Boston Ballet premieres Le Corsaire

This fall, the Boston Ballet’s Le Corsaire was the North American premiere of original choreography by Marius Petipa from the 1800s and Ivan Liska from the early 2000s. Petipa’s Le Corsaire originally premiered in St. Petersburg in 1863, and much of this new version was reconstructed by Liska from Petipa’s choreographic notations. Ivan Liska’s version premiered in Munich in 2007, and has now made its way to us in Boston in 2016.

My mother loves the ballet, and so I grew up attending the ballet as well as playing many of the famous classic ballets in youth orchestras. Le Corsaire was beautiful, dramatic, dreamy, and exciting- everything I hoped for. Corsaire is French for pirate, and there are swashbuckling fights, treasure, and scandal! The basic premise is that Conrad, leader of the pirates, falls in love with Medora, the foster daughter of Lankedem. Lankedem disapproves, but eventually agrees to sell Medora to the Pasha. Conrad vows to save Medora, and he rescues her to the pirate island. Lankedem is angered because he will lose his payment from the Pasha so he goes along too, and takes his chance to get Medora back when a fight amongst the pirates breaks out. Conrad wakes from a sleeping poison to find that Lankedem has taken Medora back to the Pasha and vows to again rescue her. Conrad and his fellow pirates go to Pasha’s palace disguised as pilgrims. The Pasha puts on a show for his guests only to have to pilgrims reveal themselves and rescue Medora in the end. The final scene is of the pirates, led by Conrad and Medora, on their ship off to the next adventure!

My husband came to this ballet with me, and we of course observed all rules and traditions of my trips to the ballet. We dressed up (even though I was not feeling great), walked around the Boston Common a bit, got a goodie at Boston Common Coffee Co (carrot pecan muffin top, so good), got a fancy drink at intermission (chardonnay for me), and no making fun of the male ballet dancers, which wasn’t hard at this ballet because they were all pirates. The costumes were exquisite; I especially loved the tutus in the Jardin Anime scene. The next ballet that I will attend will be The Nutcracker in December and then The Sleeping Beauty in the spring. Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev ballets are my favorite🙂

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Despite feeling under the weather, I managed to throw on my gray wool skirt, black tights, penny loafers, and a sweater for the occasion.
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Boston Common is so beautiful, all the colors right now are stunning
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Looking up in the lobby of the Boston Opera House
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The Boston Opera House has such beautiful ornate moldings and chandeliers

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Another beautiful chandelier, this one in the lobby.

Has anyone out there been watching The Crown on Netflix? I just started, and its been very well done so far. I’ll be honest, I could use more English countryside and horses, but I am only in the 3rd episode.

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The 52nd Head of the Charles Regatta

Hello everyone! It has been a crazy couple weeks. We finished ripping up carpets and putting down hardwoods in our living room and bedroom and painted the walls. The place looks completely different with fresh paint and nice oak hardwoods! I am glad we finished up in time for one of my favorite weekends, the Head of the Charles!

I decided against going down on Saturday because it was pouring for most of the day, but I did head down on Sunday because I was volunteering! Sunday is also a great day to go because parking is free in Harvard Sq and its the day of the Championship 4s and 8s! This was my fifth year of volunteering. I volunteered my senior year of high school and freshman year of college, and then the first two years out of college. My first two years we got long sleeve tshirts, the next two years we got fleeces from Nautica BUT unless you were there Friday night you got the big sizes so I gave those away. Brooks Brothers took over the volunteer apparel in 2009. This year they did a fantastic blue and red down vests and black hats. Love it. I have volunteered out on the docks in the past and I have volunteered in the info booths. This year I was in the info booth right across from the Brooks Brothers tent at Attager Row, the retail area between Elliot Bridge and the finish line. My fellow volunteers were great, all very helpful and interesting people. Volunteers aren’t just rowers, they come from all different backgrounds to help this amazing two day event go as smoothly as possible.

I think that having rowed in the event two years does help me to be a good info booth volunteer, as well as the fact that I got to learn how to row on the Charles in high school. I know all the bridges, all the boathouses, and the good places to watch. I have had some mishaps out there too:  I coxed a boat (the only time I ever coxed a boat) into the shallows on the Cambridge side by the Weeks Bridge (oops), rowed around in the basin during what felt like a hurricane, and swamped a four. Swamping the four meant hopping out of the boat to flip it, and then getting back in…not easy. For next year I am going to put together a HOCR guide- all the food, shopping, places to watch, and such. It will be really fun for me to write🙂

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I did take a break to run over for a pic at the Brooks Brothers photo area.
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It was a cold and windy day, but gorgeous blue skies.
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I just loved the pink and navy unisuits on this crew
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Four launching out of Cambridge Boat Club from the Eliot Bridge.
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Beautiful scene by the Eliot Bridge. The boathouse up towards the left belongs to the Belmont Hill School and the Winsor School.

There were some fabulous highlights this year. Gevvie Stone who won the silver medal in Rio won the women’s championship singles. The O’Donovan Brothers who were hilarious in Rio rowed in a quad for a second place finish, the US Para Team rowed in the mixed eight race, and the gold medal women’s eight was on hand for autographs. The HOCR just after the summer olympics every four years is always a little special. I would love to row in the HOCR again. We shot for an alumni 8 but didn’t get a bid, maybe next year!

Now, sadly the HOCR gear from Brooks Brothers is not available anywhere else but their tent during the event. I really liked the HOCR long sleeve cotton sweatshirts but they were a little too expensive for me. The official HOCR merchandise is really nice too and can be a bit more affordable depending on what you are looking for.  There was no KJP presence this year in the Brooks Brothers tent which was interesting. The past few years there was an area within the Brooks Brothers tent featuring members of the KJP team and products.

How was everyone else’s weekend? Whose coming to the HOCR next year? Counting down already…

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North Country ATV Adventure

This weekend we headed up to the Great North Woods of NH to a friend’s family camp for some ATV fun and beautiful foliage. We boarded the pup so that she could have fun and socialize with other pups while we played out on the ATVs. We got up there on Friday night and headed on the ATVs Saturday morning. Up in North Country NH, there is an awesome trail network for ATVs called Ride the Wilds established in 2013. There are 1000+ miles of trails connected, which include town roads and sections of highway when necessary to connect sections. Eleven different clubs within the region take care of the trail system with donations only- no tax dollars were spent on them.

Before 2013, the trail network wasn’t as connected and was really dependent on permission from private landowners. The signage along the trails was amazing and really helps keep people on the trails and off land that the landowners would like to keep private. There are restaurants, lodges, general stores, and campgrounds along the way. For this adventure I wore my LLBean fleece, Harding Lane mountain hat, buff to cover my face for the dust, jeans, my old Merrell boots, and my Fox mountain biking gloves.  It was definitely a day for functional clothing that you didn’t mind getting dusty/muddy!

Our first stop on our ATV adventure was the Blueberry Hill Inn & Cafe for breakfast. The food there is fabulous- our party got blueberry pancakes, grilled blueberry muffins, bacon, homemade corn beef hash, home fries, and endless cups of coffee. The blueberries for the pancakes & muffins come from blueberry fields right on the property and of course, the maple syrup was locally produced.

From there we headed up the Cree Notch Trails to a great lookout/picnic spot. Along the way we rode along a railroad, saw glimpses of the Connecticut River, & rode through a Christmas tree farm.

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Along the railroad trail was the most dust, but I liked it because it was cool to see the old school telephone poles still standing

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Feeling like a bandit through the dusty parts
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The Christmas tree farm!

The views from Cree Notch were amazing. The foliage was just breathtaking.

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My husband Jon and I rode on a Polaris Sportsman ATV. He drove the whole way out, and I drove part of the way home. Our friend was on a Kawasaki ATV, and then his parents, our amazing hosts, were in a Polaris side by side. They have had their camp up north for about 30 years and have really been there since the beginning for ATVing up there. img_7219

From there we headed to Bear Bait Mountain which also had some beautiful views. As the day progressed, the clouds rolled in and there were even a couple rain drops but thankfully nothing that disrupted our day. We saw a juvenile moose alongside the trail coming down from the notch view. It was early in the day for it to be out and about, and it didn’t move when we approached. Sadly the poor thing might be sick with something. We didn’t stick around too long in case mom was close by. It may have had some sort of tick borne disease like lyme. It was still a pretty cool encounter.

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After our amazing day of four wheeling, Jon did some fishing at the brook right near camp, and we had a campfire to warm up before dinner. He caught and released six beautiful brook trouts to hopefully grow and increase the healthy trout population.

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Beautiful brook trout, caught & released

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We had such an amazing day and made it home on Sunday in time to watch Tom Brady play with the Patriots for the first time this season. I am pretty sure this weekend is the peak foliage for northern NH, but southern NH still has a week or so. I am just loving all the fall colors, and secretly I am totally getting excited for snow and skiing in a few months hopefully!

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October Hike up Galehead Mtn

Last Sunday, despite some cloudy conditions, we hiked up Galehead Mountain in the White Mountains. This is a mountain that I have already done in July last year, but my sister and a friend needed it for their 48. Our friend brought his dog, Marshall, and this was his first hike! Its a great hike- nothing too technical, just 6 hours. There is a hut on the way to the summit with some views, the Galehead Hut, and the summit itself is in the trees. The Galehead Hut is a nice one because its just one building- so the lodge, bunks, and bathrooms are all together. Some of the huts are multiple buildings so you have to find the one with the bathrooms in it.

The trail we took in an out was called the Gale River Trail  and then Garfield Ridge Trail to the hut, and finally the Frost Trail to the summit. All together round trip the distance is about 10 miles.

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Foliage starting to turn
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Foliage on the left!

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Mountain hat from Harding Lane here🙂

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Leaving the hut to head up the Frost Trail to the summit
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Four people, two dogs at the summit cairn- 16 legs in all🙂
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Sisters❤ LLBean packs can be found here and here.

Its always fun to hike with a group because the constant conversation makes the hike fly by. After we hiked we hit up Truant’s Tavern in Woodstock NH for some dinner. It was a cool & damp day, so having some chili really warmed me up. The trail was actually dry despite the conditions and the crossings were very manageable. The dogs were great, it was fun to see Mizpah hike with another pup.

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Autumn Fair in Deerfield, NH

I love autumn in New England. A tradition that I have never been able to pass up is a fall harvest fair! I love the animals, the food, the crafts, and all the competitions for biggest pumpkin, best photo, best floral arrangement, prize jersey cow, etc. I grew up in MA going to the Topsfield Fair every year, then in college out in Worcester I learned about the amazing Big E in Springfield. This year with my move to NH, we stayed local and headed to the Deerfield Fair.

The fair has been running for 140 years, it is the oldest running fair in New England. We went on Saturday morning and the crowds were small due to the subpar weather. It was a little rainy/windy but I was ok in my Sperry rain boots and Barbour jacket.

So first up, the food!!! I had apple crisp, hot apple cider, and apple cider donuts. There were mini apple cider donuts and normal sized ones. I also had some ice cream thanks to the Granite State Dairy Promotion folks!

The animals are awesome at the fair. There are oxen, dairy & beef cows, sheep, pigs, draft horses, and show horses. There is also a little petting zoo with goats, alpacas, and a camel! The oxen participate in an oxen pulling competition. They work together as a pair and are trained from a young age- conditioning, strength, and obedience to their trainer. It was really cool to watch. I read articles accusing this event of being cruel to the oxen, but I saw a lot of love between the handlers and their animals and really amazing training shining through this Herculean task. There is a pretty constant flow of horse events going on throughout the day from huntseat to saddlebred pleasure to lead line classes.

The agricultural exhibits and competitions are awesome. The state record was set for the giant pumpkin with 2066 lbs!!!! I loved all the farm displays. My favorite depicted a scene from The Tale of Peter Rabbit. It was perfect. I also loved trying all the free samples- from cheese at the Yankee Cheeseman to maple roasted cashews at the Maple House thanks to the NH Maple Producers Association.

We got some chicken tenders from Krisi’s Chicken Tenders and some french fries made right there with fresh potatoes for lunch. Everything was so good and fresh. I think its safe to say I definitely ate too much, but I left full and happy.

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Mt. Isolation Hike

This past weekend we finally got some fall weather! My husband, Jon, and I celebrated the fantastic weather by heading up north to hike Mt. Isolation. This particular peak is just over 4000 feet at 4003 feet and is technically in the Presidential Range. I never considered it a part of the Presidential Range because it isn’t named after a president, but it is. Its also in the Dry River Wilderness, which means a couple things- any existing structures will be removed when maintenance is needed and not replaced, no bridges, some planks that are logs not lumber, signs aren’t painted, and not many blazes between signs. There was a shelter built on the trail that has been removed. There are some primitive camp sites up there though. Most people are not huge fans of the hike because it is very long, the river crossings can be treacherous, and the trail is usually muddy and gross. Right now, New Hampshire is in a drought though! So I guess the only good thing that can come from the drought is the pleasant trail I got to hike on?

We took the Rocky Branch Trail to the Isolation Trail to Davis Path up to the summit. That made a 14.5 mi, 9 hour trip. There is a shorter route in both time and mileage but it is harder up and down the Glen Boulder Trail. You gain elevation, lose it, and then gain it again. The crossings over the Rocky Branch were beautiful. Some foliage is starting to turn, mostly the leaves are green and yellow, very few red leaves.

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Rocky Branch. These crossings can be tough in the spring and winter depending on the amount of precip the mountains get!
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My pack and fleece are both from LLBean
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The peak just to the left of center is Mt. Monroe. That ravine you can see there is Oak’s Gulf. Mt. Washington is hidden in the cloud in the right center.
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Our boots are La Sportiva Pamirs. These are the boots I would grab if I had to take one pair of shoes for a zombie apocalypse. 
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In this pic you can kinda tell how windy it was, it was crazy up there.

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Mizpah stayed home for this hike because it was just soo long. Now I only have 4 peaks left to have hiked all 48 4000 footers in NH. I need to do the three Bonds and Owls Head. We want to do both of those hikes as overnights, so I probably won’t finish until next summer. It was cold up there, and the winds were gusting up to ~50 mph. The views were so worth is though. I was just a little bummed that Mt. Washington was in a cloud. From Mt. Isolation you can take trails over to Mt. Washington, Mt. Monroe, and to the Mizpah Spring Hut just below Mt. Pierce. I am looking forward to more fall hiking, bring on the leaf peepers!

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Dartmouth College Outing Clubhouse Wedding

This past weekend, my husband, Jon, and I attended a wedding for one of his cousins at the Dartmouth Outing Clubhouse in Hanover NH. The Dartmouth Outing Club (DOC) was established in 1909 “to stimulate interest in out-of-door winter sports”. In 1929, the clubhouse was built. The “club” actually encompasses a dozen or so member organizations all having to do with some outdoor pursuit. The clubhouse is a beautiful building on Occom Pond with stone pillars and ivy crawling up the sides. It is right across the street from another beautiful Dartmouth property, the Hanover Country Club.

The upstairs of the clubhouse has a large main room with fireplaces on either side of the room. There are historic photos on all the walls which I loved. Dartmouth runs the Moosilauke Ravine Lodge as the base of Mt. Moosilauke and owns the Second College Grant which has trails and many rental cabins. I wrote about the lodge on Moosilauke here. Seeing photos from Moosilauke and some of the cabins from the 1940s, 50s, and so on was really amazing. The Dartmouth Outing Club has done so much historically for the White Mountains. It was men from Harvard and Dartmouth that were some of the earliest hikers up many of my favorite peaks. There are a couple rooms off of the main room as well as a kitchen.

The man in the portrait is Sherman Adams, ’20. He accomplished a lot in his life including being a part of the founding of Cabin and Trail as a senior, which was the central club for the DOC and gifting land on Moosilauke for a cabin used for wilderness skiing. He had quite a political career as a congressman, governor of NH, and finally chief of staff for Dwight D. Eisenhower. Off the main room there is also a beautiful balcony that overlooks Occom Pond.

Downstairs is the rental center for outdoor gear like cross country skis. There is a terrace that goes out to the pond and that’s where the ceremony was held.  The terrace was the gift of the class of 1944.

Hanover NH was an adorable town that I definitely would like to spend more time in. Its sort of a funny town up there practically in Vermont, very secluded. You have to wonder if everyone in the town is somehow associated with the college and its various associates.

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Occom Pond, the leaves are just starting to turn!

I love weddings and this was my only one this fall! It was great seeing a lot of Jon’s family and celebrating his cousin’s big day. Being a hiker and lover of New Hampshire/New England it was amazing getting to spend some time in the DOC House.

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LLBean for Fall!

It’s Wednesday but my Labor Day weekend is still fresh in my mind. We camp up in Freeport ME every Labor Day weekend right on Casco Bay. It is my favorite weekend of the year! The scenery is beautiful, and there are trails to walk on along the water at the campground. In the past we have done the LLBean discovery classes (stand up paddle boarding & clay shooting), but this year we decided to do some kayaking. My husband and some of the other guys went mountain biking, and I went for a great run in beautiful Freeport. LLBean was busy this past weekend with back to school shopping. It is the time right now to snag some great LLBean items for the fall and winter!!!

LLBean Boots

This is the time to buy LLBean boots BEFORE the rush at the holidays. Bean boots were backordered for months last year. I have these and these, but I am always keeping my eye out for the boots featured in the photo below. I love these and haven’t seen them in a while. Remember to order down a size from what you normally wear unless you want to wear super thick socks with your boots!

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Via originally from KJP

Fisherman Sweaters

LLBean has some great fisherman sweaters. The one I have is here  and I love it. This one is a tunic sweater so a little longer with a slightly bigger neck. I would really love the tunic in green. These are from the signature line and so are more true to size than regular shirts/sweaters.

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Sweater Fleeces

A great item to have during the colder months is the LLBean sweater fleece pullover. This year they added some new colors! I really like the kelp green one. I have the pewter one and it washes well, but I do line dry it. I love the retro label on these!

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Scotch Plaid Flannel Shirts, Slightly Fitted

These sold out last year, so grab them now while they in stock! They are a nice weight flannel, not too thin like a lot of brands. See them here for $44.95. I have the black watch and just got the stewart victoria. They are great flannel shirts- warm and not too boxy. For both the sweater fleece and this shirt, I sized down from my normal size.

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Daybreak Scuffs

LLBean has great slippers. They are well known for their wicked good moccasins, but the daybreak scuffs are worth a shoutout too! I got the ones with the moose on them, but I am going to guess that the lobster will be VERY popular. The chocolate lab was popular last year. There is a cat and owl pair too! I ordered my normal size for these. I wear mine barefoot or with light socks, so you might want to go up a size if you want to wear thick socks.

Labor Day has come and gone BUT summer isn’t over yet. We have some seriously warm weather coming our way! Summer isn’t over until September 22🙂 Hopefully this post has given you some fall fashion inspiration!

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Shopping smart paid off for the Lilly APS

I received my Lilly Pulitzer After Party Sale shipment this past week! Woo!! In the past, I like many Lilly lovers have taken advantage of the sale to purchase expensive items like dresses for less money. The truth is though, I looked at my closet, and I already have more Lilly dresses than I can wear. The TRUTH is that I don’t really wear dresses that often. What I really wear more are tees and shorts or tees and skirts. I realized the real void in my wardrobe was not that I needed more dresses despite the great deals, I needed more tees for every day wear. Finding these holes in my wardrobe is sort of a new mission of mine after moving and seeing exactly what I own. These are the three tops I got from the sale, love all the nautical/marine prints🙂

Lilly Pulitzer only has two sales a year- the one in January and this one in August. It can be really easy to over do it on these sales just because you feel like this is your only chance to get the items you have been checking out all year.

There’s a psychology to these sales. First, not all items are even in the sale. You finally get in via the online queue after an hour to find that the item you wanted isn’t even in the sale.  Well that’s ok, maybe you just find something similar. Because of the great deal, you decide to get a few things. Because its only twice a year, you get a few more things. Now instead of getting one thing that you really wanted, you are getting six things that you kinda want and actually end up spending more money than that one thing cost at full price. You check out quickly because you know that nothing is safe until you check out! Once the flurry of activity is over and your final sale items have been purchased, you start to go over the items you bought. Maybe that feeling of satisfaction starts to wane as you start to worry about sizes, or realize that you already own a really similar pair of shorts to the ones you bought, or you realize you have a bill due on Friday that you could have used that money for.

I am not saying that we shouldn’t enjoy sales, and I really do love the Lilly APS. I got three great tshirts this year for just around $100 and I am really happy with my purchases. This year I really planned and thought about what I needed though as opposed to what I wanted….or worse what I thought I SHOULD want. We work hard for our money, and we owe it to ourselves to make smart purchases and avoid buyer’s remorse🙂

This is a timely post considering the fact that there will be many Labor Day sales this weekend! We are heading up to Freeport ME for the weekend, what are you up to!?

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Backyard Footwear and other canvas sneakers!

Living in New England means a lot of different footwear depending on the season and the weather. I love it because you can never get bored with your wardrobe, just when you think you can’t bear to put those boots on again, its time to take out your Palm Beach Sandals! A hole in my wardrobe recently has been a nice pair of casual canvas sneakers. There are a lot of choices out there, but I got these Backyard Footwear sneakers that I found on @dave_money3‘s insta. I didn’t want to do white because I KNOW I would get them so dirty, but these gray ones were perfect for me. The sizing is European as they are from Denmark, and I am a size 8 which translates to a 38. They were a little snug so I sent them back for a 39. They were $60 with free shipping and they can also be purchased on Amazon! They are gray canvas with little  blue suede inner toe patches and the rubber soles are molded up around the toe, so the rubber isn’t glued on.

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These are some of the other options out there that I checked out before purchasing my Backyard sneaks. Let me know if I forgot any!

LLBean sells Superga sneakers here. They are $65, free shipping, and come in some nice colors. My problem with these is I like a rounded toe to my sneaks and these have more like a square/trapezoid shaped toe I guess? They look like fabulous sneakers though.

FullSizeRender-6 Sperry has some beautiful canvas sneakers too here in many colors for $60 with free shipping. I really liked these because they have the traditional topsider laces, but they have a similar toe box to the Superga sneakers AND I felt like I saw these everywhere this past spring and summer, so I wanted to find something a little different. I have a friend who has them in navy and said they are wicked comfortable.

FullSizeRender-5J. Crew sells a couple different canvas sneakers. There are the SeaVees for $78 and then the TreTorn sneakers for $68. I sort of crossed these off my list because they were more expensive and some of the colors are backordered.

Of course, there are Keds which are the classic canvas sneaker. Here is a link to the canvas sneaker page because honestly its pretty cool to see the whole collection. They have so many colors!! The sneakers run from $45-60 for the most part. I had Keds growing up, and loved them…but I kicked the crap out of them ha. I remember retiring many pairs of Keds with holes in them and the rubber around the sides coming off. The quality might be much better now…hopefully it is because they are more expensive now than I remember…but I guess I have those memories and wanted something more sturdy.

FullSizeRender-2Converse Chuck Taylors are also a nice classic canvas sneaker for a great price at $50. My sister has a pair of these and loves them. I like them and have a pair of the taller Chuck Taylors in green.

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I am looking forward to wearing my Copenhagens on days when I don’t want to wear sandals, am not ready for boots, my neon blue/green running sneakers would be a little overkill.  They are handmade in the same factory in Europe since 1972 in an eco-friendly way and they are cushioned for wear all day. Lets be honest, I kinda want them in every color.

The Superga, Tretorn, and Sperry sneakers all sort of flare out to the toe. I like the Seavees, Keds, Chucks, and of course the Backyard sneakers because they taper to the toe. I suppose its personal preference.

What is your go to sneaker??

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