Splurge Wednesday’s TPS Report: Belted Long Sleeve Dress

Our daily TPS reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

3.1 Phillip Lim Belted Long Sleeve Dress Happy New Year, ladies! For the first TPS of the year, I thought I’d peruse the ShopBop sale (take an extra 20% off sale prices through 1/3) — and sure enough, I found this gorgeous “venom” orange dress. It’s an unusual color (at least for me), but a wearable one, I think, and one that will go with blues, grays, subdued reds, and — if you’re really feeling wild — purples (or just wear a long silver or gold chain with it and nude-for-you pumps). It looks classic, structured, and kind of impeccable. It was $725, but is currently marked to $362 — with code EXTRAOFF it comes down to $289. 3.1 Phillip Lim Belted Long Sleeve Dress

Seen a great piece you’d like to recommend? Please e-mail [email protected]

Psst: Check out more great deals at the Corporette Bargains page!


  1. Pretty dress. I’ve been craving color. BTW, the Target/Neiman Marcus collection is 70% off on the Target website with free shipping. All the items are showing a return by date of 1/5 but if you call customer service, they’ll annotate your account to allow for returns after that date.

    • Me to, but OMG! This is a wonderful DRESS, but I am still tryeing to be more fruegal b/c of the extra payroll taxe’s Frank say’s we are now goeing to have to pay this year! FOOEY! FRANK is also kind of MAD b/c he has to get a programer to change the payroll program to deduct MORE money’s from our paycheck b/c of the fiscal cliff stuff. I think FRANK is just lazy and does NOT want to have to do anything different. When I am a partner, I will have to tell him NOT to be to lazy.

      I did NOT win the $500/ 5 pound chalenge after all (I onley lost 4 pound’s ), but the manageing partner was such a sweethart after my weigh-in, and he said he would STILL give me $400 anyway’s b/c I did loose 4 pound’s,and it was the HOLIDAY!!!!! YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      BUT I will STILL give MYRNA the $100 I promised her if I won the chalenge b/c the manageing partner was very nice to give me the $400 EVEN tho I did NOT loose 5. My father says I need to loose even more if I want to be SVELTE. He says that I should not have a big tush and that I should look to Myrna as my roll model b/c she is very atheletic and has a flat tush. Good for her,but I am the one with a JD degree, and I am the one who is admitted to the NY Bar,and I am the one who is goeing to be a partner. I think with all of that, who care’s if I have a bigger tuchus? FOOEY!

      Happy new year’s to the HIVE and Kat! Yay!

    • Man, that collaboration did not sell well at all, huh?

      • I saw a navy jacket with white piping in the men’s section at Target on Monday. It did not look like a men’s jacket and I don’t know any straight men who would ever wear it.

        • Ha! I saw the same one and thought it was a women’s jacket! My husband was convinced the jacket had been mislabeled, but nope, it was a men’s jacket.

        • This reminds me of all those Project Runway challenges when the contestants realize they’ll have to design for people who aren’t 6 feet tall and 105 lbs– when the camera pans across the room, you see all the dismay on the designers’ faces :
          “OMG, we have to design for normal people who want to, like *move* and *sit down* and *eat* and climb stairs, what do we do?? FEAR!!!!!!”

          You’d think that a collaboration with a mass market retailer like Target would drive the point home that these would be clothes worn by people going about their normal daily lives and that in normal daily lives, men don’t wear jackets like that.

          • I was disappointed that so much of it was accessories in patterns designed by the Big Name, rather than an actual garment. A yoga mat does not count as a wrap dress.

          • Ha! The yoga mat cracked me up.

            I bet the Big Name just did an eye-roll and farmed out the design to some yoga-loving assistant anyways. ;-)

        • S in Chicago :

          The women’s version of the jacket was just as bad–not so much in style, but in the fit. It was cut really funky. I’ve never had anything be too large and yet feel so tight that I questioned whether it belonged in the children’s section. It literally felt like a “shrunken” jacket–and not in the cute form-fitting way. Blazers are always a pretty easy fit for me. Not this one.

          I will give a thumbs up though for the Carolina Herrera travel bag set though. Sizing was perfect for a wet swimming suit and my toiletries when I traveled for the holidays and the padding is nice and thick. I also love that you can remove or tie together.

          • I agree about that jacket fit, BUT it is also a Thom Browne jacket and the whole “shrunken fit” thing is his… thing, I guess. All his clothes look like they’ve been put through the dryer.

    • I ordered the Tracy Reese desert plates last week @ 50% off and they’re great. I am on a 2013 shopping ban so nothing for me, but I saw someone wearing the Leila Rose lace top and it was really pretty in person.

      • Yay, another person on the shopping ban!

      • We need a special shopping ban group. Clothes-wise I’m allowing myself a rehearsal dinner dress, wedding shoes, and legitimate replacements. It won’t be easy, but when I looked at my clothing purchases in 2012, I decided to commit.

        • I would absolutely join a shopping ban group! I’m working on my spending this year, though I’m not making a resolution to do so. Resolutions scream “BREAK ME,” in my mind, so I’m just trying to change my behavior without a huge proclamation. We’ll see how it works!

          • Right there with you as I promptly broke two of my three resolutions (breaking the third one shortly) today. But they are difficult (for me) and require planning, which wasn’t going to happen yesterday given family obligations. I’m giving myself until Sunday of next week to really implement my changes, because realistically I need prep time.

          • I’m moving in August and keep reminding myself that I am going to have to pay storage for every purchase. On the shopping ban list is tea (need to drink up what I have first), clothes, and accessories. I’ve organized my tights, socks, and undies into newish and not new and am wearing the not new first hoping to clear some space.

            I’m also taking the plunge and getting rid of the 2 sizes too big clothes.

          • If it makes you feel better, NPR said the other day that people who break their resolutions w/in the 1st 30 days of the year & hop back on the wagon are statistically pretty successful in the long term.

        • I am trying to making it a positive thing, rather than a negative one. I’m using it as an excuse to get creative with my closet. I have so many clothes and I know I can do better about using them all. I’m thinking of it as a challenge to myself to be creative with all of the beautiful and cool clothes I already own. I know I can make it the year without actually needing to buy anything, so its just a question of doing it.

          One thing I did was unsubscribe to all shopping/retail emails. I don’t care if there’s a sale because I’m not buying it. The second thing I did was delete all of the stored credit card information on the websites of the stores I frequently purchase from.

          I’m still going to read blogs, magazines and this site, because, while they DO fan the shopping flames, instead of buying whatever item I think I need, I’m going to try to identify the “look” I like about it and come up with the same or similar look from items I already own.

  2. I ended up ordering my first pair of Theory pants from the Shopbop sale yesterday morning. With the discount, they were about $100 and there’s free shipping both ways. I followed the ‘r3tte advice and ordered 2 sizes up. Here’s hoping they work!

  3. Not wanting to be back at work today! But I am glad we’ll be back to regularly scheduled programming with this site. Happy new year, ladies.

    • Me neither! I’m back in the office tomorrow (I work PT in addition to my studies) and am bribing myself with Starbucks. I really needed to get more done in December than I did so I am feeling a bit behind the game now which is never a fun way to start the year / semester.

    • I’m not happy to be back at work, either. And I’m wearing a new skirt and blazer that were Christmas gifts.

      The dress is gorgeous. But not affordable on my gov. salary. Sigh! And my closet is overflowing anyway.

    • Happy new year, b! And everyone!

    • Senior Attorney :

      Same here! It seems just plain mean to have one day of work, one day off, then three more days of work. Ugh. But YAY for Corpor3tt3 being back in full swing!

      Happy New Year to all!

      Love the orange dress but I’m doing shop my budget/12 x 12 this year and I’m not about to blow it on the second day of the year!

  4. Bostononians! How warm is the T if you’re riding it for an extended period of time? I am flying out of Boston next Tuesday but due to timing & where I live I am crashing with a friend Monday night. Since I am flying to Florida I would really rather not bring my winter coat with me and lug it through airports etc. Will I be warm enough with a scarf and a fleece jacket? I have a high tolerance for cold but I have never taken the T in the winter so I’m not sure what to do. Help me oh wise ones!

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      Do you know what lines you’ll be on? I am an always cold person and definitely definitely need to have my jacket on days like today in Boston (30ish degrees), but on the T, if I’m on a line that mainly/only runs underground, I do okay. The Green Line is a notable exception since it mostly runs above ground once you get out of the heart of the city and the doors opening/closing into the cold air always make me kind of chilly.

      If you’re going to the airport, and want to skip the jacket, I’d take the Silver Line rather than the Blue Line. From the Blue Line airport stop, you have to wait outside for a bus and with no jacket, that would be tough. On the silver line, they drop you directly at the terminals.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        Ugh, I did the blue line with no jacket once in a very similar circumstance. Flew back from GA and left my winter jacket in a closet there! I was freezing and miserable and looked like a fool.

    • It is so cold here right now. Are you going to be outside at all other than taking the T? Like, walking to the T? The T itself is heated just fine and shouldn’t be a problem (although I don’t know about the Green Line), but depending on your stop you might have to wait outside and that could get very cold. But if you can truly do indoors –> car –> long T ride, the T ride itself should be ok.

    • Diana Barry :

      Ditto, the waiting for the T (if it is aboveground) is really chilly. If you take the red line to the silver line you should be OK. I would bring gloves, those help to keep me warm and aren’t bulky. :)

    • Was your typo intentional? I have a very funny story/memory associated with that exact typo (Bostononians instead of Bostonians)

    • It looks like a combination of the red and blue lines – I would have a 5 minute or so walk to the T and then waiting underground but The MBTA website has me changing buses and trains every 5 minutes so I am totally confused- generally my T experience is get on green line, get off wherever I was heading without changing anywhere.
      No my typo was not intentional- I stopped writing my comment because the mail came in and I wasn’t paying attention!
      Thank you for the Silver line tip- that had been my original plan- taking something until it intersected with the Silver line and then taking that all the way to the airport but looking at the route that would add 45 minutes or so.

      • What station are you starting at, and what time/day? The MBTA’s suggestion sounds a little crazy, especially if you’re starting on the Red Line.

    • If this is for a one-night thing (ie your only time on the T will be getting to and from the airport), you MIGHT be okay if you aren’t using the green line above ground.

      If you are hopping on at the airport, you will have to wait outside for the T (it’s a bus). You’ll switch to another line at south station, and it will be a little chilly underground, but not awful. If you get picked up AT the T station and hop into a warm car, you’ll be okay riding around in just a fleece. But if you are going to be walking to/from the, you might want to rethink the jacket based on the weather.

      • It’s only one night- and I will have my coat in Boston because I am driving into the city and leaving my car at a friend’s so worst case scenario I just decide to take it that morning. Further research indicates it’s a 15 or so minute cab ride… since I am often willing to pay for not dealing with transport annoyances and switching between trains and buses ranks quite high on my list of annoyances, I may take my random transport cash and blow it all on a cab ride.

        • Just to give you a heads up, it’s $50-$80 (depending on traffic/tip) usually for a cab ride from Logan to Brookline (not sure where you are going). Halfway through my 2nd semester of law school, I decided this expense was worth more than eating the rest of the month. ;-p

    • honestly, i’m always overheated on the T (red line). I think you’ll be fine, unless as others mentioned, you are waiting outside for the green line. then all bets are off.

      also don’t believe how long the mbta says it will take you to get anywhere on the green line. it is sloooow.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Another thing to keep in mind, you might want a jacket just in case your T breaks down or has a detour or anything that would make you have to get out and walk. It doesn’t happen that often but when it does, you can be outside for quite some time.

      • Oh! Is the red line still using buses between Harvard and Porter? If that’s the part of the red line you’ll be on, bring the coat.

    • manomanon :

      Further examination has shown that I’m taking buses for more than half the trip (the fact that I’m starting almost in Somerville is part of the problem- I thought I would be closer to downtown Boston) I’m not risking being coatless on a bus in January- that’s a little too risky for my liking.
      But… given that it’s projected to take an hour and I am nervous about being late etc. since I haven’t flown from Logan in years I may just sign up for the Uber car service and give that a shot.
      Thank you for all the words of wisdom!!!

  5. You guys…I think I’ve officially found the dumbest product in the world. Nordstrom posted this on their Pinterest page and I thought it was a joke, but it appears to be an actual product: http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/bliss-fatgirlsixpack-tummy-toning-gel/3427041?cm_ven=pinterest&cm_cat=pinit&cm_pla=site&cm_ite=3427041

    • “As part of your body-bettering routine, bliss® suggests using in conjunction with regular exercise, a healthy diet, regular vigorous massage and the rest of the bliss® fatgirlslim® regimen.”

      Wait, so if I use the product *and* exercise/eat well, I’ll see results? Shocking!

      Though I do like the regular vigorous massage part ;)

    • I don’t get what’s dumb about it? the name? The name is kind of bad, but the product seems fine. I’ve used a similar caffiene blend lotion for my trouble spot thighs and it helped a lot. (With exercise and diet, of course. But it helps the skin and break down some of the surface fat)

  6. Has anyone used the book “New Rules of Lifting for Women”? I’ve gotten into strength training lately and I’ve heard good things about this program. Thoughts? Or other good strength training books/programs for a relative beginner?

    • Yay for weights! I recommend The Body Sculpting Bible for Women. I’m not familiar with new rules of lifting, but I’ve heard good things.

    • Diana Barry :

      NROLW is great. The regular NROL is also good.

    • I used it for awhile. My husband said he noticed that I’d gotten a lot more definition/toning in my arms and shoulders. I liked its approach and found it was pretty helpful. I’d recommend it.

    • No Problem :

      I’ve used it on my cousin’s recommendation. She made it all the way through the program, I made it through about the second stage before my life got too busy for me to keep going. IMO, it’s great for beginners or anyone who has lifted before but just needs a plan for what to lift. Someday I’ll go back and start it again…

    • Back in the day i used Joy Verdal’s “Hard Bodies” and I love it. But because I dont have a gym these days and want to work out at home, I bought the Shapeshifter package online. I haven’t been able to get into it because it’s too different from what I used to know (and some of it bored me). I like Nick Nillson’s stuff (also online) much better.
      Still, even with something I’m more comfortable with, a “program” is more commitment than I’m ready for right now. I decided that just need to get started. This morning, even though I have a cold and feel miserable, have work stuff to do, and the house is a mess, I finally walked into the little area I’ve set up to be my gym. The weights I needed were gone. DS cried when I asked him where they are, but that didn’t get the weights back. Grrrrerrrr. I really need to be working out, and being stymied the first time I finally get back to it really hurts!

      • +1 “Hard Bodies” . Joyce Vedral is hilarious. But she can be very harsh: I remember her describing her Russian relatives who didn’t bother to ever exercise, and who kept eating the heavy food they were accustomed to as looking like little houses or cubes on feet.

    • I’ve used it (got it for my Kindle – and I think I’d rather have the physical book). And liked it – it lays out the current understanding of science and biology behind muscle building and strength training and gets into the interplay between diet and strength training.

  7. I have news! My SO proposed :). Just needed to share!! ::continues squealing::

  8. TJ: I am thisclose to getting a designer purse that I’ve been eyeing for the longest time. It’s 30% off right now, but still about $1k. It’s also pretty close to a “perfect” bag for me – lightweight, full leather, the right size, although I do wish it had an outside pocket of some sort.

    What’s stopping me is that I know that I’m paying for a label, and there’s a possibility that I might find an equally nice bag from a small business somewhere. I feel like I should support a smaller business rather than a huge fashion house that doesn’t need the money.

    So – does anyone have any recommendations for etsy sellers who make professional-looking, practical bags? I’m looking for a large-ish tote with a zippered top, handles and a shoulder strap.

    • This may lead to enabling on my part, but can you post a link to the bag?

      • Oops, comment ended up elsewhere so reposting.

        This is it: www.tods.com/us/classic-miky-bauletto-medio

      • Okay, that doesn’t show the bag itself, I realised. Trying again. http://www.tods.com/us/shopwomen/handbags/miky-bags/medium-leather-tote-bag-1

        • lawsuited :

          Yes. Get that gorgeous bag.

          Although, my endorsement assumes that you will still be able to pay rent, bills and student loan minimums if you buy the bag. If not, then move on and believe that other gorgeous bags will come along.

    • If you have been eying this bag for a while and presumably have considered/rejected other bags, and it’s on sale, just go ahead and get it. Might you be able to find something on Etsy/small boutique owned by a family who has been making fine leather bags since 1800? Possibly, but you might also be wasting time looking for a unicorn and miss a good price. I have had some notable buyer’s remorse when I wish I just would have gotten my first choice rather than some close but not quite substitute. It’s a really pretty bag.

    • If you’re in NYC and want to shop local, shopcorrente dot com is great! Her classic work bag is $350 … which is your 30% off. :o) I saw it while christmas gift shopping at Grand Central.

      Actually, if you or anybody else gets something, could you link me (20% off coupon)… mskimmath at gmail?

  9. getting rid of gray? :

    Happy New Year! Sorry for such an early TJ, but I don’t know any other place to get so much collective wisdom at once. I realized that I can no longer tolerate patches of gray on my head. THough my husband claims they are not noticeable, every time I look in the mirror I feel like I am blinded by the light reflected off of them. My hair is very dark brown. If they were a pretty silver I would not mind, but they seem like they are the kind of white hairs that are coarser and stick up. I went to the store yesterday, determined to purchase a product that would help me with this problem, but was forced to retreat ignobly when I realized how many options were out there. Does anyone have recommendation for a product that would allow me to touch up patches of gray with relative ease? Thank you so much in advance!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Look for semi-permanent hair color in a shade close to your natural color. It will add some dimension and conceal the grays without drastically altering your hair color. Semi-permanent color washes out after a few weeks so you won’t have to deal with visible grow out. I’ve used this one before: http://www.soap.com/p/clairol-natural-instincts-hair-color-278401

    • Anonymous :

      If they are really patches, versus dispersed single hairs, you could use a haircolor pen. It takes just 5 sec to “paint” over my one patch of gray (and you could color the single hairs too, if you wanted), and it washes away in the next shampoo.

      • getting rid of gray? :

        Thank you so much, Bonnie and Anonymous!! The pen sounds like a great idea and a way to do less damage…

  10. Happy New Year, ladies! I work in the public sector in DC (non-law) and have been struggling for the past year or so to make a career switch/move up the ladder. Despite my best attempts at networking and countless apps, I’m still in the same place I was at this time last year. I think it’s time I pay for professional help. Does anyone know how I could hire my own “recruiter” and/or have any recs for career counselors and/or someone I could pay to help me find my dream position? TIA!

  11. This is it: www.tods.com/us/classic-miky-bauletto-medio

  12. Endocrinologist in NY? :

    Does anyone have a recommendation for a good endocrinologist in New York? Recently switched insurance plans and need to find a new doctor ASAP. Thanks!

    • I like Lynn Allen a lot. She’s in the St Luke’s Roosevelt faculty practice on West 59th st and takes most insurances.

    • I use Richard Bockman, he’s at the Hospital for Special Surgery. I found him by calling “Best Doctors”.

      • Just so everyone knows, most of the “best doctors” list is made up of physicians who pay to be on the list. It’s advertising, not a real resource. The annual NY Mag list is done by surveying physicians, and it’s usually made up of department chairs at academic medical centers. Asking friends is usually a better bet…

    • hellskitchen :

      I have been going to Rajiv Kinkhabwala for a year – he’s part of the Murray Hill Medical Group and he’s great. www.mhmg.net

  13. Going to a brunch party on Saturday and everyone is being encouraged to bring something. I want to bring something a little heartier (not a sweet or pastry), perhaps with egg and/or meat. Ideas?

    • Zora’s muffin-tin fritattas sounds like the perfect thing. I think that was in the thread yesterday or the day before.

      • Ha, thanks for the shoutout SFBA!! ;o)
        Here’s the link: http://www.chow.com/recipes/30110-onion-mushroom-and-goat-cheese-mini-frittatas

        I do love these things, and mini-frittatas can be really cute for a brunch. Altho, you could also make a regular frittata and serve it in slices. I’m a major evangelist for frittatas at brunch, if you can’t tell. ;o)

    • Deviled eggs? Quiche? Finger sandwiches? Cheese (and meat?) platter?

    • I made this casserole over the holidays and it was really tasty. I used spicy poultry sausage instead of breakfast sausage. Easy and delicious.


      (whenever I cook with poultry sausage, I buy the patties and that way I don’t need to “de-case” them)

    • This is my favorite family brunch recipe:

      Hot Chicken Salad

      3 c cooked chicken ( I use rotisserie)
      2 c cooked white rice
      2 c diced cel
      1 c mayo
      1 can crm of chicken soup
      ½ c sour cream
      1 tbl lemon juice
      3/4 sliced toasted almonds
      2 oz jar diced pimento
      2 tbl chopped red pepper
      1.5 grated sharp ched cheese
      salt to taste
      4 chopped boiled eggs
      mix all together
      cover with one cup of toasted bread crumbs
      9×13 @ 350 45 minutes.
      Covered it for 25 – 30 and uncover for the last 15


    • I made Ottolenghi’s carmelized garlic tart (more like a quiche) recently and it was amazing. You can find the recipe online. If you decide to make it, I recommend buying pre-peeled garlic as that was the only challenging (read: time-consuming and annoying) part of the recipe.

    • This brie and tomato dip tasted amazing, made my kitchen smell amazing, and amazed my guests. Link to follow.

  14. Threadjack: How did you spend the minutes in the countdown to the New Year?

    Me: While my poor husband was waiting patiently downstairs with two glasses of champagne, I went upstairs to the bathroom. I’d have made it down in time had I not decided to untangle the knots in my hair. So, I finally get downstairs at 12:01am. Oops.

    I hope what I did during those last minutes of 2012 are NOT a portent of what I’ll be spending lots of time doing in 2013. Yes, I feel like a dork.

    • Watched some TV on Netflix, looked down at my husband’s watch, saw it was 12:05, said “hey, kiss?” kissed, went back to watching TV. Yep, we’re getting old and boring. (But seriously, was SO HAPPY this year to be old and boring. I don’t look back fondly on the days of yanking on uncomfortable strapless bras under more uncomfortable c–tail dresses, wearing high heeled satin sandals to trek through snow, or trying to hail a cab at 2:00am in 15 degree weather. So much nicer to be in my warm house, sitting on my couch with my husband.)

    • Sleeping, no shame here. I worked almost a normal day and DH and I went to bed before 10 and got 10 hours of sleep, including my favorite treat of waking up just enough at 7am to know I can doze off for another hour. It was AWESOME.

    • We were in bed reading and I literally (and accidentally) turned off my light at 12:00. We said “Happy new year! Good night!” and went to sleep. Wheee, marriage!

    • Was reading my book (“A Suitable Boy”, Vikram Seth – probably my 8th read) in the last minutes of 2012. SO came upstairs and got ready for bed as well. We were just drifting off to sleep when we heard the neighbours banging pots and pans and some fireworks going off. I said, “I guess it’s midnight! Happy New Year!” and we kissed, and then we went to sleep.

      Usually I am among the bangers of pots and pans, but not this year. Oh well.

      • oh my gosh, that book! I hated the ending so much I wrote an angry letter to the author!!

        • Did you really? I am impressed. What did you say?

          I love the book (as you can probably tell from the fact that I have read it so many times) but the ending rather irks me too.

          • I’ve been wanting to read that book, but I don’t think it’s on Kindle. And it’s such a big book, I just can’t bring myself to lug it around the Metro etc. But it looked really good!

          • It *is* really good. Apart from it being a great story, I really love how all the characters come to life. Seth does an amazing job of really rounding them out. I highly recommend biting the bullet and getting it.

          • Well, I just said, “HOW COULD YOU????????” basically, because I wanted a different ending, and he wrote back and said, “Oh well, this is how it had to be.” At the time I did not know how famous he was going to get so I did not keep his letter (I gave the book, with the letter inside, to a couple from India who had taken care of my son while I went to school.)

      • girl in the stix :

        I really enjoyed that book and intend to read it again soon.

    • Diana Barry :

      I was asleep! :)

      • Research, Not Law :

        Me, too!

        Usually the neighborhood fireworks wake me up, but I was out so hard I slept right though. They woke DH, who considered waking me, but (correctly) decided to go back to sleep instead.

    • My friends convinced me to go out, so I counted down in the middle of the dance floor with balloons. While it was fun, I think I’ll revert to my quiet evening on the couch, bed at 12:05 routine next year ;)

    • I definitely had the crazy party time at new years. Walked 15 blocks with friends due to no cabs at 3 AM, paid crazy cover charges, danced with a random dude whose name I don’t remember and slept most of the day on Jan 1 with a bad hangover.
      Oh well another twenty-something single new years !

    • Sleeping. I was at work 13 hours on the 31st & had to be at work on the 1st nice and early. Darn month/year/quarter end.

      DH was with our boys at his mom’s house anyway, enjoying a few more days off then I had.

      Here’s hoping my NYE is not a sign of what’s to come in the year end.

      Good thing I love my job & I’m not supersticious!

    • I actually went to a party at a hotel and had a great meal. Went with my brother and his wife. My mom babysat.

      We didn’t think we’d make it to midnight and spent a couple of hours playing Cards Against Humanity watching the waves crash on the snowy beach. We were just about to head out, when some women sitting near us asked to join the game. We just made it to 12:00 and got home about 20 minutes later.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I was also in the bathroom. Our clock was wrong, husband was trying to find the countdown on Roku and our friends started getting the “happy new year messages.” I came back down and said “oh, we missed it?”

    • Lady Enginerd :

      Sleeping, after a horrific day of travel with delayed flights, crying babies, and the like. 2012 sucked, so I guess I should have celebrated its demise more enthusiastically, but my bed was so much more appealing.

    • I was in the Rooftop Terrace restaurant kitchen at The Kennedy Center toasting with a friend and the rest of the staff. I got gussied up to be a guest/additional set of hands and had a great time. Really solidified that I want to get into event management/planning and out of the legal world!

    • Playing one of those Kinect dancing video games with my husband. We beat a level at 11:57, and switched over to coverage of Times Square. I remarked on Carmen Electra’s terrible and terribly age-inappropriate dress and mannerisms, we kissed, then we went back to dancing (badly). Happy New Year!

  15. The Grapes Are Sour :

    I have, on paper, a practically perfect life. I am acutely aware that there are a lot of people who would like to have my life. I’m a partner at a major law firm, married to a wonderful man, with two gorgeous, smart, mostly sweet children. I have problems, yes, but they are the kinds of problems that most people have. The kinds of problems that I should feel lucky to have.

    For example: my grandmother is in the hospital and her health is failing. This makes me extremely sad, but the fact is, she’s 94. I’ve been incredibly lucky to have known her my whole life, to have had her at my graduations and my wedding, and to see her with her great-grandchildren. I don’t actually believe that she’s immortal, I just wish she were.

    For example: my two year acts her age. This is enough to drive any reasonable person to drink, but it’s not like it’s a unique problem.

    For example: I wear a size ten, not a size four. I would rather wear a size four.

    There is nothing in my life that I should legitimately be able to complain about, and yet… this whole thing with being a biglaw partner, a wife, a mother, and a person all at the same time thing? It’s really &$*# hard. I’m exhausted all the time, and have been pretty much for the past five years. (I thought I was exhausted before I had kids, too, but I had no idea). There are a lot of times when I look at my life and just can’t fathom how or where I’m going to find the energy to get through the next 24 hours (and then the 24 hours after that and the ones after that).

    And yet, what am I going to do? Call my friend in her late 30’s who desperately wants to be married with kids but just broke up with her boyfriend and tell her how rough my life is? Call my friend who hates her job and can’t find a better one?

    I get that I’m lucky. I really do. But nobody tells you that luckiness is profoundly isolating.

    • *hugs* *tea & sympathy*

      I would never want to dismiss your problems, because even if they aren’t the worst problems ever, they’re still problems and they affect how you feel, and that means something.

      One thing that I could never envision as a teenager or as an early 20-something, but which I now know is:

      It’s amazing how much energy we humans have to expend just to keep our lives from turning into a giant, chaotic crap-pile. Never underestimate how much energy it takes to just eat well, do well at work, keep the home-life and relationships stable and good. Your exhaustion is something we can all relate to and sympathize with. And you’re doing the right thing– venting to us. :-)

      • overbooked :

        Susedna, those are very wise words.

        I am susceptible to this in a big way. I think what really gets to be is the despite all the fulfilling things going on in my life — kids, job, a decent support network (although i never have time to get together with friends) — is how little choice / free will I seem to have or be able to accomplish. Every day is over-filled with commitments that have to happen — even if we are getting takeout, I still have to be certain places at certain times, accomplishing certain tasks for work and household and children. My husband helps out plenty, but he has a lot of time he gets to decide how to spend.

        I never have any time to myself or time that I get to decide how to spend, and it makes me more unhappy than i should be on paper.

    • Diana Barry :


      How about taking 2 days off (or more, if you can swing it) to do nothing except sleep and watch TV? Exhaustion REALLY REALLY takes a toll on you. I know everything looks worse when I don’t get enough sleep.

    • luckiness isn’t isolating. You can be depressed even if everything is good on paper.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        and those that are depressed despite everything looking great on paper have an even harder time dealing with it (in my limited experience) because they feel so guilty about life being great on paper and can’t fathom seeking professional help when there is no obvious cause of their depression.

        • Lady Enginerd :

          This! It might help to find a safe place to explore your exhaustion and sadness. If you feel your friends and family aren’t, maybe a therapist can help you find ways to bring the light back into your life.

    • I feel this way sometimes too. My life is pretty perfect, but sometimes (days, weeks, months), it doesn’t feel so much like that. But who am I going to talk to about it? No one wants to hear the girl with the privileged life complaining about things that seem minor in comparrison to their problems or about things they wish they could complain about.

      So while I don’t have any suggestions for you about how to deal with this, please know you’re not alone in feeling this way.

    • I think it’s a good thing that you’re conscious that the problems that you have may not necessarily resonate with others who wish they had your life. You’re entitled to your feelings. But I think, for starters, you need to stop assuming that your friends are jealous of your life. Your friends may want things that you have but unless it’s clear that they’re jealous of *you* and *your life* that you shouldn’t choose to isolate yourself from them. There’s a difference between being tone deaf and complaining about your charmed life, versus talking to your friends about how you’re exhausted. That’s something that they can relate to.

    • CrimsonClover :

      This is not meant at all to make you feel worse or even more perplexed as to why you’re feeling this way, but I am absolutely petrified of becoming you/feeling the way you do… it’s a hard point to articulate, but when people ask me why I don’t value marriage and children (and the subsequent stability implied there) like they do it’s usually for this reason; there’s no “set” way to be and happiness is how YOU define it, and well, I have no f*cking clue how to define that yet.

      Having a picture perfect life can be isolating, and it can also be incredibly less-than-picture-perfect for those living it, which it kind of sounds like maybe it is for you. Maybe it’s not a Picasso-like disaster, but perhaps the once oh-so-stunning light on your Thomas Kinkade is wearing off… The only thing I can think to recommend is change things up; what area is the least fulfilling to you/most draining? Maybe that needs to go and priorities need to change so that you’re truly enjoying every minute as opposed to just “getting by”. Do you have a passion? I know in my case, that’s a big part of the issue… I’ve done so much, but none of it really feels like accomplishment and none of it’s provided true happiness/contentment…

      Don’t think you’re the only one, and don’t think you can’t change how you feel and/or your circumstances. Maybe it’s not “luck” that you’re like this; maybe this is the wake-up call that there’s something else lying in wait for you!

    • Everyone needs to vent sometimes, even when their problems aren’t necessarily “big.” Do you communicate these things to your husband? I feel like one’s SO should be the person they can talk or vent to without fearing judgment (I assume that your SO has no super-major problems, as I’d think those would be on your list).

      It also seems like you are confusing “inability to complain to SOME people” with “inability to complaint to ANY person.” I wouldn’t want to share my sadness over a grandmother’s illness with, for instance, a middle-aged person who lost a spouse, but do you have loved ones who are also sharing your pain? For dealing with your toddler, are you friends with other moms or can you commiserate with co-workers who are also working moms? Perhaps opening up the circle of people you feel that you can share your problems with will help.

      • The Grapes Are Sour :

        Thank you to each of you (roses and the others above) for thoughtful responses. It’s nice to be heard.

    • I feel the same way, though I am only an associate. I wish I had advice for you. I don’t, but I sympathize and agree that your problems are legitimate. I wonder if perhaps part of your frustration (and mine) stems from feeling like we need to appear like we have everything together all the time.

      In fact, I was going to post a threadjack on a related issue this morning: for those of you who are married with young children and demanding jobs, how much “you” time do you have and how do you negotiate it/take it without feeling guilty about it?

      • Manager by Day, Mom at Night :

        It depends on how you define “you” time. I don’t have the kind of time I used to for fortnightly pedicures, going to the gym 3-4/week, going out with friends or out to eat every weekend, reading, watching movies, etc. But I manage to squeeze in 15-30 minutes of reading or watching tv by myself once or twice a week. I sometimes leave my 7 mo with my DH and just take a walk around the block. I’ve been averaging dinners out with my closest friends maybe twice a month which is more than enough for me. And personal grooming appointments I try to do it during my lunch hour (if I can take it) and aim for hyper-efficiency during the rest of the week. It’s hard…it’s brutally exhausting. The part that’s slipped through the cracks is gym. I haven’t worked out since I got back to work four months ago and it shows. I don’t know what to do about that yet but as a first step, I joined Weight Watchers at work which hopefully will at least make me more conscious of what I eat.

        The truth is that being a mom, professional, spouse/partner, friend, sibling, daughter, person, etc. all at the same time is hard because my expectations are too high. I want to be perfect at all these things at the same time and I’m trying to teach myself to prioritize, protect my time, and be more gentle on myself. Life doesn’t reward martyrs or so I’ve heard. So don’t feel guilty about taking time for yourself…you need some just so you can feel whole and true for the other parts of your life.

    • “Your troubles are real cuz you spend your time with them.” -Chris Ayer song lyrics
      “Success is having to worry about every damn thing in the world, except money.” -Johnny Cash

      Of course you still have problems even with a picture perfect life (on paper). Maybe you should read the Happiness Project? I suspect the author may have been having some of the same thoughts you are when she embarked on the project.

    • It doesn’t sound like you have time to squeeze much else in, but honestly, therapy is a great place to vent some exhaustion/frustration. Just because your life is enviable doesn’t mean that exhaustion isn’t soul-crushing and leading to the potential for burn-out. If it makes you feel better, remember just how many associates quit long before they make partner specifically because the road to get there is so hard.

    • Lots of great advice already above — my thought would be to think about what you can do to renew your spirit (very Oprah!). You mention all the outside things you have going on – job, kids, etc. But, maybe you need to take some time out and think about what makes you happy – and do it. A good touching movie? A walk in the sun for 5 minutes – could be very small. Even a hobby you do for 15 minutes on a Saturday. Just a thought …

    • This makes me think of the comment a few days ago from the person who felt bad every time she looked at Facebook because she thought all her friends had much better lives. People pointed out that she didn’t really know what else was going on with them and no one’s life is perfect. I’m going to bet you’re similar to me in a lot of ways, mostly because I know how biglaw works and I know what it takes to get to make partner. I bet you’re not so good at asking for help, that you tend to always present your best self, that you shoulder everything yourself not out of a desire to be a martyr but because you’re both hyper efficient and unaware that you’re a little bit of a superwoman so it never occurs to you that everyone else isn’t doing just as much as you are. I wouldn’t be surprised if other people often find you intimidating. No of course you don’t want to complain about your grandmother to the friend who never knew hers because all four of them died in WWII. But the vast majority of your friends, I’m sure, have lost a loved elderly relative. My grandma died just shy of her 99th birthday and I still miss her terribly even though she had a long and wonderful life. I bet there are a lot of your friends who would love to let you lean on them a little bit because it would humanize you and help them to get closer to you. (I realize I’m doing a lot of projecting here, but I don’t know a single biglaw female partner who isn’t a total [email protected] wonderwoman. It’s a superhuman job. Being a wife and mother on top of it is more than most people could ever handle.) It’s not asking for a “poor me” pity party; it’s asking your friends to share in what makes you really human. And I think you’d be a lot less exhausted and feel a lot less isolated if you did. (Sorry if I come off as preachy. Believe me, I’m the blind leading the blind here. Mr. TBK’s nickname for me is “RoboLady” because I’m not so great at letting people in or showing vulnerability. One of the things I’m planning to work on in 2013.)

    • I hear you. I do not have a bad life at all, but there are still things I want to complain about to someone. I enjoyed therapy for this purpose, but I also want someone personal to complain to who would just listen until I got it out of my system. I thought this was my bff, but she tough loved the $hit out of me one day when I was having a rare meltdown and now I do not want to share anything of importance with her. Shallow and petty? Probably, but it’s how I feel.

      I am happy to listen via email — my email is countchoculacorp at gmail dot com.

    • Posting late but just to say that it gets better, really it does. Kids will get past the needy stage and you’ll wonder how they grew up so fast. Professional pressure will ease off as you get better established as a senior in your profession when your experience and opinion has a higher value over your ability to simply execute, and you have a say on strategic and commercial issues like staffing levels, capacity and so on. Your housekeeping will respond to years of having money thrown at it and one day you’ll find yourself thinking – hey, we live a pretty nice life. And you will get better at compartmentalizing and coping, so you know to save energy and sweat for the big stuff.

      Many of my close friends and I who worked relentlessly in our 20s/ 30s/ 40s and are now into 2 or more decades of life-making and career-building, are finding that we are achieving moments of clarity and accomplishment more and more frequently, when a person thinks ‘yes, I’m doing what I’m meant to be doing’ or ‘yes, I’ve done good there’. And for myself, I know for sure I wouldn’t have got here without those formative years of constantly feeling stretched beyond my abilities.

  16. Mom update:

    Well, this was not exactly the relaxing 11d off from work I hoped for…I did make it to the in-laws for xmas and Boxing day. It was chill and loving and full of good food and good company and good loot, lol. I was probably a terribly guest though, as I was generally anxious and distracted and pretty anti-social.

    Went to TO on Thursday, checked my mom out the hospital and realized that no one had really put together any actual discharge plan. For example (and most serious) – it appears that the closest thing to an explanation they have for why she went manic and set the fire is that she is hypoglycemic and hadn’t eaten in two days, which in combination with the steroids and anti-depressants, PLUS the fact that she kept fainting bc of not eating (which made her think she was having another MS attack and made her despertaely depressed) caused her to flip out. Given this, you’d think that maybe they’d have had her meet with a dietician before they released her, and made sure there was someone around to help her adapt to this new diet. Because if it can cause mania like that, it’s a pretty serious nutritional issue.

    Anyways. I went. I convinced her to accept 3 hours a day/twice a week of home care. The care worker will help her with light errands, make sure she is follwoing her diet (though dietician meeting is still not set up, the referral has now been made at least!) and most importantly, keep an eye on her mental health/stability. This is actually a huge improcement, as we’ve wanted something like this for years and she alwasy refused. I’m pretty proud of myself for getting her to finally agree.

    Seems like police aren’t going to charge her. I don’t think the condo is going to try to kick her out but the BoD doesn’t meet until the 18th.

    One of the WORST parts of this has had nothing to do with my mom, and everything to do with the flaky aunt. She acts all concerned, says she will help, but everytime I ask her to do an actual thing, she’s too busy. She is not, however, too busy to keep calling me and telling me I am not doing enough. She seems to think my mom should be in a home but a) there’s no way my mom would agree 2) hospital/doctors don’t think she needs 24h supervision, and I tend to agree, 3) Given 1 and 2, I ahve ABSOLUTELY NO POWER to make my mom do anything she doesn’t want to do. Everyone seems to think that because I am designated as having Power of Attorney, I can just go ahead and make her do whatever I want; they don’t get that actually activating the PoA is a whole difficult process that I am very unlikely to be successful at. I’m hating on my aunt pretty bad right now; both Professor Bhaer and my dad say I should just stop answering her calls and emails. I think they are right, because every time I calm down she undermines me again.

    My mom seems to be improving. She is still a little frazzled and unfocussed and I don’t always know if she is fully aware of her situation, but at least she is accepting help, which I’ve never been able to get her to do before (except for a cleaning lady).

    Finally, I want to give a MAJOR shout out to my dad. He picked me up from the airport, and despite the fact that they have not been married for 30 years, he stayed at my mom’s apt and tidied all the chaos while I picked her up from the hospital. Clothes were strewn everywhere, kitchen was all out on the counters, it was CHAOS. It would have been really bad for my mom to come home to that.

    I am trying really hard to keep it together. I am having a really hard time focussing on anything, I have definitely lost all my Xmas weight (and then some,probably) because I haven’t really eaten much since Thursday. I am having problems sleeping. I am being kind of a crappy Mrs. Bhaer for my poor professor who wants me to stop staring despondently into space…I think cutting off contact with my aunt will probably help, as will some time passing where I can see that things are going alright with my mom.

    Does anyone have any recommendations for books/exercises on how to deal with stress and uncertainty? The last time I had a major crisis I lost 20% or more of my body weight and was a total f’ing mess. I can’t afford to have that happen now. Any help would be much appreciated. Plus, you know, all the internet hugs you can send my way :p I`m in pretty rough shape :(

    • Mary Ann Singleton :

      Big, big internet hugs to you. I just can’t imagine how hard this must be to deal with.

    • *hugs*

      I’d throw in extra helpings of cookies & wine, and tea & sympathy at this point. I’m glad the police won’t charge your Mom. Good luck with her condo situation.

      And good for you for trying to figure out a good care plan for her, and at least getting her some help during the day. Professor Bhaer and others are right– your aunt is a nuisance. In situations like this, that old saw, “lead, follow or get out of the way,” really applies. Your aunt needs to get out of the way and STFU. Ignore her, block her calls, ignore her emails.

      And if you want to, you have my approval if you want to say, “Hey Aunt, STFU about my needing to do more. You are the biggest f—ing hypocrite, because you keep promising stuff and you never get off your lazy @ss. So until you pony up some real effort, the only thing I want to hear out of your stinking cake hole is NOTHING.” If she gets so peeved she doesn’t call you, no loss. It’s unconscionable for her to be interfering, and berating the only person who’s really trying to do anything, so yes, she deserves her @ss kicked, and hard, too.

      One thing I will say about dealing with stress and uncertainty, especially w.r.t. someone else’s health conditions — charity begins at home. No matter what is blowing up, do take time to make sure you get enough to eat. Frequently. And to have Prof. Bhaer time. Wrecking your health and other aspects of your life won’t save your Mom if she’s determined to not be saved. And the better rested you are, the more able you are to help her. Do not feel guilty for taking time out to catch a breath. Meditate and do deep-breathing in times of anxiety (or insomnia). Please do take care of yourself.

      • Diana Barry :

        Yes, x1000.

        Also – is the POA a springing POA? If it is a durable POA it should be immediately effective, even if your mom is not ‘incompetent’ as per the doc.

        • Hm, I am ashamed to say that despite being a lawyer I don’t know the answer to that question. What kind of language should I be looking for to figure that out?

          • Diana Barry :

            There should be text somewhere in the document saying “This power of attorney shall not be affected by my subsequent disability or incapacity”,


            “This power of attorney shall become effective upon my incapacity”.

            The first is a durable power, the second is a springing power. If the first, you *can* take all of the actions detailed in the POA. If the second, you would have to have your mom declared incompetent first.

            Also, please feel free to email me (dianabarry r e t t e at gmail) and I can take a look at the text if you want.


          • Anonymous :

            I’m almost sure it’s springing, but I will look at it when I’m back in the office. Thanks, Diana!

            The fact is, she *is* competent. She just needs help. Hopefully we are getting it into place…

          • Ugh , that was me. Forgot to put my name in on the iPhone.

      • Ditto to everything Susan has said above. If you don’t want to be so direct to the aunt (though I would have trouble restraining myself), you can also just ignore her calls and shoot her an email saying “Thanks for checking in, I’m unfortunately really busy taking care of my mom and don’t have time to answer all emails and phone calls. I’ll be sure to let her know you’re thinking of her.”

        And +1000 to the suggestions to take care of yourself. The best thing you can do for your mom’s care is to be rested and alert so that you can think and act logically. Have a sit down meal (even if it’s at a restaurant or ordered in), a glass of wine, and give yourself permission to watch some bad tv/read a book/whatever helps you unwind. Don’t feel like you have to be in “Problem Solver Jo” mode 24/7 :)

        Lots of hugs to you dear.

      • I have the opposite effect with stress/weight, but if you can (even temporarily) maybe sign up for some meal delivery services? That way you are having nutritional meals and paying for it (thereby feeling guilted into eating) and it doesn’t require any preparation other than a microwave? I think this is totally reasonable give the fact that you’re dealing with so much.

        I hope things start to get better and tell your aunt to F off!

    • goldribbons :

      So sorry to hear about everything that’s going on. I’ve followed your story. I have to agree that you absolutely MUST cut off contact with your aunt. There is no reason to subject yourself to this sort of behavior from anyone, much less someone who should be helping you. You’re being an amazing daughter. Internet hugs.

    • Wow, lady, I’m amazed you’re upright after all this! Hang in there. You’re doing absolutely everything you can for your mom — she’s so lucky to have a daughter like you to take such fantastic care of her. It sounds like you’re doing a wonderful job of getting her to agree to the help she needs. As for your aunt — Prof. Bhaer is absolutely right. You don’t need that aggravation! If you absolutely must correspond with her in some way, can your husband run interference for you? Even just in the short term, so you can return to some baseline of calm? I don’t have any recommendations but can always spare {{{HUGS}}}!

    • I’m so sorry you’re dealing with this. I second everything Susedna said. Good on your dad and husband; fooey on your aunt!

    • Super big internet hugs and lots of chocolate and ice cream for you.

      Kudos to your dad and Prof Bhaer for their support.

      I’m glad you were there to help put in place some preventative things (like the nutritional counseling) instead of just waiting for the next crisis. You’re a great daughter and your mom is lucky to have you caring for and about her.

    • Find a nutritional supplement like Ensure, protein bars (Cliff Bar, Luna Bar, etc.), or protein shakes to add to your diet. These are all quick and easy to eat, even if you’re not feeling hungry.

      • Good call. I am about to get a prescription filled; I will grab some Boost as well.

    • Am posting late with just a couple things to add to the commiseration above

      : the casual diagnosis of ‘she got hypoglycemic and went manic’ may not be that unusual for an elderly patient. I’ve had 3 episodes in the last year with 3 different elderly relatives, all involving alarmingly ‘crazy’ behaviour (delusion, semi black-outs, compulsive repetitive action, inappropriate exhibitionism of private parts) by people who had no previous diagnosis of mental illness. Luckily all 3 were detected before coming to real harm and luckily all 3 made full recoveries – 2 were quite quickly identified as acute salt deficiencies and treated with a carefully monitored saline intake, and the 3rd was never diagnosed more precisely than having a ‘chemical imbalance’ and eventually responded to a cocktail of depressant drugs. But in all 3 cases, the root cause was never really satisfactorily identified beyond ‘old age … you know the piping all gets a bit worn down’ (and we certainly consulted a lot of specialists – like you, I wanted a clearer answer so that we could take preventive action in future). It’s been a real insight as to how our brain function rely on a lot of complex chemical and electrical interaction, much of which is still only poorly understood by the medical community.

      : on your flaky aunt, just to say you’re not alone. My husband and I are the ‘responsible ones’ in our families who get called in to take responsibility, run around and pay bills when there are medical emergencies. We’ve really had to discover the hard way that bystanders with a lot of opinions but no intention for action are a dime a dozen – I was going to put down a couple of the more egregious incidents here but can already feel my blood pressure start to rise just thinking about it ! You are completely correct to stop responding to your aunt and just focus on your mum. I really like the words provided by KC which get the job done without provoking any unwanted drama.

      Best wishes for your mum’s recovery !

    • Reposting with the c**ktail word fixed

      Am posting late with just a couple things to add to the commiseration above

      : the casual diagnosis of ‘she got hypoglycemic and went manic’ may not be that unusual for an elderly patient. I’ve had 3 episodes in the last year with 3 different elderly relatives, all involving alarmingly ‘crazy’ behaviour (delusion, semi black-outs, compulsive repetitive action, inappropriate exhibitionism of private parts) by people who had no previous diagnosis of mental illness. Luckily all 3 were detected before coming to real harm and luckily all 3 made full recoveries – 2 were quite quickly identified as acute salt deficiencies and treated with a carefully monitored saline intake, and the 3rd was never diagnosed more precisely than having a ‘chemical imbalance’ and eventually responded to a c**ktail of depressant drugs. But in all 3 cases, the root cause was never really satisfactorily identified beyond ‘old age … you know the piping all gets a bit worn down’ (and we certainly consulted a lot of specialists – like you, I wanted a clearer answer so that we could take preventive action in future). It’s been a real insight as to how our brain function rely on a lot of complex chemical and electrical interaction, much of which is still only poorly understood by the medical community.

      : on your flaky aunt, just to say you’re not alone. My husband and I are the ‘responsible ones’ in our families who get called in to take responsibility, run around and pay bills when there are medical emergencies. We’ve really had to discover the hard way that bystanders with a lot of opinions but no intention for action are a dime a dozen – I was going to put down a couple of the more egregious incidents here but can already feel my blood pressure start to rise just thinking about it ! You are completely correct to stop responding to your aunt and just focus on your mum. I really like the words provided by KC which get the job done without provoking any unwanted drama.

      Best wishes for your mum’s recovery !

  17. No Problem :

    Does anyone use a sun lamp? My office has zero natural light and I know I am prone to seasonal affective disorder. Do you find that the lamp works? Does make or model matter, as long as the light output is 10,000 lux (or whatever the standard is)? How long do the bulbs last?

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I have the Verilux happy lamps that come in a 2 pack. I have one at work and one at home. I find they help.

      • I have been wondering about the same thing. Would you mind sharing which Verilux model you have? There are several on amazon. Thanks

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          I have these


    • I love mine. I ordered one from Costco and it is going strong 2 years later. Also, consider testing out an additional vitamin D supplement. I find that the combo really helps.

    • I have the Phillips goLite. I’ve had it for almost a year and haven’t had to change the bulb. (although I don’t use it for a good half of the year). I really like that it’s small and discrete enough to set on my desk at work every morning. No one has ever noticed or commented on it. It has a nice little timer set to go off after about 20 minutes, which does the job for me. And it wasn’t hugely expensive. I’m not sure whether it helped my mood, although it definitely didn’t hurt. I did noticed that it really helped me wake up in the morning and let me get by with less caffeine. Hope that helps!

  18. TJ–I am trying to take advantage of all the sales right now to build up my work wardrobe. I just graduated from law school last year and I’ve spent my first year clerking for a judge, but will be at a midsize law firm starting next fall. I really need some new winter shoes to wear to the office that aren’t pumps, because wearing those as often as I have been is killing my feet. My workplace now isn’t terribly conservative unless we’re in court. I am eyeing these wedge booties from AT as an alternative to wear w/ black tights and pencil skirts or pants, thinking the wedge will give me support and won’t kill my feet. Plus, it seems like a pretty decent sale. Thoughts? http://www.anntaylor.com/ann/product/AT-Apparel/AT-MHL-GRAPHICS/Carter-Buckle-Leather-Wedge-Booties/288937?colorExplode=false&skuId=11867159&catid=cata000051&productPageType=saleProducts&defaultColor=6600 I’m just not sure about booties in the work place, and wedge ones at that. Help!

    • I’d wear booties only with pants, but otherwise that pair looks OK for most firms. Don’t forget about black flats, too – there is no rule that only heels are office appropriate! I love black tights and ballet flats with a wool pencil skirt for winter office wear.

      • Diana Barry :

        Yes. I wear flats all the time, including flat boots and pencil skirt. (def know your office though!)

  19. Personally, I would not wear wedge booties with a skirt to work. Maybe with pants, but a skirt, no. Eventhen, for some offices this is too casual.
    If the concern is hurting feet, how about a low heeled shoe? Like, an oxford or a flat?

    • I do wear flats sometimes, but I feel like they make me look like a little girl. Unfortunately I have short legs!

    • Oops. I’ve done this–black wedge booties and black tights. Maybe it’s a know-your-office thing? Or a West Coast/East Coast divide?

      • totally know your office/geography! I would also add, know your age — the example that stands out to me is that when the 45 yo partner wears cigare t t e pants and heels to the office, it’s chic and fresh looking, but when the 25 yo brand new associate does it, it reads too young / trendy. Not necessarily fair, but there you have it.

        • lawsuited :

          Nooooooo! I wear cigarette pants 50% of the time and don’t want to take a 15 year hiatus!

    • its very trendy. there is nothing inappropriate, but as a new associate, I don’t think you want to be known as “trendy” I would stick to a regular wedge, not the booties.

  20. My DH wants to try out P90x as part of his new year’s resolution, and he wants me to do it with him for encouragement (at least some workouts, not necessarily all). I am currently running 40+ miles per week and marathon training, and I can’t really cut back on my running if I want to meet my goal. I run in the morning; he wants to do P90x at night. Is P90x something I can do on the same day as I run, or will the muscle confusion thing make me too sore to run properly? I’ve heard it’s a pretty tough workout, but I want to be encouraging if I can swing them both.

    • Can you do some of the videos with him, but not all of them? Chest & Back, Shoulders & Arms, and Yoga should be fine (as well as the Chest/Shoulders/Back/Biceps videos in the second month). Legs & Back will DESTROY your legs for several days. I’m a runner too, and I am still so sore after Legs & Back. You would not be able to run the next day or even the day after. You could probably skip Pylo and Kempo because it’s just more cardio and you’re already running a lot (maybe he can do those in the mornings while you run?), but they won’t make you sore like Legs & Back.

      • Also, my husband and I do P90X together, and it’s really fun! It would be so hard to do the videos on your own. Plus after a while, you start to know all the people in the videos and it leads to all sorts of dorky inside jokes. I highly recommend doing it together if you can swing it. =)

      • MaggieLizer :

        I agree, it’s probably best to just stick to the upper body and yoga workouts until after your marathon. If you like the program, maybe you can give it your full attention after your marathon and reintroduce running as the workouts become easier.

    • Pretzel_Logic :

      I do Insanity, which is P90X’s cousin, and I absolutely can’t do anything other than maybe some light yoga when I’m doing Insanity full swing. Doing marathon training and P90x sounds like a recipe for overtraining injuries to me. (And tell him when he starts the first week or so is going to be non-stop pain, but doing the next workout even when the last one made you so sore stairs are impossible actually helps flush out the soreness.) Good for you to want to be encouraging, but I wouldn’t recommend doing both.

    • I am also a runner, mainly ultra-marathon distance. I actually do not find the P90x too strenuous. I may have a little muscle soreness the next day but not enough to prevent me from running. (Yes I probably could push myself a little harder, but I find I need to go to the gym for that – being in the comfort of my living room with an exercise video is not motivating enough for me.)

    • I have a friend who almost put herself in the hospital combining running with P90X. Make sure you supplement with a protein shake and eat enough calories if you do both.

    • Thanks, everyone, for the input. Sounds like I’ll be doing upper body only! At least I’ll be supportive a few days a week.

  21. lawsuited :

    TJ – How much can you dress down when you are going in to the office sick? I’m sick today, and will be working the rest of the day from home, but had to go in to the office to pick up some materials, sign a few things, and assign high-priority tasks to staff (I like to do this in person so I can see that they’ve understood my instructions).

    I think I should get a break if I’m sick and still have to go into the office, and I know it’s just my staff that will see me and not clients. I realize it’s a know-your-office thing, and lawyers and staff at my office wear suits. I usually wear a pant suit and high heels and style my hair for work.

    I couldn’t face the whole grooming regimen today, so I wore black stretch-twill pants, a long-sleeved white knit crew-neck top, a purple merino wool cardigan, a grey pashmina scarf and black flats. Did I take it too far?

    • Heck, if it were me I’d go in in my jeans and sweater and leave it at that. Cut yourself some slack – everyone knows that you are ill and you are only going in for a few minutes, so I think it really doesn’t matter.

      Sorry to hear you actually have to go into the office, even if it is just for a short time. I hope you feel better soon!

    • Too far dressed down? I wouldn’t say so. I think it would look weird if someone said she was too sick to come into work for the day, but then showed up looking completely put together. I think people expect you to look less-than-your-stellar-self. Sweats and crummy old sneakers would be too much, but elegantly dressed down sounds perfect.

      • lawsuited :

        Good point about it being weird to be dressed like a (legal) rock star when sick. I never thought about that!

    • Research, Not Law :

      I’m not in a suit-wearing office, so take this as you may.

      If I am working a full day, but not feeling well, I wear the more comfortable items from my normal wordrobe. Pants with stretch, loafers, cashmere sweater, probably no accessories. But if I’m essentially taking a sick day but need to go in for something quick, I usually wear nice jeans and a sweater (casual office, no clients in building). I like making it clear that I’m *not* there to work.

    • I think that sounds just fine–and like a normal work outfit in a biz casual office.

      When I’m going to be in the office all-night, I dress in my most comfortable work clothes for the day. When I go in on weekends, I usually wear a casual jersey dress and possibly tights for warmth.

    • I tend to go for stretchier fabrics, looser fits, and no belts when I’m sick.

      There’s something awful and constricting about non-stretch fabrics, tight-fitted clothes, and belts when one has to cough a lot or sneeze or blow one’s nose. My ribcage needs room to expand to do all these things, and I would be seriously irked if I couldn’t do that, plus majorly uncomfortable.

  22. Research, Not Law :

    I love this dress!

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