About Enchanted Seashells, Confessions of a Tugboat Captain's Wife

Sometimes he's here, sometimes he's not. What. Ever. I''m married to a tug boat captain who travels the world, while I stay home, waiting and shopping. I'm the mom of a wonderful son we refer to as Angel Boy. I have a background in education, marketing, advertising, and public relations. I've been in a few films, helped my surfer husband with a surf-related radio show, owned a couple small businesses, and co-directed a non-profit organization. I'm and editor and proofreader . I love seashells and rocks, gardening and baking, Hello Kitty, Chanel, and anything sparkly or leopard print. I've been a veg since 1971 and an ardent animal activist.

separated by space and time

5db5e087aa07181994bab5c14a02075a

pinterest.com/frankjklein/heart-chakra-unconditional-love/

separated by space and time

but connected through our hearts

just like the spaces between one word to another

or one sentence to another

we

are

connected.

weareconnected

That’s my secret — or should I say, OUR secret — how we successfully navigate being married to a husband who’s not physically here fifty percent of the year.

Love is timeless

Alone together

Together alone

This.

Love.

Happy ‘cos my tugboat man’s coming home today! Yay!

A Song for You
“But I’ll love you in a place
Where there’s no space and time
I’ll love you for my life”


Versions of “A Song for You”
Which is your favorite?
I think mine is the original by Leon Russell.

Elton John

Whitney Houston
http://youtu.be/7tvxSNyN1ok

Amy Winehouse
http://youtu.be/SX8Sb9zSO1Q

Ray Charles
http://youtu.be/JSlv_n-gBmk

Leon Russell and Friends

The Unbearable Death of a Boy-Man

It’s been  a year since my son’s boyhood friend tragically died in Hawaii from a surfing accident.  His body was never recovered. I wanted to take a moment to remember this bright shiny boy and the joy he brought to everyone he met.

From Kirk's Facebook page

From Kirk’s Facebook page

The loss of a child cannot be fathomed.

Who could ever be prepared for their child to die before them?

There must be endless tears and sorrow and sadness and a forever and unrelenting pain.

For me, it’s a pure and simple matter.

If I never heard my son’s voice again or was never able to wrap my arms around him, I don’t know if I could take another breath.

…On Wednesday, November 13, 2013, Kirk Passmore, 32, a passionate big-wave surfing veteran and Hawaii resident, is presumed to have drowned and as of today his body has not been found.

One minute he was alive, surfing an estimated 20-foot wave at Alligator Rock on Oahu’s North Shore, with an audience of other surfers and photographers.

He dropped into the steep face of the wave before falling over the front of his board and into the water.

The top of the wave crashed over him and witnesses say he surfaced for a brief moment before he was crushed by another wave.

It was the last time anyone saw him.

Although extensive searches have been conducted in the area, he’s been missing since the day of the accident and is presumed drowned.

It was all caught on video.

This is the video of his last wave. Somehow he never made it out alive.

His dad wanted the his final ride shared with as many people as possible.

Maybe you heard about this. Maybe you were watching the news on television and you paid scant attention to the story while you were on the computer or eating dinner.

Maybe you read it on the internet and saw the pictures or the video.

You probably thought to yourself or even said out loud, ” Wow, that’s really sad.”

Kirk Passmore.

Why am I writing about him?

Yes, it’s true that he was someone’s child, brother, friend.

But he was also one of my son’s friends.

They went to school together.

He’s the first of my son’s friends to die.

Kirk had the biggest smile and the reddest hair. Everyone called him “Fanta” or “Red”.

He was one of the many boys I’d chauffeur around, packed like sardines in the back seat, all gangly legs and arms, endlessly stuffing their mouths —  bottomless pits of growing boy bodies– with the cookies and smoothies and other snacks cheerfully provided to everyone who came over.

A carful of boys talking about school, skateboarding; laughing, always smiling, always a thank you for the ride as he slammed the car door.

“See ya, Jason.”

A flash of bright red hair lit the way as he ran up the walkway to his house.

But no more.

I bet for most of these boys – and I still call these thirty-somethings BOYS because to me they will always and forever be “the boys” or “the guys” — my son’s friends from Kelly Elementary, Valley Junior High, and Carlsbad High School — this is their first experience with death and subsequent thoughts of their own mortality.

I feel so bad for his family and his friends who are mourning him with candlelight vigils, surf paddle-outs, tributes, and memorials. 

To honor Kirk, they’re handling their pain with grace and beauty.

One of them, artist Bryan Snyder, created a memorial wall in our town. If you’re ever in Carlsbad, check it out.

Bryan Snyder

Bryan Snyder

Our deepest sympathies go out to Kirk’s family. Our hearts are heavy and we are so very, very sorry for their loss.

The Passmore family released the following statement:

Kirk was born February 11, 1981 in Orem, Utah.  He grew up in Carlsbad, California and graduated from Carlsbad High School in 1999 where he was a member of the school’s surf team for four years.  As a youth, he was active in pop warner football, little league baseball, and basketball but his love was in surfing.

He started coming to Hawaii when he was 14 and was an experienced and expert surfer.  He was not new to big wave surfing, having surfed most of the well-known big wave locations, including Waimea Bay, Sunset Beach, Pipeline and outer reefs on the north shores of Hawaii.  He was a familiar face at Todos Santos off Baja California.  He also surfed Maverick’s in northern California and Puerto Escondido in Mainland Mexico.  He spent 3 years in the southern coast of France.  He moved to the north shore of Hawaii full-time in the spring of 2012.

Kirk was a part owner of Third Stone Surfboards in Waialua, Hawaii and a Manager at Bonzai Sushi in Haleiwa, Hawaii.

He is survived by his mother, Diane Passmore (Orem, Utah), father and step-mother, David and Karey Passmore (Sunset Beach, Hawaii), siblings, Alyson Adams (Highland, Utah); Merrily Roberts (Encinitas, California) and Matthew Passmore (serving an LDS mission in New York, New York).

The family wishes to thank the Coast Guard, the City and County of Honolulu lifeguards and Fire Department who continue the search.

Where Fashion and Function Meet and Marry

There’s so much RIGHT with this.

versaceamaretto

…from a marketing standpoint.

…from a branding standpoint.

…a marriage of two MAJOR brands.

…aspirational and inspirational, quenching my thirst on a couple of levels.

Follow along with the way my brain works, OK?

Do you know Lizzi at Considerings?

She very kindly (after I twisted her arm) shared her amazing recipe for Lebkuchen  — a traditional German cookie — that I plan to bake in honor of the homecoming of my esteemed (German) Professor Angel Boy, also known as the boy/man who can eat more food than anyone I’ve ever known — a Guinness World Record contender – which makes baking and cooking for him a total and complete joy.

The frosting calls for Amaretto, something we don’t normally keep stocked in the Enchanted Seashells liquor cabinet.

After a massive shopping excursion at Trader Joe’s, I walked down the sidewalk (in the same shopping center) to BevMo.

I picked up a small bottle of Amaretto (along with a few other items, as long as I was there, ya know.)

In the center of the main aisle, my eye were drawn to a bright blue box — one of those promotional boxes of booze they feature around the holidays usually boasting a value added option like glasses or a shaker.

Wait, hold on a minnie.

This was DeSaronno Amaretto, but a larger bottle than the one I had in hand, and it was packaged with two pretty glasses.

OK, I didn’t really need more glasses that I’d just end up breaking, BUT I do like a bonus.

Chanel notwithstanding, I am a thrifty gal.

Upon closer inspection, the final affirmation of purchasing perfection was my realization (in slo mo) that the amaretto bottle itself was DRESSED IN VERSACE.

DRESSED IN GIANNI VERSACE.  amaretto11

Picture me doing a double take.

Wha?

Yes! Yes! Yes! A DESIGNER CLOTHED BOTTLE OF BOOZE!

(And only a few dollars more than the naked/undressed/unadorned bottle and THAT satiated my price point.)

Oh HELL YES, I said to myself as I grabbed it off the shelf.

SEASHELLS AND CHERUBS.amareatto16

I’m all verklempt, fanning myself with my shopping list.

OY. VEY.

Come to MOMMA.

A perfect marriage, a perfect union of form and function.amaretto10

A truly  brilliant marketing design.

hello kitty

Water bottle and iron on patch.

I haven’t been THIS excited since my son sent me a water bottle from Yale that featured Hello Kitty.

At the time, I thought THAT was the pinnacle of marketing heaven.

Backstory: Versace and I have a sad history.

When tugboat man and I were newly married, his father and stepmother gave me a Christmas present in a beautiful brilliantly white Versace bag with the iconic lion. Read all about my disappointment HERE @
Lesson #1. Never do this to your daughter-in-law. Ever.

The only Versace I own is that white bag.

Up until now, that is.

Now I have a stylishly dressed up bottle of booze.

Life is good, y’all!

P.S. I have the world’s worst in laws — world’s WORST. The Versace bag incident was the tip of the iceberg. It’s been downhill ever since. I have NO IDEA how my tugboat man turned into such a wonderful, loving, caring human with ‘rents like that. Truth.

Not Kegel… But a KUGEL-icous Recipe for Thanksgiving

Sounds like Kegel, but it’s not.

It’s KUGEL!

Another carb-filled recipe for holiday entertaining!

And why not? Carbs are awesomely satisfying  — once in a while — tugboat man and I don’t eat like this very often, but everyone LOVES my Kugel!.

This is not a vegan recipe, but it’s delicious, and my son and DIL request it every year for Thanksgiving and Hannukah. To vegan-ize it, just delete the eggs.                                                                                                             

What IS Kugel?

Kugel is a savory or sweet pudding of potatoes or noodles usually served as a side dish. It’s of German/Jewish origin.

Our family’s traditional Kugel is the sweet noodle kind and my mom’s version is to die for.

Really. It’s spectacular hot or cold.

It’s one of those recipes you can make a day in advance and it keeps getting better and better.

If you have any leftovers– which we never do — it freezes pretty good.

I limit myself to making it only a couple times a year and I eat as much as I want and just work out a bit harder and a bit longer to burn off the calories, so there’s really no guilt.

Angel Boy’s Grandma’s Kugel

Ingredients:
One large package wide egg noodles
One large can fruit cocktail in juice
One small can pineapple pieces in juice
One large can canned peaches and pears in heavy syrup, yes, you read that right
At least 3 Granny Smith apples, sliced with about 1/3 cup sugar and 1-2 TBS cinnamon
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
One lemon,  juiced and zested

Directions: This is a good dish to make in advance especially if you’re also planning to make apple pie (which I am) ‘cos you can just prepare all the apples for both dishes. The secret to this dish is a LOT of cinnamon. If you think you have enough, add a little bit more!

1. Cook a whole package of wide egg noodles and drain.
2. Add 3 beaten eggs with vanilla; it will be super slippery.
3. Add the lemon juice and zest to the apple slices.
4. Drain all the canned fruit but keep the juices; you will need them.
5. Mix together all the canned fruits.
6, Butter one large and one medium deep baking dish.
7. Add a layer of noodles, then a layer of canned fruit, a layer of apples, then another layer of noodles, a layer of the canned fruit, sliced apples, more noodles, more canned fruit and apples, ending with a final layer of noodles.
8. Pour over any remaining egg mixture, and a cup or so of the fruit juices. Be very liberal with the juice. It will all get soaked up as the kugel bakes.
9. Jason’s grandma would dot the whole thing with a bunch of Crisco, like ¼ cup, which sounds gross, but I still follow her recipe. Some people use butter, but we don’t. Other recipes add cottage cheese and raisins, but I’ve only made it my mom’s way, although I’m sure it would be delicious.
10. Bake covered at 300 degrees for about an hour or so depending on the pan size. Take cover off for final 15 minutes. Excellent reheated and/or cold.

Bon apetit!

My First Camera #TBT #Throwback Thursday #Photography

Circa 1962. My first camera, a Kodak Brownie Holiday Flash. 

oldcamera2

Old school, in black and white,
oldcamera1


This beautiful camera was designed by Arthur H. Crapsey, the designer of other popular Kodak cameras.

Snapped with a Canon Rebel T3i.

DELICIOUS Sweet and Savory Vegan Holiday Recipes with Food For Life Bread

Another homecoming! 

Tugboat man will return in a few days, Angel Boy and DIL will be here for Thanksgiving; so I’m doing what I do, cleaning and cleaning, waxing and polishing furniture, planning meals — and waiting. And waiting.

This is the-lull-before-the-storm time.

When Food for Life sent me a box of assorted breads to sample and review, I couldn’t wait to begin to experiment with recipes for Thanksgiving.

We are thankful to enjoy a meat-free, cruelty-free Thanksgiving dinner.

My family LOVES bread and as tasty as these breads are on their own — stand alone goodness — I wanted to craft a few recipes and share them with anyone looking to eat healthier and of course, vegan.

These breads are gluten free, vegan, and USDA certified organic.

My family especially enjoys the bread toasted, which brings out all of the unique flavors. They are amazing simply with hummus or in veggie sandwiches.

For holiday baking ideas, here’s one dessert bread pudding, one savory bread pudding, and my version of a vegan stuffing.


 

1. Vegan Bread Pudding (Sweet)breadpudding1

*****This is a MUST for you to make. It’s so unbelievably good, I ate the biggest bowl as soon as it came out of the oven. OK, to be honest, I ate TWO bowls. (That’s like half a loaf of bread haha). It was even better than I had anticipated.

The blueberries and apples are key to the whole moist yumminess and the slight toasty crunch of coconut is amazing. Next time I’ll add a tablespoon of orange zest to brighten the fruity flavors.

Ingredients:

One loaf Food for Life Sprouted For Life Bread Gluten Free Cinnamon Raisin with sprouted chia, quinoa, and millet. (The Almond version would be awesome, too.)
2-3 cups plain or vanilla almond milk, really SOAK the bread
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup dried blueberries
One apple, peeled, diced
Ground cinnamon
Toasted coconut for topping 

breadpudding2Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° degrees. Grease a nine-inch baking dish or casserole dish.
  2. Tear the bread into rough cubes.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together milk, cinnamon, sugar, maple syrup, and vanilla. Add the bread, let sit about 10-20 minutes, or until bread is soft and has absorbed most of the milk. Add the raisins gently mix. Don’t over mix.
  4. Scoop into prepared pan.
  5. Lightly sprinkle top with a little more cinnamon and the coconut.
  6. Bake 30-45 minutes until all the liquid has been absorbed and it’s a puffy golden brown.

YUM! Just TRY to stop eating it.
I think it’d also be awesome with your favorite sauce
or a 
scoop of vegan ice cream.
breadpudding3


I don’t have pics of the next two because I didn’t want to prepare them too far in advance, but I wanted to share the recipes so you’ll all have enough time to shop for the ingredients.

2. Vegan Bread Pudding (Savory)

Ingredients:

One loaf  Food for Life Sprouted For Life Bread Gluten Free (Flax Seed is the one I’ll be using.)
1 bunch Swiss chard, kale, or spinach (about 1 lb.)
1 cup almond or soy or rice milk
1 cup vegetable broth (low sodium)
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 cups cubed bread
8 ounces sliced fresh mushrooms
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
Sliced tomatoes
Option: Add tofu cubes

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Remove and discard ribs from Swiss chard or kale. Rinse with cold water; drain and coarsely chop. If using spinach, wash and chop.
2. Whisk together milk, broth, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes. Stir in bread.
3. Sauté mushrooms, onions, garlic, red pepper in hot oil until tender and soft. Stir in chard, kale, or spinach, and sauté 2 minutes. Fold vegetable mixture into liquid/bread mixture.
4. Top with thinly sliced tomatoes.If you have a vegan cheese that you like, crumble a few slices on top of tomatoes.
5. Pour into a lightly greased 11- x 7-inch baking dish. Bake at 350° for 35 to 40 minutes or until center is set. Let stand 5 minutes.


Vegan Stuffing (Dressing)

Yummy to stuff green or red peppers or baked butternut squash, halved. I serve with my homemade cranberry sauce. No one misses the meat and if they do, they know better than to mention it! This recipe makes enough to feed our family and have leftovers the next day.

2 medium onions, diced
6 stalks celery with leaves, diced
4 carrots, diced
6 cloves garlic, chopped
Two loaves of Original Three Seed Sprouted for Life Food for Life
1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon celery salt
1 teaspoon dried sage, crumbled
1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
1/2 – 3/4  teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/4 cups hot Homemade Vegetable Stock or a good quality low sodium purchased veg stock

Directions:
1. Saute onion, carrots, and celery, stirring occasionally until soft, 15 to 20 minutes. (Vegetables can be prepared up to 1 day ahead and refrigerated. Reheat before continuing.)
2. Transfer to large bowl and add stuffing cubes, parsley, celery salt, sage, rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper. Stir in 1 1/4 cups hot stock.
3. If stuffing peppers or other vegetables, stuff lightly and bake for about 30-40 minutes.
4. If baking entire recipe as side dish: Preheat oven to 350°F and grease 3-quart casserole or 9- by 13-inch baking dish. Transfer stuffing to dish and drizzle with 1/2 cup hot stock. Cover with aluminum foil and bake until heated through, about 30 minutes. Uncover and bake until top is slightly crisp and golden, about 10 minutes longer. Serve immediately.

Of course you can add or detract any vegetables your family doesn’t like (our DIL doesn’t like mushrooms so I’ll make a small batch for her without them) and add more herbs and spices depending upon your own personal tastes. We like it rather peppery with bold flavors since it’s more than just a side dish.

Bon appétit!

I received product for sample and review, no other compensation. My opinions are my own.

http://www.foodforlife.com/

Have You Steezy’d Yet?

Gallery

This gallery contains 2 photos.

Read all the way through for a mini-contest!Steezys are soo cute! The name is a combination of “style” and “ease” and it’s easy to have great style with Steezys on your cords. Steezys are charms for your headphone wires. Until now, headphone wires have been … Continue reading

PlantPlay Nursery in Carlsbad. A Gardening Oasis.

#things to do in Carlsbad #Carlsbad #gardening

In my not-so-little town of Carlsbad, nestled between all the destruction from too many years of overbuilding, you can still find beauty if you look for it.

plantplaysign

If you live anywhere near San Diego, you really need to drive up the coast and experience this most unique and beautiful garden shop.

PlantPlay Nursery at 4915 El Camino Real in Carlsbad is tucked away in a corner near Kelly Drive, south of Tamarack Avenue.

If you remember the old Country Store with the chicken on top of the building, you know exactly where it is.

Walking into PlantPlay is like entering into a secret garden  —  winding pathways, thousands of unusual plants, garden decor, the sweet melodious harmonies of strategically placed water features — birds chirping, and chickens (yes, chickens!)

It’s also chock full of drought tolerant plants and exotic specimens.

Owners Mike and Sergio know EVERYTHING about plants and planting.

This is Mike.

PlantPlay1Here’s Sergio and his baby girl.plantplaysergioLook at this sweet face!Plantplay2 plantplay4This chicken is so soft and feathery.
plantplay5The prettiest chicken I’ve ever seen!
FYI, the chickens are PETS, ‘cos Mike and Sergio LOVE animals.

plantplay6 Dutchman’s Pipe, strange but beautiful!plantplayweirdplant plantplayweirdplant2A rose, of course.plantplay7rose This camellia is as fragrant as it is pure and velvety white.plantplaycamellia

plantplay8plantplay9plantplay10plantplaysucculentOld wagon on the hill. There’s not much left of the charm of old Carlsbad, so this is an especially poignant reminder.plantplaywagonWhen you visit Sergio and Mike at PlantPlay Nursery, tell them Princess Rosebud says hello!

 

Hike to Glen Canyon Park in San Francisco

A few weeks ago I visited Professor Angel Boy and DIL in SF. While DIL was at work, my son and I walked to Glen Canyon Park (or Glen Park Canyon) from their home.

Who knew this deep pocket of wilderness is steps away from high density living in the middle of the city?

Everything is either UP or DOWN. It was quite a strenuous workout, especially since I had to keep up with my six-foot-plus son.

We were looking for the coyotes that live in the canyon. My son saw one recently on a previous visit and we hoped to see him or her again, but we had no luck.

glencanyon18Lots of raspberries.glencanyon1 glencanyon2 glencanyon3 Twin Peaks.glencanyon4Angel Boy is always lightyears ahead of me.
glencanyon5 glencanyon6 glencanyon7 glencanyon8 glencanyon9 glencanyon19glencanyon10glencanyon17

glencanyon11 glencanyon12 glencanyon13The free flowing Islais Creek.glencanyon20Islais Creekglencanyon14 It was a little hazy in the afternoon. I hadn’t traveled with my good Canon — pics were taken with Canon point and shoot. glencanyon15 Finally, he turned around. You can tell he’s saying, “Hurry up, Mom, and stop taking so many pictures!”glencanyon16According to Wiki: The park and hollow offer an experience of San Francisco’s diverse terrains as they appeared before the intense development of the region in the late 19th and the 20th centuries. The park incorporates free-flowing Islais Creek and the associated riparian habitat, an extensive grassland with adjoining trees that supports breeding pairs of red-tailed hawks and great horned owls, striking rock outcrops, and arid patches covered by “coastal scrub” plant communities. In all, about 63 acres (25 ha) of the park and hollow are designated as undeveloped Natural Area. Elevations in Glen Canyon Park range from approximately 225 feet (69 m) above sea level at the south end of the park to 575 feet (175 m) above sea level at the north end and along the east rim of the canyon; the walls of the canyon are extremely steep, with many slopes approaching a length-to-height ratio of 1:1

What’s Your Point?

I mean PRICE POINT.

Do you know the price you’re willing — or NOT willing — to pay for a specific item?

And what factors affect your decision?

That tipping point between purchase or walking away.

If you paid proper attention, you remember that my tugboat man owed me a pair of Louboutin shoes because of his (ahem) transgressions. CLICK TO READ

I. Am. Officially. Crazy.

I wouldn’t allow hub to buy a ten dollar mop from Target ‘cos I knew i could get one at the dollar store for a dollar (which I did), but I can spend a mortgage payment on a pair of shoes.

Who wouldn’t want to save NINE DOLLARS, right?

My tugboat man flew home last week for a brief respite and our reunion was a whirlwind of shopping for new deck furniture, repairing a broken washing machine — it needed a new tub seal ‘cos it was leaking —  hub’s a GENIUS at fixing things, especially since there is NO surf ‘cos the Pacific Ocean is a LAKE so he had a lot of free (not surfing) time. This turned out to be an all day project because he decided to take it completely apart and do all sorts of maintenance while he replaced the broken part.

We put our old deck furniture out on the street and it was picked up within minutes, which was awesome as it saved us a trip to the dump and then the universe rewarded us by our discovery of an amazing outdoor coffee table also on the street just a couple blocks from our house that should complement our new furniture perfectly, and only needs to be refinished — another one of hub’s many talents.

See, I’m a girl who can appreciate the finer things in life as well as bringing home the detritus ( I mean the treasures) others discard.

I wasn’t at all naggy or anything — hardly even reminded hub of his duty to fulfill his penance with a pair of Loubies ‘cos we were uber busy — and then one day — UNPROMPTED — he asked if I had changed my mind about that certain trip to South Coast Plaza.

Quicker than you can say, “are you f***ing kidding me” I hopped in the shower and threw on a casual but California cool ensemble. Perfect for a day of trying on shoes.

I am horrified by what I’m going to say next, but I’m all about keeping it realz.

Louboutin

See the little piggies? Ick. From Pinterest

I don’t like the way Louboutins look on my feet.

This style is NOT foot or leg-flattering. That whole TOE CLEAVAGE thing that Christian Louboutin’s all about is NOT sexy on me. To me, it looks like a whole bunch of butt cracks and then I start thinking about plumbers and no. can. do.

Not even for those red soles that I had obsessed about for a while. Not even.

Plus, not comfortable at all. Not at all. I have a really high arch, so a tall heel is no problem — but after trying on almost every shoe in the store, I had to accept defeat.

My tugboat man was SO patient, he actually ENTERED the shop and sat with me while I modeled shoe after shoe. He didn’t like the way they looked either, but it was like pulling teeth to get him to offer an honest opinion — we’ve been married way too long — but I needed him to be brutally honest  At $650 and up — there’s a lot of considerations that don’t arise with a purchase from Ross Dress For Less.

Which brings us to PRICE POINT.

We tried all the shoe stores — Jimmy Choo, Dior, Prada, YSL, Roger Vivier, Stuart Weitzman, Bloomies…and then there was CHANEL.

I mean, we were right there;  it would have been so wrong NOT to see what they had, ya know?

It was all his fault. I tried on this shoe and he FORCED ME TO BUY IT.chanelshoes1

 

I didn’t want to. I said, “Let’s go and eat some lunch and think about it.”

So we did. We shared a salad and a veggie panini at the Corner Bakery Cafe and strolled back over to Chanel where I tried the shoes on again and walked all over the store. Yes, they were comfortable, more so than the Loubies. The heel wasn’t too low nor was it too high. There was none of the dreaded toe cleavage.

BUT they sorta kinda gapped open just a bit at the arch, ‘cos of the whole ballet dancer high arch thing. They didn’t hug my foot. They weren’t perfect, but pretty darn close.

My tugboat man waxed poetic. They were elegant, sexy, classy, timeless (his words.)

In all honesty, I bet he was really thinking to himself, “she’ll never bug me about buying another pair of shoes ever again so in the long run, this’ll save money and I’ll come out of it smelling sweet and looking like a hero and I’ll never have to watch her try on a thousand damn pairs of shoes ever again.”

OK. Here goes. The price point…They were $850. EIGHT HUNDRED FIFTY DOLLARS, not including tax.

Way more than I’ve ever paid for a pair of shoes. The most I’ve ever spent was about $200 or so for boots.

Practically $500 PER SHOE.

This was well above my internal price point, but my persuasive husband exerted influence and FORCED me get them.

“You deserve to have them.”

“You should have had shoes like this twenty years ago.”

WHO IS THIS GUY? (And no, he doesn’t have any brothers, he can’t be cloned, and his dad is/was a selfish jerk, so I don’t know how he became so awesome or I got so lucky.)

So I caved. Against my better judgement, I slapped down the plastique and made the purchase.

But something was bothering me.

I was afraid to wear them. What if they got scuffed up? What if something happened to the little bands of gold and the CC charm on the heel?

And that gap issue bugged me; shouldn’t they fit like a Cinderella shoe? Shouldn’t they be BEYOND perfect? I could have a custom shoe handmade by a cobbler for less than $850.00.

All my “what if” worry issues were stimulated. 

The shoes sat on display on our dining room table for a few days.

I tried them on, walked around the house, but it was like an itch, a burr under my saddle, a nagging sense of something NOT QUITE RIGHT.

I even woke up from a deep sleep worrying about those damn shoes.

I was afraid to wear them. They were beyond my price point.

There’s a fourteen day return policy.

My tugboat man left to go back out to sea on Veteran’s Day.

What a dilemma!

On one hand, I loved the shoes A LOT, because Chanel, HELLO!

On the other hand, they weren’t 100000% perfectly fitting my foot. And on a third hand, they were ridiculously expensive, and I’m not sure I would enjoy wearing them because I’d be too frightened to walk outside.

I am fully aware that these kinds of shoes are not for hiking in the Anza-Borrego Desert and are much more akin to a hothouse flower that should only walk on a red carpet at a Hollywood premiere or the lush marble floor of a cocktail party in Rancho Santa Fe — but I’d be waiting YEARS for those events to occur.

And it’s also not that I don’t LOVE to be pampered with pricey prezzies (Chanel handbag #1 and #2, diamond anniversary band, opal ring…) but somehow these shoes triggered a deep emotional hesitation.

Know where I’m going?

I mean, literally, do you know where I’m going?

Yup, as soon as my tugboat man was safely on a vessel in the middle of a vast ocean, I packed up my beautiful but not perfect shoes and drove an hour back to South Coast Plaza and returned them.

*Sigh*

More than anything, I didn’t want to hurt my hub’s feelings — he really and truly derives so much joy from buying me nice things — but I just couldn’t keep them.

And I didn’t want to let him know in advance that I was driving to the OC ‘cos it’s a hundred-mile-plus trip roundtrip and he’d worry about me. The last thing I want to do is to cause him to pay less attention to his dangerous work, pulling and pushing barges and winches and towing lines and all that.

AND since we have a policy of full disclosure, I would never NOT tell him, because that’s not how we roll,

So.

Last night when he called to say goodnight like he always tries to do, I gently broke the news to him that I had returned his lovely gift, but more so than the actual purchase, I loved him for wanting to do whatever it takes to please me and make me happy, and THAT was priceless.

He was disappointed, but understood that that the whole “gap” and “fear” thing took the joy out of it for me.

Now here’s some questions I’ve been thinking about:

Do you think it was all a ploy by my tugboat man? Reverse psychology? He knows how cheap I really am, and perhaps he did this so he’d come out the generous knight in shining armor and I’m the undeserving scullery maid?

It’s possible…it is. He’s a clever one, that tugboat man of mine.

However, all is not lost. I have a $20 discount coupon for DSW. Hmm, maybe I’ll see what they have to offer.

Do YOU have a price point?  Especially for items that are not necessary like food and shelter. What factors enter into your purchase decisions? Is there a point at which you say no? What’s the most you’ve ever spent on shoes?

Here’s a photo gallery of South Coast Plaza all dressed up for the holidays and one last look of me holding a Chanel bag…

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