Coffee Break: Chelsea PT MJ Lo Pump

Cole Haan Chelsea PT MJ Lo PumpBasics can be funny things — to some women, metallic shoes are “basics” because they can wear them with everything — the same way that I would wear, say, a leopard blazer or animal print heels with almost anything in my wardrobe.  (Admittedly, my wardrobe is primarily dark solids, and I would probably wear it on a casual, no-big-meetings kind of day.)  But taste is a huge (and very personal) thing — I’ve always thought metallic shoes look gaudy and gross, and even this tiny touch on this otherwise fabulous 3″ heel (on sale at Zappos, btw) would be too much. For those of you who are a fan of the metallic shoe look, these do seem like a subtle way to integrate them into your office or try the look. Readers, which controversial “classics” or “basics” are the ones that you love the most?  The pumps were $298, but are now $199; lots of sizes left. Cole Haan Chelsea PT MJ Lo Pump


Psst: Jennine just had an interesting discussion on The Coveted regarding her husband’s hatred (and her love) of leopard prints.


  1. Sydney Bristow :

    Oh my gosh I love these shoes sooooo much. Trying to remind myself that I rarely wear heels!

    • Meg March :

      Me too…. if I buy them, they’ll just end up living in a shelf, collecting dust…. They deserve better than that!

    • I love these shoe’s! But they onley have 3″ heels; the manageing partner want’s me to wear 4″ at all times in court, b/c men love me in highest heel’s tho I perfer flat’s around the office.

      I have a question for the HIVE. Has anyone done a Master of Sceince in Finance on Line? The manageing partner said he would pay for me to do this online b/c dad said I should have a gradeuate degree in addition to my law degree, and this way, I can do on ON LINE. Dad sent me this link:

      It is to GEORGETOWN’s MSF program. According to their websight, “Georgetown University’s MSF online program takes today’s best financial professionals and transforms them into recognized leaders in their profession. At the program’s core is a world-class curriculum that consists of rigorous coursework, real-world applications, a global outlook and a commitment to ethical values. You will learn firsthand from a faculty of distinguished scholars and award-winning teachers dedicated to your success.”

      I would like to be a success, and this mean’s workeing, but if it’s not good for me, I want to know NOW. So, does anyone know it and recomend it? Dad thought I would do well there b/c I would NOT have to go there much and when I did, I could stay with Laurie since she threw out her husband and they are getting a divorce b/c he was cheateing with someone who work’s at Home Depot in the Paint Department. I wonder what kind of paint she put on him that made him want to have sex with her? I never liked her husband and can not even imageine him with his pant’s off. But I guess the woman from Home Depot was OK with his weenie. FOOEY!

      • I can’t speak to Georgetown’s B school, but if it is an on-line school, give it a try. I know their other schools are decent, and if you wind up with a business degree, you will be very marketable. Also, you’re more likely to land a guy if you can show you have business skills as well as legal skills. Guys like that, because you will be viewed as an “earner” not a “drainer”.

    • I love these shoes too!!

  2. TO Lawyer :

    So need styling advice: I recently bought a long-sleeved hot pink silk blouse. I initially hesitated because it seemed too bright for work but I probably shy away from colour in the office. Any styling suggestions to help tone it down?

    Thanks ladies!

    • Is your office formal or casual? I’d wear it with a a light-colored suit- like a light gray or an ivory. I’d definitely stay away from black. Navy would be pretty also but less conservative I think.

      • hellskitchen :

        I second this. It would look more polished with light or even medium gray or ivory or light beige or even blush pink for a sleek monochromatic look (would keep rest of your accessories firmly non-pink if you choose the last option).

    • what about a navy skirt with a printed cardigan? or a gray skirt/mint cardigan? and then add some fun jewelry. I’d avoid black/white because it will make it seem too colorful, but if you play with other complimentary or neutral colors it won’t seem as loud.

      • Something like this could work

    • I love the combination of hot pink and navy. You could also go grey. White pants in the summer would also work. Just don’t wear bright green with it unless 1) you live in coastal South/North Carolina or 2) you like people thinking you idolize Lilly Pulitzer.

    • I love navy and pink. If you want to tone it down, try navy bottoms (I’d do a skirt) and a cream colored cardigan. I find that cardigans are a good way to mute a bright color or pattern — e.g., today I’m wearing a pretty loud print dress (toile! so pretty!) but with a black v-neck cardigan which makes it a little less “print all over” kind of look. If you’re into vests at all, it might also look nice with a cream or gray sweater vest and pants.

    • Yeah, you could totally wear it under a dark suit, or with a jacket on top of any color you want.

    • TO Lawyer :

      Thanks for all the suggestions! I think I’ll probably try it with grey to start although the blush pink sounds intriguing… I think I now need to hunt down a blush pink blazer…

      • Anonattorney :

        The blush jacket does sound really pretty.

      • Anonattorney :

        What about this one:

        Linen blazer + silk blouse can work, right?

        • Anonattorney :

          Sorry, I’m still going. This one’s pretty too:

      • Anonymous :

        Try ny and co for a blush pink blazer, I find that if you change out the buttons they can look pretty expensive.

  3. TJ - Any Sacramento area moms? :

    So we are relocating to Sacramento, CA, and will need to find childcare for our infant daughter. Our first choice would be a nanny share arrangement with another family, but for the life of me, I can’t find the types of postings for nanny share arrangements that are common in my current city.

    Anyone here have experience with finding childcare in Sacramento? Or, honestly, with Sacramento in general? I have to admit I’m a little apprehensive about the move…I don’t have friends in the immediate area (only in the Bay Area and Tahoe) and I’m worried it will be a difficult adjustment from our current large east coast city.

    • I am a Sacramento area mom and created a new email for you
      lobbyistcorporette at the gmail dot com and would be happy to chat with you about our great town.

      I lived in the Bay Area and also in another country before coming here and have found it great.

    • No child care rec’s (sorry) since I don’t live there anymore but it’s a nice city for families. Both Tahoe and the Bay Area are very close and there are tons of fun things to do with younger kids. Mine loved the train museum in Old Town! I’d move back in a heart beat if at all possible. Best of Luck!

    • a passion for fashion :

      I dont have any daycare recommendations for you, but I grew up in the Sacremento area and it was a lovely place to grow up. I do still have quite a few friends that live there though and if no one else on here has suggestions for you, I would be happy to reach out to them. Do you know where in Sacremento you will be living?

    • Child Care :

      As someone who worked as a nanny to put myself through school for the love of god make sure the nanny knows there is going to be a nanny share going on. I had the misfortune of coming to work one day to find a surprise extra child and of course no extra money.

  4. W/r/t “basics” vs. “classics” — I wonder if the word we are really looking for here is “staple”?

    As to these shoes, I like them but probably would not wear them (especially not to work), so I’m happy to save the $199. :)

    • I like the re-framing toward “staples.” It’s so much more personalizable (not a word, sorry). I love that the women I know each have wardrobe staples that are distinctive to them–something that I wouldn’t even buy, my friend wears several times a week, and vice versa.

      • I like that idea, too. There are staples or basics for me like a pencil skirt in black, charcoal, brown or navy, plus those same colors in tanks. Then I have basic cardigans. But I also have more items that are more statement pieces, like a funkier Free People cardigan, or my Ann Taylor long coat in snow leopard. Can’t wear that stuff every day!

    • I love these shoes and that Kat addressed her definition of “basics.” Basics are not the same for all of us, e.g. silver heels are now basics for me and I wear them at least once a week. For others, silver heels would be reserved for going out.

  5. Meg March :

    Anyone need an afternoon break for some vicarious shopping? I have two weddings coming up. One is an evening cocktail wedding in a loft in Minneapolis at the end of May(cocktail attire requested). The other will be in early September in the Rocky Mountains, ceremony outside, reception inside (attire unclear– bride says be comfortable, but knowing the reception venue and the bride, casual side of cocktail would be appropriate).

    I’d love one dress for both occasions that I can dress up for the first and down for the second, spending around $150. I’m curvy, tall (so nothing very short) and these are family weddings, so s*xy is not the look I’m going for. I also don’t like to wear a lot of reds/oranges/pinks/yellows

    • Look at the Lauren (green) label dresses from Ralph Lauren. Macys/Bloomingdales/Dillards/L&T/Nordstroms have them. I’m also tall and they are pretty reliable knee length, usually jersey fabrics (machine washable and stretchy), can be dressed up/down, lots of color and styles. I sometimes even buy them (on sale) when I don’t have a specific event in mind.

      And they are in that $150 price range (some a little more, some a little less, esp if on sale).

    • Here are two options:



    • Nordstrom

      – Ivy & Blu Pleated Jersey Fit & Flare Dress. Multiple colors and it’s a nice jersey (not a thin jersey) so it drapes well. $148

      -Adrianna Papell Pleated Crepe Dress in Azure. $98. Pretty, though sedate. May not work depending on how curvy you are (or could look too sexy).

    • The Pisarro Nights Sequin & Bead Gathered Mesh dress on the Nordstrom site is so pretty in the plum. So many of them are black and I’m assuming you don’t want to wear black.

      Also the Adrianna Papel Lace Overlay Sheath Dress.

    • Anonymous :

      Are people really requesting dress codes for weddings now?

      • It’s not unusual for an invite to say “black tie” “cocktail”, which is what I’m assuming the OP meant. I think that’s pretty standard (though not necessarily always included) for invitations.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        I have a slight problem with Bridezillas episodes on Netflix and am amazed at some of the things people make their guests do for their weddings. I think one bride made every guest wear only white clothes.

        Lots of invites I’ve seen do include a comment on attire (co*ktail, black tie, etc). I find that useful as a guest typically unless it’s some made up category that I have no idea what would be included.

        • Yes, because when you don’t specify, you have people who you had previously thought had brains in their head show up to your wedding held in a luxe hotel wearing khaki shorts and a Hawaiian shirt or blue jeans with a concert tee.


        • Seriously. I saw one show (maybe SYTTD?) where the bride thought she was so interesting and different because she was wearing a color and all her guests were being told to wear white. No, you’re just a high maintenance PITA.

    • Just be aware that usually in the Rockies at that time of the year, as soon as the sun goes down it gets quite chilly, so plan for a wrap/jacket/sweater for that wedding.

  6. Hamster Wheel :

    Have any of you tried and succeeded at stopping the pissing contest about being busy?

    I have a coworker friend who is constantly complaining about how busy and stressed she is. My first thought is always about how many more hours than her I’m billing and how I wish she would stop talking about it. I never say those thoughts out loud to anyone other than my husband! I’m trying to just not let it bother me, but everytime she starts on everything that she’s doing I inwardly roll my eyes. It’s gotten to the point that I just avoid her. It’s an annoying conversation to keep having but I also don’t like my own reaction to it because I feel like a terrible friend, so I just avoid it all together. I also find myself sometimes telling others (my hair dresser, other casual acquaintances) how busy I am at work. I think it’s obnoxious. Any tips for how to reframe my thinking from, “I’m busier than all y’all!!” To something more productive or nicer?

    • I decided long ago I just didn’t want to play that game. So when someone goes on and on about how busy they are, I just say cheerfully, “Oh, that’s too bad.” I don’t engage. And I just might be thinking to myself that truly busy people don’t have time to go on and on about how busy they are.

      Honestly, it’s sort of fun not to engage because I think the busy person sometimes wants nothing more than to just PROVE how VERY VERY busy they are. So when you just reply, huh, that’s a shame, it gives them nothing to build on and that conversation just peters out.

      • I also think that saying “that’s too bad” subtly calls out bragging, which is usually what they are doing. Yet it makes it look like you just didn’t know any better. They don’t want you to feel bad for them–they want you to be impressed, but it has backfired.

        It certainly helps when you have nothing to prove about your own busy-ness. Ask A Manager recently linked to a great article by someone who went a full year without allowing himself to tell anyone about how busy he was. He said it deepened his conversations and relationships, which I can definitely believe.

      • I love this response!

      • I too stopped “bragging” about being too busy, because it seemed I was boring to myself and boring to others. I also didn’t want my kids to overhear and think that I felt that they were a burden.

    • Diana Barry :

      I would internally roll eyes too, and try to redirect conversation toward something else. I definitely talked less to co-workers who engaged in that kind of busy one-upmanship.

    • You should say, “Gosh, Jane. I’m so sorry you’re so busy. I’ll let you get back to work.”

      For yourself, if you have time to complain, you’re not that busy. Repeat as needed.

      • This: “if you have time to complain, you’re not that busy.”

      • I think that sentiment encourages people to either be busier or to appear busier, both of which seem unhealthy. Who would wish anyone a life so busy she has no time to complain/vent/ do anything but be busy?

    • Adding on this, what do people say when others assume you’re too busy? Or they assume that you have nothing going on, when in reality, you’re making time, for them, because you care?

      • “I always have time for you!”

        • Or, “this is important to me. Why work so hard if I can’t even see my friends?” Or whatever activity you’ve made a point to show up for.

      • Hamster Wheel :

        This is one reason I want to change my thinking and reaction (even if it is just internal) because my non-work friends are starting to do this to me. I think I have been guilty of talking about my own busy-ness too much. It’s such a hard habit to break and such a hard mindset to ditch, especially in certain industries that revolve around the billable hour.

    • I just recognize that there’s no point. I have an old friend who doesn’t work and has 2 kids. Recently she told me that I am so lucky because my apartment must always be clean because I don’t have kids to mess it up. When I told her that I also don’t have any time to clean it or be in it much, she said “but it’s so easy when you don’t have children! If I were you, my place would be spotless and I’d go out every night!” To me, her place should be spotless because she is home all day; to her, my place is so easy to maintain and why wouldn’t I go out 5 days a week just because I have to wake up at 7 every morning? In the end, neither of us is “right” – we all have our sh*t. So at first, my internal response was along the lines of “you’re ridiculous” but then I just let it go – it just doesn’t matter.

      People like to be busy nowadays. Don’t let it impact you. Yes, it’s annoying (especially when you try to make plans for dinner or drinks and your friends are “scheduled” 3 months out with dinners they planned 3 months ago with someone else) but it’s not worth the aggravation. “I’m sorry to hear that” is a good response.

    • During my unhappiest point in BigLaw, I will admit this was me. Looking back now, I cringe at the times that I had to win this pissing contest. I was so miserable that the amount of time spent at work was really one of my few bragging rights, I guess. I had to have something to show for the weekends/nights at the office, and that was about it. My disordered thinking: “At least people will think I’m a [email protected] attorney when they hear I was in the office until 3AM every night last week!” Which, no, that is not what anyone was thinking.

      As soon as I left the office, and became a lot happier, I stopped talking about it – at first it was unconscious, and later it was conscious (especially after I spent time with former colleagues and realized how much conversation is burned up on who is the “busiest”). I don’t really have any suggestions, just a perspective from a reformed busy bragger.

    • WestCoast Lawyer :

      I’ll admit that my response to “how are you” is usually something along the lines of “busy as usual.” I really don’t mean it as bragging. It’s more that I usually feel like I’m doing 100 different tasks a day, but none of them are interesting enough that I feel like anyone would want to hear the actual details.

      • I wouldn’t call this my “usual” response, but I do find that my response to “how are you” automatically does involve gauging how busy I am, because sadly – being in biglaw – it is a rough correlation to how I am feeling. So it’s either “busy, sigh” (aka working every waking moment), “great, busy!” (happy 40-55 hr medium), or “stressed” (because I have no work). I just realized how sad that is.

        • This. Especially among other lawyer-friends, this is a pretty fair gauge of how I actually “am.”

      • I work with someone who usually responds to “how are you” with “ahh, you know” or “we’ll see” while conveying that his work is sooooo difficult. In my head, I think, “Ugh! You’ve worked here 25 years. Quit being a martyr! Just say, ‘fine, thanks.'” I now just say “good morning” without any followup.

    • Miz Swizz :

      I tell people I’m busy when I actually am busy and haven’t responded to a social email or attended some event. Is there a better way to phrase it? I don’t work in the same industry as many of my friends so I try not to get in the nitty gritty of work life but I’m wondering if it’s coming off as me trying to engage in the pissing contest OP references.

      • Killer Kitten Heels :

        I think there’s a huge difference between some variation on “oh my gosh, I’m so sorry it took me 10 days to respond to your email, it’s been crazy at work” and actively seeking out opportunities to tell people how busy you are, which is more what I think of when I think of the busy-ness “pissing contest.” To me, it crosses the line into brag-plaining when you’re offering up your busy-ness in response to something that doesn’t really call for it – i.e. providing a 15 minute diatribe on your 13 hour days in response to a “how are you” asked by someone who happened to cross your path on the way to the coffee maker or something.

  7. Off topic – birthday gift ideas needed for a female relative turning 28. I’m not sure of her hobbies. She is unmarried/in a long term relationship, works as an admin and is doing a masters program for information systems. I don’t think she drinks alcohol or coffee and based on my observation has some obsessive/disordered eating patterns. Budget $50-100. In the past I’ve gotten clothing/accessories and DVD of tv series.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Amazon gift card?

      • I suggest getting her a gift card for whatever the cost of Amazon Prime is–a great treat if she doesn’t have it already, and a sizeable gift if she does.

        • Love that idea, but Amazon won’t take gift cards for a prime subscription…. I tried :(

          • Anonattorney :

            You can “give the gift of Prime”.


        • Naive negotiator :

          As a recent PhD graduate, I think Prime would be an incredible gift! So helpful in grad school when you need tons of books and you need them as soon as possible. I wish someone had given me this as a gift on my last birthday.

    • Cash? Nice card and no gift?

    • Anonymous :

      Really nice tea and teapot! Even the disordered eating folks like it, because it’s calorie free.

      • only if you like tea, which many people do not.

        I’m her age and I’d be happy to receive a gift card to basically anywhere – clothes, work out clothes, whole foods…

        My go to for gifts recently has been jewelry. Most people my age would really balk at dropping $50-100 for a necklace for themselves, but if it’s a gift it’s easy to justify. I’ve gone to anthro or Kendra scott several times this year for gifts already. If you get a gift receipt, it’s really hard to go wrong.

        • Anonattorney :

          So I would have said that exact thing about tea too, until I got a teamaker as a gift with some fancy loose teas. I was NOT a tea person at all. But, the teamaker is pretty awesome, and it was kind of great to start making really good tea at night. It’s ritualistic and relaxing, and therefore pretty much serves the same purpose for me as a glass of wine. It was kind of neat to get a gift that was completely unexpected and that introduced me to something new.

          Anyway, Emmabean is probably right that it’s still a risky gift, but I just wanted to share. :)

        • Thanks! I don’t usually shop at Anthro (had to look up where the nearest one is, and was surprised to see it’s closed on Sunday) but based on what I’ve seen I think it’s totally her vibe.
          I don’t like giving gift card, personal hang-up but I feel like I “should” know her well enough to chose something more specific.
          She actually has given me a tea set (which I love, not a traditional set but an oh-so-handy electric kettle which I love with nice teas), so might be odd to give the same/similar thing back!

  8. Tax Attorney :

    Staff appreciation day tomorrow! What are you all getting your assistants (and how much are you spending)? I’m a 4th year in biglaw in NY, in prior years I’ve generally just done a card with a $50 gift certificate to Starbucks.

    • OCAssociate :

      I’m 5th year mid-law in So Cal. Getting my (male) assistant a nice ($50) bottle of wine and a card. His birthday was yesterday, so we’ve already done cash, cake, etc. this week.

    • Diana Barry :

      Ha! Thanks for reminding me. I get flowers for my assistant (gift is for Xmas).

    • Flowers and chocolate covered strawberries for around $100

    • anon jr associate :

      Piggybacking off this – is it weird to have flowers delivered to your assistant if you’re in the same office? Someone said that on one of the previous threads about this. But I’m not sure a) where I would even buy flowers and a vase all arranged nicely, b) how I would get flowers + vase + water to the office and c) how I would give them to her. I feel like I would awkwardly thrust them at her and say ‘here you go’.

      • Anonattorney :

        If you work in a downtown area I would bet that there is a flower shop close to you. There are about 4 different florists within 6 blocks of my office – all who sell vases and arrangements. If you actually can’t find one, then I would either have them delivered to reception and go get them yourself and bring them to your assistant, or have them delivered to your assistant.

      • Senior Attorney :

        I think having them delivered is fine.

  9. Oddly enough, since I work at home, many people confuse me for a stay at home mom… I still wear “heels,” even though they’re pretty low heels, so apparently, many people consider that a “controversial basic” like, really.

    Anyway… thank you for linking to my leopard post! My husband is now saying, “why did you tell everyone I hate leopard?” Eek!

  10. Large Arms/Brand Question :

    Brand question: I have larger than usual upper arms for my size. It’s just the way I’m built. So I usually have to accept that the arms will be tight on shirts/jackets, buy larger and tailor the body back down, or just discount certain brands. For example, I fit a JCrew 6 in the body but need a 10 for the arms to be comfortable. Does anyone know of brands that have tops with arms that run large in proportion to the body? Bonus if the brand also carries petite, which at 5’4″ with a short waist I usually need. (For the aforementioned reasons, among others, I very much dislike sleeveless and as a rule structured items, i.e., not knit blazers, look best, so the usual workarounds don’t work for me.) Many thanks!

    • Wow, this is me. I haven’t found a good solution yet, other than knit, so I am hoping someone else has a suggestion.

    • My soul sisters! I wish I had a great answer, but my experience has been that it varies even item-to-item within the same line. I’ve had decent luck with Pendleton suit jackets.

    • No brand suggestions, but have you considered using a couple of blazers that fit you well through the arms, and using sleeveless dresses under those blazers? That way your arms aren’t exposed, but you can get away with a smaller number of items requiring tailoring (i.e. just a few blazers or cardigans).
      Or would you always want to take off the blazers in your office? I keep my knit blazers on since it’s usually on the cool side and I like the structure.

      • Yeah, I am a different size on top than bottom, but that’s pretty easy to work around.

        I also have the arm issue, which is a problem since I wear suits at work. Shirts are often problematic too.

        I have good luck with Ann Taylor.

    • Eh, a lot of us buy one size on top and one size on bottom for one reason or another. Welcome to the club. :)

    • I buy jackets with shoulder pads and then open up the lining and take them out for extra room. Barring that, maybe look for a jacket with a puffed sleeve? I think BR has one out right now. Otherwise, I think you have to shop for “mumsy” brands, like Land’s End and Talbots.

    • I have big upper arms too. It’s aggravating. I wear a lot of jersey dresses. And sleeveless ones.

    • Not sure if you are still reading, but I have found the Calvin Klein line of suiting/blazers to fit my heavier upper arms.

  11. I need San Diego recommendations! I tried a site search and didn’t find anything. We need a hotel near downtown for a few nights and then were thinking we’d go stay somewhere fun for the next few nights. We were thinking La Jolla but we really are open to anything.

    We also are looking for restaurant recommendations. We eat anything and at any price, so it just has to be good. :) And things to do besides the zoo. Do we need a car? Please help!

    • Hotel Del Coronado :

      is great / haunted / in Some Like It Hot. Go there for your non-SD days.

      • Hotel Del Coronado is really nice – Coronado Island is a great place to spend a day or two. The Estancia Hotel in La Jolla is a little bit out of the area you’re looking to stay in, but is also really nice and relaxing.

        In terms of downtown SD hotel recs, I’ve stayed at the Manchester Grand Hyatt a few times for work and it’s also a nice hotel. It’s right on the water in downtown SD and pretty centrally located.

        If you’re in La Jolla or staying outside the city, I would recommend a car. If you’re staying in the downtown area and don’t plan on leaving, then you’d be fine sans car.

      • Anonattorney :

        I just went back to the Del last year and was a bit surprised at how cheesy it was/had become. It’s good for a family, but I don’t think I would stay there again if I was on a trip with my husband. It felt Disney-esque.

        The food was good, though, and it’s beautiful, so I don’t know.

    • And I would love some good taco stand recs too!

    • I will write you a novel, as a fellow tourist.

      Didn’t like the Doubletree in Mission Valley. Was a central point, but hotel wasn’t super nice for what we paid. Plus too close to a mall, which if you’re from a big city is just meh. After going through La Jolla, I wouldn’t stay there only because of the sheer volume of tourists. I’d stay in Mission Valley/Mission Bay again.

      Food. YUM. Monello (Italian) was fantastic. I had the lasagna and thought I had died and gone to heaven. El Camnio was also delicious as is el puerto (?) in old town. Loved Urban Solace and Fig Tree Cafe. For quick lunches, Luna Grill was amazing.

      I really liked having a car, though it was possible to get around using the train. Visit all the beaches and go to coronado!! So pretty.

    • If it is one of your first times to SD, I would recommend taking the trolley tour. It goes all over, gives information on some of the neighborhoods, goes to Coronado, and I thought it was a fun way to get aquainted with the city.

      My favorite beach is Pacific Beach and I like breakfast at Kono’s (really casual, with a surf theme) while looking over the water. We stayed at the Marriott downtown before, and it was nice enough and pretty centrally located, but my husband it loyal to Marriott :) I would rent a car.

    • Anonattorney :

      I didn’t stay at La Valencia in La Jolla, but did eat there on their balcony. It’s lovely and very romantic. La Jolla was fun – lots of shopping and restaurants, and it’s beautiful. I think I would rather stay there than on Coronado.

    • Charlotte York :

      Do not stay in Mission Valley – that could be Anywhere USA. For hotels in La Jolla proper (as opposed to The Lodge or Estancia), I recommend The Colonial Hotel. If you like sushi, Zenbu in La Jolla is amazing.

      Outside of La Jolla, the Little Italy area is amazing. It’s close to downtown and there are a couple of boutique hotels there (La Pensione is one). Lots of great restaurants as well — Ironside Fish & Oyster just opened and it’s stunning.

      In downtown, the W hotel isn’t bad. The Hyatt on the water is better.

      Random things to do: the new library if you like architecture is worth a visit and hike to the observation deck; the Midway (aircraft carrier permanently docked downtown); favorite beach is Wind & Sea in La Jolla.

      Random food: Carnitas Snack Shack in North Park; Fidel’s Mexican in Solana Beach (avoid Old Town San Diego unless you want to hang with tourists);

      I would definitely rent a car as public transport is scarce.

    • We just got back, and stayed at the Catamaran Resort & Spa in Mission Beach. It was very affordable, and high quality for the price. Mission Beach is a great little walkable area with restaurants, beach, and Belmont Park, which has an old timey wooden roller coaster.

      You need a car to get to the zoo, and you’ll need an entire day at the zoo, if not two.

      We did Seaport Village at sunset – it has little shops and restaurants. We took a water taxi over to Coronado and walked there. Visited the Hotel Del Coronado (“the Del”). We took the antique-style gated elevator up to the fifth floor and there’s a little sitting balcony there. The 100yo elevator operator guy will show you. Little Italy was great for food and wine.

    • Alanna of Trebond :

      La Jolla Grande Colonial! Really cute brunch place nearby — the Cottage La Jolla.

      If you are open to staying further away from San Diego proper, the Park Aviara Hyatt is amazing, and is a former Four Seasons with Hyatt Prices. Great cocktails too.

      For a fancy dinner, check out Addison Del Mar.

  12. Jessica Glitter :

    Vicarious Shopping Help…
    I have an upcoming retreat with a professional organization that is going to be held at a retreat center that is out in the country. Dress will be casual, and we have been told that athletic/tennis shoes are suggested for outside events because it is going to be grassy. (We are not playing sports or anything).
    Other than my Asics running shoes, I don’t have any casual tennis type shoes. I am thinking I need something that will look cute with cropped pants/ skinny jeans/ shorts for casual days in the future.
    Any suggestions (points if it is less than $100…even more points if they are less than $50)? Thanks Ladies!

    • I like the classic keds (in white, red or navy), and toms (so many cute fabrics/patterns) are also a good option- and you’ll get a ton of wear out of them this spring/summer. I love pairing blue or white denim shorts with toms in the summer when my feet are tired of sandals, and they’re a good way to transition to the warmer weather when your feet aren’t primped for sandals yet! They’re both around $40-50.

    • Check out Nike’s light running shoes (Zappos is best to browse). They come in a wide range of cute color combos and aren’t bulky like normal running shoes. That being said, I would never go properly jogging in them because I’d want more support, but they are great for casual wear and light exercise.

    • I’d go with something Keds-like. Kate Spade has some cute Keds at Nordie’s right now, and Target has knock off Keds for about $20, which I own in many colors.

    • Diana Barry :

      Superga! Or Vans.

      • +1 to Superga. I wear mine (light gray) with everything in spring / summer. Or do a women’s shoes search on Zappos and sort for “Sneakers” and then “Athleisure” under Theme. I find this descriptor hilarious, but it’s pretty much what you’re going for!

      • +1 Very comfortable (for me) and so many style choices

    • I also love Keds, Toms, and Sperry’s for this. You can always find Sperry’s on sale on Zappos or 6pm for right around $50.

      • I was at DSW yesterday and they had cute Keds and Vans in great colors and prints. Keds in polka dot or mint green, etc. And they were all $39.95.,dsw12cat460004

    • Vans!

    • Wildkitten :

      I had a professional retreat last week and bought Vans but since the shoelaces are white they end up looking extremely casual – more casual that I would want. If I had had time and thought ahead I would’ve gotten Reebok Skyscapes. I think the colored laces make them look more polished. But there are probably better Vans available too – mine are what they had at my DSW and I don’t love them.

    • Think casual flats or sandals would be ok? I’m surprised they are suggesting athletic-style shoes if you’re 100% sure nothing physical/athletic will be happening.

      • Jessica Glitter :

        I think it is going to be “field” grassy vs. groomed grassy. I think there will be some lawn games, but we won’t be playing sports.

    • Lacoste or Sperry!

    • What about athletic ballerina shoes like these Keens

      or these Eccos (a bit more than your price range),default,pd.html?dwvar_802173_color=54190#cgid=women-casual

    • Miss Behaved :

      Maybe you need white converse as referenced by this apropos Cup of Jo post:

    • I have some Puma flats that I like for this sort of occasion. These aren’t them, mine have a cunning little mary jane strap, but this sort of thing.

  13. Pregnancy related threadjack :

    Hi ladies, can you tell me if it’s typical to get a callback from your doctor related to your 20 week ultrasound, even if everything is normal? He said everything was “completely fine” on the message, but that he wanted to go over the results.
    Called him back, now awaiting his call. Panicking, a bit.

    • Having never been pregnant I can’t really say, but if he said everything was completely fine, I can’t imagine there’s anything wrong. Is it possible the baby moved around and he wants to discuss the option of a c-section or something like that? Just a guess. But given that he said everything was fine, I don’t think you should worry at all.

      • 20 weeks is way too early to tell what position the baby will be in. The baby can completely flip around up until about week 36. OP, don’t panic!

      • Pregnancy related threadjack :

        Thank you, anon!

    • I got a callback, and my doc told me more than just “the baby’s normal” — she also wanted to tell me how my cervix looked, how there was plenty of amniotic fluid, what sorts of things they checked for (apparently they took 75+ ultrasound photos that she reviewed). It was a quick phone call but yes she wanted to speak to me in person about it and not just leave a message. Don’t panic!! and congratulations!

      • Pregnancy related threadjack :

        You’re very sweet, preg 3L – thank you for this reassuring response!

    • hoola hoopa :

      I’ve never once had a doctor leave a message that said “everything’s fine” but then have bad news when we next spoke. I can’t imagine anyone ever doing that.

      I got called back once because the tech forgot to get a picture off the check list. I came in for another u/s, everything was fine.

      It could also be something like a low-but-not-too-low placenta that will want them to have another u/s in a few weeks to make sure it’s not moving lower.

    • Maddie Ross :

      You could be measuring ahead or behind, which could impact your due date. My US changed my due date by a week (pushed it back).

    • Agree with everyone else. If they said fine then they’re just calling to tell you how big the baby is measuring, exactly what they checked (heart, lungs, etc.), and all kinds of other details that you are likely to forget. My doctor met with us like 30 minutes after the ultrasound and went over a lengthy list of everything they checked and looked at and gave us a bunch of measurements, weight, etc., told us the baby appeared to be measuring within 4 days of my estimated due date so they wouldn’t be changing the due date, but the bottom line was “everything is fine.” I honestly didn’t need the extra info, but it makes you feel like they were thorough!

    • Agree with everyone. Relax! My doctor always called to go over ultrasound results with me – literally, just repeating whatever was sent to the doctor’s office by the ultrasound technician. Especially if you didn’t have a doctor come in at the end of the ultrasound to discuss it with you, then I believe the thinking is that a doctor should talk to you about it, since it seems that the technician is limited in terms of what they’re allowed to say to you. (But even if you did, if it wasn’t *your* doctor, then your doctor is probably just calling you to follow up and see if you have any questions, etc.).

    • I had one of these, and it was because they hadn’t gotten a good picture of all the chambers of the baby’s heart or her kidneys. Super, super, super common. She was just wiggly. They got them on the next ultrasound, and I got the bonus extra ultrasound.

  14. Ladies, what do you think about wearing he j crew origami dress with a suit jacket for an interview? This is for an atty position in an office that veers more casual. I love the dress but I’m afraid the neckline might look off. TIA!

    • Do you already known own it and can try it on or are you thinking about buying online?

      I’d advise against it. I have it and I’ve tried it with traditional suit jackets and it looks kinda off. Mine is also thick & wool and doesn’t match my suit jacket nor would it fit well under the jacket. But maybe there is a new material for the same origami style/

      good luck!!!

    • Wildkitten :

      I’d advise against.

    • If it’s an attorney position, I’d wear a suit. You should be more formal in your interview than what you actually wear on the job.

    • I have found that the origami dress looks a bit odd with a blazer. The neckline is made to be worn alone (no sweater/jacket), IMO.

  15. Time to relax :

    Need workout inspiration please!

    Short story: I lost about 10 lbs in the past 3-4 months through food tracking in MyFitnessPal (MFP) and training for a half marathon. I don’t want to lose any more weight and I don’t want to do another race any time soon (worry about my joint health). How do I motivate myself to get to the gym?

    More details: My main goal now is to gain muscle, as I don’t want to lose more weight. When I was losing weight, MFP was a good motivator because I wanted to exercise to earn more food calories. Now, my daily calorie limit is much higher and I have no motivation to earn food calories through exercise. I’m confident with my body image, so looking good isn’t motivation. I’d like to motivate myself with muscle gain but it’s so slow-going that it’s hard to track improvements. My current “plan” is body pump on Mondays and Wednesdays, run and lift heavily Tuesdays and Thursdays, and spin on Fridays. I’m very intimidated by the weight room area at the gym but am trying to get over that.

    Thanks in advance, I know the hive will have some non-superficial exercise motivation!

    • I’m a member of Life Time Fitness and I signed up for their bootcamp class. It’s 1 hour 3 days per week and it’s HARD, way harder then I would ever work out on my own. It costs $179 per month so at 5:45 am I tell myself….I paid for this, now get out of bed. So far it’s been working and I’m seeing results. Maybe do something similar?

    • Have you checked out Fitocracy? It’s a site/community that gamifies exercise–I think you can earn badges and things like that for activity, there’s an app, groups you can join, etc. Maybe something like that could be motivating for you.

      A lot of met-con exercises (like Crossfit, but there are plenty of similar workouts you can do on your own without joining a box) can be motivating because you’re just trying to beat yourself–your last attempt, number of reps or time to complete.

      You could also try a session or two with a trainer, focused on the weight room area, so that you get in there and start to feel comfortable.

    • That actually sounds like too much lifting to me. Bodypump uses light weights, but it’s so many reps that your muscles still get fatigued – I wouldn’t do heavy lifting the day after. Have you considered doing bodyweight focused exercises instead? I’d recommend looking into yoga, TRX, barre, or even exercise DVDs that focus on bodyweight exercises (Ripped in 30 and T25 are the ones I can think of at the moment). I also did a “pole fitness” class recently, which was super fun and challenging!

      • I agree – I’d swap out one of those lifting/bodypump days for something like yoga/barre/Pilates so you can work on flexibility, too.

    • I think checking in with a trainer wouldn’t be a bad idea for you. Sounds like you just need someone to show you around the weight area.

    • Time to relax :

      Should have added… I’m on a VERY strict no spending budget right now. I’d love to do a trainer or a new class but unfortunately those options are out.

    • WestCoast Lawyer :

      Piggybacking to see if you have tips on using myfitnesspal. I keep wanting to use it, but find it difficult to enter anything other than prepackaged food with the nutritional information right on the label or meals from chain restaurants. I usually eat out at local places or occasionally cook at home. So if I have a chicken salad at a restaurant with 4-5 toppings and some dressing and I have no clue what anything weighs (much less what the amount I actually eat weighs, since I try not to devour everything on my plate), I can’t figure out what to enter in the app. Does it only work if you are eating at home and being meticulous about weighing/cataloging every single thing that goes into your meals?

      • I’m doing this right now, and have done it a lot of times in the past. I do a lot of estimating and attempt to overestimate. So, last night I had tortellini in pesto sauce (I know, not diet food) and I estimated it was about a cup and a half of tortellini, measured my pesto (because it’s pretty easy to measure a tablespoon) and guestimated that I had about 1/8 a cup of cheese. At the beginning of every stint calorie counting I measure some things out so that I get a sense of how much a cup/half cup/tablespoon is, and can eye it. If I’m not sure by eyeing something and I can’t or don’t want to measure to be sure, I round up.

        You can also search for prepared foods in myfitnesspal, so I don’t do the math to figure out how many calories are actually in a serving of shepherd’s pie, I search for shepherd’s pie and pick the one that sounds the most like mine, making sure I’m not just selecting the one with the fewest calories.

        FWIW, myfitnesspal is the only method of weightloss that actually works for me, I just tend to have trouble taking the time to do it for more than a few months at a time.

    • I know this isn’t muscle mass motivation per se, but I find it motivating increasing the weights every 2 weeks or so. In my head I equate muscle gain with strength. It makes me so happy when I can up my weights. Maybe you will get the same satisfaction I do out of increasing the weight.

  16. five words: job definition :

    To what extent does your job define you?

    I was thinking about that Nora Ephron essay (I think it was a commencement speech at Wellesley) where she says each decade you choose five different words to describe yourself. And the five she chose at 22 were completely different than the five she chose at 32, and so on.

    Would your job title be in your five words?

    • Yes, my job title would be in my five words. I feel like it explains a lot about me currently–where I spend the majority of my day, what I have been studying for during a large portion of my schooling, even kind of informs the way I think. It would not be the only word, and probably not the first word I would think of, but it would be on my list.

    • No it wouldn’t. Just did the exercise and I was surprised. Ran out of words before I got to my profession. I have trained for more than a decade to work in this field (think surgical subspecialist), yet I would describe myself as a wife and mother before surgeon. Interesting.

  17. So I know that everyone here praises Nordstrom’s for their customer service/etc., but this is my first awesome experience so I just have to share. I bought a leather jacket this weekend (the halogen waterfall jacket) and it was a pretty big splurge for me, but I justified it because (1) it came in petite, which is true of almost no leather jackets ever, (2) I’ve been looking for one for years, and (3) it’s not actually that expensive for a leather jacket. Then today it went on sale and they adjusted the price for me right away after a quick chat! $178 for a leather jacket. AND free shipping. If it fits I am so totally keeping it.

    I’ve had a really crappy past week so I really needed that. :) Also I can’t speak to the quality/etc. of the jacket because it’s still on its way to me, but PSA for anyone looking for one!

    • s in chicago :

      I’ve had them price adjust for me just using the chat function on their website. So the whole thing took about two mintues. They were able to look up my purchase and evertyhing. Nordstrom rocks.

    • I bought that jacket and returned it. The sleeves are extremely small, so I hope you have skinny arms.

  18. Need to Improve :

    I love these. I think they would be fine for the office with a more muted outfit.

  19. Anonymous :

    an old coworker sent me a posting at his law firm for job opening. Should I mention his name in the actual cover letter? I am going to send the cover letter to him to pass along. I am having trouble wording it. “I am writing at the suggestion of John Doe” ? or something like that?

    • Anonymous :

      No need to mention him in the cover letter if he is passing your resume and cover letter along.

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