Best and Worst of the 2013 Oscar Heels

27 02 2013

By now, you’ve been privy to many best and worst-dressed lists from this weekend’s Oscars. But most people have missed out on discussing a very important element of the ensemble – the shoes, of course!

Now, to be fair, many of the women wore floor length gowns so that makes it difficult to see what shoes they actually had on. But for those that allowed us even a little peak, we can certainly rate how well they did or didn’t do.

So without further ado, here are some of my best and worst shoe looks from the weekend!


Zoe Saldana in Roger Vivier 

(Say what you want about her dress, I love these shoes!)

Zoe Saldana rocks these Roger Vivier "Le Smoking" SandalsPhoto Credit:

Zoe Saldana rocks these Roger Vivier “Le Smoking” Sandals
Photo Credit:

Adele in Christian Louboutin

(Who doesn’t love a good sparkly stiletto? I certainly do!!)

Photo Credit:

Photo Credit:

Diane Kruger in Christian Louboutin

(Okay, technically this is from Oscar weekend and not the actual night, but I couldn’t pass up showcasing these lovely shoes.)

Diane Kruger in her Christian Louboutin "Paulina" heelsPhoto Credit:

Diane Kruger in her Christian Louboutin “Paulina” heels.
Photo Credit:

Charlize Theron in Roger Vivier 

(Listen, I know you can barely see the shoe, and I get that the dress and haircut are what wow-ed everyone else, but when I found out that they custom-made these shoes for her in white satin with a gold platform, I had to add her to the BEST list.)

Charlize Theron in Roger Vivier Cecil T-strap SandalsPhoto Credit:

Charlize Theron in Roger Vivier Cecil T-strap Sandals
Photo Credit:

Halle Berry in Jimmy Choo

(Sometimes a simple black peep-toe pump is all you really need.)

Photo Credit:

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Unfortunately, some of my faves didn’t do as well as others. As much as it pains me to add these folks to the list, I just have to.

Jennifer Garner in Brian Atwood

(I love a good colored shoe, but this just did not work for me, Jen.)

Photo Credits: and

Photo Credits: and

Jennifer Hudson in Giuseppe Zanotti

(Oh JHud. I love the dress, but hate the shoes with the dress. I even love the shoes really, but just not with THAT dress!)

Photo Credit:

Photo Credit:

Kelly Rowland in Jimmy Choo

(I think this one hurts me the most. Not just because I typically looove her shoe style, but also because she looked absolutely FABULOUS that night… until I saw the shoes. They weren’t a complete fail, but they definitely weren’t a win either.)

Photo Credits: and

Photo Credits: and

What do you all think? How would you rate your fave celebrities in their shoe choices for the weekend and do you agree/disagree with any of my selections?

Let’s discuss!


Giving up the Snicker bar for the Full Course Meal

25 02 2013

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. – Jeremiah 29:11

Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it. – Malachi 3:10

I have dated a lot of snicker bars. Most have been good guys, but snicker bars nonetheless.

I realized this recently after hearing a sermon at church and then engaging in a conversation with a dear friend of mine. Both the sermon and conversation struck me pretty instantly, as they were about how we hold on tight to the things we have in life even when God is telling us to release them so He can provide us with more than we could ever imagine. Now, usually, this message is applied to tithing – the concept of giving God 10% of your gross – but as the minister explained in the sermon, our money is not the only place in which God asks us to sacrifice what we think we need, so that He can give us what we really need.

And upon reflection recently, I realized that this included some of the men in my life.

Now because I’m me – I had to break it down to really understand the message. “So basically, God is saying ‘hand over that snicker bar you’ve been holding onto that can only slightly satisfy you, that can only hold you over until the next hunger pain comes, that’s only really a band-aid to the real desires of your heart – and I’ll supply you with a full course meal. But you have to have the faith to let the snicker bar go first.'”

“Right,” my friend said, chuckling.  But even though she laughed at my analogy,  she also said that it was a pretty good way of breaking it down. And she had confirmation of that very concept in her life, as well. She’d seen firsthand the benefits of letting someone go who was a good guy, but not the guy for her. Since then, she’d come into so many blessings that she didn’t even expect, not the least of which was meeting the man whom she now called her fiance. And all of this came to pass not because the other guy was gone, but because she was obedient even when she didn’t want to be.

And so I thought about it. And thought about how many times I’ve dated guys that I knew wouldn’t last longer than a few months or how many times I’ve held onto guys that may have been good men, but I knew weren’t good men for me. How many times I tried to force a situation to work out because either “he was the right guy on paper,” or “everyone loved him,” or “he was an exciting fish in a pool full of unexciting prospects” or maybe even because “I loved him.” The answer, not-surprisingly, was quite a few. But why, I wondered.

Why, if I’m presented with a deal such as that (give me that little piece of candy and I’ll supply all your needs), do I hesitate and worry and question and get frustrated and lash out and of all things, hold on even tighter to that damn piece of candy? Why have I gotten angry and at times felt like God forgot about me? Why did I do the exact opposite of what He’s asking and then wonder why I keep finding myself hurt and confused?

And then I realized. It’s because faith is so much easier to handle when it’s discussed intellectually. But when it’s brought down to its elemental core and it’s applied to our specific lives, then it’s so not cut and dry. I can speak all day long about faith being an action word and how God is pleased by our faith and how it is the substance of things not seen, but the real question was how well was I actually applying it to my life. How willing was I to let go of the things I wanted when God said no?

In some things – really well. I’ve seen the manifestation of my faith in my career and in many of my other aspirations. But in those quiet moments, in the still of the night in my apartment, when questioning my relationships, I’d be lying if I said that was what I always relied on. I mean, how else do you explain all the snicker bars? All the men I’ve dated and not-so-much-dated who I knew weren’t right (whether it was a loud trumpet type of knowing or that quiet whisper telling me to move on), but refused to give up for whatever reason I thought of at the time?

And I’ve come up with some good reasons, y’all, to stay. Reasons like…

  • I didn’t try hard enough the first time around.
  • He didn’t get a chance to see the real me.
  • I was judgmental in the beginning.
  • Maybe I don’t need that spark/chemistry to make things work?
  • But it was, like, fate – how we met!
  • But we came back into each others’ lives – see? Fate! (again)
  • He gets me.
  • He really likes me. Like, a lot. So maybe I should like him?
  • He needs me.
  • I don’t know who I am without him.

And on and on, I’d make excuses. I’d give all these reasons for why God was wrong and why I really needed that snicker bar… and I was never free. So now – I’m trying something different. Actually, I’ve been working on it for quite some time, but I’m telling you all about it now.

I’m giving up my snicker bars. I’m letting go of the things that are no longer fulfilling in my life. I’m jumping out there and trusting God’s plan. And I’m nervous as heck, and in some instances – it hurts more than I can dare to write here, but I’m also really really hopeful for the future.

A Shoe Video for Shoe Lovers

22 02 2013

One of my fave girls and readers sent me this video the other day on Facebook, and I just had to share! Kudos to all the women who dressed up in their finest shoes even in inclement weather! I’m far too protective of my babies shoes to have done such a thing.

But since they did, we might as well celebrate it, right? Here’s my favorite line of the video: “The erogenous zone, if you will, in fashion, and there always is one, is definitely on the foot.”

So the million dollar questions, ladies, are A) what shoes would you wear if you had the chance to attend Fashion Week and B) would you still wear them if it snowed a day or two before?

The Good and Bad of Skyping Your Boo

20 02 2013


The beautiful thing about technology is that it brings about changes that you never thought possible. I mean, who would have thought in 1983 (the greatest year EVER!) that if you lived in DC and your boo lived in California, you guys would be able to see each other every day if you wanted. Well, through technology and the advent of programs like Skype, Oovoo, Facetime, and I’m sure others – this is a very real possibility. Sure, you can’t touch that person – but trust me, as a person who’s engaged in a few long distance relationships, being able to look that person in his or her eyes is so much better than simply talking on the phone all the time.

But there’s another side to technology that’s not so great. I’m talking about the frustrating times when all you can do is scream out “WHY is this thing not working?!” The times when it feels like the tech world is conspiring against you. Those are the times when you want to toss your computer through the window and start all over.

Well, in this lovers’ month of February, I figured I’d talk about some of the great and not-so great aspects of skyping your boo.

PRO – You can get far more (ahem) intimate with your boo

Have you ever had phone sex? If you have, imagine that through a webcam. Nuff said.

CON – You’re guaranteed to have the screen freeze on you at some point

Its frustrating enough when someone has a bad connection on their phone and you have to engage in the ‘can you hear me now’ portion of the conversation, but when that also includes screens freezing (usually in unflattering facial positions), its just the worst.

PRO – It helps make that month or so go by a little faster til you can see your boo again.

No, you probably don’t need to see him or her daily, unless you’re at that point in your relationship, but I can testify that there were definitely times when just seeing my guy’s smile made my day so much better.

CON – You don’t always look the best through webcam view

Let me tell you, one of the harder things in life is to try to make yourself look sexy over Skype. I know that’s first world problems and I know that sounds crazy, but it’s difficult! And you have to definitely situate your computer juuuuust right so your boo doesn’t look up and see nothing but your forehead or your chin.

Anyway, even with those cons, I still think the pros weigh out in the end. What about you all? Ever have to skype/facetime/oovoo a boo-thang? What did you like or not like about it?

Put My Name On It… #SoIKnowItsReal

15 02 2013

darby shoes

Okay, ummm… I’m sorry – I just had to interrupt our regularly scheduled programming posts to let you all see this. I love it! Now, I’ve seen a lot of shoes with regular names lately. Heck, my sisters and I bought my mom a pair of shoes for her birthday last year that had her name. But my name?! My name is rare (well, not as rare as it used to be – but it ain’t Becky!)… so when Tdot sent me this email, I pure screamed at my desk.

You gotta love it, right?!

And it doesn’t hurt that I like the shoes. Dear Lord, please help me to resist purchasing these shoes. Be with me in will power, and do not let me succumb to J Crew’s temptation. Amen.

Anyway, do any of you have shoes named after you? If so, put the link in the comments section. I’d love to see them!

PS: Choices, Voices, and Sole will be on a break this coming Monday for President’s Day, but it’ll be back on Wednesday! Have a great weekend!

Loving Yourself First

13 02 2013


“I am someone who is looking for love, real love, ridiculous, inconvenient, consuming, can’t live without each other love.” – Carrie Bradshaw, Sex and the City

In the series finale of the TV show, Sex and the City (and incidentally, one of my fave episodes of the show), Carrie Bradshaw says the above quote as she’s breaking up with her boyfriend in all the dramatic, intense glory that a TV monologue can take on. It’s really quite the poignant scene and signifies the moment Carrie realizes, yea – this ish aint for her.

It’s also one of the quotes I’ve carried (no pun intended) along with me since the show ended. “YES,” I thought. “That’s exactly what I want too!” I mean, who doesn’t want REAL Love? Even Mary J did. And the hopeless romantic in me couldn’t get enough of the “can’t live without each other – love” part of the sentence. It was, I felt, the perfect way to describe what I was looking for in my relationships… and also the perfect reason for the undeniable fact that many of the relationships I’d been a part of had tanked just as badly as Carrie’s did in Paris (and in the city of Love, of all places – ugh!).

“Those weren’t ridiculous, consuming, can’t live without each other loves… so ah well,” I’d say. And then I would move on, trying on the next guy, hoping he’d be the one to finally fit the bill. He never was. For some reason, after all the guys and all the relationships, I had yet to find what I was searching for. Where was this extra-ordinary love, I wondered. And why was it avoiding me?

And then, recently I re-watched that episode. I hadn’t seen it in awhile, so I was like a kid in the candy store waiting for the end where she makes her grand statement. I prepared. I got ready to repeat it with her. I mean, I was amped. But this time, amazingly, after all these years, that wasn’t the quote that stuck with me.

It was this one, that happens a few minutes later:

The most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself, and if you find someone to love the “you” you love, well that’s just fabulous.

It’s one of the last thing’s Carrie says as she’s walking down a crowded Manhattan street, smiling, because after all the pain and disappointments, she finally got it. It finally dawned her that it was so much more important to find that all consuming love within yourself first before you could ever seek it with someone else. And I’d never caught it before. Up until that re-watch, I’d always stopped at her quote in Paris. I’d always identified with that precarious search. This time, though? Thankfully, I kept going. And I got it too.

And I’m hoping that means I’m growing in ways I never imagined. And that I’m all the better for it.

Happy Early Valentine’s Day loves! I hope it’s as fabulous a day as one can be 🙂

Cinderella at the (Mardi Gras) Ball: A Shoe Story {Updated Photo!}

11 02 2013
Photo: Aldo shoes worn by Darby

Photo: Aldo shoes worn by Darby

I woke up that morning with an air of expectancy all around me. It had been years since I’d made it home during Mardi Gras, and that night, I would be attending one of the famed balls along with my mom and some of my other family members. I rose out of bed with an extra pep in my step, made sure to lay out the dress I was wearing that night (a floor length cobalt blue gown that cinched at my midsection and flowed downwards with such ease), and of course, pulled out the heels that would accent my outfit. Sure, I had my mask and jewelry as well, but c’mon – this was definitely going to be all about the shoes.

When it came time to get ready, I carefully put my dress on, took my pin curls down, meticulously applied my make-up and then stepped into quite possibly, one of my favorite stilettos ever. These crystal sequined shoes made just the right statement. You could see the sparkle of the crystals from the front and the shine of the gold plated heel from the back. They were, to put it in one word, heavenly.

Now, unfortunately, they weren’t the best feeling shoes with their 5 inch stiletto and barely a platform style, but at that moment – it didn’t matter. I hadn’t been to a Mardi Gras ball since I was 17, and on this night, I wanted to be sure that I would sparkle and shine. As a bonus, I also knew that at midnight, my boyfriend would be coming to pick me up from the ball so that we could spend the rest of the night together.

It was like my own little version of Cinderella coming true! Except, I didn’t have the ugly stepsisters and stepmother trying to make my ball experience a downer and midnight would be when I got to spend time with my prince, instead of the other way around.

Before we left the house, we all checked each other out. Oh yea, we were fly. My mom stood 5’9, with her black and gold gown flowing to the ground, slightly tickling the kitten heels she had underneath. And the rest of my family looked just as good and debonair with their suits and gowns. Right before we walked out of the door, I slid on my mink coat and picked up my mask, and with that, we made our way to the New Orleans Convention Center.

At the ball, all you could see were beads and masks, confetti and doubloons, massive spreads of food and liquor abound, happy faces and folks just waiting for the parade to enter in. Everyone smiled and drank, taking in the moments of revelry and enjoying the debaucherous feeling of being alive. We were in New Orleans during Carnival after all, so there was nothing to do but to live it up.

There was dancing and drunk singing, loud laughter and complete disregard for everything outside of those four walls. At least for everyone but me. Sure, I was having a blast (more than a blast, really), but I’d also silently begun my countdown to midnight. While for most people, the ball wouldn’t be over until about 4 am, I was looking forward to my shortened experience.

As the floats entered in and the people at the ball were plastered with beads and trinkets coming down upon them as if they were falling from the sky, I was dreaming of the moment he would see me walk out those doors and his breath would be caught somewhere deep in his throat. My mom could sense my excitement as well, as she kept saying to me – “He’s going to be blown away when he sees you tonight. You are absolutely stunning.” Nothing like a confidence boost from your mom, right?

But since I still had another two hours left before that would happen, I decided to lose myself in the fun that was surrounding me. I drank the champagne and became the one making the loud sounds of laughter, participating in the scene that was a Mardi Gras ball. No longer an onlooker, I was now the one dancing and tipsy singing and calling out to the float riders to ‘throw me something mister!’ I was the one enjoying everything within these four walls.

And then at 11:50, I stopped and began to prepare myself for midnight. We’d already talked about how he would meet me in front at that time, so there was no need to check in, but I took my phone out of my purse anyway – you know, just in case. I kissed my family goodbye, slid my coat back on, and made my way to the front door. Midnight would soon be here.

But after 20 minutes of still no prince, I was beginning to worry. He hadn’t called or picked up the phone when I called. He hadn’t shown up when he said he would. He hadn’t even texted to let me know if something had changed. Finally, at 12:45, my phone rang. It was him, saying that he wasn’t coming. That he’d gone by a friend’s house to hang out instead.  That he was sorry he didn’t say something earlier. That… honestly, the rest of what he said really didn’t matter anymore. I hung up the phone, shell shocked, not quite sure what had just happened and dejected that I would now have to walk back into the ball and admit to everyone that I’d never left. Disappointed in the knowledge that this was surely the end for us.

I walked back in to everyone’s surprise, making the statement entrance I’d intended for earlier in the evening, my shoes sparkling even while the light in my eyes dimmed. There I was – Cinderella. Stood up at midnight. It was surely a sight to see. When I arrived back at our table, I quietly slid off the heels that had now become constricting to my feet and exchanged them for my more comfy ballet slippers. It was no need to keep playing the part now. The ball was over.

PS: Happy early Fat Tuesday folks! And be sure to enjoy tomorrow to the fullest!