A Few Things

February 24, 2012

Hello Friends! Did you have a good week? I hope so. I was looking through some of my images this morning and these colorful shoes caught my eye. They’re sold in a little shop in Barcelona that we happened upon called Kokua. (They’re not sold online, but you can read about them here.) I found the colorful display irresistible! The shoes look like candy and I wanted to buy a dozen pairs.

I didn’t buy a whole dozen, but I did end up with one pair in silver. They are super comfortable and look adorable on my feet. But alas! The silver finish has worn off in places and they aren’t as cute without it. Such a shame, because they’re handmade and the construction has held up wonderfully. (I wonder if there is such a thing as silver shoe polish…) I hope the colorful images make you as happy as they make me!

In addition to the colorful shoes, here are a few things I’ve been wanting to share with you:
- My interview on Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project. Over the moon to be included!
- I was spotlighted on Refinery 29 too! It’s one of the coolest sites ever.
- Mini sailor’s knots. (I would go nuts for a collection of these.)
- The most expensive sheets in the world.
- I don’t understand this, but it’s mesmerizing.
- Ladies, ask for more. You’re worth it! via NotMartha
- Glowing snowboarder.
- Watched this and now I’m curious: have you tried a no-clamp curling iron?

I also write for Babble. Here are this week’s posts:
- 14 Fresh takes on the Ponytail. Just in time for warmer weather!
- Sneak peek! Diane Von Furstenburg is coming to GapKids.
- This baby skincare line has the cutest packaging.
- Brilliant monogram prints. Do they have your letter?
- Love these new typography-based Family Trees.
- Possibly my favorite hair accessories.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend! I’ll meet you back here on Monday (with a Love the Place You Live post!). I miss you already.


P.S. — The Kokua shop made bags too. I didn’t buy one, but I wish I had!

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{ 58 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Briana February 24, 2012 at 7:22 am

Those shoes are so cheerful! Love them. I’m ready for ballet flat-wearing weather. We’re ALMOST there here in Boston…

Enjoy your weekend!


2 Design Mom February 24, 2012 at 7:59 am

So glad to hear it’s warming up, Briana!


3 Alexandra February 24, 2012 at 7:33 am

I looooove your interview with Gretchen Rubin! Thank you so much for sharing it. I agree that happiness is a choice, and I’m so grateful to hear how you choose to find it. It’s an inspiration!


4 Design Mom February 24, 2012 at 8:00 am

Thank you, Alexandra! Gretchen is one of my favorite writers so I had such a fun time with the interview.


5 geri justinger February 24, 2012 at 7:34 am

Lovely shoes! I suggest you try leather paint http://www.dharmatrading.com/html/eng/10144517-AA.shtml?lnav=paints.html
Angelus has silver (matching may be the issue though)…OR you could add a multi-color design to camoflauge the wear.


6 Design Mom February 24, 2012 at 8:02 am

Leather paint sounds promising, Geri. Thanks for the the link!


7 geri justinger February 25, 2012 at 10:11 am

you betcha’


8 allysha February 24, 2012 at 7:56 am

As fas as I understand it (this is VERY limited knowledge, so I’m sure someone could be way more technical about it) the hexadecimal (colour) clock is based on the coding numbers used to represent colors on your computer- if you have ever put in a specific color in your HTML coding for your blog it has a group of letters and numbers that represent it. Some colors only have the numbers, so this clock is based on that.


9 Design Mom February 24, 2012 at 8:02 am

Oh man! I totally get it now. Thank you for explaining, Allysha. Love that.


10 Catherine February 24, 2012 at 1:11 pm

That’s the way my husband explained it! I’m glad someone else knew as well :)


11 Lesley February 24, 2012 at 7:56 am

Actually, they DO make metallic shoe polishes. I’ve only seen them in a few shoe stores, but they are there. I’ve also used those crazy metallic glitter pens as touch-up, too. This is just one of the searches I found for the polish, but I’m sure there are other brands, too. http://bit.ly/xVLCXk


12 Design Mom February 24, 2012 at 8:03 am

So good to know! I would love to extend the life of the shoes.


13 Renee February 24, 2012 at 8:18 am

I love when you post your own photos, Gabrielle. Seeing those colorful shoes brightened my day! I’m in the market for a pair of silver flats as well. I thought they would be fun for spring. Just curious, what do you wear yours with? I’m not quite sure “how” to wear them if that makes sense. Can you offer some fashion assistance here? :-)


14 Christa the BabbyMama February 24, 2012 at 8:20 am

Those just look delish! I am in the market for flats, too. Wish they sold online!


15 Cecilia Madden February 24, 2012 at 8:49 am

i love the gretchen rubin interview too :) imagining how you would behave if you were happy? what an amazing way to approach a dreaded task or situation. thanks for being so inspiring.


16 Cherri Porter February 24, 2012 at 8:54 am

I’m positive that a local cobbler can freshen-up your shoes. They can do wonders.


17 Design Mom February 24, 2012 at 11:28 am

Great idea, Cherri!


18 Sandra Gonzales February 24, 2012 at 8:59 am

I positively love the hair curling wands.


19 Lauren February 24, 2012 at 9:02 am

Well, since you ask :) …I actually use my regular curling iron as a no-clamp iron. You simply use it as she demonstrates in the video, but you wrap the hair around the outside of the clamp. It takes a bit longer, for me at least, and it takes a ton of practice, but the curls really stand out individually. My favorite thing to do is to curl the bottom half of my hair in normal clamped ringlets (because it’s faster and easier to do on shorter hair) and then curl the top section in non-clamped ringlets, some of which I curl towards my face. It gives it a lot more volume and gives it a more natural look.


20 Design Mom February 24, 2012 at 11:28 am

Wow! I didn’t know you could do that. Very cool!


21 whoorl February 24, 2012 at 8:25 pm

Yes! You can totally do it like Lauren mentioned. I have a video demonstrating that technique, as well. (Um, I guess I have a lot of curling iron tutorials…heh)



22 Kathryn Bodrero February 24, 2012 at 9:18 am

Oh! Look at those colours! Gorgeous!!!


23 Lauren February 24, 2012 at 9:56 am

These pictures are so delicious and really got me thinking about quality goods. It seems like if you make a style of something that is just right, you could just offer it in tons of colors and please almost everyone! I love the idea of the perfect shoe or the perfect bag, in any color you could imagine. Thanks for the inspiration!


24 Design Mom February 24, 2012 at 11:27 am

I like the way you think, Lauren.


25 Janssen February 24, 2012 at 10:09 am

I love that article about women needing to ask for more money and valuing themselves and their work more. Why are we so afraid to ask to be compensated fairly for our work?


26 Design Mom February 24, 2012 at 11:26 am

I think it’s an important article.


27 Paige February 24, 2012 at 10:44 am

I’m heading to Barcelona in June – I will definitely make a stop for these ballet flats! Thanks for the great info!


28 Sandra February 24, 2012 at 10:46 am

I am not heading to Barcelona in June but after seeing those flats, I think that I SHOULD! And the bags too… I am not so much into jewellry but I adore a good bag.

Can you squeeze in a jaunt to Spain before you return to the US? A few more pairs might be in order.


29 Design Mom February 24, 2012 at 11:26 am

I think you should too! : )


30 Ayme February 24, 2012 at 10:55 am

Gabby – just checked out your Happiness Project interview, and I have to say your idea to envision how you’d behave if you were happy is SO profound to me today! I love it and I’ll be using that a lot. Have a great weekend!!


31 Design Mom February 24, 2012 at 11:25 am

Thanks, Ayme! So glad for the feedback.


32 Emily @ Peck Life February 24, 2012 at 11:49 am

Those flats have me drooling, how lovely!! And that color clock….it is a little odd but I’m in love….I could just stare at it all day! A huge YES on the no clamp curls, I tried it a few weeks ago and LOVED IT. :) It does take a little while to do which can be challenging with kids and trying to get out of the house at a decent hour!


33 Laura February 24, 2012 at 1:22 pm

LOVED the shoes and the clock – I have a very strong tendency to go for things in rainbowy hues, so these fit right in! I am one of those people whose children’s books are all organized in a rainbow (because a) there are just SO many books, and b) I think that makes the bookcase act more like an art piece).Just seeing it makes me happy…go figure: )
PS: read the Kimono book last week – a huge hit! Great recommendation!


34 Laura Lee February 24, 2012 at 2:13 pm

I love everything rainbow lately! Thanks for you few things posts, always such great ideas and inspirations! I am getting my first hair cut in FOREVER tomorrow and I love the no clamp curling iron video, her hair before the curl is what I am now going to show my stylist :) thanks!


35 Jillian in Italy February 24, 2012 at 2:14 pm

How was it possible to pick one pair of shoes amongst all those gorgeous shoes? I would have had a very hard time. But I think I would have gone for silver as well…the perfect go-with-everything colour. Love your photos of the shop.

And wow… $2400 Egyptian cotton sheets with 22k gold thread! I most likely will never have the luxury to sleep in such sheets!


36 Design Mom February 26, 2012 at 1:18 pm

As you can imagine, I spent waaaayyy too long in the store. : )


37 Suzanne @ The Wine{a}be February 24, 2012 at 2:50 pm

I LOVE the pics of the shoes…and that they are from Barcelona. I love Barcelona too…lived there for a summer in college. It will always have a special place in my heart. Thanks for the happy reminder…


38 michelle a February 24, 2012 at 5:42 pm

thanks for the links! Love that family tree.


39 Amy February 24, 2012 at 5:51 pm

I just found your blog and I’m in love!
Those shoes look nummy enough to eat. Love.
Also, I just switched over to a no-clamp curling iron and I’m happy to say after a few errors (read burns) I am hooked. I’ve never been able to get my hair to curl the way it does with the no-clamp curling iron.


40 Design Mom February 26, 2012 at 1:18 pm

I need to try one!


41 Ann February 24, 2012 at 7:19 pm

loves this pics -reminds me of looking at crayola crayons!


42 Emily February 24, 2012 at 7:56 pm

I know this sounds crazy, but one of my coolest friends bought a cheap pair of ballet flats and spray painted them silver. They look fabulous, and they are easy to repair if they get scuffed.

I have no idea how easy it would be to get shiny silver spray paint in the french countryside, though.


43 Vera February 25, 2012 at 3:10 am

Those shoes – how could you resist it and only bring home one pair? haha. Those sparkly ones – real cute! I just received my order of 3 pairs of lovely flats from a local shoe seller today, and you just reminded me to take photos. thanks! :)


44 dena barrie February 25, 2012 at 10:01 am

I LOVE your photos…im a photographer living in Germany which just so happens to be a bit dreary right now, so they brightened my day! Thanks


45 Erin February 25, 2012 at 4:36 pm

Those sailor’s knots are cute, but they reminded me of this funny clip from the TV show Portlandia: http://www.hulu.com/watch/319612/portlandia-knots


46 Design Mom February 26, 2012 at 1:16 pm

I love that you watch Portlandia, Erin!


47 This girl loves to talk February 25, 2012 at 5:32 pm

hmmm the women getting paid less thing is interesting. Sometimes I think we are fearful of rejection (and they might really need that job) so we take it. I would also like to offer another point of view, my husband studied in HR which where we live is a very women dominated industry. He spent many years NOT getting jobs. Always came in second or third to Women who got the job. Maybe women are lucky in that if they are paid less they are more likely to get jobs!! In the end he got a job in programing (that he was not qualified in but has trained on the job) and has had very few jobs in HR after years and years of trying.


48 dunski February 26, 2012 at 9:15 am

Now I want to hop on the next train to Barcelona! I still regret not buying a pair of beautiful metallic turquoise repetto shoes in Paris years ago. They seemed to be to expensive, but they were so comfortable and beautiful.. sigh… and of course I was not able to ever find them again or at least a substitute. Last time in Paris I even digged unsuccessful through the whole repetto store for hours. ( with my husband waiting outside ;) )
Thank you for making me crave a trainride down there. ;D


49 Petites Merveilles February 26, 2012 at 2:26 pm

What gorgeous colors! I’m writing this down for my next trip to Barcelona! Thanks for sharing.


50 Sarah Cornwell February 27, 2012 at 12:27 pm

Please please Gabrielle can you recall the address of Kakua shoes. I am going in April (first time) all the way from Australia & really want to buy some – but how to choose?!


51 Design Mom February 29, 2012 at 9:33 am

Here you go, Sarah: Kokua Boutique on Calle de la Boqueria 30, in Gotico district


52 Sabine Seeboth February 27, 2012 at 12:49 pm

Great color range! I wish ballerinas would look good on my foot. I would probably buy a rainbow. Whenever I see these colors I always think of the beautiful paintings of the German painter Gabriele Münter http://www.glitzqueen.com/art/BRmunter.html
Take a look – she was a very talented painter in a men’s world.


53 Joanie February 27, 2012 at 5:36 pm

I love your interview on the Happiness Project, such fun and honest answers – especially the one about sex! How do you find the privacy in a house as busy as yours!!


54 Kelli K February 27, 2012 at 10:08 pm

I’m so going to show that clock to my webdesign professor tomorrow! It’s called Hexademical because it’s built on a base of 16 (0-9 and A-F). I might watch it for a week!


55 Tania February 28, 2012 at 12:21 am

I love these pics…a rainbow of shoes, what more could one ask for? I’m a flats girl myself too and think I’d go crazy in Kokua . Btw, that is a Hawaiian word, is it also a Spanish word (in Hawaiian literally means a helper but is often used as help as in “Please kokua).

I’m so happy to discover your blog! I hopped over from Doodles & Jots.


56 Becca February 28, 2012 at 5:45 pm

Oh my goodness, these shoes are so beautiful! A shame you can’t get them online!!!!


57 Mackenzie March 1, 2012 at 2:45 pm

I’m so sad! We were IN Barcelona when you posted this, but like a good tourist, I wasn’t checking my favorite blogs! ;( that’s what I get dangit! Would have loved to have come upon this shop. My daughter calls them “flatties” and it’s so endearing, I might not ever tell her there’s any other name for them ;)


58 Linsay February 21, 2013 at 7:31 pm

Do you know if you can buy these and have them shipped internationally?? My husband and I were in Barcelona last May and I bought one of his bags and I LOVE it. I would love some shoes but I live in Arizona!


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