Weekend Open Thread

Something on your mind? Chat about it here.

Two major sales are winding down this weekend, ladies: The Zappos clearance sale ends tomorrow, and over at Nordstrom, Anniversary Sale prices are going to go back up on August 6. Have you guys gotten any great deals? I could probably stand to get a new pair of walking/running shoes, and the Zappos sale has TONS of great options. These Brooks shoes are bestsellers; I like the purple, teal, and black color scheme. They were $120 but are now marked to $89, and they come in sizes 5–12. Brooks Ghost 9

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  1. Wedding Fashion Advice :

    Looking for dress suggestions for the following wedding: warm weather, taking place in Mexico, Catholic ceremony (4pm or 5pm ish) with dinner/dancing after, dress code black tie optional. The bride’s family is Mexican and quite well-off, groom’s family middle America upper-middle class, lots of the groom’s guests will be Bay Area-based tech and consulting guys (so: not sure how that combo of people will shake out in terms of prevalence of black tie).

    My husband is going to wear a tux, I’m not sure what I’ll wear. My instinct is for something tea length, ideally in silk. I’m an hourglassy pear, so something with a v or sweetheart neckline would be excellent, but mostly I just want a great looking, interesting dress. Open to RTR or purchasing; purchase price cap probably $300. TIA!

    • I wore this dress for a black tie wedding and it was amaaazing and I got so many compliments.


      • Wedding Fashion Advice :

        That dress is a real testament to the power of RTR’s photos of reviewers in the dress. Didn’t grab me on the model but looked excellent on the reviewers (and, obviously, you!). Thank you!

      • Never too many shoes... :

        That dress is so, so pretty. While I do have the mad hate on that many here do for exposed zippers, I really do not understand why they put one on that dress!

        • I know! But, the rest of the dress outweighed the exposed zipper. Best dress I’ve rented by far.

    • I wish I could wear this, but no dice. Festive and romantic and fun, but also you can probably pull those off the shoulders up for mass. http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/bb-dakota-katie-lace-midi-dress/4633848?origin=category-personalizedsort&fashioncolor=FRENCH%20BLUE

      • (edited to add: need great jewels and shoes to formal this up a bit)

        • Never too many shoes... :

          I am honestly not sure that dress can be made black tie regardless of accessories. It feels a bit more Santa Fe/festival boho to me.

          • Fair! I think it could be slicker in a city, but would trend boho (not quite festival boho to my eye) otherwise. I also missed earlier that partner was going to be in a tux, so that wouldn’t work here.

          • Agreed. Absolutely not black tie.

    • KateMiddletown :

      I think you should get the Eliza J mentioned in earlier post. http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/eliza-j-ballgown-regular-petite/4589210?origin=category-personalizedsort&fashioncolor=PURPLE%20MULTI

      • Wedding Fashion Advice :

        I love that dress but am worried that I’ll be overdressed (and it’ll be obvious, because others’ dresses will be shorter). FWIW, I’m more afraid of going over than under, but if folks here can provide reassurance that there will be a lot of long dresses at this thing, I’m up to hear it.

        • I think tuxes equal long dresses, to be honest. I think a short dress and a tux look very mismatched, but for some very specific exceptions.

          • Anonymous :

            In the US, you can wear short cocktail dresses or long dresses with tuxes. Long gowns are only required with tails. But tails dress is relatively rare now, so many people have started equating long dresses with tuxes. It’s not technically correct that you have to wear long dresses with tuxes though.

        • Anonymous :

          Mexican women generally dress up, not down, especially for a wedding. I sincerely doubt you will be overdressed if you wear a gown.

        • Never too many shoes... :

          We had wealthy friends from South America growing up and they dressed way UP for social occasions – having been to Mexico multiple times, I suspect the same is true there.

        • I agree with all of the commenters here–people will be on the dressier side, not the less dressy side. I recently wore this to a wedding and it was both comfortable and fabulous: https://www.bloomingdales.com/shop/product/aidan-mattox-crepe-column-gown?ID=2416760&CategoryID=2910&linkModule=1#fn=ppp%3D%26spp%3D28%26sp%3D1%26rid%3D15%26spc%3D63%26rsid%3Dundefined%26cm_kws%3Daidan mattox dresses %26pn%3D1|1|28|63

        • My comment is stuck in moderation, I think, so sorry if this posts twice. These commenters are correct; people will be on the dressier side, and there will probably be lots of formal gowns in the mix. I recently wore this dress to a black tie wedding that was outside in the heat, and it was both comfortable and fabulous. I wore it will some modern, colorful tassle earrings anda statement clutch, and it was great (and cool, temp-wise). And fwiw, I am an hourglass, as well 9and could wear a normal bra with this! I had my tailor sew in bra strap holders.)

          https://www.bloomingdales.com/shop/product/aidan-mattox-crepe-column-gown?ID=2416760&CategoryID=2910&linkModule=1#fn=ppp%3D%26spp%3D28%26sp%3D1%26rid%3D15%26spc%3D63%26rsid%3Dundefined%26cm_kws%3Daidan mattox dresses %26pn%3D1|1|28|63

  2. Reposting from this morning:

    We want to plan a vacation to France for October, and I’m looking for itinerary suggestions! We have about 10 days, we would probably fly into Paris and spend a few days there, and then we would like to go to 1-2 smaller cities/towns. We both love wine and food—so those things, as well as just relaxing and exploring, would be the main focus of our trip. My husband is leaning toward the south of France, while I’m open to whatever area is the most beautiful and has the best food/wine. We really don’t want be traveling too much within France (i.e. no more than 2, mayyyybe 3 additional towns other than Paris).

    So, here else, besides Paris, should we go?

    • Bordeaux and Reims!

      • The South has a lot to offer, but I view that as a whole trip in and of itself. I prefer having a car in the South, but getting there involves a relatively long drive and I hate spending a lot of my vacay getting from one place to another.

        That said, cosign on Reims as a good diversion from Paris. Stop at Versailles and Vaux-le-Vicomte on the way out, then spend a day or two in Reims hitting champagne houses, seeing the Cathedral and its tombs, and visit the Musee Beaux-Arts.

        The other option is to go west. Hit LeMans on the way to Mont St. Michel and Rouen on the way back. with regular stops at some of the cideries.

    • Also, in which arrondissement should we stay in Paris?

      • I just stayed at Hotel Le Saint Paris in St Germain and it was to.die.for. We got the smallest room and it was still plenty of space. The location was absolutely killer from a safety, amenity and location relative to the rest of the attractions. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

      • I like the 6th so that you can walk along the Seine and to the Ile every evening. The Guy Savoy bistro Les Bouqinistes is on the Quai near there, Les Deux Magots is an excellent spot to get a coffee and people watch, and I heart Shakespeare & Co. for book browsing. Easy access to everything via the Metro at the Odeon stop.

      • We stayed in the 8th and loved it. It was walkable or a short drive to pretty much everything we wanted to see, and the shopping there is incredible.

      • You should stay on the LEFT Bank. Rosa and Dad took me there and there were alot of cute places on Boulevard Saint German, includeing coffee places where you can sit OUTSIDE and watch peeople walking by in the Summer. There was a cute French guy wearing a barey that kept whisteling at Rosa. I did NOT like it, but Rosa was NOT married yet so she was flatered. Personaly, I can DO without men that try and attract us by making noises with their lips. FOOEY!

      • Any of the single digit arrondissements will be fine for a first visit. We really love the part of the 4th that borders the 3rd, not too far from Place des Vosges. It’s one of the oldest parts of Paris, with winding streets and ancient buildings (a little less Haussmann-ian than other areas). Within easy walking distance of the river. We like this area so much that we’ve stayed there multiple times and prefer it to the 5th or 6th.

    • OP, it’s not clear how into wine and food you are. If you’re really into food, I’d suggest Lyon.

      If you’re really into wine, as in touring wineries vs just drinking it wherever you happen to go in France, keep in mind that October is harvest season. That means it’s one of the busiest times of year for the wineries, and you may have a difficult time getting appointments. Also, most wine regions in France are not like Napa, where you can drive down the road and pull into any one of dozens of tasting rooms. You typically need an appointment (this is definitely true in Bordeaux and Champagne). You may also be limited to larger wineries if you don’t speak French.

    • Does Paris (4-5 days) -> Loire valley (3-4 days) -> Bordeaux (3-4 days) make sense or is this too spread out geographically? Is this the right amount of days in each place?

      • My initial comment is stuck in moderation, so sorry if this double-posts.

        If your interest in wine means you want to go to wineries, keep in mind that October is harvest season. That means the wineries are going to be really busy and focused on the harvest, and it may be difficult to get appointments for tours or tastings. Most parts of France, including Bordeaux, are not like Napa where you can drive along one road and find a bunch of tasting rooms you can walk into; you need appointments. The language barrier can also be an issue at smaller wineries–it’s not exactly like Paris, where almost everyone knows English, and we were happy to have a friend who could interpret for us in our group.

        Oh, and as for basing in Bordeaux and touring wineries, it’s logistically a bit tedious because the villages that make better wine are 45 minutes to an hour away. On the other hand, if you spend 3 days in Bordeaux, you can spend one day on the left bank, one on the right bank, and one in Graves, which are all in opposite directions from Bordeaux.

      • I’ve tried replying twice, and I keep getting stuck in moderation. Hopefully my comments show up at some point.

      • Move one day from Loire to Paris.

    • Anonymous :

      I just posed on this morning’s thread.

    • Anonymous :

      I would save the coastal portion of the south of France for another trip. The season is over by then and it loses some of its charm; Cannes, St Tropez, Antibes, etc., look a bit like ghost towns.

      Bordeaux would be nice. I’ve always wanted to visit Tours, but that is like likely a personal thing.

      With the change in seasons, spending a day or two in Fontainebleau might also be nice.

    • Recommend Rick Steves for how to plan your time overall and what to prioritize in Paris. I’m also big into food and wine and can’t wait to visit Lyon and the entire Burgundy region . . . I personally would prioritize those (and Loire region) over Bordeaux or Champagne.

  3. We’re getting our first au pair in a couple of weeks to help care for our 3 yo and 1 yo. We are very excited. Now that the date is finally approaching, we need to get our act together to be ready. Any suggestions for what we should do to get ready other than adding her to our car insurance and cleaning out the closet in her room? Does anyone have any advice for how to start the relationship off on the right foot?

    I’ve already told her that we’ll go to Target when she arrives so she can pick out new bedding for her room so it feels more like home. She’s also sent me a bunch of pictures that I’m going to have printed and ready for her to hang in her room. I was starting to think about putting together written schedules and other information, but wasn’t sure where to start.

    • KateMiddletown :

      I am so interested to hear about this experience. A guy in my office is hiring their first in October, but to hear about it from a female perspective is v. different. Can you share how you found her/how you decided au pair was right for you? (I’m in the midwest, much much less prevalent here.)

      • We used one of the major services to find our au pair. It’s a bit like online dating. You search profiles, flag each other, send messages and then set up Skype dates. Even after you have “matched,” you don’t exactly know how it will work until you actually meet.

        We’re hoping for a quieter life for our kids by getting an au pair. More time at home. Less time in group care. We want them cared for by someone who feels more like family. We’re all excited to show her our favorite parts of America and to learn about her traditions. I’m crossing my fingers that this is a good fit for us.

      • You want to make sure you do NOT let your o’pair hang out alone with your husband. That can ALWAYS be a probelem b/c the o’pair is useually very young and demure, ready and willing for an expereince with an OLDER and more EXPERENCED man. That means your husband! Keep them apart or risk haveing him have s-x with her, which can NOT turn out well for anyone, not for you, not for your o’pair and not for your husband b/c the s-x will NOT be good with a girl who has NOT has had alot of s-x with men before. Of course you realy have to watch it if she IS experenced with men in bed. Then, she could bring some s-xueal disease into the mix. TRIPEL FOOEY!

    • I have no advice on point because I don’t have kids, but I’m chiming in to say that this is awesome and a fun opportunity for your family. My parents took on an au pair that someone cancelled at the last minute (!) almost 30 years ago. She was with us for a year, and even now, we are super close. I see her everytime I’m remotely in her part of the world.

    • Have you already done a detailed handbook? If not, that’s your first step. It will get you thinking about all the details and get everything in writing for her – from how the house works to fire plans to emergency numbers to discipline strategies.
      If you post an email I’m happy to send you mine
      Our au pair has been amazing and I hope you have an equally good experience

      • I wasn’t an au pair but I stayed with a family for a period of time when I was a student, and they did this wonderful thing where they figured out places I would frequently walk to (the school, the store, the park) and they made me a book with walking directions and photos! So I could take the book with me and when it told me to walk down the street and turn right at the corner, it would show a photo of the corner I was supposed to turn at. They would map the whole route this way! With a language barrier, it was amazing to be able to look at the photos and know I was on the right track.

        This would probably make more sense as an email/online document than a book now. But i loved it!

  4. I really need some motivation! I am an otherwise “overachieving chick” doing very well in my career and personal life and generally very motivated in everything except health and fitness. I am 183 pounds this morning and at 5’1 that’s a lot of weight on a short body! There is just so much out there I know in terms of fitness and health advice and inspiration and i have tried so so much but i always give up very easily… just not motivated to move my a** (hate exercising) and doesn’t help that i am a foodie and literally live to eat! Guess my main problem is the “why” of losing weight/staying fit: i am just not externally motivated (read: don’t care about my looks as much…as in am too positive about my body i guess!).. although i hate to see all those rolls and unflattering pics (so i guess i do care). Idk am rambling… any advice!!? thoughts? Personal stories?

    • Anonymous :

      why don’t you set a fitness goal (like running/biking/swimming a 5k or half marathon or something) and sign up for a race?

    • I’m down 36 lbs since starting Weight Watchers in January (on my 5’7″ frame, that’s 2-3 dress sizes). I haven’t stepped into the gym once.

      For what it’s worth, WW is all about staying grounded in the question: what’s your ‘why’? I’m 33, go to WW meetings, and I’m easily the youngest person there by a decade, and the average age is 60+. But I find it so effective.

      • I lost 30 lbs on WW 4 years ago and I’ve kept it off since. But I am human, and every now and then 5-10 lbs creeps back on, so I just hop back on the plan for a couple weeks and it’s gone. I’m an online-only person (no meetings). I love love love it because you can eat unlimited fruits and veggies, so you’re never hungry. And grueling exercise isn’t required – you’ll see results with or without it.

      • CherryScary :

        25 and down 40lbs on WW. I do the digital plan, which I think has less accountability than the in-person meetings (though there is a social network thing in the app) but the meetings here don’t work for my schedule (and are on the wrong side of town).

        I’m also a foodie, so I use workouts as motivation for my favorite treats.

      • anon a mouse :

        Has anyone here tried the WW coaching plan? I haven’t had success with digital-only in the past, and there aren’t meetings I can make consistently. Wondering if that would be a good accountability option.

    • I’m 5’1 as well, and the bonus to being really short is that I can tell a huge difference dropping just a few pounds on a small frame, which helps to keep me motivated. I respond better to category-style rules (no added sugar/no carbs/no alcohol) than general moderation w/r/t food. The “rules” also allow me to view it as a chance to be creative. Monthly I try and have a week where I don’t eat all-carb foods (no pasta, rice, potatoes, alcohol, desserts, etc) and I’ve gotten really good at grilling steaks and found some amazing recipes I love and look forward to. The other key is drinking water, water, and more water.

    • A few years ago, I lost almost 40lbs in 12 months for my wedding. At the same time, I also got really, really fit and toned, but that had nothing to do with the weight loss (people say it’s 80% diet, I think it’s 100% diet).

      My fitness pal was the key, and especially having whoever else you live with/dine with (if anyone) also participate and track EVERY SINGLE thing you eat. I am also a huge foodie, and I told myself that it was sometimes OK to go over my calorie goal as long as I tracked everything 100%.

      For fitness, I used New Rules of Lifting for Women– I recommend either using that, or if it’s not motivating you enough, pay for a gym membership (you might need a gym anyways to use NROLFW). Hopefully knowing that you’d be wasting your money if you skipped the gym will motivate you to go!

      • How did you deal with counting calories when you’re going out with friends, attending business lunches/dinners/happy hours, or invited over to friends’ houses? That’s my biggest problem — I have no problem dieting when I prepare my own food, but I have no idea how to count calories at social events. So, I end up skipping social events, but that’s no good, either.

        • You just have to guess, plus it was a bit of right-place-right-time for me. I wasn’t working at the time (I was in nursing school) and the people I was spending my time with were other students who were on a budget, so it made it easier that we weren’t eating out all the time. But, I did go out to eat/eat at other people’s places, and just had to estimate.

        • Anonymous :

          Tracking is the only thing that works for me too. If I knew I was going to go out that evening, I would eat a smaller breakfast and lunch and then just try and estimate what I ate and try to leave a little room or guess higher on calories. I learned I like eating a bigger dinner, so I would typically have a small breakfast and small lunch anyway.

      • anon and on :

        I took very similar steps ahead of my wedding and lost ~30 lbs. New Rules of Lifting + seriously tracking calories + cardio intervals. For me, tracking my food intake was definitely the toughest part, but honestly it helped the most.

    • what worked for me was signing up for classpass. Finding different/unique classes to try (aerial yoga, olympic rings, rock climbing) that weren’t strictly “exercise” (like going to the gym and running for an hour) motivated me to get out of bed early on Saturday mornings … and the late cancellation fee helped too.

      (posted below too by accident)

    • I’m going through the same thing as you right now!! I gained about forty pounds moving up the work ladder. It never bothered me until my OB mentioned that she wanted me to lose weight before trying to have kids. After that, I suddenly started noticing how gaining weight took a toll on me. So, I’ve decided to try and get back to my college weight, which is around 120-130. I’ve still got a long way to go.

      Get a workout partner. My girlfriends and I got a month long pure barre package and challenged each other to go. My boyfriend will plan nights during the week where we stretch or lift weights. Back in college, my mom and I shared a personal trainer.

      Another way to stay motivated is to get workout clothes that fit you well. I would hate going to the gym, mostly because I felt like a little potato in my workout clothes. I just picked up Zella leggings and a sports bra, which fit like a dream. If you look good, you’ll start feeling good. In fact, cute workout accessories are a huge motivation for me.

      On the food side, I started following food channels on Youtube and meal planning Instagram accounts to motivate myself to cook healthier. I follow chubbyinshape on Instagram because her food looks AMAZING. I’ve started drinking infused water based on her recipes, and I’ve noticed a pep in my step. You can put whatever fruit you want in it, but I find cucumber/mint/lemon is my favorite.

      • Your lucky that your boyfreind is not saying / doeing anything to help you loose wieght. If you are 40 pounds heavier then you were when you met him, you MUST loose wieght. Sheketovits was always saying nasty things everytime I told him I needed to loose 5 pounds. He also was a “manspreader”, meaning he would sit on the couch with his leg’s spread apart, so I could see where his legs met. FOOEY! No one wants to see that when sitting on the couch. DOUBEL FOOEY!

    • Senior Attorney :

      I agree that tracking every bite on My Fitness Pal or similar is crucial. Also if you want a kickstart, my husband and I both had spectacular success doing Whole30. It was hard but we lost weight and it re-set our relationship with food and we’ve stuck to some of the restrictions and are really happy about the whole thing.

      Finally, super interesting article in the NY Times recently about diets and weight loss: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/02/magazine/weight-watchers-oprah-losing-it-in-the-anti-dieting-age.html

    • When you say you hate exercising, is it just that you haven’t found an exercise that you enjoy or have you tried a wide variety and hate them all? Could trying out new forms of exercise or constantly switching it up help you enjoy it more? I find that accountability helps me – signing up for classes, setting up workout dates with friends, training for something. You might even try hiring a personal trainer or a health coach. I also like to switch things up and circle through a variety of different types of workouts. That way if I’m not motivated to do one form of exercise at a given time, I don’t just abandon working out completely. Case in point – for the past several months I have had zero desire to go running. So instead I’ve been biking and taking classes at the gym. I’ve noticed the biggest impact in my appearance (not weight) from Bodypump and other strength training classes and exercises.

      All that about workouts aside, diet makes the biggest impact on weight loss. You can’t out-workout a bad diet. I’m also a self-proclaimed foodie (significant other is a chef!) so I know the struggle with wanting to eat all the delicious things all the time! My advice is to focus on gradual lifestyle changes as opposed to going on a diet or making drastic changes that you won’t stick with for long. Challenge yourself to try finding healthier/lower calorie versions of your favorite recipes (as an aside: if you are a nacho fan, check out Minimalist Baker’s Vegan Queso!), check out restaurants that offer healthier options or try to select healthier option on the menu, cut back on the number of times a week/month that you go out to eat, reduce your portion sizes, etc.

      • Also +100 to what other posters above mentioned regarding using MyFitnessPal or something similar and tracking your food intake.

    • I love food. Love love love it. But things that are omgsodelicious and packed with flavor don’t always have to be packed with calories. High end balsamic vinegar is _packed_ with flavor, much more that what you buy at the generic grocery store. It makes an excellent simple marinade or dressing. Fresh herbs can bring a lot of life to a dish. Spices from fancy spice stores like Penzey’s also pack a lot more flavor than the stuff they sell in the grocery store.

      I would encourage you to think about what flavors you love and then think about ways to get those flavors into healthy, low calorie dishes you make at home (eating at home is better for trying to lose weight because you can control the ingredients and calories).

    • I’m in the same struggle – not a formal exerciser. What has helped, I tend to be externally focused, walking with others or going to group fitness classes with others has warmed me up to exercising. Zumba has energetic music, so that is an extra plus. Walking opens a door to talking and connecting. I have a REALLY hard time doing this for myself, by myself (echoing – tips please!) I’m tempted to join weightwatchers for this reason – to make it bigger than me, and to have a back-up group rather than just a few people.

      I have been successful with Couch to 5K for getting a longer, sustained slow-run distance, and I do better with a goal…so I signed up for an October Tough Mudder (half). With my two youngest kids doing a mud mile. My partner/husband has had two knee surgeries in 3 years so the natural partnership isn’t there, but he’s thinking a little harder on how to be encouraging/participate.

      Food is getting better. I look at food-on-the-go as “who is just trying to sell me something?” Is this special? Is it even special to my kids? What is thoughtful/special about this – shared company? conversation? or is it in response to clamoring (including my kids and my inner child) Is there a better response (we will be home in 10 minutes, the fridge is stuffed with healthy options that we like – save the money)

    • Rainbow Hair :

      For me, focusing on losing lbs was a losing battle (see what I did there?!) — I have to focus on “health” or “fitness” or something or it gets ugly. Like many people on here, I’m an overachiever, and I hate that I don’t see immediate “results” on trying to lose lbs in a healthy way (or that I can do really unhealthy stuff and I *do* see the results but it’s not healthy at all). (For what it’s worth, I am also overweight according to charts and such, but I *am* motivated to work out lately, like every damn day, so that’s why I’m sharing.)

      The main reason I exercise (the only reason?) is for my mood. It makes me happier, in a lot of ways. There’s the brain chemistry stuff, but there’s also that feeling of satisfaction when my muscles are tired in a healthy way. And then I can feel justified in lazing around the house sometimes! (NB: neither you nor I nor anyone else has any obligation to exercise/be healthy/look fit — there is no moral weight to this. But exercising is a shortcut to shutting up my mind when I accuse myself of being lazy.)

      But!!! Exercising is boringAF and uncomfortable! I hate sweating! I hate being uncomfortable! I hate doing boring things alone! That’s why I take classes. It keeps me stimulated, and I have to be there at a particular time, so I have to go. Classes are also great practice for me at failing and sucking and still not quitting. I’ve fallen off the trapeze a bajillion times. No one else has fallen off once. I also recently fell off a pull-up bar and I have a weirdly placed bruise to show for it. I can never keep up with all the moves at zumba. But I am super proud of myself for doing these things when I have no chance at being among the best, because let’s be honest, us overachieving risk averse control freaks don’t like to be at the bottom of the class. But it’s great practice.

      Sorry for the novel… one last thing: I recently read this article and found it encouraging — All Exercise Is Bad: https://www.thehairpin.com/2016/09/ask-a-swole-woman-all-exercise-is-bad/

      • givemyregards :

        +1000 Accepting being terrible at something but doing it anyway and just having fun with it really made a HUGE difference in how I approached exercising. And I agree that it’s a really healthy thing to do for otherwise overachieving chicks. Plus, after you do something for a while…even if you really suck…you tend to get better! As someone who has historically not enjoyed doing things that I wasn’t immediately good at, this was really good to relearn.

        • Gail the Goldfish :

          “Sucking at something is the first step towards being sorta good at something.”-Jake the Dog

        • Sloan Sabbith :

          +1 My first…many classes at barre were pretty bad. Sometimes they still are and I just stand there flailing aorund until they save me. I do not like being bad at things, but it helped to have people here and blog posts elsewhere on the internet tell me I’d be bad and it would get better. And it has. I know what I’m doing 85% of the time and if I don’t, others probably don’t either. The other day half the class was facing the barre, half was facing out, and half was facing to the side and it was kind of hilarious because NO ONE had any idea what we were supposed to be doing. Just roll with it.

      • This is so perfectly said. Especially the part about being okay with sucking at something.

        I would not describe myself as a group workout person at all, but I have found a lot of value in joining a beginner’s running club and trying to do group fitness at least once a week. Even if the bulk of my workouts are solo, having that camaraderie (and accountability) has made it more fun and less of a slog.

        I haven’t gone all-in on weight loss yet — I decided to focus on getting a good workout routine going first — but just focusing on health has done a lot for me physically and mentally. I can tell that I feel better and am dealing with stress more effectively.

    • I loooooove food and cooking and am not very motivated by going to the gym. What works best for me is to eat healthfully throughout the week, and recognizing that I’m not the type to run on the treadmill or lift weights, but I do love dance classes and I enjoy long walks on off days. You have to find what works for you or it’ll never happen. My other mental shift was to realize that once I’d been “bad” in terms of what I ate (which is a TERRIBLE way to think anyway), it didn’t mean the rest of the day/week/whatever was a lost cause. I’m human and I’m here to live my life, not beat myself up.

      • And what I meant to say is that I eat healthfully throughout the week, but allow myself to eat what I want on the weekends as long as it’s a real serving size.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        A friend once drew a picture of a cupcake being all ~EVIL~ as a reminder that eating a cupcake is not actually being “bad.” I remember it all the time.

    • anon above :

      I am so not externally motivated. I have to “add” to my life instead of take-away to get healthier. E.g. add a salad (and still order fries), add a weekday workout (but still spend all weekend on the couch), add breakfast to my daily meals, add more water to my daily consumption (but still drink coffee/tea/beer/wine when I want). For me, adding veggies and fruit stop cravings for sugar and sweets and help me eat fewer fries. Adding a workout helps me sleep and makes it easier for me to listen to my body (e.g., when it’s telling me to stop eating my fries).

      Long-term, sustainable weight loss happens at about 1lb/week. More than that, I am at risk for gaining it all back again. Right now, I’m losing about 2lb/month which doesn’t sound like much but I’ve lost 12 lbs since this spring. It’s also easier for me to say “maybe not” to a huge ice cream sundae knowing that those 1500 calories could erase my weekly progress in one sitting.

    • Anonymous :

      I hate exercising/am a foodie and around the time I turned 35 I realized I had gradually crept up to about 40 lbs overweight. I swore I wasn’t going to make major diet changes because I love food too much, but I started a couch to 5k running program. I got so into running after my first race that I signed up for longer ones and even ran a marathon 18 months later. But…even with all that running I only lost about ten lbs bc I was still refusing to change my diet. I finally decided I needed to change my nutrition and started tracking via My Fitness Pal. I hated it, but…it taught me a lot about nutrition. As a “foodie” I knew a lot about food preparation and had a general sense of healthy/unhealthy but I really didn’t know much about nutrition and My Fitness Pal was eye opening. I set a personal goal to learn more about nutrition, and read a ton of books and cooking blogs, and really tried to focus on choosing healthier options that are still delicious. However, during that time I went through a tough time in my personal life and stopped running (I also think hormones may have been a factor) so again I didn’t lose weight.
      Lately I’ve been feeling really positive, doing some light exercise (group classes at the local Y, a lot of yoga) and eating about 90% vegetarian diet. I have lost about 25 lbs in the past four months – a number I couldn’t even come close to even with my marathon training. I always thought exercise was the key, but I’m amazed how much diet has impacted my weight. I try to make it fun and definitely don’t restrict calories at all – I just try to make really good choices and almost all of my meals are homemade. I thought I would miss eating out but expanding my cooking repertoire has become a new foodie adventure for me.

    • This isn’t a popular recommendation, but stepping on the scale motivates me like no other. Having a visual reminder that my choices had a positive impact keeps me motivated not to give any of those ounces or pounds back. Of course I know weight fluctuates a bit — I don’t beat myself up if I’m up a pound from the previous day because maybe I ate something saltier than average — but the downward trend is SO reassuring. (After about 18 months of this, I’m down 20 with another 15 to go.)

      It also eliminates the infuriating guessing game in the morning of “am I thin enough to wear these pants?” because if I am at X weight I know they will look nice.

    • I totally hear you on body positivity and knowing how awesome you look now. I can’t motivate myself to do any exercise that isn’t intrinsically rewarding (I will walk or hike to see something I couldn’t otherwise see, and I am fine with dancing or swimming). That said, I’m also unmotivated to exercise because it has never really helped me lose weight (though sometimes it has indirectly helped by improving my sleep).

      Here are things that have helped me lose weight. Get enough sleep and drink enough water! If you are using MyFitnessPal or cronometer, make sure the foods you eat are nutrient-dense enough that you aren’t habitually “under” in some category (especially if you change your diet). If I eat because I’m (a) tired, (b) thirsty, or (c) still need some vitamin, I won’t lose weight. Conversely, sleep, water, and adequate nutrition all help me lose weight. Setting nutrition goals also steers me towards more obviously really healthy foods and away from foods that are not helping me meet my goals.

      I also used to eat because I was (d) experiencing blood sugar swings. Watching carbs helps me feel less hungry as I go about my day.

      I think being a foodie can actually help? Some people don’t really like food that isn’t bland or sweet, so they struggle to eat things that aren’t bread/pasta/cereal/dessert. Almost everyone likes those foods, but you also like a whole ton of other things, and you are open to new things as well. Consider exploring a new cuisine that just happens to harmonize with your goals, and try a new food (exotic fruit or vegetable? part of an animal you’ve never had before?) on a regular basis. Go to “tastings” of whatever people are tasting where you are. Why diet when you could “refine your palate”?

      I hope some of these ideas work for you!

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      Couple of ideas:
      1. Read Better than Before. Figuring out HOW I motivated myself got me to be more motivated. I love Rubin’s stuff generally, but her upholder/Questioner/Rebel/Obliger framework really, really helped me figure it out. I’m an upholder/obliger.
      2. Track it, if that’s something that works for you. I find being able to give myself a “gold star,” as it were (which, for me, meant buying a calendar, putting it on the wall next to my front door and writing down every single time I exercised and starring it every single time I hit 10K steps) really, really helps. Breaking my 3+ month streak of 10K steps was, uh, not the best day of my life, to put it kindly.
      3. Just start moving more. Don’t think about it as exercise as much as just moving. Get a Fitbit (I’ve had both an Alta and a Blaze, I like my Blaze more but the Alta got me moving) and try to hit 10K steps a day for a week, then 2, then 3, etc.
      4. Try to find something you like to do. I hate running. Seriously, I think the devil invented it. But I love Pure Barre. I’ve lost 5 pounds in 3 months without really changing anything else and I’m in the best shape of my life. I also walk 10K steps almost every day (since March 17, I’ve had 6 days where I didn’t hit 10K steps and I was sick for 4 of them). I also like walking with music or on the treadmill. I also like swimming. If I do those three things, I feel good about myself.
      5. Give yourself permission to have off days. Whether it’s “I sucked during class today and kind of half-a**ed it” or “I hit 10K steps by one step and I’m done,” it happens.

      • This is great advice. My Fitbit Alta motivates me more than I want to admit, but what can I say? I like seeing the “gold stars” I get from walking 250 steps an hour, hitting 10,000 steps, etc.

        Agreed that finding your motivation style from Gretchen Rubin (she has a quiz online) is also useful. I’m upholder/questioner so I’m happy to meet expectations but I do better if I think there’s a solid reason for it. I read some books on nutrition by doctors (currently reading Your Best Health Ever, which is by a cardiologist) and that motivated me to try intermittent fasting and stop snacking and eating junk food in lieu of meals.

        • Sloan Sabbith :

          Same. I also found someone (my mom), who would just tell me “You’re so great!” to keep me motivated, because that external reassurance I’m doing well helped. To be fair, I literally had to tell her “It would be really helpful if you told me “You’re doing good!” when I tell you I walked 10K steps today.” I rationally know she’s only doing it every time because I asked her to, but that praise helps.

    • Anonymous :

      I am not an exerciser. I lost 10% of my body weight last year simply by choosing to eat more fruits and vegetables, and less meat and dairy. I didn’t pick a diet with a fancy name, I just started using fitness pal to watch my calories and choose veggies for the main parts of my meals. I use a plant based protein powder with almond milk to shave off calories. I eat lots of vegetable soup, lentil soup, vegetable chili, peanut butter, apples, and protein powder shakes/smoothies.

      My most important change was Metamucil. It makes to you feel full. It keeps your blood sugar steady. I use the powder at home and the cookies for travel.

      I transitioned into it. For example, I first just cut out soda. Then made myself eat breakfast every day for a few weeks. Then I made sure to have a protein shake and Metamucil every day before noon. You get the point. I also made it a habit to get more steps in my day.

      Don’t pick a diet. Really, please don’t. Just make incremental small healthy choices for yourself.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      One thing that motivated me to at least be cognizant of weight creep is focusing on how much a 10 lb dumbbell actually weighs. My husband has a few sets of weights in the house and anytime I move one I think wow, this is heavier than it looks. And then I think about how much it would suck to carry that extra 10 lbs around all day. Then I actually do it for a bit in the house. It makes me realize that 10 lbs does matter to my joints and my back and my energy levels.

    • Any chance you could splurge on biweekly personal training in person for a month or two? When I’ve been in your situation, it’s been the only thing to keep me accountable and eventually excited about getting in shape. Once you feel you’ve established a new routine with a professional’s help, it’s much easier to go it alone? In terms of diet, I’ve found I’m more likely to want to eat healthy when I’m working out and starting to see results in terms of posture, strength, endurance, etc…

    • I don’t really enjoy working out either.. 2 things that work for me are to try to make it as easy/mindless as possible (when my alarm goes off, I put on running clothes and walk out the door- no looking at my hair, no stopping for a coffee… I’m still half asleep when by the time I’m out the door and walking to the gym). When I started going I used to sleep in my gym clothes so I literally just had to put on shoes! I also do a peloton class on the bikes at the gym the mornings I don’t feel motivated because once I start I don’t want to stop halfway through, so it gets me to finish instead of saying “oh I did 10 mins on the treadmill, good for me, time for coffee”

      I also tried to replace “want to go for a drink?” with “want to go for a walk?” when meeting up with my girlfriends to talk.

      Finally, I do have just a couple of active hobbies I like (horseback riding!) and I schedule those in even thought they are expensive and hard to get to because they are contributing to my fitness AND making me happy- double win!

  5. Anonymous :

    Posted late on a previous thread. Any suggestions on where to sell nicer jewelry? I have a pair of studs I don’t wear anymore.

    • Nice jewelry stores definitely sell used jewelry, so I would try selling to your local stores first. Maybe have them appraised (elsewhere) before you sell to be sure you’re getting a decent price?

    • Anonymous :

      If they are a “brand” name like Tiffany or David Yurman, you may be able to sell on eBay. I’ve sold Tiffany pieces there with success.

    • The RealReal, hands down.

  6. what worked for me was signing up for classpass. Finding different/unique classes to try (aerial yoga, olympic rings, rock climbing) that weren’t strictly “exercise” (like going to the gym and running for an hour) motivated me to get out of bed early on Saturday mornings … and the late cancellation fee helped too.

  7. Bright sweater on top :

    I am generally a confident person, like my body, and like too wear a variety of colour. However, when I have to give a talk or presentation at my casual workplace, I start to feel self conscious about wearing bright colours as they tend to accentuate my 34H bust, on a 5’4 frame, and I feel people’s eyes are gravitating towards my top (even though people are really professional and supportive in my jeans/ anything goes casual workplace). I tend to wear darker colours when I give a presentation, or go bright blouse, darker open cardigan(the line of the cardigan seems to diffuse the focus). I want to buy more stand alone tops, and was about to purchase the bright cobalt or pink merino v neck at BR ( they feel nice, and drape loosely btw), when the voice in my head stopped me, reminding me that the focus would be on huge muffins wrapped in fabric. My husband was shopping with me, and assured me it was fine for work, but I walked away. Wwyd? Not sure exactly what I am asking, except my confidence seems to plummet, even though anywhere else but at work, I would have no issue wearing this.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Can’t you buy it and wear it for non-presentation days? (Not that it wouldn’t be fine, but if you feel self-conscious it’s probably not the thing for a presentation.)

      • Bright sweater on top :

        Thank you–that is what I was thinking…sometimes when a meeting is rescheduled last minute, I do feel more self conscious…I was hoping to silence my inner voice by the time I hit my mid forties…it does crop up when bright colours are concerned, and bright colours usually spark joy otherwise!

        • Sorry I missed this detail – ITA about wearing what makes you feel confident for the presentation, and Buy what brings you joy to starve the lizard-brain and feed your whole being with being authentically you.

      • Bright sweater on top :

        Sorry I men feeding what sparks joy…sigh

    • One of the women I work with manages balance visual cues with bold patterns that diffuse visual attention. It’s humid summertime and she has a range of professional for a college-admin dresses that keep the eye on the whole person.

      So – any luck with bold colors in pattern arrangements?

      Also – are larger costume earrings in? Striking frames if you wear glasses?

      • Bright sweater on top :

        I think the idea of dresses in bold patterns and colors is good one– that way the pattern is all over, rather than just on top. I used to have way more of those, but have been doing major closet purges on and off these last few weeks of a staycation, so the number is dwindling. I have lots of fall and winter replacement shopping to do — though lately, can’t seem to find as many good dress options as I used to!

    • Aunt Jamesina :

      I think you probably look great in your bright tops, but most of us normal humans have our nerves rattled by presentations and look for ways to feel “safer”. Do what you need to to feel confident! And I’ve never noticed brighter colors drawing my eyes more towards… muffins.

      • Bright sweater on top :

        Thank you all for the validation. I guess it’s ok to be a bit nervous at presentations, no matter how long I’ve been giving them.

        • Anonymous :

          I actually like a bit of nervous energy for a presentation — not NERVOUS, but at least a bit of a buzz. If I feel totally ho-hum-I’ve-got-this, it usually makes for a flat presentation.

        • Anonymous :

          Also, just keep a darker cardigan or jacket in your office that you can put on if a presentation comes up.

          • Bright sweater on top :

            Nervous energy for sure makes presentations come alive:) Good idea regarding a darker cardi. I will start searching for one. I also wear an soft olive moto jacket over thin sweaters and tops that I may start keeping at work.

  8. Random question :

    Does anyone know where I could get laminated prints with a sticky backing for putting inside a mailbox? (I need something for USPS stating the names of the current tenants and which ones to forward.) Online probably preferable given that I’m in a small town, but if any of the chain stores do this type of things I would love to hear recommendations for that too.

    • Could you do something like this: https://www.officesupply.com/office-supplies/desk-organizers/desktop-organizer-accessories/photo-album-refill-pages/line-peel-stick-photo-holders-photos-clear/p48857.html?ref=%3Dpla&product_id=48857&adpos=1o4&creative=165777859143&device=c&matchtype=&network=g&gclid=Cj0KCQjwtpDMBRC4ARIsADhz5O5o2tj0NF2sB5fiddn0_H6skhyPFK7OQuNlqnwgenud3dxynHXlUmMaAsYKEALw_wcB

      and then just have an index card/print out with the info, so it can be swapped? My mailbox has something like this in it already, just smaller.

    • Just print it off a computer and use packing tape to secure it inside the mailbox, using the tape to laminate the paper to the mailbox.

    • They make self-adhesive laminating sheets that you can buy and DIY. They’re inexpensive.

    • Just a thought – does double-sided tape (copiously applied) on the back of a regular laminated print work? Frankly, I think I just taped a post-it inside my mailbox when I moved in. You might also try attaching the 3M hooks sticky things to your laminated placard (rather than to the hook you’re supposed to attach). Then they would be removable. They might even have them for poster hanging, which might also work.

    • Some label makers support wider tape.

  9. Arlington National Cemetery Service/DC Metro? :

    Any advice or tips for attending a burial service at Arlington National Cemetery? I will be attending one next week. The cemetery website itself has been very helpful, but I was curious about personal experiences/guidance.

    Also, since I know there are so many knowledgeable DC ‘rettes here, I have a very specific Metro question- I get into Reagan around 8:30 pm. My hotel is only one metro stop away (Crystal City). I’ll be by myself. Obviously, I’ll be cautious no matter what, but should I consider an Uber or cab instead of the Metro at that hour? I’m very comfortable navigating public transportation, but admittedly I don’t have a ton of experience taking it by myself at night. Just curious what to expect in that area at that time of day. I’ll have a carry on suitcase with me, too, in case that factors in.

    Any other DC travel tips welcome! I’ll have a free day to explore and plan to spend it on/around the Mall.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      I’m not from DC, but I was there and rode the metro back from the city to Crystal City 3x. Zero concerns. I can’t imagine one stop will be any different. And I’m usually on the “better safe than sorry” train in terms of Uber.

    • BabyAssociate :

      DC person here. I would not think twice about metroing alone at night and especially that early and from the airport, you’ll be fine! Just check the SafeTrack schedule to make sure you’re not going to be stuck waiting some stupid amount of time.

    • My dad is buried at Arlington National Cemetery and had a service there. It was small service and everyone had cars so I can’t recall the logistics exactly. I would recommend wearing comfortable shoes (wedges or flats) as you will most likely be on grass or walking. Other than that, I would wear what you would normally wear to the funeral.

      I would not metro to Crystal City from Reagan at 8:30 pm. The metro runs more sporadic later in the evening and you could wait up to 30 minutes for a train. Go ahead and Uber/taxi.

      Arlington Cemetery is beautiful and peaceful. I feel honored my Dad is buried there. I am sorry for your loss.

    • You’ll be totally fine. Taking an Uber will be pretty inexpensive though and has the advantage of door to door service… I’d probably go with the uber just for convenience.

    • Anonymous :

      DC person here who would NOT take the metro at 8:30 at night. So YMMV. Your flight lands at 8:30 which is kind of rush hour for that airport and often you have to wait for a jet way. By the time you get off the plane, walk thru the terminal and to the platform it could easily be 8:45-9. In DC — he!! no. A cab will be super cheap bc you’re not going far and there is a taxi line right at the front of the terminal.

      • You can’t possibly think it’s dangerous though.

      • anon a mouse :

        It’s not dangerous at all but will almost certainly take longer to Metro, unless your hotel is right on top of the CC station. Metro runs so sporadically at night. An Uber will probably run you less than $10 and get you right to your hotel.

        As for Arlington — plan to get there with plenty of time ahead of time. Depending on your role you may be eligible to ride in a provided car to the burial site. They have a nonprofit group (ladies auxiliary?) with extremely helpful volunteers who will answer any of your questions. Wear comfortable shoes.

      • The wait for cabs from the airport can be really long at that time and you have to pay an airport fee. Metro that short of a distance will be simpler. No concerns about safety.

        Re: Arlington cemetary, take the time to visit the tomb of the unknown soldier and the changing of the guards. Wear comfortable shoes as it is a very big cemetery.

    • My father is buried at Arlington. The setting is so beautiful, and the ceremony will move you beyond words. Even if you don’t consider yourself “patriotic”, you will be touched, I promise you.
      As someone else mentioned, try to visit the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier after your ceremony.
      Make sure you have comfortable shoes, suitable for walking on grass. You’ll be under an awning for the ceremony but dress for the weather. The burial ceremony will be brief, and will include a 21-gun salute, a bugler will play “Taps”, and the flag covering the casket will be folded and presented to the spouse/family. An Arlington burial is really special, and you will never forget it.

  10. Private wealth management? :

    I’ve been toying with this idea for a couple of years and the earlier thread reminded me to ask here.

    Do any ladies here do private wealth management? If so, please share your experiences!

    Background: I am an in-house lawyer but lately think my talents could be better spent elsewhere. My husband does work in wealth management on the investment side. He tells me all the time I would be great in wealth management on the relationship side and I’m starting to agree with him. As background, I grew up with a trust fund that I did not learn about until I was 18, so this world is already familiar to me. We live off of our income and intend to grow the trust for our kids or early retirement. (No kids yet, and we are 30.) I am toying with jumping for a few reasons: I am kind of bored as a lawyer; I miss the income I had in biglaw as well as other benefits like paid maternity leave, and the big investment banks have great benefits. I am concerned that the only way up in-house until GC is much more grunt work and being pushed to specialize in an area you don’t love but that the company needs (maybe labor, real estate, etc.) , and also … I just feel like my best talents are wasted. I’m great at selling things and naturally very comfortable working a network and can get a whole room talking. I’m also one of those people that people confide in. I brought in two clients as a junior atty in biglaw, too. So I mean I’m charming but I’m also detail-oriented and results-driven. I’m pretty financially savvy and learn fast and have a personal understanding with trusts and estates (but I know going fully into T&E as a lawyer is very difficult to break into in my city – I explored that path, too). When I moved from biglaw to in-house I met with my husband’s friend who does this job because I was considering it then but decided I should try in-house before I quit being a lawyer. I’m still thinking about it.

    Would any ladies who work in private wealth management care to share their experiences? Do you love it? Hate it? Wish you could have done something different?

    • In my locale, there are so many male advisors that if you put out your own shingle and gave a few presentations, you would be well on your way to having a sustainable practice without biglaw overhead — ESPECIALLY with the talents you mention. Can you network with some of the other professionals in your locale who have made the jump in other specialties, especially if they have children? Some of this will depend on the sort of maternity leave you’d like. You can set your practice to a low simmer and bring on someone contractually to do heavy lifting or provide triage until you are back to full practice – with lots of flexibility for family matters and remote work.

      Break up the sausage party!

    • Anonymous :

      Do you mean you want to go work in Wealth Mgmt for like a Goldman or whoever? Or do you mean – like ToS is suggesting – that you want to hang up your own shingle?

      Unless you are instantly going to being a fee only advisor – you will be working on commission. Which means you’ll be at Merrill or someplace cold calling as people hang up on you or inviting people out to dinners or whatever. With fee only it’s less cold call and more networking with rich people.

      I’m sure you’d do fine, but I’m also ex biglaw and there is NO way I would hire a former attorney as a wealth manager. I have a finance background and manage my own but generally I have run across way way too many lawyers in the last 12 yrs who only went to law school bc they can’t do math. So if I run across an ex lawyer who is charming and trying to into manage my money — I will assume — salesman who can’t beat the street and run the other way — no matter how charming you are. Sorry.

      • Whereas I would assume that the actual math part of wealth mgmt would be handled by calculators, software, and other tools?

      • Private wealth management? :

        Thanks for the insight. I meant working at an investment bank like Goldman, not hanging out a shingle or Merrill Lynch. My husband says their team meetings say they are always looking to hire people on the relationship side, especially from different backgrounds, in particular because of the network they bring with them. At the $30MM+ level, it is not so much cold calling as it is networking turning into meet-and-greets turning into pitches, visits, and calls over many months to win the business…. from what I gather of speaking to husband and his colleagues who do this. (Not like Northwestern Mutual cold calling a law firm’s directory asking for 15 minutes.)

        The non-MBAs are typically hired out of college without a math background, too, but interesting perspective that maybe not all clients will want to hear that. Thank you. That being said, I assume a lot of people will also assume I am bad at math because I’m a woman but I was and still am very good at math! :) I also have personal experience with estate planning and delved into a lot of T&E workshops when I thought about the transition, too, so I think that will be a helpful insight for some of these clients.

        And ToS -great point! Husband has a superior who is a superstar in her field in part because there were so few women and people liked working with her. She might be a good person to set up coffee with.

        • Anon for this :

          I think you sounds like a great candidate for a Private Bank. My husband worked for JPMorgan Private Bank and was responsible for generating business after his second year. Each bank (JPM vs. GS vs. MS) has different strategies of generating business and how you determine a client is yours or not.

          If you’re looking to network reach out to family offices as they have relationships with Private Banks as well.

          I have no idea how you get your foot in the door but if you happen to be in the Southwest, let me know and I may be able to help.

          • 2nd on private banking. I worked in a retail branch of a bank in college and then got my securities licenses , a few big “wins”, and then got a job as part of a team working with high net worth clients. All client facing jobs in that word are really about sales and connections, but getting licensed or getting a CFP will help you get in the door. Since you have a law background , what about being a trust advisor? They are key players on a team and you can truly make a big impact for clients when you help them plan how to pass along their assets or give to charities they care about in a tax efficient way.

            I would stay away from discussing you’re background and being comfortable in those settings etc… It’s expected and doesn’t need to be said.

            Good luck! It can be very rewarding but it is very revenue driven.

  11. Can I brag for a quick second? I just got my compensation sheet for 2018 since I’ll be out on maternity leave when those are typically handed out. I just realized I’ve roughly tripled my compensation in the 6 years I’ve been with my company, thanks to a few promotions and a lot of hard work. I can’t really tell anyone in real life except my husband, so I thought I’d share here. Feels pretty good. :)

  12. Domestic travel :

    Reposting as initial post got eaten up by moderation.
    Can anyone direct me to the recent thread a few months ago on travel in the continental United States? Tried searching but it didn’t come up. Looking for road trip ideas for a family of 4 (2 kids, 4 years and 3 months old) for the mid-Dec to early Jan period. Any suggestions welcome!

    • I don’t recall that thread, but coastal California will likely be your best bet that time of year. I’m not sure the current status of Big Sur but you can do San Diego to Napa and it’s moderate weather with plenty of activities for kids and adults. And no worries about snow like the rest of the country that time of year

      • Anonymous :

        Don’t have any specific routes in mind, but I’d stick to the southern part of the US in that time frame. Middle of winter is NOT the time to road trip thru the northern states, between the weather and a lot of the nature/outdoor attractions being shut for the winter.

      • CA travel :

        That’s northern California’s rainy season. Can’t speak to San Diego, but in and around peninsula/SF/Napa you run the risk of constant, vacation-ruining rain during that time period.

        • Anonymous :

          Eh. Rain in NorCal isn’t usually a torrential downpour all day every day. Usually that time of year it’ll be more cloudy and drizzly and wouldn’t ruin a vacation. Especially in SF there’s a lot of stuff to do inside with kids (Exploratorium, Creativity Museum, etc.)

      • Agree with this. The majority of the US may have terrible weather for driving that time of year, so unless you want to deal with snow and/or ice and possibly closed freeways, I’d stick to Southern California.

    • So Cal is nice, but it’s not the only thing out there. We did Austin to LA a few years ago, and but for a long stretch of not a whole lot across TX/OK/NM (one day, 10 hours with not a ton of places to stop), most days were not marathons. Austin, Dallas, OKC, Santa Fe, Grand Canyon, Sedona, Las Vegas, OC, LA.

      Or you could do San Diego, Palm Springs, Phoenix, etc.

      Or the SEUS – DC (yes, maybe weather but not typically awful before Christmas), Jamestown/Williamsburg, Charlotte or Myrtle Beach, Charleston, Hilton Head, Savannah

      Or, Savannah, St. Augustine, Orlando, Miami, FL Keys

      Happy roadtripping! Road trips are my favorite!

  13. lost academic :

    My shoes! Maybe they have the color I wanted originally.

  14. Guys, HELP. I have a lovely collection of (expensive) almond-toe pumps for work that I now fear are out of style. Must I cease wearing them? Do almond toe pumps now look hopelessly dated in 2017? This happened so suddenly.

    • I still wear mine and I’m mid 30s. They are classic.

    • Pointed toe is the most “current” but almond is classic for a reason. Wear with confidence.

    • I feel like pumps are starting to look dated (young, chic women just aren’t wearing them where I live)?! But almond toe is classic.

    • Anonymous :

      They’re not at the forefront of style, but they’re not out of style, either. Besides, if you have a job where you wear pumps, it’s a conservative workplace to start with, I’m assuming, and not one where wearing the latest trends is a dealbreaker?

    • I like almond toe better than pointed or rounded and don’t think they look dated. I keep hoping they make more of a comeback though, because right now all my new shoes are pointed toe and I am so ready for more almond toe selections.

    • Anonymous :

      I think you can always wear classic styles — I would keep wearing your collection.

    • I’m in my early 30s and consider myself to be as fashionable as one can be in my conservative field, and this is the pump style I buy. Round toes look childish on younger women, and pointed toes hurt my feet and, to my eyes, don’t look as classic. Wear your almond toes… or send them to me!:)

  15. Sloan Sabbith :

    Paging Kauai- I posted in the morning thread re: my reccs!

  16. Rothy Code? :

    Does anyone have a referral/discount code for Rothy shoes?

    • http://rothys.refr.cc/marydecker


    • I have one but I don’t want to post because it has my name it (?). Email me at jcolleen318 at the gmail and I’ll send it to you directly.

      FYI, I just bought my first pair, the pointy ones. I usually wear an 8, sometimes 7.5. I definitely needed the 8, might even have preferred an 8.5 so I could put in a more supportive insole. I wore them for a few hours at home with a slightly cushy insole and it was fine but on a vacation day involving a ton of walking had to take the extra insoles out. Even so, the shoes rubbed the tops of my toes a bit. But they were generally comfortable, esp. for brand new shoes on a walking-intense vacation. I got the violet and LOVE the color.

      • I’m glad to hear yours also rub the tops of your toes (well, not glad because it’s not good, but you know what I mean). I got a 9.5, which is my normal size and I think a 10 honestly might be way too loose. But I still have problems with my big toe on one foot where it hits the edge. It’s like the tops are too “flat”? Maybe that’s the problem with the knit construction.

        • I love Cape May :

          I have the same issue as well. I don’t know if going up a size would help or not. I love the style but they are not completely comfortable — fine for walking 2 miles but not more than that for me.

      • Fit concerns :

        I’m waiting for some Rothys to arrive. Can you tell me more about the “rubbing”? Is it causing blisters, or ‘just’ discomfort? Did you notice the hot spots right away and think they would go away, or is it something that only came to bother you over time?

        • No blisters, mild to moderate discomfort (after walking in them for some hours). I’m using body glide and hoping the shoes stretch a bit. I agree with BB that they may be just a bit too flat to allow enough toe room (and this may be less of an issue with the round-toe variety, I don’t know).

  17. I’m so frustrated. We’re trying to relocate closer to MSP (ideally 1-1.5 max outside of city in any direction) but I cannot even get an interview. We are currently about four hours outside of MSP in a different state. I am licensed to practice law in Minnesota, Mostly seeking state or federal government work like a prosecutor or public defender. I have previous civil litigation and prosecution experience. I have wonderful confirmed references such as judges I’ve appeared in front of and previous supervising attorneys. My application materials have been vetted by several colleagues. I’m not sure what is going on.

    My current role is more of an administration type role (i.e., not litigation but research and analysis for court administration and preparing procedures that comply with the applicable Rules And statutes, and supervising several entry level employees). I can’t get into too many more details on here as I do not want to “out” myself, butI’ve been in this role for about two years. It’s not my dream job by any means but more of a sacrifice while my husband established his career while we waited to be ready to move closer to family. We are ready now but I’m regretting my current job choice, as I’m wondering if the fact that I took time away from litigation is hurting my chances now. I don’t know if this is more of a vent or what, but here I am.

    • Have you looked for your role but in a MSP court? Might be easier to find a new path once you’re in the location

    • Anonymous :

      There are a lot of law schools in Minnesota. I think it’s just one of those areas where it’s hard to get a foot in the door if you don’t have connections/are not a local

      • Anonymous :

        I agree with this. Federal government positions are extremely competitive. Most AUSAs have applied 203 times, and the Federal Public Defender’s Office usually hires from the state public defenders’ offices. You’re smart to be looking at government jobs a little outside the metro, or in the further edges of the metro. There is really low turnover for staff attorneys at the state appellate courts, not sure about state district courts.

        I recommend looking at Thompson Reuters if you haven’t already. They have attorney editor positions that are interesting – one of my friends is responsible for something like creating/maintaining form contracts. So a TR client (i.e., small firm or solo), can choose a form and jurisdiction, and its annotated with case law about how courts in the jurisdiction view those clauses. I’m not sure if that makes sense.

        As you probably know if you have family here, Minnesotans are really insular, and most places would rather hire someone they know (even remotely). Can you network here? Attend an all-day CLE or bar association event to coincide with a family visit?

        • Anonymous :

          Not in Minnesota, but agree that federal criminal practice is almost impossible to break into, especially since OP seems to have significant criminal experience. Depending on the region, state criminal practice can also be difficult due to low turnover.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 MN is an extremely difficult market due to the oversaturation of law schools

    • Please keep applying – I work in HR for the State of Minnesota and we’re always looking for lawyers across our 40+ agencies. If you want to stay in litigation (or similar) concentrate on postings at Dept of Corrections, Dept of Human Services, and Dept of Economic and Employee Development, as each has a heavy in-house legal presence. Also look at Sec of State postings to various boards and commissions, they’re always recruiting lawyers to be panel members to review petitions for release from civil commitment and it might be a good ‘in’ to meet local attorneys in your practice area.

      careers dot mn dot gov

  18. Any suggestions for Wildwood, NJ, or Cape May with a toddler?

    • I love Cape May :

      Cape May has a world class zoo, of all things. It’s pretty amazing. Your toddler will also love the alpaca farm which is lots of fun. Make sure you eat breakfast or another meal at George’s Place, incredibly good and not expensive food. Tischa’s is great for fine dining but we didn’t go with kids. t love Cape May so much, have fun!

  19. Zero libido :

    Hi everyone. I’m under 30, I’ve had two pregnancies, (one miscarriage, one kid), went off depro provera after an extended period of time and have zero interest in sex.

    Husband is very fed up. I used to honestly enjoy sex but now it feels like a chore that I have zero interest in. I can’t even pretend to be interested.

    I realize things are a bit out of sorts possibly due to two back to back pregnancies and two years on DP. It’s been six months since I went off it though and no progress.

    Any suggestions as to what worked for other people?


      Out of my depth to provide advice here but maybe it can be less of a chore if you look at it like something you’re doing to make your hubby happy which could lead to you enjoying it too? Plus maybe spice things up? Explore different places/outifits?! Or more romance. And definitely seeing a counselor. Or even look at what could be adversely affecting your libido. Like can you hire help like a nanny, if it’s making you too exhausted. Just suggestions. DO NOT attack me I am just trying to help. You asked for advice, just tossing in my 2 cents.

      • Zero libido :

        No issues. I was hoping someone could suggest a vitamin or something, this is a direction I hadn’t considered.

        • NO ATTACKS PLS :

          Sorry I have a little PTSD from *trying* to be helpful and getting attacked. But back to you, yes there are definitely probably medications etc. but sometimes, many times – I think, we can use other motivators to do things we don’t want to do.

          At least, that’s where I was going with my suggestions. Maybe even watch *things* with your DH. Staycation maybe? Book nice reservations somewhere you can have dinner too before retiring. Sometimes men neglect the romance. So you can take the reins or ask him to step it up too, whichever works. Also, take it easy on yourself you’ve been through ALOT. Self care for you and a smidge of creative compromise may help too. Either way wishing you all the luck <3

    • You might find this blog helpful: https://www.downtothere.com/

    • Anonymous :

      Talk to your doctor.

    • A Woman’s Touch has been very helpful for me: https://sexualityresources.com/
      Lots of experiences and ideas.

  20. Makeup brush recommendations? :

    Not looking for a set, but would like to buy from Sephora. I’m looking for a brush for blush and a couple for applying eyeshadow. TIA!

    • Sephora brushes :

      The first link is for my favorite blush brush, and the 2nd is the one I use to blend eyeshadow.



    • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

      Really like the NARS blush brush. I have tried expensive brushes, but for eyes I have honestly been happy with the clinique/lancome shadow brushes, and really like the lancome blending brush I have. Have yet to find a smudger brush that really works well, so if you find one, post it!

  21. Rolling Briefcase :

    I’m a law student and am hoping to switch from a tote bag to a rolling briefcase to save my back. I work during the day and would like something that will work for my office job and still work for school. And I’d like to look at least a little professional. I will be carrying my laptop plus 2 to 3 large casebooks a day. (The books stay in my car during the day and I load them up after work to take to class every day.) I also need to be able to carry my wallet, keys, a large notebook, and a lot of pens and highlighters. Any suggestions?

    I’ve been looking and have narrowed it down to a couple but I don’t know if any of them are large enough just by looking at the dimensions. Any thoughts or suggestions?

    These are the ones I’m considering but I’m open to other suggestions, of course:





    • Anonymous :

      I like the two Samsonites, hate the Kenneth Cole one (the contrast stitching makes it look cheap). I would focus on 1) getting something as wide as possible to fit more stuff so you’re not carrying things and this bag, and 2) get something with 4 wheels, so much easier to carry and requires to wrist strength, etc

      I have a 4 wheeled Samsonite and love it! Alas, bought it almost 8 years ago, so it’s out of stock. But #1 above is the closest in my opinion.

      • Rolling Briefcase :

        Thank you! I think I will go with the first one, since it’s the largest of the 2 four-wheeled ones.

  22. I do need some new running shoes!

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