31 things to do before I’m 32

Ofia 31 things

Ofia is thrilled for this year’s goal list!

It’s my favorite time of year!  That month where I get to cumulate all of the exciting adventures that I have always wanted to do and create a goal list to do before my next birthday. Last year for my 30 things to do before 31, I was able to get a lot done, but was more lackluster than usual about actually posting.  It was not out of apathy, but more out of the (joyful) fact that I did not have the time. I was too busy enjoying life and whatever adventures it led me on, to stop and write it down.  This year, I did the responsibility thing any list maker would do in this situation, and I put this blog as a focus on my goal list for this year.  Enjoy!

31 things to do before I’m 32

  1. Get strong
  2. Sleep above ground
  3. Climb outside
  4. Go off the grid
  5. See an icon live
  6. Learn self defense
  7. Make GoPro videos
  8. “Adult” as a verb
  9. Volunteer regularly
  10. Learn a new language fluently
  11. Backpack in Canada
  12. Build something with my hands
  13. Do something crazy for love
  14. Fall asleep beside the ocean
  15. Can jam
  16. Ice skate on a lake
  17. Drive across the Golden Gate Bridge
  18. Read all of the my books, then promptly give them away
  19. Under 100 wardrobe
  20. Backpack with a cat
  21. Beat Legendary Wings on NES
  22. Needles and Thread daily
  23. Adho Mukha Svanasana
  24. Enter 5 art exhibitions
  25. Mother-Daughter tattoo (it’s happening Mom)
  26. Skydive
  27. Go fishing
  28. Camp as often as possible
  29. Say “Yes” for an entire month
  30. Be a better writer
  31. Continue journey of minimalism




October: Be present with a photo a day…

#bepresentSeptember’s almost over, and Fall is officially here!  After enjoying the Supermoon Total Lunar Eclipse this week, I am inspired to embark on another Photo Challenge.  This challenge will be throughout the month of October and will be celebrating all things Fall and all things October. It is only fitting, as October is my favorite month{more to come on this topic} and so many good feels occur during those 31 days.

Unlike most Photo Challenges, I will not be making a list of various photos that I want to capture. Instead, I am going to focus on being in the present and capture whatever moves me each day.  To be in the present, means to slow down and focus on what is happening in that precise moment without thinking of the past nor daydreaming of what will come.  It is to focus on the emotions, the sounds, the smells, the tastes, the weather or landscape, and really feeling all of the senses in their entirety.  By making a list of photo ideas, I would be creating a preconceived set of photos that I would be aspiring to capture throughout the month.  That is the exact opposite of what I want to accomplish.

I am looking to do one thing this month, to fully experience October.  This Photo Challenge will be in conjunction with my Being in the Present, both of which are on my list of 30 Things to do Before I’m 31.  Join me on instagram using hashtag #bepresent or just follow along!

30 Things to Do Before I’m 31…

30 Things

Turning 30 was not life changing.  Turning 30 did not make me feel older or wiser or grown up.  Turning 30 was the closing of a chapter in my life only to open the next.  The last year of my twenties taught me so much about myself, how strong I am, what I value, what I want to become, and most importantly how life can change in the blink of an eye.  It taught me forgiveness, and how to let go of an idea or plan for what was and to instead accept the unknown.  It showed me that the past is gone, the future is unknown, but the present is what I make of it.  Turning 30 is my chance of a new beginning and I know it will be the best year yet.

30 Things to Do Before I turn 31:

  1. Yell at the top of a mountain
  2. Photograph a Great Migration
  3. Live in the present
  4. Feel the wind of a train on my face at midnight
  5. Solve a murder-mystery dinner
  6. Get caught in a rain storm
  7. Learn a new sport
  8. Swim in a natural swimming hole
  9. Have a Girls’ Getaway
  10. Travel more with Ellie
  11. Write more poetry
  12. Disconnect
  13. Stay up all night watching b+w films
  14. Hear the Dalai Lama speak
  15. Go on a blind date
  16. See a sunset in Santa Fe
  17. Do a Color Run
  18. Visit a Planetarium
  19. Throw a dart at a map and go
  20. Make the perfect latte in the backcountry
  21. Surprise someone
  22. Go to a water park
  23. Complete a photo challenge
  24. Attend a concert/show of someone I have never heard of
  25. 3 new stamps in my National Parks Passport
  26. Visit as many breweries as possible
  27. Sit in a hot spring in the dead of winter
  28. Experience the color change in an Aspen Grove
  29. Continue journey of minimalism
  30. Complete my 29 Things to Do Before 30



Frame1The next 18 days of my 100HappyDays, of my personal Happiness Project, include enjoying some beautiful and deep snow, checking out new places and joining some new book clubs and film clubs, running around, eating the yummy snacks from my latest Graze box from my dear Sister-in-Law, eating more yummy things like breakfast burritos and muffins, writing some letters, checking out Orchids, celebrating Rocky Mountain National Park’s 100th Anniversary, and doodling.  Happiness is in the little things, the minor details in your day of stress, heartbreak, and fatigue.  It is all about being present, today.  Tomorrow is unknown, and yesterday is gone.  



Last year was one of the most difficult years for me, and I want to let 2014 stay where it needs to be, back in 2014.  To keep things in perspective while starting this new year, I am finding something that brings me happiness in every day. (Even if it is just my cat or dog…)  I know there will be sadness and hardships in 2015, but I want to make sure that with each night, I fall asleep thinking about the one positive thing that made me smile that day.

I started the 100HappyDays challenge on December 22nd and here are my first 18 days.  This is my Happiness Project.  This is me choosing the present and living it.  I have already enjoyed good books, great winter weather, kitty snuggles, delicious java, tropical botanic gardens, 4 inches of hair loss, and the birth of my first nephew!  2015 has started off with a lot to be grateful for.

Looking forward to the next 82 days…

The last books of my twenties…half way point…


Back in March I made my yearly bucket list of 29 Things to do Before 30.  On that list was to read 50 books.  Since September 1st has come and gone, I thought I would share my half way point on that list of 50.  

My beloved Nook at the Denver Botanic Gardens

My beloved Nook at the Denver Botanic Gardens

As I am reading my way through my last year of my twenties, I am obviously drawn to titles, themes, and thoughts on the great classics, self-reflection and growth, history, psychology, economics, and lots of fun fiction.  There wasn’t a single one that did not teach me something or allow me to transport myself into another place and time of fantasy.  I already can’t wait for the remaining 6 months of reading…

  1. Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn
  2. Mary Coin – Marisa Silver
  3. The Tea Room – Jennifer Donnelly
  4. The Great Gatsby – Scott Fitzgerald
  5. Ada Rules – Alice Randall
  6. The Paris Wife – Paula McLain
  7. 13 Reasons Why – Jay Asher
  8. Freakanomics – Steven D. Levitt, Stephan J. Dubner
  9. The Memory Keeper’s Daughter – Kim Edwards
  10. Finding Alaska – John Green
  11. A Break with Charity: A Story about the Salem Witch Trials – Ann Rinaldi
  12. The Happiness Project – Gretchen Rubin
  13. The Awakening – Kate Chopin
  14. The Light Between Oceans – M. L. Stedman
  15. A Most Dangerous Method – John Kerr
  16. Wedding Cake for Breakfast –  Kim Perel, Wendy Sherman
  17. Everything That Remains – Joshua Fields Millburn, Ryan Nicodemus
  18. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking – Susan Cain
  19. An Echo in the Bone – Diana Gabaldon
  20. The Ocean at the End of the Lane – Neil Gaiman
  21. The Longest Ride – Nicholas Sparks
  22. Capitalism and Freedom – Milton Friedman
  23. Perfect Match – Jodi Picoult
  24. The Scarlet Letter – Nathaniel Hawthorne
  25. Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness – Susanna Cahalan
  26. Into the Wild – Jon Krakauer

On a side note, I only physically purchased two of these books in paper form.  The rest were all books I had previously acquired, or more importantly are ebooks.  Thus my continuing journey of minimalism. 

29 Things to Do Before 30

00I just entered the last year of my twenties.  Do I feel any differently?  Not at all.  Will I in 12 months? Doubtful.  One thing that helps with aging is to have goals to look forward to instead of dwelling on the past.

The most exciting thing about my birthday is the fact that I get to start a new bucket list for the year.  I get to daydream of all of the adventures I am about to embark on and the obstacles I will undoubtedly overcome.  Reflecting on last years 28 Thing to Do Before 29 list, I was disappointed in the few things I was unable to get crossed off.  This year I took more time.  I spent about a week just planning.  Looking over my all time life bucket list and fantasizing about things that I have always wanted to do.  Then I narrow things down to a realistic list for the coming year based on my state of mind, how much vacation time I will have, what our financial state is, and what are the most important things to developing myself as an individual.

So here it is…

29 Things to Do Before I Turn 30

  1. Overcome a fear
  2. Live in a cabin for a week
  3. 100HappyDays
  4. Do something out of my comfort zone monthly
  5. Complete my own Happiness Project
  6. Enjoy a Hot Spring
  7. Hike often.  Bike often. Walk often.
  8. Send snail mail letters
  9. Transform into a yogi
  10. Watch the sunrise & sunset in the desert
  11. Attend a festival
  12. Maintain a drop-in ready home at all times
  13. Take a ride in a hot air balloon
  14. Make a quilt
  15. Attend the ballet
  16. Interview my grandparents
  17. Discover the South
  18. Watch a meteor shower
  19. Take a class
  20. Obtain 3 new stamps in my National Parks Passport
  21. Rediscover my banjo
  22. Snowshoe to a yurt for an overnight trip
  23. Type something on a typewriter
  24. “Live” in my neighborhood for a month
  25. Become a “regular” somewhere
  26. Cook more ethnic food
  27. Give blood
  28. Read 50 books – Half Way Point
  29. Tour a whiskey distillery
  30. Continue my journey of minimalism

#2: Plant a garden…


My first garden!

Last June, the Mr. and myself decided to plant a garden.  At least that is how I like to believe it happened in my imagination, when in reality what happened was that my parents came out to visit one weekend and I had the idea that I wanted to create a pallet garden for our front porch.  I had only seen images of this done and naturally had not read any “how-to” or instructions on creating such project.  As when people do such things, it turned out to be a disaster.  

In short, the Mr. found me two pallets from craigslist for free, I went and picked up soil, small plants, and landscape cloth.  In the first trial, the entire thing fell apart on us and ripped through the landscape cloth.  Round 2:  my dad stepped in with his gardening expertise and helped to salvage things.  In the end, we did have a pallet garden!  It looked so adorable and I was so hopeful that it would prosper and provide for us.  That was my naiveté coming out.  

We did have a few things thrive!  We learned that we are really great at growing squash and mutant cucumbers that we are fairly certain bred with the squash.  We had a few different types of peppers that did grow, but our tomatoes couldn’t make it.  Then we had a few various vegetables including asparagus and eggplant, that seemed to just give up the minute they were surrounded by the new unknown soil.  

Playing in the dirt kind of therapy

Playing in the dirt kind of therapy

What did I learn?  I learned that I did have a blast getting all dirty and playing in the dirt.  I learned that we have a perfect spot in our front yard with just the right amount of sunlight for anything to make it.  I learned that I planted our garden way too late.  I learned the Mr. has more patience with me than I knew and he will support me in my wild haired adventures like randomly seeing a picture and wanting to recreate it on my own without guidance.  I didn’t think about the fact that I should have some sort of a plan for a garden when I added it to my 28 Things to do Before 29 list.  Most of all, I learned that I am now determined to try it again this year the minute it gets warm, and I am going to do my research this time.  

Kitchen herb garden with mason jars

Kitchen herb garden with mason jars

On a bright side, I was able to successfully grow an herb garden in my kitchen with mason jars!  The how-to for these, since these really do work, is to layer about an inch of rock at the bottom of the mason jars, then layer the soil and the seeds.  The rocks help with the irrigation so that the herbs don’t drown.  Water these once a week and they will thrive.  I placed mine in my kitchen window that faces North.  This window allowed perfect lighting and added a certain element of natural decor.  I chose parsley, thyme, basil, rosemary, and catnip for mine.  Yes the catnip was for the kitty and I will tell you that plant grows like a weed.  

Stay tuned for the next garden and I hope you all try the kitchen herb garden at home!

#26: Attend the Denver Rockies’ Opening Day

IMG_0149Last March, I was fortunate enough to attend the Denver Rockies’ Opening Day as part of my 28 Things to Do Before 29.  Now that all the teams are attending Spring Training for this year’s baseball season, I feel like I have to post about last year’s Opening Day.  


The entire city was full of Purple and Black, people and vendors filled the streets, and all of the street side bars were filled with overzealous fans ready for another year of promise and hope.  There were families decked out in their favorite player’s jersey, signs abundant with encouraging words for the team, men on stilts, animals, I even saw a purple mohawk with the Rockies logo painted on it.  Everything you could think of declaring the pride for the hometown team, it was there.  

You see, I learned something while attending Opening Day for the Rockies.  I learned what it must feel like to attend my own team’s, the Oakland Athletics, Opening Day.  IMG_0152That is how it feels to start off the season excited, believing that this year will be different, the hope that for one year your sports team will be good and make it all the way.  There is no bitterness, no discouragement that your team has lost half its games in the season, and nobody brings up the prior year’s failure.  For this is a new year.  This is The Year.  I think that only comes from rooting for a team that year after year struggles and disappoints.  

Well, I am ready.  I am ready for the new season and I am ready for this year to be The A’s Year.  I am hopeful.  

2013 in review…

I know that I have been incognito for the past year or so, but not due to lack of adventures.  On the contrary, my world has been hectic, exciting, and at times a struggle.  Here is 2013 in review to explain:

Here is the long and short of all that I have accomplished, completed, grown through, and enjoyed!

  • Went on my first Cruise to Belize and Cozumel where I met up with two of my favorite people and rode of a horse for the first time
  • Attended the Colorado Rockies’ Opening Day
  • Felt how small I really am while hiking at Garden of the Gods
  • Built and planted my first garden (I was successful with mostly squash)
  • Supported Wendy Davis with my pink running shoes while she filibustered for women’s rights
  • Witnessed two amazing people get hitched in San Diego
  • Hung out with the hippos at the San Diego Zoo with great peeps
  • Went camping at RMNP
  • Took my bachelorette party to the river – literally, while white water rafting
  • Frolicked about at my first Renaissance Fair
  • Prepared, created, canned, and then some for my best day ever
  • Go Married to the Mr. at the Arbor Day Farms
  • Hung out on the beaches of Dominican Republic
  • Grew a window herbs garden with mason jars in our kitchen
  • Carved our first pumpkins together
  • Took the Mr. to his first ever haunted house
  • Watched the Nuggets dominate
  • Visited NYC and enjoyed a ghost story tour
  • Walked across the Brooklyn Bridge
  • Hiked in the snow in RMNP with my family
  • Photographed the entire month of December
  • Learned the heartache of losing of a loved one
  • Was reminded of all of the love and compassion in the world thanks to Nelson Mandela
  • Loved.  Loved every single day.
  • Oh yea….and ignored my blog for too long!