Coffee Break – Leon Small Satchel

Oooh: cute ladylike satchel from Botkier. As always with Botkier, I love the quality of the leather, the wit (that contrasting clasp!) and the intelligent details (pockets, detachable shoulder strap, etc.). I think it’s a great way to look very of-the-moment in a classy way, especially if you’ll be otherwise sitting out the mint craze going on right now. (It’s also available in coral, the other “now” color.) Even better, it’s on sale: was $425, currently marked to $229 at Zappos. Botkier – Leon Small Satchel (Garden Cowhide)



  1. K... in transition :

    We had such fun with listing reasons why today doesn’t s*ck last week, here’s another one…

    The lamest pick-up line I ever heard was…. OR that I ever used was… OR that ever worked on me was…

    • How much does a polar bear weigh? Just enough to break the ice.

      Used on my friend, a bio major, who just happened to know how much a polar bear actually weighs, and proceeds to give the guy an estimate.

      • Woods-comma-Elle :

        A friend had a similar experience:

        Him: Fat Penguin
        Her: What?
        Him: Just wanted to say something to break the ice.

        She laughed. They just got married.

    • Perhaps lame from someone else, but sweet to me :) My now husband actually asked me “is this seat taken?” when I was alone at a table for 8. Then we talked for 4 hours. It inspired what we put inside each other’s wedding bands. (end mush)

      • Aw, that’s cute!

        • Oh, to answer the question, my husband first words to me were “Are you smart?” We were in college and pairing up for an assignment in a class we had together.

    • Not necessarily trying to pick me up, but a male friend of mine saw me in the grocery store, came up behind me, and said in my ear, “Girl, where’ve you been all my life?”

    • Lamest ever:

      I was 18, in my Army dress uniform and traveling to my next duty assignment. Some slimy commercial pilot started chatting me up and then told me I had bedroom eyes.

      I burst out laughing and told him that line was old when my mother was my age.

    • I used to work at a hotel. During a slow afternoon I was eating my lunch at the hotel bar, chatting with the bar-tender, reading out loud from some Cosmo-esque magazine. The article I was reading consisted of men’s answers to the question, “What would you most want to see your girlfriend wearing?” The answers predictably ranged from jeans and a baseball cap to a slinky black dress to nothing.

      Suddenly, out of nowhere, a guy sitting down at the end of the bar chimed in, saying, “I’d like to see you wearing nothing but whipped cream and a banana.”

      Now, a lot of skeevy guys said a lot of skeevy things during my hotel years. But this one goes down in history as the most confusing because all I could think was, “What am I supposed to do with the banana?” I didn’t ask for clarification, though, because I’m pretty sure I didn’t want to know the answer.

    • soulfusion :

      I met a guy I briefly dated (more of a summer fling . . . could use another one!) walking down the street. I was close to home and walking fast both because I always do and because I needed to pee. I was about to walk by said guy and he turned to me and said “are you trying to race?” It caught me off guard, made me laugh and I agreed to have a drink with him (despite the fact that the bar we went to was further away than my apartment!). I wanted him to be a keeper just for the story.

    • Well, when I was in college, all the guy’s wanted to date me. But they did NOT want a l/t relationeship, just to say that they DATED me. And they tried to have me do things sexueally for them. Fooey! I would NOT do anything like that. One guy, I think his NAME was “Bud or Biff” I forget, was really wormey. All the guy’s put him UP to askeing me out. I kind of felt sorrey for him UNTIL he came up with this line:

      “Ellen, I want for you to love me foreever as my wife!”

      I did NOT even know where to look, b/c the guy did NOT even know me! AND, I would NEVER LOVE a man I did NOT know alot! NO WAY Hoze!

      I did NOT go out with him. DOUBLE FOOEY on Biff!

      • K... in transition :

        I am totally in love with knowing that we learned something new to add to “The Ellen Files” because of something I started hehe

    • I love cheesy pick-up lines, but guys never use them on me! I guess my equivalent is guys starting conversations with “I like your glasses.” Yawn. Best example was on St Paddy’s Day; I was in line for the bathroom behind two dudes; one of them turned to me and said the line, and then the other one smacked his forehead and was like “Dude! You beat me to it! I was just about to say that.”

    • When my brother was a teenager, he kept a list of cheesy (and sleazy) pickup lines. He never used them. They were just amusing.

      My favorite… “That dress is very becoming on you. Of course, if I were on you I’d be coming, too.”

      Apologies for grossing you all out.

      • Ha – ew – a *slightly* less icky but similar one that made the (joke) rounds in high school was “Oh, that’s a cute dress – it would look even better on my bedroom floor”

        • Tired Squared :

          Hahaha my boyfriend uses that one all the time. Me: “Do you like the dress?” Boy: “Yes, but I’ll LOVE it later on the bedroom floor…”

    • PharmaGirl :

      “You wanna go make out?”

      Back when I was 24, I actually used this line on an extraordinarily hot co-worker, when we were out at happy hour with other co-workers. It totally worked… we made out in my car. That was proud moment, for sure.

    • we're nerds :

      While dating, my husband and I had a huge hang up about saying those three words, “I love you”. When we started getting serious, he suggested saying it in another language, and we’d know how we meant it. The language he suggested? Elvish, as in, the language of the Elves from Lord of the Rings. Definitely decided to look that up and start using it… and like many of you, it’s now engraved on his wedding band :)

      • That is awesomely nerdy! I tell my sweetie that he is precious to me, and it always devolves into me croaking “my precious, my precious”.

    • So timely, K! Just last night I heard a commercial on the radio for an online dating service and their schtick was that you could send in the worst lines you had ever heard and the worst of the worst will end up in a future ad.

    • Worst:

      Grad school classmate “confides” in me that he and his buddy made a bet over who could bring home a 7.5 or higher that night.

      I figured that meant he was surely the type who goes for the 18 y/o undergrads with fakes, who had just left for the neighboring bar, so I broke the sad news to him that he’d missed his chance and there weren’t any 7.5s left at the bar.

      He then tries to use that as an opening to tell me I’m definitely at least a 7.5, and he could take me home.

      Oh yeah, that’ll work.

    • Him: Excuse me, sweetheart, but were your parents birds?
      Me: Huh?
      Him: Because you are just the flyest honey that I have ever seen…

      Yep. Seriously. Someone said that.

    • In college there was one pick up line that ALWAYS worked on me: “Haven’t I met you somewhere?” Why, you may wonder? Well, I was a driver for the campus bus system for three years! Yeah, once I figured out it was a pick up line I usually got the poor guy to buy me and my friends a round drinks. My guy friends loved it!

    • The worst pick-up line: “Can I just say, you have amazing bre*sts.” (from a law school classmate, at a law school function)
      Me: “Why would you tell me that?”
      Him: “I assumed you wanted the compliment. I mean, you wear tight T-shirts, so you must be proud of them.”

      Can I be honest? I had this same conversation with not one, but two, law school classmates. I went into a funk for a while after the second. I wear T-shirts. They are tight as a function of the fact that I have large bre*sts so shirts are almost always a bit tight up there, not because I purposefully seek out skin-tight baby Ts. And I was horrified and embarrassed to realize that these men I saw as business networking colleagues/acquaintances were thinking of me that way … and thought I was what? the “type of girl” that would appreciate or respond positively to this approach.

      • Creepy Dude: “What are you doing reading a BOOK in a bar!?”
        Me: *gesturing to the other three law students all with their books* “We’re studying, the bartender is in our study group.”
        CD: “The hot bartender is in law school??”
        Me: “Yup”
        CD: “Well, I just got married, think she’s give me a congratulatory blowie?”
        Me: “Um, no, ew.”
        CD: “Oh, okay, well then, would you?”


        Actually, one other time I was reading in a bar and got the same question. I had just ordered food to go and was waiting for it to come but it was apparently a huge transgression for me to be reading in a bar that only had about 3 other people in it. *sigh*

        • Ha, oh, people….

          Yours reminds me of one, though. I was at a bar with a group of friends, including a new friend and her boyfriend. She noticed a cute guy sitting behind me reading a book in the bar, she knew I was single but thought I should get out more. So, she got his attention and said ‘Hey, come sit with us! This is zora, what’s your name?’

          Turned out he was really nice and totally amused, so we all hung out for a while. Then at the end of the night she turned to him again and said, ‘Hey, zora’s having a birthday party this weekend, you should come, give her your number’ and just walked away. He and I actually ended up dating for a while, and he was awesome. So, moral of the story: read in bars. ;o)

    • “Hey, skinny.”

      (I have more body image issues than I thought, okay?!)

    • Anon for this :

      Me: sitting in a park in Paris. Him: 8O years old.
      Him: beautiful day, beautiful girl
      Me: merci
      Him: I have a house in Belgium. I will bring you there and you will be my mistress. Tomorrow be here I will bring you present
      Me: didn’t return to that park for months. Still wonder what the present was

      • This one made me laugh out loud. He took hat “merci” and really ran with it!

      • Haha. Me, also in Paris on the steps of Sacre Coeur at sunset, 18 years old, near-native French speaker. Him, Francophone African. Convo below took place in French.

        Him: It’s a beautiful view.
        Me: Yes, it’s lovely. I come here every time I’m in Paris.
        Him: Where are you from?
        Me: The US.
        Him: No, you’re not.
        Me: Yes, I am.
        Him: No, you’re not.
        Me: I am, but why do you say that?
        Him: Because Americans do not speak French so well. You must be Swiss.


        • Hmm, that might have actually worked on me :)

          Instead, I had the following French conversation, which took place at Charles DeGaulle airport, as I prepared to return to the US after a year abroad. A young man stopped to assist me loading my multiple suitcases onto a rolling cart after seeing me try and fail to do this alone.

          Me: Thank you.
          Him: You’re welcome. You seem very hot from all this exertion. I think you should take off your top.

          • LMAO. Ah, French people.

            I’d have taken it as a compliment, maybe, if I had learned French in school, but since I grew up speaking French I took it more as an insult against Americans. There are 300 million of us – we are not all alike!

        • A friend of mine got the same reaction when she visited Francophone Africa! (I think Cote d’Ivoire.) She has a Ph.D. in/teaches French, so she SHOULD be good at it, but no one would believe she was American. She’s very blond, so they decided she was Swedish.

        • So THAT’s what all those Germans mean when they say that about my German!
          (not really. At least not my kid’s preschool teacher)

    • Research, Not Law :

      A guy was trying very hard to pick me up, doing miserably, but officially lost with this one:

      Him: I can play this on the trumpet. (Referring to some pop song playing – think Britney Spears or Nsync).
      Me: Really?? (surprisingly intrigued)
      Him: No. I don’t even play the trumpet. I just said that to impress you.

      Okay, telling me immediately that you lied is going to counteract whatever impression you did make. But furthermore, why would *that* impress me?

    • In law school, we would hang out at a local dive bar. It was also frequented by international/exchange undergrad students and the football team. (Hijinks ensued.)

      One of the exchange students could barely speak English. He literally said to me, with all seriousness, “So, do you come here often?”

      • Graduate student help :

        Did anyone try the old classic line of “Annyong?!” with you?

    • Do you**** the way you dance?

      (at an office party, no less)

    • Lamest of all: I wouldn’t recognize some of these as the guy hitting on me. (I do have a couple of funny/outrageous stories of my own, but I tell people about them in real life and don’t want to be recognized).

      • Merabella :

        I am oblivious as well. I went on 2 dates, count them 2, without knowing they were dates until about half way through…

    • Graduate student help :

      I once left a cute waiter a comment card after a bad break up saying

      “My name is [grad student help], my number is [my phone number], and I [am highly proficient at something very graphic].

      He called! we went on a few dates, didn’t end up clicking though.

      This is probably why my friends keep me around.

    • Marie Curie :

      Shared by a guy in my class (apparently he used it with success): “Have you got a hanky? Because I’m allergic to beautiful girls …”

    • MaggieLizer :

      Guy (to my friend, who was standing next to me): I’ve been watching you from across the room and I see that you’re here alone. You’re lonely, I’m lonely, let’s be lonely together.
      Friend: I’m here with my husband and friend (gesturing to me).
      Guy (to me): I’ve been watching you from across the room and I see that you’re here alone….
      Me: I’m gonna stop you right there and suggest you go be lonely elsewhere.

  2. True story: my husband picked me up by sitting down next to me at happy hour and launching into a story about farm animals that he’d just read in the local paper. I was so taken aback and strangely interested that I didn’t even realize I was being hit on until it was too late! Now it’s a great inside joke. Like Cat, we even had a reference to it engraved on the inside of his wedding band.

    • I keep getting the posting too quickly comment…

      But obviously this was meant for K in transition above – I wouldn’t just randomly post my farm animal story, I promise!

  3. J Crew Suiting Question :

    Love the green color of the satchel!

    TJ about J Crew suiting. I last bought a suit from there about 7-8 years ago and I know they have changed their sizing quite a bit. I checked J Crew Aficionada but it doesn’t seem to have any sizing info on the Super 120s, which is what I’m looking at.

    Thoughts on whether / how much to rely on the sizing chart? I’m 5’3″ with a 25″ waist and 36″ hips and, if I go by the chart, am going to get a 2P in the jacket, 4P in pants and dress, and a 2 in the skirt (not petite because I like my skirts to hit the knees and can usually wear regular skirts). Any anecdotal evidence (whether similar size or not) would be greatly appreciated as I am under some time constraints and won’t have time to ship back if I get the wrong size. TIA!

    • Similarly sized :

      I’m 5’4″, 26″ waist, 115 lbs and wear a size 0 in jacket, pants and skirt (or 2 for the skirt, can’t remember) that I purchased within the last 6 months. Not sure what my hips are, and my shoulders are very narrow.

    • phillygirlruns :

      call their customer service line – they will give you the exact measurements for each item. in my experience, their size chart is useless – my measurements put me squarely in the M/8/10 range but everything i own from there is S/4/6.

    • J Crew Suiting Question :

      Thanks y’all.

      Similarly sized, I was figuring I’d have to size down based on what I’ve heard. I don’t understand why stores can’t stick to their sizing charts.

      Phillygirlruns, great to know that they will do that. Wish they were like Boden and would just post the garment measurements on the website.

    • Sort of related question, although not regarding J.Crew specifically.

      What do you do if you are all over the map in a brand’s size chart? Do you go with the largest size and have the item tailored to fit the area(s) where it is too large? This seems logical, yet expensive…

      • Rose in Bloom :

        If I am all over the map, I go with the part of me that is widest and tailor down. With the J Crew example (I was the poster), I picked the sizes based on my hips as those will put me in a larger size than my waist every time and I’d rather take in the waist rather than have the hips be too tight. I’ve also learned to completely ignore bu st measurements because, for me, they do not work on any size chart whatsoever, so there I go with my waist measurement. It is essentially trial and error based on the relative bu st-hip-waist measurements.

        As noted above, if a store is awesome like Boden and gives you garment measurements, it is much easier to pick. You still may have to tailor, but the site may tell you in general to buy a 4 if you have 36″ hips, but this particular garment may have 38″ allowance in the hips allowing you to size down.

  4. Montreal thread jack – We are visiting in a few weeks and I’ve searched past threads for past recommendations on what to see and eat – thank you. I’m wondering about what clothes to pack. Should I assume we should dress as if we’re in a European city (i.e. no sneakers and shorts)? We have reservations at Au Pied de Cochon. Should my husband bring a blazer and/or slacks? Thanks!

    • Equity's Darling :

      Montreal may have a European vibe, but honestly, wear whatever you want, don’t feel like it’s the end of the world if you’re happiest wearing jean shorts and a tank top with sneakers.

      It’s a very live and let live type of city, and there are SO many students and visitors that it doesn’t really faze the residents to see people walking around with fanny packs and giant cameras.

      Also, if you’re going in the middle of the summer, it will be pretty hot, and if you plan on wandering around the city…well, I’m sure your husband will prefer shorts, and you might be happier in them (or a summer dress…just no pants).

      And yes, when I went to Au Pied de Cochon (so amazing, BTW), the men I went with wore blazers and slacks, I wore a relatively casual dress and dressier sandals- you could always call to confirm whether the blazer for your husband is required though.

    • I was just in Montreal for Memorial Day and had visited there previously. I think it has a European feel, but it is not exactly Europe. There were plenty of people dressed in shorts and sneakers. The botanical gardens are very pretty. It is also nice to go walking around Old Montreal. The shopping is fantastic on Ste. Catherine’s street. Each time I have been to Montreal, I’ve gone on little shopping sprees. For food, I would recommend Boris Bistro, Restaurant Holder and Queue de Cheval. For drinks, there is a nice rooftop bar at Hotel Nelligan.

    • Eat brunch at Cartet. You will love it.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      Second the recommendation for the botanical gardens – they are gorgeous. I *love* visiting Juliet et Chocolate when I visit.

  5. I’ve been asked to give a 25-30 minute lunch talk for a group from my undergraduate on –
    “The pros and cons of life as a successful female attorney in a rural area. ” The whole proposal sort of made it sound like I was on the front lines in Afghanistan.

    I’ve got the rest of the afternoon blocked off to draft what I want to say, and I have no idea what I want to say, or what this female professional group is looking for. In short, I’m having a serious case of writer’s block.

    Here’s the deal – I’m a fairly successful attorney in Small Law (11 attorneys in my firm), doing general civil litigation as well as two niche areas that I enjoy. I live in a medium-size town (pop 36,000) – in the currently hot and humid South. I like my life a lot, but I know that it’s not for everybody.

    Any ideas for what I should talk about? What you’d like to know about practicing law in a rural area? What is it about practicing in a rural area that terrifies you? What challenges do you imagine I face?

    • Rose in Bloom :

      I would be curious to know about mentorship opportunities given the size of the legal community (which in a town of 36,000 I’m sure isn’t that small). Also you could talk about how your practice of law compares to working in SmallLaw in a big city or BigLaw in general – i.e. do you have to be more general in your city than you would be at a small firm in a big city, etc.

    • I’d like to know how to go about finding a job in a rural area (short of starting one’s own firm). Small firms don’t do OCI or even hire on a regular basis; how do you find out about jobs, whom do you contact at the firm, what are employers looking for in a potential new associate?

    • new york associate :

      From my totally uneducated perspective, here’s what would scare me about your job:
      1) Breadth of practice. I imagine that rural attorneys have to be proficient in a lot of legal fields, and able to answer a wide variety of questions. Isn’t it scary to have to deal with questions on topics you don’t know about? What do you do when you have a question you can’t answer, and don’t have endless resources to track down the answer?
      2) Client cost-focus. I imagine that your clients are so cost-sensitive that it is very difficult to do super-polished work product.
      3) Resources. What do you do yourself? What does your secretary do? Etc.

      Hope that helps! FWIW, I think your job sounds awesome.

    • Former MidLevel :

      First of all, your comment about Afghanistan made me laugh out loud. I live in a city in a mostly-rural state, and it constantly amazes me how often people seem to think it really is a foreign country.

      But if I were a student, I imagine I would have questions along the lines of: Is your work interesting? What types of legal issues come up most often in your practice? What’s a normal day like? How is your life/practice different from people you know who work in bigger cites?

      Depending on where your undergraduate school is and where students come from, they might be wondering things like: What do you do for fun in ____? Is it possible to meet other people my age? Do you have running water in your office? (Not being snarky – I have actually gotten variations on that question from people on one of the coasts – and I’m not even in a rural part of my state.)

      • Sydney Bristow :

        Ok not running water, but one thing I think of when I hear “rural” is technology. Is there a lack of technology infrastructure and if so, does it affect your practice? What I mean is whether you are able to get high speed Internet, whether you are tied to a land line, etc.

      • Merabella :

        I live in the South in a fairly metropolitan area, my family from CA asked me if I saw tractors on the way to work… no joke.

    • I’d want to know how important your husband’s job is to your career success. A good (female) friend of mine became a partner in a firm that sounds like yours in a town that sounds like yours (as I was reading your post, I was thinking–I wonder if this is where Ms. Friend lives?). She said one of her career obstacles was that her husband didn’t have a flashy job–she was the bigger earner of the couple–which limited her ability to develop clients. She also got paid less than men in her firm (associates with the same experience levels) because she “didn’t have a wife and kids to support.” Yes, the firm actually told her that. But, she started practice in the early 1990s so hopefully this town has changed since then and that wouldn’t be a problem for women starting out today.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        Ok the pay thing is horrible. I’m curious how her husband’s lack of a flashy job limited her ability to develop clients.

        • Sydney Bristow :

          Not sure when I started saying “ok” at the beginning of my sentences…..

      • I’m pretty sure I’m not your friend, since I was in high school in the 90’s, but yet some things are similar. I definitely receive more business than I otherwise would because my husband comes from a very well-respected family in the area, even though I am – by far- the primary earner in our relationship.

        So perhaps it was about who her husband knew, or about how the type of people who would be potential clients would have ‘known of’ her husband…

      • And it was about other couples (usually the man was a lawyer or exec or someone else you’d go out with for business development and the wife either was not employed or was a teacher or had a similar type job) didn’t really want to go out with them because Mr. Friend’s job wasn’t prestigious. And (at least in this place), Ms. Friend and potential male client (most potential clients were male) could not do business development type activities together because “what would people say.”

        I’m confident Ms. Friend’s assessment of the situation was accurrate (and she wasn’t just making excuses for not developing more clients) because I lived in this place briefly as an adult. And every time I did something with a man, people talked because we were clearly “together.” Other men wouldn’t have lunch with me because “what would people say.”

        Otherwise, I really liked the town and the people. But, in many ways, the stereotypes of small towns where people don’t have enough to talk about were true with regard to male-female relationships.

        • Sydney Bristow :

          Didn’t mean to suggest it wasn’t true! I was honestly curious because I couldn’t think of a reason why that would matter. That would be really frustrating for me.

    • Perhaps talk about the dynamics of working in a small legal community. I’d assume that you’re on a first name basis with all opposing counsel. Is your schedule more flexible because of that?

    • I actually considered attempting to hang out a (virtual) shingle in my very rural hometown, working remotely for the large part, and then traveling in once a month for business meetings and visiting family all in one go. (Still kind of think it’s a good idea!) The two things that I was very interested in, in addition to the breadth-of-practice issues identified above, were:

      1) Drumming up business in a small-town. I bet it works *very* differently.
      2) The use of technology. Based on my hometown experience, I see rural people as very tech-savvy and plugged in. How do you take advantage of this if the community is isolated/far away from resources/etc.?

    • Have you always practiced where you are now? If not, hearing about the contrast could be very interesting for your audience.

    • One thing that people think about in my line of work is lifestyle. How is the lifestyle of a rural attorney different than that of a big city? Do you have billable hour requirements? Is your time more flexible? What about small law and family planning stuff?

      Not sure if you want to go there, cause it’s kind of the softer side of stuff that women often talk about more than men, but it may be good for discussion.

      • This is key. I have worked in both rural small law and major city midlaw. I certainly had much bigger billable hour requirements in midlaw/city and was at work longer hours/weekend/etc., but the firm was big enough that I basically came and went as I pleased. No one cared or noticed if I came in at 9 v. 9:30, if I took a long lunch, or if I occasionally left early, went to doctor’s appointments, etc. And I could always work from home. As long as the work got done and the hours got billed, no one cared.

        In rural small law I generally only work 8:30-5:30 but my boss dictates my every move during those hours, there is no working from home allowed, and getting time off to go to the doctor is a HUGE pain in my butt.

        Also little things, like my paychecks are handwritten and are not direct deposit. I’m the only female attorney in the office. Also some of the small town tech/political issues MOR mentions.

    • I think the differences in the rural vs. urban legal communities is an interesting topic. I practice in a rural area and am one of three female attorneys under about 35 in the 5 counties in which I practice.

      I also think the possible technological issues (or potentially lack thereof) are a great topic. While I work in a much more rural area than you (town population = 4,000ish), I do have access to great internet. I’m in the mountains, though, so the cell phone signals are not great and there is no 3g in many places in the area. I was very worried about the tech issues before moving here, and I was really relieved to find out that good internet is not an issue.

      Another rural issue that I encountered and never really considered before taking this job is the impact of small town politics. I didn’t grow up here, and there have definitely been cases where I’ve found out that everyone in the courtroom (except for me) knew x, y, and z about my client or their family. The impact of small town politics and corruption has been pretty shocking.

      • Right. What’s networking like? Do you run into people at the grocery store or other parents at little league, or is there a Junior League or whatever?

        • [standard disclaimer about how I don’t work in law] [but I do work in a small town]

          Little late, but in case you check, prime networking opportunities in my town include:
          Churches (probably the biggest, not even joking. everyone who ranks in my office has occupied or does occupy some leadership role at a church.)
          Rotary, Elks, Eastern Star, Masons, etc.
          Other volunteer organizations; there is a Junior League, but it seems smaller and less active than a couple of local groups
          Professional organizations
          Little League and its older cousins, the athletic associations attached to the high schools
          The nicer of our two grocery stores (not even joking–you see everyone. but this means the contents of your shopping cart have to pass a Morality Check at all times.)

    • How much do the students know about law in general? I would think half of your talk could be devoted to sketching out how law works. I’ve picked up a few things on this board–lines between different kinds of practice are much sharper than I realized, the bar is a real hurdle (so was my PhD dissertation defense, but the questions were all about my field and what I wrote and related writing), the importance of summer placements, something about clerking, what “big law” is and how the size of the firm matters, who else is in a law practice. I would think all of that would be useful to anyone considering a career in any part of law, anywhere, and would also set up the second half of your talk, specifically on your job, nicely.

  6. TJ for the hive: I’d love some suggestions on great drugstore lipsticks, both shades and brands. I am a brunette, fair complexion but tan easily, and have full lips with some color, so light shades don’t do much for me. I’d appreciate it!

    • My coloring is similar (minus the pigmented lips), and for the longest time I loved L’Oreal Infallible lip gloss in sangria. It’s a nice medium rosy pink.

    • Revlon Moon Drops has awesome retro colors. “Orange Flip” is an orange-based red that is bold but somehow easier to wear than a true red.
      On the cooler end of the spectrum, Revlon’s Super Lustrous “Love That Pink” is a great dark pink that is, again, really wearable.

      • Jacqueline :

        Second Revlon Moon Drops! I love Revlon Moon Drops in Hot Coral. The intensity of the color (extremely bold) and the texture (it can be drying, so I use balm before and after so it’s more of a stain) remind me of NARS.

    • We have extremely similar coloring! I’m currently addicted to L’Oreal Colour Riche in Volcanic. I grabbed it because I wanted to try coral and it was cheap–and I looove it. I barely wear anything else.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I love Maybeline’s 24-hour lip stain. I can’t remember what it is called, but it says 24 all over the packaging. You put the color on with a wand like gloss, let it dry for a few minutes, then put a moisturizing balm on top of it. I have it in the really really red color that I wear more often than I expected and also a more neutral shade. Sorry I can’t remember the color names though!

    • Maine Associate :

      I like Neutrogena MoistureShine Gloss in Chic. It is a mauve color.

    • My coloring is similar. It’s a gloss not a lipstick, but I absolutely love Cover Girl Wetslicks Amazemint in un-wined. I can put a little on at the office for a berry-stained look and then lay it on thicker for a more dramatic look to go out. And the mintyness is awesome.

    • I have a Maybelline Color Sensational lipstick that I love! I wear it basically everyday. It’s not drying at all. Color is not opaque in a good way– I can sort of layer the color.

    • Similar coloring, too. I swear by cover girl Outlast (I think it’s called) – it’s in a tube with a “step 1” lipstick on one end and a “step 2” gloss coat on the other. For a dark-ish red (I wear it more in the evening than the daytime, although it looks really great with a red silk jacket I have) I like the cabernet, which is color no. 255, I believe. I also like a rose-pink that is color no. 300. It’s a darker shade than my own lips; it’s subutle but doesn’t disappear. I’ve not seen this at Target lately but I buy it at the supermarket (Kroger, here in the Midwest).

      This really does last a long-time; if I happen to put it on the evening and don’t bother to use make-up remover (I only wear lipstick, no foundation), it will still be there in the morning. Which is kind of weird, to be in pjs and red lipstick.

      On election day two years ago I put some on at 5:30 a.m., worked all day (and drank coffee and ate junk food) at a legal hotline. At 7 p.m. the lipstick still looked pretty good, and I basically did an informercial for the woment attorneys in the room.

  7. Pittsburgh on the cheap :

    I know this might have been discussed in an earlier thread –

    Several months ago, I booked a hotel room in Pittsburgh for an extra night before my friend’s wedding…then promptly forgot that I had. My husband and I are taking a 5 day vacation that includes Niagara Falls, and until this morning I forgot that we are in Pittsburgh for 2 days, not just 1 day. However, we’ve already maxed out our vacationing budget without accounting for an extra day of sight-seeing…so does anyone have suggestions for free or low cost activities in Pittsburgh, as well as inexpensive but yummy places to eat? We’ll be there a Friday and Saturday, and the wedding is in the evening, so from Friday afternoon until Saturday about 4PM. This is our first, possibly last time in Pittsburgh.

    Thanks so much!

    • There’s a Frank Lloyd Wright house near Pittsburgh – the Fallingwater house – which looks awesome.

      • That’s a bit of a drive from Pittsburgh, although it is really cool! I think you have to pay to get in but it’s worth it.

        • Falling water is beautiful! Call to see how busy they get- we went in the summer and got there right when it opened but still had to wait a little bit until our tour was ready.

        • BigLaw Optimist :

          It’s absolutely worth it. I think admission is around $10 a person? It’s been a few years since I’ve been there, but I think that’s about right. Depending on where you are staying in the city, it’s about a 45 minute drive.

          Otherwise, you must get yourselves to Primantis in the strip district, which is a ton of fun and low-cost. You can also plan wandering around the strip and head into Primantis for a lunch – that would be an authentic Pittsburgh morning/afternoon.

          I’d also recommend the Warhol museum.

          At night – head over to the South Side and just wander around and hit the bars. You’ll be able to tell whether it’s one you want to go into by the noise streaming out of the bars (i.e. – super loud club music = college crowd).

          • “head over to the South Side”

            This reminds me of the parody that was popular back when I lived in the ‘burgh.

            Say hey, hot babushka mama, take a walk on the South Side

            (sung to the tune of Take a Walk on the Wild Side)

      • MissJackson :

        I love Fallingwater, but I think if you really only have 1 day in Pittsburgh, you should stay in the city. Come back again later, stay longer, and then explore the Laurel Highlands (east of the city), Fallingwater, etc.

    • Ball Four :

      baseball, of course

    • Andy Warhol museum

    • Maddie Ross :

      Honestly, even just walking along the water front is pretty fun in Pittsburgh. Now that the Three Rivers Stadium is gone, the new football and baseball stadiums are pretty cool. There is also a casino and the Carnegie Science Center right there. And personally, I love the other Carnegie museums (Art and Natural History), even though they are on the other side of town. Low cost dinner idea is Primanti Brothers, where they put the french fries on the sandwich. It’s down by the PPG castle building.

      • There’s also a Primanti’s in Oakland and one in the strip district. Yum.

        • I would definitely recommend the one in the Strip, but the one in Market Square (Downtown) is good, too. You can also just walk around the Strip on Saturday morning for lots of people watching, food ogling, etc. I second the walking around Lawrenceville rec below. Go to La Gourmandine on Butler and 47th (? something like that) and get an amazing almond croissant. Another suggestion that is low-ish cost is to go to multiple museums in one day. You can get into all the Carnegie museums (Art, Natural History, The Warhol, & Science Center) with one ticket.

          • MissJackson :

            Second the recommendation for La Gourmandine. Amazing french bakery.

          • BigLaw Optimist :

            rosielo and I are apparently on the same page. :)

            I would agree on the museum hopping – they’re pretty good!

    • The Incline is pretty cheap and would definitely be fun.

      Also, just wandering around the neighborhoods can be interesting; there are a lot of up-and-coming areas that have interesting shops/galleries/etc, like Butler Street in Lawrenceville.

      For cheap, yummy breakfast do DeLuca’s in the Strip District. There’s a lot of good, inexpensive Indian food around town.

      • If you want to get Indian, go to Tamarind on N. Craig St in North Oakland.

      • Second the Incline! It’s great.

        Also love the Warhol museum. And Carnegie Science Center.

    • MissJackson :

      I just typed you a huge response and then my computer crashed!

      breakfast: either Pamela’s or DeLuca’s in the Strip District. At Pamela’s have the pancakes (note: it’s cash only). At DeLuca’s have an omlette. Highly recommend just walking around the Strip on Sat/Sun morning. Lots of “local flavor”!

      lunch/dinner: if you’re staying downtown, it’s a short walk to eat in Market Square. NOLA is good, as is the Diamond Market (get the sweet potato fries). Lots of other cheap/good options too, including a new Greek place, and some standard chains.
      Also consider eating at Primanti Bros in the Strip (there’s one in market square too, but I think the one in the strip is the most “authentic”). They put fries on your sandwhich, but I swear that it’s delicious and worth it. Very “Pittsburgh”.
      Hofbrauhaus (German beer garden) in Southside works — fun atmosphere. Haven’t been there in awhile, but it used to be crowded on weekends, so you might want to go early or prepare for a wait. Or just have lunch there.
      Fat Heads: possibly the worst food for you of all of these recommendations, but it is my personal favorite indulgence in the city. Massive menu. Located in the Southside. Gets very busy on weekends, so go early or prepare to go have a beer (or 3) down the street while you wait. Should you decide to have a beer, go to Smokin’ Joes about a block down because they have a great beer selection.

      Things to do: if the Pirates are in town, consider taking in a game. It’s cheap and PNC Park is amazing. Lots of “cultural” options. You could go do a tour of the Frick ($12/person, reservations are recommended), go to the Warhol museam ($20/person), go to the national aviary, check out the Phipps Conservatory (highly recommend if you like this kind of stuff; $12/person), go to the Heinz History Center. You really should take the incline up to Mount Washington — it’s sort of a novel thing, very “Pittsburgh” and the views are spectacular — plus it’s extremely cheap (lots of people still use it as part of their everyday commute!)

      Pittsburgh is very “neighborhood” based, so it would also be fun to just walk around some of the neighborhoods. Shadyside, Squirrel Hill, Bloomfield, and Lawrenceville all have fun/cute business districts. (I’m obviously an east-ender myself, so somewhat biased there).

      If you have good weather, you could rent a kayak and go kayaking on the rivers which is super fun! Or you could rent a bike at REI in the Southside works and go for a ride on the path that runs next to the river through the Southside (parallel to Carson Street, the path basically runs right up to REI). is a great resource. There is an entire “free things” section!

      As you can probably tell, I have like 50 more recommendations, so if you can give me more info about your interests, I’d be happy to help!

      • thank you so much! (and thanks everyone!) This is more than enough awesome things that would reflect our interests.

      • BigLaw Optimist :

        MissJackson – your post made me want to go home for a visit. :(

        • MissJackson :

          Awww. The burgh’ is a great city. But shhhh! don’t tell too many people because the fact that it’s a “hidden gem” keeps our prices low ;-)

      • This lady knows her stuff! There’s some excellent advice here about a very excellent city. Enjoy!

    • MissJackson covered almost everything, but I’ll add – very cheap and very yummy food at Tram’s Kitchen on Penn Ave. Vietnamese food on par with what you can get in San Francisco.

      Also, get ice cream at Dave & Andy’s in Oakland. All homemade ice cream and they bake the cones there so it smells amazing.

  8. Nook users: I just bought the Nook Glowlight (not the tablet). The basic plan was to have something for reading that I could take on the train/plane without too much worry or hassle to read what would otherwise be heavy books (we have an iPad but I don’t like taking something so bright & shiny on the subway).

    One small problem – I hate using it, I don’t understand how to use it, and I generally feel like I made a mistake. Any tips/advice before I return it? I keep trying to use it like an iPad but it’s totally not intuitive for me…. How do you get free books on this thing? I seem to only be able to get books from B&N, but I’d love to download some non-copyrighted classics, see what the library has to offer, etc. Also, if I want to read my magazines on it (I already have the subscription), can I do that without purchasing again? I can do this on the iPad by just logging in, but can’t seem to figure this out on the Nook. TIA!

    • Another Zumba Fan :

      I have a basic model Nook, no built in light. The majority of the books I read on it are from the library. I got download instructions on the library’s Overdrive site (that’s the digital media catalog). I download from Overdrive to laptop to Nook. I’ve also purchased a few books from BN via a quick wi-fi download. I’ve been happy with it. I don’t have an iPad to compare experiences. I don’t have any magazine subscriptions either.

      • SF Bay Associate :

        I also have the basic b/w Nook and read a lot of books from the library, including the first three Game of Thrones. I don’t have an iPad so I can’t compare, but I adore my lightweight, inexpensive, small Nook. My Nook doesn’t do magazines… I think only the color Nooks do?

    • I have an older Nook that I mostly keep in airplane mode, and use my PC to load the ebooks and save them on the Nook. Both the computer and the reader should have Adobe Digital Editions installed.
      Free classics can be had on Project Gutenberg. There is also a free Baen library that has fantasy ebooks if you are interested.
      My public library disappointed me… the selection of ebooks on loan was small and the wait time long. There are many audiobooks, but I don’t really use the Nook for audio.

      • You may want to check nearby libraries. I say this because I work in a larger city and always go to their physical libraries because they have more books and larger branches, but when I got my nook I also got a membership in the much much smaller county where I live. I’ve found that the selection of books in the much smaller county is MUCH better. For instance, I have not had any wait at all for the 5th Game of Thrones book whereas the list at the larger library is something like 26 people long. Since each of these get it for three weeks…that’s a long darn time.

        Libraries are having a hard time keeping up because the big publishers will only sell a certain number of “uses” of many books. So once a new book has been checked out 5 times, the library has to renew their subscription, and it can be very expensive. I read that after last Christmas with so many people now being on nook, kindle, etc… that libraries were having to devote most of the physical book purchasing to e-books instead.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      I have the older version, so I can’t help with the glowlight (though I have a case for mine that has a reading light, so maybe if you really hate it you could exchange it for the non-light version and get a new case). But for free books, I get mine from the library. If your library has ebooks, they should have instructions. You mentioned the subway–are you in NYC? NYPL has a pretty decent ebook selection. Brooklyn and Queens, as well, but I haven’t tried their selections because I’ve never gotten around to linking my NYPL card to the other two systems. And, at least with my nook, you can also download free ebooks from a lot of different websites and save them in your “my documents” folder. I think they have to be in pdf or epub format, but most are. You just transfer the file from your computer to the nook.

      You should be able to read magazines, though I’m not sure how–you may need to ask both the magazine and the barnes and noble support people about that. The great thing about the nook is if you have problems, you can go into a Barnes and Noble store and almost all of them have a person in the nook section who can help you out with most problems.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        Can I link my Brooklyn library card to the New York and Queens libraries too or is it just the other way around? Brooklyn does have a pretty good selection of ebooks.

        • Gail the Goldfish :

          Yes. They can all be linked, at least theoretically. I tried once to link my NYPL card to Brooklyn and the guy at the check-out counter definitely didn’t have a clue how to do it, so you may have to ask for a manager. This website has details:

          You have to return books to their proper boroughs, but that’s obviously not a problem with ebooks.

          • Sydney Bristow :

            You are my hero! Thank you!

          • Thanks, all! This is quite helpful. Now I just have to figure out how to connect the nook to the computer. I guess I expected to be able to get ebooks directly from the nook but I suppose that’s not to be unless I am buying from Alas. Will try playing around with it and see if it works out.

            Quick question re: library books? How do you return them? Do they just expire at some point?

          • They do expire at some point, or you can return them early through the computer program interface. Once they’re expired they still show up in your book list (for mine it’s under “My Documents” rather than “My Library”) but will not open. If you try it will tell you the book is expired. On my nook, I do have to actually delete them when I’m done, or else it gets cluttered (to me!).

    • Merabella :

      go to the shop and type in 0.00 it will bring up all the free titles in the shop. If you like to read mysteries put in 0.00 mysteries and it will bring up the free titles. The non-copyrighted classics will be available in those free titles. If you want to look at your magazines go on the website and do the 14 day trial – then you can put in your subscription information. Word to the wise, the magazine feature on the e-ink displays aren’t as good because it is just in black and white. You can also download the app on your ipad and view your magazines there as well.

      For the library you are going to have to go to your library and check them out. Those vary by library.

  9. Hair Dryer Upgrade :

    Does anyone have a nice hair dryer that you love? I just had it confirmed by my hairdresser that my hair does, indeed, take much longer to dry than others’ hair. I end up leaving the house with my hair still damp on many days, which also means it looks less polished. I’d like to try one of the more expensive brands that say they cut drying time and add some shine/polish. Are they really better than my $25 one, and if so, which one should I get?


    • new york associate :

      I just bought a Sedu Revolution, based on recommendations on this site, and have been really happy with it. Cheaper than a T3, but much better than my old Conair.

      • Second this. I also owned a T3 until the motor went bad. I prefer the Sedu to the T3 because it is much more powerful and dries even faster than the T3.

    • I really like my Super Solano (recommended by my hairdresser). My hair is just an inch or so above my bra strap, pretty thick in the back, and the Solano dries it in about 5 minutes. Had a similar good experience with the T3 (which died recently after a good 3-4 years of use). Makes a huge difference in my hair.

    • I have VERY thick shoulder-length hair, so understand where you are coming from. I have the T3 and like it a lot. It still takes me about 15-20 minutes to section off my hair and get it dry, but I think the results are great. The T3 is available at nearly half price on Amazon:

      I purchased mine from Sephora a year ago, but my sister ordered hers from this vendor a couple of months ago and is very pleased! I like the T3 dryer better than my old Chi Turbo dryer which was heavier and noisier.

      • S in Chicago :

        Love my T3, too. Have had for 3 years or so now and going strong. Got it at a great discount on Ebay.

  10. Networking help, please. I’m so bad at coming up with appropriate subject lines for networking emails, and since I don’t want to sound stupid right off the bat, I end up putting off actually sending the email and then worry that I’ve waited too long. I have no trouble with the body of the email, but no matter what I put in the subject line, it sounds either too casual or too stilted and overly formal. I feel like, even though it’s a small part of the message, it’s so important because that’s the first thing you see when it hits your inbox so it colors the whole rest of the message. Maybe I’m overthinking this, but I feel inept and I don’t remember anyone ever talking about this in the countless law school networking seminars I went to… Any suggestions?

    • Rose in Bloom :

      Is it someone that you know and are trying to stay in touch with? If so, I always use “Checking In” or something like that.

      If not, maybe the subject could be your connection? For example, if it is an alum of your law school, the subject could be “X Law School” or “X Law School Alumni.” If the connection is your hometown, mention that? N.B. Subjects for networking emails terrify me too.

    • You are over thinking it. I would probably just use Nice Meeting You. The more important part is to just send the email. I am in-house, and I was just wondering to myself why it is only male outside counsel that network with me. I think I have a fair number of women who are my outside counsel, but inevitably it is only the men that seem to try to stay in touch such as by going out for drinks or lunch. I know my experience can’t be representative. It just seems odd to me that not once has any female attorney tried.

    • I hear ya. Rose’s ideas are good, and some other possibilities:

      “Introduction through (Name of mutual acquaintance)”
      “Meeting on (Date): Following Up”
      “Introduction at (Event name/place)”

    • Former MidLevel :

      I think it can depend on how you met/know the person, but I usually stick with something simple, like “Hello.”

      • I like to use “Greetings” with people I’ve already met and am re-connecting with.

        • The only risk on subjects like these is that they get caught by a spam filter. If you’re already an established contact, you’re probably fine, but if you’re emailing this person for the first time it might be safer to put something substantive in the heading so their email network recognizes it as genuine email.

      • Spam, spam, spam, spam!
        If my filter didn’t catch it, I’d probably breeze over it, unless you made a massive impression on me and I’ve been dying to hear from you again. But I’m bad at names, so the name of a person I met once doesn’t necessarily ring a bell.
        I usually write something like [name of meeting] follow-up, or if I’m sending them something they might be interested in based on our conversation, I use the name of the item for the subject line.

    • I get stressed about this, too! I usually use something like:

      “Nice/Great to meet you”
      “Following up on last Tuesday”
      “Emailing on recommendation of [Mutual Acquaintance]” — BTW, when I network acquaintances, I always try to do so by finishing with an email they’re both CC’d on, entitled “Putting you in touch” so that they can then respond back to each other this way and avoid this awkwardness.”
      “Advice for a fellow [School Alum/Family Law Atty/etc.]?”
      “Catching up”

    • Anon (OP) :

      Thanks! I don’t usually struggle so much with the initial contact, since I can use “following up from x event” or “making contact at the suggestion of y” as a subject. It’s keeping in touch later that is the issue. I was worried that “hello” or the like would be too casual, “keeping in touch” would make me sound awkward, and I don’t know the person well enough for “catching up” or the like. In the current situation, the recipient is someone I was put in touch with through a kind of random series of people-who-know-people, and had coffee with a couple months ago, and I just basically want to stay in touch occasionally. This person works in a practice area I may eventually want to transition into if I ever decide to go into private practice (even though I’m currently happy with my job and don’t plan to leave for a long time). Also, I’m newish to this city and am in a very niche job which doesn’t involve much contact with other attorneys, so I don’t know a lot of “real lawyers” here. So I just don’t want to fall off his radar entirely and then, if I do decide to make a transition down the line, ask to chat with him about it and be met with an “umm…do I even know you?” type response. But I always have this problem, so putting it to the hive seemed like a good idea — at least I know I’m not the only one who feels this way!

  11. MustLoveCats :

    Ladies, could you please recommend a podcast on current business events and market/economics developments? I work in corporate America and, honestly, don’t keep up with the news a whole lot. I think it would benefit me to be a bit more on top of what’s going on out there and how it may impact us here. I have tried listening to Marketplace and like it OK but it seems a bit superficial (it seems to have a “fun” element to it and I am not sure I really need it now). Any other suggestions for something I can listen for 30-40 minutes a day on a drive to or from work?

    • NPR’s Planet Money is good.

    • I love Marketplace. Once you start paying attention to the dryer stuff, you’ll yearn for Marketplace.

      Try anything from CNBC or Wall Street Journal.

      • Yesterday’s Marketplace SO reminded me of this blog–average American buys a piece of apparel every week!

  12. karenpadi :

    Urgent recipe request:

    I have a work-friend who is facing some health issues. I’d like to make her a casserole/dinner tonight to give her tomorrow to help her out.

    The issues:
    1. It must be pretty basic. She lives with her 90-ish year old mother, her 30 year old son, and his 3 year old daughter.
    2. I’m pulling late nights and early mornings at work. I can’t spend much more than an hour on this.


    • Pittsburgh on the cheap :

      My favorite super-quick-easy –

      2 pounds ground beef, crumbled, cooked and drained, with 2 Tbs worcestershire sauce and 2 tsp soy sauce
      1 bag frozen peas
      1 large bag tater tots
      8 ounces mozzarella cheese

      In a casserole dish, layer the ground beef. Cook either on the stove or, in a big hurry, zap in the microwave (separately) the peas and the tater tots until peas are thawed and tater tots are sizzly. Top the beef with the peas, spread across the casserole. Top the peas with the tater tots, spread across the casserole. Sprinkle the mozz cheese (parm is good too) lightly in between each layer, and then use the rest more heavily on the top. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.

      Also it looks really neat if you have a glass-sided casserole dish.

      • Oh my goodness – did you grow up in my house? My mother used to make this but it was a can of corn, then cheddar cheese soup, then tater tots on top of the meat.

        I would make baked ziti if I were you. Use good jarred tomato sauce, some ricotta to make it cream, maybe mushrooms if you think they’ll eat it, Italian sausage if they’re meat eaters, mozzarella on the top.

    • Boil a box of pasta – like rigatoni; cut up some green pepper and onion – saute; brown a pound or so of ground beef; add all ingredients into a casserole dish and mix in a large jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce; top with cheese and bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes. Done!

    • Sweet of you.

      I’d recommend lasagna in a disposable foil pan using no-cook lasagna noodles, pre-shredded cheese, store bought sauce, frozen chopped mixed veggies and either ricotta or cottage cheese mixed w/ chopped garlic + Italian spices. Bake it all off for around 45 mins give or take. Trader Joe’s will work for all of this (except for maybe the pan).

    • karenpadi :


    • This is not exactly the homemade route but what about Stouffer’s lasagna, a bag salad kit, and frozen garlic bread? Sometimes I think just giving people a full meal that they didn’t have to plan and can easily cook is helpful.

      • karenpadi :

        Hmmm. That is a great idea! I am looking at a late night tonight and an early meeting tomorrow. I’ll have at most 9 hours between leaving the office and being at the meeting.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      So very nice of you. I’d just make sure she’s not gluten free since every suggestion includes pasta. :)

    • Tater Tot Casserole! Ours was ground beef with cream of mushroom and cheddar cheese soup, a can of green beans, then the tater tots and cheddar cheese on top. I loved it as a child. Tried making it once as an adult, and … It was so salty! Did not like it at all anymore! Husband downright HATED it. It was sad to have that childhood memory desecrated. Sigh.

      • I made my mom’s for a Mardi Gras parade party once as a joke and my friend’s father went crazy over it! He said it was the best thing ever. Actually, it was good for a parade party, considering the drinking…

      • This was supposed to be a response to the suggestion above on this casserole. Not my actual suggestion since, obviously, I don’t like it as an adult. But I do have quite the collection of Midwestern casserole recipes. I really think the baked ziti/lasagna is the most likely to be universally appreciated. (Unless you are in the Midwest?)

      • BigLaw Optimist :

        HA – this was the one my mom made. Agreed – can’t eat it anymore, it’s too salty! So sad. I also had to cut down on the amount of onions I used to eat. I didn’t realize how much Pittsburghers cooked with onion (hello, pierogies and onion!) until my husband commented that it was excessive. I took stock – he was right. No person should add two white onions to everything they cook.

      • I’m not sure if canned soup was as salty back then as it is now. Cream of mushroom is super-salty. That’s why Campbell’s has “low sodium” versions now.

    • Anon in ATX :

      How about chili? It’s fast & easy! Also, the heat can be adjusted to be appealing to young kids

      1 lb. ground beef/turkey/chicken
      1 small can tomato sauce
      1 can Rotel (or petite diced tomatoes)
      Chili seasoning packet
      1 can beans

      1. Brown meat in large pot, add seasoning packet and stir
      2. Add beans, rotel, and tomato sauce. Simmer for 15 minutes.
      3. Serve over cornbread (you can use pre-made or get a packet mix) or rice. Top with cheese.

      • karenpadi :

        This looks yummy and easy. And cornbread. I”m saving this one for myself.

    • Confessions :

      Enchilada Casserole:

      1 lb. ground chicken breast (can also use turkey or beef – or buy and shread a rotisserie chicken)
      1 large can Las Palmas brand enchilada sauce (I suggest mild given what you described)
      1 pack of corn tortillas
      2 cups shredded cheese

      Sautee the meat about 8 mins each side
      Dip uncooked corn tortillas into the enchilada sauce and layer the bottom of a casserole dish (I, actually, usually use a circle cake pan)
      Layer the meat, shredded cheese, (and add olives, and green onions if you like), add a couple spoons of extra sauce, repeat, then on the top layer just omit the meat
      Bake at 350 for approx. 45 mins.

      • Yes, this is a fave! I also add sour cream and diced green chiles. I typically bake some chicken breasts and then cut them up or shred a rotisserie chicken as Confessions suggested. I usually make two at a time and freeze one. It makes for easy to reheat lunches or “I don’t feel like cooking” dinners.

  13. Hi ladies! After failing multiple attempts to lose around 20 pounds myself, I’m seriously considering joining weight watchers. Have any of you had any success with the program? My friends either swear by it or think it’s a cult of some sort. Thanks in advance!

    • I signed up for it a month ago.. and never use it. which is my fault not the programs but this just reminded me i am annoyed at myself haha

    • I used WW years ago and lost about 35 pounds before my wedding.

      I’ve gone off the program (and on) over the past 9 years. I’ve kept most of the weight off, but not as much as I liked and I continue to use the program – because it works! I love WW because its a healthy way to lose weight – you can eat what you want, but portion controlled; it encourages good healthy guidelines (fruits and vegetables); and encourages exercise. I think those are the three things you need to lose weight in a healthy way. Another plus, is if you attend meetings you get accountability and you can learn ideas from other memebers. On the downside, the points program is some times confusing and takes a bit to get used to.

    • Yes, online only, and I joined the online group that someone started for fans of this blog, although it’s been somewhat inactive lately. It’s called Weight Watchin’ C o r p o r e t t e s.

    • Love it! I’ve lost 20 lbs!
      Seriously, I think it’s a great program. It isn’t a “diet” that you do for a few weeks – it’s about teaching you how to eat healthy all the time. The first few weeks really sucked for me – one of the things I discovered was that I was eatting way to much before so my body needed a little time to adjust to the new portion sizes. But I imagine the transition into any significant dietary changes isn’t easy. One of the things I like the most about it is that no food item is truly off-limits. You can eat pretty much whatever you want – just in moderation (something very important for me and my sweet tooth).
      Good luck! There’s also a group on Weight Watcher’s for Corporette readers. :)

    • I avoided WW for a long time on the theory that it was just a form of calorie counting and not worth paying for … I loved it. I’m a total convert and shill now. I did the online version at a pretty “relaxed” pace (i.e., I didn’t regularly work out and used all of my Flex Points — this will mean more to you once you learn the rules of the program) and lost 15 pounds in three months in a way that I felt was not at all painful and totally sustainable.

      It was the first “diet” I ever did that I felt really ingrained in me (1) the tradeoffs of different types of foods, aka dinner rolls are decidedly NOT your friends, and (2) a sense that even when I “completely messed up” for a day or two, I hadn’t “ruined my diet” or anything, I just had to keep going in an extra mindful way for the next two days. That second point was key for me, because calorie counting often led me to “give up” when I felt I had gotten too far off course. WW helped to realize exactly how far I had gotten off course and to feel confident that I could fix it.

      I know that people who do the in-person meetings are generally even more positive, but online worked well for me. I only gave it up because I got pregnant, and I absolutely intend to go back to it after the baby arrives.

      • I’ll also add that I don’t think WW has to be a lifetime cost, either, though I know people who stay on it for years in “maintenance mode” for the food-tracking and community support. But I think you absorb a lot of knowledge through the program that you can use to stay generally on track even when not actually using it. Like I noted above, just understanding the trade-off of a dinner roll or tablespoon of mayo or jar of orange juice … that is knowledge I know and use even now when I’m not on the program. My OB has been really very happy with my eating habits and slow rate of weight gain throughout pregnancy, and I attribute it entirely to the knowledge I gained through WW.

    • In the WW Closet :

      I just lost 40 pounds on WW – down from 175 to 135 at 5’8″ – I was a 10/12 now am a 2/4. It took about six months. I can’t say enough wonderful things about how I feel now. Try online for 3mos, then reassess. See if you’ve made progress, and if you like it or not. Don’t start with less than 3 months.

      • I read Bethenny Frankel’s books, Naturally Thin and the SkinnyGirl Dish, because I was sick of being in the diet mode. And I lost 10 lbs so easily it didn’t feel like a chore or like I was depriving myself at all. I’d recommend checking her books out.

        • I really enjoyed her book Naturally Thin too. I listened to it as an audiobook actually. It was fun to listen to and extremely helpful. I found myself taking notes and giggling to myself at her witty banter. I have lost a few pounds and have a much healthier, in-control attitude about food since reading her book. I still think about her idea of “quitting the clean-plate club” and am much better about paying attention to how I’m feeling rather than chowing down automatically. Portion control, planning ahead, eating real foods, focusing on what works for you, incorporating moderate exercise… all great, simple reminders!

      • In the WW Closet :

        Oh – and if you do it online it’s not culty at all. Can’t speak to in-person meetings, however.

    • Clueless Summer :

      I used it to lose the Freshman 15 – I attended in person meetings. Which, while not being targeted to my age group, were actually quite motivating (the weigh-in and huge congratulations they give you when you lose are great). This was in the era of old points though – which were quite easy to calculate yourself if you didn’t have access to your points slider (I think 50 cals or 12 grams of fat made a point and 4 grams of fibre took one off). The new system is a bit more complicated I think. I tried the online system again and stopped quite quickly primarily because they didn’t have a blackberry app, whereas the free myfitnesspal calorie counter does, so now I use that.

    • They recently (within the past year I believe) made some changes to the program that make it very good nutritionally, mostly based on helping you make healthier food choices and understanding trade-offs (ex – choosing the bread roll or the rice at dinner). Overall, it works as long as you stick with it, and dont thrown the towel even when you have a “bad” week. I have friends who have been wildly successful, and others who keep re-starting and re-starting without much success.

    • I have lost 20 pounds and counting using WW on-line. I decided the on-line version would fit better with my crazy work schedule. The first few weeks are hard because you’re changing the way you eat. Be sure to stock up on fruits and veggies for the first few weeks and munch on those all day long!
      The thing I like best about the program is I lose 1 -2 pounds a week, so I feel like the results will stick better than crash dieting just to gain all the weight back.

    • I’ve lost about 20 pounds on WW (very very slowly – it’s been about 5 months, but hey, better than nothing). I find it totally works if I actually do track my points (foods have points values and you’re allotted a certain number a day and extras for the week to use as you like. Also, exercising earns extra points). Like someone else mentioned, I resisted it for a long time thinking I could/should just count calories. But once I actually tracked points for a while, I realized I liked it better, because it takes into account the nutrition value of foods (so, for instance, fruits and veggies are 0 points, and it really does encourage me to eat them for snacks rather than a lot of white-flour based stuff).

      I started by going to the meetings, but I stopped after about a month, because honestly, they drove me kind of crazy. First, the leaders have to push WW products, which I disliked a lot (felt like I was being sold a timeshare or something). Second, and I realize this is going to make me sound completely horrible, I found the other people kind of annoying. I’ve obsessed about weight loss enough that I know a lot of about nutrition/what you’re *supposed* to do, I just didn’t do it, and sitting listening to people swap tips I already know didn’t help me.

      (I should add, though, that I’m a kind of half-hearted Health at Every Size advocate, and I am generally quite suspicious and distrustful of the rhetoric of the weight loss industry, which makes money off of making [mostly] women feel bad about themselves and wish they could be different. And feeds into how our society treats women as objects and defines them by their looks. Which, I know, kind of contradictory with trying to lose weight myself. So, yeah, online meetings were not really my thing.)

      That said, the online program is good. I don’t know if it would have worked for me, though, if I hadn’t happened to have fallen in love with spinning around the time I started.

    • I am a fan — I took off 30 pounds over nine months this past year and I’m now in “maintenance” mode. I never went to a single meeting — just used the online tracking and points-calculating tools (and some of the online recipes). Definitely helped me understand the tradeoffs and the caloric content of what I was doing (in the past) with enormous portion sizes of carbs. I’m still paying the monthly fee for online access (about $15/mo.) but I plan to continue to track points knowing what I now know about the foods I eat most often (and just estimating on new unknowns) once I stop the online access in the next six months or so.

    • Merabella :

      One thing that hasn’t really been mentioned here about WW is that the leader of the meetings you go to really makes a difference. I would try going to several different meetings at different times/locations to see which is best for you. I found one lady who was AWESOME, but I have been to others who were absolutely awful. Part of it is finding one you mesh with, the other part is finding one who doesn’t make it feel so “culty.” I have done online and regular meetings, and I have found that the meetings make me more accountable for my actions than doing it at home. That is just me personally, because if I do online I can convince myself it is OK to have another cookie because the only person who will see my weight on the scale is me.

  14. I am starting a new position in about a month in local government for a big city in a legal capacity. I am going to be in the area for a few days this week and they have asked me to come in to meet everybody at a staff meeting, as all of my interviews were phone/skype. I’m going in on Thursday afternoon and don’t know what to wear. The office overall is business casual, minus court days. Do I wear a suit like it is my first day? Or is it ok to go with separates? It is going to be really hot tomorrow (mid 90s) so I was thinking either a light grey suit with a mustard yellow top, a white sheath dress with navy blazer, or the Skirt in pink with a grey blouse and navy blazer. I’m leaving home tonight so am not limited to these things, but all look really good.

    • I would go with separates. I like your combo of the skirt in pink, grey blouse, and navy blazer. Since you are not interviewing, and it is a casual office, I don’t think a suit is necessary at all.

    • lucy stone :

      I like the outfit with the skirt the best, but think any of those would be fine.

  15. In a discussion about international development work in a weekend thread about a month ago someone posted an email address to talk about breaking into the field. Would it be ok if I emailed you still? I am not the original OP or any of the other posters in the thread, but am really interested in it, and have been for many years. Thanks!

  16. Recent grad :

    I’ve been reading good things about the benefits of going gluten free. Has anyone tried this? If so, how did you start? A specific book that you followed? FWIW this wouldn’t be driven by a medical reason for me. Thanks!

    • If you don’t have a medical reason (and I can’t think of an ethical one), why give it up?

      Yes, we’ll have the bread basket.

      • I am also curious. My understanding is that health reasons (Celiac’s, gluten intolerance) were the only reason to put yourself through those hoops. It’s a pain. If you want to cut grains and simple carbohypdrates, that’s one thing, but cutting gluten is kind of needlessly complex. Do you really want to give up soy sauce?

        • There is no reason. If you want to eat healthier, try cutting back on simple carbs and increasing complex carbs (whole grains, fruits, vegetables). There are a lot of whole grains out there besides whole wheat bread – ww pasta, quinoa, a multitude of rices….

    • Its really, really hard. I used two iphone apps, but you dont really need a book for it. You just need to read the ingredient list and check that all ingredients are gluten free. its a huge pain. almost everything does! great restaurant for gluten free is legal seafoods, more and more will mark gluten free items. Whole foods marks their products so its easy to see.

      I do feel way better! but still cheat sometimes (not celiac just intolerant). its hard, im just like constantly thinking about what places i can eat it or planning days of meals. but its started to get easier now that I have more info

    • What are the benefits of going gluten-free (besides those for people who are gluten-intolerant)?

      • I believe its biggest selling point is that it cuts out a lot of processed, pre-prepared foods, which in many cases will lead to healthier overall diet. Thus the “OMG going gluten-free changed my life!!” movement.

        Will Give Up Pasta When My Doctor Tells Me I Have Celiac’s

        • Frankly, I’m kind of annoyed by the whole “gluten-free” kick. I mean, I’m happy that my friend with Celiacs might have more options, but I think she said that it almost makes it harder for her. Since gluten-free is the new fad, everyone tried to label their stuff gluten-free, even when it might not be. Even trace amounts of gluten can be hazardous to her long-term health, so she still has to read the labels.

          OP, if you really just want to cut processed food with simple carbohydrates, then do that. But don’t call it gluten-free. /soapbox

          • This, plus I have read that the gluten-free versions of some foods are higher in calories than their gluten-containing counterparts.

      • Anonymous NYer :

        I think it just severely limits what you can eat, so you lose a bunch of weight and are forced to eat nothing but vegetables. That’s my take on it anyway. I don’t think there are any health benefits if you’re not intolerant/allergic, and it probably leaves you undernourished and vitamin deficient.

        • Since many brands of ice cream are gluten free, that has not been my experience (the losing weight thing). Also, I have discovered rice flour bread at the health food store, and gluten free cookies that they now sell at Homeland. So, no real weight loss benefits, lol. (I’m gluten free by necessity, not choice).

    • Clueless Summer :

      If not driven by a medical reason, wouldn’t you be better to simply to go grain/wheat free? I’m sure the miniscule amounts of gluten found in random products won’t cause any problems for you and I think it is wheat that many find to be the enemy in situations like this.

    • Merriweather :

      I did it! I was curious, and it worked out really well. I felt better after three days – just cutting out all the sugar is huge. Here are some tips:
      – start with cutting out the obvious gluten-y things: bread, pasta, donuts, bagels, etc.
      – try to hold off on replacements, like gluten-free bread, as long as you can – I now eat a lot of replacements and want to stop
      – eat corn in moderation – it’s so easy to swap out flour tortillas for corn and eat a lot of tortilla chips (maybe just me?), and when I do that, I feel gross
      – I have come to believe it’s cutting out sugar, not necessarily gluten, that is most beneficial, so I’m considering going to a nutritionist to get back on track.

      Good luck!

      • Agree completely with the conclusion that it is cutting sugar, not gluten, that makes all the difference. Cutting gluten does nothing for you if you aren’t intolerant/Celiac’s. Cutting sugar/simple carbs will do a whole lot of good for everyone. Everyone already knows this of course, but it’s much more exciting to think that there is some obscure substance called gluten that has been secretly making you fat/tired/dull-haired all these years and if you just eat the gluten-free cookies instead of the oreos, life will be a Cover Girl ad.

        I don’t judge people for thinking this way. I’m prone to it myself.

        • Merriweather :

          This is what my primary care doc said as well. I have also proven it by eating tons of ice cream and feeling like crap the next morning – sugar hangover. Being sugar-free (in terms of options for eating out, at family events, etc.) is so much harder than gluten-free.

    • I have been doing the Paleo/Primal diet, which is gluten free. I feel 100% better when I’m on it, and lose weight immediately. My headaches go away, I have more energy, I have zero digestive issues (no heartburn, no gas, no cramps, nothing), no bloating, and my occasional vertigo seems non-existent.
      But it’s not super easy to do without really committing to it. FWIW, I find it’s easier to base my meals around meats, fruits, vegetables, nuts and fats, rather than trying to find gluten-free substitutions for old favorites.
      I recommend for a good primer on getting started with Paleo. There’s a red “start here” tab with lots of good info. is a great blog that shows how one lady and her family do paleo day in and day out.
      Good luck!

      • Did you ever think that by cutting out gluten (for non medical reason) and cutting out healthy whole grains and replacing them with things that aren’t so great for you (i.e., extra meats and cheeses) may not be the best for your body, medically speaking? You may lose weight, but at what cost.

        I suggest anyone going on a gluten free diet (for ANY reason) consult a dietician.

        • I think for me it is more a matter of cutting out dinner rolls, semolina pasta and regular potatoes (and sugar!) and replacing those things with vegetables like broccoli, asparagus, or mixed greens, not extra meat or cheese. In that sense it is much healthier I think. For me, I have also discovered that I am sensitive to wheat, so I only eat a little bit every now and then. Since making these changes I feel much better (stomach issues have resolved themselves, have more energy and have lost a bit of weight)!

        • phillygirlruns :

          but this begs the question, since you are starting with the assumption that whole grains are “healthy” and that “meats and cheese” are not.

          i eat paleo/primal as well (plenty of meat, eggs and veggies, some fruit & nuts, and small amounts of full-fat dairy – a tablespoon of heavy cream in my coffee, occasional butter and cheese) and have had nothing but great results. i don’t like to talk about my diet, since i find it awkward and uncomfortable to be scrutinized while i’m eating and i certainly don’t want to come off as preachy, but my weight loss has been noticeable and plenty of people comment. i often say that i discovered that i have a mild gluten allergy and no longer eat grains. while i get the occasional “WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU DON’T EAT WHOLE GRAINS?!” no one has been able to point me to anything showing what nutrients i’m missing from my diet by not eating grains.

          i will echo what’s been said already about not sweating traces of gluten and instead focusing on eating whole, unprocessed foods. marksdailyapple is a great reference – his book, “the primal blueprint,” is a great read, both because it’s helpful to understand the “why” behind making these choices and because it’s not limited to just diet and food and instead approaches things a bit more holistically. nomnompaleo and the civilized caveman are two of my go-to blogs for recipe inspiration when i’m stuck in a chicken-and-kale rut.

          • Merriweather :

            I am loving this convo because I toyed with the paleo idea. I have also been told to do an elimination diet to identify possible sensitivities, but I just can’t find a way to make either of those work with traveling/eating out/being fed by family members who think I’m crazy for not wanting bread/pasta/etc.

            Any suggestions for traveling?

          • Yep. This is exactly where I am. I used to think the no grain/more meat thing sounded “unhealthy,” but the more research I’ve done, the more I’ve read, and my own experience made me question those assumptions.
            I am quite lactose/casein intolerant, so I don’t do any cheese, FWIW.
            Obviously, diet is a personal thing. But this works well for me, and I am swayed by the Paleo/Primal arguments.

          • Yes, I am assuming that whole grains are healthy and meat/cheese are unhealthy. Whole grains help lower bad cholesterol, help keep things moving in your GI tract, are good for weight management, contain proteins, fiber…. the list goes on. Meat and cheese on the other same do pretty much the opposite. Aside from genetics, eating animal products is why you get heart disease.

            I am not suggesting everyone go vegan, but continuing to eat them AND eliminating food groups that help counteract the negative effects of these isn’t wise. I suggest before radically altering your diet by eliminating food groups you consult with a registered dietician.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I’m gluten free for medical reasons and liked the book Clean by Dr. Junger.

    • I am intolerant, but I do best when I plan out my meals in advance and eat whole, unprocessed foods. Otherwise I starve and eat junky food that is GF, but completely lacking in nutrition.

      • Merriweather :

        This. See the Odwalla and potato chips I had as a snack today. Gross.

    • I read a year or two ago (read: don’t remember where, so no link, sorry!) that when you voluntarily cut out gluten, your body loses its ability to process it if you ever did want to reintroduce gluten. So you effectively go from a “normal” digestive system that can process gluten to a gluten-intolerant one. Personally, I’m not willing to make such a permanent choice. I also think it’s sad when parents put their children on a gluten-free diet (when not necessary for medical reasons), because that’s a lifelong choice that shouldn’t be made for them.

      • Yeah, I cut gluten just for a week because I needed to do an allergy/elimination test and when I didn’t feel any different I added gluten back in and immediately started get stomach aches every time I ate significant gluten. (i.e. breads, cereal, etc…) I seem to be back on an even keel now (about 3 weeks later) but I’m super nervous about either eating or not eating gluten! :-)

        I’ve come to the conclusion it’s sugar for me also, as I immediately begin experiencing heartburn, get sugar highs and lows, etc…

  17. Great bag! It may be a little small for all my things, but that’s part of what makes it “ladylike.” I like to use a small bag once in a while so I can see how much unnecessary stuff is weighing down my handbags. Scary!

    Regarding color, I think a handbag or shoes can be a good way to be part of a color trend without getting stuck with something you don’t want to use after this season (like a shirt or dress). In a year or two I don’t think anyone would look at a handbag in a classic shape like this one that happened to be bright green or coral and think “Wow – what a relic from 2012.” But, if a handbag were bright enough to qualify as Neon, it might be a different story!

  18. Clueless Summer :

    Help! (This is SO silly but I am drawing a blank.)

    I met someone, John, at my SO’s work function, who knows a very “famous” lawyer (in the area of law I’m interested in) well. They know each other as personal friends, because John is not a lawyer. John and I got along and he offered, very kindly, to ask the Mr. Famous Lawyer if he would have lunch or coffee with me. John confirmed his contact by email and now I am about to e-mail Mr. Famous Lawyer. I’m good with the e-mail but what goes in the SUBJECT LINE??? I want him to know, since I imagine he gets 8000000 emails a day, what this is about. I was thinking “John X suggested I contact you” or “Connection through John X”. Help!

    • Former MidLevel :

      I think “John X suggested I contact you” would be fine.

    • Clueless Summer :

      Oh wow, didn’t read the thread and see the other networking e-mail section above but if there are any suggestions other than that, let me know.

  19. Frivilous question:

    I’m being deposed tomorrow for a med-mal case. It is a crazy day with split second timing, and I’ll be doing quite a bit of driving, etc through out the day. I also have a somewhat invasive Dr.s appt before deposition.

    Can I wear my new Birkenstock Gizeh sandals (as featured on Weekend Open Thread) with a nice pair of slacks and a blouse/cardigan combo? Mid size Mountain west city, very casual in general, though the attorneys will be traveling from Seattle.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      Ask your attorney (which I’m sure the hospital is providing to you), but I wouldn’t. You need to look like the professional, serious, competent doctor that we all know you are. Even though your Mountain west city (which I drove through this weekend :) ) is very casual, I expect your deposition will be videotaped (they have to tell you on the subpoena if it might be), and potentially shown in court. You wouldn’t wear that outfit to court.

      I’m sure your attorney has prepped you well, and that you may have done this before, but be sure to only answer the question asked, and no more. I have a family member who was deposed in medmal and I had to really work with her to suppress her urge to explain and be helpful because she thought if she just explained what happened, the case would magically disappear.

    • Absolutely you can wear the Birks. I clerked for a med mal plaintiff’s attorney in the Midwest and he wore jeans to every deposition. I have seen people being deposed in all sorts of crazy things. It may be videotaped, however its doubtful they’d be able to see your feet.

      • I think that sounds absolutely appropriate for a deposition. It’s not likely that a video would catch your feet and even if it did I don’t think the jury is going to look at that and say “Oh wow, her testimony is unreliable because she’s wearing birks!”

        However, if you’re really nervous about it, I would contact your lawyer just to make sure.

  20. I got a Land’s End catalogue yesterday and they’re having a sale on T-shirts, which is good timing as my washer just ate my favorite black tee. I have noticed several Land’s End supporters here. What are your favorite LE tees? Any to avoid? Thanks!

    • lucy stone :

      The 1×1 knits are really nice and substantial. I like them because the white ones don’t go flimsy and see through after a few washes.

    • Cotton modal tees are awesome. My faves are the scoopneck ones. The regular sizes run a bit long, so if you’re not tall, I suggest going up one size and getting petites (I’d normally wear a regular L; I get a petite XL).

  21. For the FOOEY! files – after a relatively good week last week, I kicked off this week with a stomach bug and then came home today to find a rejection letter from a law firm that had basically indicated during my second interview that they considered me overqualified for their firm.

    I mean, I know, JSFAMO, and I certainly will, but if anyone would like to join me for a group scream, I’ll be here.

  22. the woman in front of my on the metro today was ready really explicit erotica on her nook. i was just kind like, who reads that casually on the metro? when i got up and saw her face, she was like totally licking her lips and touching her lips and looking like, umm really into it. it was so weird!!

    also she had the font super big which is how i first noticed. i felt kinda icky seeing it and i dont consider myself a prude!

    • I have not read Fifty Shades of Grey, but I have read several articles about it and one of the themes that has come up again and again is that it (and books like it) have made it socially acceptable for people, esp. women, to read erotic fiction. Supposedly e-readers have encouraged this trend because your reading material is private (i.e., no book cover for fellow commuters to see) – but it sounds like your case proves the opposite!

      • I think its totally fine that women are finding it acceptable to read erotic fiction. But isn’t that something to read at home? whats the point of like, getting turned on on the metro?? I’d find it so pervy if I saw a guy visibly turned on about something on an ipad or something. everyday i feel like civilization is getting worse haha

      • Erotica is the number one selling genre on e-readers. I think it is the fact that no one can see that you are reading a bodice ripper. However I think this woman wanted to be seen reading it – hence the outward showing of her turned on-ness. Gross! I would equate this to a dude reading a Playboy on the metro.

    • Yup. It was probably 50 Shades. Or one of the sequels.

      Or the end of Girl with a Dragon Tattoo. (Man, that book was messed up.)

    • This is cracking me up. Was it on her way into work? I imagine her being all hot and bothered and then going into work and running TPS reports or something. lol

      • haha. it was the way home! i guess getting ready for a good night lol. it wasnt fifty shades it was called hunted or something.

  23. Just Wondering :

    Has anyone gone from being a vegetarian to eating some meat?

    I’m lacto-ovo veg, been so all my life, safe a brief flirtation with pepperoni and bacon as a kid. Not for any real religious or ethical reasons about killing animals. It’s mostly habit and a general ick factor.

    While I feel like I eat fairly healthily I’m more reliant on carbs (even the better carbs) than I’d like to be. So I’m thinking of trying to incorporate some meat – probably chicken.

    Has anyone tried this?

    • I’m about 90% vegetarian for the same reasons. I was a vegetarian from 8-20. For the past 6-ish years, I have eaten a little meat. I have never ever liked chicken, and still don’t eat a lot of beef or pork, but I do really like fish and probably eat it about once, maybe twice, a week. Pork and beef I only order when I go out because I don’t really know how to cook them (and they kind of gross me out raw). I’d say I eat beef/pork once a month. I didn’t have any problems incorporating fish, and can eat normal serving sizes of meat without a problem. To be honest, the ick factor with meat never really went away for me, even when they were cooked. I don’t like the thought of a hamburger and the image of a rare/medium rare steak are still gross. If you do start, start small and work your way up. If you can, buy better cuts of meat and ones that are pre-cleaned so there is one less thing to deal with.

    • I am grossed out by raw poultry. I’m mostly veg, too.

      For me, it’s easier to eat things that don’t really resemble the animal they come from. Hot dogs, for instance, are way better than chicken wings, because I can kind of ignore that hot dogs come from animals.

      You might want to consider starting with meat that is already cooked. Maybe the grilled chicken strips in the cold cuts section of the grocery store? You can put them on salads, etc.

      • This is coming from someone who grew up in beef country and has never been veg or anything close, but does have weird food issues…

        I’m the same as Rosalita with preferring food that doesn’t resemble the animal it came from. I don’t eat anything with bones in it, or “whole” things like a rotisserie chicken or lobster.

        And chicken in general is a little icky for me when I make it myself, because I never know when it’s done and I’m always paranoid that it’s not cooked all the way through (“Is that pinkness or just juice colored from my marinade? I can’t tell so I’ll bake it 5 more minutes until it’s so dry I’m absolutely sure! Yum!”)

        The hot dog example made me laugh though, because I think it’s actually debatable whether (or at least how much) hot dog “meat” actually comes from animals as opposed to being random filler. That’s actually something I think I’d avoid as a new meat-eater because of the ick-factor.

    • I’d be careful if I were you. I’m a veg for similar reasons, though I think the “ick” factor is so strong for me that I can’t imagine ever eating meat again on purpose. In my teenage years I accidentally ate a meatball that I thought was the veggie kind, and ended up vomiting for several hours after. Not sure though if this was a physical reaction or psychological, though.

      I promise I’m not trying to talk you out of eating meat – I’m not the preachy type, I swear – but have you thought about incorporating more non-meat protein sources? If you’re not a fan of traditional meat substitutes like tofu and seitan, there are plenty of other options. Greek yogurt and cottage cheese are my go-to sources for a protein boost. I also add nutritional yeast to just about everything it could possibly taste good on – baked potatoes, popcorn, roasted veggies, eggs. Nuts are also a great option if you’re not watching calories too closely.

    • I was a complete vegetarian for about 3 years while living in Eastern Europe; seeing meat in the sun at te outdoor markets completely turned me off. I added meat back in when I returned to the US and was going to a lot of conferences where the only vegetarian option was always pasta and veggies. I still only eat fish and poultry and still get icked out by meat on the bone. Chicken sausage, ground turkey and turkey bacon are now staples in my fridge.

    • A little late to this thread, but are you asking if you are likely to get sick? I added in fish after being lacto-ovo for about 10 years (ate meat before that, but never fish), and was fine. I also have not experienced any problems after eating what I am pretty sure contained chicken stock (did this once to avoid insulting the hostess, it was a really unique situation and I would have felt really bad not eating what she prepared).

  24. Research, Not Law :

    I’ve sorta kinda been in your shoes.

    I’d start by ordering it at restaurants so that you aren’t preparing it yourself. I’d also start with things like meatballs, sausage, etc that are a degree away from animal muscle. (Not lunchmeat, yuck). And go ahead and start with chicken if that appeals to you, but don’t assume it will be easier than red meat. I actually don’t really care for poultry but genuinely like red meat.

  25. OK, I know it’s really late for this thread, but I just came across this post by Allie at Wardrobe Oxygen & wanted to share it:

    What a great message!

  26. Might be too late to get responses, but I’d love to hear whether any of you who have gotten married second-guessed yourselves after purchasing a wedding dress. Before this whole wedding process began, I always laughed at the girls on “Say yes to the dress” and the like for being way too serious about getting a dress. I’m the absolute opposite of a Bridezilla; I don’t really care much about the details of the wedding, I just want to feel like I’m making a meaningful commitment to my fiance and have a party that everyone will enjoy. So my approach to finding a dress was to look around at a few places, figure out what shape I liked, and just buy something in my price range that I liked. I didn’t get a strong “feeling” with the dress I picked, but thought I looked nice, and several people confirmed so I got it. But now I’m worrying that I made the wrong choice…thoughts keep running through my head that it isn’t “bridal” enough, that it won’t mesh with our venue, etc., and it’s kind of freaking me out. Is this a sign I should try to return it? Or is this normal?

    • new york associate :

      I think it’s normal. There is ridiculous pressure to find a perfect wedding dress and look perfect on your wedding day. I loved my wedding, but hated the intense pressure on my appearance. And I consciously tried to avoid it as much as possible (a lot like you). I totally second-guessed my dress. But on my wedding day, I put it on and I felt beautiful and now I look at it in pictures and still think it was a beautiful dress. The truth is that if you’re happy to be getting married, your happiness will make you beautiful, even if you’re wearing burlap. I’m not very pretty, but I felt beautiful on my wedding day. Don’t worry about the doubts. They are inevitable given the social pressure.

      • Agree. I was never one of those dreaming-of-the-white-wedding girls, but I still had second thoughts when I ended up wearing a wedding dress from my DH’s culture that did not conform to our white wedding traditions. I thought it wouldn’t really feel bridal. On the day of, it didn’t matter to me at all. The dress is over-rated. “Bridal” is more of a state of mind, as others have pointed out. Plus, look at wedding pics from the 1980s- the dress you love now will probably be incredibly dated in 15-20 years anyway. Hopefully, the marriage won’t be.

        And stop watching TLC!

    • Remember that its been awhile to quite awhile since you’ve seen your dress. And this is a totally normal reaction, hence all the girls who come back on SYTtD and then end up choosing the same one.

      Why not go back to the store and try it on again? Maybe borrow a veil, bring some nice jewelry (get jacked up as they say) and just remind yourself why you liked it. Also — if its already been ordered, returning it won’t be easy.

      Also, just stop watching or reading about wedding dresses for awhile. Walk away from pinterest or anywhere else that you’re looking at wedding stuff. Focus on details of planning that are fun, but maybe not related to the dress. When you come back to it, you’ll probably feel better. But either way, once you have hair and make-up done and everything, you’ll look beautiful. I’ve never seen a bride on her wedding day who I though…really? (I’m assuming your dress is not see through or otherwise scandalous…sorry SYTtD scares me sometimes.) Once the whole picture is put together, it just works. Deep breaths.

      • Oh god, every time I watch SYTtD: Atlanta and they say they’re going to “jack up” a bride, I want to throw up.

        • I feel like they need to go look at urban dictionary because, um, putting a veil on is not what that means!

        • That’s why I say “as THEY say” because you know I DON’T say it. At least its not something worse like, lets bedazzle her.

          But what’s amazing is it works EVERYTIME (or almost every time). They stick some jewelry and a veil on the girl and even the most taciturn southern grandmother comes around. Its remarkable.

          • I know! I just think that if I went in there and they said that in my hearing, I would have to punch somebody. I like the shows at Kleinfeld so much better.

    • lucy stone :

      Newlywed here – I think it’s totally normal. I wore a non-traditional wedding dress for the area and was really worried about it even though I liked the dress when I tried it on. It was such a huge expense for something you wear once that I felt like I should have been more endeared of it – but I was thrilled with the dress on our wedding day.

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