The List

Everyday Adventures

One day last week, on my lunch break, feeling a bit frustrated and exhausted by work and life in general, I made a list:

Things I’d Like to do Again

I wrote down whatever came to mind, everything from having confidence in my work (it was a low day, remember) to blogging regularly, to specific craft projects. Getting it down on paper felt good, it helped me see what had been overshadowed these last couple of months by work and work and trying to de-stress from said work.

As an aside, I now know exactly what kind of days Todd routinely has, days when he doesn’t have time to stop for lunch until the late afternoon (if at all), days when all you’re good for when you get home is to veg in front of the tv for an hour before falling into bed. Not all my days are like that, but enough have been that I get it, now. 

 Now, a list like this could stand on it’s own, being looked at from time to time, wistfully wishing I could go back to having time and energy for these things.

Then I reminded myself that, hello, I’m the one living this life and it’s up to me to make what I want happen, right?! Right.

So, on the facing page I made a companion list:

Ways I Can Make That Happen

And for each item on the first list I gave myself some instructions.

Want to blog regularly? I can either stockpile posts on the weekends or tap out some quicker posts on evenings and weekends. I’ve been working on this one and I hope the shorter, but daily, posts are enjoyable. I feel a bit stiff, still, but I’m hoping that as I keep doing it, it will feel a bit more natural.

Some goals might take a bit more time to get to–taking a vacation, throwing a party, etc.–but they got the simple, “do it” treatment just the same. Whether it’s planning and saving for it, on the list it went.

And what about the work confidence? Work hard, learn more, be patient.

I give pretty good advice to myself. Now to just take it.

Tonight we’re satisfying one of my more frivolous wishes: having chocolate cake for dinner.  I mean, really, why not, right? One of the perks of being a grown up is indulging flights of fancy. I warned Todd it might happen and even put it on the menu. The only real question still to be decided is whether I make the cake myself or I swing by Publix and pick one up on the way home. It depends on how long I’m at The Fuzzy Goat this evening, probably, but those Publix cakes really are very tasty. And already made. No oven required.

Currently the list stands at 13 lines, I suppose I could add more if other ideas present themselves. Have you ever thought about what you’re missing or have put aside that you really want back? And, more importantly, have you ever thought about how you can go about making it happen?


Movies I Need to See

Just for Fun


The other night while doing laundry, Feed the Birds from Mary Poppins popped into my head for reasons I cannot even begin to fathom. Nonetheless, it reminded me that I still haven’t gotten around to seeing Saving Mr. Banks and that’s a shame, because I dearly love Emma Thompson movies. So that’s today’s Free for All Friday: the movies that I never seem to make time to sit down and watch already!

(In no particular order, as brought to you by my Amazon Watch List)

  1. Saving Mr. Banks
  2. Iron Man 3
  3. The Croods
  4. The Purge
  5. Monsters University
  6. Planes
  7. Despicable Me 2
  8. Austenland
  9. The Book Theif
  10. Frozen
  11. Brave
  12. Beautiful Creatures

Yes, I realize some of them have been out ridiculously long. I also realize that I’m in danger of losing my Disney fan card for not seeing Brave or Frozen yet. I’ve also heard that Beautiful Creatures was less than many hoped for, but it still looks like a nice popcorn flick if nothing else.

The strange thing is that I watch stuff all the time–but I’m usually multitasking while whatever is going on in the background and the majority of the movies on that list are ones I really want to just watch and enjoy. And that means making time for them when I don’t have a bunch of other things pulling at my attention.

Obviously I need to set up some sort of reward system to be able to catch up on my movie viewing. Maybe if I feel like I’ve “earned it” I can convince myself to slow down and take a movie break?

What movies are on your must-see list?

46 | Build Your Own Phrasebook

64 Arts

This post is part of our ongoing exploration of The 64 Arts.

While it’d be great to be fluent in as many languages as possible, the reality is we either don’t make the time to do so or might not even have the luxury of learning much at all if an impromptu trip comes up. Whether you’re still learning or in a hurry, compiling your own phrasebook will be more beneficial than trying to flip through a larger one you can pick up in the bookstore or download to your smartphone.

Not only will it be a customized cheat-sheet, writing or typing it out will help it stick in your memory better.

Greetings and Politeness:

  • Hello
  • Goodbye
  • Excuse Me
  • Please
  • Thank You
  • Ma’am
  • Sir

It’s worth looking up if there are formal and informal versions of any of the above–you don’t want to go acting too chummy with the wrong person and cause an international incident! Same goes for the male/female versions in some languages.

Food and Shelter:

  • Hotel
  • House
  • Restaurant
  • Bathroom
  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Sandwich
  • Soup
  • Eggs
  • Beer
  • Wine
  • Soda
  • Dessert

Obviously specific names of places and dishes will be part of your itinerary and you’ll have those close at hand, but if you find yourself stuck those words should at least get you through a rough patch.

Good to Know:

  • Police
  • Hospital
  • Fire
  • Help
  • Doctor/Nurse
  • Pharmacy
  • Medicine
  • Currency

While not strictly a language issue, it also wouldn’t hurt to take note of the current exchange rate between your home currency and your destination. Keeping that in mind (or maybe having an app handy) could prevent you making a costly mistake at the market. Tipping practices and other customs–while, again, not specifically language-related–are good things to scout out before you go.

We live in a global world. Travel can’t just be about our own wants and desires, we have to take our destination in mind. In scouting and other outdoorsy groups it’s often said to leave the space how you found it, if not better. By being able to communicate well and observe local customs with grace, you may just leave those you encounter with a better impression of your country than they had before. At the very least, let’s not make it worse, shall we?!

Anything else you can think of that my short lists above don’t cover but need to? And even though this is meant for foreign languages, remember that not all English-speaking countries use the language the same way. Good thing we’ll be moving onto slang shortly!

The 9-Month To-Do List

Third Time Wife, Wedding Planning

To-Do List graphic

Long engagements seem to be out of favor, according to most popular wedding checklists.

Sure, some might have a to-do list that starts around the 1-year-out mark, but it’s mostly dreaming and broad sweeps at that point. But when you reach 9 months? Then things start to get interesting!

Just to catch us up, here’s what those in know say should be done before the end of the 9-month mark (paraphrased from Real Simple):

  • Get your tear-file ready: a binder, folder, or other place to keep magazine pages, brochures, and vendor info you collect along the way. A folder on your computer or special boards on Pinterest will also do just nicely. (definitely done)
  • Budget: construct one. Figure out who’s paying what and how much you/they can afford. (also done)
  • Decide on your attendants. (pretty easy: we’re not having any; done!)
  • Guest List: have one. (we’ve got a working list–could use some firming up–and it’s under our max occupancy at the Plantation, so we’re good there)
  • Hire a wedding planner/DOC. (came with the venue; done!)
  • Pick your date. (oh, we’re definitely done, there!)
  • Book the venue. (done!)
  • Book the officiant. (done–but I haven’t told you about that, yet)
  • Research other vendors–florals, food, music, and photo (not only researched, but 2 of the 4 booked and the other 2 not needed!)
  • Host an engagement party. (we opted out of this one; so lets consider it done, too!)

Hey, we’re in pretty good shape!

Of course, on our personal to-do list, there are plenty of things that do need working on. No matter how complete a published planner may try to be, the author has to write for as general a base as possible. Smaller weddings may not need as many of the bells and whistles that some larger ones do, and DIY weddings will have a lot more items to check off.

Without being too specific to our own list, here are some examples of items that might be on the DIY to-do list, up through the 9-month mark:

  • Collect items for centerpieces–be it wine bottles, milk glass, vintage books, mercury glass, little animal figures, or even Lego kits. You may not know exactly how many tables you need for centerpieces just yet, so err on the side of too many unless your materials are extremely costly.
  • Making paper flowers? Start yesterday. One of the big benefits of faux flowers–paper, fabric, clay, or anything else–is that they won’t wilt if you start them early, and even the potential hassle of storing the delicate items is worth not stressing out the closer you get to the wedding.
  • Start researching ceremony options if you’re writing your own or personalizing a more traditional ceremony to suit your needs.
  • Going the iPod (Spotify, etc.) DJ route? Start pulling together your play list, seeking out and purchasing or ripping digital copies of the songs you’ll need. And don’t forget a getting ready playlist while you’re at it! Also, look into renting any speakers you might need, depending on the space you’ve got to broadcast to.
  • Artists, start sketching your ideas for your paper goods–it’s coming up on time to send out save the dates and you don’t want to have to rush.
  • Now is a good time to start putting together your wedding website if you want one. There are plenty of free templates available on the big wedding planning sites, or you could get a free site from or

All of the above items are in-progress for us, but not yet settled. I suppose, since the traditional to-dos are taken care of, we might as well concentrate on those for the next month.

Pretty Book and Flower Icon


How’s your planning coming along?
Anything I’ve forgotten at this stage?


And with that we’re back to our usual blogging schedule. Actually, better than usual if I manage to keep up with the schedule I’ve set for myself! The closer we get to The Day the more things I’ll have to talk about! Thank you for your patience while I was “away from keyboard” this last month–I managed to get quite a few back-end tasks off my to-do list and even spruce up TTB a bit in the process.