Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Completion of the 2011 Bucket List

Wow, 2011 is over! I am not sure exactly where the year went. Looking back on my new experiences this year (and this blog which documented so many of the memories) I am so proud of myself for actually sticking with it through to the end. This might be the first new year's resolution I have stuck with! I had so many wonderful experiences and was glad to share them with some awesome people throughout the year! I pushed myself to try new things, to learn new things, to experience new things, to expand my horizons and to enjoy things outside of the norm. It was wonderful.

Things I discovered this year:
1. I have done a lot of really amazing things in my life!
2. New things aren't as scary as they seem.
3. Pushing yourself is a good thing - you will rise to the challenge.

Looking forward to 2012, I am not sure exactly what it will hold. The new things bucket list will not be happening again because it is time for something different. I hope to replace it with something else fulfilling, fun and do-able but the exact idea is still to be decided. I better get on it considering it's already 2012. Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

December: Upholstery

For the month of December, I embarked upon my first project of re-upholstery! I love the idea behind the concept of taking furniture that needs a little TLC and making it not only usable again, but giving it a whole new life. This fits in very well with my environmental stance of reducing what we consume and throw away. It also speaks to my creative side, my love of puzzles and shopping! It is a very fitting new hobby and I am glad to have finished off the year with something that I hope to continue improving my skills in and embarking upon many new projects in the future!

It was not difficult to find a project to start with - plenty of those around my place event - but it was difficult to find a basic project to start with. I needed a project which only required a skill level I felt comfortable taking on, basically a square. I started with a tall stool with a back. It was a very simple project and made me feel comfortable and excited to take on more difficult projects! I got to experience keeping the fabric taught, folding corners, dealing with a wooden back, working with a thick material, and all sorts of other little things. Now, I think I'll do another one of the stools from the set and start looking for the next level project.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

November: Winchester Mystery House

This month's trip was a long time coming. I knew that this was going to be on the list for this year practically the moment I decided to do a bucket list. This is another one of those things I have wanted to do for years and I am so excited to have finally visited this strange house! I had originally planned on going in October - to add to the spookiness - but had the opportunity to meet up with an old friend from high school and we couldn't find a weekend that would work for everyone until November. So, November it was.

Brian and I attended this awesome trip. We left early in the morning to make it to the house by our tour time. We started off with a tour of the houses. So many weird windows and doors and yet so much of it makes sense - if you keep in mind that she thought she was being haunted by ghosts who told her to keep building forever. After the house tour we also got to enjoy an estate tour (private - just the two of us!) including everything from the basement to the gardens. It was an awesome, interesting and fun trip! The two and a half hours flew by - I'd highly recommend that anyone who visits gets both tours as it is only a few extra bucks and totally completes the experience. We topped the day off with some lunch with the friend and his wife and some good catching-up.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

October: First Apartment!

October was a REALLY busy month including but not limited to: Whitepaper report for Job 1, 4 big events for Job 2, two weeks of pet-sitting...basically, a completely overwhelming month. To top it all off, I decided to move into my own apartment! This was definitely something that I haven't done before and that I'd always wanted to try! Therefore, it qualified for my bucket list this year - good thing too because I am pretty sure anything else added to my plate would have broken my sanity.
I decided a couple of months ago that I was going to move out of my parents house and finally try and be a grown up. With both of my jobs fairly secure, I finally felt like I could take on the financial commitment of living alone.
There was quite a search process as I didn't want to live in a matchbox (had it better at my parents house, for sure!), wanted to bring my cat, and, of course, didn't want to pay too much. I have to give props to my mom, who actually found the wining apartment! Thanks for all the help and sound advice, Mom!
I signed the lease the day before my birthday and brought in my first boxes (technically moved out of the house at 23) and spent the majority of my birthday moving my remaining stuff. This is definitely going to be something I look back on as an amazing experience! Bucket Lists are awesome. What an inspiration this challenge has been to me!

Monday, October 17, 2011

September: CalShakes

For Y-E-A-R-S I have driven by CalShakes and wanted to go. It looks so wonderful, nestled in the hills on a lovely summery evening. Well guess what, I finally did it! That's what I have loved about this bucket list, I am finally accomplishing some of those things *I have always wanted to do*. Special thanks out to Brian as I almost missed my bucket list item for this month. Thanks for keeping me on track! Only 3 more months till my year is up. Crazy how fast this year has flown by.
I took Brian along with a wonderful picnic dinner for before the show started. There was a lovely picnic area surrounded by white Christmas lights, a very lovely way to enjoy a picnic. We ate, listened to the pre-show talk and then settled in for the show. I was smart and brought LOTS of layers, it sure does get cold up there at a quick pace once the sun sets.
We saw Taming of the Shrew, an interesting story that I hadn't read before. By the title, I guess I knew what I was in for. I really enjoyed the performance, it was done in a modern way and really emphasized some of the comedic points that I would probably have missed otherwise. They had lots of interesting touches to the set, costumes, characters and overall performance that I enjoyed. It really was a great evening and a wonderful experience!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

August: Fruit Pickin'

Bucket list item for August was done early this month! I wanted to make doubly certain that this month's item would not only get done but get done properly this time, with time to make up for it in case something went wrong! It was great to have accomplished it early but now it is feeling like I have to wait so long until September rolls around! This month, I went fruit picking at a u-pick farm in Brentwood. Brian came along with me, the good sport that he is, and we picked peaches and plums.

All was well until I decided to pick the plum which was hiding a hornet's nest. Yes, out of all the trees in the orchard and all of the fruit on this particular tree, I went for the one with a fat nest lingering right behind the juicy plum. I felt like such a wimp - but hornet stings hurt! My finger swelled up a bit but in the end, everything was fine.

I really enjoyed having the experience and felt good not only knowing where my food came from but seeing it with my own eyes. I have been trying to think more along the lines of eating seasonally and figured that there was no better way than following the local farming seasons!

I was able to make some delicious dishes and have a lot of great snacks too! Sure felt like summer.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

July: Bonfire on the Beach

So July was another one of those months where a great plan didn't quite work out as I had planned. The plan was to "have a bonfire at Ocean Beach in San Francisco". I have a difficult time trying to be flexible when things don't work out according to my plans, but I do the best I can. This time, my boyfriend was there to help reassure me that even though my plan didn't quite work out as I had envisioned it, he would ensure that the trip out would *qualify* for my 2011 Bucket List. Thank goodness for him! Looking back on it, maybe the last minute struggle will make it even more memorable. Sure is a funny story to tell and definitely something I had not done before! Let's get to the story, shall we?

So, the month was getting close to the end, due to my incredibly hectic work schedule. I had planned out a possible date for my Bonfire but hadn't actually confirmed and got the ball rolling until about a week prior. Then, the majority of the people I invited were not able to attend. Kind of a bummer. So, when it gets down to it, my boyfriend will be there and a couple of people thought that they'd catch up with us later. Yup, four wonderfully supportive people at my bonfire...haha. I decided to pack a picnic dinner for the boyfriend and myself, gather up the necessary supplies for the bonfire and call it a success. I had everything that we'd need all perfectly packed up, I was pretty impressed with myself :)

When we got into SF, the entire place was COVERED in fog, thick - get you wet - fog. Well, we figured that the fire would warm us. We get to the beach and apparently you can only have fires in the six fire pits - something that I recall not being the case prior and something that I did not find in my research. Cops were roaming around shutting down the bonfires that people had started elsewhere on the beach. So, the boyfriend and I decide to have the picnic in the hopes that some group might leave and we could snag their pit. That of course, didn't happen. I start to get really cold and ready to call it a night. In a last ditch effort, the boyfriend suggests we ask those nearby if we can borrow their fire to roast our marshmallows so we can at least have s'mores by bonfire and theoretically have participated in a bonfire at Ocean Beach. They were nice enough to let us, although I am pretty sure they thought we were pretty strange for asking.

I bet some people could have just walked up to a party and joined it, but let's face it, I'm not really that kind of person, haha. The boyfriend swears he saw a couple of people do just that, but I didn't see it so I'm not sure I believe him. So in the end, a bonfire experience was had, even though it wasn't quite what I imagined. Fun none-the-less!