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Favorite Pastime Restored – Shoe Shopping Without Eyesight

Nine Ideas To Help You Find Shoes You’ll Love

Brown shoe box with a black patent leather loafer with tassels on top of the boxLast week I went shoe shopping. The timing was perfect. It’s the end of the summer season and I was able to take advantage of sales, markdowns, and bargains.

Shopping when blind means I have to use my remaining senses to experience what I once took for granted. Since I’m no longer able to drive, I’ve resorted to buying shoes online but occasionally a visit to the store is in order.

So, I went to my fallback – having my son drive me to the store. But this time it was different. I was abandoned!

As we drove to the front of the store, he stopped and said, “I’ll be back.”

“What?” I exclaimed. “What do you mean ‘you’ll be back’? Why aren’t you coming in with me?”

He responded, “Mom, you’ll be fine. Remember how you used to love coming here by yourself?”

Sheepishly I said, “Yeah, uh, but that was before, you know (dramatic and almost panicky tone here; scratch that I began whining), I went blind.”

“Mom, I’ve got some running around to do. You’ll be fine.”

Tri collage of me posing in my new shoes. I'm wearing black jeans, black top and a black velvet fringed kimono with red flowers.I begged, threatened, sulked and cried, but my son was unmoved and gone like the wind. So as soon as I got my bearings, I unfolded my white cane and boldly went forth into the store where no blind woman (at least not this one) had gone before and tried to find shoes.

I began the lengthy process of going up and down the long aisles to look at each pair. At first, it was frustrating, but I must admit it felt good. Actually, great. Shopping independence again!

Overall, my experience was a good one. I took pictures of the shoes I tried on and sent them to my friends for opinions. It all worked out. But going forward, if I’m alone again when I shop, I would do some things differently.

Here are nine ideas that may be helpful to you. If you can, shop with a friend who loves shoes and whose judgment you know and trust. But if that’s not possible, know that you certainly can enjoy the freedom of shopping by yourself.

Nine Ideas to Help You Find Shoes You’ll Love

  1. Before you go, read about and discuss the latest trends, styles and seasonal colors with friends and family who have similar tastes and interests and try to have some ideas about your preferences before you arrive at the store
  2. Call ahead and tell them you are blind or visually impaired, that you’ll be shopping and may need some assistance
  3. When you enter the store, ask an associate about the layout to make it easier to find your shoes
  4. Use the store’s shopping bag to gather several pairs of shoes to try on in one sitting
  5. Wear a backpack-style or over-the-head strapped purse to keep it on your body and off your mind while trying on shoes
  6. Have personal footies that match your skin tone
  7. Ask the associate if they could take photos of you wearing the shoes you try on
  8. When ringing up, and if it’s not a talking scanner, have the salesperson call out the shoes as they’re scanned – this checks your items one more time before purchasing, and secondly, confirms you’re paying the correct amount; and if available, use a talking barcode scanner
  9. And finally, boldly wear and enjoy your beautiful new shoes!

My eyesight may be gone, but my passion for shoe shopping has been restored.

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Delight In Your Feminity

Description is on body of post.Pictures are great but they don’t always tell the whole story. For many of us on social media our pictures tell the story we want to convey which can be in stark contrast to our reality.

As an advocate working to change perceptions on blindness and sight loss, my pictures attempt to show confidence from a blind perspective. What they don’t show is my insecurity but that’s okay because I know who I am and I don’t want to come across as someone I am not.

I’m not perfect, far from it. I laugh at my foibles, quirks, and even the changes in my body I cannot control. I love the uplifting feeling that takes place when I throw on some hair, do nakeup, and get dressed to face the world but make no mistake I am the same person before and after. I love being feminine and encourage others who want to feel the same way to do so despite what life throws your way.

Delight in your femininity. Love you. Validate you. Trust you. As you begin each day remind yourself that you are enough. Allow yourself to be vulnerable and reject the notion that you have to fit in. Be courageous, be authentic, know your worth. ~Steph

Image: Tri collage of me posing in front of my counter wearing black leggings, three-quarter dolman sleeve top looks sort of gray, orange pointed toe slingback flats, black obi belt, black leather short necklace with a silver pendant, and silver drop earrings.

Have a great Monday!!

#whitecane #confidence #independence #blindness #blindnessawarenss

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Beauty Is A Tapestry Of Inclusivity

“Oh, Look She Knows Where She’s Going!”

Description in body of post. Have you ever left your house feeling so good that nothing could bring you down? You know, those days when you’re sporting a new hairdo, outfit, manicure, or you’re just feeling flat-out fabulous?

One day last week I had such a day. The weather was gorgeous and I was so looking forward to meeting with several friends I used to work with but hadn’t seen a few years.

After I was dropped off and heading to the pre-agreed meeting place, I heard some woman say “Oh, look she knows where she’s going!” An innocent enough comment and I suppose it didn’t have to be about me, after all, there were a number of people milling about the plaza during the lunch hour but the fact that I heard it just as I passed slightly irked me.

Description in body of post.

I mean here I was, all decked out in my new cork mules, coordinating top, white jeans, and gray hooded vest. Granted my mules were a tad high and I suppose seeing a woman in heels with a white cane may appear a bit unusual, but I was too excited to meet my friends to attempt to address the individual who was speaking.

What the person didn’t know about me was number 1, yes, I knew where I was going because I worked there for 13 years. Number 2 the significance of the white cane doesn’t mean a person can’t hear.

Description in body of post. One of the core messages of Bold Blind Beauty is transcending barriers by changing the way we perceive one another and the only way to do this is by sharing our stories, getting out there and living. Sure, I could have had an attitude and if I knew who said it could have snapped at the person but in the end what would that achieve?

All too often we make assumptions and come to conclusions without knowing the full story. Social media has helped to fuel a massive amount of misunderstandings because people don’t read an entire message, take it out of context or believe something simply because it’s posted. Because it is so easy to have our say with a couple of keystrokes it almost seems like we forget the targets of our comments (in real life or virtually) are human.

People with disabilities are human, people without disabilities human, people with deformities are human, people without deformities are human, people of different cultures, races, rich, poor, overweight, underweight, young, old, tall, short, well, sick are all human.

Could we try to think before we speak or hit a key on the keyboard? While I know there are many who wouldn’t agree, this world is beautiful because of its diversity.

What I Wore:

Sleeveless navy with tiny polka dots, white jeans, navy cork block heeled mules, light gray hooded vest, silver jewelry, and my white cane. In each of the attached photos, I am standing in front of my counter.

A different world cannot be built by indifferent people. ~Peter Marshall

Have a great Monday!





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Fabulous, Functional & Frugal Fashion Tip #30

Scarf Vest Adds Zest To Jeans & Tee

Photo description is in the body of the postAfter downsizing your wardrobe having less to choose from allows for more creativity. A fun way to spice up your jean/tee outfit is making a lightweight summer vest from a long scarf. It’s as simple as one knot.

The scarf I used in the pictures is a long 72″ x 38″ blue and white decorative paisley pattern.

1. Fold lengthwise in half
2. Tie ends together (the short loose ends and the short folded ends)
3. Open up to show armholes
4. Slip arms through armholes
5. Presto chango you now have a long chic vest!

Image: Tri collage of me posed standing in front of my counter holding my white cane. I’m wearing black crisscross strapped heels, cuffed skinny jeans, black tee topped with scarf vest, silver-toned long beaded fringe necklace, silver-toned cutout cuff bracelet, silver-toned beaded embellished hoop earrings.

Happy Friday!!