Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Over The River and Through CDG

We are back on the road at the crack of dawn tomorrow (or as you are getting ready for bed on the west coast) and heading back to California. We will move into our new place this weekend and I can't express just how excited I am to unpack all my stuff. I haven't seen most of these things in at least 5 or 6 months. It will be like Christmas, but just for me. I am sure there will be a few things I forgot I had. I also have some packages at my parents to go through. Double Christmas! Yay!

Even though we are getting up at the crack of dawn tomorrow I can at least comfort myself with the fact that we are stopping over in Paris at the CDG airport. This means I will get to hit up the LadurĂ©e counter and nosh on some of the most amazing macarons I have ever had. They are so lovely that I may just have to get a sampler pack. Going to the cafe in Paris is definitely more fun, but I am not one to be picky when it comes to getting my hands on these!

I will have one in every color!!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Sticks and Stones

Over the last few years I have been connecting and discovering so many interesting bloggers/writers on the Internet. There are so many talented people whose voice jumps off the page and captivate me on the first post and I haven't been able to stop reading since. In recent months I have read some incredibly powerful and moving posts that tackle difficult topics such as mental illness, body image acceptance, grief, abortion, domestic violence and sexual orientation. These posts were so heartfelt and incredibly brave for each person to write much less hit the publish button. This is why I was so stunned to read the sheer hate in some (not all and definitely not most) of the comments of these posts. Conflicting views and not agreeing with the writer is something that should foster discussions, view points and intelligent arguments from all sides. But the comments of wishing people ill, death and just plain hate made me feel sick. How is it acceptable to wish such dreadful thing for people? There is freedom of speech and there is hateful, useless words that people use to attempt to harm others. They say that words will never hurt you, but they do. I am not trying to suggest that we censor things that we don't agree with, but rather encourage people to use their words without hate to help us all understand each others point of view. While I may not agree with everything you say I respect it when it is presented without hate. I can only hope that others will do the same.

Why Gwyneth Paltrow and I would be besties

So I have a bit of a thing for Gwyneth. I know sometimes she seems like she's a bit too much, but so do I. So I sat down and thought of all the reasons we would be best friends.

  1. We are Americans living part time abroad because of our significant other so we would have tons to talk about.
  2. We are both 5'9" and can bond over all the short friends in our life and refusing to let that stop us from wearing 4 inch heels.
  3. Have seen Coldplay in concert and met the band afterwards (it was back with their first album for me and was one of those dreaded meet and greets. She married the singer, I just said hi).
  4. We both love to cook and tell people how awesome we are at it. When questioned if it was difficult to prepare we both say 'oh no it is so easy' when in reality it took 6 hours and three tries to get it perfect.
  5. We both are way over Ben Affleck, but would totally do a movie that he was directing if for nothing else than to prove that we are always the bigger person. (Bonus we are also over Brad Pitt, although secretly think it's awesome that he dumped Jennifer Aniston for Angelina Jolie. Jennifer just seems so annoying). 
  6. Like to eat healthy, but not afraid to indulge every once and again.
  7. Come up with ridiculous things that people should buy that they can't afford. 
So some of those things may be a bit of a stretch, but I like to think the Gwynnie in my mind is close to reality. And in case you are interested I love her cookbook. You should check it out.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Are You Ready?

Going to the Hunger Games movie this weekend? I have been prepping the BF for weeks, since most everyone else I know here in Holland is not even a little bit interested in it. One of the great things about the Netherlands is that they do subtitles on almost all foreign movies so I can enjoy the movie with the actors real voices. I feel this way about movies the other way around too. Watching a German movie dubbed in English is a little freaky. So in honor of the Hunger Games opening weekend here are two choices for you. You can watch the trailer for the movie:

Or if that is not your speed head over to Funny or Die to watch the trailer for The Hungover Games. No sunglasses, no water and no Advil. Let the games begin.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Typical Dutch

One thing I have picked up on here in Holland is that to talk with a Dutch person you will get the impression that the Dutch invented most everything. If they didn't invent they improved it. While it may not be 100% true they have mastered many things and there is no denying that, however they did it wearing clogs. In simpler terms they have not mastered or minored woman's fashion. There are many talented Dutch designers, but they tend to have incredible men's collections and the women's tend to be less so. Which is so sad because I really wanted to experience Dutch fashion, but there is still hope for the future. In the meantime you should check out these "typical Dutch" (a phrase I hear often) items as they are all fantastic and most can be ordered in the US.

Stroop waffles are about the most amazing thing on
the sweet side of food that they have to offer here. They are delicious.
I suggest ordering them. You will not be disappointed.
Image via Amazon

This is a truly lovely scent by designers Viktor&Rolf.
I can't wait to have the BF try the men's cologne SpiceBomb.
Image via Sephora

Oh the cheese! I love the cheese here and always have requests
for me to bring some back. Tasty stuff.
Image via iGourmet

I love this brand for bath and body. They have so many
scents and variety to choose from. It's a bit addictive!
Image via Rituals

While that is not all the country has to offer these are some of my personal favorites. Any Dutch favorites you think should be included?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Greener Grass

I get so many comments about how lucky I am to be living in two counties, traveling all over and generally living a lifestyle I assume people think is out of a novel. Why it is true I am lucky and thankful to have these experiences, I sometimes wish it was not so complicated and I can guarantee no one would write a novel about it! There are all sorts of things that we we see in other peoples lives which we envy or wish we had. Who hasn't thought about being a movie/rock star and having money, fame and designers at our beck and call? We just ignore the fact that they work endlessly, have no privacy and have to stay crazy skinny (goodbye cake pops and cheeseburgers). Are the trade offs worth it? I wish it was that simple.

My life consists of not always knowing where and for how long we will be somewhere, which is at the mercy of several factors and people, all of which are out of my control. My BFF's all live in zero of the cities I am currently residing in and when in Europe it's hard to just pick up the phone (or Skype) and call whenever because of the time difference. Getting a job is difficult considering you have time zone and placement issues...blah, blah, blah (I totally sound like a whiner, which is not the intent). While I am not saying I want to go back to my life before the crazy, I wish I could have people understand that this is not all as glamorous as it appears to be. Sometimes the grass just appears to look so much greener on the other side. Believe me because I still have my receipts for the spray paint.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Red Wine and High Heels

Umm so...anything new with you?

As you can see this weekend had some changes in store for the site and the best part is there is still more to come. This is just the interim graphics until the new layout is rolled out, but I am having a fight with Photoshop right now. She is a little feisty, particularly since I tend to just keep clicking things until it looks right. Since it doesn't look right yet we will just have to go with this until it's ready or I give up (wagers on what will be first?). Currently the biggest change is the new name and URL. No one tells you how hard these things are to come up with until you have to type it over and over and over again. The great news is that there are no changes you need to make. All the archives are here and the old URL redirects and will continue to do so.

If you know me, you know this is a pretty obvious name choice for my blog. If you don't know me yet I'll let you know that red wine and high heels are pretty much my favorite things outside of people and puppies and cheese (and sometimes it's just cheese). Since I talk about wine and heels here pretty often I figured it was a natural progression of things, plus the URL was open and Go Daddy had a sale. Outside of the look and feel everything else is the same. I will keep captivating you with my wit, recipes, shopping benders and of course wine and heels. Feel free to tell me what you think, unless of course you dislike it then feel free to keep it to yourself. Happy Monday!

Friday, March 16, 2012

So this happened

If you follow me on Pinterest, twitter, Facebook or even if you glanced at the blog the last few weeks you may have noticed that I have been canvasing the web for stuff for the new house that we are moving into at the end of the month. I have lots of things for the house from my old condo of course, but there is something about moving into a new place that justifies a few new items. While I have shared the cake stand and bedroom pieces there are a few other items that I just couldn't say no to. No matter how hard I tried (which was not super hard).

I need another glass set almost as badly as I need another pair of shoes,
but these adorable "Jus de Fruits" glasses are so perfect.
Image via One Kings Lane

Then of course you need the bottle that goes with them
 and at 3 for $12 I just had to have them!
Image via One Kings Lane

These candles and this scented oval are truly an indulgence, but oh so worth it.
If you click on the picture, try not to freak out at the price. This is why I said indulgence.
Image via Nordstrom

Jars to put stuff in for the bathroom.
I have stuff so it only makes sense I need to put it in something.
Image via Crate and Barrel

Glass bathroom accessories. Do you know how hard it is to find glass
and not acrylic? Good thing there is Pottery Barn.
Image via Pottery Barn
I am not sure how that got in here. It must be the elves that
order online with my credit card when I am sleeping.
Image via Zara

I get to do this all over again when we find a house in the Netherlands, but on a much bigger scale since I have no idea what my boyfriend has been keeping in storage. His tastes used to run much different than mine so we may need quite a few new pieces. I can't wait. Now I just need to win the lottery.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Sleepless in...

We are moving into our new house at the end of the month and I have been obsessing over the master bedroom. We may not have a couch, but we will have a super chic bedroom darn it! To help narrow down my options I did a lot of pinning and window shopping and drove myself insane trying to find the perfect color combination. After what seemed forever I narrowed it down to yellow, shades of gray and white and created an inspiration board to organize my ideas (Stop laughing. It helped). I wanted to make sure to include many different patterns, textures and surfaces to keep it interesting. By doing this I found that vast majority of the items I wanted were at West Elm and then I couldn't be stopped! While not all of the below are the final purchases that are currently sitting on the spare bedroom floor of my parents house, they are definitely the spark of the search. Of course the antlers are purchased though.
Bedroom Inspiration

All images via West Elm

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

It All Started With A Pin

If you are not on Pinterest yet I suggest you run from it. It is a time suck, actually it's worse because it is the black hole of time sucks. I just spent 2 hours chasing down a Jadeite reproduction cake stand that started from a pin on Pinterest that actually had nothing to do with cake stands (don't ask). The two hours was not exactly related to Pinterest, but more because I read up on Jadeite to make sure I knew what I was purchasing. Basically it comes down to I don't trust people who sell "vintage" wares on eBay. I sell and spend time on eBay so I know that you have to be extremely careful when purchasing items. If one more person writes rare or vintage when something is completely available and not even close to being over two years old, I just might lose it (which a lot of people did on eBay for this product in particular). Not everyone on eBay is a truth stretcher, but without seeing the product in person how do you know? ANYWAY the product in question is this:
Awesome, right? Totally love it to pieces.
Image via bellacor
Well you can find this 12-inch reproduction anywhere from $54.95 to over $100 (the picture link will lead you to bellacor, which is where you can find it for $54.95 and a code to take another 10% off. That's $49.46 for those of us without super math skills). The average seems to be about $70 not including shipping from other retailers. You can always try eBay, but that depends on how the auction goes and then the shipping would be added to that. It seemed way easier to get this from bellacor and know exactly what I was getting, plus free shipping if you spend over $70. For a real version of this I would most definitely spend more on it, but I have enough vintage stuff (as seen here and that is only the tip of iceberg). Frankly I just want a funky piece to use in the kitchen so a reproduction is fine by me. I just wish it hadn't taken two hours of my life, because then I started thinking do I really need a cake stand? I have two (or three) actual vintage cake plates they just aren't on stands. Oh crap I can't let two hours go to waste. I am going to buy it. I am pretty sure I totally need a drink now.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

28 Minutes Later

OK, so I lasted more than 28 minutes running from zombies via Zombies, Run!, but 60 minutes later doesn't have the same ring. Anyway I am addicted to this stupid app and this morning I was clearly done with my run and cooling down by walking the last block to the house and then it happened. The zombie hoard was heading my direction and I had to run to avoid it (it's part of the app and yes you actually have to run to out run the zombies. Don't judge I am getting healthy). I was exhausted and it damn near killed me, but I out ran them and escaped. Then I made it to the house and dragged myself up the stairs to the shower and collapsed. Funny it takes a game to make me finally, actually, truly run. I might live a little longer...or not. I figure that as long as I run I will have seconds for desert so maybe we will just call it even on the life expectancy.

So now that I am finally using my workout gear on a regular basis (outside of the house) I realized that I need new workout clothes. My workout clothes now consist of yoga pants, sports bra and t-shirts from the 90's. Early 90's. Like from high school. You know the ones you don't want to get rid of, but won't leave the house in? Well so I started looking for some tops to go with my yoga pants and wow are they so much nicer looking these days. Here are some of my favorites and no I am not wearing these to Target. ONLY for running/working out. Do you hear me OC ladies? It is not OK to wear this to the store (and that my friends is a story for another day).

Sodha Tank Athleta.
Image via Athleta/Gap
run:swiftly Lululemon
image via lululemon
Zella Peekaboo Tank
image via Nordstrom
Under Armour Touch
image via Nordstrom
Any suggestions on tried and true workout gear?

Monday, March 12, 2012

Zack the Snow Leopard

I returned from Sweden last week, which for the record is a country full of very interesting people. I felt that my lack of glasses, tattoos and fur made me stand out a little. So in an attempt to fit in I picked up these fake fur snow leopard ear muffs:

Sadly they are actually larger than they appear.

The English man we were traveling with had a look of horror when I put them on and asked if I had skinned a stuffed animal to make them. The answer is no, but at least he gave me an idea of what to do in the future when it's below zero Celsius and I am walking all over Stockholm and not wanting to wear a hat. I decided that I would name the snow leopard ear muffs Zach and carry on regardless of how ridiculous they were. I am pretty certain this did not make me fit in considering the odd looks I got from everyone on the street. Good thing that sort of things doesn't bother me, but curious how wearing ridiculous things on my head makes me feel better. In the end Stockholm was fantastic, the food was good, it didn't rain/snow and the hotel was excellent. We stayed at the Lydmar Hotel which is a perfect location for tourists (across the water from the Royal Palace) and I highly recommend it should you be in the area. Although I suggest going in the summer to avoid wind burn or stuffed animal ear muffs named Zack.

That is ice in a big body of water. It was COLD!

The pretty streets of the old city
The Royal Palace
Shiny helmets

Just a lovely flower shop to offer some color on the streets

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


London in one day is tricky, but I managed to make it happen with lots of walking and not getting lost on the tube. Not even once. I don't even know who I am anymore. My first stop was of course the Tower of London to visit the jewels and generally check out every single inch that I could of the entire place. I then ended up walking next to the river Thames and happened upon St. Paul's Cathedral which was lovely and totally not originally in the plans, but super glad I saw it. After that I took the tube to see Buckingham Palace. I have a thing for the Queen, so there was no way I was not going to at least walk by. So I did and it was not nearly as magical as I had in my head, but I will still do it every time I go to London. The weather started out a beautiful blue day with a little clouds and no rain perfect for exploring the city. Eventually it did turn a little blustery as the day wore on, but never one to be deterred from seeing the Queens residence I pushed on. I managed to see everything I wanted to AND stop in to browse a few shops. I also ate kidney pie. We will never talk about that again.

Good to know

Blue door next to the tower green
This was just neat

This is the spot that they believed most of the private beheadings were held on the Tower Green.
This is an art installation to commemorate the dead, which is weird considering this was where
traitors to the crown (of high ranking or royal connections) were killed. Those crazy Brits.
Raven not included.

This looks like a movie set!
No one seemed to be home.

Dude doing his thing.

Next time I hit the Island I promise to bug lots of people, but only after the Olympics have passed. 

Monday, March 5, 2012

Crown Jewels

This weekend was a whirlwind of kids, kid parties and ended with packing Sunday right before I left the house for the airport to catch a flight to London. Unfortunately my stay in London is not long enough to see all the people and do everything I would like, but I will make sure to get a few fun things in. After two days in London I am heading out to Stockholm and then returning to the Netherlands on Friday. One of my goals this week is to play with my new camera lens that I got for my birthday and see what it really can do. Both London and Stockholm definitely have lots of great sites and hopefully some will be interesting enough to share. So far the only downside of the trip is the fact that the temperature will peak at about 34 in Stockholm while I am there. I am definitely not in California any more! Well I am off to see the crown jewels because no matter how many times you see them you must see them again and again and again. I love sparkles.

Room with a view. Only I would pick a hotel with it's own crack
den next door. Don't worry they are totally nice. Actually we are in a
very lovely Bengali area in the east end with seriously the best curries around.
The burnt out old factory is just for ambiance and we are totally safe DAD! Promise.
See you just have to look up and not down. Good advice all around.

P.S. The Zombies, Run! app is now available for iPhone (Android to follow) and I can't wait to get my run on in London towne ala 28 Days Later.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Don't Look Down

This video is insane and so are the two guys doing it. It is a little long, but really quite fascinating and scary all at once. I am not afraid of heights, but this is just nuts considering how little there is to support them. I wouldn't make it out of the elevator.

Happy Friday!!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Totally Tangled

I need a haircut. My hair is the longest it has been in years and it is driving me crazy. If you are like my boyfriend you are saying to yourself, just go get it cut. Easier said than done. My lovely hair stylist lives in Seattle and I do not. Since I am not making a fortune on eBay yet I can't fly her here to do my hair or fly to her and get a hair cut on the tarmac (I am not the President) so I need to find a new stylist. Do you have any idea how traumatic (FYI auto correct tried to turn traumatic to dramatic which may be a better description of what is actually going on) it is to try and find someone who won't a) mess up my hair and b) is not like a million dollars per cut? I love my hair and a bad haircut can ruin you for months. I need someone to protect me from my delusional ideas of what my hair should look like and then spend months trying to grow it back out. Jamie (my stylist) knows to tell me no to bangs and pixie cuts. No matter how much I beg for them she won't budge because she knows I will bitch about how much I hate it after it's done (that is just the way I roll). I know I just need to bite the bullet and get it done. Seriously long hair is not that hard to cut, I know this, but yet I still have yet to get it done. Is it just me that is this paranoid about new stylists? I miss you Jamie!!

Way too long and this is if I don't straighten it!

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