Monthly Archives: January 2023

Bucket List Item #22: Finish the Harry Potter Movie Series

So far this item has taken the longest to complete, start to finish time! We just watched the 8th and last movie in the series last Friday night. We had started the first one……in May!

This is my second time watching the series; the first time was when I first moved to Idaho during a brutal winter (known locally as “snowmageddon”) in 2016. However I have the memory retention of a goldfish when it comes to movies sometimes, so it was almost like watching some of the movies for the first time again haha.

I have read the entire book series before as well, years ago. But despite that, I still had no clue what was going to happen from the Goblet of Fire on.

The first two – Sorcerer’s Stone and Chamber of Secrets – are so cute and innocent. They are so dramatically different from the characters and plot in Half Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows. It’s almost unbelievable that they are part of the same series! Once Cedric dies in the fourth movie, it’s like the whole mood shifts and then entire story darkens, and the death never stops coming.

Spoiler alert ahead!

I absolutely could not believe that Dumbledore really died. I thought “he has to be coming back! He has to have lived!” That was shocking to me. I also was stunned when Snape also really died. Then in the final battle, finding out that Lupin and one of the Weasley twins dies – it was so sad! Little did we know during the cute scenes of movies 1 &2 what a dark ending we were in for. I could not have predicted that’s where it would turn from the beginning.

I did enjoy the fact that it concluded with the “19 years later” look at Harry, Ron and Hermione with their own small children.

We liked watching the movies on dreary cloudy days and making big bowls of popcorn or kettle corn.

The Harry Potter series is a classic and I plan on reading through the books with my own kids when they are old enough. Although now rewatching it myself, I’m not sure exactly what age that is.

There are a couple other cult-classic series that I’ve never seen before, like Star Wars or Lord of the Rings but I just don’t have any desire to right now. Maybe I’ll add them to a future milestone bucket list…

Bucket List Item #21: Sled Down the Bruneau Sand Dunes

This bucket list recap post has taken me the longest to write! Probably because it was such an anticlimactic event….ha. We actually completed this item in late fall, long before Idaho was covered in a fresh white snowfall like it is right now.

The Bruneau Sand Dunes are an Idaho State Park about an hour south of Boise. It holds the title for “Tallest Single-Structured Sand Dune in North America” with a peak of 470ft. The surrounding area is primarily desert and Dunes Lake. It’s a popular area for camping and even includes a little observatory.

Many people take day trips to this unique area with sleds to play with on the dunes. They are very steep, so it would be a good workout to climb up and then enjoy the fun ride on the way down.

The area can get pretty windy and since it’s made up of SAND, we didn’t want to bring our baby with us. She didn’t need to risk getting any sand in her eyes! We left her in great hands at home and had a day-date.

We packed out red snow sleds and a cooler with some snacks. The drive down took about an hour, and we stopped in Mountain Home for some iced coffees.

Once we got to the sand dunes, we saw only a handful of other families sledding down the sand structures and saw the vast landscape as one big playground!

Unfortunately we learned pretty quickly that our plastic snow sleds were not the ideal mechanism to glide down the hills. I didn’t realize we would have issues getting traction. I thought the steepness of the dunes and the smoothness of the sand would allow pretty much anything to breeze along. It seemed as though I was very wrong….the friction on the bottom of our sleds made them stick completely into the sand and not want to budge. We tried running starts, scooting along with our feet, pushing each other to get momentum. Nothing.

We tried several times, even tried just “sliding” down on our slick vests but the sand dunes were picky with what they would let glide down.

Apparently during warmer months, there is a state park office that rents out sand-appropriate sleds which we will have to utilize next time. :)

Since we’d made the drive all the way out there, we spent some more time just hiking up and down the hills to get a little workout in. My tennis shoes were filled with sand by the end! We finished our iced coffees on the drive back home and reunited with our girl.

Now we are officially caught up from my bucket list report-out from 4 months ago! Recently I’ve been planning Brynnley’s first birthday party, which we are quickly approaching. I’m really excited about the theme and decorations that I came up with and I can’t wait to see it all come to life & share with you. For now, I think we might go enjoy some of this fresh snow while it lasts because there doesn’t seem to be any more in the forecast for the foreseeable future!

Bucket List Item #20: Try Caviar

I’m not exactly sure what inspired me to add this to my bucket list, other than maybe it sounded like something elegant and unique for the year I end my twenties.

What is caviar? It is a salt-cured fish egg from sturgeon, which we have locally in Idaho.

According to The Wagyu Shop, the difference between caviar and the orange eggs on sushi rolls (which I eat all the time) is that sushi roe can be from different types of fish other than sturgeon.

There is a beautiful two-story restaurant and bar in downtown Boise right across from the Capitol building that has a very charming interior called The Lively. They posted about their monthly “afternoon tea” offering on Instagram, and I was intrigued for a mother/daughter outing. Once I saw an option to add a caviar tray to your tea service, I was sold! It was the perfect occasion to cross this item off the list.

The afternoon tea was at 2:30pm on a Monday, and thankfully Zeb was home from work so that my mom and I could go enjoy an adult-only date. The interior of The Lively is really funky and pretty, and we were seated at a window table. We each ordered our tea and were brought our own teapots and teacups.

The caviar tray came with a mountain of potato chips, plus little cups of capers, crushed hard-boiled egg yolk, hard-boiled egg whites, purple onion, parsley and creme fresh. The caviar sat in a bowl over ice. We built our little potato chip bites and it was so delicious! I tried the caviar on a spoon by itself, and I really did like the subtle flavor. When it’s on the potato chip, there’s so much salt from the chip and the capers that you don’t pick up a ton of caviar flavor itself.

The tea also came with a pretty silver tower of sweet and savory bites. We sampled some of everything. I was in a more savory mood so I preferred the salmon puffs and the deviled eggs.

There were also macaroons, scones, cake bites and risotto balls.

This was such a lovely little event, and we would definitely go again for a special occasion like a birthday! I imagine they sell out fast near Mother’s Day.

We’ve been drinking more tea lately at home too, and I bought myself a tea kettle last fall. I really like citrus herbal teas. When I was pregnant with Brynnley, I read the many benefits of drinking Red Raspberry leaf tea and I drank at least one cup every day during my last trimester. I’ll never know for sure if it contributed to my positive labor experience but I tell all of my friends that it certainly can’t hurt! :)

Tomorrow marks ONE MONTH until D-Day! (AKA the deadline to finish this list.) 10 posts in 31 days? Here we go!

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