Another Week of Awesomeness!

11 08 2013

I’m just knocking these out like crazy! I had a very laid back and fun filled week checking things off the list and making me feel productive. Here’s the recap:

#4 Hire a photographer (for my wedding)
I have been struggling with this one for a long time now, because I wanted someone to take really nice, professional pictures, but I didn’t like the outrageous price tag that often goes along with it. We have a friend who takes amazing pictures and I wanted him to be our photographer, but since he’s one of the groomsmen, that wasn’t going to work. On my search for the perfect photographer I scoured the ads on craigslist and thought I found the perfect match until several emails later when I discovered that she was based out of another state and was going to require airfare, 2 nights hotel stay, a rental car, and gas, on top of her price for the work! I went back to craigslist and was thrilled to discover J-C Photography. They are a husband and wife team based out of a town about an hour away from me, and they do wedding photography as a side business, and they photographed another wedding at my venue last year! I met with Jackie and was absolutely thrilled with the shots they had taken and how warm and friendly she was, and I loved their price even more! I’m convinced that I found the perfect match for our needs, and I’m glad to have this item checked off the list!

#5 Hire a caterer (for my wedding)
This was another big struggle for me – I wanted to be in charge of preparing my own food, but my parents really strongly pressured me to find a caterer instead so I wouldn’t have to deal with the stress of it. I have searched around for a while, but with over 300 invited guests, I wasn’t interested in the price of any caterer I found, the least expensive starting around $10/person and only going up from there. After much deliberation, I made the decision to stick with my initial desire to be my own caterer, and am working on planning a sandwich bar and salad bar. I think it will go really well with my wedding being outdoors in the heat of summer, and I’m really looking forward to planning it all!

#8 Collect/clean glass bottles/jars
I have been hitting up lots of garage sales for inexpensive vintage bottles and jars and have also been collecting liquor and wine bottles, as well as other neat household jars and am very happy with my collection so far. This is just a small piece of the collection I’ve amassed, and I think I’m going to end up with a very nice assortment to use as vases at the wedding.IMG_3141

#21 Use my new food dehydrator
I was housesitting at a place where they have 2 rows of apple hedges/bushes (no idea how they get them to grow that way, but it’s neat!) and I took advantage of the abundance of fruit to try out my food dehydrator that I had gotten on sale at Amazon a while back. There were also a few bananas that were about to spoil, so I sliced those up as well. I turned on the dehydrator and in the morning, voila! Dried fruit! I was very happy with how it all turned out, especially the bananas and will definitely be using my dehydrator again in the future.IMG_3135

#25 Make a pie
IMG_3077Continuing on with the abundance of apples, I decided to make an apple pie! I used this recipe for the crust (doubled for top and bottom) and this recipe for the filing. I think it turned out great! I also whipped up a batch of almond milk vanilla ice cream in my ice cream maker and it made for the perfect sweet treat for a hot summer night!IMG_3078

#29 Handcuff myself to one of my sisters
I initially put that I wanted to do this for 4 hours, but my sister, Haley, and I didn’t start until 8:30 at night and we took it off around 10:00 so she could get ready for bed. It was a fun for a while, and definitely made us laugh. =) (We used a scarf.)IMG_3106

#36 Learn how to do a new hairstyle on myself
So I didn’t exactly learn how to do anything new, but I did get my hair cut with layers for the first time in years! My sister, Hannah, and I went in to get free layered hair cuts from the Aveda Institute in Portland, where up and coming stylists needed practice subjects to take before and after pictures showcasing their skills at layered cutting. I was a little apprehensive about letting an amateur work on my hair, but our stylists were great, and they had to ask their instructors to check their work along the way. The only downside was that it took 2 hours! I was glad that they took their time and did a great job though, and hey, it was free!IMG_3080

#52 Drive thru backwards
This one was fun! My sister, Hannah, really wanted ice cream one night, so it was the perfect opportunity to knock this one off the list! We had a blast, though I was a little bummed that the McDonalds employees weren’t at all amused. The last person we talked to relayed a message from the manager that if we went through backwards again, they would refuse to serve us. Oh well, it was cheap entertainment!IMG_3138

#54 Chinese fire drill
Now that my sister, Hannah, finally has her license, we were able to do this one! For those of you who don’t know, a Chinese fire drill is when you come up to a red light and all the people get out of the car and run around to a different seat and continue driving. Hannah was nervous though, so we did it at a stop sign in a neighborhood instead of at a red light. It was still fun though!

#58 White water rafting
Alex and I hadn’t been white water rafting since we were kids, so I took advantage of a great deal on Living Social to experience the adventure at a discount from River Trail Guides. It was relaxing, fun, and we even ended up in the same boat as one of my favorite high school teachers, Mr. Davis, who taught me Spanish. I had also babysat his two daughters who were now much older, and it was really fun seeing them all again.  We had a great time, and I would definitely go back again!IMG_3076

#88 Grilled Cheese Grill
Hannah and I stopped at this food cart in Portland after our hair cuts. I had heard about it from another blog I follow and was excited to give it a try. The double decker bus was definitely a fun, unique touch, and the sandwich was greasy, but good. I got a basic grilled cheese with pesto, and my sister got The Preschooler, which was a basic grilled cheese with the crusts cut off. I think I’d go back with Alex sometime, because he would probably be interested in trying something like The Cheesus, which is a hamburger that uses grilled cheese sandwiches as the bun, and I’d be interested in trying a dessert sandwich.IMG_3140

#89 Buffalo Wild Wings
buffalo-wild-wingsWe finally got a BWW in my town a couple months ago, and hit them up for their wing special night. It was perfectly comfortable in their outdoor covered porch, and it was fun to try different wing sauces. We don’t eat wings very often, and discovered the hard way that “boneless” means fried – I definitely will get the regular ones next time. It was fun though, and I’m sure we’ll be back again.

#94 Try the infinity dancers pose with my sisters
I (like many people before me I’m sure) saw this beautiful picture on Pinterest of 2 girls doing dancers pose and making an infinity sign, and since I regularly do yoga and my sisters have danced their whole lives, I thought we’d have little trouble being able to copy them. Boy was I wrong!

Here’s what it was supposed to look like:afb67ce072137d7295c72987fb97c976

And here’s what we looked like:IMG_3139

#97 Eat Indian food
Alex and I hadn’t eaten Indian food since we were much younger, so we were excited to try this one. We went to a lunch buffet so we could sample a little bit of everything, and it was good! The decor was really neat too, with fake trees inside, and fake foliage attached to the ceiling, which was painted to look like the sky so it would feel like you were eating under a tree. Our favorite was the Chicken Tandori and there was also some good creamy spinach dish and some yummy potato-like things. There was chicken that was colored bright red with tasty spices, and for dessert – a delicious, light, sweet treat made with coconut milk, rice, and some little berries. A lot of the time we didn’t really know what we were eating, but it was really good and fun to experience! We’ll definitely be back!IMG_3136

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Door of Inspiration, Ice Cream, and more!

15 06 2013

#39 Make a “Door of Inspiration”
My bed directly faces my bedroom door and for months now I’ve been wanting to decorate it with things that inspire me. I’m so glad I finally got around to it! I’ve been pinning inspirational pictures and quotes for ages, so I went through and printed out my favorites and turned my door into a life-size Pinterest board of inspiration! I absolutely LOVE how it turned out!

Door of Inspiration

 

#20 Use My New Ice Cream Maker
Ice Cream MakerI purchased this awesome ice cream maker on sale over the winter and have been dying to try it out! My fiance, Alex, had a sore throat tonight, so it was the perfect opportunity to take it out of the box. This was a different type of ice cream maker, because it had a bowl that you froze ahead of time, rather than having to put in ice and salt while it churned. I had actually put the bowl in the freezer shortly after I purchased it, but just hadn’t gotten around to trying it out. Since we had lots of frozen strawberries, we decided to try making strawberry ice cream.  According to the recipe booklet that came with it, it was okay to substitute any milk-like products for the heavy cream, so we opted to use a coconut flavored almond milk that we had on hand and it turned out like a delicious sorbet! I am definitely excited to try more recipes and use it in the future!

Eating ice cream

 

#84 Pulp Fiction
Pulp FictionIt was on my bucket list last summer to watch Pulp Fiction, but I never got around to it. Since Alex and I were having a laid back day, we decided to watch a movie and he mentioned that he wanted to watch this one, and Netflix had it streaming, so we did! I had no idea what this movie was about, but it turned out to be very long and definitely R rated. Since this movie was made about 20 years ago, it was different to see people smoking indoors and really crazy to see a lot of big name actors such as Bruce Willis, John Travolta, and Samuel L. Jackson when they were much earlier in their careers. I’m glad that I can now say that I’ve seen such a popular movie, but I definitely have no desire to see it again.

#44 $5 Bill Challenge
I first heard of this idea on Pinterest and thought it sounded like a fun thing to try – basically, you set aside every $5 bill you obtain and after you accumulate a sizable amount of money, you use it to pay for something special. I have no idea what I would want to spend the money on, but I’m interested to see how much I could end up saving, especially since I use cards to pay for almost everything. I went through my wallet tonight and pulled out two $5 bills and we’ll see how much I end up with at the end of summer!