Monthly Archives: January 2011

free shoes….did someone say free shoes?

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 Did you hear about the shoe giveaway?  Saks Fifth Avenue has a little giveaway going on.  The Grand Prize is a free pair of designer shoes from Saks Fifth Avenue every week for a year…worth up to $20,000. 

So I registered!  Wouldn’t you?  And then I decided to pre-shop just in case I get the call.  A girl can dream, right? 

All photographs and descriptions are from …Megan Deem, the fashion features editor has the most incredible job.  I imagine her office is like a giant closet filled with the most incredible things from the most creative designers in the world.  The shoes I have chosen are my favorites from her feature “We’re Obsessed! …if money were no object”.  You can jump over to InStyle to see all of the obsessions.  Enjoy!!!

These shoes are spectacular, sexy works of art and I would love a pair of each!  The first three are my absolute favorites, the others are randomly listed.  (just in case Megan Deem needed to make space in her office for the new arrivals she would know which ones she could send my way..wink)

Roger Vivier Nouvelle Vague Pumps

Roger Vivier Nouvelle Vague Pumps

Straw may seem an interesting selection in January, when rubber (in the form of boots) is usually the footwear material of choice. But the fluid curves of these peep-toes are just so elegant, and the flower accent, divine. Neither beachy casual nor boring practical, these heels will make you want to put some extra effort into your outfit and help you forget that spring is still at least two months away.


Gucci Lola Boots

Gucci Lola Boots
Is it a cozy pair of knee-high socks or a sturdy set of motorcycle boots? Why, it’s both! In a very Flashdance meets Harley Davidson Milano sort of way, this platform style pulls on like leg warmers while giving you the street cred of black leather harness straps.


Diego Dolcini T-strap Wedges

Diego Dolcini T-strap Wedges

Five inches of iridescent python fabulousness would be enough to convince me these are the peep-toes of the moment. But add to that the adorable flower detail on the front (with leaves of the same mesmerizing green skin and petals of blue suede and metallic black velvet) and this is a pair I can’t wait to get on my feet.


Réne Caovilla Rose Sandals

Réne Caovilla Rose Sandals

These delicate black satin flats are just the thing for elegant lawn parties and other summer situations at which sinking heels would be a hindrance. Even more delightful, the front strap boasts a few well-placed leather thorns, to serve as a warning to anyone who might dare step on your toes.


Giuseppe Zanotti Design Sandals

Giuseppe Zanotti Design Sandals

The stacked bangle look has made its way from wrists to ankles. If you loved the effect of mixing multiple bracelets up and down your arms, these black suede spikes and their shiny bands of gold and silver beads will bring you (and your feet) much joy. Now you just need to figure out the rest of your jewelry.


Brian Atwood Farrah heels

Brian Atwood Farrah heels

They always say you should treat your feet. With their puffy silk chiffon bows, these gorgeous peep-toe stilettos turn your feet into the present. The entire shoe is covered in a black-and-white floral-print chiffon. Then those small buds are enlarged on the ankle ties, which wrap gracefully up the leg. Truly, these are a gift to yourself in more ways than one.


Prada Thong Sandals with Crystals

Prada Thong Sandals with Crystals

Seeing these sleek, sparkly shoes makes me want to be on vacation right this very second. Preferably somewhere chic, on a yacht. The opulent-minimalist vibe of the dove-grey satin mixed with loads of marquise-cut crystals is right up my alley. And the clear Plexiglas heel is a definite conversation-starter (so that’s how a shoe is made!), always handy if there’s a lull during cocktail hour.


Jil Sander Lizard and Wood Wedges

Jil Sander Lizard and Wood Wedges

This is what I imagine a George Nakashima table would look like if it were turned into the heel of a shoe. The delicate, cobweb-like cut of the leather upper just reinforces the sprung-from-natureness of the organically shaped wooden sole beneath it.


Yves Saint Laurent Leopard-Print Ankle Boots

Yves Saint Laurent Leopard-Print Ankle Boots

Like any Manhattan resident, I wear a lot of black—especially during fall and winter, specifically dresses and opaque tights. And I like a practical shoe for negotiating the subway. These ponyskin ankle boots will add enough visual oomph to my uniform to make it clear I’m not a mime. And say what you will about the 5.5 inch heel, is there really anything more utilitarian (read: practical) than boots? I thought not.


Balmain Suede Buckled Ankle Boots

Balmain Suede Buckled Ankle Boots

The word “fierce” has become a tad overused (Christian Siriano, we’re talking to you), but I can’t think of a better way to describe these cherry red beauties. Don’t let the profusion of straps deter you—there’s a back zip above those 4.5 inch heels, so you can slide your boots on or kick ’em off at will.


Pedro Garcia Feather Ballet Flat

Pedro Garcia Indira Feather Ballet Flat

As much as I love a fabulous heel, sometimes you just need a flat. Comfort is not an excuse for frumpiness, however. Give your feet a break, sure, but don’t embarrass them. These Pedro García flats are exquisitely amazing for many reasons. For starters, the iridescent green pheasant feathers covering each shoe are individually placed by hand—believe it. And there’s the chic grosgrain bow and pearl-topped pin, inspired “by the elegance of 1950s hats,” according to the designer. (And why shouldn’t your shoes have their own jewelry?) That happy sigh just came from your feet, who say, Thank you.


Tod's Pointy Décolleté Pumps

Tod’s Pointy Décolleté Pumps

I’m barely behind the wheel of a car anymore, but I still have a soft spot for Tod’s iconic driving shoes and their nubby soles, designed to keep feet from slipping off gas and clutch pedals. These high heels play on the nub idea and are perfect for my usual mode of transportation—my feet. The rubber bottoms grip the sidewalk, and the concealed platforms make dashing around in 3.5 inch heels a comfortable proposition.


Christian Louboutin Straratata Glitter Sandals

Christian Louboutin Straratata Glitter Sandals

I’m usually not a tremendous glitter fan, primarily because weeks after one wears anything (clothing, makeup) with a glitter component, such a person finds renegade metallic flakes in her hairline or a stray sparkle on her coat sleeve. But when glitter is nicely contained, as it is in these leather-edged straps, I can be persuaded. The red, green, blue, and silver flecks decorating these 5.5 inch heels are eye-catching and stay put—just the way I like it.


Maloles Zoe Flats with Fur

Maloles Zoe Flats with Fur

You’ve probably resolved to spend this month on a party hiatus and detox with quiet nights in (except for trips to the gym, natch). So be it. While you’re puttering around the house, munching on raw vegetables and gearing up to restart that classic you always swore you’d finish (Ulysses), slide your feet into a pair of these cozy flats. They’re made of lizard lined in fluffy chinchilla—a deliciously soft nest for your tootsies (which deserve some R&R as well). And should the mood strike and you absolutely have to get out of the house (to pick up some ice cream and a DVD, perhaps), you won’t need to waste precious time changing your shoes.


Nicholas Kirkwood Fluro Python Lace-up Sandals

Nicholas Kirkwood Fluro Python Lace-up Sandals

For proof that an insanely sexy shoe needn’t always be a strappy stiletto, see left. Utterly brilliant footwear designer Nicholas Kirkwood just goes from strength to strength. Here, he combines neon lime leather with violet python skin for a caged bootie that manages to be scandalous, seductive, and slightly covered up.



Filed under plain and simple

birds + birdseed + binoculars = birdwatching…birdlady…

We live in an area that is home to large variety of bird species.  I have always enjoyed watching birds in their natural habitat.  However that isn’t easy to do when you live in suburbia.  That is not the case now!

Since moving in we have encountered a variety of wild life.  We have been visited by deer, hogs, possum, raccoons, squirrel and armadillo.  The bird variety is just as varied.  However, I am not as familiar with my avian friends. 

I know that we have had cardinals, downy or red bellied woodpeckers as well as a pileated woodpecker, northeastern blue birds, nuthatches, meadowlarks, hummingbirds, mourning doves, bluejay, owls and red-tailed hawks.  Not to mention the homely vulture and the common blackbirds. 

I have just recently discovered that I can take part in the Great Backyard Bird Count.  The GBBC will take place February 18-21, 2011.  The Great Backyard Bird Count is an annual 4 day event that engages birdwatchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of where the birds are across the continent.  Anyone can participate, from beginner birdwatchers to experts.  You can spend as little as 15 minutes are as much time as you would like to spend each day of the event.  It’s free, fun and easy!  Well at least that’s what I have read.

I think it would be fun if a few of you joined me in the GBBC.  We can meet back up here the week following the count and share our bird watching experiences.  And for you Home Schoolers this would be a great science project for the kids.  Check out the link for the Great Backyard Bird Count for all the information you need to participate in this free, fun and easy event!


Filed under Life in Texas

my first year blogging…

It all started with a conversation between friends about blogs they were following.  My interest was piqued.  Then the buzz word was BLOG!  Everyone was either blogging or talking about someone who was blogging.  

After sustaining a back injury, picking up a towel off of the floor to put into the washer, that would have me off from work for almost 3 weeks.  And having more than enough free time to consider, read, follow and even try my hand at blogging it began. 

I decided that I would blog my way through the selling of our home of many years as well as building our new home in the country.  Little did I know how much I would come to enjoy blogging.

I really had no idea what I was getting myself into and I made a few big blunders right out of the box.  It wasn’t like I  borrowed someone elses post and presented it as my own.  I just didn’t think through my blog name and now I am sort of stuck with this one.  C’est la vie!

My blog has given me an outlet for the emotional roller coaster that came with selling our homemoving into a 26′ travel trailer…leaving everything familiar behind and embarking on a whole new chapter in what is the story of my life. 

Blogging has allowed me to fill a space in my life that I didn’t know needed filling.  I have re-discovered a love of writing and expressing my thoughts and sharing them with others. 

My blog is … the rest of the story

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Filed under Thoughts on Blogging

un-plugged…but still connected

Have I mentioned that I work for a non-profit?  Actually I work for a church.  I organize and encourage volunteers to serve in different areas of ministry. 

 A few years back I read a book that helped me  discover the things that give me the greatest joy and now I get to use those gifts to earn a living.  I think I am one of the lucky people!

I love my job!  There are only a few days out of the month that actually feel like work.  The rest of the time it’s the most fun I have ever had while getting paid. 

Even when you love what you do there are days that make you shake your head and reach for the ibuprofen. Like today!  My computer was infected with one of those disgusting virus’.  The one that is going around making everyone’s computer sick. It turned out to be one of those scareware virus’  but just the same it was very annoying and inconvenient. 

It’s just like when I get sick after washing my hands and using hand sanitizer and avoiding all the sick people in the office.   Even after all of the precautions, I still get sick.   I don’t really know how I got it.  But I did! 

I didn’t open any of the junk email that fills my inbox.  I didn’t open  any of the forwarded emails or emails from people I don’t know.  I wasn’t doing anything I wasn’t suppose to be doing.    I was just doing what I normally do, surfing the internet looking for books for the bookstore I oversee and searching for clever suggestions for an invitation I was working on at the time.  Then it happened!  Then it was too late!  So I did the only thing I knew to do.  I called our IT department.  Well, I called our IT guy.

Me:  Hi.   My computer has a virus!
IT Guy:  What were you doing?
Me:  Nothing…surfing the internet.
IT Guy:  For what?
Me:  Invitations.
IT Guy:  Really, what sight were you on?
Me:  I don’t know, just some invitation site. 
IT Guy:  It doesn’t sound good.  Un-plug it.
Me:  Un Plug It?  Really?!
IT Guy:  Yes.  Un-Plug it!
Me:  You want me to un-plug my computer? 
IT Guy: Yep

So… I un-plugged it!

The thought of un-plugging began to rattle around in my brain.   I began to think about doing just that.  Un-plugging!  Calling it a day!  Heading home!  Going on vacation!  Disappearing for a while! 

What would that be like?  To just un-plug from life when things start to go south. 

It didn’t take long to decide that this was not an option. I realized this would only be a temporary fix.  Nothing would be settled.  Nothing would be fixed,  Everything would be on hold.  The inevitable would only be postponed.  Life would be in a holding pattern, the little blue light blinking,  waiting to start back up.

So I decided…to take a walk.  Be quiet.  Listen.  Collect my thoughts.  And yes Un-Plug…then I picked up a pen and a notepad and went back to work.  No stinkin’ computer virus is going to shut me down…I may be un-plugged but I am still connected!

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Filed under Life..such as it is, my story..

The Local…every small town has one

I live in the County as the locals refer to it.  The county is outside of the city limits.  Sometimes just across the city line or way out where city services are not offered to the homeowners.   The town I live in doesn’t have much to boast about except maybe just that, its lack of activity.  It’s quiet here, there are lots of trees and open spaces, thousands of birds and more than enough wildlife to make taking the dogs out at night an adventure. 

The closest real town is approximately 13 miles away.  Well, the closest grocery store is 13 miles away.  There are plenty of places to eat in this little town.  More than half would be considered a Mom and Pop place and the other half are the bravest of the chain restaurants. 

However a little further down the interstate is a bigger town. To be fair it is considered a City.  Although it be a city with a small “c”.  This is the place I have been gravitating towards on my days off.  There is a mall and a few big box stores that every girl needs access to.  But I choose to head this direction on my day off for the local shopping and eateries that it has to offer. 

The pace is much slower than what I am used to and I am relishing in it.  The traffic is less hectic, Lunch seems to last a little bit longer and the people are just darn right friendlier.

My favorite lunch spot is the “LOCAL“.  It’s a great little place that gives you a warm familiar feeling the minute you walk through the gate and into the courtyard.  The inviting experience continues as you open the door and are greeted by a colorful chalkboard menu, a display case and the smell of deliciousness coming from the kitchen.  You place your order at the counter, help yourself to the silverware and drinks and find a seat.  Just like home, except you don’t have to do the cooking.  The place fills up fast with locals; business men and women having lunch meetings, ladies lunch groups, friends and couples.  All enjoying a leisurely lunch with wonderful food and great conversation.  Well that’s what you should be doing if your eating at the Local. 

The Local also has a nicely stocked bakery case as well as gift items for your kitchen or a unique gift for your bff.  The prices are moderate.  The food is good.  The service is friendly.  The atmosphere is casual and cozy.  The Local is the place where if you were to find yourself in this little town looking for a bite to eat you would hope that this would be the recommendation.  Really!  It’s the Local!  Every town has one or at least they should!

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Filed under My Local Recommendations

Resolutions vs. Habits

A RESOLUTION is a resolve or determination to make a firm resolution to do something.
A HABIT is an acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary.
I admit that I have made the occasional New Years Resolution only to be forgotten within days.  Years ago I decided to forgo the guilt and feelings of failure by not making resolutions.  This decision proved to be just as disappointing as making a resolution and not following through.  So,   I decided that if nothing else I would resolve to become a better person every year.   This particular “resolution” has been my stand by for several years.     This has been an easy one to accomplish.  To be better means to not be as bad.  All that I have to do is be “nicer” this year than I was last year.  Or, not to be mean or ugly to one person who more than likely deserved an earful for cutting me off on the freeway, or hogging the isle in Wal-Mart, or even borrowing something and not returning it. 
This year, after reading a new blog I stumbled upon, I decided to try something new.  Instead of resolving to do something that requires major life changes and probably comes with an expensive price tag and a big fat I told you so at the end when it didn’t happen.  How about developing new habits.  Healthy Habits!  I don’t know about you but this past year I developed new habits without so much as a second thought.  Most of which are not bad for my health but they aren’t especially good either. 
How long does it take to develop a new habit?  The experts say it takes 21 days to develop a habit.  Also, the goal should be to develop only good habits or replace bad habits with good habits.  I have chosen to develop a new habit of drinking more water.  I will achieve this by always having a glass of water with me when I am on the computer, which is most of the day.
If in fact I fail to follow through with this plan it will get chalked up to another failed New Years Resolution.  But if I succeed I will have developed a new healthy habit.  Just so you know I am not off to a very good start. 

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Filed under Life..such as it is, plain and simple

2010 in review..via Wordpress

The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 3,100 times in 2010. That’s about 7 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 100 new posts, not bad for the first year! There were 520 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 658mb. That’s about 1 pictures per day.

The busiest day of the year was December 23rd with 63 views. The most popular post that day was White Christmases in Houston…Surprisingly Yes!.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were,,,, and WordPress Dashboard.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for christmas food court flash mob, new orleans streetcar, streetcar new orleans, road sign collage, and texas landscaping.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


White Christmases in Houston…Surprisingly Yes! December 2010
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how the grinch stole christmas or the dirty santa gift exchange… December 2010


it’s in the trunk… November 2010


here we go….again… September 2010


merry christmas…food court flash mob style November 2010


Filed under Thoughts on Blogging