Thursday, November 24, 2011

bronze flip flops, take 2

What:  size 8 bronze flip flops with rope detail
From:  Talbots (clearance center)
Purchased:  September 2011
Cost:  $14

So, um, yeah.  In August at a regular Talbots I bought a pair of bronze flip flops and put them away for next summer's use.  And then in early September I was at the clearance store and snatched these off the racks and totally loved the rope-y, espadrille-y trim around the shoe and bough them without a second thought because I needed new flip flops.  And I put them away for next summer's use. 

And now I have two pairs of bronze flip flops.  And a no returns policy.  Oh well.  I love bronze.  I could wear one pair out and save the second pair for the summer of 2013?

Bottom line:  keeper

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

bronze flip flops

What:  Size 8 bronze flip flops with little bow
From:  Talbots
Purchased:  August 2011
Cost:  $16

All summer I wore my orange and yellow flip flops.  They were already on their last legs, but I couldn't part with them. 

So, when I went to Talbots close to my birthday, which meant I had an extra 15% off coupon, and the summer sale was still in full swing, and I saw these, I had to snatch them up.  As we all know, I love me some metallics

Two questions:
- how can a pair of flip flops cost the same as the shoes from yesterday
- uh, what is that other pair of bronze flip flops in the background?  stay tuned! 

Bottom line:  keeper

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


What:  size 8 glitter and sequin gold peep toe pumps with 2.5 inch heel
From:  Talbots (clearance store)
Purchased:  April 2011
Cost:  $16

They made it to 80% off!  So I could not pass them up.  These are totally impractical.  Seriously, how many times in your life will you wear gold glitter pumps?  I know a lot of people that will never wear glitter shoes once in their life, and I think they're perfectly fine with that.  But these are comfy.  And, well, tasteful.  For a gold glitter pump, that is. 

Right after I got them I wore them out to dinner with rolled jeans and an olive green jacket.  Sort of the juxtaposition of hard edge and fancy.  I guess it worked, and I could probably wear something like that a couple of times a year. 

But I never have fancy things to attend where these would work.  No fancy holiday parties, no super fabulous dress up dinners out, no fancy theater or orchestras......once again, my shoe mantra - I need a more fabulous life to match my shoes!  Sigh. 

bottom line:  keeper

Monday, November 21, 2011

cheap espadrilles

what:  size 8 lilac espadrilles with flowers
From:  New York and Co
Purchased:  mid summer 2011
Cost:  $10

Bought these at the same time as these.  What can I say, they were cheap.  I don't know how much wear they will get, but at $10 I couldn't pass them up.  I was kinda looking at a dress there the same color, but never got it.  I can get a wear or two out of them next year.  I hope.

Bottom line:  keeper

Sunday, November 20, 2011

fierce espadrilles

What:  size 8.5 lace up platform espadrilles
From:  Joan&David (Macy's)
Purchased:  August 2011
Cost:  $50

I saw these in some ad over the summer and cyberstalked them for two months, but never saw them cheaper than $100.  I tried them on at one point in July on a random trip to Macy's, but there was no way I was paying that much for them.  So late in the summer I decided what the heck and did another random Macy's trip and lo and behold found them on the super sale rack!

The sad thing is usually I am very prepared, and that day there had been a 20% off coupon in the paper, but I didn't grab it and the woman behind the counter wasn't going to help me out.  I bought them anyway.  They are fierce.  I get a ton of compliments on them when I wear them.  Just hope they won't appear too "last season" next summer, because I plan on getting more wear out of them!

Bottom line: Keeper

Saturday, November 19, 2011

and so it goes

While my sister did an amazing job motivating Elizabeth to make her room less of a disaster area, they didn't really tackle the root of the problem, which is stuff crammed everywhere.

I've started to notice that if Andrew is enjoying a particular toy a lot, it winds up squirreled away in Elizabeth's room.  This is annoying, to say the least.  

When he pulled out a little car set, and one car was missing, Elizabeth casually said it was in her room, in her nightstand.  I went to find it, but her nightstand was mysteriously empty.  So I went on a small rampage, rooting around in all her stashes.  

Never found the car.  But in 5 minutes of rummaging, I did find:  
  1. A used teaspoon
  2. a yellow cherry from the Hi Ho Cheerio game
  3. a red butterfly from the Elefun game
That girl!  I am in a total funk right now over the toys, and specifically the games, and are really feeling a lot of annoyance directed at the nanny.  Games get hauled out and then pieces distributed everywhere.  It makes me crazy.  None of the games we have can be played right now.  None.  The pieces have been dispersed to the far corners of our house, never to be reunited again.  CRAZY.  ANNOYED.  

And we're heading toward Christmas, and more toys will make their way into our house, and the whole thing makes me think my head is about to explode.  

I'm gearing up for a huge toy sort, and it has to be done before Christmas.  And I have to comprehensively sort the main level, the basement, and her room, or the whole effort is fairly useless.  Why didn't we choose a nanny who was more organized than us?  Or at least even slightly organized?  Or who at least understood why toys should sort of go together.  I'm perpetuating my disorganization on another generation and it is making me grumpy and crazy.  

Friday, November 18, 2011

grey booties

What:  Size 8 grey ankle booties
From:  Aerosoles
Purchased:  October 21, 2011
Cost:  $26

I spent all last winter coveting grey shooties/ankle booties, particularly an expensive pair.  I ended up buying these for $20, and while I like them, they're kinda cheap-y and I don't think will last.  Suede is already rubbing off.  Also ever-so-slightly pinchy in the toes.

Anyway, when shopping with KG recently, we hit the Aerosoles outlet store and these were marked to $26.  KG got both the grey AND the black (marked down to $35, I think), but I stuck with just the grey. After seeing KG rock the black ones with black tights and skirt, I was thinking I should have gotten black, even if they were $10 more, but I had purchased the odd black Naturalizer shoes earlier that day, so grey it was.

So, the other day I decided to step out a little bit and actually wear some of the crap I buy on the clearance racks, and pulled on these funky patterned tights, with a grey skirt and black sweater.  It was a little out there for me, but I think worked.  At least it was a little different.

Bottom line:  keeper.  They are more comfy that the other ones I own.  Probably better with jeans.  Still feeling like I should have gotten the black ones, maybe?  Or, really, neither.  The real bottom line is I've gotten two grey booties for $46, which is still cheaper than the shooties I really wanted last year.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

black peep toes

What: size 8 black platform peep toe slingbacks with patent accents and flower bow on front
From:  AK Anne Klein (Lord&Taylor)
Purchased:  May 2011
Cost:  $32

Shoe-mageddon, which I still haven't covered, wiped out my black shoe collection.  Really, I had a number of black shoes that were staples in my wardrobe that just had too much wear, and TSM did a great job encouraging me to discard them.  

These hurt the most to discard - loved those sandals, but it was time.  When I wrote about them, I said I needed a slightly dressier, lady-like pair to replace them, and in the late spring, I started seeing some candidates in Lord&Taylor ads.  And so when a huge coupon coincided with a big shoe sale, plus an already planned trip to Friendship Heights, I was on a mission.  Tried on 4 pairs of black peep toe slingbacks and settled on the ones pictured above.  They're definitely dressier then the ones I discarded, which filled a niche of sandals-that-could-aspire-higher, but that niche is difficult and I needed the dressier shoe, since shoe-maggeddon also resulted in these going away, too.  OK, yes, I still have these, but I feel like they're not quite the same - I bought leather (with patent accents), and that last link is all patent, plus I think not quite as, well, for want of a better descriptor, lady-like for full skirts.

I'm still on the hunt for a low-heel almost-sandal (kitten heel, maybe?) that can be worn with skirts, but I was, and am, super satisfied with this pair, especially at the bargain price I got.

Bottom line:  keeper

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

back to shoes - brown boots

What: size 8 light brown wedge heel mid-calf boots with studs and turndown
From:  Naughty Monkey (
Purchased:  October 2011
Cost:  $40

I've had my eye on these boots since last March, when they were $30 - half price end of season.  I also liked the darker brown color, but with no job at the time, I could only watch as the dark brown ones sold out and the 50% off marked down price ended.  I also just wasn't sure about them.

And then the job came along, and I had a $10 credit on Amazon, so finally snagged them.

I like them, and wore them my long tiring Sunday with no problems, but I am just not sure I can really pull off the tucked in jeans look.  Maybe my jean legs were not quite skinny enough.  I felt like I had an unfortunate star trek-like quality to the jeans, puffing out at the top of the boots.  Or maybe I'm just not used to this look and need to keep trying, or need to peg my jeans so they are tighter and don't ride up, or need a different pair of pants.  Undecided.  But these are cute boots, with a slight kick as feel to them (studs!), and they were comfortable, so overall worthwhile.

Bottom line:  keeper

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

small steps

Ok, well, the journey of a thousand miles starts with a small step.

Today I explored trash regulations in DC and discovered that you can discard TVs at the transfer station on the first Sat of the month.  So, the giant TV in the basement, along with other hazardous waste like mercury filled burnt out light bulbs, will go away December 3rd.

Small steps.

Monday, November 14, 2011


I'm writing this blog post 11/26, but backdating to 11/14.  Maybe I can catch up with NaBloPoMo, maybe not, but we'll see how it goes. 

So, after a frenzied weekend and exhausting Sunday, I"m mostly just waiting for Rich to get home.  Although some decluttering progress was made over the weekend, I'm feeling discouraged.  Everything that is on my todo list is overwhelming.  There is so much to do, and most of it is linked, or requires purchasing new items to properly organize or replace old items, or is just such a huge, tedious job there's no motivation.

Although I made a lot of organizing progress in the play area of the basement on Friday, it was also a depressing exercise.  There is soooo much stuff down there. It just feels claustrophobic.  Everywhere you turn, there's a stack or pile or jumble.  Attacking it requires so much energy and effort and quite honestly, it's just easier to not think about it.

Here's an example:  I have a GIGANTIC desk in the basement.  I bought it for $10 when I was in grad school.  It is huge, and heavy, and I've hauled it more places than I care to imagine.  It's an old metal school desk with a gigantic, smooth desk top surface that would be awesome for projects - if I could get at the desk and actually work at it.  Right now it's inaccessible in a corner of the basement, and on the top is a giant old TV and a stash of boxes of Cats Meow pieces (more than 80) that my parents bought at at auction for something ridiculous like $2.  Rich hates this desk (see the aforementioned heavy + moved many places).  I like it because surface area.  It would be a nice craft desk/area.  It's surrounded by so much stuff I can't even take a picture of it.

I've finally decided it needs to go.  I'd much rather have a large craft desk in the attic, with a storage cabinet.  The desk is too big and ugly to go in the attic.  So, I need $$ to buy a project table and storage cabinet.  I need to clean off the desk in the basement to photograph it and sell on Craig's List, or freecycle.  I need to clean OUT the desk if it's leaving - there's random stuff in drawers and some files.  It's just a huge, depressing project overall and so it just sits, hulking, taking up a lot of square footage.

You might feel better after decluttering.  I do feel better with decluttered area.  But it's a long journey to get there.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

obsessing over holiday stuff

So yesterday my sister and I went to Target for a few necessary items, and wandered around a bit, too.  And we found some Halloween luminaries, originally priced at $12, marked down to $3.  They were super cute, Smith & Hawken, really nice, and pretty big.  And I sooooo wanted them.  But, I thought about how much Halloween stuff I already have, how this year I never lit any of the candles/luminaries I already own for Halloween until Halloween night itself, and how I just have too much stuff anyway.  It's too much stuff.  Too much.  In addition to getting rod of stuff, I've got to cut down on brining new stuff in.

But I still want them.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

treading water

So when one half of a two-parent household is away, everyone knows it's all about treading water, holding the line, until parent 2 gets back.  No one expects the stay behind parent to really get anything done, and only hopes things don't completely go to hell in a handbasket.

So no to-do list this weekend.  I've still got two full days to go, so I shouldn't jinx myself, but I hoping I actually gain a teeny tiny bit of ground.  Not a lot of ground, but just enough to feel like I accomplished something.

On Friday, during my hour in the basement, I managed to clear space in front of the door to our basement closet (oh yes, it's bad down there when the piles are actually blocking doors!) and I found the bulbs from last year.  And they don't seem rotten, so worth trying to plant, let's see, 60 crocus bulbs, 20 tulips, and 12 daffodils.  When I actually get some amount of them into the ground then I've got a thing done, but for now I'm just kinda pleased I found them.

But I did manage to collect a small shopping bag of trash, so that's 1 thing.

Then, today, my sister (who is here this weekend so it's not even like I am truly going solo while my husband jets off to warmer climes), took one look at Elizabeth's room and put her to work organizing it.  There's a lot to be done, and I've been half heartedly planning to arrange some time when I'm not working but Elizabeth is with the nanny or at school to go through and just bulldoze that room into submission.  But Jennifer somehow enticed Elizabeth into doing some actual organizing, minor sorting, and trashing of some of the excess - another small bag of trash, but hey, it's progress.

So that's two things for this weekend.

Not much, but I'll take it.

Throw Out 50 things in November
To date: 2
Current total: 4
Still to go: 46

Friday, November 11, 2011

this is how it works

Today Rich headed out for a trip, and I met my mom (who is at my brother's) and we went to the thrift store.  And I got TWO Christmas decoration items.  That will not fit in to the already overflowing stash of holiday decorations that currently exist in the basement.  Sigh.  They were cheap (less than $1 each), and I've wanted a glass container shaped like a Christmas tree.  Why, I don't know.  But now I own one.

But in penance (and because it is fricking cold - too cold for a walk to Target or the playground), I spent over an hour in the basement.  Some organizing progress made, but there is Much To Do.  Much.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

still in the front hall

Yep, those are the two Halloween (and Thanksgiving) bins, still in the front hall.  I bought them many years ago, and parceled out an area in the basement for all holiday bins, and here's the thing, if every year you add one or two things (this year: a table runner and two placemats, last year: 4 large tumblers, 4 kids cups), you will run out of room.

What I need to do is aggressively go through the bins and get rid of things we really don't use.  That would help.

But what I really need to do is squish as much of this as possible in the bins, slap on the lids, and shove them in the basement.  (Although we haven't yet gathered up the Halloween books, sigh.)  And worry about where the Thanksgiving stuff (including a new acorn dish, new acorn bowl with lid, and cutest thing ever acorn salt and pepper shakers) will go later.  Oh good grief, there's a cornucopia someplace in the basement right now, not even out with the rest of the fall decorations as I've forgotten about it til this very minute.

The Christmas stuff started, 10 years ago, in 4 bins.  Now it's expanded to include another bin, two LARGE boxes, a couple of bags, and stuff shoved randomly on the shelves.  There's an easter bin that's overflowed, too.  And a random holiday bin (Valentine's, St Patricks, 4th of July).

How do you store your holiday decorations?  Maybe you don't have a lot of holiday decorations?

Wait!  Rich is taking the bins down right now!  Wohoo!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Not quite 50

Ok, so yesterday I wrote about my friend TSM's sale in which I participated in September.  I tagged 39 items for sale.

And I sold 18 of them!  For $85 dollars!

And, can you see the top tag there?  I even sold A PAIR OF SHOES!  These shoes, to be precise, ones I thought were total duds and would never sell.  OK, os it took me almost a year to get them out of the house once I decided they had to go, but I recouped $10 from their purchase! Wohoo!

So I love selling.  But, uh, two downsides.  Because at the sale, other people also set out their great past purchases for super cheap, and I can't actually tell you how many things I purchased.  Though they've been nearly all great buys - 6 pairs of pajamas for A, several outfits for E, a couple of key Christmas presents.  What I really need to do is sell enough to cover my costs entirely.  (The accounting above says I spent $58, but it was more because I paid cash for a bunch.)

Second downside - the 18 things that did not sell.  Which are in one bin, in my front hallway.

Well, it's just one bin.  And the stuff is already tagged.  So I can just bring it to the next sale (except things like the stupid snow pants, which I can't sell til next Fall).  I just need to clear some space on our storage shelves and store this box (get it OUT of the front hallway!), plus start gathering new sale stuff for spring.  

Thanks TSM for the encouragement to do this!  

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

I tried to throw out 50 things

My friend TSM is heavily involved in a neighborhood co-op of women who sell their gently used children's items twice per year.  She tried to get me to be a new seller for the spring sale, but it conflicted with t-ball, so I finally got to participate for the fall sale.  In September.  E's birthday weekend.  Right in the midst of what I was already dreading as hell week, early childhood style. 

As a new seller, you're allowed to sell 50 items.  Perfect, I thought, what a way to get rid of 50 things, and then I will blog about it, and I can finally close that browser tab that has linked to the throw out 50 things website for 18 months.  I knew I could fairly easily find 50 things to sell, without even really getting into all the stored baby stuff I have amassed in the basement.  I started mentally deciding which things I would tag and sell. 

This sale is pretty elaborate (and to protect anonymity I'm being fuzzy on details).  There are strict rules for what you can sell and how you tag your items, and how you are supposed to contribute to the organization of the sale (ie, volunteer time).  I knew I had to get my act together and start gathering and sorting items.  As per usual, I kept putting it off, though I did root around in a few boxes in the basement and continue my mental cataloging.  Mental cataloging worked fairly well until E grabbed the stupid Lincoln logs she had not played with at all in three years and decided they were the Best! Toy! Ever! thus reducing my catalog by one item. 

About a week before the sale, just as our hell week was starting, I said to Rich, you remember in the midst of the soccer and the birthday parties and the school snacks and everything else that I am doing the sale, too, right?  Noooooooooo, was of course his answer.  But I had it all figured out - if I just tag 10 things a night, skipping E's actual birthday, I'll be done in plenty of time and be all organized.  That of course changed to well, if I just tag 15 items a night.  Which turned to 20 items a night.  Which then turned into, ok, I have two hours before I have to be there, what can I grab and tag quickly? 

When your house is totally cluttered (and some credit here, you've done a fair amount of advance thinking about it), you actually have quite a bit you can grab.  Which meant instead of 50 things, I started my plan with 39 things to sell.  But that was still a pretty good effort, and heck, one of the problems in discarding things is coming to terms with the value of those things, so selling 39 things was a good first step. 

So how'd I do?  Say tuned for tomorow's update (hey, what can I say, NaBloPoMo is a bitch and I'm already weary of posting, so dragging this out!)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Throw Out 50 Things

About a year ago I read an article about a book by Gail Blanke, Throw Out 50 Things.  It was featured by the newspaper's personal finance columnist, because she felt it helped clear your mindset and not just declutter your house, but your life, too. 

Well, as you can see from my sidebar, my various schemes have resulted in far more than 50 things removed from the house, but I'm not sure I feel that much more clarity in my life.  Though there is always a sense of accomplishment when an area is clean and organized. 

I like schemes.  They help you frame whatever it is you're working on.  I've had this throw out 50 things mantra in my head for over a year now.  So one of my goals for this month is 50 things gone.  Four pansies (and the $10 they cost) taunting me in the hall for the past couple of weeks gone.  46 more things to go! 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Weekend 1 - how'd we do?

OK, whew.  Exhausted.  My friend TSM made huge progress on her to-do list, and I think I hate her a little tiny bit for it. 

The pansies are in the ground.  OK, that's big, and that's 4 things out of the front hallway.  (oh, I haven't mentioned, I'm also going to count things out of the house this month - tomorrow's post will explain more).  I did not dig out the bulbs from the basement, but I have a plan for when I could get some of them in the ground (Wednesday morning).  I dug up a part of the front yard, but more needs to be done.  Back yard not touched at all, except I finally put out birdseed (also bought at the time of the pansies). 

Halloween decorations are all down, and mostly packed in their bins, but that still needs to be finalized and bins taken down.  Might finish this tonight. 

Laundry mostly done, but all still needs to be folded and then put away.  Will finish this up tomorrow. 

I almost made it into the basement but the urge passed.  So no real progress on any of the hot spots.  The front hall is a good one, as comment-ers pointed out it's the first room you walk into when you enter the house, but it is DAUNTING.  Paperwork, paperwork, and more paperwork.  More to come on this. 

And, I clipped coupons and discarded expired ones, but have not filed the new ones yet.  I have a System, you see (believe it or not).  I did make it to the grocery store, but only to get things we really needed.  Maybe Monday or Tuesday, before the sale ends, I will go coupon shopping over my lunch break at work. 

Items out of the house:  4
Goal for month:  50

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Saturday check in

OK, well, the pansies didn't go in the ground, and I didn't clear the clutter by the basement closet door to try to find the bulbs.  Halloween stuff has started to gather on the dining room table, and coupons were clipped but only partially sorted.  So it's a long to-do list for Sunday.  But we did manage E's soccer game, watching UVA crush MD (from the couch, sadly, not in person, but that also meant I got a short doze in), and a playdate with E's new school.  That's a full day right there! 

Friday, November 4, 2011

Weekend to-do list

It can't all be shoes this November - some real decluttering has to take place, and a (relatively) quiet weekend is the perfect time.  So what's on the to-do list?

  • Plant the pansies.  They've been in the front hallway for two weeks (Rich, when I bought them: let's plant these and not have it be weeks before we get to it), and have to go in the ground.  Of course this also means weeding the front yard, and then it would be nice if we also mulched the front, too.  Oh, and last year, before I got sick, I bought some bulbs and they've been stored in the basement for a year.  They might not still be viable, but some might, so it would be good to either plant or trash what's lurking around, reminding me of the failure to plant. 
  • Take down all the Halloween decorations, and switch to Thanksgiving.  There's some outside that require a bit of work, and a bunch scattered throughout the house.  It would be good to pack them all neatly in their tubs and store them neatly too, which gets difficult when we've acquired more and they don't actually fit neatly into the space allocated in the basement.
  • Do laundry, which is more of a regular chore than decluttering, but it can go on the list, too.  
  • And now I have to pick one of the big three areas to tackle, and I can't decide.  It'll have to be whichever strikes our fancy.  The big three, right now, are: the front hallway - there's a ton of paperwork to organize, bleah; the kitchen - a lot of organizing and cleaning to be done, along with moving some pictures and hanging some other new stuff, and I have GOT to organize my recipes, but that is a project in and of itself; and the ever present looming black hole of the basement - toy sorting, cleaning, organization.  Since we have to cram the Halloween stuff back down there, it might be a good weekend for the basement, but there's only so much basement stuff I can handle at one time, so we'll see.  
  • And a fun one, my favorite store is having double dollar coupons, so I have to organize all my coupons and plan for a shopping trip.  Yes, as unbelievable as this sounds, grocery shopping is actually kind of fun for me.  But my coupons are a mess right now so I need some sorting time. 

Check back Sunday for a full report!  

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thurday: brown peep toes

What:  size 8.5 N croc-embossed brown sling back peep toes with 3-inch heel
From:  Talbots (clearance)
Purchased:  Late August 2011
Cost:  $32

When I saw these on the clearance racks of the Talbots clearance store I snapped them up immediately.  I've long complained about not having dark brown shoes - I have a lot of tan, or varying shades of brown, but plain simple dark brown has not been easy to find.  These are narrows, but once again they're not really that narrow. 

I've worn these a lot end of summer into early fall.  They are mostly perfect, though sometimes in the office the shoes squeak and the heel slides a little on marble floors.  But still, good buy.  No regrets.  The perfect fall/spring shoe - today might mark their last wearing until early spring.  If I was really following the strict one in/one out rule, I'd get rid of these brown slingbacks that I've never really loved.  Although the front of those is a little beat up, they're still good shoes, and a slightly different niche as they are not peeptoe, and a lower heel, so maybe I will hold onto both for just a bit longer.  We'll see. 

Bottom line:  total keeper

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

New booties

What:  size 8, black suede booties with white stitching trim and 3.5 inch heels
From:  Naturalizer (outlet)
Purchased:  Oct 21, 2011
Cost:  $13.50!

Ok, so yesterday I said I had lost track of how many shoes I've bought, and then I did a little looknig around this morning and I don't think it's as bad as I feared.  When last I counted, I was up to, gulp, 17 pairs of new shoes in 2011.  And I think I've added 4 pairs to that total.  I bought 22 pairs in 2010.  So I'm on the same pace.  Dammit.  How did that happen?  What the hell is wrong with me?  Why can't I stop buying shoes?  This is insane.  I once said I needed a more fabulous life to match my shoes, and you know what, that is still my reality.  I have no place to wear all these new shoes!  It is ridiculous. 

Anyway, here's the story on these.  First, $13.50.  Enough said.  How can you pass that up?  My friend KG and I have been talking for the past 18 months about doing an outlet day, and we finally managed to get our schedules sync-ed up and make it happen.  I will say I bought no clothes for myself that day, btu two pairs of booties.  I did buy clothes for E and A and even Rich, too, and some household stuff, but only shoes for me. 

Naturalizer was one of our first stops, and we were fairly disappointed.  Pickings were slim and prices were high.  Clearance racks were picked over.  And then I noticed these, with an 80% off sticker (and we were carrying extra 20% off coupons).  Tried them on, and I'll be honest, these fit weird.  They are too big.  I put them back.  I kept looking.  KG tried on a pair of fab clearance boots that just didn't quite fit.  I was intentionally shopping for a pair of dark brown boots/booties.  I tried these on again.  KG told me they were ugly, while trying to cram her foot in the clearance boots.  Another shopper agreed with her.  I said they might fit the semi-ugly but charming category.  Other shoppers and KG disagreed.  I put them back.  KG kept dithering over flats and purses.  I searched the clearance aisle for another pair in a different color or smaller size.  More dithering.  I snapped and bought them.  Ultimately, I couldn't pass up the $13.50, and we were simply in the store too long.  I sort of feel like these stylistically work with rolled jeans (boyfriend style jeans) or slim jeans, with a slouchy cardigan, maybe.  Kind of a casual menswear-y, collegiate type look.  Which is a look I like (though I am not describing it well) but don't actually wear.  Bah.  I've worn them twice, and they are too high for real casual wear.  Could i wear them with a skirt and tights?  There's still something about them I like, but I definitely need to think over how to wear them. I've worn them twice, both times with my boot-leg jeans, once with jeans cuffed, once jeans just worn normally.  Eh. 

Bottom line:  I'm going to wear them 5-6 times this year, then shove them in the back of my closet and think of them fondly but never quite have the right outfit with which to ever wear them again.  Until I do a massive show clean out in 7-10 years and whoever is sucked into my craziness at that time strongly suggests I get rid of them.  At least I know myself well, right?  But hey, 6 times is $2.25 per wear cost! 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

NaBloPoMo = decluttering

Well, here we are again, another November underway, another NaBloPoMo (national blog posting month) challenge.  Which means another chance to declutter around here, and boy, does it need it.  Plus I've got to catch you up on my shoe acquisitions (um, I've lost track of how any shoes in 2011, let's just leave it at that), not to mention maybe someday accounting for shoe-mageddon!

But mostly, decluttering.  My to-do list is long.  LONG.  We have a party in mid-November (Andrew's 3rd b-day!), plus our haphazardly scheduled kinda annual holiday open house in December, so the stakes are high!

Here's a rough first cut at a to-do list:

  • front hallway, always a disaster area
  • our small back yard and front yard need attention, ripping out dead plants, putting down mulch, maybe getting some bulbs in, plus planting the pansies that have been in the front hallway for 2 weeks
  • the ever present need to toy sort
  • the basement needs major attention
  • Andrew is going to need a big boy bed after Christmas, so we need to overhaul his room
  • Elizabeth wants a pink room (after the holiday!) so we also need an overhaul of her room in anticipation
  • The attic is in sad shape right now and needs major decluttering and organization

Etc.  Need I say more? 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

September 14: new espadrilles

What:  size 8 brown espadrilles with cute poofy bow on front
From:  NY and Co
Purchased:  mid summer 2011
Cost:  $10

Ok, well, first of all, since I've last written, I've purchased 11, not 10, pairs of shoes, bringing my total in 2011 to 17.  How is that possible?  Well, when you're under employed and bored and you wander into a store you normally never go into and see super cute, slightly dressier, super cheap brown espadrilles marked to $10, you snap them up.  I have espadrilles (am now wearing the replacement brown ones, as the originals went in the trash after shoe-maggedon), but they are kind of boring and utlitarian, more casual.  These are slightly dressier and perfect for skirts, or, today, a summer dress (with jacket) in the office.  Or to a 50th anniversary garden party in the middle of the summer.  Probably slightly better for garden parties than the office, as they make an annoying flip flop sound as I walk the halls here!

Bottom line:  great buy, super cute, comfy, nice low heel but looks fancy, total keeper

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

and so it goes

All right, well, I haven't covered shoe-mageddon, but let's just say I got rid of a LOT of shoes.  A LOT.  Like I think at least 35.  Before shoe-maggedon, I was holding at 169 pairs, having gotten rid of 31.  And that means now I had settled on about 130 pairs.  That is an unbelievable amount of shoes!  It's hard to do an accounting as it all happened so fast, and we got rid of so many, and then completely re-organized.  I have a good memory, and it's what I call a situational memory.  So I was able to remember prices of shoes or where I got them, or when I got them, based on what I remembered from the situation, or context, around the purchase or wearing.  But that means that by re-organizing the shoes completely, my memory that a particular shoe was in a particular stack has now gotten all jumbled.  In fact, just this past weekend I was rooting around in a stack and ran across a pair and realized I had forgotten I had them.  And I was going through the blog and am really wondering where the 2011 new black pumps are.  I have no idea.  Not a clue.  I have to go on a hunt to re-familiarize myself with my shoe holdings.

And do you know why I was looking at the post of the 2011 black pumps?  Well, you may recall I've spent a significant portion of 2011 un-employed, or seriously under-employed.

In 2010, I bought 22 pairs of shoes, a number that actually kind of stunned me.  I knew with a tighter budget in 2011, I wouldn't even get close to that purchase total.  Surely 2010 (another year when I was under-employed) was an anomaly.

Well, let's see, before I stopped tallying in April, I had purchased 6 pairs of shoes, helped by a mini-frenzy of 3 pairs in March.  The other day, after a shoe purchase, I jotted down what I knew I'd acquired since April.  And - what the heck.  Uh, that would be another 10 pairs.  TEN PAIRS of shoes in 4 months.  4 months in which I was unemployed!  How was it possible?  Well, 4 pairs came after I started working, but still!  Ok, 2 are $10 espadrilles, and another 2 are $10 flipflops (both once I started working).  So, looks like I might have to do an accounting of my new pairs.  (Some of which are awesome!)

Also, my house is cluttered.  Way, way way too cluttered.  I did the dreaded toy sort this past weekend, and threw out three bags of crap!  Three bags!  From just the main level of the house (toys + craft supplies) - the basement could probably generate another 3 bags, and Elizabeth's room.....I can't even think about it.

Anyway, bottom line - more shoes, and more sorting coming soon to AwwwClutter!

Friday, May 20, 2011

April - and grand - tally

Friends, I'm finally wrapping up these shoe posts.  I've been putting it off forever, but I have to tally up the shoes from April, document shoe-maggedon, and, um, also perhaps tell you about the two new pairs I've acquired!  So for today, just the April tally.
  In the month of April, I wore/examined 12 pairs of shoes from my collection, at an estimated total cost of $296, or average cost of $24.66.  Of those, I am keeping 11. 1 was discarded.

So, from June 1-April 12 is 316 days.

I have shown you 200 pairs of my shoes. I am keeping 169 (!) (on the fence about 11 of those, though I think I gave my mom one of those 11, I need to go back and check), trashing 4, donating 27.

So keeping 169 and getting rid of 31 is a cull rate of 16% (My initial goal, before I knew I owned 200 pairs, was 20%, which means shoe-maggedon was necessary).

And, I estimate that over the past 17 years or so I've spent $5,665.50 on shoes, or an average cost of $28.33 per shoe, or roughly $333/year on my little hobby.

So - SHOE-MAGGEDON!  My friend TSM came over on April 8th and we sorted through the entire stack of shoes.  We allotted 4 hours for the exercise, and you know what:  It wasn't enough time! 

How many pairs of shoes do you think I own now?  If I was down to 169 pairs pre-TSM's influence, how many do you think I now own?  How many more do you think I discarded?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

April 12 - 200! The End!

What:  size 7.5 white strappy platform sandals
From:  Valerie Stevens (Hechts)
Purchased:  late July 1999
Cost:  $40

Y'all, you aren't going to believe this, but this is IT!  My 200th and final pair of shoes!  I had no idea it would end exactly on 200 (and initially I was going to count my slippers, since they take up room, too, and I have two more pairs, but I am DONE with this).

I decided a couple of months ago I would end on these, because I knew I'd never wear them.  These are the shoes I wore at my wedding!  And they are dang uncomfortable.  I really wanted something snazzy, and I did not want a standard wedding shoe from a wedding salon, so I spent the summer checking out shoes and just never found anything that I really, really wanted.  It's actually hard to find all white shoes - they all too often have a brown heel, or just something that makes them unworkable.  So I settled on these, and I did like them, even though it's not a great brand.  For 1999, these were snazzy - a high heel, a platform, all those straps.  But with my wide feet, those straps at the toes were just really, really not comfy at all.  I put them on again this morning and limped around - there's no way these are ever going on my feet.

So, even though I am totally sentimental, I decided on my own with no input from anyone that these were going to be discarded.  I know, I can't believe it myself.  But they're not that special (Hecht's store brand), and terribly uncomfortable, and even though they look a little modern with the straps and the platform, they elastic straps are already stiff and losing elasticity, and the heel is really clunky.  I am, with a great deal of fondness, going to gracefully let them go.

Bottom line:  discard!

So yeah - shoe-maggeddon.  I'll do a tally for April, then the grand tally. Give my another day or two.   I'm over all pleased, and I can hint I hit my discard total.

April 11 - red patent!

What:  size 7.5 red patent peep toe platform slingbacks
From:  AK Anne Klein (Lord&Taylor)
Purchased:  summer '07
Cost:  $40

Can't believe I didn't find way to wear these this past summer, but high heel red patent platform slingbacks aren't exactly my lifestyle right now, you know?  Oh, I do love these shoes, though.  These are the ones that started me on my AK Anne Klein kick, and later that same year I bought a pair of very similar but slightly different brick red patent slingback peep toes.  I grabbed these off the clearance racks and tried them on almost as a lark, and was surprised at how well they fit.  Love at first try on. 

But look!  City living is hard on heels.  One wrong step into a grate or coming off a curb and you get a little heel tear.  Sob!  This one isn't that terrible, but it certainly takes  away a little from the shoe.  I have never tried, so I wonder if that can be repaired, or if there is a way to prevent it from happening.  Oh well.  I need to learn to happily wear my shoes out and about in the city, and then gracefully let them go when it is time.  It's not time for these, yet, though!

Shoe-maggeddon has caused me to covet some new shoes, though, and I have my eye on several pairs of AK Anne Kleins for this summer, but with a much lower heel.  We'll see if I can score some good prices!  

Bottom line:  Keeper! 

April 10 - more flip flops

What:  size 8 pink/green flip flops
From:  ??  there's no label and I am drawing a blank
Purchased:  mid 00s
Cost:  ?? unknown.  Guessing $15

Found this one at the bottom of my closet, still seeking the left shoe.  So I have orange flips flops that are (or were) perfect - slight wedge heel, comfy wide straps.  I have worn the hell out of those flip flops and they are in danger of falling apart.  And ever since buying them, I've been seeking a replacement pair, with little luck.  The purple ones are too high.  These are super cute, and the heel and platform heights are just right, with a cork bottom for extra support.  The straps, though, are NOT comfy - so narrow they really cut into your feet.  And then I refuse to pay more than $15 for flip flops, so I pass up flops that might actually work and get worn.  I should throw them all out and start all over.  Hmm, did I do that during shoe-maggeddon?  Stay tuned to find out!

This is shoe 198, y'all!  

Bottom line:  keeper, for now

April 9 - white/cream? slingbacks

What:  size 8 white/cream slingbacks with bow
From:  Talbots (outlet)
Purchased:  early 00s
Cost:  $15

Huh, I thought these were a match to my pink slingbacks, but they're not.  I am pretty sure I got these earlier, and I sort of remember my friend Kdot was on the shopping excursion with me, which means it might even be very early 00s.   I've had them a long time and they've never been worn.  They were on the "as is" racks at the talbots clearance store, because there is a tiny rip in one slingback strap.  The rip is negligible, and I thought they'd be a good shoe to have on hand.  But I just rarely wear white/cream.  Are these white or are they cream?  I don't even know, I guess a very light cream.  Eh, I'll employ the same logic I used when I bought them - you can't go wrong with a solid pair of cream shoes in your wardrobe.  I guess. 

Bottom line:  keeper

April 8 - forgotten slingbacks

What:  size 8 black embossed leather slingbacks with gold detail
From:  Talbots (outlet)
Purchased:  Huh.  mid 00s
Cost:  Another huh.  Let's guess $25

OK, yes, Shoe-maggeddon  happened on April 8th!  TSM came over and the carnage began.  It was harder work than I anticipated.  But it was good.  BUT!  I want to really finish going through them all before talking about the big discard.  So bear with me a few more days.

Anyway when we cleaned out the shoes from the shoe wardrobe, these had fallen down behind some other shoes.  I had totally forgotten about them, which means I also don't remember much about them.  But they are cute and functional and so they will stay.

Bottom line: keeper!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

April 7 - teal sneaks

What:  size 8 turquoise slip on sneakers
From:  Talbots in Providence, RI
Purchased:  summer 2003
Cost:  $14

Another pair never worn stuffed in the bottom of my closet.  I was at a work meeting in Providence, and our hotel was connected to a mall, and right by the entrance of the mall was a Talbots!  So I snagged these, along with a short sleeve shirt with thin, vertical, black, green, and turquoise stripes (like pinstripes, I guess).  I don't know why I've never worn these.  I think I was originally going to return them, as I really do need a shoe with some support, and then maybe I couldn't find the receipt, or who knows, but they've just lingered.  I like the color, and I could get some wear out of them in spring/summer.  Also, like another pair I recently showed, once you wear these a time or two the wear will really show, so I've probably been "saving" them.  No more saving!  For Pete's sake, they were $14, I can certainly wear them a season or two and toss them!

Bottom line:  keeper! 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

April 6 - the brown clod hoppers

What:  size 7.5 W brown suede, um, loafers?  lace ups?  I think this is the first time I've ever been stymied in describing shoes!
From:  Naturalizer (outlet)
Purchased:  '03?  '05?
Cost:  $18 - guess

Cleaned out the bottom of my closet (ugh!) and there weren't as many hidden there as I feared - only two pairs (actually one pair plus a stray left flip flop, so wondering where the right one is).  I had totally forgotten about these.  I guess you could say they are the brown version of my black clodhoppers!  But I can't remember which I got first, or when I got these.  I kinda think after the black ones, but then again I kinda think I wore them on casual Fridays at SW, which would be before.  So no real idea.  These again fall into the so ugly they are actually cool category (at least to me).  That sole!  The lacing!  They look like dorky 70s shoes you were forced to wear to elementary school when every other girl was wearing delicate sandals.  Despite that, I have some level of fondness for them.  They are a little small - I put them on with a struggle, but they do fit. 

I have on my default Lands End pink trekkers (with jeans, a t, and simple blue sweater), but I could probably put these on and wear them out this afternoon.  I should do that, if I am going to insist on keeping them.  OK, I am wearing them this afternoon. 

Bottom line:  keeper!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

April 5 - super frustrating pumps

What:  size 7.5 loafer-style red and taupe suede pumps with bow
From: Franco Sarto (purchased online from 
Purchased:  '04-'06
Cost:  $30

Oh, these shoes annoy me.  Why in the world did I think 7.5s were a good idea purchased online without trying them on?  You guessed it - too tight.  I stalked these and the black suede ones and got both in 7.5.  And I don't know why I didn't try to return them.  The ever-present hope that the next time I put them on they'll actually fit?  I'm also a sucker for red/brown combos

I marched around with these today and they are tight.  Are they too tight?  I got rid of the black ones (which were really, really tight).  I have this unreasonable hope that suede shoes can be stretched.  Bah.  I can't admit the error of this purchase, too.  They are cute. 

Bottom line:  keeper - will take them to be stretched next fall and we'll see if there's any hope

April 4 - sometime I have no reason - brown pumps

What:  size 7.5 brown leather loafer-style pumps with platform and buckle
From:  Talbots
Purchased:  '07, maybe '08
Cost:  the box says $39, but I think they it was a 25% off sale, so $30

Sometime I cannot say why I bought a pair of shoes.  I really don't get these.  I have been trying to expand my wardrobe in brown, so maybe I felt I needed more brown.  And these are kinda cool with the platform, and I am a sucker for sales.  But still - I really shouldn't have them.  They are too tight - it looks like I've worn them once, and I don't remember them being terribly uncomfortable, but these are tight.  I do always complain I don't have dark brown shoes, so I guess these fill a niche and if I ever start wearing a lot of brown trousers I will be glad to have them.  I guess. 

Bottom line:  keeper, for now

April 3 - really can't resist a bargain

What:  size 8 black leather kitten heeled mules
From:  Talbots (outlet)
Purchased:  early 00s
Cost: cheap.  Tag says $30, but I distinctly recall they were so cheap I could not pass them up - at least 50% off, maybe 60%, maybe 75%.  We'll say $15 since I can't remember.

 Oh for Pete's sake, I have TWO of them!  They had to have been cheaper than $15.  I bet $12.  But anyway, guess what, another pair never worn.  I really have no explanation, other than inability to pass up a bargain. Well, they're not really a bargain if I never wear them, now are they?

Bottom line:  keeper, I guess

April 2 - can't resist a bargain

What:  size 8 nude mules with kitten heel
From:  Talbots (outlet)
Purchased:  early 00s?
Cost:  cheap.  Box says $30, but I distinctly recall they were so cheap I could not pass them up - at least 50% off, maybe 60%, maybe 75%.  We'll say $15 since I can't remember. 

Another in the never worn category, which drives me crazy.  These were so cheap I snapped them up, but honestly.  I never wore nude shoes in the 00s, I have no idea what I thought I'd wear them with, and they've been in that box for a long, long time.  I do like mules, though they seem to have gone completely out of style.  And they do have a nice low heel, and the footbed in nicely padded.  Sigh, oh well, perhaps I can find a way to wear them.  (Seriously, why is there no resale market for unworn shoes?  I should really think more about ebay). 

Bottom line:  keeper, I guess

April 1 - glen plaid

What:  size 8 glen plaid/black leather mini-t straps
From:  Talbots
Purchased:  mid 90s
Cost:  $39

Another pair of shoes that make me smile!  And another for the history books, too - this is the very first pair of shoes I ever bought from Talbots, and when I got them I considered them super special and only for fancy/formal work occasions.  I loved them.  But, when I was working at SW, we used to work with a woman based in another city.  Every single time we saw this woman - every time - she was wearing a glen plain jacket.  Every time.  We only saw her in work situations, and usually just one day at a time, but it became a little joke among us, and so since I only wore these shoes in work meetings, there was no way I could wear them with our own little insider glen plaid joke hanging out there, so they've barely gotten any wear the past ten years.  I don't know why I didn't pull them out after leaving SW in 2004, perhaps it was too ingrained.  I actually really like glen plaid, and all these years later perhaps I can resurrect it.  The heels are a little bit chunky, but these could still work today.  There's a bit of wear on the front of one, but not terribly so. 

Bottom line:  keeper!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

March tally

Oh, I am weary of shoes!  Weary, weary, weary.  But the end is nigh!  

In the month of March, I wore/examined 31 pairs of shoes from my collection, at an estimated total cost of $894.75, or average cost of $28.86.  Of those, I am keeping 27, though I am seriously on the fence with 2 of them. 4 were discarded, plus I discarded another 2 from previous months.  I did buy three pairs this month. 

So, I've been blogging shoes for 304 days.

I have shown you 188 pairs of my shoes. I am keeping 158 (!) (on the fence about 11 of those, though I think I gave my mom one of those 11, I need to go back and check), trashing 4, donating 26.

So keeping 158 and getting rid of 30 is a cull rate of 16% (My goal remains 20%, which means I have stacks to get rid of, and my fence sitting isn't helping me any).

And, I estimate that over the past 17 years or so I've spent $5,369.50 on shoes, or an average cost of $28.56 per shoe, or roughly $316/year on my little hobby.

So when I first started this and counted my shoes, I got up to 167. It's actually looking much, much closer to 200!  Which means even if I cull 20%, or 40 pairs, I'd still have 160 in this house!

So, looking back at the initial shoe count, let's see what I've covered and what still remains. 

Shoe wardrobe - done
Stack of boxes next to shoe wardrobe, plus scattered on floor:  ~4 more to go
Stack of boxes next to my dresser, plus jumbled under dresser - done
Stack of boxes between radiator and window - done, but I have to check, there might be one
Closet hanging shoe bag - done
Top shelf of closet - done
Shoe underbed thing - done
Shoe overdoor thing in Elizabeth's room - DONE and EMPTIED!  Yay!
Closet hanging shoe bag in E's room - ~2, maybe 3 more
Other shoes on the floor of my closet - unknown, maybe ~3-5 pairs

So I'm estimating about 10-14 shoes left!  If there are 12, that's 200.  Gulp!  (dammit, I am barely holding on resisting buying that pair of $30 boots.....)

But, in 8 days, TSM is coming over and we are lining up ALL the pairs of shoes and looking at the entire collection.  I'm a little nervous! 

In any case, the end is in sight!!

March 31 - brown t-straps

What:  light brown t-straps with punch out detailing
From:  Ann Taylor LOFT
Purchased:  2006
Cost:  $20

So these are the twin of my very worn brown kitten heels, but sadly these have never been worn.  I don't know why - it's an odd color, I think, so light, and I just am never sure what to wear with them.  I also think t-straps have an old fashioned appeal, so I guess I need some sort of vintage-y looking outfit in light brown.  Hmmm.  Maybe light trousers with a cream shirt and lacey cream trouser socks....hmm, wait a sec, now that I think about it I have the perfect outfit for these!  It's a skirt/cream blouse combo, but the skirt is perhaps a darker shade of brown - more of a golden sand color.  I tell you, shades of brown really are tough for me.  But the perhaps bigger issue is it's a size or two too small.....oh well.  And today is a jeans and sweatshirt day, anyway. 

I once wrote I need a more glamorous life to match my shoes, and TSM constantly says I'm far too stylish for some of my more frumpy shoes, but the reality is the majority of my life is spent looking pretty blah.  But maybe I should take a page from What Not to Wear and up my game a little bit.

Bottom line:  Keeper, but I am challenging myself to wear these in the next two months

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

March 30 - t-strap replacement

What:  size 8W black patent t-straps
From:  Naturalizer (outlet)
Purchased:  January 4, 2011
Cost:  $24

My first shoe purchase of 2011 was almost my last shoe purchase of 2010!  On our holiday drive down to Florida, we did our first stop at the outlets in North Carolina, which is a prefect place to stop timing wise.  It would be more perfect if there was a playground and better eating options (a food court would be ideal, but no such luck), but there's enough room for the kids to run around, parents to stretch their legs, and there is a Dairy Queen with relatively diverse, semi-healthy (when compared to other fast food) options plus ice cream for a treat.  So of course I just popped into the Naturalizer outlet, and saw these shoes in my size on super sale.  I had just written about my loved, but incredibly worn t-straps - shoes that needed a lot of repair to even be wearable.  And so I came awfully close to buying these then, but the car was full, and I knew I'd have to write it down, and did I really even need them, anyway?  Plus, there are outlets by my parents - which we did visit once, but they did not have my size!  It happened that on our drive home in 2011 was timed such that the outlets were again a convenient place to stop, and so on my third outlet trip, safely into 2011, I couldn't resist them.

You know, one thing this shoe exercise has demonstrated is that while I have a LOT of shoes, I don't really have a lot of super duper fabulous shoes (like yesterday's diversion, yum).  Most of my shoes show a fair amount of wear, and there are many that are quite old.  I think of my orange/pink sandals - I LOVE them, but the fronts are really quite beat up.  Or my brown kitten heels - so worn they need another heel tap replacement, but meanwhile the pointy fronts are beat all to hell.  In a lot of ways, I should be getting rid of anything that isn't really in great shape, and focusing on only buying shoes that will be classics.  But there's no prying the pink/orange ones or the brown kitten heels away from me.

And even though these are patent and my well-loved and overly worn t-straps are plain leather, I bought these knowing I was going to give up the older pair. 

Bottom line:  Keeper, but discarding another!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

can't resist posting this

Look what a friend just posted to her blog.

All I can say is wow.  Love.  From a UK shop Miss Selfridge.
Let's see, 55 pounds, plus 7.50 pounds shipping....I have no idea.  But I covet.   

March 29 - tweedy

What:  size 7.5 brown tweed pumps
From:  Ann Taylor LOFT
Purchased:  late fall '04
Cost:  $20

And the last of the shoes from the top shelf of my closet!  Wohoo!  Closing in on the end.  Anyway, in my fall '04 shopping trip with KG, I bought a super cool brown/multi-colored corduroy skirt.  Later that fall, I found these on the sale rack at LOFT and snatched them up, intending to be worn with the skirt.  And then I was pregnant, and well, let's jsut say neither the skirt nor the shoes have ever been worn.  I tried these shoes on yesterday - they are tight.  But I'm not ready to give up on them yet!

Bottom line:  keeper

Monday, March 28, 2011

March 28 - frustrating black pumps

What:  Size 7.5 black platform pumps, 3.25 inch heel, .25 inch platform
From:  Enzo Angiolini (Nine West Outlet)
Purchased:  '01-'03
Cost:  $35

Oh, these shoes drive me crazy.  First, I bought them with another pair of shoes in a buy one get one half off deal.  I think the deal was with these from yesterday.  (though it might have been the shoes from the day before).  Or maybe my memory is entirely faulty and I got them at another time entirely.  But what I do remember is they did not have the correct size in store (8s were way too big, 7s too tight), and so I ordered them and had them shipped to me.  I LOVED these shoes in the store.  LOVED them.  But I don't know what the hell is wrong with them, but there is something seriously wrong with the heel.  I know I have complained bitterly about my lack of black pumps, but these are essentially unwearable.  The heel somehow does not fit right, and so when I wear them, my heel slips out.  step step slip, step step step slip, step step step step slip.  Not good, not good at all.  Somehow they just don't quite cup my heel correctly.  So in desperation, I bought heel slips, grey plastic-y things you can sort of see in the side picture (they blend in too well in the head on pic).  But it's no use.  It's the weirdest thing but they just do not fit. 

I pulled these out to wear a couple of months ago and just looked at them and wondered why I had loved them so much.  They're actually not all that great.  Maybe 7 or 8 years ago they were at the high end of style, but anymore I'm not certain there's anything that special about them.  And though I wish it were not so, I'm not sure they'll ever fit.  This pains me, but I think I have to get rid of them.  

Bottom line:  discard 

March 27 - cross straps

What:  size 7.5 black cross strap heels with 3.25 inch heels
From:  Nine West (outlet buy)
Purchased:  '01-'03
Cost:  $35

Along with yesterday's shoes, these are usually stored on the top shelf of my closet, and I think I bought these as part of a buy one get one half off deal at Nine West outlet.  I think these were purchased with the pair I will show tomorrow.  These shoes look super hot on, but are not the most comfortable shoes.  My favorite outfit with them is a red shirtdress, though I'm not exactly sure where that shirtdress is right now.  The heel is high, but they are wearable.  I just don't think I'll ever wear them much, but they're still keepers. 

Bottom line:  keeper

March 26 - high slingbacks

What:  size 7.5 black slingbacks with 4 inch heel
From:  Nine West (bought at outlet)
Purchased:  '01-'03
Cost:  $35

Ok, now I'm finishing off the shoes on the top shelf of my closet.  I have three pairs of shoes to show, and I know I bought two of them at the same time (buy one get one half off deal), but I can't remember which two.  I think, though, I bought these with my sister, we both got the same shoe and split the cost.  Maybe?  These are cool shoes, but 4 inch heels are high for me.  They looks great, but after a long day in 4 inch heels my feet are killing me.  I thought I might be able to be persuaded to part with these, but then I put them on and walked around the house and they were fine, so maybe these stay on the top shelf and only get worn when high heels are needed?

Bottom line:  keeper.

Friday, March 25, 2011

some recommendations

Remember a while ago I wrote that by bargain hunting at the end of the season, you can sometimes score a really cheap shoe at the very start of the trend?  Bargain hunting can be a tough game.  Often you think of end of season sales as containing tired or overlooked merchandise, past its prime.  But if a look is kind of new, but hasn't quite peaked, there will be plenty left over at the end of a season for you to snatch up, and then next season, when everyone else is coveting the new hot trend, you've got yours at waaay less of a price point than everyone else is buying. 

I've stumbled on exactly such a trend, so even though I doubt any of you would be into this, I have to share.  My sister asked me to look around for a cheaper pair of Steven by Steve Madden boots she was coveting.  They were tall boots that looked as though the entire shaft was folded back upon itself - a full foldover.  She wanted the Maryn style, in stone, at left. 

I couldn't find it online many places.  Seemed like a popular shoe that had sold out and prices were high.  But in looking around, I noticed this foldover style a lot of places.  And I noticed it was cheap.  And I remembered I had seen a fair number of foldover styles over the winter, noting a new trend.  Skinny pants tucked into boots were a hot trend this year. 

And then I noticed some really cool boots for super cheap.  Believe me, if I was working, at least two of these boots would be in my possession right now. 

Another tall option: the Detective Boot by Naughty Monkey.  Don't know anything about this brand, but last week the boot was $60, this week it's $50.  A huge buy.  Black is almost sold out, but there are plenty in other sizes. 

WOW!  These Turnout by Naughty Monkey are now $30!  Look at the cool studs.  Again, black is almost sold out, but there are lots in other colors.  I like this color which is called taupe, though appears brown.  $30.  Free shipping.  Free returns if it doesn't work out.  Seriously, that is an unbeatable price. Cool wedge heel, which is also on trend. 

Steve Madden P-Zesst - $38.50 in taupe and brown, $43 in black.  No large sizes left (nothing over 8.5).  I like these a lot in taupe, which almost looks grey in the picture. 

Those studded Naughty Monkeys for $30 may prove to be irresistible to me. has some goooooood prices right now. 

March 25 - red mary janes

What:  size 8.5 dark red suede mary janes with brown strap
From:  Franco Sarto (
Purchased:  May 20, 2010
Cost:  $40

I think with these I've finally covered all 22 of the shoes I bought in 2010.  Whew.  I cyber-stalked these all last winter/spring and finally got them.  I thought I had paid slightly less than $35, but my bank records say $40, so that included shipping.  I really liked them, but just never had occasion to wear.  I like the red-brown combination, though typically I wear red/black. 

There was a sweater I liked a lot at Lands End and with a gift card from Christmas I was even able to buy that sweater this winter to match - cardigan over white dress shirt, jeans and these shoes. Perfect.  Thanks goodness for this current cold spell, huh?  (well, not really, but it does give me the opportunity to actually get this outfit/shoes worn this year (see many previous discussions of work from home pajamas), otherwise these shoes would just sit in their stack for yet another spring/summer!).   

I was at a DSW last summer and saw these in brown suede on the clearance racks, and I tell you if I had not just learned my contract position was not going to be renewed I would own those, too.  Both the purple Franco Sarto and these came a wide range of colors, and I had a hard time deciding which colors to get in which style.  I would have loved these in brown, and for the purple ones, I loved all the options - red, brown, and, grey but went with the cute purple.  Tough decisions! 

Bottom line:  Keeper!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

March 24 - blue peeps need fashion advice

What:  size 8.5 nude peep toes with blue suede band and gold buckle
From:  Talbots (outlet)
Purchased:  fall '08
Cost:  Hmm.  $35

Last week I was writing about what I thought was the last of the shoes in the shoe wardrobe, but then these caught my eye.  So now finally here are the last of the shoes from my shoe wardrobe piece of furniture.  I liked these a lot from the spring '08 line at Talbots, and watched for them at the outlet.  The 8s were waaay too tight, and even these 8.5s pinch a wee bit on the sides, but they're definitely wearable.  I bought another pair of shoes from this line at super discount the next spring. 

Last week I wrote they matched a pair of pants that needed to be hemmed, and I was going to wear them, but big surprise did not get around to hemming the pants.  But I really thought I had the makings of a good outfit, so gathered it all up together.  Taupe pants, navy tshirt, and taupe jacket with gold thread (a 100% Talbots outfit, which I actually try not to do, but you go with what you have - oh I'd also wear gold jewelry and that's not Talbots, so whew.).  But now I'm not sure, so I need fashion advice.  The taupe of the shoe, the jacket, and the pant are slightly different.  (Taupe is a color that bedevils me and my trying-to-surpress-matchy-matchy mindset.)  I think the shoes might go with the pant (though it's a little questionable), and the shoe does go with the jacket.  But not sure the jacket and pant go?  

Maybe I need to hem the pants and put it all on and see?  Because they're all just neutrals that cancel each other out, letting the navy and gold pop?  Because if it does work it is a great outfit for Spring (hmm, Easter?).  I think it might work better (though certainly more casual) with jeans.  So if these pants aren't the right pants for the outfit, what would work?  Slightly more khaki-colored pants?  Not navy pants, then I'd need a different top?  What friggin' color would the top be, then, with navy pants?  (White dress shirt?)

What do you think of the outfit?  And if not that outfit, how would you wear these shoes? 

Bottom line:  shoes are keepers, though not sure how to wear

And a big PS.  I am starting to get nervous.  So by the end of February, I had shown 157 pairs of shoes + 24 days so far in March = 181.  The big shoe sort is scheduled for April 8, so 15 more days.  Will I finish going through the shoes in 15 more days?  I am not sure I will.  Off the top of my head I can count at least 12 more pairs, easy, and that's not all of them!  Do I have 200 PAIRS OF SHOES IN MY HOUSE??!!  Gulp.  Even with the 25+ already discarded, that is a freaking large amount of shoes.  I half-watched an author on the Today Show this morning talk about her new book, Lost and Found: Unexpected Revelations about Food and Money.  I may have to get this book (from the library!). 

Ok, but when I think of this more calmly, I think of spending $600 a year on shoes, and in the grand scheme of things, that's not really all that terribly much.  Not chump change, but as TSM tells me, if this is my hobby, I'm not spending more than many other people on their hobbies.  And, given that I never get rid of anything, the accumulated piles should not be that surprising.  But it does make me pause in that we live in a 1600 square foot house (not counting attic or basement, which pushes it up to probably close to 2800 square feet).  I will get through these shoes, eventually.  And then I will commit to decluttering again.