Thursday, August 28, 2008

4 Reasons Why Your Kids Really Need Back to School Shoes

1 Summer, 2 Fall, 3 Winter, 4 Spring. Just kidding…..

1.Kids feet grow. They grow fast. The younger they are, the faster they grow! That pair of Nike’s that fit all summer will, indeed, shrink before your eyes. Kids with their tiny feet won’t notice until one day they start pinching. Wearing shoes that are too small for your tiny feet is, well, no fun. No fun at all! They might pinch at the heel or in the toes, or maybe it will dawn on you while huffing and puffing trying to pull on those little pink crocs. No sir… not today! Today it’s time to go out and scope through some discount shoes for children of all ages in the latest styles. Don’t forget to bring the kids!
Q. Should I bring the kids? What if they throw a fit/ get jealous/ beg for something they don’t need?
A. Yes, it’s definitely worth the risk. You want to have their physical foot present for a correct fitting. And while little mama is begging for some mini mouse tap shoes, calmly remind her that she will thank you later for her comfy, practical new back-to-school shoes.
2. The School Year presents a large variety of conditions that calls for you to have a variety of styles around in regards to your kids shoes. Running on the playground, climbing up a tree, stomping through rain puddles, dancing, playing soccer, and going to church. My favorite all purpose fall shoe are Merrils. They have a warm, fuzzy lining like a slipper and the tough, durable, hiking-friendly soles on the bottom. Your kid will never want to take them off, and neither will you! Winter is going to call for warm children’s shoes, so be prepared. That cold weather really sneaks up on us! Soccer cleats, balet shoes, baby birkenstocks? What will this school year require of your children’s tiny little busy feet? And full circle back round to spring, better have the crocs on hand!
3. All the other kids will have new shoes! Okay, don’t dismiss me for a consumerist sell out yet. There IS something really nice and special about that new shoes feeling, am I wrong? It puts a spring in your step and you know it. Your kids will feel special and loved if you open your wallet enough to give them something to excited about wearing on that first day of school… just as you would do the same for yourself on the first day of a new job!
4. Buying your kids shoes is a great excuse to pick up a new pair yourself. Be a responsible consumer and take advantage of a sale now, so that you won’t have to make extra trips back next week. Think about what you really need right now… and go for it ! I was always a minimalist, and since I travel frequently, it doesn’t make a lot of sense for me to have a lot of clothes and shoes to haul around. But when I do come home to change out my wardrobe and visit family, I always find a good use for the shoes I do have. I scored a really cute pair of turquoise and silver sandals myself the other day at Houser Shoes, and I get compliments every time I wear them. But back to the kids. This school year will go by that much more smoothly if you spend wisely on your kids shoes! Get the car seats and juice boxes, we’re getting our tiny feet out of here.

What Makes Lexington Avenue in Downtown Asheville a Stellar Shopping Destination?

If you’ve been looking for a unique shopping adventure, look no further than Asheville, North Carolina’s quirky, classy, eclectic Lexington Avenue, affectionately known to locals as “L.A.” or “The Ave.” When planning your vacation in Asheville, you will want to make plenty of time in your schedule to visit the great outdoors AND get the urban experience! Asheville is a great place for a family vacation, so start getting the kids in shape now for some unforgettable trekking through the glorious fall colors of the Blue Ridge Parkway mountains, gallery walks and casual strolling through the unique, historic downtown area. Take it from me, I am a local! And one of the very few true natives. Every year, more people choose Asheville for a mountain vacation and more people migrate from neighboring states in search of something a little different. On that note, as I type from inside Izzy’s Coffee Den I have a classic view of Lexington Avenue and all its cultural richness. Across the street is Downtown Books and News, one of many treasured local small businesses. There, you can buy, sell, and trade books, new and used. The selection is enormous and very diverse. They carry magazines that are impossible to find elsewhere, ranging in topic from anime comics to great feminist publications to home made D.I.Y. punk rock zines. Next door is Spiritex, a clothing store that carries only sustainable threads (i.e. not made in sweat shops!). I remember buying a hemp mail carrier satchel there, for a trip to Spain and Morocco. Lexington Ave is peppered with unique, independently owned botiques, where you are sure to find one of a kind styles. The Honeypot, for example, carries second hand clothes and locally made clothes from Asheville designers. The Recyclone line is especially funky. Also at the Honeypot you can score feather earrings, vintage shoes, coats, parasols, and jewelry. Speaking of vintage, check out Hip Replacements! Their selection will send you back into the seventies for sure. I trust that you’re happy with the choice you made when selecting your bed and breakfast from the variety of family friendly lodgings that Asheville has to offer, and that you may be ready to head back for a nap by now. But for those cruising on, it’s lunch time. There is a huge variety of international cuisine available on this street. Mela Indian restaurant has great lunch buffet specials, and if a favorite for lunch breakers. Heawa Sushi has a charming, intimate atmosphere with an outdoor patio, and Rosetta’s Kitchen is the all time classic spot for vegan southern style soul food. Don’t even think about leaving town before you try their peanut butter tofu!

Looking for gifts or souveneirs? Scope the local music section at the record shops. Don’t let the punk rockers with pierced faces and panhandling hippies with backpacks and dogs scare you. They are a crucial part of the scenery, and local businesses are very careful of preventing any uncivil activity on their sidewalks and store fronts. Stop in at Izzy’s for a “shot in the dark,” espresso bomb in a cup of coffee. Zing!!! Dinner time brings you to the door of Bouchon, fine French dining with seating in the coolest most behind the scenes courtyard in town! Be sure to stop by the Courtyard Gallery while you’re down there, Thursday and Friday nights they offer multicultural, arts based entertainment.

As for nightlife, definitely check out the listings in the Mountain Express for hip happenings at Bobo’s, the gallery that brought us one of Asheville’s best beer and wine bars and a constant line up of diverse live music, ranging from electronic DJs to jazz groups to middle eastern bands and bellydancers! Also noteworthy is the Emerald Lounge, where you can catch local and regional Bluegrass, Funk, Hip Hop, Reggae, and Jazz bands and DJ’s almost every day of the week. On Fridays and Saturdays, be sure to pop in next door at Rosettas’ for Asheville’s Best Late Night Munchies (as rated by readers of the Mountain Xpress). Did I mention their awesome selection of international and local microbrews and wholesome, vegan sweets? Now the day is complete. Aren’t you glad you have a nice comfy bed waiting for you in a bed and breakfast in walking distance to Downtown? Now that’s good planning. Crash out and get back down here tomorrow before someone else scores that pair of second hand lightning bolt platform glittery golashas!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Imagine How a Safari Vacation to East Africa Could Change Your Life!

You, a modern woman going through the motions of life, handling responsibilities at home, in the office, and in your community, or perhaps already having spent the better part of your life as a caring mother/ wife/ businesswoman, operating in “the grid” of western society in service to others, are realizing that your daily routine has become rather mundane and monotonous. In this moment of clarity, you may daydream about escaping from your life as you know it to travel to an exotic country. As curiosity is kindled in your wandering mind, you may experience a sense of envy for those “free spirits” that seam to roam the earth ready for adventure in any moment. You may think back to childhood fantasies of running away, joining the circus, throwing caution to the wind and jumping on a train headed far, far away.
Darling, there is no doubt about it--you need an African travel vacation.
And you may, at first, think of the family beach house, the same ski lodge, or an over commercialized tropical cruise. You will probably be tempted to bring the whole family, or your husband at least. But why settle for the same old vacation when you could take a African safari, exploring unknown territories beyond even your wildest dreams? Think: open grasslands sprinkled with snarling lions and sauntering giraffes. Elephant spotting, sea kayaking leisurely through the beautiful lakes of East Africa’s national parks, and exotic animal watching , are just some of the many, many activities you might enjoy while on an African safari.

You need to find a good company offering Africa vacations booking, ideally offering private lodging in a small group camp on large private reserves, so that you might get the comfort of luxury travel while all the wildness of Mama African still awaits right outside your cabin door. Excellent options for East African countries to visit for an unforgettable safari adventure include Kenya, gorilla trekking in Uganda or Rwanda; Tanzania, and Zambia. Zambia boasts the three hundred and sixty foot plunge of majestically breathtaking Victoria Falls, one of the seven wonders of the world. This mile wide, thundering cascade is an excellent spectacular to behold during your unforgettable African travel experience.

You will encounter many companies that organize African safaris, and you can contact these companies directly. You want to be sure that you get everything you want from your chosen safari company so that you can simply spend a stress free luxury safari in Africa. Budget is a major concern in African safaris. Depending on your budget, you can search for an appropriate travel company that can provide the right guidance for your safari. It is a good idea to plan your African safari according to your age and health condition. This is especially important if you are in a group safari. Older women might want to avoid booking a safari with a company that serves the needs of a younger clientele, and if you might want to check and make sure the group you are going with has similar maturity level and similar desires and destination goals. There are so many countries to visit, yet so much diversity within each country. You want to make sure your safari company is dedicated to your immersion in everything Africa; you don’t want to miss a beat when it comes to the various landscapes, native populations, and exotic animal species that African safari can offer you a chance to see.