Monthly Archives: July 2008

Nibbling away

Because S&C cares about shoes, she cares about feet.  I’m personally overdue for a pedicure, and I know that if I’m hopping into those Gisella sandals soon, these puppies need some work.  A friend passed on WUSA9’s segment about an unorthodox pedicure method that is all the rage.  Yvonne’s Hair Salon in Alexandria, VA, offers the same flesh-eating fish pedicure as seen on Ugly Betty (episode where Wilhelmina discovers that Daniel Mead’s father finds soft feet irresistible and she goes to the extreme).  Anyway, these tiny but hungry Garra Rufa, or “Doctor Fish,” eat the dead skin off your feet in about a half hour, leaving them silky smooth.



The Telegraph in the UK also reported the story, indicating that these toothless fish nibble away at dead skin but leave healthy flesh untouched.  And, advocates say it is a natural alternative to using the potentially unsanitary razors, clipper or pumice stone.

Shoes & Cocktails wants to know: natural, or going too far?


The beach bum

The Drink: Sea Breeze

Erase any preconceived notions you have about fruity cocktails. Fruity drinks are not just for girls, or those with undeveloped palates, and they are definitely not just for drinking out of cheap plastic cups at the beach.

The Sea Breeze, like its sister cocktails the Bay Breeze and Cape Cod, is an often overlooked drink. You’re thinking vodka, juice – been there, done that, like when I was sixteen. Well, I say you should give this super refreshing and deliciously tart cocktail another chance. The mixture of fresh citrus and happy color make it a perfect companion on a summer day, beach or no beach. And, the balance of fruit juice to vodka means that you won’t wipe you out after you’ve had just one. So, don’t feel bad about two. Okay, three.

The Occasion:

Whether you are seaside, poolside, lakeside, or yardside, pull out your white linen skirt, grab your straw hat, and infuse some color by slipping on a pair of super cute sandals like the ones below.

The Shoes: Sandals

Nothing says summer footware like sandals. And, there’s so much variety: T-straps, ankle-straps, gladiators, or slides. I picked up these pretty little things in black over at Now, I’m so regretting I didn’t get them in green. The patent-like sheen on the straps and the cork-like insole means a little comfort, but a lot of fancy.

The Ingredients/Recipe:

We all know that the fresher the ingredients, the better the taste. Consider buying fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice, or juice them yourself.

  • Fill cocktail glass with ice
  • Mix 2 parts vodka, 3 parts cranberry juice, 2 parts grapefruit juice, and squeeze half a lime (my addition for extra tartness)
  • Garnish with a lime wedge or grapefruit slice

Here’s a bonus tip: add color and fun into your drink by using flavored ice cubes. The ones below are made with lemon and lime zest. All you do is zest citrus fruit (orange works too), add to your ice tray, add water and freeze.

Shoes & Cocktails wants to know: what’s your summer favorite? Shoes or cocktails. Make a comment below.

posted by Ms. S&C

Social consciousness looks good on you

Naturally, Shoes & Cocktails is a big fan of Project Runway. In episode 2, also known as the models-shop-for-their-own-environmentally-friendly-fabric-and-almost-everyone -ends-up-with-the-same-ugly-brown-fabric-challenge, Natalie Portman was guest judge. If you haven’t already taken a look, check out Miss Portman’s vegan shoe line over at Té Casan. They are not as budget-friendly as they are good for the environment, but they are as elegant as her. And keep in mind that 100% of the proceeds will go to various non-profit organizations dedicated to environmental preservation and animal rights. If I was tasked with pairing shoes from the collection, I’d choose these lovely reds for Suede’s winning design. And, give the lady a glass of champagne!

Bitter pink insanity!

The Shoes: My Pink Ferragamos

Bitterly insane is exactly what I would be if I didn’t own these shoes. They are by far the most elegant (and expensive) shoes in my closet. Lucky for moi, I didn’t pay a dime for them (another shout-out to LC). They are classic and timeless. They are Ferragamos.

Italian designer, Salvatore Ferragamo, was a pioneer of fashion. Born in 1898, he had already made his first pair of shoes at that age of nine. From a family of poor farmers, who couldn’t afford to buy shoes for his sisters’ first communion, Ferragamo borrowed materials from the local cobbler and made their shoes, rather than facing the same of seeing them wear clogs to church.

Ferragamo’s talent and genius ascended him to Hollywood and he earned a reputation for being a “shoemaker to the stars.” Though my research is inconclusive, it appears he designed Dorothy’s ruby slippers in the Wizard of Oz, and he’s credited with inventing the wedge(!) in 1938, for Judy Garland. His most famous invention was the cork wedge, which paved the way for platforms. He was a visionary and an inspiration, and now, my obsession.

The Occasion:

The shoes are fitted for the red carpet and the streets of Paris. For me, they mean I have an absolute go-to item for any cocktail party, fancy dinner, or event where I want to stand out. If it is a party I’m hosting? Bring on the bruschetta, antipasto, caponata, and this unique pre-dinner cocktail.

The Drink: Negroni

I can’t get enough of the old-school cocktails. The Negroni is a perfect match because of its sublime color, because it is Italian, and because it is made with Campari. The Negroni was invented in Florence in 1919, at Caffe Casoni, because Count Camillo Negroni added gin to his favorite drink, the Americano. Campari, the notable ingredient, is definitely an acquired taste, and is probably better known for their vintage posters. It is a grand aperitif.

The Ingredients/Recipe:

I’ve altered the original recipe slightly by adding extra sweet vermouth and extra orange. I definitely recommend this version for first-timers. The bitterness is like nothing you’ve ever tasted.

  • Fill cocktail glass with ice
  • Combine 1 part gin, 1 part Campari, 1 part sweet vermouth (be generous), and fresh squeezed orange juice (to taste) in an ice filled shaker
  • Shake until well chilled and strain into glass
  • Garnish with orange slice

Cin cin!

posted by Ms. S&C

Cool as a cucumber

The Drink: Pimm’s Cup

My friend, LC, is an inspiration in so many ways, but her latest contribution to making my life my enjoyable was introducing me to the drink Pimm’s Cup. This British-bred concoction is fresh and tasty, and definitely an old-school classic. Made with an obscure liqueur, with a flavor similar to a spiced gin, this drink is perfect for an occasion when you’d like something to take the edge off, but you don’t want to get hammered. That’s why it rules the leisurely brunch scene and is a staple at Wimbledon. It looks like iced tea, so it’s a natural thirst-quencher and a perfect match for outdoor activities.

The Occasion:

While I’m likely not heading to Wimbledon next year, and horse-racing season is over, there’s still a time and place for Pimm’s Cup. Hosting a brunch? Playing lawn games? Or, how about – the sun’s out, I don’t have any plans, let’s call some friends, sit out on the patio and play cards?

The Shoes: Wedges

These shoes speak outdoors. I’m a big fan of heels, but you don’t want heels sinking into the lawn. And, heels can sometimes come off a little severe with a summer dress or the ultimate summer fabric, linen. Wedges provide comfort and stability whether you’re headed to Gold Cup, playing croquet, or if you’re like me and just want a light cocktail in the afternoon.

The Ingredients/Recipe:

Fill cocktail glass with ice

Mix 1 part Pimm’s Cup No. 1 with 2 parts seltzer (preferably lemon or lime)

Stir lightly

Garnish with cucumber and lemon


posted by Ms. S&C

About this blog

I love shoes and I love cocktails.

I’m one of those people that use clothing to say something about myself. I’m not artistic, I can’t paint or sing or play an instrument. I’m not writing the great American novel any time soon. I can’t even get the New Yorker to choose my captions for their cartoon contests. And, I’m not super clever or witty, (though I think I am after a few cocktails!).

Back in college, I remember my husband (who cares zero about what he wears) telling a co-worker, at the bar where we both worked, that he thought I had great style. I was flattered. He still tells me, and I’m still flattered. Maybe I have some image issues, I don’t know. I just know that I like clothes and I want to look my best. This somehow brings me to shoes. I think shoes are the #1 accessory. You can make a great argument that its handbags, but I’m still going with shoes – you always have them on. On a day when I’m not sure what to wear and nothing seems to be working, I can slip on a black dress or black trousers, pop on my gold mary jane peep toes or my animal print pumps, and I’ve still got a great outfit.

Now for cocktails – like shoes, there’s one for every occasion. White wine spritzers for that afternoon wedding, manhattans on that early fall night. Margaritas with Mexican food, Cabernet with your steak. Cocktail hour may be my favorite time of the day. Work is over, and there’s nothing better than relaxing and chatting with friends, over a drink. I love that almost every Friday, my husband and I meet at our neighborhood bar to toast to the weekend. Before the bartenders knew our names, we were called the scotch and martini couple.

So, why a blog? Well, I’m going to be presumptuous and assume there people out there that a) may want to read about shoes and cocktails at the same time, and b) may actually like what I say about them both. Third, it’s kinda cool to interact with others that have the same interests. If you’ve found a great pair of shoes – share them! If you make a great cocktail, or have a fave restaurant or bar for cocktails – I’d love to hear it!

I’ll leave you with this picture that’s hanging in my office. It was purchased before I dreamed up this blog idea. Serendipity?