Coffee Break – Nano Lip Liner in Native Nude

Nano Lip Liner in Native NudeI recently decided to replace my super-old (worn to a nub!) lip liner. So I poked around online, looking for a “nude for me” kind of lip liner. (I should clarify here: unlike some women who use their lip liner as a base for lipstick by filling in their entire lips, and unlike some women who “define” their lips, I mostly just use lip liner to aid me in my super-fast, mirror-less application of lipstick. I find that having lined my lips it keeps the lipstick in the lines, and it also helps to fill the blanks if I somehow miss part of my lip. (Does that make sense?)) Anyway, I poked around and read a bunch of articles, nearly purchasing some of the $20-ish clear lip liners (such as this, this, or this) and eventually just decided to take my chances with a $5 Sephora brand lipliner (which is more inexpensive than most drugstore brands!). And… it’s perfect; exactly what I wanted. Hooray for $5 beauty purchases. Sephora Nano Lip Liner in Native Nude



  1. I use lip liner the same way you describe – mine is MAC in Spice, with Spirit lipstick and Beaux lipgloss. On me, it looks like a more vibrant version of my own lip color.

    • That combination of the Spice lip liner and Spirit lipstick was my very first MAC purchase – I love both to this day.

  2. karenpadi :

    Outfit advice needed.

    I am starting to volunteer for a women’s health organization as a “fundraiser” for select donors. It’s a pretty classy group of women.

    I was invited to the annual brunch to meet the other fundraisers. It’s a Sunday morning in Half Moon Bay (south of San Francisco on the ocean) at the personal home of one of the Board members.

    What do I wear? I have a feeling my Silicon Valley Biz Caz uniform of grey slacks and a knitted top isn’t going to suffice. My normal weekend sundresses are probably too casual. Help!

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      How about a sheath dress and a coordinating but non matching knit blazer or cardigan? You are meeting the other fundraisers, not actually fundraising, so I don’t think you have to be totally dressed to the gills, but I think that would be a nice “weekend professional” outfit.

      • karenpadi :

        I could do that. Do you think I could pull it off with a black sheath dress? I also have a red sheath dress? Or is that too dark for brunch?

        I need to buy clothes. I have the opposite problem of most people on here: I don’t shop enough. So I am willing to purchase a new dress.

        • momentsofabsurdity :

          I would probably wear a more summery color than black or red (maybe light gray, cream or camel colored would give you the most versatility in terms of wearing it in other seasons), but I’m sure no one would look askance at a basic black sheath dress, perhaps with a lighter colored blazer.

        • A red sheath paired with a navy cardigan (or white cardi with navy accessories) can look very summery and brunch appropriate.

        • You are not alone! I don’t shop enough either. I’d love to find more resources (blogs? books?) for those of us who literally need to be pushed out to door to go shopping – and still come home empty-handed unless the pushing continues all the way to the cash register… But at least my 401k is well-dressed.

          • karenpadi :

            It wasn’t a bad problem to have until the last of my “shopping” friends moved away. With the right companion, I can buy $500 of clothing in a day. So my wardrobe was pretty comprehensive (not huge, but I usually had something to wear) and never got too worn out. But by myself? ugh. There are so many other things I’d rather do on the weekend.

    • What about The Skirt or the J Crew No. 2 skirt, with a fun blouse?

      • karenpadi :

        That would work too. Do I wear nylons to this sort of thing?

        • momentsofabsurdity :

          Nah, I don’t think so. Especially in the Valley.

        • SF Bay Associate :

          I don’t think so, kp. I’d wear a sheath/structured dress, good jewelry, heels but not open toe (maybe peep toe ok), but no hose. Kinda like Lauren on Fairly Legal (not that I watch that show… ;) ).


    • I’d wear a black sheath dress. But you should check out Lisa’s blog; she seems like she’s in the demographic of your board members, and in the same geographical area too.

      • karenpadi :

        Yes, that is the perfect demographic! I’m going to be reading this all night for inspiration. Thanks!

    • And if you don’t get enough to eat at the brunch, go to the Flying Fish Grill in Half Moon Bay and have the prawn (or other fish) tacos. I was just there on vacation a little over a week ago and they were seriously some of the best food I’ve ever eaten…..swoon…..

  3. Dang it Kat, I just purchased a clear one from the drug store on Friday for 6 bucks. Had I known I could have saved a dollar … le sigh….

  4. I just realized (thanks to an account alert) that the balance of my checking account does not match between Quicken and my bank, by over $2000. (Of course, the extra money is in Quicken, not the bank :( ) I’m not sure how to track this down because normally, I download everything, and it matches +/- that one uncleared check, etc. I have started by taking my last checking statement and making an additional mark in Quicken so that I know it showed up on my statement, but I am worried this could take ages. I don’t remember being this far off even two weeks ago, so I’m not sure how to go about this. Any ideas? I should point out, as there are so many Mint fans, that for various reasons (the most important being the complete clustercuss that is entering a future transaction, which is how I track when bills will be deducted), and I do not get along.

    • Have you used the reconcilation function in Quicken? I will reconcile my bank and cc statements to my quicken register every month and its pretty good about showing me where I went wrong. it works better if you’ve been doing it as you go, but its something to consider. Ctrl-r brings up the window if you can’t find it in the menu.I also don’t download my transactions, so I don’t know how that interacts with the other functions.

      The other possibilty is that something got switched in the debit/credit columns (so its going in instead of going out of your acct), or the category coding got messed up so a payment isn’t registering like its supposed to.

      • I also reconcile in Quicken with my bank statement. The problem with what she’s describing above is that if you haven’t reconciled, you may have to go back too far. Then again, if the problem just happened and you’re reconciling within a month, it could help you find the problem.

      • I didn’t realize I could add a reconciling column that is separate from the “reviewed” column from downloading. That could be helpful.

        • Well, its more like a wizard that you run. And if you don’t need the reconciliation report, you might (?!) Be able to reconcile “backwards” by starting with the most recent statements and working back to the older ones as necessary. This isn’t necessarily kosher for accounting purposes, but it might be helpful for finding that item that’s throwing you off.

          • Oh [light bulb] – I remember doing this a while (years) ago. You enter in the info, like starting balance, ending balance, etc., from your statement, and it does the work for you, right? Now I remember. Thanks for circling back to clarify, nona!

          • Yup! That’s it. And it generates a listing of all your open deposits and outgoings and then you just check them off until the balance in the lower right-hand corner equalizes.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Id start with the most recent purchases on your bank statement (online recent activity would be best) and work backwards in time line by line. If it wasn’t that off 2 weeks ago, it shouldnt take a ton of time to go through the last 2 weeks of purchases to find the mistake.

    • You should balence your check book against the BANK STATMENT, not QUICKEN. When I was dateing Alan, he did the same thing! He relied on QUICKEN rather then going to the bank statment.

      Today the manageing partner gave me a new cleint. He want’s me to meet them for lunch tomorow, and take them out for a meal. I told the manageing partner I would be happy to meet them, but I do NOT want to have a big lunch (with drinkeing) b/c I am trying to keep off the 3 pounds I lost.

      He said OH PISHAW, and is makeing me take them out MYSELF! I do NOT even know these guy’s and I have to go w/o the manageing partner?

      The manageing partner says that I have got to grow up soon. I told him I am OVER 30 year’s old! He just laughed and started buffeing his head again with his hankercheef!

    • Checking your statements against your software is called reconciling. You should be doing it.

      Could it be a check you have written that the recipient hasn’t deposited yet?

      • I will check that. I have write a monthly check that doesn’t clear for about 6 weeks, so it’s possible it got way off somehow with the delay of when I enter it in Quicken and when it actually clears.

        And yes, I will get right on that reconciling. So much much for be lulled into “everything downloads and matches and it’s like magic.” Lesson learned.

        • OC Lawyer :

          “everything downloads and matches and it’s like magic.”

          This is how I feel about Apple’s propaganda machine and misinformation campaign that everything is rainbows and unicorns. Because I’m a cool hip dude springing down the chic sidewalk in SF from one client coffee to another in my graphic designer business. I have no need of actual computer use (you know, the kind that requires Word or Excel full functionality). And I never have any syncing issues. And everything always works together perfectly because the world is rainbows and unicorns. Which means I never have to call Apple and deal with the real world.

          • Ha! Exactly. “Everything syncs like magic.” FOOEY on that. Everything syncs like iTunes, by which I mean terribly.

        • I purposefully don’t do the download/match because I find I have a better sense of where my finances are at if I do it manually.

          You can also hold onto your version of Quicken longer before upgrading, since they’ll phase out support for the download feature for a version about 3 or 4 years after the version comes out.

  5. About lip liner. For those of you who do use it as a base for lipstick (to help lipstick stay longer), what do you recommend?

    • SF Bay Associate :

      I like the CoverGirl outlast lipliner in “nude.” It really does stay all day, though it is getting harder to find. Ulta still carries them. I use it as a base for the CoverGirl outlast lipstick. They work well.

    • I use a lip liner in the same colour family as the lipstick that is going over it. That way, I don’t need a huge number of lip liners, but just 2 or 3 – i.e. 1 pink, 1 red, 1 more neutral. In the past I’ve had great success with MAC, but lately I’ve been using Boots No. 7 brand lip liners, which I find I really like.

  6. It is 12:13 out here on the west coast and I have already eaten everything that I brought to work today. Yogurt, corn/arugula salad, strawberries, and pasta. I’m still hungry. And I’ve had a large (herbal) tea and gone through about 40 oz of water. If I’m not productive today it’s because I can’t put the fork down long enough to read more than a sentence. Stupid hormones. I just want to eat.

    • lostintranslation :

      This is me every time I bring my lunch. nomnomnom

    • I just ate my carrot sticks, the last of my lunch. They were surprisingly filling, but I think a croissant and ice tea are in my future, although I’m on the east coast, but I still don’t think I can make it until home/dinner.

    • that’s been me for the last several days. I keep trying to channel how Katniss handled her Hollow Days.

      • This is my new strategy. 2 pm snack will also contain gratitude that I get to go home and continue to eat.

    • You need more protein – takes longer for your body to digest so you feel full longer. :)

  7. I am a 27 year old attorney. I really want to start giving back to the community in some way and have no idea where to start. I looked at the website for the JL dc chapter and they focus on childrens literacy which I think is great and interesting, its just hard to tell what kind of things they do to help that. Any other suggestions or places/causes that you love?

    • Are you doing pro bono? Interested in doing so? I am interested in doing non-legal stuff (dog rescue volunteering, soup kitchen), but I am trying to find some pro bono to do, as well, because there’s a more limited number of people that can do the legal volunteer work. So far I am just putting out lots of feelers on both ends, but I’m hoping I can figure out a nice mix of legal and non-legal. If you’re interested in animal-related volunteering, I have heard good things about volunteering with WARL.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I’ve recently contacted the ASPCA, Dress for Success, and Planned Parenthood to start volunteering because those are causes I’m very interested in. They all require orientation meetings or trainings, so I figured I go to those to get a better idea of what volunteering entails and then decide how to spend or split my time.

    • Anonymouse :

      Volunteer with legal aid maybe? Or, if you want a non-legal way to help, the local library could probably use help on Saturdays.

    • The Children’s Law Center always needs pro bono attorneys. Washington Animal Rescue League always needs volunteers at their shelter.

    • emcsquared :

      My two have been mentioned – your local chapter of Dress for Success and animal rescue groups. Make sure it’s something you love, because it’s so much easier to give your time when you feel passionate. I did 100+ hours pro bono last year, and probably 50+ hours on non-legal volunteer work, and it barely registered as “working” for me. I also like to keep a blend of legal and non-legal volunteer work, because it keeps me refreshed and not bored.

      Other thoughts: veterans support (living wills, credit counseling, homelessness assistance, and domestic relations counseling are desparate needs right now), small business training in low-income areas, low-cost assistance in accounting or filing Forms 1023 for tax-exempt entities, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, guardian ad litem, Boy Scout/Girl Scout/Campfire/4H leaders.

      Good luck!

      • Just to get you started, you might want to try They organize lots of volunteer events that are all one-off commitments. For example, you might go one day and stock a food pantry, or another day to walk rescue dogs, or play with children in a shelter. Several of their opportunities are recurring so if you really like it, you can go every week.

        • AnotherLadyLawyer :

          Ditto DC Cares. It’s a great way to see what kinds of volunteer projects are out there and try a few before you work one into your weekly/monthly rotation. Plus, you can usually search/sort projects and sign up online, which makes life easier!

    • Feel free to contact me to chat about the JLW – leead02 at yahoo dot com – I can tell you what we do (and what we don’t) and how we give back to the community (I admit, our website is a bit clunky and non-story telling; if you read the blog, that gives more perspective from a “human” voice). However, it’s the start of our new year, so our new member class is already picked; you would have to apply this winter and then would be a member starting in June 2013.

    • Thanks all! these are some great starting points

  8. Hey, ladies. Some of you may remember that I’m TTC. Here’s the deal. I’ve been invited to a wonderful sushi restaurant on someone else’s dime. It’s the best, most expensive one in town (in fact, the chef won a James Beard award). What do I do???? I know I’m not preg currently, but my O kit told me that today is my day to O. Should I skip raw fish? That will kill me but I’ll do it if needed; I’d just rather not do it unnecessarily.

    • Eat the sushi! I wouldn’t think twice about it.

    • I think given that you are not actually pg yet, and the restaurant is of very high quality, enjoy the sushi and the companionship. And good luck in the next 2 weeks!

    • TTC too... :

      I’ve read more on this subject that I ever hoped to…

      No, you don’t need to skip the raw fish. If you are O’ing today and are successful, you have at least 3 days to implanting, maybe as many as 8, and only upon inplanting would the egg/sperm combo begin to be affected by things (and really, not until about a week after implanting, but who wants to time it that close because then it can be greatly affected).
      Do skip the alcohol, though…in addition to fetal harm, it *can* throw hormonal events and speeds ever so slightly off balance, which is important when trying to get everything to line up just right.

      A fellow TTC-er who binges on sushi and Brie until O day.

      • Eat away. I think you’re fine on the alcohol too; just don’t overdo it.

      • I am in no way TTC, and I know about the sushi restriction, but Brie? You can’t eat cheese while you are pregnant? Ugh.

    • Honey Pillows :

      Don’t quote me on this, but isn’t there a few days/weeks leeway time between actual conception and what you consume having a possible detrimental effect on the pregnancy? Something about being drunk when you conceive not being a danger of giving your child fetal alcohol syndrome or something like that? (Alcohol! Helping you make bad decisions since the dawn of time!)

      I think you’re fine, but if you really want to be safe (since mercury is a heavy metal and it sticks around in your blood -I assume that’s what you’re worried about?), just avoid Marlin, Orange roughy, Tilefish, Swordfish, Shark, Mackerel (king), Tuna ( bigeye, Ahi). Those are the mercury offenders.

    • Diana Barry :

      GO! EAT THE SUSHI! :)

      (sorry for the Ellen caps)

    • SF Bay Associate :

      Eat the sushi. Fo’ realsies.

      • Thanks, guys! You know the answer I was wanting to hear, and you just made my day.

    • Oh oh oh! Just asked my OB friend this EXACT question! She says no need to worry about sushi, alcohol, caffeine, etc. until you are actually 100% pregnant (e.g., missed period, positive test, etc.) She says the two weeks between O and period-time (or, in this case, missed period time) is travel time — the fertilized egg is heading down to the uterus but not implanted meaning you’re not sharing blood supply with an embryo yet. So eat away!

      • YYYESSSSS!!!! This makes me so happy. Currently dreaming of my delicious dinner tonight!

    • Seventh Sister :

      Eat the sushi. I even ate sushi when I knew I was pregnant (from good places, not too often, etc., etc. ) and my kids are fine.

    • I did a good bit of internet research on this a while back (for whatever that’s worth, I know), and what I generally found led me to believe that the risks of sushi are quite overstated. In particular, it seems that most fish in the U.S. is flash-frozen, which appears to kill just about everything you would be concerned about.

      I’m hardly a doctor, but, if I were you and based on what I’ve found, I would go. In fact, while I wouldn’t go out of my way to eat sushi now that I am pregnant, if someone invited me today (17 weeks! Baby’s the size of a turnip!), I would go, and while I haven’t eaten sushi per se, I have had a few bits of raw fish since finding out about little turnip-child.

      That said, I’ve always tended to play pretty fast and loose with food safety (never been sick, knock on wood), in terms of considering expiration dates to just be suggestions, letting things sit at room temp, that sort of thing, so you may have to decide for yourself how much risk you are comfortable with.

      Good luck on TTC! Enjoy your sushi deliciousness!

      • Please tell me that “turnip-child” will at least be a nickname contender.

        • Only for this week. Last week it was avocado-child, next week it will be bell-pepper-child, and the week after that is large-heirloom-tomato-child.

          Jeeze, this pregnancy talk is making me hungry!

          • I’ve been doing the exact same weekly fruit/vegetable nickname! I’ve got a rutabega in my belly this week. 25-wks. It kicks me when I’m trying to concentrate at work. Already a troublemaker.

  9. Birth Control Related :

    So the earlier discussion about Mirena made me wonder if there were others like me. My son is 2, and we have not used birth control since before I got pregnant. We rely on avoiding (based on tracking my cycle with temps, etc) and pulling out. Hormonal birth control makes me wacky, and I can’t use many other forms of birth control due to highly allergic skin. I think our system works well for us, but my doctor keeps telling me that I should be on birth control. Thoughts?

    • Anonymous :

      I have two friends who have been successful with the fertility tracking in their BC efforts, both for over 3 years now.

    • If you ovulate on a regular cycle, or if you’re religious about tracking, natural family planning/fertility awareness method is nearly 100% effective. So long as you’re not having sex during your fertile periods you should be fine. Ignore your doctor; you know your own body better than he does. Pulling out, as far as I know, is not enough to prevent pregnancy during your fertile periods.

      There’s a book called Taking Control of Your Fertility that I recommend – it is as good for those trying to avoid pregnancy as for those trying to get pregnant.

      • TTC too... :

        Sometimes I wish that *this site* had a list of Most Reader Recommended Books to Become the Woman You Want”…I discovered TCOYF through this site and it is not an overstatement to say that it has Changed. My. Life.

        • There’s a group setup on the website The group is called “Fans of the website “. The group has a list of books that includes the ones most mentioned, I think. Anyone in the group can add more books to the list.

      • TCOYF changed my life, too — I was so happy to find a way to be off hormonal birth control. I’m on my 95th cycle of charting, and no mishaps so far.

    • Not really :

      Be careful. Friends are now expecting their 3rd kid in two years despite being very careful. Pulling out does not work. Also remember that those little suckers live for a while so you could get pregnant even if you stop when you’re ovulating.

    • I assume you’re allergic to latex, but have you tried polyeurethane condoms (Bare or Skyn)? I used them with my husband for years before we started trying to conceive and never had any problems.

    • I think that’s fine for people who are less risk adverse. For instance, single me would never use that method. Married and as a couple who wants children at somepoint but not yet would consider that method

    • Diana Barry :

      Me too. I used to have a copper IUD (before pregnancy, I can’t use hormones) and haven’t used any BC since 2007. We tracked a la TCOYF between each of the 3 kids. No oopses (the second and third were both planned).

      I think this is our last one, though, so DH will be getting the snip as soon as we are sure that this is the last one.

    • My OB told me they have a joke in their profession:
      “What do you call couples who rely on natural family planning?”

      Obviously taken with a grain of salt but like someone above said, if it would be absolutely terrible for you to become pregnant right now, you might want to add in some sort of birth control. If it would just be unplanned and inconvenient but ok in the long run, you’re probably ok.

    • I did this before my first kid and between kid 1 and kid 2. Never had a scare. I wouldn’t recommend it to everyone, but we felt fine doing a low-key BC method, knowing that if we screwed up, it wouldn’t be traumatic or relationship-ending. If you are feeling 100% no way, no how, use a barrier method. But if you’re happy with a method that works pretty well, no guarantees, keep doing what you’re doing.

    • Research, Not Law :

      We are really happy with condoms. Used them before kids, between, and after. Both kids were fully planned and intentional. There are some various materials for allergies if you research beyond your standard drugstore, but it’s not an area I’m familiar with. If you’re looking for something, I would explore a copper IUD or diaphram.

      If you’re happy with your system, then go with it. I’m sure you’re aware that it’s not perfect, but so long as you’re comfortable with the possibility of an unplanned child, then I see nothing wrong with it.

      • Just have to add that diaphragms have a much higher failure rate than fertility awareness/NFP. I really wouldn’t go that route – I discussed it with my gyno and was horrified when I looked at the failure rate statistics.

    • SoCal Gal :

      I’m pretty much doing the same thing. But then, I’m 42, never been pregnant or even had a scare, perimenopause is rearing its head, and I’m not overly worried.

      I think about getting an IUD, then I think I most likely don’t even have 5 fertile years left, and go on as I have been.

      That said, every period is a beautiful miracle of not-creating-life and I cherish them all.

    • Anon for This :

      Have you considered the copper IUD? I feel like it was completely downplayed as an option (Mirena is better! It’s more expensive! More marketing! No periods!), but it’s great. Don’t know if that works or doesn’t work with your allergy.

    • I’ve used natural family planning (the tracking method, NOT the rhythm method) for 5.5 years. No babies. I’ve had one or two wonky long cycles that made me a little nervous, but my cycle’s not really that regular, and those months were both high-stress/abnormal.

      Anyway, I recommend it.

  10. We’re doing the same thing. BC was an absolute nightmare for me (trust me, I tried everything) and I will not use it again.

  11. @Wannabe Runner :

    I hope that you don’t give up, but that you take a break! Going to the doctor is definitely the right thing to do, and going to a specialty running store also might help. I’ll post some links that helped me as a reply, so they don’t get stuck in moderation.

    • goodformrunning dot com: this one was most helpful. I don’t do it all of the time, but I notice my knees hurting a lot less is a good overview and helped me get some perspective

      Runner’s World has an entire section with articles, exercises, and videos on running injuries. Actually, I should probably do more of these myself…

      Also, running with your bf is really good for motivation, but you might be hurting yourself from trying to keep pace with him. My bf is really really out of shape, but since he’s quite a bit taller, he’s still faster than me when we run together. When I try and keep up with him, I notice my knees hurt a lot more. Either way, good luck and hopefully it works out!!

    • Wannabe Runner :

      Thank you so much!

      Good call on maybe my bf is just pushing me. We wanted to do it together, and he said, “I’ll slow down” but sometimes he doesn’t. He’s less in shape than me, but taller, so yes, he runs faster.

    • Urk you guise, just because someone is taller doesn’t mean they’re faster. See: Manzano, Leo ( please note Andrew Wheating, small and dainty at 6’5, getting whooped by pocket-sized Leo and Centro); Lagat, Bernard (; etc.

      Your boyfriends are probably faster because they’re boys. Hurts my feminist soul to say that, but true facts.

    • I wanted to post yesterday about this. I had lots of knee pain when I started running (regularly for the first time since high school) in October, and it went away when I switched to a midfoot strike. Look to your gait/shoes. You shouldn’t have to give up running all together.

      • Wannabe Runner :

        Tell me more about this “midfoot strike.”

        • Basically, you should try running with a ‘barefoot style.’ Most people strike with their heel when they run. They stretch their leg out, with the toes pointed up, hit the ground with their heel, and push off. With a midfoot strike, the ball of your foot hits the ground first, your heel ‘kisses’ the ground, and then you push off. It involves a shorter stride and leaning slightly forward as you run. I can’t post links because I can’t get on YouTube at work, but watch some barefoot running videos on YouTube.

          • Oh, and I should note that you should change your gait slowly (i.e. don’t go out and run for 40 minutes the first time you try this out), and that you will probably experience ankle/lower leg pain as your muscles adjust.

  12. Taking a second bar exam? :

    I posted about moving cross country last week (thanks for all your tips on relocation packages!), and will need to take a new bar exam (NY to CA). My current firm gives me 4 paid weeks off to study. Is that enough time to study for CA or should I take 6? And should I sign up for BarBri or Kaplan.

    • Former MidLevel :

      When did you last take the Bar? If it’s within a few years, you may not need to to a whole review course again.

    • I took the CA bar exam last summer as my second bar, after moving from IL. I used all of June and July to study, and did BarBri, and would highly recommend that approach. CA is a really tough exam, and it’s just not worth it to risk failing for a few thousand bucks if you already have a job lined up.

    • CA Bar... :

      CA is ridiculous and has a ton of CA specific law. That said, 2 years ago should get you through the vast majority of the MBE. 4 should do it, if that’s all you are doing during that period. But don’t plan to be setting up your new abode or strolling through your new surroundings or making new friends… it will be you & your books.

      Additionally, BarBri & Kaplan are wicked expensive, but can you negotiate them into a relocation package? I do think bar prep materials are important out here in CA, where the law is less than clear.

      I am a PA transplant to CA (spent my 1L year in PA, 2L & 3L years here in CA) and needed a lot of BarBri’s help to study for the CA bar.

    • I took the CA (attorney) bar in 2010 when I relocated from NY. It was my third bar exam, but it had been over 7 years since the last one. I purchased the Conviser mini-review from BarBri, studied that for about 10 days (ostensibly full time), and I passed. And believe me, I’m no legal rock star. 4 weeks is enough. You’ll be fine. Good luck.

    • Taking a second bar exam? :

      Thanks everyone! This was helpful.

  13. wasp nest :

    I came home last night and found a wasp nest right next to my front door. Closing the door upset the wasps, which then made them swarm the door (thankfully I managed to get inside without a sting) and one got inside. I called my management company this morning and they said they could send someone out tomorrow, but that it would be a general window between 9-12. Normally I would just make up the time, but the problem is, I’m a summer associate. The extermination company will come on the weekend, but that gives me 5 more days of potential wasp swarms and wasp in my house. Is it reasonable to ask to work from home in the morning (I live alone, so there’s no roommate to ask) so that I can let in the exterminator and they can make sure that there are no other wasp nests on the patios? Or because I am the low man on the totem pole I just have to suck it up and hope I don’t get stung for the next few days?

    • Good God, no. Tell your supervisor that you have an emergency you need to take care of ASAP and that you’ll be in the office in the afternoon. Come on, woman.

    • Completely agree with Godzilla.

      • wasp nest :

        Thank you for reaffirming my faith in people. I wouldn’t have second guessed it, but when I asked a friend I got a much less reasonable answer that was along the lines of “well you’re not dead and you’re likely not allergic, so even if they do sting you, it wouldn’t be the end of the world. Just wait, do you really want to be the girl rememberd for the wasps?” I was really taken aback by the answer, and really didn’t think I was the one that was wrong, so I’m glad to be right.

        • wasp nest :

          Which is also reason #874 that law students are crazy.

        • I wouldn’t necessary tell the whole world that it’s wasps. No one would hold it against you, of course, but you’d still be the wasp girl. Maintenance emergency that you need to take care of immediately will cover it.

          • Exactly. Aren’t you lawyerfolk really good at making alarming-but-vague statements?

    • Do you really need to be there while the management company is taking care of this? Presumably if the nest is on your porch they can just deal with it and call you. That is what I would do in your position, especially since (presumably) your management company is paying for it.

      • wasp nest :

        They are paying for it, but it’s a condo, so they don’t have a key and can’t get in to check the back balcony, which they said they wanted to do.

        • Ah. Well, then, I agree with Godzilla too, and also agree that you don’t even need to tell anyone what the “emergency maintenance” or whatever is. I bet no-one will even ask.

    • Do you have an assigned mentor or recruiter you can ask about this? I’m 99% sure that they would say “please, stay home and make sure your house is wasp-free!” but it would be better to ask at your firm first.

    • Couldn’t you just buy some wasp spray? I’ve always used it and I AM allergic to wasp stings. Just a thought . . . You spray it generously directly at the nest and then run inside. Voila! No more wasps!

      • This is not a good idea. Do not do this in lieu of a professional’s services.

        • We have wasps nests in our eaves a few times every summer. The sprays do work BUT you have to use them in the very early morning or in the evening, when the wasps are dormant. It is not a big deal to use them and they’ve always worked for us, but of course you clear the area pretty quickly and don’t hang around to watch them die!

          I would be very careful about how you present this to your manager. You really don’t want to come across as not-a-coper. Can you have the company come and deal with it when you are not home, then schedule a follow up visit when you can be home and can let them in?

    • Do you have another door? If so, I personally would not miss work for this. If your only option is to use this door, then just do what you’ve got to do.

      Also, do you have any reason to think the back balcony is a problem? If the main nest can be eliminated while you are out, just have them do that. Then have them come back later (at your own expense if necessary) when you are home to look at the balcony if you are seriously concerned about that area.

  14. Marissa Mayer just left Google to be the CEO of Yahoo.

    She’s 37. Amazing woman.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      As I said to my parents (especially my mother who was very worried at my taking a job at an early stage startup very early on in my career) – Marissa Mayer has hugely benefited from being employee #20 at Google. I have no doubts she is truly talented and an extraordinary woman, but at a bigger company, she likely would not have been recognized and promoted by the leaders of the company as quickly as she was, and gained the experience necessary to take on such a prominent role. I do wonder about her attaching her name to a fast fading brand, but who knows – maybe she’ll turn it around.

    • Sheesh. She and I are the same age. This makes me feel like a massive underachiever. [Yes, Type A competitive attitude kicking in here.]

  15. Staycation at work = take a vacation day to use IN the office. Thoughts? (Relevant article to follow.)


      • My immediate thought is – no way. If you are doing activities that specifically improve your function at your current job, that is “work” not vacation. Now, taking a vacation day to improve skills you need to leave your current job and get a new one, sure.

        But I think it’s a real problem if someone is so terribly busy at their job that they have no time in the normal course of business to build skills that their employer wants them to have, or meet with people in their organization to discuss job-related things. Maybe I’m a slacker, but why let your employer intrude even more into your personal life?

      • Yeah, my thought was to take a “clear the calendar” day, but not to use vacation time to do so. Somehow I think the office staycation is not going to catch on…

    • That seems insane – why would you work for free?

      • Yeah……..all of those suggestions are paid time activities for me.

        • Agree – I do most of this stuff, on the clock, in the rare times when things are quieter.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I haven’t read the article but I jokingly take in office vacation days without actually taking the vacation day. As in, after a hellish week I might go to work knowing I will get nothing accomplished but will get credit for just being there. I will screw off on the internet all day, take a long lunch, catch up w/ a friend via email, etc and go home. I’m there if any fires crop up but I didn’t get any real work done. But I don’t actually use my vacation days for that.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I’m not familiar with too many huge companies, but do they really require you to use a vacation day to attend an onsite training/professional development session?

    • If a coworker told me they were using a vacation day IN the office, I would immediately never speak to them because they are either 1) body snatcher or 2) serial killer.

    • Crazy. Many of these things are work. Why use vacation? I occasionally have my secretary hold all my calls, etc. so that I can get non-casework things done in the office (training, office organization, etc.), but I don’t take vacation for it. Vacation is for me; training, etc. is for my work. I could not survive in an environment in which I’m expected to do otherwise. People have done lost their minds.

  16. I hate red exclamation mark e-mails with a passion- unless it is a true emergency. I think red exclamation mark e-mails should be saved for those times that everything else you are working on should come to a grinding, screeching halt because of an emergency or a very quickly approaching deadline.

    (History: I came from a firm where red exclamation marks really meant “emergency”, and the one I received today was in reference to a small correction that should be made to a non-billable project that I completed over a month ago. The correction could have been made by the person who sent me the e-mail. UGHHHH…. I would probably not be so irritated but I have been working since 6:00 am this morning on things with real deadlines and had to explain to the paralegal that the e-mail she sent was not an emergency. She, of course, told me that I was wrong.)

    • I’d be super annoyed too.

    • I ignore all those “flags” on emails. No one gets to judge the urgentness of some email I get except for me.

      If my clients could use those flags, all my emails would have red flags.

    • Constance Justice :

      My supervisor overuses all caps and exclamation points. As in, “PLEASE USE FORMAT X INSTEAD OF FORMAT Y!!!!!” when writing about whether to make bold or just underline subheadings. For this reason, I have also come to hate exclamation points when they stand for false urgency. I feel for you!

    • The copyroom manager at my firm sends out red exclamation point emails when one of the many scanners will be down for an afternoon for maintenance.


      Or in other words, yes, I wholeheartedly agree with you.

      • OC Lawyer :

        I especially appreciate these emails when: (1) I am on another continent reading emails remotely, and (2) there is so much formatting and flowers and different font usage in the email that it takes forever to load and prevents me from seeing my real emails.

        • What is it with people who send these types of emails and formatting/flowers/fonts? Massive overlap.

        • I’m so glad I’m not the only one this happens to. Solidarity!

    • LinLondon :

      I can’t think of the last time I received a red exclamation mark email that was actually important. It’s actually likely to make me respond to an email more slowly.

    • emcsquared :

      I had a client who sent EVERY e-mail with a red exclamation mark. The one time she sent an e-mail without the exclamation, I knew it was an emergency.

  17. Gail the Goldfish :

    I asked a former employer for a letter of recommendation, which they agreed to do, but are busy and asked if I could do a first draft of the letter that they could then tweak. I had a professor in law school ask me to do the same thing, and thus I know that I am really, really bad at writing recommendation letters for myself. Does anyone have any suggestions for how to go about this?

    • Former MidLevel :

      When I did this for clerkships, I found there was actually a ton of good information online. This is an example of the general format I used: For this type of situation, the main value you can provide is reminding the recommender of all the awesome things you did for them. For an employer, for example, talk about what kinds of projects you did. For a professor, what classes did you take with him/her? Did you excel on the exam? In class participation? That kind of thing. Add plenty of detail – they can always cut, but at least you’re giving them raw material.

  18. Is anyone here in HR management? I’m a former employment attorney trying to transition into HR management and I’ve found it extremely difficult. Does anyone have any tips/advice?

    • Are there any HR headhunters in your area? That might be your best bet. HR tends to be hidebound, in my experience – the VP is an old[er] white male who paid his dues, and won’t believe that an attorney would willingly hang out in the backwater that HR can be. Also, non-VP jobs (other than the few that are considered on the direct path to VP) tend to be underpaid, so they’ll be concerned about your salary requirements, too.

      I think a headhunter who believed in you could be your best ally in selling your “untraditional” candidacy.

    • I’m going the other way – former HR management going into law. What types of positions are you applying to? “Management” means many things, from manager to Director to Veep. You will likely have a hard time being taken seriously for high level positions because you have not done the day-to-day running of an HR department and if you’ve only worked as an attorney, then potential employers will assume you lack the overall practical business experience required of execs (but, please do not run out and get an MBA!). If you have only law experience, then I would look at finding a consulting gig where you will be consulting on HR issues and changes in the law to HR practitioners.

      • Just had another thought. Have you looked at government HR jobs? I’ve heard that JDs in government HR jobs are preferred. Unfortunately, I don’t often see HR job postings with the various state and federal agencies.

  19. For those of you air talia fans, how do you like them to fit? I tried on my usual 8.5 and it was very comfortable but felt snug. Is this how you like them or should I go up a half size and go with a looser fit?

    • I’m usually an 8.5 or a 9 and I take an 8.5 in the Air Talias (and all Cole Haan, really). After one or two wearings the leather molds to my foot nicely. I think a 9 would end up being too big.

    • 2/3 attorney :

      I just ordered my first pair. After many recommendations, I ordered a half-size larger than my usual. They came today and are way too big, slide right off my heel. So disappointed they must go back and I must wait longer to wear them. At least it was zappos so returns are free.

  20. missattymaam :

    Eyes Lips Face has a clear line protector for under $5 in yhr Studio line, and its a twist up.

  21. Question for you all:

    What do you wear when you’re going to get a massage (on a Saturday morning)? Do you go in sweats or do you dress cute/casual? I’m confused because you’re not going to be in those clothes when the massage occurs, but I don’t want to look like a frump at a nice salon!


    • Yoga pants. And a hoodie/tee depending on your climate.

      You don’t want to put your relaxed, oiled-up self back in structured clothing.

      (Who cares? If you’re worried about being “seen” in the salon lobby while you check in, then you need a massage way more than I do. And that’s saying something.)

    • karenpadi :

      Maxi dress with built-in bra and flip flops.

      A hat can also be useful.

    • new york associate :

      Bring sunglasses! I always look sort of blotchy post-massage, especially if there was a facial or a wax or anything, and I like to hide behind big sunglasses.

  22. ob ultra tampons – back in stock at drugstore dot com. No need to hoard any longer.

  23. I know there have been several discussions about job hunting while pregnant, but I’m going to post anyway. I have a job right now that I don’t like and that I took just because I’d been unemployed for a few months and there were no good prospects out there. The money is fine, there’s some job security, and the company is very supportive of working mothers. I’m the primary breadwinner (by a lot) in our house and I carry our insurance (my husband is self-employed so insurance through him would be very expensive). But the job is not in my field and there is no room for advancement. I’m a lawyer and this is a non-law job in an area not even tangentially related to my practice area/industry. The work is not at all challenging. I don’t know why they wanted someone with an advanced degree for this position. You could easily do the work with a bachelor’s and probably not even need that.

    My background is litigation and I was hired in part because I bring a certain edge that they needed for this job. But the office culture is completely non-edgy and very passive-aggressive. My particular project is very unpopular and I get very little support (which is why they wanted someone with an edge — to keep working on the unpopular project despite no one wanting me to).

    Anyway, the job is on a contract basis. I signed up for a year (about halfway through it now) and I’m precluded by the terms of the contract from applying for other jobs until the last three months of the contract. These three months fall over the holidays and this is DC — if I have to do an entire hiring process in three months, that rules out government. When the year is up, if I want to keep working at this job, I need to sign another year-long contract.

    I really want to look for a new job. I don’t think all of the terms of the contract are truly enforceable (it says elsewhere that I’m at will) but DC is a small town and I don’t want to burn bridges unnecessarily. I’m okay with waiting until the job application window opens, but I’m wondering if I’m crazy to consider looking for work then. We’re TTC and, chances are, by December or early 2013 I’ll be pregnant. My company will want to know if I want to re-up on the contract long before the current year expires. I plan to try to negotiate a better deal in terms of being able to look for other work, but I’m not sure if I can get less than a year-long contract. I can always play the “I just don’t know what will happen once the baby is born” card but I still think they’ll want some kind of commitment. I also just don’t know what the market will be like and if I’ll even be able to get a new job. I’m from a T10 law school with BigLaw experience, so I’m not a terrible candidate. I also have been doing some work in my area, including writing an article (which should get published since the journal contacted me to request that I write it), but I worry that if I’m away from law for more than a year, I won’t be very attractive to employers and my skills won’t be current.

    Waiting to have a baby isn’t really an option since I’m 35.

    This has become a much longer post than I meant, and I guess it’s more of a rant than anything else. I’m not sure there’s a good solution. I just feel very stuck. I’m unhappy with my job and usually when I feel unhappy about where I am, I deal with that by taking proactive steps toward changing. I’m working on keeping my network active, but the restriction on being able to actually apply for jobs, plus knowing I’m stuck at least another six months, plus worrying that no one will hire a pregnant lady (plus worrying that I’ll make a choice based on hoping to be pregnant and having it take months and months and months to conceive) are just making me feel frantic and trapped. Any words of wisdom, ladies?

    • I wouldn’t normally be sticking my nose in others’ life decisions but having a baby at 35.5, 36, or even 37 isn’t medically dam*ing. If anything the stress stemming from overhauling your life during pregnancy is a lot more damaging to you and your baby (and may somewhat reduce your odds of conception: You should seriously consider postponing TTC until you have a clearer vision of your options and potential outcomes – who knows, if you lift your self-imposed deadline on expanding your family an otherwise unforeseeable solution may present itself. A quality family has a lot less to do with the ages of the parents and a lot more with their overall stability. At any rate, best of luck to you! I know firsthand how difficult such transitional periods are.

      • Actually, it is pretty well documented that a woman’s fertility plummets around 35. And many women trying to have their first child at or around this age are urged not to wait.

        • Yes, the quality of a woman’s eggs begins to deteriorate at the AVERAGE age of 35. In other words, until you test the quality of your egg supply (don’t take my word for it but I have heard that you can test egg quality – though of course, check with your gyno first) you shouldn’t worry about what ifs. FWIW, you have overwhelmingly higher chances at having a normal, healthy child than one with DS or other genetic diseases even after 35. This is a question for your gyno than for a general forum, though. Again, best of luck with everything!

    • new york associate :

      I know what that frantic, trapped feeling is like, and it’s awful. But I think you’re feeling frantic and trapped because you’re conflating everything into one decision. Really, you’re facing several decisions, seriatim. Right now, all you can do is make decisions based on the actual facts, and the facts are that you are in a job you don’t like. So what I would do, were I you, is go ahead and take the proactive steps towards changing. I’d get my resume in shape and plan to start applying for jobs in September. I think that it’s highly unlikely that you’d be positioned to make a change until after the holidays, and that will basically let you ride out your contract.

      The piece that’s making you crazy is TTC. But TTC isn’t worth anything in my view. Until you’re pregnant, it’s all theoretical. So just let that go. Don’t try to plan for it or schedule around it. Continue to TTC, but don’t let it shape your decisionmaking about your job for now. I guess I just think that if you make good decisions, then people will understand if and when you show up with an impending pregnancy. Babies and maternity leaves are a giant, big deal to us, as prospective mothers, but they are but a blink in the eye of a corporation or government employer.

      Also, hang in there. This stuff is really crazy-making.

      • ^^This. Don’t put your life on hold TTC. You really can’t plan for everything. I would try to get out of the current job as soon as your K ends and continue along with your plans for your career. Your plans may change once you’re pregnant, or you may never get pregnant and decide to make plans for something else.

        • Thanks everyone. I think you’re saying things that I was already thinking (especially about not putting my life on hold) but was afraid were actually reckless and crazy. My husband and I talked it over last night and he’s 110% behind me looking for another job (both because he loves me and wants me to be happy and because he loves himself and would love to be done with talking and talking and talking about how much I hate my job — which I understand!)

  24. For Reader C :

    Did anyone notice that Reader C’s pre-nup question that Kat posted 3/20/12 was submitted to Carolyn Hax this week? It’s almost the same phrasing.

    Is it weird that I’m sad that the collective wisdom of Kat and the Hive couldn’t solve Reader C’s question? And I’m sad for Reader C that she still doesn’t have an answer.

    • Anne Shirley :

      I think there is often a substantial time delay on getting these questions published. I know Carolyn Hax has addressed this in her online chat frequently.

      And I think our advice was better :)

    • hax reruns those. that question is actually from march when she submitted it first to hax, so hopefully she has an answer by now

    • Pretty sure Carolyn Hax has lifted questions (well, one that I recall) from this site in the past when the OP here confirmed that she had not also submitted it there.

      • Well, some situations appear as parallel lives. My sister hasn’t posted to either site, and it read like her prenup issue.

        I was once accused of writing to Miss Manners (I hadn’t, and don’t) about something that I had kept in confidence. Unnecessary complication to our relationship. Oh well.

  25. e_pontellier :

    I hope I’m not too late in the day for this (but if I am, I’ll re-post!).
    I’m a rising 2L at a lower-ranked law school in NYC (not NYU, Columbia, or Fordham). I have a 3.2 GPA but I just made Law Review. I came to law school wanting to work in litigation at a big firm; I have extensive small firm experience and did my first year of law school part-time so I could keep working (hence the low grades). Looking for hope/help as far as BigLaw apps — I’m thinking of just applying to the biggest 300 firms in NYC, but that’s a little crazy. Can anyone suggest a happy medium?

    • recruitress :

      This approach is almost never fruitful. I would seriously consider trying to network rather than sending hundreds of blind applications. Tell your career services dean what field you’re trying to get into and she should have a list of alums in that field whom you can contact (not to ask for jobs but to ask for leads). It truly is a more efficient, more effective way of job searching.

    • I think this is going to be very, very tough. I agree that working personal connections is the best route, but I wouldn’t get my hopes up too much. These days, you’d need a higher GPA than 3.2 even at Columbia (even with law review). Many of the big firms have an official (but not publicized) grade cut off and it’s typically at least 3.3. If you really want big law, your best bet would be to go do something else first. If you could go to the prosecutor’s office then become an AUSA, you’d be a great big law candidate. But going straight from law school to big law with a 3.2 and a lower ranked school, I hate to say I’m positive something won’t work, but I think your odds are extremely slim. Extremely. (Even Fordham would be a stretch — you’d need a stellar GPA and law review to be a good candidate for big law from Fordham.) Also, my advice would be to not explain low grades by saying you were working part time. Big law does not want to hear that. They expect you to work 80+ hour weeks and be 100% on your game every second. It doesn’t matter that you got experience (at least, it doesn’t matter to big law — other employers might find this a huge plus). I would recommend contacting any and every alum of your school at big firms in NY. Ask to meet for coffee. Tell them you admire their work (see if you can find out about actual cases they worked on and be somewhat knowledgable about them) and want to do the kind of work they do. Tell them you realize it’s tough out there and ask how they got where they are. (My guess is they’re likely older people or took a non-traditional path to their firms.) They might have some good tips for you. I think you can get where you want to go, but I think you’re going to have to be creative about it.

    • Guessing that you’re at Brooklyn or NY Law. If you are at Brooklyn, there is a huge alumni base, including many at big firms. Tap into it. NY Law, not as much and I would definitely recommend looking into other areas first. Good luck!

  26. e_pontellier :

    Thanks, all! I’ll tap into my alumni network.

  27. Anonymous :

    Can I just say that the ad for an article on the right that says “6 myths that black people believe about themselves”is just, well, crap?

    If it’s a real article, with some legitimate purpose, could you get a more enlightened title? Or screen out ads that shout “demeaning to a large group of people based on pigmentation”?

    There is no definition of ethnicity and heritage it’s complicated – African immigrant, Jamaican heritage, Egyptian heritage, Brazilian heritage, PA farmer, DC patent lawyer, college professor, engineer, Bill Cosby, Morgan Freeman, Condolezza Rice, Maya Angelou, Viola Davis…and the President – do the six myths hold up for them?

    ~*WHAT*~ myths do they all believe, as a group?

    Had to say something about my fellow Americans!

    • Wannabe Runner :

      I think not everyone sees the same ads. That sounds like a bad one, though.

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