Friday, October 26, 2012

{Happy Friday + More Friends}

Happy Friday everyone! I must say that this week absolutely flew by. Unfortunately I'm having a hard time getting over my jet lag so I've been getting little sleep and feeling a bit zombie-ish.

This weekend I have a few fun things planned. Tonight, we're going out for curry + beer with a bunch of friends (apparently it's a British thing?), Saturday I'm treating myself to a facial (ah, can't wait!!) and Sunday I am heading apple picking with the girls! The weather forecast looks perfectly fall - chilly but clear - and the leaves are changing and falling all around us. This is definitely one of my most favorite times of the year so I plan on soaking it all up. Hope you have something fun planned for the weekend!

If you're cozied up at home this weekend and need some new reads, check out these awesome ladies! You might already know them, but if you don't, you will be so excited to add them to your list of daily reads. Enjoy!

Hello, friends of Liz! I'm Betsy, an American re/expat. That means I split my time between Washington, DC (where I grew up and where I'm officially living now) and London, where I studied and worked for three out of the past four years.  Stop by Betsy Transatlantically to read about how I try to keep one foot in the US and the other in the UK - of course, it helps that I'm in the middle of planning my wedding to my handsome English fiancé, which will be celebrated in the deepest countryside near the North Sea!  You'll also find a bit of style, cooking, and politics on the blog, plus a dash of humor and the lessons I'm learning as the #1 girlfriend of my new Labrador puppy, Charlie.  Can't wait to meet you over there - and, in the meantime, you can get to know me on Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram!
Hi Liz's friends! I'm Amanda and I blog from beautiful Okinawa, mostly about cooking, travel and life abroad. I lead a simple life out here {big change from working in Washington, DC!} and am so grateful for it. I love to ride my bike to the neighborhood farmer's market and create beautiful & yummy meals with fresh ingredients. Some of my favorites I've created this season are Pumpkin Ravioli with Brown Butter, Rosemary & Thyme, and Cinnamon & Spice Pumpkin Pancakes with Homemade Whipped Cream. I'm looking forward to saying hello to you {or konnichiwa...}! (:

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

{Meghan + Jeff via iPhone}

I wanted to share some iPhone snaps from the wedding I was in last week. I’ll post more about the wedding when I share the “real” photos, but what I’ll say now is this wedding was a true testament to Meghan and how unbelievably creative and detail-oritented she is. This would’ve been an impressive fete to plan no matter what, but knowing she has a full-time job and a small baby at home made this even more extraordinary. I was so honored to be a part of Meghan + Jeff’s big day and couldn’t be happier for them! Can’t wait to share more!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

{Salzburg, Austria // Mirabell Gardens}

I made it back to Amsterdam! While I fight my jet lag, I thought I'd share some eye candy with you. I'm still catching up on travel posts from this summer - crazy, right?! 

You may remember back in July my brother and sister-in-law came to visit Amsterdam. We took a trip to Munich together and did a few day trips from there. Salzburg was one of them! It was our first time in Austria and it made me so excited to go back in December. What a stunning place!

We didn't go to Salzburg with much of a plan other than to just stroll around and check out the city. We just happened upon the Mirabell Gardens and I am so glad we did because they ended up being my absolute favorite part of the city! Everything was so perfectly manicured and breathtakingly beautiful - I could've spent our entire day there!
{Photos ©  Liz Denfeld}

Sunday, October 21, 2012

{New Friends}

First, I wanted to thank you all for your incredibly thoughtful comments on Thursday. It's refreshing and interesting to hear all your thoughts and opinions. They all went to heart.

I'm heading back to Amsterdam tomorrow morning. It's been an insanely busy and incredible nine days at home. It flew by, as always, and I have missed my boys like crazy!! I truly can't wait to get home to them. But as I was packing tonight I was also extremely upset thinking about how I don't even know when I will see my Mom next. There are so many amazing parts of living abroad, but then there are parts that just suck really, really bad. Leaving home is definitely one of those parts.

While I'm on a jet plane making my way back to Amsterdam, I'd love for you to meet a couple of awesome ladies who happen to be lovely sponsors of my blog! If you like me, you'll really like them. Read on to see why.. And if you like them too, show them some love and give them a follow :)

Jay blogs over at FromThere To Here.  A couple of years ago, her and her husband jumped at the chance to leave Canada for a life abroad.  They spent an exciting 2 years in Gabon, West Africa where they experienced life in a developing country. As their time there came to a close this past June, they knew they weren't quite ready to head home just yet, so this summer they made the move to the polar opposite of Gabon... Norway! Follow along as she chronicles her experiences as an expat!
Last Friday was Michelle's last day at work. Her and her man are following their dreams and traveling the world. Starting November 18th they are heading to Spain, then Italy and then Thailand. After that... who knows! They have yet to purchase a return ticket. Her boyfriend is half Dutch, so my hope is they make it to Amsterdam so I can show them around :) Check her out at Mish Lovin' Life!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

{On Following Your Dreams}

I stumbled up on this instagram photo last week (posted by Esther Freedman) as I was packing up for Portland. It really made me think. Probably because this whole subject – my “dream job” – has been a topic weighing heavily on my mind the last few months. You see, I have a wonderful job at an amazing company right now. I have an incredible team and my work is constantly changing, so there’s always something new to learn. So the question is, why would I ever doubt such a great thing?

The more I invest in my blog and my photography, the more fulfilled I feel. Getting home from a long day after a long commute might stop me from putting time into this little blog. And while sometimes I simply don’t have the time or energy, a lot of times, more times than I thought humanly possible, I hunker down late at night and find the happiest moments of my day as I connect with all of you, edit my photos and share my world with my readers through this blog and other social media sites. I really, really love this stuff. A few years ago, if you’d have asked me what my “dream job” was – or what I might be doing if I wasn’t working a steady 9-5, I wouldn’t have had an answer for you. But these days I find myself daydreaming about these passions that are so fulfilling to me and wishing I had more time to devote to them. The normal fears overcome me – there’s no way I can make the same amount of money if I switch to this full-time, what if I fail, what if it takes the fun out of it. Something happened a couple weeks ago that made me realize that I could do this full-time. I could make a career out of my passion for blogging, photography and all my other interests (fashion, cooking, baking, decorating, entertaining – the list goes on and on!).  Then stumbling upon this quote engrained it even more. Nobody is going to come and make this big of a decision for me. Nobody can tell me the future – that I'm going to be okay – that I don’t need that extra money  It’s a leap of faith. A leap of faith I’ve seen a few friends and bloggers take and have been so inspired by.

So yeah, I guess I don’t really have much of a point. This isn’t a post to announce any major change in my current situation. It’s more to put all these crazy thoughts out into the universe. While I’m not quitting my job, I am making a stronger commitment to this space and to the things I love to do. With time, maybe I’ll be ready to make that big leap of faith, too.

Have you followed your dreams and created your dream job? Have you taken a big life risk and seen it paid off? Or has it backfired? Do you feel fulfilled and blissfully happy in what you do? I’d love to hear your stories!