Coffee Break: Nail Envy Nail Strengthener

I have always liked Nail Envy because it dries so quickly on my nails — I never have the patience to not type, swipe, or turn pages for the time it takes my nails to dry. So I was excited to see that Nail Envy now comes in colors, including the uber-popular pale pink Bubble Bath. I ordered the polish to check it out, and I like — just swiping on a single, light coat added considerable polish (ha) to my nails. The downside: It only lasted about a week by itself (no base or top coat), and maybe it was just me but I felt like it brought more attention to my unkempt cuticles. I’d say this is a winner if you’re looking for a quick and easy option between regular manicures — particularly because Nail Envy is renowned for its strengthening properties! — and not someone who (like me) is trying to shortcut a proper manicure entirely. Nail Envy comes in 10 colors at Amazon. OPI Nail Envy Nail Strengthener

This post contains affiliate links and Corporette® may earn commissions for purchases made through links in this post. For more details see here. Thank you so much for your support!


  1. Anonymous :

    I’ve been really questioning lately how to talk to my daughter (2.5 years old) about beauty. My first instinct is not to – I don’t tell her she’s pretty or beautiful because I don’t want to emphasize it. But then I read an article saying that little girls are more likely to believe they are beautiful if they are told it at a young age, which makes sense to me.. And beauty is going to be an issue in her life, unfortunately, so maybe I shouldn’t be avoiding it like I am.

    So, what do y’all do? What did your parents do? Do you think it worked well?

    • Anonymous :

      I think it’s okay to tell her she’s beautiful, just don’t make it the only thing you tell her, or the primary thing. The other thing is to help her find beauty/symmetry/awesomeness in lots of people/things, instead of focusing on conventional definitions of those things. Or explain why you think something is beautiful – the symmetry, the use of color, the surprise of it in it’s context, the silliness of it, etc. Show her how she can decide what beautiful is, instead of being stuck with a set of societal rules.

      • +1. My mom would tell me that I was beautiful when I was young and I really appreciated it and found it very comforting, especially when I was in those terribly awkward teenage years and felt anything but pretty. Boys weren’t telling me I was pretty so it felt good to hear it from someone else, even if that person was my mom. BUT, my mom always emphasized the importance of education and learning and would often point out others in our community who went to top colleges, got great grades, etc. So beauty was certainly not the focus.

        • Baconpancakes :

          Same. I believed I was beautiful growing up because my family told me I was, and that helped a lot with my self-esteem, but my mother praised my other attributes as much or more, so I also was proud of my intelligence, my creativity, my kindness, and my singing voice. I do still think I have a healthier self-image than I would’ve if my mother hadn’t told me I was beautiful though.

      • So much this. My SIL’s sister tells her girls they are beautiful (at the expense of everything) and I so, so wish that just once, she said, “You is kind, You is smart, You is important.” Or something like that. She emphasizes beauty so much and it has gone to the girls’ heads.

    • Anonymous :

      I don’t have girls and haven’t really thought about it. I sometimes say, “my handsome boys!” in the same way I say “my silly boys!” or “my lovely boys!” because it just comes out, but usually it’s a different adjective. I think my parents sometimes called me, “my beautiful girl” or something to that effect, but I always really understood it to mean, “my lovely girl” as in, “my daughter whom I love”.

    • How about defining beauty beyond looks, like she is a beautiful person because she is strong, kind, considerate, funny, smart, etc? I also think it is good for her to have physical attributes that she is proud of, even if those fall into conventional beauty categories- you have pretty eyes or your strong legs can help you run far. Mostly, speak positively about yourself and what you are proud of.

      • Anonymous :

        You can do what you want now bc she’s 2, but believe me by the time she’s 6 or 8 and around other girls — in no way will she believe beautiful means smart or kind. Beautiful will be about eyes, hair, face and frankly what gets noticed . . . not the fact that she gets straight As.

    • I struggle with this but I think it’s okay to compliment appearances as long as you also compliment other things. I think kids are very good at reading cues and figuring out what their parents and other role models value. In my family, it was being smart. Intelligent, intellectual, clever, brilliant, thoughtful, witty, funny, whatever – those were the dominant buzz words of praise when you talked about someone. Being kind and hard working was also “good.” Being good looking was nice and acknowledged, but much more of a genetic lottery kind of thing and not something they focused on. Like I knew I had beautiful hair but I also had a sense that I could claim no real credit for it. I think overall it served me well. I grew up wanting to be smart, finding witty, brainy boys attractive, etc. I have a healthy self esteem for the most part and I think of myself as “attractive” but I’ve never been focused on my looks.

      The one area where I think my parents could have made done better is with food. Whereas looks were treated as something nice to have but outside your control and therefore not worth worrying about, my mom was always concerned that I was going to be overweight. She mostly just tried to cook healthy things at home and not buy sweets and I was a totally normal weight kid, but I think I internalized it anyway. I was looking at pictures of myself in 6th grade recently and I was so freaking normal but yet in my mind I always thought of myself as borderline chubby or overweight when that wasn’t even close. To this day, my mom swears that it was all thanks to her that I’m not “fat” now, but I wonder how much healthier my attitude with food and my adolescent sense of self would be without her “intervention.”

    • A few thoughts–

      – I appreciated that my mom never had a “thing” about food/linking beauty to size/eating/ etc.
      – I would have appreciated a bit more guidance on appropriate grooming once I was a tween
      – I think it is important when you are remarking on how something looks, you make it about the clothing or the cosmetic, rather than about your daughter’s body. (e.g. “those pants are too baggy” vs “your legs are too stick-like” or “this pink would be more flattering with your skin tone than that coral” vs. *hysterical laughter* “you look like a clown!”)
      – Agree with all the other thoughts on talking about the different types of beauty– Personally, when I know someone who is beautiful but is a complete jerk, their beauty vanishes. Outer beauty is nothing without inner beauty and kindness.
      – I don’t make talking about or playing with makeup off limits. My kid sees me putting on my makeup and she wants to do it too, so I got her pretend makeup. I tell her it’s something I do for fun, because I like it, not because I need to.
      – I tell her she’s beautiful, but I also tell her she’s sweet or helpful or whatever is applicable in the situation. Everything in moderation, I suppose.

      • I will say that while my mom never really had a thing about my appearance, she was so critical and high pressure when it came to my academic life that I felt just as awful about myself as my friends with moms who were mean about their appearances. Just don’t be a critical jerk to your kid and it’ll be fine, is what I’m saying.

        • AnotherAnon :


          Friends of mine had adopted two girls from foster care years back. One of the girls had issues growing up and the mother made no bones about how those issues made raising her a royal PIA. We were at a pool party one day and being I hadn’t seen this young girl since she was just little, I went up to her and told her happy I was to see her and how she had grown up to be such a pretty young woman. She looked at me and said “Really?” and the look on her face absolutely broke my heart. It was plain to see that nobody had ever told her that before. When her mother got there, she gave the poor girl a royal chewing-out for not wearing a t-shirt over her bathing suit in the pool. It totally crushed the girl’s spirits and it made me mad because it ruined the girl’s good time (and her swimsuit was not revealing in any way, yet her mother’s behavior was reinforcing the negative body image the girl already had.)

          Tell your kids they’re pretty or handsome, tell them they’re smart. Build them up. It’s a rough world out there, and people can be cruel, especially kids toward other kids. Compliment them. Compliment others in front of them. Let them see kindness from you, not just toward them, but toward others. Let them hear a kind word. If they can’t see kindness at home, where are they going to see it?

    • “Do you know what makes you so beautiful? The way you shared your snack with your dad/the way you gave me a hug yesterday when you could tell I was feeling sad/the way you always give the dog lots of attention/etc.” This way, beauty is connected to acts of love and kindness toward others, not “your long hair makes you beautiful” which focuses on an external factor, one she could lose, and one that not everyone has.

      • A note on hair
        I have always had striking hair. It’s long, thick, blonde, and wavy. For my whole life, people have complimented it. Some of my earliest memories are of strangers in the grocery store saying “she has such beautiful hair!” This was further emphasized by what seems like every kids’ book aimed at little girls talking about what long, blonde hair the main character (princess) has. The best way to describe the effect this had on me is to quote Little Women when Amy says “Jo, your one beauty!” after she cuts her hair. I sincerely believed my hair was the only good thing about my appearance and I became extremely vain about it and paranoid about ever getting it cut.
        If there’s anything that other people always comment on about your daughter, go out of your way to let her know that one quality does not define who she is.

    • Anonymous :

      When my daughter was that age I did not tell her she was pretty or beautiful. I would praise her grooming, her dress, her behavior, and other things that were under her control, but never her genetics.

    • My parents were really good about complimenting me on things that weren’t physical beauty, but there was one trend that stuck with me negatively.
      My weight has always fluctuated a lot, and about the time I was in high school I realized that my mother only complimented my appearance when I weighed less. Even when I was younger than high school, she would say “wow! you look great!” when I was smaller and wouldn’t comment on my appearance when I was larger. Then, she would compliment my intelligence and other achievements. This became a weird complex where I heard “you’re so smart!” as “you’re fat right now so I have to find something else to compliment” and “you look great!” as “thank god you got skinny again.”
      I’m not even sure that it was conscious on her part, but she was responding to the social convention that skinny should be complimented and fat shouldn’t be. Avoid this bias as much as possible. If you ever compliment appearance, pay attention to when and why you’re complimenting it. “You always look so pretty in blue!” delivered consistently is much less harmful than “you look pretty in that blue dress!” delivered when the daughter is fulfilling a certain beauty standard.

      • +1 – totally me and my whole family, to this day. My mother put me on a diet when I was 11. I have yo-yo dieted my whole life trying to be the “good girl” and my metabolism is completely messed up.

    • I get your concern: too often society comments on and considers a woman’s looks first and above all else and that’s total BS. But I think going to the opposite extreme of _never_ telling your daughter she is beautiful is possibly not the best response. I can’t recall my mother ever telling me I was beautiful growing up. I still have trouble believing and accepting compliments on my attractiveness. Maybe that’s because she never said that to me, and maybe it’s not. I’m not really sure. It would’ve been nice to hear sometimes though.

    • Anonymous :

      Tell your daughter she is beautiful!!! She should know you think she is. Also tell her all the other wonderful things she is and does.

    • As a littel girl, I was ALWAYS told how beautiful I was, and when Rosa was born, she was even more beautiful, so she got all the praise. I think it is a good thing, tho now dad focuses ONLEY on my tuchus and tells me that I will NEVER land a guy with my tuchus being the landing strip that it is. Rosa turned out to be the real beauty, but now she has Ed to tell her about her beauty. I would settel for any guy with a bank account willing to MARRY me. I would NOT hesitate to have s-x with the RIGHT guy. YAY!!!

    • I tell my 4 year old she is beautiful, and I try to do it for actions/attitudes than looks. The only thing I probably do for looks is her smile, because I want her to always keep smiling! She has started to say “I’m so beautiful!”, and want the compliment on her looks (I’m assuming this is coming fr daycare) and I will say, “yes that is a very pretty dress you chose” or something similar.
      My mother was very anti-girly stuff – to work at beauty (through make up, waxing, etc) was seen as petty and useless. So we were told we were beautiful (my sisters and I) but caring about physical beauty was also poo-poo’d…so we were never clear on if it was a good thing. I was so interested in it all and had no clue – I couldn’t ask without told it was useless and I was embarrassed to ask friends because how did everyone already know all these things!
      As long as you are focusing on her beauty as a person, the rest will follow from society and she will have a solid base of understanding where her priorities should lie.

    • Personally, I think telling her she is beautiful is just fine. But emphasizing that shes beautiful because she is “kind, patient, etc, etc” inner beauty characteristics. There’s a saying in Arabic that says “half a person’s beauty comes from their mouth”, I think teaching kids things along this line is….needed.

    • Anonymous :

      My five yo Daughter is Super Super pretty and I struggle with this. I have gently told her that beauty is god given and the rest matters more. But she is maybe too young to appreciate this. I hope it will slowly sink in.

      Until then, Disney princesses rule….I am not going to make this a big deal. I’m confident she’ll turn out fine…proud of her abilities and confident in her beauty.

    • The concept of beauty and children in US culture is so interesting to me as a foreigner. Where I grew up (Scandinavian country), you would never refer to your child as beautiful and you would never tell them they’re beautiful (at least when I grew up in the socialist 80s, perhaps it has changed now) because the idea is that everyone is worthy and nobody is any different. When I first came to the US and heard (mostly men, actually) refer to their beautiful children, it sounded really jarring (like, “I have 3 beautiful children who are the love of my life”). Now I’ve learned that it’s just a cultural difference and a common term of endearment here.

    • More than what you tell her, be careful about what you say about yourself in front of her. My mother was absolutely stunning when I was growing up, but she constantly talked about her perceived imperfections. Her constant negative talk about herself made me think, by comparison, that I was incredibly unattractive and gave me so many tiny things to criticize about myself.

  2. Meal Prep :

    Yesterday I did a ton of meal prep for the week – marinated meats, chopped veggies, made rice and beans for burrito bowl lunches, etc. It was great but took maybe 2.5 hours total of my Sunday afternoon.

    I love to cook and usually spend an hour each weeknight cooking. But I’m really looking forward to getting that time back this week and less clean up! If you meal prep, how do you stay motivated and do you have tips for being extra quick?

    Bonus: Ideas for freezable hot lunches? Trying to get back into packing lunch but need things that I really look forward to!

    • Green Hat :

      I know some people are probably going to tell you to get an Instant Pot, but I find that I save a ton of time by using my rice cooker and a food processor. The rice cooker is great for cooking all sorts of grains and lentils, and even entire rice-based dishes (for instance, I throw butternut squash, rice, chickpeas, onions, and spices into it to make a butternut squash curry). My model also has an attachment you can use to steam veggies while you’re cooking. On the food processor front, I use the grating and slicing attachment on my Cuisinart for veggies – saves a ton of time cutting. Admittedly not the easiest cleanup, but it’s worth it if you’re doing everything at once.

      • I used a rice cooker for years for the same kinds of things (also had an insert for steaming veggies). It wasn’t until it died that I got an instant pot.

        I like my instant pot for doing meat (mostly because I can cook chicken from frozen or cook a whole chicken in 25 min when I’ve failed to plan appropriately), but I got by just fine using the method you describe for years, and actually kind of miss my rice cooker for doing smaller batches of rice (my instant pot is huge).

    • Constant Reader :

      The frozen lunch that I look forward to the most is sweet Italian chicken sausage mixed with your favorite bottled pasta sauce (I like Cucina and Amore Basilico) over fresh linguine, with some Parmigiano-Reggiano grated on top and then frozen. I do it in batches and it takes about 15 minutes to prepare four to six servings not counting the time to boil the water. Then I bring a small green salad to go with it. Coworkers are always showing up at my office asking what smells so delicious.

      I’m a big fan of high quality prepared sauces/bases (marinades, simmer sauces, etc.), add your protein/vegetables of choice, throw it on top of your starch or starch substitute of choice (couscous, rice, pasta, quinoa that I’ve toasted and cooked in the instant pot and then frozen in small containers) and freeze. It’s easy to add variety and flavor without laboriously learning a new cuisine, simplifies clean up, and lends itself to batch cooking. Also, you can use the same basic ingredients (for example, rotisserie chicken, root vegetables, legumes, etc. and combine them with different sauces/flavorings in a very efficient manner in an hour or so.

      Sometimes I do the “all Sunday afternoon cook from scratch” routine, but sometimes I just want to spend an hour and be sure I have at least a week’s worth of reasonable meals that aren’t always salads.

      • It’s all about the sauces for me too. Fresh salad dressing made with high quality vinegar, fresh pesto or chimichurri, tahini sauce, peanut sauce, etc. as well as lots of different kinds of hot sauces and mustards. My rotating bases of rice/quinoa/lentils with beans/tofu and veggies don’t change that much but I play a lot with sauces for variety. Chimichurri is my latest obsession.

        • That’s such an amazing idea and I can’t believe it has never occurred to me. I always want to try sauces but it isn’t worth it to make one for every meal. I’m off to choose a sauce for this week!

          • It’s a recent culinary development for me! I started with basic pesto and have progressed from there. I found that if you have a food processor and a collection of different types of oils and vinegars (I, uh, have many), it’s super simple to whip up almost any kind of sauce and it adds so much kick to otherwise simple ingredients.

    • Anonymous :

      Some things that I do:

      I meal plan but I also assign days to some meals. Like I want to eat roast chicken, but I need to do a buttermilk brine for 24-48 hours. So I have to mentally prepare my week around having certain meals on certain days. Or, I know that I want to eat X on Friday, so on Wednesday night I need to do Y.

      I pre-chop/wash all veggies and stick them in plastic bags or containers with a paper towel to soak up any moisture. I find that this helps most (not all) vegetables last a pretty long time in my fridge. Something that I do on occasion is to prep all of the vegetable components of a meal and combine them in one container (divided by paper towels or smaller containers/baggies) and then I can simply just pull out the container and make the recipe as needed.

      Pre-cooked lentils can last a week (or longer) in your fridge, so I find that that’s an easy base to cook on Sunday and use on Thursday/Friday.

      If I have time, I’ll try to do one small thing in the morning (note, this rarely happens). So if I want to coat some meat with cornstarch and let it sit for a while, I can get a head start on that the morning before work and then have that prepped ingredient sitting in the fridge for me when I get home.

      I pre-plan some very easy meals that basically require re-warming or boiling water. Like store-bought quiche (or easy frittata) + a bag of frozen peas is a completely acceptable weeknight meal for me. Another recent rotation is frozen tortellini mixed with frozen peas and broccoli and pesto.

      • Anonymous :

        OMG. Who cares that much about food that they’re thinking on Wed what they will eat on Friday!?

        • nasty woman :


          some of us also have very busy schedules and “planning ahead” ensures we’ll have healthy, delicious food to eat over the coming days.

        • I personally don’t (Fridays are for take-out!), but obviously this person does.

        • Anonymous :

          I think it’s less caring about the food and more caring about doing the chore of planning, cooking, eating in a way that is efficient and works best for the OP. Why does it bother YOU so much?

        • People who live in a rural area, who have no restaurants available but fast food, and who have to drive 15-20 minutes to a grocery store, and 40 minutes to a good grocery store had better be thinking about Friday’s food on Wednesday, or preferably much sooner. Ask me how I know.

        • Me.

          No one says you have to. No need to be so judgy.

        • Umm…all of us who enjoy eating and cooking? I live in the middle of a major metropolitan city and have lots of takeout and grocery store options. I still plan meals for the week during the weekend and right now I’m thinking about what I should make on Friday when I have an early day.

        • OMG. Who cares so little about their health, weight, and savings account that they DON’T have a plan on Wednesday for what they’re going to eat on Friday??!! What a bunch of wasteful morons.*

          Seriously though, why are you shocked that people meal plan? This is a known thing that many humans do. It’s Monday and I know what I’m eating on Friday (and the answer is frozen pizza because Fridays and Frozen Pizza start with the same two letters).

          *does not reflect poster’s actual beliefs about people who choose not to meal plan

          • S in Chicago :

            If I call it “thoroughly frozen pizza” can I do it Thursday? I never get tired of pizza. I might just decide on “Too much frozen pizza” Tuesday.

            This is why meal planning helps. I wouldn’t notice I’m eating frozen pizza every night. :)

        • Literally everyone who does meal planning and/or who wants to use up leftovers. You seriously care enough about someone else planning her meals for the week to leave a snarky comment? Meal planning a valid life skill that saves time and money. No one is forcing you to do it.

        • lost academic :

          I care because my family makes really unhealthy choices when we don’t plan, because we get to the point where my husband gets to the “HAVE TO EAT NOW OMG CAN’T PLAN FOOD NOW” stage with little warning and then there’s no time to prep let alone plan. This weekend I actually parked him at the table with our giant stack of recipes we like (we both do love to cook) and we meal planned every dinner this week, minus our night out, and then I went to the store and got what we needed. Because we have an Actual Plan the food isn’t going to go bad, and we’re going to make what we planned because we like it and everything’s there, which means no need for pizza just because we can’t plan.

        • This is a rude comment, sure, but it’s so unnecessary and pointless that I just … ha ha ha ha ha.

          I think about it, and I love cooking and eating well. A lot of interesting people do. The OP sounds awesome in her approach.

          • Anonymama :

            Hah, yeah, I couldn’t even get mad at it, it just felt like it was coming from someone so… young? That my reaction was more along the lines of “aww, sweetheart, some of us are grown ups, maybe someday you will be too.” Like how college students are sometimes so very certain about things that you admire their idealism, even as you also think they are ridiculous. And also, sometimes it is nice to cook and eat delicious food, and not eat frozen dinners or cold cereal because that’s all you have in your house (speaking from experience both ways).

        • Aunt Jamesina :

          Probably most of us. Join the dark side.

    • Pre-chopped veggies at TJ’s. Using all four stove tops, playing a podcast or movie in the background and taking my time to be methodical and relax. Actually not rushing will make it go faster.

      • Yes – TJ prechopped fresh veggies and their frozen sides (I like the Multigrain blend option) make meal planning easier. Add in a rotisserie chicken and the sauces above, and you have some easy and fast meals.

    • If you’re still reading – I just got the Cuisinart dicing food processor, and it is perfect for this situation. It’s kind of fiddly to clean, so it doesn’t save a ton of time if I’m chopping one onion. But for a week’s worth of meal prep, it cuts my chopping time by half or more (even including the cleanup time).

  3. Long rant after recent OB/gyn visit and thanks hive for warning me off, I should have listened! I wrote a few weeks ago about a dr’s office in my new city wanting to do a “new patient ” visit then a wellness visit separately. I told them prior to the appt., sorry, I don’t have any medical issues, I’d like to do this in a single visit. So I saw a nurse practitioner who took some med history and then did the Pap and exam.
    I now find I was billed for two visits. And they coded the Pap tests with the first visit so I have a copay for the Pap- and a copay for the so called second dr visit.
    The nurse practitioner suggested a few tests- iron , thyroid and hormone levels since I’m perimenopausal. The lab they sent these to, tried to extract full uninsured charges from me despite having my insurance info. Trust your instincts on this stuff guys- thanks to the people who suggested I run not walk from this new practice! The dr now wants me to come back to hear the results from these tests! (Maybe that will take a few visits:) to accomplish too).

    • anon a mouse :

      Call your insurance company and explain what’s going on. They should be a good advocate for you (and for them) to only pay for one visit.

    • Anonymous :

      Maybe this is just me but if a dr bills out things as separate visits and it doesn’t cost me or doesn’t cost me much – but saves me 2 visits by combining everything – I don’t have much problem with that. Yeah they shouldn’t be doing it but that’s between them and the insurance company. The lab issue — I’ve run into that before; the lab will bill as if you’re totally uninsured and then you get a huge bill only to learn later it’s bc they didn’t even run it through your insurance at all; I think most labs do this.

      • Yes this happens all the time to me with third party labs, it’s not necessarily some nefarious plot. I assume the dr office didn’t pass along the insurance info with the samples for testing. Just call up the lab and provide your insurance info, NBD.

      • Anonymous :

        And adding – don’t pay the lab bill right now. If you pay it technically you will get a refund when they put it through insurance but getting refunds out of the healthcare industry takes months. Call them now and ask – did you put this thru my insurance. They’ll say no — give them your insurance info and tell them to re-bill you just that amount that you need to cover; they will do that within hours/days and that new bill is the one you’ll pay.

        • ^ This, but don’t pay your portion until you receive an EOB (explanation of benefits) from your insurer.

          And definitely tell your insurance company that you only had a single wellness visit, including pap. You should have no out of pocket for that, thanks to the ACA.

    • That’s billing fraud. Talk to your insurance and their billing department. They should’ve billed a CPT code for a new visit base on the level of complexity along with some codes for the procedure but those shouldn’t get processed as two separate encounters on the same day.

      • I had a doctor do this –billed for THREE visits. I called the insurance company to complain, and the customer service rep said “well, it’s basically legit, and I agree it’s a waste, but it’s basically legit.” I never went back (doc was pretty judgey, so it was easy).

    • Thanks all. This probably just isn’t the right practice for me…my insurer got the lab on the line with me and they will send a new 10x lower bill reflecting allowable charges. I’m kind of a chump for not knowing to do that right away- my insurer said a lot of older people just pay the initial bill, scary and wicked in my opinion but good for me to learn! But lab absolutely had the insurance info and even offered to “resubmit ” for me!
      DH talked me down from the two visit issue. I don’t know if the office told the insurer it was 2 visits- the office told me that themselves, and they might have done the 2 coding above for the insurer correctly. I’ll consider myself lucky that as a new patient I’m healthy and only have 5 minutes of info to transmit. Nonetheless I think I’ll make the drive to my old dr in nearby town next time.

  4. Litigator :

    Litigators, I’m looking for your best pointers/tips for being the lead associate on a weeks-long federal court trial. Any words of wisdom or be-forewarned horror stories would be much appreciated. If it makes a difference to your answer, (1) I’ll be staying with the trial team at a hotel very near to my home and (2) I’m a mom to a toddler. Thank you!

    • Anonymous :

      Get yourself and other associates on a schedule as soon as you arrive at trial. Know what everyone is doing everyday. If all of you are in court until 5 — then it should be something like, return from court back to offices (local counsel?) at 5:30. Break until 6. At 6 we start – whatever – exhibits for the next day (usually the next next day); going thru witness outlines for tomorrow again etc. Or if not everyone goes to court every day then know what those associates are doing in the office all day — i.e. while we’re gone, do x for witness outlines or exhibits; we’ll discuss when we return etc. Time is at a premium and there will always be fire drills but you don’t want to get into a rhythm (bc you all will be so tired) that when there’s not a fire drill, you sit around the conference room. As the senior – the more you can stay ahead on, the better.

      As for the toddler thing — no idea — good luck. Hopefully he doesn’t have any sense of time yet so she/he won’t know how long you’re gone and hopefully you’ll be too busy to worry about it.

    • Anonymous :

      There are some good articles through the ABA Section of Litigation on this.

      Really quickly – the following come to mind: have a back up electronics box with extra cords/batteries/etc. and extra office supplies, like pens, post its etc. Pack or delegate someone else to pack things like nuts or trail bars for those days when the judge gives you a task that requires you to miss lunch.

      As for toddler, I did a multi-week trial out of town when my child was a toddler and have done weeks out of town when my child was a toddler. Figure out what works for you but I was a single parent. I managed this differently throughout the trial, but I had him enrolled temporarily in a day care near the court house and had a babysitter stay in the same hotel with the trial team.

    • Anonymous :

      Know the partners you’re dealing with and how testy they are. If they always have to have x brand of highlighter — bring them to save yourself the headache of them complaining that the associates (who are working 24-7) can’t do anything right. So basically ship/send ahead a few boxes of stationary that cover anything that anyone will need. Also send snacks – granola bars etc. – esp if you are not in a city; it’s easier if you’re in NYC and can walk across the street from a hotel day or night to get stuff but it is much harder in Wilmington Del or in a suburban location.

      Not everyone does this – but as a senior associate – I’d meet with the hotel manager when I arrived to let them know we are here for a trial, we have x number of rooms, and at times we may be making requests of you to print things etc for us/deliver to our rooms when the business center is closed etc. I’ve never had any decent hotel say no – but it is a lifesaver when some exhibit comes in the night before it’ll be used and partners are freaking out and the printer your brought isn’t working – to be able to call the front desk and say, if I email this to you, can you print 3 copies and I’ll be down in 5 min to get them? Obviously you need to be careful about this if opposing counsel is in the same hotel but honestly through a Confidential in the email subject and don’t worry about it.

      • Anonattorney :

        Honest question to the previous two posters: do associates handle these tasks at your firms? Getting stationery shipped; snacks for trial; tech equipment; etc.? That would be secretary or paralegal tasks at my firm, but I’m trying to figure out how other firms handle staffing.

    • Practical tips:

      Make sure you have a good printer available. Never rely on the hotel business center. Just ship a home office printer plus tons of toner. Plus, make sure it works with your computer.

      Delegate to a secretary or paralegal to make supply boxes for the war room and for the courtroom. Also, delegate to your secretary to verify everyone’s dietary restrictions. Nothing like overtired plus hangry associates.

      Get comfy every evening. All professionalism goes out the window when it is your fifth night with no sleep. Just embrace the yoga pants.

      Finally, do not be afraid to be a terrible person. If you haven’t slept in five days and your heel breaks, it is ok to give a goffer your credit card and tell them to buy you knew shoes. Or, other things that you would never imagine being that person. There is a whole team to support you during the trial, make use of them.

    • Anonymous :

      Overpack. Bring court suits, business casual for weekend/evenings with witnesses, and your favorite loungewear. Bring extra blouses, nylons, shoes, etc. so nothing is a disaster. I bring just add water oatmeal and soup so I can grab a bite without leaving my room, and snack bars so I don’t fall face down into the trial site cookies. Bring meds for your personal range of medical issues — I plan for allergies, migraines, and a sore knee. I also bring my personal case binders — the collections of stuff I keep in my office for reference.

    • Litigator :

      This is exactly the kind of information I was looking for. Thanks all!

      • Not trial, but I’ve been on similar multiweek business trips. Pack casual clothes as well, if you can squeeze them in!

  5. Anonymous :

    I’m attaching two documents to an email. Is it “Attached for your review is Doc A and Doc B” or “Attached for your review are Doc A and Doc B”?? I think the latter is grammatically correct but it sounds strange to me for some reason.

    • Anonymous :

      I’ve attached doc a and doc b for your review.
      Doc a and doc b are attached for your review.

    • Cornellian :

      I think it sounds strange because your brain is hearing “attached” as the noun, and think it’s singular. The latter is correct, but I wouldn’t lose sleep over it.

    • are

    • The second option. It’s two items that ARE attached. Try inverting the sentence and it will be clearer to you.

    • Anonattorney :

      Don’t use passive voice. “I have attached Doc A and B for your review.”

  6. What’s your favorite pair of strappy shoes for date night or an evening in Vegas? Preferably something that won’t murder my feet so I don’t mind $$.

    I feel like I’m totally out of the loop on what formal shoes people are wearing since there was so much recent sentiment around pumps feeling passé.

  7. Sunscreen recs? :

    I’m looking for recommendations for a sunscreen I can keep at work to put on my forearms and hands before going on my midday lunchtime walk. So, something that doesn’t smell like sunscreen, isn’t greasy, and doesn’t leave a white residue.

    What I’d really love is to slather my Biore Aqua Rich Watery Essence sunscreen all over my arms and hands, but that would be a bit too expensive!


    • Not cheap, but as someone who is cuckoo for sunscreen and has tried them all, my favorite sunscreen for body is Supergoop for these exact reasons. Not greasy, blends in very easily and quickly, smells fresh. (I actually really like the smell of sunscreen when it reminds me of a beach but it depresses me to smell it at work. ho hum!) The grease/blendable factor is big for daily wear because there are some clothes or bags that would show those kinds of grease marks and would make me really angry to ruin them.

    • Maybe your walks are longer than mine but I’ve had some success with an SPF 15 hand cream from target. It wasn’t cheap but wasn’t too expensive (12$?) and I’m much more likely to use because it’s super easy to just put on.

    • I keep a pump of Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion spf 15 on my desk. No discernible scent, not greasy – goes on like lotion, not white. Also way less expensive than Supergoop (which I also have and love but is $$$).

    • Anonymous :

      I like the baby sunscreen from Banana Boat. It’s unscented.

    • The japanese Nivea in a pump is exactly what I use for this (outside playdates, farmers market trips, tennis, etc.) – it runs from about $8 +shipping to $15 with free shipping on ebay/amazon/etc.

    • Min Donner :

      Coppertone Clearly Sheer – not expensive, not greasy, doesn’t irritate my sensitive skin, and doesn’t have a very strong scent.

  8. How to deal with dismissive senior colleagues? :

    I have been assigned to work for a powerful and senior female at my company. The opportunity was very exciting to me but after several months I am pulling out my hair at certain actions like:

    Not showing up to our scheduled meetings, telling me one thing and then telling my senior leadership something completely 100% different (trust me, no way to reconcile), never asking me for my opinion, discounting my opinion when I offer it and/or responding by asking me if I have discussed the issue with a former co-worker who no longer works with our group, various other third parties, etc. Frequently the answer is ‘yes and such and such agrees with me’ and there is no response or she will turn away from me. It is as though nothing I do or think is right or enough.

    Fwiw this senior person has no experience in the space and seems grateful for advice or guidance that comes from anybody other than me. I am an expert in my field but this situation is destroying me. I feel marginalized and disrespected on a daily basis. Any advice?

  9. [email protected] smoke from downstairs neighbors permeates into my apt :

    Is there anything I can do? I live in a state with currently ambiguous laws, not sure if their lease says anything (about it, I think mine just says no cigarettes/cigars). They moved in last week and my carpet already smells and I can smell it every time they light up.

    Apparently vents don’t connect so it’s just the smell from their place coming up their ceiling/my floors into my home.

    (PS not anti it in general, but also not wanting to smell like it or smell it- I have small pets and I work a gov’t job where it could start rumors or problems. I just signed my 1 yr lease last month and they moved in last week, so nothing is likely to change just by waiting, plus I love my place and don’t want to move.)

  10. laptop protection :

    How do you protect your PC laptop from cracking in the corners? I travel with mine often and twice in the past 5 yrs, the corner on the hinge side has cracked, which widens over time and makes it need to be replaced. (The 1st time TSA dropped it but didn’t replace/repair as they called it cosmetic damage, the 2nd time, I think I must have somehow.) I know @pple makes hard cases for their laptops but I’m not finding the same for PCs!

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      I don’t have a tip to prevent it, but I once had a computer repair guy tell me “I could replace the screen casing, or I could just superglue it together.” It was pretty old already, so I just had him glue it back together. It’s been fine.

      • This is the corner near the fan, the bottom, not the screen top area… it means that every time it opens/closes, the plastic becomes weaker, more dust gets in, and after a couple of weeks, it just gives out. I’ve tried epoxy, glues, etc. and nothing works and you can’t really just replace the case without significant cost. :(

  11. kitty question :

    Went out of town for 10 days and, while away, the pet sitter said the cat urinated twice on the rubber mat outside the litter box. (She’s about 8 yrs old and had never done that before.) I thought it was behavioral since I was away but she’s done it twice since I’ve been home and her urine smells super strong. No blood or signs of problem, no behavioral or eating/drinking changes, which seems not to indicate a UTI. I change the litter daily using the same clay litter she’s always had and have had her for almost 3 yrs without one single accident. Will take her to the vet this weekend but wondering if it’s something more obvious to long-time cat people, since she’s my first one and I’ve never had this happen.

    • I feel she may have become stressed by your absence. Is your cat familiar with the pet-sitter? If she is still doing this by the end of the week, I’d definitely take her to the vet.

    • Cats pee where they’ve peed before. If the mess wasn’t cleaned up with an enzymatic cleaner, the cat can still smell it and will pee there again. Try using Odo-ban or Nature’s Miracle on the mat. Or just replace it.

    • lost academic :

      Replace the mat. Also see if there was litter on the mat that might have attracted her on top of the other issues. I’ve cleaned the mats before if they’ve gotten peed on, but it’s honestly not worth the risk.

    • This may not be a big deal, but it could be a sign of the early stages of feline idiopathic cystitis. This isn’t a bacterial infection, but has many of the same symptoms, including painful urination and urinating outside the box. As you might guess from the “idiopathic,” it’s not very well understood, but the consensus is that stress is one of the major factors, so it’s certainly possible that the stress of you being away triggered it. My vet also mentioned that he sees more cases of it in the summer. There were a few medications our vet prescribed for short term flareups and otherwise it seems that the most important things were to get the cat to take in as much water as possible (wet food is one way to encourage this) and to do whatever we could to keep his stress level down (he’s a very high stress cat). This seems to have worked fairly well, though he’s been showing the early signs again recently (excessive digging in the litter and licking after), so we’re keeping a close eye on him right now.

  12. AnonBride :

    I’m getting married next year and work in an office that’s quite close-knit – a lot of the people here are best friends with each other outside of the office. One of my coworkers offered me some jewelry to wear and a dress (dress isn’t for wedding or rehearsal, but rather travels after the event). I took her up on her offer – it was so lovely of her! The only thing – I wasn’t originally planning on inviting anyone to the wedding from the office. I wanted it to be family and my friends from uni – same with my almost DH.

    My question is this- if you offered a coworker items to borrow for her wedding, would you feel obligated to invite her to the event? Is accepting unsolicited offers a guaranteed invite? After accepted her offers, I thought about what I should do as a thanks. I am struggling over this and would love feedback.

    • AnonBride :

      Let me clarify my last sentence – if you offered a coworker items to borrow for her wedding, would you expect to be invited?

      • Anonymous :

        Most would – yes.

        I think rule of thumb is if you’re in a small tight knit office and won’t be inviting anyone (or even in a larger office) – don’t talk about your wedding at work. Clearly you’ve been talking about it bc how else does she know you needed clothing/jewelry?? And since you’re in a small office – you either invite all or none. How many people is it? If it’s too many to add, then don’t invite her either but either don’t borrow her items (if there’s any graceful way to back out) or maybe do a thank you card for her for the items.

        • AnonBride :

          I’m quite private and haven’t been “advertising” it except for the ring on my finger and answering general questions (date? venue?) But I agree I blundered in my plan by accepting her nice gesture. Thank you :)

    • Senior Attorney :

      I think if you weren’t planning on inviting her, it was a mistake to take the items. At this point I feel like you are probably going to have to bite the bullet and invite everybody if that’s at all possible.

  13. Has anyone tried Betabrand shoes? I usually wear oxfords or booties, but need to replace some old flats I’ve worn out. Looking for something fairly supportive and durable – stylewise these seem to fit the bill. Rothys look similar, but the Betabrand shoes are at a significantly lower price point.

  14. I used Opi Nail Envy for quite a long time, two bottles’ worth, and found it did very little for my splitting and easily broken nails. Switched to Nailtiques Formula 2 a couple of months ago and it’s like a miracle. Very little breakage and my nails look great. And it dries just as fast as the Nail Envy.

  15. Lorelai Gilmore :

    Any recommendations for self-tanning products for the face? I have a tan for the first time in ages (recent vacation led to tanning, even though I used sunscreen!). Would love to keep the glow even though I don’t want the additional sun damage. Looking for a self-tanner, not a bronzer or a powder.

    • I like the Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Glow pads/wipes. The color is pretty natural and the application is foolproof.

    • Eeertmeert :

      The new L’Oreal Sublime Bronze serum. Easy to apply, doesn’t break me out, can build for deeper color over a few days. Dries quickly – really quickly!
      Smell is tropical, which I don’t mind. Pump bottle, available in drugstores.
      I use it around my eye area without issues, but ymmv.
      I use it for face & legs, and other brands for torso/arms.

    • Clarins Golden Glow Radiance Booster gives a natural color and is the only tanner I’ve put on my face that doesn’t cause break outs. It is a serum that you mix into your moisturizer before application.

    • Kate Somerville 360 Tanning Towelettes – they make small ones just for the face or larger full body ones. Very natural looking and doesn’t leave streaks

  16. Rookie nails question…can I go to a salon and ask for what would basically be a manicure without polish? I just want my nails “cleaned up.” I think guys can get these, right? What do I even ask for?

  17. to complain or not to complain :

    When living in an apartment (in an apartment building of 20+ units) and being bothered by someone else in the building, what do you think is fair to complain to mgmt. about and what is just something that you deal with for not living in a single family home? When do you decide whether to go to the tenant (who you do not know) vs. having mgmt. do it in hopes of avoiding retaliation or the like?

    How do you decide so you don’t suffer needlessly or become a whiny tenant?

    • Aunt Jamesina :

      I think it depends on the nature of the noise, how loud it is, the time of day, how often it repeats, and if you’ve already tried to talk to your neighbor about it or not. Don’t go to your landlord without first talking to your neighbor. Everyone’s tolerance for noise will be different.

    • Anonymous :

      Is this a noise issue or something else? For noise issues, the time of day is the biggest determining factor. I live in a condo building, so we have by-laws, but I seem to recall that when i rented, details like this would have been included in the lease. essentially, there should be some guidelines and guardrails that exist already, so I would start there.

    • Anonymous :

      After years of apartment living, I’ve switched more to the suck-it-up side. I HATE noise from upstairs and next door neighbors so much — so much that I’m finally looking to buy my own house where I won’t have to share walls. But I’ve just never had luck complaining to the neighbors or complaining to management (and I’ve lived in many buildings large and small). It’s honestly just so much less stressful for me to try to ignore noise the best I can and let it go when previously I’d be stewing in anger and frustration over how inconsiderate my neighbors were.

  18. Associate :

    Planning to repost on first article this morning but in case anyone checks: any good realtor recommendations for someone buying a house in the Baltimore, MD area? Outside the city, preferably someone with experience with the older houses in the area.

  19. This is a great color! Love nudes; especially for the office. I love that this one dries quickyly! I’ll give it a try

  20. The best nail strengthener, by far, is Duri Rejuvacote. I had weak, peeling nails that always looked ragged and low-class (for decades) until I discovered this product, and now my nails are so strong I have to clip and file them once a week. I have been using it for about two years and my nails are always perfect. They never tear or peel. It’s the best beauty product I’ve ever found, and no I do not have any financial itnerest in the company or the product! I’m just an astounded, super-happy consumer. But make sure you follow the directions.

  21. I love that it dries quickly too!

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