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    Showing posts with label International Woman of Mystery. Show all posts
    Showing posts with label International Woman of Mystery. Show all posts

    Monday, October 7, 2013


    Get your printable of this at Club Narwhal

    Another flight, another day lost on a plane. It seems that I spend so much time on these suckers that I might as well get my own private seat. Well it's a nice thought at least.

    While I was thinking about complaining about this, I did a wee bit of a introspect first and looked from the other side. I GET to fly across the ocean on a regular basis and see more then just the inside of hotel. I travel and get to see places all over the world, for work & pleasure. That's not the average person's life and for a good reason. This isn't easy. 

    I am never home for more than a few weeks at a time and I don't always know where I will be next week. It's fun, don't get me wrong, but as with everything there is always a price to pay. I am so lucky that I have both friends and family that are able to go with the flow, but it's a bit of a roller coaster ride for them as well. You think that you are going to be home for someone's birthday, but your notorious last minute client has an event that popped up that you now need to be there for. Granted you get to fly to insert city/country here, but you are missing out on something that you really wanted to be a part of. It's a give and take.

    So for now I am going to put on my lipgloss and pretend to be psyched that I am getting in a tube that will hurtle me through the sky at 30,000 feet. At least I will get to sleep in my bed tonight.

    Saturday, October 5, 2013

    Must - Paris in under 48 Hours

    I had some technical issues with my site last week and combined with working on a French internet connection, that runs on grape vines and goat cheese, things couldn't get worked out in time to post on Friday. So here is what you missed.

    This week we had an event in Paris and currently being in the Netherlands this was just a 4 hour drive so our trip was short and to the point, but believe me I filled it with the essentials. I have been to Paris before and have seen a vast majority of the sites and this trip was definitely more work centric, but I always find time for a side trip here and there. Plus I got to ride on the back of a security guys scooter and lived to tell about. Only in Paris!

    Here are five things that you should do in Paris, if given the opportunity and only a few hours to spare.

    #1 - Eat French Onion Soup. If you don't like it, you are dumb. It is delicious and pretty much just cheese, bread and broth so get over it and try it. Unless you are allergic then in that case you may not be dumb, but your allergies are.

    #2 - Eat macarons. OK I know so far this sounds like all you should do is eat, but these are worth every. single. calorie. #truth

    #3 - Watch the Eiffel Tower sparkle. It really is beautiful in person. Every time I see it I have to stop what I am doing and watch.

    Technically boots is not a French product (UK), but I can't
    get this version at Target, snarky.

    #4 - Hit the French pharmacies and stock up on products you have never heard of or use the Goop guide. OR even better yet, talk with the lady behind the counter. A few euros lighter you will have a slew of products to try! BTW - the Amilab lip balm smells amazing.

    #5 - Take the Metro. There is no easier way to get around Paris then the public transportation system. It is quick, easy to use and costs a fraction of the cost of a taxi. You can buy a 1-5 day pass here. Save your money for rosé and champagne!

    Wednesday, October 2, 2013


    Everyone has their own point of view about what everyone else does and so much of it is based on superficial crap. It can be something as simple as the girl with the designer it bag. Oh she must have money, you think, or what a snob, poser, have to have IT girl. What you don't know is she saved and saved and sold her favorite shoes to buy it, because that is what she really wanted. 

    Perhaps you choose to spend your money on cars. I may think that is so not worth it, but then again it's not my money so why should that even be a factor into my view of you?

    While none of the above is about me (truly), I have been thinking about how we view people based on one or two things about them. I am really trying to change my quick judgements based on material, surface items. I don't want people to judge me based on that so it's time to change my point of view too. The whole point is to expand my world not remain in a bubble of what I prefer. It's hard to do and in our society we are so quick to label people that we forget that people have many layers. Of course if I get through those layers and it's still pretty shallow...well I will try to behave.

    Who knows I might even meet some super cool people along the way.

    Monday, September 23, 2013


    Things always get a little crazy on weeks I travel abroad and for some reason I just can seem to post or sleep. Lately though I have had a huge lack of things to write or talk about regardless of my travels. Perhaps I am just losing inspiration or work is getting busy or maybe I just need a little more sleep each and every day. I am hoping the latter and plan on getting some much needed rest this coming week and hopefully get everything reset.

    So while I get everything sorted and come up with some truly great posts, here are a few life hack articles that I think are handy to have:

    Nail Hacks DIY

    50 Life Hacks (there are some really good ideas in this one!)

    Extend your phones battery

    Crafty Hacks

    You can't say I didn't try to teach you anything.

    And just for fun 22 Things you probably didn't know about Mean Girls

    Wednesday, June 19, 2013


    I woke up on Monday in a foul mood and had to get out the door to the airport for our three week trip to NL. This of course did not make for the most fun morning, but somehow I survived. Then we get to the airport only to find out that I had been moved from a seat next to the BF to across the aisle. Truly this is not a big deal, but I like to invade his space while traveling to maximize my comfort. Due to the class section we were in the only option we had at this point was to ask whoever was sitting next to him if they would mind switching aisle seats with me.

    When the gentleman in question arrived I politely asked if he would mind taking my equally comparable seat in the same seat section. He said no. I asked if there was a particular reason for this so that perhaps I could solve this another way. He didn't really have a reason and was kind of a douche about it so I informed him, "That's totally cool and I am sure you won't mind me being all up in your business then during the flight." Seriously these were my exact words.

    And that is how you get your way on a 10 hour flight. I do feel a little bad, but I am over it.

    In shopping news I bought the Dior Lip Addict Duo duty free and it's pretty amazing.

    Image via Amazon
    It can be purchased on your next KLM or Delta Intercontinental flight or at Amazon.

    Monday, March 18, 2013

    Nailed It

    For the last 10 years I have been flying international for work or personal reasons, but the last two years my travel has been in overdrive. My usual routine after a flight back to the US involves going to the grocery store grumpy (after a shower to wash the plane off and makeup free, looking tired and crazy) extensive complaining about jet lag, 3am Internet shopping (since I couldn't sleep) and essentially taking at least 3-4 days to become a fully functional human being.

    I have been working on trying to perfect my routine to eliminate the unnecessary crap and have me feeling back to normal much quicker. It's been an exhausting series of mishaps and gains, but I think I finally have it down and wanted to share a few tips that I have found make my recovery so much easier.

    1. This is just the number one rule no matter what, don't eat the food on the plane. I know it's a 10 hour flight, I know you want to eat it because you are bored and it smells good, but don't. Eat a full meal prior to getting on the plane and bring snacks. If you must eat something have the fresh fruit or other healthy FRESH items they offer on the tray, just not the main items themselves. The pizza, pasta, chicken thing are just not going to work for you or aid in your quick recovery from jet lag. Seriously, no. Unless of course you are business or first class on Air France, then eat away my friend, the food is fantastic there. Staying clear of caffeine, alcohol and sugar once on the plane is also advised, but all depends on how your day is going. If you need it, you need it

    2. If you are headed to the US and have a morning/early afternoon flight you should rest, but not sleep on the plane. Sleeping really messes me up on this route, but watching some movies and relaxing seems to work well for me. (Side note that the opposite is true heading to Europe).

    3. This may only apply to me, but I live about an hour away from LAX and while there are airports closer to me they don't have non-stop service from Amsterdam, so LAX it is. I have tried so many different ways to get back from the airport to the house (I really wish there was a decent train system, but no) and finally have come to the realization that being a regular customer with a car service is the only way to go. Shuttles take waaaay to long and involve other people that I really don't want to sit next to, taxis are expensive and friends and family is a large ask to do so often. Car service is a lot less expensive than you would think and they are there promptly when you get to baggage claim, help with your luggage and drive you non-stop to your door. Win.

    4. Have your groceries delivered the same day that you arrive is a genius option. This is not only can be arranged days prior to your arrival (when you are thinking straight), but it can be free depending on coupons, total purchase price or your first time trying this service. The advantage to doing this is huge. You have fresh food (yes, even the produce is fantastic), you don’t have to get take out or icky fast food for dinner, you have items for breakfast the next day and you don’t have to leave the house once you get in from the airport. I usually purchase a frozen entree item (those quick meals that you can throw in a pan and heat) and a salad for dinner that evening so I don’t even have to think, just heat. Fabulous.

    5. Schedule a massage for your return, either day of or the following day. This last trip to try and help me stay up, which usually helps me adapt to the time difference much easier, I scheduled a massage the evening I arrived. Not only did it keep me up, but it had me leave the house for something enjoyable. I stayed up, received my massage, came home relaxed and promptly went to sleep until 6am. That’s like a record or something.

    While some of this can’t be done every time, I will be doing as many of them as possible when I return to the US since this has truly made this last jet lag be so much easier to recover from. I announced this discovery to the BF and he reminded me that the second night is always harder than the first to stay asleep. Good thing I never listen to him.

    Happy Monday!

    Wednesday, March 13, 2013

    Trips and Pics

    What a fantastic way to start your day at 3500 meters!

    Over the last few weeks my head has been consumed with work or travel. The spare time I did have I preferred to sleep, eat or read. I did however get out and about as much as I could to take some photos or just enjoy where I was. While these moments were fleeting I did get an amazing dinner with a fantastic wine in Switzerland and purchased Turkish towels in Istanbul from a little old guy who I failed to bargain with outside of asking, "how much for 2?" and then followed up with, "how much for 4?". (My shopping partner remained silent during all this, so at least I tried!). While my bargaining skills are not the sharpest, I did feel just fine with my purchase and that's all that matters. I also feel fine about my 12 pounds of chocolate purchased in Switzerland. While not all for me, I must admit a large amount will not find a new home.

    Here are a few of my favorite memories through pictures of my recent travels.

    At the top of the mountain in Saas Fee, Switzerland at 3500 meters there is a glacier that for 4 Swiss Francs (CHF) you can tour the place unsupervised. What they fail to tell you is that you go deep into the glacier, which is not a problem going in, however getting out at a high altitude can be a bit of a challenge, as I figured out for myself when I was ready to exit and faced nothing but up.

    Me in the glacier. It's a pretty large space, but not really a great place for the claustrophobic.  I loved it and actually was down there all alone so I easily could come up with all sorts of scenarios about what I would have to do if the entrance closed due to some sort of earth quake or similar. in case you are wondering, I of course would go deeper into the mountain which would lead to a tropical place, a la Jules Verne's Journey to the Center of the Earth

    I do not know this child or his parents, but he was such a little bad ass with his glasses and fearless attitude his way down the hill, I just had to capture his picture. It made me laugh watching him go down over and over.

    Freshly roasted chestnuts on the streets of Istanbul. I never actually purchased any but thought about it several times. We always passed one when we had just eaten. Oh well, the smell alone is a great memory!

    When we checked into our second hotel for our tourist time, we were given a voucher for each of us to have a fruit cocktail. We thought it could be a drink, but the chances were high that it could be a bunch of fruit on a plate as well. Unfortunately it turned out to be a drink that tasted like an otter pop with vodka. I don't recommend it, however the naked lady stirrers are fabulous.

    While our goal on the day this was shot was to go to the spice market, we totally stumbled upon this by chance. We just started walking down a street where there were lots of people and we found ourselves in the middle of exotic spices, dried fruits, lamps and other uniquely Turkish items everywhere we looked. The spice market may be way smaller than the grand bazaar, but I think it's a much more interesting place.

    Monday, March 11, 2013


    My life consists of a lot of travel and that means my luggage usually never has time to collect dust. I barely unpack from trip and then the next one is right around the corner. For example I am still currently on my trip that started on February 2 for. So far I have spent 5 days in Seattle, 8 days in the Netherlands, 6 days in Switzerland, 1 day in the Netherlands, 10 days in Istanbul and now back in the Netherlands for a bit before heading back to California. If you think I am exhausted you should see my luggage.

    For the last 10 years I have been the owner of pink luggage of one type or another. There are many advantages to this with the number one being that I can spot my luggage immediately on the luggage belt. Here is a picture of the latest pink luggage or Big Pink as we call it:

    Seriously you can't really miss this or try to steal
    it without looking like a complete jerk.

    I have had this luggage for approximately 4-5 years and it has held up like a champ considering how inexpensive it was (that is relative to the fact that luggage is stupid expensive) and how many miles it has clocked.

    During this last trip to Istanbul Big Pink had a tire blowout on the way there, which made me sad, but considering I had already super glued the sides together three different times it seemed the writing was on the wall. Then on the return to the Netherlands then bottom thingy (a total technical term) was coming off. It now is officially time to say my goodbyes to Big Pink. The BF even made sure I had the proper time to say goodbye before he whisked it away to be disposed of. He knows me so well.

    Then much to my surprise before I even had the chance to search online for "obnoxious pink luggage" the BF and family surprised me with a belated birthday luggage set. I think this may be the universes way of telling me it's time to have grown up luggage to make the trek across the globe. While normally I would be a bit sad, you have to check out my new sleek grown up Samsonite luggage:

    Completely grown up and lovely

    Now you will have to excuse me while I search for some obnoxious pink bows to affix to them.

    Linking up because it's true...

    Wednesday, February 6, 2013

    30,000 Feet

    If you read this blog often or even semi-often you know that the BF and I fly a lot. As a result of these travels I often observe those around me for sport. While admittedly sometimes these people are boring, sometime you get a few gems that give you great stories to share once you are back on land. With all this flying though I have realized that there rules of 30,000 feet that no one tells you about, but you need to do out of respect that you are all cramped into a large (but incredibly small for this many people) tube that is headed towards your destination at a frightening speed if you think about it for too long. The other night a colleague and I were discussing some of these rules and I thought that I would share them so we can all be on the same page while flying. 

    Here are the rules according to Shannon in no particular order.

    Reclining your seat

    If you are on a flight that serves a meal (internationally) don’t be a douche and recline your seat prior to the meal. We have approximately enough space to open our peanuts and drink our ginger ale when your seat is not reclined, so you can imagine how much space I have with your head on my lap to eat an actual meal (I try not to eat meals on a flight as a rule, but still).

    If you are on a domestic flight or want to recline your seat at all any time after a meal be mindful and go slow. It also doesn’t hurt if you can look before launching yourself in a backwards motion that scares the crap out of the unfortunate person behind you. Be kind and we can all survive this flight without me feeling the need to constantly shift my legs so that my knee is positioned right in your back through the chair.

    The more I think about this, unless you are sleeping or on a long flight, just don’t do this at all. Everyone would be happier.

    If you have an aisle seat

    Dude, for reals go to the bathroom at least once or at least don’t look like you want to murder me every time I have to (I do try to keep it to a minimum). I go to the bathroom a lot so I always try to get an aisle seat, but sometimes they are just not available. We have to coexist together for a few hours, lets bring some courtesy to this place and not make my bladder want to burst simply because I am waiting out to see if you will get your butt up.

    If there is a middle seat next to you, FOR THE LOVE OF KITTIES DO NOT USE THE MIDDLE ARMREST!! The middle seat sucks unless you are a kid or sitting next to someone you know and even then it’s not the best. So imagine you’re sandwiched between two strangers and can’t move your arms without touching someone. It sucks. So keep one arm in the aisle and the other within your seat and we there will be no ill will.

    If you have a window seat

    When the person in the aisle goes to walk or the bathroom, you go. Don’t wait for them to return and then go. I have had this happen on one of my last flights and I swear this guy survived the trip only because I was so exasperated by the entire flight he just wasn’t worth the breath it would take to tell him what a butt mitten he was being. This a rule that you need to follow always.

    As with the aisle seat if you have a window seat with a middle person, don’t take the armrest. It’s rude and people will hate you. If you have a two seater this is a sketchy area, but hopefully you can work it out with your seatmate so everyone is happy. I suggest the back/front approach. This is where one person takes the back part of the armrest and the other takes the front. You can casually work this out by just placing your elbow towards the one area, keeping the opposite area free for them to use at their leisure.

    If you have a middle seat

    You may think that because you have the crappiest seat in the plane that rules don’t apply to you, but they do. We all have rules otherwise we are an uncivilized plane. First and foremost, don’t be a complete area and seat hog. We are “sharing” a space and we all have limited areas so keep to your seat and armrest please. It’s not like being on the aisle or window have any actual space differences, we can just adjust a little bit more on one side.

    Same rule with as window seat and bathroom. Go with the flow and don’t be a complete jerk and need to go every hour on the hour. It’s rude.

    Also please don’t act all offended when I won’t trade with you so you can sit next to your friend who is also on an aisle. Middle sucks and if your stuck with it, man up and deal.


    If you like to roam a plane during the flight that is great, but please don’t stand next to my seat and do your lunges, leg lifts or whatever the heck that was. Keep in mind I am at junk level and it’s not cute to shove yours in other peoples faces. Also hanging out at the bulkhead row is rude to those seated in the most uncomfortable seats on the plane (at least if it is a 747). How could you focus on your movie or sleep if someone was standing right in front of you? You can’t, because it’s almost as creepy as Edward watching Bella sleep. Almost. There is the middle of the plane and the back of the plane for hanging out. Use them. 
    The guy reading my screen as I type this on the plane

    I am writing, not looking at porn so lets pretend that you aren’t reading over my shoulder please.

    Flight Attendant Respect

    Last, but definitely not least, be kind to your flight attendant. They have nowhere private to talk crap about you, so do them (and me) a solid and realize that you are just one of many, aboard a tube with a destination that you get to go out and enjoy while they sleep, turn around and have to deal with more of the same. They are kind to you, even when I would vote you off the plane. Please consider that the next time you feel entitled to cause a scene because you didn’t get the seat you wanted.

    Coincidentally I wrote this post while flying and saw evidence of people breaking these rules left and right. Apparently everyone needs to read my blog.

    Monday, January 7, 2013

    Cup of Coffee

    I was going to post something else today, but I happened to have a chance to sit down and spend the afternoon with someone who is incredibly special to me and going through a rough time. I thought at first that I needed to break away and finish working, but then it occurred to me that I didn't. I don't. I needed to be with this person and talk to her about all the stupid and crazy things that are happening. Complain about the guys, talk about the weather and kids, gossip about all the others and in general have a great afternoon. And it was a wonderful 3 hours and I wouldn't have rather done anything else. It's a shame I don't remember that more often, but I am sure going to try. It's not just about work, instead of watching that show, going to the grocery store, writing, shopping and whatever else pops up spending time with people you love is way more important then all of that combined.

    Tuesday, January 1, 2013


    someecards.com - It may be the antidepressants talking, but I'm feeling somewhat optimistic about 2013.

    2012 was not the greatest year on record for me, but it wasn't the worst either. I took 2012 as a year to figure some things out for myself along the lines of who, what, why and where I want to be. This was one of the more difficult things I have done because it really forces you to look at all aspects of your life and take accountability for where and why you are where you are. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is realize that you and only you are responsible for how you feel and what you have. It's easy to blame a situation, bad event, crappy luck or a person for where you are, but the truth is at the core of every decision we make it is us (and only ourselves) that makes that decision to be where and what we are. We alone are in charge of our destiny, our joy, our sadness and our life. Some of us chose to live in a state of constant struggle, others take that struggle and turn it in to a drive or passion to be more than a label, a name or a feeling.

    I like to think that I don't "blame" anyone for my issues and for the most part I am true to that, but every so often I think about how things may have been different if something would have gone differently. The truth of the matter is that even if I could, I wouldn't want to change it. I have worked hard for where I am and I have many blessings in my life. I am not perfect and I will not strive to be, I will just continue to try and be the best person I can be. That is my so called resolution for 2013.

    Sunday, October 14, 2012

    From here to there and back again

    While we were in Istanbul the only time that we had available for ourselves
    (when we weren't working) was in the evening, which doesn't always make
    for the best picture opportunities. When we return in February I am making sure
    that we have at least a day or two to visit the spice market and the
    bazaar. This trip was too busy to fit it in, but there will be a next time!

    I slept for 12 hours straight the other night and could have slept more if I wasn't doing a mini marathon run with the kids the next day. To say I was tired is an understatement. I am not usually one to sleep in much less sleep more than 7/8 hours a night, so I must really have needed some sleep. I think between jet lag, being up late working/eating and early morning call to prayer, that is broadcast via loudspeaker throughout the city at 6am, I didn't get quite the usually amount I am used to and it made for a very unhappy Shannon. Almost caught up now...just in time for the next phase of the whirlwind trip. It involves a ferry, an island and a moor. Plus I believe that rain is guaranteed so bring on the Hunters!

    Wednesday, October 10, 2012

    Scenes from a Turkish Restaurant

    Around 7pm all the stores in the old town of Istanbul start moving to the streets. It becomes a night market, open late and carrying the latest and greatest knock offs of every type. While business goes on during the day, it seems that the evening time is when the everyone really starts to do business since the sun has gone down and the heat of the day starts moving into a decidedly more comfortable number.

    Along with the merchandise venders you also will find people on the streets that are trying to get you into their restaurant. Being hungry and after reviewing a few options we decided on the one, that according to the brochure the gentleman had was set in an old courtyard. Delighted that we were interested he has us follow him down steps and through two blocks of an indoor bazaar (Which was a feast for the eyes. So many crystals and knock off crap I didn't even know where to look first). After starting to think we were being lead down a path to our destruction we came upon the courtyard, exactly as pictured in the brochure. Not described or pictured was the lack of lighting, the Twin Peaks theme playing in the background and the largest piece of fluffy flat bread I have ever seen in person. Totally set the mood just right for a random spot in the middle of old town.

    The good news was that dinner was delicious (kabob), but it was the dessert that was the most fascinating. The dessert menu consists of a series of blurry pictures with Turkish words next to them, so I need the waiters help in deciding what to order. To help me he brought over two of the items in person (chocolate and vanilla pudding??? I don't know exactly what they were, but it was something in a round tin, one brown and one white) and then he proceeded to say that I should not order either of those items.  What I should do is order round thing in a tin number 3, that had cheese in it. I pointed out one other item asking what it was, but he told me that tin #3 was the best. With a recommendation like that how could I do anything but go with 3.

    When it arrived it looked like it had a fried crust and smelled like cinnamon, I dove right in. I have no idea what it exactly was, but the best way I can describe it is that it was a mild mozzarella like cheese, dipped in shredded wheat (the cereal), coated with cinnamon sugar and fried. As you may be able to imagine it was glorious. After I demolished it I realized I should have taken a picture. Hopefully they will have the same item at the restaurant we go to tonight. Regardless they will for sure have lots of traditional dancing there. Should be fun!

    Monday, October 8, 2012


    We are headed out in the road again, this time to Istanbul, Turkey, where there is sure to be a few things to see and explore. I was reading up on the city the other night and learned a few new things about the gateway between the east and west. I only did this so that I am not the one in our group that doesn't know the significance of the Topkapi Palace (click to get some knowledge). No one wants to be that guy.

    This all leads me to the title of my post. While I was packing my bags yesterday this song was playing on loop in my brain. To attempt to rid myself of the song I listened to it on You Tube. That didn't work so I thought i would share it with you.

    It sure is catchy.

    Thursday, October 4, 2012


    I was so lucky to have one of my best friends visit with me a few weeks ago. We had only two days together, but we made the most of it by going to the beach, eating Mexican food and of course going to a theme park and riding all the rides until we almost puked. The last part was more her than me of course, but I must admit that there was one ride that had me scared out of my wits. But we survived it all. This trip however really got me thinking about my friends that I have up in Seattle. These are the friends that know when your mood has shifted, know how to help you up when you are down and most definitely know that in an emergency champagne is my beverage of choice. While we all move on and around and here and there, we always have those friends in our lives. We just need to make sure we let them know what they mean to us more often.

    I am really trying to make sure that I pick up the phone, send an email or card to them more often. If you notice I didn't include text or Facebook that's because I am trying to take it beyond super convenient and make it more meaningful. Who knows if I will be able to keep it up, but I will never know until I try. Doesn't mean I will stop texting and posting on your Facebook wall, just means you should check your mailbox!!

    Love all my Seattle ladies and miss them terribly.

    Sab and I having a pre-party cocktail at our favorite restaurant.
    Yes that's a tiara on my head. It was my 30th birthday.
    Isn't that what everyone does?

    Monday, October 1, 2012


    I had a writing prompt last week around the word wander. At the time I didn't have anything come to me, but tonight after viewing the moon so bright and close, it came clear. I wander. Every new country I go to I pick a street to walk down and then that leads me to the next street and so on and so on. I like the wander, but I also like being home. Home  is a special place. It's a place I like being in and know without thinking twice about where the towels are, but I mostly I like to wander. I love new experiences and new customs and different ways of doing things, at least for a time. At some point I need a little Target and a friendly voice, but at the heart of it I don't want to stay in one place for too long. It's an itch that I am lucky enough to be able to scratch.

    So I got to thinking, where in the world would I really like to go...Well actually it's no where in this world. I want the moon, I want the other planets, the geek in me wants to go where no one has gone before. I need to go. With any luck my generation will go for more than just a walk and with a miracle I will be able to be a part of the first party there. So my wander is larger than where I can go, it's where I want to go. Where is your wander?

    Friday, September 7, 2012


    For years I worked a corporate suite at the US Open Tennis event during the semi-finals and finals week in NYC, which if you are not aware is immediately followed by Fashion Week NY. While I never was able to sit front row next to A-Dubs aka Anna Wintour I at least got to explore New York during Fashion's Night Out. For me FNO is basically a free pass to spend a stupid amount of money on things that I am convinced I need because I have consumed a few cocktails. The next morning I usually feel a little guilty, but then purge my closet of a few items that I donate to a good charity and then all is right in the world again. At least that's what I tell myself.

    It all started four years ago when V (my FNO partner in crime) and I were walking down 5th avenue and checking out the shops. We knew FNO existed but it was the first year out so we had no idea what to expect. Then there it was, a curious smell of cheap boy toy cologne half a block away, followed by ear splitting music and then finally the half naked Abercrombie & what's it boys in the flesh. This is when we knew that this was more than just a get out and shop event, this was marketing genius. The boys were posing near the front entrance of the door and those who dared to enter could have their photo taken with them. As tempted as I was to have this happen, V convinced me that I couldn't have my first FNO experience be a place that only has clothing sizes for midgets and tweens. So with a wave and a giggle to the boys we continued on down the street ending up at Prada, which in our estimation would be quintessential FNO party. Boy were we wrong. We ended up standing around with a whole bunch of people exactly like us, sipping drinks and pretending that we can afford to even shop there (no amount of alcohol will convince me that the Prada 2009 is worth that amount of money). After we finished our drink it was decided that the best parties would most likely be downtown, as opposed to midtown, but that was going to take too much work (you know, getting a cab and then deciding where to have it take us) so we decided to duck into our favorite restaurant and have some fantastic wine and tapas. Much better than having to pretend to like some ugly shoes just for some free champagne.

    The next year we perfected it and so did a lot of the retailers. It was loads more fun and there were way more celeb and celeb wanna be's out and about to keep us entertained. Then the following year my corporate event didn't need us anymore onsite. So last year was my first year not in NYC for FNO. Of course I kicked it up at a party near me in Seattle, because I do still enjoy champagne and a good evening of retail therapy, but it was just not the same.

    This year I was a little sad that I wasn't in the US for FNO. I had thought about heading up to LA for a few parties I was invited to, but being in the Netherlands makes the trip to LA a little hard. Then I started noticing online that the FNO has spread to other cities and countries, including Amsterdam (September 13). While it's not quite the same star studded level that NYC & LA seem to put on, it is still quite impressive with fashion shows and sales galore. Which if you think about it is all that matters, unless of course you are into sipping champagne at every store and gawking at Kimye, which is actually what V and I would have been doing if we were in NYC this year.

    Last night was FNO NYC and instead of spending it at the local shops I ended up polishing off a bottle of champagne with the BF and the BF's mother while shopping FNI, Fashion's Night In. Which is basically just shopping online, but the perk is that I find it way easier to say no to items online than in person so I had no guilt this morning. Next year who knows where I be. I officially have a year to plan and save.

    So did you do anything FNO related or did you stay in and watch the DNC or VMA's?

    Tuesday, September 4, 2012


    August is officially over and the first breath of fall starts breathing down our necks. It was fun while it lasted, but I guess it's time to get out of the pool and back to work. Crap.

    While it's still pretty warm in California, here in the Netherlands (if you have been following along on my photo journey I just arrived in the Netherlands for a few days) you can start to feel the change in the air. I am a sucker for fall and love starting to cover back up a bit after the sundresses and sandals of summer. It's been close to 15 years since I have been in southern California for a fall/winter and I am looking forward to the extra, but not super extra, layers I will get to wear there. Meanwhile I will have the advantage of being able to wear my favorite wool coats whenever I visit the Netherlands. Best of both worlds for sure.

    To start my first day back to more than just a photo post I thought I would share what I have been contemplating, purchasing or contemplating about purchasing for fall. Hopefully you may even find an item you need to add as well.

    Hope you all had a great Labor Day weekend, now get back to work!

    And just for fun don't forget to check out the latest in my photo a day challenge by clicking here.

    Friday, August 3, 2012

    Surface of the Sun

    I could be just a giant wimp, but I like to think people in the Southwest who tell themselves it's a dry heat so it's much more tolerable than when humid, are just nuts. It's similar to what people in the Northwest say about how the grey and rain are worth the 3 weeks of beautiful weather (it is amazing). All true, BUT it's still 99 degrees out at 10pm or you haven't seen the sun since June. Here's the thing if you feel like you have to justify why you are living somewhere it's time to move. Or stay, but stop pretending like I didn't just sweat off an entire dress size while talking on the phone last night, because I have no phone reception in my air conditioned room. Oh did I mention I am in Arizona? Well I am and it's hot out. Even at night.

    So with that in mind I thought I would get myself in the mood for a lovely Friday with hotter than hell temps with a little Len, Steal my Sunshine. I like to share as well. 

    Hope your Friday is a little cooler than mine and that you have a fantastic weekend.

    Tuesday, June 26, 2012

    Lag Time

    Photo courtesy of Disney

    Jet lag is no fun and I have a raging case of it right now since I just returned from the Netherlands to California yesterday. Ugh. I have been up since 2:30 am and can't get back to sleep! To help try and get back to sleep I went to the guest bedroom and tried to watch TV. Of course 3 am TV is pretty awful and I ended up watching the Wizards of Waverly Place and the Suite Life on Deck on the Disney Chanel. This got me thinking about how I should have been a Disney star. Then I thought about Lindsey Lohan. Since I don't really want to have a drug habit or do jail time, maybe it worked out just fine in the end that it didn't happen for me.

    After about an hour of Disney I had to move on to the Internet and check out some new blogs courtesy of the Curvy Girl Guide. I started reading Alicia Silverstone's The Kind Life blog (about two months worth of posts) and it almost had me convinced I should become vegan. Then I realized that I don't want to be vegan and started catching up on Smitten Kitchen and Sprinkle Bakes instead. Check out thisthis and this. All decidedly not vegan. I might just have to make these this week in fact. Then between all that I wrote this post and have now officially gotten a little tired again (and hungry, but tired is winning out) and am headed back to bed for a few more hours of sleep.

    Babble Babble Goodnight!!

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