30 Before 30

It hit me this past weekend that I’m almost 30. For so long, 30 seemed old. Now it’s kind of the new 20 (but you go to bed earlier and can’t drink as much). It’s funny that at 18, I thought I would have been married for at least 5 years by now, and have a couple of kids, living in Raleigh, NC, and have a house-full of dogs, too. Even at 22, I thought I’d have kids by now.

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But we don’t. Instead, we have our two furbabies that I treat like kids (we celebrated Tucker’s 8th birthday this weekend with a trip to Petsmart for new toys that he picked out, a big belly rub and cuddle-sesh mid-morning, a long walk with the whole family and then cupcakes after dinner).

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At almost 30, I think we’ll definitely have a kid by the time 32 rolls around for me (35 for my husband), maybe even two – but we’re not in a hurry. First we want to travel more, starting with our European vacation this summer and South Africa next spring. Knocking a few more things off the list before we change up our lives completely.

birthday1I have always LOVED celebrating birthdays (or any other random holiday, or reason I can find to celebrate). Some of my favorite birthdays have been spent having large gatherings with friends, or visiting beaches with my husband (this year we did Key West). I was inspired by a few lists/challenges I’ve seen others doing to knock things off of a somewhat “bucket list” before they turn 30.

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Emily Thomas, author of Em For Marvelous is doing a 60 before 30 list. Some girls I went to college with are trying to rack up 30 race medals before they turn 30. I think I’ll stick with being my random self and doing just 30 different things before I turn 30.

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30 before 30

  1. Do 3 more 10k runs (equaling 30k) — 2nd goal? Get my sister-in-law to run one with me.
  2. Volunteer for 30 hours with a charity (or multiple charities)
  3. Do 30 hours of yoga
  4. Visit Paris
  5. Visit London
  6. Visit Ireland
  7. Foster (3) dogs (if I said 30, I might be getting divorced before I turn 30, so we’ll stick with 3)
  8. Go to Charleston
  9. Go to Savannah
  10. Read 30 books
  11. Write 30 blog posts
  12. Go on a tropical vacation (I’m thinking Costa Rica, Belize, Turks & Caicos, San Juan…)
  13. Take a cooking class
  14. Help 5 more items be crossed off the Pretty in Pink bucket lists
  15. Celebrate our two year wedding anniversary (and 6 year dating anniversary)
  16. Visit Tonya in Colorado
  17. Go zip-lining
  18. Have an album with our wedding/anniversary pictures created
  19. Run another half marathon | Hokie Half | Jekyll Island Half | Savannah Half
  20. Pay off another student loan
  21. Re-organize our master closet
  22. Get a porch swing (or my grandfather’s glider)
  23. Learn how to use my SLR in manual
  24. Learn how to do calligraphy (I have the class paid for, all the materials…. time?)
  25. See Florence + the Machine in concert
  26. Spend a weekend with my BFF Sarah
  27. Meet my BFF Brittney’s new son, Holden
  28. Go whitewater rafting
  29. Eat more tomatoes from our garden than the squirrels do this year
  30. Get my thesis published

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I know some of these items are technically already planned, and that’s okay. I need to follow thru with them. I’m excited to tackle these things in the next 10 months, and to continue working on saying ‘yes’ when people ask us to do things (instead of eating in our neighborhood and binge watching House of Cards), being more patient with people, trying to be more timely / not 5 minutes late to everything in life, and crushing it at work.

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The last one is tough for me because I’ve gotten in a groove and I feel pretty good at my job, I’m recognized for doing a good job and I’m in a good place. There have been some opportunities lately that I’ve looked into but they’ve all asked that I move to Boston if offered the job and I just don’t want to move to Boston. I LOVE Charlotte. I love our life here. I love our friends here. I love our house here. I love how close we are to both of our families. And I know that if I move there, I won’t have the chance to move back here and stay with the same company (most likely – things change!). NC feels like home to us. For the right opportunity, we might consider moving, but right now I’m in a good spot, and I’m okay. I don’t need a career change. So… yeah. Onto tackling my 30 before 30 list. I will update as items are able to be marked off.

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I’m still trying to raise money to help cancer champions mark items off of their bucket lists, you can read more and donate here. I heard about another lady in NC trying to do a similar thing (on a larger scale) and I am going to try to combine forces with her. Stay tuned!

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THE BIGGEST GIVEAWAY OF THE YEAR!

It’s been a little over six months since I started trying to raise money for breast cancer champions to help them mark items off of their bucket lists. We’ve done some great things through donations, including:

  • Beth: Horseback riding
  • Elaine: Trip to Bald Head Island
  • Adrienne: Race car driving experience
  • Michelle: Hang gliding experience in OBX
  • Julie G: Learn to speak French

But I think we can do more. And I have all of these items that were donated to help raise money and I’m going to give them ALL away from March 10 – April 10, 2015.

The instructions are simple, and you can earn extra entries simply by sharing on social media. My goal is to double what we’ve already raised and help at least 5 more champions mark something off of their bucket list by the time summer rolls around. Want to enter? Follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Mandatory steps include DONATING $10 TO FUNDRAISER and COMMENT ON THIS BLOG POST.

Best of luck to everyone. Please share (even if you don’t donate to enter) so that we can help as many of these champions as possible. I’m looking forward to the Pretty in Pink Fashion Walk in Wilmington this year and being able to see so many of these smiling faces. Learn more about the Pretty in Pink Foundation and the work they do to help women with breast cancer.

Warm Weather Dreaming!

I woke up to a blanket of snow on the ground and big, fluffy flakes falling from the sky. Not quite what I expected after a pretty warm weekend. Also, not what I expected as I’ve been daydreaming of spring for a while now. We made the best of it and had a little fetch party before I had to start working.

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Since we’re all going to need warmer clothes for the foreseeable future, I decided it’s time for another giveaway!

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This gorgeous original Bostonian scarf (My2Shay) is up for grabs (and trust me, it will KEEP you warm!).

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Also, two fun sets of earrings are looking for a new owner (Painted Pearl), keep one for yourself and give one to a friend!

Simple rules: 

1. Donate $5 (or more! Feel free to be generous) to the Pretty in Pink Bucket List project (read more here)

2. Share the blog post on Twitter or Facebook with buttons

3. Comment on the blog that you donated (make sure your comment has your same name that shows when you donated)

This cause is near and dear to my heart and I would love to continue making dreams come true for some breast cancer champions. Last year, there were so many items crossed off of bucket lists because of generous people like YOU. Let’s do it again in 2015! 

Giveaway runs through midnight on Thursday (3/5/15). Only open to U.S. participants. Must do all three steps (will be verified) in order to win. *Entries from past giveaway will be honored for those who donated $25 or $50*

Guestbook Giveaway + Life Update

Whew! It’s February and I haven’t blogged in HOW MANY days? Sorry about that. I had TWO trips planned to Boston in that time and both were cancelled due to the massive amounts of snow that have been dumped on the Northeast. Seriously, MASSIVE AMOUNTS OF SNOW. So work has been a little crazy to say the least.

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On top of that, I’ve had some fun appointments for swollen lymph nodes that WON’T GO AWAY but aren’t anything deadly (unless you ask WebMD), so there’s that. However, my throat hurts and we still don’t know what is causing them to swell. So 3 rounds of blood work, a CT, ultrasound and two ENTs later, I still have swollen lymph nodes and no answers. But sore throat = ice cream, so I still consider myself to be winning!

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Yesterday, I had to drop my big guy off at the vet for a dental cleaning and to have a mass removed from his elbow. I cried like a baby when I left. It’s what I imagine leaving your child at daycare for the first time feels like. Yes, I just compared having a dog to having a baby. It was awful and I was a wreck for most of the day. Especially when they called me and told me that he was getting ready to have his surgery and I could hear him barking in the background. Everything went fine and he’s back home and resting peacefully with his cone of shame. We’re just waiting on his test results now.

Customized Wedding Guest Book
Customized Wedding Guest Book

Since there were only two entries in the latest giveaway, I decided not to post the video I made of me drawing the winner (it was yesterday and I may or may not have had mascara smeared under my eyes after dropping Tucker off at the vet). Our big winner is Heather P! And since there were only two gals who entered, I decided to also give Ariel something. So I’ll be sending her the “Say Yes to New Adventures” 2015 planner. It will definitely help with wedding planning! Anything to stay more organized.

Image from Nude and Loitering Tees
Image from Nude and Loitering Tees

Thank you to both of you for entering. I will be doing giveaways for the other items in the coming weeks. I’m so pleased with the progress we’ve made on helping these ladies cross items off their bucket lists. Right now, I’m waiting on Beverly to select a 5k to run and we’ll pay for her entry and I’m working with some paddle boarding (SUP) and kayaking companies in Wilmington to help mark a few more items off of other lists. Sadly, Janet, one of the women I saw at the Pretty in Pink Fashion Walk, passed away in January. Her story touched everyone in the room. She was brave and strong and loved her son deeply. I hope we see the day where there’s a cure and women like Janet get to do all the things in life they want to, like take their kids to Disney World and watch them grow up and get married and to spend a lifetime growing old with her husband. I really hate cancer.

Be Our Guest (book) GIVEAWAY!

Welcome to 2015’s first giveaway! This item has to go to a special group of people, those who are engaged and I know that’s A LOT of you since most engagement happen between Thanksgiving and Valentines day! (Congratulations – SUCH an exciting time!!). I want to help you knock one thing off of that planning list with this giveaway:

Customized Wedding Guest Book

This hand crafted, personalized guest book by For Love Polka Dots will be created JUST FOR YOU. It will include both of your names, your married last initial and your wedding date, along with 86 (43 front and back) pages to be signed by all of your friends and family on your special day. Gorgeous, right?

So here’s how you enter:

DONATE: Donate $5 or more to the Pretty in Pink Wishes campaign to make bucket list wishes for breast cancer survivors through the Pretty in Pink Foundation come true. For every $5 donated, you get an entry!

COMMENT: Come back here and leave a comment letting me know you donated, what your new last initial will be and your wedding date (it’s okay if you don’t know the date yet, they’ll work with you!).

Giveaway starts now and ends on Tuesday, January 13th at midnight. May the odds be ever in your favor – and high five for doing a good thing for these breast cancer champions!

*Comments are moderated. It may not appear immediately after leaving comment but will once approved. Winner will be chosen at random after giveaway ends. I will do the drawing on video and post an update here. Share with your friends. All of the money raised is for an excellent cause!

Happy Hump Day!

Giveaway Winners!

Going to make this post short and sweet! I recorded a video last night of me drawing the winners of the giveaway. I did change up the giveaway a little bit, so be sure to view it to get the deets and find out who won what!

Also, second part of the giveaway is happening in the new year so stay tuned and keep sharing! You can click the link on the right hand side to “Follow Blog” and get email updates each time I post, OR you can visit Blog Lovin’ and sign up there!

Hoping to announce another item to be crossed off of a bucket list today (will be posted on the Go Fund Me site) and all of the winners will have their items mailed to them this week!

My heart is so grateful for all of you who have read the blog, donated to the giveaway, shared the giveaway and for all the site owners who were generous enough to donate items, too! Also, please excuse my outfit, I got home from the gym and wanted to do the drawing last night as I had promised!

What I’m loving Wednesday + Art Prints

 

When I was reaching out to folks to see what they would be willing to donate for the giveaway, I met Martin. He graciously donated 3 prints, and told me his own story of how cancer had impacted his family. We all know someone who knows someone who has been impacted by cancer.

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For me, it’s two grandfathers, a grandmother and a sister-in-law who is someone I would have also chosen as my friend even if her brother wasn’t in the picture! Everyone knows someone. Cancer is HUGE. Cancer SUCKS. And this giveaway serves the purpose of making it suck a little less, even if it’s just for a day, or a few hours. It’s crossing something off of a bucket list for someone who may not have all the time in the world left to tackle their bucket list (hey, none of us really have all the time in the world. Go live your life. Make your dreams happen, TODAY).

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I’m grateful for those of you who have entered the giveaway and donated, I’m grateful for Martin and I’m super grateful that there are tons of people in this world who are working tirelessly to find a cure for cancer and to raise money for research.

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Each of these prints is valued at $14.75 (plus shipping) and would make a great motivational addition to any wall. I love the Winnie the Pooh quote for a child’s room! Check out Wise Prints and then go enter the giveaway so you can win one of these!

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In searching for gifts for friends/family this holiday season, I’ve found some items that I just love! I thought I’d share my favorite finds with you, in the event you’re still clueless over what to get your loved one!

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FitBit: I’ve had the Flex, the One and the Zip. They all bring their own special features, but the easiest to keep up with is definitely the Flex. It’s strapped on my wrist constantly. I even asked for some new wristbands for Christmas so that I can swap out the color! (Price: $59.95-99.95)

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Hamilton Beach Flex Brew: When looking for a coffee maker, I came across this fancy brewer. How great is this for when you have company OR when it’s just you and you want one cup? You can use K-Cups for the single brew, making life extra easy! ($99)

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Purple Peridot Scarves are always good gifts. I stumbled across Purple Peridot during Cyber Monday sales and immediately became a fan. I am loving this black plaid! ($29.99)

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West Elm Ice Sphere: When having drinks with friends a few months back, we saw this awesome ice sphere mold. My husband was immediately smitten with it. Great stocking stuffer for those guys in your life! ($10)

What items are you loving this year? Anything you’ve been amazed by or had to buy for a gift? Would love to hear!