Weekend Open Thread

Nic + Zoe Checked CardiganSomething on your mind? Chat about it here.

Happy Friday! I’m lusting after this mesh cardigan from Nic + Zoe (which has a TON of great things at Nordstrom right now, both for the workweek and not). It’s a bit casual for most offices, but I think it’s a great look with jeans or even a casual dress for the weekend. It’s $188, available in regular and petite, XS-XL. Nic + Zoe Checked Mesh Cardigan



  1. McGiggles :

    I like the way my hair looks when styled with hot curlers but struggle with fitting them into my routine. For those of you who use them? How do you make it work for you?

    • Maddie Ross :

      I blow dry twice a week and only use hot rollers other days. I plug them in as soon as I get in the shower and when I get out, after I’ve done face lotions, I pop them in. Wear them while I do makeup and other misc. getting ready stuff (usually no more than 10 mins. total). Pop them out on my way out the door and run a brush thru. Easy peasy.

      • lawsuited :

        +1 I only use hot rollers on day when I’m not washing/drying my hair. I plug them in as soon as I get up, then shower/wash my face/brush my teeth, then put the rollers in, then do my face cream/make-up/drink my tea, then take the rollers out and head out the door. I find they’re way easier to fit into my routine than a curling iron.

        • McGiggles :

          Thanks ladies. I only wash my hair 2-3x a week as well so this sounds like it could work for me. How I didn’t think of this on my own I’ll never know :). I’m going to give it a try!

    • Alanna of Trebond :

      I like this look too but I am worried that it will damage my hair. What do you all do to avoid that?

      • Maddie Ross :

        For me, I think the hot rolling is way less damaging than blow drying or curling irons. I use felted hot rollers (clairol ones) and they don’t get as hot as an iron.

    • AnonLawMom :

      Oooh! This sounds like a great idea. Any suggestions on what rollers to buy? Preferrably super easy ones for the beauty challenged. I have long, fine hair if that makes a difference.

      • lawsuited :

        I have these and I like them. They have a velvet finish which reduces damage to my hair (I assume). I like that they’re big because they are quicker to put in and result in soft voluminous curls rather than tight ringlets, but YMMV.


    • Related question–I’m in DC and have used hot rollers successfully in the fall, winter, and spring, but HOW do people get these to work in the summers? When it is hot and humid? I use a combination of Shu Uemura shape paste and Kerastase anti-frizz that works beautifully when it is not humid, but even adding hairspray to the mix everything deflates in the summer. Is it just impossible with some hair types?

      FWIW, I have LOTS of fine, straight hair. Prone to frizzing.

      • Yes, I think DC summers are just impossible for some hair types. I’ve given up and wear my hair up all summer.

  2. Anonymous :

    Got my first stitchfix! Super cute stuff – I’m down to keep 2 out of the 5 items, potentially 3. They stuck to my budget (under $100 per piece, for sure, and less for tops) and did identify some things I might not have picked out for myself, but actually fit my style pretty well. The color palette is super cute. I got a pair of jeans, two tops, a dress and a necklace. The necklace is totally off – not my personal style, just not my thing (honestly, I’m not really a necklace person, but I thought, well maybe the stylist will find something I can’t). The dress doesn’t really fit.

    Both the tops are cute – one I”m on the fence about because I think the color is not one I love, but the fit is great. The jeans are perfect. Overall, a big success! Would definitely recommend it, at least for more casual clothes (I can wear jeans and casual sweaters to work, so I didn’t need any professional type pieces). I’ve heard from friends that work in more “business” type offices that their fixes haven’t been as good/they’ve stopped the service.

    • Interesting, I was just considering whether to sign up. I’d be looking for more casual clothes for Fridays at work and for weekend wear. Sounds like it might be worth a try!

    • I got my first stitch fix right after NAS. I really liked their picks and kept 3 of the 5.

      The tops are good for Silicon Valley business casual. They have sleeves and modest necklines. I can see how they might not work in more formal environments, though.

    • Maddie Ross :

      I am all over this thread this afternoon, but I really enjoy Stitch Fix. They pick items – esp patterned items – that I would not pick myself. I am solidly (ha) a solid girl, so I am loving the prints they pick.

    • I am awaiting my first fix next week! I asked for more work type clothes so we will see what they choose! What happens if it doesn’t fit? Can you get the same thing in a different size or you are just out a piece?

      • Anonymous :

        As far as I can tell you’re just out a piece (though I double checked the StitchFix prices online to make sure I wasn’t overpaying [I wasn’t overcharged, except potentially for one accessory I couldn’t find a price on]) and you could theoretically just note the designer and buy it yourself.

  3. Love nic + zoe. have to check this out in person though.

    • Not a fan of the big floppy bits on the front. A mesh cardigan does sound intriguing for layering on hot days though.

      • If you’re near an H&M, check out their pointelle cardigans. They come in navy and beige, both with black trim, and are my favorite cardigans for work in the summer. They’re usually in the “career” clothes section and are around $24.

      • The mesh in back dips low like a bathing suit. I find that odd-looking.

  4. Gail the Goldfish :

    What’s everyone’s favorite foundation? Mine’s not cutting it any more. I have oily, acne-prone skin and need something with moderate coverage.

    • McGiggles :

      My favorite is revlon colorstay and I top it off with the colorstay powder.

      • Senior Attorney :

        +1 for Revlon Colorstay. I use the liquid and I blend it with a brush, which really gives it a nice finish.

    • OttLobbyist :

      I use Maybelline BB cream, topped with Makeup Forever pressed power on good skin days, Maybelline FIT foundation with the Makeup Forever on less good skin days. I tried tonnes of foundations when my skin decided to reject Clinique all of the sudden and was really surprised that a basic drugstore one did the trick.

      • lawsuited :

        I read that Maybelline FIT was a dupe for Make Up Forever HD and MAC Longwear Liquid (both of which I love) so I had to try it, but the FIT made me break out and melted right of my oily face. I’m glad it works for you, and really sad it doesn’t work for me because I could be saving $20-30 everytime I buy foundation!

    • Have you tried Neutrogena Skin Clearing foundation?

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        I haven’t. Mainly I’ve been using Clinique (various different types). I tried Makeup HD for a while, which I liked the look of but felt like it didn’t stay without primer. I feel like my whole skincare/makeup routine probably needs a revamp.

    • My skin sounds similar and I use Neutrogena SkinClearing. The colors are great for me. I’m super pale and I actually wear the third lightest color in the summer and the second lightest in the winter — with a lot of brands I can’t even wear the lightest shade. I do still get a little oily with it, so I’ll use Neutrogena powder once or twice during the day. And for big days when I want my makeup to look just applied at the end of the day, I’ll use Smashbox Photo Finish Primer (or the Light version) first. But even on normal days, I’m happy with the foundation alone (over moisturizer).

    • lawsuited :

      Make-up Forever HD Foundation for medium coverage and MAC Longwear Cream Foundation for full coverage. Both have very natural finishes and feel light on the skin, and both stand up well to my oily T-zone. I am acne prone as well, but find that a change in my skincare makes a bigger difference than a change in my foundation. FWIW I didn’t have a negative reaction to either of these.

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        I’ve tried the makeup forever HD foundation before and liked the way it looked, but I felt like if I didn’t use a primer, it didn’t stand up to my oily skin well (and fear using a primer every day would just cause my skin to freak out). I’ll give the MAC longwear Cream a try.

        Does anyone know if Ulta does samples like Sephora? (so I can try the Maybelline and Neutrogena options).

        • lawsuited :

          Setting Make-up Forever HD with the Make-up Forever HD translucent loose powder (it looks white in the container but invisible on skin) is a game changer. I’ve tried setting it with other powders, but it still doesn’t last as long. Overall, I agree that Make-up Forever HD isn’t a long-lasting make-up and sort of fades to medium/light coverage. I like the MAC Longwear foundations because they fade to full/medium coverage – I use the liquid and the cream, but I like the natural finish of the cream best.

    • I like Sonia Kashuk at Target for medium coverage.

    • I have very similar skin and swear by Bare Essentials. I use the matte version of the foundation and the mineral veil powder. No problems at all. Takes a bit of practice but once you get the application its great!

      • Clementine :

        If you have cystic acne, be aware that for some lucky, lucky women (LIKE MEEEEEE), an incredient in bare minerals can trigger additional cystic breakouts.

        Not sure if bare essentials is the same formulation, but it was ironic that after a few years of using a makeup that was supposed to improve my skin, my cystic breakouts improved drastically when another ‘r e t t e clued me in to this.

        Also- the discussions on here about cystic acne have encouraged me to try a few things that are working better than some really harsh prescriptions ever did! Thanks! I really miss dairy though…

        • Maddie Ross :

          Can I ask what it is you’ve done that has worked? I have massive problems – esp. post-pregnancy now that I am not on hormonal BC.

          • Clementine :

            For various reasons, I have gone off hormonal BC as well, so I’m right there with you-

            What has worked:
            -Looking for dietary triggers. I’ve identified that dairy triggers them for me, to the point where it’s worth skipping my beloved soft serve. Avoiding certain acidic foods (especially citrus) has helped with some bumps around my mouth. Too much sugar isn’t really good for anyone, and the standard ‘eat healthy and you feel better’ applies too.
            -Vitamin B5 Supplements- Panolethic Acid- Some internet sites call for megadosing on this, but I’m taking a 500 MG/day supplement. It’s supposed to help cut down on oil production too.
            -Regular masks, specifically raw, organic honey and cinnamon. I also have used this as a spot treatment and holy cow did it kill pimples.
            -At night on real serious blemishes, I put raw honey on my face and cover with band-aids (husband commented like I looked like an overly excited Nelly fan)

            and most importantly: Don’t touch any little ones! Extracting blackheads and whiteheads- even when done by a pro- is a recipe for a giant, bumpy mess. It looks best if I do the honey treatment. There are lots of variations.

            Oh, and I swear by Glytone face wash. It’s glycolic acid and was recommended by a previous derm. You can get it on Amazon, one bottle lasts for a while, and it provides great chemical exfoliation.

          • Clementine :

            I replied, it’s stuck in mod. Stay tuned for my wordy, yet honest answer!

          • Spironoactone. I struggled with cystic acne for years with modest relief from the Acne.org methods. Pregnancy was amazing – I had the best skin of my life. After I was no longer nursing, the acne came back, and I saw a dermatologist who put me on Spiro. 18 months later and I just wish I’d gotten on these meds years ago. I haven’t had any side effects, and I can’t believe how much a difference having improved skin has made to my confidence and self-esteem.

        • The Bare Minerals powder was one of the only things that worked with my (old) cystic acne, weirdly enough.

    • Hourglass Immaculate Foundation. It is not cheap, but stays put and has a flawless, matte finish.

    • Drugstore brands – Revlon Colorstay and L’Oreal True Match. I’ve been using a matte primer by Rimmel and that’s been working well this summer.

      Makeup Forever HD is my absolute favorite, but it is a bit expensive.

      I also keep blotting paper with me to help deal with shine during the day.

    • West Coast :

      I’ve had good luck with Chanel and Dior.

    • I love Estee Lauder Double Wear Light. One bottle of it lasts me six months or more, so it’s worth the price. It’s light but covers up blemishes well, and I always look brighter, healthier and more awake after I put it on!

    • Midwesterner :

      Same skin type here. I recently started using the Perricone No Foundation Foundation from Sephora and LOVE it. Follow it up with some powder and it keeps oil at bay, has a physical sunblock (I think it’s SPF 30) that isn’t chalky, and is just enough sheer coverage not to look odd over my freckles, and best of all doesn’t make me break out. It’s like a serum too so a little goes a long way.

  5. Ultrasound picture preservation TJ :

    Has anyone had ultrasound pictures scanned in or otherwise digitally saved? All I have is the printed-out pictures (no .jpgs or anything). I have heard that the US printer paper is like receipt paper and the ink on them will fade over time (true?). I have two babies where I have ultrasound pictures but lost the pregnancies later and would like to preserve these pictures if that is possible. [I tried at home on my scanner and it was just a blurry mess.]

    • I don’t know if they have one where you are, but I’ve used the photo scanning machines at Archiver’s (it’s a scrapbook store) to convert old family photos to digital images, to great success. Even the super old, grainy 1800s photos look exactly the way they do in the originals.

    • If your home scanner was a blurry mess, maybe you’re scanning it with the wrong settings – too small dpi and are blowing it up larger than the image size?

    • Sorry to hear about your pregnancy loss. If digital preservation doesn’t work out, is it possible that laminating the pictures would prevent future fading?

    • marketingchic :

      What about taking pictures of them with a really good digital camera?

      • Maddie Ross :

        This. I took photos of our US and it came out pretty well. Maybe not exact, but pretty close and it will exist for posterity.

    • Could be your home scanner just didn’t have a high enough resolution. A photo scanning place probably has something with a higher resolution that can get a crisper scan.

      • So sorry for your losses! I’ve scanned in my ultrasounds and they came out fine on my Canon printer/scanner, bought a few years ago.

        • Flying Squirrel :


          Nothing new to add, but wanted to say sorry for your losses. I totally understand your desire to want to keep the U/S scans. Even though I’ve since carried to term, I still remember my own losses. No one, not even DH, really gets why I still think of them as siblings DD will never know.

    • I’m really sorry for your losses. Would the ultrasound lab have the digital images and be able to put them on a CD for you?

  6. Does anyone else here wear Tieks? I really love mine and wear them a few times per week.

    I got my first pair in May and the back is completely not holding my ankle anymore. Like the elastic is loose or broken. Is this normal wear and tear or did I get a dud-pair? How is their customer service?


    • First Year Anon :

      I got my first pair back in the end of April! I too, love my Tieks. I do find the back sort of slides down if I’m doing a lot of walking. I guess it’s because it is not elasticized, and the leather softens and doesn’t stay up as well. I have also found because the leather is soft it is scuffed on some of the edges- but I have used them a LOT for travelling so I don’t really mind.

      If you contact customer service, let me know how it goes. I am curious. They are the holy grail for me but this one issue bothers me.

    • Wildkitten :

      I just got a pair and find that the toe is so tight it hurts my toenails, which is weird but I’m hoping will go away as it stretches to my foot. I’m used to trimming my toenails for half-marathons but not used to them hurting from wearing flats.

      • First Year Anon :

        That is weird- they do stretch out over time so hopefully yours become comfy- my skin is super sensitive and my feet are picky, so that’s saying something coming from me!

      • Charlotte York :

        I have several pairs of Tieks and have this problem with some colors/materials. I have to size up in the patent version but buy my size in most of the leather versions. I’d really like for them to make 1/2 sizes.

    • Anonymous :

      I think you got a dud pair. I’ve had a couple pairs for a couple of years that I have abused (walking miles on rough terrain, toddler chasing, etc.) and mine are in great shape. Since I haven’t had problems, I can’t speak to their customer service.

  7. Photo Books :

    Where is the best place to order photo books from? I am looking for a combination of high quality materials with layouts that you can completely customize (no “themes” as such). If it doesn’t break the bank, that would be good too (but I know it is asking a lot). I’m in Canada, so ability to ship international will help! Thanks all!

    • We have used Shutterfly, but I find the software/process tedious and not well designed. I’ll be curious to hear if others have found other more user-friendly systems.

      On a related note… my brother recently went on a vacation with his family and uploaded his photos into Google+. I am still not even sure what Google+ is, but Google+ took his pictures and made a little slideshow in chronological order and added in cute maps, with arrows showing as they moved from one country to another, and a few other cute extras. He sent it to everyone via Gmail. And he didn’t do a thing to design it. The Google+ program created the entire thing. He added a couple captions where it asked him if he wanted them.

    • I love Adorama. I did everything via their online software system and it worked well (except when they were having a 40% sale and everybody using it crashed it). I picked up the book instore (just easier for me) but you can also get it shipped to you.

      • I’ve done a bunch, there’s also a blogger (photobookgirl I think) who does reviews and has coupons. My only really negative experience was printerpix, for which I had a groupon… If I wanted to change the layout at all I had to align things up by doing math to figure out what the x/y coordinates should be… Way too much work for a fun project! Snapfish was also pretty low quality I thought, but I like their calendars. Be careful of getting a small book with a lot of text (go 12×12 at least and make text bigger than you think you need to) and (IMHO) avoid black backgrounds.

        I’ve liked mpix, shutterfly, mypublisher… I was happy enough with those that I stopped before trying blurb or adorama. Shutterfly is expensive but I actually like the software the best – very easy to customize your layouts, add text, remove text boxes, add stickers, change backgrounds, etc. I also like that they have a new program for your iPad that you can upload to the browser version to finish it – so if you want to do some of the work via iPad you can.

        I know a lot of friends also like iBooks or whatever the apple option is.

    • I had good luck with MixBook for creating a photobook after a vacation. I used a premade layout because it was easier, but I was able to customize A LOT, which was nice. The quality of the photos and paper is also really good, and they frequently offer coupon codes.

      • gingersnap :

        ditto for Mixbook- I do albums for each year my spouse and I have been married, and have found Mixbook to have pretty much limitless options as far as backgrounds & layouts. They’re a little pricey, but compared to my experience using Blurb, well worth the extra money. Blurb also isn’t bad….totally customizable, just more work to customize things. If you just want to do something straightforward, it might not be a bad option either.

    • hoola hoopa :

      I went with blurb when I was looking for the same features. If you download the software, the layouts are completely customizable. Definitely not the cheapest option, but I was really happy with the end product and felt the price was worth it. Definitely nicer than shutterfly or iPhoto products, which is mostly what I can compare to. They do have sales/promotions, but pretty rarely and for short periods.

    • Adoramapix has professional quality layflat photo books. They’re not cheap, but they regularly run sales (30-40% off is common, if you we’re willing to wait a few months you may be able to get 50% off).

  8. Would you rather:
    1. Work for a team that is really high producing and rapidly growing in responsibility that is often recognized by management as being a shining example of what the department is striving for and an example of best practices, but where you would be the only woman on a team that has been described by multiple people as “fratty” and made up of type A guy’s guys OR

    2. Work for a team that isn’t growing as quickly or producing as much, gets significantly less attention/recognition from management and is somewhat stagnant, but is close-knit, known for being a little gentler and low key and seems more willing to sit down and teach what they know (instead of the other team, where it would be more learning by doing and trial by fire)

    The first team seems like a great opportunity, and I grew up with 4 brothers so I’m comfortable dealing with guy’s guys, but I’m a little hesitant to leap on an opportunity that some other women have seemed hesitant to take. I don’t really want to give more details than this for fear of outing myself- so what would your gut say?

    • I would be worried about the stagnation and lack of productivity/attention on Team B. While it depends on your personality, it sounds like you could roll with the punches on Team A. I would definitely not dismiss it just because others have rejected it.

      • Yay! Open thread’s! I love Open Thread’s and I agree (again) with Tesyaa! Yay Tesyaa!

        I alway’s think it is best to work with a fast track team, even if you are the ONLEY woman on the team! I perfer to work fast and hard and mabye not suceed 100% of the time, but be known to be a winner. The other group sound’s more like a group of plodder’s which is the oposite of me.

        The ONLEY down side to team A is that if you are the onley WOMAN, they may not treat you serious, and will NOT listen to you’re idea’s as much b/c you are a woman. When I was on a business class team at GW with all guy’s, they virtualy ignored me once I joined their team and they devized they’re OWN markeitng plan without listeneing to any of my idea’s. All I was there for, in their head’s was to have a cute face on the team, to go drinkeing with afterward’s and to grab my tuchus in the bar after we got the highest grade in the class.

        We women are alway’s objectivified by men, and if I put a dollar in my 401k for every time a guy grabbed my tuchus in college, I could probabley be abel to retire at age 45 with a full pension! The manageing partner’s brother grabbed my tuchus the other day and there was absolutely no reason for it. He was measuring the wall and all of a sudden, I felt BOTH of his hand’s on my tuchus! What is that all about? My tuchus is NOT public property. I wish I had an come back for him but I was totaly SPEECHELESS! FOOEY!

    • McGiggles :

      #1. My gut says they get bigger bonuses and will have better career advancement and opportunities. Team #2 will get cut in next downturn.

    • Orangerie :

      #1 without a question. Stagnant, gentle and low key sounds like an absolute nightmare to me.

    • #1, but being the only woman with a bunch of fratty guys brings out my competitive overachiever side like nothing else (and that typically makes me perform better).

      • This, exactly. And why forego recognition and advancement opportunities if that is what you want? The successful, recognized team is a lot less likely to be chosen in a reduction-in-force than the “stagnant” team.

    • #1, it’s higher pressure being where the action is, but it can also bring greater rewards. And you can likely contribute more to the company in a highly visible area that the company is willing to invest in.

      This assumes you have the time/energy to take on the additional hours, stress, etc. that will be required.

    • West Coast Lawyer :

      Generally, I would say #1. But you also have to take into consideration what point you are at in your career/personal life and what is most important to you right now. I’m generally a big believer in leaning in, but I also think it’s fine at certain points in your life to say I’m not up for that challenge right now.

    • I took a job last year which is some what like #1. I am the only female member of the team now, the other one who was in the team left two months after I joined. She was not happy with the team. My previous team was some what like #2 but with lot of bright people (smarter people than the current team), challenging work but not much recognition.

      It was very difficult for me to adjust with the new team. I have posted multiple comments here asking fr advice about navigating situations. The people were extremely competitive to the point of hiding the information that you need to do your job, taking credit for some one else’s work etc. There was a team consisting of (super) alpha males within the team who would grab the nice assignments even before rest of the team became aware of the assignments. So you had to be an insider to get nice work, otherwise you would be picking up what that other team left and cleaning up the mess which really was not something that can fetch you recognition.It was not easy to break into that insider group as they were self sufficient and any outsider would be treated as a competitor who needs to be suppressed. Just too much bullying, politics and crap like that. It was literally hell and I hated working in the team. I was looking for a different job, when the upper management got rid of the manager, head of that insider group and merged the team with another team with the other team’s manager managing this newly formed team (merging two teams). A couple of other insider group people also left as they didn’t like the new manager. Now, the atmosphere in the team is much better, still not ideal. It took me one year and all these changes to establish myself in a visible role and I am gunning for a promotion during the year end review. There are still a couple of people who used to trouble me, but they cannot trouble me as much because I know my work and I am independent. I will be continuing with the team till I get some substantial experience of my resume in this work and I will be leaving as soon as my personal goals are met.

      Next time, I will look for a team with good work but also a good team. If I have to choose between great work but crappy team and good work with good team, I would choose the latter. I have realized it is not worth spending so much time in toxic environment. So you have to look how the team members are and how much politics you can handle. If they are smart people with healthy competition, then I would join #1. If they are smart people who can go to any extent to defeat you in workplace competition, then it is not worth the rewards you may get.

    • Anonymous :

      Depends on whether you’re looking for a long term fit or a stepping stone to something better. For a long term position, #2; I’d pick a mentoring environment over a trial-by-fire frat house any day. Also, you have to like the people you work with. You say you can “deal with” the frat guys, but are you going to enjoy your day to day life if you’re surrounded by them?

      If you just want a stepping stone, then put up with the frat guys for a year (maybe 2 at the outset) and work hard so you can get out of that environment as quickly as possible.

    • hoola hoopa :

      That’s a tough one without full details.

      In regards to #2, flying under the radar can be nice. Less pressure to make big moves, less public failures, more predictable workloads, etc. (Obviously, all generalizations, YMMV). The word “stagnant” makes me nervous. If you meant “not cutting edge but reliable”, then I’d be okay. If it seems like they aren’t doing well or may not have a future in the company, then I’d be hesitant. It’s great if they can share their skills – but are they skills you want to learn? Will the skills transfer to another group (such as #1) if you aren’t happy at #2 or if #2 is eliminated?

      In regards to #1, it depends on whether you feel you need the mentoring to succeed and the specifics of the environment. Do you historically do well with type A coworkers? I’ve worked in all-male environments that were fine; I’ve worked in others that were demoralizing. Not only is it a frat that you feel you can compete with or join – but is it a frat you want to be affiliated with to begin with? Is there risk of being a scapegoat as the newest (and potentially, female) member if something does go wrong and upper management has questions about what happened with their golden child? Are other men – not just women – passing on the opportunity as well?

      Who does projects that interest you the most? Do you already have established relationships with members of either group that you’d like to either severe/avoid or foster/develop? Where do you think you’d succeed the best? Because a high-profile flop is worse than a low-profile success.

  9. I'm Just Me :

    I really like the shape of this cardigan, but not really crazy about the mesh.

  10. Depends on your situation and personality. Right now, I would jump on #1 with no hesitation, and in fact just did, but my husbands job and hours are stable and flexible and the youngest of my 3 kids is in 5th grade. Now if it were 5 years ago, I might have settled for #2. Sorry not to be more specific but the question really is what does your gut say?

  11. Anonymous :

    Hi all. Hoping for some negotiating help (or maybe just a reality check). I’m a senior associate in Biglaw (Am Law 100). I’m looking to move to another firm (Am Law 200). If I move, it would be before the end of the year. Experience-wise (years practicing), I qualify as Counsel at the new firm. But, my title at the current firm is Senior Associate. Any hope that I can negotiate to come in as Counsel, instead of SA?

    • Hi, you should know that title’s realy doesn’t matter that much. What matters is your SALARY and whether you will be made a PARTNER and when, and whether you will get a clotheing allowance and how much of a $ clotheing allowance it is and whether you can get peep toe shoe’s paid for.

      I recomend you get your dad, or your husband if you are MARRIED, negotiate this all right now with the manageing partner at the small er firm you want to go to. You should know that my dad got me all of the above plus a promise that I will have an office with a WINDOW (Yay!) away from other’s who stare at me all day in the office I sit in NOW. YAY!!!!

      If your dad is not abel to help, and you are NOT married, then you need mabye an UNCLE or a boyfreind who can do the neagoiteations for you. I say this b/c you do NOT want to do it yourself b/c it is very dificult and you do NOT want to start out with your manageing partner on the WRONG FOOT. FOOEY ON THAT! So anyway, good luck and if you need more help, just write b/c I am abel to read Corporete over the weekend on my NEW Iphone. YAY!!!!

      • Anonymous :

        First, I’m honored to get a response from Ellen! And yes, you’re correct, negotiating title was the way I was hoping to avoid a pay cut, which is more important to me than the title. But counsel salaries aren’t published, so maybe I’m looking at it the wrong way. Definitely interested in any insights into lateraling between big firms.

        • Why can’t we all be as smart (and pretty) as Ellen? I suppose some have all the advantages, but her dad sounds like a real turdball!

    • You should really find out what “counsel” means at New Firm and determine what your goals are before you start pushing for it. At some firms, this is a stepping stone toward partner, a title given to senior laterals and associates on the way to, or passed over but not rejected for partner, to designate a level of seniority. At others, it is a title given to senior lawyers who are not on the partner track, for whatever reason. In that case, compensation structures can be very different from person to person, with some “counsel,” particularly those without their own clients, being paid less than the most senior associates, typically with high bonus potential but no guarantee of payment. It can still be a good thing if you don’t want to be on the partner track, but want the title for the purpose of garnering internal authority and external credibility to recruit clients. And some firms have a way to get on the partner track from the counsel position, so it is not a dead end by any means; but as stated, it is not guaranteed to equate to a higher salary.

  12. For those single ‘etts that live by themselves, how do you keep busy and not get lonely? Work can sometimes seem day in and day out, like it’s all I do, and I was wondering how to structure a meaningful social life around that/how to see friends and family and date without being exhausted all the time.

    • I know the feeling! When you actually have a little free time and a bit of energy, use it to make some fun plans for the month ahead. Think about who you would like to see and plan a few fun things (even weeks ahead of time, everyone is so busy, sometimes you have to schedule way ahead) — whether it’s going to a winery or checking out a new happy hour spot or seeing a movie. It also helps to keep a running list of things you want to do, so you can pull it out for ideas when you have an open day but aren’t sure what to do with it.

      I also think it really helps to have one or two regular communities or social events you belong to that you show up for consistently, such as church or a softball team or a knitting group or something. These things get you out of the house and can be really fulfilling and a good way to make friends, and you don’t have to plan them from scratch each time.

    • Good question. I like routines. So I have a lot of routines and a few reliable distractions.

      I stay out of the house most weeknights with dinner dates with friends. Some friends are standing dates and some are more ad hoc. I also found it helpful to become a section leader of a local organization so I can plan events for times that are convenient for me.

      I have a housekeeper so I don’t spend weekends cleaning. When I am home on the weekend, I have books to read, projects to do, a garden to weed, a cat to annoy, but no television (the temptation to binge watch something different every weekend is just too strong in me). I have a few dinners that I enjoy making but are too much for weekdays so I will cook something nice and open a bottle of wine, just because I want to treat myself. I have a few hikes nearby that I enjoy so I might do that. It is really all about reminding myself that I do have things to do and places to go.

    • Wildkitten :

      Schedule your social time into your calendar so you don’t just procrastinate. See if you can hang out with your friends by going to spin/yoga with them. Take classes, get a hobby, join a book club.

    • Hildegarde :

      I agree with the advice to get involved in a couple of activities that meet monthly; sometimes these standing commitments bother me when I just want to go home from work and crash, but afterward I’m usually glad I went, the organizations do work that is important to me, and they’ve expanded my social circle.

      The thing I’ve found most helpful happened almost by accident, though; I live in a very walkable neighborhood, with a number of bars and restaurants close by (I realize this is normal for some of you big-city people, but here in the Midwest it’s less common). A few friends of friends moved into my neighborhood within the last couple of years, and we’ve all become much better friends because it’s so easy to text each other and meet for a quick drink or grab dinner down the block. It’s so low-pressure, because we don’t have to plan ahead, or drive anywhere, that my weeknight social life is more active now than it’s ever been in my life. I realize you can’t make friends become your neighbors, but I guess I would say find a neighborhood bar and start hanging out there, and maybe your neighbors can become friends.

    • I have been single all my life and living by myself for the past ten years (college, then work).
      It does not help that I am anti-social and like home-bound activities and prefer to sleep early and don’t like movies (yes all that). Also, I hate talking on the phone if it is not for a purpose. Here is how I cope:
      1- I am a founding member of an association since college . I am still a member of the board so am obliged to meet the members every 2 weeks. We organize events so this keeps me busy.
      2- I am training myself to say yes rather than no whenever someone proposes something even if it’s rare. Then I would feel very bad for letting them down.
      3- I have told a couple people (with similar tastes) that I’m looking for things to go to. One of them happens to own a communications/event planning agency, so once per month he drops me invitations to a festival he is organizing. Not always my cup of tea, but at least I have the option.
      I hope this helps.

      • SadatWork :


        When I read you post you description sounds so much like me that I wondered if I had posted in my sleep!

  13. Frou Frou :

    Ladies, What’s the difference between second chair and co-chair in a trial?

  14. Friday Mistakes :

    At work today I sent my team members yearly feedback to our division slug instead of just the management slug. I immediately recalled the email and even asked IT to delete the email. :( I’ve never made that type of mistake and now it is stressing me out. I feel terrible!

    • Wildkitten :

      There are mistakes where you accidentally send an email to the wrong person and there are mistakes when you shoot a kid 10 times because he was walking in the street and not the sidewalk. You will recover from your mistake. Drink two glasses of wine, snuggle your cat, and shake it off.

  15. purplesneakers :

    Hi ladies!

    Does anyone have a recommendation for a nice place for a vegetarian lunch in Monterey, CA? My cousin is driving down so we can see the aquarium and I’d love to have food options other than my own kitchen. She’s ovo-lacto, no meat or fish, no other allergies. I’d prefer places on the cheap-ish end of the scale, since I’m a student and she just started working. Oh, and neither of us drink, so it doesn’t need to be a place that serves alcohol.


    • If you don’t get recommendations, check out happycow dot net, a list of veggie friendly restaurants by location. I like to browse when I’m going to a new place and have been happy with the places I’ve found on it.

  16. Any site recommendations for searching for international flights from Central America to Asia?

  17. I realize this is late in the thread, but I’m looking for recommendations for books or blogs on cooking. Specifically, for a 19-year-old college student out of the house/dorms for the first time. She’s vegetarian. So looking for simple, vegetarian, well-balanced meals that don’t cost a ton.

    I’m thinking of putting together a care package for her birthday with some recipes/books of recipes, and maybe a crock pot. She told me she’s mostly living on quesadillas for lack of inspiration (she’s a relatively new vegetarian).

    • I like the Deborah Madison book recommended below. Also vegetarian cooking for everyone by Mark Bittman. I consider hose two my cooking bibles.

      • Equity's Darling :

        I second “How to Cook Everything Vegetarian” by Mark Bittman- lots of basics, and most are quite fast.

    • I love the blog Vegan Stoner (http://theveganstoner.blogspot.com/) for easy vegan meals. (Of course assure her that the rec isn’t an endorsement of drug use ;) )

    • Most authentic ethic food is vegetarian. Meat is a very western thing. Veggie curries, falafel, stir fry, ect. You might want to look into buying her a bunch of spices to go along with everything. She would be able to keep basic veggies on hand and make many dishes.

    • Alice, your 19 year old, if she is a vegetarian and not a vegan, she should find a boyfriend who can help with the cooking. When I was in that situation last year, I did not know what to do. I met a guy in the grocery store shopping for kale, we hit it off, and we have become very close. He has moved in with me and he prepares all meals while I study. He already has a BA degree and is planning on being a writer. I recommend she go to the grocery store and hang around the kale like I did! It worked for me!

      • Wildkitten :

        I think this plan has the same chance of working for a vegan too.

        I would just keep eating delicious delicious quesadillas.

      • Anonymous :

        Ellen, is that you (with spellcheck?)

  18. I'm Just Me :

    Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. If you are sending her a crockpot, then include the book Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker. I still love my Moosewood cookbooks, I started with them when I was a college student turned veggie out on my own for the first time.

    This link http://psychologyofeating.com/top-50-vegetarian-blogs/ has a number of blogs to check out.

    And a subscription to Vegetarian Times?

    • I'm Just Me :

      This was for Alice, don’t know why it ended up in the wrong slot.

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