Thursday’s TPS Report: Plaid Peplum Jacket

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

Max & Mia Plaid Peplum JacketOk, I’ll admit it: this doesn’t look so hot in the little picture. It’s because you can’t totally see the layered peplum, the nipped waist, and the masculine plaid. Especially for the price, I think this could be a really interesting piece in your fall wardrobe. It’s $98 at Nordstrom. Max & Mia Plaid Peplum Jacket

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


  1. In the Pink :

    Wow great timing for my tjack…

    I’m looking for a large sized windowpane skirt suit.

    Maybe in black or grey. Any thoughts?

    Second topic – reviews on eye and lip pencil sharpeners? Esp. to take a jumbo size like the nars lip pencils? I’ve been disappointed so far.

    Happy end of summer!

    • Okay, I’ve clicked a few of the links that popped up with my Google “windowpane skirt” search, and I still don’t understand what a windowpane skirt is… is it just plaid or is there supposed to be something about the cut?

      • In the Pink :

        I think of windowpane as having a large, single line check … so to me, fwiw, that is different than “plaid” – which reminds me of decades in parochial school uniforms!

        Seems most of the skirt suits I see are plaid…

      • Windowpane refers to the textile/print, not the cut. Think “graph paper.”

    • It seems like Pendleton would have something like the skirt you describe, but I couldn’t find one on their site. I swear I saw one in person last week at the Brooks Brothers outlet store.

      For the eye/lip pencil, have you tried Sephora? The best one I ever had I got about 15 years ago from Boots when I was in the UK.

    • No idea on the suit. Looked at shopstyle and the only windowpane skirt that came up was a gray skirt from J Crew and I didn’t see a matching jacket. The skirt also looked like it could be really unflattering.

      As for the sharpeners, I’ve had the same problem. I bought one at Target that had two different sized holes and I ended up throwing it away because it was useless. I bought another small one (Sonia Kashuk, I think) and it’s been okay but not great.

    • This one maybe? What style of skirt are you looking for?

      • Or for the low price of $425, this monstrosity could be yours:

        • The way they styled this is so odd… looks like the skirt is about 3 sizes too big on the model and I can’t get my head around the pairing with denim top.

      • I found a few different sizes of this one on eBay:

        • In the Pink :

          OP here. I wear a 12 for the [email protected]@bs and a 10 for the hourglass me in a skirt…so I buy size 12 suits if sold together.

          The “large” in my op was intended to mean the pattern, the size of the windowpane.

          Thanks for looking; I thought I was losing my mind when I found very few options…it is fall after all!

          • In the Pink :

            OH I wear ppencil or a line skirts daily, and suits at least 1/2 week for particular meetings, so I’m always open to ideas…

    • I have the urban decay pencil sharpener and I really like it!

    • For the sharpener, have you tried an Xacto blade? Good control to get the tip the way you want it.

    • I’ve found the sharpeners made in Germany usually work better than others (I lose them a lot, so I’ve tried many). I like one by Milani at CVS or Walgreens for pretty cheap that has the big and small holes.

  2. I'm Just Me :

    This arrived yesterday:

    It’s much nicer than the picture. It is thick and holds it’s own weight wise.

    I thought long and hard about the red, but bought the grey so that I can pair it with my colorful (oxblood, mustard, teal) pencil skirts, as well as black and grey.

    • Really nice! And I far prefer the grey – it will look amazing with teal and mustard.

      • Barrister in the Bayou :

        Once again, thanks for the lolz yesterday!

        • I did see your comment! You’re so welcome, especially seeing as your handle makes me smile whenever I see it (which isn’t often enough…!)

    • SoCal Gator :

      How funny! I also thought about the red but bought that knit jacket in gray and I love it! Wore it all weekend when I visited my son in San Francisco. I think it looks better in the gray. There is something off about it in red.

      • I'm Just Me :

        I saw someone wearing it in red, with a grey skirt and white shirt, and I thought it looked ok. Both the red and the grey look better in person than in the picture on the website.

        I am trying to put more color in my wardrobe (hence, the colorful skirts) so the grey is actually a better choice for me than the red.

  3. for Diana Barry :

    Are you still thinking about exchanging your suits via the hive? Size 12s, right? If so, any skirt suits?

    shopper elizabeth gmail for contact purposes!

    • Diana Barry :

      Sorry, all the clothes have been claimed! I will let you know if I find any more 12s lurking in the closet, though (entirely possible, I am the enemy of project 333!)

  4. My Mom want’s to go to Nordstrom’s and want’s me to go with her. Because of my new outlook, I told her I will NOT go shoppeing until after I donate most of the clotheing I do not wear to Dress For Success, which the manageing partner said I could, even for clotheing he subsideized at 20%.

    There are alot of peeople starteing out in their carreer’s that need nice clotheing and some of my size 2’s just do NOT fit. I realy do NOT think that I will EVER be abel to get back into those clothe’s again, unfortuneateley. So I am doneating them to DRESS for Success, so others can look good. I am even doneateing 6 pair of shoe’s that I decieded that I will not wear b/c they are OPEN toe’d and the manageing partner does NOT like to see open toe shoe’s on me (or anyone else) at work.

    I thought I would give some to Lynn, but she has a bigger foot then I do so it would not work anyway. I am tryeing to make PEACE with her b/c I do have to work with her, and I do NOT want for her to be jelous of me.

    Right now, I am SWAMPTED with work. Jim sent over a bunch of file’s for me to review before we do diliegence together so I have to prepare by reviewing carefully. Hopfully the manageing partner will NOT cut my billeabille’s again this month. I am already 25 hour’s behind b/c of the holiday and all. It look’s like I’ll be busy @ work this weekend again here. Fooey. Especialy since Myrna wanted to see the Statute of Liberty, which I have NEVER been to. Mabye next week.

    • Um. I need to cruise on over to Ellenwatch now and see whats going on with Ellen this week. What’s the new outlook? I’m now fascinated by what triggered this transformation (stop paying attention to this girl for a couple of days and she becomes a whole new woman).

      • Apparently I do too. I’ve been SWAMPTED myself. Miss a few episodes and I have no idea what all the latest plot twists are.

    • ELLENWatch, can you verify the existence of Lynn? Thank you.

      • I believe Lynn is the assistant at the office who dislikes Ellen but whom Ellen, with her new outlook clearly is trying to come around to. She is in the cast of characters.

  5. Diana Barry :

    It was 54 this morning, but I feel like it’s still too early to break out the tights. This is why I don’t wear skirts from sept 15-oct 15!

    • Ah, but this weather totally has me wanting this blazer. Like badly.

    • Totally agree! I’m still looking for a great pair of comfy tights, though. I am tall and thick of thigh, which eliminates a lot of options. But ooh, I love the look.

      • Diana Barry :

        Tall tights? They are hard to find but totally worth it (I have the same shape of leg). :)

        • AT Loft has tights that come in L and XL, which work really well for my 5′ 10′ size 10 self. I buy them in every color, every year. I wouldn’t say they are super sturdy, but then again, I’m really hard on my clothes.

          • THANK YOU. That’s great to know. Sounds like we’re built about the same.

      • Spanx Tight-End Tights. I swear by them. They come in tall sizes (I’m 6′ tall) and I’ve had several pair for four years now and they’re still going strong. I love the reversible ones (black/brown and black/grey). Also, they’re not nearly as confining as true shape-wear Spanx.

        • Cornellian :

          wish I had read this before i ordered tights on zappos… good to know!

        • e_pontellier :

          I’m 6′ tall too!!

        • I’ve yet to try a Spanx product, so I don’t know much about the material. Do you find these tights are more durable than “normal” tights? If so, this and the tall sizes = sold.

          • Spanx Tight Ends are the best! So durable, they will last for years even with weekly wearings/washings. Oh, and I machine wash in a mesh bag and hang dry. No delicate treatment necessary.

          • Diana Barry :

            Yes, definitely more durable than Gap or the like. I haven’t tried super high-end ones like wolford though.

          • SF Bay Associate :

            They are definitely more durable, probably in part because they are thicker. I have a pair two years old and they are kinda starting to think about getting a hole in the toe of one of legs. I machine wash in a lingerie bag and hang dry.

          • Fourthed on durability. I loooooove mine.

        • I like Assets tights, Spanx’s lower-end brand at Target. They are durable and reasonably priced. Just don’t get the ones with the high waist, extra tummy panel – those are not comfortable.

          I’ve been wearing sheer black hose this week. I’m not ready for tights yet, but it’s too cold for bare legs.

      • No Problem :

        What about low rise tights? Where does one find those? I’m petite and the waistband of normal tights always hits me somewhere around my lower rib cage :(

        • Cornellian :

          Yeah, I’m super long torsoed and tights always make this really unattractive and uncomfortable cut at my ribs. I just received my new Smartwool tights, so I’ll post back when I put them on! They were sold by shoe size, which seemed sort of odd…

        • SF Bay Associate :


      • DKNY tights come in tall, and you can often find them in marshalls or ross or tjmaxx and they hold up the best with just throwing in the washer like I do.

        PS. I’m 5’8″ and a size 8/10

    • I had the same exact thought process this morning. Despite feeling like it’s too early, I’m wearing tights for the first time today. On the plus side, I’m getting extra wear out of a dress that’s just a little too short with bare legs.

      But yeah, I hear you about not wearing skirts until it’s *actually* tights time.

    • I’m wearing bare legs and flip flops with a sheath dress. And yes I was cold walking from the T station to my office.

    • applesandcheddar :

      I’ve been wearing tights and boots all week… I couldn’t wait any longer

    • So I did break out the tights today, but I’m having an unfortunately problem where by skirt keeps getting stuck on my tights. It’s not really a static problem, but more like the materials kind of “grip” each other, making my skirt stick to my tights when I walk and move around. Short of taking off the tights/switching pairs, any thoughts on how to fix this?

      • No Problem :

        A slip.

      • Grab a slip at lunch.

      • AnotherLadyLawyer :

        If you’re really in a bind, clear plastic packing tape (scotch tape is a less desirable option) stuck to the skirt where you’re having the issue (horizontally, not vertically). Had this problem during a day of witness prep where I couldn’t run out to get a slip or anything else handy. Packing tape for the win! But don’t forget to take it off…

      • I’ve heard a pin in the hem works to eliminate static… idk if this will help

    • its been freezing in the bay area for what feels like months… i am so sick of pants and tights!

      • If you lived in the steamy South, you’d want to burn your summer clothes by August.

    • Totally wore tights today – with ankle boots! Very happy.

  6. Found out yesterday that a former coworker was involved in a scandal that has destroyed his career, and worse, ended up on the front page of the newspaper. The incident stemmed from his personal life, not professional life. If true (an investigation indicates it IS true), it shows you never “really” know your coworkers. This was someone I called a friend, and a good friend at that. My feelings are mixed…one moment horrified at his choices, and the next truly sad that this has happened to him. I’m also skeeved out about the one-on-one time we had while working together. He never set off my internal alarm system, and even in retrospect nothing stands out, other than him being a great friend, honest coworker, and genuinely caring about my career. If anyone else has been in a similar situation, how did you make sense of it? Did you cut ties or reach out?

    • Did he harm someone? Was the person underage/a shockingly innocent victim? Then yes, cut ties.

      Did he steal money because of a gambling problem? Did he have an illicit but not harmful sexual practice that came to light? (ie, is the thing scandalous but not necessarily exploitative of others?) Then be as compassionate as you sensibly can.

      A friend recently told me he’d had sex with a prostitute years before, and was currently having an affair. I wouldn’t cut ties for either of those things, although I counseled him (since he asked) to come clean with his wife. (I would cut ties with a rapist. Ymmv.) He has, although probably not simply because I encouraged him to (I mean, obviously) and although I wouldn’t cut ties with him if he’d kept it a secret I am much more inclined to be his friend since he’s gotten his s*** together. People can come back from bad decisions.

      • Second category, dishonesty/deceit/stupidity. I get what you’re saying, and agree. The category of the offense certainly matters…but it still seems his family are the innocent victims of all this.

    • I used to work with a guy that got picked up for a DUI. I didn’t know him very well, but it also made me feel so funny. I have had something along those lines happen to a very good friend and I didn’t chastise her or lecture her because she already knew the consequences and seriousness of what she did. I just told her that I knew she could do better and that if she ever needed anything I would be there for her – I didn’t want to see her harm herself. She’s been good ever since.

      • No Problem :

        I also know two people who have had DUIs. Neither resulted in an accident or harm to anyone, and both resulted from the person thinking the alcohol they’d had several hours earlier had cleared their system. I used to think that I’d have to cut ties with anyone who was so reckless/careless as to get a DUI, but now that I’ve heard their stories, I understand better that sometimes people do Bad Things, but that does not make them Bad People.

        • Something similar happened to one of my friends. He (a full-grown, not-particularly-small) man had two beers at another friend’s house, and decided to drive the five minutes home an hour after finishing the second beer–and bam, he got pulled over, and now has a DUI on his record. The friend in question is extremely responsible both personally and professionally, and I 100% believe he wouldn’t have gotten behind the wheel of a car if he felt at all inebriated.

          So, basically, this does not relate to the OP, but is just a PSA about BAC! Alcohol takes a lot longer to clear your system than most people think it does :/

          • Those must have been enormous beers. Because there is no way a regular sized adult male will be over a .08 BAC with only 2 12oz. beers. Even if he was tested 10 minutes after he finished drinking them. Ask any cop – the standard answer from a drunk driver is that they “only had 2 beers.”

          • According to bloodalcoholcalculator [dot] org ks is right! It says even a 110lb man who drank 2 beers in 1 minute would be below 0.08.

    • humans make mistakes :

      I tend to be a very black and white person, but some recent events in my own life have made me realize there’s much more gray in the world than I previously believed. I think Lucy makes a good point about the harm/degree of the incident vs. making a stupid decision/mistake.

      With the situation that I’ve dealt with, the person made a terrible mistake that opened a huge can of worms. Tons of accusations were flying around as a result of the one terrible mistake, but those accusations weren’t necessarily true. So, I would trust your gut that your coworker was honest and cared about your career, and remember that the media is just trying to sell a story. The truth may be much less juicy than they’ve presented.

      If you’re able, I would try to hear your coworker’s side of the story before making a decision about cutting ties or reaching out. Again, if it’s murder/r*pe/clear and present danger to you, definitely run from that, but if it’s not something that is clearly a danger to you, I would at least give him a chance to explain.

      • Thanks guys. Yes, the situation is very, very, gray. Not exploitative, no malicious harm to others, and definitely no danger. My gut says he made a stupid mistake. But a little part of me wonders if I really am that bad at reading people’s character.

        • humans make mistakes :

          I think I’m a pretty good judge of character, but the situation I mentioned above blind-sided me. I now think it’s possible for someone to have good character and be genuine, but royally screw everything up. Technically, that means that their character wasn’t so great, but I know that good people can still do bad things. Sometimes you dig yourself into a hole without realizing how far down you’ve gone, and when you start to claw your way back out, the damage is too great. Maybe it started out as a little white lie or covering up one little thing, and became a huge mess that he couldn’t clean up. I feel like I’m a person of pretty strong character, with strong morals, but I know I’ve made mistakes and gotten in over my head, so if at all possible, I want to try to give the other person a chance to be the good person they were before the mistake.

          • As a criminal defense attorney, I have represented hundreds of clients and I honestly believe that most of them are good people that made a stupid decisions/set of decisions and got caught up in something that snowballed out of control. This does not excuse the behavior at all, but the vast majority of my clients are genuinely decent people.

          • As another crim defense attorney, I agree. I also think that people’s lives are more than just their worst possible moment or best possible moment. Some things in this world are probably black-and-white, but most are not.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Didn’t get to read the responses but wanted to let you know I had something similar happen. In my situation, the person denied it while being investigated and me and others stood up for her. It later turned out to be true. We (my coworkers and I) cut ties once she went to jail because we couldn’t legally stay in touch with her and continue doing our jobs. In my situation, the person investigated (female) had a sexual relationship with an under age inmate under her care.

    • years ago, while I was still living there, I found out that my landlord’s son, who was the maintenance guy for our apt complex and had keys to our house, was a level 3 registered s3x offender.

      It was unbelievable.

      The worst part was that it was for child-related incidents, and we had at least 3 families in the building. I was the one that broke the news to them. I moved out basically immediately, but I heard that all kinds of sh!t hit the fan.

      • Threadjack —

        Years ago, a coworker had a date with a guy who never called. She swooned. She desired. All for naught.

        Then, a few weeks later, he was on the front page of the NY Post, busted for child p*rn and child solicitation. So, it was a good thing that he didn’t call.

    • Flabbergasted :

      This happened with a coworker who was in the office next to me. As in your situation, this particular incident was front page news. I had a feeling he was slightly off, but never suspected that he was involved in the alleged behavior. Unlike your situation, it did not fall in a morally gray area. It was so shocking that my supervisor had trouble actually getting the words of of her mouth to explain why this person had gotten fired.

      I believe most of his coworkers have cut off contact. I was approached to be a character witness by his attorney and it was very uncomfortable for me. Luckily the information I had was not needed for his defense.

    • Anon For This :

      Not quite the same, but about a year or so ago, there was a lengthy article in a major newspaper accusing my favorite childhood gymnastics coach of child abuse and molestation. A dozen or so of the gymnasts he coached 10 years prior to me came forward with these allegations. Part of me didn’t want to believe it, but there were too many claims from too many people to make me think it wasn’t true.

      I was shocked, confused, sad, and angry all at the same time. This was a man who often spent time at my house and with my family for holidays/parties/etc for years, and I spent hundreds of hours with in the gym. My parents never ever left me alone with him, and nothing bad ever happened to me, but it was still completely appalling to find out that there was a completely different side to someone you thought you knew.

    • One of my staff, a really sweet guy, has been acting really weird over the last several weeks (late to meetings, not getting things done, etc.), which is really unusual for him. I finally had a chat with him and found out that he was all upset because his Dad came home after a trip and told his Mom, him and his sister that he’s leaving them because he has another family and has had it for years (10 years)! The Dad is a lawyer in a respectable firm; the kids are all professionals as well. I was speechless. I just thought this kind of stuff happens to shady people on TV shows. The guy is so broken up about it – he just doesn’t know what to do. He’s 28, so not a baby, but his sister is still in high school and his Mom is just a disaster over it. I feel so bad for him.

    • anon in tejas :

      I went through something similar earlier this year. I cut ties, and didn’t look back.

  7. After living vicariously through SoCalAtty’s posts about horses yesterday, I’m wondering: who else has cool, interesting hobbies? And how do you find time for them with busy jobs, families, etc.?

    • In the Pink :

      Aside from renovating our old home ourselves, I love growing orchids and plumerias and using my wood lathe (nod to Norm of New Yankee Workshop).

      • our house loves Norm! DH has an (almost) full wood shop in the basement. WE have agreed that our next house can/must have a barn for all future woodworking needs.

    • Horses and yoga. Neither of which I do nearly enough! I think the only way to balance my hobbies are if they are close to work/home or if I schedule time in the mornings on weekends. Some mornings I really want to sleep, but I usually feel much better getting up and moving.

    • I run a Christmas Club! We meet each month to do a different Christmas crafting activity (decorations, card-making, home-made gifts, baking, wreath-making, etc.). It’s manageable because it’s just once a month, and I’m hugely into crafting and hugely into Christmas so it is sooooo much fun for me.

    • I knit. I can do it anywhere and it helps justify my attrocious taste in television (see, but I’m knitting). I had a lot yarn left over and now use the smaller bits to knit blankets for the NICU at my hospital. I do easy things that I can use to kill any down time that I can’t do something truly useful with (e.g., 30 minutes at 10 at night, naptime, etc.). It soothes me and I feel better for doing something for someone else.

      • I knit too… and watch too much TLC and Bravo in the process. I can’t believe how many say yes to the dress episodes I have seen. (This from someone who is cynical about the bridal industry)

        • Marital-industrial complex :)

        • Lady Harriet :

          I also knit and crochet! I just moved to a small town where cable is included in the rent/HOA everywhere, and I’ve already watched so much of Say Yes to the Dress (and its various spinoffs.) There is just something so fun about that show.

          I love to dance. In the past I’ve done a lot of folk dancing (contra, English country, Irish ceilidh, and Italian) and recently I’ve gotten back into swing dance, which I love. I also play the violin, penny whistle, and mandolin, though I don’t practice any of them enough. I sang in my church choir up until my recent move, and at some point I hope to get back to it once my life settles down a bit more.

          • I play the violin too and am currently taking piano lessons. Also, I don’t have kids and my SO lives on the other coast so I have time. I also find pretty much everything interesting. I would have nothing but hobbies if I could!

          • eek, how are the piano lessons? I have no musical background but would love to learn to play the piano as a hobby. Do you think that is possible w/ just weekly lessons?

          • Yep! I already knew how to read music, so I picked it up easily. But piano is very logical (key layout, etc.). I take weekly 30 min lessons and I love my piano teacher. Except last week was my first lesson back from summer vacation and we just talked the whole time and caught up from summer. I’m using the Alfred Piano Course for Later Beginners and I do have to practice mostly every day. If you are in Northern VA, I am happy to recommend her to you. I know that some teachers will not take adult students – FOOEY!

          • First Year Law Student :

            I play cello and sort of want to pick up the mandolin! I was going to do some more looking into it, but how was the transition between violin and mandolin? I assume cello would be more difficult, but I’m not really sure, I don’t know anybody who plays the mandolin.

          • Lady Harriet :

            @First Year Law Student
            Just playing melodies wasn’t hard on the mandolin, since the strings and fingering are the same, there are just two of each of them, and the strings are much stiffer. It was like playing pizzicato while holding my violin guitar-style. I think cello would be a bit more difficult to transition from than violin or viola, since the strings and the fingering are both different, but not enough so to make it super hard. The frets would probably help too.

            I’m pretty abysmal at chords because those are something I couldn’t just take from the violin. I’ve looked up some chord fingering charts online, and they have been helpful, especially the ones for two-finger chords which are much easier. I’ve also watched some youtube instruction videos, which have been helpful too. I’ve never had any formal lessons, but friends who play the mandolin or other fretted instruments have given me a few pointers.

            Generally, though, since I’m not very good at the mandolin and it takes twice as long to tune as my violin I neglect it a lot. If I get the itch to play music I’m more likely to pull out one of my other instruments because I sound better on them, but that means I don’t get any better at the mandolin. I’ve owned mine for 6 or 7 years but only pull it out a couple of times a year. Maybe when my life gets a little more settled I’ll do it more.

          • Thanks, Eek! I’m not in your area, but if I ever get around to taking lessons, I will pick up that book!

        • I knit, too. Used to quilt but haven’t in years. In fact, Barrister in the Bayou emailed me last night about knitting and I really need to get my project out of the bag and finish it so it stops taunting me from the side of the bed.

          Singing is my avocation (I guess distinguished from a hobby in that I get paid for it) and lifting weights is an obsession.

    • I do this thing, its sort of weird (I know), where people write in and ask where they can find something and then I help them shop for it. And then I tumblr about it.

      Oh wait….you’re looking for something like outdoors or with other people or something. Oh well.

    • I do belly dance, Latin dance, and bhangra. Is that cool and interesting? I also do yoga.

      • I have always wanted to do Bhangra! That’s awesome!

        • Lots of gyms have classes called Bhangra Masala, which is like Indian zumba. And Bhangra and Bollywood seem to be increasingly popular at dance studios.

      • hellskitchen :

        If you were in my town, I’d be dragging you to basement bhangra (yes it’s a thing)

        • I will check it out next time I’m in NYC – it looks like a ton of fun.

    • It’s not really a hobby, but I’m a huge college volleyball fan. I love following my team to out of state matches and regularly have people over to watch the games. I nearly lost my voice and had a heart attack after last night’s conference opener.

    • I aspire to have a beer-making hobby.

      To be more specific, I brewed beer at home once. It exploded all over my kitchen. I’ve been meaning to make another attempt but just have been super busy.

      • My twin sister makes beer and won a craft brewing competition! But when we were kids we tried to made dandelion wine and that exploded all over our bedroom, so I feel ya.

        • Dandelion wine?! What is this magical thing? It sounds like what fairies would drink.

          • Lol, I understand that dandelion wine is an actual product, but we were 12 and made our (made-up)version from dandelions, sugar and yeast, sooooo…..yeah.

      • Brewing is so much fun! What were you trying to make?

        I’ll have my first batch of home brew (pumpkin spice ale) ready in three weeks. I had an experienced friend walk me through each step and help with the recipe. No explosions for me yet, so fingers crossed!

        • pumpkin ale, YUM. That is seriously cool. At the grocery store around this time of year, I’m always like, DRINK ALL THE PUMPKIN BEER!!

          I was just trying to make some simple English brown ale (I think it’s supposed to taste like Moose Drool). I’ll spare you the details but let’s just say I have a suspicion that the bottle of red wine I was working on while brewing had something to do with the subsequent explosion.

          • Haha. Definitely popped into my local liquor store this week in quest of pumpkin beer. I asked what selection they had, but really my internal dialogue was more along the lines of “Pumpkin beer? ALL THE PUMPKIN BEER!”

          • I am right there with you on DRINK ALL THE PUMPKIN BEER! I love you fall!

      • Start with the kits from Brewers Best – all the ingredients come in the box, you follow the instructions from top to bottom – DONE. Anything messy involving pouring or syphoning do over the open dishwasher door so you don’t wind up with beer all over the kitchen floor. And if you are doing it in a group, appoint a brew-master and assistant brew master – they are the ones in charge of staying sober enough to make sure nothing boils over, timers get set, all ingredients go in, etc etc. Figured that one out the hard way after 3 messed up batches at brewing parties in a row. That way, if something does go wrong, there is someone to blame and to scrub the boiled over beer off the stove after.

        In theory, my husband and I brew beer. Hasn’t happened in a while, although we’re scheduled for a brew party this weekend, hoping for no disasters!

        • *blink blink* brewing… party?


          My kit came from Northwest Brewers. There were directions, etc. There was also red wine.

          • Yes, the red wine might have contributed to some of the disaster. Brewing parties are fun, but see the note about having a brewmaster, or there could be a similar disaster, just involving more people. The brewmaster doesn’t have to stand around and have no fun, they just have to be able to step up when the time goes off and do the next step (and be responsible to set the timer in the first place).

            The only problem with brew parties is then there are a lot of people who “helped” brew the beer so they all want to help themselves to the results. For a while we had a solid “brew-crew” of 10-15 people and we brewed & bottled every 2-3 weeks and took turns buying kits and supplies. We’re trying to get that started up again, its a fun tradition.

      • My husband has a brewery! I asked him to get into wine, he’d like me to research it and do it with him, we’ll see. I have a demanding job and two little kids, does driving count as a cool hobby? Wait, no, it doesn’t.

        • Ha. Someone needs to invent a more efficient way to get kids places. It would free up so much time!

        • just Karen :

          SA! My husband’s absolute dream is to one day own a brewery. It is unlikely to really happen given the liquor laws of our state and the hoops he would have to jump through (and my general risk adverse nature), but I am sure that he would absolutely love being able to have a conversation with someone currently running a brewery (we met a few months ago with someone relatively local, but that brewery had been in their family for generations, and clearly wasn’t anything they’d be doing otherwise – no passion and no knowledge about start-up). Is there any chance that someday we could set up a phone call or e-mail exchange between them?

    • We’re building a boat! Also, we sail a boat that we bought, because we know it will be years [if ever] until said boat is seaworthy.

    • I am into hiking/backpacking and cycling in a big way. My husband and I’s annual vacation is usually something of the 10-day carry-all-of-your-stuff-on-your-back variety. We do day trips and overnight trips on a regular basis. I love being outdoors and it helps me cope with working in cubeland and living in a city. I like my job, but I like being outside a lot more. I am fortunate that weekend work is not expected very much in my job, so I have the time to actually get away.

      I also like to sew and make a lot of my own clothing. I learned as a teenager and got away from it for several years, but I got tired of clothes that didn’t fit right. I like the challenge of figuring out how to make the pattern fit me (well, except for pants. I haven’t conquered them yet).

      • I wish I were more into hiking! Whenever I do go (like once every few years), I feel so envigorated and relaxed at the same time. (fyi – please take this as constructive criticism – “I’s” is not a word, & I would hate for you to make the mistake of using it in a professional setting. “My husband’s and my annual vacation” is appropriate.)

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          Thanks for the tip to the above poster. I think I have verbally made that error many times. I usually catch it when I type.

      • We love hiking too! We have scaled back now that we have (3) kids, but just about every Sunday morning we load the two smaller kids on our backs (the oldest can hike on her own now) and go hiking for a few hours. It is such a great way to start the day!

      • that is so cool. where have you gone on your long trips? I have come to realize that I really, really love hiking and being outside, even though I don’t have great technical camping skills. I’ve started to explore some of the groups where you “vacation” by helping out a national park rebuilding trails and things, but haven’t found something yet that speaks to me.

        • Our most recent long trip was in Iceland and it was fabulous. We’ve also done the Grand Canyon, all of Maine’s 100 Mile Wilderness, the Olympic Mountains, and a 10-day trip in Peru. For the domestic trips, we planned everything and took care of all of the logistics. For the international ones, we have done guided treks.

      • I also make most of my own clothes… in fact, I started coming here for ideas of clothes to copy! It’s wonderful to be able to make clothes that fit, especially if you have some body quirks.

        • ChinaRette :

          Yay, sewing! I’ve done a lot of hand embroidery, and I’m just starting to learn machine sewing. Right now I am working on a quilt, and I hope to tackle some simple clothes soon, too. So many great sewing blogs now. Sew-alongs and tutorials really help me learn even intricate techniques.

      • We’ve started hiking as a family. None of our boys (12, 10 & 7) are team sports kind of kids, so we want to show them that there are many other ways to be active & healthy besides playing basketball or hockey. And we live an hour away from Banff, so we might as well take advantage of what is in our backyard. Someday when they’re teenagers or at least a little older I’d love to do a backpacking/camping trip with them.

    • In addition to my horse hobby, I collect old typewriters, stationery and various letterpress items and write letters to people :) I have a typewriter from the early 60s that has been restored and painted hot pink – I love it! (although the boring green one is my favorite to type on.) I can spend hours digging around on the internet for cool letterpress stationery and cards. I am even reading a book about fonts right now!

      While this may not seem like a hobby per se, it is so unusual to get handwritten letters that it really sticks out when you get one. People love getting my letters, especially the ones written on my old typewriters. At least they tell me they do!

      I have a weird card exchange with one of my girlfriends. We look for the weirdest cards and then just randomly send them to each other. So fun.

      • Neat! If I had more time, I might resume my old stationery-hoarding habits. But making it would be a fun and useful craft I could do with my daughters, no?

        • Oh absolutely!! I find the most gorgeous hand-made cards on Etsy. Making them yourself would be awesome, and a great way to get rid of extra buttons, ribbons, etc. :)

    • Diana Barry :

      I sing in a choir, and I bake amazing cakes and cookies. I used to practice yoga but I haven’t gotten back to it since the kiddies were born.

    • ack, i love remembering how freaking COOL all the Corpor*tt*s are! So jealous of all your hobbies ;o)

    • I’m a struggling triathlete. I’ve always been a swimmer- I swam across the Chesapeake Bay in college- and have started biking and running more. I love biking; running is much more difficult for me.

    • I do ballet and used to take an adult ballet class once or twice a week. However, a year ago I discovered this awesome workout studio called CardioBarre (which is like ballet class on steroids) and I’ve been doing that to improve my cardio & overall fitness levels. But now that I’m more “in shape”, I’ll be getting back to ballet soon!

      Also, my BF and I recently went kayaking in the bay near our house and loved it. We’re going to try to do it monthly from now.

    • Face of Boe :

      I design costumes. Pre-kids, I did lots of cosplay, but now, I’m mostly just making costumes for the kids with the occasional really simple ones for myself.

    • Sugar Magnolia :

      I generally go to see about 30 concerts/music festivals per year or more. However, that “hobby” of being a music hound will have to end now that I am having a baby. Concert crowds + infants = bad combo.

      • It doesn’t have to end – I took my 1.5 year old daughter to a outdoor U2 concert last summer and it was great. We stood in the back, put headphones on her, and she slept in the Ergo the whole time.

      • No it isn’t! I also have concert-hound tendencies, and I see plenty of babies with headphones on :)

        As far as my hobbies go, I run, play with my pup, ride ponies when I can, hike, and travel. (So aside from the pony-riding, I am every yuppie who has ever lived or been featured on DateLab.)

    • I do yoga, knit , quilt, recently started making bread, and have been making and can I g jam, and do some scrapping . Yes, I’m very Becky- home-ecky.

      • Oh yeah, forgot to mention that I love to cook and bake and especially like to make homemade ravioli and tortellini when the weather is right. I come from a family of crafty home-ecky women, but I also work and am friends with a whole group of craft women. We have fairly regular craft nights where everybody brings a craft and a snack and I provide the drinks (usually wine, cosmos, and a frozen drink) and everybody helps each other and visits. It’s fun! We used to have a knitting group but it branched out. I prefer the craft nights because in the knitting group, I spent the whole evening helping other people with their knitting problems.

      • That was *canning*. Stupid phone!

    • I take an art class once a week. Rushing to a 6:30 class once a week stresses me out but the 3 hours of painting is very cathartic.

    • I am a banana. :

      I make cheese. It’s a delicious art form.

      • Ohhhh, this sounds amazing!

        • I am a banana. :

          I feel like you and I could be IRL friends, because I have a weird unapologetic love for stationary and letterpress too!

          • If we could have cheese and stationery parties, I might explode with happiness (let’s add wine too). If you want to email offline I’m at countchoculacorp at gmail dot com. We can share fun finds! And you can teach me how to make cheese :)

          • And you will appreciate how distraught I was when I left $100 of on sale Crane, Kate Spade, Vera Wang and other fine papers on a plane.

          • OMG. I would die.

          • I am a banana. :

            One of my most precious possessions is my stationary box, and I would be devastated if I left anything in it on a plane! My favorite paper right now is a gift a friend brought me from India, with embossed red elephants on the bottom. Swoon.

            Wine cheese paper party needs to happen. Maybe we can team up with the homebrewing crew and make labels for them. Epic shindig in the making!

          • That is a fabulous idea! And the paper from India sounds gorgeous.

    • Scuba? Which I believe is shared by karenpadi and a couple of others. Man, I wish I could go more often than I do, but am planning a trip once this bout kf work-related madness dies down.

    • I scuba dive :) My Husband is my ‘buddy’, so this shared hobby makes sure we see each other on the weekends, and we take all scuba related courses together. Makes taking a little hard, but we’ve become very good mimers.

    • I knit, spin yarn, do yoga and read voraciously.

      I used to sing in a choir but haven’t gotten back into that yet since my move….I need to do that as I miss doing something musical. If I don’t find a good choir I’ll probably take up ballroom dancing again, which I used to do for years and years but had to drop when I was a junior associate, for obvious reasons.

      And in my “spare time” I am an administrator for a prominent youth organization, which is basically like a second job only I don’t get paid. I shouldn’t say that, though – I love it and it is a very important part of my life.

      How do I do it all? I really don’t know. All I can do is quote what someone else once said – “if you have something that needs to be done, give it to a busy person”.

    • Turtle Wexler :

      Another knitter here. In the past, I took ceramics lessons, but haven’t for a long time. Now that we have a house, I’ve been doing lots of cosmetic (but very time-consuming) projects there, and my plan for the fall is to take a DIY class for homeowners and an intro to woodworking/cabinetry class at my local community college. I really want to build furniture and can’t wait to get a workshop set up in my basement. My job is not so creative, so I find that I really need my hobbies to revolve around making things with my hands. My hubby and I also hike and sail when we find the time, which is a sadly rare occurrence…

    • I’m a trail runner and Marathon Maniac (it’s a club) who also runs ultramarathons.

    • just Karen :

      I knit and have a twice a month “Stitch and Bitch” group of women that get together for wine, conversation, and projects – they keep me sane!

    • Praxidike :

      SCUBA diver and knitter. I knit in the winter when it’s cold and dark outside, and I dive anytime I go on vacation to warmer climates. I’ve been diving in the caribbean and the maldives.

      • Praxidike :

        Oh, I guess I’m also a runner, a hiker, and I cook constantly. But I didn’t think those were “interesting” enough to include!

  8. You’re right, Kat, the picture doesn’t do it justice. The details are nice without being too on trend and it looks like it could be worn buttoned or unbuttoned without looking funny.

  9. anonynon2012 :

    Hey, K in…transition, if you see this will you shoot me an email (above name at gmail dot com) ? Could maybe use your services…Thx.

    • Hey dear — I shot her an e-mail to let her know about this just in case it gets lost in the shuffle later in the day (these threads get busy).

  10. Brooklyn, Esq. :

    Paging JT:

    Hi! I realized my email didn’t show up yesterday! My throwaway account (i.e., for openly posting on the internet) is cdeplume at gmail dot com. I promise to respond from my real account, though! And I’d love to talk Brooklyn with you. I love it there!

    Also, a report on Today’s Maid: the person who came did a really nice job! Not 100% perfect, but I come from a Dutch tradition of cleanliness, so I notice everything. Which is probably why I don’t clean my own house, now–I can’t live up to my own standards. Anyway, what everyone said about having your house cleaned is true–it was so relaxing and enjoyable to come home to a place where the floors were shiny and the towels were perfectly folded.

    • e_pontellier :

      Hi! Can I email you about your cleaning lady? I’m in Brooklyn and desperately in need of a cleaning person…. Thanks in advance.

      • Brooklyn, Esq. :

        Sure thing! I use a cleaning service, you can find them at www dot todaysmaid dot c o m, but I’m happy to talk more via email.

        • e_pontellier :

          Oh perfect. That looks great – I’ll contact them!

        • Another Brooklynite here in need of a cleaning person. I’ll check out this site as well. Thanks!

    • Thanks! Now I’m wondering how many Brooklyn-r e t t e s there are on here.

  11. I just read an article that said the risk factor of death from loneliness is similar to smoking and worse than obesity. I guess that should make me feel better about eating out with friends.

    • Can you link to the article? I guess I just really can’t afford to also smoke and eat cookies when lonely….

      • This isn’t the same one I read, but same idea.

  12. For everyone who’s recommended the 5 Love Languages (or whatever its real title is), thank you! I started reading it and got Mr TBK to take the assessment quiz and, guess what? We’re complete opposites. This is why I often feel like he doesn’t appreciate what I do for him and why he gets frustrated that I feel anxious about how much he loves me even when he feels like he’s doing everything in the world to show me he does. So now he sees why it means the world to me when he does the grocery shopping or cleans up the kitchen (seriously, I could live on one grocery trip for a month — still raving to friends about when he went two weeks ago), and I see why he couldn’t care less about presents (which I tear my hair out over every Christmas) but feels neglected if I’m working in the other room instead of sitting on the couch with him.

    • My husband and I read an shorter version of the same thing once and realized we are also different in the ways we express love, which helped us both in recognizing when the other was expressing love and thinking about doing the things that the other would like (if that makes sense). It’s a great realization.

      • Brooklyn, Esq. :

        What’s the shorter version called/how do you find it? It sounds interesting.

        • It was one of the blog posts on the Happiness Project. It was derived from her book and from the Five Languages of Love.

          It helped that we had both already read the Happiness Project book, which covers some of the same territory, but it sort of summarizes the ideas in short form.

    • book recommendation :

      Great book, so glad you two are making progress! I recommended it the other day, but I’ll throw “His Needs, Her Needs” out there as another good marriage book. Not rocket science, but opens up some great discussions. Both of these books really helped me and my husband get on the same page, and gave us some good “jargon” to use when having discussions.

    • I’ve recommended this on here before, mostly because of my sister and her raving about the book — I’ll share a brief funny story from her experience with it. After reading the book together they discovered they had a serious disconnect in the ways that they expressed affection, with my sister craving traditionally romantic gestures and her husband being oriented to home care things (cooking a meal, fixing a lamp, etc). Even after discussing it, her husband still couldn’t come up with ideas for romantic gestures, so she actually made him a list of things that she considered romantic and asked him to randomly surprise her with one of those items. It still makes me laugh to think of my poor frustrated sister sitting down and writing out her list (a foot rub is romantic, loading the dishwasher is not), but it has worked so well for them in the end!

      • So funny because loading the dishwasher is TOTALLY romantic to me! I would take that over a foot massage any day.

        • I know, right? And forget flowers, I’ll take someone who cleans the bathroom any day!

      • I grew up in a home where my dad was very romantic. Surprised my mom with flowers weekly, bought her clothes constantly (he had good taste), would sneak away and go to a designer purse store when they were at the mall and surprise her with a new purse, etc.

        My husband is very different. So while I don’t expect him to be my dad, I did want some romantic gestures because in my home, that was how we showed love. He lives by his schedule/calendar and he has ‘scheduled’ in things to do for me (ie: buys me little gifts, sends flowers, etc.) I definitely appreciate his efforts, and while it seems clinical, it is what works for him/us. He is really not spontaneous at all, so this was his solution.

        On another note: we took the tests for these, and my husband was none of the 5 languages. Not sure how that happens, but it explains why I get so frustrated trying to do nice things for him.

        • I said all that to say something I didn’t even say: I’ve done the list thing, and the items scheduled on his calendar are all from my list.

    • man this is so timely because my SO and I constantly seem to be butting heads on what our actions mean to the other person. Or more precisely, I feel like his actions don’t communicate his care/love/affection for me and then I get frustrated and pick a fight because I feel unloved/unappreciated and he shuts down and it’s completely unconstructive, emotionally draining and leaves me not wanting to talk to him.

      I don’t know if he’d be open to reading a book like this but maybe I can pick it up and see if anything helps me…

    • We read it and it helped so much. I’m not a toucher and that’s what he wants. How easy was that for me to change??? I also like time. He used to like to putz in the garage for hours, now I just bring my book out there.

  13. Correct people re: my name? :

    I got married recently, but I have not changed (and will not change) my name (e.g., still go by Ms. Angelina Jolie, not Mrs. Angelina Pitt). Since the wedding, my husband and I have been receiving mail (wedding gifts/cards, thank-you notes for gifts we’ve given, fall wedding invitations, and Rosh Hashana cards — i.e., mail from friends/relatives with whom I will be in touch in coming years) addressing me as Mrs. WFirst HLast (e.g., Mrs. Angelina Pitt — or even Mrs. Brad Pitt). It really annoys me, and it makes me think less of the people sending the mail. Do I let these people know that they are calling me by the wrong name? If so, how do I do so? Just an emailed FYI?

    • Research, Not Law :

      Use your correct name in the thank you notes and reciprical holiday cards. They’ll figure it out. Usually people who aren’t super close to the bride have no way to know if she changed her name or not, so they have to look for clues like that. Give them the benefit of the doubt. They are probably happy to use the correct name and just need a hint.

    • long-time lurker :

      I struggled with this too. I ended not saying anything as mostly it was family members who are generally Judgy McJudgerson anyway. (A kind of pick your battles thing). What I did is order stick on return address labels that has both our full names (different last names): it says Mr. Joe Husband and Ms. Jane Long Time Lurker, and then our address. That actually helped with a few of the Christmas cards… I sent the cards out early and then I think people would look at the return address and then send out their card. I have written professionally under my name, listed as counsel in court opinions, etc. so I mostly kept my name for professional reasons and because I like it far better than husband’s name, so I may feel less strongly than you, but try the address label trick if you want a subtle approach.

    • Why does it make you think less of them? Unless you think any of your friends/family are intentionally doing this to undermine your decision to keep your name, I’d let it go. Caveat: if this comes up in conversation naturally, it would be fine to mention it then. But definitely not an email where there is potential for it to come out wrong. Then your problem may solve itself: no more gifts or invitations.

    • S in Chicago :

      I would just keep referring to yourself however you would like to be called and folks will catch on. Definitely wouldn’t be mad though. My grandmother has always gone by “Mrs. Brad Pitt” style when addressing cards to me–and that’s more than 50 years since my grandfather died! Different strokes for different folks.

    • Turtle Wexler :

      I usually do a gentle correction, like the ones previously mentioned, the first time someone addresses me by hubby’s name. His last name is very difficult to spell and pronounce, so when I meet people for the first time they will usually ask “how do you say your last name?” and I’ll respond, “well, my last name is Wexler but DH’s last name is pronounced […].” it’s an easy and natural way to get it out of the way. But some people just won’t address you by your name no matter what — I was really annoyed at my cousin when she got married because the shower invite came to me with DH’s last name, I responded with my name, the wedding invite came to us as Mr and Mrs DH, I responded with our correct names, and then my seating card was “Turtle DH’sname.” I think that it ticked me off more because they are family and knew that I hadn’t changed my name, but were deliberately ignoring it. Anyway, I do think that it’s important to let people know that you have kept your own last name because if you let it go, you’ll become Angelina Pitt by default and it’s hard to fix it at that point, but for most people a subtle thing like address labels will be enough (definitely use both your and your hubby’s names on them, though, so people don’t think you’re just using up old labels).

    • There is an Emily Post page on proper forms of address in the link to follow. For older people, though, the proper form of address for a married woman who has taken her husband’s name is Mrs. [Husband’s first name] [Husband’s last name]. Mrs. Jane [Husband’s last name] is understood by some to be a divorced woman.


    • I’m in the same boat. I’ve been pretty much just writing it off to tradition and not thinking too much about it. I do correct gently, but don’t make the habit of it. I do however get a kick out of it when my husband gets called Mrs. MyName…. he he he.

    • This happens to me semi-frequently. we’ve been married 6 years. The people who do it are not all random acquaintances- one of them is the wife of my husband’s oldest friend. We probably are closer to this couple than any other couple. I often correspond with her by email, which has my last name, and anything we ever send them has both of our names (Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt) but she still does it. I don’t think it’s to be rude, I think it’s just so ingrained in her that she doesn’t even think about it. I’ve never said anything…

    • Praxidike :

      This happens to me often, and even my father doesn’t seem to understand that I did not change my name (despite having discussed it several times) (even more amusing is the fact that he apparently can’t remember how to spell my husband’s last name). Anyway, I just let sleeping dogs lie on this one. It doesn’t affect me if my relatives call me Mrs. MyName HisLastName, and I still use my maiden name professionally. Most often, people end up thinking that MY last name is his last name because I am often the one who makes reservations, etc. I always find that pretty amusing.

      • I love that – my family has forgotten my fiance’s last name before and just addressed cards to Ms. Me Mouse and Mr. Fiance Mouse. It makes both of us laugh.

  14. I’m embarrassed to admit this…

    I love this cover…

    • Also, the oldest Hanson brother is kind of hot. I never thought I’d say that…

      • Research, Not Law :


        I have heard they have a really good Christmas/holiday album. This has encouraged me to check it out.

    • Can we discuss how much I wish this single had been released when I broke up with Ex-Mr. Herbie earlier this year? I probably would have sat him down and said, “Taylor Swift and I have something to tell you.” *hits play on iTunes*

    • Taylor Swift, I love you girl, but seriously, stop writing songs about your ex-boyfriends.

      • This.

        Also, I now cannot get MMMBop out of my head.

      • Anonymous :

        I wouldn’t single her out, every pop star does this. See e.g., John Mayer, Adele, etc

        • I think the difference is her songs are so very transparent about who she’s talking about.

    • LOVE

  15. Blonde Lawyer :

    I have a Talbot’s final sale purchase that I would like to sell to a lucky lady. It was originally $140, most recently marked down to $120, purchased off final sale with discount codes and free shipping for $20!

    It is a black ponte knit sheath dress with elbow length sleeves. It is boat neck but does not show my bra straps. It has an empire waist that is not at all accommodating to a large chest. I’m a 34DD and the line for the empire waist was just barely below my nipple – not even close to under the bust where it belonged. The dress is otherwise very roomy. It is a size 4 and very large on me even though I normally wear a 6 or 8 depending on brand. It hits well below my knees and I am 5’7″ mostly leg.

    I think this dress would look best on someone who is tall, who has a small chest, but larger hips or stomach. While it is a size 4, I think anyone that wears 6-10 on the bottom would fit in to it just fine. If you are interested, it is yours for $20 plus whatever it costs me to ship it to you.

    Claim it here (in case others are interested) and email me your address at [email protected] I’ll post a link to the dress if I find one.

    • I have this dress. I can confirm that it is awesome for days when you actually wanted to wear your sweatpants to the office.

    • Do you have a picture of it?

    • I’m a 34DD/36D and have this dress and love love love it. Maybe there’s something strange with the sizing between the 4 and the 8? It feels like sweatpants though, agreed.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        Or maybe I have saggy boobs LOL. I have other talbot’s dresses that are sort of empire waist but allow much more room than this one.

        I believe the dress is claimed. If it falls through, I will re-post.

        • I wouldn’t be surprised if they did just give a lot more b**b room in the 8 and up or something, but I’m sorry it didn’t work for you either way! I wish I could find it in more colors because I love it so, and also have the sleeveless version from a few years back. Secret sweatpants!

  16. Boston Corporette Meet-up tonight at Sip Winebar near downtown crossing starting at 6:30 pm. If you’d like to join us and are not already on the email list, email me at [email protected]

  17. Love this jacket!

  18. Cleaning services question. We got a cleaning lady for all of the reasons that we have talked about previously and at first it was fantastic. As our cleaning lady(ies – they work in a team) got comfortable, they stopped doing as good of a job. Plus, since they started, our family member who was living with us moved out, so the amount they have to clean is actually less (one less room, one less bath). How do you guys make sure you are still getting good value? Sometimes I will leave a note asking for specific things to be done (“please make sure to vacuum clean under the coffee table”), but I don’t want to have to do this every week. SO doesn’t want to switch to someone new since we’ve come to trust them with our keys, and he feels comfortable with them.

    • This happened to me and I just called the owner and said that the last few cleanings had not been up to their usual high standards. She apologized profusely and I’ll tell you, those ladies cleaned the &%*$ out of my apartment the next three or four times. We all slack where we can, so sometimes you just need to be a little bit squeaky to be the wheel that gets the attention.

    • I have the same exact issue! I have an individual cleaning lady, but she is an independent business paying taxes, insurance etc, so she’s not cheap. She will clean around anything we leave out rather than making even a small effort to put things away. She does not vaccuum under beds unless I leave her a note asking her to do so.

      We have also become quite friendly outside of work (I went to one of her open mic nights, she came to one of my husband’s gigs) which makes it more difficult.

      She told me yesterday she lost a client who “screamed” at her for not picking up things and cleaning under them, and even though she was very defensive about it and felt the client was unreasonable, I think in the long term if she loses more clients it might open her eyes.

      But I trust her in my house, with my keys, with the code to my alarm system. It would have to get pretty bad before I would be willing to start over with someone else.

      I try to concentrate on what she does really well. The bathrooms and the kitchen are sparklingly clean. I personally hate cleaning bathrooms, so even if my bed isn’t vaccuumed under, I still value what is clean. I suppose an economist would say the value to me of the cleanliness I do get is greater than or equal to the amount I pay her, or else I would have made changes already.

      • Sounds like we have the same person. The cleaning lady does not clean around anything we leave out, so SO and I end up doing a big “putting everything away” the couple of nights before the cleaning lady comes. Sort of like cleaning before the cleaning lady gets here. Which is necessary, and I’m OK with as long as I can see the difference before and after they come.

        • I liked the motivation to tidy things up when our cleaning service was like this. Our current service will just pile everything (bills to pay piled with birthday cards, pajamas piled with workout clothes, etc.), so I guess that is also motivation to put things away, but I don’t like having to hunt for things that I’ve left out on purpose.

          I would definitely call the owner of the service to go over things that you would like to see improved. We need to do this, too, right now.

        • Genuinely curious – isn’t this what you’re supposed to do before you have a cleaning crew come in? We grew up with cleaners but it was always our job as kids to put the contents of our desk/floors away or on our beds so the crew could sweep/dust/mop/etc. I still make sure surfaces are clean before our cleaning crew comes through. Plus, I see it as good motivation to get my husband to put his papers/files/etc. away.
          Then again, I also feel bad when I leave a few dirty dishes in the sink and the cleaning crew washes them instead of just sticking them in the dishwasher!

          • Anne-on, I’m the same way. The night before or morning of cleaning lady’s visit, I think we have to put things away, clean countertops, put away anything that is out of place, run the dishwasher etc. DH drives me crazy because he says “well, she can just do all that” but she doesn’t put things in the right place and the house isn’t as clean if it’s not organized first. We continually fight about it.

    • I only dream of a cleaning service, but I wonder if the “not moving stuff” has to do with concerns about theft/meddling? You could frame it that way in a note. “We want you to know we don’t mind if you put things away or move clothing, shoes, or books to do your best cleaning.” If I were a cleaning lady, and I moved something “away” I’d be worried that the owner couldn’t find it and I’d be accused of stealing, or that I’d break it, or that they would be annoyed. Maybe I have watched too much Downton Abby.

  19. [Apologies if another variation of this question shows up elsewhere in the thread; I posted earlier this morning, but my comment went into moderation and then apparently disappeared.]

    I got married recently, but I have not changed (and will not change) my name. Since the wedding, my husband and I have started receiving mail addressing me as Mrs. Husband rather than as Ms. Wife. It annoys me, and it makes me think less of the friends and relatives who are sending this mail. Do I let these people know that they are calling me by the wrong name? If so, how?

    • You can tell people directly or by addressing things return addressed as Mr. Husband and Ms. Wife. But I’ve got to tell you, my parents have been married 34 years and my mom didn’t change her name and some of our family STILL send things to Mrs. Husband. You may have to shrug some of it off. On the bright side, if telemarketers ask for Mrs. husband you can say “I’m sorry, no such person lives here” and hang up!

      • I don’t think it’s intentional and agree you might have to just ignore some of it. I used to address mail to one of my friends as Mr and Mrs Her Maiden Name and I wasn’t trying to be jerk, I was just a flake. I do try to be respectful of name choices and not assume the wife has taken the husband’s name, but I am sure I have slipped up here and there. Maybe mailing labels will help or perhaps you can mention it casually.

      • Fun follow-up to this. At my own wedding when I still hadn’t decided for sure what to do about my name (still haven’t) we were just announced as first name and first name. Nobody commented except my maid of honor who already knew about it. So I thought nobody knew about it. Until yesterday at a family party (literally a year later) when my uncle, my mom, and I were talking and I mentioned that I hadn’t done anything with my name yet and my uncle said “I knew something was up when you were announced as [first name] and [first name] at the wedding.” And I was like….WHO NOTICES THESE THINGS? Apparently people do.

    • Sugar Magnolia :

      Maybe say something like, “my mail carrier has been really confused, because I didn’t change my last name, but people keep sending stuff to me as Mrs. Husband.”

    • Diana Barry :

      I would say not by itself – but if you happen to be talking to them, you can tell them in the context of the conversation. If they are your husband’s relatives, then let him tell them. :)

    • If you mention the piece of mail, I think it’s fine to say something brief. E.g., “I got the holiday card, it’s so cute. By the way, I am still Lisa MyName.” I wouldn’t bother with people who are unlikely to change or who you don’t interact with that much. I didn’t change my name either, and I don’t care that the 85-year-old woman that watched me when I was a kid got it wrong when she sent me a birthday card.

      I would also remember that it’s unlikely to be intentional. I am super detail-oriented, and I notice things like whether names are changed in FB, email addresses, etc., but I don’t think everyone does or it’s even on their radar.

    • I have similar issues. But I try to avoid caring too much. It’s mostly DH’s family & friends. It did bother me a little when we got wedding present checks from my family members to me with his last name. That person just doesn’t exist! His family also couldn’t find our baby registry because they couldn’t comprehend that I hadn’t changed my name. One thing that made me feel better is that I made sure the return address on all thank you notes for wedding/baby presents was my first initial, my last name.

    • I assume you mean personal mail, and not bills, subscriptions, etc.? If you haven’t changed your name legally, I’m not sure how your bank or cable company or whatever would know to address your mail to your married name. Creeeeepy.

      I told friends and family who were calling me Mrs. Husband or addressing mail to Mrs. Husband that I was keeping my own name and that I would prefer Ms. Lawsuited, and they just continue to call me Mrs. Husband anyway. It drives me to distraction.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      When people call me Mrs. Pitt, I respond, “‘Mrs. Pitt’ is my mother in law, not me.” Family and colleagues who call me “Mrs.”-anything are told that “It’s Ms. because my designation shouldn’t change due to my marital status, any more than my husband’s doesn’t.” I only address it directly when someone says it verbally. I get tons of junk mail addressed to Mrs. Angelina Pitt though, and holiday cards from family with that name. All return addresses from us are as Mr. Brad Pitt & Ms. Angelina Jolie. The one that particularly bugs are wedding invitations from friends. I guess Martha Stewart or the Knot or something is telling people they have to be addressed as Mr. Brad and Mrs. Angelina Pitt. *Eyeroll*

      • What’s worse is Mr. and Mrs. Brad Pitt. I realize it’s “proper” but even as a five year old I told my grandmother that the mail people were silly because they sent mail to Mrs. John Doe. Didn’t they know that John is a BOY name? And only GIRLS are Mrs.? I thought “Mrs. John” was hilarious.

        • Isn’t Mrs. Brad Pitt easier when you can’t remember if her name is Jennifer or Angelina?

          I think it’s a bit Downton Abbey (and royal crazies like Princess Michael of Kent). But whatevs.

      • I avoid the “It’s Ms. because my designation shouldn’t change due to my marital status, any more than my husband’s doesn’t” part. It can easily sound judgy of people that change their names, which isn’t usually a good way to get someone to respect your decision. I think of it kind of like how people that do change their names say, “I just wanted my husband and me to be a real family!” My husband and I are a real family, thank you.

    • Sending as much mail as possible on stationery personalized with your full name can help. Possibly even things you wouldn’t ordinarily send a handwritten note for – getting an email where your name is still the same in the sender column isn’t likely to be as noticeable as seeing your name on paper, I don’t think – and if they do notice it, they may just figure you forgot to change your email account settings, or that you’re keeping your name professionally but not socially if it’s a work or gmail account. It’s not a 100% effective method, but can probably help avoid having to say anything explicitly in many cases.

      Similarly, a friend who hyphenated her last name has a return address stamp that has her full name, her husband’s full name, and their address on it, which helps make it clear that she is Angelina Jolie-Pitt and not, say, Mrs. Pitt. (Before they got married, but lived together, she had a stamp that said “Angelina and Brad,” which she could still use, but she wanted to get the different last names out there.

    • Brooklyn, Esq. :

      I may have solved this, but it would require you to go back in time to make it work:
      At our wedding, my brother (who had a microphone) referred to me and my husband as “Mr. and Mrs. Hisname.” Completely without thinking, I yelled “Mr. Hisname and Ms. Myname!” and got a big laugh.

    • I second the sentiment that they are probably not doing it on purpose. If they don’t know for sure that you aren’t changing your name they probably think, oh! neat! I get to send it to her with her married name on it! how fun! [I say this because I did change my name and a few of my friends did as well and all of us got a kick out of getting mail to the new name in the beginning]

    • I met my HS boyfriend’s mom, and said “Hello, Mrs. Boyfriends’s last name.” She gave me the DIRTIEST LOOK IN THE WORLD, and said, “It’s Ms. Boyfriend’s Mom’s Maiden Name.”

      I thought, gee, lady, no need to be a b!tch about it. Was just being polite. You can see that I was really put off, because I am bringing it up almost 15 years later.

      So feel free to correct people, but be nice. Most people just go with the norm. I have lots of female professional friends and have had to ask EVERY ONE OF THEM what they are doing with their name (unless they did something obvious, like change Facebook). I would have totally picked up on an address label.

    • I think you should cut them some slack, because women do so many different things with their names now that it can be really confusing to keep track even for younger people, let alone older people for whom taking your husband’s name was de rigueur. However, you absolutely can and should correct them. I think signing a reply to their correspondence something like “Lisa Smith (by the way, Gran, I kept my last name)” is a good approach. If someone introduces you as Lisa Jones, when you shake hands with the person you’re meeting just say “actually, it’s Lisa Smith.”

  20. Etiquette question: I’m a 20-something lawyer one year out of law school and I’m going out to lunch with a federal judge in a few days. It’s not a job interview or anything like that, she’s just being nice because we have some mutual connections, but it’s obviously a good informal networking opportunity. Is this the kind of thing where I let her pay? Or should I offer?

    • I wouldn’t let her pay for your meal unless she initiated and said “I would like to take you to lunch” but even then I’d offer to pay for half. Otherwise, when the bill comes, split the check. If she insists on paying, I’d say something like the advice/conversation/etc has been more than valuable and you couldn’t have her pay as well. If she pushes the issue, then let her pay but say that you’d like to do lunch again and next time you will pay (if you really feel like meeting with her again). If she does pay, follow up with a thank you note.

    • LeChouette :

      She will likely insist on paying. Most judges don’t let lawyers take them out as a policy (ethics / appearance of impropriety reasons). That said you should still offer and I am sure she will be touched, but i wouldn’t be overly insistent.

    • You can offer, but in the end, I bet you each pay for your own. Ethics/appearances of impropriety will trump all else.

  21. TJ and some much needed advice, please! I am a longtime reader (ok, lurker) on this site and have come to value everyone’s opinion – on both personal and professional topics – to a scary degree, considering I’ve never met y’all. So here goes:

    I’m a third year litigation associate in Big Law. My ultimate career goal is to end up in-house in a specific industry. I was just offered an associate position at a small litigation-only firm that focuses on clients and cases in this specific industry. (And it’s a smalllll firm. We’re talking maybe 12 lawyers, total.) Here’s the thing: I’ve realized I don’t like litigation. I may be interested, intellectually, in the subject matter of the case, but I have grown to detest the procedural and even substantive tasks that come with it. Discovery, meet and confers, pointless motions, depo prep., etc. Not enjoying any of it. But this firm would give me specific experience in the exact industry I’m hoping to end up in. I think that it would be a more collegial environment, but even more substantive work (no doc review, no anonymity) and longer hours.

    Help me choose my own adventure here: Do I suck it up and make the transition to get the industry experience, even if I hate the day-to-day work but I’m interested in it on a broader scale? Or do I tread water in Big Law until I can make the in-house transition? It’s not like I’m particularly happy at my current job, but I also don’t hate it so much that I’m desperate to get out immediately. I just don’t want to pass up an opportunity that may better position me to achieve my ultimate goal of going in-house because of my hesitation to suck it up for the shorter term.

    Thanks in advance for all the sage advice and wisdom I know you’re about to impart!

    • AnotherLadyLawyer :

      From personal experience, the more mid-level I got, the more I realized that all the in-house dream jobs I wanted in my specific field asked for some kind of transactional proficiency and I was missing about 90% of that in my specialized litigation practice. So I eventually made a big leap to focus on more transactional work in my specific field, so that I could smooth the way for an in-house gig some day.

      So I think you should figure out what would make the in-house transition easier/more possible. Do you think industry experience–in litigation–will get you the in-house job of your dreams? Take a look at what dream job listings look like to see if they want litigation, industry experience, transactional backgrounds, etc. If there aren’t listings right now, look at the people who have the job you want and scope out where they came from.

      I’d say if industry-related litigation will get you the in-house gig you want, go! If you need to make a bigger change (say to something more counseling or transactional-focused), then I’d say stay until you can find something that will make it easier for you to move in house.

      • I agree with what AnotherLadyLawyer said. Could you (quickly, I guess, since you have a job offer in-hand) set up some informational interviews with people who are in-house in your chosen industry to ask them (i) how they got there, and (ii) what experience they look for in new hires?

      • Non Lit Dreams :

        How did you go about switching to more transactional work? I’ve recently come to that realization you mentioned that pretty much all of those lovely in-house jobs require transactional experience/skills.

        • AnotherLadyLawyer :

          A mix of a couple of things. First, getting as much transactional experience as I could, mostly by taking on too much work (volunteering if it came up, stalking the conflicts notices for things I could proactively volunteer for, asking partners nicely for things, etc.). Second, a lot of pro bono in my specific field that trended toward transactional or that had both litigation and transactional components. Third, I made the move relatively early in my career and was willing (but thankfully didn’t have to) to take a bump down to move to a new space. And finally, a combo of working with a bunch of recruiters (but firing the bad ones), planning something intelligent and legitimate to say for the “why are you running away from litigation question,” and luck.

          • Non Lit Dreams :

            Thanks! Did you land the in-house gig yet, or are you still at a firm?

          • AnotherLadyLawyer :

            Still here and loving it! Move was less than a year ago, so I’m crossing my fingers the in-house thing works some day. At least now, I could apply for in-house spots and not have to feel like my application is missing giant pieces of what they want.

      • this exactly. in-house jobs for litigators are few and far between in any industry. Try to make a transactional move if that’s where you want to end up.

  22. I’m going to Portland for a few days next month. Any recommendations for things to do, restaurants to go to (bf is vegetarian) or anything? It’s my first time!

    • Go to Pok Pok for dinner. It is so freaking good. Also the best spicy Bloody Mary I’ve ever had.

      • POK POK! POK POK! And if you’re not veg, then fish sauce wings! (Seriously.)

        • Also, the Chinese Garden is really nice. (Sorry for the Pok Pok freak out there, but POK POK! It’s really that good).

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      West coast or East coast Portland?

      • Research, Not Law :

        Also, what kinds of activities are you interested in doing? Inside vs outside? In the city vs in the area? Museums, sight seeing, shopping?

      • West Coast! Sorry about that. I’d like to stay in the city or at least very close to it and see the “classic” Portland sights. Less interested in museums and shopping (I can do those home in NYC!) and more interested in experiencing the new city.

    • Beer! We went on an awesome beer tour there when we were on our honeymoon, and it was awesome. The company we went through was Brewvana, and it was fantastic. They pick you up downtown and drive you everywhere, and your fee includes lunch (always with a veggie option). Otherwise, I’d say pick a couple breweries (Laurelwood is fantastic), and go there. But my trips tend to be very beer-centric.

      • I’ve never been to Portland but VooDoo doughnuts is on my list if I ever go :)

        • voodoo is the bestest. they are the reason my goal weight has not yet been attained. the Portland Creme is amazing, and both the maple bacon bar and the old dirty bastard (apple fritter with chocolate and other toppings, I believe) get great reviews. Rogue brewing has created a voodoo doughnut maple bacon flavored beer which comes in a bright pink bottle to match the voodoo boxes. (whoa that got a little long-winded didn’t it)

    • Portland City Grill, wine tasting, rose garden, Powell’s, Laurelwood, walk around Hawthorne, check out Forest Park, Staccato Gelato, “khun pic’s bahn thai” for the best Thai I’ve had in the States, yoko’s sushi, rent bikes and ride the Corridor, go out to the Gorge and hike, Screen Door, Tin Shed for brunch, everywhere you go pretty much will have solid Veggie options b/c it’s PDX. Walk around the Pearl (particularly if you’re there for First Thursday), check out the Saturday Market/Farmer’s Market.

    • Mama Mia and Mother’s – two restaurants, one head chef. Plenty of veggie options (there will always be veggie options in Portland). Mama Mia is Italian-American family cooking, haute style, and Mother’s is classic high-end American comfort food (they have a mac&cheese of the day, which you can get in veg or not veg). Mother’s also has a great brunch, but call (now) in advance to get reservations. Otherwise you could wait over an hour.

      • Second Mother’s. We stumbled on it for brunch when we were there and it was so good. And they gave you coffee while you waited! That’s the best idea ever.

        • Mmm, love Mother’s for brunch. How could I forget them? Used to walk over there all the time on Sundays. Can you tell I miss Portland?

    • I know you said “not shopping” and of course there is no reason to go to Nordstrom here. But, Saturday market and Portland Farmers market are fun for people watching, really unique purchases, and differnet food than other places. If you happen to be there on a Thursday, do some google for First Thursday, Last Thursday, second Thursday, Third Thursday. Every Thursday night some neighborhood is doing something. It might be shops, art, crafts, or food.

      Pittock mansion is fun and full of local history. A walk from Tom McCall waterfront park north, crossing the river on the steel bridge and then walking south on the “East Bank Esplanade” and crossing back on Hawthorne Bridge will show you view of the city and more people to watch. Walk up or drive up to Mt. Tabor for another view of the city, and if you walk you’ll see the very traditional Portland houses.

      If you are outdoor-adventure-y you can rent kayaks or take a kayak tour, which is another view of the city. Or, as previously mentioned, lots of hiking in Forest Park.

      FOOD CARTS! will tell you where to go for certain food etc. I think there are tours. I recommend you go to a pod on an empty stomach. Cartlandia, downtown, Hawthorne or Mississipi will all take you to different sides of Portland with fun food.

      Play around on, which is the local free paper that has food cart issue, restaurant issue, and bar issue guides.

      Basically, you need to walk around a lot so you can eat more!

    • Anonymous :

      Okay, classic Portland:

      Classical Chinese or Japanese Garden: I’d pick one (either, they are both nice) unless you’re really into gardens.

      Portland Saturday (and Sunday) Market: A genuine arts fair plus oddities and quirks.

      Rent a bike and ride the Waterfront Park and Eastbank Esplanade loop: Great views of the river, bridges, and marina. You could also walk.

      The Underground Portland Walking Tour (

      Happy hour or dinner in Portland City Grill. Basically just for the view, but the food is good.

      Breweries! Pick at *least* one. Top of the list would be Bridgeport and/or Deschutes, both in the Pearl. Other top contenders: Rogue (outer Pearl), Widermere (North), Amnesia (North), Alameda (NE). There are a million others, most are good. You can try a McMenamins. People are always impressed by their artsy atmosphere, but honestly the food and beer is not the best Portland has to offer. I believe there are also pedal-cab tours and such, too.

      Wine is also big in the area, but you may not want to spend a whole day on a wine tour, so I’d hit up a wine bar or shop. Cork is my favorite wine shop, but it’s in NE Alberta. Or just enjoy the wine and one of the amazing restaurants in town, such as Coppia (which was formerly my favorite wine bar).

      Get lunch at a food cart: There are several hot spots. There are a couple downtown, a Portlandia-esque one in the Mississippi neighborhood… You can map them here:

      Brunch: This city is serious about brunch. There are so many good places to choose from (expect a long wait anywhere), but I’d suggest Mother’s Bistro as a classic downtown option or Isabel Cantina as a nouveau option in the Pearl. Screendoor and Helsers are among the many eastside options.

      As someone who lives here, I’d skip VooDoo Doughnuts. It was fun and cool, but then they ended up on every travel list and the line is literally around the block. They are good donuts, but sheesh. If you go, I suggest stopping at an off-time (NOT during the Saturday/Sunday market).

      If you have car and want to go outside the city, drive the historic gorge higheway to the Vista House and Multnomah Falls.

      You probably know this, but bring rain gear. At the *very minimum* have an umbrella.

      Vegetarian is a non-issue here. Unless you go to a steakhouse, husband shouldn’t have a problem.

      The website is a helpful guide.

      • Research, Not Law :

        Ugh, this was me.

        And I can’t believe I forgot Powells! I know it sounds weird to go to a bookstore, but seriously, stop by.

    • anon in tejas :

      we rented a car and hiked on the river. it was great. we saw some really great falls, and it was really really enjoyable! We also did a beer tour at Full Sail.

  23. I’ve been a lurker for a while and wanted to introduce myself and let you ladies know that you are great! I stumbled upon this blog a few months ago and have fallen into the habit of reading pretty regularly. I love the open discussions and advice here and look forward to participating! :)

    • Same here! I never did the nice thing and introduced myself, I just jumped right in.
      It doesn’t help that I’m in Europe and go to bed fairly early. I miss out on a lot off good discussions, but like reading through all of it with my morning tea!

  24. Quick TJ:

    When filling out a conflicts check form, is one generally expected to actually remember and list each client/case one worked on?

    (I just graduated and worked as a law clerk. I also worked at a PD’s office…. there is no way that I remember every client! I am not sure that I am even allowed ethically to disclose all of their names.)

    • Diana Barry :

      I have no idea. I did one of those when I moved from one biglaw firm to another and really can’t remember what I put down. Is there some state bar ethics guideline for it, maybe?

    • Generally, yes. But this really only matters if your new employer is likely to have actual conflicts with your old matters. I’m guessing you’re at a firm? By definition, I would guess that a firm’s client list wouldn’t conflict with a list of clients from a PD’s office (because people who can hire firms don’t typically get PDs). If you know that your matters are very unlikely to conflict, just write a general description that’s sufficient for them to feel comfortable that there are unlikely to be issues.

    • emcsquared :

      I’m a tax lawyer, meaning – I work on All The Files but often don’t know who my client is or anything else about the deal. So when I switched firms, I had the new firm’s ethics lawyer call the old firm’s ethics lawyer and they sorted it out between them. FWIW.

  25. Saddle Club :

    Hi ‘rettes – SoCalAtty’s post yesterday about her horse has inspired me to figure out a way back into the horse world. I was a dedicated rider all through high school but tapered off in college (which was several years ago) and now I haven’t set foot in a stable in more than five years. I’d love to get back into it by taking a lesson or two a week, but I feel (probably unreasonably) like riding lessons on schoolhorses are only for kids/teens! I also need to find a barn where the horse, tack, etc. are all included in the lesson. I’d love general suggestions on getting back in the saddle and – if possible – specific barns to check out (I’m in the East Bay Area!) Thanks ladies!

    • First off, I’m so sorry I missed the horse thread yesterday. Would have been all. over. that.

      No suggestions on specific barns, since I’m on the East Coast, but my father runs a boarding operation, so I just wanted to say lessons on schoolhorses are most definitely NOT only for kids! We don’t do lessons on a formal basis, but I’d say at least half of our boarders came to riding later in life, and started out taking lessons from places that would furnish tack and a mount. On a more personal note, I’ve been riding since before I could walk, but when I was in high school I had a really bad fall off my old horse (think ambulance to ER), and my confidence was absolutely wrecked; even though I was an experienced, in-practice rider, I took a month or so of lessons on a schoolmaster, just so I could get my confidence back. There is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of in riding someone else’s horse!

      As far as more general advice goes, I would offer two probably contradictory thoughts. First: don’t judge yourself by what you used to be able to do, when you were riding regularly; if all you feel comfortable doing is walking and trotting, then stick to walking and trotting, until you’re ready to move on. Second: there is a point, though, where you need to tell the fear and discomfort to shove off, and do what your trainer tells you, no matter how terrified you are.

      My final piece of advice: HAVE FUN! :)

      • Oh, my final-final piece of advice: when you get started again, all the horses will be so pretty and lovely and you will probably want one. Do not give into the siren song and buy a horse unless you are 110% confident that you will 1. stick with riding; and 2. are comfortable riding the horse. We’ve had quite a few new/ish riders come to our barn with these gorgeous, shiny green creatures that they’re scared sh*tless of, but bought because omg! the pretty! and they can ~learn together~ and ~grow together~ and it will be ~just like a movie~. But just–no.

    • I don’t know anything about barns in that area, but you might try posting on The Chronicle of the Horse Bulletin Boards (a google search should get you there – don’t want to get stuck in moderation). People often post looking for barns that offer lessons in various geographical areas. You can collect a list and then go check them out and see what you feel comfortable with! Good luck!!

      • CountC: I just read the thread from yesterday, and I chortled aloud at your comment about making money as an amateur instead of losing it. If anyone figures that out for professionals, please let me know–I know of a certain barn, owned by a certain relative of mine, that could really use some of that learnin’…

        • Hahah! Could you imagine the consulting fees if I could figure out a way!? I’m sure you’ve heard that to make a small fortune in horses, you have to start with a large one. ;-)

    • Completely unreasonable. I started looking to ride again on school horses, because one of mine is retired and the other one will likely kill me in the shape I’m in. I’m in DC, so I can’t recommend certain barns, but a lot of barns were really open to working with me. You need to figure out when you want to ride (weekends, weekdays) and then go visit the barns on those days. I saw one on a weekend that was a kid’s zoo, but during the weekday was pretty much me and the staff. Also, don’t be afraid to speak up; you know what you want and if people won’t help you then its not the barn for you. Finally, find a barn that emphasizes safety first. When you’re over the age of 15, falls hurt a h*ll of a lot more!

      Btw, I love how many riding ‘r e t t e s there are.

      • Is there a barn you’d recommend in the DC area for adult riding lessons? I’m in a similar position to Saddle Club, but in DC. Thanks!

    • This is a good source to track down likely barns/trainers in the Bay Area:

      After a many year break (school, kids, no money), I started riding again by looking for an instructor who taught adults with her own horse. After about six months of weekly private lessons, I started to look for a part-lease on a horse in a barn with a trainer I wanted to work with. It took some doing, but I was finally successful and had a three-year partnership with that horse.

      The return to riding was an eye-opener. I had been a fearless (and probably reckless) rider in my youth. Now that I am much, much older, I found I had a fear of falling, and, that my balance wasn’t as good as it had been. I guess that was a valid fear. It took me awhile to manage that fear.

      Of course, then I bought a horse. Had to share it with one child. Then I had to buy another for the other child. Before you know it, the first child told me that if I wanted, she’d let me ride her horse. And so it goes.

    • I missed a horse chat? Darn. I’d love to get back into riding, too but in NYC so don’t see it in my near future.

      I did see a girl in boots and breeches downtown the other day and had to refrain from accosting her with questions on where she had come from. I was afraid I would bury my head in her sweatshirt for a whiff of leather and barn-dust.

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        I take lessons at a stable in Forest Hills in Queens that’s about a mile walk from the E train-Lynne’s Riding School. They don’t do jumping, though, so I may have to switch. But: there are also stables in Prospect Park (Kensington Stables-do not recommend), Jamaica Bay, Riverdale (the Bronx), and one in Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx. If you have a car, it’s much easier–just head out to Long Island or basically anywhere upstate or in New Jersey. If you just want to go trail riding, I occasionally go to a place called Big River Barn out in Long Island. The stable manager/trail ride leader will pick you up from the LIRR station (her name’s Janet)–the closest station is Hicksville.

        Caveat on New York stables: It’s a lot of beginners. A lot. This is fine once the instructor figures out you weren’t lying and do know what you’re doing, but it can make the first lesson or two frustrating. It’s also just a very different experience from riding outside of the city, I feel like. But it’s still riding!

  26. Do Jcrew wool suits ever go on sale? I am looking at buying one but not sure if I should wait for a sale.

    • Yes, but more often it’s the seasonal-type suits that go on sale, or the suits that are not the few they always have. Or pieces of suits will make it to sale but there aren’t tops and bottoms in related sizes. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen the super 120’s on sale, other than dresses, but I could be wrong. Your best bet if you want to wait for a sale would probably be either the run-up to Christmas or waiting for a 20% off and free shipping type sale, which happens occasionally. In general the more classic suiting seems to make it to sale less frequently than their other stuff.

    • I find that they do go on sale, but the sizes on sale will be limited (and often final sale). Worth waiting if you’re just adding to your suit collection and don’t _need_ one, but you do run the risk that they’ll sell out, especially if you’re in a popular size.

    • Do you have an outlet near you? I’ve had amazing luck at ours, albeit closer to the end of the season.

    • Diana Barry :

      I’ve only bought one on sale with those limited-time 20% off things. If you go to jcrewaficionada, they often have the deals posted.

    • I just got one on sale plus an extra 30% off online this week. Not everything on sale right now is marked “final sale” but the extra 30% off code still works, which is nice. I think it ends today or tomorrow, so check it out.

    • For the classic pieces, the only “sale” I’ve ever seen apply is a general site-wide 30% + shipping.

    • a passion for fashion :

      the super 120s go on sale a lot, though not all of the different styles.

    • Magdeline :

      I bought a 100% wool suit from J Crew Factory online recently, and I love it! It was about $150 with a code and free shipping.

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