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Coffee Break: Metallic Card Case

kate-spade-metallic-card-caseOooh: of course I’m going to love the metallic cobalt card case from Kate Spade — but the whole collection looks fun, especially if you’re the type who a) likes to have a colored wallet/card case so it’s easy to find in your bag, b) you like feminine, girly things, or c) you are trying to find a small gift for a person who meets either a) or b).  (I did try the use-a-card-case-instead-of-a-wallet-in-my-clutch trick the last time I wore a clutch and I really liked it.) Anyhoo: the card case is $50, and comes in a metallic cobalt, hot pink, and a more muted rose gold that isn’t pictured here; the larger wallets go as high as $158; they’re available at Bloomingdale’s and Nordstrom,. (The confetti one in the picture is the “Grant Lane” collection, also fun.) kate spade new york Rainer Lane Metallic Card Case

Sale Alert: MAC is offering 25% off all orders through 12/4. Wish I’d known that before I ordered the Soar lipliner (one of their bestsellers) during Cyber Monday, but hopefully all the mascara samples I got (the Cyber Monday deal) will make up for that.

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Gift Ideas from the Big Nordstrom Sale

Nordstrom Gift Ideas for 2016 (All On Sale!!)The Nordstrom Thanksgiving Sale is so good for workwear it’s a bit of a downer to remember, ah yes, I’m supposed to be buying for other folks too.  So I thought I’d put together a few quick gift ideas if you’re on the hunt — with Nordstrom’s very customer-friendly, open ended return policy, they’re great for everyone. CYBER MONDAY UPDATE: Don’t forget, Nordstrom is offering an extra 20% off select items through the end of today! (updated prices in red below). 

(Check out our other favorite Black Friday Sales here.)

Pictured at top: cardigan

Pictured below: pillow / glasses / hat / bubble bath

nordstrom-gift-ideas-2016

  • Barefoot Dreams. I’ve heard great things about the drape front cardigan for YEARS, and finally got the circle cardigan during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, and I’m hooked on the super, super soft material — it’s a nylon/rayon blend that feels like cashmere but is machine washable. In addition to lots of cardigans and wraps for the women in your family (note: they come in plus sizes also!), they also make manly-looking plaid pillows (pictured above) and throw blankets. The cardigan at top is now $54-$68; the pillow is $39.
  • Drinkware.  Personally, I’m a total sucker for anything art deco, like these $41 double old fashioned glasses (now sold out, alas, but check out this set of whiskey glasses and decanter, now on sale for $40)— but they’ve got a ton of nice glasses on sale.
  • Cashmere beanie. Kate and I were just talking about how it’s so hard to find a stylish winter hat — you either look like you’re 20 or you look like you’re 60.  This cashmere beanie is highly reviewed, and on sale for $26 — it looks like a great gift idea too. It comes in ELEVEN colors. They have a ton of hats on sale though.
  • Bath and beauty stuff. A bubble bath/gel is always a safe bet (this Philosophy special edition one is marked to $12 from $18, which is a pretty great deal) — but there’s a ton of fun makeup markdowns in the sale.  (PLUS, there’s a “mystery beauty gift with purchase” today.) Makeup can be hard to buy for grown women — but if you’re on the hunt for a teenager or a makeup addict, there’s a lot of fun things in the Nordstrom sale. (I for some reason am drooling over most of the MAC Star Trek collection, mostly 40% off — doesn’t this illuminating powder look like a much more affordable version of Guerlain’s Meteorites?). Hmmn: this $17 shower cap looks great for the blowout addict on your gift list (now sold out, alas).

Ladies, what are you hunting for as far as gifts go? Have you gotten anything great at the Nordstrom sale

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Putting Workwear to Work for Halloween

putting-workwear-to-work-for-halloween

It’s that time of year again: the leaves are changing, the air is crisp and pumpkin spice is everywhere. With October 31st fast-approaching, Kat asked me to create a few fun outfits to show you how to put your workwear to work for Halloween. (Yep, it is possible.)

So, I chose a cast of characters (two fictional and one very real, very eccentric designer) who not only have iconic style, but are also well-known for rocking head-to-toe black. Check out the inspired looks below…

(Curious for more ideas for making Halloween work at work? We previously discussed Halloween costumes in 2013 and 2010 open threads, and I shared a big list of ideas for office costumes a couple of years ago. – Kat)

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Open Thread: Vacation Time

Vacation Time | CorporetteAs the close of 2015 is almost upon us, here’s a question: did you use your vacation time? If you did (congratulations), please regale us with stories — wheredja go, whadja do, how’d you find the time to plan/schedule it, which app/service would you recommend, etc. — but if you DIDN’T (which historically was me), why not? Did you just have too much work? Did you not feel comfortable scheduling something with your work calendar? Was it a budget/priority thing? For everyone — do you have any big plans for 2016?

For my $.02 — I almost never used all of my vacation time, and looking back it was largely because I worried it would reflect poorly on me at work. I also was worried that I would spend all this time/energy/money researching a vacation only to have it cancelled at the last minute due to work. I felt pretty comfortable in BigLaw scheduling trips to see my parents, both because we had religious reasons (Christmas, Easter) for the trips, as well as because I knew my parents had good Internet service and would understand if I had to turn it into a working vacation. And of course I would tack on a day or two here or there if I was traveling for a friend’s weekend wedding or whatnot.

But in terms of fun vacations, particularly in places without reliable Internet access? The stress usually stopped me from going. For example, my now husband took me to Paris a few months after we started dating, and I was terrified the trip would be cancelled, that there would somehow be a disaster ON the 5-day trip (I had nightmares of having to find an “Internet cafe” to work in for hours, paying in 15-minute increments with a dial-up modem). I worried that when I left I would be working without sleep to get all the work done — and I worried that when I returned there would be a mountain of work waiting for me. The trip turned out fine, of course. (Ok, I got food poisoning, which was less than awesome for a romantic vacation, and we totally failed to make it to Reims because I misunderstood the train schedule, but workwise it was fine.)

Another reason I didn’t travel much while working in BigLaw: I could never get the timing right to travel with friends, and I never dated anyone seriously enough to even ponder a vacation together (until I met my husband) — and I was hesitant to travel by myself as a single woman. In my non-profit job, I didn’t have nearly as much vacation time, I didn’t have seniority to choose when to take it, and we didn’t have the budget anyway to take vacation without some serious sacrifices. [Read more…]

Coffee Break: Extra Large Weekender

Weekend Travel Bag: LeSportsac Luggage Extra Large WeekenderIf you don’t already have one of these — or if you know someone who doesn’t — this needs to be on your gift list, stat, particularly if there’s airplane travel coming up. Not only does this collapse small enough to fit in the zippered sleeve of most luggage, it’s so durable that you can even check it on the way back. (I often use mine for dirty laundry — the bag is also washable if needed.) The crazy colors and patterns can be a bit much, sure, but what are the odds that you’ll be looking at a luggage carousel of 15 similar bags? The pictured bag is $154. LeSportsac Luggage Extra Large Weekender

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Gift Idea: Mark Bittman Cookbook

Cookbook gift - How to Cook Everything: The BasicsWhere do you fall on cookbooks as a gift idea? Yes, they can be boring — but they can also be really expensive, so they can make indulgent gifts. This Mark Bittman book is on my wishlist — the whole series looks amazing. It’s $19.77 at Amazon for the hardcover book. How to Cook Everything: The Basics

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