a year's worth of wanderlust II

This time of year always makes me reflect and one of the things that I'm most grateful for are the opportunities we've had to travel. We set out to live internationally for many reasons but traveling was/is priority numero uno. Looking back, I think we did a good job a sticking to our plan even though some days it feels easier to just veg out at home! Here are my fave moments, sights, and thoughts from our 2012 travel adventures....

Breaking away from Europe and landing in Marrakech. High hopes and expectations were met with a chaotic Medina with a character all its own.IMG_9915

Passed Berber Villages in the Atlas Mountains and seeing nothing but beautiful vistas. And snow. Who would have thought Africa had snow?!IMG_0120

Sipping on fresh mint tea while picking out our new/old Berber rug...the perfect souvenir!rug shopping

Our first LA visit together and indulging in three things: In N Out burgers, Mexican tacos, and fresh American donuts. This photo was from our morning binge session while doing loads of laundry next door.LA day _ weekend_3

Re-discovering the cool designs and colors found in LAgarage design, manhattan beach los angeles

Taking a quick break from LA to Anchorage, Alaska for a visit with Joe's parents. It was so awesome to be in the house he grew up in and see his childhood town.walking on a frozen pond

a day-trip to Oxford - LOVED it there. For you Hogwarts fanatics - their cafeteria is just off to the left.weekend_oxford_4

Stopping in Florence en route to Chianti. It's so true that the entire city is a museum.

enjoying an impromptu lunch overlooking vineyards near Greve Chianti. Hands down my fave meal of the trip...for sentimental reasons, mainly, because the other meals were aawweesooomme.italy_2

a "booze and chocolate tour" of Brussels with some sight-seeing on the side. A flea market was also involved - this one was one of the most legit I've been to.

brussels brussels

Leaving our love-lock in Paris as we wrapped up our time in London.paris

Our first trip after moving to KL: Penang. So colorful and vibrant.penang by Ana Maria Munoz

and with charming old character everywhere you look.penang by Ana Maria Munoz

Piggy-backing on one of Joe's business trips to Bangkok and exploring by boat.bangkok long boat

Visiting Singapore for the first time and wishing we had moved there instead since it was so clean, organized, and seemingly perfect. It was during a rough point in my new-home adjustment but now love and appreciate the imperfect and real character of KL.

singapore singapore 7

The beach holiday that ruined it for any other ones in the future. Con Dao, Vietnam was utter perfection. Honeymoon is done and done. Untitled

Going back to LA to give these little ones hugs and kisses and begin research on my new venture. Untitled

Making a long-weekend out of Joe's business trip to London. We'll take any amount of time there, no matter how long the flight. Plus, Joe needed to stock up on his favorite Whisky and you can pack more with two people + checked bags than you can with one ;) Image 1 Image 3

The unexpected layover in Abu Dhabi from London. I did my best to make the most of my 48 hours there despite major jet-lag (I was only one week back from LA!)Abu Dhabi

Getting to know and love the bits of Melbourne that give it it's reputation as a hub for good coffee shops and interesting street art.

grace cafe in fitzroy melbourne street art

Hanging out in Bondi Beach where I used to splash around as a toddler. Can't believe that we used to live just down the road. Part of me wonders what it would have been like to grow up there and be a little beach bunny...

bondi beach

... or just dance around The Opera House all the time...sydney opera house at night

...and with Australia, that brings us to a wrap!

But we won't be idle for too long. With the US, Europe, Asia, Australia, and Africa covered in one year (that is cray cray!) it's only fitting that we kick off 2013 with South America in February. Yep, I cannot wait to visit my parents in Colombia and say our "I Do's" with family, friends, and buñuelos!

I'm so thankful for this beautiful year....and to you guys for sharing it with me. I'll stop before I get all sappy but know that interacting with you via this blog, twitter, instagram, email is such a joy. And if you just joined me this year, you can catch up on where we went in 2011 by clicking here. Oh, the places we will go......

fruit glorious fruit

penang by Ana Maria Munoz We're back from a few days in Bangkok and while it's always nice to get away (for me at least, Joe was in business meetings), it stinks to come home to an empty fridge. I can't wait to go grocery shopping and make a pit stop at my new favorite fruit stand where they sell pre-cut pieces of almost everything in little baggies; papaya, watermelon, pineapple, dragon fruit, mango, and pomegranate seeds just to name a few. My selections usually run me about USD 4 and what I love most is that I save time by not having to cut them and I don't have to worry about rushing to consume them before they spoil. Now I'm really spoiled! When did I ever eat pomegranate seeds and watermelon like "yeah, whatever, no big deal"...? They were always either too expensive or too much of a hassle to buy whole. This is much better. Do you have a favorite fruit that you'd consume ridiculous amounts of if you could buy them more cheap and easy?

This snap is from our tasting at the Tropical Fruit farm in Penang. And yes, that is a little bug on the bottom left piece - welcome to the jungle.



{happy friday} pic & pin

friday pic & pin 5 Heellooooo weekend and hello pool time. We've been having extremely warm weather in KL (according to locals, I still can't tell the difference) so I'm only more justified in lusting over a wardrobe full of easy-to-wear dresses. This graphic seascape one caught my attention with its muted colors and dreamy print. It looks like the designer used an actual photograph and I absolutely love the idea of turning one art form into another. Does anyone know of a company that takes your photographs/designs and turns them into ready-to-wear garments? Or at least prints the fabric? If either of those don't exist then someone please do it, get a Kickstarter campaign going and I will back that thang UP! Seriously, please, someone do it.

As for the weekend, we don't have any plans and that in itself is worth looking forward to...

I hope you have a good one!

This week's three rad links...

• lisa followed me on Instagram and i checked out her site - SO impressed with her creative self-portraits!

• and I'm really impressed with these magic fingers via Eco Salon

• now here's something closer to my creative abilities: a jersey weave sweater DIY via The Forge. great concept for using fabric scraps, too!

And one more thing, if you're in London, do check out this crafting and shopping event hosted by Papermash. Lynne, shop founder and owner, asked me to design the invite and I had so much fun doing it, just wish I could attend!

(image left:  Penang waterfront by Ana Maria Muñoz, right: Pin via Les Nouvelles)

colors, patterns, and textures - oh my!

penang by Ana Maria Munoz penang by Ana Maria Munoz penang by Ana Maria Munoz penang by Ana Maria Munoz penang by Ana Maria Munoz penang by Ana Maria Munoz penang by Ana Maria Munoz penang by Ana Maria Munoz

It's all about the little details and Penang certainly had a few hidden gems. Most of these shots are from Chew Jetty, a colorful waterfront community, where I could have spent hours had we not made plans to meet with a friend for the evening. So much inspiration to take into the week and beyond.

If you're jonesin' for more colors, patterns, and textures be sure to visit this mega post from Marrakech, Morocco - I go back to it often!


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 works...at 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?