Weekend Open Thread

belle by sigerson morrison® felicia wedgesSomething on your mind? Chat about it here.

So I was intrigued by Refinery 29’s recent roundup of “truly comfortable” heels. My favorite were these Felicia wedges from Belle by Sigerson Morrison — I think they’d look great with dark tights and a swingy dress on the weekend. They must be pretty comfortable because they’re available in a variety of places, but mostly lucky sizes. Zappos has them on sale for $259, but everyone else — Madewell, Bloomingdale’s, ShopBop, Lord & Taylor — have them at full price. belle by sigerson morrison® felicia wedges


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  1. Wondering :

    I would love to hear feedback from any women who have had children very close apart in age (less than 2 years). My husband and I have a beautiful 3 month girl and are considering trying for a second one in the next month or two. Ideally, I would not try to have a child so soon. However, I’m 34, DH is 40, and we are worried about waiting too long. Medically, my OB has cleared me to try again so there’s no issue there.

    I am also very fortunate to have had a very easy pregnancy, I’m almost back to my normal weight, and baby girl is a very easy baby (so far anyway). Of course, it’s not guaranteed that I will get pregnant right away if we start trying next month but I have a good feeling that I could get pregnant soon (we tried twice before and I got pregnant in the first month of trying both times).

    I work in Big Law and it’s not unheard of for women to have two maternity leaves in close proximity. There are so many of us associates that I know that I’m not dispensable, and I’m ok taking a year back in seniority.

    My bigger concerns are more on the personal front – how is it balancing two kids close apart in age? What should I be aware of before making this decision?

    • My kids are 22 months apart. They were born when I was 36 and 37.

      The first few years are hard and is pretty much all hands on deck on the home front, but the result is you’re back to sleeping sooner, you’re out of diapers sooner, and your kids have built-in playmates.

      Our son was conceived sooner than we planned (and that’s why they say it’s 98% effective!) so we didn’t plan this spacing, but it has worked out really well for us.

      • Agree with this. My first two kids are 17 months apart and my middle and youngest are 27 months apart (so three and a half between oldest and youngest). It was incredibly difficult when they were babies. My oldest was not old enough to really understand that he now had a sister and you had to watch him around the baby all the time – so there were no breaks, and it really was exhausting. Once the youngest was about 2, things were immensely easier, and now that they are 7, 6, and 4, it is no problem. They all play together pretty well and can essentially do the same things so it is not a problem to take all three to the park or on vacation to a certain place (because they within reason can all do the same things). So, I would say, it will be exhausting in the beginning, but once they are a little older, it is nice that they can play together really well, which does give you a break!

      • Divaliscious11 :

        Agreed. Mine are 16 months apart and the first two years of two kids were tough but after the baby was potty trained, much much easier.

    • My brother is 21 months younger than I am, which means that most of the year he’s two years younger in age. However, I have a fall birthday, so we’re only one year apart in school. It wasn’t the greatest situation. I felt “much” older (whatever that means), and he got to do things younger. It was also hard on him because I was an overachiever, and he had ADHD. We often had the same teacher, especially once we both started taking AP classes in high school, and the teacher would assume that he would be like me. He felt like there were often unrealistic expectations on him.

      I guess I would recommend being at least two years apart in school. Then again, maybe it works well for others…

      • I would echo these comments. My younger sister and I are 18 months apart, but only one grade apart in school (she was always right behind me). We were both overachievers, but we attended very small schools and being right behind me in the same classes with the same teaches meant she always resented being known as “K’s little sister”. Also, being very close in age AND the same gender inevitably invites comparisons (even from the most well-meaning people), so there was a dynamic of competition between us, regardless of how much my parents tried to prevent it from happening.

        It may sound hard to believe, but I think we would have a much better relationship if we weren’t a) so close in age and b) had been two years apart in school.

        • Well, my sister is 4 years younger than me, but I guess cuz I’m an overachiever AND a textbook Leo, she was always known as ‘zora’s little sister’ and always felt in my shadow. And i felt horrible about it, but once she was finishing high school she finally came into her own and became known for her own achievements. So, I don’t know if that necessarily is only a problem for siblings close in age.

          • Cornellian :

            Same here. I think being the same sex basically guarantees comparisons. My sister had a hard time in high school when I had just left and everyone knew me.

          • Different sex doesn’t alleviate it either. I’ve got a brother that’s 2 years younger than me that had a similar competitiveness. Had most of my same teachers, and we were the only family with that last name, so there was a lot of “Nona’s brother”. And he was way more competitive with me than I was with him.

        • My brother is not quite 20 months younger than I am. We were also one grade apart. I think it was hard for him to always be known as my brother. So, that’s not confined to same sex siblings.

          That said, some things were easier on my parents. There were only 2 years we went to different schools (me in middle school/him in elementary and me in high school/him in middle school). We were both in band, so we had a similar schedule after school and during parts of the summer. Church activities were pretty much the same, too. That all made shuttling us around easier.

          We always had someone to play with, if we wanted to. We also know each other’s exact buttons to push to make the other one go over the edge. We’re extremely different people (partly personality, and I’m sure part is to self-differentiate from the other).

          I graduated HS one year and he the next. My parents were empty-nesters that quickly. 38 months after my high school graduation, we were both out of college/trade school and both married.

      • goirishkj :

        Are you me? This was my experience too. Of course, I have friends where it worked out great to have a sibling so close in age. Some of these friendss are super close with their siblings and I’m a little jealous. My brother and I never were that close and probably never will be and I think a lot goes back to being too close in age.

    • My babies are 18 months apart. It wasn’t planned that way but happened. The first was an angel of a child, an excellent sleeper, non-picky eater, etc. The second is/was more challenging. Not a great sleeper at all, and very very independent. The first year was hell. It was very, very tough. We were exhausted all. the. time. But then something happened. They sort of became a “set.” They play alongside each other, and the older one is becoming a great helper, while the younger one is learning to be potty trained alongside the older one. It is much, much easier now that we’re almost two years into having two.

      Now ask me again in 12 years when I have two hormonal teenagers…

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      One of my sisters and I are 18 months apart. I think it was actually easier for my mother career wise because she could do the baby thing then come back full force into the workforce and not interrupt several times over a 6 year period (of course then, baby #3 came as a surprise 7 years later…)

    • 2 of my nieces are 360 days apart. In fact, the difference in ages in all 3 is 2 1/2 years.

      The first had colic and was difficult, but the second was an easy baby (a truly evil 2-year-old, though). Generally, they get along very well, but I think the close ages may get more difficult in the future. For instance, the second child is very smart and is reading at a higher level than the first.

    • If you hold off for just a few more months (eg conceive in the spring- April/Mayish) you could have them close in age but two years apart in school. I think one year apart in school can be a challenge– they might be in the same classes, on the same teams, etc. With two years, you at least get some distance.

    • I have 2 children, girl and boy, born 18 months apart. I was an old first time mom (40) and we didn’t want to wait too long for #2 either. (Had I been a younger first time mom, we’d have gone for three, but that’s another story.) Beginning is hard (#1 is too young to really understand and wants/needs mom almost as much as #2 needs you). But it gets better and eventually we started seeing real benefits. Now (my kids are 4 and 5 1/2) it’s great. They play together alot (and yes, fight sometimes). The younger one really benefits from his older sister (language development and more). A strong support network, if you have it, can build it or buy it, is key. I have a wonderful mom that wanted to help and did on weekends, and a fantastic nanny who saves my sanity on a regular basis.

    • My siblings and I are all close in age (18-20 months), and as a kid, I absolutely loved it. I would always feel bad for my friends who had siblings already in college (or the other way around, still in elementary school while they were in high school). Having siblings who felt like peers was great. We’re still close today, not just related, but actually friends.

      • Same here. My parents accidentally had all four of us within 5.5 years (one sib was conceived while my mom was on the pill and I’m not sure about the other family planning failures) and we’re all really close. If my mom hadn’t had her tubes tied, maybe I’d have more siblings.

      • Anastasia :

        This. My siblings and I aren’t quite that close in age (sister is 20 months younger than I am, brother is a little more than 2 years younger than she), but close enough. The “bridge” siblings make it ok for the oldest and youngest to still be playing together, I think. We played together all.the.time when we were little, and I have great memories of it. My little bro and I are the same age difference as my niece and nephew, but I never see them playing together; to her, he’s just a baby.

        Due to reproductive health issues, my doc strongly encourages me to have all my kids in quick succession so I can get “fixed”… but I think I would have wanted to do that anyway.

    • I have a friend with kids about a year apart, also accidentally, and they are now about 4 and 5, and they are super close. It is really adorable, and they are a very tight family.

      I know there are aspects of it that are difficult from a parenting/logistics perspective, (moving two kids around, double strollers, diapers/potty training) and most people don’t plan to have kids that close together on purpose. But if it does happen, I think it’s similar to having twins, which many families are able to navigate successfully just fine. ;o)

    • I have 3 kids, all 17 months apart. I made partner shortly after having the third, so it worked out. It is hard because they’re all young at once, but I never knew any different, so it was fine to always have one in diapers and one potty training! And they are all close – they love to play together.

      We took a break and tried for a while, miscarriage, then finally I’m now pregnant with number 4. I’m so nervous this baby will be 3 years younger than my current-youngest!

    • Wondering :

      Thanks for the replies so far! Extremely helpful and they give me hope that this can work. Keep ’em coming.

      • mine are 22 months apart and due to the school cutoff (which differs state to state, btw) ended up only a year apart in school – daughter old for her grade and son young for his (many in that position “red shirt” the boys but we chose not to). Having a toddler and a baby at the same time was fine for us; our daughter climbed out of her crib for the first time two weeks before our son was born and we immediately bought a bed for her instead of a second crib. They got along fine when they were younger but really differentiated personality-wise at school age – very different interests, friends etc, but that could just be them. I think 2-3 years apart is fairly ideal, maybe I think 3 would have been a bit better but you can’t map these things out entirely (like many of the posters above, our second was not exactly “planned”)

      • Wondering, in case you’re still reading, I’m seventeen months older than my sister, and it’s wonderful. I know it was a trial for my parents when we were both tiny–there are pictures from big family vacations in which all my aunts and uncles look happy and relaxed while my parents are each holding a crying baby–but now that my sister and I are both adults, it’s wonderful to be so close and to have such good friends in one another.

        My boyfriend’s experience is the opposite: his brother is three and a half years older, and although they had a great relationship as children–the older brother made really nice efforts to include my boyfriend in what he and his friends were doing–the distance between them has seemed to increase as they’ve gotten older. I think if I had to pick, I’d much rather go with my situation–I’d rather have had a few rocky sibling rivalry years and a lifelong friend.

    • I have two that are 15 months apart; the youngest is now 8 months. I love having them this close together, but don’t know if I would be able to keep up with such a demanding job if I didn’t have extensive family support. In truth, I am exhausted after the weekend!

    • Mountain Girl :

      I’m the mom of twins so my perspective is a bit different but after my kids turned about 4 I think it was easier to have twins. Both physically, emotionally and intellectually they were at the same level and have always gotten along great.. They are in the same classes, on the same teams, etc and they actually see it as a benefit. From a parenting standpoint I like having same gender twins because I only have to go to one game, concert, etc and see both of them. I think it cuts down on the school events we have to attend.

    • Just for some perspective I’ll add the opposite – we always wanted to have 2 kids close together but it just didn’t work out that way. We have 4.5 years between the 2 and while I feared it would be bad its actually pretty great. The older was old enough for us to be able to reason with him and be fairly self-sufficient (get his own snacks from fridge, use bathroom on his own, operate the Tivo, etc), and he loves his younger brother very much and is pretty helpful with him. I was also able to lose the baby weight, catch up on sleep and get a couple of promotions between the 2 kids, which was nice.

      So if for whatever reason having 2 very close together doesn’t work out for you, a larger age gap is actually pretty nice too. I think whatever age gap you wind up having, your family will adapt.

      Good luck to you whatever you decide to do!

    • My sister and brother are 18 months younger than me… that’s right, my parents had me, then a year and half later, ended up with twins. So, that could be a possibility. We often resented each other greatly growing up, because we were constantly compared and became somewhat competitive among ourselves, in a not-so-nice way. I would echo KinCA’s comment – we were also only a grade apart in school, and I think all three of us would be closer today if we had a little more of a gap between me and them.

  2. SF Bay Associate :

    SF Bay Meetup Sunday, Nov 4 at 1:30pm at Rosamunde’s for beer and sausages at 2832 Mission at 24th, next to Bart. Vegan options available, and I vouch those are tasty too. See you there!

  3. Non-Spoiler Downton Abbey Rant Alert:

    Julian Fellowes, your English snobbery is really showing. I wish you’d write a better Irish character. Branson is the worst Irish revolutionary EVAR.

    (I know I shouldn’t complain about snobbery in a period drama about an English estate, but there you have it.)

  4. I have some random questions to start off the weekend thread!

    First, has anyone successfully used an Amex gift card online? And if so, how? I can’t get any of the payment processors to accept them. Obviously, the cards do not have a name or billing address. I do 99% of my shopping online so this is extremely frustrating. Couldn’t find anything helpful on the Amex site or through a short Google search.

    Second, I am a fan of thigh highs (I wear them to work) over regular hose and tights. When I want black ones for winter evening events the VS ones work just fine. I need some in a nude for me shade and am not sure where to turn. I don’t want to spend a fortune on them. Thanks!

    • SF Bay Associate :

      Re: #2 – Hue makes nude-for-some-people thigh highs. I have several pairs. Sold at Macys and Bloomies as 2 for $18 or something like that.

    • I get mine at Target or Macy’s, whichever store I happen to be in when I remember I need new thigh-highs. I do’nt have a particular brand; I just get the cheapest one that is the right color. Often, at least at Macy’s, they’ll have swatches of the different colors so you can hold it up to your skin to see which is right for you.

    • Hanes Silk Reflections – I used to buy bags of them at the outlet store. Unfortunately, I developed a sensitivity to the stuff that holds them up and they were leaving welts on my legs.

      • Hanes for the win. And oh no! That’s a tragedy NOLA.

      • Yikes! That sounds really awful and uncomfortable.

      • Yes, Hanes Silk Reflections are the thigh-highs I started wearing while pregnant — they have a wide variety of nude colors, as I recall, including “travel buff” which is essentially pasty white — and now I will never go back to regular pantyhose fo’sho.

      • I get the same thing, NOLA. Soma vaninshing line panties have the same stuff and leave welts in more or less the worst possible place

        • You know, one of my girlfriends swore by those Soma panties and I was afraid to try them for that very reason.

    • The name to use is what’s printed on the bottom of the card. Sometimes it’s something like “A GIFT FOR YOU”. With American Express gift cards I think I’ve been successful with using my address.

      We had a Visa gift card that we never could get Amazon to accept. Amazon suggested trying to find the address for the company that issued the gift card. Apparently that sometimes works, but didn’t work for us in this case.

    • Why not just use the Amex gift card at your grocery store (or somewhere similar where you’d spend $ anyway) and then pay for your online purchase as you normally would. Seems like so much less hassle than dealing with customer service….

  5. Brooklyn, Esq. :

    Instant what-to-wear threadjack:

    I am attending a conference next weekend in Athens, GA (at UGA Law). I am going to hear my husband give a presentation (yay!). The conference is an academically-oriented conference on international law, which is an area completely outside my bailiwick, so I am not too concerned about making a great/super professional impression. But, I also want to look good standing next to my husband (who will be in a suit) and on the very off chance that I run into a good networking contact for myself. I will be flying in on Saturday and out on Sunday, so outfits for both days should also be somewhat comfortable for air travel.

    Any suggestions?

    • Anon Analyst :

      My first thought is a dress. Maybe a wrap dress or something in a knit fabric that won’t wrinkle and be comfortable for travel? Or maybe a pair of comfortable dress pants with a blouse and cardigan or blazer to keep warm.

    • I’d do a wrap dress as well. I am in a totally different field but academic conferences tend to be pretty casual.

    • Day 1: A nice loose-fitting kneelength dress in a vibrant color that you love. Try for 3/4 sleeves and a modest, preferably high unadorned neckline. Wear with flat boots or flats, leggings and a warm waterfall cardigan or wrap on the plane. Depending on how many changes you’re willing to make, I’d suggest to swap out the cardi/wrap for a blazer once you land, add a chunky statement necklace and either wear structured flats or a comfortable wedge/heel. If you want more, belt the dress and wear studs in your ear. Wear bare-legged or with tights for the conference. I’d stay away from tights on the plane – so uncomfortable.

      Day2: Wear a pair of skinny jeans or cigarette pants, a loose chiffon top and the blazer and statement necklace from the day before. For the plane swap the cardigan and shawl back on and wear boots or flats. Loose the jewelry so you don’t have to take it off at the scanners.

      I made you a set to illustrate

      Don’t forget a nice scarf or shawl for travel!

      • Cornellian :

        that is cool.

      • Another S :

        Very cool indeed! I especially like the grey wrap cardigan thingy and would be grateful to anyone who can point me to a similar option that’s slightly cheaper and, ideally, not wool (or not such a high percentage wool).

      • Nicely done!

      • Brooklyn, Esq. :

        Wow! Thank you so much. What a lovely set, and so much more than I expected when I asked here. I’m going to shop my closet this weekend and see what I can do…

  6. oh, wow, i just lost my heart to these shoes. But, i have tried several different versions of wedge oxfords, and for some reason they just don’t work. I either can’t walk in them, or my toes get squished, i don’t know what i’m doing wrong. That makes me nervous to try these beautiful and amazing shoes.

  7. Anon Analyst :

    What is your favorite brand of legging jean? I have one pair from the Gap that I’ve worn the past couple of years, but I feel like they are a bit low rise for my liking and I find myself always hitching them up at the waist. I may have gotten one size too big, so I might try the next size down.

    Other than the waist issue, they are nice and snug through the legs and don’t bunch up at the knees. I wear them all the time in the fall/winter tucked into boots.

    I was thinking of trying some from Express or even Old Navy, but other reccomendations are appreciated. Thanks!

    • big dipper :

      I have Old Navy Rockstar black legging jeans and I wear them constantly.

      One caveat/sizing tip – Depending on how you want them to fit, you might need to size down. Mine fit perfect in the store but because they’re inexpensive, they stretch out in like 5 minutes and are a little looser than I’d like. If I’d bought the next size down I think they’d stretch to the appropriate fit.

    • TCFKAG just recommended ZAG Jeans (available on Zappos) to me, and I LOVE the quality so far. They have a wide waistband to sit nicely under clothing, too, and they are nice and thick. Technically they might be more of a legging, but they have pockets, etc. I’m excited. Also, on sale right now.

    • Go to OLD NAVY. They are NOT to expensive!

      Open thread’s–I love Open thread’s!! I just got back from Roberta’s lunch and shoppeing at Macy’s! I got a nice pair of 9 West Shoe’s! They are a nice cordovan color, and the manageing partner likes them. Since they cost $100, he will give me back $30. Yay!

      Roberta had me order this great hot Salmon dish. I love salmon and never knew what was in it before. She had it also. We stopped for desert at CRUMB’S. I love Crumb’s and I had a great cupcake and she had a cookie! I love BOTH, but we cannot eat to much of desert.

      She warned me that I should NOT go into Brooklyn by myself if I do NOT know where I am going, so I got MYRNA to agree to meet me at Grand Central and we will take the train together tomorrow. She knows about Dumbo (how dumb is that name? Dumbo? ) and she also want’s to see who David is. So she can show me where to go and David will not have to look for us. We are suposed to go from Dumbo to some furniture place that he knows so we can see what he want’s and then mabye go to IKEA down there somewhere together.

      This is going to be fun, b/c Myrna is alot of fun. I do NOT have any work to do this weekend. Yay!

    • I recently bought a pair of Joe’s that were a high-waisted skinny jean – at TJMaxx (although a quick google search shows them to be about everywhere!) for about 65-70 bucks. They weren’t necessarily called “legging” jeans – but I’d put them under that category – lots of good stretch and very comfortable.

      I also bought a JBrand pair that I like a lot, but the Joe’s were the high-waisted ones. (And I’m not talking up-to-your belly button high waist – just a little higher than normal.)

    • Going in the opposite direction to perhaps too high-waisted– my Nordstrom personal shopper put me in a pair of Not Your Daughter’s Jeans denim leggings (the Jade cut), and I love them. I’m post-partum right now and told her I needed something that would remove any potential muffin-top. These do the trick and make me feel great. And going along with what petitesq and TCFKAG said, my favorite pre-pregnancy jeans were JAG brand. Definitely worth a look.

  8. Anon poster from last weekend :

    Thanks to all the ladies who responded to my miscarriage post last weekend. This story has taken a new turn: I went to the doctor Wednesday for an ultrasound to check on how things were “progressing,” and … they found a heartbeat. I don’t know who was more surprised: me, or the tech.

    I am not out of the woods yet. My progesterone is low (have started supplements) and the dating is all screwed up. I’m measuring at 6 weeks instead of 8, which is where I should be according to my last period. It’s possible that I got pregnant later than expected, but it still seems off to me. But I can give you a recommendation for the world’s most sensitive pregnancy test, if the ultrasound date really is correct!

    I’m scared but hopeful that things will turn out OK despite my huge scare on Sunday and the dating discrepancy. It’s such a stark contrast from my last pregnancy, which was textbook from start to finish.

    • Sending positve thoughts your way!!!!

    • That is great news! As for the dating – they can be off up to a week in early u/s. I had 3 m/c before my 3 boys were born (thank goodness for modern medicine). With ds#2 I had been charting my temps and dh had been working in a new town & only home on the weekends (until we moved) when we started to try for #2. I was 100% sure of my dates. Due to my history my dr sent me in for an early u/s and the fetus measured 8 days smaller than what I knew he should. I was terrified that this meant we’d lose this pg too. Then I did a bunch of research & realized that u/s can be off by quite a bit, and dates were generally more reliable if you were 100% sure of those dates. Well, the pregnancy was successful – ds turned 10 in June.

      So, the moral of my story is don’t worry too much about the u/s dating. It can be off. Implantation could have happened later than you thought, too. I hope everything works out for you and that in 8 months or so you are holding your bundle of joy!

    • Anonymous :

      I think I missed your post last week. So what exactly happened with yours?

      I’m in a similar situation and been so nervous. Two weeks ago on Oct 1, when I was tested, my HCG was 112 (which is pretty low considering I had my last period on Aug 20) and 112 is typically for gestation period of less than 2 weeks. I was tested again this week and I’m anxiously awaiting my result to see if there is an increase in HCG – ideally, if everything is normal, it should be ~6000 or so now as it’s expected to double every day.

      Oh doc, please just call me and tell me the result. I can’t ruin another weekend being all cranky wondering whether I am or not.

      • Anon poster from last weekend :

        I’ve been having weird cramping since I found out I was pregnant. Initially, my levels were OK, I was feeling pregnant and assumed all was well. Since I’d had warning signs early on, my doctor wanted me to have an early ultrasound last Wednesday. They found the gestational sac and yolk sac, but no fetal pole. I was devastated, but they told me to come back in a week. The doctor gave the pregnancy a 50/50 chance: either the dating was off and it was just too early to see anything, or I had a blighted ovum. Over the week, I started losing my pregnancy symptoms and I figured it was over. Then Sunday I started bleeding and cramping. It was heavier than spotting, so given my other signs, I thought I’d miscarried. I’m very relieved that they’ve found a heartbeat, but I’m still worried about my lack of pregnancy symptoms. I’m still spotting a little, too, although it’s nothing compared to what I experienced last weekend. Hopefully the progesterone will take care of that. It’s going to take me a long time to relax and trust that this pregnancy will be OK.

        I’m sorry you’re going through this, too. The waiting and wondering is awful. I hope you get good news, and soon.

        • Perhaps you were pregnant with twins and lost one? I’ve heard of that happening.

      • Can you call the office NOW and have them tell you before they close for the weekend? I would go crazy waiting all weekend myself.
        Thinking of you and hoping everything is ok

        • Anonymous :

          I just called. Not so good. The HCG is up to 575 now.
          1st test – Oct 1 – HCG – 112
          2nd test – Oct 10 – HCG – 575
          These numbers don’t sound promising. I haven’t gone to the gyn yet.
          I now have to set up an appointment and probably get an ultrasound done.

          We weren’t even hoping or trying (yet) but ever since we got to know, it’s all beeen about this. We so badly want to have one now. It’s annoyign to be wishing so bad for something.

          • Anon poster from last weekend :

            Oh, hon. I am so sorry. I’m totally with you in wanting a baby so much it hurts. Hopefully the ultrasound will give you some answers.

          • health care anon :

            Don’t rely solely on those numbers. Let your doctor guide you. I lost one last summer, and my levels stopped progressing under 200. Don’t rely too much on those numbers. I’m so sorry.

    • I won’t go into too many details, but I had a somewhat similar experience. The nurse practitioner told me on a Friday I was going to miscarry over the weekend based on my HCG levels and spotting. On Monday, she called back and said “oops, I was wrong.” My son is 13 months old now.

      Hang in there.

      • Anonymous :


        But what was she wrong about? Did she read the levels incorrectly?

        • As I recall, I was already at a point (7 weeks, I think), where my levels could be naturally declining. She didn’t take that into consideration when she told me initially.

    • Oh wow nappy news! When I was pregnant worn mg son I started blossoming called the.doc. They said I was having a Mc and didn’t want to.see.me. I spent the weekend crying on the couch UT then the bleeding stopped. Now he’s 5 and the love of my life.

    • I miscarried very early on last spring. In fact, I consulted the hive about whether I should even tell my husband (it was a moment of weakness and illogical thinking. The hive basically slapped me upside the head and said YES!). I didn’t go through what you went through in the off/on torture. I was late, (never late) felt pregnant, started spotting, got an HCG (it was 50, which was “okay” but very low) then really started cramping and bleeding.

      Anyways, I went for a followup ultrasound about 2 weeks later and my OB said “huh, it looks like you’re about to ovulate. Hold off this cycle and you can try again the next.” Well, I promptly ignored her and I’m now due in late December. My round about point is that in my research, it’s pretty clear that these early losses (if this is, indeed, a loss) don’t necessarily have any implication on future fertility (especially if you’ve only had one). I am so so so sorry you are going through this – it’s totally heartbreaking. But while there are many women who have heartbreaking stories of prolonged infertility/recurrent miscarriages, this isn’t necessarily a poor prognostic indicator of future infertility in you.

      I guess this weekend will be cookies (but probably no wine) and difficult. Hang in there.

    • You are in my prayers good luck

  9. Warning: I have a birth control-related question. I’ve found past comments on the topic very helpful but haven’t seen this particular issue addressed.
    I went off birth control 8 weeks ago (nuvaring) because it was making me excessively hormonal: irritable, weepy, unable to deal with small problems, clingy, etc. I’d been on it for 8 months.
    Since, I have been on a roller coaster of emotions (uncontrollable sobbing, serious anxiety about dumb things) that seems to line up pretty regularly with my monthly cycle. I never had this issue when I was not on birth control before.
    My question for those of you who have gone off BC for whatever reason, what kind of side effects have you dealt with (specifically moods and emotions)? And more importantly, how long did the side effects last? I realize everyone is different, but I’m looking for reassurance that I’m not permanently crazy for 2 weeks every month.

    • pill stopper :

      I am actually wondering the same thing. I just stopped the pill and I’m scared to death to face my normal cycle! I really liked how the pill kind of regulated my moods so I didn’t have such crushing lows around PMS time… not excited to face those again.

      What other side effects can we expect? I know that my skin is likely to break out, but what else?

      • anon for thissssss :

        Regular poster, anon for this.
        Are you me?! I just stopped the pill and I’m scared to death to face my normal cycle too! I’m fairly recently married and under pressure to have a baby, but that’s not something I want right now. Unfortunately, the pill was giving me migraines every week, and formidable headaches daily. I’ve started breaking out (but actually that has gotten a lot better since I started moisturizing 2x/day).

        To respond to the OP: I’ve been told that it can take 6-8 months for your body to clear up completely after coming off hormonal birth control. It’s safe to get pregnant in that window (if that’s what you’re going for), but as far as actually having your hormones back to normal, it takes a while.

        • pill stopper :

          Ha! Isn’t it funny how we get so used to a fake (but reliable, and therefore comforting) cycle that we’re afraid to face the real thing? My ob/gyn said, “You may have forgotten what real PMS feels like.” Thanks for the comforting words, right?

          She told me that the pill hormones are out of your body within days, but it can take several months for your cycle to normalize. The reactions we experience are a result of our body getting used to producing natural cycles again (after suppressing them with the pill, which only simulates real periods to make us feel more comfortable using it).

          Did anyone lose/gain weight after stopping the pill? What about hair loss (or growth)? I’ve also heard mixed things about losing a cup size — does that really happen?

          • long term lurker :

            my experience was that i missed one period and then was normal again after stopping the pill. during that month that i missed the period, i felt very bloated and moody. my weight has remained the same. i do think i have lost a little in the cup size, but not a full cup by any means. since stopping, i don’t really have pms in terms of moods, but i do have cramps, and i did not have those on the pill. also didn’t notice anything with my hair.

          • long term lurker :

            forgot to add: my skin is worse. i get much more acne on my chin than when i was on the pill.

          • I’ve only ever been off the pill for two months since going on it, due to a screw-up with my prescription and then having to wait around for my extremely irregular period to go back on it, rather than a desire to actually be off the pill, but in that month my boobs got smaller and my skin got worse. No changes to weight, hair, mood, or other PMS-type symptoms.

        • I can sympathize. I had to go off NuvaRing as well before my surgery because of an increased risk of blood clots. I figured I would stay off of it for a while, but had 2 periods from hell and got right back on it. For the week leading up to each period I had a fever, was nauseous to the point of throwing up, had intense chills and then sweats, basically I felt like I had the flu. (I even went to the doctor right away and got tested both times and it came back clear. Apparently this is how some people experience PMS.) It seriously came out of nowhere. I went to bed one night and felt absolutely fine, and the next morning i was dead. I didn’t have any noticeable side effects from the NuvaRing, and wasn’t willing to deal with the 6-8 months of clearing so just went back on. I hope that you start feeling better ASAP!

        • Anon for this- your picture is still showing :). And girl whoever is pressuring you to have a baby needs to back the f off! Tell them the hivemind will find them. And we sting like wasps when provoked

          • anon for thissssss :

            I can’t figure out the picture thing! But I’m working on it… and thanks for reminding me :)
            As far as the baby thing… ugh. Yes I want to have kids someday, yes I know it gets more difficult as you get older, but everybody needs to relax because I’m not ready and I’m not 40. That’s all. Glad the hive mind is with me! <>

          • anon for thissssss :

            I meant to say: godzilla rawr! at the end of my post but it disappeared!

    • I found that the first month I was off BC (various generic forms of the pill) I was much more hormonal than when on BC, however it evened out for me after a cycle (maybe two). As for physical side effects, I found that PMS symptoms were stronger as well (worse cramping, etc.) and while it was worse for the first month or so (maybe just because it was so shocking), it hasn’t really abated all that much.

    • Cornellian :

      Consider also that your background psychiatry/physiology/hormonal makeup may have changed over the years you wer eon birth control out general aging or other life events and choices.

    • Turtle Wexler :

      I had similar symptoms on NuvaRing, but they disappeared pretty fast after I stopped using it (mostly the first month, definitely by the end of the second month). My only real symptom now is a day of nasty cramps, but mentally I feel so much more normal. However, I know women who have had symptoms for several months while their hormones re-balance themselves. I think it’s really personal because some people are much more sensitive to hormonal changes than others. If it keeps up, you may want to talk to your doctor…but I hope you start feeling better soon!

      • I was in the same boat! The symptoms went away after two months, to the point I was surprised when that time of the month rolled around in the third month. Do you remember how long it took your body to adjust to the NR hormones? My doc said it usually takes about the same amount of time to adjust to being off of them.

        If you need BC in the future, but don’t want to deal with that amount of hormones, getting an IUD was the best decision I could have made!

    • SF Bay Associate :

      Due to unpleasant side effects my doctor thought were related to BCP, and wondering why I was eating organic meat (love and kisses to my “friends” from that thread) but still putting hormones into my body, I’ve been off for about 6 months, after being on BCP for about a dozen years. My skin isn’t fabulously clear anymore, and wow, hello PMS symptoms. Cramps, bloating, tender bosom, mood swings? I haven’t seen you since I was a teenager. I seem to be losing more hair, but that could be stress. My visitor is now two days longer than on BCP. The visit is pretty regular, though very affected by other women’s cycles, just like back in the dorms as a freshman in college and we all suddenly got our visitor at the same time, even if it had only been a couple weeks since the last visit, at which point we all cycled together as long as we lived together. I’m also fascinated by what I’d call the “earth mother-ness” of being off BCP – I can feel my body change as I ovulate. I have lost a pound or three, or maybe I’m just eating better, which is also very possible, but my clothes are all too big now. It feels very different being off BCP.

    • Research, Not Law :

      My first cycle was the worst. I was worried it was my new reality, but it got better and was pretty normal by maybe cycle 3-4?

    • Not having the emotional roller coaster (just the little bit of extra teariness/irritability I’ve always gotten the day of or day before the first day of my period) but having a much more wacked out cycle than I remember having before the pill. I used to be every 28 days like clockwork, with ovulation cramps exactly in the middle, but now it’s 23 days one month and 35 the next. Just what I want when we’re TTC. I went off the pill in June, so maybe it will all normalize in another few months, if I’m not pregnant by then.

    • OP here. Thanks so much for your responses. It’s so reassuring to hear from others who had similar experiences. I would say for those with questions about other side effects of going off BC, I lost a nagging 5lb that I had gained soon after starting BC. Other than that, no changes in my skin and my “visitor” returned right on schedule, no skipped periods.
      I’m not TTC, just want to be emotionally normal again. When the time comes that it’s necessary, I’m seriously considering paragard for non-hormonal BC.

      • I think it’s a very personal response. I’ve heard horror stories, particularly about NuvaRing and its transitions on/off of it, but I’ve been on it for about 4 years and had no problems while starting it or while I’ve been on it. My non-BC periods had lasted 7+ days every month, but on NuvaRing, they’re 3.5 days, tops, and no weird emotional/weight symptoms. Shorter than my pill-BC periods, actually, weird.

        I guess my point is that if you find yourself not liking the symptoms or emotions of being off BC, there are a lot of options out there that you could try, especially if you’re not TTC.

  10. Sorry to do another pregnancy related post, but I’ve been wondering about those bands that you put around your hips to try to shrink them post-pregnancy. Has anyone used them? I’m pearish and have always been self-concious about my hip size, so I’m definitely concerned about the pregnancy spread, but the bands say that they might even get your hips smaller than they started. Hype? Worth a try? (Uncomfortable?)

    • Research, Not Law :

      I considered it the second time around, but I didn’t. Mostly I just didn’t get around to it and I was already wearing an abdominal binder since my abs were trashed, but also I didn’t see how I was going to wear a binder around my hips while nursing a newborn. There’s a lot of sitting involved with newborns. I would consider it worth a try; if so, have it on hand before birth.

      I will say though – as someone who was wide of hip before having kids – that while my hips are wider after, they did mostly return to their former size after the pregnancy on their own.

      • I never tried a binder at all (thankfully my abs were ok). I’m also a pear with broad shoulders, so sort of hourglassy too, and my hips did not permanently widen. When my last was 2 I worked on loosing all baby weight & could wear a sheath dress & pencil skirt I purchased before I had kids. Right away I noticed my rib cage seemed wider, but that’s gone back to normal now too (my youngest is 7).

        However, so much depends on genetics & your body it’s hard to make generalizations. Just like stretch marks & extra skin – some women get stretch marks, some don’t. Some women’s extra skin never goes away, some it shrinks back to pre-preg or almost pre-preg.

  11. Any recs for autumn-y cocktails made with vodka? A friend and I are having dinner tomorrow and I usually make basil lemonade but was thinking that given the fact that it’s 6C here, something else would be a bit more appropriate.

    • I asked for autumn drink suggestions a few weeks ago and received tons of suggestions. I’d suggest Googling, and if that doesn’t work, I can link the thread :)

    • I’ve been making these at home: http://www.wearenotmartha.com/2010/10/pumpkin-pie-martini/

      To make it easier, I substituted maple syrup for the caramel syrup they tell you to make.

  12. Mountain Girl :

    How many sweaters/blazers do you have in your regular rotation? I am seriously considering purging to about 8 good quality cardigans that I love. Sometimes I feel like I have too many clothes and I don’t get to wear the things I love often enough because I have so many other things. Am I crazy?

    • Anon Analyst :

      I have around 10-12 cardigans, but half of them are black. They are all different styles so I justify keeping all of them. And some of them are more casual and weekend wear.

      I’ve just recently jumped on the blazer train, so I only have two – one black and one white. My work is very casual, so I don’t have the need for many blazers or suit jackets.

      You are not crazy for doing a closet purge. I think it’s a good idea. It can sometimes be overwhelming figuring out what to wear when you have too many options. Sometimes having a smaller wardrobe can also lead to finding some different outfit combinations.

    • ChocCityB&R :

      If you do a closet purge of cardigans and they are in my size I’ll take them. I recently lost a bunch of weight and can’t afford to buy new cardigans that fit me.

    • Research, Not Law :

      I have three blazers that I wear only rarely. Basically only for conferences, etc.

      I frequently wear cardigans. I have ~8 cardigans, but wear only about 3-4 of them routinely. I think I’m going to get rid of some of the ignored ones in my next purge and perhaps replace a couple. I think six would be good for me. Any more, and I just don’t remember to wear them.

    • I have over 20 cardigans if we include causal wear. I wear one daily for most of the year and maybe 50% of days in the winter (when I’m wearing turtleneck or cowlneck sweaters).

  13. Everybody, please make me stop googling health conditions and medical procedures. I’m gonna give myself hypochondria. Dr. Google is SCARING ME.

    • Barrister in the Bayou :

      Walk away from the Google! ;-)

      • So far, I have chronic fatigue syndrome and I ABSOLUTELY must have a few surgeries. Also, did you know you can donate blood at The Bodies Exhibit?

        • I may have lyme disease, too. Oh dear.

          • When I was studying for the bar, I diagnosed myself with a brain tumor, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, leukemia, asthma, and peripheral arterial disease. I think I may have also had Lyme disease, too (it’s pretty easy to Google yourself into that one). Google is not your friend here – leave that stuff up to the doctors. If you really can’t resist, search your symptoms on the anxiety zone message board – you’ll be surprised how many people have the same phantom diseases as you.

        • SoCalAtty :

          Step away from Dr. Google!!! After being sick all summer/fall, I’ve got a confirmed diagnosis of distal colitis. That seems to mean that they caught it early. Google has me alternately convinced that since it is early and mild/moderate we can get rid of the flare up with meds, and then convinced that I’m going to have to have major surgery and my legs are going to fall off!

          Knowledge is good, but sometimes it is just way more information than we need….

          • Why in gods name would your legs fall off? SoCalAtty…your legs are NOT going to fall off. I can reassure you of that. :-)

          • SoCalAtty :

            Just being melodramatic :) People post some weird things on the internet…

        • e_pontellier :

          Seriously?! Step AWAY from the Google!! This is out of control!!

    • If it’s any consolation, you probably don’t have more than ONE of those conditions… :)

    • If you don’t stop, I’m sending in King Kong.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Dude. I hear ya. I do a lot of plaintiffs work and read medical records all day. I’m always either thinking “do I have that” or “holy crap I am never going for that procedure.” It is hard to work on med-mal/dental-mal and then submit to the mercy of your doctors. I ask a million questions and read all the forms before I sign them. I think I drive them nuts. I also tend to focus on my “business litigation” when my doctor asks what I do . . . while holding a scalpel to my skin lol

      • My brother works for the VA and reads veteran’s medical records all day….and had this problem (the wondering if he has everything problem).

        Oh, and when a doctor asks me what I do I always say “civil litigation…but not med mal” :-).

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        Yep. I’m on the defense side of med mal, but trust me, it’s just as bad for the “oh my god I’ve contracted this rare disease and am dying” syndrome.

      • Same here. I had two major surgeries a few years back, one robotic, and I think I really scared the doctors by asking how many of this surgery they had done! My breast surgeon was a big speaker in favor of tort reform a few years earlier, and when he read my informational sheet, he went “You’re with Smith & Jones, you’re a plaintiff’s lawyer! Assistant’s name, She’s a plaintiff’s lawyer!” He was laughing the whole time, which made it more comfortable, but my sister was with me, and I thought she would die. He was as perfectly nice as he could be, well knowing I do plaintiff’s med mal work, and even admitted the pendulum had swung too far in the way that it was hard to get rid of “bad doctors.”

  14. late bloomers? :

    Can anyone speak to finding a spouse and having children later in life (like, after 35)? I don’t really know anyone who has in my own life, but I know there have to be people out there. I would be interested to hear what your experience was like, since if I make it there at all, it will likely be after 35 at this rate — I’m 32, totally single. Since this appears to be how my life is working out, I want to embrace the possibility of still finding these joys later than most women (and feeling hopeful that they are still a possibility).

    • Two cents :

      My sister was single at 37 with no kids, after a terrible divorce. We all had hopes that she would find someone and she did, at age 38. She is now re-married and the mother of two beautiful boys, at the age of 42. I do think it is harder to meet someone as you get older but it certainly happens a lot, so please don’t lose hope. Based on my sister’s experience, she was very active with online dating and that’s how she ended up meeting her husband. I know that doesn’t work for everyone but it did for them. Good luck!

    • This is not responsive to your request for stories, but just in case it helps you feel better about where you are now— I spontaneously laughed out loud when you characterized a partner and children as “joys.”

      That sad reaction says a lot about what’s going on in my life right now…

    • Turtle Wexler :

      One of my former coworkers met her husband in her late 30s (37, I think?); they were together about a year when they got married and had a baby soon after their first anniversary. She said that the age factor definitely sped up their timeline, but they are very happy. In an ideal world, she would have liked to become a mom ten years earlier, but is glad she held out for the right guy and the right time. So it definitely is a possibility and you shouldn’t lose hope!

    • I’m 37 (soon to be 38!). I didn’t find my SO until I was 35. I don’t think it’s necessarily more difficult, just different because everyone’s at a different point in their lives than they were in their 20s. When going through the dating process this time around, I was way less willing to put up with any crap early on, but was also more realistic about my needs in a partner (if those two things make sense together). I did online dating (eHarmony).

      I don’t have any children yet, and when I got to be 35 I had basically given up any expectation of that ever happening, but hey, who knows. Why can’t it happen now? I am healthy, so why not. I am realistic about my chances at this age, but I look at it as – if I am meant to have children in this life, I will. If I am not meant to, I won’t. Either way, I will have a meaningful and fulfilling life, and if necessary I can simply be the World’s Best Auntie to my sister’s children.

      • Nonny,

        Just so you know, my mother had her only child, ahem – me, at the tender age of 44. she married at 43. This was immediately after WW 11, so there was no fertility assistance of any kind.

        I myself had 4, starting at 31. I had 2 when I was older than you.


    • I’ve told this here before, but for your benefit – my friend had a horrible divorce. In her late 30s, she just knew she wanted a family – not just kids, but to be married and have kids (or one kid even). She dated a couple of guys and fell hard and they were both older and already had grown kids. She finally decided that she would lay it on the line early that she wanted kids. I took her to an Oscar party at my colleague’s house about a year after that. My colleague thought she would be perfect for a friend of theirs (both were college professors and they seemed well suited). They married at Christmastime that year and they are now parents of the most beautiful, smart, funny 4 year old. She decided she would stick with one child, but I don’t know if that was because of age at all.

    • My SIL got married at 35 and had 3 kids at 36, 38 and 40. She wanted more, but felt like that was her limit for age-related reasons. I just had my 4th at 35. If I didn’t already have 4 kids a husband and a law practice to keep me way too busy I’d consider another.

    • My cousin got married at 36, pregnant with baby 1 at 39, baby 2 at 42, and all is well. She actually really values having been able to focus on her self/career for a good long bit. And did I mention her hunky and awesome husband is 10 years younger?

    • I met my very recent fiance right around 33, engaged now at 37.

      I’ve had several friends (men and women) recently get married where all parties are 33 and up. Some with bad divorces, others never married. Almost all have had babies or have babies on the way.

      On a side note — I’m actually amazed that as many of them have been able to have babies at 35-40, and, assuming that they weren’t trying until around or after marriage, get pregnant as quickly as they did. Obviously, anecdotes are not data, but it helps provide some comfort.

    • Lady Harriet :

      My mom was 38 when my parents got married, almost 39 when I was born, and almost 42 when my brother was born. They split up when I was 5, which probably isn’t the encouragement you’re looking for, but they have a very amiable divorce and are quite happy they got to have kids, even at an older age. This summer a friend of the family got married at 42 or 43. She met her husband through online dating. My uncle and aunt have been married for 5 years and were almost 49 and 51, respectively, when they got married. They were too old to have kids, but are happily married and seem to have adjusted well after years of living by themselves. I know several other couples who have married in their mid thirties-forties (and beyond!), some with kids and some without, but all seem to have very good marriages.

    • Anon for this :

      I have a relative who was divorced and in her late 30s. She really wanted to get married and have kids, so she did. She had twins at 42 via IVF. I’m sure she doesn’t regret her decision, but the pregnancy and birth just destroyed her physically, and she has never been the same. Her marriage and family life is now very dysfunctional. Her husband is disengaged, not a partner or a co-parent. Her kids, who are now teens, both have stress-related medical conditions and mental health problems. She seems terribly unhappy. I think that she was so eager to get the husband and have the kids that she ignored warning signs when it came to picking her partner. And I think she leans on her kids for fulfillment and emotional support, and it is affecting them adversely.

      I’m not trying to scare you or discourage you with this story, but I hope it illustrates that it’s important to maintain your standards about a partner even if you are starting to feel panicked about getting older. Not every story in this vein has a happy ending.

      • Well, not all marriages that start at a young age end well, either. Marriages are as complex and unique as people are.

    • My uncle got divorced when he was in his late 30’s. A year or two later, he met a woman that worked in a building near his. She was in her mid-late 30’s and her husband had died of cancer a few years earlier. They dated for a year and then got married and less than two years after they were married, they had two precious boys. She was 40 when the second baby was born.

    • Not to suggest that you rush into marriage, but keep in mind that relationships move a lot faster when you’re in your 30s because you’re less likely to mess around with relationships you know won’t work, you’re not waiting for one of you to finish school, and you’re old enough to trust yourself. I met my husband just before I turned 31 and we were engaged eight months later (and still happily married 3 1/2 years after that).

      • Oh, and we were talking marriage within four months (just not officially engaged until 8 months). Again, not encouraging rushing, but sometimes when you’re not 20, things happen fast.

      • So true! My husband and I met when I was in my early 30s, got engaged after 3 months, married a year after the engagement, and have been happily married for 3 years now. After dating the wrong men all through my 20s, I knew without any hesitation whatsoever that I wanted to marry my husband and that it would be great.

    • My mom and dad didn’t marry until my mom was 36 (she’d been married before – no kids). She had me at 37 & my sister right before age 40.

      Also, I work with someone who didn’t meet his wife until he was 36; his wife is actually a year older than him. They met, married, and had two beautiful kids before her 40th birthday. It can happen. :)

    • I had my 2nd at 38. Even though you get terrible labels and extra testing because you’re over 35, physically it was totally fine. I freaked out about everything, but in the end baby and I had no issues whatsoever. Just want to reassure you that you’re not too old!

      I’m so glad I had my kids in my 30’s – I personally was not at all mature enough in my 20’s . . .

    • late bloomers? :

      Wow, so many stories! So much can change so quickly, it seems.

      Thanks, hive. I feel a lot more hopeful now. I haven’t ever even been close to marriage, but I know myself well enough to know that when it’s right, I’m going to trust myself and go with it. And as you all said, things happen much more quickly in your 30s (and beyond) when you both know it’s right.

    • I met my husband when i was 33 and had kids at 36 and 37 with no complications.

    • I’ve had a number of friends who got married later in life. One friend was married early, divorced, in a long term relationship that ended, then about 5 years later married an awesome guy (he was 45, she was around 39). It’s been 5 years and they are so happy. One of my co-workers married at 37 seven years ago. Two of our older friends remarried after their first spouse died of cancer (it’s been about 5-7 years for both). Two of my dear friends (sorority sister and law school roommate) both got married in the last 3 years-meaning mid to late 30s and both just recently had babies.

      • My boyfriends friend just had two healthy twins at age 45! Full term, induced and adorable!!

  15. I posted a day or two ago about some Burberry booties that I really liked but was looking for a less expensive version of.

    Well, stop the presses. I found a sort of similar pair of shoes that I like even more, although they’re still really expensive. I am absolutely in love with these Tory Burch booties. Must have for me. http://www.toryburch.com/Hawthorn-Pump/32128419,default,pd.html

    • Wow, those are gorgeous! They remind me of a pair of Enzo Angiolini pumps I have from a few years ago (but amped up).

    • How much are you willing to spend? What size do you wear? These ones from Isola something or other at Nordies are kind of a similar look but are still expensive.


      • These are really nice! Not as unqiue as the others, but they look more comfortable.

        • Well, in my experience — its really hard to find shoes that cost a lot less than designer shoes that are just as unique. That’s kind of the point. :-)

    • And these Fergilicious (sp?) are much much cheaper but obviously not quite as swag.


    • Oh, and for a middle ground, I sort of like these Doc Maarten (Martin? Why can’t I spell anything today?) ones, because the little metal studs make them look “hard core.” And I put hard core in quotation marks because lets be honest….they’re not really hard core. :-)


    • I have a similar pair of booties from a few years back and wear them frequently. Mine always come untied though.

  16. Advanced education...? :

    Reposting from yesterday, Thanks so much for the feedback ladies. I’d like to get some other opinons as well..

    I know I need an advanced degree to move my career along, as well as the fact I would enjoy the person enrinchment piece, but I am not sure what type of degree to get. My initinal thought was MBA but I keep reading about how expensive they are and how “MBAs are a dime a dozen” so I was thinking Economics would give me a different angle/qualification than the typical MBA as well as the fact I enjoy economics and would enjoy studying for a Master’s in this area. I am currently working at a Fortune 500 company in a field and company I don’t want to stay at and am thinking of consulting.

    Has anyone else been here? I feel like I am stuck. I know I need the advanced degree, I want it, but I am extremely concerned about the cost and the potential pay off. There isn’t the option for my current employer to pay for it. I am concerned about taking the time off to get the degree but I know if I don’t my career may progress slower.

    To the ladies that have already been though this: what things should I be considering? How do I get “unstuck”?

    • A lot of my friends who have done MBAs have done them while still working part-time. They either do an executive MBA program or one of the part-time ones where you take one intense class at a time for 6-8 weeks.

      I’d be concerned about taking on debt to pay for living expenses and school while getting a degree.

      Are you absolutely sure that you need an advanced degree to advance your career?

      • Advanced education...? :

        Yes. Advanced degree is preferred for a senior role and necessary for a management position.

        • I’d look at the senior roles and management positions and see what degrees they have.

          I wouldn’t pay too much attention to what you’re reading because it might be too generic. (BTW, it’s things like “Advanced degree is preferred for a senior role and necessary for a management position” which makes MBAs a “dime a dozen.”)

          Look at the people in your field whose job you would like to have. Look at their education and experience. Ask them how they got there. Don’t assume that if you duplicate those steps you’ll get exactly where they are, but it’s certainly a good starting point.

          Look at the schools you’re considering. Ask them what their graduates do. If all the people leaving that school with an advanced degree in economics do something other than what you want, then you’ll know that the degree (at least at that school) isn’t for you.

          • Advanced education...? :

            A few people have mentioned to me to consider a part time MBA so I don’t have to leave my job and forfeit 2 years of earnings. I have heard through that part time MBA programs are considered “less prestigious” than full time and have less recruiting opportunities. Even at top programs.

            Has anyone seen this in their profession? What is the general opinion on part time MBAs even from an institution with a well regarded full time program?

          • SF Bay Associate :

            A friend of mine got his MBA at Cal/Haas through its part-time program. First off, it doesn’t say “MBA from Haas Part-Time program” on his diploma. It just says Haas, and employers react to it as a degree from Haas, even when they know it’s from part time. The classes were no less rigorous; it just took longer to get the MBA because he was also working full time, which shows phenomenal time management and focusing skills – very appealing. Second, it’s pretty common around here for executives to get their MBAs from the part time programs of good schools – Haas, UC Davis, and Wharton, which has a campus in SF, are all well respected part time MBAs. This sounds like a much better plan for you.

          • Sad to say, in many sectors of finance (banking, private equity), PT MBAs are viewed as less prestigious, even though they’re probably harder to earn when you factor in real life. It’s why I haven’t gotten an MBA yet after more than a decade out of school – I’m making too much money to go FT, and don’t want to spend >$100k on a degree that might be less prestigious. I don’t think EMBAs have quite the same reputation as PT MBAs, strangely.

      • dancinglonghorn :

        I am an academic who took all the courses with the PhD’s in Econ. Ppl who have a masters in econ are people who failed to complete a Phd. I don’t know of anyone (at a top 50 school) who actually started the Econ grad school with the intent to get a masters.

        At the two schools I’ve been at (both top 20, state universities) there was no recruiting for graduate econ students.

        I’m honestly flat out confused about (1) What your objectives are in pursuing your career, (2) where you are getting your information from.

        You need to talk to people who would be making the hiring decisions for the type of job you want and ask them “If you saw my resume with a MA Econ or an MBA on it, which candidate would you prefer to hire?” This is the only way to get the answers that are specific enough to your field.

        FWIW, I teach at a top 20 state university in the MBA program, so I would recommend an MBA over an MA econ for anyone who wants to work a corporate job (instead of a government think-tank job or no job, like the majority of Econ grads)

        Sorry if this reads a little harsh, but I just don’t think that this website is going to get you the answers you want.

        • Advanced education...? :

          Thanks for your comment. I have talked to few different consulting firms (management) and I have received answers ranging from “it really isn’t necessary to have an advanced degree” from “yes, we would prefer a candidate with a PhD”. I am trying to find something that is in between these two.

          FWIW the programs I am looking at are not Master’s in Econ, which I realize is a consolation prize for failing to get a PhD. It is a Master’s in Applied Economics and it is not part of a PhD track. They offer this program at Duke.

          • anon for this :

            Are you looking to work for McKinsey, Boston Consulting, or Bain? Then yes, GPA and prestige matter. Most consulting firms don’t just specialize in management but have several lines including the economy, finance, management, operations, public sector, strategy, etc. Which specialty do you want to be in? For other large firms, which have consulting practices, having a PhD is less of a big deal and it’s more about fit/personality/fitting the brand and being bright/energetic/client focused. Do you do any consulting now and do you know what the field is like?

            I’ve seen you post several times and I feel that while you are getting honest responses here, it’s not helping you come to a decision or is going to be all the information you need. It seems like you want the 100% answer on getting the right degree at the right price on the right timeline from the right school to get into the right firm. There is no right answer or path. You need to get a degree in something that interests you enough to get you in the door somewhere with a company you like doing a job you can tolerate that brings in a decent paycheck.

            I went to a strong regional school full time for an MBA while working full time and landed a job a year after graduation with a top 5 consulting firm and a 24% pay raise. No one raised their eyebrow that I went to school full time and worked full time.

          • Advanced education...? :

            Thanks so much for this response. I has no idea it was humanly possible to go to school full time while working full time. Did you take mostly evening courses? Did you work remotely?

            You are definitely right about getting a degree in something that interest me. Econ does truly interest me but I don’t want to commit to a PhD. That is why I thought that the Master’s in applied economics might be a good choice. I am interested in strategy consulting so I was hoping that a master’s would allow me to bring something to the table most MBA’s don’t have. My bachelor’s is in marketing and I really cringe at the thought of continuing down that route.

          • anon for this :

            It’s definitely humanly possible. It’s not ideal, but what is? My program had two 8 week sessions for the fall and spring semesters and one 8 week session in the summer. Most semesters I took 9-12 credits and in the summer I took between 3-6. Also, if you’re getting loans, graduate level loans view full time differently than undergrad full time. I believe at the graduate level full time is considered 6 credits. I did not work remotely and most of my classes were in person and 90% of my classmates also worked full time. There is a steep learning curve during the first session as you learn to adjust your time and get organized properly, but after the first session I ramped up to full time. Look at the bios of the professors. Do they consult part time or own a small business? Do they have recent senior-level industry experience? If you’re going to get a master’s in econ, look at the course titles and course descriptions. See how close they are to those in an MBA program from the same school. Go to information sessions and talk to the professors.

            Why don’t you like about Marketing? It is increasingly getting more respected as being integral to a firm’s strategy execution and is a C-suite position now in many large organizations (CMO).

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I am planning on getting an MBA (full time but from a well ranked program, FWIW). I did not consider other graduate degree programs, but I was accepted into an MBA program in college, so there wasn’t a lot of time to consider it in the workforce.

      I think whether an MBA, or any graduate program, has value really comes down to what the average graduates do afterward. Of course, you have your superstars who will succeed if they have a degree in theoretical quantum physics or a degree in basketweaving. But the average joe – what happens in their life? For MBA programs, it often comes down to the quality of recruiting at the school and the perceived brand (both locally (if you plan to stay local) and nationally (if you are flexible in where you end up)). Many graduates find their first post-MBA job through recruiting (which then leads to the next job, and the next). My question on a Masters in Econ is – would the recruiting at both degrees be similar? And even bigger than the recruiting – would the network be similar? This is perhaps less important at some schools than at others.

      One of the nice things about an MBA is it is a management degree and (perhaps unfortunately) is less concerned with “traditional academics.” Would a masters in economics be too focused on theory? What practical skills would you leave with? Where and how can you use those skills in your career? I think those are the questions you should be asking.

      I second the suggestion above for either a part time MBA or an executive MBA (though, IMO, many of the best candidates for executive MBAs actually DO have graduate degrees already — ie, they have a MS in Engineering, can progress up to age 33/34 with that, but find their career limited and then go on to do an executive MBA). I would say going full time (and taking the loss in salary as well as requirement to cover living expenses, as well as tuition) is only worth it for the tippy top programs.

      • Agree. Also I replied yesterday and to clarify, I looked up a small sample of senior management and director level types to give you examples of the degrees and certifications I see in my field.

  17. big dipper :

    Hair color question. I saw the posts on going gray and dyeing those grays yesterday and today which reminded me that I’ve been meaning to dye my hair for a while. I’m in my mid-twenties, but I’ve never dyed my dull medium brown hair. I’d like to dye my hair very dark blond/very light brown (my ends are already this color). or a medium brown with a reddish tint.

    So, does anyone have any recommendations for home hair dye? Specifically, I’m looking for something where:
    (1) The resulting color is true to the color on the box . I’m only lightening my hair the recommended 2 shades but in reading reviews, it seems that many brands result in a darker color than on the box/the person anticipates.
    (2) It’s easy to use since I’m new to hair dye
    (3) The resulting color is relatively shiny/vibrant

    This has probably been discussed extensively before, so sorry if I’m repeating it.

    • I’ve been using Garneir (I can’t spell…) Fructise… or Nuctrise…. or something…it’s the green box…7 bucks or so, for years. Spelling issues aside, I love it.

    • Consider using demi permanent just in case you don’t like it—it will wash out in about a month.

    • I have had horrible experiences with box dye, and I much prefer mixing my own dye from the beauty supply store. The application is MUCH easier and cleaner with a brush and rat-tail comb, I get more control over what the final color will be, and it’s easier to make a small amount to do the fabled “skin swatch” that all the boxes tut tut about (without the worries of an industrial accident in your bathroom). The initial outlay is about $25 for the supplies (gloves, brushes, clips, mixing bowl and measuring cup, developer, color, intense after-color conditioner), but much less after that (about $7 for the color). My hair is light-medium brown and I color it a darker strawberry blonde using 20 volume developer and a Clairol Professional color. I really like Wella colors too, but they dry the ever loving heck out of my hair. ION Brilliance makes my favorite after-color treatment.

    • just a lurker :

      Those new foam dyes could not be easier. It’s true that your hair may come out a little bit darker than the color on the box, but it does wash out and even out to the box color in about a week or so (it does for me, anyway, washing my hair everyday)
      Shine and vibrancy really depends on your own hair health. I find that the box dyes leave my hair in much better shape than when I got it done in the salon – I suppose the formula is gentler because it’s made for at-home use by inexperienced people.
      Good luck!

    • You cant lighten your hair with semi or demi permanent dyes. You have to use the variety that is “permanent” which means it doesnt fade away but permanently changes the hair. This is why most “blondes” are constantly battling dark roots.

      The dyes that rinse out can be used to add a red tint to your hair,but it’s not going to be any lighter than your hair is now.

      • ^ mambear speaks the truth ^

        If you want to lighten your hair, it’s probably best to go to a professional, at least for the first few times. You may also want to consider highlights instead of all-over (single process) color. You usually have to be at the salon longer, but less frequently. If you lighten your hair more than a shade or two, roots will become an issues for you.

  18. Mountain Girl :

    I have an MBA. My employer paid with a five year commitment to stay after graduation. I went a state university (large and respected) while I was working. Admittedly, the degree is not from the elite business schools but I wanted to learn rather than just get the credential. I really don’t see myself moving from my area and could comfortably work the rest of my career in my current position so the national reputation of the school didn’t matter as much as the regional/state reputation.

    I think you need to figure out what you want out of grad school. Do you want the education or the credential? Either is an acceptable motivation but clarifying what you want before you go into the process may help define your decision criteria.

    • Mountain Girl :

      Sorry – this is in reply to Advanced education…? above

    • Mountain Girl, I keep meaning to ask, what mountain region does your handle refer to? For some reason, I think you’re in Colorado (which is where I’m from!) but I could entirely be making that up :)

      • Mountain Girl :

        Yep – Colorado! My heart’s in the mountains but I now relegated to the plains of the tri-state region of CO/KS/NE.

        • I hear you. My heart will always be in the mountains. I don’t know anyone raised there that doesn’t want to move back :)

        • SoCalAtty :

          I love Colorado! If I couldn’t live in California, I would move there. My quick little hiking weekend in September wasn’t enough!

        • RookieRette :

          I just moved from CO to GA and yes, my heart remains in my mountains. I miss it already!!

    • Advanced education...? :

      Thanks for your response Mountain Girl! If I am really honest with myself about it I think it comes down to the credential. My bachelors is in business and is related to the field I work in. I think the knowledge piece will definitely be a huge boost to me professionally (of course) but I don’t think I need it at this point in time to keep doing what I am doing. However I don’t want to keep doing what I am doing so I need the credential to make a change.

      • How would you feel about doing a master’s or MBA in Europe? Many of these take only one year and cost much less than US schools. England, Spain, France, Italy, Switzerland all have some good business schools and many of their programs are taught entirely in English. Of course, you don’t get the same US-based contacts and placement services but you get a faster degree and an interesting experience.

  19. LeChouette :

    I have had a really crummy week at work and am feeling terrible about myself and my life and my best friend is getting married tomorrow, which is great, obviously, and will bust me out of my terrible mood but I am worried that as soon as any of our far flung friends ask me how work is I will burst into tears and ruin everything. I also have to work all day Sunday post wedding and so am worried I won’t be able to let go and have fun and she’ll notice and be mad (two of the other bridesmaids are expecting and I know she is a little worried about the ladeez not having fun as it is). I also feel like I’ve gained 20 pounds in the past week (which is just in my head) and will not fit into my bridesmaid dress.

    Basically I feel like work is slowly, boa constrictor like, smothering my soul and inhibiting my ability to be anything but a whiny negative nancy who takes her life too seriously.

    Thanks for listening.

    • Know that you are not alone, that you are more than the current stresses of your job, and that your friend will love you pretty much regardless (this is why you’re friends). Also, deep breaths and c-cktails will help for now :). E-hugs/support/understanding.

    • Doll, you’re in excellent company. Drop a few RAWRS here and there and feel better. With cupcakes, preferably.

    • Are any of these far flung friends very close friends of yours? If so, can you unburden yourself to that friend (even via email) before the wedding? Then you’ll have it off your chest, be able to cry privately, and know there’s someone there who has your back. I had to do exactly this when I was going to a bachelorette weekend and was having some personal issues. I cried to two friends and they helped me keep it together when the bride was around (I absolutely did not want to be the center of attention during a weekend that was for her). I don’t think the bride ever knew what was going on. Ultimately I had fun, but the two friends covered for me if I got teary and busted me out of my pity party any time I looked mopey. If they’re good friends, don’t be afraid to lean on them a little. It’ll give you the support you need to be the kind of bridesmaid you want to be for your friend. (I realize bridesmaids aren’t servants and brides aren’t princesses, but no one wants to rain on her friend’s big day.)

    • Grrr. Moderation for bachelor–te. Are any of these far flung friends very close friends of yours? If so, can you unburden yourself to that friend (even via email) before the wedding? Then you’ll have it off your chest, be able to cry privately, and know there’s someone there who has your back. I had to do exactly this when I was going to a bachelor–te weekend and was having some personal issues. I cried to two friends and they helped me keep it together when the bride was around (I absolutely did not want to be the center of attention during a weekend that was for her). I don’t think the bride ever knew what was going on. Ultimately I had fun, but the two friends covered for me if I got teary and busted me out of my pity party any time I looked mopey. If they’re good friends, don’t be afraid to lean on them a little. It’ll give you the support you need to be the kind of bridesmaid you want to be for your friend. (I realize bridesmaids aren’t servants and brides aren’t princesses, but no one wants to rain on her friend’s big day.)

    • Drink many of zee cocktails on Saturday, just be sure to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. A night of fun will do a lot for your mental health.

    • In moderation for my use of c0cktails. I advise to drink many and just hydrate well enough to ensure you can be productive on Sunday. Your mental health is most important and having a fun time at the wedding can help a lot with that.

    • I know exactly what you mean about feeling like a negative nancy who takes her life to seriously! I have felt the exact same way. When I look back on times when I felt like crap because of my job, I realize I put way, way too much pressure on myself to fix a poopy situation. Sometimes, things are tough and it’s not your fault.

      There are different ways you could handle this. I suggest opening up to a close bff when you have a private moment. And to everyone else at the wedding, stay as positive as you can and deflect questions away from sensitive topics. Just look at the wedding as a chance to breathe, hang out with people you love, and have fun.

      And if you can see any humor at all in your misery, that helps too. Laugh at how ridiculous life can be sometimes!

    • Just sending you sympathy and solidarity… my job is sucking my soul, and especially this week… and I feel so negative and angry all the time, and then annoyed with myself for being so negative, it is a ridiculous cycle, isn’t it!?!

      So, I feel you, and I don’t know if I have anything to help with, but I wanted to let you know you’re not alone in how your feeling, it’s a normal, human feeling. Try to find some time to take care of yourself even if it’s a tiny bit of time, and give yourself a break for feeling whiny and negative, it doesn’t make you a bad person! lots of {{Internet HUUUGGSSSSSSS}}

      • LeChouette :

        To update, thank you all for the nice words and supportive thoughts! It was great just to get it out of my system and made me feel better to know I’m not the only person who struggles with shaking off work blues even for important things. I got through Friday like a champ, no tears even when prodded by far flung friends about work, managed to give a toast with aplomb. Saturday was a 16 hour day, a little more exhausting, and I got some work emails that stressed me out (barf) but I made it, and I don’t think the bride noticed anything was off. Overall, a success. :)

  20. Research, Not Law :

    I’d like to pick the hivemind…

    I ate out last night and was up all night with what I can best describe as a bad hangover. I did not drink at dinner. It was a restaurant that I’ve eaten at several times before without an issue, but I ordered a new item (a special). It was a chicken wrap with ‘hungarian’ seasoned mayo (I’m guessing paprika, chili powder, and …) and those crunchy onions. (Sadly, it wasn’t even very good). I didn’t do anything else unusual yesterday, including having very standard breakfast and lunch, normal amount of water, typical activities. I have occasionally experienced the same thing, notably when served costco’s lasagna or pulled chicken by my mother. My mother is very sensitive to MSG (which I can usually eat) and it’s not found on the ingredient labels. I also don’t think it’s nitrates or sulfates because I do okay with bacon, etc.

    Any idea on what the heck it was?

    • Gluten intolerance? I don’t know what “crunchy onions” are, but I’m wondering if they were onions that were breaded and fried. Lasagna obviously includes wheat. As a vegetarian, I’m not sure what’s in pulled chicken, but does it also include a gluten product?

      Sorry you’re feeling so horrible. Hope it goes away soon.

    • Hangovers are usually based on dehydration, right? Have you been drinking enough water? Has there been a rapid change in the weather (low pressure/high pressure difference)? Was the food saltier than you usually have?

      Based on my friend’s experience, gluten issues were more likely to give her gastrointestinal issues (gas and the farts) than a headache, but YMMV.

      • Research, Not Law :

        The food was indeed salty. I had a normal amount of water yesterday, but perhaps it wasn’t enough to balance the meal. It’s possible that those prepared meals that have given me issue in the past were also extrememly high in sodium…. hmm…

        The weather HAS changed dramatically. A rainstorm moved in overnight. This is new to me. Could that be related?

        • just Karen :

          Rainstorms and their corresponding change in pressure often bring on terrible headaches for me, and if a headache is bad enough it can cause nausea as well – dehydration can cause the same symptoms, so maybe it was just an awful combination of the two?

          • Research, Not Law :

            This. Is. Fascinating.

            It could have been a wicked combination. Wow. I’m going to start paying attention! Thank you!

          • Seconded. I have the same problem. I don’t really drink, but when I get headaches due to barometric pressure changes, it is basically like one massive hangover.

    • Or maybe an allergy/intolerance to spices? Like pepper? Or tomato (sauce)? Ask your mom for the recipe to her pulled chicken.

      • Research, Not Law :

        Oh, it could have been a spice. I didn’t consider that. Mr Research (the cook of the household) uses rubs and spices frequently and with great variety, but there could have been something in there that’s unusual to me. I actually don’t really like paprika (so why did I order hungarian spiced food? I don’t know), so perhaps that could be it? Are people allergic to paprika?

        I don’t think it could be pepper or tomato. Those are staples in our kitchen.

        To clarify, my mom serves the pulled pork, but it’s packaged from costco. I’m a huge fan of pulled pork and chicken, so we cook it from scratch frequently at our house and I order it often at resturants. I have only ever had issues with the one she buys.

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          I know someone with an anaphylactic allergy to paprika so it is possible to be allergic to it.

    • Try getting some electrolytes. You might be hydrated in terms of water, but not potassium or whatever the other important electrolytes are. I like those packets made by “emergen-C” or other types you can find at the health food stores because they are just pure electrolytes with no sugar. But something like gatorade would probably work too.

  21. Any advice on how to introduce yourself to someone who you see often and already know the name of (at work)? There’s this woman that I always see and we we always say hi but we have never introduced ourselves. We have recently been assigned to work on a project together so I’m pretty sure that she knows who I am and vice versa. Would it be awkward to say “Hi, I’m __” the next time I see her? Or should I just go along with the project and jst acknowledge that we already know each other? I’m probably thinking too much into this but any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!

    • “Hi – we’ve never been officially introduced, but I’m ________. You’re NAME, right? I’m looking forward to working with you on this project.”

    • I am a banana. :

      I’ve been guilty of “introducing” other people to get out of that situation. “Oh, have you met Bill?” Then Bill shakes her hand, and she’ll say her name. Or saying, “Hey, I wanted to e-mail you x document related to our project, could you write down your e-mail so I’m sure I’m spelling your name correctly?”

      I’m terrible with names, can you tell?

    • I’ve been trying to train myself to do this better, because i’ve realized when other people do it to me, I don’t think it’s weird, I really appreciate that they took the first step.

      Just act like it’s super natural, stick your hand out and say something like “I see you all the time, but i know we’ve never officially met (haha) I’m Hello. Nice to finally meet you for real! (smile)”

      It’s likely she feels equally awkward about the situation, so she will probably be glad you addressed it straight out.

  22. Need Shoe Advice! :

    SoCalAtty here – I’m thinking of buying my first ever pair of booties. I’ve found these – http://shop.nordstrom.com/S/cole-haan-cassidy-bootie/3306325?origin=category&contextualcategoryid=0&fashionColor=&resultback=3500

    Or maybe these at a cheaper price point – http://shop.nordstrom.com/S/bp-trolley-ankle-boot/3194050?origin=category&contextualcategoryid=0&fashionColor=&resultback=1000

    $300 is probably the most I really want to spend, and I’m looking for black that I can use for work under slacks and maybe skirts, and maybe on the weekend too.

    What do you think shoe experts? I’m terrible at styling anything so this is a new venture for me.

    • Visually I like the BP boots better – CH have this unsightly horizontal seam; but they could differ in terms of comfort. Fortunately, with Nordie’s free shipping and returns you can order both and see how they feel on the foot.
      To wear with skirts, in SoCal climate, you may want to look into shorter booties. I own Sofft Florina and they are great. This is last year’s model so can be had cheaper. I wear them with office pants, jeans, dresses or a maxi skirt for a boho look.

  23. Pipe Dreams :

    Is this the “grass is always greener” syndrome or burnout or something else? Senior associate in biglaw in NYC. Have been told I will not make partner despite the fact that my work is “excellent” and everyone wants to work with me. (No one will level with me though some have hinted internal business issues unrelated to me.) I am just DONE. I can’t see myself going some place else and slogging for another 3-4 yrs in the hopes of making partner in a field that gets smaller every year and then making nice with the existing partners there so that they will let me in on their business. My friends think I’m being dumb and should gut it out some place else and that a new place will have a different vibe, but honestly I have killed myself for this and am so defeated that I can’t go through it again.

    I am the most risk averse person I know and if I go to another firm – even small/mid, the money will be good for several more years.

    But part of me wants to say screw it all and see if I can get a business job at a small company outside of NYC — preferably DC. Is that ridiculous? I have the undergrad academics for it but I haven’t used those business skills in 10 yrs. And I feel like I’d be giving up law — a specialized field — to go compete with the millions of people in business who have the Ivy MBAs, Goldman Sachs backgrounds etc. It’s just that I feel like business gives you more “transferable” skills — if you can do financial modeling, strategic planning etc. you can do it in a number of places. If you can write briefs (I’m a litigator) – that really only works for you in the law firm setting (esp if you want to be around big business issues, which I do). And I have an interest in DC bc I feel like I could make less money (which will happen when transitioning fields) but live nicely – moreso than NYC at least.

    I’m not the adventurous type at all, so I don’t see myself just taking a year off to travel/volunteer etc. I wish I had the guts to just move to DC now – bc once I am there I will be forced to find something to do, but I am just not like that and am terrified of this economy.

    Total pipe dream? Or doable? I keep going back and forth – it’s not like I want to leave law to go be a Hollywood actress but the idea of leaving law is just not something I could have fathomed when I got in 10 yrs ago.

    • What kind of business? DC’s business is government. That’s not to say it’s not doable somewhere, but research the market in DC before you take any steps because it’s a pretty unique place. I actually don’t really practice law anymore (I do but I don’t — it’s complicated). If you 1) want to go to DC and 2) don’t want to do law, you might consider policy. Yes, every lawyer and her sister wants to get “more into the policy side of things” but if you have the bona fides, you have a good shot. There also are strategic planning positions in government. One way to test the waters (and potentially make a little more money in exchange for less job security) is to go with one of the consulting firms — Booz Allen is huge around here but Deloitte also does some work and there are smaller firms, too. Government contracting/consulting is a weird, weird world where people are not quite employees and not quite not employees, but it would give you a chance to see different government agencies from the inside. Given your credentials and seniority, you could probably make low six figures. If you want to see what you’d make in government itself (in the executive branch) run a search for GS payscale (be sure to look at locality pay). You’d probably be a high 14 or low 15. (I’d say you might be eligible for SES but I think they typically want people with government experience before they put you right in the executive ranks). Depending on your niche, you might make more than GS (e.g., the SEC has its own payscale that is about 30% or so higher than GS).

      • TBK is right. Also DoD work is a big part of that and most employers want you to come in with a clearance. I don’t know what your practice area is but the Dulles corridor is full of tech companies (though I wouldn’t classify that location as being DC at all – it is as suburban as it gets – but makes for a somewhat better reverse commute). North of DC in MD (Rockville area) there are lots of companies in the health/pharmaceutical industry because of proximity to NIH. To the east in Maryland, south of Baltimore, is where a lot of the cyber work is done. Also, there are a lot of non-profits and associations headquartered here. roses is right – transit is expensive. My IRS maximum allowed pre-tax transit benefit doesn’t even cover my costs so I do a pre-tax parking benefit as well.

      • Pipe Dreams :

        “One way to test the waters (and potentially make a little more money in exchange for less job security) is to go with one of the consulting firms — Booz Allen is huge around here but Deloitte also does some work and there are smaller firms, too.”

        This is exactly what I was thinking. Going in at any professional level where I can, gaining the finance/analysis skills, and then seeing if I can work my way up or go on to another business and credibly say that I have business knowledge. Is anyone able to name the smaller consulting firms?

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      I can’t speak to the quitting law entirely thing (though oh how I dream about it), but I can tell you that, having lived in both places, DC is not actually that much cheaper than NYC. It is somewhat cheaper, yes, but not nearly as much as you would think. Grocery stores are a little cheaper. Rent, utilities, and transportation really aren’t.

      • I’d say rent per square foot is probably a lot cheaper in DC than it is in NY. Probably depends on where in the two cities you live, but looking at my friends’ places in NY (in similar neighborhoods), they tend to pay about $300-$400 more than me for an apartment perhaps 25% smaller than mine. I do think DC public transit is more expensive than NY though (screw you, variable metro fares!).

      • Pipe Dreams :

        I’m not suggesting that DC is cheap like the small midwestern cities would be, but I think you get more for the same price. If you pay $2000 for rent in NYC – you get an ok doorman studio apartment if you are fortunate. For $2000 in DC, I have seen one bedrooms that are almost new construction with amenities like dishwashers (gasp). I guess I’m so frustrated that I just want to be in a position where I at least like my surroundings.

    • Joan Holloway :

      Get a coach to help you think through your options and face your fears. Don’t beat yourself up for being risk-averse and do NOT just quit and move with nothing lined up. A coach will help you get where you want to go step by step. You’ll feel like you’re making progress toward life after your current law firm, and that will help you hang on until you have everything lined up.

    • Or maybe an interim step could be to go in-house with a company in the field that interests you, and then try to move to a business position? It may be easier once you are a known quantity.

      • Pipe Dreams :

        @Joan & Plan B: I have a few mentors (partners though at other firms), a career counselor/recruiter, and I am thinking of turning to my school’s career services as well with whom I’m working to figure out my Plan A, B, C etc. In-house is the obvious step #1 which would allow me to test out corporate life and see if I want to transition towards something more business like or stay in law. I am working on that, but the competition is fierce and those jobs aren’t exactly abundant. While I’m crossing my fingers that this happens, I also don’t feel confident in my chances. That’s the kind of thing that makes me want to walk away altogether and figure something else out.

        • Joan Holloway :

          The world is full of stories of people who had a dream of what they wanted and figured out how to get there. Don’t talk yourself out of what you want before you even try for it! There may be some intermittent turmoil and some false starts and stops along the way, but you’re obviously smart, savvy and strategic. You’re taking a great approach to look at this turn in your career as an opportunity to launch into something new.

          I think your mentors, carer counselors and school’s career services are good resources. However, don’t sell yourself short from hiring an executive coach who is used to working with high level achievers with lofty goals. I’ve loved my own recruiters in the past, but I wouldn’t depend on them for the kind of full-on, 100%-on-your-side counsel that an executive coach provides. Mentors are also great, but they don’t always have the time to spend with you as intensively as someone you have hired. Same with career services.

          I promise I’m not a coach myself. I’ve just had really good experiences with one (Elena Kaspi) and talked to others who I could tell were worth the money. If your firm provides you with high-quality outplacement services, be sure to take them up on it. (I’ve also talked to friends who have had mediocre experiences w/ coaches and run into people with lots of enthusiasm for advice-giving but with questionable credentials.)

        • I know there aren’t a ton of in-house jobs out there, but it is picking up from what I have seen. Is there a client you’ve worked with at your firm that you would be interested in working with as an in-house attorney? This is a common path to in-house positions. Even if they don’t have anything open right now, show interest in learning more about their company and business, and you may be a natural fit for an in-house position with them.

          • Pipe Dreams :

            @Joan and Plan B – I’m considering an executive coach but need to look into it more so it’s not something that’s a waste of money.

            Believe me, I am knee deep in talking to people — law school contacts, firm contacts, people who know people at my firm etc. who are in-house to discuss what they do and also to express my interest. It’s one of those annoying processes where your resume has to hit at the exact time that someone is hiring, which isn’t that often for litigators. I want to diversify out and not be a litigator but lit is the most obvious foot in the door. It’s just a never ending networking process which I hope results in someone actually remembering me when their company has a hiring need, hopefully in the not so distant future. It’s all so uncertain. And given the way I’m feeling, even going out and having coffee with people and doing the whole networking thing has been tough. I never realized I would take this turn of events so hard. It’s hard to network when you barely feel like functioning.

    • I’m not sure why going in-house isn’t a more obvious solution ? The swap to a corporate business role is likely to be much more challenging, both in terms of competing for jobs and fit once you’re there. I’ve done quite a bit of hand-holding since 2008 for burnt-out bankers and some lawyers too, and while I’ve seen a couple of successful transitions to corporate management roles (mostly start-ups) but it isn’t for the risk-averse, under-motivated or thin-skinned. The folks who ‘fit’ on paper are sufficiently senior at their firms to have carried at least some business/ P&L responsibility and even so, have required a high level of internal sponsorship (typically from the board or from shareholders) and have struggled with the greater complexity of managing a brick-and-mortar business vs. a professional-services team.

      • Pipe Dreams :

        What level are you talking about? I’m not thinking I can go in as a Senior VP, Director, or MD. I’m thinking of trying to get in as a mid-level associate/associate VP in consulting and seeing if I can gain the business/finance skillset and try to move up or move on from there with the ability to say that I am a lawyer who has business skills.

        While I am risk averse, I would not characterize myself (or anyone who has lasted in biglaw for 8-9 yrs) as under motivated or thin skinned. I am obviously those things right now but a lot of that is stemming from me not wanting to put in 100% for a firm that is showing me no loyalty after years of me killing myself for them. Maybe more mature people would handle it differently but I’m not someone who can say “it’s ok – I will still toil away for you day and night.”

        • It’s fine to recognise that you’re reaching the end of your current career path and to pitch broadly when figuring out what to do next. You will get all kinds of feedback when you put yourself out there with questions and need to take what’s useful without getting defensive over what’s not.

          I bring up in-house because it is likely to be your best bet for getting your years in biglaw acknowledged and rewarded in a corporate role. For a small company, strategic planning is likely to be something under the direct ambit of the executive team and financial modelling a service to be bought in from bankers. A ‘mid-level business role’ would more typically mean sales, marketing, product or operations, where you are far less likely to be a competitive candidate vs. someone who has done their 8 – 9 years in the relevant area and industry. The dynamics change if you have enough experience to go in at a senior level and/ or there’s a lot of internal sponsorship, but not until then.

          Certainly in-house or even moving to another legal firm seems a lower risk to me than consulting, where you’d need to dust off old skills from school and acquire new ones, and where office politics and up-or-out career development may not be significantly different to a legal or any other professional-services firm.

  24. Kate Spade is dead to me due to quality and customer service issues, but she is making it really difficult to stick to my guns here: http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/kate-spade-new-york-sylvie-satchel/3361215?origin=category&contextualcategoryid=0&fashionColor=&resultback=0&pprd=0

    • While that is AMAZINGLY CUTE, consider that it’s going to be a pain in the @$$ to carry in your hand and that crossbody bags will stress your back and shoulders unevenly and you don’t want back pain, do you? There, you don’t want it anymore.

    • I have a similar Kate Spade bag and it KILLS my back.

  25. I passed the bar exam!!!! :D
    So relieved and happy!

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