Coffee Break: Gardner Pump

Joan & David Gardner Pump | Corporette

These Joan & David pumps look very similar to old reader favorite the Gila pump, but with a bit fancier of a cutout. These lipstick red patent pumps look absolutely gorgeous, although the light brown, navy, bronze, or black (all patent) are also all good. There’s a blue suede that is also calling my name (of course). They’re $66-$91 at (were $190). Joan & David Gardner Pump



  1. I have the Gila. Love them. These are lovely, also. I’ve always opted for the Gila because they seem like the same shoe but are much cheaper. No idea why.

  2. Gail the Goldfish :

    What was the best wedding present you got? Best in the sense of most special, type of thing you will have forever, I think, rather than most useful (though I suppose they could be the same thing). I am trying to find a wedding present for a very good friend, but they live in China, where money is the traditional gift, so they don’t have a registry. Needs to be easily shippable, so nothing too big. I was thinking maybe some nice toasting flutes, but looking for other ideas. The couple like traveling, good food, and good alcohol.

    • Not married, but the best gift I’ve ever given (based on excitement of recipients) was one of these –

      I gifted the state they met in/currently live in, with a heart over their city.

    • Anonymous :

      A copper sauce pot.

    • Diana Barry :

      FWIW, we got married 10 years ago. The only things that I remember people giving to us were (1) my uncles/aunts got us our cookware; (2) my mom’s cousin got us our expensive pressure cooker; and (3) my dad’s friends got us this gorgeous platter with pine trees on it. I liked #3 the BEST of any gift and always try to get people nice platters now.

      • I always feel like platters are a good gift because you never think to buy/register for them, and yet you always need them.

        • Similar reason to get picture frames, especially as an add-on to a cash gift. Couples often don’t have them, they end up with sooo many wedding photos, and they can be very expensive.

    • Anon in NYC :

      Things that I think we’ll wind up keeping forever (but maybe not using every day): crystal glasses (so toasting flutes would be a good idea if they’re registered), a cake knife set (we used it at our wedding), and some nicer serving pieces (platters and the like).

      Stuff that we use (almost) every day that I love: a Vitamix, our coffee mugs, and some nice baking dishes (Le Creuset stoneware).

    • This won’t help you much, and may out me, but the best wedding presents we received were contributions to the wedding itself – an uncle who donated his time and materials to do our flowers, an aunt who did the same with our wedding cake, and a cousin whose mariachi band played during pre-ceremony cocktails. They were all so special, and made our wedding much more unique.

      Beyond that, the best gifts were those with a sense of place. We live in NY, but both are originally from the southwest, and we received several beautiful handcrafted gifts from our home state which we will treasure forever.

      • It is the dream of my life to have a mariachi band at my wedding…I love them SO much.

        • They were amazing – it really was fantastic. And hubs and I were there, talking to our guests and having a quick sangria before our vows. Do it!

    • We were married 10 years ago and the best gifts we received were our cookware (All Clad), Riedel wine glasses (until we eventually broke them all because we’re klutzes), and our luggage set. We still use all our luggage to this day and it’s something that you hate to actually spend money on (at least, I do). So I buy wedding gifts first thinking about “What is something he/she/they would love, but would never buy themselves?”

    • Great question. I think of my husband’s aunt every time I use my AWESOME iron, which she bought me as a shower gift, but I realize that’s not the question! It’s useful but not a “forever” type of thing.

      I echo others who’ve given items with a sense of place. One girlfriend tracked down my favorite recipe from our college dining hall days and I’m not kidding you, I TREASURE that thing. Another got me/us two decorative plates with a meaningful design of a location that has great importance to me personally.

    • If they like good alcohol, what about a decanter? Tiffany’s has lovely ones, and most department stores have nice versions, too. It’s not something I would ever buy for myself but that I think is really great to receive as a gift. You could wine or whiskey depending on their preferences. It also lends to an easy card message (“a toast to you!” or something along those lines). I think flutes are a nice idea too.

    • hoola hoopa :

      I’d be wary of the toasting flutes, actually. We enjoy wine and so. many. people. gave us wine glasses.

      We do love to cook, so our favorites were cooking items, although they are probably more than what you were hoping to spend:
      Really nice knife set – we registered for a good set, but the giver seriously upgraded. It’s so nice!
      Le Creuset French oven – gets used very regularly and will last us forever

      We were also given an artisan handmade mantel clock that’s special to us.

      Of the more lightweight and more normally priced items, I think tablecloths and napkins. (If you know the size of their table and decorating taste). We received two sets and while they weren’t super exciting at the time, I’ve really appreciated them over the years.

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        The beauty of this particular wedding is, since it’s in China, there are about four westerners coming, so I think everyone else is giving money and we can’t possibly give too many of the same thing (unlike a lot of weddings I go to, where someone getting 4 iced tea pitchers is a real danger).

        • hoola hoopa :

          Ah, then go for it!

          Our wedding had only ~60 guests, and I’d estimate we got ~40 wine glasses. It was crazy.

    • I just went to a wedding last weekend and we got the couple (who loves coffee) a year of coffee at their favorite independent coffee shop. I don’t think they’ve opened it yet, but everyone we told about it thinks its an awesome idea, and I think it’s awesome!

      The things I loved that we got were a Penzey’s gift box, a half case of really good red wines, and handmade mugs.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      Thanks for the suggestions, everyone! Lots of great ideas. I think I’ll bookmark this thread for all future wedding gift ideas, as well. Keep them coming!

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      We bought a house right before our wedding. One family friend gave us a bronze engraved door knocker w/ our initials on it. I thought that was really unique. We also have some wedding Christmas tree ornaments we enjoy seeing each year.

      One family gave us a gorgeous hand embroidered lace duvet cover but we have never used it as we have lots of dirty pets and are afraid of ruining it. We also use comforters, not duvets but maybe someday.

      • Meg Murry :

        Along the same lines, we got a hand painted plaque/wall hanging that says “Meg and Hubby, established Month date, yyyy”
        Its really pretty hanging in our entryway, doesn’t assume we both have the same last name, and bonus – neither of us can claim we forgot our anniversary date since we both can’t help seeing it every time we walk in the house. We really love it.

    • We didn’t get a lot of non-cash, off-registry gifts but one that we loved was a gift certificate to the restaurant where we got engaged. It’s a pretty cheap place so we got to go several times on the gift card and we thought of the couple that gave it to us every time.
      My other favorite gifts were registry items – picture frames, a beautiful wine decanter (we don’t even really drink wine, but love displaying it) and a gorgeous fruit bowl. We got a lot of nice cookware too but I don’t cook much now and so I hardly see it. I really love the living room items that we get to see every single day.

    • Maddie Ross :

      We didn’t register for it, but a huge pasta serving bowl and 4 pasta bowl/dishes. We use them constantly for pasta, stir-fries, stews, etc. They are heavy pottery and feel like they hold heat in and withstand a ton. I think I love them all the much more because we didn’t register for them and my aunt just “knew” we’d love them.

      • A Nonny Moose :

        This is tricky, though. Even if they were really nice, this would annoy me to get. I live in an apartment. I don’t have space for extra kitchen things like this (ditto to the platters suggested above–we got 2 off registry platters from a dear friend and an aunt who is a stranger and while they’re pretty, they take up valuable kitchen real estate and I would have been much happier with something on registry). So I’d at least make sure they have space for something like this before giving a physically big gift.

    • I know this isn’t an answer to what you’re asking, but if it’s a traditional Chinese banquet style wedding, I would just give cash. It’s what is expected with that style of wedding. The other guests will think it’s weird if you bring a gift and the old relative collecting the red envelopes won’t know where to put it. I’ve noticed more “no boxed gifts” on wedding invitations recently for Chinese weddings. HOWEVER, it’s your friend and you would know best! The gifts mentioned in the thread are very thoughtful. Have a great time at the wedding!

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        Whatever we get is being shipped to them in advanced so we don’t have to bring it on the plane and lug it around China (we’re going site-seeing before the wedding), so we won’t have it at the ceremony regardless. We may also do red envelope, though our friend said no need–I just want to get them some physical object since it’s a very good friend (clearly, since I’m going all the way to China for their wedding).

        Though if you have any other tips on what to expect at Chinese weddings, I would definitely appreciate it. My friend sent a very intense looking day-long itinerary with some explanations (BF is in the wedding), but I suspect we’re going to be a bit lost through the entire thing (neither of us know any chinese).

        • You might want to check with your friend about the postal service where she lives. I live in China, and depending on what city you are in, and where your mailing address is (work vs apartment complex), A LOT of things go missing in the mail. If they’re not “mislaid” in customs, they go missing during delivery. And customs fees (sometimes quite arbitrary) can be a significant percentage of the item’s value. It might be safer to bring it with you than to ship it. If you mail it, it’s much safer to use FedEx than regular mail.

          • Even when I lived in Europe, I had a few packages to me go missing, be hugely delayed, or arrive broken. A particularly memorable one was a thank you package a friend sent me, which could not have been worth more than $50 tops. I was charged around $70 in customs fees. You don’t want your gift to arrive with a bill!

        • Chinese Wedding :

          My parents had a combination western church service and Chinese banquet for their wedding. Obviously, I wasn’t there, but I’ve been to other Chinese banquets. One thing that differentiates Chinese banquets from western banquets is that at a Chinese banquet nobody lingers after the food is eaten. All the socializing is done while eating. When the food is gone, everybody gets up and leaves. Chinese society is very open about subjects that are often taboo for Americans – people will ask you about your salary, your weight, whether you have kids, do you intend to have kids, how much you paid for your plane ticket, etc. Also, children and their antics are indulged much more in China than in the US. Chinese banquets are great fun! The food will be fantastic and you will have a good time.

    • Contracts :

      Off the top of my head: 1. Our wedding quilt made by my grandma 2. A sewing machine 3. A Le Cruset french oven. We use our french oven for everything. Another idea would be a gift certificate for a canvas wrap – something they could use to print one of their photos on to hang. I liked the copper pot idea someone had.

      Personally, I would stay away from toasting flutes. They last forever…but only because I’ve only ever seen them squirreled away in china hutches collecting dust. Give them something they can use.

    • This may not be the answer you’re looking for, but some of the most special gifts we received were handmade items – my grandmother wove a picnic basket, a friend’s father gave us a glass bowl that he made, another friend gave us a glass decorative item that reflects the place where we got married, a family friend refinished walnut salad bowls that he and his wife received as a wedding gift, another family friend wrote out a wedding blessing in script and had it framed. I’m not crafty at all and have never given a gift like this (I usually buy an appliance off the registry), but I think of the gift-giver every time I use these items.

  3. Home decorating shopping help needed. I just moved into my first home (yea!) and I want to put a magnetic dry-erase or chalk board up in my new kitchen. I want something with a pretty frame, not something that reminds me of an office/school. Any suggestions of stores to look at?

    • Yay! I love these pump’s! They are not even expensive either! Hopefully the manageing partner will let me get them and give me my 30% reimbursment for them.

      As for the OP, go to Pottery Barn and they should have stuff like this. When I was there last month, they have a lot of VERY CUTE kitchen stuff. Myrna say’s she want’s to redo her kitchen so maybe you two can get TOGETHER with idea’s.

      The manageing partner’s brother is pestering me again today to come over and measure again. What in the world is that guy thinking? Myrna think’s he wants to date me (or at least sleep with me), but I say maybe he is NOT interested in me but just want’s to make sure the COOP lets him in. After all, his wife is throweing him out and he needs a new apartement which does NOT involeve him living with HAROLD. He does have a lot of money so that is a good thing. I do NOT think he want’s another child, however, and that is what I want. I do have a little difficulty thinking about him in a sexueal way, tho. I do NOT want him huffeing and puffeing and then rolleing over like most men do, messing up my sheet’s and then burpeing and leaveing to go home. Why is that what most men do? FOOEY!

    • Ballard Designs. If you order their catalog (or look online), you can usually find a 15-20% promo code. Also, pottery barn has this type of this.

    • Wildkitten :

      You can get chalkboard paint and turn anything into a chalkboard. You can also get whiteboard paint, but it’s extremely expensive.

    • If you have a spare, modern aesthetic, CB2 and West Elm are good resources. If you want something fancier, and have unlimited resources to put into it, Restoration Hardware is good.

    • just Karen :

      No suggestions for specific stores, but I would consider getting a cheap board in a standard size and putting a cute frame around it yourself.

    • this is the kind of thing I search Etsy for – you’ll find a million options.

    • Contracts :

      Try Homegoods – same goes for the home sections of Marshalls, Ross, etc. Or make one yourself! They are pretty easy. I’ve also see on pinterest where you can mix custom colors of chalkboard paint.

  4. I own these in two colors, black and copper, and they are the absolute best work shoes. Period. End of story. I could run miles in these, stand for hours, and carry heavy boxes, but still look and feel lady-like and fashionable. They are a bit dainty, I grant you, given the cut out and the bow, but I do not care. They are the perfect heel height for both skirts/dresses, and most of my pants.

  5. Guys, we have an amazing, awesome, wonderful babysitter/nanny who’s heading to college in two weeks. She just graduated from high school and is just the most awesome, mature, smart, motivated young person you could ever hope to meet. I know cash is king, but I’d like to do something meaningful for her beyond $. She’ll be about an hour away (so, not too far) at a small private suburban university. She plans to go into nursing and loves travel and volunteer work. FWIW, I believe she’ll continue to babysit for our kids in the future — we already talked about her possibly nannying for us next summer.

    Budget is a consideration; $50 or less would be ideal. Any ideas?

    • A nice, functional travel bag? I know $50 doesn’t go far, but try LL Bean. Their bags are the best and reasonably priced.

    • Wildkitten :

      Target card + water bottle? Target card + coffee mug?

      • I like this but maybe personalize the coffee mug (or travel coffee mug – great for taking to class) with a picture of the kids she sat for? Maybe a picture of them holding a fun sign (best babysitter/our favorite future nurse/etc)

        • Wildkitten :

          I was thinking this – especially if the pictures are replaceable, so she doesn’t have to explain to every cute guy in 8 am chem that she is not already the mother of 3 adorable children at age 17.

    • Diana Barry :

      Honestly, I would get her CASH and write her a nice card.

      I got our regular babysitter a Kate Spade card case, but she was finishing her Ph.D and had a job where she would use cards.

    • I was her once! You are right – cash is king. I’d not bother with knick-knacks as she will then have to find room in a small dorm for it. I’d give cash and a card made by your kiddos and a photo of them. If you really don’t want to give cash, some gift cards would work if you know of local attractions (movie theater, chipotle, etc.), but I really cannot stress enough how much I loved having spending money and how much more I loved homemade cards or a photo of the kids I babysat than any random gift.

    • At the end of one of my stints as a camp counselor, one of the parents got us each a box of small notepaper (4″x4″) where the top of the box was a picture frame with a picture of the kids. I don’t know if I’m explaining it well, but I see these boxes in the check out aisle at TJMaxx all the time. It’s been over ten years now, and I still have that box, and use the notepaper all the time for grocery lists and small notes to my husband. Everytime I use it, I think of those kids. Maybe give her something like that, along with some cash?

    • Great ideas, gang — especially the one about the “Favorite future nurse.” Love it! Thanks.

    • I was her once as well. :-) I feel like cash is great (I got lots of versions of “the survival guide to college” or an ice cream shake mixer I *never* used) and a nice card that your children sign and a picture of her and the kids. And maybe a couple of drawings they’ve done or something. She’s probably pretty attached to them and I would have appreciated that a lot!

    • a nice backpack! my sister got me one for grad school and I still use it when i need a backpack…

      i still remember my aunt and uncle gave me $ for a computer, my mom got me my first college sweatshirt (they’re pricey), etc. so something she’ll need but not shell $$ for a nicer version is nice.

    • If you have time, we ordered shower caddies as gifts this year for graduation. They had the girls initials and design in the college colors. For a little more money I added bathroom supplies and a Bed Bath & Beyond GC.

    • Nice towels with her initials on it. It was one of my favorite gifts and I’ve since regifted it many times.

      • I’ll give this a +1

        When I went to college, a family friend I didn’t even know every well personalized a set of bath towels for me. Best towels I ever received – I still have them (almost 15 years later), and my wedding towels (only about 4 years old) are more worn out and less special.

  6. Shopping challenge :

    Anyone up for a shopping challenge?

    I’m looking for a new handbag/tote that meets the following criteria:

    – Black leather
    – Zips completely closed at the top
    – Handles fit over shoulder
    – Gold hardware
    – Minimal decoration

    I don’t want something large enough for a laptop, but I wouldn’t mind if it could hold some papers.

    Budget is about $500

    • Wildkitten :

      Does this zip enough?

      • Shopping challenge :

        Nope – needs to be a complete zip with no openings – but appreciate the suggestion! :)

    • This may not meet the over-the-shoulder criteria but I think it looks like the perfect black bag…if only I were in the market!

    • Clementine :

      I have this bag in grey and love it. I think he also has it come in just one size smaller- like a mid-size? I’m a big fan of this bag though.



    • Meg Murry :

      Is this too big? It says it can fit a laptop or legal files, but doesn’t scream laptop bag to me.

      • Wildkitten :

        I am so torn between loving Levenger bags and feeling like if I spend $300, I might as well get a brand name (like Kate Spade).

  7. I went to an Indian wedding last weekend, and got henna on the palms of my hands and the insides of my wrist. It would have been very rude, given the circumstances, to refuse to do the henna, and not only was this a good friend, but many of the people involved in the wedding were important professional connections of my husband’s.

    My boss had a cow when he saw the henna (which isn’t obvious at all unless you’re talking to me for a period of time). I’m an attorney, and the last Indian wedding I attended I was at a different law firm, which didn’t care that I had henna on after the wedding at all, so it didn’t occur to me to particularly worry about it. There is a zero chance that I will have any external contact for the next week, and henna fades from my skin very quickly, so I fully anticipate it being gone by Wednesday.

    Was I crazy to just walk into work like this? I feel like my boss is overreacting, but possibly I’m out of line.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      Your boss is overreacting. Does he know it’s not permanent and that it’s used in wedding ceremonies? I think most people this day in age know henna is used in Indian wedding ceremonies and wouldn’t think anything of it, other than “Oh, she must have been to a wedding recently.”

    • Anon in NYC :

      Your boss is absolutely overreacting. I can’t even imagine what his reaction would have been other than something bigoted. I don’t see how anyone would see a henna tattoo as unprofessional (especially knowing that it’s temporary and that it is commonly used in Indian weddings).

    • I think your boss is overreacting. Henna is part of the Indian cultural tradition. When it’s on the inside of your hands it’s not that noticeable. I’m from India and I got henna when I got married. I was finishing up college at the time and anyone who saw it asked about how it was done, how much time it took, etc. but not one freaked out about it.

    • Boss is ridiculous.

    • Anonymous :

      Nope. Your boss is crazy and probably more than a little bit racist. Since he’s your boss, I’d wear long sleeves until it fades if that covers it up.

    • You’re not crazy. I feel like henna is both common (at least, it is in Atlanta, which is not the world’s most cosmopolitan city) and not that visible. Is your boss ordinarily reasonable?

      • “at least, it is in Atlanta, which is not the world’s most cosmopolitan city”

        Bwahhahahaha understatement!

        Sigh…a reluctant atlanta resident

        • You’re welcome to move somewhere else you feel more positive about!

        • Hey, hey! :

          + 1

          :( The love-it-or-leave-it response, lacking in nuance and real-life understanding but plentiful of defensiveness, makes me sad. There are numerous reasons why a person might live in a city where she would not live in a “perfect” world. Rest assured, your love for the city is still wonderful and it’s great you live where you really, really want to live. For me? Atlanta’s non-cosmopolitan-ness is a real, read drag. :)

    • Woods-comma-Elle :

      Yup, agree, totally ridiculous. This is a cultural tradition, it’s not like you went and got ‘Big Mama’ permanently tattooed over your knuckles.

      I get the impression from your post that you are not Indian, but I wonder if he would have reacted the same way if you were. What I mean by this is that it wouldn’t surprise me if he thinks his reaction is ‘justified’ because this isn’t part of *your* culture as such.

      In any event, your boss sounds like a serious backside hat on this occasion.

    • Anonymous :

      Did you tell your boss why you had the tattoo?

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      There are plenty of folks that have lived sheltered lives and have no clue about Indian (or other cultures for that matter) traditions. I doubt my parents would have any idea what it was if they saw it. If your boss is one of those types, I think attempting to explain what it was would help. However, I can think of a lot of unfortunate people that just wouldn’t “get” it. Sorry you are dealing with this.

    • I’m glad I’m not crazy. I did tell my boss why I got the henna, which made him come down a little, but not much. He’s normally a bit unreasonable, but I thought his response in this one particular instance was excessive even by his standards. He also informed me that he “has lots of Indian friends, and has never seen them doing this kind of ****.”

      I have also had this conversation twice today:
      Really, an Indian wedding?
      Like, the people involved were Indian, not just hippy liberals pretending to be Indian?
      Like, from India, Indian?
      Yes. *Bangs head against wall*

      The wedding was in a small town in the Midwest. No one batted an eye there. I work in a major metropolitan city, and apparently no one in my office has ever seen henna before.

      • Loves India :

        Try telling them it’s like in that movie, “Monsoon Wedding” or even “Slumdog Millionaire” (which I know doesn’t have a wedding scene but they’ve probably at least heard of it).

      • Wow. For a lawyer working in a major metropolitan city, that’s just embarrassing (for him, I mean).

      • hoola hoopa :


    • You’re making me love my workplace even more. So many of my coworkers have stopped to compliment me on my henna (which I put on for Eid). I have to say, it’s immensely hilarious to watch how everyone’s eyes track my hands. My henna is very apparent – on both palms and on the back of both hands.

      Also, most men don’t wear henna, just like most men don’t wear nail polish. He needs to get over himself goodbye.

    • Does…he not know its *temporary*? I got a ton of henna done at an Indian wedding when I was working at “big hoity toity firm” and nobody batted an eyelash. I believe in the immortal words of…someone “he be trippin'”

    • +1 to boss over-reacting. In a similar situation (I live in a state with very, very few Indians), my boss exclaimed: “Holy cow!” and I said, quickly, “It’s temporary!” and all was well.

  8. nanny pay :

    We are going on a short vacation (3 days) and won’t be needing our nanny. We already gave her 2 weeks paid vacation this year (one week was our choice, and she tacked on another week), plus 2 unpaid weeks leave, and she gets all holidays. We never discussed vacation policy because it’s our first experience with a nanny and didn’t really know what to expect and what we would need. Should we pay her for the 3 days or would that set an undesirable precedent? On one hand, she’s not working, on the other hand, it would kind of be like a furlough. FWIW, we are happy with her and want her to be happy.

    • Pay her.

    • Definitely pay her – it’s your choice to be away on those days – she wouldn’t likely be able to (and it’s unreasonable to expect her to) find substitute work to replace that income.

      That said, if she usually does other duties such as the kids laundry – I would expect that she drop over to complete those regular tasks (if applicable) even if you are not there.

    • Spirograph :

      Pay her. You owe her a steady paycheck, and she had no part in your decision to go on vacation. I think in just about any childcare situation, you pay whether or not you actually use the days.

    • Anonymous :

      Pay her. No question. What’s she going to do get a new job for 3 days? Are her bills magically not still due?

    • Another “PAY HER” vote. I agree with PP that, if she normally cleans or does other tasks for you, you could ask her to do similar tasks during this time.

    • Pay her. The precedent that will set is that you hold up your end of your arrangement (that is, you pay her for the number of days you said you will pay her for).

    • Diana Barry :

      Pay her, no question at all. She has no choice about when you go away.

    • Another pay her vote. When I had a nanny, I asked her to schedule one of her two weeks off in coordination with our time off. This may work for you going fwd.

    • Pay her. But see if you cannot negotiate a date night or weekend overnight in exchange.

  9. There’s a new open thread today over at Corpor*tte Moms for those who are interested in keeping it alive!

  10. Red Beagle :

    Love this pump. I’ve never worn Joan & David – anyone still up who can speak to how they fit? Any chance at all that a M width would work on wide beagle feet?

    • I have normal width feet and they fit beautifully, if a teensy bit tight in the heels. Joan and David does make these in various widths though – amazon has the wide and narrow versions, though not in all colors.

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