Updated Personal Bucket List

Having a bucket list at my age I think is a common thing people do. Although making moves on getting your bucket list done isn’t very common with everyone’s daily lives making it more difficult. A bucket list is essentially a list of “far fetched/dream items” to do someday. But I plan on trying to get as many of these accomplished as well as I can in the near future. Unfortunately 2020 really messed up my timeline on this and well; I’m re-attempting to plan a vacation soon I hope!

Travel to Greece-

I’ve been obsessed with this destination for years now ever since I saw the epic pics of Santorini and I’m in love with the turquoise power color. The history is rich there too which is super cool to me. I’ve seen so many people going here lately that it’s making my wanderlust worse. There’s so many things from views, food to historical places I’m dying to see in person. So this is my number one bucket list item.

Visit StoneHenge-

STONEHENGE. I, again don’t know what it is about this place and my random fascination with it but I think its a marvelous beauty and I’d be so lucky to go and take pictures there.
(also to see a 7th world wonder which I thought this was one; nope, wrong. The Colosseum would be amazing to visit though too!)

Go Zip-Lining-

My cousins had a backyard zip line growing up that was maybe idk 60-100ft. It was so fun and I fell in love! So I hope to one day do a ropes course and do one together. I don’t like heights much and neither does Sean but I feel like if I know I get to fly down like a flying squirrel then I am all for it.

Be fluent in another language or two-

I’m practicing Italian and French this year and while I haven’t made huge progress yet I am picking it up a bit so far. I took French for a couple years in HS and I really enjoy the way to speak it and find it easy to converse. And the passion for Italian comes from the maternal side of my family- I’d love to be able to speak (and or meet) with them.

Stay at a luxury 5 star hotel-

I always enjoy relaxing and being in luxury (I mean who doesn’t) so I’d love to go and stay even a night or two at a top luxury hotel like maybe even in Vegas to explore the city outside the strip and do other non drinking and gambling things! Get a massage, pool, relax in bed, etc…. Sounds lovely! Maybe even some place in another country? If you have recommendations- drop those in the comments below!

Go to Disneyland/Disneyworld again-

We love Disney! I adore being there in a childhood world of wonder! It’s fantastic even without the rides of which most I’m not a fan. The gifts, the characters, the food, the atmosphere is just one of a kind. I can’t wait to go back for our 15th anniversary (maybe then) and celebrating the new chapter of our lives (future)!

Stay in a AIRBNB/Sightsee/Tour in another state-

Also more just traveling, going someplace and not knowing exactly where I am and what’s around the corner could be fun. I haven’t traveled enough in my life so far and I’m already 34 years old so once we have kiddos that’s out for awhile. I’d like to start doing some of that ASAP and making real lasting memories to keep with us forever.

Take a Cooking Class-

Like a gourmet one; in maybe Italy or France etc someplace known for FOOD. To explore our tastebuds and not in a sketchy kind of way but by our own hands and being open to a new experience and the opportunity to do so.

Yoga/Teacher Training-

I’ve seen a few people online go to yoga teacher training online or abroad and while I’d love to go abroad, I’m not that type to be away for 6 weeks. However, to be disciplined in a practice as such would be so internally fulfilling that I could see myself being super applied to this.

Write a Book-

My plan is to write a book between this year and the next year or two. Hopefully it’ll happen somewhat soon- as long as I set goals for myself and apply myself to creating progress, then we should be good. I plan for it to be inspirational and motivational from my own views and perspectives that I share with others, I hope. On trials and triumphs in my life and the lessons and values I’ve picked up throughout my whole life.

Swim/Play/Pet Sea Mammals-

I know everyone including me in worried about the animals at SeaWorld and places like that so I won’t condone it but man on man to see sea animals in the wild or a safe setting (I don’t know how to make this seem okay or less bad for the animal- if there’s a way let me know). I’ve always liked Orcas, Dolphins, Manatees etc. It would be a trip to see them up close. And not in a boat…. (seasickness).

This is just a quick compilation of some things that I’ve had on my continuous bucket list for a few years and things I still plan to set out and do. do any of these ideas sound fun to you? What would you include on a bucket list if you made one? I know the last few years shifted all of our plans off track but now is the time to book that trip, go see your family and go explore what you set out to do!

34 Notes to Past Me

The last few years have been a doozy and I wanted to write a birthday post or rather a getting older post of all the things I never would have thought or did think for the same reason. The way my life has turned out so far- is full of many ups and downs and while that may be true for most it was not what I expected growing up. And the process in which getting older, taking on new responsibilities and growing in many ways never dawned on me it would be like this. I’m not fully sure how this post will turn out yet but I hope it makes you think and be thankful for your own life and having another year to live.

TO MY PAST SELF:

You never thought drug and alcohol addiction would be in your family.

You never knew there were so many “sides” to people and how they show them tells you who they are (tells you even more about yourself)

You never thought about having your own owned house

You never knew that religion wouldn’t be a part of your life but rather the alternatives and woo woo stuff would be your comfort (all while still hoping; He sees you and knows you)

You always thought you’d be close to your family

You never thought they’d turn their backs on you

You didn’t think about all the older generations that would be passed on by now and how life is so different without them now

You always thought you’d have kids by now

You never thought you’d change your mind about “_

You knew you’d graduate high school and college; and have a career so forth

You never thought you’d have a “church” wedding

You just imagined that being a housewife and mom looked so easy and was always all you wanted to do

You were not really one for travel but always thought you’d be more cultured by now

The private things people don’t talk about in relation to society and life (genealogy/affairs/records/deaths etc) have never been so mysterious.

You never thought the state of the world could be worse and we’d stay forever in 1999

World peace was just an idea but nothing bad would ever happen

You never imagined how into true crime and documentaries you’d be and how fascinating they all are no matter the topic

You never thought you’d have a room dedicated to legos

You always wanted your OWN dogs but didn’t know how much work it truly is and yet how worth it every whine is as well

You never thought you’d feel so safe and so loved with someone ever again

You always thought that people come and go but your friends will always be loyal (again and again)

You never thought that you’d (really) almost never be a drinker

You never thought that peer pressure could get to you

You never thought you’d be the center of a rumor or gossip mill

Or that you’d be seen as “that girl….” (Not in the good way)

You always knew you were a homebody

You never knew at one point that’d be a great thing

You never knew what a pandemic was or that we’d ever go through one in my lifetime

You always knew you’d write a book

…..but never thought you’d be writing one about this

You never thought you’d be in so many MLMs or that you’d meet and love so many people from them

You always knew we’d stay best friends

You never thought you’d never live where you grew up

You always thought you’d find yourself by now

Guess I’m still on the journey…😄😉

What lessons or statements would you tell your younger self?

14 Podcasts You MUST Listen To

Podcasts are so popular and are definitely a saturated market now for good reason. Everyone from bloggers, to cooks, to stay at home moms, almost everybody has a podcast lately. We all love hearing advice and good topics of conversation to grow ourselves inside and out. I think anyone can learn a lot from podcasts

1) The Hustle Sanely podcast: I’ve been following Jess for several years and to be honest even though I love all these podcasts, I would suggest this one MORE than any other. If you haven’t checked her out yet or know of Hustle Sanely then you need to IMMEDIATELY! She talks all productivity and motivation and schedules, time management and prioritizing what is important while not losing yourself and the rest of your LIFE to hustle culture (schedules are tools not chains). Also her products are glorious and her programs and journals are beyond compare- just go find her where you listen to your podcasts (she does FREE coaching there- yes it’s incredible).

2) CRIME JUNKIE: If you are someone who likes true crime, documentaries or biographies of serial killers or true life crime shows- you should check out this podcast and it’s a great one to listen to while you’re doing chores or busy work. I have spent hours now paying attention to these two lovely gals and the catchphrases and shock and awe is so worth it! The follow ups and types of episodes are a wonderful variety too. I love this show!

3) Pretty Basic w/ Alisha and Remi: The best chatty podcast I’ve come across that feels like you’re talking to your best friends about popular news, celebrity gossip and the everyday lives and growth of these two boss babes in L.A.

4) Unsolicited Advice (Ashley and Taryne): Again just another chat with your best friends giving each other funny anecdotes about life and advice on the variety of situations. If you haven’t heard; go check it out now- I like too that their opinions differ and it’s not two people agreeing the whole time.

5) Stuff You Should Know: An educational podcast that ISN’T boring. I used to listen to this before school or in the mornings when I get ready. Two guys, Josh and Chuck take a deep dive into a wide variety of topics including pop culture, history, life, theories etc.

6) TED Talks Daily-It’s just what it sounds like- TED TALKS DAILY on any one specific topic explained by a professional in great detail. A.I to zoology everything to spark your mind and change your perspective and expand your opinions and worldview. It’s great car audio or while in the shower learning something you’d never expect to- pretty fantastic if you ask me! I give this one 5 stars!

7) Detail Therapy-From YouTuber Amy Landino- productivity, time management, relationships, career, loving yourself and more. Get a little therapy in a positive and lighthearted truthful way before going after the dreams you desire. Her podcast has also taken a slight back seat and has only a few episodes but ALL are still so relevant and useful so don’t write them off just yet! Also check out her book on routines and habits with Good Morning, Good Life.

8) Wild Til 9 (Lauren and Jeremy): Probably one of the most LOL, dirtiest, raunchy and hilarious topics and spews of a podcast ever! I give it 5 stars- it really does it for me… long episodes too which I can appreciate when I want to just listen to the background.

9) Soul Sugar w/ Carrie Rad: Soul Sugar is all about everything from lifestyle to culture to personal issues and lessons… it’s all in there. She started this podcast back in 2019 and her following I’m sure really enjoyed hearing more pure content from her. There are a few new ones from earlier this year but the value is in there for the topics covered is great. Go give it a listen!

10) Whine Down w/Jana Kramer: I personally love Jana! She’s funny, spunky and honest. She’s a talented artist, great mother and a great role model… she recently had a public divorce in the spotlight and now she’s finding what her real core truth is and raising her kids right. I adore her and would love to listen to more of her chatty self.

11) My Favorite Murder-Another huge hit in the murder and crime stories realm that I know for a fact has a huge following. This one unlike others is kept up with and currently uploading new episodes twice a week (Monday and Thursday). It’s all true crime and hometown stories that will knock your socks off! If you haven’t checked out an episode why not try one now?! Maybe not right before bed though….

12) The Ultimate Health Podcast: I have had this one saved in Spotify and no wonder when I go to look at episode titles because they all intrigue me. From basic healthy eating to mental health and sharing your own life story, everyone has something to dabble in and learn about.

13) Kalyns Coffee Talk: This podcast is in my top 5 ever too! She is a bit woo-woo, a bit free spirited, some real honest NO BS content chats and just she’s a soul sister. Somehow I think that translates in her podcasts she gets so deep into the topic, you will have major mindset shifts and it feels so good. She is chock full of great ideas and opinions and feels her own feelings and has totally no judgment which is a breath of fresh air when it comes to topics of all shapes and sizes.

14) COLD (true crime podcast): A true crime story I am excited to follow- not one I have gotten into yet but; it’s highly rated and well known. So give that a listen if you’re real into again- true crime and stories of dark things that really happen, sometimes.

I highly suggest that you maybe try these podcasts if they haven’t been on your radar yet. Just double task by listening to a podcast (when safe to) is a great practice to educate and entertain yourself as well. And if you have any favorites be sure to drop them in the comments below!

Master Closet Makeover: Before and After

In December, I suddenly realized how large and yet how very dysfunctional our closet was. The clothes were crammed in (decluttering hello), the hanging rods were really high so I had to stretch or knock the clothes down, the shelves were great to have but the whole thing wasn’t arranged very well. So instead of complaining- I decided to improve it.

Immediately I thought about IKEA’s closet systems that are fully customizable and work wonderfully; however I just wanted something that looked a bit more sophisticated. So I found out that Home Depot does flooring, kitchen and other projects among also organization and closets!

The first step was to have a “closet designer” come out to sit down with me and plan out and configure what would be most beneficial and useful in our every day lives. They also take the initial measurements and render the space in 3D with a laser. Which is the coolest part of the plans being in your email and in your hands on their work tablet. He was very helpful even as I changed my mind a few times with certain elements which wasn’t really a problem. It’s nice that you can see it all come together in real time with the build simulation of the room.

It took a few hours but it was pretty fun going through all the options, textures and colors of wood, knobs and more accessories which we didn’t really want or need to get. There was options for a tie hanger, valet hooks, pants & jeans hangers etc, a dressing station elements, lighting and much more. We did get a few cabinets and a few glass elements on the cabinet fronts as well as extra optional removable shelves. I didn’t see anything more that was worth paying for. The top three glass front cabinets were for displaying my purses in a stylish fashion and having them up and out of the way. We added a set of 12 drawers to replace the place for our underwear, socks, pjs, swimwear and my jeans. Sean also wanted his own tall cabinet for storage, so we added that in one corner. There was what I called the “problem” corner that I was going to keep for extra shelving and storage but in the end I wanted more hanging so that was converted again in the second measuring appointment. They do this with a more experienced technician so they can verify the measurements that were taken and double check the plans for any problems that maybe someone missed. The problem corner had an area that was too tight to use and so it made more sense to take out that extra hanging section behind the door that was going to be installed. (This will make sense when you see the blueprints/mock-up). The final piece was a tall hang corner for my long sweaters and mainly my wedding dress- anything that had a longer hemline. I put my tanks tops on a specific type of hanger there for everyday access when I want to wear a camisole under a shirt or sweater. It’s been a very useful spot to have certain things at a quick grasp.

Then of course because of C-19 then everything in materials for the actual installment was backordered. Our original date was January/February and it didn’t get done until April so…. I understood that it would take awhile. I was very excited!

We ended up having to adjust the measurement height of the upper rod because Sean’s clothes are taller than mine despite the original measurements. But everything fit and worked out for the best. We also switched a cabinet door and hinge direction, also one drawer was slightly damaged at the back corner (luckily not noticeable so I didn’t care). It took two days and they were so quick and nice explaining any tiny issue they ran into and swiftly discussed with me to solve it. They disassembled everything and took the debris with them as well as patching any small rough parts that may be seen- of which none were because of the backing.

Once it was completed and I was loading our clothes, I noticed how much space we had and how it was immediately more efficient. He could put all his shirts, muscle and workout tees, jackets, polos etc up on his racks and they would look just as nice but would not then be dragging on the lower shelf. With his regular everyday shirts they happen to fall into two categories: solids and graphic tees. Choosing a visually appealing and easy way to spot what he wants to wear: rainbow order or type i.e star wars, comics, movies, quotes. This has worked out well and he hasn’t needed to ask where anything is because A) it’s all hung up and easier to see and B) organized, so he knows now exactly where to look. Also the second benefit to extending the height is still having some upper storage on top for short items and seasonal items in collapsable totes.

Next, I decided where each section of my tops where going to go. As I hung them all back up, I began seeing a bunch more things that I could donate and get out of my closet. So many things that I forgot that I had and that upon looking at each piece again; I didn’t like. Three or four bags later and I’m so glad that I wasn’t shoving a bunch of unworn and discarded pieces back into my closet. My short sleeves tops got hung up in rainbow order again like Sean’s did. My long sleeves got hung up all together with over shirts I wear often and then thicker long sleeves like he lets and corduroy type button ups.

I folded my jeans and pants using the Marie Kondo method into the bottom three drawers. I made them fit vertically and sorted them by type. Ever since then I’ve found how much neater it keeps my pants in the drawer and more organized when I know where to find a certain pair. In the other drawers I folded in my swimsuits (of which I have a few new ones) that needed space in a drawer. I have a separate sock and intimates drawer, I laid these out nicely and tucked my socks together into the organizer I have. I have one extra drawer for workout underwear and sticky bras etc, miscellaneous pieces I don’t reach for often. My pajamas and sweats had to be spread out among a couple drawers but they all fit in the end. And the last couple drawers I put Seans’ underwear and socks in and organized them as best I could.

The best part of this closet redesign has been laundry loads have been so simple because now each item has a place and I don’t feel like I’m scrambling to find a hanger, get the step stool and figure out where in the closet it should go. Or how I can fit one more coat in the closet downstairs. Because I have less now and with a new closet it all just fits.

And with that it’s the season to declutter and donate whatever isn’t serving you. I recently read a book called “Decluttering at the Speed of Life” and I really resonated with much of the routines and philosophies of the book. Showing you step by step for one space or room at a time and how to declutter at your own pace; while remaining productive and diligent about getting things OUT of your home. There is a procedure or method she explains in the book, ways to declutter efficiently and to get the obvious trash out first, then by putting away the things that have homes and can be put away quickly, followed by the things that need to find a permanent home. I have always been great at the one in and one out rule but also forgetting what I have or what I even like. My other saving grace is seasonal closets, so I didn’t quite move all my winter clothes back into my master closet although I could I stashed the puffer vests, parkas and huge scarves in another closet to take back out in the fall when it gets cold, although I did already go through and minimize what I had.

Well anyway if you are thinking of decluttering or are thinking of doing a project like this one- I say go for it! This was a vast improvement on what we had before and has made my daily chores and laundry routines so much easier. I’m glad I can share this project with you and our experience using Home Depot and their closet installation department (*not sponsored*). I really enjoyed the whole process and we may likely hire them again in the future for another project where we could use their help.

Thanks for reading and bye for now!

Hi! I'm Nora

I’m a stay-at-home wife & dog-mom. I began this blog ten years ago,  I couldn’t ignore that I felt a calling to help people find comfort, a sense of belonging or a place of community whenever they really needed it. » Read more about me here on my About page!

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