Friday Link Love May 29, 2015: Shoeties and More!

1. Apparently one of the secrets of longevity and health is to . . . eat more beans and walk a lot and live in community. This short article about the living habits of people in areas, like Sardinia, with very high longevity made me want to read the author’s book on the same subject, The Blue Zone Solution: Eating and Living Like the World’s Healthiest People.

It also made me think that our American obsession with diet and exercise is so ridiculous.  Drinking shakes and counting calories and doing workouts are not really hallmarks of a healthy lifestyle.  They’re substitutions that might help–maybe–when we can’t live an actually healthy lifestyle.  (Says me, for whom shakes and the gym would be a huge improvement from the status quo.)

via the Wall Street Journal

2.  This article cracked me up.  The title is No More Ballet Flats: Summer Shoes for Work: Designer Ruthie Davis favors colorful looks but doesn’t sacrifice comfort.  These are the photos attached to the article:

via the Wall Street Journal

via the Wall Street Journal

If there’s a single comfortable anything in either picture, I can’t find it.  Maybe her watch.

Also, the lady in the article is fond of the “shoetie,” a cross between a bootie and a shoe, like the shoe on the bottom right in the second picture.  “She likes that most styles have a zipper in the back of the heel, making the shoe fairly easy to slip on and off. ‘You’ve got some coverage but there’s an open-toe aspect so there is breathability.'”

I can’t think of anything worse than a shootie.

3. The Magnificat recently had this passage written by Saint Philip Neri:

To preserve our cheerfulness amid sickness and troubles is a sign of a right and good spirit.  A man should not ask tribulations of God . . . he who bears what God send him daily does not do a small thing.

I’m thinking about this today, since the girls have been puking all day, and Pat and I are feeling puny too.

I’m just going to have to leave off with three quick takes for this week.  Click over to This Ain’t the Lyceum for more.  Have a happy weekend!

Some shopping successes

Mossimo Supply Co. Printed Skinny Pant and Puma Caroline wedge

Classy little girl dresses for $4, man repeller fail, and clown shoes . . . .


1. I was thrilled to find these at Wally World the other day.  They rang up at four bucks–four bucks!!–at my local store.  They’re $5 something online.  The cute prints are quickly being sold out online, but there are some sizes left in this print.  And it’s worth a check at your local store.


Faded Glory Girls’ Elbow Length Sleeve Dress




It’s what all the cool kids are wearing.


2. After another stressful Monday, I took a solitary evening prowl through the Target clearance rack.  I found these, which what I thought were a prime example of a man repeller.  (They were $10 at my store; very thin material but they had me at “elastic waist.”)

Mossimo Supply Co. Printed Skinny Pant and Puma Caroline wedge

I wear them today and Pat says, “Wow!  Great pants!”  Curses!  Foiled again.

3. I like them with my Puma Caroline wedge sneakers.  (Order a full size up.)  The more restrained color options were sold out in my size.  I’ll probably look back at this year as the year I wore clown bowling shoes, but for now I don’t care.

4. Hmm, that’s about it.  No, no wait!  I bought a can opener at Williams Sonoma and it’s the bomb.  Just a basic, standard, non-fancy can opener.  It’s $10 but made in the USA and worth every penny.  Beat the pants off the $3 Walmart store brand model I bought that lasted about two uses.

5. Check back with Jenna for more of this week’s Favorites!

Movies I’ve watched, sneakers I’ve ordered, and what I’ve been into

1. Here are some movies I’ve watched over the past month (or so):

I Don’t Know How She Does It:  This was worth the $2.99 to watch it on Amazon.  Not as good as the book, but an entertaining, feel-good-in-the-end story of a stressed-out working mom.  I read the book back when I was working a lot more hours (litigating, at that), and it stressed me out because it was a bit too close to home.  But now the movie just makes me laugh.

Better Off Dead: I had to buy a used VHS copy of this movie, but I finally saw it.  Really funny!  Over the top but not stupid.  To be honest, I liked it but Pat really liked it.  It had that badass-underdog-has-his-day-gets-the-girl theme (like Ferris Bueller).

How To Marry A Millionaire: This was fun.  Material for lost of cultural commentary (basically, we’ve lost all our class; also, does golddigging even work nowadays, with everyone giving it away for free?  To a limited extent, see e.g. Anna Nicole Smith, but boy has the game changed).  Mainly though, it was fun.

The Bling Ring: Fascinating real-life crime caper about a bunch of bratty high schoolers who burglarized celebrity homes.  It has the same dreamy feel of Sofia Coppola’s other movies, Marie Antoinette (which I liked) and Lost In Translation (which I didn’t).  The Bling Ring is only about an hour and a half, which is the perfect movie length to me.

Now and Then: This was okay.  I remember when it came out way back whenever and finally watched it.  Lots of fun late 60s pop tunes.  I had to listen to “Knock Three Times” over and over the next day.

O: Supposedly based on Shakespeare’s Othello.  Mostly about high schoolers having sex and playing basketball.  Couldn’t make it past the first fifteen minutes or so.

Thanks For Sharing: A movie about sex addiction that was funny but still had the appropriate gravitas.  Really.  A few scenes I skipped but overall a good movie, I thought (in contrast to most critics, apparently).

(All of the above are on Amazon Prime, as best I recall, except Better Off Dead and Now and Then.)

I want to watch They Came Together, a spoof on romantic comedies.  I planned to watch Mom’s Night Out, but I saw a trailer and it looked sooooo dumb.  I couldn’t do it, Daily Connoisseur recommendation or no.

2. Today Girl 2 and I noticed a rip in her dress.  She said, “Uh Oh!  Like in Little House!”  (Pronounced “Wiwl Howse.”)  She remembered seeing this picture in Little House in the Big Woods, and the summary I gave her, several days ago:

photo (2)


Is she brilliant or is she brilliant?  Girl 2 needs a post of her own here someday soon.  She is wonderful (and terribly two).  She takes up just as much of my time and attention as Girl 1 (actually, more).  She just doesn’t confound me as much, so she doesn’t get as much virtual ink.  I think she is ISFJ.  She’s definitely more IS and J to Girl 1’s ENFP personality

3. I think I found THE ONES!  (I’ve been searching for just the right casual cold-weather, non-boot shoe.)

Puma’s Caroline wedge sneakers.  Cute right?

They’re on super sale right now at a lot of online stores.  I guess they were hot last year and are washed up this year but who cares.  I just ordered them to try out in two sizes.  They got iffy reviews on comfort, so I’m apprehensive.  Update to come when they arrive.

4. We were so very into Halloween around here.  It’s not my favorite holiday, but Girl 1 was very taken by the elaborate decorations in a yard down the street.  She wanted us to keep up with the Joneses.  We didn’t, not by a long shot, but not for lack of her trying.


I got the Charlie Brown Halloween movie (the one about the Great Pumpkin) from the library for the girls to watch.  They’ve learned all sorts of great things from those classic Charlie Brown movies: words like “stupid” and “blockhead” and sayings like “never walk into a pile of leaves with a wet sucker.”  Girl 1 kept saying “wet sucker, wet sucker” over and over again and cracking up.  How does she know the most inappropriate things to say?

Somehow I’m not sorry.  I love Charlie Brown.

5. Amazon Prime music!  It exists!  Why did I not find this out until a few weeks before it’s time to cancel our Prime subscription?  I made the sorry old mistake of signing up for a 30-day Prime membership trial and then didn’t cancel it in time.  Our year is up this month, when I’ll cancel it and go back to Netflix.  But I’ll miss Prime music.

6. Modern Mrs. Darcy wrote a good post about what makes a good book club read.  It reminded me of a post I wrote a little while back for Mary’s blog, about five of my favorite non-conventional book club reads.  Check it out!

7. Happy weekend everyone!  I’m linking up with Jen for 7 Quick Takes and (very late) with Leigh for What I’m Into .



It’s the time of year for … new shoes.

Casual flats, warm enough for the colder months, comfy enough for all day every day, cute and not orthopedic of you please.

Oh, and if they could be compatible enough with socks, at least so they don’t look dumb if I wear them with unobtrusive socks and long pants, that would be greaaaat.

It’s getting too cold for sandals. And some days you don’t want to pull out your boots. And I’ve taken the SAHM’s no-clunky-athletic-shoes-except-at-the-gym pledge. (I just made up the part about the pledge.)

My pink Minnetonka mocs worked pretty well for the past year. But they’re showing their age. I’m not sure a professional cleaning would be cost effective, or effective at all. Plus they have absolutely no support.

A cute pair of sneaks could work. I don’t think I’m edgy enough (*snort*) to wear those slip on things that used to be just for grandmas and toddlers but are now what all the cool kids are wearing.

Or even keds. Keds just look like grandma shoes on me. Especially with socks.

Okay everything looks worse with socks.

I think I’ve written about this at least once a year.

My yearly shoe dilemma.

What are your feet wearing these days?

Mama’s Gone Shoppin’

A little Anthropologie action for you . . . and can Crocs be cool??  Read on.

I made my first Anthropologie purchase ever.  I’ve yet to set foot into one of their stores.  And I didn’t have the courage to venture beyond the Sale page on their website.

I’ve resolved to stop automatically shopping the clearance racks when looking for clothes.  Instead, I try to buy fewer but better quality items that are perfectly suited for me and my life.

But . . .

Anthro’s expensive, yo?  Baby steps, baby steps.

1.  So I love this shirt, the Tail Stripe Tee.  I’m up to maybe . . . five nautical stripe tees now.  But I don’t care.  Pat said, “I like your shirt.  It’s very . . . you.”  Yup.

Anthro tail stripe tee

Except that it has a tail.

IMG_6124 (2)

Has anyone watched that show Orphan Black?  There’s this character with a tail.  And it gets more disgusting from there.  *Shudder*  I would prefer a little less tail, but I still like that it’s interesting in the back.

Also, it runs very large.  This is a size down from what the size chart says I should be.

2.  New Birkenstocks (see first pic).  I just love the way Birkenstocks feel on my feet.  It’s like getting a massage with every step.  I kid you not.  I did not like how my former pair looked.  So I sold them on eBay (can you believe it? (not that I came even close to recouping my costs tho)) and bought the Gizehs.

3. Some other Anthro winners:

This tee (the seamed scoopneck):

IMG_6192 (2)


Zebra sweater (pardon me . . . the “Quagga pullover“).  How cute is this?  Can’t wait for Fall now.  Kind of.

Anthropologie Quagga Pullover


This blouse (the Estrie Henley).  Hard to see the detail in the photo.  But it’s a nice date night/ dressy blouse, which is something I was lacking.  Looks better with white jeans.


Anthro Estrie Henley


4.  Moving on to shoes, can you believe these are Crocs??

IMG_6183 (2) IMG_6185 (2) IMG_6188 (2)



They’re Crocs’  “Ballerina Estiva” designed by some guy named Stefano Furiano.  Stefano don’t know bleep about punctuation.

IMG_6193 (2)

But he knows his sh . . . shoes.  He knows his shoes.

So expensive, but I think I’ll wear them a LOT.  They aren’t quite as comfy as my Birks, but they’re nice and cushy.

They run large though.  I ordered a full size smaller than I regularly wear.  Probably the first time I’ve worn a single-digit shoe size since Girl 2 was born.

Full disclosure, these are not as cushy as regular Crocs, which I tried on for the first time recently.  (Gotta love free both-way shipping from Zappos.)

My feet went “Ahhh.”  And I went,  “So that‘s why everyone wears Crocs.”  The leopard print Kaydees looked cute from a distance but the print is just horrible close-up.  See how the spots are stretched out in the back?  That’s exactly how they look in real life.  So they went back.

5.  And to round it all out, another nautical striped tee (same one I already have, but in a different color).  I just can’t help myself.  J. Crew Factory was having a sale (and today, they’re having an even better sale–50% off everything).  What could I do?


You can go make dinner, Laura, that’s what you can do.  And put a diaper on your nekkid two-year old before she piddles on the floor.

Signing off.

But not before I link up with Hallie.





7 Quick Takes About Fingernails (Again), Valentine’s Day, Clothes and Shoes

1.  I wrote a quick little review of Kisses for Katie, over at Mary’s blog, Atelier.  If you’ve read the book, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

2.  I followed Mary’s advice for a Valentine’s night in, almost to the letter, and it was really nice.


Valentine’s date night in: raspberry Belgian ale, flourless chocolate cake, and pina colada sherbet!

We watched Romantic’s Anonymous on Netflix, which both (!) Pat and I found entertaining.  I would have changed the ending though. (And does it bug anyone else that so many movies feature a male romantic lead so much older than the female romantic lead?) . . . Actually, never mind.  I just looked it up and the lead actress is only 7 years younger than the lead actor.  But man, she looks a lot younger.  Anyway . . .

It made me want to watch more French films.  It’s one thing to read about the Frenchwoman mystique, and quite another to watch it.  I get it a bit more now.

3. My first attempt to rejoin the world of fingernail painters was a bust.  I used Sally Hansen Hard As Wraps for a base coat (accidentally ordered the top coat instead of base coat), an old bottle of red Sally Hansen Hard as Nails, and the Vinylux top coat recently of Camp Patton fame.  It was chipping before 24 hours was up, and by the end of the second day it looked like this.


I never gave much thought to my cuticles, but they don’t look so hot close up, do they?

But a bottle a OPI Sweet Innocence, per Nichole’s advice, is on its way to me.

4. Amazon sends me an email every day, apologizing profusely for a shipping delay with the aforementioned nail polish.  It’s okay, Amazon, really, it’s okay.  Whole lotta snow out there.  I understand.


5. Pat was really sweet in how he ordered a Valentine’s Day gift for me.  He went to my web browsing history and specifically looked for what I had viewed on Boden’s website.  And he ordered me a dress.  Unfortunately, I already had ordered myself the same dress and returned it, because it didn’t look good on me.  But it was a really thoughtful idea.

6. I know I‘m not the only one excited by the newest Boden catalog.  I’m finding that a lot of their stuff doesn’t look as good on me as it does on the models (surprise surprise).  I’m hopeful to get at least a couple of winners for my summer momiform, though.

7. I finally replaced my old Sperry’s with a pair of pink Minnetonka Kilty mocs, for my requisite pair of casual-flats-with-which-I-can-wear-socks.  They would look better without socks, but I just really really need socks.  But anyway, I found them at our local general store for $7 less than Zappos!  I hesitate to jump on the “buy local” bandwagon.  When I see a “Do You Know Your Farmer” bumper sticker it just seems so smug and self-righteous to me.  And plenty of virtuous people don’t have the time or money to buy local but feel guilty about it.  And I hate that.

But every now and then you find just what you want locally for a good price, and it feels really good.

The end.  Click over to Jen’s for more quick takes.  Happy weekend!

Amazing deal on Kate shoes!

Do you have a Famous Footwear near you? Has it ever occurred to you to try out a pair of nude pumps like those that Princess Kate (aka Duchess of Cambridge) famously wears over and over again? Then run, don’t walk, to your nearest FF because these babies are on sale for $20, down from $80 or so.



Naturalizer’a “Lennox.” I don’t know yet whether A reader kindly has confirmed that this price is available online, too.
I bought mine over a year ago and I’ve worn them a lot. (I’m wearing them in probably one out of four of my What I Wore Sunday posts. ) I’m tempted to buy another pair but mine have plenty if wear left.

So like I said: run! Shop! Now!

P.S.  I just realized the irony of posting this right after writing about my so-called minimalism.  Yeah . . . .

In Which My Four Year Old Wants A Bikini

and I Contemplate My Impending Demise

— 1 —

First off, I wrote a guest post for Erika over at Stethoscopes, Style, and Grace (thanks Erika!).  It’s about my supposed minimalism and how I fared against Target.

— 2 —

Girl 1 has taken to drawing little tableaux on her MagnaDoodle every day.  It’s her way to unwind after school.  She likes to draw beach scenes of her and her friends swimming.


Recently Pat and I overheard the following:

Girl1 (to herself): And here’s me and C in our swim bras and swim underpants.

Pat and I exchange deer-in-the-headlights looks.

A few minutes later:

Girl1: Mommy and Daddy, can you get me a swim bra and swim underpants?

Me: Who wears a swim bra and swim underpants?  (Wondering if she got the idea from Barbie or elsewhere)

Girl 1: Oh . . . a ten-year old girl.

Me: Hmm.

A few minutes later,

Girl 1: Mommy, what do you call a swim bra and swim underpants?

Me: Um, a two-piece bathing suit.

Girl 1: Oh, can you get me a two-piece bathing suit?

Me [bracing for the storm]: Uh . . .  you see, Girl 1 . . . Daddy and I think it’s better for girls to cover their tummies.

Girl 1: Oh . . . How about a swim shirt with straps, with swim underpants [i.e., a tankini].

Me: Sure, yeah, that would be okay, if it covers your tummy.

Girl 1: Okay.  I want a pink one.  And Girl 2 can have a purple one.


Please don’t think she ever ever gives up that easily at any other time.

— 3 —

I think I’m coming down with strep throat.  I’m trying to fight it off with a home remedy:

strep throat

Garlic and cayenne pepper by the spoonful.  1/2 tsp every half hour.  Yowzers.  It’s potent.  But I already feel better after less than a day.  Also my saintly husband and his saintly mother have taken care of the girls a lot so I can sleep more.  That helps!

I’ve been on antibiotics four times in the past two years or so, including twice for a strep throat that just wouldn’t go away.  That’s why I want to avoid them this go-around.

— 4 —

I was thinking back on all the various ailments I’ve had in the past five years: strep throat, bad back, periodontal disease (not for lack of flossing, mind you; I’m very defensive about this), UTIs, yeast infections, sinus infection . . . . I kind of feel like:

“I’m melting!”

Back during college and law school, I don’t think I ever was sick enough to warrant going to the doctor.(I went a few times for more routine or preventative things, but not for actually being sick.)  Then it occurred to me:

Nature is telling me I’m no longer needed.

Think about it: I’ve reproduced.  Pat and I have replaced ourselves.  From an evolutionary standpoint, we’re extraneous.

If I had had kids at a more biologically appropriate time, say at 16 and 18, instead of 26 and 28, and if I had a few more of them, it would be even clearer.  They’d be big enough to gather their own nuts and berries and run away from predators.  Absolutely no need for me to stick around.

But, thanks to the marvels of modern medicine (and/or garlic), I’ll probably stick around decades and decades more.  And it’s all going to be one long . . . slow . . . process of decay.

— 5 —

Speaking of decay . . .  I’m pondering what kind of shoes to get to replace my worn-out, smelly, three-year old Sperrys.  Boots aren’t really comfortable for around the house.  Sometimes I just want some to wear my long-neglected cross-trainers (b/c, as you know, I don’t work out), but I’m trying to avoid that style deathtrap.

And they have to be something I can wear with socks.  I neeeeeed socks.  Especially in the winter.  Megan wrote a whole post (back in the glory days when she was still blogging), with shoe guidance for sweaty sock-dependent schmucks like me.   I don’t know if I have enough edge to wear Converse, though.


SONY DSC converse 2

I keep coming back to the idea of chukkas.

Are they a shoe?  Are they a boot?  What makes a chukka a chukka?  I don’t know.  (Doesn’t matter, because I have no money left in my clothing/shoe budget.)  Why do I have chukkas on the brain?

Oh yeah . . . .

— 6 —


Snow White runs away

Actually, Walter White dresses a lot like my dad. It’s pretty funny.  Something about that khaki pants, button-down shirt look is so familiar.  Except that my dad wears pants.  And not chukkas.

— 7 —

Speaking of style icons (were we? Yes, we were), Suzette and I had an interesting conversation about the shortfalls of looking to Marilyn Monroe for fashion inspiration.

I suggested  poor Norma Jeane’s early years for more workable outfit ideas:

Marilyn Monroe Norma Jeane striped shirt blue jeans

Cute right?

But it struck me how absurd it is for me to be dispensing any sort of style advice or what have you.  But I live to serve, so if the demands continue, I shall to go into business.  I plan to call it:

Matthew 15:14 Style Consultancy!

.  .  .  .  .  .

Thanks, Jennifer for hosting the Quick Takes link-up over at Conversion Diary!

Summer mom uniform with skort

Wow!  Just published this without realizing it.  Sneaky Polyvore.  But I’ll let it stay.  This is pretty much how my summer mom uniform has shaped up.  I am loving my skort from Athleta.  More later . . .
Summer mom uniform with skort

Lands End evening top

Mossimo top

Loft top

Wherever Skort


Birkenstock shoes

Chain jewelry

Nina earrings

Gold disc necklace

H m scarve
$7.82 –

Wherever Skort | Athleta

What I Wore Sunday: Floral Cardigan & Chambray Shirt

Hello, my name is Laura.  On Sundays, I go to Mass with my husband and children.


In my spare time I like to pretend I’m a fashion model.

** Update **

Per Stephanie’s sweet and very flattering comment, here’s a close-up of the skirt.  It has a pattern made with gold thread:

Material of the skirt.  It looks more golden in real life.

Material of the skirt. It looks more golden in real life.

Skirt is from LOFT (old-2010 I think); Cardigan is from Target (last year); Necklace is from Target (older still), Shirt is Old Navy (on clearance several months ago).

Surprise surprise!  I looked up the shoes and they are still available: Lennox from Naturalizer.  Quite comfortable, as heels go AND they come in wide width, which is a must for me.  Worth the $$.  Highly recommended.  They do run a tad small though.

Oh, and that crooked picture on the wall?  It’s on purpose.  I do that occasionally as an impromptu exercise to fine tune my husband’s moral bearings à la That Hideous Strength.

P.S. I’m writing a series of posts on Style and the Stay-At-Home Mom, in which I will humiliate myself by detailing my own efforts in this regard.  The first was posted yesterday.  Hopefully it will be interesting to other SAHMs, other  work-at-home types, anyone who (like me) dreads getting out of her pajamas each morning, and others who want a good laugh.

Okay, for more fashion and possibly some jokes that are funny to people other than just the writer, check out Fine Linen and Purple for their What I Wore Sunday link up!