Posted in Bon Appetite, Drinks Galore, Festivals/Special Events, Gift Giving

Throw a Surprise Party

My favorite so far is the surprise birthday party my sister and I threw for our mom a few years ago.

This was one of those milestone birthday’s (I won’t say which one so she can’t get mad at me) My sister and I wanted to make sure to do something special. Her birthday is at the end of July and there were several years she had to celebrate it at a swim meet.

I had gone to a friend’s wedding at a little winery not far from our house. It was super cute and their wines were pleasant to taste. I had the place in mind right away when we started discussing this. AND it would serve as a great cover of getting her to it, by using the excuse of wine tasting and then lunch.

We created a list of family and friends and sent out invites. This was my first time planning a big-ish event like this. Lots of little details became clear. Not to mention costs. There was the location, food, drinks, cake, decorations.

My uncle (her brother) was very helpful with the planning and when I became worried about having the money for it all, said he would be willing to help cover the cost of the food. My cousin was dating (and now married to) a very nice gal whose family managed a food place (Armadillo Willy’s). They talked and worked out that they would bring the food as a buffet. It was a perfect choice because it was food we knew my mom would enjoy, especially the coleslaw (side note: I am not much for coleslaw but this one is very yummy).

Next up was ordering a fruit basket cake from Whole Foods. That part wasn’t hard at all. The hard part was getting my sis here from Hawaii and making sure not to blow the party to our mom. I was living in an apartment at the time, so she was able to fly in and stay with me without mom being aware. She went to our house during the day, while mom was at work, and looked for photos to use as part of decorations. We found some fun ones of her throughout her life.

My sis thought she was being clever in setting up a call to mom to make it seem like she was still in Hawaii going about her daily routine. I just had to make sure not to say anything about the party when my mom was around.

We almost got away without her being completing aware, but then the winery made the mistake in calling her house phone instead of my cell phone. They wanted to make sure I was sending the final payment for the event. I was SOOOOO PISSED! It worked out in the end because, as my mom said, I didn’t need to come up with an excuse and she didn’t know what or who might be there.

The day of, we went to the farmer’s market to get a bunch of flowers. Then headed to the winery. Our uncle and family was there to help set up the food and when a few other guests got there a little early, gladly helped us finish setting up tables. We had bought glass jars from Goodwill that we filled with the flowers and then had the photos placed at the different tables. The winery had a table for the wines and set up another one for the cake and any presents people brought. I had a little stereo that had music, but it was small so people couldn’t really hear it (turned out to be unnecessary anyway). Being at the end of July, I wasn’t sure if it’d be super hot like it can often times be. Luckily it was only warm with a slight breeze coming over from the river nearby.

Then I went to go get the guest of honor.

One last thing, the week before my mom had gone out to dinner with a friend. They decided to get a bottle of wine and asked the waitress for a recommendation. She mentioned Scribner Bend to try. My mom came home to tell me that we have to check out this winery and that the wine was very nice. I almost said something then, but I was able to stop myself. Was very glad to know she would enjoy the wine.

So, I went and got her and came back to the winery. Now, where we all were was in the middle of some of the vines, so she couldn’t see it right away. She walked through the flower arch and everyone yelled, “SURPRISE!!” and she was. There were a few people she hadn’t seen in a while. But when she noticed my sister hiding in the back, she said “I KNEW you were here!” Later, she admitted she didn’t really, but had hoped.

In the end, it was a very pleasant afternoon and so fun. Definitely a surprise party to remember and cherish.

Have you thrown a surprise party or been the recipient of one?

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Posted in Generic Ones, Learning Lessons/Research Discoveries, Super Duper Easy

Learn the first 5 Amendments

I’m copying the information found at the National Center for Constitutional Studies since it came up in a search on the Amendments first.

Amendment 1 – Freedom of Religion, Speech and the Press
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Amendment 2 – Right to Bear Arms
A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

Amendment 3 – Housing of Soldiers
No soldier shall, in time of peace, be quartered in any house without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Amendment 4 – Protection from unreasonable Search & Seizures
No soldier shall, in time of peace, be quartered in any house without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Amendment 5 – Protection of rights to Life, Liberty & Property
No person shall be held to answer for a capital or otherwise infamous crime unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.

Amendment 6 – Rights of accused persons in Criminal Cases
Amendment 7 – Rights in Civil Cases
Amendment 8 – Excessive Bail, Fines and Punishments Forbidden
Amendment 9 – Other Rights kept by the People
Amendment 10 – Undelegated powers Kept by the States and the People
Amendment 11 – Authority of Federal Courts Restricted
Amendment 12 – Election of the President and Vice President
Amendment 13 – Slavery Outlawed
Amendment 14 – Rights of Citizenship
Amendment 15 – Voting Rights for All Races
Amendment 16 – Federal Income Taxes
Amendment 17 – Election of Senators by Popular Vote
Amendment 18 – Liquor Outlawed
Amendment 19 – Voting Rights for Men and Women
Amendment 20 – Terms of the President and Congress; Replacing the President
Amendment 21 – Control of Liquor Returned to the States
Amendment 22 – Presidents Limited to Two Terms
Amendment 23 – Presidential Electors for the District of Columbia
Amendment 24 – Voting Rights Protected from Taxes
Amendment 25 – Replacing the President and Vice President
Amendment 26 – Voting Rights for All Citizens Eighteen or Older
Amendment 27 – Changes in Salaries of Senators and Representatives

Posted in Generic Ones, Super Duper Easy

Wear Two Different Shoes

I am willing to bet we have all done this by accident.  Easy enough to do when one is in a hurry and grab a pair of shoes without checking that they match.  To check this off the list, I purposely wore 2 black shoes that were similar, but different.  Only wore them for a quarter of the day but it counts.

Have you done this by accident or on purpose? Similar or completely different types/colors?

Posted in Festivals/Special Events, It's Artistic/Creative, Super Duper Easy

Take silly pictures in a photo booth

I can’t seem to take silly pictures. Other people make silly faces, or poses and they turn out. I was at an event with a bunch of friends and we were taking a group photo. the photographer took a couple of photos and then told us to “act goofy” the others made kissing faces or posed in a funny way, what do I do? I threw my hands up in the air and tilted my head. He waited a while to take the shot and by the time he did, I had put my hands down. So, I ended up not “acting goofy”. He then berated my idea and told me I needed to have a couple of drinks and then come back.

Seems like having photo booths and props are a new trend, they are at a lot of events I go to. Or maybe it’s just the type of event I go to that makes sense having a photo booth there.

Have you had fun with photo booths?

Posted in Monthly Checklists

Monthly List: July 2017

1814 Arrive at church in a white stretch limousine
1824 Attend a tailgate party
1813 Attend the Governor’s inaugural ball
1829 Be interviewed on a Barbara Walters’ Special
1822 Be nominated for a Pulitzer Prize
1803 Be on “Sesame Street”
1817 Be photographed by Annie Leibovitz or Steven Meisel
1807 Be picture on the front page of The New York Times
1811 Create your own fragrance
1808 Cross Ireland by bike
1812 Distinguish the differences between Ionic, Corinthian, and Doric
1828 Do time at a soup kitchen
1820 Execute a flawless triple axel
1802 Get in touch with your inner adult
1830 Give sex advice to Dr. Ruth
1823 Go back to where you came from
1806 Go to Hell, Michigan, or enjoy Intercourse, Pennsylvania
1825 Have an imaginatively stocked picnic hamper
1827 Have your milk delivered by a milkman
1810 Have your suit made to order by a top-notch tailor
1804 Paint your mailbox purple
1821 Persuade your boss that a four-day weekend will result in more productivity
1818 Publish your poem in the New Yorker
1815 Ride with the Amtrak engineer straight through the Rockies
1801 Solve Rubik’s Cube
1816 Stand on your head
1819 Take a month of weekends
1826 Test drive all the new cars
1805 Try working at odd jobs like a weed farmer or a worm picker
1809 Write an op-ed piece for a major metropolitan daily

Every month I am taking 30 items from the 2001 Things to Do book and creating a short checklist. I am using this as inspiration to work on crossing things off the list, maybe not particularly from that month, but overall to do something different. This is not necessarily a “bucket list”; it is a goal that by doing something new (or doing something I’ve done before but hadn’t documented it with photos or journaling) I will keep from feeling in a rut. I will be able to look back at the little, big, sad, happy, joyful, or heart thumping moments and feel my life has value.

One of my favorite quotes is:

“A good life is a collection of happy moments” by Dennis Waitley

This is a reminder to myself of why I have this blog. I’m working through posting all the items from the book and beyond, to keep in mind to do something. To get out there for experiences and adventures.

I’d love to hear if you have done any of these. Or if you have other ideas to try.

Posted in Monthly Checklists

Monthly List: July 2016

1461 Apply to go up in the Goodyear Blimp
1466 Be clairvoyant
1470 Compost
1465 Crew in a sailboat race
1454 Cure something
1452 Fill a type tray with bits and pieces of your life
1441 Have a day of rest
1464 Lay bricks
1444 Leave cookies and milk for Santa Claus
1459 Let your hair down and the chips fall
1451 Lose yourself in the masses
1445 Make a memory quilt
1462 Make a reservation for a trip to the moon
1447 Marry a royal
1455 Mud-wrestle
1456 Pause inside a covered bridge
1443 Perfect your Pig Latin
1460 Play Spud
1467 Play with clay
1463 Read banned books
1468 Recycle vigorously
1446 Research the subject you’ve always wanted to know about
1453 See if acupuncture works for you
1457 Share a pound of caviar
1448 Snowshoe
1458 Steal the show
1449 Suction-cup a birdfeeder on to the window
1469 Take part in a rain dance
1450 Try exotic spices
1442 Wade in hip boots

Every month I am taking 30 items from the 2001 Things to Do book and creating a short checklist. I am using this as inspiration to work on crossing things off the list, maybe not particularly from that month, but overall to do something different. This is not necessarily a “bucket list”; it is a goal that by doing something new (or doing something I’ve done before but hadn’t documented it with photos or journaling) I will keep from feeling in a rut. I will be able to look back at the little, big, sad, happy, joyful, or heart thumping moments and feel my life has value.

One of my favorite quotes is:

“A good life is a collection of happy moments” by Dennis Waitley

This is a reminder to myself of why I have this blog. I’m working through posting all the items from the book and beyond, to keep in mind to do something. To get out there for experiences and adventures.

I’d love to hear if you have done any of these. Or if you have other ideas to try.

Posted in Monthly Checklists

Monthly List: July 2015

1105 Attend a coulture show in Paris
1092 Attend the seventh game of the World Series
1109 Be able to distinguish between punk and post-punk
1104 Become conversant with Symbolism, Dadaism, Der Blau Reiter, and Renaissance art
1096 Bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan
1100 Build and launch a model rocket
1081 Comb the sand for beach glass and driftwood
1087 Commission a portrait of your dog
1106 Dip into your capital
1083 Do a mitzvah
1098 Eat puffer fish sushi
1108 Find out if blondes do have more fun
1089 Grow antique roses on a white trellis
1110 Indulge in a two-hour body massage
1086 Learn to spell hors d’oeuvres
1093 Listen to a recording of Leontyne Price, in her prime, sing “Vissi d’arte”
1097 Make love in the back of a limo
1090 Make out like a bandit
1091 Make out like teenagers
1101 Perform with your band at Jim Morrison’s grave
1099 Place your hands in Marilyn Monroe’s handprints at Mann’s Chinese Theater
1084 Pretend you don’t speak English
1095 Purchase custom-made hand sewn shoes
1082 Skip rocks
1094 Study Latin and classical Greek
1102 Take silly pictures with your best friend in a photo booth
1088 Watch a session of Congress from the visitor’s gallery
1107 Wax your eyebrows
1085 Wear sunglasses at night
1103 Wear two different shoes

Every month I am taking 30 items from the 2001 Things to Do book and creating a short checklist. I am using this as inspiration to work on crossing things off the list, maybe not particularly from that month, but overall to do something different. This is not necessarily a “bucket list”; it is a goal that by doing something new (or doing something I’ve done before but hadn’t documented it with photos or journaling) I will keep from feeling in a rut. I will be able to look back at the little, big, sad, happy, joyful, or heart thumping moments and feel my life has value.

One of my favorite quotes is:

“A good life is a collection of happy moments” by Dennis Waitley

This is a reminder to myself of why I have this blog. I’m working through posting all the items from the book and beyond, to keep in mind to do something. To get out there for experiences and adventures.

I’d love to hear if you have done any of these. Or if you have other ideas to try.

Posted in Monthly Checklists

Monthly List: July 2014

733 Address the United Nations
745 Always be too young to take up golf
728 Buy a sarong
721 Come of age
748 Eat your vegetables
750 Enjoy the moment without expecting it to last
735 Feed and shelter the homeless
722 Get a bit part on a TV sitcom or a starring role in a primetime reality show
739 Go to a bed-and-breakfast one week from today
734 Hang a prism
730 Have a cookout that ends with S’mores
723 Have your portrait painted in oils
742 Leave love notes in large print
744 Plan the dreams you want to have when you’re asleep
731 Put twenty bucks in the slots or on a nag
737 Ride in a cherry picker
725 Say good-bye to your therapist
727 Separate from your significant other for one month
747 Stretch every muscle every day
738 Swing from limb to limb
726 Take everything off your desk and start all over
746 Take up golf
743 Tango
732 Tell ghost stories in a pitch-black room
724 Try group therapy and don’t hold back
741 Turn off all the lights and slow dance on the porch
749 Unearth an amazing archaeological discovery
736 Visit the sick
729 Write a personal note on every Christmas card
740 Write or paint directly from your subconscious

Every month I am taking 30 items from the 2001 Things to Do book and creating a short checklist. I am using this as inspiration to work on crossing things off the list, maybe not particularly from that month, but overall to do something different. This is not necessarily a “bucket list”; it is a goal that by doing something new (or doing something I’ve done before but hadn’t documented it with photos or journaling) I will keep from feeling in a rut. I will be able to look back at the little, big, sad, happy, joyful, or heart thumping moments and feel my life has value.

One of my favorite quotes is:

“A good life is a collection of happy moments” by Dennis Waitley

This is a reminder to myself of why I have this blog. I’m working through posting all the items from the book and beyond, to keep in mind to do something. To get out there for experiences and adventures.

I’d love to hear if you have done any of these. Or if you have other ideas to try.

Posted in Monthly Checklists

Monthly List: July 2013

374 Attend a school reunion
371 Be the “It” girl of your generation
381 Be the Grand Marshal in a St. Patrick’s Day Parade
361 Box
383 Chair a board
380 Conduct a symphony orchestra
385 Dance at your grandchild’s wedding
386 Dance at your great-grandchild’s wedding
365 Design a garden
377 Eat a Vegemite sandwich
364 Have a Halloween bonfire with hot apple cider
363 Have a signature color
369 Hike the entire Appalachian Trail
367 Keep track of love
387 Learn to eat rice with chopsticks
379 Learn to play Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto
388 Learn to whistle with two fingers
389 Make the perfect soufflé
366 Memorize the prologue of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales in Middle English
373 Rediscover your lover’s body
390 Rescue someone
375 Run for office
372 Sew a quilt
376 Shave your head
362 Solve a mystery
370 Take a wine-tasting course
382 Win an election
384 Write a play
378 Write your name in wet cement
368 Write your own vows

Every month I am taking 30 items from the 2001 Things to Do book and creating a short checklist. I am using this as inspiration to work on crossing things off the list, maybe not particularly from that month, but overall to do something different. This is not necessarily a “bucket list”; it is a goal that by doing something new (or doing something I’ve done before but hadn’t documented it with photos or journaling) I will keep from feeling in a rut. I will be able to look back at the little, big, sad, happy, joyful, or heart thumping moments and feel my life has value.

One of my favorite quotes is:

“A good life is a collection of happy moments” by Dennis Waitley

This is a reminder to myself of why I have this blog. I’m working through posting all the items from the book and beyond, to keep in mind to do something. To get out there for experiences and adventures.

I’d love to hear if you have done any of these. Or if you have other ideas to try.

Posted in Monthly Checklists

Monthly List: July 2012

26 Be a Riot Grrl
01 Be an extra in a movie
09 Become an eccentric billionaire and run for president
11 Catch a foul ball at a professional baseball game
27 Change your name to have all the letters in lowercase
08 Donate some body parts
15 Drink a mint julep at the Kentucky Derby
28 Flirt
23 Get married at Cinderella’s Castle at Disney World
06 Have dim sum for breakfast
14 Have multiple orgasms
22 Have your immigrant ancestors’ names engraved on a plaque at Ellis Island
02 Learn the first 5 Amendments
24 Make a religious pilgrimage – to Mecca, Santiago de Compostela, Jerusalem, or Graceland
25 Master the pregnant pause and a deadpan delivery
17 Memorize Hamlet’s “What a piece of work is man” speech
07 Milk a cow
21 Organize a food drive for the needy
16 Pay for the next car at the tollbooth
20 Pay off your school loans
29 Pay your parents back for college
30 Read Joyce’s Ulysses without a trot
19 Reconstruct a dinosaur
10 Rent an apartment on the Seine for two months
03 See a green iceberg
04 See the Aurora Borealis from Denali
18 Skywrite a message to someone
12 Spelunk
05 Travel at warp speed
12 Win the Palme d’Or at Cannes

Every month I am taking 30 items from the 2001 Things to Do book and creating a short checklist. I am using this as inspiration to work on crossing things off the list, maybe not particularly from that month, but overall to do something different. This is not necessarily a “bucket list”; it is a goal that by doing something new (or doing something I’ve done before but hadn’t documented it with photos or journaling) I will keep from feeling in a rut. I will be able to look back at the little, big, sad, happy, joyful, or heart thumping moments and feel my life has value. One of my favorite quotes is: “A good life is a collection of happy moments” by Dennis Waitley

This is a reminder to myself of why I have this blog. I’m working through posting all the items from the book and beyond, to keep in mind to do something. To get out there for experiences and adventures.

I’d love to hear if you have done any of these. Or if you have other ideas to try.