A few months after I was married we were staying back at my old apartment in San Francisco one night when suddenly the power went out. It was an especially cold night so I started lighting candles everywhere, searching for extra blankets stuffed into a closet when my husband said, ‘I feel like I’m camping.’
After that comment, I haven’t officially taken him on a real family camping trip sans hot showers and Nespresso. Maybe next summer. Did you have one of those parents who loved to take you camping as a kid? Don’t get me wrong, I love the great outdoors making smores and hiking until my calves ache, but camping was always a tough week for me. Of course ‘Glamping’ is a different story and this weekend as I traveled to the US, I dressed for a casual Labor Day on the road…
When life gives you lemons, how do you handle it? Whip up a batch of lemonade or squeeze it into a vodka soda and call it a day? Over the weekend, my husband made a grand announcement that after two months of nearly non-stop rain in Switzerland, news stations declared ‘summer is officially over‘ here.
‘But it never even started!?’ I whined. I’ve been waiting since May. If you grew up in California, you will never know how spoiled you are weather-wise unless you move. So while I was savoring a few hours of sunshine yesterday painting my nails on the patio, suddenly my San Francisco friends were awake at 3 am posting – Earthquake!!! While most were only shook up and Savvy Sleepers headquarters is still standing; sadly Napa and Sonoma counties had major damage.
That’s when I saw a look of panic on my husband’s face and learned something new about him – he’s totally scared of earthquakes. So I hate the snow and he’s terrified of tremors as we split our time between Switzerland and San Francisco. Makes sense. But that’s life and with all of terrible tragedies across the world right now – complaining about rain showers seems crazy. Plus, there’s always a few instant pampering pick-me-ups rain or shine. Here’s my favorites this summer…
Vibrant Nails ~ Loving this shade ‘Orchid‘ by LVX on my favorite lime lounge chair from Ikea
Lemonade Shades ~ Summer weather here might be scarce, but I have plenty of hot pink and yellow in my wardrobe
Vintage Finds ~ A sheer vintage top from SF’s Mission District and my favorite Black Hills Gold ring I’ve had since I was a teen, but lost in ’09. My parents luckily found it this summer in their house!
Lighten Up ~ This summer, the darker the skies, the lighter I want my hair. Hence the increase in highlights at the hairdresser requesting, ‘sehr sehr hell’ in German which means ‘very very light’
There’s No Place Like Home ~ I can’t click my feet and be back in Nor-Cal for a day, but it’s hard not to smile when I look down and see these sparklers
While any sunshine often fades into stormy evenings, I’ll never forget the first summer of my life in Switzerland cuddling on the couch during cool rainy nights sipping hot Lipton tea – with a lil sugar and of course a slice of lemon. How has your summer weather been and have you ever felt an earthquake before, either in San Francisco yesterday or somewhere else?
And when I say ‘fix,’ I really mean like a 2-hour Band-Aid.Raise your hand, or just nod, if you’ve ever suffered from social anxiety? There’s even a definition for my entire high-school existence, and maybe your’s too, in Wikipedia called a Wallflower. ‘A wallflower is a shy or unpopular individual who doesn’t socialize or participate in activities at social events. He or she may have other talents but usually does not express them in the presence of other individuals.’ Sound familiar?
This week I attended a launch party for a beautiful new boutique in Zurich called Little Black Dress, wearing a little floral Zara dress. The super-chic shop was packed with fashionistas. If there’s one oh-so-posh and polarizing similarity in fashion events I’ve attended from California to Europe; it’s that the social setting can be quite intimidating! I went to most events with my sister back in Cali, but now that I’m in Zurich I often go alone. Here’s my top 5 Tips for handling social anxiety whether you’re in junior high, college, at a professional work event or about to attend your 30th high-school reunion…
The Scene – Little Black Dress boutique grand opening just as the event was starting in Zurich. Now, the tips…
#1 – The Pep Talk ~ Maybe it’s in your car, on a walk, or taking a break in the powder room. If you’re in an uncomfortable social setting, give yourself a little ‘I can do this,’ pep talk. My best advice is to pretend you’re an actor whether you’re channeling Leo in Wolf of Wallstreet or Zac Efron in High School Musical is up to you, as long as you have a confidence boost. Wouldn’t it be nice if Jamba Juice could offer that boost along with protein and energy?
#2 Rest Assured You Always Have a Security Blanket ~ AKA Your smartphone. If you’re feeling uncomfortable or sitting alone feeling awkward, you can always check-in to Comfort-Zone-Central for a few moments. Just hop on the social media destination of your choice.
#3 A Smile is Social Anxiety SPF - When in doubt whether you’re walking through a crowd or standing around, just smiling in itself can be an ice-breaker. It shows you’re in a good mood, willing to talk, and not taking life or the event too seriously.
#4 Body Language Speaks Volumes ~ Crossing your arms or uncomfortably holding one like I’m doing here makes you look unapproachable, insecure, or super cold so try not to close yourself off physically. Shake hands, wave across the room if you see someone you recognize and it never hurts to start a convo with a compliment if the crowd is a bit frozen.
#5 Be Yourself, Even if that Means Being a ‘wallflower’ 75% of the Time ~ Toward the end of the event it was packed. Suddenly there was a surprise choreographed performance of ballerina dancers who danced from inside the boutique, then across the street in silk robes performing in front of the crowd, traffic and everyone! It was a beautiful New York style surprise I loved. It’s also something I could never do!
Final Thoughts ~ If you’re a wallflower, stay happy and comfy around your circle of friends, but every now and then it’s SO important to get out of your comfort zone whether it’s an event, public speaking engagement, reunion, or _________(fill in the blank).
Have you ever considered yourself a ‘wallflower’ at some point in life?
Are you afraid of the dark?Between watching ‘Unsolved Mysteries’ and ‘America’s Most Wanted’ growing up; by the time I was a teen, I was a total scaredy cat! While Switzerland is one of the safest countries in the world, there’s not a day that goes by where I don’t spot a perfect location for a horror film or an eerie setting for a scary story to tell around the campfire.
In case ‘American Horror Story‘ ever decides to shoot a season in Europe; here’s a perfect Swiss location I spotted over the weekend. A boarded-up abandoned farm house just beyond the murky lake. Check. Cowbells in the distance just a few hundred feet from an active shooting range. Check. A wilted ‘pick-it-yourself’ wildflower patch complete with a rusted barrel, knife hanging from an old rope, and slot to deposit your coins in case you find a tulip worth taking. Check. Swampy shores, rats, train tracks. Yep, yep, perfect setting! Thankfully, I was wearing a pair of neon lime skinnies and a whimsical water-color sheer top to lighten the mood. Welcome to the spooky side of Switzerland…
<DETAILS by Dale> top – MANGO/ H&M Jeans / Rebel lipstick by MAC / Mulberry purse (old) / Michael Kors Watch (Similar Here) / Trina Turk bracelets (Banana Republic) / Nine West Heels
What movies or books scared you most as a kid and gave you nightmares? Reading ‘Scary Stories to Tell in the Darkby Alvin Schwartz was bad, but for me, Silence of the Lambs took the cake.
When it comes to your diet, how do you label yourself? Vegan, vegetarian, Gluten-Free, or a classic ‘picky’ eater like myself. In my mid-twenties living in San Francisco, I tried to hide the fact I was a ‘picky eater‘ every time a fancy-schmancy California fusion hotspot opened. But my faux shellfish allergy would only go so far and hiding tuna belly under kale leaves was a daunting task during dinner parties. At least it’s more accepted now to have major dietary restrictions.
Although in Europe, every country has its own specialties that are just too much for my palate. Bratwurst and sauerkraut – just can’t do it…without a liter of beer.Escargot and frog legs – Ahhh! No way.Veal Wienerschnitzel – nope, I don’t eat babies. I know I’m an unadventurous picky eater which is why I was completely surprised when we visited Poland last weekend and I ABSOLUTELY loved all the traditional specialties. Here’s our ‘Weekend in Poland Part II’ styled in stripes and sipping the most popular soda in town, Pepsi-Cola…Read more ›