Sunday, September 9, 2012

Piggy Love - VBG's Favorite Things (Fall edition)

Which part of the body works hardest and gets the least love??
 FEET, of course

They carry us everywhere yet we mistreat and hide them in smelly, sometimes ill formed shoes.  Too often the only rest these weary ones get is during sleep. As summer comes to a close, here are VBG's ideas for pampering, gear and maintenance for your piggies.

Of all the body treatments, I love none more than pedicures

I didn't come to this realization soon enough. It just happens that a decade ago, I started a new job and I sat next to this really sweet and sorta wild gurl, Be. For reasons unknown, she found it incredulous that I'd never had a pedicure and was relentless in her mission to make sure my untouched feet in the "spa sense" did not remain so for long.  Just to get her off my back, I acquiesced and have never looked back. For a bit we were getting monthly pedis but the arrival of little people (her), crunched schedules (us), and a move across state lines (me) put an end to that. Now we only seem to get together for our birthday pedi-lunch celebration every August.  And now I'm the incredulous one when I hear a woman admit to not having experienced a pedicure. I mean seriously what's not to like about having your feet soaked, massaged, cuticles and nails trimmed, then having your toes painted pretty colors? I will be your BFF for a good foot massage. Ladies if you haven't done it  yet - get thee to a nail salon asap, forgo a weekly hair visit and wear a hat an extra week if you must but do give your feet some lovin'.

Now, let's talk footgear ladies aka shoes (and sneakers) - funny how that one word can get almost any woman's attention. The word breasts works the same way on men :)  I have big feet. I'm pretty sure I was born with them.  There is a pic of me when I was two and my feet were the biggest things on me. And to make matters worse when I was pregnant with the Wunderkind my feet grew a whole size and as is often the case they did not got back to their pre-pregnancy size.  Finding shoes that are both fashionable and fit properly has been challenging for the better part of my life but that all changed about 6 years ago (the move to Smallville has been good for us in so many ways). One day I stumbled on the website - which claims to be the world's largest site for shoes.  Okay, so you can't get the red soled Christian Louboutins there but do you actually know anyone who wears them? Plus they offer tax free shopping, free shipping and returns and almost always have a promo running. About 2 years ago I fell in LOVE with a brand called Walking Cradles (WC). Talk about walking on a cloud - I haven't done it but I can imagine Walking Cradles is pretty damn close. I have several pairs. With the exception of summer sandals, my go to shoe is Caden. A smart looking mule that works equally well for office or casual dress but unfortunately has yet to become  available in blue.
The WC website sells Caden for $94, Shoebuy for $84 and with a recent back to school 20% promo offer I paid just $68!  The wunderkind recently got a pair of much desired (for her) Minnetonka brand moccasins as well. Give Shoebuy a try, if you hate them send them

So last year when I decided to do the Baltimore Half Marathon, my bestie Teri, urged me get properly fitted for sneakers. I resisted because I was certain they'd recommend $300 for sneakers and as I was the newly unemployed there was not chance of that happening! So I toughed it out until I couldn't stand it anymore - the more miles I logged, the more my feet and legs hurt afterward. So off I went Road Runner Sports.  They have the Shoe Dog program where you walk or run on a tread mile, your  gait is videotaped and diagnosed.  They'll recommend shoes based on the findings and even mold insoles if you need them. Last year I left with a pair of Brooks Addiction (best for stability) for me and the Wunderkind got some new sneaks and insoles for field hockey practice, she wears cleats for games. I paid a little more than $200 for both pairs, the insoles and an accessory. I could tell the difference from the first wear and was so pleased with my choice. The staff mentioned that sneakers/runnig shoes should be replaced about every 400 miles so this summer when the bottoms of my feet hurt after exercising, I knew it was time. I went back and asked for the exact same shoe and they happily sold me the newest version.  However this time, I felt no relief in my new gear when I went on a 4 mile morning walk, it was as if I was wearing old shoes. So back to RRS I went. Now here's the second best thing about Road Runner, or it may be first for you - you can return any shoe up to 90 days after purchasing and yes of course that means after you've worn them!! In my case we decided to do a Shoe Dog fitting repeat. Not much had changed in my feet over the last 12 months but the manufacturer had tweaked the shoe to add more control and my dogs didn't like it one bit. I tried on several brands and of course the ones that fit like a glove were the most expensive.  Regardless, I was not about to let $25 stand between me and foot bliss. It's been a month and I could not be happier with my prized Mizuno Wave Nirvana.  They are the sneaker equivalent of walking on a cloud. As for the price, my sneakers last close to a year months so I consider the $130 an investment to keep me physically active. I LOVE these shoes and can hardly wait for my morning walk! 


Earlier this Summer, I had a little lucky streak (let's hope it continues) with some contests. Among the booty was basket of these Deep Steep gems for the feet. I was tickled pink and peppermint! Since responsibilities dictates that I often have longer than ideal intervals between pedicures, I make the effort to pamper my feet in the interim - a lot. A pumice scrub bar during my morning shower is a near daily occurrence, then I moisturize lavishly.  I do this again before bed most nights. Their foot cream is thick and rich - full of shea butter, not petroleum and gets the job done.

Peppermint is especially refreshing to the feet and skin. You all know, I swoon over pure and naturally derived products and this line was new to me but having tried it, I'd definitely buy it.  Just this week, these products came to my rescue when during an evening walk my ankles were ravaged by mosquitoes. I used the foot polish to scrub the bites and the peppermint oil in it and the foot spray really soothed the itch for the entire night.  

I hope I convinced you that those little piggies will take you dancing, to market and all the way home but if you don't treat em right you'll be crying wee, wee, wee.  Spread some love to the piggies, you'll be glad you did.

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