Looking in the mirror…

Saturday, August 23, 2014
street people atelier mirrored times tee, deb shops high waisted shorts, deb shops black wedges, charming damsel headband, kameleonz sunglasses, nature look pyrite cube necklace, tights outfits

First of all, this is probably the first and last time that my legs are ever going to look quite this long.  Huzzah for black tights, heels, and short shorts!  

Second, this shirt sent my brain on the biggest trip ever.  Seriously.  It is called the "Mirrored Times" shirt because if you look directly at it, it says "New York City" but is done the way it would look if you were looking in the mirror.  Kinda cool, right?  Well, tout le monde, when I happened to glance in the mirror to adjust my headband, I about freaked.  My shirt said "New York City" and it wasn't backwards.  I was stunned for a good 5 seconds and then had a major "oh, duh" moment. 

… and if you like my watch, you're in luck!  Enter to win one of your own HERE

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: Rakani watch giveaway…

Friday, August 22, 2014
rakani watches, freebie friday, giveaway, sweepstakes, freebie, free, win it, contest

What time is it?  Friday… and, coincidentally, time for ya'll to enter to win a super snazzy new time piece from Rakani!  I've had my "Stuck in Traffic" watch (complete with Swarovski crystals) for about a year, and let me just say that it has converted me from someone who absolutely NEVER wears a watch, to someone who literally jumps up and down when someone asks what time it is because it means that I get to look at this beaut!  

Since my peeps at Rakini are just as wonderful as can be, they are going to give one of you a free watch from their shop!  You get to choose the one you win, but I will definitely encourage you to go for "Stuck in Traffic."  


… I sincerely hope that this giveaway came just in time to kick off a wonderful weekend!  #freebiefriday, FTW! 

… oh… and this is something like a $250 value… just putting that out there!  Now enter!  There are a gazillion ways to get in on the action! 

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Love or loathe…

Wednesday, August 20, 2014
chicwish embroidered tribal dress, embroidered dress, blue and white dress, ruffled skirt, fur vest, tights, fall outfits, how to travel the world, how to travel for cheap

Travel.  It's one of those things that people seem to really love or really loathe.  I get it!  From the saving up, planning out, and getting to a destination (not to mention paying the bill for it once vacay time is over), travel can be an intense pain in the you-know-what.  However, as you've probably picked up on here, tout le monde, I have an incurable case of wanderlust and since I've had lots of questions and comments here and on IFB about my worldly wanderings, I thought I'd take some time to answer them/share a few things! 

I was lucky enough to be born to a father who grew up all over the world (notably, Tasmania and Taiwan… yay, military brat) and a mother with a secret side that craves adventure.  Oh, and an aunt who has traveled the world a few times over.  From my first plane ride from Chicago to Albuquerque as a 3-year old (all I remember is being repeatedly given a piece of gum and told to do nothing but chew it, but managed to swallow every single piece I was given) to walking down the street in Kingstown, Jamaica with locals approaching to touch my hair (which was practically iridescent at the time), I've always been a traveler of sorts.  I was extremely lucky that my parents ALWAYS took me on a spring break.  Whether it was a Caribbean cruise (running around the Mayan ruins in Tulum and wondering if the palace guards from Olmec's Temple (remember "Legends of the Hidden Temple" on Nickelodeon?) would sneak out and kidnap me), a trip to Disney World (where the Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean, I'm sure, shaped much of what became some of my favourite things in life), or a trip to the soft white beaches of the Gulf of Mexico, I got around.  

I first visited England when I was 17.  My aunt spends months every year in Cambridge, Stratford, and London, and for years, I'd been begging to see what Europe was like.  It was culture shock to me, as when my mum re-married, I'd grown accustomed to flying first class and staying at the Ritz Carlton with my step-father.  Lugging my suitcases up 5 flights of stairs (buildings without elevators exist?) to stay in a postage stamp-sized bed in a postage stamp-sized room was too much for me!  I hated England and couldn't wait to return to the states (aka, the land of big everything and technology galore).  My travel was restricted back down to places within the US, the occasional cruise, a few jaunts to Canada, and a couple of trips to Mexico (one of which consisted of me getting into and out of the country by plane without a passport or birth certificate… more on that if you want it later).  

When I was 23, I realized that I felt fenced in.  England needed to be conquered once more, and so, on Christmas Day, 2010, my aunt and I boarded a plane to London.  I happily lugged my suitcase up 5 flights of stairs to sleep in a postage stamp-sized bed in a postage stamp-sized room.  I felt free again.  When Soldier Boy and I started dating, I made 3 trips to Europe in one year (side bar: I worked a full-time job, a part-time job, babysat, house sat, pet sat, tutored, sold goodies on etsy, and was the queen of consignment shops and online surveys.  Also, since I worked so much, I didn't have a ton of time to go out, so I wasn't spending cash on drinks, dinners, movies, etc.).  

I was stuck in the states, finishing my master's degree and lived for my overseas jaunts.  I graduated early and was all set to pack my bags and move in with him in Germany (because really… the job market was awful, I was living with my parents during grad school, and without kids or pets, all I had to lose was time and money… no biggie, right?) he deployed.  When we knew when he'd be returning from deployment and I was still living at home, not able to find a job that I both liked and that wanted me, I figured I may as well take the plunge!

I sold most of my stuff, packed my bags, and the rest is history.  

Living in Europe, as you'll hear often, is great because of how many cultures are crammed into a small space.  In the 13 months that I've been here, I've visited 13 countries.  Some of these we've been able to visit multiple times (I'm looking at you: France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Italy) and sometimes we have days where we eat each meal in a different country.  We're getting ready to cross about 4 more countries off of our wanderlust list during a Birthday Week cruise in October!

How are we able to swing this? 
Plainly put, we are cheapskates.  We pick up pennies from the sidewalk. We use coupons.  We rarely go out to dinner when we're home.  I complete a battery of paid surveys through apps and the web each and every day (and I'll send you that info, if you want to make some extra cash).

… wow, that was a lot of rambling!  If you want more info about how we travel and are able to travel so much for so little, please leave me a comment/shoot me an e-mail, etc.!  In the case that you were curious, the photos in this post are from a Medieval festival in a town near where we live!  Also, twirling is still my favourite.  

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How iconic…

Monday, August 18, 2014
Chicnova sexy red off-shoudler top, deb shops tie dye palazzo pants, deb shops wedge booties, chic nova beige fringe bag, swallow's heart quartz arrowhead necklace, boho outfit, hippie outfit, bohemian outfit, festival style

Bonjour, tout le monde!  You know those times when you put on an outfit and immediately feel right at home in it?  This was one of those times!  I tell ya, ever since I picked up on this boho vibe, I have felt fantastic!  I don't know what it is about fringe and loose fit and off-the-shoulder-ness and a ton of jewelry that just feels right, but whatever it is, I love it!  

I also love my new phone case from Iconemesis!  Right now, if you donate to the Iconemisis Indigogo campaign, they will sent you a phone case of your very own FOR FREE!  What are you waiting for? Campaign ends in a couple of days!  Donate to help them reach their funding goal and pimp out your phone!  Click HERE to help!

… and I hope that you, too, find an outfit that makes you feel just as fantastic as this outfit makes me feel!  Do you have your own "iconic" look?  Let me know! 

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On the fringe…

Saturday, August 16, 2014
bohemian outfit, boho outfit, hippie outfit, arm party, fringe dress, fringe maxi skirt, indigenous hippie kintala necklace

Bonjour, tout le monde!  In lieu of the last sad-feeling weeks, I have embraced the desire to enjoy all of the little things in life.  

We all get caught up in how quickly things move, but when tragedy strikes, it really puts things into perspective.  Here's to twirling, stopping to smell the wildflowers, and wearing lots and lots of bracelets (style tip thanks to a late-night Pinterest trawl of photos of Miley Cyrus).  Oh, and also to wearing maxi skirts as dresses! 

Pretty much everything else was a gift from my daddy and step-mum in California! 

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: Jasper bracelet giveaway…

Friday, August 15, 2014
giveaway, freebie, contest, sweepstakes, freebie friday, win it, free jewelry, fire in the sky, etsy, fire in the sky jasper bracelet, blue bracelet

It's Friday, Friday, enter to win some goodies on Friday!  Well, tout le monde, it has been one of those weeks.  Everything has just been a little bit off with the news about Robin Williams and all that is going on in the world.  Relax with a glass of wine, some friends, and relish in the opportunity to win this wonderful Jasper bracelet from my newest etsy/e-mail chat friend over at Fire in the Sky! This bracelet is a wonderful little work of art made of sea sediment jasper, Czech glass and antiquated copper beads and my little hippie heart is loving it!  See how I styled mine here

This giveaway is INTERNATIONAL!

Oh, and in case you don't win, go ahead and use code Favorite15 for 15% off anything in her shop! 

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Back to school, back to school…

Thursday, August 14, 2014
deb shops crochet hem top, deb shops chevron shorts, deb shops cutout booties, fire in the sky jasper necklace, fire in the sky jasper bracelet, fall transition outfits, fall outfits, back to school outfits, outfit ideas, chevron shorts, shorts over tights, open toed shoes with tights, jasper jewelry

Bonjour, tout le monde!  I don't know about ya'll, but there's a hint of fall in the air and I am 
1) Overjoyed that I have managed to make the 10 (yes, 10) packages of Halloween Oreos that my assorted family members sent me last year and the 5 packages of pumpkin spice Via that my daddio sent me last fall survive until now.  They are perfect to start getting me in the autumn moon!
2) Nostalgic that I am not going back to school.  I finished my master's in 2012, so the only school I could reasonably go to now would be to get a Ph.D (not so much in the forecast) and I'm not teaching in school right now and I feel a bit lost, though I have heard that it is possible to take college courses for free online.  If you know anything about that, I'd love some info!

Anywho, I really want to go back-to-school shopping, but without a school to go back to, I decided to watch 7 solid hours of Pretty Little Liars while simultaneously pinning outfits on Pinterest and playing in my closet to create what, in my everso humble opinion, are some pretty rad BTS outfits.  I am definitely loving tights with shorts and went out on a limb by wearing tights with open-toed shoes, but I love the way this look came together.  Side note: I got all set for a fancy photo shoot, but the millisecond I stepped outside to do it, the skies opened up and I had to take refuge in a supply shed (hence the very un-BTS background here).  I really do need to give an epic shout out to my sponsors for the pieces that made up this look.  Big thanks to Deb, Fire in the Sky, and Amy Waltz Designs for making me feel trendy despite having been drenched and hiding in a dirty, spider-filled shed! 

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