Coffee Break: ‘Siren’ Semiprecious Stone Stacking Ring

Rose Gold Ring: Monica Vinader 'Siren' Medium Semiprecious Stone Stacking RingI have yet to own a Monica Vinader piece of jewelry, but it’s only a matter of time — I’m a bit obsessed with her simple, almost organic designs. This stone stacking ring makes me want to start a collection of stacking rings, ASAP — and I like that depending on sizing, you can wear it as a midi ring or a regular ring. It’s $150 at Nordstrom, now available in lucky sizes only — although there are a few more choices at Nordstrom, mostly with green Amazonite. Saks has an additional size in stock. Monica Vinader ‘Siren’ Medium Semiprecious Stone Stacking Ring

BY THE WAY: I just (hopefully!) chose today as my “personal 10 points” day for the current sale (my husband has a GREAT Father’s Day coming his way, it seems!) and noticed that they are now offering Nordstrom Rewards for EVERYONE, regardless of whether or not you have their credit card. I’ve mentioned before how I like to keep most of my purchases to one or two credit cards for tracking/paying purposes, but I have been using my Nordstrom card here and there for early access to sales, personal points days, etc. — so the ability to get rewards AND use my beloved Amazon Visa is a welcome development. No social security number, no credit check — all you need to provide is your phone number. Woo-hoo!



  1. I recently got a new supervisor after working at my job for 2 years. Old supervisor was awesome – he assumed my tasks were going well unless he heard otherwise, answered my questions logically and was all around a nice and genuine guy. He moved on to what was a huge step up for him another company. I’ve noticed new supervisor watches everything I do. You can see the reflection of my computer screen in my office windown and I notice sometimes that she looks at what I’m doing. I spend time on this forum, I read the news, etc. I need short breaks during the day. The work I do is monotonous. I thought maybe I was just being sensitive and that she was just looking out my window…nope…Internet use was brought up by our director in a group meeting out of the blue a while ago. She definitely said something. Yesterday she came in my office and I happened to be reading something on this site…I’m kind of worried that I’m going to get reprimanded. She also complains about the other staff person that is essentially my peer to me. She always complains about how other staff person comes in at 9 and sometimes leaves early.

    What it comes down to, is other staff person and I have always received glowing reviews because we get our work done and do great work. Pick your battles lady! Do I just ignore this and if something is said to me, ask her if there is an issue with my work?

    PS – I work part-time since having children and I am at home while writing this!

    • I encountered a similar situation in a prior job. My solution was to start using my phone to cruise the internet when I needed a break – often I took a walk around the building to do so. I don’t think it matters if your work is good and you are getting it done if the boss is concerned about your internet use (rightly or wrongly). Technically, you are using their computer and their internet, so they get to dictate how you use it. Is there an employee handbook that has internet use guidelines? At my current job, our internet use guidelines allow for personal use so long as it does not interfere with the performance of our jobs and we don’t use it for illegal activity, etc.

    • Anonymous :

      No, you stop recreationally internetting at work because your boss told you to, and that’s not an unreasonable request!

      • I do think you need to stop because the new boss doesn’t like it, but I don’t agree that’s a reasonable stance. I think good managers focus on the bottom line — is the work getting done and is it getting done well. And sometimes building in breaks is the best way to keep up work quality. But it seems like this manager is maybe less sure of herself (less experienced?) and so is latching onto visible stuff like internet usage. So, yeah, you need to stop. But I think she’s being silly. Even if the internet usage was interfering with your work, the better approach would be to focus on the work, not the internet. But not every boss is comfortable with his/her employees being grown up people.

      • Agree

    • Anonymous :

      I love how everyone says the OP should stop recreationally Interneting while they’re doing the same thing.

      • My boss doesn’t care that I do, that’s the difference. If my boss told me to knock it off, I would.

      • How do you know they are doing the same thing? Many people work at home for themselves and many people work in the evening.

    • LostInTranslation :

      She sounds like a poor/new supervisor but she is your boss so you have to deal with it or go elsewhere. +1 to the idea of surfing on your phone. Always a good idea as many places monitor Internet usage electronically. Use your LTE and not company Wi-Fi as they can monitor that too. I’m in IT and it’s not uncommon where they want to get rid of someone so they go to the Internet records to find an excuse to do it.

    • Thanks all.

    • This is the reality of your job, particularly since you are working part time. You are considered more of an hourly worker.

      I read this place and the local news regularly but any commenting is done from my phone. That may help you but generally speaking, you should appear to be working on work while you’re there. Maybe do your internet surfing from your phone on scheduled breaks only.

  2. Anonymous :

    Has anyone had success having shoes stretched? I don’t really want to pay for it if it isn’t going to work. I need the shoes to be about a half size bigger. And does it work on shoes with a few beads on the top?

    • Anonymous :

      Specifically, these:

    • Shopaholic :

      My experience has been that it doesn’t really work for a full half size. I had to get rid of a gorgeous pair of heels I bought on sale because they were just too tight, after getting them stretched twice.

    • Delta Dawn :

      I ordered some shoes online without being sure of the fit, and they turned out to be a little tight. I put water in some ziplock bags, put the bags in the toe box, and put them in the freezer. It stretched them enough that they weren’t too tight anymore. I don’t know if it would work for a half size, but it’s worth a shot!

    • Anonymous :

      I would not spend that much money on J Crew shoes.

    • It depends. If you know how the shoes fit you and they are a little small due to the point, you can typically stretch them to give more room for your toes. If you typically wear a half size bigger and you’ve never tried on these shoes, skip it. I bet you could get someone on Etsy to make similar beads fairly inexpensively and get a cobbler to attach it.

      Otherwise, if you only need a centimeter or so, they would probably stretch. Suede typically stretches more easily than leather. The beading is a little tricky, but if you need more of a width stretch than length (stretching a point will give you a little more room on the sides, length-wise), you’re probably ok. Not sure how the beading is attached (glued?) but it can probably be reinforced if you’re worried about it coming loose.

    • I’ve tried to stretch shoes with mixed but mostly negative results. I would not try it for shoes a full half size off.

    • Put on socks, get socks wet, put on shoes, blow-dry until socks dry – just as effective

  3. Anonymous :

    What would you use to get rid of the parenthesis on either side of your mouth, and how expensive it is? That doesn’t seem like a Botox problem . . . .

    • Juvederm

      • How long do the effects last?

        • I don’t know – never had it done myself but a doctor did recommend it to me so I’m considering it. I think she said you have to do it once a year. It was pretty expensive – can’t remember how much, but enough to put me off it for the time being.

    • Juvederm or restlayne. I looked into it and decided the upkeep wasn’t for me but I reserve the right to change my mind about this.

  4. 1. That ring is gorgeous.

    2. I’m shopping challenged. Can anyone recommend a simple, slim fitting workout tank top that is like a basic spaghetti strap camisole without any kind of internal bra or support. I’m very busty and when a tank top fits, the internal bra is always comically too small. I do not want a racerback. I know this must exist somewhere out there, but can’t seem to find it.

    • I’m not very busty, but I hate those internal bras in camis too. I never ever use just the shelf bra for support, so it always just feels like extra material/binding.

      Does it have to be a spaghetti strap? I randomly bought these in store about a year and a half ago when they were on sale and they’re my favorite workout tanks. They’re not super tight, but longer and fitted around the hips so I don’t have to worry about bending over.

    • Try Forever21. Also you can try and just cut the internal elastics off.

    • AttiredAttorney :

      Costco sells a great basic cami tank with no shelf bra in a two-pack for about $12. They are great!

    • Nordstrom junior’s department typically has a lot of stuff like that –

    • They’re not specifically designed to be workout clothes, but I do yoga/spin in my Loft camis all the time. They’re soft cotton with a little stretch (not super clingy), no internal bra and they’ve outlasted the old navy/forever21 tanks by years. I think Loft calls them “clean camis” or something equally silly.

  5. OK I just need to vent because I don’t want to dump on my DH…Does anyone else ever feel “floaty”, for lack of a better term, during their period? I’ve been having longer/more frequent/heavier periods than normal lately, and today I’m on my second day of yet another one that is two weeks early and I just cannot concentrate. I feel so frustrated with myself. I’m bouncing all over task to task and I feel like I’m getting next to nothing done. When I had a 10 day heavy period at the beginning of May, my GP suggested iron supplements so I just took one of those. I’ve been drinking green smoothies with spinach too. OK vent over. Time to jump to something else.

    • Wildkitten :

      I would use this as an excuse to eat bison burgers. MMMM.

    • Anonymous :

      If you need more iron, the best way in my experience to get it is with a liquid supplement like Floradix or Spatone or similar. It is more easily digested than pills and is, ah, not as binding. Avoid taking it with other vitamins. Calcium interferes with iron absorption, so if you take iron with another vitamin or with high calcium food, it can render your supplement ineffective.

      Also note, when you’re anemic you can also be low in B12, so liquid iron + b12 is a good bet. I usually take Floradix because it is liquid iron + B12 and has worked very well for me, but I’m sure there are other brands out there. Just note though that you should drink liquid iron through a straw because too much can stain your teeth.

      • Liquid iron sounds… nasty.

        VitronC. A formulation of iron that has fewer GI side effects and is complexed with vitaminC for better absorption.

        I take one on every day of my period. That’s it.

    • Anonymous :

      Yup. That can often happen because of a hormone imbalance (which is consistent with your periods being early/heavy/etc too). Get fully worked up by a gynecologist to check and see if there are any underlying health issues. You can also try chaste berry (vitex) supplement–super helpful for regulating hormones, PMS, etc.

  6. Anonymous :

    Question for other frequent travellers… do you ever feel like the men in first class are getting different treatment from the flight attendants?

    I’ve been finding that they rarely offer to take my coat, are less likely to help me with an issue finding room for my bag, etc. I’ll watch them assist a man, then not help me… so it’s not a case of different service by flight attendant. I am generally pretty friendly and otherwise get good service (airline, hotel, shopping), so I am a bit stumped.

    is this a few random bad experiences, or is this what you experience too?

    • Anonymous :

      I have not noticed it although I don’t fly first class that much. I will try to pay more attention next time I get an upgrade. (Assume you’re asking about men in first vs women in first — if you’re asking do people in first class get treated better than people in coach, then obviously yes but that’s not a sexism thing ;) )

    • Anonymous :

      I think people who look like they’re traveling for business get better service on airplanes. So, yes, I would tend to agree that in general men are probably treated better by flight attendants, but that’s because the majority of solo travelers in business attire are men. When I fly with my husband, I don’t notice any difference in how we’re treated. But I have seen a huge difference in how I’m treated when I’m flying in jeans vs. in a suit.

      • Anonymous :

        This is true for me too. I think you get treated differently when they know you’re a business traveler who is on the road often vs. someone who travels 1x a yr.

      • Anonymous :

        Thanks – I am traveling every week and am in biz casual… although likely disheveled by the time I fly home at the end of the week. Maybe that’s it :)

        It’s also just weird because gender ratio is so skewed in first class.

    • Absolutely — happens regularly. It’s especially pronounced because DH and I have different last names so the flight attendants wouldn’t know from the manifest that we’re married. DH has a tricky name, but even so there have been times when flight attendants have called him Mr. complicated name and me by my first name rather than Ms. easy last name.
      I do agree that wearing a suit versus not plays into it, but in our case we’re pretty much always in jeans on flights (except long-haul where I change into the PJs!).

    • YES. I’m a female executive and I fly all the time (United). I dress in business clothing. I sit in first class if I’m upgraded. I’ve been ignored, served after men, you name it. Ive been assumed to be the wife of the man next to me (attendant took his order, then said “and for your wife?” He was more embarrassed than me) and I’ve been asked when seated next to another woman “are you girls headed somewhere for fun?”

      Most of this is at the hands of female flight attendants so it’s woman on woman sexism, which I find especially abhorre f.

      • OP here… I usually find it happens with female flight attendants as well, which makes it more depressing.

        It happens no matter if I am upgraded or booked first.

    • Anonymous :

      I wonder if it is airline dependent. I only fly first on American and never have these issues. And I most often fly first class for the domestic part of international business class travel so I’m very causul (in yoga pants most of the time).

      But then again, I still get the sweet young lady treatment like I’m in my teens (which I find funny since I’m over 30 and overweight)

      • Yup. E.g., a United flight attendant skipped my row while taking breakfast orders, then came back and told me that my husband and I — a nice Asian man I’d never met before — would have to have cereal because everything else was taken. I took note of her name and complained on the survey.

        • I had no choice for my meal the other day… and I was sitting in 1A, right behind the galley.

        • United flyer :

          Often in first class they don’t go by row to take orders, etc; they go by status. So, on United for example, they’ll seek out the Global Services people first, then 1K, then platinum, and so on. And whether you paid for your upgrade or used miles or got it through status may also affect it.

  7. Anonymous :

    I recently moved into my first “Adult” home, and I’m stocking my kitchen. I have no idea what I need to have an “adult” kitchen – a full set of pots pans? How many sets of dishes? Serving platters and spoons? What kinds of kitchen tools? I walked into Williams-Sonoma, and I think it would be easy to spend a LOT there.

    • Anonymous :

      Don’t buy a full set of pots & pans! They often come with useless sizes. Buy the ones you think you’ll use. I’m not a big cook, so for me that’s a big stock pot for soup/pasta, 1 smaller pot for things like steaming vegetables or cooking rice, 1 big stainless steel saute pan for cooking basically anything, and 1 non-stick ceramic frying pan for stir fries, pancakes, eggs, etc.

    • Definitely get a full set of pots and pans, a full set of chef’s knives, and standard kitchen utensils – spatula, ladle, spoons, whisk, etc. Mixing bowls, cookie sheets, and oven-safe dishes (like pyrex) are helpful too if you cook and bake frequently. How many sets of dishes you need and whether you need serving platters depends though on how big your family is and how often you host guests. My husband and I have 8 as we typically don’t host more than 4 people for a sit-down dinner.

      • Oops I think I misunderstood what you meant as a “full” set – no need to get the package set of 10 or whatever. I have 3 sizes of pots and 4 sizes of pans. Also, I’d recommend Bed Bath and Beyond over W&S, as they have sales way more often.

      • Maddie Ross :

        In my book, the number of dishes you need (particularly for some reason bowls and coffee cups) is only somewhat related to the number of guests you may have and more directly correlated with how often you want to do dishes. I would suggest you want at least a set of 8. Probably 12 if it’s going to be a permanent set.

        • Senior Attorney :

          But they don’t all have to match. I have a set of 12, but Lovely Fiance has three sets of everyday dishes, but only four of each. It’s fun to choose the dishes that go best with the meal. I wish I’d thought of that!

    • I bought my pots and pans piecemeal at TJ Maxx. I regularly use 2 8 quart pots, 2 4 quart pots, and 2 1.5 quart pots, 1 big 12″ stainless steel saute pan, 1 12″ inch nonstick, 1 10″ nonstick, and 1 big Dutch oven. I cook as much as anyone I know and that’s basically all I need.

      • Anonymous :

        +1. Buy stuff as you need it, so you are buying stuff you will use. No need to buy the full set (pans or knives or dishes, for that matter).

    • Anonymous :

      I buy what I need when I need it. I wish I had bought dishes at some place like Crate & Barrel. My dishes aren’t made anymore, so I can’t go buy extras when I need them. If I had plain white dishes from giant store, I could buy them at any time in any combination for probably the rest of my life.

      • +1 My dishes are plain white, mostly square-shaped (combination of Ikea, Target and Dollar Tree, of all places) that all look great together. The simple white design then has made it easy for me to buy serving pieces as I need them, from Target, CB2 and esp. Home Goods. Also definitely recommend Home Goods for random things – tea kettle, French press, etc. Ikea is good for glassware and tools such as cute spatulas, bottle openers, etc.

        But echoing the others, other than for basic dishes and cutlery, buy only what you need as you need it.

      • +1. We’ve had a set of white Corelle dishes for over a decade now. As needed, we have added on more sets and serving pieces. They’re also thin so easier to store. I also agree with the advice to buy things as you need them. You can find great items at places like Marshalls and TJ Maxx including Le Crueset and All-Clad. That way you can focus on getting quality items that will last you for years.

    • Killer Kitten Heels :

      Mark Bittman had a good article in the NY Times awhile back about a “no-frills” kitchen that I thought was spot on. I have a standard full kitchen’s worth of stuff because, well, wedding, but if I could do it over again I’d outfit my kitchen using his list.

    • My whole adult life until I got married (and I was in my 30s when I got married) I had only the following: 1 paring knife; 1 chef’s knife; 1 10″ nonstick skillet; 1 medium saucepan; 1 set of boxed dishes that came with 4 each of dinner plate, side plate, bowl, mug; 4 glass tumblers; 4 wine glasses; 1 large mixing bowl; 1 rubber scraper; 1 spatula; 1 large serving spoon; 4 each of forks, spoons, knives; 4 cheap steak knives; 1 cutting board; 1 set of measuring cups; 1 set of measuring spoons; 1 2-cup liquid measure;1 baking sheet; can opener; cork screw. You can cook and serve anything with these. I got them all at Target or a place like TJ Maxx or Marshalls. Save the Williams Sonoma for when a rich relative is buying you a gift.

    • hoola hoopa :

      A large stockpot, a medium saucepan, a small saucepan.
      One or two cast iron skillets or non-stick skillets, based on your preference.
      A chefs knife, a paring knife, a bread knife, a set of four steak knifes.
      Baking sheets (1-2), 9×13 baking pan. If you like to bake: 9×9, muffin, two cake, two bread pans, pie pan.
      Cheese grater, colander, can opener, wine/bottle opener, vegetable peeler, microplane zester.
      Large silicon spatula, small silicon spatula, flipper, whisk, tongs, ladle, wooden spoons.
      Nesting mixing bowls (at least one microwave safe), nesting prep bowls, cutting boards, measuring cups and spoons, 2c liquid measuring cup.
      Food processor and an electric hand mixer (or stand mixer). Teapot. Coffee maker. Meat thermometer.
      Assortment of serving plates, bowls, and utensils. Pitcher.
      Enough flatwear and drinkware for your household to go all day or the number of people you would entertain before breaking out disposable, whichever is greatest. Plus 2-4 mugs and 2-4 wine glasses (or more if you entertain).

      I agree that you shouldn’t feel like you need to buy it all at once. I also would not buy it all at WS!

      • +1 to all of this, except maybe I’d skip the food processor (unless you do a lot of cooking) – it’s nice to have but not necessary

        Also, I agree that I wouldn’t buy everything at WS (even though I dream of having a kitchen fully stocked from there). It’s just so expensive and pretty much anything there can be found elsewhere for cheaper. Shop around, especially for $$$ items like pots and pans.

  8. Anonymous :

    I think you should buy things as you need them, not buy a lot of stuff at once to have an ‘adult’ kitchen. So if you’re having people over and you feel like you will need a serving platter to serve, buy a serving platter, but until then hold off.
    -Someone who received a full set of kitchen stuff for my wedding and uses maaaaybe 10% of it

  9. Any recommendations for comfy but not-dowdy sandals for casual wear?

    • Anonymous :

      I love Clarks, although the styles can be a little hit or miss, they are super comfy and there are some stylish options.

    • Mrs. Jones :

      Born Mai and Born Cammi.

    • Anonymous :

      Try Cobb Hill, Taos, Earth (or Earthies, there’s a couple of “Earth” named shoes that are comfy and I think cute in a hippie sort of way), Jambu…

      Signed, developed plantar fasciitis and am replacing most of my sandals.

    • I like Frye’s – expensive, but the leather is soft & they’re my go-to comfort sandals (no breaking in)

    • Ecco. I have these and they’re very comfy

    • Dangerfield :

      I got a pair of Merrell Henna sandals. Super comfortable.

    • I just got these and I love them:

      Seriously, I’ve been wearing them non-stop. I realized recently that Trotters makes all my most comfortable shoes!

      • I don’t love the look of those sandals but I LOVE my Trotters heels and want to start replacing all my shoes with Trotters and Corso Como. They are insanely comfortable. My grey Trotters heels were a comment recommendation on here a couple years ago and I wish I could send that person flowers.

        • Understood. I sprained my ankle 5 weeks ago today so I needed shoes that were comfortable and flat. I originally bought this pair because my right foot would be in a walking boot and the other foot needed to be in something flat and comfortable.

          Yesterday I switched to an ankle brace. The shoes are wide enough that the straps can fit over the brace.

          I also bought these pretty wedge sandals, which I’m hoping I can wear to a couple of nicer events I have coming up:

  10. Anonymous :

    Is anyone having trouble with the Nordstrom website? I can see items and read reviews, but the block where you select something to put in your cart is not showing up for me (actually, it shows up and then disappears after about 2 seconds, as the page reformats itself!)

  11. Social media :

    I wish it were possible to only see people’s cute baby photos etc. on Facebook and not all their political posts. It’s not just people I 100% disagree with either. I have lots of friends who, in face-to-face interactions, we’d never even discuss political or other issues of the day. We’d talk about relationships and work and all that stuff. We might know vaguely or assume that the other one felt this way or that way on certain issues, but we wouldn’t ever have to really hash it out. It just wasn’t relevant to our interactions. Now I know the exact details of how everyone feels about each political candidate, each news item, everything. And I know how angry they feel with and how much they hate people who think [thing they disagree with that actually is kind of what I think]. I know to solution is avoid social media, but I really love seeing people’s kids and knowing what’s going on with their lives. All the stuff we actually would talk about if we got together, except that we live on opposite coasts. I wish there were political/issue post filters.

    • Anonymous :

      This is why I have largely ditched FB for Instagram.

    • That would be wonderful!

    • politicking :

      I am someone who recently (but never before) has been making lots of political posts. I don’t generally like to engage in political discussions in person or on line. In my 20’s I always liked to discuss politics, because I still thought I could change people’s minds. At some point in my late 20’s/early 30’s I learned that I can’t and don’t really need to. It made my life much more enjoyable.

      But this election, like no other, has me very passionate, just like many other people. Passion about the political process is good. Facebook is my outlet. 95% of my posts are positive posts about the candidate I support, though recently have become more negative about the one who wont give it up.

      Anyway, the point of my novel here is to say that Facebook is my outlet. And I come at my political posts from a good place. Hopefully those posting on your feed do too.

      • But if you don’t want to actually engage (which I assume from the fact that you don’t want to discuss in person or online, and you’ve given up trying to change minds) you’re just posting AT people. And you say it comes from a good place but if I were a Sanders supporter and we were friends irl I might never know how you feel about my candidate but now going on FB what I’d see is your posts against him. I think this is exactly what I hate about FB now. Offline, my friends would only raise these issues as they came up naturally in conversation and we could discuss and then move on and our interaction would be more than just political disagreement. But posting on social media that becomes the whole interaction. I often have long and interesting conversations on FB on these issues but sometimes I just don’t want to know how great you think Clinton is. I just want to talk about your baby or your dog or the amazing martini you got last night.

    • Have you tried selecting “Show Fewer Posts like These?” It’s worked well for me.

    • Ha, I wish I could see people’s political posts but not all of their baby photos. SO MANY baby photos.


    Thought this would be of interest to some…

  13. AttiredAttorney :

    Needed: recommendations of retailers that carry casual jersey type dresses for daytime summer (mostly) weekend wear. Think, dresses for walking to the Farmer’s Market, running errands, etc. I thought Lands End, but their selection is kind of limited. Boden seemed to have more of what I was looking for, but spending $80 on a casual weekend dress seems a little nuts. Bonus points if they carry dresses that I can wear a regular bra with them, and even more bonus points if the dresses offer some degree of waist definition. Where should I be shopping??

  14. Seattle to Europe :

    Anyone have any articles or blog recommendations for being aware and travelling safe in Europe (England including London, Scotland and Paris) in this time of terrorism? This is for my (young adult) son who will be travelling alone. He went to Europe with us before but when he was a young teen. I’m not an “anxious worried mom” and do want him to go but given the US State Department warnings about Euro 2016 football championship, just want him to be aware especially when in Paris. Tips and ideas wanted. Thanks!

    • This article has some good tips:

    • I live in Scotland and travel frequently to London. Honestly, I feel much safer here than I do in the US. I think most of it is just common sense – being careful with your things, keeping your eyes and ears open, knowing where you are going. I tend to take the overground trains / buses rather than crowded tubes but that’s just because the crush makes me a bit stressed.

    • Anonymous :

      The NCIS agent at my last job told us, “have a good time but if you see a lot of people rushing or even just moving in one direction, follow them.”

    • Seattle to Europe :

      Thanks everyone – these are helpful. It’s hard to advise him to keep his ears open in France as he doesn’t speak French and is going to be walking and taking the metro in unfamiliar areas. The idea of following others is good though.

  15. absolutely love my $5 tanks from old navy

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