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!
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.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.
- Successfully do a one-armed push-up.
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.
- Volunteer 30 hours. (13 hours complete!) This quarter included great, hot, sweaty, challenging Habitat work.
- Buy all my friends a round, randomly.
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!
- 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.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!
- Write 30 handwritten letters. (22 complete!)
- Take a dance class.
- 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 …
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!
- 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 scare me. (1. Leave my comfort zone job of 6.5 years. Trust me – it’s scary. 2. Ride a snowmobile)
- 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 a state I’ve never been to.
- Take a personal day, for no reason at all.
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! 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.
- Find an artist whose perspective of the world I appreciate and buy a piece of his or her work.
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!!
- Plan a huge 30th birthday bash.
- BONUS: Read 30 books. (16 complete!)
Next quarterly update: Nov. 1 !
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!]
[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
[Comedy Cellar! SUCH a cool experience – I would highly recommend!]
S U N D A Y
[Cheers to an awesome trip and watching the World Cup final in the airport!]
F R I D A Y
[late flight in – so, amazing pizza at our hotel restaurant (you can read more about here), and drinks at our rooftop bar with these views || also, how cute is this little hotel room?]
S A T U R D A Y [up and at ’em, ready for shopping! husband’s only request in new york was to go to the nintendo store … just like a kid in a candy store]
[more shopping and central park views]
((not pictured: a glass of pinot by the lake and delicious shake shack lunch after a loooong day of walking))
[ready to brave the weather for our sunset sailboat ride]
[despite the drizzle (then eventual downpour), we had an incredible time on the Hudson in our sailboat. I would highly recommend this tour to anyone!]
[post-dinner jazz session in an underground cafe in greenwich village – perfect end to the evening]
S U N D A Y
[explored dumbo, brooklyn heights + another awesome rooftop bar || next time we’re staying in brooklyn!]
M O N D A Y
[late morning risers – I could not get over this comfy bed and these views || did I mention they also had automated blackout shades?!]
[final hours in the city spent at The Met – who knew this rooftop garden was up here?!]
Until we meet again, NYC.
You might also enjoy: Weekend Picturebook: Portland
[ M I N N E A P O L I S ]
This place was PHENOMENAL. I cannot recommend it enough. Top picture is their famous lobster + soft egg bruschetta – I was definitely skeptical, but I will definitely be getting it every time I go back. Next was a mushroom pasta that transported me back to Italy.
I read amazing reviews about this place and it was named one of the top 10 restaurants in the country, so you’d say I had pretty high expectations … that were not met. The pizza was very good, but nothing special. However, the place was very cool with a hidden bar and trendy vibe.
P S Y C H O S U Z I E S
Even though this isn’t food, I had to include this one because the cup is cute and the place was so fun. A full-blown tiki bar on the river – how could you go wrong?!
[ N Y C ]
Okay, so this isn’t a food pic either, but the food was SO delicious and we were SO hungry from traveling that I couldn’t get one in time. However, it needs to be accounted for because it was one of our favorite things we ate on the trip – buffalo chicken pizza with blue cheese crumbles. Oh my gosh. This will haunt my dreams.
S O T T O 1 3
Hands down, the best breakfast pizza I’ve ever had. Ever. Ever. This was also a great brunch deal with a lot of food and delicious rose sangria in an adorable location.
I’ve always known about this place, but only recently did I learn about their banana pudding. You guys. You think you know banana pudding – or you think you don’t like banana pudding – but you don’t know banana pudding. We literally got one of the last ones and devoured it in minutes.
Another meal that reminded me of Italy – this pizza was fantastic. The mushrooms and prosciutto were divine and paired with an Italian bottle of wine was exactly what we needed after getting unexpectedly drenched in the rain.
Another one where I did not get a photo of the actual food, but the place must not be forgotten. This was a Mexican speakeasy where you walk through this “Corner Deli”, down the stairs, through the kitchen to get to a dark, loud, trendy bar/restaurant. While it wasn’t conducive to holding a conversation, it had fabulous queso, tacos and the best ever street corn.
I’ll be posting more NYC trip pics soon!
[N Y C]
B R O W N ‘ S B A G E L S
Bagel is obviously a must in the city. I only got one, but could have eaten here every day. It was a cute little bakery with amazing coffee.
M A S S O N I
at Arlo Nomad
Unfortunately I started feeling sick about halfway through the trip – cold, allergies, probably both – so one night I grabbed a pizza in the restaurant in my hotel and ate it in bed. How could you not, with these views?? The pizza was not traditional thin crust new york pizza, but it was incredible – pepperoni, jalapeños and honey. Wowww.
L E V A I N B A K E R Y
E A T A L Y
A I R P O R T F O O D
Yes, you read that right – airport food. This was basically cheese toast with prosciutto and arugula on top. Did I mention I was stuck in the airport for 7 hours? I should have ordered another one, because this is some of the best airport food I’ve ever had.
[H O U S T O N]
G U R U B U R G E R S + C R E P E S
N I N F A ‘ S
Okay if you’re ever in Houston this is the MUST-GO place. It is super authentic and absolutely delicious. You see (and smell) them making the tortillas as you walk in. I got Tacos Al Pastor with fresh grilled pineapple and it was the best thing ever.
T O R C H Y ‘ S T A C O S
Does this look familiar from my Austin Food Picturebook? Ha – Torchy’s is officially a favorite! This time I got the Trailer Park “trashy” again and tried The Independent loaded with veggies. Both were amazing as usual, and so was the queso, as usual. Who can I petition to get a Torchy’s in NWA?!
New York City – the city that never sleeps, and is perfect for work AND play.
W E D N E S D A Y
[Highly recommend the Circle Line Harbor Lights Cruise. You get to see so much of the city, and it was amazing. Thanks, Sister E for the recommendation!]
T H U R S D A Y
[Great day full of meetings, then an adventure out with the team in East Village!]
[After dinner we walked “right around the corner” to the famous Odd Fellows Ice Cream. I had banana pudding ice cream with salted caramel sauce – yummmmm! photo from oddfellowsnyc.com]
F R I D A Y
[Morning of meetings, then took the afternoon off to start our girls weekend!]
[Afternoon at the MoMa (Modern Museum of Art) browsing Van Gogh, Rothko, Matisse, Warhol and so much more. Ended with a rosé + the best onion dip ever in the statue garden]
[Dinner at Don Antonio’s in Hells Kitchen – more salad and pizza, that was just as amazing as the night before … maybe even a little better. Thanks for the recommendation Erin!]
[Tonight’s show: The Humans – 2016 Tony Award Winner for Best Play. Enjoyable, but not my favorite]
[My favorite part of staying at St. Regis – after coming back from a long day of walking, there would be slippers at the ready, water on the bedside table + classical music playing in the room. Can this be real life??]
S A T U R D A Y
[What a wake-up call – french-press coffee + NY Times hand-delivered. Okay maybe this was the best part!]
[Breakfast and goodies at Chelsea Market]
[Quick stroll on the High Line (which was incredible) before …]
Greenwich Village Food and Culture Walking Tour!
A 3-hour tour where we learned about the history, culture and architecture of the area and ate so.much.good.food. Seriously, this was amazing, and I can’t wait to do another one next time I’m in the city! The following photos are from the tour:
[Rafele’s Ristorante with amazing eggplant + ricotta!]
[Where they filmed the opening of Friends!!]
Seriously, if you’re going to NYC you have to do one of these Food Walking Tours!!
S U N D A Y
You might also enjoy photos from my last mother-daughter trip to NYC here.
B I R T H D A Y W E E K
[kinky boots + bordino’s with the family]
[birthday tradition: hostess cupcake in bed]
[the best surprise at work!]
[drove a van to downstream casino, ate, drank, gambled, danced, partied like I was 27]
N E W Y O R K C I T Y
(work trips can be fun too)
[it may be touristy, but I still love times square]
[dinner at serafina]
[meetings at hearst tower – dreary day, but still amazing central park views]
[lunch at carnegie deli – pastrami + pickles]
[our hotel was right next to colbert, so we might have hung out near the talent access door a few times to have a celeb sighting, which we did – bernie sanders!]
[dinner at greek restaurant uncle nick’s – I will dream about this fried cheese!]
[obviously couldn’t leave without a bagel (or two)]
[had to wear my favorite shirt from shop written – new york, los angeles, bentonville]
[it sure was cold, but can’t leave NYC without a walk through central park (especially for levain cookies!!)]