2016 Highlights

2016 was a nutty year. There were plenty of lows and it's so easy to get bogged down with the negatives and forget all the positive things that happened too.
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Travel // Tips for Planning a Safari Trip

An African safari has been on my bucket list for as long as I can remember and I was so thrilled to make it a reality on my trip last month. One thing I quickly learned though, is that a safari isn't exactly easy to plan.
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Fashion // Holiday Gift Guides

I feel *a little* behind on holiday shopping this year. With our trip to Africa and a pretty hectic work schedule, I'm just getting around to crossing off my shopping lists. That hasn't stopped me from doing some pretty major online (window) shopping. Christmas is officially less than 10 days away (crazy!) and it's time to start making some present purchases. I've been scouting the best items for everyone on my list and want to share them with you. So here's a holiday guide to give you some gift-giving inspiration, if you're like me and just starting to get around to it! My top picks for little stocking stuffers, gifts for her and gifts for him are below. Happy shopping!

one // two // three (cute little bows!) // four // five // six // seven (daily inspiration)// eight
one // two // three // four (for the girl that's dreaming of the beach) // five (necessary) // six // seven // eight (it's velvet!)
one // two // three (my boyfriend loves his) // four // five // six (American made!) // seven // eight // nine

Travel // A Two Week Southern Africa Itinerary

When we bought our tickets to Africa I immediately started planning how to make the most of our time. I think there are two kinds of travelers, those who take it slow and soak everything in in one area, and those who hop around trying to see as much as possible. I definitely fall into the latter category.

When I say we packed A LOT into our time in Africa, I really mean it! We covered 4 countries in two weeks. I don't always think this is the best way to travel and really hate spending precious vacation time inside airports moving to a new city, but our trip was surprisingly not too hectic and we both left feeling relaxed AND that we accomplished a lot. I'm so happy with how our itinerary turned out. We had a little bit of everything in there... nature, beach, vineyards and city.

When planning a trip of this magnitude, on a continent that's chock full of so much, it helps to determine "must-dos" and plan around those. Our must-dos were a safari, Devil's Pool in Victoria Falls and Cape Town. Given these three priorities and how huge the continent is, we knew we would have to fly a few times while in Africa. Here's pretty much how our itinerary shook out, which a slight change that I wish we had made:

We flew direct from NYC to Johannesburg (Joburg) and immediately transferred to a flight to Kasane, Bostwana. We stayed in Botswana for 3 nights doing a safari in Chobe National Park (such an amazing experience!) and then took a car transfer up to Victoria Falls. Victoria Falls separates Zimbabwe and Zambia and we stayed in Zambia but took a day trip to view the falls from both countries. After two night in Vic Falls, we flew down to Cape Town to close out our trip. We actually only did a day trip to the South African wine region of Stellenbosch and Franschhoek, but looking back I wish we spent a couple nights up there. The vineyards are only a 40 minute drive from Cape Town, so a totally easy day trip, but we we fell in love with the area and a full day just didn't cut it.

Next I'm going to break down the different parts of our trip and share what we did in each location, my thoughts and tips. Hope you have a great weekend!

Travel // Review: Boulders Beach Penguins, South Africa

I just got back from an absolutely amazing trip to Africa. I can't wait to share my thoughts, tips and advice with you all! I know a trip to Africa is on a lot of bucket lists so I want to cover everything and give sample itineraries, hotel recommendations and activity suggestions to make planning an African adventure easier.

We covered A LOT of ground on this trip... four countries to be exact! I'll share our full itinerary and travel flow, but I'm going to start with things a little out of order. This particular day was actually towards the end of our trip, when we were in Cape Town. It is definitely one of the best memories and a major highlight of our time in Africa.

Boulders Beach is located about an hour outside of Cape Town down the mountainous peninsula. What makes this beach special is that it's home to thousands of penguins! African penguins are endangered and their home on Boulders Beach is national parkland. The little birds wander around the protected park and visitors can watch them waddle from a boardwalk. They're adorable!

The boardwalk above the beach meanders through the national park and takes visitors along the beach to view the penguins. But something not all visitors know is that you can actually go down on the beach and get close to the little guys. The beach access area is off the far right side of the boardwalk. You can sunbathe, swim and make a little tuxedoed friend!

Boulders Beach is a gorgeous place and it's really special to see the African Penguins up close. If you're in Cape Town it's a must do! It's easy to get there by renting a car or taking an Uber (they're super cheap!). Details on my pink off-the-shoulder tasseled sundress can be found here and more photos below!

What: Boulders Beach Penguin Colony 
How To Get There: Rent a car and drive the winding mountain roads down the Cape Peninsula to Simon's Town, where Boulders Beach is located. The drive is about 45 minutes, but it's pretty intense. The roads wind around the mountain and are very narrow- not a drive for the faint of heart! Another options is having an Uber take you. A cost estimate showed the price to be the equivalent to $20 USD one way.
What To Do: Visit the penguins and have a beach day. Simon's Town is also full of cute shops and restaurants for when you're done with the penguins. We ate lunch at Saveur and I highly recommend it!