Monday, July 7, 2014

Big News!

I know that I haven't posted much lately on the blog. I've had a rough couple of months as I've struggled to determine my future goals and attempted to align them with my path now. I've experienced a few big life changes and I feel like I'm at a crossroads. Having options is amazing but also stressful as I try to decide on one.  

After I graduated in May with my M.A. in History I needed to decide on what's next for me. I've explored answers to the questions: where do I want to live, what full time jobs do I want to pursue and where do I see my life in the next five to ten years, so I can ensure that my current goals align with my long term life plans. I am happy to finally announce that I've decided on my next adventure. Over the past few months I've leaned more and more towards teaching English abroad in order to gain valuable teaching experience, travel a lot and learn another language. After graduation, I enrolled in a TESOL certificate program hoping to find a teaching position abroad for the fall semester. I've been incredibly stressed this past few weeks as I completed dozens of Skype interviews and attempted to sort through the offers and contracts in order to decide where it was I truly could see myself living and working over the coming year.

After much consideration I am excited to tell you that I accepted a position teaching at a university just outside Beijing. As long as all goes well with the visa process, I plan to leave in late August for China. I have an incredible experience waiting for me and I can't wait to embark on this new path. I look forward to sharing more about my travels and adventures in China with you here on this blog.  

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Summer Wish List

Summer is my favorite time of year. Unfortunately I live in the mid-west and we only get about three months to enjoy the beautiful weather. Every summer seems to fly by and I always have a huge list of things I want to accomplish before winter rolls in again. Most years I end up running out of time to get to everything I'd like to do. This year I decided to make a list and attempt to schedule my weekends in order to make time for it all. Here is a list of the local sites I'd like to see this summer:

1. Visit Frank Lloyd Wright's home and studio in Oak Park, IL
2. Visit Black Point Estate in Lake Geneva, WI
3. Visit the Planetarium in Chicago
4. Drive to Madison, WI to visit friends
5. Attend a concert at Ravinia

What's on your summer to do list?

Saturday, July 5, 2014

About Me: Interview Feature

Just a quick note to let you know I'm featured over at Treats and Travels today. Go on over and check out my interview to get to know a little more about me and my blog. 

Friday, July 4, 2014

Photo Friday: Navy Pier, Chicago


 Navy Pier, Chicago
June 2014

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

101 in 1001 Days

I've seen quite a few posts floating around about completing 101 goals in 1001 days. After reading the list Kelly of Sparkles and Shoes created, I was inspired to make my own. I loved several goals on her list so much that they made their way on to mine! Some of the goals I set for myself are small items that won't take much time, others are large goals that I will need to work up to. I attempted to select 101 items that I've never done before. A couple goals on the list I've already completed but it's been awhile and I would like to do it again now.

I scheduled my list so that it ends on my 37th birthday. If you have your own list, please add a link in the comments. I'd love to check it out!

Start Date: July 1, 2014
End Date:  March 27, 2017

  1. Reach 500 blog posts
  2. Start offering ads on my sidebar
  3. Write an article/book for publication
  4. Learn another language close to fluency
  5. Volunteer (again)
  6. Learn how to use my DSLR manual camera functions
  7. Watch 5 movie classics
  8. Travel to the beach (again)
  9. Teach a class
  10. Give 5 gifts 'just because'
  11. Write a letter to myself to open on my 40th birthday
  12. Send 101 postcards
  13. Travel solo (again)
  14. Learn Calligraphy
  15. Take a cooking class in another country
  16. Take a cake decorating class
  17. Blog about each accomplishment on this list
  18. Take a picture and post to Instagram every day for one month
  19. Read 101 books
  20. Save $11 for every task completed
  21. Cook every recipe in a cookbook
  22. Buy one good 'investment piece' of clothing
  23. Complete 3 Pinterest projects
  24. Identify 21 things I like about myself
  25. Donate $11 to charity for each item I don't complete
  26. Visit 5 museums that I've never been to
  27. Create an inspiration board
  28. Visit 3 new states that I haven't visited before
  29. Visit 3 new countries that I haven't been to
  30. Move to a different city
  31. See a Broadway Musical
  32. Create a meal using only the ingredients I purchased at the farmer's market
  33. Sell an item that I create myself
  34. Attend an Afternoon Tea
  35. Take a painting class (again)
  36. Read a book printed in a different language
  37. Visit 5 UNESCO World Heritage Sites
  38. Visit 10 new restaurants
  39. Get a new stamp in my passport
  40. Pay for a strangers meal
  41. Organize my digital photo storage
  42. Go whale watching
  43. Visit 5 United States National Parks
  44. Take a 2 week road trip
  45. Spend a day celebrating me and pampering myself (spa, shopping, etc.)
  46. Attend a Blogger Conference
  47. Get a full time job
  48. Take a spontaneous vacation or weekend trip
  49. Learn to play the piano
  50. Go strawberry or apple picking and make a recipe from scratch using the fruit
  51. Eat Hotpot
  52. Prepare an entire ethnic meal from scratch
  53. Move to China
  54. Learn Mandarin
  55. Visit The Great Wall in China
  56. Visit the Terracotta Warriors in Xi'an
  57. See the Giant Pandas in China
  58. Determine my career path
  59. Participate in a 5k race
  60. Visit Black Point Estate in Lake Geneva, WI
  61. Invest in blog business cards
  62. Take a photography class
  63. Create a cookbook with my favorite recipes
  64. Take a yoga class (again)
  65. Send flowers to a friend for no reason
  66. Take a class to learn a new skill
  67. Buy a new car
  68. Post a video blog
  69. Find a new local favorite restaurant
  70. Throw a party for a friend or family member
  71. Try 5 new foods
  72. Create a new blog design
  73. Go on a picnic (again)
  74. Cook only at home for a month
  75. Tour a winery (again)
  76. Attend a food festival
  77. Join a book club
  78. Ride in a hot air balloon
  79. Watch the sun rise from a scenic location
  80. Go horseback riding
  81. Create a gallery wall
  82. Publish my story on the blog (About Me)
  83. Visit Frank Lloyd Wright's studio in Oak Park, IL
  84. Photograph a location in all four seasons and frame them all together
  85. Blog every day for a month
  86. Celebrate my divorce with cake and dinner out
  87. Go kayaking
  88. Spend an afternoon reading in the park
  89. Attend a film festival
  90. Find the perfect bathing suit
  91. See a play at the Shakespeare Theatre
  92. Watch a foreign film
  93. Make a pasta dish from scratch
  94. Take a flower arranging class
  95. Eat at a Michelin restaurant
  96. Attend a festival (again)
  97. Attend an art gallery/museum event
  98. Learn to meditate
  99. Start a Roth IRA and contribute monthly
  100. Establish an emergency fund
  101. Celebrate my 37th birthday in another country
It looks like I have my work cut out for me! 
What are your goals? If you have a list, post a link in the comments below.