Author Archive for Aly Walansky

28
Jan
10

Here She Comes, Miss America

I’m off to Las Vegas in a day or so…I’m going to meet the new Miss America, minutes after she’s crowned!

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Obviously, I’m excited – it’s Vegas – but also, it’s Miss America! However, I was shocked to discover that there’s many prejudices that exist about this competition, to this day.

Yes, it’s America’s oldest beauty contest, but what was once fair in its accusation of “objectifying women” (I hate that term), it’s anything-but now. Still, as I tell friends and associates I’m going to Miss America, they treat it as little better than a strip show.

I think the root of a lot of this misunderstanding is people misinterpreting the feminist movement. I mentioned to an old college friend that I’d be at the show, and he’s like “Oh, my wife wouldn’t let me watch that. She’s a feminist.”

What does, then, feminist mean? Women not given the opportunity to compete for scholarships to further their career? That may have not been how the pageant started out – but it’s where it’s become – and that’s a proud reflection of the evolution of American women.

And so I’m going to Sin City, to celebrate women, and womenhood, and being as out there as we want to be – and in my Naughty Monkey Fiesta heels, $79.99 at Zappos.com, a party it will be!

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16
Jan
10

A Whole New World

I’m contemplating a big move.

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I’ve kept it on the down low, but slowly started to let some dominos fall into place. I just may be preparing to fly west…and stay there.

The idea fell into my head about two years ago. I went to southern California on a press trip, and fell in love…not just with the environment and the warmth but with the people. I instantly made friends there – true, lasting friends – and noticed there were a lot of people…who sort of got me. I’m not just speaking of on an aesthetic level — blonds in cute little white sundresses in the middle of November – but on a real, personal level. Did I maybe have a California soul?

This became increasingly true as time went on – I’d travel with press groups to OTHER locations, and instantly befriend the people from California. Then I’d travel there for a few days…and secretly not want to return. It’s not that I don’t love what is here in New York, but when I’m there, it starts to feel like home.

Still, I was afraid. It’s a little scary to leave everything you know — all that, while not perfect, is comfortable, and established – and enter an environment that while inviting, is a little foreign. One where you sort of have to drive…and I barely know where the gas pedal is. But there’s advantages to such a life. Like, I could stop wearing walking shoes…and start wearing sexy choices like the Vince Camuto Desmond wedges, $98 at Zappos.com, on a daily basis – year-round, because I don’t have to worry about snow and slush!

So, will I make the big move? Well, the lease on my current apartment expires later this spring – and randomly, job opportunities have already started to come to me, before people even knew I was considering the move. There’s a heck of a lot it’d be great timing to move on – and away – from; and more so, exciting new roads in my life I’d love to move toward, that maybe I can’t do as long as I’m here. The chances look good…will keep you posted!

03
Jan
10

New Year, New You

As we say goodbye to 2009, and welcome in 2010 – we can’t help but reflect.

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Everyone around me is saying 2009 was a crappy year they are eager to see leave — I can’t say I disagree. I had some amazing experiences this year – but I also had some pretty demoralizing ones. I also learned a lot about myself — that I am sometimes way too trusting of the wrong people, and not loyal enough to the ones I should be. I try to win the love/attention of those who don’t seem to be giving it – and not appreciate the ones who readily offer it. I am bestowed with amazing opportunities in work and life — and yet I focus on the not’s – the should have beens.

Last year, I neglected many of my closest friends for someone who turned out to be the most selfish, mean-spirited individual I had ever had the misfortune of knowing. I almost realized it too late, but as soon as I did, I was so grateful to have them back where they belonged – with me to be goofy, to be silly, to drink too many martinis, drunk dial boys, and then giggle about it in the morning.

This year’s New Year’s Eve was the most special one I had had in a long time – I spent it right at home, with some of the most important people in my life. To celebrate our entrance into a new era, I cooked a grown-up dinner party with all the trimmings – and then we appreciated it old-school style by eating it with prosecco-filled plastic cups on my living room floor.

To mark the pivotal mix of whimsical tradition while still being older and wiser, I wore my Sudini Seattle waterproof faux fur booties, $98 at Zappos.com. It was a messy mix of rain and snow that day – some may say to wash away the old and usher in the new, but we were warm, toasty, and oh-so-fabulous. Oh, and the dinner party went smashing – a total success, and not a single hangover or drunk dial to report in the morning.

23
Dec
09

Snowy Days? Wear Snow Boots. Obvious, much?

It seems sort of obvious, but yet, you’d be surprised.

Zappos - Ugg Snow BootsIt has been my experience, after several decades of existence, that New Yorkers have very bizarre reactions to snow. In short, we fear it. And while a few inches of snowfall is a mild nuisance in other parts of the world, here, it cripples everything.

Schools close and flights get canceled before the snowflakes even begin to fall, and people waver from social commitments on the warning of POSSIBLE snow showers. Seriously?!?

Snow will not kill us. Wear gloves and the right attire, and it’s actually pretty darn pretty.

This weekend, I had planned a birthday party – and 30 of my closest friends were supposed to attend. As the weather grew worse, few bothered to call to say they couldn’t make it, but most didn’t show up. I guess they felt the weather was THAT bad – that it was just simply implied. No, it wasn’t. Were they going to melt?

Perhaps people would fear the elements less if they just were wearing the right attire. I spent the duration of my party in my Ugg Classic Tall Wool boots – $200 at Zappos.com. And, you know what? I was warm and cozy – and enjoying my wine and brie. Something they could all learn from.

06
Dec
09

For Everything, There Is a Season

When I was in college, there was a boy who was my everything.

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Except, I was not his. And so while he was my first…well, everything…ultimately our relationship ended with a random – and abrupt – end of communication when he went off to law school.

Years later, he contacted me again – he was living in another state, married, with a child, and he started to get sort of flirtatious. “Um, hello….what’s going on here???” I’d ask…often via late-night IM…confused, and, quite honestly a little bit offended.

But there was a part of me. A part of me who was tempted – to let him get close and then be the one to reject him. Until I started to feel a little bit sorry for him.

We all have these ideals we think we crave — that great love, that great passion – and often, we eventually get what we think we want, and discover it wasn’t remotely what we were envisioning.

And so I find myself filled with empathy – for his wife, his child, and honestly, even for him – I found myself, and I’m so incredibly happy – how awful it must be for him, to have what he thinks he wanted, and realize how miserable and alone he really is?

Just a few days ago, he sent me a text message that his wife had found some of our old conversations, and he was going to have to distance himself. I waited for that familiar tug to come upon my heart…and it never came. I texted him back and wished him well – I was wearing my French Connection Dolly sandals, $37.50 at 6pm.com, and packing for a getaway to St. Lucia…what do I have to be sad about?

25
Nov
09

Moving About in Macau

Just hours ago, I returned from a whirlwind week in Macau, China.

Every so often we have an experience that we unequivocally know will change us — make us somehow different, maybe even a little better. This often occurs when we remove ourselves from our comfort zone and do something that may feel a little scary for us, but ultimately, makes us feel stronger and more confident.

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I think part of what draws me to web-writing is an inherent shyness -it’s easy to be outgoing and confident when you are alone in a room, staring at a screen – but out and about, I’m different. More hesitant, less sure of myself.

So, when I was invited on a press visit to the other side of the world, a location where I knew no one, had never been, and did not speak the language, I was a little nervous. Granted, I go on press visits all the time – but to Asia? Wow. That would be a biggie.

The day I was packing to leave, I got notification that a cold front was to pass through China, and I should pack accordingly. I took the info I had at hand: A great deal of walking, a chic but cozy city and my need for versatile footwear that would work in various settings — it’s the key to avoiding overpacking – and I knew my choice was clear. On my feet during those long walks would be the comfortably cosmopolitan Michael by Michael Kors Derby Boots with shearling trim.

And so, wearing my fabulous boots, I walked the historic sites of Macau: Saw the mystically beautiful Senado Square, with its historic churches, ruins, and well, Starbucks. Visited St. Paul’s ruins. Ate the locally-famous delicious egg tart…a lot. Rode the ferry. Discovered the beauty that is Portuguese-Chinese fusion. And learned Macau is much more than a town of casinos and piers, as nay-sayers will tell you. It’s a beautiful place to visit, with a stunning history needing to be heard.

But most importantly, I learned I could walk through the streets of a city 8,000 miles away – where I didn’t know the language – and not only be okay, but feel amazing. And that, more so than the mysterious black chickens or 1,000-year-old eggs I discovered, will change me forever.

12
Nov
09

Sashaying to the High Seas

I’m taking a little vacation this weekend – I’m going on a cruise!

Early next week, I’m leaving on a press trip to China, and while that promises to be tons of fun – I am eager to embark with a little R&R time under my belt.

RackRoomShoes.comSo, tomorrow, I shall be taking part in the launch cruise of brand-new Carnival Dream, and I needed sassy yet professional shoes to wear to the naming ceremony. It’s a bit of a conundrum, my vocation: A lot of my activities are fun, and festive, but I am still a professional going to work, and representing my brand (um, that would be me).

After the deeply important decisions were out of the way — and by that, I mean my outfit and my pedicure — the perfect shoes fell into my lap. Accompanying me to the ship’s naming ceremony – which, by the way, I will be live-Tweeting from -I will be wearing my hot new Dannika by Limelight sandals from Rack Room Shoes for $34.99.

The color is ridiculously hot, and the satiny finish gives an touch of class while still full of edge. All aboard! I am so ready for my mai tai.




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