European Fall Bucket List

 

I haven’t shared goals or bucket lists for a really long time. The last one was in the spring and I’m ashamed to say that I haven’t done all of the things on the list! I haven’t been to the Stuttgart TV Tower or visited the Ludwigsburg Palace, two of the things that I wanted to do two seasons ago. Oops. I guess all of our travel got in the way!

This fall, I want to set some goals and then actually do them. A shocking concept, I know, but one that is much easier said than done. We are halfway done with our time in Germany and we want to make sure we are using our time to the fullest. And fall in Europe is just perfection. It’s a great time to visit because the crowds are down, the weather is perfect for strolling and prices aren’t as expensive. So, here we go, my 2017 European fall bucket list!

Ludwigsburg Palace & Pumpkin Fest

(Source)

Visiting the palace was on my list in the spring and I definitely want to make that happen before this year is over. There are 6 tours on Saturdays and Sundays in English, so there really is no excuse for not going.

And now that it’s fall, it’s time for the Ludwigsburg Pumpkin Festival. We went last year and it was so much fun. It’s the world’s largest pumpkin festival and it’s right in our backyard, so cool. The theme of the pumpkins changes every year and this year the theme is Rome. Plus, we get to put Copley in her pumpkin costume. What’s not to love?

Stuttgart TV Tower

Adding this to the list again. Vinn and I love going to the top of anything when we’re traveling, so why not do it in our own city? The TV Tower provides great views of Stuttgart and there’s even a restaurant that serves brunch on Sunday. That would be fun to do one Sunday when we don’t have anything on the agenda.

Read 5 books

This is a lofty goal but I think I can do it. I want to finish reading the three remaining books from my summer reading list and then start a new fall list. I do love curling up in a blanket with a homemade latte (thanks, Nespresso!) and reading. And, of course, Copley is there, too.

Visit a vineyard

We are going to Tuscany for our anniversary at the end of October/beginning of November, so this will be an easy one to tackle. There’s something about a vineyard that makes me happy, probably because that’s where wine is made, but it’s deeper than that. I think I love the vines, that everyone who works at one seems to be so happy all the time and the foliage in the fall just can’t be beat. This should probably make the list every fall!

Take a family photo

I don’t necessarily think these need to be professional photos but it would be nice to have a more professional looking picture of our family. I love this weather and want to find a day where we can visit a park around the golden hour and snap a few pictures. Thanks to the self-timer on my camera, I think I’ll be able to do it!

What do you want to accomplish this fall?

European Fall Bucket List

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New Blogging Schedule

blogging_schedule

It’s Monday, the start of a new week and, for me, the start of a new blogging schedule. I have been doing a lot of thinking, behind the scenes working and discussing about where I want this blog to go, what I want to do with my life and what the future looks like. I talked about it a little bit in this post where I shared how I want to follow my passion. Now I am putting these thoughts into action!

I have signed up for a blogging course/mentorship program and am putting a lot more time and effort into following my dream. I have a plan in place to take this whole writing gig to the next level and am going to activate this plan one step at a time. My dad always says, “By the inch, it’s a synch. By the mile, it’s a trial.”

That being said, I have come to realize that quality is more important than quality. I haven’t really had a schedule for when I write, stuck to a timeline or anything remotely related to structure of any kind. I operate my best life when I am on a schedule, so why haven’t I transferred this over to my writing? Instead of just wondering, I’m giving myself a schedule.

I will now post a blog Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings. I love sitting down and reading blogs with a cup of coffee and I hope you all can do the same with mine! It’s such a great way to ease into the day.

Friday Favs will no longer be a weekly series, but now a monthly series. I’ve found that I struggle to post fun things every week that aren’t surrounded by travel or even worth noting. A lot can happen in a month and I think having favs every month will be much better from my side, as well as the your’s.

What will I write about? Many of the same things, really. I want to focus on topics surrounding expat life, German culture, our travel adventures, great recipes, things I’m loving and anything and everything fun along the way! I want Room for Gelato to be a place where we can share the joys of life and to focus on the positive.

Overall, I am really excited about the future and hope you will continue to follow along. And to always remember that life is better when you save room for gelato.

Is there anything specific you want to see here? Any topics about life abroad that seem interesting? 

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Spring To-Do List

2017 is really flying by, am I right? I can’t believe it. And the weather this week has been absolutely wonderful and is making me so happy for spring. It is incredible how much the weather can impact my mood and now that spring has officially sprung in Germany, I thought I’d share my spring to-do list.

I love to-do lists or goals because it gives me something to strive for and work towards. We are only living in Germany for two more years and there is so much to do and see. I don’t want to miss a thing!

spring_goals

Go to the top of the Stuttgart TV Tower. This tv tower is to Stuttgart what Big Ben is to London. I would love to go to the top of it and get a great view of our city.

Visit the Ludwigsburg Palace. Spring is in bloom here and the Ludwigsburg Palace goes all out with flowers and decorating. Florals for spring? Groundbreaking. (If you get this movie reference, we are true friends.) If spring is anything like the pumpkin festival, we will be in for a treat.

Go to the Beauty and the Beast fountain. Easter weekend we are traveling to the Alsace, France region where the little city that is the inspiration for the movie’s town. And the only thing I want to do is go sit on a fountain, pretend to read a book and get a picture. It will be fabulous.

Make some new dinners. I’ve been in a cooking rut for the past few weeks and I can’t to get out of it! I’m going to scour my cookbooks and find some cooking inspiration. Time to get back to the kitchen.

Read some more books. I love reading and it’s part of my spring to-do’s to keep reading and to keep sharing what I’m reading.

Spend lots of time outside. Great weather is fleeting and I want to spend as much time outside as possible. Daily walks with Copley are a must and hopefully we can use our walks to explore some new cities.

Celebrate my best friend. My best friend’s wedding is the first week of May and I cannot wait to celebrate the most important day of her life. It’s the biggest to-do this season.

What are your to-do’s this spring?

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Why I Ditched My 5 Year Plan

I am a planner by nature. I love mapping out my days on my Google calendar, using Google Docs to research our upcoming travels and writing down goals for the future. I’m always working towards something to make life better and to be checking that next “box.” College degree, check. Job, check. Marriage, check.

And then after three years of marriage and moving to Germany, I realized that the next boxes to check, like buying a house, having a baby and a booming career, suddenly had to be put on hold. It’s been an unsettling feeling, but I’ve come to the conclusion that life is better without a specific plan and a more generalized view of the future. Here’s why I ditched my five year plan!

goals

My five year plan when I was 25 looked like this:

  • Marry Vinn…which I did on October 26, 2013!
  • Move to the South
  • Buy a house
  • Have a baby
  • Have a career in writing or something that is fulfilling

Of course, these are still goals of mine, but I got rid of the timeframe. A lot can change in five years, hello, like moving across the pond! The other thing is that most of these things come with societal pressures. Oh, you graduated five+ years ago, but you’re still living in a rented apartment? Why? You should have a house by now.

The questions of when we’re going to have kids are happening because we’re at that stage of life, but I honestly don’t have an answer. If we were back in the States, I’d probably be ready towards the end of the year. But there’s so much to experience here in Europe and our apartment isn’t exactly kid-friendly. I know we’d make it work if it happens, but I’m having no plan.

I’ve written about my career questions and I’ve learned that it’s important to be happy, that money isn’t everything and a career means different things to different people. I’m still in a bit of a crossroads, but I am extremely thankful that I have jobs that help contribute to our life here.

People say, “We make plans and God laughs.” I think this saying is so incredibly true! It’s great to have goals and ambitions, but having a specific time in mind is hard. It can lead to disappointment, which has happened to me. I’ve had dark times thinking about not being a marketing manager with a team because I thought that’s where I would be now. But, if I had that, I wouldn’t have this amazing life in Germany.

I can say that I am so happy with where my life is and I think it’s because I let it go, like Elsa says. I’ve released myself from the timeline, the “must-do” list by this time. At this moment of life, I’m getting comfortable with the unknown and that some of life’s best moments are the spontaneous ones.

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28 Things to Do This Year Check-In

Tuesday was my half-birthday. I’m halfway to 29…and that feels really weird. It kinda feels like that scene from Newlyweds when Jessica Simpson says, “I’m 23, that’s almost 25, which is almost mid-twenties.” I’m almost 30. Whoa.

On my birthday, I wrote 28 things I wanted to do during my 28th year. And since it’s my half-birthday, I thought it would be fun to check in with how I’m doing with my goals for the year. Plus, it will be really good to see where I need to focus the next 6 months!

copley

  1. Keep learning German. Doing fairly well with this one. I still have my lessons twice a week and do my homework, but I can definitely pick up the pace.
  2. Travel. I can say that we have doing a great deal of traveling. Since my birthday we have been to Venice, London, France, Munich and Switzerland! And we have plans to go to Amsterdam, Dublin and Vienna before my birthday. I should have made this number one.
  3. Blog. Well, you’re reading this, so I think I’m doing okay here.
  4. Spend time outside. I’m surprised by how much time I’ve been spending outside during the cold weather. I hope it continues.
  5. Explore German bier gardens. We went to the original Haufbrauhaus in Munich, so yup!
  6. Run another half marathon. Um, failure. Maybe on my birthday.
  7. Finally write my darn book. Definitely another goal for the next six months. I haven’t spent much time (read any) time writing my book, so I think I know what I’ll be doing for the next few months. Thank goodness winter is dark and I want to be on the couch.
  8. Play a lot of tennis. Decent amount of tennis has been played, but once spring hits, I hope to get back into it.
  9. Read Anne Frank’s Diary. Reading it now!!
  10.  Make a recipe from Julia Child. Oooh, this sounds like the perfect thing to do over the holidays.
  11. Take an online writing course. Something else to do during the cold winter months.
  12. Decide if I want to go get my MBA. Still not sure, but I’m leaning towards no.
  13. Watch TV less. Failure.
  14. Learn to edit photos. Yes! I bought Adobe Elements, the poor man’s version of Photoshop, and have been edited a bunch of pictures lately. It’s exciting that something can be checked off the list!
  15. Finally organize all of the paper sitting around. Some days are better than others.
  16. Get Google Analytics certified. I honestly forgot about this one. It’s still a good thing that I should do.
  17. Try my hand at having a green thumb. Probably a bad idea to put on the list during winter, so maybe spring.
  18. Purge my closet. Slowly but surely. I’ve gotten rid of some pants, shoes and coats. Hooray.
  19. Put myself out there. I am happy to say that we have found a nice group of friends recently. It’s certainly bonding to have people going through the same thing you are to talk to. I hope to have more things like Friendsgiving with them!
  20. More date nights. With all the visitors we’ve been having, it’s been hard to have time to ourselves. I’m excited to incorporate more date nights into our routine.
  21. Take a really nice picture of Copley. Check. See above
  22. Make a 2016 “yearbook.” Still to do.
  23. Learn to make tiramisu. Check. See the recipe I used here.
  24. Go to a concert. We are going to a Dave Matthews concert in Vienna in April. No, it’s not my first choice, but it counts.
  25. Take a class at the gym. Check. I’ve taken several Bodypump classes at the gym and like it, I wish it wasn’t on Wednesday nights, though.
  26. Wine tasting. Our trip to Switzerland included a wine tasting, but I would like to go to a vineyard. There’s still time!
  27. Do some future planning. All.Day.
  28. And last but not least, just have fun! I can honestly say that I have been having the most fun ever. I am loving life and anticipate loving it even more in the next months. The best is yet to come.

What do you want to accomplish in the next six months?