Looking at the List #6

59. Plant something and have it grow.

I have a distinct memory from when I was about seven years old. My dad wanted to plant flowers in our yard and he let me pick them out. I was really excited to do this. I chose all purple flowers (future Deepher problems). I even got to help my dad plant them. One day, we finally saw one shooting up. Unfortunately, so did my dog, Harry, and he proceeded to dig our “garden” up. And that was the end of that. I’ve lived in apartments since I was eighteen and those don’t make the best growing environments for plants. I currently have a basil plant in my kitchen, but his days look numbered. I would love to be able to grow my own vegetables.  Over the summer I was able to “borrow” some garden space, but since I wasn’t out there all the time, I didn’t really feel like I grew them.

Spaghetti squash I planted this year.

Spaghetti squash I planted this year.

60. Read 100 books. (10 down, 90 to go!)

I actually like to read. I can completely lose myself in a book. One night in college, I started reading some Jodi Picoult novel around 6 pm and the next thing I knew, my roommate Pam was in our room in her pajamas. I hadn’t realized she had come in or that it was past 10 pm! In October I read 10 books, but the past few weeks my reading has been limited to BuzzFeed articles.

68. Eat duck.

We used to go to this restaurant in Connecticut called Cobb’s Mill Inn for every family event. It was definitely a fancy place and I remembered that a lot of my uncles would order duck off the menu (meanwhile I was trying to find the closest thing to mac and cheese on the menu). I feel like duck shouldn’t taste too different from chicken or turkey. This is me being adventurous with my food…trying duck.

When I’d get sick of hanging with the adults, I’d go outside and play by the waterfall.

75. Make a vegan meal.

On the opposite end of the spectrum…my former boss and current friend Becca was the first vegan I ever met. I had plenty of vegetarian friends, but the no dairy thing completely through me for a loop. I learned a lot that first year – did you know that Oreos are vegan? That fact frightened me a little. We had a Christmas dinner at my apartment that first year and I volunteered to make vegan mac and cheese and it was a major fail. It just doesn’t translate well. BUT there are plenty of other tasty-sounding dishes out there and I’d love to try and make a few of them. If you have any recommendations, send them my way!

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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.

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!

62. Try a New Food

I was kind of a picky eater growing up. I didn’t like anything spicy and I hated vegetables and basically if it wasn’t mac and cheese, I wasn’t going to eat it. To be fair, I would try “plain” things like salmon or sweet potatoes or mushrooms, but I wound turn down jalapeno poppers and potato skins.

Since high school, I’ve become more adventurous with my food. I love sushi and I even put hot sauce on things sometimes. (Risky, I know!) Part of the reason we chose October to visit Disney World was because the annual Food and Wine Festival was happening. I think I was there for it once when I was a kid, but my parents have gone pretty recently, so Kayla, Heather, and I knew what to expect. When we arrived at Epcot, we picked up our passports and ate our way around the world!

The passport lists all of the options available at each country’s stand. They even have a spot to stamp your passport!

Because of the small size of each dish, we were willing to try new things! We would try to order different things at each country so we could sample more than one thing, but there were a few times that we all wanted the same thing. Some new-to-me foods on this trip? Grilled lamb chop, escargot, fisherman’s pie, and honey wine.

The escargot was our big risk! None of us had eaten snails before. They kind of have the same texture as steam clams – kind of rubbery. I think if they had just been chilling on a plate, we wouldn’t have been so willing to eat them, but they were cooked into this pastry and covered in a sauce. I didn’t hate it, but I’m not sure if I’d order it on my own again.

Heather with the escargot!

Heather with the escargot!

I definitely want to get back to Disney again and hopefully I can time it with the Food and Wine Festival so I can eat my way around the world again!

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!

Looking at the List #2

12. Find my bucket list from 2001.

In eight grade, I randomly decided to make a bucket list/scrapbook in one of my old Trapper Keepers. I really don’t know what prompted me to do it. If I recall correctly, there were two occasions that year where we had three snow days in a row. I think it’s safe to say that I might have done this out of boredom.

I can’t remember everything on that list…a few stand out. I wanted to learn a language. I’m not sure if I meant to master a language or just to learn how to say a few key phrases. But twelve years later (!) I know some Spanish and some ASL. That counts, right? I wanted to be a cheerleader. Done. I wanted to be in the newspaper. Julie and I were photographed walking to our busses the next winter. We were on the cover of the News Times. I wanted to visit all 50 states. I don’t think I’ve added too many states to that list since 2001.

I would love to find that list now and see what I wanted to do back then and if I’ve done any of it since. This is a task for the next time I head back to Connecticut!

13. Attend a national Delta Phi Epsilon event

Before I went to college, I never gave much thought to sororities. When I got to college, I swore up and down that I would never join one. And then I did. What happened? I tell people that I was lured into it…these girls I knew from work asked me to come over and make tote bags. Did I want to make a tote bag? Hell yeah, I wanted to make a tote bag! That was on Monday. The next thing I knew, it was Friday and I was nervously waiting in my room for some sorority girls to come knock on my door and change my world.

Early on in life, we’re taught not to stereotype people based on the color of their skin or the language they speak. Stereotypes are false, we are told. So then why is it we still believe in stereotyping people based on other reasons? It’s crazy to think that I crossed off ALL sororities just based off of what I had seen in the media and my interaction with a handful of sorority members from one particular sorority.

I truly enjoyed my sorority experience when I was in college and I managed to turn it into a career! When I was still in grad school, I was looking for ways to volunteer with my sorority as a national organization. Just recently, I became a chapter advisor for a chapter in Philadelphia. It’s been amazing meeting women that are from other chapters and already having something in common with them!

While I have been able to visit our IHQ in Philly, I have yet to go to an event sponsored by them! This past year, they held a Founders’ Day celebration, but it was while I was volunteering in Missouri. Next summer, they are hosting convention in DISNEY WORLD. Unfortunately, I do not think I am going to have the funds to make that trip. In 2017, our sorority is turning 100 and I’m sure they will do something big for that and I hope to be there!

Fall Down

Some of my lovely family members including my big, my little, and her little!!

20. Attend Brick City

My undergrad didn’t have football and when I was a student, they didn’t make any big deal about any sort of homecoming celebration. Granted, when I started at RIT, there was barely any school spirit on campus. Things definitely changed (for the better) while I was there and now Brick City has turned into more of a homecoming celebration. Instead of football, our homecoming revolves around hockey.

Unfortunately, I have not been able to attend since graduating from RIT. When I first graduated, there were other events that I’d much rather go to. I still knew a lot of students so I would rather see them at sorority or music events. Now that I don’t know too many students, events that draw alum back are better so I can see more of my friends. Last year, Brick City was the same weekend as Albright’s homecoming, which I had to work for. This year, Brick City was the weekend BEFORE Albright’s homecoming, but I was on call since I have my big trip at the end of the month. Hopefully sometime before I’m 30 I can go enjoy a Brick City weekend!!

23. Put $30 in savings for each goal I accomplish

I’ve looked at other peoples’ lists for inspiration and a lot of people have a similar goal. Most that I’ve seen have been $5 or $10…but $30 just seemed better for me…not because I have tons of money rolling in or anything, but if I manage to do all 300, that’s $9000 saved. That seems like a great amount to roll into the next decade with. I don’t know what I’m going to use the money for…maybe a big trip as a celebration? Or maybe I’ll buy a home in my thirties or my first new car and I can use that money to go towards a down payment.

26. Get Five Friends to Read My Blog

Yay! The first thing I can cross off!

Confession: I’m not new to blogging at all. In 2001 I TOTALLY had a LiveJournal. Except the only people that read it were a handful of people from high school. I didn’t go out of my way to tell people about it. I remember there was a ton of LiveJournal drama in ninth grade…someone found a girl’s LJ and printed entries in which she expressed her true opinion of some of the kids at school and brought them in to show other students AND administrators. I did not feel the need to get involved with that.

Of course, nowadays I’m not chronicling my trip to see Zoolander in theaters and what stupid thing the class clown said. I’m also smart enough to not post stupid stuff on the internet. But still, I feel really vulnerable sharing my blog with people. I know blogging means that I’m putting my life on the internet, but I don’t want to share EVERYTHING. At the same time, the only way to get people to read this is to tell them I’m doing it!

My Home Friends! (4)

My Home Friends!

My Home Friends!

I find myself writing about “my home friends” a lot. I have quite a few friends from home, but this is a special group – Ashley, Kristy, Elissa, and Julie. I met them each separately – Ashley in Kindergarten, Julie in Girl Scouts when we were six, Kristy in chorus at MHHS, and Elissa in theater camp when I was eleven. Eventually everybody became one big, happy family. We’ve had a group text going ever since the last holdout came to the light side (read: bought an iPhone) and I sent them the link to my blog. I feel like they’ll have some good (and possibly illegal) additions to The List.

My Big and My Little (2)

Little Little, Little, Me, Big

Little Little, Little, Me, Big

While we may boast that our favorite activities are drinking wine and judging people, my big and my little are two of the most supportive people I know! Biggle even has her own blog AND said she was considering starting her own list! I’m sure they will have some wonderful additions to The List…even if they are bit crunchy for my taste! (Wink, wink!)

Who Else?

Well, I emailed Mackenzie Horan since one of her goals was to inspire someone else to start a list (although there are hundreds now!). As for actual, real life friends that I plan on specifically reaching out to? It’s hard to make a solid list, but telling the first six wasn’t as hard as I thought it was going to be…hopefully the next six and every six after that will be just as easy!