Tag Archives: Weeklies

It’s the Final Countdown

Dooty-do-do-, dooty-do-do-do.

Tell me you’re also one of those people who sings the instrument hooks of songs? I know I’m not the only weirdo. My sister does it, too.

I digress. I really am into the final countdown until my 30th: 5 more days. I really can’t believe it’s time for that already! I decided to do this 29 before 30 because I was feeling a little bummed about getting older. I figured having all of these things to look forward to would make that process a little easier. Not only do I feel like I had such a big and fun year, I’m actually really looking forward to turning 30 now. I’m feeling like all the best is still yet to come.

It’s been great for me to blog along the way of this process as it has a) kept me focused on trying to accomplish the things on the list, and b) I now have a record of what most of my 29th year was like, which is pretty cool. I am absolutely not going to cross everything off the list. I only have 5 more days, and there is no way to make it happen.

I would say that you could break my list down into 3 categories: the things I completed, the things I started and made a big effort on but will not complete by my birthday, and the things I completely failed on. Let’s start with the failures:

Mail a birthday card to each of my friends and family members. 100% fail. I didn’t even mail 1 single birthday card. My intention with that one was to be more like my grandmother and mother, who never forget to send a card. They are still to this day the only birthday cards I always get, and it always brightens my day. I bought cards with the intention of doing this and even made a calendar with everyone’s birthday, but I would always forget to mail them and would end up giving the card in person whenever I’d see that particular person around their birthday. I so badly want to be the person who sends snail mail, but I just am not.

Visit our dear friends the Jarretts. We tried to set something up with Lindsey and Brian for July, but our washer and the electrical around it had other plans for us, and we unfortunately had to cancel. Why is it so hard to schedule time to see long distance friends? This is the one I’m the saddest about not fulfilling. I am super hopeful that Tim and I can get to Arkansas soon. Lindsey– I’m coming for you, girl! I promise!

Now for the things I started and made a big effort on but will not complete by my birthday:

Watch every single Academy Award winner for Best Picture. I TRIED on this one. Like, really tried. But some of the late 20s, early 30s films are so hard to find! You have to special order them through Netflix or pay to order through Turner Classic Movies, and that got a little pricey. Plus, it was hard to find time each week to watch a 3 hour film (why are so many of the Oscar winners over 3 hours long?!?). I will say, I did see all of the 1970s-present, most of the 50s and 60s films, and I really only have some 30s and 40s and one 20s film left. I think I honored this list item pretty well even though I won’t finish.

Read 10 books over the course of the year. I read 9! Again, so close. I could read something in the next 5 days, but that feels forced, so I’ll choose to wave the white flag now. I used to love to read and just got out of the habit after college. This is something on the list I really want to keep as a habit after my birthday.

That means that I completed (or will complete in the next 5 days) 25 out of my 29 goals! Not a total win, but I feel pretty proud of it. I’ll do one more post-birthday blog to recap the victories, but I’ll be wrapping this up. It’s served it’s purpose in having helped me have an epic last year of my twenties.

List accomplishments as of last post:

  • I cooked recipes 47-50 since I last blogged. These oven baked sweet potato fries, this veggie stir-fry, this coconut butter, and these crispy fried eggs.
  • I read book #9, Reflections in a Golden Eye by Carson McCullers. I have always loved Carson, and this book was just as beautifully written as her others.
  • We will be celebrating my 30th with a super fun party this weekend.
  • I’ve continued to write, take photos, and go on as many dates with Tim and weekend and day trips as possible all throughout this past year.

6 Happy Years

Tim and I celebrated six years of marriage on Saturday. In so many ways it seems like that we were married yesterday, and then again, I honestly can’t really remember what life was like before then. That’s my home, my safe and happy place.

I’m by no means any expert, but what works for us is to always be the best of friends first, to have each other’s backs no matter what, and to laugh. A lot. I’m one lucky girl.

We had a great five year anniversary trip to Mexico last year, so we kept it pretty low-key with a nice dinner Friday night at Bluebeard and then made each other a fantastic meal at home on Saturday night. I made the below tomato, watermelon, and feta salad for our first course, and Tim made filet mignon, mashed potatoes, and collard greens for our second. For us, it was the perfect way to celebrate.

List accomplishments as of last post:

  • I realized I’m a little behind on my recipes, so I’ve made 4 new ones over the last two weeks. Tomatoes right now are PERFECT, so I made this Caprese salad with balsamic reduction and this watermelon, tomato, and feta salad. I also made this Italian melt and this spicy and sweet popcorn.
  • Tim and the pups and I took a family photo! No, it was not professional. Yes, it was a selfie. But for the 4 of us, that is a serious victory.
  • I’ve skinny dipped. Let’s leave it at that!
  • Tim and I had two pretty great dates this past weekend celebrating our anniversary. We also had a fun day trip to Indy.
  • Though it happens slightly after my birthday, we have already planned concert #6- Hayes Carll on 10/7.


I’m currently…

-Wishing summer could stay around forever. I hate letting go of longer days!

-Craving the Thai iced coffee from Hopscotch. It’s soooo good.

-Feeling busier than I have in awhile with my students back and work really picking back up to a high speed.

-Looking forward to my 30th, which is officially 1 month away!

-Watching The Office re-runs non-stop. Even though Tim and I occasionally take breaks from it, we always go back to this show. Michael Gary Scott forever.

-Eating all the avocados, all the time.

-Desperately trying to fit everything I can from my 29 before 30 list in the next month, but quickly realizing that’s probably not going to happen. And feeling totally ok about that because it’s been an epic year.

List accomplishments as of last post:

  • I made the world’s best BLTs the other day, and I made the bacon this way– game-changer, seriously. I also made these maple dijon roasted carrots last week and they were so good. Roasted carrots are perhaps my all-time favorite vegetable side dish. Then, I made this super-delicious Greek-style rice that I served with tzatziki-marinated chicken.
  • I got busy on watching some movies! It may be hard to believe, but I’d never seen Gone With the Wind. I finally watched the 1939 Best Picture winner two weekends ago, and although I definitely complained about the length a few times, I’m really glad to have watched it. I also watched the 2014 winner, Birdman (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance). It is one of the best movies I’ve seen in a long time, and Michael Keaton is amazing in it! And finally, I saw 1956’s Around the World in 80 Days.  It was neat to see all the cameos, but was really kind of meh. Underwhelming.
  • I’ve stayed up with writing and taking photos.
  • I totally forgot to list concert #4 from all the back in May when Tim and I saw Brazilbilly at Robert’s Western World in Nashville. We also just saw concert #5 two weeks ago, which was Gillian Welch and David Rawlings at the Bluebird here in Bloomington. It was a really special show! Tim and I went out for dinner and drinks beforehand, so it was a really nice date night.

Weekend Update

Do you ever have one of those weekends where you have laughed so hard your abs are sore? Tim and I just got back from a quick weekend trip up to a friend’s lake house in Michigan where we did exactly that. This is the second year in a row we have done this trip, and I hope it becomes a yearly thing.

The group of us spent the weekend in the sun, boating, eating deliciously trashy food, getting hooked on a terrible reality competition show, and cracking up every step of the way. I was so tired when we got home Sunday, but so so happy. I even got to do one of my very favorite things in life: jump on a trampoline. I had a trampoline growing up, and it remains to this day one of my all-time favorite birthday gifts ever received. There’s just something about a trampoline that makes me start to giggle uncontrollably as soon as I set foot on it. Pure joy.

List accomplishments as of last post:

  • Two weeks ago, I made these fish tacos. So easy, so awesome. Last week, Tim and I cooked succotash together. We didn’t use a recipe and based it off what his great-grandmother used to do, but it was similar to this. It’s so good and really is a supper in an of itself.
  • Michigan counted as another weekend/day trip!
  • Two Fridays ago, Tim made me a really special dinner for a date night in.
  • Continued writing and trying to take daily photos.

Conflicting Lessons from Gunner and Georgia

Last Wednesday was so special because it was both of my dogs’ birthdays. Yup, both Gunner and Georgia were born on July 1, just 3 years apart, respectively. Those two truly are members of our family, and Tim and I just couldn’t love them more. They are each very much their own dog, with hilariously unique personalities.

In honor of their birthdays, here are the most important life lessons I’ve learned from Gunner and Georgia, in which I’m sure you will see just how different they are:


1- Most people are only ok. Be selective. When you find really great people though, don’t hold back at all in showing your love for them.

2- Food is only ok. Except for sweets. Sweets are their own and vastly superior food group.

3- Hold a special place in your heart for your mother.

4- Being sassy will often times get you what you want.

5- Everything can be fixed with a butt-scratch.

6- Even though your little sister is super-annoying, sometimes it’s fun when she tags along.


1- All people deserve a chance. Be open-minded. When you find anyone, and I literally mean anyone, don’t hold back at all in showing your love for them.

2- All food is delicious, and nothing is more motivating than the promise of a meal or tasty treat.

3- Hold a special place in your heart for your father.

4- Being sweet will often times get you what you want.

5- Everything can be fixed with a belly-rub.

6- Even though your big brother is the COOLEST, sometimes it’s fun to put him in his place.

I can’t tell you how lucky I feel to have both of these dogs in my life. I hope to celebrate many more birthdays with them!

List accomplishments as of last post:

  • I made these cocoa brownies two weeks ago for my weekly recipe (rich and awesome), and this cold brew coffee (easy and so tasty) last week.
  • We ended up having to cancel our trip to see Lindsey and Brian. Our washer acted up, and we had a 3-day weekend to address it as well as a host of other issues around our house. Why does being an adult have to involve doing really un-fun things instead of the things you actually want to do?
  • I finished book #8, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson. There were a few laughs, but if I’m honest, it was probably my least favorite I’ve read this year.
  • I kept up with writing and taking photos. Below is Tim about to give Gunner and Georgia their birthday treats.


On a Streak

Sometimes, I get so busy enjoying life that not much comes when I sit down to write. My mind is just an ADHD-zone of what’s been good lately– and there has been so much! I might be in a little bit of a writer’s block, but every day life is in the opposite of a rut. What do you call that? On a streak?

Here are some of the happy things:

-Did you watch A Deadly Adoption, the Kristen Wiig and Will Ferrell Lifetime movie? I had the best time watching it with Tim and Krissy, making fun of all the melodramatic language and plot twists.

-We are going to my family’s cabin this weekend with friends, and I absolutely can’t wait! It’s impossible to be stressed there. And watching my dogs play there is one of my favorite things to do EVER.

-Summer fruits and veggies! It’s ridiculous how happy summer produce makes me. The green beans have been amazing, as have the cherries. I’ve been on a major radish kick lately, just cut up and sprinkled with sea salt. I like to drink that with white wine and pretend I’m French. On the one hand, I don’t want the 4th to get here because summer goes so fast after it passes. On the other, I can’t tell you how ready I am for Indiana sweet corn and tomatoes. The best in the country grows here. Spoken like a true Hoosier.

-We started VEEP. It’s the funniest show I’ve watched in a long time. Julia Louis-Dreyfus = HERO.

-We had such a nice Father’s Day down at my parents. My brother, sister-in-law, and Tim and I took care of the food so my mom and dad didn’t have to cook, and we spent the afternoon watching my hilarious nephews swim. It was a perfect day and, at least I think, exactly what my dad wanted to do.

List accomplishments as of last post:

  • I made these Mexican grilled corn and avocado toasts for our weekly recipe. So easy and delicious!
  • Tim and I went out to Restaurant Tallent last Friday for our weekly date. Amazing food, per usual.
  • In the most exciting news: I’ve been planning the Vickers-Jarrett reunion with Lindsey, which I think will be over the 4th, and I.CAN’T.WAIT!!!

Vickers vs the Chipmunks

I had heard many stories of people battling some type of rodent or furry creature that was destroying their yard (and I remember a particularly epic war from my childhood between my dad and some moles), but I don’t think I really got how intensely frustrating these creatures can be until this first summer as a homeowner.

We are currently losing the fight for our yard to chipmunks. And we don’t just have 2-3. We have an entire chipmunk community living in both our front and back yards, and they have built an insanely intricate network of tunnels and holes all over the place. They are living in wood piles, under our deck, in the crevices of our patio, and under our shed. And they are inviting ALL of their friends to come join them.

I always thought chipmunks were cute before, but let me tell you, their charm has worn off quickly. They are taunting and teasing and torturing our dogs– making Georgia and Gunner believe that they can be caught before darting down into one of their holes, causing those naughty-ass dogs to try and dig after them, creating bigger holes and muddy paws and noses that have to constantly be cleaned off. OOOOF.

In an effort to take back our yard, we have started capturing the little guys in a trap by luring them with almonds and then taking them to some woods across the highway for release. So far, we’ve caught 4 but I swear I have not noticed a decrease. Vickers 4, Chipmunks 20.

List accomplishments as of last post:

  • I checked off a few summer bucket list items over the course of the last week, and one of them was hosting brunch. I made these sparkling negronis for my weekly recipe. Take one of my favorite cocktails and make it brunch-friendly by adding bubbles? Yes, please.
  • I started book #8: Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson. Very funny!
  • Tim and I both had a weekly date and a day trip on Saturday when we went to Indy for a little fun and shopping.
  • As has been extensively documented here, our yard is a serious work-in-progress. We have a lot of weeds to kill, trees to cut down, and grass seed to plant before we can plant much of a garden…BUT we did buy some cute pots at Lowe’s and planted some calla lilies and hydrangeas that we surrounded with a few annuals to pretty up our front porch. My hope is to not kill the hydrangeas and lilies so that we can plant them in the yard next year.
  • I’ve kept up on writing and taking photos. Below is a picture of our new plants: