Coffee Break: Belgravia Lace-Up Leather Flats

Aquazzura Belgravia Lace-Up Leather FlatsChic flats (particularly ones with straps) can be difficult to find, which is why I love the look of these lace-up leather flats from Aquazzura (available in both black suede and beige leather). I particularly like the zipper in the back! I’m not sure I’d wear these with a skirt to the office, but I think they’d look lovely with trousers; even ankle-length pants. They’re $650 at Saks. Aquazzura Belgravia Lace-Up Leather Flats



  1. Trying to plan a long weekend trip to Chicago — when is the best time to visit. Thanks in advance!

    • you can’t reliably expect the weather to be good til June, unfortunately. And August can be pretty beastly hot. I’d go in June or early July.

    • BillyGoat :

      Check the festival schedule and see if anything interests you!

    • Bad weather can strike anytime, but May-September is the best time (skip the holiday weekends if possible, IMO). If you’re coming for museums and restaurants, it doesn’t matter much, but for festivals and baseball, it matters more. What are you coming to town for?

      • Just a girls weekend. Never been and want to see the city. Thanks for the info!

  2. sorta last minute (sorry!) East Bay meetup this weekend!

    Join kpadi and me for beers and sausages at Telegraph Beer Garden, 2318 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA
    We’ll be there at 2pm
    It’s just a few blocks up from the 19th St BART stop.
    They have a huge patio and it’s going to be sunny so we’re going to be sitting outside soaking it up! Hope to see you there. If you want to have my phone number for meeting up and finding us, email me at zoradances at the gmail. ;o)

  3. Anonymess :

    Anyone else overwhelmed by messy homes? I live alone and work long hours, and by the end of the week my tiny apartment is just a disaster. Clothes everywhere, dirty dishes, trash (newspaper, etc) everywhere. I hate it and it stresses me out, but I am also so unmotivated to clean when I come home after a 14 hour day.

    Part of the problem is my apartment – I have literally no closets and it’s the kind of gross old place that just never feels clean. But there has to be a better way! Sadly can’t afford a cleaning service.

    • I think you just have to put things away when you’re done with them – dishes in the dishwasher when you’re done eating, hang your clothes up instead of leaving them on the floor, etc. Sadly, there is no trick to having a clean apartment. I wish there was!

      • Wildkitten :


        • I have the exact same problem. I was just whining in my head about this last night ;0)

          Yes to containers. And getting a wardrobe/storage. You need to create homes for everything, that you can access easily, so that you can quickly put things away in their home.

          You can do this cheaply by hitting up thrift stores for boxes/baskets, etc. And then upgrade them to nicer things later when you have more money.

          the other thing might be what we discussed yesterday with someone struggling to do home stuff. Setting a timer for 20 minutes to clean each night. you don’t have to do everything, but you have to clean for 20 minutes. That can help keep things manageable by doing a little at a time.

          Also check out Unf#ck your habitat: (replace that # with a u obviously) she has a whole 20/10 system that a lot of people like.

          Good luck!

          • oh yeah, you said you’re tired after a 14 hour day. Well, make it 10 minutes of cleaning then! And then the alarm will go off and you are done. I am really loving the immediate reward/sensory gratification I get from alarms these days. ;o)

            Also, what people said below about creating homes for things. Have a home for your newspapers, a basket right by your door for junk mail. Put containers in easily accessible places so that you can put something away right where you are standing, not have to walk into another room.

            And definitely try UFYH for the weekend cleaning. It is a great time management reward system that lets you clean without feeling like: Ugh, I have to spend my WHOLE DAY cleaning, no fair!

    • Wildkitten :

      1. Don’t bring things in to your home that will become trash. If you leave newspapers everywhere, don’t bring newspapers in to your apartment.
      2. Seriously look into hiring a cleaning service. I was surprised how affordable they are.
      3. Get a wardrobe at Ikea if you don’t have closets!

      • I got molly maids in the other week and was blown away by how good the place looked afterwards. Best money I’ve spent in a while…

    • taz devil :

      Would occasional maid service be within your budget?

    • Yeah I think you’re just gonna have to get in the habit of putting things away. But to make things easier, I’d suggest:

      If you really don’t feel like cleaning your dishes after dinner, at the very least rinse them and stack them in or next to the sink. That way they aren’t really that dirty, they can be loaded into the dishwasher quickly (or if you handwash them you won’t have to deal with dried food, yuck). They also look more presentable if someone happens to come by your place.

      Get some of those fabric bins (you can get them at target, ikea, for like $5) in a pretty color/fabric, and maybe designate them as your “throw everything in here til I can deal with it” space. That way your clothes won’t be everywhere but when it fills up you’ll know it’s time to put stuff away- you could probably get away with not emptying them til the weekend.

      Get a magazine/newspaper rack and use it. Whenever your trash/recycling night is, make sure you take out all the old newspapers.

      It sounds like cleaning on weeknights is really not an option for you, and I think that’s okay… you just need to make that manageable so you can still enjoy your apartment during the week, and once the weekend comes you have a predictable routine to deal with.

    • I try to keep things picked up so it doesn’t get overwhelming. I throw away junk mail when I walk in the door, I have a basket for clothes that get re-worn around the house. I change clothes and hang up my work clothes when I walk in the door. I put newspapers in a paper bag for recycling. I just don’t let stuff sit around. And I have storage that serves other purposes and can close so I don’t have to look at things stored or dust them. So, even though my house isn’t always perfectly clean (and yeah, that gets overwhelming in an old house), at least it looks organized!

      • Yup. I walk straight in from checking the mail to the recycle bin–no exceptions or excuses. Do not set down any mail that doesn’t need a response or isn’t critical. With catalogues (with one exception: Anthro), I have just decided I’m not going to look at them unless I look right then.

        I’m still working on hanging up my clothes right away, but I’ve gotten better.

        With just a few things like that, you never really have to take time to clean. It’s two minutes here and there rather than hours later.

    • TO Lawyer :

      I think you just have to be disciplined about it and do things as you go (I know it’s easier said than done) but I also get overwhelmed when things get too messy so this is what I do:

      1) Pay for a cleaning service once a month (I think that it’s really affordable if you prioritize it i.e. I will give up drinks with my girlfriends/lunches/clothes because coming home to a clean house is the best feeling ever)

      2) Hang up my clothes/fold them and put them away as soon as I take them off. If you have no closets, how are you storing your clothes? Can you make it a point to put them away right away?

      3) Limit the amount of clutter I bring into my home – esp magazines and stuff. Open and deal with your mail right away and throw out the garbage.

      4) Soak my dishes right away even if I’m too lazy to do anything else. I try to put them in the dishwasher immediately. If the dishwasher is full, you can basically unload it in the time you are heating up leftovers.

      5) If none of the above works, I invite my friends over for a glass of wine. Nothing motivates me more than a tight deadline and knowing that other people are going to be in my home to finally put things away.

      • Yes, another good point: I’ve decided keeping the dishwasher empty is the number one trick to having a clean kitchen. I prioritize that over almost everything else. It’s just as easy to put your dishes in the dishwasher if it’s empty as in the sink.

      • some of us don’thave dishwashers :( Sadface!!

        I hate doing dishes. I throw them into the sink to soak after dinner. In the morning while I am waiting for my coffee to brew I take 5-10 minutes to do a couple of dishes. and put some dry ones away. I also keep a very small number of dishes: only have 5 plates, 4 bowls, 3 small bowls, etc, so that the pile can never get THAT big. And I just make sure that any dirty dishes immediately go into the kitchen so at least they are all piled there and I dont have to see them elsewhere in my house.

        If youhave time to read, you might want to check out that book people have talked about on here called “Habit” which is just about how, cognitively, we establish and break habits. If you are that kind of thinker it might help you figure out how to get yourself into new habits. ;o)

        • Wildkitten :

          I don’t have a dishwasher and I also make sure to keep a stash of paper plates for when I know I am not-going-to-do-dishes-anytime-soon.

    • East Coast Anon :

      Purge. The less stuff you have, the less you have to put away.

    • The one thing I’ve started doing that has made a huge difference is on the weekend (one morning) I get up and I decide on an album to put on. And I clean my way through it. If there’s something I want to listen to that’s new out, I wait until my cleaning morning and buy it and bop along through my apartment. A cleaning dance party is much more fun than just cleaning. Then once I’m done, I make myself a nice breakfast (or lunch usually). It’s cheaper then a maid service.

      • Miz Swizz :

        I’ll queue up a show on Netflix and fold laundry or go through junk mail. A lot of times I’m re-watching 30 Rock or Parks and Rec after a long day so I don’t have to pay super close attention to the show. I’ll make myself be productive for exactly one episode and then get up and put away whatever I’ve been working on. If I feel like it, I’ll do it for another episode. Sometimes I feel like it, sometimes I don’t, but it’s nice to chill out and still feel a little productive.

    • Anonymous :

      I just straighten up every night. I don’t consider that cleaning. I live in an efficiency. I throw away junk mail immediately, hang up my coat/purse (get some hooks for the wall or a wardrobe). When you change into comfy clothes immediately put your work clothes in the hamper or in the dresser/wardrobe. Spend 15 mins after dinner to do your dishes (not doing so is going to invite bugs….especially if you live in an older building) and wipe down any dirty surfaces. All “real” cleaning can wait until the weekend and that takes me an hour or two at most. Coming home to a mess would just stress me out!

    • first of all, hilarious handle name for this topic.

      Second, I rent and have the same problem. Sorry environment… paper plates. The sponge on the hollow wand full of soap. Then I hung hooks, everywhere. I have a hall closet and that is it. So I have screwed double hooks in my bedroom, bathroom, hallway walls and when I come home and change, I hang my suits and clothes that aren’t dirty on the hooks. Also, I bought like a hanger pole that goes over the door to hang up additional stuff in my bedroom.

      Makes such a difference not to have piles. Then each Sunday I HAVE to clean my bathroom, do laundry (mostly just re-hanging up stuff), lay out clothes for the week, lay out lunches for the week and grocery shop.

    • honestly, when you work that much, find room in your budget for a housecleaner. cut out anything else & make that a high priority – like right after rent/food.

    • I know how you feel, because my place is small and easily overwhelmed with toys. My normal rule is to spend five minutes a night straightening up, but the last two nights the baby would not go to sleep, so…messiness abounds right now.

      Storage is a must. I don’t buy furniture that can’t serve some sort of storage purpose. Couches and beds can hide containers underneath, storage ottomans look nice and provide an extra seat in a pinch, etc.

    • Get big baskets and boxes and don’t hold yourself to the standards of others. If you can’t quite put it way, toss the items in the appropriate box or basket. And get some stand up bars for clothing and lots of hooks for the walls. And underbed boxes and those seats that you get at target that are storage areas.

  4. I think these shoes would interfere with ankle pants. The pants would have to be really cropped. The wardrobe items that would look good with these expensive shoes are very limited.

  5. Not feeling these shoes.

    • They look like a weird hybrid Frankenstein monster of several non-related types of shoe to me.

      • The prep is me is absolutely horrified by these shoes. I don’t know where I’d ever wear them, at all!

        • I kind of love them. I have a less dramatic pair and wear them to death – though not to work.

          • Equity's Darling :

            I’m with you AIMS, I also love these for non-work wear, I’ll need to find a cheaper alternative…

    • Same. I’m not convinced they would look good on anyone, but I think at the very least you would need to be 5’9″ to pull them off.

  6. Oh yeah, today was the day TBK was going to be induced!!
    Everyone send lots of ‘good birthiness’ thoughts to TBK and the little boys!! I hope we hear something soon, eeeekkk!!!!

    • just Karen :

      Good memory Zora! So exciting!

    • I’m new the comments, and can I just say, I love that people remember details like this! Yay for TBK and new baby boys!

  7. J Crew Suiting Q :

    For J Crew suiting, do you prefer the 120s or stretch wool? Does either work better / worse with the #2 pencil in wool (for an unmatched separates look)? Also, maybe a dumb question, do the 120s dresses only go with the 120s pieces or are the dresses more forgiving if work with any of their suiting blazers (and are some of their blazers better for dresses)?


    • I like the stretch wool for skirts–it’s really comfy and I have them in several colors/iterations for skirs. However, there’s something about the stretch wool that makes it hang a bit oddly for the blazers, so if you are getting blazers, I’d go with 120s. Hope that helps.

      In terms of blazers, check the measurements online and look carefully at weather they hit at hip, below hip, etc. Some of their two-button blazers are shorter than their three button, etc, so I would order a bunch (shipping is generally free over a certain dollar amount) and then return what doesn’t work for you. Thanks!

    • I love the 120s wool skirts and dresses, but the pants and jackets needed extensive alterations to make them fit. I think the 120s pencil skirt looks lovely with anything I’ve matched it with – it is extremely versatile. The 120s dress es are similarly very versatile, though if probably wouldn’t try to pair the black dress with a non-120s black blazer if I wanted a coordinating-suit look. But otherwise I think the dresses could be paired with any other pieces.

  8. I cannot imagine the circumstances in which I would wear these shoes.

  9. Maddie Ross :

    Calendar question — my husband and I are both attorneys and we have a year old baby. We have discovered in the last few weeks as I have ramped back up to a full schedule at work that we really need to have some type of shared calendar so we know what’s going on and when we have late nights/early mornings, etc. How do you all handle this? Advice? Suggestions? We’ve gone back and forth as to whether a google calendar is a good idea, or whether we should just keep a weekly paper/wipeboard calendar. As much as I love google for mail, I find their calendars and docs annoying and confusing so that’s not my preferred option, but I could be swayed (it is my hub’s preferred option).

    • I use google calendar for everything. I share it with my SO so he knows my schedule and my boss’s assistant shares her staff calendar with me so I know who’s out of the office. It’s available from my phone or tablet, so I can always check my calendar if I’m scheduling an appointment from anywhere.

    • MiddleCoast :

      A paper calendar with lots of room for writing posted on the fridge. When your kids get to school age, the school calendar (and lunch menu calendar) go right next to it. Everyone is responsible for writing their own stuff on it and for LOOKING at it everyday. Sorry for shouting, but some people need to be reminded of that constantly,.

      • MiddleCoast :

        If you want an online option, look at – they have apps and a website option.

    • Do you both use Outlook? I just make sure and add my husband to whatever appointments I have that will affect him (out of town, business meeting after work, early morning hearings, etc) and he puts them on his Outlook calendar and vice versa. I keep all my appointments color-coded, so I can tell at a glance which ones will affect childcare/daycare pickup.

      • Do you have any confidentiality issues with this? My calendar might say Meeting with Joe Smith regarding potential Smith v. Jones litigation. My husband should only see “client meeting that will run late” not the name.

        • Woods-comma-Elle :

          You can create a separate calendar on Outlook that is just for a specific thing and share that, and then view them next to each other in Outlook.

      • My husband and I both use outlook. I just set up appts that say “mascot home late” or “mascot OOT” and invite him. If it’s non-confidential, then he sees the actual appt, say “Board Meeting, mascot home late.” For the sensitive stuff, his is just a simultaneously scheduled appt and I know that there isn’t really a double-booking.

    • A Nonny Moose :

      DH and I both have iPhones so we use iCloud. I like that on my screen I have one master calendar composed of many sub calendars (home, workout, bills, outfits in wear, what dinners we have planned). I can broadcast selectively among these to DH. He can add things to any he can read and has his own calendar on there so I know which days he’ll be home late. But I can also have my work calendar, which I don’t broadcast, so I don’t clutter up his with my meetings. I can access it on my computer and on my phone.

    • DH and I use a shared google calendar and both have calendar widgets on the home screen of our phones. Our stuff goes on one shared calendar and my stepdaughter’s stuff (appts, school projects, tests, sporting events, school closings, etc.) go on another one that is shared with us and with her (she’s old enough to have a smartphone). My husband also uses a calendar app on his phone because he doesn’t like the way the google one is displayed.

      We both like having the multiple calendars and being able to turn stuff on and off so we can view only my stepdaughter’s schedule or our schedule, etc.

    • I know of a dual attorney couple whose assistants copy each other on any appointment outside of normal biz hours. So lets say the attorney couple is Jack and Jane. If Jack has an appointment that will go to 8 pm, when Jack’s assistant calendars it for the firm, she emails Jane’s assistant and says “Jack out at 8 pm on Friday 3/21.” Jane’s assistant then puts that on Jane’s calendar so Jane knows she has to leave by 6 that day.

      Before that Jane would email Jack who would email his assistant and everyone realized over time that it was easier for the assistants to just email each other as a matter of routine.

      • Maddie Ross :

        Thanks. Maybe I’m not that high-powered, but I cannot imagine a scenario where my assistant would agree to do this.

        • WestCoast Lawyer :

          This is what my husband and I do minus the assistants. He sends me calendar invites saying “husband not home for dinner” or something similar and I accept them as a reminder on my calendar. The only minor inconvenience is that if I have a meeting on my calendar and send my husband a separate meeting request that says “Wife not home for dinner” it looks like I am double-booked, although I can see by looking at the appointments that is not the case. I would love it if there was a way in Outlook to send a meeting request without having it show up on your own calendar.

          • You can designate the color/shading on your Outlook calendar to indicate “busy”/”tentative” or “none” – which last would be the one you want. So your calendar will still look free.

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          At my firm, the assistants do all the calendaring to make sure some of the tech adverse attorneys can’t accidentally delete events or something. It is also part of our risk management to make sure more than one person knows of every obligation. I put my husband’s “home late” things on my calendar and to do that I have to email my assistant to add it. It makes sense to me that if my husband’s job was like mine where everything *had* to go through the assistants to end up on the calendar we would probably just have the assistants do it between themselves. Though I think it would be weird for my husband to email my assistant to say he’d be home late. He just emails it to me and I forward it to her and say “please add to my calendar.”

          • Blonde Lawyer :

            The other benefit of spoiled’s suggestion is if you have a job where your assistant does all your scheduling anyway he/she needs to know what days you have to be out of the office by a certain time.

      • Wildkitten :

        This sounds awesome.

    • Olivia Pope :

      DH and I use a shared google calendar. It made it so much easier because we can both see it on our phones/computers at all times. It’s also great for scheduling. If someone asks me what my plans are for Saturday, I can immediately look.

      A paper planner would not work for us, but it could very well work for you.

      • I strongly suggest doing this! Really helps to have it accessible at all times on a computer or mobile device. That way you can respond when someone asks you about availability. A physical calendar at home just won’t cut it for me.

    • When my bf and I moved in together I created a calendar to track what we planned to eat (so whoever got home first could start cooking) but it’s mostly become a place to tell each other when we’re not going to be home for dinner due to mtgs and such.

      • created a Google calendar. I love that it pops up on my iphone as a regular calendar item too!

    • We use a giant paper calendar on our kitchen wall and write everything on it, including the meal plan for the week.

    • My husband and I use an app called Avocado. It’s a little cutesy, but I like it because it’s shared, it sends alerts before events (you set how long beforehand), and it tells you if your partner’s phone died (so I’m not freaking out if he doesn’t respond to calls or whatnot!).

      • Hubs and I have a shared iCal calendar. I also have my own calendars with their own colors. It all shows up on one calendar, and we are synced through iCloud. So, anything either of us add to the Shared calendar goes on all of our devices at the same time (iPhones, iPad, desktop, laptops). Anything kid related goes, and anything else that the other would need to know about (like home late/evening obligations or stuff we are both supposed to do).

        Hubs doesn’t have anything confidential, if I do then I put the real thing on my calendar and on the shared one do an appt saying “sadie meeting till 8” or whatever. So then there are two appts overlapping on MY calendars (on my phone & laptop) but I know there is no real double booking. Hubs only sees the one I put on the shared calendar on his devices.

  10. Vicarious shopping - blazers :

    Anyone want to help me step up my work wardrobe? I wear cardigans almost every day (over a sheath dress, a blouse/pencil skirt, or blouse/pants). I want to swap out some of my cardigans for blazers. I work in NYC BigLaw, so looking for business casual but still relatively conservative – so no crazy patterns or bright colors. I’m thinking about getting a few in neutral colors — grey, tan, white, navy — either solid or a (quiet) pattern/texture — for under $150 each. I’m size 0 petite but very very curvy, so I’m looking for blazers that are petite but fit curves (I love extrapetite’s suggestions but her body type is so different from mine!). Help? TIA :)

    • (Former) Clueless Summer :

      If this is your style, I find Chanel-ish blazers a nice step up from cardigans but not quite as stodgy as a black two button. I find Ann Taylor good for these – a collarless tweed blazer in a neutral can go with a skirt and blouse or even better, a dress, and I find it looks more put together than cardigans.

    • Have you looked at the Limited? I was just browsing after this morning’s thread and they have some cute inexpensive ones and they come in petites.

    • I spent about $270 at the Limited a couple of weeks ago (two sheath dresses, a suit jacket, and a suit skirt) and it has completely revitalized my wardrobe. I feel like I look so much more professional now, and I’ve gotten a lot of compliments. Combined with a couple of other pieces (primarily a navy pinstripe jacket I got from Express about a year ago) I wear something from that group almost every day.

  11. What is the best answer you’ve gotten in an interview as to why a candidate wants to work at your company?

    Any other phone interview prep tips? I guess I haven’t ever been taught to prepare for an interview.

    • The best answer — but this may not work everywhere — was “because this is my absolute dream job!” Followed by some well-thought out reasons. I think enthusiasm for the specific position can take you a long way. Along those same lines, I also think it’s important to bring it back to why you would be a good fit for the position vs. just focusing on what you could learn there, etc. A lot of times people focus on how great a position would be for them as an experience and I just want to say, “OK, but what do you bring to the table?”

      The best advice for phone interviews that I’ve heard is to smile because it will reflect in your voice and have some notes to reference if you get nervous (e.g., even a few bullet points of what you want to high light). Good luck!

    • This is a good question. When I interviewed MASON, he answered that he needed a job and that all the big firm’s rejected him. I thought that was VERY honest even tho he did NOT say anything good about our firm. I think he got the JOB b/c he had some conection with the manageing partner, but I forget what that was. Right now I know he is happy here b/c he is busy haveing sex with Lynn every night. Since he has a steady girlfreind who is sleepeing with him, he does NOT have to go out to the bars to meet women. I think that Lynn is getting chunky tho, so mabye he will need to go out to the bar’s b/c even if she is sleepeing with him, he may not want sex if she does not take better care of herself. FOOEY on men that just want us for sex. Unfortuneately, Lynn is not educated like me, so all she realy has to offer men is good sex. DOUBEL FOOEY on men who onley look at women for sex.

  12. Ladies, I need a cyber-hug, badly.

    I have a really close second family. I lived with them for summers during college, and more recently, when the mother passed away from a horrible terminal illness. (Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis–pray that no one you know ever gets it.) Anyway, it’s been nearly two years since she passed, and I have moved cross-country. I just found out that the dad is moving in with his new girlfriend and selling the house.

    This house was like my childhood home. I lived there for many years, and had many happy memories, and it really embodies the mother who passed away–it was her domain. She was a wonderful entertainer and hostess. The house was filled with love and was a gathering place for many. This is the kind of house that could star in a sweeping multi-generational novel–it’s like the house has a personality too.

    I know it’s not rational, and these people are not my “real” family, but I have been crying all afternoon –about a house! Honestly, I feel like the mom’s legacy is being diminished (by the evil stepmother, who is truly a lovely woman!) and it’s the end of an era. Anyway, please send me a cyber hug, and if any of you “lost” your childhood home without a chance to say goodbye, what did you do? I am normally not super-emotional, but I am a mess.

    Tonight I need a valium and a nice glass of pinot, for sure. Gah. :(

    • Hugs. But step away from the valium, eek!!

      Your feelings ARE rational, but you have to recognize what you are sad and angry about – not that the dad is moving on, but that you are losing a major connection you had to the mom by him selling the house. And I’m guessing it probably stirs up some lingering sadness about her passing, too. Since the girlfriend is technically the cause of that happening, it’s natural for her to be the target of your sadness/anger about that. But try to actively recognize that this shifting is happening and instead let yourself be sad for your loss over the mom. It’s ok, even two years later. If you’re still close to the dad, it might even help to express to him how much it saddens you to have to say goodbye to the house – I’m sure he would be understanding, which might be a comfort to you.

      Your feelings are not diminished by the fact that they’re not your biological family – they are your real family in that you obviously cared deeply about them.

    • HUGS. BIG ONES. And you definitely need a glass of wine!

      When I was ten my parents separated (though not officially) and we moved to a new city away from all my family and bounced around a bunch until we ended up in the garden apartment of this beautiful old brick house with huge lilac bushes and roses that bloomed all summer. The woman who owned it became like a grandmother to me and we lived there for a bunch of my formative years. We eventually moved out, and later on she died, and her kids sold the house to a family who ripped out all the lilacs and roses, paved over the back yard and put the most hideous gilded fence around the property. I still remember going to see it and crying on the street for an hour. For years, I plotted to become rich and famous so I could buy the house from them and restore it back to what it should be (and also make them admit that they are horrible people with no taste or sense of aesthetic). But alas.

      I totally get you though. This house sounds beautiful, and I am sure it was a place of many special memories. Since you’re close to these folks, maybe you can ask them for some kind of a memento to remember it? Maybe a part of a plant you can replant nearby or something from inside the house itself that you associate with it. It won’t bring it back but it’s something. Though I do wish we could just keep some things exactly the way they were, preserved in glass as if in a museum.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Could you put a small engraved stone somewhere on the property? For example, if there is a garden with rocks in it, could you have stone engraved that says “in memory of (mom), love (you) and stick it in with all the other rocks? Something small like that wouldn’t likely to be noticed by the buyers. You could also do a more formal memorial stone on the property that people would be less likely to remove but it may turn off some buyers so dad may not like it. I like the secret memory in the yard or house.

      Could you write a few of her favorite recipes into a book and leave it as a gift for the new owners? Every place I have lived I have found some memento – a windchime or knick knack and never threw it out because I thought it was left there on purpose by/for someone.

    • My Dad was killed in a car accident almost 4 years ago now, and the house was in disrepair enough that my Mom couldn’t keep it. I was brought home from the hospital as a baby to that house. My siblings and I all grew up there…so many happy memories. I don’t have any suggestions honestly. It’s just hard. Every time I hear “The House that Built Me” (or something to that affect) by Miranda Lambert, I cry.

      *Hugs* I hope it gets better for you. Losing people is hard enough without having to lose the “comfort” of their environment where most of your memories with them were made.

    • I felt this way after my grandmother died. After a bunch of drama, it was decided that my uncle and his family would live in my grandmother’s house. It was exactly like what you describe. Part of this agreement was that my uncle would agree to host one holiday a year so that everyone could still “visit” the house. Well this worked out for a couple of years until his wife decided she wanted to move to the city. So they sold the house. It was so sad for all of us to have to say a final goodbye to the house and really to my grandma as well. Her spirit could really be felt in the house even after she passed. It was kind of irrational but still hard.

      Hugs. What helped us was to visit it one last time and my cousins and siblings all walked through the house and really reminisced about the fun times we had–like remember how we though the hope chest in the closet was a coffin, and remember how we used to put on grandma’s make up here and remember how we used to hunt easter eggs here and remember when we planted this apple tree here, etc….I also took some pictures. I never really look at them now since it was once the house was already empty. But at the time I thought I needed to.

    • Hugs. Houses can be special, no doubt about it. My late grandparents’ house, that great-grandpa laid the foundation to himself, where grandpa and dad grew up and where I spent so many summers and have so many happy memories from, was sold to some people who renovated the charming and colourful old country home to something … I don’t know. Really bland and boring version of the “light and fresh” aesthetic. I guess their idea was to resell it for a huge profit. Anyways, dad sent me a link to the real estate listing and we just shook our heads.

      So whatever you do, DO NOT STALK THE HOUSE ON REAL ESTATE SITES!!!!!! EVER!!!!!

      We were able to visit it and pick up whatever furniture and stuff we wanted to as mementos – I have the moose trophy mount grandpa used as a hat hanger. Is there any way you can get hold of some memorable knick-knack, like a vase, from that house?

  13. I’ve been following the East Harlem explosion & building collapse story. It’s really awful and sad. Just saw a headline (from this morning) that said the utility paid 87 victims of the blast.

    Those who understand tort law might be able to explain. Isn’t this unusual? I thought companies generally litigate, litigate, litigate, appeal, appeal, appeal, until the bitter end and THEN they grudgingly pay out compensation. Or is this something else altogether?

    Maybe there are strings attached to this compensation and it precludes those who accept the payments from pursuing further compensation or damages??

    • I read the payments come with no conditions and they can still sue the company. I don’t know how accurate that is, but that is what one news article reported.

    • Anonymous :

      You only hear about the cases with litigation. Companies settle early and often with no fanfare all the time.