Tuesday’s TPS Report: Bias Waist-Pleated Sheath Dress

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

Kay Unger New York Bias Waist-Pleated Sheath Dress Ooh: I love this bias waist-pleated sheath dress from Kay Unger New York. Ladylike, professional, interesting — and on sale. Also, note how great the navy dress looks with black shoes. It was $280, but is now marked to $195 at Neiman Marcus. Kay Unger New York Bias Waist-Pleated Sheath Dress

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


  1. Oooh! I LOVE THIS DRESS! 8 more pound’s and I am there! I should show ROSA, b/c she could wear this NOW!

    Philip NEVER called. I am MAD b/c he is NOT interested I think, otherwize he would have called. On the OTHER hand, ROBERT keep’s texting! FOOEY! I have to run off to court, but I will NOT chase Philip. Absolueteley No man is ever worth chaseing. DOUBEL FOOEY!

    I’ts like I said on the weekend post saturday, you have to roll with the punches, and I think Philip is just like a boss who is a doosh. Live with it until you can find a better guy, and that is what I will do. FOOEY!

    I am Off to court now, with the Manageing Partner!!!! YAY!!!!

  2. Love this!

    • Me too, it’s gorgeous! And I do like the black shoes with it.

      Also, thanks to everyone from yesterday morning for the great gift ideas. I’m still looking but you all have given me a lot of creative options.

      • Hey – I did a post about scarfs last night and may do a couple more accessories and other type item posts over the next couple days for those looking for gifts of the filial nature this week. :-) You should check them out in your gift giving quest! ;-)

        • Diana Barry :

          BTW, I love your new blog!!! I will have to ask you when I am looking to buy a dress (later this year I am going to a wedding). :)

        • Just checked out your blog… I’m in trouble. So many ways to spend money!

        • Houston Attny :

          Ooh! Love your blog. Read all the way through to the post on polka dot skirts…and then my boss walked in. :)

        • I really like yours posts here, and I also like your blog. However, I feel it’s bad form to flog your blog on someone else’s blog. Kat does this for a living, and I feel you’re stepping on her a bit.

          • Sorry if you felt it was inappropriate – I was specifically telling AIMS since I know she was on a gift hunt – but I’ll try to keep it to a minimum as time goes on, as I don’t want to step on Kat’s toes by any means! (Kat is awesome and so is this blog so I would definitely not want to do anything to damage that!)

    • hellskitchen :

      Me three! Q – What color blazer would you wear with this dress if you want to keep the palette tonal and muted? Black, same shade of navy, gray, some other color?

      • I think if you could find a coordinated navy that would be great, otherwise a gray, or a burgundy or maybe a dark eggplant?

      • mintberrycrunch :

        I was thinking white/cream

      • hellskitchen :

        Those are great colors, especially eggplant. I wouldn’t have considered it with navy but I think it could look very chic yet fresh. Thank you ladies

      • I would wear a navy tweed jacket.



      • I would wear a navy tweed jacket.

        see reply for links

    • So beautiful!

    • Gorgeous! Wow.

    • hoola hoopa :

      I love this so much.

  3. Anon for this :

    Pregnancy related TJ: I’m desperate. Does anyone have any suggestions or recommendations regarding how they handled all day nausea and extreme exhaustion during the first trimester? I am also having difficultly concentrating.
    I did not experience any nausea with my first pregnancy (miscarried at nine weeks) and only experienced about a week of extreme exhaustion, so I’m not sure how to handle it now. Both symptoms started at 5 weeks this time and I don’t see how I can keep my job and make it through another (nearly) two months.
    I just started a new job (found out I was pregnant after giving notice at last job and before starting the new job), so I don’t have a lot of good will built up at my new job yet. As an FYI, I was told, due to complications with my last pregnancy, that I was not able to get pregnant- so this was an incredible surprise, but poorly timed. Thanks in advance!

    • For the exhaustion part, stay super hydrated. Drink water constantly — over a gallon during the work day. It’s not a complete solution, but it helps a lot.

    • This is so hard — congrats on your news, though! For nausea, I recommend eating small bits of food throughout the day. Protein (Greek yogurt, string cheese) really helped me, but whatever works — some people like crackers or fruit or nuts or whatever. Can you nap in your car (or in your office with the door closed) on your lunch break? Since you’re at a new job you obviously want to be extra discreet about this, but any zzzz’s you can catch will be good. Otherwise, get out of work and go to bed as soon as you can each night. Let housework, cooking, etc. become the domain of your SO, get outsourced or just go to the dogs. Your job for now is to take care of yourself and grow another human!

    • I found that starchy foods helped with the nausea and kept ziplocks of cereal stashed everywhere. I could easily go through a quart-sized ziplock of Honey Nut Cheerios in a morning (thanks Omar from The Wire!). And nothing is wrong with bedtime as soon a you get home (you will get up to pee and/or eat a lot, so it is good practice for a newborn).

    • Diana Barry :


      For exhaustion – GO TO BED EARLY. Seriously, like at 8 pm or whenever you can get to bed. I went to bed about 730 or 8 pm at least twice a week and it made a huge difference.

      Nausea – if all of the usual stuff, eating often, etc., doesn’t help, ask your OB about Zofran. I finally got an rx my last pregnancy and it was a game changer – I actually felt normal again for as long as the dose lasted.

      • another anon :

        this. i had to take zofran with both pregnancies in order to keep anything down (and not to be a downer, but its possible this could last longer than the first trimester — it did for both of mine).

        Try using the sea-bands that go on your wrist (any pharmacy should ahve them). They worked for a while for me. and i second the eating non-stop. once i was through the first trimester and able to keep things down, i basically ate non-stop for the second and third.

        any as somone said below, the nausea does stop the minute the baby comes out. i recall being very afraid during my first pregnancy that it would never end. and i did loose all of the weight from both babies.

      • Second the zofran recommendation. I know a lot of women are super worried about taking meds while pregnant, but I would not have been able to function without it this pregnancy. Talk to your OB about it. It is amazing.

    • Sounds counter intuitive but have you tried eating nonstop? That was the only thing that helped with my morning sickness. Seriously, nonstop. I even checked with my doctor who assured me overeating was better than the alternative. Nothing helped with my fatigue, but do get your iron levels/thyroid checked in case there’s some other underlying cause besides the pregnancy. Sorry about your earlier loss, I hope this one sticks! Congrats!

      • This is the only thing that worked for me. 70 lbs later I had a healthy baby.

        • … and the nausea immediately subsided.

          • It’s reassuring to know I’m not the only one who has to stuff her face 24/7! I’m due in a few weeks and I haven’t dared to think yet about how I’m going to lose all this weight…

          • Anonymous — you’ll probably lose a good bit right away (like in the first 2 weeks.) After that, if you’re like me, you’ll feel *so*much*better* and will return to your old eating habits while your weight continues to drop. Sleep deprivation has nothing on constant nausea. Hang in there!

          • This cracked me up! And not to bring up a controversial topic, but brst-feeding is awesome for weightloss! I hit about 20 pounds below pre-preg weight.

          • pfft. that totally depends on the individual, unfortunately. I breast fed and it was very difficult for me to lose the baby weight. i always have a hard time getting weight off and post-baby weight was no different.

    • Get a ton of sleep. Put aside everything you don’t HAVE to do in the next two months and focus on basically sleep, work, and nutrition.

      Ginger. I’m not generally a person who believes in anything except real “medicine” solutions. But, ginger seriously works miracles. I didn’t have horrible morning sickness in my first trimester, but whenever I did, I would drink this ginger/lemon water that I found at Whole Foods, and it would just go away. Just like that. They make ginger candy and ginger pills too. But even just the ginger/lemon water was magic–and great at keeping you hydrated.

      • Also, like others, I found that just eating nonstop helped. It kept my body from ever going to the nausea place. I just constantly snacked–lots of crackers and such.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I’ve never been pregnant but I get nausea from crohn’s disease at times. I eat snyders gluten free pretzel sticks, sort of non-stop like suggested above. I don’t stuff my face with them. I just nibble them so I am getting constant salt/starch in my stomach. Works way better than crackers for me. I also find raspberry or lime seltzer better for me than ginger ale. The sugar/fake sugar in ginger ale can be too much when I feel sick.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        I also get sick after long car rides (not during) and found wearing those sea bands bracelets helped. Maybe if you put them on before you got out of bed and than stayed in bed 10 minutes or so with them on before you start moving around, and then wore them all day it could help.

    • I had an extended bout of nausea/vomiting and the only food I could keep down was chicken fingers. I swear, I have no idea why and they never figured out why I was having this issue but seriously, fast food chicken fingers were a lifesaver. Saltines and pretzels weren’t working for me so my point is, sometimes it’s something weird but if you can keep it down and keep the nausea at bay, go for it. In my case, I’d get sick and then get so hungry that my stomach would get upset again so it felt like a never-ending cycle. I hope you find something that works for you!

      • The chicken finger thing also happened to me. On a separate ocassion, the only thing I could keep down was scrambled eggs. No sure why or how that happened but there you go.

    • For the nausea: eating many small meals/snacks throughout the day helped me. Also, Jolly Rancher hard candies really helped keep the nausea at bay. I also had some success with Vitamin B6 helping to take the edge of the nausea as well.

      And as others said – sleep as much as you can. I remember reading somewhere when pg that your body is expending as much energy as if you were climbing a mountain all day. Growing a human is hard work! I also heard that more hormones go through a pregnant woman’s body in one day than a non-pregnant woman’s body in a year. So make sure you take care of yourself & give yourself a break. It really does get better once you’re out of the first tri.

      Finally, congratulations!

    • As others have suggested, try to snack throughout the day and stay hydrated. An empty stomach seemed to make my nausea worse during the 1st trimester. But avoid eat big, heavy meals (as if you want one). Too much food will just come right back up. I kept lemon slices in a bowl on my desk at work to help, which helped cover the food smells from other people’s lunches that turned my stomach. A brisk walk may help, too.

      Congratulations and best of luck.

    • For exhaustion, I slept in my car at lunch, using my phone as an alarm. If you don’t drive to work, is there an out-of-the-way conference room or unused office where you could do this?

    • Every woman is different, so try lots of recommendations until you find something that works for YOU.

      For the exhaustion, really the only remedy is to sleep and wait 9 months to have the baby. Go to bed early – I was in bed by 7:00 or 8:00 a few times a week. Take long, relaxing showers in the morning (also helpful for nausea, by the way). Let non-essential personal things slide or ask for help until this phase passes. At work, I found that sitting at a desk was a recipe for disaster – get up from your desk to get the blood flowing and wake up a bit. Go to the restroom on a different floor. Or, the best for me was going for a quick walk around the block for fresh air and movement (again, both fresh air and the rhythm of walking are also helpful for nausea).

      For the nauseu, I’d say the main thing that helped me was ice cold water. Seriously, the more ice cubes the better. And lots of it. All day long.

      Eat small snacks. The first trimester (for me) was a cruel joke where eating made me physically sick for a short time, but an empty stomach made me feel constantly awful. So, I approached it by making sure whatever I ate was with purpose. I figured that if I was going to force myself to eat something, then it might as well be worthwhile and balanced – some vegetables, light proteins, fruit, whole grains, etc.

      Foods on the lighter or blander side were easier to stomach – mac & cheese, toast with a light spread, chicken fingers, chicken noodle soup, PB&J, bagels w/ cream cheese and vegetables.

      Sugary things made me feel awful, so maybe try to stay away from those. Although, peppermint candies and Jolly ranchers were good for calming my stomach, although I couldn’t handle even those sugary things on an empty stomach – I needed a few crackers first.

      I also kept a few small garbage bags in my office and purse “just in case”.

      Good luck and congrats.

      • another anon :

        ohh — peppermint. i totally forgot about that. worked way better than ginger or lemon for me. i sipped peppermint tea.

    • Accidental Pregnancy :


      I’m sorry you’re having a tough time with the nausea and fatigue. I also had nausea, although I’m sure it wasn’t as bad as some peoples – I didn’t get medication for it. But it was still a miserable 8 weeks or so. Like everyone else has said, eating tiny amounts constantly helped me (note- it didn’t make the nausea go away, but it made it more bearable). It took me a few weeks to figure this out, as the last thing I felt like doing was eating anything. They say protein keeps the nausea at bay longer, but personally, I couldn’t stomach any protein or dairy, so I ate a lot of potato chips. Break open a bag as soon as you wake up. I have really low blood pressure and the low blood pressure plus the low blood sugar made it hard to even stand up in the morning unless I had a couple potato chips first. The salt and the crunch helps! I also ate a lot of baked and mashed potatoes – for some reason, they stayed down when other food wouldn’t. I also had some success with guava juice and sour green apples. Ginger candy also helped.

      For the exhaustion- all you can really do is grit your teeth and bear it. Try to go to bed as soon as you get home from work. Also- caffeine! Coffee and tea were both food aversions for me, but I found that a can of coke helped me get through the day. Also, try to figure out when it’s worst for you: for me, my nausea and fatigue were both the worst from about 2pm to 6pm. So, if there was something I absolutely had to get done that day, I’d make sure to bust it out in the morning so that I could slack in the afternoon when all i wanted to do was go home.

      Good luck! Just remember- this too shall pass, and then you’ll have a beautiful baby. :)

    • Congrats! Hang in there … Some things that worked for me –
      Continuous eating of oyster crackers/mini saltines. Constant – sometimes I ‘d just sit and suck on them, probably went through a box every other day.
      Eat whatever sounds good to you – even if it’s just cheeseburgers and french fries.
      Try the B6 vitamins. You can also pair them with Unisom (a google search will pop up the details), but I found I could sleep, so just kept with the B6.
      Cold vitamin waters or Sobe Life waters helped me — I didn’t drink much of them, just tried to sip them over ice when I could – and always felt they perked me up a bit.
      I’ve heard ginger ale, but it did not work for me.

      Good luck!! Sending wellness vibes your way.

    • Girl, I don’t have any answers, but I just got nauseous for the first time today (just over 5 weeks) so I commiserate, and am reading the responses with interest.

      Until today it was just insatiable hunger. I felt like Godzilla entering New York and seeing an endless buffet of small humans. Now it’s that PLUS nausea. Oh, great.

    • Thanks for all of the advice! I have been drinking much less water than I usually do, so I’ll really step that up and hope it helps with the exhaustion and nausea. There is no water cooler at my new office and all of my reusable water bottles from home (plastic) smell weird to me right now. I’ll buy a stainless steel one on the way home today and bring in my own water. I’m also going by the grocery and stocking up on the other suggestions.
      I’ve found the nausea more unbearable when I haven’t eaten in a long time. I had to concentrate on not getting sick during dinner and then 15 minutes after eating I felt much better.
      It’s strange to be this grateful that I feel nauseous and exhausted all of the time. P.S. We have already done some early testing and the baby doesn’t have the same issue that caused our loss last time- so hopefully this is the one! Thanks again.

      • I have a britta in my office, and having it really helps me drink more (easy access to water at my desk + cleaner/placebo effect).

        • Sorry, I didn’t read past the water before I responded, but congrats and I hope this is the one, too!

    • OP, I hope you have an uneventful pregnancy. From what I’ve read, having strong morning (all-day) sickness is a biological indicator of a high hormone level, and thus an indicator that a pregnancy is viable. There are variations, of course, but I would take it as a good sign. And get a Britta filter as someone else said.

  4. Anon for this :

    Interview attire TJ:

    Frequent poster, but anon to avoid possible identifying information.

    I am scheduled for a second (and I had understood) casual follow-up meeting with a potential employer tomorrow, following a skype interview last week. I am an out of town candidate, but I had already made plans to be in the area of the new position, so we set up a time to meet in person after the official/formal skype interview last week. I had originally planned not to wear a suit but instead a pencil skirt and professional sweater. Since I had originally understood this to be a casual opportunity to meet in person, I thought this hit the right note. Apparently they have now scheduled me to meet with another senior person who was not on the Skype interview. Should I stick with my original plan or wear a suit instead (luckily I have one here for a different interview, otherwise I’d be SOL)? It would be the same suit I wore for the Skype interview, though I have a different blouse.

    If this helps, the position is in higher ed administration on the west coast. I’ve worked with an affiliated university office to this one, and suits were definitely not the norm. In fact, my replacement when I left there didn’t even wear a suit to her interview. I would normally think that at least a blazer would be a good idea, but I don’t have one with me…and buying a blazer that fits off the rack is a bit of a challenge for me.

    • “We better not hire her because she wore a suit” said nobody ever!

      Good luck!

    • mintberrycrunch :

      I would err on the side of caution and wear a suit – but maybe with a fun/more casual top underneath?

      • I agree. Wear the suit but pick up a less traditional blouse, necklace or even shoes.

    • Wear the suit…if your concern is that they’ve already seen the suit on Skype, I don’t think the picture in Skype is good enough to distinguish one suit from another, unless it was e.g. bright pink.

      Good luck!

      • Anonymous :

        On the west coast, people usually only have one suit (unless they have a job that requires regular suit-wearing) so it’s somewhat expected to see the same suit again across multiple interviews.

    • Wear the suit. No one will realize it’s the same one you wore on Skype.

  5. Example of a jacket to wear with this :

    I have several dresses like this in ponte and woven fabrics. Can someone style today’s dress with a jacket? I understand that you can wear jackets with dresses like this *in theory*, but in reality, I can’t seem to do it and just throw on cardigans (which I think is OK, but it’s like a C+ look the way I do it and I’d like to raise my grade a bit).


    • I would wear a white, grey or maybe coloured blazer (cobalt, Kelly green) that hits around the hip and probably a statement necklace. I feel like it’s just as easy to pair dresses like this with a blazer rather than a cardigan but maybe I’m missing something?

      • I think for me, a cardigan is easier b/c it’s clearly a different fabric. But for a woven-fabric dress, I struggle with the jacket fabric (texture, color, trim). Less so with a ponte dress, since my blazers are non-ponte, so it’s intentionally different. I just don’t want to look like I’m in a mismatched suit.

        And sometimes I feel like I need not to do solid color + solid color without providing something like pattern / texture / something with visual interest to avoid the Adult Garanimal look.

      • Diana Barry :

        I would wear a colored blazer (maybe yellow!) and a shoe in a different color (green?) and a statement necklace. I don’t worry about fabrics unless they’re the same – eg I don’t wear a navy super 120s dress with a black super 120s blazer, kwim?

    • I wear dresses like this all the time with blazers. I would not try to match the color of this gorgeous dress and instead pair if with a jacket in a coordinating color. Has anyone bought solid, non-black, work-appropriate dresses recently? Everything I’m finding is too short or has a neckline that is either really high or ridiculously low.

    • I struggle with this too, and have recently come to the conclusion that part of the issue is that you need the blazer to be on the shorter side if you’re going to put it over a dress, particularly one that has a defined waist like this one does. I recently bought the “Fitted Blazer” from Jones NY and have had great success with it — it has a 23 inch measurement on the back, which seems to work well. I loved it so much I just bought it in white as well, to replace a Banana Republic white blazer that I loved in the store but somehow never achieved that effortless “oh, I just threw this on over this dress” look that I was going for. Sure enough when I held the two up against each other, the JNY one was about two inches shorter, and a bit more fitted through the waist, and it made all the difference in looking good over a dress.

      • This is so true! I’m short and I’ve recently realized the length may be why none of my blazers look good with my non-suiting sheaths.

        I wonder if it is possible for a tailor to shorten a blazer?

        • Yes, tailors can certainly do this. Tailors can alter lots of things on jackets – their hem, sleeve length, put in darts, etc.

          This dress has a great waist. I wouldn’t wear a jacket that doesn’t have a defined nipped waist, too. Otherwise, you lose that great aspect of this dress.

          I’d wear a distinctly different color – aubergine or yellow, maybe? – and a colorful necklace or scarf.

    • I think the weight of the jacket fabric matters too – it has to be proportional to the weight of the fabric of the dress. A gabardine wool weight jacket is going to look odd with a ponte dress, where a boucle jacket or boiled wool might look more appropriate.

    • I think the key is that the jacket should generally not be in a “suiting” fabric (i.e. – intended to be part of a traditional business suit) – but is best if it is, for example, tweed or linen, or a textured wool or something like that (though generally not another ponte knit). Also, since these dresses are slightly more casual, I like shapes that aren’t as traditional – maybe shrunken or a folded cuff or something collarless – just a little different.

      With this dress, I wonder if something like this French Connection blazer would be interesting since its open front and therefore would show off the waist detail. Anyway, just an idea. http://usa.frenchconnection.com/product/woman+New+In/75ND9/City+Cotton+Cropped+Jacket.htm?siteID=J84DHJLQkR4-p09NxDkafA7R9npCOE_TRg

  6. mintberrycrunch :

    This is gorgeous! Too bad I’m on a recently imposed shopping ban after a month of going hog wild post-closet-cleanout… and $200 spent at Ulta like it was nothing yesterday… oops.

  7. momentsofabsurdity :

    OMG I leave for Peru in TWO DAYS. I can barely concentrate at work. I’m so excited!

    On another note – has anyone ever done the “ring finger different color” manicure that I keep seeing everywhere? What do you think of it? Any examples of colors that worked particularly well, or didn’t work at all? I’m debating doing one just for fun, but I wonder if it’s a bit too ridiculous.

    • Wow…I had no idea this was even A Thing! I think I must live under a rock sometimes.

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        Yeah, me either! But a couple months ago I started seeing it everywhere, and now it’s hard to unsee.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Well I heard the coolest is one blue fingernail but only if you wear a black hair elastic on the same wrist.

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        Damn, my hair elastic today is pink. Foiled again.

        But seriously, you can pry my hair elastics around my wrist from my cold, dead hands.

      • I was thinking the same thing. I would only do it if you’re going on a job interview.

    • I had one in February. I had turquoise on the other four fingers and cobalt on my ring finger. I loved it! For what it is worth, I am a transactional lawyer in a fairly staid law firm, but our dress code is officially business casual.

      For the downside, the Girl Scouts I bought cookies from that weekend also loved my manicure. And my boss, a stylish woman in her late thirties, doubled over laughing when she saw it and said, “What did you do?!” So it is possibly not the most adult choice, but I wasn’t feeling like playing it safe at the time.

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        Ha! Yeah, since I’m going on vacation I’m less worried about it being suuuuper professional. I was thinking maybe coral with a lighter matte pink for the accent? Not sure, it’s hard to picture.

    • lucy stone :

      I do this on the rare occasions I do my nails, and I love it!

      • I always like how it looks when I see it on others, including professional women. If I painted my nails ever, I would do it.

    • Diana Barry :

      I think it looks silly bordering on tacky, even if it is a “thing”.

      • I agree, looks silly and juvenile to me. But hey, since some people loved wearing it, but since you’re considering it, I say try it to see if you like it.

        • Olivia Pope :

          When I do crazy manicures, “silly and juvenile” is what I’m going for!

      • It’s a matter of taste, I suppose. Then again, tackiness doesn’t stop women from french pedicures (why do they do this, why??????????).

        • Diana Barry :

          Yep. I don’t like tattoos for the same reason.

          • At the gym last week, I saw what a lower back tattoo looks like once the bearer has aged thirty years since its application. Oh dear.

          • In response to anon at 110pm –

            Eh, I’ve never really understood the whole “that will look bad when you’re old and wrinkly” argument. I don’t have tattoos, and I don’t personally like tattoos. But I’m pretty sure that I’ll be just as old and wrinkly and “oh dear” looking as someone who has them when I’m an old lady.

          • Anonymous :

            I agree. I have seen some BEAUTIFUL tattoos that have aged incredibly well on older people. I’ve also seen some that haven’t. In no case did I think “Good god, that 85 year old with the walker would be so freaking sexy if not for her big tattoo.”

            Bodies get old and ugly. They just do, we are all pretty much in a process of decaying. In general, I think it’s silly to worry about what people are going to think of your body 30 or 40 or 50 years from now. If I’m upset about being “ugly” when I’m 80, well, I think my life has taken a pretty sad turn.

            I don’t find tattoos tacky or silly though (as a blanket statement). I think some tattoos can be, and others can be beautiful and meaningful. It really depends on the tattoo and the person.

          • I definitely hear the argument — like the rest of me, my ink will be much more textured in 30 years or so — but I’m just owning my tattoos and the long-term ramifications thereof. As of right now, mostly my plan is to keep my body and skin in as good a shape as I can for as long as I can (without resorting to anything drastic like surgery or the blood of v i r g i n s, obviously), and then be a complete bada$$ in the nursing home.

            Although they’re so popular now that it probably won’t even be all that unusual, and I’ll just look like a conformist. I’ll have to start inventing stories about them so I’m prepared.

          • Anonymous :

            i have a tatoo that i have had for 15 years. i still love it. to each her own, but i find comments like yours to be quite tacky and rude.

    • I often do very neutral manicures (pale pinks, whites) but sometimes will do the ring finger in a coordinating shimmer/glitter. I work in a government, business casual setting so compared to my male coworkers in basically sweats, I think I’m OK with one silly nail. It makes me happy so I go for it.

    • I love doing this and do it all the time (business casual, I own the business…also did this while practicing in a business casual firm). I put the other color on one index and one ring finger, and stick with either a complementary color or a different shade of the same color. No visible shimmer or glitter. Right now I have a light mint green and then a bolder emerald as the contrast color. Another favorite is a super light nudey pink like OPI Samoan Sand with a darker pink/beige accent, or a coral with an orangey red accent.

    • Anonymous :

      I like it, as long as the colors coordinate well. one of my coworkers at my last job did like a beige nail with the accent nail a very subtle glitter top coat, which I loved. I’ve done a similar manicure, or soft pink with a silver accent nail, etc.

      • Anonymous :

        oh, and the co-worker and I worked at a (business casual) law firm, I now work in another business casual office.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I haven’t done a different color, but I’ve used a matte topcoat. It doesn’t stand out as much and I think its cute.

    • Solo Practitioner :

      My assistant does this. I think it’s pretty cute on her, but she’s 22, and doesn’t own the practice.

      I think I could probably get away with it if I weren’t seeing clients every day.

  8. Seeking other road warriors :

    Ladies of the Hive: I’m interviewing for a new position at work that would require me to be traveling 2 -4 days per week (like a sales rep, or similar). This would mostly be day travel, driving around my state; overnight trips out of state would be less frequent. I’m curious to hear from others who work in this kind of set-up? What are the challenges to work/life balance? I definitely enjoy being out of the office and not sitting at a desk for long periods of time (one of the reasons I’m interested in the job), but I’ve never traveled quite this much, and so consistently. Any insights on managing this arrangement during pregnancy/with kids would also be helpful (not currently an issue, but am TTC). Thanks!

    • I think one thing to consider is the flexibility of both of your jobs. My husband has a job like this and most days it works just fine. There are times, however, when he has to go to a meeting/sales call that is a ways off with very little notice. So that can require some scrambling for childcare and scheduling. I have a certain degree of autonomy in my schedule so that helps. He does enjoy not being chained to his desk and he has the ability to run quick weekday errands since he is already out and about. That’s really nice.

      • Diana Barry :

        Yes. Scheduling is key – one person has to be around to do pickup/dropoff. So if the travel is booked in advance, you know that travel will get you home in time, etc., it is okay. If traffic is variable or the time of the appointments can vary, then your spouse would need to be the one to do pickup (and his/her job would have to allow for that).

    • Solo Practitioner :

      Audio books. I drive a lot for work, and I’ve been able to listen to all kinds of great stuff. I download them from iTunes onto my phone. Make sure your car has an aux plug, or get an iPhone adapter for your car’s audio system. Pandora would be nice too, but I travel in rural areas and there’s not enough signal.

      Find a reusable water bottle that you like and leave it in your car. Fill it up every time you leave from somewhere (or gas station bathrooms work too).

      I have a pad and a pen in my car always for when I need to pull over and take notes on something.

      I don’t usually talk on the phone while I drive, but if you do, invest in a Bluetooth headset.

      I use an iPhone app called Milog to log my mileage and travel expenses. It’s very handy.

  9. Brooks Brothers and Ralph Lauren give away….


    I want to donate the below, which are all in mint condition. I would be happy if they were put to good use by one or two lovely ladies on this site. I got pregnant soon after I bought them 2 yrs ago, and somehow they just don’t seem to fit the same.

    3 brooks brothers ” fitted non iron” button front shirts in size 8. One in palest yellow, one in a tiny pale green print on white, and one in the same print but in pink.

    2 Ralph Lauren short sleeve Oxford shirts in the super slim fit …size 12. One in blue, one in pink.

    3-4 white button down shirts in size 40/10 from Alain figaret.

    As I live outside the US, shipping will not be cheap so I would be glad to ship to not more than 2 people.

    Email me at an740098 at google’s email service. First come, first serve!

    • In case you don’t get requests and are left with them, there is also a great NYC nonprofit that helps immigrant women train for jobs that will provide them with stability/benefits/etc.

      They are always welcoming donations of suits/business/business casual work attire/shoes/purses/scarves. They have a Dress for Success type of event once each semester (women sign up for a one semester session that is designed to have them find great jobs by the end of the course) where the students can pick up out an interview outfit.


    • Do you live in Canada by chance?

  10. Thank you gift TJ: We just bought our 1st house, which has needed a bit of work. My parents don’t live in our city, but have come to help with house projects two weekends in a row. There were several things they helped with that we could not have done on our own and would have had to hire someone to do. We’d love to get them a thank you gift to show our appreciation. They don’t expect anything, and would be very uncomfortable if we spent a lot of money on them. I’d prefer to expand beyond bottles of wine or gift certificates to restaurants. Any suggestions for around $75-100? Their interests include tennis, boating, horses and horseback riding, flower gardening, but I’m open to any ideas/suggestions. Thanks in advance!!

    • Mom to Grownups :

      Honestly, whenever we can help our now-married offspring, we are happy to do it. If you really want to send something as a thank-you gesture, though, I’d suggest flowers.

    • What about private lessons with a tennis pro? Pretty soon you can also buy Wimbledon towels for this year’s tournament.

    • Do they own a boat? What about a piece of boat decor? (I find people are often more whimiscal when it comes to decorating their boats than they are with their own houses and so like things like clocks surrounded by rope/knots, cushions with “witty” sayings about boats or sayings written out in flags, etc.) Or some kind of clever kitchen items for the boat — things designed not to tip or slide around.

    • A nice hanging flower basket?

    • We always take our parents out to dinner (somewhere relatively nice but not breaking the bank) for reasons like this. I know they’re out of town, but how about a nice thank-you card and write in it that you’ll take them to dinner the next time you see them?

    • What about a something-of-the-month delivery?

    • Not everybody likes snuggies apparently, sniff sniff, but how about nice robes for both of them? Nice robes are the kind of thing you’d never buy for yourself but always want.

  11. For a fun TJ —

    What’s the worst gift you’ve ever received?

    For a low key one, I once got Drano as a Secret Santa present (the guy who gave it me said, “Yeah, I was late and it was on sale at CVS and we had a $10 spending limit”). For an actual gift, once a guy I had been seeing for one month gave me a necklace that set “one true love” and named a star after me. That was just weird because it was creepy, and also, I think star naming is a huge scam.

    • hellskitchen :

      A guy I was seeing for two months gave me a cheap stuffed animal with a non-functional clock fitted in its belly… which he got for free because he was consulting for a toy company at that time. Just a card would have been classier.

    • Anon for this :

      The Joy of Cooking for One; a Christmas present from a guy I had broken
      up with 2 weeks prior.

      See also Spanx.

    • Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler :

      For our first V-day, the BF got me a microwave and a Terry McMillian book about a woman going through menopause and what a life changing experience it is. But he got his gift giving skills honestly because his dad got his mom a heated toilet seat for her birthday.

      • Maybe I’m weird but I would love a heated toilet seat. It is just the kind of thing that would make winter mornings so much nicer, but I could never justify spending the money on it myself.

      • I got one of these for DH for Valentine’s Day. He still thinks it was the best.gift.ever.

      • A local restaurant has a heated toilet seat. I love it!! I go there specifically for the bathroom.

    • Diana Barry :

      I got a secret santa that was a tree skirt made of cotton (like in cotton balls) with glitter in it. Awful!

    • An ex gave me a snuggie for our 2-year anniversary. It wasn’t a joke or a gag gift.

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        This would be the best gift ever.

        Not even joking – I love my snuggie, even though I embrace the absurdity of it and refer to it at the WTF-blanket in day to day speech. I still don’t have to alter my coziness to read a book or watch TV under a blanket!

        • Word up. Snuggies are my besties for life.

        • It wasn’t the snuggie itself that was so bad. It was more that it was a very ill-suited anniversary gift (which he also bought for his mom that same week).

          • springtime :

            Yah, as a small, almost ‘gag’ gift sure. But not a 2 year anniversary.

          • Yeah, you should never give something to your SO on your anniversary that you would also give your mom, imo.

    • A male hulu dancer for my car?

    • I received a Valentine’s Gift from my in-laws when I was really sick during my first trimester. I was like, “YESSSS, I bet it’s chocolate!!!” It was actually a make-your-own chocolate kit. I threw it away and cried. Ha ha.

    • Marble grapes. To go with a marble pyramid from same gifter. I am still at a loss for what to do with them.

      First runner up: a giant CZ pendant necklace from a really cute young man who did not know that CZ was a thing or that it was trying to look like a ginormous diamond that only basketball wives would wear.

      Second runner up: a really tacky gold ring with 5 specs of diamonds, 2 of which were missing, from a pawn shop that a musician ex bf bought me for our six month anniversary after buying himself a $1200 guitar. I would have preferred a teddy bear from CVS. The worst part wasn’t even that it was the antithesis of my style or that he got it at a pawn shop, but that he would proudly tell everyone that he “found it at this great little pawn shop, canyoubelieve it?!”

    • One of my relatives (2nd cousin once removed) sent a card with $7 in one dollar bills as a wedding present. I still don’t know if it was a legitimate gift (they aren’t well off) or a snub because they weren’t invited to the wedding.

      • Abby Lockhart :

        It sounds like perhaps it was a good luck gesture rather than a gift. The sentiment may have been very kind.

    • An “I’m sorry” Christmas ornament to apologize for saying my lady garden was too loose for him, which I posted about here months ago.

      • Snarkster :

        I remember you -are you still seeing that guy?

        • It’s in limbo atm. He has great qualities and was making a lot of improvement for a while, but he recently backslid and I’m tired of feeling like I’m dragging him into adulthood (he’s in his early 30s, and 3 years older than me). We’re currently not technically together; I told him he needs to take time to really think about what he wants and whether he can conform his actions to his promises. This came about when I told him I was hurt that he chose to hang out with his friends rather than help me move, and his response was, “Well I don’t want to give up my friends.” He immediately realized he effed up, but the whole thing just makes me want to sleep.

          • Did you get another apology ornament? :) Perhaps you should start a Sorry Tree.

          • I didn’t read your previous post, but this guy sounds like a loser.


            You’re worth more.

          • Olivia Pope :

            I was Team Dump Him before (I think I was using a different nickname) and I’m Team Dump Him now. You want the guy who says, “You’re moving? Let me get my friends to help! Then let’s all get drinks!” or even “You’re moving? I had plans with my friends but I’ll help you first!”

            Helpfulness and the ability to consider others should be pre-installed before a relationship, IMHO. My good girlfriend of mine finally got out of a multi-year relationship with a guy like yours. She had to spend far too much time constantly trying to explain her basic human emotions and needs. He never got any better. [/unsolicited rant]

    • Stability ball, resistance bands and some other piece of exercise gear for my birthday. From the girl that left my birthday party with the guy I was dating at the time. The day after the party.

    • Seventh Sister :

      Lacy panties from Rampage and tube socks. Thanks, mother-in-law!

    • Two things – the boyfriend I lived with in college got me a shower massage thing. Um, I take baths and he was well aware of that. When I lived with another boyfriend many years later, his mother gave us a set of Le Creuset cookware. I don’t cook. But the boyfriend did. And got the cookware when we broke up.

  12. Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler :

    So after seeing the fashion at the Met, I am 10x more confused about what punk actually is. But I loved Taylor Swift’s dress.

    • The short answer is that it is none of those things dude. Seriously, that was the least punk party in the world.

      • Not only was it not punk, but most of it was just not good. I think SJP was the only one who sort of got it right. And of course Madonna gets points for the most literal interpretation.

        • Can’t believe I’m saying this, but I think Miley Cyrus got it right!

          • And Hathaway, even.

          • nice cube :

            i cant support SJP showing off her undies…

          • I think Ann Hathaway was my favorite too (closest to actual punk while still being high fashion AND flattering). SJP’s mohawk was cool – didn’t know you could see her undies. Miley’s outfit was interesting, just not very flattering to her (and the hair was…unfortunate.)

            There were other outfits I thought were lovely and would have been beautiful on a regular red carpet – but this was the Met Ball. I wanted them to bring it. My favorite not very punky but still so pretty gown was Ginnifer Goodwin’s golden gown. That thing was amazing.

    • Any recommendations for short/cropped cardigans? I love wearing summery dresses on the weekends now that the weather is super toasty, but I get *freezing* going into stores, etc., that feel the need to blast the air conditioning. Someone on here recommended some a few months ago, but I can’t seem to find the thread. I like the shorter ones, as I am pretty busty, and regular cardigans make me look pretty boxy. Thanks!

      • Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler :

        I’ve seen some very cute cropped cardigans at Old Navy and have been thinking about pulling the trigger myself.

        • I got 2 of the ON ones – in pink and then the navy and white striped one. They fit nicely and hit at a flattering spot on my busty and short-waisted person.

    • New York Magazine memorialized the death of punk a few weeks ago. The Met Gala was just sickly icing on a decrepit cake.

    • a passion for fashion :

      I think a lot of it is supposed to be a high fashion interpretation of punk, but i agree that a lot of people missed the mark.

      I also agree that Miley Cirus and Anne Hathaway looked great. So did SJP.

  13. Note to self: 3 cups of flour does not equal 5. This cake is going to be disgusting!

    • You just reminded me of my worst baking disaster: I baked a Thanksgiving apple pie and accidentally put salt in it instead of sugar (as in…2 cups of salt instead of 2 cups of sugar). And I was all proud to bring it to my friend’s house…sigh…so embarrassing! :P

    • Ha! I remember when my Dad, an otherwise educated man, asked my mom if two thirds was a half cup and a third cup. When she said no, he asked what to do if he already put in a half.

      • It’s my expensive lesson learned, 3 cups sugar, 5 eggs, 3 cups flour (this really was the most decadent cake ever). It was my own fault, I was making quiche and getting the cake into the oven at the same time. Luckily it was just for fun rather than for an event. I’m going to serve it with lemon curd on the side and maybe it’s lemon-y bread?

      • Ha! I think the answer is to use your fractions and add a sixth of a cup.

        • Well, actually, what my mother did was measure out 2/3 cup and remove a 1/2.

    • I had an experience as a student where I was making cake from a mix. And I misread the measurements, so I added 300 ml of oil instead of 30 ml.

      Yeah, worst tasting cake ever, and I still have problems with oil.

    • Also, soda =/= baking soda. 1/4 c. of baking soda should not be in most things.

    • Lady Harriet :

      One time I made blondies and doubled the recipe, but neglected to double the sugar. They were very fluffy, salty, and burned on the bottom. It was like the most horrible cornbread you ever tasted, but with chocolate chips in it.

  14. I have a TJ that’s sort of different from the recent biglaw questions — I like parts of my job a lot but have recently been working with partners I don’t mesh with well who are also somewhat outside of my fave litigation practices (I’m a litigator). Is there a way to decline work without completely effing myself over? I previously enjoyed almost everything I did and that’s becoming less and less and things are cropping up that I don’t enjoy doing more and more. Hours aren’t an issue but I’m worried they will be if I start whining and being a baby about this. Ugh. Law firms.

    • Do you have partners in the area you like who you know like working with you? And are any of these partners more powerful than the partners you like less? If so, I’d suggest you try to load up with work from them (which might mean being toally overloaded for awhile). That will make you unavailable when the partner you like less comes along. You can then refer that partner to the more powerful partner, saying “I’d love to do this work for you, Jim, but I have this brief due for Jane in two days and I worry the quality would suffer if I did both. But if you want to talk to Jane about it, I’d be happy to help you out if there’s a way.” Your hope is that Jane is powerful enough that Jim slinks away and finds another associate. Or that Jane says “no way, Jim, I HAVE to have jcc finish this brief by Friday.”

    • When and how to say no to work depends a fair amount on how long you have been in your office/practicing. Brand new to the office? Hard to say no. Been there for five years? A bit easier. In my experience, the best way to ensure you are getting the work you want and enjoy is to be proactive about it. Even if you have an “assigning partner” or the equivalent, go to those partners for whom you enjoy working and ask if they have anything coming up/any way you can help. (You may get really busy for a while as a result, but if you enjoy it, its worth it.) The sure way to be able to turn down work is to be super busy on other matters. When creepy/jerky partner X comes asking for help on a task that you don’t enjoy, you can respond with, “I would love to help. I am currently working on Y project with Partner A. Is it ok if I check with Partner A about the demands of Project Y going forward?” In my experience, at that point, Partner X is pretty likely to go find someone else.

    • My means of attacking this is basically always have plausible deniability. That translates to: always be just busy enough with enough looming deadlines that you can graciously turn down work. Of course, this is a know-your-office kind of thing, but once people build up enough credit and goodwill in my office, they can turn down extraneous assignments without forever damaging their career. I also have used Betty’s advice, above, about checking with your current assigning project.

      • Thank you, everyone. I appreciate the insight. Been here with the firm 5 years but am in sort of in a weird position because we’ve recently lost a few attorneys and are slammed. So I think I’m partly worried about not looking like a team player. Yes, I have several attorneys I LOVE working with and I’m sort of scared about not doing an A+ job for those folks while working with the sucky life sucking ones. It’s sucked a bit though because I turned down a project from a guy I really wanted to work with because of a sucky deadline that had to be done. Oh well. Such is life I suppose.

  15. anon for this :

    I had posted back in November, I think about the MPRE. Well, I took it again, studied more…and still didn’t pass. I am beyond mortified. In my state, I have to have a passing score in order to be eligible for the bar. this means, the bar will be pushed back until February.

    Everyone I know will be taking the bar this summer and will be in bar study. That was my plan, too, until about 10 min ago. What do I do? Can I call Barbri and ask them to adjust my bar study registration to the winter?

    • I’d try calling BarBri. Not sure how good they are about making those kinds of changes, but you definitely want to ask. How did you study for the MPRE? I got the flashcards (it’s a two box set from Law in a Flash) and just memorized them. They literally covered everything. Meanwhile, it sounds like you’re just not quite in the same mindset as the rules. I think what catches a lot of people out is that the answer is not what your Sunday School teacher would tell you to do (hello not giving ANY MONEY EVER to a client no matter how poor the client is or how small the amount). I’ve heard it put this way: “I think what my grandma would tell me to do then pick the one just a shade meaner.”

      As for being mortified, I totally get it. But I really think the trick to the MPRE is getting in the rule-makers’ specific mindset. It’s less about being “moral” or “professional” and more about being a mind-reader. It s*cks, but the upside of the Feb bar is that it’s often easier to pass!

    • I’m sorry – I’ve been there and it totally sucks. But this too will pass. Yes, I’m sure you can push your Barbri course to winter. But figure out what you need to pass the MPRE. Do you need to take another course? Maybe individual tutoring? Can you get your exam back with answers and figure out where you went wrong? Again, totally sucks but in your long legal career, this will be a blip on the screen.

      • anon for this :

        I think it definitely has to do with how I’m studying. Because I was just off the first time I took it, this time, I studied more…and dropped by 10 points?! I was so baffled this morning.

        One of my professors has been nice enough to talk with me about this, so I’ll be meeting with him later this week. Hopefully, he can help me pinpoint where I’m going wrong.

    • Do you mean in your state you’re not eligible for the bar *exam* unless you’ve passed the MPRE? Because in most states it doesn’t matter the order you go in. You just can’t be admitted to the bar until you pass both.

      • Many states require you to get a minimum MPRE score before you can sit for the bar.

      • Anonymous :

        I think in MA you had to have results before you could sit for it

        • Anne Shirley :

          And if it is MA, would it make sense to take a neighboring state now, and MA in Feb. I took NY, NJ, and MA in July and Feb, only really studied NY over the summer and spent 5 days brushing up in Feb.

          • Anonymous :

            Definitely this. Consider taking a state where your MPRE score is passing, or where you can sit again in August. If you’re in MA , I’d recommend NY, or Rhode Island or New Hampshire or Maine if you’re planning on practicing in New England.

          • a passion for fashion :

            i was going to suggest the same thing.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m so sorry! Today probably sucks a lot for you since the results came out and everyone’s talking about – so I’m sending you many, many positive vibes to get you through the day.

      Aside from that, I’d call Bar Bri. They should definitely be able to push your bar class back – they are pretty flexible about many things so I can’t imagine it would be a problem.

      Also, how far were you from passing? Is there any way you could petition the board of bar examiners to let you sit for the July exam, with admission contingent on passing the MPRE in August? I would at least give them a call to find out if it’s a true hard line policy of they make exceptions. Especially if you were close. to passing. While it’s unlikely, nothing was ever lost by asking.

      • anon for this :

        Thanks kindly for the good vibes! I’ll definitely need them.

        I was just shy of passing the first time I took the MPRE. This time, after spending more time studying, I somehow dropped 10 points. I have no idea what happened.

        I’m meeting with a professor who’s offered to talk me through my options. I’m hoping he has some ideas as to how or where I went wrong.

    • Totes McGotes :

      My perspective is pretty much the opposite of others who’ve responded – if you studied more than 8-12 hours total for the MPRE then I suspect you’re trying too hard. Just sign up to take it next time it comes and relax – maybe just study a couple hours the day before; and for the love of god don’t buy anything. Also, I agree with TBK’s advice regarding “I think about what my grandma would do…”

    • Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler :

      Don’t sweat it, this is just one battle. Here are some past questions from the NCBE. Use these to get into the groove of how they ask questions. http://www.ncbex.org/assets/media_files/MPRE/MPREVI2002.pdf

    • Woods-comma-Elle :

      So, so sorry to hear that you didn’t pass, but I agree with the posters above that the key is to figure out the ‘why’. Most likely it isn’t because you didn’t study enough, but more likely that you didn’t study the right way. To quote a wise lady, the MPRE is designed to be confusing.

      However, here’s the bad news: the MPRE is confusing, but it is like the baby-MBE. If the reason you failed is to do with the way the questions are phrased, not reading the questions properly, not understanding how to apply the rules to the questions or not understanding how to figure out the answer, these are all things that are going to come up in the MBE (assuming it is required in your state) and you may stumble on that, too. Therefore, taking the bar without having addressed those issues may lead to disappointment, whether it be in your state or another state. Going for the bar in another state with a lower pass score may well be the answer, but if you struggle with multiple choice questions in general, then the MBE is going to be tough and will be one-third of your score (I assume you are not in CA since you need the MPRE to take the bar).

      I don’t know if you used eg. BarBri prep or something, but Themis and a few other providers have a free online preparation course. If you studied independently, then this is the way forward. Doing as many practice questions as possible helps, because the same stuff keeps on coming up. For example, there is only one way that legislative hearings come up and the answer is 99% of the time that the person has to state that they appear in a representative capacity.

      Good luck! I genuinely hope it works out for you!

      • Ditto on this.

        Yes, in the grand scheme of things, this will be a small blip.

        But it doesn’t mean you should ignore it. There may be some lessons in here for how you prepare for standardized exams.

      • anon for this :

        Thank you! Reading through the responses, I’m convinced that I’m just tackling this wrong, somehow. I did the BarBri lecture, went through the outlines, did questions…The first time I took the exam, I was off by like 5 points or so. This time, I went down by 10.

        I took a class with a professor this semester that focused on bar related subjects. We did lots of MBE questions in addition to writing essays, so I’m familiar with the MBE and how its questions are structured. I’m meeting with him later this week to discuss my options, and I’m hoping he might have an idea as to where I went wrong.

    • Olivia Pope :

      Some thoughts:

      (1) My personal test taking philosophy is that exams do not primarily test your underlying knowledge or capability. An exam tests your ability to do well on that particular exam. Your goal should be figuring out why you are not meshing with the idiosyncrasies of the MPRE. Request your answer sheet, see what you misunderstood, and go from there.

      (2) There’s no harm is asking them to regrade your exam. I would absolutely do this if I didn’t pass.

      (3) If the regrade shows that you really didn’t pass, focus on studying how you need to study and not how everyone else studies. Kaplan provided a free online MPRE course (if you didn’t know that, look into it). Everyone I know watched the free 4 hour lecture to learn the material. I don’t learn from listening, though. I learn from reading, so I read and re-read and re-read the free book/outline Kaplan gave out and then took practice exams. I didn’t watch the lecture at all. Do what you need to do, not what other people need to do.

      (4) I think BarBri offers a free iPhone app with MPRE questions, I think. If you have an iPhone, look into it.

      (5) You will not be thinking about this 10 years from now.

    • anon for this :

      Thanks for all the responses! I think you’re all right in that there’s something wrong with how I’m approaching this exam. I’m meeting this week with the professor that handles bar prep. I’m hoping he’ll be able to steer me in the right direction for August.

      In the meantime, I guess this means I don’t have to spend the summer in bar prep?

      Thanks again!!

  16. 10 year anniversary :

    Any gift ideas to give to my husband for our upcoming 10 year anniversary? He likes movies, history, football…we have a young baby whom he also adores. :) He’s not into alcohol or golf and he’s trying to lose weight so no decadent food stuff either. I’m terrible at gifts so any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    • What about an activity-focused gift? Tickets to a game, for example, plus team clothes for the baby. Or if he’s outdoorsy, arranging a day or weekend getaway for the two of you or the two of you plus baby. I don’t know where in the country you are, but an area that has signficiant historical sites could be fun.

    • I love experience gifts – gives you something to look forward to, enjoy, and then remember. So, maybe tickets to a pro football game, or a live music concert, or plan a weekend getaway without the baby (arrange for a family member to watch your baby overnight). Sometimes with a young baby, parents (esp. guys) feel like they don’t get enough attention from their spouse.

    • Do you have a sitter or family member who you can leave your baby with? (if not, find one!) But seriously, if so, give your husband the gift of some time together, just the two of you, whether it’s a few hours out or even better a night or two away from the baby. Plan some time just for the two of you, and make it center around one of his interests. If you can only swing a night out, go to the movies together (even better, go to a movie that connects with one of his interests). If you can spend a whole day out, do you live near any interesting museums or historic sites that he might like to visit? If you can swing a weekend away, then plan a weekend around a historical interest of his — I don’t know where you live, but something like Williamsburg, or the Alamo, or Charleston SC. The time together doesn’t have to be on your actual anniversary if that isn’t convenient, you could just wrap up the tickets to give him on the actual day.

    • Thanks for the advice so far! Our baby is tiny (3 weeks) and we don’t have family nearby, so we don’t feel comfortable getting a sitter at this point. I do like the idea of an experience gift, but give the baby’s young age at this point I would prefer just getting an actual physical gift. His favorite football team is across the country, so football tix wouldn’t work in this instance.

      • Documentary or video series on a historical topic that interests him, to watch together? Maybe while the baby is asleep or otherwise being low-maintenance?

      • Is he handy? My husband loves when I buy him tools (like a 6-in-1 screwdriver). He honestly told me that he thinks of me every time he uses it. He also likes when I buy him stuff for his electronics (new iPod case or nice headphones) and he is really into music so I will try and pick out a CD he likes or see if any bands are playing close by and get tickets. My husband also likes to grill so stuff for the grill or fancy spice blends are also good gifts for him.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Maybe a subscription to the all football, all the time channel on your cable or satellite provider? I know some of them have packages where you can watch all the games every Sunday.

      • I didn’t realize your baby was that young. Congrats on the new baby! How about something like an iPad (my husband’s football team is in another state and also is not very good so he needs to watch games on the internet since they are never televised) or a Kindle (you can download “Team of Rivals”), or a Netflix subscription for movies. Or, you can get his car detailed for him (who doesn’t like a super clean car). If he’s interested in exercising, maybe a nice piece of equipment like a nordic track?

        • Similar to the Netflix subscription, if you don’t already have it, you could get him the Roku or Apple TV or some other device to stream Netflix, Hulu, and other on-line tv direct to your television (great for late night feedings and such). If you already have a Playstation its a bit unnecessary, but if not its awesome. And its super easy to use, my mother…the least techy person on earth, loves her Roku SO MUCH.

    • That makes sense. If you don’t have one already, a nice camera or videocamera could be fun for him / useful for documenting baby moments.

      Or you could buy movies–for example, a Ken Burns historical documentary series, get a gourmet (healthy) meal delivered one night, and have a relax-at-home movie night to celebrate his birthday.

      • hoola hoopa :

        +1 for nice camera or videocamera.

        I got this for my husband for father’s day when our oldest daughter was a baby, and I cannot express how happy it makes him: http://www.babywit.com/dad/gifts-accessories/gift-sets/volume-button-goes-to-11-dad-baby-toddler-set.html They have a bunch of other options if he’s not a Spinal Tap kind of guy.

    • Mountain Girl :

      For our 10th anniversary I found a decorative wooden box and filled it with little mementos of all the milestones and inside stories we had shared. I wrote a fun letter that referenced each of those events and he really seemed to enjoy at at the time. Not too long ago my teenage sons were looking for something in the office closet and found the box. They asked DH about it and he went through the box with them. I didn’t realize he had kept that box for all these years but he did seem to enjoy sharing the memories with our kids. Some of the items included – a hotwheel in the same make and model of our first new car purchased, the key chain from the realtor we used when we bought our house, a bandaid with the label of the hospital ER we visited on our honeymoon, a rock from our favorite vacation spot…

      • What a lovely gift – I might steal the idea for an upcoming milestone for my husband. I do think that with a 3 week old baby the OP might want to file this for future reference though and concentrate on survival, lol!

        Thanks again for the great idea.

  17. One of my husband’s friends was just diagnosed with cancer (he’s late 20’s so this has come as a shock to us all). We have double dated with he and his fiancee a few times so I know them but not as well as my DH does. DH has suggested I send a note to his friend’s finacee letting her know I am thinking of her and just basically offering support. I am not sure what to say as I am not very close with her and haven’t hung out with her one-on-one. I don’t want to make her feel uncomfortable but I agree I should say something but I don’t know what. What is the best way to handle this?

    • I’m sure she’d be very touched by a note. I think you just say “Just wanted to let you know I’m thinking of you.” You could also ask if she wanted to go out for a coffee or a drink sometime, just the girls. (No, you haven’t hung out one-on-one before, but there’s no reason not to start now.) You could also show that you’re a safe place for her to vent. She needs to be strong and supportive for her fiance, so she needs other people to be strong and supportive for her so she has a place to cry, or whine, or any of those things and not burden her fiance with them. Maybe that’s more than you feel up for, and in that case, a think just a card and an offer to bring over take-out some night would be plenty.

    • While a note isn’t a horrible idea, it could come across as forced if you don’t know each other well. In my experience, people get lots of obligatory notes and one-time reach outs during times like this. I always think it’s more helpful to actually be there, rather than just say you will be. For instance, maybe invite her out for mani/pedis or lunch or something else girly, so it’s not weird the guys aren’t there, and it will give her an opportunity to bring anything up she may want to talk about. Grab drinks, lunch, or something else casual if you happen to be around. Check in at a later point when the initial well-wishers have come and gone.

    • anon-walrus :

      I think a note is a good idea. Just say you’re thinking of her, etc. In a similar circumstance, it meant a lot to me that people acknowledged what I was going through.

  18. Help! Are there disadvantages to not transferring old 401Ks when starting a new job? (Other than juggling the multiple accounts?). I have one from my pre-law school days and now I am switching firms and I am unsure whether I should consolidate, and why?

    • Depends on the rules regarding the old employer has about their plan. I’d check to see if the old employer has rules about how long they’ll keep old 401(k)s active – some will have mechanisms to deal with ‘old’ accounts, since the employer is likely responsible for some of the administrative fees. How much freedom did you have in picking funds and the cost of the administrative fees?

      You might also see if you can a better fee rate on a new account – the fees to have an actively managed account might not be worth it (they never seem to do be than indexed funds – right?).

      Frankly, I wouldn’t want to leave my money under anyone else’s control, so I’d roll it over into an IRA, but that a personal decision.

    • I would recommend rolling over the old 401k into an IRA rather than into your new 401k. The 401k is picked by your employer which means they can choose whatever funds they want rather than the funds you want. In an IRA you have complete freedom to choose the funds that suit your asset allocation, have low expenses etc. If you call Vanguard or Fidelity they can handle the rollover for you easily.

    • Wannabe Runner :

      Rolling over makes it so much easier to manage.

  19. Any tips on staying focused at work when you’ve already checked out mentally? This job is terrible, but I was focused on figuring out how to get the most out of it, and on being proactive to make the bad parts better. But I finally just realized after the latest failed effort that this job is never getting better and it’s actually getting worse. It seems that my three friends at work have all come to the same conclusion at about the same time. We’re all plotting our escapes, but the job market is so slow moving these days that it could be months and months before I find a new job. How do I keep my head in the game until then?

    • No real advice but I can commiserate. Just keep looking and meeting people in your industry. A lot of people land their best jobs through networking, and not through job postings. Also, while it’s great you have friends at work, sometimes sharing too much with them may work against you (if, e.g., they apply for the same jobs or subtly hint to superiors that you’re not happy there) so just watch out.

  20. Anonymous :

    I recently decided I’m tired of paying for tanning lotion, and I just cannot tan naturally. Have any of you all decided to embrace super pale skin? It still feels a bit weird to walk around with white legs in a skirt, but the more I think about it… why are pale legs considered inappropriate anyway? Some people just have pale skin, dangit. But then maybe I’m being ridiculous. Thoughts?

    • Mountain Girl :

      I was wrestling with this concept this morning. I wanted to wear a pencil skirt and my sunless tan was fading so tried the Sally Hansen air brushed legs. It works okay but why do I have to put makeup on my legs? What’s wrong with them like they are? But, I’m not sure I’m ready to embrace super pale skin.

    • I think you are the envy of all of those women who use those “whitening” products and go to the beach covered head to toe in fabric for the sake of remaining “pale and beautiful.”

      I like that you’re embracing what you’ve got. As a person who doesn’t pale as ANY exposure to sun leads to darkness + I love the outdoors, I’ve embraced the fact that I’m never going to have glowing pale skin.

    • I grew up in CA, went to college in CA (where I played an aquatic sport) and then…after college…moved to London. Let me tell you, I embraced pale–after 6 mos in London, my speedo tan which I had sported for over a decade was gone–and I was WHITE.

      I think it’s harder if your look is bleach-blond/with tan, but otherwise, rock it! I am not self-conscious. That’s the color I come in. I am a near-redhead (brownish auburn) and for me to be as tan as I was when I was a college athlete (and in the sun 25+ hours a week) would be silly now that I sport an “office tan.”

      • Are you me? I’m from California and live in Scotland. I was home last week to 85F and it’s 70 today and everyone is stripping down to tank tops and shorts. This is not summer!

    • Wannabe Runner :

      I’m very pale.

      I started to embrace it last year after a friend had to undergo chemotherapy for skin cancer.

      I go to the dermatologist twice a year, and any color is skin damage. People die of skin cancer. It’s a serious thing. The sun is poisoning us these days.

      I focus on the fact that Katy Perry can be a superstar with pale skin, and the fact that my skin looks 20 years younger than me, and it will always look better than the sun worshippers’ skin.

    • Olivia Pope :

      Love yourself! I am a black woman, so I have never been (nor will ever be) in your shoes. But I have plenty of white friends who are constantly tanning and it makes no sense to me. Yes, dark skin is beautiful (if I say so myself) but so is pale skin! You probably look fantastic with your natural fairness.

      Embrace your skin tone and play it up with your hair, makeup, and color choices. You will look amazing. And rest assured that no matter what you looked like, there would be plenty of commercials telling you to spend money to change it. You don’t have to play that game.

work fashion blog press mentions