101 in 1001 List

Photo credit: mypubliclands via Visualhunt.com / CC BY

Idea from: Wandering Weekenders

The Challenge: Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days (roughly 2.75 years)

The Criteria: Tasks must be specific (ie. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and be stretching (ie. represent some amount of work on my part).

Why 1001 Days?: Many people have created lists in the past – frequently simple goals such as new year’s resolutions. The key to beating procrastination is to set a deadline that is realistic. 1001 Days (about 2.75 years) is a better period of time than a year because it allows you several seasons to complete the tasks, which is better for organizing and timing some tasks.

⬡ = incomplete
⬢ = completed

START: October 31, 2016
END: July 29, 2019

HOUSE (4 out of 4)
1. ⬢ Put 20 things I don't wear on Poshmark/Ebay (or donate them). (19/20)
1. donated leggings, 2 necklaces, (unused) flip flops 8/5/17
2. Betsey Johnson dress put on Poshmark 10/17 (sold May 2018)
3. Free People black dress put on Poshmark 2/4/18
4. Aldo brown wedge shoes put on Poshmark 2/4/18
5. Free People chunky sweater put on Poshmark 2/4/18
6. Free People Everlasting Sweater put on Poshmark 2/4/18
7. donated a small bag of clothes/undergarments/shoes/husband's clothes 5/19/18
8. donated another small bag of clothes 5/20/18
9. listed an Aeropostale cami on Poshmark 
10, 11, 12. And another (three) small box(es) of clothes + jewelry 5/26/18, 5/27/18, 5/28/18
13. donated a small bag of clothes 6/2/18
14. donated a small bag of clothes, a few jackets, and some jewelry 6/9/18-6/10/18
15. donated a small box of clothes 6/23/18
16. donated small bag of clothes + bag + shoes 7/28/18
17. donated more clothing + shoes 8/4/18
18. Rowen size 6 heels on Poshmark 8/19/18
19. Mudd size 6 Mary Janes on Poshmark 8/19/18
20. 2 bags of clothes donated to Goodwill 11/20/18
2. ⬢ Put 10 household items I don't use on eBay (or donate/gift them).
1. donated knick-knack 4/1/17
2. sold washer/dryer 8/26/17
3-5 put clothing patterns and bicycle seat on eBay 2/18
6. donated cheap picnic style plates/forks/etc that we received as a gift and never used 5/19/18
7. donated bedding, picture frames, decorations 5/20/18
8. donated office chairs, knick knacks, mixer 5/26/18
9. donated a camera bag and a few camera accessories, gave away unused gardening items 6/2/18
10. donated a jewelry box and two printers 6/10/18
3. ⬢ Sell or donate 10 books.
1. donated Paris In Love by Nichole Robertson 11/8/16
2. sold Shooting In Sh*tty Light by Lindsay Adler 8/5/17
3. donated The Lucky Shopping Manuel by Kim France & Andrea Linett 8/5/17
4. donated Good Housekeeping's The Complete Clutter Solution 8/5/17
5. donated Reading Like A Writer by Francine Prose 8/5/17
6. donated Fifth Avenue 5 A.M. by Sam Wasson
7. donated The Breakdown by B.A. Paris 8/5/17
8. donated Bearing Witness by Charles E. Moore and Timothy Keiderling 8/5/17
9. sold Michelin Green Guide Montreal & Quebec City 8/5/17
10. sold The Flower Workshop by Ariella Chezar and Julie Michaels 8/5/17
11. and sold 7 more books… 8/5/17
12. donated another 15 books 5/20/18
13. And more … 5/26/18
14. And 5 more … 6/2/18
15. donated 1 more… 6/10/18
16. donated a bag of 10 books to a little free library in Atlanta 7/16/18
17. donated another box of books to Goodwill 11/20/18
18. sold books to Powell Books and SellBackYourBooks 11/27/18
4. ⬢ Trash/sell/read 10 magazines. (12 out of 10)
1. read Range Finder 2/27/17
2, 3. listed 2 magazines on ebay 5/25/18
4, 5, 6. recycled 3 magazines 5/25/18
7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 read 6 magazines: 3 Food & Wine, 1 Conde Nast Traveler, 2 Bon Apetit 8/4/18

BLOG (1 out of 6)
5. ⬡ Fix adsense.
6. ⬡ Delete broken links.
7. ⬡ Host four giveaways or one per year (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019).
1. Matt Redman album giveaway 10/11/17, Jeremy Camp album giveaway 10/19/17
8. ⬡ Do 10 things to the blog. (4 out of 10)
1. New domain name. 12/10/16
2. Meta description added. 3/12/17
3. Condensed HTML 5/3/17
4. Set up tracking to determine how many readers use ad blockers 8/8/19
9. ⬢ Fix Pinterest button/hover feature.
10. ⬡ Write 34 amazing blog posts (or one/month). (1 out of 34)
1. Images from the Women's March on Washington D.C. 2/10/17

SOCIAL MEDIA (2 out of 4)
11. ⬡ Organize and clean up Pinterest.
12. ⬢ Post once a week for 4 consecutive weeks on facebook.
13. ⬢ Clean up twitter. 11/8/16
14. ⬡ Learn to track twitter, facebook, pinterest, instagram analytics. (1 out of 4)
1/13/16 twitter
6/17/18 cleaned up instagram
5/24/19 cleaned up twitter again

PHOTOGRAPHY (5 out of 8)
15. ⬢ Attempt to take (good) pictures of the stars.
16. ⬢ Buy a new filter for my camera lens(es). (graduated neutral density filter 82mm)
17. ⬢ Continue practicing taking pictures of fireworks. (1/1/17 in Montreal)
18. ⬢ And underwater creatures. (2/15/17 at Maui Ocean Center)
19. ⬢ Take a picture of the sunrise/sunset in Hawai'i. (2/12-2/19 2017)
20. ⬡ Give an image I love to a friend/family member.
21. ⬡ Edit and print large four photographs I'm proud of/love.
22. Edit my grandfather's two images.

LIFE (11 out of 14)
23. ⬢ Have professional photos taken of us. (@ Old Lahaina Luau 2/14/17)
24. ⬢ Sell car.
25. ⬡ Read 60 books before this challenge is over. (32 out of 60)
1. Foraged Flora by Louesa Roebuck 11/2/16
2. Victoria by Daisy Goodwin 11/20/16
3. Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson 11/21/16
4. Frommer's Montreal Day-By-Day 11/27/16
5. Michelin Green Guide Montreal & Quebec City 11/27/16
6. Capturing What We Cannot Keep 1/1/17
7. Maui Revealed by Andrew Doughty 2/6/17
8. Oahu Revealed by Andrew Doughty 2/11/17
9. Break Into Travel Writing (Teach Yourself) by Beth Blair 4/30/17
10. Pierre Hermé Macarons: The Ultimate Recipes from the Master Pâtissier by Pierre Hermé 5/21/17
11. Personal Recollections Of Vincent Van Gogh by Elisabeth Huberta Du Quesne-van Gogh 5/22/17
12. The Breakdown by B.A. Paris 6/22/17
13. Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker 6/29/17
14. National Geographic Traveler: Miami & the Keys by Mark Miller 7/1/17
15. The Descendants by Kaui Hart Hemmings 10/17
16. A Traveller's Wine Guide to California by Robert Holmes 2/11/18
17. DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: San Francisco & Northern California by Barry Parr 2/24/18
18. The Photographer's Guide to the California Coast by Douglas Steakley 3/16/18
19. DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: California by Jamie Jenson 3/19/18
20. Fatal Descent: Andreas Lubitz and the Crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 by Jeff Wise 3/20/18
21. How to Walk Away by Katherine Center 4/21/18
22. Evelyn, After by Victoria Helen Stone 7/9/18
23. How to Get Dressed by Alison Freer 9/2/18
24, The Dream Daughter by Diane Chamberlain 9/4/18
25. A Perfectly Messed Up Story by Patrick McDonnel 10/18/18
26. Mary McScary by R.L. Stein 10/18/18
27. The Adventures of Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey 10/18/18
28. Carry Her Heart (Words of the Heart) by Holly Jacobs 10/26/18
29. The Girl He Used to Know by Tracey Garvis Graves 3/3/19
30.  German Men Sit Down to Pee & Other Insights Into the Culture by Niklas Frank 5/7/19
31. Los Angeles (mini) by Tim Street-Porter
32. Paranoid by Lisa Jackson
26. ⬢ Get Jawbone fixed/replaced.
bought Fitbit Alta 11/4/17
It broke 4/1/18
bought new Fitbit Alta on sale 7/12/18
27. ⬢ Send baby gift to Stephanie (and/or visit her).
28. ⬢ Exercise 3x a week for a month.
week 1 7/1-7/7/18
week 2 7/8-7/14
week 3 7/15-7/21
week 4 7/22-7/28
29. ⬢ And again.
week 1 7/29-8/4/18
week 2 8/5-8/11
week 3 8/12-8/18
week 4 8/19-8/25
week 5 8/26-9/1
30. ⬢ Lose five pounds.
began using Weight Watchers App 10/30/18
completed 3/16/18
31. ⬢ Go ice skating. 3/16/18
32. ⬢ Watch 16 movies. (16 out of 16)
1. Moulin Rouge 11/18/16
2. The Shack 12/1/16
3. Rogue One 12/18/16
4. Finding Dory 12/21/16
5. You Before Me 1/2/17
6. The Girl on the Train 1/6/17
7. Passengers 1/8/17
8. Dr. Strange 1/8/17
9. La La Land 1/16/17
10. Pearl Harbor 2/6/17
11. Alice Through the Looking Glass 2/11/17
12. The Great Gatsby 2/19/17
13. The Descendants 2/19/17
14. Bridget Jones's Baby 2/20/17
15. Logan 3/5/17
16. Beauty and the Beast 3/31/17
33. ⬡ Go rollerblading.
34. ⬡ Wear mascara every day for a week (5 days).
35. ⬢ Watch a movie/tv show or read a book in German.
Neo Magazin Royale 2/4/17
36. ⬢ Don't forget to renew my license!

BUY (3)
37. ⬡ Replace/fix my leather jacket.
38. ⬡ Get a mirrorless camera.
39. ⬡ Purchase a drone.

CREATIVE (2 out of 6)
40. ⬡ Do something with the various postcards I've bought.
41. ⬡ Put together a photo book using Finao.
42. ⬢ Come up with 101 accomplishable goals to be completed in 1001 days. (10/21/16)
43. ⬢ Create a floral arrangement or do a craft.
- does making slime with kids count? (multiple times in 2018)
44. ⬡ Braid my hair myself once.
- got my hair braided 7/5/18
45. ⬡ Record and post 8 videos to my blog of things I've seen or done. (6 out of 8)
1. Hollywood Studios 11/1/16
2. Ingrid Michaelson Concert 11/9/16
3. Women's March 1/26/17
4. Lévis Ferry 4/14/17
5. French Christmas carols in Québec City 4/19/17
6. Québec City Restaurants 4/20/17

FOOD (6 out of 16)
46. ⬡ Learn to make cheese or yogurt.
47. ⬡ Make marshmallows from scratch.
48. ⬢ Make a drink using pineapple and serve it in a pineapple. :)
- Made a drink using pineapple 11/2016
- Drank out of a pineapple 7/2/17
- And done! 7/31/17
49. ⬢ Make brioche. 11/21/18
50. ⬢ Try poutine. (@Leon's in Decatur, GA 11/9/16)
51. ⬡ Take my mom to Medieval Times.
52. ⬡ Make flammkuchen.
53. ⬡ Try Black Forest Cake.
54. ⬢ Make Japanese-style pancakes or sponge cake. (7/21/19)
55. ⬢ Try a piña colada. (@Old Lahaina Luau in Maui 2/14/17)
56. ⬡ Make buttermilk ice cream.
57. ⬡ Make homemade sprinkles.
58. ⬢ Smoke something. (pork 11/4/18)
59. ⬡ Treat Justin's parents to a night of raclette.
60. ⬡ Give up sweets for a week (5 days).
61. ⬡ and another (10 days).

MONEY (5 out of 11)
62. ⬡ Pay off credit cards.
63. ⬢ Pay off the car loan. 1/12/19
64. ⬡ Book a trip using just points.
65. ⬡ Cashout with OpenTable.
66. ⬡ Apply for an Amex credit card.
67. ⬢ Apply for a Chase credit card (Reserve?).
68. ⬢ Stick to our food budget for one month.
69. ⬡ And again.
70. ⬢ Save money when I prepay for a year of Mindspring/Earthlink with two Amex cards. (10/31/16)
71. ⬢ Save money by purchasing another year of prepaid Dropbox for Justin. (10/31/16)
72. ⬡ Come up with a clothing budget and stick to it for 6 months.

CHARITY (2 out of 4)
73. ⬡ Volunteer at a food bank.
74. ⬢ Leave a 100% tip at a restaurant. 4/29/17, 9/22/17
75. ⬢ Pay for someone else's Starbucks order.
- gave a homeless person $10 to get a prescription filled (summer 2018)
- paid for a homeless person to have coffee from Starbucks 11/19/18
76. ⬡ Give 10,000 grains of rice. (400/10,000)

TRAVEL & EXPLORATION (15 out of 24, 1 isn't worth doing)
77. ⬢ Travel to two countries. (4 out of 2)
1. Canada 12/27/16
2. France 12/26/18
3. Egypt 12/27/18
4. Germany 1/3/19
78. ⬡ Go camping.
79. ⬡ See the Huntsville, AL Botanical Gardens.
80. ⬡ Fix Justin's two United airline accounts (if necessary).
81. ⬡ Hike at least two times each year in the mountains (fall 2016, fall/spring 2017, fall/spring 2018, spring 2019).
1. Mini "hikes" along the Blue Ridge Parkway 10/15/16-10/16/16
2. Hike in MA 10/7/17
3. hike up hill to Coit Tower in SF, CA 4/7/18
82. ⬢ Take part in 18 cultural experiences before the end of the challenge.
1. Visited the Atlanta Botanical Gardens Chihuly Exhibit 10/30/16
2. Ingrid Michaelson Concert @ The Tabernacle in Atlanta, GA 11/9/16
3. City of Lawrenceville, GA Christmas Parade 12/2/16
4. North Carolina Arboretum Winter Lights in Asheville, NC 12/17/16
5. Montréal New Year's Eve fireworks 1/1/17
6. Women's March in D.C. 1/21/17
7. Muslim Ban Protest at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport in Atlanta, GA 1/28/17
8. Old Lahaina Luau & wedding vow renewal in HI 2/14/17
9. Fireworks in Honolulu, HI 2/17/17
10. ACLU Resistance Training Meeting in Athens, GA 3/11/17
11. Tax March in Atlanta, GA 4/15/17
12. March for Science in D.C. 4/22/17
13. visited Library of Congress 5/27/17
14. explored the Capitol 5/27/17
15. saw the Motorcycle Rally Parade in D.C. 5/28/17
16. the Newseum 5/28/17
17. Wynwood Walls in Miami, FL 7/2/17
18. fireworks in Fort Lauderdale 7/4/17
83. ⬢ Visit a cave. (on the road to Hana 2/13/17)
84. ⬢ Go to a new beach every summer (2017, 2018, 2019).
2017 - Miami's South Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Pensacola, Destin, Orange Beach, Laguna Beach (FL)
2018 - West Palm Beach (FL)
2019 - Venice Beach (CA)
85. ⬢ Pack everything I need for a single trip in ONE carry-on bag. (Does not include the camera.) 12/26/16
86. ⬡ Take my mom somewhere she wants to go.
87. ⬢ Visit the Pearl Harbor memorial.
88. ⬡ Take a weekend off to visit Ellis and Colleen when they buy a house.
89. ⬡ Work on this list (1 out of 10).
1. Hunting Island, SC 5/30/16
90. ⬡ And this one (3.75 out of 8)
.5 Blue Ridge Parkway from Asheville, NC to Boone, NC 10/15/16-10/16/16
1.5 The Road to Hana in Hawaii 2/13/17
2.5 drive down to Key West & back 7/3/17-7/4/17
2.75? Blue Ridge Parkway south of Asheville, NC; Shenandoah National Park (Skyline Drive) 10/9/17-10/10/17
3.75 PCH 3/30/18-4/6/18
91. ⬢ See a UNESCO world heritage site. (Quebec City, Canada 12/28/16)
92. ⬢ Research geocaching.
93. ⬢ Visit a theme park. (does Legoland count? 7/26/18)
94. ⬢ And an aquarium. (Maui Ocean Center 2/14/17)
95. ⬢ And a museum. (Moloka'i Museum & Cultural Center 2/16/17)
96. ⬢ See the 4th of July fireworks from somewhere fun every year. (2017, 2018, 2019)
2017 - Fort Lauderdale
2018 - Miami
97. ⬢ Visit 4 restaurants found in the Restaurants Where Chefs Eat book.
1. RIS in D.C. 1/22/17
2. Roy's in Honolulu, HI 2/16/17
3. Pizzeria Paradiso in D.C. 4/22/17
4. Old Ebbitt Grill in D.C. 5/27/17
5. 2 Amy's Pizza in D.C. 5/28/17
6. Yardbird in Miami, FL 7/2/17
98. ⬢ Go to a drive-in movie (Spider-Man: Far From Home, 7/12/19)
99. ⬡ Visit a Christmas tree farm.
100. ⬢ Go to 2 performances/concerts/operas (2 out of 2).
1. Ingrid Michaelson Concert @ The Tabernacle in Atlanta, GA 11/9/16
2. Old Lahaina Luau in Maui, Hawaii 2/14/17

101. ⬡ Review/update this list once a month.

12/21/16 (8 tasks completed, 1 can't be done.)
1/2/16 (11 tasks completed, 1 can't be done, 1 not worth completing)
1/6/17, 1/8/17, 1/13/17, 1/16/17, 1/25/17, 1/26/17,
2/8/17 (15 tasks completed, 1 can't be done, 1 not worth completing)
2/21/17 (24 tasks completed, 1 can't be done, 1 not worth completing)
2/26/17, 3/12/17
3/31/17 (25 tasks completed, 1 can't be done, 1 not worth completing)
4/4/17, 4/14/17, 4/19/17, 4/20/17, 4/24/17
5/1/17 (26 tasks completed, 1 can't be done, 1 not worth completing)
5/3/17, 5/24/17
5/30/17 (27 tasks completed, 1 can't be done, 1 not worth completing)
6/15/17 (28 tasks completed, 1 can't be done, 1 not worth completing)
7/6/17 (29 tasks completed, 1 can't be done, 1 not worth completing)
7/13/17, 7/31/17
8/1/17 (30 tasks completed, 1 can't be done, 1 not worth completing)
8/5/17 (31 tasks completed, 1 can't be done, 1 not worth completing)
8/13/17, 8/26/17
11/12/17 (32 tasks completed, 1 not worth completing)
12/2/17 (32 tasks completed, 1 not worth completing)
1/7/18 (32 tasks completed, 1 not worth completing)
2/7/18 (32 tasks completed, 1 not worth completing)
2/11/18, 2/24/18
3/16/18 (32 tasks completed, 1 not worth completing)
3/19/18, 3/20/18
4/13/18 (32 tasks completed, 1 not worth completing)
5/19/18 (32 tasks completed, 1 not worth completing)
5/20/18, 5/25/18, 5/30/18
6/2/18 (32 tasks completed, 1 not worth completing)
6/10/18 (33 tasks completed, 1 not worth completing)
7/16/18 (34 tasks completed, 1 not worth completing)
7/30/18 (36 tasks completed, 1 not worth completing)
8/4/18 (37 tasks completed, 1 not worth completing)
8/18/18, 8/21/18
9/1/18 (38 tasks completed, 1 not worth completing)
11/4/18 (40 tasks completed)
11/18/18 (41 tasks completed)
11/27/18 (43 tasks completed)
1/9/19 (44 tasks completed)
1/30/19 (45 tasks completed)
3/6/19 (46 tasks completed)
3/17/19 (48 tasks completed)
7/6/19 (51 tasks completed)
7/13/19 (52 tasks completed)
7/22/19 (53 tasks completed)

What do you think of the 101 in 1001 challenge? Are you up for it?

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Halloween Ramblings

image from VisualHunt.com

One of my favorite months of the year is upon us: October. I love the changing leaf colors, the delicious pumpkin flavored everything, and the amazing weather that the month brings. Of course, October also brings one particularly well-known holiday: Halloween. The following are some of my thoughts on the holiday and how my opinion toward the holiday has changed over the years…

1. Costumes I've worn during past Halloweens:• pumpkin outfit (I was 2?)
• Minnie Mouse (5)
• a "pumpkin fairy" (6? It was orange, green, and black with see-through glitter tulle. A cheap dream dress.)
• Belle from Beauty and the Beast (7?)
• a clown (10? I think that was the year I was starting to get sick of dressing up for Halloween. We already had the costume in a closet and I didn't want another cheap one from the Halloween store.)
• In college, I dressed up as Queen Guinevere and had a homemade costume with the heaviest headpiece I have ever worn (it gave me a headache). The (now) husband dressed as Prince Lancelot with chainmail he made himself.

2. The most impressive costumes I've ever seen:• a group of girls running around with inner tubes decorated as a "Baker's half dozen of donuts". :)
• a girl carrying a see-through umbrella decorated with lights and streamers who was pretending to be a jellyfish.
• at an adult party I saw a female dressed as the girl from the Morton salt box (yellow dress, yellow umbrella).

3. Favorite Halloween candy:• snickers
• starbursts
• sour punch straws
• sour patch kids

(I like the fruity, sour candies!)

4. Favorite Halloween movie: Hocus Pocus

5. As a kid, I would sort all of my Halloween candy. Like starbursts in one pile, m&ms in another. Candy I didn't want was tossed or given to my parents/brother. Candy I did want was stuffed into a bag and put in my closet … meant to get me through until Christmas or Easter. (Candy is full of preservatives so it doesn't go bad right? 😉)

6. As an adult, I try to "disappear" on Halloween night by going to the mall or out to eat. The first year my husband and I were married and in our own home, I heard stories of neighborhood kids causing a racket on Halloween night (causing problems and such), and I wanted no part of it. So we locked our doors, turned off our lights, and left for the evening. Call us the Halloween "grinches" if you will. Either way, I enjoyed our "date night" so much, that we've continued to do it every year since. Recently, it's become an excuse to find and try new restaurants. (We always eat at the same ones.)

7. Favorite Halloween song: "The Monster Mash"

8. A Typical Halloween Night As A Kid: My brother and I would come home from school and impatiently wait out the time between 3PM and 5PM. We would eat dinner between 5 and 5:30PM and get dressed up into our costumes. At 6PM, we were out in a nearby neighborhood with more houses than our own. Our parents would follow us in the car as we went from house to house ringing doorbells and hopefully expecting candy. By 9PM, whether or not we had visited all of the houses, we were expected to get in the car and head home. From there, we would sort candy, take baths, and go to bed.

9. Other pre-Halloween things I did growing up –• Haunted Houses: one with the local baptist church (the idea being that this is what you would experience if you didn't accept Jesus "into your heart" and found yourself in Hell), one for a friend's birthday party, and one at my husband's fraternity. It always made me laugh when someone would jump out of the dark and attempt to scare me. 😀
• Speaking of fraternity: their annual Halloween party, which I only went to once or twice. I didn't like fraternity parties, so inevitably I would find myself up in my boyfriend's room doing my own thing. Besides, it really only seemed to be an excuse for college girls to run around half-naked and the guys to get drunk.
• My college had the "Black Cat Dance" which was like a high school prom, but before college students. We all dressed up and went somewhere fancy for mingling, food, and food. (The one year I went the dance was held at the Brave's Field in Atlanta with a fancy "baseball" theme.)
• Halloween Fright Fest at Six Flags Over Georgia theme park is the best in October! I love all of the decorations! Plus, the weather is perfect.• Pumpkin carving.
• Leaf looking in North Georgia. Also visiting apple orchards buying apple butter, fried apple pies, and trying the apples that the orchard sells for free.
• Visiting the fair with friends. Loved the rides, the food, and the experience!
• Church Halloween alternatives: which included getting free candy and playing party games outside.

10. This year
Justin and I have:
• gone leaf looking in North Carolina
• and are going out to eat somewhere new to us for Halloween night (though I haven't decided where).

We will not:
• dress up
• go to a party
• carve pumpkins
• buy Halloween candy (except for giving to the kids I watch).

What are some of your best and worst Halloween memories? Do you like celebrating Halloween or is it a holiday you try to avoid as much as possible? Has the way you celebrated (or not) Halloween over the years changed?

Linking up with Tamara Gerber of Confessions of a Part Time Working Mom for #TopTenThursday

Linking up with All the Beautiful Things and Run Jump Scrap.

Cherries in Chinatown

You can buy so many cherries in NYC's Chinatown for so cheap! We snacked on some as we waited in Dumbo park for the July 4th 2016 fireworks to begin. 😀 I do believe they were the best cherries I've ever had.

What is one of your favorite healthy snacks? Do you like cherries?

Linked up with Through My Lens

Walt Disney World 4 Parks in 2 Days: Tips for Surviving EPCOT's Food & WIne Fest

Experiencing the International Food and Wine Festival at EPCOT was a dream come true. It combined my favorite park with the amazing world-sourced decadent foods that the Disney parks are known to serve. (Though getting the above picture proved to be a challenge with all of the visitors.)

First, upon our return to EPCOT, Justin and I took advantage of the rides we had as of yet gotten to do: Test Track, Ellen's Energy Adventure (super dated!), Journey into Imagination with Figment (a regret), Living With the Land, and The Sea with Nemo and Friends (another regret). Clearly, it was time for us to move on beyond the rides…

Before venturing any further, we took some time to walk through the Innovations Pavilions where a Ghiradelli exhibit awaited us called From Bean to Bar.

The exhibit itself was a bit boring, but we did love seeing the amazing chocolate sculptures on display.

Isn't that detail amazing?

We ultimately decided against purchasing any Ghirardelli treats to take on the run, but we did enjoy some chocolate bars they were giving out for free!

… Then it was on to lunch. We decided to hit up all of the pavilions/countries we had missed during our last visit to EPCOT.

Just to give you an idea of what we sampled during the 2016 food and wine fest–

+ Chicken Pot Stickers

Chocolate Studio:
Liquid Nitro Chocolate Almond Truffle with Warm Whiskey Caramel

Apple Strudel with Vanilla Sauce

Irish Cheese Selection Plate: Irish Cheddar, Dubliner and Irish Porter

Pennette alla Parmigiana: Baked Ziti and Chicken Parmigiana, Tomato Sauce, Mozzarella and Parmesan Cheese

Kefta Pocket: Seasoned Ground Beef in a Pita Pocket

It was so much fun exploring and tasting the different countries! Plus, EPCOT offers "extra" specialty foods and countries during the International Food and Wine Fest that they don't showcase during the rest of the year (like the Chocolate Studio).

Of course the EPCOT Food and Wine Festival is more than just pavilions though! They also offer classes taught by world-renowned chefs that include culinary demonstrations (how to make certain foods), beverage seminars and tastings, history of food classes, and much more! Then, if you still haven't reached your fill, consider participating in a specialty dining event like a Parisian breakfast or a multi-course meal. During the EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival, it is far easier to run out of money than it is to run out of things to do. Prepare and save if you intend on going.

A few more tips:
+ Arrive HUNGRY.
+ Not just kind-of sort-of hungry, but STARVING. 😉
+ Use gift cards to control your spending and make the purchase of foods/drinks quick and easy!
+ Pick up an EPCOT passport to mark the foods you try at each location.
+ Get your hands on a list of foods available during the Food and Wine Fest, so that you can mark what you want to try and have room in your stomach to try them! 😀

What types of foods would you expect or hope to find at an international festival like this? Are there certain classes you would anticipate seeing? Or specific celebrity or chef appearances that would make the EPCOT Food and Wine Festival a must-do for you? … What do you think of those very intricately designed chocolate sculptures by Ghirardelli?

See more of my #4Parks2Days series here:
• Part one: Animal Kingdom
• Part two: EPCOT
• Part four: Magic Kingdom

** Linking up to City Trippers Mummytravels.com and Wandermum.co.uk