Madewell Sale – it’s so good.

About two years ago, I read this book, and it was a game changer:

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My closet and drawers were STUFFED with clothes I never wore, but was hanging onto for all the wrong reasons:  great designer, got for an insane price, was gifted but haven’t worn (yet), will fit into someday (ha!) . . . you get the picture.  I got rid of everything I didn’t absolutely love, and it changed my life.

I rarely buy clothes, but when I do, I only buy things I love.  I noticed this morning that my summer staples are looking a little sad, so I was happy to see that this Madewell sale is alllll the right things, and at the right prices.

Whisper Cotton Scoop Tank Top in Suzi Stripe

whisper cotton scoop tank top in suzi stripe- $9.99 (reviews say it runs big so I got an xs, for reference)

striped afternoon dress – $24.99 (based on the size chart I picked up a s)

magnolia tie-back dress – $29.99 (again, I ordered a s – this dress looks like it should be loose)

central long-sleeve shirt in lansford plaid – $19.99 (reviews say it runs large so I ordered an xs)

convertible ribbed gloves – $4.99 (I KNOW.  It’s June.  But they are $5 and in December I will be so happy to see these!)

plaid cozyweave scarf – $4.99  (So great for layering and accenting!)

Have fun shopping! xoxo

FASHIONABLE

I am huge on voting with my dollars – I shop and dine at places whose values align with mine whenever I can.  That’s why I was so excited to hear about FASHIONABLE.   This from their website: 

“FASHIONABLE creates beautiful products made by women who often have overcome extraordinary circumstances, ranging from prostitution to addiction to living in highly impoverished areas. It is widely known that if we are to end generational poverty, two things must happen: we must create jobs for those lacking opportunity, and we must do so for women. This is the mission of FASHIONABLE.”

Yes yes yessssssss!

I was in the market for a few new bags, and not only is this company ethical, but their products are beautiful. 

FASHIONABLE Tadesse

FASHIONABLE Mamuye
They also make lovely jewelry:

FASHIONABLE Bridge
If you are interested in shopping, here’s a referral link.  Remember to support causes and businesses who make a difference!  

New York, New York

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In the name of my blog, have you noticed how “life” is the last one in the list?  I will be the first to admit that “law” and “mom” dominate my time, with “wife” a sad third, and “life” getting the scraps.  I’m not complaining – I love my work, I love my kids, and I love my husband.  However . . . every so often it is SO MUCH FUN to put “life” first.

This past weekend, my law school roommate got married.  She and I are from completely different worlds – she grew up in Long Island and Manhattan, while I was raised in a small Midwest farming town.  When we would visit each others’ homes, we always felt like we were in a totally different world.  It was so much fun to share our experiences.  Unfortunately, our paths diverged after graduation, and we haven’t seen each other much since.

When I got the invitation to her wedding, there were a million reasons why I couldn’t go.  Anyone with kids knows the end of May/beginning of June is a tsunami of end of school events.  That weekend, we already had a baseball tournament, two birthday parties, and my husband was going to be out of town.  But, for once, I put “life” first and said I would come.  I lined up a sitter, booked my ticket, and off I went.

This was the best decision I have made in a while.  I didn’t know how much I needed a weekend of self-care.  I walked the streets of New York at my own pace, and went where I pleased.  I had my hair blown out at Drybar, I shopped, I drank coffee.  I laid in a king sized bed overlooking Central Park and ate chocolate.  I attended the most fantastic wedding of my entire life.  I danced for hours, I drank a tiny bit too much, and I ate breakfast sitting on a bench in Central Park.

This weekend was a reminder that putting myself first every so often is okay – in fact, it is important.  I returned to my family feeling rejuvenated, and more like myself than I have felt in a long time.

I guess we are always learning, right?  I am hoping this lesson sticks!

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How to Manage Connectivity

Connectivity is amazing – we can work from anywhere.  I can use my cell or laptop to do almost anything I need to do for work.  However, it can be hard to draw the line and walk away – it used to be that lawyers had office hours and people had no expectation of reaching their lawyer on weekends, or outside the hours of 8:00-5:00.  Cell phones and email have completely changed this game.  Clients think nothing of calling or emailing on a Saturday or in the middle of the night.  It is really easy to get used to this, and to feel like you are an attorney “on call”, and to feel that good client representation means you should be available whenever and wherever.

As a young attorney, I bought into this game.  I would take calls from clients without a second thought.  As an attorney who uses her cell phone as her main contact, I get calls in all kinds of inconvenient places.  Think late at night, early in the morning, during dinner, while outside . . . and my family doesn’t always cooperate.  Spoiler alert:  little kids do not always quiet down because you need them to.  In fact, it is TRUTH that if your house is quiet and you think it is a good time to make a phone call, the children will find you like magic and there will be crises of epic proportions and screaming.

This situation made me feel like a cruddy attorney and a cruddy parent.  If I was at home with my kids, I constantly found myself checking out to answer a work call.  If I was working, I constantly found myself interrupting work to do other things.  My email notifications and cell phone were making me multitask too often, and not always for the best.  I always felt like I was doing everything a little, but nothing well.  It started to wear on me big time, especially since I am a Type A person who likes to do things right.

I experimented, and began telling clients that I would be available for phone calls and emails between 9:00 and noon during weekdays.  Afternoons were reserved for client appointments and big projects, and if I received a voicemail or email after noon or on a weekend, it would be returned the next weekday morning.

Guess what?  IT WORKED.  My client may think she needs to talk to me at 8:30 pm, but barring an emergency, she doesn’t.  Whatever she needs, 99% of the time, can wait until morning.  By explaining to clients that this system allowed me to concentrate on their legal matters each afternoon, while still having a time of day devoted to answering questions, I maximized my efficiency.  I learned that drawing boundary lines was up to me – if I led my clients to believe that I would be available all day and night, they would grow to expect that from me.  My disjointed life was because of my lack of structure.

Now, clients know when to call me and the number of off-hours calls has dropped dramatically.   This means I no longer have to take calls in the middle of dinner or a soccer game.  My afternoons are devoted to project work, and I have found I am a much better writer and attorney when I am not stopping to take a call or answer an email constantly.  Best of all, my work time is mostly spent actually working, and my family time is spent mostly with my family.  I  no longer feel like I am doing everything poorly, and that is a big relief.

Good client representation does not mean being a concierge.  Don’t be afraid to draw some boundary lines to keep you sane – if a client isn’t okay with some boundaries, then maybe she wasn’t the right client for you anyway.

Life Interrupted

In case you haven’t noticed, I have been absent from blogging for a while.  Like, for a year.

One year ago, my baby girl was diagnosed with a food allergy.  I was already driving a pretty full apple cart, what with the law practice and parenting and life, but the allergy really threw me for a loop.  My full apple cart tipped over.  Blogging was the easiest thing to drop, and it would wait, so it did.

I’m back, with a new blog address and a new take on blogging overall.  I am really looking forward to honest posts about things that work, things that don’t, and sharing ideas with you all.

Food Allergies

My daughter, who is seven, developed a chronic sniffle and cough back in October that defied all remedies.  I tried natural remedies first, then called the pediatrician.  Because of the time of year, he thought maybe seasonal allergies were to blame, so we tried allergy medicine.  No results.  Fast forward through a series of doctor’s appointments and treatments and tests and chronic sinusitis, and here we are, six months later, with a cow’s milk allergy diagnosis.

*hit the floor*  A food allergy?!?!?

I have been feeding this girl milk, yogurt, sour cream, and all kinds of cheesy goodness since she was a toddler.  For six years.  With this diagnosis came a good deal of clarity and a hefty dose of mom guilt.  Ever since she was tiny, my daughter would opt to drink water instead of milk.  She rarely finished a container of yogurt, if she opened it at all.  She also rarely finished a bowl of ice cream.  She never really explained why, just said she didn’t want those things.  Maybe, all this time, her body was telling her that something was wrong.  How did I not see it sooner?

Mom guilt aside, we cut all cow’s milk and milk products from her diet and . . . the sinus infection is gone.  No more sniffle, no more cough.  The best part is, she says she feels amazing.  I am guessing that she didn’t even realize how badly she felt, because she probably had cow’s milk in her food every single day and didn’t have a frame of reference for how good she could be feeling!

We are in phase one of an elimination diet, meaning that we will try to introduce foods back into her diet to see how she tolerates them.  Reading labels is tough.  I make mistakes.  If any other parents have advice, blogs, recipes or ideas I could use, I would be so grateful.

I am thankful that we were able to figure out why my girl was feeling badly (yay science!) but curious about what to expect and where we go from here.