Paris is Still Paris: Pink Pangea Preview

There’s no denying it: I’ve been keeping extremely busy this month. Between hosting lots of visitors, adventuring in Southern Spain (plenty of posts to come!), and beginning to plan our next, post-Paris steps (eek!), I haven’t had much time to focus on sharing my stories with y’all — or to take a deep breath for that matter! Whew. The upside is that my quiver is full after such an exiting couple of weeks and I am anxious to fill you all in. Stay tuned, my friends! All that said, I haven’t been completely removed from the written word. Just this week, I had the opportunity […]

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Something More Lovely || by Cassidy Hettema

Back in November, I introduced to you a new, ongoing series of posts I’m calling “This Women I’ve Met.” Inspired by a piece written my mom and role model (which, if you haven’t read it, can be found here!), this series’ primary goal is to share the stories that need telling: the transformative travel and life experiences of the courageous, strong, and grace-filled women in my life. This project is becoming more and more important to me because, although we all have different stories in different geographical locations and have been impacted by different people and different experiences, we have a lot to learn from […]

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10 Things I’ve Learned After 3 Months Abroad

10 Things I've Learned After 3 Months Abroad |

The new year has got me thinking, not just about my goals for 2017 (there are many!) but about the many ups and downs of the past year. What a crazy, emotional, exciting, stressful, challenging road that has brought us to this moment! And what have we learned through it all? A lot. So much that I thought I would share a few of those lessons with you – namely, what I’ve gleaned from our first 3 months of life abroad in Paris. Now, I know what some of you are thinking: 3 months really isn’t that long. True, in the grand scheme of things. But, anyone […]

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The Strasbourg Christmas Market (and why I won’t stop traveling)

  Three days after a truck barreled into a crowded Christmas Market in Berlin, Chris and I boarded a bus en route to Strasbourg, France – the self-proclaimed Capital of Christmas – to visit its own famous Marché de Noël. We weren’t seeking out trouble. Nor were we necessarily going out of our way to make a statement against the evils in this world. We simply had made plans to spend a few days before Christmas enjoying the old, Germanic, yuletide tradition – plans that we had no desire to cancel. The decision to go to Strasbourg as planned was not, of course, made without some deliberation. As we […]

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An Open Letter to the Man Who Saw Me Cry

An Open Letter to the Man Who Saw Me Cry in the French Immigration Office |

To the man who saw me cry in the French immigration office: I think it goes without saying that I was having a really, really rough day. You could have watched the scene unfold from your seat across the room, quietly feeling sorry for me like the rest of the responsible expats who showed up at the correct time with the correct paperwork. (Kudos to you for effectively reading between the lines on the government website.) You could have even snickered to yourself and thanked your lucky stars that you weren’t the fool for whom, as the receptionist put it, “there was absolutely nothing she could […]

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Go and Sin No More: My Favorite Painting at the Louvre (so far)

My Favorite Painting at the Louvre (so far) |

The best part about getting a membership to the Musée du Louvre is that I can visit the famous museum as often as I please. I don’t have to feel rushed, like I need to ingest all of that culture in one, greedy bite. I can spend an afternoon browsing the Egyptian artifacts and another meandering through the Roman sculptures. I can revisit my favorite Greek pottery or Moroccan tiles. And, I don’t have to feel guilty for spending a half an hour admiring a single Italian painting either. It’s fate that I even found the painting at all, hidden as it is in a corner behind the […]

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The Essence of Thanksgiving

The Essence of Thanksgiving -- celebrating our first Thanksgiving abroad! |

Even before Chris and I moved to Paris, I knew that the hardest part about being abroad would be the holidays: Thanksgiving and Christmas and the glorious season in between. I live for all of the traditions and nostalgia and family gatherings that define the season, and I knew that it would be difficult for me not to feel a part of it, to be so far from home. Sure enough, in the days leading up to Thanksgiving, it took everything within me to resist dropping a couple hundred dollars on a plane ticket, to be honest, just so I didn’t miss out. […]

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Guest Post & “This Woman I’ve Met” Series Kick-Off

This Guest Post was written by my mom and best friend, Annie Weaver. I had asked my mom only a few days ago if she’d like to write something for the blog, not really having a clear direction but suggesting that she share about a travel or life experience that was impactful to her in some way. Not two days later, “This Woman I’ve Met” was in my inbox, and I was so inspired I decided that it couldn’t be a standalone piece. I am excited to kick-off a new series I’m calling, appropriately, “This Women I’ve Met,” of which my mom’s post will […]

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Saturday Night at the Paris Chaâbi

People milled around the lobby of the community center, chatting like old friends and copiously exchanging the Parisian bise – one kiss on each cheek. It was clear that most of the center’s clientele that night were regulars, people who had been looking forward to meeting each other yet again at the Paris Chaâbi. Chris and I, however, were not regulars. This was our first time at the Centre d’Animation Dunios, our first concert, our first opportunity since we had arrived in Paris to experience firsthand the Algerian popular music known as chaâbi. I could tell Chris was nervous. This was, after all, the reason why we had […]

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What Tallahassee Taught Me

Never make your home in a place. Make a home for yourself inside your own head. You’ll find what you need to furnish it- memory, friends you can trust, love of learning, and other such things. That way it will go with you wherever you journey. – Tad Williams What makes a place a home? I thought about this question a great deal after moving with my husband, Chris, to Tallahassee, Florida in the Spring of 2014. All things considered, the changes in my life at that point were pretty significant. Within the span of 2 weeks, I had graduated college with a […]

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