Back :)

Hello, friends! How have you been? I hope you’ve had a great summer! A lot has happened over here, and I’m so eager to return!

Although the past weeks were filled with work, we also made time for pleasure:

  • We took a three-day trip to the village of Oak Park, IL (a Chicago suburb), where we enjoyed strolls, tasty food and a visit to the former home of  Frank Lloyd Wright.  (Fun fact: did you know Wright used to live just a few blocks away from Hemingway’s childhood home? Although he was more than three decades older than Hemingway, I wonder if their paths ever crossed…). We also went on the Architecture River Tour, a Chicago must-do that had been on our list forever! The tour gave me a whole new perspective – not only on Chicago, but on skyscrapers in general (I still wasn’t able to make myself go up here, however).
  • We enjoyed outdoor performances at the American Players Theater.
  • And spent several afternoons at the movie theater to escape the heat and swelter.
  • Friends hosted an outdoor movie night, which was so much fun!
  • I frequented the pool.
  • We had picnics.
  • A yard sale.
  • Family gatherings.
  • And from afar we celebrated the weddings of four of my closest childhood friends (oh, how I would have loved to be there in person!).

There was also a bunch of “stuff” that had accumulated over, well…years, really. And while I’m not even close to being caught up, I was able to cross off some major items on my to-do list:

  • I hired an accreditation company to translate and evaluate my German college credentials (a to-do that’s been on my list for the past 7 years!).
  • I finally took the leap and enrolled in Graphic Design classes here in Madison. They started last week and to say I’m excited is an understatement :) I’m a little horrified, too. But I feel like I may have finally found the right career path!
  • Dave and I did some major organizing around the house and took the time to assess things that needed fixing and/or replacing (such as our windows, which date back to 1937! I believe it’s safe to say we’ve received a thorough education on window replacement options this summer!)
  • I completed several classes on (beginning with “Time Management Fundamentals” by Dave Crenshaw), an online resource I can’t recommend highly enough to those interested in photography, graphic design, web development and entrepreneurship. Their courses are fantastic!
  • I finally went sugar-, gluten and (mostly) dairy free (except for Greek yoghurt), one of the best things I’ve done for my health in a long time. Although I allow myself exceptions on certain days (I don’t want to become all rigid and turn down food at invitations), I’ve been able to stick with it amazingly well. The first days are hard, but once the sugar is out of your system and you can feel the benefits, I promise, you won’t want to go back! Now I need to work on the caffeine bit :)
  • I finished up my nanny job and am now getting ready to offer freelance services, which comes with its very own to-do list, and is both exciting and scary. More details to come!

As I announced before my break, there will be a few changes here on Joycreation. Here’s what you’ll see more of over the next months:

  • Collaboration. One of the beauties about blogging is the chance to meet and connect with like-minded people. I want more of that :)
  • Tutorials. As I’m learning more about graphic design, I will share some of my knowledge with you.
  • My work: As I go through the process of developing my artistic skills (have I told you I can’t draw?), I will share some of my work along the way.
  • Tips on Entrepreneurship. Given that my entire family is in Europe and I’m likely to stay in the U.S., location independence has been a huge aspect in considering future career paths.  I’ve known for years that I want to be self-employed. Since there will never be a good time to start, I’ve decided the time is now. As I’m taking the first steps towards these dreams, I will provide you with tips and resources, and will share some of the lessons I learn along the way (of which –  I’m sure – there will be many ;))
  • Advertising space. Joycreation is now accepting sponsors. Want to see your brand represented here? Please contact me for further information.

What you’ll see less of: For now I’m putting interviews on hold. I hope to re-introduce them sometime in the future.

That said, it feels good to be blogging again! Not only does it hold me accountable, but it has also connected me to some amazing people – like you. I can’t tell you how grateful I am for that!

Thank you for the kind words while I was gone – it was nice to know I wasn’t forgotten, despite the lengthy break :) I hope you’re enjoying the Holiday and I’ll be back tomorrow with some tips on “How To Take A Blogging Break (And Return)”.

Hope you’ve had a great Labor Day weekend so far – enjoy what is left of it!



photograph via Emma’s Design Blog


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