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    Monday, October 31, 2011

    Cozy Up

    So I am off to Amsterdam today to catch up with some friends and do some super touristy stuff around the city. I will definitely post some photos tomorrow or Wednesday. In the meantime I cam across this totally helpful tutorial (via the Average Girls Guide) on 25 ways to wear a scarf in 4.5 minutes. It's getting colder out and I love accessorizing with scarfs. They add that little bit of cozy and warm I almost always require (forever cold no matter where I am). I am rocking the men's tie today, tomorrow infinity. WooHoo.

    Friday, October 28, 2011

    Boots for all

    While walking around the Netherlands for the last two weeks I have noticed that almost everyone has kicky boots that they wear with jeans, skirts, dresses, pants or whatever they want. Of course it's fall/winter weather so it is totally appropriate. The styles they are wearing really has me lusting after new boots. The are practical with little to no heel for walking or biking around the city and are in pretty neutral tones with not a lot of bells and whistles. I may not need them, but I totally want a new pair. Here are some of my top choices.

    Boots for Fall

    1. Seriously I have these on my list! Hunter knee length boots
    2. Perfect for the city. MICHAEL Michael Kors 
    3. I love the low height of the heel. Not too much. Timberland 
    4. Total wish I could have them boots! Stuart Weitzman
    5. I love the color. Belle Sigerson Morrison
    6. Love, love, love. Barbour riding boots
    7. $100 on sale at Piperlime.  Bandolino

    Wish me luck with the trains and happy Friday!!

    Thursday, October 27, 2011

    I only got lost 3 times

    That's not bad right?

    I rode a train all by myself into Amsterdam yesterday and no one was hurt or arrested. Yay! Unfortunately I got lost after I got off the train when I decided I knew which was north was (it was actually south). So after a quick correction (closer to like 15 minutes of walking the wrong direction and another 15 back) I grabbed the correct bus and got off at the correct stop, only to walk pass the place I was trying to get to. Hmm. Reading signs really would have helped me a lot in both cases.

    I finally met up with some friends had a super Dutch style lunch and then headed out to Beethovenstraat to get my touristy shop on. It was a wonderful afternoon to walk around the city and take in all the lovely little shops. I ended up purchasing what could only be called the perfect meal; wine, cheese and freshly made marzipan. Delicious!

    I concluded my day by getting lost once more when taking the wrong return train and I went northwest when I needed to go south. Luckily I was able to correct this before ending up at the sea and made it home in one piece. Tomorrow I shall try my luck on the trains again, but to Utrecht and not all the way to Amsterdam. We shall see how this goes!

    The Netherlands has some of the most spectacular flowers!
    I really want a cheese wall in my house.

    A beautiful day. Overlooking a canal.
    The trifecta of purchases.

    Tuesday, October 25, 2011

    Disney Part Deux

    As someone once told me, "The only problem with Euro Disney is it is run by the French". Well said and completely true. We had a great time though this past holiday weekend at the Euro mouse house. Kids had fun, adults survived and everyone ate way too much Disney food. Seriously what is it with theme parks and junk food? Even the so called healthy food is only considered the healthy choice because it is sitting next to the giant donut covered in chocolate. No matter what anyone tries to say it is the same story in every Disney park in every country. Although I am sure they have shrimp flavored chips in Disney Tokyo (I also assume they are tasty if that is your thing).

    There were way too many fashion faux pas to count. When you have that many people from all over Europe in one place that is bound to happen. Not that I am the queen of fashion, but I do know a few things about acid wash pants (as in leave them in the 90's). Disney parks all over the world are major people watching sites for bad fashion and hair decisions. Always makes for a good time while waiting in line for Big Thunder Mountain!

    All in all it was a good time with the family and it is always fun to go with kids on their first trip to the magic kingdom. Don't know if Euro Disney is worth the trip if that is the only thing you are going to trek over to Europe for, but it's fun if you enjoy Disney. Be sure to brush up on your French as that will help you out in following along, but at the end of the day it is not necessary to enjoy the park itself. Everyone wants to be a princess (or prince) no matter what language you speak!

    Wednesday, October 19, 2011

    Somewhere in the middle, but not completely lost in translation

    A few things I have learned over the last few days here in Holland. I know more Dutch than I think and I can drink more coffee than I ever imagined! Bottom line is I might be able to survive here without Nordstrom's up the street (but it's doubtful for periods of time longer than two months. A girl has got to get her shop on with her own personal shoe satan, hi Steven!). It's funny I have been to Europe several times and visited so many shops without ever feeling out of place, but this is the first time I have had a feeling of I may not totally understand what I am doing. This may be because I don't want my boyfriends family to think I am a complete American idiot (now I can't get Green Day out of my head), but I think it's because for the first time I am in a smaller and less touristy portion of a country. It's a great learning experience, but a humbling one. The goal is to make sure my parents don't have to hang their head in shame on my behalf or for me personally to cause an international incident. Fingers crossed.

    I thought today would be a good chance to answer some questions for my friends and family that they have been asking and to give just a little bit of a FYI for traveling in Europe. I ran across a rather alarming thing that I have not had a problem with in the past, but is becoming an issue for all American tourists shortly!

    Are Holland and the Netherlands the same? No, but kind of. There are twelve provinces in the Netherlands, two of them are North Holland and South Holland. Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague (the largest cities) are all located in these two provinces which is why you associate Holland and the Netherlands. So Holland is in the Netherlands and the Netherlands is not entirely Holland. Make sense? No, sorry that's the best I got. Here is a map

    Do you speak Dutch? No, but I am learning.

    Can we visit you? Yes, but only if I am here. I may be in California so double check before coming. Showing up on my door step may be a bad idea for you.

    So now for the PSA/FYI:

    If you are going to visit the Netherlands or Europe you may want to know about this. Europe is moving all card payment sources (POS) to what is referred to as a chip and pin type of card. We in the US do not have the chip and pin in our cards...yet. The other day I went to buy allergy medicine and couldn't use my US credit card or debit card, because it did not have a chip. Since this was new to me I didn't argue, but just paid cash and went on my way. Of course I came home and searched the internet to figure out how and the heck we are supposed to buy things here. From what I can find out is that you can argue with the clerk to have them swipe the card, but they may not know what to do and you may have to force them to do so. Not a super awesome plan. The best thing to do is to have cash on you to pay for items and avoid having to push for them to swipe your card. ATM's will still accept the mag stripe on the cards so you shouldn't have a problem obtaining cash.

    It seems the US is trying to get this implemented into our cards but they are taking their time. I found a few good articles on this if you want to find out more information below.

    The reason behind this is apparently in Europe they have a massive skimming problem and the chip and pin make it much harder to steal from the owner. At least until the thieves find a way around that too!

    This is just good information to have! 

    Monday, October 17, 2011

    Jet lagged and internet shopping

    So I have made the trek to the other side of the Atlantic and this comes with the price of no sleep for 30 hours and a mixture of not wanting to sleep and the need to sleep for 20 hours at the same time. I can't decide if I should sleep or if I should stay up all day and not go to bed until as late as possible. So while I am trying to come up with a suitable solution I have been shopping online. I have no idea why I think the right thing to do is to shop on the internet during these times as I usually end up spending money on things I don't really need, but would be super cool.

    This all started with me at the airport having severe bag envy when I saw a to die for bag at LAX. It took a lot of will power not to beg them to trade me for my worn out but highly noticeable pink hard case luggage. Somehow I just know they would have declined my offer. Anyway I haven't been able to stop thinking about this luggage. I know I saw these in a magazine once or twice, but didn't pay much attention to it as my pink and noticeable luggage was quite new. Now as mentioned prior it is a little worn (by little I mean a lot) so new luggage is on the mind. Here is a stylized photo of what I saw.

    I know, right? I totally want and would love these forever. It's like old world charm and modern functionality. Oh and did I say it comes in pink? No? Well it does. AWESOME!

    This is from SteamLine Luggage and comes in all sorts of colors and styles, but I had better luck getting exactly what I wanted at Neiman Marcus. Expensive yes, worth the price? We will see.

    Friday, October 14, 2011


    I don't talk about sales very often, but I am making an exception for the YOOX sample sale that is going on right now. I have found some pretty awesome deals on some great brands. I just found out about this sale this morning and as of my last check there are plenty of sizes available. So if you are interested get on it!

    Here are some things I have in my cart and trust me there are many more. The prices I have listed below are real, you are not missing any digits. Promise.

    William Rast Jeans $25

    Cynthia Rowley short dress $45

    Halston Heritage Sweater $49!
    Get U ballet flat $45
    OBELINE Sandals $29 Yes only $29!
    There are so many other items to choose from it's ridiculous! Check it out and get yourself a pair of shoes or 10. There are also a ton of jeans available to choose from at $50 and under. What are you doing still reading this, go! YOOX Sample Sale!

    Wednesday, October 12, 2011

    Cross body love

    I love a good big fall handbag. It is roomy and can fit all of my necessities. I mean how can you leave the house without your wallet, make-up, hairbrush, sunglasses, camera (in case you have a super photo op), first aid, phone, wrap (you always want to make sure you can be warm) and kitchen sink. Every time I take one of these items out I end up needing it later that day. I swear it is just how the universe works.

    However some days you just want to take your money, phone and sunglasses (give or take a few items). So you need a small yet convenient bag that can potentially take a little more, because you may need to add something along the way (of course you do). I think a medium size cross body bag is the answer. I recently purchased one for an upcoming trip and gave it a test run the other day. I love it so much I wanted to share a few of my favorite cross body bags for fall. Oh and they are all pretty affordable. Yay!

    Monday, October 10, 2011

    And that's how I consumed a gazillion calories

    This weekend was full of all sorts of fun stuff that I did with my parents. We went shopping at the farmer's market and the mall, saw my niece play some Fall Ball and checked out the most amazing store I have ever been to, Total Wine. They have practically every type of alcohol and wine you could imagine. All they need to add is a cheese section and I would move in. If you are in the vicinity of one you must check it out. They have wine tastings and classes and did I mention almost every type of liquor you can imagine? Including whipped cream vodka that we used to make all sorts of fantastic, calorie filled, totally decadent drinks like chocolate martini's, espresso martini's and coconut cream pie martini's. They were delicious, but should only happen once in awhile if you don't want to buy bigger clothes.

    After much testing we did have a clear winner of the evening, the espresso martini. Unfortunately it was after lots of tries so I totally forgot to take a decent photo. But just for you here is the winning recipe courtesy of my dad:

    The Anderson Espresso Martini Special

    2 oz. Double Espresso Vodka (or a coffee liquor)
    2 oz. Whipped Cream Vodka
    1 oz. half and half

    Pour all into a shaker with ice. Shake and serve.

    Seriously yummy. 

    Also not to be out done mom made a coconut bread pudding that was out of this world. Recipe can be found here.

    We had coconut pie ice cream too. That's just how we roll.

    Jack and I approved.

    Total Wine is truly awesome. You can take photos with Jack!

    Friday, October 7, 2011

    So this is what I saw on the Internet

    Busy week here in California. I may be out of a job, but that hasn't meant I am on vacation or holiday. Lots of things going on and decisions to be made. All good things, but things none the less. Thank goodness I arrived in Redondo Beach yesterday and I am looking forward to hanging out with my family and doing some relaxing at the beach, but we will see if the relaxing actually happens. Ha!

    Yesterday I finally got caught up on the news of the week and other little articles and here were some on my favorites.

    This article on Steve Jobs was candid and includes the video to his Stanford speech. It is worth the quick read and the video is completely worth your time. How Steve Jobs saw the future.

    Inspiring women. Enough said. If you haven't read about this you should. Nobel Peace Prize recognizes women's rights's activist.

    New York has a 'park in the sky'. How did I not know this? I most definitely want to check this out.

    Iconic dresses of the 20th Century. I can't decide which is my favorite. But all are pretty amazing.

    This makes me spit out my coffee through my nose. It may not be funny to you, but it's funny to me. Also still addicted to Pinterest obviously.

    Speaking of Pinterest here is my DIY link to Kurtz Corner. I am going to do this as soon as I get back to Seattle and share the results for sure!! The inspiration is Rene Caovilla shoes. You can't tell from this picture, but the sole is glitter too. Love.

    Have a super weekend. 

    Wednesday, October 5, 2011

    Overcast with a chance of a facial

    Sunny southern California, right? Wrong. It is overcast here in San Diego with a high chance of rain. Complete bummer. So what's a girl to do? Well the BF is busy working and I finished up the majority of my must do items so I was looking at my phone and clicked on the Groupon app to see if I could find something local that I could do later in the week. If you are not familiar with Groupon or Living Social or any of the other coupon/discount companies here is the Groupon description. Pretty cool right? Well my day just got even cooler.

    Since I haven't had a chance to explore this phone app yet I was not familiar with the Now! tab. So I clicked it to see what is was all about and it pulled up 81 deals in my immediate area that I could buy and use today (some of the other deals have a full day waiting period before they can be confirmed, purchased and used). Hungry? There is a deal up the street that for $10 you get $20 worth of food. Oil change needed for your car? $25 and they will get that taken care of for you. Kayak tour? Half off right now. I think you are getting the idea. They have everything available from exercise classes ($10 Yoga class at 2pm) to shopping ($15 for $30 to spend at a local clothing store) and everything in between. While the options may be more in larger cities, this is a pretty cool way to get a great deal on something you were going to do anyway (lunch anyone?). 

    So today I am going to get myself a mini facial and refresher massage (an hour of pampering) for $30. Yes $30. Who cares if it rains in sunny southern California, I will be relaxing at the spa.

    Monday, October 3, 2011

    Pajamas you live in. Jeans you sleep in.

    I finally took the plunge and purchased a pair of pajama jeans. I figured as a new unemployed individual if I am going to hang out in my PJ’s all day I might as well try to class it up. So I went to my nearby drugstore to pick up some toothpaste and picked up a pair of pajama jeans because of course they were at the drugstore. The minute I came I opened the package and tried them on. One, I hate to admit it but they do look like jeans. Unless you are sitting right next to me and staring at them you can’t tell. Which if you are staring at my jeans you are creeping me out. Please stop. Two, they are so comfortable, wait for it, just like pajamas. I am in heaven people.

    Because I like to be comfortable on a plane, but I think those that wear sweats in public (and are not coming from or to the gym) need to spend a week with Stacy and Clinton as punishment. I usually wear standard jeans, t-shirt and wrap or on international trips I go a step further, which I wrote about here. Since I was so confident in the appearance of my PJJ’s I decided to see if I could get away with the pajama jeans on the plane and not have people think I forgot to get dressed that morning. I was headed down to SoCal this weekend and thought it was the perfect opportunity put on my pajama jeans and stepped out into the public space of an airport. Not one strange look, not one second glance and I am so comfortable I can’t believe I waited this long. I love my PJJ’s!

    While I won’t be sporting this out on date night or really for much other than around the house, trip to the bank or occasional domestic flight, I do think it was a fantastic purchase. I only wish they came in longer inseam lengths (PJJ there are tall women that enjoy being comfortable too!).

    Stay classy San Diego. I plan on it with the help of my pajama jeans!

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