Splurge Monday’s TPS Report: Enrico Dress

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

Burberry London Dress - EnricoSomething about this dress just seems so sophisticated to me — the pleats, the high waist, the pockets, the black silk… it really just looks effortless. I’d skip the platform booties, as styled here, though, and go with a nice nude-for-you pump for summer… as fall approaches I think this dress would look great with knee-high boots, if they’re acceptable at your office. The dress is $850 at Bloomingdale’s. Burberry London Dress – Enrico

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  1. This is really lovely.

  2. Nice elegant line from the front, but the unfortunate large zipper on the back ruins it for me.

    Here’s a more tailored, but comparable look from Theory ($285) that now I want to buy… plus, pockets!

    • Diana Barry :

      I like that better, although it looks short.

    • I like this one better. High waist + pleats just emphasizes stomach pooch. It should be long enough, the model is 5′ 10.5″ http://www.saksfifthavenue.com/main/ProductDetail.jsp?PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=845524446506568

      • oh, your link shows it better – and thumbs up to Saks for giving the skirt length and model’s height!

    • Oh no, you guys made me discover this one while i was looking at yours… im not sure if the waistline would work with my high-waist, but it’s so cute, would fit my hips, AND the holy grail of pockets!!


      • Love that dress. Wish I could afford it.

      • I have a dress very similar to that one (with pockets!), but in an orange-y color. It is my favorite day dress this summer. I think I got it at Nordstr*m, but I’m blanking on the brand.

  3. Diana Barry :

    Meh. Would have to try it on…the sleeves seem odd and the waist might emphasize a tummy.

    I am annoyed at my outfit today…my top is not flattering (not long enough and kind of shapeless) and my jacket doesn’t button bc of my giant b**bs (much larger than regular size since baby is only 3 months old!). Plus, why am I at work instead of watching the Olympics on the couch? Grr.

    • I know, the Olympics (aka watching people in amazing shape doing amazing things) have turned me into a couch potato (aka my muscles are atrophying because I barely moved off the couch all day yesterday).

  4. momentsofabsurdity :

    Here’s a shopping challenge I wish I didn’t have to do:

    It’s looking like my grandfather is going to die this week and I don’t have anything appropriate to wear to his funeral/burial. All my black dresses are either cocktail dresses or winter-weight. The funeral will be indoors in an extremely conservative church (the kind where women don’t wear pants) and the burial will be outdoors in the South. He has requested a second service held at the burial itself, so I imagine we will be standing outside/listening to the service/walking to/from the grave site and generally being outdoors for at least 20 minutes, and the weather will likely be 100+ degrees.

    The problem is that cash is really tight for me right now. With last minute airfare this week to try and see him before he dies, I really cannot afford to spend more than $50 on a dress. The dress also needs to be something I can find in a brick and mortar store, since I’m not sure exactly which day I’ll have to leave, so don’t know if I can wait for shipping. I live in a major metropolitan area, so could go to almost any store that has a national retail presence.

    It either needs sleeves, or to look okay with a cardigan thrown over it (I have plenty of black cardigans, so that’s not an issue and it needs to be at least knee length.

    Suggestions on stores or specific dresses? I’m going to go to Target and look around after work to see if they have something that works.

    • For my two cents, I don’t think you strictly have to stick to black. Navy is respectful, too, or possibly even dark brown. Or a subdued black/white print with said cardigan. Or I wore a dark suit to a funeral not long ago (but then, it was a client’s funeral, so I was kinda going as “lawyer.”). Consider separates, too, which you might get more mileage out of. Target has some nice, demure skirts in the Merona line that you can pair with a sudued top. Just stay away from hot pink, and I don’t think people will judge.

      My condolences on the loss of your grandfather. In the end, being with your family is way more important than your outfit.

      • I would say black, gray or navy. I have tried brown and it feels out of place and I don’t know why. But a skirt and top with a cardigan would be perfectly acceptable. It doesn’t have to be a dress, although that might be more comfortable in the heat.

        • Yeah, on second thought, I think you’re right, NOLA. Gray would be better than brown. I don’t know why.

          • Me neither but I once wore brown to sing at a funeral and I ended up at the front, right by the family, and I felt so uncomfortable.

          • I too have worn brown to a funeral (it was out of town and I’d somehow left the black dress I was going to wear behind in my haste when I was packing, so I had to just find something there) and I also felt awkward.

      • Research, Not Law :

        I recently attended a funeral and wore black slacks, a dark blue blouse, and a black cardigan. I was wearing darker and more formal clothing than just about anyone else. Many people were wearing slacks and a white shirt, probably because it was a hot day. There were few dresses, and most were not black. People were basically wearing whatever they’d wear to a normal church service. I’m in the PNW, where dress is casual, though.

        I’d look at your closet and put together something with your black cardigan. Otherwise, I’d head to Ross/TJMax, etc. Condolences to you and your family.

    • just Karen :

      Target is absolutely a good choice – looks like there are a number of options online, hopefully at least some of them would be in store. I would also check TJ Maxx, Marshall’s, and/or Ross. My friend got a perfectly appropriate dress for her mother’s funeral last month at Ross on the clearance rack – no sleeves, but the black cardigan did the trick. If it wouldn’t be too weird, and if you’re close to my size, I’d be happy to loan you something by mail, but I know you said shipping could be an issue…

    • I wore one of the Target Merona shift dresses with a cardigan thrown over it to my dad’s funeral. I think it looked nice, and I didn’t feel badly throwing it out right after the funeral because there was no way I could wear it again without remembering why I bought it.

    • A black maxi dress with a black cardigan would cover the modesty requirements of the church and give you a dress you can wear again. You can definitely find one at Target or a similar store.

      • While a maxi dress would meet the modesty requirements, odds are it wouldn’t be formal enough for a church funeral (especially for a family member) in the south.

      • I would not wear a maxi dress to a funeral

    • I’d also recommend Target. I would also look at New York & Co. because they always have huge sales and always have black/grey/navy wrap-type dresses.

      I’m sorry you have to go through this.

    • Do you have an existing black skirt and black top that you can wear together, that would work?

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      Thanks everyone, for your condolences and ideas. My mom informed me that I need to wear a dress, so a dress I shall be wearing – I like the separates idea otherwise, though. I will check out Target and Marshall’s tonight and hopefully I’ll find something reasonably breathable and inexpensive.

      • SV in House :

        This could fit the bill: http://www.target.com/c/dresses-clothing-women/-/N-5xtcg#navigation=true&viewType=large&sortBy=newest&minPrice=from&maxPrice=to&isleaf=true&navigationPath=5xtcg&parentCategoryId=9975766&facetedValue=/-/N-5xtcgZ5xkwqZ5t1pbZ5t1nrZ5t1nvZ5xv9w&RatingFacet=0

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        If you have to book airfare again, tell them why you are booking. Apparently, many airlines have a special rate for people traveling for funerals, so long as you provide them a copy of the obit. or other documentation. Sorry you are dealing with this!

        • Bursting out :

          Yes, ask for a ‘bereavement fare.’. It should be less than a normal last minute ticket. My condolences.

        • I think this was true in the old days, but nowadays, the “bereavement fare” is often more expensive than what you can find online.

          Sorry for your loss.

    • You might want to check Macy’s. I went on their website and they have some appropriate black dresses on sale that are in your price range. Also, if you have to have something shipped, you can have it shipped to where you will be staying for the funeral.

    • I saw a few on Old Navy dot com. I can’t vouch for the quality because I haven’t seen them in person, but they look like they’ll do in a pinch.

      Search for:
      Women’s Cap-Sleeved Wrap Dress ($27)
      Women’s Cap-Sleeve Jersey Dress ($25)
      Women’s Jersey Kimono-Sleeve Dress ($30)

  5. Have y’all ever heard that you have to use a whole teaspoon of SPF moisturizer on just your face to get the full benefit of the SPF listed on the bottle? I read that on a blog a while back, and it’s been bugging me since then. That’s quite a lot of moisturizer. I would be all white if I used a teaspoon of some of the thicker stuff.

    • Cornellian :

      That seems strange. I have read you need a shot of sunscreen for your body, which doesn’t actually seem like much.

    • This is the blog:

      • Cornellian :

        Thanks. I guess that makes more sense if what you’re putting on is primarily marketed as a moisturizer, and not a sunscreen. I was told by a dermatologist to separate the two to ensure coverage, which makes more sense now that I read that.

      • I think the tsp is for face, neck and hands. But I always take the Glamour articles with a grain of salt: “Ooh, The Office Is Getting a New Hot Guy. But Can He Stack Up to Jim Halpert?”

    • Meh. Something is better than nothing in my lazy skin care regime.

  6. Anonymouse :

    The dress is nice, but I don’t think I would wear the “nude for you” pump with it. My husband has pointed out that this makes it appear from a distance as if you aren’t wearing any shoes in a lot of cases, and the look comes off as looking odd. I think I might wear this with a pair of colored pumps, to give it some pizazz

    • I have noticed the same thing with “nude for you” pumps. They do, from a distance, look like you’re barefoot!

      So on the topic of colored pumps/heels, I have two black and white dresses, one short, one maxi (neither one for work). I’d like to wear colored heels with them, but I realized yesterday that my old ones were out of style (or suede and wouldn’t look right with a bare dress) and my new ones all have some kind of wood or tan in the heel that I don’t think would look right with black. I have been on every shoe website and couldn’t find anything I liked. I’m thinking pink, fuschia, turquoise, purple, along those lines. Not afraid of high heels or even platforms. Anybody have ideas?

      • SF Bay Associate :

        Kate Spade and Stuart Weitzman always have great colors, including all the ones you listed.

      • Rose in Bloom :

        In addition to the ones SF Bay listed, J Crew usually has a lot of colored heels. Nine West does too, but I know they don’t always work for everyone’s feet.

        Have you tried searching Zappos or 6pm by color? I usually find colored shoes that way.

        • Yeah I looked at both Zappos and 6PM but couldn’t find anything that looked right. Because I have a wide foot and a narrow heel, I hardly ever wear pumps without a strap.

          • Rose in Bloom :

            If you go to shopstyle and type in “[color] heels strap” and then click on the pumps (or platforms or whatever option you like – there were just a lot of sandals unless you narrowed it down) tab at left you should get a lot of options. I tried this with turquoise and there were some nice looking ones with straps.

          • Great idea! Hadn’t thought of that and I’ll try it.

      • Not sure how much you want to spend or if you want something open or closed… I really like Butter shoes, they come in some amazing colors, but they’re not the cheapest (though are often on sale on gilt etc.).

        Also, this is maybe not the kind of bright you had in mind, but in case you’re a size 10, I think they are so gorgeous and you cant beat $150 for Ferragamo heels… http://tinyurl.com/bouuo2o

        • I’ve also been pleased with Butter shoes. You can monitor Endless for sales.

      • Okay, so the first ones I saw on shopstyle that caught my eye were Jimmy Choos and out of my price range, but these look promising: http://www.ninewest.com/Freespirit/8542932,default,pd.html?variantSizeClass=&variantColor=JJ5SXFB_1&cgid=8346239&prefn1=catalog-id&prefv1=ninewest-catalog

        Nine West is kind of hit or miss with me, so I don’t know about ordering. The good news about this realization yesterday was that I pulled out 3 pairs of shoes from my closet to give away.

      • LK Bennett has awesome cap toe pumps that are black and dusty rose, or black and tan. LK Bennett has lovely colors in all their shoes, actually. Definitely worth it. I second the Kate Spade recommendation, her shoes are so comfortable.

        • I so want these: http://www.lkbennett.com/shoes/courts/SCDAWN517PATENT

          Just gorgeous.

      • If you’re looking for something really funky I love Poetic Licence. Seychelles has some really beautiful turquoise pumps too.

    • That’d bother me if I gave a [email protected] about what people from a distance think of my appearance. :-)

      The dress looks fine, but the waist looks too high up for a long-waisted person like me.

  7. My last pair of shorts with pockets big enough for a tennis ball is on its last legs and I haven’t seen a good replacement. I am pro-skirt, but from the brief looking I’ve done suggests that no one wears the little bloomers w/ ball pockets anymore. I have a skirt-sports skirt with the built-in bike shorts, but its pockets won’t hold a tennis ball. What do you do? I want to get back into playing but I feel like I’m in eighth grade again with respect to this. Thanks!

    • LeChouette :

      I put the ball under the bike shorts (i.e. between my outer thigh and the stretchy fabric). Can’t see it and it stays put.

      • I do this too. Stick them right in the bloomers.

        Target has some great (cheap) running skirts that I like for tennis skirts. I think they are Champion brand.

        • Thanks all! This makes sense. I am hoping to graduate to either a league or semi-regular play, but have really just enjoyed just getting back onto a court (post babies + post nursing WHEEEE!) lately.

          • Go for it! I just learned to play in the last year and have joined a flex league (at the very bottom level). It’s been very fun and relaxed.

    • I wear tight, short spandex shorts under whatever I am wearing when I play tennis, even if the shorts have pockets. I play pretty competitively and find that I move much faster storing the extra ball this way. Also when I am just hitting with someone I can hold up to 4 balls without the awkwardness of them moving around (I know that sounds weird typing lol). I guess you have to play tennis to understand that last sentence :)

      • I totally assumed that the ball was for your dog and not for tennis… I was about to tell you about this awesome pouch that I found to hang off of the leash to hold a tennis ball…. shows how athletic I am!

        • Anon – I thought the same thing! My dog gets way more excercise than I do, so I’d love to know about the awesome pouch you’ve found.

        • I don’t know whether this is true of every dog, but my late dog was completely obsessed with tennis balls. He could see and/or smell one a really long distance away. If he knew there was a tennis ball anywhere in the vicinity he could concentrate on nothing else until the tennis ball was HIS.

          I took him for a walk on a new route once and we accidentally ended up going by the tennis club. Not only were there many tennis balls flying through the air but there were dozens pooled at the bottom of the chain link fence right next to us . I thought his fuzzy little Airedale head was going to explode.

          • Cornellian :

            did i know you had had an airedale?! I have an airedale! I love him/them.

            Mine has little interest in balls, except as an object of destruction. Not a bit of retriever in him.

          • http://inventorspot.com/inventions/leaderball_ball_launcher_17226

          • Cornelian, I probably haven’t mentioned it. He died some years ago. I haven’t been able to make the time or space (in my heart) to replace him. He was naughty, hare-brained, smelly and altogether the best dog ever.

          • Cornellian :

            mamabear- how sad. I know it’s morbid but I’m already thinking about the day when mine passes away. He’s HUGE for an airedale (taller than 5’4″ me), so I doubt he’ll make it much past 9 or 10. I didn’t really believe that animals could be clown-like until I moved an airedale in to my house. This morning when he didn’t want me to leave he bounded off through my railcar apartment with my keys in my mouth for the 3 minutes it would buy him. So cute.

          • Your dog was not alone.


          • @Bluejay, LMAO. Exactly!

            I once heard a comedian saying if dogs could talk they’d only be able to say two things – “Throw the ball!” and “Throw the ball again!”

      • Oh man, this thread makes me feel SO much better. I’m a new, casual tennis player, so I have no real tennis clothes… but I have lots of running shorts-with-built-in-underwear. So my solution has been to wear real underwear under my running shorts, and then store tennis balls in the front of my shorts. DH has been laughing at me, and I guess it does look a little awkward when I fish a new ball out of the front of my shorts, but I’m really happy to learn I’m not the only one without pockets!

    • recent grad :

      I recently had the same problem. Fortunately, I was at Nordstrom and found a Zella skirt that has pockets. It’s called the Zella Wrapped Up Running Skirt, but I find it perfect for tennis. I can fit one ball in each pocket, sometimes two.


  8. Does anybody have a recommendation for restaurants and/or things to do in Oxford, Mississippi?

    • I’ve never been, but everyone raves about Ajax Diner. I think there are also a lot of restaurants on the town square. If I were going, I’d go to the Grove just to say I’d seen it although I know it wouldn’t be the same as a game day atmosphere.

    • Faulkner pilgrimage!

  9. Woods-comma-Elle :

    Ladies, I can’t remember which individual commenters gave me which suggestions and I can no longer find the original thread, but I just wanted to say a big thank you for the NYC recommendations! We had lunch at Balthazar and brunch at Sarabeths, and an absolutely fabulous night out at 230 Fifth (although what is the deal with people not being allowed to sit down anywhere?!) A thousand thank yous!

  10. NAS review:
    I just received the Classique Entier “Refined” Ribbed V Neck Cardigan in black and really like it — item # 537648. Nice weight, flattering length, very good for my office over a pencil skirt. On sale for $99. I don’t think it’s going to be the most durable item I’ve ever owned, but that’s ok.

    It is not quite the holy grail of cardigans — I’m still trying to find a replacement for the fine-rib silk V neck Ann Taylor cardigan which I owned in various permutations for many years. This is a little longer and the V is not shaped as beautifully. But I like it much better than the similar Tory Burch “Shrunken Simone” cardigan from a few months back (item # 367881) — didn’t like the super elongated ribbed cuffs and bling-y (for me) buttons.

    • Thanks for the review! I have the AT cardigan in black from, I kid you not, 2003. It was doing so well until my dear SO attempted to be helpful and do my laundry. I’ve not said anything to him, but when I saw my now-battered cardigan, I nearly cried. Please let me know if you find anything great on your search!

      • Perhaps this, if it came in black? http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/tory-burch-shrunken-simone-cardigan/3189919?origin=category&BaseUrl=Cardigans

        Although I wish the buttons were simpler. And it were less expensive. Are you there, style-gods/TCFKAG? It’s me, petitesq!

        • Also… duh… that would BE the Shrunken Simone cardigan. It’s definitely Monday, sorry.

      • Ohhh, I feel your pain! My last one (I think I owned three over the years) finally had to go when I had darned and re-darned the elbow hole about five times. It was such a great sweater.

  11. This seems well-made but the waist would absolutely emphasize a tummy. Even on the model, it’s not exactly flattering.

  12. phillygirlruns :

    additions to the “things i am so grateful for c – – – – e bringing into my life:” that natori bra that a few of you raved about (item #317937) and the halogen “taylor” fit pant (item #530858). for the sale prices these are a no-brainer but i’d probably pay full price for both.

    the bra is faaaaabulous – very comfortable, no quadraboob (at a 32DD i get this a lot on anything but full coverage bras), and somehow manages not to show even under a white t-shirt. the rise on the pants is a little higher than i was expecting, but the fit is great with very little gaping at the waist. i bought a size larger than i take in The Skirt – could probably take the same size, but i’d want to try on first.

    not so great: the suzi chin/maggy london faux wrap dress (item #546786). did absolutely nothing for my shortwaisted, hourglassy figure. was a little snug through the thighs but i’d be swimming in fabric up top if i went up a size. definitely going back.

    on the fence about the CEA top that was featured a while ago (item #537536) – the weight of the top is nice and it’s well-constructed, but it’s just a lot of fabric. and a lot of pattern. it definitely runs large.

    • I’m going to have to try these pants and this bra. I have the same quadraboob issue, no matter what size I go into, I think it is the tatas.

      • Can I suggest a trip to Intimacy for a fitting, if there is one near you? I’ve had the same problem in the past and they were able to resize me and work miracles. (I sized down 1-2 band sizes and up 2-3 cups – voila!).

        • aesthetic intelligence :

          ‘Size down 1-2 on the band and up 2-3 on the cups’.
          Can’t speak for the store, but this method does eliminate quaddrab**b.
          I got professionally fitted, this is what she suggested and it worked.

    • Does anyone own both the Halogen Taylor pant and Express Editor? How do they compare?

      • phillygirlruns :

        i do – they are similar in fit, with the taylor being a bit roomier in the legs and a little higher in the waist. i can’t recall the names of all of the express fabrics off the top of my head, but there are (or at least were) two primary fabrics, one more expensive with a thinner weave and better drape, and another thicker, more substantial fabric without good drape. the halogen taylor pants are a thicker material than the thinner/nicer express fabric, but with a nice drape and weight.

    • I also got the CEA top and am borderline. I don’t know whether to return it or return it for a smaller size. There’s the size/shape, and then the care instructions that are getting at me – Professional Dry Clean Only, Do Not Steam. This shirt may be too high maintenance for me, as much as I like the colors and the pattern.

      • phillygirlruns :

        oy. didn’t notice the “do not steam.” that’ll do it for me, i think – it was wrinkled when i got it and i had been planning to steam it out to see if that changed the fit. back she goes with the unfortunate dress, i guess.

        • I don’t know if this makes a difference for you, but since I purchased the top they lowered the price again (like, an even deeper discount than what was previously on sale for with the annual sale). They credited me the difference on my card, and for me the lower price might make it worth keeping and trying a gentle steam despite the warning. I bet it could take it if I hold the steamer a little further away…

          They also reduced the price of some other things I ordered – Ladies, if you ordered stuff last week when the annual sale started, check the prices again and see if you can get a credit!

    • I was actually going to plug the Natori Feathers bra today! Great minds :) I went in for a fitting last week, and love the one I got then so much then that I just ordered another color! Sadly the pretty blue I oh-so-desperately wanted is sold out in my size, but I can always use another black bra. A global FYI, though, according to the sales lady, they run small–the 32B fit me perfectly, and I’m usually a 32A.

  13. OK, I have a weird thing to talk about.

    I am super intimidated by hair salons. I really need a proper haircut and have needed one for awhile. I can afford it, and I’m starting a new job this week, so now’s a good time to get it done. And I just can’t make myself call. I don’t really like my hair: it’s fine and curly and a bit thin, so it definitely doesn’t look that great in the summer. I feel like all the pretty-haired people are going to judge me.

    I know it’s neurotic. I just need to get over it, but does anyone else ever feel this way?

    • I feel like this. I HATE finding a new hair dresser, and I really don’t like the weird small talk chit chat you do with stylists. I have friends who adore their stylists and talk to them all the time outside the styling chair, I’m not like this at all. I have long straight fine but thick hair, which I feel like does nothing no matter what. I’ve honestly considered learning how to cut my own hair so I don’t have to go to the stylist. I feel way more neurotic than you typing this out….

      • sugarmagnolia :

        This. I hate the small talk too. Especially with a stylist who is much younger in age and therefore has a totally different lifestyle than I do. Ugh.

        • You all are making me love my hair stylist even more. She’s a couple years older than I am, but very stylish, and I’ve been friends with her for longer than she’s been cutting my hair. We always have something to talk about!

    • What about visiting 2 or 3 salons in town and sitting on the couch at the front and watching the various stylists work? That’s how I found my stylist 10 years ago, and I love him.

    • Yes, I totally feel/felt this way, and agree with Merabella about the weird uncomfortable small talk. I also moved cities there times in three years so had to go through the whole process multiple times over. The best I can say is you just need to pick up the phone and make the darn appointment. It took me a few appointments trying out different hairdressers to find my current one, but she’s excellent – really good with my hair, and also very comfortable to be around, whether we chat through the appointment or not at all. I always feel a bit boring because I’ve had basically the same cut for the past 8ish years (!) but whatever, it works, I like it, she doesn’t judge me for just wanting my bangs trimmed and my hair a little shorter or a little longer depending on my mood.

    • Yes! I have fine, straight hair and every stylist I try gives me the same stupid layered shaggy thing that I think looks like a mullet or a mushroom when they’re done. I’ve tried 6 or 7 different salons and stylists over the last couple years and am always disappointed with how I look afterward. I’ve had two stylists in the past that I’ve really liked and both of them have moved too far away for me to see anymore. :(

      • Always a NYer :

        My mother got that cut and in order to prevent that cut on my hair, I told the new stylist I went to that I *only* wanted the layers to frame my face. That meant absolutely no layers in the back. I also told her to follow the cut my former stylist did and to clean it up. The best thing to do when going to a new person for a haircut is to know exactly what to ask for/bring a multi-angle photo and watch them carefully cut your hair so you can stop them need be.

        • Sometimes I bring two sets of photos: ones I like and others that I dislike strongly. Then I give the resons I like/dislike. Have fine, thin dry hair and when calling a new salon ask for consultation with stylist specializibf in my hair type. If am not feeling chatty, I give the bare min, then say “so worn out, I think i’ll just sit quietly. ” stylists talk all day, I doubt (s)he would mind not having to force convo.

          Sorry for typos, phone is obnoxous keypaf/sloooow.

        • Agreed. I love my stylist, and we don’t talk much at all.

          I also kind of love listening to the person prattle on in the next chair. It’s like getting a secret look into their lives. Almost Real Housewives-ey.

      • Ditto! Actually, it seems like the more I pay for a haircut, the worse it turns out. I have been going to a walk-in hair cuttery now for a while, and so far, it’s the best. $12 haircuts, different person each time, still always looks good. Works for me.

      • Yes! I just got the mushroom cut last week and couldn’t hate it more. Glad to know it’s not just me.

        • My condolences! I try everything to avoid them and don’t know why everyone wants to cut my hair that way. I tell new stylists exactly what I like, what I don’t like, and how I’ve ended up with mushroom-head in the past. They listen and nod like they understand, and then they give me the mushroom cut. I have high hopes for the girl who corrected my most recent one, though. She took one look at me, said, “I have no idea why Stylist X would do that to you,” and promptly fixed it. I wanted to hug her.

    • Get thee to New York and visit the Devachan salon. Your curly hair will thank you.

      • While Devachan in NYC is great for curly hair, you can also look on their website to see if there are any Deva-trained stylists in your area. In addition to getting a great cut for curly hair, you can talk to the stylist about your hair and the method instead of random small talk.

        I feel much more comfortable walking into Devachan or a curly-focus salon with my giant mass of frizz and curls than a salon where everyone has sleek, straight hair. I also have felt pretty comfortable in Aveda salons, so when I’m in a new area and want a cut, that’s my fall back.

    • I just recently had to find a new salon because I moved across the country. I just asked the locals who they went to. I don’t about you but I like places that offer hot drinks and snacks and have a relaxing atmosphere, so when I found a place that did that I stayed :-).

      I also loathe small talk when I’m getting my hair done. I find they usually know whether you’re a chatty person or not after the first few minutes though.

      It really doesn’t matter what you’re hair looks like when you enter the place (I seem to always schedule my haircuts on the most humid and rainy days so my hair looks all poofy and wet), just know that you’ll have pretty hair when you leave!

    • big dipper :

      I also feel this way! A few thoughts.

      1. The last time I needed a hair cut, I scoured the Yelp comments of all the hair salons nearby. As on, reading all the comments for each one – not just the bad ones or the top three. I was looking for someone who could handle my crazy wavy hair and cut flattering bangs. So I looked for reviews by other people with wavy/curly hair and saw what they had to say.

      2. In some of the comments, people complained that the stylist they had was “unfriendly” or didn’t chat with them. Although they meant it as a negative…I made an appointment with an “unfriendly” stylist who had done a good job. That way I knew small talk wasn’t expected.

      3. Sometimes when I get my hair or nails done I just let the person know I’m kind of tired/stressed and I’d like to relax during the appointment. That way they’re. It overly chatty and they don’t think I’m mean or unfriendly for not making small talk.

    • Where are you based, Q? If in the DC area, I highly recommend Jackie at Lux Studios near the Bethesda metro. I’ve felt that way at different hair salons all my life, but actually really like getting my hair cut now. A bonus is that each stylist at this salon is totally separate form the others, so I never really see or interact with other clients.

      • I’m in Baltimore, so… maybe that might work! Thanks. :)

        • If you want to try a Deva cut, I recommend Jody at Alchemy in Silver Spring. I also found her very friendly and easy to chat with.

      • Legally Brunette :

        I second this rec! Jackie cut my hair for 5 years until I moved out of the DC area. She’s great (she’s chatty, but so am I) and she really knows curly hair. Also check out naturallycurly dot com for tons of curly hair salon reviews.

    • soulfusion :

      I’m really lucky to have a stylist I love and trust and I just let her do her thing and she lets me sit quietly in the chair. I’ve been seeing her for about 7 years and this is a comfortable routine. We are friendly and chit chat a little bit about travel but mostly I just sit there quietly. I seem to remember her commenting once about how good I am at sitting really still which makes her job easier – and I realized that is because I’m not talking, if I was I’d be moving all over the place. Better to let her do her job, I get a little time out but I still feel comfortable with her and trust her judgment. Good to know I’m not the only one who doesn’t feel obligated to talk the whole time (and at the nail salon I usually have headphones in and close my eyes because that is my anti-stress, relaxation time).

  14. If anyone is looking for a similar dress in wool with longer sleeves, check out Boden’s “Chic Wool Dress” (in black, charcoal and a blue somewhere between cobalt and navy – $198):

    • Rose in Bloom :

      I said this last time this dress was mentioned, but I have it in charcoal and love it. Would definitely recommend, although be sure to look at the garment measurements if buying as with many Boden dresses it is more narrow in the hips.

    • I bought this dress last year in pinstripe. It looked awful on me when I first got it, but I had it altered fairly significantly, and now it looks amazing. I get compliments on it every time I wear it. I’m very tall and ordered the long, and the length is perfect.

  15. Nordstrom Recs :

    Ladies, I’m about to make my first purchase from Nordstrom in preparation for my upcoming trip to London for a month on business and need help. On my list is – business appropriate tees, jeans, a suit, strapless bra (38A), and a silky blouse that isn’t button front (not for work, this is for when I meet up with friends). The challenge is that I’m 5’11” so I’ll need tall and my size is 18 or XL. Thanks in advance!

    • Others on this site have highly recommended using a Nordstrom personal shopper. I believe the appointment is free.

    • Ooh, you are my height and size! I would love to hear what you find! I don’t have any specific suggestions for Nordstrom’s, but I will say that I get most of my clothes online from Ann Taylor and Talbots and jeans at the Gap – everyting in size 18 tall.

    • As the resident tall expert here, I am sorry to tell you that Nordie’s does not do tall stuff all that well. Big shoes–they’re the best. They do have some unhemmed pants in Faconnable and a few other brands, but if you need a full suit in that size, I’d look to Long Tall Sally. JCrew’s suits don’t come that large. The plus size section at Bloomie’s is better than Nordie’s, IMHO (I usually shop plusses for my best friend–I am a 12/14). 38A is also a tough size–I’d try Nordie’s, but if they don’t have anything, try herroom dot com.

  16. Have to plug a BR top I got this weekend: http://bananarepublic.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=72893&vid=1&pid=415848&scid=415848062
    It looks much better than it does in the picture. I like the material blend and that it is machine washable. It fits TTS but is rather long.

  17. Rose in Bloom :

    Has anyone hiked Hadrian’s Wall in England? I’m going to do it next month and would appreciate any advice or suggestions. TIA!

    • Yes! This is right by my home town (well obviously not all of it) and I spent most of my teenage years hiking the area. Are you planning on doing a section or the whole lot?

      • Rose in Bloom :

        We are planning on doing the whole thing from west to east. We have allotted between 6-7 days, which I’ve heard is sufficient. I’m really looking forward to it, so would love to hear your thoughts.

        • Rose, it’s a little under 90 miles I think 6 or 7 days should be plenty assuming you’re reasonably fit. Good points -you can’t get lost (just follow the wall) and there are plenty of lovely pubs to visit (try some local ales!). Bad points, the weather can be foul (bring suncream and your waterproofs). It’s a beautiful part of the country and most walkers are very friendly. There’s a coast to coast cycle if you’d prefer, but I’m more of a walker.

          I’d recommend some time at the coast, the beaches are lovely, and the east will probably be less busy

          If you’re finishing in the east you’ll be close to Newcastle for transport links. It’s a nice city with plenty of culture, but it’s also got a bit of a drinking culture. Just something to be aware of

          • Rose in Bloom :

            Thanks Gem! We’ve been to the Vindolanda / Haltwhistle area before, so I have a bit of an idea of what to expect re cold weather in August. I’ve never hiked this far before, but my understanding is that it is not a difficult hike except in terms of length so we are going on some practice hikes before to re-break in our boots and get used to walking 12-15 miles per day.

            By time at the coast, I assume you mean on the Newcastle side? We will be flying out of there and plan to finish the wall a day early so should have time there. Thanks for the heads up re drinking culture.

    • A couple of years ago I walked some of the Wall. I didn’t do the whole thing but would completely recommend hiking any or all of it. It is mostly easy going and well-marked, so it’s also a good route to hike alone if you want to, and passes through some wonderful country from the flat coastal regions of the western end to rolling farmland and hedgerows to the wild open Northumbrian moorland.

      If you want to pick and choose sections there are buses and trains that can take you to various points along the way. This can also be handy depending what kind of accomodation you want to use. There are more and more camping barns and bunkhouses on or close to the walking route, but if you want B&B accomodation it is likely to be further away. Camping barns can be pretty good in fact – the one I used had bunk beds, a living room with a log fire, a fully equipped kitchen (oven on a pay meter but kettle and microwave free to use) and an excellent hot shower (also free).
      In the summer the Youth Hostel at Birdoswald is open – you get to stay quite literally right on the wall in the middle of nowhere.
      The Youth Hostel at Once Brewed serves lots of good hearty food to meet the needs of walkers on both Hadrian’s Wall and the Pennine Way, and is on the most spectacular section of the route.
      There’s a small hostel/B&B at the Old Repeater Station that sounds really good, and it’s very close to the Wall. It also has a bus stop.

      The guide book I used was Hadrian’s Wall Path: Wallsend to Bowness-on-Solway (British Walking Guides) by Henry Stedman, and really that was sufficient although I did take OS maps as well.

      You may also want to consider taking the Hadrian’s Wall bus from Carlisle, Hexham or Newcastle at one of the times when a volunteer gives a live commentary on the route and its history (I think this happens on one morning and one afternoon bus, but it’s scheduled).

      It’s a great place to walk. Have a wonderful trip!

      • Rose in Bloom :

        Thanks for all of the advice. Did you choose your accommodations in advance or as you were walking? We are bringing a tent so would be ok to do one of the camping barns or pitch a tent in a yard (saw that last time for the amazingly low price of a pound or two per night). Because we are going in the busy season (mid August), we are currently trying to figure that one out.

        I already bought the same guide book – glad to hear is useful!

        • I did book in advance just to be on the safe side – although places didn’t seem to be full. I think I just called a couple of days before I set out.

          Regarding Gem’s suggestion, I agree the east coast is beautiful – although always windy so take a jacket! Both Whitley Bay and Tynemouth are easily accessible by metro. I love to visit St Mary’s lighthouse on a small tidal peninsula (cut off at high tide but you can walk across the causeway at low tide) at the northern end of Whitley Bay.

        • Booking ahead does mean you have to stick to your planned schedule, but then it also gives you a structure to plan around and certainty you’ll have somewhere to stay without spending ages trying to find a place at the end of a long day – depends what you prefer!

          • Rose in Bloom :

            Thanks. I had heard that some places book out months in advance for August, but maybe that is the cushier B&Bs. I’d much rather have the certainty of having to get to a certain place than having to keep going at the end of a day in case places are full.

          • book! August is school holidays so lots of youth groups and doe award groups are out in force and booking up!

            Im assuming you have local links if you know haltwhistle?

          • Rose in Bloom :

            Will book this week! My closest local connection is Edinburgh, unfortunately. My prior trip to the area was several years ago when I was doing a tour of Roman sites in the UK, hence my (slight) familiarity with Haltwhistle.

        • Do you have an anonymous email you’d be happy to post here so I can get in touch?

  18. yey for August! :

    Ladies –

    I finished the Bar exam (!!!) and am lucky enough to have a job lined up for September. I have a two week vacation planned already, but that leaves me with 3 weeks. Does anyone have advice on things I should do before starting work? I’m interested both in getting my life together such that life is easier once work starts, and in enjoying my summer.


    • AnonInfinity :

      Do you have the money for a quick trip? I went on a 2-week trip in my after-bar time and it was sooo amazing. That period was the only time in my life when I didn’t have anything in the whole world to really worry about. Nothing to do, nowhere to be. It was so awesome. Even going somewhere in your state or region could be great and not too expensive.

      Other than that, deep clean your living space and keep it clean until you start so that you don’t come home to a huge mess after your first few days of work. Make sure all of your clothes are properly hemmed and mended and that your shoes don’t need any kind of repair. Eat healthy so you don’t feel gross when you start working.

      Read. Watch movies. Sit in the park and enjoy the fresh air. Go to a museum you’ve been meaning to go to. Do things that bring you joy. Seriously — really savor these few weeks when you have no obligations.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      Getting in great physical shape, especially upper body strength. You’re going to be sitting for hours at the computer, which uses a lot of upper body strength, especially arms, shoulders, and core. Calf and ankle muscles if you will be wearing heels. If you have a decent foundation of fitness and get a good routine going, you will be in a much better position to avoid injuring yourself with any of the repetitive stress injuries that all day, every day computer use causes.

    • Rose in Bloom :

      I’m in the same situation. I plan to get my house together /clean after the mess I left it during bar prep because I know I won’t want to do that when I first go to work. Second, I’m going into a niche area and since it’s been a while since I’ve done anything in that area, I plan to review some of the relevant material so that I don’t have to waste my time looking up basic info when I start.

      Also, you should take time to relax!

    • What I Widh I Had Done :

      1. Set up a mail-collecting and bill-paying routine. That way, I would not have left the mail in little piles wherever I happened to be in the house when I got home each night at o’dark o’clock (guest bathroom floor anyone), and the chances that my electricity would have been turned off during my trial for nonpayment would have been reduced.
      2. Set up an exercise routine that was realistic enough to be continued once I was working 200 hours/month.
      3. Set up a grocery shopping and cooking routine that was realistic enough to be continued once I was working 200 hours/month.

      • Merabella :

        On a similar note, make a bunch of meals ahead and freeze them into individual portions. You will thank yourself later when you get home and you don’t want to cook, or when you want to grab something for lunch.

        • Anonymous :

          I’ve just made a bunch of soups and frozen them into portion sizes. I love coming home from the gym, take a bag of healthy soup out of the freezer and let it slightly defrost as I’m taking a shower and then nuke it in the microwave after my shower.

          I got the tip on how to freeze from this blog, and then looked through recipe-sites online and chose a bunch of soups. About 7 soups got me more than a month worth of dinners.

        • I also like having quick breads in the freezer (banana/zucchini/etc.). If I need a snack, I can take one out, but they also work well for company or as a hostess gift.

    • If you’re going to a big firm, hire a cleaning service to come every other week. I don’t care how small your place is or how awkward you feel about paying someone to clean your toilet. In five months, you won’t care but you also won’t have time to hire someone. (If you’re not going to a big firm but can still afford it, I still say hire a cleaning service no matter how small your place is. It’s so totally worth it.) Also, prowl the online travel sites for last-minute deals and take some random trip just because it was cheap (even if you have to go alone).

      • I agree completely. One of the simple joys in my life is coming home to a clean place that I didn’t have to clean myself.

    • Me Last Year :

      This was me last year. I had five weeks before I started work and only went on a one week vacation. I shopped almost every day (of course, I didn’t always buy something), watched at least 3 hours of the Today Show and other indulgent daytime TV, read a tons of great books, worked out every day (sometimes even twice a day!) and spent a lot of quality time with my friends and family. IT WAS AMAZING! I actually still think about how great those five weeks were every now and then…

      Therefore, my only advice is to relax and soak up every minute of glorious freedom. I believe it is the only time in your life (other than maybe retirement) when you truly have no worries and no real obligations. Have fun!

    • yey for August! :

      Thanks everyone! I already have a trip planned and a cleaning service in place, and I’ll work on the meals & grocery routine – good call!

  19. Muddy Buddy :

    I’m joining a large organization for attorneys and trying to decide on which sections/committees to join. Think the American Bar Association or DRI. Is it better to join the committee for young lawyers or women OR the one for your current practice area or the one for your dream practice area? Or some combination?

    (I asked this weekend, but I think I was too late to get many responses. Thanks to Former Partner who did see and gave her thoughts.)

    • Solo Practitioner :

      I have joined ones for New Lawyers. I am a member of the ABA New Lawyers Section, and my local and state versions. I’m young, but I’ve been practicing for a few years longer than most people in the section. (Went straight through from college to law school, and then went into trial practice/litigation early). If you’ve been practicing a few years, then I would skip the New Lawyers sections.

      If you’re interested in women’s issues, then joint the women one. It’s not necessary to join just because you’re a woman. But if you think that women could use more opportunities in the legal field, or are interesting in mentoring young women, or going to women-targeted networking events, then it might be good for you. Not all women are in to that, though, so not all women join.

      Join your practice area one, and any other practice areas that you aspire to be in.

  20. Bikini mama :

    Has anyone taken a beach vacation when 7 months pregnant? Hubby and I are considering going to Aruba at a time when I will be that far along. Will I feel comfortable being in the water (and in the sun) that far along, and are maternity bathing suits comfortable? Any advice would be appreciated. I’m not one to wear bathing suits on a regular basis, so the thought of wearing one while that pregnant gives me a little pause, but on the other hand, I figure who cares.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      No advice, but a cool anecdote. My friend’s sister when to Hawaii when very pregnant and went swimming (floating) with dolphins. The dolphins were very interested in her belly and basically ignored the other swimmers, paying attention to the woman and her belly. The dolphins were gentle and came close enough for her to touch them. The tour manager later said that because they use sound waves to “see,” dolphins can “see” fetuses. She said it was the most amazing, magical, and beautiful experience.

    • By that point in pregnancy, the water was amazing. I wanted to float in a pool all day. I had a summer baby so I was dealing with the heat too. I wore a tankini (maternity) and was comfortable.
      I would give more thought to how long of a flight it would be and the logistics of traveling. Will there be things to do other than lie on the beach in case you get tired of sun? Sightseeing, spa, non-adventure activities?

      • anon just in case :

        This. Nothing better than the bouyancy of water when you are feeling huge. My last baby was born in Sept, and I went swimming almost every day July & August (when our local outdoor pool was open). The weightlessness of floating really helped my aching joints (this was my 3rd full term pg & I was HUGE). I’m not sure about the travel aspect, but the swimming gets a big DO IT vote from me.

        Oh, and my maternity swimming suit was a one piece from Sears & stretched very well over my enormous belly. And I feel that I can safely say my belly was enormous because my pre-preg t-shirt size was medium, and the extra large maternity tees I had were almost too small by the time I gave birth to a 9 lb baby 2 weeks before my due date.

    • Also in Academia :

      I wear my maternity swimsuit to the pool all the time and I am now 7 months along. Being in the water is great – very cooling and feeling weightless is possibly the best thing ever.

      The worst part is putting the darn thing on; I have a one piece that consists of a bikini bottom part made out of swimsuit material, a stretchy, supportive band for the belly area, and a tankini-looking top attached to the top of that, if that makes any sense at all. While I like the nice supportive band around my belly, getting the more structured top piece up over the belly takes some doing. I sort of wish I’d gotten a true tankini, but then I’d loose the support, so who really knows? I’d try on a few if I were you, I bought in a hurry on a general Target run — but that cheapo swimsuit is on its second pregnancy now and still looks good, so in general I recommend the Liz Lange brand.

      I also have found that being pregnant has made me lose all my worries about what the rest of me looks like in a swimsuit, and realize that no one else cares either.

    • sugarmagnolia :

      I am very comfortable in my maternity swim suit, much more so than I was before becoming pregnant. (I am at about 30 weeks right now) I recommend the “tankini” style, rather than a one-piece.

      Being in water alleviates many of the pregnancy-related aches and pains (round ligament pain, pelvic pain) that I have been dealing with.

      However, my ability to regulate my own body temperature is somewhat limited at this point. You will need to be very careful in the sun and heat and make sure you stay hydrated. I think that if you keep all of the above in mind, you can have a great time on your vacation. Enjoy!

      • Diana Barry :

        Agreed! I found a nice maternity tankini (not expensive either) at Old Navy.

    • I went to Cozumel/Riviera Maya 6 months pregnant last Nov. Maternity suits were fine (I bought a few from Old Navy online). I felt like I was about as pregnant as I’d ever want to be on a major vacation. But we were doing a lot of traveling around and sightseeing, swimming and snorkeling. It wasn’t really a lazy beach vacation.

    • I took a trip to Amelia Island in August when I was 7 months pregnant – my husband was trying to do something sweet, but it was really too hot! I did get to relax by the pool and read, which was nice; but it is really easy to get over heated quickly. No issues with my bathing suit (tankini worked best for) Make sure to drink a lot of water, and I would not recommend anything that will require you to walk a lot in the heat. We did a little walking tour of the downtown area, and it was just too much in the heat. I had to sit down and we had to call a cab to take us back. So, play it safe, don’t get overheated, and you should be fine!!

    • PharmaGirl :

      I wore and bottoms to my regular bikini because they were ‘boy shorts’ style and bought a maternity tankini top for better b00b and belly coverage.

      My only concern would be going so far away when that far along. Definitely check with your physician if you have any potential risk factors for preterm labor, etc.

    • Do it! I’ve been pregnant, though not on a beach vacation at 7 months. I did, however, go to Aruba for my honeymoon and it’s fantastic. There’s a nice breeze all the time so if you’re close to water you shouldn’t have an issue with temperature regulation. Make sure to travel with a note from your doc as to how far along you are/authorization to travel — sometimes airline crews can make a bit of a fuss if you’re carrying big (happened to a good friend of mine).

    • LLM in BsAs :

      I went at 6months pregnant for 10 days to Cancun. I’m probably in the minority, but I just wore a regular bikini, where the top was a size larger than my usual (that I had bought right after my first was born in early summer). I felt fine and no one raised an eyebrow.
      We went to the “wavy” part of Cancun, and I felt somewhat unsafe in the waves of the sea, but I loved the pool!
      Check if you have travel insurance that they will cover any pregnancy-related issues when abroad if that far along. Mine would not cover anything after the 6-month mark. Ooops, but fortunately not necessary!

    • If you’re up for the travel, definitely do it! The flight will be the hardest part. You’ll love being on vacation. Not only will being in the water feel fantastic, but you won’t be able to take a trip like that for a very long time. Please do not miss out because of a swimsuit!

      I’ve had tankini (non-maternity) and one-piece maternity swimsuits when I was that far along. I much preferred the one-piece. The tankini kept floating up in the water, which was annoying, and I felt the one-piece was more flattering. It was from Old Navy, with rouched sides and a very low v-neck. Similar to what they have now, but not halter. Psss… Don’t tell anyone, but I still wear it. It’s insanely flattering.

    • Bikini mama :

      Thanks everyone! We’ve been to Aruba before and loved it, so we’re strongly considering going back and it’s good to know that you all enjoyed your beach experiences.

  21. Random for a Monday: I’ve noticed among my good (mom) friends that soon-ish after baby is born, these ladies begin sporting a necklace with their kids’ name and/or initial on it that they proceed to wear 24/7. I live in a small-to-medium Midwestern city. Is this common elsewhere? I think it’s really weird — it feels like branding to me or something. FWIW, I am also a mother so this isn’t just anti-kid snark or anything. Obviously everyone has the right to wear whatever they want…just curious to know if this was specific to my area of the country, or if this trend is indeed happening in other places.

    • I’ve seen it in the Deep South too. Not my style, but it doesn’t bother me.

    • I live in a cosmopolitan area of the country and can’t think of one mom I know that has such a necklace.
      I also don’t like this idea… wouldn’t go as far as to call it “branding”, but it does mark the wearer as a mother to the exclusion of everything else.

      • I don’t really agree with that. I do think having a picture of your kids (without you in it) as your Facebook profile, for example, is a bit like marking you as a mother only, but not really with the necklace.

        I’m not a mom, but I like the necklaces. I’m not sure if I’ll get one.

      • How is it marking to the exclusion of everything else? Any more than wearing, say, a wedding ring is marking you as a wife to the exclusion of everything else? Name necklaces of any kind aren’t personally my style either, but that’s solely a style judgment, not a judgment on someone’s identity.

    • sugarmagnolia :

      My guess is that these necklaces are Mother’s Day gifts from the kids’ Dad. I think I would wear something like this pretty frequently if my hubby gave it to me “from” my little one. I have seen these advertised quite heavily in jewelry stores, so that is probably why you are seeing them everywhere.

      • Yeah, that sounds right. I live in the rural south, and I haven’t been seeing this one, but it sounds like a consumer trend to me. Not my cup of tea, either, but to each her own, I guess.

    • Northeast – here it seems more common for the mom to wear a ring with the baby’s birthstone. Neither look is my style (well, unless I have an April or June baby, I guess!), but it’s not unusual.

    • I’ve never seen this (southeast), but I do have a bracelet with my baby’s birthstone. I feel like it’s pretty subtle – no one would know unless I mentioned it.

      • Aw, that sounds cute, special, and subtle. I like the birthstone tribute better than names or initials. No one has to know it has a special significance but you. Gives me an idea for upcoming birth of #2…

      • somewhat similar – i gave my SIL a necklace with her daughter’s birthstone as a gift recently after she was born. i really just didnt have any gift ideas and i thought it was cute without being over-the-top

    • lucy stone :

      I also live in a small to medium midwestern city and have noticed this amongst my mom friends too. Several of them have a necklace with baby footprints and the kid’s name, others have an initial charm and the birthstone charm. My inner armchair psychologist thinks they do this to feel “connected” to their kid because there is SO MUCH mommy guilt here about going back to work. One of the local pastor’s wives actually criticized a friend of mine for going back to work after having a baby.

    • I live in a metropolitan city in the South and it’s a big thing here too. I have jewelery pieces (earrings and a necklace) with both my daughter’s birthstones, but not their initials or names. LOTS of celebrities have personalized necklaces and bracelets; it is a pretty widespread practice.

    • I’m in the PNW and find they are much less common here than elsewhere.

      That said, I have my eyes on a necklace with a pearl and two leaves, with the girls’ initials. It’s pretty on its own and most people wouldn’t even notice the initials. I’m not a fan of the “dog tag” style that’s so popular.

    • I bought an initial charm with a pearl dangle for a friend. The charm is kind of antique-y with a very stylized initial, so you wouldn’t necessarily know that it was a Mom necklace. She wears it a lot, so I did buy her the second charm when her daughter was a year old. Turns out her husband was trying to figure out where I bought it so he could buy her the second one (and he didn’t ask me, although we work in the same building).

      • That sounds really great. Is there a link for it? Thanks!

        • I bought it at a local store, but here’s the link: http://www.shoplittlemissmuffin.com/pages/jewelry/beaucoup.html
          I got her the chain with the little balls, then the initial charm, and the pearl dangle.

    • Maddie Ross :

      Shoot, I have one of these necklaces with my own initial on it a la Liz Lemon. I love it and wear it frequently (but not 24/7 or anything).

      • I have the same necklace as Liz Lemon with a few other small charms (mostly mini stars) on it and I wear it most days, but I only change necklaces for events. I love mine too, and it was given to me as a present by people I love for a life event, so rock it!

      • I think it’s different when it’s your own name/initial! I can’t explain my aversion to this (and want to say again that yes, to each their own). I think I asked this question more to figure out why I so dislike this trend — and this is from someone who wears a wedding ring, so as the commenter above put it I’ve “marked” myself as someone’s wife. Can’t figure it out.

        • Ack. I’m young (and I look it) but I hope people don’t assume it’s my kid’s initial. Oh well if they do. I’ll still wear it.

    • I can’t think that I’ve seen them in real life, but the mom on “Up All Night” wears one with her (character’s) daughter’s name on it. Not really my taste, plus I would think that people would always be calling you by your kid’s name, but I guess it’s nice on her.

      But at the same time, I think that they’re trying to cover for the whole plot of “she’s the breadwinner high acheiver and the father is a SAHD, so she’s got to show that she has this major connection to the kid. Which, of course, is a complete non-issue if there’s a breadwinner dad and a SAHM.

    • I’m in a small Midwestern city and haven’t seen this at all.

  22. Opinions on this: ( using flash mobs for wedding proposals)


    The quote by Craig Jones make me think he’s an annoying, showy prat. “Raising the bar?” It’s not a competition, sheesh. Glad it worked out for the Centner-Smoodi couple, but it’s not meant to egg others on to greater competitive heights.

    The cynic in me would think that any man who proposed in that way was a showoff, who was relying on peer pressure to get the girl to say yes, and cared more about having a story to brag about than the real substance and hard work of a good relationship. You just wonder if years into the relationship, every major decision they make will be based on whether they’re keeping up with the Smiths & the Jones, and that just sounds oppressive to me.

    Yes, I’m a Young Fogey, and quite a crank this morning!

    • See this weekends post about not judging. I wouldn’t want a flash mob because I don’t like being the center of attention, but who the f cares if other people want a flash mob.

      • I’m fine with being judgy, and I don’t care if you don’t like it (or want to judge me for it.)

    • Agreed. A big public proposal, if you don’t know there is a yes coming, is kinda of creepy and pressure-y. No thanks. And I’m kind of an exhibitionist, lol.

      • That being said (and in consideration of judginess) – I think there are very few people who would do something like this without thorough discussion first. That is, the proposee might not know exactly what is coming, but there has already been agreement regarding marriage.

        • I got the public proposal in college and I hated it. Boyfriend wanted to get engaged A.D. he was pretty aware I didn’t so he proposed in front of my sophomore English class. Mortifying. I said yes but then dragged him out by his ear and gave the ring back.

          • Yes, this is exactly what my concern is. The public proposal can definitely (and knowingly) be used to pressure someone into saying yes when she doesn’t want to. Glad you got yourself out of it!

    • SF Bay Associate :

      I told my now-DH many times pre-engagement that if he proposed to me at a restaurant or other public, populated venue, I would refuse. To me, it’s an incredibly personal moment, so I abhorred the idea of an audience. Someone else might love the jumbotron or ring with surprise dessert and champagne at restaurant proposal, but not me.

      • Yes, and while it seemed to work for the couples profiled in the piece, there is, sadly, a whole collection of Youtube videos of people who’ve tried this very public/exhibitionistic approach and failed to get the person to say “Yes.”

        Ouch. I really hate the idea of the public audience-filled proposal, but I still don’t want to see someone crash and burn like this, because then, the pain of rejection also becomes very public.

        I think the other thing that rubbed me the wrong way about the flash-mob proposals is the cost. $2-$7K??? To hire strangers to dance at your proposal? Throwing money at something is not a good proxy for depth of feeling.

        • OH MY GOSH, I just went searching for failed proposal youtube videos, and I couldn’t watch more than one! OH THE embarrassment! One guy proposed in a food court with a song, and his girlfriend was so mortified and shocked that she just ran away! I don’t blame her, but holy smokes those are hard to watch.

    • I think I would be very embarrassed if my “intended” proposed marriage with a flash mob, though my non-cynical side thinks it’s sort of cute when other people do it. Like you, I was annoyed by the article’s implication that everyone is now doing over-the-top proposals. I was also annoyed by the engagement-ring spread on the following page, which included the suggestion that one who hopes to be engaged soon could use the article as a shopping guide (the rings were beautiful, and I wouldn’t have a problem looking for a ring with a similar style, necessarily, but is a ring that costs in excess of $30,000 now standard?).

    • I am a huge musical theater geek, and if a guy put together basically a real life scene right out of an MGM musical to propose to me, that would be the most amazing thing anyone has done for me, and i would love him for ever and ever, since he obviously completely and entirely gets me. ;o)

      • That’s the trick, right? Even if the proposer knows a Yes is coming, they should also be very very sure that the proposee will appreciate the big spectacular show.

    • Yeah, I agree. Not my style, for sure, and it’s hard for me not to be cynical about it being other people’s style. But then, I’m the same kind of Debbie Downer about huge, elaborate weddings that feel too competitive. Young Fogey, indeed!

    • If both members of the couple in question are into that sort of thing, more power to them.

      However, I do have a general concern about using social pressure to get women to agree to romantic/sexual things. I think this happens a lot in big and small ways and leads to women feel obligated to agree to things – drinks, dates, marriage, declarations of love – that they don’t really want to agree to in order to avoid the social approbation that comes with shooting down a perceived “nice” guy.

      • This plus +1000.

      • I actually am concerned about the social pressure on men to make everything extravagant and “special,” from the giant ring to the Busby Berkeley proposal production number, which I believe has also been filtering down to high school kids asking for prom dates.

        I don’t like the pressure on women, either, but I think these sorts of things also put a lot of pressure on men.

        • I agree with this as well. It seems like the ante keeps getting upped with regard to proposals, rings, weddings, etc, and the pressure is on the guys too. After we decided to get engaged, my fiance expressed that he was worried we didn’t have a good enough proposal story and people would judge us, which really surprised me because he is not the type to care about what others think of him at all. I told him that I thought our engagement was romantic and perfect for us, and those who know us wouldn’t judge us. And I was right.

        • There – you have said what I was trying to say, but you did it better.

        • Wannabe Runner :

          Good call.

          My BF and I have been together for a year and both see marriage in the future, although we are not engaged.

          We went to an outdoor wedding earlier this summer and it was raining. I told him that I kind of liked that it was raining because marriage isn’t perfect, and it was a metaphor that for the bride and groom, their love is more important that looks. He said, “I would want our wedding day to be perfect.” I told him he would be a Groom-zilla.

    • I’d like to come to Craig’s defense. He was a high school classmate and friend of mine, and one of the most sincerely kind people I’ve ever known. As you could probably tell from the video, he knows his fiancee well enough to know that she would enjoy the proposal.

      Obviously the big, showy proposal isn’t for everyone. But I don’t think we need to judge what was a fun and thoughtful proposal for the people involved.

      • Sarah, even if nobody sees this, as this thread is now quite old, I thought it was lovely and courageous of you to come to your friend’s defense.

        I’m also glad that his fiancee seems to have enjoyed the proposal.

        As for the judging, I will say that it comes with the territory– if anything you do (good or bad or indifferent) ends up in a big newspaper, you will be judged well or badly. Judgment is part of the collection of data points we get about people’s personalities– they, and other things, form the basis of whether we hang out with a person who does such a thing, and it’s important to know yourself, and know your tolerance for certain types of behavior.

  23. I submitted my salary proposal since my probation is up at the end of the week. Yay! But I’m still nervous. Thank you to everyone who responded to me and all of the other posters on that topic over the last few months!

    • sugarmagnolia :

      Good luck again, and keep us updated! I am sure it will work out just fine.

  24. I have a very similar dress and even though it seems like it should be a no-brainer, I struggle to style it for work so it doesn’t look like I am going to a funeral. I think the main problem for me is the high neckline/short sleeves combo.
    In the fall, with thick black tights and black heels, it’s kind of a cool edgy look, the whole all-black thing. But what about in summer? Black heels and black dress with my pale bare legs just looks harsh and boring. Nude heels don’t work for me. Ideas? Besides shoes, what jewelry or other accessories do you do? I am so uninspired lately I can’t think of anything fresh. Help!

    • A high neck like this is begging for a statement necklace – something big, or colorful, or big and colorful.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I like to do a long pendant with a high neckline like that. You could also do a summer-weight scarf. And in summer I unrepentently wear high heeled sandals and even sandal booties (nude or black or any old color) to the office.

      • Senior Attorney :

        And by “long pendant,” I mean “a good sized pendant on a long chain.” I realize that the “pendant” is the thing attached to the chain.

        /pendant pedant

  25. A recycling bin just arrived in my office! Hooray!

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Yay. My office doesn’t recycle and it drives me a bit batty.

    • Research, Not Law :

      Welcome to the 90s!

    • I just got back from visiting my SO’s family. They live in an area that doesn’t have recycling included with trash pickup (hello, PA) so I try to sneak as many plastic bottles home with me as I can. It makes me cringe to throw recyclables in the trash…I just leave them on the counter instead. His mom probably thinks I’m a slob, actually.

  26. Does anyone have recommendations for an optometrist in Chicago? Thanks!

  27. baby / moving question :

    Long-time reader, first-time commenter seeking next-step advice. DH and I are planning to TTC in the next few years. We currently live in a 1-bedroom that we bought together, and we are trying to figure out whether we should move to a 2-bedroom before our little roommate arrives.


    I think we should try to move beforehand for a few reasons: (1) it will be a pain to look, pack, and relocate once we have a baby; (2) it will be harder to keep our apartment in marketable condition once it is crowded with baby stuff; (3) relatedly, we may get lower offers if the apartment looks cramped and parenty rather than DINKy and yuppie-y.


    DH thinks we should wait until after the baby for a few reasons: (1) it is expensive to move, and therefore best to delay; (2) we don’t know if we’ll be staying in our big city long-term, and it doesn’t make sense to buy again if we may be selling soon thereafter; (3) he doesn’t believe in renting; (4) what if it takes us longer to conceive/carry to term?


    I understand all of his arguments, but I also  think he (an only child with some OCD tendencies who likes his home to look just so) doesn’t understand how difficult it can be to live with a baby. If it is in our bedroom, it wakes both of us up at night, and our space is even more crowded than it is at present; if it is in the living room (where it would fit more naturally), he can’t do things like watch TV, play his instruments, have all the lights on, etc., when it’s asleep. Plus, literally all of our (many — we’re all mid-30s and the clock is ticking) friends who have had babies moved into 2-bedroom apartments or even 3+-bedroom houses before they became parents.


    Are my concerns unfounded? Are his? Would love any and all advice

    • Your concerns are legitimate. It is hard to move with the baby, and it’s hard to keep it clean after the baby is no longer in the crib/playpen full-time (circa 8 months and up). I also don’t buy the argument that a move should be delayed because it is expensive. After the baby is born, you may have reduced income for the duration of maternity leave and most likely will have additional childcare expenses.
      On the other hand, living in 1-bedroom with one baby is perfectly doable, and moving just because everyone does is ridiculous.

    • Both of you have valid concerns. If you’re used to having personal space (and even if you’re not), 1 br with a baby can feel a bit tight. But it’s been done many times before, and can be managed. And life is hectic enough with a new baby without adding a move to the mix. On the other hand, will you be okay with moving if anticipated baby does not arrive in the time you hope?

      Would it make sense to wait until after you’re pregnant (but before birth) to pull the trigger on moving? The second trimester for most is a relatively low-risk time in the pregnancy, and not too miserable on the mom, so that way you can address at least some of the concerns both of you have: move before baby (and baby paraphernalia) arrive, but after you’re sure baby is on the way.

      • This. I would worry about making a big decision/move before you even have baby on the way. You never know how long it could take, etc, and then you’re in a house with a nursery and the pain that you’re having trouble filling it. Sorry if that’s a little too blunt, but I don’t know a better way to put it.

    • AnonInfinity :

      My biggest concern would be his #2. If you’re not TTC for a few years, then maybe you could table the discussion until you’re ready to TTC to decide. You might have a better idea by that time whether you want to stay in the city.

    • We live in a modest-sized 2Br (~1000 sqft) and I cannot imagine having a child in our apartment with us. I’m totally with you on all counts. We plan to move to a 3+bed, 1.5+ bath before TTC. However, we also want a larger house for many other reasons, and we plan to live in this area forever. If your *only* reason for wanting a bigger place is the kiddo, I guess I can see your DH’s points. But has he ever been to someone’s house who has a munchkin? does he know how much CRAP they generate (literally and figuratively) ??

      I nanny-ed for a family that had a very, very small 2bed and it did work for them. They still had the second bedroom for an office, so the dad could work late at night without waking the kid. However, their bedroom was much farther from the TV/kitchen, just the way it was laid out (more of a railroad), vs ours where the main bedroom shares a wall w/ the tv/eating area. I really don’t see it working in our current apt. I think for yours you’d have to consider the same thing- would you be able to cook dinner after the kid’s asleep? watch TV? be on the computer? etc

      • You are SOOOOO not in NYC if you think it’s ridiculous to have a baby in 1000 sq. feet.

        Wow, just got that culture shock like watching HGTV

      • I had a baby in a 1000 sq ft apartment (2 br, though) for a year. It was fine. But it’s all about what you’re used to, and you manage with what you have to. It wasn’t a good time for us to move, financially. The neighbors next door had 7 (!!) children in a 1400 sq ft house, and seemed to be pretty content with it, so it’s all about perspective, I guess.

        • I have 2 kids and a dog in 1000 square feet. I think it’s a fine size.

    • Having never been in your situation (so take my opinion for what it’s worth), I think you both have some legitimate concerns. Living with a baby in a one bedroom, I imagine, would be rather difficult and moving with baby would be a pain. But I think he has a point about maybe not moving right now. You say that you’re planning to start trying in the next few years – so why move now? I agree that you should move if/when a baby is expected, but I think you might be jumping the gun with moving now. Why not wait until you’re either actively TTC or are actually pregnant?

    • Research, Not Law :

      All your concerns are absolutely valid. His #2 concern is important, too.

      I would wait until you are pregnant, then move before baby arrives. Or, since parenthood is something you definitely want and will do, then I would move as soon as you know where you’ll be living.

      We have two kids in a 2-bedroom. It’s absolutely do-able, but not ideal. I can imagine having a baby in a 1-bedroom, and don’t do it if you can avoid it. Friends have moved after having kids, and it’s definitely best to do it beforehand.

    • Maddie Ross :

      We are currently in your boat (sorta, we’ve been TTC for awhile without long-term success) and we are doing what the majority has suggested — currently planning on moving after we find out we are pregnant and are passed the end of the first tri. Since you haven’t started trying yet, and not to be a debbie downer, you may find it’s not as easy as you think and then you may move before you’re really ready (esp. since you are not sold “long term” on your current city). Our long term plans have contingencies — if it works, we’ll likely move to a bigger house in a school district we like. If it doesn’t, which seems possible now, we’re going to move to a condo downtown. I say that unless you are dying for a two-bedroom when it’s just the two of you, I wouldn’t make any long term plans until you have more certainty.

    • new york associate :

      As I always say, TTC doesn’t mean anything. You can defer all of these decisions until you’re actually pregnant. At that point, you’ll presumably have more money saved up and more of an idea of where you’ll be long term.

    • My concern for you is if you aren’t planning on TTC for a few years, and you move now, you will grow to fill the space you have. If you have that extra bedroom, you say something like ‘I’ll just use it for an office until the baby comes’ and then when you actually are pg, you realize you can’t (or don’t want to) give up that extra space for the baby, and you’ll be considering moving again. Talk about alot of money spent that didn’t need to be spent.

      I agree with what others have posted. Wait until the 2nd tri, and then move. Not to scare you, but the first time we were expecting we moved from our 1br apt to a 3br townhouse. And they day after we moved (literally) I found out the baby had died. Totally sucked to have that room that was going to be the nursery as a reminder. Not to mention the expense & hassle of moving for what was basically no reason. So, wait. Save the extra money you would spend on a bigger place to help with all the extra expenses that come with a baby.

    • I think you both have valid concerns (except #1 by your DH – if you plan to move eventually either way, I don’t see how postponing the expense for a few extra months will make much of a difference). I had almost the exact same debate with my DH, and we ended up staying in our current place. Our situation was a little different b/c we had a 2 BR condo, but the second bedroom was used as our office/guest room. First, keep in mind that it might take a while to get pregnant. Also, for the first few months you will likely keep the baby in your bedroom in a bassinet anyway. Perhaps a middle ground would be to look into moving when you’re actually pregnant but before you have the baby? Also, consider the desirability of your current location vs where you will move after baby and your expected income/expenses.

      FWIW, our condo is walking distance to both of our jobs, so staying in our place was hugely convenient when my DH could stop by for lunch while I was on maternity leave and overwhelmed with a newborn, and it is also a huge timesaver now that I am back to work and commuting. We somehow managed to fit the crib into the office/guest bedroom, but we kept the baby in our room for the first 3 months anyway. We keep our place looking neat by not buying into all of the baby [email protected] that gets pushed on you when you register. Babies only need so many toys and gadgets, we figured out what we really needed and bought only those items.

      Finally, we felt as though we didn’t want to make significant changes in our budget until baby arrived and we had a better sense of how things would work out (i.e., would we hire a nanny, use day care, would I want to go part time at work or return full time, what price range would we feel comfortable buying in, etc.). Our current condo has very low carrying costs, and we wanted to make sure we knew what our income would look like before buying a new, more expensive place and then being saddled with the expenses.

      Our son is 15 months old now, and the condo is still working out just fine. Now, we are debating whether to move before or after we (hopefully) try for #2.

    • We just moved with a 4 month old baby. I was really afraid that it would be impossible to keep the house clean, but it was ok. I put away everything but the critical baby stuff, got a few pretty bins to hide diapers, toys, etc., and generally decluttered. I also had my cleaning lady come once a week (rather than once every two weeks) so it never got out of hand. We sold our house in about a month. That being said, we would have been fine in a tiny place for the first 6 months or so, I think. Baby was always with us in the living room or sleeping in our bedroom. Definitely it would be much harder after the baby is mobile.

    • I agree with all the others that you both have valid concerns, but I think I’m more in your camp because one of my requirements pre-TTC was to be in a place we could live with a baby. I really didn’t want the stress of house-hunting, packing, moving, and unpacking while pregnant. Some lucky people have easy pregnancies, but on the other hand,workers are sick from beginning to end. You never know what the situation will be. I also wanted to be able to do things around the house without all the physical restrictions, and get accustomed to being homeowners before adding a baby to the mix (we were renting before). Also, some friends of mine tried to do the baby-in-a-1br thing and found it untenable after a couple months, but ran up against your #2 issue — nobody even wanted to look at their place because it appeared so cramped and unlivable. Once they bit the bullet and moved, and staged the condo properly, it sold within a couple weeks. So I think it’s a legitimate concern.

      That said, if TTC is still a couple years off for you, it might be prudent to stay put for awhile longer. If it were me, I’d wait until TTC was a few months off and try to make the move then. It will give you more time to make sure you’re staying in your current city, more time to save for the costs of selling and buying something new, and you’ll build a bit more equity in your current home. Your husband’s #3 issue doesn’t hold much water IMO, though — there are lots of very good reasons to rent, even if it’s just temporarily, and I think it’s counterproductive to flat-out dismiss the idea like that. Anyway, I do think it’s good not to get ahead of yourselves, but it sounds like you’ve got plenty of time to plan still.

      • Hmm, it was supposed to be “others are sick from beginning to end.” Auto-incorrect-ed.

    • I’m late to the game, but I’ll add my 2 cents.

      We were living in a 1 bedroom, 600 square foot cottage in an expensive housing market when we found out (whoops!) we were pregnant. This was spring 2007 at the tippy-top of the housing market. After looking around at houses that we could barely afford we did some remodeling to our one bedroom to maximize storage and figured if we hated it, we could move.

      We lived in that 1 bed room for 2 1/2 years with our son. By the end, we felt like we were outgrowing it, but it really wasn’t that bad. We had crap stored everywhere (every time I wanted something out of the bedroom closet, I had to unpack and repack it) got rid of stuff with a vengeance, avoiding making a lot of purchases (our rocking chair and baby swing both folded up and stored under couch, etc etc etc).

      For us, when my husband’s multi specialty group was imploding, we were so grateful we didn’t have a big mortgage payment to worry about; that was worth moving the baby from our room to the crib in the dining room each evening. We did move out to sell the house — we lived in temporary housing for 6 weeks before we moved out of state so that it could be staged. I have no idea how you would see a 600 square foot cottage with cute llbean bags full of toys in the corner of the living room.

      It worked for us, but as I said we were in a very expensive market and thinking we’d move out of state in a year or two (which we did). We were 2 miles from each of our workplaces which made commuting/nanny schedules, etc much easier. If we’d had access to an affordable 2 or 3 bedroom without a horrendous commute, we probably would have gone for it.

  28. Senior Attorney :

    How about splitting the difference and making the move once you are actually pregnant?

    • And if you move when you are actually pregnant, as I did, you get the bonus of being excused from any lifting or carrying.

  29. Question about Cole Haan Nike Air wedges / shoes. I ordered the Monica wedges at NAS – they look very similar to their other wedges. I had tried them on in store and thought they were very comfortable, but when they arrived at home they felt narrow / very snug at the toe box. Do CH shoes usually run narrow? Trying to figure out if I should order a wide or if they’ll stretch out.

    • MissJackson :

      Odd — I bought one pair of the Air Monica wedges at NAS in store, and then ordered the other 2 colors online. I have a wide toe box (bunions), and the regular size (in all three colors) fit me just fine — I would have said that these shoes run quite wide in the toe box! That combined with your in-store experience makes me wonder if you got a weird pair… you didn’t accidentally get a narrow width, did you?

    • CH are known to run very narrow

    • I find they run a bit narrow but stretch nicely with a few wears and then fit perfectly. :)

    • I have a couple of the Air Tali wedges, and they required a good bit of breaking in before they were comfortable in the toe box for my wide feet. They are very comfy now, but I vowed I would hold out for a wide width the next time I buy CH.

    • CH runs narrow. I have bought a couple of pairs in wide before (very limited selection). I have found CH shoes to be narrow in the toe box and shallow (big toe hitting the top of shoe), but if it is in leather (not patent leather), it tends to stretch out fine with wear… but you do need the “breaking in” period.

  30. Has anyone used the Hotel Tonight app for iPhone, or something similar? I’m road-tripping next week and don’t really want to be locked into a particular place.

    • I love hotel tonight — to get the most selection though, you need to log in around noon right when rooms go on sale & you can only get a room starting the day that you bid (but some places sell for a few nights in a row).

  31. Rut-Busters? :

    Now that August is around the corner, I’m feeling like I want to do something before the summer’s over, but I don’t know what. I’m in a general boredom phase. Any ideas for good rut-busters? I’m in Chicago if that helps with ideas ….

    • new york associate :

      Sailing lessons on Lake Michigan? That sounds fun and August-appropriate to me :)

    • LadyEnginerd :

      Jazzin’ at the Shedd makes for a good outing. So does pairing the art institute with a free concert in millenium park. In terms of taking up a new hobby, I’m a huge fan of biking along the lakefront, particularly when September hits and the kids are back in school.

    • Organize a Chicago ‘rette meetup? ;)

      • Backgrounder :

        THIS! :)

        • Jacqueline :

          Out of curiosity, has there ever been a Chicago ‘rette meetup? There are a lot of us on here, it seems!

        • Jacqueline :

          Out of curiosity, has there ever been a Chicago meetup? There are a lot of us on here, it seems!

    • Even if you’re not putting down the big bucks to go to Lolla next weekend, there are still a ton of pre-shows and aftershows, many of which are free. Look on Metromix or Chicagoist. The Air and Water show is in a couple of weeks too if that’s your kind of thing.

      If you have a car (and the means), make the trek west to the Aurora outlets and spruce up your wardrobe!

      If you have a dog, or are a creeper like me and don’t but love them, head up to the dog beach at Montrose and enjoy seeing all of them run around and play :)

  32. Merabella :

    Y’all I am having the worst time trying to concentrate at work. This month has been such a mess for me, first a vacation and then this crazy epic parental divorce is taking a toll. I’m normally such a quick worker, and I just feel like I’m constantly playing catch up. Please some tips on getting through this.

    • karenpadi :

      It sounds like you had quite a month. No one can keep a high pace all the time–especially with family drama in the background.

      When I’m going through this, I get done what needs to get done, back-burner less important projects, and take care of myself. I’m usually “back” in no time.

    • Ugh, ditto. Just took the bar exam (3rd state for me), and entering the 3rd trimester fuzzies, and have an ear infection coming on–ouch. My bar exam adrenaline just bit the dust, leaving cross-eyed apathy as I stare at the files on my desk. *sigh* Cup of tea, clear desk, attack one file at a time.

  33. Ladies,

    When is it ok to jump ship at a large law firm? I have been at my current large (for my mid-sized midwestern city, not BigLaw) law firm job for one year. I graduated and passed the bar in Spring/Fall 2011. I really like the work and the practice area, but I am confident that working for the billable hour and striving to make partner here (or at any firm) is not for me. However, I am not really sure how to start looking for something else. Like I said, I actually like my job, I just don’t see being a partner in a law firm as my future. I am also cognizant of the fact that a big part of why I like my job is the salary and other perks (flexibility, resources, etc.)

    I guess, therefore, I have two issues: 1.) how do you find life after a law firm, and 2.) what is the minimum (or recommended) amount of time to spend at your first legal job?

    • karenpadi :

      To answer your questions:
      1) Networking. Use your time at the firm to establish a network of clients, co-workers, former co-workers, fellow alumni, etc. Join a few local organizations that you are passionate about (bonus points if your firm covers the dues!).

      2) It’s always OK to jump ship in large firms. It sounds like you aren’t miserable–just that this isn’t long term. If you are content with this being a short-term gig, use it as one. Most people only plan to stay in a firm until their school loans are paid off or at least manageable on a smaller salary.

      I think you can quit now but you’ll really benefit by sticking around to build a network and pay off debt. If you are getting solid training, that’s one more reason to stay. To put a number on it, I’d say stick around for 1 or 2 more years (2-3 total) for a good start or for 3-4 years (4-5 years total) for a great start on the rest of your career.

      • Yeah, soak up those resources while you can. (Coming from someone who recently started with a sole practitioner and misses Westlaw like crazy…) It’s a much more scrappy world outside the firms in terms of benefits, perks, resources, etc. Not that it isn’t worth it. It would just probably be good for you to build some bridges to your next spot before jumping off.

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