Catching Up…

28 07 2013

Almost 4 weeks of bucket listing to blog about… I’m behind! I took a day trip up to Portland with one of my sisters to check off a few items, then flew out to Hawaii for 5 days to celebrate my aunt’s wedding, and then was house sitting back to back weeks for different families! I’ve been living out of a bag for weeks now, and it feels so wonderful to be home! And now to get caught up on my bucket list blogging from the month of July…

#6 Figure out wedding cakes
I have asked a small handful of family and friends to make one or two cakes/desserts each so that we will end up with a table full of a variety of sweet treats, and I think it is going to turn out wonderfully! I still need to ask a few more people, but I would say that this one is fairly well taken care of for now.

#9 Collect photo booth props
Obviously, I plan to have a photo booth at my wedding, and I have been very busy collecting props from my trip to Bins and from garage sales (more on both of those below)!  I now have a fun selection of fun scarves, ties, hats, boas, and more! I also still need to make props on a stick for people to hold up, like lips, mustaches, and glasses, so I’ll be adding that as another item on my list (it just keeps on growing!)IMG_3060

#13 Outdoor yoga
IMG_2941I experienced doing yoga outside one morning during my visit to Hawaii. I woke up really early on my own and took a couple of beach towels out to the edge of the pool (right outside the back door of our condo) to serve as my yoga mat. It was the first time I’ve ever tried doing a routine that I made up as I went, and after doing the poses on one side, I kept forgetting to do them on the other side. It felt very different to be staring up at the sky as I went through poses, and I found it more difficult to keep my balance. I’m not sure if this was because I was using the beach towels as a yoga mat, or because I’m used to having a ceiling to fix my gaze onto rather than an endless expanse of sky… maybe it was both. At any rate, I spent around 45 minutes working up a sweat and then enjoyed a savasana of staring up peacefully at the sky.

#18 Create a summer playlist
I finally compiled a list of around 60 songs before I took off to Hawaii, though I’m constantly editing it. I always think of another song I want to put on it and later decide to take a couple tracks off that I find myself skipping over. A few of my favorites are “She’s My Kind of Crazy” by Emerson Drive, “Chloe” by Emblem3, “Crazy Beautiful” by Andy Grammer, and lots of Floridy Georgia Line.Screen shot 2013-07-28 at 2.23.29 PM

#22 Take pictures with an underwater camera
My cousin, Jared, bought a Lifeproof case for his iPhone, so we took some fun underwater pictures while we were snorkeling in Hawaii! It definitely makes me want to get one too!992923_10151470631412443_1609810021_n 2

#23 Buy a dress for Hawaii
I wanted to buy a new dress to wear to my Aunt’s wedding in Hawaii, and I found this fun teal one from I ordered several different styles online with free shipping from my Red Debit Card, and took back the ones that didn’t work out to the store. I think I picked a great one!IMG_2902

#24 Get a bikini body (for Hawaii)
I have wanted to get rid of my excess belly fat for a while now, so once summer started, I attended a few weeks of boot camp classes, hit the gym, and did several days of multiple yoga classes in a row. I also swore off drinking alcohol for the last couple months before the trip, and I found that I really didn’t miss it.  I was already eating fairly healthy foods, but I added in even more healthy options, like quinoa, almonds, avocado, and more salads. I still have a little more I’d like to get rid of before my wedding next summer, but I was pretty happy with how I looked for Hawaii. I also took the opportunity to do some yoga poses on the beach!IMG_2886

#31 Shop at “The Bins”
IMG_2783The Bins is the nickname for the Goodwill Outlet store in Milwaukie, OR. I had never been to one before, but it was quite the experience! My sisters had gone last year, and I had wanted to check it out ever since. Basically, it’s where Goodwill sends items that don’t make it to their stores, or that were in the stores too long and then get pulled off the shelves. They pile things in bins based on their category (clothing, household items, toys) and wheel them out into long rows where people dig though them looking for their next hidden treasure. Everything except furniture and heavy items is sold by the pound. My sister Hannah and her friend Avan went with me, and for a whopping $10.81, I was able to get a few sweaters and shirts for my sister (Banana Republic, Ann Taylor Loft, Nordstrom), a few sweaters and shirts for myself (Roxy, H&M, Old Navy), and several bags of photo booth props – hats, scarves, ties, fun bags, a boa… It came out to somewhere around 6 pounds. While we were shopping, we saw a pair of guys with tails, and had an old lady talk our ears off in some other language, maybe Italian? It was definitely an experience, and I would love to go back again sometime!


#32 Garage Sale-ing
IMG_3061I have been wanting to do this for ages, but I always forget until I’m either too busy, it’s late in the day, or it’s not the weekend. Finally, I got myself organized last week on Thursday, and made a game plan of the areas of town I wanted to hit, which were mainly my neighborhood, the neighborhood I was housesitting in, and another neighborhood that was having a 28 family garage sale and was kind enough to provide a printable map.  I walked away with some awesome treasures! A lady was kind enough to sell me a large storage bin filled with her late father’s collection of antique glass bottles that I will use as vases at my wedding for only $20. There were soda bottles, milk bottles, liquor bottles, and small medicine bottles, and they are going to look stunning! Another lady was kind enough to sell me her late mother’s collection of  very nice scarves for my photo booth for only a quarter! I also found some neat vintage drawers that I will stack up on my dessert table to hold the cakes, as well as a vintage wooden tool box and a vintage wooden soda tray to use as more decorations. I also came into possession of a shopping bag full of picture frames that will be used at my wedding, and a number of other treasures. Altogether, I didn’t spend more than $40, and I ended up with some awesome items for my wedding!  I also set aside several $5 bills for the $5 bill challenge, and the envelope is starting to fill up!

#48 Salt and Straw
IMG_2784I had been wanting to visit Salt and Straw for a long time now, which specializes in small batches of ice cream made with local, high quality ingredients in a variety of odd flavors. I finally got to experience it on my day trip to Portland with my sister Hannah and her friend Avan, and holy moly it was amazing! I didn’t think it would be possible to enjoy flavors such as Arbequina Olive Oil and Honey Balsamic Strawberry with Cracked Black Pepper, but I did! I sampled so many delicious flavors, and my favorites were the Strawberry with Cilantro Lime Cheesecake and Sea Salt ice cream with Caramel Ribbon, and I decided to eat a full cone of the latter. It was so delicious! I can’t wait until I get the chance to go back again!



#51 Volunteer
Last summer I tried to volunteer in my church’s Sunday School, but I never got a call. This year I signed up again, and got to volunteer last weekend with the 1st-5th graders! It was a lot of fun getting to be around kids again, and I showed a few girls how to make a certain kind of beaded bracelet that I used to make when I was a kid. I also helped lead a small group discussion with the 1st-2nd graders, and prayed for their prayer requests, some of which melted your heart, and others where outright hilarious! I had a great time, and will be back again to help out next weekend too!

#74 Despicable Me 2
I LOVED the first Despicable Me, and also thoroughly enjoyed the sequel. If you haven’t watched them yet, do it! They will keep you laughing and the littlest girl Agnes will melt your heart with how adorable she is!IMG_2789

#93 Paint my windshield wipers
The black paint on my windshield wipers had severely peeled off, and I was regularly getting blinded from the glare, so I finally bought a $3.49 can of matte black spray paint and went to town on transforming them. It was my first time using spray paint, and it was a lot of fun! I applied 2 coats for good measure, and they turned out great – I no longer get blinded by the glare!IMG_2829


#95 Red Wagon Creamery
logoI was so excited to discover that Red Wagon Creamery was supposed to be my local Eugene version of Salt and Straw (which I absolutely LOVED), but I was thoroughly disappointed by the ice cream. First, there weren’t very many unique flavors when we went. Second, the samples didn’t all “wow” me with their amazingness. Third (and worst of all), they left an awful thick filmy layer in our mouths. I got a blackberry/vanilla ice cream, and while the sample must have had a ton of blackberry, the cone I got was almost plain vanilla. Alex got a smoky salted caramel which had a really strong flavor at first, but it got old really fast. And that awful flavorless film that accumulated in our mouths was just terrible. I don’t know what they put in their ice cream to make that thick film, but it was the first time in my life that I actually dumped ice cream down the drain when I got home, so I could just enjoy the cone. I really wanted to love their ice cream, but I doubt I’ll be back any time soon after that experience.

#99 Antique store
Remember Hollywood Video stores? Well when they all went out of business several years ago, a new antique store popped up in one of their old buildings, and they kept the old sign and called it Hollywood Treasures and Re-Runs. I’ve driven by it a number of times over the years, and finally stopped by last week to browse. It was soooo neat to see all of the old things that created a snapshot into the past.  I was looking for more things I could use for my wedding when I discovered the perfect thing –  a mini trunk! In lieu of a gift table, my wedding is going to have a gift trunk which I found on craigslist a while back and spray painted it teal to match my wedding colors. I was still trying to decide what to use for a card box, and was initially looking for an antique bird cage to use, when I found the mini trunk! It matches perfectly with my decor, and I just need to give it a good coat of spray paint (one of my new obsessions) and it will be perfect!

IMG_2838Large teal trunk for gifts

IMG_3062Small new trunk for cards

Whew – I’m finally caught up! Hopefully I won’t get so far behind again. Hope you’re all having a fabulous summer (I know that I am)!


Mail Updates, #8h Watch The Goonies, #81 Jello Shots, #82 Flavored Cigar, & #108 High Tea

21 07 2012

I’ve been house sitting over the last several days, which has caused me to really slack off on my blogging. Therefore, I’ve crammed a LOT into this post! So without further ado, here we go!

Mail Updates!

I received two AWESOME pieces of mail this week! In May, I sent a couple care packages to our troops fighting in Afghanistan (see my post here) and this week I was thrilled to receive a thank you note from one of the soldiers! The second piece of mail I was delighted to see was a little package from Sarah at Gone With the Summer! I had entered a drawing on Sarah’s blog to win an adorable pair of heart-shaped sunglasses, and  was so excited to find out that I won! Since winning a prize was on my summer bucket list, it was an especially awesome that I got to check it off by winning a prize from a fellow bucket list blogger! Sarah included a super cute note, and I absolutely LOVE the sunglasses! I will definitely have to wear these this summer!

#8h Watch The Goonies

I came across this coupon for a free month pass for kids and family rentals at Blockbuster, and seized the opportunity to rent The Goonies! I had never seen this movie and (like most of the other movies on my list) had no idea what it was about, but I knew that it was set in Astoria, OR, which is just a 3 hour drive away from me! My wonderful boyfriend, Alex, had worked as a paramedic up there for a couple years, and he was getting such a kick out of seeing the town in the movie, because apparently it looks almost exactly the same, and he said he even ran a call in the blue house right next door to The Goonies house! Since the house is pretty close to where I live, I think I’ll have to take a trip up there to see it in person sometime! I thought that the movie was excellent, though I can’t believe that it was only rated PG! The kids said, “Oh sh*t!” multiple times throughout the movie, and there was even a scene where they broke a man’s private part off of a nude statue and were trying to stick it back on! I guess they had different standards of what is appropriate back when this movie was made! Nevertheless, I thought it was awesome, and it’s definitely one of my favorite movies that I’ve watched from my list so far.

#81 Make Jello Shots

I’ve been wanting to do this item on my list for ages now, and I finally decided it was the perfect opportunity to do it while I was house sitting! This particular family has a gorgeous house with a beautiful view of the city and their own private hot tub, and they’ve made it clear that they don’t mind if I throw a party. I’d never really hosted a party before, but it turned out to be really fun! I decided to make the Jello shots extra fun by using two different flavors, which were peach-mango and blackberry pomegranate, and they tasted amazing together! I tilted the tray at an angle to set in the fridge, so that the colors would be slanted in the end. Then I added the top layer and let them chill again. I think they turned out perfect! I definitely could see myself making these again someday, and they really weren’t that difficult!

#82 Smoke a Flavored Cigar

So, earlier this summer I smoked a little bit of a swisher sweet cigar for the first time, and I was thoroughly unimpressed by the taste. I was really hoping that smoking a chocolate flavored cigar would taste better, but unfortunately it didn’t. I can now say I’ve smoked things twice in my life, and I have no desire to try for a third. But oh well, now I can say that I’ve tried it!

#108 Attend High Tea

A dear friend named Jennifer invited me to attend high tea with her at Scatter Joy tea room in Junction City, which is just a few miles away from Eugene. I had never been to a high tea, but was thrilled to try it out! We got to try 2 different pots of tea, and we chose Caramel Creme Brulee and Jasmine Green tea. Both were very good! We also got a dainty little salad, and a multi tiered tray of finger sandwiches, scones, and other goodies! I was so glad that Jennifer knew what she was doing, because I was clueless! I learned that you drop a sugar cube into your tea by letting it slowly slide down the side of your cup, rather than just plopping it in. I also learned that the little tray of yellow goop was not butter, but rather a delicious lemon curd, and that you don’t eat the said lemon curd like a pudding, but rather by putting it on your scones! My favorite was the dessert, which was a homemade pink lemonade cake, and oh my, was it delicious! The tea room was absolutely adorable, with all kinds of dainty little treasures and treats, and I could definitely see myself going back there for another girls day out!

#54 Buy Something Cute to Wear From a Secondhand Shop

3 06 2012

I love shopping. And I love getting really good deals on things. That’s why I put #54 on my summer bucket list. I typically shop sales, clearance, and use coupons to buy my clothes new at a discount, but I rarely shop at secondhand stores . Partly, it’s because I don’t have the patience to search for the perfect item for hours on end, often times coming up empty handed, because I’d hate to buy something I later changed my mind about. It’s not like you can return used clothing just because you changed your mind.  I wandered up and down the racks at my local St. Vinny’s for about a half an hour and was starting to get discouraged, when I suddenly came across this adorable, floral, summer dress on a mannequin.  I tried to carefully remove it for several minutes before finally asking for help. The lady I asked had no idea how to get it off, so she called another person who had the valuable knowledge that the mannequin’s arms were magnetic, and could be simply pulled off. It’s a LOT easier to undress a mannequin with no arms! At last, the cute dress was mine! I tried it on and found it to be a perfect fit. $5.27 and 45 minutes of searching later, and  #54 was done! I can’t say that I’ll make it a habit to regularly shop at secondhand stores, but it’s definitely a nice way to kill some time when I have the itch to shop, but don’t want to spend a ton of money. I’m very excited to wear my “new” summer dress!