The year of THIRTY

This year, I turned thirty. At the age of twenty-four, I started anticipating thirty and by the time I was twenty-six, I somewhat hyperventilated when I though about or talked about that looming birthday. By twenty-nine however, I started to calm down. That birthday was inevitable, and I wanted to make the most of the milestone. “Cheers to 30 Years” was the theme of my party and I entered my year of thirty with toasts and friends.


I also created a list of things to accomplish this year, which are as follows:

1. Do something adventurous…hang gliding?
2. Don’t be lazy, go see a show in the City
3. Grow my own vegetables
4. Read thirty books in varying genres…I’ve already read four since May
5. Learn to play golf…and like it
6. Buy a bike and ride it
7. Learn to can vegetables
8. Go berry picking
9. Do something once a month by myself that I’ve never done before
10. Wake up early on the weekends
11. Start taking classes to go back to school
12. Write a postcard or letter once a month to someone that I care about
13. Take my thoughts captive when I get upset that others are engaged, married, having babies, getting promotions, etc. and I’m not.
14. See a car race
15. Ride a scooter or tandem bike…preferably on a date!
16. Use my crockpot more
17. Take a painting class
18. Mentor someone
19. Be mentored by someone
20. Participate in at least one volunteer activity a month
21. Complete a 5k and 8k
22. Meet my neighbors
23. Work on not letting others actions dictate my actions
24. Learn French
25. Listen to and engage with people I haven’t previously
26. Take more walks
27. Keep the calendar on my phone updated
28. Listen to voicemails
29. Go to a dueling piano bar
30. Go paddle boating

Italicized = items that I have done or am in the process of doing

What are some things on your “bucket list” for this year? Do share!

Lake Tahoe!

This past month, Catie and I spent 5 days in Lake Tahoe. Totally. Worth. Every. Penny! Here is a summary of our trip and what we recommend from it!

Heavenly Gondola Ride;

Catie:  3AM wake-up calls are rough.  Really rough.  I drove up to Erica’s apartment the night before we left.  It takes about a little over 3.5 hours to get there and with minimum stops I arrived safely in one piece.  We got to bed shortly there after as our excursion was a cab call at 4AM.

Erica: Getting up early wasn’t the problem for me… it was the staying awake. Catie got to watch me pass out on the plane… you know the whole face smashed into the plane window and drool going down my cheek… she was quite amused.


Catie: Getting an early start was the perfect way to take advantage of another full day.  Don’t be afraid to get anywhere earlier than expected.  Getting through the airport a little early is never a bad thing.

Smokey the Bear;

Erica: While getting up I wasn’t quite sure of it, but once we landed and got to see the beautiful sites I was all on board with the early wake up time.  And then we took a nap.


Catie: Don’t stress out while on vacation.  I, of course, was beginning to stress as our wait seemed endless at the airport.  Erica was calm and reassuring.  there was more times than not that my “type-A” personality was a little shaken at the wonky side of our tentative schedule.  Nothing goes as planned anyways…and that is definitely an alright thing!

Heavenly Gondola Observation Deck: Lake Tahoe;

Erica: Little did she know that I was basically sleeping with my eyes open…


Catie: Groupon– READ the fine print!  We could have saved ourselves $20 if we simply would have read the fine print.  Book 10 days in advance…so by the time it ended up being advance was simply a few days before we left.  What did we end up with?  1 hour on a horse instead of 2 hours and out $20 we didn’t need to spend.

Horseback Riding;

Erica: Also… don’t forget to tip. Being from the Midwest we didn’t think much about tipping for lessons because well for the most part you don’t here. But in touristy areas they live off their tips. Don’t forget to calculate tips into your budget.


Catie: Get yourself out of your comfort zone; you might find that you start to enjoy living life in a world so different from the one you live.   I don’t like horses let alone riding them.  I had one negative experience, but I was willing to try it again.  I cannot swim, yet I fearlessly went paddle boarding while wearing my life vest.  I mean, I tried to dump myself a few times BUT what the hey!  You only live once and it’s not like 39 degrees is freezing or anything.

Paddle boarding;


Paddle boarding;


Erica: The outdoors is where I want to be. I love it. I was in my comfort zone, but I was still trying new things even within my comfort zone. I even considered the zip line even though I am terrified of heights… oh just thinking of being there makes me want to go back!  Catie handled my love for the outdoors and adventure like a champ!


Catie: HYDRATE.  There is nothing worse than experiencing dehydration.  Erica being the awesome friend she is force-fed me water and I am so thankful she did.  The only time I revolted was when I didn’t have access to a bathroom on our hike.  No I was not about ready to squat in a bush and live like the stone ages!  With our luck, we would have used a leaf to wipe, another hiker came and then wound up with poison sumac  where the sun doesn’t shine.  Not a risk worth taking.  Other than that moment, water tasted so delicious.

Crystal Lake;


Heavenly Gondola Ride: Lake Tahoe;
Lake Crystal;


Erica: Seriously Catie?! Peeing in the woods is not bad… Just make sure you look for wildlife before you take a squat. Water is incredibly important especially when hiking or being active at all. And if you plan to be out for more than a half a day make sure you have a filter system with you!


Catie: Take a lot of pictures.  We took so many wonderful shots of the lake, surroundings, and those who were around us.  It was such an amazing place to witness, you must have pictures to remind you to come back to this wonderful place.  Embrace your surroundings.

Hike on Mount Talic;


Hike on Mount Talic;


Erica: I’m a photoaholic… My DSLR was out all the time and I loved having the opportunity to take so many amazing pictures!


Catie: Budget in Tips.  This was a sketchy part of the trip and something we definitely forgot to budget in for our funds.  By the end, we went over budget because of this very fact.

Erica: yeah….

All in all, it was a beautiful and great experience.  We were able to be active and relax.  It was a nice place for balance of the two.  Check out some of the highlights of our trip!  I have Erica to thank for her picture obsession as we have so many fond reminders now of our trip to the beautiful pristine Lake Tahoe…HEY, Erica….when are we going back?

Erica: I vote tomorrow!

Anchor Drop wants to hear about your favorite vacation spot!  Please feel free to share below…

It’s Valentine’s Day!

Valentine’s Day is the day where everyone thinks of conversation hearts, flowers, chocolates, hot dates and romantic sentiments.  I mean, even my Pandora has added stations to set the mood….

Pandora’s email to me this morning…
So, tonight is a special night.  Are you going out?  Staying in?  Today, I am going to give you some small, but festive ways to sport Valentine’s Day whether you decide to get dolled up or stay in your pajamas.

Roses are red…
I love roses as most girls do.  So why not incorporate them into a hair style!  You don’t have to do something outrageous to look chic.  These are just felt rosettes on a clip.
I found this on
Violets are blue….
Right now, pastel eye color palettes are all the rage!  MAC and Cover Girl have their pastel shades out just in time for spring.  If you are wanting a little more dynamic make-up this evening, consider using violet eye shadow to accent your eyes.  A little can have a brilliant affect and go a long way.  Light eyes are perfect for evening.
Look found on

Here is another beautiful palette that you might consider:

You are beautiful…
Whether you are celebrating this holiday with a significant other, with friends, or just simply chalking it up to another Friday in 2014…it is always a good reminder to look in the mirror and genuinely realize all of the qualities you possess that makes you awesome!  Remember there is only one you.

I hope you believe that too!
You don’t need one day to feel special in my book.  You should feel special everyday!  Life is about the little things, you know…
Happy Valentine’s Day,
Catie Manning