An afternoon in Brighton

23 Sep

This whole week has been miraculous, weather-wise. Mild temps, no rain and even some sunshine. When we woke up Sunday morning and saw rays peeking through the window, it instantly put us in the best mood. I had some pretty good suggestions for how to spend the day. Sebastian’s idea, however, was so much better.

the-wild-child-water

In no time we were on a train heading to Brighton for the day. From where we live, it’s about a 50 minute train ride, giving us just enough time to enjoy a coffee and a lemon muffin before we arrived at the station. First order was brunch, and we made our way to The Breakfast Club. We’re told there is usually a wait, but we were able to walk right in.

I ordered the smoked salmon and scrambled eggs on toast with a side of avocado, and it was very delicious. It also went perfectly with my Bloody Mary ;-) Sebastian ordered his go-to brunch item, The Full Monty, which includes bacon, sausage, black pudding, eggs, potatoes, mushrooms, beans, a grilled tomato and toast (the Brits sure know how to do breakfast!). The Breakfast Club has multiple locations around London, and we were excited to hear there’s one opening near us in October. Yay for brunch!

After we were sufficiently full, it was time to head to the beach. We joined the other smart kids who thought an afternoon in the sun was a good idea and found a nice spot near the water. It was so relaxing to sit and watch the boats and paddle boarders float by. Brighton is rocky, not sandy, and I loved picking through the rocks and shells, looking for the pretty ones.

brighton-beach-the-wild-child

the-wild-child-paddle-boarder

the-wild-child-pier

Since it was mid-September, the pier was fairly empty, so we took a stroll to see if we could find anything exciting. It’s your typical pier though, filled with games, treats, rides and cheesy photo opps. As much as I was dying for a picture, I didn’t make Sebastian take crazy photos (this time). About three hours had passed since brunch, and of course my bottomless-pit-husband was hungry again. We decided to find oysters and wine as an afternoon snack. Side note: How cool is it that I have a husband?! #newlyweds

Earlier in the day we passed English’s, a lovely seafood spot in the city, so we made our way there. We ordered the local oysters, and oh man were they amazing. We also split a carafe of wine, and were feeling pretty good by the time we left for the train station.

the-wild-child-oysters

the-wild-child-beach

I couldn’t have picked a better way to enjoy such a beautiful day. Simply put, Brighton stole my heart, and I can’t wait to go back.

Whirlwind summer

15 Sep

So much has happened these last few months, I’m not even sure where to begin. I’m currently writing from our flat in London. That’s right folks, I’m officially an expat, officially married and officially loving this crazy, new life. Let’s go back to May, and you’ll see why this summer was an absolute whirlwind.

  • May 16 – Sebastian moves to London to start his new job at an airline in the UK. It’s such an exciting opportunity, and I’m so proud of my husband for landing this gig.
  • May 28 – I travel to Colorado Springs with my whole family to celebrate my brother’s graduation from the United States Air Force Academy. It was an awesome week, and we are incredibly proud of my little brother.
  • June 10 – I left my job at Smucker’s in order to join Sebastian in London. It was bittersweet to leave, but I’m looking forward to finding work here – let me know if you hear of anything, friends!
  • June 13 – I pack my life onto a pallet (10 boxes, if you’re curious) and moved out of my apartment in Wadsworth. I should probably do a post on the whole international moving experience.
  • June 18 – I unofficially move to London to settle in before all the wedding madness.
  • July 9 – I meet my sister in Berlin to kick off the Germany wedding week.
  • July 11 – Travel to Prague for a quick overnight trip with my parents, Grandma and sister. I’ll update with a blog post soon.
  • July 15 – Sebastian and I are legally married at a Standesamt in Berlin, a requirement of all couples who are married in Germany.
  • July 16 – We’re married! It was an absolute perfect day, and I promise to share more from all our weddings soon.
  • July 17 – Sebastian heads back to London, and I kick off a familymoon with my parents, Grandma, sister, brother and his girlfriend. We traveled to Salzburg and Munich. Posts coming soon!
  • July 24 – Sebastian and I fly to Detroit. The next day he flew to LA for work, and I drove back to Ohio to finish wedding plans and begin my UK visa application.
  • August 10 – All the visa paperwork, including my biometrics appointment data, are submitted for processing.
  • August 16 – We’re married (again)! This time we celebrated with family and friends in Ohio, and again, it was an absolutely perfect day.
  • August 18 – My visa is approved and arrives… but with the wrong dates, so I send it back.
  • August 25 – My visa is approved and arrives with the correct dates… but I’m not allowed to enter the country until September 10. I should probably also post about the visa application experience.
  • August 26-September 9 – I patiently wait until I can see my husband again. The days are filled with lunch dates, dinner plans, trips to county fairs, bonfires, and enjoying the extra time with family and friends.
  • September 10 – I land at Heathrow Airport with two suitcases and a heart full of pure joy. My visa is stamped, and I excitedly join my husband in our new country.

As you can see, it’s been a little insane around here. But I’m starting to settle in, look for jobs and explore with Sebastian. I can’t wait to share this adventure.

Lukas Papierak Photography | www.the-wild-child.com

Six years

15 May

I’ll never forget the moment when Sebastian whispered, “I think I more than like you.” It was the beginning of our relationship, and maybe we didn’t know it at the time, but the beginning of our life together.

I won’t deny that these past six years have been challenging. Normally I’d be writing a post today about our long-distance relationship and why we continue to make it work. But I’m not going to do that. Today, I just want to say that I can’t wait to marry Sebastian and start our life together.

Image via Allison Ewing Photography | www.the-wild-child.com
Six years was worth the wait, but a lifetime with you won’t be nearly enough.

Love you, Basti

xoxo

image via Allison Ewing Photography

Epic news

5 May

Prior to this little post, I haven’t thought about blogging for months. Oops. Between wedding planning, life planning and trying to getting rockin’ arms at the gym, blogging dropped pretty low on the priority list.

But I’m back, and I have some seriously exciting news to share. Drumroll please… WE’RE MOVING TO LONDON!!!

Wait, you’re moving? Yes, Sebastian accepted a new job, and we’ll be starting our life together in the UK. Woah! When? I officially move in June, eek! Aren’t you also planning two weddings this summer? We sure are! Our Germany wedding is in July and our Ohio wedding is in August. Are you freaking out? Only a little.

Some days all the moving plans, wedding plans and life in general can feel overwhelming, but most of the time I’m just super excited to start this new adventure with Sebastian. And how brilliant will it be to live in London?! I can’t wait to explore my future home and kick off this next stage of our life.

And with that, all I can say is… cheers! Look, I’m sounding British already.

London | www.the-wild-child.com

image via

What I’ve been doing other than blogging

22 Dec

Oh, hey there friends! It’s been a long time. I don’t have any excuses other than life got in the way. If you follow me on Instagram (@MJSpletzer), you might have noticed my biggest news: I’m engaged! Sebastian popped the question exactly one month ago today, and we’re as happy as clams.

Ring | www.the-wild-child.com

So what else have I been up to these past four months? In August, my parents treated me to a US Women’s soccer game for my birthday, fulfilling a lifelong dream. Then at the end of the month, I traveled to Massachusetts to celebrate my cousin Alli’s wedding. We had a blast, and I died laughing when the shuttle to the reception turned out to be a school bus.

Heinz Field | www.the-wild-child.comSchool Bus | www.the-wild-child.com

In September, I jetted off to Colorado for the US Air Force Academy family weekend. We spent four glorious days laughing, eating and just being together. I also traveled to Westfield, NY, for a little hiking and relaxation.

Family | www.the-wild-child.comTrain | www.the-wild-child.comHammock | www.the-wild-child.comWaterfall | www.the-wild-child.com

In October, the BF (now fiancé) was in town with his friend Maik. We took him to my beloved West Side Market and a freezing, cold Indians game. Later in the month, Sebastian and I spent a week of vacation hiking in Hocking Hills and then exploring and eating our way through Boston. We loved the city so much we’re heading back there for NYE.

Market Hall | www.the-wild-child.comFriends | www.the-wild-child.comRose Lake | www.the-wild-child.comCave | www.the-wild-child.comDoughnuts | www.the-wild-child.comBoston | www.the-wild-child.comOysters | www.the-wild-child.com

November found me in Germany where I was asked the most important question of my life (I said yes!). We spent the week visiting Christmas markets, preparing a Thanksgiving feast and enjoying being engaged.

engaged | www.the-wild-child.comWine | www.the-wild-child.comVeggies | www.the-wild-child.comTurkey | www.the-wild-child.comTreats | www.the-wild-child.com

And now it’s the end of December – hard to believe another year is almost over. I want to slow down time and soak in all the little moments these next few days: snuggling on the couch with my siblings, being in the kitchen with my Mom and cracking jokes with my Dad. There is nothing better than the holidays and being together with my family.

Tree | www.the-wild-child.com

Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas and a fantastic start to the New Year! 2016 is sure to be another wild ride. Cheers! xoxo

Twenty-seven

6 Aug

Birthday Cake | www.the-wild-child.com

Since it’s my birthday today (yay!), I decided to take a cue from Karlie Kloss and share 27 things I’ve learned in the past 27 years.

  1. Celery will always taste disgusting to me no matter how many times I try it. But don’t be afraid to try something new. You never know what you might enjoy.
  2. I believe true love exists, but there is definitely a conscious choice involved. You choose to love someone and make it work.
  3. Sometimes it’s OK to spend the day on the couch, watching Netflix and eating your weight in Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.
  4. Be with someone who can make you laugh.
  5. Your parents are smart. Really guys. Listen to them. But don’t be afraid to make decisions for yourself.
  6. You’re going to make mistakes, and that’s alright. Just don’t forget to learn something from them.
  7. Protect your skin. It’s not OK to go outside without sunscreen.
  8. Travel as often as you’re able to. There is so much to see in this world. Adventure is out there!
  9. Stop fretting about what others think. It’s your life. Do you.
  10. Start saving now, even if it’s just a little. You never know when you’re going to need that safety net.
  11. Family first. Always. Make time for the important people in your life.
  12. Get outside. Fresh air and sunshine are my cure for just about anything.
  13. Never stop reading.
  14. It’s completely appropriate for a 27-year-old to know almost every Disney song by heart.
  15. Stop looking down at your phone all the time.
  16. Take care of yourself. Get off the couch and move. Your health is important.
  17. Remove the toxic people from your life. Trust me when I say I prefer my handful of close friends versus an army of people.
  18. It’s OK to have emotions. And even more OK to show them.
  19. Sometimes people just aren’t going to like you.
  20. Your taste in music doesn’t define you, and it doesn’t make you better than others. 1D is my jam y’all.
  21. Just because you don’t understand something doesn’t mean it’s wrong. It’s not cool to be judgmental all the time.
  22. The golden rule is a good rule of thumb. Treat others how you would want to be treated.
  23. Money is better spent on experiences rather than possessions. You can’t take all those things to the grave with you.
  24. Sleep is important.
  25. Be direct about what you want and need.
  26. Growing up on a farm was hard work, but it also turned me into a hard worker.
  27. Life is beautiful, even the really messy parts.

Bye July, a recap

4 Aug

July Recap | www.the-wild-child.com

Traveled to: My cousins’ cabin in Westfield, New York (near Lake Chautauqua) for the loveliest 4th of July weekend. Think hiking, canoeing and the most incredible ribs.

Read: I unfortunately didn’t read much in July. At the end of the month I started The Mountain Story by Lori Lansens, and I’m really into it so far.

Watched: Trainwreck, which was crazy funny, and Ant-Man, which was better than I expected. I’ll also willingly admit I went with some girlfriends to see Magic Mike XXL. I laughed way more than I thought I would.

 Activities: Spent several weekends outside boating, swimming and enjoying the gorgeous weather with my family. There was much time on the water, and I loved it. Lake life is the life for me.  

Ate: Copious amounts of sushi with my BFF Lindsay and her boo Keshav. I love unassuming places with really good food, and Sakura never disappoints.

Purchased: It’s my birthday in a couple of days, so I decided to treat myself. Scored these shoes and this sweater at the Nordstrom anniversary sale and bought my favorite scent from J.Crew.

Worked Out: I started taking classes at the newly opened office gym. I’ve surprised myself with how much I enjoy spinning and the group workout programs. My goal is to get up to 5 days a week. I’m at about 3 right now.

Cooked: My parents always have a kick-ass garden, and since I have limited space for my own garden, I love when they gift me with fresh produce. I used the zucchini they gave me to make zucchini pancakes.

I’m loving summer and all it brings. Welcome, August!

Anatomy of a summer weekend

13 Jul

Friday night: Indians game

Progressive Field | www.the-wild-child.com

Progressive Field | www.the-wild-child.com

Progressive Field | www.the-wild-child.com

Saturday: Family picnic and fireworks

Progressive Field | www.the-wild-child.com

Progressive Field | www.the-wild-child.com

Progressive Field | www.the-wild-child.com

Sunday: Cedar Point with your best friend

Progressive Field | www.the-wild-child.com

Progressive Field | www.the-wild-child.com

Progressive Field | www.the-wild-child.com

This has probably been one of the fullest summers I’ve had in a while, with every weekend busting at the seams. I love having plans and spending time with family and friends, but it’s making the days fly by at an alarming rate. Before we know it the season will be over. I’m doing my best to squeeze in as much as possible before it ends.

On a beach down in Mexico

8 Jul

After four years of blogging, one thing I’ve learned is how quickly time gets away from you. I’m so behind in posts that I wonder if it’s worth continuing, but then I remember how awesome it is to look back and see all my memories in one place. So today I’m sharing photos from our Mexico vacation earlier this year.

Cancun Mexico | www.the-wild-child.com

After months of research we settled on an all-inclusive resort, The Finest at Playa Mujeres. We were a little nervous because the resort was brand new, and who knew if all the kinks would be worked out by our trip. But we quickly learned there was nothing to worry about. The hours spent on TripAdvisor reading reviews were for nothing. The place was fantastic.

From the modern, luxurious rooms to the beautiful grounds, it was the perfect setting for a relaxing vacation.

Finest Playa Mujeres Plants | www.the-wild-child.com

Pool Friends | www.the-wild-child.com

Finest Playa Mujeres Grounds | www.the-wild-child.com

Finest Playa Mujeres Lobby | www.the-wild-child.com

Finest Playa Mujeres Night | www.the-wild-child.com

Some favorite memories:

-Mojitos and tequila shots with our amazing bartender Ivan.

-Meeting new friends – Kevin and Erin from New York and Trent and Melissa from Canada.

-Pool trivia every afternoon at 3pm.

-Kayaking in the clear blue waters.

-Watching the sunrise with my love.

Pool Selfie | www.the-wild-child.com

Finest Playa Mujeres Pool | www.the-wild-child.com

Finest Playa Mujeres Kayaking | www.the-wild-child.com

Sunset Cancun | www.the-wild-child.com

Sunset | www.the-wild-child.com

Sebastian and I often take active vacations where we’re exploring new cities together, but it was beyond nice to just sit by a pool without a care in the world.

If you’re looking for an all-inclusive resort, we highly recommend The Finest Playa Mujeres. We’re already talking about a return trip next year, it’s that good.

Five years

15 May

Sebastian and I began dating 5 years ago today. I can hardly believe it’s been that long. Five years. Sixty months. One thousand eight hundred and twenty-six days. And through it all, more than 4,000 miles apart.

A long-distance relationship is certainly not ideal, and I know some people think we’re crazy. Why would we choose this? To add to the complexity, we’re also from different countries, so living near each other hasn’t been an option. But the moments we do share are wonderful. Why would we trade those moments for something easier? When Sebastian is gone, I realize just how much he adds to my life.

One of these days we’ll figure it out, but for now we’re enjoying when we can be together. Because when we’re together, the world feels right.

I recently read a book with some lovely passages, and one in particular made me think of Sebastian and our relationship.

 “With you, my life felt indeed like a fantastic adventure – despite our ordinary circumstances, your love imbued everything we did with secret riches.”

www.the-wild-child.com

Happy five years, Basti. You know I wouldn’t do this with anyone else.

xoxo