Friday, May 7, 2010

Chacos & Mast General Store

Really, I just spent $100 on a pair of SANDALS?!?! I, who love a good bargain, who am very frugal, and who rarely pamper myself, just spent $100 for ONE pair of sandals?? Really???

Here is my story (rationalization):
Last fall/winter (2008), I found these Mudd sandals clearanced for around $10. THAT is my kind of bargain! And aren't they cute? So last summer I started wearing them. One of the straps immediately tore... I found a cobbler that was able to fix it for like $8 or something. In the mean time, I bought a pair of $5 flip flops to have something to wear. By the time my Mudd sandals were ready for me, my big toe had started hurting... it continued hurting when I wore the Mudd sandals. At one point I was in so much pain and had taken so much Tylenol and Ibuprofen ($5?), I decided it was time to see the doctor ($40)... Diagnosis: My big toe was stressed from wearing flip flop type shoes... Rx: Find new sandals. So for the rest of the summer I wore an ugly pair of mens sandals - they were on sale ($20) and they fit.
This summer I started wearing those ugly mens sandals but they were literally falling apart - I was leaving a trail of strings wherever I walked. So I got rid of them (without getting a picture) and started wearing my cute Mudd sandals again... After a couple days my toe started hurting again. Ouch!
I started sandal shopping again. My feet are picky and I'm cheap so I wasn't having any luck. I finally decided I would invest in a pair of good supportive sandals that wouldn't bother my feet or back. I decided I would find some Keen's.
They feel like tennis shoes, supportive-wise, and they are kind of cute... I went to Mast General Store (AWESOME place!) and had REAL shoe service - the manager put the shoe on my foot for me, etc. When I tried them on, I couldn't decide - they didn't hurt, but they are expensive... I kept walking around the store wearing them to see if that's what I really wanted but my feet started sweating. That wasn't going to work! If my feet are going to get hot in just a few minutes, who wants to smell my feet at the end of a hot summer day?!!?
So the manager suggested Chacos (which a few friends had recommended to me as well). He said he wanted to check the size of my foot before going back to get the sandals. Okay, fine but I've worn a size 10 for as many years... SURPRISE! I don't wear a size 10! One foot is an 8.5-wide and the other is a 9-wide. (Maybe that is why I can never find shoes that fit right - I've been trying on the wrong size!) So the manager brought out some Chacos for me to try on and I was sold. They are comfortable, airy, and supportive. Unfortunately, the "stitch-brown" color I wanted had to be special-ordered in the 9W so I had to be patient... But I picked them up yesterday and am convinced after walking the dog for 45 minutes while wearing them that they were worth the investment! (Plus, they can be resoled and if the straps tear, they will be re-strapped for free.)
So, if these shoes really do last "forever" as advertised, they were/are a bargain! Even if they only last a couple years, they will be a bargain after looking at last year when I never found anything that worked, was in a lot of pain, and spent around $88! ($10 + $8 + $5 + $5 + $40 + $20)

Monday, May 3, 2010

Brand Names I'm Stickin' To!

I usually buy generic items - usually WalMart brand - but some generics just aren't worth the savings!
Here are some brand names I am sticking to (I will add to this as time goes on...):
I used to have PAM non-sticking spray on this list but I just discovered Crisco non-stick spray! It is a million times better than PAM! I am very excited!
Bandaids - the generics just seem to fall apart in pieces when removing - either that or leaving a bunch of sticky residue. Ewww!French's French Fried Onions - I'm not sure what is up with the generic on these... they are just odd-tasting and crumbly.
Q-Tips - Whew! We finally finished our generic swabs after weeks (months?) of having swabs where the cotton came off the end, the stick bent in half, or there was hardly any cotton on the end... too much inconsistency for me!
Cheerios (plain - generic Honey Nut Spins are yummy)
Nylabones - the generic "indestructible" bones leave lots of bone shavings all over the floor from the very beginning.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Walk Like You Have Somewhere to Go

This is my fourth review of a book provided by Thomas Nelson Publishers in exchange for writing a book review.

This was a very interesting story. This is the autobiography of Lucille O'Neal, Shaquille O'Neal's mother. There are several photos scattered throughout the book, making it easier to "be in the story." Lucille is very candid about her life and the mistakes she has made throughout her lifetime. She knows her teenage pregnancy (with Shaquille) was a sin, her drinking to avoid reality was a sin, etc. and she has turned her life around to be for God's glory.

I don't keep up with celebrities, especially sports' figures but it was still neat to hear how "Shaq" grew up. The funniest part of the book was when Shaquille and his family were stationed overseas and Shaquille showed his classmates the break-dancing he learned before he left the states. The teacher had never seen such moves and thought he was having a seizure! She even called his parents to take him to the doctor! I laughed aloud at that anecdote!

My favorite quote from the book is when Lucille says, " begins and flourishes at whatever age you become comfortable in your own skin and whenever it is that you fall in love with what you see when you look in the mirror each morning."

The title of the book is rather catchy and interesting. However, it is not really tied in to the story as much as I think a title should be...