Tag Archives: summer bucket list

Update on My Summer Bucket List

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So, my Summer Bucket List. It feels like just last week I was writing up the list and anxiously anticipating the summer months ahead. Now here we are in the middle of September and I’m already Googling new cognac boots and spending too much money on fall scented candles from Bath and Body Works.

This summer went far from planned. To start, we moved. We had started looking at some new little nest options but weren’t planning on moving until later this season. However, we fell in love with an apartment and it was priced appropriately. In this area those two factors mean ACT NOW. So we did. While we accomplished some things on the Bucket List, many got left behind or forgotten altogether. Despite that, it truly was an amazing summer. We traveled, we “cheers-ed”, we laughed, we lived in the moment, and we were certainly never bored.

Here’s the rundown on our list:

– Read 8 books between Memorial Day and Labor Day

So, I didn’t make it to eight. I think I read five? When I created the list I anticipated reading much more on my vacations to Cape Cod and Europe than I actually did. Aside from travel time in the car or planes, I hardly read at all on those trips, which is actually probably a good sign. I will say that by creating a book list I really made it a point to pick up the titles I wanted to read. The list helped put the reading process back into my daily routine (even if I was only reading a few pages before bed), and that was ultimately the point. I definitely plan to create a fall reading list to share later this month.

– Go to Six Flags

Yep, we didn’t make it. We truly had no free weekends, and with all the other awesome things we were doing it never even crossed our minds.

– Attend at least one outdoor concert

Woo! We can actually cross this one off the list. Early in the summer we saw that Gavin DeGraw and Matt Nathanson were going to be performing at Wolf Trap and we scooped up tickets and blocked out the evening on our calendar. Wolf Trap is a really fun and unique concert venue with a rustic vibe. They allow everyone to bring in their own blankets, picnic baskets, and alcohol, so we packed up nibbles and a bottle of wine and had a really perfect summer date night.

– Try three new restaurants in our area

I know we had to have done this, but I’m having trouble remembering what restaurants we frequented all summer. Crepes, BBQ, and lots of fresh seafood were all part of our summer diets, and we made it a point to try out new spots when we went out. While not at all in our area, the best meal we ate this season was hands-down at Barbecoa in London.

– Visit two new local Farmer’s Markets

I made it to the Annapolis market (meh), but so far I still haven’t gotten to Fell’s Point for theirs. Free Saturday mornings were at a premium. It is still on my list to get to though, and fall markets are sometimes even better than summer!

– Go to Sandy Point State Park

Nope, didn’t make it. Like Six Flags, it never even crossed our minds. Maybe next year!

– Visit a local winery

Unfortunately, I didn’t make it to an actual winery. I did get to a few wine festivals and tried lots of new local wines – even finding some new favorites and go-tos. Boordy still has some events happening this fall, and I’m going to keep this goal for the coming season.

– Make homemade doughnuts

In the midst of travel and moving this never happened. For a couple of weeks there I was doing minimal cooking, let alone baking. Now that my pots and pans are unpacked and I’ve gotten the hang of my new gas stove (love it!) I may give this a go.

– Have a picnic outside on a blanket

We did this a few times, but as mentioned above, my favorite picnic was definitely at the Gavin/Matt concert.

– Make caprese salad using basil and tomatoes from my own plants

So the neighborhood we lived in before we moved in August was pretty residential and had deer. Lots and lots of deer. When my first few tomatoes started to appear back in June the deer swept in and ate my plant down to a stump. It is just finally recovering and has a few lone green tomatoes sprouting, but I have low hopes. We have much better outdoor space at our new apartment and I can’t wait to start fresh in the spring.

– Craft something

I think I crafted a few things over the last few months, but I honestly can’t remember. I did finally get around to staining an unfinished wood crate over Labor Day weekend. We used it as part of our wedding reception decor, and I’ve been meaning to stain it for two years now. Inspired by my new outdoor patio space and a three day weekend, I set about staining it and turning it into a small bookshelf/side table. I love the end result and the bit of personality it adds to our primarily Ikea-furnished living space.

– Buy a piece of artwork while traveling

Unfortunately, this never happened. We never saw anything that really struck us that we loved enough to haul around. We do plan to go through some photos and hopefully get some great prints from our travels to add to a gallery wall that is on our to-do list.

So, we didn’t do all that well at crossing things off the list, but so is life. What was something on your summer bucket list that you never got to? Or, what was something fun and unexpected you did this season? xx

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Across the Pond & Back: Photos from London & St Andrews

We’ve officially been back from Europe for two weeks. It feels like a lifetime. We had an amazing time – filled with laughter, good friends, bubbly, and glow sticks. I’ll start getting back into some regular posting around here in the coming days, but for now, I’m going to stay in a state of wanderlust and reminisce.

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On 26, and a Reflection on 25

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Today, I turn 26. I always feel a little nostalgic on my birthday. Not just because I’m another year older, but because on September 2nd, the day usually falls on or around Labor Day, marking the unofficial end of summer.

This summer season, and this year in general, have been a whirlwind. You always hear that the days/weeks/months feel shorter and shorter the older you get, but never was that quite so apparent to me until this 25th year. And to be honest, I always thought that was just something old people said.

As I reflect on this year’s past, I am filled with joy. To keep it real, years #23 and #24 were rough. Fresh out of college and feeling like every step I took was a major life choice was no playground. Suddenly, I was away from my friends and support system, and even more suddenly, making new friends was harder than it had ever been before. Add planning a wedding and feeling constantly broke to the list, and you can imagine the mood swings. There were some wonderful highlights of course, but there were also some major slumps.

Then, around 25, things started to click. I widened my social circle and put myself out there. I grew confident in my career and as a young professional, and I celebrated a year of marriage with my wonderful husband. I (we) traveled. We explored our own city as well as many more. I stopped comparing myself to friends and acquaintances on social media. I drank spinach-filled smoothies for breakfast and ate dessert every night. I found my own, real, personal style. I also finally settled on a hair color (for now).

As I step in to my 26th year, and as the season changes from summer to fall, I am nothing but optimistic about the months ahead. A big reason for that is you – my family and friends. For the support you give me and J, for being there even when I don’t call as much as I should, and for being by my side through some of my best memories of the year – Cheers. Bring it on, 26.

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Rambles on Life Lately

Carrie

Hi friends! Sorry to have fallen off the radar these last couple of weeks. In addition to the usual catch-up that ensues upon returning from vacation, J and I decided to throw a move on top of that. Let’s just say we tend to live by a “power through it” motto.

After returning home from our Cape Cod vacation a week and a half ago, we immediately started packing up our apartment to get moved to a new community later in the week. Living off Subway sandwiches, we spent this past Thursday and Friday after work packing our cars and making trips to the new place with boxes of what can be described as nothing more than “stuff.” First thing Saturday morning I headed to Pittsburgh to celebrate the baby shower of a wonderful friend while J and his brother and BFF loaded the U-Haul with our furniture. By the time I returned Sunday almost everything was out of our old place (including the cat!) and we finished our last cleaning and to-do’s there before dropping off our keys.

Exhausted and slightly overwhelmed, we are now getting ourselves settled into the new space. We are really excited about the community, and we are both ready to get it put together so that it starts to feel like home (aka – decorate!). It’s a brand-new apartment community that really appeals to young professionals, so I think it is going to be a great fit for us. Even better? It’s a non-smoking community, which if you’ve ever been a non-smoker living in a huge apartment complex, you’ll understand how awesome that is. The hope is that we can settle here for a bit. This is the third time we have moved since January 2012, and while moving is a great opportunity to purge the junk we don’t need, we’re both pretty sick of it. When we first came to the area we had no idea what we were looking for in terms of an apartment, and we were utterly blown away with sticker shock. After being here for almost three years we know our favorite restaurants and neighborhoods, and where the best middle ground is for our commutes (I’m in DC and J’s in Baltimore.) We’ve also learned that you unfortunately get what you pay for! Hopefully this is the community we’ve been looking for to meet some new people and enjoy the next few years.

In case you’re wondering, the cat is doing ok. She has moved from about a 9 on the terrified scale to a 3. She’s been exploring the space and has been alternating her time between trying to jump on the countertops (not ok), hiding in my master closet amidst the boxes, and peering out the sliding glass door to the scope out the patio. I took advantage of the move to buy her a new bed as her old one was getting pretty rough, and after a full 48 hours of sitting on the carpet next to it and staring it down, she finally cuddled up last night.

Overall, with the exception of our trip to Cape Cod (which was perfectly beautiful and relaxing), the last few weeks have been chaos. Pumpkin ales are already on tap at our favorite watering holes (too early!) and summer is flying by. While we scope out some new furniture options and talk gallery walls, we’re also getting set for our trip to England and Scotland in … 11 days!?!

Posts may be a bit sporadic around here through Labor Day as I work through the boxes, take advantage of the last weeks I have to enjoy the sparkling new pool I now have access to, and travel to Europe to celebrate the wedding of some wonderful friends. I’ll check in whenever I get the chance – now go outside and enjoy the sunshine!

xx

Week in Photos: Cape Cod

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Mid-Week Peaks & Our Rocky Relationship with NYC

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Happy Wednesday! How’s everyone’s week going? To keep it perfectly real, I’ve been in a total pre-vacation slump. We leave for Cape Cod on Sunday, and nothing makes you feel like you need a vacation more than knowing that you have one waiting for you. J and I have taken turns all week telling one another that we just have to make it to Friday. Alas, despite the slump, there have also been some great highlights over the last few days. Here are this week’s mid-week peaks (as well as a fun little story about our rocky relationship with NYC):

  • A Get-Together With Alumnae Sisters

After work on Friday I headed toward Baltimore for a dinner meeting with some of my alumnae chapter sorority sisters. Getting involved with my local alumnae chapter was one of the best decisions I made after moving to the DC area. Making friends as an adult is hard work, and having this great group of women as a support system made the transition so much easier! I love J beyond measure, but I really look forward to the laid-back, once-a-month girl time I get to have with this eclectic group of ladies. I’ve mentioned it before, but it’s amazing how much you have in common with those who have shared life experiences. We are a range of women in different age groups, professional fields, from different areas of the country, and in varying stages of life, but we all come together because of a commitment to our sorority that we made in college… and somehow, we click.

  • Day-cation to NYC

On Saturday J and I made a little daytrip to New York City and finally put to use the MegaBus tickets we bought almost two years ago. To give you a little back-story, J and I got engaged one memorable weekend in the city in October 2011. However, the proposal wasn’t the only thing that made the trip memorable – it was also the weekend a snowstorm hit the Northeast. In October. With plans for a grand autumn proposal in NYC (unbeknownst to me), poor J and I trekked around the city getting wind-blown and soaked through before he popped the question at a romantic little restaurant in Greenwich Village over dinner and by that point, much needed wine.

The ring was in his jacket pocket during this experience… I can’t help but laugh now…

So while that proposal weekend was perfect all in it’s own right, in 2012 J and I decided to give the city in autumn another chance. We wanted to see the fall leaves in Central Park and eat pastries on the sidewalk in Little Italy. We purchased two MegaBus tickets and looked forward to our weekend getaway. Then, in the days before we were set to leave, Hurricane Sandy hit New York. Needless to say, we cancelled the trip. However, if you know anything about MegaBus, you can’t really cancel. You either lose your money, or you have to keep scheduling future trips (never more than 2-3 months out), and rescheduling, and rescheduling… In our case, we rescheduled for almost two years. Life got in the way and there was never a good weekend to go. Until the last time I went to amend the reservations, and I told J “This is it. We either go or admit defeat.” So we went! And the weather was glorious!

We couldn’t make a weekend out of it, so we committed to seven great hours in the city. We ate, we took pictures, we walked – a lot, we strolled Central Park and watched street performers, and we enjoyed a day together with minimal distractions. And despite the long hours and over-air conditioned bus ride home, it was a pretty great day.

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What’s been a highlight of your week? Cheers! xx

Weekend in Photos: NYC

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