Coffee Break – Sterling Silver & 18K Yellow Gold Teardrop Earrings

David Yurman Sterling Silver & 18K Yellow Gold Teardrop EarringsI never feature longer earrings for the office because I feel like 95% of them are inappropriate for office wear, primarily because they’re distracting. But when a reporter asked me recently why, I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, finally settling on “dangly earrings that move when you speak are distracting.” But readers, what are your thoughts — would these longer stationary earrings be acceptable for work? They are gorgeous — love the mix of silver and gold, and the teardrop shape. They’re $825 at Saks. David Yurman Sterling Silver & 18K Yellow Gold Teardrop Earrings



  1. I love these. Too bad I don’t have $800 lying around right now for earrings!

    • Haha. I was thinking the same thing. :-P

    • I agree, they’re gorgeous! I too wish I had the extra cash (or a birthday coming up).

    • Agree! I think they are totally lovely – and work-appropriate. Way out of my budget, though.

    • Hi! Not to hurt anone’s taste, but I think most of Yurmans jewellry is rather tacky. In my opinion it’s a real run of the mill thing – his ‘bling’ is actually made in China (sic!) and “put together in the US” – I guess that means putting on a price tag. A couple of years ago he “made” completely regular curb chain bracelets for men, to which de added a small DY gold plated silver tag and asked 1200$ for it – these curb chains are made by the yards in Italy and can be found in any jewellers store for literally less than a tenth of that money. If anything I admire Yurmans business skills – and no, my husband were not allowed to have one;)

      Rather than pay 800 dollars for earings made of sterling silver with some gold plating, I’d buy hand made Scandinavian design jewellry or something antique and real eyecatching off Ebay and still have money for a decent lunch;)

  2. I wear dangly earrings often, and have for years. It’s not been an issue in our office, but we are West Coast and more casual.

    • I wear dangly earrings of varying lengths somewhat regularly (the longest probably being about 2 inches). If it’s wrong, I don’t want to be right!

  3. SF Bay Associate :

    Heh – David Yurman jewelry is one of my mental signposts in life. If I can comfortably afford David Yurman in my modest-percentage-of-net-income shopping budget, then that is a sign I have Definitely Made It. I am nowhere near that point yet, and may never be. Those earrings are gorgeous though.

    • Just curious what do you consider that percentage to be? I haven’t ever bought nice jewelery for myself (recently started working) and am just curious what other people think is a reasonable amount to spend! Especially because it seems like more than any other apparel items, jewelry lasts for a LONG time.

    • My sister is there. She’s a top salesperson at a tech firm, and they regularly make multiples of their (generous) base. When she makes a big sale, she usually buys herself something “purty”, as she says, from Yurman.

      I am too cheap to pay Yurman prices for sterling silver, sorry to say!

      Have you checked out Lori Bonn? Lots of very simiar styles in sterling and semiprecious gems.

      • Thank you, mambaear. I was thinking that $800 is waaaay too much for sterling silver, even if it is David Yurman.

  4. momentsofabsurdity :

    Dangly earrings make an enormous difference on my face – I don’t know why. Multiple people have commented to me on this – studs are fine, but anything that dangles very much softens my features and makes me look much better – I can see it in the mirror and so can most other people.

    As such, “no dangly earrings” is a Corporette rule I do not follow. Now if only I had $800!

    • That’s interesting. I used to wear dangly earrings a lot but then I cut my hair shorter and got funkier glasses and now I feel like longer dangly earrings look strange on me. I keep to short dangled and hoops. I don’t wear studs because the backs poke me in the neck and annoy me.

      • That is the same for me! When my hair is short, I wear only stud-type or huggie earrings. When my hair is longer than the bottom of my ears, I can wear earrings that dangle a bit.

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        Hmm it may well be a hair thing – I’ve never had hair shorter than the bottom of my neck so I’m not sure!

        I also need to be careful about which earrings I buy – I need very light earrings that dangle, because my earlobes are weak and stretch with heavy earrings. So I tend to do very thin/finely wrought earrings, as opposed to big stones, which may soften the look further, I’m not sure.

      • Intersting observation about earrings and hair length. I’ve only worn studs since chopping off my hair. There earrings are beautiful though.

        • I’m the opposite– when I have long hair, I find that the dangly earrings get lost in my hair. I only wear them when I’ve lopped off my hair, so they’re more visible. :-)

      • SF Bay Associate :

        What do you all think about dangly earrings + non-funky glasses? I always feel like there is too much going on in terms of metal on my head if I have dangly earrings while I am wearing glasses, so I feel resigned to studs on glasses days. But maybe I am just being silly?

        • You know, I’ve worn glasses my whole life and wore dangly earrings and never thought much of it. It wasn’t until I cut my hair shorter that I felt like it didn’t look right. I got the new glasses right around the same time, so I’m not sure. I know there are people who say you shouldn’t wear dangly earrings with glasses but I never felt that way. I do still wear somewhat shorter dangles, but the long ones look odd.

        • I’m the same way SFBay. I also have a rule that if I have larger earrings on, no necklace and vice versa. It can look like way too much going on otherwise.

    • Legally Brunette :

      Yep, same here. I really need to wear fairly prominent earrings for my face. I think this is because I have a fairly wide face and curly hair, so studs just disappear.

  5. I don’t wear dangly earrings to the office because they get in the way of the phone; I always end up taking them out (same goes for larger-ish hoop earrings). So then I get frustrated that I can’t wear them all day (and fear losing them when they do come out of my ear or that I walk around with only one earring in) so therefore, it’s just easier to wear my studs (diamonds or pearls).

    • Former MidLevel :

      I have the same problem. But I have no problem with dangly earrings in theory.

      • I’ll second this. I have no problem wearing dangly earrings (and don’t find them distracting,) but I frequently leave one on my desk overnight as I have taken it off to talk on the phone. Not so worrisome with $80 earrings – scary with $800 ones.

    • That’s funny, I’m just the opposite: I find that stud earrings become terribly painful when talking on the phone. I much prefer dangly earrings because they don’t get pressed into my skull when I’m on the phone.

      On the issue of what’s work-appropriate, these earrings would definitely be work-appropriate even in a formal office, in my view. Personally, I routinely wear dangly earrings — much less formal than the featured pair — to give a little bit of bohemian spice to my otherwise conservative office outfits.

  6. Gail the Goldfish :

    Posted this in the morning thread, but I think I was too late (though thanks, CA atty, for the reply) (also, I normally don’t like David Yurman stuff and think it looks too heavy for me, but I love these earrings):

    Is there a trick to walking in wedges? I bought the first pair I’ve ever owned for an outdoor wedding, and I’m having trouble walking in them, despite the fact I can walk perfectly fine in heels of the same height. What am I missing here?

    • With wedges, I have to stomp instead of walking. I find it impossible to dance in them.

    • I don’t think you’re missing anything; it’s just that fit is tricky with wedges. If your heels slip at all, you’ll walk right out of them. Most wedges won’t stay on my feet, and I think that’s due to fit and my feet, not my technique.

  7. I wear dangly earrings to the office regularly, but only if I’m not wearing necklaces/rings (other than the wedding ring)/bracelets.

    It’s kind of like with make-up – you can carry off one very “there” element if the rest is pretty toned down.

  8. Anon for this :

    Oh good Coffee Break, I’ve been waiting all day to post this. In depressing news, did anyone else see this article in the Harvard Business Review?

    This rings very true in my workplace. I work in a small office with ten attorneys, 8 men and 2 women, and all of the partners and senior attorneys are men whose wives stayed home to raise their children. Over the last few years, several women lawyers have gotten bad reviews within a year of having a child and most have left. I don’t necessarily feel like there is an outright prejudice around here, but more of an implicit, deeper prejudice that mothers =/= attorneys. Has anyone else experienced anything similar?

    • I have definitely experienced a stay-at- home wife bias at my firm. Although, it appears through social interactions. The wives have a social get together (movie night, BBQ) where only the male attorneys and their non-attorney wives are invited. Female attorneys and their spouses are not included. The male associates that are invited to attend these functions have “leapfrogged” the promotions ladder and ended up partners more quickly.

      • LadyLawyer :

        Your comment reminds me of the time I got invited to join my city’s bar association’s auxiliary. My husband is also an attorney and, because I work in another city, he’s the only one of us that belongs to our city’s bar association. It would appear that all the male attorneys’ wives received invitations to join the auxiliary, which, if I remember correctly, did things involving luncheons and knitting. I found the invitation to be very sweet, but I had a good laugh over it.

      • that sucks that they exclude you guys!

    • I haven’t read the article yet (will soon; thanks for sharing), but this echoes a double-standard I’ve see in way too many offices:

      Men who leave the office early to go to a little league game or a school play are being “good dads.”

      Women who do the same lack commitment and dedication to their career/firm/profession.


      • This this this.

      • Its not just that they’re being “good dads”, its “cute”. People think its so gosh darn cute when dads take time off to go to their kids things. But god forbid a woman do it (but of course, if she doesn’t, she’s a vile harpy who’s a terrible mother.)

        Yeah….life’s fair. NOT.

      • MissJackson :

        Agree completely.

      • Totes McGotes :

        Stealing the phrase “ragestroke” forever.

      • +1000 for “ragestroke”

        It’s part of the higher standard for women when it comes to: parenting (women are expected to be perfect, men are rewarded merely for showing up), and physical beauty (women are expected to be perfect, men are rewarded for merely showing up.

        Then, there’s also the lower standard for women when it comes to: earning power (women are not expected to be big earners or breadwinners, so people expect them to derail their careers when they have children), and competence (women who are very competent and independent intimidate idiots who want to perpetuate these foolish standards.)

        These sets of higher and lower standards all fall along traditional gender roles. It’s not coincidence.

      • On that note, I have a question.

        If a firm has refused to give an increment to a female partner on the basis that her earnings were down the previous year because she was on maternity, and speaks glowingly about the only other female partner in the same department that took the bare minimum of maternity – would you consider this a major red flag?

        To provide more context, all of the partners are male, save for one remaining female junior partner in another department who does not have young children. All except one have had SAH or almost-SAH wives, or at least a great deal of help with childcare. There are no other attorneys who might find themselves in the same position at the same time that I would. I’ve also repeatedly been told that the firm wishes we had more male attorneys (women outnumber men in the lower ranks).

        All of this worries me, especially since I am ramping up my efforts in anticipation of partnership in the next few years. I am seriously afraid that all my effort will be for nothing if they decide (or use the excuse) that I am less dedicated once I have a family.

    • Always a NYer :

      I know this is wrong but I always take it personally when I hear about women who choose to “opt-out” of the workforce when their children are young. I understand that is their choice to make and while I respect it, I also fear that it will negatively impact me when I get further along in my career (now I’m 23 and single). Supervisors and colleagues make comments in passing about what I plan on doing and my answer is always the same – I don’t plan on taking additional time off. This is all irrational and I know it but I hate that there’s a chance I’ll be judged based on what other women have done in the past and what employer’s think is an option for me.

      It also p!sses me off how men never have to deal with this. If I hear about women being built differently (physically and emotionally) one more time, I think I’ll hurt someone…

      • And this is a lovely double-edged sword. If you take time off or scale down, your employer thinks you have lost your brain and are no longer committed to your career. If you don’t, your employer is judging you for being a bad mother.

      • Disinformation Campaign :

        When I was fresh out of law school and married to my first husband, a number of partners asked obliquely about the possibility of kids. At the time, our firm had a 7 year up or out partnership track – very short. I knew I didn’t want kids. And I kept saying, “Oh, X and I don’t want kids.” But the questions kept coming. Finally, when an attorney who was well known for being a terrible gossip in the office asked, I told him that “X and I CAN’T have kids.” The questions stopped immediately and forever.

        Apparently people only stop asking when they decide they need to feel sorry for you. I became partner in 7 years.

        Take a tip from the Gang of Four: disinformation works.

      • Part of it though, to be fair, is that too many women let men off the hook or marry captains of industry and then wonder why the captain of industry expects the women to quit after having kids so he can maintain his focus 100% on his career.

        Yes, yes, individual choices, etc. But individual choices add up to a critical mass of women who let their men do very little childcare, and who don’t require their men make any career sacrifices.

        Seriously, don’t marry someone who wouldn’t be willing to take serious time off or cut back hours or seriously, truly consider being the primary caregiver to your kids if this sort of stuff matters.

        • This! Someone’s got to take care of the children, to some expense to their work at some point or the other. I don’t care which sex that person is, but we can’t pretend that it’s not necessary.

      • Ah, but did you ever consider how many of the women you are judging felt just the same as you when they were 23? More than a few, I bet.

        • Always a NYer :

          I’m sure some of them did. That doesn’t mean I still don’t enjoy being treated as if I were to follow their choices.

    • UGH!!!

      Kanye, your ragestroke is contagious.

      • It’s so variable between workplaces. I have been at 3 firms and my current workplace is the most flexible, but yet I work harder than ever before. But I can effectively log in from home and work and that allows me to be at home with the kids during the critical dinner hour. I also work with a lot of men who have kids and we’re all generally supportive. But we also don’t have any of those crazy partners w/o kids who churn people, so I guess I’m lucky. Or strategic – there’s a reason I left my prior two firms!

  9. Solo Practitioner :

    TJ here –

    I represent a client in a criminal case. She has some mental health issues, which may have contributed to her criminal charge. She gave me an invite to her high school graduation. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t go, but should I give her a gift? I’m thinking of giving her a notecard with my office logo, and just writing “Congratulations!” on the inside. Is that appropriate? Do I have to go to the graduation?

    (I’m in solo practice, so have no partner to ask. In my years of doing criminal defense, this has never happened.)

    • I think a note on an official notecard with a handwritten wish of congratulations and perhaps some thoughts/advice for the future sounds about right. I can’t really imagine sending a gift or attending the graduation.

      • Totes McGotes :

        I like this idea, especially advice for the future. She obviously sees you as an influence in her life so it’s sweet and I’d want to do something to mark the occasion but not to go overboard. I might get a gift but something inexpensive like a pretty watch or bag from Target.

    • Does your state bar have an ethics hotline? Might be worth the call to cya.

      • What’s the potential ethical problem here? I’m not seeing it and am curious what I’m missing.

        • Some states may have rules or guidance about gifts to clients generally. Obviously not a cut and dry issue, but I have seen one opinion where the whole situation had a lot of issues, but it did not help that the attorney had brought the client to a family function. I would probably give a card with a nice but not overly personal note, not attend, and not give a gift.

          • Got it, thanks for the clarification.

          • Solo Practitioner :

            This is what I’m thinking, too. I’m afraid a non-office notecard would be a little too personal. She already has my cell number. I don’t want to blur any boundaries.

          • Yeah, I would be particularly careful given that you said she may have mental health issues, and I take it she’s fairly young if this is high school graduation–definitely don’t want to mislead her about your relationship.

    • just Karen :

      A nice card with a sincere congratulations, I am proud of you would be appropriate and well received, but I wouldn’t use the office note card – it doesn’t have to be a Hallmark graduation card, but a plain note card would be much more personal.

    • What about the Dr Seuss book “oh the places you’ll go?”

      • karenpadi :

        I don’t know. FWIW, if the client is already in the criminal justice system, the “waiting” place in the book is pretty scary and could represent going to jail.

  10. Question for the Hive

    I got a sample of BB cream in my most recent Birchbox. I put it on this morning instead of tinted moisturizer. Is this wrong? What is the point of BB cream? I generally like how it made my skin look, but am feeling deficient as it is a product I don’t understand.

    Please explain BB cream to me.

    • I use Smashbox BB Cream just like a tinted moisturizer, but I think it has a little more coverage than other TMs I’ve used, plus it has a good sunscreen. You can also use it as a base for regular foundation. It’s really just a tinted moisturizer with added ingredients like sunblock or antioxidents, but it’s gotten all hyped up.

    • Here are all the BB creams reviewed by Paula Begoun. If you click on the individual reviews they contain a short explanation of BB creams.

    • I tried out the same sample today and am liking how it’s wearing (certainly more than I’ve liked other sunscreens or tinted moisturizers). I can’t imagine it’s actually enough protection to count as sunscreen unless you really plaster it on, but it’s more than I usually wear unfortunately. I can’t imagine wearing another foundation on top of it though – if I needed more coverage, I’d just wear foundation instead of the BB cream.

  11. phillygirlruns :

    i’m a creature of habit when it comes to office jewelry – at least 90% of the time i rotate between cheap-o pearl studs from target if i’m wearing one of several pearl necklaces, and yurman “petite albion” blue topaz studs if i’m not wearing pearls. i used to have little diamond studs as my non-pearl go-tos, but i lost one about a year ago and haven’t replaced it yet. occasionally i’ll get crazy and wear more fun stuff, but the reason i don’t is because my more interesting earrings are dangly and of the moving kind – definitely not office-appropriate.

    i do have one or two pairs of smaller dangly earrings that i’ll wear to the office if i’m wearing my hair up, and i’ll usually get a compliment on them from my boss or my secretary – which, spinning off of the last post, i always worry is really a backhanded way of saying that they aren’t office-appropriate. i think i’m just paranoid.

  12. T/J: I am a rising 2L considering applying to firms at a regional job fair later this summer for SA positions next year. However, after researching the firms that interest me, I feel very discouraged because my school is one of the dreaded “ranking not published” schools. I performed very well first semester and have prior non-legal work experience. Second semester grades, class rankings, and law review results are not yet available. I am feeling as though I should not even bother applying to these MidLaw and BigLaw programs because I didn’t go to a “better” school. FWIW, I love my school and attending here rather than some of the ranked schools I applied to was the best choice financially and practically. One possible explanation for why my school is unranked is because it is very new and only received full accreditation in August. It is possible that I am being overly sensitive about this since I also do not have a gig for this summer yet (but not for lack of trying). Thoughts from the Hive?

    • What possible harm can applying cause? Just be prepared for some (a lot) of rejection.

      I’ve been told straight out in the job hunt that I wasn’t offered jobs because I hadn’t gone to HYS, despite finishing top of my class at a ranked school. So…some firms will be willing to look past the school to the candidate and some won’t.

    • Former MidLevel :

      Do it. There is pretty much no downside, and lots of potential upside. And if your grades are good, your changes will increase–lots of firms that won’t hire an average student at a school like yours *will* look at a top student. Good luck!

    • Regionally-focused firms often do a lot of recruiting from local schools regardless of rank so I definitely think attending a regional job fair is a great idea.

      The market is tough right now no matter where you attend school so the more of these things you attend/the more jobs you apply for, the better chances you’ll have (and the more practiced you’ll be).

      • This.

        I graduated in 2011 from a ranked school, but was up in interviews against the top performers at the non-ranked school in my city at mid-law regional firms, both for summer positions and permanent positions. I can’t speak to BigLaw, as I didn’t apply to any BigLaw firms.

        There’s nothing to lose – go ahead and apply!

    • If you don’t apply, you definitely won’t work at any of these places! I would go for it, because you never know what will catch someone’s eyes.

    • Thanks for the advice! I am going for it and will let you know what happens.

    • Divaliscious11 :

      Send it, just be aware there are some firms that have unwritten but definitely spoken policy of requiring top 10% from any school outside of the top tier/top 50 (sometimes top 25). All you have to lose is postage!

    • I would definitely apply, but I will say from experience, that it is very difficult. I graduated top of my class (ranked 3rd, executive editor of law review and on moot court) from a similarly situated school and I had no luck finding a job with a larger firm. I actually got called to an interview just to be told that, even though my resume was impressive, they did not hire from my school. I wish you all the luck though, and hopefully your area will be more receptive than mine!

  13. Need to vent :

    I also wear dangly earrings to the office, but usually shorter ones (think ~1/2″-3/4″ drop maximum). This is partly because my office is conservative business casual and partly because I feel like large/long earrings are overwhelming for my face.

    Threadjack — I need to vent about an upcoming wedding (not mine) — feel free to skip over. :) I’m feeling frustrated and annoyed about the lack of communication for my brother-in-law’s wedding next month (my husband will be best man). I think part of the problem is that my BIL tends to rely on other family members to “get the word out.” They set the wedding date earlier this year, but we weren’t told (along with other immediate family members) about the time, location, etc. until about 2 months ago. Apparently save-the-date cards were sent out — but not to immediate family. My husband’s stepmother had to ask her daughter for this information, after not getting any replies from phone calls and e-mails to my BIL. Also, MIL had to tell BIL to formally ask my husband to be best man — BIL’s response was “He should already know” and that’s not the kind of thing one can assume or ask.

    What I now find frustrating is that we didn’t receive a wedding invitation (yes, we’re invited). Neither did my FIL, but SIL received one. Not sure yet if MIL received one as she’s travelling overseas right now. The RSVP date was last month.

    So, I’m upset about not receiving an invitation since at least one immediate family member received one. If none of the immediate family received invitations I think that wouldn’t bother me as much (though it’s not great either). I feel like it’s rude on BIL and his fiancee’s part, and I’m not sure there’s a good way to tactfully bring up being frustrated about the whole wedding (after the wedding, of course).

    Thanks for letting me vent!

    • That’s ridiculous. Of course you should get asked to be in the wedding party. And an invite.

    • So. Um… not to reveal to much of my own stupidity, but I put insufficient postage on all of my invitations and some just didn’t get there. Who knows, some people may never have gotten there (I did TRY to tell everyone.)

      Why not just a quick “Hey — we haven’t gotten an invitation. How do we RSVP? Want to make sure we don’t hold up the works!” That way it seems like you’re doing her a favor while simultaneously hinting that some may not have gone out.

      • What of my friends did that too. I guess they didn’t realize square envelopes required more postage. My mailman was nice enough to pay the extra postage and left a little note in my mailbox asking to pay him back (which I did right away – how nice was that!). But I always wondering how many others didn’t get their invite.

    • MissJackson :

      I agree that you should have received an invitation — but I’ll suggest that you should give the benefit of the doubt here. I had all kinds of crazy things happen to my invites (at least one that never got delivered at all). Isn’t it at least possible that this is a problem with the mail?

      Instead of being upset about what may or may not even be an actual faux-pas, why don’t you just call BIL/his fiancee and say, “gosh, the wedding is coming up but we never received an invitation — do we need to select a dinner option or do you need any other information from us?” Then either s/he will say, “oh my goodness, I can’t believe you didn’t get the invite!” or they will say, “gee, we knew you were coming, so we didn’t send you one.” Or they will say, “this is so embarassing, but we were trying to cut costs and we didn’t want to buy another box of invites so we didn’t send them to the handful of people who we knew were coming and thought wouldn’t be offended.” Or whatever. The point is, it gives them a chance to explain.

      Weddings bring out the weird in every family. Hang in there.

    • Need to vent :

      Many thanks — need the perspective to stop blowing this out of proportion! Husband plans to call BIL today, also to find out what he’s supposed to wear as best man.

      MissJackson — so true about weddings bringing out the weird in every family! We’ll have to see how this wedding turns out (we all have our concerns, as neither BIL or fiancee are organizing types…).

      • I have a lovely but crazy disorganized friend, who ordered invitations at the last minute and only them to people that she thought “would be offended if they didn’t get one.” Her guesswork as to who that might be seemed pretty random to me. Something similar might be going on with your BIL’s invitations.

      • Do we have the same BIL? My BIL got engaged in early January, and he did not bother to call my husband to tell him. Eventually (like three weeks later), future SIL called me to tell that they were engaged, which really hurt my husband’s feelings. (BIL was best man in our wedding.) BIL still has never told my husband about it, but evidently, they told the other family members.

        Also, future SIL called to chat, and she mentioned that they had finally set a wedding date. I was talking to MIL a few weeks later, and I mentioned how happy I was that they had finally picked a date. MIL knew nothing about the chosen wedding date, and it hurt her feelings that BIL had not called to tell her. I did not think that it was possible that BIL would not have bothered to tell his parents about his wedding…. but why am I surprised?

        In my case, BIL is incredibly cagey, stand-offish, and selfish, and personally, he drives me crazy. I really like my future SIL, and so, I am trying to put on a happy face so that I do not contribute to the wedding drama that will undoubtedly ensure as MIL is emotionally unstable….

      • LOL!

        And I don’t suppose that BIL is deaf, blind, and has had all his fingers and toes amputated so that he’s unable to send a big email to all family members with all the logistical info?

        Oh, yeah, and I forgot to add that he had his tongue amputated, too. One can use a tongue to depress keys, even though it’d be awkward!

  14. shopping challenge :

    Since we are on the subject of earrings… Looking for:
    Clip earrings;
    Nude-bronze-brick color scheme;
    Not sparkly but festive.

    • Price range? I also have no pierced ears so I’m the queen of the clip earring, but have recently learned that basically any earring can be converted to clip by even a slightly competent jeweler. But I will search because these sound pretty and it will be fun to look.

      • My thought exactly. One of my favorite local jewelers (Symmetry in the riverbend) will convert earrings for me when I want to buy for a friend who doesn’t have pierced ears.

      • I do it myself with a pliers and a pack of sterling screw-backs my grandma gave me!

        • Me too; I buy the screw-backs for about $1.50 a pair at a bead shop.

          And here I thought I was one of the last three women in North America who don’t have pierced ears.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      Price point? I dig these but they are $$$$

      • Those are absolutely beautiful momentofabsurdity…and if I thought there was ANY market for my kidney, I’d be all over them. ;-)

        • momentsofabsurdity :

          Agreed! If only if only. I may look for Etsy designers that do custom pieces and ask for a replica in non-clip on form….

    • These say they are available in clip on:

    • Then there are these lovely amber options

    • Last pair, but these lean more towards the “brick” bronze family.

      • shopping challenge :

        These are gorgeous, but would prefer warm color stones/amber/coral
        I’d like to stay under $100…

        • These amber ones are also lovely. (Oh, and just so you know, you are KILLING me since this is vicarious shopping I’d actually really like to be doing for myself).

        • I also like these, for a more streamlined look.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      How about these?

      • shopping challenge :

        Thanks all for the amazing finds and for the conversion idea!

  15. anonforthis :

    So two nights ago my fiance asked if he should be concerned about my drinking. I currently drink 2-3 glasses of wine pretty much every night and had been thinking I need to cut back because it’s become such a regular thing, but him asking about it really threw me. I haven’t had anything since and plan to stop drinking for awhile to remind myself I don’t need it to cope (I hate my job and our current geographic location. We can’t afford to move until I find a new job because I am the breadwinner and my current position pays terribly for the industry. I’ve been looking for awhile but so far nothing has resulted in an offer) but I feel like crap that I got to a point where he felt he needed to ask.

    • This happened to my sister a few months ago. She would regularly have a couple glasses of wine after work to relax from a job she hated. I don’t know if your background is similar, but her bf came from a family that consumed alcohol rarely if at all, so regular alcohol use was very different to him. That you are thinking you need to cut back signals to me that you recognize the possibility that the wine has become a coping mechanism for your situation. It may be worth it to cut back a little (maybe every other night) and finding another way to relieve stress, if only to avoid the empty calories you have to work off at the gym. Good luck on the job search!

      • I feel into this trap a bit after I first started working at my (tough) job. It just became easy to pour a glass or three and sit on the couch unwinding. And yes my SO commented that we were spending a lot on wine (hey i like to the good stuff) – which annoyed me but also did make me see that I was wasting money and consuming extra calories (as well as relying on a crutch). I now try to keep wine for the weekends, unless I have a social event during the week (which is pretty rare).

        Find a replacement beverage like a nice tea or seltzer that you enjoy drinking instead. And do not beat yourself up and feel guilty – your life sounds tough with the job search, so take care of yourself. It is good that you are giving yourself a little break from the alcohol. You may find you sleep better and are more rested.

        • Yes, you might find that a good cup of tea punches the same emotional buttons as a glass of wine. When a friend of mine had to quit drinking, I broke out my grandmother’s tea service as a way of maintaining the ritual and specialness of having a drink (tea) together. We moved on to pretty mugs after a while, but the ritual, self-pampering aspect of it is what is important.

    • Dont feel like crap. You knew you were kind of using it as a crutch, thats why you were thinking about cutting back. it makes sense that the person who loves you would notice that to.

      • This.

      • Indeed. It sounds like you’ve got it under control, and good for your fiance for noticing. He loves you and cares about you. :-)

        Find another crutch— like cheesy novels, which are 0 calorie, and free from the library.

  16. Maine Associate :

    I love those earrings but way out my price range. I wouldn’t hestiate to wear those at the office and at Court.

    • If I spent that kind of money on jewelry, you better bet I’d be wearing them EVERYWHERE. :-)

  17. Does anyone else have a problem with their pants getting caught in the back of their shoes when they wear slingbacks? It’s driving me crazy. Now I remember why I never wear slingbacks. I’ve basically been walking around all day with the back hem of my pants tucked inside my shoe. I keep pulling them out, and they go right back in. Isn’t there some kind of device you can put on the back hem of your pants to prevent that? Has anyone used anything that works? I have some new brown slingbacks I was planning to wear this summer with 2 different pantsuits, but maybe not.

    • you are not alone. it happens to me no matter how close to the floor my pants hem is (or should be, in the absence of the slingback trap). Extra annoying is how wrinkled-up your pants hem gets! I save them for skirts now.

    • ugh…so annoying! why is it that the best looking match is dysfunctional!

    • I have this problem, and as a result, I never wear slingbacks. Drives me nuts. The only solution, to me, is to wear slingbacks with dresses, skirts and ankle length pants only.

      • Mules are the worst.

      • Agree. Completely. Sling-backs and mules are now only for dresses, skirts, and short pants. I cannot stand them with full-length pants. Every step is an annoyance.

    • My shoe repair store sells these and I bought them but haven’t tried them. The owner said they are really popular.

    • WestCoast Lawyer :

      I have a worse problem – I cannot wear cuffed pants with heels.

      I bought two beautiful pairs at the BR outlet a few years ago and managed to trip while wearing both of them (once completely bit it in a hallway and made so much noise when I landed that a paralegal came running over to see what happened, the other time I actually crashed down the last few exterior stairs and had some guy in a conference room looking at me like he couldn’t decide whether he was going to come out to offer any help or not – he didn’t).

      Promptly took the one pair that didn’t have a giant hole in it to the tailor to have the cuffs taken down!

      • Oh, I’ve done exactly the same thing. I had a black linen pant suit that I loved. Then, after tripping and falling down stairs multiple times in those cuffed pants, the last time quite badly, the suit got relegated to the back of my closet. It’s been there for about 5 years now and I still can’t quite convince myself to ditch it! So sad, but I’m terrified of falling again.

  18. Sarah Ann :

    I need to buy a number of new cardigans. I am looking for something neither too short nor too long, and more body conscious than boxy (I don’t like the J. Crew Jackie, for example). Any suggestions?

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      Lands End Canvas has a cafe cardigan (3/4 sleeves, banded bottom) that might fit what you’re looking for.

      Or maybe one like this?

      • Thanks!

      • SoCal Gal :

        I have been looking for a cardigan in that exact greenish-yellow color to replace one that’s too big for me now. Yay. It is surprisingly versatile!

  19. Maddie Ross :

    So spurred on by the poster yesterday who complained about not receiving gifts from some of her law school friends at the time of her wedding, I am now motivated to buy several wedding gifts I still “owe.” I’m within the year “grace period” on each, but it just fell off the radar in each situation. Anyway, I got on one of my friend’s registries today and everything is complete. There is nothing left at all. Does anyone have any good suggestions for an off the registry gift? I feel like a bit of schmuck, so it can be something good. $100-200 range probably.

    • MissJackson :

      One summer I got invited to 9 weddings, which meant that I had to space those gifts out over the year — I ran into the complete or nearly complete registry problem, too. Lots of options, though. (1) Cash is king, always and forever. Send a card and a check saying that you really enjoyed celebrating, and saying that you hope that they’re enjoying married life,(2) gift certificate to a local restaurant –the amount your contemplating would buy a nice night out, (3) gift certificate to any of the stores where they registered.

    • I would get something from the store where they are registered and include a gift receipt. Personally, I like getting people nice frames because I think this is a) something you may not get yourself (I wouldn’t spend $100 on a picture frame for me) and b) you always end up with a ton of wedding and honeymoon pictures.
      You could also try a gift certificate for something they can do as a couple like a restaurant or couples massage, but personally I think those don’t always get used and it’s kind of a pain unless you know the couple well enough to know what they’d like.

    • When I can’t buy something from the registry, I like to buy pottery serveware like this:
      or something like this:
      Partly depends on how formal the person is, whether I’d choose pottery or crystal. But I have both types of items and use them both.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I think I’d go with a gift card to the store at which the couple registered. And what a nice friend you are to think of this and act on it!

    • My first comment is in moderation but I like to buy either pottery or crystal serveware. I got the Orrefors Corona Bowl as a wedding gift (and it’s $150 at Nordie’s) and it’s beautiful on my diningroom table. At Easter time, I use it to display handpainted eggs and at Christmas, I fill it with glass ornaments.

    • Beach Bar :

      You could always do a gift card to one of the registry stores, but they may not *need* anything from those stores anymore and such a generous amount might sit unused for a while. In my opinion, this seems like a situation for cash. Or, depending on how well you know the couple maybe a gift card to their favorite restaurant or wine shop? Home Depot/Lowe’s if they recently moved or will soon be moving into a house?

    • While I think cash is king, if you’re looking for an actual present I do love pottery from a local artisan. Or you could check some of the beautiful glass vases and bowls at Simon Pearce if you’re not familiar with them.

      • If I remember correctly, the thread that inspired you mentioned small crystal bowls as a gift idea. I imagine they would be good for entertaining (like for nuts, candies, or olives, etc), or as a pretty catch-all for jewelry/pocket change. My go-to gift is a large white serving bowl or platter, since it goes with pretty much everything and most people don’t get them. They are useful for entertaining, or for serving pizza and popcorn at home. My sister’s signature wedding gift is a copy of the book “I Married Adventure”. She finds them at used bookstores, and it has a zebra print cover. It makes a nice coffee table book.

      • (1) A bottle of champagne or sparkling wine and/or a pair of pretty champagne glasses.

        (2) crystal pitcher (I’ve given Tiffany’s Lily of the Vally pitcher a few times)

        (3) crystal bowl (again with Tiffany (I like the blue box!): the Georgetown bowl is simple enough to go with just about any decor / china pattern.

  20. I wear some dangly earrings to work, but it’s always a fact specific decision. Kind of like defining obscenity – you know it when you see it.

    I think the rule as an absolute bar is kinda silly and irrational. Certainly, lots of very powerful, professional women wear dangly earrings (see Christine Lagard, IMF head, during her 60 Minutes interview). On the other hand, *some* dangly earrings are indeed distracting or just inappropriate for daytime in the office (see Christine Lagard during her 60 Minutes interview). I guess ultimately it’s just a use your judgment situation.

  21. River Song :

    Am I the only adult woman who does not have her ears pierced?

    I just never wanted to, never got around to it.

    It was an interesting barometer of how much a boyfriend was paying attention if he bought me pierced earrings for a present.

    • ha! same with my sister

    • I didn’t get mine pierced until I was 21. Nobody in my family (other than my mom’s sister, who went away to college in the late ’60s) had pierced ears so it just didn’t occur to me. My college friends hauled me off to the Piercing Pagoda at the Harrisburg mall. This could explain why one of my holes isn’t quite straight.

      • SF Bay Associate :

        Ha! Me too. Piercing Pagoda fail. I’ve already vowed to take my hypothetical kids to a real body art shop that regularly does piercings all over the body. They can get their ears pierced by an experienced artist with a needle, not that stupid mall piercing gun.

        • My mom made me get it done at the pediatrician’s office. They still aren’t totally straight, but that is because I was so terrified of hole #2. At 13.

        • Ditto. Good ol’ Piercing Pagoda.

        • :) My daughter got her ears pierced at Zebra on Telegraph in Berkeley when she was 10. It made her feel like a real bad-ass. But I chose it because you’re right, the body art shops are better at it.

      • Piercing Pagoda at 25! It was totally unplanned, I just happened to be with my friend at the mall, admiring some earrings, and when I said that I sometimes wished I had pierced ears so I could wear earrings like those, she immediately dragged me over there to get them done. :)

    • I don’t have my ears pierced because, probably as a symptom of my auto-immune condition, every time I tried they got infected. Even when I tried again as an adult before my wedding and kept them impeccably clean. So I just gave up.

      And yes, the earrings thing would be a test, but I think my now-husband avoided this whole thing by just avoiding buying jewelry. He is really really bad at picking it out though, so that’s probably for the best.

      • Kontraktor :

        My husband is too. For my college graduation, he got me this horrific… cat pendant. It was all sorts of mixed metals and “semi-precious” stones on a chain that wanted to break if you looked at it wrong. It was and still is so hideous. The sad thing is that it was probably the most expensive piece of jewelry he ever bought me. He asked me if I wanted to return it when he gave it to me (I feel like I tried so hard to hide my disgust but probably failed), but I didn’t have the heart because it was one of the first things he’s picked out totally 100% on his own. Sigh. I don’t know what’s worse, the fact that it was/is so ugly, or the fact he paid a lot of money for it.

        Nowadays I don’t make that mistake, and if I want jewelry, I always give him specific examples (knowing I’ll probably end up with one of those things) or tell him to go to Tiffany’s and have the sales girl help.

        • Laughing pretty hard at your cat pendant! Poor hubby. :)

        • Actually, I’m being unfair. He did an excellent job picking out my engagement ring all by himself. But his tastes are just much…simpler than mine. :-P So he tends to get things that are nice basics but kind of disappear. Oh well, he’s very good at picking out other presents.

    • Anon in ATX :

      I pierced my ears when I was a pre-teen in an attempt to try to get people to stop calling my sir/boy. Didn’t work.

      • My first ear-piercing attempt (ending in infection) was at age 9 or 10 if I remember, for basically the same reason. I think my mom caved after a day where four different people called me a boy. Of course, why it didn’t occur to me to grow out the hideous dorothy hamel bowl cut I had during that period, we will never know.

      • My dad did that after a bad pixiecut experience when I was three. Oh, and he pierced them himself, with a kit. Good times.

    • i had mine pierced in middle school, but they used to get infected all the time, so I stopped wearing earrings in HS, and after a couple of years they closed up. But I do sometimes feel like I’m the only person I know that can’t wear earrings, which sometimes makes me sad. Until I think about all the money i save by not buying adorbs earrings…

      • Done by my freshman year roommate with a needle, alcohol, and a cork. I took my own daughters to the pediatrician!

  22. Does anyone know of a product that can be used to prevent face sweating (gross, I know)? I have blotting sheets from Clean & Clear for occasional oiliness/shine but sometimes the problem is actually sweat and I don’t know what to do about it other than blot with a tissue/napkin. I would love to keep it from happening in the first place!

  23. The Bigger The Hair ... :

    … the bigger the earring. I have long, thick, curly hair. I generally straighten it for work and wear diamond studs. On non-work days I let my hair go wild and the studs get lost so I wear big earrings. I would never spend $800 on a pair of (non-diamond) earrings BUT I am lusting after a $700 necklace.

    I would love to find a cheaper version.

  24. Anon for this :

    I am a misdemeanor trial court judge and I wear dangly earrings almost every day with my black robe. It’s my little stab at individuality since nobody can see my clothes. (The ones in the OP are gorgeous but kind of beyond my civil-servant budget!) And FWIW, I don’t bat an eye when female attorneys wear high-quality danglies to court.

    • …. I love that I feel like I can discuss earrings with a judge thanks to this site :)

      • I am a judge, too, and long-time lurker on the site. I also wear dangly earrings with my robes! I actually really enjoy fashionably dressed women appearing in my court – dangly earrings, peeptoes and all! My wardrobe is one of the things I miss from practice. You go ladies!!!!

  25. InstantAtty :

    Help! I’ve been working as a paralegal at my current firm (large, southeast firm) for the past 2.5 years while I finished law school. I passed the July 2011 bar, but stayed at my firm because, to be honest, I make more as a paralegal than I would at any other firm that would hire me as an atty (my school is not accredited). We have had some turnover in recent weeks and Friday my department head called me into his office and asked if I wanted to be a staff attorney for the firm. Ummm, DUH!!! So anyway, I’m feeling very overwhelmed. I walked out of the building Friday as a paralegal and came back on Monday as an attorney and I have no clue how to adjust to my new role. Any prior paralegals turned attorneys who can offer words of advice? Oh, and my very, very good friend (will be a bridesmaid in my wedding this fall) is now my secretary! How do I keep it from turning weird?

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      No advice but congratulations!!!!!!!

    • Wow, congratulations to you!!!!!

    • RussiaRepeat :

      Never been in this position myself, but I wonder if it would help you to shift mindset if you could ask to be included in any training they’re doing for summer associates right now or with new graduates in the fall. Obviously you know a ton about how the firm works, but I think it might help you feel like one of the group faster. Also, your secretary friend should be a huge help in getting you set up with an attorney workflow instead of a paralegal workflow, if that makes sense. Giving her tasks might seem awkward, but don’t give her nothing to do or people will notice you’re doing secretarial work yourself and think your priorities are off. I would hope you could just have a heart-to-heart about how things are going to change at work and ask for her help in shifting gears.

    • congrats!!

    • Another S :

      Congrats! I used to work at a firm where this was common (although I only worked there as a legal assistant and summer associate, not once I was an attorney. ) I think the fact that you recognize this is a difficult situation is a good sign! My suggestion is to acknowledge that while you have a new role with new responsibilities, you are the same person you were last Friday and not suddenly a better person than you were last Friday. (I’m not trying to imply that you think you’re suddenly a better person, just that you need to make sure you don’t inadvertently give the impression that you do.) As you well know, the paralegals and secretaries at your firm provide a valuable service. Make sure they know you rely on them for that, and that you appreciate it, but don’t be scared to give them work. That’s part of your job, and part of theirs. I think if you are respectful and, when appropriate, collegial, things will go well! Good luck!

  26. T/J: There’s been some talk about socially awkward people lately and unfortunately I must admit I am one of them. It’s getting worse as i’m getting older it seems. Short of therapy, does anyone have any tips on improving one’s people skills? I tend to over think and psych myself out. Thanks!

    • Practice! Seriously. I think the more often you do something, the easier it becomes and you just won’t have the time to psych yourself out. Make small talk at the nail salon or strike up a conversation with someone on the coffee line. Giving someone a compliment on their shoes or umbrella is a good ice breaker. Don’t overthink it.

      • Yes, this. And observe perky, sociable people and act like them. Seriously, I did some community theater for a little while and it was the best thing. I learned how to act like I was good at and enjoyed small talk, even if I really wasn’t in the mood. I’d challenge myself to see if I could fool people into thinking I was outgoing, rather than my normally introverted self. It really worked in a fake-it-til-you-make-it kind of way. I’m pretty good at small talk now, although I still find it difficult to just go up to someone and start a conversation.

        Also, think of it from the angle of there are probably a lot of people out there who feel just as awkward as you do, and drawing them into a conversation is a kindness. Another thing I do is really try to get the other person talking – much easier than me having to do all the talking.

    • Weird too :

      I’m interested to hear responses – I seem to get really nervous and then awkward quite a lot of the time.

    • For work situations, definitely have some stock phrases on hand, things you can say to the person you run into in the break room, like “How’s it going?” “How’s work treating you?” “Cold isn’t it?”. And have set answers ready for these questions from others. All are very generic but inoffensive and uncomplicated. If you need to chat more, then refer to something that was in the news recently, or to an event at work e.g. Sonia is leaving the Accounts department.
      I am an introvert and find chat a bit painful but can now see that it is not personal it is just a way of bridging awkward silences, so the actual content is not very important. That has been a real relief to realise, that no, I am not being inauthentic by having meaningless chitchat, just greasing the wheels.

  27. Senior Attorney :

    John Gottman’s book “The Relationship Cure” is a good primer on the basics of good relationship/people skills. His research has largely focused on couples but this book is more general and applies to other relationships including co-workers.

  28. Can anyone give me a ballpark estimate on a service that moves you? Like totally packs everything up for you? I’m in Dc and just want to know what kind of numbers we are talking about

    • I’m in Canada and going through a move myself right now, and just got a couple of estimates. It depends on (a) how much stuff you have, and (b) how far you are moving. For my current, short-distance (one city to another but fairly close) move, 2-bedroom house, it would cost about $5000 for a complete move. For my international move a few years ago, similar amount of stuff, it cost about double that.

      I hope that helps!

      • How far are you moving? When I moved last year (Pacific NW) it cost ~$1500 for packing and moving, but only moved a couple miles (same city).

        • No, I’m not moving within the same city and it involves a ferry. I’m also getting full replacement insurance.

          Bear in mind though, that I’ve only gotten estimates from big national movers that have a good reputation (and storage facilities since everything will be going in storage for a few months) – I haven’t gotten estimates from some of the smaller outfits that would probably charge less.

    • Can any one recommend regular movers in DC and what they cost? TIA

      • Had a fabulous experience with Suburban Solutions. It ran me less than $300, I believe, but I also didn’t have much by way of furniture at the time.

        • BigLaw Optimist :

          A little late, I know, but I want to second Suburban Solutions. They moved my 1-bd apartment that was stuffed with furniture into my 3-bd townhouse with a crapload of stairs for exactly what they quoted (I believe it was ~$700). I know they do the packing-for-you services too, though that would be more expensive. But the guys were GREAT. You should def call for a quote.

      • Silvercurls :

        We had a good experience recently with Blake & Sons. Not inexpensive, but we had a lot of stuff and weren’t able to get everything packed by ourselves in advance. Office staff very accommodating; moving crew hardworking and polite. We were also able to buy used boxes (economical L& ecological).

      • Bookstore :

        Someone just recommended Bookstore Movers to me, but it doesn’t look like they will pack/unpack your boxes.

  29. Possibly too late for my own question but I’ll give it a try:

    When do you stop giving birthday gifts to nieces and nephews? My oldest nephew is 22 now. His birthday was a month ago and I sent him a gift and have received no response at all – not even a text or a thanks on Facebook. And I do know he received it.

    Same with my 15 year old nephew (with the same mother) but I’m more inclined to cut him slack because he’s 15.

    I have been feeling for a while that I should have probably stopped at age 18 or when they moved out of their mother’s house, but I didn’t.

    I realize it’s my sister’s fault for not teaching them to acknowlege gifts but I’m kind of fed up and would like to stop. Flip side is that my sister will probably have some snide comment about me only sending birthday cards. She gives my kids (ages 9 &11) birthday gifts, but often months late, and my kids always always always send thank you notes.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      Oooh, you’ve struck a nerve of mine. My brother never sent thank you notes, somehow missing the memo from our grandparents that you can’t use the gift (deposit the check, play with the toy, read the book… exceptions made for the day of the event, like Christmas morning or birthday) until you write the thank you note, and all thank you notes must be sent within one week. When my brother went to high school, my aunt decided he was old enough to be responsible for his own thank you notes, and communicated that to our parents. Still no thank you notes freshman year for Xmas or birthday. That was the end of gifts for him from my aunt. She still sent me gifts.

      IMO, your nephew is a jerk and should not be recieving gifts from you anymore. Maybe his next gift is personalized stationery. Same gift next time if he doesn’t send a thank you note again. Still no thank you note after round 2? No more gifts. You do need to be consistent in applying the rules to both nephews though… maybe the cut-off is age 25, or earlier without thank you notes. And communicate that to your sister (she of the fabulous David Yurman jewelry collection, apparently).

      I still get birthday gifts from my aunts and uncles, but they are far more modest now that I have my own paycheck – $25 to Nordstrom or something, for which I promptly write a thank you note before I use the card. I suspect the reason I am still getting presents is I send back a handwritten thank you note within 48 hours.

      And for the curious, we did most of our wedding thank you notes before we left for our honeymoon, which was a week after our ceremony, and then did the rest within the week we got back from the honeymoon. IMO, there is zero excuse to not do prompt, proper thank you notes, but apparently we are anomalies because both sets of parents were actually getting calls from their friends and family about how impressed they were with our prompt and thoughtful notes. I guess the bar is set really, really low these days. Shameful.

      • Different sister. :) You made me laugh there, though!

      • oooh, well said! And a nerve of mine as well. One of my proudest wedding-related moments was when we were going around greeting everyone at the reception, and my parents’ friends said they couldn’t believe they got my thank you note so fast – it was like I’d used Hedwig. (Extra points for the HP reference).

        My advice to couples on the thank you notes – for pre-wedding gifts, just write them immediately after opening the boxes on receipt. In addition to being polite, it’s SO much easier than waiting and then having dozens to write. And then no one receives the scrawled-out, clearly the last in a batch of 20, did-my-duty thank you.

    • Seems like your real question is not when, age-wise, you should stop giving gifts to nieces and nephews, but whether it’s appropriate to stop giving gifts that do not get acknowledged. For that, I think it’s important to ask (1) why you’re giving gifts (to celebrate the giftee? to feel like a “good aunt”? to make yourself happy? to make someone else happy?), and (2) why it bothers you that they are not acknowledged (it’s “unfair” because your kids do write notes? it’s bad manners? it makes you feel unimportant? you don’t have a good relationship with giftee?).

      If there are good reasons to give the gifts despite the lack of acknowledgement, then give freely, bite your tongue, and don’t expect anything. Othewrise, don’t continue to do something that makes you feel “fed up” and unhappy.

      • That is a good point. I give gifts to them because I always have and was overjoyed to do it when they were itty bitty kids. I guess I don’t know when to stop. I assumed I would at some point.

        The lack of acknowlegment is kind of icing on the cake for me, or maybe my excuse to stop. In the case of the 15 year old, I honestly don’t know whether he received the gift, and it’s frustrating not to know.

        • I don’t see any harm calling him to make sure he received it (if recent).

    • If I remember correctly, my aunts and uncles stopped doing gifts at Christmas for us at about 16-18 somewhere around there. But I’m not sure they ever did birthday gifts.

      Next year, just a card. Or a Facebook message. :-)

    • My parents cut off cousins at senior year of college (or, if earlier, age 22). They figured it wasn’t fair to the kids who graduated in 4 years that the cousins who took 6 or yes, 7, would get extra years of gifts. Everyone seems to have stuck with it.

    • Stopping at 18 or whenever they go to college sounds more than reasonable to me. After they move out, it’s really more on the niece or nephew to continue the relationship with you since Mom and Dad are no longer there to remind them to call you / write you / whatever and in this case it sounds like your nephew has not made an effort to continue that relationship.

      It’s unfortunate that your sister will make some snide comment – don’t you love family? Would it be possible to ease out of it focusing on the younger kid? Sister: Billy tells me that you only sent a card not a gift this year! You: Oh, I’m glad he got the card – it’s crazy he is all grown up! BTW, did little johnny get his present for his 15th birthday? I can’t believe he will also be going off to college soon! Or something similar? Good luck!

    • Fully on this program. I have a godson who is a little sh!t. He’s graduating (maybe?!!!) next week. This will be my last gift. He has never thanked me for anything.

      I also give gifts to his little brother, who is very sweet, but didn’t thank me this year either.

      I’m giving up on both.

      I have other godchildren and nieces and nephews and they thank me all the time.

      I think college (not certain in the case of my eldest godson) is a good cut-off. I just discussed it with my mother today. I ordered his gift today.

    • At 26, I still receive gifts from one aunt (never married, no kids, which I think is a contributing factor since she has three nieces total) and am also good about writing thank you notes. Like SF Bay Associate, it’s a smaller gift than I received pre-college graduation, which is completely appropriate – I honestly would be totally happy if she only sent a card, because 1) I love getting mail and 2) she always has great taste in cards.

      My aunt and grandma tried the personalized stationary tactic with my cousin and she never caught on to the suggestion – thank you notes just weren’t on her radar screen. If you don’t want to go cold turkey on gifts with your nephew, you could make a donation in his honor. And if you do want to go cold turkey, I don’t blame you :)

      • I have a niece and 4 nephews who are now of college age. None were very good at thank you notes, but I gave gifts up through high school graduation mostly because even at my advanced age, I remember well what it is like to get an extra $25 or $50. (!). Now that my niece/nephews are in college, I don’t really send birthday or holiday gifts, but I do like to surprise them every once in a while with a little “mad money”. In my opinion, it’s more about the joy of giving rather than the thank you note. PS: I do “try” to make all my kids write thank you notes, but if it was up to my husband, they would have never written one in 18 years! He (and they) are just oblivious to that kind of stuff and even about remembering whether they sent one or not.

    • My side of the family doesn’t do niece/nephew gifts (there are just too many of them) but dh’s side does. We decided to stop at 18 years old.

      We don’t do thank you notes at our house (I never did them growing up and neither did dh), but I have my boys call whomever gave them a gift (if it wasn’t in person) to say thank you.

      I do wish my teenage niece & nephew would at least send a FB message letting us know they received their gift now that we don’t live close enough to deliver in person. :(

  30. Ladies,

    I need an opinion on florals. Thinking about buying this for summer weddings and festivities (link to follow) but wary of the florals trend. is it too “now” and will look super dated in a year?

    • of Wedding%26sp%3D3%26spc%3D264

      • I love that! Surely florals will be in for a few years. I don’t think the style of the dress is too trendy to last.

        • Thanks! Okay, I might go for it then. I think it was the florals combined with the one shoulder that was given me doubts. but what the hel1. Might as well try it and see if it works!

      • This is a very elegant dress. I don’t think it will be “out” ant time soon. Get it!

      • Okay…I try to never comment on the models, but that might be the palest woman I’ve ever seen!

      • I really like that! And even if it does look dated in a year, you’re not out much money since it looks like it’s $99. Sometimes it’s really fun to forget out about buying classics that will last forever, and just get something cool and trendy because you like it!

  31. Honestly, I would just stop. Just say the kids don’t acknowledge the gifts, so you figure they don’t like them or something.

  32. Photo Make-up :

    I’m having my junior league photo taken in a week or so. Some have posted about photos and HD make-up before. I have an additional issue to complicate the matter. Think pale skin with summer freckles starting to come in and freakishly pink undertones. So freakish that yellow, neutral or pink based foundations normally turn orange on me in under 10 minutes. Usually less though. Even before it turns it will only look good in one light – natural or florescent never both

    MU SAs hate me :) Armani seems to work but it can be hit and miss. I’m hoping there may be others that had this issue and solved it with make-up that actually looks okay and can photograph well.

    • River Song :

      I don’t have specific advice, but I will say that the videos of makeup artist Lisa Eldridge are genius. She’s very easy to understand and follow, and she gives lots of product recommendations. She has a ton of different videos so maybe there’s one that would help.

  33. @ Lawyer in theory-
    in regard to your hunt for nude pumps- I just found some similar to what you were looking for at Shoe carnival. Liz claiborne “sam” $35.

  34. Gorgeous, some really good points made about dangling earrings. In a more conservative setting they could be a distraction but in many office environments they are right on target. If they make you feel more confident and you feel like they are a nice fit for your face and ensemble then whey not.

  35. Thread jack! First time commenter here and long time and devoted follower. Husband and I are hiking machu picchu next week with a small group of his (male) friends, then spending time in Peru (including the highest navigable lake in the world, which I won’t name because I don’t want to get caught in moderation;). Any tips from those who have taken this trip- what to pack, expect, etc? Trying to pack light and not be too nervous about the weather, sleeping with bugs, physical endurance and toll, and going to the bathroom in the woods. Thoughts/comments appreciated!

    • It’s a great trip! Even if there are moments where it’s physically exhausting, the sense of achievement afterwards is wonderful.

      Taking your own toilet paper and hand sanitizer are key to the (non-)bathroom situation. When I hiked the Inca Trail over 10 years ago there were some campsites where you just had to find a bush on the hillside, but I believe that the trail is now much more developed and you will probably find there are toilet huts at all the main stopping points. However, they may still be… unpleasant. A head torch makes it much easier to deal with nocturnal excursions.

      As I recall, bugs are not a major problem as a lot of the hike is high altitude. Weather is likely to vary from warm in the day to freezing cold at night, so be prepared to layer up (with lightweight layers e.g. fleece). You may get rain, but I wouldn’t expect extreme weather conditions.

      You can hire a porter to carry your bag, and I highly recommend this. Carry your own small daysack with: extra layers, hat, gloves, sunglasses, suncream, waterproof jacket, plenty of water, snacks, toilet paper, camera and your first aid kit.

      You will probably be affected by the altitude, so it’s wise to lower your expectations of your physical endurance/fitness. Take plenty of breaks, keep hydrated, and slow your pace if you need to. Coca tea helps some people. See also above re. porters – I cannot recommend this enough. The second day is particularly tough, as it’s pretty much uphill for the entire day. I and another friend reached the top of the pass about an hour behind the rest of the group (we are both slightly asthmatic, so even though I had been at altitude for several weeks it still impacted my breathing), but everyone found it difficult so set your own pace and stop to enjoy the incredible views.

      The lake is also very high altitude so do not plan too much activity there and give yourself recoverey and relaxation time. But it is beautiful!

      And finally: Have a wonderful trip.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I’ve never done it, but it’s been on my life list for a long time. Have a fantastic trip!

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