29 Things to do Before Turning 30

Dirty 30…

We are starting off pretty damn well. We recently moved to Washington State. I began working at a Floral company. We spend our days cuddled up with our pups in front of our fireplace, drinking cocktails and hiking the multitude of mountains that surround us. To say that I am lucky is an understatement. In the last several years I never dreamed this would actually be my reality. Ok I dreamed it… But I didn’t actually believe it.

This year will provide it’s own sets of ups and downs. It’s own surprises. I am probably not prepared for some of them and others I will welcome with open arms. If last year taught me anything, it’s that life is truly full of surprises and I am much stronger than I ever thought possible. So with that in mind I will offer up another “dreams” list for another year.

A guide to give me motivation when I feel like I am not moving forward. A reminder when I feel down trodden, that magic is just around the corner.

 

1: Try snow shoeing

2: Take a dip in a hot springs

3: Visit Olympic Peninsula

4: Visit Canada (Victoria? or Vancouver? Hell, how about both!)

5: Bake more pies, I don’t know why

6: Become a master at stews and soups. A skill I feel is needed for living here in Washington.

7: Learn to arrange and maintain florals/plants

8: Work my way up to a 10miles hike

9: See a starfish in a tide pool

10: Visit Leavenworth at Christmas. (Reindeer Farm, Sliegh Ride, Ornament shopping)

11: Cut down our own Christmas tree at Tiny Tree Farm

12: Tour a beer factory and maybe even a whiskey distillery for my love

13: Visit Seattle’s China Town

14: Try jump seating

15: Take moms and sis to get macaroons and champagne

16: Concoct a photographable picnic complete with a plaid woolen blanket

17: Print photo for above dining table

18: Renew passport

19: Get 2nd tattoo (Floral shoulder cap)

20: Rent bikes in Seattle and go exploring

21: Visit one of Washington’s famous flower festivals! (Lavender, Tulip and I think there is a daffodil one too!)

22: Visit Japan

23: Learn to make Creme Brûlée

24: Camp at high altitude for sunrise views from our tent. Or camp in a fire look out.

25: Learn to make butter beer

26: Get our meat from a local butcher

27: Visit Mt. Rainer

28: Buy a fire pit

29: *Dirty 30* weekend with my girls

 

28 Things to do before turning 29

1: Attend a proper wine tasting

Thank you Portland Buddies for taking us to our first proper wine tasting! It was a perfect day of beach hopping and wine tasting! xoxo

2: Eat a traditional Korean meal

We are so into Korean food. Especially the various pots of Kimchi served with it!

3:Take a floral milk bath

Although I have access to plenty of flowers, we don’t have a bathtub. So this was a no go.

4:  Make  video of 2018 using: 1 Second Everyday  

I haven’t missed a single day since Jan 1st, 2018! I have a few more months to go, so wish me luck! If you haven’t ever used the app, it’s a great way to stay creative with a minimal amount of time.

5: Prepare a five course meal. or go eat one out

Didn’t try, maybe when we get friends?

6: Go to an archery range or gun range

We went camping in the Olympic Peninsula where we were able to practice shooting.

7: Go to a drive in movie theater, because my love has never been

I want to take him to see Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them this November. Super excited!!

8: Purchase a new camera

My love bought me an incredible Canon Mark 4 as my christmas present. How lucky? It is a dream boat. Oh and so is he!

9: Take photos in a photo booth with my love

AHHH. I love Seattle! There are several locations within Seattle that still have legit film photo booths! If your in Pikes Place Market go visit Orange Dracula. If your out looking for a good dive bar head over to Montana Bar for another photo booth!

10: Fancy cheese night, try cheeses I have never heard of

I surprised my love when he returned from one of his last under ways with this spread. I have to say that cheese platters may be their own love language.

11: Get in-design

No go

12: Own our very own house… dwelling… abode… home…

We don’t own our home but we did get the most wonderful house here in Washington. With a yard for the dogs, loads of sunlight and beautiful hardwood floors. I have stayed pretty smitten with it!

13: Find myself in a spontaneous adventure I couldn’t have imagined

When I wrote this list last year, I knew that there was a huge possibility that we would be moving before I turned 29. But I wasn’t sure when or where. Well we were right, we sure did move! From coast to coast in fact. Jacksonville, Florida allllllllllll the way to Marysville, Washington. Taking the opportunity that was given to us, we did an old fashioned cross country road trip. Complete with stops to Rocky Mountain National Park, The Grand Tetons and Yellowstone. I never dreamed that in a year I would visit Colorado, Wyoming and Montana before moving to the dream state of Washington! (Think I will add this “spontaneous adventure I couldn’t imagine” to every goal list!) My love has settled into his new command and I now work as a florist. Our lives have changed so immensely it’s actually quite hard to put it all into words. xo

14: Make Artifact Uprising vacation book

Always and forever Artifact Uprising will be my favorite photo book company. They always turn out astounding! Can’t wait to create a photo book of our cross country adventure. Which I am creating at a turtle speed. Slow and steady wins the race right? bahahaha

15: Buy plants/grow herbs again

With working at a florist, I have had ample opportunities to bring home plants. A wonderful perk of my new digs!

16: Focus on living healthier together

I would say in general we have been able to accomplish this. Admittedly him more than I. But with moving to Washington we have increased our activity with hiking. We purchase our veggies from farmers and our meat directly from a local butcher. We’re cooking/eating healthier this way. I have increased the amount of water I drink, which is hard because I do love my coffee and alcohol diet. bahaha

17: Write a Florida adventure post for people living in Jacksonville

Basically just a little love letter to all the things I most enjoyed about our time living in Florida. xoxo

18: Take pups to see snow

Y’all!!! These dogs and snow are akin to an addict and crack. Ok maybe thats a crude joke, but seriously they couldn’t get enough. Their hyper-ness level increased ten fold!  They would dive head first into the snow and then run around like crazy. Im telling you! Addicts.

19: Plan a Christmas cabin getaway. Wear plaid and make fires

I have it planned! Waiting on my love to give me dates for December so I can book our Christmas cabin getaway in Leavenworth Washington. Its a weekend complete with ALL things Christmas!

20: Visit Savannah

For my 28th birthday the Mr. planned a weekend getaway to Savannah. Complete with the cutest Air B&B and loads of incredible foodie stops.


21: Drink a Florida Mule from Ice Plant Bar

Damn this place is good. I was feeling high on life the night we went. After two years of anticipation this place lived up to the hype. Actually it exceeded it. Just go…

22: Hike with the pups

These dogs were made to hike. 100% would give the energizer bunny a run for it’s money.

23: Visit Harry Potter World. Try every butter beer

I GOT TO GO! Thanks to the best momma in the world, she gave my love and I tickets to spend the weekend with my sister, her hubs and the oldest kiddo at Universal Orlando. It would be an understatement to say I was excited. You can ask the Mr. I was beaming in my childhood dream of going to Hogsmead and trying butterbeer! We rode the Hogwarts Express and pretty much did every nerd thing I could think of. Because you only live once. Am I right?

24: Purchase sage/Incense

Purchased incense. Brought some home to remind me of India.

25: Purchase a book by the artist Peter Beard 

One has not materialized and I have yet to purchase it on my own. Opps.

26: Try an amaretto sour

I have been missing out! My momma said it was her signature drink back in the day. And I can see why! They are easy on the pallet these little temptresses.

27: Learn to make my father-in-laws famous oyster stuffing

This last christmas (2017) we drove back to Virginia to see my loves family one last time before our move. On christmas eve my father in law and I made his famous oyster stuffing together. I can’t wait to make it every holiday for my love to remind him of home.

28: Begin dreaming more, because this list was so fucking hard to write this year

 

27 Things to do before Turning 28 *revisited*

1: Go orange picking

Didn’t know Orange season in Florida is in the fall, which means by the time I got around to planning a day to do it, it was spring. Waaaay past when we could go. So this November we will be picking oranges and making marmalade for sure.

2: See a manatee 

We made two conservative attempts to see a manatee, even going as far as purchasing a guided snorkel tour… to no avail! We ended up going to Ocala’s Zoo which had two in captivity that were rescued due to illness and were being nursed back to health. So there is that right?


3: Go camping on the beach (Something I have always wanted to do) 

We love going up to Talbot Island they have cute little campgrounds that back up to the water with easy access to the beach and hiking trails. While this isn’t directly on the beach itself it is as close as it gets.



4: Purchase a travel french press and mugs for said camping 

Purchased a stainless steel french press and two travel mugs with locking lids for our hiking/camping needs. Because no matter how much I love nature I love my coffee just as much! My love thinks its ridiculous that I pack my own brewing method when I travel, until he wants coffee on a sleepy morning and then I whip own my magic french press. 

5: Visit an orchid farm

Nathaniel took me all the way to a HUGE Orchid greenhouse which we proceeded to purchase this orchid from. I have an obsession with them, if I could I would have hundreds of them.

6: Explore Florida Keys, take my love scuba diving

 No Keys

7: Go flea marketing/antiquing for art supplies

 I came… I saw.. but I did not conquer. Apparently Jacksonville doesn’t have the greatest of antique stores. Didn’t find a thing for art.

8: Buy a good piece of handmade pottery

I was lucky enough to have a beautiful hand thrown mug made for me by a dear friend as well as purchased a mug on our recent travels to Arizona. Im in love with them!

9: Get a tattoo

Finally joined the club! Thank you Maya Angelou for your poems that have metaphorically and literally marked me. “Still I Rise” is my anthem for overcoming depression. These words/poem have time and time again kept me going. *Thanks to @thedeadart at Florida Velvet Tattoo for tattooing on the fly and making this piece a reality. *Thanks to @penabranca for designing the gorgeous geometric art that I immediately fell in love!

 

10: Photograph epic mountains

Do you think The Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Monument Valley or Zion National Park count? Ha! Ya, I thought so. I would consider this quadruple checked!

11: Photograph elk, bison or ram (Not picky)

Asheville surprising has a tiny elk population that I was lucky enough to sneak away and photograph in January. (The two end photos.) Then as we were driving into the Grand Canyon National Park my jaw dropped when I saw four beautiful elk nestled in the shade of tree’s. I had never seen elk before this year but I have fallen in love with them.


 

12: Curate & photograph a bohemian picnic

My cousin is this incredible boss lady with incredible friends and last summer when I was staying with her we curated this beautiful picnic for them. Mostly I was in it for the photographs. ;)

13: Scan all India collages, begin compiling book

I spent a lot of last year creating content for this book and gosh darn it I have to get my S*** together and create it. The “I need it to be perfect to finish it” anthem is strong in this one. I have never prolonged a project as much as this one. Either because I have actually finished it or decided I just wasn’t into it anymore. This project is different I still want to finish the book, it just scares the S*** out of me! You feel me? Have you ever had a project like that? Here are four pages out of the book:

14: Get a puppy

We went above and beyond on this one. Why get one puppy when you can get two? The adventures of Samsara and Ronin have begun!

***Seriously the hardest part of this post was choosing which puppy photos to use. TOO.. MANY… CHOICES!

15: Road trip the good old fashion way

Can we say UTAAAAHHHH to AAARIZONAAA. Damn if this wasn’t just a trip to die for. Hard as it was physically man was it easy on the eyes. 

16: Hold a fox (Seriously can someone help me out with this lifelong dream? Pleeeeease!)

I have to plan a trip to Japan so I can finally make this dream come true.

17: Take an art workshop or go to a retreat

Had to cancel going to an art retreat this year because I had recently gotten a new job. You know life…

18: Become a brand affiliate for someone

Nope

19: Visit Utah… Hike, camp, photograph.

See 15, because I absolutely combined these two! Man I am so glad we did. A road trip through Utah and Arizona was just what we needed after a looooong year of changes and many months apart.

20: Write blog posts about being self employed in the art world

Did a few tiny ones and also a few more that were never published. But the whole not being self employed in the art world anymore… kinda side tracked me.

Here…  Here… and Here…

21: Hire a photographer for my own brand portraits

 opps!

22: Learn how to photograph the stars

I read some articles. Where we live in Florida there are not to many stars to be had. While in Arizona I tried my hand at photographing the moon but had forgotten the lens needed for it. Also it is just waaaaaay harder to do than I thought. So mad respect for those perfect starlit mountain photos I see on Instagram. Because WOW it’s hard!

23: Learn more about my genealogy

Loved learning about my family and seeing all the gorgeous photographs.

24: Take my love to the local farmers market

We have this incredible farmers market in Jacksonville that has been here for years. I love going and getting a coconut to sip out of while we shop for produce.

25: Go horseback riding with my love

Nathaniel took me on a stormy beach adventure VIA horse for our anniversary and fella’s take note because it was magical.

26: Attend a stargazing party

Could not find one in Jax to save my life.

27: Read 12 books

1: The name of the wind by: Patrick Rothfuss

2: The wise man’s fear by: Patrick Rothfuss

3: Love Warrior by: Glennon Doyle Melton

4: Harry Potter and the cursed child by: J.K. Rowling

5: The Graveyard Book by: Neil Gaiman

6: Podcast S*** Town

7: Podcast Serial Season 1&2

8: Salt & Honey by: Isabel Abbott

9: Letter to My Daughter by: Maya Angelou

10:

11:

12:

***Bonus adventures included sky diving, eating Chick-fila chicken between Krispy Kreme donuts, shooting a shot gun, sleeping in a converted gas station.***

 

28 Things to do Before Turning 29

1: Attend a proper wine tasting

2: Eat a traditional Korean meal

3:Take a floral milk bath

4:  Make a video of 28th year using: 1 Second Everyday  

5: Prepare a five course meal. or go eat one out

6: Go to an archery range or gun range

7: Go to a drive in movie theater, because my love has never been

8: Purchase a new camera

9: Take photos in a photo booth with my love

10: Have a fancy cheese night where I try cheeses I have never heard of

11: Get in-design

12: Own our very own house… dwelling… abode… home…

13: Find myself in a spontaneous adventure I couldn’t have imagined

14: Make Artifact Uprising vacation book

15: Buy plants/grow herbs again

16: Focus on living healthier together

17: Write a Florida adventure post for people living in Jacksonville

18: Take pups to see snow

19: Plan a Christmas cabin getaway. Wear plaid and make fires

20: Visit Savannah

21: Drink a Florida Mule from Ice Plant Bar

22: Hike with the pups

23: Visit Harry Potter World. Try every butter beer

24: Purchase sage/Incense

25: Purchase a book by the artist Peter Beard 

26: Try an amaretto sour

27: Learn to make my father-in-laws famous oyster stuffing

28: Begin dreaming more, because this list was so fucking hard to write this year

Creating Constellations (Possibility Driven Series)

Creating-2

Dream making can be overwhelming. There are many things you can do.
Many things you are told to do. Told not to do. Don’t know how to do.
The list continues to immobilizing you.
(This is actually currently what I am going through.)
Your once burning dream quickly get extinguished under the weight of doubt and fear.
Leaving you in the dark.

But there is another way.
You can create your own constellation.

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards.
So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.
You have to trust in something- your gut, destiny, life, god, karma, whatever.
Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart,
even when it leads you off the well worn path.
This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”
-Steve Jobs

This approach takes time and above all else takes a lot of trusting. I mean a LOT!
Like lost sailor’s trusting in the stars to navigate their way forward.

When your in the business of pursuing your dreams, your in the business of creating constellations.
Knowingly or unknowingly.

One connection at a time, trusting that this very connection will lead you somewhere.
Its a dance between Doing and Trusting.
Doing the next best thing you can do for your dreams and trusting where this doing will lead you. Don’t worry too much about ALL the things you could do.
Just do one thing today. Take that step.
Make that connection. Follow it wherever it leads.
Then repeat. Make a connection and follow where that leads.

I have never know a single soul that came up with an idea/dream
and accomplished it simultaneously; without any fear, doubt, hard work or time spent.
I can trick myself into thinking I’m the only one who gets overwhelmed. Gets afraid.
Spends long hours creating when no one sees. But it’s simply not true.

Each connection is a star in my dreamscape.
Chances are you wont notice each connection as it happens.
You certainly won’t know where these connections may take you.
You will over time begin to identify how one connection led to the other.

Keep connecting thoughts, events, people, opportunities,
eventually you will see the constellation of your dreams lighting up your reality.
You will be able to move forward with more ease because you trust this process.

(This is what I am choosing to believe. I am no where near there… Its just something I believe in my gut to be true. My constellation feels tiny barely bright enough to see my own hand in front of my face. But it is there and I believe it will get bigger.)