#30by30 : New Seasons. New Stories.

The end stretch is near! 3 months to go, which feels a bit crazy because A. I have 3 months to finish my list. B. I turn 30 in 3 months. Where has this year gone? There has been some updates to the list that were unplanned, but mostly because life happens. And the past 3 months have been filled with a lot of good, bad and more emotions than I usually admit too.

It’s been a few weeks of pretending everything is okay when it’s not, and a lot of apologies to friends when frustration takes over and I say things without a filter. Although for the most part my reactions are true and transparent, some times they are said in a moment of frustration and come out the wrong way. Thankfully, for the most part, I am surrounded by people who understand and aren’t offended by life.

30by30

1. Read the Bible from cover to cover.

I am using a chronological reading plan, so chapters have been jumping around a bit, I have placed an asterisk after the books I have started but not completed.

Genesis
Exodus
Leviticus
Numbers
Deuteronomy
Joshua
Judges
Ruth
1 Samuel
2 Samuel*
1 Kings
2 Kings
1 Chronicles
2 Chronicles
Ezra
Nehemiah
Esther
Job
Psalms*
Proverbs
Ecclesiastes
Song of Songs
Isaiah*
Jeremiah
Lamentations
Ezekiel
Daniel
Hosea
Joel
Amos
Obadiah*
Jonah
Micah
Nahum
Habbakuk

2. Volunteer 100 hours outside the church.

CYC: 59 Hours

3. Pay off credit card and at least one student loan.

Sometimes things don’t go according to plan, my credit card was very close to being paid off, but life happens. With an unexpected turn of events in my job as well as a flat tire, dead car battery, and dead computer, this goal has not yet been obtained. I am still aiming to have paid off my credit card soon and will continue to work towards that.

4. Take a row class at the boat house.

11062735_862552965083_6715739674341114094_n10559834_863502407393_4300727259068825691_n

5. Lose Weight.

Since the beginning of October I am down 5 pounds, unfortunately the cause was more stress of life related than anything else. However, I’ve started attending an indoor rowing class! So let’s do this!

IMG_1570[1].JPG

6. Learn to play an instrument.

I haven’t done anything towards this goal, I still would like to learn something (Preferably not a harmonica) This may get transferred to my long term list and worked on in the new year.

7. Double Savings Account.

Due to a drop in income this goal has gone in the opposite direction and is farther away to it’s end goal than when I started.

8. Read 100 Books of various genres.

Although my goal is behind, I’ve been reading many different kinds of books and have loved it. There was a good number of weeks where reading was just not going to happen so I will not be upset if I do not hit the 100 book mark. Afterall that would mean 2 books a week all year!

1. A Brush with Love by Rachel Hauck
2.Sabotaged by Dani Pettrey
3. Hawk by Ronie Kendig
4. Danger in the Shwadows by Dee Henderson
5. How to Catch a Prince by Rachel Hauck
6. The Dandelion Field by Kathryn Springer
7. Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe by Max Lucado
8. Seasons of Fire by Lisa T. Bergren
9. Rasmus and the Vagabond by Astrid Lindgren
10. Nourished by Becky Johnson
11. The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest by Melanie Dickerson
12. Three Little Words by Melissa Tagg
13. From the Start by Melissa Tagg
14. Taken by Dee Henderson
15. The Royal Wedding by Meg Cabot
16. A Love Like Ours by Becky Wade
17. Called to be Amish by Marlene Miller
18. Shades of Doon By: Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon
19. The Golden Braid By: Melanie Dickerson
20. Creating Magic By: Lee Cockerell (Read this! It was amazing!)

Currently Reading:
21. Unoffendable by Brant Hansen
22. Falcon by Ronie Kendig
23. Glory Days by Max Lucado
24. 90 Minutes in Heaven by Don Piper
25. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone By: J.K Rowling

 

9. Intentional Friendships/Relationships

IMG_9073

Y’all stole my phone, which makes this fair game.

IMG_9308IMG_9309

 

11924757_890839847943_6655686887125190356_n11928734_888649921573_4242041942505426747_n12088412_897825214213_7736089384745375316_n

10. Finish London/Wales Book

Still working on this, I need to get some pictures printed.

11. Redefining Me

This is going to be a new year, the best year yet. I am updating my wardrobe and just overall making changes to my everyday.

12. Write a book

Not Started.

This goal will be changing.

13. Finish Quilt

In progress.

14. Tithe

I’m crossing this one off the list, because my church has set up automatic withdrawals, so now I don’t have to worry about remembering!

15. Run Lights during an evening service of Youth America

Completed!

IMG_8273IMG_8393IMG_9093
IMG_1635[1].JPG

16. Blog twice a week

I’ve realized that maybe blogging isn’t for me beyond occasional updates and book reviews.

17. Try a new recipe every month

I want to try out a new recipe once a month.

March:

Macaroons

#30by30 French Macaroons

April:

Crepes

#30by30 Crepes

May:

Marzipan

IMG_7964[1]

June:

Garlic Parmesean Pasta

IMG_9329

July:

Spaghetti Squash with Spinach, Bacon and Goat Cheese

IMG_9353

August:
Italian Pasta Salad

IMG_0662[1].JPG

September:
Crock-Pot Chicken Noodle Soup Fail.
Can’t get them right every time.

IMG_1564[1]

October:
Roasted Jalapeno Popper

IMG_1505[1]

November:
Roasted Butternut Squash

IMG_1708[1]

18. Fear less. Love More.

19. 12 Trips in 12 Months

February: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Florida

IMG_6224[1]

March: Route 66- Oklahoma

IMG_6675

April: Cruise- Long Beach, California, Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlan

IMG_7008

May: Beautiful Offerings Tour

IMG_7756

June: Outdoor Movies

IMG_8028

July: Maryland, Pennsylvania, Niagara Falls, Stone Harbor New Jersey, and New York

IMG_8652      IMG_9047

August: Grease Sing-A-Long
Because sometimes the fun things are just down the street.

IMG_0012

September: Disney World

October: Wizard World Comic Con

20. Learn to whistle

Time to head to youtube.

21. Be more decisive

In Progress

22. Contacts

No contacts yet, but I do have these awesome glasses and may stick with them.

IMG_1299[1]

 

23. New York

24. Declutter

How have I accumulated so much stuff?

25. Be More Positive

This sounds so much easier than it is. I am grateful for the people in my life that are standing in the gap and being positive for me when it’s been a struggle lately.

26. Make a decision on where to live/work/move

I need a job.

27. Have/Join a Small Group

This should start in the beginning of the new year. Can’t wait!

28. Travel

This is a constant in my life.

29. Slide the City
29. Find a job

July 25. Slide the City.

30. 30th Birthday Trip

  1. London?
    Hawaii?
    Florida?
    Australia?
    Seattle?

#30by30 : Update Number 2

Here is my 6 month update on my #30by30 list!

30by30

1. Read the Bible from cover to cover.

I am using a chronological reading plan, so chapters have been jumping around a bit, I have placed an asterick after the books I have started but not completed.

Genesis
Exodus
Leviticus
Numbers
Deuteronomy
Joshua
Judges
Ruth
1 Samuel
2 Samuel*
1 Kings
2 Kings
1 Chronicles*
2 Chronicles
Ezra
Nehemiah
Esther
Job
Psalms*

2. Volunteer 100 hours outside the church.

CYC: 26 Hours

3. Pay off credit card and at least one student loan.

If all goes to plan credit card should be payed off at the end of September and I can start hitting the student loan more!

4. Take a row class at the boat house.

11062735_862552965083_6715739674341114094_n10559834_863502407393_4300727259068825691_n

5. Lose Weight.

This is frustrating.

6. Learn to play an instrument.

7. Double Savings Account.

Closer!

8. Read 100 Books of various genres.

I am behind, I wasn’t expecting to be slightly burnt out from reading.

1. A Brush with Love by Rachel Hauck
2.Sabotaged by Dani Pettrey
3. Hawk by Ronie Kendig
4. Danger in the Shwadows by Dee Henderson
5. How to Catch a Prince by Rachel Hauck
6. The Dandelion Field by Kathryn Springer
7. Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe by Max Lucado
8. Seasons of Fire by Lisa T. Bergren
9. Rasmus and the Vagabond by Astrid Lindgren
10. Nourished by Becky Johnson
11. The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest by Melanie Dickerson
12. Three Little Words by Melissa Tagg
13. From the Start by Melissa Tagg
14. Taken by Dee Henderson
15. The Royal Wedding by Meg Cabot

Currently Reading:

15. Unoffendable by Brant Hansen
16. A Love Like Ours by Becky Wade
17. Called to be Amish by Marlene Miller
18. Falcon by Ronie Kendig
19. Glory Days by Max Lucado
20. 90 Minutes in Heaven by Don Piper

9. Intentional Friendships/Relationships

IMG_9073

Y’all stole my phone, which makes this fair game.

IMG_9308 IMG_9309

10. Finish London/Wales Book

Still working…

11. Redefining Me

This is going to be a new year, the best year yet. I am updating my wardrobe and just overall making changes to my everyday.

12. Write a book

Not Started.

13. Finish Quilt

In progress.

14. Tithe

I’m crossing this one off the list, because my church has set up automatic withdrawals, so now I don’t have to worry about remembering!

15. Run Lights during an evening service of Youth America

Completed!

IMG_8273 IMG_8393IMG_9093

16. Blog twice a week

Failing…

17. Try a new recipe every month

I want to try out a new recipe once a month.

March:

Macaroons

#30by30 French Macaroons

April:

Crepes

#30by30 Crepes

May:

Marzipan

IMG_7964[1]

June:

Garlic Parmesean Pasta

IMG_9329

July:

Spaghetti Squash with Spinach, Bacon and Goat Cheese

IMG_9353

18. Fear less. Love More.

19. 12 Trips in 12 Months

February: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Florida

IMG_6224[1]

March: Route 66- Oklahoma

IMG_6675

April: Cruise- Long Beach, California, Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlan

IMG_7008

May: Beautiful Offerings Tour

IMG_7756

June: Outdoor Movies

IMG_8028

July: Maryland, Pennsylvania, Niagara Falls, Stone Harbor New Jersey, and New York

IMG_8652      IMG_9047

August: Grease Sing-A-Long
Because sometimes the fun things are just down the street.

IMG_0012

You can keep track of the places I’ve been at #12Trips12Months

20. Learn to whistle

Because, why not?

21. Be more decisive

In Progress

22. Contacts

I’m going back on forth in getting contacts, but I have a glasses appt. this week so that’s a step in the right direction!

23. New York

24. Declutter

How have I accumulated so much stuff?

25. Be More Positive

This sounds so much easier than it is.

26. Make a decision on where to live/work/move

Ha. Ha. Ha.

27. Have a Small Group

After summer.

28. Travel

This is a constant in my life.

29. Slide the City

July 25. Slide the City.

I need to replace this one, Slide the City was on the day of a conference I have attended the last 5 years, so suggestions to take #29s place.

30. 30th Birthday Trip

London?
Hawaii?
Florida?
Australia?
Seattle?

#30by30 Number 17: Marzipan

#30by30 Number 17: Try a new recipe every month.

IMG_7964[1]On my Italian side Marzipan is a bit of a tradition. Holidays usually included marzipan fruits, or if it was Easter it was usually in the shape of a lamb. My sister recently picked one up which inspired me to try and make it myself. I decided not to attempt to mold them and decorate. I will say I think I am going to stick with the bakery on this one. It was fun to make though!

-Elle

#30by30 : Update Number One.

30by30

Here is my 3 month update on my #30by30 list!

1. Read the Bible from cover to cover.

Genesis
Exodus
Leviticus
Numbers
Deuteronomy
Joshua
Judges
Ruth
1 Samuel

2. Volunteer 100 hours outside the church.

CYC: 20 Hours

3. Pay off credit card and at least one student loan.

This is been going slower than I was hoping.

4. Take a row class at the boat house.

3 Classes left to go! I will be sad when it ends!

11062735_862552965083_6715739674341114094_n 10559834_863502407393_4300727259068825691_n

5. Lose Weight.

Down 4 pounds…I really need to buckle down on this one.

6. Learn to play an instrument.

7. Double Savings Account.

Slowly.

8. Read 100 Books of various genres.

1. A Brush with Love by Rachel Hauck
2.Sabotaged by Dani Pettrey
3. Hawk by Ronie Kendig
4. Danger in the Shwadows by Dee Henderson
5. How to Catch a Prince by Rachel Hauck
6. The Dandelion Field by Kathryn Springer
7. Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe by Max Lucado
8. Seasons of Fire by Lisa T. Bergren
9. Rasmus and the Vagabond by Astrid Lindgren
10. Nourished by Becky Johnson
11. The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest by Melanie Dickerson
12. Three Little Words by Melissa Tagg
13. From the Start by Melissa Tagg
14. Taken by Dee Henderson

Currently Reading:

15. Unoffendable by Brant Hansen
16. A Love Like Ours by Becky Wade
17. Called to be Amish by Marlene Miller
18. Falcon by Ronie Kendig

9. Intentional Friendships/Relationships

This year I am committing to being more intentional about my relationships, instead of talking about meeting up for coffee I am going to schedule time. I am going to make sure to stay in better contact with friends, and reach out to good friends that I haven’t talked to as much as I would like.

10. Finish London/Wales Book

Still working…

11. Redefining Me

This is going to be a new year, the best year yet. I am updating my wardrobe and just overall making changes to my everyday.

12. Write a book

Not Started.

13. Finish Quilt

In progress.

14. Tithe

In progress.

15. Run Lights during an evening service of Youth America

Youth America isn’t here yet.

16. Blog twice a week

Failing…but getting better!

17. Try a new recipe every month

I want to try out a new recipe once a month.

18. Fear less. Love More.

March:

#30by30 French Macaroons

#30by30 French Macaroons

April:

#30by30 Crepes

#30by30 Crepes

19. 12 Trips in 12 Months

February: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Florida

March: Route 66- Oklahoma

April: Cruise- Long Beach, California, Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlan

You can keep track of the places I’ve been at #12Trips12Months

20. Learn to whistle

Because, why not?

21. Be more decisive

In Progress

22. Contacts

Soon

23. New York

Planned! July will be here soon!

24. Declutter

How have I accumulated so much stuff?

25. Be More Positive

This sounds so much easier than it is.

26. Make a decision on where to live/work/move

Ha. Ha. Ha.

27. Have a Small Group

After summer.

28. Travel

This is a constant in my life.

29. Slide the City

July 25. Slide the City.

30. 30th Birthday Trip

London? Hawaii? Florida? Australia?

Nerd Tours: Hay-on-Wye The Town of Books Part 2

I’ve been organizing my pictures lately and found more from my trip to Hay-on-Wye so decided to share them. See the first post Here.

IMG_5023 IMG_5030 IMG_5038 IMG_5028 IMG_5025-Elle

#30by30 Number 17: Crepes

#30by30 Number 17: Try a new recipe every month.

April: Crepes

Apparently I am on a French kick lately. March was macaroons and now it’s time for crepes! Maybe this means I will be venturing to France some time soon!

I was considering a dessert crepe, and than I realized it was dinner time and I didn’t want something sweet. They may not look very pretty but they tasted great (my room mate can vouch for me!)

11205126_857415151303_2963621139431970587_n

The filling is sauteed mushrooms, spinach, bacon and ricotta! I also added parmesan to the crepe batter. These were actually really easy to make, and I am sure that I will be making different types of crepes in the future!

Any suggestions for next months Time to try something else…maybe a different country theme?

-Elle

The Trouble with Travel.

IMG_7010

The trouble with loving to travel and explore new places is that you are always dreaming of the next adventure, the next place to explore. With so many places to think about one begins to get restless with where they live. In a few months it will mark 5 years since I’ve moved to Oklahoma, the longest I have stayed in one place since college. I’ve loved living in Oklahoma, but as I look back at the last 5 years I find myself wondering what I have accomplished here. And if there is anything keeping me here.

I’ve always wanted to make a difference, to have an impact on the world I live in. To effect the people around me, change the world I live in. I find myself realizing that if I chose to leave Oklahoma there is nothing I would be leaving behind, I haven’t made the connections with people, I haven’t made an impact on the place I live which leaves me wondering do I stay or do I move on? Is my restlessness due to my love of travel and seeing new places, or because of not having accomplished the things I once dreamed of?

There are places that I would love to live, to explore, things I want to see,change, experience and now it just takes finding the next step, wthether that be Oklahoma, North Carolina or maybe even London I don’t know, we will just have to see what the future holds for me and my restless spirit.

-Elle

12 Trips 12 Months: February

I know it’s almost half way into March, and I really slacked on posting my February 12 Trips in 12 Months post. However, better late than never!

February Trip to Universal Studios Florida!

I previously posted specifically about the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which you can see at Nerd Tours Tuesday: Hogwarts Edition.

We spent a day each in Universal Studios, and in Island of Adventures. It was a blast! I am not going to write to much because pictures are more fun! Enjoy!

IMG_6383[1]

Island of Adventures!

IMG_6320[1]

IMG_6240[1]

The Delorean!

IMG_6209[1]IMG_6214[1]

The Monster Cafe is a lot of fun! The food is good, and great prices for a theme park, the portions are huge! And they play old Monster movies in the background!

IMG_6205[1]

Who wouldn’t want to be a Minion!

IMG_6207[1]
IMG_6378[1]

The Harry Potter portions of both parks were still my favorite! Guess I am just a nerd at heart!

-Elle

#30by30 Number 17: French Macaroons

#30by30 Number 17: Try a new recipe every month.

March: French Macaroons with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

#30by30 French Macaroons

#30by30 French Macaroons

For a while now these have been on my list to attempt to make. I used this recipe from Fine Cooking with the Vanilla Buttercream frosting. Many consider Vanilla boring. I think of it as delicious! Vanilla is actually one of my favorite things.

The cookies came out pretty good, the filling is a little sweet, and the cookies super delicate, I have to pay more precise attention next time I make these. (And I will make them again, I may even venture into other flavors!)

I call this one a success! Now to enjoy them and figure out what to make next month!

-Elle

Asking Better Questions.

I love traveling and learning and finding out information. Books have always helped me to discover new things and find new adventures to embark on. For me, people are another story. I love getting to know people and connecting with them but I struggle to actually make it to that point. Meeting people tends to be difficult, I can formulate the perfect introduction in my head and how to get to know a new person but when it comes to the art of actually speaking…well that’s where my problem comes in. My words get stuck and never seem to come out in the correct order.

I think that in our technology driven world, where we are always on the go and glued to our phones/tablets/devices we forget to really notice the people around us anymore. Sure we say hello and ask how they are doing, but do we really mean it or say it out of habit because it is what we are supposed to do. I know I am a culprit of it, but I also know that I will pass people in the halls at work who will ask me how I am doing yet continue walking before you can even answer.

I don’t want to get so focused on posting on social media, or too involved in my work and forget to genuinely connect with people. I want to learn to ask better questions that will actually tell me who a person is, what they are dealing with and why they choose to do the things they do. I want to listen to stories about life and process and how they got where they are today.

I’m over relationships being based upon what I’ve seen on Facebook and Instagram. It’s time to step back and really get to know people again. It’s a step out of my comfort zone, I’m never really the one to speak up, and I struggle with what to say and keep a conversation going. However, I think it’s time I quit making excuses and just do it.

-Elle