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!


#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!


#70 Hot Tub + Glow Sticks, #41 Donate Blood, #8k Watch The Borrowers

23 07 2012

#70 Hot Tub + Glow Sticks

I first saw the idea to let kids take a bath in the dark with glow sticks on Pinterest, and I thought it would be really fun to adapt this for my summer bucket list. When you combine house sitting at a place with a hot tub (they’ve assured me that they don’t mind if I have people over), with my Jello shots, and a hand full of young adults, you’ve got the perfect mix to add in glow sticks! I picked up a couple packs in the $1 section at Target a few weeks back, and it was the perfect scenario to bring them out! Unfortunately, it’s hard to take good pictures in the dark, while showing both the people and the glow sticks, but I still got a few decent shots of our excitement. Adding in glow sticks was definitely a fun touch to an otherwise ordinary hot tub!

#41 Donate Blood For the First Time

I have a serious dislike for needles, but I got stuck by them 5 times within 3 days! Since I am starting nursing school this fall, I went in on Friday to get my tetanus shot updated, to have a little blood drawn to prove I’m immune to the Chicken Pox, and to have a test showing that I haven’t been in contact with tuberculosis. Then, I had signed up to give blood at my church blood drive on Sunday, so they got to stick me a couple more times for that! I had never given blood before, but I had always thought that it was a really neat idea. It’s something that almost anyone can do, that doesn’t cost them any money, that can help save peoples lives. I know that if I had a serious injury that required blood transfusions that I’d be incredibly grateful to the donors, and felt like it was something I should try at least once. I was incredibly nervous leading up to my appointment because my wonderful boyfriend (who is a paramedic) was kind enough to talk to me about how big the needle was.  I can do pretty well with small needles, but the bigger ones really shake me up! I never actually saw the needle because I kept my head turned the whole time and it was covered with a piece of gauze while I was donating, but I could definitely feel it going in and coming out! Inside the bloodmobile I had to sit in a chair that elevated your legs, keeping you in a leaned back position. Once the needle was in, I had to gently squeeze a foam ear of corn, and after several minutes (that seemed like an eternity) they told me I was done!  I mostly felt fine afterwards, except that I was pretty lethargic, took a long nap in the afternoon, and felt hungrier and thirstier than usual. Going to yoga this morning was also a lot more tiring that it normally is, but I think the side effects I experienced were pretty normal considering I gave away at least 10% of my blood! The best part was that our local Dari Marts sponsor blood donors by giving them a free pint of ice cream when you donate! I don’t know how often I’ll donate blood, but I definitely could see myself doing it again sometime in the future!


#8k Watch The Borrowers

I rented this one randomly with my free kids rental pass from blockbuster, and what a lucky gem it turned out to be! I loved it so much that I HAD to add it to my list so I could blog about it. Is that cheating? Well I don’t really care! I knew that The Borrowers is a book (though I’ve never read it), and that they just came out with a Japanese anime version of it called The Secret World of Arrietty, which I loved, so I decided to try this one out. First of all, it was really neat how they showed the story of tiny people living in our world, and I thought it was really cute how it was set in Europe. But the best part was discovering 3 characters from the Harry Potter movies! This movie had younger versions of Draco Malfoy, Arthur Weasley, and Professor Slughorn! Talk about an amazing surprise! It also had Hugh Laurie aka House who played a police officer, but that wasn’t nearly so exciting as the others. Anyways, it was a cute movie, but if you’re a Harry Potter buff like me, you should totally watch it to see the characters! Little Tom Felton (Draco) playing Peagreen was just adorable! Definitely glad I stumbled upon this one!


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!

#8e Watch Breakfast Club

9 07 2012

The Breakfast Club was next on my list of movies that people can never believe that I haven’t watched. I was over at our friend Patrick’s house and saw it sitting on a shelf under his TV, so naturally I asked to borrow it.  As it turns out, it was one of his wife’s all time favorite movies!  I really didn’t have any idea what this movie was about when I put it on my list, but I had heard the name so many times that I figured it was something I should probably see. The first thing I noticed was that it had Molly Ringwald, who plays the mom in the TV show Secret Life of the American Teenager. I had no idea that she had ever acted in anything before that show, let alone as a lead role when she almost 30 years younger. At first, I couldn’t believe that the movie was rated R, because it was about a group of high school students stuck in a Saturday detention! But as it went on the content became increasingly more risque. Abusive families, parents who expect perfection, the stress of performing well in sports to get a scholarship, peer pressure to smoke pot and admit virginity, the thought of committing suicide… this movie really did have it all, and I feel like it touched on actual issues in a fairly realistic way. I realized that I had watched other TV shows that had episodes similar to The Breakfast Club, throwing a bunch of kids together in Saturday detention and watching them bond. Most recently, I watched an episode of Dawson’s Creek that did the same scenario, and I know I’ve watched others that followed the same story too. All in all I liked the movie, and I’m really glad that I watched it. It’s amazing to me that even thought it was made in 1985, I feel like a lot of the issues are basically the same that teens face today. And another bucket list item bites the dust!

#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!

#15 & #8f Wear a Hat & Watch Rain Man

28 06 2012

#15 Wear a Hat For a Day

To most people, wearing a hat for a day probably seems pretty insignificant. But for some reason, I NEVER wear hats. I like hats. I even buy hats. But I don’t ever get around to actually wearing them. That’s why #15 made its way onto my bucket list. Until today, I had a stack of 3 brand new, unworn hats sitting in my room. Now I can officially say that only 2 of them are unworn. =) I happened to be going golfing today, so it worked out that it was even a somewhat useful accessory to my outfit. If you’ll notice, my hat says the year ’08, meaning that I’ve had that particular hat sitting in my room with the tags still on it for 4 years! I can’t say when or if I’ll ever get around to breaking in the other two hats, but in the meantime, #15 was a success!

#8f Watch Rain Man

I had forgotten that I put the majority of the remaining movies on my summer bucket list in my dvd queue on Netflix, so it was a bit of a surprise when Rain Man showed up in the mail today. Tonight was pretty uneventful after golf, dinner, and cleaning my room, so I decided to pop it in and see what I’d been missing for all these years. It was actually really good! I had no idea what it was going to be about or who was in it (Tom Cruise sure looked a lot younger back then!) but it was a really neat story! For those of you who don’t know, it’s about a guy who finds out that his dad passed away and that his dad left nearly all of his inheritance to a long lost autistic brother that he didn’t even know he had. It was a very touching movie, and I’m really glad that I got to see it. Can’t wait to see what the next movie holds!