Category Archives: Human Bucket List Stuff

Summer Bucket List Update

I just got done walking two miles.  I was supposed to run two miles, but I made it about 5 feet down the road when I remembered: running sucks.

During my walk I remembered that I haven’t updated you on my bucket list progress since…. a long time ago.  Like before I had a baby.  I’m not sure if my life existed before I had a baby, because I can’t remember what it was like before I had to wake up twice during the night to feed my hungry nugget before she goes into “beast mode.”

I could literally write a million posts my snuggle nugget, but I’ll spare you the gushing.  Let me just say this, she’s the most perfect, beautiful baby in the Americas.


I’m not sure about this bonnet…

Here’s my progress:

1.  Figure out (and write about) our next big financial goal (January) –Done!

After we paid off our mortgage last year, we definitely went on auto-pilot financially.  So, we set a new goal to replace my salary with rental income.  I wrote about the tiny progress we’re making toward our goal here.

2.  Take a babymoon (February, March, or April) –Done!

Read about the time I hiked to the tallest point in Arkansas while super pregnant here.

3.  Get our nursery ready (March) –Done!

If you’re wondering if my baby has a place to sleep, worry no more.  Here is her nursery.  Warning!  If you’re offended by the color pink, don’t keep reading!!!

photo 1


photo 4

A big thank you to my mom and sister who helped me organize the nursery while I sat in the rocking chair dreaming of slushes from Sonic.  Also, my brilliant co-worker sewed the bedding and curtains.  She did an amazing job!


4.  Finish book (April) –Not even close

I wrote a really crappy book, but I’m afraid to finish it because it’s so bad.  I need to figure this one out…

5.  Have a baby! (May) –Done!

Two months and three days ago, I had a baby.

6.  Complete 5 Treehouse “tracks” (September)- In progress

I’ve finished one and a half tracks.  I’m going to try to finish another one by the end of next month.

7. Get back to pre-baby weight (October)- Done… sort of 🙂

I gained around 23 pounds when I was pregnant.

Good news: since my baby was 10 pounds, I was able to lose the weight pretty quickly.  The doctor basically just pulled half of the weight out of me.  The other half fell off by breastfeeding (which is super hard.  Why didn’t you tell me?).

Bad news:  all of my belly parts are still not back to where they were before I was pregnant.  And, I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a while until they are.

8.  Run a family 5k (November)- Not even close.

Please see the description at the beginning of this post.  Again, running sucks.

9.  Check out our tithe/giving situation (reoccurring starting in January)- Done!

We started tithing a couple years ago, and it’s been really rewarding.  But, I am pretty stingy, so we hadn’t adjusted our tithing amount since then.  Also, we kind of started slipping on tithing at all during busy months.  So, this year I’ve made more of an effort to tithe every month and on all of our income.  We’ve only missed one month so far.  I’m counting this as a success!

10.  Use my Real Estate License (December)- Done!

I’m really enjoying learning about the world of real estate.  I’ve written several contracts, and I had my first closing last month.

Overall, I’ve done a lot on my bucket list for this year.  But, some of the most intense items are still unfinished…  Good thing I have about five months left.  Bad thing is the baby thinks I should attend to her needs 24/7 :).  We will see how this goes!


Baby Watch, Baby Moon, and a Horse of Course

Hello!  What have you been up to?

I haven’t been doing much.  Just growing a human.  No biggie.  I can’t believe how this baby thing works.  It’s like a science fiction book.  I feel like I need to go back to 8th grade health class.

We are officially on baby watch.  I am 39 weeks and 3 days pregnant.  Which translates into:  I’m completely emotionally unstable.  I cried when my doctor said I was measuring big, I cried reading an article about babies, and I cried for five other things I can’t even remember.  But, I’m so excited at the same time!!!

I wanted to document my pregnancy, but I can’t keep up with my growing “bump.”  So, here’s my favorite from this week.  I was out feeding the neighborhood horse (yes, we have a neighborhood horse.  His name is Stanley, and he stops by every weekend to get carrots, usually on Sundays after we go to Walmart).  Stanley was pretty interested in my belly– either that or he was trying to get more carrots.

horse and bump pic

Since I’m not sure how many more days we have before this baby arrives, I wanted to catch you up on one of my Bucket List goals for this year: going on a baby moon with my husband.

I wanted to go somewhere BIG.  But, as I got more pregnant, we couldn’t decide on where to go.  I kept suggesting places like “exotic alligator farms, Russian cruises, and Antarctic adventures.”  But, my husband kept saying, “ughhhhh, I don’t know.”  After a few of those conversations, I finally got to the root of the problem: my husband is/was scared of the following:

1.  Me going into labor on a plane

2.  Me going into labor in a foreign country

3.  Me going into labor on a mountain

So naturally, we ended up spending our baby moon on a mountain!

photo 3

What’s a baby moon if you don’t conquer a fear?  We headed up to Mount Magazine.  It’s a state park in Arkansas with lodges, cabins, a pool, and hiking.   Neither of us had been there before, and it was only a few hours away from where we live, so my husband didn’t have to worry about me going into labor on a plane or in a foreign country.

Here is part of the awesome lodge…

photo 2


And views that could make any baby want to arrive…

photo 1


Because we were already on a mountain, we decided to try and make it to the highest point in Arkansas called Signal Hill.  We signed our names to the registry to prove we made it.   I thought about sending someone else up to sign it for us, but what would that teach our unborn child?



Before you start thinking I’m some kind of pregnant hiking superhero, I should mention that Signal Hill was only about a mile from the lodge we were staying in.  Also, it was a pretty smooth hike.  So, I really didn’t do much, but don’t tell anyone.


Other than hiking, we swam, ate, and napped.  Our baby moon was wonderful.  I had the best company ever.  Since I did so much napping, I guess it’s good we didn’t go on a Russian Cruise.  I probably would have just slept a lot.

Here we are at our last dinner (at Mount Magazine).  Don’t worry, we’ve been eating dinner since then.


Thanks for reading this!  I hope you’ve been having the best couple of months.  I’ve got some pictures of our nursery to show you, and then I can’t wait to tell you about the awesome new project we’re working on (besides the baby, of course!)


January Bucket List Update

I’ve been waiting to post because I wanted to tell you some exciting news.  Then, it didn’t happen.  So, I’ve really been waiting to tell you that we don’t have exciting news.  Except for our most exciting news: I am still cooking a human–in my belly– not on the stove.  That’s illegal.

This bucket list update is going downhill FAST.  To keep this post from deteriorating any further, I’m going to start the update.

1.  Figure out (and write about) our next big financial goal (January) -In progress

We paid off our mortgage last year, and since then we’ve been pondering our next big goal.  It took us a little longer than expected, but I think we’ve finally figured it out.  I’ll write about it soon.

2.  Take a babymoon (February, March, or April) -In progress

We haven’t decided where to go yet, but we just got back from Nashville and we’re headed on another trip in a couple of weeks.  Since these trips involve my husband working, I just don’t feel like they are babymoon worthy.  However, if we keep traveling, we might have to just pick a trip and call it our babymoon.  Here’s hoping our accidental babymoon takes us somewhere warm!

3.  Get our nursery ready (March) -In progress

We have picked out fabric, ordered swatches, and are just waiting on it to arrive.  Also, we have a crib and a chair, so the only furniture we’re missing is a dresser.  Any ideas where to get a unique piece at a uniquely low price?

4.  Finish book (April) -In progress

I’ve been listening to an audio book on writing to get back in the swing of things.  I’m just stuck.  I have a rough draft that I wrote last year, but now I hate it.  It’s also about half the length that it needs to be.  This month, I’m going to devote a block of time to it.  Then, maybe I can get my head back into the project.

5.  Have a baby! (May) -In progress

In progress!  Currently, I’m 24 weeks pregnant.  I’ve started feeling the baby move, which in the words of Amy Poehler from the movie Baby Momma feels like, “when you eat a meatball sandwich and then the meatball sandwich starts kicking you.”

6.  Complete 5 Treehouse “tracks” (September)- In progress

Treehouse is an online school that teaches people to design websites/write code/program.  I’ve been working really hard on this.  Unfortunately, the hours I’ve put in haven’t amounted to much.  I’m still on my first “track.”  I’ve been learning to code using JavaScript.  I’m so lost I’ve been trying to figure out how to get coffee out of the computer.

7. Get back to pre-baby weight (October)- Not even close.

I’m not working on this one quite yet.  I’m actually going in the other direction thanks to a little lady named Debbie.  Come here Little Debbies!  Do you have a bigger sister, or should I just eat five of you?

8.  Run a family 5k (November)- Not even close.

Not even thinking about this one either.

9.  Check out our tithe/giving situation (reoccurring starting in January)- In progress.

Good news, we’ve made progress on this one!  I’ll explain soon.  I think I have a new system that will make it easier to do this every month.

10.  Use my Real Estate License (December)- Done!

This is the exciting news I wanted to tell you about.  I wrote a real estate contract last week!  We put in an offer on a rental house, but we still don’t know if it’s been accepted.  It’s a foreclosure, and the bank is toying with us like Pink and Rick with birthday hats (see below and picture us as the birthday hat).  I don’t even know if we’re going to get the house yet.  Honestly, I doubt we get it.  If our offer does go through, I promise to let you know.  Even if it doesn’t, I’ll let you know.  Unfortunately, right now there’s nothing to know.  I wish there was.

photo 4

Well, there it is!  The bucket list update for January.  How are your goals going?

2015 Bucket List

Hello Hump Day-ers,

It’s time for my 2015 Bucket List!  This is the third year I’ve made a list of items to accomplish (see 2013 list here and 2014 list here).  While I’m not always successful, I think writing it goals is extremely helpful in bringing focus to my year.  Also, a lady I work with says you need to “speak your life into existence.”  Isn’t that cool?  You can create your life with your own words.  I know it’s pretty hippity-dippity, but I kind of believe it’s true!

But before I get started, here’s a picture of our New Year’s trip to Dallas.  I was trying to “speak” a glass of wine into my life, but the baby told me it wasn’t interested.

wedding pic

2015 Bucket List

1.  Figure out (and write about) our next big financial goal (January)

Since we paid off our mortgage, I’ve felt a little lost.  I’m extremely goal-oriented, and I’ve missed having something to track, measure, and dream about.  So, we’re working on coming up with out next big goal.  I’ll let you know what it is when we figure it out!

2.  Take a babymoon (February, March, or April)

I’m not sure where we’re going to go yet, but I can’t wait to hang out with my husband for a week– or ten.  Hopefully our trip includes some hours of travel, I love being able to talk to him for hours in a car or on a plane.  He’s always trying to get me to take a nap, though!

3.  Get our nursery ready (March)

I’m not sure what comes first, the bedding or the paint color.  Any advice on where to start?

4.  Finish book (April)

This is a leftover from my 2014 Bucket List.  It is also the most terrifying goal on my list.

5.  Have a baby! (May)

This one is coming if we’re ready or not.   What do babies need, again?

6.  Complete 5 Treehouse “tracks” (September)

Treehouse is an online school that teaches people to design websites/write code/program.  And, they teach in a way that a toddler (or blogger!) can understand.  Unfortunately, each track takes about 50 hours, and I’ve been working on my first track for the past three months.  This may take a while…

Note: this is not an advertisement, nor do I get paid for any content on this blog– unless you’re looking for someone to give your money too, then I’ll take it!

7. Get back to pre-baby weight (October)

I actually stole this one from my friend Stephanie.  Her baby is due just a month after mine, and I thought it was an excellent goal to put on my list.  Plus, what’s a Bucket List without a weight goal?  Predictability is my main move.

8.  Run a family 5k (November)

My husband suggested this one, and I thought it was a great idea.  Last year, we ran a 5k and there were a lot of people who brought their babies along, so we thought this could be a cool thing to do– weather and baby permitting.

9.  Check out our tithe/giving situation (reoccurring starting in January)

10.  Use my Real Estate License (December)

I’m dying to use my license to purchase our first rental house (and build a side business).  Maybe this year will FINALLY be the year of the rental house.  We’ve been working on this since 2013, and I’m the least patient person in America.


Well, there it is, my 2015 Bucket List.  I’ve learned a lot about goals since I started making a bucket list in 2013.  This year, I’ve decided to front-load my list.  Hopefully, I will be able to complete several of my items before the baby comes.  I’ve never had a baby before, but I keep hearing they like attention.

Have you made any goals or Bucket List items for this year?

2014 Bucket List Recap

Hello Citizens of 2015!

I was gearing up to write about my 2015 Bucket List, when I remembered, I haven’t recapped my 2014 Bucket List.  A year ago, when I wrote my 2014 Bucket List, I had no idea what the year would bring.  My husband is calling it our heartbeat year because we had extreme ups (here and here) and extreme lows (here and here).  But despite everything, we are excited to start 2015, because we are extremely blessed!

Even though, I didn’t make as much progress on my list as I like, I still think 2014 is a year to be celebrated, so if you will excuse my lack of progress: here is my 2014 Bucket List Recap.

1.  Organize one room in my house every month- HALF SUCCESS HALF FAIL

The insane part about organizing your house is: a few months later you have to do it again–especially if you live in a 1,100 square foot house.  Here are the rooms I organized (that need to be done again):

January: Bathrooms

February: Laundry Room

March: Master Bedroom

April:  Living Room.

May:  Our outside storage room.  True confession: my husband organized this one.  But, I can still count it, right?

December: We cleaned out the future nursery!

2. Lose 10 pounds through the Paleo Diet or South Beach Diet (February)  FAIL

Well, this kind of went the opposite direction.  I kept putting it off, and when I was ready to get started– I got pregnant.  According to my doctor, I’ve gained four pounds.  At least it’s all for a good cause, eating for two, right?  Unfortunately, the other one I’m eating for only weighs 10 ounces, so I’m really just eating for 1.00001.

3.  Go on a Vegas Vacation (March)- AWESOME SUCCESS!

We had the best time!  Check it out.

4.  Run 365 milesFAIL

January: 12.75

February: 19

March: 31

April: 30

May: 31

… and then I totally fell of the wagon.  Not only did I fall off, but I rolled all the way down a hill and into a creek.  Then, when I was in the creek I found a fish named Nemo.  Pixar used my story for their classic animated film.  Just kidding, the fish’s name was Fred.

5.  Go one month without artificial sugar (February)- SUCCESS!

Finally, a goal I’m actually killing!  I stopped eating/drinking artificial sugar in February, and I haven’t looked back.  Don’t worry, I’m still eating/drinking PLENTY of regular sugar.  I didn’t get too healthy.  I didn’t want to shock my system!

6.  Learn to hula-hoop or whistle (June)- SUCCESS!

I’m officially a whistler!  I’m a terrible whistler, but at least I can make a sound– annnnndddd it sounds like a whistle.

7.  Go skydiving (July) (August/September)- FAIL

I was getting ready to book my adventure, and then I found out I was pregnant.  For some reason, my husband didn’t want me to jump out of a plane anymore.  And, I’m obedient so I listened (haha).

8.  Write 2 blog posts every week-  HUGEST FAIL EVER

Not only did I completely fail at this goal, but I couldn’t even keep up with my typical, weekly blog post slackery.

9.  Become completely debt free– including paying off our house (September)- HUGE SUCCESS!

If I had to pick ONE goal to complete this year, this one would be it– and we actually did it!  Even better, we accomplished it two months earlier than expected.  I still can’t believe we did this.  It feels amazing, like a present every month.  Seriously.  Every month, I get ready to pay our mortgage, and I remember it’s gone!

10.  Write a fiction book and sell it on Amazon (October)- FAIL

I’ve been working on this.  I’m about halfway through with the first draft.  I’m going to move this to my 2015 Bucket List.

11.  Do something spontaneous (November)- FAIL

I don’t even feel bad about this one, because I totally forgot it was on my list!

12.  Make $1,000 of side income a month, by freelance writing/blogging/video projects (December)- MOSTLY FAIL and a very tiny bit of success

Typically, I didn’t clear over $100 a month, except for June.  In June, I picked up a side gig at a local university and totally made my goal.


So there it is, Pink and Rick’s official 2014 Bucket List Recap!  I promise to do better next year.  I’m going to post my 2015 Bucket List next week, so get ready!

Do you have any Bucket List Items/Goals/New Year’s Resolutions for 2015?

We Are 4 Years Old!

We’ve been officially married for four years today.

happy anniversary

But, I’m pretty sure we’ve been married our whole lives.  It’s pretty sick, but I think we might have been made for each other.  I know, GROSS!  Here  are my reasons: we’re hella goofy, we’re hella silly, and… we both hella lurve ice cream.  I’m not going to make up any more words for the rest of this post.  Only dictionary words from here on out.  Promisk.

So, marriage.  Woah.  It’s a pretty weird deal.  Sometimes it’s hard, and sometimes it’s really easy.  Sometimes you feel really connected to your spouse, and sometimes you feel like two complete strangers.  Sometimes you have the same goals, and sometimes you have different ones.  It’s interesting to be in the middle of something so fluid, but at the same time, stable.

The first couple years we were married were the hardest.  Sometimes, I felt really confined.  I felt like being married restricted the jobs I could have.  I felt like being married restricted where I could live.  And, it sort of does, for me anyway.  But, jobs and locations don’t matter to me much anymore.  What maters to me is that we have a strong marriage, and my choices are based on that– not moving to South America on a whim (which I hope we can do one day!).

I’d like to say my view on marriage has changed gradually over the years, and it has, but sometimes one event can snap your life into perspective.  For me, that event happened in February.

“I’m fine.”

I’ve spent my whole life saying, “I’m fine.”  I wanted to be tough and strong.  I didn’t want to rely on anyone.  And, mostly, I hated it when people felt sorry for me.

Interestingly enough, I don’t care if people feel sorry for me anymore either.

A really bad thing happened this year.  And, it’s why I quit writing on my blog so much.  I just kept writing this post and then deleting it, not brave enough to tell you the truth.

The truth.

In February, I had a miscarriage.

It was pretty awful, and I tried to ignore it for a while.  I tried to act like, “I’m fine.”

But, I wasn’t really “fine.”  I couldn’t get the pain out of my mind.  Also, I couldn’t handle the emotions of it all, so I tried to cover it up.  I wrote about goals and paying off our house, but the entire time the only thing I could think about was… that night.  The night I spent crippled in pain, lying on the bathroom floor crying.

My husband is the only person I couldn’t act “fine” around.  He sat next to me when we got the news.  He watched me cry for about a week.  He helped me get out of bed.  And, he still makes me breakfast every morning.

Through my husband, I found out why marriage isn’t confining– it’s one of the few things that is really freeing.  Like any good relationship you can be free when you can truly be yourself. When you can truly tell someone how you feel.  When you don’t even have to tell someone how you feel– they just know.

Ultimately, marriage is about dragging each other out of bed.  It’s about leaning on someone because you can’t stand up anymore.  It’s about the ebbs and flow of life.  It’s about healing together a little bit every day.  That’s what we’ve been doing, healing.

I hope you haven’t had to go through a miscarriage, but if you have, feel free to talk to me about it.  I’ve had the best support from my husband, family and friends.  I would love to be there for you, too.

Happy Anniversary Husband!  Thanks for being there for me through the good and bad!

How We Paid Off Our House in 2 Years

Two years ago, we had a crazy goal: to pay off our mortgage (you can read about it here, here, here and here).  Countless paychecks, a lot of headaches, and even a few arguments later, it’s official.  Blog official.  The day we’ve been waiting for: we paid off our house.  At 7:00 a.m., today, we submitted our last mortgage payment.

mortgage burn

Watch that mortgage burn!


I hope this post doesn’t sound braggy– honestly, I don’t want it to be.  Everyone has different goals and dreams for their lives.  I just want this post to encourage you to finish your big goals, financial or otherwise.  We didn’t start with a grand plan, we actually just lucked into the right house, and then we just went to work.

 1.  Live off one salary (or half of your salary).

When we bought our house, about 4 years ago, I didn’t have a job.  My husband was working at his first job out of college, so we didn’t have much money.  I was TERRIFIED about becoming “house poor,” so we bought a tiny house that we knew we could afford.  Four years later, we’re still living off one salary.  We aren’t disciplined, and we spend whatever is in our checking account, so my check is directly deposited into a separate account.  There are no debit cards attached to the separate account, so we can’t get to that money.  We automatically used my paychecks to pay off the house, and eventually we were able to use part of my husband’s pay checks as well.

2.  Buy a tiny, inexpensive house.

When we bought our house, 3.5 years ago.  Our house payment was 20% of our take home salary.  First, I got a job (or 4!), last winter we cut our payment in half by refinancing, also we got some raises, and in addition we started tithing.  After all was said and done, our house payment ended up being 4% of our take home salary.  Less than most people’s car payments!  By buying something we could really afford, and then working toward increasing our income and cutting our payments, we were able to pay off our mortgage.

3.  Live somewhere “lame.”

There are awesome neighborhoods around us.  There are really trendy places nearby.  There are places where you can walk to restaurants, parks, and shops.

We don’t live there.  We live in a little town outside a big city.  In our little town there are more retired people than hipsters.  There are a couple restaurants, but most of them are chains.  And, you can’t walk your dog to any stores.  Even thought our little town is “lame” in some ways, we’ve really grown to like it.  It’s safe.  The people are nice.  Our friends are close.  And there is one trail, and my dogs know every inch.

Our “lame” town allowed us to buy a cheap house, which is the ONLY way we were able to pay off our mortgage in such a short time.  Through this whole process, I’ve actually started liking my town.  I think that it’s pretty cool.  I just need to start wearing hats and wearing roller skates.  Isn’t that what hipsters do?  Should I open a food truck, maybe?

4.  Cut your monthly expenses.

When we really got serious about paying off our mortgage 2 years ago, I started looking at all of our expenses.  We cut cable.  I drive a “free” car.  We cut everything that wasn’t necessary.  I increased our insurance deductibles.  I slashed our grocery bill.  I don’t have a smart phone (but that’s another story… and it’s only been going on for two months).  No monthly bill was safe!  I was a serial debt killer.

5.  Have a support system.

Whatever big goal you want to persue, you’ve got to have people around you who will encourage you.  My biggest support was definitely my husband.  Actually, he’s not my “support.” He is much more than that.  He is the one who accomplished this.  He worked two jobs.  He killed it at work to make bonuses.  He got on board with my insane plan.  I can never repay him for all he has done to make this goal happen.

Also, we had some amazing support from our families.  Moms, dads, sisters, brothers, and our friends.  No one ever made fun of us or made us feel crazy.  For that, we are forever grateful.  Thank you more than words can say.

Want to succeed?  Get yourself some support staff.  Even if it’s just one person who you can talk to about your crazy goal, you’ll need someone to encourage and drag pick you up along the way.

6.  Figure out your “why”.

You may not want to pay off your mortgage.  I’m the first to admit it’s not for everyone.  One of the reasons we wanted to kill this debt is because we want to buy rental houses in the future, specifically foreclosures.  After we failed at this a couple times, we realized we needed to get our finances in order first.  We have several other “whys,” but I’m not ready to blog about them yet, or maybe ever.  Please, just know being mortgage free runs deep in my heart for reasons I haven’t been able to tell you about.

If you have a big goal, I know you can do it.  The best way is to focus on your “whys.”  Family, future goals, kids, friends, past failures, etc. are great “whys” to keep you motivated.  Trust me, you’ll need something to focus on to keep you motivated, when all you want to do is buy shoes!

7.  Block out the noise.

Could we have made more on our money if we should have invested it?  Yes.  Would we have worked as hard to invest in a retirement account?  No.

You know in your gut what is right for you and your situation.  Lots of people will give you advice.  There are tons of people who think what we did was stupid.  Heck, sometimes I thought what we were doing was stupid.  But, I always heard a voice in my heart that told me to keep going.  Sometimes you just have to trust that voice.

8.  Figure out what’s next.

We haven’t done this step yet.  Really, I have no idea what is next.  I want to buy some rental properties soon, but I don’t know when that will be.  We’re just ready to take a break, and figure out what is next.  Most of all, it’s time to celebrate!

mortgage celebration

Pink and Rick didn’t like champagne. That’s only the second food they’ve ever rejected… they don’t have the best taste in wine.

Full disclosure: we aren’t quite debt free yet.  We still have a couple little debts take care of–it’s a loooooonnng story about why we paid our mortgage off first.  Maybe something for another day!  We should be done with everything next month, I’ll keep you updated.

What do you think?  Would you ever pay off your mortgage?

How to Land a Side Gig: Baseball Style

I went to my first St. Louis Cardinals game a few weekends ago.  It was amazing!  I can’t believe I grew up in Missouri, and it took me 28 years to get there.

photo 3 (2)

We went for my brother-in-law’s birthday.  Here’s our game selfie!


Photo credit: my brother-in-law.

We went to tons of places around the city.  My favorite stop was the Budweiser Plant-Tour-Thing.  Maybe it was because of the free samples, or maybe it was because I found this giant cake outside.   I secretly hoped a tiny Clydesdale horse would jump out in a bikini.  Unfortunately, it didn’t.  Fortunately, I just made you think of a horse in a bikini.

photo 1 (2)

Photo credit: my brother-in-law

The Cardinals must have known it was my first visit, because they won!  I’ve been winning a little too– I just finished up my crazy June side hustle.

This year for MyYearlyBucketList, I’m trying to make $1,000 of side income a month.  After very little success thus far, (I haven’t  even made $100 yet!) I finally landed a side gig that lasts the month of June– and drum roll, please— I reached my goal.  A cold $1,000 will come sliding into my bank account later this month.

Like the Cardinals, I won at my goal.  So, in the red bird’s honor, here is the process of how to land a side gig– baseball themed of course:

First base:  Have a lot of failures.

I’ve applied for COUNTLESS writing gigs.  And Nothing.  Nada.  Zilch.  It’s pretty pitiful.  Also, I started a profile on (check it out here) and I’ve made a grand total of $12.  It’s been pretty bleak.  I could start saying something about how failures teach you something.  But, I’m not sure what my failures are trying to teach me.  Maybe, I’m supposed to perfect my fast email pitch?!

Second base:  Find a way to be optimistic.

I was/am kind of bummed about my progress.  But, I’m oddly still optimistic.  I haven’t started shaking the side gig bushes again.  But, I will soon.

Third Base:  Pivot.

In May, in the midst of Rejectionville, I started scrambling.  My initial intention was to make money writing online, but after all the rejections, I decided to try other ways to hustle.  I knew a local University was working on a pretty big project.  So, I emailed a lady I worked with previously to offer my services.  My email sounded like this: “Dear ____ I really enjoyed working with you earlier this year.  I heard you’re working on _____ project, and I have some free time this summer.  If you need any extra help, I’d love to help you out.  If you don’t have a need now, please consider me for the future.  I’m passionate about the project, and I’d love to work with and learn more from your amazing staff.  Thanks for your time, KELSIE-BEST-TWERKER-WORKER-EVER.”  Okay, I think it sounded better than that, but you get the point.  Basically, it’s a compliment sandwich– with a pitch in the middle.

Anyway, my email was forwarded to her supervisor.  And…Badda Bing!  I got a side gig!

Even thought this post is called, “how to land a side gig,” I’ll be honest: I have no idea how to do it.  I think you just keep trying.  Which leads me to…

Home Base:  Persistence, get ready for the next pitch.

Just keep swinging– eventually you will hit something– even if it’s just your own face.  One thing I’ve discovered through my search for a side gig is that people need GOOD part-time help.  Employers don’t want to have to pay for someone’s benefits.  But, they still need projects done.  So, if you just send enough emails to enough people you know, odds are, you’ll get something– even if it just lasts for a month.

I really enjoyed my side gig last month, and I learned a few things.  But, honestly, I’m exhausted.  So, I’m going to take a few days off from searching for the next gig.  Even baseball players have those people who run their bases for them.  I want to be one of those guys.  Scratch that– I just want to be the mascot.

P.S.  We have BIG NEWS to announce next Tuesday!  We’ve been working on it for YEARS!  I can’t wait to announce it!  The post will probably be in all CAPS!!!  Anyway, come back, will ya?  I promise not to mention horses in bikinis.

April/May Bucket List Update!!

Did you notice the title of this post?  There is only two exclamation points.  Isn’t it weird to see two exclamation points together? If exclamation points were people, they would be polygamists because they don’t mate in pairs.

Anyway, on to the real “point” of this post.  It’s time for a Bucket List Update.  I haven’t done one of these since my March update, so there’s a lot to “exclaim” about.

1.  Organize one room in my house every month (Reoccurring and taking the place of a January Challenge).


April:  Living Room.  I didn’t do much, but I did get rid of a few things.

May:  Our outside storage room.  True confession: my husband organized this one.  It still counts, right?

I’ve officially organized all the “easy rooms.”  Now, I have to start on the hard ones, wish me luck!

2. Lose 10 pounds through the Paleo Diet or South Beach Diet (February) (March).

I’I still haven’t done this.  Maybe June?

3.  Go on a Vegas Vacation (March).

We had the best time!  Check it out.

4.  Run 365 miles (reoccurring and taking the place of an April challenge).

January: 12.75

February: 19

March: 31

April: 30

May: 31

I was originally supposed to run 365 miles, like it says above, but I’ve been walking some of my miles.  Since my journey is about progress, not perfection, I’m calling it a success!

5.  Go one month without artificial sugar (May)  (February)

I’m killing this one!  I’ve had fewer than five Diet Cokes all year!  Since, I used to have five in one day, I’m really proud of my progress.  However, I am drinking more regular Cokes than I used to, but they’re supposed to be better for you, right?

6.  Learn to hula-hoop or whistle (June).

I did this one a month early.  I’ve been working on my whistling all month.  I’m getting pretty good.  I still can’t whistle songs, but I can make a strong noise if I warm up a little.  Do you want to learn?  Here’s an article I read that helped me.  Yes, I found it by googling, “how to whistle…”

7.  Go skydiving (July) (August/September).

I’m moving this one to August/September.

8.  Write 2 blog posts every week (Reoccurring).

Even though I’ve only blogged here once a week, I’ve been writing a weekly post for another website to earn a little cash on the side (see goal number 12).  So, I guess I’ve been doing this, even though isn’t getting updated as much as I would like.

9.  Become completely debt free– including paying off our house (September).

True confession #2:  Ahhhhhhhhh…. I’m so tired of this!  I’ve started drooling over the shoes I’m going to buy when we get done.  I’ve also put a complete freeze on buying any clothes until we’re done.  If you see me wearing the same thing five times in a row, don’t worry, I’m not homeless.  It just means we’re getting closer to being completely debt free.

It looks like we will be done paying off our house sometime in July, and we will be completely debt free in September or October.  So, really we’re not that far away from our goal.  It’s just getting really old… because we’ve been working on it for almost three years.  Check out the latest update of our progress for more info.

10.  Write a fiction book and sell it on Amazon (October).

I’ve started this, but I’m not even close to being done.  I’m not even close to being done with the first draft.  I’m going to try and find some time to focus on this in June.

11.  Do something spontaneous (November).

12.  Make $1,000 of side income a month, by freelance writing/blogging/video projects (December).

January, February, March: $0

April: 57.06

May: 61.06

June:  I picked up a side job at a local college during the month of June, so I may reach my goal next month.  The bad news is, this job will only last a month.  The good news is, I found a side gig.  Here’s to hoping something else will pop up in July!IMG_5231

Overall, I’m pretty happy with my progress.  It could be better, but I’m pretty excited about what’s happening this year.  Next week, I’m going to write a post to break down my side income, the rejections I’ve been getting, and how I found my June side gig.  So, come back… or I’ll send my dogs for you.

7 Year Run: How to Motivate Others


Last year, as a part of my bucket list, I trained for and ran a 10k.  This year, as part of my husband’s bucket list he wrote down to “run a 5k.  “WhaaaaaAAAAt?!”  I asked.  I was shocked.  Like mouth on the floor shocked.  Why?  He doesn’t like running.  He doesn’t even like talking about running.  When we first started dating, he didn’t even understand running. Here was our typical conversation:

Me: “I’m going running.”

Him: “Why?  Is someone chasing you?”

Fast-forward 7 years when he says, “I’m going to run a 5k,” I pretty much peed my pants.  In a good way.  If there is a good way to pee your pants.  I’m just going to leave that alone.

After (sorta) training, we ran our first 5k together!  It was amazing.

5k race

Recently, someone asked me, “how do you get your husband to do ____?”  That made me think about how we motivating others: husbands, friends, family, or coworkers.  How to you motivate someone to do something you want?  I have a great husband and he cares about my interests, but he does what he wants– so does everyone else.  However, we work/live/exist in a society that relies on people relying on each other, so it seems crucial to know how to motivate other people.  Here are some ideas that I came up with.

4 ways to motivate others.

1.  You can’t make anyone do anything.  You just can’t.  So, give up on trying to trick people, instead focus on ways to help others.

2.  Set an example.  This one is HUGE!  I gave up on running the first year we were married.  In the past couple years, I got back into it.  I realized the more I went the more my husband would go along.  Same for at work, the more I’m excited about helping other people with their projects, the more they are available to help me.

3.  Give it time.  My husband and I have been dating/married for 7 years.  So this 7 year 5k might be the longest race in the history of the world.  Just realize that sometimes things take time– especially the good stuff.  .

4.  Pay it forward.  Good news: we ran a 5k together.  Bad news: he says I have to do something he likes to do.  My choices? Golfing or hunting.  Bleh.  But, I guess I’ll be a good sport…maybe!

I’m sure you’re wondering if we took Pink and Rick with us during the race.  Not a chance.  They can’t really figure out how to stop dragging us or, after the get tired, having us drag them.  They weren’t too upset, though  They were busy doing their favorite activity.  Sleeping.

Do you think motivating other people is important?  Do you have any tips?

p.s. I have pretty exciting information about our mortgage pay-off on Tuesday.  Come back and get the scoop!