Virtual Shopping Carts

I prefer to shop online for convenience, time and because it suits my analysis paralysis problem quite well.  Things either wait for me to make up my mind or disappear.  I’m a big believer that what is meant to be will be, so if something vanishes before I decide to click and enter my credit card info, so be it.  Ironically, I shop in quite the opposite manner in person.  I’ll either stomp out in frustration very quickly or buy something that might not be what I was looking for just because it’s there.

So I thought it would be fun to share what’s in my train of virtual carts today:

n252s_4At Stella & Dot – the Madeline Pearl Necklace.  I love pearls, freshwater, cultured and of course, the luxurious natural sea varieties as well.  I finally decided that I’m a grown-up, and it’s not my fault (well… maybe it is, but I’m forgiving infant me for taking too long to come out) that I was born roughly 9 hours too late for the pearl to be my official birthstone.  So… I’m claiming it as my gem of choice and that’s that.

I love that this scattered strand can be looped as many times as it suits me, and it’s unlike any of the other pearl necklaces in my possession.   Besides, a new friend is having a party, and that’s way more than enough justifying the purchase, right?

cbd11pwo9rs_3_3_1Sticking with the baubles theme, I still don’t have a bangle from Alex and Ani.  I like the idea of the paw print, but the weirdness at the bottom of the design has kept me from completing the purchase.   I am seeing more and more of their bangles around, and I am drawn to them, but even with the modest price point, I want it to be just right, you know?

And what is with the bottom of the design?  It reminds me of siamese twin sheep or something.  (See?!  I just don’t think this is the one for me, but none of the others leap out either.)


42075031_7920 41075042_5958Next up, I have a couple of shirts in a cart at Talbots.  I have a gift card there, and I’ve nearly spent it several times, but I just can’t seem to find something I can’t live without.  Maybe one – or both? – of these shirts will do the trick?

The blouse on the far left has a sorta’ seahorse motif, and the floral on the near left is definitely bigger and bolder than my norm for a blouse, but I like the colors and find I enjoy feminine touches in my work attire now that skirts and dresses simply are not functional.  Talbots is definitely my favorite button-up shirt source; I think almost all of mine have their label inside, and they last forever.  My very favorite long sleeved Talbots denim shirt is at least 15 years old and still looks no worse than “broken in.”

2648659-p-MULTIVIEWThen at 6pm, I have these NYDJ crops.  I wore my green cord skinny jeans earlier this week, and with highs near 70 and humidity above that, it’s time to retire them until fall.  Anyone out there familiar with NYDJ?  Wouldn’t the left-most Talbots top and these jeans be a great almost year-round casual work outfit – with much more practical shoes?!

I never wear heels with ankle pants to work.  In fact, the only way I wear heels to work is in boots, and even then, they are 2″ or lower.  I was caught needing to till – steer the back end of a ladder truck – last week and even in practical flats, as I climbed down, I missed my sturdier footwear.

I also need a couple of new sports bras and tanks, but even with some great sales online, I haven’t gotten there yet.

zu7868687_main_tm1392846448And speaking of boots, of course I have a pair in a cart at Zulily!  These Johnny Ringos are full of springtime happiness, aren’t they?  The next few months are going to be challenging at work, because I love me some bare feet in the summertime, and I definitely can’t do open toes at work.  My feet sweat, and I don’t love capris – my summer bottom of choice – with boots either, but see above…  there are days when I miss my boots if I don’t wear them.

Sigh.  Queue Tammy Wynette’s “Sometimes it’s hard to be a woman…” (aka: her legendary hit Stand By Your Man).  My male co-workers are required to wear safety boots, so they don’t have my flexibility – or the dilemma!

Do you have anything in any shopping carts?

Whose Walk?

Happy Thorsday, little friday, thankful thursday and more.  Gretchen is soliciting advice, so feel free to weigh in.   I actually want to share a new find with you.  Our walks are sacred.  Unless it’s really raining hard or I simply cannot get home before it’s truly dark, we walk, wog or run every day.  Thankfully, we live in an age when reflective, moisture-wicking attire is fairly easy to find, so I’m not going to get into that part today.  The dogs each have reflective jackets and bandanas, and when we go out with any chance of dusk falling before we get home, we’re all wearing something reflective.

mainproredBut KT Tape is new to me, and I’m a fan already.  When my back was troubling me, I used a lot of the over the counter patches, and over the years, I shudder to think how many elastic bandages and ankle supports I’ve purchased and used.  I also appreciate all the videos and printable instructions for application KTT offers.  I consider myself a bit of a wrapping expert, but because this tape does more than support and/or immobilize, do yourself a favor and watch and read before you slap some tape to skin.

It isn’t cheap, but sometimes you have to pay for technology – and results.  And my workout partners are relentless, so I can’t “lay out” much, especially with a relatively minor injury.

montrail-mountain-masochist-outdry-trail-running-shoes-waterproof-mid-cut-for-women-in-stainless-reef~p~6088g_01~1500.2I also bought a pair of running … boots.  Sierra Trading Post and/or Montrail call them mid-cut shoes, but on me, they come up well above my ankle bone, so I’m calling them boots.  The full product name is a bit much – Montrail Mountain Mascochist Out-Dry Trail Running Shoes – but don’t let that slow you down.  They are stiffer than my favorite trail running shoes (Brooks Cascadia), but they aren’t TOO stiff.  Likewise, I was very concerned about the high top, especially for running, but I’ve worn them twice now without any problems.

But then again, I wear boots to work and have off and on for most of my adult life.  I know to lace them about as snuggly as I can tolerate it, so they won’t scoot around and rub blisters.  They are requiring some break-in, so thus far, I’ve only done two, two-mile walk-wog-runs in them.  They are FAR more functional that the high-top sneakers of my youth, which I wore for basketball and rifle corps, and I just remember them being annoying and distracting.

I am QUITE certain these wouldn’t be at all comfortable over about 50 degrees, but then… they’re waterproof, so …  I don’t expect them to be cool like mesh shoes.  And it doesn’t appear that it will be much over 50 degrees here in the near future, so…  I’ll keep breaking them in and Sissy and Gretchen will continue to log the miles that they have come to expect   demand on a daily basis…

The Knight added to my cool weather workout attire recently, and announced that they were the dogs’ Christmas presents.  I thought he meant FROM the dogs to me, but he clarified that no, it’s THEIR walks I go on, so therefore, the attire I require to conduct said walks is … for the dogs.  He’s a smart man, and I’m a lucky woman.

What are you thankful for today?

Stitch Fix #1

Gee, I could have posted this one from work… because I took no photos.

325587_366_45But first, more on the boot saga.  Bags, dresses…  I’m always hunting for the perfect something.  It *IS* already hunting season here in the woods though, so just call me a retail bargain hunter.  Anyway, something inspired me to go hug and kiss   visit my beloved boots.  Oops.  I am a really rotten fan.  Turns out they’re Durangos, and they’re a half size smaller than what I thought, which makes them a full size smaller than most of my boots… I think.  Ugh.

They look a lot like this, only with tone-on-tone embossed stitching, and mine are really more awesome, because they’re old and have molded to my foot and… they’re just mine.

But back to Stitch Fix.   Have you heard of it?  A local friend had tried it, so when Barbara suggested it, I figured… why not?  I filled out the profile in as much detail as I could stand and requested tops for business casual for the new job.

My stylist nailed it.  The box included an ombre chambray shirt that I might have kept if I didn’t already have 3 chambray shirts AND I’m pretty sure ombre stuff is going to be a flash in the fashion pan.  It also included a great, raspberry (my color word… I think they labeled it magenta) short-sleeved blouse, but $68 and dry clean only polyester isn’t going to live in my house, or work in my more causal than business casual new job.  The last shirt was a great, navy and maybe slightly off-white polka dotted  elbow-length blouse… that I got on and then my wide shoulders swelled up or something and I thought I’d never get it off without ruining it.  (Don’t laugh.  NOW I understand how dogs and toddlers get their heads caught in deck railings.)

409530_AK13_FF_TVYThe pants were too long, with faux rear pockets (?!) navy legging-like ponte knit things.   I might have been tempted to keep them if I hadn’t just gotten the best leggings in the whole world, the Land’s End Starfish Cotton Spandex Legging.  Order a size down, and if you are small through the waist/upper hips, consider ordering TWO sizes down.  They’re seriously so awesome I might order them in every color.

And to round out the 5-item Stitch Fix box, there was the dark, hunter green ponte knit skirt with zippered, front pockets…  cry.  Like the awesome dotted blouse, it was too small.  Oh, because it was S-M-L sized, the next size up would be too big, and in another life, I would have Spanxed myself into it, but honestly, my turn the page new life isn’t going to require more skirts and dresses.

I did note that their sizing seemed more Junior than Misses to me, so I hope that’s not how their brands tend to run…

I did forfeit my $20 styling fee, but I will do it again… after I’m settled at the new place and have a real grip on what I’m going to want to wear.  With the holidays looming (Stitch Fix schedules about a month out), I don’t know that I’ll get another shipment scheduled before the New Year, but if you’re tempted to give it a whirl, would you consider telling them I sent you?  All you have to do is click on this link…  and next time, I might try my goodies on when I’m not rushing out to a meeting or something, and maybe you’ll get photos.

Have you tried anything new lately?

Boot Scootin’

It’s pouring rain, this is my last Monday at the soon to be former family business, and I’m consoling myself with some online “window” shopping.  Those of you who know me – either in “real life” or beyond just what I post here – know I have a thing for boots.  I blame it on a father who wore boots 99% of the time AND 12 years as a uniformed firefighter.  Unless it’s 80+ degrees out and I’m only walking in places that don’t set off my OCD airport feet issues, I’m most comfortable in a boot.

JBC_L4302_LFBless his heart, the Knight doesn’t ask questions.  He just laughed when I saw an email ad from Country Outfitters last night and swooned while muttering that I shouldn’t even click over.  (I did… but I consider it a sign of restraint that I waited ’til we got home to do so.)   The Justin Turquoise Damianas looked even better in the ad, because that funky not-chevron stitching at the top wasn’t so obvious, but the damage was done and I need a new pair of boots, probably cowboy/western boots.

See, despite my eternally preppy tastes, my feet, my legs, my back and the rest of me really are happy in a below my big calf, pull-on boots.  Yeah, conventional wisdom might say some sharp equestrian boots would fit better with my Lilly P meets Lands End wardrobe, but I’m short all over from ankle to knee, and my calves aren’t slender.  (Love the new trend to call legs athletic.  Yup.  Mine are.)  If I find a “tall boot” that isn’t too tall, there’s a good chance that with thick tights – never mind cute leggings or skinny jeans – getting them over all of that … athleticism will result in failure and/or the use of highly vulgar words, a broken finger nail or two, etc.

JBC_BRL331_LFSo…  I’m boot shopping.  I’m especially drawn to the two-tone styles.  And no, Justin boots did not sponsor this post, but they could… if anyone out there is listening?!  (Or any other boot company?) 

Yes, this is a hint about my new job.  It’s another admin position, and many of my job duties will be the same, but I’ll also be the parts curator, and I don’t want any of the guys dropping a brass valve on my peep toe pumps.  I’m quite certain that my version of business casual is too … business for this place, but certainly a sturdy pair of boots – or ten? – will tone things down, eh?

Are you a boot scooter?  Do you have a favorite brand?  My favorite pair of “cowboy boots” are by Dingo, and they’re proof that a good pair of boots will last a decade or more.  They might need resoling in the next year or so, but they’re insanely comfortable and only my little navy Clarks ankle boots rival them for best-loved status.  Being the no to low maintenance gal that I am, the Dingos would win though, because a wipe-down with an oily sponge beats polishing every day.

Oh Olivia…

Thanks for the great feedback on rummage and tag sales.  I’ll keep you posted.

standard_5601920200Since you were so helpful yesterday, I’m wondering if you know Olivia?  She’s a cute, new style from Dankso, and I’m itching to find this particular color.  I really like the hair calf version too, but I have leopard pumps, and I don’t have any really yummy, “claret” colored shoes.   Yes, Danskos are expensive, but I still have the very first pair I bought, roughly 20 years ago.  How do I know the approximate time?  Because I got them around the same time I moved in here.  They do look a little dated, but the oiled black leather is still in great shape and while I don’t wear them regularly anymore, I haven’t had to re-sole them either.

They even survived baby Fred’s toting phase.  No, it wasn’t teething.  He just liked to carry my right shoes around.  He didn’t hurt them, unless you consider tiny little baby Hooey teeth imprints in leather a problem.  (I don’t; I wish more than one pair was still “autographed” by that sweet boy.)

Anything you’re craving for your feet for fall?



Timeless Classics

47222803Way back when I was an energetic youth and teen, tennis was one of my passions.   As best I can recall, I never wore anything other than Tretorns on the court.   I have a just barely narrower than average/medium foot, not enough so that I can wear a narrow width, but enough so that I get blisters if I don’t wear thick socks.  Tretorns fit like a glove.

Maybe they never left, but I sure stopped being able to find them.   Then, they turned up on Reese’s feet in a Budget Babe Dress by Number post.   Finally, a celeb look I want to copy!

Of course, they take me back…  in high school, I wore pearls EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.   Actually, I still do wear at least pearl earrings more often than not.  I’ve babbled here more than once that pearls were just a few hours short of being my birthstone.  Oh, rubies are pretty too, but there’s just something about pearls…

Image courtesy of Pearls with Purpose

Image courtesy of Pearls with Purpose

Maybe it’s because they are gifts from the sea, so to speak.  (Don’t spoil my happy with the facts; I realize natural pearls are increasingly rare and that there are freshwater pearls too.)  And then there’s the oyster connection… love me some mollusks.  I also appreciate that pearls go with everything, so I don’t have to think about whether they match the rest of my outfit.

What’s making you nostalgic today?


So Complicated

It’s very hard to blog when you can’t remember to take photos.   So…  you’ll just have to wait to hear about what I did over the weekend until I can provide said images.

It’s not that hard.  Other people pull out their phones and snap photos.  I don’t have to post them on Facebook or Instagram – or I could – but…  I am not good about preserving a moment via a snapsnot.

It was a great weekend.  Lots of R&R, a new life came into the world even though his blankie isn’t ready, there was good family time and a new wine…  but no photos, so more about all of that another day, okay?

Talbots Tonal-Stripe Skirt

Talbots Tonal-Stripe Skirt

Instead, I’m going to subject you to prattle about inbox shopping.  Do you shop from your inbox?  I do a lot of “just looking” from those emails, but sometimes, just the right thing is on sale and you need to buy it while they still have your size.  I’ve been eyeing that skirt since it showed up in my Talbots Advisory Council survey, months ago.   I’m truly at my wardrobe capacity, but this is a four-season staple that will happily pair with about 27 things I already own.  It’s an online exclusive that sometimes – on the same monitor even – appears more red, and others, more PANK, but either way, I know I’ll wear it to pieces.

13037132And Vera Bradley has finally tempted me with what they’re calling an All in One crossbody.  Maybe.  I’m really fond of my Coach wristlets though…  but this is more organized and sometimes, crossbody convenience is handy, even if it doesn’t work so well on my body.  And it’s lined in PANK.  How awesome is that?!

Last but hardly least, Sierra Trading Post keeps sending me 35% off “coupons” and they have my beloved Brooks Cascadia in the blue I like.  I don’t have a pair in reserve or in that color, and these are the shoes that make my feet, my legs, my body, the happiest, on any surface… except wet cement and mud-slicked boat ramps. 


What are you making more complicated than it has to be?


Ramped… down?

Happy Thorsday, little friday, Thankful Thursday and last day of spring.   I need a little advice on training over on the girls’ blog, please?

photo.JPGSee that rustic boat landing?  Yeah.  That’s what it looked like in the dead of winter.  Imagine what it’s like after several inches of rain in just a few days.  Imagine what kind of idiot would venture near it, even in (very worn) trail running shoes.

Hem.  There are no photos of me, with mud from shoulder to toe, but the girls begged to go to the river, and while I was assuring them it was too wet… 

Yeah.  I am sure I looked like a cartoon, with my feet flying out from under me, but I landed on my right side.  From the looks of the drying mud, I decided my hip/thigh had taken the brunt of the fall, but based on what still hurts five days later, I evidently tried to catch myself and twisted my arm and shoulder. 

Brooks Cascadia 8 (current version... not the 6 that is tried and true for me)

Brooks Cascadia 8 (current version… not the 6 that is tried and true for me)

I’m thankful I wasn’t really hurt.  I’m thankful that thus far, my walking injuries have been very mild and have allowed me to tote myself home, even with two energetic dogs in tow.   But I’m wondering how to know when to retire my beloved trail shoes.  (I do have a brand new, identical pair in waiting.)  In the past, I’ve simply waited until the shoes no longer protected me from my old athletic injuries and their pains, or until something cracked, split or otherwise signalled that the time had come.  But these Brooks Cascadia gems just keep on. 

Why yes, the soles are slick, and I do realize that’s a bad idea for trails and on a hard-surface road, but these shoes still feel like no other on my feet and cushion my somewhat fragile back from the stress of covering 20 miles or more most weeks at all sorts of paces.  I’ve put way more than 600 miles on them, and they’re pushing a year old, which is really saying something; I generally have to retire my walking/running shoes after about 6 months, no matter what the exterior looks like, because being an accident-prone youth athlete is a gift that keeps on giving.

I do rotate shoes.  I have hiking shoes that are worn about once a week in the colder months, I have grete Brooks Ghosts for cold, wet trails, and I have the New Balance road runners the Knight bought me.   Currently, I rotate back and forth between the Brooks Cascadias, the New Balances and a dash of Brooks Ghost if it’s cool and wet. 

What do you perhaps need to let go of soon?

Goodness & Light part 1

After all of my stress and worry last week, it’s time for goodness and light.  The funny thing is, there was goodness and light throughout the mess too.

photo.JPGDon’t mind the reflection of the lights in this art.  It’s by Ron Krajewski.  I really like his style.  While we don’t need a custom pet portrait (because the Knight’s aunt did one for us last year), I was drawn to the basset on the wall at the after-hours vet.  I’m always interested by what’s on the walls in a vet’s office.  Sometimes it’s art, sometimes it’s professional pet portrait-type photos, and sometimes it commercial, advertisement stuff.  What’s on the walls in your vet’s office?  (I won’t link back to the neato amateur eyeball art in the eye clinic since several of you found it creepy.)

In the midst of the caring for Gretchen week, there was good stuff, and I want to be clear…  I didn’t fail to notice it at the time, I was just busy trying to help Gretchen fight through the pain and beat her nasty dog-bite infection.  We’re on the right road now, so the healing has begun and I can exhale.

Photo courtesy of Zappos

Photo courtesy of Zappos

Over the past week, my new trail shoes arrived.  While they weren’t the first-time-wear-perfect of the Brooks Cascadia, they are fabulous and they are Gore-tex, so they were perfect for a make up for lost time long run/walk/hike with Sissy on Saturday.   The Brooks Ghost GTX held up to everything Sissy and the trying to thaw but not quite muck threw at them.  We ran through a frozen marsh, we huffed up a very steep partially graveled hill, and the Ghosts didn’t even flinch when we leaped across a wee, sloppy stream onto the muddy bank.

They’re pretty too, and I don’t normally care for black athletic shoes.  I keep saying that, but these replace the well-liked but short-lived black Rykas.  And so you know, I did recently run across something that said 300-500 miles is the average lifetime for trail running shoes.  Hrmph.  That’s anywhere from just over six months to a year of use.  I could live with that, but both my Rykas and the Cascadias began to show their age around 5 months.  The Cascadias are still hanging in there in terms of support and comfort, but the soles are quite worn and lack real traction, which is a big part of why I wear trail runners.



The Knight also ordered me a pair of New Balance V770s, but they will be road-only shoes, worn on those shorter days when we stick to the paved/gravel surfaces.  Oddly, he didn’t know anything other than that I wanted a pair of “road runners” and my size.  It’s purely coincidence that they have remarkably similar color schemes.

I used to be really NB-loyal, but then they monkeyed with my favorite, trusted style, and I got heel blisters that couldn’t be cured, and then a sole that was far too firm for my needs.  (Comfort and support, thanks much.)  These soles also seem firm, but we’ll see…  My plan is to prolong the life of all of my shoes by wearing them  as close to exclusively for the purposes they were designed for as is possible.

And for the record, neither shoes actually came from Zappos.  They just had good photos in the right styles and colors.

For those who care, I now have four pairs of shoes in the walk/run/hike rotation.   The beloved Cascadias are holding on and I have a twin pair to replace them when I must.  They’ll go anywhere and hold their own, but given all the water on our longer routes, they’re a warm-weather, it’s okay if my feet get wet shoe.  Then there are the Tevas, which are DEFINITELY a HIKING shoe, and will likely only get worn 1-2 days per week, when we do the rugged mountain part of our trail, and the Ghosts will be my winter sloppy weather shoe.  If the NBs work out, they’ll save a lot of short, street miles on my Cascadias.

There was more goodness and light, but I didn’t realize I had so much to say about my shoes.

Run with Rover

LW5974S_4708_1Yesterday was a put new stuff through its paces day in my dog walking time slot.   Every once in a while (read: more regularly than I care to admit) I check to see what Lululemon has in its We Made Too Much section.  Recently, I found the Run with Rover pant there.  

Why yes, I am reminded of MC Hammer when I first glance at them, but don’t judge; the inside is velvety soft and wicks moisture, and the outside is water and wind resistant.  The extra fluff around the last area women want fluff actually sports deep, really functional pockets, front and back, left and right. 

It just so happened by late afternoon yesterday, it was quite windy and still damp from the rain earlier in the week.   I’m waiting for the black to get marked down even further.  They also have the same inner “legging” and outer looser design in the same fabrics in the Dog Runner pant, but at $118 I don’t see it happening.  (I can’t repeat what Santa said when I sent him a link.   It was profane and questionned my mental health.)  I also think that despite the weird fluff at the hips, I like the Run with Rovers better, because I don’t have to have those hemmed, don’t have excess fabric to slosh in the mud and muck, etc. 

I also broke my own rule and wore my new trail shoes on a 4-mile walk.  I had a pair of Teva sandals years ago and literally wore them out, and I’m not at all happy at the comparatively low mileage I’m getting out of both pairs of trail runners I bought in August.  I usually get at least 600 miles out of running/walking shoes, and as I rotate between 2-3 pairs, even at 20+ miles per week, that means a pair lasts at least 8 months.  Wrong.  Both my Rykas and my Brooks are shot on the soles.  They’re slick as snot already.  I don’t know if it’s because to get to my trails, I cover tar and gravel and a section of cement-paved road or what, but 4 months is TOTALLY unacceptable. 

1154839-p-MULTIVIEWAnyway, I found the Teva Genea on super-sale at, so I’m giving them a try.   After wearing running shoes for those four months, the sole is really stiff, but the cushioning/comfort factor is quite high, and the shoes felt great on the trail, gravel and in the fields.   They were definitely too firm on the harder surfaces, so while I did run in them yesterday a bit to see how they fared, I will reserve them for the days we do more real “hiking”. 

Given my tendency to get blisters, I’m happy to report that even in my usual spots with the broken-in shoes, I had no blistering.  The shoes are about twice what I paid for them now on but they’re still a bargain at less than $60 if you like a firm-soled, well-cushioned hiker in the fur-girls signature colors.

The Brooks Cascadia remains the trail shoe love of my life… as long as I can find them drastically marked down.  I do have a second pair of them stashed, so when I either fall and regret not retiring the first pair sooner, or when the sole springs a leak, I’ll still have two solid performers in the dog walking rotation.   I’d pay full-price for them if they’d last longer…

Are my price points and expectations out of line?