Monday, December 31, 2012

A Yearly Recap and a Happy New Year!

Its time, yet again, to sit down with a glass of champagne and look back on the year. There have been many great travels – Savannah, New York City, Clearwater Beach, Denver, Winter Park, Scottsdale, Sedona, San Francisco, Napa Valley (story to come), Buenos Aires (story to come), and Las Vegas. Gman and I went to our first trip to an amusement park together, too! Time spent in-between trips was busy hosting many out of town visitors and exploring Washington, D.C. I also went to my ten year high school reunion! We had some guest poetry here on the blog from the talented Kate Lindblom. I’ve learned a lot about wine and art, and continued to develop my personal style (thanks to Pinterest!).

This year has been met with many growing pains as I ventured out on my own, attempting to make long-standing career fantasies a reality. From starting my freelance writing career to the process of expanding High Heeled Traveler to a print magazine, to learning more about photography and design. Many hours have been spent productively learning and some to crying from exhaustion. I would have never taken the leap(s) without the whole-hearted encouragement from Gman, family, and friends. To them (you!) I owe many thanks.

Finally, I feel very blessed to have met so many new and dear friends this year through blogging. More than anything else I’ve done, blogging has provided an instant network of like-minded, ambitious, and stylish men and women with whom I can collaborate and build friendships with. I hope to continue to have the pleasure of being your friend in the New Year!

I’m looking forward to what 2013 will bring. I am expecting to drink lots of wine, have lots of laughs, and continue to challenge myself and push the boundaries of my comfort zone. I wish the same to you!

Cheers to all! Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Zoo Lights

Festive lights for the holidays at the National Zoo. Animals slept soundly to the constant white noise of hundreds of children crying from exhaustion, gasping with wonder, and talking with their little voices to their parents about the beautiful lights. 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Exploring Wine: Early Mountain Vineyards Holiday Guide

I couldn't decide how I wanted to approach a wine pairing post for the holiday season. There are so many ways to celebrate, with a simple toast, a multi-course meal, an extravagant party, at the office, and  opening presents with family and friends.

Luckily our friends at Early Mountain Vineyards put together a Holiday Guide for us with a few entertaining tips and wine pairings with recipes for a three course dinner! Check out the guide here and when in doubt, remember a glass of something bubbly and a smile will always be appreciated.


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Shoe Love: Glitter and Bold

A few weeks ago I went to a Sequin Happy Hour which consisted of a bunch of friends meeting at a bar and all wearing some sort of sequin, glitter, or sparkle. Even men were forced to participate. It was such a fun idea and I jumped on board immediately, before realizing that I have no sequins in my wardrobe. None. Not even a sparkly rhinestone necklace. I felt like this was some sort of huge womanhood fail. I don't think of myself as a tomboy, but maybe? I re-thought my whole identity.

Then remembered I did had some Miu Miu pumps with glitter on them (phew) but they are a sandal and freezing even if worn with tights.  I ended up wearing holiday colored flannel, denim, and leopard loafers. With red lipstick. And diamond earrings. Those count, right?

I love these Miu Miu glitter pumps! They would make the perfect holiday addition to any closet and they're on sale.

Do you have any sequins in your wardrobe?

Images via Net-a-Porter

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A New Venture! Big News!

me at home, in my element

Hello my dear readers!

I can't express how great it has been to connect with you through this blog. I really enjoy sharing my travels, style, art and wine exploits stories, and life's little lessons with you each week. I feel like there is so much more to say that can't be expressed on the blogging platform. After much consideration and preparation I've decided to start a print magazine as an extension of the blog! It will also be called High Heeled Traveler and be published quarterly. Each issue will be centered around a theme, similar to those on the blog - art, style, food/wine, and travel - but digging into subjects of culture and humanity.

The first issue will discuss the concept of "home" and what that means to different people. Articles ranging from children's drawings of their homes, to comfort food recipes, music, style, fiction short stories, poems, and original art and writing. Right now there are about 20 articles in production, and I plan to print several hundred copies with a goal of publishing the first issue in February 2013.

If you are interested in contributing to the magazine, submissions are welcome by email to and can include poetry, artwork, photography, and original stories and research. Please submit writing as a Word document attachment and images as high-resolution (300dpi) jpegs. Also include your contact information. Submission deadline is December 31st. If selected, you will not be compensated financially. However, you will be acknowledged for your very generous contribution.

I'm so excited to share this new venture with you. Thank you for your continued support!

PS - how do you like the new header?

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Video Games and Beer part 2

Battledfield is a military game series, played in the first person. It has two gaming options: story mode which you play a heroic soldier in a challenging military adventure, and multi-player mode which you play live with other gamers in order to play “realistic” battle scenarios on teams.

People who play multi-player military games are loyal to one of two camps: Battlefield or Modern Warfare. They have similar goals, kill the most amount of times, and be killed the least amount of times, but the game playing experience on each is much different. Gman is loyal to the Battlefield camp. In Battlefield, the boards are larger and you can interact with your surroundings. If, for instance, an opponent is hiding in a building and shooting at you, you can blow up the wall they are hiding behind and kill them. The wall is then gone for the rest of that gaming session. (People can’t just sit in a cardboard box and snipe the whole time; which is pretty much the most annoying thing someone can do in multi-player games.) Both Gman and I like this aspect of the game, as it changes your strategy as you play. 

You can use the vehicles placed around the boards, too. Jump in a tank, run over trees, plants, other cars, drive through buildings, and even shoot anti-aircraft guns at helicopters being flown by other players. Drive around with wreck-less abandon, or you can take a four-wheel motorcycle, put multiple sticks of C-4 on it, then ghost ride it into whatever you want – players, tanks, walls. By the sounds of his snickers, Gman is most entertained by this.

The key aspect of the game is whom you are playing with. It’s important to find a good team and develop a strategy, versus just mindlessly shooting at everything. As an observer, this is also better for me. Normally, I can’t hear the game, as Gman wears a headset (best Christmas present EVER), but if things aren’t going well (usually a result of a bad team) then my quiet evening of trolling the internet reading is disrupted by strings of loud profanities.

The first person military games are very patriotic and they are the epitome of the type-A American male; oozing with testosterone and bringing out one’s competitive side. Many stereotypes of soldiers come to mind when I think about the soldiers in this game; perhaps these young men also like hunting, fishing, and Nascar.

So what would a small town private driving a tank, and blowing up buildings, reach for during a lull in combat? It would have to be something ubiquitously American, something easy to drink, and something cheap…

We paired Battlefield with Busch. One can grab a six-pack of Busch beer for under $5 and it is a product of the USA made in St. Louis, Missouri. Some would argue that this pilsner has no taste or that those who drink have no taste. But Gman and I would beg to differ. After a long, hot day, of manual labor you reach for something light and refreshing, and a pilsner is perfect, it’s like drinking water. Plus, as our liquor store attendant put it as were checking out with our six-pack, “you won’t have to worry about anyone stealing your beer.”

What beer would you or do you pair Battlefield with? Please leave your pairing in the comments below.

Battlefield images via Amazon
Busch image via Busch Beer

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Art to Inspiration: Time Out

Painting 192 by Lauren Adams

Sometimes you just need to get away. The stress gets to you. Anything can set you off; that co-worker’s last minute request, your holiday packages getting swiped from your stoop (this happens all too often in DC), a traffic jam when you have a very important happy hour waiting. Or maybe you drop a wine glass, and as it shatters into a million pieces, you feel yourself coming undone.

But it’s the home stretch before Christmas break and there is no time for a vacation. In fact the reason you are so overwhelmed is that you are taking your vacation days (for a change) and everything needs to be taken care of before you step away. So how do you get away for a deep breath and a recharge while stuck in your cubicle?

This is one of the reasons I love art so much – it’s a distraction - and where Lauren Adam’s tiny paintings come in. Her small acrylic paintings on paper (many only 6 x 4 inches, small enough to keep on your desk, no?) explore the scenic landscapes of West Virginia. She boils down the sky, trees, rolling mountains, to fresh blocks of color and shape. The paintings take you anywhere, to a new place, to somewhere far away and stress-free.

Started by the lovely Supal of Chevrons and Eclairs, Art to Inspiration is a once a month blog post inspired by a work of art.If you would like to participate in Art to Inspiration, click here to read more and sign up.  

And in case you missed it here's July'sAugust's,  September's, and October's Art to Inspiration.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Barbie knit wear, San Telmo weekend market, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Video Games and Beer

A few weeks ago, during a night out at a bar (where the best ideas are discussed) a few of my guy friends requested a new series on the blog, as they are not in to reading about shoes but want to support me none-the-less. They requested beer and video game pairings, in response to my new series pairing art and wine on Meg Biram’s blog (you can read the first two posts here and here).

Gman is an avid gamer and I actually like watching him play. I appreciate the creativity and artistic attention to detail that goes into each story. By playing the game, you transported through time and space for a quick reprise from your everyday life.

I will be posting a new pairing every Saturday in December. Each game featured in this series will be one that both Gman and I have experienced. The reviews will be from Gman’s perspective as the gamer and mine as the observer. And, after much debate, each of the pairings will be based on what the gamer would drink to set the mood. Sometimes I will pair a beer with the character in the game but for all intents and purposes, the gamer is the character. Let’s be honest, that’s the point, isn’t it?

Our first pairing is Dead Space with Negra Modelo. 

Dead Space is a game played on Xbox 360 and PlayStation that basically takes you inside the movie Alien. Played from the first person perspective, you and your crew are summoned to repair a mining ship where everyone seems to be missing. You, Issac, are very much alone with no escape, and sometimes no gravity. The scenes on the ship are creepy, and frightening at times, as aliens attack out of nowhere and you hear them breathing just around the corner. Once confronted by an alien you mutilate them to death using nifty futuristic weapons, blood and guts spewing everywhere. This is something men find wildly entertaining.

The storyline is somewhat predictable, however still horrifying as you learn how each of the crew met their demise. It is interesting to watch, although I didn’t find myself caring for the characters like I do in other games.

Gman says playing this game reminds him of Doom. There is limited amo and health, so you can’t just go around with your finger on the trigger. Alone, you don’t know what will happen next so have to have a strategy to conserve your resources.

We choose Negra Modelo to pair with Dead Space. It has a dark slightly mysterious quality to it in addition to a smooth, malty taste. As dark beers can be perceived as filling we thought, if things don’t go too well for you on this ship in the middle of outer space, this might be your last drink. It might as well be your last meal, too.

PS – Have you played this game? What beer would you pair with? Let us know in the comments below!

Dead Space images via
Negra Modelo image via Crown Imports, LLC
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