OKTOBERFEST Bound!! Stuttgart, Germany.

Hello Kittens!

I'm taking the weekend off to celebrate one of my favorite holiday's - OKTOBERFEST! This will be my first time celebrating it in Germany, so I am BEYOND excited to have this opportunity. 

Last Fall I won the costume competition for my city - so I am a self-proclaimed Oktoberfest professional (American Style, of course). I've been practicing the chicken dance in my head, and have my green Bavarian hat with the GIANT feather. It is on!

Let me guess......you're probably wondering why am I going to Stuttgart instead of Munich? 

Simply put - Stuttgart is the best festival in Germany. Sad to say, Munich has grown into one big TOURIST TRAP, filled with AMATEURS and disgusting BARFERS. No thanks. I want the real-deal.

Stuttgart's festival is called 'Volksfest', and it mirrors where Munich's festival was 10 years ago.  The attendees are German, and the food options are top quality. There are carnival rides, live music (oompa - of course) and unique shops. 

Yes - there are mountains and mountains of 'high-octane unfiltered hop-goodness' (I'm talking about BEER if you didn't know where I was going with that overly descriptive sentence), but this trip is so much MORE than that. It is an opportunity to observe this beautiful country's rich heritage directly. A time to meet new friends, and also to enjoy another incredible experience  that will bring me inspiration later on.

Me and several co-workers are hitting the train shortly - bound for an adventure. You know the people watching and photo-ops are going to be OVER THE TOP! Fresh postings on Monday!! The GIVEAWAY winner will be announced next week as well!


60's Style - PUCCI Galore!

An ode to a master, who's inspiring and unique prints are still in demand today.  For those not in the know - designer Emilio Pucci has quite the background. His biography can be found HERE. This posting is a tribute to the Pucci label and also to Mr. Emilio Pucci himself. 

Fall 2011

You're in for a big treat! My dear friend Brande from Victory Vintage has a fantastic VLOG covering her major find of VINTAGE PUCCI, along with PUCCI inspired prints. If only I was so lucky to find Pucci opshopping!

Do you have any PUCCI pieces? Have you found any pieces at the thrift store or somewhere unusual? Do tell! Send me your photo(s) at hot.pink.combat.boots@gmail.com for the readers edition of 60's style.
The 60's fun continues with the remaining posts for this fantastic decade. The final segments will post next week:

60'S - Women's fashion
60's -  Hair and Make-UP
60's -  Readers Edition, featuring your photos, Vlogs and Tips! Join the fun - send me your contribution by Monday. Thanks kittens! (I'm changing my lingo from 'dolls' to 'kittens'. It just feels right).

60's Style - The MEN's Edition.

There is something to be said about a well-dressed man, or should I say a 'stylish man'. Dressing well doesn't require a designer suit, but it does involve having personal style and wearing properly fitted clothing. I'm so tired of seeing men wearing hoodies and ill-fitting clothes. 

As my dear friend Mr. John B. would say, "hoodies and sweats simply tell the world I'VE GIVEN UP". Well said my friend......well said. 

The 60's  was the first decade men were allowed to play with fashion, and by the end of the decade it has swayed into the unattractive 'hippie' look. Bright colors and flares did nothing for the male physique, so for this posting we will stick with the looks from the early 60's.  

A mix of British style paired with Mod influences.

Designers like Gianfranco FERRE' have taken pieces inspired from the 60's and turned them into modern ensembles. A perfect example of Fashion Recycling.

Burberry is replicating the double breasted pea coat and pairing it with British style Mod pants. Mod pants too much? Wear a straight leg that goes to the floor. The idea is to wear dark on the bottom and pair it with a great coat.


Celebrities are trying the 60's look too and are receiving WOW reviews from stylists and the media. Love the gray tones. Look - no blue jeans or khakis. Yay!

Classic 60's shag - perfectly modeled by Zac Effron. Although.. if it was platinum and a little shorter in the back it would look just like my hair. Maybe not so great....

You don 't have to wear a tie to pull of this look. The yellow socks is unexpected and very stylish. SPECIAL NOTE: White socks do not apply to this scenario.

 Do your guy a favor and CHUCK the boxy and roomy shirts and baggy pants. As women, we put so much effort into looking nice that it seems UNFAIR that our counterparts can just throw on 'whatever'. Right?  Disclaimer: I'm talking about men's style in general and not you personally. Please don't have a cow and send me hate mail because I'm not a fan of your sweat pants or manpris.
Blogging Friends that go to great lengths to look FABULOUS everyday: Ms. Tangled in Texas lovingly shares with us her perfectly accessorized OOTD, and holy cow - Ms. Brande at Victory Vintage is OVER THE TOP fabulous with her outfits. Don't forget Ms. K at Love, Lipstick and Pearls - she can rock the camera like no one else (her wedding pics - uhmazing). Have you seen Gawgus Things? Living in Paris she has that natural ability to look fabulous - in everything (of course).

The list goes on and on (sorry I can't include everyone in this posting).

We are all stylish women - so take your fashion abilities and help a brother out. See them shopping solo and looking helpless? Offer a suggestion - they will love it. And so will we. 


1960's - the clothes, the makeup the stewardesses!

I’m loving the fresh look and style from the 1960’s, ( hardly a shocker since I"m already sporting the 60's hairdo and makeup) - but I've been noticing that the majority of Fall trends are actually 60's inspired and not 70's. 

I've decided to do a 'segment' that will include 4-5 postings covering Men's Style, Modern Inspired Trends, Makeup and Hair. Visit often to see what's next!

Today's segment will focus on importance of the airlines. Whether we want to admit it or not, the cute little stewardess outfits were an icon of the decade. ABC  has released the TV show PAN AM with Christina Ricci, and it goes to show how attractive a sheath dress and a sassy short hair-do can be.  

You could even add some 60's flair to your basic outfit by adding a vintage airline bag.  I couldn't see myself carrying one of these around as an everyday handbag, but they would make for a great yoga or carry-on bag.

My favorite accessory boutique in Seattle called FINI has been ahead of this trend for some time. When I was in Seattle for Easter this last Spring (geez - I've been everywhere this year....), they had PanAm bags prominently displayed in the front window. I love the two gals that run this boutique. If you're ever in the Pike Street area stop by and check out their quickly rotating inventory.

Click HERE for the link. They also have fab Cloche hats. 

Airline travel was so much different in the 60's and 70's. Smoking was promoted, and the job of a stewardess (ahem, I mean 'flight attendants') was glamorous and in-demand. Here are some fashion inspiring photos of an era long gone, along with some interesting observations of what is happening with our current Fall trends:

Notice the hats tipped to the side? I wonder if this was the inspiration for Louis Vuitton and Marc Jacobs Fall hat collection?

Whatever happened to these great round carry-on bags?  The handbag in the front looks like something from Chloe's collection. The combo of skirts and boots never seem to go out of style. The cloche hat has been reappearing as well. Last month in London I saw a gal that looked amazing in a black felt cloche and bright green pants.

Green and navy color blocking was the focus of Marc Jacobs Spring Line. See the hat banding on the right? I'm convinced Louis Vuitton is recycling the look.

Is anyone else thinking 'Victoria Beckham' with these outfits??

 I can't help but think of Krista from Peetee's Palace when I see the hot pink outfit. The tights are reminding me of something Helga would wear, but also paired with an orange lace top, leopard shoes and a red bag - respectfully.  There is that tied-down hat again. 

This style doesn't fit anywhere, but its still funny to see the girls had to wear hot-pants for their 'job'. Could you imagine having to wear this? I bet they were grabbed at constantly. Ladies - we've come a long way in the work place.

Visit often to catch the next segment of 'Fashion Recycled'.

Bored? Do your makeup 60's style and send me a pic. I'll feature it on my blog. Rather pull on a 60's outfit?? GREAT - send me that too. Let's have some fun with this.


FLOWERS: French vs American

The 'typical' American bouquet is usually a mix of roses, carnations or daisies - finished with a sprinkling of greens and baby's breath. Even in my younger years, I never thought these flowers deserved the 'oohs ands ahhs' they seemed to incite. There always seem to be some tacky ribbon and patterned floral paper as the finishing touch. I admit there has been some improvement, but not without paying a PREMIUM price. Flowers are expensive and have become a luxury, and not a routine indulgence.

This is not the case in Europe. Flowers are looked at as a necessity. You buy a loaf of bread, you pick up fresh flowers. Pretty flowers and plants are affordable, easily available and the highest of quality. In fact, the best bouquets can be picked up at any gas station.  

German Lavendar
Germans love lavender, succulents and plant art (sticks with figurines at the top stuck into the dirt of the plant to add character. Similar to the 'gnome in the garden' type of idea). I enjoy the German flowers too, but my heart swoons for the French style.

The French somehow manage to make plants and arrangements look gorgeous - with the littlest of effort (just like their style!). But instead of choosing from traditional flowers, they use unique and plant inspired shrubbery. The finishing touches don't include bows or colored foil wrapping. Instead, you see burlap or raffia and sometimes even a thick velvet ribbon (in a jewel tone like emerald green or ruby red).

These photos were taken from a street vendor in Strasbourg, France. The same day of the fabulous flea market shopping and pastry pig-out.

Who knew artichokes would make such beautiful cutting flowers? I'm going to plant some next spring! Aren't these unique?

The Fall shades are out and aren't they gorgeous? See how the flowers are just placed in a simple vase, yet they look amazing? I love the little Orange Japanese lanterns. I'll have to track that shrub down when I get home. Did you notice the 3 little pumpkins on the table with flowers added to them? So creative, and they would make nice hostess gifts.

Simple - lavender thrown into a galvanized vintage bucket looks chic! Notice all of the chalkboard signs? 

Notice how the tables are covered with burlap, and the plants/pumpkins are placed in a natural setting without elaborate finishes? If you keep it simple, you too have recreate the French look at home.

Another angle

I bought these flowering cabbages and placed them on top of my vintage cake stand. Orange flowers from cabbages - who knew? Funny tidbit: they smelled like cabbage when I cut the stalks, and they became horribly stinky after a week.

So the leaves change colors and the shrubs develop rich-colored berries, go outside and clip some branches to make a French inspired bouquet in your own home. Or give as a gift. Who doesn't love receiving flowers? I know I do!

Beer Stein Giveaway - UPDATE and PHOTOS

Who doesn't love to celebrate with festivals? Oktoberfest is the biggest and grandest festival of them all, and just time for you - my giveaway features 2 authentic beer steins!

As promised, here are the photos of the steins included in the GIVEAWAY. I bought these in Strasbourg France. Both steins have ornate decorations on all sides including the handle. The ceramic style stein keeps your beer cold much longer than the glass versions and is the preferred stein to have.

Like my hat? I bought this during my trip to Austria in June. Paired with a casual plaid shirt (H&M) and faux fur vest (H&M - of course), it is the perfect 'daytime' look for the train ride Oktoberfest. The real outfit comes out at night.

And nooooo....its not a 'hoochy mama' outfit (not that there Is anything wrong with that....) - it's more of a 'Beer Wench meets Hans' type of look. I consider it my own stylish creation of the traditional costume.

So where is this special outfit? Well.... I'm going to Oktoberfest next weekend,  so you will see the  'actual' photos from the event. Can you imagine how fantastic the Euro Trash is going to be afterwards?! Oops - I didn't do a Euro Trash today. Uh oh - that will be posted in a bit.

SPECIAL NEWS: Giveaway update - due to my upcoming Oktoberfest trip, I'm going to extend the giveaway for a week in case I find extra goodies at the Festival to throw in the box with the steins.

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP (its easy, and free!)


Adventures with Fifi - ROMAN SPA - Baderhaus, Bad Kruznach

No....Fifi didn't go to the spa with me - but she did join me in the journey. We skipped town early Tuesday morning and headed to the mystery town of Bad Kruznach.

How did I know where to go?

I mapped out a 2 hour radius by train and started googling the city names that caught my attention. You have to admit 'Bad Kruznach' sounds pretty interesting....and I couldn't have been happier to find out it's the best spa town in all of Germany. Plus - it's small and quaint, perfect for a female traveling alone with her feisty bike.

Here's the story in pictures (as usual). This blog is like one big picture book. Ha - ok, here we go:

Fifi was given the ultimate gift - saddle bags! Not only can I fill her up with shopping goodies - but she is so much easier to ride with the weight in the back.

This was our inaugural trip with the new bags and it worked out great. Doesn't she look happy? Up at 6:15am, we raced 4 miles to the train station only to get there right when the train was pulling up. Whew - that was close!

What are the odds that a guy would be holding this traditional German clock on the train. It's sooo Germany. I couldn't resist snapping his photo. Who carries this stuff around?
1  1/2 hours later Fifi and I arrive in Bad Kruznach. It's early, so we ride around getting our bearings of the town. The day we were there was 'JUNK DAY'. This is where locals can put out whatever it is they don't want and garbage men will come and dispose of it for free. Look at this cool stuff considered garbage? Americans would pay good money for these vintage pieces.

More garbage. Can you believe it?

The shops were still closed and I couldn't find my hotel.  We rode past a PAUL MITCHELL hair salon and decided to be spontaneous and get my roots bleached and a haircut.

NO WAY - seriously? There is a Middle Eastern guy that owns the salon?? Have you ever seen the movie DON'T MESS WITH THE ZOHAN (with Adam Sandler)?? If no, then you won't get this photo - but if you have.... then you are probably giggling right along with me over the irony. He did a FANTASTIC job on my hair - and it was bargain priced compared to what I've been paying for on base.

He pointed me in the direction of my  hotel (2 buildings away),  and it was perfect.

In a random building across the street and up 6 flights of narrow stairs, I had the single room in the upper dormer. I felt safe and secure in my little nest. A fluffy down comforter and soft linens completed the space.

Bright white bathroom.

Amazing view from my flat

Even FIFI scored with her own bike garage. She slutted it up with the foreign boy bikes.

The hotel offered a 3-course lunch for 7.90 euro - so I freshened up and then sat down to a relaxing meal. Pumpkin soup, fresh bread, dry Riesling and sparkling mineral water.

Meatloaf, red cabbage and mashed potatoes. I haven't had meatloaf since before I left home and it was delicious. The cabbage was savory and tangy - perfect with the potatoes.

Mini Creme Brulee with a ripe strawberry. Perfect sized (probably 2 tablespoons). Why can't restaurants do this more often? It forces you to try new things without getting extra large portions.

Probably not the best idea to pig out on meatloaf, but I headed to THE BADERHAUS - a Roman Bath House. This place was HUGE and had 8 saunas, 6 hot tubs, 6 steam rooms, a roof top terrace, restaurant, full spa and locker rooms. An all day pass was 22 euro. Here's the kicker - no clothes allowed. Eeek! Awkward at first, but then it wasn't a big deal. Everyone had robes and seemed to be experts at 'eye diversion'.
I had a mud and scrub treatment that left my skin feeling super soft. Affordable too - only 17e.
After a nap I returned to the hotel for another meal. Mushrooms are in season - so I just went with it. Mushroom soup with truffle oil and chives.

Mushrooms and tagliatelle

Chocolate mousse on sugar wafers, coconut ice cream and pureed mango (if you could somehow put mushrooms in a dessert - they would have). Such a great meal and only 16e.  This town is a BARGAIN.

After dinner I strolled through the town to walk off my indulgent meal
The next day Fifi and I went for a ride and found the vineyards.

Here is me in my lesbian hiker pants (day 2 - clothes get recycled when you travel with a bike). After a day of shopping (they have H&M!!) and another indulgent lunch at the hotel - Fifi and I headed to the train station.

What a GREAT TRIP. As much as I love traveling with friends, it such a treat to get away on my own from beginning to end. I know FIFI loved it too since she didn't act up even once. Sure.... there was the occasional cling-clang, but I think those were 'happy noises'.

This is my new secret destination - I'll be back for sure!