Back in the 'view.

You may think Chicago was all fun and games, but believe it or not, I actually was there for work.  I went to give a couple talks, and I'm relieved I got through in one piece, hah!

Anyway, the flight was uneventful; though I was really happy because it was an overbooked flight (they even had to beg some people to take tomorrow morning's flight), but somehow there was at least one seat open, and it was next to me.  So I got two seats to myself the whole way.  Score.

More importantly though, I won the belt of my dreams in an eBay auction.  I was nervous I wouldn't win it because I would be on a plane when the auction ended, and I like to track things all the way to the end to guard against those jerks who snipe auctions at the very end.

I've been looking for a brown, woven-leather belt for a while, and I came * thisclose * to buying this one on, but thank goodness I didn't, because that one costs more than $60 with shipping, and mine only cost about $25 with shipping, and I have to say, it looks like much better quality and is a lovelier color.  Don't say you like the urbn one better, because I will sock you.

This belt will fill so many gaping holes in my wardrobe, I can't even begin to tell you.  See how beautiful it is?  Ah, shameless consumerism.  AND I read through an entire Harper's Bazaar on the plane.

Shoes on the brain.

I apologize in advance to the guys who probably don't care about this sort of stuff.

I can't help it, I have shoes on the brain.  Until very recently, I was feeling quite guilty about the shoes I've been amassing over the last few years.  My dad would always flip out about how many I had.  But then I met a coworker who has an ENORMOUS shoe collection.  I didn't quite believe her, and was like, "how much could 'a lot of shoes' be?" The answer: almost 200 pairs.  And we're talking some serious shoes--Christian Louboutin, Manolos, etc.

Now I don't feel so bad about my paltry 24+ pairs of shoes, most of which I didn't pay more than $40-50 for (some as little as $15).  This means, of course, that I can buy more!  Whee.  Anyway, I could sure use some input from the style-minded:

1. I walked into Therapy on Castro St. today and tried on 'Ashlee' by REPORT.  $66 - 75. Loved them, but I can't decide which color to get: gray, black, tan, or cream?
2. My view of heeled oxfords went from shock/disgust, to grudging respect, and finally to fullblown lust.  Much like many a hollywood romance.  =) If I'm going to spend up to $100 on them tho, I want the perfect pair.  'Perfect' to me, means beautiful contrast detailing, well structured profile, and a heel less than 3".  I found all of these in 'Steppin' by Jeffrey Campbell, but they are $100.  Also found these nice little ones that are a little more modern.  And finally the pair I bought on sale at Nordstrom, 'Frost' by Me Too, for $60.  Which should I keep??
3. These next three sandals are about as close as I'll get to the abominable gladiator-sandal craze that has swept our fair cities.  The 'Athena' sandal from Urban Outfitters, and a twisted T-strap number (pink, or gold?), also from Urban Outfitters.
4. Some Jeffrey Campbell cutout heels that I probably won't get, but don't they look interesting?
5. My humble "wall" of shoes.

I just bought an awesome ring.

I'm not a big jewelry person (I promise I'm not!).  But I have been wanting a smoky quartz cocktail ring for years.  I keep looking on eBay every once in a while for estate rings, but they were usually too expensive, or not quite right. 

I originally wanted an emerald-cut stone, but then I found an oval-cut ring that was too great to pass up.  50 carats!  I can barely comprehend how gigantic that is.  I couldn't get over how shiny it was.  So I bid on it.

Someone tried to outbid me at the last minute.  But they didn't know I was determined, and I took them out like the trash!  Muahaha.

I guess the stone looks a little yellow to be smoky quartz... but oh well.  $30 for a giant cocktail ring sounds okay to me.  And I can always get myself another one, with an emerald-cut stone =D

Yes, please congratulate me.

A month ago, I bought my very first pair of designer jeans, a pretty little denim number by the illustrious Paige.  Normally I would spit in my own eye and scream "SELLOUT!" but rest assured I did not pay full price for them--I paid $89 at Century 21, "New York's best-kept secret," this amazing place where you can get a Linea Pelle belt for $50 (they retail at $200+) and DKNY tights for $5.

Really, the only reason I bought them was not because I really needed a well-fitting pair of jeans (my $25 Gap jeans do me just fine), but because the butt design is so pretty.  I couldn't help it.

Now, we'll see how long it takes before I make the leap to designer handbags.  I think it will be quite a long while, because there are thousands of other things I'd rather spend my hard-earned money on.

Update: Steph Wong took this picture.  She wanted credit for it =D

Which rain boots should I buy?

I know it's warm and summery outside.  Which is exactly why I want to take advantage of new sales on rain boots in anticipation of winter rains.  I am torn between a few cute, $20 options, one $60 "artistic" one and a premium $118 designer one.  Thoughts? I'm leaning towards the:

- Red with white dots
- Hand-drawn looking artist boots for $60
- Gray/white argyle
- Houndstooth

Trend that should die: Gladiator Sandals.

I knew something was up when I was NYC last week and everywhere I looked, there they were.  Gladiator sandals.  How they can be construed as attractive, I have no idea.  They are ugly enough when limited to one's feet, but then somewhere on the ACE train I saw this most HIDEOUS example of the trend, the Chanel Knee-High Gladiator Sandal.  I thought it was a joke.  But clearly, they aren't kidding.