Pompei wasn't built in a day…

Monday, July 28, 2014
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… however, it was completely buried under 20 meters of ash in lesson than 24 hours.  

Seriously, ya'll, Pompeii is probably one of the coolest places I've ever been in my whole entire life.  And I pride myself on having been to quite a few cool places during my time on earth. Since my mum and step-dad did about 95% of the planning for this trip, I really didn't look into what we would be seeing, but just planned on showing up in the appointed place in the appointed time, which actually made my Pompeii experience that much better. 

I'll be honest: I had a very vague idea of what Pompeii was before I arrived there.  I knew that it had been buried in volcanic ash and that there were body casts, but I had no clue how huge the city was or how inventive the Romans living there were.  Seriously, they thought of everything!  And Vesuvius erupted in 79 A.D., so all of this stuff had been established long before then.  The Romans had streets with stepping stones to avoid wet feet in the rain, plumbing (some of which still exists), huge homes with water collection systems, and some pretty incredible architecture and city planning skillz! 

It's amazing to see how many ideas the Romans at Pompeii had 2000 years ago that we are still using today! 

If you want to learn some more about Pompeii, hop over to Netflix!  Discovery Channel has a pretty good documentary and so does the BBC.  They just give you a tiny glimpse into what city life in Pompeii was like before and during the eruption, but after having been to many of the places in the documentaries, I feel pretty darn connected to this city.  It's amazing once you wrap your head around all of the events that took place here! 

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When in Rome…

Friday, July 25, 2014
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Buongiorno, ya'll!  Ready to be bombarded with a zillion travel photos?  Good, cos I've got a TON and I cannot wait to share them with you!  Here is the first batch, along with some of what I consider to be THE most essential tips you'll ever need to get yourself around Rome.  

1) If you are going to the Colosseum, don't go there first.  Go across the park to the Forum and buy your ticket there.  The same ticket gets you into the Forum and the Colosseum and will save you an hour in line at the Colosseum.  I knew this before going to Rome, but decided not to take this advice.  This was a mistake.  Do not make this mistake. 

2)  If you are planning on wearing sandals in Rome, be prepared to spend at least 30 minutes washing your feet at the end of the day.  And pumicing.  That dirt just don't want to come off with soap and water.  You are literally going to have to slough it off. 

3) If you are going to Rome in the summer, bring a fan, a parasol and a sun hat.  When I tossed my fan into my suitcase, Soldier Boy made the most ridiculous face at me and said (in one of those squeaky, I'm-pinching-my-nose voices) "You just want to look faaaaaaaaancy" (insert dramatic hand gesture).  Really?  I just wanted to be cool.  Fancy whooshes straight out the Roman aquaduct when you've got sweat dripping down your (nonexistent) cleavage. 

4) If you are going to Rome, pack your sunglasses… or possibly ski goggles.  If it is sunny, you're going to need shades because the sun will bounce straight off the white marble of the Spanish Steps (which are actually called the Scalinata della Trinita dei Monti) and will fuse your eyeballs into their sockets.  If it is overcast, it's probably windy, which means that the grime that's going to stick all over your sandaled feet is also going to be blowing into your eyes.  Sunglasses will work, but honestly, a ski mask might be a better option.  

5)  If you want to go on a "Roman Holiday" tour (as in, the Audrey Hepburn movie that makes my heart sing like a little bird every time I watch it), book a tour or hire someone with VIP tourist site status to take you on said tour.  And give yourself at least a day to do it.  We loosely pieced together a tour of RH movie spots over the course of two days.  I totally forgot about la Bocca Della Verita (which you WILL see in a later post), but we had too many other things to do and had to meet my mum for her birthday dinner, so we didn't have time to wait in the ginormous line to stick our hands into his mouth. 

… and as always, when traveling… pack your sunscreen, your smile, and your patience.  Just about everything was covered in scaffolding (and my dream of making a wish at the Trevi Fountain and opening my eyes to see Soldier Boy proposing didn't come true).  Oh, and prep yourself for some interesting smells.  I'll leave it at that! 

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Sincerely, Signe…

Wednesday, July 23, 2014
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If there were a show called "True life: I Have Gigantic Calves," I would totally be the star.  Seriously.  They are the only curves I have. 

… and even though I am not on a TV show, I sometimes like to pretend that I've got a modicum of fame, which (since months ago, some of you told me that you enjoyed reading stories that have absolutely nothing to do with the photos in the post, and because I recently read an article on Buzzle or some such site about this exact same topic), I've decided to share with you a time that I pretended to be famous and it worked.  

It was Paris.  July.  2008.  I was 21 years old (if you've been following along for a while, you'll know that most of my best stories start this way).  My time studying abroad was winding down.  I'd discovered a lot about myself during my time in Paris: I could function in another country using another language, I was extremely gifted at feeding myself on a minuscule budget, and I LOVED les boîtes de nuit aka "night boxes" aka night clubs.  

While I'd been to bars at university in the states, nothing could compare to the throbbing thrum of what I'll call Eurotrance (click HERE to listen to my all-time favourite Parisian boîte jam of 2008) of Le Cab… an underground club just around the corner from the Louvre (it no longer exists… I'd use a sad face emoticon here, but I have to close the parenthesis).  I made plans to meet my Parisian pals at Le Cab on one of my last nights in Paris.  My roommate opted to stay at our apartment and pack, and Skype her boyfriend at home, who she was deeply missing. I felt pretty important leaving our apartment around 2330 to meet the guys at the club.  They knew the bouncers, so I got to skip the line and didn't have to pay the cover fee of 20 Euro.  That in itself made me feel pretty spectacular.  

Once we got in, the bass was PUMPIN' and I really mean it.  All caps.  Letter "n" apostrophe and all.  I don't remember why, but a new section of Le Cab had been opened up this evening.  There was literally an entire second half of the club and it was packed!  We danced all over the place and found some small tables up against a wall in one of the new rooms.  I'm guessing that these were for discarding empty drink glasses, but I decided to dance on one of them.  I was a whole 2 feet above the rest of the people in the room and at some point, people started taking photos.  Like, approaching me and asking if they could take my picture.  Someone asked me for an autograph.  I have NO clue who they thought I was, but I was on top of the world.  

… now, I feel like I'm getting too old for clubs.  I'd really love to feel famous again, but until a major network television (I'm looking at you, VH1) falls in love with my Twitter feed and offers me a show (oh, Nicole Richie… I'm happy to start my own spin off… Sincerely, Signe anyone?) I'll just have to look fondly back at my brief hours of pseudo-fame… 

… and now… my calves and this amazing dress! 

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Liar, liar…

Sunday, July 20, 2014
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I know that these pants look like camo, but they must be on fire, because I am a big, fat liar!  

Let me explain… 

I love doing interviews.  There is just something about feeling that people are actually interested in little old me that makes me glow a little bit, inside and out, so when The Grown Up Truth asked me for an interview, duh… I jumped at the chance.  

Now, I've got a pretty chronic case of Peter Pan Syndrome (I WON'T GROW UP!!!), so perhaps that was my first misstep, as The Grown Up Truth is a blog that's all about what it is like to adjust to life as an adult.  I'm pretty sure I'll never EVER become a real live grown up no matter how many candles are on my Birthday cake.  

Anywho, I totally lied during the interview.  I didn't mean to, but it happened.  

I had to fill-in-the-blanks for the sentence: "When I wake up in the morning, I always do these three things."

My answer: Look out the window to greet the day, wash my face, and kiss Soldier Boy goodbye for the day.

Why is this an issue?  Pshhhhhh, because those are the three things I WISH I did every morning.  The first three things I actually do in the morning are: ignore my alarm, roll over and stuff my head under my pillow, and repeatedly hit the snooze button until I know that I will either have to forgo hair, makeup, breakfast or a combination of any of the aforementioned.  

I have really got to get it together!  If you're interested in reading the interview, you can check it out HERE.  I promise that all of my other answers are as truthful as can be!  I may have Peter Pan Syndrome, but I'm only a small part Pinocchio! 

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Vacay time!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Ok… so first of all, GIFS are way too much fun.  

Secondly, I'm in ITALY!  Well, in these photos, I'm in my backyard, but for real life, I am in Italy with my mum and Soldier Boy and it's amazing!  I've been a bad, bad blogger and left my laptop at home, because as much as I love spending time in cyberspace, I want to enjoy the real world a bit, as well!  As a matter of fact, I've scheduled this post to go up all on it's own, as I shall likely be climbing Mount Vesuvius when it goes live!   

Ooooooh, I'm already hopped up on cappuccino and cannot WAIT to share travel stories and photos with you!  

While I am gone, I'd like to remind you that all of the Freebie Friday giveaways are still up for grabs, so be sure to enter into each of those!  If you have travel tips for me (I'll be in Rome, Naples, Pompeii, Sorrento, Positano, and Capri), please comment with them here and follow bits and pieces of this quick adventure on Instagram! 

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You can't believe everything you read on the internet…

Wednesday, July 16, 2014
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Dear Internet, 

You are a bloody, stinking, lying, b-word!  

Fix it!  

<3 One Disgruntled Surfer

Yes, tout le monde, the internet led me (and a car full of my nearest and dearest) astray last weekend.  It all happened on Thursday night.  Insomnia had sunk it's torturous, Sandman scaring fangs into me and wasn't showing any signs of letting go.  The time?  Near 2 AM.  My coping mechanism?  Facebook.  

I was merrily (as merrily as one who deeply craves but one thing and cannot have it despite hours of effort (cos laying in bed is hard work)) scrolling through my Facebook feed, when I came across THIS article.  A ton of cars rotting in a Belgian forest is super cool/creepy/perfect for an exploration and a photoshoot, right?  I hopped onto Google maps and discovered that the city this car graveyard is near is only a 2 hour drive from where I live, so I rounded up the usual suspects, we packed a picnic and hit the road on Saturday morning.  

Our first snag was that the above article, nay any other article we could find online gave coordinates on where this forest is actually located, though some articles state that the car graveyards are a big tourist spot and are easy to find.  Soldier Boy tracked down a satellite image that clearly show the cars in the woods, so we used that as a guide.  When we arrived at said spot, we found that it is at the edge of a giant field of cows.  We parked the car, ducked under a barbed wire fence (which I snagged my leather jacket on) and found… oooooh, just guess… 


In some of what I read, I found that there used to be 5 car graveyards, but that now only one remains, so instead of taking outfit photos with the car that we did find, we attempted to track down the other car graveyards, got hungry and bored fast, and headed home, which made me uber sad because I got rather dressed (in my snazzy new dress from SammyDress) up for an excursion of this type.  Luckily, the entrance to a series of underground tunnels built by Hitler during WWI is across the street from my house, so I used that as my background.  Please pardon the inconsistency of the photos here)  I'm off to Italy tomorrow and will have more fun travel snaps coming up!

Also, as I've been writing this post, I came across THIS article, which features photos of the exact same lone car that I snapped on our adventure! GRRRRRR, INTERNET!  

Jacket from H&M
Necklace from Urban Outfitters

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