Coffee Break – Croco East/West Collins

Dooney & Bourke – Croco East West Collins (Grass) – Bags and LuggageI have a number of Dooney & Bourke bags, and every time I pull one out to wear it impresses me — I love the way they keep their saturated color, and I love the quality of the leather and the little details, like the long key fob. Today I’m liking this bright green shoulder purse (also available in a more sedate navy, wheat, or mustard). I always think of this as being a classic shape, and almost the perfect shape for those of us in urban environments: worn over your shoulder, you can tuck the bag’s opening under your arm and make it nearly impenetrable to pickpockets; it’s also harder to snatch if you’re tucking it tightly with your upper arm.  It’s $338 at Zappos. Dooney & Bourke – Croco East/West Collins (Grass)



  1. Just wanted to offer another sincere thanks to all the wonderful advice you ladies gave around when to know the time is right to have a kid. (Consensus: There is no “right” time, but it turns out to be the best (and most laborious) thing ever) As a follow-up and flesh-out to my original question: what are the things you wish you knew before you started trying to conceive (TTC) or before you became pregnant? What are some books or websites you recommend?

    • This will surely get stuck in moderation, but I think this book sums up the sentiments of parenting nicely:

    • I’m not pregnant/trying to get pregnant anytime soon, but I thought this was an interesting article about the strains put on a marriage because of children:

      My takeaways were that the best ways to combat the stress were: 1) communicate, a lot (through preemptive counseling or not) and 2) try to figure out the division of labor in the household before people get resentful.

    • Diana Barry :

      Start taking prenatals now. My doc says that you should take them for 3 months before conceiving so that you build up enough folic acid and other vitamins in your system for the first few weeks of pregnancy.

      • Second this. Also, if you drink, try and taper off after you ovulate (basically, the last two-ish weeks of your cycle). My doc told me that excessive (she didn’t define that) alcohol early in pregnancy leads to early miscarriages. Don’t know if it’s 100% certain or not, but it’s one less thing to worry about.

      • Still trying :

        You don’t have to take actual prenatal vitamins but take a multivitamin designed for women that contains folic acid. My doctor also recommended fish oil.

    • I recommend a book by Julie Shields called “How to Avoid The Mommy Trap.” It has some good practical suggestions about balancing motherhood with the rest of life, and especially regarding the importance of having detailed conversations with your partner *before* conceiving about how each of you anticipates sharing the responsibilities of parenting.

    • Where was this discussion? I can’t find it anywhere!

    • This is sort of a downer, but I wish that I had known that a very high percentage of pregnancies end in miscarriage. I found that out the hard way and was totally devastated because it was such a shock.

      If you want to take the guessing out of TTC, read the “bible” – Taking Charge of Your Fertility. It was written forever ago but is, imo, the gold standard of information about how to chart, etc. If you want to chart, check out It will make your life way easier.

      Also, I recommend reading the books “Pushed” and “The Nursing Mother’s Companion”. Pushed is about modern OB/GYN practices (and why they are dangerous). It convinced me to hire a doula, which was the best money I have ever spent in my life.

      Good luck and have fun!

      • Anon-ee-mouse! :

        This is great advice. I found out the hard way, as well (more than once…). Don’t be discouraged if/when it happens. And when you do find out that you’re pregnant, don’t tell anyone before 13 weeks that you wouldn’t be comfortable telling that you miscarried.

      • 4 times for me unfortunately. :-( But I have two wonderful kids to show for my perseverance! (and the second one is such a dream baby that I swear it’s karma.) Goes back to the previous discussion of “is 28 too young?” definitely not – so glad I started when I did.

        Second the advice of getting started on vitamins. After my fourth loss, my husband and I had the full fertility work up. The only thing that came out of it was that I have a genetic mutation that can make it difficult for me to absorb folic acid (separately, I also have issues with keeping my B12 up). Went on some mega doses of B vitamins (B12, B6, folate) along with a baby aspirin for good measure and boom, healthy little boy. Vitamins can be very important.

    • I would advise going in with your eyes open that you might get pregnant very, very easily (like the first month)–so be prepared!–or that it might be very, very difficult and you’ll need help. So know that even when you decide that the time is right to start trying, know that the time that you’ll actually have the baby can be very unpredictable.

    • I used the Fertility Friend website to do my cycle charting. Once you learn what signs in your body to look for, it’s a lot easier to tell when you’re fertile. We still ended up needing fertility treatment, but when I went to the clinic, I had a lot of really good information about what was going on with my cycles, because I had been charting, and they were able to forego some testing and move things along faster because of that.

  2. Nice bag. I like how it’s not so slouchy. That avocado green is very “of the moment.” Love it!

    • Associette :

      Lawgirl – couldn’t agree more. I am over slouchy purses. The croc is also very on trend.

    • I totally agree! Plus it looks on the smaller side. I hate oversized purses (when I’m not carrying work-type stuff, like a computer or notebooks)!

    • I love structured bags and I’m so happy they’re back. I just got a Dooney & Burke bag at the outlet (! yay outlets) and I’m so impressed with the quality. I haven’t had a D&B since the 1990s when I had one of the black pebbled leather with the tan smooth leather trim – that bag was so heavy I almost couldn’t bear to carry it. This one is better – very ladylike and structured but not too heavy. It sits on its feet on the floor rather than slouching over (pet peeve of mine.) It’s the Medium Priscilla in red.

  3. Jet plane :

    I’m working w a recruiter to switch geographic locations within my field. He’s gotten me an interview offer w a biglaw firm in desired city but firm doesn’t want to pay interview travels or relocation expenses. Any negotiation tips or suck it up? The expenses are not a deal breaker for me but I know this isn’t typical for biglaw and don’t want to sell myself short on the front end.

  4. Going crazy :

    Anyone have thoughts or wisdom on quitting a job without another lined up? I’ve been working crazy hours for 3 years and for really not much money. It’s become clear that raises are nowhere in sight, nor is any position to which I could advance. Benefits have recently been taken away, and that really killed all my motivation to continue devoting my life to this company. But because I do now, I have very limited time for a serious job search. Between my husband’s job & savings, we’d be fine. I just hate the idea of not contributing income, and I fear unemployment. I also hate the idea of killing my career and earning potential by languishing in an all-consuming, dead-end job. One where I feel like my work quality is at risk because of both aforementioned factors are killing my motivation.

    • I would see if you can make a little time for job searching while still having your job. Take a sick day and plot it out, update resume, make list of wanted characteristics in an employer, etc. Then spend 20 minutes every day researching potential employers, sending resumes, etc. If you can slack off at work at all, do it. Set a date on which you will quit even if you haven’t found something else (6 months? a year?).

    • It is SO much easier to find a new job while you’re still at a job than when you’re not. If you need to scale back your bours at work to have time for a job search, do that before quitting. I mean, what’s the worst they can do: fire you?

      I’ve been in a position to hire recently, and I will admit, I always look slightly more favorably on a resume that comes from a person who is still working than one from a person who is out of work. Not that I refuse to hire anyone who’s not currently working, far from it, but a person with a job who is looking to move is a person who is leaving of their own volition, and I feel less concerned that they’re looking to jump on the first offer that comes their way, and will leave as soon as they find something more in line with what they actually want. The longer the person has been unemployed, the more pronounced this concern becomes.

      Best of luck.

      • I’m also in a hiring position, and I completely disagree. So this isn’t universally true.

        • As in, you’re indifferent to whether the person is employed or not, or you actually prefer the unemployed? Curious as to your rationale – is it that you see the employed job seeker as flighty?

          • Indifferent. It doesn’t affect my decision at all so long as the unemployed job seeker isn’t unemployed due to getting fired or having engaged in some sort of misconduct.

            All of the 3 people we’ve hired in the last year in my department were unemployed at the time we hired them.

          • That is possibly the most reassuring thing I’ve heard all day, Eponine. Thank you!

            (Job searching is painful:-( )

    • If you’d be ok financially and your husband supports the idea, I’d quit if I were in your position. When interviewers ask you why you left your last job, just say that you wanted to advance in your field, no opportunities were forthcoming at your old job, and you left to pursue new opportunities.

      Just be doing something if you’re out of work for more than a few weeks. A months-long gap on your resume raises questions. But if you’re consulting, volunteering, caring for small children, trekking in Nepal, whatever, you can explain the gap easily. Sitting at home watching reruns isn’t a good explanation :).

    • This can be super hard to do for a type-A personality, and not so great for your relationships with people you work with, but can you stay at your job and just quietly cut back on work quality/hours enough so you can engage in a serious job hunt?

      As I’m sure you’ve heard many times, you’ll appear much more desirable to other employers if you’re currently employed.

      • Going crazy :

        I have tried scaling back the hours I work, and the result is the work piles up and I have less drive to go back to working like crazy to do it. Feels like a downward spiral.

        I have applied for a handful of jobs but nothing has worked out so far. I think it takes WAY more than 20 mins a day to apply. I am applying to different kinds of positions, and cover letters tailored for each can take a couple hours, including appropriately researching the company.

        I know many employers would see a work gap as a red flag. I also know people who took that leap & found fantastic jobs. Still, I’m afraid of taking the leap.

        • Going crazy :

          To clarify — have applied for jobs within last 2 weeks, so when I say they haven’t worked out, I hope I mean not yet. I have a masters degree from Ivy League school, so would like to believe I’m not a lost cause.

          Thanks to those who weighed in.

          • Anonymous :

            I HAD to quit my first job out of law school. I took a job with a solo practitioner and he was so domineering that I lost 15 pounds in three months. I quit with nothing to go to but I was perfectly willing to wait tables. If it is that bad, wait tables. I got a job a week later, but the ecomony was better then. The point is, though, only you know how much you can take.

          • OP, you could also think about temping. I have interviewed a couple of people recently who temped after being laid off and they had great experiences at their temp jobs, I mean substantive experience – it wasn’t just answering phones.

            One thing I should caution you on is to make sure you have a cogent story about why you quit, with no other job lined up, without being laid off. Caring for family, travel, schooling, etc. are all good reasons. You want to make sure the decision doesn’t look capricious – like you quit in a snit or something.

        • I took the leap after feeling so stressed that it was affecting my health (was losing a ton of weight ). No time to even do laundry orgrocery shop. Two weeks after I quit Sept. 11 happened. Despite having a great education, excellent references, solid work experience, etc., it took me months to find another gig (in fairness, I’m in a very competitive field). I didn’t relize how much more miserable I was going to be having NOTHING on the line. I don’t know how many times I kicked myself for not simply slacking until I could find somewhere new. (Yes, not easy when you’re type A.) I feel like there is this gap on my resume that will never leave and it’s been years now. Yes, I landed somewhere else and have been really happy ever since. But it was definitely a tougher path to take. If you can possibly find a way to make it work, make it work. Don’t leave a job without the next lined up unless you absoltuely have to. Just my perspective: Your “gap” will be making it harder on your job search than it would be not spending an hour tailoring every single resume.

        • Consultant in NoVA :

          While I was suffering through the last few months of my previous job, I found that focusing on the bigger picture of why I was working helped a lot (well, some). Every morning on the way to work, I would repeat to myself, “It pays the mortgage. It pays the mortgage. It pays the mortgage.” Maybe you could shift your focus to something along those lines that resonates with you. I believe that if you continue to *think* about how miserable the situation is, it will continue to *be* miserable.

      • Agree completely.

        – Use your vacation days to job hunt
        – “Oh, I need to step out to see my dentist this afternoon, Im getting a few fillings…”
        – Horrible cold, have to take several sick days…
        – “Ooops, loooks like I overslept this morning…”
        – “Sorry, I don’t have that ready yet, I’ll get it to you tomorrow”

        You can probably pull this off for several weeks before someone even connects the dots and realizes you’re slacking.

  5. SF Bay Associate :

    OT, Amy Poehler used her Time 100 speech to thank the women (in her case, a nanny) who help her take care of her children, making it easier for Amy to achieve in her career.

    She spoke for all working women “that get to do what you get to do because there are wonderful people helping at home” saying, “on behalf of every sister and mother and person who stands in your kitchen and helps you love your child, I say thank you — and I celebrate you tonight.”

    • Love her. They took down that video, but you can also see it here:!5796719/amy-poehler-dedicates-time-100-acceptance-speech-to-nannies-of-the-world

  6. This just reminded me to update my husband’s situation –

    I got a lot of great advice whether I should “let” my husband quit a job he was miserable in, even though he had no other job lined up and our financial situation was not great. I had also been unwilling to move outside of our geographical region because of a lot of factors I can’t include here w/o outing myself, but that you will just have to trust me were justified.

    After seeing how miserable he was, I told him that I supported him in whatever he did and if he needed to quit we would make it work. I also told him that I would be willing to move anywhere in the country for him to be happy and suggested a few places that I thought I could be happy.

    A funny thing happened. He expanded his job search and realized there really wasn’t a perfect dream job just waiting in the other geographic region. And he realized that it would be even more depressing to him to have no job, or to take a job that paid way less than what he is worth. He doesn’t want to start over as entry level. (He’s not a lawyer but makes in the 50’s and to go into certain other fields he would have to start in the 30’s.)

    But, here is the thing, he seems a lot happier now. He is working a job he doesn’t like because he wants to keep sticking it out. He doesn’t want a resume gap, doesn’t want to deal with the financial damage, etc. Once he had the freedom to look elsewhere he became worried about all the things I was already worried about with moving.

    His attitude towards work has improved tremendously. I think he felt trapped thinking he was stuck in this crap job to make money to support us and couldn’t move because of my commitments. Once he could do all that, he realized it really wasn’t what he wanted either.

    Thanks for all the advice.

    • Anonymous :

      So awesome and a great lesson. You had to give him the freedom to come to his own conclusion. Good for both of you!

  7. Reporting back on the aqua bike attire issue.
    I went to the coach and explained the concern and he was genuinely surprised that we even worry about what to wear. He said no one looks around and you will be in the water most of the time. When I still insisted on knowing if he’d be OK if I showed up in shorts and my colleague in capris/biking shorts he said as long as it’s clean, he couldn’t care less!
    What a relief.
    So I will gather my courage and will do the class next week.

  8. Neighbor Issues :

    I wrote about a month ago on neighbor issues I’ve been having for a while with a neighbor who plays his music extremely loudly and has a dog that barks all the time. I took people’s advice and started reporting every incident to management and called the police at the hours they were available. The neighbor did not take this well and confronted me about it in the parking lot while he was walking his dog and not wearing his shirt (he is muscular). I tried to get away as quickly as possible but felt a bit threatened. After I refused to engage him, he proceeded to argue/harass the property manager for another hour (most of which was after closing time). Needless to say it looks like the management is going to have to move me into a new unit ASAP since I now I have to go out of my way to avoid the guy. What a nightmare. Hopefully I will get a new apartment soon and this will all be over!

    • Yikes! Did you file a police report? I’d want to document this, in case it happens again.

      • Neighbor Issues :

        Luckily it did not rise to the level of requiring any sort of police report. I just walked away when I felt like the situation was getting hostile. I live in a college town and the neighbor is a recent grad who still seems to think he’s in college housing. This complex is far from campus and most people come out here for the peace and quiet, so I don’t think that the management here really has any experience with someone like him.

    • Couch Potato :

      While I certainly would NOT recommend this now, did you ever try speaking to him prior to going to the police/management? I had a neighbor once complain about my dog that I had NO IDEA barked when I wasn’t home. She was a legit angel the whole time I was home. I just wish they had told me first. Luckily they were cool w/ me taking my dog to training and understanding that the issue might still happen for a few weeks but would be getting better.

      • Couch Potato :

        I forgot to mention, I also spoke w/ my neighbor after and I hope she didn’t feel threatened. All I said was “sorry my dog was disturbing you. I had no idea she barked during the day. I am working on fixing it. In the future, if you have a problem I would appreciate if you address it with me first so I can try to fix it before you file a formal complaint.”

      • Neighbor Issues :

        Management was pretty adamant when I moved in that residents should come to management first with any complaints. All of these problems have been occurring over a period of several months. This individual wrote a comment on an apartment rating site using my first name about 3 months ago. When the dog barks, he sounds absolutely terrified. There are some nights when he’s out overnight and the dog is just a puppy who should not be left alone for that length of time.

        This was definitely a confrontation. I was walking to the mailbox and my neighbor glared at me while I got my mail and then proceeded to tell me I could not possibly know it was his dog barking and had to be lying to management. He then told me I had no right to complain about his music at noon on a Saturday (this music was audible from the clubhouse 50’+ away!), at which point I just said I was not going to continue the discussion at walked off. He’s also used my first name on an apartment ratings board. I got it removed but was a little disturbed by it.

  9. I really love the color of this purse! I also want to check out the wheat color of this purse. I bet it is gorgeous! As always, love the blog and all of your advice! Thanks for writing!

  10. Vivian Strawser :

    Amazing post.Much thanks again.

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