How I did…part three…

Wow…this week was a total mess.  Work was crazy and when I wasn’t there I felt like I was just running around everywhere.  I totally missed my bright side post.  The bright side of that is the reason I was so busy…which is because I’m heading to Kentucky tomorrow to see my bestie and to celebrate Baby E’s first birthday!!!  Can I just point out how fast that year has flown by???

Anyway…I planned to do two separate posts to finish out my 101 list.  But since that didn’t happen, and in the interest of moving things along here, I’m going to finish it up today.

And here we go…

51. Get a library cardCompleted 1/11/12…Of course, I haven’t used it yet.  But I got it!

52. Answer the “50 Questions That Will Free Your Mind”Completedyou can read the answers here.

53. Go to the zoo in the spring to see the baby animals – Completed on 5/31/11…Ally and I took a trip to The Bronx Zoo

54. Eat a meal alone in a restaurant –  Completed!…During my first road trip to VA to visit the Millers, I ate lunch at Applebee’s.  It was a little strange to sit alone, but I read a book and ate my salad and it was very nice.  Certainly better than eating a burger in my car.

55. Go to the movies alone 10 times – FAIL…I don’t think I went to the movies 10 times total, never mind 10 times alone

56. Get a henna “tattoo” on my hands – FAIL…There was a vague plan for this, but it never quite worked out.

57. Get properly measured and buy 3 really good bras once per year – Completed!…And Oprah is right…a good bra does wonders for your figure.

58. Go to mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral – Completed 2/22/12…I had a crappy seat and couldn’t hear very well, but I was there and it was a really nice experience.

59. Give everyone on my Christmas list a handmade gift – Completed on 12/25/11Everyone got at least one handmade item and it was a huge success.  I will be doing this in the future as much as possible.

60. Get a bikini wax – FAIL… HAHAHAHAHAHA – I’m a total wuss.  I don’t like pain.

61. Purchase a 1 year subscription to the NY Lottery – Completed 11/22/10I didn’t win.

62. Reach 500 blog posts – Completed…Today’s post is actually #600!

63. Do three more blog giveaways – Completed…1st (apron), 2nd (12 days of Christmas, which I’m counting as one) and 3rd (Kiva card).

64. Order room service – Completed 11/6/12…After a day of far too much booze in Mexico, we were in no shape to sit in a restaurant for dinner.  So we ordered room service.

65. Write a love letter – Completed on 8/26/11To J for his birthday.

66. Organize every room of my house – FAIL…I’m always about halfway there.

67. Buy myself a diamond ring (like Oprah’s pinky ring) – FAIL.  I was actually hoping for a diamond of a different sort, but that never happened either.

68. Watch every movie currently on my Netflix queue – CompletedI started with about 400 movies on my list.  There are currently about 70, but none of them were on there at the beginning.  I can tell you that there are a lot of crappy movies out there.

69. Watch all the movies we own on DVD…even the stupid ones – FAIL.  I watched too many stupid movies and decided I was done wasting my time.

70. Meet a blog friend in person – Completed on 10/29/10 when I met the fabulous Ally and now we are besties!

71. Go snorkeling – FAIL…Wanted to do this in Mexico, but I’m a chicken shit.  Also…I had a lot of spa credits so I got massages instead.

72. Read 100 books – CompletedI ended up reading 112.

73. Have a girls night once per month – FAIL…I think I had a girls night maybe five times total.  It’s very hard when your friends live all over the country.

74. Do a boudoir photo shoot – Completed 6/17/12Loved the results.  Take a look here.

75. Visit a psychic – Completed 10/18/13I got some very specific predictions, but nothing she said actually happened.

76. Spend a day lying in a hammock reading and napping – Completed…It wasn’t a hammock…but it fulfilled the spirit of the item.

77. Take a walk in the rain – FAIL…I mean, I’ve walked in the rain, but only out of necessity.  The point was to take a stroll in the rain.  I didn’t.

78. Ride in a hot air balloon – FAIL…Here’s the things…hot air balloon rides are expensive.  And I never had that kind of disposable income.  Maybe next time.

79. Build a snowman – Completed 2/9/13…It wasn’t pretty, but it was a lot of fun.

80. Color an entire coloring book – FAIL…I got a great coloring book as a Christmas present last year, but I only colored about half the book.

81. Carve a pumpkin – Completed sometime in January…much like the snowman, it wasn’t pretty, but it was fun.

82. Go on a date with J once per month – HAHAHAH – HUGE FAIL…J doesn’t like to go out…ever.  I think we went on two or three dates total.

83. See 3 Broadway shows – Completed…I saw Elf on 12/4/10, The Motherfucker in the Hat on 5/31/11 and Wicked on 11/15/11

84. Go to 5 concerts – CompletedJay-Z and Eminem, Sarah McLachlan, Aerosmith, The Rolling Stones and Maroon 5.

85. Dress up for Halloween – Completed 10/31/10…see the photos here.

86. Buy a completely impractical dress just because I love it – FAIL.  I just never did it.

87. Throw a party – FAIL…I blame J for this.  I planned a huge party for his 40th, but he caught wind of it and made me cancel it.  He doesn’t like parties or being the center of attention.

88. Go out dancing – FAIL…I’m old and I go to bed early.

89. Watch season 1 of Mad Men, Glee and Arrested Development – Completed…I love Glee and I still watch it, Mad Men was great, but it didn’t stick and Arrested Development…I just don’t get it.

90. Go to a midnight movie premiere – Completed 11/19/10 when I went to the premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.  Midnight premieres are not for me.

91. Celebrate Champagne Friday every week for 1 month – FAIL – I definitely did this, just not four weeks in a row.

92. Shoot a gun at a shooting range – FAIL…I had an appointment for a class, but I had to cancel and I never had time to reschedule.

93. Play hooky from work one day for no reason – Completedat the beginning of September…it was fabulous.  I got a mani/pedi and watched a movie.

94. Attend a taping of a TV show – FAIL…I’m on the list for Live with Kelly and Michael, but I haven’t gotten tickets yet.

95. Take the pastry class at ICE – Completed 10/8/10which you can read about here or here or here

96. Cook my way through a cookbook –FAIL…the problem here is that J doesn’t like anything.  He likes boring food and he hates desserts.  I couldn’t find a book that actually had recipes that I thought he’d eat.

97. Create a signature cupcake – FAIL…trying to lose weight and testing cupcake recipes don’t really mix.

98. Put together a recipe book from all the random recipes in the kitchen – FAIL…this was sheer laziness.

99. Give a copy of that recipe book to someone as a gift – FAIL…you can’t give away something that doesn’t exist!

100. Write a blog post about each item I complete on the list – Completed…At the very least, I count these past couple of posts to fulfill this.

101. Write a new 101 list – Completed…I started the new list yesterday and I’ll be posting it next week.

If my count is correct, I completed 48 out of 101.  I’m disappointed that I didn’t finish them all, but I think it was pretty good for a first attempt.  Yesterday I started my new list and I’m determined to do a better job next time.

Anyone else finish their list recently?  How did you do???

How I did…part two…

Welcome to the second installment of how I did.  This is a long list, so I hope you don’t get bored reading.  Especially since there are so many failures on it.  I totally won’t be offended if you skip around or skim it….

26.  Buy a Flip camera and make 1 home movie per week for 1 year –  FAIL…I actually got a camera…but I have no children and  I’m not a Kardashian so sex tapes are out of the question.  That left me with taping the dogs.  And really…how many videos can I have of the dogs just chasing each other around the yard.  After about a month, I stopped this.  I will pick it back up when there is a baby.

27.  Create a journal of clippings, photos, quotes and other things I love – Completed!  This is actually a work in progress, but that was kind of the idea.  The goal was basically to start this and make it a habit.  That’s what I’ve done, so I count this as a win.

28.  Create an emergency kit for both houses – FAIL…This is probably my biggest disappointment.  During the time I was working on my list we had two major hurricanes and lost power for over a week each time.  We planned really well before each storm, so we were fine.  But an emergency kit would have been really nice.  This is my first priority on my new list.

29.  Drink 64 ounces of water every day for 64 days straight  FAIL – I say that as I look around at the empty Diet Coke cans on my desk.  I definitely drink more water than I did before.  But I still drink Diet Coke with my breakfast.

30.  Complete the Couch to 5K program  FAIL.  I’m not a runner.  I want to be a runner, but I hate it.  I hate every second of it.  It makes my knees and back hurt and I’ve never, ever experienced a runner’s high.  It’s time to admit I’m not a runner and accept it.

31.  Reach my goal weight and stay there – FAILLike the rest of the world, I spent all my time looking for some big weight loss secret.  I tried a few fad diets and then Weight Watchers and then Jenny Craig three times.  The reality is…there is no big secret.  You just need to change your lifestyle.  Which is what I’m not doing.  Hopefully, this will work better next time.

32.  Take the dogs on a walk for at least 30 minutes every day for 1 month – FAIL…I live in a very hilly neighborhood.  And my dogs are just as lazy as I am.  We do go for more walks than before…but we certainly aren’t doing it every day.

33.  Take a yoga class – FAIL…Yoga is boring, but also intimidating.  I bought a Groupon, but I had no one to take a class with, so I chickened out.  Then I bought a DVD…and it’s still in the package.  I think this is kind of like running.  I think I just have to give up the dream.

34.  Save $10,000 – Completed 12/16/12…I used to be the girl who lived paycheck to paycheck and I had no savings.  So this was huge for me.  I never thought I’d get there, but I’m so happy I did.  I love looking at that bank balance now.

35.  Pay off all my credit cards in full each month for 1 year – Completed 12/31/12Again…I lived on credit cards.  I never thought I’d be able to be in a place where I could just pay them off every month and not carry a balance.  But I did it.  I have to admit, there were a few months where I did carry a balance.  I made two very large purchases in the middle of the year and I didn’t want to take cash out of my savings to pay for them.  But it was pre-planned and before I even bought the items, I had a plan for paying them off and I stuck to the plan.  This was great and a habit I want to keep up forever.

36.  Go 1 month without making a non-essential purchase – Completed 3/31/12March was my month and it was pretty successfulIt really made me realize how much money I waste.

37.  Sell 5 things on Ebay – FAIL…the goal here was to declutter and make some money in the process.  I did declutter by donating a lot of things to charity.  But I haven’t been successful at selling the things that have a bit of value.  I did take them all out of the closet in which they were stored and I took the pictures.  But halfway just doesn’t cut it.

38.  Sell something I make on Etsy – FAIL…I’m not sure if it was laziness that prevented me from doing this or the fear of failure.  I have an idea for an Etsy store and I have the items to list.  I just never did it.  I’m very disappointed with this.

39.  Study something entirely new – FAIL…This was a tough one for me.  I couldn’t figure out what I wanted to study…so I just skipped over it.  I kept thinking I’d have more time.  I didn’t.

40.  Conquer a fear – FAIL…My intention on this was to conquer my fear of heights.  I’m terrified.  I thought going on a hot air balloon ride and maybe spending a day riding roller coasters would put me on the road to getting over it.  But I’m a chicken, so I didn’t do it.

41.  Go to 5 different museums – Completed!The Ellis Island Museum, The Discovery Times Square Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Sex and The American Museum of Natural History.  There were others too, but I stopped keeping track after 5.

42.  Create a house cleaning schedule and stick to it – FAIL…as evidenced by the dust bunnies and dog hair in the every room.  Between the dogs shedding and J following me around and making a mess of things I’ve just cleaned, this was a losing battle and I just gave up.  The house isn’t really dirty…just a little dusty and mess…and the laundry is usually done.  And when company is coming I do a really good cleaning.  And that’s going to have to be good enough.

43.  Go to bed at 9PM every night for 1 week – FAIL…I tried.  I really did.  I got into bed at 9…and I laid there and stared at the ceiling for three hours until I was tired.  I did it for two nights before I gave up.  But at least I learned that 9pm is far too early for me to go to bed.

44.  Wake up at 5AM every morning for 1 week – Completed.  This was great.  I had so much time in the morning and I got lots of stuff done.  I wasn’t racing out of the house like my hair was on fire in order to catch my train.  I got to work earlier.  I loved it.  But I stopped doing it after a while, because I was really tired.  Maybe if I went to bed at 9…

45.  Keep my inbox empty for 1 month – Completed 4/30/12…This has actually become a habit with me.  No longer do I have 300 emails in my inbox.  They get read the same day I get them and I either save them to a folder, answer them or delete them within a few days.  Yay for a nice, empty inbox.

46.  Write a will and advanced medical directive – FAIL…I have written instructions giving my friend the authority to make end of life decisions for me…since I know that J and my parents will not respect my wishes to not be kept on life support.  However, it’s not an official document and probably wouldn’t actually work.  But I never sat down and made it official.  Part of it was being cheap, part of it was laziness and part of it was not wanting to think about death.

47.  Write “in case of death” letters – FAIL…My intention here was to write letters to certain people to be given to them in the case of my untimely demise.  There are just some things that I think people should know…in case I don’t get a chance to tell them directly.  I tried to do this…honestly.  But I’m not good at talking about my emotions and this got to be too much.  So I stopped and then never finished.  It’s going on my next list.

48.  Pick a day to perform random acts of kindness – FAIL – I spent a lot of time planning this, and then I ran out of time to actually do it.  Oops.

49.  Watch the sunrise and sunset on the same day – Completed 11/7/12I actually did this pretty much every day while I was in Mexico.  Because of the time difference, I was waking up before the sun, so I’d drag my butt to the beach to catch the sunrise.  Then I’d watch the sunset from the balcony while we got ready for dinner.  It was so nice.

50.  Watch the sunset and the sunrise without going to bed – FAIL…This was one of those things that I have to wonder what I was thinking.  I’m far too old for staying up all night.

 

How I did…part one…

Almost three years ago, I started my first attempt at a 101 in 1001 list.  When I started, I was determined to get the entire list finished.  1001 days seemed like a really long time and I didn’t have anything on the list that seemed unrealistic.

Well…as it turns out, 1001 days go really fast.  I also have to admit that while I started out strong, I kind of lost my motivation in the middle.  I picked it up some at the end, but I ran out of time and I didn’t finish.

Here’s part one of how I did…

  1. Send someone flowers for no reason – Completed 1/11/12.   Turns out…it’s not easy to send flowers for no reason.  At the very least, my reason was to fulfill this item on my list.  But every time I tried this, I was either going to send flowers because someone was having a bad day or they had done something nice for me or they achieved some sort of milestone.  Eventually, I did just pick a random day to send flowers to someone who often went out of her way for me.  She wasn’t expecting them and it was a nice surprise for her.
  2. Pay for a strangers meal at a drive-through – Completed 9/3/10…read about it hereIt turned out to be a bit of a disaster for the McDonald’s employees, but I’m sure the people behind me appreciated it.  It’s definitely something I’d like to do again.
  3. Give a microloan through kiva.org – Completed 9/3/10This has been great.  I just made my 10th loan and several of my friends have made loans as well.  It’s a great program.  If you have an extra $25, think about making a loan.
  4. Find out my blood type and donate blood – Completed 1/11/12.  I considered this completed because I tried.  I wasn’t able to donate because I was slightly anemic.  But I tried and will try again sometime in the future.
  5. Travel to 5 places I’ve never been – Completed 11/6/13…Savannah, GA…Edmonton, AB, Canada…Lexington KY…Macon, GA…Playa del Camen, Mexico
  6. Take a road trip alone – Completed 1/1/13.  I took my first trip to Petersburg, VA to visit the Millers.  I’m hoping to do a longer trip later this summer.
  7. Take a walking tour of NYC – Completed 5/6/13.  Ally and I took a tour of Central Park.  I’ve been there a million times and when I trained for the marathon, I did training runs in the park.  But other than the zoo and the running path, I’ve really not see much of the park.  So we hit on all the best sights, including the boating pond, the literary walk, Bethesda fountain, Belvedere Castle, Strawberry Field and the carousel.  We also decided to walk down the ramble with a stroller…which was a dumb idea.  But it was a really great day and we got to see so much of the park.
  8. Visit the Statue of Liberty – Completed during the Shana/Ally NYC extravaganza.
  9. Spend a weekend in Atlantic City – FAIL.  I never made it and then Sandy happened and things were a mess down there.  Also, when the Millers were living in VA, free weekends were spent with them.  I’ll try again on the next list.
  10. Go on vacation with my sister-in-law – FAIL.  Between a lack of time and a lack of funds, this never happened.
  11. Travel somewhere by train – FAIL.  I was planning to go to either Boston or DC, but preferred to spend my time away visiting people who were in neither Boston or DC.
  12. Go to Disney World – FAIL.  Again, lack of time.  And Mexico just seemed like a better idea than Disney.
  13. Write a novel – FAIL.  It’s in my head.  I just haven’t written it down.
  14. Participate in NaNoWriMo – FAIL.  November is busy.  But like I said above…the novel is in there.  I just have to find the time to get it out.
  15. Participate in NaBloPoMo – Done!  Completed on 11/30/11  Even through my dad’s accident, I kept going.  It was a really great exercise during a time when I was slacking on my blog.  It got me back into the swing of blogging.
  16. Redesign my blog – Completed…The new design went live on 11/6/11!  It’s since gotten another new face lift.
  17. Comment on every blog post I read for one week – Completed on 3/27/11  I’ve since slacked off on my blog commenting again.
  18. Crochet an afghan using the yarn I’ve had in the closet for a year – FAILI was about halfway done with this and I hated the way it was looking.  So I tore it all out and I never got started again.
  19. Refinish a piece of furniture – FAILAgain…I started.  And then I stopped and never re-started.
  20. Use my sewing machine…finally – FAIL.  It still sits in the craft room…covered and completely unused.
  21. Take a photography class – Completed 12/21/12I took the Digital SLR 101 class from Flying Photo School.  I learned a ton and I plan to take the remaining four classes they offer.
  22. Take 48 pictures in 1 day and create a photo book of a day in my life – FAIL…I’m sorry to say that I never even tried this.  I kept thinking that I wanted to do it on a day that I was doing something at least a little interesting.  But on those days, I usually didn’t have time to take pictures or I simply forgot.  It’s going on the next list.
  23. Do a 365 day photo project – FAIL…I started this twice, but both times I got busy and would forget to take a picture each day.  I also took a lot of the pictures on my phone, which wasn’t the point of this project.  I really wanted to use my camera more.  So I will make another attempt on the next list.
  24. Create a monthly scrapbook every month for 1 year – FAIL…This one sort of fizzled out when the photo project didn’t work out.
  25. Make a calendar to give as a Christmas gift – FAIL…The same thing happened with this one as the one above.

Tune in tomorrow for the next 25 items.  I did a bit better with those items.

A 101 List Update…

Since I have just over a year left to complete my 101 in 1001 list, I thought I should do an update so you could see where I’ve made progress and where I’m sort of slacking off. 

I’ve gotten 26 items down and I’m currently working on another 18.  I’m really close to planning a trip soon that will let me cross off five items in three days…and I’ve bought some Groupons recently that will help me accomplish another 3. 

When I started this project I really thought 1001 days was a long time.  It’s not as long as it seems at first.  Especially when I have so many items left to do and less than 400 days to finish! 

Here’s where I am now…

  1. Send someone flowers for no reasonCompleted 1/11/12…sent flowers to my cousin Marybeth just because she’s awesome.
  2. Pay for a strangers meal at a drive-through – Completed 9/3/10…read about it here.
  3. Give a microloan through kiva.orgCompleted 9/3/10 and it’s been fully repaid! I think I am on my third round of loans now. 
  4. Find out my blood type and donate bloodCompleted 1/11/12…I’m anemic so I wasn’t able to donate…but I donated some cash instead and I will try again.
  5. Travel to 5 places I’ve never been – 4 down…Savannah, GA…Edmonton, AB, Canada…Lexington KY…and Macon, GA…1 more to go and I have a really good idea of who I want to go see…
  6. Take a road trip alone
  7. Take a walking tour of NYC
  8. Visit the Statue of LibertyDone during the Shana/Ally NYC extravaganza.
  9. Spend a weekend in Atlantic City
  10. Go on vacation with my sister-in-law
  11. Travel somewhere by train
  12. Go to Disney World
  13. Write a novel
  14. Participate in NaNoWriMo
  15. Participate in NaBloPoMoDone!  Finished on 11/30/11
  16. Redesign my blogThe new design went live on 11/6/11!
  17. Comment on every blog post I read for one weekCompleted on 3/27/11
  18. Crochet an afghan using the yarn I’ve had in the closet for a year – In progress…I was about halfway done, but I hated it, so I took it all out and started over.
  19. Refinish a piece of furniture – In progress…working on re-doing my kitchen set…pictures to follow.
  20. Use my sewing machine…finally
  21. Take a photography classCompleted…I finished the class on December 21st and I can’t wait to sign up for the next one.
  22. Take 48 pictures in 1 day and create a photo book of a day in my life
  23. Do a 365 day photo project – I started this on April 1st.  It’s been more work than I thought it would be, but I have some really great shots.
  24. Create a monthly scrapbook every month for 1 year
  25. Make a calendar to give as a Christmas gift – This was a goal for this Christmas…but it was an epic fail.  Next year for sure.
  26. Buy a Flip camera and make 1 home movie per week for 1 year – Well…I got the camera for Christmas last year…now I just need to start using it.
  27. Create a journal of clippings, photos, quotes and other things I love – I bought a SmashBook and I started this project…so far I love it.
  28. Create an emergency kit for both houses
  29. Drink 64 ounces of water every day for 64 days straight
  30. Complete the Couch to 5K program
  31. Reach my goal weight and stay there – In progress…joined Jenny Craig in Feb 2011 and after a brief hiatus, I’m back on the program.
  32. Take the dogs on a walk for at least 30 minutes every day for 1 month
  33. Take a yoga class
  34. Save $10,000 – I’m making great progress on this.  I managed to put a huge chunk of my bonus into savings.  I have a way to go, but I’m getting there.
  35. Pay off all my credit cards in full each month for 1 year – I’ve managed to keep all my balances at zero since January!
  36. Go 1 month without making a non-essential purchase March was my month and it was pretty successful.
  37. Sell 5 things on Ebay
  38. Sell something I make on Etsy
  39. Study something entirely new
  40. Conquer a fear
  41. Go to 5 different museums – 4 down…The Ellis Island Museum, The Discovery Times Square Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Museum of Sex (which was so interesting…next week I’m going to The American Museum of Natural History and I’ll cross this item off the list!
  42. Create a house cleaning schedule and stick to it
  43. Go to bed at 9PM every night for 1 week
  44. Wake up at 5AM every morning for 1 week
  45. Keep my inbox empty for 1 monthI started this back in April and it’s lasted much longer than a month.
  46. Write a will and advanced medical directive
  47. Write “in case of death” letters
  48. Pick a day to perform random acts of kindness
  49. Watch the sunrise and sunset on the same day
  50. Watch the sunset and the sunrise without going to bed
  51. Get a library card – Completed 1/11/12
  52. Answer the “50 Questions That Will Free Your Mind” – Done…you can read the answers here.
  53. Go to the zoo in the spring to see the baby animalsCompleted on 5/31/11 with a trip to The Bronx Zoo
  54. Eat a meal alone in a restaurant
  55. Go to the movies alone 10 times
  56. Get a henna “tatoo” on my hands
  57. Get properly measured and buy 3 really good bras once per year – I actually went twice this year.
  58. Go to mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral
  59. Give everyone on my Christmas list a handmade giftCompleted on 12/25/11.  Everyone got at least one handmade item this year and it was a huge success.  I will be doing this in the future as much as possible.
  60. Get a bikini wax
  61. Purchase a 1 year subscription to the NY LotteryCompleted 11/22/10…I’ll let you know if I win!
  62. Reach 500 blog posts – Today’s post marks #483
  63. Do three more blog giveaways1st (apron), 2nd (12 days of Christmas, which I’m counting as one) and 3rd (Kiva card).
  64. Order room service
  65. Write a love letterDone on 8/26/11…I gave it to J for his birthday.
  66. Organize every room of my house – I’m almost there.  The kitchen, both bathrooms, our bedroom and the linen closet are done.  I just have the guest room and den…which, unfortunately, have the most junk.
  67. Buy myself a diamond ring (like Oprah’s pinky ring)
  68. Watch every movie currently on my Netflix queue – In progress…after a cleaning of my list and watching tons of movies I’ve gone from over 400 to just under 200!
  69. Watch all the movies we own on DVD…even the stupid ones
  70. Meet a blog friend in person Completed on 10/29/10 when I met the fabulous Ally.
  71. Go snorkeling
  72. Read 100 books – In progress…72 down.
  73. Have a girls night once per month
  74. Do a boudoir photo shootI did this in February…the results weren’t exactly what I’d hoped for, but it was still a great experience.
  75. Visit a psychic
  76. Spend a day lying in a hammock reading and napping
  77. Take a walk in the rain
  78. Ride in a hot air balloon
  79. Build a snowman
  80. Color an entire coloring book – I got an awesome coloring book and a huge box of crayons and colored pencils for my birthday, so this will be finished soon.
  81. Carve a pumpkin
  82. Go on a date with J once per month
  83. See 3 Broadway shows – I saw Elf on 12/4/10, The Motherfucker in the Hat on 5/31/11 and Wicked on 11/15/11
  84. Go to 5 concerts – 2down…Jay-Z and Eminem on 9/14/10, Sarah McLachlan on 1/12/11, 3 to go
  85. Dress up for HalloweenCompleted 10/31/10
  86. Buy a completely impractical dress just because I love it
  87. Throw a party
  88. Go out dancing
  89. Watch season 1 of Mad Men, Glee and Arrested DevelopmentDone!  Finished Glee last week.  I’ve already discussed my love of Mad Men…and this week I’m going to tell you just why I love Glee so much.
  90. Go to a midnight movie premiereCompleted 11/19/10 when I went to the premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
  91. Celebrate Champagne Friday every week for 1 month
  92. Shoot a gun at a shooting range
  93. Play hooky from work one day for no reasonDid this at the beginning of September…it was fabulous.
  94. Attend a taping of a TV show
  95. Take the pastry class at ICECompleted 10/8/10…which you can read about here or here or here
  96. Cook my way through a cookbook
  97. Create a signature cupcake
  98. Put together a recipe book from all the random recipes in the kitchen
  99. Give a copy of that recipe book to someone as a gift
  100. Write a blog post about each item I complete on the list
  101. Write a new 101 list

Do you think I’ll really be able to get all this done in a year?

The best idea ever…

I have crossed another item off my 101 list!

I took Monday off work for a doctor’s appointment…but that’s not the only thing I did that day.  I also did #74…a boudoir photo shoot.

I first started planning this shoot back in August when I received a Groupon for it.  At the time I was doing great with my weight loss and I thought by the time the actual shoot rolled around, I’d be super skinny and ready for it.

Well…I was wrong.  My diet sort of stalled and I wasn’t where I wanted to be.  I put off scheduling my appointment as long as I could, but my Groupon was about to expire and I didn’t have a choice.  So I made the appointment.

As the days crept up on me, I couldn’t figure out what I wanted to wear.  Nothing I was finding was coming close to my vision for these photos…and nothing really felt like me.  Most of what I tried on made me feel like a little kid playing dress up…or a hooker…and since it’s so close to Valentine’s Day everything was covered in hearts.  Not quite the look I wanted.

Finally, in the very last store…on the very last rack…I found something that I thought would be ok, so I bought it and went home.  I didn’t even try it on…I just paid and left with the feeling that it would be better than nothing.

On Monday morning, I did my hair and makeup with a knot in my stomach.  I was so nervous I thought I was going to be sick.  What had I done???  I don’t prance around half-naked in front of strangers!  I don’t let people take my picture with all my clothes on and now I was getting ready to let someone take pictures of me in my underwear!!!  What was I thinking???

This was the worst idea ever.

But it was too late to cancel.  I just had to suck it up and go.  Luckily, I had to make a call for work so I was distracted on the drive over.  Before I knew it, I was standing in the studio, changing into lingerie.  My hands were shaking and I was eyeing the door.  BECAUSE I AM NOT SEXY AND I DON’T DO THINGS LIKE THIS!!!  But I look a deep breath and turned away from the door.

When I was ready, I turned and I looked into the mirror…and I looked HOT!  Seriously.  My makeup was perfect and my hair was fantastic…and the outfit that I thought would be just ok was so amazing on me that it looked like it was made for me.  I started to think that maybe this wasn’t such a terrible idea after all.

I walked out and the photographer took a few test shots to check the lighting while I stood awkwardly in the middle of the room.  She could tell I was nervous so she started talking to me about my job and my life to loosen me up.  She was ready to get started and told me how to pose for the first shot and then had me start moving around.  Once she started shooting, I started to get really comfortable.  She stopped telling me what to do and how to stand and just let me do whatever I wanted.

As she shot, she showed me a few of the pictures and they were great.  She did a brilliant job.

After we were done and I left the studio, I felt amazing and sexy and confident.  No…my body is not perfect, but that doesn’t mean I’m not beautiful.  That is something I tend to forget…but now, every time I look at those photos, I will remember.

I really encourage you all to do this if you haven’t already.  It was such an amazing experience and I’m so happy I did it.

It really was the best idea ever.

 

I haven’t gotten the pictures yet, but I will post a few when they are ready.

Free Your Mind Monday…

One of the items on my 101 list is to answer the 50 Questions That Will Free Your Mind. It was one of the first things I started, but over a year later and I still haven’t gotten through all of them. So I’ve decided to answer them here…5 each Monday for the next ten weeks. This way it will force me to finish…and it will give me a guaranteed topic for Monday mornings when I have trouble getting my brain working.

Here are the first 5…

1. How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?

It depends on the day.  Sometimes I feel like I’m 100 years old.  Today, for example…I slept funny on my arm and it hurts every time I move it.  And I have a terrible pain in my back.  Days like these I feel like I’m ancient. 

But then there are other days where I feel like a kid still and think “I cannot possibly be an adult…I cannot possibly be older than 15…how did this happen?”  On these days I often spend time doing something very childish…like making inappropriate “that’s what she said” jokes and giggling like an idiot. 

Either way…I very rarely feel like I’m 36…which is how old I actually am.

2. Which is worse, failing or never trying?

Never trying, for sure.  I mean…yes, failing sucks.  No one wants to fail.  But at least if you try, you have the potential to eventually succeed.  If you give up before you even get started you’ll never know if success was possible or what you are capable of.  You should always try…and if you fail, you should try again. 

3. If life is so short, why do we do so many things we don’t like and like so many things we don’t do?

I think it’s because we don’t fully grasp how short life is.  Time goes really fast and sometimes you don’t realize it.  In the moment, you find yourself doing things that are expected of you or things you HAVE to do…like going to work.  I know that I always think things like “Oh…I’m so busy now…I’ll just get tickets for that concert next time they come to town” or “This is really not a good day…I’ll just see my friend another day”.  I always think that there will be plenty of time.  I’m only now starting to realize that there isn’t plenty of time.  We are all so busy all the time…we forget that we have to stop and slow down sometimes. 

4. When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done?

If it was all said and done tomorrow…yes, I will have said more than I will have done.  Like I said above…I tend to put things off until tomorrow.  I have big plans, but I let so many things get in the way of those plans.  I love my 101 list for that reason…it’s forcing me to accomplish things I’ve been putting off for years.  It’s forcing me to slow down and do things that make me happy.  It’s been a great lesson.  I really hope that it’s not all said and done tomorrow…because I have faith that I can turn things around.  I have faith that someday, when it is all over, I will be able to smile and say that I did everything.

5. What is the one thing you’d most like to change about the world?

I would love to make people more accepting of one another.  There is so much hate and so much intolerance.  I wish people could just embrace those things that make us all different.  Those are the things that make the world an interesting place.  In my perfect world…people would celebrate their differences…they would learn from each other…they would find ways to get along.  I think it would be a much happier world.

*****

Is anyone else taking on the 50 questions?  Do you find that some of them are really hard to answer???

A 101 update…

You might have noticed that things have changed a little bit around here.  I have a whole new look!  I’ve also made the switch from WordPress.com to WordPress.org…but that’s not really important.  What is important is that it’s so much prettier in here now.  And since this pretty new design allows me to cross another item off my 101 list, I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to give you all an update on how I’m doing…

Things I’ve completed since I last updated you…

16. Redesign the blog…Obviously this is done.  I worked with the amazing Kayleen from Booyah’s Mama and it was a completely smooth transition.  All I had to do was pick the colors…she handled the rest.  If you are thinking of doing a new design or a switch to WordPress.org, Kayleen if your gal.

65. Write a love letter…Over the last eleven years I’ve written J tons of cards and letters and notes…but none truly qualified as a love letter.  So this year, for his birthday, part of his gift was a love letter…one that told him all the reasons I loved him.  It took me a while to write it because I didn’t want it to sound sappy or cheesy…and I went through a few versions before it was just right.  He was thrilled with the final product and it’s now tucked safely into his bedside drawer.

93. Play hooky from work for no reason…I shouldn’t be posting about this because people from work might read it…but in early September I called in sick.  And it wasn’t really a lie…the state of my hair was making me physically nauseaous every time I looked in the mirror.  So I took a day off and I got my hair done and I got a pedicure and I took a nap…it was a perfect mental health day.

Things I’m in the middle of or are almost complete…

15. Participate in NaBloPoMo…as you know, I started this a few days ago and it’s going really well.  I’d fallen into some bad blogging habits…or I should say some bad non-blogging habits.  NaBloPoMo has forced me to sit down and make a plan and get my posts written early.  I don’t know that I can maintain a daily posting schedule after November, but I think I will certainly be prepared to maintain a much more regular schedule than I was before.

18. Crochet an afghan…I was about halfway through with this project and I hated the way it looked.  So I tore it all out and started over again.  I’m hoping to have it finished by Christmas so I can give it as a gift.

25. Make a calendar to give as a Christmas gift…I’m in the middle of this and was actually working on it before I started writing this post.  I bought a Groupon two weeks ago for Picaboo and downloaded their terrific software to my laptop.  I’ve got most of the pictures chosen and now I just have to customize each of the three I’m making.  Hopefully, I’ll be done early this week.

27. Create a journal of things I love…I bought a Smash Book about a month ago and I’ve been having a great time filling it up.  I bought several of the accessories as well and I have created pages for quotes, for pictures, for tickets stubs.  I even have some fortune cookie fortunes in there.  I’m loving the book so far.  I also joined Pinterest…after a few months of resistance…and that has become my online “journal” for all things fabulous.

31. Reach my goal weight…I’m still working on this one.  I was great at first…I was motivated and the weight was coming off easily. Now, it’s gotten more difficult to lose and my motivation is waning.  I’m hoping to get some renewed sense of purpose and get back on track before the holiday eating starts.

62. Reach 500 blog posts…well, as of today’s post, I’m at 371.  I can’t believe it’s been such a long time since I had the idea for starting this blog.  I can’t wait to get to the big milestone.

72. Read 100 books…I just finished #50…so I’m halfway there.  As you may have noticed, I started a new feature here called What I’m Reading…on Thursdays.  I wanted to share with you guys some of the better books I’ve read.  I hope you enjoy it.

Things I decided to change…

28. Changed Complete the P90X program to Create an emergency kit for both houses…When I first wrote my list, everyone was doing P90X and I thought “hey…this might be fun”…but then I remembered that I hate exercising like that.  So I decided that while I do need to increase my activity, P90X is probably not the way.  Emergency kits for my houses though…that’s important and something that will probably be extremely useful someday.  So I made the switch.

48. Changed Redecorate the den and guest room to Pick a day to perform random acts of kindness…My den and guest room definitely need to be redecorated.  However, they also need to have the windows replaced and the plaster walls ripped out and replaced with sheetrock.  These are jobs I will not be doing myself and the ultimate redecoration of both rooms is incidental to the repairs that are going to take place.  So I decided that leaving this item on the list was sort of cheating and I thought I could use the slot to do something else more important.

59. Changed Give everyone on my Christmas list an “experience” gift to Give everyone on my list a handmade gift…There were several people on my list for whom it is very difficult to get out and do things.  For example, I would love to take my grandfather to a Yankee game or a Giants game…but it would be far too much walking for him and I don’t think he’d enjoy it.  Leaving this item on the list, but omitting my grandfather and J’s parents and a few select others seemed like cheating, so I changed it to something I thought would work much better.

66. Changed Spend an entire day with my nephews to Organize every room in my house…Spending a full day with my nephews would be awesome, but with their school schedules and my work schedules, trying to do something like that was a logistical nightmare.  I do plan to spend several partial days with them, but again…it felt like cheating to leave it on there.  So I changed it to organize my house…which I was in desperate need of.  I’ve already completed the kitchen and my master bedroom closet.  My next project is the bathrooms and linen closet.

That’s where I am with my list.  If you want to see the full list it’s here.

A New Year’s update…

Hi everyone.  Happy New Year!  I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday.  I meant to check in here more often last week, but I was sick all week and was mostly unable to concentrate long enough to form sentences.  I’m only doing marginally better today, but I didn’t want to stay away any longer. 

Since it’s the beginning of the new year and I received a request for it, I decided to give a little update to my 101 list.  I managed to cross quite a few things off my list last year…

  1. Send someone flowers for no reason
  2. Pay for a strangers meal at a drive-through – Completed 9/3/10…read about it here
  3. Give a microloan through kiva.org Completed 9/3/10 and it’s been partially repaid! I definitely plan on doing this again.
  4. Find out my blood type and donate blood
  5. Travel to 5 places I’ve never been 1 down, 4 to go
  6. Take a road trip alone
  7. Take a walking tour of NYC
  8. Visit the Statue of Liberty
  9. Spend a weekend in Atlantic City
  10. Go on vacation with my sister-in-law
  11. Travel somewhere by train
  12. Go to Disney World
  13. Write a novel
  14. Participate in NaNoWriMo
  15. Participate in NaBloPoMo
  16. Redesign my blog
  17. Comment on every blog post I read for one week
  18. Crochet an afghan using the yarn I’ve had in the closet for a year
  19. Refinish a piece of furniture
  20. Use my sewing machine…finally
  21. Take a photography class Completed…I finished the class on December 21st and I can’t wait to sign up for the next one.
  22. Take 48 pictures in 1 day and create a photo book of a day in my life
  23. Do a 365 day photo project
  24. Create a monthly scrapbook every month for 1 year
  25. Make a calendar to give as a Christmas gift
  26. Buy a Flip camera and make 1 home movie per week for 1 yearStarted…I got the Flip for Christmas and I made a movie of the dogs playing the snow last week.
  27. Create a journal of clippings, photos, quotes and other things I love
  28. Complete the P90X program
  29. Drink 64 ounces of water every day for 64 days straight
  30. Complete the Couch to 5K program
  31. Reach my goal weight and stay there
  32. Take the dogs on a walk for at least 30 minutes every day for 1 month
  33. Take a yoga class
  34. Save $10,000
  35. Pay off all my credit cards in full each month for 1 year
  36. Go 1 month without making a non-essential purchase (food is essential)
  37. Sell 5 things on Ebay
  38. Sell something I make on Etsy
  39. Study something entirely new
  40. Conquer a fear
  41. Go to 5 different museums
  42. Create a house cleaning schedule and stick to it
  43. Go to bed at 9PM every night for 1 week
  44. Wake up at 5AM every morning for 1 week
  45. Keep my inbox empty for 1 month
  46. Write a will and advanced medical directive
  47. Write “in case of death” letters
  48. Redecorate the den and the guest room
  49. Watch the sunrise and sunset on the same day
  50. Watch the sunset and the sunrise without going to bed
  51. Get a library card
  52. Answer the “50 Questions That Will Free Your Mind” – Started 10/1/10 and I’ve answered about 12 so far.  I thought I would fly through this one, but they are pretty tough questions.
  53. Go to the zoo in the spring to see the baby animals
  54. Eat a meal alone in a restaurant
  55. Go to the movies alone at least once every 6 months
  56. Get a henna “tatoo” on my hands
  57. Get properly measured and buy 3 really good bras once per year
  58. Go to mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral
  59. Give everyone on my Christmas list an experience (like tickets to a play) instead of a thing (like a sweater)
  60. Get a bikini wax
  61. Purchase a 1 year subscription to the NY Lottery Completed 11/22/10…I’ll let you know if I win!
  62. Reach 500 blog posts
  63. Do three more blog giveaways I’ve done the 1st (apron) and the 2nd (12 days of Christmas, which I’m counting as one), so there is one more left.
  64. Order room service
  65. Write a love letter
  66. Spend a full day with my nephews from when they wake up until they go to bed
  67. Buy myself a diamond ring (like Oprah’s pinky ring)
  68. Watch every movie currently on my Neflix queue
  69. Watch all the movies we own on DVD…even the stupid ones
  70. Meet a blog friend in person Completed on 10/29/10 when I met the fabulous Ally.
  71. Go snorkeling
  72. Read 100 books
  73. Have a girls night once per month
  74. Do a boudoir photo shoot
  75. Visit a psychic
  76. Spend a day lying in a hammock reading and napping
  77. Take a walk in the rain
  78. Ride in a hot air balloon
  79. Build a snowman
  80. Color an entire coloring book
  81. Carve a pumpkin
  82. Go on a date with J once per month
  83. See 3 Broadway shows 1 down…Elf on 12/4/10, 2 to go
  84. Go to 5 concerts  1 down…Jay-Z and Eminem on 9/14/10, 4 to go
  85. Dress up for HalloweenCompleted 10/31/10
  86. Buy a completely impractical dress just because I love it
  87. Throw a party
  88. Go out dancing
  89. Watch season 1 of Mad Men, Glee and Arrested Development (to see what everyone is talking about)
  90. Go to a midnight movie premiereCompleted 11/19/10 when I went to the premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
  91. Celebrate Champagne Friday every week for 1 month
  92. Shoot a gun at a shooting range
  93. Play hooky from work one day for no reason
  94. Attend a taping of a TV show
  95. Take the pastry class at ICECompleted 10/8/10…which you can read about here or here or here
  96. Cook my way through a cookbook
  97. Create a signature cupcake
  98. Put together a recipe book from all the random recipes in the kitchen
  99. Give a copy of that recipe book to someone as a gift
  100. Write a blog post about each item I complete on the list
  101. Write a new 101 list

So that’s where I am.  I thought I would get a few more things done…or at least started…but time just seems to get away from me.  I’m happy with my progress so far and I can’t wait to cross more things off. 

Is anyone else working on a list of their own?  Any New Year’s resolutions?  Any good stories of drunken debauchery from NYE?

Moving right along…

I’ve completed another item on the 101 list.  We had our last baking class this past Friday and that completes #  – Take a baking class at ICE. 

This week was sponge cake and angel food cake.  We learned the proper techniques for whipping egg whites and our cakes came out light and fluffy and delicious.  Look at this gorgeous chocolate angel food cake…

It doesn’t look all impressive like the cakes from last week, but it was delicious with a little strawberry compote and vanilla whipped cream.  Even J liked it and he hasn’t eaten any of the cakes so far…because they were too “fancy” for him. 

This is Roberto.  He is a student there and was the chef’s assistant for our classes.  He loved us and often brought us treats from the professional classes.  He also told us we should open a bakery. 

This is our instructor, Chef Reeni.  She was hilarious and a great teacher…and was once a competitor on Food Network Challenge: Ultimate Wedding Cakes. 

Overall, the class was fantastic.  Marisa and I had so much fun and we learned a lot about making our cakes light and moist and delicious.  Next on the agenda…we have to learn how to decorate them and maybe even sculpt them…Reeni is offering a class on it in the spring.  Duff Goldman, watch out. 

I decided to reward myself for finishing the class with a brand new apron, which I fully intend to wear with pearls, just like in the photo…

It’s from Creative Chics and I think it’s just adorable.  Freda, the proprietor, is wonderful as well.  Definitely check our their Etsy store and their blog.

To celebrate crossing another item off my list…I’m going to cross yet another item off the list.  I’m going to give one of you an apron too!  That’s right…a giveaway…although let’s call it a present…I don’t like the G word.

I also don’t like rules, so I’m going to make this simple…

  • every comment you leave for me this week is one entry. 
  • post about this on your own blog you will get three extra entries.  (make sure you let me know you’ve posted)

That’s it.  Easy, right?  At the end of the week, I will select the winner at random using Random.org.  I will accept entries until Saturday and I will announce the winner next Monday.  The winner will be able to choose any apron from Creative Chics. 

Last, but not least…I have to give a special mention to my favorite sister-in-law.  Today is her birthday and she also got a new job.  Both of these things are very exciting so please join me in wishing her the best birthday and oodles of luck at the new gig. 

Happy Monday everyone.