It’s a flat, flat world

So I’m a petite (read: short), curvy young woman who has spent her life in heels, boots and other contraptions designed to make me appear longer, leaner and less height-impaired than I actually am. In my 24 years pacing around this planet, I’ve spent a solid decade standing at a whopping 5’2″ tall. Barefoot. (My driver’s license may put me at 5’4″, but that was wishful thinking.)

Of course, you’d typically never know that about me. In the winter, my dogs are stuffed into black boots that give me an extra three inches or so of height, and in the summer? Wedges, friends — it’s all about the wedges. I teeter, I totter, and I generally meander around in shoes designed to make me look less like a pint-sized playground companion and more like a powerful, assertive woman. And as someone who once dated a man who stands at a meager 6’7″, I realized long ago that I can use any and all help in the height department.

So why I now wearing flats everywhere I go?

Out shopping with my best friend Nichole recently, we wound up at our friendly neighborhood DSW. And because I’m a fancy girl who likes fancy things but doesn’t want to pay top-dollar for them, y’all know I had a coupon. At Nichole’s urging, I picked up a pair of black Blowfish flats at a ridiculously good price. I was skeptical, yes, because your girl Meg doesn’t like feeling like a tiny blade of grass in a giant-sized world. But they weren’t expensive, they’re super cute and I thought — why not?

And you know what? They’re amazing. Comfortable, age-appropriate, fashionable . . .

I wear them with jeans. I wear them with skirts. I wear them with dresses in the office, then out on dates on the weekends. Basically? I’m living in these shoes, which are a huge improvement from my usual footwear of scuffed-up flip-flops, worn-out sneakers or too-high heels inappropriate for, say, a jaunt to Target.

I’m officially converted. And if that makes me look less Tall, Lanky Supermodel and more Tiny, Funny Fellow Land Dweller, I guess I’m just fine with that.

Am I the last one to realize it’s amazing not to have your feet constantly hurting? Has the Flats Revolution been happening right under my nose for years as I stumbled by in boots, completely oblivious?

Why didn’t you guys tell me?

Never again, friends. Never . . . again.

And I said, ‘What about a ring from Tiffany’s?’

We all know that I love jewelry and, like most people, attach a certain meaning to each piece I wear. Whether it’s a gift from a family member, friend, boyfriend or something I chose and created for myself, knowing that each piece has a story behind it — even if it’s only significant to me — is important.

So last fall, thick in the middle of a rather low point in recent memory, I made a spur-of-the-moment decision to visit California with some girlfriends last November. We all remember I was feeling low, dejected, bored and listless — frustrated that my life had gotten “off track.” Heading to Los Angeles (from my home in Maryland) was a really, really uncharacteristic thing for me to do, but it seemed like the right call. My hands shook as I purchased the plane ticket and asked for time off at work, but the gnawing urge to get away was too strong for me to ignore.

Once in L.A., my friends and I ambled along Wilshire Boulevard and looked at all the pretty storefronts full of shiny things. After window shopping for most of the afternoon, my breath caught as one of the ladies suggested detouring into Tiffany & Co. With my scuffed flip-flops and flyaway hair, I wasn’t exactly feeling like a member of the “elite” clientele — but I went in, anyway.

And when the girls started trying on rings, all of us admiring the way the silver flashed in the California light, I tried some on, too.

And when my friends began to earnestly ask the cost of some of the rings and share meaningful looks with me, seeming to ask me a question, I smiled back.

We all bought rings at Tiffany that day — something I would never have imagined myself doing. The silver band with tiny “xoxo” in a repeating pattern fits perfectly on the middle finger of my right hand, its home for the past four months. I wear it every single day and, despite having rarely worn a ring on that finger before, I now feel naked without it. Take a peek at any photo of me and you’ll probably see it — just a flash of silver on my hand.

Every time I look down, I remind myself of everything I want from life — and how I’m going to get it. It’s become a symbol of everything unpredictable and glorious about living, and helps me remember to take risks and step outside of what’s comfortable and familiar. Because I went to California, 3,000 miles away! I healed my broken heart! I kept living and moving and breathing!

Nothing could mean more to me than an expensive ring I own . . . and bought myself. In the most cliche sense imaginable, it’s the gift that keeps on giving.

Yes, Meg, there is a Nail Polish Claus (and he likes pink)

Something really exciting happened to me this week.

No, I haven’t yet found “The One” — or even “the one” of the moment. As of this posting, friends, I haven’t gotten to a third date with any of the gentlemen with whom I’ve been seeing recently. Casually. In a casual way.

I haven’t won the lottery or gotten a raise. And while I’m at it, I haven’t made great strides in finishing my fourth novel or returning to the infamous querying process in order to find someone who will value (and promote) my snark-tastic musings. I did win a heaping pile of books from The Book Studio — more on that later — but I’m so stressed and busy, I’m not sure when I’ll be able to crack the spine on any of them. Yes, things are insane — in a good way — and I’m feeling overwhelmed, but . . .

I found the perfect shade of
pink nail polish.

I’ve pranced around the planet for almost 25 years and polished up these pretty fingers more times than I can count. In terms of obsessions, I’m a bit of a nail polish junkie — and it doesn’t help that I frequent some fabulous fashion blogs which make me want to whip out the ol’ credit card and order everything in sight. If I’m strolling through Target, I have to detour into the makeup aisle — just to get a glimpse at all the tiny, pretty bottles, all perfectly lined up and promising I’ll become sassy or saucy or sexy while wearing these shades.

I’m pretty saucy on a daily basis — or try to be, anyway — but there’s something about those clear bottles promising me a mini-makeover that I find utterly irresistible.

But up until this week, I’d never been able to find the right shade of pink.

Because on top of being sassy and saucy, I’m very particular. My sister’s room is full of the pink cast-offs I’ve purchased over the years, trying to find the right color, only to decide that while it’s pretty or cute or whatevs, it’s not The One.

But it’s a brand-new day.

It’s called “Party In My Cabana” and is made by none other than OPI, that most fabulous (and, er, costly) of nail companies. Since I cycle through so many bottles of polish on a regular basis, I usually can’t see paying $8 or $10 a bottle for something I’ll probably wear once and then shove in a bin, but let me say this: I’d pay every cent of that $8 for this hue (and did), and I think you’ll see why. Glance to the very top.

It’s dark. It’s a fun, dark pink. It’s not bubblegum, but it’s not salmon. It’s bold and bright and fun, while still being sophisticated and work-appropriate.

Basically, it’s Heaven In A Tiny, Black-Capped Bottle.

I was about to stop believing, but my faith in cosmetics has been restored. Yes, Meg, there is a Nail Polish Claus — available on the OPI site — and it knew what I wanted even before I did. Once there, click “Try On This Color” and, you know, spend a few minutes (er, hours?) finding the shade that works best for you. Then head over to Amazon or your favorite retailer, find it cheap and go for it. Paint those nails. Or, in my case, come have a “party in my cabana”!

Not sure that sounds right. But, ladies, you know what I mean.

Etsy find Fridays: Tie it with a bow

There’s something about a well-placed bow that sets my heart a’ flutterin’! They’re pretty, feminine, funky and fun — a throwback in some ways, sure, but also thoroughly modern. And now that my hair is a wee bit shorter? I’m thinking I need a few. For my tresses.

But they’re everywhere, these bows — and you can put them just about everywhere, too. As my recent Etsy finds will demonstrate . . .

Tiffany blue hair bow by sweetsandhearts, $8

Mini bow necklace by CosmicCreatures, $8

Mini bow necklace by CosmicCreatures, $8

Pink glitter shoe buckle accessory by madebysarika, $10

Pink glitter shoe buckle accessory by madebysarika, $10

Skinny sterling silver forget-me-know bow ring by PaupersBounty, $10.99

A friend in tweed... purse by breagha, $23

Lilly in love... amore -- purse by myTida, $60

Etsy find Fridays: Books as art

It’s happened again . . . I’m bored with my room. Since the big redesign, cleaning and purging of June ’09, I’ve been reasonably happy with the set-up of my books and furniture, but something new is irking me: I need new art. Like, yesterday. Because all the posters from the plays in which I performed in high school, oh, ten years ago? It’s time to move beyond. I’m ready.

So I’ve spent the better part of my Black Friday looking at art on Etsy, my most favorite of all online retailers. Doing a search for “print” will give you about seven million trillion results, so don’t put yourself through that. I’ve been looking for something that screams “MEG!” (or, you know, gently shouts it?) to hang in place of all the random memorabilia currently scattered on my walls.

Being the consummate book lover you all know and love, this inevitably led me to search for book-related prints — and I certainly have my options! Join in the fun and help me decide. Or just order these right out from under me, basically stealing my art- and book-related joy. You know, whichever.

Where The Wild Things Are upcycled book page by wallenvyart, $16

Emma is fascinated with The Great Gatsby by flapperdoodle, $10

"Shakespeare In Paris" fine art photograph by AliciaBock, $35

"Ideal Bookshelf 2" print by janemount, $25

The Library print of original sketch by NestaHome, $25

Books print by theblackapple, $16

Etsy Find Fridays: Briolettes all around

I love that in my frequent travels of the Internet, it never fails that I’ll come across something exciting and different and awesome and realize, Hey. This totally fulfills a need in my life that I didn’t even know I needed filled. Today, friends, I’m talking about the briolette — a teardrop-shaped stone (or gem, or anything) that I’ve always admired but never knew had a name. That’s silly of me, considering everything has a name! I just have to find out what it is.

But yes — the briolette. Gorgeous, sparkly and lovely dangling from a chain, wire or strand of silver (or gold, whatever your fancy). Today’s edition of Etsy find Fridays is dedicated to jewelry bearing my new obsession! Sit back and try not to get drool all over keyboard. Or is that just me . . . ?

Long briolette necklace by BrittanyChavers, $8

Sterling lotus with crystal briolette by liliswan, $22

Coronet earrings by PoleStar, $35

Dark galaxy earrings by AnnaArtiste, $26

Dark galaxy earrings by AnnaArtiste, $26

Etsy Find Fridays: Autumn love

How easy is it to fall in love with fall? The gorgeous colors and changing of the leaves make me want to throw my camera around my neck and run to the nearest park, where I could wander around for hours. Since time doesn’t allow me to be a traveling amateur photographer, I’m going to take pictures of what I can — and turn to my one of my favorite sites, Etsy, for the rest of my seasonal spirit!

Whether you’re looking for a nice, cozy scarf (like me!) or a pair of sparkly acorn earrings, Etsy is brimming with gorgeous fall items. And I know I sound like I’m writing ad copy right now — not that that would be a stretch for me or anything — but believe me when I tell you that I lust after these things all on my own . . . the last thing I need is any encouragement (unfortunately)! I just can’t seem to get enough of the gorgeous baubles and bobs all over the website.

And now, I present a few of my favorite autumnal things . . .

can you feel the cold breeze already?

Fall leaves translucent resin earrings by UnderGlass, $15

Fall leaves translucent resin earrings by UnderGlass, $15

Autumn leaves journal by burgundydistrict, $14

Autumn leaves journal by burgundydistrict, $14

Perfect acorns brass earrings by BeadsByEvelyn, $14

Perfect acorns brass earrings by BeadsByEvelyn, $14

Leafy peace sign appliques by sweet3leafprints, $8

Leafy peace sign appliques by sweet3leafprints, $8

Marigold necklace by LeClairRoseDesigns, $17

Marigold necklace by LeClairRoseDesigns, $17

fall into autumn scarf by ME!, $12

fall into autumn scarf by ME!, $12