Thursday, June 27, 2013


  I can say one thing....I am NEVER bored. Aside from all the traveling we've been lucky enough to do lately, here is a list of the things I am also working on every day...ok well some days it's more mental but they are constantly in the works. I like to call them my 'currentLLIs' my "current Life List Items".

1. Fixing up our house- Obviously this is going to take a long time to achieve my LIFE LIST goal of living in my dream house but I cannot believe all the work we (my husband) have done in just the first year.


2. Polynesian Dance- I hope I do this for the rest of my life. I absolutely love the Hula Dance classes I take with my daughter. In just one year we took 4 nine week classes and danced in 2 shows! What was once just an item on my LIFE LIST is now such a big part of our lives.

3. Reaching my life long goal weight- I've been working on this goal for a long time now. My progress has been pretty stagnant lately so I've decided to get serious and today happens to be day 4 my new diet/exercise plan. I have come a long way, in just over 2 years I have lost 100 pounds but now have to really put in the effort to obtain my LIFE LIST dream body.

4. Become debt free- This has been in the works for several years now but we recently took some very serious and major steps to make this happen SOON....LIKE REAL SOON. I am very excited to how life changing this will be for my family. Crossing off this LIFE LIST item will be surreal.

5. Making a blanket- This will actually be the second blanket I have made in my life, though this one is proving to be far more labor intensive than the previous. I am realizing that if I am to reach my goal of finishing it by Christmas I will have to get busy!

6. Reading the George Bush autobiography- I had decided to add to my LIFE LIST 'Read 1 book about each U.S. president'. I am currently on the first one, working backwards. Surely after President Obama's term ends he will write his own book and I'll try to read that one as soon as it comes out in order to keep up. This is going to take me a very long time....I have a 2 year old...that does not leave a lot of leisure time for reading. Which is fine, I know that one day, sooner than I'd like, she'll prefer to be with her friends and that will leave me with more time than I want to catch up on my reading. I started this book 6 months ago...I still have 100 pages to go.

7. Disney World trip- this is quickly approaching...not that we have airplane tickets yet ( I'm totally putting off buying them) but this trip is right around the corner. Happily our package is paid for in full and we will only need a small amount of spending money. I am beyond excited to see the look on my daughters face! And she too is over the moon thrilled and talks about our trip to see the princesses constantly. I am sure it will be nothing but magical. I have not 'crossed' this off my LIFE LIST even though I have actually been to Disney World twice because I was young and I would not only like to experience it as an adult but with my daughter!

8. Growing Sunflowers and a Pumpkin patch- well I was very excited about the planting I did before we left for our trip, having a sunflower garden and a pumpkin patch have been on my LIFE LIST forever. Our sunflowers were actually getting pretty tall and one of the first things I looked forward to doing when I got home was to see how much bigger everything got....I was a little disappointed to see that my dad had mowed over everything I had planted, they were in kind of odd locations so I can see how it just looked like weeds or overgrowth to him. I didn't say anything, I know he was trying to be very sweet and helpful allowing us to come home to a freshly mowed lawn. It was bitter sweet. Especially since I had planted those with my daughter and we checked on them every day together for the past 30 days. Of course I am not going to mention it to my dad, I don't want him to feel badly about it. We'll plant more.

9. Volunteer- I have been a volunteer for 6 months now! I have tried so many times over the years to volunteer and I swear nobody wanted me. During the recession I would joke that I couldn't get job...not even one where I'd work for free! They have given me the summer off which I needed. The location is not very close to my house and it was hard to plan around it on Sundays. I'll begin again in the fall, I do really enjoy it and plan to do this long term. Volunteering was on my LIFE LIST way back when I only had about 15 items on it!

10. Weddings- Last year I did 1 wedding for a friend of a friend...this summer I'm doing 3 plus a baby shower for a family member. I am happy to help out these friends and family members but I will be happy when it's over. When I made these commitments I was not working and now that I am it is a bit more of a challenge in terms of scheduling. Doing the flowers for weddings (out of my house) had been a career driven LIFE LIST item, I'm glad that I have a the ability to help some friends out.

11. My book proposal- In December a literary agent told me she was very interested in my book, however she felt that my proposal needed a lot of work. At first I felt defeated and was intending to just move on...then it dawned on me that she is in fact INTERESTED so next week I am taking the whole week to work on it and re send it to her. This LIFE LIST item was something I had no intentions of

12. Join the Daughters of the American Revolution-This is a long story and trying to join is a LONG process....and a lot of work. This has been a LIFE LIST goal I've had for several years now, it's just difficult to get started on.

13. My blog- I love writing my blog. I would like to have more time to work on it, it is very time consuming but certainly worth it! It's a constant work in progress.

14. Braces- I cannot believe I have had my braces for nearly 1 year this time last year I was so apprehensive and nervous. When I got them on July 12th, I HATED it-it was a very challenging adjustment to get used to. Now, I hardly even notice them and I rarely feel embarrassed about it. I only have a few more months and I will FINALLY reach my LIFE LIST goal of the past 13 years of having straight teeth!

15. For the past 6 months I've been getting things lined up to....go back to school-it is not set in stone yet but I have finally made a decision on which direction I want to take as the stars just sort of aligned themselves in a way I cannot pass up. If I do manage to begin this fall it will only be 1 class...but if I am to be realistic it'll probably be more like in the winter.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

30 Awesome Adventures On Allison's Big 30th Birthday Trip

30 AAOABTBT for short. I did not have a lot of time to plan my last minute trip to St Louis Missouri  so many of these were spur of the moment but they all were great and several had been on my LIFE LIST for quite some time now. These are the adventures I will be writing about in the upcoming months. It has certainly been a good year....

1. African Safari Drive Thru-LIFE LIST/Ohio

2. Cinderella Carriage Ride-LIFE LIST/ St Louis
3. See the Gateway Arch in St Louis-LIFE LIST/ St Louis
4. Stay at the Hyatt At The Arch Hotel-LIFE LIST/ St Louis
5. Ride a Trolley-LIFE LIST/ St Louis
6. Visit a Sculpture Garden-LIFE LIST/ St Louis 
7. Eat Kobe Beef- LIFE LIST/ St Louis 
8. Go to the top of the Gateway Arch-LIFE LIST/ St Louis 
9. Gateway Arch Museum-Travel Tips/St Louis 
10. Tour a Brewery- LIFE LIST/ St Louis 

11. See the most beautiful building in the world- LIFE LIST/ St Louis 
12. Go to the St Louis Zoo- Travel Tips/St Louis  
13. Touch Sting Rays and Sharks- LIFE LIST/ St Louis 
14. Eat at the St Louis Bread Co- Travel Tips/ St Louis 
15. Spend my Birthday somewhere else- LIFE LIST/ St Louis Missouri
16. Ride a camel-LIFE LIST/ Ohio
17. SEA LIFE Aquarium-Travel Tips/ Kansas City 
18. Jesse James Bank Museum-Travel Tips/Liberty Missouri 
19. T-REX Cafe- LIFE LIST/ Kansas City Kansas 

20. Arthur Bryants-LIFE LIST/ Kansas City Missouri 
21. World of Fun-Travel Tips/ Kansas City Missouri
22. Oceans of Fun-Travel Tips/ Kansas City
23. Legoland-Travel Tips/ Kansas City MO
24. See the KC public library-LIFE LIST/ Kansas City MO
25. Crayola Cafe-Travel Tips/Kansas City MO
26. Rail Road Restaurant-Travel Tips/ Kansas City MO
27. Kansas City Botanic Garden-Travel Tips/ Kingsville MO
28. European Bungee-LIFE LIST/ Michigan 
29. The Old Courthouse Park-Travel Tips/ St Louis MO 
30. See the World's Largest Cross-LIFE LIST/ Effingham Illinois 

These are just the things I did on this recent 10 day vacation...I still have to write about my Chicago adventures, I have 5 Groupons waiting to be used, we have a trip to Disney World coming up- not to mention ALL the other things in the works!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

I'm back....I went: MISSOURI

I know a few weeks ago I wrote a Debbie Downer post about not doing anything for my birthday or father's day because my husband would be out of town and I had to work...Well it's amazing what kinds of things will happen when you're just honest with people and talk about things.
     I would have loved to go with my husband on his 3 week trip to Missouri since I've never been there and have always wanted to see the Gateway Arch but I had to work and since I've only been at my new job a short amount of time I didn't want to ask for the time off. I thought it would really be pressing my luck because I just took some time off to spend April in Chicago.
      Then I decided to just tell my boss that I'd like to go spend my birthday and Father's Day with my husband....and she was totally fine with it! Had I not spoken up we would have just sat at home that weekend and literally not have done anything. Instead- we went on a 10 day Awesome 30th Birthday Trip where we went on 30 adventures!! So the plan was to leave on Friday June 14th and drive 9 hours to St Louis. I was waiting to leave because I had to work on Wednesday June 12th, but then I came down with a terrible soar throat and my boss told me I didn't have to come in the next day. I said ok, well then we'll leave tomorrow! So on Tuesday evening, which was also the birthday party my family was having for me, I stayed up late packing and getting ready to leave in the morning. It was all VERY LAST minute, but luckily I'm a road tripping pro so it all came together with great ease for me.

I was a little leery about being sick and going on a road trip with my 2 year old and was hoping that it didn't get worse or that my daughter didn't get it....both things did happen. It wasn't so bad and we were both feeling better my the time we got to Kansas City.

Overall it was a WONDERFUL trip! We had so much fun, I got to see 2 states I've never been to before and I crossed off MANY LIFE LIST items. I know I haven't even finished writing about all our activities from Chicago but I'm going to get started on these right away.

My husband was in Kansas City for work and on June 14th he met me and our daughter in St Louis. The irony of the movie "MEET ME IN ST LOUIS" is certainly not lost on me and I couldn't pass up a magnet that bore the title. We spent just 2 nights in St Louis but they were filled with tons of activities, an incredible hotel and the best birthday I have ever had! From St Louis we followed Joel to Kansas City (5 hour drive) where we spent the next week. I was not nearly as fond of Kansas City as I was St Louis but we had a great time anyways! We met tons of people, tried many things and got to know the Mid West.

I have to say, I always thought of myself as an East Coast girl- not any more! I just hadn't given the west a chance. Actually this was my first road trip out West as an adult. I've taken 19 trips to the East Coast in my Adult life and I think I need a break from New England.

What a road trip, what a birthday, what an adventure!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Hawaiian Dance Recital

One year later and I'm still meaning to write about our FIRST hula recital, I'll get around to it soon...and then soon after that I'll tell you all about our SECOND recital which was Saturday, I'll have lots of pictures and videos I want to share soon but I just wanted to say that it was AMAZING!
  I cannot believe that what was once just an item on my LIFE LIST has become such a big part of not only my life but my daughter's as well. We started over a year ago, when Z was only 18 months old and I think that getting her involved so young is one of the best decisions I could have made for her. Being in this class has made her confident, sociable, mature, and given her strong roots of a talent that she will hopefully stay with forever, and that's only at 2 years old!
  When I put this on my list, I did so just thinking it would be fun to take a Hawaiian dance class, I had NO idea, nor any intentions to stay with this for an extended period of time, perform on stage, and become part of a family. That's why I love my LIFE LIST so much- you write something down as a simple idea and have no clue where the adventure will actually take you or how it will change your life...
  I'm already planning to take a summer class which will be different, this is more advanced and will be adults only. The mommy and me class will begin again in the fall.

Hula Recital 2012

Friday, June 7, 2013

15 more awesome things I put on my LIFE LIST

As I was sitting here doing a little LIFE LIST research, it dawned on me that I ought to post this. I enjoy looking at what others have added to their LIFE LISTS and thought maybe you'd enjoy seeing my add ons!

1. Aquarium elevator in Berlin

2. Newseum in Washington D.C.

3. Walk along the rim of the CN tower in Toronto.....well...maybe...

4. Have dinner in the sky in Belgium

5. Go to the top of the Gateway Arch in Missouri

6. Eat at Ninja New York

7. Eat at the Long and Winding Road in Neuremburg

8. Drive across the Millau Viaduct bridge in France

9. Walk the Tiger and Turtle walking rollercoaster in Germany

10. Hitachi Seaside Park in Japan

11. See the Mendenhall Ice Caves in Alaska

12. Walk through the Bamboo Forrest in Japan

13. See the Tianzi Mountains in China

14. See Antelope Canyon in Arizona

15. Eat at the Waterfall restaurant in the Philippines

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Weigh in Wednesday: not great-not terrible


Unfortunately I have no new weight loss to report....but it's not like I'm really putting for any effort either. A few weeks ago I devised a little diet for myself to follow. There has not been one day where I've actually followed it completely, I might do one meal...and then I just wing it for the rest of the day. Though we have been incredibly active so in that right I am a little surprised that there have been zero changes.

I may not be losing these final pounds as quickly as I'd like but I have to remind myself that just this time 2 years ago I weighed 230 pounds...that's 70 pounds more than I currently weigh. So when I think of it that weigh it gives me a little boost and a voice inside my head says 'hey girl you've done pretty darn well.' So I'm not giving up hope, I'm just going to put in the effort!

The above photos were taken in the same hotel in the Chicago area around the same time 2 years apart.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Braces: almost there!


I am two weeks shy of having my braces for 11 months already. It is so strange how used to them I have become. I really don't even think about it anymore...which is a far cry from the way I felt the first few months I had them! And I do not even feel embarrassed at all any longer...instead of feeling embarrassed like I did in the beginning I kind of feel proud, because under these braces are some pretty straight teeth! And I know that it's not too much longer now at all! 

Initially they told me 12-18 months. I went in last week and they put on my LAST set of next appointment is in just 3 weeks where they will do some of the 'fine tuning' which will only take a few weeks. I have it in my head that it'll be 4 more months (just so i'm not disappointed). My orthodontist DID say that I will definitely not have to go the full 18 months. There's still just that one tooth that will not cooperate, but my ortho said that this will be the 'fine tuning' he's talking about. 

I've decided that I'm going to have a large celebration when I get them off! I'm going to invite everyone I know to one of my favorite bars....I should probably have my make up done too so I really look AMAZING! I gotta say this is also a real motivator to try to lose some more weight!

Ok I am blown away by the above before and current (taken 1 minute ago) I'm going to post them again below!

I am so happy :) 

Monday, June 3, 2013


June 3rd marks the first night we spent in this house one year ago! Boy, has it has come a long way. We've done a ton of work to the house to make it ours but we've still got a long way to go.

I laugh when I think about how I wanted to sell the house shortly after we moved in and now I'm so happy here we really plan on living here for the rest of our lives. This house, our neighbors, the location and the town are a true blessing. It was a rough start but I have never been happier than I am now.

One of my worries about owning a home was spending all our money on the house and not for us, and a lot of it does go towards the house but it's in a good way. It is so much fun to be able to do whatever we want, it's such a feeling of accomplishment and very gratifying every time we finish a project-although every time we redo/update one thing it makes the other stuff look even older!

If you haven't yet read the 3 part posts about home buying I've posted the links below along with the before and after pics of the living room we started redoing.

Related posts:
1. buying a house part 1
2. buying a house part 2
3. buying a house part 3
4. before and after living room 

Sunday, June 2, 2013

before and after photos


When I found out we were going to Chicago I was very excited to re take several of the pics we took when our daughter was only 5 months 2 years and 5 months. I was even able to get a similar outfit for the ones of her on the red chair! What a difference an extra $200 bucks on a camera makes!

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