Coffee Break: Waverly Wedges

Belle by Sigerson Morrison WaverlyI love these cool wedges by Belle by Sigerson Morrison — they look chic, walkable, and modern. They’re available in taupe as well as a purple — I kind of wish the purple version had a darker stain on the wedge bit, but that’s me. They’re $225 at Zappos. Belle by Sigerson Morrison Waverly



  1. Freddie Mercury :

    I just found out that I am pregnant! I am so happy and nervous at the same time. Here are the steps I am taking/plan to take so far:

    -Scheduled appt w/ob-gyn
    -Ordered Mayo clinic book on pregnancy from Amazon
    -Have been taking prenatal vitamins for past few months

    What do you wish you had known/done in the early stages of your pregnancy?

    • Anonymous :

      I said this yesterday to TBK, but I’ll say it again — eat absolutely as much as you can while you still can. Sleep too. Weeks 8-10 were so difficult sleep-wise, because I was just totally wiped out all the time, and since about week 7, I’ve had trouble eating because of the nausea.

      Book recs:
      – The Mother of All Pregnancy Books and Expecting 411 for pregnancy info.
      – The Birth Partner and Natural Hospital Birth for labor & delivery books (though I haven’t put them into practice yet, so we’ll see how useful they end up being).
      – Balance is a Crock, Sleep is for the Weak for preparing for your maternity leave.
      – Bright from the Start if you’re interested in baby brain development (which I find fascinating).

      Congrats & good luck!

      • Anonymous :

        PS – I know Nonny you recommended anti-nausea meds but I’m already 12 weeks. If the nausea doesn’t pass by my next doc appointment, I’ll definitely ask about it. Thanks!

      • Along these lines: how do you choose a good OB? What kinds of services are you looking for? What sorts of questions should I ask?

        • Anonymous @ 3:32 :

          I called a few recommended OBs but they were full, so I stuck with the practice I had been using for my annual. I’m not thrilled but I feel like I don’t have a ton of options (which is ironic, because I’m in a very large city). Ask about how they handle interventions and how they handle labor — make sure you’re on the same page re: medical interventions during pregnancy and birth. Some women want to have a natural labor, some women want a scheduled C-section, and most are somewhere inbetween. Make sure your doc is on the same page. I would recommend reading a bit about birth before discussing this with your doc, so that you can make sure you know what your own opinion actually is.

    • Congratulations!

      If you have any time-sensitive work or personal stuff that you know needs to be done in the next few weeks/month, do it now and keep up to date on it. Serious fatigue may hit you a little later in the first trimester, and if it’s anything like what happened to me, you will barely be able to function from day to day, let alone do “extra” stuff like, oh, pay bills, clean the house, go grocery shopping, send out bills to clients. Do that stuff now.

      Also, if you currently have a good fitness regimen, keep it up as long as possible. I had to stop sometime around week 6 and only started exercising again around week 14 (due to serious fatigue and nausea in the interim), but if you keep it up now, it will be easier to get back into the swing of things if you have to stop for a while.

      Good luck!

    • If you haven’t felt any symptoms yet, keep working out or being active and eating what you like (as long as that’s not raw chicken or something). Once the first trimester symptoms hit (it was always roughly 7 weeks in for me), I felt like death and didn’t want to get out of bed.

      Don’t read What to Expect. I much preferred the Mayo Clinic book. What to Expect seemed very judge-y and you can basically rename it “What Can Go Catastrophically Wrong Each Month!”

    • momentsofabsurdity :


    • Congrats! The advice above is great. I am just 11 and a half weeks now, and the way I feel changes from day to day, and sometimes hour to hour. I could wake up feeling great, eat a big breakfast, have tons of energy, and then all of a sudden at 11am feel like I was hit by a train.

      So my advice would be to do what you can when you can. If I feel great when I get home from work, I’ll do a load of laundry (which I usually leave to the weekend) just in case I wake up on Saturday not wanting to get out of bed.

      You may be way ahead of me here, but while I had thought about what to eat/not eat while pregnant, I had not thought about other things in my daily routine that I might want to change. For example, I stopped using my undereye cream, which had retinol, and assessed whether to change my hair care and makeup products. There are tons of scary things on the Internet (obviously) about what to do, what to avoid, etc. I read through some of it and decided what changes I could make, what warnings seemed silly, and what things I wanted to discuss with my doctor.

      I hope you have a happy and healthy pregnancy!

      • One more thing I did early on – I looked at our insurance pamphlet and called the insurance company with questions. E.g., do you really only cover one sonogram?! (They will cover more if medically necessary.) My insurance does not cover some of the optional first trimester screenings / diagnostic tests, etc. It has been helpful knowing that information as we weigh whether to do these tests or not.

        • Anonymous @ 3:32 :

          These are GREAT additions — check out all your products (most foot creams are unsafe during pregnancy, who knew) and your insurance coverage.

    • Diana Barry :


      Sleep as much as you can and as often as you can. :)

    • Anon in ATX :

      Congrats! I have found the book Baby Bargains to be incredibly useful, and they have an e-book version. Baby 411 is by the same company and was recommended to me but I have not gotten past the sample yet (also an e-book).

    • I read “the girlfriend’s guide to pregnancy” which was great.

  2. Love the purple, but HATE the ankle strap.

    • I agree on the ankle strap. It’s one too many details on this shoe, and it doesn’t mesh well with the overall style.

  3. Moved to the City :

    Thanks to whoever recommended Fabio Doti hair salon a while back. My hair has never looked better.

    • Can I ask — is your hair straight or curly? Or do they do curly hair? And how pricey were they?

      • Moved to the City :

        My hair is straight. I’m not sure about curly hair, though I’ve found Fabio really knowledgeable about hair and hair health in general. My cut was $125.

    • Yay! I’m so terribly glad!

      Also, I have curly/frizzy hair and they’re great to me.

  4. Pity Party :

    I recently entered my late twenties and, boy howdy, things are unexpectedly different over here. For the first time in my life, I seem to have an abundance of body hair, yellow-er shifting teeth, larger pores, and the hair on my head has gone from caramel to mousy brown. Yeah, in the grand scheme of things this is peanuts, and my general health is great, but no one told me this would happen so fast. Any else experience little unexpected un-pleasantries like this?

    • And my fabulous metabolism decided it wasn’t really feeling it anymore either. Hello muffin-top.

      • Pity Party :

        Yes, lets add that to the list too, shall we? I’ve had to increase the intensity of my workouts and decrease calories consumed just to keep up with things. Fooey!

    • Oh yes. My waist suddenly grew about 3 inches overnight when I turned 28, and I got hips. It was bizarre. Oh well, that’s just life.

    • I feel like much of this happened to me in my early twenties. I hope it doesn’t happen again! (I’m in my mid-twenties now.)

    • You've only just begun.... :

      Bwah hahaahahaha.
      Just wait another decade or so, when it will be your knees and your eyes. Increased body hair, yellowing teeth, big pores and mousy hair can, depending on how much they annoy you, be addressed with wax, bleach, toner/clarisonic, and hair color. Really though, it’s just practice for the indignity of stuff going wrong for which there’s not much of a fix, and certainly not a DIY fix. When your knees begin to exhibit signs of uncooperativeness, and someone has to read the menu to you if you forgot your reading glasses, and perhaps various and sundry other internal and external bodily elements crap out on you, the sense of being utterly betrayed by your body is pretty hard to escape. Mousy hair is a practice run, dear one.

      • What’s the deal with making the kids miserable before it’s absolutely necessary? If I were in my late 20s, I would NOT want to read this.

      • +1 This is mean.

        • Nah, not mean, just realistic. Actually, I think it’s quite funny.

          • I’m in my late twenties and mostly agree with Nonny. But maybe my parents have prepared me well.

          • I agree that it’s not mean. If you can complain about what happens in your 20s, why can’t others complain about the 30s?

          • You've only just begun ... :

            You can either have a sense of humor about the inconveniences and indignities or aging, or you can let it get to you. I choose humor. And when I have my 50th birthday very soon, I intend to genuinely celebrate it. There is an alternative to not aging. I miss my friends lost to breast cancer, accidents, and such, and take every chance I get to enjoy a laugh with friends, even when it’s about chin hair.

      • Pity Party :

        I guess you can win the “whose problems are worse” debate. I’m just saying that I didn’t expect to have to wax/bleach/tone/clarisonic/color all of the sudden after 27 years of just going about my business.

      • Mountain Girl :

        Yep, sorry to tell you it doesn’t get better. I’m now closer to 50 than I am to 40 and still find myself wondering what happened to the last 2 decades.

        The good thing – once you reach a certain age you start to care less about some things. My house and all its furnishings are much less important to me than they were even 10 years ago. What matters most? Spending time with my kids who are entering high school and realizing that there are only a couple more summers that I’ll have them home before they are off to college.

        I remember listening to my parents talk about how fast time flies but it really does. I wish I could rewind the clock back to when my kids were toddlers I would do it in a minute and enjoy all those precious moments again.

      • Or you could get all of these health issues in your late 20s, too, yay! (I didn’t think this was mean).

        What I’m really annoyed with is the 2-3 random chin hairs. GO AWAY WEIRD BODY HAIR, RAWR

        • Calibrachoa :

          YES. I swear the only hairs on my boady i a overly concerned abou are the Random Chin hair and my toes..

        • Chin hair is a temporary problem. A few more years and (some of) it will turn gray!

      • This is what my dad keep’s telling ME! I am NOT goieng to get any better, just worse, so I need to land a guy and get MARRIED right away, before I go to seed, he say’s. Even Grandma Leyeh is pusheing me hard to get MARRIED, but I will NOT settel for any schlub. Sam is kind of OK, but he has an accent and he pick’s his nose. I will NOT go through life cleaning up after him when he pick’s his nose. I may be crazy for saying that b/c he make’s alot of money and seem’s to be VERY interested in me, but I have been fooled before with Alan, who turned out to be a no-good drunk who used me for sex and that is about it. I will NOT submit to a man just b/c he has alot of money if he has disgusting habits, and I do NOT even know what else is bad about him yet. FOOEY!

        But I will NOT ruele him out, b/c Dad and Leyeh keep telling me my tuchus is not goeing to get any smaller, and my looks will ONLEY fade with time. FOOEY! I still am pretty good, tho I am NOT as cute as Rosa, but then again, I do NOT think I ever was.

        As long as men keep stareing at me, I figure I am still OK. YAY!!

        • Don’t settle for a nose-picker; you are soon going to either make partner or be a judge so you can do better than that!

    • I will bring the w(h)ine to this party.

      I have started getting noticeable lines all over my face. if I don’t get enough sleep, I physically look sick. And I’ve got weird dark spots/scars from where I apparently had/have a zit. I won’t even talk about the horror I experienced when my DH said he could see my nose hair. Yeah.

      On the plus side, I now make decent money which I can throw at my new (vain) problems.

      • Pity Party :

        I can’t believe I forgot to add the dark spots and nose hair to the list. But hooray for sufficient disposable income to seek solutions!

        • Pity Party :

          If there’s a board game out there you’ve never heard of… my spouse has probably forced me to play it with him.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        I’ll add mine too. I recently turned 30 and am finding more gray hair every single day. Hair coloring is not in the budget!

        • Same. And the box color just does not work for me for longer than a week. Hate it.

        • Ha – I am not complaining about any occasional gray hair because I still remember the day my mother asked me if I thought it was safe to use hair dye somewhere other than her head. That’s the day I am really nervous about!

          • Frou Frou :

            YES!!! OMG, yes. I just hit 40 and just decided to start (modest amount of) laser hair removal for my bikini line before the garden goes gray!

        • Equity's Darling :

          At what age did the everyone start going gray?

          I’m biracial, and my very fair-haired, pale mom went gray in her 20s, while my dark skinned/hair dad is nearing 60 and still isn’t gray at all…so I’m not sure where on the spectrum I’ll end up, but I’m hoping to make it to 40?

          • It’s genetic, but not necessarily ethnicity related.

            E.g. My gramps went white/bald in his 30s. My grandma, on the other hand, had jet black hair with a few white hair into her 60s. My mother, has salt and pepper, but more pepper still. Me, on the other hand, I have white hairs that stick straight up out of my head at 30. We are all the same ethnicity.

          • I’m 31 and no gray hairs. However I think my mom has said she had to dye her hair by the time she was my age – not sure if she was being literal or was joking about the harrowing experience of having 4 daughters! My dad has just a little salt and pepper around his temples. My parents and I are white for what it’s worth.

          • Frou Frou :

            I had one gray hair when I was 28, it turned into more when I hit my mid-30’s/after my child was born. It was such a sudden change that I do believe the two are related.

          • I’m 48 and I am fairly lucky, I think. I’m fair with medium brown hair. I have a few gray strands in my part and right at my hairline that you can only see when I pull it back with a headband going to the gym. I can completely hide it with highlights and I only get them every 3 months or so. My mom had darker thicker hair and she started getting silverier in her late 40s but it just sort of blended in with her hair as if she’d done it that way on purpose. She died at age 49 so I don’t know how it would have gone later, although I have a colleague whose hair did the same thing and it is now a beautiful shade of silver.

          • viclawstudent :

            I started going visibly, noticeably grey at 27 and now (at 30) I have – or would have, if I didn’t get it professionally dyed every six weeks – a very large grey/silver streak, about 3 inches wide, starting about 3 inches back from my forehead. My mother was completely silvered by 37, though, and had been covering it with dye for years prior to that, so this was not a surprise to me. I might be tempted to embrace it, but I prefer how I look with darker hair (matches my eyebrows better) so dye it is.

            On the other hand, I’ve changed my lifestyle a lot in the last few years, so overall I feel much healthier and better about myself than I did in my early 20s, which is nice.

  5. SV in House :

    We have a rental property and when we were last there, I noticed that the board games we keep up there for the renters are in pretty bad shape I terms of missing pieces, etc. I’m thinking of tossing them and starting again. If you were renting a ski cabin, would you want board games? If yes, which ones?

    • Pity Party :

      Ticket to Ride, Banagrams, Scattergories, and Taboo.

      • Equity's Darling :

        I played Ticket to Ride recently at a friends, and it was actully a ton of fun though I’d never heard of the game before.

        • Pity Party :

          If there’s a board game out there you’ve never heard of… my spouse has probably forced me to play it with him.

    • Veronique :

      Definitely! Cranium, taboo, and apples to apples are my top three.

    • I still think Monopoly is a classic. It never gets old.

      • I’d rec Monopoly Deal. It’s just a deck of cards and plays so much faster.

        • Monopoly Deal is great! We always play it when we go camping & the kids love it. Other fun card games are Sorry Revenge, Yahtzee Hands Down and Spot.

    • I’m old school … Monopoly and Trivial Pursuit. And a deck of cards, of course.

    • From cabins I’ve stayed in in the past, a combination of longer (Monopoly, LIFE) and shorter (Boggle) is great, because then you can pick based on how much time you have. Maybe a few sets of cards (I know we liked it for rummy, lives, and all sorts of games, like cribbage (though then you need a board)) as well.

    • Mary Ann Singleton :

      Apples to Apples!

    • Cards against humanity

      • Um, just in case this isn’t a joke, this is a really, really bad idea for a rental cabin. Hilarious game with friends, would never want to play it on, say, the family vacation I just got back from in the mountains.

        • Equity's Darling :

          Sometimes people do rental cabins with friends, not just with family….

          • Sure, but I can’t imagine if the OP actually stocked cards against humanity that she wouldn’t be getting some angry calls from parents within 6 months or so of doing so…

      • Am I the one that absolutely hates this game?

        I guess if you’re into really raunchy humor, it’s entertaining (for a bit). But I’ve never really found it fun or funny.

    • Equity's Darling :

      I love love love Clue! It’s my favourite of all the board games.

      And Scrabble is a close second! It’s great for lazy days, though you might need to also get a dictionary for the box…

      • I love Clue as well. Still my pick for game nights.

        I also like Monopoly, RISK, Apples to Apples, Scattergories, Taboo, and cards.

    • Rising 2L :

      Apples to Apples, Scrabble, and Sequence.

    • If you get playing cards, maybe get a book with instructions for simply card games. I for one can never remember the rules to any card games, ever.

    • Settlers of Catan!

    • Calibrachoa :

      Carcassone! :D

    • Frou Frou :

      Quirkle and Uno!

    • SV in House :

      Thanks everyone!

  6. Anonymous :

    For those of you who have the Michael Kors Jet Set tote featured a few days ago — I am considering buying the laptop tote. I have a Macbook Air so I have the option of buying the smaller tote ($230 vs the larger one at $299).

    The small tote is 14 (h) x 5 (w) by 9 (l) whereas the larger tote is 20(h) x 6 x 17.

    How have you found the space in the tote (whichever size you have)? Would you have regretted getting a smaller one (assuming your computer fit)? I typically carry just my computer and a couple of file folders, along with regular purse items like a checkbook, wallet, etc. Would the large tote be overwhelming? I’m pretty average-sized – 5’5″, about a size 2/4 with reasonably broad shoulders, so not tiny, but big bags can sometimes overwhelm me.

    • I’m 5’3″ and my sister got me the larger one (fit’s up to a 15″ laptop!) and while I haven’t used it yet, i found it did not overwhelm my frame.

      In other happy news, I discovered that the LV Neverfull fits an entire redweld envelope!

    • I have the larger $299 laptop version and use it with my Mac Book Air. I personally like having the extra space because I use it for traveling, but I have to admit that I never even looked at the smaller bag, so I have no idea how much smaller it actually is.

      I am a slim 5’9″ and the bag looks fine on me. I wasn’t AS big as I was expecting, so I think that the larger one would look fine on you as well.

  7. Thanks to whoever gave the PSA about Banana having a big sale. The skirt that matches a suit I have from there was on sale for $42.99, and then was 50% off. I got it with shipping for $30. Woo!

    • Ugh, I loaded up my shopping bag with 8 awesome items, but when I try to apply the discount code the site freaks out and has “technical difficulties.” I’ve tried about 100 times, and it still won’t work. Dang it!

  8. Early threadjack: I’m going on a week long business trip to Pittsburg in early September and it’s up to me where to stay. I’ll be traveling to sites throughout the city, with most sites in South Side and East End. I can stay wherever, but will need an executive suite with a large living area for meetings. My company typically sticks with the FTR rates ($119/day), but I assume they’ll allow for more since I need more space. Any recommendations on location/hotels? How is the downtown area?

    • Pittsburgh! :

      Pittsburgh is awesome, and downtown is nice and getting nicer all the time! Market Square has lots of great restaurants and is fun to walk around in. The North Shore has the Andy Warhol Museum and (not too far away) the Mattress Factory. Oakland is the home of the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History, and Carnegie Mellon University. There are a number of hotels there, too.

      For that rate, you may want to check out the Holiday Inn Express on 10th street in the South Side. That should be fairly convenient for clients in the South Side. Word to the wise about South Side, though. It is very charming during the day, but at night it is college student boozetown, complete with drunks peeing all over the place and being obnoxious. I used to live there but avoid it at night when I can.

      • OP, if you are still reading, the boozetown does not extend to 10th Street. No need to worry. I’d still recommend downtown over the South Side, though.

        • Pittsburgher :

          I would recommend Shadyside over downtown if you want to do anything besides work. In Shadyside you can walk to many of the city’s best restaurants and bars, and it’s a very safe area. Some loud college kids but generally an older crowd than Southside. Downtown is improving, as was said above, but it’s still completely dead after 7 pm.

  9. Apropos of some conversations here about being stalked, harassed, assaulted, or just wondering whether someone’s behavior is a concern or not, I want to share that I’m reading and loving The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker. Carolyn Hax (and probably others) recommend it all the time but I took a long time to get around to it. It’s very powerful in that it provides language and categories for making sense of what you’ve experienced, and it’s incredibly validating of just about every creepy feeling I’ve ever gotten because it spells out exactly what gives you the “intuition” that you’re in danger. It’s also empowering because it identifies options you have in any threatening situation even when, in the moment, you can’t think straight and thus think you have to immediately do what someone is asking you to do.

    I’ve been telling my husband all about it, and his response goes to show how differently men and women experience these things: he said the book sounded “depressing,” even if I was learning a lot. On the contrary, I told him I’m finding it encouraging, because it’s articulating the fear we already live with, not creating any new fear. It validates instincts we have and also discusses directly all the ways in which men don’t get it. I’d encourage anyone to read it, male or female, and am considering giving it to my younger sister or some friends.

    • Moonstone :

      I thought that book was great and kept pressing it into the hands of all my friends for about a year. You’re right, though — some people just didn’t want to think about the subject matter.

    • hellskitchen :

      Some of the reviews on Amazon say that while the book is full of examples of where someone should have listened to their intuition, it’s weak on what you can do once you are in that situation. Is this true? Genuinely curious before I purchase the book

  10. Jules needs walking shoes :

    In preparation for several days in NYC, I’m looking for some decent, non-gym-shoe flats for walking around the city. (I’m taking my favorite J-41 Fiji platforms but also want flats.) I posted these yesterday and got one comment that they weren’t very NY-ish.

    Which is probably true. I might just say eff it and get them anyway, but I’m still looking. I don’t wear leather, so a lot of the brands popular here (Born, Geox, Gentle Souls) are out. Are Tom’s good for walking? Any other suggestions? Thanks

    • Anne Shirley :

      Those would be okay in black with pants for this new Yorker.

    • I think what people were responding to was more the color (light) and the print. You don’t see New Yorkers wearing light-colored sneakers even. What about a similar style in a darker solid color?

      • Thanks to both of you. NOLA, I just spotted these, too — great minds shop alike — and they’re on the short list.

    • goldribbons :

      Toms are quite popular in NYC but they didn’t work for me. Regardless of what you choose, I would also bring absolutely your most comfortable sneakers just in case by Day 3 you’re in pain.

    • Try French Sole ballet flats (in black, of course). OK, no support, but OMG are they cute and comfortable. I’ve worn them rocking the Audrey Hepburn look with skinny capris, with skirts, with dresses. I have never before had a pair of summer shoes that are so comfortable and versatile. Also, no offense NY, but I like to have my toes covered when I walk around the city. Warning – they run small so order up.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I think I missed the earlier discussion, but wear whatever you’ll be comfortable in! If the concern is looking like a tourist, the slow walking while looking up and taking pictures will give it away. Seriously though anything goes here. People wear the most mundane to the most extreme things every day.

    • Thanks for all the replies so far. The French soles are very cute!

      I’m also thinking about Crocs, which previously I have reserved for working at swim meets. I don’t like thong-type shoes, like Kat posted recently, but what do we think about these?

      And, again, I may just follow Sydney’s words of wisdom and go ahead and look like a tourist.

      • goldribbons :

        Just… if you’re going to stop in the middle of the sidewalk, please pull over (to the curb or the building). Especially if you’re out and about gawking during commuter hours (8-10am, noon-2pm lunch, 6-8pm). Love tourists but I feel bad when I accidentally run them over.

        • Anon in NYC :

          Agreed. Love tourists, but please step out of the way if you need to look at a map, your phone, etc. And try not to walk four abreast. It’s the worst when I have to literally run into the street to walk around large groups.

          Wear whatever shoes will make you feel comfortable, and those in which you think you can comfortably walk 3-6 miles at a clip. I think something in just straight black will be more “New York,” but I don’t think most people will notice or care. Have fun!

        • Actually, I have a horror of looking like a tourist anywhere I go, even though of course it’s probably obvious. And I lived for four years in DC and currently live in a small town that is a tourist site, so I’m used to dodging visitors on the sidewalks (or giving directions, not asking for them). But thanks for the reminders.

      • My coworker has these Crocs and she loves them. You’ll fit right in.

    • Merabella :

      I love Toms, but FYI the insoles are leather. Since you said no leather I didn’t want you to be caught off guard.

      • Not necessarily – they make vegan options. I like the vegan ones more because they machine wash better!

      • Thanks for the head’s up — leather sneaks into a lot of the things (Lo & Sons totes are synthetic but have leather handles, I was very sad to find out), but Humdilly’s right, they do have vegan styles.

    • I know you said non-gym shoes, but the Keens you posted have a gym sneaker feel to me anyway, so why not go with an actual pair of cute sneakers? By cute, I mean not like an actual athletic shoe, but something more retro. I bought this pair of Tevas recently for an upcoming vacation that will involve a lot of walking and they’re super comfortable. They look cute with jeans, capris, shorts, even a denim skirt.

      • Those are also nice! Can I justify getting seven pairs of shoes for a six-day trip?

    • I don’t like the pattern of those either. It seems that they would clash with most items.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I have a pair of shoes similar to these and love them.

      They are cute but practical.

    • We just got back from New York, and I lived in a few pairs of Crocs ballet flats. I got some pink ones, black ones and some with leopard print. They were super comfortable, and I liked that because they were completely plastic I could rinse them off in the hotel bath if I felt they had gotten a little yucky (it was SO HOT while we were there). Basically they were very comfortable jellies. Also, if you’re not familiar with Crocs sizing (I wasn’t until recently), they have a loose fit and a regular fit. If you’re a half size, go to the next higher size in regular and down to the lower whole size in loose fit.

      Have fun!

      • Also, beware of leaving them in hot cars… one of my crocs shrank during one of the hot days i left it in a car and now I can’t wear mine.

        If you wear it all day (7-9), your feet may sweat, then get blisters.

    • Witness Protection Program :

      Anyone who criticizes tourists footwear for not being “New York enough” is probably an insecure transplant.

      Be comfortable.

  11. @AIMS, to answer the question you asked me yesterday, I talked to my accountant this morning and she explained very simply why one has to pay taxes on a beneficiary IRA. An IRA is created with pre-tax money, so my Dad never paid taxes on it and wouldn’t have until he drew it out. Therefore, when we draw it out, we have to pay taxes on it. And it’s taxed as simple income, not differently because it’s inherited. I have the option to have it paid out to me in whatever sums per year I choose and thus ameliorate any issues with going into a higher tax bracket by taking it all in one chunk. She really liked my plan so I think that’s what I’ll do!

    • Ah, okay, that makes total sense. That’s a good issue to consider with IRAs and estate planning.

      And I like your plan — it seems very sound and it’s a nice way to keep a connection to your dad going. My father passed away 12 years ago and very recently I decided to fix a broken watch that I found in his possessions. It was a bit pricey because it was a very old watch and I was on the fence about whether to do it, but I was very surprised at the weird closeness I feel to him now that I have it in working order. Like he gave me a present or something. It’s a really nice feeling to have again.

      • Yeah, the way it works is that I have to decide how much I withdraw each year but I must withdraw something every year because my Dad had to and it’s his IRA. With the stamp of approval from my accountant, I plan to take about $5K out each year until it’s gone. That will help me avoid going into a higher tax bracket.

        And you’re right, I’m learning a lot in this process!

  12. Quick pregnancy question – what level of doneness does beef have to be? I can’t seem to find anything online other than “all meat should be fully cooked.” Does that mean well done? Or is something less than well done still safe? (I typically eat beef medium rare. I’m okay with well done if that’s what I need to do, but just curious what the rule is.)

    • Worthless as an advisor on pregnancy, but I want to say congrats to you as well as the earlier poster! I know this was eagerly awaited news for you!

      • Thank you! We don’t get the official official word until Friday, but I tested Sunday, Monday, and today and every day the line has been darker and shown up faster so, fingers crossed!

        • I’m so so happy for you :) Really hope you get the official thumbs up on Friday!

    • Anonymous :

      Hot all the way through. This applies to deli meat too, which you can eat if it’s in a panini and hot! (the heat kills the bacteria, so just make sure it’s super hot and you’ll be safe.) Also, FYI, I’ve found conflicting info about sushi so I asked my doc and she said sushi is fine as long as it’s not too cheap. I had sushi over a month ago and everything is still fine!

    • This is not an official answer by any means. I’ve been eating my beef at medium, which is what I ate it at pre-pregnancy. The concern is undercooked meat and, while med-rare might be too red for some people, I don’t think it’s technically undercooked. Foodsafety dot gov has guidelines for temperatures (and the USDA recently lowered the one for pork I think).

    • Ah, welcome to pregnancy, a land where even professionals have different opinions about pretty basic things. My OB was fine with my eating rare steak, but wanted me to heat deli meat and avoid soft cheeses.

      • Steak is different than hamburger – hamburger is all ground up so the bacteria you are trying to kill can be all throughout the meat, so you have to be sure it’s cooked/hot all the way through. With steak, or other solid cuts of meat, the interior of the cut hasn’t been exposed to bacteria, only the surface of the cut. So there is less concern about bacteria on the interior. Hence steak being okay…

        Or so I’m told.

    • And just from a food-science perspective (and a way to rationalize my medium rare steaks while pregnant) you’re only worried about the surface bacteria for full cuts of red meat. Bacteria do not easily penetrate into the center of a cut of filet, for example. So as long as you’re searing your meat on the outside and at least not eating it raw on the inside, you should be safe.

      As for ground beef, because it is mixed together, all bets are off. I always eat my ground beef at least medium, pregnant or not simply because it’s much easier to get food poisoning from that.

      • Hah, re steak, I need to get my SO to read this. His main contribution to my pregnancy health so far (apart from giving me vast amounts of leeway on what we are going to eat from day to day) has been to check every piece of steak I eat to ensure it isn’t pink inside. I’m not fussed about it (my preference all the time is medium rare) but he insists on exchanging his more cooked pieces for my less cooked pieces. He is clearly concerned so I let him do it but I find it hilarious.

      • I am not pregnant but I would sooner give up meat altogether than eat steak that is cooked above medium rare.

    • Anon in ATX :

      I have been eating my steak medium and my burgers well-done b/c of the ground beef issue JJ mentioned above. but that is totally based on my own judgement and not medical advice. There were a few weeks @ the beginning of the 2nd tri. that I could not get enough hamburgers!

  13. Back to the issue at hand: I just cannot wrap my head around wedge shoes. I don’t know what it is, but I think that they manage to be both unprofessional and unattractive. Kind of like how Kat feels about cuffed pants?

    • I love wedges and I think they can be both attractive and professional, but it probably depends on a) body type and b) degree of chunkiness. But I confess, I like the chunky ones myself. The appeal is that they add height while being easier to walk in compared to thin heels.

    • goldribbons :

      Aaww, I’m wearing wedges today! They’re black leather so hopefully they don’t look bad.

      I’m just giving you a hard time. I wear wedges because I have grandma-feet (bunions, a regular foot doctor, custom inserts, etc.) and regular high heels are torture devices for me. Low wedges provide a little more support and a little variety in my flat shoe life.

      • I have bunions too! What brands/styles work best for you? I love my cole haan tali wedges, but can’t find any other comfortable shoe out there. Please recommend some!

    • Equity's Darling :

      Last week there was a day where I wore red cuffed pants (the J.Crew cafe capris in wool) AND wedges (though they are nude-for-me wedges, if that makes it any better?). I topped it off with a navy blouse and gray blazer. It seemed like a fine outfit to me.

      I’m just hanging out here, breaking all the rules apparently.

    • Anon in NYC :

      I’m a recent convert to wedges. They give me the height of heels but are more supportive than skinny heels (which are the only types of heels that I like). It feels like a semi-cheat to me: dressier than flats but easier than heels.

    • I love wedges too. They’re more supportive than heels and no worries about heels getting stuck in pavement cracks. It really depends on the wedge. I’ve worn dressier wedges with more tapered heels with suits to court.

      • This. I walk a lot and wearing thin heels outside the office means that I will ruin them in no time. Wedges are great because I don’t have to worry about grates and sidewalks.

        Maybe it’s willful blindness but I think wedges can be very cute. They just need to be shaped the right way.

    • Depends on the shoes; wedges can be more or less comfortable, and more or less stylish than regular heels.

  14. Ciao, pues :

    Ladies in legal services: will you post your org’s parental leave policy? My tiny org doesn’t have one, so I’m trying to figure out what an appropriate ask is. Right now I’m thinking I’ll shoot for 8 weeks paid, 8 weeks unpaid, but not sure if that is over- or under- ambitious and looking for comparisons. For what it’s worth, my salary is on the low-end, so I feel like my leave should be generous.

    • Ciao, pues :

      …and I’m in a big city.

    • I’m at a major non-profit, and we get 6 weeks paid leave, up to 16 weeks total leave (first vacation days, then sick, then personal days, then unpaid).

    • I’m at a small law firm and I’m going to ask for 3 months paid, optional 3 months unpaid. I’m prepared to offer to go to court appearances after the first month during the paid and (potential) unpaid time as a bargaining chip. Aim high! Settle for less.

    • I think this is biglaw standard, though there may be some variations — “Up to 18 weeks paid leave for primary caregivers and five weeks paid leave for secondary caregivers following birth, adoption, or foster care placement of the child.”

    • Small law here – this is the company default unless otherwise negotiated. I’m giving the bullet points not verbatim:

      – 8 weeks – have to use all accrued sick and may use accrued vacation to get paid. After sick/vaca is used time off is unpaid. Additional time only allowed with a doctor’s note saying medically necessary.
      – when you notify them of your pending leave you must say whether you plan to return
      – Expected to return to work when physically able
      – Will be returned to job after leave unless business requirements make it impossible, impractical or unreasonable.

      That last one really concerns me – never mind the fact that I basically will get no paid leave. If I decide to have kids I hope I can negotiate a better package.

    • Those of you saying you have paid leave, do you have to use all your sick and vacation time up during it so you return with no leave banked?

    • Ciao, pues :

      Oops, when I said “legal services” I meant as in Legal Aid. All this info is helpful though, so keep ’em coming!

  15. Not a student for much longer! :

    I’m being recruited from my first big job (with a big pay raise)! Since this is my first time, I’m not sure what is considered acceptable negotiations. The salary is $80k (which I believe is pretty standard). Is it ok to ask for 10% more? The offer also comes with a complete relocation package. Due to some personal circumstances, I’m not going to have anything to move except myself. Is it ok to ask for cash instead of relocation? I’ll need to set up an apartment from scratch, and a cash payout would be very helpful. If so, what would be a fair amount to ask for? 10k?

    • goldribbons :

      Definitely ask for 10% more. Ask about benefits too, especially if they don’t increase the salary. Ask what they had in mind for the relocation package — I would not volunteer info about what you’re moving vs what you’re buying new, I would just ask how they typically deal with the relocation. There are a ton of reasons to be starting fresh (maybe you’ve been living with your parents) and they might intend to just give you money. Also ask if there are resources re: finding a place in the new city.

    • Diana Barry :

      Yes, and yes! 10K might be a lot for relocation, especially when coupled with the salary; I would push harder on the salary number as that is going to be your starting point for future raises, etc.

      • Agreed. Also, sometimes relocation costs can include a broker, so even if you’re not moving a ton of stuff, having the company cover the cost of finding a place could help.

    • $10,000 might be a bit high and unfortunately, you’re not in a great negotiating position on the relocation package – the most generous relocation packages are geared towards homeowners, because saying “I cannot move to your city and work for you if I can’t sell my house here and buy a new one there” is pretty tough to argue with.

      If I were you, I would get really familiar with exactly what the relocation package includes and try to use as much of it as possible, but focus more on salary negotiations. You may even use the relocation as a point in your salary negotiation – you will not benefit much from the relocation package and are hoping your compensation can be adjusted. Ultimately, a salary that is even 5% or 7% higher than the offer will get you that $10,000 within a few months, and as Diana Barry mentioned, will help with future raises.

    • Not a lawyer :

      This might be too late, so hopefully you see it. Our company gives lump- sum relocation packages, grossed up for taxes, variable bases on where you’re moving from/ to. Someone moving where I am (remote PNW) to a southern or Eastern location will get substantial more than a DC to NYC move. In preparations for negotiations, call a few moving companies to get quotes of the typical price to move a household, then factor in a few trips between cities, and brokerage fees. I would ask for that, grossed-up, lump-sum and be flexible from there. Good luck and congrats!

  16. Anonymous :

    I’m a summer associate at a mid-sized firm’s small regional office. I am the only summer. I have a secretary. Do I get her an end-of-summer gift? There are only a dozen lawyers. Thanks!

    • My officemate/co-summer and I did… something small (a mug with candy) just to say thank you for helping… and then we got a joint gift for the secretary who was not assigned to us, but showed us the ropes and helped us far more than the assigned secretaries.

      I think it’s the thought that counts.

    • Nordies Lover :

      I was the only summer at a mid-size office, and I got my secretary a card with a nice note. I had gotten gifts (wine, mostly) for other people in the office who had really helped me out (my mentor, an attorney who helped me a lot with my writing), but I had so few interactions with my secretary other than her telling me about her new boyfriend. But maybe don’t take my advice because she looked like she was expecting something more when she opened the card/looking disappointed when she realized that’s all it was.

    • When I summered, I gave my legal assistant a gift certificate for a mani-pedi at a cheapo place close to the office. She barely did any work for me, but I think it doesn’t hurt to leave with a good impression, esp. since she knows (everyone knows) that summers are paid a lot considering that you are not a licensed attorney yet.

  17. Any restaurant/activity recommendations for Philly? We will be going there for a long weekend just for a quick getaway. I looked at old posts but did not find anything recent.

    • if you’re on the thread where Kanella is suggested, I think most of that advice is still good! If you’re into beer, there are lots of summer beer gardens tucked around the city, too.

      • Thanks, searching for Kanella brought up some old threads. What’s the deal with all the BYOB restaurants in Philly?

        • bizarre PA liquor laws — difficult/expensive for restaurants to get liquor licenses. I love it because it’s so much cheaper to go out to dinner when the wine is at-cost! If you’re driving, plan to bring bottles with; if you’re not, there are “state stores” (what we call the liquor stores because they are state-run) scattered around the city to grab some before you dine :)

    • Matyson / Mercato for BYO fun… although i think there are newer places. I just love walking around the Rittenhouse area, the Schuykill river area (esp if you have a bike). Don’t know that I have specific activities I recommend.

      • We just came back from a weekend in Philly. Lots of good restaurants. We had brunch at the Parc on Rittenhouse Sq. and it was lovely.

        • AIMS, you were literally two doors down from my building — wonder if we saw each other and didn’t know it! I pass Parc all the time running weekend errands and it’s always hard to resist stopping for a wine & cheese break on the way home. Except this Sunday I was making a mad dash past it in a red, soaking wet maxi dress since my umbrella proved itself useless in that downpour.

          • Haha, that would have been awesome. It’s funny about this site. Sometimes I’ll see a woman on the street wearing an item someone discussed here and I always wonder if it’s a commenter.

            I loved Parc. Pouched eggs and a great view – can’t get any better than that. I hope we did pass each other!

          • Ugh, it’s late. That should be poached, obviously. Although pouched eggs sound very intriguing.

    • Anonymous :

      Amada. Delicious tapas. And if you can get tickets to the Barnes Foundation . . . a must do.

    • Barbuzzo, Zahav, Amada are my favorite restaurants. Definitely check out a BYOB while you are in town – Matyson and Mercato are both great. El Vez is a fun restaurant for dinner/drinks. The Schuykill River trail is great for jogging/biking/walking. The Barnes Foundation is a fairly new museum in town. Walnut St around Rittenhouse Sq has the best shopping/people watching.

      • Oh and if you go to Barbuzzo, don’t leave without getting the Salted Caramel Budino. It’s the best!!

  18. Freddie Mercury :

    Thanks to all for the excellent pregnancy suggestions and congratulations! TBK, congratulations to you, too!

  19. Wildkitten :

    I just started a new job and need to get a handle on all the paper in my office. Does anyone have a great filing system that they like? Is there a gold standard, like GTD for paper that you need to store? Should I buy a scanner and use a system that is virtual? What system would that be? I’m inclined to hold on to the paper files until I have a little better grasp of my job.

  20. I know this is wicked late, so I’ll repost tomorrow (if I remember).

    Does anyone have any suggestions for stock resume paper? There are so many options online and I don’t remember what the paper I used to have was. I need it for my resume, grade sheet, and writing sample for interviews (OCI and then others, hopefully!).


    • Just stick with something simple. I’m partial to ivory like this:
      I always printed writing samples on plain copy paper.

  21. Test.