30 things to do before I turn 30!

Today marks 6 months until I’m 30.  (Patty, are you kinda freaking out?)
I want to take advantage of the last little bit of my 20s, so I’ve decided to make a list of 30 things to do before the big day.
The list is comprised of: Things I’ve never done before, things that I’ve done, loved and need to do again, some big things and some small things. So here we go:
1. Launch the Milly & Grace online store!  This is currently in the works.  It is a huge undertaking but we will get there soon!  Stay tuned!
2. Host a beach BBQ. One of my favorite things to do in the summertime.  We don’t do it nearly enough!
3. Bake a pie from scratch.  
4. Visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art – I know I know.  I’m embarrassed to admit it!  I’ve even tried to get there but as I make my way up 5th Ave I can never get past Bergdorfs.
5. Clean out my closet.
6. Learn to grill – My husband Steve is a grill master so I’ve never needed to learn. But I think it’s something I should know.
7. Continue our Hollister tradition for the 3rd year in a row – The Nantucket Stay-cation!
8. Write a “just because” handwritten note every week. 
9. Get a puppy! We have only been talking about this for years and it’s time to make it happen.  We’ve decided on the breed Portuguese Water Dog but we haven’t found our puppy yet.
10. Visit the “other” island- Martha’s Vineyard!
11. Read the Great Gatsby I know it’s an American classic but I must have missed out on this one because I went to high school in Australia.  (See Allison’s post on Gatsby!)
12. Start practicing yoga again.  It’s been about 4 years.
13. Pay for the coffee for person in line behind me.
14. Go strawberry picking at Bartlett Farm.
15. Send someone flowers. 
16. Create my own cocktail!  Steve invented a cocktail that is now called the Stever.  I would like to have my own too!
17. Visit Tuckernuck – Tuckerneck is small island off the tip of Nantucket.  Never been and think I should go!
18. Participate in a workshop to help me become a better blogger.
19.  Be better about saving my money!  For the past few years, all of my savings have gone into opening and improving the store.  Now that we are in the swing of things it’s time to start saving for the future.
20. Roast a chicken.
21. Try paddle boarding– Hoping my friend Annie can help me with this one!
22. Watch Casablanca.
23. Go skinny dipping!  Woah!  Living on the wild side!
24. Break my magazine hoarding habit.
25. Organize all my recipes.
26. Find the Hidden Forest out here on Nantucket!
27. Get a massage. (Or 2 or 3)
28. Really learn to surf – Actually catch a wave without Steve’s help!
29. Connect with and commit to a non profit organization that really matters to me. 
30. Enjoy the sunrise & sunset all in the same day.


Wish me luck!

Freshman Year of College – Check!

553074_10151227362389135_1264075186_nI just finished my last final of the semester…and that means I am officially done with my freshman year of college! (WHAT?!) I can’t even believe I am writing these words right now. It seems like only yesterday I was moving everything into my dorm room, raising my bed, unpacking my suitcases, and meeting Hannah and Natalie for the first time. And here I am, today, packing up my suitcases, moving out of my dorm room, and saying goodbye to Hannah, Natalie, and my other friends I have made over the year.

My first year of college went better than I could have ever expected. I had some of the best professors (I’m convinced) in the world and I really have learned so much. I thought I wouldn’t like having to live with someone in such a small room, and now at the end of the year I am a bit sad I won’t have Hannah with me in my room for the next four months! And I changed in some ways a bit and in some ways quite big. I used to hate having cereal at home (just wasn’t my favorite), but now it’s surprisingly a meal of choice. I admit I didn’t used to make my bed every morning when I lived at home (sorry Mom!), but I have made my bed every morning in college. I used to be a maniac about studying and grades, and now while grades are still very important to me, I understand that there are more important things in life to cherish. And that is my family and friends and making memories. Because that is what I will look back on ten years down the road when I think of my freshman year of college – not the grade I got on a particular final exam. And I know without enrolling in Tom Shadyac’s class during this Freshman Year, I would still be acting as if my academics were more of a priority than my family and friends were, even though I believed the opposite. That one shift in how I live my life has totally changed me into a much happier and less-stressed-out person. I am so happy and grateful for that and everything else that I have experienced in my first year of college.

Even though leaving this gorgeous view and my sweet friends is tough, I am so ready for a few months without studying, without tests, and without papers. I am so ready to see my family. I am so ready to see Colin. I am so ready to see my friends from Georgia. I am so ready to get to work at Milly & Grace! I am so ready for non-caf food. I am so ready for my own shower. I am so ready for my bed. I am so ready to read books on my “to read” list. I am just so ready for summer! And it is here!!

Mind Shifts

Last night, I had to say goodbye to Emily as she headed off to the airport. It was definitely bittersweet. Bitter in that my sister was no longer going to be in the same city as me. Bitter in that it means I need to really buckle down and begin writing my final papers and preparing for my final exams. But, sweet in that all of it (even the bitterness) means I am getting closer and closer to summer! And I am hanging on to that sweet part as tightly as I can to help ease the bitterness of the situation.

Holding onto the sweet part has definitely kept my spirits lifted and my anxiety calm. Normally, I would be feeling very overwhelmed with all of the looming due dates hanging over my head. However, recently I have had a mind shift. In these situations I used to say to myself, “how are you going to get all of these assignments done in so little time??” And this week in particular, I would have said to myself, “how are you going to get 19 pages written in a week on top of preparing for finals?” But, one day, it just came to me that I was asking myself a silly question. I am not one to not follow through with an assignment, I feel responsible as a student to give my best efforts in every assignment given to me, even the ones that seem completely pointless (I talk more about that here). So, asking myself how I was going to get it done was silly. Of course, I was going to get it done. I don’t have it in me not to get it done. So, instead, I just keep telling myself that I only have this many days until I don’t have to think about this assignment anymore. On Monday, April 15, I will no longer feel any pressure to write 19 pages. So, today, I only have 7 more days until it is over with. And three weeks in total until I am DONE with my freshman year of college…THREE! Switching to this mindset has made taking on these next few naturally stressful weeks much easier.

Another mind shift that has helped me ease the stress of my perfectionist characteristics is this TED Talk that Tom Shadyac showed our class a couple weeks ago by Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of Eat, Pray, Love:



Thinking that we all have little fairy genius friends is a little bizarre out of context. But, the more I think about it, the more it makes sense to me! Tom reminded me and my fellow classmates that JK Rowling said the idea for Harry Potter just “fell into her head,” that Paul McCartney woke up with the lyrics to the song Yesterday, Albert Einstein said of his theory of relativity that “the breakthrough came suddenly”. These people that our society refers to as geniuses don’t take any credit for the ideas. It just seems to make sense that their little fairy genius friends helped them out a little bit.

I find this message to be so freeing and I am continually working towards that mindset. So, today, as I begin the writing process, I am going to say to my little fairy genius friend that I am here, showing up, and ready to work! Then, I am going to ask my little fairy genius friend to pretty please do his or her part of the job!

With making these mindset adjustments, I can already feel the weight lifting from my shoulders and I feel ready to tackle what these next few weeks have in store for me. I really mean it! You should give it a try; it’s at the very least worth a shot, right??