Saturday, December 27, 2008

L'Oreal "Vision 2008"

Das hätte ich Euch ja fast vorenthalten... Im November veranstaltete der Beautykonzern L'Oreal Professionell für seine Kunden das alljährliche Mega-Event "VISION". 2 Tage lang gaben sich die Haar-Trends der neuen Saison auf einer riesigen Bühne quasi die Klinke in die Hand. Natürlich war ich mit von der Partie und habe Euch ein paar kleine Schnappschüsse mitgebracht:


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Frohe Weihnachten

With these cute Scandinavian Christmas decorations (most of them Maileg
from around my house 
I wish you 

Happy and Peaceful Holidays


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Venice colors

I have to write more about Venice. The thing that struck me most were the colors of the buildings. All these weathered washed out stucco facades in contrast to the turquoise lagoon water. Stunning!!! 

See some Venice colors...


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Venezia - winter fairy tale

As I already told you I went to Venice/ Italy last week. My Mom and Stepdad invited my sister and me for their silver wedding anniversary. My Mom had always dreamed to spend this day with her husband and daughters in Venice.
The last time I was there was in September 1993 and I couldn't wait to go back and see the city in a new and winterly light.

One week before I left, Venice experienced the highest flood in 20 years. The water rose up 160 cm (63 inch) and 90 percent of the city was flooded. The Saint Marc's square - which is the lowest point of the city - and the entry hall of St. Marc's basilica were completely under water. You can imagine how scared I was that my trip might fall through.

We went anyway and our hotel was very well equipped for the case of flood. We all received a pair of rubber boots and an umbrella and were ready for the weathers to come. Sure enough we didn't have to wait long for another "acqua alta".
The first day was a sunny, crisp and cooooold day. The second day was overcast but a little warmer and the last 3 days it rained cats and dogs. 
We had a flood twice a day when the high tide came in. This sounds scarier than it actually was.  The flood only lasts for 2-3 hours and it wasn't as high as the week before. The canal along our hotel didn't make it over the rim and only very low streets were flooded. The city of Venice has catwalks for these areas that lead you from bridge to bridge. We honestly had a blast. It was very exciting and the Venetians are so calm about it. For them it's just routine. 
In case of a flood you will hear sirens throughout the city and the Venetians install their flood barriers in front of stores and front doors. The merchants clear the floors and bottom shelves of their stores and go home.

Here are some impressions - not only from the flood:

We arrived by airport bus at Piazzale Roma and took a vaporetto (water bus) along Canale Grande to S. Zaccaria. It was surely the best way to arrive in Venice. The Vaporetto tour takes about an hour and you see all the major sights, pass the famous Ponte di Rialto (Rialto bridge) and the St. Marc's square. It's a beautiful ride that brings you in the right mood right away.

Take care...


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Venice doorknobs

During my stay in Venice (Italy) last week I noticed that many front doors have elaborate doorknobs or door knockers. Here is a small selection:


Cozy phone

Look, what my cutie pie little sister made for me! A felt cozy for my iPhone. She even stitched a little phone on top. I love it!!!


Monday, December 15, 2008

Mamma mia and Nikolaus

My Mom decorated the house beautifully. Very inspiring, warm and welcoming. This is how the table looked when I arrived from the airport. Warm apple strudel, cappuccino liqueur with whipped cream and fragrant coffee. Ahhh... felt like home right away!

And I even received gifts from Nikolaus without leaving my shoe out.  

Nikolaus is celebrated in Germany on Dec. 6th. Children put a boot called "Nikolaus-Stiefel" outside the front door on the night of December 5 to December 6. Nikolaus fills the boot with gifts and sweets, and at the same time checks up on the children to see if they were good, polite and helpful the last year. If they were not, they will have a tree branch (rute) in their boots instead. Apparently I was good! ;-)

And here is what Nikolaus left for me:

A beautiful shawl, felted slippers and a cashmere covered hot water bottle. Thank you!


Some German Christmas spirit

I am back in the US after a beautiful week in Europe. For the first time since we moved to California I went to Europe all by myself. Traveling is so much easier without kids, I tell you! It already starts with the packing: Only one suitcase... But I must confess - miraculously I had two on my way back. *smile* I watched two full movies, finished my book (great but disturbing read: "Loving Frank" by Nancy Horan) and even slept for a couple of hours.
First I went to my hometown Oldenburg in Germany to meet my family and then to Venice, Italy for 5 days to celebrate my parents wedding anniversary.

The one night I spent in Germany I absolutely had to go to the Christmas Fair and drink some Gluehwein (mulled wine) and Feuerzangenbowle and just take in the atmosphere that brings back so many nice memories.

The front of Oldenburg's lovely little castle has been transformed into an Ueber-Aventcalendar. Can you spy the numbers in the windows?

I wish my girls could have been there to take a ride on this beautiful antique merry-go-around. 

The gingerbread hearts are much too pretty for eating. This one says "I love you".

Look at all the different candy canes. I wish you could smell the candied roasted almonds and the anise candy. 

Life size nativity scene.

Rudolph also made an appearance.


Monday, December 1, 2008

Advent, Advent...

The Advent calendars are hanging and my daughters were thrilled. It was hard to keep the little one from opening all of the little pouches today. Probably I'll have to hang it up a little higher.

And here is my version of the Advent candles. I made the numbers with silver wire and added some glass beads.

Have a great first December week.