Saturday, January 29, 2011

Where did you get those shoes?

The shop assistant in the Beverly Hills boutique didn't pay my H&M outfit a second's attention. My white silk blouse and breezy black and white floral georgette skirt was totally lost on her. I guess she could sniff out deginer items from a mile away. And she did. The one expensive thing about my outfit. Namely my shoes.

Which brand? Where did I get them? When? The questions kept coming. London, from the Prada store in Sloane St, I told her. Got them on a sale the previous autum, I said.  Oh...isn't it typical, she sighed. It had to be European! We don't get any quite as beautiful shoes like those here.

My jaw dropped almost to the floor. With the endless selection of just about everything being available in the US, were we on the same planet? Had my visit to a whole floor of designer shoes in an upmarket department store a few days prior been just a hallucination? As my suitcase was full of new treasures, it simply couldn't be so.

I can't recall if I got anything from her store, though. But at least I still remember her for her very finely tuned nose for above average shoe quality. That really warmed this shoe-freak's heart.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Carrie'd away

SATC. Heels as works of art. Shoe addiction at $400 a pair (at least according to Miranda). Etc. Etc.

No need to waste too many words here, I believe. You know what I'm talking about, don't you? I'm pretty certain I'm not the only one who found her shoe soul mate in Carrie. For a while there, I was completely obsessed. I just had to get my hands on, or rather, feet in, some real SATC shoes.

So here they are, my very first pair of Manolo's. Bought from the designer's boutique during a summer holiday visit to London in the beginning of the noughties. A favourite every summer, with a suntan and one of my LWDs.

Dearly loved and well used. So much in fact, last summer one of the delicate, handmade straps broke. Considering how much affection I feel for what was to become the first pair of hideously expensive designer shoes in my possession, and how many pleasant summer memories are attached to them, the broken strap meant utter disaster. I would never, never be able to calmly throw these away like I would with a pair of $20 sandals from any of the high street chains. There had to be some way to fix it, even if one cobbler after the other just shook their heads, denying they had the tools and skills to fix such tiny things.

But then I got lucky. After practically begging on my knees, a repair guy in a leather goods store said he would try, even if he made no promises. But try he did. And it worked. Almost as good as before - cause from a distance this little "fix" won't be visible.

The turquoise treasures reminding me I actually got completely carried away by a TV show will live to see another summer.

Friday, January 21, 2011

How to lose your luggage fast

(Photo by Jimmy Choo)

Hey, hey -what have we got here? As I was checking out the JC site for news on their spring collection, I came across this addtion to their ever growing selection of accessories - the "Terence" trolley. Now, I love me some spots and I certainly think this little bag is a real eye-catcher.

Immediately, I started daydreaming about going on my spring weekend trip. I could see myself - wearing a light trench, a lovely silk scarf, comfy ballerinas and some fab sunglasses, all while wheeling this little beauty casually behind me. Now, doesn't that sound like the epitome of style? Then reality set in, caused by a glance at the price tag: 3395 euros. Yes, you read that right, threethousandthreehundredandninetyfive euros! That would be the price of a small, used car!

And then another thought hit me - a fact I learnt way back when I started my working career in the travel business - the risk of losing your luggage increases significantly with valuable suitcases. The higher the value, the higher the risk of it mysterioulsy "disappearing" along the way. One brand which the rumours would have it was notoriously known for this, was a certain LV.

(Random photo from the net)

Now, say if you're Paris Hilton, or some other Hollywood A-lister or business tycoon, and frequently travel by private plane, you might not have to worry so much about the airline losing your prized possessions. (And also, in Ms Hilton's case, I'm not completely certain she would even notice if one of her bags should happen to be missing. But I'm digressing). Fact of the matter, I'm neither rich nor a celeb. And as such, I have to travel the way most of us "commons" do, being subject to strict security measures forcing me to check in and let go for a while of even the smallest cabin size trolley if the content includes ordinary sized necessities like perfumes, lotions and potions. Which in my case, it always does.

So, while daydreaming is free, the JC trolley is not. And even if I had been able to afford it, the risk of losing it and the hassle of missing luggage make my old and battered Samsonite seem like the sensible option. In comparison, it's not stylish at all. But then again, it's not especially attractive to anyone else. The look of it clearly advertises "this item's owner cannot afford a new suitcase and therefore the content of this crappy bag can't possibly be of much value either!" Apart from a detour on the way to New York, caused by the confusion in the aftermath of the Icelandic volcano eruption last spring, in the ten years I've had it, it's arrived promptly on the luggage conveyor belt after every trip. As long as it continues to do that, I think I'll stick with it. Till the wheels fall off.

Even if the JC bag is so much prettier.......*sigh*.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Crystal steal

This morning I was just on my way to an appointment with my optician, which incidentally has their store in my local shopping centre. The location is practial, as it's easy to get to. On the other hand, as it is a fairly large shopping centre, it's difficult to resist the lure of all the stores, with their sales or displays of all things new for the coming season. However, with a lot of activites planned for spring I'm trying my best to be somewhat frugal.

So I hadn't planned on shopping anything more exciting than a litre of white paint for my living room. But then I came across a store that actually sold Villeroy & Boch crystal wine glasses at a discount of more than 50 %. I stopped dead in my tracks and rushed into the store. Almost hyperventilating, I ran to the counter: Do have more of those V & B glasses left? They had. So home I went, with 12 new designer glasses at a price which can only be classified as a real steal. I was so excited, I completely forgot the paint.


Villeroy & Boch Maxima Bordeaux and White Wine glasses

On your hands and feet

Sydney Shop Girl is having a giveaway on her blog. Among some very covetable presents, she also features some cute little tubes of handcream.

As she got me thinking about handcream, I felt inspired to share a tip with you about some truly great products.  As a total hand- and footcream addict, I believe I've tested a fair number of versions from different brands. Both cheap and rather expensive stuff.  Between hundreds of beautiful looking products gracing the shelves in beauty stores, I've found my absolute favourite so far. It' from French skin care brand L'Occitane En Provence. The brand has stores all over the world, so it shouldn't be too hard getting hold of some if you want to try it.

Now what, you may ask, is it that makes these products so special?

Natural ingredients
Lovely, light fragrance
Non-oily, both creams absorbed immediately
Keeps moisture locked in and the skin soft and supple

And also the tube is a little different. Old fashioned metallic, instead of plastic. Me likes!

If you feel like trying your luck in SSG's giftshower, it's still not too late to enter the giveway - you can find it right here!

Good luck! Or rather, since I'm promoting French products (and going to Paris soon): Bonne Chance!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Cute overload

Admittedly this is not one of my own photos, but I just have to show you these anyway.....

(Photo from The Daily Mail)

This Daily Mail story is about baby bats rescued from the flooded areas in Australia. See the whole thing with more photos here.

Dracula no longer sounds quite as scary as he used too!

Friday, January 7, 2011

What activities to pursue during a Snowmageddon?

Twin teddy 1: Look at that humongous amount of snow that came overnight and today...Everything is white!

Twin teddy 2: Mum says enormous amounts are forecast for Saturday, too. She declined an invitation to a party as she didn't fancy going out at night in a snowstorm.

Twin 1: what is she doing about the snow then?

Twin 2: She's escaping for a whole day tour of Ikea tomorrow. Substituting showelling with shopping.

Polar daredevil: What a chicken! There's no bad weather, only bad clothes. I've got a warm scarf to prove my point. I loooove snow. Bring it on!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Paris in spring

(Photograph by Fred Derwal/Getty Images/ RM, via National Geographic)

A decision made on the spur of the moment....

Just yesterday evening I was marvelling at the gorgeous photos of Parisian scenes in several postings on the blog Carla Loves Photography. I've visited Paris once before, way back in the 90's. By seeing Carla's images I suddenly felt an overwhelming urge to experience the beautiful city yet again.

Having coffee with my friend B. earlier today, I casually suggested to her that we should take advantage of a local airline's New Year's offer of cheap airfares, and go on a weekend trip somewhere. Like Paris, for instance...

B. loved the idea! Tickets for a trip in March were booked the minute I returned home. Paris in spring it is. Thank heavens for friends that aren't averse to quick decision-making!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

A few hours before we were treated to the latest trends in pyrotechnics, mother nature blessed Oslo with a lovely firework of her own.

As I had invited some friends over for New Year's Eve dinner and was busy wrestling pots and pans, unfortunately I had no time to go on a lenghty photo safari. But it was such a gorgeous sunset I just had to catch a snap of it anyway. A few seconds out on the terrace got me the image I wanted to share with you, as I wish you all a happy new year in 2011!

Nature's own firework - Oslo 31.12.10 3.30pm