Thursday, February 25, 2010

A Men's Guide To Buying Shoes

Buying men's shoes is like buying a car. You should have a good idea of what you want when you walk into the store (or onto the lot), and you need to walk away with something you'll be comfortable wearing (and being seen in) for at least a few years.

So while it may not be your idea of weekend fun, you should at least know a little something about how to shop for shoes.

general shoe shopping tips

  • For the best fit and selection, go to specialty sneaker and dress shoe stores.
  • For the best deals, visit department stores, wholesalers and outlet malls. Don't shy away from buying shoes or sneakers on clearance, either. The only thing these shoes are usually guilty of is being a season or two "out of style." Trust me, when you get out on the street, nobody can honestly tell the difference between a 2003 Kenneth Cole Oxford and a 2005 Kenneth Cole Oxford, so long as they're clean and worn with the right pants.
  • If you are going to buy shoes online, a good trick is to try on the same pair in a store to ensure a comfortable fit, and then go online for the best deal. But if you have previous experience with a particular brand, then there's no need to worry about purchasing shoes online without trying them on first. In any case, most online retailers offer full refunds.
  • Visit shoe stores on Sunday mornings, or late on weeknights. Chances are you will be the only customer in the store, and the salesperson will be able to give you his full attention. The result? Knowledgeable, one-on-one service.
  • Check out whether there are any good cobblers in your area. Sure, they're not going to churn out a Nike Zoom LeBron II, but they can produce business and dress shoes that are perfectly sized, and designed to match your feet and style.


There's no such thing as "breaking in a shoe" -- that goes for all types, from sneakers to boots. It's therefore a good idea to measure your foot each time you buy a pair of shoes or sneakers. Different brands have different sizes; just because you're a 12 when it comes to your sneakers, you're not necessarily a 12 in your loafers.

Furthermore, your feet tend to slightly swell up over the course of the day, due to the hours of walking and standing that they endure. As a result, you should try on shoes at the end of the day in order to ensure that they will be comfortable throughout.

The socks you wear when trying on a pair of shoes should be the type you would regularly wear with them. This is particularly true when trying on athletic sneakers.

Get a salesperson's advice, but don't let them talk you into buying uncomfortable shoes
Don't depend on your wife, girlfriend or buddy to measure your feet correctly -- get help from a salesperson. And, although it sounds basic, be sure to stand up when the salesperson measures your feet. This will ensure that your feet are at their longest, and that you get the most accurate measurement.

Don't just try on one shoe. Put both on your feet and walk around the store -- individual feet tend to be different sizes. Remember the car analogy: Nobody ever gets in the driver's seat, adjusts the mirrors and says, "I'll take it!". They go for a test-drive.

Shoe Width
Everyone knows a 10 is bigger than a 9. But how many guys know that 2E is wider than D? Here's a quick guide to the sometimes confusing terminology used to denote shoe width.

6E: Extra, Extra-Wide
4E: Extra-Wide
2E : Wide
D: Standard Width
B: Narrow
2A: Extra-Narrow

Heels & Toes

A key factor in getting the right shoe size is making sure your heels and toes fit snugly, without causing discomfort.

To know if your shoes are fitting correctly around your heel, use your index finger to fit behind the shoe's heel and your heel. It should slide between them with relatively little force. If your finger cannot fit, the shoes are too tight. If your finger has too much room, the shoes are too large
At the other end, your toes should be able to wiggle comfortably. You should be able to fit the width of your thumb in between the tips of your toes and the end of the shoe. Your mother probably used this "rule of thumb" test on you when you were a kid. And guess what? It still works.

Arch Support

The curve of your foot's arch is hereditary, but you can do a few things to make it a non-issue.

As I already mentioned, know that your feet are not always identical in size. Buy with your bigger foot in mind, and buy an insole to even out the two if the discrepancy is noticeable.

If you have high arches (and therefore, inflexible feet), seek out well-cushioned, flexible shoes and a shoe with a curved instep.

People with no arch (a condition known as flat-footedness) may notice that their feet lean inward. This condition requires a shoe with a straight instep to keep it stable during walking or running.

People with regular foot arches are best off with a slightly curved instep. This will provide an optimum mix of stability and flexibility.

And when all else fails, head out to the local drugstore. There's an enormous range of inexpensive arch braces and orthotic supports out there that can be used to prevent discomfort.

The lowdown on socks...

information on socks

What are shoes without socks (at least in the fall and winter)? More importantly, what are feet without socks? Foot and shoe moisture tend to attract fungi, viruses and other bacteria. Clean socks are necessary not only for your own health, but also for your shoes' well-being.

Types of Socks

Socks fall into three main categories (not to mention the area between the wall and the dryer): Dress, casual and athletic.

Dress socks are usually made from silk, cashmere or fine variants of cotton and wool.

Casual socks come in cotton and wool, and are available in a wide variety of colors, patterns and thicknesses.

Athletic socks are usually cotton and available in gray or white. This type differs most obviously from casual socks by virtue of their size. Athletic socks tend to come up to the mid-calf and higher, or simply right above the heel (ankle-length), making them invisible when wearing sneakers.

Your sock size should be 1 to 1.5 sizes bigger than your shoe size. In other words, a size 12 shoe means a 13.5 size sock. Some brands divide sock size by small, medium and large.

To know your size, refer to these numbers (in inches):
Small: 5-9
Medium: 9-12
Large: 13-15

Matching Socks to Shoes

When wearing dress shoes or casual leather shoes, always match your socks to your pants.

You can wear athletic socks and casual socks with sneakers. But unless you're on a basketball court, don't wear sneakers and shorts with anything other than ankle-length casual socks.

Finally, when all else fails, remember this rule: The more formal the occasion, the darker the sock.
make sure your shoes fit 

Dealing with stores and salespeople is never fun. Moreover, remembering the fashion rules for socks and pants can be downright taxing. But ultimately, buying shoes is all about finding the best fit. So long as you leave the shoe store with a comfortable pair of shoes on your feet, you'll be walking tall for months to come.

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Saturday, February 20, 2010

What To Give The Pisces

Pisceans are interested in everything that isn't quite real: illusion and disillusionment, fantasy, drama, emotion, art, and spirituality. The best gift for someone born under this sign is something that feeds these interests - how about a set of oil paints, tickets to the theater, or a book of poetry? In their leisure time, Pisces may work to alleviate their emotional stress through exercise. They especially enjoy sports that bring them into contact with their own Element of Water, such as swimming and sailing, so gifts such as sailing lessons, a new swimsuit, or a cruise would be appreciated. The theme of water is a good one in general, making gifts such as scented bath oils or floating candles appropriate. Don't forget that Pisces rules the feet so treat your Pisces to slippers, shoes, socks or even a pedicure or foot massage.

Great gifts you could give the:

Female Pisces: floating candles, perfume, scented bath lotions, oils and soaps, gift certificate to the movies, shoes, comfortable socks, oil paints, musical instrument, fine wine, flowers, slippers, a book of poetry, a book on dream interpretation, a romantic movie, a swimsuit, an aquarium with tropical fish, an orchid, a coffee-table book on art

Male Pisces: aftershave, cologne, a gift certificate to the movies, shoes, comfortable socks, oil paints, a musical instrument, fine wine, foot spa or massage, Shakespeare's complete works, an art film on video, a book on dream interpretation, an aquarium with tropical fish, music, a coffee-table book on art

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Get To Know The Pisces

Pisces is a Water Sign, the twelfth and Final Sign of the Zodiac which also rules the twelfth House, the House of the Unconscious.

Pisces is ruled by the Planets Jupiter and Neptune, Jupiter being the Roman king of the Gods and Neptune being the God of the Oceans.

In the Zodiac Pisces is the opposite of Virgo.

Pisces means Fishes in Latin.

Pisces seek salvation within themselves, striving for total self - sufficiency and self - reliance.

Initially they may be appear very materialistic, but that is only because they don't want to have to worry about material wants on their way to self - knowledge and fullfilment.

They wish deeply to do the right thing and may become confused about their true aims and get bewildered and lost in a materialistic jungle.

At their truest, they are crystal clear, unselfish, devoted, demanding little, always sacrificing themselves for others.

The Key Phrase for Pisces is "I believe".

They are emotional and sensitive and can easily be influenced by good and bad, practicality and realism often escapes them.

They are also secretive, hard to know, and hardly know themselves.

They must learn how to use power wisely, they have vitality, have an urge to rule.

They are easygoing, affectionate, submissive and offer no threat or challenge to stronger and more exuberant characters.

They are emotional rather than rational, instinctive more than intellectual, and have limited willpower.

They tend to withdraw into their own dream world as a retreat from the harsh reality of day - to -day living and the inability to cope with real life.

However, they can be remarkably creative in literature, music and art.

The Mythology of Pisces

The constellation resembles two roundish objects, each of which is tied to the same point by a long length of string . Generally the objects have been considered as fish, although since by including fainter stars visible to the naked eye, the strings themself take on the appearance of stick-figure bodies (with the roundish objects thus becoming heads). Some forms of early Greek mythology viewed it as men bound to a point. It is generally thought that in earlier depictions, only the constellation Piscis Austrinus was considered to be a fish.

According to one version in Greek mythology, this constellation represents fish into which Aphrodite and Eros transformed in order to escape the monstrous Typhon. The two fishes are often depicted tied together with a cord, to make sure they do not lose one another.

According to another version, since the binding point is below the ecliptic, and thus considered to represent being in the underworld, and that one of the figures (the one on the left) appears to escape, but the other (on the right) seems to head back toward the ecliptic, then, together with Cetus (another constellation in the Zodiac sign of Pisces), this may have formed the basis of the myth of the capture of Cerberus, one of The Twelve Labours of Herakles.

The Astrology of Pisces

The Western astrological sign Pisces of the tropical zodiac (February 19 - March 20) differs from the astronomical constellation and the Hindu astrological sign of the sidereal zodiac (March 12 - April 18).

It is the domicile of Jupiter (since its discovery Neptune has been considered Pisces' ruling or co-ruling planet by many modern astrologers) and the exaltation of Venus. It is also one of the four Mutable signs (along with Gemini, Virgo, and Sagittarius), and is said to rule over the feet. It is associated with the Twelfth house of the horoscope, and therefore is also said to rule over drugs, secrets, and large institutions, such as prisons, hospitals, and even business or governmental organisations.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Greates Gift Of All

It's not the flowers, wrapped in fancy paper
It's not the ring, I wear around my finger
There's nothing in all the world I need
When I have you here beside me, here beside me

So you could give me wings to fly
And catch me if I fall
Or pull the stars down from the sky
So I could wish on them all
But I couldn't ask for more
'Cause your love is the greatest gift of all

In your arms, I found a strength inside me
And in your eyes, there's a light to guide me
I would be lost without you
And all that my heart could ever want has come true

So you could give me wings to fly
And catch me if I fall
Or pull the stars down from the sky
So I could wish on them all
But I couldn't ask for more
'Cause your love is the greatest gift of all

You could offer me the sun, the moon
And I would still believe
You gave me everything
When you gave your heart to me

But I couldn't ask for more
'Cause your love is the greatest gift of all

You could give me wings to fly
And catch me if I fall
Or pull the stars down from the sky
So I could wish on them all
But I couldn't ask for more
'Cause your love is the greatest gift of all
Your love is the greatest gift of all
Greatest gift of all

Jim Brickman Lyrics 

Happy Valentines Everyone!!!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Zociac Guide To Gift Giving

Deciding on what gifts to give to someone requires a careful thought. After all, gifts speak much of you as a giver whether you like it or not. But making a decision need not be stressful. Make it an act of fun. In that spirit, let us take a humorous look at how each of the zodiacal signs favors certain kinds of gifts.

Aries  are crazy about anything fast, hot and red. Tools and guns would be a good choice and so  are exercise equipments, athletic clothes or maybe a red cap if you are on a budget. Now if you could afford it, You can't go wrong giving an Aries a diamond or an original portrait in oil.

Taurus  are so easy to please. They love just about anything and everything but here is the catch, they have to be on top of the line.   Anything that's luxurious is sure to please a Taurus.

Gemini loves anything that satisfies their penchant for reading. A good book, magazine subscriptions and anything that's a good read would do the trick. Stationary and communications equipment are also appreciated. Tickets, gloves, rings and anything clever or that comes in sets of twos will do the job for a Gemini.

Cancer enjoys antiques, sweaters, food and kitchen stuff. Whatever you give them, be sure to include a big hug. Throw in a few pearls and some silver. Give them a "family" gift.

Leo is easy to shop for if you can carry that much gold. Yes, gifts of gold are the thing for Leo. Anything classy and monogrammed will usually work. Theater tickets to the best play will also go over big.

Virgo is appreciative of practical gifts such as appliances and office supplies. A house plant and gift certificate for a personal massage is also good for Virgo.

Libra appreciates elegance. Candles, formal wear and mirrors work well. New clothes are good, especially anything with a top notch designer label.

Scorpio is easy to shop for, if you have the budget. Silk, leather, musk, stocks, bonds, sex toys and insurance coverage are all acceptable gifts for a Scorpio.

Sagittarius is easy. Get them something very big. Sagittarius enjoys imported specialities, educational gifts and travel accouterments. Season tickets work well for a sportier Sag.

Capricorn enjoys a traditional approach to the holidays, their traditions. As far as gifts, Capricorn was made for real estate, vintage wine and gourmet food. Give them a status symbol and you can't go wrong. Anything of lasting value will be appreciated.

Aquarius is easy to shop for. Get them tech stuff, gizmos, gadgets and anything futuristic. Helicopters and computers go over well as to artifacts from ancient civilizations.

Pisces can be treated to cameras, sox and shoes. Music of all kind is appreciated including CD's, musical instruments, equipment and concert tickets. Anything aquatic or nautical is sure to please a Pisces including boats, cruise tickets, a trip to the beach and a hot tub experience.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

For the Intellectual Aquarius

Here's the  books - best-seller lists  according to the New York Times. Give the intellectual Aquarius one of these books. They would love it.

 Hardcover Fiction 

Top 5 at a Glance

1. THE HELP, by Kathryn Stockett
2. KISSER, by Stuart Wood
3. THE LOST SYMBOL, by Dan Brown
4. THE BURNING LAND, by Bernard Cornwell
5. THE FIRST RULE, by Robert Crais

Hardcover Nonfiction

Top 5 at a Glance
1. GAME CHANGE, by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin
2. COMMITTED, by Elizabeth Gilbert
3. STONES INTO SCHOOLS, by Greg Mortenson
4. HAVE A LITTLE FAITH, by Mitch Albom
5. GOING ROGUE, by Sarah Palin

Paperback Trade Fiction

Top 5 at a Glance
1. THE LOVELY BONES, by Alice Sebold
2. A RELIABLE WIFE, by Robert Goolrick
3. DEAR JOHN, by Nicholas Sparks
5. PUSH, by Sapphire

Paperback Mass-Market Fiction

Top 5 at a Glance
1. DEAR JOHN, by Nicholas Sparks
2. THE LOVELY BONES, by Alice Sebold
4. PLUM SPOOKY, by Janet Evanovich

Paperback Nonfiction

Top 5 at a Glance
1. THE BLIND SIDE, by Michael Lewis
2. THREE CUPS OF TEA, by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin
3. THE GLASS CASTLE, by Jeannette Walls
4. EAT, PRAY, LOVE, by Elizabeth Gilbert
5. ARE YOU THERE, VODKA? IT'S ME, CHELSEA, by Chelsea Handler

Hardcover Advice 

Top 5 at a Glance

1. THE HAPPINESS PROJECT, by Gretchen Rubin
2. MASTERING THE ART OF FRENCH COOKING, VOL. 1, by Julia Child, Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle
3. THE MAYO CLINIC DIET, by the Mayo Clinic staff
4. THE FULL PLATE DIET, by Stuart A. Seale, Teresa Sherard and Diana Fleming
5. MASTER YOUR METABOLISM, by Jillian Michaels with Mariska van Aalst

Paperback Advice

Top 5 at a Glance
1. FOOD RULES, by Michael Pollan
2. THE BELLY FAT CURE, by Jorge Cruise
3. COOK THIS, NOT THAT!, by David Zinczenko and Matt Goulding
4. WOMEN AND MONEY, by Suze Orman
5. WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU’RE EXPECTING, by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel

Children's Books

Top 5 at a Glance
1. THE LION AND THE MOUSE, by Jerry Pinkney
2. ALL THE WORLD, by Liz Garton Scanlon
3. LISTEN TO THE WIND, by Greg Mortenson and Susan L. Roth
4. BUBBLE TROUBLE, by Margaret Mahy
5. THE CURIOUS GARDEN, written and illustrated by Peter Brown

Graphic Books

Top 5 at a Glance
3. THE WONDERFUL WIZARD OF OZ, by Eric Shanower and Skottie Young
4. WOLVERINE: OLD MAN LOGAN, by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven
5. BATMAN: THE KILLING JOKE, by Alan Moore and Brian Bolland

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Gifts for The Aquarius


Choosing Presents for Those Born January 20-February 18

Gifts associated with the astrological sign of Aquarius revolve around science and technology, intellectual pursuits, and eccentric hobbies.

Aquarius is associated with all things future-oriented, including science, technology, and radical political change. Aquarians often engage in an eclectic mix of unique hobbies and interests. Both physical activities and intellectual pursuits associated with this sign are highly individualistic and often quirky.
Aquarius Hobbies

Pastimes associated with the sign of Aquarius include:

* Activism
* Anthropological studies
* Astronomy
* Collecting unusual things
* Computer programming
* Hanging out in coffee shops or restaurants
* Humanitarian or volunteer work
* Intellectual and political debates
* Internet surfing
* Inventing things or coming up with new ways of doing things
* Paranormal (especially UFO) or occult studies
* Playing with gadgets
* Reading (especially books on philosophy, politics, ideologies, conspiracy theories, science fiction, fantasy, or occult topics, as well as comic books and graphic novels)
* Scientific studies
* Skiing and other individual sports (particularly snow sports)
* Socializing
* Traveling
* Video games
* Watching sci-fi or fantasy movies

Aquarius Gifts:

Based on Aquarius-associated hobbies, gifts for Aquarius include:

* Books (especially science fiction, fantasy, philosophy, politics, occult, science, anthropology, or paranormal studies)
* Coffee/coffee makers
* Comic books or graphic novels
* Computers and computer accessories
* Crystals
* DVDs
* Modern gadgets
* Motorcycles
* Restaurant and coffee shop gift certificates (Aquarians don’t usually like to cook)
* Science-based games or brain teaser books
* Skiing or snowboarding gear
* Sleds
* Telescopes
* Travel packages
* Unusual, amusing, or futuristic items
* Video games

Aquarius Colours, Patterns, and Designs

Aquarius is associated with exciting colours, such as electric blue and purple, as well as neon shades of blue and green. It is also linked with geometric and psychedelic designs.

Although the Aquarius ruling planet, Uranus, is associated with bright, splashy colours and patterns, Aquarians often prefer to wear monochromatic items of clothing, usually in basic shades of green, blue, or purple, though some Aquarians, being eccentric, dress in an unusual manner and may adopt an atypical overall style. As for preferred colours and designs for objects and backgrounds, Aquarian themes include anything that relates to outer space (planets, galaxies, stars) or suggests scientific, futuristic, and technological concepts.