Travel Series: Best Shoes for City Walking

 

KARMA2

Before heading out on my last trip, I completely panicked and worried about what footwear to  bring.  Not necessarily because of trying to look fashionable (although that’s always a concern) but because I didn’t want blisters or back pain!

Years ago when I went to New York City for Fashion Week, I wore the most uncomfortable shoes to walk in. Not only did my back hurt at the end of the day but I had pain in my hips and blisters all over my feet that required multiple trips to Duane Reade for band-aids and blister care!

I ended up wearing cheap flip flops which weren’t much  better by way of support.

Now if I know I’m going to be on my feet a lot, I look for shoes that have support…and if you have ever sought out cute shoes that offer support, you know its like finding a unicorn. Not easy!

Let’s get right down to it. Here’s what has worked for me. 

I discovered the brand Ahnu Karma while searching Google for comfortable shoes with support.. These caught my eye right away. I love the look of a modified Mary Jane, I also like my toes and heels to be covered if I am walking on a city street.

karma3

I really love these, they have decent support in the foot bed, are very comfortable and bonus! – there are adjustable velcro straps. The actual shoe is flexible so you can exercise easily in them.  They look cute with casual sundresses, jeans, shorts…they are also flattering to the leg.

I put them to the test with a lot of walking and standing and they held up very well. They are light to pack which is a necessity when you are going on vacation and trying to pack as much as you can!

The way these shoes are designed is to cradle the foot, support the foot bed and provide comfort in the toe-bar area. Its astounding that such a simple shoe can provide so much comfort and stability.

I highly recommend the Ahnu Karma brand of shoe, they have a variety of styles to pick from which you can see here. 

Here are my other picks for city walking/vacation (photos are all mine from various places)

12015 summer 131

Walking Long Distances

I have owned a pair of  Birkenstocks for a long time and have worn them all over New York City. I dislike having dirty feet…and walking in a city in open sandals, its guaranteed that you will end up with dirty feet.  BUT. These, although not the cutest and most feminine shoes, support my feet and hips, lower back and legs.

I was able to do a lot of walking in the Birkenstocks and I have to admit, these are extremely comfortable. I wouldn’t wear these with a dress or skirt but with shorts or cuffed jeans, they don’t look too bad.

And sometimes, having comfy feet trumps looking cute. Good thing “ugly” shoes are in this season!

3PA889

Lots of Walking/Running

Nike Free sneakers are very comfortable and don’t give me blisters, I basically bought these, wore them and never turned back.

I need more arch support than what these give but the simple black and white style works with quite a bit of clothing. I can work out in these and also walk around a city in the them making them ideal for packing.

Wear with yoga pants, shorts, jeans- basically anything but a skirt or dress. My favorite is a tank top, cuffed jeans and my Nike sneakers. These hold up well and last forever.

3PR664

Light Support, East to Pack

TOMS are my go-to for very light, very comfortable and easy to pack shoes. I like them with jeans and I tend to wear them at the airport because you can slip them off and on in seconds. I wear sock-liners like these when I wear my TOMS. 

While I don’t think TOMS are great for walking long distances, I did wear these all over San Francisco and didn’t have achy feet or a sore back.

I like the special TOMS that come from Nordstrom, for some reason they seem to be made with a little more care and are sturdier than the other TOMS.

22015bermuda509

Moderate Walking

Born Crown Vintage sandals are very well made, are soft and easy to walk in. While I wouldn’t walk excessively in them, I have strolled around in them with no blisters or pain.

The gladiator style I have in my closet is cute with skirts, shorts and jeans. For a little walking and shopping, they are perfect. Born shoes have a great reputation and I’ve had mine for a few years and barely show any wear and tear.

Light Walking

I love a ballet flat and the Felicia style from Sam Edelman gets an A+ from me.  If you aren’t walking much- maybe a block or so, or getting from a hotel into a car, these are great. I have worn mine out for a day of shopping and walking around with no problems.

They do not have arch support so if you are spending a day on your feet strolling around, I would point you to the Ahnu Karma or Birkenstock shoes.

12015 summer 320

Light to Moderate Walking

Goes with almost everything, looks good, wears well and lasts for years…maybe even looks better when older than new, I’m talking about Converse All Stars.

I love these and have worn them frequently over the years. They don’t go out of style and where ever I am, they seem ideal with jeans and a tee shirt.  They are also pretty convenient to pack in a suitcase.

I recommend Converse (I also really like VANS) for light walking. I always wear little socks, like the ones I pointed out in the TOMS feature above.  By light walking, I mean strolling for an hour around a city, maybe walking around the zoo for a few hours. They keep feet covered and protected and are not too thin on the bottom so you won’t feel every stone and pebble through the bottom of the shoe.

They do not offer much arch, toe, or foot bed support so if you plan on doing a lot of intense walking, its probably better to bring out the Birkenstocks or sneakers.

What are your favorite shoes for city walking?

The Movie You Need to Watch Right Now

This weekend, I finally watched The Human Experiment. I had been aware of this movie when it first came out but it didn’t play anywhere around where I live. But finally, I saw it available on Netflix and watched it.

This movie is a must-see if you are concerned about chemicals in your products. A really well done movie that held my interest from beginning to end. This should  be required viewing for every single person who is old enough to grasp the concept that chemicals are wrecking our health.

I was surprised at the statistics and facts presented, especially about cancer and autism which are on the rise. How can we avoid diseases? Why does the USA allow so many chemicals in our products while the same toxins are banned in other countries?

The Human Experiment is on Netflix right now and you can learn more by going here.

Reading Check-In, What’s On Your Bookshelf?

 

BLACKOUT

Here’s a memoir not to miss, Sarah Hepola’s Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget. Wow, what a memoir of a young woman’s struggle with alcohol.

Sarah writes about her adventures in drinking…specifically the fact that long periods of time went  missing from her recollection when she brought out the alcohol.

Her drinking began way back when she was a young girl, experiencing the thrill of a forbidden beer. And things just grew more complicated from there. It got to the point where Sarah couldn’t function without drinking to the point of excess. She landed herself in precarious situations with questionable men- reading this book, I hoped nothing serious happened to her.

This book is more than a memoir- its a captivating story of a young woman trying to navigate through life.  Sarah writes with humor, a difficult feat when your life story is pretty sobering- no pun intended there.

rome

Anita Hughes writes really good books and I especially love how she details the gorgeous settings and fancy clothes! Her novels are the perfect escape from every day life. I find myself right there in exotic locations, wearing fancy clothes.

Rome In Love features actress Amelia Tate, in Rome filming a remake of Roman Holiday. She befriends a real-life princess named Sophie, a young woman flying under the radar before her arranged marriage. In the hotel in Rome, Amelia discovers, hidden in the antique desk in her room,  a series of letters written by Audrey Hepburn while she was filming the original Roman Holiday.

While professionally things are great, personally Amelia is having a crisis. She meets Phillip, a struggling journalist and forges a relationship with him but each of them are hiding big secrets. A promising relationship is built on lies.

I am almost done with this novel and I enjoy every single page of Anita’s writing. I cannot wait for her next novel, where will she whisk us away next!?

Also on my radar and on my TO READ list are these books:

Somebody I Used To Know by David Bell

When Nick Hansen sees the young woman at the grocery store, his heart stops. She is the spitting image of his college girlfriend, Marissa Minor, who died in a campus house fire twenty years earlier. But when Nick tries to speak to her, she acts skittish and rushes off.

The next morning the police arrive at Nick’s house and show him a photo of the woman from the store. She’s been found dead, murdered in a local motel, with Nick’s name and address on a piece of paper in her pocket.

Convinced there’s a connection between the two women, Nick enlists the help of his college friend Laurel Davidson to investigate the events leading up to the night of Marissa’s death. But the young woman’s murder is only the beginning…and the truths Nick uncovers may make him wish he never doubted the lies.

*

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald

Broken Wheel, Iowa, has never seen anyone like Sara, who traveled all the way from Sweden just to meet her pen pal, Amy. When she arrives, however, she finds that Amy’s funeral has just ended. Luckily, the townspeople are happy to look after their bewildered tourist—even if they don’t understand her peculiar need for books. Marooned in a farm town that’s almost beyond repair, Sara starts a bookstore in honor of her friend’s memory.

All she wants is to share the books she loves with the citizens of Broken Wheel and to convince them that reading is one of the great joys of life. But she makes some unconventional choices that could force a lot of secrets into the open and change things for everyone in town. Reminiscent of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, this is a warm, witty book about friendship, stories, and love.

*

Hyacinth Girls- A Novel by Lauren Frankel

Thirteen year old Callie is accused of bullying at school, but Rebecca knows the gentle girl she’s raised must be innocent. After Callie is exonerated, she begins to receive threatening notes from the girl who accused her, and as these notes become desperate, Rebecca feels compelled to intervene.

As she tries to save this unbalanced girl, Rebecca remembers her own intense betrayals and best-friendships as a teenager, when her failure to understand those closest to her led to tragedy. She’ll do anything to make this story end differently. But Rebecca doesn’t understand what’s happening or who is truly a victim, and now Callie is in terrible danger.

Coloring Hair with eSalon

 

esalon1

 

First and foremost, eSalon is NOT green and clean. While I personally am super conscious of what I put on and in my body, the one area where I have yet to find a a product that is effective, green and clean is home hair color. I had been using Naturtint on and off- I like it but it did tend to dry out my hair.

I’ve been looking for a non-toxic hair color and its been be difficult to find. I just saw EcoColors on Amazon, maybe I will give that a try! Let me know if you have had success with that  brand.

I came across eSalon and figured I’d give it a whirl. On the website, you answer a series of questions about your hair color then eSalon creates a shade tailored to what you want.* It took from Saturday to Thursday to arrive at my house so going to the store and choosing a color would have been a lot quicker. It was also twice as much money than a store brand but cheaper than the salon.

esalon2

I followed the instructions to the T, parting my hair and using plastic clips, taking my time to cover all roots. You apply on hair that is clean but unwashed.

Super easy to use- mix the contents of two different bottles into a bowl and mix. You can also use the bottle but I like a bowl and a brush to apply on to my roots. I think its mixed better this way and you have more control over how much or how little you apply.

Then wait 30 minutes and follow the specific directions to wash out. Note: the chemical scent of this product is very strong! Follow the directions to wash out (the shampoo has sulfates…not good) and apply the conditioner, then rinse and style.

My hair was touched up as if I had gone to the salon, the color blended perfectly although maybe just a tiny bit too light. My hair is soft and looks pretty good.

Would I buy it again? Too soon to say…let’s see how long until until it washes out!

*Supposedly the product is created for each customer based on the answers to the questions. If you load a photo of yourself, they blend the hair color formula tailored to each individual. I have read online that this is not necessarily the case, its more like when you take a picture to Lowes and they scan it into the computer and match colors electronically for a can of paint. There is no color specialist blending your special shade of color just for you despite all labels having your name on them. From what I read, its all computer generated. This may or may not be the case so be aware of this and call or email the company if its a concern to you!*

If you want to color your hair at home, you will probably be fine using a store bought box color like Garnier or L’Oreal Paris. But if you want to experience ordering online from eSalon, go for it.  Best bet: professionally applied haircolor in a reputable salon.

 

Learn About Kypris Beauty Elixirs

KYPRIS057

Have you heard of KYPRIS yet? If not, get ready to learn more about this green, clean, holistic beauty brand.

What you need to know: KYPRIS is a luxurious line of holistic, high performance skin care boasting organic, wild-crafted, and sustainably grown ingredients for gorgeous results and Beauty-Full experiences.

All products contain ingredients that come from nature like essential oils and plant extracts and are certified organic.  You will find Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Kaneka CoQ10  the “gold standard of antioxidant care” plus amino acids, minerals, essential fatty acids and much more, in these stunning products.1kypris2

I tried the three beauty elixirs above, and I am excited to share my thoughts with you!

I am obsessively using the Healing Bouquet, I just love it! The scent is so lovely- fresh floral but not sweet, its  a dose of soothing aromatherapy when you use it.

The Healing Bouquet Beauty Elixir is made for those who have inflamed skin, blemishes, or skin that has been overexposed to sun.  The blend of essential oils allows this product to gently treat skin, soothing ingredients help assist in calming inflammation and antioxidants nurture.  I use this as much as I can for both the healing properties and the gentle, soothing scent.

Because I am a big fan of roses, I reach for the 1,000 Roses Elixir often. I tend to layer these products because they are just so amazing and I want them on my skin as much as possible.  And this smells so wonderful, not too overpowering or sweet, just the lightest whisper of the most pure rose scent.

 

1,000 Roses helps improve skin that has been affected by time and elements- such as hormonal skin conditions and pollution.  This elixir contains the essential oil of 1,000 organic Bulgarian roses! You probably know that roses are rich in nutrients and soothes dry or troubled skin. The use of roses in skincare goes back to 10th century Persia- roses have a long history of treating various skin concerns.

2KYP

Prismatic Array is the lightest in consistency and offers the most gentle scent. It does not contain essential oils so its excellent for those who prefer product without fragrance. While this does have a scent, it is quick to fade once you’ve applied it.

Ideal for sensitive skin, Prismatic Array nourishes, moisturizes and hydrates the skin so its appropriate to use for a wide variety of complexions. I have used this during the day under makeup since it is rather light and absorbs quickly.

I am very impressed with the beauty of  KYPRIS, I highly recommend you visit the website and take a look at their products and learn more about the company. Take special note of the stunning ingredients!

 

By Hello Dollface