The Fully Wrecked Journal

IMG_8947Almost 2016, already? Where did the time go? It certainly has been an action-packed, adventurous year.

Finally making time to “Wreck This Journal” was one of my favorite day-to-day memories of 2015. As a person who, at times, becomes caught up in perfectionism, it was great to accept the mess I created, and, like the Frozen song (that gets on everyone’s nerves by now), Let It Go. Paper gets wet. Let It Go. Pages get torn. Let It Go. Ink bleeds through. Let It Go. Stains are apart of life. Let It Go. You get the picture.

As promised, here’s the final result. I saved mailing it to my hometown for last. I thought it would be nice to send it off finished. Like a completed voyage. And, I’ll admit, my inner neat freak could no longer be silenced. I didn’t want to completely destroy it by removing all the duck and packaging tape.

So, now it’s a time capsule. I’m sure I’ll open it someday to remember this interesting year in which I decided to challenge myself to finally do a few major bucket list items. Maybe I’ll show it to the future kids. Maybe the great grandkids will find it someday and wonder “what in the world is this??”

Thank you, Wreck This Journal, for the memories. Thank you, 2015, for the lessons I have learned. Thank God, for the courage and strength to get through it all.

Happy New Year!


The Orchestra

IMG_7881There was a time, long ago, when I was closed minded about classical music. I had the child logic of “Who wants to listen to music without words? How do you know what it’s about?”

When I started my college career, I was told that it was helpful to listen to classical music while studying. So, that opened the gate for me. During NaNoWriMo I also tried writing to classical music, as well as, soundtracks from fantasy films. And, since then, I haven’t stopped. Nowadays, I find classical music very relaxing. Sometimes a pop song can have a great beat but depressing lyrics. With classical music, it’s just you and the sound and how it makes you think or feel personally.

So, over the years I’ve grown cultured enough to finally appreciate an orchestra. I just had to find one and work against my husband’s ever-changing resident schedule.

It so happened that Rome, GA was having a special orchestra event the same day we were in town to see my alma mater play their homecoming game. I love when things work out like that. We took the family along and everyone was awestruck. The group sentiment was “why haven’t we been to the orchestra before??” An hour passed like no time at all.



I believe it’s one of my favorite memories from this 30 before 30 journey. The wall of sound, the grace of the players, and the happiness it brought to everyone will stay with me for a long time. We will be going to the orchestra again!

Adult Coloring

IMG_8660When I added “Finish A Coloring Book” to my 30 Before 30, I had no idea how extremely popular coloring books for adults would become.

This holiday season, they are everywhere. Barnes and Noble. Hobby Lobby. The Dollar Store. And the millions of retailers online. They are marketed as this year’s must in stress relief. I think it’s wonderful. If you’re busy but still have the drive to do something creative, a coloring book is quick and easy. I’ve heard of “coloring groups” much like bingo or book clubs, which sounds like a nice way to hang out with like-minded people. Art is relaxing and therapeutic. I don’t know what I would have done without my art classes after my dad died.

So, although there are several great reasons to jump on the Adult Coloring bandwagon, I had different reasons to pick up a coloring book.

Firstly, for the simple fact I’d never done it before. Never finished one. The family bought me countless coloring books as a kid and I’d pretty much color my favorite pages and that was it. Time for another one.


Secondly, I was inspired by a friend. She has a coloring book that several members of her family helped complete. I was really impressed at what a unique heirloom it is for her grandchildren. I would give anything for a coloring book that my grandmother and all her siblings and cousins completed together.

So, more or less, I did it for any future child(ren) I have someday. I want to pass down unique things and creative bits that reflect me personally. Since it’s an ABC coloring book, I can see myself using it as a story to help teach them letters. Then I guess I can one day explain I was thinking about them during my 30 Before 30. Rock on, kids.

If you’re interested in completing your own ABC coloring book, here’s the ISBN info. I bought this one for $1.50 at Cracker Barrel. I’m sure it’s available online as well.



The 30 During 30

IMG_8456Crazy weather we’ve been having! It was nearly summer in December until yesterday, when the temperature dropped back to normal.

Meanwhile, my sinuses decided it would be a good time to get a cold.

I really, really want to cover some of the larger items on the 30 Before 30 that I didn’t get to blog about. Hopefully, I can get more on that wrote tonight and scheduled to post during the week.

Also, I’ve been mulling over what I want to do for 30 DURING 30. It hasn’t been easy. I have struggled to create the new list since my birthday. We did so much last year, but a lot of it came down to the wire. Therefore, this year I tried to pick more things I know I can realistically do without a lot of help or travel, while still being fun and unique.

So, after a lot of indecision and pressure to plan out the whole year not knowing much of the hubby’s schedule at this point, I give you the 30 During 30 list:

  1. Create A Geocache
  2. AFI’s 100 movies: Original list
  3. Make Figgy Pudding  12/18/15
  4. Make A Fruit Cake 12/17/15
  5. Continue Photo Diary via AdventureKettle on Instagram (in process)
  6. Read Dune
  7. Do 24 Hours of Silence
  8. Go Golfing
  9. Drive A Tractor
  10. Play Messy Twister
  11. Rock Painting
  12. Eat Breakfast In Bed
  13. Collect Postcards from all 50 states (21 out of 50)
  14. Read A Book With Goodreads Bookclub & Discuss
  15. AFI’s 100 Passions list
  16. No long be overweight based on BMI
  17. Take a RWA class
  18. Visit 5 Little Free Libraries
  19. Return to Fort Mountain
  20. Collect 30 recipes from other people
  21. Paint all 10 nails a different color
  22. Relive the 90s for a day
  23. Write 5 Classics’ Corner Book Reviews
  24. Make another batch of Preserves
  25. Try Perler art
  26. Unplug for a day (no computer, tv)
  27. Make a piece of Jewelry to Wear
  28. Write a Children’s story
  29. Continue webcomic
  30. Create more fanart

If you noticed that two of the items are already crossed off, you are correct! This year, I’m not wasting any time. Before the 3-0, I ended up rushing to crochet, creating an ebook on coffee quotes at random, and literally forcing myself to watch 3 movies a day to get the list done and not eat crow on my birthday. This year I resolve to pace myself better.

Anyhow, for List Items 3.) and 4.), I wanted to try some different types of baking for the Christmas Season. My Grandmother loved to bake and passed down the holiday tradition to me. Right now, it’s too difficult to make the same things I made with her. But at the same time, it wouldn’t feel like Christmas without making something…so I found new things to try. I’ll blog about it with photos and links to the recipes later.

The 3-0

IMG_8450The 3-0 birthday has come and gone.

Do I feel older?

In a way, yes. There’s something that seems so much stronger about 3-0 than 2-9. Thanks to this blog and my 30 before 30, and my family who helped make it happen, I certainly feel I have lived fully this year. It was action-packed. Unforgettable. When I think how much has happened and changed since this time last year, it feels like 5 years instead of 1.

I never intended for the list to come down to the wire like it did. When I started the blog, I planned to randomly draw items out of my tea kettle to complete. But after the first few months, scheduling didn’t allow for that. I had to do what I could do when I could do it.

I didn’t foresee how long it would take me to recover from my foot surgery. I couldn’t have known how suddenly my grandmother would pass. When we travel back to our hometown, I always feel like a guest, and can’t slip away to blog or do creative things.

But I found a way, even if it wasn’t the way that I first intended. I wanted to write a new novel to publish as an e-book, instead I have a book of coffee quotes. I wanted to have a picnic in a field with food made from scratch, but ended up having one on the lawn of the APT in late November (at least the warm weather here is good for something and the sunset was beautiful). I had planned to can something along side my grandmother, but suddenly found myself experimenting alone.

Yet, in the end, the important thing is: it was done. Sometimes life is about improvising.

I do plan to go back and blog about some major items on the 30 before 30 list. So please look for that. Next I am going to create a 30 DURING 30 list. Afterwards, I hope to transition to a (and I’m not ready to think about it) 40 before 40 list or general list of big things I want to dream of for the future.

Best Coffee Quotes

coffeeheartMe, again!

Inching closer and closer to 30 with every moment.

So, here’s a major one to knock off the list, one I’ve been worried about: my first ebook.

In the past, I’ve read and watched how-to’s about ebooks. Just never got around to trying to make one myself. So, here’s my first experiment.

I give you my free ebook with compiled best quotes about coffee (in my opinion).

Download Best Coffee Quotes Free!

GODFATHER2Just two more movies to watch:

Double Indemnity

The Godfather Part 2

I might actually pull this 30 before 30 list off!