Heels That Crafted History

*Disclosure: Guest post by Christine Rudolph.  Opinions are 100% those of the guest post contributor.  Affiliate links are used. Image Source Fashion does not make exceptions for shoes – after all, it’s a $40 billion industry. With every season, we get to see a new breed of all kinds of heels - thin stilettos, satin pumps, black-heel mules, and towering high heels. But as far as the history of high heels is concerned, it takes you back all the way to the 15th century. During those days, heels were not only something associated with only women fashion. There are history pages that talk about Persian men who wore heels, especially while horse riding. As the decades continued, heels were worn and loved by both the genders equally. While high heels have evolved a great deal since … [Read more...]

The Big Three: How to Buy Your Next Car, Truck or SUV

What's the big three? It is the three big question all car buyers should be asking themselves each time they begin their search for their next vehicle. Question 1: Be honest with yourself and your partner (if you have one).  Will you be leasing or buying this vehicle? Do you like to haggle and strike a deal?  Before you even begin to do your research you have to know how much money you can spend each month on a car payment.  Do you have money for a down payment or will you be trading in a vehicle?  These answers can all affect the price of your next car, truck or SUV. For us, we will be buying our next SUV and plan to own it for the about ten plus years.  That's a long time to many people in the car world today.  While I know our budget has to be under a certain amount I do try to … [Read more...]

How ‘A New Day’ at Target Gave Me Unicorn Pants

Last week I found myself back at the old bullseye also known as Target for what felt like the billionth time in weeks.  Yes, we needed more school supplies (Dear, middle school you can stop now with all the per class special requests) and some items for the girls' new fall activities.  Wouldn't you know it also gave me time to check out the 'A New Day' line in the Target women's department? And there on a rack chocked full of boring black and navy dress pants I found what is now referred to as my "Unicorn Pants".  I swear, I was only looking and not planning to buy.  But then, well, unicorn pants. How do I describe these pants?  They are incredibly soft to the touch.  They look dressy but can be dressed down too. They are a small but sentimental nod to our old life in the … [Read more...]

How the 2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata Re-Energized Me

Can you teach an old dog new tricks?  Last week the Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring RF answered that age old question for me. Source: Victoria Mason What's Old is New At this point in my life, I have been driving for 25 years.  Yikes! That's three years less than the age of the Mazda MX-5 Miata. But, I had a secret and it was really starting to get to me. I couldn't drive stick.  Nope, only automatics for me.  I had tried to learn years ago when I first got married but deployments got in the way and we never owned another manual car again after that desert stint.  I write about cars and I couldn't drive stick.  How sad is that? How embarrassing! When the 2017 Mazda MX-5 also known to most as the Miata drove up to my driveway I knew things had to change.  I was going to use this … [Read more...]

Velvet Crush

I'm back and I have a velvet crush.  It's been awhile, hasn't it?  I swear the end of summer was like some sort of sprint with lots of travel and trying to get over the Lyme disease hump. Labor day has come and gone and I am officially ready for fall.  Cooler temps, morning runs and getting into a routine.  I've tossed so much from my closet and I'm making room for some gorgeous pieces including a few velvet items which are trending big time for fall and winter.   Velvet Crush by victoriamason featuring grey accent pillows Knotted Velvet Srunchie/Velvet Skater Dress (similar)/Kensie Jeans Velvet Bomber/Asymmetrical Velvet Dress/Velvet Pillow (similar)/Topshop Velvet Hoodie (similar)/Quilted Velvet Pillow/Esprit Velvet Scalloped Odette Ballet Flats/Madden Beez Flat/Urban … [Read more...]

2 Ways the 2017 Toyota Land Cruiser Help Us Create a Summer to Remember

Sunrise on the beach with the 2017 Toyota Land Cruiser. Source: Victoria Mason Toyota loves to say, "Let's go places!" And that's exactly what we did with the 2017 Toyota Land Cruiser with its V8 engine and 4WD this summer. We did a lot of traveling and spent a great deal of time together as one big family unit, especially during the month of August.  It was as if we were really feeling the waning days of summer and wanted to chase after them, even if it meant we had to get in the car and drive for hours on end to do so. I'm talking to you eclipse traffic. The Land Cruiser is part of those memories because it gave us the ability to do exactly what we wanted without sacrificing comfort or safety at any point during our two trips.  First, when we were northbound to Bethany Beach, DE … [Read more...]

Safety Tips for Exercising Outdoors

The outdoors makes me happy, and, when working out, I typically aim for activities that take me out of the house. Indoors simply feels too restricting, too full of technology and distractions. Outside means freedom, sunshine and the fresh air…and so much space to explore. If I could, I would climb boulders and hike on the daily. But, unfortunately, I live in the ‘burbs. So seeking out prime hiking spots—and those fantastic rocks—means quite a trip. But there are still a few good hiking trails and walking paths not far from home. A daily dose of exercise is optimal for good health, and the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that “adults aged 18–64 should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week or do at least 75 minutes of … [Read more...]

Back to School with the Shopbop App

"You gotta go back, back, back to school again!" Thanks to my husband who introduced Grease 1 & 2 to our kids earlier this summer, this song has been on an almost constant earworm loop in my head the last few weeks. And so while I've been working on and off as best that I can and dealing with more Lymes disease fall out (over it? YESSSS, ma'am!) I have been doing most of my back to school shopping for the kiddos online.  And I was fine.  FINE! And I was fine.  FINE! The itch to buy me some fall clothes hadn't hit yet.  I was good with my summer dresses and shorts and tees.  My rompers and swimsuits suited me just fine.  FINE! Then the Shopbop App happened.  And I saw image after image of items that just beckoned to me. Clothing from Ksenia Schnaider and Baum Und … [Read more...]

Reclaim Your House After Kids Go Back To School

*Guest Post by Tracy McCubbin, Founder, dClutterfly.   It’s the most wonderful time of the year -- time to send the kids back to school and reclaim your household!  After a summer of camps and goofing around inside, your house may need a little tough love to get back into shape for the fall.  Research shows that the average American home has 300,000 items in it, and back-to-school is the perfect time to get rid of the ones that you don’t need anymore. As the kids head back to school and you take the steps to get your house back and order, I’m sharing ten of my favorite tips and tricks to declutter and organize your home this fall:   Pull out all the homework and artwork from the previous school year. Before the onslaught of this school year’s homework and … [Read more...]

Cruising in a Five Passenger Crossover with the 2017 Mazda CX-5

It is not often that I get to review a car that I like multiple times over the years. It is fun to see the changes that occur in technology and design. It is, even more, fun to see a good car get better over time. That's what I see with the 2017 Mazda CX-5. 2017 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD in Soul Red. Source: Victoria Mason First Impressions I wasn't initially supposed to have the CX-5 but a small issue with my intended car brought this five-passenger crossover SUV back into my life and driveway.  I have always loved this car in years past and this time was no different. The 2017 model is redesigned.  That shows in the more upscale interior styling and with the Grand Touring (tested model) a few standard extras like, forward collision warning and mitigation, lane keeping … [Read more...]