life

Dolce Does….the Project Zero Update

In September of 2010, I discovered the Project Zero Update.  The challenge was to determine 101 things to accomplish in 1001 days.  The original dates of the challenge were from October 5, 2010 until July 2, 2013.

During that timeframe I ended up moving cross country to Washington, D.C….and back.  And got engaged.  A lot can happen within 1,001 days!  Needless to say, I never did accomplish all 101 goals, but I’ve turned this into my bucket list, so to speak.  Goals to accomplish over time, not necessarily within a set time limit.

As the calendars change to 2015, and I reflect back in 2014 and all that I accomplished, I thought it was a good time to dig this list up from an old blog of mine.

I’ve updated everything completed up until this point — January 8, 2015.  My goal for the year is to blog a lot more, and one way to achieve that is to post as I cross each item off my bucket list!

30/101 (long way to go!)
1. Buy a passport Sept 2013
2. Run a 5k  ran a 10k Oct 30, 2011, 5k July 2013 and July 2014
3. Go to a running shoe store and buy GOOD running shoes
4. Complete a Tone It Up Challenge
5. Lose all college weight
6. Learn how to box
7. Complete a sprint triathlon
8. Swim in the ocean every summer
9. Learn Spanish
10. Relearn French
11. Relearn Italian
12. Go to Europe (France, Italy, Spain, England, and/or Greece) Austria, Czech Republic – Nov 2014
13. Go to La Brea Tar Pits
14. Pamper myself regularly – massages and facials, manis and pedis
15. Live within my budget for 3 months
16. Get out of debt paid off old credit cards
17. Start a significant savings account
18. Take the Single Subject CSET (Social Studies) January 2015
19. Take the Foreign Service Officer exam
20. Start courses for a certificate in MEP started first class 10/18/12!
21. Buy a new car bought new car 8/29/12!
22. Trade up heart necklace
23. Learn the US Presidents in order
24. Be on time/early everywhere every day for a month  was on time first few months in DC
25. Get over 8 hours of sleep every work night for a month
26. Organize my house/office
27. Blog!
28. Hike at least once a week for a summer
29. Keep my house neat and organized for a month
30. Don’t eat out for a month – at all
31. Cut out processed foods for a month
32. Get a bikini wax
33. Go for a spa day with girlfriends
34. Go to an away Charger game
35. Go to the dentist every 6 months
36. Wash my face every night for a month
37. Finish reading Pride and Prejudice
38. Learn about wine
39. Play a whole 18 holes of golf
40. Play in a tennis tournament
41. Watch 26 classic movies each starting with a different letter of the alphabet
42. Watch 101 new movies
43. Learn about cars
44. Complete one entire fitbook (12 weeks of exercise/diet goals and recording them)
45. Save $10 for every task I complete
46. Donate $10 to charity for every task I don’t complete
47. Get my palm read
48. Play the lottery $2 a week every week for a year
49. Take a photography class
50. Volunteer with a charity or foundation
51. Join a new organization/association to meet new people  joined WCSA
52. Write a book
53. Go to the getty

54. Join a wine club Miramonte in Temecula and Alpha Omega in Napa
55. Join a church joined St Peter’s in DC
56. Attend an Xtend Barre class
57. Take scrapbooking classes
58. Learn about another religion
59. Join a book club January 2014
60. Visit Portland  visited 9/29
61. Donate to a different charity every year
62. See the Mona Lisa in the Louvre
63. Go to Washington, D.C.
64. Visit my family in NY 
65. Go on a cruise to the bahamas
66. Keep an updated address book
67. Send thank you notes on time for Christmas and/or a birthday
68. Get involved in my sorority alumni club
69. Get a Disneyland passport
70. Get some stamps on my passport  Antigua, Milan, Paris, Thailand
71. Complete Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred
72. Run a 1/2 Marathon Disney Avengers, November 2014!
73. Become a certified Pilates Mat instructor
74. Celebrate my Golden Birthday in a to be determined special way 🙂 In NYC & a weekend in DC
75. Read the Bible
76. Move out Moved to DC, then back to SD w/ Dom
77. Learn about the following cultures/countries and have a themed dinner:      Japan, Australia, Italy, Polynesia, Russia, Romania, Canada, Morocco, Brazil, India, Israel
78. Wear nothing black for a week
79. Make a souffle
80. Host a Holiday party
81. Buy a Magic 8 Ball and base all my decisions on it for a whole day
82. Buy a good camera Christmas/Wedding gift 2013
83. Document a day of my life in pictures
84. Find 10 books that inspire me
85. Take a cooking class
86. See Wicked July 2011 in DC!
87. Take a cruise to Mexico
88. Find a personally inspirational quote and work it into a piece of art or home decor 
89. Find 4 things outside that spell out “L-O-V-E” take pictures and put them in a frame
90. Go to 5 different museums Smithsonian & NYC 🙂 (American History, Air and Space, Natural History, National Portrait Gallery, MoMA & more!)
91. Look up my genealogy
92. Say yes to everything for a day (within reason)
93. Attend an NBA game
94. Attend an NHL game
95. Go to a 3 game Padres series against any team
96. Upload my entire CD collection to my external hard drive and sell/give away CD’s I’ll never use again
97. Take a spontaneous road trip
98. Make a weekend trip to Palm Springs September 2014
99. Bet $7 on # 7 in roulette in Vegas
100. Try 10 new recipes
101. Write a list of 101 things already achieved in this lifetime

Dolce Does…A Trip Around the World for $177.

At the end of May, I spent a Thursday evening (leading up to Memorial Day weekend) catching up on the last few episodes of Scandal on my DVR. It was getting to be quite exciting, so as the clock clicked past 11 pm, I reasoned I could put on the last episode because the next day was a half day at work, before a 3 day weekend. I could manage an easy, quiet day, off of a couple hours less sleep than I normally need to function.

At about 11:30 pm — right as Olivia Pope was in the midst of a lecture, or someone was getting tortured, or we were finding out who planted a bomb (sorry — spoiler alert) — I got a text from a friend. It included a link to a random blog, and text reading “THIS IS STILL WORKING — WANNA GO?!?!”

Intrigued, I clicked the link, to find a post about some crazy Priceline.com “glitch” that was allowing people to book flights to Europe, then to Asia, for as low as $130.

No. I’m not missing a zero there. $130 to fly to Europe, AND to Asia?! Let me read further…to find the catch.

There ended up being no catch. I looked at my husband, told him that we could fly around the world for under $200 each, and asked if he was game. I don’t think I even waited for an answer before I jumped on my laptop (after pausing Ms. Pope, of course), and started looking up flights.

And there it was staring me in the eye. Flights for November to Europe and Asia starting at $159. You had to select “multi-city destination” and plug in New York to Milan, then 7+ days later, fly out of Prague into Asia. The options at the time were Tokyo or Bangkok, and eventually folks found flights out of Lisbon, and to Singapore and Shanghai as well.

First — I have a confession to make. The first step is making the admission, right?

Well…

My name is Dolce. And I’ve never been to Europe.

Yes. I’m 30, I spent 6 years studying French, and I’ve never. Been. To. Europe. I know, I know. Shocking.

Now can I continue? So. I’ve never been to Europe, we were trying to plan a trip this year, AND I’ve ALWAYS dreamt of going to Thailand. Ummmm did I wanna go? Hell yeah I wanted to go!

Because I can’t turn a good deal down — I mean, we couldn’t afford NOT to go! — by midnight, the Mr. and I were booked. We’re going to Europe! And Asia! And…ohhh yeah….we are literally, flying around the world!!!

So. Our flights from New York to Milan, and then 8 days later from Prague to Bangkok, with a 24 hour layover in Paris, were $177 each person — for both flights, taxes and fees included. Because it sounded way too good to be true, we paid the $34 each for trip insurance, agreed it would probably be cancelled, and called it a day.

And then I stayed up until 3 am googling “airline glitches” to see the likelihood our flights would get cancelled before I got too excited.

2 months later, and our flights are still honored! So I’ve spent the last 2 months saturating my brain with all things Eurasia. 4 months from today, we’ll be in…Austria! So excited.

And now I leave you with travel porn of some of our destinations….

 

Duomo, Milan, Italy

Duomo, Milan, Italy

Prague, Czech Republic (and a cool travel article from the NYT: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/18/travel/my-hidden-prague.html?_r=0)

Prague, Czech Republic
(and a cool travel article from the NYT: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/18/travel/my-hidden-prague.html?_r=0)

Dolce Does…An Update on Thirty

Image from my fabulous 30th Birthday Bash, featuring some dear friends, and a fave President of mine!

 

Hello again — every few months I tend to pop back in, and it’s about that time, again. 

I signed in and re-read my last blog, about turning 30.  Here I am, three months later, and still adjusting to 30.  Honestly, age really is just a number — except last night at dinner when our very, spunky, waitress, was a reminder that I’m no longer 22..but I digress.

When asked how old I am, I have to pause and think about it.  I’m not yet trained to say 30.  But so far, I have no complaints.

This year is turning into an exciting year of firsts.  A year of growth.  A year of challenge. While I’m still working on the weight thing — more on that later — I’ve definitely been saying yes to things.  Number 1 item, definitely being travel.

I’ve always been enamored with travel.  But I’ve never had the time, or the money, (fill in the blank excuse) etc, to really do the travel I’ve wanted.  This year that changes.

I have little trips sprinkled throughout the year (Napa for a girls’ weekend, Vegas for a BFF’s 30th Birthday, Palm Springs getaway with the Husband, a random weekend in Houston, possibly followed by a Caribbean cruise, thanks to a silent auction), and then we finally have a big trip on the docket.

In November we will be taking a round the world trip to Europe and Thailand. I. Can’t. Wait. I’m beyond stoked, and every couple days I get that giddy “is this really happening?!” realization.  And then I profusely google what to wear, what do I need to pack, how should I pack, where should we go, etc in each destination.

Let’s just say, there’s nothing I love more than planning trips, or schedules.  So I am in heaven.  And I get an amazing travel experience in the end.

So, in addition to travel, work and training for this half marathon are at the forefront of my life these days.  I’m still active with the Tone It Up plan, and I have a 5k this weekend — which I’m expecting to do terribly, but hey, I’m counting it as a “training” run. 

I also hope to get back on the home improvement train over the next year — which my husband keeps kindly reminding me that the more we travel, the longer until we have new bathrooms and a kitchen.  I personally expect that money will just magically appear, and it will all be fine and dandy.  Maybe I should go buy a lottery ticket…or get a second job….Nah.

So for now, I’m certainly enjoying this little thing called life, and I really can’t complain about how 30 is treating me so far.  Cheers to a wonderful life.

Dolce Does..disappearing act

There I go reviving this thing, just to neglect it for another three weeks.

I’m at that point where I’m just trying to survive until I get some time off for Christmas.  I just don’t feel ready for Christmas in one week.  We have a tree up, with no ornaments.  Not a single decoration out of the box.  Christmas cards all over the place, but not stored and displayed together.  We didn’t even purchase our first Christmas gift (for other people anyway) until Sunday night and then I finished all I could tonight so they’d arrive in time (thank God for Amazon Prime).

We did, however, manage to buy ourselves a Christmas present Thanksgiving weekend.  Priorities, right?  We are the proud new owners of a Nikon D7000 which will make for some fun picture taking at Christmas.  I can’t wait to mess around with the camera! 

I think this is all I have in me for now.  Two more days at work until I can finally breathe and hopefully enjoy some time off for the holiday.  I’m looking forward to some baking, crafts/home projects and working out during my week off work!  

I’ll be back with a Year in Review, but until then – rock on!