How a Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Hot Mess Morning Turned into the Best. Day. Ever.

This past weekend, my husband and I decided to surprise our children with a trip to a water park. Heralded the “largest water park in Portugal,” they had been begging all summer to go. But between my mom visiting from the US, getting ready for school to start, and what felt like endless doctors’ appointments […]

I really needed a vacation—and you do too

I started my business in 2011 while living in the Dominican Republic. At the time, I was teaching high school English language arts at an international school in the capital city, Santo Domingo. English teachers, as you probably know, work a lot. And given it was my first year, I had zero teaching experience and only […]

The 10 best podcasts of 2021

I get asked on a nearly daily basis for podcast recommendations. And while I still stand by my earlier list of recommendations, I’ve shifted my listening substantially since I published that post in 2017. So what are the 10 best podcasts of the moment, according to . . . well, me? As a self-proclaimed expert […]

Self-leadership through lifestyle design: 6 ways to increase productivity, creativity, and success

I’m going to let you in on a little secret: I’m naturally disorganized. While I love order and tidiness, my natural state is chaos and mess. As a kid, this resulted in failed classes, academic probation for sports (I nearly missed playing in a volleyball game because of my grades), and entering college conditionally: my […]

What it’s like to live in Portugal nearly two years in

In early 2019, we were living in southern Thailand on the island of Phuket. We’d been through what felt like endless obstacles during our short time there: a bat infestation in the house we rented; multiple hospitalizations; severe and constant sickness pulsing through our home. The kids had a bout with hand-foot-and-mouth that lasted two […]

Redefining success: 4 resources to support you

“Success” is such a loaded word, isn’t it? So many of us are raised to believe that we don’t get to define this word for ourselves. We’re given a set path—go to college! get a good job! buy a house! raise a family! retire at 65.5 with a solid nest egg!—with little room for error. […]

An Ode to the Beaches of Portugal

I’m drafting this post at 5:47 a.m. the same day I’m sharing it with you. I don’t normally wake up this early, but my son woke me, so here I am: reflective, quiet, . . . tired. As I lay in bed this morning unable to go back to sleep, my thoughts ran through the […]

How writing my first book led me to live in Portugal

In 2012, I was a graduate student at the University of Cincinnati, attending with a full tuition assistantship working part-time at a scientific journal on campus. I was also running my business, which I had started three years earlier while living in the Dominican Republic, and had been working since the age of 14. While […]

How to turn your expertise, idea, or story into a successful book

It wasn’t that long ago that I was dreaming of writing a book. In fact, it had been a lifelong dream, born in second grade in the pages of The Chronicles of Narnia and my first medaled poem. Since elementary school, I have been obsessed with words. In junior high and high school, I took […]

Struggling? Thoughts on being open and controlling what you can

This week, I’ve been thinking a lot about being open. Because for so long, so much has been closed. The world has been shut down; access to things we want and need has been closed. Travel has been halted. Here in Portugal, schools have been virtual. Physical access to our family back home has been […]