Some Red Letter Days...

I have a few of them, occasionally. I am very excited about my upcoming trip to Europe. I finally booked it. Finally is a little overly dramatic there. I talked to my darling cousin in London about it on Sunday, but didn't buy the tickets until confirming the dates with him via email. The problem was that I was waiting for him to respond to emails that had gone to Internet Limbo (since spiritual Limbo doesn't exist anymore, that term will soon only refer to the dance). I sent one from one of my other accounts and all was settled. He even sent me a very useful link to the British Eurostar website. Now, there's another instance of Americans being fleeced. The websites for Americans to buy tickets for the Chunnel train charge a lot more than what I spent by booking through their British site. I wish that my vacation was sooner. Well, not in the middle of February, as I am looking forward to seeing London and Paris in the spring. I have that child-at-xmas anticipation. Paris in the spring! Even the idea is intoxicating! I may have to start crossing out the days on my calendar.
Fortunately, I've just about everything that I need for my trip since I kitted myself out so well last time. This time around, I won't pack so much, which will make it so much easier to drag my rockin' suitcase up the Metro station stairs. I always overpack. I've got my passport (in its swanky case) and don't need a visa for any of the places that I am going. All I need is a St. Christopher medal and a robe that packs small. My old St. Christopher medal is apparently traveling on without me, since I've not been able to lay my hands on it in ages. I'd ask St. Anthony for it, but I'm still looking for my work keys. That Anthony of Padua keychain seems not to be as helpful as hoped!
With that in mind, I headed off to the mall. It was time to replace my mascara. I don't use it everyday, so I don't use it up within its six months of freshness. My favorite makeup artist was working the MAC counter, which was lovely. She was very enthusiastic about their new Icon 3 collection. MAC has Catherine Deneuve as its style icon! Amazing! The product design is really fabulous, apparently designed by Mme Deneuve herself. I wasn't sure that any of the colors would work with my fair complexion, but my favorite makeup artist raved about the Strawberry Blonde lipstick. It is divine! Strawberry Blonde has a hint of coral and fantastic sheer coverage.
Clearly, I was on a roll. Dimly remembering an email announcing the end of their semi-annual sale, I made a visit to the better local Victoria's Secret. The Henley sweater that I snapped up in their online sale just arrived yesterday, so I felt optimistic. Good instinct. All of the "sleepwear" on the sales rack was an additional 50% off. There I found a lovely, silky, knee-length robe that will take very little packing space in a sophisticated shade of peach, two camisole/tap pants sets, and a lace camisole only to be worn under things as the lining just isn't opaque. I am always looking out for camisoles to wear under my sundry sweaters, so finding three of them marked down 75% felt like hitting the jackpot. Even the sales associate oohed over the prices as she rung it up. I'm glad that I went there today, since the local VS was totally picked over last week. I had a fabulous, feminine shopping spree. Notice the lovely violet color. I think that I am on a purple kick these days. Not everything I own can be pink.
As I've mentioned before, I am a big Phildar fan. Their patterns don't have crazy long sleeves and they're stylish and fun. Phildar doesn't sell their product in the States, so when I read on their French website that they were opening an online store in mid-January, I was excited. A little impatient, too. Well, it opened this week, with a few bugs, but some very good features. On their old website, there was no information with the project images from the pattern catalogues. The new, improved site has a little description and links to the yarn used in the pattern, so that you can purchase both at once. It's usually difficult to put together a project through mail order, because most merchants don't provide the yardage requirements, forcing you to wait until you have the pattern in hand. The yarn gallery still needs work. It has some sort of flash error that makes it jittery and (quickly) headache inducing. It was very hard for me to focus on the information with several layers of flash danced about on the screen. Well, Phildar had a yarn that I like, out of which I have an ongoing project, on sale for 1,60 euro. That's about two dollars--per skein! I waded through five pages of French forms to order a sweater sized amount, only to be outraged by the shipping rates. They wanted more than $30 to ship the yarn to America! It was suddenly much less of a bargain. Shipping it across La Manche was another matter. My darling cousin consented to accept my package of maraschino cherry colored angora yarn and keep it for me until my visit. In the future, I will probably only window shop at the Phildar website. My other European source for Phildar only charged me $6 to ship an identically sized order. It took a month and arrived in a tattered brown box tied up with string, but that's neither here nor there. Crossing the Atlantic to go pick up the package isn't exactly economical.


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