Summer in Iowa

How do you know it’s summer in Iowa?  Well, I just spent 30 minutes cutting up kale, zucchini, summer squash, potatoes, onions, and watermelon.  Tim is grilling the potatoes and onions (check me out on Instagram for picture proof), and the rest of the menagerie is going into the fridge for eatin’ later on.  We joined a CSA this summer, and several batches of wilted greens and shriveled squash has taught me that if I don’t cut up the veggies IMMEDIATELY, they are a lost cause.

It’s amazing that I am actually accomplishing anything today.  We returned home from Fort Collins, Co last night around 8:30PM, so today is our recup day. Does everyone need a recup day after vacation, or is that just me?  Regardless, I did some Heather self-care today to prepare myself for my strenuous one-day work week tomorrow.  Self-care for me looks like rolling out my abdominals with the Corgeous ball, taking an epsom salt bath, and listening to the Design of the Body podcast whilst walking along Duck Creek.  Oh, and shopping online. 🙂  We didn’t get to do much shopping in Ft Collins, so I made up for it once I got home.

If you are like me, you are always interested in what other people are buying, so I will fill you in on the details.  For the past several months I have been looking for a wristlet that will fit the essentials – cards, ID, phone, chapstick, pen, and keys.  My sister-in-law introduced to me to Haiku. I really like their designs and their philosophy, so I ordered the Stride wristlet. I will let you know what I think once I receive it and put it through its paces. I know you are on pins and needles.

I’m going to another Yoga Tune Up® class next week – Breath and Bliss, taught by Jill Miller.  We are supposed to bring our own yoga mats, but I don’t want to travel with my full size Manduka (although I totally love it), so I bought the travel version. It’s so light and thin that you can fold it up!  Hopefully it works well.

I also bought 3 different versions of wire-free bras. I love underwires, but some experts say they can cause a variety of issues, so I am widening my horizons and checking out some wire-free bras from Wacoal.  You can find a TON of wire-free options at Kohl’s and Target, but I tried on TEN different ones today, and they all gave me wide, pointy boobs.  Boo to wide, pointy boobs.  Wacoal bras are pricey, but they last forever, and they give a great shape.  Hopefully that hold true for their non-underwire versions.

That is my day back.  Riveting, isn’t it!?

Swedish meatballs, yoga pants, and crocheted slippers.

Chris Kresser links to the best recipes!  I found this recipe for Paleo Swedish Meatballs last weekend in one of his posts.  Holy cow.  These turned out sooooo delicious!  They were a lot of work for a weeknight meal, as you need to cook the meatballs in batches on the stove top until they are all done.  But they are so worth the effort.  Here are a couple of notes – I used a 2 inch scoop for the first batch of meatballs, and I had a really hard time turning them without them falling apart. I scaled down to a 1.5″ scoop after that, and those meatballs were much easier to handle, and they cooked much more evenly.  Also, I was 85% sure that the “gravy” would not turn into gravy.  It was super runny all the way up until I added the 3rd tablespoon of tapioca starch. Then, magically, it started to firm up to gravy consistency.  So rich and tasty.

For a side dish I made roasted brussel sprouts because I found some local ones at The Food Hub for 2.99/lb.  I used this recipe as a guide; however, instead of making the glaze, we poured the gravy over the cooked sprouts.  I have to say, we were not super happy with how these turned out.  They were very dry (maybe I didn’t add enough oil?).  So, when we stored the leftovers, we mixed the sprouts and the meatballs and gravy together. The sprouts marinated in that rich gravy overnight and were super moist and tasty when re-heated.

I also tried this recipe last week: Crockpot Ropa Viega with Cuban Style Rice.  This turned out OK.  Tim and I both thought the dish was a little over-spiced, and the meat didn’t turn out as tender as I hoped.  Tim ate the leftovers with white rice, however, which cut down the spice level a bit, and he said that was really good. However, this recipe did provide us with supper and enough leftovers for two more meals.

So on to my next piece of news.  For our anniversary Tim got me an amazing pair of yoga capri leggings from Onzie.  I wore them to an hour and 15 minute yoga class, and they kept me very cool (the fabric is really thin). I also wore them running, and they were very comfortable.  He got me the Prizm print.  It a cacophony of patterns, and it gives you something really interesting to look at while in downward dog. I don’t know if yoga pants are the proper dristi for yoga, but looking at them made me happy, so I think Yoga would approve.

I start my yoga teacher training class on 1/9, and I feel as if I really need at least one more pair of yoga pants for the class. Unfortunately the prints I really love at Onzie are all sold out of my size.  I’m going to keep my eye on it though.

And finally, the last topic of my post.  Ever since we were little, my mom has made us awesome crocheted slippers (the slippers are courtesy of Mom – the hair is courtesy of Lucent):

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Mom has shown me a couple of times how to make them, but once she is not next to me, I forget how.  So I found this YouTube video on granny squares (the slippers are basically 3 small granny squares stitched into one big granny square).  With his help and a few texts back and forth to Mom, I was able to successfully make all the pieces for a pair of slippers:

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And this is currently where I am stuck. Over the phone, Mom walked me through how to stitch the pieces together, but my first attempt ended very poorly. I was distracted by David Bowie’s hair and other things in The Labyrinth and didn’t have the pieces lined up well enough, so they didn’t connect where they should connect.  I’m going to try it one more time, and if that doesn’t work, make Mammacita sew them together for me. 🙂

So that’s my week in a nutshell.  Hope you are having a great Sunday and can get out and enjoy this 40 degree day.  Take some Vitamin D and eat some salmon, and you won’t even miss the sun!

 

Pants!

As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve lost about 12 lbs but recently put back on about 3 (darn you fried pork t!!!  darn you to hell!!).  Anyway, that’s enough to put me down a pants size.  I’ve been getting by by washing and DRYING my dress pants, so they’ve shrunk a bit, but I really only have 2 pairs that fit properly.  The Gap must read my blog because they sent me a coupon for 30%, so Hlo went shopping.

I bought two things – the Modern Boot Pants in black and the Sexy Boot Cut jeans.  This hardly ever happens, but I like both of them immensely! The dress pants are the perfect length and fit correctly in the hips, with a nice boot leg.  The jeans, once I got the correct length, are awesome.  The have a little bit of stretch to hug and support in the right spots, but not so much stretch that they become a size larger after an hour or two of wearing.   The magic mix is 80% cotton, 19% polyester, and 1% spandex.  This is the exact mix of The Sweetheart jeans I’ve been wearing from Old Navy for 5 years.  When I went back to buy another pair, they had changed the ratios, and the jeans just stretched out to no end.  I could literally pull what was originally a snug pair of jeans off my hips after an hour of wearing.  Argh.

The color is good, and the man-made fades are actually natural looking.  The length is good too – at least once I got the right length.  I tried on the regular length in a curvy cut, and they were literally high waters on me, so I tried on the longs in the sexy boot cut.  They were really long, but I figured too long was better than too short, so I bought them.  However, when I tried them on the next day, I realized that at 37″ they were WAY too long – too long to wear with any shoe I currently posses.  So I trotted them back to The Gap, tried on the regular length, which fit perfectly, and left a happy camper.  I washed them for the first time this weekend, so we’ll see how they hold up to that.

The material is rather thin, so I’m not sure they’ll last a super long time, but that doesn’t bother me too much – as long as The Gap still carries them in the exact same iteration so I can buy a fresh pair.  They always seem to discontinue my favorites.  Darn you The Gap!!  Darn you to hell!  And Old Navy too, while I’m at it.

If you are a curvy girl (someone with hips and butt), I recommend both of these highly.

Buying a new car, stupid mascara, and intermittent fasting

I probably should break up all these topics into separate posts.  But, well, I’m lazy for starters.  Secondly, I really don’t have enough to say about any one of these topics to justify a whole post.  Thirdly, I just really want to post this all together.  So there.

So, topic #1 – buying a new car.

Tim and I have never purchased a brand-new car.  We’ve toyed with the idea but always erred on the side of fiscal responsibility and bought used. Well, our Civic has 145K+ miles on it, and it’s starting to experience some mechanical issues.  And then there’s the Escort.  The Escort has been with us for a long time, over a decade.  We’ve put over 100k miles on it, and it shows.  She’s rusty, she’s loud, she’s dented.  But she’s ours, and she’s totally paid for. But, Tim is at risk of getting asphyxiated whilst driving her, due to the aforementioned rust and exhaust issues.  So, it’s probably time to let her go.

We test drove a few cars – Honda Fit (too teen-agey), Honda CRV (too ubiquitous), and then we hit the Subaru lot.  We drove the Outback, Forester, Legacy and the Impreza.  We loved them all, especially the Impreza.  It’s an awesome little car for the money.

For the money.  Hmm.  The Impreza is “cheap” at $21,000 +, but oh my goodness.  TWENTY-THOUSAND DOLLARS!!  That is so much money.  And then today, I researched insurance.  It would cost us $500 more dollars per year just to INSURE the thing.  For some reason, the Impreza is more expensive to insure than the Outback even though the Outback is a more expensive vehicle.  I bet it’s because the Impreza looks and feels sportier and thus more dangerous.

So while my impractical, consumer-oriented side really, really, really wants a brand new,  cute little Impreza, my practical side is thinking, “I think the Civic will get us by for a while yet, and save us $400 per month in the process.”

Why oh why must I love expensive things?

Speaking of which, you know what non-expensive thing I do NOT love?  Cover Girl Natural Luxe mascara.  It is so lame.  It actually STRAIGHTENS my eye lashes.  AND it’s clumpy.  And the brush is huge.  I have again reverted to my old standby – Maybelline Define-A-Lash.  It doesn’t give a ton of body, but it defines every lash (as promised) and leaves my painstakingly curled lashes curly.

So, on to the last topic of conversation, intermittent fasting (or IF).  In case you are unfamiliar with what IFing is, it’s periodically fasting.  It’s supposed to be good for  you – help you get in tune with your body, lose weight, improve overall health and longevity, etc.  Well, today I fasted until lunch time.  Not eating until lunch time wasn’t a big deal.  Sure, I was hungry, but I wasn’t passing out or anything.  But AFTER I ate, wow.  I was super snacky.  I couldn’t STOP eating once I started.  And now it’s a Monday night at 4:58 and I’m drinking wine and eating chocolate.  Hmm… I don’t doubt that fasting is good for you.  I just think I shouldn’t discount the mental effects – I know I skipped breakfast so my brain thinks it’s OK to eat whatever I want when the fast is over.  Hopefully the more I do this, the more  I will see the good effects instead of the bad ones.

So, that’s all that’s on my mind for tonight.  Have a pleasant evening!

Old Navy – How I Love and Despise Thee

Every once in a while I’ll go into Old Navy and just be overwhelmed by how much stuff I like and how cheap it is.  Of course, I say and mean cheap – not inexpensive.  Their stuff doesn’t last long, but typically I get tired of my clothes before they wear out, so that’s not a big deal.

Then sometimes I walk in and am overwhelmed by the fact that they have nothing in my size (no longs?? only XS and XXL??) and their quality sucks.  All their jeans only wear well once.  There’s no telling how much they will stretch AND shrink.

Currently I’m in a spell where I like their stuff a lot, but, not in the mood to deal with the sizing issues or the horrible, hot flourescent lighting, I ordered online.  The package arrived today.  I got some long Dreamer jeans, which were too long (although regulars are too short – argh) and too high-waisted, some shorts which were too short and too baby-puke colored, and two amazing t-shirts for $4.40 (Womens Tri-Blend V-Neck T’s).  These have an excellent drape, are nice and long, and very soft.  I got grey and black and love them both.  Hopefully they won’t lose too much length in the wash.

I also got another dress (toldja I’m only wearing dresses from now on – especially since all jeans ever made are stupid, and I hate them). It’s a Women’s Floral -Chiffon Keyhole Dress in Blue Oracle.  It is very feminine and pretty.  When I went to Old Navy tonight to return the jeans & shorts (you can order online and return in the store, which is super awesome), I noticed that the very same dress was $9 cheaper in the store!  I went to pick one up, intending to later return my expensive one, only to note that the size gremlin had struck again-only XXL left.  Oh well.  It made me feel better for paying more for it online.  Any time I wait for sales at Old Navy, my size is always gone.  I just have to ante up.

So, to summarize, Old Navy both sucks and is awesome.  If you are looking for some cheap summer duds (that will probably only last the summer), check them out.

It’s my Hundred and Elleventieth Birthday!!

No, it’s really just my 35th birthday.  And actually it was on Thursday.  But at my current place of employment, you get your birthday off, or at least a day off relatively close to your birthday.  So I took yesterday off.

It’s been a long time since I’ve taken a day off without some specific reason such as, one of my brothers is in town, we’re going to Chicago, Tim has the day off, etc.  I forgot how nice it can be to just spend the day by yourself to do whatever you want.  And I did.

I made myself a delicious breakfast of sautéed kale & red peppers, topped with avocado (10 for $10 at HyVee this week!) and two fried eggs.  Then I did a little online shopping.  At Sephora, you get a free gift when you place an order during your birthday month.  You can also always find extra promo codes to get even more free stuff when you order.  Plus I had over 100 bonus points, so I got to upgrade a sample.  So, I got a ton of stuff for $50.  Way more stuff than I need, especially considering I got one of the Sephora sampler kits.  They are always so fun – so many different things to try.  With makeup, I am definitely on a pendulum, I will go for months, trying to pare down my makeup kit to the bare essentials, trying to minimalize and simplify my daily routine and life.  I will start to feel suffocated by all the little bottles and tubes and cases clogging up my bathroom shelf.  So I will purge the stuff I don’t love – giving it away or tossing it.  Then, eventually, I will swing back the other way, buying way more makeup than I can use before it gets bad.  Maybe this swing is because I turned 35.  I think it probably has more to do with me working in an office that is predominantly women, so there is A LOT of estrogen floating around, making me extra girly.  Also, since I’m trying to eat primally, I fully expect to lose 5 more pounds at least, which means it’s silly to buy any new clothes right now because I will likely need new stuff in a month or two.  So my shopping outlet (since I just bought a new purse) is forced in the makeup direction.  Enough about that.

What else did I do?  I tried to order some pork from Geest Farms, a local farm that raises non-CAFO pigs.  They are out of pretty much everything, so I have to wait until they kill some more pigs in a couple of weeks.  Poor pigs.  Poor, delicious pigs.

I did some tech maintenance – figured how to listen to the iTunes radio stations on my iPhone. Just copy the URL from the iTunes station to a text document in Dropbox, open Dropbox on your phone, click the link, and you are listening to All 90s All The Time in seconds flat.  Of course to get that to work, I had to install Dropbox on both sides of my laptop (the Windows side and the Linux side).  I also found out about East Village Radio from my bro, so I downloaded that on my phone and got to listen to some cool tunes from NYC.

I sifted through pictures on my phone that I want to try painting in watercolor and ordered them online from Walgreens.  I love their 5 X 7 prints, but they are pricey.  I found a coupon online (SITE40) and saved 40% on the prints!

Finally I rounded out the morning by doing a little eye-glass frame shopping at WarbyParker.com.  This is a website where you can pick out up to 5 frames, the company will ship them to you for free, you can try them out for 5 days, and then ship them back for free. If you like any of the frames, the frames plus lenses are only $95!! Well, since I have such a strong prescription, mine would be an extra $30, so $125.  That is SOOOOO cheap for fashionable glasses.  I have 5 frames coming my way to try out.

I did a quick PEM workout (plank, pushups, and pullups), hopped in the shower, and then headed out for an 11:15 at Lillee Leighton Salon for my shellac polish. The shellac polish is is made out of polymers that harden (almost like acrylic) under a special light.  The polish stays on for at least 2 weeks.  The application process is a little time-consuming because there are 3 or 4 coats that need to be put on.  Also Kristin, the girl who did my polish, is very fastidious about not getting polish on my skin, which is hard to do because my nails are pretty short.  She did a great job, and she only charges $20.  Plus, with the first visit, you get cuticle/nail oil which you are supposed to apply 2 times per day.  Supposedly it soaks through the polish and moisturizes and strengthens the nail underneath. Kristin even told me how to remove the polish myself.  While she only charges $5 for removal (other salons charge up to $15), she said you can do it at home the “ghetto” way.  Soak cotton balls in pure acetone, and leave them on the nail for 10 minutes.  She said you can wrap tin foil around the nail to keep the cotton ball sealed on there.  When you pull the ball off, the polish should come with it.  Anyway, the polish looks great.  You can see a picture in my Instagram feed to the right.  Next time I have it done, however, I will be more careful about doing a pre-manicure at home.  I didn’t do a great job filing my nails, and I didn’t have my cuticles pushed back to where I wanted them.  So, that’s my advice.  If you’re going to get this done – prep your nails first (or get the full manicure with the shellac polish).  Also, it sounds as if a lot of places don’t do the whole process correctly (I think there was a basecoat, a very light buff, a removal of the buffed materials with an alcohol swab, two coats of polish, then a removal of “stickiness” with another alcohol swab, then the cuticle oil.  And between each coat, the nails went into the “oven” to bake), so be sure to go to a place that is doing it correctly.

After the polish I had lunch with a friend at Bent River (burger, no bun for me, of course).  Then I headed to Target.  I spent some time in the optical shop, looking at frames.  I found two I liked, but just the frames alone were $150 +.  I went home and found them online for 1/2 that.  I’ll have to see how the WarbyParkers do and then decide what to do.

I also transferred my generic Ortho Tri-Cyclen script from Walgreens to Target.  FYI, anyone who is on that script, Walgreen’s generic is $27/month, but Target’s is NINE DOLLARS!!  Tim and I are very frustrated with Walgreens right now because they delayed in getting doctor’s approval for Tim’s asthma inhaler, which led to a frenzied Friday night while we tried to track down a doctor to fill his prescription (which we had filled at CVS where the pharmacy staff was super nice).

I also shopped for some summer stuff (for our trip to Ocracoke).  I know it’s not for 5 months, but I’m super excited already.  I got a sun hat and a sun dress.  The hat is a keeper (so says Tim), but the sun dress makes me look preggers, so it’s going back.  Hopefully I can find something better in the next 5 months…

I got home around 3:30 and started to pull out the ingredients for Corned Beef and Cabbage, only to realize that we bought a beef brisket, not a corned beef brisket (I had to Google it to see if there was a difference).  I searched online for a good beef brisket recipe, but I just found tons of them that wanted a lot of sugar and/or whole bottles of chili sauce.  I finally hit upon this Paula Deen recipe.  I left out the sugar and instead rubbed the brisket with some honey.  I didn’t have any beef broth, so I used chicken broth.  The brisket wasn’t ready in time for supper last night, but we did try a little slice when it finished up.  It was spicy and delicious.  I can’t wait to eat it today.

Then I opened a bottle of wine and started watching Beautiful Girls.  It was a very laid-back movie, which totally fit my mood.

Thanks to my employer for giving me the day off.  I had a wonderful, enjoyable day.

Maybelline Dream Mouse Blush

Um, yeah, I hate it.  At first I thought it was the bees knees, but now I’ve noticed that the fine little particles of mouse actually settle into each individual pore on my cheek.  It looks weird and is disturbing, so this is going in the trash.  What have I replaced it with, you ask, so my face doesn’t look deathly pale and colorless?  The famous Nars Illuminator in Orgasm, that’s what.  It’s this super liquid color that’s a pretty peachy-gold color.  You can’t really tell you are wearing anything other than you look better…somehow, healthier.  It’s pricey, but a little goes a long way, so I think a tube will last at least a year.  I like it.

Speaking of makeup, my birthday is coming up which means a free gift at Sephora, I do believe.  What to get?  What to get?

I just purchase a new eye liner too – Cover Girl Liquilineblast.  I dislike how everything from CG is “blasted, ” but this eye liner is pretty awesome so far.  It glides on very smoothly and stays forever, or at least for most of the day.   I’ve only been using it for 2 days so far, but at less than $7 (compared to the $29 for the Lancome Art Liner I’ve been wanting to try), it’s pretty amazing.

Home Haircolor Woes

I’ve dyed my hair at home a countless number of times.  Each time I do it, I swear I am not going to do it again.  Then I get my hair colored at the salon and lament being $85 – $100 poorer. Then I resort to coloring my hair at home again.

Why is coloring one’s hair at home a bad idea, you ask?  Well, I’ve never had a colortastrophe – ended up with green hair or anything crazy.  It’s just, well, a very messy process.  I usually end up ruining at least one shirt and one towel and dying various spots around the bathroom orange – the toilet handle, random spots on the floor, maybe a even a spot or two on the ceiling.  How does this happen?  Who knows?!  I am always super careful.  But I ALWAYS make a mess, and our bathroom is not the same after as it was before.

Anyway, despite my best advice, I colored my hair at home a few weeks ago.  I decided to use a semi-permanent color, in the hopes that the outgrowth would be more natural.  Specifically, I used Clairol Natural Instincts #28 Dark Brown, aka “Nutmeg.”  The color started out almost black, which I am OK with, quickly faded to a perfect shade of cinnamony brown, and then my lighter roots started to peep out.

Fortunately, Clairol was thinking ahead and provided a “Week 2 Color Fresh!” packet (exclamation theirs).  It’s essentially dye mixed with conditioner.  Two weeks after you initially color, you are supposed to wash your hair and then douse your head with this gross looking brown pudding for 5-10 minutes to “refresh” your color.

It didn’t so much refresh my color as refresh the bathroom with a whole new array of orange stains.  They are everywhere – shower curtain, towel, shower walls, shower drain, my hands, and my scalp skin.  Or should I just say scalp?  Do I have to specify “skin” when talking about my scalp?  Who knows.  Who cares, I guess.  Anyway, the refresh packet dyed pretty much everything within a 3 foot radius orange.  My head looks a little weird.  I’m hoping that a good hair washing will return it to a fair normal.

Needless to say, while I might use Natural Instincts again, I will toss the Color Fresh! packet.  Oh, I almost forgot.  It also makes your hair smell a little funny – almost as funny as when I rinsed my hair with apple cider vinegar and didn’t wash it afterwards.  My hair did not smell good.  At all. It smelled a little…spoiled.  And not spoiled like pampered, spoiled like gone bad.

I’ll probably resort to getting my hair professionally colored next time.  I want to get some super dark purple lowlights – just a few random, almost imperceptible pieces.  I can’t do that at home, so I best go to a professional.  I work for a bank holding company, so I can’t do anything too crazy, but I want to do something that breaks up the monochromatic brown-ness of my head.

 

HTC Rhyme vs iPhone 4s

I recently decided to bite the bullet and get a smart phone.  For the past 2 years I’ve been making do with my Samsung Intensity (dumb phone) and my iPod touch.  But, I was getting tired of carrying around a phone, an iPod touch, and a camera everywhere.  Plus, I just really wanted a smart phone.

So after weeks of reading every review I could find and all the user reviews on Verizon (fyi – everyone either loves or hates their phone), I narrowed it down to the Samsung Charge, HTC Incredible or the Droid X2.  But then, not a day after I purchased a new Hobo International plum colored wallet, Verizon announced the release of the plum colored HTC Rhyme. It was fate.

From what I read, it sounded perfect – smaller form factor (for my dainty woman hands), cool docking station/speaker, better battery life, smooth interface, etc. etc. etc.  So the day after it came out, I got it.

At first I loved it – it was very snappy, call quality was great, I had access to tons of cool apps, It was super easy to use and very, very customizable.  But there were a few things I didn’t like.

The phone came with a light up charm – a rope-type thing that plugs into the phone, which you can thread to hang out your purse.  The charm lights up when you receive a call or text.  I never used it.  It also came with plum colored, no-tangle headphones.  Those suckers were huge, though.  No matter what size covers I put on them, I couldn’t get them to stay in my ears.  Then there was the issue with the mail app.  The native mail app does not recognize when emails are opened on a different device.  Emails you open on your laptop still show as unread on the phone.  It drove me nuts, so I switched to the Gmail app, but it didn’t integrate as well with the other features of the phone (like the notification bar).

All off this I could have lived with, but then I started playing with the camera.  As I mentioned at the outset, a main reason I wanted a smart phone was so I would always have a good camera on me.  Well, the Rhyme’s camera was excellent in every way except for color quality.  All the pictures had a reddish tint to them.  No matter how I adjusted the white balance, I couldn’t get colors to appear true.  See this web album for sample shots.

As I was lamenting the bad color quality, Apple announced the release of the iPhone 4s.  Everyone I know that has an iPhone loves it and loves the camera.  I knew it would be a sure thing from a photo quality perspective, and I was already familiar with the setup and features from my iPod Touch (which I loved).

I traded in my Rhyme and pre-ordered the iPhone.  And I love it.  The pictures are beautiful, the mail app works as it should, the battery life has been great, I love Siri (when she works), and the phone just feels good to hold – nice and solid.  Of course, it lacks the customization of an Android device, and getting pictures and music on and off the phone is more complicated – no more simple drag and drop.   We are primarily a Linux household, but my husband has my laptop dual-booted, so I can boot into Windows if I have to, and for the iPhone, I have to, which is unfortunate as my laptop has something wrong with it and likes to overheat when I have it in Windows.  Besides that, though, it’s great.  Here’s a sample pic for you.

Overall, I’m really happy with the iPhone 4s.  The HTC Rhyme would have been almost perfect, however, if not for the camera issue.  If you are trying to decide between the two and have any questions, ask away in the comments!

 

Frye Oxford Oxen Shoe. Wait, that doesn’t sound right…

I bought this super awesome pair of shoes in November, Frye Carson Oxford Shoe.  As I was mink oiling them up tonight, I thought to myself, “You know what, Heather, kudos to you for making such a wise purchase.  These shoes are awesome.”  Why are they awesome, you ask.  Well, let me tell you.

See, in the past I have always bought fairly inexpensive shoes – whatever was black, mid-heel, and could be found at TJ Maxx/Dilliards.  My older brother is always trying to convince me of the benefits of buying a few high quality items instead of several mediocre items.  I have to say, in this instance, his advice paid off.

The Frye’s are on the expensive side – $178 (however, I bought mine from Urban Outfitters, where I was able to use a 20% off coupon I found online).  But, they are worth it.  Unlike my $40 Kenneth Cole Reaction Mary Janes, the blackness of the leather doesn’t wear off with the first scuff.  The straps don’t break.  The shoes doesn’t settle into deep bendy creases.  They hold up remarkably well.  A point I will prove to you in pictures.

My coworker and I often escape the confines of our cubes for an ultra-fast jaunt around the block.  As a result, these shoes have miles on them, but they look as good as the day I purchased them.  The leather stays the blackest black – mink oil takes care of the superficial smudges created by me banging my feet together as I walk.

I love the heel height, too – 1.75 inches.  It’s perfect – not so tall that I feel unstable, yet tall enough that I get a little height on everyone and feel slightly superior.  ‘Cause I’m tall.

I also appreciate the fact that they are lace-ups (leather laces!).  I wear them with SmartWool hiking liners in black.  Due to genetic issues, I have super sweaty feet.  These socks soak it all up without a complaint, and I no longer knock Tim out when I take off my shoes at the end of the day. Foot comfort is so priceless.  Husband comfort is pretty valuable too.

In conclusion, if you are looking for a great pair of dress shoes and you appreciate quality, style, and foot comfort, check these babies out.  They are awesome.

And, no, this was not a paid post.  I just really love these shoes.  I recently made another purchase that I hope I love as much.  A Lamy Safari fountain pen.  The pen, in a discussion of Frye shoes, is not expensive.  In a discussion of pens, however, it’s a little on the pricey side – $35.  I anticipate that this pen is going to revolutionize my life though.  With this awesome pen (and the turquoise and voilet ink refills I bought to use with it), I will be inspired to write copious amounts of super funny, insightful prose daily.  I will write the next “Eat, Pray, Love” with this pen, but my EPL book will actually be good and interesting, and I won’t hate it.  The first thing I will do with the proceeds is buy the Frye Carson Oxford in every color.