The 411 on New Climbing Shoes!

As I’m attempting to progress, I realized that I needed to invest in a new pair of shoes that were a little more high performance. So I just purchased these from Nomad Ventures in Escondido. This is such a great little store, the staff are so helpful and knowledgeable about climbing. I think every single person who works there is a climber.

I tried these shoes out for the first time yesterday and I wasn’t impressed. They didn’t smear very well and I got them pretty small so they hurt. I’m a size 9, so I bought a size 9. I’m sure that this is how climbing shoes are supposed to fit and I’ve been spoiled by my old comfy shoes. The plus of these shoes, as a friend of mine pointed out, is the rubber is harder and is probably much better for micro-edges and what not (which is ultimately why I bought them). We’ll see how they work out in the long run.

http://www.nomadventures.com/product.php?type=Apparel&id=209

I’ve sported the La Sportiva Mythos (Men’s were purple and I like purple) for about 4 or 5 years, but they’ve spent much of that time in the closet (and for the record, I bought these at Nomad too!). They were great shoes! Comfy, never got smelly, could smear on anything and the lace around the ankle made them extra snug! Problem was, they stretched out and weren’t very good at micro-edges. Apparently this shoe is notorious for stretching out.

Oldie, but goodies.

Here’s the deal, climbing shoes are either made out of leather or synthetic material. The Evolv shoes I got are synthetic, my old ones were leather. What’s the difference? This…


The pro of leather shoes: they don’t smell as bad because they are wick away sweat. Synthetic shoes tend to smell (and your feet roll around a little because they don’t wick away sweat as well).


The con of leather shoes: they stretch. Synthetic shoes don’t.

I’m definitely going to keep these Mythos around for crack climbing and what not. Most likely I’ll be resorting back to these shoes when my other ones are too painful to wear. :)

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Want to learn how to climb?

REI offers a few different classes on basic climbing skills, anchor building and lead climbing. They are usually a little pricey–around $100 a class, but they give you a good introduction to each of these topics and you meet other people who are interested in the same stuff. This coupled with a meetup.com group (This one is the best group in San Diego), I think you’d be well on your way to discovering a climbing group that meets regularly and that you could learn from.

The Real Happiest Place on Earth

Of course, you could always make friends with an awesome person that is willing to take you climbing all the time and teach you the basics of anchor building and lead climbing… but that might be a little hard to come by. Right now, I’m the luckiest person alive.

Holy Crepes!

One of my good friends is a chef. Yes, a chef. What is that like you say? It’s awesome. 
 I had the privilege of being his sous chef for the evening, a regular past time of mine. The above dessert was put in my charge. Unfortunately, the ice cream melted, but he made beautiful home made nutella to go with the  crêpes. He requested that I displace some of the water in the crêpes with Brandy and sure enough, it was a hit. 
I’ve learned a ton from being his sous chef. Everything from wicked knife skills, to just plain making amazing mashed potatoes. He’s taught me that salt pushes flavors forward, so if you can’t taste something in what you’ve made, chances are adding salt will bring out the flavor. You can never have to much cream, butter or salt. Never be shy with these things (Obviously, I don’t abide by these rules on a daily basis or I would be as big as a house! Strictly for entertainment purposes.). That night, I rolled cannelloni and folded a puff pastry over brie and berries, among many other random duties. 
Cannelloni

Red Thai Curry Butternut Squash Soup with Creme Fraiche.  

Duck Confit in a Puff Pastry Cup

Shepard’s Pie and Parmesan Mashed Potatoes

Other side: Lame Chop’s

Puff Pastry filled with Brie and Berries, surrounded by an assortment of cheeses and honeycomb
Watching Alex work makes me want to make small plates. Getting creative with sauces and whipping them over the plates. He makes it look way too easy. 

What to Wear?!

A friend of mine recently told me about this site called Polyvore! It’s amazing! Today I tried it out for the first time (I know, I’m probably way behind the times, but I’m not a professional blogger…). I was looking at the ModCloth website for a cute dress and I also found these polka dot tights. I tried and tried to think of what I could wear them with and was stumped. So, I went on over to Polyvore and typed in tights. Sure enough, first link available was to these tights. There are tons of brilliant examples of what you could wear these tights with! I’m so stoked on this right  now, it’s not even funny.

Ruched Sleeve Blazer
$125 – topshop.com
TopShop blazers »

WINONA PATENT LEATHER PUMPS
429 EUR – mytheresa.com
Patent high heels »

Black Opaque Heart Studs
5 GBP – missselfridge.com
Black earrings »

Eiffel Tower Necklace
$3.80 – canada.forever21.com
Chain necklace »

tube noeud – Page 2
nikkograff.centerblog.net


Dealing with the Fear of Falling

The fear of falling–Lame. The other day I mentioned that I had gone bouldering for the first time and didn’t get very far because of this nagging fear. It frustrates me to no end. Like attempting to jump off a high ledge into water, but each time you brace yourself for the jump, you just can’t get your feet to go. You yell at yourself and try to shake it off, but you just can’t budge.

Butterflies in the stomach, fear that makes your hands shake, vertigo that clouds your judgement. Yep, I have a fear of heights. Yep, I love climbing. Inconsistent? Maybe. Or maybe not.

I found a great article on one of my new favorite blogs. It’s a climbing blog that’s set up kind of like Dear Abby. A climber wrote in to ask about how to deal with fear. The author, Steph Davis, gives some really good tips on how to deal.

Looking ahead, I know that this fear is something I’ve got to deal with. I know it’s going to be a slow process and I’ve spent some time thinking about how I’m going to go about tackling it. In addition to getting used to falling while bouldering, I’m also looking farther down the road to when I start lead climbing. You can take rather large falls while lead climbing and I know that is going to slow my climbing down, just because of fear. Most climbers that climb 5.12s on top rope, only climb 5.9 or 5.10 while trad climbing (placing your own protection), because it’s a whole other animal. Sport climbing (using bolts already placed in the rock) may not be as scary as trad climbing, but it still takes a toll on your ability to climb because of the fear factor.

In the article, there is a comparison between the two different approaches to getting over this fear business. One, is to go for it and the other is to take it step by step. The latter helps you develop good habits, not freak yourself out, and generally climb with greater confidence. I think I like this method rather than just going for it. As a woman, I have less of an inner voice telling me I’ve got to do things or I’m a wuss. But it’s still there. While the men around me are probably more apt to just going for it and will probably excel quicker because of it, I’m convinced that I will get over this fear thing eventually. When I do get there, hopefully I will be a strong, confident climber with great technique.

This article explains the process of learning to fall while lead climbing.  First, you fall with the quick draw (the gear that connects your rope to the bolt as you climb a sport climb) at your face, then at your chest, then below your feet, etc. etc. Each time, you get higher and higher above where you rope will catch you, so you learn how it feels. I imagine the same process could work for bouldering. Fall from a low place and work your way up so that you get an idea of what it’s like to fall. I like the sound of this and I think it’s totally doable. Right?

Well, I’ll never know unless I give it a try.

Altering Thrift Store Clothing

New Dress a Day Blog

She’s still at it! New Dress a Day, a blog that exhibited a year long project of buying thrift store clothing and creating a new piece of clothing every day. The author had a budget of $365 for 365 days. Everyday I followed this blog, I’d eagerly await her transformation of a zebra print moo-moo into an adorable dress, that she’d feature in a picture with cocktail in hand. Her designs were so creative and seemed so simple. She wasn’t picky about her seams or stitching, which made her able to do so many dresses, but if she had the time, these dresses would be completely wearable. Well, now that the project is over, she’s still working with scraps and such to make accessories and blouses. She’s also moved into her own website! Check her out!

How to: Thrift Store Alterations

If you like what you see, a friend just sent me a link for a book on how to alter thrift store clothing! I like what I see, but I definitely think that New Dress a Day could be developed into a fantastic book on alterations! We’ll see what she does.