How to where high heels in the city

Being a tall girl (5′ 10″) and having an aunt teach me how to walk in stilettos from a young age I tower in high heels, they put me around 6′ 2″ tall. And of course I love commanding a room in towering heels.

Well fast forward many years and the days of people believing I only owned stilettos are long gone and several serious foot injuries (un-high heel) related have side lined from the shoe game indefinitely. I want to take a moment to share my secrets for how to walk in high heels.

  1. Buy small. You  want your shoes a half size too small for the purpose of long wearing high heels.
  2. Your shoes should fit in such a way you can walk on the balls of your feet without the heel of your shoe touching the ground and without the back of the shoe slipping off.
  3. Tissues. These work great for the tears caused by you aching feet (I kid, I kid), but they do work great for shoving into the toe of pointy toed shoes to stop them from curling or to create the tight fit needed.

Now the why to these. In the city you will encounter (well in Boston at least) grates, brick, cobblestones, etc. These will destroy your shoes and more embarrassingly or dangerously they will trip you. Everything from a broken ankle to completely stepping out of your shoe because your heel got hung on the bricks. The only work around for this is walking on the balls of your sheet. This method also works great for weddings that happen on grass.

Also remember many shoes will stretch so buying them small will benefit you in a few ways. And your foot sliding around in a stretched out shoe will make it hard to walk, balance and can cause rubbing (i.e. blisters).

As a disclaimer high heels generally aren’t great for your feet and many medical professionals will cringe and say OMG did she really tell people to buy too small shoes?! ARGHHHH!! But if you are city dwelling or working, broke and determined this will get the job done.

Other things that help are: High quality shoes and a strong fitness level ūüôā

Happy Walking!

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Me and a pair of ill fitted red stilettos. 

 

Growing Things! Part 2

Summary from growing things part 1: I’m bad at growing things, had tomato success, Kale failure and was pretty darn proud of myself. In Part 2 we are looking at my attempt at trash can potatoes and how to grow through the winter blues.

So after my tomatoes seemed like that may have something going on I was hooked, what else can I do? So I started searching for other things that thrive in pots and was totally captured by trash can potatoes. In true lazy girl style I did not have a free trash can to drill holes in, but I did have a much bucket! So let the games begin.

Step 1. Beg my other half to drill holes in the muck bucket (because he happened to already be holding the drill).

Step 2. Buy potato starters. Now you can get these from your own potato stock pile, but I like to start with having the basics a sure things for my first adventures.

Step 3. Find dirt. Well in my case I very half-bummed a compost bin from an old bag style yard waste holder that came with my house. Dumped the bag out which had mostly yard waste found two years of throwing stuff in there provided some good soil at the bottom and used it to fill my bin.

Step 4. Lots of layers. Place your potato starters in (its very important to make sure they are protected from sunlight as this can ruin your potatoes) making sure they are fully covered in soil. Then once the green shoots appear you can add an additional layer of dirt and plant more potatoes and so on. Water as needed about weekly.

Step 5. Once your potatoes are ready to harvest you can literally just dump out the bucket and clean off your potatoes. If you planted early in the season you may even be able to get another harvest in. I generally mix the soil in to my existing compost pile.

Now if you potatoes are a fall crop this could be the end of growing things for you. Since I had such success with minimal effort this year and my tomatoes grew so well in the basement windows I wasn’t quite ready to give up. Lack of sun in winter be damned!

And then reality set and I realized I was going to need some lights. I needed a solution that was energy efficient, affordable and easy to use. So welcome the Click and Grow! You get three slots to grow in, it its self watering and has a height adjustable light.

The starter kits comes with three basil pods, if I had to do it all over again I’d order something else as well. I loved the basil but was desperate to see how some of their other pods would work, they have strawberries, cherry tomatoes, flowers, all kinds of herbs and more. Below is my click & grow on March 22nd, it was ordered around January 8th and set up a week later. I think the basil is doing quite well. *Pro-tip: Prune your plants to get them low and thick vs. tall and skinny it will let them thrive longer before you run out of height on the adjustable light.

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Growing things! Part 1

Is there anything more revitalizing that growing stuff? It’s that time of year where my seedlings are started and my flower beds (thanks to an unseasonably warm winter) are laid with new soil and ready for planting. Now am I some kind of green thumb? Nope. But I do love having things that are alive in and around my house, I love home-grown veggies and I do the best I can.

So I’m here to tell you all about how a brown thumb (is that a thing?), lazy girl managed to grow stuff in three parts. Part 1 is what I did last year, which is growing stuff for small living, the heavily traveled or the plane lazy.

Now if you’ve followed along from the beginning you probably know beautiful raised vegetable beds are not in the cards for this girl. So these were my challenges:

  1. I needed the flexibility to take my plants with me.
  2. They needed to be elevated and protected (we have a very odd amount of wild rabbits).
  3. They needed to be easy to maintain.
  4. They needed to tolerate some creative watering gaps.
  5. And most importantly this venture needed to be budget friendly.

So this is what I came up with, I decided to grow a bunch of tomatoes and a bunch of Kale. Spoiler alert, tomatoes worked great, the Kale was a fail. I went to my local hardware store and took the easy way out, bought some seed starter kits and some organic seeds and read the instructions. Filled seed starts with water inserted seeds to pods placed lid on, hoped for the best. Well I can say they all sprouted as expected and grew quickly. Unfortunately my cat found theses starter kits to be a great launched pad and this was the beginning of the end for my poor kale. I also don’t think it transplanted particularly well and it did not have as much sun as my tomatoes did.

So once my tomatoes out grew their starter pods I did pretty much the opposite of what the internet said to do. I never separated my three plants per starter pod, (to be honest I was sure only one would even survive anyway), planted three of those little pods in a 10″ pot, added some fertilizer and hoped for the best. I placed them in my basement window, not ideal but they would get a few hours of sun a day. Well they flourished, to my surprise. So I moved them outside and instead of buying cages¬†I tied them to my deck. I watered them whenever needed (in the summer heat at least once a day) and would leave them water free most weekends Friday to Sunday. Even though they would look a bit wilt-y as soon as I watered them they came right back.

I ended up with enough tomatoes to make sauce and soup from scratch, plus plenty for salads. When we took vacation in the summer I cut their strings loaded the 6 pots into the back of my mini countryman and drove them to our lake house. They continued to produce and probably could have gotten a second crop had I wanted to travel with them back south after our vacation.

Growing Things! Part 2 – Fall plant withdrawals and how to cope, bucket potatoes

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Communicating our failures is important

I had a friend whose marriage was failing and she and her husband went to marriage counseling. The marriage did not survive as not all marriages should, but she received a book that told a story of another couple. In that book was a simple story on communication a wife’s breast cancer came back, her husband found her alone upset she told him the news he walked upstairs to his office alone and their marriage slowly fell apart. What was she thinking, how could he leave me like this? What was he thinking, I need to compose myself and be strong for her. Such a valuable lesson in communication. No matter how long you have known someone you can’t read their mind, you just can’t.

Last night I had a terrible night, just feeling super lost and worrying about everything I had lost and what I might lose. I was venting to my partner in the car and just didn’t want to talk about possibilities I just wanted to wallow. So in an attempt to cheer me up he brought me to a local bar for a beer and some take out one of our favorite ways to shake off a bad day. And I sat there not hungry, not wanting a menu and trying not cry into my beer. Mad that he was trying and I went along to the bar because I knew that, mad that he couldn’t start a conversation with me if I wasn’t already talking, just mad. And as I wallowed and got madder and was holding back tears something happened.

The moment was this, my partner leaned over to me in the bar and whispered in my ear its not that I don’t want to talk to you its just I have no idea what I should be saying right now. And I said nothing being frustrated and realized I could be mad all night but I agreed to be here so I leaned back and said I know you are trying I’m sorry I don’t know what you should say right now either. Then we both started laughing and a tear rolled down my cheek and we ordered our dinner and finished our beer and went home to fight another day.

Because in the end I wasn’t really mad, I was frustrated, lost, scared all things he could help me with. But when you are looking around surrounded by loss it is so hard to focus on what you have. I don’t have a car anymore, but I didn’t die and he didn’t die in that car crash. I may have lost some great colleagues lately and in turn some opportunity, but I still have a lot of great colleagues and I will find other opportunities. We may be facing scary medical challenges and surgery, but we will come through it and the prognosis is far better than most. I may be still healing, recovering and shaken from everything, but I can do things and I am getting better. I will be ready to help care for the other person that will need it more.

But for this moment I wanted to share with all of you because it is so important to let those we love know when we just can’t, because we don’t know what to say or we aren’t strong enough to accept the next battle yet. Because if we don’t tell them we create space that is too big to over come.

Have you lived in these moments? How do you handle them?

Crash! What I learned when I totaled my car…

So the overly eager optimist wants to talk car crashes? How is she going to make this one a positive?

Well friends by helping you to learn from my mistakes. So here goes.

  1. Something I use at work all the time, find or be an advocate. It is much easier in these situations to fight for someone else than it is yourself. When we advocate for ourselves many times we just don’t fight as hard as we do when it is someone else. Not wanting to let someone else down tends to be a great motivator.
  2. Do not answer your phone! I know sounds insane, but at the end of the day the insurance companies will wait for you. Inform them of the loss and do anything urgent, such as get a rental car or seek medical advice. Then don’t answer the phone. They are going to try and get everything wrapped up before you are even out of bed. Injured people who just went through something traumatic generally don’t have a lot of fight in them.
  3. Hire a lawyer. Especially and most importantly if you are not at fault.It will make you feel a million times better to have them deal with the insurance company, handle the paperwork and they will know whats fair. I told my lawyer I am not looking for anything big here I just want to walk away from this exactly as I was before this happened. (i.e. with a car, without medical bills and with my health)
  4. Take pictures at the scene, get everyone’s information, get pictures at the tow yard. The police were on the scene of my accident and I was with EMS, I assumed the police would get everyone’s information and write a report. ¬†They wrote down the wrong information for everyone involved and two weeks later still won’t give me the police report. Also if anyone stops to help get their name and number, they could be a witness.
  5. Go to the hospital or go to your doctors ASAP. I walked away from my car crash. I felt very very lucky. What I didn’t realize was how incredibly hurt you can be while ‘walking away’ from a car crash. My car is very very safe. The driver did a great job. That being said I was still hit at 40 MPH, and then hit twice more. Despite a few bruises I look great. But every muscle in my body hurt. I couldn’t hold up my head, I couldn’t sit, stand or lie down for three days. I missed 5 days or work for what in car accident world is ‘minor injuries’. I really had no idea.

At the end of the day you shouldn’t be left without a vehicle, without being compensated for the toll this can take on your life and possibly left in debt. Car crashes are scary scary things and I hope you never have to be in one like this, but if you are get help from a professional asap. I have seen the difference in both auto and homeowners claims between me (someone who literally solves problems for a living) and someone who deals with insurance companies all the time and the difference is ten fold. (i.e. Having to pay 4,000 in addition to the 7,000 my insurance paid vs. paying zero dollars for 30,000 in damage)

Now I’ll leave you with pictures of my car post crash and the answer the number one question people ask me about the accident.

What is it like when the airbags go off?

The answer is if you are hit as hard and fast as I was is feels like nothing at all. The driver said, Watch out! And before he even finished the word ‘watch’ I’d already hit the airbags, had my glasses shattered and was looking around trying to figure out what happened. To put it into perspective of how fast it happened. Two hours later I realized I didn’t know where my glasses were and then remember I had been wearing them. I found pieces of them literally all over the car, front seat, back seat, trunk etc.

Redistribution of wealth… A good thing?

So with the looming political elections and candidates in full frenzy there is a lot of talk about democratic socialism and even more fear about redistribution of wealth. We’ve created a climate where we have a handful of billionaires winning the political game and convincing the middle class the poor are bankrupting the system. Now that sentence alone could probably tell you where I land politically but that’s not why we’re here.

The government was built to protect us. To not let those with great power or wealth take advantage of those with less.

When we talk about redistribution of wealth it’s not to make everyone equal, it’s to prevent any one person from having too much power. The thing with wealth these days is that the very rich have done a great job of keeping it forever. And now you are saying well they earned it, it’s there’s, you have no right to take it away. And you are correct on all points. But taxes are there to limit that wealth, to limit that power.

If we the people write laws and then a few have enough wealth to supersede those laws (look at what Gigi Hadid’s dad is doing in California, building outside of code, causing landslides, endangering thousands and using his massive wealth to evade inspectors, hide his construction and bury the legal system in paperwork). It’s people like this whose wealth makes them very much above the law.

The affluenza teen, another example, paid his way out of trouble his whole life until it led to homicide. He got away with that too.

So while the concept is scary it is there to protect the many from the few. And if the people enacting it get too crazy then we can vote them out in a few years and that is why they should have the power.

How do you think we should keep our leaders, our government, our people honest? Is it this redistribution philosophy? Is there another way? Let us know!

Am I the only one who didn’t know about Sous-vide cooking?

I have been desperate for a solution to save me time when it comes to cooking. I’ve tried blue apron, peapod, Instagram, crockpot meals and nothing really works for us.

Blue apron was fun but I. A bit of a picky eater and the prep for the meals was just too time consuming. I loved learning new techniques and recipes, but I don’t really think making salad dressing from scratch every time fit into my schedule.

Grocery delivery was great but peapod minimum was just more than we needed. Instacart can be pricey, plus it only can come to my office making the commute challenging.

Crockpot meals were ok but many times we are gone 10-12 hours and even with the warm setting the food just didn’t do well if left that long (understandably so).

So I was scouring the Internet and came across this thing like a crock pot but also like a refrigerator and I could control it from my phone. No way was my first thought. This is the solution I’ve been looking for! That is ¬†how I discovered the Mellow Sous-vibe. Apparently sous-vide cooking is a popular technique that cooks food at very low temperatures and in turn preserves the flavor and nutrition. People make them at home or buy them and the Mellow is just the first truly ‘smart’ version.

How it works is you put the food in a bag they provide and it seals once you place it in the water. The Mellow keeps it cold until it’s ready to cook. You tell it the type of food, when you want it done and any preferences then the machine calculates when to start cooking. I can not wait to try this and see how it helps with my cooking woes.

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I pre-ordered mine which saves $200 and with the link¬†https://cookmellow.com/?ref=hvXLcdO you save another $50. I can’t wait to receive it this spring and post an update on how it works for me!

What are your time saving tricks for cooking after a long work day?