Coffee Break: Rosamund Satchel

MCM Dupe? This Sole Society Satchel is AwesomeWell hello there, affordable bag that strongly reminds me of the splurge bag I posted in November, the MCM Tapisserie Boston bag.  This one is far (far! far!) more affordable, and possibly a bit more functional as well given the cross body strap, the fact that this bag is so much taller than the other, more boxy bag. I like.  It’s $79.95 at Nordstrom. Sole Society Rosamund Satchel



  1. Anonymous :

    Is there anything my doctor can do for insomnia while pregnant? My first appointment isn’t for a couple of weeks, but I could call or try to push for an earlier one if I thought there was something that could be done.

    • Mrs. Jones :

      She can prescribe Ambien.
      I am sorry about the insomnia! That’s one of many pregnancy side effects no one warned me about, not that I’m still bitter about it. :)

    • sweetknee :

      My doctor allowed Tylenol PM which is essentially Tylenol with Benedryl.

      • Why not just take Benedryl then (assuming that the insomnia isn’t caused by pain)? Acetaminophen is not something you want to take without any reason.

        • sweetknee :

          I was having trouble sleeping because of a cracked tailbone, hence the Tylenol. . .

          • Anonymous :

            Then you should’ve specified that you were taking it for pain and not just sleep in your post . . .

      • My doctor recommended straight Benadryl for difficulty sleeping.

        • Anonymous :

          This should only be done for rare/short term issues. Benadryl is a very bad medicine to use frequently for insomnia, and it is sloppy care for primary care docs to recommend this. Many many side effects, including long term increased risk of dementia.

    • Unisom is considered safe and is commonly used to treat morning sickness. I would call your OB and see if you can chat with a nurse briefly about dosage for insomnia.

      • +1 to Unisom. I don’t have insomnia but it’s the only thing that helps me sleep through the night without having to change positions every hour because I’m so uncomfortable (I’m 30 wks). It’s totally safe for pregnancy, though maybe talk to your OB just to double-check what dosage would be appropriate for you.

      • Anonymous :

        +2 I used it daily for one of my pregnancies.

        • Anonymous :

          Also, it’s OTC, so you don’t need to wait until an appointment. Make sure you get the sleep tabs (the gels are a different active ingredient).

    • Buspar is a class B drug for pregnancies (same as benedryl and unisom) and can cause drowsiness for some people (for others it doesn’t work at all). This may be more of an off-label use for Buspar but if you find that you can’t sleep because you’re replaying your day, or worrying, or can’t relax, it might be good to think about. (Buspar is a super old anti-anxiety drug that only works for some people, others think it’s useless).

    • Never too many shoes... :

      Gravol worked amazingly well for me.

  2. Currently Clerking :

    I posted a few days ago but I was late in the day and last week was very quiet around here. I am currently a federal law clerk– I’m clerking because a partner at my former Biglaw firm asked me to, and I am pretty certain I want to return to that firm. It’s that time of year where I am receiving invitations to receptions for other firms, recruiters are calling, etc.

    Has anyone heard that firms are raising the clerkship bonus across the board to keep pace with the recent salary increases? And if not, is there any utility in negotiating for this? Finally, what are the pros/cons to interviewing other places if I’m pretty sure I want to go back to my previous firm? Initially I thought it might be useful to have another offer or two as negotiation leverage, but the reaction from the Hive about this was pretty negative last week. It generally seems smart to feel out my other options, but I’m wondering if it just isn’t worth the time or the risk of the news filtering back to my old firm.

    • Anonymous :

      I would definitely apply other places. What’s the harm when you’re “pretty certain” you want to go back? Plus you can get a better answer to your clerkship bonus question by getting offers from other firms. (By the way, I don’t know the answer to that. When I left my clerkship, everyone did $35k.)

      • Anon for this :

        When I left BigLaw in 2015, we got $50 K (and I think the SCOTUS clerks got $250K or something absurd).

      • Currently Clerking :

        Thanks. Am I paranoid to think if I interview it might somehow get back to my previous firm? And really, is it such a bad thing if they find out I interviewed elsewhere? I’m assuming most people (read: most men) would take an interview or two just to feel out other options, but idk.

    • I had to threaten her old firm with counter-offers before they would give her a federal clerkship bonus. The HR shrew claimed that it was a policy set in stone that that bonus was only for who went directly from law school to clerkship to big law (I was a law firm associate before I was picked for the clerkship), insinuated that I was a greedy little girl for asking, and was enraged when I went directly to the practice partner with my demand. I found out later that the two men returning to their former associate positions after clerking did not get the run around. Five months later, I left my old firm for a different firm.

      • BankrAtty :

        This is appalling and I am offended on your behalf! What patriarchal shenanigans.

      • Currently Clerking :

        OMG! Yeah I would not stay at that firm either. My previous firm confirmed I would receive the market bonus ($50k), but this was before the salary increase. This is the first clerkship cycle since the increase, so there isn’t a ton of information available on whether the bonus is going up. But it seems about time.

  3. Anonymous :

    Sending good thoughts to the poster from this morning who was worried about getting laid off at her review today.

    • Frozen Peach :

      Yes, please know we’re here if you need us!!

    • Thanks! I did not get laid off. Partner I work for went to bat for me. Niche practice and all that helped, obviously. If he loses me, then he literally will not have an associate with the relevant experience in the firm if/when the work picks up. Reviewing partner was very apologetic about how I wouldn’t be able to get a bonus. I kept thinking that I was just happy to have a job. I guess I’m still an investment for the firm, even if they aren’t using my skills sufficiently at the moment.

      • Meg March :


      • Phew! Congrats!

        I would still start looking though, now that you are past the first hurdle. You’d rather be in control of this situation and in a setting where you can succeed and advance than merely grateful to still have a job. This way you can do it with a confidence that you are looking for something more and better for yourself and not because you are being laid off and desperate for anything.

      • all about eevee :

        Wonderful news.

  4. I have a suit jacket that I really love, but I live in a hot climate and the underarms have started smelling… less than rosy. My dry cleaner was not able to remove the smell – I’ve seen lots of home remedies but I’m reluctant to try them for fear of destroying the jacket. Has anyone successfully found a way to get scents out of a DCO jacket??

    • Anonymous :

      I’ve been using cheap vodka on a number of shirts that retain sweat odors and it definitely seems to be helping. I haven’t done it on true delicates like silk yet, but no issues on a number of generally washable or DC-optional shirts. I just spray the pits liberally when I put it in the laundry basket and then wash later as usual.

    • Tech Comm Geek :

      I’ve successfully used cheap vodka on a very expensive silk brocade with metallic threads.

    • I have made a paste of baking soda and water, rubbed it into the armpits form the inside of the jkacket, leave to dry overnight, and brush off in the morning. It slightly discolored the lining but jacket looked from from the outside. FWIW, I have tried vodka and it never worked for me.

      • Dulcinea or anyone else – does this get the yellow stain out as well? My SO wears a suit everyday and gets pretty warm in there. He wears an undershirt under all of his shirts, but his white dress shirts always have yellow stains. What gets this out? I think once upon a time I heard of remedies but this is not a problem for my clothes, so I am curious. Are they inevitable due to also wearing the suit jacket on top (as he seems to think)?

        • You need to treat the underarms immediately after wearing with a stain stick and launder as soon as possible. Once the sweat dries it sets like dye within a few days.

          • Welp, that explains it then. They go in the wash at week-end. Maybe on the next round of shirts… for some reason it is the white dress shirts more than the colorful ones and the dress shirts are worse than the undershirts underneath. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

        • Peroxide works but is really hard on the clothes.

          Does he use antiperspirant? I have switched away from antiperspirant to deodorant only have found the yellowing to be noticeably less of a problem. Something about the aluminum in antiperspirant makes the stains worse.

        • I wash all my SO’s white undershirts with 1/3 cup of vinegar to prevent stains. If you don’t do that only one time, its all over.

        • In case you clean his shirts in a washing machine, try gall soap. It is pretty popular in Europe and it works like magic. Just wet the stained area, apply gall soap, rub it lightly and let sit for an hour, rinse (rinsing is optional, but this way, you will see whether the stain is removed or not -> in which case apply soap again, let it sit, rinse, repeat), the wash as usual by throwing it in the washing machine. I was able to get old yellow stains from my white shirts and tees. You can buy gall soap on Amazon (in Europe, it is sold in every drugstore ;) ).

        • anonymous :

          I have had very good luck with soaking shirts in oxy clean overnight and then washing. Removed this type of stain from shirts that were destined for the trash.

    • The Laundress has a bunch of sprays. I use the delicate one on all of my “dry cleaning” stuff and then steam it with a hand-steamer. I’m too cheap to dry clean. This works well for me. I live in Houston and some of my blazers get pretty sweaty too.

      The way I see it, if the jacket has an odor it’s already destroyed unless you can manage to fix it. So you might as well try something.

    • You might have to get the lining replaced, or even just in that area. I did the same that others have above as far as cleaning, however I then made underarm guards made that match the lining and attach with snaps for all of the blazers that I wear with sleeveless tops and dresses. Then I can just pull them out, launder normally and snap back in. It has worked like a charm. It is literally a square made out of thin lining fabric that matches the lining of the jacket, with cotton inside. I put in a snap in each corner and then a snap in the jacket. It’s a little tedious but so worth it. Very simple sewing or I’m sure a tailor could do it for you.

      My husband changes out his undershirts frequently to avoid it and has asked about making the same guards for his blazers, which I might do.

  5. Business Day Handbag :

    I have a Lo & Sons OG that I use as a laptop/commuting tote. What should I be using as a handbag when I go to client meetings?? I love my full zipping Cole Haan leather wallet, but it doesn’t carry enough and it’s awkward/doesn’t feel appropriate to bring only that and plop it on the table during a business lunch, for example. I was trying to avoid using the OG and a second standard handbag, but maybe that’s my only option..? Thoughts?

    • Perhaps this is an industry-specific thing, but I don’t see anything wrong with using your full-sized handbag throughout the day (presuming it doesn’t look like it could double as an overnight bag and is professional in appearance). You’re a busy professional, with multiple events/meetings in a day and you need certain materials with you to be prepared for those things. A bag can easily fit under the table/chair, so I say don’t overthink it and just use your OG bag.

      • I don’t think the OG looks all that professional. It looks like a giant diaper bag, IMO (I have the army green one). I love it for travel but now that I’m client facing (as of today – new promotion woohooo!), I feel like I need to step it up. I am in the market for a larger, more professional tote (Tumi, perhaps?), but was hoping for something in the meantime. I’m in finance, if that matters, but I’m not sure it does.

        • Anonymous :

          It doesn’t just look like a diaper bag, it looks like a pump bag.

        • all about eevee :

          Congrats on the promotion. I recommend the Dagne Dover. I just switched from the Mini to the 15 Inch, and it looks very professional and carries everything I would like. The only downside is that it is heavy.

      • The OG is too big to take to lunch. People are going to look at you like, what on earth does she need all that for? Is she planning to whip out her laptop during lunch?

      • Thanks to this si*e, I have discovered Knomo bags. I bought both, Grosvenor bag (with long straps, I can fit my laptop and everything else there) and Electronista clutch. I put the clutch into the bigger Grosvenor bag! I feel comfortable using just my Grosvenor (as a transit bag but also as a big handbag), but if I feel that I just want a lighter/smaller bag for a lunch/meeting, I pull out the Electronista clutch. Also, the clutch is very organized (and you can choose from 2 sizes).

    • I use a small clutch with hand strap for lunch. Doesn’t hold my full wallet, but can handle phone, keys, cards/cash, lipstick, etc. It fits inside my laptop tote.

    • I agree. There is NOTHING wrong with using a single back to schlep your stuff around. In fact, it would be dumb to have multiple schleppers doing the same thing. I put EVERYTHING in my Tumi bag, from my Macbook Air to my shoe’s to my gym clotheing (in a seperate bag b/c they get stinky). FOOEY! Do it! You will NOT regret it. YAY!!!!

    • I carry a small purse inside my OG that’s big enough for my wallet, keys, and phone but doesn’t take up much more space than my wallet alone.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      I have a small black purse in the office that’s nice enough to take to lunch for this same exact issue. Since all I wear is black or things that look good with black, it matches everything I own.

  6. Love this bag!

    • Shopaholic :

      +1 me too! It looks much more expensive than it is. I wonder if it looks similar in person…

  7. Anonymous :

    I just started Hidden Figures, and I’m disappointed! The reviews are very good online so just wondering what y’all thought. I just feel like every sentence is sooo long with so many dependent clauses and so many flowerly figures of speech that it is exhausting to read! And sometimes I’m like, so wait, what happened? at the end of a sentence. I think it’s a good story, but I’m not sure I’m going to make it to the end.

    • I have to agree. It’s a great story and I learned so much reading it. BUT, she shifts around from one person to another and she sometimes gets names wrong. She also provides a lot of explanatory history that feels like overkill at times, but I learned a lot from it. I stuck with it and finished it, partly because I read while I exercise and I was kind of a captive audience. I would recommend it, but it’s a dense read.

      • Sharon Roth :

        I agree with Anonymous and NOLA. The premise itself is so fascinating — and the story really needs to be told and I’m sure these ladies were / are inspirational in real life — but I found the book to be, frankly, boring. Just a recitation of dates and events, little insight into these women. I am seeing the movie and hoping that they’ve taken some creative license to bring these ladies and their incredible stories to life, but I’m only “meh” on the book.

        • Anonymous :

          The movie is wonderful and not at all boring or dry.

        • Anonymous :

          I’m interested to hear this. I was not enjoying it at all (which doesn’t happen to me with books – I am thinking of quitting it which I NEVER do) and then went to Amazon, and the reviews are really good, so I was just wondering what I was missing! Of course, many of the reviews were 4 or 5 stars and then said, “The writing is difficult but the story is so good.” Anyway, I can’t wait to see the movie!

    • Anonymous :

      I haven’t read the book yet but the movie is excellent, so if you want to learn the story without slogging through the book you can just watch the movie.

    • Anonymous :

      Just saw the movie — it’s so good!

  8. Feeling like I have a fairy godmother… I ordered a wedding dress from Anthro’s wedding store (bhldn). It was on major markdown and the last in my size. The dress arrived and, while lovely, it had a small, totally fixable tear along a seam where a stitch has come undone. I called to complain, asking for a replacement dress or a discount. But I just found out that they refunded the entire cost of the dress, in full! So, my wedding dress is free !!

    (Minus some minor alterations and fixing the seam)

    A lot of complaints online about bhldn having bad customer service, but I am overjoyed.

    • Marshmallow :

      Wah hoo!!!! That’s awesome.

    • which dress?

      Their customer service is awesome. I ordered the Bella dress like 9 months ago… 3 months later it was discounted, and they gave me the price adjustment even though their price adjustment period is 14 days!

  9. How do you usually wear your hair to work?

    I have straightish hair and have settled on half-up with a braid in the middle. My hair is out of my way but it still looks appropriate and I don’t look 15 years old.

    • I have four work hairstyles:

      – naturally wavy, down (for days like today that it’s raining like the dickens and I have to go back and forth from my office building a lot, to avoid straightened hair becoming half-wavy and frizzy).
      – straightened, down
      – faux french twist
      – bun at the nape of my neck

      I have side-swept bangs that get straightened for the last three styles.

    • I have four hairstyles for work:

      – down and naturally wavy (2b/c waves). I do this on days like today that are rainy, when my hair won’t want to be straight anyway, or during the dead of summer when it’s super humid.
      – down and straight (most other days, TBH)
      – up and in a faux french twist (if it doesn’t look good down anymore with dry shampoo, but doesn’t quite need to be washed)
      – in a bun at the nape of my neck (same as above, and/or if it’s just not cooperating with me at all)

      I have side-swept bangs that get straightened for the last three styles.

    • Down curled or straight, in a ponytail (low or mid), in a bun (high or low). Sometimes in a French braid.

      No barrettes, because they also end up feeling young on me.

      Casual dress office.

    • Marshmallow :

      I have naturally straight hair that is bobbed just above my shoulders.

      Down and blown out so the ends slightly tuck in (my favorite way, but time consuming).
      Down and air-dried. This means the ends naturally flip out a little where the hair hits my shoulders.
      Low ponytail with a pony cuff.
      If I don’t have a hair tie but I’m looking down a lot at documents, I clip the top half up with a barrette. I hate doing this because I get a barrette bump and then need to keep it in all day, but it works.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      It varies through the week, typically starting down or in a low ponytail and winding up in a ponytail by the end of the week. I only worry about straightening or curling it if I leave it down or only half up. The other styles are fine if I let it dry naturally.

      Completely down either straightened or curled
      Half up half down with a tortoise shell bare t t e either straightened or curled
      Twisted up into a clip
      Low pony
      Low bun
      Normal pony

      I have long hair (bottom of my shoulder blades) that is thing but I have a lot of it. No bangs or anything and I’m moving towards a blunter cut and away from layers.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        that is *thin

      • What kind of bare t t e works best for you? I’d like to wear something low profile and professional-looking but my spiderweb-like hair slips right through anything but a small clip.

        • Sydney Bristow :

          I use the France Luxe Rectangular Bare t t e that I bought at Nordstrom. I don’t have trouble with my hair slipping out, but that isn’t really a problem I normally have so YMMV.

    • I like the inverted bun that (I think?) was inspired by this s i t e. I prefer to not have to blow dry my hair on gym days and this style works really well when my hair is only towel dried.

    • all about eevee :

      I have a dark chin length bob with fringe bangs. I have thin stick straight hair. I am a higher education fundraiser, so I need to look put together but my industry is not as conservative as law.

      – Down and blown out straight and neat.
      – Down and slightly messy but still straight with texurizing spray.
      – Half up/half down with a tortoiseshell or metallic bare t t e.
      – Milkmaid braids – looks good with my fringe bang
      – Crown braid
      – Straight with JCrew top knot headband

  10. In the winter I’ve pretty much been wearing short booties to work every day. I only have one pair, and they’re black. Since I wear them so often I want another pair – should I go black again, or maybe grey/dark red/dark purple?

    I dress pretty colorfully, but also I’m a first year at a big 4 so don’t want to look flashy.

    • Anonymous :

      I’d go grey if you wear a lot of color.

      If you wore mostly muted black/navy/grey, then I would have recommended the dark purple.

    • pugsnbourbon :

      I’ve been wearing gray booties almost exclusively after my $20 black ones gave up the ghost. They are extremely versatile. Taupe or greige would also be good, given that you wear a lot of color.

    • grey shoes are the best.

  11. Helping a Caregiver :

    My best friend’s husband was recently diagnosed with stage IV renal cancer. He’s 34. They have an 18 month old. We live 1000 miles apart and I will visit to help but until I can, aside from regular supportive notes etc. and cash donations (have already done), what is the most helpful thing I could do? Thinking along the lines of paying for a laundry service, grocery shopping… any suggestions?

    • Anonymous :

      No advice, but I’m so sorry. That’s heartbreaking.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m so sorry for your friend.

      We just went through a year of medical issues for my husband, and we have three small children. A house keeper – if they don’t already have one – would be wonderful. I was grateful also for cash, honestly, as it took months for his disability insurance to pay up (and many people don’t even have long term disability insurance!) and we were spending more on lunches at the hospital, extra child care, etc. And obviously coming for a week to do housekeeping and child care would be wonderful; some people did do this for us, and it was amazingly helpful to have someone fresh play with the kids (I was very tired/stressed and quite grouchy!), vaccum, do the dishes, and generally give me a break or extra flexibility for time at the hospital. I’m sorry to say this, but I’m sure she’d also appreciate a visit after he’s gone, as she’ll probably need a great deal of support at that time, too.

  12. best place to open an index fund?

    • Minnie Beebe :


    • Anonymous :

      Corollary: Is this what I should be doing with my non-emergency fund money? Just dropped six months of emergency savings into a high yield savings account, and am wondering where my “extra” money should go to now.

      I am single, no kids, no plans for a large purchase in the near future. Potentially may go back to school in 3-5 years but don’t want to lock into that. Right now everything is just cushioning my checking account which I know is silly.

      • Anonymous :

        Vanguard. Heck, even my emergency fund is at Vanguard.

        Read up on index funds and passive investing. Learn about asset allocation. Then, move your money and forget about it.

  13. Sloan Sabbith :

    My office secret santa got me a base layer, scoop neck shirt in one of my favorite colors, in my size. I don’t know who it is, but they apparently know me extremely well, and OMG I love them, because I just put on the shirt for the first time and it’s immediately improving my day. My office is approximately 50 degrees and there’s no way to fix it.

    • Anonymous :

      What brand is it because I need this.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      32 Degrees Heat, Medium Weight. Pretty stretchy, but really nice looking.

      I’ve also heard wonderful things about Uniqlo’s Heattech line for the same thing. Need to make a Uniqlo run.

  14. Sloan Sabbith :

    Also, sorry for the multiple posts, whoever recommended TJ’s Truffle Macrona Almonds last week, I love you, too. I’ve been snacking on them all weekend and they’re amazing.

    • Good to know!

      And please don’t apologize for voicing yourself! It is nice to hear from you (and every one of you)!

  15. Getting organized for the new year. Honestly the most exciting thing I did was open a new mascara but I also tackled my closet.

    How do you store your large bags – totes and briefcases. I have maybe too many but I got rid of the ones I was willing to part with and still have too many to store in a small space. Standing on a shelf? Hanging?

    Old house small closets. Interested in hearing what you all do.

    • Marshmallow :

      I only have a few. Standing on a shelf, preferably in a dust bag. I do not hang and I do not store bags inside other bags. (That is a Kondo suggestion I do not understand– if the bags bring you joy and you therefore use them a lot, wouldn’t it be super annoying to always be taking bags in and out of each other?)

    • Meg March :

      My bed has under-bed drawers that are larger, flat and not deep. I store my bags laid flat in two of them. The other two are extra blankets, pillows, etc.

    • If you still have too many to store in a small space, you need to purge more.

    • This is not for everyone, but share them on a shower hook, with litle hooks that go over the rod, across a small alcove in my bedroom. They are really easy to access (I have to stand on a chair, but I’m tall already), they are out of my way, it reminds me to switch them more often, and I actually totally love it.

    • pugsnbourbon :

      Are you handy? There are some easy storage ideas on Pinterest, like the one in the link. Adding Command hooks to dead spaces in my closet has been useful, too.

  16. Giving parents money update :

    Note sure if anyone here recalls but I posted before the holidays about how I was worried that I would be hit up to loan/gift my parents money, due to their lack of planning and awful spending and how stressful the entire situation has become. Well, the good news is that I wasn’t. The bad news is that they are in full, irresponsible swing. They showed up with a new to them 15 year old car, the same luxury brand as the car they already have, that they “hid” from my brother and me. Honestly, I don’t care and there is no need to hide anything from me. They literally hid it from my brother when he visited a few months ago. He was more hurt that they felt the need to do that. It’s bizarre. They spent hundreds on specialty, mail order foods (nuts, cakes) for Christmas, that were good but really unnecessary because we all love to bake and cook and my sister-in-law had already spent a significant amount of her time baking before they arrived many of the same things they purchased. I just wanted to say, that their actions actually really helped me let go. For the first time I can say that I do still care about their welfare, but I know that before I would ever give them anything, they would have to sell that car and stop being so irresponsible and inconsiderate. It was like a weight off my shoulders. I hope I still have that feeling in a few months when these bills become due, but I’m feeling really confident in myself and the situation for once.

    • Good for you. One suggestion – since you know the ask is coming, rehearse your reply. Have it down cold and know exactly what you are going to say and then repeat that. I would not include any recriminations in the reply because they will argue with those (we needed the car! We wanted to give presents!). I would just say that I’m not giving them money any more. Over and over.

  17. ex-reader :

    I don’t read books anymore. Am I the only one?

    I’m not even sure I CAN read a book anymore. Attention span… trying to follow the lines as they wrap around…. My eyes just naturally jet ahead, skip things, move along…

    Part of it is the busy chaos of life, exhaustion, use of internet/devices.

    Part of me is ashamed. Especially when people talk about all the books they are reading on this site.

    • Exactly the same, and I’m embarrassed by it, too. I was always a reader as a child/young adult, but now I am doing well to finish 2-3 books a year. I can spend hours on my phone or laptop (also reading, but shorter pieces obviously) I’m interested in hearing if other people have this problem but have developed strategies for maintaining their attention span.

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        Try reading on your phone- download books to your phone, read them when you’d be reading articles. It’s how I got back into reading, and I tried not to pressure myself to read “good” books. In fact, I gave myself permission to read chick lit, Jodi Picoult, etc. stuff on my phone, so long as I was reading. I read maybe 4-5 books in 2015, and then 20+ books this last year. Goal for this year is 52.

        • I’ll second the approach to read what sounds good – reading is what’s important. If the book doesn’t keep your attention, then it isn’t really that good, no matter what the reviews (or literary canon) says. Read stories that engage you.

    • I hear you and have experienced all the same symptoms, but it highlighted the importance of getting back to reading. I feel like my brain is slipping away from me if I don’t.

    • Anonymous :

      I’ve gotten back into reading by doing so over breakfast, and downloading books on my iPad from the library. It’s great “me time”. For me the biggest problem was actually going to get the books and inevitably not finishing them before I had to return them – now if that happens to me, it just expires and when I can take it out again it even remembers where I was. Tablet also saves me from almost dumping my book in my food (or vice versa) so it’s possible to read all kinds of books with meals, not just easily handle-able ones.

      • Anonymous :

        With Kindles (and I think iPads, although I’m sure you use your iPad for more than reading), you can turn off wireless and it won’t return the book until you turn it back on.

        • Anonymous :

          Huh, never thought to try this! Thanks anon. (I don’t mind it expiring too much – sure beats library fines.)

        • Anonymous :

          Yep. It’s allowed me to finish more than a few books. I just have to make sure that I have nothing upcoming in my holds queue or I have a very reading-intense 36 hours.

    • JaneAustinLovah :

      I’m a reader, but you shouldn’t feel ashamed of not reading. Books are not inherently better than tv/movies, etc (despite the prevailing opinion). If you’re engaging critically with what ever media you consume you’re ahead of 90% of us. (I read absolute trash when I’m under stress. If you’re watching a nature documentary or watching thought-provoking movies you’re a million miles ahead of me.)

    • My daughter was just evaluated for ADD and one of the questions was “do you have a hard time finishing a book?”

      I blame cell phones and the habits they create (like me looking away from work to post this reply) but if you can’t finish a book I’m guessing you also have a hard time completing work projects, which could really affect you adversely. I’d mention it to your doc the next time you go in.

      • Ugh, no. Come on. A lot of people who were once avid readers find themselves unable to finish reading books once they start working all the time-and yet, they can still competently do their jobs. When you sit behind a desk and read and write all day, never have enough time to get anything done, it’s really common for things like pleasure reading to slip. I read statutes all day… the last thing I want to do is look at more words. We can constantly and quickly get new information on our phones which is just enough to engage our brains, but not enough to immerse us. We get trained to always be looking for the next update.

        OP, same thing happened to me, and I used to read all. the. time. I kept falling asleep while trying to read books (hey there exhaustion), but for some reason when I read on my ipad kindle app, I can stay awake (harness the power of that terrible blue light, I guess). What’s also helped is having a book club to jump start me – it cures my need to feel like I’m doing something “productive” or working towards a goal at all hours of the day. I bet once you finish the first couple of books you’ll remember how great it feels to immerse yourself in a book again. Consequently, you’ll be more motivated to do it.

        It just bugs me that you feel the need to pathologize her. Just what we need, another reason to feel like something is automatically wrong with us simply because we run out of bandwith and can’t perform perfectly in the world. No kidding kids that have hard time finishing books might have ADD. A busy adult trying to pleasure read is a different story.

    • I had a serious reading habit growing up — often 5+ books a week in Jr. High and High School. I basically stopped reading during college and law school, except on breaks.
      More recently, I’ve gotten back into reading, and now really enjoy it again. A few hints, if you want to head back in that direction:
      – pick material that matches your attention span. Short stories and young adult fiction were great for me for that purpose.
      – Get an ereader if you don’t have one. I use my kindle paperwhite, in combination with the kindle app on my phone, to sneak in reading during my commute, wait time, etc.

      • pugsnbourbon :

        Yes to short stories! I struggle with similar feelings, OP, and mine can be compounded by periodic depression. Short stories and helped, and so did carving out specific “reading” time.

    • I don’t read for fun. I’m not ashamed of that. I was a reader as a kid but that stopped around 9th grade. High school involved skimming required reading and reading cliff notes and it was enough to ace all the AP English classes. College — didn’t read 1 book — finance major, it was all about problem sets. Law school – no problem reading for school bc it was professional reading, didn’t read a single book. Post-law school (decade) – 1 think 0.5 books in 10 yrs.

      I read plenty for work and pretty much everything in Forbes and a decent amount of news and that’s it. I feel like fiction is a waste of time bc I don’t learn anything from it, and as for non fiction — that would be the financial news I read; I can’t force myself to read biographies or whatever just bc I “should.”

    • Still a reader :

      I noticed a couple of years ago that my attention span and reading comprehension skills of lengthy articles/books had drastically diminished. This observation freaked me out, and I decided that it was important to me to rebuild those skills. Like you, I was living a hectic lifestyle and spending a lot of time on the internet. For the past two years, I have made a deliberate effort to make time to disconnect from my phone (sometimes I turn it off or leave it in another room, sometimes I just put it on silent and flip it over so I can’t see it light up) and have “reading time.” Honestly, I love the time. I’m an introvert, so ymmv, but I’ve been loving the feeling of sitting in a silent room with a book, feeling the world slow down around me and letting myself enjoy immersing myself in a book. I set myself up with a reasonable (for me) yearly challenge on Goodread to keep me accountable, and I only read books that I want to read (as opposed to, what I think I should read).


    • My Kindle Paperwhite got me back into reading again. I can instantly download a book, so I never run out of reading material. It’s slim and lightweight, so I just throw it in my purse when I leave the house and read when I have downtime at a doctor’s appointment or when a friend is late to meet me somewhere. It’s also easy to read in the dark, so it’s perfect for when I have middle-of-the-night insomnia or when my husband wants to go to bed earlier than I do.

      Also, while I love my junky TV, I made a decision that I would only watch shows I DVR. This forces me to be somewhat selective about my terrible trash/sometimes really really good TV, and then I stick to what’s in the DVR. It helps me avoid channel-surfing and getting sucked in to the latest Bravo trainwreck (though I do sometimes cheat on this policy with the Cooking Channel or HGTV). Limiting my TV consumption in this way makes me more likely to read before bed. I’ve come to look forward to reading before bed so much that I often skip my TV time entirely and just read now.

  18. ISO long shawl cardigan :

    Can anyone recommend a long, shawl collar cashmere sweater? I’ve been looking all over and I can find ones that are almost right but then the collar is plain, or it has slits too high. I want to wear it with skirts, dresses as well as pants. Also, what color works best with navy and black? I’m thinking gray? I’m wary of shedding. This is for a birthday present for myself.

    • I bought a navy blue cardigan like this from Lord and Taylor last year based on recs from here. The cashmere quality is very nice. Thick and soft.

      I wear mine on weekends but would wear it to work if my work were less formal.

      They have it again this year.


      I don’t know what you meant by “slits” but I think this meets your criteria.

    • Would also appreciate rec for a belted, shawl like cashmere cardigan. Great time of year to get a good deal on a cashmere….

    • Late to the conversation, but I love camel or burgundy with both navy and black trousers/skirts/dresses.

  19. I have black shearling lined slippers and they are turning my feet black! I think it’s because I have been using lotion on my feet at night. It’s too late to return them and they were really expensive. Do any of you have any tricks for treating the shearling to remove the “loose” dye? I wrote to the manufacturer but no reply so far.

  20. Denver Question :

    Does anyone have recommendations for recruiters (executive or legal) in the Denver area?

  21. I’ve discovered my unicorn mascara – MaxFactor clump defy in the purple tube. Super easy to build, lengthens without heavy bulk, no clumping, and nearly waterproof. If you’re looking for a drugstore option, I highly recommend!

  22. Satchel strap ? :

    Does anyone else feel awkward carrying around a satchel? Is there a trick to carrying them around? I own a nice one (gift) but I feel really silly walking around with my arm bent and the strap on my forearm, or holding the handle with the purse so low. And I feel like using the detachable shoulder strap looks odd since the satchel strap is sticking up, too. Am I overly conscious of this? I’d like to get more use out of the bag but I always end up reaching for a shoulder bag instead.

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