Tuesday’s TPS Report: 1035 jacket in Super 120s

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

1035 jacket in Super 120sJ.Crew is offering an extra 30% off final sale items with code SHOPNOW — but the sale ends tonight.  There’s actually a ton of good suiting in there, such as this lovely 1035 jacket in super 120s. I, of course, love the “deep lagoon,” but it’s also available in heather flannel and mauve.  It was $230, but is now marked to $188, so with the discount it will come to $131.60. 1035 jacket in Super 120s

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  1. Love it, but the no exchanges, no returns aspect of the final sale makes me nervous.

    • Someone (I can’t remember who – but they deserve full credit!) posted earlier this week about using the chat feature to ask about measurement/express concern about final sale items being unreturnable. Apparently the customer service rep can change the “final sale” designation for you if you’re nervous about an item’s fit.

      I haven’t tried this myself, but if there’s an item you like, it may be worth asking!

      • That was me! I just chatted and expressed concern that the shows I wanted wouldn’t fit. Definitely worth a shot! You also might be able to ask to get store credit on a return of a final sale item. Jcrew credit is essentially equivalent to cash for me :)

        • Of Counsel :

          Good to know. I bought two 1035 jackets and skirts earlier in the summer. The skirts didn’t work on my body, even after alterations, and the J.Crew online assistant suggested the wrong size. The jackets, while well made, jut out in the back in a way that’s not flattering. I’ve been hesitant to buy anything on final sale, but if I could get a credit I’d hazard it.

    • Also – I don’t think this item is on final sale, just on sale. They SAY it’s 30% off final sale items, but it’s really 30% off all sale items, final or not. So for this particular item, you can still buy, try, and return. JCrew pretty good about letting you know which items are final sale (on the item page and when you check out).

  2. I love the color. Wow.

    • me too! This blue is so much more interesting than navy, etc.

    • I am wearing the dress in this color today. I love it.

    • long-time lurker :

      I just ordered this jacket with the matching pencil skirt, something I never do (I usually make myself wait a few days). I love jcrew suits in super 120s (have 2 that I wear often) so I felt pretty confident on size. Yeah! Great pick.

  3. anon for this :

    Regular poster going anonymous for this.

    I want to have a conversation with a cousin of mine about things I’ve noticed about him and his relationship, but am not very sure how to approach it. Essentially I worry that he’s becoming a very introverted, depressed person without much consideration for how his actions affect others. He’s always tended towards depression, but it seems like now he’s more at ease and satisfied with himself, despite doing increasingly hurtful things. I think it’s good to live your own life and not allow others to guilt or cajole you in to doing things you dont’ want to, but he seems to have no sense of obligation or reciprocity or duty to, for example, spend 10 minutes a year on the phone with his elderly aunt who cares a lot about him and for whom those ten minutes would mean so much.

    His girlfriend’s brother, for example, just committed suicide, and she is obviously not getting support from him because her displays of emotion make him uncomfortable. Instead, I think she’s left feeling very alone, and like it’s not acceptable for her to grieve in any way that is not pleasant for him. The other day she broke down in tears, understandably, and she stayed up three hours talking and crying to me while he went to sleep. It seems like she’s really not getting the support from him she needs, and I worry that this sort of behavior will lose her for him, or that she’ll run herself in to the ground dealing with his idiosyncracies.

    Anyway, I’m not sure how to approach this all without coming across as judgmental, in part because, well, I am. I really want him to live life fully and have fulfilling relationships, but I also dont’ want him to destroy everyone who cares about him in the process.

    • also anon for this :

      I think depression or even the aftermath of depression can make dealing with other people’s problems or expectations incredibly difficult – I know it was that way for me. Why not approach it from a different angle? As in “you must be depressed because otherwise you would call Grandma/be there for your girlfriend/etc, have you thought about seeing a counselor?” Honestly I think telling him off for not doing those things would just make it worse (plus then he would want to avoid you as well for the same feelings of guilt). Good luck!

      • anon for this :

        Mental health problems definitely run in our family, and I don’t think it’s the depression that bothers me so much. I’m on psych drugs myself. It’s more the sort of feeling that his behavior is correct and fair. One of the most important things I’ve learned is that you need to acknowledge and take responsibility for your behavior, even if it wasn’t totally within your control at the time.

        I think it’s hurtful that he never says things like “I’m sorry last year I wasn’t as supportive as I could have been, it was hard for me when I was going through x, y, and z.” Instead he really seems to think it’s okay to only engage with people when the mood strikes him, and not when they need or want him around. It just seems very childlike to not acknowledge how hurtful and self-centered he’s being, even if he can only do it two years later.

    • Seattleite :

      “More at ease and satisfied with himself” doesn’t really read like depression to me, in spite of his history. Please consider the possibility that it’s not depression, this is just who he is. If you have other reasons to stick to your assessment, then I think the best approach is to point out the consequences you’ve observed. “Aunt misses you and wants to hear from you,” not “You’re ignoring Aunt.”

      Ultimately, of course, you can’t get him to seek treatment (if depressed) or turn into a nicer person (if not). All you can do is clearly point out the effects of each that you are seeing, and let him make his choice.

      • anon for this :

        I think it’s a mixture of personality and depression, as he’s deifnitely diagnosed and his mother and other sisters (our common aunts) have been hospitalized for it. He’s my closest cousin and we were very very close for years and wrote letters/emails/made mix tapes every month or so, despite living on different continents, and he’s still relatively considerate of me and my feelings, but I see him almost turn his empathy and concern on and off with other family members and friends. He really seems to thrive on and need close relationships, but ends up sort of messing them through behavior like this.

        I’m not sure if I should approach it from the “how is your life, are you happy” or the “i notice your girlfriend expressing this, our aunt is sad, etc” direction.

        • Seattleite :

          Actually, I’d go with “how is your life, are you happy?” And that’s the approach I’d take with the GF, too. They simply may not be a good fit, depression or no.

          • Seattleite :

            Gah, posted too soon. IME, the ‘how is your life’ approach will naturally segue into ‘here’s what I’m seeing’ if he’s willing to engage in the discussion.

          • I agree with you, Seattleite. Ask him first about how he’s doing. After listening, then you might want to say, “Hey, I heard from Aunt Millie. She said she hasn’t heard from you in a while, and was wondering if you were ok.”

    • You’re going to tell him off for not dealing with feelings in a way you find appropriate? That seems a bit harsh. You say he’s at ease with himself, which is a big deal, and should be supported. I say this as a person with a brother who is also pretty introverted and doesn’t really do family interaction – please don’t equate introverted with depression. They are different things. And I’ll just nit-pick on your definition of hurtful – yes, they are causing pain, but I don’t see them as being malicious with-holdings on his part.

      What is just 10 minutes chatting on the phone with elderly aunt for you, and a no brainer because its a nice thing to do, could be something that just doesn’t occur to him to do because he hates talking on the phone. And doesn’t understand why someone would want to just chit-chat like that. So he doesn’t do it. And telling him to do it is just going to put his back up.

      As for the girlfriend situation, it might be helpful for you to ask him how HE’s dealing with the situation. With an open ended question and no judgment about how he’s supposed to be dealing with his girlfriend and her emotions. Frankly, that’s something for them to work out on their own, unless he comes to you seeking advice. If he can’t handle the overt displays of emotion the way she needs him to, then they may not be right for each other, and there is no use forcing the situation. And what he wants out of a relationship may be different than what you want, so don’t make assumptions about it’s success. Ultimately, the only relationship you have any control over is the one you have with your cousin, so focus on that one.

      • anon for this :

        I don’t mean to equate depression with introversion. I think there’s clinical depression and personality/cultural introversion at play. I don’t think his withholding of affection is generally malicious, either, but it worries me how callous he can be even towards toddlers in the family if they don’t behave in the “correct” way around him… he simply decides he doesn’t want to hang out with them anymore if they were skittish around him or showed favor to his sibling, or whatever, which seems crazy for 2-3 year olds.

        I think because he grew up on a different continent from the majority of the family the whole US family is a bit overwhelming, which I get, as I felt the same thing about the other branch I didni’t meet until I was an adult. I know he gets excited when our aunts send him a birthday card, for example, but he doesn’t seem to be able to translate that in to some feeling of “hmm, maybe other people enjoy getting birthday cards from me, too.”

        You’re right about the relationship being between them. Maybe i’m letting her push me too much in to saying something to him on her behalf. She thinks he takes my opinion very seriously (we’re each other’s closest cousins), and that he would maybe respond to my observations or critique or concern, because she doesn’t find that he responds to hers as fully as she’d like. I guess if I talk to him I should do it on my own behalf, and not on hers.

        • If you are close, then I think it’s totally appropriate for you to ask him how the gf’s brother’s suicide is affecting him, and to ask generally about how the gf’s handling it. It might even be appropriate to mention that suicide of close relative’s can be tough for the relative, and those more removed (like him) may sometime be at a loss on how to deal with that level of grief. And that you are there to talk to him about it. If he wants. Good luck.

        • I agree with your last point. I think you are getting involved where you don’t belong. If your aunt isn’t getting from her relationship with your cousin what she wants/needs it is her job to address this with him. Same for the girlfriend.

          There are infinite ways we can think of to make people’s lives happier and none of us do all of them (not to mention, some of the things week think are making people happy might just being annoying to them). Some people have a closer connection to family. Some do not. Your cousin needs to decide what people he wants to keep in his life and then communicate with them to make sure the relationship is a two-way street. But it’s not your job to jump in and become the mediator. For example, with the girlfriend, if you aren’t close to her as a friend in your own right, I wouldn’t have stayed up with her — I would have said she should have been talking to your cousin. “Saving” people from either themselves or their own relationships doesn’t usually turn out well.

          If, on the other hand, you don’t like the way your cousin is treating you, definitely speak up. Likewise, if he asks for advice about why your aunt seems distant or things aren’t going well with his girlfriend, you can share your observations. You certainly don’t need to enable what you see as destructive behavior, but I don’t think you should be jumping in to mediate either.

    • I am NOT a doctor but think you should tell him and her to get PROFESIONAL help. It is nice that you are trying to help, but I would RELY on people who do this alot more then we do.

      Just as lay people come to us for LEGAL advise, we have to rely on other’s for MEDICAL advice.

      We all have to know our limitation’s.

      • I call shenanigans on this comment. The caps and spelling may be there, but the content says this is not the real Ellen writing – it actually makes sense.

    • anon for this as well :

      When I was very depressed, I would withdraw from friends/family and generally not interact very much. This often seemed to make others angry/resentful, which in turn made me feel even worse about myself and withdraw more. If this is what’s happening to your cousin, I’m not sure it’s helpful to express your unhappiness with his lack of support to the girlfriend. If he is anything like me, he is already feeling awful and just can’t deal with it. I know it’s hard for people who aren’t depressed to ‘get it’, but I can’t help it when I’m depressed- I am so incredibly sad and self-loathing and it’s completely irrational. What makes it worse is comments to ‘snap out of it’, ‘don’t always be so sad’, etc. Someone just reaching out and noticing I’m having a hard time would be the nicest thing.

  4. In House Europe :

    Another early threadjack – for those of you living in small urban places…

    DH and I both grew up in the ‘burbs – relatively large homes, enough space…and now that we are living in an expensive city, we have a small (350 sq. foot) apartment – 3 small bedrooms, 2 small baths, living/dining and kitchen. We have the “large” bedroom for us (barely fits a double bed!) and one of the small ones for our son. The other bedroom is the guest room/office…but now we are TTC and thinking about how to arrange things for a potential second child. The guest room/office space would be hard to give up, since we have lots of visitors (and since DH is an IT guy with tons of computer [email protected]). So do we put 2 kids into the one small bedroom (I guess with a bunk bed??)? Or try to put a desk in the living room (and give up our guest room)? What do you urbanites do?? We don’t want to move further out of town or spend over 3k/month to move into a larger space…but something has to go, right?

    Tips? Commiseration? Thanks ladies! :)

    • No kids, but my thoughts are these:

      As an infant, would child #2 need its own room? Could you put a bassinet or similar in your room, or in the living space/office? As the child gets older, you could then decide whether it makes more sense to have the two children together in the same room (if they’re both boys?) or whether the office/guest room trade off would be best (if the child is a girl?).

      An aside: 350 sq ft and three bedrooms? Is this even possible?

      • In-House Europe :

        Yeah that sounds wrong doesn’t it? I am not a numbers person. Um..600 maybe? Stupid calculations of meters and feet…

        • No problem. :) I was just going to be really, really impressed at European space planning. I assumed we were talking about probably 600-650 sq ft from other European spaces I’ve seen.

        • Oh…600 square feet. That makes SO MUCH MORE sense.

          And is doable. Tight, but doable

          • Yeah, I couldn’t wrap my head around the 350 sq ft thing either – I once lived in a 400 sq ft place and it was a studio with a kitchenette, not even a full kitchen! No way you could have carved it up into 3 bedrooms, no matter what the floor plan.

      • I think I need a floorplan.

      • The kids can totally share the bedroom for a number of years (whatever the boy/girl combination) before you need to start thinking about separate bedrooms for the kids. I’d even posit that it would be good for them to grow up having to share, at least for awhile.

        • This is a good point. Not having kids myself, I forgot that small children don’t need the kind of personal space (or at least gender-specific space) that adolescents need. And I would agree with you and other posters that it’s a good idea to have children share space. I never had to share a room growing up, and it was difficult to adjust to dorm/roommate life in college.

    • Our house was not quite that small when we lived in a more urban area, but we did end up giving up the guest/office room for baby, moved the office space to the dining space, put a drop-leaf table in the living area for eating, and just accepted that we don’t have guests that often anyway, so the guest bed became an air mattress that lived in the closet.

    • I think it’s good for kids to share rooms (I say this as an only who didn’t share a room until I was 21 and went to grad school) but will the baby have a negative affect on the older child’s sleep? Maybe a basinet / crib in the office until the baby is sleeping through the night would be a good idea?

      Also, you can get a crib / bunk bed unit or just a lofted bed and slide the crib under until s(he) is ready for a big kid bed.

      *Cavaet- I have no kids and currently live in a box room.

      • My SIL has two daughters, and when the younger was born she slept in the older one’s room from the very first night. The older one is a VERY sound sleeper.

    • You have 3 bedrooms in 350 sq ft? That’s impressive!! I guess my first question would be if you own. If so, I might knock down the wall between the two spare bedrooms, make it one bigger bedroom for now and have the kids share. Then if you look through design books, there are lots of ideas on how to build wall sconce desks that sort of organize computer stuff into a wall. And then a pull out couch can be a “guest bedroom”. If you don’t own — I guess for now I’d probably put the two kids in separate rooms (at least after the infant isn’t in a basinet anymore)…but I’m not sure.

    • I was wondering how you get 3 bedrooms into 350 sq ft, too! I’m so glad that I live in the south. :)

      I would try to think about the long term – if you see yourselves staying there for a while (say, more than two years after the kid’s born), then I would say that you really should give them each their own bedrooms. Maybe you’ll just have to scale down the office/computer crap to what can work in one desk and stop taking guests (or get a fold out couch in the living room for them). (BTW, on computer stuff, if your hubby is anything like mine, you probably have a full closet full of entirely obsolete computer stuff laying around that hasn’t been touched in years.) I would say that, particularly in that amount of space, making the kids share is just not a workable option beyond baby/toddler years, but it could probably be done until then.

    • darjeeling :

      We have 2 kids in a 2 bedroom; the 9 month old sleeps in our room and we’re definitely looking forward to the day when we can move him into our daughter’s room. Hard to know when they can safely be left alone though (she’s 3), and I think bunk beds won’t be a safe option for at least another few years. If we had a 3 bedroom we’d be doing the same analysis so we could keep an office area; I think the kids can/should share a room until the older one is 9 or 10. Will be interested to hear how others handle this transition.

    • In NYC, a lot of newborns end up in the parents’ bedroom initially. Once the baby is a wee bit older, the kids can share a room. Or you can give up the office, which may or may not make more sense depending on how often you have visitors and how much your husband needs it for work.

      Also, this is far from exact but the easiest sq. meters to sq. feet approximation is to times by 10. It’s not perfect, but it’s close enough.

    • Definitely nothing wrong with having the kids share a bdrm even if they are not the same gender. At least for the next several years. But as a NY’er, I’m jealous you can get a 3-bdrm for less than 3k/mo!

    • Honey Pillows :

      350 square feet? Seriously??

      My 1 bathroom, 2 bedroom (1 is precisely 70 sq feet, the other is about 90 sq feet), 1-person-fits-in-the-kitchen-at-a-time, loveseat-only-livingroom, no dining area apartment is 600 sq ft, and it’s bursting at the seams as it is!

      You must be REALLY organized to have a kid in there!

      (I’d suggest a bunk bed, btw. Kids don’t need their own space until they hit puberty, at the very earliest. Teaches them to share.)

    • SV in House :

      We lived in an urban 3 bedroom apartment with two kids until a couple of years ago. When my upstairs neighbor came over, she said “wow, you use every inch of space you have” — so look for creative storage solutions. The baby slept with us at first, then moved to a crib in DS’s room. When she was ready for a bed, she slept in the trundle of my son’s bed. We rearranged when she got bigger and squeezed in a second twin. When we moved to our current SFH, my kids each got their own bedrooms, but for the first month or so, they slept in the same room by choice!

      • Seattleite :

        SV, what were some of your creative storage solutions?

      • I think a trundle is a safer option than bunk beds. You’re not really supposed to put a kid in a top bunk until they’re 6. That’s a long time from now for y’all.

    • We had our oldest 2 share a room when #2 was born (I was against having the baby in our room past the first month or so). It was totally fine – no issues at all after the first month or so adjustment period. My oldest (who was always a great sleeper) would sleep through his brother waking up at night. Even if the baby was screaming, Tim would just still be sleeping away in his bed. Now we have 3 boys, and our current house has enough bedrooms for them to have their own, but they’ve all shared with someone on & off over the years (they are 12, 10 & almost 7). Yes, sometimes bedtime can be difficult, but it’s a good experience for them to share. None of them hated sharing unti lour oldest hit about 10. Then he decided he wanted his own space. I wouldn’t hesitate to put 2 in a room again if we needed to.

      • anon in DC :

        Really, you were against having the baby in your room past the first month? That seems rather selfish. I’ve never heard of babies going into their own rooms until at least three months, if that.

        • Mommy judging much?

        • Please, let’s not start the Mommy Wars. We are not here to critique each other’s parenting.

        • I think this is out of line.

          I’m not a parent, so I don’t really have a dog in this fight beyond normal human courtesy, but I don’t see how calling someone “selfish” for making a different parenting decision than you or someone else would is appropriate.

          • Motoko Kusanagi :

            “I don’t see how calling someone “selfish” for making a different parenting decision than you or someone else would is appropriate.”

            THANK YOU.

        • Seattleite :

          I hesitate to dignify such a judgmental and ignorant comment by replying, but whatever.

          My first baby lasted in my room 3 days. My mom came into town, looked at the bassinet, looked at my sleep-deprived, weepy, self, and read me the riot act.

          Her: “You are waking up every time she even snuffles! You can’t function like this! Move her into her own room!”

          There. Now you’ve heard of it.

          Me: “But I won’t [hic, sob] hear her if she cries! [sob, sob]

          Her: “Piffle. Of course you will.”

          Mom was right. Baby and I both slept much better after that. Second baby went straight into his own room from hospital.

          • I have been wondering about this myself. Especially since I live in such a small apartment right now that a basinette or won’t fit in our bedroom. We are considering putting our daughter in a basinette in the dining room (right outside our bedroom door) when we bring her home.

            Thanks for a new perspective on this!

          • Same story. Noisy sleeper baby + light sleeper mommy = baby started sleeping in crib in separate room pretty early for everyone’s sanity. I got one of those monitors that lets you turn the transmission of sound off but just beeps once baby hits a certain noise level. That way I’d only wake up if he was actually awake and calling for me.

          • Not that I feel annon in DC’s comments dignified a response, but Seattleite’s comments are exactly why I didn’t want the baby in our room. Dh & I also decided that we’d like our room to be a haven away from baby stuff as much as possible, since we knew the whole rest of our place would be taken over (and it was). It was nice to have somewhere away from the baby stuff. Especially since my first 2 were colicky. The stress that a screaming baby puts on you is incredible, and even though ds’s room was just down the short hall, having somewhere I could go to at least physically get away from the screaming (while ds was in the care of his dad or safe in his crib) did a lot to help with that stress.

            Finally, dh was working and I wanted to disrupt his sleep as little as possible. I didn’t see the point of both of us being up when the baby needed to feed when I was the only one that could do anything about it anyway (I was breastfeeding). Whoops, I guess I’m showing my selfishness again ;)

          • @ Seattleite: Did your mom really say “piffle”? If so, that is awesome!

        • Thanks to everyone for sticking up for me! I’ve always been one to say that 99.9999% of moms make the very best decisions they can for their family, and very few of those decisions are black & white right & wrong. Having the baby sleep somewhere other than our room was by far the best decision for our family, and having someone who has never met me or knows anything about me call me selfish was quite a shock, to be honest. Yay for supporting each other! Down with the mommy wars!

        • I kicked both of mine out at 3 weeks. So there. And they loved their crib as a result. And what do you know about someone else’s baby anyway?

        • Selfish Mom :

          Oh please, this is just laughable. It is entirely possible to sleep in different rooms and still respond quickly when baby needs to be fed and changed. Especially when your bedrooms are that close together.

          The mom who kept her bedroom door wide open and never considered co-sleeping

    • I think a boy and a girl could share a room until they go to school at least, so 5? You have some time. Lets say you get pregnant TODAY. 10 months of pregnancy, 3-6 months of baby in a basinette in your room or the living room. And you can evaluate how you feel then. I think you could have another 3-4 years of the kids sharing a room, assuming there is space for bunk beds.

      Is the baby going to interrupt the older kids sleep? Yes. I think no matter where the baby sleeps in a 650 to 850 foot space you can hear whatever is going on.

      Would either of the other rooms fit your bed? Maybe you could move to a smaller room and put the kids in the larger room. Anyone, point being you can wait and see how things work out.

    • Haha, even this sounds pretty impressive to me. I have 550 square feet, just one bedroom, and no dining area at all (but add a small laundry room). The thought of trying to squeeze an extra two bedrooms and a dining area in 50 more square feet boggles the mind!

      • blerg, posting too quickly and now in the wrong spot… This is a response to the 600 sq ft measurement.

    • new york associate :

      Do you really need the office space? We ended up renting a small office space for my DH in a nearby office building for a few hundred dollars a month. It has been a lifesaver. I think it’s nice to have a guest room, but I wouldn’t hesitate to give that up in exchange for more sane living space. One thing we’ve found is that our tiny apartment worked really well until my daughter turned about two – at which point it just was plainly too small for us. It wasn’t her stuff or our stuff — it was her energy level.

      For creative storage, go vertical. We have very high ceilings and have installed floor-to-ceiling shelving and bookcases along two walls, which gives us plenty of extra room for all of the flotsam and jetsam of family life. You might also consider renting a storage unit – that has been very helpful for us in managing things like baby clothes, maternity clothes, the Christmas tree stand, and other stuff like that.

      The other thing I will say is that while some people manage to stay in tiny apartments forever, with all of their children, there’s also no shame in moving to a bigger place that’s further out. We’re about to give up our tiny NYC apartment to move to a single-family house in California and I’m so ready for it. There’s a time for everything.

    • Put kid #2 in your room until his or her sleep schedule is somewhat manageable, then move him/her to kid #1’s room as soon as possible. I would also keep them both in cribs as long as possible.

      We were living in a 2 bedroom house with our 1 1/2 year old daughter when our son was born. By the time he was 1 we moved to a bigger house, one driving reason being that we knew each would need their own bedroom. In hindsight we could have delayed this decision by years. They got separate rooms in the new house and promptly moved in together in one room – the smaller one! My daughter still sleeps on the trundle bed in my son’s room most nights (she’s 11 and he’s 9.) They like having their own spaces, but apparently not for sleeping.

      I actually explained it in a rather sheepish way to my housekeeper, and she said, “The one thing I’ve learned from cleaning all the houses I clean is that no one sleeps alone.”

      • new york associate :

        You have a wise housekeeper, mamabear!

      • If one needs to leave the crib sooner than you like, move to a toddler bed. It uses the crib mattress, so it’s MUCH friendlier in a low floor-space area. Plus, it’s plenty big for most little kids and they’re lower to the floor so there’s less chance of getting hurt if/when they fall out of bed.

      • Yes. The kids I nannied for in college were 11, 7 and 2 (boy, girl, boy). They moved into a new house where the older two had their own bedrooms and bathrooms upstairs. The older two did not get along at all during the day….but at bed time? They slept together in a full size mattress on the floor of the 2 year old’s bedroom.

    • My office lives in my living room and I graciously put guests up at a nearby hotel. My Mom talks about “how nice” it would be for everyone to stay with me when they come over, but she isn’t paying my mortgage.

      As for all the IT crap, I can commisserate. My strategy was to pull everything out into the middle of the room, stick the S/O in a chair and then I block the exit. Evaluate EVERYTHING. Convince them that there is no need to keep 200 feet of coax cable and that if they want to keep that memory/hard drive/etc then USE IT NOW. Put it IN THE COMPUTER NOW. Post anything with value to Craigslist (heck, even post all the randoms as a free lot – some other IT guy wants that floppy drive for god knows what reason.)

      Start that method now and bring up the subject every month or so and repeat. I saved a medium sized box with the objective of limiting all the “keeps” to just that box. If your husband is like my s/o, when they need something IT related, the closet is not likely where they are doing their shopping anyhow.

    • emcsquared :

      I think it was Simple Dollar that had a post about siblings sharing a bed until school age (same-sex siblings in that case). It was something I had never considered, but was a very sweet story and seemed to explain some of the blogger’s tolerance for other people’s annoying quirks.

      Personally, I would need to preserve the office space (it is very important to be able to send my husband to his room sometimes!) and would have no problem with little kids sharing a room, or even sleeping in a crib/toddler bed in the hallway if they can’t share well.

      • We are in the process of selling our two bedroom house right now. Kids are 12 and 9. Both kids are girls who share a room. The 12 year old hates it, but that’s another story. The girls have NEVER woke each other up at night. The younger one stayed in a basinet until she was 5 months old becasue we were so scared of them waking each other up. DH and I wake up, but not the kids. So, it can be done. The 12 year did not even notice this as an issue until she was 10 years old. I worried about it so often. That was a waste of time. Worry about other things. Good luck!

    • I shared a room with my sister growing up until I was 12 and she was 16. I have incredibly fond memories of sharing a room with her and I think it’s made us closer as adults. I also think it made us more considerate kids/people since we had to learn how to share young. I don’t have kids currently but when we do I definitely plan to have them share a room for a while.

      Similarly, I feel like the world would be a better place if everyone had to wait tables for a year.

    • Research, Not Law :

      We have 2 kids in a 2 (small) bedroom. We had hoped to move baby directly from cradle in our room to crib in shared room, but ended up squeezing a portacrib into our room because we got squeamish about interrupting the toddler’s sleep at nighttime wakings. Baby is now 5 months old and sleeping in the crib in shared room, the 3 year old is sleeping in our bed, and we’re on the futon in the living room. Far from ideal, but baby is sleeping better (we’ve been sleep training) and we hope to be back in our bed with both kids in their beds in the shared room by the end of this week.

      I wouldn’t do a bunk bed until at least 6, but hopefully your son can fit into a toddler bed. The shared room is ~10×10 ft and holds a toddler bed, crib, loveseat, and wide dresser.

      In sum, it’s been awkward, but not so inconvenient that we can’t get through it.

    • I shared a room with my two year younger baby brother until I was 7 and we moved to a bigger place. No particular problems as far as I can remember, bro and I still play well together. You might want to try to keep the amount of toys down though, kids these days seem to have an absurd amount of them.

  5. I recently injured my ankle. Should I request for a day off or for a day to work from home? I have sick days but don’t want to seem like a slacker. What does the hive think?

    • Do you need a day off?

    • Brooklyn, Esq. :

      I think it depends on how recently, and what the injury is. If it was yesterday and it makes it difficult for you to move around (including perhaps getting to work), then yes, I would definitely request a day off or work from home. But if it happened over the weekend and you have gone in to work since then, it would be kind of weird to take time off now. (Unless you’ve been to the dr and s/he has told you to rest it.)

    • If you can focus on work and be comfortable at home (no commute, prop up leg, ice/heat, etc.), I would do that. I don’t like to part with paid leave just because I’d rather stockpile (not because I don’t feel I’ve earned it), but if you’re in too much pain to concentrate or something like that, I would think it merits some sick leave.

    • Depends on the extent of the injury. If you can walk and are not taking any major pain meds, go to work. If you’re not mobile and in a lot of pain, stay home as you won’t be productive at work.

    • new york associate :

      I think that you should take a day off if you need a day off. With an injury like that, I think it’s easy to power through at first, and then realize that you really need to stay home and let it recover. (Says the woman with a history of knee injuries.) Even if you technically “could” get yourself to work, that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.

  6. My husband and I are celebrating our 2nd anniversary in a few weeks. We are doing gifts from the traditional list – so this year it is cotton. I’m considering buying him monogrammed hankerchiefs and a monogrammed golf towel. Does anyone have any suggestions for good places to buy these online? I’d like to spend between $50-$75 maximum. Or does anyone else have any other fantastic 2nd anniversary gift ideas!? Thanks so much!

    • Brooks Brothers for hankerchiefs. Possibly for golf towel, too.

      For other ideas, someone here suggested nice sheets and an afternoon off from work to break them in. I thought that was a very awesome idea, personally.

    • We get creative with the traditional gifts. Cotton can also include canvas so maybe a nice print? http://gifts.redenvelope.com/gifts/eye-chart-story-of-us-wall-art-30058859?ref=HomeNoRef&viewpos=21&trackingpgroup=rabsl

    • kerrycontrary :

      Awesome sheets if you didn’t get them already for your wedding.

    • Brooks Brothers has a bunch of beautiful, well-reviewed handkerchiefs (you might have to confer with them about monogramming) but I enjoy these because they come cigar-rolled which I feel like a guy would enjoy. http://www.brooksbrothers.com/IWCatProductPage.process?Merchant_Id=1&Section_Id=553&pcount=&Product_Id=1305736&Parent_Id=228&default_color=White

      Another nice idea for cotton stuff for men might be a couple of really nice polo shirts. Or one of those really fancy robes or slippers (if he’d wear them).

  7. Brooklyn, Esq. :

    Do any of you use a travel-rewards or miles credit card that you like? The husband and I have 8 weddings coming up in the next year (all of the weddings in 2013 require air travel), and I was thinking we might try to rack up miles now. I’m concerned about being tied to one airline, and I know there are some cards that give you miles for any airline, but I thought I would reach out to see if any of you have personal experience with this.

    • I have a marriott visa I like. You can swap the points to miles on most airlines or keep them as hotel points. Plus you get a free night every year and bumped up to nicer rooms automatically, better check in, etc. Just something to consider.

    • Chase Saphire, you can use the points for most airlines and hotels: https://applynowdc1.chase.com/FlexAppWeb/renderApp.do?SPID=DWMG&CELL=6H8X&AFFID=RvEiSnI7NyY-riNOrkJznb22dGVQs.tMIQ&pvid=C5B1L3BR2S34225-2012-08-07-10-40-p-101394&jp_cmp=cc/253230/ext/3-10001747/na

    • Look into the flexperks visa by us bank. Can use credits on any airline, usually even a better deal than airline miles. We use it for everything – food, gas, groceries, etc., pay it off monthly and watch the miles roll in.

    • I have the starwood preferred Amex. The point values are pretty low for airline tickets, and you can use it on most airlines. The points+cash option for hotels is also good. You also get all the regular benefits of an Amex.

    • Brooklyn, Esq. :

      Thanks for all the responses! We will look into these.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I have the Quicken Visa card from Chase. No annual fee, the interest rate is better than my other cards (which isn’t actually saying much) and you get points for everything plus double points at certain types of places. I pay for most things with it and then just pay it off right away to avoid interest charges and I’ve started racking up the points.

    • lawsuited :

      If you’re in Canada, the CIBC Aeroplan Visa accumulates points quickly and they’re easy to book flights with.

    • Check out Nerdwallet DOT com. They go through all of the perks of credit cards and find the right one for you. It’s a great website.

  8. creative presentation ideas :

    I’m an SA helping an attorney brainstorm creative ideas for a legal seminar. The people in charge of the event have banned him from using powerpoint, since so many people misuse that tool to make boring presentations.

    Have any of you gone to a professional seminar that was actually interesting? What did the presenters do to make the seminar engaging?

    • Is it a CLE? I have attended CLEs where they have multiple choice questions and people have to pick the correct answer with a clicker. Alternatively, if you don’t have access to a clicker you could do “show of hands” and/or token prizes for participants’ correct answers.

      • Adjunct Law Professor :

        The low-tech version of this is asking people to respond to questions by a show of hands. It engages the audience and is a good ice-breaker to get things going.

        • Anonymous :

          I went to one of these, years ago, where if you participated the speaker tossed you a mini Snickers bar. It was awesome.

      • I’ve also been to a seminar where there was a multiple choice poll like question and you used your phone and texted your answer in, eliminating the need for clickers. Of course then everyone has their phones out…

        • I think it was this service: http://www.polleverywhere.com/

          • creative presentation ideas :

            I’ll definitely look into that! Let’s be honest, people will have their phones out anyway.

    • Lots of people use Prezzi instead of Powerpoint, but I personally find it annoying. Clickers could be really good, as mentioned below, because you can keep people engaged throughout by doing polling on what you’ve just discussed, or beforehand to gauge level of understanding.

    • The best seminars I have been too didn’t use a gimmick of any kind…the presenters just were well-rehearsed and very comfortable with the material. It is important for the presenter to move around the room and engage the participants.

      She could include a couple of hypotheticals in her materials and then work through them with the help of the attendees. That can be interesting too.

    • Amusing hypotheticals are a good way to start — think funny names, takes on TV shows, real life, etc. If people laugh they’ll be more engaged.

    • Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse, stay within the time limit and make sure you have enough material to fill the time slot, be energetic, make sure your voice projects, throw in relevant interesting anecdotes or statistics, physically move around in the space (stage/front of room, etc.), don’t make the audience say “Good Morning” back – haha. Watch some TED talks; although some of the presenters use PowerPoint it’s unobtrusive and you should still get some good ideas. Also, TED has a section on its website with tips for presenters.

    • We don’t do CLEs (rather, I’m the only one in the company who would do a CLE and they haven’t let me yet), but we do a lot of customized training for larger groups. They always really like it when the trainer engages the audience, asks questions, invites discussion, etc. Whereas when the format is just “speak –> absorb” it’s boring.

      Also, I really like how the organizers have banned powerpoint. I think there should be more banning of the powerpoint (I have to use it because of my language barrier, but when I don’t have the barrier, I don’t use it).

    • I went to a seminar that was several hour long presentations. One of the presenters did a ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire’ type game by having multiple choice questions and divided the room up into teams. It was fun, and the presenter was quite funny.

      Otherwise, lots of real life examples help make seminars interesting to me. You know, how the concepts being discussed apply in real world situations (as an accountant this helps me remember what we’re learning).

    • Maybe try prezi.com ??

    • emcsquared :

      I attended a CLE on ethics, and the presenters put up hypotheticals and broke the room into teams – each team was responsible for certain questions or aspects of the hypotheticals. They also gave us a copy of the model rules so we could really think through the questions. The presenters circulated throughout the room so they could catch good comments and give shout-outs to the teams. People got really into it. You could do this with handouts or an overhead transparency projector.

      Otherwise, I second what people are saying about preparation. Some of the best webinars I’ve attended have just been talking heads who knew their stuff really well.

    • SpaceMountain :

      One of my colleagues made up a funny song about the topic. The presentation was at a hotel, so they were able to bring in a piano and he played the song and sang. I wasn’t there, but I heard it was quite a hit.

  9. Just received notice from my employer that the company will send me to law school and pick up the tab. I have the option of going either full or part time. I just found this out yesterday but do I have enough time to study for the upcoming LSAT? I took a practice test a month ago and scored a 163. The closest school to my husband and me happens to be a T14 so I know to even have a chance I’ll have to score very well.

    Also, I worked briefly in a staff role at a law firm and I’d like to get in touch with an attorny I worked closely with to get some of his thoughts on this transition. However, I am not sure how to approach him as we haven’t talked in a few years. Would it seem weird if he just got an email from me asking to go to lunch?

    • LeChouette :

      If you got a 163 cold you will do just fine with lots of practice. I don’t know when the next LSAT is, but buy the “real LSAT books” off amazon and do as many practice tests as you can.

      It is not at all weird to get in touch with someone you worked with, though I wouldn’t recommend just emailing him and saying “lets go to lunch” (though I imagine you weren’t planning to do that!) I think if you email him and explain that you are thinking about attending law school and would love to hear his views on his experiences, he will be more than delighted to speak with you. Also offer to meet for coffee or over the phone, lunch can be too much of a time-suck.

      Good luck!

    • I studied for about a month, did fairly well, and had practice scores starting at about 156. You will be fine.

    • Are you looking at the October LSAT? If so you’re fine, especially if you scored a 163 cold. I took the LSAT on one month’s study. Studied and took practice tests for 1-2 hours every night, and took the week of Thanksgiving off to really buckle down (I took the December LSAT).

      Congrats on the employer paying!

    • What do you have to do in return for your current employer paying for law school? Do you have to work there for a certain number of years? You should think that through carefully.

      Also, since your odds of getting into a top law school are slim, you should consider whether it will be worth it if you go to lower ranked school.

      I got a 163 on my first practice LSAT and scored the same on the real thing. So having your score go up may or may not be realistic. I even did the Kaplan class, but couldn’t break my old score.

      • I think if your employer is willing to pay for it, it makes for an easier decision. You’re walking away with a degree and no debt. Law school is hard, much harder than college, so I would not do it full time if you are also going to be working, as I assume will be the case.

        I think if you scored 163 on the practice test, you can probably expect to go up a bit from there if you practice doing a lot of tests. One mistake I made when I did this was I thought that just by going to the Kaplan class, I was “studying” – big mistake. You have to actually practice, practice, practice. It’s really not hard but you just have to really buckle down and do it.

        • I did practice, but my test-day nerves got the better of me perhaps. The purpose of me disclosing that very personal information was to let the original poster know that experiences in real-life vary widely.

          I also discovered a “logic games” book after I took the test that probably would have helped. I will try to find the name of it.

          • I understand that you were sharing a personal experience and I wasn’t trying to be snarky at all . I was just trying to say that most people’s scores will inevitably go up with practice. This is why Kaplan has a money back policy if your test score is not at least a point over your practice score. Some people get their money back, of course, but they are a small minority. I totally agree that OP should consider this, but just saying that if you’re committed to doing that test, it’s not impossible to master. As you say yourself, you probably would have done better if you had discovered that logic games book before the test. I for one did terribly on the LSAT compared to how I could have done because I just did the bare minimum and thought that would be enough, so I speak from personal experience: if you need to do really well for a specific school, just practice, practice, practice!

          • PowerScore Logic Games Bible, maybe? That helped me on my weakest section.

          • MissJackson :

            Dude, for the record, I studied a lot, did a ton of practice focused on logic games (my weakest — and slowest — section), and I still scored exactly the same on the actual exam as I did on the practice exam (although I did finish more of the questions). Too bad, because when I got a 165 cold, everyone thought I’d be Haaaavard bound (just kidding, only my parents).

            Everyone is different :)

      • This. I studied a ton, but my practice test/real test scores were consistent. I didn’t take a course, but did a lot of practice tests and guided examples and whatnot. Maybe taking a course would have made a difference, I don’t know, but it was money I didn’t have.

      • Yeah, I actually went down in score. My first practice LSAT that I took cold never having seen an LSAT before scored a 168. (the practice test was LSAT #2, and they had harder logic games back in the day which is what I excel at, so that gave me an advantage I guess.) I took a class and practiced quite a bit and still only scored a 164 on the real thing.

    • e_pontellier :

      I would recommend Princeton Review, the super small group course. I did it — it was only 4 weeks, and I improved my score (from my first practice test) 11 points.

      I would HIGHLY discourage (sorry for Ellen caps) law school part time. Especially at a T14 school. I did my first year of law school part time, worked full time, and am very unhappy with that choice. It’s just not worth risking bad grades for any work experience (unless, of course, that’s a condition of them picking up the tab for law school).

      • For a counterpoint, I’m doing law school part time and working at a law firm full time, and I love it. I have two young kids too, so it’s not like I have much free time. But I ended up #1 in my class after my first year, and I’m glad I didn’t go full time.

    • I scored in the low 160s on my first few practice tests and ended up with a 169 on the real thing after less than a month of studying. The key is to identify and target your weaknesses. For me, the logic puzzles were dragging my score down so I bought a book on them (Curvebreakers, maybe?) and practiced till I felt better about them.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I just want to say congrats. That is an awesome opportunity.

      • Yeah. Holy crap. I hope you understand how much dough they are dishing out. (And they understand, too, so they don’t revoke this offer later.)

        Actually, thinking about it, make sure you get the deal in writing.

    • I think 163 was my exact score on my first cold practice test, and I scored 179 on the real thing. I was scoring 180-s on my practice tests right before the exam. You’ll know from the practice tests what your score will look like, and if it’s not where you want it, you should just cancel that upcoming exam and take a little longer to study.

      For context, I’m a good test taker and also did well on the SATs – I’m a very fast reader so I think I have a time advantage over other people. YMMV. I took a Kaplan course but regret paying the $$ because I felt like I could have done just as well with just prep books.

      • Anonymous :

        Isn’t 180 the highest you can get? Also, there was no reason for you to share that you got a 179 other than to brag.

      • How did you do this?? Were you mainly studying on your own with practice tests?

    • Yes! I improved my score from 165 to 99th percentile (don’t remember actual score) with one month of at-home study. Just buy the books — especially the books of practice tests — and do all of them.

    • This is somewhat late, but since I worked as an LSAT prep instructor, I thought I’d chime in.

      Only you know how you study best. If you’re a very self-disciplined person who can make a study schedule and stick to it, then do that. If you think a course would in any way be helpful, ask your employers if they’d pay for it (if they’re going to pay for your degree, getting a good score is the first step). Try to pick a course that ends at least a couple weeks before the test date, so the information overload you’ll get during a course will have a chance to get settled in your brain.

      Most people’s scores initially dip below their practice test score and then start to rise. So don’t get discouraged. The games and the logical reasoning are the sections you should focus on improving most–there’s very little you can do at this point to become a better reader, but the games and the logical reasoning are new skills and ways of thinking that can be learned.

      One last tip: register now for the LSAT. You can cancel or reschedule if you need to up until a certain point, but the prime locations get filled up early. Good luck!

  10. Shopping help: I’m looking for a two piece swimsuit that I can wear to swim laps. Everything I’ve found is just way too teeny to keep things in!

    • springtime :

      Lululemon’s new swim line?

    • Check out Title 9. They have a lot of athletic-type swimwear. They can be pricey, but there might be some end of summer sales going on.

    • Check out Lands End

      • I second Lands End. The two piece suits I have for swimming laps came from there. They have held up well.

    • I’d check Athleta (lots on sale right now) or look at sporting goods stores for a Speedo/Nike/TYR suit. I seriously miss my Speedo two-piece–I could run in that thing.

      • Big fan of Speedo and TYR suits.

      • locomotive :

        just got an athlete 2-piece that is great for actually swimming in. it has no ties so it’s very functional. and cute! it’s the purple flowery one still on the website.

    • Also check out Athleta. Love their swim suits.

    • Thanks for the suggestions. I’ll swing by the Athleta store today.

  11. hi ladies
    i’ll be starting work in the fall and have a question about coordinating blazers. i bought them for casual wear (jeans) but i’d like to be able to wear them to work if possible, too. specifically, i just bought a red one with gathered shoulders from zara (link to follow) and I have another one from zara that’s a dark navy blue (almost black really) with gold buttons and gold zipper pockets (it’s kind of collarless, at least from the back, but not really because there are still lapels, if that makes sense- sort of a half-collar). what will go well with these items? i know you aren’t supposed to match colors when it comes to blazers and other separates because you don’t want it to look like suit fail. what pants/skirts/dresses will go with these blazers? what about tops to go under?

    • With the red and navy blazers, you could mix a lot of colors: White, tan, gray, brown or black dresses (I like sheaths but that’ll depend on your body type) will work. Go for the same colors in tops — but you can also do prints. You could do drapey cowls, button fronts or shells for tops. One suggestion for an outfit: Red blazer, white shell and glen plaid pants like these (or a skirt): http://www.jcrew.com/womens_category/pants/fulllengthtrousers/PRDOVR~37018/37018.jsp
      Suggested dress style: http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/calvin-klein-seamed-ponte-knit-sheath-dress/3284827
      Suggested top style: http://shop.nordstrom.com/S/halogen-drape-neck-sleeveless-blouse/3271545?origin=category&fashionColor=PURPLE+VINE&resultback=2393
      Hope this helps!

      • Thanks for the great suggestions! I’m just not good at color coordinating… but I’m glad to see that so many options will work!

    • Both will work well with gray pants/skirts/dresses.
      The navy jacket will be fine with a top in virtually any pastel color – whatever works best with your coloring.

    • I’m guessing the red one is the one the Dutchess wore to swimming the other night. Wow, I know way too much about that. She wore (apparently) a polka dot Zara top that I thought looked cute. She had on black skinny pants. I thought it would look great with grey trousers or pencil skirt. I would hesitate to wear that red with black–just reminds me homecoming court circa 1996.

      • http://whatkatewore.com/2012/08/03/kate-in-red-for-royal-thank-you-williams-worries-about-that-hug/

        • Yes, it’s that one! I saw her wearing it and immediately snapped it up. Hasn’t arrived yet so I don’t know how it’ll look, but I’m hoping I’ll love it!

  12. http://www.zara.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product/us/en/zara-us-W2012/269184/880531/BLAZER%20WITH%20GATHERED%20SHOULDERS,

    • I have this in navy – picked it up at the big zara sale. I love it, its gorgeous.

  13. Stressing Out :

    Hi everyone- I’m dealing with a particularly difficult family member that I unfortunately have to live with for another couple of weeks until she moves out of state (lease was up at an awkward time so she’s living here in the interim). So far there has been bickering with her and other people pretty much every day. I’ve probably explained some of my issues with her on this blog before, but I’ll spare the details.

    Anyone have any coping strategies? It’s the only situation that makes me really visibly upset. Otherwise I’m a pretty calm and rational person- I’m usually far too lazy to get worked up about ridiculous people!

    Or even…just a virtual hug would be nice. Sometimes it’s really hard to deal with this stuff with no shoulder to cry on.

    • *Hugs* Be gentle on yourself. Go for walks, exercise if it’s your thing, eat your favorite foods, watch your favorite TV shows. Remember she is the ridiculous one, and you don’t have to engage with her if she’s trying to get you going.

    • What About? :

      What about just staying out of the house as much as possible until she leaves? Can you shower every morning at your gym and just go home to sleep?

    • Seattleite :

      My two coping techniques:

      1. Bingo. Yes, I’ve even made cards. Each blank is filled in with a typical inappropriate behavior/comment. Prize to self for Bingo, bigger prize to self for blackout.

      2. Pretend you’re an anthropologist. Detach, step back, and observe. Think to self, “Oh, look, the Red-Headed Harridan is baiting the Blue-Jacketed Dowager [yes, bonus points for silly species names].” As an anthropologist would, see if you can figure out roots of behavior, what it’s meant to accomplish, etc.

      And virtual hugs to you. Living on eggshells is exhausting.

      • Cornellian :

        I love number 2!

      • I used these techniques when living for the summer with family. I also spent as much time out of the house as possible. Try going for walks or bike rides, check out movies, go to the museum, working out is also good because you can work off the anxiety associated with annoying people. Bonus points if it is boxing so you can pretend you are punching them.

    • Oy that sounds stressful. I’m sending virtual hugs and support. Agree with others who’ve said avoidance is a good plan right now, since there’s an end point. And whenever you are in the house with her and can’t avoid her by going to your room, try to do stuff together that doesn’t involve a lot of talking. Let her pick a movie, for example, that you guys can kill two hours watching together without saying much. Or just sit in the same room and read (if you think she’d allow you to do that without fighting). And whenever there’s annoyances, just take a deep breath and remember it’s almost over.

    • Stressing Out :

      Thanks everyone for the support. I am trying to get out of the house as much as possible (including walking to do all of my errands, which adds to my gym workout! :)). I love some and I don’t want it to go fast, but boy do I sure wish it was the end of August.

  14. Hmmm – my posts aren’t working. Here goes again – Has anyone been to Mackinaw Island? If so, did you like it and where did you stay? Thanks!

    • MissJackson :

      I’ve been many times, and I love it. My family has a place “up north” so I have not stayed on the island, but Mackinac itself is fabulous and I highly recommend it.

    • Michigander :

      I love Mackinac! Haven’t been there in ages, but we used to stay at the Inn on Mackinac (it’s a pea green Victorian house) every year when I was younger. Also, Mission Point was nice if I remember correctly, and the Murray Hotel downtown is where I’ve stayed more recently. Depending on how flexible your schedule is and when you’re going (I wouldn’t try this on a weekend), some of the hotels offer killer last-minute rates. I once booked a hotel for a Monday night, then decided I’d try to stay one more day, and got the same room for half what I’d booked it for in advance.

    • Do you like fudge?

    • Honey Pillows :

      It’s beautiful! Gorgeous for light hiking, and fantastic for wandering around the town, munching on fudge. Make sure to have tea at the Grand Hotel, and take the ferry tour around the different islands.

      However, I do have to admit I didn’t enjoy my trip there. I’m allergic to horses, and since they don’t have any cars, the air is full of horse dander and was torture for me.

    • Michigander :

      I also highly recommend the late-night ghost tour, if you’re into spooky things at all.

      And if you have time to spend down on the mainland, Sleeping Bear Dunes is amazing and not too far away.

    • Leslie Knope :

      This is a totally weird connection, but my favorite blogger just stayed at the Grand Hotel there and posted a hilariously scathing indictment of the place. Google julia typepad grand, and that specific post will be the second result. I won’t link to stay out of moderation.

  15. To Anonforthis @ 4:13 from Monday’s TPS….

    Not sure if you got the responses that you were looking for re: husband talking down to you. Try reposting (was probably too late in the day for TPS). Good luck.

  16. Honey pillows, saw this today http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/doc/apa/3179875902.html

    think you should up the budget a bit and get it! it looks so cute!

    • Honey Pillows :

      So cute! I wish! But that would be over 60% of my take-home…

      • I haven’t forgotten about you, I just actually got slammed at work. I did a quick skim last night of some of the places I looked at before and most were over the $900/pp. I have a few more on my list so tonight I’ll go back and look at them.

      • Is it bad to pay over 60% of your take home? that is what most people I know do I think. I think 900/person no basements is unrealistic. Its going to either have to be basements, up the budget, or go with the cheaper option, more roomates.

        • Honey Pillows :

          Wow! I was taught to pay no more than 30% of your take-home for your housing, and put 20% into savings and investments. When I moved to DC, my concession to the over-inflated housing costs was to go all the way up to 50% of my take-home, leaving me a pittance to live on after savings and investments. It’s frustrating that that much of my income still isn’t enough.

          • Duuude that number is for your gross not your take home! DC is really expensive, no doubt. But its about making choices you know? I like a nice-ish place and it sounds like you do.

          • Here is a creative option

            They have a 1 bedroom plus den and 1.5 bath floorplan available (look under 1 bedrooms) for 1900. The den has a window but is tiny. Whoever got the master would have to let the other person shower in there. But that gets you into an apartment building (with maintence team!, secure front desk, pool, tennis court and gym) for your budget. (This arrangement would totally depend on the two people, time in the place etc)

          • Honey Pillows :

            I thought it was 25% of your gross, which ends up being about 30% take home?

          • ki 25% of gross is not even close to %30 of my take home. I guess that would depend on your tax bracket. Here is a post kat did about it where she says it should be about 30% of your income http://corporette.com/2011/04/06/tales-from-the-wallet-where-you-live-is-one-of-the-biggest-money-decisions-you-make/

            I make 64 so 25% of my gross is about 1250. But that number is very close to my paycheck number. Mind sharing what you make? I feel like your calculations are a bit off, which is why you probably feel you cant find a place!

          • Im in moderation for posting kats own link!

            25% of gross is not even close to %30 of my take home. I guess that would depend on your tax bracket. Here is a post kat did about it where she says it should be about 30% of your income

            I make 64 so 25% of my gross is about 1250. But that number is very close to my paycheck number. Mind sharing what you make? I feel like your calculations are a bit off, which is why you probably feel you cant find a place!

          • Honey Pillows :

            I think you’re assuming everyone in DC makes a decent wage.

            This is pretty humiliating, but I make 27, which monthly after taxes ends up being 1814. So 50% of my takehome is 900, (40% of my gross is just under 900) thus the highest amount I’m willing to spend. As I said, paying 900 monthly, plus at least sixty for utilities, 200 into savings, 100 for transportation, and since I’m on COBRA right now, 218 for health insurance, leaves me with a total of 336 a month to eat, pay for Netflix, fill my prescriptions, and if I’m very, very careful with groceries, buy a few drinks at a bar with friends.

            It’s a filler job, not career, and 10k less than what I used to make, but it’s what I’ve got right now, and I can’t exactly sign an expensive lease on the expectation that I’ll get a better paying job before my savings runs dry.

            Now that I’ve outed my financial state to the entirety of this site, I really do appreciate all the links for nice places, but as you can see, I just can’t afford them.

          • No worries honey pillow, that was me just 3 years ago. I hope I didn’t make you feel bad. Also I wasn’t saving more than 50 a month when I was making that, and I was proud of just doing that! So you should really feel great about your savings rate.

            I do think you need to compromise on the no basement thing. there are many that get good light you just have to look a little harder. I love apartment hunting tho! I am going to keep looking for you but will keep that as a hard budget and not go over.

          • Honey Pillows :

            Thanks, ki, that’s really sweet of you. I’ve started thinking about the basements, but waking up in my basement apartment with today’s cloudy weather, I thought for sure it was still four in the morning from the amount of light in the room.

            The high savings rate is due to the recent experience of losing my job and having to live off of savings for a month -which nearly cleaned out my account -and the realization that my car is making funny noises, and is probably going to need an expensive repair in the next 6 months.

          • I just posted a bunch for you in the new thread. But dont despair on basements cuz you have a bad one! My friends have one with great light and big windows. Some basements in dc can be more like, ground level. The key is the windows. Are they up top like a prison? or regular size. I think a great thing for you to look for is a one bedroom plus a den. Youll have to get creative with storage but look for a den that has a door just like a bedroom. often they are 9×10 which is almost the size of a regular bedroom.

  17. I’m planning a farewell lunch for an intern at our law firm. She is a college student and has been really helpful this summer. I’d like to get her a small token of appreciation to give her at the lunch but I’m unsure of what? Any ideas? She will be a senior in college this year and I’m unsure of her future plans.

    • What is your price range?
      A cellphone carrier (I’ll post my favorite below to avoid moderation) might be a nice, professional accessory that doesn’t break the bank. Similarly, a nice leather padfolio. Otherwise, maybe a giftcard to a more professional-type store so that she can build a wardrobe, or a gift card to a restaurant so she can celebrate graduation?

      • Here’s the link (it was just part of the NAS, unfortunately).

        • These are all great ideas. I feel like a leather padfolio is always nice to have. I’ll look into that. Thanks!

      • I received a really nice travel coffee mug and an author-signed book related to my field of study and internship.

    • Seattleite :

      Cash or gift card. College student = short of money, transient, not much storage space, at least in my world. You don’t give a budget, but if you’re spending less than $100, she’d probably just rather have the cash/card.

    • I assume you know which college she goes to, yes? Get her a gift card (or a credit account) at her schools book store. She can get school swag, snacks, or (god-forbid) books.

      When I was in college, I’d have dug it. Though I did appreciate the present I got when I finished my junior-senior year internship (a guidebook to a country I was planning to apply for a Fulbright to), but I didn’t get the Fulbright…so that was sad. :-P

      • Good idea. Her college is about 200 miles away, but I’ll look it up and see if there is a way to purchase a gift card online. If not, I’ll just go with cash. Since I’ll be paying it all myself and I’m a 3rd year, I’ll probably only give her $50 max, but I want to give her something as she has been so helpful and is so eager to learn.

    • emcsquared :

      My college internship gave me a mug with the government agency’s logo on it – I know it seems silly, but I used mugs every day in college and law school and it felt very prestigious to have such a fancy mug. Hoodies, t-shirts (appropriately sized!), pajama pants, messenger bags, all would have made me really happy in college, especially with the company logo on them.

      If you’re looking for something larger – maybe a big gift card to s*phora or a department store so she can get professional makeup and clothing or fun stuff if she prefers.

    • Offer to serve as a reference and write a letter of reference for her files?

      • Oh good idea. Thanks.

      • Of Counsel :

        That would be very nice, but it’s what any good worker could reasonably expect. To show appreciation, I would get a little gift, such as an Amazon gift card.

  18. Anyone know about whether or not Ann Taylor’s “Perfect” shoe line all fit roughly the same? I have a pair that I absolutely love and would like to get a lower heel. They only carry those online, and I have a “thing” about buying shoes online. If I am likely to have success in ordering the same size I already own in the higher heel, I’m willing to give it a shot, though.

  19. SoCal Gator :

    Kat, thanks for the reminder about the J Cr*w sale. While I did not buy the featured item, I did pick up the jackie sweater in navy to go with a green and navy polka dot skirt from Boden — link to follow.

    • SoCal Gator :

      likn: http://www.bodenusa.com/en-US/Womens-Skirts/Knee-Length-Skirts/WG456/Womens-Printed-A-Line-Skirt.html?NavGroupID=13

  20. anon reviewed :

    So I just had my annual review, and it went the way I expected it. A+ on work ethic and attitude, and oral advocacy, but my connection between the law and making each thing I write a real piece of advocacy (rather than just “X is the law, so you should rule X”) is lacking. I did get a raise from my “first year trial period” salary, but it obviously is under what I asked for. With the benefits that are kicking in, however, the total raise is about 14%. That puts me 10.5% under what the NALP reported number is for 5th years in a firm with less than 25 (we have 4 attorneys here), but I think, all things considered, that means I am doing pretty well. I think I saw a discussion on here not too long ago that associates at smaller law firms, like with less than 5 attorneys, even in big areas like New York or Los Angeles, were still often making under the $80k a year mark. So I shouldn’t complain, I’m telling myself that, but there is still a small part of me that is irked because I was sure that almost 6 years out of law school I would be making much more than this! But I am happy to have a job.

    • Of Counsel :

      You might want to look up an old book by Girvan Peck called “Writing Persuasive Briefs.”

      Are you giving yourself ways to thoroughly assimilate the facts of your projects, by creating chronologies, or taking extensive notes? It’s only when you completely feel comfortable with the facts that you can figure out the best way to apply the law.

      But doing summaries takes time and some firms don’t understand why they’re necessary, even as they expect you to have every detail at your fingertips.

      • Of Counsel :

        In addition, do you have anyone with whom you can engage in rough, mock oral arguments to figure out theories? That can be the most fun part of the process, and the emotional engagement often leads to more effective arguments than “This is the law; these are facts; the law applies to these facts.”

  21. Ugh — I’ve tried to post this question several times, but it never shows up! It doesn’t even show up as being in moderation. Hmmm. Trying one last time.

    Does anyone know anything about whether @nn [email protected] (maybe that’s the block?) Perfect Pump fit the same across the heel heights? I love the ones I own, and would like a shorter heel, but it is only offered online.

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