31 March 2011

Let the Good Times Roll!

Today was officially my last day at my current job and as from tomorrow I will employed as a Junior Consultant at a new firm (also see here) Whoohoo!  I cannot wait to start in this new position... it's kinda sorta my young person dream job so I don't think I've ever been more excited to go to work before :)  Tomorrow we will just be going over my contract and discussing what I'll be doing at the firm and then we will take it from there.  It seems like there will be a lot of opportunities to attend conferences, training workshops, etc so I think I'll grow a lot.  Thanks to all of you for your encouragement in this post - initially I was a little hesitant to accept the position, but looking back I definitely think I made the right decision :)

In other good news, I was also able to pick up my car today and it seems like everything is fixed!  I cannot express how happy I am to finally have it back - it's been gone for a week now which means that Jurgen has been having to give me rides everywhere... work, gym, grocery store, you name it.  I'm glad that he can finally take a little break from being my chauffeur and I'm glad that I can finally get back into my normal schedule again... definitely a win-win situation.

Most exciting of all though, this weekend Jurgen and I will be headed on a little road trip to the adorable town of Clarens.  I know that in this post we were pretty set on just heading to Dullstroom for the weekend, but when my new employer offered to give me an extra few days off in-between jobs, we decided to extend the trip by a couple of days and instead head somewhere a little further away.  We spent one night in Clarens over the December break when two of our friends from the States came out to visit and we really adored it and all agreed that we should have set aside a couple more days to explore the area.  It's a a scenic little mountain town that's renowned for it's art galleries, sidewalk cafes and the beautiful national park that surrounds it.  I can't wait to sleep-in, read a good book (that's not class-related) and drink lots and lots of cappuccinos.  Here's some pics from the short time that we were able to spend there in December:

While I'm gone I've lined up some wonderful guest posts from some of my favorite bloggers :)  I can't wait to share their posts with you, I know you're going to love them!

Since we're only leaving Saturday morning, I'm hoping to link up with with {av} for her weekly feature Friday's Fancies before we go- as you might guess, I'll be putting together my dream look for a weekend away :)

What are your weekend plans? 

29 March 2011

Recipe: Rocket and Caramelized Pear Pasta Salad

Today I'm linking up with FTLOB for Tasty Tuesday!  

I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to share this amazing and Spring-inspired side dish with you :)  I tried it last weekend and it's pretty easy to make, but still looks impressive if you're having guests over and tastes SO good - trust me on this one. 

Rocket & Caramelized Pear Pasta Salad

Serves: 4
Time: 20 minutes

You will need:
  • 200g penne pasta (about 2 1/2 cups)
  • 2 ripe pears
  • 50g butter (about 1/4 cup)
  • 30g brown sugar (a little more than 1/8 cup)
  • 50g soft blue cheese (1/2 cup)
  • 50ml extra virgin olive oil (1/4 cup)
  • 30ml balsamic vinegar (1/8 cup)
  • 5ml dijon mustard (about a teaspoon)
  • 100g fresh baby rocket (or a handful of any other fancy lettuce if you can't find it)

1. Cook the penne in salted boiling water, drain and allow to cool.
2. Slice the ripe pears, place in a pan and turn on the heat.  Add the butter and the brown sugar.  Allow to cook until sticky and caramel-golden brown.
3. Mash the soft blue cheese with the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and dijon mustard into a creamy dressing.
4. Toss the penne with the baby rocket (or other fancy lettuce) and caramelized pears.  Dress with the blue cheese dressing just before serving.
5. Enjoy!

Let me know how it turns out!

28 March 2011

Monday Spotlight: Stellenbosch

Over the past few weeks a lot of readers have mentioned that they'd love to see more photos of South Africa on the blog (thanks guys!) and so I've come up with the idea of doing Monday Spotlights!  Since I literally have thousands upon thousands of photos from all over the country, I think I will use every Monday to post on a different city or area of cultural interest.  Most often I'll try and post about some place that I've visited (and loved) and also include recommendations on where to stay, eat, drink etc, so that if any of you lovely readers ever plan on making a trip down here, you'll have a little head start on your travel research :)  Some weeks, I'll mix it up though and rather share a traditionally South African recipe or some fun fact about the country.

I thought the adorable town of Stellenbosch would be the perfect first Monday Spotlight, since it's Jurgen and my old stomping ground, where we first met and where I spent my first year and a half in South Africa.  Needless to say, Stellenbosch is very special to me and brings with it a host of nostalgic feelings and wonderful memories.

The University

Stellenbosch revolves around its University (University of Stellenbosch) and truly is a student's paradise.  The University sits in the very center of everything and almost all restaurants, bars, shopping, etc are within walking distance which means that international students and students without a car can get along perfectly fine.

On our way to explore town - these were are dorms, aren't they gorgeous?!

Stellenbosch is one of the oldest towns in the country that was settled by the Dutch and has maintained a great deal of its Dutch heritage which can be seen and felt in the architecture, culture and winelands that surround the area.  It's well known for it's beautiful red brick walkways and towering oak trees that line the sides of the streets.  There is also a huge cafe culture in Stellenbosch and when the weather is nice, people like to sit outside and enjoy a nice cappuccino and a good book.

Typical Cape Dutch Architecture

City Hall and Red Brick Sidewalks lined with Oak Trees

Where to Eat

There are so many delicious places to eat in Stellenbosch, but here are a few of my favorites:
  • Wijnhuis (Winehouse): is great for a first or last meal in the city.  It is one of the nicer restaurants in town and offers a fantastic wine selection and an even more fantastic menu - I highly recommend the Caprice Salad for a starter and the Ostrich Medallions (yes, Ostrich!) for a main - I promise it will be one of the top three meals you've ever had (unless you're vegetarian of course)!
  • Manouche: is by far my favorite place to eat in Stellenbosch and whenever we go back to visit, it is a must on Jurgen and my to-do list.  Manouche is a Lebanese restaurant and is fairly small with an open air vibe.  The food is very affordable, yet oh so tasty and there is often live music.  Book in advance for dinners if you don't want to wait though because the place fills up fast!
  • Java Cafe: is the perfect streetside cafe for sipping a cappuccino and people watching.  It's always busy, offers a lovely selection of food and also has prime outdoor seating.  I actually waitressed at Java for three months after I graduated, so I can vouch - the place really is worth visiting and their cinnamon pancakes are divine!
    At Wijnhuis on our first night in Stellenbosch
    Where to Drink:
    Since it's a student town, Stellenbosch has a killer nightlife and offers everything from more upscale cocktail lounges, to casual bars to places where you can dance the night away.  Here are three of my favorites:
  • Cubana: would fall within the upscale cocktail lounge category.  If your looking for a dressy night out with the girls then this is the place to be.  There isn't a dance floor, but there is a DJ, they have beautiful cocktails and you can also order snack platters for the table.  They also have hookahs and sell cuban cigars.  There isn't a dress code for girls, but guys have to wear long pants and close-toed shoes.
    The oustide of Cubana
  • Springboks: only normally gets going around midnight, but stays open all night long and has a dance floor, a bar and a pool hall.  It is somewhat of a legend in Stellenbosch, since everyone seems to convene there at 2am and it's every student's goal to "shut down Springbok" one night, i.e. stay there until 6am when the bar finally closes - I must admit I've never done this and most probably never will, but it's an ambitious goal for any of you night owls out there :)
  • Nu'bar: Hands down the best place to be if you want to go dancing and are looking for a student vibe!  It's also probably my favorite place to go out in Stellenbosch.  It's always packed and the DJs take song requests so it always makes for a good night out
    The outide of Nu'bar
    Where to Stay:
    Since I stayed in a dorm in Stellenbosch, I don't have any personal experience with accommodation, but I would recommend staying in a Guest House as there are plenty in the center of town and within walking distance of everything and anything you may want to see - just make sure it's close to Church Street (this is the main street in town) and you should be safe.
    A Few of my Favorite Snapshots:
    All of the girls getting ready to head out for a night on the town :)

    Wine Tasting at Tokara - I love this pic because it was one of the first times Jurgen and I met :)
    Me and the three best roomies a girl could ask for :)
    Thanks so much for joining me for my first Monday Spotlight :) - I'm really excited to make this part of my weekly routine and hope that it will inspire some of you to start planning on making a trip out here!  Eventually, I would love to make this a weekly link up since I would really enjoy to read about your home town and favorite places to visit!
    Hope everyone had a wonderful and relaxing weekend :)

25 March 2011

It's Good To Be Back!

Two research papers, two exams, one presentation, three assignments and one full-time job later, I'm happy to announce that I'm still alive and glad to be back!  It was a rough two weeks to say the least, but it feels so good to have everything behind me now and just relax a little bit.

Since I couldn't make it for Virtual Coffee this week, let me just quickly fill you in on what's been happening in my life.  Jurgen is back from his conference in Cape Town which makes for one happy girl on this side - I know I've already said it before, but even though we've done distance for months in the past, saying goodbye never gets easier, even if it's only for one week.  It's nice to have him back and we were able to squeeze in time for dinner and movie this past weekend which always makes for a nice date night :)

Yesterday we finally made the drive out to Pretoria to drop my car off to hopefully finally get fixed.  Poor Jurgen also had to drive out there with me so that he could give me a ride home and we spent about two hours sitting in traffic for what should normally be about a 40 minute trip - no fun - but something that definitely had to be done at some point (totally didn't mean to rhyme there).

Other than that I'm just getting ready to start at the new j-o-b and am getting more and more excited by the day since everything is starting to wind down where I'm working now.  It's always nice to start someplace new in a completely different environment and I can't wait to see where this opportunity takes me, if nothing else I think I will learn a lot :) 

Even though I've been buried under piles and piles of books the past couple of weeks, I've been receiving tons of bloggy love and want to thank everyone for all of your kind words and encouragement!  It's really helped me to pull through and I feel so blessed to be part of such a supportive and uplifting community :)  Not only have I been floored by all of your wonderful comments, but I also won two amazing giveaways this week, one being a beautiful embroidered travel bag from Odyssa  (thanks Anna!) and the other being a $25 giftcard to CSN courtesy of the lovely ladies over at Jet Setting Divas!

If this wasn't enough to already have me riding on cloud nine, I also received an award from Caley over at Ms Rosie Posie - thanks Caley!

There are four duties that need to be performed in order to accept this award:
1) Link back to the person who awarded it
2) Share 7 things about yourself
3) Award 6 recently discovered great bloggers
4) Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award

So here goes:
1) I write with my left hand, but do everything else with my right (i.e.throw, catch, etc).
2) I studied abroad three semesters during my undergrad degree and each one was completely different from the others, but all were equally amazing.
3) I really love living in South Africa, but definitely miss a lot about the United States and hope that I'll be able to move back (at least for a few years) at some stage in my life.
4) I'm an adrenaline junky and have jumped off the highest recorded bungee jump in the world.
5) I'm extremely scared of needles and cry like a baby every time I have to get a shot or get blood drawn.
6) I have an unhealthy obsession with rice cakes and literally snack on them All. Day. Long.
7. I'm not allergic to poison oak (kind of makes me feel invincible) :)

And now here are six blogs that I've recently discovered and would love to pass this award on to:

Jamie at Making the Mundane Magical
Leigh at Very Loveleigh
Rebecca at Rubin-hood
Ashton at Soulshine
Jana at Seashells and Southern Belles
Ashley at Run With Me

Oh, and see that lovely signature at the bottom of the page?  Joelle over at Where We Love is Home hand wrote it for me :)  She does beautiful calligraphy and has her own etsy shop, so if you're in the market for some  wonderfully addressed envelopes I'd mosey on over there right about now.

16 March 2011

Guest Post at The Elephant's Trunk

Today I'm excited to be guest posting on South African wine over at Lauren's wonderful blog, The Elephant's Trunk.  Lauren has an awesome weekly feature called Winey Wednesdays and I'm so glad she allowed me to be a part of it!

Grab a nice glass of wine, hop on over and take a look!

15 March 2011

Virtual Coffee

I know I say this every week, but.... Coffee is SO necessary today and if we were really meeting for coffee I would probably order whatever was strongest... a macciatto with an added shot of espresso perhaps?  What's it going to be for you?

If we were really having coffee I would tell you that this past week has been Hectic with a capital H, hence my lack of posts as some of you may or may not have noticed.  Saturday morning I dropped Jurgen off at the airport since he is needed to fly to Cape Town for a conference and from that point forward I have been running on full throttle. 

The whole weekend was devoted to working on a research paper which I still didn't get quite finished, so I stayed up late last night and woke up early this morning to add in all the finishing touches before work.  The rest of the week will be jam packed with night classes, presentations and even a test thrown in just for the fun of it.  Please. Let. This. Week. Be. Over!  Haha, ok ok, maybe I'm being a little dramatic and should just still for a minute and listen to what your week has in store for you - any fun plans or is your week ahead also looking like mine and you'd just rather not talk about it? ;)

On a less stressfull note, if we were really having coffee I would tell you that our university break is coming up at the end of next week and it worked out that I almost have two weeks straight with no class :)  Even more exciting, I think a trip back to this idyllic place may be in order over one of the long weekends, and truthfully, this is what has been keeping me going.  Dullstroom really is the perfect place to relax and escape the hustle and bustle of the city; Jurgen and I visited this little town with some friends last year and I don't think any of us ever wanted to leave. 

 Here's some pictures from last year's visit:

Doesn't it look amazing!?

If we were really having coffee I would ask you if there's a particular place you go for a quiet weekend retreat.
If we were really having coffee I would probably also give you an update on my car, since last week when we met it was in with the gearbox specialists.  Unfortunately, it needs a completely new transmission which spells not so happy days for my bank account.  But, even though I was really upset about it last week, these things happen and I think I'm over it now and am to the point where I just want to pay to fix it so that I can have my car back and running again.  I would also probably ask you car recommendations, since I may be in the market for a new one in a few months :)

Well, my macciatto is almost finished, but before we go back to work or school or wherever, we would probably talk about the horrible tragedy that happened in Japan last week and how sad and terrifying and horrible the whole thing really is.  I would probably also tell you about my dear friend Katie who is living in Japan and how I am so relieved to hear that she is ok and how happy I was to be able to speak with her today.  Katie and I travelled through Japan together in 2006 and her love for the country eventually led to her enrolling in a program to teach English in Japanese schools.  She immediately came to mind when I heard about the earthquake, and I will continue to keep her and everyone else in Japan in my thoughts and prayers as they begin the slow and difficult process of recovery and rebuilding.

Well my coffee is finished and it looks like yours is too, but I can't wait to meet again next Tuesday!

12 March 2011

Friday's Fancies #2

I'm linking up again with {av} at Long Distance Loving for her weekly link-up Friday's Fancies!  For those of you who don't know, Friday's Fancies is a chance to dream up whatever outfit you'd like to be wearing on a Friday night if money were not an option.

Tonight is date night since Jurgen's leaving tomorrow for a conference and will be gone until Thursday... it's funny how distance never gets easier, even if you've done it for months in the past and now it's just for a few days!  Since he won't be here for the rest of the weekend, we're going to grab dinner and a glass of wine at one of our favorite restaurants.  If money was no object, I would be wearing this st. patty's inspired wrap dress with some wedges, a scarf and a nice clutch :)

10 March 2011

A Healthy Dose of Happiness

All photos via Pinterest

~Because we could all use a healthy dose~

Today was super tough for me... one of those days where you think "ok, now it couldn't get any worse" and then it does.  But, during hard times I think it's important to remember how much we have to be grateful for and how much beauty exists in the world.  Tomorrow I'm going to wake up and the sun is going to be shining and it is going to be a new day - Isn't that the beauty of life? :)

09 March 2011

A Perfect Weeknight Recipe

I tried this recipe last night and it was super simple to make, but still tastes delicious - which by now you probably know I'm all about.  Once the chicken is defrosted it only took about 20 minutes to prep and cook and as an added bonus it's extremely healthy and diet friendly.  All in all it's a win win situation and I definitely recommend it for nights when you don't feel like picking up take-aways (again), but also don't have a lot of time on your hands to make a gourmet feast.

Chicken and Couscous

Serves: 3 - 4
Time: 20 minutes

You will need:
  • 30ml soy sauce - I used low sodium (1/8 cup)
  • 30ml chutney - If you can't find this you can always sub in apricot or peach jam (1/8 cup)
  • 30ml apricot juice (1/8 cup)
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, each sliced into four pieces
  • 250ml vegetable broth/stock (a little more than 1 cup)
  • 250ml couscous (a little more than 1 cup)
  • 1 small red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 2 tomatos, finely diced
  • 15ml fresh thyme leaves (1Tbs)

1. Mix together soy sauce, chutney and fruit juice.  Place the chicken slices in this marinade for a couple of minutes to soak.
2. Put the broth/stock on to boil.  Add the couscous and remove from heat.
3. Preheat a griddle pan.  Remove the chicken pieces from the marinade and shake off the excess.  Lower them into the griddle pan and grill for about 2 minutes on each side.
4. Stir the chopped red peppers, tomatoes and thyme into the couscous using a large fork to loosen the granules.  Season and serve with grilled chicken pouring excess marinade from griddle pan over the top.
5. Enjoy!

Let me know how it turns out!

08 March 2011

Virtual Coffee

It's Tuesday again which means that it's time for virtual coffee! 

I think this week I will be ordering a Chai Tea Latte, since they are my all time fave and I've been drinking way too much coffee as of late.  What's it going to be for you?

If we were really having coffee I would probably start out by venting to you.  Ready... here goes... I took my car into the mechanic for what I though was a minor problem on Monday morning and it has stayed there ever since (well not really, it has actually moved to transmission specialists) because it seems like there may be a potentially big problem with the gearbox... No Fun.  So I've been having to ask Jurgen to drive me to and from work every day, have been hitching a ride to the gym with him and it's looking like he will need to drop me off and pick me up from my night class tomorrow night... poor guy!  What would I do without him? :)  I just really hope that the gearbox doesn't need to be replaced because that spells a lot of $$$!  We'll see and just hope for the best, I'm sure I'll give you an update next week when we meet for coffee.

On the brighter side I would probably mention how great my weekend was and how much fun I had taking the whole of Saturday off and spending some well needed quality time with the Jurgenator (aka Jurgen).  I cannot remember the last time we both had a full day to enjoy together and I hope in the future we will be able to set aside more time to explore Johannesburg and visit new places.  I would then ask you about your weekend, if you did anything fun and if you've been on any fun trips recently or have any planned.

I would also probably tell you that I am really looking forward to starting my new job.  The bulk of my time at my job now is being spent training my replacement, so I am really looking forward to April and the prospect of starting something new :)  While I don't want to bore you all too much with the details, in my new position I will be working as a Junior Consultant for a firm so there will be a lot of traveling, different projects and new things to learn, and I think it will be just what the doctor ordered.  I would ask you how your job is going, if you're happy where you are and if there may be a new prospects looming on your horizon... I would probably also ask you your opinion on my move and whether you think I made the right choice or whether I am being too risky :)

If we were really having coffee now our mugs would probably almost be empty and it would almost be time to get back to the hustle and bustle that is our lives, but I would first give you another little update on my Grandpa (also see here and here and here).  I would tell you that while I had hoped that I wouldn't need to give you any more updates, it's been sort of a roller coaster since I last updated you on his recovery.  He's been fighting through all sorts of heart, blood pressure and medication problems since being moved to rehab and so last week he was moved back into a general hospital.  They also think he may have had another mini heart attack two nights ago and so we are all hoping that the doctors will be able to figure out what's causing these complications.  What's important though is that he is still fighting towards getting back on his feet and we are all optimistic that he will be able to work through these set backs and make a full recovery.  If we were really having coffee I would thank you sincerely for all your prayers, positive thoughts and good vibes you've been sending in his direction.

Thanks again for joining me for virtual coffee this week, can't wait to meet again next week!

06 March 2011

A Weekend Outing

So this weekend was supposed to be filled with cappucinos, textbooks, research and paper writing, but when I woke up on Saturday morning this is what I saw and immediately decided that there was no way that I was spending my day inside the house buried underneath a pile of books. 

And, just my luck, Jurgen also felt like being a slacker and getting outside a little bit.  Since we are hardly ever able to both take a full day off these days what followed was quite an extensive debate on what we should with an entire day on our hands... really the possibilities were endless!  :)  I suggested that we either go to the zoo (which is what I always suggest we do on the rare occassion that we take a day off) or go see what the hype is all about at the botanical gardens.  Jurgen had other plans in mind and suggested that we instead go "test out" the new Gautrain (a high speed train that opened about six months ago), to see how it works in case we want to use it to get to the airport in the future.  While this does not sound like the way I would normally choose to spend my day off, I was coaxed into going along with the plan since I normally get to choose.

But before we headed off on our train adventure we did stop and grab some lunch at our favorite restaurant which is pictured below:

Just kidding!... I just thought that this little caravan-converted street side cafe was so adorable that I snapped a quick picture of it to share with you all :)

No, we really ate lunch here, at Nelson Mandela Square in Sandton which really is one of our favorite places to eat when we go out for lunch on the weekend... I love the vibe and the open atmosphere.

After lunch it was finally time for the train ride (is the anticipation killing you yet?).  The Sandton station is within walking distance from Nelson Mandela square just past that row of trees you can see in the above picture.  We were going to ride it to the airport and back, but they charge you double fare to go there since it's the airport and so we opted to just buy return tickets to the stop just before.

(He's trying so hard to contain his excitement in this photo!)

Even though I wouldn't have gone on my own to test out a train system if there wasn't a particular destination in mind, I will say that the experience was quite enjoyable and the whole system ran very smoothly.  The trains are clean and efficient and they have even implemented a system where you can purchase a card for about a $1 and then just load credit onto it as needed. 

Needless to say we will definitely be using the Gautrain to go to and from the airport in future and for any of you thinking of visiting lovely Johannesburg, I would highly recommend using this method rather than paying for a taxi, as long as you have someone picking you up at your destination of course.

Saturday night friends came over and we watched the rugby (our team lost - boo!) and then we played a friendly round of poker (I won - yay!). 

This morning it was back to the books, gym, etc and now I am just gearing up for Monday to start all over again.  I finally bought a chess board this weekend since one of my Goals for 2011 is to learn how to play, so the rest of the evening will probably be spent sipping a glass of red wine while Jurgen attempts to teach me... not a bad weekend if I don't say so myself!

But before I jump into my comfy clothes (it's 8:30pm here right now) I just wanted to recommend that you all try these Chicken Tacos that I found posted on Jane's adorable blog See Jane.  I would have taken pictures of the final product, but my camera's battery was dead.  But trust me, they are really truly delicious and turned out to be the perfect dish to serve to a group of sports-watching friends.  They do take some time (prob about an hour to 90 minutes) and I also varied my recipe like Jane using sour cream instead of mayo in the coleslaw.

What did you all do this weekend?

04 March 2011


Earlier today I was introduced to Jana's wonderful and nautically inspired blog, Seashells and Southern Belles and was immediately drawn to a couple of posts she had done on Vestique.  This was the first I've ever heard of this adorable little online boutique, but lets just say that when I saw the extremely decent price tags attached to their unique and beautiful clothing and accessories I was sold and within 30 minutes 4 items were being shipped to California! -You see although I live in South Africa, my parents are still in California so I at least have the option of shipping things there which makes things a lot easier (and often cheaper) for me.

Here is the inside scoop on my purchases!

I can't wait to pick them up when I visit California again!
What are your thoughts on Vestique?  If this is also your first time hearing about it you should check out their site... I'd love to hear (or see) what your favorites are!

01 March 2011

Virtual Coffee

I can't believe it's already time for virtual coffee again - this past week flew by and it seems like we just met a couple of days ago!  Oh well, I'm glad it's time for coffee again because I am so ready to unwind.

So what will it be today?  I think I will go for a simple iced soy latte since it was so nice and sunny out today  and I could use something nice and refreshing :)

During this week so much has happened that I do not even know where to begin.  As you may or may not remember, when we met last week for virtual coffee I told you that I had major decisions to make and that while I couldn't disclose all the details last week, I would be able to tell you more today :)  And I can!  I resigned from my current position today and will be moving companies and starting somewhere new with effect from the 1st of April.  It was a huge decision because while the new position has a much greater earning potential, it is also risky and will work on the basis that I will earn half of whatever I bring in.  This is kind of scary when it means that I would be giving up the safety and security and stability of my current position, but I think in the long run it will provide me with a lot of experience and after a ton of thought I decided to just go for.  I'm still extremely nervous and have had more than one minor breakdown this week, but I really feel like it was the right decision and I think it will pay out in the long run :)  It also feels like such a relief to finally have just made the decision.

Other than that my week has been pretty same old same old... you know class, gym, work, the usual.  BUT, there may be a last minute trip to Lesotho in order at the end of this month which would be just what the doctor ordered... I haven't been there yet and I've heard it's beautiful :)  My bff also told me this week that she is thinking of coming to visit this year which will be her first time out so my mind is already racing regarding possible must sees and itineraries and I cannot wait for some much needed bestie time.

What about you?  Any new and exciting plans going on in your life, any trips planned, any major life changes???  I hope the new year hasn't brought too much stress your way and you're finding time to see friends and take some time out for yourself.  I'm certainly glad that you were able to find time for virtual coffee today, and hope that you will be able to squeeze me in again next week :)