22. Go to a new restaurant every 3 months: Main Street Bistro

Happy Wednesday, friends! It’s been awhile. As always, life has been busy. Busy, full, and oh so good. You have a well-timed thunderstorm/tornado warning to thank for this break in my crazy schedule- thanks nature! I have so many things that I cannot wait to share with you all, so many posts I’m behind on (seriously- SO MANY), but one thing at a time-this warning isn’t going to last forever! I do want to acknowledge, for those of you keeping track- my 30th birthday has come and gone. It was amazing, and I’ll tell you all about it soon, and where I’m at with the list. But before we get to that, I have some things to catch you up on…

Let’s back track to January. I started 2017 off with a much-needed and long awaited trip to Fort Wayne, Indiana to see my sister, Kaylee. Kaylee had moved to Fort Wayne the year before, but I was just now getting the chance to go see her. I’m not a huge fan of solo road trips, especially of that length, but I packed up my car on a Friday afternoon, swung by Atomic Coffee Bar to get my iced Nutty Professor for the road, and alternated between belting “Hamilton” and listening to an audiobook for my drive. I arrived at Kaylee’s just in time for dinner (homemade mini pizzas-yum!), some much needed tv watching, and half snuggles with her cat, Luna. Half snuggles are about as good as it gets with her.

We had a very full Saturday planned, mostly revolving around food and coffee. Would you expect anything less? Though it’s not the place I’m blogging about, I do need to give a shout-out to Dash-In, the place we had lunch. Rather than me telling you, let me show you. (And then tell you, because it’s me.)

IMG_3650

Mmmk, please look at this gorgeous food. A pesto artichoke grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup. I don’t think I’d ever been so excited about a sandwich and soup in my life. Apologies to anyone who had to hear me say “this has ruined all other food for me” over and over.

Anywho, the main event of our day was me getting to meet Kaylee’s boyfriend, Brian. I’d heard a ton about Brian and had said hi on FaceTime before, but that was it. Kaylee planned for us to eat dinner together at one of her favorite spots, Main Street Bistro. We met Brian there, and settled in for a night of uncomfortable questions and silent judging. Just kidding- Brian and I hit it off, and spoiler alert, he passed the sister test. All good there. 🙂

The atmosphere at Main Street was super cute! It’s very trendy inside. The lights were dimmed, and although there were a lot of people there, it wasn’t overly loud.

Now, I typically don’t order a drink when I’m out, but I was on vacation, so I settled on this blue martini that tasted like a Sweet Tart. Or I think it did…this was five months ago.

IMG_2401

Our waiter was absolutely delightful, and gave us some recommendations. He brought us some fresh bread and-wait for it- butter with MAPLE SYRUP. I’m not kidding. I’m really not kidding. While we gracefully stuffed our faces, I perused the menu.

I narrowed down to a few things. Then, I remembered I was due for a new blogging restaurant and chose the prosciutto wrapped scallops. Now, I’m not a seafood fan. I’ve developed a fondness for shrimp, but that’s really it. The scallops didn’t sound particularly appetizing, but I was all about trying something new, and that blue martini reinforced that all my decisions were good ones, so clearly, scallops. Scallops and french onion soup.

We visited for a bit, continued to eat the best damn bread on the planet, and then our food arrived. Everyone was pretty pleased with their choices.

Ok, so we need to talk about these scallops. Well first, the french onion soup was delightful! Loved it, would definitely eat it again. But the scallops were…I’m not sure what I was expecting, but that wasn’t it. The texture was BAD and that was pretty much all there was to it. Scallops can join the ranks of tomatoes and bananas- things that make me gag. I did power through two of them, but I made Brian eat the last one. The pasta underneath was good, and I love prosciutto. But the scallops? NAH.

Overall, it was a great dinner- awesome company, mostly wonderful food, and it didn’t cost an arm and a leg. I would definitely go back…except Main Street closed shortly after my trip and is reopening as something else. Sad. But, I had a great time with Kaylee, enjoyed meeting Brian, and learned that butter with maple syrup is GENIUS.

IMG_2422

Well, the warning has expired, and I am falling asleep, so I better call it a night. More fun adventure stories to come soon…stay tuned!

Until next time,

xoxo

35. Make your own business cards- even if for fun!

I was seven years old the first time I remember choreographing something. I was sitting in our van, listening to “Always Something There to Remind Me” by Naked Eyes on the radio. (In case I haven’t mentioned it before, I have a freakishly good memory.) Halfway through the song, I started coming up with tap steps in my head to go along with the music. I remember I pictured a stool onstage, and an assortment of picture frames set up that little Steph was mentally tap dancing around. (Yes, award-winning stuff right there!) Anyway, that’s my first memory that showed me how my brain was different than everyone else’s, even if I didn’t realize it at the time.

People ask me sometimes how it all works- how do I come up with dance after dance, combo after combo? How do I choreograph without a studio space? How do I choreograph a partner routine when I’m only one person? Well… I see it. I can actually, physically see my choreography in my brain when I’m listening to a piece of music. It’s almost like I’m discovering it, rather than creating it. And it happens all the time. Any time I’m listening to music. I’m never not seeing choreography. It’s always there. When I was younger, I just kind of assumed that everyone’s brain worked that way. Even as I got older, worked with other dance teachers- I thought maybe it was a dance teacher “thing.” But it’s not. It’s a gift, and one I feel so lucky to have.

As a dancer, I was never the best at anything, technique-wise. The extra bones in my feet prevented me from achieving a full point. I wasn’t as flexible as the rest of the girls in my class. I wasn’t the best turner, I wasn’t the best jumper, and I certainly wasn’t the best at tricks. But the things I was good at? Timing. Counting. Hearing patterns. Explaining things to the girls in my class when they had been absent. Stringing combinations together. Those were my strengths. That, coupled with my brain, my crazy creative brain, didn’t make me a stand-out dancer. But they did make me a pretty bad-ass choreographer.

I’ve been freelancing for 11 years now and finally decided it was time to make it “official.” So, a few months ago, I sat down with my friend, Elizabeth, and asked her to design me some business cards. We talked through what I liked, what I didn’t, and I turned her loose. A few weeks later, she sent me some options. We talked through them, and a few weeks after that, she sent me what I’m about to show you. Full disclosure: I’m getting a little teary about sharing this. These cards are something I’ve shared with very few people, but I’m ready now. So here they are- P.S. Elizabeth is a kick-ass designer. Please check out her freelance business “Eleven Creative” on Facebook.

img_1109

Here they are! I’m so proud of these, and so thankful that Elizabeth was able to turn my ideas into something beautiful. I’ve never been one to brag about what I do, but I am really, really good at this, so I thought it was time to share that with the world. If you’d like to share it too, let me know…I got a little excited and ordered 500 of these bad boys. Also exciting…I’m choreographing something for ME right now. I’ve only ever done that once (it turned out horribly) but I got inspired the other night, so I’m working on a little something. I don’t know that I’ll ever perform it, and the chances of anyone ever seeing it are slim, but I’m excited about it, and excited to see where this crazy choreography journey takes me.

Until next time,

xoxo

 

22. Go to a new restaurant every 3 months: Blue Iguana

Three posts in a week?! Yes, I know what you’re thinking, and no, I’ve not gone crazy. I am sick though. Adult sick days are the absolute worst. I’m laying on the couch, trying to drink tea and take it easy, when I notice how much the floor needs vacuuming. And I need to dust. And the ceiling fan is dirty. And before I know it, I’m ten seconds from deep cleaning the entire house. But, I remind myself I’m sick and need to rest, and settle in for a season and a half of “How I Met Your Mother” instead. This has been happening about every hour, for the entire day. Resting is hard.

So, this post is actually from August…oops. It did get mentioned in my Milltown Coffee post, but today, you get to hear about the whole experience. I’ve been wanting to visit Blue Iguana for a really long time. As you know, I love Mexican food a whole lot, and I also love LeClaire, where Blue Iguana is located, so it was a win-win situation. I was also due for a date with Travis and Kristin (Bryan’s brother and sister-in-law, and my good friends) so I met up with them and Bryan and Seth at the end of August for dinner and blog fun.

We had a short wait outside when we arrived, which was fine, because I got to officially meet Finn, Travis and Kristin’s baby. After several minutes of cooing and gushing over his cuteness, we were seated inside. The waitress gave us our menus, and I immediately started to gorge on chips and salsa. I’m not kidding; I could eat chips and salsa daily for the rest of my life, and never get tired of it. In between fistfuls of chips, I perused the menu and asked for everyone’s opinions on what I should order. After shooting down Travis’s suggestion to order the lengua (HELL NO), I settled on the flautas.

Our food arrived and it was BEAUTIFUL. Since it was 5 months ago, I can’t remember exactly what everyone ordered, but three of us got the flautas. The other two? No idea, but here it is:

The food was outstanding! My only complaint was that there wasn’t more…

img_1092

Seriously. I could have eaten those flautas for days. When we finished up, Bryan ordered both of us horchata to go. (Mexican rice milk, in case you didn’t know what it was.)

img_1093

That was fantastic too! Considering we went for dinner and my bill was around $15, I thought it was pretty affordable. I will definitely be going back to Blue Iguana. It was absolutely delicious, the service was great, and the company was even better.

Until next time,

xoxo

 

25. Watch a sunrise and a sunset in the same day

Guys, I don’t want to get ahead of myself here, but 2017 is kicking some serious ass so far! The highlight (less than 48 hours in) was going to see “Fantastic Beasts” while wearing my Newt Scamander coat, with a wand in my wand pocket. (Yes, my coat has a wand pocket.) I think that’s pretty much the definition of living the dream. I’ve also had some solid friendship time, ate a lobster grilled cheese, saw “La La Land,” and started working on choreography for “In the Heights.” Hopefully, this is a sign of an awesome year.

So, before I jump in to #25, I have a bit of an announcement…I’ve decided to give myself an extension on my list. If you’re keeping track, I have less than 3 months to finish my list and over half of the list left to complete. I really don’t want to half-ass anything on the list, so rather than rush through things, I’m giving myself an open deadline. When the list is done, it’s done. If that takes one more year, great! If it takes five, awesome! If I decide to wait until I’m 50 to complete #17…ok then! The list is supposed to be fun, not a source of stress, so there you have. And now, on to #25…

I initially tried to complete this on December 21, 2014. It would have been my grandma’s 74th birthday- she had passed away December 1st- and I wanted to do it as a way to honor her. Unfortunately for me, the weather had other plans, and the entire day was overcast. Sigh. So…I waited, until October 5th, 2016. As I mentioned in my 2016 recap, I’ve been taking a leadership class on Wednesday mornings twice a month. Class starts at 7:30am, so I generally leave my house between 6:45 and 7:00, depending on where I’m stopping for coffee. I went for Atomic that morning, and I was driving along 53rd Street in Davenport, I was able to catch an awesome sunrise.

I was really excited to have caught such a wonderful sunrise, and was lucky to get home in time for the sunset too. I was in the middle of choreographing a musical at Junior Theatre, so being home after work was a rarity. Unfortunately, you couldn’t see the sun very well from my back deck, but I did my best.

So, was there anything special about this day? Yes, actually. That was the day I drew my 5 year plan, and decided to commit to it. All in all, a really good day. 🙂 One more item crossed off the list, which means I’ve got 14 things done and 16 more to go!

Until next time,

xoxo

My 2016 Greatest Hits

Well hey friends! It’s 2017, and yes, I finally remembered that I have a blog. As has now become the norm, it’s been two months since I last posted (really…is ANYONE surprised?) so I decided to catch you up and recap my 2016 in the most fun way possible. Now, those of you who know me insanely well know how big of a LOST fan I am. One of my favorite episodes is from season 3 and is titled, “Greatest Hits.” I won’t ruin anything for you, because you absolutely should watch LOST if you haven’t, but the episode features highlights from a character’s life. So, I’m doing that…2016 style. Once I made my list, I tried to put it in order, but that was pretty much impossible, so these are my 10 greatest hits from this year, in no particular order…here we go!

  1. Creating my 5 Year Plan

So, the last two years, I’ve created a set of goals for myself for the year. Now, because I’m incapable of half-assing anything related to personal growth, I went a little crazy in 2016 and gave myself 12 goals for the year. Yes, you read that correctly. (And yes, I eventually winnowed that down because I like sleep, and rest, and not constantly doing things.) Anyway, while making my goal list, I realized I didn’t have a five year plan. So, on the list it went. I figured out pretty quickly what kind of things I wanted on the list, and spent the year shaping it and making it into exactly what I wanted it to be…which ironically, takes me into the next thing on my list…

2. Taking a leadership class

I was approached by my boss during the summer about taking a leadership class during Fall 2016. I eagerly accepted but was nervous as hell, because, why not worry about something silly? Anyway, this class has been a game-changer. Not only has it improved my leadership skills at work, I feel like it’s gotten me more in touch with who I am overall. We’ve done personality assessments, strength finders, and even did a 5 year plan visualization activity, which ended with us sketching out what our plan looked like. I ended up framing mine and it’s sitting on my dresser in my room, so I can look at it every day.

3. Dating

Yes. I, Stephanie DeLacy, notoriously single, hates first dates more than cilantro, cat lady extraordinaire…went on dates this year. Lots of them. There were good dates, there were bad dates, and boy, did I learn a lot about me and what I want. It’s truly been an experience and one that I am so glad that I was brave enough to embark on. I met some truly kind men this year, two in particular who were wonderful, and while I ended the year single, I didn’t give up hope. I’m hopeful that 2017 will be my year for love.

4. Getting a Handle on My Anxiety

I’ve never talked about this on here…exactly. But I guess there’s a first time for everything. I’ve always been a little anxious for as far back as I can remember, but this year, I hit a low. Charlee was sick, and my whole “norm” was shaken. I kept telling myself she’d be fine, but I didn’t actually know that. I found myself worrying more in general, and coping less and less well. Eventually, it got to a point where I knew I needed outside help to feel better, and so I got it. I started seeing a mental health counselor in July, and it’s one of the best decisions I’ve made in my entire life. My counselor is AMAZING, and has helped me with so many things. It’s refreshing to have someone to talk to that is unbiased, and my overall anxiety level has dropped significantly. It was a scary thing for me to do, but I’m so proud of myself for being brave!

5. Seeing Hamilton

Yes. That. If you want to read more about it, continue to my next post!

img_1755

6. Paying off my student loans

Oh yes I did! What a weight off my shoulders! (Oh, and on Friday, I’ll be making my final car payment. HUZZAH!)

7. Choreographing three awesome musicals!

I was lucky enough to get to choreograph for three different places this year- more choreography than I’ve done since I finished teaching dance. Each show was such a great experience, and I am so lucky to have gotten to work with so many wonderful people!

img_1646

8. Peter Pan

I had my second directing experience this year, and it was one of my best theatre experiences to date. My cast was incredible, I had the best student director on the planet, and Leslie (the main drama director at North) brought my first-ever scenic design to life, and even better than I imagined! When a show is over, I’m generally sad but ready to be done, but with Peter Pan, I was just sad. What a great show to end 2016 on!

9. The Kids’ Table and Harry Potter Night

It was a big year for me at the Family Museum, but these two events really stood out among everything else. I was a key organizer in the Museum’s first “The Kids’ Table” fundraiser and also organized our “Harry Potter Night” this fall. Both events were hugely successful, and I was so proud to be a part of them.

10. Friendships

This year was huge in the friendship department. I grew friendships, started new ones, watched friends get married, watched them get pregnant (not actually…you know what I mean), watched them start the adoption process, and felt the love from all around. I say this all the time, but I truly do have the best friends in the world. The amount of love, support, and encouragement I get from them is unreal…and I can never thank them enough. I’ve been blessed with an extraordinary family, and an extraordinary “framily.” I’m one lucky girl.

Well…there you have it. My greatest hits of 2016. It was a truly life-changing year, and I cannot wait to see what 2017 has in store for me, and for all of you. Thank you for being a part of my life, and here’s to a Happy New Year!

Until next time,

xoxo

4. Give yourself a pamper day every 6 months- Election Edition

I voted in my first election when I was 21 years old. It was 2008, and I was a senior in college. My boyfriend at the time had taken me to see presidential hopeful Barack Obama speak, and I was smitten. (With Barack…and my boyfriend…but mostly Barack.) I had spent the election cycle learning as much about him as I could. I took my parents to see him speak. My boyfriend and I hosted a presidential candidate forum on campus, and invited local representatives for each candidate- Democrat and Republican. I met Beau Biden that night and shook his hand. I had the opportunity to sit feet from Michelle Obama, when she spoke to a small group at my high school. Afterward, I talked to her, she hugged me, and we got a picture taken together. In the fall of 2008, I took a part-time job with the local Obama campaign office. I was the liaison between the campaign and my campus. The 10 hour a week job was more than that, but I gave it all I could. I called, I canvassed, and I made sure everyone at St. Ambrose knew how to vote on election day. One day after class, I had a voicemail from Kal Penn- YES KAL PENN- thanking me for everything I was doing at the local level to get Barack Obama elected. I remember election night so vividly, and the feeling of pride I felt as the polls closed and the electoral votes were awarded. The change I so strongly believed in was here. The man I believed in had won, and was about to change the course of our country, for the better.

I fell in love with politics after that. I blew through all seven seasons of “The West Wing.” I aspired to be CJ Cregg…I still do, most days. And I was beyond psyched when two of my favorite things, politics and musicals came together in the form of “Hamilton.”  And even more psyched when I got tickets!!! That’s right, friends, this kid got HAMILTON TICKETS! It was a whole process- Mal had tickets in her cart, Ticketmaster booted her offline, we searched with no luck for several hours, until, like some sweet Baby Jesus magic, two tickets IN THE ORCHESTRA appeared, and the rest was history.

Mal and I went two weeks ago, and it was exactly the Pamper Day I needed after a crazy month. We got up early and drove into the city, hoping to avoid World Series traffic (which we did.) We grabbed lunch at Potbelly, then walked to the theater.

We showed up WAY early, and hung out in the lobby, where it was confirmed that the three people I was most excited to see (Joshua Henry, Karen Olivo, and Ari Afsar) were all well, and would be performing.

img_1741

We also visited with a lady and her daughter, who had flown in from Arizona just for the show! Eventually the lobby filled, I got feisty and ready to throw some elbows at anyone who tried to get in front of me, and at 1:15pm, the lobby doors opened and we all funneled in. I bought myself a program book, and Mal and I waited to go into the house. And guys, when the doors opened…it was magical! We were sitting in row M on the end, and it was just perfect.

I could literally talk for an hour or more about how fabulous this show was, but I need sleep and so do you, so I’ll just say a few things…

  1. This was the pampering of a lifetime. I was so engrossed in the show, experienced so much emotion, and was just overwhelmed with pure joy. Some of the best money I’ve ever spent.
  2. My biggest concern going in was that I’d be sad I wasn’t seeing the original cast. I wasn’t sad in the slightest. They were INCREDIBLE. To be in a room with that much talent and love…words can’t describe it.
  3. Joshua Henry…mmmmmm. I am a fan. I could watch him play Aaron Burr all day long.
  4. I cried…a lot. More than I expected. Seeing tears in Karen Olivo’s eyes during “Satisfied” (yeah, we were so close I could see tears in her freaking eyes!) killed me. It was pretty much downhill from there. And do not get me started on Act 2. I can’t listen to “It’s Quiet Uptown” anymore, unless I have a game plan to fix my make-up immediately after.
  5. This was the best anything I’ve ever seen. I don’t say that lightly. Every single thing about the show was outstanding. I’ve never seen anything like it, and I’ve never, ever felt this way about a show. #blessed

I’ve been thinking about “Hamilton” every day since I’ve seen it, but particularly today. I’ll admit it: I felt at ease about Election Day. I felt at peace.  I had voted absentee the week before. No, it wasn’t Barack Obama who was going to change the world, but I believed in Hillary. I believed she could unite us. I believed she had a message of love at her core. As the people around me, friends/family/students worried and stressed over the impending results, I kept saying the same thing: “It’s going to be fine.”

I was wrong. It’s not fine. The optimist in me has been looking for a shred of something that I can cling to, something that I can hold to the light and say, “See? It’s going to be ok!” Something that makes me feel like this country is more than a place filled with hate. Something that makes me not worry for my friends and loved ones. Something that makes me, as a woman, feel safe. And this morning, it came in the form of Hamilton…

“I am not throwing away my shot, I’m just like my country, young, scrappy, and hungry, and I’m not throwing away my shot.”

“The sun comes up and the world still spins”

“Rise up, when you’re living on your knees”

And lastly, while jamming out to “The Schuyler Sisters” for the millionth time… “how lucky we are to be alive right now.” And you know what? They’re right. Maybe things didn’t go the way I expected or hoped last night. I’m sad and I’m scared and I don’t know what the future has in store. But I do know this: I’m alive at a time when I have the power to do something. I have the power to love when others show hate. I have the power to rise up. I have the power to extend a hand to those who feel unwanted and unwelcome. I have the power to be that shred of something that someone can cling to. So, I’m going to take a page from Hamilton and not throw away my shot. I’m going to take my optimism, my love, and my gifts, and I am going to use them for good. I’m going to teach, and inspire, and choreograph, and love, love, love, love, love. I’m not throwing away my shot…because that, that is what will change the course of this country, for the better.

22. Go to a new restaurant every 3 months: Milltown Coffee

Hi beautiful people! It’s been awhile. Actually, it’s been two months and four days since I last blogged. A lot has happened in that time. Typically, I apologize for my absence, but today, I won’t. I’ve been busy with life, and I count that as a wonderful thing. Don’t worry, I’ve got lots to share, but in the interest of keeping this shorter than “Order of the Phoenix,” I’ll break up all the excitement. So for now, welcome back. Snuggle in. Here we go.

Two months and one week ago, I went out for dinner with Bryan, Seth,  Bryan’s brother and sister-in-law, Travis and Kristin, and their new baby Finley. We actually went out to dinner specifically for my blog that night (you’ll hear about that in another post!) and afterwards, went back to Travis and Kristin’s and made googly eyes at Finn for several hours. I’m not kidding- it was amazing.

img_1106

What a nugget.

Anywho, at some point in between snuggling this cutie and making faces at him from across the room, Bryan, Kristin, Travis and I formed a book club. Right? RIGHT?! Now, I’ve only been in one other book club. It was me and Elizabeth, and no one else showed up to our first meeting, so we drank coffee, didn’t talk about what we read, and giggled a whole bunch. Basically, a typical day for us. I digress.

So, “The Best Book Club There Ever Was!” was born. And guys…I suck at book club already! We had our first meeting yesterday and guess who was the procrastinator of all procrastinators? This kid. I’m not kidding; we met at 3:00 and I finished the book shortly after 10:00am. I read over 250 pages in less than 24 hours. I deserve a medal.  Had it not been for Bryan’s threats to kick me out of the club, or the promise of delicious coffee, I may not have made it.

I arrived at Milltown Coffee at 3:00 on the dot, which is an accomplishment for me, because I’m pretty reliably 5-7 minutes late for everything. I was really excited that we were meeting there, because I’d never been, and we all know how much I love/obsess over/can’t function without coffee. I walked in with Travis and Kristin, and I don’t know. I wasn’t quite sure what I was expecting from Milltown, but this wasn’t it…this was much, much better.

It was so cute! And classy! And cozy! I didn’t get a picture of it, but we ended up sitting by the fireplace on a couch and two armchairs. COZY. Now, as a reminder, I had to order something I wouldn’t normally, so I went with a caramel latte (I usually don’t do hot drinks) and an apple cinnamon scone. I don’t usually order food with my coffee, but I wasn’t sure how long we’d be discussing our book, so I figured, why not? My total was around $8, which seemed fairly in-line with other local coffee shops. The service was prompt, the staff was friendly, and did I mention the shop was cozy? I actually suggested that Milltown needed a blanket rental service at one point- I totally would have partaken. Anyway, my scone and drink arrived, and they were pretty…

Pretty delicious! (Ok, ok…I might be running on fumes right now- still adjusting to Daylight Savings.) Overall, I was really impressed with Milltown! I really liked my drink and I would definitely order the scone again too. I will definitely be going back  soon. 🙂

Well, I better get to bed…thanks for checking back in with me and the list! Stay tuned for more adventures from the last two months.

Until next time,

xoxo

8. Figure out your 30 minute jump start routine- The 4th and final installment!

Guess what?! I am the proud new owner of a bouncing baby…furnace. Yup, that’s right. My furnace went out. (Insert a collective homeowner groan here.) I knew this was probably going to happen when I bought my house. The furnace was 16 years old at that point. Last year, I narrowly escaped replacement. When I turned it on for the first time in the fall, it started up…and then clunked. Literally. I went downstairs and shook the door a little bit (which is clearly, the solution to all problems) and it started up. That was lucky. But also, it worked, so when the same thing happened last weekend, I shook that door for a good 20 minutes. I took the door off. I put it back on. Nothing. So, one very chilly weekend, a $75 service call, and a furnace estimate meeting with an adorable old man named Woody later, I got my new furnace. I feel like I need to name it or something. It’s all shiny and new…and expensive. Seriously, send your name suggestions my way.

So, for those of you keeping track, today was the final day of my “30 minute jump start routine” challenge-curly hair day. It was a good day for it too. I had an enrollment interview with Big Brothers/Big Sisters (I’m hoping to volunteer in their school-based program) so I wanted to look nice. And clearly, I needed all the help I could get…

IMG_6451

I forgot to take a picture before my time started…so multi-tasking it was!

Now…I didn’t make my time…but I was really close!

IMG_6452

Now, I hate to point fingers, but…there was a spider in my shower. Of course, I didn’t notice it until after I’d started the water, and my bathtub drains really slowly so I was dodging the dead, floaty spider during my entire shower. (Let that sink in…it’s always a comedy show around here.) So, I’m sure that added a little time. But, even though I was over my time, I’m still proud of my effort. And I looked cute too!

IMG_6454

I learned a lot from this experience. (That Ria. She always knows!) One, if I don’t let anything distract me, I can get ready REALLY fast! Now, if only I moved that fast on work days… Two, I really don’t love selfies…see?

IMG_6453

Three, it doesn’t take a whole lot to make me feel good about my appearance! I’ve gotten my routine down to a T, and I’ve got options. I love that. 🙂

Well, I can officially cross this off my list! Yay! I’ll be crossing another off my list next Monday…well, technically, on Thursday. Thursday marks 6 months of meditation! Woo! I’m excited to fill you in on how it’s going, and how it’s changed things for me. Look out for that post next week!

Until next time,

xoxo

22. Go to a new restaurant every 3 months: Falbo Bros. Pizzeria

Happy last day of February! Can you believe that we’re already 2 months in to 2015?! I really can’t…although, I’m currently in my busiest time of year, so my life is in a bit of a time warp. I know it’s been a little bit since I last wrote, so here’s a quick update on the important stuff…

Life

It’s going well! I’ve been working really hard on my 2015 goals, and have been actively trying to improve my overall mindset, which is WAY easier said than done. Trying to convince myself not to be grumpy on a cloudy day when I WANT to be grumpy? Yeah, that’s hard work. But it’s coming along, and I’m so excited to see what March has in store!

Work

Work is good! We just had our Storybook Ball fundraising event two weeks ago, so I’m finally recovering from that. I’m in the heat of choreographing for recital, and feel like I’ll never catch up. But, I always feel that way. 🙂 Preschool is great. I had one of those “aha!” moments the other day, where you know you are exactly where you should be. I was sitting on the rug during playtime and one of the little boys brought over “Pete the Cat: I Love my White Shoes.” (FABULOUS book, even if you’re not a kid.) He wanted me to read, so I did. There’s a bit of singing involved in this book, and before I knew it, I had six kids sitting around me singing, “I love my blue shoes, I love my blue shoes…” and begging me to turn the page. I think that moment will be with me for a long time.

Theater 

I’m currently choreographing “The Drowsy Chaperone,” which I think has been my biggest challenge to date…but also, the most fun. The show is at Davenport North, April 10-12. It’s gonna be GREAT, so you should probably all be there.

Dating

Well, unlike 2014…and 2013…and 2012…I have gone on some dates! They’ve been nothing more than that, but hey! Progress is progress. I’ve also ruled out online dating completely, after giving it a second chance. It’s just not for me. And that’s ok.

Home Life

Well, I’ve learned an insane amount about plumbing in the last 2 months (clogged tub, broken toilet, jammed garbage disposal) and I’m happy to report that all situations ended well. Home ownership is a neverending learning experience. I’m not at home as much as I’d like to be right now, between work and choreographing, but I really try to savor the time I am at home…by laying on the couch, doing nothing. Stella and Charlee are good! Except for a brief encounter with scary snow, both girls are behaving themselves…most of the time.

IMG_3831 IMG_3876

List Stuff

I’m doing well! Once I get this post done, I’ll have another one coming out soon, with something new I’ve crossed off the list. My food blogging is going VERY well! I’m still hoping it will eventually lead to me writing a cookbook. Other than that, I’m working on list items when and where I can. The three year anniversary of the original LIST is coming up! 🙂

So, I have to admit that this post is coming about 4 weeks late. I went to my restaurant, I ate, and I forgot about actually writing the post, because, apparently, it doesn’t just magically appear. Who knew? So, backtrack if you will, to January 31. Since Bryan joins me on almost all my food-related adventures, I asked him and Seth to come try a new pizza place downtown with me. Now, as you all know, I am OBSESSED with pizza. Obsessed. I love it, it loves me. Mmm, pizza. So, I was really excited for our pizza outing. So excited, in fact, that I showed up way early. But, it was a really nice day for January, so I sat outside to wait for the guys.

IMG_3687

When Bryan and Seth arrived, we went inside and sat ourselves. The interior is a little industrial looking, which is unlike any QC pizza place I’ve been to. I liked it! It was warm and smelled amazing.

IMG_3688 IMG_3689 IMG_3690

The waiter (who was probably my only complaint of the experience) came over and got our drink orders. We perused the menu and I immediately found a problem…I was supposed to order something I wouldn’t normally, and I would have eaten EVERY SINGLE THING on the menu. Every. Single. Thing. So, I let Seth decide for me, because that’s something I wouldn’t normally do. When the waiter came back, Seth ordered some french fries for the table, a Feta Fetish pizza for he and Bryan to share (are you drooling yet?) and an Arizona Ranch (chicken, bacon, ranch, and hot sauce) for me. The pizzas take between 25-40 minutes with the way they bake them, so thank goodness for those french fries. I kid you not…they were the best damn fries on the planet.

IMG_3691

Yes, that’s grease all over the wax paper. Don’t judge.

Our fries were gone in a matter of minutes, so the wait seemed like forever, but finally, our pizzas arrived.

IMG_3692 IMG_3693

The pizzas were outstanding! Seth made a perfect choice for me. My pizza was spicy, but not too much, and the chicken and bacon were so delicious! I would definitely order this pizza again. I had a small piece of their pizza as well, which was topped with chicken, spinach, and feta cheese. Really good, but I wasn’t too crazy about the marinara. As far as the food went, I would definitely go back! Like I mentioned above, I wasn’t crazy about our waiter. He mumbled and was hard to understand, even standing a foot away from me. He also didn’t check on us often, so we had empty glasses a few times. The wait was also long, although we did know that upfront. When/if I go back, I would definitely get 1-2 appetizers to hold us over. The price was also decent; with tip, my pizza and soda came to $13.  Overall, I was happy with my experience, and would love to go back!

Have you been to Falbo’s before? What did you think? Do you have any recommendations on what restaurant I should try next? Let me know in the comment section below!

xoxo

Steph