Coffee Break: Brooke Leather Hobo

annabel ingall bags for workSo here’s a brand that is new to me: Annabel Ingall, apparently out of Australia. The leather looks nice and soft, the bags look roomy, and I kind of like the more unusual colors (because of course I do). This mossy green isn’t my usual vibe at all, but I do love this shade of green with navy, black, white, camel and other neutrals — and if you’re feeling like a walk on the wild(er) side, with the deep purple that is supposedly the color of the year. The bag is $399 at Bloomingdale’s, but with their SAVEMORE promotion you can take an extra $75 off the bag. Nice! Brooke Leather Hobo

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  1. Anonymous :

    How well groomed is your lady garden? I’ve never waxed and I don’t really even trim much, just round the hedges and a little off the rest.

    • Anonymous :

      Oh, and asking because I’m seeing a new guy and a little self conscious about it.

    • Same as you. It’s not comfortable for me to do more than that. Plus, you know, that hair is *supposed* to be there and it does serve a purpose.

    • Anonymous :

      Same as you. I do feel a bit self-conscious about not doing more, but worse than feeling self-conscious would be doing something to myself that makes me wildly uncomfortable. If a man needs something else in that area (rather than just being pleased to have visitation rights, as I expect most are) then we aren’t a good match.

    • Anonymous :

      I shave almost everything except for a landing strip down the middle, but I’m a cyclist and a swimmer and that’s why I do things this way, not because of any male preference. If a man I was with expressed a preference I think I would laugh. P.S. no waxing for me, never ever. Never.

      • +1

        My rule about my body is if you don’t like it, you don’t get to touch it. Full stop.

        • I so agree. No man will dictate what I should do with my lady garden. If I want to trim, which I do in the SUMMER b/c I wear a string bikini, that is MY busness. But I could care less what a man wants. If he wants access, hair or not, he has to take my lady garden as he finds it. Trust me, I never had a probelem with Sheketovits. He would be happy if I were competeley bare like a hairless cat, or if I decided to look like a gorilla down there, he would STILL be down there in a flash. Most men would be the same, and if they get pickey, they can find another lady garden to tend. FOOEY on them if they do not like my lady garden!

    • Never too many shoes... :

      I myself like a clean undercarriage.

      • biglawanon :

        +1, but it more for my comfort/me than anyone else.

      • Can you say “clean-shaven” instead? I don’t think it’s reasonable to call a shaved pub!c area “clean” as if the alternative is dirty. We have enough cultural baggage attached to this issue as it is.

        (Personally this bothers me even more than “clean eating,” which is also an unhelpful term.)

    • I trim, but not very much. I have never heard any negative reviews. Most guys just want you to feel comfortable so you can relax and have fun.

    • I wax enough so that my hair can be contained by my underwear. Im fairly hairy and I started waxing because I was sick of skirted swimsuits to hide what was there, and shaving didn’t work for me because I didn’t like the dark roots you could see under my skin. I also trim for length.

      FWIW from someone who has been married 20+ years, groom yourself at the level you are comfortable with maintaining. Don’t go above and beyond if you don’t plan on keeping it up. If he’s the kind of guy that is turned off by a little hair and not just thrilled to be in the position to see it, is he someone you really want I’m your life long term?

    • I do basically nothing. A very occasional trim if things get uncomfortable, but that’s it. Not that my grooming would change if this weren’t the case, but BF thinks anything other than au naturale is a little strange, so the combination works.

    • I’ve tried it all and my current style is pretty close to natural. Waxed on the sides looks nice but not with all of those angry inflamed ingrown hairs. Love me, love my hair is my rule.

    • I trim things once a month or every six weeks because I feel like it’s cleaner during my cycle that way. I have gotten a bikini wax exactly one time (before my honeymoon so I could wear a swimsuit all day without being self-conscious), but I wasn’t pleased with the results. If my husband had a problem with my routine, I would have dumped him before it got serious.

      • And actually, would love any tips for that occasional bikini line maintenance when I do want to wear a swimsuit. I haven’t been impressed with either the wax or shaving.

        • Wilderness :

          Have you tried sugaring instead of waxing? I do it at home from a kit I got on Amazon and have had good results. Not quite as smooth as waxing but less laborious, and much smoother than shaving.

          I usually have an untrammeled wilderness, unless I’m going on a beach-centric vacation.

      • Alanna of Trebond :

        Just have hair stick out the sides?

    • I lasered the sides a few years ago so I could go swimming without thinking about it. Now, I just trim if it gets too long for my comfort.

    • Since I was running long distances, I was more comfortable with clean shave. However,rather than shaving, I just used depilation cream. All was done in <10mins and the result lasted for weeks.
      I no longer run, but I swim often and my previous routine has paid off – I do not have to watch the bikini line and deal with the drying effect chlorine water has on hair.

      • Pretty Primadonna :

        What brand depilation cream do you use? I’d rather use cream than shave or wax, but the typical Nair for bikini lines isn’t strong enough for my coarse strands.

        • Veet for sensitive skin. I keep the big pump bottle in the shower and instead of the attached plastic remover, I use a soft sponge (I only use it for this purpose). No redness, no scratching, no razor bumps or ingrown hair.

    • Anonymous :

      It is and pretty much always has been totally natural, and no guy including my husband has ever complained. When I was a teenager I tried shaving my bikini line because I was self conscious at the beach but I got terrible ingrown hairs. I’m way too pain sensitive to wax, and as I got older I stopped caring about what strangers at the beach think so I stopped shaving.

    • Anonymous :

      I trim with scissors and a little electric razor when o feel inclined. I got a Brazilian wax once and it hurt more than any tattoo and I got horrible ingrown hairs. Never again.

    • Anonymous :

      Omg thank you all so much for the confidence boost!

  2. Anonymous :

    one of my new year’s resolutions is to give a CLE, but I’m not sure how to make it happen. I reached out to my local bar association with a topic proposal. It was received favorably, but the bar association’s CLEs for 2018 are basically already set (they said they would keep me in mind if there is a cancellation). Any other ideas?

    • Are you in-house? Do you work with outside counsel that gives CLEs occasionally? A lot of the time they would love to have a client join the panel or speak.

      • Anonymous :

        +1. Or if you are not in-house: offer to give a CLE to one of your clients’ in-house groups or a trade association.

      • Cat is right. As outside council, I have sponsored some of my inhouse freinds who wanted the experence. When the manageing partner had me research an ANTITRUST issue, I invited an inhouse attorney who I do work for and bill regularly, and he was thrilled that the manageing partner had him up on the dais. I gave him alot of pointer’s, and he followed my lead. I also wound up billeing him for 3 hours on this issue, even though I onley spent 20 minutes with him on his portion of the CLE. YAY!!!

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I get calls all the time from NBI. Check them out.

  3. Anonymous :

    I just got a Fire stick and am trying to start a workout routine doing videos and weights — does anyone have any favorite trainers or series? (Beachbody? Daily Burn? Amazon Prime?) Does The Firm still make new videos? Any way to stream YouTube videos or that BBG thing on Fire? I don’t like doing workouts out of a book. I’d put my exercise capabilities at “beginner” right now. Thank you in advance!

    • I like FitnessBlender, but I know nothing about the Fire stick, so I’m not sure if their videos are compatible or not.

    • cat socks :

      FitnessBlender and PopSugar Fitness. I looked at some videos on Blogilates, but haven’t tried any yet.

    • Anonymous :

      I like fitness blender and stream them on youtube using a fire stick. I also like Blogilates, and Windsor pilates on youtube (it is kind of dated, but still a good pilates workout.) I used to stream Jillian Michael’s 30 day shred even though I bought the DVD because streaming was just easier at 5 am when I was half asleep trying to work out. But she made youtube take her stuff down and I have checked lately to see if it is back up.

    • I do beach body. It’s $99 per year and you get access to all programs new releases and anything they have out already. They have nutrition and eating guides with most workouts now to which really helped me. I do it on ROKU but think it’s on Firestick too

    • Amazon YouTube :

      Amazon disabled the YouTube app because of a fight with google but you can watch YouTube videos through the Firefox app now. I have the fire tv box thing, not the stick, so apologies if this isn’t relevant!

  4. Talk to me about cars for larger families. We’re having our 3rd kid, and in the next 18-24 months, we’ll be in the market for a new family car. We currently have an Acura MDX which fits 3 car seats across, but in doing so, the 3rd row of seats is basically unaccessible unless we wanted to make our 4 year old climb into the “way back” through the trunk.

    I want a 4 accessible-ish seats for children needing car seats and/or boosters (my 3 plus the inevitable extra), not a mini van, not a suburban. Must have AWD or 4WD. I’d like a good ride. Not super concerned with gas mileage. Ideally a real key vs push button start, but I recognize this is the way the market is going. Strongly do NOT want TVs/electronics in the cabin for the kids.

    I love the MDX we have, but don’t like the newer ones as much- too many gadgets that are not optional. Can’t go smaller than the MDX, so want a solid mid/large SUV.

    Any good options for SUVs with captains chairs in the center and a 3rd row that doesn’t totally compromise the cargo space?

    Budget is flexible, and our default is a luxury car that comes standard with higher-end trims vs a non luxury car + luxury trim, but we are open!

    • Anonymous :

      You already own a massive car.

      • Anonymous :

        Her car is plenty big , she just needs captain’s chairs in the second row instead of a bench seat so the third row is accessible.

        • Anonymous :

          The problem with second-row captain’s chairs is that then you end up with a kid or kid in the third row, which is far away from the parents. My best friend did this – she has a 3-year-old and 1-year-old twins – and she said it was not fun when they were rolling down the freeway and the least-accessible child would start crying. I think they ended up getting a minivan.

          • How is a minivan (which had the 3rd row) any different than an SUV with a 3rd row for this specific problem?

            We don’t *need* to always have a kid in the 3rd row, as our current car fits 3 across. But 3 in close quarters can often be worse than a 5 year old that needs a snack passed back ;).

      • Yup. Didn’t say it was an easy ask! And if we could get captains chairs in the 3rd row without all the tech we’d buy another :-). I’m going to check out the Pilot, which we can option-up to basically Acura level, but I didn’t like the last one we test drove and I’m not familiar with the options packages.

    • If gas mileage is not a problem, what about a Chevy Tahoe/GMC Denali. Those are the shorter versions of the Suburbans and would fit your bill, IMO. I am not sure where they are now with the fob/key, but last time I drove one they still had true key ignitions. You should be able to opt out of the TV in cabin option and otherwise customize your trim level to get leather but not all of the craziness. I think they drive really well, but I love large vehicles (although I don’t have one).

      • Anonymous :

        Denali is the trim package, not the type of car. you are thinking GMC Yukon. The Yukon XL is the bigger version.

    • Introvert :

      Girl, get a minivan.

    • I don’t know how you get more room without moving to van territory . . .

    • The Toyota Highlander can either seat 7 or 8 because it has a third row. In the second row, you can either get a traditional bench or two captain’s chairs (which make the third row more easily accessible).

    • Reading recs? :

      Is a Toyota Highlander too small?

    • Anonymous :

      You are basically describing a minivan. But without the sliding doors.

      You might just want to consider embracing the mini-van for a few years until the kiddos can get themselves buckled in.

    • The Dodge Durango has captains chairs and a 3rd row. The RT configuration is really nice.

    • Honda Pilot? GMC Acadia? Both have captains chairs in 2nd row. The bigger Lexus might work. Subaru is coming out with a new SUV that looks promising.

    • Luxury cars with captains chairs include the Buick Enclave, Lexus GX 460, Lincoln Navigator, Lincoln MKT, Cadillac Escalade, and the Infiniti Qx80. Your Acura MDX also can come with captains chairs if you want, but like you said, too many non-optional gadgets.

      It looks like the Enclave has a really decent amount of cargo space with the third row up. Big SUV’s like the Navigator and Escalade will have lots of cargo space, but those might be bigger than what you’re looking for. With most of these, you can opt-out of packages that have TV’s in the back seat. As for other gadgets.. depends on the brand.

      If you’re open to something non-luxury, the Ford Explorer and Honda Pilot are good options.

      • This is super helpful. When we last looked, *only* the Tahoe had second row captains chairs, and we didn’t like it (at the time).

        With 3 kids we really want a relatively usable 3rd row of seats, and I think captains chairs are the best way to get there.

        • Absolutely. Here’s the full list of 2018 cars with captain chairs:

          • Anonymous :

            Subaru Ascent 2019 (out later this year) also will have an option for captain’s chairs

          • Anonymous :

            Ford explorer also fits all your requirements. you can get the second row with captains chairs and i dont think that the tvs in the back come standard. We had the same exact requirements when our 3rd kid came and picked the explorer.

        • If there are carseats in the captains chairs, and the kiddo in the way back needs help putting on seatbelt/carseat, it can be pretty tight squeezing through the captains chairs. We are doing three across until the oldest no longer needs assistance buckling in.

    • We recently bought a Honda Odessa because it was the only vehicle we could find in our price range that would accommodate our 3 sons who are all either 6 feet or soon to be 6 feet tall.

      I hope you are able to find something that will work for your family!

    • CarsCarsCars :

      My SO and I are expecting our first and opted for the MDX with captain’s chairs over some other options because 1) we’ll only have one to tote around, not three yet and 2) I wanted the more car-like driving style of the MDX. The MDX’s captain’s chairs have a console between them, though, so upgrading to that model won’t help you out. However, if you want bigger then you might really like the new 2017 Traverse. It’s the biggest in that class, is available with captain’s row in the premium models and was overall very well done and powerful. Behind that, the Honda Pilot with captain’s chairs in the premium touring models were also particularly spacious. If power doesn’t matter to you at all, the Buick Enclave with captain’s chairs was practically a minivan, but the drive was weak sauce. If you need bigger than any of those, it’s time to consider the big mamba jambas!

      • I LOVE my MDX. We have a 2010 though, which is the last year that came with an *optional* tech package. I hate all the tech (my husband’s car drives me bonkers) and ideally would drive something luxury with no gadgets at all, except maybe. Back-up camera.

        Also, the new MDXs don’t have AWD standard. Not sure if getting AWD means you upgrade the engine or not- but ours is a gas guzzler but a champion in bad weather.

        • Anonymous :

          I think back-up camera’s are supposed to be standard on all (?) cars/vehicles with the 2018 model years.

    • Try the VW Atlas. No captain’s chairs but the third row is completely accessible because the entire second row seat can be pushed forward very easily for someone in the third row to climb in. We thought we wanted captain’s chairs for the same reason you described but this way we get 1 more seat in the second row, which we would not have had with captain’s chairs. Lots of luxury finishes, same frame as an Audi so it feels high end.

    • Anonymous :

      We just had our third, and we had a similar issue. My husband could not bear a minivan, and so, we got the Honda Pilot with captain chairs. It had more trunk space than other similar options.

    • Anonymous :

      I LOVE our Toyota Highlander. We have the second row set up as two captains chairs, but also has a middle portion that you can add in if you want (and stores under the center console.) The cargo room in the back is not a lot when all three rows are up however. We didn’t want a minivan though.

    • Hope I am not too late for you to see this but we got a Buick Enclave with captains chairs because my husband could not abide a minivan and really like it. The third row is quite usable, to the extent that grandparents frequently ride back there for shorter outings.

  5. Reading recs? :

    My mom wants a good online source for in-depth reading on a variety of topics. Something along the lines of Longreads or Brain pickings, but skewing more conservative, would be ideal. She is 70, a retired academic librarian and archivist, loves music and history, leans conservative in politics but can’t stand the Fox crowd, reads the WSJ faithfully. She’s looking for interesting ideas and fodder for conversation. Suggestions?

    • Check out Longform? I’ve found a good mix of topics there

    • Toronto Newbie :

      I love NextDraft. The author sends an email once a day with the 10 best long form articles he’s found.

    • Anonymama :

      She can subscribe to the best of journalism, which is a weekly email from Conor Friedersdorf, an Atlantic writer. He leans moderately conservative/libertarian but mostly towards reasonableness.

  6. I know everyone is in love with their Alexa devices and I want something like that but I’m not sure it will do what I want, which is:

    Listen to my Apple Music account using voice commands (like “play Ella Fitzgerald” while I’m cooking and my hands are yucky)

    Adjust the nest thermostat by Voice

    Act as a speakerphone

    Set a timer for cooking

    Not require my phone to be right there next to it, as my current Bluetooth speaker does (old house, thick walls)

    I’m not necessarily looking for a device that can help me order things from Amazon.

    Can the Alexa do this stuff (specifically Apple Music, because that’s where all my music is) or do I need to look at a different brand?

    • New Tampanian :


    • Unless there has been a very recent change, I don’t think you can voice control Apple Music through Alexa.

    • Google home works with Apple Music but its not a seamless integration. I ask it for the weather, daily briefings (aka whats on my calendar), you can use it for a news briefing, send reminders to your phone etc.

    • Amelia Pond :

      Sonos One does apple music and works with most smart devices (I think including the Nest), but doesn’t work as a speakerphone, unfortunately. I love it because it’s on Wifi for my music rather than bluetooth, and has amazing sound quality. Next year they are anticipating adding HomeKit/Siri controls to it, and it MIGHT do calls then.

  7. Mammogram? :

    Any hints for a first mammogram? I am having one tomorrow at my doctor’s suggestion, thereby confirming that I am middle aged. I’m not sure what to expect, other than they said not to wear deoderant.

    • No deodorant or lotions and it’s not as bad as feared. The new 3D mammograms are largely painless but even the old ones with the torture clamp device are over quickly. ;-) For your first mammogram, be prepared to have an ultrasound exam as well. If they ask you to wait, it doesn’t mean that anything is wrong, they’re just trying to have an accurate baseline.

    • Hmm I had some residual soreness from my first but I think I went at the wrong point in my cycle when they were tender anyway so if you can avoid that, do.

      Otherwise, just don’t be surprised if they have you come back. The baseline mammo is when they’re extra careful and need to rule out any calcified/solid spots that may just be part of your normal, benign anatomy.

    • Hug’s. I do NOT have to go for a few more year’s but want to know more about this new 3D mamogram. Grandma Leyeh told me they squeeze your boobies in a vice and I say FOOEY to that, but mabye this 3D stuff is better. I know that when I was with Sheketovits, he used to squeeze hard, and I did NOT like that. I did NOT ever squeeze him so why did he think I would like that. I did NOT. FOOEY on Sheketovits for doeing that to me.

    • KS IT Chick :

      Don’t take any aspirin/ibuprofen etc beforehand to try to get a jump on potential soreness. It makes you more likely to bruise due to blood-thinning. I made that mistake precisely once… And ended up with a call back for a diagnostic mammogram from the bruise appearing as a shadow. If you need it afterwards, you should be fine.

    • Anonymous :

      Mine didn’t hurt at all, it was seriously NBD. Hopefully yours will be too!

    • Keep your sense of humor ready, because they totally woman-handle you to make sure all the breast tissue is between the plates. I guess it could have been embarrassing, but I found it rather hilarious. Also, getting your arms out of the way can be awkward, although they seemed to have improved the design somewhat and put some handles on so you know where to prop your arms.

      I didn’t find it painful, either. Also, there is no data saying that 3D mammography is better than 2D at preventing death from breast cancer, so if you don’t have a family history or other risk factors, don’t feel bad sticking to 2D (my place charges extra $ for 3D, although I can’t remember how much).

      There’s actually a study gearing up to figure out the benefits (or not!) of 2D vs. 3D: (link below to avoid moderation)

      • TMIST study:

    • Check to see if you get anything from your insurance policies. I have one through AFLAC that gives $60 back each year for any kind of preventative exam (PAP, blood screening, mammogram, etc.). So when I’m squashed up to my ribs and breastbone, I just think of the books I can buy with the cash.

  8. This bag is so pretty!

  9. Window coverings... :

    Contemplating buying a new house that will need window coverings for all the windows. Just curious, what’s your favorite window covering? Bamboo shades, cellular binds, etc? I would love to do plantation shutters for all the windows but not sure about $$$.

    • Anonymous :

      Drapes and sheers

    • We have cellular shades in from blinds dot com and I really enjoy them. Things I love: privacy, ease of use (up/down quickly and easily), durability (we’ve had them two years), and no cords! I do have to keep my 10 month old away from them because he likes to try to smash them. If you’re the type of person who opens all blinds every day, they might be a tiny bit annoying, but they let enough light through that I leave most of them down during the day anyway. We got room darkening ones for the master, and I kind of wish we’d also done that for the nursery. They are a bit expensive, but if we can afford them, I’m sure you can. I adore plantation shutters, but they might be a little formal for bedrooms. Good luck!

    • Anonymous :

      We didn’t want to spend the $$$ on plantation shutters when we bought our house so we went for plantation blinds. We were able to buy them ready-made at Lowe’s or Home Depot and have them cut to width, which was significantly cheaper than custom. They still look great after more than a decade. Get the cordless option if kids are a possibility.

      • +1
        I didn’t know What plantation blinds were just now so I googled it and found wood blinds. This is what we have in areas like bedroom where we need window covers. we got some on amazon and some at IKEA (for standard width windows)

    • I know I’m a bit late. but in case you’re still checking… I have very particular preferences on window coverings, and have had to order a lot over the years.

      For window coverings when you want/need darkness (in order of preferrence):
      1) Roman shades with blackout lining (this is my favorite option because I like total darkness when I sleep, plus they’re the prettiest in my opinion!)
      2) Cellular blinds with blackout option
      3) Wood blinds with wide slats

      For general use (i.e. not blackout):
      1) Sheer curtains with heavier curtains on the sides
      2) Roman shades in a nice fabric
      3) Cellular blinds (I particularly like the kind with the down-up option so you can have the lower parts of windows covered for privacy, but still get some sunlight and a view of trees outside/whatever)
      4) Flat roll shades (if you can get them in a nice fabric, preferably with a textured finish)
      5) Wood blinds / plantation shutters

      • I tend to agree with a lot of what this article says:

    • Anonymous :

      I know I’m a day late, but price out plantation shutters before you do anything else. We assume shutters were way more than they actually are. It’s been 5 years, so I can’t remember the price – but I do remember it being less than 1/2 of what I assumed it would be. Find a local place to come out and discuss.

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