**COUNTDOWN TO 36** 18 days left

**COUNTDOWN TO 36** 18 days left

This is exciting. If you are still hanging with me on this countdown, I promise you that there will be some cool moments, exciting moments, sad moments, messy moments and as of now, living and loving life moments.

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So age 6 was cool, cause that’s when I really started to remember life. I remember Grandpa Solomon so vividly.

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Age 7 is when we moved. Mom put a map on the table and flipped a coin, and where ever it landed is where she was going to move. She flipped the coin and it landed on AZ. True story. She initially wanted to move to Florida. She was relieved when it landed in AZ cause then we would be closer to Grandpa.

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We first moved to Phoenix. We lived across the street from the fairgrounds. I think we lived in another house with a roommate before that but I cant remember which came first.

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I was in first grade when we moved here and I went to Indian Bend Elementary School. Remember yesterday I said my first language was Spanish. Well that was still the same in AZ, LOL. I spoke more Spanish than I did English. Mom still wonders how they passed me to second grade if I barley knew the language. So she enrolled me at St. Gregory’s Catholic School to repeat first grade. I was the tallest one in my class and the darkest one. Mom always had 2 braids in my hair. I hated how this one boy would always pull my hair, so one day I turned around and punched him in the face. He didn’t pull my hair again.

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I was a girl scout and started as a brownie. I loved being a brownie, it was so fun. That is the only thing I remember doing.

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This is the year mom met my sister’s dad whom my brother and I call our dad Raymond.

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Age 7 was huge cause we moved to a new state and I became a girl scout. Fun times!!

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Let’s wait to see what age 8 has for us tomorrow. Hopefully it’s exciting!!

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love, me

**COUNTDOWN TO 36** 19 days left

**COUNTDOWN TO 36** 19 days left

So we have covered birth to age 5, not much or anything exciting. All though I did leave out that Spanish was my first language and by age 5 my brother Isaiah was born.

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Let’s move on to more exciting ages.

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Age: 6

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This is another one of those years that I don’t really remember much of. I know I went to Catholic school in Fresno.

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I also remember having my birthday party and mom was Mrs. Claus 🤶🏽. Being born in Dec was cool (not that I had a choice) but trying to have a birthday party was always tough cause school was always out for break.

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Age 6 we spent a lot of time with my grandpa Solomon (moms dad) we would go there all the time. Oh how I loved Grandpa. He was the only grandparent I grew up with cause my grandma Lupe died when mom was 11 😩 (moms mom). I remember always going to grandpas house in Brawley CA and he would take us to get Thrifty Ice Cream from Rite Aid. He would also take us to Kmart to buy a toy. Every single time we would visit, we were always watching I Love Lucy. We were at his home every Christmas and we would make a Christmas Tree (out of cardboard) 🎄 and tape it to the wall. True story.

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Age 6 is when I remember always going to the ranch (in Selma) where my Tia Sandy and Uncle Bobby lived (Uncle Bobby has passed away already) all of us cousins would just play out in the grape vines 🍇 or take pictures with the handmade dresses Tia Susie (moms sister) would make.

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Age 6 is another year I don’t remember much of. So crazy cause my 6 year old remembers stuff from when he was 4.

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Stay tuned for what age 7 has to bring.

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Love me

**COUNTDOWN TO 36**

**COUNTDOWN TO 36**

I love the month of December, not only because it’s Christmas time but because our Lord and Savior decided to give my parents the gift of me.

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I’ve been alive for 35 years as of now. That’s such a long time, well according to my sister and kids.

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These next 20 days I will be telling you about my journey to 36.

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Age: Birth to 5

I was born December 20, 1983 to Isabel Calleros and Marcelino Castro in Fresno CA. When mom was pregnant with me, the doctor told her I was gonna be a boy (the 80’s didn’t have cool ultrasounds like they do today.) anyways, mom was going to name me Shaun. Well guess what? I popped out a GIRL! Yikes, now what is she going to name me? Well there was a show on tv called Kojak and one of the actors was named Telly Savalas and mom put Shaun and Telly together and now my name is Shauntelly. I hated my name so much. All my family calls me Shaun but growing up in school I went by Shauny and still continue with that name.

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I can’t tell you that I remember a lot from birth to age 5 cause I don’t. I can tell you some stories that my nino (godfather) has told me. His favorite story to tell people is when he had to take mom to the hospital so she can give birth to me. I lived in Fresno from birth to age 6 or 7 until mom decided to move to AZ. That’s when she decided to flip a coin on a map and wherever it landed that’s where we were moving. I was baptized catholic when I was an infant and my ears were pierced at birth.

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This is all I remember from birth to age 5 😩

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Keep reading daily to continue my journey. Don’t worry, it gets better.

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Love me

**DO YOU WANT AN INTENTIONAL CHRISTMAS**

**DO YOU WANT AN INTENTIONAL CHRISTMAS**

Do you ever just wish you could make Christmas less stressful?

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Kids, family, friends, parties, events and so much more come each year, and you’re unsure which ones to say “YES” to and which ones to say “NO” to. This can be pretty overwhelming, especially for me. My husband and I live paycheck to paycheck, we have 5 kids and bills and 7 mouths to feed. At times I just think why would God put us in this position? I often tell a co-worker “this is a path we have to go through I guess” He has a plan and we need to just listen. Trust me, at times it’s very hard to listen.

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I just recently had a heart to heart conversation with a dear friend and she told me “I want to help you plan your Christmas with purpose and clarity” I was like, okay. What does that mean exactly?

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She giggled at me and said, “Oh Shauny, I love talking with you”. I learned that I have never been intentional about Christmas. Sounds so bad, doesn’t it?

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We all do this, we buy gifts without thinking about it. We buy gifts we don’t have money for. We use credit cards, don’t pay a certain bill to use that money or take loans out for our 1 yr old, 2 yr old and so on. I’ve been guilty of taking a loan out or not paying a bill. I would do all this all the time, but then I would still feel empty.

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I always wonder, if Christmas really is about Jesus, then why do we never include Him? I mean we go to church but for most people it’s tradition. Do we really appreciate the meaning of Christmas? Most kids and some adults just think about the gifts.

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We need to start being intentional and create Christmas Traditions. I understand that around the holidays the budget might be kinda tight. I learned that there is a way we can move through the Christmas season with my heart set on what matters most. What’s the best thing for my family?

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There are so many ways to go about celebrating Christmas. Whether you’re a single parent of 1, 3 or 5, a newly wed with a baby on the way, a grandparent with grandkids or an established family of 7, Christmas is a special time of family and remembering the birth of our Lord and Savior.

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We as parents can do this. We can shine the light of Christ into our kids.

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WE WERE MADE FOR THIS.

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If I’m going to make this work, I have some choices to make.

  1. Figure out what worked and didn’t work from last Christmas
  2. Ask your family questions about what they want this Christmas
  3. Setting Christmas goals (budget per kid and spouse)
  4. STOP spending money you don’t have
  5. Create traditions and memories (participate in an angel tree, hand out gifts to the less fortunate, invite people to church or your home for Christmas dinner)
  6. Be ready to STOP LIVING THE CHRISTMAS CHAOS and start making choices according to God’s priorities he has for you.

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This can be used for all people. Whatever season of life you’re all in THIS IS FOR YOU! If you are just getting started with your Christian journey, or been a believer for a long time, 1 or 7 kiddos, stay at home mom or dad, working parents, married or not, THIS IS FOR YOU.

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I hope this helps you like it did me. Have a very Merry Christmas and don’t stress. Let God help you.

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Love me

*HOW MANY OF YOU HAVE JESUS BUT NEED WHISKEY**

*HOW MANY OF YOU HAVE JESUS BUT NEED WHISKEY**

Whether you’re a workaholic or a parent of 1, 2 or 5 like me or you do both, every once in a while you need a drink of whiskey.

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Do you ever feel like so overwhelmed that sometimes you just need a drink. I’m not saying get drunk but just an occasional drink.

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There are so many people out there that don’t drink for many reasons. For some it may be addiction that runs in the family, some are just social drinkers and others may take it way over the limit and don’t know when to stop.

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When I say “How many of you have Jesus but need whiskey” what do you think I’m asking?

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For me, sometimes the whiskey is a way to escape everyday life. Even though I have Jesus, I still feel the urge to drink a glass to take the burden away. I have 5 kiddos and they all have different personalities. They all want my attention at the same time. Sometimes I just have to stop and say, “Lord help me get through this”

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We are all broken in one way or another. I’m not going to sit here and tell you what to do. What I will tell you is that you don’t need that drink to heal your past or present. The whiskey is just a mask, a mask that hides your pain, your financial problems, your stress, your marriage, your whatever it is you are trying to keep inside.

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We all need Jesus and sometimes we all need whiskey. But don’t think that whiskey will heal you because it won’t, God will if you let him in. Some of you might not believe in God or some might have different religious views but the moral of this is just have faith and ask for help even when you think people may judge you.

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PS.. I am an occasional drinker when I’m out with friends, it’s fun and harmless.

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Love me

**WHAT ARE YOU TRULY THANKFUL FOR**

**WHAT ARE YOU TRULY THANKFUL FOR**

There are so many things we all say we are all thankful for. For our family, health, life, work, friends and so on. But what are you TRULY thankful for?

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I have been wrestling with this question for a few days now, like really thinking about it for this post. I never really thought about it cause I always say the things listed above. So what am I truly thankful for you ask?

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I think for me I’m truly thankful for a few things. One for sure is that I have Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. He will provide if you ask for it. I’m also truly thankful for my life. You are here one day and can be gone the next. I’m getting better at just living day by day like it’s a holiday and eating like it’s a feast. I’m also very thankful for my husband. He came into my life at just the right time when I was broken and he is so amazing, sweet, kind and more!! I’m also very thankful for my kids. All 5 of them.. they are all great kids just need a few adjustments. All in all I’m thankful for everything in life so just enjoy it.

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Don’t stress on the little stuff! Seriously, it’s not worth it. It took me 15 years to realize that. Enjoy life, eat all the food you can and before you go to bed always tell your loved ones you LOVE THEM!

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The Big Idea:

Thankfulness comes from knowing the Giver.

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PS.. these photos are classic!!

**DO YOU LIKE SPENDING TIME WITH YOUR TEEN**

**DO YOU LIKE SPENDING TIME WITH YOUR TEEN**

How many of you have kids? I assume most of you if you’re following me. I have 5 kiddos.. My oldest is a girl and 15 😩😬. I also have 4 boys aging from 4 to 10. Today will be about my teenager.

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How many of you like to spend time with them? For many of you, you might love spending time with your kids, me not so much. You’re probably thinking, well what kind of mother are you? I’m a pretty good one, I think..

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As some of you know I’ve been doing the 30 min of family fun with our kids. The boys love it.. the teen not so much. Sometimes she makes life just “blah” you know.

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It’s like why do you think you can tell me when you’re going to do your chores and when you’re going to do it. Or tell me the work “No”. My mom just had to look at us and we knew not to talk back.

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Out of all my kids she is the toughest one. I love her with all my heart and will do anything for her. But I feel like she needs a rude awakening to appreciate what she has. Don’t get me wrong, she is a great kid. She is kind and loving to others, never a bully or rude to her peers but at home she is a different ball game. Not sure if this is just phase and she will grow out of it or what?

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Sometimes I envy other parents that have an amazing relationship with their daughters. It’s like, I want that. How do I get that? I get that every so often. Today happens to be one of those days. She came to work with me and helped me out, had an attitude at first but then she warmed up.

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It’s those special moments I have to keep dear to me cause I pray daily she sees me for the mom I’m trying to be.

Tell me what your secrets are with your teen. What do you do? How do you hang out with them and not kill them?

** CAN YOU REALLY ONLY HAVE ONE BEST FRIEND**

** CAN YOU REALLY ONLY HAVE ONE BEST FRIEND**

“A best friend is someone who makes you laugh even when you think you’ll never smile again” A best friend can happen just knowing each other for a few weeks. 

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I don’t just have one best friend, I have about 5 of them. They all have a different quality that I love about them. I have some really amazing people who stuck by me when my life crumbled apart in 2018. I mean, I went through a separation, divorce, a new relationship and a new marriage. Not once did they say this is not a good idea, this is bad.. They knew my life was not great, they knew my life was in shambles, they knew and they witnessed happiness when I met him. They knew he was the one. They knew he would take care of me and my kids.

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They have been there throughout the years, sticking by my side. Sharing my laughs with my craziness and my tears. They never judged me. They were there for me. They tell when something isn’t right, they tell me when something is a bad idea.

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They have  been with me at my worst; and they’ve celebrated with me at my best. 

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No matter what they have always been with me. I know I can call them anytime and they will be there. They are more than just a best friend. They are family.

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Any time I have something I want to go after, they look at me and say, “Oh Shauny”  they inspire me to be better and be the best version of myself. They love me unconditionally.

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Drinks and laughter with them is always memorable and they have the most loving and giving heart. I am so lucky I GET to have them in my life. 

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They know I love them!!

**DO YOU CO-SLEEP WITH YOUR KIDS**

**DO YOU CO-SLEEP WITH YOUR KIDS**

How many of you let your kids sleep with you? My kids have always slept with me until they just stopped.. My 2 younger ones still sleep with me, “gasp” I know, go ahead and talk your shit to me.

Those two little ones are my magnets when it comes to bedtime. I will put them in their own bed and in the middle of the night they end up with me.

JB doesn’t get it, he’s a man! I love that they sleep with me cause one day they will just stop. What I don’t love is I have no room which means JB has has no room and now no one is happy and our bodies suffer.

So if you’re a parent what do you do to keep the kids in their own bed? Here’s a pic of how four people sleep on a queen bed.

Do I co-sleep? No, my kids co-sleep and I get kicked all over my damn body
**STOP WAITING FOR THE PERFECT MOMENT OR A TRAGEDY TO HAPPEN FOR YOU TO START GOING AFTER YOUR DREAMS**

**STOP WAITING FOR THE PERFECT MOMENT OR A TRAGEDY TO HAPPEN FOR YOU TO START GOING AFTER YOUR DREAMS**

16 years ago today I was in cosmetology school. I have been in the beauty industry my whole life. 

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My mom is the creator of aesthetics schools in the state. 

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I thought I wanted to do hair, oh no!! I was the poster child for what “Not” to do. Don’t get me wrong, I love the beauty industry. My ex husband and I even owned and operated an aesthetician school. 

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I quickly learned that the beauty industry is a creative art. I’m not good at that, my mom is the queen of that department. I loved the feeling of helping people. I used to do “fat melting and body cavitation” ABSOLUTELY LOVE that service. Ask me later about that! 

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I have struggled with being grateful for the accomplishments and my “wins” in life.  I ran a successful body redefined business during my divorce. 

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A few years when I realized that I was not in a good place in my life or my marriage, since that moment, I realized it was time I should start to live for me and go after my dreams. 

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What are my dreams? I have no idea! I still don’t really know. I know that I love to lead people at church and I know that I love to write my silliness. 

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Since that moment last year I have accomplished some pretty cool things and yet none of them I view as successes until now in this past year:

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I learned how to truly love myself . I mean I still struggle cause I always put my kids first on their needs and wants but I’m definitely in a better place than I was.

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I learned what emotional/verbal abuse is and I know I don’t deserve that. It’s rough when you have no idea you were in it and then you’re not in that relationship anymore and BOOM it hits you like a speeding train. I thought that’s how all marriages were. I thought all husbands called their wife’s “worthless, stupid, fat, ugly and a few and even some made up sear words”

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I helped by impacting people’s lives while leading Rooted at church. What is Rooted you ask? It’s an 11 week discipleship on how to better build a relationship with Jesus Christ, your Lord and Savior. I think that this is my favorite thing so far at church. Well, and that I work there.

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I started my own blog to help others through telling my own story  

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I started a family tradition. Everyday, well almost everyday we as a family will make fun happen. We have #30minoffamilyfun it is so cool. Did not think I would enjoy it at all but I do. The kids do too, well most of them, that teenager is being a teen at her finest.

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I fell in love!! This one is my favorite. I didn’t even know that I could do that and guess what? He truly loves me for me. I KNOW (Monica voice) I think I’m kinda cool.

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And I realized who I really need my life. It’s cool to have 5000 or more friends on social media but how many of them are your family? That is the question. I can honestly say that I have a handful of friends who love me for me. It really is better to have that few than trying to impress the 5000 on social media.

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I didn’t know how to celebrate the good things other than my kids birthdays.

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A couple days ago I told my husband I was going to start a blog. He said “I don’t know why you haven’t already, go for it, you’ll be great” My husband is a great encourager!! I said really? He said ” Yes, look at how many people came up to you at church and asked either why you haven’t posted or I cant wait to see what the next post is” I didn’t realize people were watching what I do. I didn’t realize I was impacting people. I didn’t realize people wanted to see this crazy.

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And I think we should all write blogs.

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So set goals for yourself. Celebrate your victories no matter how small they are. And don’t wait until New Years to set them like I used to.

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Start now. 

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What are you currently working towards? What’s on your vision board or bucket list?