October 31, 2008

REI rescues my feet with Ahnu pair of shoes!

Sorry for the bad pun, but I am so excited about my new pair of shoes. I stopped by my local REI this afternoon for a new pair of shoes. If you have never been, or don't know, REI began as a group of 23 mountain climbers and is now the nation's largest consumer cooperative. They have a huge selection of outdoor gear in their stores, online and they have an outlet. (And from previous experience, they are one of the few companies that ship to Japan!)

I love REI because not only do they have excellent brands of yoga gear, running clothes, ski helmets and camp stoves but they also have a great house brand. And they give back. I just love going there even if I just get a new toy or new piece of gear for my dog.

So I was saying, we've finally started to get our rains this week and "very quickly" I realized I needed a pair of shoes that would hold up to the rain. [By very quickly I mean the pair of shoes I had on yesterday were ruined by the unexpected down pour I had to stand in while I waited for my bus.]

I hustled up the stairs today to the shoe wall and though I slowed down to check out the yoga pants (always looking for the perfect pair), my feet found their way to the pair of shoes that you see here. And for the first time I posted a review...check it out below. And yes, my dog really did give these Ahnu shoes the once over with her nose when I got home.

My Review of Ahnu Alameda Shoes - Women's

Originally submitted at REI

Out to find comfortable, casual shoes to fit your active lifestyle? Look no further than these Ahnu Alameda slip-ons.

Super fit, stylish and comfort

By SharonC from San Francisco, CA on 10/31/2008


4out of 5

Gift: No

Sizing: Feels true to size

Width: Feels true to width

Pros: Comfortable, Versatile

Best Uses: Casual Wear, Travel

Describe Yourself: Comfort Driven

My job allows me to wear casual clothes often during the week so these are perfect shoes. Comfortable but very stylish. And I love that they are waterproof.

My dog just gave her sniff of approval


Tags: Picture of Product


October 25, 2008

Half Moon Bay Pumpkins

Boy I sure do love pumpkin. I love the endearment. One of the sweetest things is to overhear a parent call their little one "pumpkin"... And I love to eat pumpkin muffins and pie, yum! One year I took the time to cut up and steam my jack-o-lantern after Halloween and made muffins and pies from scratch! It was a great feeling of accomplishment and something I highly recommend everyone trying once. It was a very "Martha" moment for me.

As for the color of pumpkin, it is very flattering, warm and bright. Reminds me of certain sunsets here in California. I can't tell you how many pretty coastal photos I have taken that are bathed in an almost pumpkin-like color.

And did you get out to this past weekend's annual pumpkin festival here in Northern California? There were lots of wonderful crafts and cover bands and smoked turkey drumsticks. Dee-lish-us. If you missed it, don't worry because you can still find lots of pumpkins along Highway 1 at many of the family run farms.

October 21, 2008

Top Ten Movies to inspire travel

As you know I am all about travel, all things travel oriented and global views. There are many movies that beautifully illustrate a country that I have never been to or they remind me of the subtle beauty in the art of travel. Murder on the Orient Express is a movie that comes to mind. Dressing for dinner is something everyone should experience. So civilized along with the slow serving of multiple courses. The exquisitely rich furnishings of the train cars, the old fashion trunks to carry your clothes and the leisurely pace are just the start of why I loved that movie! And the most exotic destinations and cities have the most incredible stations! Victoria Station, Grand Central Station, Tokyo Station. And trains are a relaxing way to go vast distances. They rock you to sleep while you cover miles and miles of terrain. Did you ever see the film noir movie, The Thin Man with Nick and Nora? Because it was filmed in the 1940's, the stylish couple traveled by train rather than airplane. Divine scenes of the couple with Asta of course, going across country to San Francisco. With the price of gas moving lower, some of us may be thinking that they can jump back into that car or SUV and drive but I would highly encourage you to explore your world by train.

Here are some of my all-time favorite movies, available on Netflix and sometimes your local television. I've included some older movies that I've caught on a Sunday afternoon too, like The Four Seasons. This classic movie that I've seen several times is about couples that go away on vacation together over four seasons. Not only did I love the location shots but the experiences of the couples together are priceless! The Year of Living Dangerously is high on my list because it was the first movie I felt first-hand when I living overseas and traveled to Bali in Indonesia. The music of the Balinese so clearly was the backdrop to this exotic time and location. Again, the perfect soundtrack to my own life at the time.

Like Water for Chocolate not only had my stomach growling, but the background of the Mexican Independence and Pancho Villa, had me seriously motivated to learn more about Mexican food and cooking. The distinct regions of Mexico with their unique flavors were highlighted in this movie [in Spanish only] and I will tell you after seeing the movie, I immediately went out and bought Mexican Hot Chocolate!

And finally, I've included a bonus suggestion A Room with a View, the most lush movie that brought to life the English countryside and Firenze, Italy. I probably saw that movie a dozen times and each time, fell in love with Florence a little more. I remember thinking that I would have gladly lived in a corset, had frizzy hair, even give of my 21st century lifespan - if it meant I could travel to Florence and live there for all those months in such style.

Enjoy the list, and next I will give you a list of the best soundtracks to travel with!

Ten Movies to Inspire You to Travel
  1. Out of Africa
  2. Year of Living Dangerously
  3. Casablanca
  4. Raiders of the Lost Ark
  5. Murder on the Orient Express
  6. Lost in Translation
  7. Mediterraneo
  8. Like Water for Chocolate
  9. The Four Seasons
  10. The Motorcycle Diaries
  11. Bonus: A Room with a View

October 19, 2008

Winter Getaways: South Lake Tahoe

It is that time of year again....too bad I'll never look like this image, even at my best. And good thing helmets are popular on the slopes.

photo: sfcphotography.com

October 16, 2008

Island of the Dragons

Enjoy this short video of nature and fire! I get inspired when I see footage like this because I always imagine what is happening underwater when I visit Hawaii and when I contemplate learning how to scuba! Two minutes in you will begin to see dragons....

October 13, 2008

Stylish Travel Tip: Glasses on a chain

Eyeglasses and sunglasses are expensive. Trust me, I know. I have been a wearer of prescription versions for decades. Therefore, if you are like me and like to invest in a good pair, then you want to keep your odds low of losing them anytime soon. Especially when you travel. It isn't like you will be able to hop into the car and pick them up at the lost and found, if say, you leave them in a Scottish B&B but you live in San Diego, California.

I recently discovered [thank you Teri @ WSJ.com] a very cool website with chic and very well-priced chains to hold your glasses. They sell other stylish items but I was immediately taken by how cute the chains are! I'm loving that they include a little mini face at the bottom of each screen to show you which chains work best with the shape of your face.

Don't tell because I'm looking at these for some stocking stuffers this year, but the animal print eyeglass cases are cute and what a bargain!

image: peeperspecs.com

October 10, 2008

San Francisco Bay

The San Francisco Bay this weekend is the place to be if your favorite movie was Top Gun or for the older crowd, Cinderella Liberty.

Fleet Week is in town and later today is another show of the world famous Blue Angels warming up for the big weekend display.

Cruising on the bay is going to be best spot to view the jets as they fly over our fair city. If you can't get to the pier in time, here are other top spots to watch with all free except for the posh Carnelian Room/Bankers Club:

  • Mount Sutro
  • De Young Museum Copper Tower (free to the public)
  • Bankers Club in the Bank of America Building (though need a membership to book lunch)
  • Marina Green
  • Great Meadow at Fort Mason
  • Chrissy Field

Photo: sfcphotography.com

October 8, 2008

Travel Tips: Classic Trench coats

Everyone knows I love to pack light. That is the best reward when I travel. Capturing a few solid photos and wearing every single item in my bags. One of the top items I love to take along is a trench coat or as the Brits call them, macs or mackintosh.

The image here is of a young actress on Gossip Girl, a new version of teen angst melodrama. It is nice to see that the classic style of a trench is still popular with young people today.

My favorite is Burberry and given that we just had London Fashion Week, you should check out this great site for ideas of finding your own!

October 6, 2008

Amazing Race is here!

The new season of this Emmy award show has begun and the teams flew to Brasil first. This makes me happy in that a very dear friend [Sweet Lu!] and former neighbor is from Sao Paulo - and we are happy her country gets a shout out and is shown here in the US on a great show like the Amazing Race. Obrigado! Eu adoro Brasil.

..here is a clip from episode one from the new season:

October 5, 2008

Atlamont Pass Wind Power

Clean energy now! I don't believe the slogans or commercials about oil drilling off our coasts and nuclear power being viable alternatives to increase energy sources.

I like windmills, and I would really like to see an increase in solar power. Those seem to be under-funded energy alternatives for me. I'd also like to see more community college level classes related to jobs in these areas.

photo credit: sfcphotography

October 4, 2008

Half Moon Bay in the fall

Half Moon Bay is gearing up for its famous art and pumpkin festival [Oct 18-19]. Though the area may not have as big of a showing of leaves changing colors as you may get in New England, you will get a sweet crisp air temperature and lots of crafts to satisfy your Christmas list needs.

If you decide to drive down Highway 1 from the city, this beautiful coastline is what you can expect.

The Moss Beach Distillery after you pick out your pumpkin is a great place to grab a bite to eat. Or like me, enjoy a nice cocktail while sitting outside under a blanket.

Photo credit: sfcphotograhy

October 2, 2008

Spark Your Dream

Photo: www.sfcphotography.com

Spark the Dream! I just encountered this couple and their great display at a recent street fair. I loved the photos and definitely put their book on my Amazon Wish List.

Spark your Dream is a true story of personal inspiration that explores the inconveniences and the solutions that are presented at the beginning of a dream. Through this incredible journey the reader will live the risk, the sensation of freedom, the passion, the pain of a death, the birth of a son, frustration, life, and success.

Candelaria and Herman Zapp were selling their book and entertaining folks with their story at the Pacific Coast Fog Fest...read more about it here.
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