Bucket List Check – Get a Fish Pedicure

So it’s hurricane season in Florida right now. We’ve been under the grasps of Irma for the past two weeks. Between forecasts, hurricane warnings, and evacuation orders, we’ve been pulled every which way under stress. I live on the tiny peninsula on the whole peninsula of the state of Florida. We are completely surrounded by water. We don’t want to hear about hurricanes coming our way. At one point, we were even supposed to be a welcome mat for the eye of Irma.

Even up to the very minute, the forecasts were back and forth. We weren’t sure of what to expect. As we were preparing, there was a widespread panic. Boards were going up, stocks of food in grocery stores were going down, and we were left scrambling.

I cannot be anymore grateful for the fact that we didn’t get hit as hard as it could have been. We were blessed in that sense. We had a lot of branches down; that’s about the extent of the damage. Trees were down all around us and all the traffic signals were down because of … our huge power outage!

It seemed like the entire state was down. Stores stayed closed for a week; our jobs did not reopen their doors for the same time frame. It was rough. Our home was without power from Sunday night around 11 PM to Friday around 12 PM. That’s a couple days shy of a week. It was unbearable. It could be worse, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t hard with a baby and coming home to 80 degrees in the darkness.

Toward the end of it, we decided to see if the mall was open to get some AC and charge our phones. We stuck it out for days and figured it was finally time to find somewhere else to go. While we were looking for some seats to lounge, we passed by a fish spa. Whoa, back up. I was shocked. 

I researched every item on my bucket list so I knew where I was going to go when it came time to do it. I had a list of unresolved adventures: ones I was worried I’d never figure out, because there was nothing local. This was one of them. It hasn’t been legal around here in most cases. I was ecstatic. I pretty much ran right back to that spa. I found the cheapest option and sat there for the shortest amount of time they had to offer for my price range. (Being out of work for so long definitely was no grounds for this but since I was feeling pretty down, I figured it was okay. It was certainly a great pick-me-up.)

Fish spas are popular in China and are known for their therapeutic nature. The fish that are used are called doctor fish, or more scientifically, the garra rufa. You place your feet in the tank (after washing and sanitation of your feet) and they bite the dead skin off of your feet. The exfoliation is beneficial. They do not ingest anything and are fed at the end of the night. The establishment I went to was very clean and proper in their practices. 

Basically it tickles. It feels like you’re placing your feet into a bowl of tiny bubbles. Some of the fish really insist on getting in between your toes. At times, I had a cluster of them around my ankles. It was just really interesting and I enjoyed the experience. Z also loved staring into the tanks. She’s an animal lover. They were swimming around happily in a tank illuminated with a bright blue glow. There were stones placed in the bottom for a nice aesthetic touch.

The wonderful lady I had the pleasure of meeting ended my pedicure on the right foot: (ha..), she gave me the most perfect foot rub with their signature lotion. It was smooth and my toes did not go through anything harsh. No scraping, no pulling, no overly hot water; it was all just right.


I still can’t believe one opened up just when I needed it.

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Bucket list check – Set off 99 Red Balloons 

“…99 red balloons floating in the summer sky..”

This was one of the single most 100% original Sami ideas I ever added to the bucket list. I always envisioned myself standing at the edge of a bright green field setting bunches of cherry red balloons to the wind. I feel like I got my idea from my cousin’s wedding decades ago. It’s funny what the mind recalls even at such a young age.

I always wondered if I’d ever do this because well, that’s a lot of balloons and where am I going to find a field? Then I became environmentally conscious and researched balloon releases. As much as I love the idea, I ruined it for myself because I learned “what comes up, must come down”. I even researched alternatives without strings and maybe a biodegradable material.

Ultimately, I ended up setting 99 red balloons free in the comfort of my living room at two in the morning while Goldfinger’s cover of “99 Red Balloons” played. This song has been one of my favorites since Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen had a carnival day in a film many decades ago.

We even went as far as buying a helium tank. If we’re being honest here, it most certainly did not fill all of the balloons. Or even half for that matter. You know what that means. We took it upon ourselves to blow up nearly fifty balloons and tried not to pass out.

Baby Z had a blast with a room full of balloons though!? I mean, how was she supposed to sleep when her house was taken over by latex full of air. The next day, the balloons were re-purposed and became props to the most perfect Valentine’s Day photoshoot of her.


(side note: one balloon did actually escape into the world. The cheap tank we got didn’t last very long. I expected it’d be safe to take the mostly drooping balloons outside for some naturally lit photos. Most continued their sad, droopy excursions and descended right into the leaves below. Except that one that slipped my grip.)

I had 99 balloons in my grips, but that ain’t one anymore.

Fun is not defined by anything but what you make it. Buy a bag of balloons and set them free at the break of dawn. Or not. You can just throw them around your living room, spinning and twirling to Nena’s classic song.

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Bucket List Check – Spa treatment? (You’ll see)

I’m just going to add a disclaimer that this post will be about vaginas.

But don’t get your hopes up. Take whatever pleasant mental picture you conjured up in your head and throw it away. Throw it in the trash just as you would a hot strip of used wax covered with every piece of pubic hair you’ve ever grown.

I’m literally not going to get into that much detail though. This isn’t that kind of blog. Trust me. As much as I would love to go on about the minuscule details of something I never thought I’d actually do, I’ll spare you the details.

My sister-in-law (AKA one of my best friends) and I have been discussing getting Groupons for spa-like activities that we’ve never done. It was mostly for the bucket list and naturally, I needed a support partner. Who do I normally rely on? My dear sweet husband of six years— but I guarantee that no matter how many years we add to our years married, he will never get a Brazilian wax with me. (Although I did learn from this experience that men do in fact get waxed down there. She actually said the only awkward part is the balls. She said that.)

Well, we never got that Groupon. We never got around to it. I got pregnant. I read all over Google that you are much more sensitive when pregnant and I definitely wanted to avoid any hair ripping at that point.

Let’s fast forward to almost a year after having my sweet bundle of joy. Guess what? It hasn’t even been a thought. Who has time for that? That was until a promoted ad popped up right into my Facebook newsfeed. A kind blonde woman advertised her services right in front of my face. How was I supposed to let that go? As far as I thought, it was a sign. Plus she was throwing in a complimentary eyebrow wax if we made an appointment that day.

So I sent her the link and she signed up. No questions asked. Within minutes, we got a text from the kind blonde woman and she took care of us.

Let’s fast forward again to the day of the appointment. We gave ourselves two weeks of preparation time. We still didn’t think it was enough and were thinking of different ways to get out of it on the way to her spa. Most of it had to do with the fact that we (mostly me) psyched ourselves out with Google.

We filled out our paperwork and it was time. There was no going back. A was more comfortable going first so I waited on the sideline at the opposite end of the table. That’s where I nervously laughed at everything, asked many many questions, and watched as she took it like a champ. I thought, hey it won’t be that bad right?

The internet convinced me that it could take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour or more. Quickly, our kind blonde woman was done within 15 minutes or so. Then it was my turn.

Without getting into too many details, it really wasn’t all that I hyped it up to be. Of course it hurt in some places more than others but that pain was over in seconds. Plus our esthetician applied pressure quickly and did her job efficiently. For that I am thankful. She wasn’t awkward. She didn’t make weird comments. It was just normal every day stuff for her. And trust me when I say that the butt doesn’t really hurt like one would think? TMI- but I think we’re way past that point.

Afterward, she explained the scientific process to hair growth and provided some very informative tidbits. When you shave, you cut it off way before the root obviously. Waxing pulls hair by the root. So if you think about it, it has been firmly planted into your skin since you started growing hair there. Apparently, shaving strengthens the hair and waxing weakens it. The more you wax, eventually the hair may even stop forming in spots.

This goes for anywhere on the body, not just-ya know-down there. Interestingly enough, it may just be a regular habit at this point- who knows. That’s why I am so obsessed with my bucket list and this website in general. There are many things I would have probably never done if it weren’t for the additional push and accountability. I feel like that is true for many. You never know what you’re missing out on unless you try it out. On the way home, we confessed that we were glad we did it. We also passed a street named Virginia and I’m not going to tell you what I thought it said.

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Bucket list check | Date night – Double Checker – Photo Booth

Why we decided to randomly go out for a date on a Tuesday night, I still don’t know. It was a nice night but now I know why we decide to hold date nights until the weekend.

We decided that we would go see a movie so we made a pit stop at the local mall. I figured we could check two items off while we were out and about. We retrieved a bite to eat and then meandered to the photo booth.

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Bucket List Check | Finish 1000-piece Puzzle

This is obviously a pretty straight forward post. I will not elaborate on every single piece of this story. I will however state that we had a lot of fun working together to make the bigger picture. (Yes, I was making cheesy philosophical remarks the entire time about “pieces” and life— and stuff.) We started July 21st and finished July 26th; It took less than a week to complete our 1000-piece world map puzzle because we became obsessed. Technically it was a 997 pieces; it would have been more acceptable if it hadn’t been the beloved corner piece that went missing. I’m convinced it never even made it to the box. However, what matters is that the picture came together in the end and the journey that came with this destination was an entertaining bonding experience.


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Bucket List Check | Carving Pumpkins for the First Time

It truly is sad that I never carved pumpkins before the year of 2013 (I was 20.) Though I don’t understand what people enjoy about digging squishy pumpkin guts out of a big orange thing,  I had a lot of fun despite the odd things I felt. The texture was just strange and I made the worst mess I could have made. C carved a reaper out of his and I carved a mermaid. It looked like the picture for the most part —- kinda. My best friend carved a pine tree. My pumpkin broke and rotted within the week. What a bust. It was nice watching it glow in the dark and seeing it on the balcony every time I came home though.


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