Splurge Monday’s TPS Report: Tuxedo Jacket

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

Rag & Bone Tuxedo JacketI love adventurous, saturated colors like bright yellow in super classic shapes, such as this Rag & Bone tuxedo jacket. The main question, however, is thus:  How to wear it? I like it with the dark blue and white as shown here — but for the office I might try it layered with different shades of gray, such as a light gray sweater, dark charcoal pants, and silver or gunmetal accessories. It’s $495 at Saks. Rag & Bone Tuxedo Jacket

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  1. Tired Squared :

    I love the bright color–something like this would definitely wake me up on a Monday morning. That said, it would be so memorable that it would become a once-a-month piece of clothing…

    • I love bright yellow! I”m wearing a bright yellow cardigan today with a white blouse and tan pants, which is the combination i wear most often with it. I’ll also wear it with an all black outfit and a silver/yellow necklace i have; or a white blouse and dark denim or navy trousers. I also have some printed dresses with yellow in them that I wear it with, and a black and white printed dress. My grey sheath is a little tight right now, but i’d wear it with that too! and I have printed blouse with yellow in it that i wear it with.

      there’s probably some other crazy combinations that would look good (with a tangerine or purple or something) but I try to focus my wardrobe on neutral colors and then work in one bright.

      I have mediumish yellow toned skin and dark hair, and ever since I was a teen I get a million compliments in this color.

      • I am a caucasian brunette and wear bright yellow often, mostly with white, gray and black; sometimes all three combined in an animal print. Not only it gets compliments, people seem to visibly brighten up and smile when they see this color.

      • For a friend :

        I have a bright yellow sweater from Anthro that I wear often and always get compliments on it. I usually pair it with brown slacks. I am tempted to try wearing it with THE skirt (in magenta) but I think that will be overkill for my Big Law office.

      • I love this jacket! It’s one of the most tempting splurge Mondays for me ever. Banana Republic just had a really bright yellow cardigan with white beading that I really wanted, but it sold out in about a minute. :( I love bright colors, and they are so hard to find in blazers.

      • oooh, jealous of your outfit today!

    • Agree with the once-a-month thing, but I still love this. Not at almost $500, since I don’t think it’s that versatile, but I’ll be looking for a cheaper version somewhere else.

    • Once a month? I’m thinking more like once a year … I could see more frequent wearing of the color if it weren’t a tuxedo jacket. Maybe a cardigan or one’s spring trenchcoat? Yellow + tuxedo seems like someone is trying a little too hard to get noticed.

  2. Love the jacket! Weekend wear for me, though…

    Sorry for the early threadjack, but I have a question for NYC Corporettes: has anyone used Leon Mege for custom jewelry? My BF and I are talking rings (!!) and he has a stone from his grandmother that we’d like to set in a ring. A friend recommended Leon Mege to us (he had his wife’s engagement ring done there), but the process seems a bit unorthodox (it’s custom stuff, but you have to pick one of his styles from a picture and have to modify from there, no real opportunity to look at samples / try things on). Has anyone had experience with him, good or bad? Or are there any other custom jewelers in NYC you’d recommend?

    Thanks in advance!!

    • Check out his reviews on pricescope.com

    • recently married anon :

      My fiance and I had a great experience with Brain Gavin Diamonds (dot com for the website). Or rather, I should say HE did, but I absolutely love my unique ring. He showed me some of the process and it seemed great and comprehensive.. they’re very friendly and prompt with emails and photos at all stages. While they have beautiful diamonds, I believe they also do re-settings and things like that for existing diamonds. I think they’re based only in Houston, but worth checking out. (We did everything online.)

    • I don’t know Leon Mege, but my husband worked with Susan Barth on a custom ring, and he loves it. She’s based in NY and great to work with.

    • Oooh, get a Leon Mege. His website is awesome

  3. Early thread jack- how do you deal with the disappointment and stress of a housing search?

    My husband and I have been looking for a year and have made offers on about 7 properties. The market here is not great for buyers, and we have been involved in some multiple offer scenarios. Long story short, this weekend we went to put an offer on the *perfect* house and it is under contract. I am devastated. I am trying hard to move on, and I know I’m being ridiculous and that this is a “first world problem”, but that doesn’t stop the gut wrenching feeling I get whenever it pops into my mind. This one was by far our favorite and three days later I still feel like crying at the drop of a hat. I think this one is so hard because the chances of finding a new house, in that neighborhood, for a price we can afford, are slim to none. I keep hoping their deal falls through but I know that is silly. What’s a girl to do?

    • I don’t have any advice, but I sympathize. We are in a similar situation where we’ve been looking to buy a condo for over a year and the market around here (Boston) is really bad for buyers. Inventory is low, and what is on the market is either overpriced or in terrible shape. On top of that, our landlord just told us that he’s putting our current apartment on the market, so we either have to buy or rent something else in the next few months, and the rental market is just as terrible as the buying market. (We don’t want to buy our current place because it’s only a 1 BR and doesn’t leave room to have a family). We were up until 2 a.m. on Friday night stressing out about what to do. It just sucks when you work so hard, have two good incomes, and still can’t find a decent place to live in the area you want to be in. I’m hoping that the market starts picking up as we get closer to spring, but I’m struggling to stay optimistic and patient in the meantime. So… no advice I guess, just company!

      • similar situation in nyc. we’ve been looking on and off for almost a year and it’s so disheartening. we understand that you get what you pay for and are willing to spend a substantial amount of money, but we are priced out of everything we like, but all we want is a standard one bedroom that isn’t the size of a shoebox.

    • I recently had the same thing happen — it was absolutely devastating. We went on and found another house (MUCH more expensive – and not significantly nicer), but I still mourn the loss of the house we really wanted, and particularly the financial freedom it would have afforded us that the new one does not. On the other hand, we love the new neighborhood, love our neighbors, and can walk to shops and restaurants — something we could not have done in the house we originally wanted. I just had to console myself with the “it wasn’t meant to be” thing, and am really working on trying to believe it. Sorry it didn’t work out.

    • Ugh, I’m in this situation too. We were planning to make an offer after coming back from our Christmas vacation, and when we got back, The House was under contract (after being on the market for 5 months)! It just closed last week for a little more than we really would have liked to pay for it, so I’m consoling myself that they might not have accepted our best offer, anyway, but it’s still a real downer. I have no suggestions on how to cheer up, just *hugs*.

      One thing to check though — is their contract “no kick-out”? if not, you might still have a chance!

    • A similar thing happened to us — and we actually just stopped looking for almost a full year. We left the market, renewed our lease and just kind of withdrew. And honestly when we came back on the market, our budget was higher and the place we bought was significantly better — so in a way it was a blessing that we hadn’t gotten the first place.

      Though — do remember that a house being under contract doesn’t mean that it will sell. Contracts fall apart. Have your agent tell their agent that if that happens to let you know.

    • Littlest Attorney :

      Oh that’s awful! It must be so frustrating. I sympathize greatly and I’m terrified this will be me in a year, as I’m hoping to buy around this time next year. I’m not sure this will help but try and remind yourself its only a house and what makes your life wonderful and full isn’t the place you live but the people with whom you share your life. That said, I’m going to keep my fingers crossed that somehow you get your dream house!

    • If it does fall out of contract, try to find out why. Usually, contracts are contingent on financing and inspection. If the potential buyer couldn’t secure financing, you have nothing to worry about. But, if something failed at inspection, you want to make sure it is disclosed. Beware of houses for sale below market with contracts that fell through. That is a warning sign. We were under contract on a huge below market house. We later learned that the addition was built without the proper permits, it violated all kinds of codes, and was basically in danger of collapsing onto the rest of the house. We got out of the contract. I will bet anything though, the next buyers were told we were “young and couldn’t get financing” or something like that.

      We ended up with a house we really enjoyed but then had to move away for work. The house is in a buyers market so we have just been renting it out. We hope to try to sell it again in March. The house is in Maine and will be very reasonably priced. If anyone wants to know more, let me know.

      • I’d also add that if they failed on financing, it may be that the house didn’t appraise for what they were trying to borrow. You’d want to know that before going through with an inspection, appraisal, and loan costs.

    • I’ve been there. We actively looked for a house for over 18 months. My husband and I are both busy lawyers, and our work lives were completely held hostage during that period, as we had to drop everything to see the “perfect” place that “wouldn’t last” and turned out to be a dump we hated. Went to tons of showings and even open houses and saw promising homes, where the seller’s agent told us on the way out that they were already under contract but didn’t cancel. The same awful places languished on the market, but any time something nice came on, you had to be ready to sprint to the seller, offer in hand, before you had a chance to think. Heartbreak is a good word for the whole process. Especially if you’re trying to sell at the same time, which we were.
      Hang in there. It will all be worth it when it works out. But it’s not an easy process, so don’t feel silly or ridiculous for getting down about it.

      • You just described the process for my husband and I to a T.

        We ended up, after months of searching and having all the good ones get snatched because I wanted to think on it, putting in an offer on a house the DAY we looked at it because it was perfect. Sooo stressful (but it worked out in the end – I love our house now!).

      • Recent Homebuyer :

        This was our process too. We looked for almost a year, and as soon as we saw something we liked we made a move on it. We lost two houses after making offers that weren’t accepted, but ended up with a great house.

        Here is what we learned in our house hunt:

        –Do not fall in love with the house and don’t allow yourself to emotionally move in before the deal is closed. I was really disappointed that we lost the 2 houses that we did, but being willing to lose them kept us from overpaying on our home. Buying a house is an emotional experience, but it is also a huge purchase and you need to keep that in mind. Over time, the practical considerations are going to win out over the simple aesthetics of a house. If you overpay for the house, you will regret it. If you decide to add 30 minutes to your commute every day just to get into a great neighborhood, you probably will regret it. Location can’t be fixed, lot size can’t be fixed, the general style of the house can’t be fixed, overpaying for the house can’t be fixed. Everything else can eventually be changed. If your list of “must-haves” is resulting in few to no houses in your price range, re-evaluate what is a must-have.

        –Do not mess around when you see a house you like. We saw our house at 1pm, made the offer at 3pm, and accepted the seller’s counter at 8am the next day. (Of course we were pre-qualified for a mortgage, etc.) The sellers canceled an open house and a dozen showings after accepting our offer. I have no doubt we would have lost the house if we had hesitated for even one day. The house was priced right, in a good area, in a location that did not often have listings open up. This is for new listings . . .

        –Older listings are better for bargain hunting. I have a friend that used a low-ball strategy to get a house. She got rejected, a lot. She was OK with this. (She also had flexible criteria for her home–the most important thing to her was getting a bargain.) Her strategy was that she went through the older listings that weren’t getting much activity anymore. Her goal was to come in with an offer right before the sellers actually dropped the price, so she paid attention to when price-drops usually happened and tried to look for listings that had been on the market for just under that time. (She figured that price-drops might get other buyers interested, and she wanted to be the only one at the table.) She got a great deal, but I think she made something like 25 offers before one got accepted. Her realtor was very patient.

        –Find a good realtor! If yours isn’t doing his/her job, let him/her go. In fact, try to not sign exclusive with a realtor for awhile and shop around. Pay attention to who the successful realtors in the area are. For example, just before buying our house we considered contacting a realtor (not our realtor) who seemed to have 50% of the listings in one neighborhood we liked. We were going to offer her and our realtor a 1% premium to split if she brought us any listing before it hit the market and we bought it. Yes, usually the sellers pay the fees but this would be in addition to the normal fee. Essentially we figured that this might let us see houses in the neighborhood before they hit the market, although of course we would probably have had to offer asking price close to asking price in order to actually get the house before it went on the MLS. (Not sure if this would have worked, since we found our house before trying this.)

        –Be realistic with your search. If you are looking for something unusual, realize it is going to take some time to find it and that you may not find it at all. Examples of this are when you are looking for a home in a neighborhood where you can’t afford most of the homes, you are looking for a turn-key house but don’t want to pay the premium such houses usually command, you are looking for a completely remodeled home in a neighborhood filled with older homes, you are looking for a specific style not typically found in your location (e.g., you want a log cabin house in Austin, Texas or an adobe home in New Jersey).

        –Don’t be afraid of for-sale-by-owner. We sold our first house ourselves, and it ended up being a great deal for everyone. We saved on the realtor’s commissions, the buyers got a better price than they would have without a realtor, and we controlled the showing schedule, open house schedule, etc. It is really easy to do FSBO with a good title company and an attorney. Different areas have different FSBO markets, so you will have to do some digging to figure out where most of the listings are. The best thing to do is to devote weekends to driving around your favorite neighborhoods and looking for “For Sale By Owner” signs. The next best thing is to find the highest concentration of FSBO listings in your area on the web–this seems to vary by market. For example, in one city we lived, a specific FSBO website for the city had most FSBO listings. In our current city, most FSBO listings are on Craigslist. In another city my SIL is shopping in, most FSBO listings can be found on three different flat-fee MLS websites.

        –We briefly looked at Zillow’s “Make Me Move” listings, but didn’t find anything. A “Make Me Move” listing is basically where someone isn’t actively marketing their house, but has posted a price for their house that will “make them move.” Supposedly if you offer that price, the person would take it even though the house isn’t on the market. In our area, most “Make Me Move” prices were ridiculously overpriced, but it was fun to take a look at the listings.

        –Sometimes an entire neighborhood can get overpriced. A market might be rational over time, but not in the short term. We had to write off an entire neighborhood because literally every listing was over 20% more than it should have been (based on recent sales, property tax appraisals, etc.). I think it happens when one house sells for a premium for whatever reason, and then a few sellers list high, and then suddenly other sellers (comparing themselves to new listings) decide to list high too. For now, nothing in that neighborhood is moving. Eventually the sellers will figure it out and come down to market prices, but we didn’t want to wait. So we moved on and stopped looking at houses in that neighborhood, even though it otherwise would have been one of our top 3 locations.

    • Thank you all so much for your stories and responses. It makes me feel better knowing I am not acting crazy being so distressed. I am trying to focus on the great things in my life, but I still can’t help but be down. I am *really* hoping that something doesn’t work out and we can still get it, but I know it is unlikely. The house is new construction so I don’t think the inspection will be an issue, but perhaps there will be a snag with financing.

      Thank you all again for your words, and I am so sorry all of you have gone through something similar. Hopefully things will turn around for all of us sooner than later!

      • Not to doubt you, but you may want to re-evaluate your offer strategy. From having so many offers rejected, I wonder if you might be lowballing the price or adding conditions to closing that other buyers are not. If you want it badly enough, make your first offer your best offer and do not try to “get a bargain”.

        When we sold last year, we had two offers on our house and were deciding between the two. The bidder we rejected was very upset about it, but their price was $4K less (1% of the purchase price) than the other offer and they included a financing contingency (which the other offer did not). Their agent told us that this was the third offer they’d had rejected, but they just weren’t competitive with what others were willing to pay (even in a down market).

        Just my .02.

        • That is a good point. A few houses we did offer 5-7% below, but that is the average in this area. We actually offered 7% above asking on one, and still lost it, to a cash buyer who offered $500 more than us. We were prepared to make a strong bid on the most recent one, but they accepted an offer before ours came in. We don’t have a house to sell, no issues with financing, and can close as soon as the mortgage company can get it done. I think we are very attractive buyers, we are just having bad luck (and a less than helpful real estate agent).

          • Left coaster :

            If you’re unhappy with your real estate agent, why don’t you switch? I recently bought in a competitive market as well, and could not have done it without my absolutely amazing agent. Unless you’ve signed something committing to exclusivity with your current agent, I would ask around and find someone more proactive. My agent could tell me and my husband on the spot whether a place was likely to draw multiple offers, which contingencies (usually none!) a buyer might consider, and whether a place that looked great on the outside was actually rife with problems (a good agent should be clued in to the network of properties in his/her neighborhood well enough to have a sense of this). If you’re isn’t cutting it, try someone else.

          • Time for a new agent?

      • Bursting out :

        Houses do fall out of contract. That’s how we got ours. I think there was a financing problem with the previous offer. But before that, we lost out to an all-cash offer, and a bid that was $10-$20K higher than we could match. It’s really hard. I was convinced that we were meant to live in each of those places… until we ended up in our home, which is far better location-wise than either of the ones we lost out on.

        Something to consider is a competitive market is to have an inspection done at your own expense before making the offer. If you also have financing secured, you can put in a contingency-free offer, which can be very appealing to sellers (esp. if their house has already fallen out of contract once). When we finally did get our house, we were not the highest offer, but our offer was free of contingencies and was accepted quickly.

      • You know what? I’ve been there. I lost out on my “dream home.” I cried my eyes out. I even quit looking. And then a couple weeks later I got call from my realtor to see a new property, and it was love at first sight. Just remind yourself that if you found one place you liked, you WILL find another.

  4. Early threadjack: I purchased an aqua blue pencil skirt this weekend (posting the link in a separate comment to avoid moderation), and I’m worried that it’s a little too “business barbie”. It’s knee-length and fits well, so the only thing unprofessional is the color. I envision pairing it with a cream cardigan or grey cardigan, cream or black blazer, and either nude, black, or grey conservative pumps. Thoughts?

    • Here’s the skirt for reference http://jcp.is/wAf4Rc, the Turkish Tile color on the far right side.

      • Salit-a-gator :

        That’s such a beautiful color! And for $20 its a steal. (how is the fit and the material? I might want to grab this myself). I think all the color options you listed would go well (gray, back, nude, cream), but I wouldn’t be afraid to spice it up with camel, purple, different shades of blue, yellow/orange, burgundy, etc. I think the jacket should be a neutral, but the shirt underneath can have more pop. Enjoy it!

        • The Worthington line at jcp is usually good quality for the price, especially if this is the fabric I think it is.

      • I love it! I think everything you listed would work, and I think it could also be pretty with a cardigan with a bright shell underneath.

      • I agree that it works.

        I received that skirt in gray for a Christmas gift, and I am simply amazed at the quality for the price (I had to exchange it on size, so I got the price then). It’s lined and appears really well made, the seaming provides an interesting detail, and the fit is really flattering. Definitely comparable to any of my $70-$100 range skirts. I’ve been meaning to post it here as a solution for that common “how do I build a professional wardrobe from scratch on a tight budget?” question.

        • Actually, I was pretty impressed with the JCP Worthington selection when I was there this past weekend. It’s pretty hit or miss for me there due to sizing, but I found about 5 skirts that fit beautifully for $20-$40. Today, I’m wearing a black pencil skirt with tiny white polka dots that I purchased over the weekend, and I feel quite stylish and put together :) If any of you are looking for some affordable options, as Lyssa mentioned, these are great. My sister is a college student, and she needs some business clothes for presentations sometimes, and I’ve already called her to tell her to go pick up some of the pencil skirts at JCP.

          • Here’s today’s skirt, for reference: http://jcp.is/ycWkuR

            It hits just below my knee, purchased in a size 4, sits just above my hip bones, lined, and thus far, pretty wrinkle-free across my lap

      • That is really pretty! Now tempted to get both the aqua blue and the dark purple for myself. Just have to figure out whether 22″ will be long enough for me — I’m 5’8″ but very long waisted, so it might work.

    • I don’t see this color as unprofessional at all; I rather like it. Good choice! As far as colors, you could wear anything with this but anything you mention above would be fine.

      • I have an aqua pencil skirt that also has some sheen to boot! I don’t hesitate to wear it to work at all. My go-to with it is a navy button-front shirt and nude-for-me pumps. I also have a couple of heathered neutral cardigans that I wear with it.

    • Oh look, JCP knocked off the Nordstrom Skirt.

      I would wear this with a dark purple top or a bright pink or rose top, maybe yellow. But I like bright colors. If you want a more subdued look, in addition to the colors you mention, forest green and chocolate brown would look nice.

    • Really really pretty. Love the color.

      How’s the fabric and quality??

    • That’s a beautiful color! Not unprofessional at all. Definitely agree that this is a knock off of THE skirt. Speaking of the Nordstrom skirt, I love it but wish that it came in tall sizes! I’m not thrilled with the length of the skirt that I bought.

      • Was just in Nordies yesterday with some girlfriends and 2 of 5 bought The Skirt! Thanks for the recommendation Corporettes!

    • I don’t think it is unprofessional at all! I wouldn’t hesitate to wear it with any of the options you mentioned. I’m pretty tempted to get that skirt myself, and I do not need another work skirt.

    • Love it. I’m also tempted to buy. How tall are you and does it hit at the top of your knee or at the bottom? As pictured, this would probably be too short on me. (I’m all legs, top of the knee is perfectly professional on everyone else.)

    • You all have inspired me to keep this skirt, thanks for the opinions :)

      Re: fit/quality, etc. I’m 5’6″, athletic build and hourglass figure. It hits about middle of the knee for me, and sits right on the top of my hip bones. I’m probably more forgiving on quality than most of you, but I think it’s a nice weight. I can’t remember if it’s lined, I’ll have to go home and check, but I’m pretty sure it is lined. Again, for $20, I highly recommend picking it up. I bought a size 4, and it fits my hips/waist well. I normally wear a 2 at Ann Taylor, and I’ve been able to wear a 2 in JCP Worthington, but sometimes it’s just a touch tight across the hips when I sit down, so the 4 was a better option for comfort.

  5. Salit-a-gator :

    Any recommendations for a nice tote bag? I’m looking for something with a zipper, flap or other secure closure (not magnetic), big enough to accomodate a 8×11 note pad, but suitable for everyday wear as a purse (not a briefcase). Budget is under $400, preferably a lot less.

    What do you think about this: http://www.zappos.com/badgley-mischka-mimi-shine-tote-black
    or this:

    • No other recommendations (I’ve been carrying the same bags since forever) but I really like the Fossil bag!

    • adore the badgley mischka!

      • The Lo & Sons “TT” bag Kat posted a few months back is fantastic, and under $400.

        • Salit-a-gator :

          Thanks for reminding me about the TT. Just looking on their website though and its sold out.

    • Alanna of Trebond :

      I’ve looked at the fossil bag in person, and it kind of has a weird shape. Also, the top is not a secure closure, although if you wanted you get it made to have a zipper.

      I did really like it in brown, though. When I was checking out similar bags recently, I ended up getting this (http://www.zappos.com/product/7776407/color/552) badgley mischka bag in black in the end. I found it at TJMaxx, where it was $200, rather than the $330 here, but that price seems to be within your budget.

    • I recently got this one for similar type purposes and have been pleased: http://www.zappos.com/lodis-accessories-audrey-isabella-tote-black.

  6. it doesn’t look as bright as i imaged, but idk what it’s like in person. on my screen it looks more of a mallard color, which i think is appropriate for most business casual offices. I’d wear it with any of the colors you mentioned, and maybe navy too.

  7. Here is a pic of a model wearing it during this morning’s Rag & Bone breakfast at Bergdorf Goodman. I am completely in love with this jacket!


  8. This color may not be so great on me, I’ve never tried it actually. Probably worth a try… Southeast Asian here (nc45)

    • def worth a try. i’m nc30 winter nc40 summer but not asian. some people have said my skin has some olive tone, but i really just see yellow. i have dark brown/black hair (which i’m assuming you do too?) and some freckles. I don’t look good in any pastels or muted midtone colors, which is i guess why i mainly wear neutrals for professional things.

      • Yep, you guessed it right. Black hair. I absolutely love pastels but they’re not that great on me. I do wear them once every 10 days or so just to break my neutrals pattern.

    • Legally Brunette :

      I think this color would look great on you. I’m nc42 and I have a similar cardigan in bright yellow and always get compliments when I wear it.

  9. Turks and Caicos :

    Regular poster, going anon for this since I’ve mentioned it to coworkers this morning:

    Just booked a week in the Turks and Caicos! We are going to be staying at Aquamarine Beach Houses (small hotel on the beach; we will have a kitchenette) and are very excited… any of you ladies have particular restaurants or activities (we are snorkelers, not divers) to recommend?

    (Also, we are well aware of the restaurant pricing – how are portion sizes generally? Enough food if you get two appetizers, or just an entree, to help defray what would otherwise be a week of our normal 1x-a-month splurge dinner?)

    • I have nothing to add…but may I just say how jealous I am! So jealous!! The closest I’ve come to this is that the color on my toes right now is called Turquoise and Caicos.


    • I was just in T&C in October and loved it! So relaxing! Restaurant-wise, as you noted, pricing is expensive. We went to both Coco Bistro and Magnolia Wine Bar, and loved both. Pricing is equivalent to very nice, but not crazy, places in NYC, though we found that wine pricing was very reasonable, less than you’d expect given the food pricing. And I thought the service at both places was wonderful. We went to Magnolia on the later side, but views are amazing, so if you could go at sunset, I’d highly recommend it. Both places have great atmosphere for outdoor dining. I thought portions were generous, we got apps and entrees, but could have been fine splitting an app or having 2 apps each as a meal. We also went to Lemon Cafe, which is a middle eastern restaurant with an interesting Moroccan vibe. We really enjoyed that as well, though the cuisine didn’t feel ‘island-y’ at all… it was more affordable than Magnolia and Coco as well.

      Hope that is helpful, enjoy your trip!!

    • My husband and I went to T&C for our honeymoon recently. We loved it and found it to be incredibly relaxing! We were there for a week and went to most of the pricey restaurants on the island. Of those, we LOVED the food at Coyaba and Coco Bistro – those were probably our two best meals. The views at Magnolia are amazing, especially if you can get there for sunset, and I remember the food being very good. We also enjoyed (just not quite as much) O’Soleil and Grace’s Cottage. (Also, in case of bad weather, O’Soleil is the only restaurant that’s completely inside.) The setting at Anacaona was beautiful, but we were underwhelmed by the food.

      We were living in NYC at the time, and the portions were typically larger than NYC restaurants. We each ordered an appetizer and entree and shared dessert every night (we were being fat kids b/c it was our honeymoon), but I think we usually took half of our entrees back with us and had them for lunch the next day. So, yeah, you could probably get by with two appetizers or just an entree at most places.

      Also, we stayed in a condo with a kitchen, which is a pretty typical setup for T&C. So to defray costs, we went to the grocery store on our first day and bought half a case of wine, ingredients for rum punch, and some staples to supplement the hotel’s continental breakfast and our lunches of leftovers. Groceries are very expensive (even by NYC standards), but it did help our budget and gave us more time on the beach to not order drinks at the hotel bar and only go out for one meal a day.

      Did I mention that I gained 5 lbs in 7 days on that trip? Enjoy :)

    • Praxidike :

      I’ve been to Provo around ten times (my family has a place down there) and these are some of the restaurants we’ve enjoyed. Portion size varies by restaurant, but generally we get an appetizer and dinner, or dinner and dessert. If you’re not that hungry, then you can do appetizer and dessert. The drinks and fuel costs are what really kill you.

      Baci Ristorante (Italian); Coco Bistro (French; very nice for a splurge, but not on the water); Coyaba Restaurant; Anacoana (excellent bouillabaisse!); Da Conch Shack (sort an experience, but the conch is quite good; I recommend getting the fresh conch salad instead of anything fried); and Bay Bistro.

      Have fun. We spend most of our time laying on the beach, taking a leisurely swim, and then “resting” before going out to dinner. It is very taxing, as I am sure you can tell. One suggestion for something to do is to go investigate “Cooper Jack Park.” It is a cool little cove where you can climb down (at your own risk!) when the tide is low, and the beach is basically deserted. It is not for the faint of heart, however. It should be on any basic map you get, and I am assuming you’ll be renting a car.

    • S in Chicago :

      We go every few years. I highly recommend Grace’s Cottage, Cocoa Bistro, and Anacoana for nice dinners. For more casual, Hemmingways (at the Sands) and Calico Jack’s (burger place that has the best veggie burgers and fried conch). After dinner at Calico Jack’s, be sure to head downstairs for homemade icecream at Island Scoop. There’s another great icecream place just down the road from island scoop as well. I can’t remember the name right now (looks a little sketchy on the outside) but they had the best homemade rum raisin icecream ever. Portions tend to be normal at most places. Provo has a regular grocery store. We usually go there first and stock up on some drinks and breakfast rolls and the like, which helps balance out the nice dinners. We have friends on island so have been able to borrow one of their cars to do this. But I believe there is a shuttle service that stops at most of the resorts that will run there, so you don’t have to take a taxi unless you desire. If you get a chance, visit Igana island. It was a really fun afternoon and they take you diving. It’s supposed to be whale watching time there now–but I believe you have to take a ferry off of Provo to do it. (One of these days, I hope to!) Also, I haven’t been there, but I’ve heard multiple people say to skip the conch museum (it’s about the only thing to do if the weather turns poorly). Supposed to be a waste of money. Hope you have a great trip!

    • Turks and Caicos :

      thanks for all the input so far! bookmarking for later reference so please keep the advice coming!

  10. Legally Brunette :

    Some of you spoke about how much you love your leopard print pumps. Where can I find some that have no more than a 3 inch heel and are less than $100? Zappos doesn’t have any that I like. Thanks.

    • http://piperlime.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=37075&vid=1&pid=849451&scid=849451052

    • Anon again :


    • Anon again :


      These are 130 but low heel

    • Anon again :


    • Anon again :

      Go to DSW.com they have some good nine west for 70 as well.

      • Thanks so much! I love the Ivanka ones the best, but am hoping to pay less than $100. Will check out the other options as well.

    • I’ve missed the leopard print pumps part. Are they work apt, btw?

  11. Woods-comma-Elle :

    Just following up on the ‘morning work out’ discussion over the weekend.

    I recently moved and my gym is now 20 minutes away, instead of five. All of last week I couldn’t make myself get up and go to the gym before work, but today I did it even though I really didn’t want to. Of course it was hard, but I felt better for it afterwards. I work in big law, so mornings are really the only time I can go. I don’t like the idea of taking two hours in the middle of the day to go to the gym, especially if I could then use that time to leave earlier in the evenings.

    The main problem I have is that I just think ‘I’m missing out on sleep’ even if I wake up perfectly perky around the time I should get up to go to the gym. I love my sleep and too often it wins, even if I’m not tired enough to warrant the extra hour in bed (obvs if I’ve gone to bed late, I skip the early morning gym session with a good conscience.

    This is only the first time I’ve managed to do it from my new place, so I can’t yet claim it has become a habit. But I got there, and learned I have lost 10lbs since Christmas, so it was a good day for the gym!

    • Good for you getting there today! I am also a giant fan of sleep, so if I know I have to run in the morning, I try to get in bed an hour or so early. That way I don’t feel like I’m missing out on sleep. Don’t know if that’s a viable option for you, with your working schedule, but it makes 5:30 alarms viable for me.

    • Lost 10 lbs since Christmas?! Jeez, I don’t understand how that happens to everyone but me! kidding, but you did great. I’m trying so hard to wake up in the morning. The problem is my gym is super crowded after 6 pm and remains that way till about 10 pm which makes it impossible for me to workout in the evenings. I hate having to wait for a machine and then feel guilty if I want to continue my exercise beyond 30 mins. There’s hardly anybody in the mornings but I always read till 12 or 1 am so it’s IMPOSSIBLE for me to wake up before 7 am.

    • SoCal Gator :

      There is always a way to make it work — that’s my philosophy. Can you join a new gym that’s close to your new home? I have 2 gyms, one 5 minutes from home and one that’s literally across the street from work for that very reason. Pricey but not if you actually use them a lot. I also find that I can squeeze in a lunch workout if it’s weight training because that does not make me sweat so much I have to redo my hair — a quick shower and makeup touch and I am in and out in less than an hour and a half.

      Or, how about doing some home gym workouts like some Jillian Michaels tapes? Just a few ideas to help you get creative. You can figure out something that works for you if you put your mind to it. Good luck!

  12. UPDATE: So many of you told me I should be patient with the guy I’ve been seeing (the one I was SO excited about two and a half months ago)…and I have been, but it’s run its course. We average about 10 days between dates now, and it’s like pulling teeth to get him to make a plan with me. He always seems to have some excuse to not see me. Such a contrast from when we began. I just feel incredibly underappreciated and it’s causing me too much anxiety to go on with him. I haven’t ended it yet, but I plan to the next time I see him–who knows when that will be!

    Words of encouragement about finding someone new are welcome! Single is a lonely place when you’re 33. :(

    • I still don’t think 10 days between dates is that long. What does he do? Aren’t you a busy professional too? He may legitimately be busy, as is often the case. I think you may just be too optimistic about how often people are willing to see each other early on in a relationship. It’s much easier in your 20s, but when you reach your thirties, you’re likely in a job that may be more demanding and may also have more commitments outside of work.

      • Disagree, if someone is truly interested in you they will make some time to see you even if it’s for an hour or drinks or a weekend daytime thing. NO ONE IS THAT BUSY when they’re truly into you. Women who justify men’s indifferent behavior are doing themselves (or those to whom they’re offering advice) a disservice.

        • Yes, exactly. It wasn’t about the number of days so much as the apparent lack of interest. We work very close to one another and used to get coffee or a quick happy hour drink between dates…now he can’t even find time to see me.

          • Red-flag deal-breaker. Save yourself the heartache now and end it, otherwise you are rewarding his behavior by sticking around.

          • springtime :

            I’m no expert, but I know that every time I have to constantly ask someone to hang out, they’re not interested enough for my emotional investment. Maybe you don’t have to say ‘it’s over’. My first reaction if I were you would be to say “it’s over” probably because I want them to acknowledge me, stop ignoring me and say “Oh I’m sorry let’s hang out more!” However, that’s never how it really ends and I regret saying it/putting myself out there for someone who doesn’t care.

            Rather, I think it’s more effective just to not approach him to hang out. Let him contact you if he wants to see you. Assume that you may never hear from him again, though. It may suck for a couple of weeks when you don’t get any messages from him, but then you’ll realize the stress of trying to make someone like you was far worse and you will be happier :). Trust me.

          • Disagree w/ springtime as well. Even if he contacts you on these rare occassions that he wants to see you, do not meet him. Unfortunately, you’ll just show that he can see you only when it’s convenient for him, when he has nothing else to do. Usually guys know to make advance plans with women, not have them on call for when their other plans don’t work out. Responding to the rare invite makes you his perpetual back-up plan girl, but you deserve to be at the forefront of his plans (when he’s not working).

          • springtime :

            Hmm true. good point. I guess what usually happens with me is that if I don’t hear from a guy for awhile, and they contact me, I really don’t care anymore and I just ignore it.

            I wouldn’t suggest offering to be free whenever they say they are free of course. I realize my post kinda made it sound that way.

      • When my SO and I started dating (mid 20s both busy professionals) I think we saw each other 1-2 times a month! It took a long time to start seeing each other regularly, but we lived about an hour apart.

        That being said, trust your gut instinct. You can probably tell if he’s genuinely busy or genuinely interested. For a long time I questioned my SO but my friends told me he seemed pretty sweet and just shy so give him a chance.

        So I don’t know if you want to totally break it off or wait it out, but if you’re not in a committed relationship keep your eyes open and hopefully get excited about someone else.

        • Yes, it’s more than just the frequency of dates. It’s the fact that I feel like he’s just stringing me along. He doesn’t even seem all that excited when we are out and physically things have dwindled–and we hadn’t even slept together yet!

          I’m just sad that another one’s biting the dust!

    • I just turned 34 and am 100% single. You’re not alone.

    • Batgirl, I’m sorry if you’re hurting. It’s true that we all have plenty of constraints on our time, but when you say it feels like “pulling teeth” with him, that’s all that matters. Dating should be fun and make you feel good. So regardless of the reasons behind this, I think you’re right to let it go.

      All I have to say about “finding someone new” is that it has happened for me every time, even when I was absolutely pathetically down on myself from the last go-around. (I am a few years younger than you, so I apologize if it sounds like I’m trying to play the sage here–I’m not!) The sooner you’re on your feet (and it sounds like you’re already doing very well keeping perspective), the sooner you’re in a position to recognize a better prospect. It took me sooooo long to stop struggling in situations like this, but it is infinitely kinder to oneself. Kudos.

    • Sorry to hear that Batgirl. I’m your age, and I agree that is a long time between dates. Too bad this wasn’t the guy for you, but now it frees you up to look for the right one. Here’s my words of encouragement: a couple years ago I caught an interview on CNN with Lorena Bobbit. Yes, that one. Apparently she has gotten remarried and started a new career as a family counselor. You might think this is nuts, but I think about that every time I’m down on myself for being single. If that woman can find a second chance at happiness, then why not me? I think there is someone out there for everyone, though it might not happen the way we expect it to.

      • Haha, that’s great. Though sometimes it makes me a little “if Lorena Bobbit is married, how the hell am I still single?” But I suppose that’s the pessimistic way of looking at things!

        • soulfusion :

          HA! This reminds me of a conversation I had recently with a very good male friend (who my mother thinks I should marry but we have never dated). He was giving examples of some crazy person or another who managed to get married and I said “sure, but that is the thing, I couldn’t even get crazy!” And he replied, dead serious, “you could get crazy if you were willing to go there.” It made me laugh and cheers me up for reasons I can’t quite explain. I definitely find it somewhat depressing when I hear of crazy, bizarre people who still manage to find someone and I’m somehow in a whole other category of undateable. But then I remember my friend telling me I could dip into that pool if I wanted to but I basically respect myself too much to be desperate. Or at least that is my interpretation. I hope this all makes sense, I realize sometimes these types of disucssions don’t translate well in the re-telling.

          • I know what you’re talking about.

            When I was single what really helped me avoid the blues was to objectively ask myself, “Am I doing everything I can to make the right thing happen?” –> which not only meant, am I going online/going out/trying to meet people, etc. but – am I taking care of myself? Being healthy, happy and sane? Recognizing that I’m not perfect, working on my flaws but also not expecting Mr. Right to be perfect? Giving guys a real chance, and also giving myself a real chance to do what I needed to do and live my life?

            If the answer was “no”, then I tried to work on that, rather than worry about guys.

          • Just because they’re married, doesn’t mean they’re happy. You never know what goes on behind closed doors away from the public eye. Most people choose the wrong person to marry because they settled due to fears of being alone. That is NEVER the better alternative to being single and making yourself happy.

    • I’m so sorry things haven’t worked out with him :( I have no magical words that will make this all better. All I’ve got is what my friends always tell me, which is stay strong, be patient, and take care of yourself.

    • Bah! I am sorry to hear this. Good for you for trusting your gut, though. Fingers crossed for you :)

    • it’s a good thing. don’t waste your time and energy by obsessing or making it a bigger deal than it is … just move forward! this frees you up to find a guy that you feel 100% about. and you will. good luck.

    • Word. that is all.

    • You’re too good for something like this. Get over it and get over him soon so that you don’t miss out on better things.

      You don’t really need to end anything here. Next time he wants to meet you, make an excuse. And then another excuse. And then another one. Ignore him for good.

      • Haha, that would be funny. I’m going to talk to him. I don’t like leaving things hanging…plus he literally works on my block in NYC so I doubt I’d get away without running into him for too long.

  13. The post above got me thinking…how soon do you generally start looking at houses when you’re thinking of buying? We live in the city where we would be buying, although not in the neighborhood, so we could start hanging out more in the neighborhood we think we’d want now, but we have a lease until the fall, so is it too soon to actually start seeing houses?

    • redfin, + open houses! fun! i own and still look at redfin:)

      • Littlest Attorney :

        I want to know people’s opinions on this too! I’m sure its city dependent — anyone buy recently in DC and be willing to share budget / how long they looked?

        • OP here, I would love to hear from all, but am actually in DC as well. And I have been monitoring Redfin!

          • Littlest Attorney :

            I am addicted to Redfin … not good for productivity.

          • DC is a pretty broad area. The economy is quite good here, so home prices have stayed higher than in most other markets. We have been looking in Northern VA for a year and a half. We haven’t found much that we liked (obviously) but we think we should hold out for the perfect house.

        • Anastasia :

          haha, also addicted to redfin! I’m not technically in DC, but we’re looking in Maryland’s Metro-able burbs for 3 bedrooms and a yard in a decent school district. We kind of kept an eye on the market / inventory for about a year, trolling around various neighborhoods. We started looking “seriously” early last summer, got pre-approved for a mortgage and started working with a Realtor in August, and wanted to move ideally before the new year, but still haven’t found anything we like. Our budget is $450k, stretchable to $500k for a Perfect House, and there’s really not a lot available in our preferred neighborhoods for that price. We’re considering nearby neighborhoods as well (which are significantly cheaper), but for now, we’re holding out for location.

          I second other posters’ advice to start looking now and be ready to pounce if you see something you like. I’m not sure how it is downtown, but I’ve noticed things in my area either sell very quickly (within a couple weeks) or languish on the market for several months and several price reductions, and it’s oddly hard to predict which houses will be which.

          • Littlest Attorney :

            We have a $450-500K budget for a 2 bedroom /2 bath condo with about 1000 sq ft. (Maybe we could stretch to $525K if it was perfect, had parking, and low condo fees – but I think this would be a bad idea).

            Our strong preference is to be in DC, very close to a metro or a reliable bus line. Also want to be in a relatively safe neighborhood, so thinking about Columbia Heights, U Street, along 16th Street, possibly NoMa, maybe H street (but transportation is a little iffy still). Would love Woodley / Cleveland Park, Chinatown or Eastern Market but we are almost certainly priced out . Probably will also look in Courthouse, Clarendon, and Ballston and in Bethesda.

          • Just saw this — would say that I LOVE H Street and NoMA. Both are great neighborhoods, very “family friendly” even if your family just includes your dog. :) There were a lot of great houses in this area when we looked, but like I said, they went SO fast.

            With your budget, look to the NoMA area below Florida and above H (like, L St NE … 8th and L NE is an awesome block). That’s probably your best bet for a safe neighborhood townhouse. For condos, have you looked at 315 G Street NE? (I think that’s it …). Brand new condos, though I’m not sure what they go for.

          • Maryland burbs :

            This sounds like my exact budget and preferred neighborhood plan, but about 1 year early. What neighborhoods are you looking in exactly?

          • Littlest Attorney: with your budget you can buy a house just north of Columbia Heights in Petworth. More space, no ridiculous condo fees and plenty of parking.

        • My husband and I did. We bought a townhouse on Capitol Hill in September of last year after searching for about 5 months. The best time to buy is in March/April/May, as that’s the time everyone starts putting their houses on the market. We missed that window and ended up buying September .. and OMG until we found “our house” did we look at some doozies. I’ll echo Anastasia’s thoughts below: spend one or two weekends looking around to get a feel for what you do/don’t want. Anything that is on the market longer than a week probably has something wrong with it or is priced too high. Once you know what you want/don’t want, be prepared to look at houses every Friday, and make offers on Saturday if you want the house. I’m not kidding – they go so fast!! There were times where I wanted to think about a house after we looked at it on Friday, but we couldn’t get back to see it again until Tuesday or Wednesday and it would be GONE on Sunday. It was sooo frustrating.

          Townhouses in DC (not NOVA or Md, I can’t attest to that) in NW, NE, or SE that are in “ok” neighborhoods go from anywhere from $500,000 – $850,000 for a 2-3 bedroom. You would think you could get more house if you looked on like, H Street, or some other developing neighborhood, but that’s unfortunately not the case. The price is going to dictate the state of the house, essentially, unless you’re willing to move out of metro-accessible land.

          I will throw out that there are three really cute houses on the market right now in the Union Station/H Street/Capitol Hill area that I see every day on my way home from work.

          • Littlest Attorney :

            I agree NoMa / H Street are definitely budget friendly, but I’m somewhat concerned about safety in NoMa / H Street and I don’t think of myself as all that squemish. I’ve had two good friends robbed (1 at gunpoint the other at knifepoint) during daylight hours (like 5pm ish) walking from the bus to their house in the last 6 months.

            Also public transportation for where I and my significant other work to those areas is not ideal (worse for significant other and he is less tolerant of commuting than I am). I could get to work in 30 min but it would take him 45 minutes and involve a bus transfer or a long walk. It would improve with the streetcar, but that’s not projected to start until summer 2013 and I bet it will be later than that because its DC!

          • Thanks for all that info. I think our ideal location would be a nice/safe block on Capitol Hill.

          • Aww, I lived near H and L NE in law school. This post is making me nostalgic!

            Assuming you have a professional job, perhaps a dog and a bicyle (not at the same time) could lower the risk of theft, or at least the attention of thieves on foot. I’ve noticed that I get less street harrassment while on a bike, and the same might apply to muggings.

          • Yikes – probably a good reminder that just because I *feel* safe and haven’ t had anything bad happen to me doesn’t mean it can’t happen, and I should probably pay attention!

            With that said, I tend to be out at all hours of the night if I work late or need to walk my dogs, and I’ve always felt ok walking the dogs over there. I think I tend to forget that DC is a city, even if it doesn’t always feel like one.

            And yea – I completely understand the “don’t want a long commute” sentiment. 30-45 minutes is rough!

          • Don’t get the appeal behind H street. I lived off H street closer to the stadium for about 8 months and it was horrible. No close transportation other than a sketchy urban bus line, and I never felt safe (on the bus or otherwse). I had cab drivers routinely nearly refuse to drop me off. Let’s just also say that I didn’t match the demographic at all and would be slurred at nearly every day walking the ONE block from the bus stop to my home. Luckily I was renting- I cannot imagine buying and being forced to stay long term in one of the “cute” (not sure how people even think these homes look desireable, since most are so run down on the inside and out) rowhouses in an area that was so unsafe and depressed.

          • @ Ugh – I think you’re expanding the area of H Street beyond it’s parameters — down by the stadium doesn’t really qualify as “H Street” to me. Depending on where you were, you were either near Benning (which I agree, is a scary neighborhood!) or near Stanton Park (which is lovely, at least as long as you’re near the park … as you get closer to the stadium it gets so much worse).

            DC is so strange – on a map everything looks close together and like it should be interconnected, but the city is really block to block. One block in Capitol Hill might be sketch, and the very next block might be fantastic. I remember when we were looking in Petworth, I was all “oh – this is lovely up here!” And then we walked onto a new block and I immediately had to consciously pull my shoulders out of my ears because I was completely freaked out just walking down the street on a Saturday afternoon with my husband.

      • Thanks for the redfin tip! Just started looking for houses in Chicago, and we are looking to move mid-August. Glad to hear other people have started already too!

        • Littlest Attorney :

          I mean I won’t rule out the area because even the nicest areas of DC have crime issues. (I believe I saw someone was shot near 14th and P and then there was the death at Heritage India in Dupont and those are both places I think of a plenty safe.) It’s just something to consider.

          Maybe I could ride a bike to work — haven’t really considered that since I probably haven’t ridden a bike since elementary school!

    • I think now is the perfect time to start looking – if only to get a feel for your local market and where you would want to consider buying, and what those areas have that you like.

      • westwood mom :

        Agree with this one hundred percent. You also may change your mind about neighborhoods once you see what is available at your price point. Plus, its fun to go to open houses.

    • I would figure on 2 months of casual looking (Redfin, open houses, etc) to get a feel for your market, 2-4 months of serious looking (or 1 year in my case — kill me), and then 2 months from offer to closing. And build in a buffer for things going wrong in the deal, fixing up the new place (even if that just means cleaning it), and moving. So if your lease is up in the fall, it wouldn’t hurt to start doing research and casually looking in the next month or two.

    • I would start looking and going to open houses, to get a feel for what’s available and at what prices in the area where you’re looking. Of course, for most of my childhood my mom and I went out every Sunday afternoon and looked at all of the open houses in our area just for fun, so I think of open houses as a fun activity entirely divorced from the home buying process.

    • If you want to buy this spring, according to my realtors (we are both buying and selling) the time to start is NOW. Its slim pickings for buyers right now in my area, but spring is when things start to come on the market. You want to narrow down your geographic area ASAP.

      Also — don’t forget — don’t buy a home for NOW, buy it for 10++ years. Don’t get stuck in another real estate crash. If you’re in a serious relationship and want kids one day, consider school districts and commute.

      Also — THANK YOU to whomever recommended usedmovingboxes dot com. We’re decluttering prior to sale and having boxes delivered is great.

      • ^^ Also, in my area now, it takes 60-90 days to close, on average. That’s a LONG time. Get prequalified for mortgages ASAP.

    • DC Association :

      Start looking NOW. You need to figure out what area you want to live in and if you have or are planning to have kids, you need to check out the schools and so forth, and that could take a while. Also, the market is so competitive in DC. i have a friend who put offers on 8 different places in 6 months. Kinda depressing.

      So, if you start zero-ing in on where you want to live now and get a feel for places in that area, when you ARE ready to buy, you can pounce.

      • Littlest Attorney :

        Offers on 8 places in 6 months? This is my worst nightmare! Was your friend out bid or did problems come up during inspection or something else?

    • I’m the poster above and have been going at it for almost a year. Take my advice with a grain of salt, since I’ve obviously been unsuccessful thus far, but there are some things we should have done differently and that may help you. I wish we had started looking sooner, because it took us a good 3 months or so to get a good feel for the market, pricing, etc. I also suggest spending a lot of time picking the right agent. I am sure that our agent is part of our problem. She is not familiar enough with the area we want, doesn’t have a lot of contacts in that area, and is just not the right fit for us overall.

      • Middle Coast :

        You can start checking out the neighborhoods you might be interested in now, also a few that you might not have considered. By that I mean spend an entire day in the area; eat at a local restaurant, check out the stores, libraries, traffic, schools, parks, etc. Drive around and look at houses for sale, the price range, how big the yards are, how far it is from services you need, etc. Strike up a conversation with someone and ask how they like living there. This will help you to visualize once you are ready to become serious. It might also open up some areas you hadn’t considered before.

    • I think it depends on your area. You may want to talk to a banker and get an idea of mortgage rates/how long (and what you’d need) to get a mortgage and maybe even get a pre-approval letter. You may also want to get a better idea of how long it takes to close after you have an accepted offer – in NYC for a co-op that can easily take 3-4 months with the interviews and everything else.
      I’d look start ‘seriously’ looking maybe 6-8 months before you want to move – less if you can close quickly in your area.

  14. To ladies who have taken a higher level managerial job for career advancement’s sake, though you may have enjoyed your prior job more: worth it on balance, yes or no? Thanks!

  15. Boston meet up :

    How did the Boston corporette gathering go? Was sorry that I could not attend.

  16. Just have to share this…I’m getting a dog! I met one I liked at an adoption event on Saturday, but wasn’t 100% sure, so I decided to swing through my local humane society on Sunday. And there was my girl! She’s a purebred Siberian Husky (which is kind of surprising since I’ve never had a purebred dog in my life) super-sweet, beautiful, adoption staff said we had compatible energy levels, walks well on a leash and was happy to go for a (very, as I was in riding boots) short run, etc.

    So that’s pretty exciting. She isn’t home yet, but I’ll be picking her up Thursday. Now, of course, I’m running through all the nightmare scenarios–freak accident with her spaying operation! my landlord about-faces to declare her verboten! the humane society decides I am somehow unworthy and revokes my adoption!–but trying to remain realistic about everything.

    The weekend thread was useful for stuff (Furminator: yes please; and Dog Star Daily appears to be a sane and helpful resource), but does anyone else have any other advice for a new dog? Is there anything you wish someone had told you ahead of time? Is pet insurance worth it? Am I completely insane for having done this?

    • so exciting! :

      That is so exciting, congratulations! What color eyes does she have? I’m sure you’ve already looked into this, but huskies are on the banned dogs list for some apartment buildings, just something to keep in mind (not sure if you’re in a longterm housing situation or have plans to move in the near future).

      As for pet insurance, I wish I had gotten it when we first adopted our dog, about a year-and-a-half ago. Every time we have an issue, we say, “oh we should get insurance,” but then we think about what we just spent and feel like it’s hopeless, since we always say that. (Not the most rationale thought process, I know.)

      • so exciting! :


      • She has the purtiest blue eyes :)

        Yeah, I’m aware of the banned dog lists. Since I’ll be moving in the June-August range, I will definitely be building extra time into the housing search.

        Thanks for the insight on pet insurance. I keep waffling and feeling like I’ll lose whichever way I go. Sigh.

        • so exciting! :

          Just to give you an idea of our vet bills..
          – Our dog cut her foot last year in the snow, required a vet trip (non-emergency).
          – She cut her leg in the snow, required a vet trip (non-emergency), that vet didn’t do a great job, took her to another vet and got local anesthesia so the vet could fix what first vet did, that was about $250.
          – Our dog needs a dental cleaning (her breed has dental issues) about every 18 months, I think that was around $450 last year, although the vet also had to pull a tooth and then took x-rays of her hip because she sometimes limps.
          – We moved to a new area, new vet requires a check-up for all new patients, about $100. Lyme disease vaccine, $50 each administration (I think it required two shots). I cannot remember how much bordatella is (maybe around $20 at our vet), but that you are supposed to get every 6 months, especially if you’re boarding her.
          – Bite from another dog, about $600 in emergency care (many emergency vets will have a “walk in the door” fee before they start charging for services…ours was $140).

          Really anytime there was an open wound, she needed antibiotics, so that adds to the cost of care. I saw that some insurance companies will cover flea and heartworm treatment, which could make it worth it. We live in DC now and were advised to use both year-round (you don’t necessarily need to do so if you live in a cooler climate), so now my interest is renewed.

        • If you decide to not go with insurance, look at pre-paid care like the Banfield plans. I’ve mentioned this on other threads. Not all Banfields are created equal. It’s a chain in PetSmart. Our local one has an amazing vet who is a cat diabetes expert. I probably would have ended up there even if I had started elsewhere. Both my cat and dog are on the prepaid plans and we have saved almost $2000 to date. They get their twice yearly physical, all shots, a dental cleaning w/ anesthesia, plus a blood draw and urine test yearly. All other office visits are free and I get 15% off the other services like if my pet needs other blood work above and beyond the plan allowance. It is not insurance. You still pay if your pet needs major surgery. But it has helped w/ a cat that needs regular office visits for medicine maintenance. They are all covered! I think I pay $25/per month per pet but I’m not sure.

          • This. Our two dogs were puppies and we put them on the Banfield plan. The plans paid for themselves very quickly between their spays, vaccinations, and their constant hematomas and digestive issues. Make sure that you like the vets and techs at your local Banfield before you buy in, but I think the plan is fabulous.

          • Interesting. I’ll check into this. There isn’t a PetSmart in my town, but there is one 30-40 minutes away that I guess I could schlep over to. Does the plan cover all Banfields everywhere, or is it only at your local one?

          • Annnd I could try reading more than one page of their website before I post questions.

          • I don’t have any comment about the Banfield plan, but I just wanted to say that having a convenient vet is really imporant to me. If something comes up with my dog that doesn’t warrant a trip to the emergency vet but needs care in the next day or so, I have to take a lot more time off from work if the vet is 30-40 minutes away than if the vet’s office is nearby. (If the PetSmart is near where you work, though, you might see if they have an option to take care of the dog for the rest of the day when the appointment is, which could make it less of an inconvenience.)

      • When I got my dog from the shelter, the first few months she was just freaked out by everything, so daily routine is key. She hated deviating from her daily walk/trying out new things at first. She has come such a long way now, but just be patient! Don’t do too much all at once.

    • (1) Huskies are very high energy dogs that need to be trained from the start. So just make sure you’re consistent from the very beginning (as in first time through the door) about rules of the house — I wish we had been better about that with our dog. Oh…and exercise, exercise exercise — really can’t emphasize that enough.

      (2) I think pet insurance is worth it if (a) you don’t have a ton of savings and (b) you’re the type who would pay any amount to save your dog. Its kind of like a safety valve — I know if something horrible happens I’m not going to have to decide between my finances and saving my dog. That sort of thing.

      (3) You’re not insane! It’ll be good, the fact that you’re thinking about all this stuf means you’ll be great!

      • Oh, and also, dogs are creatures of habit. They will get used to anything basically, as long as it become habitual. But they become uncomfortable when habits change. So the sooner you can establish a routine for your rescue, the happier he/she will be. And you have to try to keep it even on weekends at first, even if that means getting up early for a feeding and a walk.

      • Anastasia :

        YES to high-energy! I had a roommate with a husky he didn’t exercise enough, and that dog would destroy things and be completely obstinate if I didn’t take it for a run every day. They’re fantastic dogs, just know that you really need to plan on giving them time to run – really run, not just walk – for about an hour a day if you want them to be managable the rest of the time. Also, be prepared for people to stop you on the street to tell you how beautiful your dog is! :) So exciting, good luck!

      • Anonymous :

        1. I second all of this. I had a Husky puppy in my group obedience class and it was the hardest to get on board, but ultimately a great, obedient dog.
        2. Keep in mind that puppies are easier to train when they are tired, so exercise will help the dog focus when you are trying to teach her something new.
        3 The bad behavior will stop eventually. So if the puppy is a chewer, you are going to go through a period when you think there will be no end to the chewing. That is not true. It will end.
        4. Consider what your “house rules” will be before she comes home. If she’s allowed on furniture/your bed now, she will always get on the furniture. If you feed her table scraps now, she will consider herself entitled to them. So think: Do I want the dog to have free reign, or do I want to make her ask permission to get on the furniture. Do I want to give scraps at the table every time I eat, or should I only give them in her bowl? Or will she get no scraps at all, so no begging? Getting these ground rules set beforehand will help you consistently enforce them from the beginning. So will enrolling in obedience classes early if not immediately. It will teach you more than it will teach her, and make you feel more confident to teach her all along the way.
        Congrats! Dogs are the best! I’m glad you’ve found each other.

      • Thanks ladies! I will definitely be providing plenty of exercise, especially after all of these responses (not to mention all the husky websites I’ve been reading on this very slow day at work). She was very well-behaved on the leash at the shelter, and stayed politely by my side during our two minute cr*p-I’m-wearing-riding-boots test run, so unless I break an ankle or something we should be good to go on that front at least.

    • Congratulations! We’ve had 2 huskies, and they are very, very different! The first was very active, but incredibly gentle and good-natured. She was a spectacular dog in every way. The second appears to be somewhat anxious and has had a lot of behavioral problems, so I’m not sure whether we did something wrong or not there. But he’s still a good companion most of the time.

      One thing about huskies, though, is that they are all crazy-smart. They will learn words from hearing you say them, and learn commands easily, and they will be able to escape from almost any enclosure, so be ready for that. I honest-to-god believe that my first one had a sense of humor. They’re very affectionate and love people, but can be very independant, too. And the fur is out of this world – you will not believe how much they shed.

      Good luck to you, you will have a lot of fun!

    • Purebred huskies often end up in animal shelters because they’re such high energy, difficult dogs. Definitely be ready to give it tons of exercise. They also do better in pairs (or small packs), if that is at all a possibility for you.

    • Congrats!! I haven’t had a husky, but I have another “high-energy” dog breed and just now, at 8.5 years old, he’s starting to calm down and spend most of the day sleeping.

      People may mock me for this, but I swear by the Dog Whisperer’s obedience and training techniques. Get the book “Cesar’s Way” – it even has a chapter on what to do once you bring a new dog in to house so that you don’t immediately ingrain bad habits. Basically, it boils down to 1) exercise, 2) discipline, 3) affection (in that order). Using those techniques has made a night and day difference with my two crazy rescues. I remember that you’re a runner and partially wanted a dog as an exercise buddy, so the “exercise” portion (often the most difficult part to commit to), shouldn’t be an issue for you!

      Anyway, like the poster said above: dogs are creatures of habit and will grow accustomed to whatever you need. And there’s nothing like unconditional love greeting you home from work every single day to make the worst day even a little more bearable.

      • Do people mock the Dog Whisperer? I’ve been watching some episodes on Hulu in anticipation of dog ownership, and while I don’t totally agree with everything that he says and does, I also think he has a lot of good insights. His emphasis on how the owner’s mental state influences their dog has been eye-opening for me, in particular. I’d never really thought about that before, but looking back on family pets, I can definitely see how it impacted them.

        • I would say that there are some serious disagreements between the Cesar Milan and the Positive Reinforcement crowd. I particularly worry about his recommendation of physically subduing dogs — for an untrained person (with a big dog) that could be very dangerous. But, I do think the essential elements of his philosophy (exercise, consistency, and discipline) aren’t bad — I just think some people disagree with his execution.

          I’m actually a really big fan of “Its me or the dog” on Animal Planet, I think she gives really great advice and demonstrates positive-reinforcement training.

          • Oh yeah, I vaguely remember reading something about that, now that you mention it. I would definitely never attempt some of the stuff that he does, and honestly, think that if you did, you’d deserve whatever biting you got. He’s a professional with years of experience. Most of us do not have commensurate skills. Ergo most of us should not try physical corrections on large, poorly-socialized, and aggressive dogs.

            I like “It’s me or the dog” too. Honestly, I think they both have good ideas, and you need to pick the approach that’s going to be right for your dog’s needs.

          • Yeah – I should add that whenever I use Cesar’s tactics to discipline my dogs, I’m 100% confident that they would never be aggressive towards me (or my husband, or anyone else, for that matter). But I can’t imagine ever trying it on an unknown, aggressive dog. That takes chutzpah that I don’t possess.

      • While I agree with Exercise, Discipline & Affection, I would definitely recommend other dog trainers over Cesar Millan. Preferably someone with some legit animal behavior education/training (like Ian Dunbar – www.dogstardaily.com), who doesn’t equate wolves with dogs.

        • Heartily seconded. Equating wolves with dogs is based on outdated and mostly incorrect studies on wolves.

          The Monks of New Skete have a number of books on training dogs, and I have been recommending John Bradshaw’s _Dog Sense_, as well. Positive reinforcement is a kind, gentler way of training dogs.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      My coworker has a husky who is FINALLY outgrowing her puppy phase. She is so smart and so energetic that she has dug her way out of the backyard at least a dozen times out of excessive energy and boredom. They had to put a 6″ wide, 2 foot deep concrete “moat” around the edge of their fence which they covered with topsoil – it wasn’t enough to just have the fence go well into the ground because she would dig right through it. She’s also a chewer – shoes, furniture, etc, and gets into the locked trash sometimes. She’s also cost a fortune in vet bills due to some of her shenanigans. But when she is well exercised and not bored, she is one of the most charming and sweet dogs ever.

  17. Woods-comma-Elle :

    Sorry to hear about this, but it sounds like you are doing the right thing and it’s a classis ‘he’s just not that into you’ situation.

    I feel your pain – I’ve been single for almost three years without the slightest trickle of interest in the horizon and even though most of the time it doesn’t bother me at all, on occasion I do think never meeting anyone is just getting a bit old.


  18. I applied for a job that sounds great on Friday and they contacted me today to set up an interview!

  19. fly a way :

    What does the NC# reference mean? Just curious, I am.

    • They’re mac foundation colors. they have different tones, but coincidentally all of us are NCs, which is why we’re drawn to this color jacket.

      I’m not sure the mac make up people are as good at matching people as they claim though. I’ve also been matched with N and NW shades, but my skin has obvious yellow tones. i’m an NC30 in the winter, but one time when I went there for a darker color in the summer and the girl gave me nw30. why would you give me something of the same darkness but with a pink tone?! and the N shade looked a little grey on me or something.

      • I think some people mistake yellow undertones (cool) for golden undertones (warm).

        What do the rest of you ladies do with seasonal skin colour changes? Right now, I have products that match my end-of-winter palest and end-of-summer darkest skin colours and mix them throughout the rest of the year. It’d be nice just to be able to put a colour on, but I don’t want half a dozen containers each of concealer, foundation, and powder to make sure I always have the correct colour.

        • hmm that’s a good point. I thought yellow was warm. Without makeup my skin def has a yellow cast; I look better in gold jewelry but can wear silver. But, i look good in both pure white and ivory, and in chocolate brown and black. Of the NC NW and N I think NC is the best match, and NC is what i’m most often matched to by mac people.

          Anyway, I use a NARS concealer duo (can’t find it on sephora now) with custard and ginger. The custard is good for undereye in the winter, but i use ginger on random blemishes in the winter and undereye in the summer, and sometimes i mix the 2. Since I use powder foundation (studio fix) I just need a winter and summer color, they’re sheer enough to look fine for in between. I could see it being more difficult to match liquid foundation.

          Can you use translucent powder all year, like BM mineral veil? I also like MAC blot which comes in general colors, but word of warning they run light. I have medium dark and could have probably got a darker color.

          Also, I go on vacation every christmas so just when i’m getting pale I get tan again, and by the time that totally fades it’s late spring.

          • I actually do use the same powder all year, since I got it in an intermediate shade and it’s sheer enough to work fine. And I’ve mostly given up foundation, so really I just have the two concealers and am possibly complaining more than I really should about that.

    • anonymiss :

      It’s how MAC identifies its foundations. The lower the number, the paler the color.

  20. Threadjack, with thanks to those who weighed in last week when I obsessed about what to wear to a meeting with the GC of a federal agency. I went with the non-matched jacket and skirt and was the most professionally dressed of any of the women there (including a professional lobbyist and an agency staffer).

    The best part: When I went through security, the metal buttons on the skirt’s pleats and the zippers on the jacket of course set off the metal detector. I made some comment to the guard about poor planning on my part and he said, “But you look great, and that’s what really matters.” Made my day.

    • Yay! Glad you wore something that made you feel good and look good.

    • I know how that feels… great job on dressing up great. Isn’t it an instant mood-booster?

    • Aww, that’s so sweet! I had a presentation that I was freaking out about last week and wore my favorite skirt and the receptionist in my building told me how nice I looked. A nice little confidence boost before facing the onslaught.

  21. Can anyone recommend an eye doctor in DC, preferably on the red line? I need new contacts. Thanks!

  22. Need some advice — I’ve been on the job market for awhile. Had some first round interviews even a couple of second rounders and have, of course, sent out lots of resumes into the black void of never hearing anything ever again. Most of the time, mentally, I cope with all of this by just assuming at every step of the way, that the answer will be a no. I send out a resume, I assume I’ll never hear back. I get a phone interview, I assume afterwards I’ll never hear anything again. Etc. Its just always been how I coped with job hunting on a mental basis.

    All well and good. But problem: I recently had a second round interview for a job I really want — and I’m qualified for — and the interview went well. And I’ve let me hopes get up. Meaning that (a) waiting to hear an answer is excruciating and (b) I’m feeling like I’m going to be devastated if I don’t get it. So…how do I get my carriage back behind my horse and get my hopes back to a reasonable level? Anyone have any good mental tricks? I feel like my phone is going to start making fun of me soon for how frequently I’ve been checking (just in case maybe I somehow missed a call).

    • Aww. (Fingers and toes crossed!)
      The way I would cope with it is, distract myself! Go out and do stuff you enjoy, and sometimes (even) leave your phone behind. You have voicemail dont you? That way you aren’t obsessing over it every second. Go get some exercise, or watch a movie, or read a book, or meet a friend!

  23. Maybe I missed the comment thread on this, but has anyone found a similar and/or work-appropriate yellow blazer at a lower price point?

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