Sunday, November 23, 2014

Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Perfect Shoe...

Whether you are an disney nostalgic, or a sex and the city viewer, most women (and men!) know the importance of a amazing shoe at a big event.

So, for my upcoming blog launch, I spared no time searching for the perfect shoe for the launch. I have had friends question their shoe collection, wondering if their shoes would be up to the standard for photo ops and ogling. My advice was simple - wear what you love, and don't be afraid to stand out.

With that advice in mind, I had to turn to my own shoe dilemma...what would be, "my pair?"

Oh yes, I thought about Cinderalla, and her perfect shoes - although I have yet to leave one shoe behind in any situation....

Then I recalled Carrie Bradshaw, and the perfect pink sandals that she wore to meet Big, that eventually were soiled with an unfortunate water break.

So, my search (high and low) is continuing....with only 6 days left, the search for the perfect shoe has intensified.

Here are my top five pics for the perfect shoe...tell me what you think. Which shoe should I choose?

// Sophia Webster Butterfly // 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

It's Almost Here....the Website Debuts in ONE WEEK

I CAN'T believe it's almost here....the new launch of my website and a whole new look to Cha Cha Living.

Over the past year, the blog has grown from a wholehearted obsession with shoes, to something broader, unearthing what I find to be as the "best" shoes/clothing/food/wine/music/makeup and anything else under the sun.

I search, scour and skim every website, magazine, blog and store to find what I consider as the best things out there. I debunk myths (best ____) and test out what the best box wine is (for when you are saving those $$ for a pair of shoes).

And the great news is, my new website and blog launch is just 7 days away!!

While the current site graphics are etsy worthy, the new graphics are amazing, and were created by the super talented Sam Burns (contact info here). We had so much fun incorporating the feel and vibe of Cha Cha Living into a logo.

Then, with the help of the amazing web development team from Salt Lake City company, WebTek Interactive (contact info here) we have created an amazing site that is streamlined, and super easy to navigate. Think better surfing, more pictures, easier links, and amazing content. These guys were amazing to work with - and my vision for the website is about to become a reality!

So....keep your eyes peeled for the October 25th launch of the new

New Fragrance I Love....Tom Ford Neroli Portofino

Is there anything Tom Ford can't do? I mean, I have long loved Tom Ford's designs, particularly when he was Creative Director at YSL. There was this navy blue velvet suit during the summer of 2002...I found it on 1st Dibs....but just couldn't pull the trigger.

That leads me to his fragrance line, started in 2006. I had sort of landed on my own personal favorites over the past couple of years, and Kai had been the leading perfume in my rotation. But, one day, after waiting for my makeup purchase to complete, I ran across the most beautiful scent - and it was no surprise that it was a Tom Ford creation.

Enter Neroli Portofino, one of the private collection perfumes from Tom Ford. The perfume is like no other, with scents of citrus, floral and amber that is surprisingly clean and fresh. His inspiration was the Italian Riviera, and the clear water, cool breezes and lush foliage.

And, like most of Tom Ford's creations, it's not cheap. But, if you have ever owned anything Tom Ford, you will know there always high quality, and worth every penny.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Halloween Favs

Halloween is by far one of my favorite holidays of the year. The weather starts to cool down and nights start to have a crispness in the air. And then there is the start of holiday decorating season.

To me - Halloween is the official kick off to the holiday season - and it provides virtually any excuse to create a new craft cocktail and decorate the house.

This Halloween - my costume will be influenced by a recent trip to Barcelona. But, until are a few of my favorite Halloween items to get you in the mood.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Makeup Line I Love - Jouer

I am a sucker for top lists. best (fill in the blank) beauty fix or any new trend in makeup - it's almost like a challenge to me.

I always question...could this "best of" list really be true...or just hype about a certain product?

So, when a certain company kept popping up on the "best of" lists, I had to try it out.

Meet Jouer, a cosmetics line founded in 2004 by Christina Zilber. Jouer means "to play" in french, and everything in their collection is fun and light.

Curiosity got the best of me, and a couple of weeks ago, I bought a couple of their best sellers, particularly their aluminizing moisture tints (with SPF 20!!).

My favorite thing about this tinted moisturizer is the ease of the product. I tend to only pick 2-3 products in the morning - for me, ease and simplicity is what I prefer on a day to day basis. This product is amazing in that it gives some color, but leaves skin luminous and glowing. A little powder, blush and mascara, and I am done.

I picked two colors....a bronzed color for summer, and the blush color for fall and winter. The only problem with buying online is guessing your best color. But, it is available at your nearest Nordstroms if you want to check color in person. And guess can get 25% off now at with code (FFLOVE).

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

New Music Wednesday - Hozier

Hozier....Hozier...Hozier. Let me tell the many ways I love thee.

Have you ever listening to a record on a long drive, and purposely drove past your exit so you can finish the rest of the songs? That's Hozier.

Hozier is Andrew Hozier-Byrne, and Irish musician that recently released his debut album. Seriously, I had a hard time picking one song to share with you (hence the two songs below). 

But  his stuff is good - perfect for a fall day while nesting in your house with a glass of wine and the smell of roasting apples in the background. And, if you wanted to really get in the mood, buy the vinyl version here...because the only thing better than Hozier on your iPhone is Hozier on vinyl.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Blog Launch Party - It's Finally Here!

Yes, its true. The day has finally come!!

A new website...

New logos...

And much more content ranging from shoes, to clothes, to food and wine, and much more.

If you are in the San Diego area, please join us for the event of the year....the Cha Cha Living Blog Launch party on October 25th. Details below!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Cracking the Code - a shoe addict spills the inside secrets in finding the best shoes on ebay

You know those people that show off an amazing pair of shoes, tell you they found them on sale...on ebay....for $40??

I hate them, don't you.

It's like they have a honing radar for great shoes, and great deals online. Do you ever wonder what their secret is? High bandwidth speed, making their kids scour the web?

Not so. I give you the four key ways to find the best shoes on ebay.

Take for instance these never been worn YSL heels. I recently found them on ebay using step four below!

1 - Search - The key to finding the right pair of shoes or any item on ebay is a good search term. I tend to go more specific first, and then broaden my search if I don't know what I am looking for. The more descriptive you can be (gold ysl heels satin) the closer you will get to what you are actually looking for.

And, if there is a particular brand that you love (Jimmy Choo) you can always keep it broad and just search the brand + shoes. If you don't know which brand you are looking for, keep notes of full price shoe brands online that you love, and start to follow them on ebay.

2 - Sort - The best way to narrow down the hundreds of thousands of shoes is to sort. You can sort by size, heel height, color, new or used, as well as from lowest to highest price (or vice versa).

Sorting is one of the best ways to pinpoint those shoes that are relevant to you, and speed up your search process.

3 - Follow - Did you know that you can follow searches in your ebay feed? Your ebay feed is what shows up when you first pull up the site. If you have a strong preference for Jimmy Choos and Sofia Webster, then you can make sure that your news feed is full of those shoes.

4 - Save - The ultimate ebay trick. Who has time to peruse ebay sites for amazing shoes? Well, other than shoe fanatics and bloggers, it's not really realistic to search for those special shoes every day. The save tool changes all of that.

After you click the follow link, there is an option to to save the search and send to email. That means that whatever you specially searched for (YSL, size 8 or size 8.5) you can now save that search, and receive a daily email. Email preferences can be updated at any time, just go to "my ebay" and then to "followed searches." This option is really a lifesaver and can help you find those special shoes as soon as they appear on ebay.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

New Music Wednesday - Jon Bellion

I love stumbling upon a new artist - like finding a coveted purse hidden in sale rack.

This week's new music is Jon Bellion, an artist from Long Island, classified as a singer-sonwriter and rapper. He wrote the chorus to that song know the one with Rihanna and Eminem??

He recently released a fully downloadable album, entitled "the Definition." Take a listen...and if you like it as much as I do, it's a free download at:

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

It's Here...the 1 Year Anniversary...and 100 Posts

Wow - what a year can bring.

Last September, I decided to take the step and start a blog. It started out because of a general obsession with shoes, and a curiosity to find the best (fill in the black) item out there. It was also a way to write more, express creativity and in some ways justify my weekly package visits from my UPS guy.

Over the year, I have learned a lot about coding, photography, styling and getting more comfortable with writing. I have written about spring/summer/fall shopping, how to find the best deal on shoes, how to use a calculator to determine shoe buys, and even waded into the world of music and wine.

One year and 100 posts later, it is has evolved, and really become more of a unbiased voice navigating the world of fashion, decor, food and wine, and general things that inspire me. And, in 3 short weeks, Cha Cha Living will get a brand new look, with an updated logo and website.

So, thank you for all of the support over the last year. I appreciate the "likes" and "shares" and your comments!

Stay tuned for changes in the next 3 weeks - you are going to love what you see!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Your Most Comfortable Pair of Sandals....FOUND

I am a sucker whenever I hear someone make a "best" claim about a piece of clothing, pair of shoes or beauty item.

When the statement is found in a magazine article, I tend to be more suspicious, particularly when that article is followed by an ad from the same company.

But, when that claim comes from one of your best friends, you stand at attention. 

Recently, one of my best friends told me she had found the perfect black sandal. For a shoe lover like myself, I was intrigued. Go on, I told her, tell me about these shoes. She had purchased them from Nordstrom's, and had bought them for a upcoming high school reunion. And, after wearing them all night - filled with dancing, walking and standing, she still maintained her love for these black sandals.

Naturally, I had to try them out. I went online, and bought these black Via Spiga Tafari sandals. The sandal was on sale, fit below the 4" heel high pain threshold, and was Italian made.

Once the shoe arrived, I was impressed by the leather ladder straps leading up the foot, and the slingback sandal detailed with a slender set-back heel. They were a perfect sandal to take on my upcoming work trip to Stockholm. I would test this "best sandal" claim that a trusted source told me.

 Day 1: heels made it through several miles of walking and brick tiled booby traps

 Day 2: Conference carpeting gives my soles a bit of a break

 Day 3: All day cement walking....a little tired at the end of the day, but still happy feet

Day 4: A mix of sitting and standing, but the shoes keep my black suit from boredom 

Day 5: All day events led to 12 hours on my feet. Although tired at the end of the day, these shoes lasted without major pain.

In the end, I was very impressed with these sandals. The sandals had enough opening on the toes to keep from major blisters and toe smash, while the back of the sandal had elastic to keep movement in the ankle. 

After a week of traveling and walking, these were comfortable, yet stylish. And not that I doubted my friend....but my weeklong test proved that these were, the most comfortable and stylish sandals around.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

New Line I Love - Marta Larsson Jewelry

Every once in a while, you stumble across a clothing or jewelry line that takes your breath away. Something unique - almost like art - that literally stops you in your tracks.

I experienced this last week while stumbling across a new jewelry line called Marta Larsson. I was specifically looking for Swedish designers, and ran across this line while perusing some stores in Stockholm. Originally from Lappland, Stockholm, this designer now hand crafts each piece in London where she plays and records records with her band Streetly Electrix.

My favorite thing about each of these pieces is that she maintains the raw beauty of the stone in a wearable piece of jewelry. And, from experience (I may have picked up a couple of pieces!!) these are very well made with amazing stones and 14k gold and silver.

Here are a few of my favorite pics from her recent collection.

And, you don't have to fly all the way to Stockholm to buy her jewelry - they are all available online at 

All images are from

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

New Music Wednesday - J Roddy Walston and the Business

You know those songs you hear, and immediately connect with?

That's how i felt when I heard J Roddy Walston and the Business and their song, "Take it as it comes." Its the type of songs that make you want to cruise in your car with the windows down and shades on, running your fingers through the oncoming wind.

The band was unfamiliar to me, but they carry quite a presence on the road, touring in an old white church van (NYT story on the van here). The band formed in 2002, in Walston's hometown of Cleveland, TN. Since then, they have reallocated to the Baltimore area, and can be touring throughout the country (check out their schedule here).

Their recent album, Essential Tremors was released nearly a year ago, but it recently landed in front of me - and instantly fell in love. Not like shoe love, but close.

So, if you are looking for a pick me up this Wednesday, watch won't be disappointed.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Back to School - Hopscotching in Prada

It's that time of year....the dreaded end of summer.

I love every minute of summer. The BBQ's...cut-off jean shorts...flip flops (does this sound like a Jake Owen country song??)

But, there comes a time when the weather starts to cool, every target in town is overrun and out of stock and kids go back to school. And oh yes, the shopping.

Shopping for back to school was always a strategic time for me. I had a limited budget, and decisions had to be made on saving up money for a big purchase (hello LA Gear jacket), or applying my funds more evenly over all my clothing.

Now, as an adult, I still view the back to school time as an opportunity to reassess your wardrobe, and  put your money towards those necessary fall items.

One of the quintessential reminders of back to school are those black and white saddle shoes. Saddle shoes showed up in the U.S. in the post-war era, and with famous wearers such as Elvis and James Dean, they have been a reoccurring favorite.

I picked up these Prada saddle shoes during a spring sale, and have been waiting to bring them out all summer.

So, if you haven't already - go out and shop. And, if you haven't hopscotched in a while, I highly recommend it no matter your age!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Stems and Stilettos - Two Smoking Guns

With fall just around the corner, we bring you our monthly installment of stems and stilettos. Our guest editor Veronica Shah brings uses her Jerome Rousseau booties to inspire a spicy cocktail. 

Because…what’s better than an amazing cocktail and high heels??

Two Smoking Guns
As I mentioned in a previous post, I am usually the one who fields the phone calls from the Principal.  My son is only in first grade but we are already familiar with the perp walk to the Principal’s Office.  While I understand even little boys playing police and criminal with pretend guns is frightening these days, have we gone too far when that can result in a suspension?
When I prepare myself for the meeting in the Principal’s Office, I like to feel that I’m wearing armor.  These Jerome C. Rousseau gold-studded booties do the trick.  They keep my spine straight and my parental rebuttals factual and unemotional. When all else fails, they look good when I’m on my hands and knees begging that my son not be punished with a suspension.

In unexpressed defiance of the Principal, my husband makes the Two Smoking Guns Cocktail for me.  It is smoky, spicy and kick-ass.  

Just like I meant to be in these smokin’ booties.

Jerome C. Rousseau 3 ½ inch Charme Booties in Tan Nappa with Studs

Two Smoking Guns
3 sage leaves
1 oz fresh lemon juice
¾ oz simple syrup
1 stemmed sage leaf to garnish
Lightly muddle the sage leaves in a Boston Shaker then add the next 5 ingredients.  Add ice, shake and strain into a coupe.  Float the stemmed sage leave on top and place gold sugar beads on sage leave.

Adapted from The Fashionable Cocktail 

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