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





My Starry, Bouncy, Exciting Weekend!

30 07 2012

#59 Attend a Concert

I had a very exciting weekend, which started out with attending a concert on Friday to see Miranda Cosgrove aka iCarly. I had no idea she was even coming to town until a friend posted on Facebook asking who else was going just a couple weeks ago. Since tickets were only $20 and she was performing pretty close to where my parents live, I jumped at the chance to go! I searched online to try to find out if she was going to have a meet and greet but I couldn’t find any information, so I emailed someone on her website asking about it. She referred me to Miranda’s tour manager and gave me her email address, and when I contacted her to ask if Miranda would be doing a meet and greet, she said she’d add us to the list! My sisters and I were thrilled to have the opportunity to meet her, and she was so sweet and fun in person. She also put on an amazing concert, and eventually I will get around to editing and uploading video clips of her show. Since we got the meet and greet passes, we also got to watch the concert from a fenced in area right in front of the stage, which was incredible, because we didn’t have a crowd of hundreds of people pushing in on us. Her super cute drummer even came up to the edge of the stage and tossed one of his drum sticks to me!  It was a really amazing night!

 

#44 Jump On a Giant Trampoline

The next morning I convinced my dad that we needed to put our giant trampoline up again for the summer, and after about an hour, we had it up and running (or should I say bouncing?). I absolutely LOVE jumping on the trampoline. There is something so thrilling about using your own power to launch yourself high into the air, and then to attempt flips and tricks that you are unable to do standing on dry land. My legs were definitely not in jumping shape though, and I am sure that they will be sore for a long time!

 

#49 Flashlight Hide and Seek

My parents went out to a concert event in town for the evening and my sisters invited a friend over to spend the night. Since we had the house to ourselves, it was the perfect opportunity to play flashlight hide and seek! It really is just basic hide and seek, but we turned out all the lights in the house, used our phones as flashlights to find a hiding spot, and the seeker used a head-light and big flashlight to seek out everyone else. It’s been years since I played hide and seek with my sisters, and it definitely took me down memory lane! Playing it in the dark made it a little bit more exciting though. My littlest sister Haley was the definite winner, because she was only found first once (the last round we played), and she never had to be “it”. Being little has its perks sometimes!

 

#64 Camp In a Tent In The Back Yard & #17 Sleep Under the Stars

My sisters and I had decided to camp out in the back yard, so earlier in the day we set up our giant tent. We had to read the manual and ask Dad for help once, but eventually we got it all figured out. Since it was a perfectly clear night, we decided not to put the rain cover on, and we got to fall asleep with the stars overhead, so I’m going to count this as two things. I’d like to say that I made it all the way through the night, but I’m afraid I didn’t. I woke up at 3:30 and had to pee really bad. On top of that, I never can get comfortable in a sleeping bag. I get too warm, which causes me to sweat, but my head freezes, so I get really cold, and I end up being a sweaty, cold, hot, uncomfortable mess. Since I had to go inside to use the bathroom, I decided to just sleep the rest of the night in my own bed. So I didn’t make it the whole night, but I think I did these well enough. Camping is just NOT my thing!





#8i, #7c, #93, & #13 Sound of Music, Red Pyramid, Butte to Butte, & Fireworks

4 07 2012

Wow, I’ve really been slacking on my blogging! I accomplished several items on my list over the last week, and worked on several others that are not quite finished yet. For example, I practiced my handstand, worked on a 1000 piece puzzle, tried sipping several different types of beer (Bud Lite with Lime is the one I dislike the least so far), bought new flowers to keep in my room, took a picture with another Amanda (I’m up to 6 so far!), watched several episodes of South Park, and I tried calling into a radio station to win movie tickets, but the lines were busy. Needless to say, I’ve been very busy! And without further ado, here are the ones that I actually finished over the last few days:

#8i Watch The Sound of Music

How did I ever make it so far in life without watching this movie? I watched my sisters in a dance recital on Saturday night and when we were sitting around the house at midnight after the show, my sister Hannah said she was wide awake and really wanted to do something on my list. We looked through the list and she couldn’t believe that I hadn’t seen this movie yet, so she begged me to watch it with her. She told me “It’s only about an hour and a half long!” so I agreed to watch it. 2 1/2 hours later, I sleepily dragged myself off to bed and told her I’d have to finish the ending another time. I couldn’t believe it was a 3 hour movie! Even though it was ridiculously long, I LOVED it! I recognized several songs that I hadn’t realized were from this movie (Favorite Things, Doe a Deer…etc) and I just really enjoyed it. The Anne of Green Gables books and movie are some of my favorite stories, and this was right along the same lines. Anyways, even though I technically still have another half hour to watch, I feel like I saw enough to learn that I loved it and will be watching it again sometime.

#7c Read The Red Pyramid

I had been working on reading this book over the last couple weeks and then I realized that I had copied the audiobook from the library and stared listening instead. I listed to the last half of the story while I drove 2 hours to my parents’ house, 2 hours back home, and a final 2 hours while I cleaned an office on Sunday. I really enjoy curling up with a good, hard copy of a book and getting lost in the story for hours on end, but it’s also pretty awesome to get lost in the dramatic voices of an audiobook too. The Red Pyramid is the first in the Kane Chronicles series, which are written by the author Rick Riordan, who also wrote the Percy Jackson series. I had actually read this book 2 years ago when it first came out, but I had long since forgotten everything that had happened. I remember thinking that it was really good and being anxious to read the next book, but that’s about it. Needless to say, it was really exciting to read a book that I had no memory of, but that I knew was good because I’d read it before. Does that make sense? Anyways, I’m very eager to start the next one in this series!

#93 Run the Butte to Butte

The Butte to Butte is a 10k race that takes place in my hometown of Eugene every year on the 4th of July. The race is very appropriately named because the course goes from Spencer’s Butte to Skinner’s Butte. This year was the first time they offered a 5k option as well, but since I put this item on the list intending to run my first 10k, I felt like it would be cheating myself to take the easier option. The first mile of the course was a brutal uphill climb, but the second mile was downhill, and the last 4 miles were (mostly) flat. I had fully intended to start running several weeks ago in preparation for this race, but I never quite got around to it… and the last time I had run was in January. I was definitely not in running shape, but I managed to finish, and that was my goal! My wonderful boyfriend, Alex, was kind enough to slow down his pace enough to keep me company for the 1 hour, 8 minutes, and 50 seconds that it took me to complete the race. I had to walk a few times and my face was raw from wiping sweat away (I hate the feeling of sweat on my skin), but I did it!

#13 Firework Show

And what would the 4th of July be without fireworks? I’m lucky enough to live pretty close to the Oregon Horse Arena where they hold our local rodeo every year, and they set off an awesome fireworks show at the end of the night. Alex had to take a big test first thing in the morning for his intensive summer biology class, so his mom and I drove down the road to take in the view. Unfortunately, my phone doesn’t do a very good job of focusing on fireworks, and this was the best picture I got. But the show was really awesome and was a great way to end the holiday!