Today is a great day for a pair of lemon-yellow heels.


Boots here, wishing you a fantastical day.  Today is a good day to kick up your favorite pair of heels and feel GREAT about life.  Click those heels together and start singing your favorite song.

Stretch your attitude to a higher place.  “Keep your heels, head, and standards high.”  Coco Chanel has it right.  And today?  Your favorite heels are going to give you that edge — that added height — you need to reach even higher today.

Be happy.  It is one of the single most attractive things about you.  Truly.


Celebrating? Or re-grouping?


Boots here.  Taking a nice little breather from all of life’s various forms of coffee goodness and cabin door delights.  I came across this picture tonight and was trying to remember what possessed me to take such an un-artful picture and whether the clues in this image scream happiness or stress, celebrating or re-grouping.  The moment must have meant something to me, one way or another — otherwise I wouldn’t have felt inclined to capture it on film.  The clues: a bottle of wine, a corkscrew, two wine glasses, some junk mail, a phone that has been turned off, some ripe bananas, a clean stovetop . . .  Hmmmmm.

This past year has been full of change.  Lots of moving from place to place and lots of moving pieces.  For those of you move frequently, you can understand how life sometimes presents many choices — choices that beckon and ask to be your dance partner for the next tune.  For those of you who haven’t moved for 15, 20, or more years, you might not be able to comprehend the impact of all the chaotic transition that moving creates. And I feel a goodly bit of envy for you.  You know where you want to be and you have found it.  This is a rare thing in life and you should feel proud that you have found a place to hang your hat and scrape your boots.

I’ve moved from unrefined one-room cabins to primitive wall tents to fixer-uppers to fancy beach houses . . . and back to rustic cabins.  Cabins with rotting floors to houses with the finest hardwood flooring.  No running water to three (count ’em!) full baths.  Kerosene lamps to the latest and greatest in recessed lighting.

With so much moving, details get muted, memories get slopped together like a North Dakota funeral hotdish, and stuff remains unpacked.  Boy, does it ever.  Items that felt to be so important to you when you were carefully packing them into boxes become forgotten.  Unnecessary.  You learn to make do with what you have.  You realize that one wooden spoon is enough.  Three bath towels are plenty.  You’ve moved so many times that when you are heading home from town you forget to turn left to your new abode and turn right instead toward your old home.  Habits generate your direction.  You realize that you have been operating on autopilot.  A thought takes hold: Maybe that’s why I keep moving so often. 

You start to associate seasons, sunsets, conditions, and wildlife with certain residences.  The house with the Canada geese.  The house with the beautiful birdies.  The house with the deer.  The house with the glorious sunsets.  The house with the stinky water.  The house with the ultra-quiet nights.  The house with the flickering lights.  The house with the orbs.  The house with the scary bat.  The house with the wet firewood.  The house with all of the glorious sunlight.  The house with the smoking stove.  The house with the cranky water pump.  The house with the insane squirrel that kept chewing through the screens.

I am going to make the assumption that this photo op was cause for celebration because I can’t fathom why I would want to visually record a time of stress and duress . . . unless, of course, I was celebrating that I had survived some such mishap . . . which I guess makes stress, ultimately and in the end, a cause for celebration.

Maybe there is some mysterious circuitousness in this image . . . reminding me that even the survival of mishaps deserves some homage.  At the very least a celebration that calls for a bottle of wine and a toast for two.  From where I (temporarily) sit now looking out over the Sound . . . with memories of past dwellings mingling and steeping in this little pot of Now . . . there is this message, sometimes extraordinarily subliminal, that pops into every image: Life Is Good.

And what would life be without a Stetson to hang on the back of the door and a good pair of boots to slip into each morning?   Everyone loves a Stetson and I, in particular, love Ariat boots.  Something about the fit and the cut that make my feet happy.


Stetson Men’s Powder River 4X Buffalo Felt Cowboy Hat

Ariat Women’s Legend Western Cowboy Boot

Achla Designs BS-03 Boot Scraper

In Defense of Yoga Pants (The Skinny Jeans Crusade Continues)

The Jeans Cupboard Category 1:  

Baggy, Uni-sex Pants: expensive yoga pants, harem pants, jeggings, leggings, & pajama bottoms

The Criminalization of Yoga Pants

Boots, feeling Brave and reporting for duty on The Skinny Jeans Crusade.  Yup, your Badass Coffee Babe is here to dispel the myths that we allow others to sell to us regarding our own sweet body image.  And, yes, I am ready to take on the Criminalization of the Innocent Yoga Pants.

It’s a factual truth that we are entirely too hard on ourselves regarding body image.  I mean, come on, people.  It’s ridiculous how self-critical we are when it comes to our bodily temple.  We look in the mirror and think that we simply must have the perfect body and the perfect clothes according to societal and fashion standards.  But for what?  For whom?

And why?  What’s the prize for having achieved some standard of Perfection?  Would someone explain to me how all of this matters?  Right?  Isn’t true living more about who we are and what we say and what we do that really matters?  Aren’t you tired of all of the self-imposed negativity?  I, Boots, have had it with all of this bad-mouthing self-talk.

But there are those times when it feels good to feel hot according to our own personal Hot-o-Meter.  Don’t we want to feel that inner satisfaction when our outer selves match who we feel like on the inside?  And that our inner selves match who we feel like on the outside?  Call it balance.  Equilibrium.  Stability.  Sanity.  Use whatever word in the lexicon that suits you, but I am calling it Being True to My Levi’s.  All I am asking here is to be kind and to adjust your Hot-o-Meter.  We all can’t fit into a size 2.  That’s just factual.  Be nice.

What with spending as much time as possible out in the woods and on the trail, I am the first to dispatch with outer artificiality . . . But I do believe in being okay with wanting my external to honor my internal.  There’s nothing wrong with any of us trying to be our best selves.

So that is why I am here . . . dedicated to fitting our way through the spectrum of categories that defines our jeans wardrobe.  I am thinking it’s time to get down and get real and exercise some humor.  Why?  Because maybe it’s time to take a real look at reality and poke a little fun at it at the same time.   And I am thinking that it’s time to examine why we think we are “settling” when we wear our baggy, uni-sex pants with no waistline and no fasteners . . . what we fondly call our Yoga Pants.

Yoga Pants take on many different forms and prices.  At the higher end of the Yoga Pants spectrum, you have your “fancy” pants that you buy from the expensive brands that advertise themselves as Authentic Yoga Pants.  You know the kind.  These are the pants that women pull on in the morning when they have to run to the store for half-and-half for their morning coffee.  These pants are designed to look casually authentic, like the wearer is saying: “Attention all shoppers: I just left my hot yoga class (not true). . . and by the way, I paid a lot of money for these pants (true) so that is why I look so fashionable in my baggy pants with no fasteners.”

I realize that this is a heck of a lot for a pair of loose cotton knit pants to declare, but this is what some people believe.  Really.  I can’t make this up.  These pants go for no less than $90 a pair, when on sale, and are no better than the leggings, the jeggings, the wide-legged sweat pants, or the solid-color pajama pants you can buy on the 90%-off sale rack at some bargain basement for $7.99.  Call me cheap but I don’t need the little enlightened embroidered emblem on the back of my waistband to announce that my Yoga Pants are bonafide.  Life isn’t this shallow.  At least not for the Thinking Folk.

Can we all agree?  All categories of shapeless pants without fasteners: they all constitute Yoga Pants.  I care neither how much you paid nor from which boutique or bargain basement you bought them.  They still come down to the simplest of terms: You just don’t want to put yourself into a pair of structured denim jeans with all of those restrictive zippers and pockets . . . which I think we can all agree that we are okay with.

Busting Through and Breaking Down the Gender Barriers of Yoga Pants

I remember this one boyfriend who belonged to one of my girlfriends.  Let’s call him Brian.  Brian was one of those men who thought he was a lot smarter than he actually was.  I guess you could say that Brian thought of himself as an erudite person in Male Yoga Pants.

Brian sold himself as a “male kindergarten teacher” — much like the gender-assuming people who still say “female doctor” or “male nurse.”  Brian was pretty proud of himself for having broken ranks and chosen a largely-female career.

In accordance with Brian’s Gender Infiltration, Brian wore Yoga Pants day in and day out.  It’s not that Brian was heavy or unable to fit into a pair of denims.  He was just lazy and couldn’t be bothered with fasteners.  It wasn’t the best look for Brian, but who really cared.  Certainly his young students didn’t care.  And all of us in the Posse weren’t in Shannon’s shoes who had to look at Brian everyday in his sloppy pants.

I recount this story merely to emphasize that Male Yoga Pants, too, exist, and we can safely steer away from what we traditionally assume and think of as a a female-dominated fashion choice.  Thank you, Brian.

So what the heck am I trying to say here?

Not a whole lot.  It’s okay to wear Yoga Pants as your go-to fashion.  It’s okay to want to be more comfortable than you feel in your Levi’s.  It’s okay as long as you are okay with every thing associated with this conversation.  Remember: there are no judges.  Not even you.  If you can dismiss The Pitiless Judge from the bench, you are miles ahead of many.

Boots’ Jeans Cupboard Takeaway:

Be who you are and become who you want to be.  

Okay . . . I couldn’t resist adding some Yoga Pants that caught my fancy.  If you are going to go baggy, you might as well make a statement.  I think these Aladdin pants are fun, fun, fun!  And you might as well make a statement with your comfort.

Firstharem Aladdin Bohemian Yoga Hippie Baggy Casual Pants

E4U Women’s Slimming Foldover Yoga Pajama Bootcut Lounge Pants

Idingding Womens Hot Sale Galaxy Star Printed High Waist Leggings Pants

Roy Orbison on being a living legend and changing a flat tire


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Boots here and a good day to you from your Badass Coffee Babe.  Roy Orbison has it just right: “I may be a living legend but that sure don’t help when I’ve got to change a flat tire.”

I love Roy’s nod to reality.  We elevate our living legends to such heights  . . . and then realize that they simply are good tire-changing folk just like us.  The kind of people who you invite into your cabin for a cuppa and a sit by the fire to have a good B.S. session.

People are so interesting.  They grab our attention with the stories of their varied lives. Here’s a cheers to the living legends and also to the rest of us extra-ordinary people who know how to change a flat tire and who realize that this is life as it is.

Scroll down and take a listen to some of Roy Orbison’s A Black & White Night.  Life is a singular event.  Make it a Living Legend event by navigating life’s map and changing flat tires as they present.

The Essential Roy Orbison

Orbison, Roy – Three Classic Albums Plus

a Guy Clark kind of morning

Boots here.  It’s one of those Guy Clark mornings when the fog, moving like a freight train in a hurry, is scraping the tops off of the other islands across the sound.  There’s something about this movement that gives me pause to sit and think and just absorb the moment.  I can sure feel the fall weather moving in on the backs of those clouds.

Here’s some Guy Clark for your morning.  Have a great day.  Life is a lively event and here’s to saying yes to whatever opportunities that life presents today.



Are you ready to get into your skinny jeans? Boots is here to break it down for you.

life is too short.jpgYour Coffee Connoisseur and Boots Authority, Boots the Badass Coffee Babe here . . . just sitting and watching the dragonflies trace a glittery pattern across the blue September sky.  And in between dragonfly sightings, I am thinking about my next new pair of boots and dreaming about the perfect-fitting pair of jeans for winter.  I am here to say that the weather is definitely changing and so, by turn, shall my seasonal wardrobe.  After all, winter is coming, and it’s time to replace these cute and kicky, summery mini-skirts for some badass jeans.

While shopping for a fancy new pair of boots a few days ago, I overheard two women talking.  You could tell they were long-time friends, judging by the critique and counsel that they were dishing out to each other: You already have two pairs of those in your closet.  Why do you want a third pair? . . . Those make your feet look too long . . . Your calves are going to split the seams of those boots.  They’re too narrow.  It was a brutal, but honest, exchange that was a testimony to how long these two had been friends or sisters.  My bet was on sisters.

Honesty is a good friend when we most need it and . . . well, there was no lack of it between these two.  I have to confess to a certain enjoyment of their banter.  Like there was an agreement that there were to be no holds barred during this shopping venture.   After all, there are times when we just can’t see our own fashion blunders and we need the fashion police to intervene on our behalf.

The one woman was on a roll and was saying that the #1 reason women love buying shoes and handbags so much is that shoes and handbags always fit.  It’s so easy to gain that five pounds from snacking your way through those late night binge watching sessions of The Blacklist . . . or that ten pounds from that trip through Italy . . . or that 15 pounds from not going to your spinning class for three months.  In short, all of these activities cost you big time in the weight department when it comes to getting on the scale.  Even I, Boots the Badass Coffee Babe and Wrangler Par Excellence, pack on a few pounds when I tuck myself into the cabin alongside the cookstove with a good book for the winter.  In short: weight happens.  And the beauty of shoes and handbags?  They will remain loyal and fit no matter what your weight status happens to be.

I agree with these two salty shoppers that shoes, boots, and handbags are our friends.  But I am also thinking that the two legs of our pair of jeans are our in-home equivalent of these Two Honest Sisters.  Our jeans just don’t lie.  They fit or they don’t.  What was once a pair of our Skinny Jeans could possibly now be our Impossible Dream Jeans.  It saddens us when our beloved jeans get bumped into a new category.  The truth hits hard when we opt for those expensive yoga pants, rather than slipping into that cute pair of Levi’s.  Case closed.  We’re busted.

I think we all have our different categories for jeans.  Here are my top ten categories . . . and believe me, I have at least one pair for every category:

  1. Baggy, Uni-sex Pants: expensive yoga pants, jeggings, leggings, cute pajama bottoms
  2. Cut Your Losses & Donate
  3. Dream the Impossible Dream 
  4. The Beauty of Spanx
  5. Not Quite Yet
  6. Getting closer.
  7. Ugly but Wearable Options
  8. Almost There — just mildly uncomfortable
  9. Feeling Pretty Sassy
  10. Happiness is Skinny Jeans
  • Do you relate to any of these categories?
  • What are some of your categories that aren’t on this list?
  • Could you use some encouragement in the Jeans Department?  Winter cometh and I think we could all use a little help.

Well, Boots is here to help with encouragement.  If you would like to receive affirmations, tips, recipes, and advice via email, just subscribe below to the Jeans Cupboard.

Join the fun!  It’s not about stressing.  It’s about feeling good inside of your own skin . . . not the denim.  In the comments section of these posts, share with us what is and isn’t working for you to jump to a different category of jeans.  We all could use some encouraging words, right?



life is too short.jpg

It’s Cute Heels Monday.


Boots the Badass Coffee Babe here.  As much as I love my boots, let it not be said that I don’t like my heels, too.  You wouldn’t think it, but I have quite the collection.  I know that I tout boots as being where it’s at in the ways of footwear, but heels also have their place in the Roster of Shoe Happiness.

So it’s Monday today.  Wear some cute heels and you will be surprised at what a game changer this is.  Keep that head held high and don’t let your dauber down.  And if you do catch a case of the Monday blues, well, spend that time admiring the cute shoes that you are wearing as you motor through the day in high click-clack fashion.  Here are some darling pumps for you to check out on this Cute Heels Monday.  Very cute and very wearable!  Have fun daydreaming as you check out these heels.

Show Story Ladies Skull Rose Print Platform Bone Heel Party Club Pumps

Hot Chocolate Design Chocolaticas High Heels Holly Pop Women’s Mary Jane Pump

Steve Madden Women’s Veruca Dress Pump

Good boots are like old friends.


Boots, the Badass Coffee Babe, here with my beautiful mug of Morning Fuel on this glorious morning.  And I am thinking that it’s a great day for taking some time to let old friends know that I am thinking of them.  That I appreciate them for who they are and for all of their many kindnesses.

Old friends, like a pair of good boots, are always there to take us to a better place.  When I am feeling down in my cups, it is my friends who take me out for a cup of fancy Joe, some fun dancing, or a stroll in the sunshine.  There’s nothing like an old, comfy friend when you most need a boost. Tell a friend that you appreciate him or her today.  They will love you for it!

Friends Until Old and Senile Then Be New Friends 12 Oz Ceramic Coffee Mug

Best Friend Ever Glass Coffee Mug 13 oz – Unique Christmas Present Idea For Your Best Friend

Mary Square Good Friend Cheaper Therapy Ceramic Coffee Mug Tumbler

Studio Oh! Ceramic Mug, A Good Friend is Hard to Find by Becca Cahan, Multicolor

Coffee Mug – Camera Lens Travel Thermos – Stainless Steel Insulated Cup with Easy Clean Lid – 13.5oz – Black – Go with Premium Stainless Steel Spoon Bonus_uHome