28 December 2011

Wish you were here...

Greetings from Cape Town, South Africa!

After an awesome and very warm Christmas on the East Coast, we have headed to South Africa's "Mother City" for the last few days of our vacation. 
I hope everyone is having a wonderful, yet safe holiday time and I will see you in the New Year.

16 December 2011

Bon Voyage!

This morning we are off to the airport and catching our flight to South Africa.
To say that I am excited to be flying home for the Holidays is an understatement.
This is my first trip home in 3 years and the first time in 7 years that I will be celebrating Christmas with my family.

I'm going to be taking a bit of a blog break, but hopefully I'll still be able to make a few sporadic blog post attempts until the New Year.

I wish you all the happiest and safest of Holidays.

14 December 2011



Most of the time I enjoy packing because it usually means that I'm going on a trip. After living in a bazillion (that's a real number) different places all over the globe, I'm pretty much a packing expert by now.

But, when you realise 3 days before you fly that the international baggage rules have changed and now only allow for 1 checked suitcase and you've already promised your friend that you would bring over a whole suitcase of theirs that got left behind when they left the country, well, that is a bit of a challenge.

So I've managed to squeeze 3 weeks worth of clothes, shoes and accessories for both Mike and myself into 1 small shared suitcase that is already 3/4 full of Christmas gifts and hoping that the seams hold out for the 16 hour journey.

Here goes nothing!

13 December 2011

21 weeks

How far along? 21 weeks, 4 days 
Maternity clothes? Nothing new. Just wearing maternity jeans or leggings with my regular shirts.
Stretch marks? Still nothing
Sleep: Its impossible to sleep without a pillow supporting my belly. Also, if I sleep on one side for too long my hips hurt so I'm constantly tossing and turning.
Best moment this week: The arrival of our mattress! Even though the bed frame we ordered was out of stock, its so nice to be sleeping on a real mattress after being on a pull out couch for so long.
Miss Anything? My core strength, I feel like I have absolutely NO abs muscles left. Also, its getting colder and at this time I would usually be planning all my snowboarding trips for the Winter.
Movement: She is definitely moving in there!
Food cravings: Fruit Loops
Anything making you queasy or sick: Nothing. I've noticed a big change in my body this week and I'm finally feeling pregnant.
Have you started to show yet: Yes.
Labour Signs: None
Belly Button in or out? In. That thing runs deep, so I'm guessing it's not going to pop.
Wedding rings on or off? On
Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy, unless I'm at the mall Christmas shopping!
Looking forward to: Flying to South Africa on Friday to spend the holidays with my family.

12 December 2011

Ooooooh! We're halfway there.

The weeks are diminishing and as I enter the second half of my pregnancy I can hardly believe that in 4 short months I'll be a mommy. 

Besides the occasional heartburn, painful lower back, an emotional outbreak (or two) and having to refuse that glass of wine at dinner, I've hardly felt pregnant up until this week.
All of a sudden the belly is getting bigger, my core strength has disappeared (nothing makes you feel more pregnant then having your husband pull you out of bed) and a grocery shopping trip leaves me feeling like I have just run the comrades marathon.  

Since finding out that we are having a baby girl, it has all of a sudden become a lot more real. We have had a girl name picked out for a few months (which we are keeping secret until she arrives) so it's been fun practicing saying it out loud and thinking of all the times we'll be yelling calling that name out it in the future. Another factor that adds to the reality of this whole 'baby in the belly' thing is that I've started feeling her move more and more. At first I had no idea what I was feeling because it felt like a very faint muscle twitch. A week later I felt stronger movement which made me burst out laughing because it was so ticklish. At the 20 week scan I was looking at the monitor when I felt a "twitch" and saw her move her arm at the same time which reassured me that I wasn't just making it all up, this little human being was squirming and very much active in there. After that, I started feeling both the legs and arms moving about on both sides of my belly, lets hope that with all this activity she loves swimming like her Mama or is a tennis star like her Dad. Sometimes I prod back and talk to her which makes her move more and makes my heart sing! I can't wait for Mike to start feeling his daughter too.

With 19 weeks left until baby Llambok arrives I feel ready, yet so unprepared. 

To be done

Move to bigger apartment with a room for the nursery
Paint nursery
Purchase crib and mattress (on sale for Black Friday, woop!)
Buy baby's 1st stuffed animal (a big grey elephant)
Begin baby registry
Find out sex
Choose a name
Pick a middle name
Make space for baby's clothes in the closet/drawers
Pick out bedding
Make sure we have receiving blankets, burp clothes etc.
Set up changing table
Get all the big stuff like car seats and strollers
Get as much sleep as possible before baby arrives
Research and book hospital classes (birthing/breast feeding/parenting)
Tour the hospital
Stock up on diapers
Pack hospital bag
Make a plan for someone to feed our fur-son while we're in the hospital
Get calling card to call South Africa on D-day
Choose pediatrician

Is there anything I'm missing?

8 December 2011

Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas (in New York)

Its December in New York which means tourists, traffic gridlocks and slushy streets. A little bit more exciting though is the sparkling decorations, holiday window displays down 5th Ave and the world famous Rockefeller Christmas Tree.
It's a magical time to be in New York City and after spending the whole day soaking up the atmosphere, I am well and truly in the Christmas spirit.

7 December 2011

20 weeks

How far along? 20 weeks, 5 days 
Maternity clothes? Loving the maternity jeans this week since my regular leggings are too tight.
Stretch marks? None yet (knock on wood!)
Sleep: Waking up around midnight every night and then it takes forever to get back to sleep.
Best moment this week: We found out the gender!
Miss Anything? Blue cheese and smoked ham.
Movement: More this week. :) Such a funny feeling! At the scan I felt her move and then saw it at the same time.
Food cravings: Clementines. I eat them 5 at a time!
Anything making you queasy or sick: Nothing too bad this week. 
Have you started to show yet: Yes.
Labour Signs: None
Belly Button in or out? In
Wedding rings on or off? On
Happy or Moody most of the time: Sometimes I can get a little irritated too quickly, but generally happy.
Looking forward to: Our trip to South Africa in less then 2 weeks!!!

6 December 2011

Its a ...

Yip! No frogs, nails or puppy dog tails here.
Baby A cooperated yesterday and we found out that we are expecting a


Allow me to introduce you to my beautiful daughter

This whole time I had a hunch that the little bambino was a boy.
I guess that motherly instinct hasn't quite kicked in yet.
But I'm excited for all things pink, flowery and sparkly!

5 December 2011

Then and Now

12.04.10                                                                                                   12.04.11

2 December 2011

Our Wedding Day

As if I haven't reminded you enough, this weekend is my 1 year wedding anniversary.
I was not a blogger back then, so to mark this special date I am recapping the day here and now.

Like many other girls, I have dreamt of my wedding day for years and years. I used to love paging through wedding magazines and picking out my dream dress, flowers, ring, table settings etc.
The funny thing is that when it came down to actually planning my "big day", none of that material stuff even mattered. All I wanted was to be with Mike and to seal our bond forever.

I have never been too traditional and I knew that my wedding wouldn't be either.
After our plan to elope in Vegas failed, we came up with the most perfect location:
Central Park, New York!
Sure, some might call me crazy for having an outdoor wedding in Winter; but at least it kept most of the tourists away and even though the temperature was close to freezing, I never felt a thing in my strapless dress thanks to the adrenalin pumping through my body at 100 miles per hour.

That morning I got dressed at the B&B that my parents were staying at. I did all of my own hair and makeup with some help from my mom and sister of course.

My family and I all piled into my parents rented minivan and with my Dad driving in New York City for the first time in his life (with me leaning over him shouting directions and telling him to use the horn more) we sped down Central Park West to arrive at the entrance of the park only a few minutes late for my own wedding!

My dad walked me down the "isle" to the Ladies Pavilion where my very handsome husband-to-be was waiting for me with a smile on his face that was completely priceless.

Our ceremony was short and sweet and both my mom and Mike's dad read passages out of the Bible before we exchanged vows which left very few dry eyes.
All that was running through my head was "I cannot believe this is happening!" and before I even knew it we had said our "I do's" and were declared husband and wife.

1 December 2011

The time we almost eloped in Vegas!

Almost 1 year ago, Mike and I got married in what I feel was the most perfect way possible.
But just 1 month prior to that, we were still planning  on flying to Vegas to elope!
We thought we would do a "quick" Vegas wedding and then perhaps a year later renew our vows in a bigger ceremony in front of family and friends.

I had purchased my "Vegas" wedding dress and statement red shoes.
We had reviewed all the legal gargin and located the Nevada wedding registry.
We had chosen the cheesy chapel where we were going to get hitched.
I'd picked out the all-in-one flowers, suit rental, limo ride and photo package that we were going with,
and the plane tickets were almost booked.

But then at the very last minute (exactly 1 month before our wedding date) we changed our minds.
Ha ha!

I was on the phone with the wedding coordinator in Vegas and something made me hesitate when the exact "wedding package" wasn't available for the exact date that we really wanted as our wedding day.
Also, after hearing news of our plans, the guest list seemed to be growing and growing; so we decided to spare everyone a trip all the way across the country (especially my parents after already travelling halfway across the world) and tie the knot a little bit closer to home, in The Big Apple.

So, although a Vegas wedding would have been fun, adventurous and would make one heck of a great story (and I STILL have my short, sassy Vegas wedding dress) I am so happy that things turned out the way that they did.

So how did the big day go down? And where did we eventually get hitched?
Well, that's a story for another day. (Tomorrow to be exact. Stay tuned!)

30 November 2011

Our {love} Story

Our first photo together on our 2nd date

I've had a few people ask me how Mike and I met.
How does a South African end up with a Peruvian-American?
Well, our very first wedding anniversary is coming up (this Sunday to be exact) so I thought it was the perfect time to share our story.

We met just before Summer 2010.
A friend of mine was dating one of his friends and one night she dragged me out (literally!) because her date was bringing a friend.
I was not in the mood to go out after a long day of work, dirty hair and no time to make myself look presentable but at the last minute I decided to go, and ended up spending the whole night talking to this guy who, in just a few months, I would be calling "husband". 

To say that our romance was a whirlwind is an understatement.
We began dating in the Spring, became boyfriend-girlfriend in the Summer, got engaged in the Fall and were married by the Winter.
Some people are a little shocked when they hear that, but when you meet the right person and you just know that they are the right one for you, then why wait? ha ha.

The day I married the love of my life was the happiest day of my life and this past year has been the most amazing time of my life filled with so many adventures.
I feel so lucky to have found the man of my dreams. I love having someone to share my day with, someone who makes me laugh almost daily, and most importantly someone who supports and builds me up to become a better person. 

Mike, on our wedding day I vowed to love you more and more each day. I didn't know it was possible but my love for you has multiplied so many times over and I know it will keep on doing so until death do us part.

Our wedding day

29 November 2011

19 weeks

How far along? 19 weeks, 4 days
Maternity clothes? Nothing new. Living in leggings & sweatpants. Also bought a few sweaters that button in the front.
Stretch marks? None
Sleep: Good besides the scary dreams I've been having.
Best moment this week: Getting to over stuff myself with Thanksgiving dinner and not caring if my belly sticks out. ;) Miss Anything? Couldn't eat the brie cheese on the cheese platter and missing the occasional glass of wine.
Movement: Ive been looking out, but only felt it a couple of times.
Food cravings: Been eating a lot of strawberry jam toast.
Anything making you queasy or sick: Still getting headaches, and had a few "growing pains" in my belly.
Have you started to show yet: Yes, still not obvious though.
Gender: ?
Labor Signs: None
Belly Button in or out? In
Wedding rings on or off? On
Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy!
Looking forward to: 20 week scan on Monday. Hold thumbs that we'll be able to find out the sex.

28 November 2011

My First Thanksgiving

Are you guys still stuffed full of turkey?

This year was a special Thanksgiving for me. It was Mike and my first Thanksgiving as a married couple and the very first Thanksgiving in the 3 years of living in the US that I've celebrated it the way it was meant to be celebrated: with lots of food, family and fun!

Carving the most delicious turkey I've ever tasted in my life! My cousin cooked it in a smoker so it was juicy and just sooooo tasty!

Food, glorious food.
The family
We went around the table and everyone expressed what they were thankful for. After dinner we played a few games before passing out in a total food coma. 
What a perfect Thanksgiving!

25 November 2011

Black Friday madness

My Black Fridays of the past have looked something like this...

I head to a specific store with 2 or 3 items in mind that you really want to get your hands on.
But then...
Hours and perhaps some bumps and bruises later you end up with a whole shopping cart full of stuff that you never really needed in the first place.

This year I was very good. I had to get up for work at 6am, so that stopped me from lining up in the cold at midnight. The top 2 items on my list of things to find deals on were a sofa and a bed. Since we are moving from our shoe box to a bigger apartment, we now need furniture. We settled on a sofa and loveseat combo which I think we got a good deal on and then ended up at Baby Depot and purchased a crib which was $100 off the regular price! Score! At the end of our trip we were buying a shower curtain when we found out we had totally drained our checking account. That brought our Black Friday spree to an end, but at least our baby (who is not coming for another 5 months) has a place to sleep. haha.

How was your Black Friday?
Did you go totally crazy or did you grab a couple of really good deals?

24 November 2011

Turkey Day

Its so much fun getting to celebrate American Holidays and today will be my first proper Thanksgiving with lots of turkey and family.

Happy Thanksgiving everybody!

23 November 2011


This morning when I logged into my blogger account I saw something that I think is pretty cool.

This little blog of mine has hit it's first milestone. 100 Followers! 
Sure, it may not be a HUGE number like some blogs with over 2000+ but I still think its pretty awesome. 
I just love my little corner of the web where I can express myself, ramble on and of course I love all of you guys who stop by for a visit! 

Thank you everyone for supporting A South African in New York with your comments and emails. I love being a part of this blogging community and you all make my heart smile. 

Bring out the fireworks!

22 November 2011

18 weeks

How far along? 18 weeks, 4 days
Maternity clothes? Nothing new, I'm down to my 1 pair of maternity jeans and leggings.
Stretch marks? None
Sleep: It's really annoying having to wake up at least 2 times in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom.
Best moment this week: I think I felt the baby moving. It was so ticklish.!
Miss Anything? Not really
Movement: Felt it once. So funny!
Food cravings: None this week
Anything making you queasy or sick: Still getting bad headaches. :( 
Have you started to show yet: I think so. Its still not totally obvious though.
Gender: 2 weeks till the next try.
Labor Signs: None
Belly Button in or out? In
Wedding rings on or off? On
Happy or Moody most of the time: When I have my headaches, I'm miserable. But besides that, happy!
Looking forward to: Thanksgiving. Move over baby I need some room for turkey!

21 November 2011


Thanksgiving is this Thursday and I couldn't be more excited! 
Have you bought your turkey and written out your cooking strategy? 
As a South African, Thanksgiving is a very new holiday for me and although I have lived in the States for almost 3 years, this is the first year that I will be celebrating it the proper way surrounded by family and a big ol' turkey.

I wanted to kick off this week on a very thankful note so I have made a little list of things in my life that I really appreciate.

I am thankful for... my husband of course! Our 1 year wedding anniversary is coming up and it has truly been the best year of my life. He offers me support, makes me laugh and most importantly cleans the ferret cage! I feel so lucky to get to share my life with this amazing man. Mike, I love you with all my heart.  

I am thankful for...  the little Llambok that is growing in my belly! Although he/she might have come as a little bit of a surprise gift but we are so excited for this new chapter in our lives. I know how hard it is for some people to start a family and am very grateful for a healthy and (almost) smooth pregnancy thus far.

I am thankful for...  my parents who offer so much support even though they live so far away. It is sometimes not easy being a whole ocean away from your family, but with parents like the ones I have; distance is not an issue.

I am thankful for...  my sister who is always fun and cheers me up. I missed your wedding this year because immigration wouldn't let me leave the country. It was the saddest moment, but you looked beautiful via Skype anyways. I can't wait to make up for it next month when we visit you in Cape Town.

I am thankful for...  the safe return of our fur-son Gumby a few weeks ago after he was lost for a couple of days. He is such a clown and always makes us laugh.

I am thankful for...  having friends. No matter how far away you are.

I am thankful for...  the apartment we are moving into at the end of the month. We have lived in our shoebox for far too long now! 

I am thankful for...  having a job in this economy. Although the 11 hour days are much to be desired, I love my job.

I am thankful for...  living in America and also having the experience of living in and visiting so many different places and countries.

18 November 2011

Package Pals

I was very lucky to get to participate in Gentri Lee's Package Pals Party where we were partnered up with a random blogger who we got to know and then exchange little parcels with.
I got to swap packages with the very adorable Michaela who blogs over at Typewriter Keys. Michaela lives in Iowa and is super talented in the sewing department as you will find out.
I wanted to send Michaela a New York themed box of goodies and decided to make up a New York survival kit in case she ever visits this side of the country.

1. A note pad and pencil to record her journey.
2. Hand sanitizer. It kills 99% of New York germs. This comes in handy, especially when riding the subway.
3. NYC lip gloss for when you need to glam it up on the Manhattan streets.
4. Candy (sour gummy worms - M's favorite) to keep energy levels up
5. Yankees rain poncho because the NY weather is very unpredictable.
6. Everybody needs a I (heart) NY t-shirt as a souvenir.
I was just thrilled when I received such a big juicy box in the mail! Gumby was very curious as to what was inside and really enjoyed all rummaging around in the stuffing it came with.

Look at all the goodies she sent! An Iowa T-shirt and a little Iowa onesie, a packet of Gladcorn (this stuff is amazing, and I'm now totally addicted!), vintage key, scented candle (I just LOVE the name, hehe! And it smells absolutly delicious), a picture of her favorite tree, Iowa magnet and (drumroll please...) a baby blanket that she sewed herself! I'm soooo impressed.
I loved everything about the package I recieved, especially the very thoughtful baby stuff for my little future Llambok!

Thank you Michaela for being such an awesome person to exchange packages with and a BIG thank you to Gentri for putting together such a fun project. Keep 'em coming!