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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

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!

Life lately

27 Feb

Cup of Tea | www.the-wild-child.com

Shall we have a little chat over a cup of tea? First, let’s just say goodbye February. Can’t say I’ll be sad to see this month go. Even though it’s short, it certainly hasn’t been sweet. I feel like I’ve been in a fog, and I’m so ready to get out of it. From crazy days at work to being sick to the endless snow and cold, I could use a serious break from it all.

I even missed my blogiversary. Can you believe I’ve been writing here for four years now? I just haven’t had the energy to keep up with it lately. But even under all the layers of snow, I know spring is coming, and I’m ready for a fresh start. Not just with this little blog, but life in general.

Sometimes you just need to take a step back, breathe and start again. New Year’s was two months ago, but I’m hitting refresh today and setting my sights on the rest of the year. Here’s what I’m planning to accomplish in the next eight months:

  • Set up a consistent workout routine
  • Read more, watch less TV
  • Volunteer again
  • Build up my savings
  • Play the piano for fun
  • Make time for those that matter

Looking forward to what’s to come. xoxo

P.S. In case you’re interested – Blogiversary 1, 2 and 3.

Auld Lang Syne

31 Dec

Can you believe we’re at the brink of a new year? Do you feel the anticipation of what’s to come? Maybe it’s unrealistic to believe the striking of midnight wipes the slate clean and everyone gets a fresh start. But there is something exhilarating about the beginning of a new year. I can’t help but feel there’s a little magic in the air, ready to work wonders on those who would believe.

Tonight I’m reflecting on 2014 and feeling excited for what’s to come. I don’t know what 2015 will hold, but that’s the beauty of it.

Happy New Year! Cheers from me to you. xoxo

The best is yet to come | www.the-wild-child.com– 2014 –

January
-Traveled to San Antonio with Sebastian where we enjoyed the River Walk, attended a Spurs game and even spent a day in Austin.

February
-Celebrated my best friend’s birthday with a trip to the West Side Market.
-Spent a winter weekend in Westfield, NY, where we used a canoe as a sled.
-Started a book club at work.
-Celebrated three years as a blogger.

March
-Traveled to Chapel Hill, NC, for a weekend with my dear friend Lindsay.

April
-Visited Boston for the first time and enjoyed soaking up history and eating delicious seafood.
-Thanks to his work trips, I saw Basti several weekends over the spring – I don’t have to tell you how great it was.

May
-Celebrated four years with the BF.
-Traveled to Berlin where we ate a lot of food, went bike riding and took a day trip to Fleesensee.

June
-Attended my first NASCAR race and enjoyed it way more than I thought I would.

July
-Fourth of July in Oregon with my sister and cousin.

August
-Celebrated my 26th birthday.
-Attended a One Direction concert in Detroit with my cousin.

September
-Labor Day vacation in Colorado Springs to see my brother.
-Ran my first half marathon.

October
-Celebrated Halloween with a great group of friends.
-Shared another lovely weekend in Westfield, NY, with my family.

November
-Bought a new car. Woot!
-Enjoyed thee best Thanksgiving with both of my siblings home for the holiday.

December
-Paid off my student loans. Double woot!
-Spent NYE in Berlin with the love of my life – the perfect start to a new year.

Tidings of comfort and joy

24 Dec

Wishing you a Merry Christmas! Hope you have a lovely holiday filled with so much joy. I can’t wait for Christmas day with my family and then heading off to Berlin.

Have a good one. xoxo

Brandenburg Gate  | www.the-wild-child.com

Photo from my first trip to Berlin in 2010.

Wrapping and ribbons and bows, oh my!

17 Dec

Confession: I LOVE wrapping gifts. Even though it will be ripped to shreds in a few seconds, I like spending time to make each package look pretty. This year I’m going the more traditional route with Kraft paper, but there is still a lot you can do to make each gift unique.

Christmas Presents  | www.the-wild-child.com

Here are a few wrapping ideas:

-Seasonal Foliage-

Berry Present  | www.the-wild-child.com

I had some fake berries left over from my Halloween costume that I added to a few packages. Pine cones or an evergreen bough tied with ribbon would also look nice.

-Puffy Paint-

Puffy Paint Present | www.the-wild-child.com

Need I say more? Doesn’t puffy paint make any craft project better? Just be careful to apply lightly so it doesn’t soak through the paper. You could also use a metallic marker.

-Stickers-

Stickers Present  | www.the-wild-child.com

I own an unreasonable amount of stickers for a 26-year-old, but I just can’t help it. I bought these adorable ones from Rifle Paper Co. last year, and I still love them.

-Ribbons-

Ribbon Present | www.the-wild-child.com

You can always keep it simple by adding a nice ribbon. Sometimes simple is best.

Happy wrapping!

Feeling festive

16 Dec

Christmas is in 9 days! Say what?! I hope everyone is feeling the holiday spirit, spending time with family and friends and eating lots of treats. I finally got around to sending Christmas cards and wrapping gifts. Definitely feeling the good vibes of the season.

Thought I’d share some of my apartment decorations if you’d care to see…

Santa Claus  | www.the-wild-child.com

Christmas Tree | www.the-wild-child.com

Ornaments | www.the-wild-child.com

Reindeer  | www.the-wild-child.com

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, and that puts a smile on this girl’s face.

Holiday Gift Guide: Travelers

28 Nov

Traveler Gift Ideas  | www.the-wild-child.com

Are you out enjoying the madness of Black Friday? I’m inside with my family watching movies and staying warm. I’d rather do a little online shopping than face the crowds. If you are out and about, here are some gift ideas for the traveler in your life:

  1. Gorgeous weekend bag for the perfect getaway, $120.
  2. Scratch map to keep track of their travels, $19.
  3. Travel journal to document their journeys, $18.
  4. The New York Times Europe guide, $32.
  5. Cute passport holder, $35.
  6. 4-in-1 adapter because you always need one, $25.
  7. Luggage scale to keep them in check, $20.
  8. Personalized luggage tag to prevent baggage claim guessing, $25.
  9. Mini steamer for a polished look anywhere, $35.
  10. Noise canceling headphones for obvious reasons, $99.

Anything you would add to the list? Happy shopping!

Happy Thanksgiving!

26 Nov

Give Thanks | via http://anightowlblog.com/2012/11/printables-free-give-thanks-print.html/

Where are you celebrating turkey day? I’ll be spending it with my family, eating pumpkin pie and enjoying time with my siblings. So happy they’re both home for the holiday. What a treat!

Thanksgiving is a time to be grateful for what we already have, so I thought I’d share just three of the things I’m thankful for this year (because in reality there are many):

  1. My incredible family, including the most supportive parents in the world and two of the coolest kids to call my sister and brother. Seriously, you guys rock.
  2. My sweet boyfriend who laughs at my jokes and calls me munchkin pie. I can’t imagine my life without him.
  3. The opportunity to see the world. I feel so lucky that I continue to travel and discover new countries every year.

And in case you need it, some links to get you through the work day and in the turkey spirit:

Hope you have a delicious day and weekend! xoxo