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30 Before 30: Q2 Progress Update

As I’ve shared previously, I’m working towards completing a list of 30 things before I turn 30.

I can’t believe I’m already halfway through the challenge – which means I’m halfway through my 29th year! Eek! I’m definitely making progress, but need to start seriously checking things off the list in Q3 … if anyone wants to help with any let me know!

  1.  Start a new adventure. I’ve worked for Walmart for 6.5 years, as my first job out of college. I’ve officially accepted a position at Clorox, and couldn’t be more excited/anxious/thrilled to start this new adventure. 
  2. Make a complex meal 100% from scratch.
  3. Hike Pinnacle Mountain + eat a Hubcap burger at Cotham’s. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to eat at Cotham’s since the original location burned down last year. However, I did hike Pinnacle – and it was a doozy! The challenge was worth it, as the views were stunning, and we’re already planning another hike up in the Fall.
  4. Successfully do a one-armed push-up.
  5. See a critically acclaimed show. This one makes me so happy because I’ve been dying to see this show and Mom got me tickets for my 29th birthday for our trip to Chicago. It was AMAZING. Absolutely go see it if you get the chance. 
  6. Volunteer 30 hours. (13 hours complete!) This quarter included great, hot, sweaty, challenging Habitat work. 
  7. Buy all my friends a round, randomly.
  8. Play video games with Husband for a night, complete with pizza + beer. This was so fun! We played Mario Kart (he schooled me), tennis (both won) and a fighting game (which we also both won, to Husband’s chagrin). I definitely need to get in Husband’s world and do this more often! 
  9. Intentionally choose to stay by myself one night in a hotel. Obviously I’ve stayed by myself before, but for work or when husband was away – not intentionally.
  10. Learn a song on the guitar.
  11. Be in a play.
  12. Learn to play blackjack.
  13. Make a signature cocktail.
  14. Make a YouTube video that gets over 1k views.
  15. Start my book. This is one husband has been pushing me to do for years.
  16. Win at least 1 trivia night. This one was totally out of the blue, but glad it happened the way it did. We won the poolside Hollywood Trivia on our family vacation in Mexico. Go Team Guacamole!
  17. Write 30 handwritten letters. (22 complete!)
  18. Take a dance class.
  19. Go to a movie solo. Does it count that I tried to do this? I went to Mamma Mia 2, bought my ticket, got my popcorn and then partially into the movie it stopped working and they gave us our money back … 
  20. Ride 300 miles. Maybe this one didn’t take as along as anticipated, but it’s still checked off the list and I’m proud!
  21. Dye my hair pink. Again, something I’ve always wanted to do. It could just be a few strands, and it could wash out after a day. Either way, I think 29 is the best time to do it. 
  22. Do 5 things that scare me. (1. Leave my comfort zone job of 6.5 years. Trust me – it’s scary. 2. Ride a snowmobile) 
  23. Give an amount of money that is significant to me and is significant to someone in need, but do it in such a way no one would ever know it was me who gave it and expect nothing in return.
  24. Travel to a state I’ve never been to.
  25. Take a personal day, for no reason at all.
  26. Challenge myself with a new hobby. I didn’t realize it at first, but this is totally the Peloton! Since I didn’t grow up in sports or really sticking with an exercise routine, riding consistently has been a huge challenge for me and totally feels like a new hobby! We even chose to ride while on vacation – something I never thought I’d do, ha!
  27. See someone in concert I’ve been dying to see. Taylor Swift – check. Taking Back Sunday (our favorite band from high school) – check AND Beyonce/Jay-Z coming up next month. I think I can officially check this one off the list. 
  28. Find an artist whose perspective of the world I appreciate and buy a piece of his or her work.
  29. Take a spontaneous trip. Someone could probably fight me on this, but it’s my blog so I’ll do what I want – our NYC trip was totally spontaneous for me. No, it wasn’t a pick-up-and-go trip, but our friend Mark called, said he was having his 30th birthday party in NYC and did we want to go? I never turn down a trip to New York, so we said yes, but not planning something like that several months out is my kind of spontaneity!! 
  30. Plan a huge 30th birthday bash.
  31. BONUS: Read 30 books. (16 complete!)

xo xo

Next quarterly update: Nov. 1 !

Book Reviews: To Kiss, To Lie, To Revolutionize

Calypso – David Sedaris: I might be the only person who thought so, but I was let down by this book. Of course some of the stories were classic Sedaris, some made me laugh and some made me contemplative, but overall it just wasn’t as great as I was expecting, and found myself rushing through more chapters than I should have.
Grade: B-

The Kiss Quotient – Helen Hoang: This book was so stinkin’ adorable! I would characterize it as Eleanor Oliphant (another favorite) meets 50 Shades of Gray – yes, it’s steamier than you’re expecting, but has such a great story about a 30-year-old woman with Asperger’s who just wants to learn how to date. I don’t want to say much else, just read and fall in love with this fun, original, sexy book.
Grade: A+

The Revolution Was Televised – Alan Sepinwall: This book was made for me because it contains two of my favorite things – TV shows and talking incessantly about TV shows. It’s a fascinating read with each chapter focusing on a specific show that was revolutionary for it’s time – The Sopranos, Breaking Bad, Friday Night Lights, to name a few. It’s full of interviews, behind the scenes tidbits and commentary on how the show changed the TV landscape. My only complaint would be too many spoilers.
Grade: A

The Last Time I Lied – Riley Sager: It’s been a while since a thriller has kept me in suspense the ENTIRE BOOK. And a while since I’ve stayed up late (1am!) finishing a book because I had to know what happened. It’s basically Pretty Little Liars goes to summer camp, so I was obviously interested from the get go, but the storytelling is just fantastic without a single dull moment.
Grade: A+

xo xo

You can read all my book reviews here.

favorites.

 

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these posts, but here are a few things I love and want to share with you, so you can love them too. ❤

BOOK OF THE MONTH: Y’all know I’m an avid reader, and I’m seriously obsessed with this service!  Here’s why –
1. The books are new titles with different genres to choose from
2. If you want to skip a month you can
3. It’s $14.99/month (cheaper than buying the book new from B&N or Amazon) and you can add another book into your box for just $9.99!
4. It’s been pushing me to read more because I want to finish my book(s) before the next month’s selection arrives

If you’re interested, use this link to sign up for Book of the Month – you’ll get a free book and I’ll get a free book! https://www.mybotm.com/sbucdim3rc
(I promise you won’t regret it!!)

You can also check out my book reviews here – quite a few from BOTM!

LIVING PROOF DRY SHAMPOO: I’ve tried so many dry shampoos – affordable and expensive, and this is hands down the best one I’ve tried. It’s a little more on the expensive side, but it feels like it actually cleans my hair and doesn’t leave white residue. I buy it in the big bottle for home and the small bottles to take with me when I travel!
Sephora full size: $23, mini: $13

ALLBIRDS: Husband was the first to join this bandwagon and to be honest, I was skeptical. But now, we both have two pairs each and are totally in love. They’re the perfect shoe for running errands or traveling, they’re so cute, so comfortable and you can just throw them in the wash if they get dirty. I have them in black and pink.
AllBirds $95

BURT’S BEES PEACH BLUSH: Since working on Burt’s Bees, I’ve been trying a lot of their products and loving a lot of them, but one of my current favorites is the blush. I love it in Bare Peach, but it comes in three shades. It’s 100% natural, lightweight and the coloring is perfect.
Walmart $9.49

BLOW-UP POOL: If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve undoubtedly seen this pool and how much I’ve been using it this summer. In this high 90s, high humidity Arkansas weather it’s been a lifesaver! It fits 2-3 adults, has a seat and cup holders. I’d say it’s the perfect “adult kiddie pool”!

Amazon
So when we bought it it was $30, but now I can’t seem to find it for less than $52 on Amazon, but definitely keep looking if you’re interested – it’s worth it!

xo xo

life lately

[volunteering for this || great day at habitat for humanity – hard work in this heat!]

[celebrating this || rosé in the usa aka 4th of july]

[mourning over this || the closing of our FAVORITE restaurant in NWA + eating a final meal]

[loving this || concert season at the AMP!
kesha + macklemore
30 seconds to mars]

[walking to this || neighborhood progressive dinner! the most fun ever!]

[enjoying this || my gorgeous hibiscus blooms]

xo xo

Weekend Picturebook: NYC

T H U R S D A Y

[Gorgeous views flying into the city]

[Late night bite at Jacob’s Pickles, a few blocks from our hotel – the buffalo chicken blue cheese mac and cheese was TDF, and see husband’s chicken and pancakes with bacon in the background – good-ness!!]

F R I D A Y

[First things first – had to get that Peloton ride in! It was seriously such an awesome experience! 90s Pop Ride with Emma Lovewell (Husband’s fave instructor)
(If you don’t know about Peloton, ask me!)]

[Lunch at Momofuku Noodle Bar with birthday boy Mark – pork ramen was delish, and so cool to finally eat at this place!]

[Undoubtedly one of the best parts of the trip – we stumbled upon this freaking amazing rooftop bar with the most delicious frosé I’ve ever had!]

 [Next stop – checked something off my NYC bucket list: Top of the Rock! Views were incredible.
And we definitely didn’t *almost* fall off from all that frosé…]

[Cheers to pour decisions! Such a fun night out celebrating one of our dear friends’ 30th birthday!]

S A T U R D A Y

[Explored Upper West Side and found one of my new favorite places – Zabars!
If only I lived here and could shop there every day – speciality cheeses, homemade bread …
at least I got to try a bagel and coffee.]

[Walk along Riverside Park – another gorgeous day in the city.
The locals thought it was too hot, but low 80s felt great to us Southerners!!]

[American Museum of Natural History was amazing! (Night at the Museum, anyone??)
My geologist/developer husband especially loved the rocks]

[Saturday night in Greenwich Village – mine (and T.Swift’s) fave <3]

[Dinner at Emily West Village (aka Pizza Loves Emily) – tried to do a cute blogger pizza photoshoot … total fail haha! But I do have a cute Instagram Husband]

[Found the most adorable Air’s Champagne Parlor – this was the BEST rosé! The quote on the mirror says: “I only drink champagne on two occasions – when I’m in love, and when I’m not.” – Coco Chanel
Amen, Coco!]

[Comedy Cellar! SUCH a cool experience – I would highly recommend!]

S U N D A Y

[Brunch at Jacob’s Pickles before our flight home – we learned our lesson for next time, definitely share!!]

[Cheers to an awesome trip and watching the World Cup final in the airport!]

xo xo

You might also enjoy some of my other NYC picturebooks: Sept. 2017, Aug. 2016Dec. 2012 

 

Those Lazy-Hazy-Crazy Days of Summer

Lately, I’ve been learning how to be content. Content with stillness. Content with a slower pace. Content with the season of life I’m in.

I made a radical change a few months ago. Sometimes job changes may not seem radical or may not be radical at times, but my entire way of life changed with this one. My days are now more consistent, my nights and weekends are more about me, and everything just feels different.

At first, I might have missed it. I might have missed the crazy, rollercoaster days and weeks I was so accustomed to. But then, I got off the rollercoaster and realized life was so much more than the thrilling, yet unpredictable highs and lows.

Contentment is hard though, isn’t it? Don’t we always seem to want something else, think the grass is always greener? Enjoying where you are and not pining for the next season of life is very hard. I’m not saying I have the secret to success, but it’s something God has been teaching me the last few months.

And I love it. I love the stillness. I love the laziness of just being home with husband, cooking meals together, arguing over why the washer isn’t working, contemplating why one plant isn’t growing, doing life together. ((Have we officially become a boring, old, married couple?!))

Yet, just the other day I asked husband if I was squandering away my summer Fridays by doing nothing. Doing nothing for me being, laying by the pool reading 100 pages at a time, then going inside to cool down and watch an episode or two of my current binge. Should I be using my time off wisely? Getting things done? Crossing things off my to-do list?

No. Just be. Enjoy the time. Enjoy those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer.

I’m thankful for this season of life we’re currently in. I know it won’t last, but hope to enjoy it while we can, and then learn to love the next season – whatever may come.

“Live each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each.”
– Henry David Thoreau

xo xo

life lately

[celebrating this || 7 years of marriage with my favorite guy <3]

[enjoying this || a cool dip in my new pool]

[watching this || ocean’s 8 with my girl tribe!]

[loving this || wonderful deck-warming party with drinks, lawn games + the cutest cookies]

[eating this || a gorgeous and delicious meal at Preacher’s Son]

[stuffing ourselves at this || BITE NWA, two nights in a row, and it was oh so worth it]

xo xo