Coffee Break: Siren Call Flats

Seychelles Siren Call FlatsI originally had my eye on these 3.5″ wedge heels to post, but then I started looking through all of the Seychelles shoes (so. many. cute. wedges!) and found these adorable mini-wedges — basically flats. As I’ve said before, I personally have a heckuva time finding comfortable ballet flats, so I love any strappy flat — and here, where the strappy detail/cutouts add a ton of interest AND there’s a slight point to the toe, I’m drooling.  (I also hate when flats have such a rounded toe that they look like slippers with full-length trousers. Yes, I’m a weirdo.) They’re pretty reasonably priced, too: were $95, now $76 in black, brown, and yellow. Seychelles Siren Call Flats



  1. anonyomous :

    I just found out that my fiancée and I will be moving to London in early August! Exciting but also a bit overwhelming! Any tips on neighborhoods to live in? His office will be near the Euston Station. The move will be just for 2 years. We don’t have time to visit London before we move so any tips would be very much appreciated!

    • No tips but how exciting!! That is going to be such a fun adventure for you guys!

    • No tips but that sounds fun! And you seem to have the right attitude. Enjoy!

    • Anonymous :

      Budget!!!!! Is his company paying? Will the provide him with relocation assistance? A realtor for you to work with? There are many fabulous places to live, but it’s really not even with thinking about until you have a sense of your budget.

      • anonyomous :

        The contract is still being worked on. We just found out about this so we don’t have all the details at all. However recent people who moved got:
        All moving expenses such as:
        -Storage of things in the US paid for
        -Shipping container for furniture
        -Shipping of smaller items
        -Housing while we find a place etc.
        -lawyer to do all Visa work, taxes etc
        We get a monthly stipend for expenses which includes typically 4,000 per month for rent but we expect to need to pay out of pocket on top of that for a place.
        My fiancee hates a long commute so we will probably want to be near his work, I would prefer a two bedroom place because I expect to have a bunch of guests, I want a neighborhood with good cafes etc because I will probably be going back to school to get my behavioral analyst certificate and won’t want to go stir crazy in our apartment all day.

        • If you can find a place in Bloomsbury go for that. It’s near Euston, it’s young, it’s vibrant, it’s near all the museums…. can you tell it’s my dream to live in Bloomsbury?

    • Senior Attorney :

      SO FUN!! No advice, just want to say that I am (as my son would say) totes jelly!

    • No tips, but OMG! Please keep us up-to-date, because I am going to live vicariously through you. I would kill for this opportunity!

      • anonyomous :

        Thanks! Its great! We are both 27 and didn’t get to do any type of study abroad so are looking at this as our little study abroad trip.

    • FUN! My first tip to you would be to call the Junior League of London and ask to purchase a copy of their book called “Living in London.” Very helpful for expats…worth the $20. Just call the number on their website.

      Where will you be working…living along “the right” Tube line (or within an easy switch is key)? Budget? Subsidy? Size preference?

      Note that six month leases are really common in London, so if you are fine with doing two moves, you can test out a neighborhood before committing for a year. I would take a look at Foxtons website–they have some expat resources.

      • I would also add that if your husband is working in the City, you probably won’t want to live super-close…the fun neighborhoods are further afield, although there are a few nearby which are not awful. I can post an email address late to give you some help.

      • anonyomous :

        I don’t think I will be working. I am a special ed teacher now, and probably will take this opportunity to go back to school to get my behavior analyst certificate so I am a bit more flexible for travel and for visitors coming into town. I want to enjoy the move and not spend all the time working – I currently put in insane hours working at a job I love, but that doesn’t make sense for these next 2 years.

        He will be working right near the Euston Station.

        We are given a 4,000 a month rent stipend but can go over that if needed.

        We will want a place with 2 bedrooms (expecting a ton of guests) and I love to cook so a decent kitchen would be nice but I am used to a pretty small kitchen in the Bay Area now.

        Thank you for the book tip!

        • Anonymous :

          Marylebone, Mayfair, Regent’s Park would all be good starting points. Nearby, lovely. Maybe too pricey but a good few names to start googling.

        • The area right near Euston is not very nice in terms of somewhere you’d want to live. I would also strongly suggest Marylebone (mar-le-bun) or Regent’s Park if he needs to be at Euston. Those are your best bets. Mayfair can be a little chi-chi (and expensive) for my taste (but is right in the thick of things). Belsize Park is also a really lovely, more bucolic neighborhood, a bit further from the heart of London (Zone 2 on the Tube map), but has a great high street and awesome views as it’s a bit hilly. Another option on the other branch of the Northern Line (black lines of the Tube) would be Angel, which is a Tube stop in the borough of Islington. If you are closer to Angel (not further North in Islington), there’s a lot of nice housing and fun things to do in Angel as well. Still, I’d pick Marlyebone over Angel, all other things considered.

          My other big tip is that this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to travel, so you may want to live somewhere a smidge smaller if that would mean you’d have more money in your budget to travel on weekends too. You have easy flights to many places, so factor that in too.

        • Woods-comma-Elle :

          $4,000 is plenty, especially if you are willing to go a bit further out. The area around Euston is not that nice. Like Anon below, I would suggest Islington (not just because I live there). It’s very much a young professionals area with lots of restaurants and bars etc and it’s easy access into town. You could even walk to Euston from some parts, but if you live near Highbury, it is two stops on the tube to Euston. The places Anonymous at 3.08pm suggested are all lovely, but they are expensive, so what you could get for 4k in those areas is quite different to what you would get in cheaper areas. But you can generally get a VERY nice two-bed for $4k (take a look on Zoopla).

          I would avoid the Northern Line as it is the worst line (unreliable, overcrowded, always breaking down), but Hampstead is lovely and is on that line. Also, West Hampstead is a great area and popular with y0ung professionals, as well as Highgate (a bit further out).

          Feel free to drop me a line me if you would like to discuss more ellecommawoods at g mail, happy to help with any practical questions and congratulations on the move over to this side of the pond!

          • anonyomous :

            Thank you so much! I just found out that they house us for 1 month while we get time to search for a place so that will help out!

    • Also look at Islington. I used to live near the Angel tube station and loved the area – we were on a quiet back street and could walk everywhere.

    • Wow, how exciting! I am so envious! I studied abroad in law school and lived in a flat near the Goodge Street station (technically Fitzrovia), which wasn’t too far from Euston. I loved the area. It was expensive but really convenient–I was thrilled to be in the middle of everything and within walking distance of Soho and the West End. Most of my classmates lived where we had classes, up in Hampstead, which is beautiful and a quick commute on the Northern Line. If your husband’s company isn’t providing an agent, I can recommend Residential Land or Foxton’s. I worked with agents at both and had a good experience. They were my best resource when I was researching neighborhoods. Also–the blog Aspiring Kennedy might be helpful. She is in Notting Hill and writes a lot about being an expat in London.

      • I will elaborate that there’s not a ton of character near Goodge Street–there’s some chain cafes and a grocery store, offices and some university housing. We weren’t in the latter but there were still a fair number of students in our building. It’s centrally located, and Charlotte Street has great restaurants, but it’s otherwise not a very charming area. There are likely much nicer places to live for two years…I just loved being in London so much that I remember it very fondly! Good luck with all your planning!

    • I second looking at Angel/Islington area. It’s a very nice area with lots of shops and restaurants, a few theaters, good vibes.

      • I third Islington! Lived there during my secondment in London a few years back.

    • So jealous! I’ve spent four summers in London, the first in Uxbridge (too far out), the second two in Kilburn, and the most recent in West Hampstead, near the Heath/Kings College. I can’t recommend Kilburn/West Hampstead enough. I think you’re far enough north that it might be a touch cheaper than the Hyde Park area (ouf!), but still convenient (scoot down the Metropolitan line). And the Heath is lovely. Oh. So. Jealous. Did I mention jealous?

    • LondonLawyer :

      I go to Euston a lot from my place in Islington to work out with friends, and would strong recommend somewhere near Angel. Great/fun area, easy to get to Euston or King’s Cross or Central London.

    • I’d recommend checking out the Rightmove website and Rentonomy which has lots of data on each borough and some fun quizzes

  2. Equity's Darling :

    Sephora is having their 15% off sale- is anyone getting anything good? Stocking up on regular supplies?

    I don’t really need anything, but at the same time, it’s hard saying no to a sale at sephora…

    • TO Lawyer :

      I have a Sephora addiction so I definitely indulged this weekend. I bought foundation because I think I’m running low and I might as well replace it at 15% off. Plus a blush and lipstick I had been looking at for a couple months. Also stocked up on my favourite mascara. And some goodies I found in the check-out line… did I mention I have a Sephora addiction?

    • Diana Barry :

      Sephora started carrying Origins so I stock up on my moisturizer (a perfect world spf 25) when they have a sale. I also got one of the new Tarte blushes (cream/stain), which is really nice.

      • Do the cream blushes stay on better? I’ve been using Tarte Amazonian Clay but still don’t feel like it really stays on for a full day at the office.

      • TO Lawyer :

        What do you think of your origins moisturizer? I realized I probably need a new one with SPF since I am so bad about putting a separate sunscreen on this morning. Any other recommendations?

        • Diana Barry :

          Hm. I so rarely wear makeup for a full day that I have no idea about the blush’s staying power, sorry! Check out makeup alley dot com (all one word) – they have great reviews there.

          TO – I really like the spf origins moisturizer. It seems fairly light but leaves skin feeling nice all day, and I use quite a bit so I get the spf protection. If I am actually out during the day I reapply, but I am usually indoors (sigh). Be sure to get the one with spf – they make 2 that are identical except one has spf and the other doesn’t. I also don’t find any eye irritation with it like I did with others.

      • A Nonny Moose :

        Ha! Thanks for posting this. Going to origins to ask if they have a moisturizer with SPF is actually on my to do list. I love my current moisturizer but it doesn’t have SPF. I use origins face wash so I thought that’d be a good place to start my replacement search.

    • In the same vein, does anyone have a foundation or tinted moisturizer they love? I’m currently using Laura Mercier Illuminating but it’s getting too shiny for me. I have pale combination skin with olive undertones.

      • Anonymous :

        Not Sephora, but I love Sonia Kashuk’s tinted moisturizer at Target.

      • I have basically the same skin and I swear by Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream. Its a little more coverage than a tinted moisturizer, and I wear it every day as a light foundation.

      • I use the Garnier BB cream and it suits my pale, olivey complexion pretty well.

      • I use Laura Mercier’s primer and then Dr. Jart’s BB cream. It works well for my fair complexion and covers the red well.

      • I really like AmorePacific tinted moisturizer. I’ve also used Trish McEvoy (a little lighter), which is not sold at Sephora.

    • Have you tried Deborah Lippman’s gel lab? Capitol Hill Style recommended it, and I think I am going to give it a try. I love nail polish, and mine always chips.

      • TO Lawyer :

        I really want to try it but it has mixed (and many poor reviews) online. I think I’m going to try the smaller sample size before shelling out for the big set.

    • Threadjacking on this, but has anyone found a cruelty-free type of mascara that works well for them? I’ve tried using Tarte, and while I like the consistency of it (i.e., no clumping), it doesn’t do enough to lengthen my lashes or make them look fuller. Bonus if it’s available at Sephora.

      • A tip I found for making lashes look longer and fuller is to curl them before you add mascara.

      • Blonde Lawyer :


      • ugh I’ve had such a hard time with this…. I recently bought an “elf” mascara (target’s cheapie brand) and it’s all right, but not great. Clinique unfortunately is not cruelty free- and revlon isn’t anymore either (their mascaras suck anyway). have you tried tarte?

    • Anonymous :

      Grabbed new mascara and some UD stuff (it’s a nice discount on their eye shadow pallets).

    • I got Living Proof Restore shampoo and conditioner. Hoping it will bring my long, fine, damaged hair back to life.

    • Is there a code for it? Or do you have to be a member? I’m not seeing the sale on their website.

      • anonyomous :

        You have a VIB card and then there is a code, but it will only work if you are a VIB. You have to spend more than $350 in a year to up a Beauty Insider to a VIB.

      • The code is TICKET. You may have to sign up to be a “beauty insider” which is the ground level of their rewards program.

    • backgrounder :

      I bought UD Naked foundation and their makeup “prep” spray. I also went looking for NARS creamy concealer on the advice of some of the ladies on this board but they were sold out of my color in store #boo . I may go back later for their airbrush makeup brushes later!

    • Anyone know how long the Sephora sale will last?

    • I bought Tarte’s lights, camera, lashes mascara. I LOVE it!

  3. PSA – Target’s Clearance section (on the website) is full of ponte pencil skirts and various blazers. If you need some cheap backups you might want to check it out.

  4. Anonymous :

    Speaking of emergency preparedness….

    Over the weekend, my husband of nearly ten years had a first appointment with a therapist. After the appointment, he disclosed to me that he is depressed, and likely has been for a very, very long time. He also told me that he may have an attachment disorder (relayed from his therapist), as he feels primarily indifferent towards our two young children and everyone else in his life (parents, sibling, friends) other than me. He told me that he is not sure he has ever been happy during the years we have been together (nearly 14 years). Needless to say, I feel like I have had the air knocked out of me. I am worried that he may decide he doesn’t want to be married or a parent any longer, that he may leave or that for myself and our children, I may have to leave. Does anyone have any practical suggestions for steps to take to protect myself and my children at this point? Thank you all in advance.

    • Anonymous :

      Protect your finances and long term security, or protect your physical safety? If you’re concerned he may be violent call a domestic violence helpline They can help even if he hasn’t done anything yet.

    • Also nameless :


      I don’t know the answer, but I’m following with interest since a person close to me is in your boat.

    • Baconpancakes :

      Wow, I wish I had some advice for you, but all I have are hugs. This is really rough. I’m so sorry you’re going through this.

    • Obviously, this is incredibly upsetting for you, and I completely understand that. I’m responding as someone who has struggled with depression her entire adult life.

      1. It sounds like this is news to him as well, it’s possible that he’s spent years not understanding why he’s not happy or why he doesn’t feel like everyone else, and it’s a huge relief to be able to put a name to that. I would imagine that he wants to talk it out with you, more as a way of figuring out where he is with the person he trusts most than because he wants to convey information or his dissatisfaction to you.
      2. Depending on the circumstances, I think it’s likely that his statement that he doesn’t think he’s been happy in the time you’ve been together is more of a statement that he has been depressed that whole time, than commentary on your relationship. I think it’s pretty common, especially for people who are just coming to terms with their depression, to equate happiness with the state of not being depressed, which is obviously not true.
      3. This is actually probably a really good thing. Now that he knows what the problem is, he can get treatment and begin to get a handle on what’s happening to him.
      4. You might want to see if you can meet with his therapist either separately or with him, so that you can get a handle on what’s going on, and on the best ways to support him and protect himself.
      5. Read the hyperbole and a half depression posts (linked below) they are by far the best depiction of what it feels like to be depressed I’ve ever seen.

      Obviously, if you fear that you are actively in danger from him, you should take steps to remove yourself from the situation. It doesn’t sound like you are, though.

      • Diana Barry :

        This is great advice. Ditto to #4 especially, counseling for you both separately and together would probably also be good.

        As time goes on, I would worry more if your husband can’t or won’t follow through with treatment for his depression. One of my relatives was married to someone who was depressed and didn’t want to/couldn’t get treatment for it. She wanted him to get treatment, and so they were at an impasse and ended up getting divorced.

      • Totes Anon :

        I am a person who suffers from depression and I know that in my latest bout (which I’m getting out of), I felt like I hadn’t been happy in the previous 6 months. It was really hard for my husband to hear. And you know what? It had 0% to do with him and really everything to do with me and how the chemicals in my brain were interacting with my senses and perceptions. Once I got myself (back) to talk therapy, got on the right medications for me (with the help of a great psychiatrist) and started to see the light at the top of the hole (I’ve always imagined my depression to be a very deep well that I fall to the bottom of, then need to crawl up the muddy sides until I can see the light again), it was much better. The best thing my husband did was just encourage me to keep seeing my therapist, since weekly appointments can be tiring.

        • anonforthis :

          I totally use this analogy to try and explain my depression to others. I say it’s like I’m in a hole and I can’t see out.

      • Adding to this: OP, I know this is scary, upsetting, and may cause you to question a lot of aspects of your relationship. I will say this, though – he trusts you (and cares for you) enough to tell you this. I bet this was a really frightening thing for him to be able to admit. I have struggled with depression and I’ve been in a relationship with someone with untreated depression – while it makes sense for you to think about all of the possible outcomes, if he is committing to getting the help that he needs, his admission is only a good thing. This is a treatable disease – I’m living proof of that – and if he gets that treatment, it will be positive for your relationship and his parenting.

        It is really hard to be the partner of someone with depression, so please honor your own needs for support/caring (and your own emotions and responses) during this time.

    • Anonymous :

      OP here: I am not concerned for my or my children’s physical safety. I was thinking more in terms of long term and financial.

      • 1. couples counselling or individual counselling for you so you have someone to talk to about how this affects your family/how to cope while he is working on his depression.

        2. protect yourself financially so that if you feel the need to leave, you can.

        3. encourage your husband not to make decisions about marriage/parenthood until the depression has been treated.

        4. try not to judge – I had depression 15 years ago and I can still count on one hand the number of people who know, it can be really hard to admit.

        5. be cautious about the attachment issue until the depression has been treated – long term depression (even low level) could be at the root of not connecting with family members – when the world has no colour it can be hard to have functional meaningful relationships – getting the depression treated may help everything.

      • Silvercurls :

        Look for resources to help you (NAMI, National Alliance on Mental Illiness, www(dot)nami(dot)org has lots of state chapters; National Institute on Mental Health has information online).
        +1 to the advice to get therapy for yourself as well.
        +1 also to some of the other advice:
        – treat the depression first, then turn to the attachment issue
        – encourage your husband to wait until depression is treated before deciding re marriage/parenthood
        I’d encourage you to do the same also

        I can’t advise you about what to do financially, except to get advice from people who are wise about mental health, living with people with a mental illness, money, and marriage. I’m wondering whether, if he has never previously been financially unreliable, your husband might be distressed or offended to learn that you have reacted to his diagnosis by putting money where he cannot access it. If you can support yourself and your children on just your own money (salary + savings), could you safeguard money for your children’s education, your own retirement, and perhaps an emergency move to an apartment…but leave undisturbed your other shared finances (e.g. day-to-day checking account where your regular salary goes)? But, again, HUGE DISCLAIMER: I am by NO means an expert on any of these matters. These are just questions thought up by a well-intentioned but not well-informed commenter on this site.

        I hope things go well for you all in the long run. In the short term you will probably have some difficult moments. Take as much care of yourself as you can re getting rest, nutrition, and nonjudgmental, not-taking-sides emotional support from friends or family.

    • Moonstone :

      I’m sure this is scary, but remember he is the same person he was the day before therapy — except now he knows more about himself. I have been diagnosed with attachment disorder. It might be helpful to think of this as a spectrum, and not two camps: people who have no trouble with attachment and people who do. Even those of us who do have trouble can be pretty high-functioning parents, and I agree with other posters that his depression is also clouding the issue. Talk to a therapist for more info on what this means for your family. Best of luck.

    • Wow. What a conversation. I would have trouble processing it, too, if I were in your position.

      Unless this is absolutely a dealbreaker for you and you want out right now, for good, I’d sit with it a few weeks and figure out what is next for you and him.

      How scary that one therapist appointment could mean the end of his marriage.

    • NWanalyst :

      I’m also replying as someone who has struggled for years with my psychological health, after to a childhood full of some pretty incredible abuse. I’ve been with the same man for eight years now (we’re now married), and his support has been crucial to my recovery. Like your husband, I’ve struggled to form relationships with a lot of people, and DH has at times been my only confidante.

      DH has listened to me say things like, “I’m never happy”, “I don’t know how to be happy anymore”, “I hate my life”, etc. He’s been there for me when I’ve had actual suppressed memories return in the form of flashbacks, when I’ve forgotten that I’m safe and loved *now* and can only experience life through the filter of my trauma. And while I certainly don’t feel entitled to his support, I am incredibly grateful that DH has continued to be there. Has promised to *always* be there, no matter what. He seems to actually be able to separate his feelings about me-the-person from his feelings about my illness. Like me, he really wishes I could feel better, but he’s grown to understand that simply *wanting* to be “normal” doesn’t mean it’s going to happen today, this month, or even this year.

      I think that the most important thing you can do, at this point, is spend some time truly searching your feelings about this development. If I were in your husband’s position, I’d probably be both frightened and relieved, and I’d really want to share these things with my spouse. I’m surprised that your first response to his diagnosis was concern that he might just immediately make huge changes to his life. Has this been an issue with him before? If not, and particularly if you’re his only/primary relationship, I imagine that he’s likely to be more attached to you than ever. I can’t imagine him wanting to suddenly give up all that’s familiar and good (especially you) in the wake of such news.

      Now, all that in mind, this will take a toll on you…. that’s the nature of illness like this. I’d probably try to avoid making any snap decisions or judgments about what the diagnosis means for your life. It might be worthwhile for you to consult a mental health professional to explore your troubling feelings about the situation. Your mental state is important, too, and there’s no shame in getting help to deal with this sort of shock. Your concern about your children, in particular, might be a good topic to bring up in that conversation. It’s easy to fall into thinking “I’m the well one, he’s the sick one” at times like this, but I think mental health shouldn’t be taken for granted in anyone. When I read your post, the thing that stood out to me the most was that you’re hurting from this. That’s fair, and you need to be able to face that pain, sort through it, and know that whatever choices you make will be done mindfully.

      Good luck to the both of you at overcoming this challenge.

  5. Life Hack :

    I bought a pair of Bare Trap brand shoes this weekend at Famous Footwear and they are already coming apart. I’m planning to return them, but wondering if anyone has experience with this brand. In other words, should I get a new pair on the theory I just got a bad pair, or does this brand just suck?

    • nah, they’re a pretty disposable brand. I have a pair I wore into the ground because they were actually comfortable. But even if you got a ‘better’ pair in exchange they will probably only look nice for like 3-4 months.

  6. I am trying to find a pale pink blazer…Not antacid pink, but a more sedate shade. “Blush”? Preferably in a silky fabric. I was inspired at a thrift store when I found a cute one for $5 but it had a tiny stain on the sleeve and I didn’t want to take a chance it wouldn’t come out in dry cleaning (and then I’d be out $17 with dry cleaning cost added in). I’d like to stay under $100 for this. Anyone see something promising?


    • marketingchic :

      Look at Loft – they do a lot of pale pinks and have a drape-y blazer right now.

    • This one looks really pale.

    • Not sure I like the style of this one but:–1?ir_clickid=Ufow6uUHI0uwWqG17nxJKT9DUkTQohSuVWhSXU0&ir_cid=1354&ir_affid=57486&irpid=57486&utm_campaign=POPSUGAR&utm_source=ImpactRadius&utm_medium=Affiliates

  7. Exciting! :

    Ok so I have a dilemma–

    I’m a second year at a mid-sized firm doing work that I love. I just got a casual invite to “chat” with someone else at a much larger firm for substantially more money ($40k more). However, the position is in a completely different group (which means I’d be starting from scratch–which they know and don’t seem bothered by). In their words–we just need someone good.

    I’m really, really, really swayed–mosly because the new position would be for more money and with a MUCH larger firm. What should I do? I’m fairly certain I will begin exploring with the new firm (i.e. submit resume, meet people for lunch, etc.).

    Anyone have any thoughts?!

    • Wildkitten :

      What’s the dilemma?

      • Exciting! :

        the change. and the fact that I’d be starting over and starting from scratch after having developed almost 2 years of experience in a different area that I already know that I love. And I love my firm (the people, the culture, the practice area). So it’s more about the unknown and starting new.

    • Well, If I were YOU, I would go chat with them. They think your good, so that is a GOOD thing. The extra $40K is a good thing. The bigger firm may NOT be a good thing, but doeing nothing is NOT a good thing. You should ask them if they have a clotheing allowance, b/c that could be worth alot like it is for me here. I get alot of clotheing effectiveley FREE b/c I wear the clotheing ONLEY at work, so NOT only does the manageing partner pay alot of the cost, I also get the clotheing DEDUCTED from my income tax return, b/c it is NOT used exept when I go to court and at work so that I look proper for the JUDGE and win my cases (93%)!!! YAY!!!!!!

      I had another coment for one of the poster’s above who was goeing to London. Congrat’s! Remember that the Brit’s absolutely can NOT cook at all, so do NOT worry about loosing your fiancee to a woman who cook’s. Mom told me that Dad could NOT wait to get home after he was stationed in Britan b/c the food was so terible that he could not wait for Mom’s Brisket. He also wound up marrying Mom right away b/c she had other men interested in her brisket. They evidenteley did NOT care that mom’s tuchus was big, as was Grandma Trudy’s tuchus (which is still big). Men think thru their stomac’s so if you can cook, you will sureley MARRY your hubby to be.

      Also, since your onley 27 (I am 33), you have 6 more year’s b/f you need to worry about babie’s, but with all of the fuss in Britan about the royals and the babies, many Brit’s are getting pregnent right away b/c they want their child to be eligibel to MARRY the new king when he grow’s up, just like I thought Prince Harry would be OK if he did NOT party so much. Prince Willem is looseing his hair so I alway’s think of him like the manageing partner, but am sure Prince Willem has better breathe then the manageing partner, who is eateing alot of hardboiled eggs at work lateley. FOOEY!

    • I think you should think about how much your happiness is worth. It sounds like you are really enjoying yourself where you are, doing work that you love, with people you like, in an environment that is pleasant. A MUCH larger firm, emphasis yours, may not have any of these things. You may not like your new practice area, you may not like anyone you work with, and the environment may be extremely unpleasant. Honestly, there is not really a way to know that until you are in the thick of it unfortunately. Based on my own personal experience with a larger law firm, the $40k wouldn’t be worth it to me to leave the situation you have.

      • I agree with CountC. No harm in exploring the idea, but I would do a lot of due diligence to learn both about the new practice area and also the truth about the quality of life at the firm. I made a similar move (although at the time I truly believed I was joining a practice group that I wanted more than what I had at my old firm). Suffice it to say the money wasn’t worth it.

  8. CapHillAnon :

    Can anyone want to recommend her DC dermatologist? Prefer someone clinically-minded, and not so much cosmetic dermatology. Outside the city is fine.

  9. DH and I did our taxes yesterday. Due to not withholding enough throughout the year, we ended up with a HUGE tax bill. We did an in-person appointment with a major tax preparation company that left a LOT to be desired–we had to sit there with them for over 3 hours, critically analyze everything they entered into the forms, struggle to understand their questions, deal with computer/language issues, etc. At one point, the woman handed us the tax code and said, “you can figure it out if you want.” (!!!) The woman also ogled my Big Law salary as reflected on my W2 several times, as in “Wow! So much money!” In short, it was an extremely stressful process that left me feeling like we’re not getting the advice we should be and that maybe people with our kinds of income and tax situation (we own multiple rental properties and have stock investments) are supposed to use “real” accountants instead of just tax preparers.

    My questions: a) is this a correct assessment, or was this likely just one bad experience? b) how do you find a good accountant that is not too pricey? c) what is the average cost for an accountant (we paid $650 for the tax preparation yesterday); and d) how many exemptions/allowances is it smart to have on your W2 to avoid a ginormous tax bill come April (I currently have 2)?

    Thanks for any advice, my legal skills are failing me here!

    • Not a tax expert at all, or a tax professional in any capacity, but my thoughts are :

      a) Yes, you should have an actual accountant given your circumstances
      b) Ask around
      c) I don’t know (that’s less than we pay, but our situation is not as complex)
      d) I think it depends on your personal situation. I also have 2, and my tax bill every year is less than we pay the accountant.

    • I definitely think you should get an accountant. I’m a tax lawyer, and I would tell anyone with rental properties to hire an accountant. I’m sorry, but I don’t actually know how much it would cost.

    • Two people, no kids, big income and low mortgage interest rate can make for a big tax bill! If the issue is just underwithholding and your situation is straight forward otherwise (simple itemized return) there is a simple calculation sheet on the IRS website that you can use NOW to figure our how much extra to withhold from your and husband’s paycheck for the rest of the year to avoid the big bill. I have done it and it wasn’t hard, and I am not great at math – you just need both of your paychecks to get the initial numbers off of.

      • They have investments in rental property and stocks – not that straight forward.

    • CPA here. NEVER, let me repeat NEVER use a run of the mill tax prep company. The people that prepare the returns have about 2 weeks of training, where as a CPA has to attend college for 4-5 years and pass a very difficult exam. The firm I worked for (I’m now in-house) charged hourly to prepare a tax return. I would ask around your firm and see if someone has a recommendation for who to use. I’m sure 95% of the partners do not prepare their own returns, maybe ask them.

      Based on the following assumptions:

      You are both employees and are not self employed
      You have 3 (you say multiple, so more than 2) rental properties
      You have stock investments (maybe stock options as well?)
      You own your home

      I would charge about $1,300-$1,600 for this return (located in the mid-west) assuming all documentation is very well organized. So yes this is double what you paid yesterday, but you’re also dealing with people who know the tax law and will file your tax return accurately. Also, with someone of your income level and investment portfolio you might benefit from tax planning.

      • +1 – you get what you pay for. If you have a complicated situation, get a real accountant. What you pay them, you’ll save in headaches and probably recover in doing your taxes correctly.

    • No advice, but I am in a similar boat. Just doing the Turbotax this year and kind of regretting not getting a proper accountant. I get something like a $2000 refund and husband gets a $3000 tax bill (we’re filing separately for some complicated location issues). No idea how his withholding got so screwed up since we both have 1 each.

      • It is never more advantageous to file separately as the rate of tax is higher and many credits, deductions, etc. are limited for the married filing separately filing status. Your withholding is probably set to married 0, 1, or 2. This w/h level is generally going to be too low for someone filing MFS. I would make sure you really need to file separately for legal reasons, student loan reasons, etc.

        • Well, if the spouses aren’t living together (for whatever reason) and there are kids, then she could be dealing with a Head of Household status, which is different than MFS.

          But yes, MFS is always a filing status of last resort.

      • We’re going to check one last time this weekend, but as of now, there’s no appreciable difference to us filing separately vs. jointly (i.e., the total bill is $1000 is we file jointly). There might be a <$20 difference, but the annoying thing is that we lived part of the year in different states which means filling out complicated sets of state returns.

    • My parents started going to a tax accountant at a CPA firm when my mother was self-employed and my dad was being paid as a contractor plus mortgage, children, etc. They didn’t/don’t even make that much money, but it was so much safer when your situation is more complicated.

      As the above Anon said, ask around your friends/coworkers for a tax CPA firm that gets good referrals. Also, because my family had a relationship with their accountant, when I was in college and collecting random income in different states at different times through the year, they added me to the family’s tax preparing for a discount, and that saved me so much stress. So, there are more benefits in the long term to having an accountant who knows you, your financial situation and your history.

    • Meg Murry :

      I went to an H&R Block once and basically had to do a “MOOOOVE” (a la this SNL character ) and type myself. Their storefront preparers are basically just using the software aimed at home users which just asks you a million questions (I hate it, I prefer TurboTax).
      We own rental properties and do our own taxes with TurboTax, but if you aren’t willing to spend the time on that pay for a real accountant. Honestly, the part of “doing our taxes” where we spend time actually entering information is minimal (1-3 hours at most), its FINDING all those pieces of backup paperwork that really takes a huge chunk of time for us.

    • I would ABSOLUTELY get a professional CPA. I would give that advice (and do) for anyone with stocks/investments and a mortgage. Rental properties and owning businesses or being a firm partner make it even more complicated.

      (Very likely not for this year, as taxes are due in a week.)

      When I was looking for one, I googled for my state’s CPA professional membership organization and then looked down the membership list until I found a woman-owned firm.

      I pay probably three times what you paid, but all the things I list above that makes your situation more complicated are true for me. I also have some other complicated things, and I’m in my early 30s. Plus student loans. But CPAs also help you if you’re audited, and give you advice throughout the year to reduce your tax burden.

      They are 100% worth it, IMO. I have also been recommending mine all week to professional colleagues too. :)

    • What an awful experience! (I don’t know what is worse–the comments about your salary or handing you the tax code.) My husband and I spend about $2,000 (major city on west coast) for a CPA to prepare our returns and have a situation slighly more straight forward than yours. We each spend about an hour between pulling together documents, answering her questions (which are minor) via email, and reviewing the returns. I balked when we first hired her but she is worth every penny and then some. Honestly, if she charged us twice as much, I would pay it without a second thought.

      One of the best things our CPA did last year was calculate for us what she anticipated our 2013 taxes to be so that we could direct our employers to withhold additional amounts from each paycheck. She was pretty close to accurate. (I think we are getting back $800 this year– a little high, but okay given that the primary goal was to ensure we wouldn’t be fined because we didn’t withhold enough.)

      I would use word of mouth to find someone. (Although at my firm, virtually no one uses an accountant, which blows my mind.) Do you have an investment advisor or someone similar? We found our accountant through a friend who is a wealth manager for very high net worth individuals–which we are not, but he knows a lot of people in the industry and was able to give us several names, some of which were over qualified and too expensive, but others of which were well suited to our situation.

    • Wildkitten :

      It’s my understanding that my hair salon is subject to more regulation than a “tax preparer.”

    • I’m a CPA- the extra tax bill is likely from your income that you are not paying withholding on (e.g., rental income probably). Increasing your working withholding is like robbing Peter to pay Paul – its probably better to just assume that for each rent check you get, you’ll need to pay x% in taxes come tax time and put that in a separate savings account. That way, your self-withholding will be directly tied to your rental income (so for instance if your rental income really increases one year and your extra exemptions don’t cover it, you don’t get hit with a big bill).

      • This post makes no sense. Why is increasing your withholding robbing Peter to pay Paul? It’s exactly the same as making estimated tax payments, it’s just through payroll withholding. Also, the rentals may not even generate taxable income. Most people are close to breaking even on rentals for tax purposes.

        • Its just shifting the burden of withholding. My point is more that the OP would be better served in the long run figuring out what income is generating the tax liability and tying the withholding to that income. That way, if that income fluctuates, the withholding will be appropriately adjusted. I see folk trying to adjust their W4 for extra an extra liability from self-employment income (for instance)- then they get suprised when they make more in SE income but didn’t withhold enough (because if their total income is tied to X source + Y source = Total Income, taking double the % of X may or may not be directly related to how Y varies). So my analogy about Peter and Paul was about taking money away from X to pay liability on Y- why do that when you can tie the payment directly to Y.

          And FWIW, my mom is in a similar position to the OP (job + investments + rental) and her liability almost always come from the rental income (which she does depreciate). But a lot of my clients don’t depreciate rental property (lowering their rental expense deductions) based on when they plan to sell/how much they think they will sell for and how old they will be when they sell (i.e., what other income they have when they sell affecting their tax position when they sell) because depreciating reduces basis. So my experience is not that most people “break even” on rentals and at least in my mom’s case, I know her increased liability comes from the rental income.

          I think its worth the OP investigating where the liability is coming from so they can factor that in to their future investment decisions (rental properties or otherwise) as well as tax planning decisions.

          • I really hope you are not filing tax returns for clients and not depreciating their rental property but it sounds like you are. Depreciation is not optional. If the client were to be audited the IRS would impute depreciation expense. I hope you have heard of recapture…..

            You should really look at the regs for depreciation and recapture.

          • And regarding w/h this is the whole reason why CPAs perform projections – to project what their client’s liability is going to be a see if they are over or under paid.

    • I normally do my own taxes but in a particularly stressful and complicated year (divorce + moving states + investment changes) had a CPA do it for me. Paid $500 and gave them about 1 hour of my time to discuss and provide my input. They did a great job and were super professional. I hated paying the $500 but after this year, when I spent 6 hours of my weekend time doing my own taxes and getting really stressed about it, I am reconsidering paying that $500 annually.

      Sounds like some of your taxes are due to investment income, so you may want to consider paying quarterly estimated taxes in future.

  10. Best online place to buy quality yet affordable personalized flat note cards? Just thinking an ivory with maybe a plain border, for personal and professional correspondence and thank yous.

    • I have ordered from Paper Source with personalization.

    • Wildkitten :

      If you want something graphic designed (not just Wild Kitten in comic sans or whatever) I like Hitchcock Creative

  11. PSA regarding Houston shoe repair: Based on a recommendation from one of the ladies here (years ago), I tried out Bellaire Shoe Repair. IT WAS AWESOME. Much cheaper than Houston Shoe Hospital, and much much much much better quality repairs. They fixed the heels of my shoes that had been really dinged up to the point where you can’t even see the repairs. They also did various other things to other pairs. I’m pleased with all of the repairs. I have been so displeased with Houston Shoe Hospital, and I will never be going back. Just thought I’d share!

  12. Any recommendations for a physical therapist in NYC? A friend is having ACL surgery soon and is searching. She’s in Brooklyn but commutes to Manhattan regularly

    • I’ve used Duffy and bracken in the financial district for pelvic floor and running issues, and I may be signing up for their maternity training program as well. I have had good experiences (mainly with Shante), and they were recommended by several different MDs.

  13. Woods-comma-Elle :

    I’ve tried to do a site search for this but not found the answer yet – I remember a while back (it could be a year plus) several people recommended a drugstore brand of dry shampoo from like CVS or Walgreens. I remember at the time thinking ‘awesome’ but I wasn’t going to the States at that time so I forgot it. I’m now going next and I cannot find that thread again, so any recommendations would be welcome!

    I currently use Tresemme and I previously used Batiste but found that too heavy/sticky.

    • My favorite is not a super cheap drugstore brand, but I have found it at nicer drugstores that carry the slightly fancier stuff. I do order it off though.

      Klorane gentle oat milk dry shampoo. It’s definitely lighter than others and it makes my hair look so full and textured I love it.

      • Meg March :

        Seconded. I prefer their aerosol kind to their other bottle. But either kind works great.

    • Was it Pssssst?

    • Clementine :


      (that’s really the brand, this is not a who’s on first situation.)

    • I love the Suave one in the gold can — the keratin one. It’s perfect and so so cheap!

    • Baconpancakes :

      I really like Not Your Mother’s. It does have a bit more buildup than the more expensive, apparently “perfect” DryBar dry shampoo, but it’s significantly cheaper, and lasts for a long time. District Sparkle just had a post about this today!

    • Woods-comma-Elle :

      Thanks, everyone, I will keep an eye out!

  14. The thread this morning about skinny opinions on plus sized people brought something up that I’ve had no earthly idea how to handle.

    My SIL is obese- as a woman who has straddled chubby-overweight my entire life, I do not use that word flippantly. Her doctor has given her (in her mid-30s) ten years to live if she doesn’t lose 150-200 pounds. I have never said anything to her about her weight (my mother, though full of good intentions, was frozen out for months after suggesting WLS), but my brother’s response to her doctor’s statement was incredibly disconcerting: he was enraged and essentially viewed the doctor as being an a$$hole bully (this is out of character for my brother, but that’s the story of this entire relationship, which is for another day).

    My only comments have ever been to my brother when he’s talked about the both of them trying to lose weight and I told him how important my SO’s encouragement was when I decided to get in shape. All of this was over a year ago. So here’s my question: Do I say something? I have no idea what or even remotely where to begin. But a friend mentioned that if she were my brother and I never said anything about this and something were to heaven forbid happen (i.e. she doesn’t see their son make it to middle school), she would never forgive me. I feel like this would be a massively ridiculously huge overstep, but I am terrified that he will be raising my nephew alone because of something that was preventable.

    • Definitely don’t say anything.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Not your business. She knows she’s obese, he knows she’s obese, the doctor has made his or her point and it has been rejected. Even if it were your business, what on earth do you think you will be able to say that will get through?

    • Here is what I like to ask myself in these types of situations:

      “What, exactly, makes me the magical voice of reason that this person will listen to when they’ve refused, repeatedly, to listen to anyone else say the same thing that I’m about to say?”

      Because the answer is nothing. Most of the time, I’m not actually inclined to say anything because of THEM, it’s because of ME. Because I’ll feel guilty if I don’t. Because I feel like I have an obligation to. Etc. etc. It has to do with me, not them.

      • Senior Attorney :


        This isn’t about you now, and it won’t be about you if the worst happens. Go with your gut, which is telling you it would be a ridiculously huge overstep to butt into their business like that.

    • anonyomous :

      I agree with the other posters that say that you probably won’t have anything magical to say that the doctor or someone else hasn’t said. HOWEVER Sometimes I don’t understand why obesity isn’t handled in the same way that other addictions are. I do think that you would be able to reach out to your brother to say that you are here to support him, and ask if he did want to stage an intervention. Because I know personally with my great aunt it took other family members going to my great uncle to say that they were here to help him, before an intervention took place for her alcoholism. I have no idea if there are mediators for this type of intervention, and I would probably do a ton of research about it before suggesting it to your brother.

      • Baconpancakes :

        Because you can stop drinking alcohol. You can’t stop eating. For a lot of people, it’s easier to abstain completely than to moderate, which is why most programs don’t allow alcoholics to ever go back to having “normal” social alcohol. It’s why eating disorders are so incredibly widespread and difficult to treat.

        But telling the brother that you care about his family and are worried about his wife’s health is legitimate. Confronting her brother might be a good way to get the message across.

    • These responses seem insane. What if she were anorexic? We’d just say live and let live? Or an alcoholic? I think you should encourage her to get some sort of surgery and help her along. This sounds like an instance where she should be checked into a rehab facility.

      • Senior Attorney :

        It’s not the sister-in-law’s place to be the medical police for anorexics, alcoholics, or anybody else. If it’s not your business, it’s not your business.

      • Anonymous :

        You think it’s ok to involuntarily commit and adult to rehab for being fat?

      • (The poster previously known as) Eleanor :

        I’ve been going by the name “Eleanor” for a few years now, and while I have no particular attachment to the name, and you are welcome to keep it, I just want to clarify this post was not from me. I’ll switch to Hildegarde, unless someone else has claimed it.

        Since I’m posting anyway, I’ll add that I think the other Eleanor makes a good point about anorexia and alcoholism. However, from what I understand (and I have had basically no experience with people close to me with any of these three conditions), calling out people with anorexia and alcoholism and offering them support can clue them into the idea that people have noticed their behavior and its affects in their lives. In this case, surely the OP’s SIL knows people notice she’s obese. Additionally, the brother’s comment about the doctor seems pretty clearly to show he’s not open to help of advice in this situation. So, in this case I think saying something to the brother or SIL would do nothing except damage the family relationship.

        • Anon for this :

          My apologies, I did not realize there was a current poster named Eleanor. Please do continue using that name.

        • No worries! Also, clearly I meant “effects,” not “affects.”

      • Anon for this :

        So I think that this view that being polite is more important than someone’s life is extremely problematic. Honestly, this is not the “concern trolling” level of involvement once someone’s doctor has definitively stated that it will have an adverse and serious impact on someone’s lifespan. As a family member, I would hope that someone in my own family would love and care for me enough to do whatever they could to help me if I were engaging in severely self-destructive behavior, as this woman clearly is.

        Is this the bystander effect?

        • Senior Attorney :

          And what is the OP proposing to do? What are you proposing to do? Do you really think the sister in law should have her involuntarily committed to rehab? Last I heard that wasn’t a legal option.

          • Senior Attorney :

            Maybe they should all come to the house in shifts and physically restrain her from eating. Or take her on forced marches to burn calories…

      • But the fact that the sister-in-law is fat does not mean she has an eating disorder. Some fat people have eating disorders; many do not (just like some thin people have eating disorders and many do not). If she has an eating disorder, it may make sense to consult a professional to see how the family can helpfully intervene. If she doesn’t, insisting she does is, at best, going to be isolating and at worse, going to seriously mess with her (it can basically be a form of gaslighting).

    • Anonymous :

      I’m firmly in the “don’t say anything” camp. However, one possible route you could go is to see if you can find a health at any size-friendly doctor in the area and give the name to your brother (NOT your SIL). It is entirely possible that the doctor is a bully/overly dire, but a HAES-friendly doc might have a better chance getting through. It’s no longer updated, but Shapely Prose might have a link to a forum where you could do a doc search.

      • Thank you so much for this info, I had no idea there were doctors supporting HAES (even at my most fit, every doctor has told me to lose more weight, that I should be weighing something I haven’t weighed since middle school. Ha!). Unfortunately, she is not healthy at her size, but I agree that being told to lose an entire extra person’s weight must seem impossible.

        To other commenters, thank you so much for your insight. I do not believe she has an eating disorder, but of course I just may not be privy to that. My perception is that she was always big, but has never been active enough to balance it out (and I say this truly without judgment- I understand the paralyzing fear that comes with stepping into a gym as a “fat person” that makes just not trying so much more appealing).

        I do have to admit though that I sometimes become endlessly frustrated- her pregnancy and the birth of my nephew almost killed her. I can’t imagine a greater wake up call after what the doctor said than looking at him every day.

        • It sounds like you’re more concerned about your brother’s reaction. In your situation, I probably would be, too.

          I would help your SIL if asked, but would wait for a calm time and ask my brother what he thought about the doctor advice. It sounds like maybe his attitude is part of the problem.

        • Meg Murry :

          Can you offer support that isn’t directly related to weight loss but just to assist them in general? If you are near th, could you offer to babysit at regular times? You could suggest to your brother that you would also be willing to babysit if they wanted to take a walk or bike ride, but don’t push it if they don’t want to use the time that way.
          I would suspect SIL may have self esteem issues, so just being kind and supportive of her iin general is helpful.

          • Silvercurls :

            Yes, this. Free babysitting can be a great gift.

            Ideas for other I-care-about-you and you’re-worth-it gestures: gift certificates to a bookstore, craft store, nail salon, community theater, garden supply store or florist …whatever sends the supportive message of “I know you already enjoy this, so here’s a way to enjoy it more! Have fun.” (The idea is to avoid even hinting at the message of “Gah! You need to improve your mind/ home decoration/ fingernails/ cultural intake, etc. ASAP.” Yes, I’m exaggerating for effect.) If in doubt, ask your brother for guidance re what she would really enjoy.

  15. I bought a mint green purse yesterday and I have no idea what to wear it with! It’s cross body and relatively small but doesn’t look dressy/going outish. Help please! I work in a business casual environment and I am fashion challenged.


    • I think it would go with almost anything except all black. It would look particularly good with other light colors, like white, light gray, lighter beige colors. I think mint also looks really good with bright red, and also emerald.

      • Senior Attorney :

        I’d wear it with all black. I have a mint shirt that I love to wear with my black suit.

        • You’re right. I really meant the mint bag specifically with all black clothing… I think it would work but would need at least one other pop of color or a light belt, maybe.

    • Baconpancakes :

      Mint goes surprisingly well with emerald. Grey and ivory/white are natural pairs, and if you want to really amp the spring factor, it’s very cute with pink. How casual is your office, and what kinds of clothes do you usually prefer? (Pencil skirts, jeans + blazers, shift dresses, suit separates, etc)

      • Thank you both for the suggestions. I’m huge on pencil skirts. How about a light gray pencil skirt, white sweater, and emerald/mint jewelry (long necklace, simple earrings)?

        My office is business casual and more casual than business.

  16. Cosmetics Insider :

    I’m obsessed with the idea of this blog and much of the content – but please PLEASE update the design it’s seriously lacking and takes away from the stories.

  17. I don’t think anyone mentioned the shoes that started this post. They are the ugliest thing ever..and I know I’m ‘chubby’, if anyone mentioned it especially one of my SIL or MIl, I would lose it…just sayin’

    • Silvercurls :

      Re the shoes: I respectfully disagree. The ones Kat chose aren’t 100% to my taste, but when I bounced around the Z*pp*s site I saw others by the same designer/manufacturer that are quite cute, come in a range of colors, don’t have sky-high heels and can be purchased without taking out a loan. Unfortunately for those of us with exuberant feet they are available only in Medium width. But my preferences skew wildly towards fisherman sandals and mary janes as flats or low heels.

      Re anyone mentioning my weight: It’s not my favorite listening material. Fortunately it doesn’t happen often and when it does occur, it doesn’t include totally-unsuitable-for-me suggestions that I’m never going to follow. I’m willing to be polite in the “I appreciate your concern for my health” sense as long as the speaker is willing to back off in response.