brain dump: new job

So. Last week I started a new job! I have wanted to sit down and write something about it all week but have been so insanely busy. When I got there last Monday morning, I was informed that I would be following my boss, the director, around for the week to get a feel for things.

So throughout the week that included attending ~16 meetings among other things. At my previous job, I maybe went to 2 meetings a year. I also had the disaster area of my office to deal with. Oh yea, I get an office! With windows! (My last department had one window…for the entire department…and it was in the director’s office. So it could have been apocolypsing outside and I never would have known.) So to have 3 windows of my very own is incredible! And it’s not a bad view either!

not a bad view. my office actually has 3x the windows that my entire previous department did.

Those blinds are inside the panes of glass, which is annoying, but hey! windows!

My office got moved around, at my request, it was previously set-up so that anyone walking it would be at my back. Uh, no. So now I am facing the door and can see people. There were piles and piles of stuff everywhere. So I slowly went through that when I had some downtime, and still have not finished. And between that and other tasks, I literally had no time for anything. My job title is Clerical Supervisor and I have 9 clerical under me…but haven’t done anything with them yet aside from approving their time cards on Friday. I kind of worry how I will have time to “supervise” them if I don’t even have time for the other things I have to do, but I’m sure it will work out eventually. I don’t really know what is in store for next week, but I am sure I will be busy.

I had a few moments of “What have I done?” because even though I did everything at the previous job, I was never as busy as I was this past week. I actually went to Target this weekend to buy a watch because I have to wear fancy clothes and fancy clothes don’t have pockets for phones. And I’m up and out and around so much that I never knew what time it was.

 my other two outfits this week were boring, but I liked these 3. best part is that first dress was $15 and that pencil skirt was $5. #thriftylady #ootd #ootw #biggirljob #imissjeans #andsneakers #blistersfordays3/5 fancy lady outfits which include a $15 dress, $5 pencil skirt, $8 button down and $15 oxfords which were shockingly not uncomfortable.

Lots of changes with the new job, including clothing. I’ve gone from being able to wear jeans to work…to not so I’ve been wearing skirts/dresses every day. I wore a pair of pants one day last week and felt like a total frump, so I probably will limit pants to 1x a week. One thing that helped immensely for me was buying these over the door hangers and then the weekend before I started, I went through my closet and made 10 outfits. That way there was no scramble in the morning (since I have to wake up and leave much earlier) over what to wear…I would have anywhere from 10 (on Monday) to 6 (on Friday) outfits to choose from. This weekend I went through and added another 5. I’m not sure I’ll keep up with having 10 outfits at a time, but definitely a week’s worth. I also try everything on before I hang it up so I know it fits right and looks right so there is no second-guessing, just put it on and go.

I also have a terrible commute of 50 miles each way. The mornings have not been bad…but last Tuesday it took me 1 hr 20 mins to get home and Friday it took me 1 hr 30 mins. And Wednesday I had to go to class and it took me 1 hr 45 mins to get from Washington to Oakland. So that’s fun. I usually listen to podcasts while driving but I also added an audiobook to my phone and I don’t hate it nearly as much as I thought I did.

Also working later hours in addition to the longer commute so I am trying to do as much meal prep as possible during the weekends. Last weekend I made white chicken chili + beef stew (I skip the turnips add sweet potatoes and serve over egg noodles) + lamb & butternut squash stew (do not recommend, very bland) and that managed to feed us Sunday-Saturday. This weekend I made 2.5lbs of taco meat + lemon chicken orzo soup + have the stuff to make slow cooker butter chicken later in the week. Both new recipes, so we’ll see how they go. Oh also made pumpkin muffins from this bar recipe because my friend Chelsey posted about them and they looked so good.

One plus to the new job is I don’t have time to sit all day, so I also don’t have time to snack all day. This can only be a good thing. But there also is not a kitchen at work, so I’ve been bringing a sandwich and keeping it in a lunch bag with an icepack. Everyone has mini-fridges in their offices and I was trying to think how I could justify buying one for myself when we went to Keith’s parents’ house and I spotted a mini-fridge in the basement. It was Keith’s from college and is now mine! Now just to see how the hell I can get it into my office on the 5th floor.

So that’s what’s new with me. I’m a rambler, but I’ve had a lot of people as me how it is so I wanted to get something out, but I am tired and frazzled and figure I’ll be that way for a while so whatever.

last day

Today was my last day at work, I’m starting at a new job on Monday! I’ve been at this place for 5 years but got a promotion so I’m outta here.

I didn’t think I would cry today and then I got this card from my friend Sarah’s daughter. Cue waterworks.





bunny friends!

Geez I have had these photos on my camera for weeeeeks, I just kept forgetting to upload them and share.

A while back, Keith went out to cut the grass and when he started the lawnmower, a flock of bunnies (or actually just two) went hopping. He came back in after a little while and warned me to watch Daisy by the door because there were baby bunnies outside. I immediately jumped up and ran to the door and sure enough, two tiny bunnies. I said I wanted to get my camera but didn’t want to scare them away and he said he’d walked past 2-3 times, they were terrified and weren’t going anywhere.

baby bunny!
baby bunny


So, I went out and snapped a few pictures and sure enough, they didn’t move at all. Look how teeny! He could fit in your hand! (There were two but I apparently only took a picture of one.)

I thought that I couldn’t just leave them there, there are railroad ties and two steps blocking the part of the yard they left from the driveway. They hopped down the steps, but couldn’t hop back up. Eventually down the driveway the railroad ties stop, but it’s close to the road and I didn’t want them to get squished.

So, not knowing much about bunnies…I went in and got our heavy duty work gloves. I figured this would protect them from my scent if that was a thing and protect me from their baby claws or teeth or I don’t know much about bunnies so I didn’t want to take any chances.

So I attempted to scoop the first one up and he evaded capture and I literally chased him in circles in the driveway for 4 minutes. By the time I caught him, he was scared almost to death and his little heart was going so fast. But I deposited him in the yard and he hopped away.

The second bunny I scooped up from the front and he basically hopped into my hands and I deposited him into the yard as well.

A bit later I went back outside and neither bunny was where I left them so I’m imagining they made it back home and all was well in bunny land. So I did a good deed and got a cute photo out of it. That’s a win in my book!



restaurant review: taj mahal

Keith and I are pretty adventerous eaters, him a bit moreso than I, he will try anything once. I might try most things, but I  am not going to claim I will try anything. Our favorite cuisine is Mexican, but we don’t discriminate too much. (Though I am not huge on spaghetti…burnt out after 20+ years of Sunday dinners.)

A while back, we were talking about Indian food and how we are unfamiliar with it. Somehow he discovered that Taj Mahal on McKnight Road has a dinner buffet on Monday/Thursday/Saturday so a few weeks ago we hit it up. We both agreed that a buffet was the way to go since neither one of us had any idea what anything was.

I had gone for Indian food once, in…2007…in Toronto and remember nothing about it except that naan = good. Keith and I went for Pakistani food once in 2009 in Monroeville, I am not even sure the place exists. We couldn’t understand anything on the menu so we just pointed at things. I ended up with Chana Masala and Keith got something with chicken. It was good but again…couldn’t remember too much about it.

So…Taj Mahal. We’ve since gone to the buffet twice and the selection wasn’t exactly the same both times but it was large. At one end was naan and rice and then various meats/veggies in sauces and curries. They also note when things are vegan, so that’s a plus for any of you who roll that way.


Yes, I realize that all looks like orange slop, but it was all very good!

Almost everything has a little tag above it telling you what you are eating, but some were missing or unclear. But that’s the plus of a buffet, you can take a little bit and if you hate it, no big loss. My favorites from the first time we went were the goat and the chana masala and the second time there was some kind of chicken with onions and bell peppers and it was super spicy and delicious.

I’ve got my method down now and I put a pile of rice in the middle of my plate and surround it with various meats. Keith takes the opposite approach and just piles his plate with meat.

It’s a great deal at only $11.99 a person. Keith definitely ate more than that…I probably came close.


mango pudding! looks like cheez whiz, tastes like heaven. although my friend Rachel later told me it tastes like butter, so I’m sure my next experience won’t be so enjoyable, haha.

I’m not sure where it ranks on the authenticity scale and the place is not very fancy (it’s actually a little rundown looking, if we are being completely honest), but the food is delicious, the people who bus the tables/fill the waters and very pleasant and we will definitely be back.

Taj Mahal on Urbanspoon

what’s cookin? spinach edition

Thanks for the kind feedback on my last post. Sometimes I feel like such a child when things like that happen and I get so upset, but writing them out really helps calm me down, so there that is. And maybe I am a child. So what.

Remember the Great Cookbook Challenge? Well..I keep forgetting to restart that. I will one day, but I think I’ll always prefer online recipes. I love seeing a photo of the finished dish. Even if mine doesn’t look like it (nor do I necessarily aspire to), I need to see a picture to see if it looks worth my time.

A few things I’ve made recently:

Roasted Red Pepper and Sausage Alfredo

I love italian sausage. It is probably my favorite meat. I would eat it 2-3 times a week if I could. Keith is not a huge fan, but I can sneak it in 1-2 times a month. I hadn’t made it in a while, so when I came across this recipe, I was sold.

It combines pureed roasted red peppers, pasta, spinach, sausage and goat cheese to make a creamy and super flavorful pasta.  We don’t eat pasta too often, so when I do eat it, it has to be worth my while and this definitely was.


If you don’t like goat cheese or are not familiar with it, I think this would be a great starter recipe because it’s not very in-your-face. I didn’t even tell Keith there was goat chese and he probably had no idea. You could also definitely leave out the sausage for a vegetarian version.

The best part is it is all made in one pot!

The second best part is I finally have a use for the rest of the goat cheese when I make another favorite dish:

Chicken apple burgers with cranberry and goat cheese.

These are based off a burger Keith and I had in NYC many moons ago, sometimes I will go all out and shred a granny smith apple, mix into ground chicken, make burgers, top with sliced granny smith apple, cranberry jam* and goat cheese. Other times I totally cheat and buy Johnsonville Chicken Apple Sausage and put those on a bun with the apple/cran/goat cheese. They are a super delicious and quick meal. It probably only takes 10 minutes total when I use the sausage. The problem is, you only use a little bit of goat cheese and then the rest of the tube lingers in the fridge until I become afraid of it and have to throw it away.

This recipe solves that! It calls for 8oz of goat cheese but I used the partial tube in my fridge and it was still great! So now those are going to be two back-to-back recipes in my arsenal. Love when stuff works out like that.

The only critque from Keith about that pasta was that it needed more meat. Of course. Every recipe I make I usually add 50% more meat for him and it’s still not enough. I got about 6 servings from this, so on the 2nd and 3rd go-rounds for Keith, I just gave him less pasta with a piece of chicken on the side and he was happy.

Another recipe I’ve tried is these Spinach Enchiladas.

One morning, on a mad dash to the grocery store for lunch, I grabbed Amy’s Enchilada Verde. It wasn’t until I went to heat it up that day that I realized that they were spinach enchiladas, but I shrugged and soldiered on. AND THEY WERE SO GOOD. I have no idea what they do, maybe it’s the queso fresco, but I like spinach well enough and I love cheese, but somehow this combination is SO MUCH BETTER THAN THE SUM OF ITS PARTS. Sorry to yell, they are just that delicious.

But at $5 a pop, a little too expensive for my tastes, so I figured I would try my hand at making some. I googled til I dropped trying to find some sort of copycat recipe, with no luck. Finally I just settled on the above linked recipe. It calls for ricotta, which Amy’s enchiladas don’t have…but I love ricotta, so I went with it.

I subbed verde salsa for the enchilada sauce, regular onion for green onion and only used half the cheese. I only got 6 enchiladas out of the filling. They were not *quite* Amy’s, but they were still great. Keith didn’t eat these, I took them all for lunch. I think next time I will add more spinach, and maybe some chicken. Also queso fresco to see if I can get closer to that taste.

What are you cooking?

 *I still don’t know the difference between jelly and jam but I said jam so you know it’s not a gross can of cranberry jelly, but rather something spreadable from a glass jar. The original burger used cranberry spread but I’ve used cranberry/raspberry spread as well as black raspberry. I don’t think anything super sweet like grape or strawberry would work but anything tart like raspberry/cranberry is great.

first (and last) day of class

Yesterday was the first day of classes for me. (Since I rebellio If my life were a sitcom, which I often used to think it was, this would be the episode that had people fleeing to the internet saying, “That episode sucked, at least try to make it a little believable. All of those things couldn’t have gone wrong!” But oh, they did.

It began a few days ago. The Archeometry professor sent out an email stating that the class on Wednesday would be in “the wood lab.” Since I had absolutely no idea what or where “the wood lab” was, I sent him an email saying that I had just joined the class so could he tell me where this classroom was?

No response from him, but early yesterday, he sent out a reminder that class would be in “the wood lab” – 2100 Posvar hall. Okay, cool. I know Posvar, no problem.

I run out of work 5 minutes early since I didn’t know exactly where 2100 was, giving me 35 minutes to drive to Oakland, park and walk to class. No problem, totally doable. Until I get to Posvar, go to the 2nd floor and the very first room I come to is 2400. So I walk down a little, but the numbers keep going up. Go back to 2400 but there are no rooms beyond that. I walk back down to the elevator bank to the little floor schematic…and there is no 2100. Nowhere. It just simply does not exist.

I pull up the email to double check it was 2100, not 1200 or something and yep: 2100 Posvar. At this point I was very frustrated and near tears. I kept digging my nails into the palm of my hand to stop myself from crying. I considered skipping class and just going to find my next class, but I had already missed two and I would need to find the stupid class next week, so I started looking again.

Povar is connected to David Lawrence, so I went into DL to see if maybe there was another schematic there that might show me and miracle upon miracles, there was! Except there was the rectangle from Posvar that didn’t include 2100, and a square floating in the top corner of the map that had a few other rooms, including 2100! Except there was NO explanation on how to get there. It was a detached square. Which makes absolutely no sense. There were about 4 minutes until class started now and I HATE BEING LATE. I had one more option, which was to run to the Anthro department and hope there was someone in there to direct me. Luckily, the office was still open so I approached the secretary.

“I’m sorry but I can’t find room 2100?”

“This is the 3rd floor?”

“I know, but my Anthropology class is in there and I can’t find it.”

“Ohhh, our lab…[gives directions]“

I ran out of there and followed her directions which included:

1. Walking OUT of Posvar, into David Lawrence

2. Taking an elevator from 3rd Floor David Lawrence to what is miraculously 2nd floor Posvar

3. Following someone into an unmarked door and nearly walking into the professor.


So then I sat down right next to the professor, since I was the last one there and proceeded to not understand a word anyone was saying for 75 minutes. But, that happens, I’d do better next class.

End of class comes and goes and he keeps talking for ~5 minutes, which is fine ordinarily, but not when I have 15 minutes to get to my next class. Then, he holds me back to talk about what I missed and the three assignments I need to make up, and I run out of there near tears. Again.

Got helplessly lost leaving the classroom, ended up walking through part of a construction zone and came out of the building on the total wrong side starting my trek to my next class.

This next part is completely my fault, but for some reason I had conviced myself that my 6pm class was in Crawford. I had parked by Crawford so my car would be close when it was time to leave and I began walking. It wasn’t until I got to Crawford, literally walked into the building that I realized my class was in Thaw. Which are not even remotely close to one another. I figure I’m going to be 15 minutes late by this point, but okay, whatever.

Walk into Thaw…there is a kid directly behind me, I held three doors in a row for him, so once we get to the end of the hall, he says “Calc 2?”

“Oh god no.” I respond.

“Well that is the only class down here…”

I just stopped dead in my tracks and whined (to myself) “I don’t know where the hell to go…”

“What are you looking for?


“Oh, it’s upstairs. Go up those stairs back there and go to the right.”

Because that makes COMPLETE SENSE that classrooms beginning with 1 would be on the 2nd floor. But I thanked him and ran upstairs. (Thaw and SRCC are connected. I later went from the “first” floor of Thaw into the “fourth” floor of SRCC by opening a door. Stupid Pitt.)

Get to 102, walk in and:


Walk back out…pull up the syllabus…102. Pull up the weird alternate website the professor is using…102. Pull up the Studen centert…104. Okay, 104…let’s try that.

Walk over to 104, notice a whole bunch of people inside. Okay, this is good. There are people in there. This is also bad because there is a room full of people and I’m 22 minutes late and everyone’s going to look at me. I spot a seat on the end, so I slip in and sit down.

Hear the tail end of what the professor is saying…look at the board…I am in the wrong class.

Considered just sitting there for 2 hours pretending I knew what was going on to prevent further embarrassment.

Turn to the kid next to me: “Really stupid question…what class is this?” He immediately breaks into a smile, “Circuits.”

“[Expletive deleted]!” Jump up and leave.

There was a bathroom across from the auditorium so I just went straight in and cried. Couldn’t hold off any longer. I didn’t know what to do. The class was either invisible or cancelled or moved to some other room or maybe there was ANOTHER Room 102 somewhere.

The class had a lab at 7pm, and I knew where that was for certain, so I walked outside the building, sat down and cried some more.

Nothing like crying in public! Katrina is back!

By this time I had 20 minutes until the lab started and I thought about just giving up, going home and trying again next week. I also was one button away from dropping both classes on my phone. I can’t take this stress.

I decided I would wait it out. Go to the lab, follow someone back to the lecture hall and see how it went before I made a decision. Got up, went inside, a line was forming outside of the classroom, people were talking geology*, I was in the right place. Get into the lab, had a little worksheet we had to work through…and it wasn’t until 20 minutes into this that I realize there WAS NO LECTURE. There were only labs. I was really confused because there are multiple labs…so I thought that lecture was split and broke for labs, but it makes much more sense that there were only labs…not some weird split double lecture. I don’t know why that didn’t cross my mind, I am an idiot.

Got out of the lab, came home, cried to Keith.

This morning I dropped the 4:30 class. Back to taking one class, back to maybe not graduating in the spring, back to having to pay for this semester out of pocket. But I can’t do it. I was so very tempted to drop both classes and try again next semester, but that would push me back two semesters and I can’t do that. This also helps with the fact that I would have missed 3 more classes when we went on the honeymoon, so that’s another plus.

I felt an immediate sense of relief. It was very naive of me to think I could take 2 classes back to back like that with NO down time after work. I would have been miserable. I sent the professor an email telling him I was dropping/explaining my reasons and I got a nice email back saying they would miss my contributions. (Ordinarily I wouldn’t have said anything, but my luck I’ll have him in the spring, so I figured it was a good idea.)

Is the semester over yet?


*Overheard a kid say, “You should have seen the cleavage!” before going into some long drawn out rock description, it was kind of hilarious.


life update: penultimate semester

Just a quick life update for anyone who cares…

Last Wednesday, we returned from a short jaunt to the Outer Banks with Keith’s parents. Keith noted on the way down that this little getaway fell on our 3 month wedding anniversary while our actual honeymoon is going to fall on our 6 month anniversary. After dubbing our OBX trip #mcminimoon, I inquired as to where he was taking me for the 9 month anniversary. Nothing like setting a precedent, Mr. McB!

Speaking of McB, I still don’t feel like one. I have gotten everything changed over into my new name, except for my passport, but since there is no impending out of the country travel, I figured I could wait a bit on that one. I am excited for that though, my passport picture is horrendous. Maybe I’ll show ya later. But I keep stumbling when I have to give my name, definitely can’t sign it…and it just feels weird. I guess this feeling will fade in time but it’s kind of odd to feel like two different people.

Classes have started, and being the rebel I am, I missed the first week due to #mcminimoon. My academic world was turned upside-down a few days before classes began when I met with my sort-of-advisor just to make sure I was still on track and to get his signature for something.

I decided to pursue the GIS Certificate after all. I was only going to take one class in the fall, then two in the spring and one in the summer – pushing back graduation, but my advisor found another class I could take for the fall that would work and hopefully take place of the summer one, meaning I could still graduate in the spring.

The only problem was that it was a bit earlier than the classes I usually take and I wasn’t sure I could get there in time from work. But I asked my boss and after a few days got approved to leave work earlier and can now take it. While emailing with the GIS Certificate advisor, he asked me to call him and we actually had a pretty nice chat on what the certificate entails and how I am essentially halfway there.

So now I am taking Introduction to Remote Sensing and Archeometry. Don’t ask me what either one is because I truly have no idea. Hopefully I will be able to tell you in December. So now I’m a week behind and don’t have any idea what the classes are teaching me…so it’s going to be a fun few days trying to play catch-up. In the spring I will take whichever Anthropology writing class is offered at night and an Independent Study related to an as-of-yet still undetermined GIS project! Fun! And then I’ll graduate! And never go to school again! You can’t make me!


basement bathroom: done!

Last weekend Keith went to Erie and I went to Home Depot. Twice.

He had invited me along but I decided I would stay home and hang out with Daisy and get a bit done around the house. My plan, initially, was to finish up the trim in the hallway/entryway since after that I can start on the dining room! But at the last minute, I decided I would be a good wife and paint Keith’s bathroom instead. Plus I’d get that instant gratification of starting and finishing one room instead of just repainting stupid white trim.

Keith’s bathroom is in the basement and was previously a pale yellow-beige color. It was pretty ugly. Couple with no natural light, it just looked grimey. It was on my list to paint eventually, but since literally no one uses it but Keith…it wasn’t very high on the list. I thought about asking Keith what color he wanted it, but I didn’t want to ruin the surpise of painting it, so I just went with white.

Since it’s a bathroom, and a tiny one at that, I went to Home Depot on Saturday and grabbed a quart of Behr Ultra in Snow Fall (that’s the white I’ve used throughout the house and I didn’t feel like picking another one).

I was JUST barely able to finish one coat with the entire quart. I felt like such an idiot since 1 quart is $15 and 1 gallon is ~$30, but in my defense, the wall is covered in some sort of burlap that has been painted over and all those little divots really sucked up the paint and I did not expect that. Also the room is very oddly shaped, there is a little nook for the toilet and another for the tub and the i-beam in the ceiling…had the bathroom been a regular box, I think I would have been okay. But I wasn’t. So I went back to Home Depot and bought a gallon.

I wasn’t able to get to the second coat until Sunday morning. I started painting at 10am and Keith was due back at noon, so it was a race against the clock but I did manage to finish!

full bath

Before: This was before we bought thehouse, that seat cover/painting/flowers were not ours. You also can’t see the dark green carpet that was in there before I ruined it (when our pipes broke).


After: So! much! better!

I was really lazy and used the same satin paint for the walls/ceiling/trim. Who cares. I haven’t had a chance to paint the door yet. Maybe I’ll go out on a limb and paint it a fun color. But Keith’s shower curtain is brown and green and I hate both of those colors, so who knows.

I really wish I had painted the room when everything was all torn out during our plumbing fiasco, it would have made paining around all those stupid corners so much easier. The bathtub is old and stained and should be replaced eventually (hence no picture) so this bathroom’s probably got another makeover in it’s future…that’s why I didn’t think too long about the color.

And! I wish the stupid contractors who finished the bathroom after our plumbing disaster had NOT used silicone caulk between the sink and wall. I get why they did but it is not paintable so there is a stupid halo of yellow-beige paint around it so I’ll need to remove it, paint and then recaulk, but I was not ready to do that.

I also removed a towel rack that was on the other side of the sink and so placed that if you hung a towel there it would have gone IN the sink and so it was of no use to Keith, but it pulled up the stupid burlap making it sort of ripped/bubbled, not even sure how to remedy that. I could cut it out and then patch it, but it will be a smooth patch on a textured wall.


friday favorites: flats

Bringing back an old school topic since I’ve got lots of new favorites that I want to share!

First off: new favorite shoes.

I have a terrible issue with shoes, it seems that my feet hate them. My feet are slightly wide so even though I should wear a 7.5, I often have to size up to an 8 if they run narrow. I also have a very high arch and most shoes are not made with that in mind and so they will fit, but become incredibly uncomfortable to walk in.

When I got hired at Starbucks, eons ago, I was dirt poor. I had to go out the day before and buy black shoes. I can’t remember where I got them but I got something akin to black keds. They were very cheap and they KILLED my feet. They had absolutely no arch support even after adding some supportive insoles, standing all day was murder on my feet/legs/back. It got so bad that I would stuff wadded up paper towels into my shoes at the beginnning of each shift. But I couldn’t afford anything more expensive/supportive and that job didn’t last too long anyways so I just dealt with it.

With my current job, 3-5 days a week I wear sneakers to work. (Related: sneakers or tennis shoes? I remember hearing once that one is the east coast term and the other the west coast term but I use them both interchangably.) I’ve been on the hunt for some non-descript flats to replace them with but keep coming up empty.

Enter: Tieks. I’ve read again and again that these are the most comfortable flats on the planet. They are also the most EXPENSIVE flats on the planet. But…my feet hate cheap shoes so I’ve been thinking about it a lot and thought maybe I could just order some, try them out around the house and at the first sign of discomfort, I would return them. But that’s still a hell of a lot of money for a pair of shoes, even if I loved them. So while hemming and hawing, I was reading some reviews from bloggers (who probably got theirs for free) and it seemed like I was going to have to bite the bullet, until I saw a comment from someone saying that their Vince Camuto Ellen flats were 1/3 of the price of the Tieks and way more comfortable. Hmmm.

So I did a little research on them and kept seeing very very positive reviews. I had planned on going to Nordstrom to try some on…but then I had an even better idea* and checked eBay**. I found a pair of *very* lightly worn flats in a size 8…for $20. Sold. I have spent more on Target shoes.


source :

So I bought them. They came a few weeks ago and I wore them to work. They were great! They have some elastic around the front so they hug your foot, but no elastic on the back so they don’t dig into your heel. They are real leather so they form to your foot and bonus: mine were someone else’s so they were already broken in! They don’t have much arch support but I sit a lot at work, so I found it didn’t bother me at all. I was so ready to write a glowing review about how my life was changed! And ready to buy more pairs, I would even pay full price!

And then I went to Oakland for lunch and walked ~15 blocks and got horrible blisters on my pinky toes/heels. So bad that I was tempted to walk barefoot through Oakland back to my car. Sigh.

But I wasn’t ready to give up yet…so I waited a few days for the blisters to heal and wore them again and they were fine. The third time I wore them, I even walked 4-5 lengths of the mall after working all day and not one blister. So I guess they weren’t as broken in as I had assumed, but they seem to be fine now! I even went and bought a black pair, also from eBay. I spent $35 on those ones…so $55 for two pairs of shoes that retail $80 each. Not too bad!

They aren’t the fanciest looking shoe, but they are good enough for my needs and they may have just become my holy grail of flat. Comfortable, non-descript and mostly affordable. FINALLY.


*Nordstrom is the worst***. I’ve gotten a few dresses/accesories from there but always ordered online. I went in once to exchange something and by the way salespeople actively ignored me, I thought I had died and become a ghost. I guess my American Eagle jeans and Target shirt don’t scream that I’m made of money, so they figure there is no sale to be made.
**eBay is sometimes my favorite. I like to find something I like in a real store and then search for it on eBay. A lot of times you can find very lightly worn stuff for super duper cheap. You’ve got to be okay with that though…and as a veteran thrift store shopper, I am more than okay with that if it saves me some dough.

***With the exception of their bra department. I bought a strapless bra there before I bought my wedding dress because I didn’t want to end up with some crappy David’s bridal bra and the saleslady couldn’t have been nicer.

#mcwed video!

So what perfect timing! I posted my final photo-recap yesterday and my friend/videographer Jason sent me the link to the feature cut of our wedding video. It is 26 minutes long, so I don’t expect everyone to watch but it is so well done. It really captures the whole mood of the day, especially my fierce RBF in the beginning when I was so nervous about running over time.

I am SO GLAD I asked Jason do this video and even happier that he accepted. I KNEW he would do something incredible. While the photos are amazing and beautiful and incredible…it’s so wonderful to have a video to remember all that little stuff in between the camera snaps.

Once again, Jason is amazing and let me reiterate that this is his FIRST wedding video. He did such an amazing job on this, just imagine the next one! Or the one after! If you are getting married anytime in the near future in the PA/MD/DC area I strongly urge you to contact/hire Jason.

Keith + Katrina (feature cut) from Jason Martin on Vimeo.


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