Coffee Break: Ellery Pumps

You may remember that a year or so ago I was drooling over Valentino’s Tango pump — so I had to rub my eyes a bit when I saw these look-a-likes at Talbots. Maybe it’s just me (after all, we all know I love a good strappy pump for the office), but these ankle strap pumps look fabulous. They’re $150 at Talbots, available in red, a “sueded denim,” and a navy napa. Ellery Ankle-Strap Pumps

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  1. Anonymous :

    Had a phone interview today with someone I only have a cell number for. Will be sending a thank you text. For Gen X me, this is the End Times.

    • Minnie Beebe :

      Also Gen X. For my current job, I interviewed solely over Zoom meeting, and not even video conference. Audio only. Didn’t meet my boss until a couple weeks after I started, and still haven’t met anyone else on the team in person. It’s been ~2 months, but we have a team meeting in late February where I’ll meet everyone. It’s weird, for sure.

  2. Yay Kat! I am SOOOO glad you are showing red pumps for a change! The manageing partner LOVES me to wear RED, and now I can show him these pumps for me to buy and get reimbursement. This year, my budget for clotheing allows me to get 65% reimbursement up to $40,000 per year on clotheing, which includes shoes and for the first time, handbag’s! I am so happy I did NOT go in house b/c they do NOT have similar programs for clotheing reimbursements! YAY!!!!!

  3. Anonymous :

    I’m Gen X too. I am hunting myself and this never occurred to me but how very modern!

  4. Anyone been to Iceland during the winter? I’m going to Reykjavík this month and wondered if anyone had advice on clothes to pack. Waterproof requirements? Is an umbrella useless bc of wind?

    • I’ve only been there in the summer, but it was very, very windy. For Winter, I would pack windproof plus warm, and make sure you have good face/goggle/eye protection if the wind is really cutting. Double pants or snow pants for sure.

      One of my friends just went and posted semi-frozen pictures of Gulfoss, which was very cool!

    • I’ve been there in winter and strongly recommend waterproof clothing. It yes umbrella would probably be useless in the wind.

    • Anonymous :

      JUST GOT BACK. (went in mid-December)

      umbrellas could be helpful (we took one but don’t recall using it).

      but the best things were:
      1. thermals (2+ pairs so you can rotate)
      2. snow pants and/or rain pants. I had both. I wore thermals + snow pants for most days. One day I changed it up and wore the rain shell outside my tights
      3. lined tights (fleece lined leggings or otherwise. I had a cheap costco pair of thick lined tights (leggings with lining?) that were thicker than my lululemon tights, which were awesome with just thermals on the days I was in Reykavik and wasn’t horseback riding or glacier hiking.
      4. icelandic sweater–they’re amazing. the yarn is from sheep that are adapted to iceland so it’s super warm. pick one up as a souvenir early on and you can just wear it all the time.
      5. hand warmers. if you’re going to try to catch the aurora, it involves spending time outside–handwarmers can be awesome.
      6. crampons for your waterproof hiking boots. Clutch. one of the parking lots we went into turned into an icepond covered in sleet, but with our handy dandy crampons, we were fine. Tours will also provide them but we really liked having our own.
      7. wool socks. You can buy some in iceland, but if you have sales and such, use them to buy yourself a couple pairs before you go. between wool socks (darntough, smartwool, random canadian wool souvenir) and my water resistant hiking boots, i was plenty warm.
      8. windproof jacket – I brought my patagonia 3-1. worked well. wonder if a waist length would have been easier for mobility (think ski parka) but I didn’t feel like buying new gear.
      9. good base layer. I bought a patagonia base layer with built in hood. and it was great.
      10. i loved my neckwarmer (smartwool) that i could pull up over my mouth and face without worrying about a scarf whipping around.
      11. warm hat

      I didn’t have goggles/eye protection, but that’s a good point from Anon 1.

      Basically, you will be okay with base layer + icelandic wool (or other mid layer) + windproof jacket (mine had built in down layer). I brought extra layers but didn’t need them all.

      Waterproof case for your phone (blue lagoon).

      hydroflask is great for keeping warm water around

      also, if you haven’t picked restaurants yet, go to Messin!

  5. Florida Vacation :

    Do you all have any suggestions for where to stay for a long weekend in Florida? My SO and I are thinking about taking a long weekend to escape the cold New England winter (even though this week is feeling quite warm!) and I just realized Jet Blue has tons of deals to several cities in Florida. We’re looking for a cute town with a beach that would be easy to get to from any of the cities Jet Blue flies to (Tampa, Sarasota, Fort Myers, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach). Thanks in advance!

    • Would recommend the Gulf side for better odds on warm weather — Naples is only about 45 minutes from the Ft. Myers airport and would be a great choice for beach + shopping and high end dining.

    • Personally, I like the West Palm side a lot more than the Fort Meyers side. So I’d let that be my guide and then see what flights work for you from there. Delray is a nice area not far from West Palm Beach Airport. I’ve stayed in Crane’s Beach House and had a very nice time.

      • Florida Vacation :

        Thanks! I meant to add that we plan to rent a car and are fine driving a bit to get to a better location. We’re really flexible on flights so we’re just looking for towns to look into now.

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        I was just about to say for cute beach towns, I like the Fort Myers side more than the West Palm Side:-) That may be because I spend way too much time for work in the Palm Beach-Ft. Lauderdale-Miami area of Florida, but the gulf coast side seems way more relaxed to me. From Fort Myers, Sanibel is nice.

        • Anonymous :

          I think part of this is cultural? West Palm Side is more east coast like; Naples, etc. is more Midwestern. For a quick trip, I don’t think it matters for most people but you’ll definitely notice cultural differences if you’re inclined to discuss politics and the like.

    • I like the Gulf coast side a lot. The beaches near Tampa, esp. Clearwater, are beautiful, and St. Petersburg has some fun things to do.

      I spent several days solo in Naples (maybe only a half hour from the Fort Meyers airport) this fall and also liked the beaches in that area. Naples itself is a masterpiece of sprawl – from the (uncomfortably bourgie) gated community where my sister has a second home it was 20-30 minutes to everywhere, to the beach, to every restaurant I wanted to check out, etc. If you go to Naples proper, stay close to the beach or maybe in the Fifth Street south neighborhood, which is reasonably close to the beach and has a ton of restaurants and shops.

      Bonita Springs is a bit to the north and is a smaller town.

      Have fun!

    • Anonymous :

      I loved Anna Maria Island, about 45 minutes outside Tampa. Lots of good restaurants, cute shops and not terribly overdeveloped. Also a short drive to other great places – Siesta Key, St. Pete.

    • Anonymous :

      I refuse to fly in to PBI any more – the airport is plagued with delays in the winter because of the volume of private flights, and that has only compounded as Air Force One visits the area regularly, adding the lovely delight of dealing with motorcades, which is usually what I’m trying to avoid from DC. Proceed with caution. (I have family in the area, but I’ll now fly in to MCO or FLL and drive.) That said, for vacation, I prefer the gulf coast!

    • I really love Sarasota. There are fun restaurants, several lovely beaches, and enough of a tourist scene that you can feel like you are on vacation. The Ritz there is particularly lovely. Also, anything on Siesta Key or Lido Key is likely a good bet.

    • Anonymous :

      Fort Myers and then possible stay in Naples, at the the Naples Beach Hotel and Golf Resort. The hotel is right on the beach and the old part of Naples has some things to do.

  6. I’m going to my sister’s wedding in February at the courthouse in San Fransisco. What should I wear? Was thinking about getting something from rent the runway just for fun, but I’m open to brainstorming.

    • Senior Attorney :

      That courthouse is divine so dressing to the nines is definitely very much indicated!

    • You can be as formal as you like at the courthouse in SF, just be one notch less formal than your sister and you’ll be fine.

      I’d personally wear a fab dress with a fascinator because why not.

    • SF Courthouse is super pretty! My bro got married there. Totally dress up just make sure you have a warm coat coz SF is super cold this time of year.

      • hahahaha. it just hit the 40s for the first time since Dec 23rd in Boston and we are all rejoicing. So…cold is relative.

        I do think SF cold is unique because it is damp and no where is terribly well heated. City Hall in SF is a lot of stone and marble, but so lovely!

        • SF cold is certainly not anywhere near what the Northeast has been experiencing, but it’s true that a damp cold feels so much colder! At least to me anyway.

          • Flats Only :

            The damp makes such a difference. Our DC cold snap into the 20s didn’t bother me at all, but yesterday when it was 33 and sleeting the cold just sliced right through me as soon as I went outside.

    • Are you talking about City Hall? I got married there! Concur with everyone that the space is gorgeous and you see everything with wedding parties. Personally, I’d dress based on where you’re going to celebrate after.

  7. Ugh to social media :

    I just accidentally liked the post of a former co-worker who treated me terribly and who I haven’t seen in years. We aren’t even facebook friends; a mutual friend liked her post on life as a SAHM and it showed up in my news feed. When I was scrolling, somehow I managed to like it. Arrrgh!!

    • Minnie Beebe :

      Go back in and unlike it!

      • Ugh to social media :

        I immediately unliked it and I know in the grand scheme of things it’s no big deal. I just hate the idea of her getting a notification and thinking I was creeping on her page because I literally haven’t thought of her in years (thankfully.)

        • Anonymous :

          I think she will only see the notification if she sees it before you unliked it. That means that she’ll basically only see it if she happened to be on FB right at the moment you liked it.

        • She may well not have gotten a notification at all. Or, even if she did, and thought “Really? Ugh is liking my post?” she would then go back to her list of likes and you wouldn’t be on it.

        • Anon in NYC :

          I don’t know that she would get a notification in that case. I’m not a social media expert, but I’ve done that before and nobody ever said anything about it to me.

    • It could be worse. You could be Ted Cruz and the post could be …

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      It’s at least a current post. I am super guilty of periodically stalking my ex boyfriend from high school and other randos on FB. Since I don’t follow them on the regular, this usually results in me scrolling through a years worth of profile pictures or something. I’m terrified of actually liking something from years past. Now I know I can at least unlike if it happens!

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Oh, and a friend once had her abusive ex husband pop up on a dating app. She swiped the wrong way clearing it and completely freaked out. There was no undo option.

      • Blonde Lawyer, this ALMOST happened to me! I am lucky b/c it was ALMOST! I was also lookeing for a man on a dateing app and I found my ex, Sheketovits! FOOEY! Fortunately, I did NOT select him so he NEVER knew I had found him. I would NEVER stalk Sheetovits, and I was more then happy to loose him immediateley! DOUBEL FOOEY!

    • Can someone tell when you’ve viewed their social media like Instagram? Because, um, I might have done that with my ex boyfriend.

      What. He was yummy.

  8. Has anyone tried Talbots shoes recently? They had some cute styles 5-10 years ago, but I gave up after receiving pair after pair with ridiculously stiff leather — practically got blisters trying them on. I don’t typically have problem feet…

    • Anonymous :

      I agree – I recently bought the leopard pumps with alleged memory foam and they were excruciating. I wonder if suede would have a little more give, but haven’t tried.

    • I’ve been wearing suede loafers from there almost all winter. (Change into them once I get to the office.) They’ve been very comfortable. I did have to rub some of that band-aid blister stick on my pinkie toes before I wore them the first time (for an hours-long shopping trip), but they’ve been fine ever since.

  9. Love these shoes!!

  10. These are very cute. What are the thoughts on wearing the red ones with tights? Black tights? Gray tights and a black skirt? Casual(ish) only, or semi-conservative work appropriate look?

    • Hm as long as the gray tights are lighter than the shoes I think it would look fine. I wouldn’t wear them with black tights. How about nude fishnets?

    • AnonInfinity :

      I think black or gray tights would work and would wear these in my semi-conservative work place. I wouldn’t wear them to court or most client meetings, but definitely great for a normal day at the office. I think black tights would emphasize them more, just because of the contrast between black and red, but not in a bad way.

  11. Does anyone have recs for good running socks? I keep getting blisters on the insides of my feet, and changing shoe sizes hasn’t helped.

    • Anon in NYC :

      I haven’t tried them all, but my favorite exercise socks are Lululemon. Maybe give one of those pairs a try?

    • Anonymous :

      I like Balega Hidden Comfort, mostly because I appreciate the extra padding. I have a pair of their light quarter socks which are fine too.

      • +1. I add Trail Toes or moleskin based on distance and anticipated wetness.

        • Anonymous :

          +2 for Balega Hidden Comfort. They are comfortable, fit well, and last forever. What I don’t like about them is that they keep changing the design ever so slightly, so I have to spend a bunch of time scrutinizing the chevron knit pattern to match up the pairs or just wear socks that I know don’t quite match.

    • The insides of your feet…? I’m not sure I understand what part of your foot that is?

      I love smartwool socks. They have thicker ones for winter, but their lightweight ones are actually good for warmer weather too, despite what you might expect from wool socks.

      • like the inside of your arch on the bottom… a diagram would be more helpful than my attempts at communicating, ha!

        • Hm, I never get blisters there, but have you tried Glide? I use it between my toes for runs longer than ~9 miles. I never get blisters when I put it on.

    • For me that’s usually a shoe problem, not a sock problem. But to answer your question I wear SmartWool PhD light crew socks when I run. I live in the South so heat is not an issue.

      • That’s what I thought too, but I still had the same issue with different shoes (albeit fewer blisters), so I’m hoping some padded socks can take care of the remaining.

        Thanks for the recs, everyone!

    • I used to get blisters in that exact spot too–in a weird spot on your instep? I did some comparison shopping and testing and my very best option was the Saucony River socks, which I can conveniently find at my TJMaxx or Marshalls (and online) for pretty reasonable prices. They wear pretty well…I’ve had some pairs since 2011.

    • Miz Swizz :

      I’ve had good luck turning my socks inside out. The smoother surface doesn’t seem to irritate my feet as much.

    • Anonymous :

      Wright – two layer running socks means the friction is between the layers of fabric and not between the fabric and your skin.

      • Yes yes yes! They are a bit expensive but I’ve just replaced all my running socks with Wright Socks. I would always get blisters no matter the shoes and they’ve completely stopped since I began wearing these socks.

    • I think blisters on the bottom of the foot indicate a fallen arch. I’d see a podiatrist – really. The sports podiatrist I went to fitted me for an orthotic, and had me order several pairs of sports shoes from Zappos that they recommended for my foot. I had them shipped to their office, then I went back and tried them on with the othotic. Found the perfect pair and no more blisters. Sent the others back, of course (the podiatrists office handled this)

    • Stance socks or Fits socks. They make specific running socks with differential padding for different areas of your feet. Also really cute colors!

    • Anonymous :

      I actually found that running socks that are the same brand as the shoes I wear (in my case, Saucony) really help. It seems like they’re meant to go together!

    • A big game changer for me is to put a thin layer of vaseline on my feet before putting on socks. It helps decrease friction that causes blisters.

  12. A former colleague recently reached out because she was applying for a job with my former boss. I offered to speak with her, provide guidance, and put in a good word with the boss, all of which I did. Former colleague was interviewed and told me after she’d take the offer if it was given.

    In the interim (before the colleague and I spoke), the former boss reached out and offered me the job my former colleague was applying for (I had not previously applied). After exploring the opportunity, I’ve decided it’s the right move for me and have accepted his offer.

    Any advice on relaying this to the former colleague, who is now not going to get hired in this position? I feel bad but obviously need to do what’s right for me. I was transparent with the colleague that I had been approached and was considering it, but feel I need to let her know my decision, while also trying to maintain our relationship, as we share a network.

    Any advice appreciated!

    • Senior Attorney :

      “Former Colleague, this is awkward but as you know I was approached about Job, and as it happens it was offered to me and I’ve accepted. What a strange world, huh? How are things going with you?”

      • +1 to the first sentence.

        Asking “How are things going with you?” seems pretty tone deaf – things are not great! She’s not going to get a job she was hoping for.

        The first sentence plus, “It was a tough decision but I think is the right one. Best of luck to you in your search.” Or something like that.

        • Senior Attorney :

          Yeah, I concede my last sentence might be tone deaf but I feel like “it was a tough decision but I think it is the right one” could be read as referring to the interviewers who chose OP over the friend (that’s how I read it at first and I was all “huh?”).

          All of which goes to show that this is hard, OP. Good luck with it!

    • I would add something like, “This is hard to discuss with you and is probably hard for you to hear, but I hope it won’t affect our relationship and I’ll keep my eyes out at this company and other places for the right position for you.”

      This is basically a nice version of the hunger games, but she is NOT gonna want to hear this. Think back to college or grad school when people were competing for jobs offered by the recruiters on campus. Even if you KNOW everything works out for the best eventually, still is NOT good news to hear you missed out on a job that your peer got…

  13. We are starting the Ferber method tonight. We are 90 minutes in. Send sleepy vibes and tales of Ferber success.

    • No parenting experience here, just rooting you on from across the pond.

    • Green Hat :

      Good luck! It took about 4 nights for us but it got better every night. I know it is super painful, and I second-guessed my decision every time I heard the little one cry. But we stuck with it and I am so happy we did! Wishing you more restful times ahead.

      • He seems to be asleep, fingers crossed. We were going to wait until we moved out of his room to the guest room. in late February but got desperate after some horrific nights. I go back to work on Monday so hoping we will have some progress by then.

    • BeenThatGuy :

      Best thing I ever did! It gave me my life back. Stick with it. Don’t give in. Make sure you and your SO are on the same page and fully support each other. Turn the monitor off periodically, assuming you know baby is safe, to give yourself some relief from the crying. Good luck and stay strong!

    • Senior Attorney :

      I did it 30 years ago and still remember! It was amazing to sleep through the night for the first time after eleven months and three weeks!! Stay the course!

    • It worked for us at 10.5 months. It took 3 nights, but it did take and got Te Kid to sleep generally from about 9 p.m. until 5:45 a.m. Two things helped us — first, we (with school’s help) cut back to only a single nap most days, with that nap starting earlier (like 12:30 or 1:00 pm) so that The Kid was up by 4:00 p.m. or 4:30 p.m. and then good and tired by 8 p.m. Second, we really upped food intake at that point, which helped a lot and I believe would have helped more if The Kid actually had had a couple more teeth by then.

      Good luck!!

    • We did it around 4 months. It worked in about 15-20 minutes in one night. I figure we’re just super lucky, not genius parents. It was my good karma from a difficult pregnancy. And of course, we had toddler sleep issues later, so nothing lasts forever :)

  14. Recs for places to stay and must-taste wineries in the Texas hill country? SO and I are considering a weekend out there in a couple of weeks.

    • I’m not crazy about TX wines, but Messina Hof is supposed to be a fun tour. I would highly, highly recommend you do the Garrison Bros whiskey distillery tour in Hye if you’re within driving distance (Fredericksburg, Wimberly, etc). They serve local wine by the fire while you’re waiting for the tour to start. I bet they could tell you their favorite local wineries too!

    • We went to a wedding at Country Inn Cottages outside of Fredericksburg last December. It was really beautiful, and the cottages were cute! I think it’d be a fun romantic getaway.

    • Becker is one of the prettier ones and looks more (to my California mind) how a winery “should” look. Set your expectations on wine very low and then hopefully you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
      I have heard many recs for Cabernet Grill as the nicest restaurant in Fredericksburg.

  15. Reframing parental relationship to "adult" one :

    For the individual who wants to reframe her relationship with her Indian-American parents to a more “adult” one…

    This one hit close to home, because I have had more success doing so with my own (Indian-American) parents than my DH (also Indian-American). We’re very close and they paid for my education as well, and the expectation implicitly was that I had to live by these very Indian familial expectations. For me, it started early right after college…introducing the concept that yes, I “drink sometimes at work to appease my boss” to slowly showing them that I drink socially as well.

    Once my mom mentioned that my cousin calls her parents EVERY.SINGLE.DAY, sometimes twice a day, and she feels sad that I don’t. I was very gentle and said, “Mom, I know she does that, she makes it a point to tell me every time we speak. Bu I’m not wired that way. My schedule is so crazy, I’ll make it a point to call you in the weekend and maybe once a week. Please don’t feel bad, you know I love you very much.”

    Next time she brought it up, I just said, “Mom, I’m not [COUSIN]. Please don’t bring it up again.”

    The first time I went on a solo trip, they were so so so worried. I told them I wanted to do this and made it just so matter of fact. I made sure to give them enough advance warning, walked them through all their concerns, answered each and every one of them, called them multiple times A DAY on my trip, called immediately as soon as I landed. I killed their concern with kindness and empathy.

    My DH on the other hand has struggled to establish these boundaries and basically lives a double life (a life when they are visiting, a life when they are not here). This makes me worry for reasons I won’t get into (should we get our kids to lie to them too when they’re older??) but I’ll deal with that some day.

    It is possible. It will be painful and cause you all sorts of guilt and sometimes, shame and anxiety. But it’s doable. Baby steps and faith in yourself and your relationship with them; it’s strong enough to withstand these changes.

    Good luck!

    • Anonymous :

      This nails it. There’s something cultural amongst Indians (Pakistanis and similar cultures) to where we are tied to our parents and them to us in such a way that I’ve never ever seen amongst my white friends. It leads to us sometimes not doing what makes us happy for their sake though. I think what you have to decide is whether you’ll live a double life to make them happy or not. FWIW – more sons are willing to live like that and act like good little Hindus and Muslims in front of mama only to be out drinking and grinding on the dance floor later while mama things they’re working/studying 24-7. I myself have viewed it as managing them the same way you manage senior associates and partners when you’re a junior – you can’t always say no directly bc those folks outrank you but you set expectations so they know what is and is not doable.

      One such example for me has been my work. It’s been off limits since day 1. I’ll very vaguely maybe talk about a big litigation i’m on but even that’s rare. Reason is – my parents in wanting what’s best for us have this way of making it seem like no amount of prestige, status, money is enough. Last thing I needed was them knowing – you should be taking depositions by yr 4 at my biglaw firm and then them all over me re — you haven’t taken depos yet, you need to talk to your assignment partner etc etc. My sister OTOH willingly shares every detail re her work and you guessed it — then they feel free to ask invasive questions like — are they giving you a raise this yr, why not etc. So work has always been just mine.

      • Anon - OP :

        Yup… the prestige/status/money thing nails it. That seems to be all they care about with respect to my job. I guess things like this really are cultural!

    • Anon - OP :

      This is really helpful. Thank you.

      I am in the routine of calling my parents every day and I think that’s probably part of the problem. Also I’m not great at filtering myself but I need to start.

      It’s so hard because I feel like they have done so much for me and are asking for so little – the guilt… it’s a real problem. I already have pushed them to be comfortable with a lot of things they initially didn’t like, so I guess it is a process.

      Anyways, thanks again for responding. I really appreciate it!

    • I have been in a similar situation (also Indian-American). I just do what I’m going to do, announce it to them, and when they fret about it, I just say “it’s not your decision.” And change the subject. We’re very close, but I’m not going to indulge ridiculous behavior or invasiveness or whining and complaining about things I do/don’t do. After many years of this, they just sort of know what to expect from me and don’t really react the same ways any more. It gets a lot easier over time.

      • Also South-Asian/Euroean/North American upbringing/lifestyle. I don’t talk to my folks everyday, frequently though, maybe once a week or fortnight.

        FWIW, I have a number of ‘white’ friends that do speak to their mothers (sometimes both parents) daily–granted their ‘ethnic white’ — Polish, Italian, Armenian…so maybe it’s the Anglo/Germanic/Protestant culture that dictates otherwise.

  16. Also, though, I think it may also reflect some of the specific South Asian culture you’re dealing with. Or when/why they emigrated. I found my more urban parent to be more cool with my decisions to talk/not about certain things, solo travel etc, which was a great buffer on my more ‘rural’ parent.

    *they’re whoops.

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