Friday, December 23, 2005

Travel Essentials from

There's no getting around it: I love traveling. I love everything about it, from the packing to the airports to the hotels to the rental car smell. Going to a new place is always an exhilarating experience, but it can quickly become a nightmare if you're not adequately equipped for it. To make sure your next trip is a success, I have put together some essentials from that I feel no plane-hopping gal should be without: TOTE A simple, durable tote is essential for any trip. While a handbag may look cute, it isn't always very practical. The longer your ride, the more stuff you'll probably need. As a travel-holic myself, I always make it a point to keep some essentials with me, like a bottle of water, a book or a few magazines, some cosmetics for post-flight touch ups, my travel documents, and a light snack in case I get hungry. The best way to carry all this without lugging around a huge carpet bag? A basic tote, of course! Premium: Chelsey Henry Work to Play - $164.95 Chelsey Henry designs specifically for the woman on the go, so it's no wonder that I picked a bag from her collection for my list. The Work to Play tote is great example of the perfect travel tote: it's big enough to fit your laptop comfortably if you need to, it has a zippered closure so nothing will fall out as you zip from terminal to terminal, the handles are large enough to slip over your shoulder, and it has 2 front pockets to fit your travel documents (tickets, passport, etc.). While it may not be particularly trendy, it's streamlined and sophisticated enough for you to get away with it. Dimensions: 17" x 11.75" x 5.5 Budget: Ellington Small In-Flight Tote - $42.95 If you're traveling on a budget but still need a great tote, the Ellington In-Flight Tote is the one. Like the Chelsey Henry Work to Play tote, this one also has the ever-essential zippered closing. As a self-proclaimed pocket freak, I especially like the organization capability of this tote. Outside the bag, you'll find a total of five pockets, three with snap closures and two with zip closures. Two interior pockets with magnetic snaps flank the main zip compartment, one with an organizer for a phone, glasses, pens, and coins. It also has a removable coin and card wallet. The strap drop length is 11", making it perfect for slinging over your shoulder. The inside light-colored lining makes it easy to find everythingÂ?no matter how fast you're flying! Width tapers from 15.5" at top to 10" at base. Dimensions: 9.5" x 15.5" x 7", Weight: 1 lb. 8 oz. CARRY-ON One rule of thumb when traveling is that you should always keep a set of clothing and some other basic essentials with you. The last thing you want when you reach your destination is to find that the airline lost your suitcase and you don't even have a toothbrush on you. A wheeled carry-on is usually the luggage of choice for this purpose. Premium: Samsonite 700 Series/Silhouette® Softside SpaceMaster - $191.95 When I saw the 700 Series by Samsonite, I fell instantly in love. The entire collection is sturdy, suave and just looks so darn professional! I especially liked the 360-degree turning wheels that they added to many of the wheeled pieces. This particular wheeled carry-on is specially designed to fit most airline overhead compartments (how convenient), but at the same time is large enough to fit everything your emergency supplies. I love that is has a bottom zip-pocket that allows easy access to the contents while it's stored in the overhead compartment. It's made of 1682D Ballistic Nylon, which is a standard, even weave of durable nylon material originally specified by the Federal Government for military use (translation: it won't tear, even under the most rough treatment). As I mentioned before, it has spinner wheels that allow easy mobility down narrow airline aisles and other tight spaces (another big plus for me). Dimensions: 22x14x8 Budget: Landor and Hawa 18" Curved Polycarbonate 16092 - $55.95 If you don't travel very often and don't need something as rough and tough as the Samsonite, I recommend this futuristic and fun wheeled carry-on by Landor and Hawa. It has an ultra lightweight polycarbonate shell, which offers high impact protection. It is also the world's first expandable hard side suitcase. Thanks to its unique patent-protected expansion section, this carry-on can be expanded an extra 2.5". The push-button locking handle system is curved to reduce arm stress when rolling, while the inline skate wheels are designed to last. Dimensions: 18" x 13" x 8.5", Weight: 5 lbs, 14 oz SUITCASE Usually the centerpiece of your travel collection, a good suitcase can either make or break your trip. If you plan on traveling internationally, I highly recommend investing in a durable hard side suitcase, preferably a slightly larger one. They are also great for long domestic trips. A hard side suitcase protects your belongings better than a soft side and is less likely to be snagged and ripped when handled by the luggage throwers (they're called that for a reason). Plus, they last longer, so one suitcase is likely to see you through years and years of globe-trotting. Premium: Delsey Meridian 30" Suiter Trolley - $158.45 The Suitor Trolley closely resembles a basic wheeled carry-on, but is significantly bigger in size. However it offers the same ease in maneuverability and is less likely to feel bulky. The frame is made of lightweight integrated aircraft aluminum (ABS), assuring tremendous impact resistance. Inside, you'll find quite a few deluxe features: hanger hook and two hangers for additional packing, divider for organization, cross straps for folded clothes, and full padded lining for protecting contents. The built in Trolley handle can be pulled out and locked at different positions to accommodate heights of all travelers and fully recesses inside the case so it is safe when stored or checked. The four 360 degree rotation wheels assure multi-directional rolling, so no more tipped over suitcases as you try to get through check-in and security. The Tri-Lock system provides maximum security, while the key locks feature "OPEN" and "LOCK" readings, so you can tell by a simple glance if your suitcase is locked or not. Dimensions: 30"x21"x14", Weight: 20 lbs Budget: Samsonite 200 Series/Oyster Hardside 26" Cartwheel® - $79.95 A slightly more traditional-looking hard side suitcase, the colorful Oyster by Samsonite is our most popular suitcase. A piece that truly gives you the most bang for your buck, its shell is made of a durable polypropylene shell, a highly impact-resistant plastic that is strong, lightweight and moisture resistant. Inside, you'll find multiple pockets and cross-straps to secure the contents of your luggage and prevent shifting. The large shock-absorbing wheels are mounted near the outside edge of the case for easy rolling, maneuverability, and stability on a wide variety of surfaces. Shown here in cobalt blue; also available in citron yellow (both colors are bright, so identifying your suitcase is a cinch at baggage claim). Dimensions: 20" x 26.7" x 9.7", Weight: 12.7 lbs. EXTRAS Here are a couple of extra travel accessories that are sure to add comfort and peace of mind to your next trip. Baggallini CCB148C Complete Cosmetic Bagg - $43.45 Why carry a separate cosmetic bag and a separate toiletry bag when you can combine everything in one? From your basic essentials to the kitchen sink, this water-resistant cosmetic bag by Baggallini fits everything. It has lots of clear pockets, elastics, roomy zippered compartments, etc. to hold everything you can think of to take on your trip and then some. The swivel hook allows it to be hung from door knobs, shower rods or counter tops for easy access. Shown in black crinkle nylon; also available in dark olive, espresso, mango, seafoam, spice and tomato. Dimensions: 20" tall x 12" wide x 3" deep Royce Leather Women's Manicure Kit 550-6 - $26.95 To ensure your nails look perfect, even on the go, packing a small manicure kit is usually a good idea. This travel manicure kit by Royce Leather is perfect to throw into your suitcase and includes a cuticle nipper, cuticle pusher, fingernail clipper, hot-forged scissors, tweezers and covered nail file in zippered, genuine leather case. Dimensions: 5.375" x 3" x 1", Weight: 7 oz. Millennium Leather Hanging Travel Document Holder - $32.45 There's nothing worse than having to fumble through your pockets or your carry-on to find your passport, ID or tickets. Designed to accommodate the needs of real-life frequent fliers, the passport wallet is a convenient way of carrying your travel documents. This holder has a front window-view license pocket that ensures smoother airport check-ins, separate passport and boarding pass pockets, as well as a back pocket for airline tickets. There is also a memo pad and pen that can be replaced. Dimensions: 8.25" x 4.63" x .63 Eagle Creek Pack-It Cube - $25.45 Pack-It® cubes are the best way to keep everything organized and easy to find, especially in you larger luggage pieces. These cubes are great for things like socks/hosiery, lingerie, gloves/mittens and other accessories that have a tendency of getting lost in your suitcase. They have quick grab handles and mesh tops for visability and breathability. They're made of travel micro-weave and mesh. Shown in cherry red; also available in black, Neptune blue and sunburst. Dimensions: 14" x 10" x 3"


Thursday, December 22, 2005

The Latest & Greatest at

It's that time again: time to take a look at what's new at Over 300 new styles have been added to the women's shoe section alone, from the latest in winter boots to some early arrivals for the spring. Take a look at a tiny handful of what you'll find: Women's Sporto Amber This fun little side-zip boot by Sporto is made with a waterproof Italian suede outer and is fully lined with soft faux fur and polar fleece. The outside also has a decorative stitch treatment over the suede. The padded, removable foot bed is insulated with Thermolite® insulation and polar fleece for extra warmth and comfort. My favorite feature is the non-skid rubber heel (2 ¼ inches), which makes this fashionable boot a great boot for winter weather. The Amber is shown here in black suede, but it is also available in cognac suede (brown). Women's Nina Vespa Nina always comes out with the most beautiful pumps and evening sandals, and this new strappy sandal is no exception. The Vespa features a gored t-strap made of delicate rhinestones, as well as an adjustable ankle strap to ensure a perfect fit. The three-inch tapered heel adds a sexy touch to this fabulous evening sandal. I love the beautiful taupe royal satin fabric on this sandal, but if you prefer a more basic color, it is also available in black luster satin, gold glimmer and silver glimmer. Women's Timberland Euro Hiker This fresh, European-influenced hiking boot style from master boot maker Timberland is a great winter hiking boot for this season. Seen here in white with cloud blue trim, this high-top boot complements many of this winter’s hottest hiking gear and outerwear. It’s made of premium nubuck and full-grain leather, and a great boot for overnight, multi-day or lightweight hikers. As always, it includes a Trail Grip rubber outsole for excellent traction, as well as a dual-density EVA mid-sole for lightweight cushioning. This style is also available in black smooth with pink trim and white smooth with black/pink trim. Women's Aerosoles Macro Polo This great new slide from Aerosoles’ spring collection is the perfect combination of tailored, textured, and terrific! It features dark blue canvas and leather crisscross straps with contrast stitching and a gunmetal ornament. The wrapped foot bed is cushioned for extra comfort, while the sole is made of rubber to ensure slip-resistance. The 3-inch heel is slightly wider and also made of flexible rubber. Overall, this is a truly versatile slide that makes a great shoe for the spring! The shoe is eye-catching as shown with the dark blue leather trim on a black foot bed, but it is also available with brown trim on a brown foot bed, bone trim on a black foot bed, and black trim on a black foot bed. Women's New Balance W719 The latest in women’s athletic shoes from New Balance, the 719 is a well-cushioned supportive trainer with a long heritage of fit and performance. It features a dual density medial post and ABZORB® cushioning in the heel and forefoot, while the STABILITY WEB® gives superior support in the mid-foot and reduces the overall weight. The N-DURANCE™ outsole gives maximum durability in high-wear areas. It is shown here in the popular white with red detailing, but is also available in white with blue detailing and white with pink/silver detailing. *Note: If you buy any of these shoes, or any of the other products featured on this blog, please tell us what you think by submitting a review of the product! Please review these product review guidelines before posting to ensure your comment makes it to the website for all to see.


Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Shoebuy Gift Certificates: The Perfect Last-Minute Gifts!

There are only 3 shopping days left till Christmas, which means plenty of frenzied hours looking for those last few gifts you never quite got around to getting. You could hit up the department stores and mall and join the thousands of other procrastinators like yourself, or you could order a gift, personalize it and have it delivered to the recipient in the comfort of your own home. The best part? The entire process takes less than 10 minutes. Yes, I'm serious, and no, it's not all that holiday candy talking. I'm referring to a wonderful concept called the online gift certificate, which has embraced with open arms. Whether you need something for your fashionista sister, your globe-hopping cousin, your hard-to-please grandmother, or your even harder-to-please teenage daughter, the Shoebuy gift certificate is the gift that will fit anyone. Available in any denomination, they are a quick and easy solution to the most frustrating of gift dilemmas. Simply go to and click on the "Buy a Gift Certificate" link on the bottom. Fill out the form as shown, including an optional message and the date you'd like the certificate to be delivered, and add to your cart as you would any other item. Once you have finished creating all your gift cards, proceed to checkout and choose your payment method. Complete the transaction and you're done! It's that easy! The recipient will receive the gift certificate in their email and they can use it whenever they want on whatever they want. So what are you waiting for...Christmas?


Monday, December 19, 2005

Confessions of a Teenage Shoe Fanatic

Ah, teen fashion. Funky, edgy and just fresh all around, teen footwear fashion is about eclectic as the teens who embrace it. Whether you want to go feminine, punk, sporty or just plain wild, there's a footwear style that fits you to a T. Here are some of my favorite picks from the Teen Shop: BOOTS Women's Tommy Hilfiger Kiona – Forest Green This bold-hued forest green boot by Tommy Hilfiger is sure to place you front and center the moment you walk into a room. Over-the-top with shearling lining and suede upper, the Kiona is a comfortable, if slightly eccentric, winter boot that screams young and hip. It looks great with complementary blue jeans and possibly a matching green pea coat. Big, green shearling flap cap optional. Also available in dark brown and khaki. Women's Sperry Top-Sider Weather Gear Pelican Tall Boot/Print The great thing about being a teen is that you have the right to wear pretty much any print under the sky, like this bright green/red/black argyle print. The Pelican boot by Sperry Top-Sider makes for the perfect wet-weather companion, bringing back the ‘fun’ in function. Made with a high-gloss durable waterproof rubber and lined with cushioned micro-fleece, these boots are sure to keep you dry in all weather conditions. Weather protection adds comfort and luxury, with quick drying capabilities. They feature a non-marking rubber outsole with Wave-Siping™ and dry/wet traction to keep you grounded at all times. Also available in black/white/pink houndstooth, multi-color stripe, and green/pink/white argyle. Dr. Martens 1460SMDMS – red leather Dr. Martens is synonymous with teen punk style, as this cherry red rugged boot clearly demonstrates. As seen in this picture, this boot is made of smooth, corrected grain leather that’s hard-wearing. The signature DMS sole features yellow Z stitching all the way around the base. Shown here in cherry red leather; also available in black smooth leather. CASUAL Women's KangaROOS Lotus SD This fantastic vintage ‘79 ROOS are young, fresh and a comfortable way to be stylish. Available in 6 different color combinations, you can easily match your shoes to your mood everyday of the week. It features a side pocket to store your key and change. Shown here in black/pink; also available in over 40 other colors and styles Women's Keds Hilary – Navy Prefer the preppy route when it comes to footwear? Then channel your inner Mischa Barton in these uber comfortable mule-style slip-ons by Keds. The pair you see on Mischa here, called the Hilary, are made of microstretch canvas, which means they are breathable and stretchable. A great shoe for the spring, these casual slip-ons go well with denim cropped pants, jeans or even shorts in the summer. The perfect shoe for those who feel that flip-flops are strictly beachwear and prefer wearing real shoes everywhere else. Check out the rest of the Keds collection here. DRESSY Women's Chinese Laundry Honour Supreme Young shoes are all about the platform. These sexy, round-toe platform pumps by Chinese Laundry look great if you want to go vintage at your next school dance. Pair it with a cute A-line dress that you borrowed from your mom’s closet, spice it up with some trendy jewelry and you’re good to go. The best part? No one else will have your dress, and these shoes will allow you to dance through the night without ever feeling the pain. The heel measures 3 1/8 inches, and the front platform measures 1 3/8 inches. Women's Blink Amalia – Mint For the uber-feminine teen, these low-heeled pumps look absolutely adorable with a nice skirt in the spring. The light mint color is fresh and young, as are the bow and gathered design on the vamp. The 1 ¾” heel is low enough to efficiently get from one class to another without breaking a sweat, and trendy enough to hit the mall or café after class. Also available in rose and banana. Women's Touch Ups Roxie Every girl needs the perfect prom shoe, but instead of buying the dress first and then matching the shoe, try the other way around! These sexy slide sandals with a clear vinyl band come with 13 different colored satin ribbons, so matching is never a problem. The foot bed is made of smooth leather and is slightly cushioned in the mid-sole for comfort. The crystal clear platform and heel creates a high-fashion look, and the traction outsole and non-slip heel pad ensure you stay on your feet. Because they’re slides, they’re easy to get in and out of if you prefer dancing barefoot but don’t want to bother with straps. See more prom shoes here.


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