#18 – Then Came You

It’s the book I’m reading.  Then Came You by Jennifer Weiner.  I was into her books a while back.  Did you read Good in Bed?  How about In Her Shoes?  Cameron Diaz starred in the movie version of that one.  I sort of lost interest in her books after the first few, but I decided to read this one after I listened to an interview with Jennifer on NPR.

The book is told from the perspectives of four very different women.  Jules is a student at Princeton, deciding whether or not to donate her eggs and use the money she would be paid to send her father to rehab.  Annie is a wife and mother of two, also looking to make money for her family.  She considers the role of surrogate, but has to grapple with the feelings of her husband and children.  India has recently married the man of her dreams and desperately wants to have a child with him.  Bettina, India’s step-daughter, thinks that India only wants a child in order to assure her inheritance.  Their lives converge as they deal with the issues of motherhood, family, and finances.

Then Came You by Jennifer Weiner

It’s chick lit, easy to read, even though the topics at hand are big ones.  Weiner is a Philadelphian, just like me, so I enjoy how she works the city into her books.  The story keeps reminding me of a conversation that I had with one of my college girls in which we realized that we are now too old to donate our eggs.  Not that I ever really wanted to but, boy, that growing old thing just comes at ya early and from everywhere!  Good thing I have my list to distract me from my rotting eggs!

See my nook?  I love it!  Didn’t think I would.  Got any good reads to suggest?

#14 – New Recipe

I got a mint plant. Yep, fresh mint growing like wild on the patio and I know exactly what you’re thinking…MOJITOS!  Well, you’re right.  That’s totally why I got it!  But I thought I should act a little bit responsible and use it at least once to make something that’s not a cocktail.  So, today I bring you… Continue reading

#4 – Wine and Cheese/Be MC

Does it count as hosting if someone else throws the party?  But it’s at your house?  Either way, I had a sweet little wine and cheese gathering on my patio.

My good friend MC called a few gals over to my place to celebrate my birthday and help me kick start my list.  She even brought the wine and cheese!  She said all I had to do was open the door.  (I did make sure the place was clean first.)  How nice is that?!

When MC heard about my list and that I wanted to have a wine and cheese party (but was whining about my small, undecorated patio with not enough chairs) she made it happen.  We shopped, I gardened. She invited people to my house.  One thing about MC is, she’s a doer. Like a 5am vacuuming, cake-baking, painting kind of doer.  Sometimes, lately,  I’m not.  Never at 5am.  But I do feel happy when I accomplish things on my list.  Whether it’s a Chores-and Tasks-To-Do list or a Before-I-Turn-35-Fun list, it feels good to be doing, to be out and about, to be cake-baking and painting…not so much to be vacuuming.  Sometimes when I’m really tempted to curl up on the couch for a Real Housewives of NJ marathon some TV, I remind myself to “Be MC.”  It’s a little commandment I revised from one of my favorite bloggers/best-selling author, Gretchen Rubin, who reminds herself to “Be Gretchen.”  I’m not sure how Gretchen would feel about my spin on her commandment since her idea is to be herself, accept herself, realize her true strengths and areas of limitation, likes and dislikes. And here I am, trying to be someone else.  But I think she would get it. I don’t actually want to BE MC.  I like being me and 5am is not my time.  I want to emulate what I think is a great quality of my friend. I want to be productive.  I want to make things happen.  MC motivates me to get doing and I always feel good about it.  But if the doing ever got to be too much, I could always duct tape her to a chair, so she could sit, relax, enjoy some coffee and chit chat.  (That may or may not have happened in real life.)  That’s what friends are for.  And one more thing about MC is, she’s a great friend.  Just look at the cheese tray she made for me!

Cheese Tray by MC

PS – I’m not totally done with #4 because I really want to do this at a wine and cheese party.

#2 – I Don’t Run/My First 5K

“Oh. No. Sorry. I don’t run.”  That was pretty much my response when I was asked to run what would turn out to be my first race.  It wasn’t a 5K.  It was a 5 mile portion of a half marathon relay.  But not just any old half marathon, this one was in DISNEY WORLD during the WINE AND DINE FESTIVAL! Um, I like wining and dining.  So, I reconsidered my stance on running and started training.  At first, it was kinda just so I could visit Mickey and drink wine. But, then I discovered that I mostly like running.  I like being outside.  I like accomplishing new running times and distances and I get to spend time with my friends who run. How did I not like this sooner?

I made the goal of running five 5Ks part of my list in order to keep myself running and exercising on a regular basis.  Plus, though I was a little nervous about the race atmosphere for my first run, I thought the hype of running day was fun.  There’s music, you’re outside, friends are around and most of the time there’s food.  Fun.  It’s fun stuff.

My first 5K was on May 12, 2012.  It was a race to benefit HomeFront, an organization on a mission to end homelessness in NJ.  It was a beautiful day, warm and sunny, perfect for running.  I ran with some friends and finished in satisfactory time. (32:04) There were super salty soft pretzels afterwards.

Before the HomeFront 5K
May 12, 2012

Now, since I mentioned that I used to think of myself as a non-runner, I am happy enough that I finished the race.  I’m not speedy and I’m not looking to win. I’m in it for the fun and the exercise.  (Maybe, also for the food.)  But I didn’t feel very comfortable during this run.  I started out too fast and got tired quickly.  This result makes me very glad that I decided to put FIVE 5Ks on my list.  Now I can focus on improvement throughout the next four.

Guess I should get off the couch and run, huh?

#13 – No Tomato

If you know me, you know that I do not like tomatoes.  Specifically, it’s raw tomatoes that I have a problem with.  You will never, not ever,  catch me eating tomatoes in my salad or on a sandwich.  At a restaurant, I always place my order with “hold the tomatoes.”  It’s one thing about me.

Tomato (Tamatar)

Tomato (Tamatar) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I really wanted to name the blog “notomatoes.”  But, alas, that is taken.  Of course, it is.

Because tomatoes are gross and lots of people hate them.

I just wanted to clarify.  I won’t be posting tomato recipes, or planting tomato plants or saying nice things about tomatoes.  Just so you know.

I probably will be reading this book.  And you should too!

The List

35 (number)

35 (number) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s 34 fun things to do before I turn 35…

  1. Get my passport and use it
  2. Run five 5Ks  (I did one already!)
  3. Visit a new National Park
  4. Host a wine and cheese party
  5. Host four family dinners – not holidays
  6. Fix up the garage – started this one too!
  7. Plant a terrarium
  8. Start painting my nails more often
  9. Visit my best college buddies at each of their houses. (Yep, I just invited myself girls!)
  10. Take my kayak out more.  (Can I get it on the water 10 times this season?)
  11. Go to the Pocono house more
  12. Play some rummy with my grandmom
  13. Eat 35 tomatoes  Reese’s peanut butter cups
  14. Make 10 new recipes
  15. Try out 10 new (to me!) local restaurants
  16. Commit 5 acts of “Guerilla Goodness”
  17. Find somewhere to volunteer
  18. Read 10 books
  19. Go to the Morris Arboretum

A little housekeeping about the list:

You probably noticed that there are only 19 things on this list of 34 things, huh?  Apparently, it’s still a work in progress. Like life. Got any suggestions?

You may have also noticed that I got real specific with numbers up there – five 5Ks, ten times in the kayak, etc. Overkill?  The bonus will be that I’ll actually complete way more than 34 things, ensuring a year that is packed to the gills with fun!

Lastly, I feel compelled to write some sort of disclaimer.  Something along the lines of…”I reserve the right to alter, edit, delete or renumber this list at any point for any reason, etc, etc…”  But does that defeat the purpose?  If it goes on the list, it should stay on the list and be done and have fun doing it??  No take-backs?