Since I haven’t updated in EVER, what better way to start than with some girl talk. Despite the rainy and cool weather we have had in Switzerland, it is summer, and that means -at least for me- bronzer, weekend getaways and lazy days lounging around. So what I am digging this summer follows those themes.
1. I am LOVING LOVING LOVING my Kindle. Now I am a luddite in the sense that I do like the feeling of actually holding a book, but the reality is that I have been reading since I was two years old and I go through books like a bulimic on a pasta binge. Most of my drama on trips involves how many books to bring or buy. For example, the last time I flew to New Orleans, I brought four books and had finished all of them by Atlanta. So the Kindle has been an endless source of reading material for me. The thing that sold me the most was seeing my friend Marisa’s. Like I said, I like books, and I look at a computer screen all day, so an e-reader didn’t really do it for me in principle. But what I dig about the kindle is that my screen is matte- it isn’t shiny like a computer or an ipad. My eyes don’t hurt reading it. Another BIG reason for an expat in Switzerland to have a kindle is that books finally cost less than highway robbery. Paper books here are between 20 and 50 francs (equivalent in dollars) depending on language (English books costing more). On amazon.de, my kindle books, in the language of my choosing, cost roughly what I would expect them to cost on paper in the US and about half what they would cost in Switzerland. So it was an economic choice for me as well.
2. My Shopper e1 fleur schwarz from Reisenthel. It is around 20 euros in Germany and according to my BFF who got it for me in Texas, about 20 dollars at either Bed Bath and Beyond or the Container Store in the US (can’t remember which). Don’t let the price fool you, this is a solid bag. It is meant for shopping so has an extension panel which doubles its’ size. I use it as a purse, as a weekend bag, as a computer bag, as a grocery bag. During the week, it gets used as a purse sans computer. When I go grocery shopping I just expand the inner panel and voila, no need to bring a separate shopping bag with me. When it isn’t expanded, it is just the right size to hold my daily crap (wallet, makeup bag, kindle, pashima, sunglasses, tube of sunscreen, five million tubes of lip balm…) and expanded, I can pack for a weekend plus computer. I’m so surprised at how solid this bag is for the price. It wears like a Longchamp. In the month I have had it, it has gone on a trip every weekend with no strap drama, zipper drama or space issues. For those of you with big arms like moi, it fits comfortably over shoulders, even with coats and sweaters (I told y’all it has been cold here lately).
3. I have professed many times before my undying love for Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse. I use it as a night cream on my face, as a moisturizer for my legs, as conditioner when I am travelling…but other than that I haven’t explored too much of the Nuxe line. In Nuxe’s new organic line, I picked up their lip balm on my last trip to Montpellier. While nothing will ever make me drop the petrochemical goodness that is Carmex (addiction is a killer), I do like to use “natural” products as the bottom layer of whatever products I am using. This balm is amazing. It soaks in well,lasts overnight, I haven’t had any reactions to it, and it doubles as a cuticle cream. If you can get your paws on it, I highly recommend it.
4. Avene makes a purse sized SPF 50 sunscreen which is available in Europe. I’m whiter than a ghost and I just can’t spend time in the sun, even over lunch on a patio, without at least SPF 30. THe problem is that I don’t think sunscreen is very good for your skin because it blocks pores. So my usual plan of attack is to wear long sleeves and a scarf in the mornings and evenings going to work, and if I get invited to lunch, slap on some sunscreen on my face and hands. As mentioned above, I just carry sunscreen around with me. I’m that white (I also carry around a hat with SPF fabric but that is another story). So despite arguments on price per quantity, I am very happy with my ergonomic little tube of Avene and its lip balm cousin.
5. I have two old ass bought on sale pairs of repetto ballerina flats with rubber soles and not the plain leather sole that you can only wear out on perfectly dry days. Brown pair and black pair. Been wearing the heck out of them. Life is too short for cheap ballerina flats. But please y’all, don’t do like the white trash swiss teenager on the train with me the other day, wear knee highs or socks or something. And if you don’t want to wear a layer between you and your shoes, please don’t take off your shoes, stink up the entire wagon and proceed to flick your toe jam like she did.
6. Each summer my love for my vintage Matsuda prescription sunglasses is renewed. You can read a little bit about the line here. I have a vintage pair snatched up for around 60 bucks on sale ten years ago at St Charles Vision in Metairie. It was when I was poor and working at Starbucks. My brother bought my new glasses, my mother put the lenses in my old pair for a spare, and I bought the sunglasses and frames (and proceeded to eat pasta for a month). Every couple of years I get new lenses put in (as my prescription changes, because blood sugar and thyroid drama always mess up nearsightedness) and every time the optician waxes philosophically about how they don’t make glasses like that any more. Indeed.