{Happy Friday + Meet Jenna!}

Happy, happy Friday!!!
You may or may not have noticed that I haven’t blogged since last Friday.
Well, Tuesday I got really sick with the stomach flu or food poisoning or something that had me completely bed-ridden and miserable. 
That put me out of commission until Thursday. 
Thursday was an insane day at work because it was my last day in the office before our two week trip to South Africa (!!!). 
And right now, as you read this, I am in London for the day.
So needless to say, it has been a craaazzzyyyy week and I have many things on my to-do list that have yet to get done.
But alas, tomorrow we’re off to Africa. A place I honestly never even dreamed of going. It just seemed so far away. We couldn’t be more excited! 
Everything we’ve read and heard about South Africa is that it’s the most incredible place in the world.
As I was packing I realized that I completely forgot how to prepare for big trips like this – it’s our first vacation over a week since our honeymoon in 2010!
I have a feeling I didn’t do a very good job packing for all our activities, but only time will tell 🙂

I have this crazy idea that I’m going to blog a photo and a travel memory  each day(ish). While we’re gone. Knowing me, I can’t be sure this will actually happen. But I’m putting it out there because I want it to happen. I think it’d be really awesome to look back on, and I also think it would be fun to keep you guys updated on what we’re up to. It may be a photo from my camera or just one from my phone (but I promise it won’t be one I already instagramed). So, wish me luck with that!
And last, but certainly not least I want to introduce you to another sponsor! It’s particularly awesome and coincidental that I’m introducing you to Jenna from A Home Away From Home this week because she just so happens to live in South Africa!! In my opinion she puts my blog to shame as she posts about all her incredible and unique travels through Africa.   She got engaged to the love of her life last summer and is planning on getting married in South Africa this December! You should really head over and check out her exciting life. I have a feeling she’ll become a new daily read for those of you that don’t already know her! A little more about Jenna below (in her own words!).
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Hello Explore.Dream.Discover readers!  My name is Jenna and I blog over at A Home Away From Home about my life as an American ex-pat living in South Africa.  South Africa started out as a semester study abroad experience for me, but after I met and fell in love with a local I just sort of never left, and still find myself here five years later!  Most of my posts are about our adventures in and around Johannesburg, but you’ll also find plenty of travel, ex-pat, and recipe posts thrown in for good measure.  And… in the most recent turn of events Jurgen proposed {!!!}, so you can bet that a quite a few wedding-related posts will also be making their way into the mix soon 🙂  I hope you’ll stop by and say hello!

{Happy Friday + Meet Emily!}

Happiest of Fridays everyone!!! We’ve been out of town the last two weekends, so I am feeling super thankful for a weekend in Amsterdam. I am taking a French macaron baking class with some girls on Saturday and other than that will be packing and preparing for our big trip to South Africa (we leave in 8 days!!). Even though we booked this vacation three months ago I feel like it totally snuck up on us and I have a million and one things to do before we leave!!
Today I also have another lovely sponsor for you to meet! Emily, the author behind Hopeful Wandering, is an adorable girl who is living out a bit of a fairytale romance. She’s an American and she is dating a cutie British fellow! And get this, they met through being pen pals!! How awesome is that? She writes a lot about their relationship (including hilarious conversations in which you realize that American English and UK English are very different) and about her time studying abroad in Paris last Spring. Head on over and check her out!!
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Hey y’all!! My name is Emily and Hopeful Wandering is my blog. I’m 22, finishing up my Business Degree in College, and trying to figure out a way to get back to Europe. So far so good though as I currently have an opportunity to be a grad assistant next spring in Paris, and i happen to be in a little LDR with a guy named Tom, he’s from England. My blog discusses everything from the silly Skype conversations i have with Tom to all of the shenanigans i got into while studying abroad over in Paris last spring. There’s just a lot going on which has been fabulous and crazy all at the same time!! So I hope you’ll head over to myblog, check it out…stay a while…you know the drill 😉 


{Scotland Here We Come + Meet Danica}

Well, we’re off again! This time we’re heading to….
But not just that…
We’re going for a very special occasion…
Megan + Stephen are tying the knot!!!
Corey + I are so excited to be there for this huge moment in their lives.
And even better – Sophie will be joining in on the celebration, so I finally get to meet her! Hooray!
We’ll be instagramming the weekend away, no doubt. So feel free to follow along if you’d like:

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I’d also love to introduce you to a darling new sponsor! Danica from GoodHeart is a sweet girl who writes her blog from our old hometown of Portland, so I’m always longingly reading her posts missing home! She’s super sweet, posts fun outfits (this one would be perfect in Amsterdam) and inspiring quotes. Find out more about Danica below and then hop on over and to her blog and you’re sure to find a new daily read!
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Hi everyone! I’m Danica and I blog over on Goodheart . I’m a recently turned 24 year old (as of February 27th!) Texas girl, who decided to move to Liz’s hometown, Portland, Oregon. It’s now been almost two years since I moved, and I’m loving it! Thessaloniki, Greece is possibly my favorite place in the world, I’m a big fan of cold weather, and I love chai tea lattes. My blog is all about fashion, travel, photography, and other things I find inspiring. Come on over and say hi! 

{Scotland photo by Megan}

{Happy Friday + Meet Bri!}

Happy, happy Friday!!
What. A. Week! Phew! I’m feeling super drained after a long week and I’m so happy tonight I get to just lay low, have some comfort food for dinner {gnocchi with mushrooms + pesto!}, share a bottle of red with my love and generally just relax. 
Tomorrow morning I’m whisking Corey away to Bruges for the weekend. He has been wanting to go since I went with my sister last summer so I surprised him with a little weekend getaway. I’m excited to go back and spend the weekend eating waffles, chocolates and frites and indulging in the best Belgian beers! Hope you all have something fun planned for the weekend!

You may have noticed a cute little critter has joined the right hand side of my blog recently. I’d love for you to meet Bri from the Pink Piglet! You may have known her from her previous blog, Travel. Eat. And Repeat. Her blog has just gotten a complete facelift with a new name, new content and new focus! She posts drool-worthy salad recipes (yes, I said “drool-worthy” to describe salad!) and the cutest videos of little piglets named Chris P. Bacon. What more could you want?! Learn more about Bri and her wonderful blog below – and then hop on over there and check her out!
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Hi Everyone! I’m Bri from The Pink Piglet by Chef Bri! The Pink Piglet is my lil space where I combine my loves of food, cooking and travel. I love to travel, and I’m lucky to have married a pilot too, but sometimes home calls. So I love to cook recipes from all over the world and bring that sense of travel to my kitchen table. To me food brings out the best memories and when I travel the best memories are made, so I like to relive them in my kitchen! So join me as I cook and travel my way through life!
Cheers!

{Happy Weekend!}

Happy Friday, everyone! As usual, I am glad the weekend has arrived!
After two weekends of travel in a row – London, then, Madrid – I
couldn’t be happier to spend a relaxing weekend at home in Amsterdam.
We don’t have much on the agenda and that’s just the way I like it!

I wanted to thank you so much for all your comments on yesterday’s
post! It’s great to see that I’m not the only one totally impressed
by my awesome Mom 🙂 A lot of you asked if she has an online shop, or
where you can buy her creations. At the moment she just makes custom
clothing for private clients in Portland, OR. If that were to ever change – you all would be the first to know! Thanks again for all the kind words!

Lastly, I’d love you to all meet Explore.Dream.Discover’s newest sponsor – Casey, from True Colours! I’m thinking if you like reading my blog, you’ll love hers. She’s a traveling girl currently based in Portland, OR (our old home sweet home!). She has a super interesting life story and gives tons of great travel advice – read on below to learn more about her, and hop on over to her blog to check her out!
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I’m Casey from True Colours and like Liz, call myself a Portlander.  Although Portland is my base now, I grew up as an expat kid in Saudi Arabia and fell in love with the traveling lifestyle.  Since then, I’ve lived all over, including a brief stint in Hawaii. I’ve always loved the inspiration of other cultures and the draw of a plane headed somewhere far away. I count Paris as my favorite place in the world, love cupcakes and have a soft spot in my heart for anything Arab.  My blog is a journal of my adventures around the world with as much traveling as my husband and I can possibly do!  My blog follows our travels and my thoughts all over this lovely planet.  Come check out where we’re headed next!
 


If you’re interest in sponsoring Explore.Dream.Discover shoot me an email at exploredreamdiscoverblog {at} gmail.com

{TGIF!}

TGIF! Phew – another week has come and gone! I can’t lie, I am sooooo happy it’s the weekend. And with snow in the forecast here in Amsterdam, I am planning on spending much of it inside our warm apartment finishing my book (SO.GOOD.) and hopefully doing a few things to prep for the fast-approaching holidays!
If you’re spending the weekend cozying up and catching up on blogs, I have one you must add to your blog reader! Tammy has been one of my most loyal and long-standing blog supporters and it’s been so fun watching her blog grow so much over the past year or so. She blogs over at Lemons, Avocados & The Bay about life in sunny San Diego with her boyfriend and she’s so sweet and cheerful. Her outlook on life is admirable and absolutely contagious. Hop on over and check her out – I promise you’ll love her! Here are a few words from Tammy – enjoy!
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Helllllllo. I’m Tammy and my blog Lemons, Avocados & the Bay is all about living the beachy kinda life in San Diego. I spent lots of time exploring my city, riding my bike along the boardwalk, and trying out new recipes and restaurants. My boyfriend and I just renovated our littlebeach bungalow. It’s been a crazy experience, but I love that we can make our little house our own. I would love if you stopped by Lemons, Avocados & the Bay to say hello. If you’d like you can also find me on twitter, facebook, and instagram.

{Happy Friday!}

Happy happy Friday! I am so happy it’s the weekend! With Friday not only means the weekend, but some new friends for you! Feel free to peruse these amazing blogs over the next few days 🙂 Enjoy! 
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Hello Explore.Dream.Discover readers! I’m Holly (but everyone calls me Holls) & I blog over at Little Miss Holls. I live in Liz’s gorgeous hometown of Portland, Oregon & think it’s the best little city there is! When I’m not working my 8-5 corporate retail gig, I’m probably knee-deep in planning my summer beach wedding, trying out a new Portland restaurant, or taking a million pictures with my camera. All of which can be found over on my blog! You can also find me on Pinterest, Twitter & Instagram. I look forward to meeting you! 🙂

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Hi Friends of Explore.Dream. Discover! I’m Bri, a food product developer turned full time culinary student/blogger. I split my time between beautiful Napa California and Southern California where I call home. Between my desire to eat delicious food and my pilot husband we are constantly on the move and seeking out edible and fun adventures! With the constant repetition of traveling and seeking out good eats in my life I decided to give birth to my lil blog called Travel Eat and Repeat, to pay homage to all things delicious and adventurous. My lil humble blog has a heavy emphasis on food and travel, I believe the two go hand in hand because I love learning about places through food (in my head I like to think of myself as Giada meets Sam Brown…Ahhh a girl can dream…okay back to reality). I often times will post my trials and tributes as I cook my way through one of the United States’ hardest cooking schools (trust me its not a walk in the park). So if you would like some entertainment with your morning coffee head on over  to www.traveleatandrepeat.com (after your done reading Liz’s Fabulous blog of course). I promise you can stay in your PJ’s, but I can’t promise that it won’t make you hungry or give you the urge to scout Orbitz for your next adventure! Cheers to hopefully becoming Blog-ends (blog friends…okay I’m a dork)!


{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!
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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…}! (:

{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 🙂

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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!
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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!

{Sponsor Spotlight: Always a Blogsmaid, Never a Blogger}

While I’m out frolicking around Amsterdam with my Mama, I wanted to introduce you to one of my lovely sponsors, Cassie! Hope you all had a great weekend – I’ll be back here tomorrow!
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Hey y’all! I am Cassie from Always A Blogsmaid, Never A Blogger
I am so excited to be one of Liz’s sponsors. 
I bet some of you are wondering what is the deal with my blog name.  
The name is a spin-off of Always A Bridesmaid, Never a Bride.  
Well, once you begin reading my blog you will see how my life is full of friends but no boyfriend. 
And I am okay with that for right now.
Liz asked me to basically write what my blog is all about. 
But here’s the thing: my blog is random.
I never know what I am going to write about until I sit down in front of my 5 year old laptop.
So please come visit my blog and if I make you laugh once, 
make me 2 promises?  
1. Become my follower.
2. Leave a comment
I will be the happiest person ever.
Hope to hear from you soon.