115. Throw away thirty things.

Earlier this month, I wrote about the cleaning spree that I went on during Thanksgiving Break. I had BAGS AND BAGS of clothes to donate but it was NOTHING compared to how much stuff I threw out.

Some stuff on its way out of my room.

Some stuff on its way out of my room.

While I was visiting my parents, I decided to tackle the closet in my room. Even though I don’t live there anymore, my closet and dresser are completely full with clothes (and other crap) from when I was in high school and college. Somewhere in the back of my head, I thought it was nice because if I forgot to pack something to wear, I had clothes to wear at home. Except. I didn’t. Most of the stuff in there was free t-shirts and pajama pants – I couldn’t make an outfit out of that! I realized that it was useless to keep all that stuff around…all it was doing was making my room look messy. I couldn’t put things away on longer trips home because there was nowhere to put them.

I didn’t throw out EVERYTHING that was in my room. I had to spend some time organizing the stuff that I was keeping – mostly craft supplies and some special shirts (including four RIT Springfest shirts). Some of the stuff that did go? Old electronics, a broken (fake) Coach purse, and a bunch of empty alcohol bottles that were hidden away in the closet. Classy.

I’ve been pretty determined to clean since Thanksgiving, but my apartment is much more overwhelming than my old room and my parents’ house. I know that I haven’t used the stuff in that closet for ages and ages. It was much easier to throw those things out. I also don’t have as much time (or energy) in my own apartment. After a long day at work, I just want to watch 50 episodes of “Say Yes to the Dress) do nothing. I did manage to make some progress in my craft corner – I cleared off the desktop and the middle drawer! It doesn’t sound like much, but it already looks a ton better.

Some helpful/inspirational sites during this cleaning spree? I Heart Organizing – this blog makes me want to go raid an Ikea. SO MUCH INSPIRATION!! Unf*** Your Habitat – while the other blog was inspiration, this blog was motivation. There are lots of little reminders and “Weekend Challenges”. They also have an app which I haven’t bought yet, but maybe it will be a post-Christmas present to myself. Oh, and last but not least – Netflix for marathons of hoarding shows.

Lilly Billy

On the first day of my last year of college, I wrote a small to do list. What was on it? “Write resume, get job, get apartment, get dog.” Those were my goals for the next year. I eventually did all of those things, although it might have taken me longer than a year.

This was the day I adopted Lilly.

This was the day I adopted Lilly.

My dog Lilly is turning three this month. She’s a dachshund mix and we’re pretty sure “mix” includes beagle and jack russell. She’s the absolute perfect size for apartment living and it makes me so happy to come home to her after a long day of work.

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Of course, Lilly herself isn’t perfect…but I will tell anybody who listens that she is! Lilly came from a shelter and was abused in the past so she’s not the best when she meets new people. Eventually she calms down if I hold her, but if she smells cigarette smoke, all bets are off. Honestly, I’m still learning new things about her every day. She’s scared of the weirdest things…including trash cans.

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Lilly also has Diabetes Insipidus. It’s not your run-of-the-mill Stacey-from-the-Baby-Sitters-Club diabetes. Lilly’s body doesn’t make the hormone/enzyme that processes water so she’ll drink and drink and drink and pee and pee and pee. Luckily they make a synthetic version that I give her twice a day that helps with it, but you can definitely tell when it starts to wear off! I have to be careful when I schedule things – if I don’t give her her medicine, she’ll drink all of the water from her cage bowl and pee in her cage. I’m always worried about if she’s getting dehydrated or if she’s uncomfortable.

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Even if Lilly didn’t have some rare disorder, having a dog is hard work! I keep hoping that one day Lilly will suddenly grasp the concept of the toilet, but she has not. Snowing? Gotta take the dog out. Pouring? Gotta take the dog out. There was just a mugging down the block? Still gotta take the dog out. Dogs can also cost quite a bit of money – just like a person she needs food and medicine and bedding. You should definitely take all of these things into consideration before you decide to get a dog! Remember – different breeds require different things!

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I absolutely love my little weirdo – coming home from work has gotten 10x better now that I have Lilly to greet me! Happy (early) 3rd Birthday Baby Girl!

74. Get a Pedicure

I don’t know why it’s taken me forever to write this post…probably because getting a pedicure isn’t all too interesting and it’s not like it was my first pedicure ever. I try to do my nails myself to save money, but before Disney I decided to treat myself and get a pedicure with one of my friends. We went to the place she goes since I don’t really have a “place” here yet.

My favorite part about getting a pedicure is the pampering. You’re in a massaging chair AND they rub your feet and calves during the pedicure. I probably should have gotten one when I returned from Disney…all that walking! But…like I said…I don’t get my nails done that often and I definitely wouldn’t spring for a pedicure in the winter unless I was going on some schmancy tropical vacation!

Pedi time!

Pedi time!

I have some other “pampering” items on my list…unfortunately I just found out that I missed FREE massages during Finals Week…ugh. I guess “soon” isn’t as I thought it was going to be…

34. Donate My Old Clothes

I have a very real fear of becoming a hoarder. I don’t want to wind up on some reality show, screaming at people that are throwing my trash out, so I actively try to clean and get rid of things on a regular basis. This was easier the past eight years because I was moving AT LEAST once a year. Now that I’ve got a “grown up job”, I’m staying in one place longer and it’s easier for things to pile up. Going through my list, I found that I’ve put a few things down that involve cleaning and getting rid of stuff.

There’s a fine line between having a lot of stuff and being a hoarder and I continually walk it. I have a lot of things in boxes at my parents’ house still – things from my room that were boxed up when I got “too old” for them, things boxed up from when my room was being painted, things boxed up from my first college apartment. I know what’s in some boxes – Beanie Babies, Baby Sitters Club books, pictures and mementos – but there are plenty of boxes that I don’t know what’s in them and I can only guess – clothes and homework most likely. My parents keep telling me to go through all this stuff but I’m only home for a few days at a time and looking through boxes in the basement isn’t what I want to spend my time doing. So then they ask if they can just throw them out but they can’t do that – I don’t know what’s in them and I need to see it before it gets thrown out!

I had a total hoarder-style breakdown once. I was thirteen or fourteen and yeah, I had a messy room, I was a teenager. My mom kept telling me to tidy up and go through my piles of stuff, but I hadn’t done anything. One day when my dad and I were out somewhere, my mom decided to do it herself. Her version of cleaning was to just throw everything out. When I came home and saw that my things were missing, I had what could only be described as a panic attack. I remember sitting on the floor of the garage, pulling things out of the trash. One of my friends had passed away a few months before and I was so scared that she had thrown out the binder we had drawn on and the notes we had passed in class. She did. I couldn’t find the notes, but I did manage to save the binder. It’s probably in my parents’ basement now.

I tend to keep things because of the memories associated with them. At some point in high school, I managed to get all of the smaller stuff into a shoebox. That’s completely fine. I have ticket stubs, a signed CD, and a hall pass written out at 8:46 am on September 11, 2001 in the box. My bigger issue is that I wind up hanging on to clothes and clothes take up space. I’m not just talking prom dresses and other important things – I have t-shirts, shorts, sweaters, and pants that no longer fit or I no longer wear that I keep just because of what I wore them to. My mom always questions why I still hang onto them – I have the memory, why do I need the items?

Earlier this month, I went through my dresser and closets and wound up with a pretty sizable pile of clothing that could be donated. I think I did my best to make decisions based on what I would wear. Another incentive was that a Plato’s Closet had just opened in Reading and I desperately needed money after my big Disney trip. I wound up bringing two huge bags to Plato’s, but they only bought a few things. That was the worst – I didn’t care about the money, but I wound up coming home with the stuff and it was hard to resist the urge to take things out of the bags!! Luckily, those bags made it over to Goodwill along with two others.

Clearly I have to work harder than the average person to make sure my living space is clean and organized, but in the past month I’ve made a lot of progress. I’m hoping to go through my clothes again and get rid of even MORE. Also, keep an eye out for a post about cleaning my closet and dresser at home!

4. Go On a Vacation With Friends

Here it is, the long-awaited Disney post!

Last year, my big (Kayla) and my little (Heather) planned a weekend together in Corning, NY, where my big lives. Our plans for the weekend included exploring town, visiting the Corning Glass Museum, and having a wine and cheese party.

Kayla, Heather, and I got to make our own glass pumpkins!

Kayla, Heather, and I got to make our own glass pumpkins last fall!

After that weekend, we decided to do something similar once a year. My parents were about to leave for a trip to Disney World, which was hosting their annual Food and Wine Festival. Maybe it was one too many glasses bottles of Red Cat, but we thought that was a GREAT IDEA. Of course, a trip to Disney World involves a little planning and a lot of money. We decided that we would try to plan the trip for the following year. We started doing our research and saving our money. In April (six months after we came up with this crazy idea) we set our plans in stone – a week in Disney World at the end of October – during the Food and Wine Festival!

Heather and Kayla with their Belgian snack!

Heather and Kayla with their Belgian snack!

I’ve been to Disney before. I’ve been on other big trips before. But honestly, I don’t think I’ve put this much planning into any other trip! First we had to plan the big things – dates, flights, tickets, hotel. Oh yeah, and saving a ton of money. Our planning didn’t stop once we booked the trip – the weeks leading up to the trip was filled with finalizing the smaller details – dinner reservations and daily itineraries…Disney is a big place and we had to do it all! I even bought a Disney guide book that surprisingly gave me a lot more advice than I thought it would.

On our last night there, Heather and I climbed a bunch of the Lion King and Little Mermaid statues!!

On our last night there, Heather and I climbed a bunch of the Lion King and Little Mermaid statues!!

So what were some of the highlights of our trip? I really liked the hotel we were at! We stayed at the Art of Animation resort and while all Disney resorts are “themed” this is the only one that is Disney-themed! Every day I got to walk past giant statues of Little Mermaid and Lion King characters. Also, we specifically planned our trip to be during the Food and Wine Festival and we made sure to go to Epcot eat around the “world” each day! Let me tell you, after that, going back to the dining hall was ROUGH. My favorite meal was actually in Magic Kingdom – we went ate at Cinderella’s Royal Table! If you are ever interested in doing this, you need to make reservations six months in advance.

CIN. DER. EL. LA.

CIN. DER. EL. LA.

Probably my favorite memory of the trip was our “Disney Marathon” as we like to call it. One of the things that Disney does best is their night shows. Imagine the best fireworks display you have ever seen, multiply that by ten, and then have it happen EVERY SINGLE NIGHT. We decided that we were going to go Fantasmic in Disney Hollywood studios and then RUSH to Magic Kingdom to catch their fireworks show and second parade. We planned this very carefully and it made a ton of sense in our mind, but wound up looking more like the airport scene from Home Alone 2 than we thought it would. For Fantasmic, we sat in the very back row…there’s really not a bad seat in the house. When the show ended, we jumped up and RAN to a bus to the Contemporary Resort. From there, we took the monorail to Magic Kingdom and ran inside just in time for the start of the fireworks show. I know that doesn’t sound very complicated, but trust me. Unless you have attempted this, YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND.

Probably my favorite picture from the trip!

Probably my favorite picture from the trip!

Next year’s “Wine and Cheese” event will probably be MUCH smaller in scale (and much cheaper…my savings account has never been so empty!). I’m really glad I got to go on this trip with two of my closest friends. If anybody out there thinks that they are too old for Disney, you are NEVER too old for Disney.

Biggle's First Trip to Disney

Biggle’s First Trip to Disney

Oh and if anybody out there thinks that it is socially acceptable to bring your iPad to a theme park and use it to take pictures and hold it high above your head so you can film an entire fireworks show…it’s not. [=

Don't be this guy.

Don’t be this guy.

12. Find My Bucket List from 2001

When I started this blog, I remembered that back in 2001, I had used an extra binder to make some sort of bucket list/scrapbook-type thing. After I got back from Florida, I went to my parents’ house and looked for it. It wasn’t too hard to find…even after all my moves, it was still in my bedroom. I really wanted to see what was on my list back then and what (if anything) I had accomplished since then.

There's 13 year old me in the middle!!

There’s 13 year old me in the middle!!

Reading the list itself is rather amusing…it provides a little peak into the mind of thirteen-year-old-me. Graduating from both high school and college were really important to me. So was being a cheerleader and going to prom. Some of the things on the list seem really dated. I listed that I wanted to go on MTV TRL Studios. Does that show even exist anymore?! I also wrote that I wanted to make my own mix tapes or CDs and that I wanted to own a laptop some day. Owning a laptop was considered a big deal in 2001! I don’t even think my school had it’s laptop cart yet.

The one thing I always remembered from that list is that I wanted to keep a journal for five years straight. Well little me, I did you one better. I kept a journal for twelve years and I’m still going! In the beginning, I wrote mostly about things that happened during the day, but as I got older, I wrote more about how I felt about things. Every so often I go back and read it (it’s all online – heck yes!) and I am constantly amazed at how smart I sounded when I was younger. I don’t remember feeling that smart! And how on earth is my own advice still applicable five or eight years later?!

From my list of 50 things, I’ve accomplished 38. I’d say that’s pretty good considering that I nearly forgot about this list. Some of the things I HAVEN’T done include visiting all 50 states (only 21), meeting the President, and riding a horse. Oh, I also never got to go on TRL. Shucks.

Clearly my biggest regret.

I plan on adding some of these things to my list of things I’ve done…I definitely want to tell you all about the time I “met” Rachel Maddow. It’s a good one.

Boats and Bows!

Awhile back I mentioned that I would also be writing about some things that I have accomplished in my twenty-some-odd years of life. Check out the list here!

I’ve been on call for the past week, my first time in nearly a month! While I can’t get too far from Reading, I do manage to keep myself busy in between calls. While Netflix marathons and harassing my dog are the go to, I’ve been trying to spend more time on the good ol’ blog. (Sidenote: Why am I have the hardest time writing about my Disney trip?!)

Another thing that I’ve been trying to focus on is the business I started with two of my sorority sisters – Boats and Bows. We have a shop on Etsy that sells sorority-style crafts and it’s been pretty busy the past few weeks with Big/Little season. Unfortunately, I’ve been pretty busy with my actual job the past few months, so I had to step back for a bit. But, I’m trying to get my life in order now, and I’ve been doing a lot for B+B! Last weekend, the three of us had a meeting via video chatting. Yay for technology!

So how did we start our business? Well, when Lilly Pulitzer first introduced sorority prints, our sorority didn’t get one. Plenty of people decided to complain on Facebook (because we all know how much THAT solves), but instead we chose to do something about it. Jackie and I designed a few prints that could be painted on frames, paddles, and canvases. We asked Ariel to join in since she has a business background. We started slow, but we’ve been picking up steam the past year!

Now we are licensed for 12 NPC sororities and do custom work for local organizations and other interested individuals. I’m sure all three of us would love to rent out a studio space somewhere and do JUST THIS for the rest of our lives, but we’re nowhere near that point! In the mean time, we’re slowly but surely expanding!

Be sure to check us out now and early next year as we roll out some changes!

How Ya Doin’, Where Ya Been?

So once upon a time (18 days ago according to WordPress’s calculations) I came up with this grand plan of updating three times a week and it was going to be magical and everybody from everywhere was going to read my blog. And then – SILENCE- … Sorry, I’m really bad at sticking with things. It’s terrible. To be fair, I warned y’all. I was getting ready for my Disney trip – who had time to blog?!

Well, I’m back now! I’ve actually been back for a few days. And while I was gone, I did FIVE things from my list. I’ll be writing separate posts about each of them (which should keep me busy for the next week or so), but in the meantime here’s what I did – I got a pedicure with one of my friends before leaving (#74), I went home and dug out that old bucket list (#12), I’ve gotten WAY too used to not entering the passcode on my new iPhone (#88), I tried a new food (#62), and I went on a trip with my friends (#4)!

Since starting my list, I have saved $210 from completing seven tasks and I’ve read ten books. At the rate I’m going, seven tasks a month puts me on track to complete my (currently not complete) list right around the time I hit thirty and ten books a month means I’ll finish my 100 books in less than a year!

My list currently has 123 tasks on it…which means I still need to come up with some things to do! Please please please send me any ideas that you have. I can’t promise that they’ll wind up on here (I am NOT skydiving), but I’d like to see what you all have in mind. Who knows, maybe you’ll have SO MANY great ideas, you’ll be inspired to create your own list!