Friday, January 27, 2012


The Nivea shower gel post a couple of weeks ago got me thinking about a few of my other favorite things, things I've brought back with me from other trips, things that caught my eye in a foreign city, "souvenirs", if you want to call them that.  I admit, I don't get into buying souvenirs, just to have a "souvenir".  Other than a post card or two, I rarely buy traditional "souvenirs", and I am not a collector of anything.  I have my fair share of photo books, and artwork from local artisans, but the best souvenirs are the souvenirs I use regularly, like the Nivea shower gel and these wool slippers.  For the last 3 1/2 years, I have worn these Geisswein slippers, purchased from a small shop in Vienna, every day.  Every day I am taken back to that time and place, the unseasonal heat wave, the soccer-crazed fans in town from the European Championships, and the little shop of sweaters, scarves and slippers tucked into a side street.  Yes, you could find this same brand in the states, just google it and you will see you can easily find it.  But it's not just about the slippers, it's about the memories.

Because several other of my Pearls, or favorite things, are also travel souvenirs, I'm thinking about doing a short series of them.  I hope it won't bore you, and the exact items may not be that easy to find, but the idea is to encourage you to think differently about your own souvenirs the next time you travel.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Pretty Please, With a Cherry on Top!

Woohoo!  I am so happy!  Look what I found at Target... Panera Cherry Balsamic Salad Dressing!  It was in the produce section with the other refrigerated dressings.  Now I can enjoy my favorite Panera Orchard Harvest Salad any time I want!  I no longer have to anxiously await its arrival every fall.  Simply toss some lettuce with some dried cherries, toasted pecans, a little bit of chopped of pear, and top with the original Panera dressing.  I've tried to make a cherry balsamic dressing on my own, but never could get the intense cherry flavor that Panera has in their version.   Now I don't have to.  I'll stick with the original.

Monday, January 16, 2012

There goes my memories... down the drain!

But it's a good thing, really.  For the last few months I have been using this shower gel nearly every morning.  Nivea Free Time Cremedusche in Sternfrucht.  Having a little trouble reading the last couple of words?  That's German for "shower gel in starfruit.  And I have to say it has been one of the best souvenirs!  Late last summer, we spent about seven days in the charming little hotel in the foothills of the Swiss Alps.  Everything was perfect..the view...the hosts...the feather beds... the hot chocolate with breakfast...everything that is except the sliver of soap they left in the bathroom each day.  The first morning before breakfast, I made a quick trip around the corner to the Co-Op market to look for something different.  I recognized the Nivea brand, and relied on my rusty high school German to translate cremedusche to shower gel and bought it to use the rest of our vacation.  But when it came time to pack up, the bottle was still almost full and I just couldn't leave it behind, so I carefully packed it up into several plastic bags, put it in my checked bag, and every morning since I have been taken back to the little village of Switzerland in my morning shower.  What a delightful souvenir!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Feeding My Inner Zebra ?

After seeing some cute posts on Pinterest featuring black and white stripe tops, I have been on the look out for a couple to add to my own wardrobe.  Yes, a couple of them.  Can't you see the difference?  The top one is black and white striped, the lower one, white and black stripes!  So that is how I justify them both.  Actually, the top shirt is a J Crew Striped Vintage Thermal Tee (on sale now for $19.99).   A warm and cozy heavy thermal - been wearing it a lot under my black down vest.  The one below is from Gap, the Striped Buttoned Boatneck T ($24.95, but watch for frequent discounts).  A regular t-shirt weight and nice long length overall and in the arms.  This just arrived yesterday, so I haven't worn it yet, but can't wait to mix and match it.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

An Apple a Day...Keeps the Tangles Away!

Everyone in my family received a 3-pack of these for Christmas... Applecore Cord Organizers.  It's a simple and clever solution to a messy problem.  The squishy rubber material resembles the shape of an apple core with notches on the top and bottom to secure the ends of the cord.  The smaller one is designed for earbuds, the medium is perfect for computer charger cables and the large size is just right for power cords and longer cables.  So simple.