everyday inspiration

Happiness

30 Before 30

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 …

[husband’s 30th]

    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. 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!
    4. Successfully do a one-armed push-up.
    5. See a critically acclaimed show.
    6. Volunteer 30 hours.
    7. Buy all my friends a round, randomly.
    8. Play video games with husband for a night, complete with pizza + beer.
    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.
    17. Write 30 handwritten letters.
    18. Take a dance class.
    19. Go to a movie solo.
    20. Run 30 miles. I’m not a runner. So, no judgment please on “only 30?!”
    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 truly scare me.
    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 state I’ve never been to.
    25. Take a personal day, for no reason at all.
    26. Challenge myself with a new hobby.
    27. See someone in concert I’ve been dying to see.
    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.
    30. Plan a huge 30th birthday bash.

xo xo

To follow along on my journey, make sure and follow my blog via WordPress or email:

 

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 343 other followers


Discover NWA: Staycation at 21c + Chihuly

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]

xo xo

You might also enjoy: Discover NWA: Mod, Modern Ozark Dining

SaveSave


life lately

{rockin’ out to this || blink 182 concert}

{making this || amazing pasta from chrissy teigen’s cookbook}

{obsessing over this || “I’d rather be watching Gilmore Girls” sweatshirt}

{enjoying this || rooftop bars + a week in NYC for work}

{eating this || crawfish on crawfish on crawfish}

{drinking this in || fayetteville foamfest – our favorite event of the year}

{celebrating this || our amazing mothers on mother’s day + every day}

xo xo


happy thoughts

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.

xo xo


2016: my year in pictures

screen-shot-2016-12-23-at-9-57-44-am
screen-shot-2016-12-23-at-9-58-06-amJ A N U A R Y 
bought a new car + celebrated my birthday at downstream casino #BettingOnAMILLEon

screen-shot-2016-12-23-at-10-07-52-am

screen-shot-2016-12-23-at-10-08-30-amF 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

screen-shot-2016-12-23-at-10-14-36-amM A R C H
a work conference with some pretty decent views

13006476_10153606315671915_5435070511679346527_n
13076982_3227904129492_6973742797472645262_nA P R I L
welcomed becky to america with the best party ever + celebrated a beautiful bride at mount magazine

13173849_10153641210261915_6333668308257328547_n
13166027_10153649304001915_6114007446513469655_n
13220885_3251620762393_7107240867260238179_nM A Y
(best month ever)
bentonville film festival, fayetteville foam fest + 5-year anniversary in St. Lucia

screen-shot-2016-12-23-at-10-26-59-am
screen-shot-2016-12-23-at-10-27-24-amJ U N E
sister-in-law got married + traipsed around california with these people

screen-shot-2016-12-23-at-10-31-05-amJ U L Y
celebrated husband’s birthday in denver

screen-shot-2016-12-23-at-10-33-28-am
screen-shot-2016-12-23-at-10-33-41-amA U G U S T 
mother daughter weekend in NYC + too much fun at a wedding #travkeg2k16

14203313_10153922899241915_9128922253108058608_nS E P T E M B E R 
best labor day weekend ever #tracytrap

14900570_10103890278223222_8474944676224192731_nO C T O B E R 
squad goals at a stranger halloween

screen-shot-2016-12-23-at-10-41-18-am
screen-shot-2016-12-23-at-10-41-41-amN O V E M B E R 
an amazing weekend getaway in missouri + a fun week in LA

screen-shot-2017-01-01-at-1-39-54-pm
img_3532

 D E C E M B E R
birthday celebrations with the sistahs + christmas in DC

[a catalog – my year in pictures] 201520142013201220112010


For the love of food

“Food and music have the ability to bring back memories long forgotten.

I’ll take a double order of both.”

-Krayl Funch

 

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?)

IMG_8013
IMG_8010

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?

Cheers!

xo xo

 


Sunday nights.

As of late, I have been loving Sunday nights.

They’ve been following the same pattern for a few months, and the type A in me loves it.

Sunday nights mean comfort, and warmth, and family, and communication.

I love Fridays and Saturdays and the memories they bring – fun and friends and busy and irregular. But Sunday evenings are something special.

As we prepare for the week ahead, we clean and meal plan and grocery shop. (Not exactly my favorite things.)

But at 5pm, the cork comes out and the music comes on. We put a new record on the player, pour some wine and start cooking dinner together. Husband grilling steaks. Me prepping veggies and salad. Puppy moving from one of us to the other, dying to be in the middle of all the action. We talk about the week behind and the week ahead and the things we’re looking forward to.

After dinner, we catch up on our shared TV shows or watch an 80s movie from our list, then turn in early to read and rest up for the week.

Even as we’ve been traveling a lot lately, we’ve been home by midday Sunday and able to keep our cherished tradition. Or as I’ve been returning from work trips, Husband has meal-prepped ahead of time with wine ready so we can just enjoy each other after time apart.

It’s perfectly boring, perfectly an old married couple evening, and I’m perfectly content with it.

xo xo