If you missed Part 1, check it out here. But here is the rest--

After wandering around, I finally found Alice. She was mingling with a group of women, near a table decorated festively. I recognized a few women, but didn't know most.

Finally, I figured out why Alice was so vague in telling me about the luncheon. To her, it simply wasn't a big deal. This group of women has been meeting for years. They were all ages, colors, professions, etc. They meet informally a few times a year and invite others into their circle. There was Melanie, who runs the premiere social website in Miami. There was also Sonia, who, 15 years ago, established the Miami arm of Suited for Success. There was a real estate professional sitting next to a housewife and a jewelry designer, next to a socialite. Very diverse group. And I had a ball. It was about networking and sharing. The afternoon was filled with laughter and giggling. There were little trinkets for each chica. We ate, drank and had a good time.

This is what life is all about--exchanging ideas, networking, helping each other. I'm so glad that I was invited into this fellowship. I can't wait to see them again!

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A few weeks ago, I got an email from FOJ Alice, asking if I was available to go to lunch with her and some of her friends. I agreed, but when I asked about her friends, she was very vague. "Oh, just a group of girls." I found it odd, since she's usually very straight forward but in the midst of everything that I have going on, I didn't have a lot of time to give it thought.

Well, last Friday was the date of the luncheon. And last Thursday, it rained cats and dogs. A lot of areas had severe flooding. It was still raining when I got up. I so did NOT want to go to a luncheon. I called Alice, hoping that it was cancelled. "Nope, I called the Country Club and they aren't flooded, so we'll be there!" she said. Woe is me.

I got dressed and swam down to Miami. I knew where the Club was, but I had never been inside. The place has a huge foyer with stairs on both sides. I didn't see any place for eating, and there was no directional signage. Everyone else that came in seemed to know where they were going. I pulled out my Crackberry to call Alice. Bad idea. Just as the phone started ringing, a woman rushed out of nowhere, looking very disturbed. "We don't allow cell phone usage," she whispered loudly. I tried to explain that I was meeting someone and didn't know where I was supposed to go. I don't think she cared. She shooed me up the stairs. FINE--I'll find it myself.

Upstairs there was a bar area, but nobody dining, only employees. My phone started to ring. It was Alice, but just as I was about to answer, the bartender reminded me of the NO CELL policy. But she also didn't know Alice or where I was supposed to meet her. She told me to look around. I could see the entire room from where I stood and unless Alice was invisible, she wasn't there. I saw the Ladies Room and decided to go in there and call Alice. Bad idea. No cell phone service in the bathroom. Hmmph. FINE--if you want the riff raff to wander around unattended, then I will!!

I'll continue this story tomorrow, but in the meantime, have you ever encountered this? I know some places where there are NO CELL signs, but never have I been any place where it was so strictly enforced. Have you? Is this odd?

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When I was a kid, I would love to see newly fallen snow. It was so pretty, untouched. Later, when cars started driving on it and folks started walking on it, it was so pretty anymore. It became yucky.

There's another thing that I'm reminded of when it snows. Everytime I see snow, even on television, I think about it. When I was young, my Mom would act strange when it snowed, even when they were only calling for a dusting. She used to stand at the window and fret. She would look so sad.

Once, I asked why she looked so sad everytime it snowed. She replied, "I'm just thinking about all the people who have no place to go." That's always stuck with me. I was looking at the beauty of it, from my warm, cozy home--with food in the cabinets. Someone else was looking at it close up, from their sleeping spot on the street. Ain't it funny how 2 folks can look at the same thing and the meaning it totally different for them both?

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Well, I'll spare you all of the details, but recently I had to take my 17 year old daughter into the emergency room. Imagine our faces when we arrived and they sent her to the Pediatric side. She will be 18 in 2 months. We got into the waiting room and it would have been pure heaven for a 2 year old. She looked around at the murals and the huge pirate ship taking up half the floor. She muttered, "Oh joy..What should I play with first?" She was not pleased.

When they got her into the room, there were more pirate ships on the walls. She still wasnt pleased. We spent all day looking at the decor. Well, all that pales in comparison to yesterday. We had to see a pediatric surgeon. Trust me, I TRIED to get an adult surgeon, but nobody would see her. They all said that they didn't do minors. So, we had to see the "baby doctor."

As we drove up, I hoped it would be plain decor. I was wrong. It was Winnie the Pooh! BOOOY was it Winnie the Pooh. And Tigger too! And kids running around. Oh joy! hehehe They showed us to Room 3 where there was more Winnie. She was silent. In fact, she sat there texting and tweeting on her phone. When I commented that I found it odd that a patient sitting on a Pooh bed would have a Blackberry, she lost it. I had gone too far.

I thought it was funny--was I wrong?



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Over the past few months, I've met some amazing young women. First there was FOJ Michelle, who owns Lilac & Lilies Boutique. Then there were sister FOJs Jeannette & Lyanne, who own the fabulous online site, Nic del Mar. Then I met fashion model FOJ Akilah, who is also my homegirl. And finally, FOJ Yani, who just launched Louvett Watches. Did i mention YOUNG women?

When I was in my 20s, I couldn't even tie my shoes. I was happy if I had enough money to pay for my car and get a couple new outfits, I was good. Owning a business was not even on my radar screen.

But, the world is different now. Young chicas are doing it BIG! And I LOVE IT!

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The other night, at a boutique opening that I was invited to (read that Examiner story here), I ran into none other than Paula Patton and hubby Robin Thicke.

I had just seen Paula Patton in Precious, so I was very excited to meet her. I am familiar with Robin Thicke's music, but he hasn't been on my radar, so I had ZERO excitement in meeting him.

To my pleasant surprise, they were delightful! We had a moment to chat and they were truly sweet! They started dating before either became famous (high school sweethearts) and are expecting their first child in a few months. By the way, Robin may not have been on my radar before, but he is FIONE!!!!

When I flat out said to Robin that before meeting them, I'd assumed that she had landed a catch--him!! But then, after meeting them both, he's the one with the prize--HER! They both laughed and he admitted that he was indeed the lucky one, while she beamed! I LOVE these two!

On my way home, I smiled to myself, recalling the obvious love between them, as well as how gracious they both were. It's refreshing to see two young stars that have absolutely no celebrity ways. I can't wait to see them again!

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So, I went to a VERY cool event yesterday. General Motors came into town to promote their new crossover, Terrain. They hosted a few bloggers at auto dealership in downtown Miami for a very cool program. Since it was auto related, Dear Husband tagged along.

It was actually very nice. Brickell Motors has laid out a very nice breakfast spread for us. They also had wireless internet access, which allowed us to tweet and or/blog live from the event.

GM Diversity Communications Manager and her team really rolled out the red carpet. We first got to hear some scary stuff from 2 women with SafeKids. They talked about vehicle safety for children. Having 3 kids of my own, I thought I knew all there was about car seats and seat belts and the such. Come to find out, neither my children OR me have been traveling very safe. This is the season of holiday traveling. EVERYONE should go to their site to get critical info.

Then the very fabulous Lori Norwood spoke at length about trim on the Terrain. Lori is a creative designer for General Motors. I LOVE to see women doing it large!

Hugh Milne, GM Marketing Manager spoke next. He talked about all the features of this particular vehicle. I have to admit--I was impressed and so was my husband. I might add that it takes a LOT to impress the hubby on a car.

Finally, they announced that we would all have the opportunity to drive the vehicle. Carolyn pulled out a goodie bag and said that we would all get one before we left. She said that it contained swag from their partners, including an emergency blanket, a first aid kit, flares, etc. Then she said, "But, I want to give you all something out of the bag BEFORE you go outside to drive the cars. We realize you all are bloggers and you present things to your readers.." She then handed out "already charged" Sony Webbies, courtesy of Sony. Thanks Sony!




Of course, I had my Flip, but I was wayyy excited about the Webbie. It's a very cool little camera/video recorder. Of course, the Husband swiped it, almost immediately after it hit my hand. He thanked the folks profusely. I haven't seen it since.

Anywho, after the test drive, I was sold. It is truly a great car. And not expensive either. This just may be my next major purchase. If you need more info about it, let me know. I have a lot!

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A week ago today, Pastor Bob Coy of Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale, delivered an awesome message to me. I've thought about it every day since then. It was about holiday gifts. He spoke about how stressed we allow ourselves to become during this season. He mentioned how odd it was that we would spend Thanksgiving giving thanks, then get up early for shopping on Friday--buying gifts for those who really didn't need them.

I agree. We are in a different time. Our economy is in dire straits. Many are underemployed, many unemployed. Entire cities and states are hurting. Yet, even with all of this going on, we are STILL in better shape than most of the world. Have you thought about that? There are folks around the world living in such dispair that they would give their life for the mere chance of making it to America.

Should we really be stressed about gifts? Seriously? Let's give of ourselves. Let's help others. Let's look at our lives and be TRULY thankful for those spiritual gifts that we all have been granted. Then let's look at how we can help others. It doesn't have to be a huge effort. It doesn't even have to cost you a dime. Even those without money have spiritual gifts that can be shared. If you don't have money or time, can you spare a kind word to someone in turmoil?

I'm convinced that each life has a purpose. What's yours? What can you give of yourself? What gift has God given you that you can share with others?

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Last night, out of the blue, I got an email from brand new FOJ Aymee of PainePR in Los Angeles. She's been reading TheTinyJEWELBox (Who knew??). She invited me to a very cool event next week. I'm sooo excited about it. However, I'm not sure if I'm allowed to publicize it, so I'll wait--it's only a few days away..

She DID say that I'm allowed to bring a laptop, so I'll be tweeting LIVE from the event. I think it's going to be fun. In fact, when I told Husband about it, he asked if he could go too!

So Wednesday is sounding like it's going to be a busy day. I have THAT event in the morning, then I have an
Examiner event to cover, followed by an author's lunch that I planned to share on TheTinyJEWELBox, a party thrown by Swarovski Crystals, and finally a family thing--the high school magnet fair--Dear Son is going to high school next year and it's time to apply.

I also got a very cool product in the mail yesterday, to review for
ThingsinPink. Look for that to post by the end of the week. I'm busy busy BUSY---and for that I'm very thankful. but what about you? How was your Thanksgiving? What are you most thankful for? What's new in your life?

Your comments--priceless!!


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Isn't it funny how things can actually be very different from how they appear?? Have you ever noticed that?

Lately, I've noticed people who have a distorted view of themselves. Makes me wonder if they are looking in a fun house mirror. You know, one of those distorted ones. Makes things look way different than they really are. While they think they look smart, hip, and witty, others see them as bitter, jealous, and not so smart.

Is it true that folks buy those weird mirrors just so that they don't have to see their true selves? Wow, that's deep. I'm glad that I can truly say, I know who I am. I recognize my faults and I hold myself accountable for my own actions and decisions.

What about you? Are you looking at yourself in a funhouse mirror? Are you looking at the world through rose colored glasses? Why? Please realize that regardless of what YOU see--others see the real you. You are only fooling you.

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Ok, so why is it that when I arrive up to the Drive Through Window of certain, nameless fast food restaurants, I have to ask for napkins? And even then, they give me 1. Not 1 per item, or 1 per sandwich, or even 1 per occupant in the car, just ONE. A single napkin. You have to beg to get more.

Why is that? Are napkins really that expensive? And if they are, will we soon be charged for them, much like the airlines charge for baggage? So I'll drive up and say, "Give me a Mega Burger with extra cheese, no onions, and please put the mustard on the side. I'll also have a Super Size fries, a Medium Diet Grape Faygo and 3 napkins....Wait, make that 4 napkins...Wait..Can I get 3 napkins and a paper towel? Thanks, that's it. WAIT...How much are straws???"

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Heyyyy!!!! I sure missed you guys!!! But it was a crazy week and I'm not sure I could have gotten thorough it, had I had to have written blog posts.

I did a LOT of things this week--I spent the day with Terribly Girly Photography on Tuesday. I visited with the cast of New Moon AND went to the LUCA LUCA trunk show on Wednesday. On Thursday, I was introduced to the MOST AMAZING hair salon in the world (I'm writing about it next week). Then on Thursday night, I met the great fashion designer, Trina Turk. On Friday, I wrote what feels like a million articles for Examiner. You can read them here.

Also, last week, I was notified by the good folks at Working Divas Network that I was chosen as their very first Blog of the Week. Wow, life is good!

I'm honored that Working Divas Network would recognize lil ole me in such a great way, but I am truly a WORKING diva. My blog ventures through both my personal and professional life, as they are so intertwined.

This week shouldn't be as bad as last week, so expect a few posts.

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So, as many of you know. I've been in a serious rut. My blog words no longer seem to flow as easily as they once did. I lost my MOJO! I was so overwhelmed and actually felt paralyzed, unable to move forward.

Well, I had a very frank discussion last night with a good friend. We talked about my rut, my goals, my fears, and my plan. We talked about the things I am doing right, as well as the things I haven't done so well.

It was actually therapeutic. It was also humbling to have someone, whose opinion I value, take an honest interest in me and my plan. She was able to show me things that I have never seen before, and help me to formulate a strategy. I feel blessed. That's the GOOD news.

The BAD news is this--while I committed to writing my 2 blogs daily, most days I don't feel good about what I've written. More often than not, it seems to be fluff with no substance. I've decided that on the days that I really don't have anything to say, I simply won't write. So, rather tha a daily blog, TheTinyJEWELBox may become a 5 times a week blog, and sometimes a 3 day a week blog, and I'm sure they'll be weeks that there's only 1 post.

I'm not dropping the blog. Oh heavens no!!! In fact, I'm looking at completely redesigning it to incorporate more of my interests. What it does mean is that when I do write, it'll be straight from the heart. And of course, I'm still writing for Examiner.com. Please subscribe to my page there. And I'm always available through email at TheTinyJEWELBox@gmail.com. I'd love to hear from you!

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One of the things that I miss most about my hometown of Washington, DC is the overabundance of greasy spoon restaurants. I believe that you get the best in local eats from these kinds of places. Now, don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with fine dining, but why go to unfamiliar territory without experiencing it the way the locals do.

When my friends travel to my hometown, I tell them to hit Ben's Chili Bowl for a chili half smoke, as well as Horace & Dicky's for a fish sandwich unlike any you've ever had before, and Booeymonger for a Patty Hearst sandwich. And when I go to visit, these are the kinds of experiences that I want to have as well.

What about you? Do you stay on the tourist beat, or do you get down and dirty with the residents? Tell me about your favorite "Greasy Spoon."

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I'm in a rut. I need help. I can't seem to focus. I'm easily distracted. I'm not getting things done. What is the problem??

I've been overwhelmed since Thursday when I had so much to do that I couldn't even figure out where to start. Well, guess what? I didn't do any of it. At all. What is the problem?

Now, it's Sunday morning. I'm still overwhelmed. I haven't done any of those tasks and have a full week planned. What is the problem?

When you are overwhelmed like this, how do you get out of it? What helps? What hurts? HELP ME!

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My thoughts and prayers go out to the Fort Hood family. There are no words for this tragedy. It puts me in the mind of 9/11. Some things are unthinkable on US soil.

Let's not forget, though, that our military and their families go through this kind of tragedy and uncertainty daily. God bless those who are prepared to give theirs lives to protect our way of life.

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Ok, so here's a question. How many strikes do you give a person before they're struck out? I mean really...And let me clarify, I don't mean a relationship necessarily. It could be a co-worker, a neighbor, a longtime friend. When someone does you wrong, do they get another chance? How many? Why?

This is an area that I struggle with. I tend to give one strike. It's way hard for me to turn the other cheek. Like Maya Angelou said, "When people show you who they are, BELIEVE them." You simply don't get multiple chances to hurt, embarass, or plain ole "show out" on me. Am I wrong for this?

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Remember that old television show, Touched by an Angel? Where angels walked on earth, completely undetected? Do you believe in the such?

I do. I believe that there are angels on earth, sent to do very specific things. I've had many experiences where, on hindsight, I believe that I interacted with an angel. A perfect stranger who just seemed to be in the right place, at precisely the right time, and kept me out of harm's way.

Have you ever had such an experience? Do you even believe in the concept of angels? Tell me about it...

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So, yesterday I saw good ole Doctor Hematologist! And the good ole Doc saw me too! And there was good news--The Iron Infusions are over!!!!

No more twice weekly bags of iv iron. Nope. I'm done. Well, at least for the time being. While I do have to go get my iron levels checked periodically, I am not scheduled to SEE the doctor for a year. A year. A YEAR! YAY!!!!

This means that I have to keep my iron up. Like Malcolm X said, "By any means necessary." Or, I'm back to the drawing board. And me NO LIKEY the drawing board!!

And, I am pleased to report that I completely forgot to go downstairs in the medical building and get a Coke. Completely forgot! But I did stop on the way home and got a yummy Thai iced tea. Me and caffeine were separated, but we have reconciled our differences and the relationship is back on! I LOVE caffeine.

In all seriousness though, I will sorely miss my doctor and his staff. They are WONDERFUL! As I've said before, I have no idea how he assembled such a group. But I promised to stop in periodically and say "hi."

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The Michael Jackson flick, This is It, is now the highest grossing concert film of all time. It chronicles his last days of life. It was originally supposed to run for 2 weeks, but has been extended through Thanksgiving weekend.

Many of my friends have seen it and say it's incredible. I have no desire. Maybe I'll catch it on cable. Of course, I was a huge MJ fan as a child, but as a teen or adult, I never bought a single record or CD of his. I was saddened at his death, but I didn't go into mourning, nor was I shocked.

Did you see it? Do you plan to? Are you MJ's number 1 fan?

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Today is my anniversary. And while thinking about it this morning, I came up with what I will call "The Essential Core of Relationships."

It doesn't necessarily mean marriage, but rather any relationship--friends, employers/employees, co-workers, neighbors, teacher/student, etc. For me, the essential core of ANY relationship is respect.

We have to respect the wishes of others, the beliefs of others, the morals and standards of others. We have to respect their opionions, their choices, and their actions. Without mutual respect, there is NO relationship.

Do you agree? If not, tell me what the essential core is...

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So, tomorrow is November 1st. That can only mean one thing--the holiday season is upon us! In less than a month, there will be Thanksgiving and then Christmas will follow up shortly after.

Last year, I had Thanksgiving at home, but then went to visit my parents for Christmas. I don't have anything planned yet for the holidays and the calendar seems to be rushing me.

What are your plans for the holidays? Will there be huge family gatherings? Or quiet days at home? Is the dwindling economy a factor? Will the turkey be smaller, the gifts fewer? Tell me about it...

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I've been on Facebook for about a year now. I've reconnected with so many folks that I know I couldn't have found any other way. But, it's made me long for folks that I still can't find. There are some people in my past that I desperately wish that I could speak to again.

One is my elementary school librarian. She was great. I loved her. She was the first person that I met that shared my passion for books. Of course, I knew that folks read. But I didn't know anybody else that would rather read than eat, sleep, or do anything else. Until I met her. She introduced me to books and authors that I had never even heard of. She explained the Caldecott and Newberry awards to me. She listened to me. She even gathered a group of my friends together and somehow got us into the American Folklife Festival down on the grounds of the National Mall. Wait, I don't mean that we attended the Festival, we were IN the festival! I think we did it for 2 or 3 years straight. About 10 years ago, I tried to reach her through the school and was told that she had retired in the 80s. I surely wish that I could find her. Last year, I searched the internet and found a person with her name in the Denver area. I called and left a message, but no one returned my call. I often think of her. As a small child, I'm sure that I didn't convey to her what a huge influence that she was on me and how she impacted the person that I became. I'd like to thank her for caring about me.

Are there folks in your lives that you wish you could reconnect with? Why? Have you tried? Why not?

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I don't celebrate Halloween. I don't participate at all. But I know that some of you do, so I tried to think of a creepy Halloween story to tell. And then I remembered this one. It was about 15 years ago. I'd taken the day off to attend the Halloween Parade at my daughter's school. After the parade, I visited a nearby mall and wandered into a record store.

The record store was empty, except for a salesgirl. As I walked in, she looked up to greet me, but seemed rather startled that I was there. I shrugged it off. But, soon I realized that she was followng me around the store and staring at me, though whenever I turned to look at her, she pretended to be busy. I thought that perhaps she was trying to catch me shoplifting. I found whatever I wanted and took it to the counter. She came up and just stood there staring at me. It was quite bizarre. I had to ask her to ring it up so that I could leave. She was just gaping at me. I grew very uncomfortable. Finally, she said that I was the spitting image of her friend. Her DEAD friend. Her friend that had passed away a few months before, very tragically. I was officially creeped out. I grabbed my bag and left.

Later that night, while taking the kids trick or treating, I broke my ankle. I ended up in DC's George Washington University Hospital's Emergency Room. There was an endless parade of injured folks that came through that night, most costumed. It was a long night. I waited in a corridor, along with many other folks. I was sitting in a wheelchair.

Here's where the story got creepier. I noticed that the woman across from me, who was there with her injured son, was staring. It didn't bother me much, though, as I was trying to figure out what I could say to get to the doctor to amputate my foot. That's how badly it hurt. After 45 minutes or so, she spoke. She apologized for staring, but that I looked just like her sister. Her DEAD sister. Her sister that had passed away a few months before, very tragically. The SAME person that the chick earlier had asked me about.

The woman at the hospital got on the pay phone and called family members, who in turn, started coming to the hospital to gawk at me. When the mother of the deceased arrived, she looked and me and started crying. She took my face into her hands and looked at me for a long time. She thought that I WAS her child. I no longer wanted an amputation, I just wanted crutches to get out of there. She gave me her phone number and asked me to call her the next day. I told her that I would, though I knew that I wouldn't.

I was finally released. I didn't make the promised call but it bugged me. A few days later, I decided to call, but I couldn't find the number. I went back to the record store. I never saw the clerk again. No one has ever asked me about that girl again since then. Creepy, huh?

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Do you know who this is? Lean in and look close. Do you recognize him? I thought not.

His face is not one that's familiar to American women. However, once I tell you what his name is, you'll know his claim to fame.

I'll give you one more try. Study that face. Is it familiar at all? Fine then. Fine! I'll tell you--It's Jimmy Choo!

And the reason why Jimmy Choo is on my mind is because "Yours Truly" finagled an invitation (Thanks FOJ Claudio!!) to a private reception next week at his boutique here in South Florida. He's launching a new line, in partnership with Elton John's AIDS charity.

And for those of you who STILL don't know who Mr Jimmy is-- he is THE IT man of luxury shoes and handbags . He is Chinese, but born in Malaysia and made his first shoe at 11 years old. His brand of Jimmy Choo shoes is synonymous with the finest handmade shoes. And if you've never treated your little piggies to a handmade shoe, seek out one of his boutiques and simply try on a pair. But do not, I repeat--DO NOT look at the price tags, for fear that you will faint on the spot. The cheapest pair that I found, under the SALE tab of the website, was more than $200.

Anywho, I hope that I'm able to write something about the Jimmy Choo boutique next week. Since I plan to be way to busy trying on shoes, prepare yourselves that there may not be pictures!

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