Road Trip?

We’ve been home from our world travels for three whole months and let’s just say there have been LOTS of decisions to be made in that time frame. Where do we want to live? Overseas? Denver? Washington D.C.? Seattle? Chicago? What do we want to do (professionally)? Return to our old or pursue new careers? Do we move or get jobs first? Do the furbabies come with right away or wait till we are more settled? The list goes on. I posted a hint last night of our plans on Instagram, but after MUCH deliberation we have finally decided wholeheartedly that we are moving to…..

Seattle2…the beautiful city of Seattle!!!! But if you know us, you know we aren’t just going to pack up and fly there. Oh no siree. We are road tripping it! We are stuffing our Saturn, that sounds like a rocket taking off when you accelerate and has zero air conditioning, full of camping, hiking, and interview supplies/clothes and taking two weeks to see the sites on our way out West. I’m talking a visit to my girlfriends in Minneapolis, the Badlands, Mount Rushmore, Deadwood, Black Hills, Devil’s Tower, Yellowstone, Jackson Hole, Grand Tetons, and Spokane with mandatory stops in small town USA along the way. We have no idea where we will live or what we will do when we get to Seattle, but that’s part of the adventure, right? Wish us luck! I can’t wait to share all of our adventures in the next couple weeks! Oh and of course if you have ANY recommendations we would be so very much appreciative and thankful for your advice and help!!


I’m guest posting for Chelsea today about my tips for packing (how appropriate, huh?) so make sure to stop by! Happy Thursday! 🙂


Product Review: FEED USA for Target

FeedUSA-5On Sunday, the FEED USA for Target collection of apparel, home goods, and accessories hit stores. The best part is that each of the 50+ products have a specific charitable meal amount associated with them (i.e. buying a baseball hat donates 12 meals to the charity). Shopping that helps others? Doesn’t get much better than that ladies and gentlemen! I headed to my local Target to check out the collection and although I was disappointed by the minimal selection (guess that’s what happens at Targets in smaller town Iowa) as I was hoping to snatch up this burlap bag, white hat, and red tee I was definitely impressed with the softness and fit of the apparel and the bright fun patterns of the home goods. So if you need an excuse to pick up one of these fabulous items, just remember every product equals meals for charity! Check out the full collection here!

FeedUSA-2Scarves (14 meals each)

FeedUSA-1The only three men’s apparel at our store (denim, hat, hoodie)


FEEDUSA-1-2 Women’s Chambray Shirt (22 Meals) – Darker Denim, Loved the Fit and Fabric

FEEDUSA-3-2 FEEDUSA-4-2FEED Women’s Racerback Tank (12 Meals): Loved, Loved, Loved!

FEEDUSA-5-2 FeedUSA-9Women’s Hooded Sweatshirt (20 Meals): AMAZING Fabric and Fit and SOOO comfy

101 Accomplishments

PastFuture#34 on my list of 93 in 930 challenged me to create a list of 101 things I have already accomplished in my 27 years of life. I thought this task was the best place to start on my list as it reminds me that it is equally important to appreciate my past as it is to anticipate the future and that life isn’t always about anticipating the next best thing, but learning from where you’ve been and being happy with your accomplishments to date (plus, I thought it is a great way for you, my lovely/supportive readers, to get to know me too). As I wrote this list, I soon discovered how important travel is to my life and how easy it was for me to write down all the places, monuments, and experiences I have seen/done in the last seven months, but I sincerely tried to challenge myself to include accomplishments from my childhood years as well. What do you consider your biggest achievement to date?

Start Date: Sunday, December 1st, 1985
End Date: Wednesday, May 15th, 2013

1. Graduated from high school
2. Graduated from The University of Iowa with a B.A. in Elementary Education
3. Taught 4th and 2nd grade at Sumner Elementary School in Chicago
4. Got my driver’s license
5. Learned how to play the piano (not well by any means)
6. Ran a Sports and English Summer Camp in China
7. Worked with children on a military base in Germany
8. Taught English to monks, orphans, and hill tribe children in Thailand
9. CPR and First Aid certified

10. My Striped Dress, Two Ways post was Freshly Pressed and received over 250 comments and 8,000 views
11. My Inspired by Instyle outfit post was featured in the April 2012 issue of InStyle

12. Married my high school sweetheart, best friend and love of my life in 2008
13. Moved to a new city, Chicago, in 2008
14. Tasted cupcakes in 14 different countries
15. Won a beer pouring contest in Brussels (1st out of 4)

16. Became a big sister in 1989 and 1992
17. Added the two best fur-babies to our family (Maddie and Oakley)
18. Became a godmother to my cousin, Ian, in 2004
Maid of Honor for my best friend, Cece, in 2012
20. Helped both my brothers celebrate their 21st birthdays 🙂
21. Visited the birthplace of my husband (Reuthlos, Germany)

22. Completed two Chicago marathons with my mom
23. Coached a Girls on the Run team in Chicago
24. Volunteer and Equipment Director for RiverRun in Iowa City
25. First tattoo in London to commemorate our world trip
26. Didn’t shower for two weeks while hiking the Everest Trail
27. Earned my Varsity Letter in Track, Volleyball, and Soccer
28. Nominated for high school Athlete of the Year in 2004

29. Skinny-dipped in 2009
30. Shot three different types of guns in 2012
31. Cheered at a USA soccer vs Honduras World Cup Qualifying Match
32. Met Mia Hamm, my childhood idol
33. “Learned” to surf in Mooloolaba, Australia
34. People watched in Amsterdam’s Red Light District
35. Have seen 9 “Broadway” Shows (Les Miserables in London, Phantom of the Opera, The Lion King, How to Succeed in Business, and The Rockettes Christmas Show in NYC, A Christmas Carol, A Christmas Story, Wicked, Jersey Boys in Chicago)
36. Met 98 Degrees, NSync, Backstreet Boys, and Britney Spears (thanks Aunt Peg!)
37. Saw Mumford and Sons in two countries (Dixon, Illinois, USA and Gold Coast, Australia)

38. Visited 18 countries (Canada, Mexico, Jamaica, Italy, Ireland, United Kingdom *twice*, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, China *twice*, Nepal, Turkey, Greece, Czech Republic, Germany *twice*, Netherlands *twice*, Belgium, France)
39. Visited 12 US cities, not including normal family vacation spots (Nashville, New York City, Washington D.C., Seattle, Vegas, San Diego, Portland, St. Louis, Los Angeles, Breckenridge, Woodlands, Houston, Orlando, Myrtle Beach)

40. Niagara Falls
41. Walked the Hollywood Walk of Fame and saw the famous Hollywood sign
42. The Colosseum in Rome
43. The Parthenon in Athens
44. The Eiffel Tower in Paris
45. Big Ben in London
46. Westminster Abbey in London
47. Times Square in NYC
48. The Forbidden City in Beijing
49. The Leaning Tower of Pisa
50. Vatican City
51. Sydney Opera House
52. Dachau Concentration Camp
53. Neuschwanstein Castle
54. Louvre/Mona Lisa in Paris
55. Changing of the Guard in London (twice!)
56. Statue of Liberty
57. Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque in Istanbul

58. Skydived at 15,000 feet
59. Bungee jumped from the original bungee founding site
60. Kayaked the Tasman Sea in Milford Sound
61. Heli-Hiked Franz Josef Glacier
62. Snorkeled the Great Barrier Reef
63. Hiked the Everest Base Camp Trail
64. Kayaked in down-pouring rain in Ireland
65. Walked the Great Wall of China (twice!)
66. Ate dinner atop the Seattle Space Needle
67. Witnessed the Pope give a Sunday blessing
68. Watched NYE Fireworks in Sydney
69. Visited China during Chinese New Year
70. Walked onto the glass look-out atop the Sears (Willis) Tower
71. Rode the Navy Pier Ferris Wheel
72. Went to the top of the St. Louis Gateway Arch
73. Hiked in the dark to stand atop Mt. Warning, Australia, the first place the sun hits
74. Four Wheeled Fraser Island
75. Slept in a camper-van on the beach beneath the most amazing starry sky in New Zealand
76. HikedMt. Cook, New Zealand
77. Slept overnight in a KFC in Shanghai
78. Stayed in one of China’s oldest hutongs
79. Turkish Bath
80. Took the chunnel from Paris to London
81. Rode bicycles in Amsterdam
82. Slept overnight in Colmberg Castle
83. Hiked to all five cities in the Cinque Terre, Italy
84. Made a wish in the Trevi Fountain
85. Traveled 7 days worth of in-air time on a plane from Sept-April

Animal Experiences:
86. Fed kangaroos (twice!)
87. Cuddled a koala
88. Swam with and “petted” sea turtles
89. Watched a sea turtle lay 125 eggs and helped rebury them
90. Went whale watching while migrating south, even saw the baby breach
91. Ate crickets in Thailand
92. Rode an ostrich
93. Kayaked next to a sea-lion
94. Rode an elephant in Thailand
95. Swam with dolphins in Jamaica
96. Saw a family of wild dingos on Fraser Island, Australia
97. Ate peking duck in Beijing (brain included)

98. Burberry quilted jacket
99. Mountain bike
100. Purchased our first piece of original artwork in 2012
101. Paid off all student loan debt

93 in 930

MakeitHappenThe moment I heard about the 101 in 1001 challenge via Sam and Design Darling I was immediately brainstorming ideas for my own personal list. Unfortunately 1001 days from now ended on a completely random day in my life whereas 930 days from today I conveniently turn 30. Ouch, that hurts even to say type. My 30th birthday is fast approaching and this 2.5 year bucket list seems like the best way to ensure these 930 precious days of my twenties don’t get away from me. I must admit and it may come across snobby (swear I’m not trying to be because I am forever appreciative of the opportunities we experienced this last year), but it was extremely difficult to muster up even 93 tasks since in the past 7 months I have basically completed the majority of my previous bucket list (travel, adventures, skydiving, bungee jumping, etc). But in the end it pushed me to really look to the past to see what I want to improve on and to look to the future for what I hope my life looks like in 2.5 years and combine those goals into this measurable, quantitative list. So without further ado here is my list of 93 tasks to accomplish in 930 days! Here we GOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Start Date: Wednesday, May 15th, 2013
End Date: Tuesday, December 1st, 2015

BOLD items = Completed
Italicized items = In Progress

1. Read 10 biographies/memoirs (1/10) (Orange is the New Black)
2. Read 1 new book a month (14/30) (The Paris Wife, The Ashford Affair, Lean In, Love with a Chance of Drowning, The Fault of Our Stars, Revenge Wears Prada, I’m Proud of You, He’s Gone, Girls in White Dresses, The New American Road Trip Mixtape, The Husband’s Secret, Unbroken, Where’d You Go, Bernadette, The Cartwheel, Looking for Alaska, Reconstructing Amelia, The Racketeer, )
3. Buy Photoshop and learn 20 new editing techniques (0/20)
4. Take a flower arranging class
5. Take an intro to sewing class (goal: hem my own jeans)
6. Take a cupcake or cake decorating class
7. Learn how to drive a manual car
8. Complete a personal training course
9. Grow our own herbs
10. Learn 4 new card games (two person and group) (0/4)
11. Learn 100 conversational phrases/words in Spanish

12. Hire someone to design my blog website
13. Order business cards
14. Have 5 site sponsors
15. Attend a blogging conference (Simply Stylist)
16. Write an about me page and create a media kit
17. Guest blog post for 10 bloggers (0/10)
18. Host 10 giveaways (0/10)
19. Implement SEO strategies
20. Launch a collaborative series
21. Attend a fashion show
22. Inspire someone else to write a list

23. Find a job I love
24. Add one more member to our family
25. Buy our first home
26. Join a church and be an active member
27. Join a competitive sports league
28. Buy a new (to me) car
29. Finish all our scrapbooks from our travels (Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, China, Nepal, Turkey/Greece, Prague, Germany, Amsterdam/Brussels/Paris, London, Ireland/London, Italy) and the years 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013
30. Put our wills and funeral arrangements in writing
31. Refrain from cursing for one whole week
32. Participate in 10 charitable walks/runs/events (1/10) (American Heart Association Quad-Cities Walk)
33. Decide my favorite flower
34. Make a list of 101 things I’ve already accomplished (here)
35. Donate blood at least 3 times (0/3)

36. Add all my friends and family’s birthdays/anniversaries to one collective book
37. Send 30 handwritten cards (2/30)
38. Send 5 just because care packages (1/5) (April 2014)
39. Host a themed party (i.e. murder mystery)
40. Pay it forward at least once a month (0/30)
41. Prepare and serve a 3-course meal including apps/drinks, dinner, and dessert
42. Collect family recipes into a single recipe book
43. Walk the dogs at least 5 times a week for a month (July 2013)
44. Find a doggie daycare for the girls

45. Begin and maintain an effective anti-aging skin care routine (here)
46. Floss five times a week for a month (November 2013)
47. Implement a daily vitamin regimen
48. Run 3 times a week for a month
49. Try 2 new workout classes
50. Increase my flexibility to touch my toes while sitting
51. Try a juice cleanse
52. Go to a chiropractor
53. Try a new hair color or cut
54. Learn 5 new hairstyles
55. Find my perfect lipstick shade in red, coral, pink, burgundy, and neutral
56. Stop biting and picking my nails for 1 month
57. Give up pop for 1 month (January 2014)

58. Participate in a flash mob
59. Watch 15 “classic” movies from AFI’s 100 Greatest Movies (7/15) (Shawshank Redemption, Annie Hall, Fargo, Gone with the Wind, Casablanca, Dances with Wolves, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Breakfast at Tiffany’s)
60. See all the Best Picture nominees before Oscar night
61. Watch all the Best Picture winners since 1985 (year I was born) (17/28) (Argo, The King’s Speech, The Hurt Locker, Slumdog Millionaire, No Country for Old Men, The Departed, Crash, Million Dollar Baby, Chicago, Titanic, Braveheart, Forrest Gump, Schindler’s List, Dances with Wolves, Driving Miss Daisy, Silence of the Lambs, Rain Man)
62. Determine my go-to karaoke song and sing it in public
63. Do the Polar Plunge
64. Leave a 100% tip
65. Participate in a Color Run (here)

66. Refurbish a piece of furniture
67. Bake 5 recipes from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook (2/5) (Chocolate Chip Cookies, Peanut Butter Cookies)
68. Chop down our own Christmas tree (here)
69. Organize all my belongings at my parents’ house (August 2013)
70. Create a wooden frame for our travel map
71. Create a home management organizational binder
72. Organize our postcards from past trips
73. Make our own curtains
74. Send out Christmas cards both years (1/2) (2013)
75. Paint our (future) front door a bright, welcoming color

76. Move to a new city/state (August 2013 – read here)
77. Add at least one more passport stamp
78. Drink my way through Sonoma/Napa Valley (here)
79. Have a girls’ weekend with my mom outside of Iowa or Illinois
80. 5 trips from The New York Times: 36 Hours: 150 Weekends in the USA & Canada (1/5) (San Francisco)
81. Travel to 5 new states (4/5) (South Dakota, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana)
82. Be a tourist in my own city for a day
83. Attend Brimfield Antique Show
84. Catch, prepare, and eat my own fish
85. White water raft

86. A classic handbag
87. Fun heels (printed or bright)
88. 10 new coffee table books
89. 2 sets of pretty pajamas (1/2) (for winter: this + this)
90. A cute pair of non-running tennis shoes (black + white)
91. 1 Month No Buying Freeze
92. Add $20 to a savings account for each item completed
93. Have a 30th birthday celebration in honor of finishing this list!