It's all in the details

October 26, 2012

After the unfortunate incidents at the park with other dogs, we have started taking Bailey on new walks, finding new pockets of our town (which we hope are free from those that are partial to sinking their teeth into our dog). While I'm still mourning the loss our favorite spots to stroll, it has allowed us to explore and enjoy the bits of our neighborhood that we otherwise might not have.

Case in point, a few weeks back, we headed down some new streets and happened upon the most beautiful houses. To be fair, most buildings in our part of town are hundreds of years old and have the most wonderful old-world, European charm, be it brick or stucco. But the detail on these was something new, reminding me so much of the artistic and detail-rich architecture we experienced in Barcelona. From what looked to be painted Art Nouveau flowers to stucco scroll work, these homes had the most beautiful ornamental detail around their tops. It was a level of ornate adornment I so rarely see in practical Germany, it was a very pleasant surprise.

The bad news is that we spotted the latest, and most dangerous, of the doggy offenders on this walk, so we'll likely skip this route in the future to avoid another interaction resulting in more wounds and another trip to the vet. So for now, I'll just enjoy these as a memory of this gorgeous architectural detail...

*Daily Drop Cap by Jessica Hische

Currently Obsessed: Coats!

October 10, 2012

Walking home from the bus the other night after my English-language playdate with the Italian girls, I was surprised to find myself shivering. This was particularly significant because I had on a long-sleeve tee, a blouse, a sweater AND a cotton pea coat, not to mention wool socks and boots. Isn't it only October? True, I am always cold (even in summer in California) but this onset of biting cold seemed to come on even sooner than I was expecting. I can only hope this bodes well for snow this winter...

Because I am always cold - and that we now live somewhere it gets legitimately cold - I take coat-buying very seriously. In California, I had all kinds of jackets. You know the kind, cute but not really serving any major weather-related function. My favorite coat is in fact a three-quarter sleeve (ha!) wool Marc by Marc Jacobs I picked up on major discount at Nordstrom Rack. While this is still one of my favorite cold weather cover ups, I must be more practical in this climate that throws seemingly endless days of cold, sunless weather filled with rain or snow in the months ahead. Long sleeves, warm fabrics and hoods are a must, especially now that I'm a full-time glasses-wearer who all too often must compromise on the luxury of unobstructed sight when water/ice covers my lenses.

By the time we get into the new year, it's easy for said bleak weather to get you down - and having a closet full of grey, black and navy outerwear does little to improve the SAD symptoms that infiltrate ones psyche. Sure, these basic, go-with-everything coats go with everything, except of course seasonal affective disorder. I've decided that in addition to one of those fake sunlight thingys, a bright, happy coat is one of the best ways to combat this. Interesting prints, fun colors and details like cozy sherpa and trendy leather trim - or in my budget, faux leather - are toping my list in a coat right now. In fact, I've been obsessed with a red duffle ever since I saw the trailer for Submarine (which looks totally charming, yet I still haven't seen) and decided that it just might be the perfect coat.

So in an effort to add to my somewhat snooze-worthy collection including a black snow parka, a beige trench and a navy, cropped-sleeve Marc Jacobs, I've been on a serious coat-hunting mission. I just tried the ASOS parka with faux leather sleeves but I looked sadly unlike the super cool model on the website and more like an awkward high school wrestler, wearing a letterman jacket with sleeves too poufy and rumpled for my scrawny arms. I feel like every time I try to push my fashion norms and play 'the cool girl', I am reminded by the universe that it is just not the role for me. *sigh* So alas, it is sitting here, packaged up and waiting to be taken to the post.

Although in a serendipitous turn of events, I opened up the bookmarked page on my iPhone for the lovely Benetton duffle (above) I've been coveting since I tried it on in Milan (which was the only time I've seen my size, as I found it totally sold out online and stores informed me the largest size they carry is 40 - I'm a 42, oh-so-fat American that I apparently am) to find that somehow, a single coat was back in stock and, lo and behold, it was a 42. It was meant to be!

So I'm hoping that everything works out and that perfect duffle with glasses-shielding hood and super-long sleeves that seemed made for my freakishly-long arms is the answer to my coat dreams... *crossing fingers!*

Daily Drop Cap by Jessica Hische