Coffee Break – Cashmere and Silk Waffle Scarf

Cashmere and Silk Waffle ScarfI’ve been eyeing these lovely waffled scarves on sale at Brooks Brothers. They’re available in five colors (black, pictured, as well as navy, beige, forest green, and ivory), and made of cashmere and silk. At 12″ wide it’s a little on the skinny side to use as a wrap, but depending on the weight of the scarf I would still probably try it on colder summer nights and in chilly offices. The scarf is marked down — was $188, now $94 at Brooks Brothers. Cashmere and Silk Waffle Scarf



  1. Out of Shape :

    I have come to the conclusion that I am severely out of shape and I don’t want to be. All of my exercise in the last three months has come in the form of walking my dog and most days someone else walks her. I’m thinking that I should join one of the boutique gyms by my office – I admit that if I have to drive out of my way after work it just doesn’t happen and once I get home I don’t want to leave (plus I often work late and this way I could work out and then go back to work). There are 4 gyms on my block (plus a Tae Kwon Do studio – people here like to sweat!): Crossfit, yoga, barre, and pilates. I don’t really know anything about any of them, except that my company has (or at least had) a corporate discount with the yoga studio. Two of them have free week passes. My biggest problem is that I am so out of shape I am embarrassed to go and try them! Does anyone have any tips or suggestions on how to start? I feel like I have to start working out to go work out.

    • Just start! Really. No offense, but no one actually cares about your work out. My experience (as a very lame exerciser who runs slow and lifts light) is that everyone pays attention to their own work out and is not that interested in mine.

      • Yeah! Just go. Quite frankly, the longer you keep putting it off, the more intimidating it will seem, if you’re anything like me. So pick the class you’re most interested in, or whichever one is most convenient to your office, or whichever one is cheaper/has a hot instructor/emanates chi that appeals to you–and go.

    • Having taught yoga and taken countless yoga, dance, and Pilates classes, I know it’s common and totally understandable for beginners to feel self-conscious. But let me assure you, in any group fitness class that takes place in a studio with one or more mirrored walls, everyone else in the class is more preoccupied looking at themselves than they could ever be judging you.

      I know it’s not as simple as telling you to get over yourself and suck it up and just go. But you have just as much right to be there as the regulars and the girls in the front row who know all the choreography. Remember that. And look at class schedules in advance; most yoga and Pilates studios will have classes designed especially for beginners.

      • Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler :

        This. I only look at others if I have brought them with me and that’s just to make sure that they are not in a position that could cause them pain later.

        Maybe you could ask around and find a friend to go with. I know the yoga studio that I go to CorePower Yoga, offers a free week and I’ve taken many friends and have gone with them everyday of their free week to make sure their comfortable.

        Also, maybe check around for free exercises to start. I don’t know where you are, but near me (I’m in Denver) there is a free 3 (but sometimes 2) hour bootcamp at Red Rocks which is an outdoor concert that offers amazing views and stairs (to climb) for days.

    • I wouldn’t start with yoga. I’d start with a gym and some group exercise classes to see what you like. Add in something like 20 minutes on a treadmill or eliptical. Do this until you’re inspired to research more types of fitness/exercise options. Doing yoga and pilates alone will not get you in shape, and while beneficial for many things, neither will get your heart pumping (which leads to the release of the endorphins that will want you to keep coming back for more exercise). Now, go get a good exercise bra and sign up for the gym!

    • I feel you. I can run a few miles fine but have zero upper body strength. I know people don’t pay any attention to what I’m doing in classes, but part of my personality is wanting to be good at everything the very first time I do it. Not realistic. This did make me buy a Bar Method DVD before going to the class so that I would at least be familiar with what was sort of expected of me. I still couldn’t do it once I got to the class, but at least I had some kind of idea what was going on. Also, I’ve been fortunate to re-find horseback riding, which I love. It is very individual based, so maybe find something where you’re only “in competition” with yourself?

      • Beach Bar :

        I did this too re: buying the DVDs so I knew what to expect in class. Same experience that class was still challenging (and I workout 6 days a week) but at least I wasn’t completely lost. It does help with the first-timer anxiety a bit, but definitely not necessary if you’re ready to jump in to classes right now :)

        My advice is to just pick something and start! I could recommend which of those to pick because I have a preference, but that’s not going to work for you. Pick the one that you’ve always thought sounded fun, or is most convenient location- or cost-wise for you so you’ll have a better chance of sticking with it.

        And no one cares what you look like! I have massive respect for anyone I see at the gym or out on the hike/bike trail just for the reason that they’re up and doing something good for their health. I’m certainly not timing them with a stop watch or counting their reps to judge. The opinion of anyone who *would* do that is not worth worrying about.

      • SF Bay Associate :

        Yep to buying the DVD and getting used to the routine and terminology before going to a real live class. I found that very helpful for Pilates Mat.

        Also maybe give yourself a goal to train for, like surviving a half marathon or something. I had a specific goal last year, and worked with a trainer to make sure I could accomplish that goal. And then I had a wedding to train for after that. I find myself being lazier this year because I don’t have a specific goal in mind.

      • Would you recommend your Bar Method DVD? No classes offered near me and i’m intrigued.

        • Beach Bar :

          I know I’m not the poster you’re replying to, but I’ll chime in because I have 3 different barre-themed DVD brands. I’d recommend Physique 57 a million times over Bar Method. The Bar Method DVDs are kind of boring and I didn’t find them that hard after a while (actually, now that I read over my whole post, I remember that BM was great as a beginner video but I grew out of them quickly–so maybe start with their half hour beginning workout and you could resell it?). Physique 57 is faster paced, so you’ll actually sweat, which is something most barre workouts claim you won’t do. And it’s been a while since I’ve done the BM DVDs, but I don’t even remember noticing the music–it was almost like waiting room music in that it was “there” but didn’t make an impression. P57 still isn’t popular songs like you’ll find in live classes, but it’s more engaging IMO.

          I also have a few of the Core Fusion DVDs and I’d rank those lowest. The husband-wife instructor duo in a dark room with voice-over narration is just awkward. And the set and music is just a little too spa/zen for me.

          If you can’t tell, I’m old-school and need my workouts to “feel” like workouts in the sweaty and exhausting sense, so I like the ones that are faster and have pump-up music. If you’re someone who likes yoga with peaceful music and relaxing lighting, you might want to go the opposite of me!

          As a sort of aside, I’m going to my first Bar Method class later this week, and that will complete my Pure Barre, Core Fusion, P57, and Bar Method barre circuit, if anyone’s interested in a review of the live classes.

          • Out of Shape :

            Thanks for the recomendation! I just ordered the Physique 57 DVD set, which I figure is less than the cost of 3 classes, so I can see if I like it. I was actually pretty big into workout DVDs for awhile (mostly Jillian Michaels and Insanity), but I got bored and was hoping that the social and cost aspect of a class would push me to get back into working out again.

        • I agree that the Bar Method DVDs aren’t as hard as the Physique 57 ones. I don’t live very close to any of the Physique 57 studios, so I haven’t tried them in real life. After sort of figuring out the Bar Method DVD I bought a 3 pack of the Physique 57 ones. I don’t ever really do the long one, but I do the half hour ones (arms & abs and short full body workout) semi regularly and like Beach Bar says, I can feel it much more. I’m kind of hot and cold with workout DVDs in general and I’ll be really good for a few weeks then not as much, so I much prefer the classes where it’s a use it or loose it situation.

          @Beach Bar: I would be curious to know how you think Bar Method and Pure Barre compare. I’ve never been to Pure Barre, but I hear that it is a little harder on your back.

          • Beach Bar :

            I’ll post back after Bar Method! I haven’t had back issues with Pure Barre, but I always use the ball to support my lower back during abs. I can see how that might not be enough though for someone just starting out because the ball is so small. But I think the PB ball is about the same height as I usually get from my rolled up towel in P57, so if you do okay with that, you should be fine in PB using the ball for support.

      • Yes. You have to start somewhere. At the club people are focused on how they look, not on you so don’t worry. It took me along time to get in shape so I know how tough it is. You go for it and you will be fab before you know it!

    • Completely agree! I am the newbie in my cardio kickboxing class and honestly I can’t even be bothered to figure out if people are looking at me funny because I’m too busy trying to make sure I am going left when everyone else is. I stand in the back and mess up a lot (I just can’t count or tell my right from my left at 6 am) and no one cares. Sometimes I see the “regulars” in their fancy workout clothes mess up too. Plus a lot of times instructors give options for “if this is too hard, do this instead” or “if you want more of a challenge, do this” and you can take the easier option.

    • First off…if anyone notices how out of shape you are, they’ll probably just think “good for her, if she can do it so can I.”

      Second off, just start going to the gym and doing easy cardio and then pick stuff up and put it down for awhile (I’m being completely serious, do some very low impact free weights and use medicine balls to do general strengthening. Watch what other people at the gym are doing and maybe copy them…don’t do anything that hurts). Once you can do that comfortably (after a few weeks) maybe add in a yoga class (if the teacher is any good, they can lead you through how to work at your own speed). Barre would be good once you’ve built up some muscle mass — but I think it would hurt a lot if you tried it right at first. Cross fit can be pretty intense, maybe thats a six month to a year out.

      • MissJackson :

        I actually don’t recommend copying what other people are doing with free weights! It seems like more people have it wrong than right. Ask a trainer for some basic instruction so that you know you have proper form if you want to do anything with free weights.

        But as to your original question, I agree — just get out there and do something that you find enjoyable. The first step is the hardest one.

        • That’s true. Though I’m pretty sure the OP isn’t going to get into anything too advanced (I hope!!) I just hate the basic trainer intro at the gym so much, it was basically insulting (they told me I was overweight because of my BMI…) and then they told me how to use things I already knew how to use…and they just wanted to sell personal training sessions. grarrr.

    • anon atty :

      i felt like this in January. I’ve always been in pretty good shape, and I had even lost all of my baby weight from my second baby. And then last summer i went on medication that has caused me to gain a ton of weight (about 25 lbs, which for my fairly small-framed body, is a lot). The medication is helping me a lot in other ways, so its worth it, but i have clothes i wore when i was six months pregnant that dont fit now.

      So in January, I joined one of the barre places on a trial membership special. I went a ton in the first month to try to get my money’s worth, then i signed up for another 5 months — which gives me the 6 month goal I told myself I would do (i.e., work out consistently for 6 months. See how I like the plan at that point, then maybe switch it up and try something new).

      I’ve been doing it 3-4 times a week since then, mixing in a Pilates class one day a week, and a run or eliptical one day a week too.

      I love the classes — the fact taht I pay for them makes me go. I do them early in the morning, then feel good about myself the rest of the day. And my clothes is fitting better. The first week or two, I felt silly doing a bunch of the stuff because i was so bad and could hardly do it. But now I can do it. And there are other people who cant. Its a whole body workout and I really do feel better doing it.

    • This reminds me of the previous poster who was concerned about what people thought when she ran since she was slow and just beginning. I think the general consensus is that people would see that you are out of shape and give you a lot of credit for trying to make improvements! In order to get myself to workout, I started going to a barre class where you buy each class individually so if I don’t use it I lose it since I am moving after the bar exam in July. Also I wouldn’t try to get back in shape on your own unless you are highly motivated. I need a class where I have an instructor pushing me or else after 10 minutes I would be done at home!

    • Please do not be embarassed by being out of shape. A year or so ago I was in the exact same position. I couldn’t run for 5 minutes. I felt embarrassed at the gym because I was *so clearly* (in my mind) out of shape. I just put my head down and concentrated on what I needed to do. And, honestly, I still do that. I still see other people who are fitter than me, who can run longer/faster than I can, and I make a choice to use it as inspiration to push myself a little bit harder (because I can get lazy) rather than a sign that I am hopeless and destined to be out of shape forever.

    • I think barre classes will offer the most bang for your buck in terms of getting both cardio and toning. I definitely wouldn’t try Crossfit if you’re not a regular exerciser. It’s intense and would be intimidating for someone who’s not even used to working out. Yoga and pilates are awesome, but you really need to do cardio to get in shape.

      I actually think it would be best to join a gym, rather than a studio, and work with a trainer for a month until you can get into a routine. Is there a gym anywhere near you?

    • Amelia Pond :

      Good for you for taking positive steps. I know how it feels to be embarrassed to be out of shape. I started a boot camp class this year trying to loose about 50lbs and I am the only person in the class who is not either a trainer or a consistent triathalete. One gal in my class just won an Ironman (Irongirl) race last weekend. I am always the last to finish and the slowest in the group, but no one cares. If they need to lap me they do, and they are all really supportive of me and my goals trying to get fit. So believe me when I say the really fit people in the gym are actually thinking “Way to go!”

    • I went to a gym because of a LivingSocial deal. When I went to register, I was like, “Hi, I haven’t been in a gym since I graduated high school. I don’t know what to do.” They loved that I was so honest and hooked me up with a really great personal trainer who taught me all of the things I wanted to know (basically, how to become a muscle man). At the end of our package, he tried to get me to buy more sessions but I can’t afford that right now but it’s all good, because I now know how to become a muscle man.

      Before all of this, I attended many dance classes and boot camps. It was always scary to go in, especially the first time but everyone is so friendly and encouraging. Just go.

      • Oh and I refuse to do cardio right now because my knees aren’t that strong and I don’t want to deal with my exercise-induced asthma (I, uh, have every chronic condition possible). I know that one day I’m going to build up enough muscle to be able to do cardio without hurting myself, so it’s all good. You can do this! Good luck and report back!

        • That’s probably not true Godzilla. There are a lot of chronic conditions. I have a bunch of them, I bet at least a couple of them don’t overlap with yours. ;-P

    • I think you have to do whatever feels comfortable for you and whatever will offer the least number of barriers. When I was getting started with exercise, I thought about the kinds of exercise I would do that I would keep doing. Think about what you might actually enjoy doing – I hate to dance so I wouldn’t enjoy something like Zumba, but that might be really your thing. Or kickboxing. Trying to think about what might appeal to you. Do you want to go to the gym? Will you go or feel uncomfortable? Would you rather exercise outdoors? Would you talk yourself out of it if the weather is bad? For me, when I was getting started and out of shape, it meant either buying equipment for home or exercising with a DVD or both. I did step aerobics at home many years ago because I am soooo bad at learning the moves I would be embarrassed to go to a class. Just get started!

    • What worked for me was to aim for simply getting to the gym; then I would look far sillier if I left than if I stayed and worked out (at least in my mind!). A gym with exercise classes may be the best option for you, and it’s quite possible that there would be other people at your fitness level in them too.

    • Just remember, the class is there for you, you’re paying to take the class, and the only thing that matters is what you get out of it. What anyone else thinks is just irrelevant. They are providing a service that you are paying for. My mom refused for years to go to a warm-water aerobics class for arthritis sufferers, because she was embarrassed about how she would look, and afraid she couldn’t keep up. I never could get her to go, but I know she would have enjoyed it.

    • A year from now, you’ll wish you had started today.

    • Jane Fairfax :

      You may want to consider signing up for a few sessions with a personal trainer. It can get spendy, but a lot of gyms will offer a free training session or a package discount on training sessions for new members. One session might serve as a useful introduction to the gym equipment, but if you are able to swing weekly sessions for at least the first one or two months, the trainer will have time to assess your fitness level and get you on an exercise program that you can maintain. This was my intention when I joined a gym and started working with a personal trainer a year and a half ago, but decided to keep up with my training sessions because I personally need the motivation of a weekly appointment and it is totally worth it to me to pay for the privilege of having someone else plan my workouts and track my progress for me. Left to my own devices, I would probably make it into the gym about once a month to do a half-hearted 30 minutes on the elliptical to assuage my guilt over paying for an unused membership.

      The one caveat is that you might have to meet with one or two trainers before you find one that you are comfortable with. Different trainers have different styles. I did not mesh well with the first trainer I met with and I probably would have given up on the whole working out thing if my husband had not encouraged me to give it another shot. I stuck with the next trainer because he wasn’t judgmental about my beginning fitness level, or rather lack thereof, set challenging but achievable goals and pushed me to work past my comfort zone, but not beyond my capabilities.

      Also, if you discover that you love yoga, Pilates, running, weight training or whatever, congratulations and more power to you. Just don’t get discouraged if you don’t find a workout that you are totally in love with. The benefits of exercise to health and self esteem are totally worth it. I detest team sports, I hate classes of all kinds and I just barely tolerate the workouts that my personal trainer devises. I am not and will never be an enthusiastic gymgoer. I keep going because I feel better than I have in years and I am really proud of the progress I’ve made.

    • In all honesty, most people go to get done with their workout and don’t have time to judge other people. We all started at some weight or fitness level and striving to advance towards our goals.
      Go get your workout. Nobody would judge you, and if a few people do, they are only projecting their own insecurities and are probably not worth thinking of.

  2. momentsofabsurdity :

    I’m pretty sure the Hive will appreciate this one…

  3. Any other Dewey refugees reading corporette? I was an incoming associate (current 3L). Have been looking for a job for a couple of months and now I’m starting to really believe that the big law door has closed on me. Any inspiring stories would be really welcome.

    • karenpadi :

      I had no hope of getting into big law when I graduated law school. Never fear, two years later I was working in a small boutique and lateraled into Big Law.

      I think you have it better than many 3Ls. You have a summer in BigLaw at Dewey on your resume. You weren’t no-offered. Everyone knows why you are looking for a job.

      I’d contact the people (partners and senior associates are probably the most likely to have landed by then) you met at Dewey after the bar exam and see where they landed. They might be able to get you in somewhere.

    • Have you actually been told you don’t have a job? If you worked closely with any partners, or even senior associates, I would get in touch with them and see what they suggest. They may be able to offer advice, and it’s remotely possible that a partner would even take you with him or her to a new firm (although that’s frankly unlikely since you weren’t an associate yet). And I agree with everything else that Karen said.

    • BigLaw Optimist :

      Ugh – I’m so sorry! I’ve been thinking about all the SAs and 3Ls that are getting the shaft from Dewey and wondering how you were getting along. I’ve already made the suggestion to our recruiting people that they try to scoop up some of the former Dewey-bound law students, but who knows if they’ll listen to me.

      I think karenpadi is right all around – I’d try to contact the people you worked with as an SA to see if they landed anywhere that might want to take you on. This isn’t totally unheard of (when Howrey imploded, some partners took their incoming associates who had been SAs to their new firms).

      I wish I had an inspiring story for you (I’m sure others will), but I promise I’ll be crossing my fingers for you!!

    • No inspiring stories exactly, but speaking as someone who just got laid off from a BigLaw (non-Dewey) job after four years of misery, it just might be a blessing in disguise to escape BigLaw now (if that’s what ends up happening). But I know it really sucks to go through this. It seems so crazy that this happened. At least you – and everyone who interviews you – know that you are in this position through absolutely no fault of your own. Hang in there and best of luck!

    • Concerned 2L :

      I was supposed to be an SA at Dewey this summer, but alas that isn’t happening. I was very lucky in that I was already splitting my summer so I have another firm to work at, but it’s still very scary that a job I was counting on and a potential permanent offer are both now totally gone.

      I don’t have any advice or inspiration obviously but know that there are lots of people like you feeling worried and scared about getting a job right now. I’m just pushing myself to do as well as I can on finals and to network as much as possible…

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      not me, but my BF is a 2010 grad that had been deferred from Dewey since graduation on a public interest fellowship. They kept pushing his start date back. He was supposed to finally, actually start May 1st. They called him April 30th at about 4:30 and said don’t bother coming in…

      The good news is his public interest fellowship hired him back as a real employee, and are perfectly aware that he is searching for firm jobs, and he’s got a couple of interviews in the next few weeks. A decent number of people his year have found new jobs. So fear not, there is hope.

      (But I get the big law door closed feeling. I didn’t get a big law job out of law school and am currently in a much smaller firm having that feeling. But I get great experience, just a tiny paycheck. But in your case, I think you’ll be fine–people are really sympathetic to anyone with Dewey on their resume right now, apparently).

      • I had heard a couple months ago that the start date for deferred associates had been pushed back a number of times. Best of luck to him. Sounds like he is on his way to finding something great.

      • The big law door closed on me in 2009, so I do know that feeling. You may be in a better position than those of us who got no-offered in 2009 because your firm’s troubles have been so well-publicized, and there’s really no way employers will be able to blame it on you. That said, as I have written here before, it’s important to keep in mind that the legal world is bigger than just BigLaw. You may eventually find yourself happier on the road less traveled (though, as one of my law professors pointed out back in the day, it can take a long time to develop that kind of perspective). Good luck! I hope you find what you’re looking for out there.

    • Thanks for the encouragement everyone. My class was officially let go yesterday, though we’ve been expecting it for some time. This encouragement is exactly what I need as I try to motivate myself to study for my last exam. I’ve contacted the associates and partners I know who have landed on their feet. Hadn’t thought that there would be more to contact as the dust settles and others find new positions though (I’m in tunnel vision mode right now), so I have those contacts to look forward to as another avenue. It sounds like there is some sympathy out there — so I’ll keep sending out resumes and talking to contacts. It’s hard to remember that and stay hopeful day in and day out when I don’t hear back.

    • I heard from my firm this morning that we’re expecting to recruit a few Dewey summer associates for our summer program this summer. Makes me think firms won’t hold it against you if there’s a job to fill. Good luck! Biglaw is pretty punishing, but it can still be a good job if you like what you’re doing.

      • Ok, good to hear. I’ll keep applying, applying and following up.

      • Yes, I should have put aside my own current debbie-downer feelings about BigLaw in responding to you – let me try again. I am still at my firm for now and have heard a lot of talk here as well about trying to accommodate some Dewey folks. We have a number of partners who are ex-Dewey, and so do many other big firms, and many of them are very interested in reaching out. There is a lot of sympathy here for you all – it could have been any big firm, and I think everyone knows that.

        • Thank you, ezt. No doubt, I appreciate your debbie downer feelings, too, in case I don’t find a big law job and need to feel better about it.

      • anon for this :

        Same here. And I also heard that most firms are focusing on looking at the Dewey summers first and haven’t quite figured out whether to look at the incoming Dewey class yet. Stick with following the Dewey partners – there seems to be a new announcement that X partner wound up X new firm every day, so hopefully there will be more opportunities every day.

    • 1991 All Over Again :

      This seems a lot like what Latham did in 1991. I think it was Latham. Does anyone remember that?

      • In 1991 (from what I understand) and then again in 2009 (which I very clearly remember)

    • I was a Howrey first year when it collapsed (that’s right… they brought us in and collapsed–almost worse then not bringing us in at all). There’s hope on the other side to find a job, even if it isn’t BigLaw. You are still employable. Your “Dewey taint” is so little that you are extremely employable. I was at Howrey for a whopping seven months and had to cope with “Howrey taint”– it wasn’t pretty, but over time it lessened and I landed with a great job. Have faith.

      As for BigLaw… not that I am jaded or anything, *cough cough*, but I would say that unless you have a networked connection or some luck, you should explore other avenues.

      • Interesting. I wasn’t worried about having a “Dewey taint”, but I am worried that I’ve been thrown off the track leading to big law. I’m definitely (and very actively) exploring other avenues as well.

      • One of my brothers is law firm kryptonite. Did a summer as 2L, got an offer, firm imploded his 3L year. Got another job (this was pre-2007) during 3L, firm fell apart within a couple of months of his arrival. He finally at a third place, super happy (I think making less money, but really liking the job) and crossing his fingers that things don’t fall apart again.

        • Alanna of Trebond :

          Sounds like my friend who worked at Bear Stearns and Lehman…!

        • I have a friend like this, only the third firm he’s at now is… you guessed it… Dewey.

  4. Annoyed... :

    So, at my office we have a rotating late shift – there are 5 of us in our dept at my level, so it works out, one day a week we work from 1 – 9 pm instead of normal 9-5. It rotates every week and the person who does it usually puts it out a month or so in advance. We are allowed to switch, if need be, and so far there hasn’t been much switching (it’s only been in effect for 5 or so months) The schedule came out today, adn a few of us needed switches, which we worked out among ourselves and then emailed the person who puts it together. we got our switches, but recieved a snippy email from calender person about how we should try to keep these switches to a minimum and the firm doesnt basicalyl care about our outside lives. now, it makes no difference quality of work wise who does this shift, and the main reason i suppose that calander person doesn’t want us making switches is because it involves that person going in and changing the master outlook calender…but i’m really, really offended. first, this program was instituted after i was hired and the idea of off-scheduling was not brougt up in my interview. My co workers and i have all been great sports about it, taking it in stride, but is it unreasonable of me to get upset about this? i’m nervous that they are going to say that there is no switching allowed, if too many people request switches. these are for reasonable purposes, such as someone wanting to leave town early( aka at 6 pm rather than 9 pm) to go visit family or a birthday. Ahhh someone calm me down, i’m so mad. anyone in a similar situation, i’d love to hear how your office does it.

    • If the calendar person is an admin type, he or she is probably just pushing back on you creating any more work for him or her. I doubt that would have the support of senior management. If senior management feels this way about you guys responsibly switching your schedules & making sure there is coverage…. well, I’d brush up that resume.

    • Any chance someone is abusing the system and the email was erroneously generalizing to all of you when really there’s just one offender (or a few) who could be brought into line?

      When my Dad died, I left on an emergency basis. I had alerted everyone in advance that it was likely going to happen, and also emailed everyone, including the person in charge of scheduling, the day before my flight. I was furious when later I got called out for missing that time, with the admin person having “not seen” my multiple emails indicating the situation in detail. It was awful for me to have to defend and explain over again, but I think the fact is that many of my colleagues were shirking time and never making it up, and I took the brunt of it.

    • HippieEsq :

      Don’t get mad about it. That message was just your calendaring person being snippy. Maybe he had a bad day or something. I think you should respond back, “We were all talking about how nice you have been about administering the switching on the calendar. We are trying to keep it to a minimum. Thanks again for understanding.” (Or something similar)

      If they still don’t like it, then you should be able to ask for “off” before the schedule is done. Most offices that require things like this permit employees to designate certain days each period that they don’t want to be scheduled.

    • I used to work for a great boss who revised the schedule over and over to accommodate her (huge) staff and even scheduled herself for holiday shifts so her underlings could have the day off. And we all were willing to walk through fire for her, because she earned our respect.

      Right now, I work for a place that assigns staff to a Saturday shift. Everyone has to do it about twice a year. There is no way to predict when you will be assigned this shift, as the Maker of the Schedule does it alphabetically by last name, and as employees leave the company or join the company, the dates are shifted. No switching is allowed at all. Sometimes you find out on Monday that you are working Saturday. The Maker of the Schedule is a very high-ranking person and no other boss is willing to go to bat for us.

      • Annoyed... :

        Thanks for the feedback – the most frusterating part about this is that yes, this is an admin person, but a higher ranking one, and because of that, calender person does not have to do this late shift ever. I’m almost sure that it is just calender person being lazy/annoyed that we add to thier workload by asking for switches, but it’s unreasonable for them to get annoyed at something when we are the ones shouldering a burden of a less than ideal work schedule.

        • I have to say that I think you and your colleagues are being pretty good sports about the late-shift thing. It’s no treat to work ’til 9 one evening and then have to come in for you day shift the next day.

        • Can you guys take over the scheduling? “You guys” being the people who have to do the late shift shuffle?

          • Right, why does she have to do it? At my last job, we had a rotating weekly duty. No one liked to do it. So every few months, we would sign up for the weeks we had to do it. So like, in January, they would put out a blank calender for February – April. We had to sign up for 2 weeks each. We knew what our plans were, and “signing up” was a firm commitment, so we couldn’t, say, take vacation on the week we signed up. Some people signed up for 3 weeks in a row to get it over with. Some people signed up for once a month. It didn’t matter, as long as the attorneys were cool with what they signed up for, and everything was covered.

    • nothing to get offended about, I doubt that person instituted the one day a week stay late policy, so i think your combining your anger together. They won’t say there is no switching allowed

    • Ruthy Sue :

      In my department (not law) we have one person who is always on call, and we rotate a week at a time. Pick our call weeks about 15 week intervals, and sometimes people have to switch because of personal stuff that comes up. We deal with this amongst ourselves just fine then email the senior admin/schedule-keeper. I get the same snippy comments from her. She just doesn’t want to deal with changing the calendar. I think if she were on-call, and had to be able to respond within 20 minutes she’d understand! I would say you have to let it go, as long as there are no indications from the decision-makers that they might not allow switching. But still document the reasons why you needed to switch in case you need to defend the option later. Sympathies!!

      • Yes. At my old firm this is almost exactly how our on call period worked. We had two weeks at a time and approximately 12 week intervals, but yeah. Anyway, at the beginning of the year they would say to make sure you’re not taking vacation or whatever during that time, but things would always change. We would do everything we were supposed to, including changing the calendar and we would ALWAYS get reamed out and harassed. But if the (petty tyrant) partner ever got too bad or suggested that he wouldn’t let us switch, we were usually able to drop a comment in the ear of BIG BOSS like “oh, I would -love- to do that firm-promotion event but Petty Tyrant won’t let us trade on-call periods anymore.” Big Boss would then tell Petty Tyrant to stop being stupid and deal with it and he would. And we never got blow-back from that, I think because Petty Tyrant despised Big Boss so much there wasn’t enough ire left to come raining down on us peons! :-)

  5. Blonde Lawyer :

    I just want to thank the poster who mentioned Petticoat Fair in Texas for bathing suit purchases for those of us w/ large chests. They had the bathing suit I want and take return AND have amazing customer service. The bathing suit arrived in just a matter of days, carefully wrapped in tissue paper with a handwritten note thanking me for shopping with them.

    The bathing suit is last season and a bit too big so I found it on another site in a smaller size. I don’t want to return the bigger one yet in case the smaller one is too small. I called Petticoat Fair and they extended my return time by 2 weeks to allow time for the smaller one to arrive. They also told me if the band of the bathing suit is a little too big they will alter it for $8 and it will only take one week! Thanks so much for the rec! I’m sure I will be a loyal shopper now.

    • So glad you had a good experience! I was not the recommender but was a frequent customer when I lived in Austin. I didn’t even realize they had online shopping now, so thank you for the update!

  6. Anyone have any experience with hypoglycemia? I am definitely the type of person who gets cranky when I get too hungry, and will get nauseous, foggy, etc…but recently it has been happening well-before I ever get hungry. I haven’t changed my diet up, I try to limit my sugar intake and get protein and complex carbs in my meals. It’s just strange that I am going from fine to useless without ever hitting hungry, and it’s frustrating because it takes a while to recover. I would like to prevent it, but my hunger used to be my early warning system!

    • Have you been checked for iron deficiencies — this can also be a symptom of that.

      Otherwise, I drink vitamin water or something similar to stave off my version of hypoglycemia (don’t know if its actually that) and I try to be preventative rather than reactive. Otherwise, I can trigger either a straight up 5-year-old temper tantrum or a migraine, neither of which is nice.

      • karenpadi :

        Along with iron, check for a B12 deficiency–which also causes anemia-like symptoms. I always thought I was short on iron until I learned that B12 deficiencies run in my family.

    • Are you drinking enough water? I realized that when I feel the way you described, oftentimes I’m not hungry but thirsty.

    • I only know it as it’s related to diabetes but if you feel like you’re going into a low (or are already low), you need to eat more often. Perhaps graze between meals and don’t wait until you’re hungry/famished to eat. It takes 15-20 minutes for your blood sugar levels to go up once you’ve hit a low. Also, if you’ve upped your exercise you need to eat more to cover the calories you’re burning.

    • Is it possible to stick to an eating schedule? I used to have a much worse problem with this, but even now, I make sure to eat breakfast (and have some caffeine!) within about 30 minutes of getting up. About 2.5 to 3 hours later, I have coffee plus some almonds or dried fruit or some not-too-sweet, fibery cereal (like mini-wheats). I need the protein and fat from almonds or, if I know I am not going to get my morning snack (we have a heinous 9:30-11 meeting every month) I get coffee with some whole milk in it. Lunch is around 12:30-1, again, I need to have a good mix of fiber, protein, and fat. Around 4 or so in the afternoon, I’ll have some tea and either a banana or one of those 100-calorie bags of SmartFood white cheddar popcorn (fiber and a little fat).

      Wow, I sound really high maintenance. But I feel much better if I eat regularly and if I make sure to have some protein and fat with each meal and snack. Eating just carbs, especially simple carbs, just makes me crash. I cringe at the Diet Coke + pretzels diet of one of my colleagues!

      • AnonInfinity :

        I also have hypoglycemia, and I do the same as PollyD. I eat every 2-3 hours. No matter what. I am not shy about breaking out a Larabar and telling whoever I’m with that I have a medical condition and must eat or else will pass out (this is true).

        Definitely eat before you start feeling weird. In my experience, it happens around the same time every day, so get something small about 30 mins before that happens.

        • I’m glad you tell people and nobody should be shy about doing this! Even if it’s not generally thought of as “professional” to be eating in a meeting, truly nobody cares. I was in a meeting with an older guy and he kept saying we should get lunch, but we were busy and the schedule didn’t really allow, so we put him off for about 1/2 hour. Then the food took a while to get there, no big deal for us. Well, he collapsed. On the table. Knocking over his giant soda onto our papers, sandwiches, etc…

          He later told us that he had diabetes and needed to eat and he was somewhat upset with US for not breaking to eat earlier! I really wanted to yell at him, why didn’t you tell us!? There were snacks in the other room we could have grabbed for him, we could have rearranged some things to break earlier, it was just silly pride.

          • No offense, but I’m siding with that guy. He did keep telling you that it was time for lunch. He might have been trying to get a break for lunch without disclosing his medical problems. Although if I were him, I would pack an emergency snack.

          • oh my god. a guy collapsed and you are worried about his soda spilling and think it was pride? he should have just left but he was trying to tell you without having to disclose a medical issue to the whole team.

          • Hey hey! I’m not blaming him or saying that I and the rest of the group did not feel bad, we felt horrible! My point was not to let it get this bad.

            1) There were snacks in the next room, people even offered to bring them in for us, all he would have had to say was “yes please.”

            2) He revealed later that he did have snacks in his bag, he just didn’t want to eat at the table. There was another desk and couch where he could have gone to grab a quick snack, no problem.

            3) When I say collapse, I’m not saying ambulance/passed out, I’m saying he got shaky enough that he fell sort of against the table and then into his chair.

            4) His comments about lunch were more “hey, it’s 12:00 on the dot, that’s lunch time, we should have lunch now!” Then we would look around and say “well, is anyone hungry?” Everyone, including him(!) would say “no, not really.” All he had to say was “actually yes, can we order now!?” He would not have had to reveal his medical condition, just speak up.

            5) He was the most senior person in the room, I was the least senior person in the room. Everyone in the room worked for him, so we took our cues from him.

    • Yes. I suggest seeing an endocrinologist. This is due to insulin issues and an endo will run some basic blood tests to make sure nothing serious is wrong – especially since your problem has worsened lately, you should have tests done. If you can’t see a specialist without a referral your GP should be able to either order tests or refer you to an endo, too. If it turns out all is well, the endo will probably refer you to a nutritionist who can counsel you on managing your hypoglycemia.

    • Agreed. It might not be hypoglycemia: if you are not eating properly, you may pass out. This is called being human. Food is fuel. (I actually had this conversation with a 20yo man recently.)

      You should eat a little something every 3-4 hours, even if you are not hungry. Protein each time. And drink tons of water.

  7. mom knows best :

    Threadjack to ask for advice on dealing with parents. I have generally had a pretty good relationship with my parents my whole life (late-20s). I have recently found that my relationship with my mom is strained at times, and it’s really upsetting me, because I feel like it’s making me overanalyze how I interact with her.

    As an example, my husband and I recently sent a link to a photo site via email. We had set up this email system for something else, and it went to one person per household (it’s a long story), which we had designated as my dad. My mom got incredibly upset. I forwarded her the email as soon as I realized that she wasn’t on the original list and apologized, but she wanted to keep talking about it, and her and my dad made me feel pretty poorly about what happened. However, the fact that she was so willing to take this email issue as such a personal slight and indication that I don’t care about her/think about her/love her upsets me–as did getting yelled at–and to top it off, we had spent significant time that same weekend planning a trip where we would all be getting together, so it really felt out of place.

    I do not think it is likely that this is an illness, although I think my grandmother is becoming more and more overly critical and sensitive (which could very well be age-related decline), so I may be more sensitive to it. Or maybe my tolerance for people that love me treating me poorly over small things is just lower. Any suggestions?

    • Geezer-e t t e :

      My favorite Great-Aunt Lottie would say to a person who harped on and on about a perceived slight, “Now, So-and-so, let’s just tear that page out of the book.” She was such a sweet woman that the offender would realize he/she had crossed a line if even Aunt Lottie was annoyed.

      • My young person version of this, which I use on my mother sparingly…but occasionally is, “so-and-so I love you, I really do, but you have got to let it go.” Seriously though, apologizing lots of times for a minor slight only reinforces the person’s belief that they’ve been slighted. Apologize once and then when they bring it up again, tell them they need to move on.

        BTW, I forgot to call my mom on her birthday last week. Now admittedly I was actually admitted to the hospital at the time and I apologized profusely the next day, but I felt really really bad about it. But she let it go (being in the hospital gets you a lot of passes).

    • Oh, I hear you on the mom issues. I am in my early 30’s and recently planned my wedding, and my mom was kind of a nightmare – clingy, passive aggressive, needy, possessive, etc. I think that my getting married raised a lot of identity issues of her – who is she if she doesn’t need to drive us kids to soccer practice, or if someone else is going to be the most important person in our lives? Perhaps your mother is going through something similar.

      As for me, I think that I have grown increasingly sensitive to the “liberties” (for lack of a better term) that my family takes with each other – they seem to truly believe that they can treat you worse than they would treat a friend, because you’re family (more willing to nitpick, more willing to lash out, etc.). Whereas I try to treat all people (family or not) as I would a friend. So you’re not alone in becoming more sensitive about things like that.

      Just keep in mind that you can stop this from escalating – if your mom starts to get upset with you about something this trivial, you should firmly say, “Mom, I understand you’re upset about this, but I’ve already apologized about it. I don’t think it’s helpful or productive for us to continue to discuss this because I can’t change what happened. If you are too upset to talk about something else, then I think we should resume our conversation another time.”

      I can’t help you with the guilt, though… that’s tough to work through.

      • mom knows best :

        I also recently planned got married and my parents are adjusting to having the house to themselves (all younger siblings are out), so maybe that’s part of it like you mentioned. And I hear you on treating everyone nicely. Sometimes I get emails from my dad that are probably how he emails people for work, but I would never ever send emails like that to my family, friends, coworkers, anyone. Thanks for the advice and commiseration.

        And geezer-ette, I am not sure I’m established enough to have a line like that, but something to aspire to :)

    • No real advice, just commiseration! We’re dealing with similar mood swings and perceived slights with my mom right now, and I agree with the other commenter about the identity crisis. My youngest sibling just turned 21, and my brother and I are both happily married, so my mother has effectively worked herself out of a job. If we don’t answer every phone call or email within a certain amount of time, it means we don’t love her. If the entire family can’t get together on the actual date of a birthday or holiday, it means we don’t love her. We’ve tried to talk to her about the pressure and the feelings of judgement, and her response was that us kids were getting together and “keeping the pot stirred” to gang up on her with our accusations, and that we were “dreaming up” this behavior. Our best method to date has been issue avoidance. We basically just show up as best we can, smile as best we can, and give gifts as best we can. And, if it’s not enough, so be it. I wish I could give better suggestions, but honestly, I think sometimes they just have to work it out within themselves. The transition from mothering to friending is quite difficult, from what my mother tells me.

    • I’m a few years further down the road from you, both in age and state-of-deterioration-of-mother-daughter-relationship. About 10 years ago, my mother started getting really oddly sensitive, defensive, self-righteous, and snippy. I don’t remember this being her personality growing up, but it certainly is now. I don’t have a solution, as you’ll see shortly, but my biggest piece of advice is to be proactive now about trying new techniques to smooth over the hurt and relate to her adult-to-adult. Try one thing this time; if it is unsuccessful, try another next time. Try having a real conversation with her about your concerns and how to strengthen your relationship. Be open to her suggestions about how you respond to her as well, not just how she responds to you. Seek advice from a sibling or your father. I didn’t do this. I just got annoyed with my mom and then started avoiding her. That exacerbated the problem and started a vicious cycle. We now barely speak, have very tense conversations when we do, and have no real “relationship” to speak of. It’s incredibly painful to me that it has gotten to this point because there was never any reason it had to be this way.

  8. 1L-2L (formerly 1L) :

    Quick question re: thank you notes!

    I job shadowed a partner at a prominent East Coast firm last week and sent thank you notes to him and everyone I met. Others have responded but he hasn’t. I should just let it go, right? I hope the message went through but don’t want to be *that girl* by thanking him again.


    • Some people respond to thank you notes, some don’t (generally the more senior the partner, the less likely they are to reply to an e-mail).

      I’d let it go.

    • Former MidLevel :

      “I should just let it go, right?”


    • SAlit-a-gator :

      90% of the time people don’t respond to thank you notes.

    • Anonymous :

      Let it go. He’s supposed to thank you for thanking him? Where does the loop end? While you say “you’re welcome” in a face to face, an email thank you is much more like a written letter thank you.

      • yes. i don’t respond to thank you notes. why would I unless there was a reason?

  9. Related to the exercise thread above, has anyone here had a VO2 measurement done? Was it useful to you at all? I’m interested in measuring my fitness level, but I can’t run due to injury and so I’m sure I’d come out terrible on a treadmill test. Does anyone know of another way to test?

    I regularly do 60 minutes of heavy cardio or HIIT classes and tend to start to tire around the 40-minute mark, so I don’t think I am out of shape, I’m just interested in knowing how much room I have for improvement.

    • A quick google informed me that you can also test on a stationary bike. If you end up getting it done, please report back! I’ve been batting around the idea of getting mine tested, although budget-wise it’s a ways off.

      • Thanks. I’m going to ask at my gym if they are willing to do it on anything besides a treadmill and I’ll report back!

  10. How did people make the transition to “clean” eating? I generally try to eat well (whole grains, heart healthy proteins, low fat, etc.), but I still struggle a bit with cravings (pizza, pasta, and cheese are the biggest culprits). I’m in weight loss mode right now, so I’d like to be a little more disciplined about giving in to these cravings. Has anyone figured out a way to eliminate/reduce cravings?

    • There are theories, who knows how crackpot they are, that cravings are a symptom of deficiencies you may have. So if you’re craving pizza — perhaps you could replace it with healthier fats — like avocado. Cheese — maybe leaner cheeses.

      But the best thing I did was substitute healthier versions I made myself, they require substantially more work to make, but that’s also a good thing because it limits the frequency with which I can have them. Absolute denial has never really worked for me.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        Funny story. I am generally a super healthy eater because of my crohns. One day I just desperately wanted a bag of potato chips and a coke even though I never had caffeine and rarely eat processed foods. This wasn’t an “oh I want chocolate” craving. This was a “get out of my way or I will rip your head off” craving.

        I later learned that I had a bad reaction coming off of a rx steroid and my blood pressure had gone way too low. If I had called my doc w/ the symptoms, he would have told me to have salt and caffeine to up the blood pressure until I could get the adjusted medication dose in my system. My body absolutely knew what I needed.

        • You know, I don’t really buy the “cravings are what your body needs” hypothesis, mostly because most people’s bodies seem to “need” chocolate and chips, but when I was working a rather physical job in the summer, in the heat, I’d come home from work every day and gobble Tostitos and have a big glass of (regular) Coke.


          • I’ve heard a craving for chocolate really means you eat raisins. Or something. A craving is either from boredom, or from something that your body is lacking. But, just because you translate the craving as “chocolate” doesn’t mean that is what your body is actually wanting…

          • HippieEsq :

            On a pretty regular basis, I have cravings for Brussels sprouts, salads, cauliflower, and other veggies. I try to listen to these cravings, because I am sure my body is telling me something. The annoying part is that now that I am pregnant, Brussels sprouts make me feel nauseous. Ha!

        • Why does my body always need ice cream and chocolate?

        • I get serious, debilitating headaches when I don’t have enough protein or caffeine in my system (I know, I know, the caffeine thing is my fault). When my body decides it wants cheese or a diet coke, I listen.

    • Anonsensical :

      If you can tough it out for three weeks or so, the cravings should go away. I read an article on fasting in which the author described managing his cravings the same way he deals with annoying pop-up ads online ~ he clicks a mental “x,” closes them out, and goes about his business. I’ve tried it and it works for me.

      • Anonsensical :

        Also, my trainer is a big proponent of having one free day a week and indulging yourself. It might help to know that you’ll get that pizza or whatever you want if you just wait a few more days. :)

    • I eat a healthy version of what I’m craving. Homemade pizza with light cheese, whole-grain pasta, turkey burgers, etc.

    • ChocCityB&R :

      The healthy version thing never worked for me, and most of my cravings are emotional (i.e. I’m bored and I want chips) and not nutritional (i.e. I’ve had a sodium deficiency today and need chips to fulfill that need). The only way I’ve been able to deal with it is the teeth gritting/will power method for a few weeks. After that, the cravings stop. I find that it’s also helpful to replace my desire (I know I said healthy alternatives don’t work, but for some reason this does) by drinking hot tea. Also I do allow myself a “healthy” cheat at the end of the day, like a piece of dark chocolate or air popped popcorn. This gives me something to look forward to so I don’t feel deprived.

    • Our pizza replacement is a large portabello mushroom cap topped with red sauce, cheese, and whatever toppings we want. I think I cook the caps for a while, then top them and cook them some more. There are a lot of recipes online. Note, however, that I don’t think leftovers of these “pizzas” are any good. Make just enough for the current meal.

      We’re generally just going low-carb, though, so this might not match your “clean” eating requirements.

      Eating something like this occasionally keeps me from feeling deprived. It doesn’t taste exactly like pizza, but it’s close enough that it seems to count. Also in that category is using spaghetti squash as a spaghetti replacement — it’s not the same, but it’s close (and it’s enough trouble to make that I don’t do it too often).

    • Craving question of my own. Every day about an hour or so after lunch, I crave something sweet. I have been this way my whole adult life. When I’m being “good” I don’t give into it, but even after weeks or months of not giving in, I still have the strong urge to graze for a sweet treat around 2pm. Do any of you experience this? Is there something I should be changing about what I eat at lunch order to reduce that crave?

      • I don’t know how to avoid the craving, but I chew gum or eat a Luna bar instead of getting a dessert-type treat.

      • Why not buy the little snack size candy bars and bring one in each day to work? Or even better, if you have one of those little stores in your building go buy one (ours sells little snack size pars for 40 cents.) That way you get your sweet craving fulfilled without a ton of calories.

        Another option is to eat a piece of fresh fruit.

        • This is what I’ve been doing. Usually an apple. I eat my lunch, go walk 1 mile (so the after-lunch doldrums don’t hit!) and grab an apple and a fresh glass of cold water on my way back to my desk. It works really well…except when there are cookies in the kitchen en route to my apple!! :-)

      • Jacqueline :

        I have been this way my whole life. I allow myself to give into it in moderation — like 100 calories’ worth of M&Ms (about half a pack), a fun size candy bar, a square of dark chocolate, that kind of thing. I find that usually satisfies my craving. The problem arises either when I deny myself completely (I start getting mad, like, what, I work out five times a week and I can’t even have a bite of chocolate!? What am I doing it for?) or when I tell myself limits don’t matter because I work out, and I stop keeping track of how much chocolate/sweets I eat. I can quickly get out of control. Controlled portions work best for me because I feel like I still get to indulge, but there’s a definite end in sight.

        Another thing I LOVE that really satisfies my chocolate/ice cream cravings is those Trader Joe’s individual chocolate/vanilla ice cream bon bons. They’re only 60 calories each, bite-size, and very satisfying! I like to just have one or two after dinner — better than eating a bowl of ice cream, but they still feel indulgent.

      • I have this exact issue and FiberOne’s 90 calorie brownies changed my life, I swear. They taste pretty good & I get my sweet “fix” for 90 calories + some fiber, so everybody wins! I keep a box in my desk drawer at work at all times.

        Also, Trader Joe’s 100 Calorie Dark Chocolate Bars are another godsend.

      • I find that drinking a naturally sweet-tasting herbal tea works pretty well.

        • TurtleWexler :

          I keep a bag of individually-wrapped York Peppermint Patties in my desk drawer and have one mid-afternoon as a pick-me-up. I’ve also done this with various other types of candy (particularly Ghiradelli squares) or cookies, depending on what my latest craving is. I’ve heard that a bite of something sweet after a meal signals to our bodies that the meal is over and digestion should begin, so this may be why the craving hits.

          • I’m the same way. Now, I just end lunch and dinner with a fruit, so my body can’t whine about dessert. It really works.

    • I didn’t completely cut out my cravings (ie Thursday night is whole wheat pasta with spinach and cheese night) so scheduling in your treat might help.

      I crave sweet things like brownies (omg homemade brownies) and since I’m an avid baker this became a problem… Healthier versions made with bananas or applesauce are alright, bu I would still eat 1/2 a pan. So I made baked goods a “bringing to dinner party only” item and drank tea with honey whenever I wanted something sweet. It was rough the first week.

      • Have you seen the No Pudge brownie mix? You can mix it with yogurt and microwave individual servings (it also says you can bake a whole tray, but in my experience those don’t come out that well).

        • I did try No Pudge and like it alright, but even with the individual servings, I would just make myself another one. Plus it used up all my yogurt. ;)

          • Ha, this is my problem! Keeping a box or bag of something in my desk? nuh uh. Individually wrapped has NEVER stopped me from systematically unwrapping and eating the whole box/bag in one sitting. never.

      • Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler :

        Check out www [dot] hungry-girl [dot] com. She has a recipe for an individually brownie in a mug that is awesome!

    • Thanks, everyone! I’m definitely going to try making a more conscious effort to mentally stop my cravings, and some of these substitutions sound delicious!

    • Just finished a great book about habits — the Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg — and it suggested replacing one habit with another. So if you need an afternoon diet coke, like I do, I am trying to replace it with a cold water and a walk.

    • I have found that the first few months without lots of sugar are tough then something shifts and it no longer tastes good- whole foods taste better- but you have to get through the beginning. However this is coming from the pregnant lady currently eating copious amounts of cake, cookies and other horrible treats several times a day…. easier said than done.

  11. The Skirt :

    Received my first Skirt purchases. Two different colors. Was surprised to discover that it felt less like suiting material and more like really, really soft/comfy sweatpants? Am I the only one?

    • No! That was my favorite part about it. Its like wearing a secret sweatpants to work. :-)

      • Anonymous :

        How’s the sizing? I cannot believe all the hype surrounding this skirt!

        • We had a thread one time about all the people it didn’t work for. A lot of people love it, but plenty don’t they just don’t keep posting about it. I found the sizing to be TTS but it was horrible on me. they go on sale so often im sure it is worth a try!

        • Definitely did not work on me. I wonder what shape it looks good on.

          • Legally Brunette :

            Hubby says that it looks really great on me – I’m sort of a mix btw a pear and hourglass with a very defined waist, larger hips, thighs, average backside. From the reviews, it seems to work the best on body types like mine. Note that the skirt runs pretty small – I’m usually a 4 in skirts and even a size 2 in The Skirt is slightly loose.

          • Legally Brunette :

            Sorry, I meant that the Skirt runs very big, at least for me.

          • Well darn it…I must just be too “swarthy.” I’m hourglass shaped, but 5’4″ and a size 10.

          • you should give it a try! I’m a pear & a size 10 in The Skirt, and they run big, normally I’m a size 12. The skirt is great with those of the hips ;o)

        • BigLaw Optimist :

          I just got my first Skirt (wearing it today for the first time, actually). I am all over on sizing right now (usually wear a 6, but lately have been rocking a 10), so I ordered an 8, and this thing is wonderfully loose! Like – comfy comfy comfy. I was worried, because it was so comfy, that when I walked to my mirror it was going to look terrible on me, but it looks pretty good. Last bathroom check (maybe an hour ago?), it hadn’t stretched or wrinkled. I am very pleased. :)

          • Maddie Ross :

            For me, that’s the best part — no wrinkles and really no stretching. Unlike wool or cotton, I don’t have to dry clean to get them back to their original shape and size every so often. (Actually, the real best part for me is the color. Fun fun colors!)

            Frankly, I love the way the Skirt looks on me and I have several colors, but I understand what people are saying about the fit. With some outfits, it definitely gives me a bit of a “spare tire” look. I cannot seem to pin-point what it is, as some days I look deliciously skinny in it, but I think it’s a combination of the color of the Skirt and the top I’m wearing. I can see how depending on your size/shape and style, it may not be the holy grail that a lot of us think it is.

        • PharmaGirl :

          It doesn’t work on my figure at all… short-waisted with no waist definition (slowly becoming an apple, sigh). The top of The Skirt sat up somewhere around my boobs and it made my tummy look all poofy.

        • Senior Attorney :

          Last year I had to order a size down in the Skirt, meaning I bought size 0 instead of my usual 2. I recently ordered the green one in a size 0, and lo and behold it was a full size smaller than the other (ahem) six Skirts in my closet. I exchanged it for a 2, which is exactly the same size as the older, size 0 Skirts. I can only conclude they have started making them true to size.

          Did that make any sense at all?

    • At the larger size end of the scale, in the 14/16 range, I did not find it to run particularly large. I also found it too short for 5’10” me, but the shape is more or less right for an hourglass. I think the people who didn’t like in in the thread the other day were more straight up and down figure types, and there was too much room in the hips for them.

  12. What is the easiest way to start learning a new language outside of an academic structure? I would really like to learn how to speak French but dont know where to begin. I looked into Rosetta Stone through the free demos, but I feel like I would really need feedback to help with my pronunciation. Language schools? Finding a tutor online or through a local school? I would take classes at my local community college, but they are all during working hours during the summer. I speak fluent Spanish, some Portuguese, and can read very very very basic French (ie Hello, my name is oclg. My favorite color is green. I love dogs and cats.) Has anyone tried to learn another language as an adult?

    • If you’re in a mid-sized or large city, there is probably an Alliance Française that offers language classes. That’s by far the best way to go – way better than Rosetta Stone. If there’s no AF, I’d suggest a community college.

    • Anonymous :

      Join a Meetup Group for the language of choice – practice makes perfect, and it’s free!

    • I have been doing Pimsleur during my commute – in my car, so I’m not self conscious at all about repeating what they’re saying – and I have been told by friends who are native French speakers that my accent is “quite good.”. I can’t read or write at all, only understand and speak. I’m in the middle of Pimsleur French 2. Each lesson is around 30 minutes and I repeat them 2 -4 times for mastery before I move on.

      By the way, the Pimsleur idea is that by learning French only verbally, your pronunciation will be better because you’re not reading letters and having your English-speaking brain interfere with how it *thinks* the word should be pronounced based on the spelling.

      I have actually been quite surprised to see how some words (demain,maintenant, peut-etre etc) are actually spelled now that I know how to understand and speak them.

      • I’ve used Pimsleur, too, and liked it. I have some family & friends who are native speakers, and I can keep up with them in conversation. But.

        I feel semi-literate. I can read, but I have no clue how to write (or spell) in French. Quelque chose was some kind of revelation when I learned how it was spelled.

      • LinLondon :

        I’d recommend Pimsleur. I used it to top up my Arabic a while ago and liked it. Also, my mother, who is also a fluent Spanish/decent Portuguese speaker, took up French a few years ago and found reading it very distracting because of the disconnect (in her eyes, haha) between the letters and the pronunciation, so doing it purely aural/spoken might be better?

      • Definitely looking into AF classes.

        I’ll look into Pimsleur, too, but I do want to be able to read/write as I am hoping this will help me professionally. The mental disconnect between what I think French should sound like because of what it looks like in English/French/Portuguese is a huge sticking point and if I didn’t have to read the letters it would be so much better. I remember being 10 or 11 years old and learning that rendezvous wasn’t actually spelled anything near phonetically and being shocked to the point of thinking people were lying to me.

      • I did Pimsleur free from library last year for a Spanish refresher! Perfect for commute time. interested in recs for good ipod downloads.

        • ps but I wouldn’t say it will get you fluent without more rigorous study- depends on your goals.

    • I am using the online version of Rosetta Stone (TotalE, I think it’s called – I didn’t care about having DVDs, and I wanted to be able to do the sessions on lots of different computers). When you reach the end of each level you can schedule a live “studio” session with an instructor, which will include a maximum of 3 other people. Best of all, you can repeat the studio sessions as often as you like, although you can only schedule 2 at a time. At the beginning, the program worked a lot on fine distinctions in sounds, which was helpful. You can also set how picky you want the program to be about your pronunciation.

  13. For anyone inclined to do some damage at Bloomies, they’re doing a one-day extra 25% off all sale items sale. Code MAY25. Enjoy :)

  14. I’m interested in a book about deciding to get married, but there are so many of them out there! And so many of them seem so silly! I stopped by a bookstore and gave up after even a few minutes.

    Does anyone have recommendations? I have never been married before and want to make the decision thoughtfully. I’m not young or giddy about it either, if that makes a difference. I just want a practical, wise source of points to think about. Thanks.

    • Its not a book, but people on here have recommended A Practical Wedding. They may have stuff on that.

      Plus…if you want to share specific thoughts…well, there are lots of open ears around here. :-)

    • Two books that were excellent reads for me and my now-husband were “5 Love Languages” by Gary Chapman, and “His Needs, Her Needs” by Williard Harley. Both come from a somewhat religious perspective, but I’ve had several non-religious friends tell me that the content was helpful in their relationships. The books are more about how to have a strong relationship vs. “deciding to get married”, but I think the content opened up a lot of conversations for me and my husband. We were able to explore some pitfalls in our relationship before getting married, and looking at these issues can help you decide if you are compatible/what you’re looking for/what marriage means to you.

      • Another similar book is “The Happiness Project” which has some really good thoughts about relationships. She also has a blog.

        I’m really not sure that “getting married” is the issue as much as “deciding to make a lifelong commitment, no matter the kind.” If you think you can do that, marriage is just window-dressing.

        • You’re right. What I really meant is the lifelong commitment thing. Thanks to all so far, and yes, if anyone wants to share their individual thoughts I’d be thrilled with that as well.

          I guess my questions are something like…
          –how do I know I’m thinking clearly about this?
          –what are our foreseeable problems, and how can I know we’ll be able to handle the unforeseeable ones?
          –when does it make sense to decide that everything else in your life is going to have to accommodate this one decision, forever? When I really think about it, I have never made any permanent commitment before. How do I know I’m ready to do that now?

          • Oh lawdie. This is an intense question and kind of huge. But for my two cents.

            The most obvious foreseeable problems that you need to establish mutual directions on (not necessarily firm plans on but rough directions):
            1) Money/savings/spending
            2) Purchasing Property
            3) Child bearing/rearing
            4) Religion
            5) Homecare and house cleaning
            6) Emotional and physical intimacy

            The best way to deal with potential unforeseeable problems is having a solid relationship based on trust and communication. I don’t know how else you deal with the tough times.

            Finally, you make the decision the first time perhaps, but you continue to make the decision all the time. There are always going to be tough times and every time you’re going to have to make the decision to continue to be with this person and to keep going in the same direction together. Sure, its not always easy, but if you are friends who trust, love, and communicate with each other, than it can work. Says the wise lady whose been in her relationship for a whole six years and married for a whole ONE. Lol. (But hey, my parents have been married for 36…and they’d say the same thing.)

          • Second TCFKAG about making the decision DAILY. Quite honestly, there are times when I don’t really like my husband (usually the feeling is mutual at that point!). But, we’re committed to each other, and that means that we have to work through big stuff sometimes.

            For me, the decision to get married hit me when I realized that it would be worse to live without my husband than to make a sacrifice to live my life with him. I’m strong-willed and independent, so the thought of sacrificing for someone else was really hard for me to accept. The thing is, his happiness has become an integral part of my own happiness. Pride for his accomplishments has become an integral part of my own pride. The same is true for him. Do I get jealous of his success sometimes? Yes. Does he drive me up the wall sometimes? Yes. But at the end of the day, building a life TOGETHER is much more important than the other stuff. I know it sounds mushy, and I’m the first person to roll my eyes at “mushiness”, but when you realize that you want to overcome any obstacles with that person, you just might be ready for marriage. The fact that you’re wanting to read books and talk about it probably means that you’re not jumping in too deep/fast. I’ve been married for 4 years, and while it’s been a pretty crazy ride, I’d much rather be doing it with my husband than with someone else.

          • Also, do you guys know how to fight each other? That was the biggest lesson we learned during our first year of marriage: how to fight better! Know your own fighting style, know his fighting style, lay out some ground rules for fighting, and know when it’s time to pull in a professional! Humans have conflict, so I think discussing how you each handle that and how you plan to handle it together will go a long way toward building a strong relationship.

          • I’ve been considering these same issues. It seems really scary to me to stake so much of my current and future happiness on this one person. Is it terrible that I think to myself, “Well, if it really is a mistake, we can always get divorced.”? Obviously, I would take this commitment seriously, but if I became chronically miserable in my marriage I would absolutely get myself out of it. I’m not sure if my attitude represents social progress or depressing cynicism.

          • Anonymous :

            The point at which my not-really-that-interested-in-marriage self realized that I wanted to be married to my SO:

            1. I trusted that he wanted the best for me and advocated for me more vigorously than I often did for myself.
            2. That I wanted the best for him and advocated for him more vigorously than he sometimes did himself.
            3. That the future I imagined for myself had him in it and seemed brighter for that.
            4. That I trusted myself enough to know that if went “all in” and somehow got burned, I could pick myself back up and start over.

            I don’t regret my decision at all. My life hasn’t always been easy, but my marriage has. I guess we take the constant gardener approach. Our “work” on our marriage happens everyday in the little things. We also see every day as a choice. We’ve been very lucky that, despite some really rocky times, we’ve always functioned as a team.

    • Anonymous :

      One issue that comes up a lot in both premarital counseling and post-marital/divorce counseling is “do you share the same values”?

      If you share the same value system you have a pretty good chance at making marriage work. Also helpful is whether you are both on the same path in life (ie. what are your future goals?)

    • Me again. Thanks a million, and keep it coming! A few responses:

      –we’ve never had what I would call a real fight. I’m actually kind of worried about this! We’ve had some difficult conversations, nonstarter talks, and dealt with very bad news together, but never a real fight. I have certainly fought with past boyfriends. I therefore don’t know what a real fight between us would look like, or whether we somehow just won’t really be doing that ever. (?)
      –I’m terrified of getting a divorce and want to consider that option completely off-limits unless something horrible happens that I never could have predicted. I mean no disrespect to those who have divorced. It’s just something I want to rule out for myself (hence all this thinking).
      –I think at the core we do have the same values, but in some respects we implement that differently.

      • Anonymous :

        I don’t think the lack of fighting is a problem. In nearly two decades, I don’t think I would need two hands to count the number of fights my partner and I have had. We are both very communicative and generally good listeners, so things get worked out long before any need to fight about them. Lack of fighting is only an issue, IMHO, if you need to avoid topics to accomplish it, or if someone just rolls on the issues that come up.

        I also think that being afraid of divorce can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Think of learning to ride a bike — you need to look in the direction you want to go, not in the direction you want to avoid. As my dad always said, as goes your nose, so goes the bike. It is good to have a lay of the land and not to decide to choose a route where you can’t see a clear path, but if you feel afraid to commit until you be sure you won’t fall, i can’t imagine ever making that leap.

        Implementing the same values in different ways can be a great asset if you both trust each other and aren’t hung up on the idea that there is a right way and wrong way. If you at confident that you both have the same endpoint in mind then the process of leaning in on each other becomes a lot easier.

        • Thanks so much for taking this time for me!

          • Someone on here recommended 1001 Questions to Ask Before you Get Married. I really have been enjoying reading it with my fiancé.

  15. At a national management forum, where e-mails in advance stated the dress code is business casual, most people are doing really well but cannot get over the fuschia leopard print sparkly cardigan I spotted this morning.
    Quite pleased as I got face time with my boss’ boss’ boss’ boss and she said I could send her an e-mail for a mentoring coffee sometime!

    • BigLaw Optimist :

      Yay – that’s great news!

    • I want a fuchsia leopard print sparkly cardigan. That sounds awesome. If you see her tomorrow, find out where she got it! (Just kidding, I bet you I could google-fu it.)

      • I can’t find it….and now its going to BUG me. I found a teal, sparkly, leopard print cardigan at macys. Maybe they used to make it in fuchsia too?

        • momentsofabsurdity :

          This is the only one I can find and it’s a kids’ sweater.

    • Staten Island? The cardigan you describe is giving me flashbacks.

    • Take her up on it. Don’t chicken out, and think oh, she doesn’t really mean it, I’m too junior, etc. Take her up on it.

  16. LinLondon :

    I just wanted to send it out into the digital ether that I got a 13% pay increase today and have now more than doubled my starting salary in 4.5 years. And I am [email protected] good at my job.

  17. When retailers buy name lists….sometimes, they don’t quite get the demographic info right.

    I just got the “Poetry” catalogue (, a Boden/Garnet Hill wannabee, filled with faded shapeless linen sacks that are overpriced.

    I also got “Gold Violin” “Helpful products for Independent Living” ( This catalogue is filled with helpful items like bibs to prevent me from drooling on my nice clothes, orthopedic shoes, changeable pads for the mattress/bed in case I lose bladder control while sleeping, and other items to help geriatrics with some health/mobility problems live better. Maybe I should send this catalogue to my grandpa…

  18. hi! someone recommended a dentist in dupont named dr naber… did you mean dr jaber? Thank you!

    • That was me – nope, Naber, but she moved here fairly recently so might not have much of an on-line presence. Same practice as dr. Soga on 19th St.

  19. Does anyone have suggestions for a primary care physician in Chicago?? I recently moved here and have been having some health issues, so I would like to get in to see someone pretty quickly. Thanks in advance for the help!

    • I like Dr. Engman at Northwestern Memorial. She’s an ob/gyn and a primary care physician in one. Very frank (which I like; it puts me at ease).

    • I like the Michigan Ave Internists. They have a dermatologist and allergist in their practice, in case you need that down the line. I like that the doctors are relatively young, and they appear to use technology and access to other doctors to stay on top of recent developments in the field as well as what is going on with the patients.

    • I highly recommend Elyse Esrig at Northwestern Memorial Physicians Group. The group’s other docs have all been good, too.

  20. This is super late in the day so likely not many will read, but just wanted to report back on my purchase:

    I bought the navy blue sheath dress from Tahari that Kat featured here last week (first ever purchase from the “official” recommendations! …I do have The Skirt, Ivanka heels and other commentator recs…). I also bought the matching blazer (thank you to the one who pointed out that there was a matching blazer- bonnie , I think?) and they both arrived today. I am a big 2, smallish 4 and I wear a 2 skirt/blazer at BR, solid 4 in pants at BR and Gap, 4 at Jcrew, and 2 in Calvin Klein, so I wasn’t quite sure which size to get. I went with the 2 and I’m glad I did- the dress runs BIG and the jacket is roomy for a 2. I’ve been looking for a navy blue suit dress for ages though, so I’ll likely keep it and have the dress hemmed and possibly taken in at the waist. The dress is more scoop-neck than it appears in the pictures, but I like that- gives it a little shape. The jacket is on the longish side and the button seems placed a little high- I may hem the blazer a little as well. Overall, not a bad purchase especially at 30% off!

  21. Lesser of two evils :

    From All Things Considered on my drive home today:

    “Romney’s Mormon faith has been a sticking point for some evangelical voters, but Holley says not for her.

    Not for Lonnie Hawkins, either. He’s an accountant in the Pensacola public defenders’ office. Hawkins still prefers Gingrich, but he says he has no choice but to vote for Romney. He believes, incorrectly, that President Obama is Muslim.”


    1. Which is worse: still thinking that President Obama is Muslim, or thinking that you shouldn’t vote for him because he is Muslim?

    2. If you’re Mr. Hawkins, how embarrassed are you?!

  22. Lawyer in Theory :

    please tell me where this amazing skirt can be found.

work fashion blog press mentions