Everyone Thursday: One Button Soft Blazer

BR One Button Soft BlazerBanana Republic has a number of soft blazers in stock right now, but this soft blazer looks like it has promise to be that great basic black blazer to go with everything.  It’s available in regular, tall and petite sizes, and is full price at $150 — but with code BRSOME it comes down to $112.50 (through 2/8).  Nice!  BR One Button Soft Blazer

Psst: Note that sister site Gap is having the biggest little kids and baby sale (up to 40% off, plus an extra 10% off if you spend $100+), and Old Navy also has all kids on sale, up to 50% off (plus free shipping with $25+).

P.P.S.: if you’re on the hunt for a classic Missoni knit blazer, this one is deeply discounted.

UPDATE: OK, one more link to share: Figure 8 Maternity is having a 5-day sale on Bravado bras.  Buy 3 get 1 free — not bad.



  1. Pumping with no office says:

    Does anyone have any recommendations for pumping at work when you don’t have an office? I have a demanding job (I am in-house counsel) and I am worried about the time commitment of pumping and my productivity. Any tips for getting work done when you have to pump away from your workspace?

    • Anonymous says:

      I pumped as a big law associate with an office with a sliding glass door with no locks, which meant I had to pump in the pumping room rather than my office. I also had supply problems and thus had to pump every 2 hours for the entire year I pumped. So lots of lost time at work. I insisted that IT install a laptop in the pumping room and would basically pick up where I left off.

    • EB0220 says:

      When I use a pumping room (infrequently, because I do have an office), I bring either my laptop or my ipad (with case/keyboard) and catch up on emails. Sometimes I use that time to consume industry media (webcasts, podcasts, articles, etc.) because it’s a little lighter on the thinking.

    • Meg Murry says:

      I didn’t have the option to have a computer in my pumping room, and no laptop, so I tried to use the time to either catch up on emails on my phone (answer the ones I could do in 1-2 sentences, forward what I needed to delegate, flag what I needed to respond to in-depth back in my office). I also used the time to edit documents on paper, because I catch a lot more typos and awkward sentences when editing with paper and red pen then on a screen (that’s just my style).

      I also basically split my lunch into food to be inhaled/consumed during pumping breaks instead of taking a real lunch hour other than maybe eating a sandwich at my desk, and tried to do my personal electronic errands (like emailing daycare, etc) during the break that I would have otherwise done on my lunch break.

      • Meg Murry says:

        I also used my pumping breaks as my “me” time to catch up on the main s!te (before this one existed), read AAM, order diapers on Amazon etc.

        Survey – who’s reading/commenting right now while pumping? I bet plenty are!

        • Amelia Bedelia says:

          ME! but how do you really type while pumping? I’ve only tried one hand free pump bra and it was rubbish.

    • These are all great tips.

      I’ve just had to move workspaces from a private office to a no-privacy work space, so I’m making this transition.

      It has been a hit to my productivity, but I’ve been trying to use the time to catch up on email, read professional publications and do planning/organizing/scheduling during that time.

      Honestly – I find that during my non-pumping time I’ve become a little more productive because I’ve had to streamline some tasks and I’m a bit more fresh after a break from my workspace.

    • Anonymous says:

      I pump in my office in the afternoon and at the courthouse in the bathroom of the solicitor’s room in the morning. It sucks. It’s disgusting. People wonder in on me all the time. This morning I was in trial so it’s been almost 5 hours since I last pumped. Fml.

  2. OliveMac says:

    Morning. I don’t have any pumping experience (pregnant with my first), but I am also IHC. Can you bring a document to read? Or answer simple/administrative emails (the ones that clutter the inbox, but don’t require a ton of research or documentation to answer) while you pump to clear those things off the plate? Or possibly make this your “mental break” of the day — the time you read cor*or*tte, check email, order your groceries, write back to your friend who has checked in on you, pay your electric bill, etc? I tend to do those things in 15ish minute breaks scattered throughout the day when I just need a moment to step away from work, or when I am transitioning from one thing to another.

    I reiterate – I have NO pumping experience. So, if experienced pumpers are reading this thinking, “isn’t she in for a shock when her time comes around,” please step right up to educate me! :)

  3. T. McGill says:

    Just found out that there is a lice outbreak in my daughter’s day care. I don’t think my daughter has any (will find out later as everyone is being checked); assuming she does not, any tips on how to make sure she stays that way? If she does, any tried and true remedies to recommend? Daughter is all over the place in our house — her bed, my bed, couches, rugs — so afraid containment will be a logistical nightmare. Thanks

    • Meg Murry says:

      No idea if any of the products marketed as “anti-lice” actually work, but when there was an outbreak at our elementary school recently one mom told me the new fashion style for kindergarten girls is greasy braids – they nit-comb the girls hair with coconut oil to help glide through the hair, and then braid it tightly in several braids to keep it back. Lice prefer clean, dry hair, so its hard for them to take hold in greasy hair. Apparently coconut oil may also kill the bugs themselves, but not the nits (eggs).

      If she does get lice, I have one friend that has used the Cetaphil method (which has actual, peer reviewed results) and liked it, and another who’s daughter has super super thick hair that tried it and gave up on it after one try because it took so long and was so painful to both of them.

    • Anonyc says:

      Same situation–5,000 emails yesterday about a lice outbreak in my son’s elementary school class. Depressingly, the parents with older children all appear to have had lice with their kids, leading to the conclusion that it is inevitable you will have lice at some point.

      My furious googling yielded the following: hair needs to be washed with lice-killing shampoo and combed free of lice and eggs entirely with a lice comb. Things that come in contact with hair (sheets, towels, hats) also need to be washed on hot; pillows should be dried on hot for 20+ minutes. Things that can’t be easily washed (stuffed animals) can be put in an airtight plastic bag for 2 weeks (or the freezer, apparently) and then the lice will be dead.

      The most helpful links I found are from the CDC (http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/lice/head/treatment.html) and this famous lice consultant (freals–there’s a New Yorker article about her!) (http://www.liceconsultant.com/Tips-for-Cleaning-Your-House).

      Some things the parents recommended were: a special comb called the Nisska ($22 on Amazon); using a mixture of Pantene, baking soda, and a lice comb every day until all nits/eggs are gone; and serious vigilance.


    • T. McGill says:

      Thanks. Fingers crossed that she is spared. Girl already hates having her hair washed and/or combed, can’t see how treatment is going to be anything but an ordeal! It was a small miracle that she even let me put it up today.

    • anonymom says:

      Fairy Tales brand hair products (shampoo, conditioner, sprays) claim to repel lice with rosemary. You can buy them at Ulta and I think at drugstore.com. I used them on my daughter during several day care lice outbreaks and she never picked up any little hitchhikers, but I don’t know whether the products made a difference. Putting her hair up and coating it with a product such as mousse or leave-in conditioner will help. Instruct her not to hug the other kids, and to keep her coat/hat/etc. inside her backpack or cubby instead of letting them fall on the floor or hang on a hook jammed in with the other kids’ clothing.

    • mascot says:

      Tis the season. I just heard that there’s an issue in my school as well. I use the Fairy Tales Repel spray on my child’s hair every day before school. Apparently, they get it more from direct contact (wrestling, sleeping next to each other, etc) than from indirect contact like chairs and combs. Which explains why it happens more with the younger grades who act like piles of puppies with each other. The school nurse probably has plenty of experience in what treatments work if you do need one. And, in bigger towns, there are actual salons/services that you can pay for removal. Who knew that such a niche industry existed?

    • I’ve heard tea tree oil, and I use a tea tree oil shampoo (the California Baby brand) on my kids. We’ve never had lice, but whether that’s luck or shampoo is of course unknown.

    • Anonyc says:

      (First submission was awaiting moderation; apologies if this comes through twice.)

      Same situation–5,000 emails yesterday about a lice outbreak in my son’s elementary school class. Depressingly, the parents with older children all appear to have had lice with their kids, leading to the conclusion that it is inevitable you will have lice at some point.

      My furious googling yielded the following: hair needs to be washed with lice-killing shampoo and combed free of lice and eggs entirely with a lice comb. Things that come in contact with hair (sheets, towels, hats) also need to be washed on hot; pillows should be dried on hot for 20+ minutes. Things that can’t be easily washed (stuffed animals) can be put in an airtight plastic bag for 2 weeks (or the freezer, apparently) and then the lice will be dead.

      The most helpful links I found are from the CDC (http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/lice/head/treatment.html) and this famous lice consultant (freals–there’s a New Yorker article about her!) (http://www.liceconsultant.com/Tips-for-Cleaning-Your-House).

      Some things the parents recommended were: a special comb called the Nisska ($22 on Amazon); using a mixture of Pantene, baking soda, and a lice comb every day until all nits/eggs are gone; and serious vigilance.


    • T. McGill says:

      Thanks for all the recommendations. Looks like we dodged a bullet — just got an email from school that the Lice Lady (yes, that is her title — cottage industry indeed) did a school wide inspection and aside from the initial kids, everyone is clean! Will definitely look into implementing some of those preventative methods.

  4. Random TJ — what’s the best baby / kid item you own *right now*? Not the best thing ever, just that random thing that is making the difference to save your sanity or get through the current phase.

    For us, it’s a box of hand-me-down burp cloths that I thought I’d never use, but baby has suddenly become a spitter and it turns out I’d rather not have to spend money on something specifically to get thrown up on.

    • This is fun! I can’t wait to see everyone’s answers.

      For us, this $10 Ikea train set. DS is 1.5 and this train set is in the middle of our kitchen floor. When we get home from work/daycare, he will happily play with this in the kitchen for 15-20 minutes while I throw dinner together.


      Runner-up: These washable crayons. They have saved my cabinets, walls, and sanity.


    • NoseFrida. Way more effective and sanitary than a nasal aspirator.

    • Maddie Ross says:

      Our variety of sleep sacks we’ve used over the last two years. Not sure they keep her warm, but they’ve at different times swaddled her, kept her from rolling to her belly in the early days, and now serve as a sign it’s bedtime. Bonus – they keep her from climbing out of her crib as she can’t lift her leg high enough.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Humidifier, hands down. Until we stopped sending bottles to daycare, it was the Munchkin baskets that go in the dishwasher to hold bottle parts, and a drying rack that looks like grass.

      With a little baby, plain burp cloths (Gerber cloth diapers for the win) and my Ergo.

    • Watermelon says:

      Inexpensive smocks from Ikea instead of bibs

    • Momata says:

      Sleepsacks – keeping baby warm where I think she’d roll out of blankets, and signaling it’s time to sleep. And highchair cleaning spray – so much easier to just spray the tray and wipe it down!

      • (former) preg 3L says:

        Can you link to this high chair cleaning spray? Sounds amazing…!

        • Momata says:

          It is Babyganics Toy and High Chair Cleaner. Love. it.

        • anne-on says:

          Just in case you’re not averse to making your own stuff – we mix vinegar with water and decant that into spray bottles. Works great to clean just about everything and is super cheap and non-toxic.

    • Sarabeth says:

      Patagonia puff-ball bunting. Can actually be worn safely in a carseat; when it’s below 10 degrees out, that makes my life so much easier! Also, super cute – she gets complimented on it way more than anything else she wears. Note to anyone who might be in the market: this runs way, way large, at least for the smaller sizes. My 17 month-old is still happily wearing her 6-month sized bunting. She’s small, but not that small.

    • CPA Lady says:

      Jolly Jumper Arctic Carseat Cover. It’s aaaaahmazing for this time of year. I call it her “baby pod”, and have a song whenever I put her in it, because I’m cool like that. Also Nuk pacifiers.

      I think I have the one baby who hates sleep sacks.

    • EB0220 says:

      Loving our zipadeezip right now. My 6 month old has been rolling for a while and I kept trying and failing to unswaddle her at night. With zipadeezip, she’s sleeping the same as she did when swaddled. Hooray! My baby carriers are also wonderful – used one this morning for daycare drop off and use them every evening when baby wants to eat and toddler needs dinner/books/bath/etc.

      • Just ordered one! My guy is trying to roll at night (he throws his legs off to the side and kicks), so I know I have to unswaddle soon. But he has been sleeping so well swaddled – and he’s just starting to sleep well! I’m dreading the transition.

        I actually had ordered one for my older child, but it must have been a much earlier model. It was sized 0 to 6 months and was so large that it didn’t provide any resistance to movement at all. I’m hoping this transition goes better…

        • EB0220 says:

          I have been very happy with it! I got the small, per the sizing advice on the website. My daughter is about 19 lb and tall. The small is long enough but does provide some good resistance in the arms. I also got a medium to use down the road. I tried to do one arm out of the swaddle, which worked fine, but every time I tried both arms out she slept horribly.

    • MomAnon4This says:

      I have an older kid. Pants from Old Navy with reinforced knees.
      And I’m pregnant. So, a Bella Band for extra support.

      • Meg Murry says:

        Also older kid – pants with reinforced knees, and internal adjustable waistbands since my kid wears a 7 or 8 for length but could easily wear a 4 or 5 waist.
        And a Roku and Amazon Prime account – for fast ordering of supplies, and for streaming all the PBS Kids shows.

    • Nosefrieda and the Oxo brand wipes holder. It has a weight that sits on the wipes package so you really only do pull one wipe out at a time. Life changing.

    • anne-on says:

      The baby bjorn potty seat and step stool. My kid is skinny and otherwise he’d be falling in, or I’m holding him up. These are easy, relatively cheap, and it made potty training relatively painless.

    • Nosefrida and the Keekaroo changing pad (well worth the money! Just wish they came in better colors)

  5. EB0220 says:

    Anyone have a subtle “Do not Disturb” sign for pumping?

    • My office door locks, but if I had needed a sign I would made a simple printout to tape up. If you’re looking for subtle, maybe size it so it fits on half a sheet of paper — professional but clearly visible. I wouldn’t want it to be too subtle!

    • My secretary made a sign for me, in a show of support of my pumping, that is very similar to a hotel’s “do not disturb” sign in size and shape. It says “Please do not disturb” and in small print underneath, it says, “my door will be open in a few moments”

    • T. McGill says:

      My office door locked, but I scrawled DO NOT DISTURB on a post-it note and stuck it on my office door when pumping (when I was done, I would unlock and open the door and move the post-it to the inside of my door until needed again).

      • blueridge29 says:

        Pottery barn sold a metal do not disturb sign that hangs on a door. Not sure if they still have it, but it worked better than a post it note that can fall off.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I have decided that I’m finished pumping. Its been a year +. Is it a terrible idea to just go cold turkey? I didn’t pump at all yesterday, and I was pretty full when I got home, but after a couple nursing sessions last night, I was fine. I’m thinking I can continue like this until my body figures out to stop making so much milk during the day. I’m not planning on stopping breastfeeding, just pumping.

    • Yes, that will work.

    • I think it depends on a lot of things, but I would be concerned that it would put me at risk for mastitis or plugged ducts. Shifting the amount of milk you are putting out can do that.

  7. OliveMac says:

    Hi ladies. Desperate for some calming words here. Had a dentist appointment today. Told dentist when I booked that I was pregnant and she told me to book in second trimester, because that’s the safest, but that I really should take care of the cavity ASAP because teeth are soft in pregnancy, it will only get worse, blah, blah. Went today and reminded her that I was pregnant. For some reason the Novocaine was not working, so she had to shoot me up quite a few times. I freaked out on my drive back to work (like, mentally went to a place of “i killed my baby” in about 5 seconds flat), and emailed them to ask what they used. They told me Lidocaine & Mepivacaine. I looked them up and Mepivacaine is a class c drug — risks to fetus cannot be ruled out.

    Please someone tell me that you got work done during pregnancy and everything was A-OK. I am kicking myself for not calling my regular doctor, but I thought by asking my dentist TWO DIFFERENT TIMES, she would be the right expert on the drugs she administers.

    Am I just going to be stressed for the next 5 months? Sigh. Probably.

    • Whenever I had moments like this during my pregnancy, I would look back to this Pregnant Chicken post and remind myself of a basic tenet: if a medication has been around for a long time and it’s still in that “Class C” category, it is probably ok.

      A quick google search tells me that Lidocaine has been around since the 1940s and Mepivacaine has been around since the 1960s. You’re certainly not the first pregnant woman to have been given these drugs, so they are probably fine.

      But there’s no harm in calling your OB just for the extra reassurance. =)

      • OliveMac says:

        Thank you for the calm reasoning. I am pretty sure this is the first of 12 billion freak-outs I am going to have both before and after birth. I appreciate the reality check!

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree that you are probably fine, and that you should not worry. What would make me feel a lot better is calling up that dentist and giving them a GIANT piece of my mind. Seriously. Like, put your malpractice carrier on notice piece of mind. And then I would probably do nothing, but I would tell them how extra angry and upset I was. And I would never go back to that dentist ever again. And I would tell everyone to never go to that dentist again.

      But, having said all that, you should not worry and everything is fine. There’s not a whole lot of testing on pregnant women and fetuses so there are many, many, many class c drugs.

    • pockets says:

      to me, Class C drug just means that they haven’t done the testing on pregnant women so they don’t know if it’s OK and, like everything else in pregnancy, they are super-cautious and tell you to avoid the unknown. Also, you know, things in moderation. Even if it was harmful (which it almost certainly isn’t), it’s not like you’re injecting yourself 3 times a week for your entire pregnancy with that stuff. A one-time thing is probably fine.

      • OliveMac says:

        Thanks anon and pockets. I totally agree with all of this. Good points. A+ for reassurance, ladies.

  8. Anonymous says:

    first time mom question- where can I use a change pad for baby- can I use any table or chair in a public space as long as I am fast and neat or do I need to go find a bathroom?

    • Watermelon says:

      I avoid changing my baby within view of other diners at a restaurant. A quick wet change may be possible in certain places without going to the restroom–strollers at outdoor cafes are especially good for this. I think park benches are totally fine.

      • Nappies says:

        My general rule of thumb is if we’re outside and away from people, no need for a bathroom. If we’re inside, I’d usually always find a bathroom, even if it means putting her on a floor. So a bench in a park is okay, particularly if no one is right there, but a bench at the mall, not so much.

        I also would really hesitate to change a baby in the outdoor portion of a restaurant — sometimes you never know what’s going to be in there.

        I usually keep a few disposable ‘pads’ in my diaper back — really glorified paper towels — that I will put my normal changing pad (the one that comes with the bag) on if I have to change her on the floor. These also come in handy if there’s a particularly bad blowout, you can just put it on top of your changing pad to avoid getting anything really gross on it. Plus you can just wrap the whole thing up and toss.

    • Nappies says:

      duplicate post!

    • CPA Lady says:

      I would *never* use a table or anywhere where people eat even if I had a change pad.

      I’m basically in agreement with Nappies on the outdoor and away from people distinction. I would certainly not ever change a poop diaper in a public place near other people. I also keep a few Ziploc bags in my diaper bag to put poop diapers in when disposing of them in public restrooms so they don’t smell up the place.

  9. New DC Mom says:

    My 5 month old daughter has really dry skin – red, chapped cheeks – and the doctor recommended using baby Aquaphor by Eucerine. I have been using it and it has been working, but I would really love a more natural solution. I have tried coconut oil, but that has not been effective. So, first, am I being ridiculous? (If the Aquaphor is working, why not keep using it.) If not ridiculous, does anyone have any recommendations for natural alternatives?

    • anne-on says:

      Have you tried theraplex? Its not all natural but its less goopy and it tends to heal things faster for us than the Aquaphor.
      If you haven’t already, keep baths short, use lukewarm or warm water instead of hot, and use ‘boogie wipes’ or diaper wipes to clean off her face if she’s eating, we found using napkins or even cloth wipes to be way too chafing.

    • The Aquaphor is sealing in her body’s natural moisture, so that’s how it’s working. You could try a combo of something natural like coconut oil underneath and then the Aquaphor on top. Also you could try ghee (you can buy it at Whole Foods). If you google ghee and Root Simple you’ll get an article about using ghee for skin care / lotion.