30 Before 30: Fail. But Ongoing.

In 2011, I came up with a list of 30 things I wanted to do by the time I turned 30. It was a lofty list, for me, at least. But at the time, I thought I had more than 2 years to complete it, and back then, I didn’t think I would be moving out of state to Florida, either.

Well, I turned 30 last month, my friends, and here’s what’s been completed and what remains. I made a few edits in 2012 to add a few Florida-centric things I wanted to do….

My 30 before 30 list

1. Learn how to dive into a pool.

2. Learn how to turn a cartwheel.

3. Learn the basics of sewing.

4. Learn how to scuba dive. [almost done!]

5. Learn how to drive stick.

6. Learn how to bake my mom’s cheesecake recipe from scratch.

7. Learn how to keep a houseplant alive, and keep one alive, the way my mom can!  

8. Find THE purse. [Completed 10/10. Found it and bought it! The J.Crew Brompton hobo in espresso.]

9. Then, sell or donate a bunch of other purses.

10. Lose 55 lbs., or fit into a size 8, whichever comes first.

11. Run a Disney 5K.

12. Donate all my old “fat girl” clothes.

13. Get debt/finances under control.

14. Visit the NASA VAB at Kennedy Space Center.

15. Drive with my husband in his Jeep on Daytona Beach.

16. Stay overnight at a Disney deluxe resort for first time since honeymoon.

17. Find a signature wine. [Goats do Roam red and white varieties. Thanks Epcot Food & Wine 2010!]

18. Figure out my signature cocktail, and how to make it. [My go-to: a vodka tonic or gin & tonic. Simple. easy.]

19. Network with 30 people in Orlando.

20. Visit Disney World again in 2011 …[Moved to Orlando Aug. 2011]

21. …and in 2012/13, after the Fantasyland expansion is complete or at least partially opened.

22. Visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios.[Visited Sept. 2011]

23. Volunteer for an organization. [Alabama Social Media Association executive director, 2011; Gamma Phi Beta regional coordinator, 2013]

24. Go on an overnight camping/kayak trip.

25. Tour a winery.

26. Get a stamp on my unused passport.

27. Go horseback riding.

28. Go deep sea fishing.

29. Unpack every box after Aug. 2012 move, and get rid of/donate everything not being used.

30. Embrace turning 30!

So, I’m 18 items away from being done. But these are all still things I want to do or learn to do. We’ll see how long it really takes for me to complete! Bets, anyone?


My TV Shows, and Why I’m in Love with Nashville


Here’s the TV shows I keep up with these days:


Nashville. A special mention here — I highly, highly recommend Nashville on ABC, y’all! The acting, music, production and plot are all a solid A. Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere each earned Golden Globe nominations, and it’s clear to see why. I was upset when ABC canceled GCB, but this is far, far better, and if you’re a country or rock fan, you’ll love the music. (Here’s a Spotify playlist: )

Once Upon A Time. Great addition to ABC’s lineup now in its second season. Because this is a TV show based on fairy tales on the ABC network, you’ll see a lot of references to fairy tale characters we’re used to seeing in Disney classics — but there are a lot of other mentions too. Nearly all of the Disney princesses are accounted for at this point — Snow White, Aurora, Cinderella, Belle, Mulan…just a few more and we’ll have the whole list!

Revenge. This is one I didn’t think I would love at first, but it’s gotten me hooked. Madeline Stowe is amazing, and I wish I had the steely resolve of Emily Thorne.

Mad Men. I got into this very late, via Netflix, but I am eagerly awaiting Season 6. Still need to watch episodes 6-12 of Season 5 as well.


Modern Family. This is one that my husband and I eagerly await together. He’s not a fan of my dramas, and I’m not a fan of his, so it’s nice to have at least one show we can watch together.

Family Guy. See above, except it’s a cartoon. (:

The Office. Sticking with it til the bitter end this season. It’s hard to watch these days, and I find myself distracted and doing other things while it’s on, but I’d like to see how it ends up.

Shows I Used to Watch:

Gossip Girl. I followed the entire series until the abrupt season finale in December. XOXO. Blair and Chuck forever.

Grey’s Anatomy. I started watching this show in its first season, during my last semester of college in 2005, but I willingly gave it up toward the end of Season 8, when the plots were starting to really jump the shark, and the cast had changed so much that it wasn’t the show it started out as anymore. I haven’t looked back.

Private Practice. Like most Grey’s fans, I started following this when it debuted, but gave it up at the same time as Grey’s and don’t miss it.

You’ll see that reality TV is absent from this list. Occasionally I’ll watch an episode of Biggest Loser, Bachelor/ette, and in the past I’ve followed Idol, but I’m just not into reality in general.

What are the shows you follow these days?


My Happy List: January 2013


My Happy List: January 2013

1. Mango pup
2. Walt Disney World
3. Flip-flops
4. A great book
5. Salt air
6. Hydrangeas
7. A whole day off with my hubs
8. An unexpected gift
9. Caramel
10. The Crimson Tide
11. My sorority
13. My nephews
14. Our April 2009 wedding
15. “Keep Calm and Carry On” artwork
16. Chai
17. A warm fluffy fleece jacket
18. Pedicures
19. My newly natural hair color
20. “Nashville”


Going Solo – and that’s OK


My husband Brian and I recently passed the 14-month mark of our time living here in Orlando. At the end of August, we made the much-anticipated move from an apartment to a rental home. We’re really enjoying it — we have a pool, a garage and more square footage for not a lot more than we were paying for the apartment.

Due to Brian’s erratic work schedule  — thankfully no more overnight shifts, though — I sometimes have some time to kill on my own. I lean slightly more “I” than “E” on the Myers-Brigg, so I generally like to recharge and do productive things on my own when I can. Here lately, when I’m home from work but he’s working a late or weekend shift, I’ve been swimming, spending time with our dog, reading, and doing some freelance work.

But sometimes a girl has got to get out of the house. And that’s when I’m reminded that while I have many contacts at work, a loving family, and friends from college all only a text away, sadly, I don’t have a whole lot of close friends here in Orlando. — certainly not anyone I could text and say, “Hey, let’s meet for drinks/dinner/theme park cavorting in an hour.”

I think this is for a lot of reasons — I definitely have some new acquaintances here in town, but most wouldn’t prioritize me because they have kids and I don’t, or they have an established group of friends already. And that’s OK, though sometimes I grumble inwardly a bit.

Another thing is when friends or family from out of state visit Orlando, because everyone does at some time or another. When they do, I don’t expect them to change plans just to accommodate me tagging along — they’re on vacation!

So, all that said, I’ve learned to enjoy myself solo. Tonight, Brian was working, so after work I headed to Epcot to see what all the hubbub was with the 30th anniversary celebration. I hiked in from the parking lot just in time to see Disney legend Marty Sklar talk for nearly two hours about the building of Walt Disney World and Epcot. It was, in short, amazing.

After that I headed to Boulangerie Patisserie for a ham and cheese croissant, and picked up a Napoleon to go for Brian and I to split at home later. Then, I caught IllumiNations with a special 30th anniversary tag at the end. Also amazing.

And I did all of this tonight alone, not caring what other people thought of me as I wandered the busy theme park solo.

But, I will say this: If you’d like to invite me for dinner/drinks/cavorting in the parks, I’d happily tag along. (:



The 3 Ps of obtaining your goal and dreams




These are the three Ps of obtaining your goals and dreams for your life.

1) Position yourself to be in the best place possible. This is where research and hard choices come into play. Whether you feel you need more salary, to lose 100 lbs., or to obtain a specific job, you will need to make sacrifices to position yourself to obtain your goals. Learn as much as you can about your goal, and decide what you need to do to put your best foot forward. If you think moving to NYC will help you get that dream magazine job, you may need to make that leap. If you want to get a raise at work, you’ll need to take on more projects.

2) Be persistent and open about your goals. Pestering others (in a good, productive way) may come into play here. Being open about your feelings and goals to those who can help you comes into play here. You’d be surprised at how many are flattered by your attention and questions, and will welcome you and offer help. And tamping down those negative feelings is essential here. Lose the anxiety and come to terms with the fact that you CAN do it.

3) And finally, be patient. Sometimes things take time. I think it’s a Millenial trait to expect what’s awesome right now, and if you don’t get it, to move on until you find it. But really, good things often do come with time. Whether your goal is to run a half marathon, get hired by Google, or have 3 kids, it all takes time. And try to enjoy yourself a bit along the way.