Weekend Open Thread

Something on your mind? Chat about it here.

Colored denim is everywhere for spring and summer. Ladies, what are your thoughts? One part of me thinks they’re cute, and another part of me thinks nothing could be less flattering than pastel jeans. Still: if you’re looking, these super skinny stretch denim jeans are marked from $62.67 to $43.87 at ASOS. Vila Jeans Super Skinny

(L-2)

Comments

  1. I’m going to be wearing this dress to a wedding next month. http://www.talbots.com/online/browse/product_details.jsp?id=prdi27129&rootCategory=cat400043&catId=cat80018&sortKey=Default&section=Outlet&conceptIdUnderSale=cat400043

    I was planning on taupe shoes like the model is wearing. But now I’m wondering if something more colorful might not be better. Any ideas on how to accessorize?

    • Like the ombre! I could see shoes in the red/coral/maroon range working, but taupe or brown would be lovely as well.

    • The dress is beautiful! Maybe pink shoes?

    • lostintranslation :

      I would wear magenta or bright cobalt shoes. But I would wear those with almost anything :-)

    • Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler :

      Maybe shiny instead of bright? How about these (http://www.target.com/p/Women-s-Mossimo-Paisley-Platform-Pumps-Assorted/-/A-13779817) in the Golden. I have them in Pink and I love them. I warn you, they are pretty high (but I’m used to height) and it took a couple of wears to break in, but I love having a pair of sexy pink shoes that make me taller than by 6’1″ boyfriend.

      • Whoa. Better you than me in those sparkly shoes, Basil. I would probably only wear them under pants. To a New Year’s Eve party.

        But, you know what? Rock ’em if you can, baby.

        • Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler :

          IRL, the Golden are not obtrusively shiny. But then again, because I dress so conservatively for work, in my personal life, I like to push the limits. The Pink definitely fit that bill.

      • Want.

    • Anonymous :

      I second lost-in-translation, and nola. I just think the whole thing is just too.. beige :-). Think of what it’ll do to photos. Actually, any bright color you love and may already have would work well with this, also turquoise, yellow, you name it.

  2. question for in-house ladies :

    Earlier this week, someone (I’m not sure who it was) emphasized how she can tell whether or not a fellow in-house mate was “raised” in biglaw or not (this was in response to a junior litigator’s question on going in-house). The replier also emphasized the 3-5 yrs of firm experience before moving in house.

    What characteristics distinguish someone “raised” in biglaw (and presumbly received adequate training) vs someone who was not? Also, as a jr litigator (< 3 yrs) myself, what sorts of experiences at the firm should I be looking for in the 3-5 yr range in case I decide to apply to in-house positions down the line?

    • Left my heart in San Francisco :

      I’m in biglaw, not in house, but I look at the jobs posted on the ACC website to see what types
      of skills companies are looking for.

    • in-hizzouse! :

      I’m interested in the answer to this.

      I work with mostly former Biglawyers and one guy who didn’t do Biglaw. To me, non-Biglawyer just seems to lack work ethic. He never had to go through the hellfire that was Biglaw. Never billed 200+ hrs/month for months on end, never put up with abusive partners, and has never had to sacrifice -anything- for his job. So he gets super-annoyed if he has to stay “late” (air quotes because in-house “late” is laughable in comparison to Biglaw “late”), and he doesn’t seem good at juggling multiple tasks. Also doesn’t seem to have very high standards for his work, I think in part because there aren’t serious consequences for screwing up or making mistakes.

      But, you know, it’s hard to tell. This guy could just be lazy, and it might have nothing at all to do with Biglaw. There are plenty of crappy lawyers in large law firms, just as there are many, many talented lawyers outside Biglaw.

      • Ouch. As a small firm lawyer, the inference that nonbiglaw lawyers don’t work as hard is extremely offensive. It sounds like your guy is just a lazy a-hole.

        • This.

        • in-hizzouse! :

          So, on the scale of extremely offensive, where would you put this between someone not holding the door for you and the Holocaust?

          • Litigator :

            I would say, on that scale, I would put it at Really Ignorant.

            There are many kinds of lawyers that work extremely hard and don’t come from Biglaw.

          • Love this comment. Please be my friend.

      • Yeah, honestly, I don’t think a sample size of one is fair to draw inferences from. I’ve never worked in BigLaw and never billed 200+ hour months for months on end, nor do I have any desire to or think I’d do well in that kind of environment. BUT: I do take the job I have seriously, work late and overtime when necessary, and try not to make sloppy mistakes (not that I’m perfect, but I do care and try).

      • It seems like you have a superiority complex about Biglaw. Why is someone a hard worker just because he/she didn’t bill a certain amount of hours, never put up with abusive bosses, or had to sacrifice for his job? I think it is about priorities. Maybe he is a great father and husband and that is what he cares most about. If someone is not getting their work done or doing a poor job, then that means they are a bad worker, but it shouldn’t be based on whether they were in Biglaw or not. Also, it seems like almost everyone who goes into Biglaw does it just to pay off their loans and get out of it ASAP. Thank goodness I will not have to deal with that.

      • Random question- how many times do you wear your jeans before you wash them?

  3. Double threadjack–
    1. Does anyone have a recommendation for a work appropriate shirt dress?
    2. Weird question: I decided to give my eyes a break from contacts for a week or so due to the post from earlier this week. How long does it take to get used to not having peripheral vision, especially while driving? It is really bothering me and making me reconsider this whole no contacts thing.

    • I just bought the “Callie” shirt dress today from Banana in both a coral-y bright pink and black. It wasnt cheap at $98 (reduced from $130 due to unspecified promotion) but it fits perfectly, came in petite sizes, has pockets, is machine washable, and will never go out of style.

    • Rose in Bloom :

      As for question number 2, I’ve worn contacts for 15+ years and had to take much of the last month off due to dry eyes from allergies. I’ve found that it usually takes me 2-3 days before I get used to the glasses. That said, my eyes are appreciating the switch.

    • Lands End has a bunch of shirt dresses – I think any of their solid-colored ones would be appropriate, although I’d wear a cardi with the sleeveless ones.

    • I find it is much less difficult to get used to the switch if you try to wear your glasses a little each day. I try to put mine on at around 7-8 and usually wear them at least 1-2 days a week, and sometimes 3 if my eyes are getting dry/scratchy. I really have no trouble adjusting with this routine.

    • I think it depends on what frames your glasses have. I wear rimless glasses (think Stephen Colbert) and there’s nothing blocking my peripheral vision. Thick, black frames would make a big difference.

    • I’ve had to choose between contacts and the cat. I still mourn the peripheral vision of contacts, and that way I could see as if I really had good eyes. But I also got a corneal ulcer somewhere along the way (dry and allergies, not omitting cleaning the contacts..) and it was so painful that I never ever want to feel that again.
      Vision actually happens in the brain. So mindset is a lot of it. I’ve been extremely near-sighted all my life, and mostly worn glases. I think I’ve adjusted to the fact that my periphery is blurry, it doesn’t mean that I ignore what’s happening in it. Sometimes it seems that I do better at the periphery than people who concentrate on the sharp center.

  4. sunshinecr :

    Just got this very fun skirt for summer. I think it is perfect for airline travel too because it will keep me warm, but still lightweight (I’m debating whether it will be sheer in the hot tropical sun..), fits curves in all the right places and the way the fabric is cut it swings when I walk, but not too obnoxiously. Now if someone would just put some style ideas with this on pinterest for me. Please. http://www.jcpenney.com/jcp/X6.aspx?GrpTyp=PRD&ItemID=1db1993&submit%20search.y=0&Ntt=stripe+american&SearchString=stripe+american&hdnOnGo=true&Ne=4+840+877+878+5+961+6+29+3+579+963+1014+1031+8+587+15+12+1011+598+11+506+10+23+585+969+596+1022+586+1007+879+968+1027+18+904+903+833+1545&NOffset=0&SelDim=4~&submit%20search.x=0&Nao=0&N=4294959029+4294966867&SO=0&PSO=0&CmCatId=external|xgn|searchresults

  5. Hoping for good vibes coming my way from you ladies… I’m taking the tax part of the CPA exam tomorrow morning for the first time. I have studied so hard, but I feel like there are so many things I could have studied more… Augh!

    • Rose in Bloom :

      Good luck! In the immortal words of Tom Haverford, be sure to “treat yo’self” after you are done!

    • Good luck! Try not to second guess yourself too much, you know your stuff!!!

    • lostintranslation :

      I have no idea what your exam is like, or how it’s evaluated, but good luck anyways! I took a bunch of high stakes exams too and always had the same feeling about studying more, but you’ll be fine! Good luck to you!!

    • It’s probably over by now, but I hope it went well!

    • Hey, if you studied so hard, you probably did really well :-). The part between the exam and the results is always so painfully anxiety-ridden, do try to treat yourself well during that time. And at least fantasize about how you’re going to celebrate, because it sure sounds like you will :-).

  6. Anonymous for this :

    Hi Ladies,

    I want to start with saying that I’ve always found comfort in having you all (strangers as you are) to share my thoughts and opinions so thank you.

    Here’s my issue: my husband and I have been married for 7 years now and we’re practically in a sexless marriage. We had sex 3-4 times last year and once this year. I am very happy in my marriage and he’s a great father and husband. He treats me like a queen and gives me almost everything I want and more. The secret I’ve kept from him is that I hate the fact that we barely have sex. I’ve told him before but never had a real conversation about it. The funny thing is that he’s very affectionate with me (i.e. sneaking in kisses and hugs all day, cuddling in bed, undressing me, etc) but just no sex. We have two small kids but they are not that much work so it’s not like they drain all our energy. He does have a stressful job which is why I haven’t made a big deal of it. Honestly, he has never said no to me but he’s never made any initiatives so I don’t even bother asking anymore. I know that when he does have sex with me, its only because he knows I want it. After a while, I get tired and fell cheap for dropping “please make love to me” hints to my husband without getting any reaction. I feel bad for making this seem like a big issue when sex is only a slice of the “great marriage” pie. I want to talk to him but not sure if I’m over reacting. Just the other day I told my friend to not be so hard on her husband because he’s a good guy and she can be with worst. Am I asking for too much? My husband is great and there are many women who have it worst than me. I feel like a spoiled brat crying over what seems like such a minor issue at times.

    • Why don’t you just talk to him about it?

      • Yeah, I agree. A lot of things can cause reduced sex drive, especially stress. Bring it up in a non-accusatory way and see if he’s open to taking steps to increase his sex drive. A couples therapist may also have some good ideas to help you two out.

    • Harlot for this :

      You need to start reading Dan Savage ASAP, he actually has really sound advice for people in your situation (both male and female.) His opinion, and frankly I agree, is that part of marriage is agreeing to have s*x with someone. Now, how much on the margins may be an issue of negotiation within any marriage (obviously) but 3-4 times a year (or frankly now once a year in your case) is not “having sex in marriage” its “not having sex in marriage”. A lifetime of abstinence was not what you signed up for.

      There are lots of possible reasons your husband might not be interested in s*x. There may be physical problems, if he’s gained a lot of weight or developed ED. He may be gay. He may be asexual (there’s a website for spouses of asexuals). Depending on the reason for the no s*x, the next actions depend. He could get medical treatment, you could divorce, or you could agree to stay married in a manogomish relationship where you get to see s*xual satisfaction elsewhere.

      But either way, it does NOT make you a spoiled brat to not want to live your life as a veritable nun. Find a s*x positive marriage counselor and talk about this with your husband in a supportive environment post haste.

      • I haven’t read Dan Savage before, but I completely agree that part of a successful marriage is being sexually satisfied. I would first talk to your husband in depth about this. I wouldn’t do it at any time when it looks like you’re asking after he has rejected any advances…maybe during dinner on a date night? Depending on what he says, I’d then seek either couples or individual counseling.

        Good luck! I don’t think anyone here will think that you’re a spoiled brat for this.

      • Yep. She said it all..

    • I’m not married, nor do I have kids, so take this with a grain of salt. But one thing that jumps out to me from reading this is…spoiled brat? That isn’t how it comes across in the least.

      You’re not thinking about leaving, or even threatening any ultimatum. You’re saying you love and appreciate your husband, and are mostly quite happy with the relationship, but something (quite legitimately) feels like it’s missing for you. I think if you present it this way–first to yourself, then to him–it sounds like you’re doing it out of love for him and honor for the marriage, rather than any brattiness at all. There is absolutely nothing unfair about a married adult wanting sexual intimacy with her spouse.

    • Is this a change from how things used to be, or has he always seemed to have a lower s*x drive?

      This isn’t a minor issue at all, and you’re not a brat for caring about it. But my question would be: if your husband is such a great guy (and he seems to be!), why haven’t you talked about this with him yet? I’m curious what makes you reluctant to raise the issue.

    • You are not asking for too much. If you are posting it here, then it probably bothers you more than you are willing to admit. I’d be really mad if we were only having s*x that few times. You want somebody to tell you that what you are going through is normal and ok. It is not. This is not normal. Your marriage depends on all cylinders firing-trust, love, comfort, and intimacy. Talk with him-scratch that-do something(s) with him. The time for talking is LONG past.

    • Honestly, what stands out most in your post is how hesitant you are to ask for what you want and how little you think you deserve. You’ve never told him how you feel, and I assume this has been the same since you got together? I’m concerned that if you confront your husband and he is defensive (because this is likely a sore spot for him and you’ve never raised a concern, so he may have married you thinking this was your natural s*xual set point as well) that you will lack the self esteem to continue pushing this issue.

      I recommend that you go to therapy by yourself for a while, just to deal with the self esteem issue. Maybe think about your relationship with your father, and other men in your life. Maybe some past traumatic experiences? I’m assuming you married very young. And then when you build up some self confidence, then, with your therapist’s support, bring this up to your husband.

  7. lostintranslation :

    Hey guys, thanks for all of the advice last time. I’m keeping my chin up and fingers crossed.

    In the meantime, I have an easier question: does anyone here do tradeshows and have black pumps/wedges they recommend? I know we’ve talked about comfortable shoes in general, but tradeshows are imo an entirely different level (standing around for 10 hours on concrete floors). Last time, my usually comfortable and slightly dowdy Anne Klein Flex shoes definitely did not cut it.

    Thanks in advance!!

    • Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler :

      I don’t have any specific shoe recommendations, but, for comfort, I’ve always had luck with the Sofft brand and I’ve always had luck finding them at good prices at N. Rack.

    • I live in these:
      http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004JRJFCE/ref=wms_ohs_product

    • Cole Haan Air Talia wedge! I walk to and from work in these, and wear them all day, and have never had any pain whatsoever.

    • Can you take a mat, carpet square or even a carpeted map from your car to stand on? As well as the shoes, the floor surface matters, doesn’t it!

      • lostintranslation :

        Yeah exactly, the surface is the problem. Our booth is having raised wooden floors installed, so I’m hoping it’ll be nicer than the concrete I was standing on last time. Unfortunately, I can’t take anything in to stand on.

        • That should really help. The floor is half of it, and concrete is the very worst. Make sure you work out a break schedule with the coworkers in advance, and that you stick to it..

    • lostintranslation :

      Thanks guys! Oddly enough, these were the exact 3 pairs of shoes I was looking at. I guess it’s a sign that I should get them.

    • Try the Naot Trendy. Uber supportive and comfy.

    • No suggestions but I can sympathize – just finished a show last weekend.

    • lucy stone :

      My mom does tradeshows (that sounds like an ATL comment!) and has had great luck with Indigo by Clarks. She also puts Dr. Scholls insoles in them.

  8. My bag was stolen from the pub yesterday and I’m super annoyed! There wasn’t very much in it, luckily, but it did have my Kindle and my HTC smartphone, both of which I’ll have to buy full price to replace, and my US passport. The US embassy in London isn’t open until Tuesday and after fighting the automated phone menu for 45min yesterday I’ve decided there is actually no way to get in touch with them out of hours. It’s no skin off my nose (aside from identity theft issues, of course) as I don’t have any international travel plans until July, but you’d think they’d want to know right away that a stolen US passport is out there!

    • Do you have renters and/or homeowner’s insurance? It might cover some of your losses. Also, if you have an American Express card, they (I believe) automatically provide some sort of insurance for purchases made with the card. Finally, you can sign up for a service for relatively little money that will keep an eye on your identity to make sure its not stolen for some period of time, if that will give you piece of mind!

      Sorry though, that really sucks!

    • Second the thoughts about 1) credit cards, and 2) home insurance. The insurance may cover thefts, even if they’re not from your home. And American Express isn’t the only credit card that covers purchases that are stolen. VISA often does too.

  9. I’m looking for recommendations for management / leadership books. Recently gained a new direct report who previously reported to an ineffective manager and I’m looking for practical advice on transitioning and managing / mentoring her.

    • No book recommendations but this happened to me recently. In the case of the two people I am now supervising, they had had little communication from above, didn’t know the status of decisions that affected them, and had little structure. I sat down with them and talked about how I wanted things to go in terms of communication and structure, what my expectations are of them, and how I would like then to communicate with me. Then I gave them an assignment to work on a project that would benefit both of them and I took them out to lunch to talk through their work. So far so good. I think they are appreciating more structure and more communication. I don’t micromanage, but they do need to have support.

    • Are you familiar with AskAManager.com? Lots of very good advice in there, very sensible, humane etc.
      Good luck to you! Just having those good intentions from you must make that new person feel a lot better. I’d second nola’s recommendation of just having a talk about it, it’d be interesting for you that she express what she was consciously missing too.

    • D Train South :

      Ken Blanchard books. “The One Minute Manager” is a great place to get very basic do’s and don’ts. This book is old, but Blanchard has updated it and expanded on it.

  10. Seeking advice :

    Ladies (and gents),

    I would appreciate your input. I want to give you as much info as possible, so this may be a little long. I recognize that we are incredibly fortunate to have a strong marriage, financial options, and educational opportunities.

    I am a married 3L, graduating in May with a firm job lined up in another state. In late May, I am headed to the firm state to take an in-person Bar-bri class. I will be living with family for the first part of the summer. Our lease in law school state ends on July 1. Our lease in firm state starts July 1. Movers are already lined up to move us out in late June. We have planned that my husband will stay in law school state and work until July 1 to secure health insurance for July.

    My husband who is very book smart and intellectually oriented, followed me to law school state from firm state three years ago. He put off an interesting graduate degree program with financial support to do so in firm state. Although he has an undergraduate degree from a good school and a prestigious major/honors etc., he was unable to find any work in his area of interest in law school state. Instead, he began working in retail management at store A after my father pulled some strings (~30k/yr). He really didn’t enjoy the culture, and after 2 years an opportunity came up to move to store B (~24k/yr). I supported his move despite the financial stress because I agreed that store A was really toxic to him.

    This spring he reapplied to the program he put off. Because of a previous fellowship, the school had an informal set up that did not require him to take the GRE. This policy changed, and we only found out after my husband had applied. He arranged with the school to take the GRE asap. He did very well. Now we are waiting until April 23 to hear about the formal admission decision and scholarships.

    When I graduate, we will have less than 10K in debt in subsidized loans. Additionally, we have informally borrowed 10k from a family 529 account (not in my name) that is no longer needed by my sibling. If and to whom we will be paying this amount back is unclear (either to my parents who are financially secure, but unemployed or my brother with a great job). If my husband works through July 1, we will run out of money in September. My start date is late October. My parents, his parents, and others have all said they would be willing to lend us money to get through September and October (formally, paying interest).

    My husband wants to stop working on June 1 instead of July 1 and come to firm state. Because we are renting a new unit, we may be able to move our firm state rent up by a month. The moving company may also be able to accommodate the earlier move.

    So what is my problem? We have run the numbers. If he does so, we run out of money at the end of July. (Things get tough because of 2 months on Cobra instead of 1, an extra rent payment in firm state for the month of June and loss of salary).

    We can probably borrow the extra money (4700), but have some misgivings because that money would essentially be for my husband to take a long vacation before he starts school in mid-august. On the flip-side, my husband really hates retail and wants to get out asap.

    Other fun details:
    We talk about everything. We have a strict honesty policy that prevents buildup of tension.

    We are both very stressed about the idea of significant debt. We want to be able to “eject” from the rat race at any time. We plan to order our lifestyle in a way that will allow that to be possible.

    He is supportive but a little jealous of the fact that I have spent the last few years at a very prestigious law school getting a masters and a JD while he has worked retail.

    Though intelligent and personable, my husband has never had a job that he liked (other than being a lifeguard). He has a tendency to crave rest and relaxation, but to brood when he is not occupied or working toward a goal (GRE, marathon, LSAT, organic gardening).

    Over the past 6 months I have sought out therapy for anxiety. I am not good at self-care and tend to want to take care of everyone around me before myself. My education and dreams being the focus of the last few years has stressed me out. I know that my husband is amazing: smart, charismatic, adoring, very fit, learning to run a household and cook (the list goes on). So I feel guilty about having “forced” one of the most giving men I know to put aside his ambitions and opportunities for me. I know that we do have some balance to our relationship because I work hard to be supportive of his sport activities/gardening, to do chores he hates, to put aside school work and focus on him, to have more s*x, watch my acidic tongue. We have both come a really long way over the last three years and are more in love and competent at this marriage thing than we have ever been.

    We live very frugally in comparison to most law students. We try (somewhat successfully) to keep a strict budget. Our big indulgences over the last three years are: two pets, buying new to us furniture to replace stuff we literally found by dumpsters and picked off the sidewalk, a delayed honey moon (entirely paid for by wedding gifts), purchasing a work wardrobe for my summer positions, occasional special event dinners. Of these indulgences, I have been the driver behind each except the honeymoon and the special events. That said, my husband adores our pets and loves the furniture we purchased.

    So what do we do?

    Do we stick to the plan of July? Or do we just “throw caution to the wind” and try to make June work. I am not sure that my husband will be happy with either choice—one way he will continue to work a boring job and the other way he will be a “house husband” living off of borrowed family savings.

    Any thoughts on what to do or how to manage the stress would be great.

    • First, it seems like you guys have really thought through all of your options and communicated with each other, which is fantastic.

      I think you need to just lay out the options for your husband and let him pick the lesser evil (retail or living off family savings) for him. As you said, you’ve have several years where the focus has been on you, and now it’s his turn. For super-wife points, is there any way you can pick up a part time retail/waitressing/bartending job yourself for a few months? Alternatively, can you get a salary advance from your firm instead of borrowing from family?

      • Ah just noticed you are taking the bar this summer, so taking on a part time job won’t be feasible until at least August. I’d talk to the firm about a salary advance.

        As for managing stress, once your husband makes a decision, don’t look back. You’re only talking about a few months of expenses here, not facing long term unemployment or a mortgage you can’t afford or anything like that. Enjoy the few months you guys have off together- it may be a while before you both have that much free time again.

        • Seeking advice :

          KK–

          Thanks for your thoughts. I had not considered a salary advance as an alternative to a more traditional loan. I will definitely discuss this option with my husband (and really try to let him take the lead on the decision).

          As soon as I finish the bar, I will try to find something asap. I am currently thinking about being a research assistant to a professor I admire.

          Your point about not looking back is well taken. Such a big part of reducing stress is moving forward, not tracing out what could have been different.

          Thanks for taking the time to respond to me. It was really helpful to write all of this out and get some feedback!

          Have a lovely weekend!

        • Anonymous :

          Unless you already know that your firm automatically gives out salary advances (and, if so, ignore my post!), before asking for an advance, I would ask around informally from others at the firm (if you can) whether this is something your firm normally does. At my own firm (DC biglaw, if that makes any difference), these types of requests are met with a lot of hostility and irritation — like a still talking about the person who asked for a salary advance eight years ago kind of irritation. I was surprised by all the vitriol, but I noticed that a lot of the older people at the firm forget how little money they had when they first started working and how much of a financial strain it can be to be taking the bar, moving, etc. Perhaps this kind of request is commonplace at other firms, but I would be careful about making such a request before your first day on the job.

          • Seeking advice :

            Thanks for the heads up! I think we are more comfortable working either with immediate family or a more anonymous lending service. I was wondering exactly what you warned of … do people/talk care about such requests? what kind of impression do you give before you start working?

    • One thing about cobra is that you can retroactively ask for it; so if you don’t have any health issues for 60 days (look in to details) you don’t even have to actually pay for it. We did this when we moved. If your insurance is going to be on hold for more than that, you may have to pay.

      As I read through this, I say – though my vote doesn’t really count — let your husband quit his job a month early. Moving is super stressful and if he’s miserable in his job and has been the giving one for you for several years, then give him this small gift. Yeah, it’s a big vacation, but moving and establishing things in a new city is a huge investment of time.

    • Doesn’t it all depend on the grad school decision? If your husband gets into his program, then YES, take the extra time off. (Also, are you sure you can’t move up your start date?) If your husband doesn’t get in, you have some bigger thinking to do. If I were you, I’d wait until then.

      Also, taking a month off and being a “house husband” are two totally different things. Life is long and a month is short.

    • If you’re young and healthy you maybe able to get cheap temporary health insurance in your new state rather than having to use Cobra, and that could help out financially. Assuming he gets into the graduate program I’m in the camp of letting him decide what will make him happiest.

    • I’d agree with the others that in the end it’s his decision — but if it were my SO, I’d encourage him to take the month off. Your long term position is solid (since you have a job contract already), so if you end up in the hole for the first few months you’re getting set up, IMHO that’s not unusual or a big deal. My SO and I paid double rent for 5 months when I moved for my current job! It’s just an expensive period. Also, opportunities to take a few months off are rare, once you get locked into a career path it’s just so much harder to have an uninterrupted block of time like that. As to whether he’ll enjoy the time off, only he can say, but since he’s brought it up already it seems likely that he’d rather the time off/time away from retail than the money.

    • Wow. I’m amazed that you’re getting out of law school with <$10K in debt. I really admire people that don't have much debt.

      But I know some of my family members are more obsessed with staying out of debt than actually living their lives. For instance, mortgages are good, even though they are debt. Taking out a debt to start a well-panned business is good.

      This month almost seems like a perfect, positive, time to use some debt. Borrow what you need to live. You are going to work at a firm. You will be able to pay it back. A Bar loan isn't a bad idea to cover living expenses for the both of you.

      Not all debt is bad. If it gets you over a hump, i.e., it's truly a temporary/short-term situation, and you know you will have more income in the future to pay it back, then it might be worth it to save you and your husband some hassle.

    • Seeking advice :

      Thank you all for your input. I come from a family where hard work and “clean living” (no debt, few indulgences) is a mark of character. I love my family dearly, but sometimes its good to hear that just because it is the way they do things, it is not the way that my husband and I have to do things.

      I shared your thoughts with my husband, and we are going to followup on some of your ideas. I am actually kind of excited to let him make this decision! I need to remember to enjoy the present a little more.

      Thanks again!

      • A bit late on the comments, but I totally agree that taking time off after a stressful job and before starting school sounds like a great idea. Money isn’t everything, and a month is just a blip. Remember that change is stressful, even good change, so it’s good if both of you can do it easier. And it really, really, should be your husband’s turn to decide this time, you owe him, so you should butt out of this one and just express support for his decision no matter what it may be. Express now that whatever decision he takes will be fine with you, I mean, don’t just wait to express support when he’s decided.

  11. I’m writing a paper and tend to capitalize words which I want to change later or points I want to clarify so right now, it looks like Ellen is writing a very serious paper on FEDERALISM and FOREIGN policy.

    Anyone reading it would think I was very EMPHATIC.

    • You might want to run it by ELLEN herself for copy edits. She has mentioned wanting to be a judge, so I’m sure she is with you in spirit regardless.

    • That is probably a good way of writing a lengthy paper. I usually just star things or make a new paragraph, but capitalizing words would make them stand out more. I might steal your method!

    • I do this, but put unsure wording in bold.

      • I think bold would be better, less chance to allow an unwanted CAPITALISATION sneak by in the final product.. Personally, I use *** so I can just search on that rather than trust my weary eyeballs.

    • Equity's Darling :

      We always put points/questions that we need to address later in a contract or brief after NTD in bold with whatever we are unsure of, or have questions about, need to expand upon, etc. NTD stands for note to draft

      Then, before it goes anywhere outside the firm, we just always just ctrl+f “NTD”, and make sure there are no leftovers. Works for us, esp. when several people are working on the document, and we have questions for specific people who are working on specific parts.

  12. Wynn Duffy :

    Hosting a last minute Easter brunch/lunch tomorrow. Anyone have any favorite (easy!) recipes for a non cook? My friend is making a ham, and so far I am making… Mimosas. please help me round out the meal!

    • Several easy casseroles can be put together today and in the oven tomorrow. Egg, sausage and cheese (look up breakfast casserole recipes). My friends love hash brown casserole (made with frozen hash browns, cream of mushroom soup, sour cream and grated cheese – like Cracker Barrel’s). I also have a French toast casserole recipe. I made them for my Christmas brunch because I was running in after church and had about 15-20 people coming. I had almost no food left. Oh, also you can cook bacon today and put it in foil to reheat tomorrow.

      • Scones – easy peasy. A hundred million recipes out there.
        Fresh fruit, cut up, on a platter.
        Purchased pastries, like croissants.
        Perhaps something vegetarian, depending on your crowd – quiche is about the easiest thing ever (get a frozen pie crust, mix together eggs, cottage cheese, chopped spinich that you have microwaved, and some sauteed onions and mushrooms, and boom.)

        You might consider – and I say this because I do it all. the. time. – using a kids’ cookbook. I have one from W. Sonoma that I got years ago, for my actual kids, and it has recipes that are foolproof and quite good.

        • I should have mentioned that for Christmas day, I had one vegetarian coming, so I made a little version of the egg and sausage casserole with cut-up vegetarian breakfast sausage links and mushrooms. She loved it!

    • I love both NOLA and Lucy’s ideas. You’d have:
      The ham
      Scones and/or purchased croissants (You might get some good Irish or French butter like Kerrygold and Bonne Maman preserves plus creme fraiche and lemon curd — Trader Joe’s lemon curd is awesome.)
      Fruit salad or whole fresh fruit
      Quiche and/or egg-based breakfast casserole
      Coffee/tea/mimosas

      I think with all that, you’re golden. Suggestions for the recipes:
      http://www.joyofbaking.com/scones.html (Cream scones)
      http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-a-fool-proof-quiche-168459
      (The Kitchn website also has great recipes for breakfast casseroles.)
      Definitely agree you can just use a frozen pre-made piecrust for the quiche. Nancy’s is a great brand if you have that one.

      Oh, you might also want to buy some good breads (baguette, a whole grain loaf, a walnut-sourdough loaf) and a mix of some good cheeses — those don’t require any cooking at all and will go well with the ham and jams/butter/preserves and everyone can sort of make their own favorite sandwich.

      Now I’m hungry.

    • Rats. I’m in moderation. Re-posting without links:
      I love both NOLA and Lucy’s ideas. You’d have:
      The ham
      Scones and/or purchased croissants (You might get some good Irish or French butter like Kerrygold and Bonne Maman preserves plus creme fraiche and lemon curd — Trader Joe’s lemon curd is awesome.)
      Fruit salad or whole fresh fruit
      Quiche and/or egg-based breakfast casserole
      Coffee/tea/mimosas
      I think with all that, you’re golden. Suggestions for the recipes:
      Run a search on “cream scones” on the Joy of Baking website.
      Go to www [dot] thekitchn [dot] com and search on “foolproof quiche”.
      (The Kitchn website also has great recipes for breakfast casseroles.)
      Definitely agree you can just use a frozen pre-made piecrust for the quiche. Nancy’s is a great brand if you have that one.

      Oh, you might also want to buy some good breads (baguette, a whole grain loaf, a walnut-sourdough loaf) and a mix of some good cheeses — those don’t require any cooking at all and will go well with the ham and jams/butter/preserves and everyone can sort of make their own favorite sandwich.

      Now I’m hungry.

      • “10 Delicious Breakfast Casseroles”:
        http://www.thekitchn.com/10-delicious-breakfast-cassero-137707

        • I second that! Biscuits and scones are easy, but for people who have some experience baking. For a true beginner, I think casseroles are way easier. And tasty, and look like you’ve worked hard :-). And don’t have to be served at a very specific time, which is good when there are guests and time uncertainty.

      • Biscuits would also go well with ham and also with jam, etc. Yum…

        • Mmmmm . . . my Nana’s buttermilk biscuits with either spiral Easter ham or old-school traditional Smithfield (VA) ham. Or butter and honey! Nothing better.

    • Fancy fruit salad – peaches and pears (I usually used the canned stuff), mangos, grapes, kiwis, strawberries, with blueberries and raspberries as garnish on top. Modify to taste. At least, that’s what I usually bring.

    • Wynn Duffy :

      Thanks all! It was a success!

  13. I watched the NEW STARZ series!!! YAY!!!!! Its’ all about MIAMI beach and the criminal peeple back in the 1960′s. Kind of like a MAD MAN for Miami!!!!! Very sexy!!!!! I recomend it!

    I want to know if anyone knows what I should do b/c I found the manageing partner rumageing through my gym bag at work.

    I do NOT know why he was rumageing in there, but think it is b/c I have my shorts and leggeings in there. He should NOT be doing that but I do NOT want to loose my job b/c of me complaineing to him or someone else. FOOEY!

    Should I confront him or tell him to stop doing that? I am going to my family’s house, but will STILL have access through my I-phone. Happy holiday’s to all!

  14. visiting paris for the first time this spring. everything i have read says to wear all black, but i am wondering if this is true for spring time? any ideas?
    also, any recommendations for stylish flats to wear while touring the city?

    • In my (admittedly limited) experience, it is not Parisians that wear all black, it’s New Yorkers. I think you can definitely wear colors. Bonus points if you wear colors in the form of artfully tied scarves. . . .

    • Rose in Bloom :

      I also have a limited Paris experience (2 times, both summer), but like Amy H., I don’t recall Parisiennes wearing a lot of black at all. I would wear what you like, but leave the sneakers and shorts at home if you are concerned about standing out.

      • Agreed about the sneakers thing… that’s a surefire way to pick out North American tourists!

    • You can check out une femme d’uncertain age (www (dot) unefemme (dot) net). She’s older than the average readership here, but she has many posts about dressing for travel to France (I believe she goes yearly, or biennially) including posts about footwear (yes to converse and pumas).

    • Colors are great in Paris. No sweats or white sneakers. Dark denim is preferred over light denim. Added points for scarves.

      • I wear all the time here and on travel a pair of black Puma sneakers I heard were popular in Paris years ago as a way to stay comfortable and look decent. I got them at a stoop sale from a lady who’d just moved back from Paris. I have worn them oh so much it’s ridiculous. They aren’t quite waterproof, but super convenient for long walks under jeans or dark pants.

    • lostintranslation :

      No, don’t wear all black. For comfort and practicality, I would base my outfits on:
      – cute birkenstock sandals
      – slip on chuck taylors
      – an over-the shoulder purse
      – a beige trenchcoat or denim jacket

      I built some outfits around that so you can see what I mean. No one looks Parisienne if they’re not, but this would at least help you blend in with the other European tourists :). I’m in my mid 20’s, but I see women up to their mid 40’s wearing outfits like this in the Central European country I’m living/working in.

      • lostintranslation :

        Links to avoid moderation:
        http://tinyurl.com/7v3ea3m
        http://tinyurl.com/cl3fy6w
        http://tinyurl.com/86fogxl
        http://tinyurl.com/76ncj4j

    • Girls, I’m from Paris (although don’t live there right now) and I must disagree – black is always appropriate. It doesn’t mean you can’t do something else too, but you can’t go wrong with black, no matter waht the season. Mixing it with grey or natural linen is perfectly fine too, and then you can add one or two bright colors to lighten it up.
      Mostly, keep in mind that Spring the last couple years has been much hotter and dryer than usual. Even though this week it’s cooled a bit, you should be planning practically a summer wardrobe. One lightweight raincoat/windbreaker, a couple scarves, and the rest all light clothes. Paris is built to withstand cold and rain, it’s really suffocating when it’s hot, as it’s muggy and smoggy.
      As to shoes, flat is mandatory, you should be sure you can stand in them 12 hours in a row, day after day. Stylish will be forgiven as long as you’re not limping, get a stylish bag if you must instead :-). Converse sneakers are in this year, if you need a break from over-stylish.

  15. Hello ladies!

    Can anyone recommend a good alternative to a personal finnce site like mint.com? I’m in the UK and it’s only available in the US/Canada. I want a secure software/app that’ll link to my bank acounts and let me to figure out how much of my income I am spending on clothes and shoes!

    • lostintranslation :

      I’m in the same boat as you, and haven’t yet found a service that’s quite as automated as mint.com. However, I’m pretty happy with YouNeedABudget (mac/paid software) for really active budgeting, and The Birdy for when I was retroactively tracking spending. The Birdy is super simple to use, free, and breaks down spending by personalized categories. You do have to input your expenses, but they make it really easy. I would definitely recommend it.

  16. This may be too late in the thread to get suggestions, but for all of you shoe lovers out there — I am searching and failing for the nude pump of my dreams. Any suggestions? I’m looking for something:
    – nude for me (ie, very pale)
    – soft leather (not patent, I can’t seem to wear it without it cutting me)
    – approximately 2.5 inch heel
    – round toe
    – tall toe box (I don’t quite know how to explain this, but I have a problem with shoes that have a somewhat flat toe box, it cuts the top of my feet).
    – no bows, geegaws, cork heels or other stuff — just a straight up basic pump
    – sub $150 if possible.

    I tried on a whole bunch at Nine West last night that looked perfect in theory, but all made my feet cry in one way or another. Suggestions for other places to hit up?

    • This one has more of an almond toe, but for a comfort shoe, it’s not bad looking: http://www.easyspirit.com/Kalei/53904908,default,pd.html?variantSizeClass=&variantColor=JJRK9A0&cgid=50438757&prefn1=catalog-id&prefv1=easyspirit-catalog

      Naturalizer had some lower-heeled pumps as well, but I didn’t think they looked that great. If you were willing to go higher with the heel, I’d recommend the Enzo Angiolini Smiles pump.

      • Did the Naturalizer ones just look bad in person? Because from the web images they actually seem pretty nice. I might go check this one out:

        http://www.naturalizer.com/en-US/Product/EC0228121-3008821/Naturalizer/Portrait+Leather/Deino.aspx

        The Enzo Angiolini pumps are lovely, but something magical happens to be between 2.5 and 3 inches where I start to lose the ability to walk normally. Sigh, I wish I could wear super tall heels, I could use the height!

        • I didn’t see them in person, just on the website. I’m probably just projecting – they’re not my style because I do wear super tall heels, rarely that plain, and I also have problems with leather covered heels getting completely nicked. But that’s just me! I liked the Easy Spirit pumps because they had a little detail.

          • Yeah, the leather covered heel is not ideal, but I think the Naturalizers are close enough to what I’m looking for that I’ll go check them out. I want something that’s going to look as close to naked as possible, sort of Barbie foot like!

        • I'm Just Me :

          I tried the Naturalizer Deino on. It’s a nice shoe. I ended up not keeping it because it did not fit my foot, but was comfortable on the bottom. I wish it had fit, I’m still on the lookout for black pumps.

          • You could try the Nine West applaud shoe — I liked that one a lot, only problem for me was the nude color only came in patent. I considered trying the black leather on, but I do not need more black shoes!

        • I just got the Deino pair in black and love them — super comfortable. I’ve actually been looking for a nude pump with the same specs you describe, and didn’t know the Deino came in portrait leather — I’m almost certainly going to pick up a pair! Report back if you can once you’ve had a chance to check them out!

    • If you’re willing to forego the round toe, check out the Ivanka Trump Indico in malted milk.

  17. Make up question: I’m looking for a good primer to stand up to long hours in warm weather. Any favorites? I was thinking about Nars, Makeup Forever, or Smashbox, but I’m open to suggestions. Also, do you use a moisturizer under it or just the primer and foundation?

    • Rose in Bloom :

      I used to (read: I got lazy and cheap) use Studio Gear Prime Objective primer. I liked it, and it also had SPF in it for extra points. I think I only used moisturizer under it in dry winter months.

  18. Nordie Fan :

    Has anyone tried out the Nordstrom Debit Card?

    This week, the Nordstrom sales associate told me about it. I decided it sounded like a good idea because I’m not so great at paying bills on time, and I end up racking up some interest on credit cards. (Even though I have the money and can pay them off in full. I’m just late some times. I know, I’m bad.)

    But I’m kind of panicked because she took my checking account number and social security number and then was like, “Oops, it didn’t go through. You’ll have to go to the website.”

    Is she going to steal my identity? And if not, is the debit card a good idea?

    • AnonforThis :

      Is there a Nordie’s debit card?

      The reason why I ask is because, I had this happen to me once. The associate convinced me that Nordie’s had a points card, which was NOT a credit card. At the time, I did not want a new CC so I asked her to confirm that she was not running a credit check on me and then proceded to give her my SSN (dumb, I know). I ended up with a new Nordstrom’s CC which I have not been able to close even years later. This is one area where unfortunately Nordie’s customer service has not been so great. But I still LOVE to shop there.

      • Nordie Fan :

        Looks like there is a debit card: http://shop.nordstrom.com/c/nordstrom-card-compare-apply?origin=tab

        The saleswoman told me that you get the same points an benefits as a store credit card, and the same as the Nordstrom Visa, except you can use the Visa other places, for half the points.

    • There is a debit card. I signed up for it last summer in a moment of weakness. Until this month, I never used it because I’m the opposite of you–I pay my credit card off every month, and I like taking advantage of the free float. Then I took a bridesmaids dress in for alterations and the associate told me that the alterations were free if I used my Nordie’s debit card, even though the dress wasn’t purchased there. It’s apparently a new Rewards member benefit for 2012–Level 1 rewards members get up to $100 of free alterations per year. So now I think it might be worth it :)

      I’m not sure what happened with your application but I doubt the associate would steal your identity. Her job probably pays more in the long-term than one identity theft that she would easily be caught and fired for.

  19. Lotto Fever! :

    I received my watch from last week’s Weekend Thread. I’m not sure how I feel about it. It looks and feels like it’s made of the cheapest plastic ever and should cost about $4, but I actually do like it (mostly because it’s BRIGHT pink). But I feel like they owe me $24. I’m wearing my running shoes that have bright yellow, blue, and pink stripes on them and am already wearing blue and yellow, so I feel like it came today to complete my outfit. But ugg it looks so cheap!

    • I didn’t buy the watch but after seeing that post I bought some other stuff from ASOS on sale b/c it was so cheap and there was free shipping, but I ended up sending everything back because it looked absurd in person. A sweater dress came barely to mid-thigh on my 5’2 frame and looked like a Starfleet uniform from the original Star Trek (which I was kind of into, but short of Halloween not sure where to wear it). A pair of red trousers looked like tight, unflattering pajamas.

      Also, curmudgeon alert- what is up with all the “body con” dresses out there? Do 19 year olds not just wear jeans and t-shirts anymore?

  20. Madewell & J. Crew :

    Does anyone know whether there is any correlation between Madewell denim and J.Ccrew denim? Specifically, if I like the way Madewell’s Rail Straight jeans fit me, which J. Crew jeans will fit me?

    TIA

  21. So back to the lists from earlier this week – HOW COME NO ONE MENTIONED LL COOL J??!!!! I think I need to amend my list .

    • D Train South :

      I said my list started and ended withTyson Beckford, but it actually includes LL, Idris Elba, Lenny Kravitz, and Gavin Rossdale.

  22. Does anyone know how returns work for ASOS from the US? Seems a little complicated on their website – does one have to pay return shipping?

    • Nope, just slap on the label and put in regular mail. You receive email updates leading up to the final return.

    • Lotto Fever! :

      The watch I received from them today came with a return label. Slap the label on the box and drop it in the mail. The only bad thing is that I only have 28 days.

    • i recently had a bad experience returning some things. the tracking info said they received it, but the refund never processed. when i emailed them, they said i needed a receipt from the post office showing the date of return (it had to be more than 10 business days from that day) and then i could fill out another form for the return order.

      i didn’t have a receipt (since i used their return label), but showed them the tracking info, and they so graciously, “just this one time”, processed the return for me. then, the return came back more than $100 short (it wasn’t even the difference in price for one of my items, so i have no idea how they came up with the first number). so i had to go back again and ask them to refund me the rest of the money. i got the return done, but the whole thing just made me really nervous and took a long time.

      my roommate has sent back 2 orders, and never get refunded on either of them — she didn’t have the delivery receipts.

      i returned one order a couple years ago, and it worked fine, but from my last experience, i don’t think i’ll order from them again.

      • Alanna of Trebond :

        This sounds super weird, I’ve returned loads of things to Asos and I’ve never had any problems–and I usually just stuff things back into the package they come in and slap on the return label. Have you had other problems with your post office?

        • no, i don’t think it was my post office. the tracking info that asos provided said that it got there fine, just the actual processing was a mess. in any event, my roommate went to a different post office than me.

          obviously it doesn’t happen to everyone, and lots of people return their things just fine (i have before as well) but the whole thing seemed so off that it is enough for me to stop buying from them.

          i guess the moral of my cautionary tale is: make sure you get a delivery receipt when you send out your return.

    • Charlotte :

      This is super-late to this thread, but on the off-chance you see this, I recently had kind of a bad experience with this company. First, there is no telephone number to call, so you are forced to deal with customer service via email. I returned an entire order (>$200) a few weeks ago and received a refund notification for about $50, or only 1 of the 4 items I returned. I emailed them about the discrepancy at least 4 times in the course of 2 weeks and heard nothing. Only after filling out a survey from them last week, and me telling them again about the problem that way did I receive an email crediting the whole amount. I am still waiting for that to clear my credit card. I don’t see myself buying anything from them for a long time. Oh, and the reason I returned my items is that I found the quality to be kind of cheap.

  23. Ladies, take pity on a longtime lurker who is missing that purse/bag gene: Is the Longchamp leather tote bag ( the one that folds up and has a cross-body strap ) worth the splurge?
    Thank you, kind Corporettes!

    • I have a nylon one and like it, but I feel like even that one is overpriced. That said, a leather version is very versatile!

    • No. Get a LeSportsac instead; it will last longer AND it will have pockets.

      • Oh sorry – I only now saw the part about a cross-body strap. I am not familiar with that Longchamp style so I retract my comment.

    • I looked at it in the store this very week, and I don’t think I’d get it. It’s not foldable enough, the leather is too thick. It doesn’t look as good as other Longchamps leather products.

    • Thanks, ladies!

  24. My friend and her wife are going to have a baby very soon. I’m trying to get a baby gift together and would like to get a couple books. I thought about getting a book directed towards children of gay parents and found some through Google searching. But is that a bad idea? I don’t want to offend them or step on their toes as I’m not sure how/when they’re going to explain the whole sperm donor situation to their child. Some of the books I found speak specifically to the sperm donor situation, but some just speak more generally about accepting families of all styles. Should I just go with regular books instead? Or if y’all think this is an ok idea, any suggestions on particular books?

    • A better idea: cookbook on homeade baby food, or something less touchy. That is something they should select, wayyyy down the road. As someone 33 weeks pregnant, I’m not so into stockpiling things I won’t need for 5 yrs or so.

    • I’d probably go with regular books. Let your friend decide how to explain the 2 mommies situation.

    • I think it’s thoughtful of you to have looked into the books. My suggestion would be that if you are at all concerned or unsure about how the parents would react, then it would be a better idea to stick with “regular” books instead. If you know they would appreciate the gesture of you searching for these books, then go for it!

    • The baby is a long way from speaking yet, let alone reading :-). Birth presents are really for the moms and you really should not let your anxieties about their child show that much. How about something practical – babies always need more stuff to drool on like blankets or bibs, and they can be very cute.

    • Baby 411! A fantastic resource for new parents.

    • “Everywhere Babies” is a lovely board book with families of various sorts, including same-gender couples. It’s not about anything except that there are babies everywhere, but if they wish their child to have a sense that their family is a perfectly normal one and that their family structure is represented in books, it would fit into that schema. Plus charming illustrations.

    • I’d suggest a couple of Halo swaddle sacks, a Hooter Hider, and some receiving blankets. If you really want a book, The Baby Whisperer or The Happiest Baby on the Block are good choices. I’d leave the GLBT-oriented stuff up to the parents unless they’re extremely close friends and they’ve asked for this kind of book.

  25. Random Thoughts, and a Special Shout Out :

    . . . to TCFKAG (and other virtual shoppers)

    It is a gorgeous sunny day in SoCal. DH and his daughter left this morning on her college trip back east. Leaving me alone for five whole days. But, I have a boatload of work that will keep me inside all day today.

    Nonetheless, I have already procrastinated for a couple hours reading through old posts on three fashion blogs I just discovered:

    wwwDOTthe vivennefilesDOTblogspotDOTcom

    afemmeduncertainageDOTblogspotDOTcom

    unefemmeDOTnet

    All of which, combined with an already full-blown shoe search in preparation for a week-long trip to NYC in June with days and days of walking and another to Chicago in July, lead me to the following thoughts:

    * days filled with hours of city walking: shoes?

    * one option: some kind of sneaker (other than my running New Balances). What about Chucks in black, Ben Simon lacelets in black or Supergas in black. My feet are completely flat and very narrow.

    * another option: cute comfy shoes. After multiple trips to South Coast Plaza and multiple Zappos deliveries, the best I could come up with was the Cole Haan Air Dina sandal. Very nice. Great sole. But too high to wear all day while walking miles around town.

    * basics. Last week in H&M I saw a Tshirt called “high crew neck basics” (or similar) for $7.95. It was mostly cotton, with some modal. The black, the only one I saw, had a little shimmer to it. I would have bought five if they had had them in my size. Considering going back as they claim it is a staple and frequently restocked.

    * white jeans. Sadly, my Ann Taylor Loft ones from four years ago, which fit me perfectly and were so comfortable, finally sprung so many holes from washing so many times that they are not fit for public. I bought a pair of Madewell rail straight ones last week. They may or may not pass the “are they comfy enough to wear around the house for a few hours, or do they feel as if my b#$$ cr@$k is always showing?” test, which I plan to conduct today.

    * one of the bloggers noted above did a “packing for a week” post with black and white that included a really cute white and black floral pattern skirt (kind of like the dress someone posted above that she plans to wear to a party in SF). This one was hundreds of dollars, but it seems to me I should be able to find a similar one for roughly $50-$75. WHBM has nothing. Old Navy? Elsewhere?

    If it matters, I am mid-40s, 5’2″ and about 120. Typically size 4. Shoes: 7 1/2 or 8 narrow.

    • I mentioned these earlier this week. I am not normally a comfort shoe person but I bought these last week: http://www.zappos.com/product/7889047/color/195280
      I think they’d be great for a lot of walking because of the high back (no rub) and they come up high enough near the toes to not rub there either. So far so good and I think they’re cute. Make sure you take more than one pair of walking shoes. I always find that one will rub or something then I need a pair cut differently to make it through the next few days.

      As for the skirt, any thoughts on length or style?

      And for the t-shirts, maybe check H&M when you’re in NYC?

      • Random Thoughts, and a Special Shout Out :

        Definitely two pairs. Thanks for posting these. I’m not a huge fan of the gladiator ankle style, but I looked at the other ECCO flats and liked the Vibration Mary Jane II a lot. I am collecting a Zappos box, so that will go in it. Thanks.

        Re tshirts, I’m not in malls very often if I can avoid it, but I think I will just drop in to H&M whenever I am for the next few times. Trying in NYC is also a good idea because they may have more stock than SCP.

        Skirt: knee-length (top of kneecap, really) and very simple (flat front, maybe a front pocket or two) and stiff material (ie poplin or denim rather than jersey).

        • You know, I’m not usually a fan of the zipback either, but it makes these fit better. I was skeptical til I tried them. I should also mention that they ran large. I normally wear a 8-8.5 (39) and I bought a 38 in these.

          • Random Thoughts, and a Special Shout Out :

            I will keep that in mind. I never would have tried these on, so maybe I need to suck it up and go to a store with a wide selection and just try them IRL. Thanks for suggesting them.

    • Well, I’m still on the hunt for new “comfy” shoes myself, but when I’ve done long term traveling with lots of walking, Keen has been my go-to brand (available on lone and at REI and I’m sure other places). A lot of the non-leather models can be worn comfortably without socks which is a big plus for me (to be clear, I don’t mean the sandals, though those are cute too, just for different use.)

      I’d check out Target and Old Navy for basic t-shirts, that’s where all mine come from and they hold up very well. In addition to black and white, I find heather grey to be key. (For traveling, I also find long length shorts and a loose skirt to be kind of key).

      I don’t have white pants, but I have a pair of white corduroy pants sort of like these http://www.whitehouseblackmarket.com/store/browse/product.jsp?maxRec=2&pageId=1&productId=570032705&viewAll=&prd=Ecru+Corduroy+Pant&subCatId=&color=190&fromSearch=true&inSeam=&posId=1&catId=&cat=&onSale=&colorFamily=&maxPg=1&size= and find them very useful.

      In terms of the floral skirt, someone posted a black and white polka dot skirt earlier in this thread that might be a nice alternative. I’m also not sure what the one you’re looking at is, but I’d go to shop style and search black and white floral skirt — you can search within a price range — and there are a few options for less than $100 for sure.

      • Random Thoughts, and a Special Shout Out :

        Thanks. I can see I have some legwork to do. I am on it.

  26. It’s 79 degrees out and I’m inside working for something like the 40th day in a row. The 17th can’t get here soon enough!

  27. Vacation advice :

    I can’t take it anymore. Someone help me justify blowing $3000 on a vacation my husband and I can’t afford. I need out.

    • Well, being stressed (and upset about not taking it) is going to cost you a lot more than the vacation will – plus, you’ll regret not taking it.

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