Coffee Break – Chika Pumps

Jean-Michel Cazabat - Chika (Black/White Waxy Snake) - FootwearWow: I’m not that familiar with the brand Jean-Michel Cazabat, but apparently these shoes (which look really cute!) retail for around $345. Not today — one of’s sales of the day is this designer blowout (including these shoes) and they are now marked 86% off, down to $49.95. Insane! Inventory is going fast so head on over. Jean-Michel Cazabat – Chika (Black/White Waxy Snake) – Footwear



  1. People Pleaser :

    Serious question: Do you ever say ‘no’ at work?

    I’m really trying hard to set boundaries at home and work, as I’ve realized I am not Superwoman. This isn’t easy or feel good at times because at heart, I am a people pleaser and deferential to authority figures or anyone older than me. For reference, I’m 31. And it feels like it’s high time to act like an adult and set priorities instead of making everything an emergency.

    This week, I said ‘no’ to a few requests from a coworker who is on the same level as me. Normally I accommodate her requests quickly and I do the job right, and she’s always been appreciative. But frankly, this week I am absolutely slammed with higher-priority projects. So, I told her no, I can’t do this by X time, but I can do this instead. It would still meet her deadline but not be done as soon as she’d probably prefer. I tried to find an alternative without making her — or me — crazy. My boss has my back on this and has reiterated to the coworker that she needs to back off. Well, she’s not backing off. And given by the tone of her emails and phone messages, she’s clearly upset at me for standing my ground.

    I HATE this. In a way, it’s easier to keep saying yes and being a people-pleaser but I know saying no is a skill I need to develop. Also, I’m a perfectionist and it KILLS me when I feel like I’m falling short of expectations. I’m probably feeling way oversensitive because I feel like I disappointed my sibs and parents this weekend because I absolutely needed to take care of my own family business (married with one kiddo). Any words of advice or commiseration from people who have been there, gotten over that?

    • This has happened to me before, and in my experience, if the person won’t back off it is best to let your boss handle it. When it’s happened my boss usually sends an email like, “Dear colleague, Our department does not currently have the capacity to begin work on your project until November 1. We expect the project to be completed by November 4. We will contact you should we have any further questions. Regards, Boss.”

    • Anonymous :

      just to be clear on the work your colleague wants you to do – is it a) part of your job scope and normal routine to do these things? or are you b) just doing her favors and making her life easier?

      if it’s a), and she simply can’t deal with having to wait a day or 2 (or 5) longer than desired, well … after you explain your situation to her and your boss understands what’s going on, this is really not your problem. She (the colleague) needs to manage her own workflow, including the fact that other people’s schedules do not always jive with hers. Don’t feel guilty about it, and her pissy tone (or whatever) is just unprofessional. Agree that your boss should speak up if it’s intolerable.

      if it’s b), i’d suggest you stop doing all these favors for people who don’t seem to appreciate them (or at least, want them on their terms and not yours).

    • Your response to her sounds totally reasonable, and it’s key that your boss is supporting you.

      Unless this co-worker is way out there, I think this is just a matter of waiting out her reaction. I have often found, with boundary-setting of all kinds, that the first time one does it can be very rough, but eventually the other party accepts a new normal (apology for blowing up at you optional). I suggest that you keep doing the exact same thing when her requests aren’t feasible. Over time her reaction will dull, and she may even stop asking. Time is on your side. If this seems to damage your collegial relationship, then really it’s just revealing that you already had a bad relationship–it was just one that seemed to work because you always caved to her.

    • Meeting Frenzy :

      I was just mentioning this in a previous post today and how I am being more vocal about saying no to coworkers. I’ve had a pretty straightforward discussion with my supervisor about my workload and pay and have made it fairly clear to her that at this point I can’t really take on additional duties without a corresponding increase in pay.

      If my supervisor gives me a project, I still say yes, but anytime other coworkers try to pawn their work off on me, I refuse and explain that I don’t really feel comfortable taking on anything else at this point.

    • I think there’s a lot in your message about setting boundaries. This co-worker is not respecting your boundaries and is getting huffy when you won’t help her with her work. Set the boundary (“I’m sorry, I’m swamped right now and I can’t help you with that.”) and then stick to it. Don’t feel bad when she starts whining – you’ve set your boundary and she’s not respecting it, so she is the one who should feel bad.

      Same with disappointing your family this weekend. It sounds like you needed to set a boundary (had to take care of your little family and did not have time for the needs of your larger family). They can be disappointed, but you’ve set a reasonable boundary and they should respect that.

      I find that setting boundaries gets a lot easier with practice. The trick is to set a reasonable limit with people and then stick to it, regardless of whether they are trying to make you feel guilty or expressing their disappointment in you or whatever. You don’t need to do everything for everyone – you have to take care of yourself first. Just keep practicing being clear with your limits and not getting caught up in other people’s emotional reactions, and it will get easier over time.

    • another anon :

      Are the higher-priority projects from someone who is more senior than your coworker? If so, I usually find it to be effective, to say something like “sorry, I would normally be happy to help you, but I’m working on important project X for Partner Y. You can talk to Partner Y if you want and see if s/he thinks your project should take priority.”

      • Yes, they are. It’s hard to explain, but my work team works closely with a lot of other teams. So, we have our own work, plus whatever other teams need us to pitch in on. (I’m not a lawyer, FWIW.) These clashes in priorities are becoming more common and the stress between me and my coworker is a symptom of a bigger issue, which is that over time, our office keeps adding projects without getting rid of old ones — but the number of staff has not increased.

        Is it beer o’clock yet?

        • That sounds similar to how my company sets things up. Since the person who usually gives me pressure is in my work team and is more senior, my solution has been to say “if you like, we can call [Team Lead] and ask him which project should be my priority”. Since I’m usually prioritizing correctly, that person almost always backs off and when they don’t, I am vindicated.

          I know another team has worked it so that people from outside their team requesting work must go through the team lead. That way, they can either direct it to someone with time to do it or let the requester know it won’t be done on their timeline. Maybe your boss can request that the coworker give any work requests to him/her. I bet she’ll give less attitude to someone higher up in the heirarchy.

        • You know, if you’ve already told your coworker exactly when you will have her project done, unless you need more information to complete the project, you don’t have to communicate with her. Ignore the voicemails, don’t answer the emails. Don’t feed into her tantrum.

  2. Very upset that the sizing ends at 8.5 =(

    The price is amazing for this brand! I was on a shopping moratorium but was gonna pull the trigger on this one anyway.

    • I’m on a shopping moratorium, too, but I had the tortise shell ones in my size in my cart and x-ed out. I don’t need anything. I don’t need anything. I don’t need anything.

      (by the way, its day two of the moratorium, so it would have been pretty bad if I pulled the trigger)

  3. MissJackson :

    I am not a huge fan of the itty-bitty-peep-toe, but the “Jenni” in the same brand is a gorgeous closed toe pump, at the same price on 6pm.

    • Thanks for the heads up, love the “Jennis”

    • Too tempting! I too dislike the peep-toe, but after seeing your comment totally bought the Jenni’s in torti color (and two other pairs of shoes). :0

  4. Shopping Advice Please :

    Where do you ladies go (online and in store) to buy beautiful but discounted home decor (not furniture)? I’m talking mainly table linens, serving plates, chargers, dishes, tabletop decor, etc. We’re hosting lots of fall gatherings, which is great, but our stuff needs upgrading and I think so much of what’s out there is overpriced.

    I usually go to
    Homegoods or TJM
    Century 21
    One Kings Lane
    Gracious Home/William Sonoma/PB sale sections

    Any bright ideas appreciated. Thanks!

    • Anonymous :

      Country auctions, Goodwill, Yard sales, auction houses, Craigslist, eBay…

      You get the idea. Good luck.

    • World Market, Ten Thousand Villages

    • Same as you – TJ Maxx, Homegoods, etc. I have found that Homegoods/TJ Maxx can really vary by store, so if you’ve got the time, I’d check out a couple of different locations. Also, the Macy’s sale section can have lots of good stuff. I’ve also found great stuff at Target.

      • Bed Bath and Beyond. Coupons for 20% off are abundant, you can use as many as you want per transaction, and they don’t expire.
        TJ Maxx etc. usually have limited quantities, so it is hard to find a full set of 4, or 6, or 8.

    • Marshall’s and Tuesday Morning are worth checking out.

      I have been buying china to complete my set (discountinued pattern) at good prices with no disappointment.

      Lastly, my sister loves garage sales but is broke. I hate garage sales and have a little money. So she shops for fun with my money and has a list of exactly what I’m looking for. This has been the best so far. For instance, I really wanted a set of the old coupe (shallow) style champagne glasses like my parents used to have. She found a complete set from the 1960s for $2.

      • I meant to say, in my second paragraph, “on ebay,” as to where I’ve been buying china.

    • Crate & Barrel Outlet. Can I just move into the one near me? It would be cheaper than buying all the beautiful items, even on discount.

    • PT lawyer :

      For casual serveware, try the Canopy line at Walmart dot com or in store. Looks like plain white, square-shaped Crate & Barrel porcelain (Canopy is a little heavier weight), oven safe, etc, and each piece is less than $15 (often less than $10).

      • Accountress :

        My Canopy tablecloth is the most amazing thing ever. Gorgeous white-on-white stripes, and liquids don’t sink into it. I spilled red wine on it once, and it just puddles on to until I soaked it up with a paper towel.

    • Shopping Advice Please :

      Thanks for the suggestions, all!

  5. Threadjack!

    I’m looking for a nice quality, chunky (like cable knit) infinity scarf, wool or cashmere/wool. I’ve seen lots that are thin or acrylic, generally low quality. Anyone seen anything like this?

    • Have you checked Etsy?

    • Last year around this time, I found a red cashmere cable infinity scarf at TJMaxx. If we do another Boston meetup, it will probably be cold enough for me to wear it.

      • Ugh – jealous. Nothing like it last time I went through the Maxx.

        There’s just too much to sort through at Etsy – I find it difficult to shop Etsy unless I’m going to a particular vendor.

    • If you have an H&M close by, check them out. Some of my favorite chunky scarves have come from there and are cheap enough that I can buy multiples and/or replace as needed. Esty is another great choice for something more custom.

      • Second H&M. I don’t buy clothing there, but I can’t pull myself away from their scarf selection.

        (I also have a set of two H&M plastic black bangles that are kind of faceted. They cost $5 two years ago and are the one accessory everyone comments on.)

    • Yes, at Nordstrom

    • Bloomingdales & also NM Last Call. NM had really nice wool/cashmere blend ones (check out the website. sometimes they overlap).

    • Bluefly has some nice options.

  6. I tried a pair of Jean Michael-Cazbat’s almost identical to these. I bought my regular size and up 1/2 size. Neither came close to fitting. Warning— they run *very* small/short and the toe box is also super shallow and narrow. You need bony, narrow feet to wear these. Not a fan.

    • You totally made me feel better, as I bought a great pair of tortoiseshell pumps just last week and do. not. need. two but was kind of lusting…

  7. only girl as well :

    Just wanted to share about the meeting I just came from, as it related to this week’s post on men making inappropriate comments at work.
    We were discussing art options for a company calendar, and one member suggested naked women. Instead of just shooting it down, the “good-natured” humor about how to style the models, requesting that the senior men be involved in ALL the planning, including casting, and jokes about how the casting should take place in their homes, it was finally decided that, even if we didn’t publish such a calendar, at least we’d have that experience. As I tried repeatedly to direct the conversation to serious choices for artwork, the “joke” continued that no, the decision had been made. Nude calendar for all hahahaha!!!! Yeah… I said that would need to take place outside business hours, and that I’d need to delegate the art direction for such a project, as I wouldn’t be participating in THAT type of calendar. (note that we sell products and services that have nothing to do with portraying the female body in any way, let alone a nude, under the guise of “art”. Think law mowers, office furniture, or pens, so no need to actually feature a human at all).
    So, to those who think it doesn’t exist (someone mentioned yesterday that they were surprised about such remarks), it’s still alive and well.

    • Ugh.

    • Anonymous :

      Sorry you had to go through it. Sounds like your frustration adds fuel to their inappropriate fire.

      • you should have asked them if their wives would mind posing for the calendar, perhaps even doing the planning, logistics etc… you know, to keep costs low? Might have shut them up

    • There was a trend where I live to shoot “nude” male calendars with actual employees/team members.
      And it’s still gross.

  8. anon for this :

    I would have probably said, “well, since our market is 50% men, we’re going to have to have a corresponding male nude calendar as well. Any volunteers?”

    Or maybe that’s what I would like to think I would have said.

    • Anonymous :

      Telling people that they’re out of line is a skill and you need to practice to be good at it.

    • Usually Lurks :

      I probably would got up and left the meeting without saying anything,

  9. Anybody have an iPad2 case that they like? I’d like something that is portfolio-like but that isn’t so bulky that I can’t sleekly slip it in my bag. I do want to protect both sides of it because I’m mainly looking for “reinforcement” to take the hit so that the screen isn’t accidentally broken.


    • Don’t know how durable they are, but Belle just featured some at CapHillStyle.

      • Thanks! I linked to the manufacturing company (dodo and found reviews online. It is made in SF CA by a bookbinding company that has been revived by young entrepreneurs. From the outside it looks like a Moleskin notebook but the iPad is cradled in a bamboo frame. Levengers has a Moleskin lookalike on their site, but it is more expensive and lacks the feel good story. it was $64.95 and I got a retailmenot coupon.

        Obviously, I don’t have it yet, but I’m very excited! Thanks, Jen!

        • I LOVE mine. I don’t think is where I ordered it from, but this is it here:

          It is nice and slim and professional and fits perfectly into my bag.

  10. Very cute but all gone!!! Any similar styles anyone?

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