Gaining some perspective…

Wednesday, April 23, 2014
meditate, yoga, mountain top, scenic view, hair styles, three bun hair style, denim shirt, striped shorts, shorts with tights, style blogger, travel blogger, montserrat, spain

There comes a time, or many times as the case may be, in most lives where a touch of perspective is necessary.  We all (or at least I'd hope) step back from ourselves and evaluate the lives that we live in order to figure out what is working and what still needs work.  

Well, friends… I am at one of those points.  I love living in Europe, but I wonder if I'm here for the right reasons.  I know I told you a few days ago that I'm finally starting to feel more comfortable in my own skin, but I don't know that I'm necessarily comfortable in my own life.  

Sure, I love that I can say something ridiculous like, "I'm hungry for steak, so let's go to the castle and get some" and then can either hike a few miles or take a quick car trip to the nearest castle (I can see its silhouette from the kitchen window) to grab myself a sirloin, but I'm starting to feel unsettled.  If you've ever seen the movie "Chocolat" you may be able to understand/empathize with/relate to this feeling… it's like the wind blows and I know I need to move on.  I've got that tingle, but I haven't even been in Germany for a whole year. 

Anywho… while I brood on that, I'll leave you with some snaps from our day in Montserrat, Spain.  It was a rather exciting day, as we wandered around the town, ate some cheese, attended church (in Catalan and Soldier Boy still had a clue what was going on!), decided to take a quick hike, saw a scorpion (which SB decided to poke repeatedly with a stick and still managed not to get stung), took a wrong turn and spent 3 hours trying to get back into town.  In case you were concerned, we eventually made our way back to the tram and got a free ride back into the city!  

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How to ride on public transportation in Europe…

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

I've decided to give a new feature a test drive, so please let me know what you think! This new feature shall be hereby known as #tipsytuesday and will consist of me sharing insightful insights (how's that for insightful?) on the way the world works, how to do things (yes, this is a spin off on my old "How-To Tuesday feature), and well… stuff. 

… aaaaaaan this inaugural #tipsytuesday post has nothing to do with the photographs of our day in Barcelona, but I did write it on the train into the city, so I feel like it's fair game: 

… because Europeans tend become animals of an entirely different colour on the train… 

The most important thing to remember is to: get on the train calmly, find your own personal space, and sit there in a bubble of your own personal solitude for the duration of your ride… but in case you require more direction, please read on: 

1) In the case that you happen to make eye contact with someone, you have 2 options: look away immediately (trying to connect with another human being in this way is shameful!) or glare with open hostility at the other person (how dare they try to grace your presence with theirs).

2) When buskers hop on and try to make your long, smelly, quiet commute just a bit happier, resist all urges to dance, bob, or hum. All swaying should be limited to that caused by the movement of the train.

3) Headphones are a must. If you are not plugged in, you had better be at least 70 years old and reading a newspaper, or everyone will know that you're either too cheap/poor to own a tiny, music spewing machine or you're just a nerd. This is funny, because I am writing this headphone-less on an iPhone while on the train. Guess that makes me some kind of nerd.

4) No matter how lost you are, do not stand in front of, stare at, gesture to or even acknowledge the line maps that are usually posted above the doors of your tram car. This will immediately peg you as an outsider and can 1: make you look, again, like a total dork (locals will be thinking something along the lines of *scoff* "stupid tourist can't memorize all 12 lines of our sophisticated underground system") and 2: on a more serious note, can single you out to pickpockets, creeps, and unsavouries of all other types.

5) If you don't speak the local language or of you speak it with a different accent, don't open your blimey mouth. This is where headphones, use of tiny music-spewing machines that are capable of texting and a crudely devised manner of sign language, probably generated by you and your contemporaries on the spot, will come in handy. If you do happen to open your trap and the locals hear you, you may gain an intense feeling of paranoia every time they and their peers laugh and happen to glance sideways (see point number 1) in your general direction.

6) Above all, laughter is not prohibited. Shame on you for trying to enjoy your train ride.  Stifle your gosh darned joy. No one else wants any part of it. 

In conclusion, if you have not memorized every poster in your tram, you're doing it wrong

… and in case you were wondering about the day in the city, I let my white girl show while drinking Starbucks (real Starbucks!) and was a super tourist riding the hop on-hop off bus all over the city! 

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In this skin…

Saturday, April 19, 2014

I'm significantly closer to 30 than I am to 20 and still, I find that much of the time, I feel much like a child.  Perhaps it is just an incurable case of Peter Pan Syndrome, or maybe it is just that as I'm getting older, I've begun to care less about what people think about me.  In any case, I find that each day, I learn more about myself and while when I'm not on vacation in a lovely beach town in the south of Spain (as I am in these photos) I work almost non-stop and sleep hardly at all, when I am relaxed, I am now able to really let myself be relaxed… and make silly faces and dance on a bench in front of a gargantuan crowd of Spanish secondary school students as they swarm from their school and onto the shore.  

I can definitely tell you that 10 years ago, I would not have been willing (though I definitely would have been able) to do a full leg extension in a public place in a swim suit and a tunic.  I also would have very much wanted to wear the snazzy, hippie chic (thanks White Plum Boutique/SunFrog Shirts) that I assembled for the day, but I can think of few times in my life that I'd ever felt so comfortable in my own skin. 

… and so… please enjoy some snaps from the sun kissed city of Tarragona, Spain! 

… see what I mean about being more comfortable in my skin?  I can't say that I know anyone else who has done the splits over a Roman aqueduct! 

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: a little loka earrings giveway...

Friday, April 18, 2014
Congratulations on surviving another week!  Celebrate by entering to win these sweet earrings from my pal Jessica over at A Little Loka!  Made with rhinestone ovals with a black and white cloisonne drop, these fish hook earrings are sure to add sparkle and a pretty touch to any outfit!  They're lightweight and gold tone and measure approximately 3 inches from top of fish hook to bottom of earring.  This is a one of a kind design so you won't see these in stock again!

And if you don't win, don't be sad… just use coupon code "SAVANT25" to receive 25% off your purchase at A Little Loka through 25-May-2014!

Pleats, twirls, and Tuscany…

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

What can I say?  Twirling is my favourite… and yes, I always have to wear shorts under skirts and dresses because I twirl so much!  

These have got to be my favourite photos from our Italian adventure!  This last day of our journey took us to Siena and San Gimignano, Italy, for amazing sites, delicious pizza, and some of the friendliest people I've ever had the pleasure of interacting with while traveling!  Seriously… I do not speak Italian, but the people were wonderful and patient with me while I made every attempt to be as fluent as I possibly could be!  

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Fiori in Florence...

Monday, April 14, 2014

On to the next leg of our trip...

We stayed in a villa in Tuscany, but wanted to check out what nearby Florence was all about, so on the second day of our Italian. Adventure, we tooled into the city... Another crumbling beauty to take in the sites and sights.  There just so happened to be a Martin going on in the city and it was, for whatever reason, somewhat surreal to see marathoners winding around centuries old buildings.  Soldier Boy and I actually got to take part in the marathon, as the runner's path crossed over a number of streets we needed to cross to get into the city. 

Once we left all that hullabaloo (isn't that a great word?) behind, we wound our was through an open air market and then promptly spent nearly 3 hours in line to see Michaelangelo's David. We stared at his gigantic naked form (is that creepy?) for about 15 minutes before opting to head back to our villa (ok, we it' wasn't really our villa... It was the hotel... But I'm trying to be fancy) for a private wine tasting before zipping through the Tuscan countryside at sunset and retiring for an early evening! 

: E T C H Studio butterfly necklace giveaway...

Friday, April 11, 2014

Hip, hip, hooray, it's Freebie Friday!  This week, I am happy to present to you this most fabulous of giveaways: a butterfly-inspired necklace from E T C H Studio.  I discovered E T C H via Instagram, and was everso happy when Zoe and Mallory (the architecture students-cum-fancy laser cutting jewelry designers behind the brand) agreed to partner up avec moi! 

They sent me this fabulous butterfly-inspired piece (see how I wore it) and would like to give one to a lucky : daily savant : reader!  This piece is laser cut from hard maple wood, hand painted, and assembled with oodles of love!  I got an insane number of compliments when I wore mine, so I can tell you first-hand that this is a wonderful conversation piece!  

This giveaway is INTERNATIONAL and there are tons of ways to enter!  Bonne chance, tout le monde! 

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