Virtual Wanderlust: My Favorite Travel Blogs!

I am eleven days away from embarking on my first solo trip abroad. I’ve traveled alone previously but it has been solely in the United States. As I inch closer to my departure for Europe, I’ve experienced many emotions including excitement, anxiety and maybe a little fear. This is something I’ve wanted to do since I was a child, so surely it will be amazing. Right? Sometimes other things will run through my head. Will the people of Amsterdam, Paris and Stockholm think I’m just another “dumb American”? Whenever I feel like the negative feelings might get the best of me, I hope online and visit some of my favorite travel blogs. These women continue to inspire and give me the reassurance to go out there and see the world. If you are looking for a way to satisfy your wanderlust at your desk, check out these amazing sites!

Adventurous Kate

Adventurous Kate
At the age of 26, Kate McCulley quit her full-time job to travel the world. Her original plan was to be abroad for six months, but Adventurous Kate quickly evolved and became her livelihood. I enjoy AK because she offers an honest and fun perspective to female solo travel. My favorite posts include the “Must Love Festivals” series, The Beaches of Sydney and anything with thoughtful travel tips and hacks. Though Kate is now based in London, she still travels frequently! I check a few times per week to catch up with her latest adventure.
[Photo courtesy of Adventurous Kate,]

Hippie In Heels

Hippie In Heels
When most people think of hippies, they’re usually not wearing heels. However, Rachel of Hippie In Heels has figured out a way to juxtapose being a fashionista with the bohemian lifestyle. Currently based in Goa, the Hippie provides great travel guides within India as well as various locales throughout Europe, Southeast Asia and the United States. I also love her lifestyle posts where she highlights international boho-chic designers, beauty products and more!
[Photo courtesy of Hippie In Heels,]

Stephanie Be

Travel Break
Travel Break’s mission is to connect millennial travelers. Founded by Stephanie Be in 2013, her site is a wonderful resource for everything travel related. She’s visited 28 countries in the last four years so she definitely knows her stuff! Stephanie recently started featuring other writers on Travel Break. It will be great to hear all of the different voices she brings together! One of my personal favorite posts is about saving money for travel (super important). Check it out!
[Photo courtesy of Travel Break,]

I am always looking for other travel blogs and sites to read. If you have any recommendations, let me know! Another project I’m following is called Love Travels With Me. It’s sponsored by Marriott International and features inspiring stories that “illustrate how people live their individual truths and bring their passions with them when they travel.” Anyone can join the movement by tagging their posts #LoveTravels.

Keep an eye out for more travel and adventure oriented posts as I make the final preparations for my trip. I can’t wait to share some updates from across the pond!

Until Next Time,



Clap Your Hands If You’re Working Too Hard!

It’s not just a line from the song by the Ting Tings.

I realize that I may be the one-millionth person to speak on this topic. However, I think work-life balance is an important issue to discuss, as each of us has a different viewpoint on what that means. We as Americans have been taught to work hard and then we can “enjoy life after retirement.” Not only is that a faulty way of thinking, it’s extremely exhausting! A few years ago I was in a position where I worked two jobs. At the time I knew it was what I needed to do to get by, but I did everything in my power to make sure it wouldn’t be my life forever. Now that I’m in a more stable place mentally and financially, maintaining work-life balance has been a top priority for me. If you’re feeling burned out, read on for some tips to help get you back on track!


Leave Work at the Office
Unless you are in the medical field, own a business or work in any other field that requires being on call 24/7, there’s no reason to bring your job home with you. Earlier this year I decided to remove my work email from my personal cell phone and iPad. Though my full-time job is not particularly demanding, the constant “dinging” at odd hours of the evening or during weekends got to be annoying and somewhat stressful. Since removing my work account I feel like I’ve been able to enjoy my life a little more and focus on projects that truly matter to me. If you are unable to completely break away, dedicate at least one day per week or the weekends to spending time away from your tasks. They’re not going anywhere!

Even if it’s just for one hour per day, step away from all of your devices. I feel like constantly checking email, social media or watching TV can perpetuate the rat race that is constantly driving us nuts. Go for a walk, spend time with loved ones or read a book. Your sanity will thank you later! If you’re really bold, try unplugging for an entire weekend!

Learn How to Say “No”
It’s easy for us to become extremely busy. Working full-time, volunteering, family and other obligations can seriously dwindle the time we have four ourselves. If something isn’t working out or you need a break, say something! Anyone with a hint of compassion will understand. We’ve all been there! Your well being and ability to think straight is of utmost importance.

Use Your Vacation Time!!!
You have it for a reason, don’t let it go to waste! Nobody benefits from a burned out employee. Even if you can’t afford to go on a lavish vacation, still use your time. Take a day to explore parts of the city you haven’t seen yet, or maybe just stay home, relax and catch up with your favorite shows on Netflix! There is a reason the phrase “mental health days” came to fruition. This is it!

Besides being able to pay your bills and maintain a decent quality of life, what are you working for? Do your goals include traveling or purchasing your first home? Regardless of what you’re working toward, keep your eye on the prize. One less trip to Chipotle or out to the bars never hurt anybody!

I hope that these tips prove helpful as you figure out how to maintain your work-life balance. Remember, you only have one life to live! Don’t confine yourself to the cubicle, smartphone or graveyard shift.


Until Next Time,


Dress For A Cause!

Nearly a year ago I wrote my first post about The Common Thread Collective. Through my involvement with the organization I have started learning about other initiatives that strive to assist and empower individuals in developing nations. I think it’s important to support these causes while raising awareness for ethically made clothing. Here are a few brands I think you should check out!

Unlock Hope

Unlock Hope
This is a wonderful brand that has partnered with Think Humanity. The organization runs a hostel in Hoima, Uganda for young refugee girls from across Africa. Unlock Hope sells inspirational t-shirts, tank tops and key necklaces. The proceeds go toward expenses to provide the girls a quality education. During the first year of the program, all participants excelled with their studies. Many of the girls have goals including becoming doctors, teachers and engineers. If you are interested in learning more about Unlock Hope, visit

Live FashionABLE

The team behind FashionABLE works to create sustainable business for Africans so they do not have to depend on charity. They work with women to start small business cooperatives while requiring manufacturers to employ fair wages and hiring practices. FashionABLE has partnered with an organization called “Women At Risk” to assist in the rehabilitation victims of sex trafficking. Their signature products are scarves and handbags. I personally love their game day collection! For more information about Fashionable, head to

Krochet Kids

Krochet Kids
Founded by Kohl Crecelius, Krochet Kids works in Uganda and Peru. They teach people how to crochet and use their skills to create functional garments. As of today over 150 individuals are working and being trained to create gifts “that give back”. Krochet Kids offers an array of apparel including hats, tank tops and bags for both men and women. To see more products and learn more about the story of Krochet Kids, check out

There are countless other organizations on the scene who are working to change the face of fashion. If you know of other initiatives, feel free to send me an email about it!

Finally, I have some news about “A Night Under The Big Top”!

The Big Top Gala Save The Date [Updated 7-26-2014]

We have a new date for the event! Our evening of awesomeness will now be taking place on Saturday, November 8th. It will be hosted by Stacy Conner of Bitchvice. Proceeds will benefit The Common Thread Collective. If you are interested in getting involved, please send an email to

Stay tuned for a new post soon!

Until Next Time,


Summertime sadness: Say NO to these fashion fails!

Cosmos And Pearls has been overdue for a fashion post! At the end of last week I was browsing my favorite magazines and Instagram posts from the top style tastemakers and noticed a few disturbing looks. I feel the need to call out these unfortunate offenders. However, I don’t just want to judge. Keep reading for my opinion on these summertime #fashionfails and my suggestions for an improved ensemble.

Emma Stone Overalls

When I saw Emma Stone donning overalls last week, I had to do a double take. The Revlon spokeswoman is usually on point with her outfit choices! For the farmer in Southern Indiana, overalls are a good fit because they offer utility and are usually cheaply made. If they were to get dirty or ruined after a long day of working in the fields, it’s not a big deal. However, if you’re an LA A-list actress or a New York City socialite there is absolutely no reason to be seen in this abysmal ensemble.


Solution: Romper
If you are looking for an easy but cute outfit I suggest a romper. They are typically made to be more form fitting which will be more flattering to most body types (overalls make almost anybody look bigger!). Moving around will not be an issue and rompers can easily be dressed up or down, depending on the look you desire.
Romper: Abstract Floral Drawstring Romper, Forever 21, $17.80

Jelly Sandals

Jelly Sandals
Are we back in 1993 or something? I remember having a pair of these during my elementary school years. Why are adult women hell bent on bringing back these trends we wore as children? It doesn’t make any sense. Also, these “jelly” sandals have a bad habit of getting dirty and discoloring easily. We won’t even get into the bad smell they can have if they get too wet from sweat or a rainy day. STAY AWAY!!!

ShoeDazzle Sandals

Solution: Embellished Flat Sandals
If you’re looking for some sparkle in your summer footwear, opt for a simple pair of sandals with a hint of embellishment.
Sandals: Skylar,, $39.95


There’s nothing that says “I’m a smelly hippie that lives on a commune in Portland” like a pair of Birkenstocks. Enough said.


Sandals by Sseko
Sseko sandals are simple yet stylish. They come in multiple colors and have the ability to be worn in different ways. A huge plus is that all Sseko products are made by artisans from Uganda! For more information and styles visit

What other summer fashion faux pays are out there? Did I miss anything? Discuss below in the comments?

Until Next Time,


Fifteen Weekends – The perfect summer read!

Fifteen Weekends

As of Saturday summer has officially begun! Here’s to longer days, backyard barbecues and spontaneous road trips. I cannot think of a better way to accompany a quiet afternoon at the beach or a relaxing evening on the patio than a good book!

When I heard that my dear friend Christy Pastore would be releasing her first novel, I was excited. She had experienced success with Fashion Wrap Up and I was happy to know that she was expanding her horizons. Her debut title Fifteen Weekends offers an awesome mix of romance, suspense and themes that will pull at your heart strings.

One of the things I enjoyed most about Fifteen Weekends was the care Christy took to develop the characters and each of their personalities. Each of the main players has a unique story of her own but she connects them seamlessly. The main setting is Grand Rapids, Michigan, however, readers are in for a jet setting treat as they’re transported to exciting locales including London, Napa Valley and Montreal. Read on for a summary of the leading ladies of this saucy summer tale!

Ashleigh Preston: A freelance travel writer with a popular blog. She is constantly on the go, providing reviews of top hotels and restaurants around the world. She maintains a “friends with benefits” arrangement with Welsh publishing executive Liam Frost. On the surface Ashleigh appears to be a free spirit that is dedicated to her craft. As the story goes on, readers are exposed to the vulnerabilities that she has been struggling with for quite some time.
Emily Greene: The pragmatic career woman is dedicated to her role as Director of Marketing at Cooper Bentley. A mysterious event that occurred in the past has forced her to focus on her work and be somewhat resistant to love. However, an unexpected tryst with sexy coworker Ethan Carlson has opened her heart and mind to exciting possibilities.
Amanda Parsons: On paper she appears to be a hot mess. As the story goes on readers learn that she’s a little more than shallow gold digger. In the beginning you are torn between disliking her or feeling sorry for her. Later in the novel it’s revealed that she does have moral convictions and you begin rooting for her to do the right thing.

A review of Christy Pastore’s Fifteen Weekends would be lacking if I made no mention of the men featured in the piece. My personal favorite was Liam Frost. What woman wouldn’t love being doted upon by a tall, dark and handsome UK businessman? The accent alone would have me fanning for air! Ethan Carlson provides a chivalrous yet exciting treat while Vince Everett exudes mystery and elegance.

I highly recommend Fifteen Weekends. You will not be disappointed as I believe it has something for every reader. It is available on Amazon as a hardcover for $25 or on the Kindle for $5.38.

Stay tuned for another fun book review in July!

Until Next Time,


“A Night Under the Big Top” – Save the Date!

Save The Date-Website Version

In November I wrote a post about The Common Thread Collective and its founder Jessica Abouelela. On October 18, 2014, I will be spreading the message to the LA area by hosting “A Night Under the Big Top” at Opulen Studios. This awesome night will include music, dancing fun “circus” themed food and drink, and cool giveaways. The event will be hosted by Stacy Conner, the mastermind behind Bitchvice!

Be sure to stay tuned for updates. If you are interested in getting involved, send an email to

Until Next Time,


Changes…they are coming!

Happy Monday, friends!

I’ve been a bad editor. It’s been nearly four months since I last updated Cosmos And Pearls. To be completely frank I have been trying to decide how to move forward with this venture. When I started C&P in 2012 it was with the intent of it becoming a fashion site. However, as time passed, my interests have changed. I still love fashion and fantasize about the day when my closet is filled with Christian Dior, Hermés and Christian Louboutin. However, I don’t want to be known solely as a “fashion blogger”. I have other goals and ventures that I’m embarking on. Also, street style just isn’t my thing. I work in an office with only three employees, two of those being men over the age of 35. If you saw what I wore everyday, you wouldn’t be impressed. I’ve come to the conclusion that from a writing perspective, I’d rather focus on multiple topics that appeal to women and 20-somethings. They will include fashion, travel and everyday life.

I am especially excited about creating content about travel. Growing up in Indiana, I had the opportunity to live next door to a world class city in Chicago. I spent my youth going on field trips to the Field Museum, The Art Institute and the Museum of Science and Industry. One of the things I loved most was the “Christmas Trees from Around the World” display the Museum of Science and Industry does every year. It was a subtle way for me to start to understand the traditions of other nations around the world. My family took road trips to visit family in places like Florida and Pennsylvania. During my last year of college I went to New Orleans, one of my favorite trips to date. Though I’ve done quite a bit of travel in the United States, I have not yet had the chance to explore Europe, South America, Asia or Australia. For the first time in my adult life I finally feel like I have the time and resources to start embarking on these journeys. In September I will be visiting Amsterdam, Paris and Stockholm. I also have trips lined up stateside to cities including Houston, Denver and Miami. Since I’m a little more mature, I will have more of a “stylish travel on a budget” approach than the “college student or young 20-something backpacking across Europe” vibe.

To those of you that have supported me from the beginning, thank you! I promise that this new journey will not be boring.

Until Next Time,


Sex and the City 3…another one???


You didn’t have to wait until Friday to hear from me again! I was feeling extra inspired over the weekend and decided to write something extra.

Sex And The City

The past few days have been buzzing with rumors regarding a third Sex and the City movie. Writer Michael Patrick King believes that there is still one more story to tell.

“Sarah Jessica and I both know what the final chapter is,” he said, “That doesn’t mean it will or should be told, but I do think there’s one story left. There’s four girls and those girls are still on my mind. There are other stories to tell and characters that haven’t even been written yet.”

Like most women in their 20s and 30s I was obsessed with the Sex and the City franchise. Heck, part of the name of this site was derived from Carrie’s favorite drink! I feel like the program became sort of a guidebook for the single, career oriented woman living in the big city (not necessarily New York). When the first movie debuted in 2008, I was one of the first in line at the theater. It was nice to see the back and forth relationship between Carrie and Mr. Big (or John James Preston) come full circle, though I’ll admit that I would’ve preferred Carrie and Aidan being together at the end.

I didn’t see the second movie until a little over a year ago. It wasn’t terrible to me, but the concept was definitely out of left field. The girls being on a lavish trip to the Middle East that was financed by one of Samantha’s wealthiest clients didn’t seem to mesh well with the storyline that had been presented up to that point. I will say Sex and the City 2 has made me thoroughly interested in visiting Abu Dhabi! Someday…

If anything, I think another film could be a way to redeem the writers and producers after the way the second one went. It should be set solely in New York (with no extravagant trips anywhere, except to maybe the Hamptons). Michael Patrick King hinted at the introduction of new characters. That got me thinking that they could incorporate some of the people who are featured in the Carrie Diaries.

Carrie Diaries

The Carrie Diaries follows a young Bradshaw as she is finishing up her high school years in suburban Connecticut and beginning her love affair with New York City during the mid 1980s. While Samantha is introduced in the second season of the show, no mention of Charlotte or Miranda has been made yet. The focus is instead on her childhood friends Maggie, Walt and “Mouse”, as well as her younger sister Dorrit and father Tom. I personally would love to know what happens to Dorrit. Did she end up becoming a groupie for The Ramones or The Smiths and later becomes a washed up junkie who lives in a trailer in Reseda? And what about Larissa, Carrie’s editor at Interview Magazine? She was one of the first people to realize Carrie’s potential as a writer. It would be interesting if they came together later in life and started a lifestyle magazine of their own (and it would feature many photos of strategically placed items from SJP’s shoe line). Finally, what if they brought in Sebastian, Carrie’s first love? Perhaps she comes to her senses and realizes that Mr. Big really IS a terrible person and when that moment comes, Sebastian will be there. Just a thought.

I could go on for hours with the possibilities of story lines and characters that could be developed. If this project comes to fruition, I’m sure whatever they come up with will be interesting. However, there is still a part of me that thinks the series has run its course. What do you think?

Until Next Time,


P.S. If anyone from the CW Network is reading this, PLEASE renew the Carrie Diaries for a third season!!!

A fork in the road: The tunnel of love or the field of dreams?

It’s been a minute since I updated Cosmos and Pearls. Sometimes life gets in the way of writing a good entry! I’m trying this new thing called “posting an update every Friday.” I had thought about Wednesdays but didn’t want to steal the thunder from Stacy at Bitchvice (if you haven’t watched an episode yet, you totally should!).

Hand Holding

Last week couples around the world celebrated Valentine’s Day. I used to absolutely despise the “holiday” as it was the one day of the year that was meant to make single people feel like crap. Gone are the elementary school days when we were able to indulge in candy and chocolates as equals and even the Ralphs of the world got a card. As we get older, a division begins to exist. On one hand you have the singles wallowing in self pity and shooting dirty looks to the loving couple sitting a few tables down in a crowded restaurant, and on the other are those in committed relationships who are feeling the pressure to make Valentine’s Day as perfect as possible for their significant other. Sounds like a drag for both sides, doesn’t it? I decided to make peace with V-day a couple years ago, though I still get annoyed with women posting photos of their flowers on Facebook. Though I would’ve loved a bouquet of roses or a new pearl necklace from a cute guy, a bottle of chardonnay, red velvet cupcakes and Thelma And Louise on Netflix wasn’t such a bad deal either.

Heart Sparklers

However, this post isn’t about Valentine’s Day, as that was already a week ago…duh! I’ve been doing some thinking about the bigger picture and found a couple of articles that resonated with me. The first is from Women’s Health magazine and titled “3 Signs You Should Be Single – For Now”. It broke down various situations in which a woman should step off the field and have a seat on the bench. The last one, “if you’re having bad luck with dates” was the one I identified with the most. My time in LA has been marred by dates or short relationships with men I was clearly not compatible with. From D the producer of a hit TV show, R the “grandma’s boy” to J the music video director (I’m using first initials to protect the guilty), I’ve put up with enough to make one want to swear off dating for good. I’d be happily single for a while and then an event like a housewarming party where most of the people there were married would happen and temporary loneliness would set in. I’d log onto Tinder or OkCupid and try convince myself that things would be different, though deep down I knew that was definitely not the case. A week ago I decided that online dating and I aren’t working out and I should just give it up. I told myself, “if and when it’s meant to be, it will happen.” Wasting my time on a task that’s not generating results is not productive.

The article also had me thinking about a conversation I had with my new roommate a couple days ago:

J: “I’m bored. I need to find a new girl to date so I can have something to pass the time. I’m getting sick of 2nd Street on the weekends.”
Me: “That doesn’t seem like a good reason to date somebody. Why don’t you try to find a new hobby?”
J: “I have work and I have the gym. Those are my hobbies.”
Me: *Shrugs Shoulders*

After this exchange I began to think that many people use dating to fill a void that may be otherwise left open. It’s not something they necessarily enjoy, they just do it to pass the time. Many would rather subject themselves to being around people they’re clearly not compatible with than deal with being alone. To me, that’s sad. I feel like the most important thing I’ve learned is to develop a relationship and love myself. During my college years I spent too much time chasing guys and attempting to force relationships. Sometimes I think about the friendships I’m missing out on now because of the way I acted back then. With that in mind, it’s been nice to completely focus on myself for a change.

Wedding Figurines

The other piece that got my attention and quite frankly sparked some irritation is one titled, “A Little Valentine’s Day Straight Talk” by Susan Patton. It was published in the Wall Street Journal last week. To provide a quick summary, Ms. Patton basically states that women in their 20s should be focusing on finding their husbands rather than advancing our careers. If we choose to spend our time working on the latter, before we know it we will be in our 30s and we will have to compete with girls in their 20s (and lose)! This has to be one of the most absurd things I’ve read in a while. She suggests that having a husband is the “key to true happiness”. I beg to differ. As a child, I watched my parents’ marriage unravel and then my mother rebuilding her life in the years following. I only have one uncle that is still married. My other aunts and uncles are divorced. I have one aunt and one uncle that have walked down the aisle at least twice. When you consider those facts, why would someone like me ever be in a rush to find my future husband? Shouldn’t Ms. Patton be telling young women that you should wait for the one who is going to love and marvel at you no matter what happens in life? It’s women like her who are contributing to the fact that there are so many unhappy marriages today. There are two many people out there living under the illusion that you need to be hitched by a certain age in order to be happy.

OK…rant over!

The takeaway from this should be not to rush love. Everyone in this world is able and deserving of giving and receiving it. Enjoy life and I have a feeling that it will manifest when we are least expecting it.

Until Next Week,


The Blog of Revelation…

One of my favorite movies is Orange County. It is the story of high school senior Shaun Brumder (Colin Hanks) and his desire to leave his Orange County bubble to attend Stanford University and become a writer. At the beginning of the film we learn that Shaun was rejected by Stanford because his guidance counselor (Lily Tomlin) sent the wrong transcript. Shaun is so determined to gain acceptance that he does things including introducing a board member to his crazy family and making the long drive up to Stanford with his brother Lance (Jack Black) to speak with the Dean of Admissions in person. After an unsuccessful visit with the dean, Shaun runs into Marcus Skinner (Kevin Kline), the author and Stanford professor he describes as his inspiration. He laments to Marcus that he is afraid that if he never leaves Orange County, he’ll never be able to become the writer he wishes to be.

Orange County Movie Screen Shot

At the end of the movie, Shaun returns to the OC and discovers that his parents had donated a large sum of money toward a new admissions building at Stanford (which had burned down when Lance and the dean’s secretary smoked a joint together). He had gotten in. He pauses for a moment and then says what I think is one of the best quotes in the movie (besides Lance casually asking the dean’s secretary if “she wanted to get naked and start the revolution”).

“…if Faulkner had left the South, would he had ever written A Light in August?” Or, what if James Joyce had left Ireland? Well, he did, but not in his heart,” Shaun said, “I don’t need to go to Stanford to become a writer. All I need are the people who inspire me.”

I feel like I had a similar revelation when I visited Chicago last week. It had been the first time I had been back since leaving the area in 2012. The air had a bitter chill and 80% of the time I was there was a near blizzard coming from the sky. Though living in Southern California has thinned my blood and spoiled me thoroughly, I took the winter conditions in stride and enjoyed the time with friends. Being in Chicago during this time allowed me to take note of things that I took for granted and now miss dearly. Most importantly, it allowed me come to terms with what I believe is the real reason I moved to LA in the first place.

When it comes to goals, I am one who tries to push things to the limit and go as far as I can possibly go. I remember having a conversation with one of my classmates when I was in elementary school. I told him, “I’m going to move to California and make something of myself and you’re going to be a loser working at the steel mill.” At that point, I hadn’t even stepped foot in the Golden State but I knew that I wanted it. When I was 18, I visited LA for the first time for a family reunion. Though I was underwhelmed by downtown, I was hooked when I saw the sights including Rodeo Drive, the Hollywood sign and streets perfectly lined by tall palm trees. From that point forward, California was all I ever thought about. My plan was to move to LA after finishing my studies at Purdue. Besides the beautiful scenery and increased probability of running into someone famous, I relished the challenge of getting here. For the majority of people at Purdue (and Big Ten schools in general), moving to Chicago is their dream. It allows them to have the big city lifestyle while staying relatively close to the towns where they grew up. But me being the person that I am, I felt the need to do something different. It took me a little longer than I planned to get here. I saw friends and classmates doing things that they wanted to do and making major accomplishments in their careers. It really bothered me that I wasn’t having those same moments and often felt inadequate when I was around people who were close to me. I felt like I had no way of relating to them, even though I wanted to.

The day I left on my four day drive was one of the happiest and scariest days of my life. It was so exciting to finally be on the quest to what I had wanted since I was nine years old. However, I worried endlessly about how I was going to make things happen once I got there. My first year here definitely had its challenges ranging from finding a suitable living situation to dealing with a demanding employer who had issues paying her staff decent wages. I remember thinking that maybe California and I just weren’t meant to be together and that maybe I should go back. But I stayed. And eventually, things became OK. I have a pretty good job, my affairs are pretty much in order and I’ve even started making some solid friends. However, I cannot help but think that now I’m at a place where I’m ready for the next challenge. I feel like I’ve completed an extremely difficult level in Zelda and now it’s on to the next one. I spend my down time at the office researching what it would be like to live in Europe in cities like Paris, Amsterdam or Stockholm. I’m beginning to think to myself, “I could totally deal with the cold and snow again if it meant that I could be surrounded by beauty and history [and really, really cute guys]!” However, I’m not ready to make the jump across the pond just yet.

LA Palm Tree Lined Street

When people come to Los Angeles, it’s usually to pursue a dream. It could be becoming a major movie star, a model or just being able to throw away the window scraper for good. For the majority of individuals, two out of those three things never happen and they are left to wonder about where and how they fit in the world. After being here for a little while, I’ve learned that this city rarely gives you what you want, but it will give you what you need. You may come here in search of fame and fortune, but you’ll leave with a better sense of who you are and your purpose in society.

With that being said, I have come to terms for the fact that LA is not where I’m going to live the rest of my life. I feel like deep down I always knew it but it took me returning to Chicago for me to realize and understand it. However, I don’t want to be one of those people that refers to their time here in the same fashion that a party girl-turned-soccer mom refers to “that one time she tried acid when she was in college.” I want to be able to look back on this period fondly and know that I accomplished something. One of my goals for this year is to create content that will set Cosmos And Pearls apart from other websites, along with writing my first fiction piece. I want to throw a fundraising event so that my friends at the Common Thread Collective can start receiving the help they need to grow. I’m sure that more ideas will come but I have a feeling 2014 will be a year in which I can look back on and smile.

OK…rant over.

Until Next Time,