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And here we go again, it’s resolution time people! I am now securely “in” my thirties and I am planning big changes to take control of this new decade. Of course one of the ways I do that is having you guys hold me accountable to my yearly “to do” list, so here you have it, my 31 before 32.
- Take 10 classes.
- Make profiteroles.
- Try 12 recipes from Sweet & Savage.
Southern Sartorialist’s Cookies
Maniac Fire Bread
Blackberry Cobbler Quickbread
Orange & Lavender Extract
Fruit Compound Butter
Upside-down Skillet Corn Cake
Hiker’s Bravado Cookies
- Do 2 DIY’s a month.
- Find my “sexy”.
- Write 10 new recipes.
Chocolate Lavender Cake with Blackberry Filling
Chocolate Chip Pistachio GF Cookies
Chocolate Chai Cake
Simple Delicious Fruit Dip
Vegan Snickerdoodle Mug Cake
Brioche French Toast Casserole
Banana Bread with Brown Butter Glaze
Mini makeover on the guest bathroom. Repaint the hallway.
- Make Swiss Buttercream.
- Read 30 new books.
Missing – Kelley Armstrong
The Lie Tree – Frances Hardinge
The Shark – Mary Burton
The Doll Maker – Mary Burton
The Hang Man – Mary Burton
Come As You Are – Emily Nagoski
The Lowland – Jhumpa Lahiri
Double or Nothing – Craig Schaefer
Lioness of Morocco – Julia Drosten
Girls in White Dresses – Alex Gates
The Haunting of Rachel Harroway – J.S. Donovan
Dreamers Pool – Juliet Maillier
Stillhouse Lake – Rachel Caine
Beneath the Surface – Sibel Hodge
The Star Touched Queen – Roshani Chokshi
Rituals – Kelley Armstrong
A Beautiful Poison – Lydia Kang
The Woman Warrior – Maxine Hong Kingston
The Barefoot Summer – Carolyn Brown
The Fifth Season – NK Jemisin
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao – Junot Diaz
Go somewhere I’ve never been. 13 random acts of kindness.
- Upgrade the light fixtures in the hallway.
- Host a girls night.
- Watch a well known movie that I’ve never seen.
- Clean up and re-do my back patio.
- Create 5 new paintings.
- Wear 5 fashion trends that scare me.
Plant rose bushes in front of the garage.
- Create and maintain a yoga practice 3-5 days a week.
Dye my hair purple.
- Take a weekend trip with friends.
- Go on a picnic – with a basket & everything.
Wear heels at least 1 day a week.
- Go through all of my crafting supplies and get rid of at least 25%.
- Make and give a handmade gift.
Make a pie.
- Collaborate with other creatives on two new projects.
Try 12 new restaurants.
Izzy Pub & Sushi
Toothsome Chocolate Emporium
Last years “TBD” ended up being a lot of fun, so I decided to finish off this years list with another one. I was pretty pleased with the progress I made last year, if you’re interested you can see how I did here.
Image from here.
As of 3:22 this morning (that’s right 3:22 on 3/22), I am 31 years old! Though I am warming to the idea of being securely in my 30’s, most days I still don’t feel like this new age group fits quite right. Today however, I am taking a break from the hand wringing and soul searching to simply enjoy all of the love and well wishes that have been coming my way; and to celebrate the journey to this point I am going to share some of my more interesting life moments with you.
- My role as “Mother Pig” in my preschool production of The Three Little Pigs. That’s what happens when you’re taller than all of the other kids in your class. My job was to kiss my piglets fondly on the cheek and send them off into the world. This much to the dismay of one of my cast mates younger sisters. As I gave her the farewell peck, her little sister angrily shouted from the audience “Julie kissed my Amanda!” Pretty much the highlight of the play.
- The tattoos and piercings that I decided on later in life should have been no surprise for my mother. When I was three, I desperately wanted my ears pierced. They figured I’d wimp out after the first earring went in, but (as my mom has told me countless times) though my eyes welled up and my little lower lip trembled, I defiantly turned my head to that they could pierce the other side. Also a foreshadowing of my tendency to dig in my heels when I want something.
- I went through a phase during middle school where I was obsessed with the Babysitters Club series. Specifically I was a huge fan of the artsy Claudia Kishi who, like me, favored funky accessories and had trouble with spelling. I had to wear a uniform to school, but I stockpiled quirky thrift store accessories and wore as many of them as I could at a time.
- I’d always loved fashion and I’d been sketching princess dresses for as long as I can remember, but it was my very first sewing class that I took in 10th grade that really solidified things for me. I made my homecoming dress that semester, and I knew from then on that I was destined for design school.
- One of the reasons my hair color changes so frequently is that I’ve had to dye it since I was 13. You see, the women in my family start going gray early, and that’s when my class mates started noticing so my mom let me (finally) do something about it. Trust me; you’d get bored with brown and blond after a few years, too.
- My senior year of high school I participated in a fashion show in which all the garments were constructed from toilet paper. It was sort of like the Project Runway “Unconventional Challenge”, but before Project Runway even existed.
- When Andy and I started planning our wedding, he was the one who insisted on the big 200 person affair. I wanted to elope or go to one of those all inclusive BnBs in Savannah that only accommodates 30 people total. Ultimately, we had the big ceremony because he told me I would have to be the one who told his mother if we went with my option. Andy was also the one who wanted to have the big cake (I’d suggested cupcakes), but he wanted something at least three tiers tall. And yes, I still mock him for every single bit of this 🙂
- My friends affectionately refer to my style as “sparkle fairy hippie”, and though most days I am completely confident in my choice of glitter sneakers and flower crown, occasionally I worry that other people just think that I am straight up weird. I mean, they’re not wrong, but still. When I was in Savannah last month, I had a hostess give me what was probably one of the nicest complements I’ve ever received. She told me she loved my flower crown and that I looked like a walking SnapChat filter. Completely made my day.
Obviously, there are many many more stories, some of them you guys have been around for, but I’ll stop here and just say that you guys mean the world to me and I am so grateful that I have gotten to share another year of my life’s journey with you. Happy Wednesday!!!
As you all know, I turned 30 last week. We sort of celebrated all week long with little things, but there were a few special things that happened on the big day itself. 1 – Andy took the day off and cleaned the house before coming to pick me up for lunch. He especially scrubbed and scoured our guest bathroom so I would be able to take a long relaxing soak with my birthday bath bombs from Lush. Is it weird that I think it is so sexy when my husband cleans?
2 – Lunch was an extra special treat. Our favorite tea spot agreed to open very briefly for afternoon tea since it was a special occasion. We got to try out their new March menu and taste some new teas. The absolute best was the cheddar dill scones; they were without a doubt the most amazing savory scones I’ve ever had.
There were flowers, of course. Knowing I am fan of deli flowers, we stopped by one of our local store, and I got to pick out a few bunches to bring home.
3 – We went to dinner at a cajun seafood joint downtown. Emboldened by the start of a new phase of my life, we ordered a few things off of the menu that we had never tried (I liked about 85%), and Andy talked me into trying their chocolate bread pudding. I’ve had bread pudding before and I’ve never liked it, but this particular one turned it all around. Now I know I do like bread pudding; it just has to be a really good one 🙂
It was a really great day. Along with the wonderful day plans, I also got calls and cards from friends and family, and there were some pretty sparkly things to be unwrapped. This was the first time I hadn’t been excited about a birthday, and it was very touching to see how many people went out of their way to make sure it was undoubtedly a wonderful day.
Happy Monday, peoples! Have you ever had one of those weekends that was a blast, but left you feeling like you needed another weekend to recover? Yeah, it was one of those weekends. I had the best birthday weekend, and I went to bed last night feeling very loved and very, very spoiled. Good food, good friends, gifts, cards, gift cards, trips and shopping; what more could a girl ask for?
1 – The dogwoods are finally blooming! Ever since my freshman year of college when I saw the trees around campus bloom for the first time, I have loved dogwood blossoms; they were even my very first tattoo. I have a cluster of blossoms on the left side of my ribcage.
2 – My coworkers got me my favorite carrot cake on Friday to celebrate. This is a true veggie lovers carrot cake; it even has zucchini in it!
3 – Saturday, we had the best time walking around the Asian Gardens at the Jacksonville Zoo; there was even a purple koi fish living in the pond. He didn’t find me nearly as fascinating as I found him.
4 – I always get a kick out of seeing these iconic Florida birds. These guys were especially vibrant and surprisingly vocal.
5 – Head over heels for this window display, I think I need to figure out how to put a flower swing (and those shoes!) in the house.
6 – Andy and I kicked off my actual birthday with a little bit of sleeping in and berry waffles from The Egg, so crazy good!
I don’t know about you guys, but this time change is kicking my butt. There isn’t enough caffeine on the block to convince my body that it wasn’t really waking up an hour early. On the bright side, my birthday is now a little less than two weeks away, so there is that. I had so much fun making my Christmas wish list in December, that I decided to make a birthday wish list. And I got it posted more than a week in advance (Stefanie). I may have gotten a little bit of grief because the last list was posted after most people had done their holiday shopping…
- Crazy Cat Lady Tshirt (in Teal)
- Rosa Pocket Notebook
- Antalya Coin Collar
- Rosina Slingback Pump (Multi Glitter Size 10.5)
- Alice in Wonderland Tea Party Cup
- Naked 3 Pallet
- Paper to Petal Book
- Cherry Blossom Cuff
- Garden Buzz Duvet
Makeup, glitter, cats and flowers….yeah, that pretty much sums me up.