Workwear Hall of Fame: Bi-Stretch Sheath Dress

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

This dress from Tahari has been around for years and has gotten really great reviews at Nordstrom as well as at Amazon, but I don’t think we’ve ever featured it in a morning workwear report. Say what you will about the little details at the waist, but I think it’s a flattering look — and the sort of architectural design at the neckline reminds me of much higher-priced dresses like St. John‘s. It’s $128 at Nordstrom and comes in four colors (blue, green, navy, and black) in sizes 2–16 and petite sizes 8P–14P. Bi-Stretch Sheath Dress

Here’s a plus-size option.

2017 Update: We’ve added this dress to our Workwear Hall of Fame! It comes in several colors and petite sizes, and gets rave reviews.

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This sheath dress from Tahari is a workwear hall of famer because it has been around for years and gets great reviews!  It also comes in petite sizes and several colors options.

Comments

  1. Anonymous :

    Seeking input from former or current BigLaw attorneys. I’m a fourth year litigator at a large firm on the East Coast. I was recently advised that the firm wants me to do a secondment at a client that is located in the suburbs of my city. It would most likely be part-time, so I would keep at least some of my current client matters (but unclear what the contours are, how many days I’d need to commute to the secondment, etc).

    My gut instinct was, they’re trying to push me out, especially since I have never heard of or done work for this client. But then I figured, they wouldn’t send someone they don’t have confidence in to a client. Any thoughts? Any tips for how I should navigate this if it should come to pass?

    TIA!

    • Anonymous :

      I had a co-worker get seconded inhouse and he left to go inhouse to a job he loves there and is still there 15+ years later.

      I know someone where it didn’t work out at the firm, but that could have been industry-in-recession fallout. She’s with another big firm now. Both of these do transactional work.

      You never know. I think you should run with it and get all of the good experience that you can, but I’ve never seen it done PT. That sounds like it could be a recipe for disaster b/c big firm clients would expect you to be available 24/7 and litigation schedules are dicey. Not sure they’ve thought the idea through.

    • It was a common move at my firm to secund people to help them move in-house, and the first to go usually were the ones they didn’t view as being on the partner track, so your instinct is probably on. That said, it’s a gift – going in-house has become the holy grail and it’s really hard to do directly from a firm absent some experience being in-house. I’d recommend doing it (after 10 years of being in-house myself, I think the grass is greener) and I’d push to be relieved of your client responsibilities with the firm while you’re gone. It’s pretty tough to do 2 jobs and you’ll want to engage in the secundment. If you like that company, you’ll want to spend time networking there.

      • Why is the word Secundment (with a U) and NOT just secondment, without a U? It seemes to me that if you are goieng somewhere you are getting seconded over to the at location, which is secondment! OP, I think you should go, for whatever reason — even if you don’t want to go, go b/c the work environment is not all that great these days, even IF you are a partner, like I am.

    • Anon in NYC :

      Agree with your instinct and also that this is a vote of confidence in your skills. This will be a great opportunity to get some in-house experience and see if you like it. I also think that if you can do it full-time, that would be easiest for you.

    • Agree its a gift even if its intended as a message to you. Having in house experience thru a secondment will make you more marketable in the long run. For what its worth, my firm only sends attorneys they think reasonably well of on a secondment – at this stage in the legal market, someone who is not going to last in the short term is fired and not farmed out to a client.
      If it is PT, it also seems unlikely that they’ll not let you come back. I think its a good situation for you. Good luck!

    • I had a secondment as junior/midlevel and thoroughly enjoyed it. I learned valuable skills that my firm wasn’t teaching me, and I gained a lot of confidence in myself from the experience. Before I did mine, I received the advice that firms don’t send their superstars on secondment, but they also don’t send anyone they aren’t fully confident in, so it’s probably not a sign you’re being pushed out.

    • lady lawyer :

      I did exactly this for about a year during my fourth year of practice, and it was awesome. I’m still at the firm that secunded me. The long and the short of it is if they’re asking you to go there’s probably no reasonable way for you to say no.

      Things that were great: (i) developed a very close relationship with an existing firm client, so close that I now am the relationship partner for several of their matters; (ii) developed a very close relationship with a bunch of the lawyers that were in house in the group I worked with, who now are in other in-house jobs; (iii) had an opportunity to “test drive” an in house job without making the plunge in a way that would be difficult to come back from; (iv) had great in house experience to put on my resume if I ever did apply to in house jobs; and (v) I honestly enjoyed the work, which can be so different from what you’re able to do at a firm.

      Things that were less great: (i) commuting to the ‘burbs; (ii) balancing other firm client/partner expectations, i.e., always feeling like I needed to be doing two jobs at once; and (iii) advancement/development at the firm, because you can’t really take on a lead role in cases/deals at the firm if you’re gone 2-3 days a week (which is why so many of us struggle with the desire to go part time – it just generally doesn’t work well).

      Like I said, probably no way to say NO to this, so might as well try to find the good in it! I hope your experience is a great as mine was.

      • Lorelai Gilmore :

        A colleague of mine has this exact experience, including becoming the relationship partner for that client. Go for it. I think this is a great opportunity and I would jump at it.

    • I think it depends a lot on the firm. We’ve had seconded folks go on to make partner at my BigLaw East Coast firm. And we’ve had folks come back from their secondment work at the firm for anywhere from 6 months to a couple of years and then go back to the same company in-house when the right role opened up. And some just transitioned directly from secondment to a permanent role where they were seconded. Unless you really think you are 100% partnership material and I don’t know how anyone knows that (says a senior associate who thinks she is sitting on the edge of being partnership material) I would do it.

      If it were offered to me, even at this late stage in my career, I would do it in a heartbeat. I think the connections and experience would be great and I think I could leverage it to make me a stronger candidate for partner if that’s what I decided I wanted.

    • It’s a good thing. They wouldn’t send you if they didn’t think you would make them look good, and you get inroads into a client. I actually don’t know many people who’ve done these who didn’t end up in house and much happier than at a firm.

    • thanks, everyone, for the input. i agree this is not something i can or should turn down. i neglected to mention that it’s only supposed to last 4 months, so definitely not a long-term thing. commuting to the ‘burbs will be a PITA, but certainly not the worst thing that could happen!

    • In my BigLaw experience, those who were selected for secondment were considered the superstars at the firm. I know at least one who did a secondment, returned, and is now a partner. Clearly it means that you are very well regarded! They are not sending their mediocre associates for secondments, that’s for sure.

      • Agree with WOW.
        While not in law, I work with a lot of our in-house lawyers.

        Sending a mediocre associate to a client would not be in your law firms best interest.
        If I ran your law firm, I would want to send an extremely capable and personable lawyer who can a) solidify and expand networks with the client and b) learn more about clients needs and find new avenues of thinking about their business (i.e. expand legal fees).

        This is a great opportunity for you – as others have said.
        You just need to figure out the part-time nature – because without boundaries you may end up doing both jobs full-time.
        As for the commute – if possible, try to beat traffic (and listen to podcasts).

    • A few more thoughts on the “message” from the firm to you – there are so many things at law firms that they brainwash you to think of as “bad” that are actually really good for your career & vice versa – it’s a little like being down the rabbit hole or in bizarro world. Things on my list are: secundments (firm message – you won’t make partner, but for many people that’s not the end goal, going in-house or having an off-road that’s not in a law firm is and this helps you get there); trial experience (firm message – this is for stars, for most people, this isn’t how you want to live your life in the long run); taking a class year haircut (thinking – this is lowering my status, reality – this is the law firm equivalent of red shirting & can help you make partner if that’s your goal because you take your experience to the head of a lower class year and get more time).

    • At the same NYC biglaw firm for 8 yrs — never saw anyone who was seconded ever make partner. BUT the others are right you are NOT seconded if the firm doesn’t trust you/think well of you — they don’t want an irresponsible talker over at a client office for 6 months saying who knows what. At my firm secondments were a sign that the firm knew that it did not have the finances where it would be able to make any (or more than 1) partner in a given department in the near future. So basically 1 chosen one was anointed for partner, 99% of other associates would be on their own – most would leave within 4-5 yrs anyway with no desire to stay/work the hours and the few that desired it but weren’t the anointed one would be pushed out, and 1-2 would be “helped” along with secondments with the hope that the secondment resulted in a job either immediately post secondment or a few yrs down the road when there was a full time opening — thus solidifying the firm’s relationship with that client bc presumably an associate who got the job via firm secondment feels some affinity to the firm.

    • Triangle Pose :

      I’ve seen this go a few different ways at my former BigLaw office.

      2nd year is seconded to big client for several months. He does a good job, is paid BigLaw salary, only works 40 hours because it’s in-house. Comes back, has no work because he’s been gone for a few months and deals are middling slow anyway. He isn’t able to get more work, no one champions him at review time because no one has worked with him for a quarter. Even though he had good reviews at the client, it didn’t mean much com firm review and bonus time. He is let go.

      6th year is seconded to a big client for several months. She does a good job. They offer her a position in-house at the end of secondment. She doesn’t think it’s the right position for her, goes back to the firm. Is a rockstar and is still at the firm. I’m sure the client still loves her and she has that door open should she want to leave.

      6th year is part time seconded to client. This is the worst because she spend 2 days at client and is suppose to only work on their work while at the office. Other 3 days has same demands from firm clients who don’t understand or care about secondment because they need their stuff turned around. She works a lot more than usual a night because of this. She does a good job. She gets an offer at the client but turns it down as it’s not the right role for her. Comes back to the firm and leaves for another in-house job a year later.

      All that to say, of course accept and dive in eagerly and ready to learn. This is a great opportunity for you. Make sure you maintain relationships with the firm while at secondment in case it does not result in in-house offer, you don’t want firm higher ups to forget you come review time if you have to come back to an hours deficit.

    • Whether it’s messaging or not — TAKE it — it is good for your resume. When you’re a 6th yr looking to leave, it will set you apart from the hordes of other biglaw associates leaving every vault firm in your city. Maybe you get an immediate offer at this company in 4 months. Maybe you don’t but there’s an opening 2 yrs from now and you get in then. Maybe you come back to your firm, resume your associate life, in 3-4 yrs decide that’s it, you want out and want to move back to your hometown and guess what you are super marketable bc you have 6 yrs at a big firm + 6 months of in house to prove that you know what in house is about. Happened that way to a friend of mine — top NYC firm; 6 month secondment at an investment bank where he too felt like his firm was pushing him out; went back to the firm for another 2-3 yrs; decided — I’m from Kentucky, I want to go back and be a superstar there — saw 1 opening for the only Fortune 500 in his home city and got himself hired immediately and they told him that they were weary of a NYC associate doing ok in house in Kentucky even though he grew up there — but the 6 month secondment pushed them over the edge bc they knew that he knew what in house was all about so it’s not like he had some made up notion of what it’d be like.

    • I am in-house – we always try to hand pick the seconded lawyer – and we only choose the best :) This is a good thing.

    • In the UK this is super common. At my old firm in London there would be several associates out on secondment to a client at any one time, even in our small specialized group. They won’t send someone they don’t think is a good representative. It’s a great way to get experience (and the associates really enjoyed being away from the office a bit.) I don’t know why the US doesn’t do it as much. Part time seems complicated though.

    • pugsnbourbon :

      Johnny Galecki. “Just in the way you smile!” k thanks.

  2. good / not good :

    I’ve heard that everyone has a celebrity double.

    I’ve decided that (absent the sideburns and 5-o’clock shadow), mine may be Lin-Manuel Miranda. Not sure how I feel about this. I definitely can’t sing (not that that stops me).

    • This is amazing.

      Mine is always Moira Kelly, the much maligned Mandy from West Wing. I prefer to channel my Moira-ness into her character from The Cutting Edge. Gonna work “tooooeee picccckkkkk!” into my vocab today…

    • Anonymous :

      though I haven’t heard it recently, I used to get told I looked like Leighton Meester from Gossip Girl all the time. I never watched the show, but one time when I was playing wingwoman at a bar, and made a snappy remark, I was told I looked like Blair and acted like her, too. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

      • I think we must know each other b/c I told someone, mabye you, that when we were in DC? I was the one who peeople said looked like Blake Livey, and you were the one that looked like Leighton Meister. And then the guys said that if you looked like leighton Meister, they would like to really go and see your Kiester! Remember that? I can NOT believe it is you after all these years! Yay!!!!!

    • Clementine :

      Anna Chlumsky. Same as when I was a kid.

    • Cartoon Mouse :

      I have been told on multiple occasions by people who did not know each other that I look like Fievel Mousekewitz from An American Tail.

      I also have gotten Rachael Ray, Lena Dunham, Sela Ward, and Gina Gershon. So…

    • Anony Mouse :

      This reminds me of a Conan O’Brien’s special from the early 2000s. He visited Finland after learning that he bore a striking resemblance to Tarja Halonen, Finland’s first female president.

    • Anonymous :

      When I was in high school mine was supposedly Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia, minus the hair. In adulthood my cheekbones and lips did not match the development of Carrie Fisher’s.

    • Anonymous :

      In high school mine was supposedly Princess Leia. As an adult I have zero resemblance to the adult Carrie Fisher.

    • Everyone says I look like Troian Bellisario. I don’t find get especially attractive but other people seem to.

    • I always get Spiderman-era Kirsten Dunst. I don’t see it, but I’ve heard it enough times that it must be true.

    • Zooey Deschanel, especially when I had bangs.

    • I get Chelsea Clinton (less so now that she always straightens her hair), Minnie Driver, Fiona Apple, and Alanis Morrisette.

    • Aquae Sulis :

      I don’t think anyone has ever told me I look like a celebrity, sad times!

    • Bette Midler vintage 1970s here. I dream of having her legs when I am her age . . .

    • Amanda Bynes – before the crazy.

    • Liquid Crystal :

      Liv Tyler and Amal Cloney

    • Boston Legal Eagle :

      I got Claire Danes a lot in my 20s. It’s fun to to hear other people’s doubles – I feel like I can picture some of the regulars now!

    • Tina Fey and Sarah Palin, which makes sense that I get both, I guess.

      • good / not good :

        I used to think that I could pull off Sarah Palin, but after seeing some LMM things lately, I can’t unsee:

        the narrow face
        the non-perfect (on a woman) nose
        the long straight hair either in a pony or pulled back (this is key; with shorter hair, it’s not as see-able)

        I’M NOT THROWING AWAY MY SHOT

    • Cornellian :

      Mine used to be Melissa Joan Hart. Now she’s sort of out of the limelight, and I haven’t heard anything else.

    • I get Elisabeth Moss sometimes.

    • I get Julia Stiles!

    • This thread really highlights the difference in being a person of color, where there is pretty much no one out there who looks like me. There are a few of us on camera to be sure, but so few that there is no way any of them could be my celebrity double.

      • I appreciate this perspective–and thank you for saying this.

        (NB: I mean this genuinely; sometimes tone is lost here and snark prevails. Not the case at all with this comment. I’m genuinely interested in this as a factor.)

      • It’s true that every celebrity I see here named is white. I also think it can come across really tone-deaf to tell someone of color, “hey, you look like [celebrity of same race]” because so often, they really don’t, and it just sounds like “I noticed you’re both black!” or even “hey, you’re black, highly educated, and dressed nicely, you remind me of President Obama/Olivia Pope!” or what have you. As you say, it’s a problem with the extremely low numbers we see.

        I have a white friend who reminds me so much of Mindy Kaling–face shape, hair, voice, and style of humor. Maybe I should just say so, and she can start telling everyone her celebrity double is Mindy Kaling? Yet that could read disrespectful too, since Kaling is one of way too few celebrity south Asian women.

      • I was going to chime in to say, mine was Margaret Cho, because she was the only Korean on tv back when I was in elementary school, not because we actually look alike. Now that it’s been 20 years, I still can’t think of anybody else. -_-

        I’m so with you on this.

      • IDK — the original post was a cross-gender match (not sure re ethnicity, as LMM is of Puerto Rican heritage). That’s going pretty d*mn broad to get a celebrity double.

      • NewRecruit :

        I guess, but I’m black and I get told I resemble Regina Belle from older people. It actually is pretty spot on, even though I always try to channel Diana Ross (my FAV!)

      • Good point. That said, is it also possible that the readership of this blog skews white, hence the majority white references?

      • I was once told on the train that I look like Bjork. I’m Asian, and I guess it was the eyes.

      • Legally Brunette :

        This is so true. Growing up, I was often told that I looked like Jasmine (from the Aladdin cartoon) — folks had to pull from a cartoon character since there was no one in real life who looked remotely like me growing up!

      • truth

    • Delta Dawn :

      I get Nicole Kidman a lot. Pretty sure it’s more aspirational than accurate, but I’ll take it….

    • When we were both younger, I used to get Selena Gomez (although I’m older than she is). Not anymore, though, neither one of us has aged well and it’s not been in the same direction.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I’ve heard Cameron Diaz a lot, more for face/hair than body shape. For body shape, a sales person suggested I should look at what Ivanka Trump wears since we have similar bust/waist/hip ratios.

      • Midwest Mama :

        I get Cameron Diaz a lot too, which is odd to me because I have dark brown hair and brown eyes.

    • I don’t really know if I have one personally, but my husband gets Dax Shepard sometimes. Like from random people in restaurants while we’re waiting in restaurants.

    • Marshmallow :

      My high school students used to say I looked like Jennifer Garner, but that was probably because we’re both white women with brown hair more than anything else. Now I get Michelle Dockery sometimes, and we do have a pretty similar face shape. But I’d have to lose some weight and gain some height to really look like either of them!

    • Mrs. Jones :

      Miranda from Sex and the City. Still.

    • I get Helen Hunter from random people.

    • KateMiddletown :

      Duchess of Cambridge, Anne Hathaway, Liv Tyler, Jennifer Garner, and curveball Nicole Kidman. I get celebrity look-alikes alllll the time; I think people just like to project their favorite light skinned, shoulder-length brunette on to me.

    • I was told Jennifer Aniston once. Now, it was by a drunk guy in Las Vegas, but I’m going with it!

    • Edna, from The Incredibles.

      From more than one person.

    • SFAttorney :

      Elizabeth McGovern when we were both in our twenties.

    • I get Amy Adams sometimes, which I find to be more aspiration than accurate.

    • I’ve gotten Selma Blair and Liza Minnelli. My husband gets John Leguizamo and used to get Matthew Broderick.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Way back about 100 years ago I used to get Bernadette Peters (Anyone? No? Okay then…)

      These days I don’t know about celebrity doubles but Lovely Husband and I always say that when they make the movie of us he will be played by Tom Hanks and I will be played by Jane Krakowski.

      • Country Biscuits :

        I’m with you SA! Pretty and has aged well.

      • Anonymous :

        Yes to Bernadette Peters! And DH got Senator Ed Muskie when Muskie was running for President – some very interesting encounters. That’s enough of my demographic reveal for today.

    • pugsnbourbon :

      Johnny Galecki. “Just in the way you smile.” k thanks.

    • I get Katie Holmes. I look like I could be her much heavier mom . . . (but I would have told her not to marry Tom Cruise).

    • South Asian :

      I’ve gotten Britney Spears and Preity Zinta. Shrug.

    • I used to get Brooke Shields a lot. Less so, now that I’ve started regularly having my eyebrows waxed.

    • OCAssociate :

      Mogwai from the Gremlins.

    • bluestocking :

      I used to hear that I looked like Kellie Martin, but that was in high school when she was on Life Goes On and Christy. I did hear it a few times when she resurfaced on ER, but since she’s been out of the limelight, I haven’t heard any comparisons in recent yet. I think I looked like her when we were both younger, but I’m not sure we’ve age the same.

    • I used to get Alexis Bledel a lot when Gilmore Girls was on regularly. This could have been flattering–I find her very attractive–but was pretty far-fetched. I think, as for KateMiddletown above, people just looked at petite, brunette, long-haired, blue-eyed, bookish me from CT and said, “Ah! Like that girl from that show who is those same things!” (I would have made seriously different life choices than Rory, fwiw.)

    • Lyra Silvertongue :

      I occasionally was compared to Cameron Diaz when I was younger, but now that I cut 10 inches off my hair, I get Cameron Diaz and Kelly McGillis in her Top Gun role. I wish I looked that badass!

    • When I was younger with longer hair, I used to get people telling me I looked like Katie Holmes (Dawson’s Creek era). I think it was the straight brown hair, wide set eyes, and round cheeks.

      Now I have short hair and wear a lot of sheath dresses, so I get Robin Wright from House of Cards although my face doesn’t actually look much like hers. More like Joey from Dawson’s Creek all grown up and professional?

      • Eeertmeert :

        I got/get Michelle Williams (first in high school, Dawson’s Creek era, most recently this weekend from family friends)

        A friend once saw her crossing the street in nyc and thought she was me before realizing who it actually was.

        It’s kinda fun, but really the similarity is facial. Our body types are not so similar.

  3. VENT ALERT

    The company I work for recently released a look how good we are doing at all the things!!! report. Part of this report talks about our success in achieving more diversity in the workforce, investing in our employees, blah blah blah. Every time I see these types of things, it reminds me that my former co-worker, who had zero contract drafting/negotiating experience was offered $30k more at his time of hiring than I was at mine two years later (I had six years of relevant experience) and when he quit (unprofessionally, I might add) he was making $10k more than I am now (I negotiated starting salary and also got a nice raise). We discovered after he left that he sucked at his job (he worked in a different segment with no overlap with me and my boss is hands-off).

    My boss knows this and he advocates for raises for me, but the budget is brutal this year and no one in upper management or HR will approve a raise at this time even though we have yet to hire anyone to replace him (almost a year later) and my boss and I are doing plenty of extra work. SO FRUSTRATING and INFURIATING.

  4. Anonymous :

    Ladies, is there such a thing as non toxic mice removal? Looks like we have a problem and I don’t know what to do. We have a toddler and a dog and I’m pregnant so just putting poison everywhere is not great. I don’t like the idea of glue traps and no kill traps have not worked so far. I’d borrow a cat but the dog might be an issue. HELP!

    • Anonymous :

      please do not use poison or glue traps!!! i do not advocate killing mice, but i have heard of these traps that zap them, which leads to an instant death. but i’m not sure if it would be dangerous to have around a baby. have you tested your dog around a cat before? cats are really the best way to keep mice away for good. of course, if you get one, please make sure you’re committing to the cat and wont just give it away if it’s no longer needed!

      • Baconpancakes :

        False. Our cat sat placidly while a mouse ran two inches in front of him. He has zero predator instincts.

        Not all cats will keep pests away. I do not advocate getting a housecat for pest control. If you can borrow a friend’s good mouser cat, that might be an option, although tricky with the dog and toddler.

    • Anonymous :

      The break-your-finger traps work really well, but I’d trust poison over them in a heartbeat around a toddler.

      Also, I’ve found that the glue traps for rats work better than the glue traps for mice. Also not good around a dog.

      We’ve been trying to seduce our neighbor’s semi-outside cat (I’m allergic, but reconsidering anyway b/c I hate the g-d mice that much).

    • Anonymous :

      have you had pest control in or have you placed the traps yourself? Have you used the old fashion kind of trap that kills? I hate glue traps and would never use them but I have used the snap traps to kill mice. It is a health issue and there isn’t really anywhere to release them if you go use no kill traps.

      I would get a pest control company to come in and tell them you don’t want poison or glue traps but they can use other traps. Pest control company may also be able to help you figure out where they are getting in which you need to find and seal up if you want to get rid of them long term. If you find any areas where they have been, make sure you clean thoroughly with bleach and they leave smell trails. Make sure you vacuum kitchen and any other areas where food is consumed every night – and keep any food tucked away in upper cabinets.

      • Anonymous :

        OP here.
        No glue traps will be used. Period. Stop. Would like to avoid poison too. I’m not concerned with releasing them and having them come back b/c we are in an apartment building. They’re not coming back into my building if I release them in a park down the street. Concern is more mice coming in, period.

        • Anonymous :

          If you’re in an apartment, then they’re in the building and you’ll have an ongoing problem. Is the building management doing anything about the issue? You can also pack steel wool around all the pipes coming into your apartment (e.g., under sinks), which might block some of the access.

        • I would really push to get an exterminator to come in and seal up anything they can find in your apartment (and ideally, also seal the outside of the building, but that may be more than you can ask for). Then do some kind of reasonably humane trap.

        • Cornellian :

          Seal up everything.

          I have a dog and a baby and have used “sealed” snap traps. So it’s the mechanism of a normal snap trap, but turned sideways and inside a cylinder, so no nosy baby or dog can get in there.

    • I hope I don’t get jumped all over for this, but what about those old school snap traps that you bait with cheese or peanut butter? We lived right up against the woods once and had a mouse issue. We set a bunch of traps, and the problem was solved.

      • Anonymous :

        This is what my parents used – the snap trap with peanut butter.

        Then they re-sided the house, which allowed the identification and closing of the holes where the mice were getting in, and they haven’t needed the traps as much (at all?) since then.

      • Anonshmanon :

        Same here. Specifically, I used chunky peanut butter and placed a big chunky bit over the tiny plastic spikes that hold the bait. You want to make it hard to get the food off so the trap is set off.

    • My last building had a mouse problem when there was street construction nearby. DH and I got a rat zapper, which is a battery-powered trap which instantly electrocutes the mouse. For the first week we had it, I think we got 1/night. After that, it was only 1 every week-10 days, and it tapered off after that. If you’re okay killing them, it’s 100% non-toxic, and it’s easy to clean up, because you can tip the whole thing into the trash and then reset it.

      Otherwise, there are the have-a-heart traps. But then you need a plan of where to take the mice.

    • Anonimouse :

      We use the spring traps, placed in paper bags to make for easier clean up, and put them where our toddler and dog can’t get to them.

      • Anonymous :

        We have had a couple of infestations over the years when there has been construction in the neighborhood, and have always used the spring traps, placed where our child couldn’t reach them. I have never heard of placing them in a paper bag and just have to chime in and say this is genius!

        • Minnie Beebe :

          I agree, a paper bag is wicked smart! I’m totally doing this if and when I ever need to set mousetraps. We’re in a 3 yr old house, and so far, it seems to be sealed up. I’m sure this will change over time, however.

      • We’ve used spring traps, and only put them out at night when the mice are active and the toddlers are in bed. We pick them up in the morning before the kids are up. Only needed them for a week or so, so this solution worked fine. Mice don’t generally run around in the daytime anyway.

    • Anonymous :

      A borrowed cat wold be the best option-maybe you can ask around for one that gets along with dogs? Snap traps (aligned perpendicular to their path of travel) would be the other non toxic option. You’re absolutely right to avoid glue traps.

      Also, if you have are a homeowner, exclusion work to keep then out is the most important step, a good pest control professional can advise how to do that, without selling you chemicals.

      • My dog is currently recovering from a medical issue so I can’t do a cat now exactly because ideally I’d let him go stay with someone while we had the cat, or at least not traumatize him with a houseguest while he’s in recovery. Basically on hold till September b/c we are also going away end of August. This is all obviously awful timing.

        • If you are in an apartment, wouldn’t you need a cat to take up permanent residence? If you don’t have the power to seal up the outside of the building, the mice are going to come back as soon as the cat leaves.

        • Flats Only :

          This is what you need:

          http://www.truevalue.com/product/Live-Catch-Mouse-Trap/15341.uts

          You take the whole thing outside to release the mice. They also come in a smaller single mouse size.

        • 1) Cat smell will deter the mice, so even just a few hours of cat maybe once a week might do the trick.
          2) downside of poison, aside from being poisonous, is that the mice will die in your walls and then your house will smell like rotting mice for years.
          3) some cats get along with dogs really well. mine likes dogs more than cats actually.

    • Have you tried physical inspection? In our case, the mice were really attracted by our kitchen trash can, which they could easily enter. They were getting into the house through a small hole in the basement. Switching out our trashcan and blocking the hole solved our mouse problem. Not sure if it would work on a larger infestation but it’s worth a shot! (I recommend simple human trash cans. They’re pricey but totally impervious to non-human animals.)

      • Thank you all! I have an exterminator coming to do an inspection and seal up any holes. They will put up quick-kill snap traps because that’s probably more humane than letting a borrowed cat kill the mouse slowly but I will try to get a cat anyway because I have a feeling this may be an ongoing issue and because I want a kitty. Just need to find one that will get along with my dog and family.

        On an aside, I am grateful that I can throw some money at the problem and not have it be an emergency for my budget. Humane non toxic exterminators are not cheap. I will try to remember next time I wake up to go to work at 6 am.

    • Google Mouse Magic. I use these peppermint scented sachets (for lack of a better term) to deter mice in my cabin. It doesn’t kill the mice but with dogs I don’t don’t trust traps or poison. It isn’t perfect but it may help the mice choose your neighbor’s apartment over your yours.

      • Anonymous :

        They also hate cloves – which my mom puts everywhere in her camp. The only downside is that the cloves on the shelves kind of look like droppings if you don’t know they’re there.

    • Chiming in late to say cats are NOT the answer. I used to live in an old (1890), holey house with a mouse problem even though we had SEVEN cats. Sometimes the cats would catch a mouse – which is pretty horrible; dead mice are unpleasant to come across and one morning the kitchen looked like something from a Tarantino movie – but most often the mice would hide in the walls or pantry or behind the stove where the cats couldn’t get them. And cat smell did nothing to stop them.

      We closed up some holes with steel wool and kept putting peppermint oil in the pantry and behind the stove, as supposedly mice don’t like it. The problem seems to be under control – my ex-H thinks one still lives in the mud porch, he puts out a few morsels of bird seed for it every morning and they coexist.

  5. No Zika Trip :

    We live in NYC and typically go to the Caribbean for a week at the beach every February. This year we’re TTC so the Caribbean is out due to Zika. Ideas for a trip that time of year?

    We’d want something reasonably close – say, 6 hour flight and preferably direct. And we don’t ski, do any winter sports, etc. Chile sounded like an option, but the flights to get there are loong. Maybe just Florida?

    • Anonymous :

      Phoenix?

      • Anony Mouse :

        Phoenix weather in Feb. is usually upper 60s for a high, not exactly beach-like weather.

    • Anony Mouse :

      The CDC removed their Zika travel advisory to Miami in June. Still, if you’re TTC, maybe Clearwater or similar would be a better option.

      • If you go to Clearwater area, go to Caladesi Island. DH and I had THE BEST day there a couple weeks ago. You get there via a nice short ferry from one state park to the other. Because of the ferry the beach was not nearly as busy as Clearwater, the water/beach was gorgeous. We took kayaks out and ran into a bunch of feeding dolphins, so we spent a good hour paddling around watching dolphins right next to our kayaks. AND THEN while we were swimming a manatee came and swam about five feet from my husband. Seriously the whole day was magical.

    • Mexico City has no Zika warnings due to the altitude, and I hear it’s wonderful.

      • +1, or you could do San Miguel de Allende (also in the mountains, no zika), Guanajuato, or both. No beaches, but weather will probably be in the 70s and you could get a hotel with a nice pool.

    • If you’re trying to go to the beach, the water in Florida is still pretty chilly in February. I’d at least go as far south as you can–Miami, most likely, because it takes forever to get to Key West.

      If you’re not set on a beach vacation but just want to get away from winter, you could visit San Diego or Los Angeles. Or Austin and San Antonio.

      • Senior Attorney :

        It’s not certain to be super warm in San Diego or Los Angeles in February, though. It might be summery but it might be cold (California cold, anyway) and rainy.

        • I know. It’s not certain to be super warm anywhere in the continental U.S. in February. Even Miami averages highs of 75, which means it could easily be in the upper 60s. That’s why people go to the Caribbean that time of year.

          • Lorelai Gilmore :

            We did a weekend in February in San Diego and it rained all weekend. Huge bummer.

    • Portugal?

  6. Anonymous :

    What happens if you put money in a Roth IRA at work, but MAGI is actually too high for you to qualify for a Roth?

    • You have until the filing deadline next year (I believe it’s the extended deadline, the one in October) to recharacterize contributions. Recharacterize them as nondeductible contributions to a traditional IRA. Later you can roll them over to a Roth.

    • Do you have a Roth 401k option? Are you using it? There are no income caps on that.

  7. TO Lawyer :

    Any advice for a coffee “meeting” with two lawyers from a firm that I’m interested in moving to? I met with their recruiter already, had a lengthy interview and now I’m told a junior partner and senior associate want to meet with me, on a more casual basis. We are going for coffee and I don’t know what to expect. Any advice would be really helpful! Thanks!

    • I’d venture that this meeting is designed to assess fit. You’ve passed the gatekeeping for credentials in the earlier meetings. Are these people that you would be working with directly? If yes, do you have questions about the practice group specifically, where you’d fit in the hierarchy, expectation of client development, or related areas? Good luck.

      • This. Legal work can be long hours. They just want to see if you’re not cray cray and will be halfway sensible to work with on a daily basis.

        • Cornellian :

          Thirding mascot. They’re checking you out socially, and it’s probably an opportunity to gently probe them on what it would be like working with them, too.

    • Yes, definitely assessing fit and personality. I’d go in with some casual questions prepared about the culture and the team you’d be working with.

    • I’ll throw out another, less positive option. The only time I’ve done this, a colleague and I who would be working closely with the successful candidate had lunch with the person. She (the colleague) had missed the interview day due to illness, and I had some concerns about the candidate that were not shared by my other colleagues. We met to discuss particular aspects of the job to determine if she was a good fit for the work, not the culture. We ended up hiring her, against my better judgment, and she did not succeed. Not to scare you! It could totally be seeing how you’ll fit with the culture. Just be prepared if they want to discuss the work.

    • TO Lawyer :

      Thank you all. I suspect it’s a fit interview as well so I’ll try to be normal and interview them about the firm culture as well.

  8. I have 3 such dresses from this Tahari line. Just wanted to report back that after over 16 months of weekly wear, they are still fine. I hand wash them even if it says dry clean.

  9. It wouldn’t work in my smart casual office, but man I would feel 100% like Alica Florrick if I wore this dress.

  10. Sheath Dresses :

    I seem to be having a hard time finding classic sheath dresses. I’ve been to all the department stores, Talbots, J.Crew, Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, Loft….what is my problem? Nothing in stores has the classic “suiting” look (I am not looking for floral, huge prints, etc)…the few I have found are way too big on me as I am petite (run between a size 0-2 in pants). I really need some nice dresses for a conference coming up. Any suggestions for petite sheath dresses?

    • Boden?

    • Hi I think we might be twins! I’m always on the hunt for sheath dresses and have been striking out lately. I’m not petite for dresses but I’m a 00-0 and a lot of them are too big on me, particularly in the top/waist. I went to Banana Republic Factory and got four sheath dresses in solids or solids with textured patterns that I liked. They all look like solids from afar so they work with blazers for the suiting look (let me know if you want the links!) They were all in the $40-50 range and then I took them to my tailor and got each taken in on the sides for $35 each. It’s a hassle but it’s the best option for me right now. Alternatively Boden, Reiss, and Hobbs all have great sheath dresses that aren’t crazy patterns but they are more expensive and more difficult to try on because they’re all UK brands with few/no US stores. The UK sizing should fit you if you’re petite, but you might have to get the length hemmed.

      • Thank you for the suggestions, the links would be wonderful! Also, I apologize for how many times this comment may have posted, I had a lot of posting issues this morning

        • I am not petite nor am I near in size to you, but this J Crew Factory suiting sheath is pretty clutch (I have it) and has matching pants, skirt, and jacket. And it comes in petites.

          https://factory.jcrew.com/p/womens_special_sizes/petite/suiting/petite-wool-dress-with-pockets/F3738?sale=true

      • I have tried on this dress, but sadly, I’m too short-waisted. It’s difficult to find a sheath that fits well for short-waisted ladies and un-tucked shirts often feel unflattering. I wish I had more work-wear ideas for being short-waisted!

    • Anonymous :

      Try Lands End. They have a great sheath dress that’s sleeveless or with sleeves. Very forgiving fabric and it has pockets!!

    • Try Antonio Melani at Dillard’s.

    • Anonymous :

      100% Antonio Melani from Dillards. Almost all of my sheath dresses are from there and you can usually find a suit or two as well (dress and pants). I am similar size to you.

    • I’ve had luck at Macy’s, specifically Calvin Klein brand. I’m generally a size 0-2. They have a lot of brands in one spot, so you can get a sense of what fits best.

    • Joan Holloway :

      Nora Gardner dresses run on the petite side, look amazing, and are well-made.

    • anonypotamus :

      Try Ted Baker! I just found a gorgeous sheath dress there in a beautiful plum color. It had some detailing on the shoulder but was still easy to wear a jacket over.

    • How about uniqlo? https://www.uniqlo.com/us/en/women-ponte-sleeveless-dress-192973.html
      BTW this dress is legit only $5.90 right now

    • +1 to all of that. I’m a similar size (00-0P) and have a hard time finding neutral-styled (i.e. no loud prints or weird ruffles) sheath dresses at the stores you listed. My all-time favorite was the collection sheath dress from Limited, RIP. I should have bought more colors before they went out of business. Thanks for posting!

  11. Interior Decorating :

    Can anyone offer advice on how to begin decorating an entire house?? I just moved into a new house, and am starting from nearly scratch. I have a grey couch that I love from my old home, but that is about it. I am finding it very overwhelming. I am trying to do one room at a time, starting with the living room, but I can’t even decide on an area rug! So, what are your favorite design blogs? Or even places to shop? I’m also trying to work on a small budget, unfortunately.

    • Mrs. Jones :

      Consider checking Angie’s list or google for a local interior decorator. We used a young/new-to-the-field decorator for help with a few problem rooms, and it didn’t cost much. Basically, I gave her some samples of colors/furniture that I liked, and she came up with a plan and choices for each room. For one room, we let her go ahead and decorate it, and for the others, we added things over time.
      Also, the Copy Cat Chic website is cool.

    • Don’t do everything at once. Do you have a preferred style? I’d figure that out FIRST and then decorate second – and determine if you need to tweak your style to fit your house. For example, I HATE mid century modern, and our house is an old farmhouse from the 1800’s, so that look wouldn’t really work here regardless. I loooove traditional pieces, my husband less so, so we mix traditional with transitional pieces, especially in areas like kids/toy rooms (ie – IKEA that can be replaced once we’re past the sticky fingers stage). But my big $$ pieces all reflect my traditional taste and the style of the house – darker woods, period appropriate colors on the walls, some intricate detailed woodwork, scrolled leg tables, bun or tapered feet on sofas/chairs/etc.
      For books – I recently picked up elements of style and liked it a lot – lots of visual guides to different arrangements of rooms based on the type of room and your personal style.

    • I’m pretty sure I have spent days of my life searching for rugs on a small budgets. I’ve had the best luck stalking Homegoods and stumbling upon floor model sales at Pottery Barn and Pottery Barn Kids.

    • Apartment Therapy.

    • I like kind of eclectic design and old pieces, so keep that in mind with my advice. I furnished my apartment by deal hunting for vintage furniture, sometimes refinishing it myself. I’d find something I loved at a bargain and then gradually add complementary pieces. I got a $3k Ligne Roset bed in perfect condition for only $300, for instance. For rugs I use rugsusa dot com, which is legit amazing.

    • Baconpancakes :

      Start with the basics, and prioritize. You have a couch. Great! That’s actually one of the hardest parts! Don’t worry about a rug – they’re necessary but not vital. Focus on the things you need to make a living room usable. Couch – check. Side chairs? Coffee table? Lighting? TV stand? What do you want to do in your living room? What do you need to make that happen? Decide which individual piece(s) to focus on, and look through all the options. Spend a bit of time on Pinterest and let yourself go down the rabbit hole of home decor (set a timer) to pin what strikes your fancy, and figure out patterns between the images of decor you like. Are they all neutral colored? Do they all have plush rugs? Are there lots of gallery walls? Is warm tan leather a common thread? Bright wall paint? Then you’ll have a better idea of what you like.

      For aesthetic-only quick fixes, I find that biggish plants and indirect lighting (multiple side lamps instead of an overhead) make a room feel instantly more finished.

    • Delta Dawn :

      What a fun project! I am sure it is overwhelming– I second the above advice to not do it all at once. Your idea of one room at a time is a great one. Do you have a Pinterest account? You could start there for ideas. You could do a board for each room. Say you start by creating a board for your living room. Pin a few pictures of grey couches that look like the one you have, as a starting point. Then you could search “area rug grey couch” and see what rugs other people have used with a couch similar to yours.

      On your living room board, pin a handful of the rugs that you like. After a while you will start to notice patterns– you are pinning a lot of neutral rugs with a trellis pattern, or you are pinning a lot of jute rugs layered under smaller textured/fur rugs, or you are pinning more vintage/oriental/traditional rugs. This will help you narrow down the styles that you are drawn to.

    • Home decor/DIY blogs used to be my jam. My favorites are Chris Loves Julia, Emily Henderson, and Yellow Brick Road.

      Do it slow.
      Pinterest is your friend. Pin pin pin. If you keep coming back to one image, spend some time considering what you like about it.
      Houzz is similarish to Pinterest, except more refined and only home design/decor – if you’re looking for one element inspiration (like “indigo rug” “farmhouse island”) then Houzz searches are great.
      Specifically for rugs, if you like one of the million from Rugs USA, wait for a holiday sale. They have ridiculous holiday sales – like 70-80% off.

      • Senior Attorney :

        I agree with this and further to Pinterest/Houzz, there is not one single thing wrong with just straight-up copying a room you love. I have done that a few times and been sublimely happy with the results.

    • I’m doing this right now. I’m doing one room at a time. I found a designer I liked online, followed her on Instagram and then I pretty much recreate her rooms. Rugsusa has been awesome for area rugs. I’m struggling with the furniture part because it’s so expensive, but I save up for one piece at a time. The hardest part has been sticking to the color scheme/overall theme of each room. It’s so easy to get sidetracked by other styles or colors that just don’t fit. Having those pics of her rooms saved helps me stay on track. I don’t do pinterest- it’s just not my thing.

    • I feel like I do better with these things offline, so what I did was get a bunch of home magazines and rip out the pages that had rooms I liked and wrote on them what I liked most. Then I looked through them for themes and thought about what would and wouldn’t work for my lifestyle. That helped me choose the overall theme. Then I went pretty slowly and did one room at a time.

      Also I read on a blog somewhere that every room should have an interesting centerpiece–could be a rug, a pillow, art, etc.–that has all the main colors, so you can find something you love and then draw on that for the rest of the room and it will look pulled together but not matchy.

    • Houzz is a great design app/website. You can search for literally anything (ex: “blue powder room” or “black and white bedroom”) and it will bring up examples for you. I then use it as a template to find pieces I like, and I try to track them down elsewhere (the pieces on Houzz tend to be higher end designer pieces, so more $$). I’ve designed 3 houses this way, always with lots of compliments!

    • Just had to laugh – I’ve been in my house for 4 years and am still overwhelmed. As I was perusing the recent C&B catalog the other day, I mentioned to my husband that the house would be “done” if I had an unlimited budget. That said, if you haven’t already done so, start by creating pinterest boards of the rooms you want to do. As you are browsing websites, add things that appeal to you. Once you’ve added a few things, you’ll start to notice what style you like. Then pick a room and do it. Or do the basics like furniture and lighting and let it grow as you find decor items you like. Sometimes it can help to give yourself a deadline. I also came to the recent realization that I really want to like the pieces, instead of just finding things to fill a space. I only just recently found something for over the fireplace, but I love it and I’m glad I waited.

    • When I did my post-divorce house a couple of years ago my rugs all came from Rugs USA, Rugs Direct or, mostly, Overstock. Overstock was also great for accent pieces – bookshelves and end tables, side chairs, etc. For smaller items like vases, mirrors, picture frames, a front-door wreath, I had good luck at Home Goods.

      And I’m echoing the advise to use pinterest – at one point I probably had 80 different rugs for three rooms on pinterest, but it let me compare them, share them with the friends who were helping with advise and just generally keep things all in one place.

    • bluestocking :

      Summer is a great time to go to art fairs and spot pieces that you like from new (and more established) artists. Doesn’t cover the rest of the interior design, but if you just bought a new house, you may have a lot of blank walls to fill. Don’t feel pressured to buy a bunch of things at once, but if you see something you like, you have a blank canvas to hang it in!

    • my friend’s blog has posts about decorating… it’s at aglossydiscourse.com

  12. I recently bought a Classiques Entier dress during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale and love it except for two small issues: the hem is too long, and my bust causes the arm holes to gape, so if you’re standing next to me you can see my bra. I know the hem is an easy fix, but does anyone know whether a tailor could address the latter issue? Also, I know Nordstrom offers free basic alterations but for full-priced items; anyone have any experience with prices for alterations on sale purchases?

    This is the dress: http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/classiques-entier-italian-ponte-knit-sheath-dress/4544573?origin=keywordsearch-personalizedsort&fashioncolor=BLUE%20INSIGNIA

    • They might be able to put very short darts into the armhole area? I hope that’s the case (I don’t sew!) because I have several dresses like that and it drives me bonkers.

      • Baconpancakes :

        If it’s not lined and/or a tricky fabric, totally doable. I had my seamstress put darts in a sleeveless blouse – fixed the problem perfectly.

    • You can also get Nordstrom items tailored at Nordstrom Rack. I just found this out!

    • You may be able to fix both issues by taking the dress up at the shoulders. If the armholes are gaping, they may be too deep for you. As long as it doesn’t move the waistband (if there is one) to a bad spot, it’s a pretty simple alteration.

    • KateMiddletown :

      Do you have the card? If so you have $100 worth of alterations credit – use that up! It’s such a gift… sometimes it takes the ladies at my store longer around NAS time, but I’m about to have the sides taken in on the eggplant Boss suit dress I purchased.

      • Nope, no card, unfortunately, so everything would be out of pocket.

        • KateMiddletown :

          It’s worth it – they have a debit option now to get points, not sure if that comes with the free tailoring. (I am person who has 7 credit cards but if you’re not into them I get it.)

    • Yes those are issues a tailor can fix for you.

  13. Today is the Day (Maybe) :

    After a series of online research and testing, coupled with a similar diagnosis for my DD, I believe that I have ADD (and that it is and has severely impacted my work).

    How does a women in her thirties go about being diagnosed and find viable treatment options? I would think your general doctor, but while I have a great OB/GYN, I don’t have a general practice doctor. Can I simply go to one of those Doc-In-A-Box places or will they just assume that I am trying to just score medicine? Any thoughts or advice would be appreciated.

    • Cornellian :

      I was diagnosed in my late 20s (although apparently I was diagnosed as a kid and my mom chose not to medicate me or pursue other options) by a psychiatrist. He diagnosed it on the first go. It was sort of disturbingly easy to get medicine, which was genuinely not why I went in. I just found one who accepted my insurance (which is not super easy in NYC , but YMMV)

      If you want to try non-Rx approaches first, you might find a therapist with experience in behavioral therapy. They can help you learn tips and tricks, and it can be a discrete period of time (say, 5 visits, not weekly for the rest of your life). No shame in taking medication, but I think it makes sense to attack from both angles.

    • My SIL was diagnosed by a psychiatrist in her late 20s. Someone at work asked her “do you have ADD?” and after wondering for awhile she made the appointment. They talked and gave her a self-assessment to complete, as well as an assessment for her husband to fill out. I imagine it was similar to the ones they give to teachers and parents when diagnosing kids.
      Once diagnosed, he put her on medication that she was supposed to use at work but not on weekends. She ended up going off the medication though and just working with him on focusing strategies.

    • I was diagnosed in my early 30s. Unlike Cornellian, I was specifically looking for an evaluation and medication because I had spent years trying and failing at organizational tricks and systems. I’m in NY and searched for a doctor who accepted my insurance and who had some reviews on ZocDoc (I believe) re: ADHD. I met with him, described the problem and he gave me a trial prescription of a very small dose of adderall. He also set up an hours long test shortly after (done unmedicated, on the computer). Based on those results and my reaction to the Adderall, he prescribed a slightly higher dose.

      In retrospect, I think this doctor’s main business is prescriptions and he was careful about it, so he required me to come in each month for a new prescription. When I mentioned the Adderall prescription at a physical with a new primary care doctor, the PC doctor asked a few questions about the prescription and ultimately told me that he could provide me with prescriptions for Adderall online, so I switched over to that because it was more convenient.

    • I was recently diagnosed with the inattentive type of ADHD and I’m in my early 40s. I went straight to someone who specializes in adult ADHD. I found her through online searching. I was worried that a primary care doc wouldn’t take it seriously (I’ve had some history with primary care docs being dismissive of physical symptoms, so I was worried that vague-sounding mental health symptoms would be taken even less seriously).

      • Not the OP, but I really appreciate this advice. Every PCP I have ever asked has told me without any further evaluation that I am suffering from anxiety/depression and prescribed some form of anti-depressant. I cannot get them to consider my other complaints.

    • I’m just curious what symptoms makes you think you have it? I’ve always wondered myself…

      • +1 following for responses…::interrupts someone, avoids starting simple task::

        • +1. I’m wondering lately if my anxiety is a symptom of a larger ADD issue.

          • Anonymous :

            My husband’s anxiety is tied to his ADHD. He can’t get things done and then feels anxious about it, so definitely something to consider

      • Anonymous :

        Being unable to finish a task/stay on task, even when the task is really small. Like, I will literally begin writing something for work (a quick note) and stop mid-word to go do something else.

    • Coach Laura :

      For strategies – in conjunction with or as a replacement for drugs – Nancy Ratey’s book The Disorganized Mind has great strategies and is helpful for adults with jobs.

  14. Adult Braces? :

    Have any of you had braces as an adult, specifically the behind the teeth kind? What was your experience like?

    I’m 28 and trying to decide whether to pursue braces or not. I had them in high school, but didn’t wear my retainer and have noticed that my teeth have shifted a good bit in the past 10 years. My smile looks okay in pictures, but I my lower teeth are crowded and I also have alignment/bite issues that bother me. I did a consult with an orthodontist and he suggested either traditional “clear” braces or lingual, behind the teeth braces for my upper teeth. He didn’t think invisalign would give me the desired results. I’m leaning towards the lingual braces, event though they’re an additional $2K and the overall price is certainly giving me pause. Do any of you care to share your experience having braces in your mid-twenties and beyond?

    • Braces Wearer :

      Braces novel below –

      I’m in my mid twenties in a corporate banking job and I wear clear braces. I’ve had them on for a little over a year (total treatment time will be 2 years). Do it. Do it. Do it. I had many hesitations at first, particularly about how I would be perceived at work but it really has not been an issue at all. I have the clear kind on top and metal on bottom and some people have just recently asked me if I got them and are surprised when I tell them it’s been over a year. Others haven’t noticed at all. I had a bad cross bite which I didn’t even realize how bad it was until I started seeing results. I have much less jaw pain and can even eat easier. I hated my teeth so much before and now I can’t wait to get them off and have them whitened. It has been more than worth it. I won’t bore you with braces tips since you’ve already had them and can’t speak to lingual ones since I don’t have those (although I would imagine those would be uncomfortable on the tongue and possibly cause speech problems?), but I decided that 2 years was such a short time period of my life and that if I didn’t do it now I would just wish I had. Better to me to have braces in my twenties than later in my thirties. It has been more than worth it. Feel free to page me (I don’t have a crafty name like others on here but you can call me braces wearer if you want) for questions/commiseration. I actually cried the day I got them on ha but believe me, after the initial shock, the time will fly by and you’ll be happy you got them. Also, FWIW, I dumped all of my HSA money into my bill and that helped a lot with the cost.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Yes, I had braces in my 40s after I got a mouthguard for grinding my teeth and it totally messed up my bite.

      This was about 15 years ago and I had the standard braces where they put bands on the back teeth and glue brackets to the front teeth. I’m not gonna lie: my quality of life took a giant hit. It was painful, it was unattractive, and I was always getting food stuck in my teeth. But I’m glad I did it because the bite issue was really bugging me.

      I haven’t heard of behind-the-teeth braces but they sound uncomfortable. I would certainly prioritize comfort over appearance if it were me.

    • I had braces for a year in my mid-20s on my top teeth. Metal wire and ceramic brackets, so they were visible but not terrible visually. They were a pain in the a$$ but so worth it. A decade later my teeth still look great and I don’t have the bite issues that I had before.

      My advice: Get quotes from several different orthodontists. See if you can get a friends and family discount if a friend refers you. Then ask for a discount if you pay upfront as opposed to in installments. You’ll find that cost will vary widely from orthodontist to orthodontist.

      And when you get your braces off, make sure you wear your retainer EVERY NIGHT. I still wear mine every night and my teeth haven’t shifted at all. Good luck!

    • I’m 27, and I got braces last year in January and I’m 20 months in now. I’m supposed to have them for 2 years.

      I never had braces before as a kid (couldn’t afford them) and I have self-ligating metal, top and bottom. It is definitely worth it, even the brushing after every meal (including in your office bathroom) and the dietary limitations (haven’t had candy in 20 months, and have stayed away from all hard snacks at work, which is pretty much all we have). I used FSA to pay for most of it. The thing is once you commit, you commit for life – retainers full time for a couple months after braces, but the retainers at night forever.

      Go do free consultations and do as many as you need to in order to find the ortho that you think is best suited for your case. Many orthodontists have different approaches – I picked mine in particular for a variety of reasons, but look into the different treatment options (lingual? metal? ceramic? self-ligating/damon? traditional?), their approach (I was worried about whether they were going to put bands on my molars and whether I would have to get my teeth extracted before or after my brackets were put on), cost, availability for appointments on weekends/evenings, location, etc.

      It was definitely hard at first to eat anything (I had bite bumps to open my bite and prevent me from knocking brackets off b/c of my cross-bite) and the dietary restrictions and strict cleaning rules were hard at first, but now they’re pretty routine. I’ve found my favorite type of wax, a great travel-size toothbrush and toothpaste that I carry everywhere, flossing is actually really easy now. After some appointments I still have to eat soft food, but I’m much happier now with my teeth and bite than a year ago, when things were still getting aligned. I’m in the last stages now of detailing and fixing the bite, so it’s been interesting.

  15. anon corporate first year :

    first-year corporate associate, biglaw.

    This should come as no surprise, but I hate this job. I have to talk myself out of just walking out and quitting five days a week. In the time between when I was a summer associate and when I started, literally all the women corporate associates left (for one reason or another); there are three women corporate partners, none of whom have children. Also, I’m pregnant; my husband and I learned last year that we have some fertility issues so we are not going to wait for some perfect time to have children.

    1) Are all big law firms the same? Like, if I hate this one, will I hate all the others? (Lateral market seems hot right now and there’s lots of movement; I get calls from recruiters 2-3x/day).
    2) If I lateral, can I do it after a year or do I really need to wait?
    3) I actually really like the WORK here, even as a first year; it’s the firm culture/hours that I can’t stand. But there’s no where else to do transnational work like this besides biglaw, right?
    4) I was pretty focused on a biglaw in law school and come from a T10 where most people go to biglaw. How do I learn about what else is out there? Maybe there’s something else I would like/could do, but I have no idea what other kinds of jobs lawyers have. Career services from my law school? Or browse job openings, or what? ARE there actually any other jobs I could get with a year or two of corporate biglaw? I feel like maybe not…

    • Having Done NYC and London Biglaw :

      May be too late for you to see this, but would help if we knew what kind of transactional work you’re doing these days?
      1) Not all big law firms are the same, but some of the things you might hate will be the same everywhere. What is it that you hate?
      2) Lateralling as a first year, unless you’re moving markets or practice groups looks pretty bad (and is a lot harder than you might think based on the recruiter calls). Often those recruiters are calling you now with the idea that they’ll actually get to move you in another 6-12 months.
      3) Depends on the work, again. If you’re doing capital markets or M&A, it’s fairly unlikely that you’ll be able to do anything similar outside of biglaw for now, although down the line you could go in-house or to a strategy/consulting type role.

      • anon corporate first year :

        I’m only 10 months in, so I’m still a generalist, although I’ve mainly done M&A, particularly real estate-heavy deals and PE.

    • Anonymous :

      Don’t lateral as a pregnant first year. This is the job. At least do it for a couple years.

    • Also, what kind of first year are you? If you just started, then you need to wait it out, obviously. But if you’re almost a second year at this point, I think you can start taking calls from recruiters, just to start building relationships with recruiters or to see what’s out there.

      • Anonymous :

        build the relationships but your mat leave might require that you’ve worked at your firm for 2 years before you start leave to get the full benefit …

        firms vary, and people in your group can change (even in the same firm, over time) but part of it IS the job.

    • Being a first year sucks everywhere. It should start to get better in your second year. The fact that every other woman associate has left, though, suggests your firm might just suck.

      Start talking to recruiters. Build relationships. Interview if you get an interview. It might be a year or more before you get a solid job offer. If you’re taking steps to explore your options then maybe it will make your day to day a little more tolerable.

    • Anonymous :

      hoo boy, what is wrong with you women going into big law knowing the environment? are you really so throwed by the money that you can’t look away? why don’t you explore the thousand other jobs that the rest of us see fit to do which don’t involve $$$$$ and prestige and the unicorn cushy mommy in-house job at the end?

      it boggles my mind the number of posts exactly like this. I know this is snarky and rude, but honestly. whyyyyyyyyyyyyyy do you think you’re the exception and not the rule.

      • whatever trust fund baby or marrying rich type who doesn’t have to pay for herself or her babies.

    • Biglaw Sr Associate here who had a baby a year ago, and yes it hurt my career some.

      I seriously don’t know how you do your first or second year of biglaw and also have a baby. I wish I did but I don’t. You kinda need to jump into all the un-comfortableness in the beginning – it’s the training, it matters, it does get better, but the pain is part of the process for better or worse. It may be the best and only realistic decision for you to have this baby, but it very well may cost you this career. It’s kinda too early to lateral. You might want to start looking into public interest jobs that want lawyers? Or suck it up, and know that you will be a basket case, or worse, just ignored and looked over until you leave without training post-baby. That said, at least having biglaw on your resume, however short the stint, will give you a measure of credibility, even if people always assume you washed out.

  16. Plus-Sized :

    I truly appreciate that you post plus-size options, whenever possible. Thank you so much!

  17. Style rut fix? :

    Would this be insane to wear with a pencil skirt in a biz casual law firm? (top AND choker/lariat thing) I’m just so bored.

    • Style rut fix? :

      https://www.bohme.com/collections/new-new-arrivals/products/lush-green-forest-top?utm_source=Master+Subscriber+List+1.0&utm_campaign=36d9dd86d8-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_08_08&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_187e6cc2b4-36d9dd86d8-41164661&mc_cid=36d9dd86d8&mc_eid=444f2c0689

    • Style rut fix? :

      https://www.bohme.com/products/lush-green-forest-top

    • Do not wear this in a law firm.

      • You’re right, it didn’t even pass the “if you have to ask” test.

        I’m just so bored with business casual

      • anon associate :

        I got a v. similar jade green crushed velvet shirt in 1998 from Limited Too, if that helps you.

        The biz cas struggle is real, tho.

        • I lol’d at this. Every single one of my friends in the 8th grade had that shirt in a different color (mine was silver) and we loved wearing them out together.

    • Anonymous :

      What’s the quality like from this place? Because some of those clothes do look cute for weekend wear . . .

      • Skip the shoes, but otherwise have had decent luck with quality. The tops and dress i have from it are holding together, despite a few random threads from seams that need snipping occasionally. Would say better than Forever21, maybe on par with LOFT.

  18. Kitchen Renovation in NYC :

    I just entered into contract for a co-op in NYC and I want to renovate the kitchen before I move in (specifically to change the layout), but I’m a little overwhelmed by all the information out there on the process and who I need to hire. Is there a good resource out there that can help me figure out what the first (and second and third) step is?

    • anon a mouse :

      The Sweeten? I think they are a site that matches projects with GCs.

      • We just did this. Sweeten ended up giving very high estimates so we just used a private contractor we found through a friend.
        Basically, if you want to change layout you’ll need an architect and it will be v. expensive and time consuming. At least if you’re moving walls because you’ll need DOB approval. If you just want to reconfigure kitchen as-is, that may be easier but your board has to approve any changes in layout because you can only put “wet” appliances in certain areas.
        Step 1 is in your board package, which should contain an alteration agreement. That will tell you what you need to know to start. You management co. will have more info. There are differences of opinion as to whether you should disclose extensive renovation plans ahead of your interview – some agents think its better to just say you don’t plan to do much beyond some light updating so may be better to wait till you’re approved to ask for detailed info, but if time is an issue and it’s obvious the apartment needs work, you may want to go ahead. Your agent should be a good resource.
        Steps 2 is obviously getting estimates and hiring a contractor who will then put in an application with management company (once you close) to have the project approved. You’ll need someone licensed and insured in your borough. I recommend going with someone who has experience in your specific area with your type building as process can really vary. You may want to ask your super for recommendations – it can be easier to get a known person approved. Once you submit your board package and have some contractors lined up to interview, ask the listing agent for access to the apartment so they can go and measure and give you concrete estimates/plans. Best case scenario is you’ll figure everything out while board is reviewing and you can have contractor submit all plans shortly after closing for approval.

        If you have other questions, feel free to post.

        • Thanks, this is really helpful! We already know that we can make some modifications (install a dishwasher), but I will ask our lawyer or agent about the alteration agreement. It’s a small building (8 apartments) and no management company, so I’m not sure that there is a formal policy.

        • This is a very accurate summary.

          My only addition is expect that it will be a very slow process.

    • I tried to do this and it didn’t work out. Trying to set up the contractors and get quotes and get work completed before I moved in took too long. I’m so glad it happened that way because once I lived in the space, I had a completely different plan for what would work best.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Yes. It’s a pain to remodel while you’re living there, but you can’t really know how you will use the space until you’ve lived in it.

  19. I’m flying to a bachelorette party this weekend. The organizers are doing a bridal shower type thing one night and I feel like I need to get something off her registry. The organizers said they were planning on shipping the item to the bride and bringing a card with a picture of the item. I will likely do something like that too, but I also wanted to show up with a little small gift for something to open.

    Any ideas on something small, under $20, that I could wrap and give with the card and picture of the bigger item I am having shipped? I’m friends with the bride, of course, but we haven’t been close in years so something really personal or tailored to her won’t really work just because I wouldn’t know what to get. Thanks!

    • A nice candle?

    • Senior Attorney :

      Does her wedding have a theme or is there any motif that is special to her? Somebody (*waving at that person if she’s reading*) got me some temporary tattoos with peacocks, which we were using in our wedding decor, and it was SO FUN. Plus you can bust them out for the weekend and… just so fun.

    • AttiredAttorney :

      A small ring holder/dish for the bathroom or kitchen (there are usually some cute ones in gift stores like Francesca’s and Anthropologie that say “Mrs.”) or a picture frame (put the picture of the thing you’re giving her, she can swap out with a bachelorette or wedding pic).

  20. ASOS: how do you say this out loud? Ay-Sohss or “A-S-O-S” ? Is it a word, or letters?

    Gah I feel dumb for asking this.

  21. Ugh I think I got stuck in moderation so let me try again. I’m going to a bachelore**e party this weekend and the organizers are planning a small shower one night. Most people are flying to the location, so they said they will ship the item to the bride and bring a card with a picture of the item. I guess I will do the same, but also want something small to bring for the bride to open. Any ideas of small gifts under $20?

    I’m friends with the bride of course, but not super close in recent years and there isn’t really anything personal or tailored to her that I can think of. Thanks!!

    • what about one of those cute “emergency” kits – they have bridal versions – it has like 20 miniature emergency items in it (floss, tampon, hair spray, etc). they make glittery ones! and i think they’re about $20.

    • A couple of handkerchiefs embroidered with her monogram? A bit nicer than a kleenex if it ends up being captured in a photo of an emotional moment on her wedding day.

    • Fancy ring dish from Anthropologie or BHLDN.

    • 2 or 3 fancy chocolate bars.

  22. I’ve tried three times to post a question about sheath dresses! What is the deal ugh

    • Well looks like that worked. Here’s my question, for the FOURTH time:

      I seem to be having a hard time finding classic sheath dresses. I’ve been to all the department stores, Talbots, J.Crew, Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, Loft….what is my problem? Nothing in stores has the classic “suiting” look (I am not looking for floral, huge prints, etc)…the few I have found are way too big on me as I am petite (run between a size 0-2 in pants). I really need some nice dresses for a conference coming up. Any suggestions for petite sheath dresses?

      • Anony Mouse :

        How do you feel about secondhand? I’ve basically given up going shopping for dresses. The last few I’ve purchased were nearly new J. Crew from Poshmark and eBay, and I’m really pleased. Make sure you know your measurements.

      • Delta Dawn :

        Have you tried MM Lafleur? A little more spendy than Talbots, et al, but great sheath/suiting dresses.

      • I agree, there is literally nothing right now.

    • I tried yesterday to post about d r e s s e s and none of the posts ever went through.

  23. How to deal with someone who is your superior at work constantly talking over you or saying the same things you are and taking credit for them? I happen to know more than her in one area, so I get asked about it frequently, but if she’s there she starts talking and copying me as if to prove she knows what she’s talking about. It’s infuriating. It’s an extremely mean girls environment so I feel like if I say anything I’ll just get catty behaviour in return.

    • Not much you can do if she is your boss. Also, as a boss I often copy in someone else if I know they have more expertise so that they can weigh in with additional information as needed.

    • Since she’s your boss, it may just be that she’s demonstrating support for what you are saying. It’s not uncommon in my field to have folks on the front-lines give a lot of details and advice and then have the more senior members step in and repeat the advice they agree with as they champion which approach to back. I know it’s frustrating–but I would actually take that as a positive that she’s actually listening to you and agreeing. I would also read the room on how much you are speaking and when–if you’re inadvertently still going on with details while they’re already past that and in the phase of support vs. don’t support, you can quickly go from being seen as knowledgeable, professional and helpful to coming off as entitled or lacking respect. If your boss is talking over you, that’s a cue to stop talking.

  24. Wanderlust :

    I’m travelling to Morocco in October, and I have two questions

    1) Modest Dress, what does this entail? I’m having trouble finding pants/long sleeve clothing that I think will be light enough for 30C days. Will I be okay in loose pants and a tshirt? I assume no sleeveless shirts? What about dresses that hit the knees, are those okay, or do I need to go to the ankle?

    2) Any travel tips for Morocco generally?

    • I think you’ll be okay in dresses that cover the knee but don’t go all the way down to your ankle. But I’d err on the side of longer if you can find a maxi skirt or two. Loose pants and t-shirts are fine too, as long as the t-shirts aren’t too low-cut.

    • Linda from HR :

      You’re probably better off with skirts and dresses than pants, ideally those that hit between the knee and ankle, ideally closer to the ankle. People who require women to dress modestly for religious reasons often feel that pants are immodest because they show the shape of your legs. I think skirts will also be a little cooler than pants.

      • Anonymous :

        Re: modesty for religious reasons – is your point of reference Christian/the West or Islam/the Middle East and Asia? It’s my understanding that loose-fitting pants are preferable to a midi skirt in Muslim-majority countries. Idk about Morocco specifically.

    • Anonymous :

      You will pretty obviously be a tourist, so you should be fine as long as you cover knees and shoulders. No need to go all the way to the ankle, but probably very clingy jersey in the skirt is not ideal. And no worries about covering elbows, though you probably do want a full short sleeve and not a cap sleeve. Loose, lightweight fabric is actually the most comfortable in hot weather, and if you bring basics with you, you will probably be able to find some nice tunic-y things in the shops and markets to add to your outfit options.

      Travel tips for Morocco generally… you will be hassled and cat-called and followed around by men. Mostly good natured, sometimes less so, but be prepared for it. If you speak French, it’s better to communicate in French than English because everyone assumes that American tourists have way too much money while French tourists are more likely to know what’s up. If you’re buying something expensive, like a rug, the bargaining is a whole process that will take at least an hour and involve tea. Don’t turn down the tea, it’s rude. Don’t miss out on the fresh-squeezed orange juice, enjoy the beautiful gardens and amazing architecture, and have fun! The food is delicious!

      • Wanderlust :

        I’m actually biracial, so I’m hoping I don’t stick out as much as a tourist because I’m not fair with blonde hair. My French is choppy, but I do know some, so I’ll brush up over the next couple of months.

        I’m travelling with a male friend, so hopefully that will lower the cat-calling/hassling, though he is quite fair with light hair, so maybe that will make it worse. We went to Turkey together, and I didn’t get too much cat calling, so I’m hoping it will be comparable since he’ll be around.

        • I’ve been to Turkey, not Morocco, but i’ve heard Morocco catcalling is much, much worse. I didn’t get catcalled in Turkey at all.

    • Where are you going in Morocco? For rural areas, modest dress for sure. If Marrakech, your regular clothing that isn’t tight and doesn’t show lots of skin is fine. Most Moroccan women I had contact with wore a semi fitted tunic type top over pants that were neither tight nor voluminous. Travelers wore all kinds of things, but usually just normal clothing that fit the not too tight and not too much skin category. I wouldn’t wear shorts or an above the knee skirt.

    • South Asian :

      In the cities, you’ll be fine with regular western attire, especially Marrakesh. Mosques have specific dress codes (covered up to the ankle, headscarf, shoulders and I think arms, too). If you’re going to small, remote villages, you’re better off covering more than less, even if it’s pants vs skirts.

      I’ve been to Morocco twice, feel free to ask specific questions.

      • Wanderlust :

        Thanks- I’d love suggestions on our itinerary. We have about 10 days, we were planning to start in Tangier for a day, then Fes for a day or two, then one of those desert tours from Fes to Marrakesh (4 days/3 nights), and the rest of the time in Marrakesh and Essaouira. Does that sound like too much in 10 days?

        Are the desert tours worth it? I would almost prefer to rent a car and drive ourselves, but not sure if that’s too ambitious?

        Most of my travel attire is skinny jeans/leggings and somewhat fitted tops, and skirts at the knee or above, so I think I’m going to have to do some shopping.

        • Tangier experience :

          I took a day trip to Tangier from Spain with two girlfriends, and I felt incredibly self-conscious wearing skinny jeans (which happened to be my only option at the time) and a hiplength trenchcoat. I’m also blonde. We were catcalled and followed around by men incessantly near the boat dock where our ferry landed, but we weren’t called at (only stared at) once we met up with our male tour guide. The tour guide was worth it for the insider knowledge and, frankly, the protection from catcalls.

          • Lyra Silvertongue :

            I feel like the blonde hair is the attractor, regardless of how modestly you dress. Even with my husband and our tour guides (one of whom was male and Moroccan), the catcalls were incessant.

        • I would not rent a car and drive myself anywhere in Morocco to be honest. It is a long drive on a fairly isolated road between Fes and Marrakech with military/police checkpoints at various places – it would be difficult to navigate alone IMO.

          As for clothing, I was in Morocco during the winter and wore skinny jeans (NOT jeggings) and sweaters and jackets and was completely fine.

          We had a guide the entire time and I was never catcalled. Much (much) more catcalling in Turkey from my experiences.

        • I hope this doesn’t get to you too late, but I’ve done that same desert tour and it’s incredible. I have traveled all over the place and WOULD NOT want to drive there. The tour guide will also give you all kinds of neat insights that a book wouldn’t of.

          I also did not like Fes at all…I did three days there and one would have been plenty.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Will you be there for fun, work or study? My brother is in his second summer there for a study abroad style program that’s part of his PhD program. If you want me to put you two in touch, post an address. If it is about fun travel, he might not have as much info.

    • Lyra Silvertongue :

      We went on our honeymoon there a few months ago for 10 days, so to answer your specific questions:

      1) “Modest” is widely interpreted in Morocco.

      In Tanigier, the dress is fairly Western/European on younger people. When you go out at night to clubs, it was actually surprisingly comparable to Western clubwear- i.e. cleavage, shorter skirts, high heels, sequins, etc. I wore jeans and a breton when we landed and a below-the-knee sundress with a modest v neckline and cardigan the next day.

      Fes, although a big imperial city and very impressive, I found to be slightly more conservative than say Marrakesh or Tangier. Certainly there were less tourists so that may be a contributing factor. I wore a loose cotton maxi dress, modest v-neck, and kimono sleeves that went slightly below the elbow.

      Marrakesh was very touristy, so you will see quite the range of attire there. I wore another maxi dress there ( a bit above my ankles actually, but I’m tall) with long sleeves that had slits in them, and again a modest v-neck.

      Out in the dessert and the South tends to be the most conservative. I wore a caftan in Merzouga, a long-sleeved, high-neck maxi dress in Rissani, and then comfortable sports-wear for the dessert- a tunic and leggings for the camel trek out, and then a long t-shirt, Patagonia fleece, and leggings for the camel ride back.

      For car-travel days, I mostly wore maxi dresses with cardigans or denim shirts tied at the waist.

      I ALWAYS carried a wrap/scarf with me, and usually looped it around my neck but it’s incredibly versatile to have. It helped if I ever felt like I was standing out too much, which, to be fair, was often since I am very tall, pale, blonde and blue-eyed. I covered my hair sometimes- not in the Hassan II mosque (it’s not required) but in larger crowds in more conservative areas. Loose pants and a full-sleeve t-shirt should be fine in most areas, though you just might feel comfortable with more arm coverage depending on the attention you’re attracting. It’s a fairly personal choice in Morocco, especially given that the monarchy has officially discouraged wearing the hijab and is trying to attract 20 million tourists by 2020.

      2) Other travel tips:

      You WILL be catcalled, even when traveling with a man (my husband was almost always at my side, being our honeymoon and all). Our tour guides told us it never happened- it was actually fairly constant. Much of it is easy enough to brush off (my husband certainly wasn’t going to sell me for 4k camels, and I’ve certainly heard worse than, “Dance for me, Shakira!” or “Lovely jubblies!”) but it is always in the background.

      You WILL be stopped by police. There are roadblocks/stops set up randomly all over the country. The local cops or royal gendarmes normally want bribes. I found that rather shocking, especially since our tour guides said that cops don’t bother tourists (for PR reasons) but be prepared. They normally want ~10 dh for “coffee” in order to avoid a ticket for some trumped up reason. We were stopped at least twice a day. Most of the time the cops/gendarmes were courteous enough while bribing, but there were a few times that they made sexual gestures at me, which was disconcerting.

      Be wary of uncooked vegetables. They are the most common cause of Moroccan traveler’s diarrhea, and that stuff is brutal. Everyone in my tour group got it after eating “Moroccan salad” (served before almost every meal, a mixture of tomatoes, onions, and some other veg that you eat with bread by hand) in a nomadic hut where the family lived in poverty. I was dubious about that particular dish and thus mostly didn’t eat it, particularly in any places that seemed likely to have contamination (huts, street vendors, etc).

      Definitely speak French whenever possible. There are many areas where the English speakers are few, and speaking French is not only easier but also gains you more respect. Also, make the effort to learn some basic Arabic before you go (bearing in mind that the Moroccan dialect is a bit different)- that too will earn you more respect and helps in blending a bit.

      Never pay the asking price/always play the haggle game. This is even more successful in my experience if you can do a good cop/bad cop scenario with a companion. A female friend and I did that routine all over the country and it worked very well since haggling does not come naturally to me!

      Be prepared for the contradictions. Morocco is trying very hard to appeal to tourists and to “modernize.” In Rabat and Marrakesh, you will hear the call to prayer on loudspeakers, but no one ever seems to stop and pray. In theory they don’t really drink, but they have wine and beer made in Morocco, and liquor stores ARE available, they’re just underground (literally and figuratively). Women during the day- even in cities- often leave their houses in big, over-sized fleecy bathrobes to do their shopping and errands, and then during the late night while dancing peel off quite a few layers!

      Have tips available for everything. From Gnawa musicians to camel men to people trying to dress you up and take your picture even if you don’t want it- all of these involve tipping.

      Also be very conscious of pickpockets, particularly children, unfortunately.

      Be OK with carbs. Breakfast every day was five different types of bread (no butter), a hardboiled egg, and sometimes a small box of yogurt (one type in particular, Jamila I believe, tends to give visitors the runs). Lunch and dinner almost always involves eating with bread as the vehicle for picking up food. I didn’t want any bread for several months after our trip!

      Fly to a larger airport OR be prepared to be questioned quite thoroughly. Our tour guides flew us in and out of Rabat, claiming that the people there are much friendlier. In actuality, since tourists rarely use that airport, a group of American attorneys was greeted with quite a lot of suspicion and we had some trouble entering the country.

      The fruit was amazing- dates dates dates- and the pastries were mouth-watering. I can’t get enough chebakia or briwat. Riads often have fine kitchens/restaurants, so consider those if you’re seeking a great meal. The architecture was stunning. Check out Art Deco remnants in Casablanca along with a guided tour of the Hassan II mosque (3rd largest mosque in the world, tallest building in Morocco, incredible feat of engineering and architectural skill). Buy rose and argan products on your route up to Marrakesh from the desert, and try to find shops that are owned and run by women, as it is still often hard for rural women to find gainful employment. Buy handmade products like pottery and leather in Fez- the prices won’t be rock bottom, but it is the capital of handicrafts/art and the quality is second to none, particularly if you visit the guild-run shops attached to where the products are made. Do some in-depth reading on the history before you go, as it gives you a much greater sense of how the country came to be today. Oh, and consider a horse-drawn carriage ride in Marrakesh- they offered some of the lowest prices in the world for said rides compared to other cities I’ve been to and it looked quite romantic!

      I think your itinerary sounds good, though I would suggest 2 days in Fez- it was my favorite spot and there is just so much to see. Take a day off of Marrakesh if necessary. Asilah is quite near to Tangier, if you have the time- it’s another pretty seaside town like Essaouira but less touristy, and has some nice shopping with lots of artisan products.

  25. Embarrassing but can anyone walk me through how to talk to my doctor (Ob-Gyn) about my low (non-existent) drive? Very much want to change this problem but talking about it with a Dr is hard.

    • Don’t be embarrassed! This is something that a lot of people deal with, but never try to treat. Kudos to you for trying to work on figuring it out!

      If you are worried about what to say to the scheduler, you can leave it vague and tell them that it’s something you believe could be related to a hormonal or chemical imbalance, but would prefer to leave the details to a discussion between you and the doctor.

      When you see your doctor, it can be as simple as, “I am concerned that my $ex drive is low, can we talk about what might be causing it?”

    • Could you write down what the issue is, when the symptoms began, what you have tried (if anything) to address it, whether you notice it more during one time of the month v. another, whether different types of contraceptives have had any impact, etc. Then make an appointment with your doctor and tell her that you’re struggling to talk about a concern and hand the paper to her. It should only take her a few minutes to read and then she will begin the verbal part of the conversation. At that point, you would have to talk about it, but sometimes I find it’s easier to talk abut something once the topic has been raised and is out there.

      I hope you find the strength to talk to your doctor and get this concern resolved.

    • Echoing the sentiments and advice here, and urging you to make this happen. I was in your shoes this time last year and it was putting a strain on an otherwise wonderful relationship. I had the conversation with my doc, and we pinpointed a few possible causes, my DH and I both made changes to “fix” those causes (it’s not all on you!), and things are like 300% better now.

      • It may be TMI for this particular site, but would you mind sharing what some of your fixes were?

      • That gives me hope! I think the cause is multiple daily meds I have to take, but I absolutely have to take them to be a functioning member of society. Hopefully there is a solution other than changing my medicine.

      • Can I ask what those causes were? My doctor was fairly dismissive when I brought this up at an appointment and I’d love to pinpoint the problem.

        My advice is to start the conversation with, “This is difficult for me to talk about but…” because it breaks the ice a bit and makes it clear that you’re struggling to find the right words. Always relaxes me a bit.

      • Happy to share!

        Some of it was emotional/mental health related, and we just had to hash that out. Different levels different expectations, and some of that just fell to predictable, traditional, stereotypical (i hate that i’m playing into it) male/female lines (ie, “men are like microwaves, women are like ovens” mindset–we need to be wooed and turned on). We’ve been gardening for 15 years and just never talked about it because it worked until it didn’t.

        But the bigger issue was that 15 years of hormonal birth control–the pill–had effed me up so badly when it came to my libido and other things (bp, hyperhydrosis, bad pap results) that I just had to be off it, and all hormonal options, once and for all. We do not want kids, so DH got a vasectomy for his birthday, and I got to go off the pill 5 months later. Almost every.single.one of my issues resolved within a month, and man the garden hasn’t been greener.

        There was no having to convince or goad DH into the vasectomy, because we both don’t want kids, but mostly because we were open about what we wanted as our end goal and knew that it could not be a one person solution. At the time, we had the same primary care doc (who did all my gyn stuff) so that was really helpful, too: it was like having a built in case manager/social worker through the process.

        I hope this helps, truly. The pill was such a wonderful, awesome thing for me for so long, but it was not the best solution. Find *your* best solution.

    • You are not alone. I’ve had two babies pulled out of my birth canal, been stitched up twice, pooed on a birthing bed in front of 6 people, and I STILL need to give myself a pep talk to say the adult words to my OB. Some of us grew up in repressed households, yo.

  26. Small Rewards :

    I am motivated well by a system of small rewards, but ice cream is…problematic… and I can’t drink lattes late in the day after I’ve accomplished my to-do list. Can anyone suggest other little “carrots” I can dangle in front of my nose if I manage to get my finish all my chores? Price range could maybe go as high as $10-20 if I worked hard on something for a week or two.

    • For something non food related, I allow myself to spend 15-20 minutes zoning out and playing a game on my iPhone after I’ve completed my to-do list.

    • KateMiddletown :

      Following for ideas!

    • Big believer in the power of a pedicure. But ice cream is good too: if you are someone who can “obey” portion control, try the individually wrapped/portioned treats or cups from Ben and Jerry.

    • New lipstick or nail polish? Magazines?

    • New nail color or lipstick ? One or two fun sheet masks from Sephora or Ulta? Bath bombs from Lush?

      An inexpensive new accessory ( inexpensive belt, etc)? What (besides food) are your guilty pleasures? Mine are beauty items, paperback books, interesting pens/stationary, and funky accessories for casual wear.

      • Small Rewards :

        Ooo! Stationary! Pens! That might be just the thing. No matter how many I have, I always want more.

        • Allow me to recommend the best pen in the world that I’ve been using for almost 20 years –

          https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00006IEBD/ref=twister_B00DK6PQB4?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

          in blue

    • I reward myself with time… time to call a friend, or read a library book, or play a game.

      • +1. Time or experience rewards for me, because I struggle with portion control for food rewards, and also with having too much stuff generally.

        Last night my goal was to go through my closet and remove winter/spring/summer things that I hadn’t worn this year, and to re-organize my vanity. Once i got those things done, I did a face mask and let myself have 20 minutes of kindle time before bed.

        I will also, occasionally, use kindle books as a reward for myself, because I don’t have to store them.

    • Have you tried Yasso greek frozen yogurt bars? Not quite icecream, but relatively low sugar/low carb/high protein and delicious!

      • Halo Top Ice cream is also great. It comes in pint containers, and the whole pint is usually less than 300 calories! The sell it at Wal Mart, Publix, Whole Foods and Kroger in my town. Favorite flavor is sea salt caramel, but vanilla and birthday cake flavors are good too.

    • Baconpancakes :

      I use this really nerdy app called Habitica, that lets you collect coins for completing tasks (both to-do lists and daily habits), and it really helps motivate me. I customize my rewards to buy things like clothes or beauty products or manicures, giving it a 2x cost gold coin value (so a $35 gel manicure costs 70 coins). And it gives you the satisfaction of leveling up and collecting points every time you check something off, even if it’s not real.

      • Small Rewards :

        That actually sounds like exactly the kind of thing that would make me smile–but I’m not ashamed to keep a chart with gold star stickers on my wall, rather than using an app.

        • oh my goodness, yes. Stickers! It’s amazing what a calendar covered with stickers can do for me. I must be a perpetual kindergartner at heart.

      • Small Rewards :

        I like the idea of applying rough monetary value to the “coins”/stars though…

      • OMG, love

    • Foolish Fox :

      I like a few pieces of a really nice chocolate.

    • I love silly beauty things, like chemical foot peels (baby foot and the like), or tooth whitening strips, or whatever else is the latest ‘miracle’ fad. They often are not expensive.

    • Small Rewards :

      I’m impressed with how many of you can use a few minutes of leisure time as a reward. I need a fixed reward on the line because otherwise I would be vegging out anyway, instead of earning the reward!

      • Same!

      • Anonymous :

        The system of rewards 100% does not work on me; I will buy myself something or eat whatever I want regardless of my achievements.

        • Lorelai Gilmore :

          I have found, in general, that I am a happier person and better at getting my “chores” done when I give myself regular pedicures and haircuts and leisure time, instead of saving it as a reward. Something about caring for myself proactively rather than saving these things as treats makes me feel better about myself and that makes me a more competent, organized person in general.

  27. The sound on my cell phone is terrible. Any suggestions for a portable speakerphone that I can use when I’m working from home and taking conference calls?

    • A possible and simple solution would be just to use headphones and speak into the mic of your phone. Or try connecting to external speakers, though you might produce an echo to others.

    • I use my Bose soundlink mini bluetooth speaker. I mostly use it for music but it’s also great for phone calls.

  28. My family is very close and all live in the same area. I have a toddler at home and my mom watches her one day a week (daycare other days). My sister is a SAHM with toddlers of her own. They all hang out when my daughter is with my mom, and also see each other quite often on the other days. I typically enjoy my job and my career but I feel left out (and occasionally jealous I’m sad to admit) that they all spend much time together doing fun things and I can’t be there. I also feel bad for my daughter that my nieces and nephews get extra fun grandparents time (pool, lunch, trips etc) while my daughter is at daycare. I know I’m lucky to have all this family around and that my daughter gets to spend time with them even while am at work but I still feel bad sometimes. Any advice on how to get over it??

    • You can try to think that it’s perfectly normal to feel that way. Your sister probably has times she feels jealous that you get time to yourself and have a career outside the home. How about telling her lovingly that sometimes you feel left out and discuss how you can be more included. Like maybe you FaceTime them on your lunch breaks, or days you can work Remote you can be there even if not playing with them the whole time.

    • For your daughter, think of it as she’s getting to expand her village – she has even more people who love her and care about her, and she gets exposed to a larger variety of people and ideas and learning methods. She’s also getting to play with different toys, which is basically every kid’s dream.

      For you, it’s a little harder. I struggle with the “feeling left out” piece as well. Sometimes I just have to accept that I feel that way, other times I’m more successful in remembering that I work because I genuinely get a rush from my work accomplishments, and I’d be miserable if I stayed home all day long. Spending a week at the pool would be fun. Spending a summer at the pool would be repetitive and mind-numbing (for me). Try to focus on ways you can feel included – plan things for the weekend, take a one day mental health vacation each quarter to join them in something particularly fun, whatever helps you get through it.

      • Thanks, these are good ideas. It’s hard because I wish I could be there more but I know I wouldn’t want to stay home and doing part time probably doesn’t make a lot of sense either for a number of reasons. So I guess I have to just accept it and repeat to myself that I’m doing what’s best for my family at this time and some sacrifice is part of the job.

        • Labor Day :

          .. and be intentional about seeing where you can compromise. If you can get time off or a flexible schedule in anyway – take it. If that means you can meet up with them for lunch sometimes – do it. Change the narrative. Maybe you are going to your work because you are providing for your daughter while giving her someone to look up to also. Whether you are home or not. SAHM or not. You’re giving her the best life you can. You’re fighting for her future. But also see where you can make changes feasibly. The great thing about this country is nothing is absolute. If this is a big area of concern for you maybe this means looking for a more flexible job or firm that will let you have more control over your schedule. I see people that work places from 6am-2pm or 7am-3pm or whatever else to be able to work around their kids. IF its possible that may be an option for you whether that’s now or in the future. Just some things to think about.

    • As for your kid – can you maybe do 2 days with the grandparents instead of the 1? We went to daycare all the time but in summer it was “summer daycamp” and it was bombbbb. We went on field trips to museums, the zoo, the aquarium, the local park eeeeeevery day, pool twice a week, tie-dyed, “picnicked” every day i.e. lunch outside, had theme days, reading hour, ice cream … it was a blast. Even on rainy days we had movie days, which were so much fun and got to play computer games. Those were the only days we were inside. Are there any options like that local to you? Don’t feel bad for your kiddo – it was really fun to have new friends, so it might be a nice balance for your kid to be with family *and* friends during the week.

      As for you – that stinks, sorry. Remember that it’s a long game and what’s right for her family and your family might be a little different sometimes. Here are some things I have seen working parents do: summer hours where they work an extra hour each Monday – Thursday and then leave early Friday; cluster more time off in the summers; work from home more in the summers; cut down on kid sports in the summers so weekends are spent as a family and not driving from gymnastics to horse-riding; lunchtime chats/facetime with kids; meet kiddos for lunch in the city and then leave from work or do things with kiddos in the morning and then go into the office when kids take their naps. But again, it’s a long game. I’m guessing you probably work because it’s what is best for you and your family, just remember that. And who knows, your nieces and nephews might be looking up to you for having stayed in the workplace in a few years. This is just the tough part.

  29. San Franciscans, lend me your recs! :

    Hi everyone, I posted yesterday about suggestions on where to visit from Chicago for Labor Day weekend and we decided on San Francisco! We lived in LA for two years and somehow… never made it to San Francisco, so we are excited!

    We are planning a day trip to Sausalito, but what I’d really love are (1) restaurant recommendations (in SF) and (2) other favorite must-see attractions in San Francisco. Any recommendations you’d be kind enough to share?

    • Hi – if you post an email, I’d be happy to send you my guide to SF

    • I’ll give you some if you give me some ideas too! :) I would go to Cliff House which is a very nice brunch buffet overlooking Ocean Beach. Best to go on Sunday but you will need a reservation for sure. Very pricey but worth it. I would definitely go to Powell St/Market St which is the hub for shopping. On one side of the street you have Barney’s, Saks, Nordstrom etc, and on the other side you have Ross, Old Navy, TJ Maxx etc. Definitely try Sushiritto – look it up, its a burrito style sushi roll – very oddly satisfying. The financial district has some delicious food places also especially in the Chinatown which is in the heart of the financial district. I would do financial district on a different day. DEF try The Codmother and Cha Cha Cha. I have heard Ryoto Sushi is really good. There’s a museum in SFMOMA which was amazing to go. They have a nice Cafe there for lunch after. Obviously the Golden Gate Bridge, lots of food places around there and many indie bars/cafes that you can easily find on yelp. Have fun but if possible bring cash to ride public transport nix the rental car!

    • I’ll give you some if you give me some ideas too! :) I would go to Cliff House which is a very nice brunch buffet overlooking Ocean Beach. Best to go on Sunday but you will need a reservation for sure. Very pricey but worth it. I would definitely go to Powell St/Market St which is the hub for shopping. On one side of the street you have Barney’s, Saks, Nordstrom etc, and on the other side you have Ross, Old Navy, TJ Maxx etc. Definitely try Sushiritto – look it up, its a burrito style sushi roll – very oddly satisfying. The financial district has some delicious food places also especially in the Chinatown which is in the heart of the financial district. I would do financial district on a different day. DEF try The Codmother and Cha Cha Cha. I have heard Ryoto Sushi is really good. There’s a museum in SFMOMA which was amazing to go. They have a nice Cafe there for lunch after. Obviously the Golden Gate Bridge, lots of food places around there and many indie bars/cafes that you can easily find on yelp. Have fun but if possible bring cash to ride public transport nix the rental car!

    • Senior Attorney :

      Belden Place is really fun for European-style dining near Union Square. It’s a little tucked-away alley with a bunch of little restaurants. I love Cafe Bastille but you can take your pick: http://www.belden-place.com/

      Also Dottie’s True Blue Cafe for breakfast/brunch. You will have to wait in line but it will be worth it.

      For sightseeing, some off-the-beaten path places I like are the Beat Museum in North Beach, with is right around the corner from the amazing City Lights Bookstore. The Cartoon Art Museum is definitely worth a look if you like that sort of thing. Also last time I was there I did a Summer of Love-themed walking tour and loved it.

    • South Asian :

      Bob’s donuts. Especially the apple fritters straight out of the fryer.

    • The Stinking Rose – it’s a garlic restaurant (“we flavor our garlic with food”). Absolutely delicious.

  30. Looking for Labor Day trip suggestions! Not going to see family. Taking 4 days for some R&R and fun. The only place I can think of is Vegas (love the food, hotels & shows). Not a huge partier or into raves etc. any ideas?!?

  31. For the last several years, I’ve had a mattress on a box spring on a frame, and I feel like it’s probably time to upgrade to a headboard. (Full beds don’t seem to have enough space for the box spring without being way too high.) Any advice on how to find a good headboard? I don’t even know if I want upholstery, or wood, or what height it should be… I like to sit up reading in bed, so probably not something with rails that would be uncomfortable in my back. And the other furniture in my bedroom is light maple. Suggestions welcome!

    • I got this headboard from WorldMarket and super happy with it. Very comfy to lean on while reading, looks nice and shipping/putting together was easy.

      https://www.worldmarket.com/product/linen+donnon+upholstered+headboard.do?sortby=ourPicksAscend&from=fn

    • My reply got eaten? Search for “Linen Donnon Upholstered Headboard” on the World Market s&te. Got it recently and love it. Very comfy for reading purposes, too.

    • Tinkerbell :

      Honestly, the best thing to do is to go to stores and lay in the various beds/prop yourself against the headboards.

  32. This is such a lovely dress! I love the sheath dress! They’re versatile enough for work, a night on the town and beyond!

  33. I love the fit of this dress!
    -gabby
    www.orcuttfamilydentistry.com

  34. Disability in BigLaw? :

    Question for the legal hive here…

    I am a law student, and next summer will work in BigLaw. I have a physical disability that until recently has been pretty much invisible. Lately, however, it seems to be progressing and I now need to use mobility aids (canes, braces, etc.) from time to time, though not every day. It would also be helpful if I could have some ergonomic accommodations at work (chair, keyboard, etc.). I have not “come out” to the firm about this yet as none of my physical issues were evident during the interviewing process, and my issues are not generally known even within my law school as the recent progression of my condition has largely happened over the summer.

    Though the firm I’ll be working at has really robust diversity policies and generally has a well-regarded culture when it comes to inclusion issues, I’m aware that disability is still sort of the third rail in BigLaw, regardless of the policies that may be on paper. I’d ideally like to feel confident in using my mobility aids on the days I need to, without feeling like I have to get in depth with people on my medical condition. My general tendency toward privacy on these issues is compounded by the fear of discrimination if people take it upon themselves to look up what I have–the information online about my condition would lead people to believe that my prognosis is pretty dire and that I wouldn’t be able to physically handle the long hours that law firms require. Fortunately, my case is mild and I should be able to handle BigLaw hours as well as anyone else can, so any extrapolations that people would make would be inaccurate.

    So–what should I expect next summer, and beyond? Am I jeopardizing the way I’ll be perceived at the firm if I show up with a cane here and there? How should I approach this conversation when people inevitably ask what happened to me (I otherwise look healthy)? Is it really ok to be out as disabled in BigLaw, or not?

    FWIW, I am still in the stage of my condition where mobility aids are optional. It is helpful if I use them on certain days, but I can tough it out if I really need to. However, it’s likely that at some point in future I’ll need them full-time.

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