Wednesday, June 10, 2015

When to Skimp and When to Spend

 L'Artiste Spring Step Shoes
When you practice living within your means while wholeheartedly enjoying those things in life that are important to you, it forces you to identify your own priorities.  Living Large means making judgement calls on your personal expenses, based on those considerations. 

Financial priorities change throughout our lives.  For example, taking care of myself, on the inside and out, has always been important to me.  Skin and hair has always been a forerunner in personal care.  At certain points in my life the best I could afford was a daily double dosing of soap and water and a little store-bought moisturizer on the face and a free or discounted cut or color, sometimes as a hair model, but always at a top-notch salon, similar those offered at SalonApprentice.  Today I spend top dollar for Arbonne facial products and haircuts from Gia at Charles Ifergan, as the game has changed slightly.  Yes, I make more money than I did twenty years ago, but more importantly, I’ve learned how to skimp on other things that don’t hold as much weight for me, like name brand clothes, speciality groceries, and designer furniture in order to pay face value for other things that do. 

Good shoes matter to me, from the quality, to the fit, to the comfort and durability.  I have no problem whatsoever dropping a Franklin and a half on a pair of good shoes.  In fact, I do it with enthusiasm, as my investment saves me money in the long run in replacement value, as most of the shoes I buy last 5-10 years.  Dr. Martens, Steve Madden, FitFlop and Asics are on my short list when it comes to comfort and durability.

A new brand I’ve come to adore is Sping Step Shoes.  Not only do they have the word comfort in their tagline, but their style options are unique.  Looking through Spring/Summer shoe catalog after being referred to the company by a family member who works for them, I honestly wasn’t sure I would like the shoes, as many of the styles are super bright in color and intricately floral in design, which isn’t my usual go-to in footwear.  However, once I checked out the company website and saw the shoes paired with various garments and styles, I could see the appeal.  

I chose L'Artiste by Spring Step Soatico to sample and review, as the hand-painted leather sandal’s heel measured just over 2”, which is now my daytime threshold after a recent knee surgery has left my normal 3-4” everyday platforms collecting dust in the closet due to the pain they cause.  These sandals have a graduated platform that covers the entire bottom of the shoe, which is a necessity for me since it allows me to stably and comfortably walk distances of up to a few miles at a time without switching to sneakers.  The padded footbed, cushioned insole, and cork construction aid both in support and shock absorbency, while the nubbed rubber outsole, which is slightly smaller than the footprint of the entire shoe, allows for more traction and less clomp when it hits the pavement than most platform shoes.  Finally, and some may think most importantly, the flirty strappy style and phenomenal color combination, deep fuschia-purple and various shades of camel, turns heads and elicits compliments every time I wear them.

When to Skimp and When to Spend - ParentUnplugged - Stacy Snyder
I truly feel like I’ve hit the jackpot by being offered the courtesy of a test-drive on these sandals in exchange for an honest written review!  I have worn these warm weather shoes to death, tromping through all sorts of weather, terrain, and temperatures (I live in Chicago you know!), yet the leather straps have held their tension and the sturdy soles still look brand new.  I’m pumped to have a new shoe company to rely on for quality and comfort. 

You can hit the motherlode too, as Spring Step is giving away a free pair of L'Artiste sandals to one lucky ParentUnplugged winner.  Ride out the summer in style and comfort; enter below to win.

Required disclosure:  Spring Step will provide one randomly selected winner a pair of sandals, valued at $89.99  All opinions are my own.
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