Coffee Break – Ebenezer Leather Shoulder Bag

Anya Hindmarch Ebenezer leather shoulder bagI first saw this bag at the Shopbop sale last week, in an almost glowing green and navy crinkled metallic leather — and thought, it’s nice, but for $1900 I can’t recommend that as a “sale” item (even though you could have gotten up to 35% off on it with the sale they were having then).  So I came back to it today and — baboom — it’s sold out.  Which just makes me want it even more!  A lot of stores have this bag in various colors and styles — some even on sale (e.g., Saks has the smallest size (more of a crossbody/clutch) marked to $570 from $980).  Ultimately, I like this black/tan smoother leather version for work.  This bag is actually the largest of the offerings, so I suspect the difference in price is due to the leather (smooth versus crinkled/crackled) — it’s only $1450 at Net-a-Porter — what a steal. Anya Hindmarch Ebenezer leather shoulder bag




  1. If I ever go to prison, this is the handbag I’m packing for the trip.

    • or for when you go to he!! in a handbag (I know that’s not the expression but a friend of mine used to say it that way).

      • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :


        My mother used to say that!

        (When she wasn’t grilling me about why my teeth were no longer perfect. I should have told her my retainer and braces went to he!! in a handbag….)

  2. I like how creative Anya Hindmarch’s bags are. Pricey, but cute!

  3. I just wanted to thank everyone for the comments on my previous thread about traveling to London. I feel so much better after reading everyone’s comments. I think it was helpful to get some objective feedback from people that don’t know me in in real life so I could get some perspective on the issue.

    I didn’t get to address everyone’s comments individually, so here’s some points I wanted to address:

    1. I contacted the airline and I can change my ticket to the 26th without an additional feel since it’s within the 24-hour period. I would just have to pay the difference in the ticket prices, which is around $200. I think I’m going to go ahead and do this b/c it’s what I feel most comfortable doing.

    2. I was not firm with my mom about the dates I was comfortable with traveling and that’s my fault. I don’t think my mom had any bad intentions. I think she assumed I had talked over everything with my husband regarding dates, etc. So I can’t fault her for making the decision with my giving her incomplete information.

    3. Having my parents pay for the tickets made it difficult for me to push back initially.

    4. Coming from an Asian culture, my parents are pretty relaxed about things and aren’t as involved in their kids lives like some of their friends. My parents helped us with the down payment on our first house, but they didn’t dictate where we need to live or what type of house to buy. I’m definitely lucky in that respect that they are hands-off.

    5. Maybe this is weird, but I feel like my mom would think less of me or think I’m silly for not wanting to be gone from home for a whole week. I’m not even sure how to articulate this, but it’s a feeling I have and part of the reason why it was inititally difficult for me to push back on the dates she suggested. I feel like she’d be mad at me for not wanting to go along with their initial dates. I’m sure this is something I need to explore further in therapy. :-) But at least writing it down here is a step for me b/c I have a tendency to keep a lot of thoughts and emotions bottled up.

    6. My husband said he was frustrated, rather than mad at me, for my wishy-washy conversation with my mom. As I mentioned, he has a strong personality and it’s not hard for him to say what’s on his mind, even if it is in disagreement with someone else. I just wish he could take a moment to see things from my perspective to understand why it was difficult for me to have that conversation with my mom. We have different personalities and things that come easy to him, don’t come easy to me. I wish he was more understanding about that.

    Navigating relationships with parents and with money involved can be complicated, so thanks again for all the feedback. I feel much better about the situation!

    • I’m glad you’ve been getting helpful feedback so far. I agree that therapy would be helpful for exploring how to stand up for yourself. From skimming your posts, it seems like you’re afraid or anxious to say what you want / think, because you’re worried that people (DH, your mom) will be mad at you.

      Recognizing that your DH seems to have a very different personality than you, I think you should have a conversation with him when you’re both calm and say that *you* think you need to be more assertive in expressing your opinions (assuming that you actually do think you need to be more assertive) and that DH needs to 1) be more patient in recognizing that this is not a natural behavior for you and also 2) that his behavior towards you needs to change because him being aggressive or pushing you to express opinions actually feels like bullying to you. It doesn’t sound like your husband wants to be a bully. It sounds like he’s trying to get you to stand up for yourself, but going about it in the completely wrong way. Try to identify behavior that you think would be more helpful to you (like, instead of pressuring you to call your mother right that second, he should have a discussion with you about why those dates don’t work for either of you so that when you do speak with your mom you’re not wishy washy).

    • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

      Hey dear, I think you’re doing the best you can even though you are caught between your parents, what you think they expect of you, and your husband. We’ve all got issues. Good on you that you’re self-aware and working on yours. I wish you good luck.

      One thing I’d point out to your husband the next time he gets frustrated that you are “not him” when it comes to handling conflict.

      Just remind him that two confrontational, pushy people tend to get divorced if they get married. A woman who handled things exactly the way he did would either divorce his pushy @ss or cause him to divorce her. Seriously, one of the reasons why I think you’ve been able to stand your husband is because you are a much more passive person, or else, you’d trade blow for blow and possibly whittle him down to nothing.

      People often marry their opposites (in personality) for a reason. Either because deep down, we’re looking for traits we don’t have, or, because it’s only our opposite numbers who provide us balance. There’s hope for you and your DH, certainly, but he could help if he’d only recognize that your approach is not always wrong, and his approach is not always right.

  4. anon for this :

    While growing up, I was very close with one family, spent a lot of time with them. We had a falling out but after years, are back in touch and close again, for the first time since I’ve been an adult. I want to get the parents something for the holidays but have no idea what. The wife is borderline hoarder and the husband is pretty low key. They have lots of money and don’t really need anything and I don’t have a ton of money so I worry that a gift card to a restaurant for $25 would seem silly since they can afford more but an item without a price tag like a nice candy dish or something would be just more clutter in the house.

    I know that they drink a lot and bring back hard liquor when they take cruises and love Disney, but I don’t have a clue what to get them. Budget is probably only about $25ish Help!

    • Meg Murry :

      Baked goods? Preferably home baked goods? Then its consumable and won’t contribute to the clutter but give the “thinking of you” part of the gift. Or if you live nearby, a nice wreath for the front or side door? A bottle of mixers for their drinks, like mojito or cosmo mix? Or something sentimental, like getting photos of you and their family from when you were a kid in a Snapfish book?

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      Are you mailing it? For <$25, I feel like the best gift is something home baked which has the bonus of being consumable and not adding clutter. If you're not much of a baker, I bet a tin of Williams Sonoma Peppermint Bark would go over well and is a really nice holiday gift!

      I wouldn't attempt hard liquor if they are more connoisseur types, as it's easy to buy the wrong thing, while there are some diamonds in the rough for low price points.

    • What about something Disney-themed? Like a frame where they can put pics from their next trip?

    • A Disney ornament? Hallmark usually has some cute ones, sometimes old-school Mickey that looks a little more sophistocated.

    • I would go with something edible (home baked goods if you want, tin of candy or peppermint bark if not) with a Disney Christmas ornament on top of the box.

  5. Love, love, love Anya Hindmarch bags. So luxurious and yet not obviously so. Very appealing.

    I wanted to say thank you to all for your great gift ideas in the morning thread! I think I am going to do a book or two and some small token desk item for her new office. You guys are the best. I was totally overthinking it on my own!

  6. Katy Beth :

    Threadjack for the Hive!

    I’m struggling with getting projects at work from other attorneys. I just graduated in May and started working at a 25 attorney law firm in September. At first my supervisors tightly monitored my work load, saying that they wanted to make sure I wasn’t overwhelmed. However, for about the past 2 weeks I have very little to do. I have 2 projects that I’m just researching the crap out of because I don’t want to be project less. I’ve asked attorneys individual for work and basically get nothing. I have given it time and patiently asked later. I walk around the office in hopes that someone will see me and need me then. When someone mentions something, I try to calm down for sounding over eager. But so far they have been 5 minute projects; nothing substantial.

    I don’t feel like I’ve done anything to already give me a bad work product reputation. I have timely finished projects etc. People have told me I take criticism well, that I’m smart, that I’m learning, and that I’m a hard worker.

    What’s also crazy is everyone seems BUSY. Like swamped. I feel even more pathetic that I’m the odd one out. It’s never good to not have work.

    I’ve tried not to freak out about this (it takes time…right?), BUT then I overheard a senior attorney talking to an associate about how “the new” associate needs to step up her game because staff and other attorneys have started to notice I’m not in the office. The truth is that I used to arrive 30 minutes or more (8:00) before the staff arrive (8:30) and always leave after the staff left (5:30). However, since I’ve had nothing to do, this past week (and ONLY this past week) I’ve been arriving about 9:00 and leaving at 5:00. I guess the simple solution would be to go back to my original routine, but quite frankly I’m bored out of my mind.

    I feel so unproductive. This is the time for me to quickly learn and start growing as an attorney. Now it’s even worse because my fragile reputation is being negatively discussed.

    Thoughts? Suggestions?

    • transition :

      Are you able to email or meet with your direct superior and articulate your willingness and want to do more and ask for guidance on what you can be doing to gain insight and learn while you wait for more work? It might help to show that you want to work rather than that you’re seen without much to do and are seen “roaming” around the office in your free time (even though that’s not what you’re doing, it might appear such).

      Just an idea from a non-lawyer!

      • Often the problem is that law firm associates don’t have a direct supervisors! Definitely an issue when stuff like this comes up.

    • GirlMeetsWorld :

      Email partners/sr associates regularly to stay on their radar and tell them that you are available. (+Paper trail!) Also, after you finish a project and hand in work product, if possible, suggest next steps or areas of research so that ideally, the next steps may be assigned to you. Do some CLE. Ask about getting involved on a client pitch or writing a client alert/article. I’d def talk to your supervisor and let him/her know that you are available. If others are busy and you are free, there’s some disconnect that the partners aren’t aware of.. they need to know that you are indeed available. Good luck!

    • Just a quick note about them being busy, don’t take that personally. It is so much work to supervise someone, and sometimes you just do it yourself instead of doling it out.

    • One warning about researching the crap out of your current projects (I totally get that feeling)–if they are projects for someone else, don’t drag them out to create work for yourself. It’s good to be thorough, but you don’t want someone to think that you’re a slow worker so that they hesitate to give you more work, and you should also make sure you understand how much research the person giving you the project is seeking (do they want a basic overview of the area or lots of details about the nuances?).

    • MaggieLizer :

      It sounds like there might be a face time expectation, at least until you’ve been there for a while. What time do the attorneys generally get to the office and when do they leave? Is there anyone you can ask about what hours you’re expected to keep? I definitely would not leave before or with the staff on a regular basis in an office with a face time expectation, even if you have nothing to do. Hours are really a know-your-office thing, but in my limited experience, attorneys care much more about what time you leave than what time you come in (within reason).

      • cartascartas :

        “attorneys care much more about what time you leave than what time you come in (within reason).” <–That has always been my experience as well. I know it's boring, but I definitively recommend staying until others have left and sending emails letting others (senior associates and partners) that you're available for work.

    • Actually, if everyone is really swamped, that might explain why they are having a hard time “breaking off” projects to give to a new associate. Often times, as a mid-level associate, when I have a lot to do, it’s nothing I could just hand off to someone without much experience. Or, because deadlines are tight, I need to just get it done as quickly as possible. It’s actually when things are a little calmer that I have time to think about what I can ask a more junior person to do and actually explain it to them, supervise adequately, etc. I would just keep touching base with people on a regular basis (every week or so), and emphasize that you would like to help out if they have something that needs to be done. If any topics for follow-up research jumped out at you with regard to your current projects, you could suggest that as well — if nothing else, you’ll look proactive. Also, if you’re “on” any cases, now might be a good time to go through the file and review past pleadings, factual background material, etc. Your time might ultimately be written off, but at least you’ll know your stuff if and when a suitable project presents itself. Good luck!

      • Anonymous :

        I was thinking the same. There is a point in being overwhelmed where it is darn near impossible to free up enough time to break off assignments.

    • karenpadi :

      Second the suggestions. For first years, it’s really hard to monitor workload because you have so many things out for review. So it might look like you have a zillion things on your docket but you only have one or two things you can actually work on.

      Here’s what I’d recommend. Go to one of the senior (swamped) associates (don’t tell the partner) and ask directly for work. This works best when you’ve done excellent work for her in the past. Give her an idea of what’s on your plate and a time frame (“I can take work due this week/next week/next month”). If she’s anything like me, she’ll “sneak” you some work.

      Also, work ahead on whatever you can. One of my mentees just scored a stack of work from me by sending me a completed project that I didn’t expect for at least 2 weeks. Seeing the advance due date told me that she has some bandwidth.

    • You should come to MY firm! I have alot of work I can’t wait to OFFLOAD, and the manageing partner is NOT doeing anything to help me. I asked if Madeline could do the do diliegience work with Jim, but she did NOT want to, and the manageing partner is just leaveing that on MY Plate. FOOEY! And Jim keep’s calling, so what can I do?

      I told him maybe in December, but I do NOT want to miss the holideay’s in NYC. They JUST lit the tree in Rockefeler Plaza, and I tried to walk by yesterday, but it was to crowded, so I could just see the tree from SAKS.

      I am hopeing that I will find a guy this year, and NOT have coal in my stockeing again. I finaly picked up when David called and told him off. FOOEY on you I said. It was cold and raining and peeople were loosing power and where were you? I said, and he said he did NOT loose power but he did NOT want to tie up the line’s? Was there a problem with the phone’s? My cell kept going and he did NOT even text? What a doofus I told him he was, and that I did not want to kiss a doofus b/c it is bad luck. I told him when he grewup he would NOT be worthey of me so NOT to even to try now. FOOEY!

      But even tho I have DUMPED David, there is someone with some potential I met!!!! The Maiter Dee in the resturant we ate at yesterday was Equadorian, and he asked me 3 times if he could go out with me and cook me a dinner at his place. He said his name was Gonzalo. Gonzalo is NOT the guy you see comeing in and out of the kitchen, but the guy you meet when you first come into the resturant area of the hotel. He lookes alot like Antonio Banderis but smaller, about 5 foot 3, with a Equadorian accent !!!! He almost look’s like a horse jockey if he wore a striped shirt. Myrna says I could probabley meet him for coffee or something, but would NOT go to his apartement. Mabye I will ask Myrna to go with me. He has our firm telephone b/c he was the guy we agreed with the menu on for our big party. I hope I am doeing the right thing. I will wait until after the party to see if I want to see him. He is probabley the cutest Equadorian I have met, but his name will take a littel getting used to.

    • I agree with all the comments so far. Also, is your firm’s fiscal year ending on 12/31? Associates and partners could be keeping work to themselves to maximize their own hours.

  7. I’m also stuck for a good present. Our in-laws are very, very financially secure and go out to eat most days of the week (so it seems silly to buy them a gift card for a restaurant), and when it comes to the necessaries of life, they go out and buy them, so there isn’t really anything they need.

    The problem is, there isn’t anything they want or enjoy. They are religiously conservative, and don’t approve of ‘fun’ items. I don’t mean to sound disrespectful, and they are perfectly nice and I like them, but they would never go out to a movie or play a board game or go to a non-religious community function.

    So far as DH and I can tell, they have no hobbies (literally, they don’t have cable television or DVD or CD player), they don’t collect ANYTHING, and in my husband’s 32 years they have never once had anyone over, so serving dishes/hostess-type items are out. Basically, they get up, go to work, meet after work to eat dinner out, and come home and sweep the floor/ do laundry and go to sleep. (They are really nice to me and I apologize if this sounds like I am talking badly about them). Buying gifts for them is a horrific process. Last year was the only year they have even remotely liked our gift – and it was a nightstand weather/temperature gauge that connected to an outside source.
    One year we tried to donate to a charity similar to their religious activities in their name, and their response to opening the gift card was “oh, I know this charity, we thought about giving to them, but then decided not to because…..”.

    I grew up in a family that takes a lot of pride in finding gifts that delight the recipient, and this just bugs me that I can’t find a decent gift.
    FWIW, their presents to us for the last three years have been socks and work boots. For both of us. I’m starting to wonder if I should just reciprocate.
    Any ideas of what I can possibly give? I feel like I’m beating my head against the wall trying to bring Christmas cheer.

    • Anon Analyst :

      Do they like to read? Maybe a gift card to Amazon? Are there any religious affiliated book stores they might be interested in?

      Or you might be on the right track with reciprocating with functional gifts. That’s not as fun, but maybe they will find the gifts useful. Good luck!

      • I have a funny question, but I hope that the vast knowledge of the hive can help. I am looking for a place to buy a good quality Scottish kilt for my dad for Christmas. A quick google search yields some costume sites, but I am looking for something more high-quality that could be worn periodically (i.e. to a Burns dinner).

        • Darn! Wrong place. Very sorry!

          I think I was going to respond to the original thread that we often get things like kitchen utensils, mailbox covers and other things for my mother-in-law. Maybe functional is the way to go!

        • research lawyer in SV :

          Try www dot heritageofscotland dot com or do a Google search for “kilt tartans” for other sources.

        • dancinglonghorn :

          I’m Scottish and I think that the sportkilts at are good value if you don’t want to pay Heritage of Scotland prices. My husband has 2 sport kilts and I have one as well.

          If you are going to spend alot of money, get one from here:

          They are actually made in Scotland and support the local economy – HRH Catherine has a beautiful scarf from here!

    • Do they have a church they’re members of/attend regularly? You could make a donation to that church in their name.

    • What about a nice cozy throw? Pendleton makes good ones. This way they can stay home and read with it or something.

      Or, if not quite boots – maybe good slippers? Umbrellas? Flannel bathrobes? Scarves? It sounds like they are very practical people so I would choose something practical and not overthink it.

    • It sounds like “delighted” may be off the table, and you have to aim for “pleased” or maybe even “not displeased” in terms of their reaction. The gauge thing is a practical gift — what about something equally practical, like hats and scarves (if they live in an appropriate climate), or an emergency flashlight/lantern? Or consumables like soaps or coffee? Or, how about sending a wreath from LL Bean? Or Fruit of the Month? Surely they don’t disapprove of fruit!

    • Almost There :

      My posts on this won’t go through, google c e i v a

      • lucy stone :

        My ILs don’t understand Facebook. I’m going to suggest this as an anniversary present for them next year. Thanks for sharing!

    • Meg Murry :

      Birdfeeder? Houseplant? One of the amarylis bulbs in a decorative pot that has been discussed here as a hostess gift? Christmas tree ornament?
      I agree with the others to go for practical and aim for “pleased” as opposed to “delighted”

      • Rue La La has really adorable bird houses right now for $30. I don’t even like birds and I want one – maybe they will enjoy it.

    • A donation to their place of worship, consumables (fruit, bacon of the month, specialty jams, etc) or a nice houseplant. Do they need new sheets or towels? Do they have a yard? I know it makes me sound like I am old, but we love seeing the birds at our bird feeder.

    • Research, Not Law :

      Do start reciprocating since they prefer practical over treat. They are probably delighted in a different way.

      Some thoughts:
      Boot dryer, boot scraper, doormat.
      Anything they current own and use that needs to be updated or replaced (plush towels, socks, etc).
      Books or magazines.
      Kitchen gadgets or small appliances, if they ever cook or make coffee/tea.
      Home organization (decorative key holder, mail sorter, tupperwear).

      Do they enjoy doing activities with you and your husband? Could you organize some sort of outing?

    • just a lurker :

      They sound like perfect candidates for baked goods – cookies, pies, cakes, breads. They can take them to their church meetings if they don’t want to eat them at home.

    • You’ve gotten some good suggestions. I would add, though, that, IMO, each spouse is ultimately responsible for their own family. Don’t fall into the trap of finding yourself solely responsible for gift-giving to the whole family! (Unless you really want to be, or you guys have agreed to that, or something – it just seems to be one of those things that a lot of women start doing and find they can’t stop and get all stressed about)

      • YES, this. This isn’t all on you — your DH needs to help you figure it out.

      • TO Lawyer :

        How do you stop from becoming that person? I find with my SO, I’ve stepped into that role of finding gifts for everything – whether it’s my friends or his, as well as his family. I’m actually really good at it and enjoy finding something perfect, and I’m a planner so I think ahead whereas he would likely do something last minute and I would be stressed to no end. Am I setting myself up for this role forever? I don’t mind it now when joint gifts are infrequent but it may end up becoming really stressful…

        • I think that sometimes you just have to accept that gifts for his family, friends, etc may just not happen. And that its not a reflection on you if that happens.

      • I hear you. We’ve discussed it and I’ve officially taken on that role, with his input – I really enjoy getting gifts for people. In contrast, my DH is the “volunteer/emergency” person – if someone calls and needs help or someone to be present for something, or to donate/give/bake for something, it is always him unless there’s an unavoidable conflict- feeling like my time is overscheduled is my stressor, whereas (maybe because of his sock-full upbringing) trying to find presents for people sends him into a tailspin.

        I think I have the sweet end of this deal, but I def agree that while we chose it consciously, many women just ‘fall into’ both roles.

        • The first time I went to my spend holidays with SO’s family, he told me they don’t do presents. Then I got presents from them and felt awful. Apparently when he said “they,” he meant “him to them” (he’s the youngest and spoiled in this regard). So now I do the presents for his family from “both of us.” I don’t mind that it’s not equal though because it’s something I care about it and he doesn’t. I think if one person cares more/is better at it than the other, it’s not nec. a take advantage type situation. I get all the gifts, he tends to all the laundry – we all do our part.

          • Yes, this is the rule at my house — the person that cares the most is the person that does it (whatever it is). If we both care, we split it. If neither of us cares, we skip it.

            Works for us.

    • Wait a sec, those are MY in-laws! The weather gauge sounds like something my father-in-law would love.

    • Thanks so much for all of your suggestions! I’m definitely taking this list home at the end of the day so we can discuss.

      • Moonstone :

        It can be a bit time-consuming, but my sister created photo books with family pictures through a website like shutterfly for each sibling and they were a big hit. She went back a couple of generations, but even if you only have access to more recent pictures, that might be nice. It shows a lot of thought.

    • tools, gardening implements, or some nice bulbs or other plants?

    • Anne Shirley :

      Slippers. Door mat. The LL Bean catalog is a good place for useful things. Maybe a hand crank emergency radio.

      • Our hand crank radio was really useful during the post-hurricane power outage!

      • lucy stone :

        I gave these to my aunt and parents for their vacation homes in hurricane prone areas, and they loved them. I got the L.L. Bean handcrank one with a flashlight that can also charge your cell phone.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Do they put up a Christmas tree? If so, you could start a tradition of giving them a dated Christmas ornament every year. If they are at all sentimental, Hallmark has all kinds of themed ornaments including “parents.” And when you start having kids you could switch to “grandparents.”

      Failing that, I vote fruit/bacon/flowers of the month.

  8. Threadjack: So i’m finally taking the plunge and hiring a housekeeper to come in every other week. I’m so excited because this is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time! However, I have a question about tipping… Are you supposed to add a tip to the regular rate everytime she visits? Or just tip around the holidays? Thanks for any advice!

    • Oh my goodness. SOOO happy for you, and basically that’s because I, too, just took the leap and hired a housekeeper. I never even THOUGHT of tipping. Heavens.

    • Almost There :

      Yes, you should tip the cost of one visit.

    • Yay! I just did this. I’m delighted with it and so thrilled for you to have that huge relief/happiness of coming home to a scrubbed clean house. My plan is to give a big tip over the holidays. I’m going through a service where I pay by credit card automatic withdrawals, if it makes a difference, and I know that they’re paid well. My mom used to employ a private cleaning lady too (every 2 weeks, same, just not through a service and all cash) and I believe she did the same thing.

    • You don’t have to tip unless it is a service. For holidays, just double what you usually pay her/him. In this instance, since you’re just starting and its only twice a month, I think you could do half of what you pay for a visit, or maybe even less.

      • Yeah, see, I have a service that comes monthly. It’s supposed to be the same person each time, but several times its been someone else ( either she had an issue or we had to change times or whatever). So I just tip each time (usually $20). But I have no intention f tipping extra at Christmas.

    • It’s common to tip at the holidays, generally one week’s pay. (If she comes once a week or every other week, give her whatever you pay her each time. If she comes twice a week, give her 2x what you pay her each time.)

    • Don’t tip every visit. Tip the cost of one visit at the holidays/new year.

    • Thanks for the advice! Not tipping every visit and just at the holidays was what I was originally thinking, but just wanted to double check.

    • Wait? Is this right? It’s not expected to tip every visit? If I have been doing that, can I skip the huge holiday tip and just leave my regular-but-maybe-not-anymore amount?

      • I tip every visit – generally $20. But I also live in NYC where one tips for EVERYTHING

      • Senior Attorney :

        I don’t know anybody who tips every visit. Around here (So Cal) the usual is to tip only at the holidays.

      • Senior Attorney :

        That said, if you’ve been tipping every time you might want to add a token amount for the holidays… like maybe double the usual tip but nothing huge.

  9. What would you wear to see the Nutcracker at the SF Ballet (a Sunday matinee)?

    I’m going next weekend, and have no idea what to pack. Also, we’ll be going with SIL and my 2 nieces (yay! nieces!), and meeting them for lunch before. They live in an East Bay suburb, and don’t really know restaurants, etc. So far our idea is to meet at the Ferry Terminal for lunch and then, if there’s time, take a cable car to Van Ness (? think that’s it) and then walk or cab the remaining distance to the Ballet.

    The girls are 4 and 6.

    If anyone has any suggestions/recommendations, I’d appreciate it.

    • Diana Barry :

      Not familiar with SF, but to take my 5-yo DD to the Nutcracker (in Boston) I plan to wear a print Boden dress, cardigan and boots – more like church clothes than anything else, I guess. Your nieces may be dressed up in their nicest, fanciest dresses depending on how fancy your SIL likes to dress them for occasions.

      However, SF is more casual than BOS IME, maybe someone who lives there can chime in.

      • Thanks. The girls will most likely be wearing fancy dresses (they looooooooove wearing fancy dresses), but SIL is decidedly non-fancy and may even turn up in jeans (with a nicer top). I don’t want to wear jeans (unless the hive tells me that’s the norm), but neither do I want to be too far away from SIL because I wouldn’t want her to start thinking she’s too under-dressed.

        I’m probably over-thinking.

        • Diana Barry :

          If she is casual, maybe a knit dress, boots, leggings or tights, then whatever outerwear. That way you will fit in with SIL (look! it’s a casual dress) and with your nieces (look! it’s a dress!). :)

    • The SF Nutcracker dress code runs the gamut. So if your nieces love wearing foofy velvet and satin little girl dresses, they won’t be out of place. They also wouldn’t be out of place in plainer outfits. I wouldn’t do jeans but some people proably do. The grown ups will be fine in casual to dressy as well.

      Van Ness is right – the opera house is right on Van Ness at Grove.

      The California line of the cable car will take you to Van Ness and California. That line stops in front of the Hyatt at Market and Drumm as the end of the line very close to the ferry building, but I think they don’t pick up passengers right there. I would make sure you look it up online before you get here.

      Have fun! SF Ballet does a really nice job with the Nutcracker. In fact, I believe they were the first US Ballet to perform it.

      • PS I think California to Grove on Van Ness is probably too far for the little girls. The easiest thing would be to take BART from Embarcadero to Civic Center, or the F-line Muni, but it won’t have that cable car cachet.

        • SF Bay Associate :

          Yeah, California to Grove is too far for little kids. And cabs are a bear. Second the suggestion of the F Market, unless cable car is Required. If the kids are going to be in fancy party dresses (because they wanted to dress up, not because it’s required for attendance), Ferry Plaza restaurants are going to be too casual, I think. If you really want to go for it and the kids would be into it, high tea at the Palace Hotel (Market and New Montgomery) is super duper fun, and on the way to the Opera House.

          • Thanks, Mamabear & SFBay — I was hoping you were both around today. I was afraid that the cable car wouldn’t work, so we have not mentioned it to the girls yet, so there’s no pressure to do it (we just thought it would be fun for them).

            I love the idea of taking them to tea, but it looks like it’s only on Saturdays, so that’ll have to happen on another trip. Idea definitely saved, though!

          • Tuesday, my kids love the Ferry Building and would eat at Taylor’s Refresher/Gott’s any time I let them. Fancy clothing or no. But their mom might feel differently. :)

          • (That was confusing. I mean your niece’s mom might feel differently. I am actually my kids’ mom and clearly I don’t feel differently. From myself. I’m going to go have a diet coke now.)

          • Good to know that Gott’s is babybear-approved! I think SIL will be fine with it; as I mentioned, she’s not at all fancy, and the girls wear their fancy dresses a lot (for example, the last time we were there they wore fancy dresses to a regular restaurant with us just because they wanted to). I think they like the attention they get when they’re dressed up.

          • SF Bay Associate :

            +1 to mamabear. If the girls don’t mind being fancy in a casual place or would even enjoy it, Gott’s is perfect for your lunch. Great food, kid friendly. Their ahi burger is really tasty for the mommy/auntybears, too. They also have a beer and wine license :).

            Stop by Retucchi on your way out for some mommy/auntybear snacks. The thin apple slices soaked in key lime juice and covered in dark chocolate or their smores, oh dear god. Ciao Bella sorbet is also right there and is tasty. If mommybear and auntybear like coffee, Blue Bottle is right there too. Basically, Ferry Plaza is a wonderful, magical place for bears of all ages.

          • Me to DH: Mamabear and SFBay said we can’t take the cable car to the ballet.

            DH: blank stare

            Me: from my ladyblog

            DH: OK, that’s good to know. (leaves room)

          • Ha! You should have heard me trying to explain to the guys at the forum what I’m doing tonight.

          • @Tuesday and NOLA, I am laughing so hard right now.

            My husband doesn’t even know about the ladyblog. But he will cut me if I drink out of his favorite mug, which happens to say JSFAMO on it.

            I secretly enjoy his cluelessness.

          • There was a night many months ago that I was trying to explain to my parents why a stranger named ‘eek’ was coming to their house to pick me up and take me out for a drink, while I was visiting them 3,000 miles away from my home. In my head it was hilarious, they didn’t get the joke.

          • It may also be easier to eat near the Opera House rather than going to lunch at the Ferry building then hauling across town. In that area, I’d suggest:
            – Absinthe — on Hayes St. fairly fancy, but bet there are things the kids would like
            – Dobb’s Ferry — new upscale casual place on Hayes St
            -The boxing room — creole type food, in Hayes Valley, but not right on Hayes
            – Brenda’s — delicious Southern food on Polk near Golden Gate
            -Max’s Opera Cafe — On Van Ness; wide variety in the menu, to die for desserts. This is probably the best for little kids.

            Other less fancy, kid friendly places:
            – Stacks (diner type food)
            -Flippers (gourmet hamburgers)

          • SF Bay Associate :

            I would not take little girls and their mom from the East Bay safe and pretty ‘burbs (what, WC? Lafayette?) to Brenda’s, which has serious Polk street sketch factor. I don’t want to worry about what the little girl and her pretty shoes are stepping in. The food at Brenda’s is great and I really enjoy going there, but it’s not right for Tuesday’s crowd. Absinthe is not the most kid friendly restaurant either – my rehearsal dinner was there. The boot in the front of the house by the bar could work though. I haven’t been to Dobb’s Ferry yet, but I hear it’s great. Boxing Room is a good call – great food, spacious, noisy, casual-ish. And kids do like Max’s, though the food is uneven and unremarkable but perfectly fine from an adult perspective.

    • I can’t wait for my kids to be old enough to go see the Nutcracker in SF! Have fun!

    • Just wanted to chime in that you sound like an amazing aunt. Have fun with your nieces! :)

      • Thanks, KC! I really completely love these girls, and I really want to be a good aunt for them. Of course, it’s easy now because they’re young and sweet and cute and fun, so I’m trying to take as much advantage as I can because they’ll be sullen teenagers before I know it.

        • It sounds like you’re the fancy aunt. Every girl needs a fancy aunt. Moms can be so ugh PRACTICAL, you know?

          • And this is EXACTLY why it’s wonderful to be an aunt!!

            I am soooo lucky!

    • I live in SF & have gone to the nutcracker a lot (it’s fun, btw – they’ve made it local, which is neat), but wear whatever you want. Similar to the NY thread yesterday, you see everything. You’ll likely see a lot of people in slacks or a skirt and a sweater w/ a wool coat kind of look. I like to dress a little for this kind of thing, so I’d probably wear a skirt w/ boots (just b/c it’s supposed to rain & I loathe pant ankle dampness) & a sweater w/ a j-crew kind of coat.

    • PS – you might want to get an Uber account before you go (it’s a towncar service on demand that I’ve found is a little more expensive than a cab, but not too much more. It can be impossible to get cabs in nice weather & on a rainy day, misery & this service has saved me from that. You can generally get a car anywhere downtown in about 5 minutes. With little kids/meltdowns, it’s worth it & it’s very fancy aunt.

      • Now this is an idea I would never have thought of! Thanks, Darby!

        • anytime! it has been my lifesaver! (I use their app on my iphone, which I like, but they also work via text message if you don’t have a smartphone)

      • Yes, it is impossible to get a cab outside the symphony/opera, even in good weather. If its raining, just forget it. Uber has worked well in the past for me. They usually call when they are close so they know who to look for.

  10. Random Vent :

    ooooooooohhmygod the guy at the desk next to me is a mouse-puncher instead of mouse-clicker and it is driving me insaaaane today.

    and now back to your regularly scheduled programming.

    • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

      Sounds annoying. Can you stomp your feet every time he mouse-punches? ;-)

  11. I’m really glad you’ve thought about so many about these things in detail and will go explore it further! I just wanted to say that your husband seems like he is not trying to be a bully. I have been in his position, except it is my younger brother who is really passive and sometimes a pushover and it absolutely drives me bonkers trying to get him to stand up for himself sometimes at work and with his SOs and with our parents and I have probably been blunt about it to the point where I was probably hurting his feelings (and have accordingly apologized) – but I really really hope that you can find a way to express your wishes and desires so that they are taken care of too.

  12. Double Boo :

    Ever feel like you don’t know people like you thought? We have a neighbor whom I exchange friendly greetings with in the mornings while we are walking our dogs. Hers is probably about 14 years old or so, and I’m honestly touched every time I see the old girl is still kicking. This morning Neighbor informed me they are moving out of state in a few days. The dog is not coming with because they are “moving to an apartment that doesn’t allow pets.” The dog (pretty dog aggressive) is apparently being given to some lady with four dogs who she met the other week. I asked her how the dogs would get along with one another (kind of stunned that it would work) and she just looked at me rather clueless and said “You mean like a trial or something?” Totally incredulous.

    The whole conversation keeps replaying in my head. It is now afternoon and I still feel like crying.

    Folks–if your dog is 14+, she is part of your family. You look for a place that will allow her to join. You don’t leave them behind.

    DH won’t let me take the dog in. (Not that it is even my business or I know they would accept.) Although like I said, the dog doesn’t like others anyway.

    Just sad at the whole heartlessness of it all.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I really dislike people who say “I am moving somewhere that doesn’t allow pets” or “I just had a baby and now I don’t have time for a pet.” While those things can be legitimate reasons to rehome an animal (if, for example, you were moving to Hawaii and they needed a 6 month quarantine, and you thought it would be too hard on your older pet to deal with, or whatever, or if you have a baby and the dog is aggressive and a danger to her) generally it is code for “My pet is inconvenient, and I don’t want to deal with it anymore.” Dislike.

      • My neighbors had an awesome cat. He roamed the neighborhood and regularly walked into other peoples’ houses. He was a cuddler and sometimes people didn’t know he belonged to someone. My neighbors were very protective of anyone inadvertently adopting the cat. Then Katrina hit and they left him outdoors to fend for himself (because he “wouldn’t go” – my cats didn’t exactly have an option). They had another baby and moved away and left him because they supposedly thought he would just run away. I thought about taking him in after that but he disappeared. I hope he found a great home! I still cannot understand my former neighbors’ thinking.

        • Wow, that is terrible.

          I don’t even have an emergency kit packed for the humans in our household, but I have a week’s worth of dog and cat food in a backpack in the entryway closet, just in case we have to flee the zombie apocalypse.

          • My cat has food and our water supply includes her needs in our zombie kit, too. *And* she keeps ruining my cashmere sweaters (they turn up with kitty claw holes in them and I’m not even sure how she gets at them!) Annoying or not (it’s clearly my fault for not having a sweater vault) she’s family.

          • Anne Shirley :

            @Lucy. FYI those sound like little moth holes to me.

          • Man, you think so? I don’t ever see moths.

            Do cedar balls work to combat moths? I now feel bad for possibly slandering my cat!

      • Meg Murry :

        To be fair, if the people think their pet is inconvenient and they go through the effort of finding a loving home for their pet, then it is probably the best thing for the former owners and the pet. What is sad is when they just dump the pet at a shelter or with another family without checking to make sure its a good fit.

        For instance, we had a dog. Then our lives got busier, and we had a child. We were not home enough to give the dog the attention she needed. We often had to call my BIL to let her out so she wouldn’t go in the house and he took her on outings, but we never could. Then our son decided it was great fun to let the dog out of the house whenever we turned our backs (no matter how many locks we put on the door, the child was Houdini) and we spent many mornings chasing the dog around the neighborhood, or worse, kid AND dog. Finally we decided the dog was better off living with my BIL, where she could get the care and attention she deserved and would stay safe. It wasn’t a decision we made lightly, but it was in everyone’s best interest. So not everyone who gets rid of a pet does it lightly. But yes, in general people should really think about what they are committing to before they bring a pet into their home.

    • Wow, unbelievable. And I wonder if she even told the person that is taking in her dog that the dog is dog-aggressive.

    • That is heartbreaking. I cannot imagine giving a pet away. When I was looking for an apartment I spoke with one realtor who asked me if keeping my dog was a “dealbreaker.” I was so shocked, and when I said yes, his response was that it would seriously limit the places where I could live. Well, okay then, let’s only look at pet-friendly places.

    • That’s so sad. I hope it works out for this poor dog in spite of the owner’s apparent lack of caring. Maybe she will be better off with someone more considerate.

      On an aside, I have to say that this is one of the reasons I would never move into a non-pet building. I am sure it’s not always true, but I have a very negative reaction to any building full of people who would want to ban animals from their lives without exception. I can’t imagine that any building that bans pets will be an easy place for me to live.

      • I respect that some people don’t want to have animals around where they live (scared, don’t want to encounter a dog in the elevator, etc.). It’s the people in my pet-friendly apt complex that come out and tell me not to let my dog pee outside their apt because “what if they have guests over and the guests look out and see a dog going to the bathroom” that I mind.

        • Maybe it’s just my experience, but the people who want to ban pets also tend to want to ban your guests from smoking, you from putting up a fun doormat, any noise after 10 pm even on the weekened so you can never have a party, etc. The people in your complex sound like a88holes, although if their apartment is indoors and your dog is peeing in the hallway, I kind of agree with them (probably not the case though ;))

          • Nope, not the case :) But don’t get me started on where these particular neighbors clean out their birdcages.

          • I think this is YMMV. I grew up with a dog and currently live with a giant crazy shedding dog and we are looking to get a puppy to join him. (I do freely admit I am not a cat person. :)) When I lived in an urban area I sought out pet-free buildings. I LOVED my building that did not allow pets and where everyone had a doormat outside their door (inside hallways) and often decorated around their door (seasonal wreaths, pumpkins, trees, etc.) and the only time I ever asked my neighbors to be quiet was at 1 am on a Tuesday night. The fact of the matter is that not all pet owners are good pet owners and I don’t want to deal with their dogs jumping on me in the elevator or peeing in the hallway. I later moved into a pet-friendly building and regretted it for those exact reasons. For every well-behaved animal with an attentive owner, there was an owner who just didn’t care and didn’t pay attention to their pet.

          • I do know some people are extremely allergic to dogs and cats, to the point where having one even down the hall would cause them to itch and sneeze 24/7. So, I guess from a health perspective, I can understand pet-free housing for that reason.

          • We had a neighbor that would let her dog pee at the top of the third story staircase, and it would drip down on our heads while we were walking up the stairs. Another neighbor let her dog poop on the stairs, and most would let their pets poop on the sidewalk without picking it up.

            I really don’t mind animals living in my viscinity, in fact I really like dogs, but it would really p*ss me off to have pee dripping on my head. Literally. lol

        • momentsofabsurdity :

          I think the response to this is “You’re totally right. I’m just gonna have Fido pee outside your apartment door instead. That way, the guests DEFINITELY won’t see anything.”

        • Right here is why I won’t live with pet owners!

          The reason they don’t want the dog to pee is because dog pee attracts OTHER DOGS. I once had a woman walk her dog past a grassy patch to my front door and let her dog poop there. When I came out, she lectured me because “she was going to clean it up”. Yeah, but it leaves brown marks and attracts other dogs. Why can’t dog owners just be considerate and respectful instead of entitled and dirty?

          I’m sorry but I don’t mind dogs but I absolutely hate pet owners.

          • You do realize those people are entitled and a-holes, right? That’s the characteristic that makes them obnoxious, not owning pets. I put them in the same category with entitled/obnoxious parents.

          • I live in a very-dog friendly apt complex (has dog parks on site). If they didn’t want to have dogs peeing outside their window, they shouldn’t have picked this apt building (or at least not a first floor, street/sidewalk-facing apt in the building).

          • momentsofabsurdity :

            Please advise as to where you think a dog owner living in an apartment (so without a yard of their own) should have their dog eliminate if not an outdoor grassy area.

          • momentsofabsurdity :

            To clarify – if the grassy patch was in your front yard/your property that’s one thing. If it was not your property, it’s another. And if you really really hate having animals eliminate outside your house ever, period the end, I suggest investing in a fence.

          • Sorry to be clear – she walked past a public grassy patch and let her dog poop in front of my door. The grassy patch was on the street, my door was not. Also, I have a fence. We had just put groceries in and the gate was open. I would like to live in a world where it’s NOT OKAY if someone wants to bring their pet *into my gated driveway* to poop despite a public grassy space *5 feet away*.

          • It’s hard to control where your dog poops.

          • “It’s hard to control where your dog poops.”

            No it’s not. My guess is that if it wanted to poop in the middle of traffic, you’d find a way to stop it.

            Dog owners = entitled

        • I doubt they’ll notice because I’ll be relieving myself too. We like to be one with nature in my family.

      • good to see you are not judgmental about it…

        • What’s not to be judgmental about? You have to decide where you want to live and that inherently involves judgment. Would it be judgmental for me to not want to live above a rowdy college bar if I wanted to avoid late night noise? Probably not by most people’s standards. I have lived in enough buildings to know which ones are going to be difficult. Ones that forbid pets tend to forbid lots of other things. It’s basic deduction.

          • It is clear that you value animals and humans who value them. What I took from your posts:

            1. It is not a good idea to abandon your pet because it’s inconvenient.
            2. People who live in pet-free zones have characteristics you disapprove of.

            It’s great that you value the animals in your life, but some people are ok with pet-free buildings because they don’t own a pet and don’t intend to do so. I think there are a higher percentage of pet owners who seek apartments that allow pets compared to the percentage of non-pet owners who deliberately seek pet-free apartments.

            Are pet owners the only acceptable humans?

          • but I have a very negative reaction to any building full of people who would want to ban animals from their lives without exception.

            this was really judgmental! I love animals but work too much to have one. Because I love animals I don’t have one. There are way more housing options available that are pet free. it doesn’t mean I want to ban them from my life! I volunteer at a shelter.

          • You misunderstood my post then.

            Pet free buildings do not become pet free on their own. A board usually has to vote for something like that. Typically, at least in NYC, a board that bans pets also tends to make other restrictions. I understand why someone would want to live in a pet free building or would not care if their building was pet free. But people who simply don’t intend to have pets and thus do not have a problem with being in a pet free building typically don’t go out of their way to vote for their building to become so, someone has to take the initiative and those someones would not make good neighbors for me (they might make fine neighbors for you, I am only speaking of my own preferences here). My point is that I prefer to live in more permissive environments. I would also never choose to live in a smoke free building even though no one smokes in my house. To me, what I choose to do at home is my business and a board that seeks to restrict that too much is a sign of trouble as far as I am concerned. Honestly, I don’t know how much more tentative I could have made my post between the “maybe it’s just my experience” and “I am sure it is not always true” … No where in my post did I imply that pet owners are the only acceptable humans. I am not sure if you’ve ever dealt with a coop board that threatened to call the police on you because you burned some sage in your apt., but if you did, you would probably understand why I feel so strongly about this. And I totally agree that more people seek out dog friendly buildings than vice versa – my comment is not directed at all residents, but at the likely state of their management.

          • oh you are talking about a really small segment of buildings. In DC almost all buildings are pet free. And the people making the decision are the management not the people that live there. Its extra effort to find a pet friendly building, and since I dont have one I dont seek them out. it has nothing to do with the people that live there.

        • @kiley: I am talking about buildings in NYC. It’s not a small percentage here since we have millions of people who most live in buildings. Based on my experience, I would not move into a pet free building. I think that it’s applicable to any area where most people don’t live in private houses. But as I said before, I am only speaking if myself and my experience where I live.

    • That is so sad. I’ve only had my little girl (2 year old cat from the local shelter) for about a year, but I’ll be d*mned before I’d move anywhere where I wouldn’t be able to bring her with me.

    • springtime :

      You know, this is why I don’t like a lot of “animal loving pet people”. They like animals when they are convenient. I know there are many others who don’t do this (such as the people who responded before me), but unfortunately there are many who do.

      I took care of a relative’s cat for 7 weeks while they were away for a work trip. The relative was never around and didn’t care about the cat at all. He is the friendliest cat in the world and loves to be around people all.the.time. (he was glued to me by the end). I actually cried a few times before I had to give him back to the terrible owner.

    • As a person who just missed two days of work to stay home giving a sick dog water and food via syringe, I cannot even fathom this. Poor doggie.

    • karenpadi :

      So sad. I don’t care what anyone says, animals do die of broken hearts. My first cat was an elderly guy whose owner had died. I adopted him from the owner’s kids. Well, he died 3 weeks later. He just couldn’t take a new house and a new owner.

      Please consider adopting an adult pet. Please. I adopted both my currently living cats as adults because one owner got engaged to a guy who didn’t like cats and the other owner moved to a place without pets. Both cats were so traumatized. The first took 2 years to be comfortable (she was moved around a lot) and the second took a year. Yes, they fight and some days I can’t stand them. But they are the best cats ever.

    • SoCalAtty :

      Circumstances sometimes don’t allow people to keep pets indefinitely – but if you take on the responsibility of owning a pet, then you better take the time to thoughtfully re-home the pet and not just give it away or leave it at a shelter!

      The first horse I bought was older, 13 when I got him. I knew I would only be able to show with him for 3-5 years depending on how he held up, and when he was done I planed to retire him. He is now happily living in a field near Santa Barbara with 3 other horses playing and just being a horse. People do this with horses, too – they have an older horse that can’t do whatever it is they want to do anymore, so they sell them for dirt cheap or give them away and they end up in awful conditions.

      On the flipside, the majority of dog owners in my area are really bad about picking up after their pets, and let them run around the neighborhood. I’ve found dog poop in my backyard and almost lost my mind. I don’t have a pet because I like to walk around in my grassy back yard barefoot. If you want to let your dog run free on walks, fine, but don’t let it run down my 30′ long driveway and into my back yard and poop!

      In CA, many apartments don’t allow pets because they cost a lot more for the building owner to clean up after when a tenant moves out. Same with smoking. Mostly a cost issue rather than a “we don’t like animals here” issue.

      • My first pony is still with us at 37 yrs old! My mom also has a 19 yr old and mine is 10. They (and the cats and dogs and lizard) will be with us for life!

    • High class first world problems. People leave the KIDS behind for Christ’s sake! People give their kids away so they get fed.

  13. Gail the Goldfish :

    Final Reminder-NYC Meetup tonight! 7:30 for food at Mamouns (MacDougal St.), 8ish for drinks at Vyne (West 3rd), see this morning’s post for more details

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Gah I won’t be able to make it. This is the week from hell. Leaving at 8:30 last night quickly became 11 and today is just as crazy so far. Have fun everyone!

      • So sorry you’ll miss it! Next time…

        • Sydney Bristow :

          You’d better come back to visit soon!

          • I was thinking about that! The last couple of times (like this one) have been for work. I used to come pretty often and I miss it. My friend who is joining me tomorrow comes pretty often – I should definitely plan to meet her here!

    • We just discovered that Vyne has changed names to Madelyn! Same location (82 W 3rd). We’re here!

  14. Greensleeves :

    Please help! I’m feeling overwhelmed by my to do list right now. This represents two problems – one is that I just can’t find a task management method or app that I like for more than a couple months, and two is that I am having a hard time focusing and staying on task lately. I love my work, I just cannot.stay.focused. It’s very annoying because I wasn’t like this until the last couple of years. So, can anyone recommend books or other resources you’ve found helpful for getting better organized and staying on top of your task list? I have tried the technique and found it slightly helpful, but I never stick with it for long. And can you recommend any apps you’ve used for task management that work well? On this front I’ve tried everything from a legal pad to the Outlook task feature to various iPad apps, including a Pomodoro app, Taskify, and Informant Pro, which is a fantastic calendar but isn’t clicking for me on the task side. Thanks!

    • Two very different approaches:

      1 – Getting Things Done, by David Allen — a whole “GTD” subculture has developed around this book. Google it and you’ll find lots and lots (and lots) of stuff.

      2 – Mark Forster’s Final Version — seems to work for folks who can’t work in a GTD framework.

      For task management, I like ToodleDo.

      • Anonymous :

        Thanks! Final Version sounds really interesting to me.

        • Greensleeves :

          And that Anonymous was clearly me. Not sure why the name box is no longer maintaining my name like it used to.

      • I like the flexibility of GTD. Am very, very happy with, which synchs with my phone.

    • I suggest reading “Organised for Success” by Stephanie Winston and Bob Pozen’s “Extreme Productivity” . I found “Organised for Success” particularly helpful because it analysed why certain methods suit certain work styles / personality traits, and what kind of task management tool you might want to use depending on your circumstances.

      Currently, I maintain a master to-do list with columns for file / task / due date / actual date done / time spent / column to indicate whether a task is on hold or delegated, with a couple of pages of blank entries so I can write down new tasks as they come in. I enter time and clean up the list every 1-2 weeks. EVERYTHING has to be recorded there.

      Every day, I pick out 5 – 10 things and number them (in pencil) in order of urgency, start from 1 and try to work through to ten. When I can’t concentrate or have many tiny things to deal with, I use the Pomodoro method so I don’t end up taking a break after every small task. And when small tasks that can be taken care of in 5-10 mins or less, I try to do them right away so that things don’t pile up.

      Verdict: so far, so good. I’m stuck with this method for over 2 months now and my initial list of 100+ items now hovers around 60+ (including reminders I have to send out in 2 months’ time, hearings in a month’s time, etc). The key for me is consistency in recording new tasks, and getting through as much of my 1-10 tasks as I can, every day. I think this method has worked so well because everything is recorded in the list instead of in my brain, I don’t miss things because I have to review the list every day, and I don’t spend extra energy wondering if there’s an undone task somewhere waiting to blow up.

  15. Since we’re talking about gifts, any idea for work? We do an annual white elephant exchange. As you can guess, it’s mostly guys here but anything in the $15-$25 range. I was thinking the Avengers or Batman blu-ray but I don’t know. Ideas?

    • I picked up ninja cookie cutters (Fred and Friends – they have them on Amazon) for our exchange. Our price range is lower than yours, so you could include a cookie cookbook or a fancy cookie mix.

    • Kontraktor :

      Nice box/assortment of chocolates or artisan candy? Desk calendar? Random best-selling NYT book or book specific to your industry? Starbucks or Target gift card? One year for our gift exchange, somebody brought a cheap crock pot- it was the most coveted/traded item (and not even amongst the women). So, small cheap appliances are sometimes fun/different. I think one year I brought in a large neutral mug, a canister of higher end hot chocolate, and a bag of chocolate chip cookies- wrapped that up as a litle gift package.

    • Something from ThinkGeek.

      • Thinkgeek is too cool for my coworkers. Especially this

    • Shouldn’t you be giving them a representation of yourself? Go to Amazon, search “Godzilla”, and then toy department, and then price up to $25. Scads of choices. They won’t know it’s you, but you’ll know it’s you.

      Or check Lots of stuff there, too.

      • My coworkers die laughing every time they see the marshmallow man and godzilla duking it out on my desktop wallpaper =).

    • I vote for a couple of these glasses.

    • Something truly elephant-y, like a Justin Bieber wall calendar.

      • Oh, shoot. Amazon had a fleece throw printed with a huge photo of Justin Bieber and a heart and xoxo’s on it, and it would have been perfect, but it’s sold out.

        I am crushed for you.

        • But here’s the calendar for $14.99 and then you can buy $10 worth of McDonald’s bucks to take the sting out of it


      • Or a Justin Bieber fondue set?

    • a Free John Bates t-shirt.

  16. caramelskimlatte :

    After this morning’s thread about budgets and limiting Starbucks, I’m curious — how much do you ladies spend in a typical month at Starbucks? No judgment here, just genuine curiosity. I’ll start. I put $25 on a card and try to stick to that, but sometimes I end up getting a lot of breakfast sandwiches on the go and the $25 doesn’t go very far. I definitely keep it under $40, but I’ll add that I work in like the one area in my city without a Starbucks within walking distance. When I worked with one in my building, I spent way, way more.

    Your turn!

    • I probably spend $15-20. I only get the fancy sugar-bomb drinks (hello, caramel dulce latte) but I will go weeks without one and then get 3 in two weeks. I never get anything else there (food etc) unless I am traveling and it is the only option.

    • I don’t go to starbucks, but I’d say I spend $10-15 on average on coffee (@ $2 to $2.50/coffee). Some months a bit more, some a bit less. I tend to drink tea throughout the day but I bring that in from home (I have a huge candy dish with tea bags) and just use the hot water setting on the water cooler. For me going to get coffee is mostly a social break and occasional “pep” up requirement.

    • Of my own money? Probably less than $10. I drink most of my coffee either at home or in the office (thanks to the office’s coffee service). I may stop in once or twice a month on a weekend to get a mocha frap or something otherwise fancy/overpriced.
      Of my employer’s money? $20-ish. I travel for work and if I’m on the road/away from the office come breakfast then I’ll pick up something and expense it.

    • Depends on how many days I go to the gym because I always stop at Starbucks after going to the gym in the morning. So if I average 3 mornings a week at the gym x $3.10 per coffee plus one on the weekend, I guess I’m spending about $50/month, maybe a bit more. Doesn’t bother me at all—maybe because I don’t go out to lunch?

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      Wow some of these comments make me ashamed of my Starbucks habit. I feel like I always spend at least $4 when I go to Starbucks, often more like $10 (since I’ll go at lunch and the food will suck me in!). I guess altogether probably 40-50/mo, probably more on just “coffee in general” since I don’t make my own coffee at home.

    • It’s only a rare treat for me – there aren’t really any on my work radar (I don’t walk anywhere close to one or anything), but there are ones in two of the stores that I frequent (my go-to grocery store and the local Target). I can ignore them, but if I’m out with my husband, it’s easy to fall into the trap, but it’s still probably about once a month, including when we may occasionally stop at a stand alone shop when we’re out doing other things. But it’s a social thing for me; other than getting it a few times when I was in law school and felt that I really needed a treat on my own to power through studying or whatever, I would usually not get it unless I’m with someone else.

    • manomanon :

      I live 2 hours from the closest Starbucks (which I point out only because I find it TRAGIC) so on an average month I spend no money there specifically.. but I can blow months of that in a weekend (like this past one) where I stopped at every.single.starbucks. primarily because I could, and proceeded to spend probably 35 dollars in 5 days
      With the local coffee shops, which admittedly I don’t like the quality of, it was probably 20 a month until I moved to a route where there isn’t one on my way to work, now it’s maybe once a month.

      • manomanon, where on earth do you live?

        • Manomanon :

          An island in New England (I’ll let you figure out which one.. There’s only 2)…. 2 hour translates to 30 miles by ferry to Cape Cod, which unfortunately is way too much effort for a cup of Starbucks… Most of the time

          • There’s three, right? One in Rhode Island?

          • manomanon :

            I don’t keep track of Rhode Island(yes I’m a snob) but technically yes- Block Island is in RI and New England… I am on a Massachusetts island though!

          • LadyEnginerd :

            There are a couple more inhabited islands in MA than just MV and ACK. I was thinking of the Elizabeth Islands (Penikese, Naushon come to mind), but a quick search tells me there’s quite a few

            Side note: I vastly prefer the Coffee O near the Woods Hole ferry terminal over Starbucks. :)

          • LadyEnginerd :

            ps. This tidbit seemed relevant. Apparently Nantucket residents should feel more loyalty towards Folgers than Starbucks.

          • There’s a bunch of islands in other New England states too…that was silly.

          • manomanon :

            Ok… Having grown up in New England (in a state that apparently had an island associated with it) the only 2 I had ever known about were MV and ACK… Block Island occasionally came up on the radar as the place with a ferry from southern CT.
            Folgers (coffee and family) are overrated… though Amy Poheler is one of them. There is a decent coffee shop/bakery near one of the Hyannis terminals but their food is better than their drinks.
            Thank you to those who pointed out there are more than 2 or 3 islands… I learned something new about my region! I still miss Starbucks though!

    • Maybe $10-15. I make my own coffee, add in a fancy creamer, pour in travel mug and take off. It’s a treat for me and I usually get a full-fat White Chocolate Mocha so I am also really aware of all the liquid calories that’s in one.

    • TO Lawyer :

      Probably $50 a month? Sometimes less? I try to be discplined and bring my own coffee or if I can’t, only getting a brewed coffee instead of a latte, and then using my rewards to get a latte as a treat.

    • I make coffee at home or drink office coffee, but probably spend $10-$15 getting coffee when I’m out and about. In law school it was probably $40 a month, between buying coffee at school or on the commute. I never really cared for starbucks though, I usually just got drip coffee, and festive drink maybe twice a year.

      Just dont ask me what I spend on alcohol. I must spend a minimum $100 a month on bottles of wine or drinks at restaurants. Actually, hmm $10 a pop drinks…yeah I’m just not calculating that.

    • I very rarely buy coffee out. I bring a travel mug everyday that my husband makes for me in the morning. Every once in a while, I will forget it and then go across the street to the local guy and get a coffee for $2 (starbucks is farther, otherwise I might go there.) Sometimes I really crave their chai and will stop for one and I usually have one pumpkin spice latte a season.

    • There is not a Starbucks downtown in this city, so not as much as I would like! Though I tend to get the sugary drinks (hello, peppermint mocha season!), so I imagine my waistline thanks me.

      • What?? Two people now have said they’re too far from a Starbucks.

        I honestly didn’t know such a thing existed. There are at least 4 within a block of my work. Literally, a block.

        Though I am not a Starbucks person myself. I’m a Peet’s loyalist – Berkeley shoutout – and I’m too lazy to go to the two Peet’s shops 4 blocks-ish from me in either direction.

        Having no coffee shop habit is the one area where I manage to spend less than most people, I guess.

        • Mary Ann Singleton :

          Yeah Peets! I love the original one on Vine and Walnut.

        • PEETS!!!

        • I’ve never seen Peets featured on Parenthood. I find it hard to believe this magical place exists. :P

          • That’s because Parenthood is filmed in LA.

            My husband and I watch that show obsessively for signs of Berkeley. So far, only a couple in the first episode.

          • they have done a couple of exterior shots in SF, too, one on Haight. Parenthood is totes frontin’ …. i lurv them anyway….

          • GAH – you mean it’s not all real Next you’ll tell me Downton Abbey isn’t real!

          • Here you go:


            And by the way, Starbucks arose out of Peet’s. The guys that started it wanted to do in Seattle what Alfred Peet had done in Berkeley. They were good friends with Peet, and I believe a couple of them even worked for him originally.

            But once Starbucks started expanding from Seattle and moved into the Bay Area, they did some predatory stuff targeting Peet’s, like opening a new Starbucks branch as close to an existingand successful Peets, obviously to siphon off market share. I guess that’s good business strategy, but it created a very anti-Starbucks sentiment in Berkeley, and there are very few Starbucks franchises in the city to this day.

          • (And if Parenthood wanted to be authentic, they would need to cover stuff like that! Also, the people are too attractive.

            Also, they’re p1ssing me off with the Julia character, who gets to just quit her big job and stay home, even though she was the breadwinner, and money apparently is not an object in the least. She’ll probably find some magical family friendly job at a non-profit, yet make no real adjustment in style of living. Bite me, Parenthood.)

          • My mom worked at Peets when Alfred was still around, and my parents met there. So, Peets coffee is LITERALLY In my blood. And my dad still dutifully orders Major Dickason’s every two weeks to his house in Virginia.

          • Thank you for the info – very interesting. Zora educated me on roasting my own beans, but I think I’d lose the energy to keep up with it.

            Julia’s character – yes, WTF, Julia. And also, Sarah. I just.can’t.even Sarah. And why wouldn’t the Parenthood people work with the Peets people to get some product placement arrangement at least to sort of make them more legit? The show is just one entire product placement for Apple.

            Can we talk about how great Angela Lansbury looks?

          • For those of you who find yourself stranded in Peets-less lands far away (like New England), I’d like to put in a good word for their incredibly efficient delivery. My UPS guy used to always have a good word for the smell too :-). And it wasn’t any more expensive than the local almost-decent coffee from the Italians.

        • We have them in my state, though for some reason they have not infiltrated here to the extent that they have in most other cities. We think that the local coffee chain has gotten a monopoly on the downtown area.

          • manomanon :

            See above.. they have them everywhere in MA … unless you live on an island that recently convinced a major chain not to come there because you’re so anti-corporations. (You Berkeley-ites would love it)

    • I probably buy a cappuccino once a week (at $2.75 each, I think), and a breakfast sandwich once or twice a month.

      I try not to drink very much caffeine, but I do love cappuccinos…..

    • SoCalAtty :

      0! I just don’t like Starbucks, and there isn’t a Coffee Bean close to me so it isn’t a temptation. I probably spend, on average, $20 a month on my tea habit but I make that at the office, so that is all in various tea varieties.

    • I almost never go to Starbucks anymore. When I worked where there was one next door, though? I’d walk over with a friend and get a coffee and a pastry almost every morning. That wasn’t good.

      Now I drink tea.

  17. Paging Godzilla: Can I please procure your Fire-Breathing Services?! I need some serious RAWR Support Forces to dispatch on… pretty much all of my co-workers and colleagues.

  18. If anyone on here has problematic feet and a narrow to medium width, I have to alert you to Naots at super prices on 6pm today. They run a bit narrow but if that’s you, you’re in luck. ($45ish down from $160ish)

  19. Praxidike :

    Hmm, this may be too late, but I’ll ask anyway.

    A new attorney is starting at my company tomorrow. I am supervising him, and I was thinking of giving him a “Welcome to [our company]” little gift. Is that appropriate? If so, what is appropriate? I was thinking a card and maybe a small plant?

    • No. Stop. Don’t do that. Welcome him to the company by saying, “welcome to the company! If you have any questions, please ask.”

      • Exactly.

        If you really want to do something for him, you could take him to a first-day lunch; that would be ok. But no gifts.

    • No gifts. Just take him out to lunch.

    • karenpadi :

      Some places give newbies a piece of swag. Longtime employees all have jackets, t-shirts, mugs, etc and it can be alienating for a newbie to not have anything with the company’s logo on it. I’d raid the company closet for a mug (or similar) with the company’s logo on it.

      • karenpadi :

        Of course, if you have an HR dept, they should be doing this for him.

    • I agree. Take him to lunch, or bring pastries or something in the morning for everyone as a welcome to the office new guy treat.

    • no the gift is his paycheck.

  20. anonymous good wife :

    My husband is running for judge. Has anyone else been through this? I’m a public lawyerette.

  21. Is there a polite way to ask your neighbors to stop spraying perfume/air freshener/etc? I am turning into a stuffy wheezing mess. Doesn’t help that she is super sensitive to everything someone says or does.

    • “Hey neighbor, I’ve been having bad reactions to scents lately. Please stop spraying scents. Thanks.”

      Don’t worry about her reaction — that’s under her control, not yours. Be direct but polite.

      And if that doesn’t work, sneeze on her!

      (OK, not really.)

  22. You guise! I have 3 job applications out, I’m qualified for all 3, and any one of them would be my dream job. I am dying to hear back, especially since the partners I work for seem to have gone a little off the rails now that I’ve been here a year. What is it with firms and/or partners that make them go crazy after a year?

    All three of the jobs get me OUT of a law firm and into government or in-house. I wish they would hurry the heck up! Grr!

    • Very exciting! I know it’s tough to wait, but in-house and gov’t tend to be fairly notorious for being slow. It is also my personal experience that these groups move at the pace of molasses. Hang in there and don’t get discouraged. Fingers crossed for you!

work fashion blog press mentions