30 Before 30: First Installment of the Dirty Thirty Bucket List

A couple of months ago I posted about my quarter life crisis and came up with the idea to make a list of 30 things I want to do or achieve before I reach 30 years old.

To start the list off with a bang, I decided to become a redhead.

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So that was number 1- Go bold.

I hadn’t officially published any other goals then, but #2 on my imaginary list has since been achieved.  For now, let’s start off with 1 through 10.

  1. Ditch my lifeless brown locks and go for a bold color. See my quarter life crisis for a before and after photo.
  2. Get a promotion at work Title change to Speech Department Supervisor, but no raise. Oh, and I had to let someone go my second week as boss lady. Not as exciting as it sounds.
  3. Take a cooking class. You all know I love to cook and if you’ve read my recent posts you know I once dreamed of living in a patisserie in Paris and getting fat. I NEED to know how to make a croissant like the French.
  4. Go back to Europe. Speaking of croissants…So much culture. So much food.
  5. Get a new tattoo. I’ve had only one for 7 years and brainstormed ideas for many others, but just never seem to get it done. Time to be like Nike and Just Do It.
  6. Gamble in Vegas, baby! It just seems to be one of those places you have to visit before popping out any little munchkins.vegas-baby-vegas
  7. Marry the love of my life. We’ve been together three years and signed a 30 year mortgage together. Might as well get hitched, too!
  8. Swim with dolphins. Could be a honeymoon activity. Right, Ryan? *hint hint, nudge nudge*
  9. Decorate the office/den. It’s a pretty boring catch-all room right now. Doesn’t exactly give me loads of blogging inspiration.

    See? In serious need of some decorating!

    See? In serious need of some decorating!

  10. Have a stand at a craft fair. Fun fact: I make jewelry. I would love to sell my creations, but I usually end up keeping or giving away as gifts everything I make.
    Bracelets I made for all of the bridesmaids in my little sister's wedding.

    Bracelets I made for all of the bridesmaids in my little sister’s wedding.

     

Now that I’ve started the list I hope it helps motivate me to actually start checking things off! What’s on your bucket list?

– C

 

 

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Back in the Saddle

So, it’s been almost two whole months since I posted about my quarter life crisis. It wasn’t a conscious decision to take a break, but for some reason I kept putting it off. I brainstormed randomly and had some ideas for posts; I just never got around to it.

Shortly after I went off the deep end and dyed my hair red, things got hectic at work and with life. Each weekend was booked with something- weddings, birthday parties, holidays, etc- and I left work exhausted every afternoon over an hour later than my salary allots (no, I don’t get overtime). This combination left me drained and more willing to vedge out rather than spill my guts on the internet. So, I did a whole lot of sitting on the couch and watching trash television.To sum up my hiatus, I’m feeling rejuvenated!

Some memorable moments from my time away:

I was blessed to be maid-of-honor and witness my little sister marrying her high school sweetheart a couple of weeks back. Their pure and all encompassing love for one another is truly beautiful and such an inspiration. Watching them grin at each other after exchanging rings was probably one of the sweetest moments I have ever witnessed. They are now happily nesting in their first apartment together about 90 miles from my parents.

A two-week vacation from work allowed me to get in touch with my green thumb and begin creating a garden at the new house. I also spent quite some time watching Netflix!

Last weekend, I made a quick trip to my hometown to see several amazing people. First, my good friend Cassie who is a gypsy at heart and has lived on both coasts. Now she is primarily in Cali, but happened to be home so I HAD to go see her and enjoy some good ol’ country line dancing while there. Then, I helped my sister “P” load her 16′ moving van to send her off to Cleveland. Now there is even more distance between us. Finally, my good friend Heather celebrated her quarter life birthday with a hibachi dinner and spilled sake bombs.

This weekend, a friend from high school is getting married and I can’t wait to be there for their special moment. I have trips planned to Rhode Island, NYC, and Washington DC still to come. It’s becoming a summer filled with love, friends, and family. How much more perfect could you get?

I promise to post again soon- maybe with my actual 30 before 30 list 🙂

– C

Missing in Action

It’s the week before Spring Break here at school and all of my motivation to complete annual reviews, reports, and IEPs has gone out the window; it’s missing in action. You know how kids mentally go on vacation before vacation actually begins? Well, I have discovered the same damn thing happens to teachers. Technically I’m not a teacher, but I work with children in a school and they refer to me as their speech teacher, so I’m going with it.

It doesn’t help that today is pajama day as part of our Spirit Week celebrating Autism Awareness Month. Mondays are hard! This morning I realized that convincing myself to do work while I am in pajamas is even harder.

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So, I am daydreaming about all of the glorious relaxation that I will be experiencing in only 96 hours when I am done with work for the week. I can’t wait for a mini getaway with Ryan to Burlington, VT. It’s one of the coolest little cities with great craft beer and farm-fresh food! Once we get back, I will be spending some quality time with the couch and probably doing a little cleaning.

Where’s your mind this Monday? Anyone else have Spring Break coming?

– C

21 Things I Absolutely Love

Happy Monday! To follow up on my post from Friday, 21 Things I Absolutely Can’t Stand, I want to go the happy route and spend some time gushing about things I love. Just an FYI, any products I happen to mention are not paying me in any way (I wish!).

  1. My man. I have to start with this one. He’s just such a blessing in my life. With him I have learned what mature love is like and can be my 100% authentic self.293252_10151163667367223_1183993985_n
  2. My family. I have such wonderful parents and sisters. Sure, we had our fights and rough times, but we have always supported one another. My parents are two of the most amazing examples of lasting love and exceptional parenting. I look up to them more and more as time goes on.
  3. Reading. As a child I had such a passion for reading that my parents had to hide my books from me so I would eat dinner and do my homework. Luckily they also fostered my habit by providing me with frequent trips to the library. Nowadays, I am really into mysteries, thrillers, some historical fiction, and fantasy. Game of Thrones is about as fantasy as it gets for me, though.
  4. Game of Thrones. I have read all of the books and am dying for season 4 to begin next week. It’s about to get serious.
  5. Red Wine. Pretty much every kind of red wine, ever. I prefer a dry, bold red, but will take just about anything.
  6. Pole Fitness. Yup, I’ve been promoting this pretty hardcore lately. I can’t get enough!
  7. Wen. Especially the sweet almond mint scent. Makes my hair feel amazing! So soft and shiny! Try some Wen for yourself.

  8. Scented candles. I’m not a brand snob; if it smells great, I’m in!
  9. Throw pillows. I have entirely too many. It’s so much cheaper to have neutral furniture and jazz it up with new pillows when I feel like a change.
  10. Harry Potter. I am a huge Harry Potter nerd. After reading the first four books in one week, I pre-ordered each following book and begged my dad not to hide them from me. The movies were done quite well, too.
  11. My iPhone. This is my first smart phone and I’m probably a little too attached to it.
  12. Fou’ Foune. From Brasserie Cantillon, a true whale. This apricot lambic is extremely difficult to come upon and I have been lucky enough to experience a few bottles in the past three years. One was a gift from Ryan’s friend for my graduation from graduate school. What a gift!

    Ryan enjoying a Fou' Foune.

    Ryan enjoying a Fou’ Foune.

  13. Watermelon Sour Patch Kids. Just don’t eat too many at once or the sugar burns your tongue. Clearly I discovered this through experience.
  14. Binge watching TV shows. Finding a new series and watching all 156 episodes in a few weeks is something everyone should do at least once.
  15. Chocolate. I’m a woman. That’s my excuse.
  16. My Mini Cooper S. Go turbo or go home.
  17. Heated Seats. Really the best invention ever and a necessity in upstate NY. I don’t know how I lived without them. Now if only I could afford a car with a heated steering wheel…
  18. Shoes. I know, typical female. I wish I could wear heels to work, but that would be dangerous when chasing around my little peanuts. I also have an obsession with shoes I can’t afford, such as Brian Atwood and Christian Louboutin.
  19. Massages. Who doesn’t love a nice, relaxing rub down?
  20. Cooking and baking. This is a huge stress reliever for me. If I have had a rough day, I want to prepare a meal while sipping on a glass of wine and listening to music. I don’t want to be talked to while I do this.
  21. Myself. I have had to learn to love myself, but I think it is hugely important for all women to do. I am flawed and weak at times. I am stubborn and sometimes a little selfish. I am reactive and can be unorganized. Despite all of these things, I also have some pretty great qualities that I have been more willing to focus on in my twenties. My mom always said, “You cannot love another until you truly love yourself.” The truth of this has become more blatantly obvious the more I have grown and has contributed immensely to where I am in life today.

 

Have a great week, everyone! Focus on the positive 🙂

– C

 

Hump Day Reflections and Recipes

Tons on my mind today, so I’m going to try and make this somewhat organized. If you’ve ever seen my desk at work you know this is a difficult task for me. I like to call it organized chaos. I know where everything is, but I don’t recommend anyone else trying to find things. Without further rambling, here goes:

  1. BILLS, BILLS, BILLS (and not the football kind): Writing checks has become a daily occurrence since buying the house. Does this give anyone else anxiety?!? It seems I’m writing away each paycheck before I even receive it. I know, I know everyone worries about money and I count my blessings that Ry and I were even able to buy a house. That’s the American Dream, right? Well, this dream is really freaking expensive. Sometimes I wonder if we were better off in our apartment paying a whole lot less money each month or if I should find a more lucrative job. My paychecks come from a nonprofit… need I say more?
  2. Puppy Love?: Ryan has been begging me to get a dog since the second we moved into the house. I pleaded with him to at least wait until Spring when we could see our grass again. No such luck. SheWhoHasNotBeenNamed is a husky mix and will arrive this Friday night from her foster home in South Carolina. What the Hell are we getting into??

    She's gonna be a BIG girl.

    She’s gonna be a BIG girl.

  3. Self Reflection on an Angsty Teen: I recently dug up my old LiveJournal password and read all entries circa 2004-2005 and had a pretty great laugh at myself. I thought everyone either hated me or was a dirty skank. No joke; I used the word “skank” in probably 50% of my posts. This is highly amusing to me because I can’t remember the last time I actually used that word in real life. Probably around 2005. Maybe my next post will feature some original works from my teenage years. I bet you’d get a kick out of them.
  4. Pole Fitness: This week Mel and I will be graduating from our beginners’ class and transitioning to a mixed-level group. We’re both feeling a little nervous about it and hope we aren’t that much worse than the other girls. We are also supposed to bring a song around 3 minutes in length that we can put moves together to in order to make pole a cardio workout as well as strength. I have NO idea what song I want. I’m thinking something by Metric, Lykke Li, or Lana Del Rey. It has to be something that makes me want to move. Only two more days to figure it out. Gahhh!
  5. The Foodie Life: Lately I have been pretty bored with my go-to recipes and my dad made this fantastic butternut squash last week when I was visiting. I liked it so much I couldn’t wait to go grocery shopping Monday to pick up some ingredients. I made a huge batch, as per usual since I don’t know how to cook for two, and can’t wait to have some with lunch tomorrow! Next up, the recipe and some pictures that will make you drool. Disclaimer: since I don’t measure a damn thing when I cook, all quantities are estimated.

Cranberry Cinnamon Butternut Squash

  • 1 butternut squash halved, gutted, and cubed
  • 3 tbsp vegetable/canola oil
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Toss butternut squash cubes in oil then add dry ingredients and cranberries. Roast in the oven 45-50 minutes or until desired tenderness. Voila! We had ours with smoked pork chops. Deeeelicious!!

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What’s on your mind this hump day?

– C