Coffee Break – Iliana Pump

Ivanka Trump Women's Iliana Pump Hello, gorgeous shoe on sale. These 2.25″ pumps (also available in black/teal/blue, black/gray, and an animal print) have prices on Amazon ranging from $42.32 – $135 (full price). Me? I like the purple one (of course), which also happens to be the $42 one. Nice! Ivanka Trump Women’s Iliana Pump


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  1. Reposting from the dress thread…

    Another hive beauty product question. I typically like Makeup Forever foundation, but am trying to go for a cheaper replacement. I’m a dry oily person (yes, I have brutal skin) and like full coverage. Any suggestions? right now I prime with Laura Mercier and use her translucent setting powder

    Also, any suggestions on concealer? I use MAC’s and I hate it.

    • Houston Attny :

      Just wondering if any of the BB creams might work, (I say in complete ignorance since I haven’t tried them). I’ve been intrigued and have read good things about Garnier’s BB cream for combo skin. My understanding is it’s an all-in-one deal, so you could take the foundation and powder (as well as moisturizer) and put it in one step.

      • No idea about garnier but so far I just don’t get BB creams. I’ve tried Smashbox and the Dr. Something or Other from Japan and did not like it. Best case scenario it’s a slightly cakey foundation on me. Not sure if I am doing something wrong with the technique but I am not sold on these.

        I have no advice for cheaper foundation.

      • Double Boo :

        I love Maybelline’s Dream Fresh BB. I left my foundation (Bobbi Brown) in my drawer at work once so bought it as a cheap fill-in until I was back in the office a few days later. It is amazing. It isn’t full coverage on its own (I spot a little concealer afterward which blends really well over any dark spots, and then I’m good to go all day–it doesn’t melt off and keeps my skin looking even). It looks so natural. My skin has been wonderful and I only use powder on my nose now. I have really sensitive skin and am prone to some oiliness, so that’s saying a lot. I honestly can’t say enough great things about it.

        • I love it, too!

        • I use the Garnier one, mixed with a bit of Josie Maran Argan Oil Illuminator, and I love it.

        • JessiJames :

          LOVE that stuff! Dream BB Cream is my favorite thing in my makeup box. Light feel like a tinted moisturizer, with a little more coverage. I use it over my whole face, a little bit of foundation on my nose (cold days = red nose) and concealer on my eyes, powder to hold it in place and that’s it. Love it. :)

    • I use Laura Mercier’s Mineral Pressed Powder with SPF in lieu of foundation. (I used to use Make Up Forever as well.) I’m surprised by the amount of coverage it provides. For me covering up redness is most important and I think it does a great job with that.

    • Lucky us…you’re my skin twin. I highly recommend Maybelline’s Super Stay 24 hour concealer. I mix two colors for a closer match. It is the only concealer that doesn’t oil slick off my face six hours later. It’s great.

      I use Mac studio fix powder over an oil-free lotion I import from Boots in the UK to make my own foundation…it’s the only thing that works for me. BB creams don’t have enough coverage and the SPF in them makes my skin crazy.

    • SoCal Gator :

      I am a total convert to BB creams. I had been wearing either mineral foundation or tinted moisturizer, but neither produced a satisfactory look. I now use Smashbox radiance primer, just a small pea size dab of Smashbox BB cream, some concealer (again I really like the Smashbox one but also have the Laura Mercier one) and a light powder to set. It is 100% better than before — both very natural looking but also evens out my skin tone and keeps it moist. The mineral powder settled into and emphasized my fine lines and the tinted mosturizer was too light to do much of anything. This is perfect for my mature skin (it’s somewhat dry with some fine lines around the eyes and cheek).

    • hellskitchen :

      I like Maybelline’s Fit Me foundation as a cheaper, everyday foundation. It has buildable coverage so you can go from medium to full coverage. Works on my combination skin

    • It is definitely not cheaper, but I recently switched from HD to chanel foundation and concealer. Even if you don’t want to spring for the foundation, the concealer is amazing. I have always had circles under my eyes and the concealer completely…conceals them and brightens up my face. Both products stay on great, which is one reason I made the switch. I was tired of having hd foundation all over the lapels of my suits.

  2. Has anyone else gotten into the Netflix version of House of Cards? It is great, I buzzed through like 4 episodes last night- I’m pretty impressed. I sort of wish I could download the rest of the season and binge on it during my flight tonight.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Yes, we watched 6 episodes on Friday! Loved Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright! Trying to find some time to watch the second half of the “season!”

    • I like it except for all the “breaking the fourth wall” interludes (when Spacey talks to the camera). I don’t find them to be especially insightful and I kind of feel like it’s just lazy writing. Otherwise, the rest of the show is really good.

      • Signy Mallory :

        The original House of Cards (on BBC in the 1990s) had this same thing of breaking the fourth wall. Except, I think it worked really well with Francis Urquhart played by Ian Richardson, who did it very coolly, and with arch amusement.

        I don’t think the premise works quite so well set in the U.S. Our government just works really differently from the UK parliamentary-style one. Also, I’m just sick of remakes. Let screenwriters write something new already, producers!

        • Holy crap! There’s a British version?! I cannot wait to look this up and watch it. I grew up in England and always have a (sometimes unreasonable) attraction to British TV shows. Thanks for the info! :)

          • Signy Mallory :


            You can also watch them for free (streaming them from Amazon) if you have Amazon Prime. Enjoy!

          • The British version is AWESOME.

            You might think that, but I for one couldn’t possibly comment.

      • Young Consultant :

        I actually really love the breaking the fourth wall thing. I think the comments are generally pretty witty and I love how Kevin Spacey is doing the southern accent.

    • Amazing show, I am saving it to watch slowly for days when I have nothing good to watch.

    • May have binged on the entire series over the weekend (made only slightly better by the fact that we’re not a football household, so what else were we supposed to watch?)

    • Finished it last night. Loved it, although I think I liked the first half better than the second half. Fewer great asides like this one in the second half of the season. “Rather, they talk, and I listen while imagining their faces, lightly salted, sizzling in my frying pan.”

  3. All these comments about prednisone weight gain and horrible side effects lately! Curious, any others out there for whom prednisone a miracle drug? When I’m taking it, I lose weight, I’m never hungry, I don’t need as much sleep, I’m never tired, and I generally feel like I can conquer the world. Also my yoga practice improved tremendously while I was taking it. Is that horribly abnormal?

    • I was so nauseated I couldn’t eat so I actually lost weight on it but had none of the positive side effects you experienced.

    • Statutesq :

      That was so me. I felt like super woman. My skin was perfect; i could work 8 hours straight without breaking concentration; I could lift heavier weight; I wasn’t hungry…. I could go on.

      • I knew there had to be others! Super woman is the perfect descriptor.

        • Anonymous :

          My husband takes it with some regularity, and one time he ended up painting interior rooms of our house in the middle of the night.

      • SoCalAtty :

        Me too! I didn’t gain the weight until after I stopped taking it. That was a 6 week course, and it was great until I started tapering. I naturally produce too much estrogen and cortisol, which my body then converts to testosterone, which is likely responsible for both my A-type personality and my stress acne and resistance to weight loss.

        My docs were sure that the prednisone was going to make that worse – and it did. As soon as I got below 5mg, my own adrenal glands kicked in and way overcompensated. Instant 10 pounds!

    • new york associate :

      My mom went on prednisone for a back injury and started getting up at 3 in the morning and writing her five- and ten-year life plans, sending epic poetry to her children, and doing all sorts of crazy productive things. The amazing thing is that now, close to ten years after the prednisone month, she basically accomplished the whole list. (And the rest of the family still talks with awe and slight horror about the Prednisone Episode.)

      • That is awesome! And kind of funny that while the effects of the meds wear off, some of that motivation can still stick for years after it has been set in motion.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        It sounds a bit like a manic episode for a bipolar person. It would be awesome to get crazy amounts of stuff done, but scary at the same time, especially for others to watch.

    • It was a miracle drug for me when I would take a low dose (40mg on the first day and 20mg on the following 4 days). Clear skin, lots of energy, calmed my body’s immune system and just generally feeling awesome.

      It’s the 60mg for 5 days dose that killed me. Seriously – steroid starvation is a thing. You become ravenously hungry. It speeds up your metabolism to amazing speeds. It’s exhausting. If your body requires such high doses, I recommend spacing out the pills throughout the day instead of taking them in one shot. Your body will thank you.

    • I take it for RA, and life is so miserable without it that I do feel like superwoman when I’m on it because it takes the pain, swelling, and debilitating fatigue away. I’ve never had fabulous skin, but my skin doesn’t look any worse on it. I don’t feel any moodier than usual.

      But I’m only on a lowish dose (10 mg/day), and only taking it because I am pregnant so I can’t take my other drugs. By the time the baby is born, I will have been on prednisone for 12 months. Before this, I’ve only ever done quick, tapered treatments, with no weight gain or other awful side effects.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I have taken a sister drug of pred, entocort, and it made me want constant lady garden parties. I had awful withdrawals coming off of it and hope to never need it again but the “other” side effect was awesome.

    • So, I have bad asthma episodes (HOLLA NOLA!) and I take “preddy” approximately once a year for a week or so, and have done since my early childhood. Most of the time it makes me not hungry. And the superwoman thing is true, for me. When I was in college (and a college athlete–it was not a banned substance when medically proscribed), partly because I had been resting for a week due to my asthma attack and not training, and partly because of the superwoman effect, it would knock up to two seconds off my 100 free time (which is a lot). I was much, much stronger during conditioning sets and could lift past my typical failure points from a week before my asthma attack. My coach absolutely notices that I would come back with a vengeance post-asthma-attack/post-prednisone. So yes, prednisone can be kind of awesome too.

      Now that I am older and flabby, I wish it sped up my metabolism. Fortunately, I haven’t really had many asthma attacks in the past few years, so I don’t know of late.

  4. Interesting article about gluten-free:

    • As someone who is not at all sensitive to gluten, my thoughts are :

      (1) I feel sorry for those who are actually allergic, and those who are highly sensitive, and who now have to put up with everyone who is hopping on the gluten-free bandwagon for no good reason.

      (2) If my paleolithic ancestors suddenly showed up on my doorstep, they’d probably say – (i) Wow, you are OLD! (I’m 32) and (ii) what is that DELICIOUS smell? (it is freshly baked bread…nom nom nom).

      • Anon for this :

        Agree. People need to know gluten-free is not a diet. My MIL bought a bunch of gluten free crap because she thought it was healthier or would help her lose weight. She has no gluten intolerance.

        Honestly the bandwagon-y gluten-free thing going on is really annoying. [obviously unless you have celiacs]

        • I’m with you. My son has legit serious food allergies, and it bothers me that people could assume avoiding certain foods is a fad diet. I spend my life convincing people that yes, one little bakery cookie IS going to hurt him . . .

          • Well, it’s not a fad diet for your son, but it certainly is a fad diet for the dozen or so non-celiac/gluten-intolerant friends of mine who are convinced it’ll help them lose weight!

            But I had a close friend with celiac and know that it’s terrible–I’m sure it’s super annoying for people to give you that kind of attitude!

          • My best friend has celiac disease and reports the same frustration. People regularly assume she’s avoiding gluten products for dietary reasons and will say things like “Oh, it’s okay, treat yourself!”

        • SoCalAtty :

          I really dislike the fact that instead of eating gluten, people buy all of this gluten free stuff that basically replaces gluten with chemicals (I’m talking about breads and things like that, not things that are gluten free and also certified to be made in a gluten free environment). If you’re gluten sensitive, then you need to just stick to things that (naturally) don’t have gluten! Easier said than done, I know.

    • kerrycontrary :

      I’m not totally gluten-free, but I am also naturally one who rarely eats pasta/bread (I don’t know, I just don’t crave it). I also get really bloated/uncomfortable when I eat even a little pizza dough or pasta. I think I am gluten sensitive. My main source of gluten was usually my morning cereal. I switched to gluten-free chex and it has helped my migraines (gluten apparently can increase inflammation).

      • Yeah, I think there are definitely people who are gluten sensitive, which is different from celiac or allergic. It’s just unfortunate that so many people now think that it is a diet they should follow. So many doctors/nutritionists have pointed out that many gluten free products actually have more calories because the manufacturers are trying to recreate the mouthfeel of food with gluten.

    • Eli eli rah rah rah :

      Just read it! Feel the same way (not actual celiac, I think, but definitely feel better without it).

    • I’ve been thinking about decreasing/eliminating gluten to see if it helps with bloat and weight gain. Any recommendations on how to ease into it?

      • Coach Laura :

        To Bonnie: If you want to decrease gluten as a trial, just start eating whole, minimally processed foods – white or brown rice, white or sweet potatoes, corn, veggies, fruits, meats, fish, beans. Treats like ice cream are mostly labeled (like Cookie Dough) so it’s easy to select some treats – dark choclate. Celiacs (like me) have to avoid trace amounts and sneaky gluten sources like soy sauce and some imported cheeses but if you are doing a trial, you may be a bit less careful. Many mainstream meals and dishes can be adopted to be gluten-free like tacos, chili.

        Also, some companies label very well- such as Heinz, Hormel, Kraft and Unilever – if there is gluten it will say “wheat” on the label . And the “GF” label is getting more common too.

        • Thanks. I definitely have an allergy/intolerance to some food but have not been able to identify it. That’s my main reason for this experiment.

          • Saacnmama :

            If you think that’s what it is, go for it! I recently switched to lactose-free milk and have cut back my milk consumption. My gas is almost entirely gone! Even my son notices it (when you fart so much that a 4th grade boy thinks it’s gross, you know there’s a problem). I hope you’ve found your “issue” too.

      • Hi, Bonnie. If you are a cereal eater, you can switch to Chex. It’s gluten free.

    • Anonymous :

      I went gluten-free 10 months, and I felt great until I started to eat a bunch of gluten-free substitutes, i.e. going through a box of GF crackers in two days. Then I went back gluten, which was fine-ish, but I am now planning to go gluten-free again. For me, the benefits are less bloating and exhaustion and less overall gross feeling.

    • phillygirlruns :

      i don’t have celiac’s but do avoid gluten almost entirely. i don’t sweat trace amounts in things like, say, soy sauce. i cut out gluten and artificial sweeteners about a year and a half ago, and i just felt…GOOD. all the time. but i don’t substitute weird GF substitutes for anything – i just don’t eat bread/pastries/pasta/etc. i eat mostly meat, eggs and veggies (kale, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, red peppers have been in my regular rotation lately). anecdotally…weight melted off. i lost over 5 inches on my waist in about 6 months and have kept it off pretty much effortlessly. skin’s better, i’m stronger and faster, blah blah blah.

      however. not eating gluten on the reg means that when i decide it’s time to have some, i REALLY feel it. i had a legitimate sugar/gluten hangover monday morning after eating these brownie cupcakes-stuffed-with-oreos that my mom made for the super bowl. next indulgence will be when i go to montreal in a couple of months and eat ALL THE BAGELS. and it will be completely worth it.

    • Anonymous :

      I seem to be sensitive, but not allergic, either. My solution here is not to add gluten-free substitutes, but to avoid bread and pasta and crackers altogether. I feel SO much better when I do that.

    • I have to avoid wheat for a non-gluten related reason (it’s the fructans that cause my gut issues, so I also have to avoid garlic and onions. THAT is super fun) and it gets a bit tiresome to hear all the “oh so you’re going gluten-free, eh?” comments. I just sigh and say “something like that.” Because who really wants to hear all the details about what gives me diarrhea and what doesn’t?

  5. applesandcheddar :

    Has anyone traveled to SE Asia? My SO and I are trying to plan a 3 week trip there in October, but we’re finding it overwhelming because there are so many places we want to go (Buddhist monks in Laos, Angkor Wat, Thai Islands, temples everywhere….). So, if anyone has done a trip like this, I’d love to hear some of your favorite places you visited or even a route you took.

    • A very short answer because I have already been on here too much today and actually have work to do:

      Don’t push yourselves to You can’t do it. It is better to concentrate on just one or two countries and see them properly. If you have never been to SE Asia, my suggestion would be to go somewhere with a good tourism infrastructure – then on your next trip, you can get more adventurous and go further afield. Thailand has been dealing with tourists for many decades now and would be an easy place for you to start. You can split it up into the North, Bangkok and the central plains, and the South – perhaps a week each. If you want to go to Angkor Wat, then fly from Bangkok to Cambodia for a specific side-trip. But honestly, there is enough in Thailand to keep you very busy for 3 weeks.

      If you want a little more variety, then I would suggest Thailand and Malaysia. The reason I suggest this is that the two countries are very different – you will experience a lot of variety. Thailand is essentially a Buddhist country with a great deal of Indian influence, whereas Malaysia is essentially a Muslim country that was influenced in a very different way by years of British colonization. Start in Thailand, then take the train from Bangkok to Kuala Lumpur and visit the Cameron Highlands, Melaka and perhaps Kota Kinabalu/Mt. Kinabalu if you can.

      I will add more if I can, but those are my basic suggestions as a starting point.

    • We had our homeymoon in SE Asia. Spent 10 nights in Thailand (2 in Bangkok, 2 in Chiang Rai, 2 in the mountains, 3 in Chiang Mai and I seem to be forgetting one), 2 nights in Luang Prabang Laos and 3 nights in Siem Reap. We flew.

      Highlights: Four Seasons Chiang Mai. First time ever at a Four Seasons and it blew my mind. We were there in 2009 and got a good deal through our travel agent (Smiling Albino – highly recommended) but it would have been worth every penny in any event. It rained the whole time, and it didn’t bother me one iota.

      Anantara in Chiang Rai. right next to the uber-expensive Four Seasons Tented Camp. They share an elephant sanctuary where you can spend the day learning about the elephants through there mahouts (they bring in city-dwelling mahouts, elephants and their families, so that the people who know the best about the animal still work with them, but in a better place than downtown Bangkok). It was awesome.

      Hotel de la Paix in Siem Reap was also amazing. I loved the town of Siem Reap and could easily have stayed longer. In addition to Angkor, we toured Tonle Sap, a big lake with floating villages – very cool, but only available in the wet season.

      I could have skipped Laos, but we didn’t like our hotel and the weather was terrible, so that may have been most of it. It was very cool that the temples were so ancient (in Bangkok, you get a lot of “this temple was built in the 1960s”. In Laos, it’s more like the 1200s.)

      I hope this helps!

    • I love SE Asia. I have family that lives in hong kong, and usually try to add on a short side trip to SE Asia when we go to visit. I would love to have 3 weeks.

      I echo the advice above. If this is your first trip to the region, start in Thailand. It’s amazing, people are friendly, and it is used to tourists. I would reccommend 1-2 days in Bangkok to see the major sights, but then move on. It’s a busy, chaotic city and other areas are better.

      If it were me, I’d then go north, and spend 4-6 days in Chaing Mai and Chaing Rai. Ditto on doing a trip to an elephant sanctuary. Amazing.

      From there, I’d go to Angkor Wat. You may have to fly back via bangkok, but I think there are some flights from chaing mai. Angkor Wat is singularly the most spectacular place I’ve ever been. I’d budget at least 4 days. Also, a fairly different culture and architectural style than nearby Northern Thailand.

      If it were me, I’d wrap things up with 5-7 days on the southern Thai beaches. Avoid Phuket like the plague. It’s super touristy. Koh Samui is more upscale, but still mostly big box tourist hotels. I’ve loved time spent in Krabi and Railay Bay. Beautiful scenery, smaller, boutique hotels.

      If you have extra time, but I doubt you will, I’d throw in a side trip to Laos when you are up north.

      On flights and transport, flights are generally pretty cheap if you book in advance, and much much faster than the train. We also hired a driver to take us around the country side up north and also in Cambodia.

      On hotels — there is a whole range. There are spectacular four seasons type places (agree the four seasons in the golden triangle is to die for), but there are also some lovely more simple places. You’ll be able to find something for your budget. I’ve had good luck with trip advisor in this region.

    • Senior Attorney :

      We just got back from a two week tour of Vietnam and Cambodia with AMA Waterways, featuring a one-week river cruise on the Mekong River. Even though you would probably be the youngest people in the group, it’s definitely worth looking into. We saw all kinds of amazing things we couldn’t have seen on our own, most notably small villages, farms, and schools in the countryside and along the river.

      Highlights included the Sofitel Metropole in Hanoi, an overnight on a luxury “junk” on Halong Bay, the Sofitel Angkor in Siem Reap, the Sheraton in Saigon. We had an amazing French dinner at a restaurant called Topaz in Phnom Penh that was as good as any meal I’ve ever had anywhere in the world.

      All in all, I loved Vietnam but I left my heart in Cambodia.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Oh, and we had great luck with guides from

    • I backpacked SEAsia after grad school. Did Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam although probably on a much different budget than your trip will be.
      Do not miss: Hanoi, Ha Long Bay, Hoi An, Angkor Wat, and definitely go to an island in Thailand! I went to Koh Chang, which was a backpacker island, but had a really nice elephant sanctuary that I spent a day at with the elephants (they had been rescued from bad situations. I loved Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand because it was a cool relaxing city as well, and I took a cooking class (super fun!).

      Seriously debate quite regularly going back to SE Asia and teaching english.

      • applesandcheddar :

        Thank you everyone! This is very helpful! I spent a month in China in college, so I’m not totally new to Asia, but my SO has never been. I would love to go to Malaysia, but unfortunately I can’t right now because I have an Israeli stamp in my passport. Right now we’re really torn between Vietnam vs. Thailand with side trips to Laos and/or Cambodia. Obviously we have to do more research, but this has been so helpful.

  6. Love, totally buying in animal print.

  7. I thought this was an interesting addition to the ongoing work/life/childcare balance conversation:

    “In a landmark decision that may help thousands of Canadian parents juggling work and child care, the Federal Court says employers must try to accommodate employees with family obligations.

    The ruling, released late last week, upholds a 2010 Canadian Human Rights Tribunal decision against the Canadian Border Services that found the federal agency discriminated against a former Toronto airport customs inspector when it denied her request for regular hours so she could make child-care arrangements.”

  8. We are thinking of moving to Chicago (one baby), and looking at neighborhoods online is not exactly helpful.
    I and DH will mostly work in downtown ( still looking for jobs) and will need decent access to airport. I am thinking about a max 30 minute cab drive to airport.

    Right now, we Live in a suburban area so we are used to a little bit more space and have two cars that need to be parked when not in use. So we a looking to rent somewhere that is kid friendly, easy commute to downtown and airport and has grocery shopping nearby.

    I would love to get neighborhood suggestions from area rettes.

    • If you’re looking for a suburb that still has a bit of urban vibe (bustling downtown, indie businesses, etc) I’d recommend Oak Park. It’s a really easy commute by Metra or El, but it’s also to find a place with parking. A couple of the farther-out suburbs I’ve been to are LaGrange, which I really really like, so charming; Glen Ellyn/Downers Grove/Lombard/Westmont, which are safe and nice, without a whole lot of excitement. Our friends just moved to Naperville, which is one of those far-out ‘burbs that’s highly manicured and a little vanilla (not ethnically, but culturally). Where are you from? I see your handle is Orange… I’m from L.A. and would compare Oak Park to Pasadena and Naperville to Irvine. But that may not help you.

      Overall, rest assured that Chicago is (1) the kind of place where lots of folks commute downtown, so the Metra options are many; and (2) the kind of place where many people, even single/childless ones, live in the ‘burbs. In my experience, living outside of the city is not highly stigmatized (unlike NYC, where there’s more city boosterism.

      • To add: The other thing I like about the OP area is that it’s an easy drive to O’Hare. Neither my husband nor I have any family here, so we are at the airport often! (I missed that in your first post; I wouldn’t recommend the area near O’Hare (Norridge, Schiller Park, Elmwood Park, etc.) as heartily. Those feel like old school Chicago neighborhoods filled with families who’ve been there for ages, and might not be a good entry point. I also believe the schools are better in the neighborhoods I’ve mentioned…

    • Hinsdale is a beautiful older burb with good schools on the train line to downtown and within 1/2 hour of ohare. I liked that it had older homes that didn’t all look alike, but it does have a lot of tear downs turned to McMansions. I like oak park/river Forrest as previously posted but it was impossible to get a two car garage and the lots were very small.

    • Divaliscious11 :

      The other thing to consider, and this may not matter to you, but just in case it does, is that Chicago remains a very, very segregated city. Most of the recommended communities are, with the exception of Oak Park, and to some extent Naperville, are extremely non-diverse racially, and only moderately socio-economically diverse – and I am being generous. If you want more cultural diversity in the city, consider Hyde Park, South Loop and Bridgeport Village (not all of Bridgeport is diverse)…… Oak Park and Naperville are suburban and extremely suburban respectively…..

    • Frustrated Academic :

      As a city dweller, here’s a shout out for living in the city. We bought a few years ago in West Wicker Park about 15 minutes from the loop. We live on the O-Hare line and have ample street parking in our neighborhood. DH drives to work in the west loop (10 minutes on a bad day), and I take the el downtown. Since you are thinking of renting anyway–I suggest checking out Wicker Park, Lincoln Square and some of the other city neighborhoods before you decide to go right to the burbs.

  9. Research, Not Law :

    For Hellskitchen, re: Emily Owens MD

    I checked it out on Hulu. They only have the five most recent episodes, so I started mid-season and love it. Just as you said: intellegent, funny, real. Such a bummer it was cancelled!

    • hellskitchen :

      Right?? I am so glad you validated my obsession with it :-) I want to see more of Mamie Gummer and I hope she comes in more TV and films after the show ends.

  10. Trying again as I am stuck in moderation!

    We are thinking of moving to Chicago (one baby), and looking at neighborhoods online is not exactly helpful.
    I and DH will mostly work in downtown ( still looking for jobs) and will need decent access to airport. I am thinking about a max 30 minute cab drive to airport.

    Right now, we Live in a suburban area so we are used to a little bit more space and have two cars that need to be parked when not in use. So we a looking to rent somewhere that is kid friendly, easy commute to downtown and airport and has grocery shopping nearby.

    I would love to get neighborhood suggestions from area posters!

    • Roscoe Village would be a good solution for you if you want to stay in the city. It is kid/baby/dog central, 5 minutes from highway (so 20-40 minutes from airport depending on traffic) and equi-distance from the loop. The (admittedly cheesy) tag-line is “The Village Within The City…” but it is somewhat accurate — parking is reasonable, some good neighborhood school options, very walkable, etc. — so it won’t be as much of a culture shock to transition from suburbs as it would be if, say, you moved into the Loop.

      I’ve lived there for almost 5 years, and am happy to email more if you want to post an anonymous email address.

      • espresso bean :

        Agreed — Roscoe Village would be perfect for you. I also really like Ravenswood, Lincoln Square, and Andersonville for young families. You can get a decent amount of space, still commute to downtown fairly easily, and have a car without too much trouble. Rents are reasonable in all of those neighborhoods.

        You could also consider some neighborhoods on the northwest side. If you want a single-family home and don’t mind more of a residential neighborhood, Jefferson Park is great (although it’s not very urban in feel) and very close to the airport and the blue line. If you want more of an urban feel, parts of Bucktown (especially north of Armitage) are lively and still full of young families.

        Happy hunting! Let me know if you have more specific questions.

      • Moonstone :

        Yes, if you post an address, some of the Chicago-area ‘rettes will overwhelm you with thoughts. Me first!

    • South Loop

  11. FWIW I ordered these in the animal print and the cutouts on the heels rubbed uncomfortably and made the shoe slide off my heel. Back to Zappos they went…

  12. Rural Juror :

    Anyone doing closet related challenges that they want to update us on?

    I decided on Jan 1 to try to wear everything in my closet. I tried to mix up what I was wearing and be creative because I didn’t want to be left with a lot of super undesirable clothes to pair together near the end. Blazers were easy to take down because I only have 6. Pants were next. Today I am wearing my last skirt. I have plenty of tops and a few dresses left though. I am going to have to start re-wearing bottoms to get through the tops. So far I’ve realized: I have a lot of clothes. I noticed stains on two shirts and they are now in the dry clean pile and one shirt had a hole so it is now in the garbage. I encountered a few items that were too small, I put those aside in a bin because I am in the process of losing weight (seriously!) and they may fit soon enough. I am going to set a date to revisit those items, I’m thinking June 1. I also made it through this whole time without buying clothes! It feels good. I feel like it is such a challenge to get through my closet I’m not even interested in adding another piece to it.

    • I’m not doing a proper challenge, but I am moving and trying to downsize my closet (after doing one purge already last year).

      I am kind of on the fence about 2 too-small-but-I-plan-to-lose weight dresses. Part of me feels like I should just get rid of them, but the other bad thing is that they’ve both never been worn! I bought them when I did a huge diet and went down a dress size two years ago, but they’re c*cktail dresses so I never had the chance to wear them. I’m a comfortable 12 now, but those dresses are more size 10. One is a $400 Kate Millen dress and the other is a $100 Massimo Dutti one. I feel like I should donate them, but just can’t bring myself to! Gah! What should I do?!

      • Um….sell them to me? I’m a size 10!

      • Also, ebay!

      • Honestly, I will totally give away the MD dress if someone wants it. I’m never sure if my donations will end up in a trash bag somewhere, so if someone will use it, they can have it.

        It looks like the first dress in the link below. Same pleated bodice, except it’s longer knee-length, the skirt is slightly flow-ier, and instead of a defined waist, it has a narrow belt with a silver buckle. It’s MD size “L/34” (no idea what the number means). Like I said, I’m a straight size 12, and it’s just a touch too tight at the chest. If you’re interested, shoot me an email: bb_rette at yahoo

        (I just looked at the KM dress again and I think I can let it out a bit at the side seams so it will fit me minus 5lbs, which is in my diet plans.)

      • Gah, my reply is being modded. I basically said I’m fine giving it away if anyone wants it. There’s an email address in the modded comment.

    • anonypotamus :

      I’m about to embark on one! I have cleaned out my closet at least 3 times in the past year, each time being convinced that I was being sufficiently critical to weed out stuff that didn’t fit/I didn’t wear/didn’t need etc. I still feel like my closet is crammed with clothes, yet I still have “nothing to wear.” I love your idea of wearing everything in your closet/shopping your closet to come up with new outfit combinations. I’m getting better about mixing it up for work (especially now that I finally got around to getting a huge pile of things tailored/mended), but still get stuck in a rut on the weekends where I could wear fun casual clothes, but usually end up resorting to leggings with (long) sweaters, tops, etc. If I pass over something more than 3 times in my quest to wear everything (I’m going to give it 2 months), it’s going to go in a pile for re-evaluation – particularly for seasonal-type items. Then, at the end of the project, I will determine if there are any gaping holes that I need to fill, make a list, and any shopping I do will be restricted to items on that list. This will hopefully result in a streamlined closet filled with functional things I love, and will help my wallet from suffering from terrible impulse purchases that I end up tossing after a few wears. Sorry for the novel! (and thanks for the inspiration!)

    • I’ve been working on a closet challenge myself! I’ve found 3 pairs of pants that needed to be hemmed, took them to the tailor and now they’re hanging back in my closet. Score! I’ve also been more brutal about some clothes that I’ve kept around but don’t like. I still have a handful of tops that I can’t bring myself to get rid of but I’m at least aware that they’re there and not being used. One area where I’m struggling is suits. I have 2 and I don’t work in a job that requires I wear them but I like having them around. What’s the rule for keeping staples like that?

    • Very fast – I am still working on my version of Project 333. Last time I did it during a move, which meant that most of my clothes were in storage. This time I actually took the majority of my clothes and put them in the basement. I have been doing this round of Project 333 for over a month now and still haven’t worn everything I kept out. My current state of mind is absolute shock that I have so many blasted clothes when clearly I don’t need them.

      As a related project, I am being very careful with purchases, but I fell down at Ross Dress for Less in Hawaii and bought two dresses for work. I am OK with it because they are both really nice dresses and will legitimately be positive additions to my closet. But now I have to stop shopping for about a month.

    • Saacnmama :

      Soon as I loose the weight–really!

  13. espresso bean :

    TJing off of the language TJ in this morning’s post…

    Susedna posted awhile ago about which languages we speak and which ones we’ve learned and want to learn, and I loved reading the responses. Those of you who speak multiple languages — how do you keep them up? Are you in language groups? Do you take classes? Do you speak one language at home and another at work? Any tips for reviving a language you learned years ago?

    • Anonymous :

      Can’t wait to hear what people say about this!

    • Someone posted this below, but I agree: News in Slow French. (and they have it for other languages too). It’s helped my listening skills a lot.

    • Native English speaker, high proficiency in one East Asian language and elementary proficiency with a second East Asian language. For my second (lower-level proficiency) language, we live near a university, and I found a student in my husband’s grad program. She was really homesick and loved practicing her native language with me. I still had some textbooks, so we’d practice the exercises in those and she’d help correct my pronunciation. I was able to “swap” by helping her with some English, but more so she was very concerned about American social norms. I’d talk her through different social situations and how to handle them. But I haven’t really been able to increase my level, only maintain what I learned previously.
      For my main foreign language (Chinese, hence my moniker), I found a Chinese business/social group. It’s a mix of Chinese nationals who work here, Chinese-Americans, and a few people like me who have some sort of tie to China. Once people know my language level, they’re more likely to talk to me in Chinese. It’s still hard,though, as I went from using it daily in a professional capacity to hardly ever using it here in the U.S. My pronunciation has suffered, although my reading and listening skills haven’t diminished much.
      I’ve also got social media accounts in those languages, and I make sure to connect with friends in that language (no English!).

      • Signy Mallory :

        FWIW, your language-cultural exchange with the student in your husband’s program is totally awesome. Living and working in another culture can be incredibly hard, because there are all these unspoken rules that people unconsciously expect everyone to know.

        • Thanks! She’s deathly afraid of offending Americans. I told her this is hard to do, especially compared to interpersonal relations in her home country. But it gave her a lot more confidence just to “know” that she’d rehearsed things with an American. It also made her English better, because she was less afraid to make mistakes.

          Totally agree that the unspoken rules can be the hardest part of language learning.

      • Lady Harriet :

        I speak French. I was excellent at it in high school and planned to major in it in college, but then I went to a school that was too small to have a French major (and the only classes were way below my level.) I’ve definitely lost a lot of it, although I hope it will come back if I ever have the opportunity to use it more.

        Like Shanghai, I have my Facebook account set in French, as well as my phone. It helps me practice at least a tiny bit every day and I’m so used to it that I don’t even really remember what it’s like to have them in English.

        Latin, on the other hand, I began forgetting as soon as my required year of it was over. I can remember a few things here and there and a lot of the parts that I get in Mass, but the majority of it is gone.

    • I don’t keep it up, which makes me sad. I literally cannot understand French papers I wrote freshman year of college. I’m sure if I ever used it regularly, a lot would come back to me, but since I no longer speak it well enough to get a job that reuqires me to use it, it’s unlikely that I would ever get the chance.

    • Movies (with subtitles in English if needed) help me keep up with a language I learned a long time ago. I just need to hear it every once in a while, otherwise I start searching for words when I try to speak it. It always comes back 100% once I’m immersed in it though. I don’t think you ever forget, you just get rusty.

    • I majored in Spanish lit in college and have been out for a while (10+ years). I listen to talk radio, watch the occasional Univision telenovela and have done a bunch of Spanish-language transactions with Spain and Latin American countries at work. I brush up by doing pro bono translations (in person and documents). I’m not where I was ten years ago, but if I do about a week of intensive Spanish stuff (like more than a few hours a day), I find that I am literally thinking in Spanish and my vocab comes flooding back to me. Someone recently mentioned that they are reading the Harry Potter books in Spanish and that’s next on my list. Sounds fun! (I’ve never read them in English, so….)

    • It can be really difficult to maintain a language that you don’t use often.

      I have older relatives in Bergen. I write them emails and letters (letters!) only in Norwegian, and that helps keep my written skills sharp. Plus they just sent me a box of Kvikk Lunsj!

      For French, I watch movies in French, or with French subtitles. I speak French and email in French with my Parisian godmother, and she’s not shy about correcting my grammar!
      Listening to French books on tape or podcasts is helpful. I have horrible listening comprehension in every language (why can’t I get these instructions in bulletpoint??), and can’t stand the slow pace of English books on tape, but for a foreign language I recommend it. If I’m on the train, I’ll transcribe difficult passages.

      I think finding people that you *only* speak that language to is very helpful, once you get a certain level of proficiency. I find that just the sight of them cues my brain into thinking in that language.

  14. for trademark ladies :

    Does anyone practice trademark law? I’m reading through the TMEP and was hoping there’s a “Cliff Notes” version out there somewhere. TIA!

    • If it’s anything like the MPEP, nope. Try blogs or articles on particular topics.

  15. Anonymous :

    “News in Slow French” podcasts!

  16. I’m currently at my second interview of the day (different companies) but my first interview, which was via phone was the most fun and delightful job interview I’ve ever had. I mean – he was really funny and we just chatted about the company and life and stuff.

    I’m going in for a second round interview on Friday, but I have to remind myself not to let one awesome guy in *another office* sway my perception of what it would be like to work for the whole company. Right?

    • Right. Take it as a good omen and one piece of data you have about the company, but don’t place toooooo much weight on it. Good luck!!

    • Signy Mallory :

      Yup. But good luck nevertheless. I hope you find a great job that you’re enthused about.

      • Good luck. You know everything you need to know about the process. still it doesn’t hurt when you go in feeling relaxed and positive instead of nervous…

  17. Question for the Hive:

    Can you tell a recruiter to go away? My team is being (attempted-) poached like whoah from one of our competitors, and my team is complaining that the phone calls and emails are distracting them. So, because it involves a strongly-worded email, and I’m the mean one, they asked me to tell the recruiters to go away. I’m a bit hesitant. Can one tell recruiters to go away? Would recruiters listen? On the one hand it’s just like telling any other trespasser to go away, but…. What are your thoughts?

    • As someone who worked as a recruiter, I don’t think telling them to go away would work. For one, it’s their job to find candidates, and a lot of recruiters have productivity measured by the number of phone calls they make. So even if they know your people are a dead end, they might keep calling anyway because it’s an easy call/conversation. Second, by trying to stand between your employees and a recruiter, the recruiter might read into it that you’re overly controlling and OF COURSE your people would be looking to leave a manager like that – so it might have the adverse effect of increasing the number of calls. Finally, you never know when you may need a recruiter, whether for yourself or because you want to help a friend or other colleague, so it’s good not to alienate them.

      Is your team unable to screen their phone calls and/or filter their own e-mail?

    • Signy Mallory :

      Don’t do it.

      You’ll be marked by the recruiter as a troublesome person. Don’t expect you’ll be at this current company forever. Recruiters can be useful to you if you want to leave one day and go somewhere else. Don’t burn a bridge just because your teammates are underhanded wusses a.k.a. freeloaders.

      If your manager feels so strongly about it, he or she should do it. You talk about your team, but it’s not clear that you’re the manager. HR can do it, if you feel like it’s absolutely necessary to tell the recruiter to go away.

      Or, your teammates can just screen the calls, let them go to VM. They’re really being babies. If I dropped everything I did during the workday to answer every call that hit my phone, I’d get nothing done.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      IMO you shouldn’t be fighting your teammates’ battles for them. But I do think if the recruiter is calling you, you absolutely have a right to say, “I’m not looking to make a move right now. I’ll contact you in the future if I am, if not, please assume I’m not currently looking to make a switch.” and then ignore their calls from there on out.

      • Anon for this :


      • I 100% agree with this. Do not tell a recruiter to back off from contacting your colleagues (that’s just strange, and you never know if you might want to use them or join your competitor at a later point), and also, I tell recruiters all the time that I’m not looking and that I’m not interested in looking. It usually slows the frequency of phone calls. And, I’m not sure what kind of office phones you have, but I can usually semi-recognize recruiters phone numbers and send them to voicemail.

        • new york associate :

          “I’m sorry, I’m not interested in making a move now. Why don’t you call me again in six months?” Then hang up.

    • Meg Murry :

      If your team really does want help with an email, tell them to write one and you’ll help them edit it and send it themselves. Or just give them a script, such as “I’m not looking for a new position right now. If that changes I will contact you, but until then please do not call or email me again.”
      At least you have an option to send an email. The most obnoxious recruiters in my area almost never use email (you upload your resume via their website, and I can’t find place in the website to opt out of it), probably so there is no paper trail of the sketchy promises they’ve made. And once you are in their database, you are fair game – so I’ve had 4 different recruiters from the same company call me on one night. The only good thing is that their calls all come from the same area code + first 3 digits, so I’ve learned what numbers to ignore.

    • Thanks all for the responses. In the end I pushed it up to our manager to deal with (the other people were horizontal to me, and their subordinates). Yes, they were (are) big babies, and they are absolutely, positively, anti-hanging-up-on-people, which is what I told them to do in the first place. Like I said – I’m the “mean” one. They also didn’t help their cause when they decided to chat up the recruiters at first to get market intelligence. Head–>Desk.

      Unfortunately, with our phone system the only screen is the receptionist. The recruiters calling would tell her they worked with a different company (which happened to be one of our clients), so their calls always went through.

  18. Anyone have recommendations for a memory foam mattress topper?

    • You should go to BLOOMINGDALE’s! They have a great bedding section, and alot of choices. It costs alot for a topper, but less then a full matress. You can also look up SLEEPY’s tho they perfer to sell full matresse’s.

      Gonzalo tricked me. He called useing some other guy’s cell, and I was dumb enough to pick up. He said he did NOT intentionally grab my breast, onley that he rubbed against it to see if it was real. Of course it is real. I do NOT need to stuff my bra for anyone. I have to much up top and in the tuchus, but I can at least exercise my tuches off I told him. He said he liked my tuchus and invited me again to his house for dinner.

      I said NO way HOSE! I have had it with guy’s interested ONLEY in my body. He said he was impresed that I was a lawyer, but I said my dad did NOT like him. Yay Dad!

      So he said that I looked a little like Adriena Lima (some model) and it was MY loss b/c he could do alot of thing’s that my NORMAL boyfreind’s do NOT know how to do. I was NOT sure what he was talkeing about, and probabely do NOT want to know. I told him FOOEY and not to call me, b/c I did not want some guy pawing at my boobies. FOOEY on HIM also!

    • Senior Attorney :

      We got ours at Costco and are quite happy with it.

    • I have one from Kohls for my dorm bed and I swear by dorm bed is comfier than my home bed

  19. I found out today what my annual bonus is going to be and it’s 25% higher than I expected! Yay! My first full year in my current position, and by far the biggest bonus I’ve ever received. I had figured out the minimum I was going to get, and have a plan for that, but now I’m looking at more than double what I originally thought, and so dh & I will have to sit down & figure out a budget for the extra money (spread between travel, paying off student loans, and covering the cost of new iphones).

    So I was wondering, what do you guys do with your annual bonus, if you receive one?

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I don’t get an annual bonus, but I split my tax return up this year and am using a little over 1/3 of it to open a Roth IRA, a little over a 1/3 went to my emergency fund (which is now 7 months worth!) and the last part is going to my travel savings because its only February and I’ve got quite the list of trips planned for the year already.

    • For the first two years, most of mine went to debt payoff. This year we used most of it for savings and our investment to retire early fund. We spent a relatively small amount on a celebratory dinner with a nicer than usual bottle of wine, and I bought a pretty but not outrageously expensive pair of Kate Spade shoes as a splurge.

      In general, I try to do something memorable and a little frivolous with a small portion and then be responsible with the rest.

      • This. Depending on my state of mind and/or travel plans, I’ve taken 10%-50% of bonuses as “fun money”. Also consider using some for a home improvement project if you own a home.

    • I budget for 25% of my target bonus. That is typically used to top off my retirement accounts. Whatever I get above that is divided up between savings (50% of target), vacation fun (15% of target) and anything over that I get to keep in my “fun money”. Same goes for DH.

    • My bonus is about 1/3 of my total annual income. I spent $1.5k on a beautiful burberry coat for myself and put the rest towards finishing my emergency fund, putting it savings in vanguard funds, and finished paying off my college loans. hurrah!

    • House fund.

  20. PG advice? :

    Where do smart, busy, mildly professional women go to learn about being pregnant? I recently found out I”m pregnant, and DH and I are really excited, but I need some info. This is our first child, and I’d like to find a sounding board of similarly aged and/or new to pregnancy ladies.

    What stroller to buy? What shoes don’t hurt your feet? Do I really have to avoid 65746 different foods?

    • Congratulations! I’m not sure what it’s like now, but when I was pg several years ago I was active on the boards – they have boards for your due month so you can talk to others going through the same things at the same time. They draw a wide variety of women from all walks of life. They also may have ‘working while pg’ boards as well.

    • It might be too late for you to see this, but I got tons of info from BabyCenter.

    • Research, Not Law :

      Sign up for the babycenter weekly emails.

      My absolute favorite pregnancy books were The Mother of All Pregnancy Books for real info, The Expectant Father for husband (and me, actually), and The Pregnancy Journal: A Day-to-Day Guide to a Healthy and Happy Pregnancy for fun.

      We got a consumer reports subscription and I hear Baby Bargins is helpful. Mostly, though, we relied on test driving, amazon reviews, and talking to friends.

      You do NOT need to avoid most of the foods that people think you do. Just avoid raw milk cheese, sushi and some other seafood, tainted meat or veggies, or alcohol/drugs.

    • Maddie Ross :

      The best book, hands down, is “Baby Bargains.” It’s like consumer reports for baby stuff. While it promises you you’ll save money, I’m not necessarily sure I did. But I am sure that I made better decisions about my purchases because of it. It’s also the least scary of any baby book (at least to me) as it approaches it from the practical (here’s what you need and why you need it; here’s what’s a waste of money).

      I signed up for the babycenter emails, and like them, but I would generally avoid most of the web forums (unless you need a laugh). You’ll find very few professional women in them and most of the users are (IMO) younger and cattier. The daily snarkiness on those sites reminds of me of this site on its absolute worst day.

    • I liked Alphamom when I was pregnant. Agree with Maddie Ross about most pregnancy web forums.

    • In the minority here, but I preferred the the Bump monthly boards to BabyCenter. Yes, it is a mixed bag of people, but sometimes it is nice to ask about random pregnancy side-effects and hear stories from people who are right around where you are in pregnancy. The local bump boards also had some local suggestions for things like pediatricians, etc. The cattiness comes out on those boards for predictable topics (bottle vs. boob, pets and babies, shower etiquette, etc).
      Also, if you are interested in nursing, KellyMom is a terrific online resource.

  21. Has anyone successfully bought baked goods on etsy? Any recommended sellers?

    • We got cookies for my son’s birthday party from an etsy seller who made cookies that matched the theme of the party. They were pretty but the taste/texture was nothing special. I can’t find the seller we used.

    • It might be too late to respond, but I love Whipped Bakeshop, which is based in Philly but ships cookies nationally.


    WSJ article about Cheryl Sandberg and her upcoming new book. May be of interest to fellow ‘rettes.

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