Oh sweet labor day,
your weekend signals the close of summer and the nudge to pack away the white pants.
But, for many, myself included, you also cue the thrill of something new. The best season of all is peeking around the corner (if we’re lucky). True, I’ve already planned my 3rd Annual Fall Party and I’m currently burning a pumpkin spice candle as I write this, BUT I’m actually trying to hold on to the sunshine just a little bit longer this year.
It’s been an extraordinary summer. Did we go on any huge trips? No. Did we have any life-altering events happen? Not really. But sometimes isn’t that the best summer of all? Little bits of joy coupled together to create a beautiful summer of memories.
“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.”
As I head into the last year of my 20s, I decided to create a list of things to do before I turn 30 in January. Thanks to literally everyone for helping me come up with this list. I think it’s realistic to accomplish in a year, yet will be challenging. I’ll provide a few updates throughout the year as I check things off. Starting with #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.
- Make a complex meal 100% from scratch.
- Hike Pinnacle Mountain + eat a Hubcap burger at Cotham’s. This one stems back to my Arkansas Bucket List from a few years ago, and is one thing I really wanted to do that I never got to check off my list. This is the year!
- Successfully do a one-armed push-up.
- See a critically acclaimed show.
- Volunteer 30 hours.
- Buy all my friends a round, randomly.
- Play video games with husband for a night, complete with pizza + beer.
- 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.
- Learn a song on the guitar.
- Be in a play.
- Learn to play blackjack.
- Make a signature cocktail.
- Make a YouTube video that gets over 1k views.
- Start my book. This is one husband has been pushing me to do for years.
- Win at least 1 trivia night.
- Write 30 handwritten letters.
- Take a dance class.
- Go to a movie solo.
- Run 30 miles. I’m not a runner. So, no judgment please on “only 30?!”
- 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.
- Do 5 things that truly scare me.
- 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.
- Travel to state I’ve never been to.
- Take a personal day, for no reason at all.
- Challenge myself with a new hobby.
- See someone in concert I’ve been dying to see.
- Find an artist whose perspective of the world I appreciate and buy a piece of his or her work.
- Take a spontaneous trip.
- Plan a huge 30th birthday bash.
To follow along on my journey, make sure and follow my blog via WordPress or email:
For our 6th anniversary, we decided to do a staycation at 21c. Since we’re going to Italy very soon, we didn’t want to travel far or spend too much. We’ve also talked about staying at 21c since it opened, so we decided to go for it. And I am SO glad we did. It was exactly what we needed for a little one-night getaway. Luckily, we also got invited to the special opening of the new Chihuly exhibit at Crystal Bridges and it was absolutely incredible. (Thank you, Denise!)
[beautiful, super cozy room – and my sweet coworkers surprised us with champagne!]
[a few photos from the night below – though I HIGHLY encourage you to check it out yourself!]
[chihuly in the forest – there was even a wine tent out there!
wonderful night with these fun friends]
[chihuly in the gallery – and husband’s favorite picture of the night]
[late night snack back at our hotel – sweet + spicy fries that are just amaaaazing]
[sunday brunch at the hive – that buttermilk fried chicken was out of this world]
[post-brunch stroll on the trails – a perfect end to a perfect anniversary getaway]
You might also enjoy: Discover NWA: Mod, Modern Ozark Dining
A few simple, happy thoughts for anyone having a tough week
or for anyone who likes happy thoughts.
*It’s 75 degrees in February. Let me repeat, it’s 75 degrees in February. Let porch season begin.
*I spoke to the absolute sweetest old lady on the phone today (who I didn’t know). She started the conversation by telling me her grandmother’s name was Mille and she was the best person she’d ever met. We talked for 20 minutes about names and strong grandmothers and having kids and travel and true love, and it totally made my day. And she ended the conversation by saying it made hers too, because it made her reminisce about her grandmother.
*I’ve seen two amazing, deserving couples get an answered prayer of adoption this week. Their posts warmed my heart and made me praise our truly incredible God.
*This Is Us has been renewed for 2 seasons. Yes, every episode makes me cry, but ultimately this makes me very happy.
*I may be extra busy with work lately, but I still have time to spend with my amazing husband, delicious food to eat and a warm bed to crawl into at night.
*When your mom knows exactly what prayer to send after a rough day –
Feel your panic. Feel your frustration. But keep your eyes and heart open. There’s a part of us, our heart, that knows where we’re going, knows what we need, knows what the next step is. Our heart will lead us on. And God will move us forward.
Oh, and it’s National Margarita Day.
Happy thoughts, indeed.
F E B R U A R Y
first of (several) work trips to NYC + got pulled on stage during spamalot on our valentine’s day date at the rogers little theatre
M A Y
(best month ever)
bentonville film festival, fayetteville foam fest + 5-year anniversary in St. Lucia
J U N E
sister-in-law got married + traipsed around california with these people
J U L Y
celebrated husband’s birthday in denver
A U G U S T
mother daughter weekend in NYC + too much fun at a wedding #travkeg2k16
O C T O B E R
squad goals at a stranger halloween
N O V E M B E R
an amazing weekend getaway in missouri + a fun week in LA
D E C E M B E R
birthday celebrations with the sistahs + christmas in DC
“Food and music have the ability to bring back memories long forgotten.
I’ll take a double order of both.”
I love food.
I can never understand people who eat purely for calories/nourishment and not for the pure joy of eating.
Yes, gluttony is a sin, and I’m working on not overeating and eating healthier the majority of the time. But food just makes me so happy, and usually that food is not a salad.
As I was reading Bread & Wine (read my review! then go buy the book!) I started thinking about some of my fondest memories with food. You know, those special memories in special places with that food that makes you drool just thinking about it, or that brings back such a wonderful memory associated with it.
I wanted to share a recent food memory with you, partly so I don’t forget it and partly to get you thinking about your fond food memories. I truly think we’re the most happy when we’re sharing good food and good drink with good people.
P A R I S
On a whim, we decided to spend one of our Parisian nights at the Moulin Rouge. I went as a child and thought it was SO scandalous, but several years later fell in love with the movie of the same name and decided I had to go back as an adult. As a serious trip planner, this was a very spontaneous decision. We literally printed out our tickets in our Paris hotel that day … what?!
I went on Yelp and found the restaurant with the best reviews within walking distance of the venue. When we got out of the cab and walked the block from the Moulin Rouge to the cafe I was starting to doubt my decision. It was literally a hole-in-the-wall cafe that couldn’t have held more than 20 people. We sat cramped next to the window as a brusque waitress took our drink order. “This was the top rated place on Yelp?” Husband asked curiously, as scantily clad women walked the streets steering tourists in to their cabarets.
You guys. I will never forget that place. Not just for the location, but for the best duck I’ve ever had in my entire life. It was so flavorful and cooked perfectly and came with pomme frites, and I was seriously in heaven. It was literally the best thing we ate in Paris, and possibly the entire trip. And I just love that it was on a shady block in Montmartre before going to the Moulin Rouge. (Which by the way, we loved. Where we drank champagne, and got in trouble for taking pictures, and met two sisters from England who couldn’t believe we were taking only 2 weeks for a vacation! Isn’t it funny the things you remember?)
Other fond food/memories –
Little Debbies will always make me think of my grandfather Pops. Wasabi of my Dad in Florida (when he thought it was guacamole). Pimento cheese + oyster crackers of my grandmother’s house. Poppyseed chicken of my college roommate and best friend. Oysters of Mom and NYC. Jerked Shrimp of Husband and St. Lucia. Powdered coffee of camping in Botswana. Saddlebock Farmhouse of the Summer of 2014. And on, and on, and on.
There are so many other memories I could tell you about that revolved around a great meal and great company. What is your fondest food memory?