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10 essential shoes every woman should have

June 28, 2013 --

by Shannon Ables
Portland writer
The Simply Luxurious Life

Over two years ago I created the original list of 10 Essential Shoes Every Woman Should Have, and it has continued to be one of the top style posts from the archives here on The Simply Luxurious Life. Knowing this, I wanted to take some time to update the links, do some more shopping for you no matter what your budget and share even more of my successful shoes and lessons since the original post went live. So, here it goes . . .

The right pair of shoes can make all the difference when it comes to completing a look. Candace Bergen has said that no matter what one’s wardrobe costs, if paired with quality shoes, everything looks high quality.  She makes a very sound point. As long as the clothes fit well and hair and make-up is done, the shoes can really take the entire look to the next level.
With all of that in mind, here are my ten essential shoes every woman should have in order to be stylishly pulled together no matter what the occasion. Feel free to share what your essentials are as well. I’m always looking for new ideas.

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43% teens text while driving

June 27, 2013 --

texting-nailsMore Than 4 in 10 U.S. Teens Text While Driving: Survey
By Health Day News,

Forty-three percent of American high school students admit to texting while driving, according to a new study.

The findings show that too many teens are ignoring warnings about the risks of this dangerous habit. Research has demonstrated that texting while driving increases the risk of a crash by 23 times, and many experts say texting while driving is more dangerous than driving while intoxicated.

Researchers analyzed data from about 7,800 U.S. high school students who had their driver’s license and took part in the 2011 survey on youth behaviors conducted yearly by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The teens were asked if they had texted while driving in the past 30 days, and 43 percent said they had.

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The internet never forgets

June 26, 2013 --

Carolyn J. Rose
Oregon writer
Deadly Duo Duh Blog

It doesn’t seem fair.
I struggle to remember names and dates and places.

The Internet never forgets. In fact, not only does its vast memory hold correct information, but it has room for erroneous information as well.

I lose addresses and scraps of paper on which I’ve jotted the titles of books I intend to read, chores I need to complete, and phone calls that should be made.

The Internet keeps everything.

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How my kids taught me how to be a kid again

June 24, 2013 --

By Erika Weisensee
Milwaukie mom & writer

My house was messier and noisier and busier than normal this past week, but happily so with the addition of my niece Maddie, almost 9, and nephew Jonathan, 7. During their Spring Break visit, I tried my best to spoil them rotten. We ate ice cream and pizza, went to a carnival, watched movies, and stayed up way too late. They had almost as much fun as I did. In the midst of all that play (and all that eating), I received a re-education if you will in the joy of being a kid. Our two-year-old son, Owen, is just emerging from baby to little boy. My sister’s kids, however, are full-fledged experts in childhood fun. What I admire most is their ability to live completely in the moment.

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An 18 year learning curve

June 21, 2013 --

Submitted by Kay Helbling

Some things I guess it takes 18 years to learn. I realized that this week, when my son asked the simple question, “Do you want to play Risk?”

You see, as all moms and dads learn upon the birth or adoption of each child, you acquire the ability to question everything you say and do that could impact who they become as a person. You see and read about all the great things others do for and with their children and think, “Maybe I should do that too”, or “If I don’t do that maybe our family will be missing something important”. I guess you could call it “Keeping up with the Jones’… Family Life”.

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Why Not…Travel Alone?

June 20, 2013 --

by Shannon Ables
Portland writer
The Simply Luxurious Life

Why Not . . . Travel Alone?


“My solo travels in Paris have brought many perfect hours of being alone but not a moment of loneliness. People who depend on other people are often in hiding from themselves. Two and a quarter million people live in the City of Light: you will see many of them and you will pass them in the street, but when you see Notre Dame after dark and walk home and perhaps stop to have a drink in the Marais, you can feel that the only thing that is missing from your experience is the common dependence on someone to distract your attention.  You are living without it: you are on vacation.” –Andrew O’Hagan in “Party of One” article in T: The New York Times Style Magazine


The subtle mystery, confidence and elegance of a woman who chooses to travel alone knowing precisely where she is going and knowing exactly how to dress for it is the image that dances around in my mind when I envision a woman traveling solo to her destination of choice. Whether it be Paris, the English countryside or the wine country in California, I can’t help but smile and count the days until such a trip commences.

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Dating Study: Women favor the “Narcissist”

June 19, 2013 --

By Women’s Health Daily News,eye

Men with high levels of narcissism — an unrealistically positive self-image coupled with feelings of entitlement — have an easier time than others attracting a potential mate, new German research says.

“Narcissism is linked to mate appeal in a real-life situation,” said Michael Dufner, a researcher at Humboldt University of Berlin, who led the study.

The research is published in the July issue of the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.

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Decorating in spite of white

June 18, 2013 --

by Julie Nolta
Julie Nolta Design

If you’re like me and a lot of other people, at some point in your life you’ve probably lived someplace with stark white painted walls. Maybe you’re in an apartment and aren’t allowed to change the paint, or you’re deathly afraid of choosing the wrong color, so you just live with what’s safe.

In either case, don’t fight the white. Make it work for you. The biggest mistake people make is to try to ignore the white walls, but then it becomes the (white) elephant in the room. (Sorry, pun intended!) It draws attention to itself, exactly the thing you were trying NOT to do, and the space doesn’t look pulled together.

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She Didn’t Tell Me…But I Know

June 17, 2013 --

by Crystal Kupper,
Crystal’s Cliffnotes
Salem Writer

I watered the blueberries and raspberries, grateful to be out of the house and away from the kids after a long day, even if only for a little bit. Hose in hand, I noticed my neighbor Carolyn in her sunroom across the fence. She lounged in a lawnchair, book in hand, enjoying the perfect evening temperature. Nearby, O.J. the cat (so named for his voluminous orange hair) purred contentedly. Every few minutes, Carolyn glanced over at Marlin, her husband of many decades, and smiled. He smiled back. Nearby, Arnie — their beloved motorhome — rested in the driveway, freshly unpacked from their latest adventure across the Pacific Northwest. Tomorrow, they would probably work in their yard, go to the gym, visit some friends for drinks, all on their own pace and schedule. Their two sons, grown and living across town, would most likely visit soon for dinner.And in that moment, my hair matted with fresh spitup from Avinly, shin bruised from Jude’s line drive and brain frazzled from questions such as “How does tape get made?” from Jack, I was insanely jealous.

Get a grip, Crystal, I told myself. You’re seriously jealous of an old couple with gray hair and wrinkles? You would trade your fitness level, your smooth skin, your flat stomach and 50+ years of life for what you’re seeing right now?

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Special Needs and Siblings

June 14, 2013 --

Fiona Brown
Oregon Blog
Earth Monkey Moms

Special Needs and Siblings

This parenting gig can be hard work. Even when things are running smoothly, when everyone is well, when you’ve cleared the latest set of hurdles, parenting is still hard hard work. Totally worth it, hugely rewarding and the bonuses are out of this world……..but still, hard work.

Last week I received this question from a reader:

I have three children and my two youngest have special needs and so they require a lot of extra time. The time is in doctors appointments spent in Portland, speech therapy appointments, special classes, etc. My oldest is really starting to have a hard time with it. He refuses to accommodate his siblings’ needs. I know this is pretty common among siblings when one has a special need, but I am just not sure how to go about it so that he still respects his siblings and feels special, too. Any suggestions? – C

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