Coffee Break: Hourglass Footwear

Hourglass FootwearFor the shoe-obsessed woman who thinks she already has everything, I bring you… Hourglass Footwear, where artists hand-paint the shoes. I’m featuring a mid-heel here (named, ahem, “Burlesque”) but they also make platforms, stilettos, flats, and “comfort” shoes. You can even send them a pair of shoes of your own and they’ll paint those shoes for you. All of their shoes seem pretty reasonably priced — these mid-heel pumps are $170. Hourglass Footwear



  1. NYC Meet Up :

    NYC Meet Up Tomorrow! 8PM at Grey Dog’s Chelsea.

  2. preg anon :

    Does anyone have a solution for styes once you have them? I have them on both eyes, and they are killing me. Can anything be done?

    Also, I can’t figure out what caused them. I haven’t changed any products or routines. Aargh.

    • I'm Just Me :

      Warm compresses.

      There is also an OTC ointment that helps with the stinging (at least a little).

      • Washcloth soaked in the hottest water you can handle, 3-4 times daily or as often as you can do it. I see immediate improvement from doing this and have never had to do anything more.

    • I get them when I’m getting a cold. Hope that’s not the case for you.

    • Call your PCP and request Erythromycin ointment for eyes. (If no pcp, call your ob/gyn — she will usually prescribe to help you out while you are pregnant.) Also warm compresses help.

      I tend to get them if I have not been diligent in taking off my eye makeup and/or if I have been crying a lot (allergies, eye rubbing, tears).

      Feel better, they hurt.

    • Go see your eye doctor – there’s a prescription antibiotic that you can get that’s safe for use in the eye area and that reduces inflammation. Warm compresses for 10 minutes, and then massaging the eye area also helps.

      • sweetknee :

        Warm compresses.. . I wet a washcloth and put it in the microwave.. .seems to get it hotter than just the faucet.

        • PharmaGirl :

          I do the same… wet facecloth in the microwave for about 30 seconds, make sure it’s not too hot, and then press on eye.

    • GET THE PRESCRIPTION. makes a 2 week ailment into 24 hours, at least for me.

      i tried ‘tightlining’ the inside of my upper eye a few times and ended up with styes every time (i wear contacts) but clueless if you haven’t changed anything. i would throw out your eyeliner/mascara though, and wash your makeup brushes.

    • Anon in DC :

      Use tea bags as compresses–the tanins are supposed to help. Brew some regular black tea, take the tea bags out for a minute to cool off, then use as a compress. Also–change your pillowcase every day until they’re gone.

  3. I had my first court appearance today. Before calendar started this morning, I used the restroom to put on my pantyhose and do my business, using the handicap stall for space to maneuver. The seat was up because it had been freshly cleaned, so I lowered it. Except I guess I lowered it with a bit too much force, because I broke the seat in half, and half of it fell on the floor. But I couldn’t tell the Marshal what had happened with the partner waiting for me outside to go into court and he’d hear. Ashamed.

    • preg anon :

      That’s hilarious.

    • Anonymous :

      OK, I laughed, but only because this would totally happen to me. Don’t worry about it, seriously. Just tuck it away as a really good story you can tell to close friends/colleagues.

      • As a fellow clumsy ‘r et te, I sympathize, but agree with everyone else. It’ll be a great story someday :) Hope the rest of the court appearance went well!

    • That’s going to be the best war story in a few years (or months, if you’re as much of an over-sharer as I am).

    • Oh my gosh, this made me laugh out loud. I’m so sorry, and that must have been so embarrassing, but no one will ever know and you will be telling this story FOREVER.

    • Anonymous :

      As someone who is actually in a wheel chair… I can’t really laugh at this story because someone in that courtroom is not going to be able to use the bathroom. I realize that is probably going to make you all laugh and think I don’t have a sense of humor but please don’t use the handicap bathroom to get changed. You wouldn’t use a spot just to wait for someone or just to run in to the store for a second. One time I had to wait for 45 minutes because someone used the stall to get sick. I felt for her- who wants to be sick in a public bathroom? but at the same time- there are not usually many stalls I can use.

      • Anonymous :

        Just curious, obviously, its a courtesy thing, but is using a handicapped stall actually prohibited by law like using a handicapped parking space is?

      • Anonymous – I realize that wheelchair users can only use handicapped stalls, but in my (awful) office there are only two stalls, and if I could never use the handicapped one, it would add hours to my day. I’ve seen this argument before, but restroom stalls are not equal to parking spots. Yes, only one person/vehicle can use them at the same time, but parking spots are usually more plentiful, and if a restroom only has 2-3 stalls, there would be a lot of waiting while only one stall is unused. (For the record, I’ve never once parked in a handicapped spot except when with my parents, who both are handicapped.) And yes, I do change from my commuter bike gear into my work clothes in the handicapped stall, as there are no handicapped people in my building or on my floor, which is a locked floor.

        • Anonymous :

          I agree with this (though I very much hope the court in the OP had other bathrooms or additional accessible stalls so that anyone who needs to use the restroom in that courthouse is able to do so).

        • Anonymous :

          I realize that- and when you know there is no handicap people in your building, it is different. But when you say if you couldn’t use the handicap stall you would always be waiting, realize that in public restrooms, that’s what I have to put up with every single day. It is a lot of waiting for me too, especially when people use them as changing stalls, or as “stomach issue” stalls.

          • I see where you are coming from. Really, I do. But I have to agree, handicapped stalls are not like parking spots–turnover is much faster. In my bathroom at work, we have three stalls–one handicapped. One of the non-handicapped stalls is always acting up in unpleasant ways so if someone is using the operational stall, I’ll duck into the handicapped stall.

            Non-handicapped stalls are soooo tiny. I can’t get dressed in them without banging elbows and risking dropping things into the toilet. The hooks are just inadequate. So it’s either dress in the handicapped stall or dress in the common bathroom/sink area. I try to change my shoes outside the bathroom (because shoes take me the longest) either before or after.

            I did have a woman confront me when I was changing in the handicapped stall. I was changing, she used the operational stall, and then when I came out said “why are you using my stall?” I replied “I’m sorry, I didn’t realize you were handicapped.” “Oh, I’m not, it’s just my favorite stall.” With people like that in the world, I would be p*ssed about non-handicapped people using the stall too.

            So don’t get angry about people who use the handicapped stall as an occasional dressing room or stall-of-last-resort, get angry at the jerks out there who use it because it’s their favorite.

            BTW, you can always just tell the Marshall that the women’s room needs attention–they don’t ask for details and just send someone in.

          • I’m actually pretty surprised that all of the able bodied people here think their wait time is more important than a disabled person’s wait time. Especially given that the stalls are specifically for the use of disabled people. Such is ableism, I suppose, but OP wheelchair user, I’m with you.

          • Ella, I think able-bodied people think their wait time is equally important as a disabled person’s wait time.

            When a woman has a visible disability and there is a wait, I usually see able-bodied people let them “cut” in line when a handicapped stall becomes available (I had a law school classmate who used a wheelchair and this was SOP between classes).

            I would imagine that if someone has a non-visible disability, or a less visible disability, she would speak up to let people know–kind of like how I let people in obvious distress cut in the bathroom line (happens at airports a lot).

            I wouldn’t say it’s ableism to use an available bathroom for the 30-90 seconds it takes to pee (or 3-5 minutes to change) when it would otherwise be empty.

          • But really I do think there is a difference between waiting for someone to use the facilities, or waiting while someone changes in there. The handicaped stall is the only one a wheelchair can use. So its not equal wait time if people are using it for other things, or breaking it and not telling anyone. I think OP’s point wasn’t just don’t use the stall, it was PLEASE DONT LAUGH at the fact that you’ve left me no where to use the bathroom.

      • I take your point and would never argue that your needs are inferior to the needs of a puker.

        But, it’s a common misconception that features required to make spaces accessible for the disabled are exclusively for the use of the disabled. Handicapped stalls and ramps provide accessibility, but they are also for general use. (In contrast to parking spaces, for example, which by statute can only be used by people who are (1) disabled and (2) have a special permit).

        A physically disabled person doesn’t have the right to an unoccupied stall whenever she needs one; no one has that right. She just has the right to the existence of a stall that she can physically use.

        • Anonymous :

          I bet the anon is saying not that she can’t use it, but she also didn’t alert anyone to fix it, thus making the stall unusable. Not because she used it, but because she rendered it unusable and didn’t arrange for it to be repaired.

    • This can happen to any one. Yes it is funny, but WHAT kind of a seat break’s when you drop it? In the court building down town, they let anyone use the toilet’s includeing the petitioner’s families and peeople who come in off the street, as long as they go through the metal detector’s.

      So once I was preparing by talkeing to myself in front of the mirror and this grunchy lady come’s out from the stall carrying toilet paper and smelling. She did NOT wash but just walked out. So I hapened to look in the stall and saw that she must HAVE been washeing her clothe’s in the TOILET, then left a load in there that was to big.

      I called the bailif and told him that the smelley women had left a load in the toilet and he said he would get a matron. Well I was back the next WEEK and the same LOAD was still in the same stall. FOOEY!

      I am getting dressed up to go with Myrna to her uncle. I am weareing a blouse and a sweater b/c I do NOT want him stareing at my body. It is BAD enough that he loves to stare at me, but I must dress very conserveativlely so that he will NOT get any idea’s! DOUBEL FOOEY!

    • The handicapped restrooms are not reserved only for those with disabilities. OP should have told someone about the damage though, so that the restroom could be available for those with disabilities. You don’t have to say that you caused the damage, just that you noticed it.

      • Exactly, why didn’t you just tell the Marshal that there is a broken facility in the bathroom that needs to be addressed?

        The handicapped stalls, as others have mentioned, are ACCESSIBLE, not “use only”. Sorry, but handicapped persons don’t have ‘extra rights’ to the facilities. However, the whole point is they are supposed to be AVAILABLE, and by breaking it and not telling anyone, you just made it not available. How is someone supposed to use the facilities?? Hopefully someone with more sense than OP went in shortly thereafter and alerted the proper people to fix it so that people can use the restroom. sheesh.

  4. Is $150 too much to spend on a pair of sunglasses? I love them and they look great on me but it just seems crazy to spend that much. How can a pair of sunglasses be worth that much?

    • Anonymous :

      If they’re something you’ll wear daily and a classic style, they could well be worth it.

    • TO Lawyer :

      Are they UV-coated? Are you the type to lose sunglasses? I have friends who lose them constantly so $150 is a waste. But if they’re UV coated and actually protect your eyes from the sun, rather than just being shaded, it may be worth it – especially if you love them, they look great on you and you can afford it!

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      IMO, sunglasses are one of those things it’s a huge waste to spend money on. 90% of all the designer sunglasses out there are made by Luxottica and there is virtually no difference in quality if you spend $60 on sunglasses or $600.

      • Miss Behaved :

        Unless you wear prescription…

        • Yeah, I ended up ordering two pairs of prescription sunglasses and they’re still not right. Maybe because I am now officially blind as a bat.

          • Sydney Bristow :

            I don’t really like mine either. I ordered them at the same time as I ordered new glasses with my new prescription but they still feel off and aren’t dark enough.

        • locomotive :

          my prescription is super high and I can’t wear contacts (allergic to them :( ) and I have still yet to find a sunglass maker who will do high index lenses. anyone know of any??

          • I got mine at Zenni optical and they were really helpful. Unfortunately they don’t offer progressive at high index so mine only sort of work.

          • I work part time at LensCrafters. We make high index sun lenses (up to 1.67, progressive or single vision) though to be honest your problem likely has more to do with the style of sunglasses you want. If you’re nearsighted with a high minus Rx, you’ll need frames that are very flat across the front, with lens area as small as possible, and that fit with your eyes as centered as possible (because lens thickness increases as the edge of the lens is further from your pupil).

            I would imagine other optical stores would have similar lens options. Online would be much cheaper, but I’d hesitate to bypass an actual optician if your prescription is really crazy. Depending on your prescription and your face, I often recommend Ray-Ban Wayfarers 2132, in the 52mm–small size, as a decent mix of smallish, flat, and (this is the hard part, if you care) not completely lacking in style.

    • PharmaGirl :

      It’s only too much to spend if you think so. I spend that much but rarely replace my sunglasses.

    • I wouldn’t (but I will fully admit to being pretty cheap), because I find sunglasses far too easy to step on or lose.

    • I won’t buy sunglasses that aren’t polarized. Even then, you can spend $30 for a pair at BassPro or $300 at a boutique. I do love my Maui Jims though. The optics are worth the price and I wear them for years. I keep a cheaper pair of glasses for the beach and pooltime with my child.

      • Anonymous :

        Polarized sunglasses don’t work with the iPad. So, no reading in the sun on an iPad with polarized lenses. Its so annoying.

    • Anon in NYC :

      I think I spent about that much, maybe slightly more ($200-300 range, perhaps) on a pair of sunglasses with polarizing lenses. I’ve definitely recouped my money, since I’ve had them for 8-10 years so far and they’re still going strong. I keep them in their case, so I don’t damage them. They’re a classic style, look good on my face, etc. I wouldn’t spend that much on trendy sunglasses.

    • kerrycontrary :

      I spent $300 on a prescription pair (huge splurge for me) but I had them for 4 years and wore them almost every day of the year (even in the winter walking outside). So I don’t feel bad about the cost.

    • I have a pair of sunglasses that I bought in excess of 200 USD (converting that to my local currency makes the amount even more indecent).
      BUT, I have had them for years now and they still look like new and I wear them to death.
      So to me the cost per wear made it worth it

  5. Lean In discussion – last night, I was reading the part where she discusses that career progression is more of a jungle gym than a ladder, and that she never had a real “plan” that got her where she went. She recommended instead of plotting out your career goals step by step, to have two things in mind: 1) an 18 month goal to achieve, and 2) a long term dream (which might be more of a way of life than a career goal – say, to travel, etc.)

    So, I’d love to hear you ladies chime in – what are your 18 month goals and long term dreams? Why, and what are you doing to acheive them?

    I’ll start – I’m starting a new job soon, in a field where I’ve really wanted to work. So, my 18 month goal is to basically kick butt at the new job. I guess I’ve got to get my bearings before I can really be specific, but I’d say to significantly exceed my hours goals, earn a very good bonus at the end of this year, and just generally make them really impressed with me.

    Long term is harder, but it’s OK to be vague. I’d say that my two goals are financial security and prestige/respect within my field. That is, financially, I’d like to be earning enough to comfortably get completely out of debt (student loans and mortgage) and have a good retirement in place. On the prestige/respect front, I’d like to be the sort of person who is known to be an expert in her field, someone people think of when they think of an example of someone knowledgable and skilled in my field.

    OK, now you go!

    • So I’m actually *very* systematic about goal-setting, both in my personal and professional lives. My near-term professional goal (not quite 18 month, but in the two-year range) is to make partner (making equity is my five-year goal); my five-year financial goal is to have paid off all my student loans; my five-year personal goal is to get married again (and yes, it does feel weird to put remarriage on my five-year-plan chart along with being debt-free and making partner, but hey – it’s more just as important, so why not?).

    • Interesting. I really need to start reading that book!

      My 18-month goal is to get through my grad program, and get a job in the field I want to work in. Longer-term, I’d like to be doing a job I find fulfilling, that will give me enough money to feel comfortable, and enough vacation days to travel meaningfully. I would also like to be married, but um, can’t really schedule that.

    • Calibrachoa :

      Oooh, good question. I would say my 18 month goal is “Don’t ragequit until you have a new job” – which is pretty self-explanatory in itself. my current jobis okay but it is also slowly stealing what’s left of my sanity so i think it is time to move on.. but damn that outside office hours premium, it’s got me sitting tight.

      …. and I have no idea what my long term goal is beyond “become the next JK Rowling” except I don’¨t see that happening any time soon.

      • Miss Behaved :

        Hah. My 18-month goal is to stay employed.

        • Calibrachoa :

          That, too. part of the reason I want out of here is the instability in the air around the existence of my team.

    • Diana Barry :

      18 months: figure out what I want to do with my life?

      5 years – same?

      I guess the 18-month choice is between keeping work at my current firm or trying something else (solo practice). If I stay, I would like to become an of counsel or contract? partner so I wouldn’t have to worry about hours.

      5 years – figure out if we want more kids; finish our house projects or move; become less crazy-busy.

      Dream: to not have to work.

    • Houston Attny :

      Lyssa (and other ladies reading Lean In), what are your thoughts on the book? I haven’t bought it yet, but it sounds like it’s beyond hype and has food for thought, good questions and suggestions. Would like to know what you think.

      • I’m still not super-far in, but I’m really enjoying it and finding it thought provoking and helpful. Much of it is things that I’ve heard before (i.e., about differences between men and women and the social sciences on how they are treated), but I find it more useful packaged by a person in the business world than I did when it was presented in my psych 101 books.

        The book is somewhat confused about what it is (sort of advice, sort of personal memoir, sort of manifesto), but I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing. I’m enjoying the advice aspect a lot because it is coming from someone who I can really identify with in some ways and look up in others (because a) she’s been there, and b) she doesn’t whine about unfairness). I’m also enjoying the personal memoir aspects of it, particularly because she doesn’t sugar coat her mistakes; there are humanizing stories. It’s gotten me to stop and think about a lot of things that I’ve not really thought about before but should have, like the goal thing (and I have at least one more discussion topic from it saved up for a later thread). I’ll admit that thinking about discussing it on this site is definitely making me more engaged in it. I’m sure that not everyone will like it, but I would recommend it for most this site readers.

        • Same here. I really feel like she’s my future self talking to my past and current self. She confirmed a lot of what I’ve learned and what I’ve observed.

          I am really liking her section on mentors and mentoring. I could never put a finger on why I hate being asked “will you be my mentor?” That and I have a “mentee” treating me like a psychotherapist. I am so annoyed and Sandberg confirmed that this is not how you use mentors. So my 18-hour goal is to mentor him to contact EAP to find a therapist.

          My favorite parts are when she talks about how men have helped her and protected her (Sandberg! Sandberg! Sandberg!). I wish I could get all the men in my work-life to read the book for inspiration if nothing else.

          • Sydney Bristow :

            “Future self talking to my past or current self” sums it up perfectly. I’m just finishing up the jungle gym chapter, so still not very far into it. I’m enjoying it so far though and I’m glad that I’m reading it back to back with The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women.

          • Sydney Bristow :

            Oh, and I’ve asked my dad to read it. He is at a very high level in a hospital and often involved in hiring and administrative issues. I’ve never seen anything to indicate that he views or treats men and women differently, but he is at the level where he has the power to make some very important decisions that could greatly benefit women. I picked up the phone and asked him to read it right after reading her story about asking for pregnancy parking.

      • I really enjoyed it, and I’ve always thought of myself as not ambitious enough for Sandberg. It’s thought-provoking, and she made me challenge that assumption about myself a little bit. I also found it to be a relatively quick and easy read, if you’re pressed for time (who isn’t?).

        • hoola hoopa :


          While I haven’t found anything new and shocking, I’ve found it surprisingly motivating. She definitely spoke to a part of me that needed a pep talk. The way she spoke about “ambition” in particular hit me, too. I’ve always downplayed ambition, but she made me realize that I need to stop that. I’ve already changed the way I interact at work and discussed my career projectory with my boss, which – duh! – he took very positively and to which he has been receptive. I honestly think I would have missed an opportunity for advancement had I not read the book.

      • I am about half-way through it. I’ve found myself nodding along at so many things she has said. I’ve been highlighting on my Kindle so I look forward to going back and reading the outtakes. It could be that I am at a place in my life where I need to hear the message and can actually implement it. I agree with her jungle gym analogy and have seen it work in my own career. She also gives major kudos to her husband and his support of her career and their family. I also credit the support of my husband as being a cornerstone of my success. He really is an equal partner and team player both in marriage and parenthood.

        • +1000 for supportive and team-oriented marriages. Incredibly important to long-term career success, IMO.

          And that’s true for both men and women, it’s just that supportive wives are usually more of a given, so no one has paid as much attention to them.

          • hoola hoopa :

            “Behind every great man, there is a great woman” It’s taken for granted with men, but just as true for great women.

            I know (at least) three women who quit or downplayed careers that they loved and could have been successful because their husbands didn’t step up to the plate at home. They had flexible schedules and other ‘family-friendly’ accomodations at the office – it was the home life that wasn’t ‘work-friendly’.

            I tried to express the importance of a supportive spouse while speaking to some professional-track undergraduates recently as a visiting speaker and could tell they just weren’t getting it. Broke my heart. It’s so much more important than finding the ‘perfect’ internship, which is what they wanted to discuss.

      • Houston Attny :

        Thank you, Ladies, for sharing your thoughts. Definitely need to get it. And please keep sharing your insights from it!

    • New(ish) Atty :

      18 month (shorter term) goal: find an associate position at a firm doing something I don’t hate.

      Long term goal: A job that I don’t hate that allows me to enjoy my personal life. Hopefully as a lawyer. To me, this means having kids and having options as to what type of parenting I want to do (primary caretaker, or being the breadwinner and my husband fulfiling the caretaking role). Being able to take vacations and travel. Being able to spend time with family & friends. Continuing hobbies like running.

      I guess you can tell my primary focus is not so much on my work life as on my home life.

      • anon in-house :

        Thank you, this is what I wanted to raise. What I really long for is a 9-5, do those still exist?! And is it unambitious of me to yearn for this?

    • Mary Ann Singleton :

      Did anyone get Lean In as an audiobook? Any good? I’m thinking it might be good for my commute.

    • Anonymous :

      18 months – get transferred somewhere within my company. I’d go pretty much anywhere in the world and take my family along for the adventure.

      As for long term – I have several long term goals. To travel, to someday own another house, to be financially secure, to retire with a decent retirement income.

      • Curious George :

        I bought the kindle book but wish I had bought the audiobook. Not far in but enjoying it so far.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I’m just finishing this chapter right now so I’ve been doing some thinking on this.

      My 18-month plan is to nail down exactly what kind of job I want to be doing and then pursue (and hopefully land) a position doing that. I’ve been working on this recently and applied to a job that I think would be perfect, but I know that I need to be putting myself out there and actively pursuing opportunities.

      My super-vague long-term goal is to have an impact. I’ve always wanted to be remembered for something. I have no idea what I want it to be, but vague is ok for this kind of goal.

    • 18 months, finish my PhD. Long-term goal: settle down in one place and begin building a life, career, relationship all that. I’ve been living this vagabond existence since I was 18 and am definitely feeling the urge to be a member of a community and put down roots a bit, wherever that my be.

  6. Protracted winter where I live is giving me spring fever! Hubs and I want to take our kids (ages 0 and 3) on a warm-weather family vacation this fall (anytime September – November). But I’m at a loss as to locations and could use input from y’all. Pre-kids, he and I visited (and LOVED) Aruba, and I could easily see us going back there — however, flight times are relatively inconvenient, though not terrible. The weather there is ah-ma-zing.

    Criteria: warm/good weather, easy (meaning: this is not the vacation where we’re going to organize kayaking expeditions and jeep tours. At most, we want to go on some walks and dig for seashells). I’ve never been to an all-inclusive before but this might be my time to try it. Accessibility/direct flights from the Midwest (Chicago) a plus.

    Budget: Sub-$3000 total would be ideal; we could probably be convinced to spend $4K for the right place. Duration can be flexible to fit within budget.

    Any ideas? I’m open to anything and everything; just gotta get over this cabin fever!

    • Key West maybe? You get the benefit of domestic airfare with Carribean-esque weather. I have friends who go every Thanksgiving with their youngsters.

    • Puerto Rico was great for our family. Lots of activities-from jungle to beach to historic San Juan. GREAT food, no customs to wait in with kids on the way back, no $$ exchange rates to track. We LOVED it! We took my mom, who stayed several extra days and is going back next week. I’d go back in a second.

    • I’ve posted this before…but….it’s that good: Bananarama Resort on Roatan Island. Kids 3 and under are free and it’s a great spot. It’s a scuba spot so it’s quiet but they do have a lot to offer non-divers. September will be cheap (and they have packages with a meal plan).

      Flights are through Miami, Atlanta, or Houston depending on the time of year.

    • I was going to suggest Sanibel/Captiva, but that could be risky from a tropical storm perspective if you go in Sept/early October.

      Maybe Southern California? I think Southwest flies direct from Midway to the OC airport. My husband and I went to San Diego and LA for about a week when our daughter was 2.5. She was old enough to enjoy the zoo and beaches in SD, the Santa Monica pier and the horses in Griffith Park. We also enjoyed both Getty museums (they both have large outdoor spaces to run around without getting in the way of other visitors).

  7. Calibrachoa :

    Another travel TJ!

    So myself and a friend are running away from the weather (SNOW. ON EASTER. IN DUBLIN. ?!?!) to Morocco, more specifically Marrakesh for a few days – do any of you ladies have any suggestions, tips or tricks to share?

    • Doesn’t Houda live there? I haven’t seen her here in a bit, but let’s hope she’s around and sees your post! (I have no suggestions myself but would love to hear how your trip goes. Morocco is definitely on my travel list.)

      • Yes Ma’am I’m from Morocco. Sorry I disappeared because I am currently traveling in Nigeria.

    • SV in House :

      Morocco recommendations were discussed on this site on January 29!

    • Morocco Bound :

      Here is the link to the previous thread (replace the * in thissite name, used to avoid moderation). I’ll be there in May for 6 nights, interrupted by one night in Essaouira :)


      • Calibrachoa :

        thanks! I tried looking for it but couldn’t find it for the life of me! :D

        Myself and my partner in crime are jsut going over for 2 nights to get away from all this :D

    • Right? Woke up to snow this AM! It’s almost Easter. Very jealous of your Morocco getaway.

  8. Anon for this :

    I could use some help trying to figure out what I want to do with my life. I keep coming up with new ideas – all of which sound amazing, and fun, and potentially feasible – but they’re all different, and I’m having a hard time figuring out what it is that I want versus something-that-is-just-not-what-I’m-doing-right-now.

    Does anyone have any book recommendations? Would a life coach be helpful in this situation?

    • goldribbons :

      Book rec: The Defining Decade!! I loved it.

    • I’d suggest a few things that were helpful to me in the past (I definitely did some looking around after practicing law for a few years to see if it really, really was what I wanted to keep doing). First, I wrote out every job I’d ever had, including summer jobs, extracurricular “jobs” (like working on a school newspaper), internships, and everything else. Then I wrote out what I loved about each, hated about each, and was totally meh on for each (stuff I didn’t mind doing even if it wasn’t my favorite). Then I looked at each list and tried to extract a few themes from each. For example, I realized I don’t like working all by myself in my office day after day and prefer being in a group setting (not great for a lawyer, I know).

      That gave me a manageable list to work with. I used these to draft my dream job description. This was purely functional. Not “I want to be a [title] at [company]” but “I want to work in this kind of environment with these kinds of people doing this kind of work with this kind of schedule” etc. Part of this process was also identifying my personal values. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you only look at jobs that “help children” for example, but for me, I find it very rewarding to be someplace where people are very serious about their work and put a high value on efficiency (see earlier thread re biglaw billing and ineffeciency to see why I’m no longer there).

      Once you have that functional job description, I’d suggest you tap your network (alumni, family, former co-workers, etc.) to find people who do jobs you think you might like to do. Ask for informational interviews to see what a day in the life really is like. Ask questions related to your dream job description. If you know you like working in group settings, ask what percent of the time the person spends with other people during the day and how much alone in his/her office. Oftentimes if you ask a person to describe a typical day, they’ll say “oh, in my work there’s no such thing as a typical day!” (I find this response to be so annoying, by the way. Every job has some common elements that tie the days together. It’s not like you’re driving a back-hoe one day and performing surgery the next.) If the person does this, ask things like “I enjoy [activity]. Would you say you do [activity] in your job? Every day? A few times a week?” Or “what qualities do you think are shared by people who are successful in your line of work?”

      You also might be interested in doing some personal assessments, like Myers-Briggs or Strong Interest Inventory just to give you some ideas.

      • Thank you! This is so helpful, and I’ll definitely be making this list!

      • Houston Attny :

        These are *great* suggestions. Make the conversation about the other person – ask lots of questions. A great way to build contacts, make connections and learn more about your interests.

      • big dipper :

        This is exactly what my dad suggested I start doing once I started interning in college and it’s the best thing I ever did (the job listing thing). I have a spreadsheet of every job I’ve ever had, with what I liked/disliked/was neutral towards regarding the tasks I did, the environment, the lifestyle, etc.

        I also added a column for how valuable I’ve felt the position was down the road which has been useful. So like, 1 years, 2 years, 3 years after you held the job – how did you feel about it? There were some jobs I hated at the time, but when I looked back in retrospect, they built up some basic skills/contacts that were critical in securing jobs in the future. And there were some jobs I loved at the time but never proved valuable in advancing my career (yet).

      • Sydney Bristow :

        We’re you the one who posted this recently? If so, thank you! I’ve finished the list portion and its been incredibly helpful!

    • Greener Apple :

      I really recommend Better & The Checklist Manifesto, both by Atul Gawande.

      I like my life coach, but I’m not sure I’d go to them for anything particularly open-ended. Have you tried ranking your options or making a decision tree? The process is great for helping me be more objective.

    • Thank you for the book recommendations, everyone. I’ll definitely be checking them out. And that’s an interesting perspective on the life coach, but it makes sense. Without a more defined goal in mind, I think what they really would be helping me do is create a list or decision tree.

      • The classic “What Color is Your Parachute” has very good exercises to help you create exactly the kind of spreadsheet/past job review/decision tree detailed above so well by TBK. Highly recommended if you’d like a suggested structure to get started.

  9. Okay, I think I know what y’all are going to say to this one. But I am going to say it anyway. A friend of mine on Facebook is in direct sales, and she posts about it e a king.time. In fact, because she’s trying to get people signed up beneath her in the pyramid, she posts about how she just can’t believe how much money she makes, she’s paying their mortgage, she just loves payday every month, etc. So today she literally posted that she makes six figures. On Facebook. In public. It’s like for some reason she thinks it’s okay because she’s just wanting other people to seize the day like she did (barf, she wants more people under her so she can make more money).

    Anyway, I feel like sending her a private message anout how posting your salary on Facebook is still bragging even if you’re in direct sales. Is that totally wrong and inappropriate? I just cannot handle it anymore, and I honestly would rather put her in her place rather than just unfriend her. I should also note – the few of her posts that are not about how rich she is are Bible verses, being a Christian, etc. It is so hypocritical, and as a fellow Christian, it just really turns me (and I’m sure others) off. What should I do?

    • I don’t know if sending her a private message will make her change her behavior. I think you can probably choose to have her posts not show in your news feed.

      • Sweet as Soda Pop :

        This. Just unsubscribe from her. I did this during the election, and with people who post nonstop about their babies. It saves my sanity, but without them knowing, like unfriending would.

    • You want to put her in her place because it will make YOU feel a certain way (better/superior). Not because you want to help her. Therefore – don’t. Just unfriend.

      • I actually want to help her. I was thinking maybe she just didn’t realize how badly this reflects on her.

      • Anonymous :

        Agree- hide her posts. I know the feeling. I unfriended someone who posted pictures of her summer associate office and her paystub. Before I did it, I wanted to send her a message that was like “THIS IS WHY I AM DEFRIENDING YOU, KNOW THE ERROR OF YOUR WAYS” but really, that wasn’t for her benefit I just wanted to feel better and superior (and I am :) Just hide the posts or do the defriend, but I just want to say I get the “need” to tell her. I get it often on facebook actually I think I might just delete everything all together at somepoint because half of my fb friends are constantly wrong and posting onion articles as truth, or the other half on the other side of the political spectrum are constantly wrong and falling for daily currant articles. endrant

    • Just hide her posts. Seriously, we all have people who bug us on facebook for a multitude of reasons. Why bother to read her posts if they bother you?

    • Anonymous :

      Unfriend her.

      • Ugh, I knew y’all were going to say that! (And I know you’re right.) It’s just the hypocricy and how badly she is representing my religion that really bothers me. I’ve always ignored political posts, etc., but her posting her actual salary today just really put me over the limit.

        • Anonymous :

          She is not representing your religion. Just like the annoying democrat is not representing all dems, the republican all republicans, the woman all women, the mom all moms, etc.

          • hoola hoopa :


            Unsubscribe or unfriend, depending on what relationship you have and how annoying she is on FB. (For example, I unsuscribe to people who post so.much.stuff that I don’t want to hear but with whom I do want to stay in touch – whereas I unfriend people who I and they wouldn’t even notice or care, or if they are too frequently using the ‘invite all friends’ feature for events.)

    • Houston Attny :

      Agree with all the posts here. You are right – she’s completely obnoxious. The responses are right – you want to tell her off for you, not for her. Don’t do it. Unfriend her or unsubscribe. And if you are ever questioned about it, you can politely say, “well, your Facebook account had so much about your business, sales, money and even your income that I was positive I friended your business, not you personally. I was so embarrassed to be reading something that was for your business only and obviously not intended for your friends to read!”

  10. Dear Major Academic Institution,

    I can’t believe that you changed grant deadlines and didn’t alert the people who ACTUALLY APPLY FOR THE GRANTS. No, publishers don’t subscribe to your little tiddly-wink field-specific newsletter, and yes, it’s considered poor form to change a deadline that has already been announced.

    Thanks for setting my project back six months,

  11. Wedding present etiquette :

    I need advice on what wedding present etiquette is (I’m just starting to get into that “all my friends are getting married” stage, so I haven’t done this too much yet). I’m invited to an out of town wedding for a girl that I knew in college. We were in the same sorority in college, but were not at all close, and I have not seen or talked to her once since college (other than to have her ask for my address to send the invite). She’s an extremely nice person, but I really have no idea why I was invited to this thing and I will likely never see her again after this. I’m not going to the wedding, but do I still have to send a gift? And if so, how much do I have to spend?

    • Anon in NYC :

      I don’t think it’s required to send a gift, but I usually do. I generally spend less than what I would have spent if I attended the wedding.

    • Anonymous :

      You don’t need to send a gift.

    • hoola hoopa :

      If you dont attend, etiquette does not demand that you get a gift. I still send one for friends whose wedding very sadly conflicts with something absolutely unavoidable – but for the duty invite to a wedding I didn’t want to attend because I don’t really know them any more, I usually send nothing but occasionally a card or a small gift.

      If she’s a very nice person, I’m guessing you were invited because she felt bad inviting so many people from the sorority that she is still friends with and so went ahead and invited everyone. I’d assume no gift is safe.

    • You do not have to send a gift or a card. You can simply write “sorry I/we can’t make it- congratulations and all the best!” on the reply card.

      You can also send a card, if you’re feeling well-wishy, or a gift, if it’s someone you feel it’s appropriate to send a gift to (sounds like no in your case). If you DO want to send a gift, feel free to send a “token” gift (picture frame, etc), rather than something off her registry/the equivalent of what you’d gift a good friend.

      As someone who planned a wedding, she may have put you on the invite list because 80% of the rest of the sorority class was invited and she didn’t want you to feel awkward. Or her in-laws wanted a wedding of 500 and invited 400 people and she needed to fill up her side. You never know :)

    • I would send a gift in the $50 range. Perhaps a nice wooden salad bowl and tongs, or a nice serving bowl from her registry. Simple, not too expensive, and easy.

    • You were probably invited because she was inviting everyone from a certain group in your sorority (your class year, etc.) and didn’t want to exclude you. Don’t feel bad about not going. It’s fine to not send a gift, send a card, or send a token gift.

    • My standard response in this situation is to make a donation to a charity in the wedding couple’s name. That way, if they only invited me because they hoped to get more gifts (as I have occasionally suspected), they don’t get the direct benefit, but I still feel like I did the right thing from an etiquette perspective.

      • This seems like such an odd comment to me. They invited you, but instead of thinking they want you there, you think they just want a gift so you’ll get them a donation they didn’t ask for? That’ll show them!

        Why give anything at all if you feel this way? I’ll admit I am in the middle of wedding planning, and hope no one feels this way about an invite.

      • Anonymous :

        Just want to point out that donating to a charity is not proper etiquette, especially when you do it just to be smug. I would just send your best wishes instead.

        • MaggieLizer :

          I’m just curious – why isn’t donating to a charity OK as a wedding gift? If you don’t know a couple all that well and don’t want to get something from the registry, maybe because of price, a donation seems like a nice thing to do. Personally I’d rather someone make a $25 donation than get me something I don’t want or need for the same price.

    • I don’t think you need to send a gift but I think its a nice gesture to at least send a card and maybe a small gift, assuming its well within your means. My usual gift if I’m not attending the wedding (because I don’t really want to, not because I can’t) is around $25-50 depending on whether I was invited with a +1 or not. Agree with others that you were probably invited because you were part of a group, most of whom she wanted to invite and didn’t want to leave you out. I invited a few not terribly close college friends for that reason. Some sent gifts, some didn’t, I didn’t hold it against anyone but I was touched by the people that I didn’t know as well that took the time to send either a card or a small gift.

  12. I think Dear Abby would tell you that you’re never required to send a gift but maybe send a nice card wishing her well.
    I still remember, 5 years later, who got me what (or nothing) – not because I’m petty I just have a very weird highly selective memory.

    • I don’t even have a great memory and I remember almost all of the wedding gifts we received and who gave them to us, 12 years later. When I pull out a pitcher or pasta bowl or platter, I totally associate it with the gift giver. I don’t think this is so unusual.

      • On the other hand, I have no idea who gave me anything, except the margarita glasses from Crate & Barrel because I REALLY wanted them. I’ve been married twice, once 15 years ago and once 2 years ago, and I don’t remember either (gift givers). I took half the gifts from the first one back because I got like 12 crystal serving bowls from *major department store* even though I didn’t register there and didn’t register for serving bowls. But I have no idea who gave any of it to me.

        I don’t think you need to send a gift at all, but if you wanted to I’d send something in the $20 range, like some really nice candles. There was a certain age when if I had spent $50 on every wedding I wasn’t going to but was invited to, I’d have been spending a car payment in wedding gifts every month that summer.

  13. hoola hoopa :

    No one has commented on these shoes yet? So much fun!

    I was browsing the flats, because I feel like you can get away with a lot more design on a flat without looking garish, and was bummed that they only have samples for the high heels :( I also wish they said more about the shoes. Still, I’m saving this for a rainy day and $130 burning a hole in my pocket.

    • big dipper :

      Ditto, I love these.

    • wintergreen126 :

      +1! And I agree about flats–such neat designs don’t look too loud or showy on flats. I’m not even that much of a shoe person, but I think these would be fun to have and wear every now and then just be like, “See, I don’t always wear boring shoes!”

    • Voice of dissent: I think these are TERRIBLE.

  14. What a cool idea! The designs are very nice and I think you can easily mix them with work or trendy night out outfits.
    Thanks for sharing

  15. My local Ann Taylor store just told me that AT, company-wide, has discontinued their tropical wool suiting (“maybe people were too hot” — what?) and possibly also their triacetate. I called the 1-800 customer service number, but all they could do was offer to check stock in stores nationwide. This all sounds strange to me. Can anyone here provide a solid confirmation or denial? Thanks.

    • I didn’t know about this, but it doesn’t surprise me. Ann Taylor has discontinued all of their high-qualitiy items (or replaced them with low-quality items). Their “perfect pumps” are no longer made with leather soles, and it has become increasingly difficult to find silk tops there, which used to be an AT staple. Now, when they do sell silk, it’s usually in the $100+ range (as opposed to in the $70 range, which it was a few years ago.) Now, they charge $70 for polyester thinking we won’t notice.

      Ann Taylor, I am disappointed. FOOEY on you.

    • Oh no! I looked for their tropical wool the other day and didn’t see anything. I love those pants! (Nice fabric! Fully lined! Durable! Actually fit me!) All of their other fabrics are terrible.

    • I have nothing to add on your question of whether or not this can be confirmed, but I will say that I can’t figure out what is going on with Ann Taylor these days. The clothes are absurd–not only are the fabrics cheap, but the designs make no sense. I don’t think they are trying to appeal to the average working woman at this point. AT used to be a safe, easy choice for workwear. They are also one of the few mass market retailers who carry an extensive petite line, which made them particularly helpful for me. I am still looking for a good substitute…

      • In House Lobbyist :

        I just want to secnd that Ann Taylor’s quality has gone down hill so much. I bought a few knit more casual shirts there this year and only got a few wears out of them before they starting looking really bad.

    • I just ordered a tropical wool suit from their website, and it was online only. First step in phasing them out, maybe? I hope not.

  16. Did anyone else see that if you want to return the recalled LuLu pants they are making customers bend over in the store and examining it? Does not seem like the right way to do buisness, especially when it was the stores mess up

    • wintergreen126 :

      I saw this. I don’t shop at Lululemon, but what an awful way to conduct returns.

      • Mountaingirl :

        I don’t think this is policy either… I’ve returned items to lulu before and I’ve never had any difficulty at all, even when my only reason was “I realized I don’t like them that much.” I can’t imagine them asking people to do that.

        • Anonymous :

          But a few did. And the CEO stated that’s the only way to tell

          • I'm Just Me :

            She stated it was the only way to tell there was a problem, not that it was the only way to make a return.

    • Not sure what is going on, but that does not seem to be the official policy.
      Guess I’ll continue sticking to my $15 yoga pants that have never had this problem!

    • Anyone who shells out for Lulu pants deserves to have to bend over in public. Are we all shocked, SHOCKED that these wonderful pants had zero quality control, just a valuable brand name?