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Because Y’all Are Clearly More Glamorously Fabulous Than Me

By Amalah

Hi Amy,

Cankles, big feet, and cold toes – that’s me from the knee down (or mid-thigh, it’s tough to tell). Zappo’s is lovely when you have a clue what you’re looking for but I am so terribly terribly inept at this whole thing. Tell me, Oh Great Amy From Inside My Computer, what shape should my shoes be?


Okay, so this question gave me a big idea. (And hi, I’ve been watching a little too much Pinky Dinky Doo, yes.)
So I don’t personally have any of the problems you have. I’ve got average-sized, bony feet with a high arch and even bonier ankles. Also a lot of calluses. I can certainly tell you what I think (oh, and just you try to stop me), and I can tell you what I’ve read or heard, but I can’t give you that really good kind of advice. That “I’ve been there, and here’s what works for me” kind of advice.

Sometimes I’ll ask a friend for a second opinion, but, um, I’m not going to email some casual acquaintance of mine and say something like, “Hey you! With the cankles! Got any shoe-buying secrets?’

So I am thinking I need a rogue panel of experts. And by “experts” I mean “you guys.”

Let’s say you’ve got a certain beauty…challenge that you feel you’ve done a good job of dealing with. Something like crazy frizzy hair or plus-sized dressing or minimizing an enormous rack. Maybe you have the secret to absolutely gorgeous fingernails or know first-hand EXACTLY what kind of shoes Heather should be wearing.

And let’s say you’re willing to step up and be my go-to person for that particular challenge. My AlphaFoxyMama, so to speak.

Sound kind of fun? Maybe? Well, if you’re interested, send me an email. Tell me about the topics you think you could provide some personal insight and experience on. Tell me all the ways that you are glamorously fabulous.

And then I’ll add you to the Wednesday Advice Smackdown Panel of Glamorously Fabulous AlphaFoxyMamas and contact you if a question within your realm of Glamorous Fabulousity comes up and get your two cents. It’ll be fun! Telling people what to do rocks!

(It would also be smashing if you are regularly available over email on Mondays and Tuesdays and can respond fairly quickly, cough cough.)

(The Patron Saint of the Wednesday Advice Smackdown Panel of Glamorously Fabulous AlphaFoxyMamas.)

(Thanks to Project Rungay for the fabulous photo.)

Back to Heather’s question!

I’ve always thought that shoes are all about proportion. If you’ve got skinny legs and ankles, you look good in pointy, delicate shoes that continue the line of your body. If your legs are kind of stumpy and thick, you should stay away from teetery stiletto heels and stick with chunkier, stacked heels. Sculpted heels look awesome on girls with curvy calves or thicker ankles. Short-legged types should avoid high-cut mules and ankle straps, while really tall girls should stick with kitten heels and ballet flats. Slingbacks and D’Orsay pumps are generally considered “skinny” shoes, Chuck Taylors make your feet look smaller, and a lot of the boots today (flat, thick, vaguely utilitarian and UGG-like) are a dream for the thick-ankled and chubby-legged. Wedges work for pretty much everybody and come in a variety of heel heights.

And that’s pretty much the extent of my General Shoe Knowledge. I’m not sure if that’s enough to help you navigate the wilds of alone, but maybe it’s enough to help you peruse the aisles of your local DSW with confidence?

Hi Amy,

First let me say that I l-o-o-o-ve your blog, and I post comments semi-regularly. Your son is absolutely the cutest little baby ever, as I’m sure you know all to well, and the photo of the little dog looking longingly at the door while Jason was away was positively priceless.

My question isn’t about foundation, or makeup brushes, or hair products, but about jewelry. I have two pairs of earrings that I can’t wear because they have screw-on backs and posts. I can’t bear the thought of that threaded metal tearing through my delicate earlobe flesh (hah), so I wonder if you might know of a solution. It’s all psychosomatic, I know, but those earrings are lying in the drawer, unworn. Is there, perhaps, such a thing as a small plastic tubular thing to put through one’s earlobe, thereby allowing the earring post to slide through? I hope I’ve explained this clearly, but if you’re still wondering what I could possibly be talking about, please feel free to e-mail me. Thanks.


I actually did have to email Nancy back on this one, because bwah? I wasn’t sure if by “small plastic tubular thing” she meant what I thought she meant. Which would be some kind of earring condom.
She did, and I’m sorry to say, such a thing does not appear to exist.
Probably because you may be alone in your particular flavor of twitchiness. (Especially since the idea of stretching my earlobe out with even a millimeter of extra plastic — unlubricated plastic that would probably get stuck to your skin on the way in and pinch and drag and oh my GOD — creeps me out even more than the idea of jagged metal posts.) Trust me, if a sizable chunk of the female population felt this way about earrings there would be a daily infomercial on QVC for the Earring Condom.
So from where I sit (curled up in a tiny ball in the corner now, thanks to you), you can either go back to not wearing these earrings or you can attempt to overcome your fear? Twitch? Fashion-related pyschosymptom?

Try lubricating the earring post with Vaseline or baby oil — both will make the earring slide in super-easily and might provide you with a feeling of pseudo-protection from the ridges (which I REALLY doubt would ever snag on your earlobe, but hey, I’m convinced that a volcano could spontaneously erupt in my backyard kill me, so who am I to nitpick about other people’s irrational fears?)

Hi There,
First let me start by saying how much I love your blog. It opened me up to the world of blogness. And I love it. Did I mention that? Anyway. After reading your blog and being insanely jealous that you get to post pictures of Noah everyday and have people tell you just how stinkin’ cute he is ALL OF THE TIME (because he IS!), I got to thinking. I could start my own blog! I could post pictures of Gus and have people tell me just how stinkin’ cute he is ALL OF THE TIME (because he IS!).

So here’s the question. I’ve started my own blog but I’m a teacher who has a whole summer of nothingness in front of her and I would like to create a real blog with a real wwwdot address. Can you tell me what types of packages are out there that are user friendly for people who want to do their own website? What do you use? And since you’re answering questions, how do I get people to read it (apart from sending it to friends and also hoping to get a shameless plug on one of your sites)?
Thanks for your time,

M (Another Class of ’96 mom of an 8 month old who happens to live in NOVA and sometimes hopes that we’ll join the same Mommy group.)

I hereby command all newbie bloggers and bloggers-to-be to read Miss Zoot’s excellent blogging primer “So You Want to Start a Blog.” (She’s no longer offering free designs, but other than that, it’s all still good info.)

Over at, I use Typepad. Still! I know! I started with Typepad back in 2003 with every intention of moving over to something more robust (like WordPress or Movable Type, which is what the Smackdown and Dooce Plugs In and Melissa’s Buzz Off all run on) later on. I never did, mostly because I found some sneaky ways to bend Typepad to my programming will, and also because they never charge me for my horrendous bandwidth overages. I love Typepad. With a basic account you can have a darn nice-looking (if basic) blog and your very own wwwdot address.

But like I said. Read Zoot’s entry and check out all the other options.

Now, as for getting people to read your blog, there are three commandments every new blogger must follow:

I. Thou shalt update often.
II. Thou shalt comment even more than that.
III. Thou shalt link like a crazy linking fool.

So obviously, the first thing I notice at your blog is that you haven’t updated in a month. So maybe you’ve decided to quit, or maybe you just need to regroup and refocus a little.

With all the crazy media talk of blogs blogs blogs, a lot of people seem to think that blogging is EASY. That we all just immediately hit the big time and build big audiences and NOBODY toils in obscurity for years. But the truth is, it does take a fair amount of work to attract readers (if that’s what you want) and above all, it takes patience.

Update your blog at least four or five times a week. Comment on A LOT of blogs. Commenting works a couple of ways — leave a witty or thoughtful comment (i.e. something besides “FIRST!” or “OMG I totaly agreee!”) and the site owner will probably click through and check you out. Leave that same comment on a well-trafficked blog and the site READERS will click through and check you out. If they like what they see, they may link to you. And then link back to them.

Oh my lord, link back. You can’t afford to be picky or snobbish about your blogroll when you’re first starting out. Link to people who link to you. Link to every single site you read and comment at. Try to find a mix of big and small sites. Just like a smartly-worded comment on a “big” site is likely to bring you decent traffic, small sites are more likely to notice you in their referral stats and link back.

But all that is kind of a cold, heartless approach to building blog traffic. The most important draw for readers is YOU. Be youself. Be honest. Post pictures and tell stories and get your voice, personality and point of view out there.

And while I hate to sound like your mom, all “JUST BE YOUSELF! PEOPLE WILL LIKE YOU IF YOU JUST BE YOURSELF!”…the truth is that people will like you (and read you) if you just…well…be yourself.

About the Author

Amy Corbett Storch


Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Ama...

Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Amalah. Also, it’s pronounced AIM-ah-lah.

If there is a question you would like answered on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to [email protected].

Amy also documented her second pregnancy (with Ezra) in our wildly popular Weekly Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty.

Amy is mother to rising first-grader Noah, preschooler Ezra, and toddler Ike.

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robin m
robin m

About “earring sleeves” – I have them and wear them with a pair of earrings that make my ears angry. I do have screw back/posts and those aren’t the ones that irritate my ears. They are fine and I wear them every day.. they are a little thicker though so be ready for that. No pain at all though. Anyway, I wear earring sleeves because a specific earring makes my right (only my right!) ear angry and swollen. They are available on ebay: They slip over the earring (not into your ear first) and then the earring slides on… Read more »


Great topics today Amy! I especially loved your general show run down. I learned something new today, Thanks!


I really can’t comment on “earring sleeves” since, quite honestly, I didn’t even know such a thing existed until 2 minutes ago.
But I do know that a jeweler can replace your screw back posts with traditional posts. I would recommend an independent jeweler that does the work on site. Hope that helps!
Oh, & Malisa? I just read the last few entries on your blog. Funny! Waiting for a new post . . .


While I normally think your advice is FAA-bulous, I must somewhat disagree with the shoe advice this time. Though I have fairly normal feet and legs, I have had numerous customers with foot “issues”, including large ankles. Here’s what I think- Chunky shoes=NOT GOOD for chunky legs. Then it’s all just…chunky. A medium heel and a round or slender toe can do a lot to lengthen and slim a wide ankle and foot, in my experience. And though I LOVE my Chucks (I even wore white ones for my garden wedding), they are not good with thick ankles. For one,… Read more »


hey nancy, there are such a thing as earing sleeves one and you can get them in store at clares (i asume you have those stores in the states) and I paid about 4.50 canadian for mine but they do tend to spilt after a while so buy alot
theys do cause mild dicomfort the first few times but your ears gets used to it no difernt than a bigger post on an earing. good luck!


Love the Smackdown. But you knew that.
Am I the only person who loves Laura on PR? She isn’t going to win-but I still love her.
I had no idea there was such a thing as earring condoms. Hum.


Wow, thanks, heels. I’ve got big, chunky calves and big, wide feet and I will definitely look into some shoes with rounded toes.
I think you may have found your cankle expert, Amy.


Wait, when in heck did I say anything about chunky shoes?? I said chunkier, stacked heels!
ChunkiER, as in, NOT skinny stilettos. I’m talking heel width ONLY.
Chunky fat shoes work for nobody who is no longer living in 1995.


OK, maybe I’m dense, but how do I know if someone has linked to my blog?


Emily: Check the referral logs in your stats or do a search for your site on


Sorry- in my shoe-thought frenzy I mis-read. It did surprise me that you were recommending chunky shoes. I need to read ALL of the words, I guess.
Again, sorry. I never meant to impugn you unfairly.


No problem, heels. Thanks for all your great first-hand input. I just wanted to make sure that no one else was misreading me, leading me to be blamed for some kind of return of the chunky shoe, which NO.
Especially since you know people would wear them with mid-calf leggings. *shudder*


Maybe my major malfunction in life is that my mom never told me to just be myself and people will like me.


just so you know, TypePad loves you right back.