Turning 29

 

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Yesterday was my 29th birthday. One year away from the big 3-0. Yikes, I’m old. The day was pretty great, but passed without much thought. I had to work and buy a new hairdryer because mine started smoking on Monday and then I went to the gym with a friend. A fairly normal day, although it ended with pizza and champagne, so that was nice!

We are celebrating for real in two weeks in Champagne, France with one of my best friends from high school and her husband. I am so looking forward to it! That’s when the real celebration with happen.

As with every birthday, I’m taking this time to reflect on this past year and thinking about the year ahead. I don’t feel any older and I honestly think of myself being 23 or 24, especially when I get carded at bars (in America) or the grocery store in Germany. Yes, I have been carded in a grocery store here in Germany where the legal drinking age is 18.

 

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This year is going to be a big year for me, I can just feel it. I’m feeling settled into life in Germany and have somewhat of a routine. Vinn and I are traveling all around Europe and are building memories that we are going to look back on when we’re 80 in our Adirondack chairs in our backyard with fondness.

This year, my 29th year, is my year to throw myself into my passion and to keep crossing things off my bucket list. Now is the time because I have no real responsibilities and it won’t be long until we have a mortgage and kids running around asking for snacks all day. I want to throw myself into what I love.

This year, I want to focus on the people that make me happy and building deeper, stronger relationships. I’ve always believed that when it comes to friendship that it’s quality over quantity hands down. Building relationships in Germany has been hard, but I have made some great friends here and I hope these relationships continue to grow. It’s also difficult to continue friendships from 7 hours away and I want to make an even bigger effort to stay in touch. I am very lucky because I text with my best friend every day, FaceTime about once a month with another friend and email back and forth with even more. I also talk to my mom and sister daily. Thank Goodness for technology.

Of course, my relationship with Vinn is my number one priority and I am excited to see where this year will take us. Physically, this year is taking us to some amazing places and I can’t wait to share these moments with each other.

 

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This is a random thing, but this year I want to figure out a skincare routine. I’ve gotten a handle on my breakouts, knock on wood, and now I want to research products that will keep my skin looking fresh and youthful. Now, I pretty much just use a moisturizer with SPF in it since staying protected from the sun is the number one thing for your skin. I want to find some kind of eye cream and serum that will keep me looking 29 for a very long time! I’d love to hear your recommendations, if you have some.

Overall, I think year 29 is going to be filled with more passport stamps, lots of wine drinking, great conversations and amazing memories to last a lifetime.

(Source)

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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?

28 Things To Do This Year

Happy Monday! Today is my 28th birthday. Wow, that year went fast. So much has changed in the past year: moved to another continent, quit my job, and visited a bunch of new places certainly top the list. Below is one of my favorite pictures from our Salzburg trip.

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For my birthday, I thought I’d share 28 things I want to do in this next year of life. The closer I get to 30, the more I want to check off my bucket list, especially now that we live so close to a lot of the places where I want to visit. Here’s to making 28 the best year yet.

  1. Keep learning German. I want to make more of an effort to learn German this year. I have been decent at studying German once a day, but I  could definitely step it up a notch. We are living here, so I should speak the language.
  2. Travel. This is a huge one and could probably take up half of the things I want to do this year. Here’s my bucket list.
  3. Blog. I love writing every day for this blog as a way to share my thoughts, feelings, travels and random musings. I want to take this year to learn more about the behind the scenes of blogging and maybe doing a redesign or something.
  4. Spend time outside. I’m currently writing this on our balcony with the sun shining and listening to country music and Copley laying next to me. I love summer and the sunshine and want to be outside as much as possible.
  5. Explore German bier gardens. Because when in Rome, right?
  6. Run another half marathon. I love having a fitness goal. And it’d be really fun to run a half marathon in Europe. I should probably start training now!
  7. Finally write my darn book. I’ve been wanting to write a book pretty much since I was in high school. Now’s probably the time to start doing that.
  8. Play a lot of tennis. I’ve written about my want to learn tennis already, but it definitely deserves it’s spot on the list because it’s a large goal/priority for me.
  9. Read Anne Frank’s Diary. I have attempted to read this book since I was in middle school, I think. I always stop reading at the same part. Maybe this year can finally be the year I read the whole thing, especially if we do make it to Amsterdam this winter.
  10.  Make a recipe from Julia Child. I consider myself a decent cook, but I’m certainly not a trained chef. I would really like to step up my cooking skills. I find myself making a rotation or variation of the same kind of food. I think something from this website, like the roast chicken.
  11. Take an online writing course. Writing is certainly leaving it’s mark on this list. As I mentioned, I have a lot of ideas for a book but I’m not sure how to go about the writing process. I know there are online writing courses and I’d love to take one this year.
  12. Decide if I want to go get my MBA. No explanation. I just need to decide.
  13. Watch TV less. Yes, that’s right. I want to watch less tv. There are definitely more productive uses of my time. I can’t give up tv, especially the Housewives, but it’s probably good for my overall well being to cut back.
  14. Learn to edit photos. I really don’t know how to edit anything except grammar and I’d really like to be able to. I used Photoshop during a class in college and I just could not figure it out. I could envision what I wanted the end product to look like, I just couldn’t get it there. It will also help elevate the blog’s photos. Maybe I’ll take a class on Skillshare.
  15. Finally organize all of the paper sitting around. Yes, boring, but necessary. We just have piles of paperwork next to the desk and it needs to be organized. Like finally put into a labeled file and in the filing cabinet. It’s just annoying to do and I keep putting it off. If I write it, I’ll do it!
  16. Get Google Analytics certified. Another thing that’s been on my to-do list for far too long. I started taking the online classes in my last job and just couldn’t finish. It will be great for my resume and help with the blog.
  17. Try my hand at having a green thumb. I can barely keep our basil plant alive, but I would love to get more plants for our balcony to add some life to the space and hopefully some more privacy.
  18. Purge my closet. I did a lot of purging before our move, but I definitely have things in my closet that are way too old…like a shirt from high school (!) and I don’t need anymore. It’ll make more space for new things. Win/win.
  19. Put myself out there. Specifically to make new friends. Being in a new place is hard and not having any friends is hard.
  20. More date nights. Vinn and I love our date nights and make them a priority. We love going out to dinner the most, I think. This year, I want to go on more date nights (because there are never enough) and doing some new things together around our new area.
  21. Take a really nice picture of Copley. I have SO MANY pictures of Copley. It is borderline ridiculous. But, I don’t have a really nice, semi-professional picture of her. I’d love to take one with my nice camera
  22. Make a 2016 “yearbook.” I had this idea to make a book every year with all the photos from that year. I made a book of our honeymoon and my last family trip to Europe and I love looking at all the pictures at once. I think this will be a fun tradition to start. Maybe I’ll even go back to 2013 – 2015 so we have one since we’ve been married. That’s pretty ambitious.
  23. Learn to make tiramisu. I love tiramisu. Actually love is probably an understatement. Obsessed is probably the word. I’d love to learn to make it at home and make it my go-to homemade dessert.
  24. Go to a concert. Small, but true. Vinn and I love live music, but I haven’t been to a concert since the life-changing Sir Paul McCartney.
  25. Take a class at the gym. Similar to putting myself out there, but this is something I want to do.
  26. Wine tasting. I love, love, love wine. Just like with travel, I’d love to go to as many wine tastings as possible in the next year. Yes, please!
  27. Do some future planning. In the next year, we’ll need to really start thinking about our transition back to the US. Wow. We need to figure out where we want to live, if we’ll buy a house, how to save even more for a house, when to have kids. Man, I guess there are a lot of changes coming my way!
  28. And last but not least, just have fun! The last five months have been a roller coaster of emotions. And the biggest lesson is to have fun in any and all situations. To find the humor in even the trickiest circumstances and that life is too short, it’s time to live it!

I think 28 is going to a great year!

*Check out the 27 things you don’t know about me from last year.