Ask for Help

“If you learn anything… please learn to ask for help. It is a sign of wisdom and strength.” – David Skorton, Cornell University President

This quote came today via Twitter and it something that I feel needs to be shared.

I can’t go to far into it, because it is not my story to tell, but someone I know has hurt themselves.  They may not be with us much longer and it’s just now sinking in.  I was sitting here eating my lunch and yet something in the world has changed.

I thought I knew how I felt about suicide.  I had a perspective.  A perspective that was solely mine.  I never thought to much about how the people left behind felt.  I figured there would be sadness and confusion but I’ve seen people at a complete loss.  Devestated.  Blaming themselves.

I don’t have a great insight.  I haven’t processed the change and come out with a profound thought.  I just know that something I couldn’t fathom has occurred and now we are are left to cope and try to figure it all out and try to go on.

If you are even thinking about harming yourself or think someone else may, please use the resources here to speak with someone.

My Site, My Rules

I was about to write a post about self-esteem and feeling good but that’s going to be postponed while I vent about an advertiser/PRFAIL.

I think it’s going around but I’ve been receiving a few advertiser requests recently including requests to be “guest writers” on my site, embedding links, link exchanges etc. Currently I have minimal advertising on my site. The few that I do have are through Project Wonderful and I’ve been using the money mainly for things like donations. The links I have on my site are sites that I go to almost every day or that I shop with frequently. I almost always reject a request to swap links. I have done product reviews but those are always positioned as such to maintain transparency.

But I am open to working with companies if the fit is right. I have had sites ask if I wanted to review or try their products but it wasn’t a good fit so I politely told them no and why. I don’t write this site to generate a ton of money. I write it because it is my hobby, I have fun with it and I love the people I connect with. I spend a lot of time on the site trying to do as good a job as possible to educate and entertain. My new position this year was if a company asked for a link exchange or other request, I told them when was and was not available on my site in the way of advertising opportunities.

So when a company contacts I expect them to be respectful of the years of work I’ve put into this site. Why else would they be interested in advertising on here. I also expect them to be respectful of me as a person and to act professionally in their communication with me.

However, I just went through a very curt exchange of emails with company representative.

Their first email to me was:

I’ve been trying to promote a /// site by writing articles and putting up links.

I was wondering if you would be open to having me write a guest blog entry or have a link on one of your pages as a referral to my site. Even turning a word or two in one of your blog posts into a link to my site would helpful.

Let me know how we can make this work.

Seems okay so far. A bit assuming there at the end. I responded with the following information:

Thank you for your interest. Site links are a part of the right hand navigation . This navigation is consistent on all pages of the site. The pricing structure of the site is as follows:

Monthly – $xx
Six months – $xxx
One year – $xxx

A sponsored post or embedded link is something that I would need to review and approve the proposed content prior to agreement. The cost for this is the same for each scenario and is $xxx.

If there is other information you need or if you are interested in a different opportunity, please let me know. I am happy to work with you in a way that will achieve your goals.

I created rates which I felt were fair and consistent with other similar sites but gave breaks based on longer term agreements. Here’s the response I got back:

Sorry, your sites only a PR2, it’s not worth that much. If you have another site let me know.

Thanks anyway for your time.

Now I may be “small-time” (not sure if that PR is accurate but whatevs) but wow, did I feel insulted. There was no negotiation, just a quick kick to the curb. I had not even had an opportunity to check them out to see if they were someone I wanted to work with.

As I stated above, I’m not getting rich off this site. I’m not trying to. But I’m not going to subject my readers to sites and companies that don’t make any sense either. I’m not going to put link to companies I wouldn’t shop with. I want to work with great companies. I want bring great sites and products to the attention of everyone. And that’s not going to happen with rude and unprofessional behaviour.

SD Review: Johnston & Murphy Virginia Boots

Sometimes it takes me a while to warm up to something. I resisted espadrilles and open-toe shoes for ages. Now I’m not sure if I could live with out them. It’s not that I’m closed minded; it’s more like I’m very particular.

One footwear item that I didn’t realized how much I loved and needed until fairly recently was the flat boot. I’ve always preferred the heeled knee-high boot. I have them in several colors but about two or three years ago I really started noticing how much I liked the look of the flat boot, especially with tucked in jeans.

But there was a problem with this. First, finding the right jeans. I’ve really liked the matchstick jeans from JCrew for this. But then the boots. Buying knee-high boots can be pretty problematic. It adds another layer of complexity to my shoe shopping challenges. Not only do I need it to fit my small foot, but also my calf. I do not have straight calves. Many years of English dressage horseback riding and jumping lessons have given me muscular curvy calves. For some reason shoe companies think if you wear a small size shoe then naturally you have equally small calves. The diameter of the boot shaft will increase as the foot size does even though they are not really related.

Suffice it to say, I’ve been searching for the right flat boot.

When Johston & Murphy contacted me to let me know they were launching a footwear line for women (in addition to their men’s line), I was very excited to try them out.

First I want to express my appreciation of the lovely and thoughtful and clever package they sent me.

They sent me all of their images digitally which was a smart way to ensure I receievd their information without clogging up my email!

But on to the boots, right!?!
They sent me the Virginia boots in black.

These boots are perfectly soft and clean-lined but with a great texture.

You’re going to see I was totally smitten with the back zipper and snap tabs because I took a million pictures of them from this angle.

I love the brass hardware and the tabs so much. The shoe is very simple but gives off this strong, feminine yet kick-ass kind of vibe.


Almost military but still dressy enough for skirts.

I have been wearing flat boots and jeans all winter but I am loving the look of flat boots with dresses for spring. They are not going away.

While these boots were from the Autumn line, Johnston & Murphy has put out an adorable collection for spring.

They have clothes and accessories too but you have to check out the new shoes. I love the Carmen ankle strap wedge and the Paige red patent driving mocs.

Keep an eye on these folks. They are doing really cute looks and the quality, from what I’ve seen, is great.

Thanks Johnston & Murphy, for letting me test them out!

More Sad News

After the sad news of Mr. McQueen it was and still is unknown how the company will be moving forward. For all of his fans it means many of his beautiful creations will be unrealized. That we will not be able to bring home a piece of his vision.

From the Spring/Summer 2010 collection I was enamored with the Titanic Ballerina pumps. I had still held out hope that this collection would be made. I felt it was one of the best lines so I reached out to the McQueen corporate group to find out.

Per their response:

Thank you for your interest in Alexander McQueen.

Unfortunately these shows will not be going into production.

Kind regards,

Alexander McQueen Online Assistance

I don’t know if they will make a few for celebrities or not. While I understand why this would be, it is sad to know that his work will not be out there in the world.

Ensemble du Jour – Valentine’s Day at Bergdorf’s

I can’t believe I’m still putting up pictures from New York which was, yes, last month. Slack!

This past Fashion Week happened to fall on Valentine’s Day as well. Sadly, I was away from home but I did take the time out to partake in one of my favorite things… afternoon tea.

And just a quick education – Afternoon Tea is the tea where you have tiny sandwiches, scones and pastries while High Tea is served later and was/is more of the evening meal for the “common” folk. It is a common mistake but one that drives me crazy!

I knew that Bergdorf’s had an Afternoon Tea service but had never been. When I found out they were doing a special service for Fashion Week, I had to go.

The view was lovely. I’ll have to go back in Summer or Spring when all the trees are not so bare.

The service was lovely and the tea was very cute including sugar cookies in the shape of a shoe and pink pastries.

To tea I wore a dress from Anthropologie. It’s black with an intricate black and yellow bodice and and a full yellow tulle underskirt.

I picked up a pair of bright yellow wrist-length gloves to match.

I paired the dress up with polka-dot stockings and my Aerosole silver buckle heels.

A girly outfit perfect for an indulgent girly afternoon at one of my favorite stores.

Caught Unawares

I was clearing out my inbox when I was stopped in my tracks by this ad from YOOX. Not because of the free shipping offer….

… I immediately honed in on those SHOES!!! I wasn’t looking for them but I had to have them!

Viktor & Rolf black and white graphic peep-toe heels.

I think I snagged the last pair of the pumps but there is a cool sandal version left in a size 8 on there too.

While we’re on the subject let’s chat about YOOX. I love them to death but they overwhelm me. I don’t have hours to sift through the site. I’m sure there are more treasures to be found but when you have 80+ pages of shoes that are available in my out-of-the-norm size you know there is a lot of product.
I don’t use YOOX to look for something specific. I like to just browse and be surprised and delighted but I can’t. They only show a maximum of 30 items on a page and it drives me crazy! Their iPhone app is even worse. You see 10 at a time and then when you click to see product details and go back, you are at the beginning again. Grrr!

Dear YOOX, I want to shop with you more but you are just not user-friendly. Please let me see a few hundred a page and I will spend more time on your site.

Thank you!