Monday, November 29, 2010

Gift Guide Part 2

At our house, in addition to larger gifts, we give little gifts that amuse us or solve a unique problem. Here are more of my favorite clever, fun, useful or whimsical gift suggestions.

Your beloved iPhone needs its own special resting place.  This clever non-slip Plug-In Charging Shelf holds and charges a mobile phone, digital camera or MP3 player. The rotating plug fits outlets in either a vertical or horizontal direction and works with both two- and four-outlet plates. $14.99 ea

Pantone Mini Mugs
These PMS mini mugs are promoted for "the designer" on your list, but I think anyone who loves color and clean design will love this set of four mini 7 oz (207 ml) mugs in Rose 221 C, Sunset 137 C, Ultra Violet 2745 C, and Caterpillar 376 C. $44.99

I bought a set of these couplers a few years ago and use them all the time.  Save that last bit of lotion, shampoo, conditioner or shower gel. To use, screw the coupler onto the bottle you want to empty, then screw the bottle you're filling into the other side of the coupler.  Tip upside down. You can also use it to transfer toiletries into small travel bottles.    $2.99

Form and function meet fun and cool in this Tyvek® (the same material as shipping envelopes)  slim and tough wallet. With its two large pockets for cash and receipts, two business card pockets and two expandable credit card pockets, the guy on your list will enjoy this low profile wallet.  He can even write on it with a permanent marker! $14.99 ea

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Gift Guide - Part 1

Express your creativity by giving clever, fun, useful or whimsical gifts that elicit wide-eyed oooos, ahhhs and giggles. More holiday gift posts will follow this one that will include more of my favorite finds.  What fun gift ideas have you found this season?

How fun are these drinking straw "eyeglasses?” Perfect for the kid or kid at heart on your list. They're washable in warm, soapy water. $3.99

Moleskine® Cover

I found Molecover when they followed me on twitter.  As a big Moleskines fan, I fell in love with these fine quality natural leather handmade covers.  They’re available in black, tan and white for small and large journals. $45 - $55


Editable but not edible, these adorable memo desk pads feature 150 "slices" of notepaper and include a paper clip place-keeper. $3.99

Friday, October 8, 2010


My take on the new Gap Logo.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Singing and Dancing in the Rain!

I just returned from shopping at Nordstrom.  As I perused the fabulous shoe department (1/4 of the floor at my Nord's), I saw something new.  Smack dab on the aisle was a Hunter Boot display that was made even more colorful with their new boot socks,-- yep, they were specially created to be worn with rain boots.  I live in the Pacific Northwest where we have lots and lots of wet weather and therefore many opportunities to wear rain boots.  We've been wearing rain boots long before they were trendy.  Because Nordsrom didn't have the color (black and white/see below) that I wanted I didn't buy a pair (yet), but I think Hunter has a good idea with this product.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

I Can See! I Can See!

Please meet, Mewowza, my brand new Tory Burch Cat Eye prescription sunglasses from Lens Crafters (who is now offering 30%off).  The glamorous tortoise-shell frame and graduated brown lens go perfectly with my copper-colored hair and freckles. I feel like a new person!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Old Movies

Movies inspire me; Morally, visually, style-wise, writing-wise, humor-wise and otherwise.  I've noticed that many of the style/fashion blogs that I follow draw inspiration from old movies.  (I'm a sucker for romantic movies and avoid violent ones, so these are all chick flicks.)

How many of these old movies have you seen?

Gigi 1958
Gypsy 1962
Barefoot in the Park 1967

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

What Makes Me High! (part 5 of 5)

When I first started running (inside, around the track, over and over; round and round), I ran to local radio station music. I noticed that some of the songs matched the rhythm of my foot placement. I wondered if running would be more fun if all the music matched my pace, so, I created a pace-matching music mix. Some music was at a slower pace; some medium; some faster.

My distance increased, my enjoyment increased and my speed increased. Try it - you'll like it!

How to do it

  • Make a play list of your favorite songs
  • Run a short distance to each song
  • Note which songs best fit your pace
  • Note your perceived pace speed (slow, med or fast)
Find Your Beats
  • Count the downbeats for 10 or 15 seconds
  • Use a free internet app or purchase a smart phone app for counting down beats
  • Once you find the downbeat count for your paces you can discover appropriate running songs by counting their downbeats rather than test-running them
  • Create play lists to match your running paces
  • To build up your speed, order your songs so that the first couple are slow; then a medium; then a slow; then a fast; then a slow. It works!
  • When you first start running to your pace music do it in this order: slow; slow; medium;slow; slow; medium;slow;slow.
  • Start with your slowest perfect pace! Be careful on your first run - running to your perfect pace-tunes can make you run too fast which can cause injury.

Cherry On Top

For optimal enjoyment: Quietly sing along or lip sync with your songs. Although, I sing along under my breath quietly, it feels like I'm singing out loud. You can't help but feel great when you run and sing-a-long. Really!

Never has anyone stared or even noticed my singing.

Partial List of My Running Pace Music

  • A Thousand Miles / Vanessa Carlton
  • Big Yellow Taxi / Counting Crows
  • Californication /Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • Come Back to Me / David Cook
  • Dance, Dance /Fall Out Boy
  • Dilemma / Nelly
  • Everything You Want / Vertical Horizon
  • Fireflies /Owl City
  • From Where You Are/ Lifehouse
  • Gives You Hell / The All-American Rejects
  • Hanging by a Moment / Lifehouse
  • Heres to tonight 4:11 Eve six
  • I Gotta Feeling / Black Eyed Peas
  • I'm with You /Avril Lavigne
  • It's Been Awhile / Staind
  • Just Dance / Lady GaGa & Colby O'Donis
  • Kryptonite / Three Doors Down
  • Lullaby 5:32 Soul's Core Shawn Mullins
  • Major Tom /Shiny Toy Guns
  • My Life Would Suck Without You / Kelly Clarkson
  • Pinch Me / Barenaked Ladies
  • Right Here / Staind
  • Save Tonight / Eagle-Eye Cherry
  • Say It Right / Nelly Furtado
  • Scar Tissue /Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • Shadow of the Day/Linkin Park
  • Speed of Sound / Coldplay
  • Stop and Stare /OneRepublic
  • Such Great Heights / The Postal Service
  • The Heart Remains A Child /Everything But The Girl
  • The Last Resort /The Eagles
  • The Reason / Hoobastank
  • Today Was a Fairytale / Taylor Swift
  • Unwritten / Natasha Bedingfield
  • What Goes Around Comes Around /Justin Timberlake
  • What I've Done / Linkin Park
  • You Belong With Me / Taylor Swift

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

What Makes Me High! (Part 4 of 5)

AVOIDING INJURIES: Stretches and Weight Training

Running is easy and so is getting injured while running.

Injuries occur from running too far too soon, running too fast, not resting between runs, falling, and being hit by a car or bike.

  • Build up your distance and speed slowly and gradually. Add small increments of distance each week. If you run 2 miles three times a week add distance by increasing one run to 2.5 miles. The next week run 2 miles twice and 3 miles once.

  • Your speed will increase naturally, don't force it. Running downhill is hard on your knees; slow down!

  • Watch where you place your feet. Raised sidewalks, rocks and path/sidewalk depressions are hazards if you don't see them.

  • Stretch AFTER running. When I first started running someone told me to stretch before running. The experts now say to stretch afterward when your muscles are warmed up.

  • Weight training strengthens your muscles and prevents injuries.

More information:

REI: Running Training Tips

The Stretching Institute

Runners' World The 10 Laws of Injury Prevention

Next Blog Post (Part 5 -
Music my running secret! & Sing-a-long running!)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

What Makes Me High! (Part 3 of 5)

Image from

Running clothes have their own form of chic. I live a few miles from Nike (and have run on their campus) so I see a lot of cool people running. Sports apparel companies define their own style. (You won't find polka dot bras or nautical striped running shoes.). But, you can find clothes in fun, stylish colors.

Choose washable, sturdy, clothes that fit well. Think about warmth in cold weather and coolness when it's hot. Even slight discomfort can ruin an otherwise great run.

What to Wear

Your first priorities are comfort and safety. After those needs are met be cute. When I look good, I have a better run. You know how your car runs better when it's clean?

My favorite running attire isn't chic it's functional.


Running shoes are the MOST important components of your running outfit. The ONLY place to buy them is at a running store.Store experts will observe how you run and select shoes that match your feet placements as they hit the ground.

I've worn the same shoe brand for 12 years. My choice: Asics Gel GT 2150 (I'm lusting for a black pair in addition to my white pair). Your running store will suggest how often you should buy new shoes and may suggest that you own two pairs and alternate wearing them.


I wear three different styles of running hats: Head covering caps for average weather or misting rain, visors for warm weather, and fuzzy-warm caps for very cold runs.

During long runs I wear this hat (it has a blinking light on the back - and it's washable)
Brooks NightLife Hat

Visors keep the sun out of your eyes and the hair out of your mouth in warm weather.
Nike Daybreak Visor

Cold weather cap like Outdoor Research Riot Cap
(OK not cool-looking, but you'll be glad you're wearing it.)


No painful bouncing boobies for me. I wear a very supportive bra that can be worn alone when it's hot.


I wear this vest over a jacket or a bra. Its mesh ventilation sides make it cool in the summer and its bright color makes me visible when crossing streets or on paths and sidewalks.


Wear short dri-fit tops over your bra if you prefer to cover-up a little.

Choose a full zipper jacket that can be easily removed and tied around your waist when it's warm.


A perfect outfit is one you never think about while running. Make sure your clothes don't ride up your bottom or slip down your hips.

Cold weather long pants:
Women's Nike Be Strong Pant


Glove liners worn as gloves will keep your hands warm during cold weather. Store them in your waist pack or your jacket pocket.


Hot weather runs are cooler when you wear
WrightSock Running II Low Sock.



I alternate between two waist storage packs.
The Amphipod AirFlow Lite Waistpack for short runs.
It holds your keys, ID, cash and iPhone.

The REI Lode Waistpack is perfect for long runs.
It holds keys, ID, tissues, cash, sunscreen, lip salve, water bottle, iPhone
and earbuds (just in case my bluetooth headphones die).


Fashion sunglasses may bounce around on your face while running. I use prescription sunglasses that hook behind my ears (so I can read the iPhone if needed.)

Next Post (Part 4: Injuries, Stretches, Weight Training)

Monday, June 7, 2010

What Makes Me High! Part 2 (of 5)

Some people run in the snow. I do not. Running is about loving the experience.

Part 2 (of 5)

I'm a hobby runner, not an athlete. Running mental and physical fitness. And, yes, style and fashion can be incorporated into running (covered in part 3). In fact, wearing a new outfit, pair of shoes, socks or even listening to a new running song can motivate you to run more often and further. More about that in part 5 of this series.

Covered in this post:
  • Good Days/Bad Days
  • Safety
  • Traffic
  • Music
  • Distance
  • Speed
  • GPS
  • Music
  • Alone or With other People

Good Days/Bad Days:
Some days you'll feels as if you could run 10 miles. Some days you'll struggle to run 1mile or less. Who knows why --bad attitude, not enough fuel, weather…whatever. If you have a bad day, remember, it’s just one day. Your next run will be better. If you haven't slept well the night before or haven't eaten enough, your run may be more difficult, but not always. The point is, just do something. Even if it's only 1/2 mile.


Where to look when running: Make sure you look at your running surface often to make sure your path is safe. I’ve fallen, splat on the sidewalk, a few times when my toe caught a sidewalk block that was raised 1-2 inches from an underground tree root. And I've been hurt from those falls and besides it’s really embarrassing.

Cell Phone: ALWAYS take a cell phone no matter how far you run. I've been hurt on runs and needed to be picked up. You never know when and if you'll need it.

Traffic: Before changing position on a sidewalk, look behind you for bikes (I hate bikes that ride on sidewalks especially when there’s a bike lane provided) or other runners coming up behind you. I've often wished there were runners' rear-view mirrors.

Always follow traffic rules. Use crosswalks. Wait for pedestrian “walk” lights.

Don’t trust cars or bicyclists. Cross streets with the light and look for cars or cyclists before stepping into the crosswalk. I've nearly been hit by cars and bicyclists who were turning right oblivious to pedestrians.

Always take a piece of ID with you and some money. (More about this later.)

Speed:One time I was running, I was so into my music, I ran to fast and too hard. When I stopped at a light to cross the street, everything went white. I held onto the pole and waited 15 minutes before the dizziness subsided. This is not a good thing.

Speed doesn’t matter.
Run at a speed a little slower than you think you can. Your speed will increase the more you run.

Music: I take my iPhone on every run. Before my iPhone, I took a cell phone and a Nano. I’ve always run to music – as far back as a Walkman. I make music combos that match the running pace I like. Some songs don’t match my pace, but they’re inspirational like “Forever Young” by or “Born to Run." Find your own pace and inspiration. (More about this in part 5 -- you'll love this -- it's my secret to really enjoyable running!)

GPS:I use the GPS on my iPhone. I LOVE this capability, but it doesn't always work where I run. An iPhone app or Nike Sensor are a good way track your progress. I'm a geek and like to quantify my progress. I use Run Keeper .

Distance: I pre-drive my courses to measure the distances with my odometer and record them on a little card I carry in my waist pack.

Decide on your distance before setting out. Add small distance increments help you increase your distance safely.

Alone or With Other People:I've run with people and alone. Years ago I had the perfect running partner. Neither of us liked to talk during our runs. She was taller and younger than I, but I ran faster. It didn't matter; we motivated each other. She moved out of town so, now I run alone.

I've run with large training groups and loved the companionship, but I run too fast with groups. Try different running experiences. You'll find your best way.

Next blog post: Part 3 What to Wear and Essential Accoutrements

Sunday, June 6, 2010

What Gets Me High!

While visiting SF a few years ago, I ran from the Presidio,
across the Golden Gate Bridge and back. What a joy!

I’m a runner. Running clears my brain, keeps me fit, makes me high; and it makes me feel accomplished.

I don't run on a treadmill; I run outside in the fresh air. I'm particular about where I run, what I wear, what I listen to, in what temperature...etc. While training for a marathon twelve years ago, I hit my personal best at 13 miles but had to stop running for six months because of an injury.

I discovered the high of running when I lived in the Rocky Mountains. I had terrible cabin fever - it snowed 9 months a year - so, to relieve my angst, I began running on an indoor running track. By adding a lap or two each run, I got up to 10 miles (using a clicker to count my laps – 10 miles=180 laps).

During my years of running I’ve discovered what works and what doesn’t and I’ll share this information with you in this post and the four that follow. Each person finds their own best way to do things, but these suggestions will get you started. If you are already a runner they may make it more fun for you.Or maybe you have some suggestions for me!

The topics that will be covered:

Part 1 (This post)

* Temperature
* Food
* Water
* Stretching
* Where to Run
* Terrain

Part 2

* Good Days/Bad Days
* Safety
* Music
* Distance
* Speed
* Traffic
* Alone or With other People

Part 3

* What to Wear
* Essential Accoutrements

Part 4

* Injuries
* Stretches
* Weight Training

Part 5

* Music my running secret!
* Sing-a-long

Temperature: My deal running temperature: 45 - 55 degrees. Tolerable: 35 - 45 and 55 - 65. I’m impressed with people who enjoy running in temps over 70 degrees. I’d love to know their secret.

I’ve run in rain, sleet, snow, and fog (all in one day); it was unpleasant to say the least. The best alternative run in bad weather is on an indoor track. (If you like to run on a treadmill, more power to you. I get too bored and hot.)

Food: Eat breakfast before running in the morning. Fuel = a better run.

Water: Bring water on hot days or long runs.

Stretching: I stretch after running and often in the middle of a run at a stop light while waiting for the walk sign. (More about stretches in a later post.)

Where to run: I run where people can see me. Call me paranoid, but isolated running scares me – I read too many news stories about weirdos. Why take a chance.

Terrain: I run on sidewalks. I’ve run steep hills; they're good for your cardio, but I think the best runs have some flat stretches and some hills. To get used to hills, run until it doesn’t feel good. Then walk until you're not winded. Run again and repeat. Eventually you’ll be able to run hills easily. Be careful, my injuries have occurred from running downhill. It’s hard on your knees.

My favorite running surface is asphalt paths and, at least where I live, they are more and more of these available.

I run trails, but only with other people. Again, fear of weirdos.

I’ve a run on tracks but, I prefer to go somewhere. My favorite run is when my husband drops me a distance from my destination (say 5 miles from the gym where he works out).

Continued in the next post...

Friday, May 28, 2010

Stars and Stripes for Memorial Day Wine Tasting

It's COLD in the Pacific Northwest and it's wine tasting weekend. Small private wineries open their doors to the public twice a year: Memorial Day and Thanksgiving. It's wonderful fun. But what to wear? (Casual, chic and hopefully warm.)

Starts and Stripes for Memorial Day
Anthropologie, Ralph Lauren, Nine West, Kate Spade
Casual outfit for wine tasting on Memorial Day Weekend

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Designer iPhone Cases

The most often used item in my handbag is my iPhone.A few Christmases agom my favorite gift was a Coach iPhone/iPod case. (See below) While developing an upcoming blog post about how to package purse contents so they can be easily moved between handbags, I researched designer iPhone cases.

From top left:
Kate Spade: $35
Juicy Couture: $58
Gucci: $170

For extra protection, I also use an orange "incase" and clear screen protector around my iPhone.My Coach iPhone holder can be slipped into my into a purse, backpack or tote or used alone with its wrist strap.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

iPod/iPhone Wardrobe Organizers - Part 2

Yesterday I reviewed two wardrobe management iPhone/iPod apps:Stylish Girl and Closet.

Today, I'll share my experience with
Touch Closet and My Stylist.

First, let me say that I have designed a few iPhone/iPod apps, so I have some knowledge of their capability (although my role was designing the apps' concepts and graphics - I used a programmer to create the actual apps).

Cost: $.99

Touch Closet was easy to use. I like that I can see my outfit visually on one screen. I wish I could size my photos to fit the screen the way I'd like them to. I could only fit four items per screen which left me no room for accessories like purse/jewelry/hat. I love that I can create my own categories and that I can categorize pieces by color. Of the four apps I tested, I will probably use Touch Closet the most.

I recommend Touch Closet because of it's ease of use and quick learning curve. I'd like to see more features and I'd be willing to pay more to be able to size my photos within the program.

Cost: $.99

My Style is the worst app I've ever used. I had to go to the web to enter an activation code, then enter a password on my phone to use the app.

When I entered my outfits, the app insisted that I enter a brand for each piece of clothing. (I entered "none" when I didn't know.) Hello? Some of my clothes are old, why does brand matter? I figure they must be tracking brands to see what their users are buying. If this is true they should NOT charge for the app.

I feel like I wasted $.99. I know that's not a lot of money, but it's gone for nothing. Even if somehow I do not understand how to use the app, that is app's fault. It should be easy and intuitive to use. The instructions say you can adjust your photos, yet that feature did not work. I'm frustrated because I can't figure this thing out.

I absolutely do NOT recommend this app. It looks like if it worked or if I could figure it out, it might be good, but after spending an hour working with it, I couldn't create one outfit.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

iPod/iPhone Wardrobe Organizers - Part 1

Often I wake up too early worrying about what to wear "today". I should choose the next day's clothes the previous night but I always forget to.

A few years ago I wanted to create my own wardrobe organizing computer program but I don't know how to code software. Back then I organized my clothes on MS Excel. Yes, yes, I can get a little anal about organizing.

I looked into iPhone/iPod wardrobe organizers so I can virtually create outfits.
With all that said, I've tested four apps for YOU. Today I review two of them: Stylish Girl and Closet. All four apps make wardrobe organizing a "game".

I like the idea of creating many outfits easily by mixing and matching all my pieces without having to try them on. Also, the apps make me more daring with my combos.

If you decide to buy a wardrobe organizing app you'll need to photograph your attire and upload the photos to your iPhone. By downloading photos of new wardrobe pieces before you buy them you can virtually try them with existing outfits.

DDN Media, Inc.

  • Free Has "tags" capability
  • It links to to get "wish list" items.

  • Can't Layer Photos (I've gotten just to this with websites like Polyvore)
  • No Calendar



  • You can try it for free. (Upgrade to full version for only $2.99)
  • Includes a calendar


  • Can't Layer Photos (I've gotten just to this with websites like Polyvore)
  • Some photos that fit Stylish Girl are too big for Closet. It should size them to the screen.

Part 2 coming up - I'll review two more apps: Touch Closet and My Fashion Style Assistant.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Straw Totes under $60

My mission: Find a straw tote that costs less than $60. My challenge:Find a straw tote, for under $60 that doesn't dwarf someone who is 5'1" tall. Here are some of my finds. I haven't chosen one, yet; these may be too large for a shorty.

- J. Crew Seaside tote $45.00 (12"H x 19 3/4"W x 9"D)
- Newport News Straw tote $24 (23 x 13 x 9")
- Endless Murval Barbados Cornhusk Basket Tote – $59 (14.5" H x 23.5" W x 7" D)
- DSW Poppie Jones Straw Shopper $39.95 (17" x 5" x 12")