Coffee Break: Total Motion® Zuly Luxe Ankle Strap Flat

I featured this ankle strap flat on our recent roundup of cute flats for work, and it’s such a great looking shoe that I had to share it again. It comes in black and a pearly white, but we’re featuring it in blush. I like that it has an ankle strap as well as a zipper in the back so that it’s easy to adjust as needed — and it’s Rockport, so you know it’s going to be really comfortable. Readers swear by Rockport, and the Total Motion line in particular, and Nordstrom has a little diagram that shows all the benefits. These are a great option if you’re generally not in heels for summer but still want a closed toe and covered heel. They’re $129 at Nordstrom. Total Motion® Zuly Luxe Ankle Strap Flat

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  1. Love these shoes! Fiddling with the buckles would drive me crazy but they’re pretty.

    • Ohhh, it has a zipper. Way better!

    • pugsnbourbon :

      I like them too! Black d’Orsay flats are my go-to, but I’ve never found a pair with ANY support. These are promising!

    • Anonymous :

      I love shoes like this, but unfortunately I am plagued by cankles and they just don’t work for me.

    • i love that it has a zipper but i’ve noticed that makes the shoe infinitely noisier and would annoy me at work, I think.

  2. I am on BC pills. I take the pills around the same time everyday, but definitely not at the exact same time everyday. I have missed two periods. After the first missed period I took an at home test and got a negative result. After the 2nd missed period, I took 2 more tests, one at the time of missed period and another this morning (a week after 2nd missed period), both negative. I called the doctor at the time of 2nd missed period and and they said if I miss a 3rd period, they will bring me in for an appt, but 2 missed periods on BC with neg pregnancy tests is nothing to worry about.

    Now I have been nauseous for the past 2 days, which is abnormal for me. Could I be pregnant? Writing this out, I think it may sound ridiculous but I went to a low risk Zika zone(above 6500 feet in altitude) 2 months ago and also have drank alcohol during this time so I am a bit concerned. Am I being crazy?

    • If you are by some rate chance pregnant but not producing enough hormone to register on at home pregnancy tests, then it’s probanly not a viable pregnancy. I have had that happen. It was what they called a blighted ovum. But that is pretty unusual, particularly when you haven’t missed any pills.

      More likely it’s the wrong pill for you if you’re not getting a period when you’re supposed to. I’d follow the doctor’s advice and give it a month.

    • Anonymous :

      Yes. You’re being crazy. You’ve taken multiple pregnancy tests. All are negative. You are not pregnant. Skipping periods on birth control is normal. Listen to your doctors.

      • I know she asked “am I being crazy,” but this is unnecessarily harsh. Why not say everything you’ve said here but without the nasty preamble. Your tone is rude and abrupt.

        • Anonymous :

          She. Literally. Said. Am. I. Being. Crazy. I just answered! . I was not being mean to her at all.

          • I’m sure you’re not intending to be mean, but the way you’re typing can come off as kind of mean. That response seems snippy to me. Maybe that’s how the youths talk these days, but I’m old and out of touch.

          • Anonymous :

            Sweetie, take a break. Eat a cookie or something.

          • I stand corrected, it seems you were intending to be mean and unpleasant all along.

    • Anonymous :

      An OBGYN told me that the only way for a home pregnancy test to be negative after your missed period is if the pregnancy isn’t viable. So I wouldn’t sweat the Zika/alcohol at all. But I think it’s overwhelmingly likely you’re not pregnant at all. Lots of things can cause your cycle to get messed up, including stress and international travel.

    • Linda from HR :

      I wouldn’t call you crazy (I kinda hate that word), I totally understand why you’d be worried in this instance, it’s normal to worry about pregnancy when things in that department are a bit off! But in this case, your doctor has told you it’s probably nothing, so I would wait to see if a 3rd period is missed before going in to get checked out.

      And don’t worry about taking it at the exact same time every day, I used to do it (taking my pills in my purse when I’d be out late so I could take them at exactly 11PM!) but I relaxed and for at least the last 5 years I just take them at bedtime, everything’s been fine for the most part. A cyst here, a 3-week bleed there, but eh, the uterus is a weird organ sometimes.

      • Thank you for your responses – I feel much better. I went a bit down the internet rabbit hole this morning so I appreciate you all bringing me back to reality!

        • pugsnbourbon :

          As someone with a great deal of anxiety around these things and an IUD, I say kindly – avoid the internet rabbit hole at all costs.

          • I have had my IUD for eighteen months and have only had three periods since I was fitted.

            I still buy a dollar store pregnancy test every once and a while. Nerves and internet are a terrible combination.

            (My youngest is so much of a handful, the thought of adding another at this moment is terrifying.)

  3. Bridal shower gift help needed! I am strict “always stick to the registry” person, but more than half of the items on the bride’s small registry list are out of stock. The rest of the items are way outside my price range. Any ideas for cute, clever gifts under $50? The bride is very laid-back and casual. She likes cooking and baking, but probably owns a lot of the basics already. Very into healthy living and is outdoorsy.

    And, it has to be something I can pick up at the store before this weekend. (Procrastination does not pay off.)

    • Anonymous :

      If it looks like the registry items are going to come back in stock, you could buy one of them and put a picture of it in a card.

    • Anonymous :

      Anything you can buy at the store she registered at with a gift receipt.

    • A gift card to the store in this situation.

      (Alternatively, I would choose the printed photo over a non-registry gift with no receipt – that gives the bride another task to do, on the store’s return schedule, and makes tracking for thank you’s a bit harder for her, too.)

    • Anonymous :

      I would do a token gift for her to open (a guidebook to her honeymoon destination if you know it?) and a GC to the store she’s registered at.

    • Anonymous :

      champagne flutes from tiffanys? 2 would be $50

      • Anonymous :

        So, my husband and I received several completely different sets of two champagne flutes as engagement/shower/wedding gifts. Not all of them came with gift receipts (or from stores anywhere near us). We don’t drink champagne. I’m not sure why this is such a common suggestion, but definitely know the recipient before doing this.

      • People throw this advice around so much… and then you end up with 7 pairs of non-returnable, non-dishwasher champagne flutes (i.e. monogrammed, engraved with a wedding date, from a store that doesn’t do returns, etc.) in addition to the uniform regular ones you have that you actually wanted to keep. And all the other random non-registry stuff people get you. Keep it simple and go with a gift card to a store she is registered at.

        • Agreed. The champagne flutes are a horrible idea. They just become junk.

        • Anonymous :

          It’s a nice gift. If you don’t want it then I’m sure Goodwill would be thrilled to accept it. You are not entitled to your gift of choice.

    • Anonymous :

      Buy the out of stock items at a different store. If she gets a duplicate, oh well.

    • Joy of Cooking cookbook and a gift card where she’s registered. One of my girlfriends did the same and that book remains on my kitchen counter permanently. Or something consumable plus a gift card/cash.

      Is EVERYTHING out of stock or just the lower priced items? Can the store locate at another store and ship directly? (I know Williams Sonoma and Crate and Barrel will do this.)

  4. in-house downtime :

    These shoes are so cute.

    I just made the jump from biglaw to in-house (yay) and I’m getting up to speed on various projects. This is my sixth week. The office generally operates from 8 am to 7 pm with a little wiggle room on either side. Some days have been very busy for me (coming in at 7 am to catch up, staying until 8 or 8:30 pm) but some days are very slow.

    In the downtime so far, I’m trying to read more background material and stay involved with the projects I’ve been staffed on and know that I’m adding some value but…the downtime feels different from biglaw downtime. As I get completely up to speed what are some other things I can do to fill the time / add more to projects?

    • In-House in Houston :

      Learn the business. Schedule time with people outside of Legal to find out what they do, and how you might be able to add value? I’m in-house in the energy industry and there’s so much I don’t know about how we make money. I don’t even know what I don’t know. The more you understand the business you’re in, the better legal partner you’ll be.

      • +1 for this –

        As for things to do – read legal-based articles about your industry, learn the who’s who in your area, join your niche group, (NACUA for in-house higher ed attorneys, for example) and consider writing one in the future.

  5. Ugh Family :

    My uncle has somewhat recently moved from the US to Canada (past 5 years) he’s a dual citizen. He has had to get a knee replaced. I unfortunately know his financial situation intimately and know that getting the operation in Canada is the only reason he is still a float. He is blue collar poor and getting it in the US would have bankrupted him. The problem is he spends all his free time shitting on the Canadian medical system and I honestly just want to stop helping him. Say if it’s so awful, good luck without my help or the help of our government. He is a trump supporter (though he obviously didn’t get to vote). I’m at my wit’s end.

    • Anonymous :

      So stop helping him.

    • Anonymous :

      US medical system is often not great; I imagine that what you get when it is “free” is probably much worse.

      • Anonymous :

        If you don’t imagine and actual research (even basic google) you’d see that Canada actually has a great system. I had no idea how difficult the billing/payments side of the US system is until I started reading here. In 40 years and 3 kids I’ve literally only ever had a hospital bill when I wanted a private room instead of a shared room and I had to pay the co-pay because the private room wasn’t considered medically necessary (it’s included when necessary).

        • Anonymous :

          I think in Canada you get for free what you are willing to wait for (or to go a hospital for — IIRC, ultrasound machines aren’t what doctors routinely had, if you needed one, you had to go to a hospital for it).

          When I had a pregnancy with bleeding after a miscarriage, I was willing to pay any sum of $ to promptly find out if my baby had died or not. I could not mentally take passing bright red blood after having had a miscarriage (and that that after having heard the baby’s heartbeat).

          I don’t like the waits and the rationing. I hated thinking that if my baby hadn’t yet died, the stress on my could be killing her. It was awful.

          Thankful to be in Seattle now.

          • Anonymous :

            +1 Canada was a bad place to have a miscarriage.

          • Never too many shoes... :

            I am curious as to where this happened and if perhaps it was not in a major city…? I had a high risk pregnancy that required emergency cerclage surgery at 22 weeks and had such amazing and immediate care. Plus what seemed like a million ultrasounds (although my OB’s practice was located in a hospital).

          • Anonymous :

            Going to go out on a limb and say that you got better care bc you were 22 weeks, so you were at viability. Care, even in the US, before the point of viability is terrible. After that line, they will bend over backwards.

          • Never too many shoes... :

            Funny you would say that as they told me that the threshold for viability was 24 to 25 weeks. Of course, this was 2011 so they may have lowered it again.

        • Anonymous :

          I have some Canadian family friends who have told me about very long waits for non-urgent surgeries or to see specialists. One of them ended up coming to the US and paying $40,000 out of pocket (because of course he didn’t have any insurance) to get what he needed. I realize that the US system is horribly broken for the many people who can’t get or afford decent health insurance, but many of us with good insurance would gladly pay a few thousand dollars a year in deductibles and co-pays to get prompt medical care.

          • You can’t justify an entire terribly broken system where people die from the most simple to the most complicated medical problems due to lack of money with one where non-urgent care has to wait behind urgent care. Slow does not equal bad, ESPECIALLY when people that have the funds can still seek private care, no one is stopping them. So let the rich get their care faster for money and the poor at least get care.

          • Anonymous :

            Your insurance does not cost a few thousand a year. That’s fantasy land crazy.

          • Anonymous :

            The Canadian medical mindset with respect to miscarriage was along the lines of, eh, if you are losing your baby, we can’t stop it and within a couple of weeks you’ll know one way or the other.

            WHICH IS NOT OK.

          • “…gladly pay a few thousand dollars a year in deductibles and co-pays to get prompt medical care”

            Well I’d love that too, but this isn’t what insurance costs in America.

          • Anonymous :

            +1 to insurance costing more than a few thousand a year. I have insurance through my job, and it has a $5000 deductible before insurance pays for anything besides a wellness visit. The same insurance plan would cost $18-$20K per year in premiums for my dependents (my job does not subsidize). That’s outrageous, even for the U.S., so I buy DH and my son insurance on the exchange. We pay $9600 in premiums for their health insurance, and they have $1000 deductibles, which they both easily hit.

            Basically, as long as I’m relatively healthy, we pay about $12,000/year in premiums and deductibles. That does not include dental or vision for me and my husband–which is easily another $1500/year. It also does not include out of network care–which we try to avoid, but already this year, we’ve spent almost $1000 taking Kiddo to an OON specialist because there was no available in-network provider.

            Our HHI is about $95K in a MCOL city. We pay about about the same amount for housing and daycare as we do for health care–so it’s a very significant chunk of our income.

          • Anonymous :

            If you have good employer-sponsored insurance it doesn’t cost you that much. I can choose to pay several thousand in premiums and get low deductible/low out of pocket max or to pay no premiums and get a high deductible plan with a $3500 out of pocket max.

            I recognize that not everyone has access to this kind of insurance and I said in my original post that it’s a problem. But personally I pay no more than $3500 a year for healthcare (and usually much less) and to me that money is worth it for better care. It’s also pre-tax money.

          • Anonymous :

            I don’t think a plan with a $3500 out of pocket max counts as a high deductible plan anymore.

            I am healthy, go to the doctor once a year, and my Obamacare bronze plan (the cheapest I can get) costs me $7200 per year in premiums just for myself. My deductible is $6500. If I just step into an ER, it costs me $1000 just to walk in the door. ON TOP OF THAT I pay for every penny until I reach my deductible. So if I get 10 stitches after accidentally cutting my thumb and the bill is $800, I pay $1800. And none of that is pre-tax money for me…. buying my own health insurance.

            Our premiums are projected to increase 25-30% next year because of Trump removing the penalty for not purchasing health insurance.

            That’s US healthcare for a healthy woman with no medical problems in their 40’s is not fortunate enough to have employer covered health insurance.

          • Anonymous at 6:08–Yes, if your employer sponsors your insurance you don’t have to pay that much, but that means that a portion of your compensation is still being allocated towards insurance. It just means you don’t get that amount in salary, more or less. Your employer doesn’t provide insurance coverage out of the goodness of its heart. The cost to insure you is part of your cost as an employee, so they’re going to extract that from you one way or another.

      • Anonymous :

        Also – it’s not “free”. It’s paid for, by our taxes, to ensure that all citizens/individuals living here, have access to healthcare.

        There are problems with the system for sure, but many studies show it’s much more efficient/less expensive system than when insurance companies/individuals are involved paying for treatment.

        • Anonymous :

          I’m just wondering, do you have enough primary care doctors (or do you even get to see a doctor or just a primary care non-doctor provider)?

          I have a kid who wants to go into health care and the relative debt levels in the US/Canada vs what you earn would be interesting to see.

          Small towns dont’ have enough healthcare of any sort now, so not sure how any place (US/Canada) really survives if it has an aging/sick population vs young 20-somethings who are low use / low $ of cost to treat.

    • Anonymous :

      Stop helping him to the extent you can. It is okay to stop helping him entirely if permission from an internet stranger means anything.

      If you continue to be involved, develop 1-3 standard responses that you use for every rant – “I know you are frustrated with the Canadian system but at least getting care won’t bankrupt you.” or “I disagree and I don’t want to talk about the different medical systems” or similar standard response and use the same response everytime so it’s boring for him to try to engage you on the topic.

    • Anonymous :

      What do you help him with?

      • Ugh Family :

        Everything? Groceries, finances, cleaning up around the house, minor repairs (like painting). If it’s something I’m more skilled or able bodied to do I probably help with it.

        • Anonymous :

          Then stop you can.

        • Anonymous :

          Wow – you are such a wonderful niece!

          Can you vent to your Mom or Dad (whoever is related to the Uncle) a little? Perhaps they would be even more effective in getting through to your uncle.

          Is there a reason you are doing so much? Is he very elderly? Or is this just temporary while he recovers from the knee surgery?

          Has he actually received poor care/had bad experiences? I take care of medical issues for a couple older relatives, and they have had some really awful things happen that shouldn’t (medical mistakes, bad doctors, mis-diagnoses, waiting 14 months on a waiting list to get in to see a doctor – all in the US…). When you are older and have serious health problems, the anxiety that such problems can cause can be really high, never mind the financial stress. It can make you scared, bitter and angry. You make an elderly man feel like this and he sounds like your uncle! And sometimes the frustration is warranted.

          He may also be depressed. Depression is underdiagnosed in the elderly (especially in men) and is often manifested as the irritable, complaining, gruff persona. Could this be part of it? It is very treatable.

          Unfortunately, mindsets like this tend to only get worse as you get older. I would look into the resources around him for seniors and get him hooked in because it sounds like you are taking on too much responsibility already. He can order some groceries by phone/online and have them delivered, I bet. Because of his low income, is he eligible for home visits by a caregiver to help with cleaning, or meals on wheels or a ride service? These are available in most US towns so I bet they exist there. Is there a local Department of Aging or similar (look online) that could send out a social worker to evaluate what he qualifies for? Perhaps some of our Canadian posters can chime in.

          It’s also ok to tell him …. “that sounds very frustrating (it helps if you acknowledge it)… can we talk about something else?”.

          • Ugh Family :

            He’s had excellent care, only a few weeks between consultation, to specialist, to surgeon, to OR. He’s not too old and is usually self sufficient, just helping out while he’s healing, money is usually also tight so also hopefully just helping until he gets back to work. He is too proud to take help from services for ‘the poor’ he genuinely thinks he’s middle class

          • +1 Agree that he needs to get perspective, as in, his surgery, or even his mood, should not totally uproot your foundation. If he’s not too proud to wear you down, perhaps he’s a little too comfortable and needs to know that he is dishing out more than you signed on for.

            My spouse thought I was being “too sensitive” about his whinging (yes, he had knee surgery)…and he brought that to work, and guess what? His co-workers complained to HR. He’s at a new job now. He has improved substantially. I’m still a little pissed.

  6. Anon for this :

    Has anyone done any life coaching with the Handel Group? If so, how did you like it/what did you use it for?

    I don’t want any snarky responses about life coaching in general; just looking for feedback from people who have actually done this. Thanks in advance!

  7. Tote shopping :

    I’m looking for a new work tote. I currently have the Lo & Sons OMG and I like it for travel, but it’s too bulky for daily use, and I want something more sleek-looking (ideally leather) that holds a 13″ slim laptop but isn’t gigantic, ultra-structured, or heavy on its own and that has some interior organization or a padded laptop sleeve. I’m 5’1″ so most totes end up looking like luggage on me. After looking around, I landed on the Lo & Sons Seville as a possible option. Does anyone have it and do you like it? Any other recs? I’d spend up to $400.

    The Dagne Dover Classic looked promising but it seems heavier/bulkier than what I’m looking for, and I like the look of the Everlane market tote that Facebook keeps pushing on me, but I wish it had some interior organization instead of being a black hole.

    • Anonymous :

      This may be more structured than you’re looking for, but I have the Rebecca Minkoff Always On Regan Nylon Tote (on sale at Nordstrom at the moment) and I really like it. It has a padded laptop sleeve.

    • BabyAssociate :

      I have the Seville and like it a lot. I got the 15″ side and will say that it’s very large. I’d get the 13″ if I were you.

    • I have the Seville and it’s perfext; looks much more presentable for meetings than the omg. I have the omg and the Dagne and echo your thoughts on both. I have the 13” Seville and it’s not too big for my 5’2” frame and you can’t beat the organization. Only issue is that it’s so narrow (which makes it much more easy to carry around) that a water bottle doesn’t fit comfortably without distorting the shape of the bag, but no way around that unless you get a giant bulky bag.

  8. Anonymous :

    Being intentionally vague though may post detail at some point — say you’re seeing a cardiologist who has followed your care for 20 years (since you were 18), in an effort to catch up, he asks about family, life, everything else. Truth is you’ve been really stressed, do you tell? Would you tell if it meant sounding negative/worried about your family which is the source of the stress, when he also sees a fam member as a patient? Somehow saying it to a dr who knows 2 of us from the family seems to have an – airing dirty laundry – quality. Yet part of me is like a cardiologist needs to know about stress, it’s not like I’m just running my mouth to the podiatrist. This guy is a great dr, chair of cardiology at an Ivy League health system and has provided care for 20 years, so I’m not considering getting a new cardiologist just to have someone who only knows me. How would you handle?

    • Anonymous :

      Uh, of course you tell him. You don’t have to air the whole business, but tell him, “Yes, actually, Mom/Sister/Brother and I have a challenging dynamic sometimes that does cause me quite a bit of stress.”

    • Anonymous :

      It seems like you could relay to him that you’ve been stressed about a family situation without going into detail. Like say, “I’ve had some family drama going on that has been incredibly stressful. I’d prefer to only discuss it to the extent you need it to effectively handle my case.” Hopefully this person will just ask questions about stress and symptoms and not details of the situation.

    • Anonymous :

      Yes obviously of course I would. If you aren’t going to tell him the truth you need a new doctor.

    • Anonymous :

      This dr has known you since you were a KID. He obviously wants what is best for you and you trust him enough that you’ve stayed with him for TWENTY years when you certainly could’ve moved on in or after college, when switching insurance etc. I’d tell him whatever you need to without worrying about how it sounds. Stress has very real effects on heart rates, BP etc that a cardiologist needs to know; you’re right — this is wat different than just gossiping with a podiatrist.

    • Anonymous :

      Absolutely I would. It might improve both your care, and the other family member’s care.

      How wonderful you have such a great doctor who asks about these things.

    • You can tell your cardiologist about family stress without going into detail. Tell him about the frequency and how it effects you – maybe you’re not sleeping, or not eating/overeating, or feel short of breath after contact from family member – but don’t go into detail about the root cause.

      I’m assuming that if you’ve had a cardiologist since you were 18, you have a serious issue. So if you like your doctor, don’t change over this stuff.

    • Anonymous :

      You can keep it vague — “family worries” instead of saying who it is exactly. And the point is to let him know about symptoms — ie I’ve had some family worries lately and I find after dealing with those, I have palpitations — or whatever.

    • Yes. Intimate details are not that important. You are at a point where sandwiching can occur with the needs of kids and your parents’ health sometimes rising large. Also, don’t be shy about mentioning peri-menopause blips or menopause, because hormone levels can affect cardiac health.

      Think of it this way…your doc has seen a TON of other patients who have been, or were, older than you, and have had stress. The doc will pull from that experience to render the best medical advice. And will learn from your situation to give more informed advice down the road.

    • anonymous :

      I’m an MD – and answer is as all have said. Yes. Definitely answer his question naturally. He’s not going to hold it against you. He asked for a reason. Maybe he suspected something. If he knows other family members he cannot reveal anything you tell him. But yes, even if he’s an ivy league cardiologist – if he asks you how you’re doing you can answer honestly…

  9. Anonymous :

    Question for the Poshmark sellers in the group. I’m just getting into Poshmark and have about 15 items posted for sale. A couple of times someone has added a single item to a “bundle” and I am confused. I think I understand bundling generally, but what’s the point when someone just adds a single item from your closet? What kind of response is expected from me? TIA!

    • Anonymous :

      I think they’re trying to get you to send them a lower offer without making an offer themselves, since buyer offers are binding.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m having a similar problem but I have people with items in dressing rooms – how do I get those to convert to a bundle so I can offer a discount?

    • Marshmallow :

      Yep, they’re signaling interest and asking for you to make them an offer. I generally go around 10% lower plus a slight shipping discount in that situation, since I often assume I’ll wind up going ~15% lower than the list price on any given item anyway.

  10. Anonymous :

    Piggybacking on Anon for This @2:39 pm:
    Has anyone used Work It Daily, the paid subscription? Is it worthwhile or can you get enough from the newsletters and YouTubes?

  11. Baconpancakes :

    After a particularly trying last week, I treated myself to a Causebox. I’ve never gotten a subscription box, and I think it might be a good “treat yo self” thing to keep in mind. What subscription boxes have you gotten, and what do you think about them? Are any your absolute favorites? Any not really worth it?

    • Anonymous :

      I think as a concept the idea is dumb. It’s unnecessary consumerism and think of all the waste from mailing a whole box full of packaged stuff every month!

      But I am in a very bad mood today and I hate everything.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I freaking love Rocksbox. The only problem I have is I keep buying the stuff instead of renting it. Meaning I pay the monthly fee to rent it, decide I like it enough and buy it, then rent the next months.

    • Anonymous :

      I’ve been enjoying Rocksbox. I’d never really bought jewelry so I wasn’t sure where to start. I like that you can see their actual inventory and pick what you’re going to get. I’ve gotten some great pieces that I really love from there.

      I tried Stitch Fix but I didn’t really like it after the first box or two.

      I’ve been getting Birchbox for 2 years – I always need small sizes of products for my gym bag so it keeps me pretty well stocked. At one point I was getting Birchbox, Sephora Play, Allure, and Boxycharm and it was way too much. I think Boxycharm is the best value for the money but I can’t use full size products that quickly; I wish they had like a quarterly subscription.

    • I love Box of Style from Rachel Zoe. It’s quarterly so not a ton of items, and they tend to be fairly high quality for a subscription box.

      I “justify” it because I rarely buy myself things but love fashion, so this is my present to myself instead of the constant shopping that I did in my 20s. I would never buy a fun tote for the beach for example, but I love drooling over all the straw bags that are fashionable right now. Turns out, the summer box had a straw beach bag that I’m taking on several trips this summer. I don’t tend to try out new brands either, but the winter box had a liquid eyeliner pen from Tarte that I fell in love with and have now bought a replacement from Ulta as my regular liner.

      I can see how the fun will run out at some point when I’m out of new-to-me things, but for now I’m really liking it.

    • Anonymous :

      I love getting subscription boxes! Often you can see what will be in them before you order them, which I like to avoid getting things I don’t want or need. My favorite overall in terms of product, price and consistency of the boxes is FabFitFun.

    • KS IT Chick :

      I did Taste of the World for a couple years, then stopped last Christmas. It came every 2 months with a different country or theme (IE, December was Christmas from around the world, otherwise we got Thailand or Spain or Morocco). The food was great, but a lot of it we had trouble finding uses for. We got the most enjoyment out of the snack stuff and actually ordered some from the store beyond what we got in the box.

      • pugsnbourbon :

        My sister in law got me a box that was specifically snack foods from around the world – it was great! For the life of me I can’t remember the name, but it’s out there.

    • BarkBox. Because I get so much joy from watching my pup’s excitement over it. And I let her tear into it to pull out her favorite treat/toy. It’s the best way to combat the blah or improve an otherwise bad day. :)

  12. Anonymous :

    I do a lot of work for a particular senior associate in my office. I like him a lot personally but in many ways he’s a nightmare to work for: he’s one of those bosses who wants you to read his mind, sends seriatim emails without any thought or organization, will ask you at 9PM to complete a new project later that night, refuses to triage work so he’s asking you to do ten things at once and swears all of them are equally important. There are silver linings to this: I get to participate in case management, generally do things my own way, take a lot of ownership of the case, and do substantive work.

    He knows he isn’t a great manager and is going through career coaching, which is great. He wants to meet for feedback. Obviously I can’t just tell him exactly what I wrote here. How do I deliver this upward feedback in a way that’s useful and honest without alienating him? He seems to want to do better but isn’t willing to take the time or effort to be more organized. For context, I’m a midlevel associate, we’ve worked together for a few years, and he’s generally been very happy with my work.

    Tips for this conversation? Thanks!

    • Anonymous :

      “I’ve enjoyed working with you for the last 3 years and hope we continue to be staffed together. If there was one area where it would help us mid levels is if you’d give us a realistic sense of the order of operations on assignments. I know you’re only assigning important things but when there are 4 assigments with only me as the mid, it helps when you can tell me this brief goes out before this other one so finish the research and writing and get me this draft first and then turn to the other one.”

      It’s about balancing flattery with something substantive he could improve. AND so as not to injure his ego only point out one area of improvement – make it the thing that affects your life the most.

      • Anonymous :

        Yes, this. Sometimes I use the sandwich method: Bread (soft, nice thing); Meat (the real thing you want to say); Bread. Making the “meat” about helping you and not about his failings also might help. E.g.:

        “I want to start by saying I admire your efforts to grow and appreciate you seeking feedback. I enjoy working with you and I hope we can continue that. ”

        Then “It would really help me as a midlevel associate if you did X, Y, Z.” OR “When you …. I feel …..”

        Then, “I do want to add that I really appreciate X about working with you, and I hope that can continue.”

      • This is good advice, thank you!

    • Anonymous :

      Curious, is he voluntarily seeking out career coaching or is he being forced to do it?

    • Anonymous :

      No advice, but your post reminds me of when I asked a partner whether to do Assignment X or Assignment Y first, and he said, “Yes.” The dynamic was largely what you describe–I personally liked him a lot, and there were positive things about working for him (including interesting, challenging assignments), but management was not his thing.

    • Anonymous :

      Sometimes, if I have good rapport with someone, I am just honest about the struggle. If you have that with him, you might say, “I want to give good feedback that’s helpful. I find it awkward to know how to do that when you’re my supervisor. I want to be clear about what isn’t going well, yet I also appreciate the work you’re doing to change. Can we help each other with this conversation so it goes as well as possible for both of us?”

      I have no idea how that would in a lawyer context, but it can work well in some relationship settings.

  13. Anonymous :

    Dumb question, and maybe I just need to vent more than anything. I’ve been a home owner (well home mortgagor) for four properties now. The first was a small 2 bedroom condo. Then an upgrade to a small two bedroom townhouse. Then a house when we moved after law school. Now a house in a town where we moved for a job. Anyway, there is constantly something with our current house – always something to fix or a fire to put out (figuratively). It was never this way in the other three properties. Have I just been lucky before? Or is fixing something every 3 months or so on a 13 year old house normal?

    • Anonymous :

      A little of both? How long have you been in the current house? My house was 15 years old when I bought it and the prior owner (who was the original owner) hadn’t really done much maintenance on the house. The first year in the house was rough. I swear I had contractors in my house every week for the first 6 months. After that, though, things have been pretty ok. It’s been 5 years and I have an issue maybe once every 6 months, sometimes less frequently.

      Fwiw I think 10-15 years is also when things start going wrong. So you might just be in that sweet spot where everything needs maintenance at the same time.

      • About 2 years. Yes, we have learned that the folks before us really didn’t maintain anything. Our first clue was when we met our neighbor who said hesitantly, “So, uh, how’s the house?” We had to have some HVAC work done right away, and most of it could have prevented by actually ever changing the filter. We also had some electrical and plumbing work done right away and truly don’t understand how people could have lived here without fixing the issues. Sadly, our inspection didn’t find this stuff (which is a whole other issue for another day).

        • Anonymous :

          This is our experience too. I can’t imagine not being a good steward of a house but there you go.

    • Anonymous :

      ~15 is about when everything – everything – in a house starts to break and need replacing. I don’t know how old your other houses have been, but yeah, I’ve owned 6 houses, and there’s almost always something needed.

      • Thanks. Our previous home was about the same age but impeccably maintained, so I think we got some extra longevity out of nearly everything. It does help to know that some of this is normal.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Yeah, I think you’re just in the time frame when the house stops being new and starts needing replacement and maintenance. Paint, plumbing, all that kind of thing. At least your roof is probably good for another 10-15 years.

  14. foster parent? :

    I feel so bad about what is happening at the border, and can’t believe it is happening in America. But, besides donating money and calling my politicians, I don’t know how to help the kids directly. But it’s making me think that maybe there are other kids I can help directly.

    Is anyone here a foster parent? Can you speak about the experience at all? Any recommendations for books or blogs to read to find out more? I’m single and have a decent income and have been thinking about it as a possible way to help in some abstract future, but maybe this is the time. But I know it is a huge commitment, and want to consider it from all sides. My biggest fear is that I haven’t spent a ton of time with young kids and worry I will have trouble relating.

    Any other ideas?

    • Anonymous :

      If you work FT, you may not spend enough time with the kids, period.

      IDK; I got turned down to foster a DOG b/c I worked FT and was single (so no other adults around).

      • In my state, working FT is not an issue. You get a stipend for childcare.

      • Anonymous :

        Adopting a dog is so ridiculously cumbersome. I got turned down from numerous places because we both work full time, because we didn’t have a fenced yard, because we didn’t have previous rescue dog experience etc etc. It seriously seemed like they had more restrictions than adoption agencies for children do.

    • Anonymous :

      I’d recommend posting this on the Moms site tomorrow – I think there is poster on there who is a foster parent.

  15. Harvard case :

    Piggybacking on the Harvard admission case from this morning, is anyone else following this?

    Esp. the outsized role that athletics seems to play in the process?

    [Correct me if I’m wrong, but Harvard is not in any sort of competitive athletic conference; I did go to a small D3 school where something like 60% of the students are varsity athletes, but it was almost like high school where if you don’t let everyone play, you won’t have any teams playing.]

    • Anonymous :

      I don’t know about athletics at Harvard at all. Reads a bit too straight out of the Preppy Handbook to me.

      But I do know that many other parents tell me without fail that my kids will never get into XYZ selective state U in my state b/c “there are too many of you.” Nice to hear. I’ve half thought that if job offers came up in my company’s office in the upper midwest, we’d consider it when our kids are in high school b/c they’d be more special (in a good way) for admissions purposes vs our current city where there are apparently too many of us.

      • I find the base of the debate interesting.
        On the pro AA side, which I personally agree with and understand, the colleges want an array of students from different backgrounds because they think it fosters a better and more open minded academic atmosphere than having everyone from the same background – this is especially true when it comes to admissions to large amounts of people from the same national, ethnic, regional, or socioeconomic bracket who tend to form exclusionary communities in large numbers – which is death to academic discourse and open minded curiosity. My undergrad valued diversity across the spectrum – state and regional diversity, school diversity (ie only a certain number of students from X HS are admitted no matter the prestige of the school), national origin, ethnicity, HS interest, and socioeconomic. Although let’s not focus on the 25% legacy admittance rate.

        I understand the personal frustration of thinking you should have been admitted somewhere based on your stats and you weren’t because someone “lesser than” in terms of extracurriculars or test scores is admitted. But I think it is a good mental exercise to try to think why someone else is “lesser than” because a score is lower. A school should have the freedom to determine that Betty with the 3.2 who worked PT for three years, took care of three siblings because of a partially disabled parent, and who developed an internal fortitude from living in a bad neighborhood will be a better representative than helicopter parent Chad who is extremely successful in his endeavors, has a 3.8, but has issues making unguided decisions. Obviously there is lots of nuance in between. But AA allows a school to determine what matters most to the school, and sometimes a high GPA because your parents had the resources for tutors and you didn’t have to work doesn’t make you better or smarter, just fortunate.

        • Anonymous :

          I’d be all in on academics + one something outside passion (either athletics or newspaper or scouts or something like the oboe or folk music).

          But I think that athletics / alumni interviews / legacy preference are the three things that strongly cut against this and add too much unfairness to the system. I think that these sort of things add subjectivity that winds up favoring some classes / types of students too much (are there Princeton alumni to even interview you in many cities? is there a parent / guidance counselor to prep you and drive you there?).

        • Yes, this.

          Elite schools also have far more high GPA / high SAT score students than they could ever hope to take. They functionally have to go to other factors to make the call.

          It is not unreasonable for them to believe that the student who gets a 3.95 while doing 30 hours a week of (sports, volunteering, working, tutoring, dancing, lit mag, orchestra) is more impressive than the 3.97 student who does nothing but study.

          Now, I think that they engage in a lot of bs that favours high net-worth parents with a lot of time to focus on one child (the kid with 5 extracurricular activities is getting shuttled around and all that is getting paid for), and the “leadership” thing is stupidly disingenuous, but I’m not faulting a school for wanting a school orchestra and newspaper.

          • Anonymous :

            That’s too much comparison — I think it’s the kid who is an only child with a SAHM who functions as a chauffeur who has 5 other great things on his/her resume vs the kid with 2 working parents and 2 siblings who has the same-ish GPA but only 1 extracurricular b/c the parents just cannot provide for that level of activities that generate resume-enhancements. That is really unfair and cuts against middle-class kids a lot and kids who can’t get rides easily.

            I think that weighting athletics cuts in favor of kids who really shouldn’t be getting a preference. A kid with a good golf handicap is probably going to be fine in life. A kid who caddies to make money is not getting treated as well.

          • What about good runners and basketball players? Many working class kids are able to participate in sports that aren’t golf (and the vast majority of athletes on university teams are not in rich kid sports).

            If you want to argue for comparing kids of similar SES, I am all for that. But it is bizarre that athletics are so denigrated here.

    • Harvard is a Division 1 school. You might have heard of its althetic conference; it’s called the Ivy League.

      Just, FYI.

      • Anonymous :

        Yes — I could bench press their coxswain. And I’m not that strong.

        SEC is a D1 conference; Harvard’s is, um, not the same sort of D1 program. Bless your heart.

        • Fork you, bench.

          It would have taken the OP five seconds to find out what division and athletic conference Harvard was in. That there are more competitive conferences (that, um, are being investigated for the complete fraud of “student athletes” in their revenue-genrating sports) does not mean that Harvard is a DIII school that can’t fill its sports teams.

        • Anonymous :

          LOL that you think this is a persuasive argument. Sports are still important at the college level. Don’t know why you think Harvard is any different in that regard.

          But anyway, a lot of people here are overly obsessed with status symbols like Ivy League schools and it can be very entertaining to watch.

        • JuniorMinion :

          I could bench press their coxswain too. That’s the point of a coxswain – to be as light as possible over the minimums.

        • You’re supposed to be able to bench press coxswains… being small is literally part of their job. (110 lbs, to be exact).

      • Anonymous :

        TBH, I found out in law school that D1/BCS-eligible schools really laugh about D1/non-BCS eligible schools even saying that they are D1. I mean the whole NCAA is a giant fraud, but the BCS schools do have a point. It’s not the same.

        And, TBH, athletics just has a crazy outsize influence in admissions. I get stabby about legacy admissions, too. Neither belongs. It’s fine for a sports team as such to pay attention to it, but for sports without a legit minor league program to develop talent, stop using colleges. And colleges: stop using student athletes.

    • Anonymous :

      I don’t think we know how much they actually weigh the athletics portion, correct? I didn’t see that in the article.

      I think we all know that being well rounded and talented in many aspects of your life is something that is attractive to the top tier schools. The straight-A student that is captain of the tennis team and concertmaster of the orchestra and volunteers in a hospital on the weekend. There are actually a lot students like this at Harvard.

      It is true that competing in high school level athletics requires a lot of discipline, team work, dedication and these are all desirable characteristics to colleges and to life.

      I met a very famous pediatric neurologist who had written extensively about childhood development. The most talented children he evaluated were the triple threat…. highly intelligent, artistic/creative, and athletic/coordinated (athlete or dancer 0r something that requires precision and coordination). Harvard wants them.

      • Anonymous :

        I think that athletics is maybe a red herring.

        If you want your kid to be special and not fungible, especially “if there are too many of you,” you really need to move. Kids from . . . North Dakota are special b/c there are so few of them. Ditto Palau.

        People do so many crazy things for colleges. I’d favor a lottery or just going to Big State U with generous admissions. I think that so many kids are miserable having to think of their college resume every 5 minutes. Teen mental health in my high-success suburb of a big city is in shambles — they are miserable, parents are miserable. I feel so bad for them. It breaks my heart. For my kids, I don’t want this for them at all.

        The whole system is unfair and produces misery. I say scrap everything.

        • Anonymous :

          I’d have no problem with that.

          • Anonymous :

            What if Harvard became sort of a domestic study abroad, where to maximize the ability of people to have a Harvard experience, everyone could go there for a semester, but only a semester. And it doubled or quadrupled its size? Surely it could do that. Why does it hoard its resources? And have maybe satellite campuses in place where it could make an impact (and NOT like NYU’s campuses abroad)?

            It it cared about diversity and impact and helping people who are first generation college students, it could do a lot more. Instead, it seems to perpetuate the status quo.

          • Anonymous :

            But now classes from Harvard and MIT and Stanford are increasingly available online. It is amazing.

            Now it will be the driven young person in a small Village in India or China that will be taking advantage of a Harvard education. It is happening now.

          • Brass rat :

            A few years ago there was a boy from Mongolia who rocked one of MIT’s online courses, and they admitted him with a full ride. It was awesome.

        • Anonymous :

          Meanwhile, the job market for professors is so tight that rejection notes come with sincere and heartfelt apologies. So many extra students, so many qualified would-be faculty… what would take to start some new schools?

    • Anonymous :

      Are you just, like, really insecure about your athletic ability, or what? Why do you care so much?

      • Anonymous :

        Not the OP, but my sense from one thing I googled was that that is was not a plus factor in recruiting a well-rounded student body but was the only significant factor (my guess is: for recruited athletes only, possibly ones that wouldn’t be taking an athletic scholarship (LOL to that term even)).

        I was a high school varsity athlete and played on winning club sports teams in a D1-II college, so sporty. But IMO college sports are a different beast. I know people who love their sport that they went to a D3 school to play their sport vs warm the bench in a D1 program.

    • Anonymous :

      You’d be surprised how big a deal athletics are in the Ivies. Harvard (and the other Ivies) give athletic scholarships and admit subpar students to play varsity sports. It’s very very different than D3 schools where varsity sports are just a fun extracurricular. Just because Harvard can’t compete with the schools in the major conferences doesn’t mean they don’t care about competing in their own conference.

  16. BigLaw Lit to Gov Lit :

    I am entering 3d round interviews for a government job – civil litigation at a large city attorney’s office. I am really wanting out of my biglaw job, and the position sounds very interesting – lots of trial experience – and I like the people I met so far. The reason I want out of biglaw isn’t really the hours, but more the disempowering feeling of being a senior associate and still not getting much court or depo experience, and people micromanaging me (if one more person edits my email…). And I want to be a trial lawyer. But I am really struggling with the thought of giving up the pay, even though the pay for this job is likely to be very job for a gov job. This is starting to feel more real since I am entering 3d round. I don’t know if I have a specific question, but any thoughts on how to sort through this decision assuming I even get an offer? Similar experiences? I should feel happy but I feel anxious and stressed.

    • BigLaw Lit to Gov Lit :

      And even if I don’t get this position, I plan to continue to apply for similar gov jobs…..

    • Anonymous :

      Salary =/= your worth

      Prestige =/= your worth

      Who are you outside of work? Are you someone who helps her community/cares for family/makes the world a better place? Ok then. THAT’S what matters. Not whether your job sounds impressive (trust – no one outside of biglaw gives a hoot about biglaw), not whether your six figure salary starts with a 1 or something higher, it’s about who you are on the inside and what you’re doing for others while you’re on this earth.

      • BigLaw Lit to Gov Lit :

        Oh yeah, I don’t buy into the “prestige” of biglaw and i am there now. It is more how the salary change will impact my family’s personal finances. I would definitely prefer to be in public service – if anything, I would find this job more “prestigious” because I have a lot of respect for government lawyers, their skills, and what they do.

        • When you’re calculating the amount of money you’ll make, don’t forget that your longevity in biglaw will likely be a lot less than in the government- not only because you’re not happy with it (I remember your other post a few weeks ago), but because a long career in biglaw is simply not guaranteed. This is to say, don’t compare your reduced salary to a life time of biglaw salary, because the latter is not a realistic assumption. I’ve gone from low paying jobs I love to high paying jobs that suck, and so long as your needs are being met, the joy of working a job you love (or at least like, and which is engaging, with good coworkers) far outweighs the money. I bet once you get into a better place you won’t look back at all! I’m excited for you.

      • Anonymous :

        This is nice to read. I’m at the opposite end of OP and feeling down and worthless and judged because of no prestige and low salary. Thank you.

    • Anonymous :

      IDK if this helps but – nothing is forever. When I was leaving biglaw in year 8 – wasn’t going to make partner due to slow business – I thought of it as, I’ve gotten all I can from this place in terms of experience and $$. They’re not going to promote me, I’ll never run my own cases, I’ll never go on client pitches so what else is there for me? Then I moved on and landed in the government — not the greatest fit but guess what NOW firms that would never have considered me as a lateral Senior are an option.

      • BigLaw Lit to Gov Lit :

        Yes, thank you. I relate to the “I’ve gotten all I can from this place in terms of experience and $$. They’re not going to promote me, I’ll never run my own cases, I’ll never go on client pitches so what else is there for me?”

        I don’t know that I wouldn’t make partner, but I don’t know if I want it anyways. I still wouldn’t be running my own cases for at least another 10 and more like 15 years. Hustling to do biz dev sounds dreadful, too, and it seems like that is what junior partners spend a lot of time doing.

        I get I am going to have work through this myself and with my husband to figure out what makes sense. I am becoming more convinced that a few more years of biglaw income may not be worth it both for my sanity and because I may get so senior it is hard to find anything aside from in-house positions.

    • I hope you get the job. Big law is not for many of us. Even I would not want big law, even tho I probably bill more then most big law associates and partners. You will succeed b/c you have the POWER of the HIVE behind you! YAY!!!

  17. Coffee All Day :

    Any tips for not getting guilty after giving notice and how to keep reminding yourself of why you’re leaving your job in the first place? I just gave notice at the small law firm I work at (business side, not lawyer) and they are devastated. They didn’t know I was looking and are upset I didn’t tell them earlier I wanted a different job function. Honestly, yes I’m leaving to go back to biglaw so I can have a different role, but the truth is there are management issues and tons of administrative crud that they need to deal with which is why I’m leaving. I genuinely love two of the partners and hated disappointing them, but I also don’t think I can really be honest and say, “the managing partner has crazy ideas and you all are out of touch with everyone who isn’t a partner.” I wish I could be honest and that they were receptive to some of even the smaller change suggestions (because I would happily stay then), but I stopped trying a year ago after it looked like it would never go anywhere. All that to say, I have good reasons for leaving, but love most of the coworkers I am leaving so it’s tough and I wish it had been a situation where I could tell them earlier.

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