“Life-transforming ideas have always come to me through books.” – Bell Hooks

Here’s the list.


A – B

C – D

F – G

H – I

L – N

O – R

S – T

U – W


#10 Hand Write 30 Letters

When I started my 30×30 list, I thought this would be the easiest item on the list. Boy was I wrong. It was probably one of the hardest things I have ever had to do – ever. Having said that, it was also one of the most freeing and peaceful things I’ve done. I am guilty of assuming. I assume my friends and family know I love them and that I’m grateful for them. I assume those who make a difference know that they do. I assume a lot. This process took me out of my head and brought me into action.

It wasn’t easy, it took all year, and it was worth every second.

And of course, I had a system. Here it is for those of you who may want to do it yourselves:

1. Make a list of 30 people. Friends, family, people who have impacted my life; basically the first 30 people who came to mind.

2. Find the perfect cards. Each card was specifically picked for the person it was written for. They ranged from quotes to pictures to outright crazy.

3.Write from the heart. Part of why this took so long was the gut reaction of  “Oh my God, they are all gonna think I’m stupid”. Once I put that aside and just wrote, they flowed a lot better and were more genuine.

4. Let go. Let go of any resentment, anger, frustrations – basically all negative feelings.

5. Stamp them and mail them. No one really gets any fun snail mail anymore so it makes them more unique and special so forget delivery and stick them in the mailbox.


Have fun!


#24 Go to a Wine Tasting


While I like wine, I’m not a wine connoisseur. I don’t know how to pair wines with food and picking a bottle to bring as a hostess gift to a dinner party still warrant a panicked phone call to my expert. Even places like Total Wine bring on flop sweats and nervous tics. That’s why a wine tasting had to be on my 30×30 list.

I chose the New Vista Wine Walk. I figure have some wine, donate to charity, and do both in the open air atmosphere of Town Square. It was an interesting experience. A lot of fun and a lot of wine. I had a blast hanging out with friends and learning just a little bit more about this thing called wine.

Participating Wineries

1. M&R Prosecco

2. M&R Asti Spumante

3. Korbel Rose

4. Korbel Brut

5. Toasted Head Untamed Red

6. Toasted Head Shiraz

7. Hogue Sauvignon Blanc

8. Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc

9. Chamisal Stainless Chardonnay

10. Rosenblum Zinfindel

11. Rosenblum Syrah

12. Valley of the Moon Pinot Noir

13. J Lohr 7 Oaks Cabernet

14. Yago Sant’Gria

15. Murphy Goode Merlot

16. Murphy Goode Pinot Grigio

17. McManis Viognier

18. FRITZ’s Riesling

19. Santa Ema Reserve Chardonnay

20. Santa Ema Reserve Merlot

*Tip – eat first.

** The walk was sponsored by SmartWater and we all got special edition SmarWater in glass bottles. Coolest party favor ever.







#12 Be a Vegas Tourist for the Day

The talking tree in the botanical garden - Bellagio

Who doesn’t want to play tourist in Vegas? I had so much fun. I spent Saturday walking up one side of The Strip and down the other, exploring each Resort along the way. ( I even made $20 at Television City.) My favorite part?

The Lion Habitat at MGM Grand. It was so much fun to watch these big cats play like kittens. In this picture, one of the cats is relaxing away on his back, in a classic Shadow pose.

I had a blast strolling through the Wynn and Encore with their elegant decor, watching the Flamingo’s and getting free show tickets at the Hilton, experiencing frozen hot chocolate at Caesar’s Serendipity, and watching the mini tornadoes in City Center’s Crystals. Of course, per the LVCVA, full details of my day can’t ever be revealed.

Remember, “What happens here, stays here.”

#26 Dance in the Rain

My cool rain boots! (Yes, I know the pants go inside, this way was cuter)


This is Las Vegas where the sun shines at least 335 days out of the year. Rain is a unique and note worthy experience here. Natives tend to go insane with excitement over even the smallest drop. I enjoy the rain, but it’s rare for me to actually take the time to stop what I’m doing and go play. (Hence the reason it’s on my list) Well, today it rained and instead of thinking about the 10 pages of stuff on my to do list and the hundreds of emails waiting for something, I decided to take 20 minutes to just play.

I didn’t have to go very far. I live in the middle of town where the streets are a bit older and very good for attracting puddles. I also live in a neighborhood where there are a ton of kids who are home schooled. Put those two things together and it’s the prefect recipe for a fun-filled dance in the rain. We splashed, kicked, and boogied down. It was the absolute best way to recharge my batteries and of course, dance in the rain.

#1 Go Zip Lining in Downtown Las Vegas

Three words  – So. Freaking. Cool.


The view from the line


This is the final staging area. 4 people ride at a time.



The finish line


(There were pictures of Hannah and I actually flying, but they cost $20 and so not worth the price.)

Zip lining is popular now with companies and locations popping up all over the place. I picked Downtown because I’m a Vegas kid and while the line was the longest, highest, or scariest, it was the idea of flying through the air under the Fremont Street Experience Canopy. The best part? They were playing the tribute to Queen. What more could a girl ask for?

Want to experience it for yourself? Visit Flightlinez to get started.

“If you don’t create change, change will create you” – Unknown

The Real Life Yellow Brick Road

Written by an ICAN Youth Staff

An I.C.A.N youth staff went on the yellow brick road to Camp Lee Canyon. The journey was long and worth it. The first time the youth staff went to camp, they all defeated the east witch of all that was evil, lame and stupid. It was so wonderful there. People had so many colors, all sorts of colors. Blues and reds, pinks and purples not a gray in sight.

At camp there are three witches of greatness, the awesome witch of the west Jamie, the princess witch of the north Jessica, and the Yoda witch of the south Mary. All three witches helped the other youth staff and munchkins of the camp through whatever their troubles were. 

The youth staff walked along the yellow brick dirt covered road she looked to her left then to her right and behind her to see if any friends were behind her. She kept on walking forward thinking of all the greatness to come up at camp. She stopped and heard a faint noise and looked to her left again a young boy sat crying quite scared and confused, all his color had gone he was gray. The youth staff walked over and used her super care bear skills to comfort the crying boy.

 “Now now, why are you crying?” asked the youth staff.

“Well, I’ve lost my way. I’ve done bad things and I don’t know how to stop from doing them again. I have to want just not the support or tools. I need help and I need it now.”

“I see, what is your name?” the youth staff held his hand.

“Fred, my name is Fred.”

“What have you done Fred to put you in such pain?”

“I did drugs and lost all that I love. My real friends won’t talk to me, my mom can’t look at me, my grade are falling and I can’t control my self, it’s like I’ve lost my mind.”

The youth staff gave him a hug as he began to cry again. “It’s ok. Come with me Fred. I have friends who can help you find your way.”

“But I’ve done such horrible things, they won’t like me.”

“My friends will not judge you just help you, come with me I know this will work.”

Fred stood up with the youth staff and they continued their walk towards camp hand in hand. No words came out of their mouth. The wind rushed past them. They got quite far until a squeak hit the ears of the youth staff. She stopped dead.

“What’s wrong?” Fred looked around.

“Don’t you hear that?” the youth staff searched for the maker of the squeak. “There!” she pointed to a pale white girl. The youth staff and Fred walk over to this mysterious girl and knelt down to where she was sitting.

“hello” the youth staff touched the girl’s shoulder. The girl replied by attacking the youth staff with a hug. Fred stepped back unaware what was happening. “What’s wrong?”

“I-I” the girl stuttered, “Sometimes I just feel so alone. When people pick on me and call me names because I’m bigger, or I’m smarter, because I’m not cool enough, or sometimes for no reason at all. I used to wear bright col-colors and fun clothes. But the bullying was too much” the girl held onto the youth staff. “I used to like my self, and now I feel alone and like nobody likes me. It’s like they’re all heart less.”

“What’s your name” the youth staff rubbed her back.


“That’s a beautiful name.”

“Thank you”

“It’s nothing to thank, I’m simply stating the truth. I think you should come with us.”

“Where?” Galinda looked up into the youth staff’s eyes.

“A place that can help you love your self and not feel so alone.” The youth staff stood up. Galinda and Fred followed. They all held hands, Galinda in the youth staffs right hand and Fred in the left.  Again they walked in silence; there was no need to talk. Galinda and Fred were hesitant to keep going up the large hill but the combination of the youth staff’s care bear powers and belief in her camp kept them going. They could she camp’s cabins all lined up.

“It’s just over there” the youth staff smiled and squeezed the Fred and Galinda’s hands.

“Excuse me,” a small voice called from behind them. They stopped and turned around to see an extremely tall boy with a washed out grey color.

“Yes, how can we help you?” asked the youth staff with a wide smile over taking her whole face.

“Well, I don’t believe in myself and I can’t stand up to other people or do what I want. In need some courage and some friends. I was walking when I heard you talking to the boy,” he looked at Fred, “and the girl,” he looked a Galinda. He looked back at the youth staff “I heard you say there was a place where the people don’t judge you and you can get your color back, is that true?”

The youth staff let go of Fred and Galinda “it is, would you like to come with us?” she held out her hand for the boy. He took it in his. “Let’s go the, shall we?”

The four of them held hands all the rest of the way up the hill. When they arrived the three witches stood at the opening of the camp.

“Who did you bring?” asked Jamie the witch of awesome.

“A few friends who need some help. This is Galinda,” Galinda gave a slight smile. “This is Fred,” Fred waved to the witches. “And this is-” the youth staff stopped, she didn’t know his name.

“My name is Justin” the boy said

“Hello to all of you!” the princess almost yelled with a smile.

“Awesome you will all become,” said the witch of Yoda.

“Come on in,” The witch of awesome gestured.

That week Fred, Galinda, and Justin all made you friends and got what they needed to help them thorought live, in camp, and back down the hill. When the youth staff saw them later that week all three had their color back. Fred a bright purple. Galinda a rainbow. Justin a bright blue. They gave the youth staff a death griping hug and whispered to her “ you saved my life.”

#17 Order Oysters…and Eat Them

Yes those are raw oysters – Rappahannock and Chef’s Creek to be exact.

It turns out they are actually quite tasty. They weren’t like eating snot or any of the other gross things I’ve heard them compared to. It was like sushi – just raw fish.

Many thanks to Jamie, Erin, and Mike for sharing my oyster experience.

If you’re in Vegas and you want your very own raw oyster experience, I recommend King’s Fish House. Christina, our waitress, was amazing. She was extremely knowledgeable about the oysters – where they came from, what they tasted like – well equipped to handle this neophyte.

#29. Visit a museum in Washington D.C. that I haven’t yet.

National Gallery of Art, Sculpture Garden

I have the amazing opportunity to visit Washington D.C. in May every year. Each time, I take the time to visit a new museum. This year, having gone through all the typical Smithsonian’s, I decided to do something different. This year I visited two places – The National Gallery of Art’s Sculpture Garden and the Smithsonian Gardens’ Butterfly Garden Habitat. What amazing places. There is some beautiful art in the Sculpture Garden – huge pieces made out of the most unusual things. This tree made out of concrete and metal was one of my favorites. As you can see by the people walking by, it’s gigantic.

The Butterfly Habitat

I really liked the Butterfly Habitat. There were some of the most beautiful plants in there. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see any butterflies. It was either the wrong season or the wrong day for them to come out to play, however, I did learn some amazing facts about gardens and of course butterflies. I would recommend both these places to anyone wanting a new experience.

“We Gotta Tell ’em That We Love ’em While We Got a Chance to Say.” – Kris Allen

On my 30×30 list, I have that I want to write letters to 30 of most significant people in my life. I thought this would be the easiest one of all to finish. Boy was I wrong. Writing the list was really the only easy part.

I started in November and I still haven’t finished. Some letters I’m on my third draft. I have realized that it’s difficult to have to conversations with people – to say the things I’m unable to or have just forgotten to say out loud.

At first I felt a bit silly. The first drafts made me feel like I was dying and saying goodbye to people. So not my intention. Yet at the same time it made me think. How often do we not say the things we wish to say to people because we’re afraid, too busy, too embarrassed, or we just forget? For me the biggest struggle I’ve had is thinking I can predict people’s reactions. It made the first round of letters very superficial – staying right on the surface and not being real. The next round was a bit better, but it still wasn’t what I really wanted to say too afraid that someone would take it the  wrong way or unwilling to put genuine feelings on paper.

So here goes round 3/4 (depending on the person). This is the last round. It’s time to get real, it’s time to get honest (with myself), and it’s time to just fracking do it.