Splurge Monday’s TPS Report: Advina Structured Woven Jacket

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

Roland Mouret Advina structured woven jacketHappy Monday! This orange jacket from Roland Mouret is perhaps just for the more creative power brokers among us (and the wealthier ones at that) but there is inspiration for all of us — love the 40s-by-way-of-the-80s vibe, the intriguing back, the very strong shoulders and large pockets, and, crazily enough, the orange and emerald color combo. The blazer is $1,817 at Net-a-Porter. Roland Mouret Advina structured woven jacket

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  1. stylishly pregnant? :

    Wow, that outfit would look great on…Halloween. :) Styling help threadjack:

    I’m about 5 months pregnant. I’m trying to really curb the amount of money I spend on maternity clothes, so I need to make every piece a workhorse.

    I bought this dress over the weekend. Today, I’m wearing it with black pumps and a black blazer. Can anyone help me out with other styling options? My workplace is on the formal side of casual/ on the casual side of biz casual (tech firm, jeans are OK but must be worn with a tucked in collared shirt for men, and with a blazer or fancy sweater for ladies). I have client meetings that are “suit friendly” but not suit required (eg. this dress with a blazer is fine; a cardi is too casual).


    • Famouscait :

      Find a sheer black blouse that you can wear underneath. Maybe with a tie neck that could come out the top.

      Can you wear a blouse or sweater over the dress so it functions as a skirt?

      • stylishly pregnant? :

        Hrm…I could…if I bought a maternity blouse/sweater. My current stuff would just sit too high these days.

      • You could also do a long-sleeved tissue tee underneath, depending on what the temps are like in your area of the country right now.

        I think a bright yellow or mustard sweater or jacket over the top would be great, or something similar to the shade of red in the dress. Great pick!

    • hellskitchen :

      This is a beautiful print. You could wear it with a jacket in any of the colors in the dress – gray, white, black. You said that a cardi is too casual for you, but could you wear it with a buttoned up structured cardi or sweater jacket so that it gives it more of a skirt-and-top effect than a dress? I have a couple of cardis in thicker materials with very structured shoulders that are in between a jacket and a true cardi and they are great for making my outfits more formal. A buttoned up structured cardi in grey with perhaps a statement necklace in black would look good with this dress

      • Diana Barry :

        Or red!

        I would definitely get some maternity sweaters to wear over and make it look like a skirt.

        This is a great basic-looking one:

        • hellskitchen :

          I might need to get this for myself! I am in my third trimester and all the reviews seem to indicate that it allows enough room to grow

          • stylishly pregnant? :

            There is a lot of room in here. I almost feel like it’s too big right now and will fill out as I get bigger.

      • stylishly pregnant? :

        Oh- cardis are fine for the office. Just not for the more-formal meetings I have to sometimes attend :)

        Just Black/maroon/white/grey cardis?

        • hellskitchen :

          I got the sense that you needed a more formal look but if you are open to branching out from red/white/black/grey, then I’d suggest a jacket or cardi in mustard yellow, perhaps with grey pumps. Of course I have a blind devotion to all shades of yellow so you may not like this combination as much as I would :-)

          • I look terrible in mustard but if one can wear it, I think it would look fab with these colors. Likewise, a green-family teal would look awesome, I think.

          • stylishly pregnant? :

            I *have* a cardi in yellow, and I think it’s a darker shade. will have to check. Great idea!

  2. Small Talk :

    Early TJ – how does one improve at making small talk? Prepare conversation topics/have a series of go-to funny stories? I normally am of the ask the other person lots of questions/let them do the talking persuasion, but I find that when interacting with another “listener”, I run out of things to say very quickly. It seems like such a frustratingly simple skill, but I’m struggling. Thanks!

    • AnonInfinity :

      The most important thing is practice. To get practice, you can go places alone, like museum openings or speeches. Go with a goal of talking to a few new people.

      As for the actual small talk, if you’re focused on sharing stories, it can be hard to work those in because it can seem forced. I will often ask people if they have any plans for the weekend, which can tell you a lot about the person and provide a starting point — sports, yard work, working, reading a book, spending time with grandkids, etc. Then I’ll try to talk about whatever topic that brought up.

    • If you know anyone who is especially good at it, try to attend events with them and just observe. This is a skill I don’t innately have whatsoever, and I only learned it by hanging out with “schmoozing” types frequently.

    • I read the book ‘The Art of Small Talk’ a couple of years ago, and the thing I remember most is to ask questions. Have a few questions in your mind that you could ask anyone, and then ask more questions based on the answers to your original question. “Seen any good movies lately? I haven’t seen that one – what did you like about it? or I liked that one too. What did you think about this aspect of the plot?”

      I’ve been putting it into practice and it does work for me most of the time because people like talking about themselves.

    • I agree with the poster’s. It is alway’s good to get alot of PRACTICE with freindly peeople first. Try talkeing with relatives at a gathering or picknick first. YOU know they will NOT diss you, but make sure you do NOT have food in your teeth. Alan once came to a family 4th of JULY event and he had alot of corn in his teeth, and his breathe was bad. FOOEY! My family was NOT overley impresed with him b/c of this and b/c he drank 4 beer’s and was burpeing alot when he talked. My dad realy said he was a mess.

      I should be sad b/c I stayed home this weekend waiteing for my guy to call, but he never did. I told Rosa and Rosa told Ed and Ed said he would look into it. Ed say’s he IS interested, but he is realy to shy for me. I am afraid that if we GOT married that I would have to sit on him before he gave me a BABY! DOUBEL FOOEY ON THAT. He is the ONLEY guy in along time that has not wanted to have sex with me. How can I tell him that I apreciate that witout him NEVER wanteing to have sex with me if we are MARRIED? This is walkeing a fine line.

      I am very busy prepareing motion’s for court that I have to upload by 3PM today for my court dates tomorrow. The manageing partner want’s to come with me to court. I think he does NOT have enough to do on his own so he is goeing to follow me around tomorrow. He also bought his 53 foot boat and told me that I can come out with mom and dad anytime after Memorial DAY! YAY!!!! I hope I have a guy to come with me tho. Philip better step up soon, b/c I need a MAN, not a boy! FOOEY!

    • I try to remember to ask open-ended questions and listen for cues in their answers for follow-ups. If someone mentions a kid, ask about their age, name whatever. If someone mentions a dog ask about the breed, do they have a walker, what dog park do they go to. I also try to have a stock set of questions based around what’s going on. Asking if people have plans for the weekend/upcoming holiday usually brings up lots things for follow-up questions. And you can always follow-up on “plans” the next time you see them. If you run out of things to ask about, you can always bring up an innocuous, but interesting topic and ask what they think. (“I heard we shouldn’t compare box-office opening weekends, because the movies open on so many screens and are so heavily advertised that it’s not “fair” to older films. Do you think fairness should matter in business rankings like that?” It’s offbeat, topical for summer and can be spun to either pop-culture or business convos.)

      Also remember small talk doesn’t need to be a huge long conversation. If you’re talking for more than thirty minutes, it’s not small talk anymore.

    • I think the advice to ask questions is good, but I know what you mean about encountering other listeners. When I’m talking to someone whose strategy also seems to be ‘ask other people lots of questions about themselves,’ it becomes clear we both prefer to listen, and for someone who is a listener, being asked many successive questions about myself feels like being grilled.

      I think it’s important to be able to share information about yourself, if it’s appropriate, and participate in the conversation more than just asking questions once it becomes clear the other person doesn’t just want to talk about herself. I usually try to think of a story or experience related to the one the other person just described (“You had a bad or amusing travel experience? Something similar happened to me in this other country when I…”). I also find knowing a bit about local politics and current events is helpful, not to introduce controversial topics with a stranger, but because it’s usually an easy thing to have a two-way conversation about (I read X, but you heard Y? I wonder what city council will do about Z?). If the other person is also a listener, I find it’s helpful to say things that make it easy for them to respond with a mild opinion, like “I liked this book we both read but I didn’t like how the author didn’t flesh out the backstory of character Z.” Give them something to which they can respond.

    • Divaliscious11 :

      Is it the actual talking or is it having something to talk about? If its the actual talking, join toastmasters or something similar. If its subject matter – that’s easier. Look at what you do now for news and current events and expand….

    • I also find that it can be helpful to comment on your shared circumstance. “Boy, that veggie dip is good! When do you think they will bring out the next course?” Or “Have you been here before?” Or “How do you know [the hostess of this party]?” or “Wow, what do you think of that piece of art?”

  3. This is a question for you confident women out there. As a definite introvert, I have a very difficult time in large social gatherings. If I could, I would avoid them, but I can’t. I always feel uncomfortable and awkward and never know what to say. This is true whether it’s a work function or a purely social function. Basically, I’m miserable the entire time and then go home and obsess over what I could have done differently, convinced that everyone else knew how uncomfortable I was. Any ideas on how to deal with this?

    • I think I’ve seen everyone I work with act like a buffoon at a business dinner at one point or another. I lost my dignity 2 years ago at a dinner with vendor-clients…I was swallowing wine when someone cracked a joke and I turned parts of the white table cloth pink. It was awful. I was mortified. Turns out, though, everyone (who mattered) was WASTED and the only person that remembers is a junior guy over at the client…who is my buddy.

      I’ve watched an SVP do tequila shots then faceplant into cake. Trust me, nobody remembers your awkward statements.

      • Ha! This is an amazing story. Moral: there will always be someone else to embarrass themselves.

    • I give myself a timeframe and stick to it. I often get the timing of the timeframe wrong (e.g. getting there before the crowd picks up), but I remind myself that going even for a short, awkward amount of time is better than sitting at home on the couch.

      • This definitely. I tell myself I get to go home at X time, and take a long shower and lie in bed and read/watch a movie, whatever, and as long as I’ve made an appearance for a while, I’m fulfilling my social duties and maintaining friendships/professional networks.

    • One thing to keep in mind might be that even seemingly “confident” women may not feel so assured inside. I frequently get complimented on how confident I am at networking in large gatherings even when I don’t know anyone there but TBH, I don’t actually enjoy it, often feel miserable inside or feel like I wasted my time. The only solution I have found to stop obsessing about it is “to stop obsessing about this” and focus my energy on trying to talk to people. I approach this with the mindset that it’s not my mandate to impress or dazzle the person I am speaking to – it’s a two way street so the other person needs to also impress me. I also keep a few phrases handy e.g. when I want to approach someone I might say “hi there, I promised myself I would talk to a few new people here” – it breaks the ice in a direct way but is not awkward. Ultimately, I have found that if I “act” confident then I feel confident.

      • This is me too. I try to fake confidence, pretend to act like I know I belong (because I do) and try to act like I don’t feel awkward. I hope it doesn’t show.

        I also give myself a goal, such as talk to 5 new people (or more likely, 3 new people) and before I can leave. Then at least I feel like I’ve accomplished something.

        And I’m finding the more I do it, the easier it is. The longer I go between networking opportunities, the more difficult it is again.

        And when I’m at a conference I try to do all my networking during the day so I can have my evenings to recharge.

    • As an INTJ who measures in the 90’s, percentile-wise, for each of the four components to INTJ, I regard these kind of events as mental and emotional torture. I devised a game which doesn’t make it pleasant, but does give me something to do and is productive. So long as the gathering is not too large to make this practical, my game is to have a goal of speaking to everyone there, hopefully with the result that afterwards I could tell a third party who someone is and who they are in the basic sense, or something interesting about them. I find it feasible to actually approach people I don’t know and start a conversation with them when I am on a “mission”, instead of trying trying to be sociable. There have been times when I’ve played my game very well and later had someone comment in how socially adept I am.
      Bwah hah hah hah : )

    • Young Consultant :

      I think one of the best things my mother ever convinced me of is that most people are only thinking about themselves most of the time. It allows me to give myself more a break, and not have so much post-event anxiety. Other people aren’t concerned about what you did, they are concerned about them and what they did.

      I second the tips the other commenters have given. The name of the game really is fake it till you make it. I always have so much anxiety over going to things, don’t want to go to them, don’t want to talk to anyone, think everyone will think I am weird/stupid/not part of their group. But, when I just convince myself to relax and realize that no one is paying that much attention to me, I normally have a really good time.

    • This is totally ok. I’m an extrovert, and even I need some time at home to recharge after networking events.

      Set realistic goals – it’s ok to just talk to a few people. If you go to an event and one new person gets your business card, that’s success. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself.

  4. trademark examining attorneys? :

    Ladies, are (or were) any of you trademark examining attorneys at the PTO? I’m trying to find out more information on the position, and realizing the gov’t is probably not hiring right now, I’d like to see what the job entails/advice for someone who is interested in pursuing this job in the future.

    • I can’t answer your questions, but was speaking with a PTO attornery this wekeend and they average over 800 applicants per job….ugh!

  5. It’s so sunny and bright and hot here today, I’m so happy. A week ago I’m pretty sure it was snowing. Also , this jacket sort of looks like a rectangle peplum, which I’m not into, but I do like the neckline.

    I went shopping last week for maxi dresses, and I’m short and a solid hourglass shape, so I sort of felt like I was wearing a mumu/tent with every dress that I tried on. I don’t think they made me look long/lean/airy/casuay+chic, which is the goal of my maxi dress shopping.

    How should I be styling maxi dresses to make them more flattering? Do I need to be belting maxi dresses? All the ones that just flow down look absolutely terrible on me, even though they’re the most comfortable and the ones that I’m drawn to. I also really like printed maxi dresses, but I end up looking like I’m being taken over by the print or that the print makes me look bigger than I am.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I wore a maxi dress this weekend. I had to try on a *lot* before I found one that fit well/looked good/didn’t make me look pregnant.

      I am of average height (about 5’5″) and I’m slim but my shape is very curvy/hourglass. I couldn’t do just long flowy no definition ones. The one I ended up getting was a solid color from Gap that had a halter neckline, a “waistband” right under my bust, and fits fairly slim through the tummy/hips. I find the strapless ones are almost always less flattering than ones that have straps.

      This is the closest I can find to what I have, from Gap’s current offerings (mine is still a bit different). The empire seam (mine is an actual strip of fabric that forms a waistband) helps it look less like a big pillow case.


      • This Gap one is gorgeous! Can’t justify $75 for it right now but man it’s tempting…

    • I have a colorblock maxi dress, with darker color around the (gathered) waist. It is very flattering. I could belt it but I don’t have a perfectly matching belt and it looks good enough without.
      The dress is by Romeo and Juliet Couture. I don’t think this model is available anymore but the brand has a few dresses that might work for your body type. They are also not overly long.

    • I look for maxi dresses with detail at the waist and have also styled them to define the waist by belting or wearing a chambray shirt tied at the bottom.

      I’m not a fan of this blazer at all, especially the odd tie in the back.

    • I am similar (32F, 5-4, with hips [and a bit of a belly]). I just got a great one from Old Navy for under $30. Will link below. I think the trick is that it has to have a true/well defined empire waist. Plus get it in petite. The ON dress was also relatively modest, although I may sew up the cleavage a bit. I can wear it with a normal bra, and it is totally not visible. The dress is basically the right length for me. If I were shorter, I might have it taken in at the shoulders as well. I found it to be stomach-flattering or at least disguising as well. I’m not sure that I look long and flowing and graceful, but I don’t feel like a dump truck in it.

      • Dress is at http://oldnavy.gap.com/browse/product.do?vid=1&pid=373445072. I got it in black. The fabric is also reasonably substantial. And it is gathered at the waist, which I like.

      • dancinglonghorn :

        I got this dress in black as well – I am 5’6”, 34F but a size 12 and I absolutely cannot wear the dress without a bra showing, even with a second base cami underneath (I always wear a cami underneath). I just always wear a jacket/cardi over it. so this may not work for you if you are especially modest.

    • I’m 5’2″ and 32-26-37ish. The maxi dresses that I wear are all more structured in fabric and silhouette. I haven’t found a jersey one that has looked right to me yet. I shy away from prints in general, so mine are also all solid colored. I also like clean lines, so my dresses skim my curves without clinging.

    • Maxis are tough. I am 5’7″ and have a similar body to momentofabsurdity (love the description! ” slim but my shape is very curvy/hourglass”).

      I got a few from Target. Empire waist is important, and more a column-style skirt. I didn’t want any where the skirt is A-line. It just becomes too unweidly.

      You also want to make sure it’s bias-cut or otherwise the print flatters the cut. Don’t get horizontal stripes, big flowers, or anything that makes you look bigger than you are. The print is part of the dress, too.

      Good luck! There’s one out there for you. :)

    • My best friend is 5’7 and has your proportions. My favorite maxi dress look of hers is this butter yellow one that is strapless with a sweetheart neckline and a braided detail all over the bust/waist and a knife-pleated skirt. It’s delicate but has very clearly defined textural differences that block out the body very clearly. Also one of those holy grail dresses that can be dressed up or down for almost any (non-work) occasion.

  6. Anon for this Threadjack :

    So I was wondering if any of you ladies had experience belonging to the Daughters of the American Revolution. I’m eligible, but have never joined because they seemed very conservative while I’m to the left of most people. But I’ve recently had several friends move out of the city (and several more seem to be planning on it) and my mind keeps coming back to, If I’m friendless I can always join the DAR.

    Not sure if it’s my subconscious being obnoxious or if it’s actually an idea worth exploring. I do like their scholarship and education programs. Anyone have any thoughts? I’d be joining a group in NYC if people think that would make a difference.

    • Interested in replies here too. I’m also eligible, I believe, but thought it skewed quite a bit older (I’m early 30’s).

    • I’m a member of the DAR in the Northeast. I don’t feel like my chapter is conservative and politics generally stay out of the conversation. The national organization leans conerservative, but it doesn’t really matter to us on a chapter level.

      My chapter is active and I’m on several committees. It’s a great way to meet people who share a similar interest in history, education, and service. I’ve met a lot of women with similar interests and a range of age groups and backgrounds. Try to do some research on specific chapters before you join to see if you like the level of commitment and their chosen meeting places and times.

      • This is going to sound snarky but is totally an honest question — Why does the group insist on certain lineage? If the purpose is history and education, and, I believe, a certain level of patriotism, why not open it to all US citizens? My family has been here almost 400 years and I’ll tell you, immigrants are often far more patriotic than any of my relatives. Why the focus on bloodlines when one of America’s core values is open opportunity for all, regardless of heritage?

        • Anon For This :

          +1 to this question. It seems like these types of groups belong in a different era? I was introduced to DAR when I was nominated to one of their state awards, only to find out that as an immigrant, I was not eligible. The whole thing was handled so poorly that I still cringe when I think about it, even though it has been 10+ years.

          • Huh. My only experience with DAR was at my naturalization ceremony. The DAR lady’s speech was very patronizing and it soured the experience for me a little.
            I apologize for off-topic.

        • Divaliscious11 :

          Yeah, pretty tough to prove lineage by molestation, or when it was illegal for both a relationship or for you to write….

        • I am an inactive member but here is my take: I see it as a way of documenting your lineage and belonging to an organization with other people who have the same ancestors in common. It was years of work for my great-uncle to trace our lineage back to the Boston Tea Party, American Revolution, and the Mayflower and I wanted a way to preserve this info for my future family line. Most of the people involved have an interest in geneology and 18th century American history too so it is a good way to find other people with similar specific interests. I would say though the main purpose is to document lineage and that is why it is not open to all.

          • Divaliscious11 :

            Documenting your lineage is tough when it was illegal for your ancestors to read or write….

            Mostly, I see it as perpetuating a myth … the we built this country etc…. meme that is decidedly false as the vast majority of the actual work was done by immigrants and slaves….

          • That is true and unfortunate but doesn’t mean that it is wrong for people who can document to do so.

            What myth is DAR perpetuating? The group exists because we share common ancestors, not because we believe they were the only people who built this county.
            My lineage also includes poor immigrants who came to the USA looking for work on the railroad and I am just as proud of their contributions to the building of this country too. The majority of members at my local DAR chapter are also descended from immigrants/slaves and feel the same way; we are just exploring one of the many, many lines of our lineage. Being a member of one of these organizations (DAR, SAR) doesn’t preclude someone from having an appreciation for the other people that had a hand in the development of this country.

        • It’s a lineage based society and has been since the late 19th century when it was founded. There’s a strong focus on genealogy and is an interest of many members. There are many great organizations out there who participate in patriotic, historic or educational activities. Those are a better fit for many people and many members are active in those as well.

          Yes the organization has a bad past when it comes to racial issues. Those actions don’t reflect my views or those of anyone in my chapter that I’ve spoken to about those events. OP you will likely find a similar reaction to the DAR in person. It’s unfortunate because I feel that my chapter and others do a lot of great service work.

          The average age of my chapter is probably in the 40s. I am quite a bit younger and still enjoy the company of most members. There are usually junior groups for members under 35 that are very active.

        • I’m a DAR member, and I see it as a way to celebrate our heritage and honor our ancestors by remembering them. I feel like I’m reaching out to family members I never got to know by learning about the time they lived in. My husband and I have made a real effort to expose our children to their Korean heritage (on his side), we also want them to know that there’s more to their American heritage than MTV and facebook. If my daughter ever wants to become a DAR member, I would certainly support her in doing so.

        • Agreed. I am probably eligible for DAR. I am very proud that one branch of my family was here when America started.

          But I am also just as proud of the other branches that were immigrants, and other branches that left the US to assist people in other countries during wartimes. And other branches that mined coal and brewed moonshine and grew vegetables and dairy cows in rural areas.

          There are lots of things I’m proud of. But I’m not going to join an organization that isn’t going to celebrate what makes America great – our diversity of cultures.

      • Anon for This :

        +1000. I’m curious as well. How does this organization not perpetuate “white privilege”? Yes, I went there.

        • From what I know about DAR, from my dad’s campaign to get me interested and my godmother’s participation, it’s a society for ladies who are interested in genealogy, history, philanthropy, and fancy teas. So if you are a lady who is interested in those things, I think it makes sense for you to gather with other like-minded individuals who come from a similar cultural and social background (because let’s be honest, for most of us the majority of our friends come from similar cultural and social backgrounds).

          As far as perpetuating white privilege, I think DAR absolutely does do that. But then so do many other institutions of American culture and government.

        • The one active DAR member I know doesn’t even attempt to hide her racism (i.e. she says outright that they moved to their town because there aren’t any people of color there).* She’s very active, so that’s left a sour taste in my mouth with respect to the whole organization.

          *What do you even do when someone says this during a conversation? I wasn’t in a situation where I could just leave, she clearly knew it was racist, and she didn’t continue in that line, so there wasn’t any point in saying I wasn’t comfortable with that line of discussion.

          • Anonymous :

            “I can’t believe you just said that,” making a face like she just said something disgusting.

    • My godmother is a semi-active member of the DC chapter. She uses it as a social outlet–it’s an excuse for her to get into the city for meetings, or the ballet or theater with other ladies from the chapter, stuff like that. She’s never mentioned them doing anything political, but then she’s pretty conservative herself. And FWIW, this may vary by chapter, but she’s one of the “youngsters” and she’s in her upper 60s…But if you’re interested and eligible, there’s no reason not to check it out in your city!

    • My family was affiliated with DAR. I went once… we made bonnets. Pass.

  7. Miss Behaved :

    Ugh. My stomach feels awful and I have a headache. Plus, I had a rough weekend. My brother had emergency surgery so I spent the weekend watching my nephew, who is adorable most of the time, but he was a bit clingy and fussy because he knew something was wrong.

    I spent a total of 2 1/2 hours at home all weekend. Went home Saturday night just to pack a bag and then I went back.

    Plus, my second cousin (who, admittedly, I haven’t seen in 10 years) OD’d yesterday.

    And it just kind of sucks to be feeling miserable physically, but know that I need to put that aside so I can help everyone else. I’m headed back to my brother’s house after work. He’ll likely be in the hospital for a few more days.

    Trying to cheer myself up by online shopping with money I shouldn’t be spending because I’ve had a few unexpected major expenses.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Ugh, that sounds awful. I hope your day gets better. Maybe tonight you can put on a fun kid friendly movie – finding Nemo? And snuggle up on the couch and get some rest!

      • Not Finding Nemo — the mom DIES at the beginning. Tangled or Kiki’s Delivery Service are the best no dead/sick parents movies. Or maybe Wall-E.

    • I’m so sorry! What an awful weekend. My sympathies.

    • You are a wonderful sister and aunt! Sorry you’re feeling terrible, and hope you take time to nurture or treat yourself. I’m sure your family really appreciates everything you’re doing.

    • You need some downtime! Treat yourself first. It’s like the oxygen mask – you can’t assist others until you are doing what you need to do for you.

  8. (former) Clueless Summer :

    Male fashion advice needed! Anyone have suggestions of casual shoes for men, that are NOT boat shoes? (He just won’t wear them.) They would have to look good with a pair of shorts or jeans or khakis, be a little preppy, and not be flip flops…any thoughts?

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      Canvas slip ons maybe? Like TOMS for dudes, in a neutral color?

    • Merrills or Keens? Those are more sporty than preppy, I suppose.

    • My husband tried the shoes at the link below yesterday. They were very comfortable and looked great; however, only white was available in store. I might order the taupe ones for him.

    • my h has some campers that he loves, but I couldn’t find any online like them. closest thing is the “romeo” style. they’re a casual, square ish toed oxford style. he also likes navy or grey espradrilles in the summer. i wouldn’t have thought they’d look good on him or that he’d like them, but they’re perfect.

    • Would he wear something like this from Born? http://www.zappos.com/born-bolt-chestnut?zlfid=111&recoName=zap_pdp_sub

      (See also Rockport, Clarks, etc.?) What about the casual oxfords that are so in right now?

    • Bucks or some other oxford (in a fun color if he’s into it, otherwise in a classic tan / gray), or a suede (no-tie, slip on) moccasin?



      Actually, Prada loafers are really what’s called for here:) Or, Lands End / LL Bean will have approximations that might do the trick.

    • My SO has slip on shoes from Born. He is also of the anti-boat shoes persuasion, and was able to find some comfortable shoes there that he likes. Perhaps if you went shopping for them at a Whole Earth Provisions (or REI?) type store, he’d feel less preppy about the whole thing?

      I realize that’s kind of a mind game, but hey, it works!

    • My husband wears slip on leather loafers with his jeans and khakis.

    • My husband likes driving shoes for this purpose.

  9. one-one-two-two :

    Threadjacking for a little Monday humor: does anyone have any funny tales of badly-behaved wedding guests to share? My fiance & I just started planning & we’re trying to prepare for the worst (and have a good laugh in the meantime)

    • One of my friends slept through the wedding ceremony because he was still drunk from the night before.

      It was a 5pm ceremony.

      Fortunately, he wasn’t in the wedding party!

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        My in-laws had a murphy bed in their room. This turned into all the older guests partying in there and closing themselves up in the murphy bed. My mother in laws friend missed our 2 pm ceremony because he was so hungover but he made it to the reception. What is funny is my husband and I were so worried about OUR friends ruining the ceremony by being drunk from the night before. We tried to make sure we did fun things that didn’t include drinking. We didn’t realize we had to police our parent’s friends too LOL. It made for a great story.

        Let me see. A couple other funny things happened. A local grocery store got an accidental shipment of bagged salad it couldn’t accept. The truck driver couldn’t return to work with the salad so the store said to go see my priest to see if he could use it for his soup kitchen. The 18 wheeler salad truck was parked alongside the church for the whole ceremony b/c the priest said he couldn’t unload it until after the wedding. I was completely oblivious to this but I guess the salad guy was handing out bags of salad to my guests.

        After the reception my husband and I were in a limo to our hotel for the night but all of our guests and wedding party was on a bus that ended up breaking down on the side of the highway. People still joke about it.

        • My mother STILL tells people about how her brothers (the ushers) at her wedding were late and/or missed the ceremony because they were too hung-over from the night before. Keep the wedding party sober if you can!

          • Well, my husband’s entire family on his dad’s side skipped the wedding because his uncle fell off the roof the night before. He was fine, but they all decided it was more important to “stay and take care of him” than come to the wedding. Luckily my MIL was able to get word to one of my aunts, and my aunt was able to tell the hotel in time for them to scale back the number of meals they prepared (since it was buffet) and they didn’t charge us for that table of 10. Yay for negotiating aunts – if you have any that are good at coordination/party planning, get them on board – my aunts were the ones that made sure things ran smoothly the day of the wedding and handled several logistical issues that I didn’t even know about until later.

            My father still talks about how he and some friends took my uncle out the night before his wedding and they all got really drunk – then the next day they were horribly hungover/still drunk and 2 of the groomsmen and the groom had to walk away during the service to throw up. The bride’s family thought the guys had got the stomach flu from the flower girl, who apparently had had it 2 days before.

            So yes, keeping the wedding party sober is definitely a good idea. Fathers too if possible – my cousin brought my father a giant bottle of gin the morning of my wedding when he dropped off his daughter (she was in the wedding party). They consumed quite a bit of it before the wedding, but luckily my father is happy-go-lucky when he’s been drinking (and my mom cut him off a couple hours before the ceremony) so he was just extra smily at the ceremony & reception.

    • Anonymoose :

      Some of my DH’s friends turned up late to one of their friend’s weddings because they flew to the complete wrong city (in the wrong state….in the midwest!) So they had to drive something like six or eight hours to get to the wedding – and of course they got really drunk the night before – so they got a really late start.

      Also, watch out for “open mic” toasts. I went to a wedding where the bride’s father’s business associate gave a toast that made clear he didn’t know the groom, only sort of knew the bride, and mostly talked about how the bride’s father was a bit crazy in college. It was weird. He was drunk as a skunk.

    • My friend’s sister gave a toast at her wedding that was so mean I almost expected someone to shout her down while she was talking. There’s humorous teasing, and then there’s embarrassing rudeness/bullying. Takeaways included:

      –You were always so annoying, following me around and trying to be friends with me
      –You’ve been in school forever, I can’t even keep track of what you’ve been doing or why
      –You dated a million losers before you met the groom, the whole family had basically given up hope
      –Finally your life is marginally acceptable, because you’re married like me! Cheers.

      • Man. That’s a sucky sister.

        Though in general, I don’t like “teasing/forced embarrassment” toasts. On a day/at an event where you’re honoring or celebrating someone, I never like watching toasts where it looks like the person is embarrassed, even if it’s humorous and NBD. I know it adds to the humor, but it always makes me uncomfortable that we celebrate someone’s achievements/accomplishments/milestones through toasts which make them mildly uncomfortable.

        • Anonymous :

          Oh, yeah. I heard one set of sisters go on about the bride’s past cocaine use. I think among them, the sisters have had a series of major issues (eating disorders, drug use, etc.), so I guess the parents already knew or were unphased. I was horrified, though.

      • hoola hoopa :

        Everyone was well behaved at our wedding, but here’s some from other weddings I’ve attended!
        Drunk groomsman dropped rings during ceremony… in grass. The entire wedding party and most of the first row were crawling all over the ground looking for them, and found them thank goodness. The bride looked completely graceful and composed the entire time, but she told me later that she wanted to beat the [email protected] out of him in the moment.
        I’ve seen a LOT of awkward toasts. Definitely do those at the beginning of the reception before people have had too much to drink. Innocent but waaaaaaaay too long. Inappropriate discussions of the couple’s sex life. I saw one best man who bragged all night that he was going to do the toast on the fly, only to stand up and completely freeze. The one that still makes me laugh is the maid of honor who toasted that she hoped the couple’s marriage would “last as long as their flowers,” which obviously made everyone cringe. Apparently the bride had used silk flowers, but none of the guests knew it. The bride spent the rest of the reception working that fact into small talk!

    • Anon for this :

      One of my parents’ friends managed to set their tablecloth on fire – they tipped over a candle and then tried to douse it with the nearest glass of something, which turned out to be whiskey or something that did not exactly quiet the flame. How I didn’t know this was happening at the time is entirely beyond me!

      • This happened at my SIL’s wedding. One of the drunken guests tossed his polyester napkin into the center of the table where tealights were burning. Luckily I happened to glance that way as it happened and hightailed it over there – the napkin melted but never ignited, luckily. I don’t think SIL knows, unless it showed up on the linen bill!

    • At one wedding I went to, the groomsmen and the groom’s father were drinking *during the ceremony*. They had pocket flasks.

      It was unbelievable.

      • My friend’s father-in-law was carrying around a silver can before their outdoor wedding. My then-husband thought it was a Barq’s but it was Coors.

      • this isnt normal?

    • I have a couple from my wedding –

      (1) My former boss stepped on the front trim of my dress and ripped it

      (2) The men at the wedding dropped my husband during the Horah

      (3) One of my bridesmaids stepped on the train of my dress and ripped it up the back

      (4) My uncle’s fiance flashed her business at everyone on the dance floor (she forgot to wear foundational pieces apparently); and

      (5) My mom broke up a fight between one of my husband’s groomsmen and the husband of one of my friends on the bus on the way back from the hotel.

      Hope that gives you some laughs.

    • My uncle and my brother came to my wedding together because my sister-in-law stayed home with my nephew who was an infant and my aunt had planned to take her grandchildren to Disney (I got married over Thanksgiving). My family were staying in the hotel where our reception was. My uncle had a bit too much to drink and peed off the second floor balcony some time late that night after the reception. My younger uncle was appalled. I heard the flight home was a bit rocky.

      • one-one-two-two :

        These are all hilarious (but I’m sorry they happened to all of you!) Let’s just hope everyone stays away from the booze pre-ceremony!

    • One of our groomsmen stole a giant inflatable Kanagaroo – a vacation bible school prop – from the church and the whole bridal party (except DH and I) took it out on the dance floor. I wasn’t thrilled at the time but now it makes me chuckle.

    • lucy stone :

      We had our reception at a golf course. Four of my sorority sister’s husbands decided to go play on the putting green, where the course had put clubs out for the little kids to play with. One then managed to break a club over his knee after he missed a shot. He owed the golf course a lot of money.

    • One of our guests almost got arrested by the Secret Service.

      • Snarkster :

        Is that all you’re going to tell us? Come on, give us some more backstory!

        • Our reception was near the White House and he thought it would be a good idea to share his opinions with the President afterwards. The bartenders were making some stiff drinks.

    • My DH’s half sister’s nephews (ages 3 and 5) were the only ones to get thrown out of our wedding. Literally, kicked out.

      Their mom just ignored them the whole time (and ignored the kid-friendly toys/books/puzzles we had out for them), let them run wild, and the caterers finally said they had to go because they were a tripping hazard.

      SIL was *pissed* but we thought her behavior was far worse than either the boys or the venue. You don’t let your kids run wild.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        That is great that the venue kicked them out, not your family.

        Also, to Bonnie, my husband has some good law enforcement stories of having to arrest people at weddings. My brother also catered at a wedding venue and frequently saw people get arrested there.

        When you think of it, weddings and funerals bring together people that normally avoid each other. Throw in alcohol and something is bound to happen.

    • Violet's Fan :

      My dad and his two brothers rented sailor suits and wore them to my aunt’s wedding, which was held on a riverboat. It was my aunt’s third wedding, and she has an amazing sense of humor, so it was all good fun. In other circumstances, however…

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        OMG this reminds me. I heard rumors of my dad bringing a fishing rod to a wedding at an aquarium before I was born. He did it as a joke and returned the fishing rod to his car without a scene.

    • Destination Wedding :

      I had a destination wedding. Towards the end of the wedding, one particular guest was extremely intoxicated. He took off his shirt and jumped into the ocean while everyone watched.

    • New Bride :

      I just got married two months ago.

      I had the flu. I was in bed all day the day before, and all day the day after.

      I didn’t drink, and so I got to drive my husband and his family home at the end of the night. My MIL thought it was because I was pregnant.

      In all seriousness, buy the book A Practical Wedding. They have a blog, too, but the book is way easier to digest. Best wedding planning book ever.

  10. OK, just reporting in to share that I appear to have achieved a modicum of success in figuring out the easiest way to pump at the office. (I know, this is so weird, but y’all are professional women and this DEFINITELY feels like a professional achievement!) I leave my pump at work. Purchased two wet bags off of Etsy in cute prints to stash my daily haul of bottles, parts, etc. in. All I have to bring to work each day is one wet bag and my little cooler pack with the ice thing inside. So much easier than hauling the pump back and forth…and more discreet than a large Ziploc stuffed in my work purse containing all of my pump parts. AND I got myself a hands-free bra so I can use the computer while pumping.

    Gah, what a pain. And just think, only 38 more weeks of this.

    • That’s a good idea on the wetbags, I never thought of that. I used a large zip-top lunchbag to hold my ziplocs full of parts and my icepack. The only problem was one of my coworkers had the same lunchbag, and I put mine in the communal fridge after I was done pumping until the end of the day – so I always made sure to put mine somewhere like the far bottom corner so she didn’t accidentally take home my bag at the end of the day instead of hers.

    • hoola hoopa :

      Woohoo! It really is an achievement to simplify it as much as possible.

      Leaving the pump is definitely the way to go. I like the idea of using wetbags instead of ziplocks.

    • pumped 1 yr ea for 3 kids :

      also recommend buying multiple sets of pump parts (the removable parts) so that you don’t have to wash every night…ie, one set at home in dishwasher while other set at home with you at work.

  11. I know this is always a good place for gift ideas so thought I would throw this out there – I need to get a gift for a female friend’s birthday. Looking to spend around $75- 100 and would prefer if it was something I could pick up in person as I need it in time for this weekend. She’s not dissimilar from the wonderful community of you smart, fashion-savvy ladies. If you were getting a random birthday gift in this price range,what would you want to get?

    • Splurgy clutch/scarf/perfume from a store with great return policy?

    • Anon in NYC :

      What does your friend like? Some ideas: fancy umbrella (there’s a store really close to Grand Central), a box of cheese and stuff from Murray’s, a package of classes at Soul Cycle/Flywheel/Barry’s Bootcamp.

      • hellskitchen :

        I second classes. Or a gift certificate to an activity that she may enjoy but is unlikely to spend on for herself. I got a trapeze class gift certificate for a friend from xperiencedays dot com and she loved it.

    • Kate Spade earrings or other similar item?

      A clutch or fun sparkly purse from Nordies or somewhere else?

      A fun kitchen thing from Crate & Barrel (ooh – or a fun platter or glass serving bowl….you kind of can’t have too many of those unless you live in a tiny NYC apartment, then you really really can.)

    • If she has an Ipad or e-reader, maybe a kind of indulgent case for it? I needed a case recently and realized I couldn’t bring myself to splurge on this item (which your price range would allow) but I would LOVE it if it showed up as a gift! And there are so many options out there. She’ll probably use it every day.

    • A fragrance sampler kit from Sephora, a gift certificate to a spa, or a membership to a yoga class or dance studio that she likes to go to!

    • Kendra Scott Elle or Danielle earrings, they go with everything. I love the new morther of pearl ones I just got a couple weeks ago. You can customize them (or she can) for no charge. I have so much of her line I would be embarsssed, if it wasn’t so wearable.

  12. Hive, help me gain perspective, please and thank you:
    A close friend i had known for years moved out of town five years ago. After her move she cut communication with me, not returning my phone calls, emails etc. For years I held onto my hurt feelings that she cut me out of her life. Obviously, she had her reasons and I can respect those now, whatever they are. I have accepted the situation for what it is and thought I would never see her again.
    So you can imagine my surprise at running into her yesterday. Honestly, I wasn’t sure whether to intetact with her or not, but we had a lovely, warm conversation and talked about getting together to catch up.
    Here’s where I need perspective : this chance meeting was emotional for me. I feel unsure: part of me is excited necause my friend I missed so much this whole time is back ( nearly all my close lady friends have moved out of town in the last 5 years ) and the other part is scared she will reject me again.
    How do I address this when we meet up? Do I say anything? Do I start fresh and let bygones be bygones?

    • Did she actively cut communication with you? Ie “I don’t want to be friends anymore” or did you just grow apart? It sounds like she actively said she didn’t want to be friends, so I would not meet up with her or be friends with her again. I would wish her the best and always be civil, but why do you want to be friends with her again? I guess it would depend on more detail about the end of the friendship part. You say you respect her reasons” but it sounds like you don’t even know what those reasons are?

    • A different perspective: She may not have cut you out of her life at all, at least not intentionally. About five years ago, I moved out of the city where I had gone to law school and worked for several years, and relocated several states away. And I lost touch with a LOT of people — not because I didn’t care about them or think about them a lot, but because I was scrambling trying to build a life in my new home with a new job and new people, and because at bottom I’m a really, REALLY crappy correspondent. Faceb**k (does that get moderated?) helps a lot with my ability to try to keep up with people, but I just am really awful at it. Also I hate talking on the phone. I’m blessed with a group of friends who know all this about me and who will just keep up with me in short notes and texts and visits when we can manage them, but I’d imagine I did hurt some people’s feelings.

      It may be that none of this applies to your friend, but I would say give her a chance and re-start the friendship. She may have had things going on in her life that you didn’t know about, or she may just not be good at long distance friendships. But close friends are hard to come by, and I wouldn’t throw one away without giving it a chance.

      • Anon in NYC :

        I agree. I had a close friend who moved across the country and basically stopped talking to me. She never had time to send a long email, hates the phone, and felt like she couldn’t just call for a 5 minute chat because it wouldn’t just be a 5 minute call, it’d be trying to catch up on months of our lives. I didn’t need long chats, but she feel inhibited by the idea of a long call, so my phone calls would go unanswered. We’re just in the early stages of reconnecting. We’ve come to the realization that texting each other is the best form of communication for her. But I totally get the hurt feelings – my feelings were hurt for a really long time.

        • Matilda, Anon in NYC, you have hit the nail on the head. I am pretty sure this is what happened. We were on goid terms when she moved away, and at the time I could tell she was dealing with a rough patch in her life trajectory, which was probably some of her reasons for moving.
          Cc, She never said she didn’t want to be friends. She just moved away and started her new life, without looking back. She isn’t good at keeping in touch, and I took it more personally than her other friends who understood this about her. But good point about moving on from toxic friends!

          And honestly, my original pkan was ro move on and be civil, but once we were face to face, i could tell she was genuinely glad to see me, and I don’t want to continue the rift.

          Please excuse typos, stupid phone driving me nuts :)

          • Anonymous :

            I still think its procede with caution. You seem way more emotionally invested, and this woman didn’t even tell you she had moved back.

      • Are you me? I’m also really bad at keeping in touch with people. I try my best, but I’ve definitely lost touch with too many people.

        I’ve actually taken to adding reminders to my calendar to remember to touch in with people every once and again.

        • Funny you should ask — I was about to ask Anon in NYC if her friend moved south, because I’m wondering if she’s someone I’ve lost!

          Calendar reminders are a brilliant idea — I’ve thought about just trying to add two people to my weekly to-do list, just to try to keep up with everyone…

    • I would acknowledge and cherish the history, which gives said person more of a chance than a stranger on the street, or some new acquaintance through some new activity, but proceed would caution?

      One of my best friends from college basically went MIA from all of us during the legal market crash and our various reactions have ranged from “we still love you and support you” to “I’ve basically given up on X person.”

      I think I fall in the, if you move back and want to restart a friendship, it’s not starting from zero, but we’re probably not picking up from bff, since the way she’s treated us is not as bffs.

    • I’d be cautious. I had a really close friend who I lost touch with in college in a similar way to what happened with your friend – she just stopped responding to my calls, emails, texts etc. Then I got back in touch with her about five years later also for similar reasons – I felt I’d been burned in the past, but didn’t have a lot of friends around any more since they’d all moved away and wanted to give it another shot. We got fairly close, I went to her wedding … and then she never spoke to me again. I reached out to her repeatedly about getting together after the wedding and she just flat out never responded. I have no idea why – certainly nothing happened at the wedding, we all had a good time. Kind of ticked me off too since I had just shelled out all kinds of money for her shower, engagement, wedding etc. and then it was like as soon as she got the goods I was no longer important. Frankly I think she’s just really self-absorbed and cares nothing about how her actions affect other people. Just keep in mind the mantra, fool me once shame on you, but fool me twice …. &@#* you.

    • A slightly different take on what happened (rather than she “cut communication with” you) is that you lost touch with a friend because of distance and life. I have certainly been in many situations where, regrettably, I lost touch with friends following a move or life change (and friends that lost touch with me), but for no reason other than life had taken us in separate directions. Some people, myself included, just aren’t very good at “keeping in touch.” So, without more, please don’t be hurt by what your friend has done; she may not have set out to “reject” you.
      When you next see her and are catching up, you may certainly mention that you are disappointed to have lost touch. This will allow her an opportunity to apologize for failing to respond to your emails or calls or, in the event something was “wrong,” to explain. But then, perhaps based on what she says, you can decide either to be friends with her or not or then let whatever the alternative is go.

      • Thank you all for ypur thoughtful, helpful responses. Will proceed with caution, manage my expectations, and see what happens. Feeling better about proceeding with a game plan!

        • I agree. When you see her again, acknowledge what happened. Ask her why she was totally MIA and never returned your emails or calls. It may seems tough to do this, but otherwise you’ll never know if she’s a real friend, and this will give you a chance to listen to her side of the story and understand why she did what she did. The assumptions you may be making about her could be wrong. It helps to actually talk about it. I think we are sometimes so afraid of confrontation we lose important opportunities to heal the past or patch up misunderstandings.

    • I think they way you address it is to say, “I’ve really missed you.”

      The end.

      Then listen, and be a friend.

  13. Need to vent. I HATE HATE HATE the health insurance industry. My insurance tripled the cost of my medicines and I can’t seem to get anybody to help me. I’ve now been on the phone for over an hour and am nowhere closer to a resolution.

    • If your insurance won’t budge, contact the manufacturer of the brand-name version of your drugs. Most large pharma companies have patient assistance programs that you may qualify for.

    • Ugh. Did a generic recently come out and you’re taking a name brand? My insurance only allows name brands on their preferred list (or whatever they call it) if there is no generic – once there is a generic the name brand goes to the non-preferred (more expensive or not covered) list.

      Also, are you using a retail pharmacy? Our health insurance has a policy where you can get so many 30 day prescription refills at the local pharmacy, but after 2 or 3 you have to change to 90 day mail order or they jack the rates way up.

      So sorry to hear this. I hate it too. All of my medicines come up on my insurance website with some kind of “not covered except reason 175” and then I have to sit on hold forever to find out that no one who answers phones knows what reason 175 is. Ugh, health insurance is such a pain!

    • The cost of the medicine has not gone up anywhere except the insurance pharmacy where they increased it by 300%. They already shipped and billed me. I could not get them to understand that the 50% copay was not a savings when they tripled the initial price. I would have paid less by getting it without insurance at Walgreens.

  14. therapy queries :

    I’ve recently started going to therapy – and I was hoping y’all could provide a little insight about the types of things that I should be talking about. I guess when I’m stressed, I talk about what stresses me, but otherwise, I am not really sure what to bring up, or how this is supposed to be helping. Maybe it’s too early (been going since february or so, once every 3-4 weeks), but whenever I leave a session, I sort of just feel like I enlightened this person about the nature of my life, and then that’s it.

    She also does my adderall prescription, so we talk about that for a chunk of time. I sometimes wonder how committed she is to helping me develop coping mechanisms outside of just prescribing me meds. I’ve mentioned that I would like to not be on the medications forever, and she says she understands, but I don’t know how to grow in this area of my life without just talking about the ways I was inefficient at work (which again, I feel like I spend a lot of time explaining how I work and the set up, and then time’s up).

    Is it that I just need somebody who I click with better? This is the second person I have seen. It just seems so expensive to go around and have initial sessions until I find the “right fit”, so I’d prefer to take more initiative with what I have and try to work within it.

    Lastly, I am looking for a different couples counselor in the baltimore/dc area, if anybody has any recs (or can point out what type of person to look for?). I feel like on psychology today everybody says they specialize in couples counseling, and a lot of people doing intimacy therapy (which is not something we struggle with). My SO and I struggle with communication when we fight, so would like to have some help developing those skills.

    Thanks in advance for any input you have!

    • anon for this :

      I have seen many different therapists and have had exactly the same experience you did. I’d go, the person would learn a lot about my life, depending on the therapist, they’d sometimes give me suggestions but usually never things I hadn’t thought of or tried myself. I sometimes struggled to figure out what to say about myself for the whole 55 minutes.

      Eventually, I just came to the conclusion that therapy wasn’t for me. Different strokes, you know? I always find it a bit patronizing when people tell me “Well you just never found the *right* therapist.” I think some people derive mental peace and comfort from “talking it out” with a therapist – but maybe I derive mine in a different way, like a long hike and time to think, where others wouldn’t find that helpful at all, you know? People are different and therapy is not a magical cure all to all life’s ills that everyone “should” be doing, which is the way I feel like it’s often presented among people I know.

    • big dipper :

      It sounds like you have a few options (re: your current therapist).

      (1) Talk to your therapist about what you’re hoping to get out of therapy. And in that conversation, ask her what she sees as the “path” for your therapy and how she’s hoping to get you to that goal. That way, she can discuss with you the types of things you can discuss in therapy or the types of homework assignments you can expect to get in the future to develop the skills you’re looking to develop. If you’don’t feel like that conversation is productive, you should probably switch therapists.

      (2) Just switch therapists now, because it seems like you haven’t “clicked” with her.

      (3) Just as background, if you’ve been going once every 3-4 weeks since February, you’ve only been 3-5 times. When I saw a therapist briefly, he told me upfront that he spends the first few sessions getting to know me, what issues I’m dealing with, and how I might react to different types of treatment plans. Then, after the first 2-3 sessions, he started assigning me “homework” which we’d discuss in therapy. It’s possible you’re therapist is still in the getting to know you phase and trying to figure out what will work best for you.

      Hope that’s helpful!

      • big dipper :

        Sorry, one more thing. It sounds like you are very “results oriented” re: your therapy, which I was too. I only went 4-5 times, and then discontinued because I was feeling less crippling anxiety and going to therapy was just stressing me out.

        However, over a year later, I have really improved a lot in my anxiety/eating issues which I attribute to my brief stint with this therapist. At the time I wasn’t ready to work through the issues he pointed out, or in a place I could try to do the simple things he asked of me,. But over the course of the past year I’ve been mindful of the insights he had into my personality, and have incorporated some of the things he asked of me, and it’s been very successful.

        At the time, I felt like I was floundering in therapy and that we weren’t connecting, or making at progress. But looking back, it’s really helped me move forward with my life and I’m super happy I went.

      • Senior Attorney :

        +1 for all of this

        Honestly, I think it would be super hard to get any traction in therapy if you are only going every 3-4 weeks. If you don’t feel like you want to switch therapists (and even if you do), can you switch to weekly sessions at least for a while, so you can get some momentum going?

    • Special Snowflake :

      Since you say this person does your adderall, does that mean she’s a psychiatrist? In my experience, shrinks are less helpful than LICSW or PsyD/PhDs in actual talk therapy. However, my current shrink is awesome. He spends a full hour talking with me, and is actually very against excessive prescriptions (he does my lexapro, but was pretty much against giving me any xanax or valium when I was having panic attacks- and lo and behold, I got through the anxiety without them).

      So definitely shop around if you don’t feel like you’re getting anywhere. A good therapist will look at your “I’m stressed, because this thing happened to me” and deconstruct it to figure out why this is an issue for you, and what you can do about your response to the situation so you don’t end up stressed (or anxious, depressed, whatever your problem may be). Until I found my current shrink I always saw an MD and a social worker or psychologist in addition for the talk therapy.

    • locomotive :

      part of therapy is that it is open ended and one thing that i do is describe one or multiple issues that i would like to work on in a session. i see elizabeth sloan in mclean, va and have been for 2 years and highly, highly recommend her.

    • Violet's Fan :

      It took me several tries before I found the right therapist for me, but it was worth it to me. I also agree that it sounds like you are not going very often at the beginning, at least. My experience has been to start off going once every week or two and after the relationship is established or I have tackled some of my more major issues I want to deal with, tapper off to less frequent visits until ending the therapy. This is how my son’s therapist handled his case, too. Once a week in the beginning, then once every two weeks, then a final check in after three weeks.

    • It sounds like you might like to try CBT — something that focuses on a specific problem (some aspect of your ADHD, maybe?) and changes your thought process to change your behavior. That’s about concrete, real world problems and solutions.

      And if you come across emotional difficulties you want to deal with, your therapist should be able to recommend someone else for you to do more “talk therapy” focused work.

  15. I’m unsure about this jacket, but I think if nothing else, I’m too short, and too young to pull it off.

    I have recently begun applying for new jobs (I’m a second-year attorney right now) and have been asked by one of the firms I applied with to send over references. There wasn’t any direction as to the number and kind of reference, but I’m planning to send two – my boss for two summers (at a huge corporation) when I was a law clerk during school, and the president of a charity org I volunteer with. But there are sort of sub-par references, right? I wish I could use my boss right now – he’d have glowing things to say about me, but for obvious reasons, that’s not practical. I don’t have anyone else in mind that I can use as a reference because they’d all be related to my current job. Can someone tell me that this happens all the time?

    On a slightly related note – I love my job and I’m scared to leave it for the unknown! It’s not difficult work, it’s definitely not long hours, and my boss is awesome, but it just feels like time to move on. I want to work hard and be pushed…but that’s a terrifying thought. I’m scared I’ll get to a new place and realize how good I had it and completely regret leaving. Has anyone been in this position? What happened in the end?

    Any thoughts you guys have on these things would be so much appreciated.

    • You summer job boss is a very good reference. Anyone else at that company you worked under who could speak on your behalf? A law school professor can also be a good reference if you’re only two years out (but only if s/he knows you well enough to really speak for you — the guy who only knows you because he taught the 100 people in your first year torts section probably doesn’t cut it).

      As for the president of the charity org, it depends on what kind of work the charity does and how involved you are. At your level, everyone already assumes you’re dependable, show up when you say you will, and are reasonably presentable. So if you just walk shelter dogs, or stock pantry shelves, that might not be the best reference. But if the work is more substantial, s/he may be a great reference. Is the president familiar with your analytical thinking? Your written work? How you approach problems and roadblocks? Your ability to work with others to achieve a difficult goal? If the answer is yes, then I would call that person a stellar reference.

    • Good for you! I’m in basically the same situation, without the act of having applied (yet). Am basically in a holding pattern because I am scared of the unknown as I have great hours and decent coworkers.

    • goldribbons :

      I think it’s fairly common to have your current boss as a reference, but tell the companies to which you apply that they cannot contact *that* reference until after extending an offer (or an offer contingent on recommendations checking out). I would not use the charity reference unless the charity is directly involved in the type of work you want to be doing. Good luck!

    • Thank you so much for your advice. I’m going to ask another attorney from summer job to be my second reference, and will also include my current boss with the above-mentioned caveat.

      Thanks again, and Anon – go for it, there’s no harm in seeing what’s our there and you have the fantastic position of being able to be very picky about your next step.

  16. vacation wardrobe :

    Dh and I are going to Italy in October and will be doing a lot of traveling around once we arrive as , of course, walking. Can anyone recommend cute comfortable sandals? I am looking for something that is a brown/camel color. Also, what are the best types of wrinkle resistant fabric to look for in travel clothing?

    • Check out Gentle Souls. I’ve never found more comfortable shoes for walking hilly, windy surfaces. I would also recommend you bring two pairs of shoes so you can alternate – wearing the same pair every day will be hard on your feet and your shoes. For Italy in October, I would make my second pair a closed shoe.

      As for fabrics, polyester & other synthetics are pretty hard to beat for wrinkle resistance but I find that if you pack well (roll everything carefully) you can get most wrinkles out with a good steam in the bathroom. I usually take some downy wrinkle release spray along, too, and give the item a good once over before turning on the shower.

    • Just last week I bought a fantastic pair of camel-coloured sandals made by Swedish Hasbeens. Since Hasbeens is a clog company, the soles are wooden. While the concept of wooden soles may not sound all that comfortable, this is the second pair of Hasbeens for me and I absolutely love them. I was just thinking yesterday, after walking to and from church in them, that they would be awesome as summer travel shoes. Highly recommended.

    • No shoes to recommend, but I strongly dis-recommend Danskos, or anything with a sole that thick. I kept getting mine stuck in cobblestones and tripping.

      For clothes, I’d take thicker knits, like ponte, which seems to recover from or resist wrinkles better than jersey.

      Also – a great book for finding meals is Great Eats by Sandra Gustafson. She covers Venice, Rome, Florence (and perhaps Naples and Milan, but we didn’t make it to either of those). Every meal we had on her recommendation was excellent, whether it was a 2 Euro sandwich or a multi-course dinner.

    • TO Lawyer :

      I recently just bought wedge sandals by Sam Edelman. I forgot what they’re called but the wedge is really low and they are SO comfy. I agree with the suggestion to alternate shoes every other day. When I was in Europe last, I didn’t buy special shoes but took two pairs of flats and alternating them every day was key in making sure I didn’t get too sore.

    • October can be wet in Tuscany and northwards. Don’t forget rain-proof gear and have back-up plans for the wet days, if that’s where you’re headed.

  17. Hi ladies,

    This is pretty random but: anyone here do needle point? I’d really like to learn how, but I’m not sure how to start. The internet has yielded lots of needle point “kits” with pre made designs, but I can’t find any designs that I actually like, and would prefer to just make my own. Is that just way too hard for a beginner? Must i start with a basket of puppies or a bible verse?
    Any advice would be much appreciated…(do I buy a book? Go to a craft store? order a kit online?)


    • big dipper :

      My mom loves needle point, so this is sort of the advice I’ve gathered from her over the years.

      I think that at first, you should try to learn with a pre=printed kit even though you’re not that into the puppies or bible verse. Also, you might be able to find a beginners kit online that’s less cheesy. Just for the first 1-3, so you can master the basic skills.

      I recommend watching YouTube video tutorials on how to do it. It’s much easier when you watch someone else do it, than reading the instructions on the page. My mom learned how to do some more complicated needle points via YouTube.

      Not great advice, but at least it’s something.

    • So this might not be your cup of tea, but none of the kits here: http://www.subversivecrossstitch.com/ have puppies or bible verses. They’re on the simple side, but might be a fun quick project to get started with. There are also PDF’s of patterns that aren’t sold as kits if you want to get the supplies separately.

    • Anonymous :

      If you can find a local needlepoint store, I would recommend going there. They will probably be very happy to give you a quick tutorial and you can buy a simple pattern there that appeals to you. Once you get through the first pattern, you should feel comfortable enough designing your own. Have fun!

    • Are you talking about cross stitch, embroidery, or the stuff on canvas (which is what is traditionally known as needlepoint, according to Wikipedia)?

      I’d agree with starting with a kit the first time around – something smallish so you don’t get frustrated before you finish. And I totally agree – most of the stuff I see is NOT my cup of tea (I cross stitch), but I’ve found a few themes that I like. Once you find one or two you like, search for other stuff by that particular “author”. And you really do want things that you like, because after putting all that time into it, it’s something you want to feel comfortable displaying.

      If you’re looking more in the cross stitch arena, I can further elaborate on where ‘ve gone to find patterns I like.

    • Anonymous :

      I have done both pre-printed canvas and counted cross-stitch kits, and I think that a simple counted cross-stitch actually would be easier to start with. When you are working with the printed pattern, you have to make sure your “x”s are uniform size, which I find difficult, whereas with counted cross-stitch you simply follow the holes in the fabric.

      I’ve done lots of samplers that are kind of classic and fun, with nary a puppy or a kitten in sight!

      Where are you located? The best way to start would be to go to a needlecraft store where the staff could explain/demonstrate how to get started. The second best option would be to go to a fabric store like Jo-Ann or Michael’s and hope that one of the staff has some experience. Even if you can’t find a shop where someone can help you in person, a kit will include instructions which are pretty easy to figure out. I recommend starting with a kit b/c it will have everything you need (floss, linen fabric on which to work the design, needle, pattern, etc.) except for an embroidery hoop which you can easily buy at a craft/fabric store or online.

      One more thing: if you decide to go the counted cross-stitch route, there is something called “petit point” which uses very tightly woven linen, which makes for extra small “x”s. The designs are more detailed and extremely lovely but it is considerably trickier due to the small size of the “x”s.

      Good luck and let us know what you end up making!!

    • hoola hoopa :

      You can also try searching for sashiko or japanese embroidery, which is often quite modern and minimalist. For cross stitch or tapestry, check out Emily Peacock, Alice Peterson, or Anna Maria Horner patterns/kits.

    • Wow, thanks!

      I think what I am referring to is needlepoint, as opposed to cross stitch. It sounds like a simple kit is probably the best way to go- maybe in combination with a trip to a craft store/you tube videos. If I can complete an easy kit, maybe I can try making my own.

      Thanks! Oh, and the subversive cross stitch website is hilarious.

    • New Bride :

      If you have a needlepoint shop in your area, they may have classes. I’m in a geographic area with a lot more quilt shops than needlepoint, but I bet they’d still have recommendations.

      I started cross-stitching as a kid and I still do it on holidays. The patterns are basically paint-by-number. All the beginner kits come with detailed instructions. (Puppies are tough, but you could start with some flowers. Michael’s/Jo-Ann/Walmart will have something.)

  18. new to fanfic :

    Too embarassing to ask anyone IRL. I just discovered adult fanfiction, M-rated aka “lemon” though I don’t know why it’s called that. I never got into romance novels but am really enjoying some of the well written Hunger Games fanfic and am looking for more well written, has a plot, true-to-character, non-alternate-universe fan fiction of other popular books, YA or otherwise. I came across a lot of horrifically written HG fanfic and am hoping to avoid that. Suggestions of authors or titles or sites are greatly appreciated.

    • Okay – not to admit to anything really – but I like AO3 (Archive of our own) and you can filter works there by a bunch of options (including fandom) – and rating and ship and whatever else you want. I find a good way to find better works than others is to sort by works within your preferred fandom that either have the most “kudos” or the most “hits” – is the crowd *always* right (nooooo) but its better than choosing randomly! Plus once you find a writer you like, they tend to write a bunch within the same fandom.

      Okay…done embarrassing myself now. Whatever, I’m on tumblr, what did you all expect?

    • Calibrachoa :

      I recommend Archve of Our Own as a starting point – TONS of stories, overall quality is good, and really great functionality. For example you an exclude anything tagged with “alternative universe” which would work well for you.

    • Anonymous :

      AO3 is the most popular option now I think, but there are also some other options. LiveJournal still has quite a bit of fanfiction on it — search for communities for the fandom or pairing you want. The other thing to do is google rec lists (almost any fandom will have them but some will be more abundant, like a “Harry Potter/Draco Malfoy rec list” search would get you 100 different lists for each genre and book period), which will hopefully pick out the best for you!

      There IS some good stuff to be found on Fanfiction.net but I would leave that to when you’re really desperate, or if anything is linked to there on a rec list.

    • Welcome to the club! You are definitely not the only one. I know lawyers, doctors, professors and (obviously) publishing professionals who are rabid fanfiction writers and connoisseurs. In addition to A03, I would recommend looking at some of the Big Bang competitions for your genre of choice (as people who commit to writing 50,000 word stories and have beta readers/editors tend to be higher in quality on average). There’s some amazing stuff out there!

    • The Sherlock fanfiction is absolutely amazing. Very hot stuff.

    • Joanna Toews :

      Seconding (fourthing?) the AO3 suggestion, and seconding TCFAG’s suggestion of sorting by “kudos”.

      Oh, and stay the $&@# away from fanfiction(dot)net.

      Good luck in your search!

  19. hoola hoopa :

    I think I already know the answer to this question, but maybe I’ll be surprised or maybe I’ll receive the ice water in the face that I need.

    I have an upcoming event celebrating an achievement of a friend. It’s not necessarily a gift-giving occasion (like a birthday or bridal shower), but I had been planning on getting her something. The plans were recently changed, and it’s now adult-only. My husband is unavailable (always has been and the party planner knew), and so I’ll need to hire a babysitter to watch my two kids. The cost of the babysitter (~$50) is more than I was planning on spending on a gift (~$30). We don’t have a standing babysitter (I haven’t used one in over a year), so I also have the hassle of finding one on short notice.

    Is it fair of me to decide to forgo the gift? We’re on a tight budget and honestly having this event go from a family-friendly get-together at someone’s home to a $100 night at a fine restaurant and a babysitter putting my kids to bed has me stressed out. I have no idea if others attending will bring a gift. I’d guess at least no more than half will.

    • Anonymous :

      Bring a nice card, with a thoughtful hand-written message inside. That is much more meaningful then a random gift that will likely be soon forgotten.

      • +1.

        If you wanted to spend a smidge more (and I mean, really a smidge) – you could go to CVS and have, like, a custom congratulations card printed with a picture of the person or of you and the person (not sure how close you are to the person – something to make it a tad more personal.

        Also, if they know your kids or like kids, you could get your kids to make them cards or a picture or something (when I took the bar, my upstairs neighbors had their kids make me a congratulations card and it was my most treasured bar related paraphernalia). But really, for my friends who have kids, I appreciate that they take the time to come out and see me when I know that its an inconvenience. Your presence really is your present. :-P

      • Senior Attorney :


      • Violet's Fan :

        The card is an excellent idea!

        Or…if you won’t enjoy attending and it’s not something that your friend will be hurt if you skip…just forego the event. Maybe get together for lunch sometime soon when your husband is around to watch your children.

    • hoola hoopa :

      Oh my gosh, THANK YOU. I was pleasantly surprised by the responses. My stress level is dropping…

      Violet’s Fan, I do that a lot but do feel I need (want) to attend this event. When the planner contacted me about the change of venue, they mentioned that another mom of young kids is going to leave early and that everyone would understand if I did the same – which I probably will.

  20. NYNY - paging brunette elle woods :

    Saw your comment about a huge medical bill on the weekend thread, but am posting here so you may see it.

    It sounds like the plastic surgeon does not participate in your insurance network, and this is the professional bill for the surgeon’s services. When a provider is out of network, s/he is allowed to bill you for full charges, so whatever your insurance covers is deducted from the charges, and you’re on the hook for the rest. Since you were sent to this provider through the ED, you may have some leverage; You didn’t choose an out-of-network provider, s/he was forced upon you.

    First thing, contact your insurance company and make sure you can review an EOB (explanation of benefits). This document should clearly state what the provider charged, what your insurance paid, and what your responsibility is. Also, make sure that the place of service for the bill is for Emergency Department and not office or outpatient.

    If your responsibility doesn’t match what the surgeon’s bill says, contact the customer service number on the bill and find out what they need to adjust off the balance. If it does match, find out what your portion entails. If it’s your deductible, then you may really owe that amount.

    Post again to let us know how it’s going.

    • In addition, if this is in fact the case – that it is an out of network provider who was provided by the hospital – many doctors offices will negotiate bills down substantially (to provide payment rather than getting no payment at all). They will also allow for payment plans or modified payment schedules (frequently with no interest). Sometimes this is all run through a central office at the hospital, though sometimes its through the individual doctor’s office.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Also want to add, despite the downside of the bill, the plastic surgeon was probably well worth it. I got my face whacked with a bat accidentally as a kid and split open the side of my nose. ER called in a plastic surgeon. My dad thought it was a bit overkill. The work he did is AMAZING. There was no permanent damage and barely a scar from the 5-7 stitches he did. The non-plastic surgeon had estimated more stitches, permanent scarring and potential disfigurement. Worth every penny and I thank my parents to this day for considering a plastic surgeon for a 7 year old necessary!!