Tuesday, April 27, 2010

NY Day 3 - Old auntie buys teenage stuff in Soho...

...for herself!

We ventured down to Chinatown and Soho, leisurely strolling around and enjoying the hustle and bustle of  the area for most of the day. As our luggage had finally arrived, my sis could start looking in earnest for stuff for her three boys, with auntie tagging along into every other Quicksilver, Billabong, Volcom, DC, Yellow Rat and whatnot store on our way. I ended up getting a turquoise tee from Volcom. I kind of figured this fresh color would make me feel more energized when going to the gym. And, as according to my nephews this really is one hot brand, maybe a little more cool, too. Haha...

We had lunch in a street corner restaurant which name I can't remember. Pretty sad, as they had the best and most crispy fries I have ever eaten! Photographed here with a nosy person just managing to get in the picture:

At the end of the day, we made our last browsing stop in Bloomingdale's. Thanks to my inclination for trying out almost every beauty product I see featured in fashion magazines, I convinced myself into buying, at a fairly high cost, what turned out to be the worst evah! shampoo/conditioner. I'll be dissecting that, and other beauty stuff I got, in a separate post.

My sis however, got herself some really great sunglasses there. The day before, while we were waiting for our nails to dry at the beauty salon, she had spotted a woman in there with some gorgeous  shades on top of her head. Sis asked her: What brand are your glasses? And before the owner had even had time to open her mouth, I burst out: Tom Ford Jennifer! And when she found them the next day in Bloomingdale's, they came home with her:

 (Photo by Bag Borrow or Steal)

She's in good company now, my dear sis:

(Random image from the net)

Diesel Dippy Oouns maxi dress

Reading a blogpost about maxi dresses from blog BonBon Rose Girls, I recalled seeing the most gorgeous maxi dress in the local Diesel store a couple of days ago. Just thought I would show you:

The back:

It looks even better in person than in the photos, which don't do the vivid colors enough justice. The fabric is a mixture of cotton and silk. It's called "Dippy Oouns", and comes in pink and black versions, too. I think I stood there drooling over it for ten minutes straight. If I'm getting only one maxi dress this summer, this one is on top of my wish list for sure.

(Photos by Diesel)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Friday, April 23, 2010

Choo shopping - Day 2

Day two started off with me frantically checking our lost luggage reference number, only to find no one still knew where in the world it happened to be. As we were going out with our hosts later that evening, I had to forego my planned SATC sightseeing tour and go shopping for something a bit dressy to wear instead.

In my missing bag was an outfit consisting of a pair of nice pants, a dressy blazer and a pair of black patent heels:

I figured my best bet would be to look for something similar, and being the shoe buff that I am, I headed for the shoe store before anything else. Getting the shoes first is a bit backwards, isn't it? (That's yours truly in a nutshell!) Well, I found out the expensive way and had to rectify that, as you shall see. But first - I walked leisurely from Colombus Circle along Central Park over to 5th Ave, enjoying the New York atmosphere. My destination? Yep, that's right!

Once inside, I spied pair after pair of fantastic heels. I had such a hard time leaving it at drooling over them while instructing myself to look for something that would be useful at other times than just when I'm sitting on my butt in a restaurant. After all, I have more stillettos than I have use for in my closet already. Since my good walking shoes were still in my suitcase, I opted for flats that could double as going out shoes that evening:

Now, these really are sensible shoes, as opposed to a lot of the other stuff I tend to get. The insoles are padded all the way, making it feel like walking on cushions, while the rubber sole makes them very soft and flexible:

I put them on, decided they would do me very nicely, and happily left the store wearing them while my old shoes were stashed away in the box. Btw, shopping there was a fantastic experience. No snobbish shop attendants. They sat down with you in the comfy chairs while you were trying on shoes and chatted away about everything. They made me feel like I was the most important customer ever, and I just didn't want to leave. Way to sell! And as for the shoes - I wore them for hours the first day and from morning to night the next time I used them - and no blisters or hurting feet at all!

With the shoes seemingly under control, a jacket was next on my list. What a nightmare! Try finding a nice blazer in the endless shopping mecca that is New York when you haven't got any idea at all what style or color you're looking for. The only thing I could think of was that I want to be able to wear it during summer. After visiting store after store along 5th Ave, I eventually ended up at the Diesel flagship store. My time was running out and I desperately pleaded for help with one of the staff. And wouldn't you know it? She brought me a jacket from the Diesel Black Gold collection that catered completely to my love of khaki colors and natural fabrics. I didn't think twice!

Some nice detaling on the back:

These photos were taken back home, so it's a bit crumpled from coming straight out of the suitcase, but it's called Baader jacket and can be seen on Diesel's online store here.

But when I got it, I decided I didn't want to use it with the flats after all. So I ventured into Saks - and red soles heaven:

But seriously, at the back of my mind, I knew I had seen the ones I really wanted for summer already, in another store. Yep, that would be here:

When I came in the second time, the shop assistant at the till laughed and called out to her colleague: Hey, you customer is back again! And I got to sit down once again for a friendly chat, while trying on my pair of choice:

Perfect with the jacket! And I'm sending the bill for these to the airline! That's the least they can do for causing me all this stress and my missing the much wanted SATC tour, don't you think?

Later that afternoon, the three of us went for a manipedi at my cousin's local salon to really look the part when going out:

They had those huge chairs in which you can get a back massage while having your feet done. Such a nice way of getting a bit of relaxation after a gruelling shopping marathon.

My sis made a fantastic steal that day, too. She got the gorgeous printed silk tunic she was wearing here from Michael Kors at only TEN DOLLARS!

That evening, we went to the Al Hirschfeld Theatre to see a very modern version of Hair. When the show finished, they invited the audience up on the stage to dance with the cast. While I preferred to just watch the spectacle, more than a hundred people took the opportunity to dance on a Broadway stage. Pity they didn't allow us to take any photos of it. Leaving the theatre I got myself a little souvernir:

Peace and love, folks! :)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Sunrise over New York - Day 1

Even if the trip over from Norway to New York the day before had been fairly stressful with a 7 hr late arrival, I woke up early enough to catch the sunrise over Central Park and the surrounding area. The above picture was my first view on this trip of New York by day, as we had arrived at our cousin's home a little after midnight. A little later the same part of lower Central Park across to 5th Ave looked like this;

while my other bedroom window gave me a nice view in the morning haze, across the park over to the Upper East Side. As the trees back home still haven't started sprouting, seeing all that green put me in a super mood:

A little recap of what happened: I met my sister in Copenhagen for our onwards flight, which was cancelled due to a problem with one of the motors. My sister posed in front of the "villain" aircraft:

I did, too, however while I'm somewhat underexposed at least my trusty old (and crumpled) Burberry trench is showing, along with the mechanics working to fix the motor in the background:

Since we were rerouted via London Heathrow, we had time for some quick shopping there before boarding our flight with Continental Airlines. I got some snacks for our onwards journey, including a couple of very ingenious minibottles of white wine:

It comes with a plastic wineglass as a cork. Ain't that neat? Perfect for picnics! I wish we had those in Norway, too. My sister drank her's on the way across the Atlantic, but a mighty sour flight attendant spied mine sitting on my tray even before I had got around to open it, and sternly told me he did not appreciate passengers having any BYO picnics onboard his plane. Pay up for drinks from the bar when they eventually get around to serving you, or die of thirst.

Well, at least we got to compare Continental and SAS. If you can live with extremely small intercontinental planes with bad, hot air, no legroom at all and don't mind sharing the two toilets with 200 others, but love watching films and TV, Continental is your airline. The selection of entertainment on board was excellent. More than 40 movies and TV-shows to choose from, many of them brand new. If you can live with far fewer movie choices, but prefer more legroom and shorter queues for the toilets due to there being many more, and can stand cold, fresh freezing air (they do have plenty of blankets though), SAS is the better alternative. I highly recommend insuring your luggage, though. Haha...

After breakfast our cousin drove us up to Woodbury Common Premium Outlets, giving us an interesting guiding of the area we passed through on the way. It's about an hour north of Manhattan, and there are more than 200 stores in every price category, so it's the perfect place for every bargain savvy fashionista. The shops are all in small wooden houses, it's like a tiny, little village with small streets, benches, trees and flowers. There are shuttle buses from Manhattan and back all through the day every day, so even if one doesn't have a car it's easy to get there. I'll be certain to leave enough room in my itinerary on my next visit to NY to go there once again, it was soooo worth it.

Me, our cousin and my sis. Me wearing the same outfit I left home in a day earlier, apart from my new $1.99 white tank that I got in the middle of the night from a 24hr pharmacy. My sis and our cousin have both got the hair and skin genes from the maternal side of the family, while I got mine from the paternal side. It shows, doesn't it?

My first stop was the Levi's outlet store, to get new pants. It was huge, with a marvellous selection. I ended up getting 5 pairs for the same price as I paid for the one pair of boyfriends jeans I got at home a month earlier.

One pair of white denim capris, one pair of straight leg dark wash, one pair of grey skinny jeans and one blue denim boot cut. I also got another pair of boyfriend jeans with a slightly darker color that my first ones, which I was wearing when I took this picture. While they all fit when I bought them, it'll be interesting to try them on again now, as it feels like a couple of kilos have mysteriously (well, maybe not, considering all the running around) disappeared from my hips since I left home.

I also made a few other stops, getting among other things a pair of Ray Ban aviator sunlgasses at 25% off, a velour track pant from Juicy Couture at 30% off and half an outfit from Converse at a cost less than half of what I pay for a pair of those same shoes back here:

We arrived up there at noon, and didn't leave until they closed at 9 pm, after enjoying a dinner at the Italian restaurant Positano:

Starting to get a bit tired there, I think. But I was certainly not the only one who went wild in the stores. When we arrived back home, my cousin's hubby just couldn't believe his eyes when he saw our combined haul:

Bet he was mighty glad he had to go to his office and couldn't come with us. :D

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The cheap shoes and the not so cheap new lens

A little while back I wrote this post about being inspired by other bloggers. In it I mentioned a blogpost by someone else that caused me to crave a better quality lens for my camera, a 50 mm f 1.4. It lets in so much light is makes flash virtually superfluous. Unfortunately, due to the need for shopping something to wear while my bag was missing I didn't get around to buy it on my first day in New York as I had wanted.

Eventually I got it though, from the B & H Superstore located close to the US Postal Office and Madison Square Garden. The store is huge and stock everything photo- and videobuffs can possibly desire, but the size of the store and the number of customers in there made it seem like complete and utter madness. Judging from these test photos though, it certainly was worth it. It blurs out the background very nicely, and but for the worst conditions I can drop the horrible flash.

While shopping in Soho, my sis spied a pair of 20-bucks shoes that caused instant love on my behalf. They're so cute. To try out my new toy I took a few shots of them in low lightning indoors without using flash.

Safely home

Quick update:

Two lucky sisters got on the plane from New York last night, local time. We were originally scheduled to fly New York to Copenhagen-Oslo (me) and Copenhagen-Kristiansand  (my sister lives in the South of Norway). Copenhagen is still closed though, but the flight was diverted to Oslo. I was not unhappy! Haha...

I've just arrived home and  my sister is on the express bus from Oslo to Arendal (her hometown) as all domestic flights to the South and the West in Norway are cancelled at the moment. The latests news is that Oslo might be closed again at 2 pm as there are more ash clounds lingering above the North Sea and the western coast of Norway that might blow our way.

What a mess! I've never seen Oslo Airport so empty...it was really eerie. The service at the duty free store in the arrivals hall was fantastic, though. Only the two of us as customers, and a dozen staff desperately waiting for someone to help. :D

I'll post more about the trip with pictures later on, but right now I just have to unwind and destress as I'm still have my shoulders above my ears from all the chaos we encountered during this trip. Off-to-bed-itis! :)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Greetings from New York

Hi everybody!

Travel update: My sister and I got to Copenhagen without any hiccups on April 14th. As soon as we arrived there, we were informed our onwards flight with SAS had just been cancelled due to a technical problem with one of the motors. We were rebooked via London Heathrow and flew Continental Airlines from there to New York, where we arrived 7 hours later than originally scheduled.

Happy to have finally arrived, we went to get our bags only to be told that we were among 40 passengers whose luggage had been lost on the way. So we went on a mad scramble in the middle of the night to get toiletries and clean underwear! The next day was very pleasant shoppingwise - having our travel insurance companies pay for shoes and clothes ain't that bad, really. We shopped like there was no tomorrow! I guess it doesn't come entirely as a surprise that the very first store I visited was Jimmy Choo on 5th Ave? Haha...

However, as we returned to our cousin's home where we're staying, we got the rather disturbing news that no flights were leaving Northern Europe due to the volcanic eruption in Iceland and the ash cloud it caused. We didn't think we'd see our bags for the remainder of our stay. Luckily, somehow they had managed to get it over here and yesterday it arrived, almost three days late.

(Volcanic ash cloud, in story from the Huffington Post)

Now there's another tiny little problem. We're booked to return back to Norway tomorrow. Checking the updates on the SAS website, that looks a bit uncertain at the moment. Along with thousands of others, we're stuck here until further notice.

But as our cousin and her hubby live on the Upper West Side next to Colombus Circle and Central Park, with 5th Ave right across the park, we feel like we have the world at our feet. Those buildings at the very front of this image and the lower part of the park, I'm looking at that from where I' sitting now. I kind of like the scenery here. :D

(Random NY shot found the net)

This morning the sun's out and we'll be taking a rest from all the shopping, going for a stroll in the park and maybe crossing the Brooklyn Brigde by foot. There's really nothing we can do but relax and enjoy our time here, as it won't help getting all stressed up by the uncertainty of the flight situation. And New York is definitely not the worst place in the world to be stranded. But I guess you knew that already, right? ;)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Up, up and away

Off I go then. See ya in a week's time. Hopefully with a lot of interesting images from New York, not at least from some of the 40 locations on the Sex and the City sightseeing tour I'm planning on joining.

Hasta la vista! ;)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Awards galore

Sheesh, I thought the awards season  was over with the Oscars. Was I mistaken!

Over the course of the last week, I've received the honor of being nominated, not just for one but  for two awards from fellow bloggers. First of all, my sincere apologies for not replying to those awards immediately. As my trip to New York is coming up on Wednesday, I've been so swamped with things to do before I go that I simply haven't had the time. I guess you can tell by my number of blogposts declining dramatically this month. Not to speak of lack of comments on others fabulous blogs. But I'm with Ahnuld: I'll be back!

Now, let's suppose for a minute that blogging awards are red carpet affairs, albeit fairly informal ones. Then, to accept my prizes I would need a new dress suitable for the occasion. Nothing big, but a little more dressed up than the average everyday frock. How about this cute little thing from Erdems Resort 2010 collection? Would that do for awards? I reckon I'd feel quite comfy in this with a gorgeous clutch in my hand - and a glass of bubbly in the other.

(Photo by net-a-porter)

And I need new shoes, too! Strappy bronze metallic sandals? Hmm...oh well, before I get totally carried away I'd better get on with the actual awards:

The first one was the Beautiful Blogger award, given to me by fellow Norwegian The Soulprincess of Oslo. This is the very first award in my blogging history. Thank you so much!

The rules for this award are:

1. Thank the person who nominated me for this award - Check
2. Copy the award and place it on my blog -Check
3. Link the person who nominated me for this award - Check

4. Share 7 interesting things about myself  - I'm taking a raincheck on this until I get back as I'm a little bit short on time right now, ok? I'm pretty certain you don't want to hear about ironing clothes, packing and such. I'd like to think of some interesting things to share that you don't already now. Even if they're abolutely adorable, I guess there is only so much of my fascination with ferrets my readers can take, right? ;)

5. Nominate 7 other beautiful bloggers - Random picks from all the 70 odd blogs I read on a regular basis:

    1. Semi Expat in Oz
    2.Chic'n Cheap Living
    3. Beauty be Good
    4. Crystal Jigsaw
    5. My cup of te
    6. Lou, Boos and shoes
    7. 40 not out

    Ok, that's one down - one more to go.


    The second award was given to me by someone whose hometurf I'll be visiting this coming week: The Alternative Wife, in New York. Thank you so much for the You're going places award!


    These are the rules for this award:

    1. Link back to the blogger who sent you this award - Check

    2. Post where you would like to be in 10 years - Easy. With my health history, I hope I'm still around. (And if I am, Dear God, could I also please not have too many wrinkles and have the legs of Jennifer Aniston? I will save my pennies for Botox and go regularly to yoga practice, I promise!)

    (Photo from The Daily Mail)

    3. Pass it on to 10 other special bloggers! - Ok, the next ten to get this challenge from me are:

    1. Bruun by Bruun
    2. Pillowy
    3. Anholm
    4. Blonde Chicette
    5. Bored London Gurl
    6. Cassiopeia
    7. Ma Princesse de Pêche
    8. Mixed Match Media
    9. My New Favourite Thing
    10. Fab Blab

    Have fun girls!  :)

      Thursday, April 8, 2010

      Lovely lovely fur

       ...well, they're about to grow some any day now...

       (Photo from blog Alaya and Co)

      No, I have not gone completely bonkers (just in case you were wondering about the state of my sanity) by writing a post about fur now that all everybody can think of is pretty floral dresses, shorts and gorgeous sandals? Haha...

      However, knowing there are many animal lovers among my readers, I thought I would treat you to some more live fur. This picture is by a member on a ferret discussion board I frequent. One of her female ferrets had 8 babies a couple of weeks ago. She's regularly updating her blog with pictures of the in total 11 members of her extended family. Three adults, one male and two females. The female who did not have kids is still helping out as stand-in mummy. They are sooooo cute!

       (Photo by Alaya and Co)

      If you feel like seeing more of these tiny little furballs, you can visit her blog Alaya and Co here.

      Tuesday, April 6, 2010

      Norwegian Easter: Born with skis on our feet....

      ... well, that's how all most Norwegians like to think of themselves and also present ourselves to the rest of the world anyway. We claim a tiny village in a Norwegian county, Morgedal  in Telemark,  as the cradle of modern skiing. And judging by the number of Olympic gold medals won in any kind of skiing exercise, to foreign bystanders this idea of every Norwegian being a diehard skier might not seem so far-fetched. 

      (Photo by vg.no)

      When Easter comes around, thousands and thousands of Norwegians sit for hours on end in queues along the congested roads go to their little cottages in the mountains to ski. When they finally arrive at their destinations, some crazy people skiing enthusiasts put their skis on in the morning and don't take them off until after sunset, walking mile after mile and conquering every top in sight (and would you believe some suckers even have to go for those beyond that, too?!)

       (Photo by siste.no)

      The presence of the sun in what in general is called the Easter mountain (that would be any rock above a couple of hundred feet and at least a handful of kilometres outside the city limits) is muy importante. After all, how can you otherwise brag to your neigbours about your fantastic Easter holiday at your cabin if not by showing a freshly and genuinely tanned face? A sunbed or selftanning spray simply don't cut it. Too fake. The great Norwegian Easter tan is all about authenticity and that special hue one only gets when exposing yourself to the risk of ending up snowblind from endless enjoyment in the snow.

      Next to working up a sweat by the skiing itself, the most popular way to go about getting that much coveted glow to your face is taking a snack break - in the sun - next to the wall of your cabin (or any accessible cabin along your way. It just have to be a cabin wall).

       (Photo by adressa.no)

      Every man, woman and child skier is carrying his or her own little snack backpack, containing the holy trinity of Easter skiing trips must-haves: something to drink (preferably hot cocoa or hot blackcurrant toddy, or Solo, the local version of Fanta), in addition to half a dozen oranges....

      (Photo by newswire.no)

      and unless you're totally and utterly clueless the one and only chocolate to bring on any Easter skiing trip, Kvikk Lunsj, which, incidentally, has been around ever since they started experimenting with chunks of wood up in Morgedal in those ancient times:

      (Photo by freia.no)

      Now, to let you all in on a secret, there are those of us some Norwegians who are lousy skiers more urbanized. Especially when, according to the forecast, there is absolutely no chance of achieving that glorious tan, and that the most sunny yellow one is likely to encounter is desperately trying to resuscitate something like this :

      or spending rainy days on the net drooling over something like these :

      (Photo by jimmychoo.com)

      So, while I made sure prior to the arrival of the holidays that I wouldn't completely lose that Easter feeling...

      ...I'm afraid I had to tell my more ski interested friends that unfortunately, due to grossly disliking the idea of sitting inside in the rain in a cabin with only one TV-channel and no internet pressing home maintenance chores, they would have to:

      I hope you all had a great Easter! :)