you can fly! you can fly! you can fly!

All it takes is faith & trust.

And a genius plan for your boyfriend’s birthday present, a crapload of courage and a Living Social voucher.

me and matt

this one makes me feel like I’m always flying

I always knew I wanted to go skydiving one day, but until you’re thousands of feet above the earth and the tandem instructor strapped to your back shouts over the roar of the single-engine prop job you’re bouncing across the sky in how you still have 5,000 feet to go, you can’t imagine how exhilarating and surreal and absolutely terrifying and at once enthralling the whole experience will be.

My boyfriend is one of those guys who has everything he needs and could buy himself anything he wants, so when it came time to decide what to buy him for his birthday, I knew I couldn’t go the traditional route. That’s when I decided to search for “experiential” gifts we could both enjoy together.

We had already planned a trip to his hometown of Troy, Michigan, just outside Detroit, for the week of his birthday (which happened to coincide with his cousin’s wedding weekend). So I searched Groupon and Living Social for deals on fun activities we could do.

root, root root for the Tigers!

root, root root for the Tigers!

I considered a hot air balloon ride, a helicopter tour of the city, even a race-car driving experience…but when I saw the deal for skydiving, I knew that was what it had to be.

Matt and I are both adrenaline junkies, and I’d heard him talking with one of his friends about how they wanted to go skydiving together before Matt moved away from Virginia. Then a few weeks later, his friend posted pictures of him having gone skydiving with some other friends on Facebook, and I knew it kind of bummed Matt out that he couldn’t go.

Little did he know what I had up my sleeve.

right before take-off

right before take-off

The whole thing was supposed to be a surprise, but a chatty neighbor spoiled it. I will never forget the look on his face when she said, “So, have you jumped out of an airplane yet?” and he said “…huh?”

I had the goofiest grin on my face when I said “Surprise!” His whole family was in on the secret, and we were planning on riding out to the airfield the next day for the big jump.

As we pulled up to the tiny little trailer in the middle of a cornfield, we saw another couple landing from their dive. The woman who circled down first was squealing with joy the whole time. As soon as she stood up, she shouted how it was the best thing she had every done.

I couldn’t agree more.

I hope you have the chance to go skydiving one day. I really believe it’s something everyone should experience at least once. I can’t wait to get the chance to do it again. And who knows? Maybe next time, I’ll go without an instructor!

look at this stuff…isn’t it neat?

MERMAID

Oh, Starbucks. You’ve done it again.

How can one little franchise come up with seemingly endless ways to make me want to waste more money than I should on so many little things I love so much?

I was on my coffee break to grab my go-to order — a triple-venti nonfat no-whip white mocha — when I spotted this display of Starbucks’s anniversary collection merch.

Could these be any cuter?!

As a self-proclaimed Disneyphile and a child of the 80s, Ariel/mermaids in general are one of my favorite things on the planet (shhhh…you can’t prove they’re not real). And that means it was¬†extremely difficult for me to pass over these adorable items.

But I couldn’t resist the urge to document a few of my favorite pieces!

wishing & hoping & planning & dreaming

I’ve grown a bit obsessed over planning.

I’m a proud alumna of Delta Gamma, so I’m forever a sorority girl at heart. And these days, my Lilly Pullitzer agenda¬†has been my best friend.

But it won’t stop there!

One of my coworkers is moving to Pittsburgh (more on that later), and she’s been on a massive clean-out frenzy of her desk, which has been accumulating junk for the last three years. Anyway, she tossed out a desk calendar, seeing that everyone else in the newsroom was already equipped with one. And I rescued it from the recycling bin and took it home.

Went to Target for washi tape...came out with all this!

{Went to Target for washi tape…came out with all this!}

So after a few hours and some quality time with my exacto knife, I up-cycled the desk calendar into this beauty!

calendar

I bought differently patterned washi tape for me, Meredith and other reminders and mounted it on the wall heading into the kitchen. I’ve wanted a “family command center” for a while now, and this seems like a good way to get started!

Do you find it easier to stay organized when you use a pretty, colorful or visually stimulating planner?