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Thursday, April 26, 2012

What Do You Mean By A "Walking Shoe?"

A lot of women come into the store looking for "walking shoes."  I typically give them another store to check out, because in all honesty, we don’t carry a "walking shoe."  We definitely carry shoes that are comfortable to walk around town in, but when I think of a walking shoe, I picture it as a running shoe.  We also have a lot of women asking if they can ‘hike’ in our shoes.  The shoes in our store are in no way designed specifically to support your feet and ankles as most hiking shoes are, so that answer will always be no.  That being said, of course it’s completely possible to hike in a non-hiking shoe, but do you really want to beat up your pretty and shiny new shoes?

Here are some general guidelines to follow when looking for a "comfort shoe." For starters, I find that shoes with solid leather uppers are the most comfortable. A leather lining and exterior will allow the shoe to mold to your foot, giving you a custom fit, and making it feel as if your foot is being held delicately by soft, dreamy angel hands.  Leather is naturally breathable, durable, and at the very least odor resistant.  Secondly, a rubber sole makes a HUGE difference when pounding pavement.  A thick rubber sole will offer shock absorption and make a huge difference in how your knees and hips will feel at the end of the day.  Also, a lot of people are under the impression that the "squishier" the insole, the more comfortable it will be. However, a softer sole will do nothing for you unless there is support in the shoe that provides stability.  Steer clear of squishy shoes that you can bend in half.

If you’re looking for a "walking shoe" or something sneakerish, go to Rogue Valley Runners, but if you’re looking for something that doesn't look athletic, I’d suggest one (or more!) of the following:

CYDWOQ 'Lignum' $299

CYDWOQ 'Branch' $299

El Naturalista 'N151 Iggdrasil' $130

El Naturalista 'N541 Campos Ella' $155

Groundhog 'Pensacola' $139

Groundhog 'Randa' $119

OTBT 'Springfield' $99

OTBT 'Copan' $109

How comfortable a shoe feels to any given person is is very subjective.  Your "crazy comfy" could potentially be another's "oh hell no," so of course the shoes pictured above won't work for everyone.  Keep in mind that comfort is relative from style to style.  A flat is going to be more comfortable than a heel, obviously.  Try not to compare your 5 year old, completely broken in and wonderful shoes with a brand new pair of anything similar.  Old shoes take time to get that comfy, but how easily we forget that when trying to find a replacement.   

Happy shopping! 

post by Amanda

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Somebody Make Me: Corn and Cheddar Pudding

You know when you go to some Mexican restaurants and they serve a little scoop of that sweet corn stuff? Well, I think that stuff is AWESOME and I believe that this receipt is that plus cheese on top which equals yum. Yum squared. Halle and I were browsing through recipes and decided that someone should really make this for us. We also decided that that someone should be Halle's boyfriend. (Seriously, Shawn. We're not joking.)

We found this receipt on the Budget Bytes blog.

This recipe is a little indulgent with the cream, cheese, and eggs... but every now and then I think you're allowed. It's all about moderation, right? Right.

Corn pudding is another one of those recipes that can go so many different ways. Originally, I wanted to use poblano peppers (my fav) but my local grocery was out. So, instead, I decided to go the honey and cayenne route. It's a little sweet, a little spicy, very rich, and definitely delicious. If you're not all about the spicy stuff, leave out the cayenne and you'll still have a nice contrast between the sweet honey and salty cheddar. You can also try dicing up some regular green and red bell peppers for extra color. There are many possibilities!

Total Recipe cost: $3.57
Servings Per Recipe: 8
Cost per serving: $0.45
Prep time: 10 min. Cook time: 1 hr. Total: 1 hr. 10 min.

3 cups frozen corn $0.89
1.5 cups milk $0.56
1/2 cup half & half $0.36
2 large eggs $0.32
1/4 cup cornmeal $0.06
2 Tbsp honey $0.30
1/2 tsp cayenne (optional) $0.03
1 tsp salt $0.05
4 oz. cheddar, shredded $1.00

STEP 1: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Allow the corn to thaw (this is very important). Place the milk and half of the corn into a blender or food processor and puree.

STEP 2: In a large bowl, whisk together the corn/milk mixture, half & half, cornmeal, honey, cayenne, salt, and the rest of the corn kernels. Make sure to whisk really well so that the egg is fully incorporated or else you'll end up with chunks of baked egg in your pudding. If your corn is still frozen, the honey will not dissolve so make sure the corn is no longer cold.

STEP 3: Shred 4 ounces of cheddar cheese. Stir half of it into the corn pudding mixture. Coat a 8x8 (or similar size) baking dish with non-stick spray and pour in the pudding. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top.

STEP 4: Bake in the preheated oven for about one hour or until the center of the pudding shakes like a bowl full of jelly. Check the pudding at about 50 minutes by shaking the dish slightly. If the center wiggles like a liquid, let it cook just a little bit longer.

STEP 5: Allow the pudding to rest for about five minutes after baking. Serve warm!

Step By Step Photos

Allow the corn to completely thaw. Puree half of the corn with the milk. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk together all of the ingredients except the cheddar. It is probably easiest to whisk together the pureed mixture, eggs, cornmeal, honey, cayenne, and salt first, and then add the whole corn last.

Make sure to whisk well so that the egg is well incorporated or else you'll have pockets of baked egg in the final product.

Shred 4 ounces of cheese (half of a regular sized block). Stir half of that into the corn pudding mixture.

Pour the batter into a baking dish coated with nonstick spray and sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top.

Bake in the preheated 350 degree oven for about an hour or until the center of the pudding barely wiggles when you shake the dish. If it wiggles and waves like a thick liquid, let it bake longer. I usually check the it at 50 minutes just to be sure. Every oven is different!

Let the pudding rest for about 5 minutes before serving.

It's good. It's REAL good.

OM NOM NOM NOM! (Shawn, we expect this by the end of next week.)

post by Amanda
content courtesy of Budget Bytes

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Versatile Looks for a Highly Irritable One Stop Shopper

Shopping is always fun until it isn't. Something inevitably will annoy me at the beginning of a shopping trip which will make me want to turn the trip into an in-and-out mission. Get in. Get what I need. Get the hell out. Easy peasy and I don't have to use my AK.

Because I have nothing but R-E-S-P-E-C-T for my fellow fast shoppers, I decided to throw together some shoe/accessory combos with outfit ideas. You're welcome!

Pictured above: Frye Jane Strappy boot, Frye Cameron Magazine Crossbody (in cognac), M. Cummings Blue Tiger Eye necklace, A.J. Morgan shades, and Decker Jewelry Criss Cross Heart earrings

These treats would look fantastic with:
-Dark blue skinny jeans
-A flowy blouse with some sort of print in warmer hues
-Cognac colored belt

Pictured above: Eric Michael Frida sandal, Maya Moon Deluxe Bucket Bag (in black croc), Kate Jack Double Hanging Hoop earrings, A.J. Morgan Shades, and a sparkly studded cuff

This gear would look fantastic with:
-A high-waisted black pencil skirt
-Bright blue top
-Thick waist belt with gold hardware

Pictured above: John Fluevog Roxanna oxford, Leaders in Leather 2511 Shoulder Bag, Nicole Ruibal Turquoise necklace, and a few Cherry Peterson leather bracelets.

These goodies would look fun with:
-A pair of dark wash boot cut jeans
-Dark brown tank top
-A rusty orange sweater
-Dark brown belt

Pictured above: Wonders H-9206 sandal, Espe Cheers handbag (in blue), A.J. Morgan shades, dconstruct earrings and cuff (in tempo ice), and a Jedzebel HS826 fedora

This will definitely look good with:
-Khaki skinny crop pants (ankle length and make sure the hue of the khaki pairs with the tan color of the sandal)
-A white, tucked in blouse
-Thin black belt with silver hardware

That wasn't so hard, was it?

post by Amanda
photos by Halle