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NaBloPoMo Day 21: A New Approach to My Lists Each Year

NaBloPoMo Day 21: A New Approach to My Lists Each Year

I’ve been doing ___ before ___ lists for a while now. My first one was a 30 before 30 list. I have since done similar lists leading up to years 31, 32 and 33.  I enjoyed writing the lists and really crystallizing the fun thing I want to do, and making sure they did not slip through the cracks.  By year 32, the enthusiasm started draining and I had a mad dash right before my birthday to cross off as many things as possible.  As my birthday approached for me to turn 33, there were plenty of things left on the list, and I didn’t even care anymore.  I was working on a bigger & better 40 before 40 list, but I don’t really love it right now, and have not decided whether I want to overhaul it or scrap it.

Jump the Shark

The lists, for me, focused me on what I wanted to do as I was working toward them, but also provided a nice retrospective at year’s end.  Often I would grumble about wanting to do so many things but never having the time, but I could look at these lists and say, wow, I really did do a lot of fun, nice things.

I don’t want to abandon the lists altogether, but there’s no sense in making myself do the same thing over again, just for the sake of doing it.  I’m turning things around a bit this year. Instead of listing 34 things I need to do before 34, I’m assembling a list of things as I go, and am memorializing 34 fun things I’ve done in the year before I hit 34. I’m open to suggestions for fun things you think I should check out.

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NaBloPoMo Day 9: Return to the Homestead

NaBloPoMo Day 9: Return to the Homestead

It’s incredible how refreshing a weekend away can be. Although our vacation was only 2 full days and 2 days spent mostly traveling, I have returned home feeling at least sane again. It’s not full on rested bliss, but I am rested enough to feel capable to dive back into real life.

When traveling, I try to hit as many “local favorites” as possible, even if totally kitschy. Before leaving Montreal today, I enjoyed a Montreal bagel (totally legit), as well as one last helping of Timbits (also legit, but in a totally different way).

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Timbits

Travel was smooth going. In the course of this weekend away, I started and finished one book (The Beach by Alex Garland, in case you are wondering) and also made significant progress in another audiobook (The Scorch Trials by James Dashner).

Baby Beez Spiderman

Returning home with presents was mandatory, of course, and the pom-pom slippers and Spiderman comic book en Francais were very well received.

I know it’s not even late enough to be grown-up bed time, but I’m beat. So g’night.

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NaBloPoMo Day 6: Girls Weekend in Montreal with @orangechairblog

NaBloPoMo Day 6: Girls Weekend in Montreal with @orangechairblog

I’ve been in dire– dare I say desperate–  need of a break. Not necessarily a full-on vacation, but this weekend away with my pal Sandy was much awaited, and is shaping up to be exactly what I need.  We’ve been talking about visiting Montreal for ages, and since Porter Airlines just started operating out of PIT, they have been running excellent specials on flights to Toronto and Montreal.  Porter is a discount airline, but I thought it was all around excellent. Because they add on extra charges for everything like selecting seats and checking bags, etc., it may not be the perfect option for a long family vacation. For our needs, however– two women going away for a weekend, and just wanting some peace and quiet– it worked out just fine. Plus they serve a complimentary glass of wine on the flight. Even better.

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We had a layover at Toronto–Billy Bishop airport, which is the teeniest tiniest airport ever. It is right in the City of Toronto and has fantastic views. The flight there was quick and easy, and they have all kinds of buses, ferries, etc. that go into the city. For our next trip to Toronto (which I hope comes sooner rather than later, I love that place), the flight may be a quicker and easier option than the 6 hour drive.

We got into Montreal late this afternoon. We are staying at an AirBnB studio downtown, and we were easily able to get here on a bus running from the airport. We didn’t do a whole lot of advance planning, but I was recommended to visit the Bota Bota spa for their water circuit (hot tub, cold dunk, sauna, eucalyptus steam room, relaxation), so visit we did.

Bota Bota

It was absolutely lovely. It was completely relaxing and wonderful. Bota Bota is unique because it’s a spa on a BOAT(-a, boat-a), and has a modern vibe to it. I like that you can book treatments or, as we did, just go in for the water circuit. And they even run special rates during the “off” times (before 11am and after 6pm). Since we went in the evening, it was a very reasonable price.

Notre Dame

We spent a few moments sight-seeing while we were out today, but the day was really focused more on unwinding. Tomorrow we will get to know the city more. But first– SLEEP.

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Fall Happenings with the Beez Family and @412FoodRescue @WGMarathon @PittPanthers @WigleWhiskey

Fall Happenings with the Beez Family and @412FoodRescue @WGMarathon @PittPanthers @WigleWhiskey

Ahhh fall! It is my favorite season of the year! Pittsburgh is absolutely gorgeous in Fall– well it was gorgeous this weekend. Now the skies are gray and threatening rain, so I’ll be cuddling up with a cup of coffee and hoping the crisp sunshine returns soon.

I’ve been reading about the great work that 412 Food Rescue has been doing to reduce food waste and hunger in one fell swoop, by connecting those with surplus food with those without enough, and by using a volunteer network to transport that food from one place to another. I also like the opportunities that 412 Food Rescue provides for those of us who have inconsistent schedules.  I want to contribute to my community, but my schedule does not often lend to commitments planned far in advance or at regular intervals.  412 Food Rescue posts their volunteer requests on their facebook page (and soon, through their new app) and anyone who is available can help out.

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Last week we were out and about, when 412 Food Rescue posted they needed someone to do a quick pickup in the South Side and drop-off in Uptown.  We were in the right area at the right time and had a few minutes to spare, so Baby Beez and I volunteered for the task.

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We picked up 7 cases of fresh orange slices from the Pittsburgh Public School’s central kitchen and delivered them to Jubilee Kitchen.  Baby Beez helped with the carrying, and as we delivered the oranges to Jubilee Kitchen, she wished the clients a cheerful “Enjoy your oranges!!”  This provided a great opportunity for us to talk about food insecurity and food waste in a way that was meaningful and clear to a 5 year old, and was especially meaningful just a few days after Yom Kippur, in a season when we should be thinking of improving the world.

412 Food Rescue

If you are hungry for an opportunity to contribute in a way where your dollars “hit the ground running” so to speak, 412 Food Rescue’s Taco Tuesday fundraiser is tonight. There will be tacos (AND WHO DOES NOT LIKE TACOS?) and an opportunity to learn about the organization, mix and mingle with the leaders and volunteers and an opportunity to preview their new app.

In other fall happenings, I am very much looking forward to a solo-road trip this weekend. I’m going to be heading up to Corning, New York for the Wineglass Half Marathon on Sunday in the Finger Lakes. I have loaded my phone full of audiobooks and I’m very excited to have a couple days to just relax. I suppose I am an introvert, because a little time by myself really does leave me feeling refreshed. You don’t have any idea how much I am looking forward to laying in bed, reading, maybe painting my nails, getting a spaghetti dinner by myself, and going to bed at like 7pm.

wineglass

Baby Beez was disappointed that I did not bring her home a medal from this weekend’s Pittsburgh Great Race (they do not give finishers medals, which makes complete sense for a 10k), but I told her about the gorgeous glass medal they give finishers at the Wineglass Half and she became very excited for this weekend’s race.

On October 10, I’ll be taking Baby Beez to her first Pitt Football homecoming game! This kid LOVES Pitt! There aren’t many words she knows how to read yet, but Pitt is definitely one of them. She has even announced that she plans to be a Pitt Cheerleader. While cheerleading is (to put it mildly) not really my thing, at least she has her sights set on Pitt. Can’t wait for the game! H2P!!!

Read her second word today! "P-I-T-T….mommy it's your school!!"

A post shared by EC (@ecpgh) on

And fall would not be complete without APPLES!  I could really go for apple crisp this morning, to tell you the truth. But apple whiskey would also do the trick! I’m excited for the Wigle Whiskey Apple Whiskey festival coming up later this month, on October 17 and 18.  The celebration is taking place at both their Strip District Distillery and the Wigle Barrelhouse in Spring Hill. It is family friendly, and will include bobbing for apples, live music and whiskey samples for the 21+ crowd. Yes, PLEASE!

Walkabout Promo


Thanks to everyone who has been reading! My posting has slowed a bit lately (that’s what happens when you go on a manic reading kick, and spend all your time taking words in, instead of writing them out!), and it’s great to have dedicated and enthusiastic readers! If you aren’t already doing so, please follow me on Instagram and Twitter, to carry on about ADVENTURES IN PITTSBURGH!

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Retiring my 32 before 32

Retiring my 32 before 32

Today is my last day of 31, which means that my 32 before 32 list is coming to an end. I only made it through 10 of the goals this year, but I’m OK with that. I’m carrying over a lot of things to my 33 before 33. For some people, a “__ before __” list is about pushing boundaries and accomplishing extreme things. For me, the list is about perspective. Instead of sitting around and whining that I’m bored, this list reminds me of all the neat things I’ve filed away as wanting to do, but have back burnered. When I look back on these lists, it reminds me that our City has lots of neat things to offer, and my family and I have really taken advantage of the opportunities it presents.

Our travel for the coming year is already mostly planned out. Last year I included our planned travel in my list, and then things changed, and I was disappointed about having to remove things from the list for reasons beyond my control. This year, I’m keeping it pretty local. My list is full of things that are pretty well within my grasp. There’s something to be said for dreaming big and pushing boundaries, but there’s also something to be said for the satisfaction of just crossing things off a nice list. This coming year is a year for the latter.

So without further ado, I bring to you my 33 before 33 (also, consistent with my goal last year of writing a 40 before 40 list, here is my more-ambitious 40 before 40 list)

PS- You can totally help me toward one of my goals on the list by sponsoring my fundraising for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, just click on this link! You were just itching to take me out for coffee or a drink or lunch or something for my birthday, right? How about putting that money toward helping sick kids instead? Every single dollar helps! I’m over halfway toward my fundraising goal, and I need your help to cross that finish line!

princess Half marathon


What is on your list this year?