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30 Before 30: Update

Update: I did not complete my 30 before 30 list.

And I’m okay with that.

Y’all, I was striving so hard to complete this list before turning 30 last weekend. But to what end? Because I promised myself I would complete it? Because I made a public promise to my fellow readers, friends and family?

But then I realized, is it worth it to knock things off the list purely for the sake of doing so, and not for the sake of really doing them?

I was discussing this recently with a friend and she called it the “girl scout mentality” – we were raised to stick to our commitments and never break them no matter what. But the older I get, the more I kind of think that’s BS. Sometimes you just can’t do it all, and THAT’S OKAY. This same friend also said, I think this is the lesson you were meant to learn from this list. 

Wow.

I literally sat speechless and we both literally got goosebumps because it was so evidently true. I then thought back to my #1 resolution for 2019 I had written in my journal several weeks ago: Remove perfection as a goal. 

Does anyone else need to hear that as much as me?

So okay, I’m not perfect and I didn’t complete the list, but that’s okay. As husband said, you just add them to your life list and do them when the time is right.

All that to say, I did knock a few more off the list these past few months (and actually ended up crossing off 23/30!), so here’s a complete update on my 30 before 30.

    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. This one might have been my favorite one to check off the list thus far. I knew the meal I wanted to make was Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguignon and knew it would be more fun with help from my mom! It actually wasn’t as difficult as we thought it would be, just verryyy time consuming, but TOTALLY WORTH IT. Oh my gosh this was delicious. 
    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 Hamilton 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. (17 hours complete!) 
    7. Buy all my friends a round, randomly. I really loved doing this one, and it was the perfect occasion – Thanksgiving Eve at Club Frisco.
    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. Nephew Jack taught me this one over Christmas. I learned the basics and now we just need to head to Downstream (or Vegas!) to really play!
    13. Make a signature cocktail. Another Christmas check – the most delicious drink with prosecco, vodka and raspberry sorbet aka The Raspberry Millay! 
    14. Make a YouTube video that gets over 1k views.
    15. Start my book. Yay I’ve FINALLY started it, and no I won’t share any details yet! 
    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. This has also been one of my favorite ones to check off the list and I’m planning to set a goal for myself to write letters every year!
    18. Take a dance class.
    19. Go to a movie solo. I went to see Crazy, Rich Asians (which was THE BEST) and it was so liberating to go to a movie solo. I also happened to be the only person in the theater, so it was extra solo! Ha!
    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. So this one, I can at least say I tried. I covered my hair (twice!) with pink hair dye from the grocery store to no avail. I’ll try again or just clip some in!
    22. Do 5 things that scare me. (1. Leave my comfortable job of 6.5 years. 2. Ride a snowmobile 3. Therapods aka Sensory Deprivation Tank – ask me about it and I’ll tell ya more. 4. Seriously discuss having kids. 5. We’re booked for a hot air balloon ride next week in Napa, something that’s been on my bucket list for years!)
    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. I won’t share details, but this was so rewarding and definitely something we will continue to do, and probably my favorite on the list.
    24. Travel to a state I’ve never been to.  This one actually happened without me even realizing it. I thought I’d been to North Carolina, but hadn’t – and now I’ve been twice for work this year. Check! 
    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.

BONUS: Read 30 books. 

Here’s to 30 more years!
xo xo


life lately

img_7669[getting excited about this || early saturday morning planning session for our upcoming napa trip!]

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[LOVING this || 60 degree day + impromptu patio beers]

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[celebrating this || our favorite 33-year-old’s birthdays with a blind wine tasting party]

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[eating this || delicious brisket chili from wright’s barbecue]

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[obsessing over this || $10 lilies from sam’s club!]

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[trying out this || rent the runway unlimited – ask me about it! loving it so far]

screen shot 2019-01-19 at 11.29.18 am

[enjoying this || cozy snowy saturday with magazines + coffee]

xo xo


2018: my year in pictures


J A N U A R Y
birthday celebrations in lake tahoe with literally everyone

F E B R U A R Y
started a new job at the clorox company and haven’t looked back!

M A R C H
amazing family vacation in mexico

A P R I L 
little rock trip to hike pinnacle mountain + brunch at lost forty

M A Y 
fayetteville foamfest – our favorite event of the year

J U N E
TAYLOR SWIFT in chicago + deck warming party

J U L Y 
trip to NYC (including live peloton ride, obviously) + the best 90s night for husband’s birthday


A U G U S T
palm springs for kira’s 30th!


S E P T E M B E R
beyonce + jay-z in dallas

O C T O B E R 
the national in kc + 3rd annual fall party


N O V E M B E R 
two terrific thanksgivings then a detoxing weekend getaway

D E C E M B E R 
girls weekend in nyc + got some very important people engaged + amazing family time + ending the year with the best nye bash

Cheers to 2019!

xo xo

[a catalog – my year in pictures] 20172016201520142013201220112010


5 years later.

5 years later I still miss you.

5 years later I want to tell you about how kyle and I are super into vinyls now – old and new, always growing our collection, because I know you’d just love that.

5 years later I still remember the worst phone call of my life and the longest, loneliest flight from arkansas to ohio.

5 years later I hold on to the few months leading up to this day that were full of memories – taking funny pictures while passing out candy at halloween, enjoying a gorgeous fall day tailgating, thanksgiving at home with the family and christmas together before we parted ways, us to vacation in seattle/vancouver and you back to ohio for work.

5 years later I still remember the last text you sent me – making sure we got home from our vacation okay and that you were watching Cash Cab, our favorite, and we’d talk tomorrow.

5 years later I still think of you every time I pass a woodie station wagon or finish a crossword puzzle or hear “classic rock”.

5 years later the holidays are still hard.

5 years later I want to tell you about my new job – about my amazing coworkers and how I’m doing something I love and how I’m happy, because I know you’d be so proud.

5 years later I want you to take me deep sea fishing in key west – because you talked about it all the time and we never got to go.

5 years later I want to sit on our back porch and drink a beer together.

5 years later I want to tell you we saw Ben Bailey from Cash Cab in NYC this summer.

5 years later I want you to know we’re happy, we’re all happy – but that doesn’t mean we’ve forgotten you or love you any less.

xo xo
Love, your little darlin’

A Tribute: Wonderful Father, Loving Husband of 40 Years, Loyal Friend aka Donny “Rooster”


life lately [christmas week edition]

[great christmas party at samantha’s to kick off the week of festivities!]

[non-christmas event – celebrating Mom’s birthday with drinks at 21c]

[celebrated with this fun crew + made (double batch!) boeuf bourguignon – it was a hit!]

[potentially a new christmas eve tradition with husband – make your own pizza night, including english muffin pizzas husband loved making when he was a kid]

[zero christmas morning pictures (which included chicken + waffle brunch!), but post-brunch and presents included relaxing and nap time]

[finished the day with a wonderful dinner at the in-laws!]

Not pictured: a quick trip to Little Rock to see more family, including my 98 year old grandmother – we’re so thankful for all of our amazing family and such a wonderful Christmas.
Now to see what 2019 has in store! ❤

xo xo


life lately

[enjoying this || ozark brewery’s 5 year anniversary
and for giving us an excuse to drink beer before noon]

[drinking this || cappuccino in a Starbucks HOLIDAY CUP]

[loving this || last ((freezing)) tailgate of the season]

[celebrating this || beautiful lady at her bridal shower!]

[thankful for this || two amazing families to celebrate with on thanksgiving]

xo xo


[post-thanksgiving] weekend getaway

S U N D A Y   E V E N I N G
The wind wails and the fire cackles.
The garland glimmers and the poodle snores.
Thanksgiving is now behind us and the anticipation of Christmas lies ahead.

In the midst of the busy holiday season, husband and I decided to take a respite, just the two of us. We packed the makings for chili and a special Italian red, and brought only our coziest clothes. We vowed to do a phone detox, focusing on the present weekend with the presence of one another. We drove only an hour away, though we might as well have been a million miles away – with stunning lake views, great conversation and the joy of spontaneous, secluded living.

A few things I learned from this little weekend getaway of ours:

– You don’t need to keep your phone next to you at all times.
– You’re not really missing anything on social media.
– Finishing a book in a weekend is one of the best feelings.
– Sometimes all you need is abundant sunshine and the gift of time to reconnect with your significant other.
– Enjoying a leisurely cup of coffee on a patio is one of life’s little luxuries we should all take advantage of more often.
– Don’t lose sight of what’s most important this holiday season.

xo xo