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Sunday, January 29, 2012

European Secrets

My curly hair, courtesy of L'Occitane en Provence shampoo and conditioner, for dry hair. Great soothing scent too. Below, me with my Zara sunglasses and Zara winter coat, down feathers, so nice and warm for all that walking I did.

This week, I missed Europe I decided to go shopping. To
Zara was one of my favorite clothing stores when I lived in Germany. And with all the traveling I did throughout Europe, there was always a Zara store in the shopping districts throughout European cities. I never even heard of Zara until I moved to Europe.
So, I decided to go on the website and do some shopping. I LOVE Zara's shoes, and an European size 40 fits me so well. I went on-line shopping at Zara's at the perfect time, because they were having a big sale. $99 boots were now on sale for $39. Click, picked the brown ones, put in shopping cart. Found a cute sweater on sale; put in my shopping cart. Then, I went to the girl's section and shirts for Maggie were on sale for $7, normally over $25. She picked out a couple. Riley picked a couple solid tees (no graphic prints on his shirts- very picky now, since he's 9). Since Zara has stores in the United States, I was able to put in my order, and I was pleasantly surprised when there wasn't any shipping fees!
When my Zara package came in the mail days later, I was so excited. It came in the nicest, biggest box. Zara took the time to package everything nicely in the box in tissue paper. I know it might seem weird to you, but I seriously looked at the package for awhile before I opened it, to savor the packaging and the Zara logo on the box. My boots are awesome. I feel very European in them. The custodian at my school remarked to me (she's a woman, so I allowed her to compliement), "Wow, those boots are different." I wanted so bad to tell her that I just got them from Zara in this big box and that Zara was my favorite store in Europe and that I miss it and..... But I knew she would think I was a little crazy. It's just a store.
Zara was in the shopping district in the city I lived in Germany. After dropping my kids off at their school, Zara was very near to the kids' school tram stop. I found myself wandering in my friend's Zara store (she was kind of like my friend, right), intrigued by European fashion, skinny jeans, and how comfy these size 40 shoes were. (How come American shoes can't be this comfortable)? Before my Italy trip, I wanted to buy something romantic, and I found a white sweater dress. Before my summer trip to Spain, I found a cute 50's inspired polka dotted shirt. I bought my winter coat there last year and my fall coat. My favorite Zara purchase was my big old European sunglasses.
I'm a good shopper; always buying items for sale. So, I didn't go into debt or anything with Zara. But it was just my little treat. I didn't have a coffee habit, and I couldn't eat the baked goods (gluten allergy), so this was my indulgence.
I became "friends" with other shops in Germany: Mango (another clothing store), L'Occitane en Provence (a very fancy version of Bath and Body Works). When we went to New York City in November, I made Riley show me how to get to L'Occitane, and I bought new perfume and my very favorite shampoo. Before moving back to the United States, I brought back with me many bottles of shampoo and conditioner, but my stash was getting low. This shampoo is the first shampoo that I have ever used that I LOVE. It makes my curly hair manageable and frizz-free. This is the only time in my life that I have depended on a product. I have used this shampoo for over a year and can't imagine not having it. L'Occitane was a treat; it's a little more spendy, but so worth it. I love L'Occitane so much, I have dreams of winning their quarterly contests to a trip to Provence, France, where they make all their products. I vision a field of purple lavenders, where everything smells fantastic.
Everytime I miss Europe, I can look at old photos, listen to my German-speaking music CD's, or I can go shopping on-line to my favorite stores. Bonus for me: I don't have to convert euros to dollars when I do it now.

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