Suit of the Week: Veronica Beard

For busy working women, the suit is often the easiest outfit to throw on in the morning. In general, this feature is not about interview suits for women, which should be as classic and basic as you get — instead, this feature is about the slightly different suit that is fashionable, yet professional.

So: this is an unusual choice, I admit. Still, ask yourself: if you had a casual (or creative) but important meeting and someone walked in wearing this suit, you’d think “wow, I’m impressed she has the confidence to rock that suit.” I like the little details — the squiggly lines (apparently a signature Veronica Beard stripe), the green grosgrain trim throughout, and even the way the jacket looks slightly askew when closed. I think you could get a lot of mileage out of both pieces as separates, also. The jacket (The Weekend Jacket) is $795, and the skirt (The Skinny Skirt) is $595. (If you are on the hunt for a striped suit and this one is too rich for your blood, do check out The Limited — they also have a striped knit suit that is a very bold choice.)

(L-5)

Comments

  1. I am in love.

    • I agree, but I have absolutely no reason to wear suits.

      • Senior Attorney :

        OMG LOVE.

        If I had not firmly committed to (a) shopping my budget and (b) limiting purchases to one per month for the year, I would be all.over.this.

      • I hardly consider this a suit – ie if your workplace requires suits you could not wear this. By the same token if you normally do not wear suits to work this is casual enough to be appropriate.

    • Agreed. Wow.

      • The pattern is hard to look at and I really don’t like the zipper closure. Very 1980s.

        • Yeah, I . . . hate everything this suit chooses to be.

          • Jessie Spano wants her suit back! Sorry…it’s very 80’s.

            Even if I worked in a creative field, someone would have to be VERY VIP in order to rock this suit without me sniggering about it to any female within earshot after VERY VIP left the room.

  2. Blue Nile :

    Are the diamond prices on blue nile super discounted or are they typical market prices for diamonds? I wanted a ring handcrafted from a local jeweler as opposed to factory made and ordered from the internet, but the diamond price quotes I am getting from the local jeweler are astronomical, sometimes as much as 3x the blue nile price for the same quality diamond (cut, color, clarity, etc). Am I getting ripped off? Is this some sort of diamond brand name markup? What’s the deal?

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Is it just the price for the diamond that you are being quoted or does that include the setting and everything?

      Also, is the local jeweler just a solo person or is it like a local jewelry store that does a good volume of business? If its just a person running their own business, then its important to keep in mind that their costs can be different and have to include the time they personally work on it.

      Could you purchase the diamond yourself and have the local jeweler put it into a setting for you? Just some thoughts!

      • Agree, bring your own stone to the local jeweler. Our experience with independent jewelers has taught us that everything is negotiable so don’t hesitate to negotiate price.

    • Another S :

      Blue Nile has high volume and low overhead. Your local jeweler probably doesn’t. You may very well be getting ripped off… but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a good deal locally. If you post your location, someone might be able to make a suggestion. Also, there are such thing as brand name diamonds with brand name markups – whether it’s worth it is totally subjective.

      You don’t have to get the diamonds from the same jeweler who makes the ring. You could buy loose stones from a site like jamesallen dot com (which seems to be the most beginner buyer friendly). If you want to educate yourself, try sites like truthaboutdiamonds dot com or pricescope dot com.

      • Good point! I think this jeweler is pricing us for a brand name diamond. I’m in a small city (and in Canada) so I don’t think anyone would have recs for me unfortunately! I will ask about providing my own diamond. This is a mid-sized jeweler, not a chain but very reputable in my city and surprising large for being not a chain. My only other local options are mall stores like Zales (but Canadian).

        • I’ve had two jewelers make rings for me using my own stones. It’s very common.

    • Blue nile will have cheaper prices than a local jeweler because they buy in bulk, like Costco of diamonds. Consider ordering the diamond from them and having the local jeweler create the setting.

    • just Karen :

      Israel Diamonds is a local-to-me store I like and trust (I grew up with the owner’s daughter), and I am pretty sure you can buy loose stones through their website. I know I have found diamonds there at lower prices than Blue Nile, and have reassurance that they are not conflict diamonds. It has been a while since I bought anything there, and they have grown in size, which could affect prices for better or worse, but might be worth checking out. Google should be able to quickly point you to their website.

    • Having worked in a small jewelry store (during college), I can tell you the standard mark up is 50%. There is always room to negotiate. I think Blue Nile’s mark-up is much lower than that, in part because they have no overhead except website maintenance and 2 day shipping. If you are paying for a unique setting that is time intensive to create, that cannot be negotiated down.

  3. I rarely agree with choices that Kat has to qualify at the beginning of the post, but this is absolutely fabulous. Would wear in a heartbeat if I could shell out that much on a suit (or, ya know, anything but rent/loan payments).

  4. TJ — Has anyone stopped using Facebook cold turkey? I found myself annoyed with it and didn’t use it much anyway, so I finally quit earlier this month. That is, I deactivated instead of deleted, so I guess I could always return.

    I don’t miss it at all, but I occasionally wonder if I’m setting myself to be a completely out-of-touch person. Thoughts? Anyone else quit recently? Or is there anyone who never started using it?

    • I have never used Facebook and do not regret it. If I had Facebook, I would be a stalker, and I’m sure people would stalk me, too, and I’d rather not facilitate that. I also find Facebook to be more full of fluff than useful communication. And I don’t trust it, privacy-wise. For what it’s worth, I’m under 30 and nearly all my friends are on Facebook, as are my siblings and my SO. I’m also the kind of person who is not that into “acquaintances” or “once-in-a-while friends,” and I think it’s enough that I’m connected with my old classmates, etc., on LinkedIn (which I only joined because my business school said we absolutely needed to).

      • Chicago Anon :

        Wow! You could be me. I don’t know how many times I’ve had to explain this position to some of my friends.

      • I have also never used Facebook. I don’t have the time or energy to set up all of the filters, etc., to keep my private life private. My boss is big into Facebook and I don’t want to “friend” him or my teenage nephews (much as I love them) or my nosy elderly friends from church. Friends from high school contact my brother and ask them why I’m not on Facebook. Seriously, I have lived in the same place and worked at the same institution for many many years. It’s not that hard to find me.

    • I’ve never had a Facebook account and am perfectly happy with that decision. That said, I’m someone who prefers to have a few close friends rather than a ton of not-so-close friends. So I keep up with who I want to keep up with (via phone, email, in person) and don’t really keep up with everyone else (I wish them the best, I just don’t desire to keep up with them). I realize I do miss pictures I’d otherwise see, including of people I’m close to. But that’s okay with me (and some friends indulge me and send a few pictures via email).

      I don’t feel out of touch at all without Facebook, but that may be because I don’t have a desire to keep up with everyone I went to high school, college, and law school with.

      • This is me exactly, except that I had an account and deleted it a few years ago. Still happy with the decision. Like another poster above, I use LinkedIn for keeping up with my professional network.

    • I am on FB meaning I have an account, but I never look at it. Probably once every 3 months or so, I log in and immediately regret it. I don’t like it because when I log on I spend time looking at pictures or statuses of people that I don’t talk to, or haven’t seen since high school or college. I’d probably like it more if it were more like twitter, where you people can follow you, but you don’t have to follow them, etc. I know there are groups and other things you can do, but I haven’t put in the time to set all that up.

      As far as being out of touch, it varies. My close close friends, I still talk on the phone or email to keep in touch. But, there are a couple of people that I totally lost touch with since I stopped logging on. One of these friends essentially said she’s too busy to call me back, and it would be so much easier to stay in touch if I would just post on FB, which hurt, but it happens.

      • I should clarify what I mean by “out of touch.” I actually meant it in a technological sense, not in terms of keeping up with people (which I do and always have done primarily off of Facebook). Since FB is a nearly universal experience, I wonder if I’ll be increasingly out of it if I can’t, say, rant about the latest change to the newsfeed or miss out on some link everyone’s sharing.

        • Oh gotcha – well in that case I don’t think there is anything for you to worry about. I can’t imagine any conversation about that topic lasting more than 1 minute … “Can you believe FB changed the privacy setting AGAIN.. grumble grumble”, but I’ve never even heard anyone talk about that kind of stuff and everyone I know is on it.

    • I was a very happy Facebook user for a very long time. A great way to stay in touch for someone who frequently switches countries and doesn’t manage to maintain an updated address book. It’s also a great way to stay in touch with a group of friends now scattered in different places, because you can still all comment on someone’s pictures together – thus have a shared digital experience.

      I’ve never found it too difficult to maintain a reasonable level of privacy by taking 10 minutes every 6 months to review my settings and fastidiously maintaining lists whenever I added new friends. However, with the switch to timeline and the individual settings for each post/activity I’ve been finding myself more confused than usual. Maybe I’m just getting old, but I just recently spent 30 minutes reviewing privacy settings and changing those of individual posts and I’m not sure its worth it anymore.

    • long time lurker :

      I quit during the months leading up to the election because I when I read FB I would feel bad, offended and angry at relatives and some friends. I honestly did not miss it that much. I never deactivated my account, just stayed away. I am back and found many ignorant things still posted, so as a result have “hidden” many of my relatives (i wish someone could design a filter were I would see the baby announcement but not certain political posts….). I check in once a week or so and rarely post unless I have a cut pet or travel picture to share.

      • Oh man, I feel you about facebook going crazy-pants during election season. I’ve hidden some friends and unfriended one or two not-close friends/acquaintances because of the political ranting. Not because I disagree with their beliefs (a number of my closest friends have different beliefs than me), but it’s the 6-times a day posting random vitriolic political sh*t about how the other side is trying to ruin the country that I can’t deal with.

        • “It’s the 6-times a day posting random vitriolic political sh*t about how the other side is trying to ruin the country that I can’t deal with.”

          This. So much this. Even if we are the same side of the political aisle, I can’t stomach this approach to political discourse.

    • Facebook gives me hives :

      For all the reasons that others have listed, I am an intermittent user of FB. I’m going to delete my account soon. One thing I missed when on FB hiatus is info from postings from restaurants, stores, blogs and the like. Problem solved when my pet became a FB user, “liked” the entities from which i wanted to see info, but added no FB friends. Her account contains no information pertinent to me, so my privacy is maintained. I don’t have to deal with political and religious rants, and I can pretend that my SIL is eccentric, not mind bogglingly crazy as I have sadly come to know her through FB.

    • I deleted my account 3.5 years ago. I haven’t looked back.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I quit cold turkey. I have ADD and was a total facebook addict. I use tracking software and was appalled at how much time I spent on it at work. I came home so upset one night that even though I worked 10 hours I still had to “bill more hours” that night. I confessed to hubby that I had spent my work day on Facebook and I just couldn’t control it. He suggested I delete it. With my permission, he went in, changed my password and deleted. It initially only lets you deactivate for a bit before you can consider it truly deleted. Hence, why he changed my PW for me. I used his to keep in touch with overseas family and then when that family returned to the US, he deleted his account.

      I don’t miss the political fighting and minutia. I don’t miss the chronic oversharing. I feel like when I actually see people now, I have something to talk about. I do find I get left out though and often not invited to events because people forget that I don’t see the “BBQ, my place at 4” status update. I have a few close friends that keep me up to date of major events like weddings/babies/deaths/reunions that show up on facebook.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        One other thought – Facebook doesn’t announce that you deleted your account. Instead, people will think you unfriended them. If you have someone with similar mutual friends, you might ask them to get the word out that you deleted the account.

      • Sugar Magnolia :

        Tracking software? Can you give me a link? I think I could use this, as I believe I am wasting a ton of time. Thanks Blonde Lawyer!

    • I quit. Never looked back. Never been happier.

  5. Stella Link :

    Sorry for the early threadjack. I work in a non-legal, professional field and just completed a certifying exam after several years of education. This equivalent to the Bar exam for my field. I do not feel that it went well, but I don’t know the results yet. I am trying to mentally prepare myself for a bad result. Any advice? My stomach is in knots, I’m not sleeping, and I can’t make myself concentrate at all. Worse, everyone at work is asking how it went. This was something for which I prepared extensively. It will be a huge blow if I failed.

    • I hope you get good results!

      When I’m waiting for exam results (I’m a PhD student, so it’s usually that I need to pass or will be kicked out of the program), I try to funnel my nervous energy into working out, and that usually helps me sleep a little better. I’m not normally the best sleeper, so I also have a ritual that my husband thinks is ridiculous – chapstick, foot cream, hand cream, and a molded eye mask – that helps my body know it’s time to relax.

      Another thing I try to do to relax (and to fall asleep) is to breathe meaningfully. Breathe in and out as deeply as possible. Things feel so much worse if you’re not getting oxygen through your body.

      In regards to all the questions, maybe you can just paste on a smile, thank the person for thinking of you, say that you had a bad testing day and are hoping for the best?

    • Turn off your brain. You can’t change the result at this point. Presumably others in your office have taken this exam so they know the anxiety it produces and don’t really expect you to predict your score. Even if you have to retake the exam, you will survive. Just focus on doing a good job at work and cross the bridge when you come to it. I realize that this is easier said than done. Good luck.

    • Sorry, I know it sucks to be waiting for exam results like this. For me, I try to push it out of my mind and then I don’t get knots in my stomach until around when the results are supposed to come out (refreshing the bar examiner’s website, anyone?). When people ask, just a smile and a, “Well, it’s over!” should be enough to tell them that you don’t want to talk about it in detail, which is how many people feel regardless of how well they think they did.

    • I think you need to reward yourself for studying hard and completing the test, regardless of the outcome. That might help you shift from “OMG OMG how did I do” to “sheesh, I’m glad that timesuck is gone now.”

  6. Interview hair TJ –

    I have an interview on Friday. I haven’t interviewed for anything in about four years, much less with as conservative a company as this one. I have shoulder blade-length, thick, frizzy, curly blonde hair. What do I do with it? I work in a very informal office now and usually just let it do it’s frizzy curly thing, pin half back, or put it in a messy ponytail. But none of those options seem polished enough. Do I need to get a blow out Friday morning and hope it’s not humid? Is leaving long hair down a no-no for interviews?

    • Safest option might just be a bun (that way you don’t have to worry about playing with it, either). But probably just wearing it down is fine.

      • If possible, find out if their manageing partner likes women to wear there hair down or pulled back or in an updo. The secreatraies should be abel to help here b/c they know. If you wear your hair back, be careful about wearing a scrunchie. It is better to wear a single conservative braid until you get to know the partner’s and the manageing partner.

        When I was serving supbeena’s I met the manageing partner wearing a scrunchie. Since he liked me with a scrunchie, I started wearing them to work after he hired me. It is onley recentlely that he wants me to show my hair off, and that means, alot of the times, that I should NOT wear a scrunchie. I am sometimes confused about that. I think it depends on what Margie is doeing at home that makes its way to the office and the manageing partner sure can be FICKEL! FOOEY!

        Myrna and I are goieng to meet on 86th street and eat Chicken Parm tonite. There is no game on TV she says, so there won’t be alot of guy’s drinkeing and stareing at us the way they do when we go there on game day. I hope she is right b/c so many young college guy’s are there and it seem’s they have NO female’s where they go so they come by our table and just look at us. I think some are drunk, but other’s are just out for cheep thrills. FOOEY on that. I do NOT wear tight clotheing to the resturant any more b/c of this. FOOEY!

    • I think you should probably do something with it other than your usual routine. When you spend some more time are you able to rock the curls w/o friz? If so I’d say do that. If not, seems like a blow out (get it the day before) and a low ponytail might be your best bet for Friday but you might want to get a haircut and ask your stylist to recommend a product routine that you could use every day at the new job :)

      • I’m not opposed to straightening it for the interview necessarily, but “formal” doesn’t mean that your hair has to meet a certain standard (above pigtails / messy top bun), at least in my biglaw firm; it just means you wear a suit or separates every day. But I don’t put more effort into my (curly / frizzy) hair than I would at a business-casual place, or, frankly, than I do on the weekends.

      • I was responding to OP saying the company was conservative, not that the dress code was formal.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I leave my (bra strap length? Damn, I need a haircut) down for interviews, but I typically straighten it. I think its totally fine to wear curly as long as you make sure frizz is under control.

      • lawsuited :

        +1

      • I had the same thought this weekend when I realized my hair was not bra strap…it was three inches past bra strap! And that is what I get for not getting a hair cut since October…

      • Yes–we have had many a thread re curly hair and whether it’s professional. If your hair is blonde, I am going to out on a limb and say that it’s probably not African-American hair, so you may have some options in products vs. chemical straighteners. However, I don’t think you should try new products if you are not used to products, on an interview day.

        Curls can be very professional if you tame them, so do what you need to do to tame them. And if you are having “bad” hair days a lot, get yourself a new stylist that knows how to cut curly hair and tame curly hair. You don’t necessarily need to straighten, but there’s no reason to go through life frizzy. It’s just not a good look, for anyone.

        Now, go rock your interview, girl. I am sure you have a go-to look for when you want to knock ’em dead! This is the time to rock it!

        ** I am a huge fan of mousse, as opposed to gel, for curls. Currently I like Tresemme Climate Control (the other Tresemme varieties are not nearly as good). I have frizzy hair that is easily tamed to ringlets (for which I get lots of compliments) when I use products. When my hair is natural (which is extremely rarely) people literally marvel at how frizzy and awful it is. I’m all about the products!

        • Thank for the rec– I am always looking for good curl product.

        • Matrix Biolage Hyrdo-Foaming Styler – Medium Hold Mousse. It’s awesome. You have to use it a few times to figure out how much is the right amount because too much = crunch. It’s available in the grocery store (cheap!), which is another plus.

    • I have a product routine recommended by my stylist and a haircut I like, my hair’s texture is just… frizzy. Sort of fuzzy soft curls. If it’s ok to leave it down (?) I’ll probably pin it half back so it’s off my face. Maybe I can find a low-profile barrette to hold it instead of my usual assortment of bobby pins.

    • I would do medium high to low bun or pony tail (maybe with hair wrapped around the elastic) but nothing overdone. Shows you’ve put effort into it, but you’re not a person who needs to spend an hour on her hair before she can come into the office. As for the texture of your hair, I think brushing it through while you’re drying it with the blow drier gets it into a good enough shape for a decent pony tail or bun.

      Just something to think about: I know this is terribly judgmental, but when I see someone come in to an interview with their hair as flat as an iron board, I automatically think: Wow, must be nice to have that kind of time in the morning. It’s silly of course, but nevertheless…

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        Maybe they just have straight hair?

      • Anne Shirley :

        That’s how my hair always looks. Even today, when I didn’t even brush it. Glad to know it’s working against me . . .

      • Kontraktor :

        Or it doesn’t take them a lot of time to fix that way? Jeez…

        • I have long (bra band ;) length) naturally wavy hair and it takes me 12 total minutes to blowdry and flat iron straight. I can go from sweaty runner to put together, showered, dried, dressed lawyer in 30 minutes.

          • Kontraktor :

            Seriously. Just because it takes some people (ala myself) a million years to do anything with their hair doesn’t mean it is that way for everybody. not sure where that comment was coming from. Not to mention, if some of us weird-hair people *didn’t* spend more time on our hair to even make it even basically presentable, we’d be the scorn of comments that were wondering why we didn’t care about our appearance…

            can’t win.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        Or they don’t wash their hair everyday.

      • MiddleCoast :

        Natural fine, flat hair here. I can’t get it to keep a curl, not even a wave. Heck, I have trouble keeping clips in, they just slide off.

      • lawsuited :

        I have mid-back length hair – it takes 5 minutes to straighten it with a flat iron and 15-20 minutes to curl it with a wand. If people are assuming I’m spending hours on my hair, they’re wrong.

      • Another naturally pin-straight checking in. I must have the roundest follicles around. My hair doesn’t do anything else but stick-straight, so straight for me means I didn’t even attempt to do anything with it.

        • Same here. Such an odd thought to have about people too, and whonreally cares if someone spends time on their hair anyway?!

      • My own hair is straight as a pin, too but there is an obvious difference between naturally straight hair, subtly and tastefully ironed hair and the type of extreme flat-iron board-straight do that I was referring to above- like that picture of Lindsey Lohan in this article.( http://www.redcarpet-fashionawards.com/2008/06/02/mtv-movie-awards-worst-dressed-2/)
        I’ve literally had people come in for interviews/meetings with hair like that (roots and belly button length included).
        And admittedly it’s a stereotype on my part. But when you work in a field where 80+ hrs are the norm, people do try to pick up on clues during your interview that you’re willing to make this job your life – the fewer things that take up your time outside of work, the better. I guess my attempted message in saying that was, while I think it’s important to look professional and do something to one’s hair on interview day, trying too hard can work against you.

        • And I think what the rest of us are saying is that judgments like that are a problem. If you’re letting hair straightness guide you to good candidates, our experience says you’re not doing a good job.

    • Take my advice with a grain of salt, since I have the exact opposite hair type as you.

      If leaving down, I would tame frizz but not straighten / get a blow out. This may just be me, but I would feel weird having one appearance at the interview and then another when I started working there.

      Alternatively, I think you would be fine to pull it back in some way (bun, ponytail, etc.), assuming you strive for a polished, not messy, look.

      And, most importantly, I must give you a HUGE internet hug for correctly describing your hair length (shoulder blade) instead of using the much more common and completely incorrect “bra strap length.” (Seriously, do most women not know the difference between the straps and band of a bra? RAWR!)

      • I have curly, frizzy hair and usually flat iron before interviews. I have never had someone say anything about my different apperance once I start working. That doesn’t mean people don’t notice, but I think it’s unlikely people remember.

        • This is me, too. I straighten for interviews (including callbacks) and wear heels and a suit. On my first day, I leave my hair curly but wear heels and a suit. On my second day and every day thereafter, I have curly hair and wear flats and separates (unless I am interviewing for another job during the workday). Some people have fashion prejudices / expectations, and I am willing to entertain them for the interview process and make a “good” impression that first day. Thereafter, I am who I am.

    • I rock my curls whenever possible and try to do the best I can to combat frizz. I can look a little severe if I try to wear my hair in a bun so I’ve come to terms with having large hair. I think as long as you diffuse it and don’t mess with it much, you can wear your hair down and curly.

      • I have hair like this. For interviews or important meetings, I go with a low bun or a gibson roll.

  7. I could maaaaaaybe see the jacket working on its own, but as a suit I think this is terrible, no matter how creative your field.

  8. momentsofabsurdity :

    Inspired by this morning’s gym discussion, I’d love to hear – what’s your workout routine?

    Mine is:

    1) I try to spin 3x per week for at least a 45min class, if not a 60min class.
    2) I’ve started taking a TRX training class that will meet once per week.
    3) I walk the dog ~1 mi every day.
    4) I’m considering doing some sort of light weight training class on the off days of cardio. I have lately been debating doing free weights but I’m really unsure of where to start so I may end up in a Les Mills type of class.

    This all happens in the evenings (generally between 7 and 9pm) – I can’t motivate myself out of bed in the morning. But on that note, maybe serendipitously, a friend sent me this Michelle Obama quote today from an interview with Oprah:

    MO: After I had Malia, I began to prioritize exercise because I realized that my happiness is tied to how I feel about myself. I want my girls to see a mother who takes care of herself, even if that means I have to get up at 4:30 so I can do a workout.

    Oprah: When you first told me that a few years ago, I was like, “You get up at 4:30 to work out?”

    MO: Well, I just started thinking, if I had to get up to go to work, I’d get up and go to work. If I had to get up to take care of my kids, I’d get up to do that. But when it comes to yourself, then it’s suddenly, “Oh, I can’t get up at 4:30.” So I had to change that. If I don’t exercise, I won’t feel good. I’ll get depressed. Of course, it’s easier to do it here, because I have much more support now. But I always think about women who don’t have support. That’s why work-family balance isn’t just a policy conversation; it’s about changing the expectations of who we have to be as women and parents.

    • I’m in my mid-30s and I’ve just now started exercising on a regular basis. For now, I just do 20 minutes on the elliptical 4x a week. I’ve been doing this for the past 3 weeks, which is the longest time I’ve ever committed to a workout routine.

      My machine has pre-programmed workouts I use and after this 4th week I’m going to try the 30 minute routines. I usually work out when I get home from work.

      I’m lucky that I don’t have to really lose weight, but I’m not physically fit at all. For now, I’m happy I’m making exercise a part of my daily routine. I have some Jillian Michaels DVDs I’ll probably add to the mix soon.

      • kerrycontrary :

        I’m doing jillian michaels 30 day shred. It’s so hard! But it’s awesome for strength-training. I’m a beginner at upper-body strength exercises and it’s really effective (you will feel it). She says “lose 20lbs in 30 days” but I do not have 20lbs to lose, so most people lose inches since they are getting leaner.

        • I did this for 30 days at one point with only like 2 days off and really did see results. I stopped doing it mostly because I got bored of doing the same things all the time.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Great topic! Here’s my routine:

      M: private session with the trainer after work
      T: 6 a.m. boot camp class, 8:30 p.m. tap dancing class
      W: private session with the trainer after work
      Th: 6 a.m. boot camp class
      F: 6 a.m. boot camp class
      S: 8:30 a.m. boot camp class

      I love my small private gym — the boot camp classes are never more than 12 people, generally about 6, and occasionally 2 or 3. And it’s alway either my trainer or the gym owner teaching, so we all know one another and at this point we’re all friends. My tap class is just three of us and the teacher, and again, we’re all friends and it’s super fun.

      It’s hard to get out of bed in the mornings, but as I’ve posted here before, I just tell 5:40 a.m. Senior Attorney that 7:00 a.m. Senior Attorney will be super happy she made the effort. And 7:00 a.m. Senior Attorney always says “thank you” to 5:40 Senior Attorney! Silly, but it works.

    • espresso bean :

      Great idea — I love reading everyone’s routines! Here’s mine (roughly, although this fluctuates according to my social schedule).

      Saturday: either 1 hour of spinning or 1 hour of intense weights/cardio bootcamp class
      Sunday: usually 45 minutes on the elliptical, taking it somewhat easy after Saturday’s intense workout
      Monday: 1 hour spinning
      Tuesday: yoga at home (based on Rodney Yee’s DVDs) 45-60 minutes
      W, Thurs, Fri: I aim for five days a week, so I try to fit in one more day of either a run, cardio kickboxing, or strength training if I didn’t do the strength class on Saturday. Then I get two days off.

      • I love Rodney Yee. He has a25-minute strength routine that absolutely shreds my arms if I’ve been getting lazy…

        • espresso bean :

          Isn’t he great? I enjoy his overly zen phrases.

        • hmm. i must be waiting to get to the active parts. I have a 3 DVDS in 1 set and it’s so slooooooooowww I had to stop after 10 minutes.

          • Rodney Yee’s Power Yoga series is the best and it will challenge you. In no way is it slow. Strength Stamina and Flexibility. I think Flexibility is the first one and it is a bit “flowy” but challenging if one is not a yoga expert.

    • I also have to work out to feel like a reasonable human being (and to compensate for the fact that I hate sitting down all day at my desk). So I:

      Run about 25 miles per week (3 longer runs and 2 really short runs)
      Swim about 2 miles per week
      Two or three weights classes at the gym (I won’t do weights without a class because I hate them)
      Two yoga classes at the gym
      Go walking with friends one or two nights per week (instead of getting drinks or dinner)

      I’d like to add spin or bike riding back in, but I haven’t figured out where it is going to fit in my life.

      I workout before work (get up at 5:00 am every day except Sundays).

      • espresso bean :

        Your routine sounds like the ideal routine! I strive to work out six days a week, but somehow after five I always call it a week and stop. How do you structure your workouts? Do you usually do yoga in between the days you run, for example?

        • Monday: 7 mile run
          Tuesday: 2 mile sprint; body pump class (those are the horrible weights), 1,000-1,500 yard swim.
          Wednesday: yoga
          Thursday: repeat Tuesday
          Friday: 5 mile run
          Saturday: 7-9 mile run, yoga and, depending on if I have time, swim or body pump (I don’t really mind if I don’t do either on Saturdays)
          Sunday: nothing. Ahhhh.

          I’m not sure I would get out of bed everyday for all of this, but I have a workout buddy who I meet every morning except Wednesdays.

          • espresso bean :

            Wow. I’m impressed. That’s incredible! Thanks for posting. I might use this as my aspirational workout routine!

          • Seconding the impressed-ness. I wish I had your willpower/workout partner… and that I needed less sleep.

    • I typically run 2-3 days a week, cross train another 2 days (might be the elliptical and weight machines, might be Pure Barre, may be the 30-minute weight circuit at Planet Fitness).

    • Because this will totally out me, I went anon. Here’s my ideal week (doesn’t always happen due to work demands):

      M: Rest day or yoga (during lunch)
      T: 75 min spin class in the morning; (thinking about adding track running (with a group) in the evening)
      W: Body conditioning class at the gym
      T: Horse riding (before work)
      F: Bike to work (30 miles) or 20-mile bike ride before work
      Sat: Long bike ride, challenging pace (50 miles) with a group
      Sun: 40-miles easy pace bike ride alone

    • locomotive :

      Wow – I am so impressed with these work out routines! I just find that I end up prioritizing sleep many days over workouts because I don’t feel like a real person without sleep as well. My routine has been much better lately:

      M: 45 min interval cardio/strength training class at gym
      T: run 2 miles on treadmill, stretch
      W: leg day: squats, deadlifts, hamstring curls, lunges
      T: run 2 miles on treadmill, stretch
      F: back and arms day with pullups, pushups, seated rows
      S: run 2 miles outside
      S: yoga class

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I’m trying to start exercising regularly, but I don’t have anything close to a workout routine yet.

      On a fun workout note though, there is a website called Fitocracy that let’s you track your workouts and earn points for them and then as you earn points you rise in levels. It’s like a video game for real life. :-). It’s also a very social and supportive site that is set up a little like Facebook and you can be as interactive with other people as you want to.

      • TO Lawyer :

        I’ve created my own motivation system similar to that I guess – I have my heart set on a pretty new bag so I’m giving myself points for bringing my lunch/going to the gym. Going to add it all up and hopefully I’ll be able to justify buying mysef the bag soon.

        Unfortunately, my exercise routine went out of the window as soon as it got cold… I’m still trying to start it up again.

        • My poor body is really confused these days- I do hot yoga, and I walk there from work (10 min), and home after work (20 min), so yesterday I went from -30C to +37C, then back to -30C for the walk home.

          I can’t help but feel that it’s not good for me in some way to have a 60C temperature fluctuation…

          • TO Lawyer :

            Ouch… I’m headed to Calgary next week – hope it warms up or I will be really whiny while I’m there.

          • Oooh, I leave for Spain on Tuesday, but if you’re in town before then I’d be happy to take you for a drink!? If you email cdn[this site] at google mail, we can set something up!

            And next week is supposed to be better…it’s supposed to be 7 on Saturday, and low plus 0s all week.

          • TO Lawyer :

            awe I wish! I’m not in town until late Thursday night but I’m in Calgary once every few months so I’ll let you know when I’m making my next visit!

      • Anonymous :

        I would love a fans of [this site] Fitocracy group, you’re definitely not the only user Sydney B.

    • Mon – Fri — Walk 1 mile at lunch inside the plant
      Mon – Fri — Walk 2-3 miles after work inside the plant
      Every day — Walk 2-3.5 miles in neighborhood after supper

    • Like MO, I am an attorney (full-time), also with two small daughters.

      I incorporate a lot of walking /stairs into my life, but not as much as previously.

      I play tennis one night a week (cancelled maybe 1/4 of the time due to weather / work / holiday / travel) and maybe play tennis 2 weekends a month. I am also “playing” tennis with my daughters (they run around while holding rackets and chase the balls) in the hopes that some day we can all play together. Maybe an occasional 5K pushing a stroller. I am a member of a gym and maybe a bi-monthly gym user.

      Since the younger one will be older and more predictable this year, I can probably be more active with them.

      In the summer we go to the pool a lot and I get some exercise just walking in the water to supervise their nascent swimming skills.

    • Zumba Fan :

      Zumba once a week, pole dancing twice a week, regular stretching and planks at home

    • I’m in my early 30’s and I’ve exercised regularly since I graduated from college.

      I run 4-5 x a week. I try to vary my runs so that I have 2-3 medium to hard workouts (tempo or intervals) and 2-3 easier runs (although one of those easier runs would ideally be a longer run). During the week, I wake up early and run 6 miles. On the weekend, I sleep in and run between 7 and 20 miles, depending on what I’m training for at the time.

      I do yoga once per week, usually on the weekend, although sometimes I’ll go to an after-work class.

      I try to do planks, light weights and stretching 2x per week, but I’m bad about actually doing it because I hate weights and stretching.

      I walk the dog between 15 and 30 mins a day.

    • a passion for fashion :

      about a year ago, I started doing the bar method classes and i love it. i do the 6 am class b/c that is the only place in my day i regularly have time (w/ 2 kids and a big law job). I go 3-5 times a week, usually M/W/F and one or both Sat/Sun. Then I alternate between doing nothing, doing the eliptical, or trying some new class at the gym on T/Th.

      I found that having a class i have to sign up for in advance and get charged for if i dont show makes me go. And while i am tired some mornings, by the time class is over I always feel awake and great, and i generally have more energy throughout the day. I put my workout clothes in the bathroom at night so i dont have to do much in the morning.

    • God, I love Michelle Obama.

      My workout routine varies depending on whether I’m training for a race, or just runnin’ ’cause I like it. But a standard, no-race-on-the-calendar week looks something like:
      1) Run five or six days a week; total mileage is usually between 20-30
      2) Walk dog at for least two miles a day

      If I have a race, I run more miles and am diligent about strength training. I haven’t lifted seriously since I had access to my college gym, but if I have a race I do core work and pushups three or four times a week. I’d lift if I belonged to a gym; I enjoy it, but not enough to do it on my own. In the US, I usually manage to do yoga at least once every two weeks.

    • Interesting. My usual schedule is:

      Monday: Total Body Conditioning Class at noon and EA Sports Active for wii after work
      Tuesday: 45 minutes Treadmill at noon and EA Sports Active after work
      Wednesday: Strength Training class at noon and EA Sports Active after work
      Thursday: 45 minutes Treadmill at noon and EA Sports Active after work
      Friday: yoga class at noon
      Saturday: 45 minutes Treadmill
      Sunday: 45 minutes Treadmill

      But right now I’m having a lot of pain in my thumb. I should probably see a doctor. So I’ve been substituting the treadmill for the Monday and Friday classes.

      • That much treadmill time would just kill me. I go bonkers if I have to use it more than once a week, although once a week / every two weeks is usually okay because I like to zone out to music every so often and I don’t wear headphones outside.

        • I walk fast and read my kindle while I’m on the treadmill. And forgot to add that I also have a fitbit.

    • Anastasia :

      Oh man, this thread makes me sad that I have totally let my exercise routine go in the last 3 months or so. I like to blame it on pregnancy, winter weather, and having no time, but really I’m just lazy… it’s a vicious cycle, because when I don’t exercise, I feel gross and have even less energy, and then it’s harder to get back to exercising.

      Thanks for posting MO’s interview… she’s totally right that if I can make time for a job I don’t love, I can make time for me. I’ll be dragging myself to the gym tonight–still one day left for me to sign up with no initiation fee, and hopefully most of the new years resolutioners have thinned out! Plus, that free childcare for a couple hours is going to be a godsend in a few months.

    • Kontraktor :

      How do you all deal with this? What do you give up? Do you not cook? Do you outsource all house chores?

      Hubs and I already get up at 530 because it takes us about 1 hour to get ready. We only have one car/drive to work together, so I am usually in to work right at 7. We get home around 5.15-5:45. Chores (cook, eat, clean up, prep lunch/breakfast for next day, get work stuff together) takes about 2 hours. So, we’re not even sitting down sometimes until 7.30 to 8.

      if we worked out after work, that would be pushed even later. I am sad I don’t have any real activity routine, but seriously have no idea how you all are fitting this much stuff in with other maintenence activites (also, how do you all work out in the middle of day/right before work? it seriously takes me 15 min to put on makeup and I could not wash/blow dry my hair every day without adding hours to routine).

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        I am not as hardcore as some of the impressive women – I tend to average 4-5x per week at the gym, not 6 or 7. I’m also only balancing me/my schedule/my job – if I had a husband and kids, I’m sure it would be exponentially harder. That said –

        – I do a lot of prep work for meals in one big chunk – for example, I only feed me but I have 7 chicken breasts in the crockpot when I get home today. That’ll be a ton of dinners that get frozen and go into the mix for days where cooking is rough or I’m too tired. Some days, it’s just a quick salad or pesto on toast.

        – I guess I outsource meals in the sense that I don’t eat breakfast (I know, I know, but I’ve never liked it) and I don’t usually pack/prepare a lunch (I typically buy a salad or eat canned soup or whatever). If I do, it’s very very simple and easy to prep (like a sandwich).

        – I picked a gym that’s walkable to my house. This helps x 1 million. I am not sure if I’d ever get to the gym if I had to drive (actually — I had a gym that I had to drive through. I never went. So there’s that). Somehow, it feels a lot more manageable to get dressed, put on my shoes and go than get in the car, drive some place, find parking etc.

        – Chores mostly get done on the weekends. Weekday chores are pretty simple to do quickly and right before bed – just straightening up the house, loading the dishwasher, etc.

        – I shower at night since I prefer to sleep in. I don’t work out midday, but if I did, I probably wouldn’t wash my hair and just take a quick rinse/soap-off-the-sweat type shower.

        – At the end of the day – sometimes I just force myself. I use an app that sets a financial penalty on me for not working out. That is sometimes the only thing that gets me through. And for me, the Michelle Obama quote resonated because I realized yeah — if it was my JOB, I would make myself go, even if it was inconvenient, even if it seemed exhausting, even if I really didn’t want to. So why would I not do that for something that is really 100% for me? So I try to internalize that and force it, even when it seems insurmountable.

        • momentsofabsurdity :

          * Drive *to*. I definitely did not have a drive through gym.

      • Anon for this :

        I will jump in.

        SO and I are both up at 530am M-F. We work out (separately) before work. My workout varies depending on the day, but I’m typically finished with workout by 730am. At work by 9am. Work until 5-7 pm, depending on the day, then PM workout. Home, walk/play with dog, dinner, cleaning/packing lunches/etc., relaxing, TV or reading. Bed around 11pm. One weekend day is a heavy workout and the other is a rest day.

        We don’t have any outside help (do all cooking/cleaning/etc ourselves). Weekday chores are light (daily laundry, surface cleaning of bathrooms and kitchen, anything else that looks like it needs it). Heavy cleaning happens on the weekend. I love to cook and I’ve gotten very good at making a bunch of different things at once so that we always have something ready to eat in the fridge (meatballs in the oven, chicken on grill, a soup and 2 veggies on the stovetop, etc). All meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks) are homemade/packed. Well, except for the days when we say scr*w the cooking/cleaning/laundry, let’s get takeout and watch several hours of television curled up on the couch – good for the soul :)

        Maybe it’s just that this is our “normal” so it doesn’t seem like something that i have to make time for or squeeze in? It just is what it is.

      • espresso bean :

        A few things that help:

        *I don’t start work until closer to 9/9:30
        *Certain not-as-sweaty workouts (light yoga, strength training, core workouts) do not necessarily require me to wash and style my hair again. I’ll just take a quick shower and do my makeup. Hair takes most of the getting ready time, so if I can eliminate that, I can get ready in 20 minutes.
        *I’ve never spent two hours on chores in one evening. I can usually get dinner on the table in 20-30 minutes, and I only cook a few days a week and eat leftovers or fast, easy meals the other days.

      • Alanna of Trebond :

        Mine is also not as intense as the others–I work out for 1 hr about 5X a week. I work out after work, no matter what time I get home–when I was at trial, I worked out at 3am, which was surprisingly exhilarating.

        I only have to cook lunches because I stay at work for dinner every day. I eat yogurt and fruit for breakfast, so no prep there.

        I don’t wear make-up, don’t blow-dry my hair. My SO does dishes (we don’t have a dishwasher), we have a maid come periodically, I dust when I am bored. Are there other chores? We buy mostly everything on Amazon.

      • I get up at 6:30, and am at the gym/class by 7:00 (in my neighborhood). I work out for about an hour, take a quick shower and am at my desk by 8:45-9. I work until the work is done…leaving by 7:30 if at all possible. I’m home in 20 minutes. Husband has either already made dinner or if not, takes me about 20 minutes to throw something quick together (leftovers, omelette, salad and soup, baked potato, etc.). Usually finish eating around 8:45ish, hang out with husband for another hour or so, maybe watch TV. Spend about 30 minutes getting ready for bed, pajamas, packing lunch and work out clothes for the following day, in bed by 10:15 or so.
        I guess maybe the big difference here is that I’m not spending 2 hours on cooking/cleaning/prepping? Seems like you could cut back on that, particularly if there’s two of you…i would think one person could do it in an hour, and the other person would have two whole extra hours to work out/shower? Or you could both work out as soon as you get home for 45 minutes, spend 15 minutes showering, and then it would still only be 6:30…which seems still pretty early, to me!

        • Kontraktor :

          Yeah, see we like to cook/eat more than things like baked potatos. For example, last night we made salmon cakes with cous cous and a parsley/tomato/bean salad. Not complicated, but salad ingredients took X time to chop, cous cous water took X time to boil, salmon cake components took X time to chop up, put in food processor, and fry. Then, all the prep work = lots of dishes… bolws, cutting boards, knives, usually1-3 pans that need hand washing. Lots of prep also = kitchen usually needs a somewhat thorough wipe down, sometimes a sweep.

          What has worked for us was running right when we got home from work, and sadly I think it’s just going to be what we do for now. I would prefer something else to be more motivated, but it just doesn’t seem possible given the other choices we make and other logistical factors right now in our lives. When we were running, the timing was basically as you said- we’d be done and starting to cook by 615 or so, and that’s not bad at all. We’re both really slow right now though so the challenge is finding the consistency and will power to keep at that routine long enough to build up the ability to run more at once. It’s a process, I guess.

          • I think there might be a balance in there between eating toast for dinner and eating something that takes 2 hours. :) I actually love to cook, and do a lot of cooking on the weekends, then eat leftovers during the week. When i eat soup, it’s homemade and from my freezer = super easy. I do things like steak, which take literally 6 minutes to cook, so I’m not just eating a baked potato. :) Also, pasta, as suggested below, cooks in a snap…same with several bean and egg dishes I make. My dad taught me to cook when I was about 9, almost always using fresh ingredients that are nevertheless super quick and easy…mostly if you stick to stove top cooking. I do take short cuts though: i often buy pre-washed lettuce for instance, slice up a tomato, and drizzle olive oil on top for a salad that comes together while my steak is cooking. There’s also the crockpot. But I know what you mean about dinners that take longer to prepare. I guess I’m not sure what to say about that except that there’s no magic bullet, it’s just question of prioritizing. I save those time intensive meals for the weekend and eat quick stuff during the week in order to make time for other things…but if you don’t want to do that, that’s totally fine! Maybe its more important for you to have cooking time, so then you can save working out for the weekend?

      • Kontraktor :

        Ok, this is all helpful. It sounds like a lot of you do make certain choices that make this possible… things like not wearing makeup (not possible for me, as I have a bad skin condition that needs to be covered up), having a gym near your house (we don’t have anything walkable to us- the few things we do have are boot camp type gyms that are too unaffordable for us), or even cooking very quick dinners (I cannot imagine eating toast for dinner or having something for days on end or bringing canned soup to work). Also seems like some of you might have more flexibility in transportation or can be in at work later (I am in sometimes earlier than 7 and usually never leaving earlier than 5).

        I think the only thing that would really work for me is running after work. Hubs and I started this, but then it got dark early and we don’t live in too good an area. Would like to start up this again because I think with practice, I could build up to running 3ish miles in a sitting and that wouldn’t take very long and would be easy to do 3-4 times a week. However, personally I feel I’d do better in a class or swim workout setting, but I just don’t see how that’s possible given our single car, early/odd work hours, nothing in close proximity to us, or the fact we like to do more involved cooking on weeknights that would probably push our eating time to almost 8 if we did a more involved evening workout.

        Also, I can barely run 1.5 miles right now, so to build up to 3 would take time, and our schedules just seem so inflexible right now to put in the consistent effort needed to improve. Sigh. Depressed after reading all this and wonering if I should start eating more canned soup.

        • Anon for this :

          You don’t need to eat canned soup :)

          We don’t – everything is homemade. I do cook more involved meals a few times a week, but not every night. We don’t have toast/sandwiches/omelets for dinner. It just involves a bit more planning.

          Also, we eat dinner probably between 8-830pm most evenings.

          True that I don’t wear makeup :) but this is only after finally outgrowing my years of teenage/20s-age acne, and so I really do cherish this freedom, and understand that it wouldn’t have been an option (at least not for me) a few years ago.

          • Anon for this :

            Example: dinner tonight is Korean short ribs, stir fry green beans, sweet potatoes, salad. Everything was prepped last night while I cleaned up after dinner so all I need to do tonight is quickly cook the ribs and green beans and assemble the salad (sweet potatoes are already cooked because I like the slow roast oven flavor better than any quicker method, so I’d rather cook a day ahead and reheat).

            When I’m cleaning up after dinner tonight, I’ll prep tomorrow’s meal.

          • Kontraktor :

            Yeah I think we might die to be eating so late. I think partly because I get to work so early (I am eating breakfast at 6-something), I am famished by 5. So, I never know how I would do a huge workout on an empty stomach. And eating before wouldn’t be good either.

            Fair enough if you cook too, but don’t you find the prep just takes a certain amount of time? We aren’t making hugely complicated things, but it takes a certain amount of time to chop veggies or sear or roast or do whatever and then wash things by hand. I mean, it’s simple to roast a piece of salmon in the oven, but that still takes 20-25 minutes. I can’t make that go faster even if dinner prep is easy and takes 30 seconds of throwing fish in a dish. Or do you only cook things that take less time than that? I guess that’s what I’m saying- we sometimes like to make things that simply take longer to make, and I am not sure what sorts of food could really be made with truly minimal prep and cook time. Maybe you just prep super fast and I am slow in things like peeling or fine dicing.

            The makeup/hair thing I think can be a huge time drain. I envy people with wash and go hair and no need to wear makeup. I have got my routine down as fast as reasonable to expect and it’s still 15 minutes (full foundation, powder, blush, eyes as so not to be washed out). Hair is minimum another 10-15 minutes without washing. With washing it’s barely possible to do in one go. On days I have to wash my hair, I wash and dry at night and then style in the morning. It’s not an issue of cut- it was this much of a pain when it was pixie. Bald would be my only solution to cut down on the hair routine.

        • momentsofabsurdity :

          Ha! No need to eat canned soup (I know I’m weird. But seriously, pesto on tuscan pane with a dust of parmesan cheese on top, and maybe some sundried tomatoes or prosciutto, stuck for 10 minutes in the toaster oven, is my 20something single gal easy-peasy-yummy meal) – I know I’m weird.

          But I think you’re right – exercise doesn’t magically fit into anyone’se life. It involves making sacrifices, since of course, the time you spend exercising could be spent doing something else. So it is absolutely about priorities – for me, great cooking on weekdays isn’t one, but for you maybe it is and that’s fine!

          For example, one of the reasons I get my hair chemically straightened, for example, is so that it can be wash-and-go hair, particularly for the gym. My hair in its natural state requires 30-40min of styling to look presentable after washing, and I decided that even though I’ve given up the choice to wear my hair curly, that sacrifice was worth it to me. So again – totally different strokes for different folks.

          Have you thought about maybe getting a treadmill or elliptical for your home? You can get pretty good deals on used ones on Craigslist (especially if you don’t need a ton of fancy features) and that might give you a solution for the dark winter months when you’re nervous about being outside, especially alone. It doesn’t totally “make up” for a class, but sometimes with DVDs, etc, you can simulate some of the instructor aspect.

        • I spend about two or three hours a day exercising, but it’s more of an “activity as part of daily life” rather dedicated workouts. I have a dog that I walk about three miles a day (three 25-minute walks). I supplement this with yoga three or four evenings a week and the occasional Zumba class. Plenty of walking around the city. It’s all low impact, but I feel like this is sufficient for general health, not trying to lose weight.

          Granted, I’m single, but I manage my life by having as few obligations as possible. I clean my home once every two or three weeks (it’s just me, it stays clean longer). I don’t bother with cooking. I eat a real dinner only if I go out — most nights I just have a salad or oatmeal or something simple. Bonus is that light dinners are great for weight management.

          As another curly girl, I can’t do any morning or midday workout that makes me sweat because it takes too long to do my hair. Wash and style at night, sleep with a headscarf.

        • I like more personal time in the evenings. My workout plan is Saturday /Sunday go for a decent long run. Weekdays aim for 1-3 quick workouts, like 25 mins treadmill or a yoga class. I average 2 days a week with this. Rest of the time, cook, dinner w friends, drinks, etc.

        • anon in tejas :

          you can do it!

          have you considered using couch to fiveK to help get to the three mile goal?

    • Just reiterating what I’ve said before, but:

      Every day but Wednesday: 1 hour on my treadmill at high incline, walking at 4.2 mph or higher – at home
      (I can’t run because of torn ligaments in my knees but I find the steady pace of the treadmill keeps me going faster than being able to slow down on the elliptical)
      Tues., Thurs, Sat. : 10 min on elliptical to warm up. An hour on weight machines. On each machine, I do 4 sets of 25 (double that if it’s two side or forward and backward). Gradually increasing weight over the past year and a half.

    • I don’t live close to any gyms that I like, so I exercise at home. I don’t usually exercise 7 days a week, but I generally do the following things on the following days:

      M, W, F, Sun – jump rope for 30 minutes, then do a medicine ball set. There’s a great one from Men’s Health by the UNC basketball trainer that kicks my butt.
      T, Th, Sat – a brisk walk or an hour of playing basketball at the outdoor courts near my house. Sometimes there are pick-up games, sometimes I’m on my own. If I’m alone and feeling especially diligent, I’ll run a couple of line drills.

      When I travel, I take stretchy resistance bands and a jump rope. Every so often I do a Zumba class with my friend, but I vastly prefer working out at home now. I do it in the AM before I go to work, and there’s nothing like watching AM TV (like Matlock, ha!) when I’m exercising. I’m 29 going on 100.

    • Pretzel_Logic :

      Used to straight Insanity 6 days a week. I wasn’t doing it on the calendar schedule it comes with for a long time and found myself cherry picking the easier ones (for me) so I started up the plan again to jump start myself. I’m trying to build in more yoga now (right now I’m digging Jillian Michaels’ Yoga Meltdown–I work up a sweat and feel like I actually did something instead of just like I stretched a little). My schedule is weird for the time being so I don’t always know what I’m going to do every day, but I generally hit it hard six days a week. Nothing is better for blowing off steam and I sleep a lot better. (I’m working on not feeling guilty about off days, though.)

      Used to run, kept getting hurt, and stopped for Insanity and haven’t looked back. I’m hoping the yoga will help me maintain form (since it’s so core-focused) and help me avoid numerous trips to the chiropractor. And help me avoid injury, which happened this summer when I did Insanity on concrete and work heels 40 hours a week (yeesh).

    • Sweet as Soda Pop :

      Sunday: free yoga class at Lululemon
      Monday: CrossFit
      Tuesday: off
      Wednesday: CrossFit
      Thursday: run, ballet, or Barre class
      Friday: run (2-3 miles? I’m still new to running and sort of hate it, but add time each week)
      Saturday: run or long walk with dogs

      I also usually walk the dogs about 1 mile most mornings and evenings. It helps me to go to the gym or park right after work, with only a stop home to pick up the dogs and change clothes if it’s a running day.

      • long time lurker :

        Wow, I am super in awe of you ladies. I aim to hit the gym 3 times a week. I do about half hour of weights then 30 min of elliptical or bike. I usually make 2 times a week. I also do a long bike ride or walk one weekend day and live in NYC and thus walk a lot, so I guess that counts for something.

    • anon in tejas :

      I just turned 30 this year.

      I have a fairly low activity job and city. In addition, all these comments are making me feel like a total gym slacker.

      Here’s what I like to do:
      play soccer (for a women’s rec team– non competitive)
      bike ride (just bought a beautiful new Raleigh road bike)
      swim
      yoga
      cardio kickbox (it was my gateway to really starting to lose weight 2 years ago, it’s a fun workout)
      walk/hike
      Body Pump (weight training class)

      Here’s what a week looks like for me:
      – Sat long bike ride/cycling class
      – Sun long walk with dogs (about an hour at the park) or Soccer (90 minute game playing at least 75% of the game)
      – Monday off
      – Tuesday Run or Body Pump
      – Wednesday off
      – Thursday Cardio Kickboxing
      – Friday off or light run or bike

      I shoot for 180 minutes of cardio a week with a calorie burn of 840. The past month, I’ve reached my burn each week. I’ll also change it up if I am training for anything. I don’t really do yoga unless I get a good deal on a groupon for a studio.

      • Wow, this is inspiring. I’m 9 mos pregnant and have seriously been slacking on working out. Pre-pregnancy I worked out at least 5 days/week, sometimes in the morning and evening. My schedule was something like this:

        M – easy run in the morning; weight training in the evening
        T – speed work in the morning
        W – swimming
        T – biking in the morning; running in the evening
        F – rest
        S – long run in the morning; swimming in the afternoon
        S – long bike ride or rest

        Now I can’t imagine waking up at 4:30 am like I used to do on a workday for training. I’m not quite sure what to expect once baby arrives. However, my immediate plan is to try Insanity at home once I get the clearance.

    • Sugar Magnolia :

      Thank you momentsofabsurdity for posting the Michelle Obama quote. That is exactly what I need to do for myself. I have been prioritizing mothering and work and de-prioritizing my own self-care and it is causing me some anxiety/depressive symptoms. I feel pretty inspired right now to set my alarm a half hour early and at least do Wii Fit tomorrow.

  9. Poll question: for those of you who have a parent (or parents) who do not live near you but who come to visit you, does your parent(s) stay with you in your residence? If not, where does your parent stay? Whose choice is it with respect to where they stay?

    • Apologize for the lack of subject-verb agreement. Sigh.

      • My parents live near us, but ILs don’t. If it’s just FIL coming he stays with us and we have a grand time (he comes to do big house projects, MIL has a “very busy social life” just ask her and stays home) if MIL comes too they stay in a hotel, not particularly close to us. ;0

    • Depends, if it is both my parents, they’ll rent an apartment for the time that they are here (I love in a tourist-y town so there are a lot of lovely short-term rentals). If it’s just my mom, she’ll normally bunk up with me. I live in a box room though so it’s not like I have spare space.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      My parents generally stay in a hotel, my siblings stay with me. I have a roommate though – if I had my own place (1 bdr or larger), I think it’d be fine for my parents to stay at my place and if it were a one bedroom, I’d just give them my room. I used to have a studio and my parents stayed in hotels when they visited cause that would just be a bit much together-time.

    • My parent’s stay with me. It’s mostly cultural – even if I lived in an 8 X 8 box, we would find a way to all fit. SO’s parents never stay with us even though there is an extra (albeit small) room. I don’t think it has ever occurred to them that they could stay with us, and we have never offered. At first I thought it was weird, but now I welcome the time to ourselves during their visits.

    • My parents and siblings always stay with us when they visit – it would never occur to us to book a hotel. This sometimes leads to lots of mattresses on the living room floor (not so much now that we have a guest bedroom) but that’s ok.

    • My parents are visiting from far away right now and staying with me. I have a 1BR apt so they have the bedroom and the dog and I are camping out on airbed in my dining room. I thought about renting a nearby apartment (vacation rental) for them, but it would end up being a lot of money and seemed like such a waste since I’m gone most of the day for work anyway. It’s surprisingly OK, maybe because they’re really considerate and they have food ready for me when I come home from work. But we have another week to go so ask me again in a week….

    • Sydney Bristow :

      My parents stay in a hotel, my siblings stay with me. Its never been an outright decision or discussion with my parents, its just how it works with us. My siblings stay with me because of the money.

      My boyfriend’s parents stay with us when they visit and his sister someone’s stays with us but sometimes stays with another friend in town or at a hotel.

      I don’t think there ha ever really been a discussion about any of it. I’m pretty much a to with the flow person and luckily like and get along well with all these people so I haven’t had any real desire to change the situation.

    • Both my parents and his stay at a hotel. I think the habit started when we didn’t have a guest room and has just continued. We don’t discourage it.

    • Funny you ask this bc it’s a huge point of contention for my mom. She stays at our house when she comes to visit; we have a guest room so sleep space isn’t an issue, but after 3-4 days of having her here it becomes way too much together time. During normal visits I can deal with it though.

      However, both times when our kids have been born, my mom hasn’t understood that us offering to put her up in a nearby hotel doesn’t mean we don’t love her — it just means we need some personal space. Does. Not. Compute.

    • My family is geographically spread out and they always stay with me.

      If both parents come, they get my room (queen size bed) and I take the guest room (twin bed). Parents visiting solo usually get the guest room.

      If my entire family comes to visit, it’s same as above, plus one sibling gets a couch and another gets an air mattress.

      If my sister and her husband come to visit, they share the air mattress (it’s a double).

      If my brother comes alone, he gets the air mattress (w/ lots of complaining!).

    • My inlaws stay with us overnight occasionally. My parents never visit for more than a day and don’t stay over. My dad is very allergic to our cat (we didn’t realize when we got the cat – some cats don’t bother him at all). And there is tension between my parents & dh. So they just make day visits. Both sets of parents live about a 2.5hr drive away and we don’t have a guest room.

    • Diana Barry :

      Yes, my parents and DH’s parents always stay with us. So do my siblings and his siblings.

      We have a guest room with its own bath (although it is a tiny bath!) so it is no biggie to have them stay here.

      • Diana Barry :

        Also, we get along with everyone and like to have them here for a while – over Xmas my mom was here for 2 weeks and it was AWESOME.

    • We’re a guest room family. It would not go over well if I asked my parents to get a hotel room while staying with us. On the other hand, we’ve always been lucky enough to live in a house with a spare bedroom (since getting married — when I was single and my mom would visit me, she’d sleep in my bed and I’d sleep on the couch).

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Anyone that visits us, friends or family, either side, stays with us and they reciprocate when we visit them.

    • My MIL is the only out of town family member we have who visits and she stays with us. We have a guest bedroom.

    • MiddleCoast :

      My widowed MIL was from out-of-state. We always paid for her stay in a hotel near us as I didn’t want her in my house. (She would rearrange my furniture, my cabinets, my closets all the while telling me about the girls my DH should have married). We always told her it was so that our kids could go swimming in the pool

      Now that I am a MIL, I will insist on staying in a hotel that I pay for.

    • harriet the spy :

      When we lived in a tiny apartment, pre-baby, everyone stayed with us, even though they had to walk through our bedroom to get to the bathroom. (I’ve now outed myself to everyone who I know who reads this board!) Post-baby, we tried very hard to get people to stay in hotels, in the homes of friends who were out of town, or in short-term Air B’n’B rentals. (It worked with my parents; my ILs were resistant.) Then we rented a house with a guest room and it is HEAVEN. Everyone stays with us and we love it.

    • OP re: parent visit poll :

      THANK YOU all so much for responding – cannot share my particular dilemma today but I needed to be able to show the spouse that not everybody’s family automatically stays with them. To all of you who love family staying with you, I envy you and wish that I could be in your shoes.

      • I always offer my guest bedroom (or, when I had a smaller place, my couch), but my family usually prefers to stay in a hotel or with their own friends who have larger homes. They don’t like sharing my one bathroom. I’m okay with that.

    • Mine are coming this weekened from across the country. We are looking forward to their visit and all get along well. We suggested several hotels near our 2-bedroom, 1-bath apartment in a range of prices, linked each to trip advisor reviews, and noted their distance from our apartment. They picked one of the hotels and they’re staying there – a Hilton Garden. They’ll eat most meals at our apartment, and we’ll spend the days together, but they are not sleeping under our roof.

  10. I have no idea why, but when I picture myself wearing this suit the first thing that comes to mind is the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland (Disney version). I’m gonna pass on this one.

  11. I wouldn’t wear these pieces together. I could see the jacket with a solid black skirt or the skirt with a bright top but not together… too much.

  12. I finally went to a dermatologist about my acne prone, oily skin. She gave me retin-A to use at night and some other things (including antibiotics) to use. I don’t wear makeup and a few days into this new routine, I’m noticing that my skin is very red (not attractive on me). Is this something that a tinted moisturizer or BB cream would help? If so, which brands do you ladies suggest for acne prone skin? (I’m looking to start off cheaper in case it doesn’t work, so probably under $20)

    • I hope you’re wearing sunscreen and reapplying sunscreen before you expose your skin to the sun. Yes, walking to the car and driving counts as sun exposure. I’ve had no ill effects from Laura Mercier’s or MAC’s tinted moisturizers but I typically don’t wear them on a daily basis.

      • I do use sunscreen, but I will amp up my usage of it. Thanks for the tip! My derm didn’t mention it, but I’ve heard in the past that sunscreen is necessary with retin-a.

        • Chicago Anon :

          If you find it’s still too harsh after a couple of months even with spacing out to every other day, talk with your derm again. Retin-a comes at different concentrations. He/she can lower the concentration or recommend another product where it is diluted. I’ve had really good luck with Epiduo (I’m late 30s so cringed a bit when I just saw their website features teens. But, hey, it is working).

    • kerrycontrary :

      I use retin-a. Go slow! Hopefully your derm gave you the correct instructions on using it. Only use a little (pea-sized amount or a little more for your whole face). Since you are experiencing redness you can start with every other day, and then move to every day. It will take 8-12 weeks to see results so be patient before you stop it, you may even break out a little more but it’s totally worth it for the end result (retin-a doesn’t work in a SMALL percentage of people, but you will need to wait until 3 months in to judge that). No suggestions for tinted moisturizer/bb cream but I’m sure any coverage would help.

      • She did instruct me to use a pea sized amount, and I’m definitely using that or less. I should be good there. I’m going to give all of it at least 2 months, since I’m on antibiotics for 6 weeks, and I figure it will still need time after that.

    • Moisturizing in the morning and at night helps with the redness, if you’re not doing it already.

      • Oh yes, I am definitely using moisturizer. A thicker one at night, and one with sunscreen in the morning. Do you recommend a specific one? I’m currently using Paula’s Choice skin balancing moisturizer with spf in the morning and the gel one at night. I am going to start using more sunscreen though: it didn’t even occur to me that this could be a slight sunburn.

        • If you just started using Retin-A, maybe just skip using it every other day until your face adjusts? Your moisturizer is probably fine, this stuff is just takes some getting used to. I usually use Cerave and Eucerin with SPF, which are both decent, though do I occasionally slather on jojoba oil if my skin is getting super dry and skip the Retin-A for a day. Dry winter air + too much Retin-A are not the best combo.

        • Maybe it’s making you more sensitive to your sunscreen? I recently had to switch to physical (v chemical) sunscreens, bc the chemical ones were making my skin red.

        • style advice needed... :

          Leigh,

          Your skin sounds like mine – it is sensitive to RetinA. Often dermatologists don’t warn you enough about this. It made me give up on RetinA years ago (which was a mistake…).

          When I re-started last year, I went much slower – only once a WEEK, for two weeks. Very thin layer everywhere, small pea sized dollup to start. Then once every 5 days for a couple times then every 3 days for couple weeks, then every 2 days for a couple weeks…. etc…

          It is likely not the lack of sunscreen that is causing this reaction, although I agree with the others it is important to use sunscreen. It’s just too much product for your skin, too soon.

          If you put your lotion on first before you put on the RetinA, this will effectively decrease the dose you are getting, and will help ease into it as well.

  13. Anyone currently (or previously) had their own parents or their in-laws move in with them, with the expectation that this is a permanent move?

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      So I’m not married or at the stage of my life where this would happen, but this is very common in my culture (South Asian). My maternal grandmother rotated between her kids, and my paternal grandparents lived with my uncle and his family.

      It was *wonderful* for me growing up to spend so much time with my grandparents and I became very close to my grandmother. I think childcare in general was easier on my parents when my grandmother was living with us. As she got older, there was more time invested in shuttling to/from doctors’ appointments, and general elder care – but I think that would be the case even if she had maintained a separate residence in the same town. It worked fine for my family, and I think especially after my dad’s mom died, he enjoyed having my mom’s mom around. I think in general it was easier for my mom because it was *her* mom – I think it would have been a lot harder to have her MIL move in, but that wasn’t an issue for my dad.

      On the other side of the family, I think while my paternal grandmother was still alive, it worked out very well – childcare, help around the house, etc etc. When it just became my paternal grandfather living with my uncle and his family that got much harder – seeing him think about dating/moving on after my grandmother’s death was really hard for my uncle, my grandfather lived much longer than either of my grandmothers, but was correspondingly much sicker later in life so there was a lot more elder care and health-scares involved, he was less self sufficient than either of my grandmothers since he was more used to being waited on, etc. One thing that helped was when they moved, they found what was essentially a house with a duplex/in law apartment type situation so they could both semi-maintain their own households.

      In general, I think the practice very much benefits the third and first generation, and the second generation tends to bear the brunt of it. That said – my parents aren’t planning to move in with me any time soon, but they did “pass it on” in the sense that I would open my home to them or my in-laws without second thought (and very much hope I marry someone who feels the same).

    • My DH’s grandmother lived with his family when he was growing up (in-laws converted their dining room and attached garage into a separate apartment for GMIL, complete with kitchen, bathroom, etc.), up until recently when too many health scares in a short period of time forced his parents to put her in a nursing home. I think it was easier on the entire family when his grandmother was younger and more active, because she’d watch DH and his brother and was more self-sufficient. This was a huge help with childcare. It became harder when she became older, less physically capable, and her friends started dying. She became very lonely, possibly depressed, and very dependent on my in-laws. MIL’s sister didn’t really help out, even though she lives 10-15 minutes away from my in-laws.

      I think to contemplate living with a parent for such a long period of time, you’d really have to assess their personality and whether you could deal with that for 30+ years. It seemed like my MIL and GMIL were always sniping at one another. GMIL would needle or tease MIL, despite knowing how poorly MIL takes that sort of thing, and GMIL grew increasingly frustrated as she became less physically capable and would get angry with MIL when MIL offered to help. And I think it was hard on FIL because he was stuck between his wife and trying to be polite to his MIL.

      I’m sure there were benefits when GMIL was more mobile, and I know that GMIL feels much closer to my DH and BIL than her other grandchildren because of this.

    • Divaliscious11 :

      That was a premarital conversation – we both decided it would not work. MIL came and stayed for an extended visit and it ruined our relationship permanently.

    • My sister’s in-laws helped them purchase their current property and then built their own house on it, as well. It mostly works for them, but occasionally the relationship gets a little strained.

  14. My bf hates his new job. They are so, so, awful. I can’t believe that there are companies where the culture is just to yell and ridicule you. He has only been there for a few months. He is very entry level. I just hurt for him. I hate seeing him work so hard and be so depressed. In the last months he has become so down and sad! I wish I could just give him a magic job where he is appreciated and people are nice. Thanks for listening, I just am feeling so sad for him because they won’t let him go get a medical test he needs. (It would only require taking an hour off)

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Ugh, that is awful. Hopefully he earns some time off soon and can get the tests done.

  15. Going nuts... :

    Regular, anon for this.

    Speaking of workouts, I usually run but am currently injured in both ankles such that even walking hurts. It’s been about a week and I feel terrible for lack of running–physically, mentally, and mood-wise. I know this sounds extreme, but I just really relied on running and am in total withdrawal. I’m also prone to weight gain and depression, so not knowing how long this will be is making me worry a lot about going downhill. Can anyone offer advice for some sort of substitute, or ideas for making peace with this until I heal? Ugh, thank you.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I’m so sorry about your injury!

      Could you try a routine of modified pushups and situps? Scissor kicks? Doing some upper body weight training? At least that will help you feel that you are doing something, even if you can’t get your heart rate up high like with running.

      And because I’m the queen of doing this, remember not to go back to working out regularly until you’re SURE you’re healed, or you could do way worse damage. I hope you heal up quick!

    • I completely understand what you mean by relying on running—both for weight control and for mental health. I’m absolutely the same way.

      Is swimming an option for you? If you have access to a lap pool, I highly recommend it. You can get a very good cardio workout by swimming by doing things like sprints and doing longer distances. I also find I’m a better runner when I’m swimming–and I think it’s because I can’t breathe all the time when I swim (face in the water) and so swimming seems to increase my lung capacity. If you can swim laps, but aren’t a very good swimmer, I’d suggest watching some you tube videos about how to swim and consider taking a lesson or two. My BFF was a college swimmer and has given me some good technique corrections, which have really helped.

      Hope you get over your injury soon!

      • This is what I was going to suggest! Dh also relys on running for weight and mood control. However, he had some nasty foot issues last year, and so switched to swimming. It wasn’t as good as running, but it was better than nothing. After running a half marathon 1.5 years ago he’s now on week 3 of C25K and hoping to get back up to 10k distances this year.

        • Anonymous :

          You could also try pool running. You will need a buoyancy belt, and you will want to Google pool running to get some form and workout routine suggestions. It is definitely not as good as regular running, but I vastly prefer it to lap swimming, because I am not very good at lap swimming and I don’t like getting chlorine-y water all over my face. And to some extent it works the same muscles as running does, so once you do go back to running on land you should be able to get back to where you were pre-injury much faster.

    • Anne Shirley :

      Yoga? At home, modified as much as you need for the ankles, and helpful with the stress as well.

    • just Karen :

      Would something like Pilates, which is mostly mat work, help any? It wouldn’t be the same stress reliever running can be, but would at least help wear you out and hopefully stem the potential weight gain while you heal.

    • espresso bean :

      I’m sorry to hear about your injury! I can relate — I went through something similar with a back injury last year, and I thought I was going to lose my mind because I couldn’t work out for a month. It was awful.

      Can you do arm exercises? When I hurt my back, I did a lot of upward dogs per my physical therapist’s recommendation. Your legs aren’t involved, but it’s a nice core toning exercise that engages most of the body. Desk yoga (basically seated yoga poses that only engage the upper body) could also work. It’s not running, but it’s better than nothing.

    • Brooklyn, Esq. :

      Pilates (invented for people–soldiers–who were bed-bound). It’s not a perfect substitute but it can be cheap (if you rent/Netflix/whatever videos or DVDs) and easily accessible. Not recommended that you jump right into anything above beginner videos if you have never done it before.

      • +1. I had one bad ankle sprain and did a lot of pilates during the first few weeks until I was comfortable walking, then more intensive cardio. During a broken toe incident I did the rower machine a lot, most of the movement is in the knees so maybe this could work?

    • Swimming and my nemesis, the stationary bike, are the standard running-injury cardio exercises. Could you do one of those? Or maybe even try aqua-running? I wouldn’t think swimming or aqua-running would hurt your ankles; biking might or might not.

      Have you seen a sports-medicine doctor, if your ankle injuries are running- or other-exercise-related? He or she could probably give you some good information on the healing process, as well as exercises (or a referral to a physical therapist) for injury prevention.

      Other than that…I’m really sorry you’re going through this. Being injured sucks. But know that if you give yourself time to heal, and do the things you need to do to stay healthy in the future, this too shall pass. I know you miss running, but I would really try to focus on your ability to do other things with the time you would have spent running–cooking extra-delicious (healthy) meals? having a coffee with a friend you haven’t seen in a long time? taking yourself to the movies? I can say that, as much as I love running, sometimes it really is nice to take a break for a while to recharge my mental batteries, so when I start again it’s easy to remember why I love it so much. Can you mentally reframe your injury-enforced break more along those lines?

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Rowing machine or arm stationary bike?

    • SpaceMountain :

      Physical therapy. I injured my knee last spring, and spent months limping around on it while my doctor tried different prescription anti-inflammatories. Finally he sent me to physical therapy and I was better in a few weeks. Wish I had tried it sooner, because I was really out of shape before the therapist did her magic.

    • People have offered enough physical suggestions (caveat, of course, best advice should come from your doctor). As for the mental angle…do you meditate? If you’re not getting as much physical activity and are prone to weight gain and depression, you’ll need to focus on reducing your food intake and keeping your mind healthy. I find that meditation helps. For me, that means just being still and focusing on my breath, but not actually trying to banish thoughts from my mind (I was against meditation for a long time because my mind was always too busy, and I felt like a failure for not being able to clear my head). Also, pick up a hobby like knitting — it keeps your hands busy (which prevents snacking), it’s the perfect blend of concentration and muscle memory that is conducive to a meditative state, and the sense of accomplishment that comes from creating something should help with mental health.

  16. Cher Horowitz :

    If I paired this with my white collarless shirt from Fred Segal, it would be my Most Respectable Looking Outfit for business-formal situations.

    And, kneesocks. Naturally.

  17. Skincare TJ — In follow-up to an earlier post about Retin-A / Retinol, is there a way to get this without going to the dermatologist for a prescription? Are there any drugstore products that contain this ingredient and, if so, which do you find to be the most effective? Thanks in advance!

    • just Karen :

      There are many non-prescription retinol creams, but retin-A is prescription only. That said, yes, you can find it online without a prescription, but I wouldn’t advise it unless you’ve used it in the past. A lot of the ladies on this site like Paula’s Choice skincare products, and I believe she has a relatively inexpensive retinol cream. If you want somehting from the drugstore, check out her beautypedia website for product reviews to find a good one.

    • kerrycontrary :

      Philosophy’s Help Me is the retinol that I use. when it’s not prescription it takes a little while longer to see results, but after 8 weeks I’m seeing a big change in my skin.

      • I’m about 4 weeks in and haven’t seen a difference yet (but I’m being patient, I know I need to give it more time.) But when everyone talks about what a huge difference retinol makes, and how their skin looks so much better – what, exactly, is different?

        • anon for this :

          I have less break-outs and my skin is just softer. It’s almost like I have more of a glow. I’m using it for acne/smoothing out my skin though and not anti-aging (yet!)

    • Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Cream Night is a retinol product for only $12-15 at the drug store. It’s a great value.

    • Great, thank you!

    • I get a prescription from my PCP when I get my yearly physical, so you could do that if you don’t want to find a derm. Retin-a is significantly different and more effective than drugstore products. I think that it actually changes the structure of your skin, but I’m not a doctor. Webmd has an article about the differences. I saw no results using various retinol products for anti-aging (including the Paula’s Choice product), but have been very happy with a prescription retin-a product, so you may want to get a prescription if you don’t get the results you want from an OTC product.

      • +1 Retin-A is really the only thing that works. I think people confuse the words Retin-A and retinol but they are not the same

        very good explanation here, if you can get through the somewhat cheesy format

        http://www.dermtv.com/difference-between-retin-retinoids-retinol-and-renova

  18. Tornado sirens went off from 3-4am today. I’m grateful that DH and I are safe and only a little sleep deprived but I’m still struggling. Did I mention after a full day of work, I have class until 8:30 tonight? Someone shake me if I start snoring…

  19. darjeeling :

    Love this, but what weirdo sizing… 0=XS/S, and 1=M/L.

    • That looks to me like code that it’s weirdly stretchy and after one wash will loosen and turn into a sagging mess. Or, that the designer was lazy and didn’t give the factory very precise directions or hire a good pattern-cutter.

  20. My biglaw firm’s new managing partner just announced that instead of having each practice group on a different floor, as we have always done, he’s mixing up the groups. Surprise! The idea is it will promote cross-selling. So some of the people I work with will be on one floor, some on another. We don’t get to pick where we are going. My wonderful assistant won’t be on the same floor as me. I, a litigator, will now be sitting next to tax people, corporate people, real estate people, etc and have to go to another side of the office or another floor to talk to someone I am working with, instead of going next door to my own office. This seems like a total waste of time and will cause a loss of efficiency. Plus I am not thrilled about being next to corporate people and their endless phone conferences. Does anyone have a firm with the mixed-group floor plan? Advice? Experience? Commiseration?

    • anon for this :

      Ugh…I sit next to sales people. it drives me batty because they are on the phone ALL day long.

    • My firm was like this when I started. And we have since abandoned the practice. In a sense, it was nice to see people that you may not get to see much otherwise, but I think it actually negatively impacted work. Especially for younger associates. When you don’t get much face time with your group, it’s easy to be forgotten about or overlooked for projects. I had less of a problem being separated by my assistant, though I was a much newer associate then. I also didn’t notice any massive difference in work styles between the groups. If anything, I would say litigators are louder than the corporate folks. I would say my best advice would be to make sure you keep on the radar of people in your own group for purposes of work flow/work load issues.

      • So much learning happens in the halls or someone’s office discussing your matters. Cross-sell at lunch/happy hour/asking for advice in an unfamiliar area. Teams work better in a team environment. Oh, and having to trek all over the office to find people you need multiple times a day. Ugh. That’s a good use of billiable time.

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          Well, I’m guessing they are going to bill for it so maybe the managing partner sees $$$$. That’s a whole bunch of .1s right there.

    • Ugh, you have my sympathy. My office is currently going through some growing pains (we’re running out of space) and out of necessity, some work areas have been thrown into the same space. It is a huge distraction, particularly when a chatty group gets lumped in with people who need more quiet time to think and be productive.

    • Yes, I worked at Latham and it was like this. All it meant was that I was more virtual than ever–I emailed and phone called with my colleagues and they couldn’t tell whether I was “logged in from home” or at work (and often I had no idea if they were there either). I found it most annoying when I was waiting for someone for a meeting (outside of his or her office) and I had to trek over, find out that he or she was running behind and then find out when I should come back. And, as you mentioned, you can’t really bill “walk time.” Also, as you mentioned tons of assistants did the “I can’t see Fred from here, so I have no idea if he’s in yet, so I can’t help,” which meant that the assistants were even less helpful than usual, and they had a built-in excuse for ducking phone calls. Then they tried to have the assistants cover certain “physical areas” which meant reassigning attorneys and that formerly corporate assistants were trying to say, help draft a motion or pleading. NIGHTMARE. The other thing that was awful was that if you needed work or were getting killed–nobody knew–they didn’t sit near you. So if you had to ask for work, it became this big thing, instead of just a stop-by. And if you were there until late, most of the associates had no idea.

      I now sit in a “group-based” firm and I like it SOOOOOO much better because if I need to see if a pertner is in, or have a chat with a a senior associate, I just pop by. And assignments get doled out when people stroll by.

      The only thing that mixing groups achieved was that I had to make small talk in the firm pantry with people that I had legit zero chance of working with, ever. So stupid.

    • I think it is great. Having the same group in the same area all the time breeds a very insular dynamic. You lose focus on what larger community (firm, company, etc) is trying to accomplish, and you have little insight into what your colleagues are doing.

      I was a litigator whose colleagues were across a larger floor or on different floors. Being spread out meant I had to wander around and get to know what my associates and partners were up to. Now, being in a non-firm environment, I appreciate the diversity in practices even more. I can discuss a broader range of options and real life examples with my clients, purely because we share the same space.

      It may mean that you have to send more emails and communicate more directly than if you are all in the same corner of an office building, but the upside more than made up for the downside of it.

  21. Stress threadjack! I’m the kind of person that absolutely needs downtime to stay sane, particularly working out. I try and do a minimum of an hour of exercise every day. What do you do, though, when you just absolutely don’t have time to make any sort of routine? I’ve already tried cutting back on sleep, which is a huge struggle for me. But even then, I literally don’t have enough hours in the day to accomplish everything that I need to do between work, law school, homework, volunteering, etc. It’s really taking a toll on both my physical and mental health. Any suggestions for ways to keep sane?

    • Anne Shirley :

      Quit volunteering. Take care of yourself first.

    • Cut back on the structured extracurriculars. There will be plenty of time for those later. The stress you will cause yourself by getting a bad grade in an important class or a negative review will likely overshadow whatever stress relief you got volunteering an extra 5 hours a week. Also, I get the need to exercise, but if it is having the opposite effect and stressing you out, re-evaluate your routine to see if something works better. Maybe this isn’t the time to get a PR in a race.

    • When I was working full time and going to grad school full time at night, I did nothing extra. No exercise, no volunteering, nothing. I considered it a major win if I got 7 hours of sleep a night. Saturdays were for homework and Sundays were for making up sleep. You need sleep to unwind, especially since you’re using your brain so much. It needs time to recharge!

    • Although easier than it sounds, you simply have to prioritize. If exercising is vital to your physical and mental health (I know for me it definitley is–sometimes I literally have to physically exhaust myself on the treadmill in order to get my brain to turn off at night….) So stop volunteering, or find a way to volunteer and exercise at the same time! Anyways, there are not enough hours in the day to do everything we want to do, but we can find time to do the things that are most important to us.

    • I’m having similar issues trying to find time simply to finish everything I need to in law school. Just wanted to offer commiseration.

  22. Work has been crazy today (still need to catch up on the morning thread…), but I just have to briefly squee: I get to see my BF for Valentine’s Day! I realize that the holiday itself is largely meaningless, but as we’re in a LDR, every visit is a plus!

  23. AnonForThis :

    I think I’m having a bout of clinical depression that has come on fairly acutely, like over-the-last-week-acutely. For the past week, I have felt constantly on the verge of tears or been crying, and I can hardly hold it together enough to see patients. I think a number of factors are contributing to this (my sister, who was formerly one of my best friends despite nine years of sharing a bathroom as teenagers, is now no longer speaking to me and I have no idea why and neither do our parents, my boyfriend in an LDR isn’t making as much of an effort to see me as I would like, and work pressures are heating up.) I’m a lot less productive than i have been at work, because I just feel so bad and I’m not sure what to do. I work out a ton and eat well, and I’m going to take a pregnancy test tonight or tomorrow am just to rule that out as well, but if anyone has any coping advice, I would love to hear it and thanks so much in advance. I dig the Hive :)

    • LeChouette :

      Not to sound like a sexist jerk, but any possibility it’s menstrual cycle related? (you did mention possibly being pregnant so, maybe missing aunt flo)? I generally don’t get bad pms but then every couple of months I do, and feel depressed and awful, and as soon as my cycle restarts so to speak and I feel normal I’m like “Ohhh. That’s what that was.”

      • AnonForThis :

        You don’t sound like a sexist jerk! Not menstrual-related, I’m not due for even PMS for about five days. (My PMS usually manifests itself as more anxiety than usual.) I think pregnancy is highly unlikely but I’m just going to make sure it’s off the differential.

    • harriet the spy :

      No expert – but this sounds like acute anxiety and like something worth seeing a doctor about.

      I also think that given the factors you’ve described, it sounds normal. You have a right to feel sad — even painfully sad — when a sister stops talking to you, or when a relationship isn’t giving you what you need. Can you take some time off work and be good to yourself? Or get a pedicure, or do something that would feel good even if it doesn’t make you stop feeling sad?

    • Is it possible you are close to having a panic attack? I felt the way you did once when I was in college–this acute, not being able to breathe, why-can’t anyone see that I really need help, my world is collapsing and I am exhausted feeling. And it was a panic attack, not depression. I mean, it was related, but…the OMG right now I feel really bad…probably more anxiety-related. Anyway, in terms of constructive suggestions, first, tell someone. Tell a doctor, friend, your employee assistance program…something. You will pull through this, but you might need to take a day off or do something “me-time” to get it together.

      All the best. Things will get better. They will, but you need to take steps to make that happen!

    • Sydney Bristow :

      When you have been crying, are you actively trying to stop it? Sometimes I found it helpful to just let it all out and allow myself to have an all out, ugly, breakdown cry for as long as I needed followed by a long night’s sleep. It didn’t always work, but sometimes it was very helpful to be able to focus better the next day.

      I’m really sorry you are feeling this way and going through all of this!

    • Don’t over-diagnose yourself – if you sister/best friend is suddenly not speaking to you, it’s normal to feel sad and distraught, no “depression” about it. That’s very sad indeed – I’m sure there must be some misunderstanding under it all. Why don’t you write her and tell her how you don’t understand and how you feel like crying all the time because you love her so much? She may not respond right away, but she may eventually bend a bit? Anyway, wishing you all the best…

    • It sounds like you’re dealing with a lot and I don’t blame you for feeling the way you do. To be perfectly honest, I’ve felt similarly the last couple weeks and I’ve had a really hard time holding it together at work. I’m lucky I have an office door because I’ve been pretty emotional, especially due to my SO at times.

      My advice to you is to let yourself cry and wallow if necessary. Do what you need to do to make yourself feel better, including taking it easier at work if you can.

      Also – as someone also in a LDR whose SO sometimes doesn’t understand how the distance affects me, I find if I’m really honest about my feelings and am able to communicate them in a logical and rational way, he understands and does whatever he can to fix things. Have you told your boyfriend how you feel? LD is hard – one of my friends recently described it as one of the toughest things a couple can go through. I know when I feel as if I’m not getting enough attention from my SO, I start to feel more awful and sad generally.

      I’m so sorry you’re going through all of this – please keep posting if you want to vent.

  24. AnonForThis :

    Pregnancy ruled out. Thank you all so much for your responses; I really appreciate them and you ladies are awesome. Yeah, I am trying to hold it in all the time; maybe I’ll try not doing that :/

  25. To Shanghai :

    Just saw your response to my question yesterday about job market in the Triangle area–thanks!
    -Gail the Goldfish

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  27. I watched The Fashion Fund and the two women that started the Victoria Beard line said they wanted to create for the every day woman. How many women do you know that can pay $600 for a skirt? Then again, considering they are bored rich housewives, they probably think $600 for a skirt is a steal. This outfit is awful and so was 90% of their stuff on the show. I wish someone that said they were creating a line that was fashionable yet affordable for the every day woman would actually do it…including making the clothes flattering on people larger than a size 0.

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