Fall Craft: Leaf Mason Jars

Here in our neck of the woods, Fall is quickly becoming a thing of the past.  Winter greeted us with a significant snow storm that served as a reminder to get cracking on my Awesome Autumn Bucket List before I embrace the next season.  So, when I was walking the girls home from school, I told them to grab all the leaves they could find so that we could work on our Fall Craft, which was an item on our bucket list.  Sadly, we started this project too late in the season for it to be a complete success.  However, it still turned out pretty cute, so I thought I would share.

You may be asking yourself, “Hey, didn’t she say that she isn’t crafty?”  You are correct, I did say that.  But for some reason, if you put some sort of brush in my hand, it somehow seems easier for me to tackle.  This time it was a sponge brush to pull off the DIY Leaf Mason Jars that I found on Pinterest through the website Plan Provision.  It doesn’t provide much of a how-to on the site, but it does tell you what you’ll need.  The problem in our results was that I wasn’t aware that the leaves this late in the season would prove to be too crispy and therefore would not stick properly to the mason jars.  We had to cut up the leaves a bit to make them stick at all.  While I still think they turned out nice, I plan to do this project again next year earlier in the season for a more professional looking final product.

If you still have a bit off Fall hanging on where you live, you may want to give this project a go during your Thanksgiving break.  If, like us, winter is upon you, then keep this in mind for next year!  It really did add a beautiful effect to our dining room.  Even better, it left us one bucket list item closer to completing our goal of creating the most Awesome Autumn yet!

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A Life Bucket List

I apologize in advance if you’re thinking to yourself, “Another bucket list?”  It’s true.  I present to you yet another bucket list.  You shouldn’t have been too surprised, I mentioned this was coming in An Inspiring Bucket List.  A reminder that my complete bucket list contains a total of seventy items.  The list that I am sharing with my readers outlines fifty from the complete bucket list.


I think it’s important to note that a bucket list should consist of Do’s not Have’s.  Does that make sense?  For instance, I want to have a dog, but that is more of a wish list item than a bucket list item.  To make it a bucket list item, I changed it to Adopt a rescue dog (#5).  Another good example of this would be in regards to an item pulled from my complete bucket list, which is not shown here.  It reads: Take a trip in an RV.  Ideally, I would like to own an RV.  However, the ownership of an RV would be a wish list item, not an action item.  The desire of owning an RV would be so that we could go on a trip in an RV.  That’s the real goal in my life.  I want to gain experiences and memories, not things.

I also should add that my husband gave me a Life Bucket List rule that I am to abide by.  I’m hoping you all will keep me honest.  He says that I cannot do any two-fers.  Looking at the fifty items that are publicly shared, this may be irrelevant.  An example would be that on my personal list I have Visit Silver Falls.  I have it on good authority that you can see the backside of a waterfall (#35) at Silver Falls.  Per my husband, I cannot kill two birds with one stone on the Life Bucket List.  I may have broken this rule a few times with our Ultimate Summer Bucket List.  I guess one example would be that I can’t visit Niagara Falls (#49) by going on a helicopter ride (#48) over it.  Perhaps this is worth keeping in mind if you are busily making your own Life Bucket List.

Some of these items were on my original list made years ago and have since been achieved.  You can anticipate me sharing those accomplishments from time to time.  My hope is that you will join me on my journey of making these items my reality.  I genuinely hope that you will also share your bucket list items as well.  My goal is that we can all help one another live to our fullest potential and begin making the desires of our heart happen.  If you have an experience with any of these items and have pointers to share.  Share them.  If you hear about a deal for an overnighter on a train (#20), tell me!  Please.  This is a lofty list and I am requesting your help.  Hopefully, I can help you as well!

Wish me luck!

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Free Printable Awesome Autumn Bucket List

Happy October!  I’m sure you’re already busy making autumn memories with your families.  If not yet, you’ve probably seen your fair share of autumn and fall bucket lists that have you feeling excited about the crispness in the air, the crunch of leaves under your feet, and the idea of wrapping your hands around a delightfully warm drink.  My hope is to kick off October by giving you some added ideas to make this your most awesome autumn to date!


My love of bucket lists knows no season.  Take a look at the bucket list I’ve created for our family to complete over the next couple months.  The list is pretty self-explanatory.  The only item that may need some research is “Make a Fall craft.”  I thought about giving some ideas, but we all have different types of crafts we prefer and Pinterest is loaded with more ideas than you can pin.  I tend to lean towards the mess-free crafts.

If you want this cute and handy print out to put up somewhere in your home, download the FREE Printable Awesome Autumn Bucket List for your family.  I know I plan to put it up on my fridge for reference.

May you enjoy many happy memories this season!

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An Inspiring Bucket List

I am so excited to write this post!  My Ultimate Summer Bucket List was truly an inspiration for my life and this website!  While I already knew of The Power of a Bucket List from last summer, this summer my list took on a whole new meaning for me.  Last summer’s bucket list brought about my most favorite summer at that point.  Knowing how the creation of that list had such a strong impact on the outcome of our amazing summer in 2013, I had a desire to tweak this year’s so it would be that much more enjoyable.  For this summer’s list, I took in to consideration that I would be 9 months pregnant and then I would have an infant in tow.  What I didn’t take in to consideration was my Stroke of Luck.  And I most definitely did not take in to account the several additional doctors’ appointments I would have to attend.  But, guess what?  I completed all 70 items on my Summer Bucket List.  Yes, I know, the bucket list on my website only had 50 items.  I had added 20 more items that were specific to my region of the United States.  So, I didn’t let my pregnancy, my infant, my stroke, my tumor discovery, my doctors’ appointments, my two house guests, or anything else keep me from accomplishing my goal.  So, what does this mean for my life and this website?  It means we’re about to embark on the adventure of my Life Bucket List.  My wish is that you will not only follow along, but join in and begin creating and living out your own!


While the completion of my summer bucket list against all odds was certainly inspiring, my desire to focus more fully on my Life Bucket List came from my friends.  As the summer was drawing to a close, my devotion to the bucket list was becoming more widely known and discussed.  One friend suggested that I make a summer bucket list strictly for adults to accomplish in the summer of 2015.  This came about because we have been trying to make this dinner happen, which involves ordering your meat in advance and driving two hours to the restaurant.  Obviously a difficult thing to coordinate among friends with young kids.  She added, “Sara, you should put THAT on your bucket list for next summer, that way we know you’ll pester us to make it happen.”  And pester, I do.  Then, my dearest friend of twenty-five years shared her quote in response to my bucket list success, “Where there’s a will.  There’s Sara.”  I even received jokes about if a stroke or giving my daughter “the birds and the bees talk” (post to come on this topic) was on this past summer’s bucket list.  If they had been, I could have checked those off also!  I’m not sharing all this to toot my own horn.  I’m sharing these remarks because they made me aware that I was out living my life instead of just talking about it.  This made me realize that my daily life could be as fun and rewarding as my summer, if I went after my life bucket list the way I had my summer list.

As I mentioned in my post The Power of a Bucket List, I am revamping my list and I’m shooting for 70 items.  This will include some that I have already successfully completed.  I will not share all 70 on this website, as some are more personal in nature.  In being consistent with my Ultimate Summer Bucket List, I’ll go ahead and focus on sharing 50 of my 70 items here on my site.  I’m still working on the revamp, but some items that you can look forward to are my desire to run a half marathon, learn to cook 14 balanced meals, go on a hot-air balloons ride, and learn to play the piano.  I’ll also share the success (or disappointment) with previous items that were already completed along the way.

I’m pumped up to do this!  I hope you will set some time aside to make your own list and begin planning out how to make each item happen.  Since I am still adding items to my Life Bucket List, I hope you will share some of your ideas with me.  I would love some added inspiration.  In the meantime, stay tuned for some adventure being added to First You Must Begin!

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Free Printable Ultimate Summer Bucket List

Being that Memorial Day Weekend is the unofficial kick-off to the summer season, I made an exerted effort to finalize our 2014 Summer Bucket List even though my kids still have a couple more weeks of school.  It was a fun process to come up with what I feel is the ultimate summer bucket list.  My list is comprised of items that we did last year along with some items I found on other summer bucket lists.  I went ahead and linked to the original sources in an effort to better explain some of the activities on my list, plus to give credit where credit is due.  I hope this list gets you as excited about summer as it has for me!

  1. Visit a waterfall – Hopefully you’re fortunate enough to have one nearby.
  2. Find and Follow a YouTube Tutorial – I plan to have my girls look up a YouTube Tutorial on how to do Rainbow Loom bracelets.  However, there seem to be countless tutorials on YouTube to help teach your child any number of skills.
  3. Have a Reverse Dinner Night – This is simple enough, just eat dessert first and bask in the glory of being the coolest parent ever (at least for the night).
  4. Take a Full Moon Walk – June 13th, July 12th, and August 10th are your dates for this activity!
  5. Do a Day of Service – Check out my Service Board on Pinterest, if you’re looking for some ideas.
  6. Go Fishing
  7. Celebrate a “National” Holiday – I’m using the word “national” loosely.  This one is referring to the sillier national holidays; such as National Doughnut Day on June 6, National Ice Cream Day on July 20, or National Watermelon Day on August 3.
  8. Do Letter Boxing or Geocaching – I snagged a couple activities from a post I found on Inner Child Fun’s website titled 20 Favorite Must-Do Activities for Summer.  Geocaching is #13 on her list.  You can also get more information here about Letter Boxing, which is quite similar.
  9. Attend a County Fair
  10. Watch a Movie Outdoors – This may mean a Drive-In Movie for some.  However, last summer we hosted this activity in our backyard.  Thanks to the help of one friend’s projector and another friend’s sound system, we were able to show Wreck-It Ralph.  The problem though with living in the Northwest is that it stays light so late in to the evening.  Regardless, it sure made for a fun night!
  11. Participate in a Reading Program – I actually plan to get my kids signed up in a couple summer reading programs this year.  We have one at our local library, but I also learned that Barnes & Noble has a great one for the summer as well!
  12. Have a Water Balloon Fight
  13. Go on a Picnic
  14. Make a Popsicle Stick Puzzle – check out Love and Laundry’s awesome example!
  15. Have a Family/Friends Game Night
  16. Go Bowling
  17. Host a Minute to Win It Night
  18. Go Camping in the Backyard

  19. Have a Spongeball Toss – I’ve seen this called Spongeball Toss, but Inner Child Fun refers to them as Sponge Bombs (#3) on her 20 Favorite Must-Do Activities for Summer.
  20. Go on a Bike Ride
  21. Wash the Car
  22. Stargaze
  23. Help in the Yard
  24. Have a Lemonade Stand
  25. Play Glow Stick Horseshoes – I found this cool activity posted by one of Design Dazzle‘s contributors, Jamie from C.R.A.F.T., titled Summer Camp: Glow In The Dark Ring Toss
  26. Do Sidewalk Chalk Drawings
  27. Write and Illustrate a Story
  28. Host a Talent Show – Check out one of my previous posts, The Power of a Bucket List, to see how much fun this activity was for our friends and family last summer.
  29. Complete a Jigsaw Puzzle
  30. Get a Manicure and Pedicure
  31. Read A Book, Then Watch the Movie – This post on Andrea’s Notebook is perfect to make your search easier for the right book-movie.
  32. Pick a Craft to Make and Make It!
  33. Go Swimming

  34. Eat a Snow Cone
  35. Have a BBQ with Friends
  36. Watch Fireworks on July 4th
  37. Attend a Farmer’s Market or Festival
  38. Play with Mega-Bubbles – Inner Child Fun’s post 20 Favorite Must-Do Activities for Summer teaches you all about how to make this activity possible.  Check out #7 for the 4-1-1 on Mega Bubbles.
  39. Read a Book in the Shade of a Tree
  40. Make a Pool Noodle Race Track – Another great source of ideas came from the article on Buzz Feed titled 33 Activities Under $10 That Will Keep Your Kids Busy All Summer.  Number 32 on their list shows you how to make a pool noodle race track.
  41. Play Balloon Ping Pong – This activity is #25 on the same Buzz Feed article mentioned above.
  42. Make a Backyard Obstacle Course – While this is #33 on the Buzz Feed article, I think this one is best left up to your imagination!
  43. Go on a Scavenger Hunt
  44. Do a Science Experiment – I have this one on my list since my eldest is a lover of science.  I didn’t have anything particular in mind, but just last night I stumbled across this way cool link on Pinterest from Growing a Jeweled Rose, which shares cool summer science experiments for kids!
  45. Make a Painters Tape Spider Web – Here’s the last one I snagged off of the 33 Activities Under $10 That Will Keep Your Kids Busy All Summer.  It’s #26 on their list.
  46. Write and Mail a Letter to Someone
  47. Play Hide and Go Seek
  48. Fly a Kite

  49. Go on a Date with Dad
  50. Play Charades or Pictionary
If you want a cute and handy little print out to put up somewhere in your home of all of these awesome activities above, download The Ultimate Summer Bucket List.  It’s FREE!  I put it together so that I could reference it easily when the kids start to say they’re bored or I feel like I’m losing my mind, which will likely be happening the moment school is out!

May this be your best summer yet!

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The Power of a Bucket List

When I was 19, I made a bucket list of 100 things I wanted to do before I died.  I’m not sure if it speaks to my lack of ambition, but I only came up with 70 items for the list.  I lost the list over the years.  Then again, at the age of 24, I decided to make a new list.  This time I would only have 50 items.  I remember reaching 50 too quickly, but running out of the space I allotted in my journal for said list.  At the time, I stuck with 50 even though I dreamed of more.

Flash forward to this summer.  A friend sent us her Summer Buck List for her kids.  A lofty 100 items.  I recalled not doing so well with that amount.  I saw that there were 70 days remaining in our summer and decided that one per day was feasible.  That magic number of 70 returned.  Here is what remained from my friend’s original document:

We have 26 days left of summer. I am happy to report that there are only 18 items remaining on our list.  I’m not so happy to report that Microsoft Word does not recognize S’mores and pedi as real words.  How is that possible?  I suppose I get pedi, but S’mores?  Really, Microsoft?  You’re as bad as Scotty Smalls in The Sandlot.

Alas, I digress.

So many of the fun things we did this summer were a direct result of the inspiration and motivation of this list.  One of my favorites of the summer was our Throwback Talent Show.  Back in the Spring, a couple of my friends and I had discussed how fun it would be to hold a talent show where the adults had to do talents that they did as a kid and the kids got to do whatever they wanted.  Honestly, I don’t think it would have come to pass had it not been on this list.  Isn’t the excitement of checking something off a list worth the time to plan and coordinate an activity?

Sure, I humiliated myself by singing Bette Midler’s “From A Distance,” but it was well worth it!  It was a blast to see everyone else’s talents and to just have some good ol’ fashion fun.  I will say though that in hindsight, I wish I had chosen a cooler song in my youth when I sang in the talent show in the fifth grade.

Everyone that attended said that they had a great time, which is always nice to hear.  The thing is that the whole endeavor was super easy.  I stressed out a bit worrying whether or not it would turn out okay.  That’s part of my nature.  I’m a stressor.  Other than the unnecessary stress I put on myself, it was a piece of cake.  Yet it would not have happened had it not been on that Summer Bucket List.

So to you, dear bucket list, I thank you.  To my friend who was motivated enough to make the original lofty bucket list for her kid’s summer, I thank you.  I have had the best summer of my life thanks to this list.  I’m sure it helps that my new hometown is a vacation destination for most.

Seeing the power of our Summer Bucket List made me ponder my Life Bucket List.  I’m now 32 years old.  I know where my 24-year-old bucket list is, but I want to revise it.  I made that list based on things that I thought I wanted to do.  I made it based on what I wanted to accomplish so that I could be as talented as others that I was constantly comparing myself to.  For example, I had on there that I wanted to learn how to sew.  The truth is that I don’t like sewing.  I wanted to sew since I admired, translates as envied, what other woman could create.  So, sewing goes off the list.  But I keep on my list watching the TV show Saturday Night Live live, eating Italian food in Italy, and going horseback riding.  Plus, I get the satisfaction of checking those items off like riding on a Zamboni and watching the sunrise on another continent that were on the original list.

Go ahead, make your own bucket list!  It’s not too late!  Make it all yours!  It’s a powerful thing and it’s never too late to begin!

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