Coffee Break – Cheree Colorblock Pump

Kate Spade New York Cheree Colorblock PumpWe had the Rothko-inspired skirt the other day, now for the Mondrian-inspired shoes… I love the fun colorblocking on these shoes, as well as the patent leather accents. This is the kind of shoe I would wear with a black skirt and black blouse, and then pick up one of the colors in another accessory (necklace, brooch, bracelet). The shoes are $325, which gets you really close to getting the a $50 Neiman Marcus giftcard and (today only) lots of bonus points — through April 1, spend at least $350 on shoes or handbags and get a $50 giftcard with code NMGC. Kate Spade New York Cheree Colorblock Pump

(They’re also available at Zappos and Bloomingdale’s.)


N.B. Peep toes are not appropriate for every office — know your office!


  1. Lotto Fever! :

    Does anyone else have it? I think I’ve purchased tickets only once or twice in my life, but I’m going in on office pools and fantasizing like crazy about winning!

    • Yes! I fantasize regularly about what I would do with a large sum of money … this has put me over the edge :)

      • Seattleite :

        I will call your fantasies and raise you to SPREADSHEETS. Complete with schedules as to who the economic interest members of my ticket-holder-LLC will be, with percentage of interest.

        There is a little accountant inside of me, trying desperately to get out.

        • Seattleite, we might be kindred spirits.

          If I won the lottery, I’d form a trust to hold the ticket with me as sole beneficiary. The purpose of this is to prevent anybody from finding out who I am. (Note that this brilliant plan is subject to receipt of legal advice from someone who actually knows wtf they’re talking about.) I don’t want to be on the national news with a picture of me holding a giant check! I wouldn’t even want my family to know (well, my mom. but only if she understands this is yankee white top secret).

          • momentsofabsurdity :

            I think usually they require you to release your name and take a photo as part of the rules for claiming the ticket. However, I read about one guy who hired a PR firm and did only the barest minimum for them (PR firm answered all interview questions, etc) which they *really* did not like.

          • Yes, but my trust would claim the ticket because it would be the trust’s property at that point. So my lawyer can have his photo taken when he is accepting it on behalf of the trust.

          • (not that i’ve given this any thought)

          • Lotto Fever! :

            I think it depends on the state whether you can set up a corporation or trust to hide your identity. There was a winner whose lawyer came forward at the end of last year to claim a $14 million prize in Iowa, but he refused to name the winner, and the ticket holder decided to forfeit the prize instead of take it.

            … Can you tell I’ve spent the day reading about the lottery?

          • I’d start a charitable organization and put my parents in charge. They’d be on salary. They’d field monetary requests – especially from extended family – and research potential charitable donations. My mother would be in charge of researching the charities. She’s even more of a pushover than me. My dad would be the treasurer and we would require that everyone submit ideas in writing.

            We don’t have lotto here, but megamillions is pretty high right now.

          • No, you do not have to have your picture taken or your name released.

          • Bunkster, you’d have to buy your company and become your boss’s boss. heh.

        • Lotto Fever! :

          I’ve already picked out my new home if I win depending on if I won and how the pot is split. If there are several ticket winners and it’s a ticket from my pool with several people meaning I only end up with a few million, then a nice condo by where I work (since I would probably continue working). If it’s just me and a couple other people with the only winning ticket, then the beach house that’s in a community that’s too far to commute to work because I would quit on Monday!

      • Me to. I would buy 100 pairs of shoe’s and GIVE them away! I would even give Alan a pair of new boots, so he would not look so DUMB wearing his FRYE boots.

        I also would give notice to the manageing partner that I would NOT be workeing any more, and then would go to the Empire State Building and rent a suite so that I can establish my OWN consulteing BUSINESS.

        Yay! I would be free and would NOT even need to get MARRIED! FOOEY on men!

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      Our office did a pool!

      We will not win but are talking like we will and debating whether we ought to take the lump sum or the annualized payments.

      And who knows, maybe we’ll win $10 or something.

      • Our choir did a pool! Somewhat frowned upon by the church, I’m sure, but we did it anyway.

    • Haha yes! I just got cash out of the ATM to buy some tickets after work (and this is a big deal, I hate going to the ATM).

      A guy from IT just stopped by to ask if I wanted to join the office pool. I said no because I was in a hurry to finish something and only had $20 on me, which I had mentally already reserved for me and my boyfriend’s tickets. But now I’m panicking, like “OMG, what if they win & I just turned down a LOT of money?!” Never mind what the odds of them actually winning are…

      • Ha. This is the reason I always join the office lotto pool. I hate to do it because I would never spend more than $1 on a ticket, maybe 2-3 times a year at most, but the idea of my coworkers all winning without me is more than I can bear, no matter how much the idea of spending $5-15 on lottery tickets irks me.

        • Ha, AIMS, that is exactly my reasoning as well.

        • Lotto Fever! :

          There was a story a few months ago about a town in Spain where everyone but one person won the lottery. Pretty sad!

        • Now you’re making me want to track the guy down!

        • PharmaGirl :

          Ha! My husband is exactly the same. His department keeps doing pools and he only joins because it would be so terrible if they win and he’s stuck there all alone!

    • I bought a ticket. $400M on a $1 ticket is acceptable ROI for me and within my limits of risk tolerance.

      • Lotto Fever! :

        I’m in 2 pools where I contributed $5 each. I also figured that was within my limits.

    • I joined the office pool too. We were laughing at what would happen if we won and the whole group (about 50 people) quit on Monday.

    • We normally buy tickets once a month or so, with the reasoning that $1.00 is a small price to pay for 2 days of fantasizing about winning. Today we have spent… more than $1.00, but for half a billion? I still think it’s worth it.

    • MaggieLizer :

      May the odds be EVER in your favor.

    • Also in the work pool.

    • Eloise Spaghetti :

      I have it!!!

    • LOL, yes, we did a pool in my office for the first time.

  2. EasterBunny :

    I have a question for you ladies… I’m getting married soon and would love to hear some of the good/bad habits you and your spouse developed right at the beginning of your marriage. I know that at big life-change events like this our habits are up for grabs and we both want to make sure we get into a groove that starts this new chapter on a really positive note. Ex: I had a friend tell me that she and her husband banned tv from their bedroom for the whole first year and it made them both much happier. Do you have anything similar to recommend or warn against?

    • 1. No TV in the bedroom ever, if possible. We’re going on seven years of marriage and still don’t have one, and I love it. 2. Get into some habit that forces you to spend good quality time together every night. 3. When you and your spouse see each other for the first time, connect, even if it’s just for a few moments. Look up, say hello, smile, hug. Be happy to see each other. 4. Do a little something every day to make it special, whether leaving a note for him, buying him a do-dad or his favorite candy, etc.

      • 5. Watch your tone. Some couples get into the habit of being snippy with each other early, and I think it’s hard to go back.

        • This. Especially re sarcasm.

          • Hey man…sarcasm is the entire basis of Mr. TCFKAG and my relationship!! :-) If we can’t be sarcastic, how will we communicate? Note — this is sarcastic. ;-)

    • I don’t know…Mr. East and I were together for 8 years before we got hitched, and lived together for 5 of those. So if there’s something you’re supposed to do differently when you get married, please drop that science on me!

      • EasterBunny :

        We’ll be moving in together for the first time right after the wedding! We’ve spent a lot of time at the others apartments, but I think that made us both think “I came all the way out here to see you” so we were conscious of actually getting quality time together. I want to make sure we don’t default into my routine with my roommates of coming home, flopping on the couch and zoning out til bedtime! Part of me is jealous of the people who lived with their SO before marriage- 2 great times to re-evaluate routines and make sure you’re both on the same page instead of just 1!

        • Can't Wait to Quit :

          Know that just because you did something a certain way growing up, or in your own apartment when you were single, doesn’t mean it’s the “right” way to do it. If you both subscribe to this there will be many fewer fights over petty stuff like how to load the dishwasher, wrap up a piece of cheese to put it in the fridge, fold towels, etc. Most tasks have a lot of flexibility in how to do them “correctly”. Also, do your own laundry.

          • Yes, learn to be flexible. Every time my husband doesn’t something the “wrong” way and I’m tempted to correct him. I ask myself if it bothers me so much I’m willing for it to become “my” chore exclusively. If it doesn’t, then I don’t say anything.

            I do wish I’d made him start vacuuming more frequently from day 1. Our agreement is that I do most of the dishes and he vacuums, but he really only vacuums every 3 months or so after I’ve spent a week pestering him. I think I’d worked frequency into our original agreement maybe the vacuuming would actually happen.

          • Exactly. Only mention it if it is truly something that you can’t live with. But let as many little things go as you can.

            Treat each other with respect. I NEVER bad mouth my dh to anyone at all. Ever. Never have. If I need to vent I vent to myself or the cat or the trees outside. I know he doesn’t complain about me to anyone either. Our 18th anniversary is in August and we got married really young. Our marriage is very, very solid. I figure we must be doing something right!

    • Oh, PS, this was floating around my Tumblr dashboard this morning:

      Presented without commentary. Discuss amongst yourselves.

      • Wow. I see the value in many of the items on the list, but the tone makes me want to hurl myself out my window.

      • Something about this strikes me as too 50’s housewife to me, even if some of the advice is decent.

        • where’s the guy version?

          • If you look at the comments, the host of the website says this is a thing for moms and there’s another site for dads that includes the same list.

          • I have to say, it kind of bothers me when women read these things and automatically think it’s sexist. Women can focus on things women can do to make their relationships better. Men should do the same thing, but women shouldn’t just focus on what men can do to make it better, you know? It’s not sexist just because we’re working on what we can control. I get that you might not like some of the advice, but that doesn’t mean it’s sexist.

            Like the stare at him until he notices thing. I would like it if my husband would do that, and I know he would like it if I did. So what’s wrong with suggesting it?

            Maybe that’s just me . . .

          • because it’s hilarious imagining someone trying to stare longingly at their spouse and looking like a whacked-out creeper instead?

          • I get what you’re saying about not liking that one. I just think that’s a different thing than saying “Where’s the guy version?,” which implies sexism.

          • Beg to differ. You read sexism into it. I was legitimately curious what the guys’ 30 day challenge looks like. *shrug*

      • “Look at him admiringly. Make sure he sees you looking at him.” <—Why does this one make me want to ROFL?

    • SF Bay Associate :

      +1 on no tv in the bedroom, ever. period.

      There was a thread the other day by a woman who was bad about cleaning up after herself, which she had already agreed to do, forcing the husband to nag her, which frustrated them both. I say this not to pile on her – I’ve absolutely been guilty of this as well. So, if your spouse asks you to do something small, especially something you already agreed to do, *especially* something that you should be doing like cleaning up after yourself, JUST DO IT. Stop watching tv/surfing the internet/reading your book for 5 darn minutes and just do the thing. You will save yourself a lot of tension and stress.

      Make it a point to say nice things to each other. I always like it when the DH says something to me like “you’re the best wife in the world and I’m so happy to have you.” but it took me a looooong while to figure out that gee, maybe he’d like to hear that too. The positive effect is visible.

      While I agree that it’s very important to force yourselves to spend good, quality time together, do not be shy about owning your needs for alone time, if you need that. I felt guilty about needing alone time, so I would ignore the little voice in my head saying I needed it… and then I’d get increasingly snippy because I really did need my alone time, even if I “shouldn’t.” Owning responsibility for asking for the things you need in a mature way. I’m still working on that… I find it really hard to say “I need some alone time.”

      • Re: You first paragraph. I think it’s helpful to keep a running list of the things that I know I do that annoy him, and try to keep from doing them as much as possible. It’s really easy to get so focused on the things someone else does that annoy you, it’s easy to forget that it runs both ways.

      • Anastasia :

        All of this.
        +2 on no TV in the bedroom, ever. And actually, I would love to only have one TV in the house, period, so that if we’re wasting time watching TV, we at least have to agree on what we’re watching and sit next to each other…. but DH won’t get rid of the TV in his “office.”

        I felt awful the first time I had to ask DH to please just not talk to me and let me be alone for a while, but I get cranky if I go too many days having to always be “on.” He gets cranky if he doesn’t get to play his stupid video games. It really bothered me at first when he would sit at his computer wearing headphones and ignoring me for an hour or two on such a regular basis, but then I realized that is his way of recharging. Honor eachother’s needs!

        We try to take an after-dinner walk around the neighborhood several times a week — it’s a good time to talk without distractions. Also, eat dinner together at the table MOST of the time. Even if you’re just having takeout or something that was frozen 5 minutes ago.

        We also take up new hobbies that we can do together (tennis, rock climbing, whatever) so that we have an “excuse” to have fun together on a regular basis.

      • I see your no TV in the bedroom and raise you no laptops/tablets in the bedroom. I want no smartphones, but unfortunately spouse gets work calls beginning at 4:30am…

        • I think my bf would leave me before he’d give up cuddling with his smartphone at night. ;-p
          But we do have a no tvs & no desktop computers in the bedroom rule.

    • One of the hardest, but most important, thing we figured out early is how to talk about important things. For example, I like to schedule “Let’s talk about our finances” conversations ahead of time so I can collect my thoughts and know exactly what I need to deal with, but my husband finds it stressful to know The Big Talk (as he puts it) is coming and prefers to have it happen spontaneously. The solution we’ve found is that I mentally schedule them and spring them on him after dinner – which would drive me absolutely crazy if he did it to me, but it’s the way he likes it.

      Relatedly, “meta-talking” is really useful: being able to talk about talking, and say things like “Oh, please don’t tell me you want to talk about money in the morning, I’ll just worry all day” or “I like it when you keep me copied in on emails to our mortgage provider even though I know you’re the one who manages that side of things”, or even “When I’m angry I usually need to take a walk to cool down, but it doesn’t mean I don’t love you”.

      If you have those meta-conversations before the actual conversations, it means you don’t end up going “ARGH! Stop ambushing me with money stuff just when I’m walking out the door!” or “Where are you going?! I’m still talking to you!” and so on, you just go “oh, she’s just doing her cool-down thing, she’ll be back in 15”.

      • Good advice.

      • This is awesome advice. Must start doing more.

      • anoninnyc :

        I so totally agree. Talking about talking is so key. For us, that’s clarified that I can’t handle having heavy conversations (and for me, heavy = money) after 10:30 at night. I have to carve out weekend space for that stuff.

      • I love the idea of “meta-talking” – I so under-estimated the importance of this but it’s taken me at least 5+ years to realize I have to be upfront and honest (regardless of how silly it makes me seem) about when I feel like talking and when I don’t. It helps to avoid the “you always walk away when we talk about serious stuff/having a baby/buying a place/getting a new job” etc.

      • I meta-talk and I didn’t even know it!

    • Two things that are important and that you have to figure out (and frankly that recur frequently as sources of friction in relationships) are:

      (1) how frequently you want to have s*x and when and who is going to initiate. And how to keep it interesting. I know when you’re young and new in a relationship you might think…but we LOVE s*x (or we’ve never HAD s*x….), but this is actually crucial to a relationship and you have to be able to actually talk about it. You have to get past the taboo feeling and be able to talk about what you actually want.

      (2) Chores, what NEEDs to be done every day, every week, every month, and how will the work be allocated. And then be flexible — because life changes. Some weeks I have more energy then the DH and some weeks he has more energy than I do. I also do more things that he doesn’t see because he’s out of the house when I do them. DO NOT KEEP SCORE. Relationships are not about winning. Only make stinks about things if they really ARE big deals, and then try to do it in a calm and reasoned way after you’ve calmed down. Write things down if you have trouble talking about them calmly. Don’t yell. Never, ever, ever hit or throw things. Never use a third-party as a tool in a fight (like a friend, sibling, or parent.)

      That’s all I can think of for now.

      • “Relationships are not about winning.” Love that! I find myself being a ‘scorekeeper’ sometimes, as much as I hate to admit it, and honestly, what for? It doesn’t do any good.

    • I disagree, we have a tv in our bedroom. We’ve probably had it for the past 7 years or so. I don’t care to watch another episode of “History of the Battle” and he doesn’t care to watch “The Vampire Diaries.” I can’t imagine why. It has not impacted our relationship. There is no reason you can’t have a strong relationship if you don’t watch tv together. There’s no reason you can’t carry on conversations and have alone time-that’s what the DVR function is for!

      Our biggest thing has always been to pick our battles. Is it really important to fight over? Usually not.

      • We have a TV in our bedroom and I think it’s a good thing. During the week we get to spend a couple extra minutes snuggled in bed watching the morning news and also watch the Sunday news shows like that too. Besides I think every couple needs time apart. If I want to watch Project Runway, he doesn’t have to watch it with me and can watch one of his shows. They key for TV with me is not to let it take over. So long as you’re spending time together talking at some point during the day, a TV in the bedroom won’t hurt your relationship.

    • not married, but have lived together for a few years and getting married this year. It’s small, but whenever we get to our respective offices we always text each other about how much we love each other and can’t wait to see the other that night and how we hope the other has a great day. It’s become a total habit and I do it every day – even if I’m running late to a meeting/got woken up by 20 e-mails/am actually on a conference call, etc (I literally cannot start my day at work without doing this – it feels weird!) He does the same thing and most days it turns out that we pretty much text each other at the same time. Sure, it’s a habit (and perhaps that makes it not really “special”) but, hey, it’s true — and it’s still the favorite part of my work day……not that there’s much competition.

    • A light bulb went off for me not too long after DH and I married: he is a terrible mind-reader. I would get frustrated and stomp around over this and that, somehow expecting he would “know” what was bothering me. Doesn’t work that way. You need to pick your battles, but if something is really bothering you, you need to put it out there. The silent, huffy treatment gets you nowhere. Also, never stop saying “please” and “thank you.” You use these pleasantries for the other people in your life (colleagues, clients, random clerks in the grocery store) – why wouldn’t you extend that kind of courtesy to the most important person in your life? It will be 32 years for us later this year and we are stronger than ever :-)

      • haha, my friend’s husband yrs ago said: you must talk to us men like we are dogs. we don’t mindread. try: I AM HUNGRY. TIRED. DON’T DO THAT PLEASE. I AM MAD AT YOU. etc. short, straightforward phrases.

    • ChinaRette :

      I dunno…we have TV (well, laptops that show TV shows) in our bedroom. Watching “our shows” is something we really love to do together. Perhaps it’d be different if we kept a TV on all the time for background noise, but we love to cuddle up, watch our TV shows together and play on our iPads side-by-side. We’re dorks like that. But the important thing is that we chose it together, so neither one of us feels ignored.

      Good habits: United Front. Both of you will annoy the heck out of each other sometimes, but keep that between yourselves. I don’t use sarcasm with my spouse or attack him in front of others, even in little ways. I think it’s important to be united and give each other that face in front of other people (hah, can you see my China background?). I think if you’re a sarcastic person and your spouse is the same way, it’s fine to express that–with each other.

      Bad habits: we’re kind of messy. I’m an incremental, daily tidy-er but there are certain chores I hate and don’t want to do (dishes, vacuuming). My husband, on the other hand, is a wait-until-it’s-a-big-pile-but-the-attack-the-whole-thing big project cleaner. You’d think it works in concert, but no, we mostly just let things pile up until the weekend.

    • Be honest with yourself and each other about expectations — do you expect him to take out the trash, get the oil changed, and fix the broken toilet? Does he expect you to fix dinner 5 nights/week and do the laundry? Look to both of your families for what you are likely to expect, even if you don’t realize it.

      Say thank you. “Thanks for going to the movie with me,” “thanks for taking out the trash,” “thanks for unloading the dishwasher,” “thanks for going with me to visit my grandma in the hospital,” “thanks for handling [xyz].” Mean it.

    • You’ve got a lot of good advice up there, but just a couple of additional things I’ve learned in a very long marriage: 1. There are some things that you could say to him (and he to you) that are true and that would cut him to the quick. Never, ever say those things, no matter how furious you might be with him, and no matter how much you would like to hurt him at that particular momen. Never. 2. When you find yourself at home thinking something nice about him, tell him – or better yet, get up and give him a kiss while you tell him.

  3. Left my heart in San Francisco :

    Trying again because I was late to the morning thread (but thanks for your reply, SFBA).
    After two+ years in exile in SoCal, we’re able to move back to the Bay Area. But I need to find a job there first. Recommendations for a recruiter for biglaw? I’m a third year associate practicing in a specialized area of litigation at a biglaw firm, and I’d prefer to work in the valley over SF.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      I asked around. Apparently Lateral Link is well regarded. Also, Lee West & Associates.

    • I believe Major, Lindsey & Africa are also well-regarded in the Bay Area.

    • Kontraktor :

      I just relocated here too. Job hunting is hard. I sympathize.

    • I used Major Lindsey (not in the Bay Area though) and thought they were fantastic. Also heard good things about Lateral Link.

      WilmerHale is Palo Alto is hiring like gangbusters. I work there (in a different office) and really enjoy it. Highly recommend applying there.

      • Left my heart in San Francisco :

        Thanks for the tip, but WilmerHale doesn’t have any attorneys practicing the type of law I practice in Palo Alto. :-(

        Everyone, thanks for the suggestions. I’m going to interview the recruiters you recommended and pick one to work with. Hopefully I’ll get to meet you guys in person at a Bay Area meetup soon!

  4. These shoes are fun! They’re out of my price range, and I don’t think I could really see myself wearing them, but I do enjoy looking at them.

    • NGL, I don’t hate them. But now that I’ve been indoctrinated into the cult of the online Kate Spade sample sale, I am never paying retail again!

    • I like them but I can’t see wearing them to work. They look more like going out shoes to me. Maybe it’s because I just saw an attorney in court wearing a suit and silver strappy shoes.

  5. Moving to Los Angeles :

    Sweet ‘Rettes,

    I am moving to LA this fall, and I would appreciate your advice.
    1) Where should I look for apartments? I’ve checked out Craigslist, but it seems places are not available yet for September or October. I will be working downtown, and I would prefer to either walk to work or take public transportation. Is a commute of 20 minutes or less possible, or am I dreaming? I would like a studio for $1300 or less. Too much to hope for? I’d love to hear where you live/how much you pay in rent, if you’re willing to share.

    2) What kind of work clothes should I get? I just have a basic black suit (Ann Taylor, tropical wool) which has served me well in colder and warmer climates. I need at least one more suit, but I am not sure about the weather and what kind of fabrics work well in LA. Suggestions for easily match-able outfits?

    Thank you in advance!

    • Do you prefer hardcore city, or something more suburban?
      You can definitely get a studio downtown in your price range, but downtown is a bit sketchy despite gentrification over the last few years.
      Koreatown is a good option if you don’t mind to live in a very crowded area. Public transportation is very good in Koreatown. You probably don’t want to live any further west than that if you don’t want a long commute.
      Pasadena is on the gold line if you want to be more suburban.
      Little Tokyo is another good option and you could walk/bike/take the minibus to work.

      Honestly, if I were you, I’d get temporary housing before committing to a lease. There are hotels with monthly rates in downtown (will give you an idea what it’s like to live there) or near USC (also very accessible to downtown).

      I live near Los Angeles City College and pay $800 for a rent-controlled one bedroom apartment.

  6. Question about the mechanics of this site:

    Has anyone ever written a post, clicked submit and had it disappear into the ether – without receiving any kind of error message?

    This happened to me 2x yesterday afternoon and I don’t know if it’s something that happens from time to time, or specific to me.

  7. Moving to Los Angeles :

    Trying again: I am moving to LA this fall, and I would appreciate your advice.
    1) Where should I look for apartments? I’ve checked out Craigslist, but it seems places are not available yet for September or October. I will be working downtown, and I would prefer to either walk to work or take public transportation. Is a commute of 20 minutes or less possible, or am I dreaming? I would like a studio for $1300 or less. Too much to hope for? I’d love to hear where you live/how much you pay in rent, if you’re willing to share.
    2) What kind of work clothes should I get? I just have a basic black suit (Ann Taylor, tropical wool) which has served me well in colder and warmer climates. I need at least one more suit, but I am not sure about the weather and what kind of fabrics work well in LA. Suggestions for easily match-able outfits?
    Thank you in advance!

    • Re housing: I’m not familiar with the downtown area, but in my experience apartments are listed on craigslist when they’re ready to be occupied or maybe a month before. So I would look about a month before you’re ready to move in. Again, I’m not familiar with downtown, but I imagine that $1,300 for a studio is totally doable.

    • Left my heart in San Francisco :

      I think it’s too early to look for an apartment. I wouldn’t start until mid-July, at the earliest. A lot of apartments are listed on Westside Rentals ($60 for two months, I think) instead of Craigslist.

      I think $1300 is reasonable for a studio. You might look into Los Feliz, which is train-accessible to downtown. A friend had a 1-bedroom there for $1400. Pasadena is another option. Those two areas have very different personalities. Culver City may be a third possibility, depending on if the train that is supposed to run from there to downtown FINALLY (sorry for Ellen caps, but it’s been years in the making) opens. I don’t know of anywhere from which you could walk to work.

      I also work in SoCal (but not LA), and I find that people dress much more casually than those on this board would generally advise. I’m a native East Coaster and generally dress in three pieces (pants/skirt, blouse, sweater) and am the most formal person at my biglaw office. Layers are good because your office may be cold even if its hot outside, and there is often a significant change in temperature between morning/evening and midday.

      • Kontraktor :

        This re the dress situation. I have been at my new project site in NorCal area for only a few days and people are already making comments about my 3-piece dressing (and I haven’t even worn a blazer and my first day outfit was a colorful blouse and brightly colored cardi outfit). I think you can expect people dressing a little less formally than you are used to, most likely.

    • Westside Rentals, not craigslist. But it’s still too early for September.

    • Tagging on to this thread as I’m also relocating to LA in the next few months…any thoughts surrounding West Hollywood – both price range and commute to downtown?

      • West Hollywood is quite dense. Parking is at a premium. It is populated by entertainment industry types, wealthy gay people, and Russian immigrants. The price range is not the highest, but it is on the high side. The commute to downtown could be a challenge, because most of the neighborhoods between WeHo and downtown are also dense, so there are many commuters.

    • Also trying again
      Do you prefer hardcore city, or something more suburban?
      You can definitely get a studio downtown in your price range, but downtown is a bit sketchy despite gentrification over the last few years.
      Koreatown is a good option if you don’t mind to live in a very crowded area. Public transportation is very good in Koreatown. You probably don’t want to live any further west than that if you don’t want a long commute.
      Pasadena is on the gold line if you want to be more suburban.
      Little Tokyo is another good option and you could walk/bike/take the minibus to work.

      Honestly, if I were you, I’d get temporary housing before committing to a lease. There are hotels with monthly rates in downtown (will give you an idea what it’s like to live there) or near USC (also very accessible to downtown).

      I live near Los Angeles City College and pay $800 for a rent-controlled one bedroom apartment.

      • Moving to Los Angeles :

        Thanks for all the helpful responses! I have visited the Bay Area and really like the neighborhood-y feel of the Mission and downtown areas in the East Bay — so somewhere between hardcore and suburban.

        Angeleno, how did you snag that sweet apartment?!

    • CA has a 60 day notice law (I think–that’s how it’s always been for me in SF and environs), so landlords can’t know to list things further out than that.

  8. Peep toe?! *gasp*

    • Diana Barry :


    • Seattleite :

      I know! I clutched my pearls!

      • I clutched my neck, realized I wasn’t wearing any pearls…and then I swooned.

        And then when I woke up, and angel banged her gavel on her new mannolos. It was all really weird. I think I need to stop taking acid now. ;-)

  9. Anon for this :

    I have an odd issue and hope someone can offer insight.

    In the past couple of years, several people close to me have committed suicide. This has made me very sensitive to people using phrases like “I’m going to kill myself” and the like in casual conversation. Every time one is used, I cringe. “Shoot myself in th head” is a particularly bad one. It seems like I hear this kind of language multiple times per day.

    I don’t really know how approach this. I know no one means any disrespect by using these terms, and at worse those who know about the situation are just slightly insensitive- I’m sure I’ve been guilty of something similar in the past. But it still bothers me. I don’t want to constantly tell people not to say it, either, especially since I would like to avoid bringing up the background of why this bothers me. In other contexts, I have no problem speaking up when people say things that bother me- like using “gay” or “retarded” in a pejorative manner.

    Does anyone have any insight or advice?

    • anonforthis :

      I have no advice, but just wanted to say that I can definitely relate. Whenever people say things like that casually, I assume they have never known anyone that actually went through with it.

    • I’m sorry. My mom and sister have both lost friends to suicide over the past few years as well.

      When someone uses this kind of expression, you could say, “Yikes! I hope not.” You don’t go all stony-faced and serious, because you both know they are just saying it casually. But it does call attention to their choice of language, and might lead them not to use it again in your company (without you having to give any backstory). As someone who does sometimes say things like this, without thinking about how it might upset someone, I think it would work on me. I wouldn’t feel attacked, but I’d probably be more careful once this was said.

    • Totes McGotes :

      This one is really hard – while it’s not “offensive,” strictly speaking, to use such phrases, it’s also not at all unreasonable for you to be bothered by it. I am certainly guilty of using such imagery frequently, whether verbally or through pantomime (finger-gun to the head, etc. – I really, really don’t like my job so these things happen a lot). And this is as someone who has a very close friend who’s made multiple attempts, including while we were roommates. I try to cabin this tendency at times, both around my friend (though I have definitely said “I’m going to blow my brains out” around her – was I more comfortable because that’s not a method she has used?), and also if I am worried that my propensity for colorful speech will come off as immature.

      I don’t think any of these musings really answer the question, and I don’t think I’ll ever completely drop this from my vocabulary, but thanks for the reminder to try a little harder.

    • I can understand not wanting to share your personal stories or educate people about how they’re being insensitive every time it comes up. But if someone’s already made a comment that’s triggering to me–about suicide or anything else–well hey, they’ve already put me in that dark place, so I don’t usually mind lingering there for a moment and explaining why I think they should be more mindful when they choose their words. That’s just me, though.

      And, having also lost someone I loved to suicide, I’m sorry for your loss.

      Another option is to get really indignant, scream “TRIGGER WARNINGS, PLEASE!” and run off theatrically. But sometimes the humor of that approach is lost on people.

    • Francie N. :

      Anon for this, I think just saying something as you would in the other situations would be wonderful.

      For what its worth, I lost my Mom to suicide 12 years ago and cringe everytime someone makes light of suicide. I hate early friends episodes even now. In standing up to those light usages you may be sparing someone something painful , without knowing it.

      • so so so anon :

        I know I’m super late to this but Francie, I lost my Dad 13 years ago and feel the same way – if you wanted to chat off the boards, let me know.

    • just to play devil’s advocate here, becuase I generally agree with what others have responded, but it seems to me that the problem is really with the fact that when certain phrases are used it triggers painful memories/feelings for you. Although it is certainly not unreasonable to speak with your close friends and explain to them why its a problem for you, and hope that they try to respect that, it is a bit of a stretch to think that others you have contact with will be able to remember not to use phrases that are likely engrained. So, what might work better is to try to develop some coping mechnisms that help you when something (including those phrases) triggers your painful memories. It may be that this is something you can do on your own, or it may be that you need to talk to someone professionally. But either way, it would likely help.

      • I agree with this. I’m really sorry for your situation, but I think your best bet is to talk to someone professionally about this. It’s just not possible (or even fair) to try to have such a deep conversation with casual acquaintances about this type of language use.

    • went through the same thing and ‘pull the trigger’ really bothers me… Dunno what can be done about it except that people don’t watch their language. :(

    • As someone who has made many careless comments in her past, I have always appreciated it when friend politely informed me something I said bothered them. The most memorable was in high school, after calling about the 90th innate object retarded, my close friend said “look, you know my brother is retarded, I’d prefer you don’t say that word unless you mean it in the medical sense.” Word was then permanently removed from my vocab and MR was used then on in the medical sense.

      I have a tendency to say “unless I’m hit by a bus” but someone my husband knew from high school was hit by a bus and died while running in the last couple years. I have made a concerted effort to since stop but I still sometimes slip up. I share this to say the people who know may occasionally forget and feel bad when they remember and are trying to say dumb things less.

      Regarding suicide in particular – I’ve been trained in suicide prevention protocols. I have a cousin that regularly attempts suicide. I take it pretty seriously. One of the number one issues is people are afraid to actually ask someone if they need help and ask the really tough question “are you thinking of killing yourself.” Asking this won’t make someone do it. It allows them to discuss the taboo. I’ve shared tips on here a few times either when someone sounded really despondent or when they discuss a despondent friend. So, when I’m not 100% sure that someone is kidding, or I think they might be testing the waters “oh, I’ll just kill myself, LOL” I try to react in a clinical way. I might respond with “do you have a plan?” As opposed to “come on, not really, right?” Often they will say, oh, I was just kidding. And I’ll say “oh, that’s good. If you were serious, you could tell me though.”

      So, you might want to try some kind of mild clinical response that lets the other person know you are serious without seeming like emotional overload.

      I’ve never used these tips as a lawyer but in other fields where it was more appropriate. I’m not sure how this would go over!

      Coworker – I’m so stressed about this trial, I’d rather just kill myself.
      Me – How would you do that?
      Coworker – probably jump out this window
      Me – have you attempted suicide before?
      Coworker – geez, no, I’m just kidding
      Me – oh, okay, glad to here. Lawyers have a high rate of suicide and I’d hate for you to become a statistic.
      Coworker – no seriously, just kidding.
      Me – got it. So, when’s the trial.

    • Similar but slightly different problem. A close friend and professional collegue often uses the term “gay” to describe something she doesn’t like or that rubs her the wrong way, as in, “that’s so gay.” I find this highly offensive but never say anything and wouldn’t know what to say. I am not gay and have no close friends or family who are gay, so there there is really no context for me to personally be offended. I suppose the best approach would be to tell her that she should be careful using that word as she may offend someone. It seems too late to do that now, however, as she has already said it so many times and I have said nothing.

      • Totes McGotes :

        I don’t think it’s too late. You can always say, “You know, I never said anything about this because I didn’t realize it would happen so frequently, but this really bothers me.”

        For the record (not aimed at you, Anon, but just because this comparison has come up a couple times in this thread), but I think it’s important to distinguish between language that is offensive generally because it refers to groups of people pejoratively and language that individuals might take as offensive because it makes light of a tragic situation with which that individual has a personal connection and emotional trigger. Either may elicit an equally powerful and valid response, but I don’t think it’s fair to equate the two (and again, not saying that you did).

        • Which do you think is better, the “this might offend someone” approach, or the “this bothers me” approach? The former seems to diffuse it a little and is couched as professional advice, while the latter is more direct. Maybe both, as in, “this bothers me personally and also might offend others?” If someone hasn’t gotten the message yet that this is just plain wrong, however, I wonder if the use of the language intentional, and am I stepping into some trap by raising the issue?

          • Generally I’ve gone more for the “I really dislike that word/phrase, and I’d prefer you not use it around me” (possibly adding a “because it’s saying gay people are icky” or whatever). That way if they want to have an epiphany that maybe it’s not a good word to keep in the vocab, they can, but at least they most likely won’t use it around me?

          • Another twist on this is someone who repeatedly states a venomous dislike for “liberals” in the workplace, and assumes that none of them exist in the office. Why do people do this? On the one hand, this seems exptremely naive, on the other, how can someone be so naive?

          • I usually say, “I’d really prefer that you not use gay as a pejorative around me.” Or “Please don’t use gay as a pejorative around me.” It’s simple, you can move on quickly, and it doesn’t leave any openings for a debate about language use.

          • Totes McGotes :

            I think “it bothers me” is better – I feel like if you say “it could offend people” the next question will be, “well does it offend YOU?” and then the whole conversation becomes about why you couldn’t just say that you were offended. Better to keep it direct.

      • You don’t have to be a member of the affected group to be offended by pejorative terms. I’m a white person, and don’t tolerate the “N word.”

        I agree with the other poster. It’s not too late. “I haven’t spoken up earlier, but I’d appreciate it if you didn’t use that term to refer to something in a negative light around me.”

  10. Reposting because I was so late to the morning thread: Am I hurting my skin by not wearing moisturizer? I am 32 and have pretty much never worn it. I live in a humid climate and my skin does not get dry. I spend very limited time outside because I work indoors and drive to work. When I am outside for limited periods of time, I figure I am getting some good vitamin D. Of course, if I am out in the sun for awhile, I’ll wear sunscreen. But am I harming my skin by not wearing moisturizer/spf daily? I have become very conscious of putting chemicals on my body so try to avoid any excess products I don’t need, but I’m sure I could find a natural product if I really should be wearing it all the time. Any thoughts?

    • Young Skin :

      You do not need to wear moisturizer. You DO NEED to wear sunscreen. UVA (aging waves) and UVB (burning waves). Every day. You are 32 now. You want to keep that youthful skin, right? Every day. Face, neck, decoltage and hands/wrists. I am 45 and let me tell you, you’ll be glad later.

      • One question: I have never understood how one is supposed to wear sunblock on hands. I wash my hands so often, that even if it’s waterproof there’s no way it is going to be doing anything after even an hour or so. What am I missing here?

        • Same here. Obviously, I wear it if I’m gardening, swimming or playing outdoors in some fashion, but I don’t wear sunscreen on my hands every minute of the day. Although, I think Lubriderm may have a hand lotion with sunscreen in it, so maybe that’s what people mean?

        • Young Skin :

          Constant re-application. I stash little bottles/tubes of it everywhere (in my purse, in my central console in the car, in my desk). Just take a look at the hands of older women next time you can. It is hard to be vigilant about this, but I try to be.

        • I’m so good with my face, but never thought about my hands. Ack. Time to load up on more beauty products.

      • Does anyone have recs for natural SPF products? Do they even exist? I’m trying to put less junk on my face.

        • I don’t know of one myself, but check out the Environmental Working Group’s SkinDeep database for lists of products, under “sun,” that have low toxicity ratings.

        • Yes, as a melanoma- prone person have done 200% of this research and trial/error. Best facial one in my view: Skinceuticals 50+ universal tint. And I have the plain colored one for neck. It has no chemcials only physical blockers which work best anyway and goes on smoothly.

      • Actually, I don’t get the sunscreen thing, either. I leave for work before the sun comes up, sit in an office all day (with maybe just a bit of light coming through the window in the late afternoon), and then go home after dark. Is there some benefit of sunscreen in this situation that I’m missing?

        • You sit in the dark all day? Make sure you’re taking vitamin D supplements.

          Do you wear sunscreen on weekends? And do you drive to/from work in the dark in the summer?

    • I just read Charlize Theron in an interview saying she wears SPF 50 every. single. day. of her life, including in the winter. And her skin looks freaking amazing for 36(?). I want to do whatever she is doing to look like that ;o). But does anyone have any recommendation for a daily moisturizer that is SPF 50? That is not too heavy, b/c my skin is sensitive and breaks out easily. I use a daily moisture that is SPF 15, but I guess I need so find something higher.

      • Neutrogena Ultra-Sheer Face Block is a good sunscreen for your face. I would just wear that in SPF 55 instead of a moisturizer.

      • La Roche-Posay Anthelios 50 mineral sunscreen. My dermatologist recommended it and it’s been great–doesn’t break out my combination skin or look greasy. Works well under makeup.

        • fyi La Roche and Neutrogena both still contain chemicals that absorb into skins, as well as minerals that just physically block. So I don’t use them. also they are much heavier than Skinceuticals.

      • I like Shiseido – there’s a 60 spf that I wear every day! I have really fair sensitive skin and it works great- it’s a very thin lotion. I think there’s also a 45 and 35.
        The women at the Shiseido counter always give out samples so you should definitely try it and see if it works for your skin.

      • yay, thanks, I’m going to try these out!

      • (reposting here)
        Yes, as a melanoma- prone person have done 200% of this research and trial/error. Best facial one in my view: Skinceuticals 50+ universal tint. And I have the plain colored one for neck. It has no chemcials only physical blockers which work best anyway and goes on smoothly.

        Read more:

  11. I have a Herbert Grossman skirt suit from 1990 that is a giant walking Mondrian. The skirt is black. The jacket is Chanel style. Back panel is black. Left panel is red. Right panel is white on top and black on bottom.

    I always wore it with black patent leather plain pumps. The suit it enough. Wearing it with anything else, especially these shoes!, would be overkill.

    I love this suit and am so glad I never gave it away. I had a similar one that I also wish I had saved: Herbert Grossman, cranberry colored wool, Chanel-style jacket, knee-length skirt, only embellishment was a half-inch length ruffle from the neck to the bottom of the jacket along the button placket.

  12. Party Office :

    Hi all- any tips for moving into an office with people who party hard? I cannot drink for medical reasons, so I will typically go out and stay while people have 2-3 drinks. After that, I just find the experience to be unbearable/unenjoyable. How do those of you who don’t drink manage to get along socially with coworkers when you’re not really able to keep up?

    • I’m a light drinker (think 1-2 drinks, max), so I get where you’re coming from. Usually I try to give myself a goal for how long I’ll stick around and socialize. After that, I don’t feel bad about saying, “It was so great to catch up with you, but I need to head out. See you tomorrow!” I’m super friendly about it and don’t give any excuses for why I’m leaving, and from what I can tell, it’s usually received well.

      Also: I’m an introvert, so drinking aside, sticking around a party atmosphere for more than an hour or two is not my thing, and I refuse to feel bad about that preference.

    • bubble water! the point is to have something in your hand. there is nothing wrong with your lack of consumption, so if you don’t treat it as such, there will be no reason for anyone else to.

      • LinLondon :

        Absolutely agreed. I’m not a huge drinker and my colleagues pretty much go to the pub every night after work. They offer me drinks, I smile and say “no thanks!” or just ask for a coke/sparkling water, they always double check to make sure and I smile and repeat what I’d said. And they walk away and buy me a coke and themselves a lager. I think if you treat it with a light touch, it’ll be fine.

        As far as how to stay there while they’re all getting drunk, I basically just hang around till I can’t be bothered anymore, say my friendly goodbyes, and head off. I’ve already spent several hours with them, I don’t need to be around for the end of the night. Plus, it’s not like people get drunk right away, so you can have several good hours till people start getting annoying.

      • no advice just ugghh sorry i would just opt out, no interest in watching people get wasted

  13. Longtime Jew :

    I have a business trip to Moscow! Five days, but only one day for sightseeing. I want to see the Kremlin and Red Square, as well as Bulgakov’s apartment. Does anyone know if this is doable in a day? Is there anything else I should consider doing during that day? I also have a weekend totally free in St Petersburg if you have any advice on that! TIA

    • Totally doable. Have fun!

      • Longtime Jew :

        Thanks! Any other advice on times to see things or other places to go I’ve been missing?

        • Oh, check online for when the changing of the guard is at Lenin’s tomb and the Kremlin – can be a fun ceremony to catch.

          Definitely take the Metro. One of my favorite stations is Moyakovskaya (close to Red Square) – it has these fantastic murals on the walls and ceilings of Soviet idyllic life.

          Go into at least one church if you can – gorgeous. Esp. some of the small out of the way ones.

          Know that it’s very hard to cross the street in many places and you have to look for underground passageways. Don’t try to cross the big avenues. And, in general, watch out for cars – drivers can be pretty reckless.

    • that should be easy peasy. I hope the weather is nice when you visit, my only trip to both cities was in the dead of winter

    • Wandering Jew :

      If you are there over the weekend, and if you are Jewish, you might check out Friday night services. I try to do that whenever I travel abroad because they are usually so different than my own Reform/Reconstructionist congregation. I had a great experience in Istanbul, a nice experience in Paris and a very unsatisfactory experience in Bangkok. These are, of course, all Orthodox shuls, so I dress modestly and expect to sit apart. Where it has been a local Orthodox congregation, everyone has been welcoming.

      However, in Bangkok, it was a Chabad group. I was early (new city, didn’t know my way, didn’t want to be late), so I sat toward one side. As the men (and it was only men) arrived, they all sat on the other side. One man (he turned out to be the rabbi, but they were all dressed alike in black hat and coat) stood at the front of the room and counted for the minyan. I literally saw him look toward me but not count me several times. Finally, when there were eleven of us in the room (the rabbi, nine other men, and me), he walked toward me, stopped short, reached up to a curtain I had not previously seen and pulled it shut. That was the end of my being able to see anything. After the service, I walked up to introduce myself. He not only refused to shake my hand, but he refused to talk to me. Literally. I said, “Hi, I’m X and I’m from California. Thanks for letting me be a part of your service tonight.” He turned his back on me and walked away.

      Which is a very long-winded way of saying that if you can find a local congregation, this could be really interesting. It may be a cool old synagogue, you may meet some nice people, and it is always cool to see how the same prayers are done just slightly differently around the world. If all you can find is a local Chabad chapter, YMMV but I would probably skip it.

      • St. Petersburg is gorgeous! Head to the Hermitage, the line will probably be pretty long this time of year. But completely worth it. Take a walk down Nevsky Prospekt and visit Church of the Spilled Blood. If you can swing it, go see a ballet or an opera at Marinsky Theater. And eat as many blini from Teremok as you can! If the weather is nice, Peterhof and Peter and Paul fortress are also great places to visit.

        I don’t know Moscow as well, but I think the Arbat is worth visiting, it’s touristy but it’s still fun, and you’ll get a chance to see some of “Old Moscow”. And I would check out one of the markets while you’re there if you want to pick up some cool, cheap souvenirs… I can pretty much guarantee spending some time at a Russian market will be an entertaining experience. Have a blast there!

        • Migraine Sufferer :

          This just seems like such a troll comment. I don’t even know how to react. Apparently the poster doesn’t know much about the customs of Chabad and was, in fact, a rude culturally ignorant guest.

      • Oh, Chabad. Stay classy. :/

      • canadian anon :

        Yowch. Chabad can definitely vary (I know some amazing people in the movement who are incredibly welcoming, generous, openminded.. and then of course there are people that make you wonder why they’re in outreach at all). That sucks that they were so rude.

    • You can definitely do it. Red Square and Kremlin are more or less the same place (Kremlin is inside). Not sure where Bulgakov’s apartment is located but I imagine it is somewhere central and nearby. I would recommend a detour to Patriarch’s Ponds, esp. if the weather is nice. Assuming you are a fan, that’s where the opening scene of Master & Margarita takes place and there are lovely swans. Oh, also, in the Red Square, there is a really nice museum shop at the Historical Museum. Not the cheapest, but very good quality traditional souvenirs (lacquer boxes, traditional jewelry, etc.). It can be cheaper to buy them elsewhere, but if you want a token and don’t have the time to travel further out, at least this is well made stuff.

      If you want to go inside the Kremlin to the museums, look up to see if you can get tickets in advance online or at some central entrance point. I don’t recall the specifics but there was some way to really simplify the process. Also, you can check to see which day you can go into St Basil’s, which is right there and gorgeous inside. If you are really short on time, I recall a fairly pleasant bus tour that took you all over the main city sites in about 3-4 hours. I think it left from/near the Red Square, maybe nr. hotel Rosiya?

      In St Petersburg, I would check out the Hermitage and/or Peterhoff. Peterhoff is said to rival Versailles; the Hermitage is just lovely. But really, I would just spend some time walking along the Neva river and enjoying the atmosphere. It’s magical.

      Also, bring an umbrella. It can get rainy this time of year. Have fun!

  14. Costa Rica :

    Thinking of going there for late December honeymoon. Any input on where to stay/what to do? Things to stay away from? Thanks!

    • Loved Costa Rica :

      I recommend Tabacon (it’s a popular resort, you can Google it) if you are at all into the rainforest. I don’t know anything about the beaches (maybe next time!)

    • Longtime Jew :

      The beaches in Manuel Antonio are very nice and there are some lovely resorts there (I stayed at Si Como No which I cannot recommend enough but I’m sure you can’t go wrong in that area!)

    • Just came back. Second the rec for Tabacon, and in general we enjoyed the Arenal area the most on our trip. Also stayed in Tamarindo at the beach for a few days. This was nice (though the town definitely had a party, college-oriented atmosphere) but I kinda wish we’d gone to one of the fancy-shmancy resorts near Manuel Antonio instead. We went to Monteverde as well, but it was a PITA to get to (and from), and as we’re not big into birdwatching, I felt we could have skipped it.

    • i did this! :

      We went on our honeymoon in late December to Costa Rica last year! It was awesome, though what to do really depends on what you like. We are more boutique local hotel/resort types than gringo mega-resorts. In Drake Bay, we stayed at La Paloma, a rustic but luxurious tiny all inclusive. The “standard” rooms are terrible but the “ranchos” are all wonderful. Gorgeous views, peaceful, with great nearby activities like hiking and scuba in the national park, great food, warm service, and totally isolated. My blackberry didn’t get any reception out there, which was maybe the best part. We also really liked Monteverde (stayed at Arco Iris), more great hiking, views, food, wonderful coffee. We found ziplining very overrated, but everyone else likes it. We also went to Arenal, stayed at Nayara. I found Arenal pretty generic. The volcano is basically off-limits for safety reasons, the hot springs were overhyped, and the area was almost entirely gringos. However, the resort was absolutely gorgeous and the spa was amazing. San Jose was gross, crowded, dirty, and reminded me of Tijuana. Must skip.

      Despite its reputation to the contrary, I found the food in Costa Rica to be very good. However, it was not as inexpensive as I was hoping – there’s always a cheap soda (cafe) with plato tipico, but if you want good food, dishes cost about the same as the states. Guidebooks were often inaccurate on pricing. However, portions there are massive – you probably will be able to split an entree with your new spouse just fine.

      Don’t drive. The roads are in truly terrible condition and poorly labeled. However, private vans are common, safe, and fairly priced. Your hotels can easily arrange rides.

      Congratulations and have a wonderful time!

  15. Dear Corporette,

    I have a job! Ok, it’s a contract job, but it’s long term (6 months), pays well, is in a field I’m interested in going into, and is going to give me a lot of really good transferable experience. Plus there is a (tiny) possibility it could turn into a full time job.

    I can’t tell you what a load this is off my mind. The idea of being financially stable for any period of time at all is an overwhelming relief. I think it’s going to be really good for me psychologically to be able to back off the job hunt as well, I’d been starting to slip back into the depression, and the job situation was making it hard to force myself into the positive thinking techniques that I know are the most effective means of combating depression. Getting some time off from the job hunt and some new skills to talk about when I have to start again is going to be great.

    So, the key to good interviewing is apparently to be so zonked out on cold medicine that all you can say is your rehearsed lines for why you’d be good for a job.

    • Yay you! Congratulations.

    • MaggieLizer :


    • momentsofabsurdity :


    • So happy for you!!!! Congratulations!

    • Hooray! Congrats!

    • Major major congratulations!! I’m so happy to hear that!

      Every time anyone I know (or internet-know?) gets a job, it gives me hope :)

    • 1. Congratulations! That is awesome.

      2. Are you me circa 3 months ago? Our situations are creepy-similar, right down to the sick-while-interviewing!

    • Congratulations!! (I hope this is me in a few weeks!)

      You must be over the moon – go treat yourself with that first paycheck!

    • I’m so happy for you! Congrats!!

    • Congratulations! I have been in your shoes and I am so happy for you.

    • Thanks for the congratulations everyone. Everything’s moved so fast (asked to interview monday, interviewed, offered, and accepted Wednesday) that I still don’t really believe it.

      Coalea- I remember there being someone on here scarily like me, so maybe it’s you and we are the same person!

  16. Report back on some Target clothes.

    First, I bought the dress that CA Atty recommended last week (the Cross Front Ponte Dress in Stadium Red) and it is, as reported, quite nice, especially for the price. It is made of substantial fabric, is not particularly scandalous on my not too busty frame, and nicely for me the arms are not so tight that they make me look like I have sausage arms, which I often find with jersey dresses. And the color is pretty. A big thumbs up all around.

    I also bought the Merona Women’s Dot Blouse with Tie Waist in Foxtail Dot and I have to say I’m a huge fan. The color is kind of a dusky reddish orange and its nice for the spring. It goes great with my camel colored suit, but would work well with any brown or a green or a yellow or grey. The tie in the front gives you a sort of a defined waist and the sleeves puff a little but not so much that you look like a linebacker. Biggest downside (for me) is that you really can’t tuck it because of where the tie is — and also the tie doesn’t actually go all the way around, which is just slightly odd. Other than that, I give it a big thumbs up. Link to follow in the next post to avoid moderation, hopefully.


      (this is the shirt.)

      • I really like Target clothes (I LOVE that Cross Front Ponte dress) but I’m always slightly reluctant to buy them knowing that someone will look at me and recognize that I bought my dress/top/skirt/whatever at Target. Am I just being silly & self-conscious?

        • Yes, because the only person who would recognize it would be someone who shopped Target clothes, too! ;)

          • Also, this is equally true of any chain retailer that makes distinctive items. I feel foolish for owning so much J. Crew because so many of their items are obvious, and lame for dressing by any store’s book. You just have to wear what you like!

  17. Does anyone have any tips for learning sign language (books, flashcards, youtube videos, etc.)? I would like to be able to have casual/friendly conversations with someone who uses it. Thanks!

    • SpaceMountain :

      My library offered a free sign language course once, so you might want to give your library a call.

    • i found books extremely unhelpful. It was so hard to figure out the arrows, etc. I’d look for a class, or videos so you can actually see the signs in 3D.

    • YouTube.

    • seconding youtube, there are a few good ones! ASL Ally does song lyrics.
      watching ‘switched at birth’ is a fun way to keep engaged with sign language. Teen angst + signing = win.

    • Sweet, I will be checking out the teen angst first. Thanks everyone!

  18. Ft. Lauderdale :

    I’ve officially booked a vacation! After much hand-wringing and angst, husband and I decided on Ft. Lauderdale. We’ll be at the Harbor Beach Marriott resort in late May.

    Any restaurant or activity recs? We are generally active and like museums, but we’re not too interested in shopping. I’m sure we’ll mostly veg on the beach, but if there’s anything we cannot miss, we’ll probably be able to pencil that in.

    • There is a restaurant called Yolo that is in downtown Fort Lauderdale. Everything I have eaten there is delicious, especially the veggie burger!

      • Moving to Los Angeles :

        Seconding YOLO. I also love the RiverWalk in Ft. Lauderdale. There are fun laidback bars and restaurants there. You could catch an IMAX movie at the Museum of Discovery and Science. Enjoy the beach!

  19. TakingFlight :

    Need your wisdom London Lawyerettes! Regular reader/commenter, but going anon for this one because of the sensitivity.

    I’m a lawyer, 4 years out of law school. My husband may be transferred to London; in fact, it’s looking more likely every day. I started looking into jobs (currently in-house, commercial role) and am overwhelmed by how different the system is! Any advice, ladies? I’ve picked up a bit about the QLTS through some internet research (do I need to take that test even to work in a company?), and bits and pieces of info here and there. What are the big topics? Land mines? Tips for a successful search? Websites? Should I contact a recruiter – they seem popular (in my Internet searches, anyway). Any advice, large or small, would fall on VERY grateful ears!

    • Yes…you may cringe when I say this, but get thee to the Junior League of London’s website ASAP. They have a book called “Living in London” and will ship it to you. The expat community is very tight. Speak to whomever is in the office at the JLL and ask to be put in touch with new membership. Then they will hook you up with an attorney, who will hook you up with an in-house atty, etc.. London is ALL about hookups. Note that you need to secure a work permit before you move on your husband’s spousal visa, or you will have to leave and return. It’s a pain.

      Also check out a great websit called “The London Link.” Has tons of info on immigration stuff that’s really helpful.

      The JLL community will have you interviewing in no time. Swears. I worked at CSM in London (from NY) and the JLL was an invaluable resource for friends, jobs, hookups, vacation playmates, ski chalet partners, etc.

      Also, just an FYI, assessment tests are VERY commonplace at all UK employers. Totally normal.

      Good luck–you will so love the UK…promise :)

      • TakingFlight :

        Wow, MJ, this is so so helpful. Thank you!! I will get myself to the JLL ASAP! Did you take the QLTT or is that less relevant since CSM is a U.S. firm?

        Assessment tests. Yikes! Thanks for the heads-up on that. :)

  20. TakingFlight :

    Got stuck in moderation, trying again (revised):

    Need your wisdom London ladies! Regular reader/commenter, but going anon for this one because of the sensitivity.

    I’m a lawyer, 4 years out of law school. My husband may be transferred to London; in fact, it’s looking more likely every day. I started looking into jobs (currently in-house, commercial role) and am overwhelmed by how different the system is! Any advice, ladies? I’ve picked up a bit about the QLTS through some internet research (do I need to take that test even to work in a company?), and bits and pieces of info here and there. What are the big topics? Land mines? Tips for a successful search? Websites? Should I contact a recruiter – they seem popular (in my Internet searches, anyway). Any advice, large or small, would fall on VERY grateful ears!

    • Woods-comma-Elle :

      I am English-qualified, so I’m not sure about the QLTT etc., but I can offer some general pointers.

      For most in-house commercial roles, you would be competing with English-qualified lawyers, but it is far far easier to cross over from the US to the UK than the other way around. There are some in-house roles which will not require you to be a qualified attorney, but you may find that the work will be of a different level.

      Absolutely get a recruiter – I can give you some names. It’s how everyone does it here and you will find it much much easier to navigate the murky waters. With hopes of not getting stuck in moderation please feel free to send me mail to ellecommawoods (with the large g-search engine provider).

    • I’m not a lawyer, but I will say (having moved from the US to London) recruiters are much more common over here than they were in the States – a lot of jobs are only put up through recruiters, so I think it’d be at least worth getting in touch with a few!

    • I went to London from Canada, not from the US, but my observations are:

      1. I never took the QLTT and practiced as a foreign solicitor in a big firm. Most of the big firms won’t actually require you to qualify in the UK. But it depends on how long you want to stay. If I had decided to stay long-term, I probably would have qualified just so I could compete for in-house work.
      2. Interestingly, I found that while the big UK firms hired lots of Antipodeans and a few Canadians into their general practice areas, the US-qualified lawyers tended to be hired specifically into US regulatory teams only. I’m not sure whether there was a specific reason for that, or if it was just how things worked out. It might be different in the US firms that have an office in London.
      3. Definitely use a headhunter. If you live in a big urban centre already, there is probably a legal headhunter there who specializes in overseas placements. That is what you need.
      4. If your husband is going to be making a good salary and you don’t want to work in a firm, you might consider looking into writing for Lexus/Nexus or one of the other big legal publishers/consolidators. I ran into a few people in London who did this and really enjoyed having flexible hours and the opportunity to actually get to know the city.

      • Interested in this idea :

        How does someone get work for Lexus/Nexus or one of the other big legal publishers/consolidators?

        • A former student of mine has worked for Lexis-Nexis for many years as a trainer. I believe she has both a JD and an MLS.

    • The QLTT is suuuuuper easy. Its essentially an open book test where the previous years’ questions are recycled and the answers are available. All you have to do is make an index so you can find what you need. if you end up taking it, email me and I might be able to dig up some stuff.

      • TakingFlight :

        JuliaBee, this is incredibly generous! Thanks! How do I reach you by email?

  21. Shoes and styling advice? :

    Regular lurker and occasional poster here — looking for advice and recommendations!

    1) Shoes for a family member’s wedding in June in Chicago. Wedding is in the late afternoon with reception following, and I’m not sure if the ceremony will be outdoors. I’m looking for fairly comfortable heels (likely highest I can handle is 2.5″) as I will have to keep up with my 3-year old and hopefully be able to dance (possibility of ballroom dancing). Also, I have fairly small feet (size 5.5-6). Hope to spend <$200. Thoughts?

    2) Styling advice for the Kate fit pique knit jacket from Talbots in pansy (deep purple color) for my business casual office — will post link separately to avoid moderation. From reading other styling suggestions maybe a coral top, or brighter blue top might work? Thoughts on shoes also appreciated, I'm really bad at figuring that out.

    • Shoes and styling advice? :

      • EasterBunny :

        Wedges!! No sinking in the grass. I just got a pair of nude J Crew patent wedges that I love.

    • Okay, my reply disappeared. I linked to the Nine West Women’s Powersurge Peep-Toe Pump which is essentially a relatively low, peep toe wedge. There are a bunch of cute ones in a variety of colors on Endless in the under $100 range.

      In terms of the purple blazer, I think coral or blue would work. I think for neutrals, navy or grey would be nice. I think you could also pair magenta with it (like “the skirt in magenta with maybe a cream shell) and also that jewelry in bright yellow or turquoise would add some interest in the spring or summer. I also think you could wear this over patterned shirts in black and white or navy and white (like say a polka dot.)

    • I second wedges. If you might be outdoors, you really can’t do better, and I find wedges much more comfortable than regular heels.

      For jacket – I think it would look fabulous with navy or dark green, but navy esp.. Also cornflower blue if you’re feeling bright. A red accessory (dark red if you’re not feeling too bold) might also look really cute.

    • lucy stone :

      Love that jacket – I have it in navy and want it in green as well. I saw the pansy paired with a turquoise blue tee in the local store and thought it was very cute.

  22. Ladies, just apologizing for my lack of Corporette presence. The boss has been very difficult about my time. I now feel like I can’t take lunch or go to the gym or get online.

    Had planned to at least check Corporette in the evenings, but my wireless router failed. So now I have to plug my laptop directly into the cable modem and sit on the floor. It’s very bad for my back. Hopefully, I’ll get a new wireless router soon. I’m in Corporette withdrawal.

  23. Here is another interview related post. What are the crutical questions that anyone interviewing for an attorney job in a lawfirm should be sure to ask? I am not talking about making a good impression here. I am talking about the nuts and bolts information about the job that no one should leave the interview without. At least one poster earier in the week suggested, what are the expected hours, when do people come in in the morning and when do they leave. What else?

    • karenpadi :

      Why did you join [firm name]? How is [firm name] growing and adapting to the growth? What is a typical day in the office like? (I like this question because it allows the interviewer to talk broadly about office culture.) If the interviewer has been there awhile, Why have you stayed here instead of going elsewhere? What are the expectations for someone in my position at [firm name]? How is work assigned and/or reviewed?

      I had one interviewee ask about what we didn’t like about the firm. That was awkward but he got some good information out of it.

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        I usually ask “what would change?” to get at the “what don’t you like” question in a slightly less awkward way.

        Although the answer in a lot of my interviews was “the clients.” Yea…

    • I heard a story on NPR yesterday about interviewing. They said the best question to ask is:

      “Say you hired me. In one year, what would I have done that would make you think, ‘Wow, she was a really good hire.’?”

      Because it implies that they’ll hire you, that you are confident about that fact, and that you’ll stay at least a year.

    • Diana Barry :

      I wouldn’t actually ask about in-office hours. I would leave that question for when you have an offer. Particularly if it is a big firm, the hours can vary greatly by department.

      • I agree. I think asking about hours comes across as really nit-picky and inflexible. As an interviewer, I do know it’s a question so I make sure to volunteer hours /face time/working from home when asked about office culture or what is expected of someone in the position. Then it’s part of the discussion and the candidate can freely ask questions or clarify the expectations.

  24. What would you recommend one wear to an after-hours but straight-from-the-office hockey game in the corporate suite, with colleagues (most likely peers, not superiors). Tomorrow, ugh!

    • Wear what you would normally wear to work, but maybe throw on flats. If you have jeans days on fridays that’d be perfect! Otherwise, black slacks a cute but work appropriate top and a blazer would be fine.

  25. Anastasia :

    I’m probably too late if you’re on the East coast, but as someone who has attended many, many hockey games straight from work, I agree with TCFKAG. Definitely bring flats — heels at a sporting event are kind of ridiculous, even if you’re not traipsing around in the stands. Also, I’d try to incorporate the home team’s color into my outfit somehow.

  26. I’ll look for a Jackson Pollock blazer next!

work fashion blog press mentions