• Life,  Other

    How to Start a Blog

    Thinking about starting a blog?  Here are some easy step-by-step instructions on how to start a successful blog: 1. Pick a Name/Niche What is your blog going to be about? Travel?  Food?  Parenting?  What is your area of expertise?  Think about what you would like to share about or what you would love to write about.  Once you have an idea what your subject area will be, then you can brainstorm blog names. Choosing a name is important because it is essentially your brand!  I chose “Adventures with Shelby” because I knew I would mainly write about traveling.  Ideally, the name should be descriptive but short and simple.  You want…

  • Life,  Other

    New Year’s Resolutions – 2020

    Can you believe we started a new decade!? Amusingly enough, it took me until two days prior to New Year’s Eve to realize we were about to start the new ’20s! A lot of people dislike New Year’s Resolutions because they are so easily forgotten. Personally, I love taking time at the beginning of each year to reprioritize and set goals for myself! These are my goals for 2020: Run my first 10K Last year, I aimed to start running again.  Though I did run more in 2019 than in previous years, I still would like to run more frequently than I did.  My brothers and I agreed to sign…

  • Other,  Travel,  United States

    Richmond French Film Festival 2018

    Every winter, Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Richmond partner to host the French Film Festival at the historic Byrd Theatre.  They select feature films and short films from the previous calendar year to show for one weekend.  It’s unfortunately pretty rare to have access to foreign films in the states, so this is a great opportunity to see some recent french movies.  The festival always features a variety of film genres and people come from all over to attend. Nearly each film at the French Film Festival is also presented by either the director, actor, screenwriter, or costume designer.  The movie airs with subtitles and after the film…

  • Life,  Other

    Well I Guess this is Growing Up

    I’ve been listening to a lot of Blink 182 recently, and I felt like this phrase was a great way to sum up the past several months of my failed adult-ing.  In a previous post, I described various reasons that I decided to decline my contract to teach in France again.  One very real reason was that I used all of my Savings account last year to travel and to live more comfortably. (Y’all it is hard to live on a disposable income of 400 euros per month!!).  Also, I had to start thinking about my future.  I turned 26 this winter, officially losing the ability to be on my…

  • Life,  Other

    Uber Driving 101

    Ever considered driving for Uber? My roommate used to drive after work a couple years ago.  I had considered it at the time, but I had other side jobs at the time so I didn’t deem it worth it.  This summer, however, I returned from France both job-less and broke as a joke.  With the help of friends, I found a job pretty quickly.  In between arriving home and starting at the restaurant, I drove Uber to fill the gap of employment.  Then, recently I found myself in another little “gap of employment” and began driving again.  I now drive part-time after work and on the weekends for extra cash!…

  • Other,  TAPIF

    I’m headed to Wattrelos!

    This week I received my school assignment!! I will be an Assistante de Langue for Cité scolaire Emile Zola in Wattrelos, France! The school is located much closer to the city of Lille than I was expecting, as the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region is relatively large.  I’m so stoked!  An English teacher from my school emailed me providing some basic information.  It sounds like the English team is very enthusiastic, which will be great to be a part of!  Cité scolaire Émile Zola is both a junior school and a high school, which also has a vocational teaching section.  I suppose this means I only have to commute to one location!  Yay me! This is my school’s…

  • Other,  TAPIF,  Travel

    Say yes to adventure.

    My ultimate dream has become reality. Or at least temporarily!  I have been blessed with the opportunity to move to France for roughly 8 months on a work Visa!  I was accepted to the Teacher Assistant Program in France (TAPIF) through the French Embassy in the US.  I’ll be a teacher’s assistant teaching English somewhere in the Académie de Lille.  I initially applied to TAPIF after I graduated from James Madison University (double-degree!) in December 2014 – for the opportunity to teach the following Fall of 2015.  The program applications are due each year by January 15th prior to the October 1st start date.  You don’t know if you are accepted until April!  Talk…