Something on your mind? Chat about it here.
I saw someone recently describing a leather skirt as the “great thing you need to have for work for 2019” and while I’m not sure about THAT, I do think it’s a fun, unexpected way to elevate a weekend outfit (or even a holiday party outfit).
(It’s been years since we discussed whether leather skirts are appropriate for the office — what say you now, readers?) There are, of course, $$$$ versions — but this $108 option from Cupcakes and Cashmere kind of fits the bill for a trend piece.
(There are also options from Commando, as well as regular and plus size options from Spanx. Lots of mini-skater skirts, if you like that idea.)
I like the idea of adding contrasting textures here but keeping it tone-on-tone — I like the idea of knee-high or calf-length croc embossed black boots — a really fuzzy (or teddy bear) sweater, or perhaps a velvet black camisole.
The pictured skirt is $108. Faux Leather Pencil Skirt
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Workwear sales of note for 3.24.23:
- Ann Taylor – 40% off everything
- Athleta – 20% off shorts, swim, linen & more
- Banana Republic Factory – 40% off everything; extra 15% off purchase
- Boden – Up to 50% off
- Brooks Brothers – Clearance styles to 70% off. Some pretty serious markdowns!
- Express – 40% off dresses & tops
- J.Crew – 25% off your purchase; up to 50% off special-occasion styles
- J.Crew Factory – Up to 50% off everything; extra 15% off 3 styles; extra 20% off 4 styles; extra 50% off clearance
- Sephora – Up to 50% off select beauty
- Talbots – 25% off select styles; 25% off markdowns
Some of our latest posts here at Corporette…
And some of our latest threadjacks here at Corporette (reader questions and commentary) — see more here!
- What are your favorite parts of a typical day?
- At what point in your life (age, income level, whatever) were you able to take an annual vacation?
- What shoes can I keep at the office to go for mid-day walks (that go with everything)?
- How do you release stress or trauma that’s stored in the body?
- What are the best “networking for women events” you’ve ever been to?
- I feel like we’re burning through any savings we acquire…
- I hate my job and make 30% of what DH makes – should I quit?
- What do you keep in your office?
Depending on your office i think a leather skirt in a traditional silhouette (ie not very short or with a huge slit) can be work appropriate but keep the rest of the look conservative. On a related topic, I work in a pretty casual office and am debating whether i can wear the spanx pleather leggings i bought with a long tunic and boots to work. I would wear the identical outfit with plain black leggings no question– opinion?
Does anyone really enjoy the feel of a leather skirt? They’re not comfortable. Plus the vegans will yell.
Mine is lined.
Never too many shoes...
Oh no. Not the vegans!
I do not like them but even less I don’t like leather pant’s b/c they do NOT breathe, and when I take off leather pant’s, I find myself very sweatey, and do not like the fact that my skin is so sweatey. Also, it is not great to be wearing these and then having to take a shower b/f getting romantic b/c I am so sweatey. FOOEY!
The vegans aren’t yelling at my leather shoes or handbag so what’s so different about a leather skirt?
I do wear a knee length leather pencil skirt on occasion in the winter (Halogen brand, black leather). Normally with a thicker knit turtleneck, black tights, and booties or wedges. I cannot come around to wearing my spanx pleather leggings though – those are for home/going out only.
I think its acceptable. In some ways I think the pleather leggings are more acceptable than the regular leggings.
I work in a very casual office and wore my Spanx leggings twice last week. I wore long enough tops that covered front and back and high top slip sneakers.
Had to talk to an employee wearing fake leather leggings recently. Given the comments I overheard questioning her credibility and professionalism, I still probably would have said something had she been wearing a longer top and blazer than she was wearing that day. So that’s a no for me, which sadly means I won’t be joining the leather skirt trend myself. Saw a light grey one that with a big fuzzy sweater could be amazing and look professional…but I don’t want to deal with her defensiveness anymore.
I used to have a black leather pencil skirt and wore it to the office all the time. I think it finally ripped and I had to toss it.
Currently I have a faux leather midi with narrow pleats (there’s a name for that but I can’t think of it offhand). It was in the back of my closet for a while but leather skirts seem to be making a comeback so I’ll be wearing it this winter.
OMG this is the most boring and pointless post ever.
Cool story, bro…
My post is boring, I mean. No offense to Kat.
I need to step away from the keyboard.
You’re fine. We do so many threadjacks that it feels weird to comment on stuff related to the post like wearing of similar items as the pick in the office.
FWIW, I laughed reading this conversation with yourself :)
Me too :)
At first I didn’t realize it was the same person! I was like whoa!!!
You’re fine, Senior Attorney. :) This is a fashion blog after all and what’s wrong with posting about your fashionable attire?!
Haha thanks! I guess I have a case of the Fridays, especially since I’m taking next week off (to clean out the garage, but still…).
I am NOT bored with your faux leather pleated midi skirt, senior attorney.
Lolol I was just about to step in, in the defense of Senior Attorney and her faux leather midi skirt, when I realized the second comment was you as well.
Not leather but still super cute pleated skirt below. If someone has some fun holiday parties coming up, please wear this for me: https://www.macys.com/shop/product/adrianna-papell-metallic-pleated-skirt?ID=10348304&cm_mmc=Google_Womens_PLA-_-RTW_Womens_Adrianna_Papell_-_GS_Other_Adrianna_Papell-_-91912486141-_-pg1051704070_c_kclickid_35e54f81-2b55-40af-9306-d3f67f36c83a_KID_EMPTY_328245541_23779339621_91912486141_aud-325772344535:pla-545524644621_652933587792USA__c_KID_&trackingid=424×1051704070&m_sc=sem&m_sb=Google&m_tp=PLA&m_ac=Google_Womens_PLA&m_ag=OtherAdriannaPapell&m_cn=RTW_Womens_Adrianna_Papell_-_GS&m_pi=go_cmp-328245541_adg-23779339621_ad-91912486141_aud-325772344535:pla-545524644621_dev-c_ext-_prd-652933587792USA&gclid=Cj0KCQiAq97uBRCwARIsADTziyam_FCd9b6_SK1bd0rMnAXadAoCFvzaAJ0RnM1w5rMFySPQ700lLcIaAt2tEALw_wcB
I have a super similar skirt but in a gold shade, that I got on super sale from Nordstrom Rack for I want to say $11 a few years ago! However… the sizing was European/ran small and I didn’t try it on before buying. It takes a LOT to zip up otherwise I’d wear it more!
Yes! Knife pleats! They seem to be having a moment which is great because I have at least three knife-pleat skirts!
I think a lot of people opening this post are interested in hearing from those who have and haven’t worn leather skirts to the office. Your post is on point, S.A.
FWIW, I have a beautiful leather pencil skirt that I’m about 10 pounds away from fitting back into. Incentive to buckle down on my diet!
I used to have a black leather mini and I wish I still had it! I guess I had it in my 20s. I feel like it would be way out of my price range now.
I am pear shaped with large hips, thighs and bottom and always have a hard time finding good pants.
I tried the Uniqlo EZ pants recommended here and am delighted with the outcome! The pants are elastic waist but not obviously so (I bought the pinstriped pair and they look like they have a regular zippered rise). They skim my hips, thighs and calves perfectly. They are not too tight but also are not wide-leg and end up being flattering and slimming. The regular ends just at the right length for flats for 5’4″ me.
For fit: I am usually a size 4 (but often 6 for Boden dresses/bottoms and occasionally 2 for tops), 130 lbs but a very small cup and band size, so hold all my weight in my lower half.
I also bought the Everlane pant and will post on that once I try it this weekend!
What size did you get in the Uniqlo pants?
Size 4 regular
internet site / apps where kids actually face stranger danger
Our school system is putting a lot of homework and assignments on computer programs that you have to use the internet to access (submit a report on Google documents, get math homework on this site, etc.). I don’t like it one bit — I’d be more OK with them working in Word or getting e-mailed assignments, but everything seems to require internet access. Older kiddo is going to middle school next year and may also get a phone in case the carpool misfires, etc.
If I were to attempt to monitor for bullying / creepy stranger contacts, is there a good site anywhere that gives you sites / apps / features of where your short list should be for watching for problematic activity? Kids know not to expect privacy on any device (much like me at work) but I’m not sure how to actually check or monitor beyond texts.
Not an app, but one of the best pieces of advice I’ve heard is to limit internet use to common areas of the home, preferably while a parent is around. It’s a lot harder for bad stuff to happen if a parent is periodically glancing at the screen.
This – we set up a ‘homework’ room off the kitchen with the desks for the 3 kids. No door and I can stick my head in easily while cooking and still quiet enough to actually work.
I guess for us that will be the dining room?
Does each kid get a computer? An allotment of time? I hate that 2 kids need to come home and each need a computer for a task and all I have is my aging home laptop. [I have a work computer but would never let them on it b/c my work is confidential / sensitive and it needs to be used just by me or left at work. Ditto my smartphone; even though it is my phone, I don’t what them doing stuff that might track as me.]
So buy a laptop. They aren’t expensive anymore.
Not exactly an answer to your question, but I personally hate the amount of computer-based homework my first grader gets. She’s supposed to work on several math apps every night. We no longer have a home computer (H and I both just use our work laptops) so she ends up doing it on my iPad. It just seems like we’re setting a bad precedent here…
Is it possible to band together with parents and push back on this?
Google docs really enables cheating (since multiple people can edit and it’s not really set up for version control).
College/University (at least state schools) are really pushing back on internet-based assignments in the name of accessibility and simplicity. Either uploading a file into an LMS or hand in a paper assignment is what they’re most likely to encounter in college. MyMathLab/MyITLab enabled textbooks enjoyed a moment a few years ago but has definitely fallen out of favor in my area for these reasons.
Lastly, this seems to really disadvantage students who don’t have internet access at home. Wouldn’t they be better off with assignments they could download on school wifi, then take home and work on offline?
I’m not a parent, so my experience is in post-secondary, but what you’re describing doesn’t really have an upside.
OP here — I truly hate screens (hard to read, I’m a doing-math-on-paper person, I like the tactile-ness of taking notes by hand and seem to retain more than by typing). And this is in a big urban K-12 district where at least 1/4 of the kids are on free/reduced lunch, so I think that assuming that there is a computer AND wifi at home is a big hope. I wouldn’t mind a computer sometimes, but computer that is always-on to the internet is just a bad idea for getting productive work done. And having to always do work in a public part of the house is also not the best way for every kid to work.
I hate it, but my alternative seems to be to launch Luddite Charter School, which is sadly not going to happen (but if you want to do it, I will sign my kid up). And I’m not a Luddite, but I like keeping computers for spreadsheets and for making documents where you need to deal with footnotes/endnotes and move stuff around (but not first drafts / outlining necessarily).
“I truly hate screens (hard to read, I’m a doing-math-on-paper person, I like the tactile-ness of taking notes by hand and seem to retain more than by typing).”
I get where you’re coming from, but I am sure you realize – your kids probably don’t share your same proclivities and aren’t going to be living in a world where avoiding screens/doing things by hand is going to be understood or prioritized.
I really think that studies are now showing that on-line or screen only isn’t a good way to learn. And kids haven’t been taught keyboarding, so tying is much slower for elementary school kids than writing (and they all need to work on handwriting).
Kids in our district have a chromebook, but it stays at school. As they get older, that isn’t nearly enough time for them to get things done.
If you had a kid old enough to come home from school alone (6th grade), would you still make them wait until you got home to do any computer homework (say 5-6:00)? Or if they are old enough to be home alone, they are old enough for the internet? I am not ready to make the jump yet but want to tease out how we realistically get there and show that kiddo has a track record of doing work and not doing anything inappropriate and not being teased/bullied/putting herself in vulnerable situations.
If they are old enough to be alone in the house then yes. They can use the Internet unsupervised
A Nonny Mouse
Actually there is a good body of research that says we (including children who were raised with tech) learn more, process, and retain better when hand writing (barring learning differences). Our brains do not evolve and change at the pace of technology.
I’m the 2:58 anon… I agree with you on all points! It boggles my mind that k-12 does so much of this when higher ed and the real world don’t!
If I had kids, I’d totally be down for raising some hell to use technology better (ie, when necessary, and not invent internet based solutions to non-existent problems!)
I don’t know what kind of job you have, but I haven’t done work involving paper in…a year and a half? That was a job at a literal printing company and 90% of my work was still on a screen! The “real world” 100% requires technology literacy and the ability to do substantial work on a computer.
I think that there is the ability to do work on or via a computer. And then there is the fact that we urge newbies to print out everything and read it carefully for submitting, so there is something about paper that just slows down people’s roll and makes them focus.
I have a whiteboard at work, so not paper, but lets me noodle things around.
Yeah, I’m confused by this also. I use a computer with Google docs, various specialized software, email, digital work time records system and whatnot for almost all my work. Throw in some meetings and 5-10% hands on work. I think that’s fairly normal.
School work isn’t the same as work. Mathematics is best taught by doing it by hand, since computers are poorly set up for, e.g., long division, factor trees, and graphing. In fact, many math assignments require you to do by hand that which is easily done by computer/calculator, such as graphing, to ensure that you understand how the equation relates to the graph.
+1 on the math homework
If you get it right the first time great. But for kids who struggle, I find that I have to work through problems with them on paper. I have kids and also tutor math (and when tutoring, it is in the school library and all non-digital, so we can’t see what the kids are working on unless they bring it to us).
Also: my kids’ computer posture is not great. Not crazy re that. And there is something to be said for curling up with a book vs a screen as just an enjoyable way to relax.
I am not sure what state schools your experience is with, but this is not universal. My daughter is a college sophomore and she has to turn in virtually everything through different internet-based programs so that they can run them through an algorithm for cheating. And her university’s lab lives and breathes in Google docs to coordinate. The students who are not familiar with that type of system are at a serious disadvantage.
Which is not to say we should be expecting it of elementary-school kids!
A large state university system in the southeast. Textbook and course material affordability has been a HUGE initiative over the last 3 or 4 years. The most common way assignments are done here is students complete their assignments and upload .doc or .pdf files into Canvas (which has Turnitin integrated for those instructors who use it). Some instructors take direct email submission and run them through MOSS (CS classes). In most cases, work is completed online and then uploaded or emailed. Some still hand out paper assignments to be physically turned in (good way to ensure attendance, too). It’s been a few years since I’ve seen a non-online course where an internet based component was *required*. Also, thank goodness the stupid iClicker craze has passed.
Oh how I wished the iClicker was over at my kid’s school! Those things are pricey (she thought she had lost hers at one point and panicked before she realized it was in her backpack because she HAD TO HAVE IT for class to prove she was there.
But I am confused on how students access Canvas without the internet?
They do need the internet to access Canvas, but for most classes it’s only needed to submit an assignment or download course material. The actual work can be done offline (ie, download the notes/slides to view at your convenience, do the assignment in word or pencil/paper/scan to pdf), then upload into Canvas. So, you only need the internet to download/upload – none of the work requires being online. I have internet at my house, but I still do the vast majority of my stuff this way, because it reduces my tendency to goof-off/end up down the google rabbit hole.
I used to teach (technology classes, so not using computers was not an option) and catching cheaters got so much easier when we started using Google Classroom (and Docs, etc.) rather than Word/uploading stuff. Docs maintains revision history that is timestamped and account stamped. Even in cases where kids didn’t log off and someone else used their account, we could catch that using the time stamp + school camera footage. It also eliminated the “I forgot to save/someone else deleted my file/my file got corrupted” excuses. Nothing is perfect, but Gsuite is miles ahead of everyone else in this area.
My other issue with computers is that if you have to have them tied to the internet, there is such a high goof-off risk. YouTube videos are one kid’s kryptonite. Or cat videos. Or really bad stuff, but mainly just that the work won’t actually get done or will take 3x as long as it would not on the computer. Why? Why?
I think it’s unfair for schools to expect 8 and 9 year olds (true at our school, really ramping up in third grade) to work in an environment where executive function and time management are challenges even for adults. SQUIRREL!
Shouldn’t the fact that time management and executive function are learned skills and challenging on screens be a reason to get kids in the habit and give them lots of low-stakes practice early on, both in class with teacher supervision and as homework?
It’s a mom time suck. If your kids are working on paper, you don’t have to monitor and make them do it in a public room so they aren’t doing wildly inappropriate things on it. Moms (largely) have to have a computer, internet, space, etc.
And a kid can’t really work on it unless they are at home (so if they have long bus rides, they can’t be working then like they could if they had a book or notebook to work in; ditto time spent while carting around siblings, etc.). I have one kid in choir and the other kid in scouts and require the waiting kid to read/do homework while their sibling has an activity. That will be harder as they get older and have more computer homework. And they still aren’t old enough to leave at home to work on their computer-based homework.
I cannot imagine how the poor students in our districts fare or kids who are in at-school afterschool where they don’t have computers for doing homework. [In our district, computers are laptops that don’t leave the classroom.]
There’s a service called Bark that seems awesome, but I haven’t been able to implement it for my middle schoolers because it doesn’t work for Apple. My kids have school-issued iPads that are pretty locked down, so most of their work is done there. For phones, we approve all apps and contacts, and we routinely check internet histories. Really though, you can’t fully stop it. The best defense is to talk to your kids a lot about this stuff. Within weeks of getting a phone, my 6th grader had downloaded Google Slides (which I approved because its Google Slides) and was sent a presentation where older kids had a conversation in the presentation about subjects inappropriate for 6th graders. I realized I need to talk to him about what is going on online because it’s impossible to stop everything from getting to him.
Specifically for Google docs, you can download a version of the file, and have the kids work on it offline. When it’s done just sync.
anon a mouse
What’s on your Christmas list? I need to come up with a handful of things to be from my husband and extended family and I am just failing. I’ve done a pretty good job over the past years of upgrading the basics in my life. Literally the only things I can think of right now are a succulent for my office and packing cubes (any recommendations on brand?). Would love to hear what other people are coveting this year!
Travel Fashion Girl dot com is always pushing the Compass Rose packing cubes.
Beyond that, how about consumables? Fancy coffee or tea? Candy or cookies? Theatre tickets?
i like ebags for packing cubes…but yea i don’t need any more stuff. massage gift certificate, donation to a charity, starbucks gift card (i love buying coffee but generally am too cheap to do so), i’m jewish and don’t celebrate christmas. DH and I stopped doing Hannukah gifts a long time ago. I’ll probably get allbirds from my in-laws and new uggs from my parents, but they all get so much stuff for my kids i really don’t feel the need for anything
I like the compression packing cubes by Gomex.
Ooo compression packing cubes? I didn’t know that was a thing. How much do they really compress? Are they better for things like sweaters or do they work with jeans too?
I didn’t know compression packing cubes existed! I’ll have to check these out.
Whenever I thought about buying something I didn’t really need but would be nice to have/upgrade, I put it on an Amazon list. Right now I have:
-Jetboil camping stove
-Taschen art books
-OXO Good Grips Electronics Cleaning Brush
-A couple of pieces of costume jewelry
-Upgraded camera lenses
It’s sort of random and nothing I truly need, but I know people are going to buy me gifts so I figured it may as well be things that I know I’ll use and enjoy. In the past I’ve also included nice soaps, candy/snack food, shoes, and clothes, but I’m pretty good on all of those this year.
I would love for someone to help me finish my emergency kit — I have the basics (first aid kit, duct tape, particulate masks, water purification tablets, etc. but these are some of the things that are more expensive or exotic that I’m adding one by one — multitool, radio with a battery hand crank, headlamp, etc. I’m working off the wire cutter list (google wire cutter best emergency preparedness supplies, there is also one for car emergency kits). What people might need will depend on where they live, but I would love items that I can add. Or if they don’t have one, you could do a starter kit for them.
Any recommendations for plus size fashion blogs for casual wear? I gained a lot of weight in a short time, and am struggling how to dress my larger shape since my old silhouettes don’t really work.
I’m not really sure what Nabela Noor’s platform is (home, clothes, make up, herself?), but she’s plus size, dresses well and tags what she’s wearing.
Katie Sturino at the12ishstyle.com (and her IG) puts together a lot of great casual looks. She is an advocate for fashion brands to be more size inclusive and she often mimics the looks other celebrities are wearing. Some of her outfits are louder than my personal taste, but she finds some great pieces, has great tips, and is an overall positive and fun person to follow and “be influenced” by.
Wardrobe Oxygen is cusp-sized (or maybe not any more) and I LOVE her style and attitude.
Unsolicited, but my best fellow plus size advice is to check out Universal Standard (which I learned about from W02) – their clothes are just so cool and have so much style. I also totally changed my IG follows to be body positive and I can’t tell you what a difference it made to my own attitude and confidence.
I really like Girl with Curves. I am not plus size, so I cannot vouch for her actual picks, but I love her style and her IG shows a good mix of casual and work appropriate looks. I think she has her own clothing line(?) too.
For my preppy style, I love the instagram Simply_Elsa. She’s sort of cusp sized but is all about promoting size inclusivity. She also just started a blog I think. Haven’t had a chance to look at it.
Paging Doxycycline Poster
Paging the poster from this morning asking about doxycycline. I was too late to the morning thread to reply, but maybe you’ll see it here. I would be hesitant about using it, from my own personal experience. I used it for acne (back and face) in my early 20s. It worked wonders for my skin, and to this day, I have beautiful skin that I get compliments on almost daily. But I am 100% convinced that it set off a string of GI issues for me, and I would trade my nice complexion in a heartbeat to get rid of the GI issues. It started with me getting an ulcer in my esophagus, which I was told by the doctor can be a side effect of the doxycycline. Fast forward 13 years of constant reflux and other GI issues which I never had any issues with before the doxycycline. (I know this is anecdata, and I’m sure other people have not gone through this, but I wanted to share my experience!)
Any antibiotic has the ability to impact your microbiome, which in turn can have really dramatic impact on your G.I. tract. It’s a good and very modern point to make
Thanks for sharing this (and sorry I didn’t post thanks back on the original post, my morning got crazy). I am worried about GI side effects because we have a history of GERD/IBS/IBD/Crohn’s in our family, and DS already has GERD that he periodically takes medication for. My husband apparently had pretty bad bacne in his teens but he did not care then and doesn’t care now about the scars he has (which aren’t that bad). I filled the doxycycline prescription but DH and I agreed we’re going to work with DS on more regular use of cleansers and topical treatments for a little while and see what that does. Someone on the morning thread mentioned sports – he plays basketball and is in judo and is not diligent about changing out of sweaty clothes or showering when he’s sweaty. The “wipes in the gym bag” suggestion is great and we’ll do that too. I appreciate everyone sharing their input.
If he already has GI issues– I think you should also talk with his internist about the effects of the doxicycline on them. The internist should be able to give you a better whole body perspective. Sometimes specialists are really good at addressing their specific issue (acne) without really discussing potential side effects.
Not the OP but can I ask how long you were on it? I was just prescribed doxycycline for an infection and this kind of freaked me out. But I’m only on it for 7 days.
bruh, if you have an infection, that is way more important to treat than worrying about super rare side effects. but since you asked, people who take this for acne are on it for months to years. take your pills.
I hate tone policing more than anything, but “bruh” ??? What do you think you’re accomplishing with that?
I know it’s late, but I’m case you see this – I’m the poster with the GI issues. I was on it for several months. Not quite a year, but close. You’re probably fine for only seven days.
Who would know, since everyone here seems to use Anon as a screen name?
Has anyone here gone through the process to become naturalized as a US citizen? I’m eligible to start the process next year. The immigration law firm that handled my green card (paid for by work) quoted me $2.2k in legal fees for the process (exclusive of the $700 or so legal fee). I’m busy and don’t really have time to figure out the process myself, and this seems reasonable to me, but I wanted to see if anyone had any thoughts on whether a lawyer is necessary for this (I think it is, right? But I have no idea.). If you used a lawyer, how much did you spend? And how long did the process take from filing to completion? (I have some hopes that I will be able to vote in the 2020 election.) Any advice welcome!
Use a lawyer. You don’t have time to figure it out and don’t want to do it wrong. I think $3k is reasonable.
I did this in my early 20s myself. It was a fairly standard application, not much different from a background check. You sound like you would have no issue with the language and history test. Unless you have something weird in your background that you are concerned would prevent you from getting citizenship, I don’t think a lawyer is necessary. The forms are all online – I would recommend taking a half hour to look them over to make sure you’re comfortable doing it yourself, and saving your $2k for a citizenship party.
Everyone I know who didn’t have a complicated background (legal from the moment they stepped foot into this country) did it themselves, likely because they can’t afford lawyer fees, but also I feel like it’s not that hard. They have nonprofits helping immigrants to fill the application and study for the test.
+1. My mom did it a few years ago (caveat: I’m a lawyer and helped her, but TBH I don’t think you need to be a lawyer to fill out the forms, just someone who can accurately complete gov’t forms). I don’t know very many people who used attorneys for it.
I’ve done applications for pro bono clients with limited English and problematic backgrounds (e.g., arrests). I had only minimal training before doing it, although admittedly I had an experienced lawyer who was able to answer questions for me. If you’re a lawyer and have the patience to fill out forms that have some really silly questions (I think one was whether you were a member of the Abraham Lincoln brigade in the Spanish Civil War), you can do it on your own. Everything you need is online. Just be sure to download the questions and answers and study them before your interview – the test has some tough questions on it!
Thanks all, this is very helpful. I’m a lawyer but in a very different field. I’m going to take a closer look at the requirements and decide if it’s worth my time to do it myself, but it’s great to know that a lawyer isn’t necessary (unlike the green card process).
No advice, just sending all my best wishes to you!
Yes. Lawyer is 100% necessary and that’s a reasonable price.
The two people I know who have done this (husband and close friend) did not need a lawyer and were 100% fine. Also, the low-income immigrant families at the ceremony were definitely not paying four figures for the job either. Don’t pay lawyers absurd fees to print out a form for you because that’s literally all they’ll be doing.
I would not be so quick to assume that the low-income families weren’t using lawyers or paying a couple of thousand dollars.
I’m an immigration attorney. For naturalization, so long as you don’t have criminal history, bigamy, or any other wonky issue (and you should know) you can do it yourself. And i’m a huge advocate for a lawyer for other applications, but this one is absolutely doable on your own. Highly doubtful you’ll be able to vote in the election though – you’re likely looking at a year at least for processing, depending on the jurisdiction you file in.
I’ve been practicing gratefulness this year and it really has improved my life. Let’s do it together!
I am thankful for my husband. He got all our baby stuff from the basement, washed, sterilized, and organized everything. I did not tell him to do it, or give him any instructions. He just did it, because it needed to be done.
I’m also thankful for our family’s health.
Always and forever thankful for my sweet third-time’s-the-charm husband!
Also thankful that my son seems to be pretty well squared away with a nice new apartment and a good new job.
And my friends. I always wanted to have a “posse” and I have a really great one at this advanced age.
can your husband call my husband and teach him his ways?? the chances of my husband taking on a project like that unprompted are slim to none (though he has many other wonderful qualities)
on a more serious note, i have a parent who will likely die within the next month or so after dealing with a condition for the past 7 years, but i am grateful that my parent got to walk both me and my sister down the aisle and become a grandparent, even though the grandparent experience has not been what either of us anticipated due to this condition. i am also grateful that my family has the means for my parent to receive all the necessary care at home and for me to be able to fly to visit
Hugs. This is an especially hard time of year to lose someone. My thoughts will be with you.
I am grateful to no longer have a husband.
I am thankful I FINALLY had the strength to leave my emotionally abusive ex husband and that I was able to shepherd a quick divorce. I am so thankful to have found a house in an amazing neighborhood with families that are wonderful and supportive of me and my kids. Seriously, one set of neighbors is coming over to help me learn how to use my generator and another set is coming over with a giant ladder to help hang Christmas lights. I am thankful that I am beginning to shake of the legacy of my ex and his toxic ways, that I am teaching my kids resiliency and that I am rocking it at work.
Yay! I always say the magic can’t happen until you find the strength to leave! Congratulations!
Woohoo! Well done, you!
Kids are resilient, but they need someone to model the good for them. You’re showing them that bad people exist, sometimes even in one’s family, but that doesn’t mean that the abuse is okay, and there are ways to handle it.
Go you, I love this. Well done!
Grateful to fellow dog owners
My kid is doing a photography project involving taking portraits of dogs. Four people have committed to bringing their dog to our house for a “sitting,” although it means getting the dog into their car and driving across town, and then trying to get the dog to stay still. So very grateful.
I would completely, 100% do this. So, so cool.
I did this when I was learning photography. Hard to get any detail on a black lab in direct sunlight! It made me totally pay attention to light and shadow and where is the sun in the sky.
This is the first year I cannot say I’m thankful for my health, so I will say I am thankful for modern medicine.
This is also the first year where my health problems have made me not be able to say unreservedly that I am thankful for my health. But I am still thankful for the health that I have, and thankful that modern medicine got me into remission and hopefully will keep me alive for 10+ years. I’m also thankful for good health insurance to cover the $130,000 price tag for this year alone. And finally, I’m wishing that everyone had access to good health insurance.
I am thankful for great surgeons and doctors who listened to me about my (seemingly) minor complains.
PSA: Overshare with your doctors and don’t be afraid to push for a second test if your gut says so.
I get two Thanksgivings this year and I’ve never had that before, so I am excited and grateful to celebrate my favorite holiday twice, once with family I won’t see again until spring.
I am grateful that my baby sister started a Snapchat group of all our siblings the other day. It has already made me miss them less and feel better about our relationships. And crack up laughing more than once.
Small Law Partner
I am thankful for my husband, who is supportive of me as a human being and of my career.
I am thankful for my health and my husband’s health.
I am thankful that we both paid off our student loans and bought a condo this year.
I am thankful I work at a law firm where I feel appreciated, really like my coworkers, and generally like my work.
I am thankful my commute is <5 min.
I’m thankful that my first time teaching a first year seminar is almost over and that it went so well. My colleague kept assuring me that it would, but I was struggling with anxiety over it. It’s been fun and my kids are great!
I’m also thankful that I have the money to replace my wardrobe. I’m enjoying figuring out my new style.
I’m thankful that my family are well.
I’m thankful for my husband, both despite and because this has been our hardest year of marriage to date. Also incredibly thankful we were finally able to conceive and everything is going well (baby is due in January).
(Fellow January due date here.)
Has anyone seen Mean Girls on Broadway? It is coming to Chicago and I was going to take my daughters (11 and 9) but tix are expected so I’d like to get some reviews before making the purchase. Thx in advance for any feedback!
I saw it in DC. It was OK.
Same. It was cute but not overwhelming (I don’t love shows though).
Who is playing Regina George?
Save the money for a better show.
Go see Come From Away if you think your kids are old enough for it.
Otherwise, MG isn’t bad and the message is better than the disney stuff. Renee Rapp is amazing and is just out of high school herself.
My sister took her 14 year old to see it a few months ago. While the show wasn’t spectacular, it did open up a great dialogue between the two of them (a rarity at that age). My sister said it was absolutely worth it for that reason alone.
Savings or Roth?
I’ve had a rough year financially so I haven’t contributed to my Roth monthly as I usually do; thus far, I have put zero dollars into it. I don’t know how next year will go financially. However, I’ve about 1 yr of living expenses saved (approx. 35k). Is it wiser to keep the 6k in my savings or to max out my annual in my Roth? I do have great credit and options for zero percent interest so I could put something on a credit card in an emergency, though I prefer for it not to come to that, which is why I have an emergency account. I want to make the smartest choice for Future Me without creating a scary situation for Current Me.
I’d do the Roth. You only get so many chance to contribute to it/can only contribute a limited amount, and if push really comes to shove you can take the money out again. A years living expenses in savings is far and away than most people have; that minus $6k is still a great protection.
I’d do Roth if you don’t have any known big expenses coming up.
Roth IRA contributions can be withdrawn penalty free, so you can consider them a sort of extended emergency fund if you REALLY need them. If you’re otherwise going to lose this year’s ability to contribute, you might as well contribute and withdraw later rather than not contribute at all. That said, I’ve never actually done that, so I don’t know how much of a hassle it is and I wouldn’t do it unless you think it’s reasonably unlikely you’ll have to undo it.
Exactly this. When it’s between your Roth and padding an emergency fund beyond the minimum (3 months or 6 months depending on your circumstances), contribute to the Roth. Don’t pass up the opportunity for tax-free growth when you can withdraw the principal without penalty and you’re unlikely to need it anyways. The exception, of course, is if you have the money earmarked for a particular expense, not retirement.
+1 you also have until April 2020 to contribute for 2019 in case you want to get through holiday expenses before contributing
invest it in your Roth now. You haven’t had that rough a year if you have a full years living expenses in savings!
Another vote for the Roth. Even if you are not able contribute as much next year, contributing now gives it just that much more time to grow.
Dating: Chasing vs Being Chased
In talking with a friend (both of us in our late 30s), I realized that I have pursued every person I’ve dated and she realized she has chosen her relationships, in part, because they were the ones who pursued her enough to talk her into giving them a try. I don’t want to spend my life chasing and hoping a guy lets me catch him, but I feel like waiting for someone to pursue me may be like waiting for Godot (and I don’t mean Gail).
I’m wondering the experiences others have had, whether and why someone prefers one method over the other, and I’d love to hear some stories!
I’m also in my late 30s. My longest/best relationships have been with guys who I initially approached, so for that reason I am still willing to make the first move. I think the key is to avoid chasing per se, to make sure the other person is actually interested and not just obliging you. For example, if you didn’t initiate the next date, would he? Make sure you’re putting in equal effort fairly soon, otherwise move on.
I agree with all of this. I’m pretty plan- and goal-oriented (and also very busy and somewhat absentminded, which means I like to get sh!t done as soon as I think about it) so it’s sort of my natural tendency to be the chaser. “You had a nice time? You want to hang out again? Cool how’s next Thursday at 7 at the Christmas pop up bar around the corner? Great it’s a date.” And then I realize around month 3-4 that they’ve never once planned a date. Then I ask them to and they fall down on the job and I get very disappointed. So yeah I’ve had to learn to take a step back to make sure I’m dating someone who wants to be an equal participant in us hanging out.
I am shy and have waited for others to pursue me. But I wish I had the personality and courage that you have to pursue guys! I don’t think it’s bad or wrong. Obvs don’t cling if they’re not into you, but otherwise there’s nothing wrong with being true to your feelings and going after what you want.
I have never had a problem attracting guys, but the problem is attracting DECENT guys. What good is it if all the guys who buzz in on me are just interested in having s-x with me then running away? I figure that I will have to go out and find the good ones, if they exist, and pursue them and if they want to have s-x with me, I will do so if it is my idea to do so, but not right away, b/c I want men to appreciate me for my mind, not my body, even though men totally love to have me have s-x with them.
IMO the idea of chasing vs. being chased is really getting at how into you are they. If you’re doing all the chasing, then you can end up dating someone for a while without realizing that they’re not into you as you’d want them to be. In my experience, you want to feel like you are both chasing each other. It doesn’t really matter who makes the first approach, but then it should feel like both people are like YES! I get that not everyone has that kind of relationship, but that’s what I wanted for myself and that’s how it’s worked with anyone that I’ve ever seriously dated, including my husband.
I have done it both ways, and I can’t say that being pursued (versus being the pursuer) led to better results. Once we got past the initial hurdle of establishing mutual interest, the relationship seemed destined to succeed or fail on its own terms, for the most part. Of course, if it’s a case where one person has much stronger interest/feelings than the other, then there are likely to be issues. but outside of that, I never found a huge difference. My DH and I met online and while I let him initially be the pursuer, after a few dates, I didn’t hesitate to text him or suggest a date, fwiw.
I asked my husband out. Worked for me!
I’ve pursued everyone I’d had a relationship with. I think letting your date choose you rather than choosing your date rather lessens your chances of ending up with what you want, which I’m not about.
I’ve pursued everyone I had a relationship with. This is pretty strange given that my background growing up was very conservative and “men protect and pursue, women nurture”.
My take is that pursuing someone (bringing up changes in relationship status like asking out/going steady/moving in together/marriage) are essentially conversations. Good relationships are built on good communication and two people are almost never going to independently have the same thought at the same time. If, like my family, you think only one particular partner should initiate those conversations (and therefore “pursue” the other person), you’re hamstringing the communication and therefore the relationship. Whoever is thinking about it or realizes they want to move to the next step in the relationship should initiate that conversation. It might be that the other person is also ready, needs more time, is less ready, needs to think about it, etc., but you are objectively better off for having opened up that line of communication rather than waiting and hoping your partner will start talking about something they don’t know is on your mind.
I am a very organized and direct person. I’ve always been the one who was ready to have those conversations first. Sometimes my partners weren’t ready for the next step and the conversation was an invaluable notification because it legitimately wouldn’t have come up on its own for them. Sometimes they were thinking the same thing but didn’t know how to bring it up. It has always worked out for me, even if the answer was “Sorry, I don’t want that” or “I have no idea, I need a lot of time”.
IMHO, the root of the problem is “chasing” or “being chased” as a model. I had men “chase” me and was often fairly miserable with the arrangement, because it really meant that they weren’t respecting my boundaries and didn’t respect them once we were dating. (There’s the joke about how if Christian Grey, or whatever his name is, lived in a shack down by the river and not a mansion, 50 Shades would be a horror movie. Real life is a lot like that – it’s not actually cute when a man isn’t reading the signals well enough to know you’re ambivalent, and just wears you down.)
If you’re both into each other, which you should be, there’s not much reason for the “chase” part to happen, or, put differently, it’s essentially equitable. Men who are looking for a partner and not a prize are happy to ask out, but want someone who is really on board with making a relationship happen.
My life has been all over the place, my apartment isn’t very organized, I’ve been running late, haven’t been making it to the gym, been buying lunch instead of packing, etc. What do you recommend I do over the weekend to “hit reset” and get my life back on track?
I find that when my life gets out of control, it’s paradoxically because I’m not resting enough. I would take one day this weekend to do all absolutely necessary chores, and then a second day to completely, totally rest.
Get a good night’s sleep, wake up and go to the gym, do ALL the laundry, put on a cool podcast and clean your apartment.
Sunday make sure all the clothes are put away, grocery shop early, and meal prep while watching mindless Netflix. Focus on treating yourself with kindness.
Make a list. Check things off. Add the things you do that aren’t on the list to the list so you can check them off.
What Clementine said.
The key is to get a good nights sleep and give yourself time to sleep in. Take the evenings off to do something relaxing. For me that would include an extra long shower or bath, deep conditioning my hair, and doing a face mask. Eat extra healthy the whole weekend. Doing this helps me feel physically and mentally refreshed, just as much as the actual logistical stuff.
Take a break in there somewhere to sit down with a cup of coffee or tea and your calendar and a notepad, and plan out how you’re going to make time for all these things in the next two weeks given your other obligations, so you don’t fall “behind” again.
Not exactly helpful, but I’m feeling exactly the same right now. You’re not alone. I’m planning to spend Sunday doing some ‘prep work’ for the week, not unlike Clementine’s suggestions – getting groceries and preparing parts of meals (cook the chicken, roast some veggies, etc.), change the sheets, do laundry, and make a (short, simple) workout schedule that I can at least attempt to stick to. Also a fan of lists!
Instead of mindless Netflix, though, I really like to watch YouTubers I find motivating, all for different reasons: Sarah’s Day, The Anna Edit, Lily Pebbles, HealthNut Nutrition, Downshiftology… Watching other women motivate themselves to do all the tasks I’m finding so exhausting to keep up with right now can feel, well, motivating to me, and I like that encouragement. Good luck, Anon! It always feels extra hard to stay organized around the holidays – I hope we both feel back on track soon :)
I have had a similar week. My plan is to take the time this evening to be grumpy. Not go out of my way to do anything for the hubs or kids the way I would on a normal evening (frantically whisking up a nutritious and yet tasty dinner that checks all the boxes and that my kids will eat). We will order in. I will read my book and grump on the sofa. Maybe do some yoga. Maybe drink some champagne. Sleep like the dead. Rinse and repeat tomorrow.
24 hours of this will make me my sunny self by Monday.
This is small, but in addition to what everyone else said, I’d grocery shop today or tomorrow, and meal prep Sunday. I think it makes a big difference for me to break them up. Also for the future: I’ve been habit tracking on an app in my phone for various things – gym, training my dog, eating under my cal limit, not drinking and it really helps keep me on track & motivated.
I didn’t get a chance to watch yesterday and watching Fiona Hill’s testimony today. She is extremely impressive. She has an operative knowledge of history and effectively uses historical parallels to outline her points. I’ll definitely be reading the biography of Putin by her. I wish she would run for president.
She is impressive, but she is not eligible to run for president.
Want to add I am aware she can’t because she wasn’t born here…
She looks amazing!
Any guesses as to what she is doing right? Or is she just gifted in the looks and aging departments?
Alanna of Trebond
I mean, Laura Dern definitely looks like she is 52 (I actually think she reads older). Even Julia Roberts (who is apparently her same age), looks much younger. She is only two years older than Jennifer Lopez, whose aging secrets I would REALLY like to know.
I mean, I agree that it didn’t totally make sense that she played Kylo Ren’s mother in something.
I think if you saw each of these women in their natural state, in the same lighting, you would probably find that they look more similar in age. What Jen has going for her is a darker skin tone that is protective from the sun.
I have old suits that are not fit for donation. I feel weird about just throwing them out. Is that what I should do though? I live in a smaller city where there are no obvious places to just drop of clothing for discarding. In theory if I drop it off at certain thrift stores they donate to a charity based on weight and will possibly turn the clothing into scrap cloth of some sort. Thoughts? Is that the best option I have?
Yes, definitely donate to a charity. When I’m doing a large donation of stuff, some of it fit for resale and some bound for recycling, I like to sort it out ahead of time to save the volunteers time. Last time I was there dropping off donations, the lady was very grateful when I told her which bags had sellable stuff and which had things likely needing to just be recycled.
If they are only fit for recycling, do you live near an H&M? They do textile recycling from any source.
Question for the hive:
Does your firm have partners who SAY all the right things but who do not have a women in their practice groups who are not conventionally pretty, single and child-free? While another partner sounds like an episode of Mad Men but actually treats the (older, with kids) women in his group really well?
I was talking to a senior associate at my firm about how she manages to work with a partner who has a well-deserved reputation for saying inappropriate things (bias kinds of things; he is not hitting on anyone!). She flat out laughed at me and said that he grumbles a lot, but he is super understanding about her parenting obligations and made sure she got a bonus the year she was on maternity leave – which most people did not. She suggested I take a look at which partners had long-term working relationships with women attorneys that lasted past those attorneys getting married and having kids.
And I realized she was right. Mad Men Partner has three women in his group with kids and they all think he is great. “Super Woke” partner loses every single one of his once they have children, if not when they get married and start thinking about them.
I am just curious whether anyone else has noticed this?
Absolutely, and I completely agree with the senior associate at your firm. My old boss was super respectful and always stood up for me if some older attorney was beating up on me. He also would come and tell me when he thought someone was being sexist, etc. However, there was no formal maternity leave policy, and the style of practice wasn’t conducive at all to working with kids– I basically had to be available around the clock for him, etc. DH never believed me when I said old boss would be bad to work for with kids.
New boss married his secretary and routinely makes off-color comments. But, the majority of the partners at new firm are women with children. New boss advocates for family time and not having to be available at weird hours, etc.
Not in big law anymore, but that was my experience regardless of whether you had kids. The main partner I worked for was known for saying inappropriate things (and for hitting on non-attorney staff, which wasn’t cool) but he is also one of the few male partners I worked with who gave female attorneys really good opportunities and really values their judgement. On the other hand, the most woke sounding one treated the female attorneys that worked for him like chap.
I think Super Woke people can definitely be not very woke at all in reality, but I don’t really get how a partner who openly expressed bias against women could be supportive of women. I worked at a Mad Men law firm where the partners were all older white men who frequently commented on how much better things were in the good old days, and made frequent comments about how women should be at home raising children and it was definitely not a good place to be a woman. I guess I don’t know if they actually discriminated against women in hiring and promotion, but it was intolerable to work there was a woman and be subjected to that kind of environment day and day in out.
On the other hand, I worked with a partner who made inappropriate comments unrelated to bias (not hitting on us, but like oversharing about his s*x life and other things that are just not ok in the workplace now) and he was an incredible champion for his female associates.
As an example, I once heard Mad Med Partner say: “The problem with hiring women lawyers is that they invariably have babies.” (Followed with “but at least they are not jerks like the guys.”) And hysterically, he has one daughter who is an investment banker and one who is herself a lawyer – although he repeatedly says he hopes she quits when she has kids because practicing law with children is “really hard.”
But he hires lots of women lawyers, never gives then a hard time about their maternity leave or parenting obligations, gives them real, substantive work but always asks whether covering something out of town will be a problem, and sends emails on nights and weekends with the header “tomorrow” (or “Monday”). My friend told me that he walked into her office when she was calling to make child care arrangements because she needed to work late for the third night in a row and (when he realizes why) told her to go home and finished the project himself. (Also they call him a dinosaur to his face and he just laughs.)
I do not think I could work for him but I was struck by the difference between his group of 30’s women lawyers who have husbands and children and the young, thin 20-somethings with no children who seem to be preferred by so many of the other partners.
Theory: he knows that maternity leaves, childcare obligations, etc., impose costs on the firm and the other attorneys. That does not mean he’s unwilling to pay those costs – he is clearly willing to do so – but he is very cognizant of them and therefore, complaining about them.
The Super Woke attorneys just magically think that everything will work out and it’s only because of bad people that they don’t easily work out… but this just indicates that they are unaware of the costs of maternity leave, childcare issues, etc., and are therefore unwilling to shoulder some of the burden. Or they pretend the burden doesn’t exist so they don’t have to do the hard work of shouldering it.
This is so well said! I would 100% rather work for someone who complains about the inconvenience of family obligations but makes real accommodations than someone who talks a good game but is willfully blind to the issues in any practical sense.
Give me the guy who says he hopes his lawyer daughter quits when she has kids but does not expect instant responses to weekend emails over the one who says he wishes more women would stick with the profession, but gets snippy when his non-urgent Saturday afternoon email does not get an immediate response because I am at a soccer game.
This is why I really do not care about this stuff at all. Give me good work. Trust me and treat me like you do the men in our team and you can tell me about you and your wife’s favourite positions all you like. Sigh. Sometimes I think I am too old for 2019.
You’re talking about two different things I think. Being family oriented is different than gender bias. I know several Mad Men-like partners who view family time as sacrosanct. They have dinner with their family and read the kids a bedtime story every night and will. not. be available during those times. And they will very much support others – regardless of gender – in doing the same. And then there are “woke” men who will ream opposing counsel for calling you “sweetie” but also don’t value family time and will see you as not committed to your job if you insist on seeing your kids every day.
Are Casper pillows worth it? I’m a side sleeper and a run hot.
Nah. Mine’s too flat to support my neck
Hi ‘retteHive, any recommendations in Miami South Beach for where to shop for jewelry with a modern/interesting vibe? I like souvenirs I can use or wear.
Any West Elm shoppers?
I am ready to place a large order (after 15 years upgrading living room furniture) but nothing is on sale right now.
Does anyone know if they typically have a Black Friday sale?
Yeah, if it’s not on sale it’ll cycle through a sale in the next month. Don’t pay full price.
Yes this! And if they don’t have a pre-Christmas sale, they’ll have a sale after Christmas.
A lot of furniture and home stores don’t do a ton of discounting before Thanksgiving because they know people are shopping for stuff they need to upgrade or replace before guests arrive for the holidays. At a certain point, I think the stores figure people who are going to buy for hosting holiday guests have bought, and so they start discounting. If you can wait, wait.
Argh but I’m one of those people shopping before the holidays LOL! I agree, I will wait but it is so hard. I think I can only wait until mid-December then it is time to BUY :)
Be REAL careful about their delivery times. I (and there are plenty of others online) have horror stories of 4-6 wk delivery times turning into multiple months. Their supply chain is kind of fubar’ed at the moment. Crate and Barrel , restoration hardware, and design within reach would be my ‘in person’ first picks. We did an apartment sized sofa with the “comfortable couch company” and they were great! Very customizable options, good customer service, and made in America (North Carolina).
We had couches and bedroom furniture from West Elm and honestly I would NEVER buy their stuff again. The quality was honestly awful. They all fell to pieces after a few years. Obviously they’re not meant to be heirloom quality but it’s not as though they’re inexpensive so that was just super unacceptable to me.
Need deep mattress sheet ideas. My mattresses (so comfy) are 20-22” deep. Hard to find sheets. My cleaners are frustrated too. I’m not too fussy about thread count but softish is a plus.
Following! Especially percale. Love LL Bean percale but they don’t carry a deep set. We have an Amazon set now but they seem too much like tissue paper.
You might not see this, but try IKEA – their fitted sheets are much deeper than the ones I’ve had before. (That is a DEEP mattress though – you might need to go for a flat sheet the next size up and hospital corners).
Hi, some time ago, I asked you for tips on Costa Rica and would like to report back. We have been traveling for 2 weeks there at the end of rainy season (when animals are VERY active, as we learned from locals later on) in the beginning of November and enjoyed the trip a lot.
Some our highlights: hiking in the Zona Central in the coffee plantages (which are mostly on steeper hills), jungle trekking in Corcovado and Peninsula Osa (we had an amazing guide and were “lucky” to see lots of poisonous snakes from a very close distance, probably bc of rainy season), beaches in and Corcovado (we were just driving around and stopped at places we liked), places around Arenal volcano in general. Manuel Antonio NP was nice, but too organized for our taste, however, kids enjoyed it (especially the beaches). Same Rio Celeste. We intended to do birdwatching in Quetzales NP, but the guide told us we will have better chances to see the bird in a nearby finca, where we went (and were not disappointed, so if you are after specific photos, take the guide, most of them are photo enthusiasts and will help you get the best picture possible). We were not lucky with weather both times we visited Arenal and Poas, but that’s life.
Bottomline: if you like hiking and animal spotting and then to take occasional rest at deserted beaches, give Costa Rica a try. Everything we did (except Corcovado and Osa) was toddler friendly. We recommend to take a local guide if you want to increase your chances to see exotic animals.
Watch-outs: locals are not big foodies, so adjust your expectations on quality of food, roads are mostly fine, but drivers are nuts and very slow, so everything will take longer than expected. Humidity, heat and UV were strong, bring your toughest SPF and SPF clothing.
Also, you can buy Retin A without prescription. I had severe acne breakout from the combo of heat & UV and sweat and probably jungle bacteria in the air and ended up applying it on the last few days.
Going to be in LA later today….. are there any stores I should visit? (beyond the typical mall stores). Heading up from San diego, so Orange County could also be an option.
Would love some brands along the lines Of Mercer or MMLafleur but looks like their only west coast locations are in San francisco.
I also desperately need some comfortable but cute shoes.
SMC San Diego
Where in LA and are you on taking the 405 or the 5? if you are looking for non chain stores, then I would recommend Melrose and if you are driving the 405 stop at South Coast Plaza and its sister mall (chains – but they have everything!)
SMC San Diego
Oh – also Abbot Kinney or Main Street in Santa Monica (again if you are on the westside) or the Fashion District if you are downtown during the day
South Coast Plaza (orange county) is a destination mall.
Seeking Stylist Help
A while ago several commenters raved about a Nordstrom stylist/personal shopper in Northern Virginia. Does anyone remember her name? Thanks ladies.