Before I Turn 30 – A Bucket Lis

Today I am 29 Years old. Which means I and 365 days away from my 30th birthday.

Since 25, I have sort of dreaded every birthday. 29 being no exception, in fact even more so. I could never exactly pin down WHY i dreaded get closer to 30. Besides the standard.. I am getting Older, but although that does scare me in some ways… that was truly the root of WHY I felt that way.  Until earlier in the month when I finally figured out WHAT it was that bothered me about my 29th birthday and that fact that I am now closing in on 30.

I was sad and anxious about the fact that my life was not where I had hoped and pictured it would be by now.

That doesn’t mean, I don’t love the life I DO have at the moment, it just means I was hoping to have accomplished more and I know all the logical reasons why I am not there yet and I also, know the excuses too. However, after making this relevation about myself and discovering Rachel Hollis (review on her book to come) I decided to make a Bucket List of things I would like to accomplish by the time I turn 30.  This is not my lifetime bucket list (although, I should probably write that out too) and this is the 2018/2019 Goals List I made for myself and will make again in the new year. This is just a list of stuff I want to accomplish Before 30. I’m aware some are superficial, some are going to most likely NOT happen (Breast Reduction & Owning a Home) and some will be hard to obtain; while others can be enriching and empowering. As I accomplish these goals, I will cross items off the list; and I am sure Items will also be added to the list as I go.

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Gift Guide: For Your Newly Engaged Friend

Recently, one of my closest friends of over 20 years got engaged! She is engaged to the most wonderful man and I am just beyond happy for both of them. Obviously, buying gifts for someone who just got engaged is not mandatory, but every once in awhile its nice to support your friends milestones with a little something-something!

I’ll start of with what I got my friend to celebrate her engagement and then I’ll list other cute ideas too!

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  1. Mr. & Mrs Ring Tray – buy here
  2. The Wedding Planner Checklist – buy here
  3. A Practical Wedding by Meg Keene – buy here
  4. The Card – Target
  5. The Bag – buy here 

 

Ring Trays –

Are a nice small and simple gift to give some one who has just gotten engaged, because now they have an extra special ring that they definitely do not want to lose. They also are can be very affordable.

A Wedding Planner & Checklist-

This is one I would probably only buy if you know the couple pretty well, are in their “inner circle” as some might say. There are so many great options to choose from out their nowadays, but I chose this one cause it’s on the smaller side. Making it very handy and not take up too much space. Plus, I felt it fit my friends personality.

A Wedding Planning Book or Magazine –

The book I picked interested me, because I felt it fit for my friend who is quite practical. I will say it is more book like than I anticipated. I was expecting something to be more like a cute guide with lots of ideas and photos. It does have that just formatted differently. Also, magazines are a great idea too. I just didn’t do that since a lot of magazines are marketed towards the area you live in and we do not live in the same state.

Some Bubbly-

Unless your friends don’t drink, you can’t go wrong with some celebratory champagne. If you don’t know the kind they like.. I recommend Veuve Clicquot, La Marca Prosecco or not champagne but very much on trend at the moment Gerard Bertrandt Cote de Roses.

A Mug-

I’m sure you have seen the mugs all over Pinterest and for sale on Etsy usually pointing towards the handle where the new engagement ring will be. Super cute and if you are crafty, super simple to make as well.

A Graphic Tee-

I love a cheesy Graphic tee. I mean I did start a website for them (here) but all of the place you can find a t-shirt with “soon to be mrs.” “Wifey” etc. and really I guess I should get in on this market and make some tee’s for my website. lol

Send a Greetbl-

These have recently become a small obsession of mine. You get to pick a box design, some personal photos, a personalized message and then a little gift, and they send it out for you! They have small gifts that work for every occasion (& gender) … including ring trays lol but they are a perfect little pick me up to celebrate the occasion and let your friend know you are happy for them. Also.. you can click this link and get a 15% off code for your purchase.

Flowers-

You also, always go the old fashioned route and send some flowers. I am personally a fan of  Farm Girl Flowers. They do send nationwide, but obviously there are many ways to send flowers out.

Overall, there are many other options of gifts you could send, but I find a lot of other gifts are more suitable for a bridal shower or wedding present. A gift for getting engaged should just be small and simple. Something that says “YAY! I Am So Happy For You!”

 

 

 

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Patriotic Cupcakes Recipe

As a Mom to a 2 year old & almost 4 month old baby. I am always looking for quick and easy recipes to make… but also, ways to elevate them and make them my own. I want to try and make this series, but not sure what to call it yet.  But for the purpose of making this quick and time efficient as possible for the parent that doesn’t have a lot of time to make everything from scratch this recipe is for you! Obviously, if you want to make the cake from scratch go right ahead.

Full Disclosure though, the frosting I chose for this cupcake is not the easiest.. but it definitely isn’t hard. So of course, if you want to make a buttercream or use the canned frosting.. go right ahead!

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What you will need..

  • White Boxed Cake
  • Red Pop Rocks – Cherry or Strawberry which ever flavor you prefer
  • Mini Marshmallows
  • Blue Gel Food Dye
  • Purple Gel Food Dye
  • Eggs
  • Sugar
  • Light Corn Syrup
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Blue Sprinkles (Optional)
  • Electric Handheld Mixer (optional)
  • Double Broiler (optional, sort of)

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Now Let’s Begin!

I began with a white boxed cake mix. I chose white because that way it would be easiest to get a nice blue cupcake once baked.  Follow the instructions for the cake on the box and then add your food dye. Make sure to have a regular blue and purple GEL dye. Add a decent a mount of blue dye and then a drop or two of purple. Adding the purple ensures it will stay a darker blue. Once you have baked the cupcakes make sure to put them in the fridge to chill as you make the frosting.

The frosting I used is a Marshmallow frosting. What i like about this frosting is it is light and airy and not overly sweet.  If you have a double broiler than use it here, if not than use two pots on top of each other like a double broiler (be careful) or a heat tempered glass bowl like people use to melt chocolate.

The Recipe

  • 2 Egg Whites
  • 1/3 Cup Cold Water
  • 1 1/2 Cups White Sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tsp. Light Corn Syrup
  • 1/2 Tbs. Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Cup Mini Marshmallows
  1. Bring water to boil in pot make sure it’s less than half the pot you don’t want the water to touch the bottom of your double broiler/second pot/Glass bowl.
  2. Add Egg Whites, Sugar, Cold Water and Corn Syrup in the pot/bowl that will go on top and mix together. Than lower heat to Med-High and place pot/bowl on top. Using an Electric Mixer (you COULD do this by with a whisk but it will take a lot of arm power and A LOT more time) start mixing the ingredients together until it forms stiff peaks and appears meringue like.
  3. Take off heat and add Marshmallows and Vanilla and Mix together until Marshmallows have melted. Then let sit for a few minutes to cool down.

 

Once everything has cooled down you can follow this extra step. Cut small hole in middle of the cupcakes and add some pop rocks to the middle and then frost the top for a little extra surprise. Or you can just frost the top of the cupcakes and sprinkle the pop rocks on top, as well as the optional blue sprinkles.

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Uncommon & Unique Girl Name Beginning with “B”

See: Girls A, Boys B and Boys A.

 

Locals Only: Beer-Thirty

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For Father’s Day, as part of Andrew’s day we tried a new place called Beer Thirty in Soquel,CA which is you are not too familiar with California/The Bay Area that small town near Santa Cruz. Andrew is really into trying new beers, so when I discovered this place (thank you Instagram) I knew we had to go try it out and what was great is that it’s kid friendly! (It’s also, dog friendly).

Now the thing with popular trendy places, that get a lot of hype through instagram and other social media influencing is that I tend to get really excited and then really let down. BUT BEER THIRTY DID NOT DISAPPOINT!

It is advertised as a pour house (which it is) but it is also a beer garden. I did a quick read through on yelp, so I had an idea of what to expect but my expectations were met and then some. Beer Thirty is essentially… 2 buildings and then an open space filled with family style picnic seating and then separated into 2 areas one for families and one 21 and over.  The two building are essentially Beer and food.

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I will start with the big draw.. the beer.  I am actually allergic to beer so I get hard cider when we go to places like this, but they offer 30 mostly California brewed beers on tap and then they have hundreds (maybe thats an exaggeration) of beers in cans and bottles to choose from.  Andrew ordered North Coast Old Rasputin and Corralitos Wease Da Joo-Oos and I had the Golden Stare Newton Pippin. I enjoyed the cider, but it wasn’t anything special and Andrew’s favorite of the 2 beers for the Corralitos.  I like that they let you do tastings and beer flights as well.

The other tiny building has like hipster pub food you can order; but it’s a small selection. So, pro tip: you can bring your own food in to enjoy while you are there too. Just not your own drinks. I got myself a bacon grilled cheese which was DELISH and some fries. Which for a picky eater like me, was the only thing really on the menu that appealed to me.

We spent the rest of our time there just sitting and talking, Bennett was running around making fast friends with other toddlers his age and honestly the vibe is just super relaxing and chill. Most definitely something we enjoyed, we were already planning when we would be back and who we had to take with us.  If you are ever in the area and you like beer; go check it out!

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How Do You Find Time?

No Seriously, this is mainly directed to the mama’s out there.. specifically stay at home moms who don’t use childcare… but how do you find time in the day to get anything done? With to little ones on different schedules, I find it hard to get anything done during the day.  I wake up every morning with big plans and great intentions but most of my day look is planned around a time with they hopefully both nap and whatever errand we have to run that day and than filled in between with play time, diaper changes and feedings and by the time the day ends I have found i haven’t accomplished much else.

I want our days to be filled with meaningful entertainment and activities for the kids, my house work getting done and being organized, exercise, getting blogs posts done, uploading youtube videos and getting my personal work done as well and maybe reading a few pages of a book.

My biggest struggle I find is that Bennett is at an age where I can’t really leave him alone in a room , cause he now not only climbs on everything but gets into EVERYTHING no matter how childproof  I make it and our home is small. So we don’t have a dedicated play room, where i can throw him in and not worry about anything happening. Owen is 3 months old so my ability to do stuff his based on his attitude and his schedule. AND even if I get a miracle of them napping at the same time, i usually just want to have ME time and once Andrew gets home, I just want to have time with him ( he works 6 days a week… so the few hours a day we get together mean a lot)

I had started a plan to wake up at 6-6:30 AM and go running before the kids wake up. That way Andrew is still home with them. BUT I find myself wanting to sleep in if Owen woke up at 5AM or a few times during the night. I like my sleep and I am a night owl. So today I decided to start a new plan. Instead of going back to bed after taking care of Owen in the morning. I am going to wake up and start my day. That means I may wake up at 3AM or at 6AM and anywhere in between. BUT I will NOT go back to bed. I will wake up and start working, clean whatever needs to be cleaned or organized and workout/go for a run.  Now.. sleep is important but I can either nap when the kids nap or if I have to get up super early go back to bed before the kids wake up.

SO Mama’s i need to know HOW DO YOU DO IT?!  I know it is possible. I know it can be done… but How do you find the time?!  My plan my be crazy and I may fail at it.. but I have to TRY something new, cause the current system I have isn’t working.

 

 

 

 

February TBBC Book Review: Midnight at the Electric

It’s June and I am finally reviewing our February Book Club read… GO ME!

Lol when I began the 2018 Boyfriend Book Club. I had jotted down a list of books we would read each month, pre-picked them. That way you guys would know what books to read and could follow along with us. However, after this book we have yet to read a book that was on the pre-made list. OOPS.

So, lets start off with how I discovered this book… there is a youtube channel, based off a blog, that is affiliated with a HarperCollins, but it is for their YA books (my preferred genre of reading) and on that channel Margot Wood did a segment talking about all the books on her TBR, that she had just read and that are going to be released soon.  Many videos ago… she talked about Midnight at the Electric and based off her description and mainly the cover I was sold.

Here is what I knew about the book. It tells the story of different people during different time periods. And yes, the book does just that. However, my feelings are super mixed from there. As we read we learned that there are 3 ladies.  Adri in the future, Catherine and her family during the dustbowl and Lenore is post WWI England.

Each of the stories are unique and interesting. Adri’s especially since it takes place in the future and you kind of feel this realistic dread that that is where we are heading if the politics stay as they currently are.  Catherine’s story is so heartbreaking as I think many of us don’t truly understand the devastation that the dust bowl actually caused for many people and Lenore’s story felt very much a catalyst but also, open-ended.

Now, the most intriguing part of this book and the title of the book is what happens at Midnight.. at The Electric?! Welp, if you were expecting some magical nightly occurence. Maybe ala Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris. You will be sadly disappointed as The Electric has really zero importance to story.

Despite that flaw, Andrew and I did the book and were quite into the stories and the mysteries involved within the plot. Until the book did one of biggest pet peeves. Ended too soon! You know what I am talking about.. I just mentioned in my last post that How to Stop Time did this too.  You are nearing the end of the book and you realize their are 10 pages left and yet there is SO much story left to be told, so many questions and closure, how could they possibly wrap that up in 10 pages?! It does get wrapped up, but not ever how you truly would have liked or what would seem realistic.  Thats what happened here folks!  I felt there was SO much more that could have been told and so much more that needed to be answered. Andrew and I would have happily read another 100 pages of this story.

With all that being said. The story is a good story. I just went in with preconceived notions about the book, that messed with how i enjoyed it.

Available at Amazon & Target.

 

 

 

Disclosure Statement: Some of the links in this post contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.