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2017 Bucket List Recap & 2018 Bucket List Goals

Whew, what a year 2017 was. Lots of twists and turns came about this year but I’m still proud to say that I was able to get some items crossed off my bucket list!

  1. Visit New Orleans.
  2. Try absinthe (of course this happened in New Orleans in some super cool underground bar).
  3. Put Mentos in Diet Coke. Yes this was on my list, I never did this as a kid so I set out to knock this one off the list with my kiddo.
  4. Make a sun-melted candle.
  5. Go in a sensory deprivation tank.
  6. Bet on a horse race.
  7. Go on a Troeg’s Brewery Tour.
  8. Go to a St.Patrick’s Day Parade.
  9. Try Guinness.
  10. See a tornado. Okay the real bucket list item was to chase a tornado but having a front row (meaning standing at the door outside) seat to one in your office’s parking lot is pretty darn close!
  11. Grow a lemon tree. This one is still in the works, but hey I started it!
  12. Tour the Haines Shoe House in York.
  13. Run a 10 mile race.
  14. Go to a Wine and Paint Nite.
  15. See a broadway show in NYC.

Not too shabby for making some things happen this year! 

Bucket lists help us set a plan to add fulfillment and excitement into our lives. They give us a little structure and help us schedule in adventures that we dream of. I can’t wait to see what all 2018 will bring for me! Here’s some of the things on my list:

  • Ride a train to Philadelphia and NYC.
  • Try a spaghetti donut.
  • Finish my novel and publish it.
  • Go to a roller derby.
  • Go to a Murder-Mystery dinner.
  • Visit New Hope, PA.
  • Take my son to Dylan’s Candy Store in NYC. His name is Dylan so this one is a bit fun and sentimental.
  • Visit the Baltimore Zoo. Can you believe I live so close and have never been?!
  • Master my grandmother’s Sand Tart recipe.
  • Tell a story at Story Slam/Storytellers.
  • Allow myself to be flawed, embrace my flaws.
  • Sleep in a tree house.
  • Go fruit picking.
  • Learn to belly dance.
  • Go to the movies alone.
  • Make a time capsule.
  • Attend a Wanderlust.
  • Go to the Seawitch Festival in Rehoboth Beach, DE.
  • Try Ratatouille.
  • Stay at a bed and breakfast.

What’s on your bucket list for 2018?

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Year in Review – My Favorite Photos

A photo is so much more than just a photo. It’s a moment captured. Within one photo, so many memories and thoughts are held. 2017 was a tough year and it had several downs and many lessons learned but it also had many wonderful times. Times of strength, times of when love was discovered and joy was born.

This week I took some time to reflect on the year, sifting through photos that were taken throughout the year and just taking some time to sit and be grateful. Grateful for the people that stuck by my side throughout the year, grateful for the adventures I was able to attend and for the challenges I conquered.

My Year in Review: Photo Style

Photo Shoots & Art

Artistically, this was a big year of growth for me. I painted in more color, pushed boundaries and expanded topics, explored with varied mediums, and was in more art shows this year than ever before. I even painted a “party llama” for my best gal’s birthday! Super fun!

The same goes for my photo shoots. New angles, new styles, and new sides of me. Thank you to my photographer Anthony Machcinski, I was able to capture some of my favorite shots and discover a little bit about myself along the way. A little shout out to him – his photos are definitely worth checking out more @PhotosbyChinski on Facebook. Here’s a little sneak of one of my favorite photos from his collection (which I must note, it is so amazing to be able to have artwork next to his in the local art shows – gives me kind of that “look at us, we’re kind of like rock stars” warm and fuzzy feeling).

 

Food & Drink

Let’s just be honest here, food and drink is a pretty important category for every year. This year I really made a point to try new things though (which you’ll get to see a fun list in a later post “New Things I Tried in 2017). I tried new fish, fell in love with charcuterie boards, had champagne on my birthday, ate at a french restaurant, created amazing vegetarian pizzas for meatless Fridays during Lent, and had my first repin of a restaurant meal! It was kind of a fun foodie kind of year.

Adventures & Bucket List Items

I had one big grand adventure this year that I was able to cross off my bucket list – NOLA Trip!!! But I learned this year that it doesn’t have to be grand or far away to be an adventure. Adventures can happen anywhere, including right in your town or backyard! I crossed off touring the Haines Shoe House (yes it’s a house shaped like a shoe – an actual shoe – read more about it here: ‘What’s Up With That Huge Shoe by Route 30?’), I had a fun day being a big kid and eating lots of ice cream at the Turkey Hill Experience, I ran a 10 mile race in June (yeah, yeah, I know I talk about it all the time – but come on, this was a huge feat for me!), did squats by Inner Harbor in Baltimore for a fitness post, yoga in a bunny costume, bet on a horse race…no matter where you are, you can always find an adventure.

Little Moments & More Favorites

Coming home and seeing that your son made your mannequin dab, realizing that your dad’s old truck makes an awesome black and white photo, being rained out of a local charity race to find fun in grabbing grub at the local market, the beautiful flower in the garden you see in the morning that makes your day, Duck Donuts Mommy and Son Breakfast Dates, watching the pups always bantering on who has what, the cranky snapchat picture you send your BFF after a bad day……

 Finding out your dad has a brain tumor and that he’s going to need surgery but going out as a family and having a wonderful day anyways because you know that together you can make it through, the inspiration on your desk, the new puppy to the family, the moment you realize how much your son is like you, the funny things that happen at work, the beautiful sunrise you catch after an early morning gym appointment, the unconditional love from a pet……

The face you make when you know you have to go to the gym, you’re going to go to the gym, but you don’t want to go to the gym. The first time the puppy gets mail, the Subway lunch you’re having at 7:32 in the morning because you’re day started at 4am for Black Friday Shopping, and of course the SnapChat filters that make you feel pretty and laugh every darn time……

Life can have so many beautiful moments, big and small, sometimes silly, sometimes awakening. Celebrate them all, every day, every week, every month, every year. Celebrate you, your life, and everyone in it. <3 Onward to a new year ahead!

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My Travel Bucket List – 70 and Counting!

I sat down this morning to take some time to explore my personal life values and the desires I have for my life. I really took the time to dig deep, creating a super long list of all the values that are important to me. Narrowing them down to a handful and I discovered that there are some things I really want in my life, that I talk about all the time, but I haven’t been making as many actionable steps towards them that I should be making:

1. Adventure

2. Exploration

3. Discovery

In my younger years I didn’t really take the opportunity to explore the world as much as I would have liked to. When I look back at some of my happiest moments it was when I was traveling and exploring new places…like Maine, like North Carolina, Canada…my list is kind of short…but if you look at my Bucket List it is filled with places to visit and adventures to be had. This past year, after watching an interesting Netflix show called No Tomorrow, I bought a little black book and got to work really nailing down some bucket list essential stuff…even though I’ve been crossing some goodies off of it, I’ve only knocked one travel goal off of it – visit New Orleans. I got distracted from building my dream of travel and this morning during my self-discovery and reflection sess I was reminded of it…which let me honest, some of the adventures are pretty specific…oh and it’s a bit long too…but hopefully it’ll give you some ideas too! 

My Travel Bucket List

  1. Ride The Great Wheel in Seattle
  2. Visit Boliva’s Witches’ Market
  3. Cape May, New Jersey
  4. Visit Ulrich’s (that’s my maiden name so that’s why it’s super appealing to me) Biergarten in Germany
  5. See the Cherry Blossoms in Washington D.C.
  6. Get a picture on the steps from ‘The Exorcism’ in Georgetown
  7. Visit Kauai – go on a helicopter waterfall tour & hike, go mountain tubing in Waihai Stream, go on a Napali Coast raft tour, see the Open Ceiling Cave
  8. Go to the Florida Keys Underwater Music Festival at Looe Key Reef
  9. Float in the Dead Sea in Israel, Jordan, Palestine
  10. Visit Lego Land (they happened to build one in Philadelphia which is a bit closer to my home!)
  11. Visit a rainforest
  12. See the Northern Lights – and sleep in a glass igloo
  13. Go ice skating in Central Park, NYC
  14. See Light City in Baltimore, MD
  15. Visit Thailand (this is an ultimate item for me!) – visit an elephants sanctuary, volunteer and help the elephants, visit a temple
  16. Go to a Pittsburgh Penguins game
  17. Salem, Massachussetts – tour and learn more about the witch trials
  18. The Fiji Islands
  19. Venice, Italy – ride a water taxi, visit Aqualandia waterpark, walk inside St. Mark’s Basilica, see The Bridge of Sighs, eat a gelato, climb the Campanile
  20. Attend Solistice in Times Square, NYC
  21. Go to the Envision Festival in Uvita, Costa Rica
  22. Camp on the beach
  23. Drink tea in England
  24. Egypt
  25. Sleep in an overwater bungalow
  26. Swim with manta rays
  27. Visit a monastery
  28. Swim with pigs at Pig Island in Exuma, Bahamas
  29. Visit a castle
  30. Go on a Disney Cruise
  31. Go to Disney World (can you believe that I’m in my thirties and I’ve never been!)
  32. Go back and see my hometown – Norfolk, VA
  33. Hike the Inca Trail
  34. Visit California (I have lots of stuff I want to do here!) – wine tasting in Napa, ride a trolley in San Francisco, hug a redwood, visit Mont`ana de Oro State Park, visit Chinatown, Jake (L.A.), visit Catalina Island, visit The Glass Beach at Fort Bragg, visit The Point Reyes Lighthouse, walk under The Cypress Tree Tunnel, visit Yosemite National Park, visit Victoria’s Beach historic pirate tower in Laguna Beach, visit Sunset Cliffs Natural Park, hike to the Hollywood sign, see The Golden Gate Bridge, visit Griffith Observatory, visit the Santa Monica Pier
  35. The Baltimore Zoo (I live so close yet I’ve never been!)
  36. Africa
  37. See a bullfight in Spain (kinda hate how these can be a bit inhumane but I did a big study on them when I was a kid so I’ve always been curious to see an official one)
  38. Visit a volcano
  39. Punalu`u Beach in Hawaii – a black sand beach
  40. Visit a pink sand beach
  41. Attend Firefly Music Festival in Delaware
  42. Visit The Niagara Falls
  43. Japan – visit the bamboo forest in Arashiyama
  44. Ireland
  45. Visit Colorado (this is another ultimate item!) – visit the Four Corners (where Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah meet), visit Crystal Mills, The Garden of Gods, see a show at Red Rocks Amphitheater, go hiking in Colorado, visit Pagosa Hot Springs, Rocky Mountain National Park
  46. Take my son to Dylan’s Candy Store in NYC (his name is Dylan, wink wink)
  47. Visit Antelope Canyon in Arizona
  48. Go to Seawitch Festival in Rehoboth Beach, DE
  49. Run in the Surf City (Half) Marathon in Huntington Beach, California
  50. Attend Sloth Sleepover at The Zoological Wildlife Conservation in Rainer, Oregon
  51. Go to The Unclaimed Baggage Center in Scottsboro, Alabama
  52. Visit The Artic Circle
  53. Take cooking classes at Ill Fontanano in Umbria, Italy
  54. Take a luxury train ride on the Belmond Royal Scotsman
  55. See the tulips at Keukenhof Park, Holland
  56. See the dragon’s blood trees in Socotra, Yemen
  57. Visit The Great Barrier Reef and Whitehaven Beach in Queensland, Australia
  58. Visit the Glowworm Caves (The Waitomo Caves) in New Zealand
  59. New Hope, PA
  60. Visit The Betty and Marcus Sculpture Park at Laguna Gloria in Austin, Texas
  61. Visit Puma Punku
  62. Stay at The Great Wolf Lodge in the Poconos
  63. Bethlehem, PA
  64. Visit the Catacombs in Paris
  65. See The Great Smoky Mountains
  66. Go to a seahorse farm in Hawaii
  67. Shenandoah National Park
  68. Visit Cathedrals Beach in Galacia, Spain
  69. Go to a Titanic Museum
  70. Stay at the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles lair in Tribeca, NYC

I’m at seventy for my travel bucket and wish list and the list keeps growing! What’s on your travel bucket list? Share your ideas. I want to go out of this world with a book full of adventures!