Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Curator Coop: Baby it's Cold Outside

Before we start, you must view:

Now let me apologize for succumbing to this Christmas in November that seems to have taken hold, but after seeing the Hershey's Kiss jingle bells commercial for the 15th time by November 7th, I give up.  In my estimation, by the year 2015, we will forgo Halloween altogether... it's only a matter of time before pumpkin patches are sacrificed in the name of Douglas Fir.  Seriously though, on ABC Family there's a countdown to the '25 Days of Christmas Movies' thing they do every year.  That's a countdown for a countdown people.

Regardless of when I believe the Christmas spirit should take hold, it has turned decidedly cold here in Portland.  To me, that means it's started to dip below 60 degrees.  What can I say, I'm weak despite growing up in the Northeast and then living in the Alps (sorta)...

He are some warm and fuzzies.  I'd probably wear them all at once, but then again I've been likened to a crazy scarf lady - not unlike a crazy cat lady.

Exhibit A:
images here:

It may seem like a bowl of sherbet ice cream but it actually reads neutral which helps justify paying $181.00 for a beanie.  I promise you they didn't sell this Missoni number at Target - trust me, I was there.  What a bust.  And thankfully, at 100% cashmere, it doesn't feel like it came from Target either.

Exhibit B:
image here:

Here's one I can vouch for.  See - honesty is the best policy.  And so is endorsement from experience.  Most of the luxury crap on here is a virtual wish-list for my next life - the one where I sneeze gold - so I'll be sure to indicate when it's not.  This was my jacket today, it's that warm.  Unfortunately, it comes from this Canadian chain up here in the Pac NW called Aritzia and doesn't seem to have an online dealer... there are a few stores 'round the country - like San Fran, Dallas, Chicago, and NJ.  If you ever find yourself near a store be sure to pop in.  Hopefully they don't take as long as Zara to sell online.

Exhibit C:
image here:

I'm referencing the "fur snood" (although I'd take the jacket too).  I like that it's burgundy.  I think that says "I like to party but not in real fur".  And I like that it's called a snood - I will never call them circle or infinity scarves again.  Plus, I did my research and Asos' fur snood is cheaper than Topshop's fur snood. BAM!  

Virtual damage done: $292.96.  Could be worse, my friends, could be worse.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Curator Coop.

I am being forced to blog for 15 minutes today.  That seems completely counterintuitive as blogging, like journaling, should be of one's own volition.  But I get it.  It's the encouraging nature of my better half, and I appreciate it.  I believe he's probably sick of me showing him the next overpriced candle I want....or cute matching Christmas stockings I found for our 7th Christmas together.... or the outrageously priced Hermes cuff I'm never going to see...

Or maybe he thinks I actually have a POV?

Regardless, please find some well curated items that are nothing if not pretty to look at:

Exhibit A:

Very cool tribal-ish earrings I randomly found on Etsy (Noble House Designs) in a completely unrelated search for fabric.  Isn't that the beauty of Etsy!!  They're equal parts everyday-awesome and show stoppers.  The necklaces are badass too.  But I'm currently focusing on finding legit earrings for my rehearsal dinner.

images and earrings via: Noble House Designs

Exhibit B:
image via

I'm here to tell you that it's OK to dream about the Louis Vuitton leopard stoles.  Everyone dreams about something at LEAST 800 bucks, right?  Seriously though...I've put one of these on and they are massive and snuggly and negate the need for pretty much any other accessory.  If you just give up Starbucks for roughly 215 days, you could acquire one of these.  And promptly mail it to me.  Thanks.

Exhibit C:
image via

Eames knockoffs!  An easy find.  Pretty self explanatory all-purpose chair.  Go ahead and buy them because you can put them literally anywhere.  These are 1/5 of the price of the real deal.  Are they forever?  Style wise - of wise - who knows.  Overstock reviews are glowing and to be frank, that's good enough for me.

Virtual damage done:  $1131.99 give or take some tax.  Luckily, homegirl lives in a tax free state.  Unluckily, I don't own any of these.  Oh well :)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Hey good lookin'

It would be so me to launch into some diatribe explaining my absence.  But I won't.  I'll try to keep things more simple....maybe that will fuel consistency?  Maybe not....only time, and perhaps Zach Galifianakis, will tell.

Zach's only on my mind because homeboy graced the cover of Rolling Stone this month and, to be frank, I dig his glasses.  See...

But while we are on the topic...immediately youtube Between Two Ferns which will explain my love for the heavily bearded man above.  And, though it may seem a contradiction, do not go see Hangover 2, or part 2, or whatever they called it.  It's not good.

Keeping it light, I'll share a few things on my mind:

1. This lovely rug from West Elm.  I dig it.  Unfortunately, it is likely to end up with jelly, or nutella or orange juice stains in the white bits.  So I will refrain for now.

2. These shiny young (Miu Miu) things.  You probably hate them but I don't.  Me: these shoes :: barracuda: shiny things.  Isn't that how they do comparisons on the SATs?  Do the SATs still exist?

A few points on this one:
  • Once I discovered Osborne & Little I found little need to look elsewhere for wallpaper.  I live in a rental flat and am not made of money so the likelihood that I will own any of the ingenious wallpapers in the foreseeable future is dubious.  Mark my word though, one day, I'll have a fantastically O & L-fied room.
  • I have gone back to this Zagazoo wallpaper more times than I can count.  You think I'm weird...I just think there's something so nostalgic about it.  I want to have it.  In a bathroom where people need a little humor and a lot to look at.  I kept thinking I KNOW this artwork, I remember it from somewhere.  So I started pondering my favorite childhood books.  First I googled Shel Silverstein, thinking it might be like some of his illustrations....then I looked up Dr Seuss, but it was no Who down in Who-ville. Then it hit me - ROALD DAHL, perhaps one of my fave of all time...still.  My sister used to give me brilliant Roald Dahl and Shel Silverstein books for Christmas every year.  Quentin Blake is the famed illustrator for Roald Dahl's classics.  

  • Logic then told me to put Quentin Blake and Osborne & Little into google which of course led me to find that Quentin illustrated the Zagazoo wallpaper.  It's now destiny.
4. This slice of heaven from Banana.  Yesterday I went into a Banana Republic for the first time in - no joke - 2 years.  Now that I live in a summer-sweater-appropriate-climate, I bee-lined to this guy.  I didn't buy it (I'm being good) but I have thought of it multiple times since yesterday at 2PM which is less than 24 hours ago.  Even better news - it could moonlight as a's that soft.

end rant.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


***DISCLAIMER: once again, this was written like 3 weeks ago and just never posted - I'm really awful at this, I know...nonetheless, here you are...

I'm Munich....and blogging again!  I have no excuse for the prolonged absence.  Das ist alles.

The other day I did a brave thing.  Not the medal-worthy sort of heroic endeavor, but an audacious action at that.  Ready for it?

Last one and only dirndl!

I went Dirndl shopping.  A feat I'm going to assume most people in my social circle haven't had the pleasure of experiencing.  Trust in my words when I tell you that you are missing the equivalent of being stung by a mosquito 34 times.  Sure, that's dramatic, but so am I.  And after a portly German woman, breasts half exposed, rounds second base in a dressing room, I guarantee you'd agree.

See, I fell victim to the same trap as most....the fantastically decorated window displays boasting Oktoberfest's finest garb in the most elegant, slimming, and colorful way.  Nearly every store profits from Oktoberfest sales from Munich's Neiman's equivalent: Loden Frey, to the "questionable" shops in the not so good parts, to the Apotheke (drug store) 'round the corner.  Everyone cashes in, y'all!  (No idea where the y'all just came from???).  The thing that really gets you, too, is that construction on said shop windows begins in, like, July.  And while Oktoberfest actually occurs in September (further confusion by German design, I'm sure), that's still almost 3 months early.

I digress...thing is, one of the events we go to at the Oktoberfest is a bit like prom in that you simply cannot wear the same thing 2 years in a row, gasp!  So, with an afternoon free, I strolled though the Marienplatz and into one of the big department stores.  Truth be told, I was not intending to squeeze into the Bavarian version of a Victorian-era corsetted apparatus (ie, the dirndl).  I was really just browsing all areas of retail, like I do best.  But damn the display stylists and dirndl producers for their choice of the most vibrantly beautiful colors and the quaint, woodland-fairy-like atmosphere that is the "Traditional Bavarian" section of the store.

And so there I stood, faced with an impossible dilemma - to try on, or not to try on.  Surrounded by the colors of the rainbow and a pot of gold in the form of all the shiny dirndl adornments they doop you into buying, I spun around once, saw that NO one was within view, and began throwing dirndls over my sholders and whisking them into the fitting room.  By the time I got in there I'd amassed about 6 brightly colored Alpine peasant dresses, adding approximately 60 pounds to my frame.

Anxious albeit mildly excited at this point, I gingerly stepped into the first victim: a lovely pink and green number taking me back to my preppy roots.  I spent approximately 10 minutes attempting to get it on, worked up a decent sweat, and then turned about face to survey my progress.  The buttons, hooks and zippers looked stressed beyond belief which, of course, only matched my face.  Okay, okay, so it was a size or so too small - used to that, no big deal, on to the next.

The next victim was black and blue and turquoise and lace and very exotic looking - fitting, of course for the exotic American attending the soiree (HA!).  I put it on and looked like a gypsy.  And off it came.

Then there was the dirndl on sale!  Reducing it from the price of a small monthly mortgage payment to that of just a small leased sedan.  It was lackluster.  I wanted to look like Cinderella, not Quasimodo.  So it, too, joined the sea of beautiful fabric on which I was now standing. 

At this point, half way through the marathon, I paused to consider my dirndl buying experience last year.  It hit me like  Ralph Macchio (Daniel-son) hit the Zack Morris-esque tough guy at the end of Karate was absolutely as miserable last year as it is right now.  Maybe it was because I was so new to Munich, so excited about Oktoberfest and had KC in toe to assure that each dress I tried was perfect, that I blocked the experience from memory.  Well the memory came flooding back and all I could envision was the larger than life Bavarian woman pulling and tucking and groping and yanking me into each dress.  Throw in the fact that she spoke no English and proceeded to instruct and demand and twirl me around like a marienette, and it surprises me not that I scortched it from memory.

Back to this must have been the lack of employees or other browsers in the dirndl section that day that gave me the wild idea to try my hand at looking the part again.  I'll spare you description of the final 3.  I couldn't get them on and off fast enough.  Of course, before I was finished, a kindly German woman outfitted head to toe in the perfect dirndl attempted to help.  Good news is, I can now express that ich spreche ein bisschen Deutsch, and politely decline any prodding and tugging.  I quickly dumped the dresses in her arms (after re-hanging them, of course...I was raised right!), muttered a hurried 'Danke Shoen' and booked it to the escalator. 

Moments later, I found myself back in the center of the Marienplatz, breathing the crisp air and inciting self anger for getting so worked up.  Oktoberfest's all about the beer and revelry anyway, right?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Shoes and Haikus

These are the 4.5 inch clogs I wore for my (long) travels home a few days ago.  Receiving an intense number of stares whilst trudging through 3 airports in such a heel, I wondered if I was, in fact, insane.

I'm proud of my sanity, for these reasons 3:
1. They were the heaviest shoes I was traveling with, and wearing them saved me the $150.00 overweight fee.

2. Clogs are slip ons, duh.  I've mastered the stripping-down-in-security-line and am now much like a business man breezing through the process, especially when wearing clogs.

3. In more than one fifteen instances I have found myself at odds with the 'kindly' airline personnel, mainly during the check-in process and particularly with Easy-Jet, an airline I can no longer endorse (not that I ever did...).  I find that in situations where I lose my cool, thereby destroying ANY chance of my 5 kilo extra suitcase weight sliding under the radar, that wearing nearly 5 inch heels at least places me at an intimidating height.  I do realize that neither raising my voice nor standing in giant-like stature assist me in any way, shape, or form.  But at least I look cute in the process.

Miu Miu Dove-Print Satin Clogs

Come fly with me please.
Down to Acapulco Bay.
"Chirp chirp" says my feet.

picture via

Friday, April 30, 2010

Lee Greenwood...what a guy!

What a talent.  What a legend.  Right up there with the last 30 minutes of Armageddon, the 'One Shining Moment' montage post NCAA championship game, and the final episode of any long standing TV series, 'God Bless the U.S.A.' never, ever, fails to leave me misty-eyed.

In honor of my forthcoming return to the land of the free and the home of the brave, I've compiled a list of the things I miss most about America.  This list is also my underhanded way of informing those who will be preparing for my arrival of pertinent things to stockpile, where possible.

Without further ado (and in no particular order):

My family.  Plus the new little squirt.

I will be consuming one daily for the duration of my home-stay.


I've had the British version.  They aren't even as good as the ones the above monster coats in a thick layer of sand.

I now have 8 months of life sans microwave one under my belt, but it sure will be nice to pop a bag of popcorn.


Self-serve yogurt emporiums.  Original tart flavor, please.

Chuck-town summer vacay.  Complete with MJ tribute dance parties.

My long lost pals.

A proper chicken cheesesteak.  I will never eat a doner kebab, especially after Bill Bryson described it as looking like something carved from a dead man's leg.

No, no no. NOT the show.  It's on approximately 8 times a day in England.  This is just the easiest representation of friends, generally.  Since I couldn't put a picture of everyone of my friends I miss, this will have to do :)

Getting manicures and pedicures, particularly with friends.  I'm certain you can get mani/peds in Europe, I just never really cared to do it.

And there you have it.  A long list of pictures to pump me up for my time stateside.  I simply cannot wait.  Until then, I will enjoy England/Germany - I certainly don't take them for granted!

Thursday, April 29, 2010


So today I had my first, true Primark experience.  Since it's likely that you are as oblivious to the retail giant as I was a mere 3 months ago, allow me to elaborate: Walmart and the Dollar General conceive; the love child closely resembling Forever 21 with a chav swagger.

To be fair, that's probably a bit harsh.  I should not discriminate against budget friendly apparel providers as I will scour the bins and racks with the best of's actually a challenging and fulfilling pastime.  As are, uh, plenty of intellectually superior activities in which I partake, but that's neither here nor there...

My experience today, however, is responsible for the mocking air in which I describe Primark.  I was probably in store for no more than a half hour, but I assure you, that was enough.  Let me preface this by saying I had quickly ventured into our local Primark before, but that wasn't really an experience.  It was by the direction of my oldest and dearest friend (also inhabiting this small island) who once wore a gray blazer so cute, I had to know her source.  "Primark," she shared, and off I went!  This trip was short and sweet...I ran in, found it immediately, forked over 10 quid (barely 15 bucks), and exited without even giving the myriad racks a second glance.  I must have been in a hurry, because it's just not like me to ignore rows of clothing...

Since that day I have paid more attention to Primark, an enterprise I now classify as one of the more entertaining things to do in a small-ish British city.  I began to notice girls, of all ages, toting the cheapest of brown paper bags, not unlike those still used in large American grocery chains.  And they ALWAYS seem to be filled to the brim - no exaggeration, see above.  I just don't get it.  Especially given the sight of some of these ladies, so scantilly clad that it doesn't appear they would even wear as much clothing in a season as the bags hold.

But back to today.  After ordering my iced coffee and asking twice for more ice (will never understand why Europe finds the freezing of water in small cubes to be such a formidable task), I exited Starbucks and found myself face to face with Primark, caffeinated, with time to spare.

At first I perused the perimeter, overwhelmed by the hoards of people and cheaply manufactured clothing which I cannot be certain did not originate in the dimly lit factories of third world countries...but as I'm, admittedly, not always the most informed consumer, I can't really go down that road. and so I turn back to the task at hand.  There actually was one.  I wanted tights.  Colorful, spring tights.

Casually sipping my iced coffee, I made my way to the hoisery section which was between the too-tight business suits and the too-tight pajamas.  Good news was that they had colored tights-a-plenty, and at 1-2 pounds a pair, I snatched up a few.  Next I headed for accessories, but not before passing by the dressing room where approximately 5 baby buggies were parked outside.  This is a slight exaggeration, but there were seriously strollers everywhere throughout the store - it became an obstacle course dodging them, their contents flailing arms and screaming "MUMMY!".  I may have initially found their high-pitched accents cute, but after one small-fry cut me off, hanger waving, en route to her heavily inked father, my compassion dwindled, and I continued on to the colorful racks of jewels.

Of course something else happened before I could get to the jewelry section.  I saw the baithing suits.  With visions of the Isle of Palms now wafting into view, I bee-lined.  It was just an impulse, as I was disinterested as soon as I ran my fingers across a few suits and cover-ups.  Then, I was reminded of a clip I'd seen on BBC news a week or so ago... Primark came under tremendous heat for selling padded bikinis for 7 year olds.  No, seriously, read about it here: 'Primark withdraws padded bikini for seven-year-old girls'.

Finally, I made it to the jewelry and after contemplating the obnoxiously large hair accessories, I settled on a cool bangle and headed downstairs to shoes.  Unfortunately, the shoe section was so overcrowded that I couldn't travel the aisles without risking injury.  I gave up, turned toward the till (as they call it here), and gasped as it was at least 16 people deep.  Convinced my luck would serve me better upstairs, I scurried to the other till which was also tiresomely long.  At this point, I viewed my items for purchase, debated whether they were worth the time, but just as soon remembered that I had a bag of crisps in my purse.  Sustenance was key.

I joined the queue (another mysterious British synonym), while balancing 2 pairs of tights, 2 bangles, empty coffee cup and freshly opened bag of soured (they add an -ed to it to make it sound more gross than necessary) cream and chive crisps.  I could easily survive now.  Plus, there's always completely useless things for sale along queues for which I'm a devoted sucker. 

And so I made it, to the front of the pack, smiled politely, and threw the contents of my arms onto the counter.  I explained to the kind lady that I'd brought an extra bangle with a price tag since the one I wanted didn't appear to have one.  Well you would have thought I'd have just gifted her a 50 dollar bill (does anyone else think of Data from Goonies when he uncovers the counterfeit 50's and proceeds to repeat 'fitty dolla biwls' over and over...).  She was so excited that I'd brought the back up bracelet that she first told me that I was welcome back whenever I pleased, and then she turned to her colleagues to inform them of her good fortune, while the line in front of her grew longer.

Oh, and my total for the 3 items was 4 pounds 50  (about 6 bucks).  To top it off, I was given my very own brown paper bag for the items.  This one was exactly like the paper bags my mom packed my lunch in.

I had a few laughs in store and in writing this.  If I ever find myself wide eyed and bushy tailed with 30 minutes to spare and a bag of crisps in toe (just in case), I think I'd return to the bargain very-friendly mecca.  If for nothing else than a good experience.