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Thursday, August 30, 2012


Alrighty...I guess we're in full on "out with Spring, in with Fall" mode.  I can't believe I'm reporting that we're already sold out of styles of Fall boots (which is insane because it's not even cold enough to wear them).

What the whaaaat? These new Men's J Shoes are pretty radtacular! I'm sure you recognize the black boot and the oxford with the red laces...we brought them back in new colors this Fall since the fellas took a liking to them last year. We also thought snazzy shoes deserve snazzy socks and brought in some fun Ozone and B.ella.

There ya go, ladies! New Espe purses! They're available in-store only because they're pretty much sold before we have time to put them on our website. Customers tell us they make a great gift!

And of course we got in new Espe wallets as well! $29 adorableness!

Flats, flats, and more flats! Eric Michael in navy, Cobb Hill in black and plum, and I'm wearing my future Tsubo flats in black! Hands off my size 6, ladies!

We have some new Frye handbags in stock!  I love the whole "implanted stud" thing they're doing these days.  They have an edgy, yet classic Frye look to them. (New women's Frye boots are here as well!)

Smartwool tights are back! They're perfect for when you want to wear skirts or dresses this Winter. I find that they keep me as warm as pants do when it's quite chilly out.

As of this very minute, 4:20pm on August 30th, we are 20 LIKES away from giving one lucky fan a $25 gift certificate! Share our page with your friends and family, pretty please! Share it with those you love and with those you loathe! Spread the good word of Village Shoes far and wide! Nobody deserves bad shoes! NOBODY!
All of that and we're still in the month of August! Over the next couple of months we're expecting more Fall shoes to arrive, as well as hats, scarves, and other cold weather accessories. Stop by our store or shop online!

post by Amanda
photos by Halle

Thursday, August 23, 2012


Stacey and Halle have been out of town this past week on a buying trip, which made it so Jen and I would be working together. It's probably a good thing we rarely share shifts because all we do is eat.  This is not an exaggeration.  It's just how it is.  I mean, as we were eating lunch, we were discussing future snacks or dessert. It's kind of disturbing.

So, today, when we weren't eating, we were checking out easy food recipes online and found a couple that we'd like to share that may or may not have made us drool!

  • 3 medium avocados, halved, pit and skin removed
  • 4 oz crab meat
  • 5 large shrimp, boiled, chilled and then chopped into small chunks
  • 1 tbsp red bell pepper, small dice
  • 1 tbsp red onion, small dice
  • 1 tbsp celery, small dice
  • ½ tbsp parsley, small dice
  • 1 ½ tbsp lite mayo
  • Fresh black pepper      
  • ¼ cup lite mayo
  • 1 tsp siracha sauce (optional, but i love the extra kick and flavor it gives)
  • 2 tbsp Chili Lime Cholula (or more to taste)
  • Stir together well. I like to add it to a squirt bottle, so it is easier to use.
  • 1. Combine all ingredients together and mix well.
  • 2. Scoop the crab & shrimp mixture onto the avocado.
  • 3. Squirt the sauce over the avocado and sprinkle with parsley.
And another...

  • 3-4 Fresh Jalapenos peppers
  • 1 tablespoon of Goat Cheese
  • 1 tablespoon of light cream cheese
  •  1 teaspoon of Dried Thyme crushed
  • 2 teaspoons of Milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon of Lime juice
  • Parmesan cheese for topping
  • Pre-heat your oven at 350.  Cut your peppers in half (length wise) to end up with a cut little boat shape easy to stuffed.  Empty the middle part with a spoon and a knife before putting them on a parchment paper then on a baking sheet to cook them for 10 minutes.
  • While the peppers are in the oven prepare your stuffing, mix all the ingredients together except the Parmesan cheese.  Once you’re peppers are out, stuffed them and sprinkle a bit of Parmesan on top.  Cook for another 10 minutes.
  • Then bring your oven on BROIL and let them cook for another 3-4 minutes or till the top is brownish.  Watch out because if you cook them too long they will spill over.  Let them cool down a bit and serve warm or cold with a mini piece of fresh Thyme on top as decoration. 

Pretty easy, right?  What's your favorite summertime dish to whip up when you're feeling a little too hot to hang out over a stove? 

post by Amanda & Jen

Thursday, August 16, 2012

New(ish) Lunch Spots in Downtown Ashland

Us girls at Village Shoes have a healthy appetite.  After running up and down stairs all morning, we find that our hunger is ravenous, and look forward to eating as much food as our 30 minute lunch break will allow.

There are several new places to eat in Ashland, and I'll share with you what I've recently had and loved:

Anya's Thai Bistro:

Pad Thai with Chicken $9.25
Mango Bubble Tea $3.75

Being two doors down from Village Shoes, Anya's has been a convenient spot for many of us.  The first time I went there I had the Pad Thai with chicken.  It's on the sweet side, which isn't necessarily my thing, but now I know.  The veggies weren't overcooked, and the chicken was moist and lean.  The serving size is huge...definitely enough for two people or you can easily save the other half to eat as leftovers the next day.  I also ordered a Mango Bubble Tea which had fresh mango blended in it and for $3.75, I plan on making it a treat for a hot, hot day.

Beau Club Grill:

Teriyaki Pineapple: $7.49
Cheddar Cheese Mac: $8.49
Sweet Potato Fries: $4.29

If you love a good burger, you gotta stop by the Beau Club Grill.  I've had several of their menu items and I thoroughly enjoyed all of them.  If you're a fan of a good burger, you have to try the Teriyaki Pineapple burger.  It is definitely something that I'll be ordering again...and again.  I've also had their sweet potato fries, which have become a new obsession.  Their sweet potato fries dipped into their homemade fry sauce...HEAVEN!  I've also had their macaroni and cheese.  Now, it's hard to mess up mac and cheese.  It's pasta and cheese.  And it's simple to take it to the next level...they add bacon to theirs.  I think you have to ask for it, but they're happy to hook it up.  If you have lived in Ashland long enough, you'll know that the Beau is a local hotspot for drinks at night.  Although it's a bit of a dive bar, the waitstaff and bartenders are always friendly and for regulars, you're guaranteed to run into one or two friends.  Love the Beau!

Smithfields (Lunch):

Gravalax Sandwich: $10
Shrimp Po'Boy: $14
Grilled Romaine: $10

Now, if you follow any of my Facebook posts, you'll notice that I love, LOVE, Smithfields.  LOVE.  I've been there for brunch and dinner several times, however they weren't open for lunch until recently.  I was ecstatic when I discovered that their lunch prices were pretty much equal to everywhere else in town, so I wouldn't be breaking the bank to enjoy my favorite restaurant for lunch.  I first tried the Shrimp Po' Boy because I've never had one before and I wasn't let down.  Chipotle lime aoili? To die for.  The shrimp at Smithfields is always fantastic - I also love the Shrimp and Grits off of their brunch menu. I also can't get enough of the Gravalax sandwich.  It was the perfect size, but I contemplated ordering another one because it's just that good.  Oh, and do yourself a favor and try the Grilled Romaine salad. It's seriously phenomenal.  It's a salad, so it's refreshing, but it's grilled so it's not just a salad. The anchovies add a bit of salt and whatever they put on the crostini is super savory...so it's pretty much awesome in all ways possible.  So guys, seriously...Smithfields.  Do it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Star Sushi:

Sunrise roll: $7.50
Avocado roll: $2.75

Sushi is a favorite of mine and I was really excited to learn about Star Sushi going in where Yogurt on the Rocks used to be.  I went there a couple of days ago and tried the Sunrise roll that contained tuna, salmon, crab, cream cheese, avocado, green onion, and masago (roe).  The hunks of raw tuna were large and incredibly fresh.  I normally call in orders for pick up and then swing by, but since I didn't have their menu (apparently not available online), I placed my order from the restaurant.  It didn't take long for them to make my food and bag it up.  It was great.  I loved the Sunrise roll and the Avocado roll, although simple, was very tasty.  They have a lot to choose from as well...little pizzas, bento boxes, ramen...meat and veggie options...they definitely have a little something for everybody.

As many of you know, pretty much anywhere you go to eat in Ashland is going to be good.  The Deli Downstairs opened up not too long ago, and although they just make pretty straightforward sandwiches, there is something special about each of them.  I'm really looking forward to The Butcher Shop opening.  Their window says they'll be selling meat pies...how perfect will those be for when the weather cools down?

Have you tried any of these places yet for lunch? What's your favorite dish there?

post by Amanda
lunch bag illustration by Peter Pagano

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Boots: $80 vs. $250

Puss without Boots says, "Those boots are how much?"
Do you ever wonder why people spend so much money on their shoes?  Do you refuse to buy expensive shoes, but will buy many inexpensive pairs throughout the year?  If you answered yes to one or both of these questions, please continue reading!

Now, clearly there are totally valid reasons for not buying yourself an expensive pair of shoes right then and there. The most logical one would be that you can’t afford to and there’s no shame in that.  I believe our store is filled with “luxury” items and we jokingly tell our customers that Village Shoes is for surely more of a “want” store.  On the other hand, taking time to save for an expensive pair of shoes could potentially save you money in the long run just because you’ll be buying a pair every 3 or so years, opposed to several in just one.

So, the difference between an $80 boot and a $250 boot is quality.  Unless you found a killer sale on fancy boots, for $80 you more than likely will have to replace them in less than a year depending on wear.  You’ll normally have a boot comprised of man made materials that won’t mold to your foot or age well, and you could find yourself not wanting to take your shoes off around others because you came down with a mean case of stinky feet.  If you’re good with all of that, that’s perfectly fine, but the thing is that for all of the money you spent purchasing new shoes constantly, you could have shelled out the dough and had yourself some really nice shoes that you’d be able to wear for a long time.  For $250, you’ll have beautiful, moldable, BREATHABLE leather.  You’ll also be more inclined to take care of them because you spent a lot on them, and in turn you could potentially have and love that boot for YEARS.  For example, last fall I purchased a pair of $350 El Naturalista boots that are crazy comfortable and crazy cute.  I wore them consistently for months and once the weather got warm, I put them back in their box and there they’ll remain until it cools down again.  Those boots look like they’ve never been worn.  The leather looks fantastic…the sole of the shoe is seriously immaculate…I mean, I won’t be replacing these for about 3 or 4 years at the least.  Would it have been cheaper for me to have purchased a much cheaper pair every year?  Maybe…maybe not, but the fact of the matter is that I would not have been able to enjoy the benefits that goes along with owning a handmade shoe that’s made in Spain, Portugal, or Italy had I put myself on an $80 budget.  My El Naturalistas will hold up pretty well for a long time if I make sure I replace the soles when they need it, clean and hydrate the leather, and waterproof them...and at $350, you bet I'll be taking care of them! 
Fall inventory is consistently arriving at this point…which new pair do you see that’s worth saving for?

post by Amanda