Waiting on Eleanor….

waiting 2Eleanor is already showing that she is VERY different than her sister. Addie surprised us all unexpectedly a month early and made sure her that all eyes stayed on her as we watched nurses and doctors show her special attention and around the clock care for the first eight days of her life! Addie came out with a BANG and we have been entertained by her spirited self for the past four years!

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Time will reveal Eleanor’s special character, however if her personality is anything like her time in the womb she will be much more laid back and reserved! I can feel her movements in my belly, but she is content to stay in one location and hang out much more than Addie ever did, and she seems much more content to stay in her safe place rather than explore life outside of the womb!

Sorry baby girl, but I am personally serving you an eviction notice via a pitocin drip on Thursday. We are all ready to meet you!

 

 

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1,000 Food to Eat Before You Die

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I don’t know about you, but I like to explore local fare when I am exploring a new city. What is the point of being in a new location if you are just going to eat at the same old chain that you can eat back at home? Don’t get me wrong, we eat at Chili’s and Olive Garden back home too, but when we are out exploring I like to take my tastebuds on an adventure too! This book is PERFECT for my wanderlust!

British and Irish

  1. Afternoon Tea
  2. Bangers and Mash
  3. English Biscuits
  4. Black pudding hash
  5. Clotted cream
  6. Fish and chips
  7. Mushy peas
  8. Shepherd’s Pie
  9. Trifle
  10. Shortbread
  11. Corned beef and cabbage
  12. Irish Breakfast

French

  1. Brie
  2. Brioche
  3. Baguette
  4. French cookies
  5. Croissants
  6. Croques Monsieur and Madame
  7. Dijon mustard
  8. Escargot
  9. Quiche Lorraine
  10. Steak fries

Belgian and Dutch

  1. Waffles

Italian

  1. Blood oranges
  2. Cannoli
  3. Carpaccio
  4. Chestnuts
  5. Crostini
  6. Espresso
  7. Gelato
  8. Gorgonzola
  9. Fennel
  10. Italian ices
  11. Lasagne
  12. Mascarpone
  13. Minestrone
  14. Pane
  15. Pasta
  16. Basil
  17. Pesto
  18. Pizza
  19. Prosciutto
  20. Ricotta
  21. Risotto
  22. Seafood in Venice
  23. Sfogliatella
  24. Tiramisu
  25. Hazelnuts

Spain and Portugal

  1. Capers
  2. Churros
  3. Saffron
  4. Tapas

German, Austrian, Swiss

  1. Marzipan
  2. Sauerkraut
  3. Whipped cream
  4. Schnitzel
  5. Lintz Chocolate

Scandinavian

  1. Dill and caraway

Eastern European

  1. Poppy seeds
  2. Sour cream
  3. Feta
  4. Paprika
  5. Kielbasa

Jewish

  1. Bagels
  2. Horseradish
  3. Kosher dill pickles
  4. Salted chickpeas

Greek, Turkish, and Middle Eastern

  1. Spanakopita
  2. Baklava
  3. Dolmas
  4. Halvah
  5. Kebabs
  6. Mint
  7. Baba Ganoush
  8. Olive oil
  9. Parsley
  10. Pistachios
  11. Pomegranates

American and Canadian

  1. Ambrosia
  2. Apple pie
  3. Bacon
  4. Idaho Russett potatoes
  5. Baked rome beauty apples
  6. Barbecue
  7. Benne wafers
  8. Biscuits
  9. Black walnuts
  10. BLT sandwich
  11. Boston baked beans
  12. Bread and butter
  13. Bread pudding
  14. Brownies
  15. Brunswick stew
  16. Caesar salad
  17. Candied apples
  18. Chicken sandiwch
  19. Chocolate cream pie
  20. Cinnamon toast
  21. Cobb salad
  22. Corn fritters
  23. Corn on the cob
  24. Cornbread
  25. Crab cakes
  26. Crawfish
  27. Creamed spinach
  28. Deviled eggs
  29. Funnel cake
  30. Fried eggs
  31. Gumbo
  32. Country ham and red eye gravy
  33. Hamburger
  34. Hash
  35. Hanger steak
  36. Hoppin John
  37. Peanuts
  38. Hot dog
  39. Hot fudge sundae
  40. Huckleberries
  41. Ice cream sodas
  42. Jambalaya
  43. Key lime pie
  44. Lemon meringue pie
  45. Maine lobster
  46. Manhattan clam chowder
  47. Toasted marshmallows
  48. Moonpies
  49. New England clam chowder
  50. Oreos
  51. Oyster Po’boy
  52. Peanut butter
  53. Pecan pie
  54. Pigs in a blanket
  55. Popcorn
  56. Red beans and rice
  57. Pork rinds
  58. Saltwater taffy
  59. Shrimp and grits
  60. Shoofly pie
  61. Sopaipillas
  62. Soft shell crabs
  63. Soft pretzels
  64. Southern fried chicken
  65. Southern potato salad
  66. Sweet Georgia peaches
  67. Sweet potatoes
  68. Tangerines
  69. English muffins
  70. Thanksgiving turkey broth
  71. Tuna salad sandwich
  72. Toll House chocolate chip cookie
  73. Vidalia Onions
  74. Turkey sandwich
  75. Watermelon
  76. Poutine

Mexican and Latin America

  1. Enchiladas
  2. Guacamole
  3. Pineapple
  4. Tortillas
  5. Chile peppers
  6. Bananas
  7. Empanadas
  8. Frijoles negros
  9. Picadillo
  10. Brazil nuts
  11. Cashews
  12. Ropa vieja
  13. Quinoa

Caribbean

  1. Pina colada
  2. Meat patties

African

  1. Couscous
  2. Mint tea
  3. Ginger beer
  4. Ginger
  5. Sesame seeds

Chinese

  1. Chow mein
  2. Dim sum
  3. Oolong tea

Japanese and Korean

  1. Bento
  2. Edamame
  3. Miso soup
  4. Sushi
  5. Tempura
  6. Wasabi
  7. Bulgolgi
  8. Kimchi

Thai and Southeast Asia

  1. Coconut
  2. Sriracha sauce
  3. Papaya
  4. Pho
  5. Watercress

Indian

  1. Basmati rice
  2. Dal
  3. Cinnamon
  4. Darjeeling tea
  5. Nutmeg and mace

Australian, New Zealand, and Tahitian

  1. Granny smith apples
  2. Macadamia nuts
  3. Kiwi fruit

Why I Put the “Little Things” on my Bucket Lists

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This weekend was a slow and relatively lazy weekend for our family. We spent time hanging out at the house and ate lunch around town before I went to work the Prom. Even though there were no tri-state adventures on the to-do list for the weekend, we still had quality family time and I even managed to cross of a bucket list item. I found the cutest pot set at TJ Maxx, purchased some thyme, lavender, and mint at Home Depot, and BAM….instant indoor mini herb garden!

Now, I know that you may be thinking that this isn’t a really big deal. I mean who really cares about a few tiny plants sitting in my kitchen? Well, I do! The whole point of an annual bucket list for me is to add a big of novelty/whimsy into every day life and to live with intention. Sometimes that means planning elaborate trips around the country or the world, but more often it means trying something new, getting outside of my comfort zone, or working on a project/skill that will bring fulfillment and a sense of accomplishment. Small and simple bucket list tasks like the one I have crossed of this weekend bring so much joy to my life and help add a sense of intention, accomplishment, and fun into otherwise uneventful weekends.

Thank you, Lord for another weekend with my family!

1st Bucket List Adventure of 2018: Float Therapy

  1. Try Float Therapy at Remedy Float in Savannah. This ancient technique has been around for a while, but it involves resting in a water chamber that is filled with one thousands pounds of salt so that it is IMPOSSIBLE to sink. You float in darkness and with complete sensory deprivation. It is supposed to be incredibly relaxing and safe for pregnant women!—-CHECK!!! This experience was AHHH-mazing! February 2018=Self-love in a (salty) tub!

 

Thanks, Jennifer for being crazy enough to try this out with me! Remedy Float is located downtown Savannah, nearby the Savannah Civic Center. They have a neat setup, that is complete with a green tea station, yoga room, and two float chambers. The concept is pretty straight forward. After a quick shower to rinse off any perfumes, soap, etc.. you take a 60 – 90 minute soak in a highly-concentrated salt bath chamber. Float therapy hinges on the concept of sensory deprivation, leading to an other-worldly sense of relaxation. The water in the float chamber is so highly concentrated with salt that you literally CANNOT sink. You will float in 95 degree water for your session in complete darkness and silence.

To be honest….the whole concept seems a bit scary, but it was not at all! I was so relaxed the receptionist had to bang on the float chamber in the room beside me to wake me up! Floating in nothingness made me so aware of Eleanor’s movements inside of my belly. I found that I could focus and was more aware of her when all of the outside chaos disappeared. I could also feel tension in my shoulders and neck that I wasn’t cognizant of prior to floating. In short, it was amazing. I will definitely be back!

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Bucket List: 2018 Edition

More than any other action item on the bucket list this year I am praying that God’s provision and guidance lead our family this year. I am praying for wisdom and increased faithfulness on my part so that I (and our family) may abide and in His plan and not our (my) own. This year I am seeking to be more intentional with my prayer life. Let me know how I can earnestly pray for you this year.

Here’s The List:

  1. Try Float Therapy at Remedy Float in Savannah. This ancient technique has been around for a while, but it involves resting in a water chamber that is filled with one thousands pounds of salt so that it is IMPOSSIBLE to sink. You float in darkness and with complete sensory deprivation. It is supposed to be incredibly relaxing and safe for pregnant women!
  2. Learn about and try soaping. I have always been interesting in making my own soap and bath products. This year I am going to take a class in Jacksonville from the Studios at Florida School of Holistic Health. 
  3. Light a Sky Lantern. I have these….but have never lit them!
  4. Visit 2 New States. I visit Michigan and Colorado last year….so onward to state 39 and 40 this year at least!
  5. Create a back porch haven. We recently had a concrete slab poured for our back patio. I can’t wait until the covering is built over the next few weeks and we get to start creating a backyard sanctuary complete with our new grill that Waring’s parent’s bought us for Christmas!
  6. Have a healthy labor and baby. Our last labor experience was a bit of a surprise followed by the scariest days of my and Waring’s lives. We are praying for a bit smoother delivery and a healthy baby and mama!
  7. Go to Harry Potter World. This has been on the list for a while….at some point it may happen. 
  8. Prepare the house and the nursery for Baby Harvey #2. The future nursery of Harvey Baby #2 is currently our Christmas gift wrapping center/guest room. Now I just need to find out the gender, clean out the room, and search Pinterest for hours. 
  9. Spring clean before baby. Christmas break normally starts part 1 of my two part spring cleaning, but it has only been completed half-heartedly this year in light of all the busyness we have had. We have on more snow day today, so I am going to try to knock out a little bit more. 
  10. Start (and keep) Journaling during Quiet Time. I am notoriously inconsistent with journaling of any kind…but I do find it beneficial. 
  11. Take a Blue Ridge escape. Pick a weekend and go!
  12. Buy a fancy purse. I have been eyeing several lately but I just can’t pull the trigger…..
  13. Find and STICK to a skin care routine. I started researching this last year, but fell a bit short in the execution. 
  14. Use Fly-Lady Routines and complete a 30 day Declutter Challenge. I have done each of these before, however I am in desperate need of a review. 
  15. Start an herb garden. Don’t hate me…but I am not a huge fan of basil. I am kind of obsessed with cilantro, tarragon, and dill though. I love the idea of growing herbs because they don’t take up much space. 
  16. Cook at least one new recipe each month and post pictures of the progress. I don’t know about you, but it seems like we cook the same meals over and over for dinner and it just gets BORING! This year we have deer meat, tons of locally caught shrimp, and frozen fresh picked tomatoes to experiment with for dinner!

In addition to this annual bucket list, I also like to compete a season bucket list full of fun traditional things that we like to do with each changing season. These lists generally revolve around the holidays celebrated during each season and are pretty similar from year to year. I love the idea of being intentional during each season and creating lasting traditions and memories with the family.

And…if I didn’t already have enough lists, I like to also create a monthly goal checklist that breaks down some of these larger bucket list goals into manageable bites throughout the year and focuses on growth in several areas of life (physically, spiritually, financially, relationally, etc…) to help me track my progress and growth each month.

 

What’s your plan for this year?

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Bucket List Year-End Review

I still can’t believe that 2017 has already exited the scene to make way for 2018. This past year was full of the usual adventures and a few new ones too. We celebrated birthdays, enjoyed two full years of living in our new home, explored NYC with the girls,  took a family cruise to Mexico, enrolled Addie in Pre-K 3 and dance, visited Disney again, and again, and again, and took a weekend escape to check Niagara Falls and Cedar Point off of the bucket list. Oh yeah…and we decided to invite a new member into our family….Baby Harvey #2 is coming in June 2018.

Here is the progress made from this year: (not too shabby if I must say!)

  1. Write my own manifesto (from Gretchen Rubin’s Happiness Project)-CHECK! Maybe I will share this with you guys one day… I love Gretchen Rubin and recommend any of her books if you are looking to be more intentional in your life.
  2. Write a letter to my future self—-CHECK! April @ age 30.
  3. Celebrate my last day of my 20’s-CHECK!
  4. Plan (and have) a spa dayHubby helped with this task! The facial and massage from Milan Esthetics was wonderful!
  5. Do Adult Disney—CHECK! We got to see visit the Inaugural International Festival of the Arts at EPCOT!
  6. See the Rocky Mountains— CHECK! Rocky Mountain National Park was just as amazing as I thought it would be. Colorado is a MUST SEE state in my book!
  7. Fly fish— YES! We look lessons in Estes, Park Colorado. See photo evidence below!
  8. Sand surf–-YES! We made life-long memories here in Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado. BTW…the sand gets up to 150 degrees so make sure you wear SHOES!!! (Thanks for NOTHING Trip Advisor, hahah!).
  9. Stay in a Deluxe Disney Resort– NOPE I can’t part with the cash to pay for the price tag of this particular adventure.
  10. Hang Glide— NOT YET
  11. Sleep in a tree house—NOT YET
  12. Learn about floral arts— DOES PINTEREST COUNT?
  13. Take a cooking class-–YES, thanks Justin and Meredith!
  14. Master the art of the sugar cookie—-HM…maybe next year!
  15. Plant bougainvillea–-YES, thanks Hubby for the birthday gift. I hope the cold hasn’t killed them this week. 😦
  16. Reach goal weight (finally)—Well, I am currently expanding due to this new baby.
  17. Pay off student loans— YES! CHECK!
  18. Develop a “big girl” skin care routine—Well, sort-of…but I could use more work on this one so I am going to keep it for next year too.
  19. Visit a new state-— CHECK and CHECK!!! Michigan and Colorado. Currently on 38
  20. Visit a new country—Nope, although we did go back to Canada and Mexico this year.
  21. Explore Universal’s Harry Potter World—NOPE!
  22. Complete a Reading Challenge—-HAHAHAH. Do Addie’s  books count?
  23. Learn Spanish (again…)—-NOPE
  24. Prepare for an emergency (so we won’t get totally caught off guard by something like Hurricane Matthew again.)—-This is about half way complete, but we could still use some more work.
  25. Attend Dragon Con-–CHECK!!!
  26. Plan and implement seasonal bucket lists/monthly challenges-–CHECK! I got a little slack after morning sickness set in, but other than that we were pretty consistent.

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Check it Off: Niagara Falls Fun

There aren’t many long weekends that I can say we have traveled through four states, with four generations of women in our family chasing a grand adventure. We landed in Cleveland, Ohio, hit the ground running, and never stopped until the plane ride back home.

Day 1: We drove into Michigan and stuck our feet in Lake Erie. Now I am down to 12 more states to go until I can officially say that I have set foot in all 50!! Next we headed down to Lake Erie Shores to do some window shopping, light house spotting, famous chili-dog eating, and thrill-seeking at the World’s Largest Theme Park/Rollercoaster Capital of the World, Cedar Point.

Day 2: We drove in the opposite direction, through Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, and into Canada to view the magnificent Niagara Falls. We rode the Hornblower to get up close and personal with the raging waters that flow at over 84,000 cubic feet per second! We ended the day with some local fare, a stroll through a festival in Lewiston, a swim in the hotel pool with Addie, and back to the Falls to view the illuminated waters at night.

Day 3: We packed up, drove the three hours back to the airport and were back home by 5pm.

Whew! To say it was a whirl-wind would be an understatement….but it was also a lot of fun. We have trained Addie to be such a good little traveler. Would you believe that she has now been to 19 states at three years old! Having my mother and grandmother along for the adventure made the trip even more memorable. They have and continue to make such a positive impact on my life and the life of my daughter. I am just so glad that they (and Waring) are always up for my hair-brained, half-crazy schemes.

This was so much fun….I am already plan our next adventure!

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