Top Ten Tuesday: 2017 Bucket List


This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, is a freebie! So I thought I’d use this opportunity to finalize my bucket list for the year :)

I tried doing a bucket list two years ago to celebrate by 25th birthday, but I didn’t quite get around to crossing off all those items (although looking at it now, I’ve been able to do several more of those goals since I turned 25!).

So here are the Top Ten Things on My 2017 Bucket List:

  1. Eat at 10 local restaurants – Wilmington has so many locally owned restaurants and I have been dying to try more of them out. We don’t eat out often because it’s cheaper to eat at home, but I’d like to try out ten different local restaurants here in town this year.
  2. Go berry picking – I’ve had berry picking on my bucket list for two years now, and this year I’m finally going to do it. The berry picking farm always closes way earlier than I think it will, so last year I missed out because we didn’t go early enough. The summer before, I was pregnant, and the last thing I felt like doing was walking around in the heat. I’m gonna make it happen this year, though!
  3. Read at least 10 classics from my Classics Club list – I’m supposed to have finished 50 classics off my Classics Club list by the end of next year, and I’m just a little over halfway there. I have some real chunky classics I need to read (or finish reading *coughWarandPeacecough*), so I hope to get through at least 10 this year!
  4. Gardening – Our front yard is pretty bare and I’d love to put in some low maintenance foliage to make it look more inviting. I am NOT a green thumb, though, so I’m going to have to do some research about which plants will do well before going through all the trouble of planting them.
  5. Write a novel! – My biggest goal for 2017. It’s been forever since I’ve written anything, and I’ve never written anything longer than 30 pages, but I’m taking a few online writing classes so hopefully that helps. I’m still in the outlining phase but I’m really excited to see what I end up with :)
  6. Take a week off– Vague, I know. My husband and I really want and need to take a week-long vacation this year. We haven’t decided a destination, yet, but if I had my way it would be to PEI, Canada so I could really feel like Anne Shirley.
  7. See Hamilton! – Hamilton is coming to Charlotte in November and I am desperate to get my hands on some tickets when they go on sale. But only if they aren’t as expensive as Broadway tickets, because then I might as well just go up to NYC (and cross off #6 and #7 at the same time).
  8. Finish decorating my library – I love my library/guest room. It’s my favorite room in the house. But I still have some decorating to do :)
  9. Finish reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and Order of the Phoenix with Matt – My husband has never read the HP books, so two years ago we started reading them aloud with each other. We’ve gotten stuck on Goblet of Fire (because it is significantly longer than Prisoner of Azkaban), but I’d love to finish it and Order of the Phoenix this year.
  10. Volunteer more – Another vague one. I already volunteer at the library on Saturdays, but I’d love to volunteer at other places, too, especially in areas that challenge me.

There you have it! Check back at the end of the year to see how well I did at accomplishing these wishes for 2017 :)

Fall Bucket List


Our carved pumpkins from last year :)

I know that we are already a month into the autumn season, but I’m just now getting around to sharing my Fall Bucket List!

Fall is my favorite season, and I’m especially excited about it this year because in a few more weeks we will be welcoming our little baby boy into our lives and I can’t wait to experience all my favorite holidays and fall activities with him :)

2015 Fall Bucket List

  • Carve some pumpkins
  • Go apple picking
  • Make homemade apple pie and berry cobbler
  • Decorate our apartment for fall
  • Have a Harry Potter marathon (complete with HP themed snacks)
  • Make crock-pot apple cider
  • Finish crocheting Little Baby French Fry’s baby blanket
  • (speaking of babies…) HAVE A BABY!
  • Read some science fiction
  • Go on a hayride (Matt really wants to do this)
  • Prepare some freezer meals for after baby’s arrival
  • Go to the farmer’s market before it closes
  • Take our first family photo

I’ve technically already put up our autumn decor, but I haven’t posted any pictures of it yet, so that’s still coming :)

What are some of your favorite fall activities?

December Highlights

Happy New Year!! I know this post is a few days behind schedule, but I was taking advantage of some vacation time to relax and not worry about blog posts. Instead I was catching up on some reading :)

December was a pretty stressful month, actually, and I think a lot of that had to do with my reading goals for 2014. I’m a predictable procrastinator, and I pushed myself to read some bigger books near the end of the year because I didn’t feel like reading them months ago (I’m also a mood reader). BUT,  I was actually pretty satisfied with how I finished the year.

I read 9 books in December

That doesn’t seem like a whole lot, but 3 of those books were Classics, one of which was in French! 

themessenger julesverne NorthandSouth
MontanaChristmas MatchMadeInTexas FullSteamAhead
aseparatepiece ThisisWhatHappyLooksLike PaperTowns

Most Popular Post From December

My post about my and my husband’s 3rd Wedding Anniversary received the most hits last month :)

Highlights from December

  • Christmastime!!! I love decorating the house for Christmas. Our tradition is to bake Christmas cookies and watch It’s A Wonderful Life after the tree has been set up and decorated.
  • Visiting Mount Vernon for our 3rd Wedding Anniversary. We attended their special Christmas Illuminations event, and it was so much fun that we hope to go again this year!
  • The Broke and the Bookish’s Annual Secret Santa Event. This was my second year participating in this event, and this year it was the best ever! I was so thrilled when I found out that I had received the event’s coordinator, Jamie @ The Perpetual Page Turner, as my secret santa! I think I had more fun picking gifts for her than opening my own gifts! But my secret santa, Alana, did a phenomenal job at gifting me the perfect books! And she also sent me a dinosaur magnet and a Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows necklace! So awesome, right??

December’s Challenges

  • For me, the hardest thing about December was how busy and stressed out I was. Since I started my new job back in November, I’ve realized how little time I can devote to reading now. My commute is 1 hour-1 hour 30 minutes each way, depending on traffic, and so when I get home at night it feels like I have enough time to eat dinner and watch an episode of Supernatural with my husband before I either crash from exhaustion or force myself to go to bed so I can get up for work again in the morning. I’m still shocked that I was able to read 9 books this month, two of which were solely audiobooks. A couple of the Classics I would listen to from YouTube during my commute and then pick up the paperback at home. I’m hoping that we’re able to relocate somewhere closer to my job in January or February, but until then I will just need to come to terms with the fact that my job trumps reading :(
  • Reading Journey to the Center of the Earth in French! To cross off one of my 25 Things, I finished reading Jules Verne’s epic adventure in French last month. I had read the first half back in July (each July to celebrate Bastille Day, I like to read a Verne book. This is my patriotic side coming out, something that Americans delight in having while the French kind of laugh at), but I hadn’t finished it and I wanted to read it by the end of 2014 for my Back to the Classics Challenge. It was hard, but I managed to finish the book in 4 days (I could only read about 50 pages a day before my head started hurting).

Looking forward – January TBR


What I’m Looking Forward to in January…

  • My husband had a phone interview last week and he has another interview tomorrow where he will be given a software test (he’s an engineer so it’s some type of design software). We’d appreciate prayers! He’s been unemployed for over a year now and it has gotten really hard on him.
  • I’m really looking forward to working towards keeping my bookish New Year’s Resolutions! So far, so good. I’m stressing out less about reading, and I’m NOT checking out books from the library until I’ve finished the ones I’ve been renewing since November. I’ve also avoided buying any books in the 4 days since New Years Day (hey, for some people, that could be a record).
  • I bought some yarn today and plan to crochet an afghan this month! I haven’t crocheted anything in about a year, and this is also a bucket list item I’ve put on my 25 Things list :) So expect a post in a few weeks about that!

What were some of your highlights from December? Any big wishes for January that you’d like to share? I’d love to know!

25 Things: A Regency Themed Movie Marathon

25thyearLast month, as a way to celebrate my 25th birthday, I made a bucket list of things I want to accomplish or experience before I turn 26. I call it my list of “25 Things For My 25th Year,” and recently I was able to cross off the first completed activity!

PandP#9: Have a Movie Marathon
This was probably the easiest thing on my list to cross off, but it was also one of the things I have been most wanting to do for a while. A couple of Saturdays ago, three of my friends and I got together for a light afternoon luncheon followed by a nonstop viewing of all 6 episodes of the BBC’s Pride and Prejudice. It was lovely, mainly because it was so nice to relax and enjoy each other’s company. I love watching any Jane Austen adaptation on my own, but it’s much more enjoyable to watch it with friends who are fellow Janeites :)

For our lunch we had typical afternoon tea types of dishes: cucumber sandwiches, tuna salad and toast, quiche, a vegetable platter, scones (red berry and chocolate chip), and sugar cookies.


Even though it was a beautiful spring afternoon, it was nice staying inside, snacking on tea and scones while laughing over Mr. Collins’s ridiculous manners and swooning over the quaint English countryside.



No, Mr. Collins…

I wouldn’t mind having another movie marathon later this year! Maybe something more action related, like Star Wars or Harry Potter :) Have you had a movie marathon with friends? I’d love to hear about it!


25 Things For My 25th Year

25thyearI meant to have this post up weeks ago since my birthday was in early March, but better late than never!

Last year I noticed several of my blogging friends had bucket lists of things they wanted to accomplish before they turned 26, 30, etc. I just turned 25 last month and there are so many things I’d like to do this year and making a bucket list would be a fun way to cross things off and share fun experiences with my friends as well. Some of the things on this list are things I’ve been wanting to do for years. Other things that I’ve included are there to help me challenge myself and confront my fears (such as #6 and #23). Since I turn 26 next March, I have about 11 months from today to accomplish these 25 things! Think I can do it?

My list of 25 Things to do for my 25th Year:

  1. Run a 10K
  2. Knit or crochet an afghan
  3. Read an entire book in French – which means I’ll also be able to cross off “Learn the French passé simple”
  4. Write a novella
  5. Make a website for someone else – any takers?
  6. Ski on the red slopes – Since ski season is just about over, I have some time to prepare myself ;)
  7. Visit the Ever After filming locations in the Dordogne region of France


    Château de Hautefort

  8. Visit a new continent
  9. Hold a movie marathon – BBC’s Pride and Prejudice or Star Wars Episodes I-VI? Hmm…
  10. Visit the UK and Ireland – this has been on my bucket list for years and years
  11. Restore an old piece of furniture
  12. Swim in the Mediterranean
  13. Re-attemptmacarons


    So they look like this

  14. Join a club
  15. Make all of the pins on my Pinterest craft board – I would have loved to do this with my To Be Read book list but let’s be realistic here…
  16. See an opera and/or play
  17. Volunteer somewhere
  18. Finish my Codeacademy courses – so I can #5 make a website for someone else :)
  19. Write thank you notes to all the teachers and professors who helped and encouraged me
  20. Attend a masked ball or period-era ball or maybe just a really elaborately themed party


    THIS! I want to do this so badly!

  21. Find a new job – even though I enjoy being a teacher, it’s not what I want to make a career out of
  22. Do something “dangerous” – meaning something I would usually avoid at all costs
  23. (along those same lines) Donate blood – I have a HUGE syringe phobia
  24. Take a couples course with Matt – cooking, dancing, candle-stick making…something along those lines ;)
  25. Start relearning piano

There you have it! I posted this list as a page up on the menu bar, and each time I cross something off my list I’ll write up a post and link it to the 25 Things page :) I can’t wait to start doing some of these things!! (I say some because there are a few things on this list that I put on there to confront my fears, so I’m more anxious than excited about doing those)