30 November 2010

Tuesday Shoesday: I Love Target

I have been a lover of Target for many, many years now. I can remember my first experience there in 1992 when I had just moved to Dallas. The northeast didn't yet know such a wonderful place could exist. I basically supplied my life from Target for the entire time I lived in Texas. However, not so much in the clothes and shoes area. I like to think of myself as somewhat stylish and back in those days Target and stylish didn't really equate. When Target did finally start opening stores in our area I was delighted to find that their clothes were much more stylish. Yes, they're not the best made clothes in the world, but that's OK for the price. However the workout pants turn grey and wear out at the same rate as the more expensive pairs I've owned and the kids' clothes really can't be beat.

Recently I've been really liking their shoes. (Finally we're getting to the important section of this post.) Last Spring I bought these black patent (non-leather) loafers for $24.99.

They are perfect loafers and they don't look (very) cheap. Best of all, they are excellent for rainy days since they are not real leather and they have a rubber sole. I've gotten tons of compliments on them and I'm even thinking of buying a second pair in case they stop carrying them after the ones I have wear out.

As you may have noticed knee-high boots are pretty popular these days, but for women like me who are afflicted with what I like to call "athletic" calves (some might call them "wide") it can be difficult to find knee high boots that pull up over or zip up. That pretty much ruled out the knee-high boot trend for me until last year when I tried on a pair at Target on a whim and I was amazed that they fit. They zipped right up. And they were only $29.99! Of course I bought them immediately and proceeded to wear and wear and wear them all winter. I had to throw them out at the end of the spring because they'd had it, but I think they served their purpose extremely well. This fall, I started looking for a replacement pair on my occasional trips to Target and just this past weekend I struck gold and found this excellent pair of black boots.

I'm going to try not to completely wear out this pair, but I fear that is unlikely because I really like them. I can't wait to wear them with some tights and a skirt.

So, if you're longing for some new shoes and you just don't have the cash, I highly recommend Target. Yes, not all the shoes are going to end up being as loved as these pairs have been for me, but even if you pay a lot for a pair of shoes, you don't get that guarantee, do you?

19 November 2010

Gadget Goodness

I am a complete gadget geek. I think it started with my Handspring or my original Rocket Book or maybe it goes all the way back to my Sony Walkman, but I love a good gadget no matter how short or long it's shelf life. Everyone knows I love my iPhone, but I was an iPod lover first. I got my first iPod in 2002 -- a second generation 20GB model that I still have. I am now the proud owner of 3 other iPods -- an 80GB classic, a shuffle, and a Nano. I can't really explain why because of course I don't need them all, but I can tell you I love them all and I use them all regularly.

There's nothing like Christmas time to put me in a gadget-getting frame of mind. Last year I was still so in love with my iPhone that there really wasn't another gadget I was craving. This year I think I'm ready for something, but what?

A Kindle? Maybe. I was kind of anti-Kindle at first. Maybe that's because I am slightly anti-Amazon, but the new version is so light and convenient that it really is tempting. Especially because my bookshelves are full and I don't have room for new ones.

An iPhone 4? Maybe, but there are already blogs and websites dedicated to the iPhone 5 which is rumored to be out Summer 2011. I think I'm going to hold out since there is nothing at all wrong with my current iPhone.

An iPad? Kind of expensive given the current economic outlook in my household, but a thing of beauty none-the-less. And at the same time, maybe I should hold out for iPad 2?

A Tivo Premiere? My love of Tivo is probably the only device that even comes close to my iPhone love. Then again, like my iPhone, there's nothing really wrong with my current Tivo.

What else? A wireless printer would be nice, but that's kind of boring. I've been thinking a UV Toothbrush cleaner would be a good idea, but that's kind of too ridiculous and too much like getting a blender or something. There are probably a few other kitchen gadgets I could use, but I don't know what they are except a Cuisinart. Again, not something I want to find under the tree.

OK, I guess I'll just tell Santa I want this.

08 November 2010

Parent/Teacher Conference Night

A few nights ago was Zoe's first third grade parent/teacher conference. I have to admit I was a little nervous going in. I think she's incredible -- smart, talented, funny -- but what if her teacher doesn't agree? What if she's got some horrible ways that I just can't see? What if I'm really a terrible mother and it shows all day every day of third grade??? Of course this was not my first parent/teacher conference, but what if Zoe had fooled all the teachers before and, at last, her third grade teacher was going to give me the awful truth?

OK, that didn't happen. In reality she's doing really well. She's excelling in reading, writing, and P.E. (that last one did not come from me). She's enjoying Social Studies and the research project they are doing on Native Americans. She needs to pay more attention to her handwriting (her sloppy handwriting also definitely not from me) and her math. Her teacher seems to genuinely like her and even when Rob and I made a few jokes about Zoe's tendency to talk a lot, her teacher did not really jump on the bandwagon and said she is quite attentive in class.

It kind of feels like walking on air when you walk out of a meeting like that knowing your kid is doing just fine.

01 November 2010

Halloween 2010

Halloween was lots of fun at our house this year. There were costumes, decorations, good company, good food and candy. What more could you really want out of a holiday?

It took Zoe weeks of agonizing and pouring over catalogs to decide on a homemade vampire bat costume. I was more than happy to help her and I think it turned out spooky if not entirely bat-like.

I had some fun with the cooking of dinner and went for another Halloween themed meal including monster meat loaf, hot dog mummies, cheesy brains (cauliflower casserole) and this, my personal favorite, Ghoulcamole and chips. I stole the idea from Martha Stewart to cut tortillas out with cookie cutters and bake them. They not only looked good, they tasted really good.

Rob, in all the years that we have been together has never once dressed in a costume for Halloween. Although if you ask me, he sometimes wears costumes in his daily life -- there's the gas station attendant look (dirty sweatshirt and dirty jeans), the college boy look (clean sweatshirt, shorts in winter, and baseball cap) and the car salesman look (nice shirt, nice tie, comfortable shoes). Zoe was desperate for Rob to dress up this year and she kept pestering him about it and he kept saying no so no one was more surprised than me when he appeared in the outfit pictured below which he claims is a poacher. I think it is a little more like scary militia guys, but either way it made Zoe very happy. (I came dressed in my usual costume.)

And how could the night be complete without dessert. You would think the candy would be enough, but I couldn't resist making these ghost cupcakes.