Coffee Break – Stingray Embossed Tote

Halogen® Stingray Embossed ToteA good black tote can be hard to find, and I’m really liking this one from Nordstrom’s Halogen line. Love that it has cell phone pockets (it seems like way too few North/South totes have them!) and I like the interesting look to the stingray-embossed leather. It’s available in white and black for $98 at Nordstrom. Halogen Stingray Embossed Tote Black Stingray Print One Size



  1. Associette :

    So how about that earthquake? Who felt it? I am in Providence and my large plant was shaking, my blinds swaying and my pictures moving. Hope everyone is ok in VA/DC!

    • Always a NYer :

      I’m near Albany and we felt it.

    • I…didn’t feel it! I was walking around outside and missed everything, apparently. Everyone in the office said our building shook for a while.

      Hope everyone in the DC area is ok!

    • In downtown NYC. Felt it. My building was evacuated. Crazy stuff. Hope no one was hurt.

    • Knew Corporette would be talking about this.

      I felt it. I thought I was just dizzy from hunger. As somone who used to live in CA, I can say it sure did not feel like a 5.9.

      biggest quake in VA in a hundred years. Looks like minimal damage so far and no reports of injuries.

      • I’m with Ru – was outside and didn’t feel it!

      • Not all 5.9 earthquakes are created equally. Earthquake magnitudes are measures of energy released at the epicenter, far below ground. How much shaking is felt at the surface depends on geological conditions and the distance (both depth and horizontal distance) between the epicenter and the observer. A 5.9 1km below your feet will feel a lot worse than a 5.9 25km away and 10km down.

    • downtown NYC. We felt it. We were already having a false fire alarm due to smoke on another floor and were waiting for further instructions when the building started shaking. We just all went down at that point. I don’t think we have an earthquake disaster response policy.

      • as an east coast lifer, i can honestly say THIS is why I don’t live in CA! yeesh! Our entire building started shaking and my mind went from earthquake to terrorist attack in about 2 seconds (I’m close to the White House). Not fun. Further, the irony of the comfy shoe post earlier was not lost on me as I ran down almost 10 flights of stairs in 4 inch pumps with no tread. Oh and it’s my birthday – I’m ready for some wine!

        • Yea, luckily I had already changed into my commuter flat sandals for the fire alarm or those 24 flights would have really been miserable. Everyone’s “hey, remember what we did on 9/11” stories were not helping my nerves (we’re about 3 blocks from WTC). I’ve left the flats on the rest of the day in case of aftershocks.

          • anon in ny :

            I’m one of those people who’s always complaining about high heels. Among many other things, I never been able to get out of my head some disaster in D.C. in which all the women TV reporters were carrying their sky-high heels in their hands. They needed to run, which was impossible in those shoes.

            They looked really scared, but it was a false alarm. The sight of them with their heels reminded me of the “Last Emperor” when all the eunuchs run from the Forbidden City holding aloft the boxes in which they’d preserved their manhood.

        • Tomorrow’s my birthday. Enjoy a nice glass and relax

    • I’m in Providence too, and I definitely felt it. We thought it was odd but didn’t think much of it until the intercom announced that we were to evacuate due to an earthquake. Scary!

      Friends in DC report that it was strong, but everyone was ok.

    • Felt it in DC and felt like I had no idea what was going on and couldn’t control the situation. As someone who works near the Capitol and has been in several impromptu evacuations (thank you oblivious pilots whose planes who enter the no fly zone and don’t respond to the radio), you have all sorts of ideas run through your head when there’s a disturbance. If I never have to live through that again, I will be a happy camper.

    • anon in ny :

      I’m in NYC. I thought I was having some kind of dizzy spell, but I then I was certain there was shaking and I heard rattling. I was aware that earthquakes were not impossible here, but I’ve never experienced one although I was born and raised here.

      As I didn’t know what was going on at the time, I was bewildered, not terrified. I couldn’t help thinking, as we approach the 10th anniversary of 9/11, “Is there always going to be something? If not humans, Nature?”

    • Alanna of Trebond :

      Am currently at home in Virginia, and I definitely felt it — but I can’t believe that’s all it was! But then again, the Richter scale is logarithmic.

    • In DC – entire building shook and doors were slamming open /closed as if a strong breeze were blowing through. We evacuated safely and then were sent home through the worst traffic gridlock I’ve seen.

      I want give a shout-out to the five men who, without even looking around, each grabbed part of a wheelchair and carried another person down 8 flights of stairs. And to all the people behind them, none of whom pushed / screamed / tried to get past.

  2. Anonymous :

    Can anyone recommend the best GMAT Prep Program? Needs to be available to someone living in So CA.

    • I just used the Kaplan book and iPhone flash cards. That included 6 full-length timed practice tests and several shorter quizzes. There were also a couple of videos, but I didn’t find them particularly useful. Also, I only studied the quant section, and there is a dedicated quant workbook that might have been more helpful. I only had 3 weeks though, so there was only so much I could tackle in that time.

    • I’ve heard good things about Veritas Prep. A couple of friends of mine took it and did pretty well on the GMAT. It’s expensive, but there are coupon codes online occasionally.

    • Corporate Tool :

      As someone taking the GMAT today (wish me luck) GMATclub had good reviews of programs, I found them really helpful in making my decision.

      However, as someone with a job with uneven hours, I couldn’t commit to a brick-and-mortar class. Kaplan’s “take it anywhere” computer course looked pretty attractive, but I couldn’t see dropping $600-1200 for it.

      FWIW, I just borrowed someone else’s Manhattan GMAT books, studied 3-4 hours a day for a month, and raised my score (according to the GMATprep sample tests) by 130 points. I’ll let you know later how well that actually worked out for me…

  3. Does anyone know of a good budgeting app (preferably for both android and I-phone) that will allow you to do a virtual “envelope system” for budgeting? I’d really like to get on a clear budget so that we can see what we can afford in house payments, but my husband is resistant (yet also keeps insisting on looking at houses that cost well over twice what our old one, which we liked just fine and are only leaving because we had to move for job purposes, cost), so I’d like it to be as simple as possible. It’d be great if it were something that would sync up with the bank and subtract from whatever envelope whenever we bought something, but I’m not sure how that would work, so if it’s just manual entries, I guess that might work. (We use debit cards almost exclusively.)

    • lets you set specific budgets for different types of expenses, and automatically sychs up with your accounts. You have to go through to make sure your expenses have been categorized correctly, but it gets better over time after you enter some category rules for recurring expenses. I like that I can see all of my accounts in one place, pretty quickly, and find that the iphone app works pretty well, too.

    • Jules' Law :

      I second mint. I really like the budget feature, which shows you throughout the month how much you should have spent by that point in order to stay within your budget. It’s not exactly the envelope system but it has the same idea. It is really helpful for seeing how much you’re spending on different things, particularly those that don’t have a monthly “bill” like personal products, food, gas, “everything else.”

      • How is it different from the envelope system? I’ve looked at it a little bit, wasn’t really clear what the difference seemed to be between “track your spending” and subtracting from different envelopes, or if there even is one.

        • If I’m understanding your question, the difference is that these programs have budget features (where you can assign purchases to show up in categories) but record things after the fact, so if you go and spend a lot of $$ at BR, and AT, and Nordstrom, that will show up in the accounting of your clothing expenditure, and it will tell you you’re over the budget you’ve set, but there’s no function to keep you from spending that much, which is what I’ve always understood the envelope budget to be — you put money in an envelope for a category, spend on that category, and when the envelope is empty, you’re done for the month.

          • OK, that sounds about like what I have in mind. I don’t want it to actually stop me from spending in any given category, just to tell me something like: you budgeted X for this month, you’ve spent (x-y), therefore, you can only spend z more dollars on whatever-category until next month.

    • Yodlee is another option. I haven’t used Mint, but from what I’ve read about it, Yodlee is similar. It requires some work at the outset, and then some tweaking (not unlike Gmail and all the filters I’ve created), but it works well for me.

    • You Need A Budget (YNAB) is GREAT. Small learning curve but then it’s a cinch and is built from a zero-based, envelope budgeting approach. Customer service is great, I’ve been using it for years. They offer a free trial. I don’t use the app, so cannot speak to that, but the software is great.

  4. Anon Career Girl :

    Threadjack – I went to lunch with a colleague today and she told me that a guy she works with saw me last week when we were at lunch in the cafeteria and thought I was pretty. While flattered, I was quite taken aback as that’s never happened to me before. Nonetheless, I was intrigued and asked for more details and she told me that he’s “almost” divorced with two kids, 2 and 5. That’s more baggage than I need, or want to deal with for that matter. Also, he’s 30 and I’m 23, but I look like I’m in my late 20s.

    My question is this, how do I politely rebuff without being rude? Or, do I go about talking with him and see where it goes? Thanks in advance as I’m in dire need of advice!

    • I don’t think you have anything to rebuff. If it comes up, just explain that you’re flattered but don’t date in the workplace. The only hitch is you shouldn’t then date someone else in that work place, but that’s probably a good idea anyway as that rarely ends well and done too often can lead to a less than stellar image (fair or not).

    • MaggieLizer :

      I’m confused, did you tell your colleague you would talk to him and now you’re having second thoughts? Is this likely to come up again?

      If it does come up, it’s not rude to say “I don’t date married men” and leave it at that. Almost divorced is not divorced. Besides, even if the divorce were going to be final tomorrow, it’s never a good idea to date someone who’s just coming out of a serious relationship or who’s still figuring out a custody situation (even if you were open to dating someone with kids). Your instincts are spot on, don’t do it!

      • Agree with all of this, but don’t let it stop you from being flattered and just accepting the compliment. He thinks you’re pretty. That’s nice to know, even if it goes no further than that.

    • I think you don’t need any strategy at all unless/until he asks you out point blank. In that situation, I still don’t think you need to (or should) give a reason. My thinking is that whatever you say may end up complicating things. I have been asked out by colleagues in the past, and found that simply saying “I’d like to be friends” did the job. It’s a clear negatory, but doesn’t raise any more questions or intrigue. (I also found that it actually did lead to problem-free friendships.) Just appreciate the compliment and don’t stress!

    • Thinking you’re pretty does not (necesarily) mean wanting to date you. Just enjoy the compliment.

  5. Associette :

    Anon Career Girl – I wouldn’t make too much of an offhand comment to a third party that you are pretty. If your friend brings it up again, or he tries to ask you out in person, advise your friend, or him, that he isn’t really your type. I wouldn’t try to see where it goes because you appropriately noted, “That’s more baggage than I need, or want to deal with for that matter.” You don’t want to close yourself off to dating opportunities if you are single, or be too picky, but I think it would be worse to start some fruitless relationship that might keep you from your soul mate.

  6. Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler :

    Thought I might try again, since I haven’t gotten any responses on the other thread yet.

    Has anyone purchased shoes from Loft recently? How were they quality wise? Did you feel they were worth full price?

    Thanks in advance.

    • MaggieLizer :

      Thanks for continuing to post this, I’m curious about Loft shoes too.

    • Maddie Ross :

      No idea about Loft, but I love love love Ann Taylor shoes. The AT perfect pumps are flattering and seem to hold up fairly well. They also look deceptively like Louboutins (sp?), of which I appreciate the look, but not the cost.

      • found a peanut :

        one of my coworkers, who is very fashion-savvy and into designer things, actually thought my AT pumps were loubs (she obviously saw them head-on and didn’t see the not-red sole)

    • I’ve seen your last few posts, and since no one else is weighing in, I will just note that while I haven’t bought any Loft shoes recently, I was not impressed in the past. Super-cute, but ultimately not well-made nor well-fitting. Granted, my purchases were not in the past year (or even two probably), but as far as quality goes, I’ve not seen an uptick with most merchants so I’d be a little surprised if Loft was suddenly hitting it out of the park with quality footwear…

      That said, if there is a pair that you like, that you’ve tried on that fits YOU well, I’d go for it. Good, comfortable shoes are worth it, wherever they come from, and I’m realizing that we all have such very very different feet, not to mention budgets and office cultures and style preferences, that one woman’s trash is truly another woman’s treasure.

      • I have an older pair (~ 3 years old) of Ann Taylor shoes which are uncomfortable as hell for my wide feet. Very cute and have held up well, but they are a shoe for sitting in.

        • I have a basic pair of AT pumps that I bought at an outlet (so not sure whether they are standard), and yeah they are so incredibly UNcomfortable. And I have narrow feet. So… looks like there isn’t much consensus here!

  7. Little Lurker :



    ::calms down, slightly::

    Corporettes with impressive memories will recall that I graduated in March with a liberal arts degree, lots of internship experience, and hopes of making it in the non-profit world. I had been actively searching for jobs since January, and went through two excruciating month-long processes in which I was one of only TWO candidates selected for final round interviews and then….nada.

    I started temping (sans agency, just connections) three weeks ago at an organization only slightly far from my interests. It was my goal from day 2 to be permanently hired, since the staff are amazing, supportive, and religious: which is a big plus for me, since I’m an observant Jew. I didn’t tell them my goals, just tried to go above and beyond, without showing up the other employees. Corporette was absolutely essential for helping with this!!


    I literally owe at least 45% of this offer to this blog community — there is no way I’d have known how to network and impress the higher ups in this economy without you all. I can’t thank you all OR Kat enough.

    Little Lurker

    PS gonna retire this handle soon, I think
    PPS Thank the Lord for Obamacare. Really.

  8. What is stingray-embossed leather? I can’t tell from the picture.

    • click onto the nordstrom link and zoom in using their web tool. the leather has a very slight pebbled pattern to it.

  9. What the heck is a :

    … north/south tote? as referenced in the post?

  10. Valleygirl :

    hope everyone on the east coast is doing alright quake-wise. I had to laugh – I was the person who drove cross country from CA to Virginia to help my best friend move into her new apt/get set up… today was her second day of work and apparently everyone is ribbing her for bringing the earthquakes with her – and I told her it was just to make her home sick!

  11. Anon for this :

    Hello Corporetters,
    Looking for some advice from some people who may have been through this. My parents, married 39 years in May, are getting divorced (really – my dad has moved out and my mom is filing tomorrow). I am actually more relieved than sad as one or the other person has been threatening to divorce since 1992 (probably even before that, that’s just the earliest I remember hearing it) and there have been several informal separations in those years. However, I am getting calls at work from one parent or the other – long, lamentation- and accusation-filled calls that are definitely interfering with my work. I want to be sympathetic, and family comes first, but oy. There’s honestly nothing I can do for either of them – they have to go through the legal and emotional processing of all this on their own – and a couple of my bosses are starting to notice the amount of time I’m on the phone. Any ideas on how to handle this?

    Also, any suggestions on how I tell my preschool-aged son about Grandma and Grandpa splitting up? He has spent a lot of time with them and is close to them and I know this is going to be hard, but I want to try to say it in the right way and at the right time. Should I wait until the divorce is final (which in our state, shouldn’t take more than a couple of months) before I say anything? I don’t think he’ll be seeing either grandparent before then.

    • Anonymous :

      My in-laws divorced after 35 years of marriage, and my pre-school aged son already knew there were problems. Tell him sooner rather than later with the reminder that they both still love him lots!

    • You put it into words quite well here… Tell your parents you want to be sympathetic, but you can’t really help them with this.

    • karenpadi :

      I went through this with my parents, I don’t have kids, but it stinks big time. I’ll keep this short but if you want more details, respond and we can email.

      First, recognize that you are your parents’ close friends and confidants. It really is not a sign of an unhealthy relationship that they feel safe telling you this stuff.

      Second, communicate boundaries. Yes, it’s great they feel they can talk to you. It sounds like you need two boundaries. 1) Content: I don’t want to hear about the divorce or why your partner is so horrible. 2) Context: I don’t want to talk to you when I’m at work (or in front of kids).

      If you have siblings, PLEASE set these boundaries together so each of you have same (or mostly the same) boundaries to avoid “favorites” or allowing one sibling to feel they are taking an unfair load.

      It helped to communicate these barriers to my parents in a slightly angry voice and to hang up a few times. Talking sensibly just did not work.

      I would advocate for a third boundary re: behavior expected at family functions. I have a tried and true way of dealing with this so let me know if you want to hear it.

      3) Enforce boundaries. Trust me, the first month is the worst then it gets better but never goes away. If they cross a content boundary, react. It could mean a stern verbal warning (“I’m going to hang up the phone if you don’t change the topic.”) escalating to leaving the conversation, or saying “ew! gross! I never wanted to know that about my PARENTS!” or “hey, that’s my mom you’re talking about.”

      If a time boundary is crossed, I don’t answer the phone. I turn off the ringer and just don’t answer. I will call back after work hours. If your mom is like mine and calls my office phone, I let all h#ll break loose. I close my door and make it very clear that I am a grown-up now and I can, legally, never talk to her again. I don’t call her back for a week. I email her to tell her I’m alive (after work hours). Luckily, I’m so far away, neither can come to my office.

      If I had kids, and my mom or dad started talking badly, I’d remove my kids from the situation asap. I’d just up and leave. If it was a slip and not intentional, maybe give them a warning first.

      It really is kind of like dealing with kids, I had to be clear, consistent, and very much ready to leave/hang up the phone.

      • karenpadi :

        eh, because I’m thinking of it now, here’s what you do for family functions (if they are making you miserable, of course).

        1. Pick someone NOT particularly invested in the event (e.g., not the bride or the graduate) but who knows the family and the situation well. If you are married, I’d go with your husband or a sibling without kids.

        2. Make it clear this event is a “last chance” to ever have family functions again (with them individually or separately). Have them set these rules:
        1) They can fight and bicker all they want before and after the event.
        2) No one else can know about their fighting and bickering.
        3) Before the event, they need to decide certain things like who will pay, if current partners are invited, if certain traditions will be observed, etc.
        4) At the event, they will be civil and polite to each other, and avoid hot button issues.

        3. If they aren’t civil and polite, your chosen person is responsible for warning them immediately. In our case, we only had to raise our eyebrows once for them to back off. They have been properly behaved ever since.

    • LadyoftheLake :

      My parents divorced after 30+ years of marriage. While it was a pretty collegial split, I do think you have to be very blunt in setting your boundaries and expectations in this situation. I think others have already given you grwat advice about how to do that there’s just one other thing i’d mention – you may want to think sooner, rather than later, about setting expectations about family gatherings – e.g., your son’s birthday parties. I made it very clear to my parents that I wasn’t putting up with any nonsense about doing separate parties and that if they couldn’t get along at such events, they just wouldn’t be invited. It sounds harsh, but I’d heard too many horror stories to let that even begin. It may be a little soon to raise it, but I think you want to raise it far enough in advance of any such events to let it sink in.

    • My parents divorced after 25 years of marriage. I was in college at the time, so I was a little younger at the time and, frankly, less confident about setting boundaries.

      That said, I do agree with what others have said about setting boundaries. You absolutely must do this, and you should do it soon. At one time or another, I have had to tell both of my parents that issue X is between the two of them and I don’t want (or need) to hear about it. Frankly, I’ve had to set these boundaries repeatedly. I’ve also severely limited how much I will talk about my mom with my dad and vice versa. They are pretty civil but still get upset about certain things, and talking about one of them with the other only seems to fuel that fire.

      Honestly, they should both be seeing therapists at this point. I would suggest that to them in hopes that it will relieve you of their continual processing. You may want to see someone, too, as parents divorcing (even if somewhat anticipated) can really throw you for a loop. There’s a lot of loss along the way.

      I would set expectations about holidays now. My parents currently live in different states, so visiting both of them for Christmas/Thanksgiving is no longer feasible. When they lived in the same state, though, my holidays felt like a complete whirlwind of trying to make everyone happy.

      Hugs to you in the midst of all of this.

    • My parents divorced when I was in preschool, and I didn’t really get it. I mean, I knew my dad moved out, but that was all I knew. I was too little to know whether or not that was normal or to ask a lot of questions. The main thing that I cared about was whether I would still see my dad and whether our relationship would be the same. Once I was assured that it would, I wasn’t too upset about it. Based on anecdotal experience, this seems to be the same for most preschoolers whose parents get divorced.

      So I would just tell your son that Grandma and Grandpa aren’t going to be living together anymore, but he’ll still see both of them every time you go to visit, and Grandma and Grandpa will come visit him individually so he’ll get twice as many visits. And if he asks questions like “will Grandma still make brownies” and “will Grandpa still take me to mini-golf” tell him yes, of course. And of course tell him that they still love him a lot. He’s too little to realize this is unusual, and he won’t realize how upset you are about it unless you tell him (I wouldn’t tell him). If he does realize you’re upset, just tell him that you’re sad that Grandma and Grandpa aren’t living together anymore, but you’re happy to get to visit them soon.

      Hope this helps! I have no advice on how to handle the at work drama.

    • My parents divorced after twenty years of marriage (I was 12 at the time). I wish I w0uld have been old enough to set boundaries, but I definitely do it now. My sister is still a dependent, so I frequently hear their arguments over her.

      I flat out told my mom last week that I didn’t care that she thought my dad was a heartless jackass. Or that what he was doing was wrong. (Quite frankly, I can see both of their points–my sister is 20 and failing out of college, and he’s sick of paying for it. My mother wants to keep her in school so he is required to pay half of her medical expenses, of which there are a lot.) I told her that I couldn’t influence any party in the situation, and I’d prefer not to stress out over something over which I have no control. Fair enough? Nope, that made me the bad guy, too. It’s just too easy to get caught up in their spats and it causes unnecessary stress. Try to steer clear as much as possible!

      As far as telling your son, I would try to keep it as simple as possible. Definitely reiterate that they still love him.

    • Anon for this :

      Wow, thanks so much for all this great advice. Sorry for not replying earlier but I had a ridiculously crazy day at work today. Which at least was not due to more calls from my parents.

      I thank everyone so much for their advice and support. I agree about setting boundaries and I do need to do that, and I am going to. Part of my problem is that I feel much closer to my mom than to my dad, who has been kind of “checked out” of my life since I was a teenager – I went through a rebellious phase that he didn’t deal with well, and we have never been close since. My mom, however, was in the room when my son was born, has been with me through all the ups and downs of my life, etc. So, it’s hard for me not to take sides when I really feel so much closer to one parent. But I do love my dad, and my dad did the best he could to take care of us, and I don’t want to give him short shrift. He also LOVES my son and I definitely do not want my son to lose contact with my dad, who is his only grandfather, as my husband’s dad is dead and my mother-in-law never remarried.

      I still have not decided when/how to tell my son but I appreciate those people who weighed in with advice.

      Part of the difficulty I am having is that I have always thought of myself as coming from an “unbroken” home and now I will be from a “broken” one, even though it “broke” long after I had a home and family of my own. It’s just weird to think about.

      Thanks again for the support and kind words. I love this community.

      • karenpadi :

        I hear you on the “unbroken” to “broken” transition. Trust me, that feeling fades as your relationships with your parents as individuals matures after their divorce.

        Hang in there!

  12. Threadjack:
    I bought these from the Nordies sale for $60, in both the aubergine and the metallic brown/copper. Votes? They are nice but I’m trying to decide which one to return as it doesn’t make sense to have the exact same shoe in both colors when there are so many choices out there! The metallic is matte copper leather trimmed with patent brown leather and the aubergine is suede trimmed with patent leather. I love both colors and have plenty to wear with each. I think part of the issue is it’s so HOT I cannot imagine wearing suede right now, but that will pass soon enough.


    • Really cute! I think I’d keep the aubergine, just seems more fun with a brownish fall and gray/black winter wardrobe. Now that I think about it, I have some aubergine suede wedge heels that I wore the heck out of last fall/winter. They go with just about everything.

    • I vote for the aubergine.

    • Call me crazy but if you really love the shoes (and at such a great price), I’d keep them both. Finding comfortable shoes that fit and are COMFORTABLE and cute sometimes seems like such an uphill battle. I vote both.

  13. Shoe question :

    I probably should have posted earlier on the shoe thread: I’m usually cold in office buildings, and my feet in particular get really cold. I would love to find a formal flat shoe that I can wear with socks! Is that too much for a girl to ask to ask? I’m starting a job at a business casual law firm that is definitely on the formal side, but it’s in California, so stockings would look out of place. (I can’t wear heels because of medical reasons–so no short boots with heels, which is what I used to do.)

    • Have you tried Tory Burch ballet flats? Some of her styles come up high enough past the toes that, if you wear pants, no one will know if you have sock on or not. I wear them at my firm all the time.

      • I have this flat from Tory Burch:,default,pd.html?dwvar_11118217_size=6.5&dwvar_11118217_color=001&start=32&cgid=shoes-flats

        I always wear black trouser socks with it. It’s always when I’m wearing pants but I personally like the look of black socks/stockings with black shoes. However, I also have to wear socks with this shoe because I need to strategically place bandaids around my feet to prevent blisters. JSYK

    • You could try loafers/penny loafers which I think give you more foot coverage and so one of those “invisible socks” would not be visible? Some loafers even have warm insoles you can add to keep your feet warm sans socks.

      Oxfords are another option that come to mind, and may be the best solution given your criteria, but those aren’t everyone’s style and may not work in all places. That said, they are quite “in” now and there are lots of different styles around.

      • Oxfords FTW!

      • Something along these lines perhaps . . . (also check out the Betsey Johnson oxfords on zappos — they’re cute)

    • Shoe question :

      Wow, thanks for all the suggestions! I’ll look into the Tory Burch ballet flats and the oxfords…

    • You may want to try the Summersoles wool insole. They are meant to keep your feet from getting stinky, but they are also quite toasty because they are wool.

  14. Anon for this threadjack :

    Ladies, I could do with your advice. Just found out yesterday I am pregnant (yay!) but the catch is that I was head hunted internally for a role that started 2 mtgs ago. Had that not happened I would be delivering baby precisely at the end of my last role, which would be great timing wise.

    I’m 37 so certainly wasn’t going to wait around as I’ve earned my stripes in the last few years at this company, which is generally family friendly for we’ve been trying for 6 mths and I was started to get depressed that nothing was ‘happening’.

    How do I break it to my boss? He’s a nice guy but also I don’t know him that well…..advice appreciated.

    • Anon for this threadjack :

      I mean two mths ago….

    • How far along are you? If you’re just a month or so in, definitely wait another 2-4 months to tell him. At that point, you’ll have perhaps developed more of a relationship with him, or at the very least you’ll have been in your new role longer and you’ll likely feel like you’ve earned more “stripes” in your current position. And then just tell him. “I wanted to share some news – I am pregnant and my due date is X/X/12.” And, if true, “I’ve loved my past [4] years working here and I am fully committed to coming back after my leave.”

      • This. And congrats!

      • anon for this thread jack :

        Thanks a lot! Yes, way too early to tell him now , of course. And I am fully committed to coming back. I just feel bad that the timing (from viewpoint of moving roles) sucks but not a lot I can do about it.

        Maybe I’ll also throw in a “baby and job stars aligned at same time” thingie IN CASE he comments on it being so soon after the move…..

        2nd baby so I’ll probably show a bit earlier than with my first – then I started showing only halfway into the preg and told people at 4mths+.

        • Diana Barry :

          Congrats! I would just go for as long as you can without telling, then tell exactly in the way E described.

          We can be pregnancy buddies – I just found out too. :)

        • Just keep in mind – if you have significant symptoms in your 1st trimester you might want to tell your boss sooner rather than later. I’ve been so sick my first trimester that I lost 4-5lbs, so I fessed up to my boss at about 7 weeks rather than have her think there was some other dire reason I was running (literally running) to the bathroom multiple times a day!
          Having her know what was going on actually made me feel a little bit better, like, one less thing to hide.

  15. I have been looking for a great new black bag. You may have just ended my search!

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