last day, lasting memories

by Clare Barker Wells shot in KLCC Park, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysiaby Clare Barker Wells shot in KLCC Park, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia by Clare Barker Wells shot in KLCC Park, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia by Clare Barker Wells shot in KLCC Park, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia by Clare Barker Wells shot in KLCC Park, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia by Clare Barker Wells shot in KLCC Park, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia by Clare Barker Wells shot in KLCC Park, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia by Clare Barker Wells shot in KLCC Park, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia by Clare Barker Wells shot in KLCC Park, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia by Clare Barker Wells shot in KLCC Park, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

It's Wednesday morning in KL and I'm writing this as we zip up our luggage and get ready to go to the airport. Though one and a half years flew by in a blink of an eye, I leave feeling 100% fulfilled with our experience. It was quite the adventure with its many ups and downs but man did this place steal my heart.

London was a good teacher but in this jungle town I feel like I've really grown into the person that I'm meant to be for the next chapter of my life. That goes for us as a couple, too. There's nothing like experiencing changes, challenges, and moments of joy together to keep you on your toes and ready to take on the world.

I also leave with a very happy heart when I think about the beautiful friendships we made with locals and other expats who call KL home. They are wanderlust and adventurous just like us and I know that this is not goodbye, rather a 'see you later'.

One of those friends is the witty and talented Clare, who took the amazing photos above. I'm so thankful that she was able to capture these moments of Joe and me at KLCC park by our apartment just before we left. We don't have any photos like this as the ones we take ourselves usually only feature our heads and an outstretched arm in the frame! Such great keepsakes, thank you Clare!!!

Alright it's time to go ... see you later, KL. You were a treat.

weekend, we

weekend 42913 Hi guys, how was your weekend? Ours was the kind that "home" is made of. We spent time with friends, went out on the town, relished in lazy lounging, and simply enjoyed the slow pace that comes with Saturday and Sunday.

In just a few days we'll be marking our one year anniversary of living in KL (say whaaa?) and just like our time in London, this place has really become home. I don't think I'll ever feel the same way about living here permanently as I did in London (apples and oranges, I tell ya) but I do love what we've been able to make for ourselves so far. On Wednesday I'll be sharing a little KL anniversary round up where I'll spill my loves and dislikes about living here. It's not all fun and palm trees sometimes but it has been amazing.

And with this anniversary, I was reminded that my sidebar photo was two years old and in dire need of an update. I honestly couldn't find a decent "profile" photo that didn't involve me wearing a hat and/or sunglasses so this one from Cartagena will have to do for now!

weekend, we

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Hi how was your weekend? We had so much fun in Singapore, I absolutely loved it. It was so nice to be back in a pedestrian-friendly city and just pop in and out of shops and stop for drinks and food along the way. Singapore couldn't be more opposite from KL in the overall safety factor and well-thought-out city planning. After my first venture out by the river I thought "oh man, can we just stay here and not go back?". It's awful to compare but for the first time since we left London I felt 100% safe and comfortable being by myself. And while there is still a mall on every other block, unlike KL there are a lot more street-level storefronts and walkable shopping/dining options.

The only obvious negative is that it's not the cheapest city to play and live in so after a shamefully pricey and touristy dinner at Clarke Quay, we resolved to finding more reasonable spots (and thankfully we did). The rest of the weekend was spent hanging out in the Arab Corner and checking out the big flashy sites of Marina Bay. On our last day met up with Tanya, a blog reader who lives in Singapore with her family. We connected over being LA Expat girls and we've been in touch via email and instagram ever since. She showed us a different part of town that only further solidified how great the city is and then Joe and I took a rest at the gorgeous and historic Raffles Hotel before heading to the airport.

I didn't want to leave but on the drive home, with miles and miles of palm tree groves and native forest, I realized that Malaysia is a great place to be, too. It may not have all of the western comforts and perks that Singapore does but that's okay. We are in South East Asia, after all, and I want to experience all of it.

photos taken with iPhone using VSCO Cam

weekend, we

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Hi, how was your weekend? I bet it was more active than ours. We spent most of it lounging, cooking, and enjoying our new Apple TV - it's the best! Do any of you use it? We did run some errands and made exciting discoveries along the way that made this city feel more like home. The best find had to be an indie grocery store that carries everything we love and need. We were going bananas filling our cart with items we haven't been able to find or physically carry back with us (we hired a taxi). Then there was the dry cleaner that does free pick-up and delivery, a mini-IKEA type shop with homewares galore, and a flower shop that sells *gasp* real flowers since eight out of ten here push plastic petals. It's amazing the things that excite and count as great discoveries these days...

Did you make any fun or useful discoveries this weekend?

Oh, and if you're like me and love you some natural suds, check out Kinder Soaps in Malaysia (first bar and I'm hooked) and my tried and true favorite, The Soap Kitchen in America - HEAVENLY!

weekend, we

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Happy Monday everyone,  I hope you enjoyed your weekend! We took a quick flight up to Penang for a few days and while our hotel wasn't the peaceful beach-y paradise we had in mind (too Club Med-ish for our liking) the important stuff outside/in the city didn't disappoint. We spent most of our time in the historic center of George Town - walking along the Clan Jetties and hanging out in one of the city's hot spots, China House - so we got a good taste of the island's unique and intriguing vibe.

You will read this everywhere but people are so friendly, the food is so great, and you will be amazed at the number of things you can opt to do. We unfortunately didn't make it to any temples or do any local artisanal shopping but we did have a great afternoon at the Tropical Fruit Farm way up in the hills. It was so nice to take a break from the bustle of the city and be surrounded by a lush environment, learn a bit about new-to-me fruits, and then indulge in an all-you-can-eat fruit tasting buffet. It was just the light lunch we needed as we wanted to save ourselves for grubbing on hawker food later that night. There was one problem with that plan though: we had a dinner voucher for our hotel's sushi restaurant and after reading about some of the menu offerings... well, we couldn't let it go to waste! It was a great meal but that meant that we couldn't go crazy when we finally made it to Gurney Drive Night Market. Still feeling full, I settled for the dessert Ais Kacang, aka the strangest combo of things you can imagine. The looks of it reminded me of the "dump" pitcher we had in my summer camp's cafeteria where every table would put their scrapings and pour remaining drinks into one giant bin. What's even more strange is that Ais Kacang least it did for me - I really enjoyed it!

During our last afternoon we made a quick pit stop to a hyper local flea market because if you've been reading this blog for a while, then you know I simply can't stay away. Nothing exciting to report as it wasn't big on antiques as I was led to believe (mainly produce and old gadgets) but nevertheless we were glad to have checked it out. There was plenty more to eat and do in Penang but even so, I felt like being a visitor there made me more comfortable and excited about exploring KL the same way. Sometimes it's easier to be adventurous when you're far from home but I'm pretty sure I can keep up the pace with what we have down the street.

Did any of you explore your local hood or get away this weekend?

Oh, and in case you didn't hover over the images on this post - make sure you do! I tagged them with descriptions using ThingLink and even included a few on what I wore since this instagram shot got a good response (it's all about the dress and the clutch!). I might keep it up since I always wonder what people are wearing in their posts if I like what I see. What do you think?



weekend, we

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Hello, how was your weekend? If you're reading from the States then I hope you're still enjoying the extended break today! We did a lot of lounging and good eating but the best part was organizing and cleaning the apartment. It was difficult to get the motivation to start but once we got into the flow it was great. We moved all of the existing furniture around for a more cozy and functional feel and we finally arranged our wardrobe and storage items. Thank god we have a second room with built in closets to keep the things we won't be using (i.e. winter clothing) - it makes our other spaces much more simple and usable. Now it really feels like home sweet home.

one year in london - hurrah!

Yep, you know you've been in England for a while when you start saying "hurrah" instead of "hooray." The word slipped out the other day but it felt appropriate given the fact that this weekend marks my one year anniversary of living in London! I can't believe how quickly it has gone by. Joe marked his in March so now I'm all caught up and ready for another year of who-knows-what. I'm going to let the pictures do most of the talking since I've already professed my love to this city in writing. I really do love it. Without further delay, here are some of my favorite moments, places, things, and thoughts from the year....

learning to love bunting almost as much as the British do. they're crazy about it.southbank bunting

watching the wedding of the century at Hyde Park royal wedding

slowing down to lay on the grass, enjoy the sun, and have a treat at Kew Gardenskew gardens

making our first home together home

this being the normal afternoon snack tea @ cake hole

discovering the awesomeness of London's museumsv&a

wearing wellies and getting muddy along a public footpath in Devon devon

indulging in rest and country comfort at Hotel Endsleigh in Devon hotel endsleigh

playing tourist with my mom during her visit. this was the only way we could get a shot of her in front of the gate as police kept foot traffic moving! changing of the guard

being prepared for rain at any time. it's no big deal now. london b&w

getting caught in the wind with these guys on Brighton Pier brighton

pointing to our neighborhood and places we've been to from the London Eye. we felt like such locals. london eye

looking up and seeing colorful and interesting details like this in covent garden

learning the best bus routes to/from our favorite destinations color inside the double decker bus

windy days that turn joe into a little kid with his favorite toy kite

wanting to learn how to samba after Notting Hill's Carnivalcarnival

finding random places to chill on a nice day like this parking lot lounge/street food market in Shoreditchred market

hiring Barclay Bikes and riding around Hyde Parkbarclay bikes

sunset walks along the canal in Little Venice weekend

experienceing quintessential London moments and sightings weekend

exploring the unexpected in Hampstead Heath Hampstead Heath

seeing the first signs of fallfall

hopping on a high-speed train for a quick day trip to Windsor windsor castle 'the long walk'

weekend mornings spent trying new cafes and catching up on the papers cafe brunch

finding the beauty and charm in every pub vintage silhouette frames

ice skating at the Natural History Museum natural history museum ice skating, london

joe proposing under a beautiful tree canopy on the first snow day of the yearengaged

realizing that this river taxi view was just part of a normal day's commute. felt so blessed. river taxi

as is this view from Piccadilly tube station. cranes and all.piccadilly

and best of all, learning and doing it all with my favorite person in the world.smooch

Foreign travel moments and sights are next! Those will definitely be worth a "hurrah!"