En Route: BlogHer ’14 & Treat Yo’ Self Thursday {link-up #32}


Yup, after months of hyping myself up, I’m finally on my way to BlogHer ’14! I’m beyond excited to meet new bloggers, learn how to grow my own blog, and see the amazing keynote speakers picture above.

I promise that I’ll take lots of notes on the sessions that I attend (you can see the schedule here). I’ll also be documenting all the fun on twitter and instagram (#NPgoestoBlogHer14).

Treat Yo’ Self Thursday!

Welcome to the 32nd Treat Yo Self Thursday!

Meet Your Co-Host!

Margo | Guten Blog Y’All

Margo | Guten Blog Y'AllAs a Virginia gal living in Germany and open TripAdvisor addict, Guten Blog Y’all is my space for sharing my travel through Europe and recommendations on what you should do on your next visit. I also adore photography, more specifically travel photography, and enjoy sharing my favorite shots along with advice on how you can capture your own. If none of this sounds enticing enough to stop by, well then perhaps the cameo appearances by my adorable, fluffy, schnoodle, Stuart, will do to trick.

1 Adventure in 2014: Living in Germany has it’s perks outside of cheap beer and gummy bears, I’m in very close proximity to lots of great destinations. This summer I’m planning to go hiking in Salzburg, Austria, biking in Paris, and boating in Amersterdam. The trip I’m most excited for though is a visit to Cinque Terre, Italy with my family. To put it simply, we are the quirkiest bunch ever so throw in a little pasta and Italian wine and I can’t imagine what’s going to happen. Cinque Terre is famed for it’s dramatic cliffs and seaside villages, I can’t wait to fill my memory card with pictures.

2 Posts You Need To Read: 1) A handy, dandy resource on where to go in Europe broken down by month, highlighting must-see festivals, good weather and avoiding swarms of tourists. 2) A guide to Paris and 10 steps for the perfect visit.

3 Words to Describe Guten Blog Y’All: Tasty, scenic, adventurous.

Treat Yo’ Self, MargoNow that my wedding diet (and wedding for that matter) is over, I really treat myself by doing the following: In no particular order – sipping from a big glass of wine shoerle (wine and sparkling water, very popular here in German), watching Nashville, eating Pierre Hermes macarons (the best treat ever, found in Paris), concocting the perfect itinerary for my next trip and dining (or drinking/listening to music/anything really) al fresco.

connect with Margo: blog | bloglovin‘ |  twitter  |  instagram | pinterest | facebook | feeds

How to Treat Yo’ Self:

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Twentieth Street & Stephanie Court Photography

I always get a little giddy when one of my favorite bloggers takes over my blog for the day. Today I’m beyond excited to introduce you to one of my absolute favorites: Stephanie from Twentieth Street. Stephanie is a lawyer-turned-photographer who takes some of the most gorgeous pictures (she does everything from engagement and weddings to boudoir and travel): Stephanie Court Photography

In addition to her amazing wedding photography, you’ll also find some hilarious awesome & awkward posts, photography tips, her adorable little guinea pigs, and the weekly Twosday link-up.

Twentieth Street & Stephanie Court Photography

1. What is the inspiration behind your blog and what can readers expect to find?

The blog is mostly inspired by everyday life. I think the little day-to-day moments are worth celebrating and Twentieth Street is the place to do just that. I guess in that sense it’s more of a lifestyle blog but it could also be considered a photography blog since a big part of my life is my business. Readers can expect to find lots of photography posts – people in love, cute furry animals, travel & nature, and a weekly link-up – plus tips and tutorials, favorite recipes, adventures around San Francisco, and of course, tales of Molly & Gia, our two crazy guinea pigs. Some other fun randomness is mixed in here & there, too, but that’s the general gist of it. :)

2. Tell us more about having your own business as a photographer.

I love it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s certainly challenging. I’d never owned my own business before this so there was a very steep learning curve in the beginning. And most days I still feel overwhelmed with never-ending To-Dos and doubts about everything from maintaining bookings to finding creative inspiration. And when it’s your own business, there’s never truly a day off or vacation days or sick leave because there’s always something that needs to be done and you are the one that needs to do it. But that being said, it’s still my business, for my clients, who want my work. I decide my daily schedule (for the most part) and I decide how much is too much or when I need a break. And I have ultimate control over my career path and where it goes. All of that outweighs the other stresses by far (especially when you have good chocolate nearby).

3. What is the best / most rewarding experience you’ve had while working as a photographer? Or, what is your favorite thing about being a photographer?

Making photos that my clients cherish is the most rewarding aspect of my job. It might seem like the obvious answer, but it really is the best part. My clients not only invite me in to one of the most personal and emotional days in their lives but they also trust me to preserve it for them and their families. That’s a really big deal to me. I cherish all of my old family photos because they allow me to know and experience people and places that would otherwise be off limits to me. To know that I’m making photos not just for my clients to remember the day by, but for their children, grandchildren, and other loved ones to experience it themselves years later, is pretty awesome. Even if they never know who I am, they’ll have those photos and that’s what matters.

4. Tell us more about your Twosday link-up.

The Twosday link-up started as a personal photography project inspired by an Elliott Erwitt quote: “The whole point of taking pictures is so that you don’t have to explain things with words.” The idea is to post two photos every Tuesday (hence the name!) with little to no words. Let the photos do the talking. I wanted it to be a year-round project and found it easier to stay motivated week to week if I had themes to keep me focused. So, I thought it’d be fun to also open it up as a link-up and see how others interpret the themes, too! It’s a nice excuse to get out the camera (or phone) and play a little bit, plus there’s an opportunity to practice some skills and discover other photography-loving bloggers, too!

5. What is at the top of your bucket list?

A trip to France. I want to visit Paris, of course, but I also want to roam through lavender fields and drink luscious wine in a tiny little countryside village. I want to visit as much of the country as possible. I realize what I’m about to say is going to sound super nerdy but, I became obsessed with France after I saw Beauty And The Beast in the movie theatre as a little girl. Belle was a brown-eyed, brown-haired, book-loving, baquette-eating beauty who cared more about adventure than fitting in or attracting some annoying boy, and she lived in France! She was a woman after my own heart. I ended up taking French classes in high school and a little bit during & after college but somehow still haven’t made it to France. Yet…

6. Tell us something about yourself that most people would be surprised to hear.

I qualified as an Expert marksman in high school ROTC and lettered as a freshman on the varsity rifle team. That might surprise some people, but I am from Texas after all.

Now make sure to go show Stephanie a little love:
blog | twitter | facebook | pinterest | instagram | bloglovin‘ | photography

Top 10: V&A Waterfront | Cape Town, South Africa

Top 10: V&A Waterfront, Cape Town, South Africa

The V&A Waterfront is one of those places thatI kind of hate to love. Normally I dislike anything that resembles a shopping mall but the V&A Waterfront is different. The area somehow blends shopping mall, with active harbor, with historical / cultural center almost seamlessly. It is one of those places where there is truly something for everyone. Here are my top 10 for the V&A Waterfront:

Top 10: V&A Waterfront

Explore Two Oceans Aquarium

This aquarium is one of my favorite places to visit in Cape Town (I may have gone two or three times during my time in South Africa). It highlights the fish and sea life of both of the oceans surrounding South Africa (Indian and Atlantic) and has a lot of interactive sections for all ages. You can read more about my trip to Two Oceans here.Two Oceans Aquarium, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town, South AfricaTwo Oceans Aquarium, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town, South Africa

Picture with Table Mountain

There is a lovely little giant picture frame sitting in the middle of the harbor where tourists can sit and frame themselves with Table Mountain in the background. Whenever we visited the V&A Waterfront the line was too long so I sadly missed out on this opportunity. Next time, right?

Wheel of Excellence

Although a ride on the Wheel of Excellence is a bit pricy (R100, about $10USD), I think that the views (Table Mountain! Robben Island! 2010 FIFA Soccer Stadium!) during the 15 minute ride were well worth it! Bonus: all the cars are enclosed and provide air conditioning. V&A Waterfront, Cape Town, South Africa: Wheel of Excellence

Eat All The Foods

There are too many excellent restaurants at the V&A Waterfront to list. But make sure stop by Willoughby & Co (for excellent sushi), Meloncino (for sundowners, Italian yummies, and an incredible view of the surrounding area), and my personal favorite, Sevruga (specializing in sushi, seafood, and Asian fusion)

Shop the Shops

I’ll be honest – the V&A Waterfront is an absolute tourist trap and most things will cost you your first born child. Regardless, there are a ton of great shops around the harbor that sell some interesting (although over priced) crafts from some of the local townships.

Take A Sunset Cruise

I don’t care if it is a complete tourist trap, I loved taking one of the champagne and sunset cruises around Table Bay. For about R200 (roughly $20USD), you ride around the bay for about 90 minutes in a sailboat while sipping on champagne. You can read more about the sunset cruises here.Sunset Cruise at the V&A Waterfront, Cape Town

Visit the Iziko Maritime Museum

The Iziko Maritime Museum, built by local prisons back in the late 1800′s, documents the shipping history of Table Bay. The museum is a great place to visit if you love history and/or maritime affairs.

Visit Robben Island

The V&A Waterfront is the gateway to Robben Island. There is a small museum-like center at the harbor, which is also where the boats take off for the historic prison. The prison is where Nelson Mandela spent most of his time in prison (18 of the 27 years). One of the most amazing aspects of the prison is that the tour is led by former political prisoners. Robben Island, Cape Town, South Africa

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