That’s a wrap {May}.

 

Links to Love:

  1. I’ve been doing a lot of internal audits at work and really have enjoyed listening to YouTube videos simultaneously.  I’m not super into makeup or hair really, but I’ve been loving Tati’s channel.  She’s just entertaining and because I’m not really in it to pick up makeup application tips or anything, it’s fine to have on in the background and not have my eyes on the video.
  2. Whack-a-meow is adorable.
  3. It’s vacation season.  I won’t be going to a beach this year, but a few of these look really nice.

Making Memories:

  1. We did a lot of prep for our master bath renovation.  The reno is scheduled for June, so we ordered the vanity, tub, tile, shelving, shower door, etc. in May.  Basically we spent A LOT of money.
  2. Mother’s Day was lovely.  We went to breakfast at Weck’s, which is our two-year-running Mother’s Day tradition.  Then we did our grocery shopping.  As a gift from Ava, Kevin gave me an adorable picture plaque with four of my favorite photos of Ava.  He also chooses the best cards and I always treasure the card itself, but most importantly his sweet, heartfelt message.  We had his parents over for dinner and he grilled up some delicious steak and bell peppers.  Ava took a 2 hour nap which means mama and dad took naps of their own!  It was a good day.
  3. We had a site re-credentialing audit at work and passed with flying colors.  Audits are always a lot of work and stressful, but our director of QA is great at getting us prepared, with a little help from her assistant (me :)).
  4. A few years ago, in prenatal yoga, I met a woman who owns a spa and beauty retreat here (Broadway Skin & Beauty Retreat).  My skin had been acting really wonky (pregnancy + a cold + weird variations in the weather patterns + …) so I decided to go get a facial with Devon.  It was really relaxing and fantastic.  Quite a treat!
  5. Kevin and I celebrated our fourth wedding anniversary!  Since it fell on a Wednesday this year, we decided to celebrate on the following Saturday by going to Indigo Crow, our favorite restaurant.  Lobster ravioli and ceasar salads all around.  Wine for the gentleman.  We sat on the outdoor patio and it was a perfect night.  We even stayed out until almost 9:00 and had Kevin’s parents put Ava to bed for the first time ever.  It went really well!  She has been such a champ at bedtime recently (knock wood a million times).

Bookish:

  1. I’m still currently reading Team of Rivals and re-reading the fourth Harry Potter.
  2. The only book I finished in May was Sense and Sensibility.  I gave it three stars, cringed, and changed my rating to four stars.  It seemed like a sin to give Jane Austen three stars.
  3. Kevin is reading American Lion:  Andrew Jackson in the White House by Jon Meacham and he’s listening to Good to Great by Jim Collins.
  4. We still have a lot to listen to in David Sedaris’ Me Talk Pretty One Day.  It’s really funny.  :)
  5. Ava’s favorite book to read is Old McDonald’s Woodshop.  She is obsessed with that book – calls it “zztt zztt zztt” because that’s the sound the saw makes.  She isn’t especially interested in reading Baby Beluga but she carries it around like a security blanket, even taking it into the crib with her at night.

Challenges:

  1. I had a really bad sore throat that became a head cold in early May.  It was the worst head cold I’ve had in years.  I feel like this pregnancy has really affected my immune system more than my pregnancy with Ava did.
  2. We learned something on June 1 that will present a Challenge with a capital C, and it really is overshadowing anything that may have seemed challenging in May.  Since I’m writing this after the fact (too OCD to not finish out the year with these monthly update posts – even if it means they may be late sometimes :)), our June and beyond challenge is really impeding my ability to backtrack and think of anything else to share about May challenges.  And I will share more on this mysterious new challenge in a future post.

Sustenance:

  1. We made this slow cooker melt-in-your-mouth pot roast, which was very delicious.
  2. These barbeque chicken sweet potatoes were hearty and tasty.  I wish we would have tried them in the winter – great cozy, cold weather food.
  3. The dinner of the month was definitely our lobster ravioli at Indigo Crow.  Always the best.

How was your May?

Snapshot {March}.

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{Written this morning, posted this afternoon.}

Making: Hay while the sun shines – I’ve been productive this morning!

Cooking: Toast, egg over medium, and an avocado for breakfast.

Drinking: H to the 2 to the O

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Reading: Blood and Thunder by Hampton Sides (recommended to me by Kevin) – it’s a great book. I’m learning so much about Kit Carson and how the west was won.

Wanting: To cuddle this nursing baby all. day. long.

Looking: Like a hot mess – or maybe just a mess – with bed head hair.

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Eating: Not a thing. See above for breakfast a la 15 minutes ago.

Wishing: For world peace. I resubscribed to The Skimm so I could keep up with current events and current events just make me sad.

Enjoying: Texts with friends. Aligning schedules for phone dates is tough, so texting works.

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Loving: The sweet Kiki and the rascally Rue. Pets complete a family.

Hoping: Today brings lovely weather and NO wind. I’m tired of wind.

Needing: The weekend. We have so many errands to run. 

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Smelling: Kevin’s lavender Art of Shaving aftershave. 

Feeling: Back to normal. The 24 hour stomach virus that has swept the country hit our house a couple of weeks ago. It took a while to get comfortable eating again.

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Wearing: PJ shorts and a t-shirt 

Watching: Mike & Mike. It’s an every morning thing. I am very up on sportsball news. 

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What are you wishing/needing/loving/eating right now? 

30 by 30 – Fourth {and final!} quarter update.

Today, I’m 30.  I am delighted that I managed to cross every item off the 30 by 30 list. As I look over the list, I’m reminded of how amazing the people in my life truly are.  How blessed I am.

Creating and following this list was so fun and I recommend that everyone do one before a birthday – any birthday – at some point in life.

{Original List}   {1st Quarter Update}   {2nd Quarter Update}   {3rd Quarter Update}

Here’s the final graph of quantity items, followed by detail for each individual item.

30 by 30 4th Quarter Progress Graph

1. Find a flattering (key word) red lipstick.

With the help of an expert lipstick consultant, Leann, I discovered Brave Red at MAC.  The name is quite fitting, and I love the color!

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Red lip and fleece. A winning combination.

2. Sit at a floor table for dinner at Pars (a Greek restaurant). 

Kevin and I met up with two of our good friends at Pars for dinner in January. Not only did we sit at a floor table, but it was also a belly dancer night.  Kevin and I find the belly dancer nights to be a bit awkward, so we try to avoid them.  But it seemed appropriate that we had the full experience at the floor table.  I love Pars, but I’ll stick to regular tables.  I’m not an especially tall person and my legs were aching by the end of dinner, crammed under that low table!

Pars with K & N - January 2014.

Pars with K & N – January 2014.

 3. Buy a designer purse for myself.

I bought one.  And I love it.  But I’m also struggling with a case of buyer’s remorse.  It is just so expensive.  Thus far, its life with Amy has been spent in the closet, tags and wrappings still intact.  I reserve the right to return and find something, umm, less pricey.  Like a wallet.

Update:  I returned the purse that I’d originally purchased (see the 2nd Quarter update post for a picture), and found another one that I love so much more.  It was still a lot to spend on a purse and I don’t foresee myself regularly purchasing designer purses, but I do really like it.

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4. Fund IRA for year.

5. Plan and execute a surprise date.

Read about it here.  It involved choose-your-own-adventure kind of fun and included sushi, bookstore, and game night at home.

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6. 52 hours of volunteer work. 52/52

4 hours – El Ranchitos de Los Ninos
5 hours – Chocolate Fantasy gala
3 hours – Charity Cruise gala clean up
3 hours – JL rummage sale to benefit Henderson House
5 hours – JL new member advisor
1 hour – official HUG card writer for JL
4 hours – The Storehouse
3 hours – The Curiosity Collaboration
4 hours – Rio Grande Food Project
3 hours – Mystery Masquerade Red Carpet fundraiser for JLA
1 hour – Coordinating T-day pie donations for Barrett House
6 hours – Festival of Trees benefitting Carrie Tingley Hospital Foundation
1 hour – Stocking stuffing for St. Michael’s
1 hour – Foundation board meeting/planning
2 hours – DIAD planning
6 hours – Miscellaneous JL activity

7. Read 48 books. 53/48

1) Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – 4 stars
2) Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – 4 stars
3) Anne of Windy Poplars – 4 stars
4) The Fault In Our Stars – 4 stars
5) Devil In The White City – 4 stars
6) Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince – 5 stars
7) The Silver Star – 3 stars
8) Princess Academy – 4 stars
9) Divergent – 4 stars
10) Roots of Empathy:  Changing the World Child by Child – 4 stars
11) Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister – 3 stars
12) The Husband’s Secret – 4 stars
13) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – 4 stars
14) Breakfast at Tiffany’s – 4 stars
15) Me Before You – 4 stars
16) The Paris Wife – 3 stars
17) The Other Typist – 3 stars
18) The Last Summer (of You & Me) – 3 stars
19) Her Fearful Symmetry – 3 stars
20) Heart and Soul – 3 stars
21) I’ll Walk Alone – 2 stars
22) My Name is Memory – 3 stars
23) Dollface – 4 stars
24) The Giver – 5 stars
25) MWF Seeking BFF – 4 stars
26) Sisters of Treason – 4 stars
27) I’ve Got Your Number – 5 stars
28) Girls In White Dresses – 3 stars
29) The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets – 4 stars
30) Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour – 5 stars
31) Lessons From Madam Chic – 4 stars
32) The Happiness Advantage – 4 stars
33) Paris in Love – 3 stars
34) Night Diver – 2 stars
35) Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?  (And Other Concerns) – 3 stars
36) Life After Life – 4 stars
37) The Hobbit – 3 stars
38) The Girl You Left Behind – 3 stars
39) Gathering Blue – 4 stars
40) The Paris Architect – 4 stars
41) Remember Me? – 3 stars
42) Tara Road – 4 stars
43) The Goldfinch – 3 stars
44) Insurgent – 3 stars
45) The Power of Habit – 4 stars
46) The Language of Flowers – 5 stars
47) Ain’t She Sweet? – 3 stars
48) The Last Letter From Your Lover – 4 stars
49) Beautiful Ruins – 3 stars
50) Messenger – 4 stars
51) The Secret History – 3 stars
52) What Alice Forgot – 4 stars
53) Orphan Train – 5 stars

8. Take Kevin to an OK State football game.

He loved it – I wrote about it here.

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9. Send 24 just-because letters or gifts to friends. 24/24

10. Go on a blate – with a blog friend that I have not yet met in person.

Click here for a post about my blate (blogger + date) with the lovely Jenny over at Jeneric Generation.

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11. Complete the Photo-A-Day challenge following Fat Mum Slim’s prompts. 365/365

You’ve seen the Instagram posts.  You know.  Oh, you know.

12. Run a 5K.

Tiffany decided to do a little informal 5K on the morning of her wedding.  There were six or seven of us and we went at our own pace through the countryside.  It was beautiful and peaceful and I managed to jog the entire 5K without stopping so I’m counting that baby as my official 30-by-30 5K.  And I didn’t even have to pay an entry fee.

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Photo courtesy of the official race photographer, Annie B. I’m the one in the purple.

13. Host a murder mystery dinner party.

I hosted a murder mystery party in June and it was so much fun!  Read more here.

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14. Visit the Grand Canyon.

I have the best in-laws in the world.  They surprised me with an early birthday trip to the grandest of canyons on the weekend after Thanksgiving.  I wrote about it here.

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15. Weekend trip with my mom and sister.

Schedules being what they are, we didn’t manage to get away for a full weekend of fun at the Grand Canyon or Vegas (two ideas we’d tossed around).  But we did enjoy an excursion to some local petroglyphs.  The adventure is recapped in full here.

Mom and Lisa

16. Attend three theatre events or concerts. 4/3

1) Jim Gaffigan – 3/13/2014

Pre- Jim G. smiles on 3/13/2014.

Pre- Jim G. smiles on 3/13/2014.

 2) Avril Lavigne and Backstreet Boys – 6/2/2014

Pre-gaming on the lawn before BSB and Avril hit the stage!

Pre-gaming on the lawn before BSB and Avril hit the stage!

 3) Impulse dance show – 8/8/2014

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4) Wicked:  The Musical – 9/18/2014

image17. Attend one of Meta’s weekend yoga retreats OR attend one yoga class a day for seven consecutive days {just in case the weekend retreat options don’t work out}.

The weekend yoga retreat didn’t work out, but the seven days of yoga did!  Read about it here.

Day 1 – 7:30 AM – hot yoga with Meta at a local studio
Day 2 – 5:30 PM – yoga at my gym
Day 3 – 7:30 AM – hot yoga at a local studio
Day 4 – 10:00 AM – Meditation class and practice at the city museum with Leann and Katie
Day 5 – 11:15 AM – hot yoga at a local studio
Day 6 – 5:30 PM – yoga at my gym
Day 7 – 9:30 PM – cosmic hot yoga with Meta at a local studio

18. Take a train ride.

I made the trip to Santa Fe on the Railrunner for a work event.  Like Sheldon, I do love trains.

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19. Spend a morning shooting guns (including the one I inherited from my dad) with my friend Tom C.

I procrastinated the planning of this until the last week of December, so it was January 2 when Kevin and I drove south to do some target shooting.  As luck (or something) would have it, it was snowy and cold that day.  We still had a great time with Tom and Shawna and Keith, and we plan to go back out when it’s a bit warmer!  Here I am, with Tom and my dad’s 30-30 (I know nothing about guns and learned that it was, in fact, a 30-30 on the day we went shooting – how perfect that it is a 30-30 for my 30 by 30.).

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20. Take a dance class.

I went to Nia with Sue on 11/22/2014.  I’d definitely go back!  Nia is a great way to free your mind of inhibitions and just be active and have a good time.

21. Go see Vanilla Pop play.

Vanilla Pop with the ladies on 6/6/2014.

Vanilla Pop with the ladies on 6/6/2014.

 22. Cook 15 new recipes. 27/15

1) Melt-in-your-mouth baked chicken – recipe
2) Spaghetti squash in the crockpot – recipe (if it can even be called that)
3) Swiss chard with honey roasted garlic – recipe
4) Slow-cooker beef brisket – no real ‘recipe’ but I’d never made this before, so I’m countin’ it – just cooked a beef brisket (seasoned with McCormick steak seasoning), a can of cream of mushroom soup, a chopped onion, sliced mushrooms, and four cups of beef broth in the slow cooker on the low setting for 7 hours
5) Dairy free pesto – recipe (the first time I made this, it was a complete FAIL because I over-toasted {read:  burned} the pine nuts and the pesto tasted burnt and gross)
6) S’mores treats – recipe
7) Mediterranean Orzo salad – no official recipe to share (cooked whole wheat orzo, kalamata olives, grape tomatoes, spinach, olive oil and lemon dressing seasoned with salt and pepper, and feta cheese)
8) Jalapeno cheese dip – recipe (slight variation from recipe:  I used a different brand of jalapeno dip seasoning.  It was still a hit with the family at Easter.)
9) Slow cooker brown sugar glazed pulled chicken – recipe (I didn’t have soy sauce so I used a Hickory and Brown Sugar BBQ sauce instead.  It was still tasty.)
10) Asparagus and ham sandwiches – recipe
11) Greek chicken – recipe (we did bake rather than grill, unlike the recipe)
12) Slow Cooker Ground Beef Lasagna Soup – recipe
13) Mediterranean Quinoa Salad – recipe
14) Lemon & Garlic Chicken – recipe
15) Steak Parmesan – recipe (made a few adjustments but followed the general recipe)
16) One Pot Zucchini Mushroom Pasta – recipe
17) Kale Chicken – recipe
18) Beef Stew – recipe
19) Sausage & Butternut Riggies – recipe
20) Salmon and Dill Chowder – recipe
21) Slutty Brownies – recipe
22) Crock Pot Cheddar Creamed Corn – recipe
23) Pasta with Chicken and Brussels Sprouts – recipe
24) Gingerbread cookies – recipe
25) Stuffed Bell Peppers with Brown Rice and Sausage – recipe
26) Chocolate Saltine Toffee – recipe
27) Corn Chowder – recipe

23. Go on twelve date nights. 12+/12
(This one has proven difficult to track because Kevin and I go out to dinner at least once a week and every dinner out feels like a date!  But for the purposes of this 30-by-30 list item, I counted assorted nights that felt especially special.  Let’s just say that we far exceeded 12 dates!)

24. Enroll in a continuing education class.

Attended a HIPAA class on 2/18/2014.

25. Send twelve More Love Letters notes. 12/12

26. Take tea in a tearoom – topped off (haha!) with a fancy hat, naturally. 2/1

Tea with new work friends at Figments on 3/22/2014.

Tea with new work friends at Figments on 3/22/2014.

Tea with Joy at the Phoenician - 4/25/2014.

Tea with Joy at the Phoenician – 4/25/2014.

27. Journal 52 times. 52/52

I learned that I’m just not too into journaling….  On January 3, I wrote six journal entries.  Trust me…I was scraping the bottom of the insight barrel by the end of it.

28. Assemble a framed travel map.

Kevin bought me the most beautiful world map when he traveled to the Pacific Gulf Islands over the summer.  We had it framed and stuck some pins in it.  Learn more here.

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29. Attend a festival. (Jazz Fest, Lavender Fest, etc. – whatever I happen to stumble into.  The sky’s the limit when it comes to fest-ing.)

I went to the local lavender & garlic festival one weekend in July.  Two of my favorite things under a blue clear sky on a summer day?  Don’t mind if I do.

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Lavender & Garlic Fest – 7/12/2014

30. Explore a city I’ve never visited before.

Seaside in San Diego - June 2014.

Seaside in San Diego – June 2014.

Recently on Instagram.

365 Instagram posts later, stick a fork in me.

I followed the #fmsphotoaday prompts for the entire year.  I’m a master of self-discipline when I want to be, but I even impressed myself with this one.  It was even fun – a few friends played along as well and I loved seeing their photos.  Now though – enough. is. enough.  I’m verrrry excited to post to the ‘gram all helter-skelter and not be chained to the world of prompts.

Here are a few of my final faves.

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Prompt:  Grass.
With a side of blue shoes and yesterday’s leaves.  {not pictured:  the neighbor’s yard guy who pretended not to notice the crazy girl taking pictures of her feet}

IMG_8758Prompt:  Pop!
Caramel popcorn, a cozy fire, Kevin, Kiki, and Rooster Cogburn.

IMG_8770Prompt:  Free.
Rain or shine, weather can’t be bought.  A glass of wine at Los Poblanos on the other hand….

IMG_8779Prompt:  Me.
And my sista.

IMG_8838Prompt:  Simple Pleasure.
That magical moment when you discover a dress has pockets.

IMG_8850Prompt:  Decoration.
A little frost-ing décor for the leaves this morning.

IMG_8851Prompt:  Closed Door.
We celebrate once-upon-a-time-Wednesday {don’t know if that’s a thing – but it should be} with a tale of two cats, sunbathing behind a closed screen door on a warm summer’s day.

IMG_8943Prompt:  Super!
Kevin and I think Rue – the newest member of the fam – is the bees knees.  Kiki isn’t sure what to think.

IMG_8990Prompt:  Sunshine.
Not today.  We even got snow!  Can you spy it?

 IMG_9011Prompt:  Sign.
Language.  All you need is love.

IMG_9030-2Prompt:  Food.
Run, run, as fast as you ca-. Um, no.  I’ve eaten 5 too many of these to run at any speed.

IMG_9080-2Prompt:  Tree.
What tree?  Rue doesn’t see any tree….

IMG_9112Prompt:  Color.
Color me happy – Christmas cards from so many lovelies.

IMG_9130Prompt: Celebration.
What do you get when you have two prime rib food coma inflicted humans, a pudgy kitten, and a reluctant adult feline in a low angle self-timer pic?  We be celebratin’ alright.

IMG_9146Prompt:  Animal.
Merry Christmas ya preppy animal.

IMG_9164-1Prompt:  Book.
This summed up the day – house shoes and book #52 for the year. 

 IMG_9194Prompt:  Best Bit of 2014.
The everyday, with my loves.

What was the best bit of your 2014? 

Recently on Instagram.

November!  It’s over.  Where has the year gone?  I followed the Fat Mum Slim photo prompts once again.  Here are some of my favorites from the month of photos.

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Prompt:  I Saw This!
Menu + latte {not pictured:  nice people and tasty food}

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Prompt:  Weather.
Currently 53 d to the F.  Cool, crisp, and colorful.

IMG_8413Prompt:  8 o’clock.
Has come and gone. But not before this little gem {featuring my boot-clad feet in a sea of dead foliage} was captured.

IMG_8420Prompt:  Made Me Smile Today.
Little cat in a big chair.

IMG_8436Prompt:  A Place.
Tacos and margaritas at this place with some lovely ladies gathered together to celebrate Leann’s upcoming birthday.

IMG_8444Prompt:  Heck Yes!
Jogging conditions are perfect on the Bosque today.

IMG_8548Prompt:  For Me.
Blanket + Book + Kiki.  All we need is Kevin.  And we need him to bring us food.

IMG_8562Prompt:  Hot + Cold.
His + hers.

IMG_8565No prompt – just utter dizziness from the glitz, glamour, masks, and spiral staircases at the Gertrude Zachary museum.

 

IMG_8587Prompt:  Whole. 
Leave it to this guy to bite a button off that towel and swallow it {the button, not the towel} whole.  He sure is cute though.

IMG_8589Prompt:  Bright.
Bench, baby.

IMG_8596No prompt – Why is it that just-pulled-my-hair-up-to-wash-my-face hair so often looks better than worked-for-20-minutes-on-this-ponytail hair? hashtag clawhand

IMG_8606Prompt:  Shoes.
I think my low arches are going to prance their way back into beginners ballet soon.

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Prompt: I Need To Do This!
Stick a pin in it – the framed travel map is done.

IMG_8650Prompt:  Wall.
San Fran spray paint art and some wedding day giggles.

IMG_8654Prompt:  I’m Thankful For This…
…little ball of Maine Coon fur.

IMG_8671Prompt:  Black.
Is the new black.

As Thanksgiving month has ended, what are you most thankful for in your life?  What photos did you take in November?

Recently on Instagram.

Did you know that I did not read the October quote from Anne of Green Gables a single time this month?  Last year you couldn’t click into the internet without seeing it and this year – nothing.  So I guess I have no choice but to put it out there.  You know I have to, really.

“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”  – L. M. Montgomery

I’m also so glad I live in a world where there is Instagram.  Can you imagine Anne’s Instagram shots?  Lots of nature photos.  Selfies with Diana.  Cooking fails.  #marillaisgonnabefurious

Here are a few of my October favorites.  As usual, I followed the Fat Mum Slim prompts for the month.

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Prompt:  B is for…
Birdhouse.

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Prompt:  C is for…
Canvas.

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Prompt:  E is for…
English mastiff.

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“Amy, please sit down.  It has come to my attention that you were absent for three days.  And your clothing carries the scent of canine.  Where have you been and with whom have you been associating?”

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Prompt:  H is for…
Hot air balloon.

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Finishing off the bottle…two ounces at a time.

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Prompt:  K is for…
Kevin and Kiki.  Of kourse.

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It’s a gorgeous fall day and my team is winning.  I’m purring like a cat in a sun spot.

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Prompt:  L is for…
Latte.

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Prompt:  O is for…
Open wide.  Does this tennis ball make my mouth look fat?

IMG_8166Prompt:  Q is for…
Quiet.  Just how Kiki likes it.

IMG_8208Prompt: S is for…
Shower.  Three Eastern NM girls at Tiff’s bridal brunch.

IMG_8211Prompt:  T is for…
Tree.  Ahh, fall colors.  How you do show off…

IMG_8226Prompt:  U is for…
Umbrella-ella-ella.

IMG_8256Prompt:  V is for…
Vans.

IMG_8274Prompt:  W is for…
Welcome home hugs.  Kiki Badger don’t care.

IMG_8365Prompt:  One.
One Kiki tongue.

IMG_8379Prompt:  Five. 
It’s the fifth consecutive year that Shawna and I have coordinated our Halloween costumes.  Mario and Luigi for the win this year.
Read about costumes of Halloweens past hereAnd last year’s efforts here

Did you dress up for Halloween this year?  What variety of pictures did you take in October?  What fictional characters’ Instagram do you covet? 

30 by 30 – Third quarter update.

Three-quarters of my 29th year has now passed and it has been packed to the brim.

Now for the 30-by-30 update graph:

30 by 30 3rd Quarter Progress Update Graph

As you can see from the list of boooooooks on #7 below, I have far surpassed my reading goal, which was 24 books.  There is now a revised goal of 48.    I guess I like to read….  Volunteer hours may seem a little low, but I know I’ll be volunteering a lot this fall, so I’m not worried about meeting that one.

Regarding the remaining items on the list – things are mostly under control for this stage of the game.  I’m most worried about making it to the Grand Canyon this year.  I may go to the South Rim, which is open year round, in December.  I also need to pick up the pace on the journal entries.

1. Find a flattering (key word) red lipstick.

With the help of an expert lipstick consultant, Leann, I discovered Brave Red at MAC.  The name is quite fitting, and I love the color!

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2. Sit at a floor table for dinner at Pars (a Greek restaurant). 

Kevin and I met up with two of our good friends at Pars for dinner in January. Not only did we sit at a floor table, but it was also a belly dancer night.  Kevin and I find the belly dancer nights to be a bit awkward, so we try to avoid them.  But it seemed appropriate that we had the full experience at the floor table.  I love Pars, but I’ll stick to regular tables.  I’m not an especially tall person and my legs were aching by the end of dinner, crammed under that low table!

Pars with K & N - January 2014.

Pars with K & N – January 2014.

 3. Buy a designer purse for myself.

I bought one.  And I love it.  But I’m also struggling with a case of buyer’s remorse.  It is just so expensive.  Thus far, its life with Amy has been spent in the closet, tags and wrappings still intact.  I reserve the right to return and find something, umm, less pricey.  Like a wallet.

Update:  I returned the purse that I’d originally purchased (see the 2nd Quarter update post for a picture), and found another one that I love so much more.  It was still a lot to spend on a purse and I don’t foresee myself regularly purchasing designer purses, but I do really like it.

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4. Fund IRA for year.

5. Plan and execute a surprise date.

Read about it here.  It involved choose-your-own-adventure kind of fun and included sushi, bookstore, and game night at home.

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6. 52 hours of volunteer work. 23/52

4 hours – El Ranchitos de Los Ninos
5 hours – Chocolate Fantasy gala
3 hours – Charity Cruise gala clean up
3 hours – JL rummage sale to benefit Henderson House
1 hour – official HUG card writer for JL
4 hours – The Storehouse
3 hours – The Curiosity Collaboration

7. Read 48 books. 41/48

1) Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – 4 stars
2) Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – 4 stars
3) Anne of Windy Poplars – 4 stars
4) The Fault In Our Stars – 4 stars
5) Devil In The White City – 4 stars
6) Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince – 5 stars
7) The Silver Star – 3 stars
8) Princess Academy – 4 stars
9) Divergent – 4 stars
10) Roots of Empathy:  Changing the World Child by Child – 4 stars
11) Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister – 3 stars
12) The Husband’s Secret – 4 stars
13) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – 4 stars
14) Breakfast at Tiffany’s – 4 stars
15) Me Before You – 4 stars
16) The Paris Wife – 3 stars
17) The Other Typist – 3 stars
18) The Last Summer (of You & Me) – 3 stars
19) Her Fearful Symmetry – 3 stars
20) Heart and Soul – 3 stars
21) I’ll Walk Alone – 2 stars
22) My Name is Memory – 3 stars
23) Dollface – 4 stars
24) The Giver – 5 stars
25) MWF Seeking BFF – 4 stars
26) Sisters of Treason – 4 stars
27) I’ve Got Your Number – 5 stars
28) Girls In White Dresses – 3 stars
29) The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets – 4 stars
30) Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour – 5 stars
31) Lessons From Madam Chic – 4 stars
32) The Happiness Advantage – 4 stars
33) Paris in Love – 3 stars
34) Night Diver – 2 stars
35) Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?  (And Other Concerns) – 3 stars
36) Life After Life – 4 stars
37) The Hobbit – 3 stars
38) The Girl You Left Behind – 3 stars
39) Gathering Blue – 4 stars
40) The Paris Architect – 4 stars
41) Remember Me? – 3 stars

8. Take Kevin to an OK State football game.

Blog post coming soon with details about how much Kevin LOVED Stillwater, the football stadium, and the Oklahoma State campus as a whole.

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9. Send 24 just-because letters or gifts to friends. 19/24

10. Go on a blate – with a blog friend that I have not yet met in person.

Stay tuned for a post about my blate (blogger + date) with the lovely Jenny over at Jeneric Generation.

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11. Complete the Photo-A-Day challenge following Fat Mum Slim’s prompts. 273/365

12. Run a 5K.

13. Host a murder mystery dinner party.

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14. Visit the Grand Canyon.

15. Weekend trip with my mom and sister.

Schedules being what they are, we didn’t manage to get away for a full weekend of fun at the Grand Canyon or Vegas (two ideas we’d tossed around).  But we did enjoy an excursion to some local petroglyphs.  The adventure is recapped in full here.

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16. Attend three theatre events or concerts. 4/3

1) Jim Gaffigan – 3/13/2014

Pre- Jim G. smiles on 3/13/2014.

Pre- Jim G. smiles on 3/13/2014.

 2) Avril Lavigne and Backstreet Boys – 6/2/2014

Pre-gaming on the lawn before BSB and Avril hit the stage!

Pre-gaming on the lawn before BSB and Avril hit the stage!

 3) Impulse dance show – 8/8/2014

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4) Wicked:  The Musical – 9/18/2014

image17. Attend one of Meta’s weekend yoga retreats OR attend one yoga class a day for seven consecutive days {just in case the weekend retreat options don’t work out}.

The weekend yoga retreat didn’t work out, but the seven days of yoga did!  Read about it here.

Day 1 – 7:30 AM – hot yoga with Meta at a local studio
Day 2 – 5:30 PM – yoga at my gym
Day 3 – 7:30 AM – hot yoga at a local studio
Day 4 – 10:00 AM – Meditation class and practice at the city museum with Leann and Katie
Day 5 – 11:15 AM – hot yoga at a local studio
Day 6 – 5:30 PM – yoga at my gym
Day 7 – 9:30 PM – cosmic hot yoga with Meta at a local studio

18. Take a train ride.

I made the trip to Santa Fe on the Railrunner for a work event.  Like Sheldon, I do love trains.

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19. Spend a morning shooting guns (including the one I inherited from my dad) with my friend Tom C.

20. Take a dance class.

21. Go see Vanilla Pop play.

Vanilla Pop with the ladies on 6/6/2014.

Vanilla Pop with the ladies on 6/6/2014.

 22. Cook 15 new recipes. 17/15

1) Melt-in-your-mouth baked chicken – recipe
2) Spaghetti squash in the crockpot – recipe (if it can even be called that)
3) Swiss chard with honey roasted garlic – recipe
4) Slow-cooker beef brisket – no real ‘recipe’ but I’d never made this before, so I’m countin’ it – just cooked a beef brisket (seasoned with McCormick steak seasoning), a can of cream of mushroom soup, a chopped onion, sliced mushrooms, and four cups of beef broth in the slow cooker on the low setting for 7 hours
5) Dairy free pesto – recipe (the first time I made this, it was a complete FAIL because I over-toasted {read:  burned} the pine nuts and the pesto tasted burnt and gross)
6) S’mores treats – recipe
7) Mediterranean Orzo salad – no official recipe to share (cooked whole wheat orzo, kalamata olives, grape tomatoes, spinach, olive oil and lemon dressing seasoned with salt and pepper, and feta cheese)
8) Jalapeno cheese dip – recipe (slight variation from recipe:  I used a different brand of jalapeno dip seasoning.  It was still a hit with the family at Easter.)
9) Slow cooker brown sugar glazed pulled chicken – recipe (I didn’t have soy sauce so I used a Hickory and Brown Sugar BBQ sauce instead.  It was still tasty.)
10) Asparagus and ham sandwiches – recipe
11) Greek chicken – recipe (we did bake rather than grill, unlike the recipe)
12) Slow Cooker Ground Beef Lasagna Soup – recipe
13) Mediterranean Quinoa Salad – recipe
14) Lemon & Garlic Chicken – recipe
15) Steak Parmesan – recipe (made a few adjustments but followed the general recipe)
16) One Pot Zucchini Mushroom Pasta – recipe
17) Kale Chicken – recipe

23. Go on twelve date nights. 12+/12
(This one has proven difficult to track because Kevin and I go out to dinner at least once a week and every dinner out feels like a date!  But for the purposes of this 30-by-30 list item, I counted assorted nights that felt especially special.  Let’s just say that we far exceeded 12 dates!)

24. Enroll in a continuing education class.

Attended a HIPAA class on 2/18/2014.

25. Send twelve More Love Letters notes. 12/12

26. Take tea in a tearoom – topped off (haha!) with a fancy hat, naturally. 2/1

Tea with new work friends at Figments on 3/22/2014.

Tea with new work friends at Figments on 3/22/2014.

 

Tea with Joy at the Phoenician - 4/25/2014.

Tea with Joy at the Phoenician – 4/25/2014.

27. Journal 52 times. 27/52

28. Assemble a framed travel map.

29. Attend a festival. (Jazz Fest, Lavender Fest, etc. – whatever I happen to stumble into.  The sky’s the limit when it comes to fest-ing.)

I went to the local lavender & garlic festival one weekend in July.  Two of my favorite things under a blue clear sky on a summer day?  Don’t mind if I do.

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Lavender & Garlic Fest – 7/12/2014

30. Explore a city I’ve never visited before.

Seaside in San Diego - June 2014.

Seaside in San Diego – June 2014.