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 : hsn.com

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.

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Friday Favorites: Video Edition

So I am not a big internet video watcher, typically if you send me a link to a video, I ignore it. Every once in a while if I see something linked enough times I will check it out. Just yesterday, on a whim, I clicked on this video and DIED. It is less than two minutes long and about 30 seconds in tears were just streaming down my face. It is such a great concept and an even better execution.

These videos need to continue.

Friday Favorites: Johnny Cupcakes!

I don’t remember how I initially heard of Johnny Cupcakes…I feel like it may have been my cousin’s boyfriend Zac. I was too poor at the time to afford anything by them…but in 2006, I did make a Johnny Cupcakes pumpkin.

Spooky

At some point shortly before or after, they came out with what is to this day, my favorite design…which of course I can never find. (They release shirts in limited batches…they do pop up on eBay but for lots of money.)

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My second favorite shirt, which I was actually in an eBay bidding war until it got to 100$ is this one.

33755DF7It is perfect! I do bake on the first date. Or at least I did. I haven’t had a first date in 4+ years and plan on never having one again, but I did present Keith with cupcakes! (The only reason I ultimately lost the auction was because I can’t wear yellow – I look like a zombie.)

I now have a few shirts (but would sell my soul for the above 2!) and am patiently waiting until I can justify buying myself a hoodie…but a few months ago I placed a small order. If you’ve ever wondered about the brand loyalty surrounding JC, order something…

For starters…the box.

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I actually have kept two of my boxes because they are SO COOL.

Inside is custom tissue paper…

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Inside that, is a bunch of extra goodies…

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Then this time, I had ordered a Cupcake Initiative sticker…

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And a pair of boxers to sleep in.

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Check out the packaging! So detailed, attractive and fun!

I bought the boxers for fun, but my sticker purchase was to complete the very important cupcake-ification of my car. Nearly every angle sports some JC. (The left back window has a YINZ sticker).

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So, there you go. A great brand with amazing products and attention to detail, all started by a dude from the trunk of his car.

 

friday favorites

Let’s talk about specs.

(Haaaaaaaaa. Sorry.)

A few months ago, I saw a post on a blog I read about an at home try-on kit from a new glasses company.

I had tried Warby Parker a while back, and I LOVE the concept of trying on glasses in the privacy of your own home, but they were all way too big for my face. I hopped over to the website she mentioned, Rivet & Sway, and saw a few options I really liked! I attempted contacts this summer and at some point in the fall most likely scratched my eye. I had shooting pains in my eyeball for ~2 weeks. Not fun. I have 3 months worth of contacts left, but I am afraid of them. I figured if I’m not wearing the contacts, I could try out some glasses!

For my kit, I chose:

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Six Shooters via Rivet & Sway

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Punchline via Rivet & Sway

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Sweet Spot via Rivet & Sway

I knew the Punchlines weren’t going to work, but they were so cute/different I needed to try them. And besides, what’s the point of at-home try ons if you don’t step out of your comfort zone?

I was really excited for the Six Shooters and Sweet Spots. Teal is my spirit color.

So then I got the glasses and sure enough the Punchlines were out. The Sweet Spots were also out, they were just too small and the total wrong shape for my face.

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I am being very brave posting these non-flattering photos of myself.

Initially I thought the Six Shooters were too big for my face. I really hate the granny-glasses trend. But I couldn’t stop putting them on. You have the try-ons for 3 days and I had them over a long weekend…and 3-4 times a day, I’d go get them and put them on. I sent a picture to my friend Elyse saying “These are slightly too big, aren’t they?” She said “Yea I think so, but they are very you.”

Hem.

Haw.

I posted a picture to twitter:

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Hello.

and got really positive responses! I decided to go for it! I put them in my cart and…waited.

For what? I don’t know. But apparently waiting for a week was the right thing because they emailed me with a 50$ coupon. I ordered them instantly and it has been love ever since.

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See, they even match my coat!

I only got glasses at age 20, so this is only my 3rd pair, but they are by far my favorite. I liked my first pair, they fit my face well enough, but they never felt like me. These teal glasses are ALL ME.

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21 y/o Katrina with Sparks mouth and 1st glasses

Rivet & Sway, as a company, was awesome too, reaching out via phone and email to see how the try-ons were going and once I bought the glasses emailing me to thank me!

They also gave me a $50 coupon to share! If you enter KATSWAYS at checkout, you can get 50$ off your glasses (bringing every pair on their site down to a cool 149$!). Not bad for frames and lenses! I will even forgive them for calling me Kat, since I love my glasses so much. The coupon is valid until 5/15/13 so you’ve got time to try some frames and hem and haw like me.

I get nothing from this, they didn’t ask me to blog about them, I just really love my new glasses!

friday favorites

This past weekend was my nephew Bradley’s first birthday. It is so hard to believe he’s already a year old! I’m sure it’s even harder for his parents than for me.

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Here’s a slightly blurry picture of Brad and I the day we met. He was a day old.

pure bliss

happy baby bw

And there are my two favorite pictures I took at his (third!) first birthday party. If that first picture doesn’t epitomize bliss, I’m not sure what does. He is such a handsome little guy, I can’t get over it. Also so sweet. I don’t want him to grow up too fast but I can’t waiiiit for him to start talking. Being called “Aunt Trina” will probably kill me dead. I also really love the second picture. I typically never turn any photos black and white but once I saw the picture, I knew it would work.

Where do the favorites come in, you ask? Well he is without a doubt, my favorite nephew. (Also my only nephew – shhh.) But the camera lens from the bottom two photos is my new favorite.

I only have two other lenses, so it’s not a huge contest (the 18-55mm kit lens and a nifty fifty). I bought the 50mm in July but only started using it during my photography class. I was in love, but it was limiting. I need to get better with zooming with my feet, but I felt like sometimes there wasn’t enough room to use it. I was eyeing up the Canon 28mm lens, but I couldn’t justify a $450 lens. Then I got an email for a sale (200$ off!) on the Sigma 30mm and I snatched that sucker up.

I love it! I was shocked at how solid the lens was when I pulled it out of the box. The 50mm is down right clunky in comparison.

It has been living on my camera for the past month and I won’t be taking it off anytime soon.

Here’s a bonus picture of Daisy caught in the act of cuddling with her hedgehog.

caught in the act