My husband bought me my first pair of red cowboy boots in Austin, Texas in 2011. I wasn’t with him. He got the size, style and color exactly right. He knew I needed red cowboy boots before I did. He’s good like that. Sometimes too good. Almost immediately, it was love.

I wear those boots whenever I can – they make me feel like I can do anything, and that when I do it, I’ll rock it. That may or may not happen, depending on the day and also if it’s raining – cowboy boots do not do well in the rain. My red boots represent the part of me that does not love being a stay-at-home mom, the part that longs for solitude and serenity even while living the frenzy, the part that wants to wander, explore and discover… and that sometimes does get to do all of that – in real life, and on the page.

South African by chance and Californian by choice, I live in the Bay Area with my husband, Ryan, and our four kids. Four kids, three schools. Mornings are busy. So are afternoons and evenings! We live in the East Bay, just across the gleaming white Bay Bridge to San Francisco.

As a reluctant yet full-time, barely-at-home mom, writer, avid reader, country music lover and wannabe surf diva, I write to keep perspective about it all. With tears, humor, skepticism, love, pain and truth. Trying to keep it real for me. And hopefully for you too.

My most popular posts are in the sidebar on the right-hand side of the Home page, along with my most recent tweets. I contribute a monthly parenting column to the J., Northern California’s Jewish news weekly, and I write for other sites like The Huffington Post, Kveller and Mamalode. My essay about my college anorexia is on The NYT Motherlode. Please let me know what you think of any of these pieces, and comments on the blog are always appreciated – I love to connect!

Thank you for joining me as I wander.


Follow me on twitter: @nixgilbertcaboots2

This blog site is dedicated to my sister, Tania. The wittiest, wiliest woman I know.

Thank you Jenn Fox for photographing me and my red boots www.jenn-fox.com

24 thoughts on “About

  1. Pingback: Getting Personal | Red Boots

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  4. HI there,

    Thank you for what you wrote about anorexia and how it still haunts. Every night and every morning, I run my hands along my hips, same thing. It’s a little thing that makes me feel like I have some control. I’m 36, and just allowing myself to feel all of that “who am I and what the hell am I doing?” thing. But I really know, was just describing this morning, that longing to be seen, and not seen, at the same time. I read your words today and it was like an echo. 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for sharing your (similar) experience, Jessica. I’m glad to hear you’re allowing yourself to connect to you now. That’s about the same age I was when I experienced glimmers of self-insight. Keep turning inward, keep questioning, keep listening… to YOU.


  5. Thank you so much for writing that article. I am in my 40’s now and I live with all of that stuff every day – and I didn’t know that others live with the lingering stuff as well. It’s like once you’re out of acute danger and officially done with treatment, I don’t know – there’s not much I’ve been able to find for those of us 20, 30 years out – who aren’t in need of that initial stage of care but still are haunted by it all. It’s been 18 years since my last major relapse – and while the major behaviors are better – the other stuff lingers – the feeling for bones, the skipping breakfast, the obsessiveness. Every few years or so I go try and find a group or an ED therapist to try and address the lingering stuff, but they don’t know what to do with me. In fact, in my most recent attempt, the therapist told me that she wanted to present my case at her consult group because “you don’t look like someone with an eating disorder” – which wasn’t super helpful. I fairly soon stopped going. Anyway – thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank YOU, Rebecca, for coming by and writing to me. Oh those awful words: “you don’t look like someone with an eating disorder” – sacrilege! To be said by anyone, least of all by a therapist. I am dismayed.
      I wish I knew the answers, but like you I’m still figuring it out. If not for my daughter’s question (which she has asked more than once) I would probably be in dangerous and blissful denial.
      I do find when I stop and really listen to me, when I write, when I find a way to connect to myself instead of disconnect, the desire to starve diminishes.
      Wishing you strength. You are not alone.


  6. Love the how honest you are about the push-and-pull of being a stay-at-home mom. I, too, am rather honest about saying I never really wanted kids so the fact that I have one and am a stepmom to another is quite a lot…and makes some folks so freaking uncomfortable. But it shouldn’t because we all have our own journey and I just think it’s important to embrace the one that yours. Anyway, glad our paths crossed in Jena’s writing group and just wanted to shower some mad love on your “About” post. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is a cool story! I have written about it in other places but maybe it’s time for a revision… thank you for the prompt! And how lucky are we to live in this beautiful place? 🙂


  7. Hi Nicki,

    I would love to discuss a collaboration opportunity with you, but was unable to find a contact email.

    Please email me at your convenience if you are interested!

    Many thanks,



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