Thursday, September 9, 2010

The 4 Cs. Chic, Cute, Comfy and Casual

This summer in Los Angeles has been unusually cool. We've had a very mellow summer. My typical summer wardrobe needed some versatility.

One piece that I recently added to my wardrobe is from Anthropologie. The "Craft and Creation" blouse is great for layering with a cute cardi. I initially bought the blouse to wear with jeans out on a weekend get-a-way to Disneyland. We were staying at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel to finish off our summer and I wanted to be the 4 Cs. What are the 4 Cs? Chic, cute, comfy and casual.

The weather had dramatically cooled down and it was a mere 72 degrees. This blouse/tee turned out to be perfect. I paired it with a soft printed cardi that contrasted the colors in the blouse along with my jeans and sandals. It was a comfortable piece to wear at a theme park all day, yet still added a bit of style in contrast with a plain t-shirt. When the event calls for wearing jeans, you need not return to your Junior High School days when girls wore T-shirts with phrases on them. We're all big girls now, and this is how a woman wears a t-shirt.

Upon returning home I needed another outfit for an evening out to dinner with friends on the following weekend. I then paired the "Craft and Creation" blouse with a grey and white striped skirt that was already in my wardrobe. I found the 4 Cs skirt in the South of France last spring. I adore this skirt. It's easy to wear and lined in cotton. What a gem!

It happened to be that by the following weekend the summer temperatures had returned and it was 98 degrees. The blouse held true to the reason for purchase, the 4 Cs. I ended up loving this outfit. I received many compliments by strangers on the street. What a great purchase!

Adding pieces to my wardrobe that are versatile enough to wear with jeans and skirts is just another day in my European Style Life.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Shabby Chic Clothes Pins by Parlene

It is a well known fact that most European homes and apartments do not have a clothes dryer. After staying in France for five weeks we found creative methods and places to hang our clothes. Literally, all over the apartment. On the stairs, over chairs, over doors, the bed railings, well you get the idea.

The upside to this experience was that the explosion of clothing in the house challenged my creativity. I began to think that if my unmentionables must be displayed all over the house, why not add some flair?

Decorative clothes pins are the answer! Now, when clothes have to be hung inside the house or apartment, I can enjoy shabby chic decorated clothes pins. Hmmm. Maybe I will look forward to the laundry circus each week after all. But alas, I live in California and I DO have a dryer! C'est magnifique! Even so, I have items that I never put into the dryer.

These cute and practical clothes pins actually have multiple uses.

Just to name a few...
Closing treat bags (ie. cookies, coffee, bon bon et cafe etc.)
Hanging lingerie
Seating Card Holders
Party Favors
Save the Date cards
Bridal gifts
File organization
Office Decoration

Hanging my lingerie with shabby chic clothes pins is just another day in my European Style Life.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Aloha Hawaii

I thought that I was doomed to spend the entire summer in Los Angeles after being laid-off from my job. I was certain that the only vacation we would be taking this summer would be a day at the beach. As things have turned out, we are going to Hawaii in June. I am absolutely thrilled to be going anywhere this year. With a little tax refund, one free ticket using our airline miles and a great Hawaii offer that popped up we couldn't resist.

While I normally write about how I am completely enamored with Europe, I am really getting into the Hawaiian mood. This will be our first trip to Hawaii. I have been reading books about Hawaii and listening to Hawaiian music to put me in the right frame of mind. I am ready to sit on the beach and drink a Mai Tai with a flower in my hair. Ah, I can hear the music and feel the ocean breeze.

We will be visiting Honolulu and Kauai. From all the research that I've done Hawaii looks gorgeous! I can't wait to experience the Hawaiian culture and cuisine. Hawaii is calling me...

Monday, April 5, 2010

Navy Blue Zooey Deschanel Inspired Cotton Dress (Size 10, 12, 14 Euro size 38, 40, 42) FREE SHIPPING

We all know that there are two things that Zooey Deschanel loves. The color blue and cotton. (Besides "her long dark hair and how easily she could cut it off and feel nothing.") You've seen her commercials for cotton, they are adorable.

This lovely little cotton a-line frock is navy blue with plenty of details. The first are the lovely buttons in the front with faux pockets. The buttons make a second appearance at the back of the dress for added detail and dimension to the dress that accent the waist line. Wear this frock to work with a little cardigan, go strapless on a night out, or wear the straps up. This dress is made of a thick sturdy cotton. There are many choices for you to dress up or dress down this perfect little navy dress. Not to mention you can wear it with tights and boots in the winter. Please email with any questions.

* New
* A-line
* invisible side zipper
* structured dress
* detailed buttons in the front and the back
* front and back pleats
* US size 10, 12,14
* Euro size 38, 40, 42
* wear it as a strapless dress or with straps
* 99% cotton* 1% spandex

Dress only. Other pictured items are for visual purposes only.

Navy Blue Dress Free Shipping

Monday, March 29, 2010

Anthropologie Allihop Ruffle Cotton Women's Jacket Size Large Free US Shipping by Parlene on Etsy

I love this jacket because it is a neutral color with so many possibilities. With femininity in each thoughtful detail this jacket has a little ruffled puff sleeve and a ruffle at the waist. Detail buttons at the back waist flatter the narrowest part of your body. So feminine and sweet with a delicate collar. Imagine this sweet jacket with jeans, dresses and skirts. You can wear the most casual top and then add comfortable sophistication with this jacket. It is cotton so it moves with you. Say goodbye to restrictive jackets. Cotton and light just in time for spring and cool summer nights.

* Like New
* Store: Anthropologie
* Label: Allihop* Retail $118
* Size Large
* Ruffles
* Button front
* Underarm to underarm 21.5 inches
* Shoulder to hem 22 inches
* 3/4 inch sleeves
* 100% cotton
Jacket only. Other pictured items are for visual purposes only.

Free US Shipping

Ralph Lauren Blue Cannes Dress US Size 12 Euro Size 40 Free US Shipping

This lovely frock by Ralph Lauren is definitely an eye catcher. To start, the shade of blue is magnificent. The v-neck in the front and the dramatic " v " in the back give this dress a little more than everyday sophistication. You could also wear it with a cami underneath if you choose. A lovely tie cinches the waist and adds a bit of flare to the dress. The necklace is also available for sale at the time of the listing for $30. Please email me if you are interested in the necklace.

* New
* Brand: Ralph Lauren * Retail $134 (tags attached)
* Pull over styling
* US size 12; Euro size 40
* bust 20 inches
* waist to waist 17 inches
* waist to hem 31 inches long
* hips free
* 95% polyester
* 5% spandex
Dress only. Other pictured items are for visionary purposes only. Merci.

Click to Purchase Free US Shipping

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Stepping Out Grey Wool Dress Size 8 Euro Size 36 Free US Shipping

This lovely frock is the creme de la creme of dresses. First, it is completely lined in soft pink. "You had me at hello". I love cute lining. Next, the dress has side pockets, also lined in pink. It just gets better with beautiful detail buttons in the front (extra buttons attached). A soft little sash adds some sass to the grey dress. Not to be forgotten are the adorable pleats in the front. Pair this frock with any cardigan sweater or cute little blouse underneath. It's perfect for work and for play

* New
* Brand: Rosasen
* Retail $128
* side pockets
* fully lined in soft pink
* Detail buttons (extra buttons attached)
* US size 8; Euro size 36
* bust 18.5 inches
* waist to waist 16 inches
* shoulder to hem 37 inches long
* hips 22 inches
* measured flat
* 65% wool
* 35% viscose
Dress only. Other pictured items are for visual purposes only.

Click to Purchase Free US Shipping

Garden Flower Yellow and Green Dress US size 16, Euro size 44 US FREE Shipping by Parlene

This retro styled frock is perfect for any spring or summertime event. And even if you don't have an event to attend, it is just perfect for riding your bicycle, strolling, farmer's markets and all your other favorite summer time activities.
You can dress it up with pearls and wear it to a wedding or wear with with sandals and wear it to brunch. This dress will definitely be a head turner. So vibrant and so chic.
* Like New
* Store: Macy's
* Retail $118
* invisible back zipper
* pleated waist detail
* US size 16; Euro size 44
* bust 22 inches
* waist to waist 18.5 inches
* waist to hem 29 inches long
* hips free (full skirt)
* fully lined
* 100% cotton
* measured flat
Dress only. Other pictured items are for visual purposes only.

Free US Shipping

E C I Black and Pink Silk Vintage Styled Dress and Cardigan 2 piece Size 14, Euro Size 42 FREE US Shipping by Parlene

This beautiful 2 piece vintage styled garment is the perfect dress for attending weddings in the spring and summer or going out for tea or anything else during the season. So sweet with all the feminine touches you could ask for. First, the dress is a soft pink with little black polka dots. The dress is enhanced with a black sash. The coordinating cardigan sweater has a little pink crystal beading on the trim of the sweater. The collar, sleeves and body of the cardigan sparkle with sheer delight and beauty. 2 pieces, one great price.

* Slightly used
* Store: Macy's
* Brand - E C I
* Retail $128.00
* invisible side zipper (minimal fray, see photo)
* fully lined
* US size 14; Euro size 42
* shoulder to hem 42 inches
* underarm to underarm 22 inches
* waist to waist 18 inches
* measured flat
* hips 27 inches flared skirt
* 100% silk

* Mint Condition
* Store: Macy's
* Brand - E C I
* Part of 2 piece set
* bead work on matching cardigan
* US size 14; Euro size 42
* shoulder to hem 23 inches
* underarm to underarm 22 inches
* measured flat
* 75% silk
* 22% nylon
* 3% spandex

Dress only. Other pictured items are for visual purposes only.

free shipping

Anthropologie Fei Purple Floral Silk Tunic Blouse US Size 14 Euro Size 42 FREE US Shipping $35.00 by Parlene

Just looking at this silk blouse you know it is something special. It has a unique mixture of patterns more commonly seen in European garments. Every shade of spring and summer is in this blouse. Beautiful hues of pink, purple, green and orange make this blouse stand out from the crowd. Pair this with capris, shorts or jeans so cute and stylish.
* Like new
* Store: Anthropologie
* Label: Fei
* Retail $118
* Pleated detail in the front* Pull over styling
* Sleeve with slight puff
* Purple accent buttons
* US Size 14 Euro Size 42* Underarm to underarm 21 inches
* Shoulder to hem 28.5 inches
* Waist 16 inches (elastic detail stretches past 16 inches)* 100% silk
* measured flat
* Free US shipping
Blouse only. Other pictured items are for visual purposes only.

US Free Shipping

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Anthropologie, the Cure for the Common Cold?

I have been sick for the past 5 days. I am fed up with staying at home especially during this beautiful weather we are having in Southern California. It is 80 degrees and sunny outside. So beautiful. I went to the doctor yesterday and found out I have a sinus infection. So now I have my antibiotics and I am hoping to be better in a few days.

After leaving the doctor's office yesterday I could not bear the idea of returning back home. I decided to make a "quick stop" at Anthropologie. The store called me last Friday to let me know that a blouse that I had inquired about had come in and they were holding it for me. I asked them to hold the blouse until Monday because I was very sick and could not leave the house. They kindly agreed.

So on my way I went to Anthro as I like to call it among friends. Never mind the fact that I had no make-up on and had thrown on a pair of jeans (with an Anthro blouse of course) and a news boy cap to hide the fact that I had not fixed my hair. Normally, I go into Anthro only looking my best. But I thought, "I'll just run in and buy the blouse on hold and run out". I was hoping to go unnoticed....and then it happened, just as it always does.

I spotted the cutest little skirt that I had my eye on while browsing online. So I picked up the skirt and walked around the store a bit more. Then I was noticed by the Anthro girls who know me preposterously too well. "What a cute skirt" she remarked. I agreed with her and then went right into apologizing for my appearance and explained that I only looked this way because I was sick. I received kind remarks of sympathy and was offered a dressing room to be started.

The next thing that happened is all together nonsensical and splendid. My ever so helpful Anthro girl started to show me new things that had just arrived. She showed me skirts and blouses and told me that she was in "outfit making mode" today. In between all of this browsing around the store I was sneezing, blowing my nose and trying to manage holding items in my hand at the same time while using my "Shazam" feature on my iphone. Because, as you know, Anthro plays great music. Thanks to "Shazam" I can detect the name, artist, album title etc. and it stores it on my indispensable iphone.

So there I went into the dressing room to try on multiple outfits. I had to remind myself to look past the fact that I had not a drip of make-up on and just focus on the look of the clothes. To my surprise the blouse that I entered the store for was "not handsome enough to tempt me" as Mr. Darcy would say. During this time I was brought more clothes by my Anthro helper. I don't recall how many items were in my dressing room at that point, but the clothes were overflowing. I moved onto the other outfits. Voila! A match was made.

I left the store feeling rather rejuvenated. I have not had this much energy in 5 days! I was thrilled at the idea that I would be wearing my new outfit soon on a sunny clear day. I dreamed that this weekend the weather would be just as lovely as today and I would wear my new skirt while riding our Vespa with my husband. I imagined the handbag and shoes that I would pair with the outfit. I visualized myself feeling vigorous (sans my sinus infection) and wearing make-up again! And this has led me to a scientific conclusion. Anthropologie CAN cure a cold!!! Thank you Anthro girls! Or, maybe it is my antibiotics? Nah, it's Anthro shopping, it cures everything.

Finding a fabulous outfit on an unexpected day is just another day in my European Style Life.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Vintage and Retro -

I can think of several occasions when I have been watching a movie such as "The Notebook" or "500 Days of Summer" and being in love with the wardrobe. I would see all the pretty dresses that had such style and flare and think to myself "I'll never own of those". Where do you even begin to try to find such clothes?

Yes, you can make it your life's mission to rummage through thrift shops and garage sales or hope one day grandma will remember a treasure trunk in the attic full of her old classic dresses. But realistically, it takes a lot of work and time to find retro clothes. And when you do find them, is it the right size? Blah.

Worry no more. I have stumbled onto a website where all they sell is retro style and true vintage clothing and accessories! My heart skipped a beat when I found this site as I was playing around on

The website is called Mod Cloth. There were so many beautiful things to choose from. Adorable little dresses, handbags and of course HATS! It was love at first site. I spent hours navigating the web site. Clicking here, looking there. And to my delight there was a wide variety of sizes available.

The first thing I ordered was a Vespa bag. I had purchased my first one in Paris and paid a pretty little European penny for it too. The Vespa bags are made in Italy and I thought it would be near impossible to find another one outside of Europe. To my surprise, I located one on

With so many things items to choose from it is hours of fun and temptation. Enjoy!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Coffee Bliss with Nespresso Citiz + Milk Review

The Nespresso Citiz + Milk is an automatic and programmable single cup machine. It has dedicated space for coffee preparation and an integrated milk frothing device to prepare cappuccinos and lattes. The Nespresso maker is made in Italy and assembled in Switzerland. Sold! Well, that's all I need to know! I purchased my Nespresso maker 4 weeks ago through and since then I have not purchased one cup of coffee outside the home. Not to say that I never will again, but that is how satisfied I am with my Nespresso maker. Satisfied is probably not a good descriptive word, it is more like coffee bliss.

For all the yearning I have for Europe, this is one thing that soothes the pain of being at home. Those cold rainy days when I dream of sitting at a cafe in Paris, I can appease myself by sipping on my delectable coffee right in my living room.

I also enjoy serving my fancy coffee and espresso to my dinner guests as well as my overnight guests. With nice presentation the coffee creates a feeling of warmth and indulgence. I delight in watching my guests take their first sip always with a look of disbelief. Particularly guests who have been to Europe are surprised with how similar the taste mimics their favorite cafe in their preferred European city.

Enjoying an intense cup of coffee, espresso or a latte at home is just another day in my European Style Life.

Some of my favorite coffee flavors are:
Chestnut Cream (seasonal)
The unique aromas of chestnut cream coat the mellow flavour of the Livanto Grand Cru. A delicate marriage, infused with the flavours of autumn.
Apricot (seasonal)
The juiciness and sweetness of sun-ripened apricots, give a fresh and silky flavour to the Livanto Grand Cru. A sensory marriage that brings a sunny touch to the heart of winter.
Arpeggio receives its distinctive character and full body from a blend of Central and South American Arabicas. The long roasting develops each origin to produce an intense bouquet, combining roasted, woody, and cocoa notes.
A subtle balance between strength, depth and finesse, Roma is distinguished by its woody and roasted notes. Central and South American Arabicas combined with Robusta are lightly roasted to preserve the delicate aroma of the blend. Roma is the ideal coffee for those looking for an espresso that is short, but mild.
A blend of East African, Central and South American Arabicas, lightly roasted to preserve the fragile citrus note, creates the personality of Cosi. Its light body helps reveal a refreshing lemony note.
Decaffeinato Intenso
Decaffeinato Intenso is a strong espresso with a dense body and subtle notes of cocoa and toasted cereals. The marriage of South American Arabicas with a touch of Robusta undergoes a short, intense roast, which intensifies the flavours, and highlights the strength of the blend.
Vivalto Lungo
A complex yet balanced marriage between South American Arabicas cultivated at high altitude, such as “Cerrado” from Brazil, and an East African Arabica. Vivalto Lungo combines roasted and subtle floral notes. Split roasting of the beans enhances the character of each origin.
Finezzo Lungo
This light and thirst-quenching Lungo expresses a floral bouquet of jasmine, orange blossom and bergamot. A lightly roasted blend of floral East African Arabicas and aromatic Arabicas from South and Central America, Finezzo Lungo is lifted by a touch of acidity.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Dutch Cuisine - Zuurkool Stampot Recipe

A few days ago we visited some friends who recently moved to Las Vegas. The husband is Dutch and his wife is American. Experiencing hospitality in a European household is quite different from any other experience. We were treated to many tasty meals, baked goods and of course, spectacular wine.

One dish that stood out in our mind was Zuurkool Stampot, a traditional winter Dutch meal. Our taste buds sang with joy as we tried this dish for the first time. We simply could not return home without the recipe.

After being home for one day I had to give it a try. We enjoyed eating Zuurkool Stampot in our own cozy home on a rainy winter evening. It is funny to think that my first Dutch meal reminds me of my time spent with this lovely couple in Las Vegas. I hope you enjoy this recipe contributed by our dear Dutch friend who as a child used to make this dish with his mother in Holland. He has quite the reputation for being a fast potato peeler!

I am very pleased to be able to say that I know how to cook a Dutch dish. Enjoying a warm European meal on a cold rainy day is just another day in my European Style Life. Bon Appetite!

Zuurkool Stampot
3 Lb potatoes
1 36oz jar of Sauerkraut
1 Lb Bacon
2 packages of Kielbasa Sausage

Boil the potatoes until they are soft enough to mash. Mash the potatoes and add salt and pepper to taste. Mix in the cooked bacon and the bacon grease left over from cooking along with the Sauerkraut and 2 table spoons of butter. You may add milk into the potatoes if you'd like. Cut the Kielbasa into large pieces and warm in a pan on the stove until brown.

Note: When cooking the bacon remove it from the heat or oven before the bacon becomes crispy.

Serves 4