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 Target.com. 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!

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#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!

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#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

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#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)!





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!