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Donald Baechler – Love!

So sorry, but this is my last post for today. Time slipped by quickly between an appointment I had and several hours spent at the hospital visiting our oma. I didn’t have enough time to sit down and write for you as I had hoped. I’ll make up for it next week, promise!

I have to throw on a skirt and some heels, we’re going out now for dinner + salsa dancing! Ole! It’s about 70 degrees and clear out, a beautiful night for going out on the town. I’ll leave you with the work of Donald Baechler, an artist I discovered through the help of Style Court, Stitch Your Neck Out, and reader Kristin Leigh Ward. Thanks, ladies!

Have a great Friday!

(images via donald baechler)

Posted in uncategorized on September 29, 2006

Blog + Book of the Week!

Blog of the Week:

Di Overton is a lady on the go, and via her blog, she takes you on a tour of London and Paris through her eyes. You’re going to love her finds over at Designer’s Block. Tres chic!

Book of the Week:

Next up is a Atomic Ranch, the decor8 book of the week. I took some time to review it before I left the states last week – it’s a must-have for your interior design library, for sure! It’s a new release, great for lovers of mid-century modern architecture and interior design – or others that are simply curious about the look and want to learn more. Atomic Ranch even includes landscaping ideas in addition to stunning photos of interiors. purchase this book here

Posted in uncategorized on September 29, 2006

coffee + cre8tive {sept 29 ’06}

Happy Friday everyone!

Blogger decided to play tricks on me and my template today, when I try to insert the HTML code for the new blog and book of the week, the preview shows the site in extra large text. Of course, this would be great if we all suffered vision problems… I’m just not sure how to fix the issue so I’m not touching the template until my husband has time to look things over for me (hopefully this weekend). So, for now, things will stay the same in the left column – however I’ll point you to the new blog and book in the next post so you have something new to check out. :)

Today is a light day for posting, I have a lot of entries for the My Workspace contest (lots of great images!) to sort through. If you haven’t entered yet, please send yours in today. I’ll extend the deadline to midnight YOUR time (wherever you live) because I want to give the shy readers time. I’ll announce our three prize winners next week, and for fun, Fabulous Stationery asked if they could throw in a limited edition MOMA pen for the 4th and 5th runners up since we had more entries than expected. Of course, I said sure – the MOMA pen is valued at $25 and I happen to have one and love it. So, we’ll now have 5 lucky readers walking away with something nice from Fabulous Stationery. :)

Tonight, we’re having dinner with our friends from Italy and Spain and then they’re taking us salsa dancing. There’s a new place hosting a grand opening tonight – free cocktails all night long and lots of twirling skirts and strappy heels. Should be fun to see what lands me on the floor first – the sangria or the dancing (I’m not very good at handling either, thankfully my friends have a sense of humor!).

Tomorrow, we’re meeting up with my sister-in-law and then taking some little ones that are friends of the family to Oktoberfest. Here, Oktoberfest is much the same as a carnival or state fair in the states, with rides, kiosks overflowing with food, plenty of alcohol and of course beer, and lots of shows, games, and sweets from the local region – like homemade candies and cakes. I’ll try to snap some photos and post them here over the weekend so you can see what German Oktoberfest is like here in the north. Munich is the home of Oktoberfest since that is where the celebration got it’s start, but most cities in Germany have their own version, which is just as fun. (Delicious Days posted coverage of the Munich fest, you must read about it on their blog, lovely photos! Here are some more, too.) If you go early enough, the event is still kid-friendly because the drunks don’t surface until later in the evening. I went to Oktoberfest a few years ago and wandered into a huge tent because I heard traditional German music and thought I could catch a glimpse of some traditional dancing… Well, I sort of did. All these very, shall I say, hot guys, were dressed from head to toe in traditional Barvarian clothes (lederhosen). As I watched them dance on a runway platform, I felt that something about this wasn’t exactly right, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. I walked over to the bar to order a beer and turned around to see bare bottoms and big smiles – these men were stripping to the ompalompa beat. Eek! My face turned tomoto red and I raced out like an embarrassed child… But in retrospect, it was quite funny and now, a few years later, I know to stay away from tents unless I ask whomever I’m with to translate the signage for me. Come to think of it, I guess Oktoberfest isn’t exactly like a state fair…

Be back soon with some fun Friday posts… Bis Spater! (See you soon!)

Posted in uncategorized on September 29, 2006

Here’s the latest…

Today was quite a busy one, at least by European standards. In America, today would be considered a leisurely stroll in the park. Germans live a lot differently from what I’m accustomed to in the states, the lifestyle is hardly rushed or stressed, people don’t seem to be lacking the patience I see back home, and overall I sense a different spirit in the air, more of a dynamic contagious energy over a nervous sense of “go go go!”. The bistros here are always lively, most linger over lunch (often dining al fresco with a glass of wine), beer gardens are packed every night of the week, and the shops are always buzzing with stylish Germans looking for the next end of summer bargain.

We started off our day as we usually do, with breakfast and a walk in the forest. Breakfast at our small boutique hotel is a yummy buffet filled with fresh regional foods ranging from meats and cheeses to creamy yogurt with sweet berries, homemade breads, muesli, and even some edible orchids thrown in the mix. I look forward to breakfast everyday when I’m here, no longer is it a cereal bar chased with a handful of vitamins and a venti latte from Starbucks. I’m actually dining, with my husband, on a table with linens and a view of the park in the nearby square. No prep work, no clean up, just enjoying a hearty (but healthy) meal to provide me with the much needed fuel for spending the rest of the day on foot. We are 6 hours ahead here from Boston time, so my husband starts his work day a lot later than his normal 6:30 a.m., which means we spend the mornings and part of the afternoon together.

After breakfast, we spent time at the atelier of a contemporary German painter whom my husband has known for years (he had a flat directly above his atelier before we married). The artist was busily preparing for a show in the Netherlands, to be held this weekend. We spent a few hours with him, and for anyone who has ever spent time with an artist while they’re working, you know how enjoyable of an experience it can be to merely sit back and observe the process. Watching him move his thoughts directly from mind to canvas, whisking the brush around as speedily as a writer taps on keys to construct a story. A slight pause, a nod, a step back, and then resuming, transforming a once blank slate into a splendid vision that only he will ever understand fully. I’ll feature him here in the weeks to come, but I cannot today since much of his work was packaged for the show.

After the studio visit, we had an appointment to view a flat since we’re looking to purchase property. We wish to have a base here as well as back in the states, and now that we’re in our thirties, we figure we better start planning for the future. It’s a better idea to own for many reasons, but one I can think of is that ultimately we can relocate here for good and maybe have a dog and most importantly, children. While viewing one flat in particular (we really liked it), I thought it would be fun to give you a sneak preview so you could see what a typical city apartment looks like here in northern Germany. This one is 100 square meters (unsure of what that is in square footage), has a brand new kitchen, woods floors throughout, tile in the kitchen, baths, and entryway, 2 bathrooms, living room, and three bedrooms, along with a balcony, an extra kitchen off the guest bedroom, and a very deep bathtub for soaking. It’s a block from the largest natural city forest (1,578 acres) in Europe, the Eilenriede, and a half block from the u-bahn, which takes you to city center in 2 stops (5 minutes).
Forest shot
Another perk, it’s located across the street from a small market and a fitness studio, a block from the Lister Turm biergarten, and nearby to many shops and eateries. It’s in the same district as our family and many of our friends, including one of my closest friends who owns a salon just minutes away. Could it be more perfect? Yes… It’s actually two units combined, one of which was formerly occupied by my husband when we were dating! What are the chances!? Of course, the unit has very special memories for us, as the history of our budding romance started the day I arrived in Germany 7 years ago to have lunch with him in his flat. We’ve been together ever since.

We’re heading off to the bank tomorrow to inquire more about purchasing it, what the APR is, down payment information, etc. This is a new process for me so I’m interested in learning. Neither of us are convinced it will work out given how banking and loans here are so much different than in the states, but it is worth investigating. We both figure it’s going to take at least a year to settle on a place and iron out the details, but it’s still working looking into. Afterall, who knows?

Living Room

Kitchen (the balcony is under construction, hence the obstructed view)
One of the 3 bedrooms
The neighborhood
After viewing the apartment, we went for a long walk in the forest where I spotted a familiar sign letting dog owners know not to allow their little friends into the playground/cafe areas that are sprinkled throughout the forest. I just love the sign.

Then we were off to the city center for some shopping, as we needed to purchase a handy here (cell phone). On the way, we stopped at a bakery for coffee and some amazing calorie-loaded baked goods, and as I rolled out of the bakery (I will be rolling soon enough if I continue on my bakery binge), I spotted this vintage Audi. I simply couldn’t resist snapping a photo, I thought of how many of you would love seeing it. Totally droolworthy, eh? Imagine jetting around Europe in this sweet ride? I’ve seen lots of adorable vintage cars here, from mini coopers to those 1950’s French citroens, but this one takes the cake (or strudel).

In route to the handy store, I stopped by a craft store and fell in love with the pretty wrapping paper… Don’t you love the patterns? They are from Vivant, a paper company in the Netherlands.

I couldn’t resist the green sheets, so I grabbed a few that I liked…
Of course, we can’t play all day, so we returned to our hotel and worked throughout the afternoon and evening, popping back out for a stroll in the city tonight, where we attended a grand opening event at a new beauty store, Douglas, that is similiar to the American store Sephora, only on crack. They had entertainment on both levels, waiters walking the store serving complementary beverages (in glasses! not styrofoam!), cookies dipped in chocolate from a multi-tiered fountain, coffee, and free tubes of full-sized MAC lipstick, samples of perfume, and lots of free bath gel. Lounging on leather sofas with the beautiful people, I couldn’t help but think that grand openings here are slightly different than ones I’ve attended in the states. It was like attending an invitation-only event, and for us, mere passerbys, we enjoyed feeling like special guests. Immediately following, we grabbed dinner and headed back to the main station to catch the u-bahn back to our hotel.

I hope you’ve enjoyed these photos. If they bored you to tears, please let me know. Some readers have requested that I post a taste of some local flavor while I’m over here, so hopefully this is what you’re looking for. Next week, I’ll be hitting some museums, more design stores, and providing you with a few tours of some places I’m enjoying here. In the weeks to come, expect a stroll through a few additional cities, and as always, lots of fresh finds for shopping both in person and online. Yeah! :)

See you tomorrow!

(photos from decor8, please click them for larger views)

Posted in uncategorized on September 28, 2006


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