Excuse me, but you just left sweat on my arm.

London was my first visit to a LARGE city. Oh sure, there's Seattle, Paris, and Munich - but they have never seemed 'overly crowded'. There was always an empty spot to do the 'bob and weave' or to sit back and avoid the crowds.

London was PACKED - people were literally everywhere, all of the time. 

On DAY ONE I made the NOVICE MISTAKE of wearing a short sleeved shirt.

What was I thinking?

Everywhere I went I was SKIN-ON-SKIN with gross and sweaty strangers. In the tube (subway) I was nose-to-nose AND arm-to-arm. Sometimes bum-to-bum. EEK.

You know how you have your 'PERSONAL BUBBLE', and others are expected to STAY OUTSIDE of your invisible  'bubble'? 

For example...when you're standing in line at the grocery store, you expect the person behind you to stand 2 feet away. Anything closer and you find yourself fidgeting and getting annoyed. Can you relate to this space requirement?

Yeah...there's NO BUBBLE whatsoever in London.

The good news is I adjusted fairly quickly, mostly because of how NICE people were. At one point I was just pushing and shoving people out the way with no response whatsoever.

It's NORMAL to be shoved out of the way (can you believe it?) .

If you do happen to make eye contact, they simply smile and say hello. Awww, how nice! I LOVED London and would go back in a heartbeat. Granted that I'm wearing a long sleeved shirt and have on solid great-for-shoving shoes.  

At one point there was no pole space available left to grab, so you just 'lean' on strangers as you go from stop to stop.

People EVERYWHERE! This was at the tower of London - which really isn't a tower at all. Its a palace where the Kings and Queens  lived for nearly 900 years.

The stories of debauchery were over the top, and I have a new appreciation for English -Period type movies. The 'Other Boleyn Girl' is based on true events at the Tower of London. More pictures of the Tower will post tomorrow!



In the crafters area of London, I found a small cart where a woman was selling handmade soaps. No big deal -right? You can find handmade soap everywhere.

Well....not exactly. Not quite like this. If you are in the soap biz (or want to be)....this is a clever take on your standard rectangle bar of soap.

You start with long cylinders of scented soap (Eucalyptus, Rose, Sandalwood and Vanilla)

Cut into 3' pillars and decorate by pushing in other soap shapes, coffee beans or in this case, miniature Rose Buds.
TA-DA. Arent' these pretty? And brilliantly packaged in ready-to-give gift sets. She was selling these like crazy.
See the cream ones with the rose tops? Those are actually wax covered cardboard and are sold as 'gift containers' for the soaps. Other container options included decoupaged (sp?) prints on small containers embellished with more rose tips.
This was her fabulous cart.  You could buy the soaps individually, but it seemed that the sets were the big sellers.  Like my sneaky photo skills? The only reason I was able to get them was because she was 'that busy'.

Has anyone made soap before? It's harder than you think it would be since the lye can be very dangerous. Soaps also work well as drawer sachets and last forever. I love the sandalwood or orange scents. 



Hi Everyone! Wow, I have 7 postcards from all over the world to share with you:

The first postcard comes Salisbury, New York City. My friend Bibi from THE SIMPLE SUMMIT sent this postcard of a home that once belonged to the Chief Surgeon at the Salisbury Confederate Prison during the Civil War. Bibi has had a scary week enduring all of the storms on the East Coast. Please stop by and give her a warm hello.

Ms. Sarah Elizabeth from the BEARA NECESSITIES sent me TWO postcards from Norway. Thanks Sarah, how awesome. She's looking for help finding a witty name for her school vehicle. Check out her blog and give her some suggestions. Mine was LAME, so any creative suggestions would probably be really appreciated.

Sarah Elizabeth mentions this moose is her neighbor. Could you imagine??

The lovely Tanya from SASSYNERD sent me this classic postcard from Seattle. She just returned from a fabulous vacation in Jamaica. Lucky girl. Stop by and give her some blog love.

My new friend Tassos from Amsterdam sent me this stylish postcard from Holland. Could you imagine wearing wood clogs around? Hey Tassos - do people still wear these, or are they a thing of the past? Check out  his blog 52 FASHION WEEKS for secret spy photos of the all the designer windows. It's like shopping in Amsterdam without actually going (or actually being able to buy anything either - if you want to be technical. It's still fun to pretend though....).

My parents recently celebrated their 50th anniversary and took a trip to Victoria BC. I am adding this gem of a city to my travel list. I can't believe I haven't been there yet. Thanks Mom and Dad!

In a 'FALL OVER IN SHOCK MOVE' my recently retired commander sent me this VERY THOUGHTFUL postcard.Wow - commanders do not do this, so I am very honored to have been thought of. If it wasn't for her approval, I would have never been able to come to Germany. (I'm guessing she doesn't want to be on my blog, so her face and name is covered for privacy reasons).

WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE A PART OF MY POSTCARD EXCHANGE? It's super easy- click HERE for the details.

NOTE: If you have sent me a postcard (or are waiting on one from me) and have not seen it posted yet, please let me know. Send me a note a hot.pink.combat.boots@gmail.com

Farewells, Friends, Finds and Fun Posts

Hi Everyone! I took a DAY OFF from blogging to catch up on my sleep. The last 2 weeks have been a WHIRLWIND with work, traveling (London/Germany/Belgium), interviews and saying GOODBYE to new friends as they are slowly transitioning back to the states.

 I have met some amazing people here and am SAD to see them leave. This week I'm saying goodbye to:

Ms. Block - she is a police officer in Los Angeles and is BAD ASS. This girl is ripped and could take down any man before he even realized what happened. She's quiet in her demeanor and can carry the HEAVIEST of patients without grimacing. I have major respect for her and wish her the best of luck.

Mr. Campbell: Genuinely nice and always professional. He's into extreme fitness and clean eating. The best resource for diet and workout tips. His MOM won Ms. Natural Universe in 1995 (can you believe it?). He is going to be a recruiter and is moving is wife, children and the in laws from California to San Antonio.  I inherited his hard boiled egg cooker, so he's at the top of my list these day.

Thank god for Facebook and social media. Now we can stay in touch and hopefully reconnect in the future. It is a small Air Force......

My time here is Germany is dwindling down quickly, so I'm trying to squeeze in as much as possible. I will be HEADING BACK TO THE STATES around HALLOWEEN, which seemed far away until I noticed they are already selling HALLOWEEN CANDY in the stores.

Uggh, I'll be out of here before I know it - but there still so many things I want to do (Paris, Moulin Rouge, Prague, Epernay, Oktoberfest, Koln). I will also be shipping multiple trunks home. Between clothes shopping and my flea market finds, my room is packed full of stuff.

EXCITING upcoming posts:
Fifi has two issues going on:
A near death experience and personality challenges (I'm thinking bi-polar). She's been a HANDFUL.

I have SEVEN fabulous postcards to showcase.

The Men's edition of style for LONDON.

SHOPPING SCORE: In a side note, look at these amazing leather boots (from Romania no less) I picked up op-shopping! (30e)


Fresh Hair

My vitamins have finally kicked in and my hair has been growing like crazy. I took your suggestions and cut it shorter (and  had it bleached). Here's the new do (without product and styled on the short side - longer strands are tucked behind my ear):

ignore the clutter, plz.
 This was 'fresh' from the salon, so there is no product in it all. I think the color is too yellow, but I can correct that easily with a few doses of purple shampoo. OR.... if all else fails, I'll put my 'white lady' toner on it tomorrow. With a bit of color adjusting and styling products, my hair should resemble something like this (with a little extra around the ears for styling options): 

Did I mention I'm going to ROME next weekend????!! I am beyond excited. I've never been to Italy, so the opportunity to visit this gorgeous city on a weekend was too good of a chance to pass up. 

This trip should be a little bit easier than London since there will only be 3 of us. As much as I loved London, it was tricky to accommodate 7 people's personal agendas and varying budgets.

It's 97 degrees in Rome! Can you believe that? I'm a Northern girl, so I will probably be molting the entire trip.   

Blogger help - I'll need more tips on where to go again. Especially for food. I hear you can get ripped-off with bad American-ized Italian food in the tourist zones.

This is a huge city, so besides the Vatican and the Coliseum - where else should I head?? Where is the best boutique shopping at?

EURO TRASH - The London Edition

Welcome to another edition of EURO TRASH, where I take random photos (usually of backsides because I'm not sneaky enough to take one from the front, and asking for permission takes to long) and throw them together in  a menagerie of FUN. This week we'll take a look at the local fashion in LONDON. For women, their style can be summed up in one word:


Yes people - nylons were everywhere. Both skintone and black - and paired with anything you could possibly imagine. I never wear 'hose', so I was surprised to see they were so popular here.

Interesting mix. Especially with the white shoes...

This young girl was probably 9 or 10. I think patterned sheer stockings are too sexy for young girls (even when paired with something as casual as cut off denim shorts). What do you think?

The mustard yellow color was very popular in London

Whoa - hot mess.
Do you know what this reminds me of?? Click here for the memory

See the sheer stockings? I don't know... I don 't think it looks right. What do you think? Would you wear this? 

I loved her outfit. Dressy yet comfortable. Nice Prada bag too!

Uggh, more sheer stockings.

Love this - she looked great.

Are you  noticing the trend with light colored shoes too??

If she wants to wear shorts this shorts, she should have opaque tights on. The sheer is not flattering.

The navy hose works here. It looks nice with the layers - this I could do.

I am loving the purple tights. Not necessarily paired with this outfit, but I think they will be fun to wear this fall.

This is not a posting of 'bad fashion'. This is really the style and clothes I was seeing everywhere I went. To be honest, I was disappointed in the women's fashion in London. HOWEVER.....the men were very stylish.  

Come back on MONDAY where I'll do a special feature of EURO TRASH - The Men's Edition.

Hello Belgium!

Today was a quick day trip to Brussels, Belgium. This was my first time to this country, and I LOVED IT. France has new competition with Belgium's gorgeous buildings, beautiful people and excellent shopping. BONUS: American friendly!

Here is a quick peek of my whirlwind trip:

That's a shadow in my hair, and not a big dark-roots spot. What do you guys think of the longer length? Its been growing like crazy, so I'm torn on whether I should cut it shorter again or keep it around this length. Feedback needed please!

Can you believe this is real? I love the architecture here.

Have you been to Belgium? I tried the waffles - and I think they're OVERRATED (well at least the ones I had today weren't that great - essentially a big heavy doughnut).

But you know what's NOT overrated? The CHOCOLATE.  I had an orange chocolate truffle and it was unlike anything I've had before. So divine, it melted in my mouth but left a delicate trace of flavors. I could have eaten the whole tray.

You can look forward to Postcard Love tomorrow and Friday's exciting Euro Trash (London edition). This weekend I'll also share with you Fifi's 'incident'. It's a good one!


LONDON BOUTIQUES - my inspiration.

I've posted in earliers posts how I would LOVE to open a boutique. While in Europe I've been SECRETLY STALKING the local shops and taking as many photos as I can. Like a sponge I absorb the colors, the racks, the fixtures, the layouts and the exterior design.

I'm really drawn  to the bright colored shops - and London DID NOT DISAPPOINT. Want to see what style excites me?  

I love this color, and also how the entrance is recessed.

What a great idea to add the black to break up the purple wall.

Black and gold looks so LUXE to me......

I know this is a pub, but I like the gold/black combo along with the bright flowers. It looks inviting.

Vintage picture frames and the chandelier is a perfect combo. I would do black and white photos in gawdy gold frames.

A clever idea to dress up a plain brick front. I would probably have gone with hot pink or black.


The bright color makes this store stand out from a row of 'blah'

Can't miss this one.....

Bad signage and the window needs to be dressed up, but the bright color atrracts women shoppers. The white door would look better black (of course, right?)

I wonder how hard it would be to add windows. Isn't this great? Its impressive and different.

Do you have a cool boutique in your city? 

I would love it if you sent me a link or a photo(s) to hot.pink.combat.boots@gmail.com. Also, if you have any upcoming travel plans, please keep me in mind and snap some stealthy photos.Thanks dolls!