Thursday, February 28, 2013

Mother-Fracking #YOLO

THIS IS HAPPENING*, PEOPLE.



Speak now or forever hold your peace.

Note to Anthro:  this is why you need to have free shipping all the time.  I never would have tried this crazy nonsense if not for your recent free shipping promo.


*  Just maybe not happening at the office......I haven't quite figured out how to make a jumpsuit work for business casual?  This may be a bigger challenge than the maxi skirt.  (FYI, I tried black-blazering it to no avail.)

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

OOTD: Making the Best of It

As much as I prefer taking outfit photos outside my apartment in the morning, I sort of like the photos taken in front of the mirror in my office gym.  Those photos generally mean that I diligently woke up in the morning, exercised on my way to work, and then got myself ready in the locker rooms in the basement of my office building.  Getting fitter, ya'll!

Anyway, here's what I wore yesterday:


This shirt was a somewhat unfortunate final sale purchase.  It's great --- soft and a good winter neutral --- but probably a size too big.  I assembled the pieces of this outfit the night before without trying them on in advance and was a bit underwhelmed by the end product.  Thank goodness for my emergency black blazer:


Better...better...

In this Outfit:
Ann Taylor Loft Colorblocked Dolman Sleeve Top (here)
Anthropologie Checked Crops (similar)
Anthropologie Pave Post Earrings (here)
Forever 21 Lace Collar Necklace (similar-ish)
Payless Chelsea Flats (here) (TTS)
Michael Kors Runway Watch (on sale)



Monday, February 25, 2013

Thank you!

I have not yet had a chance to respond to comments from Saturday's post seeking advice about camping, but I wanted to say a quick "Thank you" for all of the helpful advice rendered thus far (and keep it coming, if you've got it).  You guys are fantastic and I greatly appreciate it.


(I am sooooo sorry if you don't get the reference and are grossed out, but I just could not resist)

Happy Monday!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

In the Kitchen

Two things.

One:  I made a delicious and easy recipe this week that I couldn't wait to share.  It's a chorizo and kale soup recipe from PaleoPot.  It was incredibly hearty and did a great job of warming me up on a few of the cold winter nights we've had around here lately.  If you like your soups a bit spicy, you'll love this!  Vegetarians, I bet you could replace the chorizo with white beans.



Two:  I recently overhauled my tupperware cabinet and I am a better woman for it.  (You know the cabinet I'm talking about --- the one where you keep your motley assortment of plastic containers collected from Chinese take-out orders?  I am sure that isn't just a Jewish thing, right?)

Previously, it looked something like this:


(source, suggesting its own organizational method)

I found this little diddy on Amazon (for only $20, no less---now on sale for $16):


And now, I've got this:


Geez, what would I do without Amazon Prime?  Honestly.

Do you have any cabinet-organization secrets?  I want to attack my pots and pans cabinet next...

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Halp me stay alive in the great outdoors!

Happy Saturday, internet!  I'm working all weekend, but I think I'll get to do all of my work from home, which is a huge improvement.  I'll take my couch, my own cooking, and sweatpants over my desk chair, Seamlessweb, and real pants any day of the week.  Thank goodness for work-from-home infrastructures, amirite?

I've got some questions for you outdoorsy/musical types.  Today, I bought tickets to Bonnaroo, a four-day outdoor music festival in Tennessee.  The line-up looks fantastic and I am SUPER-excited about going.  We're planning to camp at the site for the time we're out there.  Although a four-day camping trip may seem like a leap ("This website is still called, 'Stuff Jewish Girls Like,' isn't it?") I've been camping for short spells with other people before and liked it, and my boyfriend and I have been vaguely talking about doing some kind of one-to-two-week bike tour of a nearby state that would involve camping while on the road.  So anyway, point being, this camping thing is going to happen.

Question 1:  What sort of gear do you campers bring with you?  Any vital consumer goods I must have?  Which lanterns do you like?  Do you use air mattresses or cots?  Which?  Halp!

Question 2:  What should I look for when purchasing a tent?  It cost like $750 to rent a tent for Bonnaroo but they seem to run under $200 on Amazon, so it seems like an easy purchase.  Can you get a decent tent at that price point or do I need something that's certified for use on Everest or something?  I'm looking at this one in particular...


I figure we might as well get a tent that would sleep us along with some friends/kids for camping trips down the road.

Question 3:  Have any of you been to Bonnaroo before?  Or a multi-day music festival?  This will be my first one.  Is there anything I should know?

Friday, February 22, 2013

Harumph.

Does one outfit fail beget another?  If I am honest with myself, I wonder how many items in my current wardrobe are only mine because I needed an emergency back-up outfit after whatever I packed into my gym bag turned out to be a disaster, and those items happened to be sitting in my office after a recent online purchase.


I was debating whether to return this dress, but I guess I'm keeping it now. :-\

Hidden costs of exercise, ya'll.  Hidden costs.

FYI, this outfit does not work for the office if you swap out the heels for tall leather boots.  Just sayin, for your reference.  Doesn't work.  Does. not. work.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Adaptation Fail (a.k.a., That Time I Went to Work Looking Like a Ringmaster)

Every once in a while, I'll spot an outfit on someone in my Google reader that I not only love, but also think I can emulate. I'm usually pretty decent at adapting inspiration and making it work for my own closet. (See, e.g., Inspiring Interpretations.)

Usually.

Sometimes though, I fall flat on my face.

Take, for instance, this:


I know, okay? I KNOW. For reference, I was trying to do this:

(from Dash Dot Dotty, who is constantly at the forefront of young business comfortable*)

* What do we think of this as a term for outfits that are business casual but also fabulously comfortable?

It just looks so GOOD on her and so WRONG on me. This is a good lesson in the importance of cut and proportions.  In my defense though, I exercised in the morning, so I packed this outfit the night before and didn't think to try it on in advance. And surely a couple "off" outfits here and there is a small price to pay for increased physical fitness, right? RIGHT?

Fortunately, I received a new T-shirt from the Gap that same day, so I was able to fix the outfit a bit:

(Also I posed at a wilder angle.) (Also, this T-shirt is the greatest. So soft and drapes so nicely. I'm wearing a medium (my usual choice for baggy comfort at the Gap) but I think this runs big so I should have gone with a small. To the extent that such information helps you with sizing, there you go.)

And DOUBLE-fortunately, my informal meetings for the day were pushed back a day, so nobody had to witness this mess. (I KNOW, I KNOW.)

Anyway, whomp whomp.

(PSA:  I've had my eye on these cute earmuffs from Kate Spade for the last two months and now that they are $30 I am pouncing.  



They are wired with headphones!  I can't say whether there's a microphone on these for phone-talking, but I've been driven crazy this winter by trying to wedge my phone in between my ear and my earmuffs to talk, so at least with these all I have to do (at the least) is hold my phone in front of my face to talk.  I can't vouch for quality since I haven't received mine yet, but Kate Spade as a brand is generally pretty good about fixing problems or taking back defective items (even if they are final sale).)

[Edited to add:  I just used them recently, and they don't work!  Do not recommend.]

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

OOTD: That 70's Shirt

As a dress, this See by Chloe piece I thrifted in NYC is just a bit too short and too sack-y to qualify as one of my favorites:
(thrifted for $18 --- original price almost $600!)
But as a shirt, boy, does it work wonders spicing up an otherwise neutral outfit.*

In this Outfit:
See by Chloe Dress (thrifted) (similar!) (less similar but cheaper)
D&G Tweed Skirt (thrifted) (similar) (splurge (and this one) but oo so lovely)
Anthropologie Bookbinder Heels (8.5) (lordie these are so supremely uncomfortable on me)
Michael Kors Davenport Chronograph Watch in Rose Gold (here)
Glasses c/o GlassesUSA (review here)
Kate Spade lever-back earrings (similar by Kate Spade on sale)

*  Or, more specifically, a brown skirt.  As that seems to be my M.O. with this dress.  See also, here:


Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Psychology of a Discount

Anthropologie Joppa Pumps (sold out)

$160 original price:  They're cute, but I'll wait until they go on sale.  Which they inevitably will.

$80 first-cut price:  Eep, finally, sale!  But arg, $80 is still a lot.  I dunno...the toe does pinch a bit...

$40 second-cut price:  Wow, now that seems like a good deal.  I guess I could always get a cushiony shoe tape for the toe.  Maybe I can get an extra discount because one of the bows is wonky.

When the shoes ring up for $20:  WHAT?!  Is there an extra pair laying around somewhere?  No, of course I don't care what size.

+ 10% damage discount + 15% birthday discount = $15 shoes:  IMMEDIATELY BLOGGED IT.


...man, I'm such a sucker.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

PTI

I am completely slammed at work today this week month, but I would be remiss if I did not bring this to your attention immediately:


Carry on.

Monday, February 11, 2013

The Perfect Valentine's Day Gift?


Really.  Book description, from the Amazon product page:

Dripping Thighs, Sticky Chicken Fingers, Vanilla Chicken, Chicken with a Lardon, Bacon-Bound Wings, Spatchcock Chicken, Learning-to-Truss-You Chicken, Holy Hell Wings, Mustard-Spanked Chicken, and more, more, more!
 
Fifty chicken recipes, each more seductive than the last, in a book that makes every dinner a turn-on.  
 
“I want you to see this. Then you’ll know everything. It’s a cookbook,” he says and opens to some recipes, with color photos. “I want to prepare you, very much.” This isn’t just about getting me hot till my juices run clear, and then a little rest. There’s pulling, jerking, stuffing, trussing. Fifty preparations. He promises we’ll start out slow, with wine and a good oiling . . . Holy crap. “I will control everything that happens here,” he says. “You can leave anytime, but as long as you stay, you’re my ingredient.” I’ll be transformed from a raw, organic bird into something—what? Something delicious
 
So begins the adventures of Miss Chicken, a young free-range, from raw innocence to golden brown ecstasy, in this spoof-in-a-cookbook that simmers in the afterglow of E.L. James’s sensational Fifty Shades of Grey trilogyLike Anastasia Steele, Miss Chicken finds herself at the mercy of a dominating man, in this case, a wealthy, sexy, and very hungry chef.  

And before long, from unbearably slow drizzling to trussing, Miss Chicken discovers the sheer thrill of becoming the main course. A parody in three acts—“The Novice Bird” (easy recipes for roasters), “Falling to Pieces” (parts perfect for weeknight meals), and “Advanced Techniques” (the climax of cooking)—Fifty Shades of Chicken is a cookbook of fifty irresistible, repertoire-boosting chicken dishes that will leave you hungry for more.

With memorable tips and revealing photographs, Fifty Shades of Chicken will have you dominating dinner.


I think this might be great for everyone.  Lovers, friends, parents, bartenders...if I wasn't less than 100% sure that she would not be offended, I would get this for my office manager (who is an amazing cook).  (I'm 92% sure she would not be offended.)  It works for people who love Valentine's Day ("Aw, yay, a random gift/something kind of romantic!") and people who hate Valentine's Day ("Aw, yay, something that underscores how cheesy and dumb this Hallmark holiday is.")

I thought you might appreciate this "featured recipe," also from the product page:

*~*~*


Featured Recipe: Dripping Thighs

Dripping Thighs
The way his apron hangs from his hips already has me all wobbly. But as he coats my thighs with sticky liquid I can hardly contain myself. Is it the wine, or is my aroma starting to drive him crazy too? He heats me up fast, it won’t take much too?
He heats me up fast, it won’t take much to finish me off now. His lips quirk up to a smile. My own juices are mixing with the coating and running all over the place. I get the strangest, sweetest, hedonistic feeling up and down. It’s epicureanism run wild!
He spreads my thighs out on a plate. Sticky hands and at least five wet napkins. What will the housekeeper think? Who cares?
Ingredients
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, patted dry with paper towels
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon plus pinch coarse kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon honey
Directions
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. In a large bowl, toss the chicken, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper together.
In a small saucepan, simmer together onion, wine, bay leaf, cinnamon stick, and a pinch of salt until most of the liquid has evaporated, 15 to 20 minutes. Toss in the honey and butter.
Spoon the mixture over the chicken and toss well. Spread thighs, onion mixture, and any juices onto a baking sheet. Bake until chicken is no longer pink and onions are meltingly tender and caramelized, about 25 minutes.

*~*~*

I mean, LOL ALL DAY LONG.


I realize this cookbook came out months ago; I'm only just now discovering it so forgive me if you all knew about this already.  But geez, this was just too good not to post, just in case someone else has been living under a rock like me.  It's $13 on Amazon.  (That's an affiliate link, but I hope it's clear that I'm posting about this book for no reason other than because it's entertaining.)

Incidentally, am I the only one who hasn't read a single bit of the 50 Shades series?  I have read the feminist version of 50 Shades of Grey:



Friday, February 8, 2013

Sending Emails: Lessons Learned from Doc Review

In every profession, there seems to be one task that is almost universally maligned.  One thing that nobody likes doing but everybody likes complaining about.  If someone in your profession asks you, "How's it going?" and you respond with, "[Name of task]," your colleague will immediately respond with a sympathetic groan of total understanding.

I don't know what that task might be in other professions, but I think among litigation associates at big law firms, that undesirable task is document review.



Document (doc) review, for the uninitiated, consists of clicking through thousands of documents (emails, PDFs, slideshows, spreadsheets, handwritten notes...anything that can be scanned or uploaded) that have been uploaded to an online database.  Doc review tasks can be more or less advanced, but generally involve making basic determinations of relevant issues in each document and clicking little checkboxes/radiocircles to preserve your classification for future searches and reviews.

Some of the common complaints about doc review:  it can be dull; it is not intellectually challenging; it is massively time-consuming; it involves working with frustrating technology; potential consequences for screwing up are relatively high (e.g., producing a document to the opposing side that actually should have been protected due to attorney client privilege can lead to a huge host of other issues).


(source) (Incidentally, I pulled this image from a Google image search for "document review," but then when I went to the source website to retrieve the URL to link back I realized that my firm has actually used this company before for trial support services!  They are utterly fantastic.  Highly recommend to all the lawyers out there.)

I've been pretty lucky in that I've probably spent less than 25% of my firm career thus far reviewing documents (junior associates like me are usually the people tasked with this kind of assignment), but for those times when I have to bite the bullet, it's helped me to focus on distilling some fun email-related life lessons from the work (aside from the obvious meta-lesson about taking one for the team and agreeing to do a doc review) (serious side note:  I also like observing the way other people send professional emails.  When I see a tone or email structure I like, I think about how I might improve my own emails using the documents I'm reviewing as a model).

[Note:  as I'm sure is clear, these are general lessons gleaned from a year and a half of being a junior associate and do not disclose any specific information about anything, nor do they relate to any specific document or case.  Wherever you see quotes, I have made up the content from my imagination.]

1.  Before you send any email, think to yourself, "How would this read to a lawyer?"
I know, I know.  "Who's going to sue me?" you're saying.  "I'm just a nice person on the internet with no enemies."  Well, guess what?  Very few people ever expect to get sued.  Even fewer nice people expect to get sued.  But people get sued all the time, or investigated for that crime your ex-boyfriend Lars committed, or whatever.  And when that happens, some lawyer may end up going through all your emails.  And when THAT happens, you really really don't want to have to explain in your deposition why you wrote to Lars, "Haha don't kill anybody on your way over!  LOL muah xxx."  If you think there's even the slightest chance Lars may have murderous tendencies, make a different joke.


This guy loves his documents.  (source)

2.  Maybe just don't send emails at all when you are angry or depressed?  How does that sound?
Heightened emotions look ridiculous in emails.  Think back to a time when you sent someone a really angry email (must be at least six months in the past).  Now go back and read it.  You look like a lunatic, right?  That's how you look to whoever you're emailing, too.  I know you really want to chew someone out over WHATEVER, but that emotion will subside and you'll wish you'd been more moderate.


3.  Emoticons in business emails:  Just don't.
I'm guilty of doing this sometimes with colleagues I also consider friends, but try to resist the urge.  You look like a dope.  (See also, #2.)



4.  Accept that you are powerless over forwarding.
Regardless of to whom you direct your emails, they can truly end up in anyone's mailbox.  You'd be amazed at how far email messages can circulate when they are forwarded around.  And, newsflash:  telling your original recipient not to forward your message does not actually prevent them from forwarding it.  I always have a chuckle when I stumble across an email that has been forwarded more than three times, with the original author and each subsequent forwarder admonishing the others, "please don't forward."  What's the solution?  If your email was to end up in the mailbox of exactly the person you least want to read your email, what would you be comfortable with that email saying?  Another way to put this would be:  don't say anything in an email that you wouldn't stand behind in a face-to-face conversation.  Or deposition.  Whichever.  That's why phones exist.  (Just don't leave a voicemail.)


(exploitable here, text by me)

What are your rules of thumb when it comes to sending emails?

Thursday, February 7, 2013

OOTD: At this point, you should not be surprised.

Yep, I did it again.


I once again wore something pajama-like to work.  I wonder if displaying a proclivity towards pajama-like clothing is a symptom of any major disease or disorder?  Or if it's just the biological imperative of winter?

Whatever the situation, I bought this "dress" from J.Crew Factory last week for something like $25.  The main appeal of the garment was, of course, its pajama-esque qualities and warm-weather appropriateness.  However, when it arrived, I was dismayed to see that it was quite sack-like in cut and, on top of that, I apparently ordered a larger size than needed.  (I went with a medium.)  Witness:


Right?  I mean, that's just no good at all.  Plus, even though it doesn't look like it in the picture, it's sort of on the short end.  So, really, the worst of all worlds.


(Incidentally, a few of us were talking in the comments yesterday about the difference between Kate Spade and Kate Spade Factory (we think there is a very small difference, if any).  This got me thinking about J.Crew factory, and how dramatic the difference in quality can sometimes be between J.Crew and its Factory store.  (Don't get me wrong; I love the factory store and shop there often.)  So, are you a factory store shopper?  If so, have you noticed that some brands are better than others at preserving consistent quality across their retail/outlet shops?)

Despite the relative meh-ness of the dress's cut, I loved the color, feel, and weight of it.  I made the best of it, because on one's first day back at work after taking a few sick days, and when one still has a significant amount of dental putty still in one's mouth, one really doesn't want to stray too far from her previous "post-op casual" dress code.  Plus, it was final sale so I didn't really have an option. So pajama-like sack dress it was.


^ Me making the best of it.  I'd smile, but it would pull at my stitches. :-\

I threw a belt on it, as you all have been encouraging me to do to vary the endless stream of jammies I've been showing you lately, and I like the way it worked out.  The dress was (obviously) comfortable, and the belt made it look more tailored.  I tried to keep the rest of the outfit simple with legs and shoes that mostly matched each other.  I don't like nude tights, which somewhat limits my options when I want to be subtle with my legs in winter.

So even though I wouldn't necessarily recommend this dress, it was cozy, cheap, and I feel like I will probably get my $25 out of this thing.  And maybe it will shrink in the wash?  A girl can hope.

In this Outfit:
J.Crew Factory Boatneck Sweater Dress in Graffiti Green (M)
Anthropologie Bowed Lacerta Heels (8.5)
Michael Kors Purse
Marc by Marc Jacobs Marci Watch (here)
Kate Spade Lever-Back Earrings
Anthropologie Cockle Shell Tights (old)
Anthropologie Punch Card Belt (old)
Anthropologie Necklace (name unknown?)
Glasses c/o GlassesUSA (review here)

I'd like to offer a special word of praise for this necklace, which was given to me as a post-DC bar admission gift.  I have no idea what it's called, but it's extremely lovely and gets compliments like nobody's business.  It works well as a statement necklace, and yet has a classic vintagey flair to it.  Unfortunately, I have no idea how long it will hold up since the clasp is already broken and I've noticed some discoloration around the the main chain.


But ahh, it will be loved while it lasts.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

BLAST!

Oh, gosh darn it.


Literally THIS VERY MORNING I thought to myself while getting dressed, "Wow, I have really cut back on my shopping this month!"

And then I got a text message from my sister, informing me that there is a surprise sale happening at Kate Spade.  (Because you see, even though I have unsubscribed from store email listservs, I am still on the Female Family Member SMS-serv as I get frequent text messages from my mom and sister alerting me to various sales at my favorite retailers.)

And then I remembered that I had a big Kate Spade gift card burning a hole in my pocket.

And then this happened:






Sigh, can't win 'em all I guess.  You can check out the surprise sale at this link.

(Also, note that my beloved Kingsbury Park Shelby, which I have in grey (see, e.g., here, here, and here), is still on sale in black and yellow (black and yellow).  Because these colors have been around for so long, I wonder if the price is bound to drop even further than $149, though?)

(Also also, the Great Expectations book clutch is $100.)

PS:  Thank you for your well-wishes regarding my gum surgery!  I am feeling much better and get my stitches taken out tomorrow (I think).
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