Splurge Monday’s TPS Report: Sleeveless Cotton Shirt

Victoria Beckham Sleeveless Cotton Shirt | CorporetteOur daily TPS reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

If you’re into slightly avant-garde pieces made from preppy classics, this Victoria Beckham sleeveless blouse is for you. LOVE the interesting take on the self-tie at the neckline (sometimes called a “secretary blouse” or, sigh, a “pussy bow blouse”). I like the resulting off-kilter V-neck, the almost shawl-like effect, and the fact that you can dress it down with skinny jeans (as shown here) or up with a pair of slim ankle trousers and a blazer (or, ooh, one of the long cardigans that are everywhere this season). The blouse is $890 at MyTheresa. Victoria Beckham Sleeveless Cotton Shirt

A few lower-priced options are herehere, and here (plus-size).

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(L-5)

Comments

  1. So I bought the bellabeat leaf when it was featured on thissite recently. On July 9 I got an email saying their demand was high but they were going to ship them all out by the end of July & I would get an email when it shipped. I have not gotten an email yet.

    And that’s the news on the bellabeat leaf.

  2. Yay Kat! This is a great blouse, but NOT for work, and at $890, it is a wee bit expensive. I will never be able to get MARRIED if I told a guy I spent $890 on a cotton schmatta like this one. Mabye Victoria Beckan can , but she already HAS husband who play’s sport’s.

    I had a nice weekend in the mountain’s with Myrna. 3 guy’s wanted to date me, but I told them I am to old to date. I need to MATE. One guy said he would consider me as eligibel, but as usueal, he wanted a test drive. FOOEY I said. I will NOT let a guy have sex with me just b/c he said I am marrage material. Beside’s, he run’s a hotel up there and would NOT be any good for me b/c the hotel is in the middel of nowhere.

    I thank the hive for advise, but I think I will remain conservative in the bedroom, even if it mean’s NOT getting married this year. I do NOT want an army of men huffeing and puffeing on top of me. I got rid of Sheketovits and do not need other’s doeing that again. YAY!!

  3. Wild Chicken :

    $890??? Are you kidding me? It’s cute and all — definitely would be a fun top for a weekend — but wow!

    • I’m all for high-quality fashion, but this looks like a pretty generic ModCloth-esque top. And for cotton?!

    • Yeah, the price tag definitely mad me laugh out loud. Kat, come on…this isnt worth more than 50 bucks TOPS

      • Totally disagree. Maybe not $890 but the fabric looks high quality, it’s impeccably well made (look at the hidden seam piping), there’s a big design element. You don’t want to pay for it fine, and it’s out of my budget, but this shirt is worth more than $50.

        • I’m with Anonymous. I cannot, and would not, pay $890 for this blouse, but if it was $200 it would be on its way to me right now and I would happily wear the heck out of it!

        • Senior Attorney :

          Yeah, I was all, “WHAT?” about the price, but it is gorgeously constructed. Not in my budget at $890 but definitely not a $50 shirt. I’d pay a couple hundred for it, too.

        • But there’s free shipping for purchases over $540…… so there’s that.

  4. I commented on the bel la be at leaf, hopefully the comment comes out of moderation soon!

  5. Ciao, pues :

    How do you calculate your consulting fee? I understand that it should be greater than just your salary divided into hours in order to reflect insurance, benefits, and other costs, but am not sure how. Any formula or other advice to use?

    • You find out how much people are willing to pay a consultant for the services you are offering and choose to go lower or higher depending on your experience, how busy you are, and how badly you want the project.

    • brokentoe :

      You may also have different rates depending upon the type of client that is paying you. My government rate is different than my for-profit rate. The rate will also vary depend upon the project: lots of hours in a reasonable timeframe, I might cut you a break. A shorter or crazy timeline and I may charge you a premium rate. I’ve had a couple projects for private equity concerns (this isn’t my normal kind of project or client) and I’ve charged 4 times my normal rate and no one batted an eye. The advice to see what others are charging is important – be very careful that you don’t shortchange yourself because it’s much easier to give someone a break (everyone loves a good deal, right?) than to raise your prices later. The whole pricing thing is part art, part science. Not only do you need to cover mundane things that would ordinarily be covered by job benefits (like insurance), but you also have to think about unpaid time you spend doing proposals, administrative time (I do my own client billing) and other things that need to be covered in your rates.

      • Thanks for this advice. I am on extended (permanent?) leave of absence from a medical career, and have been thinking about doing some sort of private medical management consulting on the side… mostly for private pay from families who need oversight and assistance for an elderly family member. I have no idea where to start with this sort of idea, but see a need. Your post re-iterates how many variables there are to keep in mind.

        • brokentoe :

          Keep this in mind – doing the kind of consulting that springs from a certain expertise (as opposed to management consulting which I know nothing about), remember that you have skills and talents that the client either doesn’t have to do the work or doesn’t have the time to do the work themselves. In either case, you are helping them do something they otherwise couldn’t do themselves. Which usually means this work is critical in some way. Don’t underprice your services!

  6. Adult parent :

    About a decade ago, my dad picked up and moved to one of those Rust Belt communities where you can buy a mansion for $30,000. The way our relationship works, Dad has just always come to see me. Last year, I went up there for the first time. When I got there, I discovered that the house Dad bought is a falling down wreck that probably isn’t safe to inhabit.

    I’m horrified that I never thought to check on my adult parent (67) and that he’s living in terrible conditions. He’s become a packrat – not quite to a Hoarders level, but not far off, and certainly nothing like the pristine home I grew up in. He demo’d portions of the house with grand HGTV dreams, thinking it’d be a snap to put it back together. Well, Dad’s on a very limited fixed income and he’ll never, ever have the money to repair this house. (He lives paycheck to paycheck.) And the house is just a run-of-the-mill 1910s blue collar two-family house – it’s not like it’s some grand Victorian deserving of preservation. So he’s been living in a half deconstructed house for years with the ceiling falling in and stacks of crap everywhere, and he refuses to leave and can’t seem to understand that no, it won’t be a simple fix to put in a new kitchen and new baths and new plaster and on and on.

    Right now, I live across the country, but soon I’ll be within weekend-trip distance. It’s just the two of us. I don’t know how to fix this. The house needs easily $40k worth of work. The house isn’t worth the investment, but I don’t know what to do. Do I put the bare minimum in it – put drywall up where he took plaster down, put in baths where he ripped them out – to sell it and get him to move somewhere safe and clean and modern near me? I could come up with the money if I raid my retirement. Do I take out a loan? Whatever I do, I’m not well-off enough financially that I can just make an investment of this magnitude without getting something back from it, which will be nearly impossible in this town he’s living in.

    And yes, I’m sure there’s a mental health element here, as well. I tried looking and couldn’t find any mental health practitioners in this dismal area who take Medicare, so I don’t know what to do about that, either.

    • Wildkitten :

      Do not raid your retirement to sink it into this black hole of a house. Dear Prudence would suggest you consult a Social Worker.

    • This sounds like a much larger issue than the house, and so I wouldn’t raid your retirement or put your financial future at risk to save it.

      First, call around local mental health organizations like MHA or NAMI, or call 2-1-1. They can help you find mental health practitioners who accept Medicare or offer free/discounted therapy or treatment.

      Secondly, you need to talk to your dad and see where his mindset is. I would be concerned that the house is just a symptom…is he taking of himself? Eating well? Taking care of hygiene? etc. If not, you may need to take a stronger role, such as power of attorney,t o get him the help he needs. Selling the house fort he land may be the best option, and use the proceeds to get him into a good assisted living.

    • Killer Kitten Heels :

      Call Adult Protective Services (or whatever the equivalent agency is in the relevant state) – they will have guidance on what to do to help a senior who is not safe in their home but is refusing to leave.

    • Practically, it’s going to be much cheaper to pay a social worker and a therapist out of pocket than put any money into this house.

      I’d also say that you don’t necessarily have to solve this. Is he competent mentally? Is he well nourished? Is he lucid? Adults get to make bad choices for themselves. I think you can focus on how you are worried, how you would like to help, and how you would appreciate him taking that worry seriously for your sake if not his home.
      But don’t buy him a kitchen. You know you can’t afford it.

      • Adult parent :

        Yes, thanks for this. He’s competent mentally, involved in the community, well-nourished. I’m just horrified by his living conditions and want to make it better. I’ve been wrestling with the line on where “he’s an adult and is choosing to live like this” is.

        • LondonLeisureYear :

          Make sure you also find support for yourself. This is hard stuff! There are support groups for people going through the decisions/balance act you are having to go through.

        • Wildkitten :

          A social worker or a construction professional might be able to help you assess the situation and see if its actually unsafe.

    • You mentioned that it is a 2-family home. Do you mean 2 person? Or a duplex that he is currently occupying all of?

      If a duplex, it might be worth having a general contractor give you an estimate on what it would take to fix up half the place to rent-able condition, and to a local real estate pro on what a reasonable rent would be. Having a rental income might help him with the month-to-month expenses. Of course, you’d have to do the math – you don’t want it to take 20 years to pay off the repairs, but if it’s a 3 year payoff that might be worth it. Or fix one side, rent it for a year or two, save the income, then move him into the fixed side and use the savings to fix the other side.

      • Adult parent :

        A two-family home. The house is two stories with the same floor plan (kitchen, bath, 3 bedrooms) on both floors. Unfortunately, Dad, in his HGTV glory dreams and total lack of financial foresight, gutted the downstairs unit, so it’s just studs. He lives in the crumbling plaster + 1960s kitchen upstairs unit.

        I talked to him last year about restoring the downstairs, but he was adamant that the house be made into a single family. I haven’t discussed it with him in a while – it’s a good suggestion worth bringing up again, thank you.

        • Is the house zoned/allowed to be either a two-family or a single-family? The rigmarole of changing the status through the town/county/state could be enough hassle to get your dad to see the light (my old house was a “grandfathered in” two-family — but if we did reno work, we weren’t allowed to do it anymore).

    • Yeah, I live in that kind of city. Even in the rustbelt, the $30,000 houses are usually not in good shape. But it’s kind of a trap, because a house in that kind of neighborhood is not going to be worth $70,000 after you put the extra $40,000 in.

      If you do get to the point of needing to spend money to house him, I’d have a long chat with a local real estate professional. I’d bet that you’d be better off buying a totally different (smaller?) place that was actually habitable in its current state. Which might be $50,000, but you’d have a much better shot of getting your money back eventually.

      • Adult parent :

        Yes! This! Such an accurate description. I was pretty aghast when I saw the town and neighborhood. All I could think was, “WHY on EARTH did you pick this house in this neighborhood? Why not spend $20k more to move to the ‘nice’ part of town? Yes, it was cheap! It was cheap for a reason!”

  7. Moving: the worst. I know this has been discussed in the past, but anyone want to share any tips or tricks for not losing your mind while moving and setting up a new apartment? I don’t even have that much stuff, I just feel totally overwhelmed at the moment (packing! confirming movers! setting up electricity! getting internet!).

    The good news is that, after roughly seven months on the job market, I have a new position in a great city that I’m SO EXCITED for. I posted a while back about turning down a big-money offer that was nonetheless not right for a lot of reasons, and went on to turn down another still-not-right position. I am so incredibly glad that I held out for something that I’m 100% happy about. I know it will have its challenges, but for everyone who is still job-searching–stick with it and don’t give up hope. Your time will come

    • Do you have extra money to throw at the problem? Hiring full-service movers to handle the packing is a life-saver if you can afford it.

      And don’t stress the little stuff…setting up electricity and cable is 10 minutes, tops.

      What helps me is to split it up into pieces and make a schedule. For example, Monday I will pack up 3 kitchen drawers and call the electric company. Tuesday I will pack all my dishes and call the cable company, etc.

      Finally, keep your bedsheets/pillows/blankets with you when you move rather than packing them. When you’re int he new places and boxed are everywhere,d on’t do anything until you make your bed. When you’re exhausted a need a break, it’s a HUGE relief to have a proper bed to snooze in.

      • Apart from the practical concerns, it’s amazing to what extent having your bed made up with YOUR linen makes the new place feel like yours.

      • I’m throwing money at moving my furniture–I just can’t deal with getting it up into my nice new third-floor walkup. Paying for packing is not in the cards, unfortunately, and I really don’t have enough stuff to justify it.

        Making a detailed schedule sounds like a great idea, though. My kitchen stuff is already packed (the one thing I got done over the weekend!) so I really only have clothes, books, bathroom, pet stuff, and miscellaneous personal items at this point. I just can’t figure out where to start. Scheduling is the place to go, though.

        • Once you get to the “little stuff”, like personal items and clothes and miscellaneous, it gets harder. WHAT ONE EARTH CATEGORY DOES THIS GO INTO?! I eventually cave and have one “random junk box” that I toss random things into.

          The schedule will save you if you stick to it! It will make unpacking a million times easier.

          Also, prep before you move and look up local diners or delivery places near your new place, so when you’re starving and can’t remember where the heck your forks are, you won’t starve :)

          • Oh gosh good call with the delivery options. I will put that on my schedule for…Thursday :)

    • Write a list and start checking things off. Start sorting and boxing something every night.

      • I’m working on it! I feel like my list grows every time I open the document…

    • Put a roll of toilet paper in with the sheets, or in a box that travels with you. You’ll want that handy and not have to run to Target on moving in day.

      • That is always such a useful reminder, thank you! I will add that to my list.

        • Baconpancakes :

          Same with paper towels and cleaning supplies. You’ll inevitably discover some gnarly spot in the house that needs to be cleaned.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Heartiest congratulations on the 100% happy job!!

      I’ve done four moves in the past couple of years (two of my own, my parents, and my son), and I totally agree with throwing money at it. Having the movers do the packing is pretty magical.

      Failing that, there are places on the internet where you can order boxes and packing supplies and they will deliver them to your door. That was a lifesaver for me. I bought my own wardrobe boxes rather than waiting to borrow them from the movers on moving day, and that was a good call. Get the boxes way in advance and pack a couple every evening after workl

      Also, you don’t need to move the food/spices from your kitchen and the OTC meds (and most of the toiletries) from your bathroom because it’s all expired. ;) Toss it all and start fresh in the new place.

      • Thank you! I’m so excited. It’s a great move professionally, and will work personally as well–it’s a great city with fantastic quality of life, and I can stay close enough to my friends/family/boyfriend for weekend visits.

        Is it bad that I’m just going to pile the clothes from my closet on top of boxes in the back of my car? (Note: I do not actually want to debate the appropriateness of that choice.)

        • I don’t think it is inappropriate, but I do think that any sudden braking will result in a tangled heap of clothing that is now wedged in a rumpled mass between the boxes and the side of the car.

        • Anonymous :

          Not debating appropriate-ness, but I’m also a leave the clothes on the hangers type of person, and when I moved a couple weeks ago I taped the hangers (with the clothes on them) in groups of 5-6 garments, put a garbage bag over each set, and then tied the garbage bag at the top around the hanger so it would stay on. Super easy and it kept the clothes nice and in place.

          • That’s a fantastic idea. I’m doing it! I knew you ladies would have helpful ideas :)

    • A list and schedule to make sure everything gets done when it needs to should make you feel much more in control of the situation. Break the packing down into rooms (ex. Monday: pack bathrooms, Tuesday and Wednesday: Pack kitchen – or if you are me this room will take a week).

      • My kitchen stuff is already done, thank god! That’s a tough area for me to, so I made sure that it got finished over the weekend.

    • First off, congrats on the job!

      As far as moving tips, I’m all for the spreadsheet method of tracking: Each box gets a letter signifying the room it will go to and a number, and the contents of the box are entered in a spreadsheet. When you move, direct the movers to put boxes in rooms by letter. When you’re in the process of unpacking, you can consult the spreadsheet to identify which box to tackle next.

      Also, while you’re packing, cull your stuff as ruthlessly as you can manage in the time available. It’s really freeing to unpack less than you packed.

      • I have Goodwill run on my to-do list for tomorrow, and a ruthless cull scheduled for tonight :) I’m moving into a one-bedroom, so at least the unpacking and locating should be fairly simple–if it’s not labeled bedroom or bathroom it goes in the kitchen/living/dining area. That’s a great idea for larger houses, though.

    • One thing I found helpful is to create “zones of calm” when you move in. Unpack and set up your kitchen and bedroom first and get rid of the boxes. That way, you can have piles of boxes in other rooms but still be able to eat, sleep, and find clothes.

      As for water, electricity, etc., I’d make a spreadsheet with you’ve turned off in old place and when you turn on in the new place. Keep it in Drive so you can make notes from anywhere.

      Make sure you have basics in the first boxes you will unpack – toilet paper, paper towels, shower curtain, soap.

      • I love the ideas of zones of calm!

        • Wildkitten :

          Me too! I moved three months ago and am still operating as zones of calm – my living room is decorated beautifully and my home office is not. That’s probably why I keep having people over and not getting work done…

    • 1. Pack as though you were going on a business trip. Put together full outfits for work, including shoes, PJs, toiletries, hair brush/dryer etc. This way when it inevitably takes you longer to unpack than you plan for, you don’t arrive at work rumpled.

      2. In the same suitcase, pack a new shower liner, shower hooks, a towel, TP, a pair of scissors, and a few bandaids.

      3. Label your boxes with room and number them. It’s way easier for the movers and then you know which numbers correspond to what items.

      4. Buy a case of water and paper towels. Drop these off at your new place ASAP so you can have some cold water.

      5. If you know the power/internet company now, you should try and give them a call. It’s far less a pain then it used to be; our place was previously wired for comcast and we had it before so we just had to call and they switched everything – no person required.

      • Those are all such great ideas! I was trying to get the electricity and internet stuff taken care of today, but I can’t seem to get through to anyone or do it online. Ugh.

    • For us, what worked was to pick one corner of the house that we didn’t really need/use on a daily basis – in our case it was the corner of the dining room. We packed everything that was in that corner, and then started packing away everything that we wouldn’t need in the short term, and piling the boxes in that corner. We also Easy places to start:
      -sweaters and winter gear
      -out of season shoes (and then you can put boxes there, if shoes were on the floor in a closet, etc)
      -books
      -kitchen gadgets that get used a few times a year

      We spent a month prepping for a move, so we came home every night and packed a few boxes. By the end, we had packed pretty much everything but around 1 laundry basket worth of clothes each, and a set of plastic dishes. Then the move got delayed, and we were stuck debating whether to unpack, or just keep on with what we already had out – that was when it was not pretty.

      And a huge +1 to wardrobe boxes. Take clothes on hangers off shelf and put in box. Move. Take clothes still on hangers out of box and hang in closet. Done. Sooooo much better than taking items off the hangers, folding, and then having to rehang everything.

      • Thanks! I’m using the garage as my place to pile crap. So far it’s working. I wish I’d had a month to prep…

    • Deep breaths and congrats! It’s gonna be fine! :)

      After my next move (in two weeks), I will have moved 7 times since 2012. I am not nearly as organized or motivated as some of the women on this thread. I basically wing it and, for everything other than fragile kitchen items, chuck everything into boxes and sort it when I get wherever I am going. These moves have included up to a three bedroom house’s worth of stuff. I have found that it just isn’t a big deal. I mean there is zero chance I will ever make a spreadsheet. I barely manage to label boxes! Just remember, it all works out. Make your to do list to make sure your utilities are on when you get there, but otherwise? It’s just taking stuff out of boxes and putting it somewhere else. I used to get super worked up over moves, but it’s been a lot less miserable since I stopped worrying about it so much. So my advice is make sure your utilities are on, pack everything up in the easiest, simplest way possible, and then relax. (Probably not what you wanted to hear though!)

      • That is exactly what I needed to hear, actually. And I mean if everything goes absolutely to hell–I’m moving an hour and ten minutes away, I can always run back to the old place if I really need to!

        • Oh good! Being able to run back to the old place is definitely a stress reducer – especially if there is a little overlap in when you need to be out of the old place. The furniture is the hard stuff and you have that covered!!

      • Must be Tuesday :

        I agree with this. The most detailed I get is labelling the boxes for what room they’ll go to in the new place, and even then, I sometimes mix things for different rooms into 1 box, because the items pack easiest that way. I also put aside items to go with me (a few days of clothing, my daily toiletries, electronics, toilet paper and soap, essential pet stuff). If it’s a local move, I take a lot of those items over to the new place ahead of time. Definitely start a few weeks in advance, and just pack a few things every day. Take your time unpacking too, just a few boxes everyday.

      • Agreed- I just had a not ideal move (I’m still tying up some loose ends from the old place, 3 weeks after I moved out and one week after my roommate left), and it isn’t that big of a deal. Things will go wrong even with a perfectly planned move, so at some point I said “good enough” and just dealt with whatever was left as it came up.
        I’ll also be rearranging and moving stuff around for weeks as I get used to how I use the new place no matter what, so a schedule doesn’t make sense for me.
        I do recommend inviting close friends over (one or two at a time) at regular intervals, just to force an extra burst of progress. They won’t mind a few boxes in the corner, but it reveals stuff like the logical place to put the wine glasses before every cabinet is full.

  8. Dallas-bound :

    I have a business meeting in Dallas this week, and I’m presenting. Native Northeasterner… its hot in TX! Am I seriously expected to wear pantyhose?
    It will be a mostly male room, so not many people to ask.

    • No one in Texas wears pantyhose. As an east coaster here temporarily, I’ll tell you Texans are very casual. I wear a sleeveless sheath with sandals to work every day and I’m the most dressed up person in the building by far (law).

    • No pantyhose needed or expected, even in Dallas, which is more formal/conservative compared to Austin/San Antonio/Houston.

    • Ditto to both comments before. We’re relatively casual here and I would notice if someone was wearing pantyhose (especially in August) simply because no one does.

    • No need to wear hose but bring a sweater or jacket with you to your meetings, etc… as some buildings can be freezing with the AC.

    • Anonymous :

      We may not be the most fashionable state, but we pride ourselves on not conforming to ridiculous fashion choices that would make the heat even worse. Summer in Texas = almost anything goes. Walking around in sandals? Too hot for shoes. Going to the grocery store in athletic clothes? Too hot for anything else. Going to the beach in shorts a little to short? Too hot for anything else.

    • Anonymous :

      While I agree with the comments specifically on no-hose, the rest of the comments feel like they’re describing a completely different Texas than the one I live in. I’ve gotten side-eye for wearing flip flops to the grocery store on a Sunday evening, and women show up at 5:30am workout classes in full makeup and hair blownout and curled.

  9. Has anybody bought built-in bookshelves? (I’m in the Boston area if it matters) How much did it cost? How long did it take to install? How did you choose a carpenter?

    • This is probably only distantly helpful, but I’ll throw it out there. I have relatives in Florida who are having shelves about 4 ft high and 8 ft long built in and the quotes were between $1500 and $2700.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Lots of people do a “hack” with the Billy bookshelves from Ikea. Google “Ikea Billy hack” and you’ll find lots of great ideas like this: http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/ikea-hack-the-best-billy-builtins-of-all-time-216404

      My contractor did it in my den and it looks like custom shelves and cost way less. A carpenter or handyman should be able to do it. I’d check Angie’s List or Task Rabbit to find somebody.

    • http://makingitlovely.com/?s=Built-in+bookshelves&submit=Submit

      Try broswing this blog

  10. MacBook Air q :

    What’s a reasonable amount of time to keep a laptop? This is re: the MacBook Air. I’ve had mine for 3.5 years. It’s worked beautifully except for the total lack of storage space. This week I started getting messages that it’s entirely full. I really don’t have that much stuff, but I stupidly bought the smaller storage version in 2012 that holds next to nothing.

    So, my question: At this point, should I just buy a new computer with tons of storage, or should I hold out and invest time and energy into cleaning this one up? It feels wasteful to buy a whole new computer when this one is still in good condition, but when the storage is the issue, I’m starting to think it might be better to start fresh with a lot of storage.

    • Also interested in this. I’ve had my Air since 2011 and it’s totally out of storage and the screen is kind of messed up. Not sure if I should even go apple for my next laptop, since they never last more than a few years…

      • My Apple laptops have generally lasted around four years of heavy use; prior to switching to Apple, I was only getting 2 years of heavy use (Sony, Dell), so I’m sticking with it.

      • Anonymous :

        I am typing this on an iBook G4 from 2006. Unless quality has diminished, Apple laptops can last a very long time. Mine has taken me through grad school, and beyond. OP, If the only issue is lack of space, then buy an external hard drive and transfer some files there. You can also look into expanding the RAM memory, it could help make the machine faster. If you want to buy a new machine, you could look into selling the old one, just clean it up first.

    • Diana Barry :

      What about transferring stuff onto dropbox?

    • Get a external USB hard drive. Move the data you to that. If you want to have a backup, get another external hard drive and make a copy. Delete the data you saved on USB hard drive. Keep using your laptop till it meets your needs.

    • The storage thing happened on my MacBook Air too. I ended up disabling / deleting the mail program, and that helped enormously: tons of space was taken up by emails with embedded images that I had deleted but that stuck around in the archive. I haven’t gotten the storage full warning since. So I would give that a try before buying a new laptop.

    • What is taking up so much space? Photos, music and videos? Or just regular everyday programs?

      If its photos and such, what about an external drive like these? http://www.seagate.com/products/laptop-mobile-storage/laptop-external-drives/backup-plus-slim-mac/

    • Dating myself a little here, but when I was in high school, we had a very basic “computer science” class in which we installed memory chips in some early iMacs. It was pretty simple. Laptops are another thing, but I wonder if your local computer shop couldn’t install memory into your laptop for you for a couple hundred dollars?

      • Memory chips disk space.

        • Sorry that’s incomprehensible. I think memory chips are related to RAM, not to disk space. But I agree with others to look for the source of what’s hogging the disk space rather than just getting a new laptop… unless the OP is looking for an excuse for a new laptop :)

          • You’re right. A new memory chip won’t give more disk space. A new hard drive would be I don’t know if you can update those in Apple computers (you’d have to get the operating system and all your software reinstalled if you did that). And you probably can’t mount a second hard drive. (not sure. but that would give you more storage).

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      Transfer stuff you don’t use much (like pictures) to an external hard drive. And see if there are any programs you never use and uninstall. But in generally, I get about 4-5 years out of laptops (which I use as my primary personal computer–I don’t own a desktop. I usually buy Thinkpads), so I don’t think 3.5 years for a new laptop is completely unreasonable.

    • Wildkitten :

      I’m in the same boat! I sorted all my files by size and deleted at least the largest files I don’t use. I know that most of the space is taken up by crap I’ve accumulated and don’t use, so I don’t want to buy a new computer, but if you have the money for it I think computers only last 3-5 years generally anyway.

    • I did buy an external hard drive and moved all my photos to it. I guess I could do the same with iTunes. Those seem to be the biggest culprits.

      But I’m nervous about deleting these things from my hard drive, even though I know intellectually that there is no difference between having them on the hard drive or having them on an external.

    • Historically my laptops (all PC) have started to crap out after about 5 years.

    • The Air is really meant to be used in conjunction with cloud storage or an external hard drive if you want to use it as a desktop replacement type of computer.

      I have an Air, and keep my files mainly stored on my Google Drive (you get 15 GB free, including your gmail account, then you can get 100 GB for $1.99/ month (this is what I have), a terabyte for $9/ month, etc. I also back up my important documents and pictures on an external hard drive as a secondary backup. There’s also iCloud, Dropbox, and other services you can look for online with similar costs. The Macbook Air is a great computer, but you can’t use it in the same way you would a computer with more storage.

    • anon a mouse :

      Apple will not provide tech support for a machine older than 5 years (ask how I found that out), in case that factors into your decision.

    • I highly recommend putting your stuff into the cloud. I put my stuff into an external drive and it died, and I lost a lot of photos. I could send the drive to a clean room for $1-2K, but…that seems extravagant. Cloud storage is much safer.

  11. anon associate trainer :

    Survey question for all current/former Big Law associates:

    What has been your favorite training event as an associate? My firm would like to put on a training for all associates (from all practice groups). So far, my only ideas that would work for attorneys in all practice areas are presentation skills and legal writing.

    Thoughts?

    • The ones where they serve really good food.

    • Former Partner, Now In-House :

      – Something related to client interaction.
      – Something related to rainmaking, if it is possible to do it in a way that doesn’t scream, “You have to bring in clients, and if you don’t, you will never.make.partner.”
      – Something related to personal finance.

      • In my experience, firms are getting themselves into Trouble by not screaming “You will never.make.partner without bringing in clients.” So, to the extent that should be stated, it definitely should. At my former firm, it was mostly whispered in non-serious hushes and absolutely needed to be screamed.

    • I’ve seen some good training presentations done by non-lawyers for lawyer groups- on salesmanship, customer service, corporate responsibility, etc. From an assoc. perspective sometimes I just want training on what our firm does- who are the big partners, what do the different groups do, who are our clients, and how are we involved in the legal and civic community, etc.

    • If you want high attendance, I would go with really good food, plus a discussion about firm economics (it is a business after all), how you know you are on the right track, why people stay around to make partner when the work-life balance is not great. A panel fun by the younger women partners for the women associates in the firm was my most memorable firm event.

    • Mediation strategies

      Billing practices is typically a useful topic.

      I think pretty much anything from the Curmudgeon would make a decent topic.

    • Anonymous :

      Never got to go to one, but I think a presentation/seminar in negotiation would be useful and interesting to both litigators and transactional associates.

    • Anonforthis :

      We did one where we were broken up into mixed groups (meaning each associate in the group was from a different practice area) and we mock-pitched large institutional clients. Considering how almost no time ever is spent on training re: business development, it was really useful. Also, they recruited partners to role-play as the “clients,” and a decent percentage of us picked up new/better work from some of the partners on the strength of our pitches, so that was a plus.

    • Please don’t do a seminar on legal writing. Transactional attorneys almost never do “legal writing” as you might in law school. It just doesn’t work for a large portion of your audience.

      I cosign the suggestions for presentation skills (but remember, the presenter has to be dead nuts if they are presenting on presenting), firm economics, firm history etc.

  12. Agree on the food front :)

    Other topics with broader applicability: resume building (finding a practice niche, publishing, presenting at cles, joining associations, etc); ethics; managing staff; better billing practices. My firm often does presentations on how to build a personally satisfying career or achieve better work-life balance, but I could see that not flying at all biglaw firms.

  13. Sometimes I think society or humans in general are so fun. This website, MyTheresa – where the shirt is being sold, carries high fashion items. I don’t own any items and can’t afford it but I appreciate high fashion. I just think it’s funny how a very very small percentage of the world’s population can really afford to buy the things they sell. They carry day dresses for a couple thousand dollars. That’s more than what some people make annually in a developing country. This top for instance, at $890, can probably be used to feed an entire family for weeks or months. It so silly to me that we would spend so much money on something like this. Even if I did have the money, I don’t think I would ever buy it. There are plenty of people right here in the U.S. who live well below the poverty line. How can I justify spending this much money on clothes when there are kids who go to bed hungry?!?!?!?!

    • Half the worlds population lives on less than $2 a day, or about what I spend at Starbucks every morning. Unfortunately, this kind of logic can be used to reduce us all to an extremely spartan lifestyle, something that those forced into subsistence living would surely give up at the first opportunity!

    • I don’t want to look at this from ethical/moral point of view. But still I find it outrageous to spend so much money on a cotton shirt which doesn’t even have anything special in it (like hand embroidery) and couldn’t have taken more than a hundred dollars to make.

  14. Interviewer :

    Question for the hive–I was interviewing law students last week during a job fair (16 20-minute interviews in one day) and one of the candidates referred to his wife as “the wife” and described her as a “smart girl” who could move anywhere. Would you find his language off-putting?

    • Yes.

    • N.C. anon :

      I find it offputting, but not only for gendered reasons. One of my friends calls her husband “the hubs” and I don’t like that either. It is pretty casual for an interview scenario, though.

    • Anon in MA :

      Yes! That would be a red flag. People are usually on their best behavior in a job interview, so I’d say this is indicative of how he thinks of women. And a smart girl isn’t appropriate in an office setting.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m 30 and “the [wife/husband/BF/GF]” is a really common phrase among my peers, used equally regardless of the gender of their partner. I wouldn’t think anything of this.

    • Did he have a military background? Everyone I know who calls their wife “the wife” is military.

      I say that as a former military wife. My ex even had me programmed in his phone as The Wife, not my name.

      • I know many people who have their spouse programmed into their phone as Wife or Husband for emergency purposes. This is less common as more people have password protected smart phones, but it is still common enough. My SIL (military spouse) had my brother as Husband and my mother (her MIL) as ICE – My Mother In Law for whenever he was deployed.

      • Interviewer :

        No military background.

      • Wild Chicken :

        Veteran here – yes, this was very common in the military, but I still found it really insulting. I knew when my ex-fiancé began referring to me as a code-name rather than by my actual name that we were not meant to be. Everybody I observed that did that meant it to be slightly demeaning, even if they said it in a teasing fashion.

    • I don’t see anything off-putting here.

    • Pretty Primadonna :

      Not at all.

  15. Anon in MA :

    One other thought- I often refer to my husband as “my spouse” in professional settings, when meeting new people, etc or “John Doe, my husband” and then just call him “John Doe” with friends or at work. I think its more professional and appropriate given the many different forms of relationships and terms that exist.

    • Interviewer :

      I also describe my spouse as “XXX, my husband.” It sounds different to me than “the husband.” I personally don’t like “the wife” or “the husband.” To me, it sounds like an inanimate object (e.g. the car, the trash can) or a non-person (the cat, the dog, the goldfish). But I know others commonly use it. I just didn’t like it in conjunction with the “smart girl” comment, and it seemed unprofessional.

      • Wildkitten :

        My (adorable) mom doesn’t even like it when I call the cat “the cat.” Her grandkitten has a name, goshdarnit!

        • hahaha, my mom gives me grief for the same thing! Cat grandmas are very protective of their grandkittens!!!

  16. Legal Aid :

    I’m a new fundraiser for a local legal aid office in New England. Brainstorming events targeting the private bar associations that give a blanket donation. What events would you attend? A wiffle golf tournament (apparently wiffle balls are a practice ball, not the wiffle balls I remember from T ball)? A family mini golf day event? An upscale evening dinner cruise? We have a well attended annual wine tasting as well as some other events, but I want to mix it up.

  17. Anonymous :

    Is it normal for my student loans and rent to consume 50% of my take-home pay? I’m recently divorced and that reality is taking some getting used to.

    • Yes, if you live in a HCOL location and have a lot of student loans.

    • my rent and student loan payments eat up a two-week paycheck. my rent isn’t ghastly ($1k for a 1BR in socal), and my student loan payments are the absolute minimum allowed under PAYE. my salary is about market level for non-big law/ip firms. unfortunately, this is the new reality.

      • Where are you paying only 1k for a 1BR in Southern California??? I’ve been looking at ads for my old ‘hood and there’s nothing decent for less than 1,800 or so.

        • san diego, however i definitely lucked out…this is NOT the norm in terms of rent around here

    • Anonymous :

      Just 50%? Haha, consider yourself lucky.

    • Anonymous :

      It is not uncommon. Whether or not it is “normal” (or ?reasonable) is hard to answer this not knowing what your income/loans/rent/job prospects are.

      But I would probably move to a cheaper place, if possible. I’m really frugal though.

      As you are learning, it is cheaper to live as a couple than as a single, if you don’t want to have roommates.

      I work in medicine, and during my residency, I lived like a student to be able to afford to pay my loans and live alone. Meaning… no luxuries, saved like crazy, took a long time looking for the perfect (older, quirky but safe) apartment that was affordable. The only thing I ever bought was food and basic essentials. And loans and rent took up more than 50% of my take home pay. I remember the first time I went to another resident’s home for dinner. She was married, and her husband worked a normal job. She lived in a beautiful (to me…) home, with a newish car and drank wine regularly with dinner (!). She had … furniture, dishes… that weren’t hand-me-downs. She was a grown-up, living a luxurious life in comparison. I felt pretty …. jealous… I’m sorry to say.

      It has been very hard for my friends who got divorced in their 30’s, but usually just initially. Most are career driven women who can take care of themselves. But it is very hard for many to step down their standard of living. Try if you can. It really doesn’t take that much money to live a decent life, with just a little thought and care.

    • Anonymous :

      Yes. Fairly common especially among those with graduate degrees in HCOL areas. Heck, I’m not even in a HCOL area and mine’s probably 50% thanks to the student loan payments that are basically the equivalent of another rent payment. Probably not good, but not unusual.

  18. Marriage Advice :

    I am dealing with an incredibly difficult situation with my husband and I would appreciate some advice. We have been together for 10 years and generally have been happy, but have been struggling over the last year or so. In the last few months, things have been better and I thought we were trending up, but last night I came across some things on my husband’s computer that were very upsetting to me. I found messages between him and several other women. The messages that I saw were not terribly sexually explicit, but more so sweet (which in some ways feels worse). There were references to other conversations on kik, but I could not see those messages.
    I confronted him about it and he admitted to talking to other women. He said that over the last year, I have been very condescending and mean when I talk to him and he asked me many times to be nicer to him (this is true). Eventually, he said he got tired of asking without me making any changes and so he said that he sought out other women to talk to because it felt good to talk to someone who was kind to him and didn’t make him feel bad about himself. He also said that he has NEVER actually met any of these women, and I tend to believe him.
    I am so confused about what to do. I know that what he is saying about my attitude is true. He asked me for months to be nicer to him and I really had a hard time with that because my stress level was so high and I felt like I couldn’t control myself sometimes. Often, I would recognize that I was being rude or dismissive after the fact, but I had trouble stopping myself in the moment. I really do understand where he is coming from, but I am also incredibly hurt by this. Also, when things are not great with us, I sometimes seek out attention from a male co-worker (just flirting), so in some ways, I feel that what he has done is not all that different.
    I asked him to show me the messages on kik, but he is refusing because he says it is embarrassing and that he doesn’t want it to hurt me more. I don’t know that I can really move forward without being sure that I know everything. I did tell him that we have to go to marriage counseling and that HE has to be the one to arrange it if he wants to show me that he wants to move forward, too. Has anyone else gone through this or can offer any advice?

    • wait what :

      Why are you placing the burden of arranging counseling, etc, on your husband, when both of you acknowledge that the issue originates with you, and your inability to manage your stress level and communication style? Especially when you have been actively flirting in-person?

    • Bewitched :

      I think marriage counseling is a good idea, but I’m a little troubled about your insistence that he make the appointment. Yes, he was talking to other women. Not a good sign. But you also say that you were flirting with other men and that you were rude and dismissive of him. I think it’s a bad idea to assign the marriage counseling arrangements to any one party in that situation. Why not say, I will try to come up with the name of one counselor and you try to find another and then we will decide together? You may not be able to get a timely appointment anyway so it’s good to have options. Good luck, I do think a professional will be invaluable to you both.

    • Anonymous :

      I would say that what he has done is better than your in person flirting with a coworker. Not that different, but he just hasn’t caught you yet. Add to that the undisputed fact that he has asked you to be nicer to him and you remain pretty mean, and it should probably be you making the appointment if you want to work on the marriage. I can’t really see in your post if you want to save the marriage though.

    • My advice isn’t particularly kind: It sounds to me like you need to start with personal counseling to learn to control your anger. Being nasty and condescending to your partner, and ignoring his repeated requests that you st0p, is a far greater betrayal than some platonic internet conversation. It sounds like you need to demonstrate your willingness to change first, since you admit you started the problem.

      • +1. I fully admit that, when emotional or angry, I will say really nasty and condescending things that I will regret later, and sometimes don’t even mean. I know this about myself (and so does my spouse). I will absolutely stop talking in the middle of a heated discussion, before it gets to the point of nasty/condescending, and tell him “I need to be quite for a minute now before I say something I regret”.

      • Marriage Advice :

        I truly appreciate the responses and am taking them to heart. I have been in individual therapy for about a year now, as well as medication management. It took me a while to be able to implement the things I was learning in therapy, and I think this was very frustrating for him because it took me so long to make progress. Finally, through the combination of therapy and anxiety medication, I have been able to really change my attitude, hence the improvement in our relationship over the last few months.

        In our relationship, I feel I that I tend to have to be the “fixer.” I am the one who schedules all of our doctors appointments, organizes our social and family commitments, and I am the primary breadwinner. So, I guess I just felt that he needed to show me that he really cares to work on things. I am thinking about your advice, though and will consider whether it is something that we can do together.

        • Genuine question: Consider whether you are really the “fixer” or if you are the “controller?” Sometimes when one partner is domineering, the other just cedes all control to make things simpler/avoid conflict. So is your husband really falling down on contributing, or have you filled all the space there is and squeezed him out? If that behavior is coupled with belittling/demeaning comments, I can see why he would be curled up in a ball and just letting you take over. It would be a position of safety for him.

      • +2

        You need individual therapy and possibly an anti-anxiety medication for you, and couples counseling ASAP if you want to save your marriage. Arrange the appointment together. Your insistence that HE arrange it to show he is trying to change is not appropriate. What have YOU insisted you will do to try to improve the situation, which seems to have sprung partially from your own anxiety?

        You are doing a very good job at acknowledging your own role in this. Now take the hardest steps.

    • I used to be the same way toward my husband – snapping at him, mean, etc. and he would call me out on it and I would realize after the fact that it was true but couldn’t stop it in the moment. Lexapro is what fixed it for me. 100%. I’ve been off it for about 6 months and found that I am still better able to control it (almost like it reset my attitude).

    • Senior Attorney :

      I have been through this in the sense that I was the spouse who asked and asked my husband to be nicer to me, and all those requests fell on deaf ears until I finally just left. In my view there is no comparison between the magnitude of your betrayal (constant nastiness combined with undisclosed, undiscovered flirting) and his.

      I just feel like you are dead wrong to be acting like the wronged party here. You need to look at this as a wake-up call and get your act together before he realizes that life is a he!! of a lot better when you’re not living with someone who treats you badly.

  19. I’m not sure this is totally the right crowd, but I have a liberal arts degree and have a management position in business field where that’s totally okay, but I’m seeing more and more that Analytics are part of the future. I might never be a true data cruncher, but I’m trying to figure out how I can get more skills in this area without having to start over from Calculus or basic Programming, like some Certificates or Degrees are showing. Does anyone know how to go about doing this? Am I destined to become a dinosaur or have a 13 year old teach me how to code?

    • Wanderlust :

      Check out General Assembly. They have classes on things like how to analyze data, use SQL, etc., that don’t require much background, and they seem to be in quite a few major cities (if you’re in one. If not I think they might have some online classes)

    • Wildkitten :

      You might also check out Coursera or Lynda to grow some basic skills for cheaper than a full certificate program.

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