Wednesday, August 14, 2013


Regardless of what your political views are, I feel like you have to love the fact that the White House can make a pop culture reference (and a pretty good one at that).

I mean, who doesn't love some Mean Girls?

White and living in Africa,

Monday, August 12, 2013

A different kind of trash the dress

 A few weeks ago, we were flying back to South Africa after visiting my family in the US. We had a 10 hour layover in wonderful London and had long ago decided to spend our time exploring the city (versus sitting in Heathrow and drinking as much Starbucks as possible). 

But then one day while we were still in the US, my mom had this spectacular idea that while hubby and I were galavanting around the city, we should wear our wedding attire. Yes, my wedding dress and his suit. 

And that's what we did! 

Nuts! I know.

I still kind of can't believe we did it. When we first got on the tube (we changed into our wedding garb at the airport and then rode the tube into the city), I felt so insecure and spent a good 20 minutes telling myself this was a terrible idea. EVERYONE stared at us. It definitely was awkward for a little while. But slowly, people started asking us if we had just gotten married and wanting to take pictures for us and sharing in our excitement (or supposed excitement? Don't worry, we told people the truth that we hadn't really just gotten married). We even got a free lunch! 

But I also made a decision that I wasn't going to spoil the day because of my insecurities. I am so lucky to be married to a man who encourages me to have some gumption and "get out of my comfort zone" but doesn't push me if I really don't want to do something. And because he is so patient and kind with me, I couldn't let myself be the spoil-sport. So I just held his hand a little tighter and reminded myself that God gave us such a unique opportunity - one for the books, really. 
The whole experience was actually so fun! I'm so glad we did it! We have these fantastic pictures from it and I have now gotten to wear my wedding dress THREE times. I am so blessed. But really, I'm so glad I did it because it reminded me of some of the many reasons I married my husband. Besides just  being downright in love with him, he makes life so much more fun and adventurous. We have the best time together and can't stop talking. And when we can stop talking, the silence is just as wonderful. And the romance isn't just for special occasions, my husband makes life romantic!

These pictures remind me to love every moment of our life and to be bold, adventurous. I would be missing out on so much otherwise. 


PS - I put quite a few pictures here (although there's still more!). Hope you don't mind looking at lots. :)

Thursday, August 8, 2013

What makes an American?

Today's post is for Americans and non-Americans. So, I guess it's for everyone and anyone. 

I have had a number of South Africans remark (enough for me to notice) that I am not "a typical American". The only thing that I honestly, consistently see as the reason this is said is because I'm not overweight. I'm never quite sure what to make of that.

As I've now been living in South Africa for two and half years and just traveled back to the US for three weeks, and am now back in SA again, I've wondered a lot about the two countries' cultural differences. When I'm in the States, I often get multiple variances of the following questions:

"What's the food like?"
"What's a typical South African meal?"
"Can you do a South African accent for me?"
"What's the culture like?" (that's not a broad question...can you hear the sarcasm?)

Likewise, living in SA, I get similar questions about the US fairly often. And sometimes for both countries, I actually struggle to answer these questions. I can tell you what a typical South African meal is like (for a number of the different cultures) but I can't do a South African accent. There isn't one accent. There are 11 official languages in South Africa, so everyone sounds a bit different from each other. 

And when I'm asked about the US, I find that my answers confuse even me. 

"What's the food like?"
         Large portions. (Ok, that's all over the US.)
"What food do you miss the most?"
         Mexican, Cuban...wait a second - that's the American food that I miss the most?

Yeah, I crave a good burger every now and then - like on the Fourth of July (I mean really, what's more American than a burger or hotdog?) And I love hot, chewy brownies with the best of them. 

But what really defines America? What really makes you American?

I was born on the west coast of Florida, grew up in Miami, went to college in Boston, and lived in New Orleans and Washington, D.C. over two different summers. From my experience:

Being American is being multicultural. Americans are accepting (I know you may think that's debatable, but overall, I really think we are), diverse, fun, and hard working (yes, I know there are exceptions to all of these). Americans eat a lot. Many Americans never learn another language. A lot of Americans don't know how to consistently relax (more than having a TV series marathon) and take holidays (vacations) for more than one week a year. Americans loving watching football, eating turkey, and going shopping at 4am in order to try and get really great deals. 

Please do not get me wrong: I know every American does not fit into these statements. But in terms of how the rest of the world sees us, these are a just a few qualities by which I think you can generalize Americans. 

So, I'd love to hear your thoughts. 

What defines America? What really makes you American?

Have you traveled to other countries? What do people in other countries say/think about the US?

Do Americans really have a global reputation for being overweight?

This is a friendly discussion. Please keep the comments light and appropriate. :)


Monday, August 5, 2013

Did you know?

That you can now shop H&M online?! This is seriously life changing. 

Just thought you might want to "read" something a little brainless for a Monday. :)