Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Foot massages - ALL day long!

Our feet are under tremendous pressure every day. Not only do they feel the weight of our entire bodies, but they are also aware of everything that happens inside of our vital organs, as those body parts are reflected on the soles of our feet.  This is where a good reflexology foot massage comes in handy.

Cherokee Indians, ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Chinese people made use of foot massages. However, it was only during the twentieth century that American and European physiotherapists developed the practice of reflexology and mapped the reflex points on the feet.
Reflexology Foot Map

Eastern people believe that Chi (vital energy) is carried to the different parts of the body  through a system of meridians in a similar way that the blood is carried through arteries and veins to and from the heart.

The movement of the Chi can be affected by massaging the related pressure point. For instance, if the chi is trapped, it can be freed by massaging the pressure point. The same applies to massages an area where the chi flows too fast.

Conditions such as anxiety, stress, insomnia, migraines, sinusitus, body pains, eczema and sciatica can be improved using reflexology as a complementary therapy.

Sadly, most of us do not have the time needed for a weekly one -hour reflexology session, which will proof most beneficial.

Medical shoes have been available for some time and reflexology shoes is a new addition to this type of footwear. Manufacturers use natural stones, as per the theories of Chinese medicine. People who have tried these sandals, say that wearing them is like having a personal session with a reflexologist.

Reflexology sandals with healing stones

The smooth stones correspond to the different points on the acupressure points on the feet. The stones also have a range of wholesome elements, such as magnetic materials to improve circulation.

Another variant of reflexology shoes

A wide range of reflexology sandals in a great range of styles are available for a variety of uses.

Have you tried reflexology shoes? Why? And did they work?

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Tom's One For One Movement

Tom's Shoes is using fashion to make a difference in a remarkable way. Since they summarized their cause and how it began so elegantly, here it is: "In 2006, American traveler Blake Mycoskie befriended children in Argentina and found they had no shoes to protect their feet. Wanting to help, he created TOMS, a company that would match every pair of shoes purchased with a pair of new shoes given to a child in need. One for One. Blake returned to Argentina with a group of family, friends and staff later that year with 10,000 pairs of shoes made possible by TOMS customers."
What an amazing cause to use fashion to change somebody's life. Shoes for a child in a developing country can do wonders. They can go to school because most often schools don't allow a child without shoes to be educated. Shoes also keep their feet safe from being cut or injured. Diseases are caused by the soil in certain countries, so wearing shoes can preserve the health of a child and the cognitive damage in life that it later may cause. 
Tom's give to over 23 countries, which greatly increases the probability of children succeeding because they can now go to school. Check out Tom's giving report on Facebook. This means that this gracious company has given more than 1 million shoes to children worldwide. Their cause is a wonderful example of a humanitarian movement.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

A perfect husband?

I always thought I had the best husband alive. He helps around the house, he's a great dad, a loving husband and my best friend. While those are not all the values we look for in a man, those are biggies, and my darling fulfills all the criteria and I am a lucky girl.

My hubby also goes out of his way to get me whatever I want.

But the other day I found a guy that is even better than my hubby. What? Seriously, is there better?

Every girl reading this blog knows that men have a big problem with a girl's shoe-obsession. Why they call it an obsession I don't know. We just like shoes and we NEED shoes. "Obsession" is such an ugly word, unless it is used in the context of sport-obsession, for instance. Obsession is the word that best matches some dude sitting on the couch, eating chips and drinking beer, watching the game.

So back to this guy from Louisville, Ky. I found.

He actually catered to girls' needs by shoplifting shoes on order. That's right, customers sent him orders via text message and he'd go steal shoplift the shoes for them. He hid the shoes down the front of his pants. (Now that's a man who takes risks for the women in his life!)

His "career" was going swell and he had orders for various items of clothing too. He stole nearly $1,000 worth of shoes and clothing.

Now I know that stealing is a big no-no, but when you think about it, men always "protect" their wives by omitting things that can "hurt" them. So I am pretty sure if this guy has a wife, he probably never told her about the details of his "business", but I'm sure he often surprised her with some of his pickings.

This gives a whole new meaning to the standard "Honey, I'm home." conversation. Imagine him coming home every day with a new pair of shoes...

Yes, I know! Stealing is wrong and this guy is now in jail - where he belongs.  My hubby is still the best, as he doesn't care what shoes I wear, as long as I am happy - and he won't be going to jail anytime soon.

But tell me you weren't tempted by the idea of new shoes, daily?

Monday, June 20, 2011

When it comes to shoes, I'd rather go nude!

On Saturday I went shopping with my daughter. Being 9-years old, she is fast hurtling towards puberty, and despite the grazed knees and elbows and a complete dislike for anything touching her face - she is clearly a girl.

As we entered the shop, she made a bee-line for the shoe section!

She pointed out some shoes for me, but the selection left me disappointed. The shop sells beautiful women's wear, such as professional suits, cocktail dresses  skirts, blouses and trousers. I do not think I have ever seen a pair of shorts there, or even a t-shirt. 

But the shoe section? It had flip-flops, gladiator sandals and a few pairs of boots in the adult female section. While I know it is winter in this part of the world, I figured that if they could sell flip-flops, they might as well add a few pairs of stylish nude sandals or pumps, but it was all blacks and browns - very boring!

Of course, my little flat-foot (who by now had removed her flip-flops, because "they make her slip") found some really pretty shoes in the girls' section. These frilly, glittery kitten heels and wedges would have been much more appropriate if they were about 6 sizes bigger and in the adult female section. 

When I got home I spent some time checking what other ladies wear with their dress suits and cocktail dresses. Of course, fashion style is a very individual matter. I had to find my own favorites, and here are two of them:

I LOVE the "nude with lace" look of these shoes!

This goes with almost anything!

So what do you think? Am I just weird or demanding, or is my shop boring?

Friday, June 17, 2011

Creative Shoe Illustrations

Lately I've seen some fabulous shoe fashion illustrations. Not just alright shoe illustrations, but out of this world, I would love to see this on my feet illustrations. I sometimes wonder how it would be to be a designer who has the world at their fingertips due to their talent. If only I could just sit down and design shoes from my mind, and then put it on paper, making it into a masterpiece.

I wonder what goes through a designer's mind as they create a new design. They get to pick out their choice of color, the amount of lace, strap, tulle, or bling. They get to decide weather it will be edgy, elegant, sweet, or sexy. Perhaps their new design will become a hit and sell out and their fans will insist more. Or perhaps their design will be a flop, and they have to pick up the pieces and design again. As their hand draws the shoe, their mind contemplates what the results will be. But they don't give up - because they want to succeed in this fashion world.

I've actually taken a few watercolor courses and seeing all of these amazing pumps and art wants me to pick it up again. I consider myself artistic and creative, but I don't draw that well. I think perhaps I should take a drawing course in the near future to explore how to draw shoes like this! Or at least attempt it because I don't think it would look nearly as good as these talented illustrators.

I never think it's too late to explore a new hobby, because you might become great at sometimes you never though you would be great at. Even though these illustrators are obviously talented, I'm sure their drawings also took a lot of practice. Any type of hobby, in my opinion, takes a lot of dedication if you want to succeed. Unless you just want to do it because you enjoy it, which is also fun. You always don't have to be fantastic at something to enjoy it.

So what do you think of fashion and shoe illustrations in particular? Could you see yourself drawing an illustration like above? I wish I could! I may not be able to draw them, but I can definitely wear them.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Lady Gaga's shoes - hot or not?

Lady Gaga is known for her weird and wacky fashion sense about as well as she is for her vocal talents. She uses the two in conjunction to propel her popularity to heights most of us can only dream of.  Love her or hate her - she is successful and it is in hugely attributed to her talent for creating controversy, her singing and her interesting shoes.

The Lady is also a bit of an enigma as few people are brave enough to follow in her - weird - footsteps.

We all had Rachel do's in the 90s and in 2011 we all want Kate shoes following the Royal Wedding, but despite Lady Gaga's new shoe line hitting the catwalks, few are brave enough to walk in her (really high, mostly heel-less) shoes.

For the purposes of this post I will try stick to the prettier of styles and those are the least gravity defying.

These don't seem too uncomfortable...

For these you need some serious balance...
Who could forget the famous meat dress?  

Sadly, this pair won't be able to endure the shipping process, but they have stock at your local butchery. (Assembly excluded)

This was probably a precursor of the artist's more... bloodthirsty tendencies. Not long after, followed her new perfume:

During her recent appearance at American Idol, Lady Gaga wore a pair of very - erect heels which scored mixed reviews. From disgusted, to shocked to those who wanted a pair. 

So what is your take? Will you wear Gaga shoes and if so, which pair?

Friday, June 10, 2011

Should I break down and get some Wellies?

Sierra and I have a lot in common. We are both blonde and we both live on the coast. But where I am, it is not nearly as summery as it is in California where she lives. The entire South Africa is cold, rainy and miserable at the moment, which is not really the norm, but I guess Mother Nature is trying to confuse us all.

Apart from shoes, there's only one thing that can put a smile on a girl's face and that is a chocolate cupcake.

However, when the taste has left, reality sets back in and we want something else. What is it about winter that makes us want comfort food and retail therapy? Speaking of retail therapy, I saw a pair of boots the other day (a particularly warm day, as luck would have it) that I adored. They looked similar to the pair below, but with floral embroidery and finishes. 

I didn't buy them because: 1)  Who wears boots in this weather and 2) My calves... my dear, big, athletic calves don't fit into ANY boots and they had no wide calf options available. 

To add to my ongoing "what shoes to wear" crises, the out-of-season rain has increased in volume and intensity over the last week or two. My beautiful boots would have been messed up if I walked down the stairs to the street.

That's when I found the perfect solution, which is suitable for summer and winter alike. 

Imagine them with skinny jeans or denim hot pants (not that I'll ever wear those again)...

For my more glamorous friends there is the wedge wellies - in pink of course:

And of course the kitten heel wellies:

I must say I really like these shoes for wet weather. They are strong, comfortable, waterproof, warm and durable. They are also cute - I love the rock star  / cowgirl feel of boots and think I should grab myself a pair, really soon.

That's hoping that I can get my calves into them...

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Brides and Their Delightfully Colored Wedding Shoes

Summer is finally here (well, for most of us,) and for many people, they love to get married during the warm months! I personally would like to get married in a cooler climate such as the 70s or 80s, which would perhaps put me into the Fall time in certain states. I don't think I could stand to be married in the blazing hot temps of 90 or above, especially if it was outside!

I don't know if you are familiar with the website Pinterest, but I happen to be addicted to this site. It's so much fun to "pin" pictures from the web, not only to organize you photos into different folders while dreaming, but to know exactly where they come from simply by clicking on the photo. It will bring you straight to the website, which is fantastic because you can keep track of the correct source! Anyway, lately I've seen several wedding photos of brides with the most gorgeous shoes, and specifically a lot of shoes with color!

I think the shoes on a bride's feet show off her personality. If you are a sassy bride you might want to wear hot pink shoes or a pair of Nike shoes with hot pink shoe laces! If you are an elegant bride you might go for a classic designer in a beige pair of heels. Or, you might be somewhere in between and decide to wear a sparkly pair of flip flops. Whatever you decide, I truly think that any type of shoe will flatter your wedding dress because you are wearing something that compliments you. I'm thinking that walking down in a pair of flats as opposed to a pair of heels might be more comfortable, but you might be able to find a comfy pair of pumps that are bright and fun, so never say never! :)

As I mentioned, I've been seeing a lot of photos with brides in brightly colored shoes. I am loving this trend and I happen to think a splash of color is exactly what a white wedding dress needs. Plus it's so playful and fun! Most of the time the audience won't see the shoes anyway until after the wedding when the bride can reveal her shoes. In a way a bride's brightly colored shoes are her best kept secret! They are also a silent delight to the bride who is wearing them as walks down the aisle and later dances with her groom. Let's look at some photos that I found that represent some shoe color inspiration!
This beautiful bride is in her element in her bright pink heels. The gorgeous ruffled elements on her heels seem to pop with color in every direction.
Similar to the hot pink pumps, these light pink shoes are very elegant and classy. I love the ruffles and how it ties in perfectly with the bottom part of her wedding dress.
Purple pumps are just darling and look at the bouquet!! The jewel and bow on her heels seals the deal.
Green is very earthy and these pair of shoes almost look vintage - I love the feeling that they give you by simply glancing at them on her feet. You can see the trees in the distance.
Blue pumps!! That's what I am talking about. The heels are a bit more thicker, which would make it easier to walk down the aisle as opposed to skinny heels. I love the pure joy that is on this bride's face!

So what do you think of wearing colored and bright shoes for your wedding day?

Even if you aren't getting married, would you wear a colored pair of heels with your wedding dress?

I definitely would love to consider wearing a pair of heels that are either hot pink or blue someday. I love that these brides aren't afraid of color. It's daring, bold, and beautiful, all at the same time.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Concerns for the future of the beach bums

Since the plastic shopping bag law was introduced in South Africa, we have been using a large canvas bag to go shopping. So it happened the other day that I got to pack the groceries in the bag while hubby was paying.

I felt something hard in the bag and when I opened it to look inside, I found - you guessed it... A pair of dirty old Ben 10 flip flops!
These were invented for a reason, right?

So the truth came out and my husband told me the truth (whether it is the entire truth and nothing but the truth I still need to establish, and I will).

See, I really try to be a good mom. Just yesterday I told my daughter to put on warmer clothes unless she wanted to catch pneumonia, because it was freezing cold outside (okay, somewhat of an exaggeration).  Her response?  "Oh, come on Mom! You don't get sick because it's cold. That's a MYTH! You don't even have a sweater on."  (How cheeky can a 9-year-old get?)

My kids just don't "get" the concept that they need to do as I say and not as I do. Of course Daddy Dearest will always take the brats' side and let them off the hook - for instance, when the three of them take a stroll to the shops and I insist on them wearing shoes against their will.

After putting on shoes and kissing me goodbye (and languishing in the showers of praise I give them for being such good kids to put on shoes, despite the fact that they don't think they need to) - the shoes are in the bag the moment they reach the gate outside the complex.

I guess the same rules don't apply when you live on the beach. The atmosphere is more relaxed and the dress code more casual. And as their dad says, "They are KIDS". I guess people don't find it so strange when a mother drags Ben 10 flip flops out of her shopping bag around here.

The Barefoot Beach Bums Out Shopping

I just hope that they will be able to wear shoes one day, when it becomes a necessary part of daily live.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Jessica Simpson's Fashion Empire, Starring Her Shoes

Happy Friday! So I have a question. What do you think about these shoes? Do you know who the designer is? It is none other than Jessica Simpson! I absolutely love Jessica Simpson shoes. Fresh out of college, I worked as a coordinator in a Residential Management Company, and I wore a pointy gold pair of heels by Jessica Simpson. I wore them the entire year I worked there until they were worn out! Since they were my first "official" pair of work pumps, I saved them. Yes, I get sentimental about my shoes. However, I also am still sentimental about them because I happen to love Jessica Simpson. 
Yes, laugh if you want, but ever since I was a young teenager, I listened to Jessica Simpson's first album and first hit: "I Wanna Love You Forever." She is the only singer/actress/designer that I have truly kept up to date on all of her news. I admit, through the years Jessica Simpson has gone through her good times and bad (ie The Newlyweds and the demise of her marriage to Nick Lachey,) but she's always come out strong. New York Fashion cites that Jessica Simpson's fashion empire is worth one billion dollars. WOW! That's proof right there that anything is possible when you set your mind to it. Her music and movies may have not won the crowd over, but her fashion line certainly did. My favorite part of her fashion line? You guessed. it...the shoes. Let's take a look at a few other pairs I am currently lusting over.

So all of the shoe pictures you see above are just some of her shoes. Out of all of the designer shoes I own, Jessica Simpson's shoe line are close to being my favorite, because they are affordable, comfortable, and her style is just amazing. The girl has major fashion sense!
I have a goal for the If The Shoe Doesn't Fit sellers though. They need to post some Jessica Simpson shoes for auction, and pronto! Do you know of anyone who is looking to get rid of some Jessica Simpson shoes? Because I'd be happy to take the many many shoes off of their shoe plate! ;) Shoes can always help rescue a woman in need and in this case, they certainly have rescued Jessica Simpson.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Birthday, Father's Day - What to Buy?

Another 6 months have flown by and 2011 is halfway through. With that comes Father's Day and my husband's birthday. These two special days usually occur in the same week and sometimes on the same day. This year, Father's Day is on June 19th - the day before his birthday. So planning needs to start really soon if we were to make his day special. The kids can make him a handmade gift, or buy him a box of chocolates, but what shall I get him?

If there's one thing that wakes me up in the middle of the night (it's highly unlikely as I sleep like a rock), it is cold toes pressed against my toasty ones. I can't wear socks, as he says it is "not healthy". It is now winter in South Africa and despite the fact that we live on the coast and it is supposed to be summer here all year round, it is pretty cool at the moment. Hubby has been nagging for sheepskin slippers and I guess his cold toes have been used to his advantage to convince me that he needs the slippers.
One of my favorite gifts to give, is a pair of humorous socks. I think it's cute and a great reminder for the person who wears it to know how you feel about him. What could beat a pair of  "World's #1 Dad" socks on Father's Day? But dark socks are no longer acceptable as Beach Bum fashion and for some crazy reason they don't make funny socks in white. 

They say that you should walk in the other person's shoes and give something they would really like. My mind has been racing until I finally came up with a gift that keeps on giving - so to speak. Something that would bring value and something that we could enjoy together.

That's when I came across these gorgeous shoes...

Surely wearing them as is, would be the perfect gift!