Monday, March 23, 2015

Weekend in Amsterdam

Being a #basic tourist

The Rijksmuseum

Pancakes and espressos!

Me, Sally, Sue

I amsterdam

The original Heineken brewery

A little afternoon wine before the canal ride

The gorgeous canals in Amsterdam has been a while since my last post! I am so lucky to have opportunities to travel, and after spending some time in both Colorado and Amsterdam (what?!) I finally can sit and catch up on a few things!

One of the many great things about moving to a new city is meeting new people. And it's even better when some of those casual meetings blossom into very unexpected friendships.

As you can see from the picture above, Sally and her sister, Sue, aren't quite in my age range. They are two sisters who live together in my apartment complex. We met outside while walking our dogs. One day, Sally offered to watch Ruby while I was at work. After picking up Ruby at the end of the day, I was invited in for a glass of wine with Sally and her boyfriend, Pat. These days have become sort of a routine. 

Sally, Pat, and Sue have moved all over the country, have had a variety of jobs and experiences, and I have loved getting to know them as neighbors, dog sitters, and friends. One day we were talking about Amsterdam (where Sally travels frequently for work) and I mentioned how I had never been. She casually responded "want to go?" ...and that was that! Sally is an international flight attendant and was kind enough to offer me one of her buddy passes for a short 4-day trek to Amsterdam. 

We left early Wednesday to fly to Newark, then flew over to Amsterdam. We got in early Thursday, and after a quick nap, we headed out to explore. Sally took Sue and me to one of her favorite bars, the flower market, an amazing Thai restaurant for dinner, then we walked through the Red Light district (!) - it was SO interesting to see that side of the Dutch culture.

The next morning, we woke up and had the most AMAZING pancakes. After a few espressos, we took a beautiful canal ride, stopped in at the Van Gogh museum, went to the Heineken experience, and ended the evening with a traditional Dutch meal. We flew home Saturday and (unfortunately) didn't make it home until Monday morning. But it was still worth every minute!

Now more than ever at this point in my life, I truly believe all things happen for a reason. And I believe one of the reasons I was brought to Charleston was to meet Sally, Sue, and Pat. They are truly amazing people with big hearts. Who knew that some of my best friendships would be with my old(er) - not old! - neighbors whom I met while walking my puppy. 

Sally and Sue have spent their lives traveling and experiencing the world - they never had children and are each other's best friends. I feel so grateful to have my two adopted "mother hens" and loved being able to share this experience with them. 

Like I said, you never know when the most casual encounter will turn into a lovely friendship...even if it is in the most unexpected place.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

too many handbags? no such thing

I have inherited many great qualities from my mom. We have similar mannerisms, the same sense of humor, and people used to stop us at the grocery store to tell my mom how alike we looked. One of the most dangerous commonalities between my mom and myself, however, is our love for handbags. We are both happy walking around in Gap leggings and a soft sweater, but tend to splurge on bags. But I have to say, these splurges are not typically impulse purchases. My mom has been known to stalk out a handbag for months (while hoarding Saks giftcards) before pulling the trigger. Like I said in last week's post: it's important to do little things that make yourself happy, but it's equally important to find moderation and balance. My mom has definitely taught me how to do that in many aspects of my life, and I am very grateful to her for that.

Here are two spring-ready pastel bags that I picked up over the last month or so...perfect for wedding season that is quickly approaching! 

Photography: Katie Fiedler

Featured // feathered bag: Kate Spade // blue clutch: Rebecca Minkoff

Pssst! Both bags are available as part of ShopBop's big event! Use code BIGEVENT15 to save up to 25% off these, any many more, items!

 seven styles

See my previous post for 7 other great styles for spring!
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