ShoesDay — The Ones That Did Me In

It’s ShoesDay! Happy Summer! We are having fun reminiscing absolutely it our favorite shoes— and our least favorite. I wrote about Pink Mary Jane Chunky heels, black athletic DKNY Mary Janes, and the versatile Patricia Slides. My dear friend Dani waxed poetic re: her platform espadrille wedges. And now I am going to tell you about the shoes I was wearing on the day I fell splat on my face last summer.

When I bought these the previous autumn, I was enticed by the soft step. I had the same brand in a patent leather Mary Jane flat, which was great for work, play, and singing at church. In fact, I rather liked the fact that they didn’t click or clunk as I walked from behind the piano to the center aisle, then up steps to the lectern to proclaim the Psalm. No Harriet Hardheels for me! So I was intrigued to find the simple gold flat. The bottom was a neutral “old scotch tape” color— you know what I mean. It was hardly committal in its translucence, it sort of ended up looking like the color of yellow rubber cement, which blended by default into the neutral gold. Comfortable as tennis shoes, I could even run in them. The neutral color looked nice with dresses, being similar enough skin tone, as short girls know, they almost make you look taller, by visually extending the leg.

Truth be told, I wore them too often. If I had to go to the soccer field or the softball field, they were already almost the same color as dirt. It’s not like they became cloudy as my aforementioned black patent leather mary janes did!

The problem with wearing them everyday is that they wear down. There were holes in the athletic gummy soles, but not in the inside of the shoe. So I kept wearing them. I remember thinking, I need to replace these soon, but school had started, as well as soccer season, and marching band season … I had to pre-order the darn high school school yearbook for freaking $75.00– so I decided to wait until my next credit card cycle to replace these shoes.

So it was only the second day of the school year, but still August. In that in-between time, when we are still in denial of our summer being usurped by school and all that comes with it. I had just dropped off both kids at their respective schools, then decided to stop back home to pick up dear daughter’s soccer bag, since we’d forgotten to pack it before school. It was supposed to be a real quick stop, then I would resume my trek to work.

I should state here that my driveway is an incline.

Sometimes if the garage door clicker isn’t working, we press the wall button and run outside under the closing garage door, careful to step over the sensor just at the bottom of garage. We’ve done his hundreds of times, without problems.

But not this day.

I remember thinking I DON’T HAVE TIME FOR THIS! as I stashed said soccer bag in my parked, running car, as I ran back into the garage, getting ready to do the under-door dash. I pressed the button with my left hand and started running.

I thought the door was coming down faster than usual, so I started running faster, struggling to stop (while remaining hunched over) and step over the empty space where the sensor reads.

I heard the sensor catch and the door stop as I tried to stop my fall. There was my running car on my left and a row of prickly thorny roses on my right. My legs kept running, down the driveway incline (read HILL) and I went splat in the middle. On my face.

I remember lifting my head up and seeing blood. My whole head throbbed. I remember thinking I wanted to put my head down. In all honesty, I think I passed out. Because my next memory is picking myself up off the sidewalk.

I somehow got my bleeding self into my car as my neighbor rushed over to check on me. He kindly offered to take me to the ER. I said it was ok, my husband was working from home that day, as he would take me. I moved my car out from blocking the sidewalk, to park in the driveway somewhat properly, then I grabbed a couple of wipes to clean my hands- bleeding from both my palms and my knuckles. It was then that I caught my first glance of my face in the rear view mirror. Yup. Huge gash in my nose. I parked and turned the car off. Ran inside to get my husband.

Thankfully it wasn’t worse, and I was able to get 7 stitches and come back home. I took the rest of the week off and enjoyed a 3 day weekend. Benefits are a beautiful thing. Thankfully my family was able to handle the school, soccer practice and marching band practice drop-offs and pickups.

But you know that when I got home from the stitches, the first thing I did was throw those shoes in the trash. Even dear hubby said they had Bad Juju.

One final word of wisdom– see your local shoe cobbler, before it’s too late! It is often less expensive to repair a worn shoe, than it us to replace it. (Sometimes, you’ll find that it is even out of stock.) I’ve taken handbags to my local cobbler, as well, to repair broken straps. (Ooh- should we do purses next?)

Moms, especially: don’t be a martyr. Wear good shoes.

Happy #ShoesDay!

Friday Friends: Ursula & Cham Glam Botanika

Happy Friday, Friends! I love to share interviews with inspiring creatives entrepreneurs! Today we welcome the delightful Ursula from Cham Glam Botanika of Guam 🇬🇺 Ursula’s Healing Balm is what inspired me to get back to writing my book! Seriously– this stuff is the greatest! I knew I wanted to interview her someday. Today is the day! As they say on the island of Guam- Hafa Adai, Ursula!

1.     So, can you tell us a bit about your business? 

·        In a dukduk shell, ChamGlam stands for Chamorrita Glamour. We are a local green beauty, eco luxe brand. Our products are made in small batches and hand poured. We use organic and fair trade shea+mango butters and feature Maracuja oil (highly regenerative) into our products. We are proud to be a Farm2Face brand, supporting local farmers on island. I am an Herbalist and I have been blessed to apprentice with our traditional healers here in the Marianas. I wanted to honor the sacredness of healing plants while looking dudus* simultaneously (editors note- dudus means feminine/pretty) . ChamGlam Botanika is inspired by the beautiful floral hues of our islands and the maga’hågas who have guided us.

 

2.     Do you have a favorite creation? 

·       Wow! That’s hard to choose. I love cooking up all of them! I do love infusing the achote in healing oils as the base for the ‘Dudus’ lip butter. I can watch the colors change all day!  Such gorgeous hues of deep red and coral. Actually, my mother is the inspiration for the brand as well as Dudus lip butter. She wears coral so beautifully and I thought to myself, ‘hmmm I can create that using achote!’ I also love the process of making the ylanylang perfume solid. Visiting with my mali’ and daydreaming under her magical tree. We then pick the flowers and then I infuse it and blend with other healing plants. Our ancestors have historically used Ylangylang for ceremonial purposes. Perfect for anointing and lifting your spirit.  There’s a sacredness that’s involved and I feel honored being in this space to pay homage to our ancestors this way.

 

3.     How did you decide which plants to use?

·       They tell me! I have a deep love for our healing plants. They’ve been healing and anointing us for thousands of years. They provide us with food, shelter and medicine. I love the emolliency of shea and mango butters. Have you ever smelled mango butter? It smells like to’a mango. Brings you back to totchi’ing it in donnè and salt in your nana’s outside kitchen. I also use Maracuja oil, which is luxurious healing oil. She’s derived from the seeds of the passionflower and is highly emollient. High in essential fatty acids, she soothes dry cracked skin as well as helping sun damaged skin recover. And she boosts collagen production too! I love her!  

 

4.  What do you like to do for fun?

·       I love hiking with my son and fiancé to visit our sacred, ancestral sites. I love doing little åmot hikes and demos with kids to share our healing plant knowledge with them. I hope that by learning about them they will be inclined to protect them. I love to go to the beach and indulge in sunset swims with my ladyloves. 

 

5.     What is one unusual thing about you?

·       Only one? LOL!! There are many! I’m an unusual being!  Here we go: I love the sound of phone book pages flipping (calms my soul!), I love slowly peeling off stickers and price tags (soo satisfying), I talk to my plants like they’re my best friends, I love love love love cilantro, and last but not least I have a corn beef key tattoo. Ox & Palm! It’s my comfort food. 

 

 

6.     What tv shows/ movies are you watching these days?

·       So many! I can’t stop watching Chambers! Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat is my other favorite. I love to cook! The Big Family Cooking Showdown is soooo good! I always end up crying LOL! Grown-ish, Black-ish, Claws, Handmaid’s Tale, She’s Gotta Have It, Insecure are my other favorites. ! I recently watched Pachamama with my little love bear so it’s on repeat. It’s about this little boy in the Andes who dreams of becoming a shaman. Oh! And Maisa, the CHamoru girl who saves Guåhan, another fave of my love bear. 

 

7.     Do you have a theme song?

·       Theme soundtrack! La Raza by Kid Frost and Suavecito by Malo and Brujas by Princess Nokia and Kiss of Life by Sade and Lookout Weekend by Debbie Deb Everybody Loves the Sunshine by Roy Ayers Uptown Ranking by Althea and Donna

 

8.     What is one thing you would tell your younger self?

·       Don’t get boo’d up too quickly mamas. Don’t let anyone get in the way of your hustle. 

 

9.     Is there anything else you would like to share with us today?

·       Keep supporting eco-friendly products Bonitas! You can’t be Dudus on a depleted planet, let’s do our part! 

 

Stay Dudus yan Biba Green Beauty!

www.chamglam.com

IG: ChamGlam

Farm2Face, Eco-Luxe, Organic

Be sure to check out our other Friday Friends interviews! Here are just a few from earlier this year.

Katie & LuLaRoe

MeganReneePlans

Katie *Your Writer Big Sister* Masters

Mo Quintana & tomiandcleo

ShoesDay: Patricia Slides

Happy Tuesday, ShoesDay! We are having fun this summer reminiscing about our favorite pairs of shoes. It’s fun to remember the details, and the stories that go with them. Last week, guest writer Dani Lorta shared about her fave platform espadrilles here. Read about my pink Mary Janes here and my athletic Mary Janes here. And here is the sweet book that inspired this nostalgic journey: Love, Loss, and What I Wore by Ilene Beckerman (published posthumously).

I was on a family vacation in Hawaii when my baby girl was juust under two year old. She was free to fly as a lap child. Cute as a button. But she had developed an ear infection and lacked the language skills to tell me. So she remained awake all night and I made the executive decision to cancel our island-hopping excursion for the next day. My immediate family remained on-island, where dear son rode along with dear husband on the golf cart. Baby girl and I schlepped from medical facility to hotel business center to pharmacy while the extended family flew to Oahu to enjoy the Polynesian Cultural Center and Pearl Harbor. I’d had to cancel not only our inter-island flights, but also our Sea Life Park tickets and dolphin encounter. Low point. Toting around a sick and sleep-deprived toddler in a rental car and stroller is not how one envisions one’s Hawaiian vacation. I obtained doctor’s notes and faxed them to the airline and dolphin visit- getting my money back, at least. Yay. The family returned to me and said for dinner we could do anything I liked. I desperately chose pizza at the shopping center next door to the hotel.

I tell you all this because sometimes, beautiful colorful flowers grow through thick soil.

Walking around after dinner, I happened upon a Crocs store. This was the first tine I had seen an entire store fully dedicated to Crocs. And I am not really a shoe aficionado (though I play one on my blog) but I wasn’t a Birkenstock or crocs wearer either. Crocs were purchased for my kids! I did note that Hawaii sales tax was only four per cent, as compared to my home state’s near ten per cent sales tax.

It was there that I first happened upon the Patricia thin wedge slides. They were simple, yet somehow more sophisticated than flip flops (aka zori’s). The Z design in basic black elevated the crocs concept. As a slide, they lacked the annoying toe hook. They were textured in the footbed, and contoured to my parents foot shape, offering a micro-massage. The sole was textured to avoid slips. The heel was a thin, subtle wedge. #ZoriBliss

Soon after I bought these, so did my sister-in -law and mother-in-law. Mine lasted five years before I had to replace them– only after having worn out the tread. (I fell once in Guam, running across the street in the rain, wearing my red Royal Robbin Essential Dress- cap sleeve, v-neck, empire waist, fit and flare.)

My own mother brought hers to Ireland and wore them with stockings to a wedding. They are subtle enough to pass for an appropriate strappy sandal. But they are also perfect for trekking to the neighborhood pool, lounging in a hotel, or post mani-pedi’s. And because they are crocs, they clean easily, lasting longer.

Some of my other favorite shoes are a bit more whimsical– but these shine for subtlety. Sensible, slightly sophisticated, versatile.

Kinda how I see myself.

What’s your favorite shoe? What can they tell us about you?

ShoesDay! Guest Post by Dani Lorta

Happy Shoesday, Friends! I started writing about shoes on Tuesdays for the summer. I was inspired by the book Love, Loss, and What I Wore by Ilene Beckerman. You know, it’s not just about the shoes. Check out Dani’s essay below.

Strappy Platform Wedges

By Dani Lorta

OMG I love shoes. I know that’s a cliche, a woman loving shoes, but cliches exist because of their inherent truth and my truth lies firmly in that statement. My shoes never disappoint. They do exactly what I ask them to do: make me taller, give me comfort, help me dance, protect me, give me confidence, correct my posture, ensure I am complimented… I could go on and on. At 5’1”, I depend on my shoes to lift me up to at least closer to the eye-level of the people I’m talking to, to protect my feet from the elements, and make my butt and legs look amazing.

I had a pair of Jessica Simpson tan platform espadrille sandals that made me feel like the most gorgeous, powerful woman on the planet. Platform and heel combined, they gave me about five additional inches and they looked great with everything I paired with them – jeans, dresses, it didn’t matter – they made me taller, my legs look longer, my butt look lifted and my calves more muscular. They were my power shoes. They may have been a little risky for work, but I wore them most on the days I had to give presentations to parents or when my boss was trying his best to “put me in my place.” My shoes made me feel like I could handle any challenge or criticism or compliment that came my way.

They were also fantastic going out shoes with the platform lifting my feet an inch off the pavement, avoiding the inevitable puddles and broken glass of parking lots, making it possible for my feet to actually rest on the floor while sitting in a booth at a restaurant. And they were comfortable! While tall, the slope from toe to heel was not too extreme and the platform added enough structure to avoid the inevitable fatigue of standing for long periods of time. The ankle strap kept them firmly attached to my feet when dancing or doing that ubiquitous slight walk/jog/run that women do when we’re running late in heels and a dress.

Sadly, a good shoe, especially if loved, has a finite life-span. Mine took their last turn one night when I was salsa dancing with a colleague at our annual crab feed. One step to the side and the straps just gave out. Suddenly my whole foot was on the floor and my shoe was hanging off my ankle like a sad, tenacious former friend. Of course I was shocked and sad. I felt utterly betrayed by something I had depended on for so long, that had been so reliable. And of course I gave it a moment of attention, took off my shoes and just kept dancing, because that’s what life is – choosing to acknowledge what happened and continuing to live joyfully, looking back only to remember, not to dwell.

I miss those sandals. I’ve purchased a few attempted replacements, and they’re good, but not the same. Although, maybe I don’t need the same because I’m not the same, but I keep looking for a replacement pair online, just in case they’re out there.

Tuesday, ShoesDay! Vol. 2: DKNY Mary Jane

Happy ShoesDay! I decided to write a series on shoes this summer. Join me as I reflect on my favorite- and least favorite- shoes.

Sometime after my first child was born, I happened upon a delightful pair of athletic Mary Janes. They were perfect in every way — cute, comfortable, casual, and suitable for dressy. Is this not the miracle shoe? I felt fully and truly myself in them. They were reminiscent of my younger days, bridging my whimsical ways whilst functioning for practical days. My post-childbirth mirror wasn’t reflecting my pre-motherhood identity anymore, but still I held on. They looked like a ballet flat, felt like a tennis shoe. I brought them to Alaska in summer of ‘04 where they worked for a baptism, rehearsal dinner, wedding, reception, and hike. I danced the Electric Slide in these shoes whilst holding my then-toddler! My cousin, the bride, told me they were great for travel. If only she knew they were for every day. These were great with jeans, pants, skirts, or dresses. I particularly liked them with a midi floral sundress. Perfect for an evening at the theater.

If only I had taken better care of them. If only they didn’t have that sneaker toe flaw. (You know what I mean- the sole curls up over the toes and that part peels and separates- kicking stroller brakes only exacerbated this already fatal flaw.) If only I’d thought to take them to the local cobbler. If only they weren’t discontinued after a year.

The next year DKNY replaced them with the Muse. Even the Macy’s salesman told me, “It’s just not as good as last year’s” and it wasn’t. Unfortunately this is the model name I remember. It wasn’t as cute. Still lighter than a tennis shoe and passable for work. But not the same. By this time, Skechers were everywhere and everyone was trying to sell me those. Skechers are ok, but I mean DKNY is DKNY. What I liked about the DKNY was that it had a raised ankle tab like a real athletic shoe, which was very comfortable for the sudden plantar fasciitis which I now sported post-childbirth.

I wore them to work, and on the weekends. Becoming a new working mom, I’d had to minimize any time-consuming routines, and that meant tying my own shoes. Goodbye, granny boots. Hello, slip-on pseudo-sneakers. (Check back later this summer for my reflection on the granny boot.)

Skechers are fine and I’ve owned many since. Dansko is where I seem to land these days- again I wear them nearly daily and so they last only a year. Softwalk is cute and comfortable, as well. But these are merely facsimiles.

For years it’s been difficult to even find an image. But I decided to look on eBay- where- lo and behold- they are for sale. I don’t think I’m size 8 anymore- but as my Auntie Ling used to say- “Even if don’t fit, FIT.”

Should I buy them?

What are some of your favorite shoes? Tell us in the comments!

Inspired by the book Love, Loss, and What I Wore by Ilene Beckerman.

Tuesday, ShoesDay!

Happy Tuesday, Friends! 👠

Do you have a favorite pair of shoes? Do you remember slipping them on for the first time? Did an angel chorus sing? Or did your fairy godmother squeal with delight?

Were you sad when they finally wore out? Were you upset when they were discontinued? (I’m talking to you, 9west.)

This is the pair that comes to mind when I think about my favorite shoes. Baby pink patent leather chunky heel Mary Janes. Behold.

I had these in my mid-twenties, in the 90s. I remember I felt so confident in them. I was not really a shoe girl, but I had my favorites. This was a perfect mix of whimsy and sensibility. They were playful, but not reckless. I had just earned my graduate degree, and I still liked Hello Kitty, thankyouverymuch.

The picture above is very close, but truth be told mine were more pink/ less blush, and had a round toe. These babies took me from my bookstore day job to my evening choir director responsibilities. I wore these with a pink skirt/ white top combo, or jeans, or my favorite spring dresses. I recall one Easter dress that was mint with pink flowers: cap sleeve, v neck, fit-and-flare midi. Perfect for conducting the choir and musicians. I never felt like I would topple over, as the heel was nice and sturdy.

My then-boyfriend, now-husband, didn’t appreciate them. (He is a trained mechanical engineer.) He had even discussed them with his mother. In a rare motion of solidarity by my future mother-in-law, she made sure to wear all pink, including pink tennis shoes, next time he visited her. “Nice, Mom,” he said, and smiled.

The pink patent leather became worn and scuffed grey. Sadly, mine went away with donation.

But soon after, I would get them in white for my wedding. And my bridesmaids got them in velvety midnight blue. I still have my sister’s pair, which I wore for my 40th birthday recital with a wide strap sleeveless blue velvet sweetheart neckline hi-lo midi dress. I stood center stage and sang, but I could also rock out at the piano.

And last year I picked them up in gold. More about those in a future post.

What about you? Tell me about your favorite shoe.

Inspired by the book Love, Loss, and What I Wore by Ilene Beckerman.

Friday Friends: Aimee Brown & The Last Dance

Happy Friday, Friends!

I’m delighted to share with you today an interview with returning guest Aimee Brown. Aimee’s new romance debuts this month and she’s graciously offering us a special double ebook. Click here to enter the Rafflecopter

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/145642292/?

Without further ado, welcome back, Aimee!

1. So, what have you written? Hi there!! I’m a romantic comedy and contemporary romance author who’s thus far written 3 books (2 published, one in editing). My first was Little Gray Dress, which was rebranded by a brand-newpublisher and republished as The Lucky Dress. My second is The Last Dance, released in April.

2. What has your publishing journey been like? Rocky at first. I had some issues with my first publisher and had the rights reverted back to me just six months after it was published. Luckily for me I was already in the works with a contract by my current publisher (Aria/Head of Zeus) and they have made the publishing experience SO much better than it had been.

3. Which character of yours has received the most fan love? Definitely Liam from The Last Dance. He hardly had any lines, was just a distraction for the main character but somehow even with his few scenes, readers fell in love with him. He’s got so much love that he has his very own book coming out in January 2020. It’s in the editing phases right now and I can’t wait for you guys to meet him and his leading lady!!

4. What is your favorite writing snack? Popcorn or Reeses. Or sometimes both! lol

5. How much time do you spend writing? I write everyday of the week for the most part. It’s just something I do. I love creating characters and storylines.

6. Do you use an outline? Nope. At least not until I’m near the ¾ mark. I am such a pantser it’s not even funny sometimes. Once I know where the story needs to go or what it needs to include as it progresses then I make some rough notes. But no outlining for me, I let the characters lead me which can be interesting…lol

7. What’s one thing that surprised you when writing The Last Dance? How attached to the characters and story I got.I had a book hangover for MONTHS. I had such a hard time even writing Liam’s story because I was still so hung up on Henry and Ambri. I still have them in my head and I still absolutely adore these guys and their story. It’s easily the favorite I’ve written yet.

8. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?Anywhere tropical. I live in cold Montana so I’d love palm trees, sandy beaches, and no snow.

9. What music do you listen to while writing? I actually make playlists for my books as I write. Songs help me find the emotion I need on the page so when I’m writing a scene, sometimes I spend more time finding the right song to inspire it than I do writing it. You can even find my book playlists over on my website at authoraimeebrown.com – I’m listening to The Last Dance playlist as I type!

10. What books have you read recently? Not many sadly. I’ve been on a lot of deadlines, and had a lot of both good and bad going on in life, so I haven’t had much time to really read.  But I’ve got a list a mile long.

11. When will Liam’s story be published? The publish date has been pushed to January 2020, which seems a long way away but it just gives me that much more time to perfect him. You guys will love him. My editor actually saidshe loves Liam more than Henry and she REALLY loved Henry so…yay!!!

12. Is there anything else you would like to share with us today? I just so want to thank my readers. You guys have made this so rewarding for me. I write for myself, but the fact that so many readers have fallen in love with my words is so exciting. I just can’t thank you guys enough.And thank you for being such a supporter of my work. I appreciate all you do for authors. We couldn’t do this without amazing bloggers and readers like yourself! ❤

Thanks Aimee! Great to have you here again!

Aimee’s previous features here on Friday Friends at Key of Dee:

Book Tour: Little Gray Dress by Aimee Brown (Guest Post)

https://denisederrico.wordpress.com/2016/05/20/friday-friends-aimee-brown-hello-chicklit/