a pinch of creativity

"Enthusiasm is excitement
with inspiration,
and a pinch of creativity.”
(just a quote i read somewhere)
I don't consider myself an artist, but I find an incredible sense of satisfaction in dreaming up ways to renew old things. My home is full of former rejects, things people threw on the curb, things that had no value or beauty left in them. My father trained me well :) to collect these possible gems, to see elaborate potential in them, to make and enjoy incredible things without spending a fortune.
I'm a bit obsessed with my most recent project.
Lacking counter space in my new place I needed some piece of furniture to work as my coffee and tea station. AND I'm on a budget which means the cheaper the better. And FREE is always a great option!
And late one night, driving down my alley, I found the perfect reject. Covered in grease and cobwebs and crawling with moths... I knew it was exactly what I needed.

After some painting and loving and imagining... Voila!
It's a fantastic addition to my kitchen!

And while I was photographing my renewed masterpiece, I snapped a few photos of my new apartment. Just a few... Maybe you can notice some of the other renewed rejects :)


new growth

newgrowth (2)
This is a season of growth. I'm learning how to be content with a life that is different than I had expected. (Not that this is an eternal place for me...but an unexpected season.) And I'm not just learning to be okay with it, I'm learning to be thrilled with how beautiful the ordinary can be! I'm finding ways to spice up the hum-drum routine of my lifestyle. And since I'm stationary for a while, I'm given the opportunity to practice the skills and habits that are important to me. I'm getting more involved, building stronger relationships, and just trying to be overall more intentional with the choices I make. Not always easy... but like I said, it's a season of growth.

Keeping with this theme of "growth" it's fitting that I planted my very first vegetable garden! Not without the help of my expert-gardening-relatives of course! But today I harvested my first 3 radishes. In the picture you will find only 2 radishes. That's because I pulled the first one out of the ground, brushed off the dirt, and ate it. Yummy and spicy!

But oh the things you learn from a garden! Let me bullet point a few things for you.

  • I can have the most excellent and strategic plan for planting the most elaborate garden but it is ultimately beyond my power to make anything grow. I have to trust and hope.
  • How amazing it is that huge and fruitful plants grow from just the tiniest seed!
  • Fighting against pests can be so tiring but I know it is important to protect the things that are valuable so the fight is worth it.
  • Eating fresh vegetables, especially those that I've watched grow from seed is so fulfilling and rewarding and exciting!

Well, enough about the garden for now. I've only harvested 3 radishes. I'll have more to write soon when I am swimming in zucchini and begging for recipes!

More to come. Thanks so much for reading!

This is my garden. It has grown so much already since I snapped this photo! It's about 4 x 20 and includes 3 kinds of tomatoes, 3 kinds of lettuce, radishes, carrots, beets, cucumbers, eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers, butternut squash, corn, sweet potatoes, green beans, kidney beans, and nasturtium.


where has she been???

If you haven't noticed already, I don't tend to live a lifestyle of permanency. I think I can admit that the words "long-term" kind of freak me out a little. I'm not sure that I have a full-blown fear of commitment, but I do think I'm afraid of dedicating myself to the wrong things, or maybe I'm just afraid of wasting my time on things that won't be fulfilling for me, or for others. I'm going to be 28 years old this summer, and as silly as this sounds (especially to my readers who are umm... more "mature" than I am) I feel like I'm running out of time to do all that I dream of doing. Or maybe I'm just running out of time to dream! At my age, people are supposed to be married, or starting their families or buying homes. By the standards of my culture, I should at least have chosen a career, and should have much more than my mere $1,000.00 invested in a 401k. But here I am, this aging oddball, who hasn't rested for more than 2 years in any location ever since high school graduation 10 years ago.

6 months ago I shared with you the great news of a new job, new apartment, and renewed life here in Milwaukee. I'm happy to report that all is going well, and perhaps even better than I had imagined. It took me a while to get used to the 8:00-5:00 lifestyle again. And it has been a humbling challenge to get re-accustomed to the cost of living here in America. Budgeting creatively has become a new hobby among other things. But I am here, and happy. And though I'm aching to travel again (and will soon) I think I'm content with the idea of sticking around for a while.

Shocking? (My dad thinks so.)

After filling my blog with adventurous stories and cultural exchange mishaps, and photos from places many people can only dream of going... it has been really difficult for me to keep blogging. How can I top my scuba diving experience on the Great Barrier Reef? Or my video of eating live octopus? Or the stories from my silly students? Seriously... my life is pretty mundane and it's hard to imagine anyone would care to read about me at all.

But then again, I do have a life worth sharing, don't I?

And you do too!

So, I'm back! I have some things to share with you, like recent projects, some photos of my new living space, and even some thoughts that have been stirring inside of me.

Here goes... stories from the life of a young-professional, post-adventurous travels, and still making her mark on this world.

Do I still have any readers? Leave a comment and let me know you're here!