So I’m wondering if this series should be renamed to “How Not to Move to Europe,” but I think I did a few things right, just maybe not anything featured in this post. As I was saying in my previous post How to Move to Europe: The Plan, it wasn’t really part of our life plan to move to Europe at all, but we prepared this back-up plan just in case. Okay, sure I dreamed of going back and playing house in Paris or somewhere equally chic, but I never really expected my little daydream to become reality. And it didn’t, haha, because we are DEFINITELY not in Paris.
Once hubbie and I got cracking on the move, he already in Mallorca now and me with our baby girl and my in-laws back in San Francisco, something inside of me snapped and I realized I may never get to LIVE in the U.S. again and WHO KNOWS when I’d be able to make it back for a visit. I’m sure you can guess what happened next. Yep. Retail therapy. In a BIG way. Yes, my fellow bloggers, my credit cards took a beating over the next few weeks as I hit all of my favorite brick-and-mortar and online haunts from Anthropologie, Nordstrom’s and The Gap to Container Store and Target.
Now to be fair, it wasn’t just mindless consumerism. Did I overdo it? Maybe. But I tried to be as responsible and organized about it as possible. I simply made a list of everything I didn’t think I could live without and decided whether or not they would have it in the E.U. or more specifically, Mallorca, Spain. Here is my list and yes I bought and brought everything on it with me. I’m not ashamed!
Clothes: The key here is to think about your wardrobe staples, consider the weather where you’re going and whether your favorite stores will be there. If not, it doesn’t hurt to add a few shirts, skirts, jeans, or appropriate accessories to your suitcase. I hit up Anthro for a few unique shirts and blouses, Nordstrom’s for my favorite denim brands and The Gap for a few wardrobe staples like tees, tanks and undies. You may think you can find these things in the E.U. and you may be right, but I guarantee the materials will be different and the price likely higher.
Baby clothes: I was told clothes are expensive in Western Europe in general and I LOVE Baby Gap, so I admit I went overboard here. My little one pretty much has enough clothes to tide her over until she’s about 18 to 24 months…and I left when she was 6 months 🙂
Baby stuff: American style toys is mostly what I went for here. The thought that my little girl, though American, would grow up somewhere else kind of bummed me out, so I wanted to give her as much American flavor for her room as possible.
Kitchen Wares: Don’t laugh. You cannot find good silicon spatulas or potholders, decent plastic wrap, ziploc bags or the miracle that is snapware tupperware across the pond, so I hit up Target, Costco and Crate and Barrel to sidestep that land mine.
Toiletries: Shu Uemura shampoo and conditioner, Skinceuticals wash and toner, Cetaphil face lotion, Origins ginger body scrub and lotion; these are a few of my favorite things. I may or may not have stocked up for a year. Burt’s Bees body wash and shampoo in one, baby lotion, diaper cream, etc. Those last ones are for my little one, Fiona, not me.
Drugs: Theraflu, DayQuil, Robitussun oh my. The pharmacies here are good and have what you’ll need for the most part, but the heart wants what it wants. Also Little Remedies Gas Drops (for Fiona, smart ass) and Baby Tylenol are pretty much non-existent over here.
Organization: Container Store, or what my sister-in-law and I lovingly call Type-A paradise, became somewhat of a weekly hangout for me as I prepared for our new adventure abroad and it’s paid in dividends. I had enough nice containers to pack shoes and clothes and now I have awesome and organized storage. What more can a girl ask of life?
Memorabilia: I had taken this killer shot of the Golden Gate bridge after the fog had rolled in. I’m not a good photog at all, so I was really proud of this one. I blew it up and framed it for our new home. For my hubbie, I went to his favorite surf shop and bought two prints of one of his favorite surf haunts, Ocean Beach and had those framed as well. Then I made sure to pack anything for the move that had a San Francisco flavor, like our Sutro Baths piece that had been printed onto a wooden plank (it’s really cool, I swear) and was hanging in our bathroom, but now lives in our kitchen.
Furniture: Yes, seriously. I told myself, “self, furniture over them thar hills is pretty much IKEA or antiques.” So, I ordered a new couch, two comfy chairs, a comfy ottoman, two rugs, a coffee table and two accent tables for our new living room from West Elm and Room and Board. Holy hell, woman! I know, I know, I said something inside me snapped, didn’t I? Anyway, I needed it. For our fresh start, or whatever. Don’t worry, our old stuff was ready to go anyway, so I sold it or donated what I didn’t bring with me.
And the saddest part is, I’m sure I’m forgetting something. Happy splurging and stay tuned for the next installment on moving to Europe, How to Move to Europe: The Bureaucracy Monster