Thursday’s TPS Report: Quilted Jacket with Faux Leather Trim

Aqua Quilted Jacket with Faux Leather Trim | CorporetteOur daily TPS reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

I’ve eyed this soft jacket with faux leather trim a number of times, and think I’ll finally post it — it looks like a great addition to a work wardrobe or a weekend wardrobe. It’s $108, and available in sizes XS-L. AQUA Quilted Jacket with Faux Leather Trim

Seen a great piece you’d like to recommend? Please e-mail [email protected]

Comments

  1. R*ttes, I feel great! This morning my friend told me that my work clothes are cute and I always look really classy. It was awesome because I don’t think of myself as fashionable, I wasn’t interested in clothes for most of my life, and I’m very self conscious about my appearance. I’ve been a lurker on this site for a couple years – posting more frequently recently – but never really a “regular.” But I think I’ve really learned a lot from all of you. So, thank you!!! :-)

  2. Shopping help threadjack! I’m looking for cute smart casual to dressy fall tops that aren’t sweaters in the bucket 1-2 price range. I’d like something for evenings/weekends that’s light enough to layer under jackets but nice enough to wear without the jacket (long to 3/4 sleeves). Something that is waist defining or at least not completely boxy would be more figure flattering on me. Any suggestions for specific shirts or at least retailers who might have good options? Thanks!

    • I recently bought this shirt from Ann Taylor and am really happy with it: http://www.anntaylor.com/crepe-wrap-top/350877?colorExplode=false&skuId=17489331&catid=cata000010&productPageType=fullPriceProducts&defaultColor=2416

      Next time there’s a 50% off everything, I’ll probably get another color.

    • Just bought 2 really cute, versatile tops at Old Navy. Yes, it surprised me too! Blousy enough to wear with pants for work or weekends, but not too much to tuck in for suit wear. Here’s one: http://oldnavy.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=72302&vid=1&pid=143836012 and this one: http://oldnavy.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=72302&vid=1&pid=143831002

    • I really like that we now have a way to refer to clothing price points (the buckets) rather than having to give a range. We should keep this up!

    • If you’re a size 12+, try Kiyonna. They have fantastic shirts and blouses (3/4 sleeves to full length) that can be worn on their own or with a blazer.

  3. How does [email protected] suit sizing compare to BR, CK, or AT? I want a new basic black suit and have struck out at my usual go-to stores. I generally wear a 2 (sometimes a 0) in jackets from the above manufacturers and a 4 in skirts. Budget is under $250.

    I am also looking at the JNY “Olivia” jacket and “Lucy” skirt, does anyone have either of those?

    • They run big. I’m a 16/18 in most stores, but a 14 (sometimes a snug 12)

    • Talbots tends to run large/boxy, at least in the smaller sizes. You should probably start with the 0, if you can find one.

      • Thanks! The Misses size jacket only goes down to 2, but they do have a 0P. I sometimes buy Petitie tops even though I am 5′ 7″, I guess I have odd proportions. Maybe I’ll give the 0P jacket a try. I do prefer a more nipped-in/tailored waist over a boxy cut.

    • I’ve found their sizing kind of oddly variable, so good to try on in store if possible. In the same shopping trip, I got a wool tweed skirt in size 12, but got a similar cotton pencil skirt in size 10.

      • Ha, I hate when that happens. Unfortunately the store near me never seems to have small sizes, so I think I’ll have to buy a few online to try and just stop by the store to return them if they don’t work out.

        • Order at the store using their “red phone.” They’ll ship to the store for a flat $6.

    • They run large. I’m usually a 16, but fit in 14s and some 12s there.

    • I find that their tops run on the larger size (generally boxy). In the past 3 years or so, they changed the cut of their pencil skirts to be much more up and down so I often require alterations to take in the waist.

      • Hmmm, super straight skirts don’t usually work well on me. I think I am going to give up on the idea of the Talbot’s suit. I’ll either stick with the BR one I bought a couple of weeks ago (just don’t love the current cuts of their tropical wool jackets) or keep looking elsewhere.

    • lucy stone :

      I find them to run a little bit larger/looser in general for tops, consistent for pants and skirts.

    • With talbots, I size down and switch to petite.

  4. What do you do when your pressed powder or eye shadow gets that layer on top of it that makes it less effective? And what causes it? It’s like it gets oily or something?

    • That probably means it’s time to throw it away. You can help prevent it by always using clean brushes, as any residue on your brushes (especially oil or liquids) can react with the powder and potentially harbor bacteria.

    • That’s never happened to me.

      • Same here, and I’ve been using powder shadow since as long as I’ve been wearing makeup.

      • It would happen to me when I used a wet brush on my powder (as suggested by the beauty experts for heavier coverage). I ended up throwing the powder away. If you have oily skin, I would think that residue on your brushes could cause the same effect.

    • I know what you’re talking about – I haven’t used pressed shadow for several years, but I think it’s oiliness from your eyelids that transfers to the shadow. I used to just scrape it off with a fingernail – it’s fine underneath.

    • Do you use your fingers to apply your makeup? The oils from your hand can cause that layer of blegh to build up.

      Use clean brushes (and clean them weekly at least!).

      To get rid of it, I swap a cotton ball dabbed in rubbing alcohol over it, then strip it. It freshens it and keeps it from building up.

    • Just scrape it off — It’s a combination of the product (some types more than others) and residual oil. No big deal.

  5. Istanbul recommendations needed! :

    So it is almost a year away, but DH and I are planning a trip to Istanbul for next September. I’ve gotten a lot of good advice and recommendations from searching the thiss*te archives, but I’d love more specific feedback (and I know it’s early, but I just love the planning and anticipation before a long-awaited trip).

    First, any specific recommendations for food or places to stay? Or hammams?

    Second, I’d like feedback on my tentative timeline. We’re thinking of doing 5-6 days in Istanbul itself (seeing the major sites, exploring different neighborhoods, doing a Bosphorous Cruise for a day) and then spending 2 days in Cappadocia (hopefully incorporating a balloon ride). We are thinking of trying to get a flight to Cappadocia to maximize time, though I know there’s also a bus option. We have a few more days–where would you spend them? We love food, tons of walking, museums, architecture, hikes, sailing, water…

    Third, any recommendations for food or places to stay in Cappadocia?

    Thanks in advance. I’ve been wanting to take this trip for years and am so.excited. that we are actually finally considering it for real.

    ETA: Budget-wise, we would like to keep costs low, but would be interested in a couple of “splurge” meals and/or experiences. But we’d like to keep lodging costs moderate.

    • Istanbul recommendations needed! :

      Reposting due to moderation for s*te!

      So it is almost a year away, but DH and I are planning a trip to Istanbul for next September. I’ve gotten a lot of good advice and recommendations from searching the thiss*te archives, but I’d love more specific feedback (and I know it’s early, but I just love the planning and anticipation before a long-awaited trip).

      First, any specific recommendations for food or places to stay? Or hammams?

      Second, I’d like feedback on my tentative timeline. We’re thinking of doing 5-6 days in Istanbul itself (seeing the major s*tes, exploring different neighborhoods, doing a Bosphorous Cruise for a day) and then spending 2 days in Cappadocia (hopefully incorporating a balloon ride). We are thinking of trying to get a flight to Cappadocia to maximize time, though I know there’s also a bus option. We have a few more days–where would you spend them? We love food, tons of walking, museums, architecture, hikes, sailing, water…

      Third, any recommendations for food or places to stay in Cappadocia?

      Thanks in advance. I’ve been wanting to take this trip for years and am so.excited. that we are actually finally considering it for real.

      ETA: Budget-wise, we would like to keep costs low, but would be interested in a couple of “splurge” meals and/or experiences. But we’d like to keep lodging costs moderate.

      • Wanderlust :

        Pamukkale (en route to Cappadocia) is beautiful! If there’s time, you should check it out.

        Also, definitely splurge on the balloon ride in Cappadoccia. You won’t regret it.

      • espresso bean :

        Exciting! I went to Turkey in March 2012 with a similar itinerary. We spent five days in Istanbul, flew to Cappadocia for two nights (a half day, a night, one full day, another night, and another half day before leaving) and then flew back to Istanbul for a final two days. I thought it was perfect. We packed in all the major sights in Istanbul before going to Cappadocia, and then when we returned, we felt like we could just wander and enjoy the city at a more leisurely pace.

        We flew to Cappadocia (the Kayseri airport) and had our hotel send a driver to pick us up at the hotel. This was ideal. The flight is quick, and it’s worth the time you save. Also, the airport is extremely remote! I felt relieved knowing that we had our ride taken care of.

        In Cappadocia, we stayed at Hotel Gamirasu, and I highly recommend it. You get to stay in caves — but they’re suites. The best of both worlds, in my opinion. The hotel coordinated everything for us. It was very inexpensive to hire a private driver for the day to take us to the sites we wanted to see, so we did that, but you can also do group tours.

        We ate mainly at the hotel, although we did have a nice lunch in town one day that was arranged through our driver. And we did a hot air balloon ride, and it was snowing, which added to the beauty! I highly recommend it.

        In Istanbul, we stayed at the Hotel Amira in Sultanahmet, which I also highly recommend. The staff was attentive and warm. The breakfasts were sumptuous! And they had a nice afternoon tea every day. Plus, it was very reasonable. We could walk to all the major sights in Sultanahment, but we were far enough removed from the busy main drag. In Sultanahmet, you can catch the metro to go to other neighborhoods easily.

        We had tea at the cafe on the grounds of Topkapi Palace, LOVED Balicki Sabahattin, the fish restaurant in Sultanahmet (if you love fish, you must go — get the calamari and sea bass), and had coffee on the top floor at Hamdi (excellent view of the Bosphorus — go on a weekday morning early and go to the spice market then, too — less crazy). I really liked Malayta Pazari in the spice market for gifts, but you really can’t go wrong anywhere in the market.

        Allow at least 1/2 a day for Topkapi Palace — there’s so much to see! The Aya Sofya was my absolute favorite. The Blue Mosque is more striking from the outside, but the Aya Sofya is mind-blowing once you get in. If you have time and are interested, the Istanbul Archeological Museums (one of the first things in my pics after the Topkapi Palace) was cool — you can see Alexander the Great’s tomb, among other ancient artifacts. It’s right next to the palace.

        Cocoon in Sultanahmet was one of my favorite stops for unique gifts. You’ll see it in my pics — it’s the place with all the funky hats. They had the CUTEST hats for little kids knit into animal shapes, as well as cool jewelry, scarves and pins.

        We had drinks at the Four Seasons Sultanahmet — it used to be a prison, so that’s kind of fun. Be sure you get out of Sultanahmet and go out in Beyoglu for a taste of the real Istanbul and to escape the tourists!

        Hope this helps! Let me know if you have other questions.

      • Here’s a nice blog to follow as part of your prep (g**gle ‘Istanbul Eats’ in case my attempt to link below doesn’t take).

      • I wouldn’t recommend a bus to Cappadocia. It is a long ride and the buses, while not uncomfortable, are still buses: no toilet, no food service, bumpy. I would consider spending three days in Cappadocia if you want to hike. The area is incredible. Many of the “hotels” are built into the rock structures. Stay in one of those! I can’t quite remember which one I stayed in… only that it had a restaurant attached to it and was in a good location (not very helpful).

        Istanbul is incredible. Some of my favorite things:

        There’s a ferry that leaves Eminonu port and travels up the bosphorus to the fishing village of Anadolu Kavagi. It’s lovely. My favorite “asian port” on the Bosporus is/was Kadikoy. On Tuesday, there is a massive market in Kadikoy and while I never got to go, it’s one of my biggest regrets.

        Ortakoy is another neighborhood on the water, albeit on the European side of the city. It’s very shis shis in it’s own way (I know that sounds strange… but it’s hard to describe!). Usually there are a decent number of people selling crafts in Ortakoy in the evening. It’s a great area to wander around if you want a low key evening.

        Sultanahmet is the old part of Istanbul (and the most touristy). If I could only do one thing in Istanbul, it would be–hands down–the Aya Sofya (Hagia Sofia). I mean, it’s a Wonder of the Ancient World, you really can’t go wrong. When I was in Istanbul 3 years ago, it cost 20 YTL to get in, and was worth every penny. You may get in at a reduced rate with your university ID. Other great destinations include: the basilica cistern (Yerebatan Sarnici, around 10 YTL, I think) and the Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmet Camisi). While I hesistate to lable it as a “must see” because it’s a bit out of the way, I would be doing you a great injustice if I didn’t mention the Church of Chora. The mosaics are stunning.

        I adore Turkish food. Look for small-ish, simple, no frills restaurants and order some kofte (grilled meatballs, ohemgee soooo good) or chicken on a stick (tavuk kepab). But seriously, eat kofte. Be careful in Sultanahmet; there are a lot of really crappy, overpriced places that survive on one-time customers since it’s a tourist area. Wander away from the big tourist attractions (just a couple of blocks will do) and find a neighborhood place. Eat some baklava and ice cream (dondurma). Please, do it for me. Don’t eat rice from a street vendor. But do eat simit (a Turkish bagel, always sold for 30 turkish cents, at least 3 years ago), from a street vendor.

        Places to avoid: don’t go to the Fatih neighborhood. It’s the most conservative neighborhood in Istanbul and I wouldn’t advise wandering around there without a local.

        I lived in Istanbul for about 6 months and blogged about my adventures–the link is behind my handle.

        • Gail the Goldfish :

          Go get a baked potato in Ortakoy. It’s a street food/stand thing and they stuff them with all sorts of ingredients. Delicious. Oh and you have to try manti. And gozleme. Really, there isn’t a lot of Turkish food that isn’t delicious.

          • Gail the Goldfish :

            Oh, in terms of things to see, you must see Hagia Sofia and at least one mosque, but my favorite thing was Topkapi Palace, just because I thought it was an interesting architectural layout and had really gorgeous tile decorations.

            A couple of days in cappadocia sounds fine-I would definitely recommend flying instead of taking the bus. I also stayed in one of the cave hotels, but don’t recall the name.

            For other things to see-if you like ancient Greek things, perhaps Ephesus or Pergamon? When I went, we flew to cappadocia then drove back to Istanbul along the coast, stopping at Ephesus, Pergamon, and Troy. That was like a week though, so probably would only do one city if you have limited time.

        • But the clothing shopping is so good in Fatih. I would definitely check it out. Also, the Suleymaniye Mosque/Camii is so SO GORGEOUS.

          I went to the hammam near the Cemberlitas light rail stop. Really beautiful and relaxing.

          Don’t forget to eat the chocolate baklava. Yummmmmm. And the prices for Turkish delight were great at the Spice Market. The Grand Bazaar is closed on Sundays, I think? Bargain for your stuff.

          • If you go to Fatih, dress conservatively by Turkish standards and consider covering your head loosely with a scarf. It’s really the only neighborhood in Istanbul where you will see women in full on burkas and, unlike other parts of the city, is less welcoming to foreigners.

      • For restaurants, the two places I liked when I was there last spring were 360 Restaurant and G Balik. 360 Restaurant isn’t too far from Taksim (walkable in good weather). It is a rooftop restaurant where you can eat indoors or outdoors, with very nice views of the city. Food was pretty good and not super expensive. It does turn into a night club later in the evening, so if you don’t want to deal with that, definitely do an earlier dinner (7-8pm).

        G Balik is cool because it is on the Bosphorus – you take a little water taxi/ferry to get there. It is a bit more expensive, but the food was good and there were a lot of seafood options. We went for dinner and couldn’t see a ton of views in the dark. If I were to go there again, I would do a lunch – I’m fairly sure they are open for lunch.

      • Go to Hotel Cave Konak in Ugurp (in Cappadocia). My fiance and I had a gorgeous multi-room suite in a cave, beautiful furnishings. The family that owns it was so wonderful and they offered a homecooked meal with 24 hour’s notice. Such a unique experience! I went to a hammam in Goreme but it was just ok.

        In Istanbul, a must-do is the fish market on the Bosphorus. It was the freshest fish I have ever eaten–they just throw the live fish on the grill with some lemon juice and you eat it right there. And I loved wandering around the grand bazaar. Don’t forget to barter!

        ETA: Obviously see the Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque, but don’t forget the Bascilica Cistern! You don’t need a scarf for any of it but it’s polite to do so for the Blue Mosque–it’s an active mosque.

      • Thank you to everyone who has responded so far! Taking copious notes. And getting hungry.

    • Goreme was my favorite town to stay in in Cappadocia — plenty of tourist services but also plenty of real people live there. Worth time to do several hikes, and leave time to visit an underground city. For hiking, get a GOOD map and/or a guide — many trails are not clearly marked. We got pretty seriously lost, and while it was fine (and now one of my favorite experiences), we almost missed our bus back to Istanbul. Bring lots of water hiking, too.

    • We did 5/2/2 Istanbul/Cappadocia/Istanbul. If I could do it again, I would do 3-4 days in Cappadocia. The hiking was surreal. The food we had in Cappadocia was amazing–we ate at this place that cooked lamb in a pot for hours and then broke the pot at the table. I just remember that it was in Ugurp.

      Also, one of my favorite thing about Turkey in general was all the cats! There are cats literally everywhere. The locals feed them because a cat problem is a much better problem than a rat problem!

    • Nemrut Dağı

  6. Interviewing late today for the position I talked about in Tuesday’s TPS thread. I didn’t disclose to my boss, so I’m going to have to make an excuse to cut out early. Wish me luck!

    • Wanderlust :

      Best of luck!

    • Senior Attorney :

      Luck!!

    • Oops! I lost a “Y”… that’s me with the interview. Thanks to all for convincing me not to disclose!

    • West Coast :

      I would suggest taking part of a petsonal day or using part of a vacation day. You can say something came up, but for me it is poor form to interview on your current company’s time. Good luck.

      • Do you also frown upon doing errands or web surfing? What is the OP is exempt and expected to work basically all the time?

        • Not West Coast, but I agree with her and don’t frown up errands or web surfing. But interviewing to work somewhere else is something else. I’m exempt, but I still have to take sick days and vacation days. There’s an appearance of impropriety, and since NYNY said she’s in a small field, it could reflect poorly on her if her current job figures out (or even tells new job) that she interviewed on company time.

  7. Does anyone have any tips for changing your most productive hours? As I was sitting in my office getting great work done last night around 7pm, I was really wishing I was able to concentrate like that throughout the morning. Right now I wake up early to exercise and have a slow morning around the house, hit the office at 9am, but really don’t get into a good working groove until the afternoon (things take longer, I get distracted easily, etc.).

    Any tips to get into a groove as soon as I get here?

    • I’d be interested in hearing responses too. Emmabean, like you, I get in the mornings to work out (when I do work out, which is about 3 times a week) but then I jerk around at the office and don’t really get going until 10am or so. It’s 9:30 right now and I am perusing this website, eek!

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I’m the same way and have no advice but I will watch carefully for the responses.

    • If you have a to-do list, are there smaller tasks you can tackle in the morning and then save the the big work for later? I’m actually the opposite and start to lose concentration in the afternoon and evening.

    • I’m really productive from 7-9 am and 5-7pm. One of the reasons is because my office is quiet then, there aren’t a lot of emails, the phone isn’t ringing etc. Can you ignore your email for the first hour you are in the office? Shut the door and skip the morning greeting routine?

      • I totally agree. Am not a morning person but for scheduling reasons have started getting to my office no later than 8 a.m. If I make a list the night before and/or leave work to start right away on my desk or my chair, I get started at 8 and usually end up with a productive morning and rest of the day. Now I love getting to work at 8. If I get to work past 9 I feel less productive.

    • I find that whatever I choose to tackle first during the day sort of sets my mood and focus for the balance of the day — so if I need to have a super productive work day, I wake up and start immediately while having my coffee. I use it on weekends too; for example if I have a lot of personal correspondence to catch up on, I’ll do that right away.

    • If I want to make sure I get something done in the morning, I put the file or a sticky note reminder on my desk right in front of the computer screen before I leave the office the previous day. That way, the first thing I see when I get in after turning on the computer is the item I need to do.

      The first thing I do when I get in the office is pull up my checklist of things I need to do. If i have anything on the list that was due yesterday that I didn’t get to, I do those. I use todoist because if you have a lot of overdue tasks, your karma starts decreasing. You end up wanting to check off as many boxes as possible, before your set due dates. You can also drag to postpone tasks.

  8. Not sure how I feel about all this faux leather trim that seems to be the rage. I keep thinking it looks cute in some, but it’s too young or trendy for me.

    TJ: I’m interviewing for an in house position on Tuesday. A little worried because I’m just three years out of law school and this would be my fourth job. The position is with a great company and would be a drastically better quality of life (commute would go from 2+hours a day to well under an hour, the work is easier to balance than my current litigation work, I prefer corporate culture to firm culture), but I’m concerned that my lack of experience and job history will kill my prospects. Any advice?

    • If it was a deal-killer, then you wouldn’t have been invited in for an interview. So yes, it is still a hurdle that you have to overcome, and you should be prepared to answer questions, but don’t despair!

      FWIW, I went in-house after only 2 years in BigLaw (transactional). It was unusual for my team, but I had a specific skillset that was required for the position, and my credentials were otherwise in line with what they wanted, so they were willing to take a chance on a more junior person. All that to say that you need to figure out what you can play up that you bring to the table so that they’re left thinking about all of the positive contributions that you could make, and not about your (relative) lack of experience compared to other candidates.

      Why 4 jobs in 3 years? Your answer to this will help me give you better advice. We’ve hired candidates who’ve moved jobs somewhat frequently, and we’ve also NOT hired candidates who’ve done so – and it always turns on the reasons for the moving.

    • I’m 1.5 years into my 4th job in 5 years out of law school. (5 years! Merciful Zeus!) I’ve gotten the impression that employers in the legal field are fairly understanding about how the economy has impacted recent grads. Be ready to explain it, but I wouldn’t sweat it too much, particularly if your interviewers are in law as well.

      • Wanderlust :

        I also graduated law school in 2009. I’m on job #3 (been here 3 years next week, ooof) after job #1 was a disaster and job #2 was temp doc review. I feel like just having 2009 as your graduation date should speak for itself, like “I was doing everything right and then I got [email protected]#$ed by the economy!”

      • Ha! Zeus.

    • It will only kill your prospects if you don’t have an answer ready when they ask why. You know the question is coming so really think about your moves and how they’ve made you a great future employee of the company.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Many years ago I interviewed a paralegal candidate who had a similar job history. I asked about it and she said “I am not a job-hopper. Before last year I’d had the same job for 10 years. I had several job changes recently because [insert very reasonable reasons] but I am mortified that my resume now looks so spotty. I am looking for a stable employment situation and I want you to know that I am a very loyal employee and if you hire me I will be a great asset to your firm.”

      I thought that was a great answer. I hired her and she was with the firm for 20 years.

    • Thanks, everyone. My first job out of school was a clerkship, second was a small firm, third a big firm. I think the biggest red flag is only staying at the small firm for a year and a half. In all honesty, I left because it was an awful environment, but my standard explanation is that we had lost one of our two major clients and there wasn’t enough work (which is true). I changed my specialty a bit when I went to the big firm. The in house position is a return to the small firm practice area. So, really, I have to explain my short tenure and speciality change. Oy. Wish I wouldn’t have jumped at the first opportunity to get out of the small firm.

      • Lorelai Gilmore :

        Clerkship doesn’t make you look like a job hopper; it makes you look like a rock star. Honestly, now that you’ve put it out there, that doesn’t seem like a problem to me. I think your standard explanation is totally fine.

        • Agree with this. Only someone who doesn’t understand how clerkships work (and therefore a non-lawyer) would ask you why you left that job after only one year.

      • Anonymous :

        You need to stop being so negative about everything in your life. It comes through here and I’m sure it does in person. There’s absolutely no problem with your back ground. Please consider talking to your doctor about medications that can help.

  9. Any recommendations for great moisturizers? As it’s getting colder, my dry skin needs more moisture and I haven’t been able to find anything that I love so I keep switching products.

    Thanks ladies!

    • What’s your price point?

      For drugstore prices, I swear by Ponds Dry Skin Cream, but if you can swing it, nothing beats La Mer.

    • Body or face? For body, I love the Eucerin line of products. I used to use the super expensive L’Occitane body lotion with shea butter, which is pretty good, but actually not that much better than some of the Eucerin ones which retail for ~$10 and can be found in any grocery/drug store. The Eucerin ones are also cheap enough that you can try out different ones to see which one you like, and most are fragrance free so you can slather on as much as you need. I currently rotate between their calming skin lotion and another dry skin one (can’t remember the exact name).

    • My new favorite body moisturizer is Sunday Riley Disrobe – amazing!

    • I need thick, heavy stuff, but also like to keep it inexpensive. For body I use Tree Hut Body Butter, which comes in many good scents, and for face I use classic Nivea (navy blue jar). I have tried pricier moisturizers but don’t see that these ones are any less effective.

    • Equity's Darling :

      I love Skoah- they’re Vancouver based, and after years of switching back and forth between different kinds of products, I’ve been using them for 5 years and my skin has never been happier. The top of my nose and my cheeks used to flake all winter, and it gets really dry here, their Dewlux cream has solved all my face problems. I use the SPF one during the day, and the no-SPF one at night.

    • Cerave!

      • +1 on the Cerave. I use the cream in the tub most of winter, and lots of their regular line throughout the year.

    • For a body moisturizer, I swear by coconut oil.

    • CeraVe. Rec. by my dermatologist, works great. Get the cream for your body, not lotion. Lotion has too much water in it to moisturize effectively.

    • wintergreen126 :

      My skin is always dry and looking for a reason to get red and itchy. For face I like Kate Somerville Goat Milk; it’s gentle, it’s rich, and it doesn’t have much of a smell. For body I love the good old Cetaphil cream pot, which if I run out of my facial moisturizer, I can use on my face, too.

      • I’d be careful with Kate Somerville, you’re buying expensive mineral oil which is bad for your pores.

        • wintergreen126 :

          The Goat’s Milk doesn’t have mineral oil. I don’t know about the brand’s other products, but this for sure doesn’t.

    • Cetaphil. There’s a thick cream for major dryness, and a lotion that’s more liquidy and less heavy. The best part is it’s totally unscented (at least in my opinion).

      • I loved the cream pot for my legs/body.

        For face, I swear by the Panthenol cream from Kiehls. I’m on my third pot and I hardly ever re-buy products.

      • Senior Attorney :

        +1 for Cetaphil cream for legs and body

      • I love Cetaphil’s face cream too. It’s too thick for the day but I slather it on in the evenings, especially in the winter.

    • Alba Even Advanced – you can get it at whole foods.

      • For body, Alba Very Emollient Body Lotion – Maximum. Occasionally available at Target, Whole Foods also carries it. For face, LaMer Moisturizing Soft Cream or Bobbi Brown ‘Extra Repair’ Moisturizing Balm SPF 25. The LaMer and Bobbi are great in the winter – heavy, but absorbs quickly. Both also last a long time.

    • Sebamed or FAB (first aid beauty) I use both creams on face and body!

    • I love CeraVe during the day, and then since it’s gotten colder I’ve added Neutrogena Deep Moisture Night Cream. It’s incredible what a difference that’s made. Not only is my skin softer, I swear it’s making me break out less, too.

    • Cera Ve PM Moisturizer. It’s fabulous and good for my sensitive skin.

    • I get itchy dry winter skin. Gold Bond Ultimate Healing body lotion works well for me.

      • I use the Gold Bond for my hands in the winter. My hands are so dry and crack – this stuff is wonderful!

    • Manhattanite :

      I love the jar of aquaphor that I’d bought for my daughter. Great for hands and feet. Especially hands that change a lot of diapers and thus get washed a lot.

    • Cerave or the Eucerin cream with the CoQ10 for even more moisture.

    • TO Lawyer :

      Thanks for all the suggestions ladies! I’m going to take a trip to Sephora/the drug store and see what I can find

  10. Miss Behaved :

    Grrr. There are 3 people in a cube near me who are on a conference call with the phone on speakerphone. It’s super loud and I now have a migraine. They’re working on a laptop and could easily have booked a conference room or at least given the rest of us a heads up.

    • wintergreen126 :

      That’s wicked inconsiderate. I’m sorry. I hope, once the call is over, that your day gets better and that your migraine subsides!

    • Ugh. The worst. People’s behavior in cube land baffles me. The biggest obstacle I have to overcome on a daily basis is the glade plug-in next to me.

    • When I worked in a cube, I’d shoot those people a quick note “sorry to be a pain but i’m on a call overhere and your voice is carrying through the phone.” It was usually a white lie but it always worked and was never a Big Thing. I usually got an IM back with “oops” or the person stopped by later saying they didnt’ realize they were being loud.

  11. I love finding ways to work leather in to my fall work wardrobe! Even better that this piece doesn’t come with sticker shock.
    Jessica
    www.thebellevoyage.com

  12. I keep hearing people talking about prescription retinoids for anti-aging. I’m 28 and typically use a light moisturizer with spf 30 during the day (Cerave for sensitive skin) and either nothing or olay pro x at night. the only prescription I have my for my face is Ziana (for acne) which I only use when I start breaking out, which happens every couple months. I’ll use it for a couple days, my skin will get peely but the breakout will go away, and then I’ll stop using it. Does that count as a prescription retinoid? Should I use it every couple days even if my skin is clear, or do I need a specific anti-aging retinoid?

    TIA!

    • First Year anon :

      I googled, and that is a retinoid. My doctor gave me a prescription for a retinoid that is marketed for acne so that insurance would cover it (i do have acne, i just usually respond better to benzyl peroxide), but it is the same medicinal ingredient as anti-aging retinoids so really that is why I got it.

      If you want anti aging benefits, use it every day, but work up to that. start sparingly so it doesnt peel. I have been bad lately with using mine every day. good reminder!

      • If you’re over a certain age, insurance typically won’t cover retinoids for acne (just FYI).

        • Anonymous :

          I’ve been on 4 or 5 different plans in the last 6 years due to aging out of my parents’ plan (pre-ACA), then graduating off the school plan, then changing jobs, employers switching plans, etc. Every one of those plans have an “age limit” for retinoids (ranging from 25 to 35, in my experience) but will continue to cover it if your doctor fills out a pre-authorization form. Mine has always done the form without me even having to ask.

          The hurdle I’m facing with my current insurance is that they will cover the retinoid formulation that is designed for anti-aging, but not for acne. That *really* makes sense.

    • I just went to my derm yesterday and asked about getting started on a retinol cream for the anti-aging benefits. Because my skin doesn’t have any other issues that needs to be addressed at this time I was told to wait until I’m 30. I’m 24 right now. They said the best thing I can do at this time is use sunscreen daily on my face, which I’m doing.

      • That seems…. a little patronizing. I wonder why the wait?

        • They told me my skin looks really good right now, and that they don’t think using such a harsh product would add any real benefits at this time. I guess when I start to reach real wrinkle development age that’s when they believe the trade off of potentially getting flaky, red skin as a side effect would be worth it to fight wrinkles.

        • Well, if it needs a prescription, then it probably has certain risks to using it at that concentration. The doctor probably has a pretty good sense of whether it’s going to do much for the patient, or just be a waste of money at this point. Nothing to stop you from using an OTC.

          There’s usually a reason the doctor is a gateway to certain medications.

  13. Travel Insurance :

    I’m booking a 2 person 14 day cruise that is $6000. They are offering us travel insurance for $220/person that will give us 100% reimbursement if we have to cancel for sickness/death of us/family member and 75% reimbursement for cancellation for any reason. We will also have health insurance protection, including medical evacuation while on the trip. Is this a good price or should I consult with other insurance companies first? If I should ask others, do you have any suggestions? I’m going to start w/ the one through my credit card. If it is a good/average price though I might just take theirs for convenience.

    • It’s been a long time since I bought travel insurance, but I have heard a rule of thumb of 10% of the trip cost, so that seems like a good price. Just make sure you can cancel at any time, not a 3-day waiting period or something.

    • lucy stone :

      Does your credit card offer anything? Our Amex card covers this without needing to buy additional insurance.

      Where are you cruising to? We’ve never done this for Alaska, but I might if we were going somewhere else.

      • Travel Insurance :

        Leaves Boston, stops in San Juan, Puerto Rico, then Kralendijk Netherlands Antilles (that I must confess I had never heard of), Willemstead Netherlands Antilles, Oranjestad, Aruba, Ochos Rios Jamaica, Georgetown Caymen Islands, Cozumel, Mexico and ends in New Orleans.

        Credit card covers trip cancellation for health reasons but not the any reason part and doesn’t cover medical evacuation. Also has a pre-existing condition exclusion that the cruise one doesn’t have.

    • In the Pink :

      In my experience it is easier to go with the insurance offered by the cruise line itself rather than a separate entity. I have not checked pricing and we have never needed to use the insurance (in 20 years of going places). There do not appear to be many freelance trip insurance companies out there.

    • I don’t remember all the details, but I recall my mom recently telling me about having a huge hassle dealing with getting her refund on a cancelled cruise (for health reasons). Having heard that, if I was booking something myself, I’d be open to paying slightly more if the terms were more favorable for cancellation. Just a thought, I have no first hand experience.

  14. Woods-comma-Elle :

    Thanks to everyone for accommodation suggestions yesterday.

    As a follow-up, a question about office transfers. I will (potentially) be spending a couple of months in NYC working at our office there and I’m trying to make a list of anything and everything I need to ask/find out before this becomes a reality.

    Any tips on what I should be asking the new ‘temporary’ office about before I go to make my life easier? So far on my list are things like insurance, tax and expenses, but also basic stuff like who will be my secretary, please can I be added to the office e-mail distribution list etc.

    For context, I’m in BigLaw.

    • I wouldn’t ask about your secretary or being added to a email list. You don’t need to deal with that before you get there.

      I would just focus on the big stuff- housing, travel, taxes, and Visas. And I’d find an associate to chat to about office culture stuff

      • Maybe this is a BigLaw thing, but why wouldn’t you ask about the secretary? I would assume that would be critical since she/he will be the one doing most of the paperwork, getting you signed up for email lists, expenses etc. I would have thought they would be your first point of contact for any questions.

        • Why does it matter who that person is before you arrive? You’ll be assigned someone when you get there, and in my office a secretary would never be responsible for on-boarding stuff.

    • (former) preg 3L :

      Make sure that anyone trying to contact you at your current office after you move to NYC will have a way of reaching someone helpful. Make sure they won’t just disconnect your phone, that your email will stay the same, etc. Also I’d ask about court admissions but maybe you don’t need to worry about that. Will you be able to sign documents on your own behalf in NYC? Or will you need someone admitted in NY to sign everything? If you’re going to be admitted pro hac vice, you might be able to get that started ahead of time (not sure though… I’m not admitted yet).

      Once you arrive, set yourself up with a seamless[dot]com account for ordering food to your office.

      ETA: get contact info for the office manager, so that you can get into your office building on day 1. I would expect they’ll have an office all set up for you, but our visitor offices only have one computer monitor and our attorneys all have two, so maybe ask about things like that ahead of time as well.

    • Lorelai Gilmore :

      For accommodations, I spent several months while on trial in an ExecuStay apartment in NYC. I was very happy with it. Mine was in Chelsea on 24th Street – you can find it online as well. Plus it was right across the street from Whole Foods, which was extremely helpful for meals.

      A few other things to consider:
      1) Make sure you have a docking station at your guest office, rather than a regular computer, so you can just slide your laptop in seamlessly.
      2) Ask for dual monitors if that matters to you – they may not have them.
      3) Are you US-barred? Even if you won’t be in court, you should check the rules in NY about practicing as an out-of-state attorney or foreign lawyer.
      4) You may not necessarily be assigned an assistant – the firm may want you to handle admin stuff (i.e., time entry) through your home assistant. I’d ask for someone in the office where you will physically be.

    • There is almost certainly someone on the admin/HR side at your firm who has handled these inter-office secondments before. You’re kind of wasting your time worrying about this– the firm will do what it typically does– and will appear difficult if you make demands about your IT set up, secretary, etc.

  15. Anyone else deal with rosacea? I have both the redness and the bumps. Bumps are under control but I can’t seem to do the same for the redness and I’ve just been feeling so down about it and my self-esteem has plummeted. Just looking for commiseration I suppose.

    • I can commiserate, but with eczema. It requires constant management, and lately it’s been around my eyes and elsewhere on my face. I find that products with colloidal oatmeal are instantly soothing, and this may help for your redness too.

    • I don’t have it, but I have heard good things about sea buckthorn seed oil.

    • lucy stone :

      Yes to the redness. I use Clinique’s Redness Solutions cream and that has helped reduce it. I also started using a pink primer (Benefit That Gal) and that helps my skin seem more even.

    • I probably have it, but just redness and sensitivity, no bumps. I need to go to a Derm for a real diagnosis, but I’m pretty sure that’s what I’m dealing with. Things I’ve learned so far:

      1) I have to use the gentlest, no-SPF, fragrance-free products I can find. My skin tells me (and everyone else) what it doesn’t like.
      2) I can’t apply products to my face when my skin is wet, or even slightly damp.
      3) Better to be a little too cold than even slightly overheated. Dress accordingly.

      I use argan oil and CeraVe products (face wash and lotion), which work well keeping me moisturized and reducing sensitivity.

    • Unfortunately, yes. I control mine with gentle products and physical sunscreen. I also occasionally get an IPL photofacial to deal with redness that won’t go away.

    • Maine Susan :

      My dermatologist put me on an oral antibiotic that cleared 95% of it up after 30 days. Left me on it for 30 more days to be sure. Then switched me to a prescription topical called Finacea. I am like a new woman. Good luck.

      • amberwitch :

        That’s what worked for my SO as well.

      • I use the antibiotic as well (Oracea) and it does wonders for the bumps, but unfortunately will not help the redness. I’m interested in trying the laser treatments, so I’m curious as to what your experience was like. I heard it can reduce redness by 50%!

  16. Lamps Plus? :

    Has anyone ordered products from Lamps Plus? Were you satisfied with the quality? Thanks!

    • Senior Attorney :

      I’ve bought several lamps and light fixtures from Lamps Plus and been very happy. In fact, right now I have a lovely Lamps Plus chandelier sitting on the living room floor waiting to be installed over the bathtub!

    • Yes, I’ve ordered a number of lamps/lighting fixtures from them. They’re just as good if not better quality than the things in the big box retailers and often the designs are more interesting. Never had any issues with shipping/breaking/etc. so can’t comment on that.

      • In the Pink :

        Totally agree. Even a standing floor lamp of parchment/rice paper (at least 5 feet tall) arrived in impeccable condition.

    • Lamps Plus? :

      Great, thank you!

  17. Any favorite recommendations for dark spot correctors/lighteners?

    • http://www.clinique.com/product/1693/9287/Skin-Care/Uneven-Skin-Tone/Even-Better-Clinical-Dark-Spot-Corrector

      • I used this many years ago and wasn’t impressed, but with stellar recs would be willing to give it a try again. Anyone swear by it? Or any others?

        • chemical peel + prescription retinoids

          • Which peel? I definitely want to use this route to fade some scars, but there are so many options! I have AA skin, if that makes a difference.

    • Porcelana. Seriously, magic for less than $10 a jar. I use both the day and night version, and my dark spots/sun spots on my face and hands disappeared.

  18. cleaning in dc :

    Anybody have recs for a cleaning person in DC? Would rather not go through a service. I feel like I am being overcharged a bit $65 for bi-weekly cleanings in an apt that is barely 700 sq ft . . . but maybe not?

    • How many hours does the cleaning take? $65 biweekly seems reasonable to me.

    • I pay $70 for bi-weekly cleanings in an identical apt. I’ve asked around and $60-75 seems to be the standard range.

    • locomotive :

      that’s very reasonable. mine is ~80 for ~2 hours bi weekly in arlington

  19. Would you baptize/christen your kids if it was important to your family but of absolutely no importance to you? We have a little one and her grandparents and great-grandparents are all very concerned she has not yet been baptized. I started doing some research and called around to see what was involved to see if I could placate them….and I just feel phony. I don’t feel great about standing up and proclaiming I’m going to raise this kid as a Very Serious Christian? Anyone I’d want to be the godparent (in the loosest of terms) is jewish or embarrassingly lapsed christian.

    It really seems to be weighing on my and my husband’s grandmother, as well as my mother-in-law.

    • Yes, but I’m Jewish and love rituals and any excuse for a party and a cute baby dressed up nicely.

      Consider talking with the minister/pastor – how do you & your partner feel about organized religion as a whole? How are you going to raise your child vis a vis character education, values, morals, ethics – obviously a person does not *need* religion or religious theory to do this (today or ever) but there is some value in a mostly proven way to do this, and some value in a community of same or similar-values people. Definitely consider it. Also consider all your options – there are humanitarian, unitarian, i.e. non-Christian ceremonies for babies and children. Don’t immediately close your mind, it’s not black or white, yes or no, it may be able to be more progressive.

    • No, I would not and have not. I grew up Methodist, and we didn’t baptize babies/children (they were christened and baptism was a choice later in life). I tell my in-laws that when they bring it up, even though I’m not Methodist or really even Christian now. For my family, my mom is the only one who would care, and she has been silent on it. For her, not christening an infant has no impact on the infant (i.e., she doesn’t believe that the baby would suffer negative consequences upon its death if it weren’t christened). She makes comments about taking the kids to church, but she’s generally respectful. I totally get why people do it, but I’m not willing to baptize or christen my children to make my in laws happy.

      • Which Methodist church was that? One of the independent congregations? The United Methodist Church absolutely does infant baptisms. Adults who haven’t been baptized can be, but infant baptism is the rule and christening isn’t a thing.

        • I agree with Anonymous. My father is a retired Methodist pastor – and definitely did infant baptisms. We can go through Confirmation when we are older (usually 13-16), if we want though.
          Perhaps what RR means is that the UMC has no requirement that you be baptized to take Communion, or participate in any other church ritual. Usually the rule (at least in the 3 different UMC that I’ve attended) is “All are welcome”.

      • Christening and baptism are one and the same. Perhaps you’re thinking of a dedication? Mainline Methodism does baptize babies.

      • I attended a church that called itself United Methodist. They did not baptize children. They “christened” them, which was effectively a dedication. There was no confirmation process period. FWIW, my great-grandfather was also a United Methodist pastor, and his church worked the same. I just assumed that was an across the board thing, but apparently I had outliers? Like anon umc said, it was not a requirement for communion.

        My apologies if I’m incorrectly stating their beliefs. I am not trying to accurately reflect the tenets of the religion–just speak to my experience and how I’ve handled the baptism issue. It really doesn’t matter to me if they were doing it correctly. Personally, I’m agnostic tending toward atheist, so I have admittedly not spent time trying to parse out the finer points of different protestant faiths.

    • Diana Barry :

      So my DH is an atheist and I am pretty close to one (very lapsed!) but we had our kids all baptized in the Episcopalian church (my old denomination) down the street. What about going to a Unitarian church? They take anyone there! :) <<<< joke!

      • Diana Barry :

        We also did it primarily to placate the grandparents (my mom in particular). Does it change how we are raising the kids (mostly irreligious, only go to church Xmas and Easter if that)? No. We also didn’t care about whether we were ‘fooling’ anyone or not, it was just something we did when the kids were babies, etc.

        • What did you do about the godparent situation? I don’t feel right asking one of my not-so-close-but-close enough friends of actual christian faith to step in, and found myself this morning wondering which of my non-jewish non-churchgoing friends might be baptised and not feel like a sham standing up in a church talking about helping the kid keep the faith. The Episcopals want THREE godparents- two of the same gender, one of the opposite.

          • Diana Barry :

            What??? Never heard of that, must be regional. So for the first kid we had siblings, second kid we had one sibling, one friend (absentee since she lives far away), and then for the third we had 2 cousins (younger, early 20s, also one absentee). The only thing they have to say in the service is “we will” along with the rest of the congregation. We didn’t worry about what anyone’s faith was, since the godparent thing is totally symbolic anyway.

          • Blonde Lawyer :

            Diana Barry makes a great point about Episcopal Baptism. My experience with the Catholic Church is that the ceremony is small and private like a wedding and the parents/god parents are the ones “taking the vows.” My experience with the Episcopal Church is the baptism happens in the middle of mass with a bunch of other babies and adult converts and everyone says “we will” in unison from the congregation which includes all those guests of different religions. I think I could partake in an Episcopal baptism without feeling like I was lying even though I’m not particularly religious.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Is it possible to put the grandparents in charge of the baptism, so all you have to do is show up with the baby?

      • I’d be concerned that the grandparents would view this as carte blanche to take an active role in the child’s religious development, which may not be to the parents’ liking. At some point the parents will have to take a stand against grandparental pushing of religion. I understand the appeal of taking this stand sooner rather than later.

        It depends how pushy the grandparents are in general, and how devoted to matters of religion. If it’s just a party, sure, make a nice happy party. But if the grandparents are likely to take it as a Statement of Belief, I’d push back.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Well, certainly if you object to the child being raised in a religion this isn’t an option. But the OP said it’s just “of no importance” to her. If the parents don’t care one way or the other, letting the grandparents take charge of the child’s religious upbringing might be an option. There’s a certain appeal in lounging around in bed on Sunday morning while Junior toddles off to Sunday School with the grandparents!

        I’m an unbeliever and I wouldn’t do it, but I’m just sayin’…

      • This is basically what we did. DH is an atheist; I’m a believing but lapsed Lutheran. I did want my son baptized, but didn’t have the time to deal with it and didn’t have a church I was connected to. Baptizing was MANDATORY for my parents; DH didn’t care but didn’t want to interfere with having it done either. My mom organized a private ceremony (just me, DH, grandparents, and DS) at their home church when we were visiting about 4 months after the baby’s birth. They’re very active in their church so it was easy to do.

    • Anon in NYC :

      I wouldn’t, for similar reasons. If it doesn’t mean anything to you, I would not have her baptized and just own the decision. She can still attend church and make a decision for herself down the road if that is something she wants to pursue.

      • But, according to baby’s grandparents, her soul is in jeopardy. If it were a matter of her religious upbringing, it would be a non-issue.

    • This needs to be part of a broader conversation with your family about religion and child-rearing. Is their concern ONLY about baptism? Or will they insist that you take junior to church every Sunday, have his first communion, get confirmed, etc.?

      If you’re OK with your child being baptized but not OK with taking vows you have no intention of fulfilling, is it possible for MIL (or someone else) to present the child for baptism and take the applicable vows? If godparents are required (not sure if they are mandatory or just traditional), do you have religious-ish family members who would volunteer?

      • This is the issue my in-laws have with DH’s brothers’ family. They will go along with things for now (church wedding, baptism) but they aren’t believers and I feel like at some point it will get to be too much pretending.

        It’s your kid, your choice imo.

    • Do you want them to go to CCD/Bible school? Do you want your kid to be able to be married in the church without as many extra hoops to jump through (not sure if this applies everywhere or just Catholic)? Would you ever want to send your kid to a religious school where this might matter ?If yeah, I’d do it. Otherwise, what’s the point?

      Though I will say that as far as Catholic requirements go, it depends on the parish, but only one godparent has to be an active Catholic and active Catholic means that you join your parish and the priest writes you a letter saying you’re a member without ever talking to anyone (other than showing up to the office and saying you want to join and need a letter). It can be as meaningful or meaningless as you want.

      • I was raised Catholic but we wouldn’t baptize Catholic. DH was raised Methodist adn we got married in an Episcopal church (by happenstance).

      • I think Catholics have a LOT more requirements than most other (Christian) religions (Catholic myself, so I don’t know for sure) to be a full fledged Catholic by adulthood.

    • Nope. We went through this exact issue with both our wedding and our kids. My husband’s family is very Catholic and mine is Methodist. Neither my husband or I practice a religion, and we do not ever desire to do so. We were married by our very gay and Jewish friend. My husband’s family was taken aback, but my father-in-law asked me, “were you ok with how that went?” I said yes, and that satisfied him.

      As for the kids, like you, I would feel like a total phony calling around to secure a place to have the kids baptized. I also would not want to have to explain to my kids that they were baptized to placate others. I don’t think that is a good example.

    • anon-oh-no :

      i would. but that is because I just don’t care either way. husband and me were both baptized but neither practice a religion now. we considered doing this, but neither set of parents made a big deal out of it, so our kids are not baptized.

    • I’m very agnostic and both my husband and I were raised Catholic. I’m uncomfortable making promises I know I wouldn’t keep (i.e., raising my children in the Catholic faith). These are your children, you make the best decision for you and them- and not for your parents.

    • I wouldn’t do it. You’re going to stand up and make promises to raise your child in the Christian faith; personally I wouldn’t be comfortable doing it if I didn’t mean it (and as a Christian, I’d strongly prefer that people who don’t believe refrain from doing so). Bear in mind that many churches will want you to attend services and take classes prior to baptizing your children.

      • “and as a Christian, I’d strongly prefer that people who don’t believe refrain from doing so”

        This really resonates with me. I’m an agnostic and neither believe nor agree with the principle behind baptizing children, but I grew up in a church and respect the beliefs of those who believe. It seems disrespectful to me to make light of those beliefs by going through the motions.

        • I feel the same way about weddings – although for a long time, people didn’t have great options in much of the country. It was either a religious wedding or the courthouse. I’m glad that with online ordination being recognized, people have more options to have a ceremony that honors their belief (or nonbelief) rather than having to go with something that isn’t meaningful to them. I wish we had a more standard non-religious substitute for the social roles that baptisms often play – a way for people to celebrate a baby’s birth that wasn’t a religious ceremony. It’s better for believers and better for skeptics as well.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Isn’t there a type of baptism that “let’s the soul go to heaven” that doesn’t involve the lifelong promises? I remember some controversy about nurses in a catholic hospital baptizing critically ill babies and whether this was the nurse practicing his/her religion or impeding on the religion of the parents. It was a long time ago but I think it came down in favor of the nurses and that no religion would find the infant “tainted” by the ritual the nurse performed and the nurse would be assured that if the child died it’s soul would go to heaven or whatever. I can’t imagine the nurse was promising to ensure the faith of the child for life. I’m not really religious so I can’t weigh in on the rules here but I do recall that case had to do with “emergency baptisms” that did not require a priest. So, if that’s an option, I’d let the grandparents get the baby blessed with whatever blessing he/she needs to “protect the soul” but leave out the whole “we will raise Christian” part.

      • wondering :

        How does this type of magical baptism protect the soul? I can understand (though don’t believe) that religious observance would help ensure one’s soul’s place in the afterlife. But if it’s just a throwaway ceremony, I can’t imagine any deity taking it seriously.

      • (Former Catholic here) Laypeople cannot baptize in Catholicism, you must be a priest, so nurses wouldn’t be able to do that unless they were priests moonlighting as nurses :).

        Regarding a baptism that “lets the soul go to heaven” with no other participation in the religion, Christian faiths are often divided by whether they deem works and/or faith to be the deciding factor(s) in the afterlife. You actually touched on a HUGE theological question. I can’t think of one church that basically says once you’re baptized your’re covered for life. Churches would be even emptier than they already are!

        • lucy stone :

          In an emergency situation, the Catholic church doesn’t even require you be Catholic or Christian. All that is required is water flowing on the head and the words of institution.

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          I was referring to the old belief that babies with original sin couldn’t go to heaven unless they were baptized. They would be in purgatory or something.

    • If you do not care one way or the other, than I would say go ahead and do the christening since it’s so important to your families. It would be different if you were completely against christening, in which case I would say don’t do it and ignore everyone else. But since it doesn’t matter to you at all, why not just do it? If christening actually saves your kid’s soul, then it’s good that you got it done. If it doesn’t, then no harm, no foul. (See Pascal’s Wager.)

      As for the feeling like a phony issue, I don’t think there is anything wrong with being honest with everyone. Just say, “we are only doing this because it is important to our families.” If the pastor isn’t fine with that, then find another pastor/church. If no church is willing to let you christen your kid because you don’t truly believe in it, then you can tell your families that you tried calling around, but no one will let you do it since you don’t genuinely believe in it, and surely your families wouldn’t want you to stand up in a church and lie by making promises you don’t intend to keep.

      • Doesn’t every church ask that parents act as a proxy for the child, and make the promises on the child’s behalf that they will be raised in the religion? I can’t imagine a baptism without those promises being made… I don’t think you could have your child baptized if you weren’t willing to agree to those promises.

    • Here’s a suggestion I haven’t seen elsewhere in the thread. Have you considered contacting the person who conducted your wedding (which, presumably, you found agreeable for religious or nonreligious purposes) to write a personalized naming or dedication ceremony?

      The woman who performed my wedding wrote our entire ceremony with our input (which included a prayer, but was otherwise nonreligious) and I’ve seen on Facebook that she has done a few baptisms as well. I would definitely put her at the top of our list for a baptism or whatever route my husband and I choose when we have children.

      Think of what kind of values you want your child to have, seek godparents who would help instill these values, and include as much religion as makes you feel comfortable (and that you think would assuage the grandparents). You don’t have to have a ceremony in a church; have it outside (weather permitting, of course) or in a nondenominational facility.

      • Yes, this is what I meant by “keep your options open, it’s not black or white”

    • How about having the kids blessed instead of baptized? In my church (baptist) as well as others, the family comes up the the front and the pastor prays for the baby. No godparents (at least not formally recognized, I’m sure some of the kids have them), no promises. You could think of it as the church wishing your child well.

      See also: http://www.nbcnews.com/id/21476014/ns/health-childrens_health/t/parents-make-their-own-rituals-welcome-baby/

  20. DH and I have been talking for.ev.er. about going alcohol-free for 30 days, but we can never seem to make the leap. We’ve been pretty good about cutting out alcohol during the week, but then the weekend rolls around and there’s always something going on that seems to revolve around drinking. Has anyone done this successfully? Any tips? I know the answer is probably just suck it up and do it; I don’t know why this is so hard for us.

    • When I got pregnant, it forced the issue. After pregnancy, I had lots of tips to cut back on the booze– I had found lots of non-alcoholic drinks I liked as substitutions, figured out some work around (wanted a beer, then realized what I wanted was to sit on the couch and relax drinking something cool—fancy soda worked just fine as long as my body was relaxing; instead of a cocktail pre-dinner I got a fancy app or soup, etc).

      • I just posted below, but I like this, too- what is the reason for choosing alcohol? To get to sleep? Replace with melatonin and tea (and for me, remind self that wine doesn’t help me sleep *well*). Bored? Lonely? Stressed? Everyone else has a drink in their hand? Then ask –> what else could help, and maybe even help better.

      • 100% agree. When I’ve tried to cut back alcohol, I’ve realized the same thing. I’m stressed, so I want a glass of wine. Everyone else is drinking, so I figure why not. Address those issues with something non-alcohol related, and you will find you don’t want alcohol.

        The only thing that still bothers me is I really find some foods just are not done justice drinking with water. If I spend an hour brining and grilling a swordfish filet and eat it with water, it’s just not the same.

        As with any diet, when you don’t have it for awhile, you don’t even crave it.

        Another tip if you just want to cut back and not necessarily completely abstain is to order a shandy (for beer) or a spritzer (for wine). That way it looks like you’re drinking, but you’re getting much less alcohol (I always did this at company happy hours to keep up with the guys)

    • What’s your reason for cutting it out completely? That might help produce tips.

      I have entertained the idea of doing the same, but run into the same issue you do- being social on the weekends and dating, which all but requires alcohol. When I have cut down substantially, though, I’m motivated by how good my body feels.

      • We had been contemplating it for a long time for weight loss reasons. We’ve both been trying to lose weight and have improved our eating and exercise habits, but we’re not seeing the results we want. We both think that’s primarily due to alcohol and, to a lesser extent, eating out. We try to make healthy choices when we eat out (i.e., mussel pot instead of burger with brie and foie gras), but it really doesn’t make much difference if you’re having 4+ Belgians in an evening….

        Lately, we’ve had some conflict at home and alcohol makes it worse. We’ll fight one night and then the next, we go out and get drunk and dredge up the fight we just had but 10x worse because we’ve been drinking. I think cutting the booze would help us calm down, forgive each other, and get back to where we need to be.

        • Shots. Shots. Shots. :

          I think you need to get marriage counseling. I may be aggravating your problems, but getting rid of me won’t solve them. And having a better emotional grounding might help you stop using me to escape so much.

          Also if you’re concerned about your drinking and fighting maybe just let go of the weight loss thing. It’s a red hearing.

          • Baconpancakes :

            Seriously, Shots, you’re really good at this responsible drinking advocacy. Kudos!

        • That mussel pot is probably 75% butter.

          • +1,000 you really need to start counting calories or at least making yourself aware of the general range for specific dishes. A mussel pot can easily have more calories than burgers.

          • They’re usually mostly white wine with a bit of butter thrown in, and most of the juice remains on the bottom (though the best part is sopping it up with a good baguette…). I’ve always made mine with about 2 Tbsp. of butter in the whole pot, although restaurants certainly love to up butter content.

          • Uh-oh.

          • Right? Shrimp and grits at my fave restaurant- how many calories can there be??

            turns out, 1,100, because the primary ingredient is cream. *headdesk*

          • @anon at 3:25, my favorite shrimp and grits recipe doesn’t call for cream. But can’t vouch for the calorie count (or sodium content).

            www (dot) lucky32 (dot) com (slash) Recipes (slash) shrimpgrits (dot) htm

        • You sound like you both like to eat. Try the Food & Wine diet. And lose the fixation on alcohol in particular. Alcohol is junk food. It’s like drinking soda. Except it makes you drunk, which has it’s own set of problems that may not apply here. If you have trouble giving it up (and you don’t have those other alcohol-specific problems), look around at how people kick their soda habit.

          You have to want to stop doing it and you need to do it on an individual basis, too. Dieting with someone else is a P.I.T.A. You will become judgey about what they eat. You will be tempted to eat bad things they might eat and blame them for it. You might resent them for their diet. You may hide food from them. It’s not fun.

          • I disagree, when my husband and I did whole30, it was awesome to be able to support each other and cook for each other. There’s no way I could have done it without him!

        • Commented above, but in response to this – maybe start by trying to just drink in moderation, such that you don’t even get a ‘tipsy’ sensation. If you’re drinking to the point of getting drunk or even tipsy, you’re used to associating that feeling with alcohol, but you don’t have to.

          I know some people will say this means you need professional help, but when I went to college/ was in my early twenties, everyone drank to get drunk. period, full stop (so maybe they all need professional help). I didn’t realize until I got older, made more mature friends, etc, that you can enjoy one glass of wine with dinner and not feel the slightest bit tipsy. I rarely even get tipsy these days because I don’t see the point, and like you say, don’t need the calories.

        • “We try to make healthy choices when we eat out (i.e., mussel pot instead of burger with brie and foie gras), but it really doesn’t make much difference if you’re having 4+ Belgians in an evening….”

          I’m the first anon that posted. ^^Story of my life. I love craft beer. But I realized I wasn’t willing to run 5 miles/day to burn it off, so I cut down.

          “Lately, we’ve had some conflict at home and alcohol makes it worse. We’ll fight one night and then the next, we go out and get drunk and dredge up the fight we just had but 10x worse because we’ve been drinking. I think cutting the booze would help us calm down, forgive each other, and get back to where we need to be”

          This is alarming. Alcohol fueled my parents’ arguments and led to tremendous dysfunction and their eventual divorce. Would those issues have been there sans drinking? Sure, some, but drinking made it all so much worse. The fact that you recognize this is a problem but still can’t seem to quit drinking suggests you should enlist a professional. You owe it to your relationship.

    • Diana Barry :

      My solution was to (1) study for the bar, so I cut out alcohol for 2 months! Then a couple years later, get pregnant. ;) DH also stopped drinking when I was pregnant and we never went out, so it wasn’t a biggie.

      The other plus of stopping drinking for a while is that now I am a total lightweight, so I don’t mind spending $12 on the one drink I’m going to have that night.

    • Be ready to get questions from friends- have prepared responses, because you will be asked. If you have a good answer and you deliver it without hesitation, I’ve found that my friends are less likely to give me sh!t about it/peer pressure away from my goal.

    • What is the reason you’re drinking? For me, I genuinely like the taste of wine/beer, and appreciate the thought (and taste) behind an artisanal cocktail. For pregnancy/nursing I obviously gave up alcohol all at once, but on the weekends I do enjoy savoring a cold seasonal beer or a great glass of wine. The trick was, as someone said, differentiating between craving a specific taste, or just wanting the ‘relax and treat myself’ mood. If I really wanted a beer/glass of wine, I’d have one. if I just wanted to relax or signify that this was a fun night off a fancy soda, tea, or mocktail often did the trick.

    • Is there a point to stopping? Dietary or you have a problem with alcohol? I’m sure I’ve not had any alcohol for stretches of 30 days, but that was probably because I only drink socially and there was probably nothing going on. There’s no reason for it other than that I mostly drink water if I’m thirsty, alcohol and soda and things are a special occasion drink.

    • Why bother? Maybe it’s hard because you actually feel it’s not worth doing. Unless there’s some legit reason why this is necessary I’d just cross it off the to do list.

    • Baconpancakes :

      You’re psyching yourself out. Going to a party sober where everyone else is drinking can be less fun, or it can be just as fun. Going to a beer tasting, maybe not so much fun. I’d try it for a full week first – 7 days, start to finish, sober, instead of trying to do an entire month. Don’t beat yourself up about trying to give it up.

      I know there’s probably people who are going to say “If it’s that hard for you maybe you should consider whether you’re addicted,” but there’s also people who could never give up chocolate or bread or soda for 30 days. Don’t let that idea get you down. You know you COULD do it, you just don’t want to give up the socializing and weekly habit. Once you do make it a full week, you’ll notice how much better you feel, both emotionally, for sticking with it, and physically.

      The fancy sodas idea, or luxurious teas (the ones that seem ridiculously expensive are so much more delicate and nuanced than Celestial Seasonings!), can certainly help. Don’t agree to any social events that are based specifically around drinking – pub crawls, tastings, winery tours, etc. I know, I know, FOMO, but one weekend won’t kill you. If you’re going to a party, bring your own fancy drink – gingerbeer is my favorite. Good luck!

      • Sober Sally :

        This +100: “Going to a party sober where everyone else is drinking can be less fun, or it can be just as fun.”
        And I would even say you can have fun sober at a beer tasting too. It’s up to you to decide how you experience this. I don’t drink, never have, and I work in a work-hard/play-hard, lots of drinking law firm. Firm events became a lot more fun when I decided I was just going to own it, not worry about whether anyone else thought it was weird, and enjoy it as a fun time out with colleagues instead of a painful watching-other-people-drink ordeal. Deciding to smile will make you happier, whatever the situation (as will gratitude that whatever it is isn’t worse).

      • Mmmmmm gingerbeer

    • If you’re thinking of doing this you need to. Really. It’s important to clarify your relationship to alcohol and taking some time away from that relationship should help do that. If you can’t stop for 30 days – get help. There is tons available and you can be in control of what that help means to you, but it’s important to do it. Good luck! And kudos to you for thinking about this.

    • Start driving more, if this is somethign you can actually be responsible about. When we go out to eat, I *can’t* have more than one drink and drive home. So I just stop going places walking/cab distance :)

      • Anonymous :

        Please do be careful about this. Emphasis on “if you can actually be responsible.” As someone currently going through the ordeal that comes with a DUI conviction, I can say that you need to be very careful with drinking and driving. Even just having one drink could put you at risk of driving impaired. And, of course, your ability to make good decisions goes out the window after a drink or two. It can be a great crutch when out with friends to say that you’re just having one drink because you’re driving home. I’m just hyper-sensitive now whenever I hear something along these lines. My life is pretty much hell right now because of a terrible decision I made one night (no, despite what statistics say, I am/was a responsible drinker 99% of the time).

    • My husband and I did the whole 30 food plan (which consists of eating certain items and not eating certain items for 30 days) and alcohol was one of the off limit items. It was hard, but we planned it during the month of January (as opposed to a summer month or a holiday month where there would be a lot of social activities) to avoid the temptation of going to an event where there would be alcohol. Honestly, alcohol was one of the least hardest things to cut out, I was really wanting ice cream and other sugary foods!

    • I don’t drink and I’m not a social drinker. I might have a sip – literally a sip – once every… 6 months? Every year? haha. So unfortunately I can’t give any tips on giving up alcohol, but I sometimes find myself in situations – professionally, socially – where everyone drinks except me and I don’t give it much thought. Just own the decision not to drink. Drink a fun alternative. If everyone is ordering cocktails, order some fruity mocktail.

      I have cut out caffeine before for, what I would consider, at least a pretty decent amount of time a few months ago (back to drinking daily now but am planning to try again). Caffeine was trickier because of withdrawal symptoms, but basically I substituted – every time I wanted to drink coffee, I got a cup of warm water instead, or a juice.

  21. Thinking about traveling to Vancouver, BC for Christmas. Any recommendations on where to stay, best places to eat, and any must sees? TIA!

    • I recently stayed at the Pan Pacific, and it was extremely nice. I also highly recommend a trip up Grouse Mountain.

    • lucy stone :

      We stayed at the Westin Bayshore a few years ago and loved the location because you could see all the floatplane traffic in Coal Harbor. I don’t know if there would be as much in December because I’ve only been during the summer, but it was so relaxing to sit and watch them take off and land. We also enjoyed brunch at Tap and Barrel this year for the same reason. I have lots of summertime recommendations but I don’t know how well they would translate to winter.

    • I just remembered–some colleagues stayed at the Fairmont Pacific Rim (also right on the water–across the street, but great views), and raved about it–apparently it has TVs in the showers and one colleague had a great balcony with a fireplace on it.

    • Anonymous :

      Guu was our favorite restaurant. We went to the main location but there are 2-3 and they’re pretty similar (Asian fusion tapas). We had a relaxing picnic lunch and walked around Stanley park. We also grabbed lunch at Granville market – got some fresh bread, charcuterie and chocolate :)

  22. I went to a new derm for an annual skin check yesterday. I’m super pale and have lots of moles, but have been getting skin checks since I turned 18 (I’m 24 now.) so I have a pretty good awareness of what’s on my body and what they look like.

    A mole that previous dermatologists have seen and didn’t think was a concern, my new derm wanted to remove because it’s bigger and darker than my other moles. He didn’t express any big concern to me but he stared at it for a long time. It hasn’t changed in the years since I’ve been getting skin checks but now I’m worried it might be something serious that was overlooked for a long time.

    There is no point to this post, other than the fact I unexpectedly have stitches in my leg and am an anxiously awaiting the test results.

    • The same thing has happened to me, several times, and test results have always been good. For what it is worth, I’m 30 and spent way too much time in the sun during high school/college.

  23. Calling SF ladies :

    I need a good restaurant recommendation. I will be there for a conference and staying near Union Square ina few weeks. I have to take some people to dinner and I need a good restaurant preferable within walking distrance. The people I am taking out (1) don’t care about drinks/cocktails at all; and (2) like “plain” food – think burgers, steak, etc. – nothing too fancy. I will be there several days so will take other good reccomendations too – I love Italian food.

    And for the weather in November? I have only been in spring/summers and it was always colder than I expected then.

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