Frugal Friday’s TPS Report: Lace Collar 3/4 Sleeve Sweater

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

I’m going to be honest: I hate the “collar” look that’s going on right now.  They so often look “little girl” or just plain “fug.”  (I particularly hate the “add a collar” trend — I would almost always prefer a pretty necklace to something that is, in my mind, a souped up dickey.)  That said… I have to begrudgingly admit that this lace collar sweater from Ann Taylor is both on trend and (gaaah) cute. The price is also right: the sweater was $49.50, but you can take 40% off for today, bringing the price down to $29.70.  Lace Collar 3/4 Sleeve Sweater

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



  1. Happy Friday everyone. I need this weekend like peanut butter needs jelly.

    So…funnish threadjack. I need Yankee Swap ideas. The group is a small law office with a range of age ranges (anywhere from early 20s to late 60s), mix of interests, I think $25 limit? I was going to hit Home Goods this weekend to look around but thought I’d ask here first to see if anyone had a moment of brilliance (I think its somewhere on the brink of gag gift but still serious, you know fun gifts but not totally silly).

    • [insert clever name here] :

      Scratch off lotto tickets are always my go-to for gift exchanges.

      • I do movie tickets.

      • Yup, I like this idea too!
        Actually, there was a thread on this a few days ago, so you might wanna do a google search to double the suggestions. :)

    • I have 4 holiday parties at the university. 2 have yankee swaps.

      One has a $10 max so I’m bringing lottery tickets. The other has a $15 max so I’m bringing a bottle of wine.

      At a company I used to work at, the 2 most popular items were crystal and booze so one year I bought a crystal vase and filled it with nips.

      By the way, one of the holiday parties has something called a crinkle pool. I’d never heard of this before. Apparently, you write your name on a dollar bill, crumple it up and put it in a basket. The person whose name is on the bill drawn wins the entire basket. I’m guessing that person also spends the rest of the day trying to flatten all the bills in order to fit them in a wallet.

    • Merabella :

      My office usually does booze for this exchange or gift cards.

    • Oh, honey. I soooo need this weekend. Between the flu and travel, I haven’t had a normal weekend since well before Thanksgiving. And my house shows it!

      I don’t know if it’s possible to get them soon enough but both my friend and I bought these polka dot nut bowls at Fishs Eddy in NYC last week. I ended up ordering 3 more of the sets when I got home because I think they make fun, inexpensive gifts. I think they’ll be perfect for cooking or baking when I need to premeasure ingredients. And they’re cute!,4414.html

      • Super cute and a great price. Thanks for the tip.

      • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

        Great find! I’ll be ordering stuff from here to round out my selection of presents for the folks I have to buy for.

        • We wanted ALL of the polka dot pieces! They weren’t on sale in the store, but it kind of balanced out against paying shipping.

          • GODDESS i miss Fish’s Eddy… .used to live right down the street, too much fun! ;o)

    • My close group of friends did a yankee swap at our Christmas party last year. I brought a mug shaped like Yoda with hot cocoa mix (yes, I have weird friends). This year I’m thinking of getting a couple small random-trivia books I saw and Barnes & Noble (we play on a trivia team once a week at a local bar).

    • Snuggie (even better if it’s an off brand one), funny mugs (our Homegoods had holiday mugs with Santa and reindeer figurines on the bottom) with a gift card to Starbucks or dunkin donuts, Goodnight Ipad (same concept as Goodnight Moon)

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I bought the Think Geek closed hood jump starter that someone linked to here. You can jumpstart someone’s car from the two cigarette lighters. It is $25 or $30 and with shipping was $35. That’s my offices’ limit.

      I also need the weekend. My work and home life have been equally busy so I have had no down time. This morning I dumped a travel mug of tea on my bare stomach while blow drying my hair. Luckily I had just applied a really thick lotion so a lot of the tea quickly beaded off. The burn is more like a sunburn than anything serious but what a cap to the week.

      • just Karen :

        I saw those jump starters in a Bed, Bath and Beyond ad for $20 I think, and they always have 20% off coupons.

      • Ouch! Hope you’re ok! I was rushing around getting ready for a dinner party and realized partially dressed that I had left something in the oven. I somehow touched the side of a baking sheet (right out of the oven) against my bare stomach. Seriously painful. My SO couldn’t figure out how I managed that until I admitted that I was topless at the time.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I’m in moderation for the letters now in asterisks. Kat, you can delete the one in moderation.

      I bought the Think Geek closed hood jump starter that someone linked to here. You can jumpstart someone’s car from the two cigar**** lighters. It is $25 or $30 and with shipping was $35. That’s my offices’ limit.

      I also need the weekend. My work and home life have been equally busy so I have had no down time. This morning I dumped a travel mug of tea on my bare stomach while blow drying my hair. Luckily I had just applied a really thick lotion so a lot of the tea quickly beaded off. The burn is more like a sunburn than anything serious but what a cap to the week.

    • Check Uncommon Goods – they have a < $25 section.

      • WorkingMom :

        Love that site – they have super cute mugs with faces & open “mouths” were you put the cookies you would theoretically eat with your coffee. Wish I had space for more mugs, but my husband has me on a mug-moratorium, sadly.

    • My go to gift for unisex gift exchanges is a bottle of wine/champagne (depending on price limit) or a Starbucks gift card.

    • I so need a weekend too but unfortunately this one is half full with obligations already. I am so freaking busy, I haven’t done anything towards Christmas yet and it is well on its way to Not Happening. It would help if my freaking clients would Work On My Schedule And Not Theirs. Sigh. I have been doing this gig for long enough to know that is never going to happen. Someone give me a shoulder rub before I explode.

    • big dipper :

      we do this with my family and popular gifts have been:

      (1) movie tickets + pop corn
      (2) home movie night (a few $5/$10 DVD’s from Target, box of popcorn, box of movie theater candy)
      (3) scratch off travel map (search amazon/online)
      (4) a cozy blanket (like a throw blanket)

    • smitten kitchen cookbook purchased off of amazon

  2. Ladies, you can take 35% at Lo and Sons with code ACUPOFJOHOLIDAYS

    • So tempting!

    • Meg Murry :

      Does anyone else think companies are shooting themselves in the foot with offering more and more discounts? I was mildly interested in Lo & Sons bags, then I heard they had 20% off and I was intreiged, then 30% off and I was still considering but on the fence. Now that I hear 35% off I would have been ticked if I had ordered with 20% or 30% off then heard about this deal, and another part of me wonders how much lower it will go. I feel the same way about several other companies (I’ve gotten “our best deal ever, for a limited time” emails from Tivo every week for the past week, and every time I order from Lands End I get an email that they have an even better promotion starting the next day.) I know you can usually call and get price adjustments, but it makes me not want to bother, assuming there will always be a better deal – and then if there isn’t a better deal I get really grumpy and don’t buy at all or wind up buying something else. Anyone else feel this way?

      • I recently ordered some stuff from LOFT on BF and since then have been inundated wth simialr emails. It is irritating.

      • manomanon :

        Part of me thinks you’re absolutely right, actually most of me does. But at least with brands I watch religiously I think it’s pretty easy to figure out the trends since they repeat weekly. Something like Lo & Sons that I’ve watched less frequently I might pull the trigger on the Mott (which was already pretty reasonable) today. But for something like AT, Limited, Banana or the Gap, I tend to wait until Thursday or Friday when it seems the discount is the highest.
        At a minimum it’s easier on our end because of the predictability.

      • darjeeling :

        agreed. I thought I got a great deal on the OMG at 30% off and the extra $15 is probably not worth the hassle of returning and reordering to me (I know, first world problem), but I’m a little aggravated all the same.

      • Almost There :

        Yeah I ordered at 30% off, so that peeves me a little bit.

      • I emailed to ask for a price adjustment on my OG (which I received earlier this week). I will report back on L&S’s response.

        • Also ordered a bag for 30% off and just emailed for a price adjustment. Let’s see how this goes. I’m totally not above returning and buying again since I was hemming and hawing at the price even with the 30% off.

          • I was already on the fence about whether the bag was big enough to suit my needs, so if they won’t give me the price adjustment, I’m going to return it.

        • SF Bay Associate :

          Please do. I’m also not above a return and rebuy.

        • I ordered the OMG back when it was 20% off and they promptly refunded me the difference when they upped the discount to 30%. I want the 35% now, too, but I’ve had the bag for a couple of weeks and have been using it, so maybe I will restrain myself.

        • Just got a reply from L&S indicating that they will give me the extra 5%. To quote Ellen, “YAY!”

      • When I ordered my Lo & Sons bag last year with a coupon, I did a bit of googling to find out if they had offered better coupons and I should wait. I think the highest I could find was 40% off for only day only (maybe black friday or fourth of july or something). So at least for the 35% off, it’s probably a pretty good deal.

    • Really need to work on my boycotting skills. The big brouhaha here is that Sbux and Amazon aren’t paying their tax. Where am I sitting? Starbucks. Taxpaying Costa can’t compete with the ubiquity of sbux and its free wifi.

      • I am terrible about boycotting as well- I tend to say forget it unless the boycott is because of a human rights type thing, paying tax or local business*… not valid reasons to boycott in my mind- particularly when there is free wifi.
        *before everyone thinks I am a terrible person- I live someplace where the only chain on the island is Stop & Shop- everything else is a locally owned business and I like frequenting them. But if I had or got to choose between Starbucks and my local coffee shop or Barnes & Noble and the local bookstores I would choose the chain in a heartbeat. I see no reason to pay more for inferior results and service just because they are locally owned.

      • My newest boycott is Chuck E. Cheese (have 2 kids)
        Their new commercials… I can’t remember the exact wording but they use the word “Funner”. Funner. No more Chuck E Cheese for us, I can’t stand it.

        • Cornellian :

          You are not the only friend of mine with this outlook! haha.

        • a passion for fashion :

          I think you dont need to boycott the Chuck for that reason (though for other reasons, be my guest):

          Some English traditionalists claim that the only correct comparative form of the adjective fun is more fun, that the only superlative is most fun, and that funner and funnest are only appropriate in the most informal contexts. This rule was once justifiable, but today it is arbitrary and useless, and it lives on only because not enough people have dared break it. This is beginning to change, as the one-word forms have gained ground in recent decades and have even worked their way into formal and serious writing, but there is still a long way to go.

          Meanwhile, the fact remains that funner and funnest are still considered unacceptable by many editors and other careful English users. So if you are writing, say, a school paper or a job application letter, you might want to play it safe by using more fun and most fun. This is the type of old superstition that people tend to feel strongly about, even if there is no good reason it should still exist. Some people cherish their old language superstitions and are rarely willing to let them go, and sometimes we just have to accomodate these people, especially when something important is at stake.

          The reason the use of funner and funnest has been discouraged is that fun was until recently only a noun. Nouns do not have comparative (-er) and superlative (-est) forms, but mass nouns such as fun can be modified by more and most. But although some of the stodgier English reference books still pretend fun can’t be an adjective, most English speakers moved on long ago, and the adjectival fun is rarely questioned. Of course, the word can give way to synonyms such as enjoyable or amusing, but these don’t quite convey the sense of lightness that fun does.

      • But Costa has better hot chocolate. So Costa wins in my book.

        (I don’t drink coffee; hot chocolate is my Sbux/Costa/[insert name of other coffee shop chain here] drug of choice.)

        • Do they? It isn’t super convenient to me so I don’t often pop in there but I do love nice hot chocolate. I like caffe Nero but only for hot chocolate, their tea is terrible.

          I went through to Glasgow and was super jealous of the fact that they have an EAT. I do love my chains.

      • ugh. So I started boycotting Papa Johns when John-who-owns-a-4k-sq-ft-mansion-in-LA complained about paying 14 cents per pizza (the horrors!) to provide basic healthcare for his employees.

        And now I’ve won one of the 2 million pizzas they are giving away. Do I take it? Or do I write a polite email expressing my discontent?

        • SF Bay Associate :

          Take the pizza coupon, give it to charity. Maybe Boys & Girls club or YMCA or to be more subversive, a cause that’s directly opposed to John, like Planned Parenthood to feed the volunteers escorting patients. Then email THAT to the company :).

        • You should mail them a check for the 14 cents and donate it to a homeless shelter.

    • Just visited my soon to be new workplace and found out they use 13″ laptops! Why do I care? Because now I can go buy the Lo and Sons Savoy bag which is in stock!!! (Brookline is out) :) Kind of stupidly excited now. Thanks for the code!

  3. TCFKAG – I’ll just say that I rarely have jelly with my peanut butter. I usually skew in favor of honey or dill pickles. :)

    • I like peanut butter and lettuce!

    • Peanut butter and pickles?

      Is this something that I need to try while I’m still pregnant so that I at least sort of have an excuse? :)

      • It was my dad’s thing when we were small, so we grew up with it. It’s playing on the salt and vinegar combination, I think.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        When I was a waitress, a pregnant lady requested a sandwich that was a grilled cheese with pickles and peanut butter. She wanted the bread spread with peanut butter on the inside, cheese put in the middle, then pickles, then thrown on the grill. We made it for her. No idea how that tasted.

        • PIckles go well with everything as far as I am concerned. I recently had a pickle martini and it was delightful. I am making a mental note to try the pickle & peanut butter combo.

          • Incidentally, there is a most amazing video on the interwebs called How to Eat a Warermelon, and among its suggestions, the old man narrating it says that you should eat it with PB. It’s, all in all, very surreal. If you like quirky and have 10 minutes to waste, I highly recommend it.

          • I’ve heard that watermelon pairs well with goat or feta cheese as well (the kind that doesn’t come pre-crumbled). Something about the salty/sweet combo.

          • I had a dill pickle martini at Patois! I have to say, it was delicious while really cold, but not as palatable once it started losing its super coldness. Much better was the ginger gimlet I had at Otto on Friday night. Yum!

      • There was an article about this sandwich in the NY Times a few months ago. Apparently it’s a thing even with the non-pregnant.

    • Why have I never thought of a peanut butter and dill pickle sandwich? Two of my favourite foods In One Place! How could that not be a success? Mpls, you are a genius.

      • Credit goes to my dad :) If the slicing is to much work, I spread pb on a tortilla and then roll it up around the pickles (usually the smaller ones, but go crazy with the big ones if you want).

        If dill pickles are not available, I highly recommend Old Dutch Dill flavored chips. Highly superior to the Lays chip attempt at dill pickle chips. Only caveat is that Old Dutch seems to be an upper Midwest brand, so it’s not available everywhere. Much to the dismay of my uncle in Kansas who stocks up when he comes to visit.

        • I have had peanut butter and potato chip sandwiches before, but never combined the peanut butter specifically with dill pickle flavoured chips. And Old Dutch is ubiquitous here in the PNW, so I may have to try that….

  4. Merabella :

    If you had to choose, would you rather have orange pants or an orange skirt?

    • Skirt, for sure.

    • writergrrl :

      Skirt. The pants would just be too much ORANGE all at once.

    • darjeeling :

      I have 2 pairs of orange pants (and I’m not Derek Dooley), so I guess I picked pants

      • Sweet as Soda Pop :

        Well played with your DD reference! I suppose those orange pants are in a Donate pile in his closet now…

    • Skirt.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Skirt. Which one are you looking at? I think I could go for an orange skirt!


        • I LIKE it! Really, really cute.

        • Sydney Bristow :

          Cute! Now I’m really tempted!

        • Accounting Bee :

          I have this skirt! Paired with black polka dot blouse from the BR outlet and cobalt blue heels from H&M, it is fantastic.

          Product review: material is heavier weight and resists wrinkles pretty well. I have the medium, and I’m a US8/10.

    • I just bought the pants and the skirt. With the discount code and the gift card I had left over from my birthday I got both for less than $15.

      • Good for you ! Recently bought some orange pants and delighted w how much I enjoy them.

    • Lady Harriet :

      I own an orange/coral Boden skirt which has turned out to be surprisingly versatile. However, there are few color combinations that are too wild for me.

    • I can only have one? This is a straight-up Sophie’s Choice.

    • I am anti-orange in my closet because I have pinky-fair, very cool-toned skin – so neither! I’ve pretty much just convinced myself that I don’t like the color, rather than the color doesn’t like me.

  5. writergrrl :

    Ooh, I love this! Too bad I’m not in any place where I can actually buy it.

    TJ for any Apple fans out there. I’m thinking of getting an iPod Touch. I’ll be using it mostly for casual games, reading ebooks/articles, and a little bit as a PDA. Sadly, no Siri for me, thanks to fiddly wifi where I live. Is the 4th gen Touch good enough, or should I go for the latest? I’ve been hearing mixed opinions on how well the 4G can handle iOS 6, so I thought I’d ask the hive mind before actually taking the plunge.


    • You should talk to ROBERTA. She said that she just bought an IPAD MINI b/c the IPAD was to heavy for her and this was better. Her kid’s and her like to SURF the web and look at stuff on line, but she does NOT like to use her IPHONE for that (which is the same as an IPOD she says for SIZE) b/c she says “IT is to gosh darn small!” She uses nore colorful language, the manageing partner says, but I do NOT want to write that here b/c Kat would not like it!

      So she is keeping her IPHONE for makeing phone calls, and useing the IPAD MINI for fun stuff. She has loaded alot of things on there her kid’s told her to and she has on line supscription’s to magazine’s, includeing the NEW YORKER!

      Myrna has an ANDROID tablet that she loves, but I do NOT know what it is. It is very COLORFUL though! You should go to Best Buy and get it from them. That is where I got my IPHONE. They are VERY friendly and I recomend them! Yay!

    • If you’re planning to use it for reading ebooks and articles, I think you’d be better off with an iPad mini. The screen on the iPad touch is too small to read anything lengthy, in my opinion.

      (And yes, I just +1’d an Ellen post. What is the world coming to?)

    • Research, Not Law :

      I agree that the ipod touch is too small for serious reading. It’s okay for facebook or email, but I don’t even like reading newspaper articles.

    • writergrrl :

      I should clarify that I’m buying this to replace an older Touch that got stolen. The iPad mini won’t work for me, sadly… it’s too big to wear on my daily runs, plus I’m used to reading on my (tiny) Sony Xperia mini so the iPod’s screen actually feels luxurious in comparison. I’m just waffling about whether to get the latest one.

  6. After nearly three years, the make-up I bought for my wedding is running out and so I’m thinking of re-stocking on key products. Wanted to take a quick poll: (1) what do you think is the best brand of department store cosmetics and why; (2) I currently buy eyeliner, mascara, eye shadow, and face powder at the drug store. Is it worth buying any of these at the department store? If so, what’s better about department store brands? (3) For ladies with dark undereye circles, which concealer is best? Would especially love to hear from ladies with dark hair/light skin who get the lovely reddish-purple circles I often get. Thanks!

    • LeChouette :

      Fun game! Department store cosmetics really vary for me on what I’m looking for. I like Laura Mercier for makeup (the tinted moisturizer), NARS for cheeks and lipsticks (great neutral colors), YSL for fun lipsticks and most importantly the Touche Eclat concealer, Stila and Urban Decay for eye shadows.

      I always by mascara and eyeliner at the drug store. I splurge on eye shadow from department store because I think more expensive eyeshadows have more pigment and last longer. Also sometimes cheap eyeshadow seems to irritate my eyes.

      I have terrible under eye circles and grossly enough I use two-steps to cover them!! Garnier roller ball for under eye circles (drug store), YSL Touche Eclat on top. I have blond hair and my circles are more like gray green so not totally the same, but I think touche eclat is loved by many.

    • I like Loreal for mascara and eyeliner (the kind for your eye color- I have light eyes so blacks tend to be too harsh on me)

    • I’ve been accumulating it over time, I would echo Laura Mercier for basics (primer & moisturizer) I have super sensitive eyes so there’s been a lot of stuff I’ve ended up throwing out because it made me want to cry. But I love the Naked palette (original) I got a pressed pigment eyeshadow from MAC on a whim and love it, I also got their new mascara which has 2 wands in one bottle the pink one is for day and the purple for evenings- it’s amazing I don’t think I will ever use anything else.
      I tend to get eyeliners at Sephora and just get the house brand mini ones since I lose them a lot for $5 it’s hard to get upset if I lose it after a month.
      Echo the Garnier roller ball- my dark circles have actually lessened in intensity after using it religiously. And in a pinch it works well as coverup which I haven’t found yet.

      • Funny — I’m a big drugstore cosmetics gal but recently upgraded to Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer (the illuminating kind) and Urban Decay’s [email protected] II palette and haven’t looked back.

        I’m a huge advocate of the tried-and-true classic Maybelline Great Lash for mascara; I also have some Clinique mascara I really like.

        Interested to see what others post on this topic.

    • oil in houston :

      I love make-up recommendations! here are mine:
      guerlain for mascara and bronzer, Clarins for the foundation (both good coverage and good for your skin), and I love Estee Lauder for powders and eyeshadows. I’m terrible at re-applying lipstick, so I only buy one every few years so can’t really recommend any, although for my wedding I bought a Maybelline long-stay one at the drugstore that I love

    • Before you go shopping, do your homework. l’Oreal owns Lancome and YSL, Estee Lauder owns half of of the cosmetic counters of most department stores, and so on. Is animal testing an issue for you? Parabens and other bad stuff?

      I recommend The Beauty and the Bull$hit blog – there are some amusing insights if you can take the language.

    • AttiredAttorney :

      Very fun!

      Concealer/Foundation/Powder: Bare Minerals or Everyday Minerals, usually purchased online
      Blush/Bronser: Bare Minerals “Warmth,” usually purchased online
      Eyeliner: Revlon Colorstay Liquid Liner Pen. For my oily skin, this is literally the only eyeliner that stays put all day long. Better than any department store brand I’ve tried, and the pen format makes it really easy to apply.
      Mascara: Covergirl Lashblast, drugstore purchased (though Costco has packs of three occasionally), watch some online tutorials about how to apply this stuff. If you do it right, it’s holy grail worthy.
      Eyeshadow Primer: L’Oreal, drugstore purchased
      Eyeshadow: Naked 2 Palette from Urban Decay, purchased online

    • Clinique for redness creams and lipsticks, Nars for blush, BareMinerals for mineral makeup, Smashbox and Laura Mercier for primer and eyeshadow, Makeup Forever for liner, Urban Decay for mascara, Benefit for concealer.

    • 1. For department store cosmetics:

      – I like Makeup Forever for foundation b/c I have found a good match for my skin tone. I went to Sephora to try the foundation on my skin so I could find the right color.

      – Urban Decay Naked Palette for eyeshadows. Good staying power and I love neutrals.

      – Too Faced eye shadow palettes. There are a lot out there with various colors. I like them b/c they have tutorials for how to apply the shades.

      – Too Face Shadow Insurance primer. This stuff works and my eyeshadow stays in place all day.

      2. Drugstore brands

      – I always buy mascara at the drugstore. L’Oreal Volumious is my favorite. I also like trying different mascaras and it’s easier to do that with drugstore prices.

      – I also like L’Oreal and Rimmel eye liners. I know people love the UD 24/7 liners, but I hate sharpening them.

      4. Concealer

      – Check out the blog 15 Min Beauty. She did a series on different concealers. Also Makeup and Beauty Blog has some concealer reviews.

    • hellskitchen :

      I have severe dark undereye circles. What works for me is using the NYX orange corrector before applying a concealer. Makes a huge difference. It’s a proper orange, no wishy washy peach and is strong enough to cover the bluish circles I get. If you have reddish circles. NYC makes a similar green corrector. I

      • eastbaybanker :

        Going to try this. Thanks!

        I also have severe undereye circles. I had given up on anything helping but Kate Somerville Dark Circle Corrective Eye Cream has made my dark circles about 50% better. It’s amazing. The rest I cover with foundation and YSL Touch Eclat, but I still have some darkness visible. Sounds like orange concealer might be the missing ingredient….

    • Lady Harriet :

      I’m not much of a makeup person, but I love Revlon’s Just Bitten lipstain (the one that looks like a marker, not the one that looks like a crayon.) It doesn’t come off on other things, I can’t even feel it on my lips, and it wears off pretty naturally, instead of leaving a rim of color around the edge of my lips. It’s not too expensive, and I’ve been using the same couple of them for more than a year. My only complaint is that the attached lip balm doesn’t retract, so it tends to break off within a month or two. I often just put my regular lip balm over the stain, and that seems to work just as well. The stain can be too drying if you wear it on its own.

      • I’ve been wearing Just Bitten too. Mine tend to last about 6 months before the marker starts drying, and about this time when then balm is used up to under the lip of the container. I’ve never had the balm break off. My daily routine generally is just lip stain and mascara, I’m too lazy to do much else and thankfully I have pretty good skin.

    • A lot depends on your skin, but I lurve Jane Iredale products. Pressed powder, BB cream, tinted moisturizer, primer: best I’ve ever used, and no parabens or other junk that messes with sensitive skin. And honey, I have tried just about everything on the market in the last 20 years, no joke.

      I generally think drugstore brand liquid eyeliners are just as good as any others (Jane Iredale being the exception; great formulas and a great brush for getting a super-thin line).

      Bobbi Brown corrector is a fantastic, full-coverage concealer that’s easy to apply & blend.

      And I’ve gone back to Lancome mascaras after trying everything else. The perfect mascara is my holy unicorn grail and I will continue my quest for this mysterious beast, but in the meantime, I’m using Lancome.

    • I’ve been using Tarte for the last year or two and I cannot say enough good things about it, especially their tinted moisturizers & eyeliners. I like that it’s all natural & it has Amazonian clay, which has done great things for my skin. You can try it at Sephora and every so often they do 20% off on their website.

      • Tarte blush is amazing. It is the first and only blush that gives me color in my cheeks without making me look like a clown.

    • 1) & 2) Good color for my skin tone is my primary reason for buying dept. store brands, so my favorite brands vary and YMMV. Nars and Laura Mercier are my favorites. Really though, Nordstrom is my true favorite because they don’t skimp or make you feel bad about getting as many samples as you want when you end up not even buying anything. My drawer of seldom-used drugstore products (because the color was slightly off) is emptier. Dept. store mascara isn’t worth it for me; I’m on my fifth tube of Maybelline the Falsies waterproof – it’s lush, non-clumpy, and long-lasting.
      3) Undereye circles isn’t my concealer target, but I’ve heard friends highly recommend the Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage and Cle de Peau concealer stick.

    • I am a Laura Mercier/Make up forever fan. Their stuff sticks to my face, provides great coverage and wears really well.

      2. Eyeliner as long as its of the loreal/covergirl variety has seemed to work fine for me. Mascara I swear by Maybelline (pink and green tube). My eyelashes look amazing. I liked some department store brands but it wasn’t worth it. I only use translucent powder and I LOVE LM’s; it keeps everything glued to my face.

      3. I use MAC concealer and don’t love it but am trying to wait until I run out. Would not recommend.

  7. KansasAnalyst :

    I need advice! How can I tell my friend, who is my son’s sitter, that I will want him to eat only what I bring him to eat once he starts solids? I’m worried because her kids eat a lot of sugar and processed foods and I don’t want him to eat that way. Am I being new mom crazy? She is a great mom and a wonderful care provider, and I don’t want her to feel like I’m judging her, but I’m trying to be overall healthier in terms of what my family eats and I want my son to have good eating habits from the beginning.
    Also, she can be a little on the insecure side so I want to be as gentle as possible…

    Bonus points if you can give me advice on how to deal with grandparents on the same issue. Groan!

    • Not sure about the grandparents, but for the friend/sitter how about framing it as “Since you’re doing me such a huge favor of taking care of Son, I don’t want you to incur the additional expense of feeding him too so I’ll be bringing food for him once he starts on solid food”?

    • Well, I would be a little tougher with the sitter than the grands, assuming that the grands see the kids fairly infrequently. Our general rule is that with the grands, the kids can have the special treat food, etc. unless it is a medical issue. Since our kids don’t see the grands more than 1 or 2 times per month, it’s not that big of a deal. I see this as a pick-your-battles issue with the grandparents. After all, we lived though being raised by our parents.

      With the stiter, I think you need to just let her know that you want to be especially careful about how your son eats. Is there some argument you can make that allergies might be an issue ? Do you struggle with any health or weight issues ? Maybe you could frame it as ” Susie, you know I struggle with weight issues, and I am trying to make sure Jackson has really good eating habits. Could you help me with this by only feeding what I send ?” The other option might be for you to send enough health snacks for all the kids. Might be a little more pricey, but could help improve everyone’s eating habits.

      Just my off the cuff thoughts. Good luck !

      • If your kid doesn’t have allergies, please don’t say it’s due to allergies. This is what makes people not take food allergies seriously for those who actually have them. I know that it’s easier to say I am allergic to X vs. I don’t like X, but if you don’t like something, you should just say it.

        • Agreed. I deal with children in large group settings all the time, and there is nothing worse than a parent who tells me their child has a food allergy, only to turn out that it is the parent’s preference and nothing whatsoever to do with real health problems. Buying food for groups of children is difficult enough – please don’t make care providers’ lives even more difficult by creating fake allergies.

          (My favourite was when the parent wrote on the child’s health form that the child was vegetarian. Well, no, actually it was the parent who wanted the child to be vegetarian. The child couldn’t care less and was asking for meat the entire week.)

        • OK, not a mom but don’t babies have to go through an elimination-type diet when starting on solid foods to detect any food allergies? Like you only add one new food at a time to the child’s diet so if he has a reaction, you know what food it is?

          During that phase, I would think it’s fine to insist the child only eat certain foods. It would buy the OP some time too.

          Or are my friends just over-parenting?

          • eastbaybanker :

            It seems like over-parenting to me, but then again I was raised by poor/working class parents who came nowhere close to that level of fussing over my diet.

            I was babysitting once and forgot the rule about no new foods. I fed the kid a grape and then was horrified and waited for him to turn blue. We both lived.

          • Meg Murry :

            That is the current recommendation from the AAP, one new food at a time, with 4 days between each new food to watch for reactions.

        • +1 from this mom of a kid with life-threatening food allergies. That makes me crazy.

        • KansasAnalyst :

          I won’t say he has allergies.. Everyone has given such good advice. Yes, I will have some time before he is really up and eating all kinds of food. I guess I’m probably worrying about nothing. I probably also spend too much time on the internet researching baby topics. I just want to do what’s “best” for him even though he would be fine with “good”.

      • Please don’t make up a food/body image issue/eating disorder and then project it onto your child. A terrible idea on so many levels.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Any health concerns in the family? Due to my husband’s very fit and healthy family’s ridiculously high genetic blood pressure, his docs had him on low sodium and healthy foods from birth to try to prevent him from following in the family foot steps. You could be vague and say “we are hoping to help son avoid some family health problems so please try to limit his diet to the food we provide.” In case you were wondering, the plan didn’t really work. He is still a very healthy eater and very fit but requires blood pressure medicine to keep it controlled. His doc thinks the reason he can successfully control with a fairly low dose though is that he controls his diet and exercises.

      • And please don’t make up cardiac or similar medical issues either. I don’t understand why everyone is giving such white-lie-ish advice! If you care what your kid eats, tell that to your babysitter. You don’t need a medical justification, you just can’t sound holier-than-thou when explaining the food restrictions.

        • KansasAnalyst :

          Thats the part I’m trying to figure out – the part where I don’t sound holier than thou. Le sigh. I will just try to be gentle when I say it.

    • I like what JessC suggests, but you may need to be a little stronger. I say claim he’s developing “weird allergies” (or signs of various intolerances) and that you’re trying to rule things out. White lie, yes, but might be useful in sparing her ego.

    • If it were me, I wouldn’t worry about the grandparents as much unless he’s with them regularly. Otherwise, what he has at grandma’s on occasion won’t hurt – grandparents are supposed to spoil their grandchildren. (This view obviously changes if they are also doing regular caregiving.)

      For the sitter, I wouldn’t mince words too much, because you run the risk of her not taking it seriously and just giving your son the same snack as she gives her kids because it’s easier. I think you need to be very clear what your wishes are, without being judgmental of her choices. Straightforwardly tell her that you plan to bring the food that your son will eat when he starts on solids. If she seems to resist, you can say something like, Our family is focusing on eating more whole foods/organic foods/whatever, so I’m going to bring the food that I’d like [Son] to eat throughout the day. Or, I like to keep track of the new foods that [Son] is eating. Or blame it on your pediatrician. Or you could say, oh, I’ve been experimenting with making my own baby food and would like [Son] to eat the homemade stuff for his meals. Or whatever explanation applies to your situation. But above all, I think it’s much easier to make your wishes very clear in the beginning rather than having to backtrack (or be resentful) later.

      • I agree with this. You could even try something like “We really want to limit his sugar and processed foods”. Blame it on the pediatrician if you need to. But definitely be firm and make sure she knows it’s your wishes. Don’t frame it in such a way that you are doing her a favour because she’s likely to say “Oh, it’s no trouble to feed him what we’re eating” or even “Actually, it’s much easier if I feed him what we’re eating” because honestly, even if it saves her a very small amount of money, it’s going to be inconvenient for her to feed your son different foods than the rest of the kids in her care.

        And as for grandparents – my kids have always known that there are different rules at Granny’s then at our house, and Granny has the cool, less health snacks. And we’re OK with that because it’s only occasionally that we’re there, and Granny also respects any boundaries that we set. In fact, sometimes Granny is stricter with our picky eater than we are when it comes to what he’s eating. We’re lucky in that way. My brother’s inlaws are over the top, though. At my brother’s house, if the kids ask for a cookie right before dinner and the parents say know, the grandparents will sneak the cookie out of the kitchen & give it to the child in the next room. Totally undermining the parents. If this was how my inlaws behaved we’d be having some serious talks, let me tell you! Luckily my inlaws are fantastic. For example (and totally off topic) but not only did my mil come & stay with our boys last weekend so we could take advantage of my company providing hotel rooms for employees after our holiday party, but she also did all the boy’s laundry while she was there!

    • Young Consultant :

      So, in the years after my sister and I left the house, my mom started nannying for a family friend of ours with a new baby. My mom always made us well balanced meals, but we were allowed candy and pop in a way the family she nannys for would never allow. I think it’s best just to be clear and honest, but the way the woman brought it up to my mom initially is that she wanted to have a log of everything the baby ate and excreted (haha) for purpose of discussing with the child’s doctor and screening for potential allergies and whatnot.

      This opened it up for the wife to just tell my mom what she wanted to child, and then later children, to eat daily. If you drop your child off with her, it seems easy enough to send food with your child, and then just request he not eat anything else. i.e “Hi ____, I was hoping that my son would stick only to the food I send with him. We are trying out a special diet”

      Honestly, my mom thinks the whole thing is fine and just thinks it is a bit funny that the wife is “so controlling” of what the kids eat (but hey, better have your kid eating what you want and your care provider thinking you are controlling than your child eating a bunch of crap). I think people who care for children that are not theirs understand that there are different parenting styles and try to stay true to the parents wishes.

      However, my mom always says that the kids grandmother constantly gives the kids chocolate and other things that the grandmother knows they are not allowed to eat. So I think that one is going to be a bigger battle.

    • When he first starts solids, tell her you are concerned about potential allergens and only want to introduce one food at a time so only give what you bring. Once he gets a little older give her some snack foods he can have too – like a box of Organic puffed rice or whatever floats your boat.
      When he gets older and into finger foods is when its going to be stickier. You can try giving her boxes of snack foods he can have, but its a fine line to dance without insulting her choices she’s made for her own kids – are you willing to risk the friendship over goldfish crackers once a day? Buying enough snacks for your son and her kids might work, but “don’t feed my kid crap” isn’t going to go over well otherwise. I would hold off until you actually start solids before you worry too much about it, and try to have simple policies (no fruit snacks, for instance) rather than long lists of “this is ok, but this isn’t”. Also remember that your parenting policies may evolve as your kids grow, so don’t judge her on what she feeds her kids until you are also a mom of a toddler eating solid foods – sometimes you can’t always live up to being the parent you hoped you would be (says the mom who swore her kids would never eat jarred food – that resolve lasted about 2 weeks) but thats ok as long as your kids are healthy and happy.

      • KansasAnalyst :

        You are definitely right on the whole idea that it I may feel totally different when he is a toddler! Thank you for that piece of advice. As a parent I’m evolving with each stage that he (and I) go through and I am doing things that pre-baby I would have had the opposite view point on.

      • AH! Don’t make up allergy concerns either! (And you might want to read this New Yorker article on food allergies from maybe a year ago…basically, introduction to food at a young age may avoid allergies, and some allergies can be tamed by reintroduction of the allergy-inducing foods.)

    • I agree with those who say to let grandparents and other infrequent caregivers have leeway in (but not totally overrun) your routines, including food and sleep routines, maybe even–gulp!–screentime.

      With the sitter–she’s your friend, but you are paying her, right?–I’d say to be more firm. Not in an unpleasant, harsh way, but in a very decided way. Once you start telling her your reasons, you open the door to her reasoning out ways to meet whatever those reasons are without feeding him as you’d like. So you’ve got to be very clear that this is the way it is. However, Meg is also right; it will be a pain to do something different for her kids than for yours. If you’re willing to have some leeway, you could say something about “getting our kids to eat healthier” because (I think) most moms have that guilt anyway. Otherwise, bring enough for everyone. Not enough for full meals, but certainly the other kids should be able to sample whatever yours is getting, and enough snacks for all.

      PLEASE do not lie about food allergies! Have you seen what actually happens in those cases? Why make light of it? It’s a serious issue.

      Good luck

    • I don’t have a good suggestion, but what’s going to happen when your sitter’s children all get a cookie after lunch, and your kid can’t have one? He’s too young now to notice, but it won’t be long. This is not really the same thing, but my son went to a sitter for a while who had a son the same age. Her son had one of those motorized kid-size trucks, the kind the kid can sit in and drive. My 3 y/o son cried for a month wanting one of those trucks, which we thought were ridiculously expensive for a child. We ended up changing sitters, because it just wasn’t worth the hassle, and we felt it was causing behavioral problems with our son. When the sitter’s kids get something your child can’t have, and your child has to deal with it all day every day, it does cause issues, at least with toddlers.

    • At this age, I think you are fully within your rights to strictly control your child’s diet and the suggestions here are good. We’ve loosened up a bit as our child has gotten older (he has no allergies, etc). My son is in daycare and they provide his food. I don’t always love their menus, but don’t dislike them enough to send him a special meal. It helps me to remember that he eats 5 meals there, and 16 meals (breakfast/dinner/wknds) a week that I can influence. So while his weekeday lunches may not include 3 colors of vegetables, they aren’t horrid and I can augment it at home. It’s a personal choice. There are parents at his school who are much stricter and the school accomodates them (as they should).

    • darjeeling :

      Agree with Meg Murry. This will be easier at first- you can say to please just feed what you bring so if he has some kind of reaction you know the full universe of what he’s had to eat. Once he gets to be a toddler and sees that her kids are eating something different and yummy, it may be tougher (and you may find that you rely more on healthy-ish processed foods than you expected or wanted to, at least I have). We have the same grandparent fact pattern (an outing to the zoo usually means goldfish, fruit rollups and ice cream) but I try to just let it go, although we drew a small line at chips. Although our toddler gets her share of treats I would be really p!ssed if someone gave her soda though.

      • Yeah, my daughter didn’t have soda until she was at least 5, and now at age 6 gets it when we go out to eat (who doesn’t splurge a bit when eating out?). Problem is, she has a little brother who’s 2 and wants everything his sister has. Guess who’s now drinking soda at age 2? Sometimes we bend the rules a little as we go along….

        • darjeeling :

          yep, this is happening to us already with the 1 y.o. wanting what the 3 y.o has!

    • Dude, be honest with her. Don’t make stuff up. If she thinks you’re being ridiculous, she can think that, but as your paid sitter, she needs to follow your instructions.

      “Friend, I want my child to only eat the foods that I bring for him. Will that be a problem for you?”

      • Seconded! I already said above that I don’t think very highly of making up allergies that don’t exist because it just does anyone who has them such a huge disservice, but reading the other responses I just thought, this is so silly. He is your kid. Everyone has different rules for their kids. Some have a strict bedtime, some don’t. Some watch TV, some don’t. If you’re worried that it will sound judgmental, say something like, “listen, maybe we are just pulling a crazy new parents here, but we’d really like to limit what baby eats. I’ll bring you all his food, and please just feed him only what I give you. Thanks, you are the greatest.” That’s it. No need to apologize or make it about her.

        FWIW, I have lots of friends who have food rules for their kids, and whatever I personally think of them I don’t judge them for having them. Moreover, to the extent that I feel their are silly, I don’t feel judged by them – I just think, “oh, silly gooses!”

        • Completely 100% agree. My dad fed me crap when I was a kid; he only feeds my kid what I leave out. I never really needed to explain, other than “this is what I want her to eat, so just feed her this, thank you!!!” Just be up front with her; you’ll want that kind of relationship anyway.

    • I developed eating issues as a kid in daycare and kindergarten because my parents imposed ridiculous health-food issues on me. I would pig out at birthday parties, fish desserts out of the garbage, and steal food from my classmates, all because I wasn’t given the yummy foods the other kids got, but rather had whole-wheat peanut butter sandwiches and apples, and that was it. My aunt was macrobiotic for a while, and apparently her kids were also caught going through the cafeteria garbage in search of yummy food. My sister and my cousin have both dealt with eating disorders as teens and adults, and I had binging issues through high school as well. Not that you need to feed your kids through a vending machine, but please don’t be the food police who create food issues from babyhood onward. A little bit of sugar or food coloring is not going to kill your kid, and the arguably deleterious effects are, I would say, much less of a risk than disordered eating starting from age 1.

      • Legally Brunette :

        I’m really sorry that you went through this. As a soon to be first time mom, you’ve given me some food for thought (sorry for the pun). I have friends who have imposed a “no sugar until age 5” rule and I think it’s insane. I agree that while an overall balanced, healthy diet is important, it won’t kill the child to have a cake or brownie or cookie once in a while. As you rightly point out, they could binge on that food later on in life if they are completely deprived of it.

        • saacnmama :

          I was lucky in that my son’s sitter was a SAHM (I saw her with her son at the playground regularly, and asked if she’d like to take care of him) who did EVERYTHING from scratch. Scrubbed/vacuumed her floors every day, made bread from scratch every day, made her own soup stock, and food for my babe once he was ready. I don’t say this to brag, but I was and am so glad for her support! My son is now 10, we moved away from her when he was 2.5, but that early training has sure paid off! Yes, he went on a Reeses and Twizzlers binge when he figured out he could ride his bike to Walgreens, and he’s recently given up broccoli, but for the most part he loves fresh fruit, and will really load up on it. And I loved the time when he was a little over 1 yr old that my mother thought I was ridiculously restrictive because he hadn’t had ice cream yet. She smugly gave him a bite. He opened his mouth to accept it, started to close around the spoon, then reached up, jerked the spoon out of her hand, and threw it across the restaurant! Later on, we’ve occasionally had banana splits for dinner, but I can feel comfortable doing that because I know he has a good foundation of healthy eating. She really shaped his habits for life.

          Moral of my little story: find someone who will support the things in your child’s development that are important to you (but don’t sweat it when occasional visitors have their own ideas)

        • Most day cares and preschools here in LA (I’ve looked at 6 or 7, so I have a decent sample size) forbid processed sugar or juice. So I think it’s becoming more common for a lot of kids to have very little exposure to these foods during the baby and toddler years.

        • KansasAnalyst :

          I guess I should have given more backstory… This came up because I was at her house to feed baby and her kids were eating Popsicles before lunch and were going to eat ramen noodles for lunch and when her 4 year old askd if she could have another popsicle she said yes! I’ll admit that I’ve eaten ramen and I love a good Popsicle but where is the nutrition?!

          Also, I’m making this kind of reply to a bunch of people who posted earlier (thank you!) because I’m doing this on my phone and autocorrect is messing with me. Oh and I asked about the grandparents because my in-laws live NEXT DOOR. It’s great most of the time but the issue is grandpa is constantly feeding my niece sweets! Juice, cookies, ice cream- but thankfully dh will back me up on this and I’m totally ok with telling gpa he will NOT be allowed to do that withours. I just wish I could hash it out with him on my nieces behalf too.

      • My brother and I are like this with TV. We watch way more TV as adults than our friends/partners who were allowed to watch more as kids.

      • KansasAnalyst :

        I’m so sorry this happened to you! I’m not going to be super strict I just want to make sure he doesn’t get tons of sugar during the day. I think it’s ok to have the occasional treat. It I feel like every time I’m there her kids are noshing on chips or something like it. Thank you for commenting- I will def keep your story in mind and not be the food police.

      • @anon4this :

        Your reaction to your parents’ care on this is rather atypical, I think. My parents were fairly strict about only giving us healthy food and I didn’t go fishing through the trash — it’s nice of you to respond, but I don’t think OP should be deterred by your particular situation, for your reaction to fairly normal food was pretty out of the norm. I mean, we’re talking peanut butter and apples here – not wheatgrass juice.

  8. LovesPatentLawNotPatentLeather :

    I have been enjoying the Life in Biglaw tumblr. Any suggestions of other funny tumblr accounts or similar websites?

    • WhatShouldWeCallMe tumblr is another one of my favorites.

    • MyFriendsAreMarried tumblr. Makes me cackle out loud on an almost daily basis.

      • Almost There :

        Aaand now I have wasted all morning on that tumblr!

      • SF Bay Associate :

        Oh my goodness. That is FANTASTIC.

      • I love that tumblr so much! It’s so true and so funny!

        I have literally come thisclose to forwarding those posts to smug married friends and then I chicken out.

        • SF Bay Associate :

          Dude, I want to forward it to smug PDA marrieds too, and I’M married. Do you really need to be posting how much you love each other on facebook?! Seriously?! One of my friends posted this week about her toddler’s constipation and how thrilled she was when he was able to relieve himself after several days, I s*** you not.

          • karenpadi :

            Oh, those posts are super annoying! I only have two couples like that (that I see). I have one friend who posts about how much she adores her husband but she’s really cute about it and it’s actually funny (very hard to do).

            I kind of like hearing about the kids doing funny-stupid things. This morning there was a report of p**p in the bathtub. Cracked me up!

      • That’s one of my favorites.

    • Bros at the bar is fairly funny and legally related, though more in the job-hunting phase now.

    • How do I put this gently is a good one as well!

    • No GIFs, but this is an oldie but definitely a goodie (also very Glory Days pre-crash).

    • Your LL Bean Boyfriend is greatness.

  9. Eh. The imitation collar just looks silly. They would have done better to make a real lace collar.

    I want to see if this post gets eaten up by moderation. It has been really hungry lately.

  10. PSA – this is a great blouse! I saw a woman wearing it, asked her where she got it, and promptly ordered my own (in, um, two colors).

    • Is it weird that I *really* like the white one, but am rather meh about the other colors?

    • Oh, and I don’t work for Banana Republic :) just a happy purchaser.

    • a passion for fashion :

      i want it in all three colors.

    • I own this in cream/white. It’s a bit sheer & wrinkles easily (I often wear it tucked in to a pencil skirt) but other than that I love it – looks much more expensive than it is.

  11. LovesPatentLawNotPatentLeather :

    How often is he with them? My thought is that this is a great way to teach moderation. Every once in a while, like when he is with them, treats are ok, but not every day. This prevents forbidden fruit syndrome and preserves relationships with friend/parents.

    • This.

      If by “sitter” you mean “daily childminder,” then you may either need to say something or find someone more in line with your needs. If she’s an occasional babysitter, then it won’t hurt him. My parents fed us pretty healthy food growing up (fruit for snacks, whole grains, etc etc) but never said a word about what I ate anywhere that wasn’t home. That’s what I plan on doing with my own children – barring a serious medical problem with eating XYZ food, I won’t care if they eat something I wouldn’t ordinarily feed them, as long as it is infrequent and incidental to a social activity.

      I do, however, fully expect to have to have a “talk” with my mother-in-law about why I don’t want my children having sugary snacks/chocolate on a daily basis, starting at the age of 1. That will be…fun…

      • +1.. lots of good advice!

        I have the opposite problem. MiL will be fine with avoiding the sweets, overall, but H thinks that semi-regular trips to McDonald’s are just fine, even after admitting that the food is gross and the play equipment reeks of urine…

  12. Makeup TJ! I’m a longtime lurker and (very) occasional poster, in need of some makeup advice from the hive. There appears to be a worldwide shortage of my preferred face powder: Fresh Face Luster in Chalet Girl. Sephora pretends it doesn’t exist, is out of stock, and just cancelled my shipment because they couldn’t fulfill it.

    Does anybody have any suggestions for an alternative? I’m almost out!

    • Is this a transulcent powder? If so, I really like MAC Prep+Prime pressed powder. MAC Blot Powder is also great, but that not transparent.

  13. NYC - Anyone going to PLI Bankruptcy Conference Monday/Tuesday? :

    This is petitesq. Just checking :).

  14. Anon for this :

    TJ: thoughts on calling in sick the day of an out of town interview? There’s pretty no way in which its reasonable work-wise to ask for a vacation day in the next couple months (beyond the holidays), but I hate to lie to my generally understanding boss. I also don’t want him to know that I’m looking for jobs, which I’m only doing b/c I may have to relocate for personal reasons. Adding to complications, I took a couple actual sick days last week. The interview would be next week.

    Is this a completely terrible thing to do? Now is probably better than later timing/workload wise.

    • I’ve got the same issue next week, but am using a vacation day because I’m out of personal days. Do you have any personal days? Do personal things maybe count as sick days in your office? Can you say that something came up and you have to travel home or something?

      PS–good luck : )

    • Can’t you just say that you need to take a day off for personal matters and leave it at that, and say you are using vacation time for it? No excuses necessary.

    • e_pontellier :

      Since you don’t say anything about how high on the totem pole you are, if you’re doubting yourself, you probably should try to plan it ahead of time. If you only have sick days left, can you call it “routine medical exams”? or something similarly vague? That would allow you to bill it as a sick day (most likely) as well as plan ahead.

    • Could you have “an appointment for an urgent issue”? Sounds like a medical appointment, but actually isn’t directly lying? Or “follow up” from your sick days – did you see your doctor then?

    • Anon for this :

      Op here. Its not really a matter of having leave (I’ve got plenty of sick/personal, vacation, and comp time), more just feeling bad about lying. It may be possible to be vague and say something urgent came up that I need to be out for (its just that in general we’re all pretty open with our boss abt personal issues, so it’d be weird to be super vague). I will probably split the diff and use comp time (which expires, so it makes sense to use it for non-vacation things).

      As for my position, our organization is pretty flat and we have pretty unique responsibilities…but right now my absence would be manageable, if not ideal, for my work.

      • If comp time expires, I think you should use it – “get some appointments out of the way before the comp time expires” seems reasonable to me, and again, not totally lying. Lying to get a new job stinks, but its pretty much understood in all offices that no one is 100% honest while looking for a new job, and as long as you aren’t leaving a coworker or boss to cover for you it should be fine.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      “Tend to an out of town personal matter” is code in my office for “problem with elderly parents” and generally not questioned. Could you just go that vague route? ie: Boss, I unexpectedly have to travel to tend to an out of town personal matter. I will be back to work x date. Thank you for your understanding.

    • Just say you have an appointment and let them assume it’s a doctor appointment.

    • I’d try to announce your day-off ahead of time rather than day of. It’s just more courteous. If the interview is a Monday or Tuesday, just say “I am taking a long weekend to visit some friends out of town.” Or, blame it on Christmas: “I have to go into the city to buy some gifts.” or “I have some Christmas errands to run”.

      I don’t know that anyone really cares what your excuse is. I recently used the excuse of “I have to spend some time with the trees” to take a 4-day weekend sans email and phone. My clients were like “you go, girl!” and the partner I work with was “have fun!”

  15. Attention male sales reps – if you insist on always communicating to my male boss and/or male assistant, things are not going to work out well for you.

    /end rant

  16. Two shopping questions ladies:
    1) Has anyone tried the Lands End supima cotton cardigans? I am allergic to wool and can’t do wool sweaters. How do they hold up and how is the fit?
    2) This one could be fun. Because my husband has a big trial right after Christmas this year, I’m basically in charge of Christmas shopping for myself. If you were picking out 3-4 fun things for yourself in the $25-100 range, what would you pick? I’m hoping this will also serve as gift inspiration for a r e t t e-type friend of mine!

    • Fun. I have a number of items in that range on my wishlist. I plan to buy some of them after Christmas when they (hopefully) go on sale:

      The sequin skirt from The Limited ($69.90)
      The bright colored cords from Land’s End Canvas ($60)
      A navy cashmere sweater from Uniqlo (I have a french style book which states that every woman should have a navy cashmere sweater) ($39)
      The canvas lighthouse trip bag from Land’s End ($64)
      A couple of cap sleeve tees from Nordstrom in various colors ($26 each)
      A pair of boots that my co-worker has from DSW ($49)

      Unless, of course, I get them for Christmas.

      • I want a sequin skirt SO BAD. However, see comment below about being 32 weeks pregnant. I can’t wait to fit into normal-people clothes again.

    • It’s been awhile since I’ve bought a Lands End cardigan and mine is from LE Canvas, but it’s held up great. Can’t comment on regular LE.

      To answer your other question: druzy ring from e t s y. I sent my hubby a link and have all my fingers crossed that it’s in my stocking on Christmas morning.

      Also: a sparkly infinity scarf, a pair of Tom’s (hint: I’m 32 weeks pregnant so accessories are my friend!), the Young House Love book, the Smitten Kitchen cookbook, new lipgloss.

    • saacnmama :

      Love the fabric of those sweaters (I’m allergic to wool too) but I often find Lands End tops very boxy.

  17. Happy Friday!

    More Christmas present advice seeking: I need just a little something extra to add to my Mom’s gift. I was thinking that she would really like and use fleece lined tights. However, I’m worried about sizing them right. I think she’d be an XL, but really have no clue how tight sizing runs, especially in the larger sizes. The ones I’ve looked at seem to be sized small/medium and med/large. I would really hate for them not to fit, even even though I’ll supply a gift receipt. Anyone have any experience or good recommendations? I’m looking in the $15-20 range.

  18. I posted this yesterday, but maybe too late for comments. Has anyone tried on the Sophie Theallet dress they are selling at The Limited right now? Any comments about fit/quality? Thanks!

  19. Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

    I found this video cute and bittersweet.

    • I found it obnoxious.

      • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

        I am curious why, if you don’t mind sharing.

        Is it because they’re kind of hipstery? Or that they made a song about the breakup? Or because of the cause of the breakup?

    • I found it obnoxious, too. I think that apart from my kneejerk “ugh, such hipsters” reaction, there was also the fact that, to me, it cheapened the break up a bit. I’m just imagining the conversation “I’m distraught about our break-up–let’s put on tons of make up, cool clothes, and then make a video about it for our friends!” And I guess back to the hipster thing, I just feel like they think they’re doing something super cool and novel–get over yourselves!

      • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

        I have had friends who’ve had such awful horrible breakups that I just give them major props for being able to be so civil about it. Also, have you ever been in that position where you want to cry, but prefer to make a joke about it so as to be less pathetic?

        I am too darned lazy to make such a video if I did have a breakup like that, but I would probably be the person cracking a friendly joke about it with the person I was breaking up with, just so I didn’t get all the pitying looks. And then I’d go home, eat Haagen Daz and cry buckets about it all, but all in private.

    • While I agree that the video is kind of obnoxious and silly… SHE’S PLAYING A BASS CLARINET!!! The former band geek in me (played the bass clarinet for 7 years) just squee’ed a little.

    • Research, Not Law :

      Okay, I was annoyed for the first few seconds, but then I started to think it was pretty great. Not sure I’d call it the best break-up video ever, because, frankly, that’s a weird category to even exist.

      I’ve gone through the (awful) experience of ending a long relationship that shocked everyone and lead to the “is this person my friend or his friend..?” division, so I can really see the appeal of posting a video explaining it all and just getting it over with at once.

      I’ve also had friends end otherwise solid relationships over the baby issue, so I can relate to the video from the side of their friends. It’s so hard to watch your friends have to go through it and seeing that they could even do something like this together would help, I think.

      And it was a good visual for the context of the article, which I thought was interesting

    • e_pontellier :

      It breaks my heart a little. The girl seems so sad.

  20. Research, Not Law :

    If your SO was involved in Movember, here’s Decembeaver:

    !!Note!!: Not safe for work without headphones (images are totally safe)

    So freakin’ funny.

  21. I’m thinking about getting my mom a piece of jewelry for Christmas. She’s got very basic/simple taste, and I’d like it to be something she wears regularly–so probably a ring or necklace. My parents divorced 5 years ago, so she doesn’t wear any rings anymore and might welcome something new (but not flashy).

    Ideas? Websites to browse? Price range flexible.

    • Ross-Simons has a lot of fun c*cktail rings for great prices. I’m wearing one today – an oval tiger eye surrounded by citrines.

    • Research, Not Law :

      How about some initial jewelry with either her initial or her children’s initials?

    • Research, Not Law :

      Gah, my post is in moderation due to links. I suggested initial jewelry with her initial or her children’s initials. Posted links to alphabet rings at catbirdnyc (dot) com and to a pearl initial necklace at hotmixcold’s store at etsy (dot) com.

  22. Anonymous :

    I have to share this with someone who I hope can understand my crazy mind. I am preparing a deed to transfer real estate. The prior deed in the chain of title is unrecorded. I keep hearing “WILD DEED” in my head over and over. Please make it stop….

    • Maybe it’s different in other states, but in CA the recorder will record a deed such as the one you described, then forward it to the assessor who then notifies you that it is indeed a wild deed and you have to file a correction. Very annoying that the recorder doesn’t check prior to recording!

  23. saacnmama :

    What do people think of giving Groupons as presents?

    A meal in a restaurant my sister and her husband wouldn’t eat in otherwise
    Movie tickets for a gift exchange
    A bowling package for a kid gift

    Does this say “I don’t like you enough to pay full price”? I think of it as leveraging the $$ to get them the best thing I can. If I were giving them a physical, non-experience gift, I might very well use a coupon or sale and not tell them about it. Are Groupons and their kin any different?

    • Research, Not Law :

      I’m good with it. I’ve given them; I’ve received them. It’s usually “here’s something new that we wouldn’t have ordinarily thought to do” or “here’s something that normallly is way out of our price range.”

  24. PSA: Hax’s annual holiday chat is going on over at the Post right now. Part of this year’s festivities: a woman who gave her DIL her own dead mother’s underwear as a Christmas present.

  25. I hate those collars too, and agree that this one is pretty good:).

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