Our South African Adventure!

Friday, April 12

South Africa had been at the top of my travel list, but only because both of my sisters had gone in the past few years and RAVED about it. Otherwise, honestly, it's random and far away enough that I don't know if I ever would have considered going.

So when our friends Landon & Heather moved to Cape Town last Summer, it was kismet, I literally said to them "we'll be there as soon as we can!"

Once we started realistically making plans, they let us know that they had a road trip planned over Heather's Spring Break (she's a teacher) and that could be the perfect time to visit and tagalong on their already planned trip. Which worked out SO perfectly, because we did things we may have NEVER have done without the guide of locals, and with really minimal planning on our part. We basically just paid for our accommodations and then showed up. Thank you, Landon & Heather! <3
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GARDEN ROUTE //
The morning after we flew into Cape Town, we headed off on the first leg of our road trip. Our home base for the next four days was in a town called Wilderness, at a B&B that has seriously become #goalz. It is owned by the sweetest retired couple, Kevin & Elsie, that bought it 15 years ago and fixed it up, and now rent out the six rooms and live in their house that is built into the property (they sent us off every morning with breakfast served with an anecdote, on their deck off of their dining room/living space.)

We made several day trips around things that L&H had planned - an incredible hike in Plettenberg Bay with lots of seals (below), exploring the coastal village of Knysna complete with a sunset oyester cruise (outfit post to come), a cave tour and wine tasting and many winedowns on our decks. After the days activities, L&H, who are the king and queen of leisure vacations, built in a couple hours to chill every evening before either going to dinner or ordering in one night on our deck, which was maybe my favorite evening. This was a new way to vacation for me! Which I enjoyed!

Art & I absolutely loved sitting on the deck off of our room (pictured above) with a cup of tea or glass of wine and looking over the lagoon, we tried to do it every day!

Throwing in some recommendations just in case you need them: the best meal/restaurant we visited in this area was Salinas Beach Restaurant, we loved walking around and shopping at Milkwood Village, I don't know what specific oyster sunset cruise we did in Knysna but I would absolutely recommend that, The Turbine Hotel is where I'm drinking my pink G&T below, and I loved the Karusa winery!
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ADDO ELEPHANT PARK //
Next stop - Addo National Park, to see some animals! For next to nothing, we stayed in cottages (Art & I) and Rondavels (L&H) that backed up right against the park. We could see Kudu, all kinds of birds, warthogs, and even elephants (with binoculars) right from our back deck which was so neat!

To get up close to the good stuff, we did a sunset game drive through the park, which was spectacular. We drove through a pack of 20 or more elephants (you can only see a few in my photos, but there were LOTS) this was probably one of my favorite moments of the trip. They really are beautiful creatures. On the game drive we also saw zebras, lots more Kudu, a hyena which was very creepy, warthogs, and even a couple lions dozing before their evening meal (you can see them behind me below!) Special thanks to the team that made my safari photo dreams come true.

We were pretty isolated in Addo, so it was a quiet couple of days. All of our meals were at the one restaurant in the park, so I don't have any other recommendations. But doing the game drive was completely worth it!
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CAPE TOWN //
Ah, Cape Town. The evening we arrived (after an 8 hour drive that turned into 12 hours, still fun) I instantly had panicked feelings of "I want to spend so much more time here!!"

Cape Town is super hip and it's a little crazy how much it reminded me of San Francisco. What with the foodie & bar scene, the climate, the way the city is built, and the intense fog, there were times walking around where I was convinced we were in San Francisco. The biggest difference being that everywhere you go, you are surrounded by these majestic rock formations. The star of the show being "Table Mountain", and the fog that often covers it is called "the tablecloth" which tickled me!

Really we had one full mega Cape Town day that we maxed out, with the help of our guides!

We started the day by getting coffee and a quick breakfast in Camps Bay, the ritzy coastal area, but honestly it was covered by some of the thickest fog I've ever seen, we couldn't even see the ocean! That's where I'm standing in the rainbow below. Then we took the Chapman's Peak drive to Hout Bay, and onto Kalk Bay, and Muizenberg. Unfortunately it was still pretty foggy, but still a beautiful drive. It was so fun exploring all the little coastal towns, each with their own vibe & charm. Our friends are partial to Muizenberg, so we spent some time walking around there (rainbow changing rooms on the beach below), had a parking lot Boerie (South African Bratwurst, basically) and then it was on to wine tasting! I won't go too much into that because I did in this post. But I will say it's a must MUST do in Cape Town! We did have a chill hour or so and then it was on to dinner (we went to this place where we tried a sampling of a bunch of different African foods) and truly we didn't last much longer than that after such a day.

Recommendations: We loved Kloof Street House for a magical dinner, The Moveable Feast & The Gin Bar were two great bars we visited, I could have spent so much more time at the Old Biscuit Mill Market/the most amazing food court, more about all the wineries we visited here. We had a little Airbnb apartment (the photo of the street below) in the neighborhood of Gardens, which was perfect - so walkable, so many tucked away bars, shops, and restaurants we didn't even have time to go into!
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I can't wait to go back to Cape Town! Special thank you again to our friends Landon & Heather, who planned the entire amazing trip. We surprisingly never ran out of things to talk about, and when we were getting ready to leave, I said "I hope you guys aren't like PLEASE GET OUT OF HERE" because we never tired of hanging with them.

Let me know if you have additional questions about anything we saw or did!

The Perfect South Africa Adventure Dress!

Friday, April 5

Hi everyone! I am still very much getting my life (and this blog lol) back together after returning from South Africa on Sunday, from what was an incredible trip! 

I thought it'd be fun to start sharing some outfits, and through that, adventures, from our travels.

I think I did a decent job packing, actually, this may be one of the few trips I've been on where I wore every single item in my suitcase as least once. Still, I stuck to my AWAY carry-on ($20 off your first purchase + I get $20 too for...another suitcase?) so I had to be savvy about not just filling it up with one-hit wonders. 

On my trip, I was hit with the startling realization that my Madewell Courier Shirtdress is THE ultimate travel dress. And if you don't believe me, read on to see me modeling it in a variety of vacation-situations, feeling appropriately & adorabley dressed and comfortable all the while! 
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| sunnies: ban.do (find them on Amazon, here) | dress: Madewell | trainers: Superga | 

So when I say "adventures" what I really mean is "wine tasting." Which we did plenty of! Did you know South Africa has an absolutely amazing wine growing and tasting scene? If I had to guess (I know nothing) it must have something to do with it having a very similar climate = growing conditions (?) to California wine country.

Anyway our plans on ^ this ^ day were to go on a local cave tour, visit a few wineries & distilleries, and after a couple hours of downtime ("the Landon & Heather special") conclude with an anniversary dinner for our friends. This was the last day of the first part of our trip, based in a town called Wilderness. 

These pictures were taken at a winery called Karusa, where we spent a lovely couple of hours in the afternoon. We sat on a grassy lawn overlooking the vineyards and scenery and tasting lots of wine, it was PERFECT. We visited a winery/distillery afterwards called Grundheim that was very low-key and family owned, but great as well! They had a bunch of cats including two named Gin & Tonic. This was where Art & I decided we needed to buy bottles of gin to take home (pink for me, duh) which required us to check our bags and ultimately miss the last flight of our trip home...another story...

Also here's the spread we had at Karusa which is honestly more beautiful than any of the photos above.
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Our mega day in Cape Town consisted of a FULL day of exploring, including, three more wineries, each more gorgeous than the next, for real (I'll share pics later!) I needed something breezy and comfortable, but also cute, for this blog, you know ? My shirtdress was the only option.

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| sunnies: ban.do (find them on Amazon!) | dress: Madewell | trainers: Superga | jacket: Taylor Stitch (it's Arts'! This is one of his favorite brands.) | purse, below: Pop & Suki | 

Once again, a cheese plate that surpassed my wildest dreams from Buitenverwachting which was absolutely lovely. We also visited Groot Constantia (for the history buffs - the oldest winery in South Africa!) and Beau Constantia (hip and modern, with the best bathroom view of all TIME.)    

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I've been debating on what exactly makes this dress for perfect for travel, and whether or not it has to be specifically THIS Madewell one or if any shirtdress will do. So here's what I'll say. This exact dress:

- Fits me perfectly, and is comfortable while still being flattering. I am 5'2" and I feel like it hits me in the right spot (I am wearing an XS for reference.)
- Has a great weight, if that makes sense. The fabric is light and breezy, but not too thin or see-through.
- Has POCKETS for vacation treasures!
- Was folded into a suitcase and no of course I didn't iron it, and I don't think it looks terrible.
- Is very comfortable (again!), no riding up, no adjusting & I ate all this cheese!
- Was durable! For climbing rocks, exploring caves, & loads of walking; it never felt too dainty for activity.

Also this dress in this fabric/color appears to not be available at Madewell at this second, but seems pretty evergreen, so I bet it will be back. Right now they do have a courier dress in like a stripey button-up form (could be really nice to wear to work!) and a dreamy rainbow print (I have my rainbow print from last year and I STILL want this one too.)


The happiest lil outfit photo you ever did see below, along with some of that South Africa wine scenery.
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My One Spring Purchase

Thursday, March 14

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What will she be??

If you have, by some miracle, missed it (I feel like I mention this in every single post so if you have missed it I'm glad) I am doing a no-buy year. I'm not buying any clothes/etc., save for the one seasonal/quarterly item I am permitting myself to buy (full details here.)

Spring is around the corner (if not already here) so I'm due a little pick-me-up, but honestly, this challenge is making me seriously overthink every shopping decision (as was the idea.) Do I take advantage of seasonal sales to buy something more Winter-y? Can I get as much wear out of shoes as a clothing item? Do I choose something that will transition well into Summer? Is a swimsuit a good choice? Or do I fully go for it by investing in a Spring 2019 trend?? I feel kinda paralyzed!

Anyway here are all the ideas of what might be the one item I purchase this Spring.

Also - before anyone comes for me: I am NOT a graphic designer, okay?!
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  • This wide leg cut is everywhere right now & could be a v trendy update to my pants game. But part of me is wondering if they will look horrible on me because I'm so short?? Also torn between a denim or a versatile olive...or a fun blush
  • Espadrilles are one thing I have literally never wanted to wear - until now, for some reason? P.S. this exact pair is $19! 
  • I usually buy A new swimsuit/year, but when I already have plenty, is it worth my one purchase?? Even though there are S O many adorable new styles out right now? Mara Hoffman absolutely slays me time & time again, how good are both of these (subtle rainbow / floral)?
  • Lilac is more about the color itself, though I do love this work appropriate crop top. I've been seeing this sweet sister of purple (who, you already know I'm obsessed with) all over, and it's just darling! 
  • No one is more surprised than me that fleece jackets are this in style right now, but they're the Spring equivalent of the teddy coat that was THE item for Winter 2019. I have various fleeces, hoodies, and zip-ups (more than I can wear, honestly) and yet - I still really want an oversized white nubby fleece I can wear over leggings.
  • I've only recently gotten into maxi-style dresses, and never for warm weather, but a linen dress like this feels like EXACTLY what I want to wear this Summer. Already dreaming of packing this for Summer travels. If I'm being honest, this exact dress is probably what I'll buy. But black or pink?
  • I have become such a loafer over flats girl! There's something really androgynous and effortless but fabulous about them. A jewel or blush toned pair could be the perfect fresh pick for Spring! 
  • Somehow forgot this entirely in the bottom section but I still have a rainbow sweater on my mind. The problem here is this will not translate to Summer, giving me about a couple months window to wear!



What are your must-haves for Spring 2019? What am I missing? If you're doing a no-buy challenge of any kind, I would love to hear from you! Let me know in the comments.

All of these exact items + a TON more options for each linked in the widget below.