Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Life choices - lifestyles - consequences

This has been such a hard post to write. It's taken me forever to find the right words, expressing my feelings without a whimper.

This summer we had overnight guests from Australia. I thought they were staying with us for a couple of weeks. They ended up staying nearly six weeks!

During that time I discovered how different our lives have become.

My friend lives in the countryside, I live in suburbia. She has a small farm with lots of animals, I (now) have a dog.

Kaffesoester's Japanese Akita named Coco
Our girl Coco :-)

She only has one good friend, and she's lonely. Around me I have more than 20 great friends that I see frequently. Hardly a day goes by without one or two of them dropping in to have coffee and a chat.

She has severe money trouble, as a consequence of her life style choices as well as being unlucky with all the different jobs she's had over the years.

I'm not rich, but I do have money to give to charity, to pay for the dentist and the hairdresser, and for holidays abroad every now and then.

During her stay she revealed that she hadn't had an opportunity to wear make-up for the last five years. I buy a new mascara every 3 months. Plus new nail polish, lipstick and perfume.

She'll often be in her pyjama the whole day, I love dressing up in clean, colourful and fitted clothes, adding fun jewellery, shoes and handbags, wether I'm going out or not.

She claims that her neighbours and most of the people in the village are impossible to talk to, because she's too different from them.

I love having friends that are different from me. I love how we all have our own political ideals, religious beliefs and social background, but still manage to have fun, support each other and broaden each other's horizon.

No matter how my friends dress, I would never try to put them down.

On several occasions she mocked me for dressing up, wearing jewellery for no particular reason, for wearing such large and eye-catching pieces. She even claimed that a girl with nail polish is a silly goose! She even warned her 8-year-old son of that on several occasions.

For me it's really hard to find a bridge across our differences. If she appreciated our different perspectives on life, things would be fine. But I'm met with mockery and ridicule, and that doesn't feel very friendly!

Only one evening did she laugh, the rest of the time I only heard negative comments on everything.

Even though there's always room for improvement I do consider myself a happy person, not just lucky, but happy.

Before she moved permanently to Australia, we had some great times. Lots of fun evenings by the fire in the garden,  or exploring flea markets together, having a picnic in the forest with lots of friends and family...

There doesn't appear to be any room or desire for that kind of fun anymore.

What's left between us then? I can pity her for having spent almost all of her inheritance from 1998, so she will have to take a job, even a rotten one. I can pity her for having a need for unspoiled nature so she had to build her house far from the city, jobs and people that are her equal. I can pity her for marrying a man that doesn't have the same social needs as her, so he doesn't feel lonely. I can pity her for being such an artistic and free spirit that she can't talk to regular people. I can pity her for living in Southern Australia where it doesn't rain so she has to buy water.

 Or I can end it here.

She has really hurt me this time, to the point where I started doubting myself. Am I really superficial with my interest in style and fashion? Is my lifestyle wrong, spending so much time with friends?

I feel like she has taken me for granted, and exploited our friendship. To top it all of, she she gave me a present as thank you for staying at our place for free: A bottle of wine, a chocolate bar and a nice packet of coffee beans.

So, should I give her another chance for old times sake? Or should I just end it here?

Give me your thoughts and experiences, help me see things more clearly!

On Coco:

Some readers will remember that we had a dog called Congo, an Alaskan Malamute. He passed away in May 2014.

We have been searching for a new dog since, now wanting to try another breed with a lesser need for exercise.

We decided on either a Japanese or American Akita. Luck struck and we were unexpectedly offered to have Coco, a four month old puppy, at a reduced price (due to owners unexpected pregnancy).

Even though she's of a somewhat nervous disposition she's a lovely, curious and brave little dog. On top of that she's extremely beautiful and loves to cuddle. She has already made many friends here, mainly other dogs, and a few select people :-)

Here's Coco having a small snack :-) Like all puppies she's hungry all the time!

On gardening:

Finally I can harvest the results of all my hard work in spring and summer, and take a break in som comfortable seating too! My husband built the sofa :-)

Kaffesoesters garden with sofa

You see pumpkins, herbs, red rocket salat, Coco in the shadow and a mini lilac tree. The tree comes from a neighbour's balcony, where it outgrew the flowerpot.

I also have a few ripe tomatoes and strawberries. However, I do plan to grow a lot more vegetables next year. Soon I'll start preparing next year's vegetable beds.

Finally I have one last photo of Coco and our daughter, waiting for the train:

Kaffesoesters daughter with dog

My two lovely girls!

I hope you forgive me this long and kind of sad post. I promise the next one will show a few summer outfits, party food and the newest shopping from Copenhagen Jewellery Fair!

Lots of love to everyone - hope to hear from some of you?


Wednesday, 10 June 2015

One necklace, three outfits...

The most incredible pony ever with Kaffesoesters hand

This is my hand in the photo. Isn't this Peony the most magnificent flower ever? I just had to show you right away :-)

Beautiful and gigantic peony

Pink peony

The pictures were taken on Sunday when I visited a garden fair in Copenhagen. Before the weekend I had time to show off my new necklace on a number of occasions. First I went for drinks with my neighbours (happens often!) at some other neighbour's - in a rare trouser outfit:

Kaffesoester in trousers and pink shirt with Monies necklace

The photo quality is lousy. An unmotivated teenage photographer and an iPhone...
I've had the shirt for two years, but I have doubts about the colour. Is it too warm?

Friday wasn't too warm, it was perfect!

Michael Quist photo of Kaffesoester in CC dress with neon clutch

Finally - time for sandals!!! Friday my neighbours and my family went to the anniversary celebration of one neighbour's work place.

I got to wear sandals :-D  If I could I would have worn some neon coloured shoes, inspired by Sacramento of Mis Papelicos. Instead I took this fun clutch. The photographer here is my lovely husband Michael. He took the shoes and the semi close up below as well :-)

With the unpredictable Danish weather it could be a while before I get to wear sandals again, so better enjoy it with this close up!

Kaffesoesters grey Rieker sandals by taken by Michael Quist

The very bright sun light changes the colour of my nail polish, it's really a very dramatic dark cherry.

Kaffesoester photographed by Michael Quist wearing her new Monies necklace

I really enjoyed wearing my new necklace again. It's certainly a conversation piece! The dress is an old CC (also seen here and here), the sandals are by Rieker and unworn (bought on sale at the end of summer last year), very old jacket and new clutch both by H&M.

The necklace is of course by Monies!

Not only did the company get the Danish top pastry baker Mette Blomsterberg to give a crash course on Chocolate mousse, they also had a free bar :-D and absolutely divine little canapés. They're about half an inch in size - little master pieces! This is just a fraction of the whole spread. Next day I had to wear something very loose fitting!!!

Canapes at Wodschow anniversary on Friday 2015 06 05

Saturday I went to a friends birthday party. Top and skirt are both jersey...

Kaffesoester in jersey skirt and t shirt with new Monies necklace

It's the third day in a row that I'm wearing this necklace - is it getting boring?

These sandals are also by Rieker, and just as comfortable as the grey pair.

Kaffesoester in jersey outfit seen from behind

The skirt has been hanging in my closet for more than a year. I've tried building outfits around it many times, but given up. Every time it just turns out wrong, until now. I think this works.

And now to Sunday! Again a sunny day - but not at all warm! The forecast said warmer temperatures and blue skies. So I dressed in a lovely summer dress, ballet flats that allowed me to be on me feet all day, and a few bangles. No jacket...

Kaffesoester ready to go to Copenhagen in CC dress and ballet flats

Again a CC dress, my Clarks ballet flats and an assortment of bangles. I carried my bag across body to have both hands free for all the lovely free food samples :-D  which meant No Necklace!

CC dress outfit seen from the back

Even though I'm not a flower pattern girl, I do like the fit of these dresses so much that I'm compromising. I've worn this particular one with white jeans in winter (here) which I actually prefer. As it turned out, that's also what I should have done on Sunday!

Here's a close up shot of my bangles:

Kaffesoesters bangles of the day

The large cream coloured is by Kenneth Jay Lane, it only comes on/off with baby oil! The rest is a mix of second hand and cheap finds on holidays down South (Spain!). Like my feet I have size issues, and need at least 68 millimetres in diameter (2,75 inches) to squeeze my hand through.

As it turned out, sunday was very windy, got cloudy too, so very cold in the end. I had to cut the visit short and hurry home, with hands and feet turning blue from the low temperature :-(

Before I left I took lots of photos, the essence (apart from the peony up top) is brought to you here, by Picmonkey:

Kaffesoesters photo collection from "Mit hjem er mit slot" garden fair

The watering cans in the lower right corner are leather covered! In the mid left, an art installation is inspired by later years flooding problems - I guess!

Monday morning I had an appointment with my optician. The wind had died down, so I went out in sandals again :-)  this time wisely carrying a jacket. I look quite ready for the jungle here, Khaki and animal print...

Kaffesoester in CC animal print dress and red Rieker sandals

Yet another CC dress (also seen here and here), the red Rieker sandals, old jacket, and horn necklace from a holiday on Mallorca, three years back.

The fit really is perfect on my body. I've considered taking it up an inch or two. However, it looks great with winter boots in this length, so keeping it as it is.

Kaffesoester in CC animal print dress and red Rieker sandals

This has turned out to be another marathon post - and the next one may very well turn out the same, sorry! My schedule is completely out of control these days. I have so many social events lined up this month, I can hardly breathe :-) The main problem is What to Wear! And how to manage everything on time.

On Friday I'm visiting Torvehallerne again, hunting down stuff for Saturday's dinner with our gourmet club - G2712. I'm already dreaming of what delicacies I'm going to eat on both days!

As a huge summer holiday bonus, my daughter's God Mother is coming "home" from Australia to stay with us for some time. Her son Marcus is coming too :-) It's so exciting since we haven't seen her for years - not since Marcus was a toddler.

I hope I can talk them into appearing on the blog :-)

I wish you all a great week and weekend!

Love Kaffesoester

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Treasure hunting at Monies - my favourite jewellery pusher :-)

I'm no Imelda Marcos, but I do suffer from a touch of shoe obsession... I always notice people's shoes, and I'd love them to notice mine too :-) However, I have feet like Cinderella's evil sisters!

Kaffesoester's feet in black patent shoes

It's hard to tell how abnormal my feet and legs are just by looking at them. I know, because I have a hard time convincing people how much trouble they're causing.

With half-healed blisters, discoloured toe nails from the pressure of too flat shoe-fronts and an infection in one of the blisters, you'll not see a photo of my nude feet! However, I will show you lots of photos from my latest visit to the shoe shop.

This picture shows the main issues:

Kaffesoester's shoe problems

The circles are the spots that I've considered having cut off. It would make life so much easier! It's not just about getting fashionable footwear. It's about safety and comfort as well.

The shoe in the photo is a size 6, which is the actual size of my foot, lengthwise. But to have shoes at all, I always wear a size 7 or 8. In some of my footwear I have 2 inches of empty space in front of my toes. It's like wearing clown's shoes, and I often trip over my toes.

After having measured my foot across, I have come to the conclusion that I need a size EEEE, super extra wide, according to the measuring forms. I have tried a few of those too, only to discover, that they're too wide at the base, but too flat in the front. For some reason the industry has decided that if your foot is wide, it's also flat like the feet of Donald Duck! 

So, my foot is really not that wide, only very "full", like my toes, since my nails are getting seriously squashed even though I keep them a short as possible!

This shows a typical shoe shopping session for me:

As usual I'm trying a lot of shoes - and in Denmark they're generally black!

Kaffesoester's foot trying on new shoes

Kaffesoester's foot trying on new shoes

Kaffesoester's foot trying on new shoes

All these shoes are hurting my foot, by being too narrow or flat. The brands are among others Arc, Gabor, Vagabond and Ecco. 

Finally I found two pairs of shoes that fit me, or at least will fit me once I've added little suede cushions inside. They're by German brand Rieker:

Kaffesoester's foot trying on new shoes - the best by Rieker

The only problem is, that these are not the types of shoes that I need! One is a sandal, the other one is in suede. With the nasty spring weather we're experiencing this year, I need water proof shoes. Colour hasn't even been considered yet!

Add an extra curvy calf to these issues and see if you can find me a pair of boots!

It's not a joke when I say that it has taken me a decade to find the boots I wore this winter.

Unfortunately they're fur-lined and so too hot for 10 degrees celcius/50 degrees Fahrenheit. But very comfortable to walk in. However, they're still so tight fitting that I can only work my foot into them wearing the thinnest tights or nothing at all (on my feet!!!). They go half way up my calf, and so end at the widest point :-(

So, I have a lot of shoes from Irregular Choice, 10 out of 16 pairs. Some of their styles have more room for the toes than other brands. In a size 8 with additional padding I can usually find something fun and stylish.

Kaffesoester's shoe collection - 16 pairs

- The silver boots are way too large, so I can't walk in them - only stand or sit

- The ballet flats never give me blisters

- The sandals don't give me blisters  either

- Nor do the blue suede heels, the pink suede heels or the red tweed wedges

- I also have green wellies and old black Ecco sneaker style shoes, now only fit for gardening :-(

Living in a wet climate demands water proof footwear. Living in a colder climate also demands warmer footwear - not a lot of sandals. In knee high snow warm boots are a must!

Such a thing as a sneaker or a trekking boot is completely out of the question. A couple of years ago my daughter was going on a hike with her scout's group, with parents and all. I tried every major shoe shop and outdoor shop in Copenhagen as well as in Berlin where we went on holiday just prior to the hike. After having tried hundreds of shoes I even contacted headquarters per e-mail, asking if they had other models than those in the shops.

The answer was the same as always: We dont' carry "that size" or "that shape"

I know they probably wouldn't sell many pieces, so I can't blame them. It's just depressing always being called "that shape" or "that size", in shops and by producers. And even more depressing that I can't go with my family on hikes or longer walks, because I can't find footwear. 

More than 10 years ago I looked at bespoke footwear. I can actually get some "okay" shoes and boots, for 10000 to 20000 Danish Kroner (1000 to 2000 UK Pounds/ 1500 to 3000 US Dollars). Sadly they don't do waterproof boots or shoes, and only velcro closing. So, no Pyrenees, Himalayas or Kilimanjaro :-(

Besides, the orthopaedic shoe makers cater for people with ill or seriously deformed feet (these customers apparently being older), and mine are neither, they're not even particularly fuzzy. They're just "a little abnormal", and I'm reluctant to pay so much money for shoes that I really wouldn't give a second thought if I had normal feet. I may have to change my attitude here - later!

For now I've given up. There's not a thing that I haven't tried. With other body issues limiting my clothing choices, it easily becomes a depressing job to get dressed. How do I comfort myself?

Well, from above the knees, what did I wear for my shoe shop visit?

Kaffesoester ready to go shoe shopping

I wore my navy dress, my teal rings and my favourite necklace by Monies. And coloured tights of course :-)

A close up of the necklace and my hair which is alright here!:

Kaffesoester in navy dress with Monies necklace of Chrysocolla
The day after I went to Hillerød, a town up North, where my daughter applied for a job. Since she's only 15 and it's the first time, she wanted me to go with her. Although I stayed in the background I managed to stand out anyway!

Kaffesoester in red dress pink trench and red tights

It wasn't warm but windy, with clouds and a few seconds of sunshine every now and then. With patience I managed to get a photo of myself, in sunshine :-D

Kaffesoester in red dress pink trench and red tights in sunshine

Here I'm wearing a dress by H&M, bought in a moment of weakness, together with beautifully matching tights, my pink trench and the lovely horn bead necklace bought on holiday in Mallorca years ago. Who cares if I get another blister on my foot, when I get to wear so much colour?

As regular readers will know, I'm a jewellery addict. My favourite "pusher" being the Danish brand Monies, who happened to have a major sale last week...

I was first in line, an hour early - and so went in ahead of everyone :-) 

I bet I got the best offer in the shop!!!!

Here's what I tried on:

Kaffesoester trying on Monies necklaces
Sorry that I forgot to smile, but I had to concentrate hard to get a useful selfie. I've listed the necklaces in the order I tried them, starting from the top left to right...

So funny how I ended up buying the two first I tried on :-)

At the next sale I'm going to ask permission to take photos because the customers are very picturesque! There are so many extremely stylish and elegant women in there! Many in their 50 and above - and then quite a few gorgeous young models! I couldn't take my eyes off of any of them. I just had to sit down for a whole hour, just admiring all these fantastic women!

The next day I was meeting my BFF for lunch in Torvehallerne (again) - introducing treasure number one :-D 

Kaffesoester with new Rose Quartz necklace
A weighty double strand of beautiful, smooth Rose Quartz - original price: 13.000,- Danish Kroner (1300 UK Pounds or 2000 US Dollars).... 

Now down to: 1000,00 Danish Kroner (100 UKP/ 154 USD)!!!!!! I dare say that was the catch of the day, including all other items sold that day! 

The rest of the outfit with includes my old Dash dress:

Kaffesoester with new Rose Quartz necklace and Dash dress
See the colour on my face? All the gardening has given me a tan, so my foundation is too light, and my hairdresser doesn't need to give the roots a touch up :-)

My BFF is always extremely well dressed, Friday no exception...

Kaffesoester's BFF in Torvehallerne
Aren't those sandals just to die for?

For lunch we had a mix of seafood salads: 

Our lunch at Torvehallerne
It was fantastic! What looks like beer next to the plate is a lime and mint fizzy drink, very nice too.

Some of us, I, needed a cup of coffee and a small cake for dessert...

The dessert
It may not look like much, but the taste was amazing! A strong, creamy lemon pudding on the crunchy and light sponge base with the small name plate in dark chocolate. Perfection!

The very next day I had to fight hard to keep my level of glamour up as we went to a photo meet up, on a small, secluded island - in a tent!

The tent is one of those professional mountain climber accomodations that can only be entered or left crawling :-(  To make things worse, leaving the tent would be by backing. Otherwise one's hands would get wet due to the rain.

At my age and size, in my camping gear, this was in no way dignifying! 

I didn't spend much time in the tent. With lots of rain and strong wind I had no choice but wellies for footwear, and skiing underwear under my glamorous maxi dress, and a long cardigan on top, now ready for the mandatory rain coat as outer layer.

Kaffesoester in front of the tent
These are men's wellies, and they're too narrow for my calves, so they don't come all the way up which is slightly annoying when walking. And there's a 2 inch empty space in the front. I walk carefully in these.

As we had a short moment of dry weather we managed another photo, including our car:

Kaffesoester in front of the car
This lovely WV carries all our camping gear and enough photo gear to equip a small studio!

The island was beautiful, and during another dry spell I managed to get a couple of shots:

Orø beach to the North West

Little violets on the beach on Orø
Orø beach to the North West again
The typical Danish beach has lots of stones, with smaller sandy parts, and lots of grasses and smaller plants near the water. In the water we have plenty of seaweed, some of which is edible. I'm going to see if I can find an expert to learn more about this. I love seaweed, and it's such a waist not to eat it when it's there - healthy, tasty and free!

Enough of the dreadful weather - introducing treasure number two:

The bone and mother of pearl necklace with Rose Quartz and very large pearl
A mix of Bone, Mother of Pearl, Rose Quartz and a huge Fresh Water Pearl. Original price 4000,00 Danish Kroner ( 400,00 UKP/ just under 600 USD), now down to: 800,00 (80,00 UKP/ 120 USD)!!!

Here's how I styled my new necklace:

Kaffesoester in beige dress and new bone necklace by Monies
The jacket is years old, by H&M, as is the beige dress, only never worn and bought last summer. With the newly acquired tan, the necklace really stands out. What you don't get from the photos, is the lovely noise it makes when I move.

This is how I comfort myself when I look at my too small shoe collection, predicting where my next blister pops up or how cold my feet will get during the day.

I might just add, that the sale prices of these necklaces are way lower than any thrift shop or second hand prices. It almost felt like stealing!

Hope summer is somewhere and someone is wearing her sandals...

Lots of warm hugs!


Thursday, 28 May 2015

The lemonade approach

This is going to be a very short update, just to show I'm still alive. And meeting life's challenges with the most positive attitude.

Late last summer a neighbour and I got a small allotment.  Small is a round shape measuring 10 meter across (33 feet?). The previous, and unexperienced owner had started lots of projects, which we had to deal with first.

Kaffesoester's allotment with bed of herbs

As you can see, we have a lot of bare soil - that's where we had to cover holes, made by the previous owner. In front we've made a bed for herbs, and hopefully pumpkins. In the raised bed we have lots of strawberries,

Kaffesoester's allotment with raised strawberry bed

 and along the edge we have other berries and to small tomato plants.

Kaffesoester's allotment with bed for other berries and tomatoes

When I say we, it's me and my pregnant neighbour. We're all very happy for her! Unfortunately she's run into trouble, the worst being pelvis instability. Some days she can't walk or stand up, and under no circumstances can she do gardening...

After nearly two weeks of gardening morning to afternoon my body hurts everywhere! I'm 50 and not used to manual labour (really unfit). How very convenient then that life forces me to do open air fitness training for absolutely nothing!

As the saying goes: When life serves you lemons, make lemonade :-)

I wish I could give you close ups of some lovely flowers or fruits, but it's still very early days up here.

Instead I have this pretty flower for you:

Kaffesoester's private model

And another one here:

Kaffesoester's private model

Can you guess who it is?

Now you know what I've been up to. I have lots of photos from my shoe shopping experience last week, but that's going to have to wait for now. Tonight I'm going to dream of bracelets, necklaces and earrings because...

tomorrow is M-day - sale at Monies, my favourite jewellery artist! 

I have a limited budget, but I'm sure I'll come home with something - and you'll be the first to see :-)

Stay tuned - love Kaffesoester

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Double sin with 2 x horizontal stripes on plus-size body!

Plus size Kaffesoester in slimming striped outfit

Every style bible, fashion blogger and and image consultant will tell you that horizontal stripes are a no go if you're plus size, and want to look slimmer. Well, have a look at my outfit!

The dress which has appeared several times  (here, here and here) on the blog, is a favourite. It never  makes me feel looking larger than I am. Quite the opposite in fact. You could argue that it's due to the small stripes...

Kaffesoester in old black and white striped CC dress

...but that's not the case with the rain coat! Those stripes are anything but small :-)

Somehow there seems to be more rules for plus size people than regular sized - is that true? Or do I have a touch of paranoia?

With legs like tree trunks I shouldn't be wearing coloured and patterned tights either, and preferably discrete shoes that blend with the tights. Another two rules are broken here!!!

Kaffesoester in blue striped rain coat and CC dress

So, the stripe rule is not to be obeyed at all costs. Like in every other aspect in life, open your eyes and judge for yourself! Do you see any problems with my shiny shoes and eye-catching tights?

This outfit was what I went to visit customers in, on a very wet day! My hair looks very strange, like it always does after rain.

The dress is by British brand CC, the bag is Danish, by Adax, and I'm wearing an old ring from Evans which is about the only place where I can buy ready made rings that fit me.

Kaffesoester's bag from Adax and ring from Evans

On my way home, I got a bored waiting for the bus... And remembered I hadn't taken photos of my lovely (old) tights. They're not wet or dirty, just printed in a marble-pattern. No, I don't smoke! The gum wasn't me either.

Kaffesoester's legs in old, blue, marble-patterned tights

Successfully breaking two style rules in one outfit was pleasing :-)  Breaking an additional two was a right triumph!

By chance I've managed to dress according to the theme on Spy Girl's 52 pick-me-up, so heading right over to link up!

Hope you all have a nice Thursday, with only one tiny Friday to go before the weekend :-D

See you soon!