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





End of Summer = End of Summer Bucket List

23 09 2012

Since I officially start nursing school classes tomorrow, it looks like the end of my summer is here. I have to say, I am very happy with all that I’ve accomplished this summer! It has been a real adventure, and I’ve mostly enjoyed everything along the way. Here is a quick overview of everything left on my list!

Success: 

#1 Keep a Blog For the Whole Summer – check!

#2 Take at Least 1 Picture Every Day – Before this summer, I was the person who always wished I had a picture of (fill in the blank)… so I really set out to whip out my camera more often and document my daily life. I can’t say that I took a picture literally every single day, but I definitely have more pictures from this summer than the last several years combined! I’d say this item was a success.

#3 Work Out a Minimum of 6 Days/Week – In my head I changed this to 6 “times” per week instead of days, because some weeks I was simply too busy to get a workout in every day, but I would have days where I’d go to 2 or 3 workouts in a day and I figured it would average out. I feel like I made a pretty good effort though, and I saw definite improvements in my flexibility and yoga endurance throughout the course of the summer. I think this item was a success too!

#5 Watch South Park Seasons 3-8 – South Park is my boyfriend’s favorite show, and since I had like most of the episodes I’d seen, I set out to watch a decent chunk of them. I managed to get through almost all of season 6, which is a lot farther than when I started, and now I am starting to understand some of the jokes my boyfriend says. So, I guess I’d call this one a work in progress.

#6 Keep Fresh Flowers in My Room All Summer – This was a definite success! My Fred Meyer sells pretty bouquets for $5 and they last for about 3 weeks! Once I discovered this, that’s all I purchased! It was great having fresh flowers next to my bed, and I’m definitely continuing this one into the school year.

#7f/g Read Heroes of Olympus 1 and 2 – I finished re-reading the first book on my trip to California (I forgot to post about it) and I’m a decent ways into the second book. I also have the third book in the series that just came out a few months ago, so I’m sure I’ll get around to that one as well. I’m pretty pleased with myself for doing a decent amount of reading this summer, so I’d say this series was a success!

#8 Watch 11 Movies – I managed to watch all but 2 of them! I’ve already started another list of movies I need to see, so I’m sure I’ll just roll the last two over.

#19 Learn How to French Braid – My mom taught me how to do this one a few days ago! We used my sister’s hair to practice on, and I watched my mom do one side and then I did the other. It was easier than I thought it would be, but I would have to practice a lot if I ever want to be able to do one on myself!

#21 Learn How to Use a Sewing Machine – My mom helped me to accomplish this one too! She’s was always a great seamstress when I was growing up, making my costumes for Halloween and my school plays, so I thought it was about time I learned how to use a sewing machine too! I got a basic skirt pattern and fabric from a craft store, and my mom showed me what to do. It wasn’t too difficult, but there were lots of little details to know, like which way a thread is supposed to be facing, and which direction to cut the fabric on a pattern. I could see myself getting into sewing at some point, but I think I’d need a few more lessons first. At any rate, the skirt came out great!

#55 Take a Picture With Every Amanda I Meet – This was awesome! I ended up getting my picture with 7 other Amandas!

#67 Paint a Piece of Pottery – I just painted this yesterday, and I can’t post the front side because the person it’s for will be able to tell it’s for them! I’m using it to get an early start on my Christmas shopping.

#98 Handstand – I have practiced this one a LOT this summer, and I can now do a very good HEADstand, and my handstand is improving.

Haven’t Gotten Around To (Yet):

#9 Make a Photo Book of My Summer – I hope I manage to get this one done sometime!

#10 Milk a Goat – I know two people who own goats and have to milk them twice daily, so I thought for sure I’d manage to do this one, but the right opportunity never quite came up. I’m sure I’ll accomplish this one sometime though!

#14 Volunteer – I signed up to help out in my church’s child care as a substitute for when the regular teachers were on vacation, but I never even got called. =(

#20 Make Mar Far Chicken – I actually have a Skype date tomorrow with my uncle in Japan to teach me how to make this family recipe!

#22 Glue a Quarter to the Ground and Watch – Someday I will definitely do this!

#24 Random Chat Generator – Maybe one day…

#25 Carve my initials into a tree – Still looking for the right tree… and a sharp knife!

#29 Write on a Bathroom Stall in a Bar – There is one bar in particular that I wanted to do this at, but I never ended up going there this summer. I’ve even kept a Sharpie in my purse all summer just in case I ended up going there!

#35 Buy Coffee for the Next Person in Line – I tried to do this one a few times, but every time I thought of it, there was never any one behind me! I’m sure I’ll manage it sometime though.

#37 Send a Card to a Random Stranger in the Phone Book – I’m really bad with writing snail mail…

#42 Chalk Mural – I have the chalk sitting right next to me, but I never got around to using it.

#46 Fly a Kite – We tried to do this one a couple times too, but the wind at the beach was just not strong enough!

#73 Create a Dance Routine With My Sisters – Definitely still need to do this one!

#74 White Water Rafting – Alex had a good friend who is a guide and he was supposed to take us out sometime, but it never quite worked out.

#78 Chinese Fire Drill – Still have plans for this in the future…

#83 Bowl Left Handed – I never bowled once this summer, but I’ll do this sometime!

#84 Drive Thru Backwards – One day…

#89-92 Places in Eugene – I’m sure I’ll make it there someday!

#96 Homemade Facials with My Sisters – Still definitely in my future!

#101 Drive a Stick Shift – The opportunity never really came about, because (almost) everyone I know drives an automatic! One day though, one day…

#104 Jump off a Bridge – Maybe next summer…

#105 Leave a Note on a Stranger’s Car – I wanted to leave a nice little card, but I never had one with me, so I never did it. And leaving a simple piece of paper just seemed lame…

 

Gave Up On:

#4 Run 102 Miles – I thought it would be really neat to get into running an average of a mile/day for the course of the summer, but that just simply didn’t happen. After enduring 6.2 tortuous miles in the Butte to Butte on the 4th of July, I threw in the towel on this one. Running is just simply NOT my thing!

#30 Get a Tan Tattoo – I tried to do this one several times, but it just simply didn’t work for me. My SPF 15 sunscreen was just too strong, and my skin didn’t get very tan, so the “tattoo” would never show up.

#31 Get Buried in the Sand – When I actually thought about doing this one, absolutely no part of it seemed like fun. So I decided not to do it.

#48 Finger Paint a Canvas – Why would I want a finger painting that I did when I was an adult? I probably wouldn’t want to hang it on my wall…

#72 Send Fan Mail to at Least 5 Celebrities – I’ve already met most of the celebrities that I really like and would want to send mail to, so I decided not to do this one. I’ve met Taylor Swift, Brad Paisley, Miranda Cosgrove, and Emily Osment in the last year or so (just to name a few), and most celebrities probably wouldn’t ever read my mail anyways.

#99 Juggle – I’m just not that coordinated.

So there you have it! That’s the summary of everything left on my summer bucket list! I accomplished a lot, I had a lot of fun, and I feel like my summer wasn’t wasted. Although I may not have done everything on my list, I’d still call it a success!