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Coffee Break: Classic Leather Zipper Tote

This lovely zipped tote comes in light pearl gray, caramel, and sable, as well as the black we’re featuring here. If you’re not familiar with the brand Cuyana, readers have been singing its praises for years. They make really simple, basic bags that are affordable, too — this one is $195. If you choose the “Lean Closet” option at checkout, Cuyana sends you a reusable bag (and a shipping label) for you to send back donated clothing (for H.E.A.R.T.) in exchange for a $10 credit toward your next purchase. Classic Leather Zipper Tote

Here’s a more affordable option.

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Coffee Break: Weighted Blanket

This may seem like a weird recommendation for summer, but recently I was tickled to see that Brookstone is now selling weighted blankets. Brookstone makes my favorite nap blankets that are great for gifts and are super soft — my favorite for Netflix binges! — and I recently became familiar with weighted blankets because I got one from my son when he was having major problems falling asleep. Do note, though, that there are different forms of insomnia — my insomnia of choice is the one where you wake up at 2 in the morning and go through anxiety loops, so a product like this (which helps you FALL asleep) is not terribly helpful for me — but if you have problems with delayed-onset insomnia and can’t fall asleep, or you generally are going through an anxious time, you may want to check out a weighted blanket. These range in price (according to size) from $133 to $281 (on a small sale right now), and they come in “blue wave,” tan, and navy blue. It’s really just like a hug — it’s very difficult to describe, but I can see how it could help anyone fall asleep. It’s a great drug-free way to help you sleep! Brookstone Weighted Blanket

(Note: There are very different appropriate weights for adults and kids, so make sure you pay attention to that if you’re ordering for a kid or for someone with a very small stature.)

Coffee Break: Optimum Pump

If you’ve been hanging out in the comments section, this pump may look (or sound) familiar — commenters have been singing the praises of it for weeks now! (I think a direct quote from one reader was that the shoe was “so, so, so comfortable.”) The shoe is ALSO only $60 at DSW, is on-trend with the block heel, and is the perfect shade of tan/caramel to flatter pretty much all skin tones. (It’s also available in navy.)  Nice! Optimum Pump

If you’d rather a lower heel, this shoe is also from Franco Sarto and looks very similar.

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Coffee Break: Vere Barrel Handbag

Vere Barrel HandbagOooh: a lot of places are having big sales on designer items right now (including Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, and Saks!) but ShopBop’s 50% off sale may be the one to beat. This colorful barrel handbag from Anya Hindmarch was $2295, but is now marked to $1147.  Only a few bags are left in this exact colorway, but there are several options to choose from in the barrel bag selection — and if you like the colors but not the shape, there’s also a lovely pouch/clutch for $375. Vere Barrel Handbag

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Workwear Hall of Fame: Paulina Leather Pump

We’ve included this pump from Trotters in a number of our roundups of the best low heels, but I don’t think we’ve ever highlighted it in its own post. I love this black python-print leather, the short 1.75″ heel, and the classic kitten heel look. It comes in 10 colors and five (!) widths at Nordstrom for $99-$109 and is also available at Zappos and Amazon. It’s got great reviews at all three sites! Paulina Leather Pump

2017 Update: We’re adding this heel to our Workwear Hall of Fame! Nordstrom, Amazon and Zappos all carry the shoe in a TON of colors, and it’s winning rave reviews everywhere.

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great kitten heel pump for work

Coffee Break: Double Arrow Diamond Hoop Earrings

Yes, yes, I do love the huggie earrings and like to feature them, but these diamond hoops from Dana Rebecca Designs also seem kind of edgy and cool. I haven’t seen this black/hematite type of metal in a while, and I like the diamond arrows. Even better, they’re 40% off — they were $660 and are now $395. They’re also available in white gold at the sale price and rose gold and silver for full price. Pictured: Double Arrow Diamond Hoop Earrings

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