much insurance you could buy, or both. The company we bought the insurance from basically has multiple “risk buckets” of rates. At the medical exam, they checked BMI, cholesterol, blood pressure and a few other basics like that, and then asked for a list of what prescription drugs we were taking, and if we had ever been diagnosed with a list of conditions (HIV, liver failure, diabetes, etc). My husband fit into the lowest risk bucket, so his insurance rates were fairly cheap. I fell into the 2nd or 3rd level, because my BMI is slightly high and due to one of the medication I was taking (because it’s more commonly used to treat a more serious condition – I prescribed it “off label” for a different condition, but it wasn’t worth appealing because my BMI would have still kept me in that same level).

          Before they took my blood sample, I had to sign a waiver authorizing exactly what they were going to test it for, and who they would release the results to. I’m pretty sure it was basically what you would be tested for at a standard annual exam (cholesterol, blood glucose, liver enzymes, – basically a CBC). I may have had to submit a urine test as well, which I think was also tested for sugar level, a specific list of illegal drugs and pregnancy. There was also a specific list of conditions they tested for: HIV/AIDS, etc. They did NOT run any genetic tests.

          I was given back a complete list of my results, and exactly which items on my results triggered me to be put into that rate bucket, and what I could do to appeal (for instance, I think I was given the option to have specific items on the bloodwork, blood pressure or BMI tested again in 30 days with a very small cost to me, in order to try to get into a lower bucket – but my agent suggested I we only do that if we really were right on the borderline, or had a reason to think it wasn’t valid, like not fasting before a cholesterol test).

          If you are really nervous, you can probably contact the insurance company and get an exact list of what the tests are. You will also want to confirm the test procedures (for instance, do you need to be fasting? Will you have to produce a urine sample? etc), and the day of the test you’ll want to follow general best practices like not exercising right before they take your blood pressure and heart rate and other obvious things like that.

          But no, I don’t think they are going to run a bunch of obscure tests on you and say “because you have this random DNA marker that means you have a 1% chance of developing disease ABCD, therefore you are uninsurable forever!”

    • The insurer doesn’t know you, your healthy habits, your cholesterol, etc. I got personal life insurance and life insurance through my firm and both times, had a very painless, very short appointment. They came to my office, and it was easy. I got approved for the best rates, which I expected. This is totally normal.

  6. Any recommendations for soft, flowy blazers (is that still the right word in this case)? Looking for something a step up from cardigans but I don’t love the look of knit blazers on me.

    • Look for crepe blazers

    • Aritza has a ton – I wear the Chevalier one pretty frequently, and I just picked up the Lenglen one, and it’s great too. They’re both a crepey-silk-draped material.

    • Would love something like this (sold out, willing to spend more than this)
      http://www.asos.com/New-Look/New-Look-Crepe-Blazer/Prod/pgeproduct.aspx?iid=4526706

  7. 40% off is the norm at Ann Taylor. I won’t shop from there at less than 50% off and they sometimes have specials with 60% off.

  8. Fitbit Charge / HR tracker? :

    Does anyone have a Fitbit Charge? How do you like it? (It’s the one that tracks heartbeat.) (Alternately, does anyone with bigger b00bs have a heartrate tracker they like? I always used to hate the Polar trackers I had in the past because they were super annoying with my Enell bra. Although I guess I should retry with the newer one I’m using. Thanks in advance!

    • I have a Garmin 225, which has a wrist hear rate monitor- it’s not good for everyday wear, but it’s perfect for workouts. I really love it.

      I hear that Mio and Schosche (spelling?), also make good optical heart rate monitors

    • I have the charge without the HR tracker and love it. My husband has the heartrate tracker one. It seems to be pretty accurate, though I’ve never had him actually compare it with a Polar tracker (which is what I have and use). Frankly, it’s cheaper than a Polar tracker, so worth the try I think.

  9. NYC Meetup :

    NYC Meetup TONIGHT at Grey Dog in Chelsea (16th St between 7th and 8th Aves) at 6:30. I’ll be the redhead in an olive green top.

  10. Looking for opinions here. My mom is having surgery today (gallbladder). Lives 2 hours away, my dad is with her to take care of her post-op. Whenever she’s had any health problems before I’ve always offered to drive up but she refuses. Should I head up there this weekend? I’m sure both of them will both say they don’t “need” my help, and as far as I understand the recovery isn’t bad from laproscopic gallbladder surgery. I am the closest of their children geographically.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Would you and they enjoy a visit, or would it be tense? If the former, then go. If the latter, then call and send flowers.

      • +1 to this. My parents will always say they don’t “need” my help, so when they say that, I respond with something like “I know you’ve got it under control and don’t really need my help, but would you like it if I came, or would you rather me leave you alone to sleep and I’ll come next weekend instead?”

        Would you staying with them actually help (do they have a room you can sleep in, is your mother the type to stress out if she wasn’t able to clean the guest room and put on fresh sheets before you came, etc)? Can you contribute – do laundry and dishes, cook or pick up food or just relieve your dad for a spell? Or are they the type that are super private, set in their ways and would prefer for you to not touch the dishwasher and the washing machine (my friend’s mother is that way, and would re-wash all the dishes after my friend left, so she stopped trying to help, as it was only stressing them all out more).

      • Anonymous :

        Thanks for the advice. I just spent a full weekend with them, which included a lot of quality time, so it would be more to help out rather than visit. I’ll also see them for a week at Thanksgiving…Just wanted to make sure I wasn’t a total sh*t daughter for not going….

    • Go. (as long as you like you parents). They’ll be happy. Just because they don’t need your help and don’t want to bother you doesn’t mean they won’t appreciate it.

    • Maine Susan :

      I had my gall bladder out laproscopically several years ago. Less than 24 hrs in the hospital and normal life the next day. My son had flown in to go to the hospital with me and we got to play for a couple of days. Go if you want but she won’t “need” you.

    • I think it depends on your relationship with your parents. For me, I wouldn’t go, but I am not super close with my mom and it’s not a major surgery IMO. If you are close with your mom and you think she would like it even though she has refused, then consider going if it’s not inconvenient for you or your parents.

  11. Related question to the poster above struggling with the transition from Big Law to in-house. I used to be in a BigLaw job where I worked from home 3-4 days a week (because all the partners I worked for were in different offices). I really was working at home and not just wasting time, and I worked long hours (regularly 60+ a week) and most weekends, but I also took regular breaks during the day and got so much done around the house (for example, starting dinner or throwing in laundry) and it made my life seem so much easier and more manageable. I’m now in a position where I can never work from home, and although my hours are overall much lower, I’m having a reallyyyyy hard time with the transition. I find that I’m sleeping less, am more stressed out, am eating less healthy food, and my house is much more cluttered than when I was working much longer hours but working mostly at home (I know the last of those things is pretty trivial and I should just learn to live with it). Also I really miss my dog :(
    Any advice?

  12. Senior Attorney :

    I’m having a couple of friends over for brunch on Saturday and one of them is gluten-free and also doesn’t eat white sugar (honey and maple syrup are okay). Does anybody have any great recipes or ideas for what to serve? Normally I’d do a French toast casserole but that’s obviously out. I could do omelets but I’ve never made one and don’t feel like practicing on guests…

    • cornbread with honey? fruits?

    • Maddie Ross :

      Breakfast casserole or hashbrown casserole – eggs, hash browns, sausage, some peppers and onions if you like. Lots of good recipes online. All without any gluten or sugar. Then a side of fruit if you like for something sweet.

    • Normally I’d post the link but to avoid moderation, look for Budget Bytes Spinach, Mushroom and Feta Crustless Quiche. It’s highly adaptable and my go-to recipe for quiche.

    • I think you can get gluten-free breads so pick up some of that and do the French Toast Casserole

    • I’d make an egg strata with gluten free bread (I’ve done this and no one can tell the difference). Use one of the recipes from the Smitten Kitchen blog. Other options — toast spread with goat cheese and topped with smoked salmon and avocado (gluten free toast for your friend), or gluten free pumpkin pancake mix from Trader Joe’s, or the sweet potato hash from The Kitchn blog with some eggs on top.

    • Frittata is a much more group friendly option than omletts, and tasty too! And make-ahead friendly.

    • Bacon-wrapped dates and also hash browns with cheese?

      I also have done a grits and cheese casserole.

    • These muffins (or the almond butter pancakes on the same s!te): http://detoxinista.com/2012/10/cinnamon-spice-muffins-grain-free-oil-free/

      Scrambled eggs with a toppings bar–salsa, avocado, ground turkey sausage, diced potatoes–easier than omelettes and allows others to have the potatoes

      Bacon

      Fruit

      • ETA: You could also offer tortillas for people who want to make breakfast tacos/burritos out of the eggs and toppings bar. Oh, and beans would be another good topping.

    • Frittata (put anything in it you like. I like peppers and onions/steak/cheddar, shrimp and feta, chorizo and asparagus… get creative). Poached eggs/benedict over little beds of sautéed spinach/kale/smoked salmon. Fresh sliced fruit. Meat and cheese board.

      Also, that white sugar thing sounds like BS, but I guess whatever floats her boat…

      • Senior Attorney :

        I am not saying whether I rolled my eyes a little at that part…

        • I’m supposed to follow this rule actually (per my midwives, while pregnant). Sugar is a no-no but small amounts of honey and maple syrup are ok. That said, I wouldn’t ever expect a hostess to accommodate and just try to follow the rule at home

          • What is the reasoning?

          • Anonymous :

            But….. honey and maple syrup are just sugar. I get that rule being a general rule to tell people to get them to avoid sugar, but your body doesn’t know the difference.

          • Anonymous :

            Yeah, I think it’s a way to get their patients to eat less processed food in general (they also recommend cutting out wheat, for example). Sugar is found in so many other foods (vs. putting sugar in your coffee) that if you make a blanket rule not to eat it, you’re probably going to end up eating healthier.

    • I don’t know about anyone else, but after reading these suggestions I’m ready for Second Breakfast…

    • A quiche, gluten-free banana pancakes, or huevos rancheros

      • Actually, a shakshuka would be amazing. With Labne and zaatar, a tomato cucumber salad, and some pitas for the gluten-eaters.

    • another anon :

      Check out Eating by Elaine dot com. Great gluten free, vegan recipes.

    • Put a bunch of berries in the bottom of a casserole dish, cover with walnuts, drizzle liberally with honey. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

      You’re welcome! :) It’s delicious

    • Senior Attorney :

      Wow! Thank you all so much for all the suggestions! I’m thinking a frittata or hash brown casserole, and the berries in the casserole dish thing! I knew you all would come through!

  13. Also, Lexi’s Clean Kitchen has an AMAZING fluffy GF pancake recipe that is dead simple.

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