30 Before 30 | A Bucket List

30 Before 30 | A Bucket List | theprimarilyinspired.com| Turning 30 doesn’t have to be scary! Just create thirty things you would like to accomplish before your next birthday and live life to the fullest!

Happy Birthday to me! Guys, I am officially within the last year of my twenties and I’m not quite sure how to feel about that. There’s a strong part of me that looks back and is quite proud of the woman I’ve become, knowing there’s always improvements to be made. Then there’s another part of me that still finds the big 3-0 to be a little scary. I suppose it’s the uncertainty of what turning thirty will bring. However, it’s coming regardless of how prepared I am for it and something I do that helps me keep focused are making little goals to achieve before my next birthday.

A couple of years ago I wrote something called 28 Before 28, which was a list of 28 goals that I would like to have accomplished before turning 29. Unfortunately I could only cross off a few things and found, upon closer inspection, that my goals were a touch too broad. I also got pregnant that year so the whole hot air balloon ride thing and traveling didn’t really happen. I knew I had to reevaluate the goals I originally set and adapt them to be more realistic and manageable – especially now with a one year old in tow.

So, in celebration of turning 29 today I thought to take a look back on my old list and be more specific with my new goals as I head towards thirty. This time I reflected on where my life is in this moment and where I would like to be next year. A lot of my goals have a lot to do with travel (we just updated my passport and got Greyson his first one!), creating memorable experiences, and a sprinkle of a few personal little goals in between.

Here are my 30 goals before turning 30!

  1. Live more minimally by ridding of material things once a month for a year.
  2. Take Greyson to an aquarium.
  3. Create more photo books of our travels and milestones.
  4. Travel somewhere outside of the U.S.
  5. Visit/discover Northern California.
  6. Visit/discover San Diego.
  7. Volunteer at least once a month at church.
  8. Join a small group at church.
  9. Create and run a successful linkup on the blog.
  10. Keep up with vegan meals during the week.
  11. Finish the Harry Potter series before the 1st day of Summer (June 21st)
  12. Invest in and use an editorial calendar for both blogs!
  13. Take more photos of Greyson and us as a family.
  14. Print and display photos of us and our travels in our home.
  15. Send more happy mail or letters to friends and family.
  16. Take a picture every day for a whole year.
  17. Have a ‘movie on the lawn’ night once this summer.
  18. Enjoy sip & paint nights often.
  19. Actively put into savings.
  20. Learn to trust my intuition & God when He speaks to me.
  21. Keep weekends as sacred time – unplug and enjoy.
  22. Participate in a local 5k.
  23. Visit/hike The Channel Islands.
  24. Purchase bikes and go riding at least once a week.
  25. Begin a personal journal this year.
  26. Get my nails done and #treatyoself this year.
  27. Watch Casablanca from beginning to end.
  28. Spend less on toys for Greyson and more on family experiences.
  29. Do something spontaneous!
  30. Live each day with meaning and purpose.

After drafting up this list I’m actually pretty excited to see what I’ll be able to accomplish. I know I want to do a lot this year and gain more experience in this life I have. I am grateful that I get to spend it with my wonderfully amazing husband and beautiful baby boy, which makes checking off these things that much more enjoyable. So, thank you for being on this wild ride with me and fingers crossed I can get to all 30!

If you could create a bucket list for yourself (whether it be for a birthday or just overall in life) what would be in your top 5? Share with me in the comments!

 photo Signature.001.jpeg

Scenes From Our Weekend | vol 9

Scenes From Our Weekend | vol 9 | theprimarilyinspired.com |

Once again a weekend has come and gone and here we are already at the end of March about to head right into April. This is also my birthday week and this year I’m celebrating the last of my twenties. Over the weekend I got to celebrate a little early with friends of mine and I look forward to spending some quality family time for my actual birthday tomorrow. Twenty-nine is going to be a wonderful year, I just know it!

But here is a little bit of life that kept me busy this past weekend.

#NationalPuppyDay

When I saw that it was National Puppy Day I couldn’t help but share this photo of our Murphy who was only 8 weeks old at the time. The hubs and I both walked away from our jobs and only had moved into our studio apartment for a few days before this little guy showed up. Murphy was born three days before our wedding and when we were looking around for a puppy together we knew this guy was the one. I can’t believe he’ll be turning three this year!

Someone is learning to feed himself

Greyson is just continuing to grow like a wildflower and these moments are getting more and more surreal that he’s become this little person. Just this weekend did I try my second attempt at letting him begin feeding himself and to my surprise he did really well! He’s starting to understand how to bring the spoon to his mouth and dip in the bow to get more food. It’s messy, yes, but a lot of fun to watch him learn to be a little bit more independent!

Brunch with my babes

There’s a fun new restaurant in town called Wicked’s Brew and we only just discovered it a couple of weeks ago. Everything on their menu from coffee to food is locally sourced and artisan made, which makes me happy because we love supporting local businesses and farmers. I have yet to find another place that brews a latte as good as this one and I know I am guaranteed a beautiful cup every time we go. They’re in the process of getting their liquor license so enjoying a glass of wine is in my future here and soon they’ll be open for dinner. I know we’re in for a treat considering how delicious their breakfast/lunch menu is!

A Painted Cabernet Birthday

I love this idea of getting girlfriends together and relax by doing something fun like painting. In our area we have a little place called The Painted Cabernet where you pick a painting when you register for your class and an instructor leads you through recreating that picture. Best yet they provide a complimentary glass of wine, Bellinis, or champagne and you get to sip while you paint! I had such a great time and can definitely foresee me doing this many more times.

The painting we chose to do is a sunset of Anacapa Island, which is one island out of eight and make up the Channel Islands. We have the luxury of seeing a couple of these islands right off the Ventura coastline so it was nice to paint something close to home.

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! What were some of the things that kept you busy? Anything fun going on?

 photo Signature.001.jpeg

The Gym I Actually Look Forward To

The Gym I Actually Look Forward To | theprimarilyinspired.com |

Ever since Greyson could begin pulling himself up onto our sofa or coffee table we knew our days were numbered. We told ourselves that he would eventually grasp this newfound ability of mobility and that’s exactly what happened. He was off. Suddenly my baby, who at one point could only barely crawl, was now this young boy who, what felt like in an instant, discovered that he could move even quicker. My Greyson is now walking. Walking!

In the wake of achieving this most coveted milestone, he took it upon himself that no matter how many times he fell, bumped his head, or toppled over something, he would pull himself back up. He didn’t much care for my assistance and better yet, he never got discouraged. Walking is a major milestone for any child (and parent!) and it’s pleasing to see that Greyson has this intrinsic motivation to figure it out for himself. Since discovering what his legs and feet were capable of, within a few weeks he became more and more confident.

Baby Proofing

However with this, he became more and more hazardous. I do say this with a bit of sarcasm, but also truth. We have baby-proofed our home, but only minimally, since he became mobile. For example, we have our sockets covered and purchased a foldable baby gate to keep him confined to our living room space. Although those steps were necessary safety-wise, moreover we want to teach Greyson boundaries and be more hands-on with our approach to discipline. Instead of over-protecting and eliminating all dangers that he may come across, we want him to fall or realize he isn’t entitled to everything he puts his hands on. We simply want to provide (supervised, of course) opportunities for Greyson to recognize and learn what he can and cannot do whether it be at home or especially in public. Since beginning this approach he’s come to understand “no” and not flip out every time he hears it. We simple redirect him to an activity or action we’d like or that is safe.

Along with this whole walking thing, and turning one, Greyson has also adopted stronger preferences and is very willing to express to us his displeasure about something.  He is quick to go limp and throw a mini fit when I tell him he can’t walk somewhere or try to redirect him. He sometimes throws things or knocks things out of my hands when trying to distract him from something dangerous he wants to explore further.

This is a new chapter for us in regards to his independence so, how do we as parents foster his development while teaching boundaries in a way a toddler can understand?

Apologies for the iPhone photos below 😉

My Gym!

The Gym I Actually Look Forward To | theprimarilyinspired.com |

Practicing climbing with his daddy!

The Gym I Actually Look Forward To | theprimarilyinspired.com |

My Gym Discovered

I stumbled upon My Gym as we passed it every week on our way to Trader Joe’s for our weekly grocery trips. I had heard of them before, and similar baby gyms, but never put much thought into it considering how young Greyson was. About a month or so later I figured that since Grey was now becoming more confident in his crawling, pulling himself up, and beginning to walk we should begin to consider a class that fosters these new abilities.

Free First Class!

I was happy to see that My Gym offers new families a complimentary class of their choosing. This was a great ‘toe in the water’ for us as it was a chance to see if Greyson would even like the class and if it would be worthwhile in terms of his development. We opted for the Tiny Tykes class which is developmentally structured for babies 7-13 months old. Our instructor lead us through stretches, dances, movement, and activities that are designed specifically for his age group. Greyson loved watching the other babies and exploring all of the activities they had laid out for him and his class. I really enjoyed that they encourage parent-child bonding throughout the whole class, but also offered opportunities for the kids to play and explore independently.

On the first day he was quite stimulated and seemed to really enjoy each of the activities. When we got home he literally went down for about 3+ hour nap, which was a gift from the heavens for us! My husband and I discussed whether or not it was a worthwhile membership and here’s what all we had to consider:

  • membership is $75/month and includes 1 instructed class and offers unlimited free-play sessions each week.
    • We scheduled Greyson for the 9am Saturday class and take him 1-2x a week to a free-play session to make this membership most cost-effective.
    • We can also change up his class whenever we’d like. Since Grey is a confident walker he’s almost ready for the Waddlers class.
  • scheduling and rescheduling make-ups for days we may miss are easy-peasy.
    • My Gym requires that within a billing period your child must make 4 of the instructed classes a month (1 weekly class for a month). There are times when we travel, like this weekend, where we will miss his class, but they have multiple sessions of the same class throughout the week so we just plop him into one of those upon our return home. So easy!
    • Also, when traveling you’re allowed to join a local class (worldwide locations available!) as a part of your membership. So when traveling check your local My Gym in that area and never miss a class.
  • they move and change up the activity layout each week.
    • Every time we’ve went there’s a new layout of activities to keep the kiddos engaged and moving.
  • each weekly class is aimed to practice and explore new stretches, play, dances, and movement which are geared towards the development of the children in that particular class.
    • For example, the Tykes class Greyson is in focuses on their developing hand, arm, and trunk control as well as balance, agility, and introductory tumbling. A lot, right?!
  • classes also focus on social and behavioral development as well. Children are encouraged to share, take turns, and have spacial awareness while playing and exploring.
    • We love that Greyson has a chance to socialize with other children throughout the week!

The Real Benefits

As you can tell it wasn’t difficult for us to sign on the dotted line after our first class. It was also nice to see that they were offering veteran families a waiver on their enrollment fee, which helps us out a great deal.

The Gym I Actually Look Forward To | theprimarilyinspired.com |

After spending a month attending My Gym we both have noticed a considerable difference not only in Greyson’s abilities, but his overall attitude towards trying something new. He’s eager to attempt new things like climbing ramps or stairs (his new favorite thing to do) and it teaches us parents not to hover, which can be difficult to do sometimes. I love that their equipment is designed just for these little guys and gals, which puts me at ease and allows him to freely run around without me worrying of him bumping into a sharp coffee table corner (which, of course, has happened at home).

In a few weeks time he’s pretty much mastered walking, go from a sitting position to standing without assistance, attempts going up stairs by holding the railings and extending his feet for each step, and has learned to turn on his belly and crawl backwards slowly (think of a reverse crawl) to get down from a heightened surface. We have also noticed more of a willingness to engage other children, which I’m happy to see. All in all, we’re so happy with our decision to enroll Greyson.

The Gym I Actually Look Forward To | theprimarilyinspired.com |

Learning to climb up a ramp.

Greyson loved getting to play and explore all of the different activities they had set up each class. I love his new sense of independence and learning to socialize with the other kids is priceless. I personally couldn’t recommend My Gym more for any parents out there looking for a meaningful experience for their child/children. Be sure to check out your local location!

BTW, I am not being compensated for featuring My Gym. I just love sharing companies and businesses that I personally love!

Have you tried My Gym before? What interests you about this experience for your child/children?

 photo Signature.001.jpeg

Scenes From Our Weekend: A Luau First Birthday

A Luau First Birthday | theprimarilyinspired.com |

Celebrating Greyson’s first birthday was an amazing experience even though the prep took all day and I was only slightly stressed at the last minute. However once I saw everyone arrive and enjoy themselves with food, drinks, and conversation I knew everything was going to work out perfectly. Since it’s Grey’s first birthday, and my first time organizing one, I wanted everything to be perfect and my luau theme to come together.

We picked a luau theme pretty early on in the planning process a few months ago. It’s a little homage to when we took our first wedding anniversary to Kauai (and where we believe he was conceived). It’s also a reflection of the beach life we live here in Ventura and since our apartment complex is like family, we wanted his birthday to be celebrated as a big gathering of friends. These people have been so supportive of us ever since we moved in, throughout my pregnancy, and especially during Greyson’s life. They’ve been witness to every stage and it’s truly special and meaningful that many of our fellow residents could make it to his party.

A Luau First Birthday | theprimarilyinspired.com |

Our one family photo and there’s a sunspot right on my face! Nonetheless, it’s a good picture 😉

A Luau First Birthday | theprimarilyinspired.com |

Greyson also sported Philip’s outfit from his first birthday in 1982! How adorable is that?!

It’s a LUAU!

A Luau First Birthday | theprimarilyinspired.com |

No luau is complete until there’s a tiki bar! I made the sign using a banner from Target and a Sharpie. I also got the black tablecloths from Target and the skirts from Amazon. Because we were traveling to D.C. I ordered all of my Hawaiian decorations ahead of time that way all I had to do was set it up the day of the party. I did get last minute things the day before, but was really happy with how well everything seemed to come together!

Some might wonder why the tiki bar at a child’s first birthday party and I would answer, that no child birthday party should be without a little booze for the adults. The first birthday is moreso a party for the adults anyways considering Grey’s too young to even remember this party. So why not make it fun and enjoyable for everyone? I also got fun drink umbrellas and offered everyone lei’s as party favors (it’s in the details!).

A Luau First Birthday | theprimarilyinspired.com |

Some of the last minute decorations I pulled together was this ‘Chasin’ Greyson’ poster. I wanted to display photos of Greyson from birth up until his first year and browsed Pinterest for ideas. I found this one then made it my own using the beach theme and my best attempts at drawing palm trees. Instead of using photos of his ‘firsts’ like in the pin, I opted for his monthly photos to show his growth since everyone who came to his party knew Philip and I while pregnant and had the opportunity to watch him grow up.

Also, I included a fun slideshow using the option in the Photos app on my iPad which pulls photos from any album and displays them in a slideshow with music. It was a fun little touch and took zero prep – just select the option at the top right of the screen and it plays all on its own.

I also asked our friends to sign his Oh, The Places You’ll Go book as a means of a guestbook. I’d love to have it out for every year up until he goes to school and collect as many messages from our family and friends as possible. Makes for a cute keepsake later on 😉

The Food

A Luau First Birthday | theprimarilyinspired.com |

My mother-in-law has this amazing dip she makes every year for Christmas and when they told us they were flying out for this birthday and asked to contribute something I just had to have her make it! As expected, it was a huge hit and multiple people asked for her recipe. I simply shaped it in the form of a pineapple, arranged almonds for detail, and added the top of a fresh pineapple for a finishing touch. These chargers from Michael’s were on sale, too, so I decided to pick up a few to go along with the Hawaiian beach theme. I can’t take credit for the idea, so you can find the inspiration from Pinterest here.

A Luau First Birthday | theprimarilyinspired.com |

A Luau First Birthday | theprimarilyinspired.com |

We did a potluck style luau and our friends from our complex donated a lot of great side dishes. We catered the entrees from a local Polynesian restaurant in town and their short ribs were delicious. Originally we thought to grill, but at the last moment we decided to get food catered that way my husband and I could worry less about food and spend more time hanging out and keeping track of Greyson.

A Luau First Birthday | theprimarilyinspired.com |

Hanging out with Grandma! Grandpa was there too but somehow he managed to escape the camera!

A Luau First Birthday | theprimarilyinspired.com |

A Luau First Birthday | theprimarilyinspired.com |

The Sandcastle Cake

A Luau First Birthday | theprimarilyinspired.com |

A Luau First Birthday | theprimarilyinspired.com |

When throwing a birthday party one of the biggest, and most important, decisions to make is all about the cake. I went back and forth in my head as to what I wanted to do: Should I get a custom cake? Should I make it myself? Should I buy a pre-made cake from the grocery store? Again, after some time looking through Pinterest for ideas I found a lot of inspiration for a sandcastle cake!

I bought deep cake pans from Michael’s and simply used boxed cake instead of making it myself (needed something simple to pull together). I also used vanilla icing and to make the sand I used a food processor to grind up graham crackers and toasted coconut. I was so surprised to see that it looked exactly like sand! To make the sand bucket indents on the top I cut large marshmallows in half, coated them with icing and dipped into the sand mixture. I did have leftover batter and made cupcakes with sand topping which we used for the traditional cake smashing and offered them to anyone who didn’t want an actual slice.

A Luau First Birthday | theprimarilyinspired.com |

Greyson’s First Bite of Cake

Gift Time!

It was so sweet that our friends brought gifts for Greyson considering we put on our invitations that there were no need for gifts as their attendance to his party was gift enough. Greyson is so blessed with his grandparents in terms of toys, books, and practically everything in-between, so to see others brought him a little something was very touching.

A Luau First Birthday | theprimarilyinspired.com |

He makes the cutest growling noise when he sees Cookie Monster!

A Luau First Birthday | theprimarilyinspired.com |

A Luau First Birthday | theprimarilyinspired.com |

A Luau First Birthday | theprimarilyinspired.com |

A Luau First Birthday | theprimarilyinspired.com |

A Luau First Birthday | theprimarilyinspired.com |

A Luau First Birthday | theprimarilyinspired.com |

A Luau First Birthday | theprimarilyinspired.com |

A Luau First Birthday | theprimarilyinspired.com |

The Little Red Car

One of the gifts from his grandparents and Philip was the classic Little Tikes coupe. My husband says he had always wanted one as a kid and never received one, so when it was time he wanted to make sure Greyson had one. It was precious seeing Greyson see the car and to know how much it meant to Philip.

A Luau First Birthday | theprimarilyinspired.com |

A Luau First Birthday | theprimarilyinspired.com |

How many of you had this car growing up? Did you pass down the tradition to your kids?

A Luau First Birthday | theprimarilyinspired.com |

Greyson playing in his new car with his cousin who came down from L.A.!

A Luau First Birthday | theprimarilyinspired.com |

I was so happy that my sister and her family could make it down from L.A. to spend the afternoon with us for his birthday. Greyson and his cousin Shiloh were born 9 days apart so it’s very special to have him here to celebrate with us! My sister is the only family that I have living out on the west coast in California and due to both of our busy lives it’s difficult to see each other often. So when we do I always take it in and enjoy the moments we have together. So happy to have gotten to see them!

This weekend, and party, was a whirlwind but we’re so thankful to everyone near and far who helped us ring in this monumental occasion!

What are the plans for your baby’s first birthday? Or how have you celebrated first birthdays in the past? What themes did you go with or did you do something super simple? I’d love to hear!

See how I threw a simple Luau First Birthday for my son! Simple ideas and prep to ensure the best party on a budget! | theprimarilyinspired.com |

 photo Signature.001.jpeg