Coffee Break – Cleo B Jamila Suede Wedge Shoe

Cleo B Jamila Suede Wedge ShoeThere are lots of Cleo B shoes on sale at ASOS — and while I’ve never heard of the brand before, they look like they all have a slightly interesting and inventive take on your normal conservative pumps and slingbacks.  Take the heel of the purple suede wedge, for example — I like the artistic curves and the cracked black leather trim.  It was $501.34 at ASOS, but is now marked to $241.72.  (Alas: limited sizes only.) Cleo B Jamila Suede Wedge Shoe



  1. karenpadi :

    Silicon Valley Corporettes!

    We’ll meet-up at 11:30 am on Saturday, March 24th at the Cantor Center on the Stanford Campus in Palo Alto for a free docent-led tour of the Rodin Sculptures. After the tour (12:30pm, maybe? I wasn’t able to contact anyone at the Center for a time), we’ll meet-up at the Cool Cafe for a light lunch/coffee. I’ll plan to hang out until at least 2pm for stragglers.

    Interested? You can email me at karenpadi at hotmail and I’ll add you to the list. I’ll send out an email closer to the date.

  2. Thoughts on how best to support a coworker on a very restricted diet? We usually go out to drinks a few nights a week after work, but now that she’s on a more restricted diet (she’s trying lose weight), I want to be respectful and supportive.

    In particular, I would love to hear your ideas for alternatives to after work drinks. I should note that I don’t drink coffee.

    • when it gets nicer out, why don’t you go for a nice walk together? If there’s a local park or something, it’d be a nice way to catch up, strech your legs after work, decompress and encourage her new healthy lifestyle!

    • An evening stroll through the museum is nice. Also, as the weight starts to come off, how about clothes shopping? And, though you don’t drink coffee, there are other things available at your local coffee shop if you want the same sit and chat experience — tea, cocoa, seltzer, etc. If she’s up for it, how about an after-work Pilates class? Or any kind of class, really, not just an exercise class.

    • Can you go to yoga, Zumba, or some other fitness class together after work? Or just go for a walk outside?

    • You’re a great friend to be aware of this, many people wouldn’t give it a second thought and would just assume she could come and drink soda water, not realizing how difficult the temptation might be etc.

      If you want to keep it along the same lines as drinks – a casual opportunity to indulge in brainless chatting (or is that just me?!?) – after work window shopping is always fun! Also, depending on where you are you might be able to find some healthy-lifestyle-type cafes and swap out the drinks for smoothies etc. Where I live the whole green granola yoga thing is very trendy so there are tons of those types of cafes that are quite popular, so if you had something like that to go to she might not feel like she was missing out of the atmosphere of going to drinks quite so much?

    • Some of my work friends and I do a dry January (I call it No Joy in January) and we have been known to replace happy hour with movie night, shopping, or dinner. We have also been known to slip up and go to happy hour anyway. :)

      • mamabear, I’m pretty sure I want to be you when I grow up, but this does not extend to No Joy January.

        For the OP, I like mamabear’s other suggestions, or the idea of just going for a walk. Walking is so nice and low-key and relaxing. Or if you want to maintain the consumables aspect, coffee shops have a lot more than coffee; and some smoothie bars have nice, low-calorie options. Perhaps you could walk someplace to get tea.

    • You’re a good friend, anon!

  3. Yay for coffee break!

    Continuing the topic from the thread earlier today…

    For those of you with children, what type of childcare arrangement do you have and what does it cost? What do you wish you could change about it? We’re planning for our first and wondering what type of considerations we should take into account – having someone come to the house vs. a daycare, and if so, how big the daycare should be. Seems like there is a LOT of variation on cost and types available.

    • Legal Marketer :

      We have our toddler in daycare full-time (5 days a week, they allow up to 12 hours a day, but we try to keep it to under 10). It is a large center with about 200 children. I like that there are consistent standards throughout the center and it really does promote development. If our child’s teacher is ill, the assistant director or another teacher fills in, but the schedule of the classroom (snacks, naps, etc.) is uninterrupted, which may not be the same if you choose a small in-home provider or a nanny.
      We started when our child was 10 weeks old. I wish I could have had a nanny until 12 months. Now that we can afford a nanny, little one is at the age where I love that kid interacts with similar aged kids all day every day, learning to share, cooperate, problem solve, etc.
      The past few months, there has been a lot of turnover at our center, and although the directors and teachers have agreed our kid is more advanced developmentally than others in the classroom (and physically. Kid is ready for potty training.) they can’t move kid up because the next oldest classroom is full. We’re looking for a new center now, but may just do a morning preschool and hire a nanny for afternoons. (baby #2 due late this summer, so nanny makes sense down the road.)
      It was more expensive before kid turned two, but now we pay $260 per week, not including lunches. Midwestern suburb of mid-size city. I anticipate a nanny will be more expensive.

    • Diana Barry :

      We have a nanny who comes to our house. She also picks up our oldest from preschool (and does pickup/dropoff for camp in the summer).

      We pay her on the books, $18.50 hr/gross. (36 hrs/week) Note – it is extremely difficult to find someone who will agree to be paid on the books. You will probably have to pay a higher gross hourly rate in order to do this. We don’t provide health care, but would do it in lieu of a raise if she asked.

      When I was looking for childcare for #1, I found that the good daycare (that I liked) was MORE expensive than the nanny was at that time (we started out at $15/hr). The only daycare that was cheaper, I didn’t like at all – it was dark inside and all the babies seemed to be crying at once. All the other daycares were either full or didn’t have any spaces for infants. (this may be a regional thing)

      Our nanny (middle-aged) loves our kids and they love her and are attached to her, which is great. BUT, she doesn’t model good language (e.g. using the word “ain’t”), and I wish they watched less TV with her. I also wish she stayed with them at our house instead of going to her small condo all the time, but, since my husband works at home every day, it is more convenient to have the kids out of his hair all day, so taking them to her house is a plus and a minus. She also has a tendency to forget what you tell her (eg less tv, no tv for the baby) and I don’t always have enough energy to remind her every day about those things.

      Oh, and we are in a Boston suburb. She lives nearby (5 minute drive).

    • No kids for me, but I had live-in nannies (and a full-time lawyer mother) throughout my entire childhood. I know that’s frequently an unpopular route, so I want to be a pro-nanny voice. We had some truly spectacular women (and one man) in our lives from an early age – it took a lot of screening – and my siblings and I had warm relationships with them. However, we also have very close relationships with our parents, which were in no way damaged by having a nanny. Our nannies also often joined us for family dinners, vacations, and the like, so it was a lot like having a much older sibling on hand. I have absolutely no regrets – definitely an avenue to consider if you have the space for it.

    • We have had a nanny since my son was 6 weeks old. At the time he was born, I was a full time general surgery resident and my husband was a full time cardiologist. I was working 80 hours a week, and the vast majority of daycare where we were had a very firm 6pm pick up rule. In addition, most of the good daycares had 9-12 month wait lists. We got a nanny, and after adjusting to the cost, it is the right choice for our family.
      We paid our first nanny 16/hour, then she flaked on us and found a more experienced nanny for 18/hour. We’ve since moved and are in a smaller market, and had fewer choices. We settled on a very experienced nanny we pay 20/hour plus a 100/month towards her health insurance. In addition to caring for our son 9hrs a day 5 days a week, she does our laundry, cooks 2-3x a week for dinner and cleans our house (the housecleaning we pay her extra for). She has more experience with kids than either my husband or I do, and is super super super reliable.

      For us, it was totally the right choice. Our schedules are such that about once every two weeks, neither of us can get home right at 5:30 as scheduled. That would be very difficult if we were doing daycare. Additionally, we don’t have any family where we live, so if the kidlet was sick, one of us would probably have to stay home, which is a total disaster to a clinic schedule or OR schedule. (Can you imagine getting your breast cancer operation cancelled the morning of because your surgeon’s kid has a temp of 100?) So for a lot of reasons, its the right choice for us. We are contemplating #2, and will definitely continue with our nanny for the forceable future.

      I should say she is awesome with my son. She is warm, loving, firm, patient, creative, thoughtful, really really lovely. He adores her. He also goes to the recreation center preschool 2 days a week for 2 hours/day for socialization, as well as a gym class and swimming lessons. It definitely adds up, but has been the right mix for us.

    • My baby is in daycare full time right by my office. For 11 hours per day, 5 days a week, it costs $1700 per month. My daycare has a good ratio (5 babies to 2 adults), and has young babies (under 1 year) in a separate room from older babies (12 to 18 months). I also like that they are focused on education (teach baby sign language starting at 6 months), and I’ve visited and he seems to be entertained by watching the other kids. We only plan to have one child, so I think daycare will be good for socializing him when he gets to be a toddler. What I don’t like: (1) the baby is sick a lot, which means I’m sick a lot (he has his third cold since mid-December); (2) my husband and I commute in opposite directions, so I am responsible for both pickup and dropoff, which sucks when I have a busy day and have to bring the baby into my office after picking him up at 6 (I’m a litigator, so lots of last minute stuff comes up); (3) daycare overfeeds the baby, which is disheartening since I’m pumping, but I understand that it’s the easiest way to calm him down when trying to juggle other kids; (4) I have tons of baby-related chores to do when I get home at night that a nanny would take care of if we had one; and (5) getting out of the house by 6 a.m. and getting a baby ready is a PITA. We considered a nanny, but it was cost prohibitive (for the hours we need (13 per day), it would be $70k per year, more than my husband makes). I also was daunted by the process of interviewing nannies, whereas I could just visit daycares and also check with the state licensing agencies to see if there were any complaints. Still, if money weren’t an object, I’d have a nanny until the baby got old enough to benefit from playing with other kids.

    • My son is 15 months and we have a full time nanny (45 hours/week). We pay her $13.50 per hour for all 45 hours, regardless of holidays, etc., so she is basically on salary. We LOVE her. She is about 40, and has a son about 19. We found her through her previous family (they were moving out of state and wanted to find her a new job before they left). We got very lucky. She is amazing with our son, keeps our house tidy, does all of the laundry and makes it so when I get home from work my only responsibilities are dinner and baby. This has allowed me to really maximize the quality of the time I have at home.

      Also, my son is really sensitive to his schedule and naps. He is the most cheerful guy if he is allowed his regular nap and gets plenty of rest. If not, he is grumpy. I can’t even imagine how a day care would work for him. We are trying for #2 soon, and we will keep our nanny and give her a raise, probably until both are in school full time.

      • Anonymous :

        Just to clarify some of the above comments: if you are considering an in-home nanny, who will work more than 40 hours per week, you should budget to pay him/her overtime (time and a half) for hours over 40. I don’t think it was clear from the above comments, but that is the legal requirement.

        • Where do you live that this is the legal requirement? You realize that there are 50 US states and 190+ countries with different wage laws, right?

    • Research, Not Law :

      My husband’s work ebbs and flows (recession woes), so we needed a flexible arrangement. He is a stay-at-home-dad when he is not working. My parents watch our daughter two-days a week, for which we are very fortunate. After a very exhaustive search, we did finally learn (through parent friends also needing flexible care) of an in-home provider who is okay with the highs and lows.

      There’s been a lot of discussion around SAHDs lately, so I’ll skip that.

      Grandparents: The care is free (although we provide play money, gas money, and random gifts of appreciation) and my child gets a lot of time with her grandparents. There is no curriculum and, frankly, we don’t have much control over what happens. For example, they’ve fallen into a routine of weekly doughnuts and fast food and she gets special treatment for binkies, tv, etc. However, she gets lots of personal attention, follows her own schedule, and gets to go on fun and individualized outings. My parents are also helpful with diaper laundry and dinner prep. Mornings and evenings are so much easier without having to get her to daycare.

      In-Home Care: Our provider cares for about six part-time kids, with 3-4 at a time. Ages range from about 9 months to 3 years. She doesn’t follow a curriculum, but she’s very good at talking with the kids and supporting good manners and habits. It’s play-focused (which was a plus for us) and it’s been a positive experience for my daughter and her development. We like that she follows a less-strict daily schedule (ie, nap time) and milestone focus, so our daughter isn’t forced into a set framework as is done in formal centers. I’ve also noticed she’s a bit picky with the kids she’ll watch, so my daughter has nice playmates. She’s also exposed to fewer germs than at a center. We had been very happy until recently, when the other kids my daughter’s age (2-3 year olds) left for various reasons. She’s bored. We’re hoping that some older tots join soon. The other disadvantage is that our provider doesn’t do potty training or really support our own efforts, which has been a challenge since my daughter doesn’t have the modeling that happens in a age-grouped class. It’s also a pain to get everyone up, dressed, and dropped off in the mornings, and my husband and I have to negotiate work schedules with daycare pick-ups.

      Cost varies dramatically from area to area. We pay $7/hr for in-home care. I believe an infant is $9/hr. Nannies are typically $14+/hr and infant cost at a daycare is ~$1200/mo.

    • My 15-month old son is in a small local center (church-based but not religious) with just 1 infant room and 1 toddler room. We chose it for a variety of reasons… family-oriented, small, commuter benefits (aka free commuter parking in the church parking lot). We are now looking to get out ASAP as the director has royally screwed the place up with enrollment issues and a lack of communication. I’m now looking to switch to a larger center that has better oversight and more experienced caregivers. Feel free to email me directly if you have any questions on how we have arrived at either decision (trillion.stars gmail)

      As far as the cost, our current center is 375/week which is similar to other local places. The one I’m looking to move to is cheaper for far more activities but, because of the location in a non-train town, I will have to start driving to work which has a whole other set of issues.

    • We cobble together care for our two year old from a variety of places:

      Mondays — she’s with my husband’s mom (her grandma). Usually her great-grandma is there too. We drop her off at my sister in law and brother in law’s house; they have four kids (2 school age, 2 about my daughter’s age), so she gets to hang with her cousins. My SIL typically gets home between 2 and 4 pm and the hubs and I always work until 5 or later, so this is a best-of-both-worlds situation: DD gets lots of family time PLUS a bonus hour (or few) with her grandma (they leave for grandma’s house after SIL gets home). Pros: aforementioned family time, daycare doesn’t take place at my house so I don’t need to worry about messes. Cons: daycare doesn’t take place at my house so we have to get DD ready in the morning, I don’t have control over stuff like naps (too short when you’re with grandma!) or nutrition (I pureed homemade organic baby food for my daughter who now screams “Nuggets!” every time we pass a Mickey D’s).

      Tues/Wed/Thurs — kiddo goes to an employer-sponsored daycare center that we LOVE. They have an actual curriculum and do about a bajillion activities with my kid that I never would have thought of or don’t have the space/patience for. It’s great! They call us every once in awhile during the day to tell us how she’s doing, and they often send pictures over email. She’s had phases where she cries/is fussy at drop-off, but I know she has fun and gets tired out (in a good way) when she’s there. Daycare was $52/day (including food but not baby formula) in the infant room; now that she’s with the two-year-olds it’s $47/day.

      Friday — I’m not in the office on Fridays, though saying I “don’t work” is a misnomer. I’m usually on email throughout the day either on my iPhone or while she’s napping. I try to keep the errands to a minimum and do at least one fun kid-focused activity with her while we’re together.

      I like that we have a mix of child care situations; being in a center also affords us the ability to drop her off there in an “emergency” (I have to go into work on Friday, Grandma’s sick/on vaca, etc.). I’m grateful for DH’s mom because even PT daycare adds up big-time. We’re thinking about #2 and I want to barf when I figure out how much we’ll be spending on child care at that stage.

    • Childcare costs vary wildly depending on where you live. We live in a large metropolitan area, inside the city. Before you look at costs (I’d say anywhere from $550 (cheap) to $1100), you need to decide what works for you. nannies never worked for us. We tried once and it just didn’t gel. I needed to know that my childcare was not dependent upon one person, who could up and leave, or get sick and leave me searching for childcare. I’ve had lots of friends with nanny horror stories (and an equal amount who loved their nannies). We prefer daycare settings-two church related (JCC and a Christian church), and a Montessori school. I like that our costs are all trackable. I like that the daycares we have chosen have all been licensed with trained teachers, activities, a chef, field trips, extracurricular classes, etc. I like that there are rules and insurance and stability. Plus, the Montessori school we chose for our girls was AMAZING. We were sad to leave after almost 4 years. Daycare works for us. But, that’s due in large part to fairly stable and workable hours. If I had to log a ton of billables and my husband traveled or had to work late nights, then a nanny would be better.

      Hope that helps.

  4. newly awake :

    I was just diagnosed with narcolepsy. I had been having trouble staying awake during the day, and trouble concentrating while fighting through the drowsiness, and now I know why.

    Here’s my question. I work at a law firm. I feel as though I should inform someone. Who? HR? My practice group head? Anyone?

    • Relatedly, I am prone to seizures and will be going off my meds at some point for MD-okayed reasons. In the past, my seizures always occurred at night in my sleep, but I am wondering if nevertheless I should warn/inform someone at work. I have no idea whom to tell, though. FWIW, I am in biglaw in a big city, my department is small, and my secretary is useless.

    • You should definitely inform people – for starters, this may qualify as a disability under the ADA, and also, if something happens, you’d want people to be aware of what’s going on. I’d start with your Benefits person, and ask him what steps you should take.

      • Doing too much discrimination work lately... :

        In a similar vein, you may qualify for FMLA leave. If you want/need to take such leave, you have a notice obligation – but again, HR should be able to help.

    • Anonymous :

      You should go to HR. they are the appropriate department to inform and discuss any possible accomodations that will be needed. You can also discuss with then whether you should be informing anyone else

    • HR. You don’t need to notify supervisors; your medical information is confidential. HR will be able to arrange any accommodations you need.

      • While her medical information is confidential, if she is caught sleeping at her desk, it would probably be better for her supervisor to know that she has narcolepsy than her supervisor to think she was just slacking off. Some things are better to disclose.

        Newly awake – how were you diagnosed? I have sleep apnea and my doc mentioned potential narcolepsy but never really made further mention of it once they diagnosed the sleep apnea. Is there a treatment for it?

    • Anonymous :

      Go to HR – if you want an accommodation. If you don’t – think about why you might want to share the information. Medical information is confidential because it, by itself, isn’t a basis for changing how you work.

      For accommodation ideas research your condition on “Job Accommodation Network” to see what others have done as an accommodation. Many, if they don’t see a problem, don’t disclose. If you wear a bracelet or other information, and never have a seizure, or other issue, and are getting the job done, that may be all you need.

      And sleeping is never an accommodation. Breaks, yes, where you may take a nap, but if you are supposed to be working, sleeping while on the clock is to be avoided.

  5. Vacation bound :

    Our two-year old informed us this weekend that she wants to go to the beach. We live in the midwest and are tired of the cold.
    I’m wondering where we could go (within US) in early-mid February and find weather in mid-high 70s or higher.
    We’re thinking just a quick 3-4 weekend, which is why I think we need to stay in the country.
    I was thinking SC, but weather there doesn’t seem warm enough. I’d rather avoid California or far west – we will be flying our own plane and going over the Rockies can consume a LOT of extra fuel.
    Is Florida our only option? Is there a good option in AZ for a low-key resort town?

    • I want to go to the beach, too. Take me!

    • For the beach, Florida would be my suggestion, South Florida, probably, as it may be a bit too chilly in the panhandle still.

      I’d love to hear more about having and flying your own plane — is it a hobby or profession? How did you start, and how affordable is it? SO and I have been engaging in some idle chit chat about having a small personal plane several years down the road. It seems very far-fetched to me, but I’d love to hear how you do it!

      • Vacation bound :

        My husband is a pilot and has a degree in aviation management. He did a little teaching, but the pay is so low that it was impossible for us to live off of, so he’s in sales. He uses the plane for work a lot, as his job takes him all over the country. He’s flown it as far west as California/Oregon and as far east as New Jersey. It’s a small 5 seater, about 20 years old with updated interior, engines and electronics/avionics. It’s worth about $200k . We don’t have a loan on it, but my understanding is that the interest rates on them can be quite high. I’m not sure about insurance off the top of my head, but I think it really depends on the type of airplane and the level of pilot experience. There is about $600 a month in hangar rent (could be cheaper if you live somewhere warm and/or don’t need/want heat.) and the fuel is expensive. It’s usually not cost-effective to fly the two of us, but if we’re taking our child, fuel is usually equal to or slightly less than 3 commercial tickets.

        We can pretty much “outrun” the airlines to most domestic destinations. By the time you go to airport, park, check-in, do security, wait, board, fly, get luggage, etc., we have driven the 5 minutes from our house, parked outside the hangar, climbed in, flown and landed. We are in the air longer, but we fly when we want, not when the airline says. We are sometimes limited by weather, but the more $ you spend, the more adverse weather you can fly in (need de-icing equipment to fly through some storms, or a turbo to fly up over a storm.)

        It really helps that husband is very mechanically inclined and does a lot of the maintenance/repair work himself. (All has to be inspected by an FAA-approved mechanic, but it’s cheaper than paying said mechanic to do the work.)

        He loves it – it is his passion. I like being able to take my bike, my dog, my kid, my stroller, etc. and go when it works for me. It’s also fun to just fly to dinner sometimes. What would normally be a 2.5 hour drive is a 30 minute flight for us.

        The nice part is that most cities have smaller, more convenient airports than the large ones commercial flights fly into, so it’s easier to get closer to where you want to be. Many times they have “crew cars” that they will lend you for the weekend if nobody else is using them so you don’t have to rent one.

        Affordability is obviously relative, but I know you can find a decent small plane for under $100k. But be warned, it’s very easy to get used to it and forever swear off flying commercial!

        • This is fabulous.

          New Aspirational Life Goal: own plane.

          High-powered, flourishing, life-of-its own imagination + 1: Nonny 0

        • That is awesome. Thanks!

          The cost is a bit daunting, but the lifestyle would be awesome. I did get a chance to ‘fly’ an old Piper Cub years ago and loved it.

        • You said you weren’t sure on the insurance–my husband looked into it becaues his dad used to have a plane (or a share in a plane with friends), and apparently the insurance was what made him sell it. The type of plane they had was increasing in value as it aged, so it was more and more expensive to insure.

        • This is just too amazing for words.

      • My dad has had a small plane my entire life. He LOVES it. To me, it seems like a huge hassle. You have to truly enjoy it as a hobby. As far as trips, you must always factor in a few extra days for weather…may get stranded somewhere. Also, as someone said, yes it’s sometimes quicker than flying commercial, however, it is generally not cheaper. They burn a lot gas and av gas is expensive. It also seems like you need a basic understanding of physics, meteorology and fluid mechanics to pass the pilots test. Aside from the annual inspections and expensive maintenance, you will need to do check rides with instructors to keep your license current.

        Not to be a total debbie downer, I do enjoy flying and since I’m an engineer I definitely appreciate it. I just want a simpler life than my parents and to me, the cons of owning a personal plane outweight the cons. If you’re not going to use it A LOT, to me it just isn’t worth the stress and aggravation.

        A lot of local airports have flying clubs were a group of people own a few planes and you can sign them out for the day/weekend etc. That may be an avenue you’d want to explore first before you buy.

    • MeliaraofTlanth :

      If you want mid-to-high 70s with a beach, it’s almost going to have to be Florida, and probably further south in Florida and not the upper gulf area (Like Fort Walton area). I’m from Georgia, and our beaches are not nearly warm enough for swimming in February. Not even in March or April by my Southern standards (though I admit people who didn’t grow up in warm climates have a very different definition of “warm enough for the beach” weather than me). I only spent a day or two there once when I was little, but I remember Sanibel and Captiva in Florida being nice (I think they’re just south of Tampa?) Maybe check that out. Texas may also be warm enough, I just don’t know enough about it (Corpus Christi area, maybe?).

      Could you get to some of the Caribbean islands in not that much more flight time? The Bahamas is super close to southern Florida, right?

    • I would go to South Beach. I love the beach, the food, the fact that you can get a hotel on the beach and walk around everywhere. It’s my favorite. I also love Gulf Shores/ Orange Beach, AL, because it’s a short drive for us (also in the midwest) and it’s very inexpensive, but it won’t be warm enough in February for many beach activities.

    • Puerto Rico. And how cool that you have your own plane!

      ps – Arizona doesn’t have a coast. But South Texas does, which is another option.

      • I was thinking PR, too. If you just wanted beach, fly in to Vieques–I’ve heard it’s beautiful.

    • I live in Naples, Florida (and I love the area so I’ll shamelessly promote visiting Florida). Lately, we’ve been in the high 70s and hitting 80 to 82 periodically. Naples has wonderful beachs, as do some of the nearby areas such as Sanibel Island, Fort Myers and Marco Island. We are “in season” now, so places are busy (people coming down to Florida for the warm weather), but that also means lots of things are going on too! We went to the beach on Christmas and the weather was perfect but the water was kinda chilly. I don’t know what the weather is in Pensacola (on the tip of the panhandle), but that would be worth checking out – since P-cola has some gorgeous beaches too!

      • Strong second for the Naples/Ft. Myers/Sanibel-Captiva area. It is almost guaranteed to be nice and very warm.

        Tuscon is also fabulous in January and February, but no beach.

    • Tucson is great for a low-key weekend. I’m a fan of the Arizona Inn–not an inclusive resort, more of an old school full-service hotel. Kid friendly, to boot.

    • Anon from Chicago :

      we were just looking at doing this. Captivia, Fl. great looking family friendly island off the coast.

      • I spent 3 weeks in Captiva in March one year, and it was absolutely perfect. Not busy, warm but not too hot. One of my absolutely favorite places to go rent a house, explore the islands, hunt for seashells, bird watch, etc.

  6. AnonInfinity :

    I just came across this article titled “Mean Girls at Work,” and was hoping to get others’ thoughts. It’s about women undercutting other women at work.

    I wonder if sometimes this conversation is sometimes one of those “powerful women who don’t act submissive are b****y” conversations. There are a few women partners at my firm. For a little while, I found myself bristling at the way one of them was talking to me and giving corrections, but when I stepped back and thought about it, she was acting the same way toward me as she was toward the men associates AND that I’d had similar interactions with a couple of the men partners.

    • I think you have a point there. The author asks “where’s the solidarity and sisterhood?”–but there’s no place for either of those in many situations! If my work is sub-par, I don’t want to be spared knowing that because a woman in my office is trying to be nice. I, too, have noticed that sometimes I expect extra warmth from senior women, but why should I? I certainly resent it when women junior to me expect ME to have lower standards.

      Meanwhile, comments about clothing, weight etc. are never appropriate, no matter who makes them.

      • I disagree. Solidarity and sisterhood, just like bias, can manifest themselves in lots of ways. Solidarity doesn’t have to mean you’re “spared” when your work is sub-par, but it should mean you get appropriate feedback and mentoring from your colleagues. Obviously, we’re not living in a society where that always happens.

      • Haven’t read the article yet, but isn’t mentoring a form of solidarity and sisterhood?

        • To both KE and E– Absolutely, appropriate feedback and mentoring are good things. But these don’t, to me, seem like gendered concepts. It’s just being a good colleague or mentor, without the fact that both parties are women being relevant.

          I actually do think that women have particular responsibilities to each other in some instances, e.g. the thread on dealing with sexual harassment. Just not the ones at hand here.

          • On further thought, I guess my real view is even more open than this. When I said sisterhood and solidarity don’t have any place in *some* situations, that is all I meant.

          • I see your point, and I’m not trying to criticize you or start an argument. But if you look at the way mentoring really happens in the workplace, it is–frequently–highly gendered. And it’s not just about whether both parties are women.

            As I see it–and this is my choice, not something I’m imposing on others–my responsibility as a woman in the workplace isn’t solely to support women on woman-specific issues.

            Lots of us adopt patriarchal/sexist/gendered biases without even realizing it. The phenomenon described in this article is real and complex, and addressing it in a meaningful way doesn’t just mean that when there’s a dispute between a man and a woman, I automatically side with the woman. It’s much more nuanced than that.

    • karenpadi :

      I haven’t read the article but it looks very interesting. One of my clients has a “new” female in-house counsel. I’ve been asked to do more advanced work for this client and often feel that she criticizes me more than she criticizes my male colleague (who’s been doing these tasks for over a year).

      Then I tell myself to breathe and take what she says as mentoring or guidance. I don’t feel so bad then. Plus, she really goes out of her way to compliment my work to the partner I work for.

      I guess my point is that, working with this woman (at least), I sometimes feel like she doesn’t like me or respect what I’m trying to do. On the other hand, she is a major cheerleader for me. Is there anyone else in a similar situation?

      • Your lady could be signalling any number of things but if she represents an important client, then your best response may be to deliver to your firm’s standards and avoid being seen to have a personal reaction to the lady. Perhaps mention to your partner that you’re glad to hear about the compliments ‘since the client’s signals to me are a little mixed’ – this is sharing info with someone who’s on your side in terms of managing the client relationship, plus it may give you a bit of breathing space if the volume of the client’s criticism increases later on, for whatever justified or unjustified personal or professional reason.

        FWIW I’ve been in similar situations and the causes have varied from not liking someone and waiting for her to do herself in, to having a real regard for someone’s work and pushing her harder to get the job right the first time round. I would spend time parsing the significance if it’s a boss or staff member whose action has sustained impact on my effectiveness. But if it’s a client, I’ve sucked it up and put it down to ‘client management’.

  7. I love these wedges. Here are some cheaper options:

  8. How soon after you start a new (big law) job is it okay to ask for vacation? Does it matter how many days you’re wanting off?

    • By the way, the vacation obviously wouldn’t be for a few months out, but my husband has to know pretty far in advance to get days off of work. It feels weird to ask for time off right away, even though the vacation wouldnt’ be until a few months out.

    • Honestly, if we’re talking more than three days off, I think you need to wait a good six months.

      • It totally depends on company culture and what the work load is like and what kind of deadlines come up.

      • Do you mean six months before I even schedule a vacation? Or six months before I actually take a vacation?

      • I meant six months before you schedule one. But honestly, it all depends on how important the job/vacation are to you–and I mean it. I hated my firm job and didn’t really care what they thought of me there because I was planning to leave. I took a two week long vacation in my second year, and there was definitely some eye-rolling, but I didn’t care.

        I think I’m conservative about this, though, because I worked closely with a partner who was ALWAYS rolling his eyes when new associates would take a week off. He’d say things like “wow, I wish I’d have felt comfortable taking that much time off as a new associate. I guess it’s a new generation.” Clearly being snarky about it.

        I also think it depends on the firm. Most associates I worked with didn’t take a full week off very frequently. I doubt they did in the first year. If you’re going to do it, do it when work is slow so you don’t miss out on the hours. And bill as much as you can early in the billing year so you have a good cushion later on.

        Glad to have left firm life! Don’t let it get to you–and don’t take this advice for more than what it is, my experiences.

    • I think it depends on your office culture and your practice group, and how the assignment process works. (If you have an assignment partner, they usually like to keep tabs on vacations some amount of time out, so they know not to staff multiple people with vacation plans on deals / cases – if that is the case, I’d ask a friendly midlevel what the unspoken rule is about making plans).

      IMO… If you just started in October, it feels a little early (although I understand your reason) – sort of, “you just got here and you’re already planning a vacation?” – especially to associates who are already there and who have “earned” the justification to need a vacation, but struggle to find the time to take one. (Or maybe I’m just bitter b/c I haven’t been able to travel in a year and a half…)

    • Anon from Chicago :

      dont ask for vacation. just take it.

      but i think what you are asking is how soon after you start is it ok to take vacation? The answer depends on your department, people you work for etc. My suggestion (and this holds true almost always when you are in big law) would be to book it when you want to go, but be prepared to cancel if somehting comes up at work that you cant get out of.

      • Exactly. I don’t see much of a point in asking for permission several months out, because as often happens in BigLaw, they will cancel your vacation at the last minute, even if it has been on the books for ages. So ahead and start planning.

        But in terms of how it looks, asking for a day or two for a preplanned event is fine, but booking a week or two off as soon as you get to the office will often get you the side-eye. You have to just know/get to know your office.

  9. For a lucky size 10, I love those Michael Kors rainboots marked down to $37.
    Now back to work…

  10. I’m looking for multivitamin recommendations. I appear to be low in iron and B-12, but who knows what else might be deficient that I just don’t know about. I’d prefer something that I’ll realistically be able to swallow (do they make gummy vitamins for adults). Any ideas? I took one look at the multivitamin shelf at the drugstore and felt immediately overwhelmed.

    • I was low in the same areas as you – iron and B12 – and I take One-a-Day, or more often the generic CVS or RiteAid version of One-a-Day.

    • They do make gummy vitamins for adults:

    • Iron isn’t actually well absorbed from multi vitamins because they usually contain calcium, and calcium blocks the absorption of iron. So if iron is what you’re low on, I’d get an iron supplement — I use MegaFood “Blood Builder,” which has iron, B12, folate and vit C. I don’t know if it would be too large for you to swallow or not, but it *is* easy on the stomach, unlike a lot of iron supplements.

      • I didn’t know that calcium blocked iron, that’s definitely something to take into account. Thanks! Do you know if the effect is the same if you’re getting your calcium from a natural source, such as milk?

        • Lynett- Yes- all Calcium blocks iron (I’ve been iron defeicient anemic off/on for years) Caffiene also blocks iron absorbtion, so avoid taking an iron supp too close to your coffee. The best thing to do is to take a iron supp with orange juice, or another food that contains a lot of vit. C – leafy greens are another big one, but I like to take my pills with juice. I take a multi vit at night, and iron first thing int he AM with OJ.

        • I don’t know what works out best for you, whether it’s taking a multi or a few specific supplements but it may make sense to separate out the calcium and iron. For calcium absorption, you will also need Vit D. So take your iron/b12/vitC in the morning and then your vitD/calcium/multi at night (or vice versa). As for how much of what you’ll need, ask your doctor. There were many times where I was taking too much or too little of what I needed. Also, vitamins on an empty stomach apparently make many nauseous, so watch out for that, too.

          • This is essentially what some vitamins for pregnant women do, they separate out the multivitamin package into groups that are absorbed well together. I don’t know of any brands that do this for non-pregnant women’s vitamins, but I’d be curious to know if anyone has found something like that.

            I’ve also found some brands of iron pills to be really nauseating, which is why I like the Mega Foods one so much.

        • And FYI for those who don’t know, apparently caffeine interferes with the absorption of calcium, so don’t wash down your supplements with a cup of morning coffee!

        • Anonymous :

          I think if you truly have a known iron deficiency and are not just looking for a multivitamin, you are better off having your doctor prescribe an iron supplement which will allow him/her to monitor the effectiveness of the dose you’re getting. Non-heme iron (e.g., the kind that generally speaking isn’t derived from animal protein) is not particularly well absorbed in any case; calcium as well as other foods can interfere further. Due to the difficulties in absorption, another thing to be aware of is that doubling the amount of iron you take doesn’t necessarily mean that you are actually ending up with twice as much absorbed, it’s not a linear relationship.

          And yes, calcium in a pill has the same effect as calcium in milk, it’s still calcium.

          • My doctor suggested I start taking a multivitamin because I was complaining about the fact that I’ve had lower energy ever since I started taking bc 8 years ago. I was considering going off the bc (even though I love it, otherwise), but she suggested that I try taking a supplement first, to see if that solves the problem. Apparently bc will leech all kinds of vitamins out of your body, so she recommends that everyone who is on it takes a multivitamin. I got a blood test done, but the results haven’t come in yet. I probably should have started taking multivitamins years ago, so I’m going to take one regardless of what the test results say.

          • Research, Not Law :

            Agree. I’m anemic and take a multivitamin and separate iron supplement. Typically, due to complex micronutrient interactions, it’s recommended to stay with a multivitamin – but I would definitely make an exception for iron. I experience a noticeable difference when I do not take the extra iron supplement. (I do take OTC iron supplements, though).

            FWIW, calcium inhibits iron absorption, vitamin C enhances iron absorption, and iron inhibits zinc absorption. Similar effects happen with other micronutrient combos, from food or supplements.

            If you’re new to iron supplements, be prepared for an upset tummy and some hard – and even a bit blue – stools. Taking them with food really helps, and you will acclimate. Congratulations on getting a diagnosis – it was truly life changing for me!

          • Suited Up :

            Regarding iron supplements…I’m also anemic and take a separate multi-vitamin and iron supplement. I had a very “difficult” time digestion-wise with iron, until a pharmacist told me to only take iron supplements that list the first ingredient as ferrous gluconate…most iron supplements out there list the first ingredient as a sulfate. You might have a bit of a hard time finding ferrous gluconate but I’ve never had a digestion problem while taking it.

    • The only vitamins I’ve taken that have made any kind of noticeable difference for me are by Garden of Life. They have something called ‘perfect food,’ which is great (I do the pill form not the powder); their other vitamins that I’ve tried have also been great.
      With perfect food, you’re supposed to take 3-5 a day, but I just take 2 in the morning and 2 at night. I feel noticeably better when I do.

      They have one vitamin called raw b 12, which I have considered trying (b 12 does amazing things to you. I sometimes get b 12 shots when I’m feeling off or I know I have a critical/stressful period coming up and it is stupendous.) You could do that plus a separate iron supplement.

      • karenpadi :

        B 12 changed my life. It’s really that good. I take a 500mcg B 12 every morning and it changes everything. I’m in a better mood, I have more energy, I have zero mental fog, I sleep better at night…it is that good.

        BTW, emergen-C has a bunch of B 12 in addition to the vitamin C. I think the B 12 is why emergen-C does such wonderful things for me.

    • Thank you everyone for all of the very helpful advice! I’m checking out on right now.

  11. Also, that is one s3xay pair of wedge shoes. I normally find wedges too block-y but those are sweet (44 comments in and not one of them about the shoes?).

    • Personally, I find the shoes a bit on the cartoonish side. There are some brands that do this as a signature but I would feel a tad like Helena Bonham Carter in Alice in Wonderland in these (and not in a good way) (I otherwise think HBC is awesome, so it’s not a personal dig). Maybe in a more sedate color or the wedge wasn’t also purple suede…

  12. Thanks for everyone who gave me advice yesterday about my breathing issues. I saw my GP this morning and he thinks it’s a form of allergic asthma. I’m going to be changing the antihistamine I use and start using an inhaler. He did not tell me it was all in my head, which is what I was worried about. So thanks everyone!

    • I hope the inhaler works for you. I could never get the hang of albuterol and didn’t like the way it made me feel. That’s why I’m an inhaled steroid. Works well. I’m so glad you got a diagnosis that makes sense!

      • Yes I definitely feel a little shaky with the albuterol. I’m giving it a month to see if I adjust. I’m not quite breathing easy, but defintiely breathing easier.

        • law talking girl is right – I didn’t get the right asthma medication until I saw a pulmonologist. I think my GP finally gave up after I had the death rattle cough for 3 months at a time. There are certain ailments with which I never trust a GP (mainly orthopedics) but asthma might be another on my list!

        • There are different types of inhalers, so your doctor can have you try a different one. I tried two different rescue inhalers and three different daily ones before I found the combination that works best for me. My albuterol rescue inhaler (I used Proventil brand) always gave me the shakes and now I use Xopenex. For my daily inhaler, I use Flovent and it works amazingly well, but holy goodness is it expensive.

    • law talking girl :

      You should probably see a specialist for asthma – an allergist who specializes in asthma management. There are tests you can take that will indicate whether you have asthma or something else. I do not think a GP has the specialized knowledge to effectively treat asthma. Asthma is a chronic condition that you have to live with the rest of your life and you need someone with most up-to-date information to help you manage it effectively.

      I have had asthma for 28 of 33 years and have seen many many doctors and taken many different medicines. Something I learned recently is that some inhaled corticosteroids are ineffective in some patients. So if you are on a corticosteroid inhaler and you don’t see improvement, it could be that that medicine just does not work for you.

      Also all inhalers are not the same. Albuterol is a fast-acting bronchodilator that should only be used to stop an asthma attack in progress. Albuterol does nothing to prevent asthma attacks. It does make you feel jittery, but that jittery feeling is 1,000,000,000,000 times better than the feeling of slow suffocation. In the old days doctors would sometimes give you an intramuscular injection of adrenaline to stop an asthma attack. That definitely got the heart rate going!!! In contrast, inhaled corticosteroids reduce inflammation and mucus production, and thereby prevent asthma attacks.

      Good luck!

  13. Ladies, I was a bad girl today. I went to TJMaxx to get a neckwarmer for my ski weekend and came home with 2 pairs of Franco Sarto peep toe wedge heels.

    • Wear them in good health :)

    • When I first read your comment, Bunkster, I thought you said, “Today was a bad day,” and I thought, “What? That sounds like a perfect day!”

      I’m sure the peep toe wedge heels will come in handy on your ski weekend. :)

    • Why is this bad again? :)

      • Probably because one pair is red patent leather. Also, I just bought tall boots last week. And I have several large expenditures right now – new ski boots, lift tickets, and new glasses.

  14. Ugh, vent and a request for advice. I’m sure it’s been discussed here before, but what do you do when you have an opposing counsel (or someone that you must work with) that does every little thing he can to infuriate you? I’m talking multiple emails threatening sanctions and contempt for every (perceived) slight, nasty language, generally making things more difficult than they should be, and all-around horrible demeanor.

    I always take the high road in communications with him, but that doesn’t help the elevated blood pressure and anger/annoyance I feel every time something from him that comes across my desk. Any advice to get over the momentary surge of anger?

    (And oh, yeah- he’s our judge’s best friend….)

    • North Shore :

      Dear Opposing Counsel:
      Thank you for your e-mail. Please be advised that I disagree with everything in your e-mail after “Dear JJ.”
      Yours truly,

    • North Shore :

      Seriously, you need to stand up to him and document everything. He won’t change; you just need to deal with it. Save everything he sends you; record/transcribe voice mail, etc. Maybe you’ll luck out and get him to go on a tirade during a deposition, where it’s transcribed. I’d advise video-taping depositions, if you aren’t already, b/c having it all on video sometimes can get opposing counsel to tone it down. And to get over the anger, remember that this is your job, and that eventually this case will be over, and that the skills you learn from dealing with him will help you with the next opposing counsel who is just like him. Believe me, I’ve been there, and it gets so much easier to stand up to these jerks after the first few times.

      • SouthernLegal :

        This. Document everything.

        Next, step back and laugh. Envision the OC throwing a temper tantrum like a baby going through the terrible 2’s, because this is just the “grown-up” equivalent. After awhile, it really does get funny when you see another attorney acting like this. Remember that if an attorney does this to you, they are most likely doing it to other attorneys they go up against as well.

        In the years since I started practicing litigation, I’ve noticed a pattern with these types of attorneys. If I can honestly evaluate my case and determine that there really isn’t something inappropriate in the way I am handling my case, then in my experience, one of a few things is generally going on: (1) OC knows he/she has a crappy case and is trying to deflect attention to that fact; (2) OC actually has a really good case, and is ticked because the case isn’t settling quick enough; (3) OC is out of his/her element – either they aren’t familiar with this area of the law/the applicable rules/doesn’t have enough experience, usually settles cases versus trying them, etc.; or (4) a combination of one of the above. Once I try to take a step back and figure out why the OC is acting out, it usually helps me to put it into perspective and get rid of my own emotions while dealing with the case. I’ve also found that generally ignoring the tirades, accusations, etc. except when absolutely necessary helps, as does deflecting the attention to what is actually happening in the case.

    • If he is actually the judge’s best friend you need to ask the judge to recuse him/herself, and if that doesn’t work make a request for reassignment to the admin judge. That is a serious ethical breach.

      In terms of dealing with it, I agree with North Shore. Generally, people like this come across as disagreeable in court, too, and judges and their clerks usually take notice. I work in chambers and it doesn’t go unnoted in our part.

    • I’m not sure if you’ll feel this helps, but for me, it helps to think that while I have to deal with this person for 15 minutes, 1 hour, etc. they go through life like this and are having these interactions all. the. time. Then I feel sad for them and good about myself.

    • Thanks so much for the advice, everyone! You’re all right and this was a great reminder that this guy is like this every single day while I only have to deal with him in snippets. As for getting the judge to recuse himself, unfortunately that’s no dice. We’re in a small, small town and “homer-towning” is just the price we have to pay.

    • When I first started working I was on a conference call with a senior partner and opposing counsel. OC went on a 5-minute rant about how he was going to sanction partner etc. After he was done, she said, “Do you feel better now?” That’s what I say in my head when I get emails–poor angry white man, I hope he feels better now that he’s been able to vent. When it happens in court, I look at the judge and ask him/her if they have any questions for me. Also agree that you should document.

  15. Posted yesterday but got stuck in moderation. I could really use some advice from any lawyer corporettes right now, particularly PDs/other criminal defenders. I’m a law student working in a legal clinic, and am in the middle of my first very high-stakes case representing a criminal defendant. I have invested months of time and energy in this case, and have gotten to know my client and his family very well. As the trial has gone on, it’s become harder and harder to be my “normal” self outside of court. Everyday conversations with my friends feel trivial and I get annoyed with them; I am having trouble sleeping and focusing on classwork because I’m constantly worried about or thinking about this case. It doesn’t help either that I’m trying to juggle class and other law school responsibilities while also going to court. FWIW, I’m not alone on the case – a professor and 2 other students are on it too – but I am solely responsible for certain witnesses, motions, etc.

    I’m wondering if I’ve just become too emotionally wrapped up in this, and if so, what I can do about it. The trial is going to continue for a while longer, and I really don’t want to be this wholly unpleasant, spaced-out person whenever I’m not in court, but I’m just not sure how to handle it. If anyone has any experience handling something similar, I’d really love to hear about it.

    • I had a similar issue for my first few years as a prosecutor. I felt like I was dealing with important, world-changing issues at work… and then got annoyed/ distracted/ tuned out with everything else, like when my friends talked to me about dumb stuff like civil law, their current boyfriend issues, whatever yummy thing they ate that day. And I hated that I felt that way, but couldn’t help feeling that way.

      To some extent, this is a function of inexperience: once the novelty of representing someone so different from you wears off and you get used to the idea of being in high stakes litigation, it will become more normal for you and life will resume. Also, being in law school, where you are under lots of stress, removed from normal pressures and feel very ineffective overall tends to make one obsess about things… especially when you get the chance to do something where you feel like you can accomplish something important (or screw up big time). But, most great litigators obsess over cases while in trial.

      That being said, the best thing you can do at this point in a) try to keep some perspective, b) write down all of the things running through your head, either at the end of work or before you try to attend social functions… it will quiet down the constant “thought loop” in your head and c) let your friends and family know WHY you are so cranky/ preoccupied.

      Good luck.

    • The thing that makes me feel better (and lets me relax) is knowing that I have absolutely KILLED it in preparation. Like, gorgeous, beautiful typed up scripts for direct and cross that I then commit almost entirely to memory. Like, practicing these exams with my boyfriend. Like, writing out scripts for intro’ing the key evidence properly and actually learning those by heart. It’s when I don’t do this stuff that I obsess. Like, making sure my motions are gorgeous and perfectly blue-booked and exhaustively cited and beautifully organized and the margins are all correct. Once I actually do it, I’m able to truly say to myself, Self, you are so f***ing ready it hurts. Do something else now.

    • anon in Texas :

      yeah, so I think that dealing or balancing this feeling is a big part of learning the work-life balance that a lot of attorneys struggle with.

      I think that it’s good to have non-law hobbies, friends, discussion. It’s healthy to be a normal person, and to engage more in regular activities, and it’ll significantly help with the stress.

      I had a lot of this feeling my first few years doing domestic violence litigation. But it’s much more balanced now. Many of my friends (ADAs) went through this and it was just hell to try to be friends with them (because they just talked about work all.the.damn.time). But we made it. So will you.

  16. These Purple Suede High Shoes? :

    Can someone please explain why these shoes are office appropriate, but apparently my Cole-Haan/Nike sole plain black leather, with three inch stacked heels, that hit two inches below the knee and I wear them with traditional-cut sheath dresses or pencil skirts/sweater/jacket boots are not?

    • Oooh ooh, I know the answer to this question. They’re not. Seriously. :-)

      • Disagree! They both are office appropriate, if you know your office. I wear black leather wedge knee-high boots frequently. The person who disagrees with their appropriateness for work will have to drag them off my cold, dead feet!

        • I just meant the purple wedge heels, which I think are a little racy. I don’t have any real problem with boots. :-)

    • I think knee high boots are appropriate, myself, but the poll did specify conservative offices, while the general clothing posts on this blog are often meant for more casual offices.

      For example, those who object to knee high boots would have a heard attack if they saw my shoes today ;)

    • I have some similar Nine West pumps (same shaped wedge with a thin ankle strap – called Basela). They’re really pretty but definitely a bit sexy, especially with the ankle strap. Fine for my office but not for the more conservative. The only reasons I haven’t tried knee high boots are my enormous muscular calves and the fact that I live too far south to wear them that often.

    • I think your boots are appropriate and I’d wear these wedges too. I can see myself wearing them with a pant suit where they just peek out and add a pop of color.

  17. I work in a big investment bank in NYC and I can see myself wearing these with a black skirt, black leggings, a black long sleeve blouse. What do you guys think? Too Racy?

    • Anonymous :

      black leggings or black tights? i have a hard time picturing a leggings-and-skirt combo that would look office-appropriate, but tights seem fine.

      • I meant tights :-) I keep getting confused between the two until I see them

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