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What I Make

30 by 30

Dear friends and family, thank you for the kind birthday wishes today! I’m feeling incredibly blessed and grateful to be 28!

I am a list lover through and through. Whether it’s a grocery list, to-do list, book reading list or wish list, they all have their place in my life. I use them to remember, to strive, to improve. And one list I’m excited about as I officially move into my “upper 20s” and creep toward 30 is my very own 30 by 30 bucket list.

I started this list on January 1st and have been adding items since. I’ve been thinking lately about how easy it is to get used to doing or seeing certain things every week to the point where I no longer do or see them with wonder or delight or thanksgiving. What if instead of becoming “used to” the everyday things in life – the 9 to 5 job, the drive to church on Sunday mornings, warm showers, my mom’s texts, Alex’s whistling, cooking dinner with fresh ingredients, you name it – we open our eyes a little bit wider each morning and seek to live with open hands and more intention? That’s what I want for this year and every one I have left. My hope is that some of the items on this list help me do that.

In no particular order, here are 30 things I hope to do by the time I turn 30:

1. Participate in a marriage retreat
2. Do the Whole30 again
3. Go back to Mornington, Australia
4. PR in the mile
5. Get good at the side braid
6. Cook through Run Fast. Eat Slow.
7. Learn hand lettering
8. Run an exotic/special/themed 1/2 marathon
9. Leave online reviews for 10 of my most and least favorite places
10. Reread the Harry Potter books
11. Visit New England
12. Visit the Pacific Northwest
13. Build a gallery wall I love using photos & art
14. Interview my parents on their childhood memories
15. Start writing a book
16. Pay for the person behind me in a drive thru
17. Make a T-shirt quilt
18. Host a dinner party
19. Attend a Happy Hour Live
20. Cook through Date Night In with Alex
21. Study Russian again
22. Throw Alex an awesome birthday party
23. Go on a hike in Northwest Arkansas
24. Visit OBU
25. See Cami Jones
26. Mail a friend a package of favorite goodies just because
27. Join a book club
28. Pitch a children’s book
29. Memorize Matthew 5-7
30. Research my genealogy

Now on to being 28!

What’s on your bucket list?? I’d love to hear.

What I Make

Pre-Turkey Bowl of Yum

Thanksgiving is in just one week . . . yippee! The holidays have become a really special getaway time for me. The longer I live apart from family, the greater of a gift it is to spend one unhurried, long weekend with them. The extra delicious food is a major perk. And the road trip with my bff Al isn’t a bad deal either. He’s a fun guy. Case in point:

Alex with all the clue weapons at our church's life-size clue Really Big Game Night
Professor Plum with all the Clue weapons at our church’s “Really Big Game Night.”

If you’re holding back on calories this week in preparation for the your grandma’s turkey and dressing and pumpkin pie next week, you need to know about this perfect, light yet filling salad. People, it is AMAZING. I’ve been eating it for lunch the last couple of days and love that it’s easy peasy to make and filling. It’s not diet food. It’s whole food with lots of flavor.

Even if you’re not a “salad person,” I’m confident you’ll be sold on this one after one forkful of tart pomegranate arils (love that term), creamy goat cheese, toasty pecans, and butternut squash. If not, just think of it as doing your body a clean eating favor and have it anyway.

Pomegranates were 59 cents at Aldi last week! Amazing.


The Perfect Pre-Holiday Salad
Recipe adapted from
Yield: About 6 Servings

2/3 cup copped pecans, toasted
3/4 cup pomegranate arils
3 oz goat cheese, crumbled
1 butternut squash, cooked and diced
9 oz baby spinach

1/4 c apple cider vinegar
3 Tbsp EVOO
1 1/2 tsp honey
1 tsp dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste

Place all salad ingredients in a large bowl. Place all dressing ingredients in a small mason jar, put on lid, and shake to combine. Toss salad with dressing and serve.