Coffee Break: Four-Way Convertible Cardigan

Nic + Zoe Four Way Convertible Cardigan | CorporetteThis is an interesting little sweater that, I think, would be great to keep at the office or take with you on a trip. Not only is it highly rated, but several reviewers talk about buying multiple colors, they like it so much. It comes in regular, petite and plus sizes, in a zillion different colors (some on sale, including the mint, pictured). It apparently has hidden buttons to help you wear it multiple ways — wear it wrapped as a sweater (as shown) for a sleek look by itself, as an open cardigan when you want a lightweight top layer, or as a knotted or twisted shrunken sweater when you want more of a shrug (such as with an empire waist or pretty much any dress). It’s $64-$144 at Nordstrom (most colors $98). Nic + Zoe Four-Way Convertible Cardigan



  1. Must be Tuesday :

    Cute sweater!

  2. Yay! Coffee Break! I love Coffee Break and this sweatre from Nordstrom’s. I also love MINT Color, even if it is NOT chocoleate mint! YAY!

    The manageing partner’s brother is stopping by to meet with the manageing partner. He also say’s he has a gift for me! I can NOT imagine what it is, but the manageing partner said NOT to leave work any earlier then 4 today b/c his brother is comeing by. I can NOT imageine what he could be giveing me! I got NO gift’s for Valentine’s day, and there are NO men in my life–Donald turned out to be a 100% looser, instead of dateing me, he started noseing around Myrna thinking she would be so happy to have him that he could get easy sex out of it. She set him straight! YAY for Myrna. We have scrupeule’s! DOUBEL YAY!

    Mom called me today to tell me that Alan Sheketovits mother called her to find out if I was still singel. Eveidentely, she want’s Alan to get married and she found out Alan was not dateing seriously a woman he said he was. His mom told my mom that he wished he could have done things different with me but that he understood if I would not have him back. I told my mom that he was troubel and that I realy did NOT want to be with him even tho he had some good point’s. Mom said not to write him off, particularly b/c there were NOT other men in my life. Mom does NOT know about all the drinkeing and the disgusting thing’s I had to put up with him doeing in my apartement. I said I realy did NOT think so, but NOT to tell Mrs. Sheketovits absolutely no way, just yet.

    I wonder if there is any chance he could have reformed. I doubt it, but mom says mabye. I do NOT want to have to date a drunk, or for him to vomit in my place or do stuff I am not comfortabel with all over again. I am afraid if I get back with that looser, I will NEVER find a real man. I think the hive should agree with me here. Do you? I do NOT want a repeat of the past with him, but do NOT have any other prospect’s. What does the HIVE think? HELP! If you agree, I can tell mom to tell Mrs. Sheketovits thanks, but no thanks once and for all. YAY!!!!

    • Even though you’re a troll, the idea of you getting back with Alan really bothers me. Don’t do it!

      • Baconpancakes :

        I, too, am always rooting for Ellen to find a nice mensch who will appreciate both her tuchus and her courtroom brilliance. Alan was terrible!

  3. I am just putting it out there. The Mr and I paid off our credit card debt, and all of our medical debt, as of today. Now, we have his student loans, and our house. And that is all.

    Now to start saving.

    • Hildegarde :

      Congratulations, that’s awesome! That must be a great feeling.

    • Sydney Bristow :


    • Woohoo! That’s awesome!

      Hubs and I are thinking we can pay off all of the credit cards by the end of this year, so I look forward to this feeling :)

    • Congrats! Celebrate with something nice like dinner or wine (paid for in cash)!

    • Asideralis :

      Woohoo! I’m slowly working towards that goal! Medical debt is the worst. It just infuriates me on a baser level that it’s something that we have to deal with.

  4. Ciao, pues :

    Should I tell everyone in my office the reason for my brief medical leave?

    I know part of this is an office culture question, but can you help me think through why I would or would not want to tell the 50 or so people in my office the specific reason for my 2-3 week medical leave? My instinct is to tell, but I’m sure there are reasons not to be specific.

    • It depends on the nature of your condition, doesn’t it? My co-worker had several eye surgeries, and it was never a secret. But I can imagine wishing to keep other conditions under wraps.

      • Ciao, pues :

        But what, specifically, about the condition makes it one you would disclose versus one you wouldn’t? With your colleague’s eye, perhaps because it was obvious? Or because it’s not “embarassing”?

        • I would base it on embarrassment and whether or not you are comfortable with people asking you (well-intentioned or busy-body or both) questions about it. People will definitely ask regardless, so I would lean towards just being upfront, but it’s definitely a personal thing. If it were something ladypart related, I might try to think of a more delicate way to say it that still gets the point across, though.

          Good luck with whatever it is and I hope that you recover quickly and well!

    • How comfortable are you with discussing the reason for your leave? What is the chance that the rumor mill could get the diagnosis/prognosis wrong? Will you be expected to do any work or be at all available while out. Being out for a couple of weeks because you are repairing that knee you destroyed with all that skiing might be no big deal. You may be more sensitive, however, to break room chatter or communications to clients about your hysterectomy or inpatient stay for substance abuse. Know your office, know your comfort.

    • Baconpancakes :

      If it has anything to do with reproduction, fertility, lower intestines, or s3xual organs at all, I’d say no, because I wouldn’t want my coworkers to think of me in any way that relates to those body parts. If it has to do with something that sounds really terrifying (anything tumor related, etc), I’d say no, because you don’t want your coworkers freaking out over something that’s really not a big deal. If it’s something to do with cosmetic surgery (of any kind), I’d say no because it will make you seem like you focus on your appearance (which is totally fine, and everyone does, but not something you want bosses to dwell on). Otherwise, I think you’re ok to tell, if you feel the need. Be as non-specific as you can, though. “An eye surgery” is better than “cataract removal.”

    • Hildegarde :

      I’ve realized over the last year that I got into a habit of divulging all information about why I would be out of the office (vacations, appointments, whatever), so people feel free to ask me about them. Now, if I ever do want to conceal the reason (job interview, private medical appointment), I’m pretty confident my boss will not hesitate to ask where I’m going, not through rudeness, but just because we’re in the habit of telling each other these things. I’m now trying to walk this back subtly, but I wish I had cultivated a practice of saying “I’ll be out of the office” from the beginning, and leaving it at that. So, even if you’re fine talking about the reason for this leave, think about the effect it will have on any future leave you take.

      • Brunchaholic :

        Agree with this. I started trying to be vague about things because even if I don’t care if they know, it doesn’t seem necessary and will only invite more questions if I don’t immediately tell the reason.

    • S in Chicago :

      Agree. Depends on reason. If it has potential to affect others, I think you should (unless you don’t feel comfortable). I had a brain hemorrhage once and thought my boss told everyone. He didn’t and when I came back to work I was deluged with urgent requests and left alone on calls with clients when I shouldn’t have been–I would have appreciated others knowing that my focus, stamina, and memory weren’t at top speed yet. Similar if it is a surgery with varying recovery where it could be two weeks out but three or more depending on how recovery goes–that sort of thing. If people can prep that they may need to support you in some way, most will be happier to do so if they can anticipate the potential need (I appreciated knowing a close coworker was having fibroids removed, for example, because I knew to leave my travel schedule open in case I had to fill in for her at a conference at the time–and I did indeed end up going at the last minute).

    • If your medical leave is going to result in visible, audible, or otherwise detectable changes, I would explain as much as necessary (but not more). So, if you are getting a knee replaced, and will come back with crutches, I would say “I am having work done on my knee and will be on crutches for 4 weeks.” The exception here would be plastic surgery (e.g., a b00b job) where even if they notice, it won’t be mentioned to you directly.

      For most other procedures, I wouldn’t say anything except that you are going on medical leave.

      If your office culture won’t accept the non-answer, you can tell the truth, tell a blatent lie, or tell a half truth. Except for your medical providers, you don’t owe anyone information about your medical condition. If they are so gauche as to demand it, they deserve to be lied to.

    • Ciao, pues :

      Thank you for these suggestions! Such great thoughts and very appreciated.

  5. I kind of like this. Looks like a good weight for a top layer in SoCal.

    • la vie en bleu :

      i really like this and am really tempted to get it. It looks like a great layer, and I need some non-blue/non-grey layers I can add to my wardrobe. This color is so versatile! :::covetcovetcovet:::

  6. Frou Frou :

    Let’s talk about eye lids for a minute. I’ve just realized that my eyes lids are kind of sagging from age (40s) and that’s the reason I look tired all of the time. Awhile ago, I got a sample of product (from a counter at Nordstrom’s maybe) that you can use to visually improve the sag. It was a clear liquid and it helped life the area. Does anyone here use something like this?

    • Anonattorney :

      Most of the women in my family have gotten eyelid tucks as they have gotten older. It’s just some extra skin that causes the sag. My older sister did it at 30 as a preventative measure. It was one of those things that I never noticed, but she feels a lot better now that she did it. It’s a very minor procedure and has completely unnoticeable scarring (if any scarring). Anyway, just some food for thought.

      • Anon in NYC :

        Agreed. Not sure if this is something that cosmetics would really be able to fix or hide. My mother is going to have to get an eyelid tuck done at some point, because her eyelids have sagged to the point of partially obstructing her vision. Me and my younger sister may also need to get this done at some point.

    • This also runs in my family. My mother and her mother had very very saggy lids and my mother was always self-conscious about them. Interestingly, my mother’s very wealthy and looks conscious sister never had a sag…. we are certain that she must have had them done, but things like that were never spoken of in that side of the family.

      While I never thought I would consider botox etc.. I have thought about doing my eyelids in the future. I am 45 now. Too soon, I thought, although your sister doing them at 30 as a preventative is a shocker to me…. never heard that before…. makes me wonder if I look worse than I think!

    • Must be Tuesday :

      My grandmother had hers done in her late 60s or early 70s because they drooped so much that it was interfering with her vision. My mother’s eyelids are slightly droopy (she’s mid-60s now), noticeably so, but I don’t think they’re obscuring her vision at all, and she hasn’t done anything about them. Mine are starting to droop just a bit in my late 30s. Not really too noticeable yet, but it does sometimes make a mess of my eye makeup, so I’ve stopped wearing eyeliner. I would love to do something about them if they continue to get worse, but surgery also scares me, so I don’t know I don’t know if I would do it if it were purely cosmetic.

    • Botox really helps this – an injection above your eyebrow helps lift the eye area up. I wouldn’t waste time or money on creams.

  7. I need some advice. I have a really fractured relationship with my dad’s sister. She’s probably well-intended enough but she’s sometimes downright mean to me (and just me). She makes snarky comments to everyone but essentially insults me in front of everyone. My dad is very close to her, but after the last interaction, where she was insulting me in front of everyone else, I decided I had enough. I stood up for myself and decided to basically cut her out of my life. My immediate family doesn’t have a problem with this (basically my dad doesn’t like it but recognizes its my decision), however, everyone else is maintaining their relationship with her and I’m encouraged not to say anything to anyone (including my dad) about how hurt I am because of “family harmony”.

    Cut to present day – I’ve stopped talking to her and responding to her emails. Because of some of the comments she’s made, I’m uncomfortable with her knowing anything about my life (it ends up being used as ammunition for the next round of insults). However, my dad insists on sharing things with her. I’ve tried to tell him to stop but he thinks I’m overreacting. Any advice? Do I just need to let this go? Or tell him again that sharing details about my life is a dealbreaker?

    • sweetknee :

      I have had a similar issue with an uncle of mine, given some VERY (sorry for the Ellen caps, but they are warranted here) inappropriate things that he said to me on more than one occasion, in front of other family members.

      I can’t stop my mom or dad from telling things to my uncle, but when he and I are both at family functions, I just don’t speak to him. If he starts to try to talk to me, I turn and walk away. I don’t discuss him or his life with my mom and dad, and if someone in the family tries to cajole me into doing things with him for “family harmony”, I say something along the lines of ” Uncle X’s behavior has caused me pain, and because of that, I am choosing not to associate with him. I hope you can respect that.” So far, it has seemed to work.

      Even f your dad tells your aunt something about you, if you don’t answer her or talk to her, how is it fodder for insults ?

      • SuziStockbroker :

        I’m with SweetKnee on this.

        In my case, it is my mother. She lives across the country, so most of the time I just don’t interact with her at all.
        We haven’t spoken for a few years, since she said something nasty about my 8 year old (since saying nasty things about me doesn’t work any more). I just said, “We’re done here” and left with my kids that time.
        She did come her to visit my sister and her children recently and asked if she could come visit my kids.
        I allowed this, although I was always present, (and I knew she’d be on her best behaviour) and they had an OK visit.

        I just did not engage with her myself, really.

        My feeling is, go to the family events if you can, don’t engage with her, just smile politely and take yourself off to the washroom, or to talk to someone who jsut came in etc etc.

        In terms of your family members telling her your business you can either let it upset you that they discuss you with her, you can ask them not to, or (my vote) you can let it go.

        Eventually your aunt will find someone else to pick on, and then people will start to understand what you had to put up with. Best to take the high road.

        I am sending massive internet hugs though, I know how hard it is (until you decide to not let it be any more like I – finally- did).

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I’ve been through something similar. I had to cut my mother out of my life when I was in college. My sisters understood and luckily were kind enough to agree to not share things about me with her. It’s been so long now that I dont care what she knows because i have absolutely no interaction with her. Each of my family members is under strict instruction to not share my contact info with her (I had to change my number and email when all this happened).

      Since your dad won’t agree to not share stuff with her, I agree with sweetknee. Do not engage. If you can avoid completely it won’t matter what she knows.

      I’m sorry you’re going through this.

    • If your dad isn’t respecting your boumdaries, that is a potential deal breaker. It might be enough to warn him that his communications with your aunt about you are damaging your relationship with him. If it’s a deal breaker, tell him so and follow through on whatever threats you need to make.

      If you aren’t talking to your aunt directly, I assume you only run into her at family events. Sweetknee has some good suggestions. I have an aunt who is like this and I avoid talking to her but I do get stuck. I try to deflect her questions, ask about her kids/church/job, ask about the weather, ask about anything that makes her talk about “not me”. If she says something hurtful, I just shrug and agree (e.g., “yeah, I am an ungrateful brat who lives with cats and is probably a godforsaken bleep”). I also observe her and play mental bingo: she bragged about her kids, she slid in an insult about another faith, she argued about how the desserts were cooked, she complained about her knee, etc. It keeps me detached so I don’t take her comments seriously. Oh, and I get a few subtle digs in myself.

    • I have a somewhat similar situation, and I do not really think about what my dad shares with his sister about me, although I assume he does. One thing that I have had to come to terms with is that my dad will have the relationship he wants with her, and that is totally his call. I know that I am a part of his life, so I don’t want to dictate what he tells her about me, but I sort of assume it’s all fairly basic/superficial info (how is your dad’s filter?).

      Another thing you can do is not act interested or ask follow up questions if your dad tells you something about her. I usually just say “ok” or “uh huh” when he tells me about his interactions with her, even if that means missing out on taking a dig at her.

    • It just gives me comfort in knowing there are other people who have family members who behave like my sister. It might sound odd, but I feel some sort of peace knowing that.

      • Not odd at all in my opinion. I think it helps eliminate that lingering feeling of “maybe I’m the unreasonable one” (or at least I had this feeling for some time). And sorry you’re in this boat.

        • anonymous :

          Yes, this. Some of DH’s relatives behave this way toward me. They aren’t my relatives and he isn’t close to them so it’s a lot easier for me to deal with, but I really appreciated knowing that others had similar issues and the the consensus was that their behavior was way out of line. I wondered for a long time about whether I was being oversensitive, and then I didn’t anymore.

    • Thanks for the advice ladies. I think maybe I do need to just let it go and not feel so hurt that my dad is continuing his relationship with her. I don’t want him to cut her out but the immature part of me feels like he doesn’t have my back and chose her over me (he keeps trying to downplay what happened).

      Most of the information my dad tells her is fairly superficial i.e. I’m on vacation at X place, I got a promotion that type of nothing. Nothing bad or overly personal but I’m hyper-sensitive because she used a very painful breakup of mine as fodder for a joke and made comments to other family members about it.

      I guess I can’t control what other people say to her but I’m still so hurt by everything that happened (it was only 6 months ago) that I can’t really be logical about it.

      • Honest to god, do we have the same sister? Are you my other (nicer) sister??

        At least in my case, my sister is not “evil” in that she has tons of apparently good friends and a husband who I adore. She is wonderful to her friends – seriously, it baffles me when I see her around them and the great lengths she goes to for them. But, for whatever reason, she uses my life as her ammo for mean, cruel jokes in the company of anyone from whom she is trying to elicit a laugh (I think that, for her, laughter = approval).

        I’ve learned to let it go, and to not react. I spent too much time being an angry sister – angry at her and angry that the rest of my family condones her treatment of me. I’ve learned they’re in a tough spot, too. Best I can do is not escalate and just live/let live.

      • Yeah, it’s really hard. Just keep taking care of yourself, and know that you are not alone.

  8. Anonymous :

    Can anyone tell me more about what compliance attorneys do, particularly those who work for universities? I’ve googled this but am having a hard time getting a sense of what the day-to-day work would be like.

    • I don’t know what the day to day looks like, but I imagine it involves keeping the uni inline with the various regulations that touch it – Title 9, IRB/research regulations, maybe human resources, public employee/union labor law (if a state run uni)

  9. Any suggestions for a brunch place in Austin that takes reservations and that would accommodate about 15 people including a gaggle of kiddos?

    • Vintage Lawyer :

      Z Tejas on West Sixth or at the Arboretum.

    • What part of town? Several of the Waterloo Ice House locations have playgrounds, which is awesome, but they aren’t near downtown. Kerbey Lane is the quintessential Austin brunch place in the Keep Austin Weird style and is also great for kids, but no playscape.

  10. My sister is moving to New York City and won’t have much money. Her birthday is coming up. I was thinking I’d get her a gift card somewhere for about $100. What would be best? I was thinking maybe a grocery delivery service? Any other ideas? She has tons of airline miles so a gift card for a flight home isn’t the best idea.

    • My NYC friends love Fresh Direct for grocery delivery. Other than excessive packaging they have no complaints.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        Fresh Direct is awesome!

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        Fresh Direct. And that excessive packaging is awesome when it comes times to move and you need boxes ;-P

        • Sydney Bristow :

          True! There are quite a few Fresh Direct boxes packed in my living room for my move tomorrow. They are a great size.

      • Alanna of Trebond :

        I’ve never used Fresh Direct, but I absolutely love Quinciple–it is like Blue Apron but with local, in-season, farm grown food. Would be a great gift!

    • Amazon = nearly limitless purchasing power.

    • Anon in NYC :

      Fresh Direct for groceries is great. Seamless is great for takeout delivery. A gift certificate to someplace like Ricky’s might be nice (cosmestics, hair stuff, beauty products in general) if she’s into that kind of thing.

    • I would probably do something like a high-end grocery or specialty foods store – Zabars, Whole Foods, or Fairwa (maybe not as high-end but I love them). That’s always been my favorite present – I’m going to go to the supermarket, but being able to buy something special always makes me happy.

  11. SarahJames :

    On a scale of 1 to 10, how ridiculous is it to be expected to attend your cousin’s daughter’s bot mitzvah (well, my husband’s cousin’s daughter) in a majorish city in the southwest if you live in NYC? The tickets are hovering around $400 each. Getting lots of pressure for my MIL to go and while we can technically afford it, we really don’t want to drop that much money (plus hotels) to attend a bot mitzvah!

    • I would HAPPILY attend a robot mitzvah!

      As for a bat, for a cousin’s daughter, for nearly a grand just in travel, bat humbug. Unless you’re down to make a fun NYC weekend out of it, just send a check.

      • SarahJames :

        No, we’re in NYC and she’s in the southwest…and thanks for the correction on the bot/bat thing! Clearly, not raised Jewish myself.

        • Reading comprehension – clearly not my strong suit. Need to get a bot. Regardless, if the travel destination doesn’t sound fun for you (and see below re will you personally regret it), don’t go.

    • I think it all depends on your husband’s relationship with his cousin. It’s a pretty big deal for the kid/robot, and realize that these are also often big family reunion events.

      My general approach is when I can afford something like this, I try to separate how much money it is for the weekend from how much I/my SO legitimately wants to go and if I would regret it afterwards.

    • Aren’t you the one who was really upset a few weeks ago because you felt like people didn’t “acknowledge” your wedding by showing up, but failing to send a gift? Just curious.

      • Hahahaha I hope this is true…

      • Anonymous :

        This is mean (OK, a little funny), but you have a good point. I would say that a bat mitzvah is equivalent to a wedding in terms of what a big deal it is. Parents spend tons of money on the event, the kid studies like crazy to get to that point, and it’s an extremely important, symbolic event. Maybe if you look at it like that, it will help you decide. If it helps, majorish cities in the southwest (Phoenix?) are extraordinarily beautiful this time of year.

        If you don’t go, you should definitely send a gift.

        • Anon4This :

          Yes, this. It’s more about the family reunion-aspect of the event than how close you feel to a 13-year-old kid who is forced to write a thank-you note. If there’s old people there that you never see again — you may wish you had gone.

      • SarahJames :

        Yes, that was me. I said that I was hurt that close friends who attended our wedding didn’t give a gift. That really isn’t a controversial statement to anyone but those without manners. We would give a gift regardless of whether we dropped over $1000 to attend. I also said in my post that I didn’t expect ANYONE to attend our wedding except our immediate family.

    • Anonymous :

      In my experience they’re like family weddings. You don’t have to go to them of course but treating them like just a birthday party isn’t appropriate.

  12. Anonymous :

    Need advice on decluttering for financial or important documents. I have several years worth of paystubs/bank statements etc, want to toss out some things but also afraid that I might need something later. Also need advice on what to do for credit card statements especially if you still owe a balance or had some debt discharged. Thanks in advance.

    • Anonymous :

      Throw them all out. You don’t need bank statements or credit card statement and if you did you could get them online. Rumor has it you sometimes need pay stubs for the last year or two to get a mortgage but if you’re coming out of bankruptcy you don’t need it.

      • Unless your bank charges €13 for each replacement statement – local problem I found out about the hard way!

      • At least when I applied for a mortgage last year, you needed your W-2 for the last two years and your paystubs for the last two months. I can’t image you would need all paystubs for the last two years. Any relevant information would be in the W-2.

    • I keep backups for taxes for 3 years after filing (so: 2013 taxes filed on tax day 2014, keep until tax day 2017; afterwards, keep returns only and proof of mailing).

      I make some exceptions (major purchases, improvements to house, etc.), but I tend to shred things asap to avoid drowning in paper / cut down on records to secure. I hate, HATE paper clutter.

      • Anonymous :

        I thought you needed to keep you taxes and supporting paperwork for 7 years. Is it only 3?

        • The IRS can only audit back 3 years on filed returns (unless they suspect fraud).

    • Throw out all paystubs that you have received a W-2 for (assuming the W-2 numbers were correct) unless you determine you need the actual stubs. Keep the W-2s for the last 3-6 years.

    • Another anonymous Judge :

      If you are fretting you could just scan everything then shred the originals. Peace of mind AND an empty desk.

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