Slow Poke & Cowboy Boots

I'm sporting my newly inspired 'Western Romantic' look today. Well...sort of,. It's actually a mix of Germany, Rome and Oklahoma. Truly a hodgepodge style- but perfect for creating a new look with pieces already in your closet. 
  • Tunic dress - street vendor in Rome, 9e
  • Llama hair wool sweater (with brown patches on elbow) - Munich , Germany. 20e
  • Tights - H&M, 8e
  • Sockens - Ross, $8
  • Cowboy boots - op shopped this week! (Thus my new inspiration for Western wear). $25
This is my first time ever owning a pair of cowboy boots excluding the white tassle ones from the 80's. I'm noticing that I walk different in them, and they are really comfortable which is odd considering there isn't any padding in the soles. No....I won't be adding any country music to my play list anytime soon - but I have to admit cowboy boots are pretty fun to wear.

Today I am a self-proclaimed SLOW POKE. As an extreme effort to get back in shape from the fattening holiday season, Mr. C and I went to a WARRIOR BOOT CAMP fitness class yesterday morning. Uggh - pure and utter TORTURE. It was an hour of squats, lunges, burpees, jumping - and more effing jumping. We both wanted to barf at least once during the workout.
As you can imagine, I am so sore today that I can not do any of the following: BEND OVER - SIT DOWN - GO UP/DOWN STAIRS. The torture continues on Friday - so hopefully my muscles  have calmed down by then.
Here's a close-up of my new favorite boots: Vintage Tony Lama's in mint condition - $25!! I like that the toe isn't super pointy. Yes - I know I have a sock layering problem. Just one never seems to be enough.... 
Happy Tuesday kittens! Green Thumb goddess posting tomorrow  morning - it's a sneak peak at my hidden talent for combating the winter time blues. Yes - you can steal my ideas, they are that cool (and easy).


SPRING 2012 INSPIRATION. Preppy Nautical & Western Romantic

Even though we are in the middle of winter, I can't help but plan out my spring fashion theme. This years them is two-pronged - dual opposites of each other with the connection thread of good-old-Americana. I know... a bit bizarre for me considering I'm always trying to be French or German.

Curious? Here's a sneak peek:

PREPPY YACHT, Navy blue and red. Accents of white and cognac leather. Stripes!

The classic stripes of red/navy are so elegant. Dress up or down with accessories.

Guys can get in on the trend too! Remember all of the red jeans I was seeing on men last summer in Europe? We should start seeing them (cropped and rolled) in the states this Spring. OK, who am I kidding? It will be another 2 years, and probably not at all in my city.
WESTERN ROMANTIC, Vintage cowboy or motorcycle boots paired with soft floral dresses 

I know........this look has been done before - nothing groundbreaking here. BUT....when you don't cheat and wear hemmed VINTAGE dresses (above the knee) and layer sockens (German speak for 'socks') - you have a stylish outfit that you can claim your own. Wear a lacey slip underneath for added interest.

Hem 2" above the knee and use the extra material to make a tie-sash. Should cost around $8 for alterations. 

This is cute too. You could wear this loose or tie with a leather braided rope belt. Add wood bangles.
Now is a GREAT time to pick up vintage non-wrinkle polyester dresses for practically nothing (under $4 - yes, really). Keep your eyes out for these easy-to-wear pieces and you too can join me this spring with the 'Western Romantic' look. I will post photos of my latest dresses and awesome cowboy boots next week.


PS - what are you dreaming about for Spring style? Have you seen the homeless look being promoted by H&M in honor of the movie 'Girl with the Dragon Tatto?'. Dirty and torn clothes are not my style - so thanks H&M for the new line, but I'll pass.

The Holiday is Over. I'm back blogger friends!

Break - schmeak. My blogger 'holiday' was full of activities - not quite the break I had in mind, but still fun nonetheless. During my brief absence I.......

- Traveled to Seattle for my Sister's surprise 50th birthday part and surprise engagement!

- Sick in bed for 5 days (misery)

- My oldest girlfriend Veronica (we met in the military in 1992) flew up from Cali for a 4 day whirlwind of a trip full of wine tasting and shopping.

- Mexican dinner party with Mr. C, Veronica, Shasta and dear friends John & Eric

- Hit 2 estate sales and 15 thrift stores (major eBay

See what I mean? You think you're making time and you just end up filling it with something else. The holiday was great, but I did miss all of my blogger friends, and I feel 'out of the loop' on stuff. Did I have any great inspiring thoughts while on holiday? Yes - actually. I'm mid project on redoing my bar, and I came up with my Spring style inspiration (more on that later).

Iggy Pop Action Figure. Bleh.

During my holiday I had to endure the dreaded trip to Toys R Us. 'Dreaded'... because the fluorescent lights seem to suck out all of your energy, and it's usually full of either screaming kids or parents overcompensating with elaborate gifts. As I wandered through the aisles (and losing my energy with each fluorescent lit step) I about fell over when I saw this STRUNG-OUT-ANOREXIC action figure of IGGY POP.

Iggy Pop ACTION figure? What kind of action? Huh, what? Do kids really play with this and think it's fun? I don't get it, and it actually freaks me out. As odd as it was, it did make the entire Toys R Us trip entertaining (and surprising). Iggy Pop...who knew?

More tomorrow.


BLOGGER HOLIDAY. We all need one.

Hello friends.

Do you ever feel as if you are being pulled in 50 directions? That your thoughts can't stay focused on one thing and you find yourself mentally scattered? Please say yes, because that means you and I can relate.

As wonderful as the New Year has been - it has also been time consuming and mentally challenging. I actually miss the simple life of living in Germany and having one job to focus on. Between the blog, eBay, Air Force Reserves and - I'm beginning to feel a tad overwhelmed.

As an effort to streamline my thoughts - I'm declaring a BLOGGER HOLIDAY for myself and taking the week off (give or take a few days) to recoup and reset. I'll be back soon with fresh and focused posts- to include Krista in a Recycled Fashion feature.


LOVE IN A SUITCASE. It's not what you think.

I love vintage suitcases, and have always had great success selling them on eBay. Yesterday I was in Idaho hitting up the local thrift shops and found this unique camel colored suitcase. The color caught me off guard since vintage Samsonite's are typically blue or the cream marble finish.

Look at this interesting find I stumbled upon yesterday. Part suitcase - part massage pad - part heading pad. Interesting - no?

I plugged it in to make sure it worked - and the entire suitcase rumbled as if it was sitting on top of a jet engine. SOLD for the mere price of $4.

I tried it out last night and discovered the heating element works perfectly. As I was enjoying the faux-massage with heat  pad, thoughts of this item CATCHING ON FIRE and being BURNED ALIVE crossed my mind, but they quickly diminished when it might actually be worth it. Yes people - it was that awesome.

See the rounded part on the end with the vent? I thought this was for your neck. not put this on your neck or else you will have TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury). This device is very powerful, in fact the whole room was vibrating and I joked the bed was going to fall apart as the screws were probably unwinding.

Remember in the 1970's and 1980's when vibrating beds were all of the rage? Every hotel had them and the relaxing effect could be had for a mere $0.25 and a quikc turn of a dial? What happened to that ? I know they diminished like any other fad and quickly became affiliated with SKANKY motels, but the device itself is so relaxing why would it ever go away?

I haven't researched the value of this yet (because I'm not selling this - ever), and have to wonder why the suitcase is so GIANT. Any ideas?? Maybe if I use it enough it will tone my muscles too. Wouldn't that be great?!



Seattle is an interesting mix of fashion (or style -if you want to be particular). There seems to be 3 distinct categories of fashion. Let's take a peek:
LOOK #1:
The Seattle fashion I adore is the 40's and 50's redo. There are a large group of vintage lovers that authenticate the retro look so perfectly it could be considered costume-y. This style fits here and somehow manages to seem authentic.

Notice the flannel, jean-roll and beanie in the background? Typical Seattle male fashion for the late 20's-30's age range. It's lumber jack meets grunge.

LOOK #2:
Brown fleece and army green pants mirror the mood of most residents. Dressing for weather and gray skies is the norm - for both men and women. It looks like everyone is about to go hiking at any minute.

See the ratty flannel and bad cotton shorts with converse? One version of the many forms of grunge. There is a large population of very wealthy techies that look homeless - I suppose it's a cultural thing for the area since they live at their desk and prefer to wear something comfortable.

Rumor has it that there is an emerging VAMPIRE fashion inspired by the Twilight Series. I haven't seen that,but it seems likely - especially for the late night crowd.

I couldn't help but notice how many times I saw the DIRECTIONAL FINGER. This has to be a Seattle thing. The funny thing is I didn't notice it before my travels to Europe - so I'm apparently more observant now.

The finger reads 'Fun Here'. So much better than the boring directional arrow.

Happy Tuesday ( did it get to be Tuesday already?)



This seems like a 'raven'  photo to me. (Yes - that's Ms. Demi)
Have you ever felt that your name didn't quite match who you are?

Or... did you ever want to be named something more glamorous but was stuck with a traditional name like Barbara or Gail? Not that these are bad names, but sometimes your given name doesn't match your true personality.

Tonights dinner conversation centered around this topic. Big Sister Susan commented how she didn't care for the term 'Big Sister' on my blog since it referred to both older and fatter (in which I was only referring to the older part of course) and then it moved on to how 'Susan' is a generational name for a woman in her 50's +. 

Good point. Young modern women are named Brittney, Savannah and Anastasia - and women in their 50's + are named Julia, Debbie, Sharon and Gloria. Unless you're one of the lucky ones - your name dates you before anyone has the chance to ever meet you. 

Bloggers have an opportunity to create a new persona with the click of thier mouse. They change their name to protect their privacy or maybe to embellish a blog theme (think 'Helga' - which is a fabulous name btw and I was drawn to the blog because I thought she was a giant German woman). But what about your average non-bloggers? Is it OK to come up with a stage name?  I don't see why DRAG QUEENS get to have all of the fun. Right?

Such a dramatic stage name.....

Big Sister Susan gravitated to the stage name RAVEN (suggested by BF Gary). Raven is a brilliant suggestion since she's darker complexion than I, and is always wearing black with a touch of blue. I think this new reference suits her and her eyes perked up at the idea of something new. Hmmm, I think I might be on to something.  

The blunt bangs and bold lipstick also seems very 'Raven' to me. This might be a fun look for her to gravitate towards.

So the question is..... if you could have a stage name - what would it be? If you do have a stage name - does that mean you change your persona to match it -or is the stage name simply enhancing what is already there?  If you call your stage name a NICKNAME - is that more socially acceptable?

I've always wanted to be called Kitten-Kat or some over the top name like Phedora. I don't need it now, but it might be something to look forward to when I hit 50 and Michelle is a name that dates me (and Kitten-Kat somehow will seem like an age appropriate and professional name). Ha, I'm cracking myself up now. 

Goodnight Kittens!


DANISH FURNITURE - a thrifters dream or aka "How to profit $900 in 10 minutes or less"

I needed a pic -so this is being recycled
 from my beloved Belgium trip.
This week is nuts. Seriously.....nuts. I'm back in Seattle returning to work after a 9 month absence (I've been in Germany - remember?), and getting my mind around all of the changes is boggling. With a promotion also comes new responsibilities and higher expectations. Insert sarcasm here Yaaaaaay............

The GOOD NEWS is it's not raining here, and today I was able to shop at the ULTIMATE THRIFT STORE ever. Which one you ask? The private one on base - that only those with a military ID have access to. Here..... soldiers and their families donate treasures that they can't bear to move one more time. The pickings are good, and the prices practically free. Big sis Susan joined in on the fun, and she was SOOO EXCITED to go - that she arrived at the gate 30 minutes and happily waited for me to arrive.

However - before I can tell you about today's incredible find, I have to step back for a moment and explain the history of my Danish furniture interest.

Two years ago, Mr. C and I bought 3 Danish wood chairs at the thrift store for $2 a piece. I had no idea what the true value was at the time, I  just knew they were high quality and I liked the clean lines and shaping of the wood. After a little research - we discovered these chairs are worth $700 a piece!! This value was confirmed in Palm Springs when we saw duplicate chairs for $1200 each! Incredible.

My $2 chair (we have 3 of these!)

Today's loot was surprising. Instead of buying bags and bags of crap, I found a cone shaped DANISH floor lamp in the clearance section. How much you ask? $10 people! Yes -a mere $10. Sure....the shade is water stained and torn in one spot, but it matched the chairs and I had to have it. 
See the wood shaping up the side? Signature Danish woodwork.
GUESS WHAT? My $10 lamp purchase is worth $900 effing dollars! Even with the crap shade as is. Can you believe it? Fellow thrifters - keep your eye out for these Danish pieces. They are very valuable and in high demand. But....there is an ISSUE. The car is now FULL and I'm stuck hauling this GIANT AWKWARD lamp around in my backseat for the next 4 days. Between my bags, boxes, uniforms, giant lamp and luggage - I feel and look like a hoarder.

I didn't buy this davenport and love seat, but Susan and I day-dreamed about purchasing it and redecorating an entire room to accommodate it. Luxurious garnet red and gold velvet - so glamorous.  You're probably thinking barf, but we were thinking 'Hollywood' (it looks more regal in real life. Photos do not do this set justice). In mint condition and a total bargain at $65 for the set.

That was today's adventure. Not bad, right?


Men's Style - a huge improvment

I can't help but notice the improvement of men's clothes in the stores lately. Mostly because it's trending towards my beloved 60's - so the pants are more fitted, the shirts are fitted - overall the CLOTHES are finally designed to show off a man's physique. 

It's only fair that men have to be as self conscious about they appearance as us women do. We squeeze ourselves into skinny jeans, fitted tops and curve skimming dresses  - and men throw on a hoody and ratty jeans. Seems unfair, doesn't it?

Mr. C received a new wardrobe for Christmas to include brown shoes and accessories and dark finish jeans. He loves the help, but I started to wonder how involved my blogger friends were with their significant other's clothing. DO you make suggestions or buy clothes for your S.O. in the hopes that they dress better or different?

The offender - Carhartt. These are work clothes and not appropriate 'going-out' outfits.
Yesterday while I was shopping (well...technically 'returning'), the sales clerk said a woman had just purchased a ton of men's clothes. When the salesperson commented 'Wow -  he's a lucky guy", the customer said " Well, actually these clothes are for me. He wears 'Carhartts' and hoodies every day , so buying him new clothes it really is for my benefit". Funny but true, right? Men can learn style - but sometimes it just takes the input from a woman (friend, S.O - whatever) before they can handle doing it on their own.

So what do you think about the new trends for men? Do you like the plaid shirt/sweater layered look? How about the rolled up pant leg with ankle boots? And finally - do you dress your S.O? If not - how did he develop his own style?


What's in store for 2012

Ha, if I only knew what was in store for the future life would be so much easier. 2011 was probably the most exciting year of my life. From traveling the world to reconnecting with friends, it was clearly the mark of dramatic change. HOWEVER.....with one day under my belt in the new year, this looks to be equally exciting.  
New Years in Seattle! This is my big sis Susan. Can you believe she is turning 50 next week? She looks incredible.
Before I jump ahead - lets do a quick recap.

January 2011 - My largest sales month for online sales. One of my military troops fail her fitness test and leaves a hole for her to deploy to Germany (hmmm, wonder if I'll have to go....) Travelled to Seattle and Idaho.

February 2011 - Consignment business for online sales is taking off. Travelled to Hawaii for 2 weeks with the military (tough gig, I know). Spent time in Seattle and Idaho as well. Where did February go?

March 2011 - Discovered that I will be deploying to Germany for 6 months. Travelled to San Antonio Texas for 1 week for military training, spent another week in Seattle, Washington working. Lucky lucky - Mr. C and I shared a fun weekend with dear friends in Napa Valley, California (rained the entire time - suck). Closed consignment business and ebay store.

April 2011 - Travelled to Seattle for 2 weeks and then left at the end of the month for 6  months in Germany. Work in Germany consisted of transporting critically wounded patients from Afghanistan to the local hospital. Yay (insert sarcasm here...), I get to wear a weapon on my leg and live in a dorm.

May 2011 - Discovered walking around the base totally blows. Purchased a bike and named her Fifi, she is my traveling companion and we hit the German train station and set ourselves free. Random cities - here we come! Travelled to Germany and France 

June 2011 - Travelled throughout Germany, Austria and France

July 2011 - Travelled throughout Germany, France and Rome, Italy

August 2011 - Travelled throughout Germany, France, London 

September 2011 - Travelled throughout Germany, France and Belgium. Was featured in a documentary by KIRO 7 news in Seattle.

October 2011 - Travelled throughout Germany, France, Belgium. Give Fifi a new home (Ms. Annie) and arrived back in the states on Halloween.

November 2011 - Seattle for 2 weeks, including Woodinville Washington to visit the wineries. Ran into uber-cool-chef Mario Baltali. Finally return home mid month. It's been forever since I've been home - and it feels great! Joined the German-American Society.

December 2011 - A month of traveling and holidays. Back to Seattle (again), Idaho (shopping) and Palm Springs, California for the Frank Sinatra bash.  Discovered clutter is slowly driving me crazy. I purge the house and Mr. C's shop gets a face lift. Hmmm, this type of business organizing gives me a new idea..... (more on that later).

Happy New Year everyone! 2012 will be amazing.

Whew. That's a TON of stuff, not to mention the friends I reconnected with and all of the NEW FRIENDS I made along the way. On top of all of that - I've been able to maintain a blog during this time. I couldn't help think that 2011 was an EPIC year and could never be topped. But......I was apparently wrong.

Yesterday (January 1st - yes, the first day of the new year), I was promoted to Senior Master Sergeant (a huge accomplishment I never thought I would reach) and I also discovered Mr. C and I were selected to travel to Santa Fe, New Mexico at the end of the month. Compliments of the Yellow Ribbon program no less for my dedicated service overseas. What wonderful news!!

This looks to be an equally exciting year after all!!