40Gal Bucket List

A list of life's 'to-do's' before turning 50 … our journey of gettin' stuff done

Archive for the category “Bucket List”

Life got in the way.

I want to blog, I really do, but Life gets in the way sometimes and throughout my history as a ‘blogger’ it has gotten in the way a few times.  I’m here today to declare that it is OK for life to get in the way.  It is OK – living life is more important than writing about it.  I am off the hook now.  This declaration, or confession maybe, has giving me the OK to be OK for not writing one word since … geez when was the last post anyway?  But life got in the way.

My life in a nutshell these last few months:  My husband and I moved from NYC to Austin, TX. 

Yep!  After 14 glorious years in NYC, I am now a texan.  It is hard for me to say that.  I love, love, love NYC, but the opportunity presented itself and we took the chance and moved.  It’s been an interesting transition to say the least.  104 degrees upon our arrival and new work challenges that make you question everything, but we’re excited about where this new adventure will take us.  One thing for sure is you never know what’s around the corner!

So how does this Texas flip change our Bucket List?  Well, the list is the list and we will tackle it as best we can!  Going to all the Museums in NYC will be hard living 1,740 miles away, but the List will force a few visits :-)  And walking … wow, getting your steps in it tough when you are in a car all the time, but it’s not a challenge I can’t figure out. 

So now that I’m pretty much settled in our new home I do hope to write more and share more, because I miss you. 

That’s all for today … Life is calling …


Well I am finally back from my world travels for work.  I went to Vietnam with unexpected trips to Dubai and Hong Kong.  I love when life throws you a bucket list party!  Who knew I would be able to tackle 3 countries in one trip?

This was the first time I had flown Emirates Airlines.  I was excited since the videos about the Airbus A380 showed a most amazing aircraft, but was quickly reminded I was in economy class after only 1 hour in the air when the gentleman’s seat in front of my was in my lap.  It was so tight of a space that I couldn’t even lean forward to eat when my meal came, and I am only 5’ tall.  I felt sorry for the taller members of the hoi palloi, well, everyone except the guy in front of me.  After 12 hours and 32 minutes we landed in Dubai close to three hours after the scheduled arrival time.  I had missed my connecting flight to Vietnam and I was stuck in Dubai for 24 hours.  Oh Darn – Whoooeee!!!! Burj-al-Khalifa-Dubai

I would say nearly 300 people had missed their connecting flights as we all gathered at the re-ticketing counter to find out the new game plan.  This is where we were re-booked, given a voucher for the Emirates Hotel and sent off on a bus to the golden city of Dubai.

It really is amazing when life hands you a vacation you didn’t expect.  Even if it is only a 24 hour vacation.





You’re Welcome Pantene



It’s always nice to get a thank you :-)

What’s in your Bucket?

I have really enjoyed sharing my experiences of tackling my Bucket List.  This special list has saved me in so many ways.  It was because of this list that I met the love of my life.  This list also help us both get through a difficult time when we miscarried back in November.  And writing about my experiences has also been so rewarding.  So thank you my 40 Gal Bucket List.

But today it is not about me, but you.  I have accepted that fact that having a Bucket List is gratifying and gives me much personal satisfaction, but what about you?  What’s in your Bucket?

The idea of having a Bucket List became popular in 2007 with the movie The Bucket List.   It was about two old men that tackled a list of items they wanted to accomplish before dying as they were facing death.  But why do we have to be knocking on heaven’s door to have a Bucket List?  Why can’t we create our Life’s List while we are living rather than, sadly, dying?  To be honest, we can all die at any moment, right?  That is the truth.  So the time is now to get the ‘someday I’ll do, see, hear, smell, taste …” to “Today I’ll get this done”.  But the first step is to know what you want to do, what you want on your list.

To create your personal list you can start by asking yourself few questions:

  • If you were to die today, what would you have regretted not doing?
  • If you were granted 3 wishes, what would they be?
  • Who do you admire and why?
  • Think back to when you were a child, what did you dream of doing “when you grow up”?
  • If you had all the money in the world, what would you want to spend it on?
  • Think about the 5 senses and ask yourself:
    • What do I want to see?
    • What do I want to hear?
    • What do I want to feel?
    • What do I want to smell?
    • What do I want to taste?

Start with these few questions and you would be amazed at what pops in your mind.  Use these ’ah-ha’ moments to figure out what you want to do.  What you want in your Bucket.

Donate and a New ‘Do’

I have always had long hair; I think most would first describe me as short and second ‘with long hair’; long hair is just me.   But on a few occasions I have gone under the scissors.  Once in elementary school – oh what a mistake – and second time about 5 years ago when I chopped off and donated 10 inches of my hair to Pantene Beautiful Lengths and 12 inches to Locks of Love.  It was an amazing feeling giving this gift and I recommend adding “Donate My Hair” to your bucket list. 

cut off hairThe feeling of a hair change came upon me again this past January.  I wanted something drastic and I wanted to donate my hair one last time before my grey hair hijacked my eligibility. But what ‘do’ would I do? Last time I cut it short I still had about 3 inches of hair to pull.  This time, I wanted more drama – more risk.  I love the really short hairdo’s we see today: Gennifer Goodwin, Anne Hathaway, my beautiful sister-in-law, Angela.  They all wear the short pixie perfectly, so I decided that was the haircut I would get and just prayed it looked ok on me.photo[2]

So on January 3, 2013 I cut 14 inches of my hair and donated it to Pantene Beautiful Lengths.  Today, I already need another hair cut.




Happy Mardi Gras


Go to Mardi Gras in New Orleans is a must for anyone’s Bucket List, but since I am a NOLA girl, I checked this off my life’s ‘to-do’s’ 40 years ago.  Mardi Gras is just plain ole fun!  I have so many amazing memories of Mardi Gras through the years from when I was a kid sitting on my father’s shoulders screaming ”throw me something mister” to when the memories are so fuzzy that I know I must have had the time of my life!  I highly recommend you adding this trip and this experience to your life’s to-do.


Other suggested Bucket List items that expand on the Mardi Gras theme which I am happy to say I have done are: Ride in a Mardi Gras Parade, Build a Mardi Gras Float, Eat a King Cake and Get the Baby, and Go to a Mardi Gras Ball.  One particular item that you may think would be on any Mardi Gras Bucket list:  Show your Boobs for Beads, was never on, nor checked off, my list.  You see, NOLA girls should always refrain from exposing their ‘girls’.  It is just too risky, it could be a neighbor, a teacher, or worse, your father you are flashing.  So when in NOLA, know that those boobs flapping about are not local, but ta-ta’s that have traveled to the great city of New Orleans.

Happy Mardi Gras!

Hello 2013!

Well it’s been a while hasn’t it? I’m am so sorry for being out of commission. It’s been a hell of a few months. My husband and I found out we were pregnant in September and before that we were actively trying which left me away from my computer ;-). It had been a so very joyous and happy time.

Well, 5 weeks ago I miscarried and our happy times ended. I must say it has been really, really tough. I am 42 and my husband is 44 – we are ‘old’ to be starting a family, but we really wanted children and on that day in September we were so very happy. In fact, I was planning on announcing the pregnancy to the world on this site and on Facebook on New Year’s Day. I was even going to have a “40 Gal’s Baby’s Bucket List.” I had already started the list and was going to publish it in January. That all changed.

I am writing today because one thing we have to look forward to right now is tackling our lists we had created to have something to look forward to – Our Bucket List. We have done a few of the items on the list in the last few months, but writing them and posting just didn’t happen. So in the next few weeks we will start updating our progress and continue to tackle our ‘life’s to-do’.

Hello 2013 … here we come!

41 and counting … to 50

It’s been a year and a half since I last posted on my blog.  And since that last post in January of 2011, it’s been a most fantastic whirlwind of falling in love and getting married!  Who knew that a simple Bucket List could change the direction of my life and be the catalyst for me finding my husband?  My 40 Gal Bucket List started as a project so I may confront my 40’s head on with a sense of accomplishment.  I did just that.  That list lead me to this new chapter in my life.  I am no longer a single girl in the city, but a married woman confronting new obstacles and new dreams and desires – new items to add to my 40 Gal Bucket List.  That is why I am back to tackling my 40 Gal Bucket List and vow to continue to tackle this list until I, and my bucket, grow to 50 on December 28, 2020.

It will be an 8 1/2 year project full of fun quirky goals and life-long adventures that will challenge me to discover new things.  There is one more twist to the new 40 Gal Bucket List and that is that I am not doing it alone, my best friend, my husband, is joining me in the journey!  He will be there to help and support me with my 40 Gal Bucket List and he will tackle his own list: the 40 Gal’s Guy’s Bucket List.  So, we will each have our own items we want to tackle, but we will also have a joint Bucket List: The 40’s Couple’s Bucket List that will list the goals we want to tackle together.  It’s going to a be a fun challenge and we cannot wait to share our journey with you!

What’s on our bucket lists? Check out each blog page for the full lists for each: The 40 Gal’s Bucket List (my personal ‘to-do’s), the 40 Gal’s Guy’s Bucket List (my husband’s personal ‘to-do’s) and the 40 Couple’s Bucket List (what we will do together).  The list is also below.  Right now, we each have 50 items on our list to challenge us to 50, and 85 items on our couple’s list.  This list is set in stone, but we are allowing additions along the way …


OK – 50 HERE WE COME!!!!

40 Gal’s Bucket List

  1. Write a blog until I am 50 years old
  2. Learn to fence
  3. Go to the US Open
  4. Walk around the world – 24,901.55 miles via fitbit
  5. Get my cholesterol below 200
  6. Wear a size 2 again.
  7. Learn conversational Spanish so I can chat with my In-laws!
  8. Become our Family Historian
  9. Learn to make Paella, Tortilla, Sangria and Gazpacho for my husband
  10. Make a gingerbread house
  11. Bake a Birthday Cake for someone special
  12. Learn self-hypnosis
  13. Learn to make an apple pie
  14. Try absinthe
  15. Give advice and then take my own advice
  16. Learn the game of archery
  17. Discover my passion and turn it into a career
  18. Do a month long video diary on YouTube
  19. Complete a 90 day fitness challenge
  20. Sleep in the Dream Hotel In New York City
  21. Carve a pumpkin
  22. Go apple picking
  23. Go to a horse race
  24. Learn Tai Chi
  25. Learn to belly dance
  26. Write a novel
  27. Participate in NaNoWriMo
  28. Create a Coat of Arms for my family
  29. Learn how to play chess
  30. See a ghost – friendly ghost that is!
  31. Visit all 50 states – 10 to go!
  32. Dine in the dark
  33. Pan for gold
  34. Go on an archaeological dig
  35. Spend a night at a dude ranch
  36. Visit a volcano
  37. Visit the Lizzie Borden House
  38. Go on a spa vacation
  39. Shop at Harrods’s
  40. Go to an international Futbol game
  41. Be part of a Flash Mob
  42. Make a waiter/waitresses day – give a 100% tip for good service
  43. Create my own website
  44. Practice Random Acts of Kindness and Senseless Acts of Beauty once a month for a year
  45. Ride a camel
  46. Do a split like I did at 15 yrs old
  47. Milk a cow
  48. Do DNA ancestry
  49. Become a certified Secret Shopper and then secret shop
  50. Go to an Ohio State Football game and cheer on  my husband’s alma mater

 40 Gal’s Guy’s Bucket List

  1. Write a blog post at least 1/month until I am 50 (for my wife)
  2. Learn to drive a stick shift
  3. Learn to ride a motorcycle
  4. Learn how to make a cigar
  5. Read all the books in my personal library
  6. Make beer
  7. Get a professional massage
  8. Put a hundred bucks on a blackjack hand.
  9. Write a novel
  10. Participate in NaNoWriMo
  11. Complete a beer challenge
  12. Run a 5K
  13. Run a 10K
  14. Join a bike club
  15. Take photography lessons to better my skills
  16. Carry a totem and then give to someone special
  17. Get a professional shave at the Art of Shaving
  18. Have a custom suit made
  19. Go on a cruise
  20. Visit all 50 States by the time I turn 50 (July 12, 2018).
  21. Transfer all Family photos to digital
  22. Learn to snow ski
  23. Watch the entire Star Trek Next Generation series
  24. Be complaint-free for 21 days – www.acomplaintfreeworld.org
  25. Go to The Masters
  26. See a Brooklyn Cyclones game
  27. Visit Cooperstown, NY
  28. Go to the Pro Football Hall of Fame
  29. Solve the Rubics Cube (like I used to be able to)
  30. Get a Tattoo
  31. Cook a 4 course meal for my wife
  32. Learn to ice skate
  33. Go to the top of the Empire State Building
  34. Be in the audience of The Daily Show
  35. Drink a Guinness in Dublin, Ireland
  36. Learn to make a most special cocktail
  37. Got to a baseball game at Fenway Park
  38. See at game at Wrigley Field
  39. Ride a camel
  40. Milk a cow
  41. Do my own DNA ancestry
  42. Build all the Lego Architectural Series
  43. Eat crawfish and suck da heads
  44. Go to an LSU game and cheer on my wife’s alma mater
  45. Ride on a New Orleans streetcar
  46. Conquer the Great Saunter
  47. Eat at Commander’s Palace
  48. Go to a game in the Superdome
  49. Go to Pike’s Place in Seattle
  50. Get Lai’ed in Hawaii

 The 40’s Couple’s Bucket List

  1. Learn to salsa
  2. Have 2 x’s our salary of today saved by the end of 2020
  3. Own a collectable piece of Art
  4. Take a Couple’s Cooking Class
  5. Write our own personal History – for our children (if we have children) and our family to enjoy generations to come.
  6. Have a real stay-cation
  7. Go to a Car Race
  8. Play paintball
  9. Take an overnight biking trip
  10. Ride a Horse on a Beach
  11. Bury a time-capsule
  12. Go sailing
  13. Watch the AFI 100 greatest American Movies of all time
  14. Help in Building a Habitat for Humanity Home
  15. Volunteer on a Farm – WWOOFING
  16. Sleep in a “Haunted” Hotel
  17. Spend a day in silence
  18. Spend a month with NO TV
  19. Spend a day naked ;-)
  20. Go stargazing
  21. Witness a sunrise and sunset in the same day
  22. Kiss on top of a ferris wheel
  23. See a movie at a Drive-in Movie Theatre
  24. Get a caricature picture of ourselves
  25. Commit to writing in a gratitude journal for a full year as a couple
  26. Go to a Shakespeare festival
  27. Go on a Murder Mystery Train Ride
  28. Take a romantic horse drawn carriage ride
  29. Find a cache while geo-caching
  30. Sleep in a tree house
  31. Eat at 1 of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants
  32. Go to Saturday Night Live
  33. Picnic on Governor’s Island
  34. Have a drink/dinner in the Oldest Bar in NYC – Fraunces Tavern
  35. Visit the Brooklyn Botanical Garden
  36. Eat Around the World in the 5 Boroughs
  37. Hit the driving range at Chelsea Piers
  38. Visit all the museums in NYC
  39. Eat at Grimaldi’s Pizza
  40. Go to a Yankees and Mets Baseball game in the same day
  41. Go to an NFL game in NY
  42. Top the Rock
  43. Go to a lecture at the 92Y
  44. Attend the Westminster Dog Show
  45. Eat at Peter Lugers
  46. Attend the Tribeca Film Festival
  47. Do the 5 Borough Bike ride
  48. Check out Central Park Zoo
  49. Rent a paddle boat in Central Park
  50. Visit Banff, Canada
  51. Spend a weekend in Montreal
  52. See Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling Water
  53. Visit Ringing Rocks in Pennsylvania
  54. Eat crab cakes in Baltimore, MD
  55. Go to the Cherry Blossoms Festival in DC
  56. Go to Acadia National Forest
  57. Eat Lobster in Maine
  58. Hike part of the Appalachian Trail in New Hampshire
  59. Visit Podunk, Vermont
  60. Spend a weekend in Cape Cod
  61. Visit a Lighthouse
  62. Tour the Mansions in Rhode Island
  63. Vacation at Martha’s Vineyard
  64. Visit Mt Rushmore
  65. Visit the Bridges of Madison County in Iowa
  66. See the World’s Largest Ball of Twine in Kansas
  67. See Ole Faithful
  68. See the Aurora Borealis
  69. Visit Roswell, NM
  70. Visit Carlsbad Caverns
  71. Hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
  72. Drink Bacardi in Puerto Rico
  73. Go Zip-lining or Trekking in a Rain Forest
  74. Travel on the Euro rail
  75. See Buckingham Palace
  76. Ride on a double-decker bus through the streets of London
  77. See Stonehenge, United Kingdom
  78. Sleep in a Castle in Scotland
  79. Look for Nessie in Loch Ness Monster
  80. Go to El Prado in Madrid, Spain
  81. Visit the Canary Islands
  82. Eat at Galatoire’s in New Orleans
  83. Get a guided tour a NOLA Cemetery
  84. Visit Machu Picchu, Peru
  85. See a Mayan Temple


So my life have been beyond busy, so I must apologize for not posting on a more regular basis.  I’ll blame B#11 — He is now an official fixture in my life :-D and my free time has been with him, or laundry, which I did last night.

I do want to give an update on the list and how I am progressing.  The year is almost over and I am afraid I will run out of time to complete everything.  I also had to cancel my trip to Niagara Falls which is where I was going to run a 5K due to a spur of the moment work trip to Vietnam.  With this said, “Visit Niagara Falls” needs an extension.  And I think I will need to request an extension on a few other items on the list as well.

So let me recap what is complete, almost complete, and the items that will be tough to complete:

Completed items:

  1. Get Acupuncture
  2. Bike Manhattan
  3. Got to Bronx Zoo
  4. Shoot a Gun
  5. Get Hypnotized
  6. Go White Water Rafting
  7. Take my Parents out to dinner – and pay
  8. Work with a personal trainer
  9. Play poker in Vegas
  10. Go Indoor rock climbing
  11. Got to a major sporting event
  12. Go to Sunday mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral
  13. Learn to Trapeze
  14. Picnic in Central Park
  15. Go to a Renaissance Festival
  16. Spend no money for a month
  17. Drink Champagne at the Plaza

Almost completed items/ or confident will complete:

  1. Go on 40 dates (thanks to B#11 this is pretty much done, but I need to post! post! post!)
  2. Listen to the top 10 classical music pieces
  3. Write a Fan letter to someone I admire
  4. Write a blog for a year
  5. Go to a Hockey Game at MSG
  6. Walk to Avon Walk (this weekend!)
  7. Send a message in a bottle
  8. Be on National TV
  9. Trace my ancestry
  10. Learn to say Hello in 40 different languages
  11. Go to an Opera
  12. Watch all Oscar winning movies (2 left)
  13. Vacation in Paris (update: B#11 and I are going for my birthday!)
  14. Spend $50 on a bottle of wine just because
  15. Get a tattoo

Questioning if I can do this by my 40th:

  1. Run a 5K
  2. Read Anna Karenina
  3. Wear a bikini with confidence
  4. Ride in a Hot Air Balloon
  5. Visit 40 of the 50 States – technically I have been to NM (drove through) but this is not totally counted since I didn’t “visit”
  6. Learn to Snow Ski
  7. Visit Niagara Falls
  8. Enter my 40’s with ZERO debt – I was on track, but then …

So these 8 items that are on my questionable list I will try to figure out a way to squeeze them in some kind of way.  #1, and #7 I had planned – damn!  #2 I have been trying, I promise.  #4 I was so close in Ohio – ugh!  #5 maybe I can let this slide since I have been to NM (about 5 yrs ago) and was there for at least 4 hours driving straight through – I also did go to the bathroom there – does that count?  Oh I am own a NM magnet.  Maybe it should count?  #6 Poor planning, should have done this in the beginning of the year.  #8  I may be able to do this, if no one gets presents for Christmas!  And Finally #3 which has always been a struggle, but now that B#11 thinks I’m pretty hot,  maybe I’ll start believing it too!

Ok, so I promise to post as soon as I can – I have a lot to tell you …


So, yep, still in a bit of a funk, but trying to stay focused on the list.  There are a few things I am nervous about – the trip to Paris?  With a Volcano blasting Europe right now, will I get to go this year?  Stuck in this funk, will I get motivated enough to work out and lose the 25 lbs I need to, to wear a bikini with confidence?   And the dating … ugh!  I am tired or writing email after email to strange men! 


There are a few things on the list I have planned — rock climbing, gun shooting, trapeze learning, white water rafting — all look like they will happen in the next few months.  The picnic in Central Park, a trip to the Bronx Zoo, and the bike around Manhattan should also be easy to accomplish.  It’s the big ones that will be a challenge, which I already knew, but … tough.


Can I do this ??

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