Monthly Archives: August 2010

office kitsch

I am loving this globe lamp from drowsySwords… thinking that I need it in my newly redecorated office!

swoon worthy

rak

When I was in church youth group, we used to do random acts of kindness which I loved… even more specifically, once a year we would make a whole day of it! We did everything from taking poinsettias around Christmas to home-bound church members to helping build a habitat house — the idea obviously being the act of putting others before us.

So, when I decided to tackle this bucket list, I decided to make a point to leave my mark on the world by continuing these selfless acts.

Some are directed towards loved ones, others are directed towards those who need love but all, I hope, will leave a lasting impression of my desire to better those around me when, you know, I kick that bucket.

76. Volunteer to be a baby cuddler.

77. Write a letter to everyone whom I love.

78. Compliment a work colleague for their excellence.

79. Send birthday cards.

80. Spend more time with family.

81. Build a Habitat for Humanity house.

82. Go on a mission trip.

83. Visit a nursing home.

84. Donate to charities.

85. Teach conversational English to help combat illiteracy.

86. Tithe.

87. Participate in a fun run.

88. Donate blood/platelets.

89. Volunteer at a food kitchen… Mother Theresa said, “If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.”

90. Donate to Goodwill.

91. Be a loving wife, mom, and daughter.

92. Hug more often.

93. Say “I love you”. And mean it.

94. Plant a tree.

95. Adopt a family at Christmas.

96. Work a telathon.

97. Adopt shelter pets.

98. Buy a pair of TOMS and Warby Parker’s. Let’s be real. Cute.

99. Write notes of appreciation at least once a week.

100. Love unconditionally.

So, who’s with me?

bucket list, part tres

Now on to … PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT!

Okay, really. I don’t know what I was thinking.

I want to do this all… now.

Thanks and hook ’em. (Told you, EKW, that sounds better than “gig’em”… and I can’t believe that thing just made my blog. I have to go wash its mouth out with soap… how very Christmas Story of me.)

So what is personal development? For lack of a better word, and to further delve into why I decided to break up my bucket list into 4 parts, I picked personal development as a way to define what I wanted to do with my life — versus the first 50 which I felt was more what I wanted to do in my life. This list consists of things that I want to do for me to mold me into a better person, to become my better self (okay, Oprah). So, without further ado, personal development!

51. Invent a board game.

52. Do stand-up comedy.

53. Learn to salsa dance.

54. Host Saturday Night Live.

55. Visit a Renaissance fair.

56. Witness a solar eclipse.

57. Run in the Boston marathon.

58. Participate in the Tour de France.

59. Learn karate.

60. Become fluent in a foreign language.

61. Learn conversational Spanish.

62. Learn enough Italian to be able to understand La Boehme.

63. Learn to play the harmonica.

64. Learn to play the piano.

65. Learn to play golf (first bogey this past weekend!)

66. Join the church choir.

67. Appreciate jazz.

68. Build a classical music library.

69. Learn to belly dance.

70. Name a star.

71. Talk to a politician in pig latin.

72. Compose a song.

73. Own a sewing machine and actually use it.

74. Get a motorcycle license.

75. Break a Guinness World Record.

Final 25 on Monday… =)

bucket list, adventure series

Yesterday, I decided to spice things up a bit by creating a list of everything that I wanted to do before I kicked the bucket…

I don’t know what I was thinking.

I have created within myself this itch that can only be scratched by successfully completing all 100 goals on this list… this fun, full, random, LIST… just asking to be checked off. So today, I will continue with the ADVENTURE part of this list, and, upon completion, will start planning my next venture.

‘Cause you only live once.

26. Go SCUBA diving.

27. Go snorkeling in a shipwreck.

28. Swim with sharks.

29. Go white water rafting.

30. Learn to surf.

31. Ride in a hot air balloon.

32. Participate in an impromptu snowball fight with complete strangers.

33. Go paragliding.

34. Go parasailing.

35. Go skydiving.

36. Go on a helicopter ride.

37. Fly in a blimp.

38. Go on a canopy tour. (Done!)

39. Bungee jump.

40. Try indoor skydiving.

41. Try fire walking.

42. Ride a mechanical bull.

43. Ride the 10 largest roller coasters in the world.

44. Fire a pistol.

45. Experience weightlessness.

46. Go rock climbing.

47. Ride in a parade float.

48. Ride a snowmobile.

49. Learn how to do a back flip.

50. Go paintballing.

kicking it old school

It is hella hot outside, y’all. Like, unbearably miserable, can’t even breathe, trying to wipe the sweat off my sweat because every self respecting southerner knows, women don’t sweat. We glisten while we fan ourselves and drink sweet tea outside on the front porch daydreaming about pools and watermelons and the elusive white Christmas that we obviously will never have — well, expect for me last Christmas when I decided to drive home in the aforementioned “white Christmas” snow blizzard and it took 24 hours to get from Houston to Wichita Falls. Le sigh.

But I digress.

Back to the topic at hand. I can daydream all I want about snow but that still does not negate the fact that this southerner is sweating this summer. It’s miserable.

In an effort to stay inside in A/C while keeping my sanity, I have been crazy blog stalking and online not-really-window-because-I-end-up-buying shopping. So the other day, while perusing my daily haunts, it hit me (courtesy of bestie Ellen came up with this idea). I am going to compose my own bucket list!

Nope, never saw the movie.

But the gist is there.

And I get to stay a cool 65°F while composing.

So here we go… I am even stealing (borrowing? Taking out a loan?) her idea to have installments of a sort. Broken down into 4 groups: TRAVEL, ADVENTURE, PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT, and RANDOM ACTS of KINDNESS, I will express my ideas, thoughts, daydreams, and somedays into definable and achievable goals. Some I have already completed (go me!) while others are years away… but all answer the same question: “What do I want to do in life?”

To start, TRAVEL!

1. Ride a gondola in Venice.

2. Swim in the largest swimming pool in the world, off the coast of Chile.

3. Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro.

4. Climb Mt. Everest.

5. Ski the Alps.

6. Go to Oktoberfest in Munich.

7. Take a trip on the Orient Express.

8. Visit the North Pole and see Santa’s workshop.

9. Visit the wreckage of the Titanic aboard a submarine.

10. Go to France and learn not only the language that is spoken there, but also study its customs, its cuisine, its art, and its history.

11. Go camping.

12. Reveal as many countries as I can on my scratch map.

13. Travel to Vietnam.

14. Go on a cross-country motorcycle trip.

15. Climb to the top of the Eiffel Tower.

16. Go on an Alaskan cruise.

17. See all of the seven wonders of the medieval world: Stonehenge, Colosseum, Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa, Great Wall of China, Porcelain Tower of Nanjing, Hagia Sophia, and Leaning Tower of Pisa.

18. Drink a Guinness in Ireland.

19. Visit Tokyo, Japan.

20. Watch a sunset in Oia, Greece on the island of Santorini.

21. Shop in Dubai.

22. See the giraffes — my favorite animal since 3rd grade — and lions on an African safari.

23. Honeymoon in the Maldives.

24. Skinny dip in Bali.

25. Go to Spain for the Tomatina tomato fight and bull run in Pamplona.

ADVENTURE to come tomorrow…

love. them.

nicaragua!

Where to start… Nicaragua was an absolutely amazing trip! The scenery was breathtaking. We were picked up from the airport by a driver who knew just where to stop for photo opps. My kind of man. The drive from the airport to the resort was about 40km but took about an hour and a half because of the winding roads through the rainforest. Nicaragua is surprisingly mountainous! The temperature though was perfect… stayed around 70°F with about 80% humidity. It rained every day but only for about an hour and felt completely normal. Didn’t hamper anything!

Note to Becky: you will get carsick. Because by “winding road” I mean, winding, pot holey, driver going 55mph only to slam on his brakes and swerve to miss a horse in the road all while making a 90° turn down a hill. THAT kind of winding carsick. Forewarned.

Not letting an upside down stomach get in our way, we got to the resort, checked in, and were immediately served the national beer, Tona. It was actually really good. You could find it anywhere… and only for C$20, or yea, $0.93. That’s right. One beer. Less than a dollar. Summarizes our trip. We then boarded a tram — used loosely as it was just carts pulled by a tractor — to take us to our bungalow.

Then, we immediately hit the beach! Dipped my toes in the Pacific and called it a day. It’s amazing what an ocean can do to your soul.

Roomie picture!

On our way back to the bungalow, we passed by this bird cage that had a toucan and parrots. Moment captured.

Say hello, toucan sam.

Stacey had a problem of lying in every single hammock we came to. Even in bungalows that weren’t ours. She also had a problem with falling OUT of hammocks… but that’s another story. On Monday, she ended up giving in and just buying one to bring back home.

Loco gringa.

We got situated then, and called it a night.

The next day… walking to meet the driver!

We ended up calling the same driver that drove us to the resort from the airport since he did such a good job pointing out all of the sights. We figured that he would know the other places to go too! And we were right… He took us to do a canopy tour through the rainforest!

All harnessed up.

Awesome.

Me and my big head with the biggest helmet.

Pretty sure I was laughed at.

Actually, I know I was.

Cabeza grande.

Wee!

Nancy-boy John was scared and ended up braking too much in the middle of one of the runs and had to pull his way to one of the platforms. Haaaa.

Then we hiked the crater of an active volcano! This trail was formed naturally. We had a really good tour guide — one of the only people we came across that spoke English — yes, that means our driver spoke no English. Thank you junior high Spanish class for teaching me basic words! But back to our tour guide, he pointed out all of the local vegetation, took us to all of these amazing look out points — and of course, took a ton of pictures for us. Love. It.

View of the crater. We were at an altitude of ~1300m so just high enough to see the clouds roll in. So views like these were captured quickly!

After the hike, our driver drove us into Grenada to his favorite restaurant on a lake. We ordered a couple of dishes that he recommended and since one took 20 minutes to prepare, we went on a boat ride! The lake is huge and has a ton of islands that people live on so all of the restaurants have boat parking — and many of the restaurants have boats that will come and pick you up. So we hoped on it and they first drove (boated?) us to this tree that had these banana looking plants on them… so he stopped and picked two for us girls to hold. Then performed “magic” and it ended up opening up into a really pretty flower!

Then took us to this other island inhabited by monkeys… one named Lucy and another named Junior. The drivers just whistle and the monkeys will come up to the boats and climb right in!

Lucy jumped on the boat, ate a banana… then patted me on the back and proceeded to climb on me! Awesome.

Then my camera died.

Sad day.

Soooooo then… we boated back to the restaurant where we dined on some delicious, couldn’t even tell you what it was, food. Pretty sure Huynh ate a fish eyeball and our driver called him “crazy Asian” in Spanish. YUM O. Left there and headed to this little town called Catarina that had a beautiful view of the lake and a cute little market place where we stocked up on touristy fare. Made yet another treacherous ride back to the resort where we hit up the casino and watched a variety show put on by the resort. Hilarious.

Crashed that night for our 7am flight… which we nearly missed.

Maybe on purpose.

for the man in your life

Snow skiing anyone?

five things…

…that keep me entertained.

1. Angry Birds

I’m addicted. The premise is simple — fire birds that speed up, lay eggs, and sling at pigs that are surrounded by ice, beach balls, golden eggs, ice… well you name it. There’s 8 main levels (2 more coming soon) with anywhere from 18 – 22 intermediate levels within. THEN you also have to find and collect golden eggs to get stars. I realize, sounds ridiculous.

Ridiculously fun.

2. Pinochle!

I did not know the fun that would be pinochle until I started working. There’s a group up here that plays during lunch and I started watching and learning then now, I play! I love it. So nerdy. It’s uses a special deck of cards that have 2 of each of the 9, 10, J, Q, K, A — or 48 cards total — and I can best describe it as a mixture of hearts and spades. Addicting.

3. Words With Friends.

Enough said. And of course I’m beating Huynh… let’s be real.

4. ShakeIt Photo.

It’s an old school Polaroid! And yes, that was lunch. Yummy.

5. Pandora.

Now with the new iPhone, I can finally continuously listen to music all the while playing my games! Thank you, Apple. My favorite station as of late is obviously Glee… and Journey. Any way you want it, baby!