jill honeycutt

DESIGNER + CREATIVE THINKER

prague, czech republic.

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day 29 // fri feb 9th

Prague, oh Prague. You have stolen our hearts. Our first impression of Prague was much, much different than the vibe we got in Brussels. I came to Prague during my 2011 adventures and legitimately fractured my foot stepping off the train into Prague. Needless to say, I liked the city then, but it was slightly tarnished by the fact I had to hobble everywhere.

Wade and I flew to Prague via Eurowings for under €120 each. We were tempted with train tickets but they were more expensive and took way longer. We left the Bonn-Cologne airport at 1:55 and arrive in Prague at 2:55. So worth it.

Okay so preface: I had watched several YouTube videos about Prague and I kept seeing that you could get a traditional Czech meal for a good price at the cafeteria in the airport. It is where most of the employees eat, but is also open to the public. When we landed we were both starving so we thought we might as well try! It actually didn’t disappoint. I had a traditional Czech meal, which I couldn't pronounce. The total was around €10 for 2 meals, a piece of cake, and a soda. We left the airport via a short bus ride to the nearest metro line. Travel day passes were only around €5 a person, definitely a smart investment for this city! We got off the metro at our stop and it opened up to a beautiful square with a cathedral and the cutest line of buildings. We met our Airbnb host and he was very kind to show us the space. Nothing fancy, but the neighborhood made up for it tenfold.

We settled in for a little and then ventured out. Prague has amazing public transportation as mentioned above (like most all of Europe) but here specifically they have an above-ground tram, bus and metro system. All 3 of which are included in that €5 day pass. They also have the longest escalators I have ever seen! We hopped on the metro and took it a few stops down to Wenceslas Square. We wondered around a bit, bought some new socks for me-ha, and stumbled upon this big face sculpture that was pretty cool.

After a bit we decided we would head back to our neighborhood for dinner, but we took a tram back this time to see a little more of the city. We found a few good options, but we weren’t aware that almost all places here need a reservation. Boo! We finally picked a different place (it wasn’t our first choice) but it ended up being decent. Then we then found another little cafe to end the night with some dessert.

day 30 // sat feb 10th

You guys. I had a huge latte the next morning and it brought me so much joy. My morning coffee and quiet time are seriously the fave part of my day. We went to Costa which is a bigger chain of cafes (similar to Starbucks I’m guessing). I ordered a tiramisu latte and it was massive—it even had two handles! We enjoyed the slow morning and trekked to see some sights.

Wade and I’s travel style is to walk around and see what we find, hit the main points, then venture off the beaten path. We are also currently eating our way through Europe and I’m totally okay with that. We both lost quite a bit a weight last year, and don’t want to go nuts, but the food is SO good. Not to mention we average 10 miles a day on the weekend so I don’t feel too terrible. All of that to say, our weekend “to-do” lists include a few main sites per city, then really good food places! On that list today was Mr. HotDog. I found it via Instagram and knew I had to try it out. First all, I love hot dogs. Secondly, I love a good neon sign and look how cute! We then headed to the Lennon Wall, the Dancing House, Old Prague Square, Charles Bridge—all the main attractions. We had a pretty early night, just the way we like it.

day 31 // sun feb 11th

We woke up Sunday with 2 things on our agenda; the Prague Castle and eating at Eska. We took the metro to the castle stop then hiked, a for real hike through tiny streets, up to the top. The views were beautiful!

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After the castle we headed off to find the restaurant I'd found online with pretty good reviews and a beautiful aesthetic. &&& Holy Moly! Eska was my favorite meal I’ve had in Europe so far. Here is a list of what we ordered: 

  • Homemade sourdough bread with egg spread and radish
  • Sausages from Naše maso, mustard and a sweet horseradish
  • Crepes with homemade strawberry jam and soft curd cheese
  • Rosehip cappuccino—with homemade rosehip syrup that it was DELICIOUS.

day 28 // thurs feb 8th – day 32 // mon feb 12th

Karneval in Bonn! 

On Thursday we met at the AIB to get everyone in the spirit of Karneval and to put the finishing touches on our costumes. They had music, face paint and Berliners (traditional Karneval goodies—aka jelly filled donuts).

We went to watch a parade in a neighbor of Bonn called Beuel. The parade was fun but so cold! We brought a bag to catch the massive amounts of candy that was thrown from the parade floats. I mean lots and lots of candy. 

We got back from Prague on Sunday and Monday we went to the big Karneval Parade in Bonn. We met up with a few people from AIB and got a lot more goodies and more Hairbo than we could ever want or need-ha! 

brussels, belgium.

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day 22 // fri feb 2

Took a train from Bonn to Köln to Brussels. It was a pretty short train ride, about 2.5 hrs total. We arrived at the Brussels Main Train Station around 5:30PM. Not going to lie, our first impression of Brussels was not my favorite. We walked to find our Airbnb—this was a task in itself. Once we found our place it was a really cool complex that looked like it could have been an old school turned into lofts or something? Either way, we met our host and he showed us our space. He had a Nespresso maker in our room so I made myself a decaf espresso with a splash of milk. 

After freshening up we sorted out the path to the city center. The night life was just getting started, so people were starting to hit the streets. Still not super impressed with the city at the point, but it was definitely improving the further we walked. We found the city center and it started to get more interesting. We walked around for awhile taking in the sights and decided we should get some grub. We couldn't find a place to eat, y'all know the struggle, am I right? We had finally decided on this Noodle Bar, but right as we had finally made up our minds, a group of 12 people walked in the door right before us. Next, please! Literally 4 doors down we saw this place with a very nicely designed logo out front. Honestly, that's the first good sign for me and it's something I gravitate towards, obviously. This place was called Baogo. It was pretty dang stellar. They had a decently small menu with relatively few choices (which i also love) I ordered a Panko Salmon Bao (Crispy Salmon with Avocado, Fennel, Dill and Cucumber Slaw, Coriander, Basil Mayo) and Wade ordered a Pulled Pork Bao (Slow Cooked Pork in Five Spice Marinade with Asian Slaw, Spring Onions, Pickled Cucumber, Crushed Peanuts). We both had fries, one spicy and one regular. They were served with spicy thai mayo and a garlic mayo. I love me some dipping sauce. It was definitely meant to be that we ended up in this restaurant. Probably a major highlight of the city for me, is that lame?

We ended the evening with a warm nutella waffle and headed to our apartment to rest up. Night one was a success!

day 23 // sat feb 3

We had a good night's sleep and headed out for a full day of exploring. We only walked 8.5 miles today, not as many as last weekend. Our first stop was a breakfast pastry, then to find the Comic Book Museum. We spent a good amount of time at the museum and Wade was totally digging it.  We also learned that a lot of popular comics were started in Belgium. The Adventures of Tintin was created by a Belgian artist in 1929, so there are a lot cool prints and figurines on display. Then we were on the hunt for a place called Maison Antoine which someone from Brussels told us was THE place to get fries. Little did we know that apparently there is also a lace store on the Grand Place square called 'Maison Antoine'. You could imagine how disappointed to find lace, not fries—haha!

We eventually found the real fry place on the map and it was pretty far from where we were so we decided we would grab something small and keep wondering. We ended at a small sandwich joint, then hopped from chocolate shop to chocolate shop. Ps–check out those chocolate tools below that legitimately look real-life. We unfortunately didn't but those, but did get a variety of other Belgian chocolates including almonds, truffles, espresso beans, and raisins. 

At last we found our fries!! Also, the most interesting thing to me is that all of the restaurants/bars  surrounding the Maison Antoine place have signs posted outside that say "fries accepted." I guess that's when you know these fries are the jam. They were also served with a side of mayo and ketchup. Boy do I love that they eat fries with mayo. Not sure why that isn't more of a thing in the US. 

After we finished our fries we opted for the easier route and took an Uber back to the center. We decided we needed one last waffle before retreating to our airbnb. This time around we got nutella, banana, and whipped cream. SO good. Overall a good day! 

Brussels Recommendations: 

Baogo - Rue Grétry 50, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium

Maison Antoine - Place Jourdan 1, 1040 Etterbeek, Belgium

 

day 24 // sun feb 4

We had an early train back to Bonn so we didn't do any sightseeing.  We enjoyed Brussels, but probably mostly the food-ha! We are traveling to Prague this weekend and will keep you posted! 

 

day 18 – 21 // mon jan 29 – thur feb 1

Photos below are from the past week. Pretty chill week. Wade and I had a date night Monday to dinner and a movie. Tuesday we had a faculty dinner at a very nice Spanish restaurant. AIB provided tapas for the table and it was a good chance to meet some of the other current faculty and professors on staff. See below the sweet latte art from a local Bonn coffee shop. We also found a German "Chipotle" style restaurant this week. It was relatively good, but also had very cool aesthetic and as you know that's a win in my book. I also dressed like I was going to a biker gang meeting and then a funeral, but was actually going to the gym. Gotta keep people guessin'.

heidelberg airbnb.

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hi, friends! 

I want to feature some of the cute Airbnb's we stay in during our travels. The first one up is our apartment in Heidelberg, Germany. We rented this space for two nights. The owner was a photographer and had a very cool style/vibe in his apartment. We picked up the key at a restaurant across the street which made it feel even cooler? maybe that was just me. 

Here is the Airbnb we stayed in. 

We leave tomorrow afternoon for Belgium! Will post soon! 

heidelberg, germany.

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day 15 // fri jan 26 

Our train left Bonn at 3PM on Friday and headed South down the Rhine. It was such a pretty train ride. I lost count of all the castles I saw along the way. We arrived around 5:45 at the Heidelberg main train station. From here we stopped by the information desk. *Pro tip–I always recommend stopping by the tourist desk or info desk at the main train station—even if you feel lame, they most always speak English and have good info to share. We got a city map and she pointed us in the right direction of our Airbnb. We found our cute little place which was about a 15 minute walk from the station. Airbnb tour coming soon! 

We settled in for a bit then decided to venture out for dinner. Wade and I were traveling with our friend from school, Lin. We decided on an Asian place and split food family style. I know, I know not traditional German food, but hey we are here for awhile and I will definitely have my fair share of schnitzel before the time is up! 

day 16 // sat jan 27

Holy walking Batman. We walked 10.51 miles or 23,862 stinking steps today. Worth it, though! We started bright and early and ventured toward Old Town. There were only a handful of people out and about at this hour. I played my basic card and got a skinny caramel latte at Starbucks. Partially because I really was craving it, and partially because we had to go to the bathroom and you had to pay, so might as well get a coffee with that money and pee for free. Sorry, TMI. I also love the way Germans tend to spell “Gill” maybe I’ll start spelling it that way, spice it up a little.

Okay, enough of that. We walked through the streets of Old Town Heidelberg which was like an outdoor shopping mall mixed with historically beautiful storefronts. We found the well-known Karl Theodor Bridge, literally called the "old bridge." But we were sad it was so foggy and hard to really see a lot of the cool landscapes and castle views. 

After this we found another info desk and the nice lady informed us the fog was out of the norm and she hadn’t seen it this bad in pretty much ever. coooool. She did however sell us tram tickets plus entrance to the Castle for €4 euro a person (with the student discount), we will take it!  

We eventually stopped for lunch at a little cafe. I had a mozzarella and tomato focaccia sandwich. It was cheap and definitely worth the carbs. Wade had ham & cheese pizza bites, which was essentially a calzone with a garlic sauce.   

THEN, my nerd dreams came true again and we found a packaging museum. It was €3 a person and a cute little spot. They were showcasing a traveling exhibit on Stollwerck. Stollwerck is a German chocolate manufacturer. It was founded in 1839 and expanded internationally in Europe and America, becoming the second largest producer of chocolate in the United States by 1900. The museum showcased an assortment of packaging designs, processes and tons of really beautiful intricate designs.

After our museum visit we took a tram up the mountainside to the Heidelberg Castle. This was very cool. They had a free exhibit of the history of pharmacy. They also had what I assume is the world’s biggest wine barrel. That thing was massive! 

We started to head back to the Airbnb but were pleasantly surprise when we stumbled upon a little store front with loads of people outside. I asked what they were waiting for and they said Schneeballen... um sure, sign us up! Turns out they are essentially a fried crunchy dough covered in your choice of chocolate, cinnamon, or whatever option you could dream up. We got an apple cinnamon sugar one and one with chocolate inside. So good. The stranger in the street really sold us on them, maybe he was secretly getting paid by them, who knows. He said they were a Heidelberg tradition, but he could also be making that up. Nonetheless they were yummy. After our accidental find we took an afternoon break and relaxed at the apartment for a bit. 

Being the culturally adventurous people we are, we went to an Indian place for dinner. Then we were pooped. Fun day. 

 

day 17 // sun jan 28

Totally writing this from a McDonald’s waiting on our train. I forgot from my last study abroad that Germany closes shop on Sundays. Like everything. That being said, we had a little time to kill before our train so here we are. ALTHOUGH, I am usually never disappointed in McDonald’s coffee. Isn’t that right, Netta? Haters gonna hate, but the flavor of their coffee is pretty good. 

Our train leaves soon then back to Bonn we go! We have a busy week with several excursions to Cologne for school things. Tomorrow we go to a cinema to see the moving ‘Loving Vincent’ and then again on Tue/Thursday for museums visits.

Brussels, Belgium this weekend. We also bought our tickets to Spain which I’m pretty pumped about! Also, Ris and Jarrod have officially booked their flights to France for Easter. All the good things to look forward to, or as my boy Mat Kearney says, “all the feels tonight are real. All that’s real you can’t buy or steal.” Except train tickets to different countries, those you can totally buy. 

 

<3 tschüss.  

 

cologne, germany.

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day 11 // mon jan 22nd

Mondays are movie nights. Down the street from our apartment/school is a local theatre that does a €5 English screening of a movie that isn’t out yet in the states. It’s apparently a very big deal and the movie theatre was recently voted one of the best in Germany. That being said, we had planned on going this week but tickets sold out faster than normal (due to mentioned award above) so we forfeit our tickets to a few of the students. Maybe next week though! 

 

day 12 // tue jan 23rd

Normal class day—nothing too fancy. I have been going to a gym this week, though. My thought is that I can feel better about eating ALL the amazing goodness if I work out during the week. All about balance right? Speaking of, we have a weekly faculty meeting for all the visiting faculty to met each other, discuss the program and socialize once a week. This week we met at Beirhaus Machold, which is a traditional German style restaurant. Wade had jägerschnitzel and I had something I couldn’t pronounce but it reminded me of a potatoe pancake topped with apple compote. Felt like I needed a nap after that meal. 

 

day 13 // wed jan 24th

I woke up with a bit of cold, maybe due the fact we ran around Koblenz in the rain last weekend? Anywho, I took it easy (and took Dayquil) before adventuring that afternoon to the Haus der Geschichte (House of the History of the Federal Republic of Germany) Museum in Bonn. This museum focuses on the history of German after WW2 and gets around 1 million visitors every year. We had a led tour that was very informative and intriguing.

 

day 14 // thurs jan 25th 

Today we had a day-trip to Cologne, Germany. It's very near to Bonn and very full of life. We started the day off with a trip to the Wallraf-Richartz Art Museum. We went to lunch at a chain-style restaurant that is pretty well known and for good reason. It was called Vapiano's. I had a pesto and spinach pizza and Wade had mushroom risotto! Then we did a guided walking tour of the city and last, but definitely not least, we toured the Cologne Cathedral (Köln Dom). We had a roof-top tour that is not generally offered to the public. You literally take the work elevator up, then crawlled through the very top attic-like parts of one of the biggest (top 4) cathedrals in all of Europe. We took a tiny spiral staircase all the way up. So cool and only slightly terrifying! 

koblenz, germany.

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day 8 // fri jan 19th

School day today and a historic city tour of Bonn in the afternoon. We had lunch at an Asian/Thai  joint that our friend Lin found one day. They had a curry special for 4,90 euro and it was tasty. Wade loves curry and I've now jumped on the curry bandwagon since our time together.

Our tour guide was a sweet lady originally from London but had been in Bonn for 30+ years. She had a great sense of humor and her english was obviously very good. We learned a lot of some of the neat details about this interesting city.

That evening Wade and I had been dreaming about this burger place called Burger Manufaktur that our AIB directors had for lunch one day this week. It smelled and looked delicious so we knew we had to try it. It was about a half a mile walk from our apartment, so not too bad. It was a tiny little place with such a cute ambiance. We ordered and waited for a seat. The fries y'all—they were to die for! 

day 9 // sat jan 20th

Wade and I took a day trip to Koblenz, Germany. It was about an hour train ride south of Bonn. We got to the train station to purchase tickets, which we thought we did correctly, but immediately doubted ourselves and had to ask someone to verify. 

We got on the correct train and made it a few stops. Then we realized we were almost the only ones still on the train. We politely asked a woman if this train was going to the Koblenz HBF and she said yes that's where she was going, too. We proceed to sit back down then frantically she comes up to us and said she had misspoken and only part of the train was proceeding ahead! We darted off the train and ran to a different car that WAS going to Koblenz. All very funny looking back at it now. 

Once arriving in Koblenz we got to the main train station and I paid 1 euro to go to the restroom. I then took a selfie in their full-length mirror because well, I paid 1 euro for it. After that we got a chocolate covered pastry with a little clown on it (I'm guessing for Karneval, not totally sure) and started to explore. It was slightly raining, but then it started to come down more and more. We found a cute little pizza place and took a lunch break inside for a bit hoping the rain would lighten. We shared a salami pizza. 

We eventually found the Deutsches Eck (or 'German Corner') where the Mosel river joins the Rhine. This corner is known for a HUGE monumental equestrian statue of William I, the first German Emperor, erected in 1897 in appreciation of his merits in the unification of Germany. This thing was massive and so cool. We were both in awe of its size. 

We explored some more and decided it was time to head back to Bonn. It was a nice day even if the rain was trying to dampen our spirits (pun intended).

PS - today was the 5 year anniversary of Wade and I's first date. the cutest <3 

 

day 10 // sun jan 21st

I took a spin class today... totally in German. I've taken spin classes at the student rec for awhile now, but nothing like this. The instructor taught me how to set up the bike with purely hand motions and a handful of words neither fully understood. The nice thing about spin is that it's all about rhythm and personal drive. At the end he gave me a high-five and complimented me... I think. 

gutenberg museum.

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day 6 // wed jan 17th

You guys, for real. Today didn't even seem like real life. It was my heaven on earth—what design nerd dreams are made of. First off, we woke up in a CASTLE, then we took a train to Mainz, Germany. Which is birthplace of Johannes Gutenberg, who introduced the world to mechanical movable type printing and essentially started the printing revolution. Meaning, he was a big freaking deal. We went to a huge museum dedicated to printing and I even got to see 1.5 Gutenberg Bibles. These were amazing and under very tight lock and key. Meaning no pictures, BUT the memory will for sure last forever. The museum currently owns 1.5 original Gutenberg bibles. They were so big and heavy that the book binders back then decided to make the bible into two seperate books. 

After our tour we got to do a letterpress workshop and make some really cool prints that I will treasure! We then had lunch at a local fish market recommended by our tour guide. *pro tip-always ask your guides and/or a local where to eat. This is something I didn't do my first go round in europe cause we (Ris & I) were on a strict budget and probably a little scared to venture too far out of our comfort zone. Wade and I both had fresh cod and different types of potatoes. Very delicious. 

Still on a high from this experience. I told Wade I could spend an entire day there. Who knows, maybe we will go back! 

day 7 // thurs jan 18th

We've been exactly a week, which to me seems impossible! We have already explored and seen so much. Official classes started today and our days will be a bit more structured now. I am teaching a class on motion design with specific emphasis on cultural reflection and exploration. I think the results will be very cool. 

castle dreams.

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day 4 // mon jan 15th

This was one Monday I had no problem getting out bed. I was excited to get the first full week started. We had some meetings this morning at school for our visas as well as Wade's first German class. We did a little exploring during lunch to find something new to eat. Bonn is a very interesting city, it was the capital of West Germany while it was still divided, so there are a lot of large historic buildings and landmarks. Also, Haribo Gummy Bears is a German founded company with specific ties to Bonn—the "bo" in Haribo actually represents the word 'Bonn'. Needless to say there are a plethora of gummies here. Wade ended up getting a chicken döner wrap for lunch and I had a spinach feta pastry thing that was yummy! Our evening was quiet, we both worked on some homework/school work and hit they hay for our early morning adventure. 

day 5 // tue jan 16th

On Tuesday we left for a bonding trip with the students. Our program directors at AIB have several excursions planned throughout the semester which is a really great experience for students to see interesting museums and get to know each other outside of the classroom. We woke up very early and met at a bus stop. From there we rode about an hour and half to Bad Kreuznach, Germany. A nice little town nestled on the river. Here we went to a puppet museum, sounds sort of creepy, but not entirely–ha. Puppetry as a form of theatre was very popular in Europe, so the history behind it was pretty interesting. After our tour we walked down the river about 4 miles to our lunch spot. I had traditional German Schnitzel with fries and a delicious apple dessert. Then we advenutred a little higher the mountainside to our castle in Ebernburg. Here the students did an photography and light workshop with a local Germany artist. That evening we had dinner in an 800 year old medieval building. A husband and wife bought this structure and turned it into a working restaurant named Kurpfälzer Amtshof. It was lit with mostly candles, had uneven rock floors and served very delicious food. The owner even let us stay for awhile and enjoy the evening. Then we treked back up to the castle we were staying in and all my princess dreams came true. :) 

apartment tour.

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day 3 // sun jan 14th

A day of rest and playing a bit of catch up on tasks. I finally finished unpacking, then got caught up on email and school things. Now to enjoy some time of rest before adventuring out for dinner.

Here’s a little apartment tour. We are on the 5th floor of the AIB building. It’s got great views out of literally every window, and more than enough space for the two of us. Not to mention my legs are gonna be looking good by the time I climb those 5 floors multiple times a day! 

 

Wade and I had a date night and found a local Asian restaurant called GinYuu. It had good reviews and looked like a fun joint. I ordered pad thai and Wade had a curry rice dish! The restaurant was a few stops away by train, so not a bad journey. We also both decided we needed more scarves and hats - ha! 

orientation & city tour.

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day 1  // friday jan. 12

Wade and I slept a full 10 hours the first night. We woke up still pretty tired but an AIB orientation all morning, then lunch at the outdoor market in one of the many town squares. We split currywurst and pommes before taking a walking tour around the area.

Europe in general is so rich culturally and visually. I love to see all of the old mixed with the new. Plus, the textures and colors make this designer gal very happy.  

 

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day 2 // saturday jan 13th 

Jet lag, it's a real thing. I had no trouble going to sleep, but then woke at 3:30am was ready to go. Finally forced myself to go back to sleep after a few episodes of The Crown.

We had a scheduled AIB excursion today with all 4 programs (including students from LMU, Penn State and bio science students from A&M, too). We did a scavenger hunt of sorts along the river at Rheinaue Park. It was a cool (and cold!) way for the group to see more of the city and learn more about the history. After an afternoon exploring we had a dinner back at school for all students and host families


Also, don't forget for a more real-time look into our trip follow my instagram and be sure to check out the stories! 

guten morgen!

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day 0 // thursday jan 11th

We made it to Germany! Day zero was a success. We flew out of Houston at 7PM CST on Wednesday January 10th and landed at 11:40AM (german time) on January 11th. Which means 4:40AM CST. 

Successfully loaded 31 Texas A&M students onto the flight. The total flight time was 9 hrs and 40 mins—not too bad. I knew from my last study abroad that jet lag was going to be a real issue, so I forced myself to sleep a tiny bit on the flight. We landed and loaded a bus in Frankfurt to take the group to Bonn.

Wade and I got settled into our apartment (I will post pictures soon) and then got treated to dinner with AIB (our  school) at a local restaurant & brewery, Brauhaus Bönnsch. I had flammkuchen (German translation is flaming pizza) with bacon, egg, potato and creme fresh). Wade had meatloaf with fried potatoes and peppers. Very tasty! 

 

That's all for now. Here are a few of my tips for traveling for an extended stay, specifically during the colder months:

  1. Outdoor Apparel - It will be cold and potentially snowing the first month of our stay in Germany. So we were sure to pack warm jackets, comfortable AND warm walking shoes, socks, hats, gloves, etc. Also, if you wear your biggest coat on the plane you can store it in the overhead bin once comfortably your seat AND it saves precious suitcase space for more shoes! 
  2. Layerable Clothing - Our trip will be cold, but the seasons will also change (unlike Texas). It is a good idea to bring layers. Under shirts, tights, etc. It is currently winter, but by the time we return it will be nice spring weather. Be sure to pack items that can be layered for warmth, then be worn separately later in the year.
  3. Backpack - I would recommend a good (comfortable) secure backpack that you can travel with. Secure meaning a lot of zippers and inside pockets for valuables. 
  4. Copies of Passport - It is good idea is to bring a few notarized copies of your passport in case something happens to your original passport. You can make color photocopies (of the full spread including the signature page of your passport) and have them notarized (most banks have a notary). It is a good idea to put them in different places. i.e. hidden in your backpack, suitcase, and then keep one secure with your family back in the states. I would also recommend storing them in dry place like a ziploc bag. 
  5. Reusable Water Bottle - Europe is great about recycling plus buying water can be very expensive! Bring a water bottle you can easily attach to your backpack or suitcase when traveling. 
  6. Money & Fees - Talk with your banks. Be sure to let them know you are traveling abroad and discuss the ATM and withdrawal fees. Fees can add up really quickly, so using a debit card will be option B for us. Whereas our credit card has no transaction fees or extra hidden charges.
  7. Converters & Adaptors - Do your research on your electronics and buy appropriate converters or adaptors. Most electronics now days have built in converters, so you only really need an adaptor. 

Hope that was helpful! Excited for more adventure... and sleep! 

 

 

 

2017: a year in review.

married life, familyJill HoneycuttComment

2017 was pretty stellar I'd say. It held our first year of marriage, owning a home, and getting our sweet tillie baby (our cat). Instagram said the pictures below were my top nine and I would have to mostly agree. Sometimes we forget to pause and reflect on all of the dang good things in our lives.

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Here's a month-by-month of a few of the Honeycutt highlights.

January - I started my 2nd semester teaching at A&M. Wade & I celebrated our engagement-versary. 

February - Spent Valentine's day with my love. Did some shopping at First Monday in Canton. 

March - Did spring break right with a trip to Vegas. Also, the largest Taco Bell ever.  

April - Celebrated my 28th birthday. Rissa made a trip to College Station to visit.

May - Painted the exterior of our house—talk about hard work! 

June - Celebrated Wade's birthday! Taught a summer session. Spent the long weekend in Galveston with the fam. Met my niece Naomi for the first time. 

July - Went to my brother's surprise nerdy thirty in New Braunfels with some of our best friends. Made a trip to Lubbock to see family. Got our sweet Tillie baby! 

August - The littlest Bragdon graduated from A&M. Wade and I built cedar shutters for our house—also very hard work. Decided to go back to graduate school for my MFA.

September - Took a group of students to Circles Conference in Grapevine, TX. Also took my grandpa and Barbara to a Fightin' Texas Aggie Football game.

October - Celebrated our 1 year wedding anniversary and ate year-old cake. It was surprisingly good. 

November - I went to Louisiana with my fam for Thanksgiving, Wade had to work (boo!)

December - Went to several holiday parties for work. It SNOWED in College Station, TX. Completed another semester teaching and my first semester as a grad student. 

Bring it on, 2018! I can't wait to see what you have in store. 

germany!

travel, married lifeJill HoneycuttComment

Sometimes I have to pinch myself. Like, really. It amazes me at the doors God has opened for Wade and I in our relationship so far. Wade wanted to go back to school? Boom—teaching job, bought a house, working remotely, etc. It has all fallen into place so smoothly that I have no doubt that God's hand was weaving it all together. 

All of that to say, WE ARE GOING TO GERMANY. 

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Only for the spring semester, don’t worry, we aren’t moving away for good. Although after a semester in Europe we might not want to come back. If any of you have been following me for awhile (by that I mean like my mom and a handful of my mom’s friends), you saw the ridiculous videos Marissa and I posted while studying abroad back in 2010. If you are new around here, I studied with the same Germany-based program while attending Texas A&M in the spring of 2010. I traveled Europe with one of my best friends, Marissa. We made videos literally every step of the journey, we ate lots of Burger King, and we stuffed our backpacks full of sample Nutella packets from McDonalds. Sometimes I go back and watch the videos just to laugh at how dumb we were (also how young I look). You can watch our very first video here if it interests you, just know that you have been warned. Now, I get to do the same thing but with my HUSBAND—so crazy. Also, Ris is also going to make a guest appearance, so watch out.

I will be teaching motion design at the AIB in Bonn where Wade will be attending classes. We will be living in an apartment in the city of Bonn. Our hope is to explore and travel as much as we can with our school and work loads! 

A little more about the city of Bonn, Germany.  

The charming city of Bonn with its baroque buildings and century-old history is a modern and dynamic city with an exceptional international and diverse community. The richness of music, culture, science, business and nature, as well as its location at the Rhine River, make Bonn a hidden gem in the heart of Europe.

Since it is located in the heart of Europe, it is easy to reach many of our top travel destinations. From Bonn, it is only a three hour train ride to Amsterdam and a four hour ride to Paris. Many European cities such as London are also only a one hour plane ride away.

We depart on January 10th (WHICH IS 12 DAYS AWAY!!) and arrive back stateside on May 2nd. Follow along for travel posts, design inspiration and even (maybe) some European fashion tips. I will also be using Instagram story to document a lot of the highlights, so be sure to follow me on instagram. Feel free to join the email list too so you don't miss a thing. 

That's all for now, I've got a lot of packing to do! tschüss! 

 

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merry december!

married life, fashionJill HoneycuttComment

I can't believe it's December 1st. crazy how time flies! Today was a good day. My husband woke up and came into the office promptly telling me to get dressed. He said we're going to pick out a Christmas tree. weee! Obviously had to make a pit-stop for donuts first. 

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If there's one thing I'm good at it's saving money and being crafty about it. I guess that's two things. oh well.

Here are some quick tips if you're buying your tree from a retailer (like lowe's, home depot, or walmart)

Tip #1 - save the 1" round portion that they cut off the bottom of your tree to make an ornament! I have one from our first Christmas as a married couple, and now our second. Just drill a hole in the top, tie some burlap through and ta-da! All I need to do is write on it with my gold sharpie. 

Tip #2 - shop/steal from the the scrap barrel. At Lowe's and Home Depot they put all of the branches that have fallen off and/or been cut off into a huge bin. These make great additions to your mantel or an already purchased wreath. See my examples below, plus they smell amazing! 

Tip #3 - Always have your husband inspect the tree thoroughly, then have him take photos of you with your perfect tree. 

Now time to get decorating! 

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#ootd

My sweater was a black Friday buy that I knew I could dress or up dress down for the winter. It actually has a removable collar which I thought was pretty nifty! The back is also super cute. Jeans are my fav Levi's 711 Skinny jeans in "damage is done." Booties are Steve Madden Kolina's that I bought in the summer on super sale. Very comfy, low heel so great for standing on my feet teaching all day! Also, rocking a top knot because washing your hair is the worst. 

sweater: Bealls • jeans: Levi's • booties: Steve Madden • watch: fossil

full & thankful.

family, fashionJill HoneycuttComment

Thanksgiving is always a fun holiday for me. Even if I view it as the start of Christmas season. Don't get me wrong, I am thankful and blessed beyong measure, but Thanksgiving doesn't always get full credit, ya know? 

Growing up we always drove to Bienville, Louisiana to my great-grandmother's house. My grandfather is one of a bajillion kids so there was always so many people that wanted to get together. We would get up early and drive to this tiny little house in the middle of what seemed to be nowhere. The house is probably just like you're imagining it—old, totally leaning and full of love. There is this cane patch behind the house that I remember thinking was the coolest thing growing up. We would cut down sticks and then my grandpa would sharpen the end (super duper safe).

This year we loaded up and made the trek to LA like the good 'ole days. I am grateful to still have this time with my grandpa. I'm also thankful for a family that still likes being together. Also thankful for pecan pie, and lots of it. 

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#ootd

Currently really loving all things velvet and Levi's. The 700 collection from Levi's is my favorite. The 711 Skinny and 721 High-Rise Skinny jeans fit like a glove. Jean color is a great dark color with a little texture called "cast shadows." I am usually a fan of basic pieces from Old Navy. Sizing can be weird at Old Navy, but I've learned to size down! Sadly, my necklace isn't being sold anymore, but the one linked is rad!

jacket: Levi's • jeans: Macy's • velvet top: Old Navy • necklace: Sam Moon

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Welcome.

Jill HoneycuttComment

Hi Friends!

Welcome to my corner of the internet. I can't tell you how many times i've 'started a blog,' then stopped writing. Or how many times I've thought about actually documenting some of the cool (or so i think) projects or furniture re-dos I've done.

Now is as good of time as any, right? I hope to write semi-consistently about fun things like marriage, owning a home, craigslisting, and just general design-y things I enjoy! 

Follow along, it's bound to be entertaining. 

*Real life example of starting + stopping blogging going on 4 years now. Excerpt from 2014: 


"Resistance cannot be seen, touched, heard, or smelled. But it can be felt. We experience it as an energy field radiating from a work-in-potential. It's a repelling force. It's negative. Its aim is to shove us away, distract us, prevent us from doing our work."

"The war of art - break through the blocks and win your inner creative battles"  by Steven Pressfield

That is how I feel about a lot of things in my life. For example, I've worked and reworked my website ten thousand times and it never seems just right. I know what I want it to look like and what I want it to accomplish, but that resistance kills me every stinkin' time. I struggle with thoughts of insecurity that my blog won't be as cool as some bloggers out there.

Sometimes I let my insecurities completely paralyze me. I subconsciously think if I don't do anything at all it is better than trying and failing. I read blog after blog about how to blog and how to make your presence on the web a good one, etc. but when is enough enough? When is it time to just do it? (Also, isn't it crazy that reading a blog about blogging is even a thing?)

That time is now. right now. This is the real deal. I've promised myself not to sugarcoat things or stage thoughts/places/feelings that aren't real. If my desk looks like WWII, well that is what I will show you. I'm like every other creative out there, I have my ups and my downs. I have days that I simply don't want to freelance and stare at my screen at all, then I have days I power through hours of design time. The struggle is real, y'all and we are all in this together, right?

 

student debt, be gone!

Jill HoneycuttComment

This is a post I originally wrote in June of 2015. I just felt like I should add to it + republish as it is still relevant today! 

My husband Wade is back in school, but we are trying extremely hard not to take any student loans out. As I sat and typed the words below I felt so proud (and still do). Living debt free is something I take very seriously. Being a semi-control freak, the thought of owing someone thousands of dollars gives me major anxiety. I also feel like living within your means is so important. It's something that our society doesn't talk much about. It's all about what life you are portraying and let's be real, the living off one salary, husband in school, driving the same car since you were 16 life isn't all that grand. 


orginial post from June of 2015:

I feel like I need to document this time in my life before it slips through my fingers and it's only a fleeting memory. A few weeks ago I paid all of my student debt. I know to some people that's no big deal, but to me, it's a huge deal. A weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I'm not going to sugar coat it - it was tough. Here is what my experience with student debt looked like. 

I graduated from Texas A&M University in December of 2011. In June of 2012 I was required to start paying back my debt. I consolidated all my loans and had a total of $36,000. This quickly grew within the first few months because of consolidated interest (whatever that is). I was rapidly up to the 40k mark. I was living at home with my rents at the time with a random handful of jobs. No really, I was a sub at the school I grew up in, I designed wedding stationery for brides, worked at a wedding venue coordinating events, you name it I probably did it. It's safe to say I was not, by any means, making good money. They originally told me my monthly pay was going to be around $450. I almost fell over. There was no way I could be living on my own paying that, so I guess it was a good thing I had decided to stay with my parents for a while. Then I decided I should do a graduated payment plan and got the payments down to $235 dollars a month - much more reasonable for a freelancer with hardly any steady income. 

A bit later that year I took my first salaried job and moved to Dallas. I knew that I would eventually have to start making more than the minimum payment or I would never get those suckers down. Whenever I would look at my monthly bill I would get so depressed because I was literally only paying on the interest. The numbers were not shrinking. I decided then and there I was going to have to get serious about it. 

"Last month, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported that student loan balances rose to $1.16 trillion and that 11.3 percent of that is in delinquency – that is, not being paid back. The New York Fed is worried that this debt is preventing students from becoming self-sufficient adults who can live on their own." - usnews.com

After a job change I was making a decent paycheck each month and starting saving a good amount of money to put towards my loans. I had consolidated 11 loans total in the beginning and my plan was to knock them out individually (even though they were consolidated). I would save up enough money until i could pay off a loan in it's entirety. I had loans ranging from anywhere from 6k to 2k (they were always in flex due to interest). I slowly but surely started knocking them out - targeted the ones with the higher interest rates first. I would say on average I was putting aside at least $1,500 a month to my loans. It seems like a lot, but it was worth it. I ended up paying my loans off May 18, 2015. After doing the math I figured I paid a little over $40,000 in the span of just over two years. That is crazy to think about. 

I know this isn't possible for everyone - like I said, I was blessed with a decent paying job, no car payment, and relatively low living expenses. 

It is such a good feeling. I sit here writing 100% debt free. woo-hoo.

what's your jam?

Jill HoneycuttComment

Everyone has those albums that just get them motivated, like put your head down and work for hours, motivated. Here are a few of my all time favorite jams to work to. *Warning: a lot of these (actually all of them) are high school jams and I just can't seem to cut the cord.  

I'm pretty well known as one of those "song-skippers." I can't usually listen to an entire song, much less an entire album. Not with these guys, though. They are the tried & true. All of them bring back all of the high school feelings. I love it. 

I'd love to hear what music really gets you pumped. Share your working jams with me! 

I cried over where to eat lunch.

Jill HoneycuttComment

Sometimes life is overwhelming. Sometimes I cry when I don't know what else to do. It was a rainy day and my fella and I were headed to eat lunch before he left to go home. Lately I've been much better about keeping my anxiety in check, but it was rearing it's ugly head this particular day and there wasn't much I could do about it. 

We drove around for a bit and I was getting so irritated over nothing. Literally nothing. He was trying to be sweet and let me have a say in where we ate lunch, but for some reason this particular decision was exhausting me. 

After a bit of driving around, we pulled into a shopping center. He dropped me off at this new place we had been wanting to try. I stood there for a few minutes and watched as everyone watched me. No one came up to greet me. After a few minutes I waltzed myself over to table and grabbed a menu to check out. My poor fella joined me and still no one came up to greet us. That was that - we were definitely not eating there. 

I walked out of the restaurant and started crying. Really though, I stood there crying in the rain over where to eat lunch. 

All of that to say, life is hard sometimes. Just remember no one is perfect (even if their instagram looks like it). Life will be okay, even if it's not at that exact moment. It will be, He told me so.  After all, It's only lunch. 

transitions + circles co.

Jill HoneycuttComment

There's a lot of transitioning happening in my life right now. I left my nice marketing job and I feel semi-guilty about it. It was all packaged so nicely, tied with ribbons of health insurance and a 401k plan, but I just wasn't creatively fulfilled. I didn't wake up each morning chomping at the bit to get to work. Don't get me wrong, the people are great, such an amazing group of architects, but that alone cannot fill one's creative soul.

Something needed to change. I needed the change, desperately.

As of today, I am working with Circles Co. full-time and pursuing my career as a freelance designer. I have toyed with both of these ideas for quite some time now. It's a scary, yet totally satisfying, transition.

Here's to new & exciting things!