Coffee Break – Sapphire Pump

Isola - Sapphire (Merlot Patent) - FootwearReader E wrote in a while ago to recommend this good-looking shoe from Isola, the newest line from the same folks who make Sofft and Born shoes. She notes: “Had not tried the brand before, but it is a bit higher of a heel than a more black cherry patent pump I have from Soft. This also has a decent heel, nice toe point, wideness in the toe box, and a small rubber sole. Love that it is more of a red burgundy. I hear that burgundy is the “it” color for fall. Why not? By the way, the box’s pattern is lovely. I may have to look for more from Isola.” I like the burgundy — and particularly the fact that it’s on sale at 6pm for $64.99 today (down from $129.99). It’s also available in a black patent and a leopard brown. Isola – Sapphire (Merlot Patent) – Footwear



  1. Always a NYer :

    This shoe is just what I’ve been looking for! The color is amazing and the heel looks walkable. Also, anything burgundy I have a hard time resisting. I think these would look great peeking out under a navy pantsuit.

  2. love the color! not too bright but not too sedate either. great find kat!

  3. I’m not the biggest fan of patent, but I love red or burgundy heels for a pop of color! It’s a fun way to brighten up a subdued outfit.

  4. Barrister in the Bayou :

    Threadjack! Ladies, I’m going to undergo allergy testing in a little while… needless to say, I am miserable right now since I haven’t been on my meds for about a week.

    What should I expect from the experience?

    • The allergist will mark your back or arms with a surgery marker then prick you with an allergen in each marked spot. A couple days later you return to see if your body reacted to any of the allergens. The process is itchy but not too bad and it’s great to find out what you’re allergic to. Good luck!

      • Barrister in the Bayou :

        I thought the reaction time was faster? Oh well, I guess I’m just miserable because I haven’t been able to take my allergy medicine in days. My allergies are much worse now than they have been in the past :-(

        • I could be wrong; it’s been a couple years since I had allergy tests.

          • Houndstooth :

            No, I think you’re right. The TRUE Test is something they actually tape on your back so that the allergens are in constant contact with your skin for the set period of time. The needle-pricking test site still has to be covered up and allowed time to “process” too, so I think you’re looking at a couple of days regardless. Good luck, though! I am empathetic because I’ve been there and it’s no fun (no working out because the spots have to remain dry!) but hopefully you’ll have some good info when you’re done!

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      They can also do a blood test for many allergens. I had one done recently and it is apparently more accurate than the “prick” test.

      • I don’t think it’s more accurate. I also had one done recently, and the doctor specifically told me it’s largely inconclusive. Which sucks, because the prick test is the WORST.

        BTW, I got my prick test results same day. I just had to wait like 30 min. This was a few years ago. I can’t imagine the technology got worse.

    • Hmmm, in my doctor’s office, they pricked me with six panels of eight needles each, with all kinds of allergens. I had to sit there for 20 min so that the reactions would develop. It was cool and insanely itchy.

      My doctor is recommending immunotherapy, which I haven’t done enough (or any) research on but I’m considering it. Allergies make me MISERABLE and my doctor has seen very good results with all of her patients.

      • Yup. This is what they did for me. You stay there and they check to see which spots responded to the allergen.

      • Anonymous :

        I’ve had it done twice and both times it was only a 20 minute wait for the results. Once on the arms, once on the back. Arms was less agonizing for me–they gave me stress balls to squeeze the entire time and I got to watch it develop, which was kind of cool. When it was my back, random corners would start itching and I felt like I was dancing around the room like Slater on SBTB when Screech dumps fire ants down his shirt.

    • Anonabust :

      It’s awful. They stab your back with 10-100 needles then you sit without a shirt on (like a paper backwards thing) and wait while all this itching brews and wait. The pain is not that bad, but the waiting for things to start itching is torture! I have done it twice and I had a lot of allergies (according to the nurses who kept coming in and saying that). It is miserable but so worth knowing what I need to avoid, what I can control (dust) and so that I ultimately could get allergy shots. Now I can have a dog!

    • I remember it being uncomfortable, but not awful, and that was over 10 years ago when I was in high school and more prone to everything either being amazing or the worst ever. And I agree about the fascination with finding out everything you are allergic to – apparently, I am allergic to cockroaches. I don’t know whether that knowledge has changed my life, but I found it interesting.

      I got allergy shots for years and found them generally helpful. Then I traveled abroad for a few years and the person who said he could give them to me there was completely unqualified and giving me 10 times the dose I was supposed to get. I haven’t gotten them since but my allergies haven’t been any worse than they used to be (all the medications I’m on helps too).

    • Seriously? Searing back and neck pain. I had a migraine so bad after the experience that I could barely move. That said, I have an allergic skin condition that makes my skin really itchy/sensitive during allergy season and after 2 days with no meds my skin was on fire even before the test. I had to wait twice as long for results because they had to do the test placebo prick to see if I would even be able to do the regular test and then they made me wait longer for the real test based on the placebo’s effect. Sigh. It was truly miserable.

  5. anon for this :

    What is an appropriate amount of time to work somewhere before looking for a new position?

    I recently took a job that sounded fantastic on paper and in the interview. Yesterday, I went in to the office to train with the person I would be replacing and, lo and behold, the job is nothing like the way they made it to be. Not a little different, but rather a complete 180, and nothing like what I want to do.

    The girl I’m replacing described her job as “basically a monkey could do it.” I’m not sure how long I can hold out in a job like that.

    • What level are you at? Are you looking to change fields, or just get a job that actually is the job that you thought you just took? I.e. similar title, similar organization, or large change?

      If this job was a total blind alley and has nothing to do with your professional goals–and you have connections and experience that DO–then despite the conventional wisdom that you need to hang on for at least a year, I will say you may be able to get out sooner. I was in your position, and it was horrible. My entire life suffered. People may be preachy with you, telling you you’re too big for your britches or delusional about the job market, but if you really are as underemployed as you say you are and really can do better, then your next employer (like mine) will snap you up and this experience will be like a bad dream in retrospect. Your mistake was believing their description of the job. Take that as a lesson for the future if you can.

      One more idea: if your boss thinks the world of you and realizes how lucky s/he is to have you in such a low position, s/he may be sympathetic and may even offer to help you move on. As I was leaving my own monkey job, after less than a year, I made all my exit plans in secret. When I finally told my boss I was leaving, he made many offers to try to get me to stay, but ultimately he said he’d always known I belonged in a more challenging role and would have been willing to help me get a higher position elsewhere even earlier (making calls for me, etc) if he’d known I wanted that. Obviously, if you wanted to initiate such a conversation you’d have to do a VERY careful read on the situation first.

      Good luck. Again, others may be dismissive of your problem, but I do know how bad it is. Do what you have to do. I have been incredibly happy since making my own move.

      • In this case, it seems likely the boss was doing some of the lying about the job, so… probably not someone she can turn to, unfortunately.

  6. Although I do love the Merlot, I am in need of a new pair of black patent shoes and already have one pair of reddish/pink patent heals.

    Any idea on the sizing? I’m usually between a 9 and 9.5 with a wide-ish foot.

    • OP here. Sizing ran true to size for me, an 8. I apologize for the typo in the post … should read: “…it is a higher heel and more red than cherry in a similar pair I have from from Sofft.”

      Funny to know that they are the “same folks” (thanks, Kat). I wore this shoe from 8-4 being on my feet all day long. I helped a friend who was doing a trunk show at her boutique, so it was a day without any sitting down. No problem; I wear heels every day, but usually get to sit more than I walk/stand. A lovely surprise in these. A bit more comfortalbe than the Sofft due to the shorter and wider/rounder toe box.

      • Thanks! I went with the 9.5 – since they were out of 9s, it made the decision fairly easy. Another pair managed to find it’s way into my cart as well (the Resia in the Crimson/Bordeaux). Whoops!

        And here I was thinking I needed to get rid of some shoes because they were slowly taking over my apartment.

  7. Hello, all. We may have already discussed this, and I just don’t remember it, but I am looking for some advice. When I am on my period, my work product suffers. I just don’t think as clearly as I usually do. It is SO frustrating! I can point to specific mistakes I’ve made, and many of them (including the one I made a few days ago) relate back to being on my period. Does anyone have any advice on this? Do Midol-type drugs help? I thought those were just for pain and bloating, but I could be wrong. Any other suggestions? I don’t see how I’m going to make it through a whole career when I cannot even formulate a sentence for a few days every month!

    • Can’t say I’ve had the same noticeable brain drain, although I think I notice more fatigue, especially if I’m not getting ahead of cramp pains (I usually just load up on the Advil for that).

      Have you ever been on birth control? If you were, did you notice a difference then as opposed to what you have now? Total lay(wo)man’s medicine here, but it could be that there are some hormonal swings happening that could be leveled out with BC and help. Just a thought…

      • Oh, I should have mentioned that I am on birth control. I think it has probably helped, but hasn’t eliminated the problem by any means.

        • I drink chamomile tea & it helps. There is also a whole line of Yogi teas (check your health food store), that have specific teas for both “that time” and for concentration/mental clarity, generally, that I find helpful. I don’t know if it’s a placebo effect, but it may be worth a shot. Same with Midol. Not saying it’s all in your mind, either, but if you feel like you are going to be more likely to screw up when you have your period, it could easily become a self-fulfilling prophecy, so I think it’s worth trying various things to see what works for you & helps you feel more on top of things.

    • MaggieLizer :

      The pill should help. And if it doesn’t help the symptoms, you can at least schedule your period to always fall on a weekend.

    • I’ve noticed that I need more sugar and caffeine during my period, as well as help from Aleve. Midol is just aleve+caffeine, with a fancy colorful box.

    • nothing worse than a troll “on” his period.

      • While I am also not a huge fan of people using the expession “on” their period, b23 is a regular commenter and not a troll. In fact, I believe she has mentioned recently that she has not been feeling like she is on top of things lately, hence the mistake she is referencing. Lay off.

        • My apologies. I have never heard that expression used except by men using it to belittle women… as in “She must be on her period”
          Mea Culpa.

          • I guess I should apologize for the “lay off,” too.

            Good lesson in everyone thinking twice before hitting “submit.”

          • Thanks, AIMS. I’m not a troll, but now I’m confused. What’s wrong with saying on your period? What should I say instead? I guess I could say during my period, I just don’t really see a difference.

          • B23: my mother said she had her period, and I say that I have my period. I am bitchy during my period, and I am not offended when my husband suggests that may be the reason I am cranky. Women need to stop pretending that women are not affected by hormones. THAT is belittling!

    • I get super emotional and high strung right before my period starts (like for 2-3 days) and I have to make sure not to make any important decisions during that time. I just can’t think calmly and I’m given to histrionics and hand-wringing. Completely stereotypical? Yes, but sadly it’s true for me. I also need more sleep on the days leading up to my period.

      I don’t know if there’s anything that actually helps cure this, but being aware of it helps me plan accordingly.

    • I have anxiety and panic disorder that are normally under control but they day before I get my period I go off the wall with anxiety. It’s almost like a psychotic break,

      My MD recommended extra magnesium and fish oil in the days before and during my period. Sometimes it helps but not enough.

      I wish I had better advice but know you aren’t alone!

    • seasonally agree :

      Same here and I take the generic seasonique birth control because of it. I literally am near tears for four days, want to kill everyone else for the next few days and then in a lot of pain. None of these things work with the line of work I am in with ALL MEN. Their insensitive BS goes by the wayside usually but during this time I constantly think about it and would tear up.

      But the doctor said thatphysically it is nothing unusual. So I just get less periods now because of this pill. For those times I practice deep breathing when I get frustrated, clear my throat a lot when I feel like I am going to cry and remind my boyfriend to tell me I am just freaking out when I feel like my boss “looked at me mean” or “did not say hello this morning so I am getting fired.”

    • I survive on ibuprofen and lots of milky coffee/tea. OTC labels advise you to take only 1 or 2 at a time, but my doc says I should take at least 3 of them at a time. Basically, check with your doc for the right dosing for you – and that may make a difference – everyone’s body is different & the recommended dosage on the label may be insufficient for many people.

      I also don’t try to diet during my period. I drink lots of fresh juice as well.

      I’m still very tired and drained, but ibuprofen+ caffeine +juice does keep my productivity to acceptable levels.

    • My PMS started two weeks before my period. There were times when I was so angry that I would start arguments and I was sure that people were out to get me. And then, I would start my period. I was tired, bloated, and sleepy. I started taking Lexapro and the anger subsided considerably. As far as being tired, I started cutting myself slack for at least one day and it really helps. I will do as little work as possible at work (and close my door), eat take-out, leave the dishes in the sink, and get at LEAST ten hours of sleep. It really does help. Why inflict myself on anyone? I am sorry you are going through this!

  8. Does anyone have any tips or tricks for the Tassimo coffeemaker? I bought it without doing a lot of research about the brands of T-Discs available and I’m not very impressed with the selection. (I like latte-type drinks, but not straight coffee and I love Chai Tea lattes from Starbucks, but thought the T-Disc chai tea was yucky.) What can I do to make better use of this contraption?

    • I have a Tassimo in my office as I don’t drink coffee, make horrid coffee for others, and usually the pot burns away during the day. It is good for spontaneous things. I find that if I use a large styrofoam cup the drinks are diluted a bit; folks tend to balk at the intensity in a smaller cup. So I buy ones about the Starbucks size. You probably have a real mug that fits in the machine. I have little bitty cups of “cream” etc. that people mix in the coffee and they seem happy with that.

      Did you use the related cream disc with the chai tea disk, one after the other? I am an inveterate tea drinker and get the Starbucks Chai Lattes when traveling through airports. Thought that Tassimo was a decent representation. Tassimo just discontinued their relationship with Starbucks, fyi.

      People seem to also like the Gevalia caramel espresso, but also add either sweeteners or creamers to it. Have no experience with the Folgers disks I got in a multi/value pack at Bed/Bath/Beyond … usually I buy from Amazon for variety.

      Good luck.

      • I do use the cream discs, but the chai still came out way too sweet for me – that’s why I love the Starbucks version. It’s creamy, but not too sweet. I am considering getting the carton of Starbucks chai tea and seeing if I can make that work with the hot milk/cream t-discs.
        I didn’t know that the Starbucks line was being discontinued :/ Thanks for the heads up! I will also try the caramel espresso. Thanks for the advice!

  9. Threadjack:

    Have any of you ever truly learned a foreign language using a system like Pimsleur?

    I’m midway through the first set of Pimsleur French CDs and now I can ask everyone how they are and whether they speak French or English (and whether they do it very well, a little or not well at all) but I’m kind of skeptical about whether I would actually understand anyone’s response in the real world!

    • I used a few Spanish Pimsleur CDs, after taking high school Spanish. I already knew the vocabular covered in the beginning CDs, but I think they made my accent much better. (It was a shocking relevation, but it turns out that talking to Jennifer and Amanda in Spanish class in Ohio didn’t really teach me to pronounce anything correctly.)

      • haha! I know what you mean. One of my friends speaks what she calls Iowa French.

    • LinLondon :

      I inherited a set of Arabic ones, but they were the first two levels and my spoken Arabic was already better than that, so I haven’t learned from them, per se, but I gave them a listen thought and they seemed pretty good, in terms of taking you through the sentences and the vocab.

      The real issue with these things is the speed. People in real life just don’t speak as slowly and clearly as the fine Pimsleur folks. So you should add “lentement, s’il vous plait” to your vocabulary :)

      • I have said , “Je comprends *a peu* le francais” about a thousand times now in my car, but I don’t think my invisible passengers are impressed.

    • Also, I feel like Pimsleur is overly formal. Like I’m going to go around saying, Pardon, Madame, es que vouz comprenez le francais? if I were ever in Paris. I want to learn practical things like

      où peux-je trouver le meilleur magasin de chaussures ?

      non, je ne veux pas manger des escargots

      Je ne sais pas où j’ai laissé mon vin


    • I’m sorry, I did not understand you. Press ‘1’ to return the main menu or ‘9’ to end this call.

      • OMG!!!!!!!! And when pressing 0 just makes everything loop around all over again, it really makes me want to kill all the robots Will Smith style. Bah.

      • Now. What would you like to do? You can either say “Jump out the window,” or, “Set myself on fire.”

      • Equity's Darling :

        I always find that one odd- if I want to end the call, I will just hang up, I will not press 9 and wait to be hung up on by a machine.

        Also, I called a government agency here in Canada, and to talk to an agent, the number depended on what original menu you chose. There was no option to push 0 for a representative. I had to push 1, then 1, then 5. It made me actually listen to the menu so….good on you Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

    • another anon :

      I heard “I love robots.” If this is correct, press 1.

    • I love being called “Sir” by non-native speakers of English, though. ;)

    • This is literally what happens at my kids’ pediatrician’s office:

      Press 1 to make an appointment.

      No one is available to answer this line. Please leave a message after the tone.

      *leaves message*

      I’m sorry that mailbox is full.


    • Not all customer service robots, but a lot of them, will actually route your call to a human being if you start swearing.

      True story, I swear to God.

      • If you repeat “talk to a person” or “customer service” over and over usually you’ll get rerouted to a live person.

        • After chanting customer service, the robot said she couldn’t connect me to a person because I wasn’t pouring my heart and soul out to her. And then 6itch hung up on me!!!!!!!!

        • “representative”

          I try those over and over. But RL is right, one time I muttered, “f***!” when none of them worked, and I got person on the line right away.

      • Or screaming, actually. Or if you hold one key down for a long time.

      • I like to befuddle the robots by remaining absolutely, completely silent. Also, refuse to push buttons. They usually give up after “not understanding you” for 5 minutes and send you to the human boss.

    • I hate those! These sites have some shortcuts on getting to a real person:

    • The worst is when you spend hours on a menu to get a real person and then the real person you actually get has such a poor grasp of English that you could probably get the robot to answer your question faster. I remember I called Apple once, made it through the menu, and then it took 45 minutes to explain to them that I needed a new power adapter with the plug attachment.

      • Wow, MelD. That’s such an unusual experience for Apple. Usually when I call I get a nice geek in Cupertino you can make a guess at what “thingy” I need.

        • This was in London, where you either had to go onto the Genius Bar appointment signup exactly 48 hours before you’d like to come in or pay per minute to call someone who didn’t get what you were asking. I knew a big guy who was so frustrated with the two options that he just walked around the store yelling about how horrible Apple products were and they helped him immediately. I think he was on his second adapter blowout by that point and was not amused.

  11. What’s the rule on seasons for wearing patent leather nowadays? Can they be worn year round?

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