Wednesday’s TPS Report: Bonnie Blouse

Our daily TPS reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

Elie Tahari Bonnie BlouseI’ve been eyeing this blouse at Bloomingdale’s for weeks now — something about it just strikes me as very modern but classic. I like the ruffled neckline (which I think would look a-ma-zing beneath a suit jacket) and the cinched waist in the back. It was $198, but through 2/10 is on sale for $118.80. Elie Tahari Bonnie Blouse

Seen a great piece you’d like to recommend? Please e-mail [email protected]



  1. Something about this feel very matronly to me.

    • Agreed. Maybe it is the black trousers?

    • +1 – I think it might be the neckline…

    • I think it is fine for a business outfit and I agree with Kat that the neckline would look great under a jacket.
      Without a jacket or a cardi it would look fine if tucked into a skirt, but the gathers in the back may interfere with that. I have a beautiful blouse, also by Tahari, that I don’t wear as often as it deserves because the back cinch is too high and it shows when tucked in, especially after a couple hours wear. Untucked, it is too loose and yes, slightly matronly.

    • I respectfully dissent. I think it’s quite modern. And the tie in back would keep it from being too boxy, I think. I’d be willing to give it a try-on, but I don’t like cap sleeves on me.

    • Signy Mallory :

      It’s the unfinished-looking neckline and sleeves. It looks sloppy and floppy, like someone forgot to put the finishing seams on a polo shirt.

    • Part of the problem is that it is too big in the bust area on the model – look at the extra fabric under the arm holes. But that could be a sign that it would be boxy on anyone.

      • This is generally a sign that something will fit my larger bust well, and the neckline is great for that. The back tie would work to reduce boxiness, s well.

  2. Guest at the wedding... :

    Tangentially related to the black tie thread I missed yesterday… I have a couple weddings coming up, both in major metropolitan areas (DC and The South, if it matters), both black tie optional. I’m 7 months pregnant, and have the somewhat-boring “black shift dress” from Seraphine — an inch or two above the knee, boat neck, 3/4 length sleeves. Do I get enough of a pass for being pregnant that I can dress it up with jewelry and shoes and look appropriate? Or ought I really find something a little more evening-y?

    • Hell yes on getting a pass.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I think you always get a pass for being pregnant and IMO, unless you have cash to burn, it’s silly to spend a ton on a black tie maternity long dress. I think that your outfit sounds fine – how about a blingy belt above your belly and an “evening” type clutch?

    • Diana Barry :

      Yes. But what size are you? I have two maternity black-tie dresses (one knee-length, one long). The knee-length one is purple tiny stripe (medium purple) in an 8 or so, the long one is a dark eggplant, size 10. Would be happy to lend them if you want to borrow. :)

      • Guest at the wedding... :

        Oooh, eggplant sounds gorgeous… I am an 8/10 depending on fit, and by mid-March, probably definitely more on the 10 side (she typed, while eating a deliciously fattening turkey pot pie). I’ll give my black dress a test run at the wedding next week, and if I’m not satisfied, I may take you up on that offer for the wedding in March. Thanks!

        • Diana Barry :

          It is really nice – it is an Aria dress, all silk etc. I was a bigger 10 by that point too! You can email me, diana barry r e t t e (all one word) at gmail, if you want to borrow it. :)

    • You definitely get a pass if you want, but I did use for my brother’s wedding when I was 6 months pregnant and was overall happy with the experience. It’s like rent the runway and functions similarly. I got a dress that was decent enough quality for one night, looked cute and fit as I expected.

      Just another thought.

    • Guest at the wedding... :

      Phew, thanks! That’s what I thought, but wanted to make sure it wasn’t wishful thinking on my part. I’d much rather spend on some pretty, comfortable shoes than a new dress.

      • The fact that you’re seven months pregnant and leaving the house and not wearing a mumu everywhere impresses me. So…. :-) Not wishful thinking – at least not if I was a bride or guest at that wedding or any event of the sort.

  3. Moving to the City :

    Does anyone have a recommendation for a dermotologist in New York City? I do not have any serious issues, I just would like better skin and would like someone to tell me a couple of basic products that would be best for me.

    Thank you for the hair dresser recommendations — fabio was fantastic.

    • I went to Tribeca Skin Center on the recommendation of a friend and really liked it! They took seriously my skin issues and didn’t make me feel superficial or petty for one second about the ones that were more about appearance and less about health.

    • I had a good experience with Arash Akhavan, as part of the Bruce Heller Dermatology practice. The website is bruceheller DOT net. A few people here had actually recommended the practice.

    • Dr Mary Buchness in Soho. Made a huge difference for me. The best part is it’s a real doctor’s office, not just a place with botox injections.

    • Not a dermatologist – but I swear by Mario Badescu products. Since you live in the city, I would check out their office on 52nd bt 1st and 2nd and their $65 facials.

    • Just in case you’re still checking – I LOVE my dermatologist – Dr. Jane Schneider, 250 W 57th St, (212) 489-6669.

      • I use her, too (I think on your rec, eeyore), and I like her a lot. She also works in an office with a lot of derms with subspecialties, and she has referred me to some of them in the past, although I still see her for my basic issues and annual checkup.

    • Moving to the City :

      Hooray! Thank you for all of the recommendations.

  4. Dreading telling my boss that there’s a good chance that I probably won’t come in and will work from home on Friday, due to the impending snowstorm. He’s going to be annoyed since there are several meetings that it would be helpful for me to be present for (and not just by phone/web), and he never understands why people decide not to drive in due to the snow. But he drives a Range Rover and has his own big wide driveway, while I drive an itty bitty car that handles incredibly poorly in snow, and navigate a treacherous-in-the-best-conditions unpaved and steep apartment parking lot.

    Sigh. Just gotta screw up my courage and do it, I guess.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      It was a long time ago and we had a great relationship, but my boss used to go out of his way pick me up and drop me off when it snowed because he knew I didn’t feel comfortable driving in the snow and he drove a big truck. If my boss had been anyone else, I’m not sure how the conversation would have gone about missing work because of snow. Good luck!

      • Wow, your lucky! My boss take’s the train in from LI, so he could not pick me up in a snow storm, and my dad want’s me to walk, b/c I am looseing weight and firmeing up my tuchus! Yay!

        But now my dad want’s to call Gonzalo’s restrunt, b/c I told him about the breast rub. FOOEY! I said not to call, b/c it did NOT have to do with the food we ate, but my dad, who is so smart, said that if he rubbed a womans’ breasts when he helped them on with their coat, that would be BAD for the restruant. I often loose argument’s with him. FOOEY!

        Does anyone in the HIVE know the WC Judge’s in Queens and Nassau County? I had to do alot of research (all billeable–YAY!), but the manageing partner is makeing me do the arguement’s for cases out there and I do NOT know the judge’s. HELP!

    • It’s not worth risking your safety – your boss just needs to suck it up. Is there any way any of the meetings can be rescheduled?

      And I don’t know if you live in a part of the country where it snows often enough to make it worthwhile, but I got snow tires a while ago and am amazed at the difference they make.

    • Sounds to me like you’re planning ahead, being proactive, not letting the conditions get in the way of your goals, and other stuff that bosses like

      • ita. Also, I bet a number of people will not be in on Friday due to the snow, and thus the meetings will be either via phone/video or cancelled.

    • Aw, good luck. I had a boss like that once. Then I learned what good bosses are: I had a boss that drove a Ford Expedition and would call me when she left her house saying “DON’T YOU DARE GET ON THE ROAD” because she knew I’d try.

      Now I work semi-remotely, and when I do go into Boston, I take the train…but my boss, who lives down south, has no problem if I work at home if it’s bad weather/cold out.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      This is a tough subject and I have mixed feelings on it. On the one hand, if you can do your job remotely then bosses should support people staying off the roads. It is a safety issue and makes the roads safer for everyone.

      On the other hand, some jobs require you to get to work no matter what. I had to commute 45 minutes each way in saturn stick shift when I worked at a jail. No snow days. I ended up becoming an awesome snow driver and I’m confident I can drive in anything. I am not confident, however, that everyone else can drive in everything. There is nothing I can do when someone else loses control and slides across the road into my car.

      Now that I am no longer “essential personnel” I would prefer to work from home and not have to chance someone else crashing into me.

      I think if I were boss, I’d be sympathetic for people avoiding snow driving for regular work situations but expect if there was something very important going on (deposition, out of town client in town) that they allow themselves extra time and make it in. If it is a long commute I’d probably offer to put them up in a hotel near work or whatever event they were required at.

      • I also think that it depends on where you live and how often you get snow. If it is a city where heavy snow is a rare occurrence (once every few years, entire city is paralyzed), then I think you have more flexibility. If you live in a Northern city that gets regular winter snowstorms, then at some point, you probably need to learn how to deal with it/drive in it. I’m not saying that today (or Friday) is that day, but I’m just thinking that there is a big difference between taking a snow day in Boston and a snow day in Nashville.

        • This. If you live in a place where it regularly snows — northeast, michigan, minnesota, etc, you can’t take the day off for snow. You should be adept at driving in it, and the municipalities should have plows and salt trucks. Especially if you have an important meeting on that day. If other people can make it to work, you can make it to work.

          • Pwahahaa. You made me lol for real. I completely agree about no snow days in some places, and add Wisconsin to the list. Also, another person makes a good point below about the parking lot. If that is the only problem, then the op needs to figure out how to avoid it.
            But if op is in Memphis and gets 6″ dumped on her city, with freezing rain below and on top of it, then she and her boss will be glad if they’ve figured out ways for her to work remotely that day.

    • Anne Shirley :

      If I were your boss I’d be annoyed at this. The storm is 2 days away, and snow predictions are notoriously unreliable, so I’d rather not be worried about you missing meetings when it might not even happen. If the problem is the treacherous unpaved lot, can you park somewhere easier Thursday night and walk to your car? Take public transit? Pick up an SUV zipcar? Get a lift from a friend with a 4 wheel drive? I don’t begrudge a snow day, but I do think you need to be trying a bit harder to make it in when a) you have important meetings, and b) it sounds like you expect most other people will be there.

      • Agree with this. If the city really is shut down its one thing, but I’ve never worked somewhere where employees just chose snow days. Either it’s bad and the company closes for everyone, or you go in.

        • OP here – I may be being overcautious – I just want to give my boss a heads up that it might happen, but maybe I should rethink that.

          We have never once “closed for snow” but there have been days where I’ve braved it/driven in and found that no one else did except for my direct supervisor. It’s a small company – we have no official holidays, fairly flexible work hours etc and I don’t think we’ve ever “closed down” for anything (including Christmas Day – people use a vacation days).

          The problem is half treacherous unpaved lot and half that my car just plain does not handle well in snow (skids and slides on a dime, cannot climb up hills – it’s a SoCal car, for sure!), and (I know) I am an underconfident snow driver which makes me more dangerous. I hear the argument that I should just suck it up – but I’m not sure this, or any job, is worth the risk that I could injure someone else on the road when I can do a pretty good job from home, just not *as well* as I could do from the office (these meetings aren’t people-coming-in meetings, they’re phone meetings, but my boss prefers to have someone to physically pull the documents etc before the meeting). Maybe I’m borrowing trouble, I don’t know. There have been times where everyone else I know in the city has had their office shut down or public transit has shut down, and I have felt pressured to brave it and make it in (as above, only to find out that my boss and I are the only ones who did) and our company is still “open for business” technically. A lot of people live pretty close and I live a bit further out, which complicates things as well.

          • It sounds like you are in Rome and that you must do as the Romans do.

            It may be too late for this week, but I used to have snow tires on my care from October until April each year. They make a tremendous difference (and you can leave them on all year if you have no storage space; they are just noisier to drive on).

            I know people who leave their cars at the bottom of hills for when particularly bad storms are brewing.

            Public transit might get you through in a bind, but then perhaps you can practice driving over the weekend. You go slowly and leave plenty of distance between you and the next car. Watch for black ice in the days following a storm. In any event, don’t do anything abruptly, especially braking and turning.

            I wouldn’t want for you to become That Girl.

          • Pull the files today. If boss likes printed agendas, run them off today, etc. Do as much of the physical stuff today as you possibly can, then when you go to boss, say, “I sure hope I can be here tomorrow for the xx meeting, but in case I don’t make it in, here are files a, b, c, & g, the agenda, blah, blah, blah”. Have it all anally over-organized in binders or on conference room tables, whichever boss prefers.

          • I agree with Saacnmama — prepare everything that you could need today and tomorrow. And I agree with the posters below, this needs to be a game time decision.

          • I agree with Saacnmama. Do prep today/tomorrow as far as physically pulling files and have them all laid out neatly in a central place. Wait until Thursday midday to Thursday afternoon when its closer to the storm actually hitting before mentioning it your boss that you might not be able to make it in – you don’t want to mention it now. If lots of offices are shut down in your city, its valid for you not to go in either – but if offices are open, you should be going in too.
            And don’t use your car/apartment parking lot as an excuse unless you live in an area that rarely gets snow. I wouldn’t want to hear “well it a SoCal car” if you live in the PNW or NorthEast – be a big girl and do something about it or have a plan B, don’t just make excuses.

          • Personally, it seems slightly juvenile to me that you would tell your boss in advance that you cannot come to work two days from now because of potential weather (although I agree that you should be prepared and pull everything beforehand, just in case). I think you have three options: 1) go in and work on Friday; 2) stay at a hotel /friend’s house / make alternate arrangements on Thursday night so that you can go in on Friday; or 3) stay home on Friday and accept that your boss may criticize you for it.

            With that said, I don’t think you should jeopardize your safety to go to work. But I do think there are measures you can take (staying somewhere else, practice driving in the snow) to avoid this situation.

          • To clarify – I wasn’t saying I definitely won’t come in. If the storm ends up being overblown (ha), or clearing up early, or whatever, then of course I’ll come in. I was just talking about giving my boss a heads up that I *may* not come in if the weather prevents me from doing so safely.

            I can go through every woulda-shoulda-coulda in the world but at least for this Friday, with 1-2ft of snow expected, the weather may prevent me from getting into the office safely. That’s all I wanted to give my boss a heads up on – but I hear the advice here that I should wait until later in the day tomorrow, when the forecast is clearer.

          • Yeah, OP, I know that’s what you were saying, and I think it’s well-intentioned but misguided. I don’t think it will reflect well on you to tell your boss even later tomorrow, pre-storm, that you may not make it in on Friday. Just wait and see what weather conditions are Friday morning (and get up early so that if conditions are crappy but still driveable, you can make it in on time).

            The only reason I could think of to tell your boss tomorrow is if you’re going to be the only one who won’t make it in… in which case I’d urge you to reconsider. Being the only one who doesn’t make it in is not the way you want to distinguish yourself.

      • Yeah, I think OP at least needs to wait until said snowstorm to make a call about whether driving is a safe option. Notifying days ahead of time when conditions are unknown isn’t SOP.

        • Agree— as a supervisor I’d be a little miffed by someone planning a day off days in advance. If she can’t get in, she can’t get in. But that’s a game-time decision.

      • Agreed. Planning a snow day two days out may come across too much like planning an excuse way ahead, when the weather may well not be as bad as expected, etc.

        Also agree to go ahead and prepare for hte meeting, get everything pulled, organized, and ready.

        How would it go over for you to suggest to boss that he pick you up in his large SUV if he is inordinately upset that you cannot be there on Friday? That may make him rethink whethe it is really all that important foryou to be there physically if it puts him out to make it happen.

        On the other hand if most everyone else will be there, you need to do what it takes to get there–public transic, cabs, catch a ride, etc.

        Likewise, ifyou are in Memphis this will probably be better received than if you are in New York.

        Finally, from someone who was broadsided by a 16 year old during our last little sleet storm, a 16 year old who was out driving b/c oh, my, the schools must close early b/c the roads are too bad, if you do take a snow day, DO stay at home and work unless you are taking a vacation day. As a boss, if I need secretaries at the office, it annoys me to have them leave b/c of the roads only to drive to the levee (giving away my location) to go sledding and play in the snow!

    • My first vote is for a work-from-home day, especially if it is bad enough (and if any parents are due in, they may be stuck home for school closings or delays). Any chance of a delay coming in? I have found it much easier to get in by 10, which means that the sun has come up by the time you have to scrape off your car and the roads are in much better shape.

      And since I do not trust other drivers (esp. the ones who leave a ton of snow on their roof and then hit the highway), that puts you on the road with more space and fewer tempers.

      From the repair bills I have seen, I am not sure that the RR counts as reliable transportation. Your boss may not even appear. RRs sure are pretty, but I’d put my $ on a Subaru any day.

    • I had someone email me one evening recently and tell me that they were going to work from home the following day because of freezing rain and ice. By the next morning, when I got the message, it was 50 degrees, and there was no ice anywhere (or rain, for that matter). She still worked from home, and I have to say, I question her judgment for not re-evaluating when the weather ended up being fine.

    • Can I just point out the fact that if you’re referring to the same storm that’s in my forecast, it’s named NEMO! How do I get the job to name winter storms???

      • long time lurker :

        I did not realize naming non-hurricanes was a “thing” until recently.

        • The National Weather Service started doing it because people tend not to take winter storms seriously, when they can be as dangerous as some tropical storms.

          /random trivia

          • momentsofabsurdity :

            I think I read somewhere that it’s actually the Weather Channel that’s doing this and the NWS has a beef with them because they don’t want to name storms and they think it’s dumb.

          • Meg Murry :

            Yeah, its the weather channel (its somewhere on their website). They say they are doing it because people tend to take named storms more “seriously” and that big storms tend to get names by the newsmedia anyway, so they might as well name them first – think Snowmaggedon, Snowpocolypse, etc. I think its a gimmic to increase traffic to their website and tv channel, and find it annoying. “The blizzard of 1979” (as talked about in our area) is much more descriptive than “Winter Storm Nemo” to me.

    • I totally understand. I am starting a job in a few months and it will be my first time commuting in winter weather. I am kind of terrified as I grew up in CA then spent years within walking distance of work. I am just really hoping that my supervisors will be flexible with snow. The thing is, in my experience, it’s not the massive snowstorms that are the worst. Those days people stay home and it gets plowed the next day. The worst is those sleeting days where it looks like it might just be rain but it is icy and people are usually dumb and think they can drive like normal. And then you change lanes and your car loses traction.

      I think in your situation, I would give your boss a heads up and figure out a contingency plan (docs pulled tomorrow etc) to tell him you’ll do IF there’s enough snow. Don’t just tell him you won’t show up.

      Ugh. So not looking forward to next winter. I’m just praying that the Mass Pike is too well plowed and heavily travelled for ice and snow to build up. :(

  5. Another black tie optional question: I have a black tie optional wedding at a fancy place in a fancy/wealthy location of the country. Can I wear a short dress, or am I going to stand out? For reference, the dress I’d ideally like to wear is strapless, silk-chiffon, black with a pink floral pattern and a flouncy-ruffly peplum. Is this too casual? How can I dress this up? Do I need a dressier fabric / pattern? I really, really, really don’t want to buy a new dress.

    • As an alternate option, I also have a cream colored shift dress that has a drop waist and red, orange and yellow beading all over it. Its vintage (though I have no idea when it is from, I just know the tag is an old looking tag) and very Gatsby looking, which I know is trendy right now. The wedding is in a warm location, but its in Feb. Can I wear cream?

      • I may be old school, but my view on this is that no-one at a wedding should be wearing white or cream, except for the bride. The dress sounds lovely though!

    • At black tie optional (and even black tie) weddings I’ve attended, no one under 40 wore long dresses unless they were a bride or in the wedding party. Most people wore cocktail length, i.e., knee length, not mid thigh – which would not have looked appropriate. I think your dresses sound fine. Fwiw, my frame of reference is fancy places in NYC and thereabouts. Not sure if the rules are different regionally.

    • I was just at a black-tie optional wedding in New England, and the female guests were almost all in dressy c*cktail-length dresses. Just make sure your shoes are proper evening shoes (no leather), and wear some jewelry. Sometimes an updo can be dressier, if you’re comfortable throwing your hair up.

      I think either dress would be fine, as long as the cream one is sufficiently colored by the beading. I personally don’t love the “no white at a wedding” convention, but it’s pretty widespread and is wise to obey to avoid hurting feelings.

      • After I wrote that, I realized I should have been more clear that the cream dress is sufficiently covered in colored beading that its not really a cream dress. I’m more concerned with the fact that its seasonally inappropriate than with the fact that its bridal looking.

        No leather, but patent leather is okay, right?

        Up do is a good idea, especially if I decide to go with the strapless dress.

        • I’d still avoid anything with a cream or white base. Brides (and mind you I am one in a few months) get really touchy about that.

          • Sorry, I am not avoiding a red, orange and yellow beaded dress just because it has a cream base. It looks nothing like a wedding dress and reads very colorful, not cream. It’s absurd to rule out any dress that has white or cream in it. Perhaps when you’re a bit distanced from your own wedding, you’ll have some better perspective on what are legitimate gripes and what are not.

          • I have no idea what anyone wore at my wedding. Was the last thing on my mind.

          • Agree with Anonymous. I was a summer bride. Expecting guests not to wear dresses that have some white in them is a little silly. Nobody mis-took my guests for the bride.

        • Ah, OK, then scrap my previous comment about no cream. It sounds like there is enough colour in it not to worry. Wear it! It sounds gorgeous.

        • Black moire shoes. Any department store should have a selection. I have a lovely pair from literally 15 years ago which have held up well. They will look dressier than patent IMO

      • No snark intended — what shoes do you wear, if not leather?

        • I also wondered about the no leather… are you supposed to wear satin shoes? Does anybody really follow this for black tie except at the most conservative of conservative events? I don’t.

          • Re: “does anybody really?” for me, I don’t wear flat leather shoes at evening *social* events if the dress is c*cktail or dressier (work / networking events are different of course). But this was pretty well ingrained in me during my sorority days, so maybe I just drank the koolaid on this one and times have changed! Even if I am just brainwashed, though, I definitely think regular leather looks “off” with evening wear.

          • Yeah it just occurred to me that I’ve haven’t had to wear closed-toed shoes to a black tie event since I moved back to Texas. It’s been warm enough here for me to wear strappy stiletto sandals, and I confess to not paying much attention to my footwear generally given that when I’m standing, you usually can only see the tips of my toes, and when I’m sitting, my feet are usually under a table. But I also wouldn’t put my closed-toed leather work high heels w/ a black tie gown.

        • Satin, sparkly, sequined, gold, silver, bejeweled, etc. Basically something that you wouldn’t wear to the office but that’s still dressy.

        • Patent, velvet, satin, shiny metallics, etc. (I think — having never been to a black tie affair and unlike to do so any time soon.)

        • Evening shoes and sandals are traditionally made from dressier fabrics like satin or velvet. Or patent leather, as Anon suggests. Regular leather does not complement evening and formal wear— but of course there are always exceptions, particularly if it’s embellished.

          Anon, I think the beaded dress sounds really fun, and I don’t think you should worry about the seasonality of a cream base. Especially if you’re somewhere warm.

          • The beaded dress is fun! I think I’ll wear it with some bright shoes and do something fun with my hair. Bonus that it was less than $10 from a thrift store (I spent $40 on shortening it and other alterations).

        • Go to your favorite department store’s website and search shoes in the “evening” or “formal” category— that gives a pretty good idea of what distinguishes a day shoe from a fancy one.

  6. Would appreciate advice:

    A company that I previously worked for changed its name during my tenure there. I have indicated this on my resume by listing the employer as “Company 2.0 (formerly Company).” I recently learned that the name has changed again! Do I need to now say something like “Company 3.0 (formerly Company)”? (I’m not job hunting, but want to keep my resume/LinkedIn info current.)


    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I think if you werent working there when they became Company 2.0, you can totally omit the fact that they ever were on your resume. So I think you can say “Company 3.0 [formerly “Company”]” and leave out mention of 2.0 altogether.

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        Oh wait – I read this wrong. I would list it as whatever it was when you left and then a “now”. So

        Company 2.0 [now Company 3.0]

        and omit Company (where you started) altogether.

        • My concern with this would be people trying to casually look into her tenure at Company, which was its name when she worked there (rather than 2.0). I’ve dealt with this once. I thought about what kind of search engine results would come up from which names, and how someone could most speedily verify my being at (wherever I was, at the time I said I was there). So to the OP I’d say put the company’s current name and in parentheses its name during your tenure. Searching for either name will likely yield the connection to 2.0 anyway, but what’s most relevant is who they are now and who they were when you worked for them.

    • As a threadjack to a threadjack – how do you list a former employer that changed its name after you left? FWIW, it was a law firm that merged with another law firm.

    • I used to work for a company that had millions of names (kept getting acquired). On my resume, I listed the main company, then in small print underneath, put, “formerly X, Y, Z and B.” This was important in my industry, because things move quickly and I interviewed places that hadn’t known that company Y was now part of Main Company.

  7. OB/GYN Recommendations in NYC :

    I just moved to NYC and am looking for a new ob/gyn (DH and I are planning to start trying to conceive in the next few months). I’m not quite sure what I’m looking for besides someone friendly and competent, although flexible hours and subway access would be nice. If there is anyone you would particularly recommend or avoid, please let me know. Thanks in advance!

    • She’s on the UES, which may or may not be convenient for you, but I’ve been seeing Lorraine Chrisomalis Valasiadis for the past few years. I like her and I think that she’s really smart. I can’t quite tell if I feel rushed or if she just moves at lightening speed, but I generally think she takes the time to address any questions that you might have. She does have reasonably flexible hours, if I remember correctly (she used to have Saturday appointments, and still might).

      But, NYC ‘r e t t e s, I’d appreciate a west side or downtown recommendation!

    • LeChouette :

      Spring Street OB GYN in soho. I have been going there for a few years and the doctors are great and the office is wonderful and it has a great focus on the OB side — I chose them after friends who had babies chose them for baby having.

    • For high risk pregnancy (I was >35), the NYU Maternal Fetal Medicine was fantastic. They are located in the east 30’s, near the 6 train. They have ultrasound machines in the office, so you do not need to go to a separate location for your ultrasound appointments. There are GYNs there in addition to OBs and drs who only do low risk pregnancies.

    • new york associate :

      I use Downtown Women, in Soho. They’re very solid.

    • I’ve heard great things about Downtown Women in SoHo. I’m not TTC but I go to Eileen Perry, N.P., at West Care Medical. 200 W 57th St, (212) 663-6604.

    • I love my OB/GYN practice – Downtown Women Ob-gyn. Great, efficient, caring group.

  8. Happy Anon :

    I’d love to have hot water in my office so I can make tea. Does anyone have a recommendation for an electric kettle or something similar?

    • I have a breville varied temp one at home that I love. But if you want something simpler for the office, I have also had good experiences with Bodum. I’d get this one in whatever color makes you happiest:

    • The cheap $20 ones at Target work fine… but I LOVE my Breville multi-temp kettle:

    • I’ve got a Cuisinart one that I like.

  9. Hollis Doyle :

    I’m looking to change birth control methods and, after speaking with my dr, my quest for somethig short-term (DH and I will probably start TTC in 6 months to a year) and ideally non-hormonal has led me to the diaphragm. (We would rather not use condoms for various reasons.) Does anyone have any experience using a diaphragm? Is it totally inconvenient and a mood-killer to have to wait 20 minutes after putting it in?

    • +1 for your handle!

    • Olivia Pope :

      Hollis. What are you doing here?

    • Had one b/w PGs 2 and 3. Never did use it and only really asked b/c I felt like I needed to leave my 6-week checkup with something and didn’t want that something to be hormonal. Brilliant in theory though.

    • That’s how I got my second child. I have heard they are more reliable if you have not had children yet.

    • Great question. We’re about 6 months – 1 year out from TTC (YIKES!) and have stopped hormonal bc. We tried the trojan-method recently for the first time in years and both hated it. Total loss of feeling. Does anyone have an alternative suggestion that’s working for them? All I can think of is Elaine and her sponges, but I don’t even know if those are good or even exist anymore.

      • The sponge is how I got pregnant while in college–it fell out in the toilet a couple hrs after. Maybe a diaphragm stays in place better because there are different sizes.

      • I haven’t used it personally, but a lot of ladies here really love Taking Control of Your Fertility – not sure of the author. From what I’ve read here, it is helpful in getting pregnant, but also preventing it by understanding your cycles/ovulation/best times for getting pregnant (ie what times to avoid).

        • Giraffe with curls :

          I read TCOYF and charted for a bit before I got pregnant, and I really did enjoy learning about my body. But, I don’t think I would want to use charting as my sole means of BC if I really didn’t want to get pregnant – TCOYF is definitely not the “rhythm method” but it still didn’t feel as secure as I wanted in the time after I came off BC and before we started TTC. So it was condoms for those few months, for better or worse!

      • The sponge episode was on the other day! Too funny.

    • As someone who cannot tolerate hormonal birth control, I have lots of thoughts. I recommend 1) charting (following the methods in Taking Charge of Your Fertility), using no contraception during the “safe” times, and 2) the sponge and/or condoms during your most fertile times. I successfully deferred pregnancy for months with this method, and then got pregnant on our first “try”. I wouldn’t suggest this method if it was IMPERATIVE that you did not get pregnant, but if you’re close to TTC and an accident wouldn’t be the end of the world, this was a great method. Sponges aren’t cheap, but I find them to interfere the least. Finally, if the trojan method didn’t work, you might want to think about switching brands — there really is a difference.

      • Obviously I cosign this, because I mentioned TCYF above. I also cosign trying different brands/styles. Make it a Lady Garden Party challenge.

    • I have problems with hormonal birth control and use a combination of a diaphragm and condoms. I also second the recommendations above for charting a la TCOYF. If you really don’t want to get pregnant, you can double up on methods during your fertile times. It can be a little but of a mood killer, but if you plan ahead a bit, you can put it in ahead of time so I haven’t found it to be a big deal. DH and I have been doing this for over a year without any surprise bundles of joy.

  10. CLEANING TJ: I just started with the Flylady cleaning system, and it is sooooo corny, but once you get past that, I totally love it. I get easily overwhelmed when it comes to cleaning — my parents never really taught me how to do it, so I feel like I’m flailing sometimes, and I don’t like spending lots of time on it. So the Flylady system of assigning a short task every day is perfect!

    So if there are people out there like me who are not good at cleaning or who are easily overwhelmed, I highly recommend it.

    • Flylady’s web site overwhelmed me (really visually cluttered, last I looked), but I then discovered an app called Home Routines that is amazing. Based on Flylady’s system but highly customizable. Can’t recommend it enough for folks who are into automate-my-life stuff and/or find household management a bit overwhelming in terms of time-management. It does cost money but it’s not terribly expensive. $5, maybe?

      • AnonInfinity :

        I just checked out this app, and I’m such a Luddite, I can’t understand. Do you buy it and then pick the system that you want to use and it tells you what to do each day? Or do you have to manually set up what tasks it tells you to do each day?

        In other words, will it take more than 30 seconds for me to get the whole thing set up, or am I looking at some sort of time investment on the front end?

        I just put my house on the market, and I’m looking for ways to make it easier to be sure that we are show ready every day before leaving for work. Feeling overwhelmed already.

    • I love FlyLady’s system, but I hate the site’s juvenile writing style, poor design, and the spam. Highly, highly recommend, but once you’ve gotten the idea, save your sanity and unsubscribe from everything!

      I’m intrigued by the app. Will definitely look at that more closely when I get home tonight.

    • I love fly lady. I try to ignore all the sentimental mumbojumbo. I was doing really well but due to a crazy December and January (and it is creeping into February now too) I fell off the cleaning wagon. I need to just get back on, but I’m feeling extremely overwhelmed. Is there a therapist that deals exclusively with cleaning? Like a cleaning lady who comes and cleans your house but also talks to you about anxiety? I think this would be a million dollar venture.

      • Merabella, +1000000000000000000000000

        I get sooo ovetwhelmed, especially when there’s clutter to move before cleaning can happen, that just totally freeze & can’t function.

        DS is the same way. He and I have just started setting aside 30-60 min every evening for cleaning. We aren’t using one of those schedules, because there’s something to do One night he opened mail & I told him which pile to out it in–recycle, file, or action–while I washed dishes. Tonight we’ll probably work on his room.

        • I think I just need to set a timer and get started, but damn if that doesn’t seem pretty daunting.

          • I read that someone who was having trouble with this scheduled unpleasant tasks immediately after a pleasant task, giving her more energy and motivation to start both tasks. For example, if she had to spend 45 minutes cleaning, she would watch one episode of her favorite TV show first, so that she could (a) not waste time procrastinating and (b) plan for both pleasant and unpleasant-ness. Maybe this could help?

      • This morning, my cleaning lady asked me if I was okay, checked in on my pregnancy, offered to help me move, sympathized with my crazy work schedule, and offered to babysit my toddler. It was better than therapy!

    • Calibrachoa :

      I recommend “Unf**ck your habitat” app on the iphone-lots of foul language but it gets the job done :D

    • Agree. Once you get past the corny, Flylady can be a great way to stay on top of the chores. I do have to add in a day of really “deep” cleaning like the oven and stuff but for the routine daily and weekly stuff Flylady is awesome!

  11. Another TJ…I work between two offices, and I’m trying to find the best bag to carry a bunch of stuff back and forth without carrying multiple bags. I have some great purses, but I really need something to carry things like a lunch (and/or breakfast), a pair of shoes (during the winter), ipad, a file or two, etc. I do have a rolling briefcase that I use for my work laptop and most of my files, but I feel as though I move out of my house every day! Any suggestions for a cute bag – maybe a tote? I don’t even know what I need! – would be appreciated.

    • I purchased something similar to this, which I haven’t used yet. But I love the tote/backpack combo.

    • I just got this one for similar purposes in the cherry (dark purply-red) color:, because a number of women on here have recommended Jack Georges totes. People seem to like Tumi as well.

      I’m not sure if this is big enough for what you want – I don’t usually carry shoes – but they have a number of nice-looking options.

    • I’ve seen some nice totes lately that are expandable–they may have folds that zip up or down to allow extra room when you need it. This might be good for you since you’d have the necessary space for shoes, etc. but you wouldn’t be lugging something huge for no reason at times when you carry fewer things. No links, sorry, but just a style to look out for (and perhaps grab before the trend dies)

    • I feel like this is what the Lo & So bags are designed for? Lots of stuff, a bit bigger than your normal purse, plus a shoe compartment…

      • Yes, I was just going to suggest the OG would be perfect for this. I love mine!

      • And the LO & Sons OMG & OG have a back pocket that is designed to go over a suitcase’s rolling handle, so that might work well with your rolling briefcase.

        If you want something less expensive, I’ve seen nice looking quilted nylon totes at TJMaxx/DSW type stores that look like a good balance between classy and functional, less of a “bag lady” look.

        Also, I keep 2 collapsible bags like this one in my everyday bag – very handy for days when you realize you have to carry out a lot more than you carried in, or separate shoes/lunch etc within a bigger bag.

    • I have a similar problem, working from my car with 2-10 files per day, in and out of appointments all over the place. I very nearly bought a luggage carry-on similar to the below, but couldn’t find one with a shoulder strap in a decent pattern. I ended up just going with multiple bags and feeling overloaded entering/leaving the house every day. Still may consider this in the future…

      • Actually meant to link this one, since it’s got more features you would want:

    • What about a nice leather tote? I feel like something like this will last you forever and be useful for so many of life’s occasions.

      • I’m in moderation but was above suggesting an expandable leather tote, of which I’ve seen a few lately.

    • One word of caution— leather totes, especially of the size you’d need for what you’re considering packing, can be HEAVY. You might want to see what you can find in nylon, or maybe try a cross-body style in leather.

    • I recommend checking out some of the larger bags at MZ Wallace – the Belle, or the Kate, or the Emma. They are lightweight and well-organized. I can fit lunch, a laptop, and a pair of shoes in mine, plus a wallet and a small pouch for cosmetics.

    • I really like the Kailo Chic laptop bag (on It’s inexpensive (compared to some of the other recommendations), lightweight, well-c0nstructed, and slips over a suitcase handle.

  12. I’ve been thinking about trying it for this reason. I never did any chores/cleaning when I was growing up (had a stay at home mom who was a control freak about these things… loved it then, hate it now that I don’t know how to do anything!!!) and so I need to learn.

    • Dammit this was about Flylady

    • I’ve tried to get on the FlyLady bandwagon and failed more than once – I’ll probably try again later this year as part of my “1 new resolution/good habit a month” 2013 plan. I’ve also heard good things about unf*ckyourhabitat – which is more aimed at general slobs like me and is more gender neutral, whereas I feel like FlyLady is aimed at households where women do most of the household chores – and in our house, my husband does a lot of the chores, especially ones involving cooking & dishes. Unfortunately, ufyh is run on tumblr, which is blocked at my office.

      • They have an app that you could use

      • UFYH (which I do also like) seems to be more aimed at people who have a ton of disorganized clutter everywhere, which isn’t me — I’m pretty minimalist, so my house stays relatively picked-up most of the time. I need help with cleaning, not organizing: dusting, scrubbing showers, cleaning toilets, mopping floors, etc. But I love GIFs, so I do go to UFYH pretty often, too. :)

        And yes, FlyLady is old fashioned and gender-normative and ridiculous — I just skip to the assignment. If I had a smartphone, I’d use the HomeRoutines app, but alas.

        • Patent Pending :

          Try Home Comforts. It’s a book, not an app, but it has weekly/daily etc chore lists. It is overly detailed, but you will know how to clean (not organize)

  13. Ladies, I’m very excited that hubby and I will be celebrating our 30th birthdays by going to Paris for a long weekend in May. First time for both. We’ll arrive Thursday lunchtime, depart Monday lunchtime. A little overwhelmed by how much there is to see, and looking for advice!

    Where to stay (either neighborhood or specific recs)? We’re not remotely trendy, hip or nightlife-focused other than perhaps a good nightcap after dinner, mostly interested in seeing a few things per day but getting plenty of wandering and eating in. Budget is somewhat open — we’re not looking to stay at the Ritz, typically prefer boutique hotels, and are trying to get a sense of what we can get for our money before we decide how much to allocate.

    What to prioritize? So far, my must-see is the D’Orsay (and possibly Orangerie?), which I think you can buy tickets for from home to skip the lines. Um, and perhaps Laduree. But there is just SO MUCH TO DO and I’m hoping The Hive can help!

    • Schedule time to people-watch at a cafe!

    • Check out a French department store (Printemps or similar) and la Sainte-Chapelle. Eat lots of pastries. I also loved Versailles.

      • I’ve heard that renting bikes is a good way to see Versailles. Riding to the palace is dangerous, but you can rent right there.

        • Actually the most fun thing we did in Paris was ride bikes to Versailles. There’s a GREAT outfit called Fat Tire that does these very relaxed bike tours (my 8 year old had no problem keeping up). We did the trip to Versailles — you meet in Paris and ride with the group to the local train station, then throw your bikes on the train and head to Versailles. You ride into the town (not dangerous at all), stop at the local outdoor market for the makings of picnic, and then ride to Versailles. You ride around the grounds (by far the best way to see the stuff beyond just the chateau itself), stop and have your picnic, and then have time to yourself to go into the chateau. Tons of fun!

      • TO Lawyer :

        My best friend and I took the subway to versailles – it was really easy and I loved it – probably the highlight of my Paris trip! (Versailles, not the subway…)

    • East Coast Anon :

      I went last year and stayed at the Radisson Blu on Haussmann. Make sure to spend time on both banks.

    • I loved the Orangerie! (in addition to D’Osay).

      The food/cafes? The lunchtime prices are great at some of the top places, and definitely add a memorable event to the visit.

      I loved the wandering around a lot and going to the Louvre at off hours on the Museum pass.

    • The area around the Luxembourg Gardens is nice, conveniently located, near transport and not overwhelmingly touristy. Last time I was in Paris, we stayed here and enjoyed it:
      It’s right near the train which takes you anywhere you need to go, inc. direct to the airport, and the rooms were nice and modern, and the bed was very comfy. Rooms are tiny but all Paris rooms are tiny. Prices were reasonable for Paris.

      I would also suggest Cafe Anjelina over Laduree (or in addition thereto). The hot chocolate is amazing and the pastries are just incredible. It’s near the Louvre so it’s great to go there after you visit (even if you skip the museum and just go to see the palace/walk through the park).

      Other ideas/tips: have a picnic in a park (Jardin de Luxembourg is great), wonder the streets and get lost, drink cheap rose wine, go to Montmarte and visit the Sacré-Cœur Basilica, and use the trains — Paris is very spread out and it’s the best way to get around quickly. I’d skip climbing up the Eiffel Tower, but if you want to see the city, the view from the top of Notre Dame is pretty sweet. On your first night, if you guys are tired and just want to sit and take in the sights, you can take one of those tourist river boats from near the Eiffel Tower down the Seine and all through the city. It’s a nice low key way to spend an hour.

      Congrats and enjoy the trip!

    • kerrycontrary :

      Since it’s just a couple of days I would definitely do Musee D’Orsay, notre dame and la sainte-chapelle. If you are into art, do some main pieces at the louvre (I did the louvre in about 2 hours and I saw what I wanted to see-mona lisa, winged victory, and the dutch artists). Versaille is far from the city so it would take up a good chunk of the day. Montmartre is great and you can do some good people watching in the neighborhood. I think the area around the eiffle tower has good boutique hotels, but staying near the louvre or on the left bank will give you easy access to things.

      • kerrycontrary :

        Also, the best part of paris is just relaxing. I studied abroad but about 3 hours from paris in a small city. I didn’t spend a ton of time in paris, but when I went with a friend it was towards the end of our time in france. We had adjusted to the culture at that point so we just wandered around, had long dinners, and spent a lot of time doing nothing. very french :)

    • Hotel Castille on Rue Cambon.

    • We love Relais Christine on the left bank. Small hotel, great location— on a quiet street.

      I second the recommendation to pick a few must-see sights / museums, and then give yourself free time for wandering or just sitting in a park or at a cafe. And check out the Metro maps online before you go. It’s so easy to use, and it’s even easier when you orient yourself a little beforehand.

      Sacre Coeur is worth the trip to see the view of the whole city from the top of Montmartre. The Eiffel tower can be seen from so many places, you might not even feel like you to go to the actual site. You can do a great walk around the Louvre/Tuileries/Obelisk and over to Les Invalides, even if you don’t go inside.

      Check back in later for restaurant recs!

    • Anne Shirley :

      Raised on a steady diet of PBS, I have a lingering fondness for Rick Steves, and I think his Paris guidebook is pretty great. Not particulary hip or trendy, but neither am I.

      • Take a look at hotel recamier– a lovely boutique hotel right off place saint-suplice, super close to the luxembourg gardens. not exactly a budget hotel, but lovely (and quiet!) rooms and a great neighborhood for walking.

    • Musee Rodin! Also, I second La Sainte Chapelle and Le Jardin Lux. And please eat un gros croque-monsieur pour moi while you are there (basically a dressed up grilled cheese sandwich — amazing).

      • Love LOVE LOVE the Musee Rodin! It is my favorite. I also love the Croque Sandwiches, but I prefer a Croque-Madame (same thing but with an egg on top – to die for)

    • recent grad :

      I’ve spent a fair amount of time in Paris and stayed at various mid-range hotels. My favorite is Le Meridien Etoile. Very comfy accommodations by American standards, helpful staff, great concierge recommendation, shopping plaza across the street that has a market (can get supplies for a picnic!), and cute restaurants close by.

      I’d highly recommend taking the Bateaux Mouches dinner cruise. Great food, great wine and an opportunity for great photos!

      Versailles is amazing, especially when you have nice weather. It does take a little while to travel to and from, though, so I’d leave early so it doesn’t take up your whole day and night.

      Expect to stay longer at the Louvre than what you’re planning. It’s easy to get lost in there and I always find something “new.”

      And make sure you get your fill of crepes and pastries!

    • as a former Parisian (spent 15 years of my life there), I love going back as a tourist, just be warned the city is rather expensive!
      My favorite place to stay is around the sorbonne, in the 5th, I find you can walk to ton of places, there is a nice atmosphere and lovely old buildings.
      Things to see: Notre-Dame, Louvres (although you could spend a week in it, so plan what you want to see),, Musee d’Orsay is indeed great, Conciergerie where Marie-Antoinette was held
      Places to wander around: St Germain des pres for all the one-off shops and cafes, around the Sorbonne for the bo-bo atmosphere, and anywhere along the Seine around Le Louvres- you can rent a bike by the hour and ride along the Seine banks at night, highly romantic!
      Places to eat at: I highly recommend Laduree, they have the best cakes ever, but make sure you go to the one rue Royale, as well as the restaurant Le Procope (where Benjamin Franklin used to go)
      Shops: St Germain des Pres, and Printemps (you have a great cafe/restaurant at the top with amazing roof-views)


    • Ooh, thanks for all the suggestions! I have lots of googling to do I can see :)

    • WriterKate :

      Late to this, but if you like the impressionists, the Orsay and Orangerie are not to be missed. Personally, I liked the Louve, but looking back I wouldn’t been upset if I skipped it, just because I am drawn to impressionist/modern art and that is obviously not at the Louve. I also could have skipped Versaille, honestly. I don’t regret going but I didn’t enjoy it as much as I anticipated. I enjoyed the Holocaust Memorial (or museum? don’t remember the exact name) and the Pompideu much more than I thought I would. The Pompideu is in a fun neighborhood, but if you go up the escalators it has an amazing view of Paris. Sacre-Coure (sp?) was on my nice-to-do list, but I liked it more than I did Notre Dame or St. Chappelle. I stayed in a lovely little neighborhood near Rue Cler (a no-traffic street with delightful food vendors and restaurants). It was uber cheap, but I loved that area. For specific tips on tickets, lines (how to avoid them) and even some suggested walks that take you through neighborhoods and stop at some sights I highly recommend the Rick Steves books. A bit corny, but great for a type A travel planner like myself.

    • ExcelNinja :

      I stayed at a wonderful hotel in Paris close to the metro, but not close to any “cool” neighbourhoods (whatever, it was still perfect): hotel-gramont-opera . com

      Free croissants in the morning and really cute rooms, and not crazy expensive.

      • ExcelNinja :

        Also, I did Paris without any museums or anything…I did Rick Steves’ walking tour, which was awesome (it’s an app), and spent a lot of time in cafes. It was perfect. I’m not a big museum person and so I spent a lot of time people-watching and writing in my journal while drinking espresso and eating pains au chocolat :)

        The Latin Quarter was my favourite.

    • We stayed at Hotel Europe Saint Severin in the Latin Quarter. It was a great central base, near cafes and a metro stop, and right by Notre Dame. Tidy, cute, affordable rooms, free Wi-Fi and a great base from which to explore the city! I highly recommend it!

    • We were there last year and honestly, my favorite part was doing “nothing”. We had quite a few lazy afternoons sitting on the bank of the river, drinking rose and eating cheese and it was fabulous. Since you’re there such a short time, I wouldn’t try to make it too hectic- maybe pick one or two things you really want to see and other than that, just relax! For stuff to see, my favorites were:
      – Jardin de Luxembourg
      – The Marais (we stayed here and loved it. Come for the falafel and hang out, walk around!)
      – place du vosges
      – wandering by the river near the bastille
      – ile de cite.

      We saw notre dame (huge lines); the louvre, sacre coeur, versailles, the holocaust museum, the arab museum, and a few other places. Honestly, none of them were that great. well, Versailles was cool but we didn’t’ even try to go inside because it looked too hectic. Instead we rode the train out there, rented bikes, and rode all over the property, then had a picnic lunch in a beautiful secluded grove. We were there for two weeks but spent only 1.5 hours in the louvre and didn’t try to do the or say or the orangerie. Personally, i just enjoy walking around the city much more than hanging out in museums, but you might be different. Oh, we also took a boat ride at sunset/evening and that was nice. The boats are really crowded but it was worth it because my feet were hurting and the view at night from the river is just magical.

      Have fun! drink lots of wine, eat lots of cheese, and have a great time!

    • Thanks again – (1) I am a fan of the Rick Steves TV show, so I will definitely look into his tour, (2) I totally agree with balancing “activities” with time to just sit still in a sunny park or cafe and drink coffee / wine — my favorite aspect of traveling is soaking up the feel of a place rather than trying to see ALL THE THINGS, so we will be prioritizing strategically, and (3) you all are awesome and I am bookmarking this post for reference as we make our plans!!

    • The river-side roads around central Paris are closed to vehicles on Sundays and are really wonderful for strolling then, within sight of all the iconic stuff, Notre Dame, the Louvre, the bridges. The canal St. Martin area is also nice for weekend strolling about and people-watching, with a lot of brunch, wine bar and cafe options.

  14. Hey ladies – just went to the derm about a bump that had appeared on my scalp months ago and had changed recently. I was sooooo worried about what she’d say and it was nothing! Thank goodness. But I have to say, I hadn’t been to her since 2006 and it was good to check in, just about the general condition of my scalp and skin. Whew!

    • You just reminded me that I have a weird bump on my scalp too. Getting it checked out next week now. So, thank you :)

  15. My Quincy order arrived last night and I’m very sad that they’ve discontinued their online store. The quality is very impressive for the price, both the jacket and sheath were lined. The fit was a bit off in the bust of the dress, why a 32AB would require darts I don’t know. Even with alterations costs, the dress is a great buy though. The jacket fit true to measurements and looks great!

  16. TJ: Has anyone bought the Tieks Ballet Flats? If so- what do you think? I travel a ton for business and am always looking for the comfy, but nice looking flat to both wear on my long haul flights and then to wear as casual walking shoes when not working. That seems to be how the advertise these…but for a “foldable” flat the price point seems high, so before I buy – just curious if anyone else has tried them. TIA!

    • I have Tieks and I don’t love…my friend went to b-school with the founder, so I got a discount, but even then…don’t love–the cut into my ankles and look strangely casual for how expensive they were. I have a pair of nearly-foldable Tory Burch flats (without the enormous T) that I like much better. I also really like the Attilio Giustio L(long italian name). Nordie’s carries a bunch of their flats (they’ll come up if you search for ballet flats on the website). Hope that helps.

      • My friend also went to b-school with the founder, and I also get my Tieks discounted. Small world!

      • Such a small world! I used to work with someone who went to school with the founder. Is there a weird 7 degrees of C separation? Or is SF just a village?

    • I love them and have several pairs. They are much more comfortable than, for example, Tory Burch flats. I routinely wear them to work on days when I just can’t deal with heels and get tons of compliments. I also wear them on the weekends while chasing a toddler around.

  17. And now for a brief moment of whining: I have such a completely crap case of the mean reds — birthday week hitting me hard for some reason, plus too much work, plus mourning a lost friendship, plus general midwinter blahs. Not looking for any advice here: just wanted to whine for a minute.

    I feel a little better now.

    • Me too. I catch myself thinking thoughts that are very mean-spirited. I’m staying in my cave as much as possible until I am fit for human interaction again. Too much work, too much straying from my diet, and not enough sleep.

      • Also hanging out in my cave. Unfortunately, my cave insists on continuing to receive emails and phone calls. :-(

    • Birthday week hitting you hard as in no fair that you have all this crap on your bday, or you don’t like bdays? I say forget the number of years, if that’s getting you down, and clear out a way to celebrateYOU. There were lots of good suggestions, at various investments of time and $$, on the recent post on Kat’s bday.

      Happy birthday to you!

      • Thanks. :-) Mostly I really don’t like my birthdays, and the make-the-day-special plans I’ve tried (and believe me, there’ve been many) historically just made me feel worse because I didn’t wind up feeling particularly special. Don’t get me wrong, I’m down with finding things to celebrate (including other people’s birthdays, if they’re so inclined) — my birthday just isn’t one of them.

  18. more than dandruff :

    If you’ve seen a dermatologist for flaking scalp, was it useful?

    I’ve fought a flaking scalp for years and tried every dandruff shampoo on the shelves. It’s been only getting worse and is now also raw, red, and sore. It’s uncomfortable and quite visable. I’m not sure what else to do – but I’m also not sure if there’s anything a dermatologist can do, either. I was hoping to hear experiences before going through the whole process of getting the referral, etc.


    • I am the least hippie-ish natural products etc. person ever, but the only thing that has worked for me was apple cider vinegar rinses and coconut oil masks. I’ve used selsun blue, neutrogena t-gel, head and shoulers etc. before and they all stopped working after awhile. In desperation I tried the apple cider vinegar rinses (I use 1/2 and 1/2 vinegar and water, spray it onto my scalp with a bottle and let it sit and air dry before I wash it out) and also coconut oil masks (warm up oil in microwave for ~5-10 secs or just rub in your hands, and put it all over your scalp, like really rub it in. let sit for at least an hour with a showercap on and then wash it out with shampoo and an apple cider vinegar rinse) and they both have worked beautifully for me the last few months.

      • I read about this last night while avoiding cleaning my house (see above). It is definitely on my list of things to do (very long, see above). I have been growing my hair out and trying to shampoo less, but I have found it to leave a considerable build up on my scalp.

    • are you sure it isn’t psoriasis?

      • more than dandruff :

        No, I’m not. I think it could be, actually, which is why I’m thinking of seeing a dematologist.

        • Yeah, you should see a derm. There are a number of things this could be, including psoriasis and eczema (which is what my husband had; he had been using pert plus with no benefit, and I finally made him go to an MD, who gave him prescriptions for a few creams and foams, and now he is much better).

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I really like the Body Shop’s Ginger Scalp Care shampoo.

    • Anne Shirley :

      Yup. Went to the derm, got some prescription shampoo, problem solved.

    • Architect :

      I went to derm and used perscription goo for awhile. Since then I just use Neutogena T-Sal. It’s specificlly for scale build up. I do let it soak in for several minutes. The derm suggested letting it soak for 1/2 hour when the build up gets bad. Not pleasant, but works. And it’s easier than going to doctor office. I find it’s rather drying. So, I only use it occasionally.

  19. Does anyone have any recommendations on how to get around the UK relatively inexpensive for a group? Is the only way to do this to rent a van, or would trains/ferries (generally) be cheaper? We’re looking to go from London to Edinburgh, then to Dublin, and then to Blarney, and then back to London.

    • I would look at the budget airlines, particularly for the flight to Dublin (e.g. Ryanair). There are a lot of trains between London and Edinburgh, but most are not too fast, so budget airline leaving from Stanstead or Luton might be best. Paging Cb!

    • How large a group? You generally don’t get group discounts unless the group is at least 10 people. It also depends on (a) whether you can all fit in a van, and (b) whether someone in your group is willing to drive it.

      I have planned group travel to the UK before and use trains quite a bit – comfortable, room for people to move around, mostly reliable, no-one needs to concentrate on driving. The trick, though, is to book your tickets way in advance. I’ve learnt the hard way that buying tickets the day before or the day of travel is a recipe for a sad wallet.

      Re cheap flights to Ireland, I may be biased, but I would recommend EasyJet over Ryanair. I just don’t trust Ryanair.

      Re air vs train to Edinburgh, go with the train. By the time you travel to the airport, check in, wait for the plane, potentially lose luggage, etc., it is probably faster and way more relaxing to take the train. Plus if you book in advance the difference in cost is really not very significant.

  20. Research, Not Law :

    I’m looking for a sleep chemise with built-in shelf bra. This seems like a product that would exist, but yet I can’t seem to find it. Has anyone seen one?

    Victoria’s Secret is out. They never fit my large bust and small rib cage.

    • I haven’t seen them in person because our store is closed for renovation, but there were some on the Soma website that had cups and looked promising.

    • ExcelNinja :

      So feel you on the large bust and small ribcage issue!! My husband is always dropping hints about ordering stuff from VS, which of course never, ever, ever fits, ever.

    • Notalawyer :

      Bravissimo has them.

    • try bravissimo. they have loads. very comfy.

      they cater specifically to the small of ribcage, large of bust.

  21. For those ladies that are currently working on losing weight, what do you do with your clothing when do go down a size? On the one hand, I am ecstatic about being slimmer and looking better, but on the other hand looking at the beautiful clothes in my closet that don’t look so good anymore is making me sad.

    Should I keep just in case, try to sell somewhere, or donate to Dress for Success (or something similar)?

    I should mention that I am primarily concerned about my nice suits or separates that were on the more expensive side – of course there are some things that I don’t mind parting with, but man it sucks to have three rarely worn suits become unwearable.

    • Depends. Do the jacket shoulders still look about the right width on you? If so, I’d take the suits to a tailor to have them taken in. I had to have a bunch of skirts done a few years ago when I lost weight and it wasn’t too expensive. Tailors can also take in the waists and hips of jackets a bit. But if you’ve gone down more than about 2 or so sizes, I think it might be too much to get the clothes to hang right. Also, if your body shape has really changed (e.g., you didn’t have much of a waist before but now have a nicely defined one) other styles are probably going to be more flattering on you than your old “bigger self” styles.

    • Tailoring if possible (can be tricky for jackets but it’s a breeze for pants and skirts), and if not, donate or consign (I do this for my priciest least-worn items). Or, save for the day after Thanksgiving or Super Bowl:)

    • Saacnmama :

      I’ve just started getting serious, still have more ramping up to do, but I can’t wait for this feeling. No clue what I’ll do with the fat clothes–I have some I like–but my weight gain has been so rapid, I can’t even fit into things I bought a couple years ago and would really like to wear again.

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