Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Some Days

The geese are gone from the field...

The eagle in the background is too, now that the fields which had finally lost their blanket of white are now cloaked once more with powdery diamonds.

The bird feeders need replenishing, that will be this afternoon's task.

Some days the birds I like to call "bully" birds get to eat with abandon while their more shy, much smaller neighbors wait in the bushes for their turn.

And some days, upon closer inspection, I learn to appreciate the bully birds for their absolute beauty, even if my heart always goes out to the tiny underdog birds.  It's no wonder mankind invented fashion when you look at what mother nature did without a stylist!  You can see how we might get a little jealous over the millennia!

We have fresh snow and bitter temps here at Casa Low Tide, but I'm kind of embracing this winter and all of its chilly beauty.  That's not the case for so many who never see snow and are dealing with all the chaos that comes with snow and ice in the deep south, and to those of you stranded and suffering, my heart goes out to you.  It wasn't too many years ago that our daughter was stranded in the DC metro area for over 12 hours in her car on her way home from work, and she will be the first to tell you that it was NO fun!

I hope this icy grip will loosen its hold on you folks, and I hope the first responders who brave the elements, no matter how bad, will stay warm and out of harm's way.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Pluses and Minuses

Women Boots
(Photo Courtesy of Unlisted Website)

I'm married to a funny guy, both literally and figuratively speaking.  The other day he asked me if I was going to do a post on my "new" new boots and when I asked him why he said, "well your last post was so sad."  Funny, I never thought of it as sad, I was going for tongue in cheek, but this man of mine knew how much I had longed for those boots, so for him it was a sad post.  Little does he know...well actually he does but he must have temporarily forgotten, that I can turn on a something one minute and be moving right on down the line the next.

I returned the Coach boots and never looked back, in fact I felt kind of relieved that I had made the grown up decision of allowing comfort to trump looks.  In my younger years I would have likely muscled through wearing those boots, only to regret it when I needed to take a nice long bath to soothe my aching arches!  Now, don't get me wrong, I wasn't giving up that easily, I knew I would find other boots, and so it was last Sunday night on our way to dinner when I said, "hey let's stop by the store and buy you some really need some new jeans."

I tried on 3 pairs of boots, all with lower heels, and when I tried on the ones pictured above, I knew they were the ones!  Comfy...check...on sale...check...and in my size...double check!  They are not red, though if they had had the red ones in my size, you can bet your bottom dollar they would have come home with me too.  They are from Unlisted by Kenneth Cole and they feel like bedroom slippers, at least to me they do.  They are almost a grey/green and will go with everything, so all's well that ends well.  I even put them on in the car and wore them to dinner...and did I mention they were only $23?!  And everyone knows that getting a good deal makes you love something even more...well, except in the case of the .99 cent off brand cookies my dad used to stock up on...they were disgusting, but we're not talking cookies here people, we're talking dirt cheap booties!

Fast forward to today, and although I have new boots and Mr. Tide has new jeans, neither of us will be wearing them.

We got some snow throughout the day yesterday and into last night, and along with the white stuff it's been blowing a gale.  Our temps were in the single digits, and the wind chills took us into minus territory...I think last night it was -8, and that was before midnight!

Even this afternoon when I took the dogs out it was still blowing, but not nearly as badly as yesterday, for which Mr. Quinn is very thankful.

He and Misty love the snow, but even they are smart enough to know that when it feels like 7 degrees outside, they shouldn't play for too long.

That face pretty much says it all.  That's the face of a happy, albeit cold doggie!

Misty insists on rolling around and burying her entire head in the snow like a snowplow.  Even in the minus temps, it is always a plus to have them around!

If you are part of this big snow storm, or feeling the chilling temps of January wherever you are, stay safe and warm my friends!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Love Lost

(Photo via Coach)

So, here they are, the booties I have pined over for months.  The boots I have checked the Coach website every single day almost waiting for them to go on super sale.  The boots in the perfect shade of saddle brown that I have built outfits around in my head.  The boots that I ponied up the cash to buy, even though I knew it was crazy to spend that much on boots I don't need...yup it was love, true love!

But it was unrequited love, a love that could never be.  I knew it the moment I slipped the first one on my foot.  The fit was fine, albeit a little roomy, but I was undaunted, these were MY boots and if I had to wear thicker socks to make it work, then so be it I thought!

I held the second boot up to my nose, breathed in its intoxicating real leather smell (think finely carved western saddle), and put it on my other foot.  These were perfect I thought, but the little voice in my head screamed in that annoying way you can't ignore..."are you sure about that Kat?!"

I stood up, certain I could quell that nasty, know it all voice in my head, took a few steps and then sighed.  These were not my boots, they were boots that had lured me with their shiny gold plate that said Coach on the back, the beauty of the stacked wooden heels, the supple leather that brought back childhood memories of my grandfather and our horses, and the sexy stitching that made me swoon.  No, it had all been a ruse, a cruel joke that made me believe I could walk in heels that made me feel like a 6 year old wearing her mother's high heels for the first time.  And even after I stopped walking like Bambi, I realized that they hurt, not a little, but a lot!

Not one to listen to reason, I wandered around my house, even invited my son and his girlfriend down to take a help convince me that these were in fact my boots, and perhaps first impressions weren't always the best.  They of course LOVED them too, we were all taken in by their beguiling beauty, and so I told myself this would take some time.  Maybe these boots didn't love me the way I loved them, but in time, with some cushy inserts, we could learn to love one another, we were after all, meant to be together!

This morning I awoke with hope and promise, and with the balls of my feet no longer aching from the night before.  I tried on my Vince Camuto boots, the ones that started my lust for height and fashion.  They had been true to me, so how could these Coach boots be so different I thought.  But after trying on my other boots, feeling the way they hugged every subtle nuance of my foot and ankle without pain or irritation, it became undeniable that a 1/4 inch and the angle at which a boot is made, really can make or break a relationship.

In time I will get over this disappointing break-up, heck, I will probably find a new love sometime this week as I peruse other shoe sales, and those other boots will become a distant memory.  I will tell others about how they let me down, how I gave them everything, including my credit card and how I called all over the country to find them in my size only to be scorned and hurt for my trouble.  It will take some time, all break ups do, but I know it's the right thing to do, the sane thing to do, and so I will move on...but oh how I will miss the thought of them, the vision I had created in my head.  Goodbye sweet boots, may you find another to love, and one who will love you as much as I had hoped to! ;-)

Monday, January 13, 2014

Excuses and Regrets

The great thing about doing a photo shoot for a magazine is that it gives you a perfect excuse to buy flowers...sometimes lots of flowers.

And this time of year, fresh flowers are a perfect pick me up for very little money.

It also makes you take a long hard look at what you "want" to see in an image, which often leads to editing down to the bare essentials...something I'm striving for these days anyway.

This past weekend I bit the bullet and ordered the boots I wanted...the boots that had spoken to me for so long.  It's a rare thing for me to spend a lot of money on clothes or shoes, I'm way too much of a bargain/clearance shopper for that.  I love the thrill of the chase, and am rarely regretful if something slips through my fingers as I stalk the manufacturer waiting for their bottom basement price, but this time they won out.

I love nice things, I just don't love paying a high price for them.  I think this harkens back to the days when I was a sales rep for high end children's clothing and accessories.  I did clothing shows in New York, Charlotte N.C., and the DC metro area, and so I knew the cost of manufacturing verses retail and I was never really able to go back to full retail after that eye opening experience.

But at the same time, I can appreciate the cost of some, antiques, jewelry, and apparently boots in the perfect shade of saddle brown!  They were on sale after all, and I justified my purchase by telling myself that I will wear them every day, of every week, of every month...hah!

Just as I rarely regret losing the clearance tug of war from time to time, I have no regrets when I put my money on the table in other instances.  The pie safe pictured above is one such example.  It was purchased when we were young, didn't have 2 nickles to rub together, and I had to pay for it over time.  It has been with us for 25 years now, traveling from home to home, room to room, and I still love it just as much as when I first saw it in a local antique store.

My father used to always say, and my mother too, that if you really want it, you better go ahead and get it or it might not be there later...something a wise reader reminded me of in her comment on my last post.  I guess from time to time we have to splurge a little, on those special things that speak to us and which we can't get out of our heads.  I doubt I will ever lose my cheapskate ways, but I'm betting I also won't regret strutting around in my new boots either!

What do you splurge on?! tell!

Saturday, January 11, 2014


There's not much new to report from my neck of the woods.

The weather has warmed up, but the fog and the rain quickly rolled in shortly after I took these images a few days ago, so it's been rather bleak around here.

I'm on deadline for a story, and because procrastination is my middle name, I've been busy surfing websites hunting for end of season deals instead of taking pictures to accompany my story...I blame the lousy weather for not allowing me to take good pics and finish my assignment! ;-)

We filled the bird feeders before the bitter cold and light dusting of snow hit last week, and the birds all seem appreciative of our efforts.  I don't even know what kind of bird this little guy pictured above is, any birders out there that can help me out?

Of course I always know this bird when I see it, and I always smile when a bluebird graces me with his or her presence.  I think they secretly know that just a little flash of their bold blue feathers will help bolster me throughout the day and remind me that the colors of spring must be just around the corner!

I'm off now to do some cleaning, and to talk myself out of a pair of boots I've been eyeing for 2 months now.  Sure, they are on sale, but they aren't dirt cheap yet, and that's the only way I like my after season sales Coach, if you're listening...please take 90% off of all your boots so that I can get my work done...ok?!...and thanks in advance!

Happy Weekend!

Monday, January 6, 2014

New Year, Old Friends

Within just a few days I will have been writing on this blog for 4 whole years.  In that time I've been elated, frustrated, driven, lazy, and everything in between.  I have changed course, begun new careers, quit and started anew, more than once, but one thing has remained constant and that is the friendships I have forged through this little piece of cyberspace.

Friendships that I couldn't have even imagined 4 years ago, ones which have nourished and bolstered me along the way.  And it is you the readers who have graciously chosen to take the ride along with me through the ebb and flow that life offers...and for that I thank you!

One of the first people I met along my journey was Chania of Razmataz.  It was her laid back take on the world that first drew me in, quickly followed by her great sense of style.  So when Christmastime rolled around and it was time to gift myself with some new jewelry, it was a no brainer to go looking at her shop for some of the wonderful Snö line she carries.

As if the jewelry itself isn't beautiful enough, the way Chania packages it makes it that much more special.  Black boxes embellished with a crisp silver logo and pretty pink ribbons say "there's something special inside, hurry and open me" and there is even a black satin bag tucked in each box to help protect your jewelry!

If you've read my blog for any length of time, then you know I'm a sucker for anything turquoise, so this bracelet was a must have.

I can see this paired with white jeans, sandals, and a linen tunic this summer, but I won't wait until then to wear it, that's for sure.

(photo courtesy of Sno of Sweden)

With the cloudy weather we've been having it was hard for me to get a good shot of the beautiful earrings I also got from Chania so I've borrowed this image of them from the Snö website.  I love these earrings which come in several different pearl color choices, I have worn them numerous times already because they go with practically everything!

But my favorite piece is this gorgeous silver chain link and leather bracelet, I wear it nearly every time I leave the house.  It looks beautiful with black, grey, brown, camel, you name it!  It has that timeless equestrian styling which always seems to appeal to me.  I get compliments on it each time I wear it, from 20 year olds to friends my age.

The thing I love most about everything I purchased from the Sno line is how well made they are.  Each piece is hefty, solidly constructed, and built to last for years.  I wear my jewelry a lot, so having pieces that will compliment my wardrobe for years to come is a must.

And just so you know, neither Chania nor Sno has compensated me for telling you this, I just love to pass along great finds!  If you are interested in owning some of these Snö of Sweden pieces, or to view many more, simply click HERE to see more of their wonderful pieces.

Now, to mention another longtime blogging buddy.   Linda of Itsy Bits and Pieces is one of those people you hope to make friends with when you start blogging.  She's kind, generous, always supportive, and she has a great eye for vintage finds...she's the whole package folks!

Right before the holidays, a package arrived on my doorstep, and I knew right away it must be from Linda.  She knows my love for all things french and gifted me with some wonderful old pieces that I can't wait to get framed!

The two scenes of Paris will take pride of place alongside my china cabinet in the dining room, and the map of northern France will likely end up in my living room, I haven't decided yet since the colors also would look beautiful in my bedroom.

Along with the two Parisian scenes and french map, Linda also gifted me with this 8 of hearts card.  When I asked her if she knew my birthday was on the 8th, she said no, that it was just a serendipitous pick...lucky me!  I have a number of Linda's vintage cards, from bingo to flash cards, that I display in my antique flower frogs throughout the year, so this one will be perfect for Valentine's day, which is right around the corner...oh my!

If you want to find your own vintage goodies, be sure to visit Linda's blog HERE, and scroll down to click on her Etsy stores on her won't be disappointed!  Thank you Linda for your generosity and amazing friendship!!!

It's hard to believe that another year has flown by and that we are already one week into the new year...where does the time go people?!

I'm not one to make resolutions or to choose words that will represent the coming year...mostly because I'm too indecisive and scatterbrained.  But I do feel like 2014 will be a good year here at Low Tide High Style, made even better by the friendships I have forged over the past 4 years...and I look forward to hearing from all of you, new and old, in the coming year.

I read this quote the other day and I thought it was perfect as we look forward to what 2014 has to offer. 

Wishing you all the best in 2014!!!