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30 Things To Do Before Turning 30

For Christmas, one of my stocking stuffers from my husband Zeb (oh yeah, I’m married! I suppose we do have a lot to catch up from since my last blogging phase from 2011-2018!) was a cute rom-com fiction book called “Love, Lists and Fancy Ships.” The main character is a 29-year old yacht stewardess who created a list of 30 things to accomplish before she turned 30. While reading the book, I was 28 and about to turn 29 myself. The number “30” startles my gag reflex. It’s an age that sounds so much farther in the distance for me than it really is. I feel like I just finished college still. I know I’ve hit the major adult milestones in my 20s – bought a house, got married, and found out I was pregnant with my first baby. But I still don’t feel “adult” enough to qualify for the 30s club just yet.

To make the new decade more palatable, I decided to copy the main character from this novel and write my own bucket list to make the most of the rest of my 20s.

The morning of my 29th birthday, Zeb and I went to brunch together at a local spot here in Idaho. I started a new note in my phone and began listing activities I hoped to do before my next birthday. By the end of our brunch, I had 17 items I would commit to doing over the next 365 days. We brought the note back out at dinner with my parents that night and rounded out the 30 items.

And here it is:

30 Things To Do Before Turning 30

  1. Visit a National Park
  2. Stand-Up Paddle Board
  3. Run a Half Marathon
  4. Visit a Museum
  5. Sing Karaoke at a Bar
  6. Do 30 Push-ups in a Row
  7. Officiate a Wedding
  8. Read ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’
  9. Try Caviar
  10. Fit Back into my Wedding Dress
  11. Volunteer at an Event
  12. Plant a Garden
  13. Catch a Fish
  14. Practice Calligraphy
  15. Watch All of the Harry Potter Movies
  16. Give Birth
  17. Make Homemade Bread
  18. Sled Down the Bruneau Sand Dunes
  19. Attend a Concert
  20. Swim in an Ocean
  21. Learn New Winter Sport
  22. Hike a New Trail in Idaho
  23. Visit a New Country
  24. Make a Coffee Table Scrapbook
  25. Ride a Roller Coaster
  26. Take a Dance Class
  27. Play 18 Holes of Disc Golf
  28. Jump in a Pool with all my Clothes On
  29. Go Tent Camping
  30. Travel to 3 Different States

Zeb says its cheating to add “give birth” since I’m nine months pregnant as I wrote this list (oh yeah, another catch-up moment for those blog readers that haven’t heard from me in 3 years. Surprise!) but I think it’s a pretty momentous occasion during my 20s that I should get some kind of credit for on this list of activities!

I plan to create a journal/blog entry for every item on this list as I cross it off and document the year through the photos and stories this brings up. So stay tuned to see how we work our way through this list before I turn the big 3-0 on February 12, 2023!

Bachelorette Stir Fry

The name of this healthy recipe requires a little explanation.

My dad has a talent for taking random ingredients in the kitchen and throwing them together for an amazing dinner. He’s not really a recipe-follower. Before he married my mom, he had the stereotypical bachelor pad and one of his easy dinner go-to’s became dubbed the “Bachelor Stir Fry.”

Healthy Sweet Potato Hash Recipe  Breakfast or Dinner  Stronglikemycoffee.com

Basically he would take leftover ingredients or random vegetables in the fridge (bell peppers, onions, etc.), dice up some russet potatoes, and mix in some type of meat and cook them all together in a frying pan. Sometimes he included eggs, making a breakfast hash. There is no real recipe, nothing specific, so every time came out a little differently.

Last night I cooked dinner for my dad and I, and came up with my own variation of his classic dish. A few healthy swaps here and there, and BAM – we have Bachelorette stir Fry.

Bachelorette Stir Fry Recipe  AKA sweet potato hash  Stronglikmycoffee.com

My obsession with sweet potatoes has only grown stronger in the past five years, so I swapped out the russet potatoes for some orange yams. I also included Sprout’s Apple Chicken Sausage, along with yellow zucchinis, yellow and red bell peppers, onion, garlic, spices and my personal secret ingredient ;)

Sweet Potato Hash  Breakfast for Dinner  Stronglikemycoffee.com

Okay okay I’ll share my secret – I added maple syrup! Just a table spoon so it didn’t overpower anything. I could subtly taste it on the sweet potatoes and it was delicious. This recipe is a lot sweeter than my dad’s usual mix, but I personally loved it and everyone went back for seconds. That always makes a girl feel good! :)

We topped our bowl with some avocado since it was lacking any green color. We could’ve also easily swapped in a green zucchini or a green bell pepper. Dishes like this are very flexible.

Bachelorette Stir Fry (Sweet Potato Hash)

  • 1.5 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 sweet onion
  • 2 bell peppers, your choice of color
  • 2 zucchinis
  • 2 6oz. chicken sausage (I used French Apple Chicken from Sprouts)
  • 2 medium yams
  • 1 Tbs. black pepper
  • 1 heaping tablespoon minced garlic
  • generous pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 Tbs. maple syrup (try to use the real stuff, not Aunt Jemimah.)
  • Optional avocado for garnish
  1. In a small skillet, cook the chicken sausages until browned. Let cool, then slice into 1/2″ thick circles. Set aside.
  2. Dice onion, bell peppers and zucchinis. Peel sweet potatoes and dice.
  3. In a large frying pan, heat olive oil. Add garlic for 30 seconds. Add in diced onion, bell pepper, zucchini and sweet potatoes. Stir to combine. Add in pepper, salt, and paprika. Cover with a lid on medium-low for 15 minutes until everything is very soft.
  4. Add in the chicken sausage and maple syrup. Stir to combine. Keep heat on low for another 5 minutes.
  5. Serve with avocado, ketchup, hot sauce, or whatever your favorite topping is. :)

Earlier this week, I re-joined the world of snapchat. (@kenzalyse) I thought it would be a fun way to share my relocation journey without bombarding Instagram and I felt like I was missing out on some of my friends’ fun stories :) so far the filters are my favorite part.

Strong Like My Coffee on Snapchat  kenzalyse  Stronglikemycoffee.com

This morning I have a meeting with a realtor, a cycling class, and an iced coffee date. See you here next week! Xoxo.

Using the Weekend to Set Your Week Up for Success

Last night I was thinking about how much I dreaded Sunday nights when I was younger. I always have the most difficulty falling asleep on Sunday nights, just want to hold on to the weekend as long as possible I guess. Do you remember when they had the special Sunday Night Family Movie on ABC. It started at like 7 o’ clock, and I remember checking the TV Guide the old fashioned way…in the newspaper.

Now I usually use my Sunday nights to be productive with little tasks that will help take away some of the chores during the week. Today, I did three loads of laundry, dusted and tidied my bedroom and bathroom, and got some fruit washed and ready for the week. Little things can really make a difference in helping your week go smoothly so here are some ways that we can help set up our week for success. This is another one of those posts where the blog transitions from its “health and fitness” theme to “all things domestic” theme.

Using your weekend to set your week up for success  Stronglikemycoffee.com

  • Check the weather: It’s just nice to know what to expect.
  • Plan out your work/school outfits accordingly: I pick out five complete outfits and hang them at the front of my closet. If they need ironing, do it all at once during the weekend!
  • Produce Prepping: Some people do complete meal prepping, but I’d rather eat food that is freshly prepared each day. However washing and chopping fruits and veggies, as well as portioning and packaging fruits for snacks cuts down on cooking and lunch-packing during the week. I like to bag up apple slices, grapes, berries, and bell pepper slices.
  • Sweat: I always say that it’s easier to exercise on the weekends than weekdays. I don’t waste my “rest day” on a Saturday or Sunday, because these days generally have more flexibility. Find some time to get in a workout, that way if you have to skip a workout during the week it’s not detrimental. Today, my workout was actually my “break time” from a term paper I’ve been working on. I was stalling going back home and my legs felt pretty good so I ended up running 11.11 miles (because I like ending on “good” numbers haha).
  • Laundry & Linens: Working out every day really fills up the laundry hamper fast. Trying to squeeze in laundry during the week can be difficult (especially when you have roommates who always seem to use the washer/dryer on the same day) so use the time you’ll be at home during the weekend to get it all done. Sheets and towels should be washed once a week too, might as well give yourself some fresh fluffy sheets to crawl into on the dreaded Sunday night.
  • Stock Up: During the week, I use the “notes” page on my iPhone to write down little things that are running out. That way, I can make one trip to Target to get them all at once. Currently, I have hand soap, dryer sheets, Listerine tabs, paper towels, makeup remover, and coffee on my list. But that’s because coffee is on all of my lists ;)
  • Plan your Workout Schedule: “Failure to plan is planning to fail” is forever locked in my brain thanks to my high school cross country coach. We are more likely to hit the gym or tackle that workout if it is pre-planned, including place and time.
  • Clear the Clutter: Take it from me. When you are in the middle of a busy and stressful week, a sink full of dishes and a counter full of clutter can just be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. If on Sunday night, your sink is empty, the clutter is cleaned up and the floors are cleaned, it will make a difference in helping your week go more smoothly.
  • Unwind: Relax and enjoy the last few moments of your weekend so that you can go into Monday with a fresh face and positive attitude. Last night, I had a low-key evening in my apartment so I lit a candle, brewed decaf coffee, played Lady Antebellum, and gave myself a facial.

Using Sunday Night to Set Your Week up for Success *New Blog Post* | Stronglikemycoffee.comThat’s my list so far. And spoiler alert, I also spent my Sunday night typing up this blog post. Which helped take away from the list of things to do on Monday morning. So you see, I practice what I preach ;)

What other weekend/Sunday Night “chores” do you do?

 

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